If you’ve seen the ending to Mafia: Definitive Edition (which is nearly identical to the one seen in the original game), you may be feeling a bit down. After all, Tommy’s fate seems like a depressing end after controlling him throughout the 8-10 hour campaign. However, the ending of Mafia 1 ties into the rest of the series. We’ll go into detail and explain why the conclusion of Mafia: Definitive Edition is necessary to propel the sequels forward.
What happens in the ending of Mafia: Definitive Edition?
While the road to get to the ending is a bit different between the original game and the remake, Tommy’s fate plays out almost exactly the same. Following The Death of Art, in 1938, Tommy makes arrangements with law enforcement to flip on Salieri in exchange for his family’s safety.
What isn’t explained in the epilogue in the greatest detail is that Tommy’s testimony put Don Salieri in prison for life. However, despite his imprisonment, Salieri still wielded substantial power in the underworld. It’s almost assured that the Don would have had Tommy killed immediately, but he and his family were placed in witness protection after the trial.
Unfortunately for Tommy, his luck ran out in 1951. After being released from prison, Vito Scaletta takes a job from the Saleri Crime Family to assassinate Tommy, who has been located in Empire Bay. Vito and his friend Joe find Tommy at his house, watering his lawn, and kill him with sawed-off shotguns.
The assassination of Tommy by Vito exemplifies the cycle of revenge, redemption, and penance that is shown through the series. In Mafia 2, Vito manages to avoid the same fate that befell Tommy narrowly. However, Joe isn’t so lucky, and his death drives Vito’s actions in Mafia 3.
Essentially, Tommy somewhat redeems himself by turning on Salieri, but in the end, he still has to reckon with the mistakes of his past. Whether or not he earned the 12-year reprieve between the end of Mafia and the events of Mafia 2 is up to the player to decide.