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|“||Family isn't who you're born with, it's who you die for.||„|
|~ Lincoln Clay|
Lincoln J. Clay is the main protagonist of Mafia III and its DLCs. He is a Vietnam War veteran who began life as an orphan, and fostered in by the Robinson family, who were part of the Black Mob. After returning, he witnesses the deaths of his foster family by the Marcano's, and seeks vengeance against them.
Orphaned as a child, Lincoln finally achieves a semblance of a family with the city's black mob, finding the surrogate father in Sammy Robinson. Sammy became like a father to Lincoln and his son Ellis was like a brother to him.
Eventually, Lincoln joined the US Army and fought in the Vietnam War. During his time in Vietnam, Lincoln befriended CIA operative John Donovan.
Betrayed by Marcano
After returning from Vietnam, Lincoln is picked up by his surrogate brother Ellis and brought to Sammy's bar where his return is celebrated by his family. The next day, Lincoln overhears a discussion between Ellis and Sammy and learns, that the Haitian Mob is opposing Sammy's organization. As the Haitians have meddled with Sammy's affairs, Sammy has been unable to pay Italian Mob boss Sal Marcano. To assist his family, Lincoln attacks the Haitian Mob and kills their leader, Baka. While attacking the Haitians, Lincoln also saves Cassandra, who claims to have been kidnapped by Baka.
After successfully returning to Sammy's bar, Lincoln is told by Sammy that Sal Marcano wants to meet Lincoln. Lincoln meets with Marcano and Marcano's son Giorgi, a close friend of Lincoln. The two introduce Lincoln to Vito Scaletta but after Scaletta leaves, Marcano reveals to Lincoln that he in truth despises Vito.
Marcano then reveals to Lincoln that he has a plan in mind to rob the Louisiana Federal Reserve and wants Lincoln to partake in the robbery, claiming that he and Sammy would be more than even should Lincoln agree. Marcano, who thinks positively of Lincoln, also wants Lincoln to succeed Sammy as the leader of the Black Mob. Lincoln, however, refuses - claiming that he could not do that to Sammy, who is like a father to him. Although Marcano is disappointed, he does not insist.
Lincoln, Giorgi, Ellis and Danny Burke rob the Federal Reserve, being forced to flee via motorboat and eventually on foot, using the Mardi Gras celebration to escape from the police. After returning to Sammy's bar, they celebrate their victory. Marcano turns up as well to collect his share and is seemingly friendly to everyone. However, once Marcano has given a sign, Lincoln's "friend" Giorgi draws a gun and, claiming that Lincoln should have accepted Marcano's offer, shoots Lincoln in the head. Lincoln falls to the ground and, gravely injured, is forced to watch how Marcano, Giorgi and another henchman murder Sammy, Danny, and Ellis respectively.
The mobsters then start a fire, planning to burn the bar as well as the bodies but Lincoln is saved in time by Father James who happened to be nearby. Before losing consciousness, Lincoln tells James to call his old friend Donovan. The two nurse Lincoln back to health to the point that Lincoln is able to live a normal life again. Lincoln vows revenge on Marcano, planning to take all associates and the entire city from him before taking down Marcano himself.
- Lincoln is the second non-Italian protagonist in the Mafia series, with the first being Jimmy, so as such wasn't a proper made man in an Italian crime family but rather an associate.
- Like Vito Scaletta, he served in the military.
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