BioShock Spoiler Thread

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Get it out of your systems here. Discuss whatever you want, and feel free to tell us who killed Dumbledore.

***If you haven't finished the game yet, I'd recommend not reading this thread.***

Ok... There's a "Become a Big Daddy" Achievement! I saw this while I was looking around for a guide. I stopped looking at the list right then. I didn't want to ruin it for myself. I wonder if you get this for rescuing all of the Little Sisters or something? I have no idea, and I'm not going to read this thread again until I finish the game. :D

And Snape killed Dumbledore, but he did it on Dumbledore's orders as he was dying anyway! Whew! Glad to get that off my chest...

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm playing the game in part to see what (if anything) the story has to do with Objectivism / Atlas Shrugged.

Core to Objectivism is the trader principle, which states that under most circumstances there are no conflicts of interest between rational men. The trader principal is Objectivism's explanation as to why laissez-faire capitalism is the best system. But there are situations - "lifeboat scenarios" or emergencies - where this doesn't apply, Objectivism admits. So far, about two hours in, the game seems to be showing what might happen to an Objectivist society of egoists if the trader principal stopped applying very broadly... I'll keep playing to see if my initial guess is on target or if I'm reading way too much into it.

I'm also interested in how this game integrates objectivism.

Let me start by saying I haven't picked this up yet. But I've been giving this title a lot of thought and I'm curious how players are perceiving this game now that it's out. Obviously the Randian aesthetic is intentional, as Ken Levine has discussed in many interviews. A paragraph on back story from the official site "The Cult of Rapture", also sets the scene:
"...the society was envisioned as the ultimate capitalistic and individualist paradise, with the elite achieving for themselves, rather than for the whole."
Doesn't get any more objectivist than that right?

But is the game not set in a failed dystopic city? Is there not inherent objectivist criticism in that alone?

Archon, you seem to point out that the game criticizes a society that takes capitalism to an extreme. Yet somehow I can't make this ideology fit with what I know about Levine. Notably this direct statement:
"And listen, I'm a capitalist. I run a videogame company. I'm not exactly running a commune over here..."

Clearly it's more complicated than that and perhaps an exploration of the concept (for better or worse, biased or no) was Levine's intention.

I realize a lot of this I'll be able to answer myself once I experience it. For now I'm more curious about how it's culturally perceived. It's perhaps noteworthy that most reviews (the glowing mainstream ones that is) don't even mention the philosophy of the game. At the very least this game feels important for tackling this weighty of a subject in a mainstream gaming arena.

Any thoughts?
(btw, avid reader and first post)

Phew, finished it today. Overall, I loved it. The atmosphere, the story, the characters, the art direction, the gameplay -- oh wow, the gameplay!

I do, however, have a quibble. I was promised an ethical dilemma: harvest the Little Sisters for a rush of power, or rescue them but have a harder time getting by? I didn't get it.

Harvest = 160 ADAM per Little Sister
Rescue = 80 ADAM per Little Sister + 200 ADAM from Tanenbaum every 3rd Little Sister saved + other rewards

Over time, the difference between harvesting and rescuing, expressed as a percentage of the ADAM obtained by rescuing, looks like this:

image

Added: Oops, hit "post" instead of "preview."

Yes, I sat down and figured this out. ;) What twigged me to this was that I exclusively rescued Little Sisters, and wondered why I wasn't feeling constrained by a lack of ADAM. Turns out that rescuing rather than harvesting doesn't particularly cost you -- the difference trends toward 10% of what you get by rescuing. For instance, after 16 Little Sisters rescued the player has accrued 2280 ADAM. After 16 Little Sisters harvested, the player has accrued 2560 ADAM, a difference of 280 (12%). Also, you get the Hypnotize Big Daddy plasmids, which are extremely valuable and can't be acquired any other way, along with other ancillary benefits (various gene tonics, ammunition, health kits). Given that, I think you're actually better to rescue than to harvest, which makes me wonder why this was presented as an ethical dilemma. The only reason I can think of is that you don't know the rewards at the outset; Tanenbaum doesn't tell you what she's going to give you for rescuing the Little Sisters. But if harvesting is a less effective game strategy overall, I can't help but think that it breaks the dilemma.

I originally thought it was 4 Little Sisters rescued per reward, but I think I somehow got an extra one in Neptune's Bounty (some others have reported this as well), which threw me off. Even if it's 4, the difference only trends to 25%:

image

That's better, but it's still a far cry from the 100% ADAM gain you initially see when you start harvesting over rescuing. At least 25% is enough to make the choice ambiguous; with 10% rescuing is the clear winner.

Like I said, though, this is a quibble. I just started thinking about it and got curious enough to figure out what the actual difference in ADAM is between the two choices.

I think the rewards add up similarly, but the fact is when you rescue them you have longer starved periods of less reward, I don't know what the morale choice means but I've been freeing them, much nicer to the poor girls.

I'm probably half way through, I'm getting practised with knowing that it is entirely Doom 3 all over again. You go for the extra room with some ammo/a safe/some bonus in, and boom, mysteriously some more people appeared behind you and start attacking 90% of the time ;)

I also miss a light device. I don't know how my camera can pick up stuff in the dark areas. Its more atmopheric but still gives me the willies sometimes in the intentionally dark areas.

Not quite as extreme as Doom 3 in the darkness and "monster teleportation" but still very pronounced as it is. A bit annoying, however still a very fun game (Fear my shotgun, splicer fiends!), especially since you can choose when to fight the Big Daddies, and gives you some half-decent fun preparing traps, hacking stuff, and whatnot.

The radios are also good. I like the tip that you can pause the game but let the audio continue by going to the map panel. Certainly the world went to ruin after a short timespan (downhill in around 2-3 years? wow) and I don't think objectivsm was totally adhered to :)

Will be interesting to see where the story goes. I'm glad there's a lot of exploration available, the basic objectives are not that interesting by themselves.

I just finished the game and there are a couple of things I don't get.

1. Why did Fontein even bother coming to the smugglers' hideout to "save" his "family" (and why did he come up with this family thing in the first place), when he could just sit back and have the protagonist do his bidding?

2. Why didn't Ryan get ressurected after Jack killed him? The Vita-Chambers were tuned to restore his body after all.

Is it just me, or is the plot really not that thought out after all?

The submarine bit had me confused as well. I haven't finished the game yet, but I'm heading into the final fight, as it were. I was hoping that there'd be some sneaky explanation about the sub bit - like he had contraband inside - or something. I guess that's not the case. No idea there.

The Ryan thing is also a bit confusing. I suppose, since he had mind control over Jack, and still allowed himself to be killed, that he wanted to die. The dream was over, there was no way out, his efforts had been undone by some mysterious force he couldn't understand and he was ready to end it. It's a bit melodramatic, and kind of out of character for an megalomaniacal control freak like Ryan, but it makes a kind of sense.

I THINK the submarine bit was to give you INCENTIVE to want to kill Ryan. Afterall, the player dosen't at thispoint know that he's under mind control, and fontaine dosen't wanna give up his "ace" if you will. So by setting up the family scenario, he gives the player incentive to kill Ryan for being so cruel.

_Tetsu_:
I THINK the submarine bit was to give you INCENTIVE to want to kill Ryan. Afterall, the player dosen't at thispoint know that he's under mind control, and fontaine dosen't wanna give up his "ace" if you will. So by setting up the family scenario, he gives the player incentive to kill Ryan for being so cruel.

That makes sense, but why put himself in that position? This is someone who wants to live. Why would he walk into a trap like that? Dude barely escaped with his life. It doesn't make sense that he'd do that and risk losing everything.

On the other hand, if he didn't know it was a trap, he might have had some other reason for being there. It's a shame there wasn't any attempt to explain this. It was kind of the key plot point for developing trust with Atlas, and the moment that stuck in my mind when I learned of the treachery.

darshannon:
2. Why didn't Ryan get ressurected after Jack killed him? The Vita-Chambers were tuned to restore his body after all.

He might well have been resurrected, and we just don't know about it yet...

Ajar:

darshannon:
2. Why didn't Ryan get ressurected after Jack killed him? The Vita-Chambers were tuned to restore his body after all.

He might well have been resurrected, and we just don't know about it yet...

That would be a pretty cheap storytelling cliche. Might as well end the game with Jack starting awake in his bed, looking at the clock, checking his arms for splice marks and then sighing, leaning back and saying: "Oh, thank goodness. It was allllll a dream."

Russ Pitts:
The submarine bit had me confused as well. I haven't finished the game yet, but I'm heading into the final fight, as it were. I was hoping that there'd be some sneaky explanation about the sub bit - like he had contraband inside - or something. I guess that's not the case.

Alas, it's not. He does mock Jack later on for being so credulous, but no real explanation is given as to why did he risk his life by leaving his hiding place and coming to the submarine bay. And that really bothers me, because BioShock is such a brilliant game on so many levels, and I was so thrilled with the plot while playing, but then I killed Fontaine (the final boss fight is too easy btw, have to replay the game on hard), and I put the controller down... and that's when the doubt kicked in. Was the story really that good and polished? I mean, it has plenty of powerful, really powerful moments... more than any other game in years, I think... I was simply blown away by the scene where Jack finally confronts Ryan. But, being very powerful, was it properly thought out? I guess not... And that's a pity. More than a pity.
It's the best game I played in years, though. Even with all the plot holes. :)

Russ Pitts:

The Ryan thing is also a bit confusing. I suppose, since he had mind control over Jack, and still allowed himself to be killed, that he wanted to die. The dream was over, there was no way out, his efforts had been undone by some mysterious force he couldn't understand and he was ready to end it. It's a bit melodramatic, and kind of out of character for an megalomaniacal control freak like Ryan, but it makes a kind of sense.

The thing is - I don't think he had that kind of power over the Vita-Chambers. They are not some ancient semi-concious artefacts after all, they are pieces of machinery, that is only capable of mindlessly doing it's work. Ressurecting Ryan (and his son) in this case. So, in the end it didn't matter, whether he wanted to die or not.
Of course, it could be a loose end, intentionally left dangling to justify a sequel.

I've finished it, in all its creepy glory. I still get the shivers with the damn dark dankness.

A few annoying things, and quite a few great ones to add to my other points:

I don't fully agree there are big plot holes. Listening to the Radio's are very interesting. Fontaine aka Atlas (sadly, I saw a note on this before I got to that section, it wasn't something I didn't fully see coming however once I got nearer to Ryan, was a bit obvious something was up...) really put on the act, and although it is not explained fully why he was there in person at the sub, it gives your character more motivation to go down to the sub. I thought "Would you kindly..." was excellent, and I was always wary of Atlas - the objectives seemed pretty pointless for me to do compared to asking questions and doing what I liked, but that made it have *some* kind of sense at least.

I am surprised Ryan didn't figure out Atlas was Fontaine and took his fate so badly. He basically lost his city and protection his inner chamber gave him, so he shut down the security, and committed suicide (Quite possibly turning off the chambers first, obviously). Quite touching, he was a great character and personality. A man who had a way with words wouldn't be a good character to have a "boss fight" with. I am glad he was the main "adversary" for most of the game. He built his city, and it fell apart due to Fontaine and the creation of ADAM.

The gameplay got highly repetitive, although playing on hard was quite fun, since almost every enemy (even after research, which was a nice touch) was a challenge. I kept getting too much stuff, so I obviously was exploring enough at least. :)

Well paced game, although not exactly exciting objectives most of the time, at least it was something to do - the Mall and the "Masterpiece" work was quite fun, if very creepy...

The ending though, was entirely a letdown, the last boss was pretty boring (I am surprised it didn't have things to hack, hordes of splicers and security, or anything. Also it'd have been cooler if being a Big Daddy allowed you to equip the drill... :) ) I don't care that it could be expansion or sequel material, but both the good, evil and mostly evil endings were very short, and didn't show what happened to Rapture itself, Tenenbaum, the other (thousands of?) Splicers, or Ryan and Fontaine's bodies. If anyone is interested, the main difference between the "nearly evil" and "evil" endings are that in one it is implied you kill all the little sisters ("evil" ending) and the other it is just implied you take the city. At least the good ending made some sense and was pretty touching, if very short and missing the above things.

I also hoped for a few more moralistic choices other then the little sisters. It's obvious that most of the splicers are unsaveable, but there would be at least some that were not totally mad, right? Law of averages?

I enjoyed the game pretty thoroughly. I didn't enjoy the hype. It's a good game, but the story is still about as thin as it comes in most FPS games.

However, that's not why I'm posting...

Has anyone seen the 3rd ending? I've seen the good one, with the Little Sisters getting to grow up, and that was amazing. By comparison the bad ending is horrible. Cliche, the sort of thing I'd expect a TV hack to write. Everyone talks about a 3rd ending though, and I haven't found/seen it yet. Any ideas?

I am sure you can get the 3 endings, although I'm not going to reply the game to see. The good ending you get by rescuing all the little sisters. The bad ending you get for killing them for their ADAM. I *think* you'd get the 3rd ending by saving some and killing some.

Good ending: SavedGatherers.bik - you save the little sisters, get a family.
Bad ending: KilledGatherers.bik - you take all the ADAM implied by killing all the little sisters too, rule rapture, and then go to the surface and get a nice nuclear bomb too.
Mostly bad ending: HarvestedGatherers.bik - Same as KilledGathers.bik but more spread out dialogue, which implies you didn't kill the little sisters, I guess.

Maybe you can't get the "third" ending though, I'm not going to try - its not really 3 endings, the 2 bad ones are basically word for word the same, but Tenenbaum slightly changes the pacing and her voice a bit.

If you have the PC version you can view all the videos and therefore the 3 endings. The bad ending was pretty poor, and I didn't feel like replaying the game for some slightly different in-game dialogue and watching a few minutes of different video. I recommend watching the attract.bik file though (or leave the main menu for a few seconds), which is a quite good video.

The endings are (unsurprisingly) up on YouTube for anyone who wants an easy way to see them.

Yes, but aren't those just the good and evil endings? If Andrew is correct and the dialogue is just slightly different than the evil ending, then the not-so-evil ending sounds like not a real ending anyway.

darshannon:

2. Why didn't Ryan get ressurected after Jack killed him? The Vita-Chambers were tuned to restore his body after all.

The vita chamber in his office is turned off/broken, alluding to the fact he wasn't ressurected when he died.

I don't believe that the vita chambers were actual resurrection devices in the reality of the setting, but merely advanced medical devices. Otherwise there would be no lasting death at all, and things would've gotten crazier.

Well, they worked as "resurrection" chambers (or in the words of a diary, some gobblde gook about quantum and states and matter teleportation, so advanced is one word for it, impossible is another), but only for Ryan and his son (the player!).

Like I mentioned, I am sure he'd have turned it off/disabled it for himself, but disabling any nearby working ones if he couldn't turn them off would have been just as effective. I wonder what happens if you die from the security later released in the room (I didn't bother to try).

I found the device utterly sickening for gameplay and if I died, I reloaded a save even if it was far back, on that point I think some people agree, since it removed any challenge from the game - almost going the route of the "flawless" MMO which doesn't even penalise a player.

I don't recall any dairies saying that. I remember one about Ryan's crew locking down the bathyspheres so that only Ryan and his family could use them, not vita chambers though.

You must have missed the diary then, it was from Suchong, and the Vita Chambers never got past the testing stages due to the civil war.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/924919/49868

99 Suchong - The Vita Chamber

Initial Deployment, Vita Chamber/Client Ryan Industries Stage one is
complete. Sinclair and Alexander tried to explain the science to me, but
Suchong does not believe them. They keep saying plasmid reconstruction
this and quantum entanglement that, and then poof, dead people come back
to life. Bullshit! Of course, Ryan will only allow it to be tunes to his
genetic frequencies for the testing...

No, I heard all of the diaries, I just didn't remember that one. That's one of the few things I was intentional about, gathering all of those dairies.

And that certainly seems to be...disappointing. The whole vita chamber idea, it just seems so out of place in the game. And as everyone seems to have mentioned in the media, it isn't really necessary and reduces the difficulty of the game to beyond simple.

I have a personal gripe about Suchong though. His accent. It's so absurd as to almost be insulting.

You're insulting probably the only non-Caucasian diary speaker, heh. He was a bit hard to understand at times I'd admit though.

And Vita Chamber I think are there for the console market. I already said I used quicksaves myself rather then suffer the indignity of them, but console versions never have a quicksave.

Andrew Armstrong:
You're insulting probably the only non-Caucasian diary speaker, heh. He was a bit hard to understand at times I'd admit though.

And Vita Chamber I think are there for the console market. I already said I used quicksaves myself rather then suffer the indignity of them, but console versions never have a quicksave.

There's been alot of talk about the chambers. I just finished a short session I was fighting an Elite Big Daddy in Fort Frolic I died because I didn't feel like healing with the vita chamber right next to the fight and the Big Daddy would die with one more shot. So, I die respawn open the vita chamber BAM finish off the big daddy within 3 seconds of dying instead of you know having to survive the whole fight. So the challenge of Big Daddies is non existent.

**BIG SPOILER**->Ending

Well i wonder what the other endings are so ill write the good one down and hope soome1can tell me the bad one

Well after you turn into a big daddy,face fontaine and the little sisters kill fontaine you see how you and the little sisters go back to the surface
The little sisters live normal lives and they study, marry etc and still treat you as a family member till your very end :>

Edit: Just watched all 3 endings on youtube
Well i like the good ending the most :>

LxDarko:
There's been alot of talk about the chambers. I just finished a short session I was fighting an Elite Big Daddy in Fort Frolic I died because I didn't feel like healing with the vita chamber right next to the fight and the Big Daddy would die with one more shot. So, I die respawn open the vita chamber BAM finish off the big daddy within 3 seconds of dying instead of you know having to survive the whole fight. So the challenge of Big Daddies is non existent.

The challenge of the whole game diminishes. I resorted to saving, rather than using the chambers, because it just felt weird and wrong to me.

Saw an interview somewhere with some members of the Bioshock team who said that the Vita-Chambers were created to give something of the feeling of immediate respawn in online FPS games. I see the rationale, but it still doesn't sit well.

As a game it is seriously flawed, but engaging nonetheless. As an interactive-cinematic experience, though, whoah. Worth every penny.

Just finished this bad boy ; took me a while to get my hands on it. The vita-chamber was handwavey explained by an out-of-the-way-diary ...

It was a very different "respawn" paradigm from other FPSes ... console games usually resort to the 'checkpoint.' Given the cinematic and plot-oriented nature of the game I think the vitachambers were crucial -- especially for console gamers. While it decreased the difficulty of the game, it *increased* the immersion and enhanced the simulation, which it is apparent were two incredibly important elements of the game for the designers.

And, more than anything, it's an optional mechanism, like the guide arrow or on-screen hints. PC gamers can "quicksave/quickrestore" to play to the old "don't die" paradigm, I imagine; consolers could do the same but with a little more intrusion. The vita-chamber spawn mechanism allowed you to challenge yourself as much as you want to, without having game events replay distractingly after respawn.

I'm going to come back to this game in a few months and replay it "good," and I'll probably enforce the "no-dying" rule on myself to make it challenging, now that I've experienced it as cinema.

It's apparent that every design and playability decision the 2K team faced was made in the interest of creating the game as literature. I'm coming back to gaming after a 5-ish year hiatus and it's great to see things go in that direction ... people using the new technology to enhance the immersion and *engage the player,* not just draw pretty pictures. Playing this game was like reading a great book; I imagine that's by design

The problem I had with the Little Sisters was that you're asked to make your first decision about harvesting or rescuing before you're emotionally invested in them either way. Atlas has told you that they're monsters, Tennenbaum has asked for your kindness, but it's so early on in the game that the moral dilemma is virtually non-existent. I understand that they want to give you access to ADAM as soon as possible, so that you can start adding more plasmids, but if they could have somehow waited until, for example, we'd heard the diaries about Masha, I think the decision would've been made more difficult.

Ultimately, as other folks have noticed, the decision is moot. The ADAM you get eventually evens out, and even in the escort mission where you have to protect an ADAM-less Little Sister, if you let them die, another one pops out of a vent, ready to help. There just isn't enough consequence for your "evil" actions...or your good ones, for that matter.

As for Ryan willingly giving up the ghost...he'd seen his dream turned to ruin right before his eyes. He even tried to destroy it all a few times himself (destroying the trees, setting the self destruct) just to keep you from wresting any more control from him. If he couldn't save his own son...well, really, with Rapture in ruins, why bother going on?

The death of Ryan is pretty easy to explain. It was his ideal that every person should live free and reap all the rewards of his work. The fact that you are under the mind control of another flies in the face of that and he wanted to prove that you are stonger then that and still free. If he were to tell you to kill him, but there was a vita chamber to resurect him there is no compelling reason to fight the control. But when it will mean the death of a helpless person he hoped you would have the will to break free. And if he wrong... well everything else in his life had fallen apart and there was nothing left o live for.

As for Fontain/Atlas and the sub. I don't think he was even in any real danger. He was trying to compel you to do his bidding without having to out himself as Fontain. Ryan believed Fontain was dead. And if you have reason to believe you are doing all of this of your own free will, there is no reason for you to seek to break the mind control. So the elaborate ruse of Atlas was a great benefit to him. All you see if him, then an explosion, then a bunch of splicers. Don't forget that Fontain has his own splicer army... what is to say they were Ryan's splicers you saw? I think is was all just a way to get you to think the only way out of Rapture was to kill Ryan. Then once Ryan exposes the control, well no reason to keep up the ruse anymore.

I only got the "good" ending, and I thought it was ridiculous.

If it were anything close to resembling a realistic outcome (as realistic as a giant underwater city with genetically modified psychopaths can be, I guess) the Little Sisters would've ended up as whores, junkies, or criminally insane.

So they spent a large portion of their childhoods mutilating dead bodies while in the protection of hulking mutant divers (that smelled like reeking ass) and after they're freed they become perfectly well-adjusted members of aboveground society? That's fucking ridiculous. Get the fuck out of here.

The ending would've been much better if after being freed they showed a montage of the now-adult Little Sisters strung out and wandering the streets, hooking... doing shit like picking at the stomachs of dead bums in dark alleyways because of the murderous compulsion permanently burned into their minds; and when you die you'd be shown dieing in the hospital alone, that's the reward you get for giving them "choice" (after all the game was so fucking heavy on the "A man chooses, and slave obeys" theme.)

Better ending.

I'm with xBeaker on this, it seems like the splicers for the most part are under Fontaine's compulsion. And with how powerful he is at the ending, I don't think that he is in any danger. I think it's here that I admit, I played it on Easy and never died. Truth be told I had a harder time hitting things than surviving, I just am incapable of aiming.

I'm pre-coffee and less cohesive and thoughtful at the moment so all I can say about strung out Little Sisters is, "Buh?" The main character never explicitly buys into any of the propaganda in the game other than well, "You have free will." So, I'm guessing that he isn't above a little parenting.

It seems to me that Ryan actively chose death, not to try and free you from the mind control, but to show he could decide to die on his own terms, rather than being forced to obey when you eventually caught up to him.

Ok, I just replayed the sub level part, and Fontaine/Atlas was never in any danger. It's all classic misdirection, it's staged theater for your benefit. What do we actually see? Fontaine running toward the sub. Then there's lots of shouting, some spider splicers show up, and then mist and debris cover the window. We never actually see Fontaine after that, we only hear him. At this point, of course, we have no reason to disbelieve him, so we think that he's trying to get to Moira and Patrick, but he could've legged it out of there as soon as the splicers showed up. It's all geared toward earning your sympathy and getting you on his side.

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