Lincoln Clay is the protagonist of Mafia III, the third game in the Mafia Series. He is a Vietnam War veteran who starts his own criminal empire while seeking revenge after the Marcano Crime Family killed his adopted family, the Black Mob, and left him for dead.
- "Family isn't who you're born with, it's who you die for."
- — Lincoln Clay
Lincoln Clay was born in January 1945. Abandoned by his mother in 1947, he grew up in Saint Michelle's Orphanage in the French Ward, New Bordeaux. When the orphanage closed its doors in 1958, he was taken in by Sammy Robinson and his wife Perla along with their son Ellis, who became like family to him.
Still searching for an identity, he joined the U.S. Army in 1964 to fight in the Vietnam War, where he served in the 223rd Infantry. In April of 1966 he was assigned to a covert operation where he distinguished himself before C.I.A. operative John Donovan, who recommended Lincoln be brought deeper into his mission. Over time the two became close friends and colleagues.
Due to his time in the Army, Lincoln is proficient with a variety of military-grade firearms and explosives, ranging from light machine guns to grenade launchers. He is an expert in stealth tactics and infiltration, able to quietly sneak up on enemies undetected before finishing them off.
Lincoln also demonstrates knowledge in psychological warfare, shown by repeatedly displaying the corpses of his victims in a public area to spread fear among his enemies. Donovan mentions that Lincoln learned such tactics from their time with the CIA.
Upon being discharged from the Army, he returns to New Bordeaux where he reunites with the Robinsons, who also run the Black Mob in New Bordeaux. However, the Haitian Mob have put Sammy in debt with Sal Marcano, as they were causing Sammy to lose profits from the black lottery. Following Lincoln's murder of the supposed leader, Baka, he meets with Sal, who suggests Lincoln take Sammy's place. Lincoln refuses the offer, and instead works with Giorgi in order to rob the Federal Reserve. Despite the successful heist, Sal betrays the black mob and has Sammy and all of Lincoln's friends killed, with Lincoln being shot in the head and left for dead. Father James, one of Lincoln's close friends, rescues him and nurses him back to health. Recovering, Lincoln calls on Donovan for assistance, who agrees to use his resources and expertise to spy on the Marcanos. Lincoln sets out not only to kill Sal Marcano but to systematically dismantle his operations and take them over himself, all the while building a new family of his own.
Lincoln is a man who is loyal to those who he regards as his family. He is grateful towards Sammy and his family for taking him in, seeing Sammy as a father-figure. He also saw Father James in a similar light. He would give up his personal goals and ambitions without any hesitation in order to help his adopted family out. Despite his loving relationship with his foster family, Lincoln struggled to find an identity for himself and to find a place where he could belong, possibly the reason he served in Vietnam. However, what greeted him was carnage, depravity, and unspeakable violence. Lincoln's war experiences scarred him mentally and physically, leaving him unable to sleep soundly and insisting on sleeping in the basement, most likely suffering from PTSD. To the outside world, however, Lincoln is usually quite personable and outgoing, willing to make friends with people of different ethnicities and look beyond the racial tensions of the time. As a criminal, he is cool, cunning and calculating with an eye for the big picture, easily working out a methodical way to reach his goals.
Throughout his war with the Marcano family, Lincoln displayed a much darker side to his personality. The betrayal he suffered from the mob makes Lincoln much more cruel and bloodthirsty towards his enemies, openly displaying the bodies of victims to the public to scare all who opposed him.
- See also Mafia III Endings.
After Sal Marcano's death, Lincoln and his lieutenants took over New Bordeaux. He wasn't content to just run the city, he expanded out across the South, into Florida and even the Carolinas. Lincoln was soon wealthier than he could have ever imagined. He was smart with the 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, 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, you name it, if it could make a buck he was involved in it. Deciding to stay in New Bordeaux to run his criminal empire came at the price of losing the one person who truly cared about him, Father James.
After killing his underbosses Lincoln leaves Eaglehurst Plantation. As he gets in his car and turns the key, it catches fire and quickly 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. He has no regrets for killing him, the things Lincoln had done and what he had turned into, he carved out his path all on his own.
Agent Maguire thought a car bomb was too quick after everything he did and all the people he killed. It was too clean and he deserved much worse. Father James identified Lincoln's body and that has left some doubt in his mind. Years later he swears he sometimes hears footsteps upstairs that sound like combat boots, but he knows it's just the old house creaking and moaning; still, when it happens he can't help but wonder if it's Lincoln Clay coming to take what's left of his life.
Leaving New Bordeaux
- Maguire's story on Lincoln
After Sal Marcano's death Lincoln Clay disappeared. The FBI de-prioritized the case into him but Agent Maguire kept an active file. In 1971 he tracked Lincoln to a California shipyard where he was working under an assumed name. By the time he got there though, Lincoln was gone. The trail went cold and by '77 or '78 Maguire figured he was dead, but he got a report of someone matching his description working with the Columbians. Since then there's a new sighting of him every couple of years. Maguire promises that someday Lincoln will get tired of running or make a mistake, and he will be waiting.
- Father James' story on Lincoln
Lincoln made it out to California and worked at the shipyards for a few years. He met a woman and it seemed like they were going to get married, but then it somehow all came apart. He started moving around after that, going to Alaska, New York, South America, and even Vietnam. Father James still gets postcards from time to time and believes Lincoln just wasn't able to accept the world for what it is or his place in it.
- Sammy Robinson (foster father, deceased)
- Perla Robinson (foster mother, deceased)
- Ellis Robinson (foster brother, deceased)
- Lily Robinson (foster aunt)
- Baka (lieutenant, Haitian Mob)
- Ritchie Doucet (boss, Dixie Mafia)
- Tony Derazio (lieutenant, Marcano Crime Family)
- Frank Pagani (lieutenant, Marcano crime family)
- Lou Marcano (capo, Marcano crime family)
- Tommy Marcano (capo, Marcano crime family)
- Remy Duvall (boss, Southern Union)
- Judge Holden
- Nino Santangelo
- Giorgi Marcano (capo, Marcano crime family)
- Lincoln's mother was, according to Father James, Dominican. He also assumed that his biological father was white, possibly Italian.
- According to Lincoln's dog tags, given with the collector's edition of the game, his full name is Lincoln J. Clay.
- According to John Donovan, Lincoln would never kill women or children unless he didn't have a choice, which explains why he spared Olivia Marcano.
- Lincoln served in the 5th Special Forces Group, one of the most decorated units of the Vietnam War.
- According to his FBI wanted poster:
- Lincoln is 6'4" and 210 pounds.
- He is wanted by the FBI for murder, attempted murder, and extortion.
- In addition to his military service, Lincoln worked as a bartender and a mechanic.