Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven

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Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
Developer(s) Illusion Softworks
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive
Director(s) Daniel Vávra
Producer(s) Lukáš Kuře
Programmer(s) Dan Doležel
Artist(s) Pavel Čížek
Writer(s) Daniel Vávra
Composer(s) Vladimir Šimůnek
Engine LS3D
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc, download

Mafia is a third-person shooter video game and the first installment in the Mafia game series. It was developed by Czech company Illusion Softworks (now 2K Czech) and published by Gathering of Developers. Mafia was released for Microsoft Windows in 2002, and later ported to the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox consoles in 2004, in North America and Europe. The game allows the player to take on the role of a mafioso who has to accomplish various missions in order to advance in the game.

Mafia received positive reviews for the Windows version, with critics praising the game as a more realistic and serious Grand Theft Auto-styled game, while the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game received mixed reviews. A sequel, Mafia II, developed by 2K Czech and published by 2K Games was released in 2010.


Mafia '​s storyline gameplay consists of driving, mainly easy city cruise between different locations, as well as chases and races; the rest of the game is based on third-person on-foot navigation and shooting - all inter-connected with cutscenes. In addition to the photo-realistic city and a huge countryside, detailed interiors like the city's airport, a museum, a church, a hotel, an abandoned prison, restaurants and Don Salieri's bar are included. Weather changes and day/night cycles are also in use.

51 classic American cars around the city can be driven in Mafia, plus 19 bonus cars (of which 5 are racing models) unlockable after the main mode and the opening of a new game mode. Cars are introduced periodically - in the beginning of the game, early 1920s models drive on the streets of the city, while models from 1930 begin appearing in later game stages.

Police book players for minor offenses such as speeding or running a red light, and car accidents cause physical harm to the driving player. While other forms of transport are available, such as trams and elevated rails, they are only ridable and not drivable by the player.

Mafia is also noted for having comprehensive damage physics on nearly all vehicles, even going so far as to making use of real-time deformation,[1] compared to vehicles in other games that used pre-made damage models. While substantially more robust than their real counterparts, smaller and weaker vehicles stand less abuse before breaking down and finally exploding, than large armoured vehicles. More realism is added here compared to other games in the same genre, such as the ability to puncture the fuel tank, overheat the engine, and the ability to break transmission gears. Many exterior components (such as windows, tires, headlights, and bumpers) can be removed from most vehicles with physical means such as crash-driving, hitting with blunt weapons (fists, baseball bat) as well as firing weapons at them.

Finishing the main storyline unlocks the "Freeride Extreme" mode, which is essentially the same as Freeride, but with the added benefit of stunt jumps, side quests, and the lack of police patrols. Side missions in this mode range from the trivial, such as carrying packages or killing gangsters, to the extreme and sometimes outlandish, like chasing an alien spaceship, or in one mission, driving an explosive-rigged truck at a certain speed, which is a reference to the 1994 action-thriller film Speed.

Law and order[edit]

The police department in Lost Heaven uphold the various laws that have been set. When these laws are broken in view of the police, they will respond by booking the player with offenses that can be "minor" or "serious". Minor offenses (such as speeding in a vehicle or running a red light) will end up with the player being fined (-$1,000 in Freeride mode, no monetary value in campaign mode), and serious offenses (such as physical assault, or visible display of a weapon) can lead to the player being arrested for the first offense, or a shootout with the police. A series of four successive minor offenses qualify as a "serious" offense. Police force increases with the severity of the player's disregard of the law to a point where police, now well armed, form blockades with tire spike strips in attempt to defeat the player while firing from behind their cars.

Certain acts which would catch police's attention in real life do not in the game, such as driving on the sidewalk or on the wrong side of the road. The police AI do not recognize computer AI violations. In freeride, the police will ignore violent actions against the player. Certain motorists in the game will resist with violence if the player attempts a carjacking. The AI of these motorists does not differentiate between the player and police officers in active pursuit, and motorists will attack police if they are nearer than the player. The police will not take defensive action against the motorist and will, if the player stays out of reach, eventually be killed by the motorist.



Mafia is set in the 1930s, between the fall of 1930 through to the end of 1938, during the later part of Prohibition, which ended in 1933. The game is set in the fictional American city of Lost Heaven (loosely based on New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago of the same time period). The player takes the role of taxi driver Thomas "Tommy" Angelo, who, while trying to make a living on the streets of Lost Heaven as a taxi cab driver, unexpectedly and unwillingly becomes involved in organized crime as a driver and enforcer for the Salieri crime family, led by Don Ennio Salieri.

Through the events of the game's story, Tommy begins to rise through the ranks of the Salieri family, which is currently battling the competing Morello family, led by the sharply-dressed Don Morello. Eventually becoming disillusioned by his life of crime and violence, Tommy arranges to meet a detective (Detective Norman) in order to tell him his story, to be given witness protection, and to aid the detective in the destruction of the Salieri crime family. The 'Intermezzo' chapters of the game depict Tommy sitting in a cafe with the detective, relating his life story and giving out important pieces of information at the same time.


In 1938, Thomas Angelo meets with Det. Norman at a coffee shop in Lost Heaven City. He explains that he wanted to meet up with him because he is willing to provide Norman with information, business deals and henchmen about Salieri family, the powerful Mafia syndicate that controls the city, in exchange for providing Tommy and his family a way out of it and reduced sentence to Tommy. Norman accepts, and Tommy begins to tell his story about his life with Salieri family.


In 1930, 8 years earlier, Tommy is a regular cab driver struggling through the Great Depression, living from a peaceful pay and living honest. One night, he is taking a cigarette break and checking out his car when he hears a car crash. He notices two men, Paulie and Sam, who hold him at gunpoint and force him to drive them. He complies, evading the men chasing the duo. He manages to slip away and drives them to Salieri's bar, where he drops them, and Sam instructs him to wait. Through Sam as his proxy, Salieri says he is impressed with Tommy's grace under fire and that he is indebted to Tommy for doing so; at some future time Tommy may come back to Salieri for help. Since Salieri also tries to help men of Italian blood in the onslaught of the Great Depression, he offers Tommy the 'chance' to work for the Salieri organization. Tommy refuses politely, preferring to remain poor but legitimate, and his thoughts are reinforced when he sees his pay package contains more money than he has ever seen before, and the very next day he is back to work as a taxi driver.

However, in between scouting for fares he is attacked by two hoods who are members of Salieri's arch-enemy, the Morello crime family, as revenge for him helping Paulie and Sam escape them. Tommy is saved by Salieri's men, who, when Tommy escapes into their bar and the Morello men follow him, murder the attackers. However, the cab company learns that their taxi was vandalized by gangsters and Tommy's employment is terminated. Hard up for employment prospects in the Depression years and grateful to Salieri for saving his life, Tommy accepts the offer to work for the Salieri family, mostly working as a getaway driver.

After siding with Salieri family, he is accepted as the new made man, and he is introduced to Frank Colletti, Salieri's right-hand man, who is also his accountant and controls the legal side of the business. He is also introduced to Vincenzo, Salieri's gunsmith and weapons supplier, and Ralph, a stuttering mentally challenged mechanic who takes care of the vehicle fleet.

His first job is with Paulie, and he is instructed to get revenge against the Morello's men, and he drives to New Ark with Paulie, where he vandalizes several Morello's cars and also kills several of Morello's men. Next, he is sided with Sam and Paulie to collect some protection money from several restaurants from the city. They then drive out of Lost Heaven to the countryside, where they are to collect the protection money from a motel, but they are ambushed by Morello's men. Even though Tommy kills them all, one man steals the protection money and flees the scene. Tommy catches up with him and kills him.


In 1932, 2 years into working with Salieri, he gets a request from Salieri to steal a high-powered race car from the city's racetrack, which is owned by an European team and Salieri wants it out since had bet on a young driver whom he helped set up a team. He arrives to the racetrack and steals the car with Ralph's contact there. He drives the car to Lucas Bertone, a professional mechanic and Ralph's friend, who tunes it up to sabotage the engine. Even though Tommy pulls off the job, the next day, he gets a call from Frank, who informs him that the driver is injured after somebody broke his arm in a brawl, and Tommy is forced to enter the race himself as a driver, and manages to win.

Afterwards, Tommy gets a request from Salieri's bartender, Luigi, who likes Tommy and asks him to walk his daughter Sarah home from work on account of reports of hoodlums. While escorting Sarah street punks attack, to which Tommy defends her, and they fall in love. Enraged at the mugging, Salieri orders Tommy and Paulie to hunt the gang and cripple them, which then leads up to the Salieri family being targets of the city government as Tommy helped murder one gang member who was the son of an alderman. Tommy is later made to carry out jobs to avoid Salieri having to face prosecution, culminating in an assassination mission involving the bombing of a hotel. Although he carries out the bombing, he discovers that one of the assassination targets is his girlfriend's best friend Michelle, an informant to Morello. Unable to bring himself to kill her, he instead orders her to flee the city and never return.

After letting Michelle go, he places a bomb in the hotel office and then jumps through the window on a rooftop, where he evades the police. However, while running away, he accidentally enters a church, where he stumbles on the funeral of the alderman's murdered son, where Tommy is identified as the killer and gang members attempt to shoot him in revenge. After eliminating them all, the priest leading the eulogy tells Tommy he has committed a grave sin and fears his soul is at risk, which Tommy rationalizes at first that he killed all bad men, but seriously takes the priest's warning to heart.


In 1933, Tommy is already married with Sarah and has a baby girl, and he is on a job with Paulie and Sam to drive to a farm where they will buy Canadian whiskey to provide with alcohol, but they flee away when the shootout occurs with Morello's men and the crooked police department working for them. On the same day, Frank hands over Salieri's account books to the police. Though being a friend of Frank for more than 20 years, Salieri orders his death. Tommy finds Frank at the Lost Heaven International Airport, attempting to flee to Europe.

Tommy learns from Frank's wife that the police blackmailed Frank and gives him ways to recover the books for Salieri, and Tommy gets her and her daughter reunited with Frank. Tommy, realizing that Frank was only trying to save his family from certain death, lets Frank flee to Europe with his family, and fabricates his death with a fake body. On the funeral, he witnesses Salieri and Morello crying on each other's shoulders, signalling that even though they show friendship in public, they are still deep enemies within.


In 1935, Tommy and Salieri go to a luxurious pizza restaurant for a lunch owned by Salieri's friend Pepe, where Morello's men almost gun them down, but Tommy saves Salieri from the blast and guns down Morello's men. Salieri has his bodyguard-turned-traitor, Carlo, killed by Tommy.

Salieri then starts launching counter-attacks against Morello's crew. First, Tommy is placed on a luxurious steamboat where he kills a powerful chancellor who is working for Morello on his birthday party. Next, he devises schemes to kill Sergio Morello Jr., Don Morello's brother, to weaken his family. However, this mission proves to be long and hard, with a series of mishaps:

First, Tommy and Paulie are ordered to drive to a restaurant where Sergio eats, and Tommy calls the restaurant over the phone booth and requests for Sergio while Paulie waits outside with a Thompson. However, one of Sergio's lieutenants answers the phone instead, resulting in Paulie mistakenly killing him, but they manage to evade Sergio's men in the ensuing confusion. Second, Tommy is ordered to put a explosive dynamite charge under Sergio's car. As he drives to his house in Oak Hill and waits for the guard to leave, he plants the bomb under the car. However, Sergio's mistress walks out the door and starts walking towards the car. Despite Tommy's attempts to stop her, she enters the car, resulting in it exploding, killing the mistress. Third act is again with Tommy and Paulie, and they drive to a parking lot in Oak Hill, where Sergio is meeting with several of Morello's lieutenants. However, as Paulie approaches Sergio with a Thompson rifle and prepares to shoot him, the rifle jams. Sergio mocks him before pulling his gun and starts shooting at Paulie. Once again, Tommy and Paulie manage to escape Sergio's men.

Finally, Salieri decides to hire professional hitmen to assassinate Sergio since their own actions proved to be worthless. Tommy is instructed to go to a train intersection, where the men, one of them disguised as a railroad worker and two another in a car, are waiting for Sergio to appear. Tommy drives up there and waits with the men. Sergio appears and the worker closes the road and instructs the train to start. The other two hitmen drive up behind Sergio's car. However, as they pull him on the railroad, Sergio's driver steps on the gas, and the hitmen try to follow him but the train smashes them. In the act of desperation, Tommy speeds up and follows Sergio to the docks, where his men ambush Tommy. However, Tommy fights through the horde of Sergio's men and finds him at one of the warehouses, where he slaughters the rest of the men and personally executes Sergio, calling him a "lucky bastard" for escaping all the attempts with simple luck.

With Morello's family crippled, Tommy, Sam and Paulie are ordered to murder Morello. They learn that Morello will attend the concert of the live play of Othello in the city center, and they arm themselves and depart to kill him. However, the show ends earlier than they thought and they notice Morello running away. They follow him to the airport, where he tries to escape Lost Heaven via plane. However, they shoot the plane, causing it to crash in the forest, killing him. They depart from the scene.

After the death of Morello, the Salieri family runs the town, paying off the rest of the police department and cooperating with the rest of the politicians in Lost Heaven, effectively controlling the city. During this time, Tommy finds out that Salieri and Morello were once best friends, working for Don Peppone, a powerful mob lord decades before, but his death in 1921 caused a stir between the two and becoming enemies, and in present day, he informs Norman about this and tells him that he felt that one day, Paulie or Sam will try to murder him, and this is why he was thinking of leaving.


In 1938, Tommy is just finishing a job of assassinating a local politician who is acting against Salieri, when Paulie and Sam join together to steal a batch of Cuban cigars deployed in the shipyard along with the duo. During the way, they talk about a possibility of performing their own job of robbing a bank. Both Tommy and Sam refuse, since Tommy is afraid that Salieri would find out about it, and Sam because he is loyal to the family. After performing the job, the trio inspect the boxes and find a stash of diamonds hidden. When Salieri arrives, they play along that they don't know about it, and Salieri informs them that he will get someone to pick up the cigars, and they realize that he is aware of the diamonds, cheating them out of their pay.

After that, Tommy and Paulie devise a plan to rob a bank, stealing a powerful car as a getaway vehicle and get guns from a local gunsmith, since they cannot ask Vincenzo for guns as it will raise suspicion. The heist is a success, but Tommy arrives next day to Paulie's apartment to find him dead, with the money missing. Sam calls and instructs Tommy to meet him in the local museum. In there, Sam reveals to Tommy that he knew about the heist, and that they also found both Michelle and Frank; Michelle returned to Lost Heaven a month ago and Salieri found out, and had Sam eliminate her. They also did background checking and also found Frank in England and had him murdered as well. However, Salieri was still able to give Tommy a chance, but he betrayed the family with the heist.

During a climactic battle on the top floor of the museum, Tommy gets the upper hand on Sam and his guys, but when he runs away, finds that he cannot bring himself to kill his former friend. Ultimately, as Sam is stumbling towards the exit, Tommy watches him from above and fires a bullet into his back. Shivering and astonished, Sam informs him that Tommy cannot escape, and that Salieri will someday find him. Tommy leaves the museum.


Here, Tommy's story to the detective (and thus the game) ends, telling that he left Lost Heaven the same day and fled to Europe with his family, but decided to return and to testify against Salieri to ensure the safety of Sarah and his daughter, telling the detective that he himself thinks that, if he would have them all sentenced to prison, they would not be able to murder him, at least not as easy if they were all free. The detective agrees to put Tommy and his family under the protection of the police, and Tommy is free to testify against the Salieri family. With Tommy's testifying and evidences, Don Salieri is arrested and sentenced to prison for life, but dies the same year in prison at age 63. 80 gangsters are convicted, some sentenced to electrocution and the family is destroyed. Tommy is sentenced to 8 years.

In 1946, after serving his time in prison, Tommy is released and relocated in Greenfield, Empire Bay, on the eastern coast, with his family, all under new names. Tommy is employed as a taxi driver for the Empire Bay taxi service (after 16 years of unemployment), and they are moved into a large home. However, in 1951, 5 years later, an old Thomas Angelo, grey-haired and moustached, is standing outside his house, living in Empire Bay and watering the lawn. Two men, Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro pull up to the side of the street in a red coupe and approach him. Addressing him by his real name (which was changed beforehand by the FBI), Barbaro pulls out a sawn-off shotgun. Scaletta tells Tommy that 'Mr. Salieri sends his regards', and both barrels are emptied into Tommy's body. As the two men get back into their car and hurry away, Tommy lies on the grass with blood pouring out of his wounds. Tommy then later lamented on what happened to him and his associates as the camera zooms away from his dead body.


  • Thomas "Tommy" Angelo - The main protagonist of the game. He worked as a taxi driver but a chance encounter leads him to join the Salieri crime family and become a gangster.
  • Paulie - Tommy's partner and best friend. He works with Tommy on multiple missions.
  • Sam - Paulie's partner who initially brings Tommy into the family. He is very loyal to Salieri.
  • Don Salieri - The boss of the Salieri crime family.
  • Frank Coletti - Salieri's Consigliere and his best friend. He takes care of the family's business.
  • Norman - The police detective who interviews Tommy throughout the game's narrative.
  • Vincenzo - Long-time armorer for the Salieri family, he provides Tommy with weapons and equipment.
  • Don Morello - The boss of the Morello crime family. His family are rivals to Salieri family. He serves as the main antagonist for most of the game.
  • Ralph - Mentally challenged stuttering mechanic for the Salieri family.

A number of characters in the English version of Mafia are voiced by actors who also played characters in the HBO television series The Sopranos,[2] a drama also about the mafia.


The game was in development since the end of 1998. It was codenamed Gangster and originally intended to be a driving game similar to Driver. The original plans included a multi-player and racing mode which was not present in finished version of the game. The release date was scheduled for 2000. The engine that was used was the same as Illusion Softworks used in Hidden and Dangerous but the engine did not fullfill developer's requirements. It led to replacement of an engine and in the end Mafia is run by LS3D Engine. Due to the change of the engine, the game was released two years later than planned.[4][5][6]

The soundtrack to the game features Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France, The Mills Brothers, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Lonnie Johnson, Latcho Drom and one track by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. The main theme to Mafia, along with the original score, was composed by Vladimir Šimůnek, and performed by the Czech Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adam Klemens. The ending credits music is a cover of the song "Lake of Fire", performed by the Lordz of Brooklyn. The last verse of the song borrows the musical arrangement of the theme song for The Godfather movies.

Mafia was ported to PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004. Illusion was not involved in porting the game. Some of the features of the PC version do not exist in the console port, such as police patrols around the city in Free Ride, and some aspects of the game's realism and graphics.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 89.51%[7]
(Xbox) 67.58%[8]
(PS2) 67.06%[9]
Metacritic (PC) 88/100[10]
(Xbox) 66/100[11]
(PS2) 65/100[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 9.3/10 (PC)[13]
GameSpy 91/100 (PC)[14]
IGN 9.2/10 (PC)[15]

Mafia was well received by critics and gamers upon release as a more realistic and serious than a usual Grand Theft Auto-styled game. Mafia contains a much bigger city to explore than most video games of the time, with multiple forms of available transport in addition to an expansive countryside. Dan Adams of IGN gave the game a rating of 9.2/10,[16] while GameSpot described the PC version as "one of the best games of the year" and rated it at 9.3/10.[17] Game Informer compared it favorably to Grand Theft Auto III, and wrote that "from the living city in which you reside, to the incredibly realistic vehicles, this title has the heart and soul of a blockbuster."[18]

While the original PC game received widespread acclaim, the versions for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox were considered inferior by many critics, and received lower scores as a result.[19][20][21][22] In the Czech Republic, the country where the game's developers come from, the game received universal acclaim from both critics and players.[23][24] According to Take-Two Interactive, Mafia had sold 2 million copies by March 12, 2008.[25][26]


  1. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven - PC / Windows -". Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven at the Internet Movie Database Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  3. ^ The Sopranos at the Internet Movie Database Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Czech". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  5. ^ 7. listopadu 2001  12:00. "Czech". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  6. ^ Martin Šebela (hadl). "Czech". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  7. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PC)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  8. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (Xbox)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  9. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (Plastation 2)". GaneRankings. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  10. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PC)". MetaCritic. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  11. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (Xbox)". MetaCritic. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PlayStation 2)". MetaCritic. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  13. ^ Wolpaw, Erik (September 4, 2002). "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PC)". GameSpot. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  14. ^ Rice, Kevin (September 18, 2002). "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PC)". GameSpy. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  15. ^ Adams, Dan (August 29, 2002). "Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven Review (PC)". IGN. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  16. ^ Adams, Dan. "IGN: Mafia Review". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  17. ^ "Gamespot-Mafia for PC". Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  18. ^ "A Made Game". Game Informer. Archived from the original on February 25, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  19. ^ Kasavin, Greg (2004-01-27). "Mafia Review for PlayStation 2". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  20. ^ Keller, Matt (2004-02-25). "Mafia Review (PS2 Review)". PAL Gaming Network. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  21. ^ Kasavin, Greg (2004-01-27). "Mafia Review for Xbox". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  22. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (2004-03-30). "Mafia (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  23. ^ "Czech". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  24. ^ "Czech". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  25. ^ Matt Martin (2008-03-12). "Grand Theft Auto series has sold 66 million units to date". Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  26. ^ "Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc. 's Tender Offer" (PDF). Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 2008-03-26. p. 9. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 

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