The Final Act (spoilers obviously)

#1 Posted by familyphotoshoot (654 posts) -

So did anyone else think the organ trafficking plotline came out of nowhere and was kind of out of place?

#2 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

uh. no.

it was hinted at throughout the entire game.

hell i remember at one point before it was revealed max is like "if i keep drinking like this i'll need a new liver" and marcello was like "don't worry! we can get you a new one!"

theres TONS of little things like that. so no. its not out of place and out of no where. i guess you just weren't paying attention?

#3 Edited by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -

I kind of felt that way as well but to the games credit i wasn't paying attn nearly as much as i should have been because i was looking for all the collectibles  which i shouldn't have been doing on a first playthrough

Can someone explain the last act of the game and how everything comes full circle? I was following along pretty well up until the panama flashback where Max starts to suspect Passos of being dirty and then it just took this left turn of stealing people organs and revealing all these different people who are apparently involved but you never really heard of up until the end. It just got real weird.

What did the kidnapping have to do with anything? Did Victor organize the kidnapping as a way to get money from Rodrigo or was she going to get the same treatment as everyone else? Why was rodrigo killed? Weren't Marcelo and Passos part of the whole thing? If so then why was Marcelo burned alive.

#4 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@hbkdx12 said:

I kind of felt that way as well but to the games credit i wasn't paying attn nearly as much as i should have been because i was looking for all the collectibles which i shouldn't have been doing on a first playthroughCan someone explain the last act of the game and how everything comes full circle? I was following along pretty well up until the panama flashback where Max starts to suspect Passos of being dirty and then it just took this left turn of stealing people organs and revealing all these different people who are apparently involved but you never really heard of up until the end. It just got real weird. What did the kidnapping have to do with anything? Did Victor organize the kidnapping as a way to get money from Rodrigo or was she going to get the same treatment as everyone else? Why was rodrigo killed? Weren't Marcelo and Passos part of the whole thing? If so then why was Marcelo burned alive.

the kidnapping was indeed to get money. rodrigo was killed also because of money, he had all the families money so killing him off gave them access to it. victor had marcelo killed because well he didnt want to share, but yes marcelo was involved with the organ stuff. the flashback on the boat passos and marcello were driving off with the smuggled organs. though im pretty sure passos didnt know it was organs, i think he thought it was drugs.

passos got max to be the fall guy for causing all the chaos and the botched rescues. the UFE and the other paramilitary group were the guys who actually did the organ stuff and grabbing people from the slums.

becker is the leader of the UFE and he was introduced super early in the story.

#5 Posted by Commisar123 (1796 posts) -

I think more important is the fact that the last two missions were insanely frustrating. As far as the plot goes, yes it was a little unexpected, but if you expected it then it wouldn't be a very good plot twist

#6 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

My problem with the story as a whole, is that it's fairly inconsequential. By the end I'm just like, "well, alright then." I was hoping for a bigger emotional/psychological payoff for Max, like he ended up bonding with one of the girls and when she gets smoked, he loses it and goes all Taken on São Paulo, but that never really happens, and then Max is really angry at the head of the police for the city? Like, what? It's not like he was the one secretly behind something personal to Max, he just kind of pops up being all like, "muahaha, I'm the true villain!" I feel like it took all of the wind out of the sails of the story.

#7 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Clonedzero: So the fabiana kidnapping and the organ harvesting had nothing to do with one another other than the face that it gave the UFE a reason to go into the favela and round people up to facilitate more organ harvesting?. Is that right? 
 
Going back to the stadium exchange, there were 3 groups: Max, fabiana's kidnappers and....the UFE? If Victor was behind the kidnapping why not just have the brazilian gang give him the money? Who exactly were the two guys in the stadium that chose not to blow up the helicopter? They seemed to be big players but as the story unfolded and they got knocked off, not so much. 
 
and serrano simply killed fabiana because he had the money that marcelo brought him?
 
The more i think about this the more i realize i wasn't paying attention to anything :\
 
@Napalm: I think that's why i took such a half assed approach to paying attention to the story because the story really didn't have anything to do with max or battling his demons or anything like the previous games. It was just a matter of him getting caught up in some shit that didn't involve him.
#8 Posted by familyphotoshoot (654 posts) -

@Commisar123: Yeah that fight with that fucking asshole with the riot shield and grenade launcher took me about 10 attempts on medium.

#9 Edited by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

Let me try to simplify the intentions of the groups:

The Comando Sombra led by Serrano are just a group of thugs who just captured Fabiana for their own intentions, likely to help fund their drug business. The UFE, led by Armando Becker, are meant to stop the Comando Sombra with the support of Victor Branco. Even with the seemingly positive intention, Victor and the UFE have a corrupt end by assisting the Cracha Preto, a renegade militia (the more urban military folk unlike the very blue UFE) led by Alvaro Neves, in a human organ trafficking scheme. Marcelo was involved too but was unlikely would have been a benefit to Victor's end.

Due to Victor trailing behind in a electoral poll between him and another politician, he uses the UFE to make a deal with the Cracha Preto to clean up the city of crime even if the result was organ trafficking and the conspiracy against his older brother Rodrigo. If the older one dies... the legacy of the Branco family passes on. Victor might have not intended to let Fabiana die or get kidnapped all together but the kidnapping was a conduit for his attempt to have a stronger public image in Brazil. If the kidnapping never happened, he probably would have continued on with killing Rodrigo and "clearing the streets." Victor also used Passos and Max to his advantage.

#10 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@ThePhantomnaut: Thats a great summary. Makes a lot more sense from what i initially took away from it. Thanks
#11 Posted by Quarters (1751 posts) -

I thought the last two levels were kind of weird. The final ending was alright, but it almost didn't feel earned in a way. Once Passos left, all of a sudden it felt like it had nothing to do with Max anymore, and he was just a mechanism to get rid of the bad guys. There wasn't anywhere near the level of personal triumph that you feel at the end of 1 or 2, since both of those finales are much more personal. While I ended up liking the game, I felt that a lot of times it seemed like they had come up with this idea of, "hey, we want to do a story about Brazil and all this other stuff," and then they just looked over and saw Max Payne rusting in a corner, and thought, "oh, sure, we'll just throw him in there to make it marketable". I felt like they didn't care about furthering his story that much.

#12 Edited by Ghostiet (5289 posts) -
@Quarters said:

While I ended up liking the game, I felt that a lot of times it seemed like they had come up with this idea of, "hey, we want to do a story about Brazil and all this other stuff," and then they just looked over and saw Max Payne rusting in a corner, and thought, "oh, sure, we'll just throw him in there to make it marketable". I felt like they didn't care about furthering his story that much.

I felt it makes sense with the overall theme of the character. 1 & 2 had Max's emotional struggles moving the plot, while halfway through 3 he finally wrestles control from his personal shit and is simply doing things because it's the right thing to do.

They really could go either this route or make him care again by introducing someone he needs to protect.

#13 Edited by DharmaBum (1049 posts) -

@Ghostiet said:

I felt it makes sense with the overall theme of the character. 1 & 2 had Max's emotional struggles moving the plot, while halfway through 3 he finally wrestles control from his personal shit and is simply doing things because it's the right thing to do.

Along those same lines, I interpreted Max's desire to protect Passos and Giovanna's unborn child as a sort of vicarious resolution.

#14 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Lebensbaum: I felt like thats the obvious pull that R* was going for but i don't think it resonated as strongly as they probably intended
 
By the time he finds out Giovanna is pregnant, he's lost fabiana, rodrigo and marcelo. Him being compelled to save her felt more like "I can't fuck up and let another person die" more so then finding redemption in not being able to save his own wife and child.
#15 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@hbkdx12: @Lebensbaum: I thought there was going to be a giant twist where after Max finds out that Passos is insanely corrupt and twisted, he has to save Giovanna before it's too late, (mind you, this would take place after he saves Gio the first time), and then he develops a bit of a relationship with Gio and a possible love is hinted at.

But to further echo on your point, think of it this way: Giovanna is the only one in the family who isn't corrupt and a total piece of shit, so saving her actually gave him a reason to give a shit.

#16 Posted by Ghostiet (5289 posts) -
@hbkdx12 said:
By the time he finds out Giovanna is pregnant, he's lost fabiana, rodrigo and marcelo. Him being compelled to save her felt more like "I can't fuck up and let another person die" more so then finding redemption in not being able to save his own wife and child.  

And it fits perfectly, since he failed absolutely everyone he formed some sort of bond with throughout the two games. It resonated with me pretty well, since it manages to be realistically anticlimactic and at the same time is extremely fulfilling to see the guy not fuck something up for the first time.

#17 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Napalm: I thought it was going somewhere in that direction as well. Once she said she was pregnant i was like "Oh snap. She's gonna become super important to the and mirror trauma of losing his wife and child" Then she flys off with Passos and that's pretty much the end of that
 
What about fabiana and rodrigo? Neither one of them were corrupt
#18 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

Anyone else kind of disappointed with the gameplay in MP3. I was really frustrated with some of the level design and the way they attempted to make this game modern, it lead to really frustrating sections with little cover and a ton a enemies. All in all I thought the story was pretty cool, but man was I off put by some of the gameplay. I was also hoping for a little more psychological content in the game, some weird as drugged out sequences like in the first two.

#19 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@hbkdx12 said:

@Napalm: I thought it was going somewhere in that direction as well. Once she said she was pregnant i was like "Oh snap. She's gonna become super important to the and mirror trauma of losing his wife and child" Then she flys off with Passos and that's pretty much the end of that What about fabiana and rodrigo? Neither one of them were corrupt

Fabiana is a fucking idiot.

Rodrigo is Max's boss, so he kind of has to go down so that Max has to find his way through all of the bullshit happening.

#20 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Ghostiet: I agree but i think there would have been the same sense of resolve even if she hadn't been pregnant. I understand his plight to finally "get it right" since he lost fabiana and rodrigo not to mention other people from the other games. But they didn't go far enough to specifically explore how her being pregnant and being Passos significant other raised the stakes for him based on what he went through with his own wife and child. That's what i was expecting in those moments in the bus depot and they never really happen
#21 Edited by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@david3cm: Some of the shoot out can feel pretty heavy handed. The one i have trouble with consistently is the one in branco's office right before you manage to get the it guy to the servers. They start you off in a really crappy place for cover, the entire fight has about 15 guys come at you and the entire layout is easily set up for you to be flanked. I've played that part on about 5 different occasions and i still can't seem to find a suitable strategy
 
I wish there was a personal exploration into max's psyche like the other two games but i'm very glad they got rid of those nightmare stages and shit. Those were so terrible
#22 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

@hbkdx12: The sections I had issue with were the cemetery fight were it is a giant circle making it impossible to gain any ground, and the shoot out in the baggage transport area in the airport. Max is so fragile in this game that it is near impossible to run to a different section of cover without loosing half your health, and alot of the levels are designed to make it easy for the enemy to flank you. I really enjoyed the games, but there are certain sections that left a bad taste in my mouth.

#23 Posted by Quarters (1751 posts) -

@Ghostiet said:

@Quarters said:

While I ended up liking the game, I felt that a lot of times it seemed like they had come up with this idea of, "hey, we want to do a story about Brazil and all this other stuff," and then they just looked over and saw Max Payne rusting in a corner, and thought, "oh, sure, we'll just throw him in there to make it marketable". I felt like they didn't care about furthering his story that much.

I felt it makes sense with the overall theme of the character. 1 & 2 had Max's emotional struggles moving the plot, while halfway through 3 he finally wrestles control from his personal shit and is simply doing things because it's the right thing to do.

They really could go either this route or make him care again by introducing someone he needs to protect.

I agree, all that was fine, I mean specifically the last two levels, after they leave. I feel that's where it becomes just him shooting dudes. Only him sparing Victor had any sort of personal resonance.

#24 Posted by Vinny_Says (5719 posts) -

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

#25 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

#26 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

#27 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4976 posts) -

You shoot so many Brazilians near the end. SO MANY!!!

#28 Posted by Vinny_Says (5719 posts) -

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

Okay I'm asking about the man in the plane wreck (Rodrigo's brother the politician). Can you shoot him?

#29 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

@hbkdx12 said:

@Ghostiet: I agree but i think there would have been the same sense of resolve even if she hadn't been pregnant. I understand his plight to finally "get it right" since he lost fabiana and rodrigo not to mention other people from the other games. But they didn't go far enough to specifically explore how her being pregnant and being Passos significant other raised the stakes for him based on what he went through with his own wife and child. That's what i was expecting in those moments in the bus depot and they never really happen

I think apparent exposition wouldn't have worked in this game with a specific pace. I think Rockstar did it appropriately with the subtle reactions from Max.

#30 Edited by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

Okay I'm asking about the man in the plane wreck (Rodrigo's brother the politician). Can you shoot him?

Nope you can't kill Victor Branco.

#31 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

Okay I'm asking about the man in the plane wreck (Rodrigo's brother the politician). Can you shoot him?

I figured as much. Nope, there's no way to kill Victor Branco. He gets his anyways though.

#32 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Vinny_Says said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

Okay I'm asking about the man in the plane wreck (Rodrigo's brother the politician). Can you shoot him?

I figured as much. Nope, there's no way to kill Victor Branco. He gets his anyways though.

What about if you pop one into Becker? Slightly different dialogue?

#33 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Vinny_Says said:

@allworkandlowpay said:

@Napalm said:

@Vinny_Says said:

So can you ice Victor or is there only the one ending?

It brought up a reticle and went into aim mode, but I waited too long. I assume you can, but I'm sure nothing really changes.

That wasn't Victor, that was the Captain of the UFE.

Okay I'm asking about the man in the plane wreck (Rodrigo's brother the politician). Can you shoot him?

I figured as much. Nope, there's no way to kill Victor Branco. He gets his anyways though.

What about if you pop one into Becker? Slightly different dialogue?

Nah. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

#34 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1788 posts) -

I liked the way the story was told more than the story itself, but it was still enjoyable. It had some great pacing and exposition that was further enhanced by truly fantastic voice acting. I appreciated Max still trying to set things right even after he helped Passos and Giovanna get away. Ultimately, the very end didn't give off the sensation of a huge personal triumph like I was hoping for. It wasn't terrible by any means, but after all that he had been through I was left wanting a bit more. At least Max is still alive, leaving room for him to kick ass in the future.

I didn't really have too much trouble with the Police Station mission, but the final mission had some absurdly difficult scenarios, particularly the final shootout in the hangar. There are so many design choices in this game that really go against what Max Payne is all about, and it feels like they all come full circle here. It probably took me a good 10 attempts, and even then it felt like luck. Luckily the part after it was cool enough to slightly make up for the bullshit that preceded it, but still...that was rough.

Also, "You'll walk...with a LIMP." Bad-fucking-ass.

#35 Posted by DeathbyYeti (749 posts) -

It is a GTA story with Max Payne cameo. Given that it is written by the same guys that wrote GTA4 it isnt much of a stretch. Max Payne was also kind of annoying swinging from overly depressed to the savoir of the poor. I understand it was time for him to experience all the PAYNE but its delivered way too often and Max isnt the kind of guy to mope around for 10 years.

#36 Posted by coribald (313 posts) -

Yeah, if anything, the final act didn't have enough of a personal pay-off for Max for me to be truly satisfied, but damn, the game as a whole made up for that. And it definitely felt a little different than past MP games, UNTIL that Police Station. I felt like I was playing 2 again when that happened. It was awesome.

But yeah, I thought the whole thing was just fantastic.

#37 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

I think Rockstar deliberately wanted players to not feel completely satisfied (or should I say empowered for progressing that far). Sort of like a mirror to how Max was feeling at the time. For him, it's just something to not feel proud about but still has a responsibility to end the chaos.

#38 Posted by realph (261 posts) -

I initially thought the twist involved Marcello and Fabiana. I thought Marcello and Fabiana were involved in a secret relationship, and Marcello had arranged the kidnapping to get money off his brother and run away with Fabiana (Fabiana could have involved in the plot also). The organ thing was a bit random, but was alright in the end.

#39 Posted by ShaggE (6555 posts) -

@DeathbyYeti said:

Max isnt the kind of guy to mope around for 10 years.

Isn't he? His self-loathing is a pretty big aspect of his personality. Seemed in-character to me. It *was* a little much at times, though. With all the talk about wanting to kill himself, and how little he gave a fuck about his job, he sure went to lengths to do the opposite. (and his constant jokes about his pill addiction seemed really weird once he decided to get off the booze... is he trying to better himself or not?... but I'm nitpicking)

#40 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

@realph said:

I initially thought the twist involved Marcello and Fabiana. I thought Marcello and Fabiana were involved in a secret relationship, and Marcello had arranged the kidnapping to get money off his brother and run away with Fabiana (Fabiana could have involved in the plot also). The organ thing was a bit random, but was alright in the end.

Marcelo is an idiot so he doesn't know who he wants. I just know he wanted some of Daphne's cougar ass in Panama. The organ smuggling can be surprising but it's a sort of a subtle thing they implemented if you heard a bit of the dialogue and found some clues leading up to the revelation.

#41 Posted by dropabombonit (1492 posts) -

I thought the ending was great and Max had the right motivation to do what he done

#42 Edited by Triumvir (488 posts) -

Here's what I understand about the game's plot (long post, don't mind the typos):

Before the events of the game, Victor paid Passos on the side to go get Max as a fall guy (Max is fairly notorious at this point even if he is a has-been). His original role may have been to take the fall during the money laundering scheme in Panama, or to simply distract the Panamanian pirates while Passos and Marcelo transported the money (i.e. the funds from illegal organ sales). Daphne was cover: they concocted some excuse about her Wall Street ex-husband hiring that group of pirates. It's also equally possible that the whole incident with the pirates was spontaneous, although Passos and especially Marcello seem too calm and appear to have had ample time to get the money out of the boat.

In Brazil, it remains ambiguous as to whether the CS initially acted on their own or were acting on a tip. Their ability to infiltrate the party at the start of the game and to know Fabina's whereabouts seem to suggest some sort of help. Victor's office and Fabricas Branco has a folder (a clue) detailing Fabiana's movements, so I suspect that he may have been involved. Information may have been passed to the CS through UFE informants or undercover agents.

Victor wanted Fabiana, Marcello, and Rodrigo all dead: if Fabiana was alive she would gain the most from Rodrigo's death and Marcello would have likely married her, as it was clear that he was in love with her. Victor wants the money for two reasons: jealousy and political funding. Having his entire family tragically murdered is also something that Victor can spin in his political career as a law-and-order, right-wing politician. Becker is helping him in order to secure their business venture in organ sales and increased police funding when Victor is elected.

To that end, Victor had the ransom money intercepted by the right wing paramilitary group with whom he and the UFE (under Becker) were in business to harvest organs. Becker kept the cops from showing up during a major shootout inside a local landmark. Victor uses the same group of paramilitary goons to cover Rodrigo's assassination and the demolition of the Fabricas Branco office building: notice how he and the rest of the conspirators leave right before the attack. Max is supposed to be killed here as well.

When Max tells Victor and Marcello the Favela in which Fabiana is being held, two things happen: 1) Marcello, either acting independently or under the suggestion of Victor, attempts to pay Fabiana's ransom; and 2) Victor capitalizes on this entire situation by tipping off Becker and the UFE, who mount a suspiciously-timed raid with Max's predictable trail of gang violence as a convenient excuse. Fabiana get's killed anyway, but undoubtedly the UFE were under orders to capture her and Marcello and hand them over to Neves and his paramilitary goons for disposal. I suspect the only reason Fabiana's sister survives is because there are no explicit orders to kill her, giving Max just enough time to save her.

The rest of the story is straightforward. Da Silva, the events themselves, and various clues all lay things out pretty nicely. You'll also notice a ton of foreshadowing in cutscenes and clues throughout the game, once you replay it.

I still don't quite understand Passos's amount of knowledge of Victor's schemes. I don't think he knew about the organ trafficking or Victor's plans to kill the rest of his immediate family, but he was at least superficially aware of things in Panama.

#43 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Triumvir: wow good job on the summary. Best one i've come across yet. Been through the game about 3 times and im still trying to put all the pieces together for myself
 
Also, this isn't me implying it's not true but, when/where was there some kind of reference to suggest that Marcello was in love with Fabiana. I've seen many people say this but I never picked up on that at all. I must've been going through this thing with my eyes closed
#44 Posted by Nilazz (613 posts) -

Marcello at one point tells Max that he is in love with the wrong woman.

#45 Edited by Triumvir (488 posts) -

@hbkdx12:

I don't recall that he ever says it outright, but he says twice that he is in love with another man's woman (one of them is during his conversation with Max on the boat in Panama). If you watch his body language around Fabiana, it's clear that it is her who he is referring to: rewatch the cutscene at the end of the first mission, the one where Fabiana is hugging Rodrigo after he was almost kidnapped. You see Marcello looking depressed and jealous of this affection rather than relieved by his brother's salvation. Also, when he enters the Favela alone and unarmed to pay Fabiana's ransom, it's pretty clear he's not thinking straight: even a dipshit like him wouldn't do something that stupid unless he was madly in love with Fabiana.

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