Cultural references are ideas that relate to specific pop culture, music, television shows, movies, or video games that are mentioned or inserted into the game by its developers as a reference for fans of those genres to notice. This article lists various references found within in the Mafia series.
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven
- The name of the Corleone Hotel is a reference to the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather, in which the name of the main mafia family is Corleone.
Morello Crime Family
- The Morello Crime Family is based on a now extinct crime family of the same name. The real Morello family was one of the earliest crime families established in the U.S. They were based in Manhattan's East Harlem. They're the ancestors to the Genovese crime family, now one of the Five Families.
- The mission Exit the Dragon is a reference to the 1976 Bruceploitation film called Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger, staring Bruce Lee.
- Chapter 14 is called Stairway to Heaven, which is the title of a famous song by British rock band Led Zeppelin.
- In The Buzzsaw, an NPC can be heard saying, "It's a good day to die, kid!". "Today is a good day to die" is a a Klingon battle exhortation in the Star Trek universe.
The Shawshank Redemption
- As Vito enters Hartmann Federal Penitentiary, the prisoners are banging on the walls and threatening new prisoners, similar to the opening scene of the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption.
- The .357 Magnum's tagline is, Feeling lucky?. This is a reference to the phrase "You feeling lucky, punk?", made famous by Clint Eastwood in the 1970 film Dirty Harry.
- The scene in which Leo, Vito and Pepé are present in Leo's suite-like cell in prison is reminiscent of a similar scene in Martin Scorcese's 1980 film Goodfellas.
- In Chapter 7, when Vito, Joe and Eddie go to bury a corpse, is like another scene from the film where Tommy and Henry bury the corpse of Billy Batts.
- In The Wild Ones, when a greaser gets killed, occasionally Joe will say, "another one bites the dust!", which is a title of a popular song by British rock band Queen.
- A house identical to the one in the 1960 movie Psycho can be seen in Highbrook.
- There is a ship in the ocean off of Empire Bay that resembles the RMS Titanic.
- When Vito threatens Eric Reilly by saying, "...you touch my sister again, I will fucking kill you", this is similar to a line said by Sonny Corleone, "You touch my sister again, I'll kill you."
- Vito and his father, Antonio Scaletta, share their first names with The Godfather characters Vito Corleone and his father, Antonio Andolini.
- While driving or walking through Empire Bay, you may come across a hobo. If you stand in front of him for a while he will say "Family kidnapped by ninjas, need money for Karate lessons". This is a reference to a a once popular internet meme.
Real Life Persons
- Calogero Vizzini, also known as Don Calò, is the only real life character to appear in the Mafia series.
- Vito Scaletta is mentioned in the video game The Darkness II, another title made by 2K Games. A character named Jimmy "The Grape" will say "I knew this guy, Vito Somethin'-or-other. Me an' him did some time in the fifties. Boy, could that kid jack a car."
- Before Vito hits the showers in chapter 6, a prison guard says "Would you kindly?", a reference to another 2K game, BioShock.
- Main article: Mafia III Cultural References
Mafia III contains hundreds of cultural references throughout the game. Most of these come in the form of New Bordeaux News broadcasts and various NPC conversation. Though few in number, there's a select handful of Easter eggs found in the game as well.