Mafia III Cultural References can be seen and heard throughout Mafia III.
The city of New Bordeaux is a vast and culturally diverse universe that serves as the setting for the Mafia III game. As such, hundreds of historical and pop culture references can be seen and heard as you explore its many districts.
Many of these references come in the form of New Bordeaux News broadcasts and various NPC conversation. Others can be found in various artwork and other printed material. Though few in number, there's a select handful of Easter eggs found in the game as well.
Pop Culture References
- A character can be seen boxing a side of beef in the Roberdeau Meat Packing plant, a reference to the famous scene from the 1976 movie Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone.
- An NPC will mention "the movie where apes take over the world", referring to the popular 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
- Another NPC will mention the Planet of the Apes movie, saying "the one with Moses", referring to its star, Charlton Heston, who also starred as Moses in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments.
- An NPC mentions the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, saying "the one that starts off with an ape beating another over the head with a bone". When asked what it was about he says "nothing, absolutely nothing", a reference to the film's enigmatic and abstract nature.
- News report of actor Ramon Novarro's murder in Hollywood California.
- Comedian and actor Buddy Hackett is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- Actress Sandra Dee and her film Gidget are mentioned in NPC conversation, along with her co-star, James Darren.
- During Fish Gotta Eat, Lincoln and Vito mention Jimmy Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, both famous actors of the era.
- The character Roxy Laveau is heavily inspired by actress Pam Grier's character, Foxy Brown, from the 1974 movie of the same name. This includes things such as her afro, hoop earrings, exposed midriff, leather jacket, and general "bad-ass" attitude.
- The September 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with film director Stanley Kubrick.
- The Star Trek TV show is mentioned by many NPCs, including the controversial kiss between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura, claimed to be the first interracial kiss to air on American television.
- Popular 60s-70s variety television show Laugh-In is mentioned in random NPC conversation.
- Popular 50s-60s television show Ozzie and Harriet is referenced in NPC conversation.
- News report of the Apollo 7 mission mentions Buck Rogers, a popular science fiction character in comics, radio, television, and movies of the era.
- An NPC conversation mentions Catwoman, referring to actress Eartha Kitt from the Batman TV series making an anti-war statement to First Lady Lady Bird Johnson while at a luncheon at the White House.
- Legendary guitarist and musician Jimi Hendrix is often mentioned in NPC conversation.
- Popular 60s group The Doors are mentioned by NPCs, most notably Jim Morrison flashing his penis at a concert in Miami.
- News report on the ambush attack on pop group "Brandi Perry and the Bubble Machine" in Vietnam, killing two of the band members.
- An NPC conversation mentions attending a concert by singer Bobby Darin.
- The December 1964 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with British rock band The Beatles.
- Professional boxer Cassius Clay, also known as Muhammad Ali, is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- NFL football legend Jim Brown is mentioned in multiple NPC conversations.
- The May 1964 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an article on Don Garlits' newest drag racer, the Swamp Rat VI.
- The February 1965 issue of Hot Rod magazine features images of Connie Kalitta's drag racer the Bounty Hunter.
- The January 1966 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an articled about a race event hosted by racing legend Mickey Thompson.
- The June 1966 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an article about the American Motorcyclist Association's annual Daytona National Championship race.
- The May 1968 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an article about the tenth annual Daytona 500 and its winner, Cale Yarborough.
- The June 1968 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an article about the off-road race event at the Mint 400.
- The August 1968 issue of Hot Rod magazine features an article about the 1968 Indianapolis 500.
Literature and Art
- American conservative author William F. Buckley Jr. is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- In-game collectibles include both Hot Rod and Playboy magazines, both popular periodicals.
- The game features Vargas Paintings, created by noted Peruvian painter Alberto Vargas, as a form of in-game collectible.
- The March 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with author Truman Capote.
- Former president John F. Kennedy and his assassination in 1963 are mentioned in the game.
- The November 1966 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with socialist Norman Thomas.
- Segregationist George Wallace and his third-party presidential candidacy is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- The Black Panther Party, a revolutionary black nationalist and activist organization, is mentioned often in the game.
- The November 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver.
- The November 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features a satirical report of how a hippy terrorist dressed in a red suit, known only as S. Claus, was arrested on the rooftop of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley while trying to break into his home.
- A decoded note found in the C.I.A. Safehouse mentions Mobutu Sese Seko, the military dictator and President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who received considerable support from the United States due to his anti-communist stance.
- A Note on the Unknown Island mentions Nikita Khrushchev sending one of Strelka's puppies, named Pushinka, to President John F. Kennedy. Strelka was one of two dogs aboard Sputnik 5, which carried the first living creatures to be sent into space and return alive.
- The May 1966 issue of Playboy magazine contains an interview with historian and social critic Arthur Schlesinger Jr..
- Civil rights activist Malcolm X is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- The August 1966 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with Texas oil tycoon H. L. Hunt.
- In The Home Fires Burn, Giorgi Marcano comments on how Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion.
- The September 1966 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with psychologist and psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary.
- Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, is mentioned several times in the game.
- The August 1967 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with controversial criminal defense attorney F. Lee Bailey.
- A statue in a French Ward park commemorates Andrew Jackson, former US President and Battle of New Orleans hero. The statue is featured in Real Nice Time.
- The August 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with Yale University Chaplin and peace activist William Sloane Coffin.
- The October 1968 issue of Playboy magazine features an interview with consumer advocate Ralph Nader.
- August 1964 issue of Playboy magazine features China Lee, Playboy magazine's first Asian American Playmate of the month.
- Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and his assassination on April 4, 1968, is featured heavily throughout the game.
- An NPC conversation about the capture of James Earl Ray on June 8, 1968 in London, England can be heard at the beginning of The Way of Flesh. James Earl Ray was the man who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. Later, news reports concerning James Earl Ray's extradition can be heard on the radio.
- March 1965 issue of Playboy magazine features Jennifer Jackson, Playboy magazine's first African American Playmate of the month. Her appearance is also mentioned in NPC conversation.
- Many mentions of the Voodoo religion are featured in the game.
- Author L. Ron Hubbard, who is the founder of Scientology, and his book Dianetics are discussed by NPCs in conversation.
- The New Testament verse John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." is quoted in NPC conversation.
- NPC conversation mentions that you can buy the drink used by astronauts, referring to Tang powdered drink mix, originally developed for use by NASA.
- The 223rd Infantry Regiment, of which Lincoln Clay was assigned, was a real unit with the US Army's 40th Infantry Division until it was disbanded on 1 July 1954. The regiment saw heavy combat in the Korean War.
- Missions involving Thomas Burke make reference to the I.R.A., or the Irish Republican Army.
- The New Orleans festival of Mardi Gras is featured in the game.
- Many businesses have signs offering Green Stamps. These were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. Customers would collect these to redeem them for free merchandise from their corresponding catalog.
- The Dow Chemical Company, famous for manufacturing Napalm and Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War, is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- As the game takes place at the height of the Vietnam War, it is mentioned often throughout the game.
- Many rackets in New Bordeaux include smuggling contraband, like rum and cigars, out of Cuba. This is due to the United States enforcing a Cuban Embargo, making importing or exporting most goods in or out of Cuba illegal in the U.S.
- The 1963 March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech are mentioned in NPC conversation.
- The U.S. supported Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba is mentioned in NPC conversation.
- The subject of draft dodging by fleeing to Canada is discussed in NPC conversation.
- The controversial CIA program MK-Ultra is discussed by John Donovan in Certainly Was Exciting.
- The plot of Stones Unturned involves a fictional nuclear warhead lost on an island during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
New Bordeaux News Reports
- News report of protesters at a speech given by Vice President Hubert Humphrey at an event in Philadelphia.
- British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is mentioned in a news report about fighting in Northern Ireland.
- News report of the 1968 Olympics controversial Black Power salute can be heard on the radio.
- News report on Jeff Fort, leader of the Blackstone Rangers, being charged with contempt of congress after refusing to testify at a Senate committee looking into misappropriations of funds.
- News report of the October 1968 space launch of Apollo 7 is heard on the radio.
- News report of Billie Jean King winning her third consecutive Wimbledon Women's Singles title.
- Report of Congress passing the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, providing home ownership opportunities for low income families.
- Multiple news report of hijacking airplanes and diverting them to Cuba. Hijacking incidents between the United States and Cuba were at their height between 1968 and 1972, with 24 occurring in 1968 alone.
- A news report of the Detroit Tigers winning the 1968 World Series can be heard on the radio.
- News report talks about an incident involving the Cyprus dispute between Turkey and Greece.
- News report of the Russian space vessel Zond 5 being the first spacecraft to circle the moon, and return safely to Earth.
- News report of Sheila and Barry Thorns giving birth to Great Britain's first sextuplets in Birmingham, England.
- News report on the arrest of black playwright LeRoi Jones, after getting into an argument with police officers. He was charged with using offensive language.
- A news report mentions Shirley Temple, famous child star of the 1930s, as supporting Nixon in the upcoming presidential election.
- News report of Vice Presidency candidate Spiro Agnew linking recent student demonstrations to ties with communism.
- Multiple news reports mention the riots occurring at the Chicago 1968 Democratic National Convention.
- President Richard Nixon and his candidacy in the upcoming 1968 presidential election is mentioned in news reports.
- News report of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's marriage to Aristotle Onassis.
- News report of AFL–CIO chairman George Meany supporting the police response to the Chicago protesters.
- News report about members of the Women's liberation movement protesting the Miss America pageant.
- A news report tells of Army Major General Keith Ware being killed in action in Vietnam.
- California governor and future president Ronald Reagan is mentioned in a news report.
- Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, and his book Soul On Ice, are mentioned in a news report.
- United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark is mentioned in a news report on the recent riots across the nation.
- On Native Son, Remy Duvall talks about the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
- On the same episode, he mentions President Eisenhower using the National Guard to support integration at the Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas.
- On Native Son, Remy Duvall talks about President Lyndon B. Johnson and his passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, which provided equal housing opportunities regardless of race.
- Remy Duvall and Senator Jacobs discuss William Styron's book The Confessions of Nat Turner on the Native Son program.
- On Native Son, Remy mentions a shootout between Oakland police department and the Black Panthers. This incident resulted in the controversial death of Bobby Hutton.
The Hollow Speaks
- The Hollow Speaks episode talks about the slave uprising that lead to the Haitian Revolution.
- In an episode of The Hollow Speaks, Charles Laveau mentions the Internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.
- Billboards for the Mafia II vehicle Ascot Bailey S200 can be seen around New Bordeaux.
- Billboards for the Mafia II vehicle Potomac Indian can bee seen in Sinclair Parish
- Posters from Mafia II's Shubert 38 Panel Truck and Big Break Blue cigarettes can be seen around Sinclair Parish.
- Cemeteries throughout New Bordeaux contain tombs with surnames found within the Mafia III Credits engraved on them.
- When entering Vito's office, he can be seen looking at a photo album with two images from Mafia II inside it. One of him in the Military and another of Tony Balls.
- A controversial character who resembles an aged Joe Barbaro can be seen driving Leo Galante at the end of Yet Here We Are.
- The name Hangar Supply Co. with the number 013 on its sign is an Easter egg for Hangar 13, the game development company that made Mafia III.
- The names Remy Duvall and Boicherot's were likely inspired by Rémy Boicherot, a systems designer with Hangar 13.
- The five songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival were all released in 1969, the year after the game takes place.
- The song Good Times Are So Hard to Find by Blue Cheer was released in 1970.
- The song Get Up and Get Down by The Dramatics was released in 1971.
- Mafia Game's official soundtrack listing incorrectly attributes the song Don't Go to Strangers to Etta James when it was actually performed by Etta Jones.
Cajun, Creole and Other Slang
- Chalky - Irish slang, extremely derogatory word for blacks.
- Coullion - Pronounced coo'yawn. Someone who is "a nut," i.e, a crazy person.
- Bouda kaka - Haitian Creole, literal translation is "shitty ass".
- Boudin - Pronounced bü-ˈdan. Cajun sausage containing rice, pork, onions, green peppers, and seasonings.
- Huck-A-Buck - A frozen treat made of flavored syrup and water, also known as a Hucklebuck.
- Mudbugs - Also known as crayfish, crawfish or crawdads are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters.
- Carpetbagger - A person from the northern states who went to the South after the Civil War to profit from the Reconstruction. More recently, it refers to individuals who move to different states for economic or political gain.
- Pop culture references are ideas that relate to specific real world pop culture, music, television shows or movies that are mentioned or inserted into the game.
- Historical references are mentions of real world historical events mentioned in the game.
- Easter eggs are items or messages hidden in the game that reference past Mafia games, other works known to fans of the series or items related to the games developers.