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Spoilers for some major plot points in Mafia 3

Butch:

You coy devil, you.

Being all “Oh yeah, the slave auction was the Capital S Something” when you knew I was going to burn Remy Duvall on a cross.

On a damn cross.

Now THAT’S a Capital S Something, isn’t it?

Olivia got a reprieve cuz I had to ponder that Capital S Something.

A lynching from a Ferris Wheel? One thing. But DAMN talk about a whole lot of symbolism… DAMN.

You first. I’m still pondering.

Oh, and I’m worried. Why? Cuz in the news reports, there’s the cop being all “We’re at WAR! We have to round ’em all up and shoot ’em!” And I was thinking “Hmm…maybe I should’ve stolen that police truck for Cassandra…she might want to have some guns about now….”

Is this the time of the game where your laziness comes back to haunt you?

If it is, well, sorry Cassandra. I mean, I DO have to start TR sometime….

Feminina:

Ha. The funny thing is, I hadn’t burned Remy Duvall on the cross yet when I first got all worked up about this bit, so I genuinely was only referring to the slave auctions at the time, and TECHNICALLY Remy Duvall is not part of taking over the racket…so I was telling the truth.

In a coy and devilish manner.

But yeah, that was something. The logical end point, I suppose, of using the tools of the oppressor against him. Interesting how Duvall sort of curses at Lincoln, who says “have it your way” before we cut to the burning cross…suggesting that he was actually planning to just stab him, but if you’re going to insist, fine, let’s make a dramatic statement out of it.

Which is a bit odd, because no one’s ever needed to convince him to make dramatic statements before. I mean, since we did the Pagani/Cuba/Tommy part before this, it could maybe be seen as Lincoln starting to think about maybe possibly just a little bit toning it down in the wake of the bit of reflection he seemed to do in that district, only Duvall egged him on with his determined racism (just when I think I’m out!)…but what if we’d done this first? That was certainly an option.

I suppose in that case it could read as “he was already kind of getting tired of the bloody drama, but Duvall egged him on to one final big gesture, and then in the Pagani part he really started to reflect”…I dunno.

As for your question about the cops, I don’t actually know. Nothing more came of it in my game (so far, anyway) — I haven’t had any radio news updates with “cops descend on the Hollow, are repelled by gunfire from a mysteriously heavily armed populace” or anything. That police declaration of war certainly seems like the kind of thing that would matter, but…I don’t know if it does.

Some other things I thought were interesting about this bit:

When you take over the racket, there’s no option to recruit the boss (and this was not about wiretapping, I had all the junction boxes). You just kill him. So this was an unforgivable crime, to Lincoln–he’s not interested in working with this guy. (Fair! I wouldn’t want to work with him either.)

And then when he calls someone to take over the racket, he says “just so you know, we’re not going to be selling people. Find some other way to make money off it.”

And as I said, I did this right after the riverboat, so it was an interesting contrast with me thinking “man, all these civilians and boat workers, he really doesn’t care who gets in his way, he IS kind of a monster” (as we discussed), and then coming here and seeing that OK, there is a line he won’t cross, he’s not COMPLETELY a monster. There are things he’s not willing to do.

Hm.

Also, did you hear that conversation between the two guys as you’re first sneaking up on the Southern Union meeting? About how the only thing worse than a [black person], is a rich white man in a robe? How they always talk a big game, but when it comes to someone getting their hands dirty, it’s always going to be the little guys (the working class pamphlet distributors, as we talked about yesterday).

An interesting recognition of class divisions, which, since they’re all there working on the same thing despite these complaints, hints at the way racism can be useful to a ruling class: hatred of one group (uniformly defined by skin color) keeps another group (uniformly defined by skin color) from turning on people with whom they’d otherwise have nothing in common, and whom they’d perhaps have considerable reason to resent.

“Even though I’m rich and you’re poor and you work for me, it’s not my fault! It’s those OTHER people! It’s all their fault!”

A classic line that never gets old.

Butch:

Well, I think that part of it comes down to the other metaphor here, the person tied to a cross. Martyrdom.

I found it telling that the first thing you hear when you get to the place is Kevin complaining about rich white people. “Only thing worse than a black person is a white person putting on airs” or something. Pointing out that they talk big, but when it’s actually time to go out and actually be all violently racist, they retreat to their country clubs.

Which one would think would apply to Duvall. The only time we saw him before he died he was in a suit, in a luxury place, hardly getting his hands dirty. He “fights” from behind a microphone. Shit, he even denied BEING in the Southern Union.

So really, for all his talk, we have every reason to side with Kevin here, that he’s all talk and bluster and is happy to rile up the mob but not to join it.

And yet, here he is, prattling on about his ancestors and their sacrifice (see where I’m going?) and how “we all” must be part of the fight and all that. Even when everyone really knows that when he says “we all” he means “Kevin.”

So I think Lincoln’s “Have it your way” might be him saying “Hey, you want to be a martyr for your cause? He ya go, pal. You say suffering for the white race is important? Have it your way.” Duvall talked a big game about being part of the struggle. He’s not drawing Lincoln in. Lincoln is making sure that he doesn’t go back to the country club. Lincoln’s giving Duvall what he SAYS he’s always wanted: to be a racial martyr, just like granddaddy.

On cops, Ok, but you still got that bit with the chief being all “THIS IS WAR!!!!” even though you did all Cassandra’s stuff? Cuz then I’d feel a little better.

Yeah, I did notice that you couldn’t recruit the guy. I can’t tell if they’re doing all that because they want to make sure we know that there are things that Lincoln won’t do cuz hero or whatever, or if they knew that this game was going to be played by people who are not criminals, who would have the reaction I had (“Dude…I don’t want to take over that racket…”) and this was less a narrative decision as a “placate the player” decision. Even if, narratively, there’s places a protagonist will go, games often realized that we, the players, might refuse to go there with him (or her). This might’ve just been that.

Ironically, here, when you have a heart, I called Burke and, in the cutscene when the cars drive up, his guys ran over and killed not one, but two pedestrians.

“Innocent people can’t be harmed, so run over dudes on the way, ok, Burke?”

And yes, a classic line, but is it Duvall’s way of thinking? The argument he had with Olivia before this was an interesting thing. He is sitting there all “THIS ISN’T ABOUT A CASINO!” which could be read as “There’s more to life than money, there’s zealous belief in stuff (something that could be said about Lincoln, too)” or it could be read as “Fool! You think a casino will keep you rich? Not when the whole order of everything is being challenged. Look at the big picture or we’re doomed! (Which would be harder to say about Lincoln….Donovan, maybe.)”

Feminina:

Very good point about the martyr aspect, and how Lincoln is maybe just giving Duvall what he says he wants. Hey, now he’s a fallen hero in the eyes of all those working class jerks who were sneering at him half an hour ago! It’s the best possible outcome for him!

There’ll be a statue of Remy Duvall in Downtown 20 years from now, mark my words. Because of heritage.

Well, maybe not if the Haitian mob is still running the place.

I did think about that–whether or not the game is just cutting the player some slack figuring WE don’t want to go there. Because I’m so automatic on recruiting, I probably WOULD have recruited the guy, just out of habit, and then felt icky about it. Maybe the game is doing me a favor by not having that be a choice.

I also idly considered how maybe Lincoln could have kept the racket but started selling white people instead, if they wanted to reverse the whole thing. He’s got this endless supply of Kevins, after all…just knock them out instead of killing them and that’s a great labor pool! And we could argue it serves them right for trying to kill us! And hey, at least they’d be alive! But, you know, it would also be monstrous.

Plus, you’d probably have to work that through the prison system, since that’s how we mostly manage forced labor these days (bribe some prison officials, get these dudes into the system, rent them out for chain gangs, easy as pie!), and the prison system is a whole other piece of the huge, crushingly unjust story of the black experience in the US, and one that’s pretty much untouched in this game. Maybe they didn’t want to get into it.

Also, it would be a lot harder to think of Lincoln as not a monster. It works more smoothly in a lot of ways, I think, if we just say that no, this is the line he won’t cross. And I can buy that. It’s a pretty good line to not cross, so it works.

Butch:

Though watch: The irony will be that they aren’t, that we just made everything worse by bringing the cops and the rich and the whites rage down on the Haitians, they’ll all be dead and in jail, and there WILL be a statue of him downtown. Cuz that’s the kind of shit that actually happens.

But you’re done, so you know that, so don’t spoil.

Right…the game is kind of doing us a favor. Plus, a big part of a game is being able to connect with your character in some way. We have to WANT to be the character. Players are able to forgive a lot in a character, but if things cross a certain line, we might not want to be that character anymore. Once that happens, poof, the game suffers. There has to be that link. So even if we choose not to recruit the boss or something, if we “know” that it’s something that “crossed Lincoln’s mind,” that might turn us off Lincoln for good.

Yes, yes, yes, he, and, like, every game character ever, does bad things. But players, including us, have things we overlook and things we don’t.

It is telling that Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” came on during this particular racket, and I don’t recall hearing it before.

Prison would have been tough. There’s only so much one game can get into. And this game got into a lot.

It does.

I do wonder what they ARE doing there. It just says “A safehouse to lie low and keep an eye on the rich.” But what’s the earn?

Groceries. They went straight.

Feminina:

I did think that was kind of awesome. “Yup, this is a grocery store. We, uh…we sell groceries.”

And keep an eye on the rich. In case the revolution comes and we rise up against them, or they want to buy some groceries in the meantime.

Good point about “Chain Gang” coming on here! I heard that as well, but forgot about it. I did notice them doing a few interesting things with the music around this part of the game.

You’ll hear it. You always hear more than I do.

Also, I have not finished, as I did not play last night. Kid lunches, kid laundry, Halloween prep, etc. So I don’t know how it ends, and whether or not there’s a statue of Remy Duvall in Downtown (though you’re right, that’s totally the kind of thing that would actually happen).

Butch:

Even the rich occasionally need to pop in for a snack cake.

I have to say, even though it was in one of my rackets, I didn’t take the cash that was sitting there on the register. Didn’t feel right. The nice cashier lady was right there.

They do seem to have certain songs queued up for certain things. I heard White Rabbit a lot more when I was doing the drug bits.

Wait….there’s a chance we’d finish a game….at the SAME TIME? Even CLOSE to the same time?

I don’t know how to cope with that.

That statue of Remy would actually happen, and kind of has. When a family member got married, I had some free time to wander around Charleston, South Carolina. Lovely city. Lots of nice shops, great restaurants, you’d like it. And, by southern standards anyway, rather liberal (like, not New England liberal, but certainly more hipster chic than other parts of the South).

And near the center of downtown they have a rather lovely holocaust memorial. Small, but rather moving. It’s a block away from the famous black church (that recently got shot up by that white nationalist). It’s all in and near a lovely park. Serene. Respectful. Full of the history of triumph over suffering, of resistance, of progress.

And all of it under the shadow of a three story tall column and statue of John C. Calhoun.

And there you have it.

Feminina:

There you have it, indeed.

I often didn’t take the cash from my rackets either! I felt bad about possibly making it harder for people to do their jobs. It was like, “well, this is technically mine anyway, but hey, I want you to be able to make change if a customer comes in.”

I often didn’t rob the cash register at small stores in general, actually. Lincoln Clay isn’t out to hurt the little guy! Not specifically, that is. Not unless the little guy’s in a racket he’s trying to take down.

OK, there are a lot of qualifications on that statement, but basically, Lincoln Clay’s beef is with the Man, not with the local shopkeeper.

Keep your money, my good man! The med pack in your restroom, on the other hand, that’s mine.

Butch:

I, too, have not stolen from local businesses. Even the racist segregated ones!

I have pillaged their nudie mags, but they can keep their money. And their Hot Rods. And their album covers.

Ahem.

Feminina:

Shopkeeper coming into work in the morning:

“Oh no, the lock is broken! I’ve been robbed! …Well, it looks like the cash is all here…that’s not so ba—OH MY GOD the Playboy is gone!!!!! Why, WHY couldn’t he have just taken the money! That was my retirement magazine! There was only $12 in the register and he had to take the ONE THING I cherished!”

Oh well, you tried.

Butch:

You may be right. These dudes MUST cherish them. I mean, shit, some of them are five years old.

“Five years, and the only thing of value I have is taken from me….”

I’m a monster.

Feminina:

“That centerfold was the only reason I managed to drag myself out of bed every morning…might as well just go overdose on adrenaline now—WHAT???? The med pack is empty too????!!!”

[Goes outside and steps into traffic: is instantly run over by reckless driver who may or may not be Lincoln Clay or one of his many associates.]

Butch:

Nah. Decides to cheer up by getting a snack cake at the local grocery store. Is run over by Irishmen.

Twice.

Seriously. Cut to green cars, first one just takes OUT a woman. Then the next car runs her over AND her friend.

Dudes.

Yet another reason to stay inside with your five year old Playboy. Much safer than snack cakes.

Feminina:

Much, much safer. It’s what I would do every single day, if I didn’t have to go out to find Pokemon.

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