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Some spoilers for rackets and character/story points in Mafia 3

Butch:

Well, I got nothing cuz I’m still stuck doing the “sex” thing which I can’t do with anyone around.

Feminina:

I played a bit. I didn’t go right back to Pagani, because it occurred to me that if I finished up with him, I might be at the point where I needed to assign the territory, and I already gave Burke both the rackets so I wanted him to have Tickfaw as well, BUT I already gave both Burke and Cassandra a territory and Vito was kind of annoyed about it, so I was afraid to give Tickfaw to Burke and have Vito flip out or something.

So I went back to finish up with the French Ward and gave that to Vito. And oh. My. Lord. That’s some…something.

Then I went and murdered the hell out of some Southern Union jerks in Frisco, and…oh. My. Lord. Something.

THEN I went and finished up with Pagani. It was actually not that bad? I chased him once, for the banter, and actually almost caught him except I crashed my car. Then I put some mines outside the building, crept in and around inside, caught him as he was just hopping into his car, shot the hell out of the car and I think also hit one of the mines in the process, so the car was a burning wreck and that did for him.

I felt kind of bad about him, although it was purely because he said “I have a wife and three little girls.” I mean, any one of the hundreds of dudes we murder on a daily basis could have a wife and three little girls, and most of them are lower-level and hence arguably less culpable and deserving of death than this guy, and yet he mentions his family and I’m instantly all sad for him. And Lincoln was all sad for him too!–he pauses to close the dude’s eyes, and looks somber. He still has a flicker of human feeling, right?

And then we cut to the FBI guy saying that he’s pursued Lincoln for 48 years or whatever because he’s a criminal and that he (FBI guy) really believes he (Lincoln) is a monster. Which is a harsh term, and juxtaposed very tellingly for me with the end of the French Ward. We’ll talk later.

And yet…there was also the Frisco bit. We’ll talk later.

But basically, even without those bits, Lincoln is arguably a monster. He (we!) murders hundreds of dudes on a daily basis without even blinking. Dudes with lives, families, for whom we spare not a single thought as we stab them in the neck and move on.

And granted, these dudes are certainly all murderous jerks as well, who would kill us without a second thought, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have kids who’ll miss them.

It just goes to show that in a war or a video game, you can’t let yourself see the enemy as human. And that pause as we/Lincoln did briefly see Pagani as human, that was interesting. But whether it refutes the FBI guy’s insistence that Lincoln is a monster (he is capable of empathy), or underscores it (his empathy doesn’t slow him down, since the next thing we see is him back talking to Donovan about the next box on the murder flow chart), I’m not sure.

Butch:

Capital ‘Something’? Wow.

Ah, nicely done with Pagani. Yes, mines. That’s what ultimately did it for me. Blocking it with cars made the cars vanish, but mines. Mines.

I had a wonderfully spectacular moment with that. I didn’t sneak around. I killed the outside Kevins, put down my mines, and then just kinda went to the front door and shot randomly towards Frank until he freaked. So I got to see him come barreling out with, count ’em, four Kevins on his hood (as he runs people over, just like us), hit ALL FOUR mines and send things skyward in amazing geyser of fire, car and Kevin.

It was glorious. In no small part because something finally fucking worked.

As for feeling bed, well, did you read his bio? Dude had a bad life. But what did it for me was the first thing he said: “I never did anything to you…” And even Kevin can’t say that! Kevin tries to kill us. This dude was just doing business, tried to RUN, and we blew him up (instead of chasing him like the game wanted us to).

That, I think, was the real indictment. Lincoln realized that he’s killing fathers who DIDN’T hurt his family! He’s hurting theirs and…why? They never did anything to him.

Which, again, is also a finger pointing at the player. “We murder dudes on a daily basis.” Lots of those dudes never did anything to us.

And Donovan, Ooo! Good segue to what I wanted to say about the war thing! Cuz I think we’re gonna get some war stuff.

Yes, we get FBI guy. That we do. But we also get a cutscene with Lincoln and Donovan, right? And in that scene, Lincoln has JUST the front edge of second thoughts. He’s troubled by Pagani. And the second Donovan senses any doubt or second thoughts or anything from Lincoln, Donovan immediately is all “HEY! THEY KILLED YOUR FAMILY!” Donovan wants none of that. Donovan wants Lincoln to focus and stay on his murderous track.

Hmm.

And now you know what I have that isn’t “Kill Tommy Marcano.” It’s about Cuba. Communists. You know. Who Donovan hates.

So yes, he’s talking to Donovan about the next box on the murder flow chart. But it’s Donovan who is the one encouraging him to do so. Or, at least, to focus.

Right?

Feminina:

It’s true! Donovan is pushing him right back into the rage. We’ve said all along that Donovan has to have some agenda of his own–there’s something he’s getting out of this that’s not just “my good friend Lincoln was cruelly mistreated and I’ll help him get bloody and wildly disproportionate revenge, probably breaking numerous laws in the process, because that’s what friends do.”

“They killed your family, and the only way to make them pay is to kill every single one of them!!!!” He definitely doesn’t want Lincoln giving up on this. Also, did you notice that other interesting thing he said, about how Sal Marcano is “a leech”? That could be just a sort of generic unpleasant thing to compare an enemy to, or it could be a pointed sign of the fact that Donovan really has a problem with the Marcanos not doing their fair share…whatever that means to him.

I mean, we could go to taxes–certainly they aren’t paying everything they owe because illegal income sources etc., and Al Capone’s history gives us that link between organized crime and getting busted for tax evasion. But Donovan hardly seems interested in busting anyone in legal terms–he wants them all dead.

Or maybe it goes back to Donovan’s very specific and personal hatred of communism, a concern of which is that it pools resources and potentially enables unproductive people to ‘leech’ off productive ones. But just as with taxes, the link between the mafia and communism isn’t obvious to me, so I’m not sure. Still, there’s SOMETHING going on there. I’m wondering if maybe Donovan used to be connected to the mob himself, and Sal Marcano got promoted over him or something.

Or, since as you say the next step is Cuba and communists, maybe he doesn’t actually even care about the Marcanos, he’s just trying to hurt someone else (their communist business partners?) by destroying them, and Lincoln is a convenient tool for that process.

We shall see.

But dude, yeah. The conclusion to the French Ward, and the Southern Union in Frisco–we’ll talk. There’s STUFF there. Multiple somethings. Capital Somethings.

Butch:

Ooo! Good catch on ‘leech’!

Well, Cuba is starting to come up a lot. And there’s no doubt that Marcano is making money from Cuba, selling cigars, contraband, etc. He is also likely running guns and other forbidden American aid there, too. And no doubt Donovan wouldn’t be too keen on that.

We shall see. But just “hurting communist business partners” seems a little out of proportion to what he is doing. He is ANGRY, man. Yes, he’s stoking Lincoln’s anger, but I also get the sense that whatever he is up to has more to do with something personal and not just some ideology or abstraction of patriotism.

Multiple Somethings. Damn, man. Damn.

This game doesn’t pull punches.

But it does repeat, doesn’t it? In a futile attempt to catch up to you I killed enforcers (killing all sorts of dudes and just having the porn performers keep going was either funny, hideously upsetting or both), killed perverts, rolled my eyes at how perverted they seem to want to make the perverts, thought “Wow that was a great level. Lots of buildings, sniper points, ways to approach it what with the civilians, multiple access points,” then thought “Too bad the next thing I’ll have to do will be right the fuck back here” and, sure enough, gotta go back.

God DAMN it game stop this repetitive shit.

Feminina:

Game: NEVER!!!! Repetition or death!!!!

Though, death anyway, really.

Yeah, I agree. Donovan has some personal stake in this. He seriously hates communism, and either hates the Marcanos personally, or hates them more generally but still seriously…as communist enablers, perhaps, providing a toehold for the infestation to spread onto US soil.

Hm. And I really wonder if at some point this isn’t going to become an issue for Lincoln and Donovan. We’ve talked about how Lincoln doesn’t seem to really see himself as specifically a black power activist, but certainly everyone else does. The Voice and Remy Duvall both think of him as representing black anger and taking action to strike out on behalf of that anger. Both of them, one approving and one horrified, see him as a sign of potential revolution.

And it’s interesting how we collect communist propaganda that talks about equality, and Remy Duvall speaks disgustedly about the black demands for what he sees as unearned equality–these black activists marching in the streets calling for things they don’t deserve, demanding to be treated as the equals of people to whom they just aren’t equal and never will be. Likewise, Donovan presumably sees communism’s promise of equality as either a lie, or a promotion of the power of ‘leeches’ to be considered equal to productive members of society.

So even though Donovan seems to be genuinely disgusted by the racist old-school rules of the south, and certainly has no qualms about helping Lincoln put the fear of a vengeful black man into white society here, you have to wonder whether he, as much as Remy, is driven by an essentially irrational devotion to one ideology and the attendant hatred of another. I mean, I think we’re agreed that Donovan REALLY hates communism, so he’s very much a product of that ideological communist/capitalist divide that is as much about passion as actual argument. (He probably also doesn’t want the US to turn into a hereditary monarchy, but nobody goes into a frothing rage about that.)

And if so, what is that saying, really? That everyone sees the world from their own viewpoint and justifies their actions accordingly? That any of us can justify monstrous actions this way?

And what does it say about Lincoln, there in the middle, not thinking of himself as a black activist but attacking racist power structures, not seeming particularly concerned with the spread of communism but ripping down posters (and, in his journal, noting that “those commie bastards think they can put up their bullshit wherever they want” or whatever–so he does believe it SHOULD be ripped down, just as he does believe racists SHOULD be removed from power)?

Maybe we’re meant to be able to see him as a hero or a monster depending on our own views? Or it’s that, like everyone, he’s a little of both, navigating a world shaped far more by other peoples’ beliefs, than by what he himself believes?

Butch:

Wait…do you think Donovan really is disgusted by the racist rules of the south? Sure, he hates the Marcanos, and he has little love for the Dixie Mafia, but I haven’t seen any evidence that his feelings are impacted in any way by any sense of racial right and wrong. I think you could be cynical and say that he’s only saying the stuff he says about race to keep Lincoln focused. There’s no evidence to the contrary.

He’s a little of both, for sure. A blessing and a curse. Shit, even the FBI guy is admitting that now.

Oh, right. Played. Got the whole “Lincoln’s Legacy” bit from the FBI guy, who says he’s a monster, and the prototype of so many criminals, but he did what the FBI couldn’t do: ended the Italian mob.

So again, here’s a guy with a true sense of right and wrong wavering on what Lincoln is.

And, as we talked just this morning, LINCOLN is wavering on what he is.

I have a feeling there’s gonna be Weighty Choices later. And then we can say “Why did we choose that?” cuz games.

But played. Took over sex (originally typed “Gave sex to Cassandra,” retyped it), and killed the judge. I have decided that blowing cars up is FAR better than chasing them. I chased it once, and I think I actually did kill the judge, cuz it switched to “lose the cops,” but I thought that was cuz I shot AT the judge. So I spent all this time shooting up his car thinking “Why isn’t he dead yet???” then died.

So then I got mad and said, to quote Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters: “When in doubt….C4!” and planted some right in the road by the courthouse, got in my car, waited, BLAMMO. And ran away.

And got “Lose the cops,” and realized I had done it right the first time.

Ah, well.

Now I’m off to get on……a RIVERBOAT!!!!

Gonna be great.

Is this a Something?

Feminina:

Yes! Riverboat! It’s definitely Something. We’ll talk.

And yeah, at first I made assassinating that judge way more complicated than it needed to be. I was all “I probably have to chase him all over town…” and then I tried shooting him through the window and he drove off and I lost him…finally I just left my car near where he stopped to pick up drugs or whatever he was picking up, chucked a couple of grenades at his car, went back to my car and drove off, and the cops weren’t even chasing me, and then, like you, I was perplexed by the big circle on the map thinking “did he get away, do I have to drive around this area until I find him, what?” until finally I figured out that ‘evade the cops’ meant ‘drive out of the circle you idiot’ and that was the end of it.

Usually when I have to evade the cops, they’re CHASING me, you know? Here they hadn’t even really seen me, so it was a very nebulous search. “Negative visual on suspect”…the sweetest words the dispatcher can say. Well, no–the second sweetest after “search is called off: repeat, abandon search and return to patrols.”

As for Donovan, it’s true, he might be playing up his distaste for the racist system in order to make Lincoln think their motivations are more similar than they are…but I thought there was some real venom in the way he talked about how assassinating the judge would “send a message to these racist cocksuckers that their way of life is finally over” or whatever. It seemed like he really did think this was a system that deserves to go down. (Casual homophobic slur! Never miss a chance to throw in some more profanity. We could talk for days about the slurs alone! Well, an hour and a half, anyway.)

Maybe he feels it props up more “leeches” who got rich off the labor of others? A hatred for communism could possibly extend to a hatred of slavery and post-slavery segregation…one could argue that, like slaves, people under communist rule don’t own their own labor, and this is despicable (though communists would probably counter that if they don’t own the means of production, ‘owning’ the labor itself is no guarantee of any power in society).

Hm. We still have much to learn about Donovan.

And Lincoln.

But not Judge Holden. That dude is dead and already forgotten.

Butch:

Well, the cops kinda did go all blue circle on me, because I kinda detonated C4 outside the courthouse, in the middle of a police caravan and all. They noticed.

And yes, Donovan said that….but it did have a sense of overacted.

Which is always kinda a problem with games. Is that being overacted for narrative purposes? Or is it being overacted cuz the guy is overacting?

I didn’t entirely buy the “send a message” thing. Not entirely.

Feminina:

It’s definitely true that Donovan might have been overacting there with his hatred of racists, though as you say it’s hard to know if the CHARACTER is overacting, or if it’s meant to be sincere but the actor is overdoing it a bit. Hm.

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