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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 Giorgi, another henchman, and Marcano murder Danny, Ellis and Sammy.
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 fully recover. Although James attempts to convince a devastated and vengeful Lincoln to only take revenge on Sal, Lincoln explains that he wants to make Sal know what he feels like to lose everything, and he vows to take all associates and the entire city from him before taking down Marcano himself.
Knowing that he will not be able to take on the entire Marcano family by himself, Lincoln begins his preparation for revenge by recruiting three allies. He starts off with Cassandra, who reveals that she lied about being kidnapped by Baka and is actually his second-on-command, and is now leading the Haitian mob. She agrees to Lincoln's request to assist him in his crusade against the Marcanos if he helps her deal with a rival gang, the Dixie Mafia, which is led by a man named Richie Doucet. The Prostitution racket in Perla's nightclub headed by Merle Jackson is taken over by the Haitians after Lincoln kills Jackson, and the Smack racket headed by Charlie Kincaid is taken over by the Haitians after Lincoln either kills or recruits Charlie, effectively bringing an end to the Dixies' influence on the district. He then hands the rackets to Cassandra and the Haitians, who through the interrogation of Jesse, Doucet's thug, learn that Doucet has come into bad therms with Giorgi and is now hiding out in the Baron Saturday's Fun Park.
Doucet is tracked down by Lincoln, who kills his guards and corners Doucet inside one of the Park's fear rides. Lincoln is enraged to discover that Doucet is the same henchman from Sammy's bar that stabbed Ellis to death, and drags Doucet all the way to the Ferris Wheel. Ritchie pleads for mercy and asks for a chance to prayer, but a vengeful Lincoln replies he can pray on the way up, before wrapping a rope around Doucet's neck and hanging the mobster in one of the cabins. With the Dixie Mafia leaderless and effectively dismantled, Lincoln meets up with Donovan for dossiers for his next two potential allies: Danny's father and Irish mob boss Thomas Burke, and exiled Italian mafioso Vito Scaletta.
Lincoln goes after Burke, who, in the aftermath of his son's death, has been reduced to a drunken mess and his territory taken over by Roman "The Butcher" Barbieri, one of Marcano's top enforcers. Lincoln tracked down Burke to a bar and convinced him to step up and take his revenge on the Butcher and the Marcanos. After Lincoln seizes control of both of the Butcher's rackets, Burke calls Barbieri directly, challenging the man to a confrontation at Burke's salvage ward.. The two men set up an ambush at the salvage yard, and with some extra aid from Burke's daughter Nicki, they successfully thwart the attack, killing all of the Butcher's remaining men and capturing him. Lincoln left Barbieri to be tortured to death by Burke, and obtained the support of the Irish Mob for his revenge plan.
Lincoln learns that Vito was given control of the River Row district to run as one of Marcano's lieutenants. However, Sal has never been pleased with this arrangement, having only accepted Vito out of respect for Commission boss Leo Galante. However, Vito is a made man, which means Sal can't kill him without due cause and approval from the Commission. Sal has ordered his newphew in law, Michael Grecco, to seize control of Vito's rackets and kill Vito. Lincoln found Vito being tortured by Grecco's men and rescued Vito, who was surprised by Lincoln's survival. Out of appreciation to Lincoln, as well as recognizing that only he has the ability to help him get retribution on the Marcano family, Vito agrees to help Lincoln only if Vito can exact revenge on Grecco first.
After Lincoln took back Vito's extortion and contrabrand rackets, Lincoln and Vito made their move on Grecco and tracked him to a rundown shake, but just as they prepare to make their move, a group of Marcano's men arrive to take Grecco out themselves for his failures, forcing him to flee. Determined to kill Grecco himself, Vito and Lincoln chased after Lincoln themselves and successfully chased down Grecco, kidnapped him, and interrogated him. They learned that the reason Marcano wanted Vito dead was because Sal is building a new casino across the lake, and Marcano is planning to go legit after he bribes enough politcians so that gambling would be legalized. Lincoln left Grecco to be killed by Vito, and obtained the support of the Italian Mob for his revenge plan.
With all three underbosses gathered, Lincoln forged an alliance and the four planned how to take down Sal. While Burke suggested they should immedietly kill Sal Marcano, Lincoln and Cassandra both pointed out that one of Marcano's siblings would take over. Lincoln laid out their plan: they would go after the lieutenants of the Marcano family's capos, then seize their terriroty and move on to the capos. Once Marcano was alone and isolated, then they would be ready to deal the death blow. Lincoln also knew that Marcano had an emotional detactment and sought to disrupt his plans in every way possible. Lincoln begins taking over Marcano's rackets and turf and assigning them to his allies, who slowly respect his skill; however, if Lincoln repeatedly angers an underboss by not giving them districts, they will declare war on Lincoln and he will be forced to kill them.
Burning Tommy Marcano
One capo that Lincoln went after was Sal's youngest brother, Tommy Marcano, who was put in charge of organizing rackets coming in from Cuba. Tommy was driven out from Cuba by Fidel Castro, and he was taken to safety by his lieutenant, Frank Pagani. Frank had also been running a counterfeit money operation. As Pagani was in Cuba at the time, Lincoln dismantled Pagani's Auto Theft and Smuggling operations to force him to return to New Bourdeux. Lincoln tracked him down using a device he had planted on his car. Frank was hiding out at his garage in Tickfaw, where Marcano had been attempting to counterfeit the money he needed for his casino. After Lincoln killed Pagani's men and foiled Pagani's escape attempt, Pagani revealed to Lincoln that Sal's real motivation behind the Federal Reserve heist was to steal a set of money plates in order to set up a counterfeiting operation. The operation wasn't going to plan though, the money was worthless due to the lack of experience of Sal's men at printing currency. To this end, Tommy has decided to bring in an expierenced counterfiter named Alvarez. Pagani then died from his injuries before Lincoln could question him further.
With Pagani dispatched, Lincoln moved to engage Tommy's operations directly and take the Southdowns from him, dismantling his two rackets and scaring Alvarez enough that he tried to flee the country with his uncle Zarraga. However, Zarraga ratted Alvarez to Tommy, who sent a squad to pick up Alvarez or kill him if he doesn't collaborate. Lincoln intervened and rescued Alvarez from Tommy's goons, then took him to James. When Tommy is sent to the Acadia boxing gym to protect the money plates by a Sal, Lincoln infiltrated the gym and pretended to be another boxer, winning all of the rounds and then meeting Tommy face-to-face for his victory. However, Tommy recognized the trick and had his men knock Lincoln out and bring him to the upper floors of the gym.
There, Tommy had Lincoln tied in a chair, and covered him with customized gasoline, saying that when he lights it up, it's "going to burn like napalm". Making some remarks about how he's going to die slowly, this gave Lincoln time to cut the ropes tying his wrist and shoot Tommy's men and wound him. While Lincoln splashed gasoline around the room and took the money plates, Tommy explained that Sal had told him to go to law school and work for some big agency, "do something decent with his life". When Lincoln told him he should have listened to Sal, Tommy replied that "it's in the blood", and Lincoln agreed, saying that he is who he is, and there is no point in trying to change that.
Tommy insulted Lincoln one last time, before the latter lighted a lighter and threw it on the gasoline around the room, making it burn. Tommy looked at Lincoln with a shocked look, shouting that he can't go out like this. Lincoln told him that he didn't need to worry to be alone in hell, saying that his brothers will come along shortly. Lincoln left him to die, and Tommy was burned to death in the inferno that destroyed his boxing gym. With the youngest Marcano dispatched, Lincoln assigned Tommy's territory to one of his underbosses and went on to take out the next capo.
Confronting Olivia Marcano
Another capo that Lincoln went after Sal's sister in law, Olivia Marcano, who became a capo after her husband and Sal's other brother Lucio was killed (it has been implied that Olivia herself arranged for her husband's murder to seize control of his resources). Lincoln learned that she was allied with Remy Duvall and her lieutenant Enzo Conti, the former of whom owns the property that Lincoln plans to build his casino on. He started off by dismantling Enzo's rackets and contacting him with from Donovan. Enzo asks Lincoln to meet him at the quarry in Barclay Mills, where the two work out a deal for Enzo to stop working for Olivia and instead go into hiding. The two then escape the quarry in Enzo's car, killing and evading Marcano's henchmen, many of whom were once Enzo's underlings, and demolishing the quarry at Enzo's behest to prevent his dynamite from falling into Marcano's hands. Lincoln drops Enzo off at a hotel and the two parted ways peacefully.
With Enzo dealt with, Lincoln went on to target the operations of Duvall, who is a white surpremsist and the leader of the Southern Union, until Duvall was finally agitated enough to ignore advice from Olivia to let his men handle the situation and deal with Lincoln personally. Remy gathers all his Southern Union members at the old lookout point and delivers a very impassioned speech, rallying the men together. What Remy didn't realize is that Lincoln has learned of this meeting and has arrived to confront him. After killing his men, Lincoln burned Duvall alive and crucified him.
With Duvall's death, the property would be inherited by his nephew Stephen DeGarmo.Olivia decided to rectify this by torturing DeGarmo into signing the property over to her under the cover of Duvall's funeral wake at her yacht club. However, Lincoln infiltrated the wake and got past most of her bodyguards and guests by spiking the wine with psychedelic drugs provided by Donovan and guns Olivia and her sober bodyguards down in a private meeting room. A wounded Olivia confesses that she got into organized crime for the excitement, and Lincoln, deciding that Olivia is not worth killing, leaves her and goes on to rescue DeGarmo. Olivia was later murdered in the hospital by Girogi, and with DeGarmo in hiding, Sal's ownership of the casino was in chaos and his position only worsensed. Lincoln assigned Olivia's territory to one of his underbosses and went on to take out the next capo.
Gutting Lou Marcano
The final capo that Lincoln went after was Sal's older brother, Lou Marcano. Lincoln learns that Lou is in charge of grooming politicians and bigwigs of New Bordeaux to use for their advantage; he established ties to various influential figures within New Bourdeaux including politicians, lawyers, bankers and merchants, using his accountant Tony Derazio to bribe corrupt city government officials. Lou has also been put in charge of the effort to get gambling legalized by Sal, and Lincoln started off his attacks by targetting Derazio's blackmailing and construction racketts. He then went on infiltrate Derazio's penthouse, killing his remaining men and confronting Derazio himself.
Once defeated, Derazio continues in his hubris, calling Lincoln an idiot for not realizing how this will all play out in the end. He tells Lincoln to go ahead and kill him, believing he will be replaced tomorrow and no one will even notice. Dragging Derazio up off the floor, Lincoln tells him he's wrong, and that everyone will notice. He then throws Derazio out of the penthouse window, where he falls to his death, landing on a parked car in front of dozens of onlookers. Lincoln also steals Derazio's ledger, and after escaping, he learns that Lou is bribing judge Cornelius Holden to overturn the state ban on gambling.
Donovan and Lincoln later intercept a wiretap between Holden and "Uncle Lou", and they learn that Holden is fearing for his safety after learning of Lincoln's attacks against the Marcano family empire, spurring Lou to send some of his best men in an armoured car to protect and escort Holden. Ultimately. these efforts fail and Lincoln successfully assassinated Holden. which infuriates Sal, who threatens to have Lou clipped unless he can rectify the situation. Lou then turned his attention to Senator Walter Jacobs, who is also part of the clientele at his prostitution ring. Lou agrees to arrange a fundraiser for the Senator on-board his riverboat, the Delphine, which is interrupted by Lincoln, who kills Lou's security before confronting Lou; although he tries to take the Senator hostage at gunpoint, an explosion throws both Lincoln and Lou out of the riverboat, killing the rest of the passengers including Senator Jacobs, who catches fire.
Lincoln, having lost his firearms but armed with his combat knife, pursues Lou through the swamp, eventually catching up to him. When Lou begs for mercy and offers pay any money required, Lincoln instead decides to send a message to his brother, and slits Lou's throat. He later hangs Lou's gutted body from the statue of Andrew Jackon in the French Ward, with a Re-Elect Jacobs sign on his chest, as a message to Marcano. With Lou dead and Sal's efforts to legalize gambling foiled, Lincoln gave Lou's territory to one of his underbosses.
With all three capos dead and Sal isolated and alone, Lincoln seized his opportunity for revenge and assaulted the casino, where Grigori greeted him with the last of Marcano's henchmen. Lincoln successfully fought his way through the men towards Grigori and engaged him. After Lincoln wounds Giorgi, he accusses Giorgi that he didn't shoot him in the head because Lincoln turned down Sal's offer to take the Hollow, but because he "thought that he owned" Lincoln and the rest of the Black Mob. Giorgi denies this and confesses that the only reason he what he did was because of his loyalty towards his father, just like Lincoln and Sammy. Lincoln responds saying "Then you know why I have to do this." and proceeds to stab Giorgi in the abdomen, killing his former friend and avenging the murder of Danny Burke and his adoptive family.
With Sal's entire family and henchmen dead, Lincoln went on to finally confront the Mob boss in his office at the top of the casino, holding him at gunpoint. Accepting his fate, Sal sits with Lincoln and shares drink, exchanging stories of nightmares. Sal tells of his recurring nightmare of being at Giorgi's funeral. He's laid out in a little casket, neck cut same as Lucio's; this one comes around every three or four days. Sal explains that this all started because he was trying to keep his nightmare from coming true, but it didn't end well. He says he's buried a lot of people, more than he can count, but he never wanted to see Giorgi go down into the cold ground.
Sal describes how he's never had it in him to apologize or feel shame for the things he's done. He also knows that Lincoln didn't come there for an apology. But Sal was right about Lincoln, and he knew it the second he met him at the country club. Men like him are wired up wrong; there's only one thing they know, and one thing they're good at. Sal ends the conversation by saying that he'll be waiting for Lincoln, and that this won't be the last time they see each other. Lincoln replies "I know" and then kills Sal by stabbing him and throwing him out a window to his death. However, if Lincoln hestiates long enough, Sal will instead commit suicide out of grief. Regardless, with his revenge complete, Lincoln departs the casino.
After leaving the casino, he is greeted by Leo Galante, who has come to investigate the commotion in the city. Satisfied that Lincoln's vendetta was only against the Marcanos, Galante advises him that the Commission will expect a 20% cut if he continues the buisness. Returning to Father James and Donovan, Lincoln is given three choices for his next move: walk away from New Bordeaux to leave his life of crime behind on advice from Father James, seize power of the city by killing all his underbosses under advise from Donovan, or rule New Bordeaux together with his underbosses.
Choosing His Fate
If Lincoln chooses to rule New Bordeaux with his underbosses, their criminal empire soon expanded across the South, into Florida and the Carolinas. Lincoln was soon wealthier than he could have ever imagined. He was smart with money, spreading it around and making sure the right people got paid and stayed paid. As boss he was very benevolent, rebuilding Delray Hollow, buying up Frisco Fields, and even reopening Baron Saturday's Fun Park. He made contributions to worthy charities, schools, and hospitals. Of course, with great wealth came great temptation, and Lincoln gave in to everything - drugs, booze, prostitutes, or anything that could make money. Lincoln's decision to stay in New Bordeaux and run his criminal empire came at the price of losing the one person who truly cared about him, Father James, who now openly depises what Lincoln has become.
If Lincoln chooses to rule New Bordeaux alone, he murders the underbosses, telling them that "it ain't personal". As he gets in his car and turns the key, it catches fire and explodes, killing him instantly. Father James set the bomb under his car after realizing that he was no different from Sal Marcano for killing the people he worked with. The Father has no regrets for killing him; due to the things Lincoln had done and what he had turned into, he is adament that Lincoln carved out his path on his own.
If Lincoln leaves New Bordeaux, he effectively disappears from public life, only occasionally sending postcards to Father James from various parts of the world. The underboss who was given the most districts by Lincoln will then seize control of the city, though only Vito will be able to rule successfully.
- 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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