Vinnie Gognitti plays chief roles in both Max Payne and Max Payne 2. In the first game, he works for the Punchinello family and is hosting a mob war against Vladimir Lem.
Vinnie's background is fairly unknown in the Max Payne universe. He is a fan of the TV Show, The Adventures of Captain Baseball Bat Boy, and is childish for his age despite his position in the mob society. He is fairly clever, but also very cowardly-Max comments that Vinnie has "the brains but lack[s] the balls for the job [of running the Mafia]". Vinnie was known for taking out his frustrations on underaged call girls. As of the beginning of Max Payne, he is a financial manager for the Mafia and their V dealings; he also oversees contracts with hired killers, keeps an eye on Lupino, his boss, and other activities. Vinnie is high up in the Mafia as can be seen by his attire and large numbers of bodyguards.
In Max Payne
In Max Payne, Vinnie works for the Punchinello crime family. He is an underling to the V trafficker Jack Lupino, and helps organize the mob's dealings. Max hunts for him in his quest to find Lupino and ended up wounding Vinnie then chasing him through numerous rooftops. After interrogating Vinnie, Max leaves him lying bleeding in an alleyway to look for Lupino, and Vinnie is not mentioned again.
In Max Payne 2
In Max Payne 2, Vinnie conducts a mob war against Vladimir Lem after getting help from a mysterious third party (hinted to be another Italian mob) in order to wipe out competition for the gun market. Vinnie initially gains the upper hand, but Vlad is saved by Max. Vlad uses Vinnie as a scapegoat, telling Max that the cleaners were Vinnie's men in order to mislead Max. Within a day, Vinnie starts losing in his struggle with Vlad and is forced to fight on his own turf. His affiliate mob boss informs him that he will no longer send Vinnie help, and Vinnie eventually loses all his men. Vinnie himself gets trapped inside a Captain Baseball Bat Boy suit wired to a bomb and teams up with Max (who only helps him to complicate Vlad's plans) to find help for disarming the bomb. After being escorted and protected by Max, the duo is caught by Vlad in Mona's funhouse. Vlad forces Max to drop his gun by threatening to detonate the bomb, then murders Vinnie with the press of a button. Mona discovers what is left of Vinnie and, in a rare moment of sympathy, murmurs about Vinnie's bad luck.
- Although Vinnie is a hardcore fan of Captain Baseball Bay Boy in Max Payne 2, he showed no such affiliation in the first game.
- It is unknown how Vinnie got stuck inside a cartoon character suit in the first place.