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Spoilers for story points kind of near the end of Mafia 3

Butch:

Well, that happened. I guess.

Killed Santangelo. Well, got killed by Santangelo about 19 times, then killed Santangelo. Didn’t mean to. Started in the bayou, decided to steal a truck, as one does, thought “Watch, someone will try to kill me and bust the truck,” as one does, and said person was Santangelo. So I died, and failed the truck mission (as one does), and respawned in the same place that Santangelo kept popping up, so I had to deal with him.

He was hard.

And pointless.

Dude shows up in a scene, then attacks you, has a cutscene, you kill him.

What?

Have you done this? Cuz….again…I don’t know what they were getting at here.

So I spent a session saying “What? I don’t want to do this. Why am I doing this?” And, at the end of same, no real bloggage.

I hate that.

Oh, and I did some damage to the Southern Union and found out they’re selling people and now I have to talk to the person who will likely tell me there’s someone I have to go kill or something in the store.

Actual slavery, huh? They went there? They went there. Hmm.

Feminina:

Yeah, I’m not really sure what Santangelo was meant to convey. “I shall go to my death proudly clutching my racial slurs!”

OK?

This is why we can’t have nice things, because we’re always turning on each other over differing appearance instead of banding together to take down the Man? I don’t know. It seems like it should mean something, but I don’t know what, other than maybe that Sal is desperately trying everything he can think of at this point.

And yeah…they went there. Actual slave auctions, huh? The reality of segregation not enough, we have to have literal. Slave. Auctions. in the back of the store?

I felt like that went a bit over the top, to be honest. I mean, I’m happy Lincoln could free people from slavery, and they did use the modern term of human trafficking which reminds us that in fact there are still people living in virtual or literal slavery today, which is a timely point.

And I did this right after the riverboat, so I was thinking “he’s a monster! all those civilians and boat workers! — but wait, he’s not TOTALLY a monster…”

But still…reality isn’t bad enough? The regular Klan–sorry, Southern Union–isn’t bad enough, they’ve got to become cartoonish supervillains? Hm.

Butch:

Well, the more I think on it, the more it seems like in a first draft, maybe even a later draft, Santangelo was supposed to have more of a story arc. The whole think reads like when you see a movie, and you’re all “Why was that guy in it?” only to find he has eight deleted scenes when the blu ray comes out. I think this even more when I look at the trophy list.

See, you get a trophy for killing Santangelo. Not a surprise. But what was odd was WHERE it was. It was in the early trophies, the ones that are always chronological. And it was EARLY. Like, right after “Hang Doucette from a Ferris Wheel” and “Get Grecco.” Back then. It was before Conti, Pagani, and the dude in the tower who was so boring I forgot his name.

So I have a feeling this was one of those narrative things that got edited out late, but so late they didn’t get rid of all of it and it hung out like a narrative phantom limb. I’m going with that.

As for the slavery…Well, I’m early. I haven’t gone BACK to the store, and I have a feeling the Capital S Something you mentioned is still to come.

But yes, VERY over the top. And it’s the first time this game has REALLY strained credulity. Ok, racism, corruption, pretty much everyone on drugs, screwing hookers…a bit much, but ok. But the idea that all these people in suburbia playing golf and having barbecues all have slaves chained up in their basement? Uh…ok? Maybe we’re going for metaphor, like, all the people who clean rich people’s houses in real life are practically slaves and make it so people CAN play golf and barbecue? But they haven’t done that kind of metaphor yet. Not with the rackets. And this is so late that I just can’t justify them doing it NOW. With what could be, and, in my case, is the final racket.

And, wait, shit, is THIS the racket I have to take over? I don’t want to take over a human trafficking racket.

Feminina:

No, slave auctions was the Something to which I was referring. If there’s something more shocking/noteworthy ahead in this racket, I missed it because I was too busy thinking “seriously, actual slave auctions?”

And yes, you have to take it over, but we’ll talk later about how that works out.

But yeah…I mean, these are bad people, no doubt. I buy that. But the sheer logistics of assuming enough people are that bad AND have enough spare cash AND enough secluded property to be holding people prisoner in their basements or on their plantations or whatever, in large enough numbers to support an ongoing industry, when there isn’t wholesale societal support for returning your ‘property’ if someone escapes…it just starts to seem implausible.

Then I thought maybe they’re just kind of playing at slave auctions, all this “speaks English and can be trained” stuff, but they’re not actually planning to keep slaves, they just pay to take people home and kill them? Which, again, these are definitely very bad people, but paying money to murder someone, after first setting up a whole charade to convince them they’ve been enslaved, is a particular kind of bad. Like, wealthy bored evil playboy stuff, and while the Southern Union does have those “local business owners” Remy Duvall mentioned, they also seem to have a lot of…well…working class pamphlet distributors.

And the slave thing is arguably the secret that only the higher level (richer) members get to know about/participate in, but it’s still held in the grungy back room of a grocery store, which suggests it’s not THAT high level. If it were the amusement of bored elites, you’d think there’d at least be cocktails and appetizers.

I don’t know, it just strains belief a bit.

I mean, so does one dude returning from the dead 8 million times while murdering 8 million other dudes on his way to taking over the mafia, but…I don’t know. I’m not totally feeling it.

And like I said, the reality is bad enough! They’ve done a pretty good job with the reality so far–I don’t know that they needed to go to this horror-movie level.

But I like your thought about Santangelo. He does have the feel of a character that played a much bigger role in some previous version of the story. Maybe he made more sense there. It happens.

Butch:

Ah. I figured maybe it had something to do with the eventual (I assume) demise of Remy Duvall and/or Olivia Marcano. Have you killed them yet? Or at least allowed them to die offscreen?

Ha.

Just tell me that it won’t be all selling dudes.

Strains belief a bit? A massive, huge amount.

Yes, the Union seems to be mostly blue collar Kevins making pamphlets in trailers. And yes, if this were some weirdassed thing like you’d see…somewhere…it would be in the country club or something. Cuz if this were the playground of elites, it would be like, what, the Ultra Luxe casino in FONV (callback!) where they were all cannibals or something. But that was ok cuz Fallout is not realistic in the slightest, nor does it try to be.

And as for the whole “society support” thing, one was “straight from Haiti.” We’re IMPORTING human beings for this? Like…what?

They didn’t need to go here. Not even close. Not in this game.

Which is starting to bum me out. This is two playing sessions in a row where the game dropped the ball on narrative. That’s what this game was doing so well.

But Santangelo, must’ve been more. Maybe they felt that they needed a bad guy of color. They don’t have one. We’ve talked a lot about this game being good at the complexities of race, and not presenting people of color as this unified front, a monolith. And, yes, Sammy and Ellis were bad guys, and Cassandra is a criminal, sure, there’s a difference in a game between “criminal but ally” and “Dude you’re so gonna kill,” and we do not see the latter represented by anything other than white folk in this game. So I can see wanting to add that level of complexity, but then you have to add someone who is obviously not Marcano to the kill list, and that gets tricky in the plot of the game. Would have to be explained out the wazoo, and that would take a lot of time the game didn’t have. Cuz we were killing enforcers. And blowing up TVs. And all that exciting shit.

Feminina:

TVs gotta blow up! But yeah, likely true on that theory of Santangelo.

And yes, I have…reached the end of the stories of Remy Duvall and Olivia Marcano. We’ll talk. Later.

Butch:

Ah. Yes, we we’ll most certainly talk later. Soon. I’ll be on it.

That means you must be damn close to the end, right? I can’t think of anything else. I was afraid Santangelo would end up being, like, five or six playing sessions, but he wasn’t. I really only have this Southern Cross stuff (Which, I am assuming, will lead to Duvall being the “kinda” boss like the Alvarez thing and the judge thing before we get to kill a Marcano….offscreen) and then Olivia and then, what, Sal. And that’s it. Right? Unless I want to steal trucks that will then be destroyed. Or race cars. Which I don’t.

ARE you finished?

Feminina:

I am not finished, but I am standing in a room right now where my objective is “confront Sal Marcano.” So unless he flees to the bayou and I have to take over some rackets to get to him, I’m very close.

And yes, if you don’t want to bother with stealing trucks for no reason, you have the Southern Union, Duvall, Olivia, and you’re pretty much here.

We could both be playing Tomb Raider by next week!

Or…there is stealing trucks for some reason, if you want to get Cassandra’s armored police truck and finish her “.45 in hand” story. And stealing cars for Burke, and killing people for Vito. They each have a little chapter wrap-up when you finish their quest.

So you might want to do that for companion story sake. Or not.

Butch:

I’m going with “not.” That police truck? No. And dude, I’ve TRIED so often to steal trucks and get them places and it does. Not. Work.

Stealing cars sucks.

I killed a couple of dudes.

They can deal.

Is it worth it? Themeage? Something?

I dunno. We’ve done so very, very well staying together on this one. I have no desire to get two weeks behind you on TR. You must admit, blogging is far easier when one of us (by which I mean you) isn’t all “Oh yeah….that….I kinda remember that….”

Feminina:

Meh. I mean, it’s kind of themey, tells you a bit about the characters. Feels like you get to know them a bit better and stuff. Nothing that makes the game suddenly take on a whole new meaning or anything. I can summarize the conversations for you if you want, or I’m sure the internet knows.

Oh, but speaking of that police truck, it turns out you CAN just stealth kill cops. Or maybe I just knocked them out, I don’t know. Anyway, I stole that armored truck by sneaking in, knocking out or killing a cop (same circle move as with the bad guys) and hopping into the truck, then having the dispatcher call them off once they started to chase me. Easy as pie.

I still suspect that probably going all guns-a-blazing on the cops, even if you killed a ton, would result in more and more cops showing up until they finally got you. But then, that’s often the case with the bad guys, too, especially when they call reinforcements. (Speaking of which, we were talking yesterday about how your associates give you abilities, and we’ve complained many times about how annoying sentries are, and yet I never remember to use Cassandra’s associate perk of CUTTING THE PHONE LINES so they can’t call for reinforcements. My bad there, game. My bad.)

So maybe the game doesn’t differentiate between cops and mob guys to nearly the extent that we assumed it did. I don’t know, though, I really only did the sneak attack twice. And as you say, it does always tell you “lose the cops” not “defeat the cops,” which suggests that at the very least, more cops are going to keep coming and they’re always going to be around, so in the long run, hiding is the only successful strategy.

Hm.

Butch:

Go ahead and spoil. Please.

I did the phone before he calls trick last night! He sits there on the phone going “Why can’t you HEAR me???” until you kill him.

Satisfying.

And the operator is all “Happy to help,” which makes you think “Then why don’t you do it all the time?”

Feminina:

Man, that’s awesome. And I never remembered to use it!

I also tend to forget about the hit men you can summon. Those guys are handy, though. Called them several times during a recent altercation. Well worth the $4500 or whatever if you don’t have a marker–it’s not like I’m saving that money for anything.

I don’t forget about the police dispatcher, though! I have frequently had her call off the cops. Usually because I’m involved in a dramatic chase, but sometimes just because I get bored with hiding and waiting for them to give up and go away.

Butch:

Wait, shit, you can hire them without markers????? For real??? I’ve been hoarding my markers!

Damn.

I used the hit squad on Santangelo. Seemed a quiet irony. That and he killed me, like, 19 times. I kept going into this alley and trying to use mines and being all smart and it didn’t work. So I said fuck it, stood outside the jazz bar until he showed up, hid behind the bar and called hit squads until, like, everyone but him was dead.

Not sorry.

Sometimes being smart isn’t smart at all.

T SHIRT!!!!!

Feminina:

Dude, you can totally just pay them with money! It was a revelation to me too. I hoarded markers for a while and then went to the screen and didn’t have one and it said “pay $whatever,” and I said “Pay? YES! I will pay!”

Worth every dollar that I’m not spending on anything else important. Buy that stuff!

Oh, and as for spoiling…hm.

Vito is all about this friend of his. They did a job together, things went wrong, his friend was on the run and turned to some guys in Chicago who betrayed him. You’ve just killed the last of those guys (convenient that they all relocated to New Bordeaux!), and he says “well, it’s over…he’s really dead,” or something.

So, a vengeance quest, much like Lincoln’s own!

Burke is family…turns out the IRA doesn’t even want all the cars you’ve been stealing, he’s just selling them out west to set up a next egg for Nicki, because he’s dying of stomach cancer or something. He doesn’t want her to know, but he knows he’s been a terrible father to her and he wants to try to make it right before he dies.

And Cassandra is race/community. Lincoln says something like “you act like I don’t know what it’s like to be a black man in this country,” and she says “you still joined the military and went to kill all these other people of color who never did anything to you,” and he says he had his reasons, and she says everyone has reasons.

So, kind of like what motivates all these people: memories of a friend, the future of a daughter, and the protection of a community? And, I guess, we can think about what all these things mean to Lincoln as well.

So kind of themey, kind of knowing our people better. Not bad content, but there was a lot of driving around to get there, that’s for sure.

Butch:

Hmm. Probably too much driving.

The Burke thing is cool.

All the more reason I SOOOOO wish they made doing all this shit EASIER. They hid them all so damn far away from EVERYTHING. This game needed a central hub. Badly. And some fast travel points.

Sigh.

Feminina:

Very much driving. And going to peoples’ bases to talk to them over and over. I basically just dedicated a quiet weekend to nothing but that.

Butch:

So I don’t have to.

Real friendship, that.

Not just driving: hit squads.

This game just didn’t want us to do a lot of the stuff in it.