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"Well, that was fun - in a fuckin' terrible, sick, not-at-all-fun way."
―Vincent Gognitti to Max Payne, after escaping Vladimir Lem's men

Vincent "Vinnie" Gognitti is an antagonist in both games, Max Payne and Max Payne 2. He is a member of the Punchinello Crime Family and held leadership role in the Mafia.

In 2001, he is the right hand man of Jack Lupino. Vinnie managed most of Lupino's operations as Lupino himself is addicted to Valkyr, making him incapable of managing the business. He is later hunted down by Max in order to find Lupino's location.

In 2003, he is promoted to underboss of the Punchinellos. He made the reckless decision to went war with Vladimir Lem, his criminal rival as he lost most of his men and support from the current Don. He is later trapped in a bomb suit and was detonated by Vlad, killing him.


Early life[]


Gognitti's background is fairly unknown. It is known that Gognitti is a very big fan of The Adventures of Captain BaseBallBat-Boy, having many collector items of the franchise in his apartment. Other information of his life before the Punchinellos is unknown.

Right-hand man of Lupino[]

At some point, Gognitti joined the Punchinello crime family, eventually becoming a capo of the family, as well the right-hand man of the family's underboss, Jack Lupino.

As of the beginning of 2001, he is a financial manager for the mafia and their V dealings, but also oversees contracts with hired killers, keeps an eye on his boss, and other activities. Lupino's psychopathic attitude often frighten Gognitti. He also began to giving orders to the Finito Brothers, though they disliked him.

Gognitti is also heavily involved in the gang's war against the Russian Mob, and their leader, Vladimir Lem, Gognitti's mortal enemy.

2001: Valkyr case[]

Main article: Valkyr Case

Early involvement[]

Main article: Shootout at Lupino's Hotel

In 2001, Gognitti works for the Punchinello crime family. He is an underling to the V trafficker Jack Lupino, and helps organize the mob's dealings.

The same year, detective Max Payne decides to hunt down Lupino, believing that the trafficker was responsible for his family's death. Max's first stop is Lupino's Hotel, but he does not find Lupino, instead, he finds the Finito brothers guarding the hotel, but they are killed by him. Vinnie sends the Finitos a letter telling that hitman and pimp, Rico Muerte, has arrived at the hotel and they are to follow his wishes. Muerte himself is later killed by Max.

A dying pimp of the family later informs Gognitti on the phone that Max has attacked the hotel, leading Gognitti to yell at the (now-deceased) pimp, angrily ordering him to eliminate the detective. Max himself overhears the phone call and set to find Gognitti.

Sometime before the attack, Gognitti sends a letter, saying that the Russian mob has no courage to attack the Punchinellos. This is later revealed to be incorrect, as the Russians destroy Lupino's apartment complex.

Chased by Payne[]

"Payne! I'll kill you, ya lousy frickin' cop!"
―Gognitti yelling at Max.

After leaving the hotel, Max arrives at Gognitti's apartment, much to the latter's shock, who begins to yell at the detective, only to be shot shortly afterward. Gognitti then orders his men to finish off Max, while he escapes from the apartment.

Max hunts for him in his quest to find Lupino and ended up wounding Gognitti then chasing him through numerous rooftops, even chasing him on the roof of a train.

When he catches up to Gognitti, Max fights about seven guards. After the detective finishes off the guards, he proceeds to have a gunfight with Gognitti, who loses. Max then interrogates the capo by threatening to try to kill him, which scares him into telling Max everything. After interrogating Gognitti, Max leaves him lying bleeding in an alleyway to look for Lupino.


Gognitti survives his encounter with Max and by 2003, after the deaths of many of the major Punchinello members, Gognitti is promoted to the underboss, while a person known only as the Godfather takes control over the crime family. By 2003, Vinnie becomes much more hostile towards the Russian mob leader, Vladimir Lem, hosting gang wars against him.

2003:The Cleaner case[]

Main article: Cleaner Case

Shootout at Vodka[]

Main article: Shootout at Vodka

Gognitti escapes from Vodka.

In 2003, Gognitti conducts another mob war against Vladimir Lem after getting help from a mysterious third party (hinted to be another Italian mob) in order to wipe out the competition for the gun market.

Gognitti and his men attack Lem's business, a restaurant called "Vodka," and killing most of his men save for Mike. Lucky for Lem, Max arrives and helps the Russian. Gognitti sends his men to kill Max, but they fail. Due to the police's arrival, Gognitti runs away from Vodka, but threatening Lem that he will pay.

Suspect of the cleaner case[]

"According to Vladimir Lem, the mob captain Vinnie Gognitti is behind the hits."
―Max Payne to Jim Bravura.

Lem uses Gognitti as a scapegoat, telling Max that the Cleaners were Gognitti's men in order to mislead Max. Within a day, Gognitti starts losing in his struggle with Vlad and is forced to fight on his own turf. For most of Max's case with the Cleaners, Gognitti remains the main suspect.

His affiliate mob boss, the "Godfather," informs him that he will no longer send help or support him in the Mob war, stating that Gognitti is going against his ideas. Gognitti eventually loses all his men to Lem's Cleaners. Lem eventually decides to finish off the underboss; knowing Gognitti's affection to Captain BaseBallBatBoy, he designs a suit based on the show, set with a bomb.


"Poor guy...poor bastard."
―Mona Sax, upon finding Gognitti's remains.

With all of his men are dead, Gognitti gets trapped inside the Captain BaseballBatBoy suit wired to a bomb and teams up with Max, who only helps him to complicate Lem's plans, to find help for disarming the bomb.

After being escorted and protected by Max, the two are caught by Lem in Mona's funhouse. The Russian forces Max to drop his gun by threatening to detonate the bomb. Later after dealing with Max, Lem detonates the bomb, killing Gognitti (in Max's dream, Lem forces Gognitti to play a Captain BaseballBatBoy trivia game and promises to let him go if he wins. Gognitti gets the first question correct, but unfortunately fails the second through a misunderstanding of the question. Lem then murders Gognitti with the press of a button).

Mona Sax rushes to the scene and discovers what remains of Gognitti, and, in a rare moment of sympathy, murmurs about the underboss' bad luck.


"Vinnie Gognitti - I didn't think there was enough of him to fill a grave, the poor son of a bitch. His antics had brought the once great house of Punchinello to its knees, and they were still struggling to stand up."
―Payne, after he finds Gognitti's gravestone.

Vinnie Gognitti's grave, 2012.

After his death, his remains were recovered and buried in the Golgotha Cemetery, in which other certain people from Payne's life are buried as well (Nicole Horne and Winterson). On his grave it was written: "His flame burned brightly to the end."

In 2012, Max was involved in gunfight at the cemetery, and passed by Vinnie Gognitti's grave, commenting that he did not think that his remains were enough to fill his grave, as well saying that Gognitti's actions brought the fall of the Punchinellos, who by 2012, are still recovering from their fall from 2003.


Vinnie is mostly a cowardly person as he always run away from any conflict. His cowardly actions is seen throughout both games with him run away from Max and pleading his life to Max and Vlad. He is also extremely reckless in his actions as he severely underestimated his rival, Vladimir Lem which usually led to disastrous consequences.

He is also extremely hot tempered and foul-mouthed whenever things does not goes his way. However, this usually falls apart when he pushed into a corner and revert back into his coward persona. He is also seen to be childish as most of his behaviour act like an impetulant child, he is childish behaviour also shown being defensive over his Captain Baseball Bat Boy collection.


Gognitti's appearance in 2003.

Gognitti is a medium-sized man with golden brown hair and hazel-coloured eyes. He has a pale-coloured skin tone.

Gognitti in 2001.

In 2001, Gognitti wears a greyish-blue suit with a sickly-yellow shirt. He also wears round sunglasses during that time.

In 2003, Gognitti sports a much more casual outfit, consisting of a blue tracksuit with a red torso and thick white rings on the sleeves. He wears a white T-shirt and a pair of white sneakers. He has three gold necklaces in different sizes.

During his last moments, Gognitti wears a costume of based on the character of Captain BaseballBatBoy; containing a huge head of the character, which has an open mouth from where Vinnie can see. It contains a white T-shirt and gloves, as well as blue pants and ridiculously big red All-Stars shoes.

Equipment and Tactics[]

In Max Payne, Vinnie primarily wields a Desert Eagle, which he frequently fires at Max while fleeing from him, missing his shots repeatedly. While fleeing from Max, at one point he also uses a Pump-Action Shotgun to fire a couple shots at Max, also missing, which he seems to discard after using.

After being cornered in a dead-end back alley, Vinnie is forced to make a stand against Max with his Desert Eagle. Unlike most boss characters in the game, he has terrible aim, but his weapon does high damage if it hits. He also has decent health, requiring about 32 rounds of Beretta 9mm pistol fire or several shotgun blasts to bring down. Vinnie will strafe back at forth in the dead end, limping and panting heavily from his stomach wound, while firing at Max. He is also guarded by a large number of goons, about nine in total. Vinnie will hide behind a dumpster until either all his goons are dead or Max runs close to him.

In Max Payne 2, Vinnie wields an Ingram machine pistol during his attack on Vlad's Vodka club. Later in the game, he is trapped inside an explosive-laden costume of Captain BaseballBatBoy, which includes a giant novelty baseball bat attached to it (which does not appear to have any combat value, possibly being either inflatable or made of hollow plastic).

Behind the scenes[]

  • Vinnie Gognitti's real name is Vincent, his real name can be heard in his answering machine in his house in Dearest of All My Friends in Max Payne 2.
  • Although Gognitti is a hardcore fan of Captain BaseBallBat-Boy in Max Payne 2, he showed no such adoration in the first game.
  • Gognitti got stuck inside a cartoon character suit by being tricked by Vladimir Lem's "Trojan Horse."
  • After Max gets shot in the head by Lem, he has a dream in which a TV show shows that Lem played a trivia game with Gognitti, who lost and died.
  • In Max Payne 3, Gognitti's tombstone can be seen at the Golgotha Cemetery.


In the 2001 Max Payne, Gognitti was voiced by Joe Dallo. In the 2003 Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, Vinnie was voiced by Fred Berman. He is mo-capped by Olli Tukiainen in the first game, and by Stephen Gregory in the second game.

Role as an Antagonist[]

Gognitti has some traits unique to himself among the antagonists of the Max Payne series:

  • He is the only antagonist that survives events of the game, surviving the events of the original game. This is not counting Vladimir Lem, who acts as an ally in the original game and only turns into an antagonist in the second game.
  • Among the Punchinello crime family antagonists, Gognitti is the only one to appear in person more than one level, as well as the only one who survived the events of the first game.
  • In the second game, Gognitti is the only antagonist who does not act as an ally to Vladimir Lem, acting as an enemy to him instead.
  • Gognitti is the only character who acts as an ally to Max Payne as a known antagonist; "helping" during the level "Dearest of All My Friends".
  • Gognitti is the second antagonist to be killed by another antagonist; the first is Angelo Punchinello, killed by Nicole Horne's men, and the third is Arthur Fischer, killed by Serrano.

Max Payne boss fight strategy[]

When fighting Gognitti in Max Payne, he wields a Desert Eagle and has poor aim. He has the most guards guarding him which makes him hard to reach. With around nine guards he can be tricky to reach. Kill the nine guards atop the staircase. It is possible that they will come up and fight you. Once his guards are taken care of, Gognitti can be easily taken down with just three shotgun shots to the head. If the player fights Gognitti in Hardboiled difficulty the best strategy to fight him is using Ingram Or Beretta.

Max Payne 3[]

Vinnie Gognitti is one of the eight character models from previous games that appear in the multiplayer of Max Payne 3. His multiplayer avatar is a part of the pre-order Classic Character Pack bonus. He is voiced by his Max Payne 2 voice actor, Fred Berman, and appears to be modeled after his Max Payne 1 appearance.

Game Appearances[]


See also[]