Video Game: Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
Welcome to the family.
Thomas "Tommy" Angelo is an ordinary taxi driver working in the city of Lost Heaven during The Great Depression
. One evening, he is caught in a wild car chase involving thugs of two rivaling mobs
in town trying to kill each other
. Forced to side with one party, he soon faces retribution from the other and has no choice but to start working for Don Salieri
, whose men he saved earlier. This turns out to be a wise decision, since the other family is much worse
. Thus begins Tommy's ascension from a simple cabbie to the best hitman
in the entire mob.Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
(2002) is a Third-Person Shooter
developed by Illusion Softworks (later renamed 2K Czech), which combines an affectionate pastiche
to the classic mafia movies (The Godfather
and co.) with the Grand Theft Auto
-like gameplay to produce a sweeping storyline with many sudden revelations, intense gunfights, and adrenaline-laden car chases. The sequel, Mafia II
, came out in August 2010 and features the new setting of Empire Bay, a new protagonist and a supposedly Darker and Edgier
storyline, plus Those Wacky Nazis in the opening
The game featured many unique features for its genre and time, including storing the aftermath of player actions in the city, even if the player left the location for a long time: e.g. if you shot at a car in Free Ride, it is possible to run into that same car later on in a different part of the city; abandoned cars and weapons stay where they are, instead of disappearing after a while as in Grand Theft Auto
, etc. The game was noted for exceptional graphics for its time and a sophisticated police AI.
Not to be confused with the card/roleplaying/mind game
This video game provides examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: It's the 1930s, but holds some design ideas, especially with vehicles, that reach as far forward as to the 1950s. Mostly not jarring, due to the Rule of Cool.
- There is one moment worth mentioning, namely early mission called "Molotov Party" in which Tommy uses Molotov Cocktails to wreck some rival family's cars. That part of the game takes place in 1930, whereas Molotovs didn't see widespread use until the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Granted, it could be hand waved by saying that Salieri's weapon master came up with the idea on his own, but Vincenzo audibly calls them Molotovs, a name coined by the Finns during the Winter War in 1939.
- Anti-Hero: Tommy has slides of Type II and Type IV, most of the time he is Type III. He clearly isn't bloodlusted, yet he still commits a pretty considerable number of murders. Some victims deserve it, some are just in the way of Salieri's plans. He does show mercy on several occasions though, and he truly cares for his friends and family, which in the end is the reason he leaves the Mafia and testifies against his former partners. However, this is also the reason he gets killed in the end.
- Bad Boss: Don Morello and his younger brother.
- Battle Butler / Two Shots from Behind the Bar: Luigi, the bartender, packs a sawed-off shotgun behind the bar, and will not hesitate to gun you down if you attack any of your allies in the mid-mission stages. Which is exactly what happens to a pair of hostile mafiosi who where pursuing you back to the bar after you vandalized their cars in retaliation for them assaulting you and vandalizing your taxicab. They enter, Fade to Black, two shots fired, The End.
- Benevolent Boss: Don Salieri (who turns out to be Not So Different from Morello, in the end).
- Bloodstained Glass Windows: After bursting in on the funeral of the guy you killed.
- Bond One-Liner: "Man, that is one hot dame."
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Used by the Morello Family on Sam in "A Trip to the Country" and on a dockworker in "Buon Appetito!"
- The Consigliere: Frank
- Cool Car: Most of the bonus cars in the freeride mode.
- Dashed Plot Line: The original game is a collection of various episodes of a long Mob War spread over the years, recounted by the Player Character.
- Deadly Distant Finale: See Downer Ending below.
- Deconstruction: The game's pretty much a realistic take on how much a risk would it be should one join the Mafia. Tommy was forced into joining the mob, since he had nothing to lose, but eventually is disillusioned as he witnesses his friends getting caught up and his morality at a slippery slope. Emphasized even further by the Downer Ending as described below.
- Discretion Shot: At the end of an early level, "The Running Man", there is one after the two mafiosi that have been chasing you go into Salieri's bar.
- Disgusting Public Toilet
- Downer Ending: Tommy finishes telling his story, testifies against the family and gets 80 gangsters thrown in jail, with some getting the chair and Salieri himself getting life in prison. The police then gets him and his family new identities, moves them across the country to a good looking neighborhood and a respectable job for Tommy. Basically everything seems to have worked out great...then we flash forward 20 something years, where we see an aged Tommy watering his lawn when a couple of thugs show up. One of them calls Tommy by his real name (which was changed by the feds) and the other says "Mr. Salieri sends his regards" while he blasts Tommy in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun. The game then ends with his thoughts as he lies bleeding on the lawn.
- Enemy Detecting Radar: Oddly enough, but only for cars.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Cars are a lot less explosion-prone than most other games in the genre, but they'll still go up in a fireball if you put a hundred rounds or so into the engine, or shoot the fuel tank a few times.
- Five-Bad Band
- Framing Device: The game starts with Tommy meeting with the city's chief of police and recounting the events that led to him joining and eventually leaving the mafia, which forms the basis for the game's missions.
- Game-Breaking Bug: A minor one, but Gangsters with shotguns in FreeRide, who start off driving a car, occasionally have a glitch where their shotguns rapid fire until they need to reload, which is deadly in close range, but not too much of a problem farther away.
- Genre Shift:
- For some levels, especially "Visiting Rich People" and "Happy Birthday!", the game turns into a Stealth-Based Game.
- "Fairplay" is a Racing Game mission.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: The cars in the game, which you need to collect to be able to access in other modes, and the Bonus Cars, which include a tank, Batmobile Expy, a hippie-mobile, and a fragile taxi that can go from 0 to 90 in less than a second.
- That'd be the Phantom Corsair. As most other cars in Mafia, it is a real car with a few details changed and sans the marque name.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The enemies in the abandoned prison in "Election Campaign" have no reason to exist other than for a shootout. If Tommy approaches them unarmed, they attack him for absolutely no reason.
- The Great Depression: The whole plot of the first Mafia, except the final scene of the epilogue, takes place between 1930 and 1938, dead smack in the middle of it.
- The Hero Dies: Tommy was killed after moving out of his criminal life.
- Hide Your Children: Semi-averted. What appears to be a youngster shows up in the opening FMV, and a mission had Tommy rescue Frank Colletti's daughter Alice along with her mother. Don't expect them to roam the streets in the main game and Freeride, though.
- How We Got Here: The entire story is a series of Tommy's flashbacks, as he relates his criminal past to Detective Norman.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Adverted. While Tommy can hide quite a few pistols in his coat, he can only conceal one large gun at the time while carrying another in his hands. Picking up a third large weapon will prompt Tommy to drop the one he is currently carrying. The sequel plays this trope straight.
- In-Vehicle Invulnerability: Averted. Bullets can still hit you inside a car (although you gain some protection) and crashes will injure the occupants.
- It Gets Easier
- It's Like I Always Say: Played with for irony:
Tommy Before He Decides To Join The Mob: "Better to be poor and alive than rich and dead, right?"
Tommy After He Decides To Join The Mob: "So like I always say: better to die young and loaded."
- Loads and Loads of Loading: The PS2 port is the primary offender of this trope - it takes around 30 seconds - 1 minute for a mission, Freeride, or race to load. Add additional time to load up the New Ark/Hoboken district when crossing the Guiliano Bridge, entering the countryside, or going inside a building. Expect to clock half your game time waiting for the damn game to load. Averted with the PC version though - the time it takes is about 10 seconds and the game doesn't have to load when crossing the Guiliano Bridge.
- Made of Iron: Unlike every other opponent in the game, the final boss can survive a staggering number of bullets, simply because he's the final boss. Notably, this game was made back when that sort of thing was still considered normal.
- The Mafia: Where do we start?
- Meaningful Name: Thomas Angelo from the city of Lost Heaven, eh?
- Mob War
- Molotov Cocktail
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Averted. Unlike almost all other shooters, enemies have the same limited amount of ammo as the player, and it's possible to see them run out during particularly long firefights and be forced to resort to fisticuffs.
- On the other hand, all cars that pursue you during free ride, whether police- or gangster-driven, will be able to catch up to you.
- No One Should Survive That: Sergio. Four times. In the end Tommy decides to just chase him down and kill him rather than being discreet about it
- One Bullet Clips: Mafia is one of those games that averts this trope, so be prepared to lose unused ammunition in your magazine when you reload. Oddly, this also applies to sawn-off shotguns, which are supposed to be fed with individual shells.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Sergio Morello, and some of the Prosecutor's guards in "Visiting Rich People".
- Professional Killer: Tommy, Paulie, and Sam
- Redemption Equals Death: Tommy himself at the end.
- Roof Hopping: Rooftop escape after blowing a hotel.
- Sadist: Don Morello.
- Satellite Love Interest: While Sarah does not exist solely to be Tommy's love interest (and, in a longer run, his wife) as one of the women Tommy needs to kill at one point turns out to be Sarah's close friend, thus making it harder for him to nail her and, in consequence, possibly making it easier for him to turn back to the light side of the law later on, but the fact remains Sarah has little to no personality and after she falls for Tommy basically overnight (and vice versa) she... never makes an appearance again while being mentioned maybe three or four times. And that happened like halfway through the game!
- Sawed-Off Shotgun
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Paulie in "The Death Of Art" mission.
- Super Drowning Skills
- Third-Person Shooter
- Tranquil Fury: Most characters get at least one. Morello gets a particularly creepy one partway through the game.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can run over people, shoot them, stab them, and cause gigantic amounts of mayhem, and the people will just keep taking it; even if you block traffic and then drag people out of their cars one at a time and shoot them, the rest will just keep honking their horns till they're dragged out too.
- Wham Episode: "The Death of Art"
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: The final stage takes place in an art gallery. Nearly everything can be broken, and those that can't be can still show very large bullet holes. Feel free to wreak havoc on priceless works of art.
- Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: In "The Death Of Art" mission, Sam telling Angelo about the fact that he knows that the latter didn't help to kill Frank and Michelle.