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    Plot Analysis by UnSub

    Version: 0.7 | Updated: 09/25/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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      |      BioShock       |
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      |    Plot Analysis    |
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    By: UnSub [evilasahobby {at} graffiti {dot} net]
    Version: 0.70
    Date: 16 September 2007
    1.0 Introduction
     .1 Email Policy
     .2 Reproduction of this Guide
     .3 Difficulty Level
     .4 The Author's Excuse
    2.0 General Narrative Overview
     .1 What Happens in BioShock?
     .2 What's the Twist?
     .3 The Morality of Choice
    3.0 General Themes in BioShock
     .1 What is Objectivism?
     .2 Who is Ayn Rand?
     .3 What are the Essentials of Objectivism?
     .4 The Author's View on Objectivism
     .5 Does BioShock Show a Distopian Objectivist Society?
     .6 Religion in BioShock
     .7 A Gender Reading of BioShock
     .8 A Race Reading of BioShock
     .9 The Masks
     .10 Suggested World Timeline for Rapture
    4.0 The Cast of BioShock
     .1 The Narrator
     .2 Andrew Ryan
     .3 Frank Fontaine
     .4 Atlas
     .5 Diane McClintock
     .6 Bridgette Tenenbaum
     .7 Dr JS Steinman
     .8 Sander Cohen
     .10 Sullivan
     .11 Marista Luska
     .12 Bill McDonagh
     .13 Dr Yi Suchong
     .14 Peach Wilkins
    5.0 Significance of Locations in BioShock
     .1 The Lighthouse / Welcome to Rapture
     .2 The Medical Pavillion
     .3 Neptune's Bounty
     .4 Smuggler's Hideout
     .5 Arcadia
     .6 Farmer's Market
     .7 Fort Frolic
     .8 Hephaestus
     .9 Olympus Heights
     .10 Point Prometheus
     .11 The Proving Grounds
     .12 The Endings
    6.0 Significance of Genetic Manipulation
     .1 "Smarter than Einstein and Stronger than Hercules!"
     .2 ADAM and EVE
     .3 Plasmids and Tonics
    7.0 Significance of Enemy Types
     .1 Splicers
     .2 Automated Security Systems
     .3 Big Daddies And Little Sisters
    9.0 Final Notes
     .1 Thanks and Contributors
     .2 Version History
    So, finally, BioShock is out. Having read a lot about this game and been
    blown away by the demo videos, this is a game I've anticipated the most in a
    long time.
    I wasn't disappointed. BioShock does have its flaws, but it has strengths that
    trump those flaws ten fold. One key strength is the in-game narrative (aka
    plot, but I prefer the term 'narrative') which sees BioShock offer a much
    deeper experience than many other FPSs (and, let's face it, RPGs as well).
    Although there is still the issue of 'go here, get the item, return'-type
    quests, the diary tapes you find while doing so give a lot more insight
    into life at Rapture and the people who shaped it, often making them more
    than just 'Quest Giver 412'.
    So, here we go - my stab at examining the narrative of BioShock and the
    significance of its various characters / locations / features.
    If I've made a mistake in this guide or you need some help, you can email me.
    HOWEVER... please include "BioShock" in the email subject line
    and or you run the risk of me mistaking if for spam. I can't always promise
    that I will be able to help you, since once I finish a guide for a game I
    usually put it away and forget about it. Asking me the exact steps to
    finishing a level I last played 5 months ago isn't going to be successful.
    Also, please don't email me about something that is already stated in the
    guide (I HATE THAT!) unless I've been unclear or am incorrect. Finally,
    if you need help, please be clear about what you help you need in the
    email - the more detail I have, the better the chance I can do something
    for you.
    You have my permission to reproduce this guide so long as 1) it is unaltered
    and 2) the reproduction will be free to those who want it. So no slapping
    your name on this and then charging people to read it, okay?
    If you want to alter this guide for reproduction, please email me.
    This guide was mainly written from playing on Medium AND when I rescued all
    the Little Sisters I found. I may add comments in after I replay BioShock
    through after harvesting the Little Sisters.
    I'd like to point out here I am no expert on Objectivism or anything else I'm
    going to include in this guide. I've read both "Atlas Shrugged" and "The
    Fountainhead", along with several articles on Ayn Rand and Objectivism, but
    I'm no expert or philosophy guru. This is purely a layman's interpretation of
    what I've seen in the game.
    That's my excuse if I get something wrong. :-)
    Also (and I'll capitalise this for emphasis): THIS GUIDE IS CHOCK FULL OF
    This section covers the overall narrative of BioShock without going into too
    much depth. If you want to know what happens in the game without having to
    churn through stuff about Objectivism, here's your section.
    You (the Narrator) survive a plane crash that puts you in the water, with
    a lighthouse being the only nearby place to swim to. Entering the lighthouse
    you find a grand statue of Andrew Ryan along with the banner, "No Gods or
    Kings. Only Man." and a bathysphere that takes you down to Rapture. Rapture
    is an underwater city that Ryan has had built to house inventors and thinkers
    free of the morality of the rest of the world.
    Ryan had Rapture built in 1946, while the Narrator enters this city in 1960
    and witnesses the many ways in which this society has broken down. Key to
    this breakdown is the conflict between Frank Fontaine, head of an organised
    crime ring, and Ryan. Fontaine, thanks to his sponsorship of Bridgette
    Tenenbaum's research into ADAM, has control of a substance that greatly
    enhances the human body's ability to use the Ryan Industries' created
    Plasmids - controlled genetic enhancement that can, say, give someone
    telekinesis, or make them faster and stronger - which is powered by a
    substance called EVE.
    Fontaine and Ryan have battled for control of Rapture while its inhabitants
    have become addicted to ADAM and EVE. Rapture's inhabitants - now called
    Splicers, since they've modified themselves up so much - are open to being
    controlled by Ryan's manipulation of pheremones in the air supply;
    Fontaine's people - the smugglers, the fishery workers - have been running
    a pretty good guerilla campaign, assisted by people's general
    dissatisfaction with Ryan (who treats Rapture as his own personal world)
    and by providing cheaper black market goods. Another figure in this
    'resistance' against Ryan is Atlas, who is the first person the Narrator
    has any real interaction with in Rapture - Atlas contacts you via
    a radio.
    ADAM is generated by Little Sisters - little girls impregnated with a
    sea slug and genetically modified / programmed to convert EVE into ADAM.
    They are protected by Big Daddies - figures in large diving suits who
    are among the toughest enemies in the game. The Narrator is given the
    option of either harvesting the Little Sisters (which kills them but
    delivers a larger immediate benefit) or saving them (which means it will
    take longer for you to upgrade the Narrator). One big problem with ADAM is
    that it requires greater and greater use to keep the physical and mental
    deformaties it causes at bay - this isn't a problem for the Narrator, but
    it certainly is a big factor behind the collapse of Rapture.
    After experiencing the result of various 'geniuses' who have 'taken
    advantage' of Rapture's relaxed views on morality (Dr Steinman, Sander
    Cohen et al), you encounter Ryan, who reveals (*deep breath*) that you are
    his illegitimate son (or at least his genetic material) who Atlas programmed
    as an assassin before sending to the surface at the age of two and it
    was you who caused the plane to crash near an entrance to Rapture and
    Atlas has been using you as a meat puppet ever since and Ryan gives you his
    golf club and asks "would you kindly" kill him. Which you do.
    Following Ryan's death, you find out that Altas is really Fontaine and he is
    able to use your programming against you. Once free of this, you end up
    going after Fontaine, who injects himself with a massive amount of ADAM
    and undergoes massive transformation when you face him. He comes at you in
    three forms - a fire form, an ice form and an electrical form. It's up to
    you to defeat him.
    BioShock has two endings available - if you've saved the Little Sisters,
    the Narrator returns to the surface and grows old surrounded by the
    girls he's saved; if you've harvested the Little Sisters, the Narrator
    takes control of Rapture and uses Splicers to potentially start a
    war with the surface by taking control of a submarine armed with long-
    range ballistic missiles.
    Two key twists are:
    1) That the Narrator is Ryan's illegitimate son (or at least the genetic
    material from Ryan's son) who Atlas psychologically programmed to crash a
    plane near the entrance to Rapture and return to kill Ryan. You are
    psychologically programmed to obey the phrase "would you kindly".
    2) Atlas is really Fontaine, who is using the Narrator to get rid of Ryan.
    Despite the irony of the Narrator apparently being everyone's murderous
    errand boy and having no choice over that, BioShock does have choice at
    the heart of a key system: do you save the Little Sisters, which gains you
    less of an important resource (ADAM) but has longer term benefits, or do
    you harvest them, which kills the Little Sister but gives you a bigger
    immediate benefit?
    This is a choice that is purely in the hands of the player. It does impact
    on the ending you see, but it also has implications for how the game
    plays and how some characters react to you.
    BioShock contains a number of overall themes that appear within the narrative.
    This section goes into some of the background surrounding these themes,
    including the most important one - Objectivism. However, it is hard to talk
    about Objectivism without going into some background about this ideology, so
    I'm going to cover it first. If you don't want to read it / already know it,
    commentary about BioShock will pick up in section 3.5 (Does BioShock Show a
    Distopian Objectivism Society?).
    I'm going to take this straight from Wikipedia, since it's going to do a
    better job than I could.
    "Objectivism is a philosophy developed by Ayn Rand that encompasses
    positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics.
    Objectivism holds that there is a mind-independent reality; that individuals
    are in contact with this reality through sensory perception; that humans
    gain objective knowledge from perception by measurement and form valid
    concepts by measurement omission; that the proper moral purpose of one's
    life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or "rational self-interest;"
    that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect
    for individual human rights, embodied in pure, consensual laissez-faire
    capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform abstract
    knowledge, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form - a
    work of art - that one can comprehend and respond to with the whole of
    one's consciousness."
    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29, accessed
    29 August 2007.
    That's the long winded version. In general however, when people think
    about Objectivism, they are thinking of two key things: 1) it's focus
    on 'rational self-interest', and 2) it's basis in 'laissez-faire
    3.2 WHO IS AYN RAND?
    In short, Ayn Rand was the creator of the Objectivist philosophy and
    her name is relatively closely referenced in BioShock's chief antagonist,
    Andrew Ryan.
    A short summary of her life and works:
    "Ayn Rand, (February 2 1905 – March 6, 1982), born Alisa Zinov'yevna
    Rosenbaum was a Russian-born American novelist and philosopher, best
    known for creating a philosophy she named "Objectivism" and for
    writing the novels "We the Living", "The Fountainhead", "Atlas
    Shrugged" and the novella "Anthem". Her ideas have attracted both
    enthusiastic admiration and scathing denunciation."
    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand, accessed 29 August 2007.
    If you want to read more, there are whole reams of information about
    Ayn Rand out there. Google is your friend.
    Yeah, a bit more on Objectivism. However, I really think this next
    bit is going to provide more than enough information to cover the
    discussion of the role of this ideology in BioShock. This is the last
    block of material about Objectivism for a while, I swear, but I think
    this is an easier read than the Wiki stuff:
    "Ayn Rand named her philosophy "Objectivism" and described it as a
    philosophy for living on earth. Objectivism is an integrated system of
    thought that defines the abstract principles by which a man must
    think and act if he is to live the life proper to man. Ayn Rand
    first portrayed her philosophy in the form of the heroes of her
    best-selling novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged
    (1957). She later expressed her philosophy in nonfiction form.
    Ayn Rand was once asked if she could present the essence of
    Objectivism while standing on one foot. Her answer was:
    Metaphysics: Objective Reality
    Epistemology: Reason
    Ethics: Self-interest
    Politics: Capitalism
    She then translated those terms into familiar language:
    "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
    "You can't eat your cake and have it, too."
    "Man is an end in himself."
    "Give me liberty or give me death."
    The basic principles of Objectivism can be summarized as follows:
    "Reality, the external world, exists independent of man's
    consciousness, independent of any observer's knowledge, beliefs,
    feelings, desires or fears. This means that A is A, that facts are
    facts, that things are what they are—and that the task of man's
    consciousness is to perceive reality, not to create or invent it."
    Thus Objectivism rejects any belief in the supernatural—and any
    claim that individuals or groups create their own reality.
    "Man's reason is fully competent to know the facts of reality. Reason,
    the conceptual faculty, is the faculty that identifies and integrates the
    material provided by man's senses. Reason is man's only means of acquiring
    knowledge." Thus Objectivism rejects mysticism (any acceptance of faith or
    feeling as a means of knowledge), and it rejects skepticism (the claim that
    certainty or knowledge is impossible).
    Human Nature
    Man is a rational being. Reason, as man's only means of knowledge, is his
    basic means of survival. But the exercise of reason depends on each
    individual's choice. "Man is a being of volitional consciousness." "That
    which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you
    call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you
    have, your only freedom. This is the choice that controls all the choices
    you make and determines your life and character."Thus Objectivism rejects
    any form of determinism, the belief that man is a victim of forces beyond
    his control (such as God, fate, upbringing, genes, or economic conditions).
    "Reason is man's only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to
    action. The proper standard of ethics is: man's survival qua man—i.e., that
    which is required by man's nature for his survival as a rational being (not
    his momentary physical survival as a mindless brute). Rationality is man's
    basic virtue, and his three fundamental values are: reason, purpose,
    self-esteem. Man—every man—is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of
    others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others
    nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-
    interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral
    purpose of his life." Thus Objectivism rejects any form of altruism—the
    claim that morality consists in living for others or for society.
    "The basic social principle of the Objectivist ethics is that no man has
    the right to seek values from others by means of physical force—i.e., no
    man or group has the right to initiate the use of physical force against
    others. Men have the right to use force only in self-defense and only
    against those who initiate its use. Men must deal with one another as
    traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit.
    The only social system that bars physical force from human relationships is
    laissez-faire capitalism. Capitalism is a system based on the recognition of
    individual rights, including property rights, in which the only function of
    the government is to protect individual rights, i.e., to protect men from
    those who initiate the use of physical force." Thus Objectivism rejects any
    form of collectivism, such as fascism or socialism. It also rejects the
    current "mixed economy" notion that the government should regulate the
    economy and redistribute wealth.
    "Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's
    metaphysical value-judgments." The purpose of art is to concretize the
    artist's fundamental view of existence. Ayn Rand described her own approach
    to art as "Romantic Realism": "I am a Romantic in the sense that I present
    men as they ought to be. I am Realistic in the sense that I place them here
    and now and on this earth." The goal of Ayn Rand's novels is not didactic
    but artistic: the projection of an ideal man: "My purpose, first cause and
    prime mover is the portrayal of Howard Roark or John Galt or Hank Rearden
    or Francisco d'Anconia as an end in himself—not as a means to any further
    From: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_essentials,
    accessed 27 August 2007.
    Following the above sections, there is a chance some elementss of the
    readership (those not thinking "So what?" anyway) might think this is
    some sort of pro-Objectivist piece, designed from the start to sucker
    people into joining the Ayn Rand Institute.
    So, here's my view on Objectivism: it's not a practical ideology. Being
    focused on rational self-interest is a nice idea, but it ignores the fact
    that not everyone can only care about themselves and expect things to get
    done. Yes, there is the idea of trading for mutual benefit and the like,
    but this doesn't allow for services such as the police, fire brigade or
    healthcare, where arguably it is infeasible for people to pay for the
    rights to have access to these services. Privatised fire brigades have
    been done before and no one is happy when a fire truck drives right by a
    burning house that hasn't payed for its protection.
    My other big complaint with Objectivism is that it has no long-term view -
    it cares only for what can be created today. There is some assumption that
    whatever is created today by brilliant inventors who work only for
    themselves will somehow benefit everyone and that we shouldn't care about
    what happens in twelve months time. This kind of thinking leads to the
    development of products / materials that may have long-term negative
    consequences for use on personal health or environmental resources.
    In short, I can see the superficial attraction of Objectivism, but can see
    the large downsides of a world full of individualists doing what they think
    is best as they see fit. In short, Objectivism falls over because it does
    not play nice with others - what happens when my rational self-interest
    impedes on your rational self-interest? In works such as "Atlas Shrugged",
    great men and women recognise the work of other great men and women as
    though it is automatically obvious to see. They see these people as
    kindred spirits. This doesn't translate to the real world. Many great
    thinkers and inventors have banged heads and attempted to destroy each
    other, both professionally and personally (Edison against Tesla springs
    to mind here).
    There needs to be a balance between Collective and Individual rights in
    my opinion - Objectivism is too focused on the rights of the individual
    to be an applicable philosophy through which to view the world.
    Also, before we get into the Christian bits - I'm an athiest.
    Got all that? Great - let's talk about BioShock.
    Simple answer: yes. The developers say it does... or at least shows a
    distopia that arises from a collapsing society built on Objectivist ideals.
    Long answer: No, I don't think so. BioShock shows a collapsing society, but
    it is arguably collapsing because it wasn't Objectivist enough.
    Before you write your angry emails - I'm not saying that Rapture wouldn't
    be in the state it's in if Objectivism had been strictly adhered to.
    It very well could have collapsed (and, in my belief, probably would have).
    However, there is plenty of evidence within BioShock that this society hasn't
    adhered to Objectivism as it has been described, so placing all the blame at
    Objectivism's feet for what goes on across the course of the game is misguided.
    Andrew Ryan starts off as the Randian hero in many ways - visionary,
    resourceful, inventive, indifferent to what others think of his actions and
    completely inflexible in what he does. However, he is very quick to see force
    used (in the forms of torture and capital punishment) for those he sees as
    "criminals" and "parasites", which is in violation of Objectivism's rejection
    of such force. Were he more Objectivist, he should have simply expelled these
    people from Rapture and returned them to the surface. He doesn't do so because
    he's paranoid about the CIA / KGB discovering his little world and is
    obviously afraid that someone is going to come down and ruin his God complex.
    Additionally, Ryan certainly removes the people of Rapture's ability to act
    in rational, self-interested ways by controlling them through the use of
    pheremones in the air supply.
    As such, Ryan is arguably a control freak in Objectivist clothing - he may
    believe and be able to talk about his Objectivist ideals (e.g. the power
    of the market, the propganda posters located around Rapture, The Great Chain),
    but when it comes to actually putting them into practice and dealing with some
    competition, be clamps down via force. Rapture is his world and he doesn't
    share. Perhaps the banner in the Lighthouse would better read, "No Gods. No
    Kings. Only Me." as it pertains to Ryan's attitude towards Rapture.
    Rapture also contains a number of non-Objectivist systems - there is a police
    force, poor house and orphanage. A purely Objectivist society shouldn't need a
    police force - it wouldn't be necessary if the people living in Rapture were
    living up to the ideals stated in Section 3.3. Facilities such as a poor house
    and orphanage are also arguably too altrustic for an Objectivist society -
    surely such things at least border on being parasitic on the greater society?
    It turns out that these things (run by Fontaine, a criminal) are actually
    fronts for other things (i.e. the creation of Big Daddies and Little Sisters)
    but arguably they should not exist at all within an Objectivist society. At
    best, Rapture appears to have been a mixed system anyway (i.e. only partly
    Objectivist), which is something Rand would have rejected as being workable
    (or worthwhile).
    Another big sign that Rapture isn't a house where Objectivism lives is the
    fact that ghosts can be seen at certain points by the Narrator. Objectivism,
    with its "A is A", things-can-be-measured rejection of the supernatural, has
    no place for ghosts, so that they appear in Rapture at all tends to suggest
    that Objectivism is absent. Sure, there is mention of the ghosts being
    part of 'genetic memory', but even the source of that information is a bit
    incredulous that such a thing could happen.
    *UPDATE: Stephen Deininger indicated that the genetic memory issue stands up
    due to the audio diary information, which is (from ShadowsDieAway's excellent
    Audio Diary Guide):
    42  McDonagh - Seeing Ghosts
    	Seems like some poor blighters have started seeing ghosts. Ghosts! Ryan
    	tells me it's a side effect of this plasmid business. One poor sod's
    	memories getting passed on to another through genetic sampling. Leaks.
    	Lunatics. Rebellion. And now bleeding ghosts. Ain't life in Rapture
    I still don't see it being quite as simple as that, because the ghosts you
    see are mostly directly linked to the narrative. Why doesn't the Narrator
    experience the people of Rapture doing day-to-day things, like dancing or
    talking or in better times? The ghosts provide information that is directly
    useful to the in-game narrative. I can't accept ghosts as being purely genetic
    memory because the ghosts you see are too specific. Case in point: Ryan's
    murder of Jasmine Jolene. Having looked at Ryan, he doesn't look spliced up.
    In fact, it appears that Ryan knows that ghosts are a potential consequence
    of splicing, so why would he splice himself and allow his memories to be
    potentially accessed by the populace? Especially the brutal murder of his
    mistress? I recognise that the ghost serve as a narrative conceit, allowing
    us to witness scenes that the Narrator wasn't there for, but I can't
    accept "genetic memory" because it strikes me as too lazy an answer.
    My final comment about the lack of Objectivist thinking in Rapture is the
    appearance of two different religions. Christian icons and symbols appear in
    some locations of Rapture, while the idle rich citizens of this city appear
    to have taken up in a more debaucherous, probably blood-thirsty cult and
    become Houdini Splicers as a result (see Section 3.6 for a greater
    discussion of this). An Objectivist society wouldn't have God (or gods)
    as part of its social fabric.
    Does BioShock have Objectivist elements? Absolutely. But I think it is hard
    to argue in any detail that Objectivism is what went wrong (or was the cause
    of what went wrong) in Rapture. The slow collapse of Rapture is due to a
    mixture of human pride, fear and greed - the same combination of emotions that
    have been the downfall of many societies. That these factors have combined
    in a world that lives under the facade of being Objectivist does not mean
    that it is the philosophy that is directly to blame for the collapse.
    *UPDATE - I've renamed this section from "Christian Symbols in BioShock" to
    its current title since I'm going to also cover a bit more of the pre-
    Christian references that can be seen in BioShock here.
    Sitting along side all that Objectivism is quite a bit of Christian
    iconography and symbolism. Although he probably named it with a sense of
    irony, the mere fact that Ryan called his underwater city "Rapture" - a
    Christian event where the righteous are summoned up to Heaven, leaving the
    sinners behind for judgement - shows a link back to Christianity. However,
    like Objectivism, Christianity hardly gets a positive showing in BioShock.
    The first time the Narrator sees a Christian influence in BioShock is at the
    entrance to Neptune's Bounty - a corpse remains of someone who has been
    hanged, arms tied out reminiscent of being crucified, the word "Smuggler"
    painted above their head and a Bible in the briefcase at their feet. An
    Objectivist society would reject religion, but they wouldn't go stringing
    people up like this.
    (*UPDATE: AlphaHumana commented that the bodies in Dr Steinman's operating
    room are also shown as being crucified, which you see before you reach
    Neptune's Bounty. I can see this point, but I found the placement of a
    Bible at the feet of a figure who has been crucified to be have a much
    stronger Christian symbolism than they do when the crucified bodies
    around Dr Steinman.)
    As the Narrator progresses, they will come across other Christian icons -
    stacks of Bibles can be found, along with crucifixes, in many areas of
    Neptune's Bounty. Certain splicers will sing "Jesus Loves Me" in halting
    tones. Given that Neptune's Bounty is the fishery area of Rapture - arguably
    one of the most working class locales the player will experience - is also
    the most religious is interesting. The character that ties this together is
    Fontaine - he runs the docks AND the smuggling. I don't think it is a long
    bow to draw to say that Fontaine is using the religious supplies somehow
    within his smuggling operation - likely to hide more illicit contraband.
    Fontaine is an Irish gangster from the 1940's (I'm assuming he came down
    shortly after Ryan opened Rapture), so it is likely he would be an Irish
    Catholic gangster at that. He'd know from previous experience that relgion
    isn't a bad shield to hide behind since it tends to set people at ease (or,
    perhaps in Rapture, dismissive without examining things more closely).
    *UPDATE: Michael Buchheim asked the question (my wording) "if Rapture is
    so Objectivist, wouldn't Ryan ban Bibles / crucifixes and thus mean that
    Fontaine is actually smuggling such things in instead of using them as cover?"
    Possibly. However, I don't think that Ryan would (at least initially) outright
    ban Bibles or crucifixes. He wants people to think for themselves, so
    having a Bible that could be used for academic purposes probably wouldn't
    be illegal. Worshipping using such implements would probably be illegal though.
    Besides, what value is there in a Bible compared to (say) illegal drugs or
    other contraband? Fontaine would be going after the big score - masking
    such actions under the appearance of altruism is par for the course with him.
    It's been suggested that perhaps he was using Christianity as a way of
    undermining Ryan's Objectivist society, but given that Fontaine never mentions
    the role of Christianity (whereas he does mention the role of the poorhouses
    and the orphanage) I can't see that being a particularly important part of
    his platform to gain control of Rapture.*
    BioShock uses Christian symbols quite dismissively in other areas as well.
    The use of the terms "ADAM" and "EVE" is one such example, as are the
    Biblical references used as names for vending machines and merchant venues.
    That the Narrator encounters EVE before ADAM is a bit of a change to the
    legend, but BioShock certainly adheres to the mythos that ADAM and EVE are
    nearly inseparable. The fact that scientists are using ADAM and EVE to
    rewrite the human genetic code in (an underwater) paradise is heavy with
    symbolism - arguably the collapse of Rapture is partly a result of people
    being tempted once too often. (More on ADAM and EVE in Section 3.7 below.)
    Vendor names such as Gatherer's Garden (an Eden reference) and Eve's
    Garden XXX also indicate that Rapture society mocks Christian values
    and symbols.
    Another issue showing the lack of Christianity within Rapture is the
    appearance of the Saturnine, who appear to be an alcohol-fueled nature cult
    who may also engage in blood sacrifice - their makeshift altars would suggest
    is the case. This kind of bacchanalian group brings to mind a druidistic,
    pagan group who would follow a pre-Christian belief system; the kind of
    group that was seen in "The Wicker Man" (with Edward Woodward, not Nic Cage)
    certainly sprang to my mind on seeing the woven figures who spotaneously
    burst into flame when you get near them.
    *UPDATE: vonpoon was kind enough to send the following bit of information in -
    "Saturn was a very mainstream god in ancient Rome, and was considered
    to be the god of agriculture and the harvest.  In that sense, a group
    calling themselves the Saturnine would obviously be drawn to the
    closest thing Rapture has to farms.  I found the choice of name kind
    of odd, though, since the description of their rituals seem closer to
    depictions of the worship of Bacchus than Saturn, and even then I
    don't think blood sacrifice was common to the worship of any Roman
    However, one interesting thing to note about worship of Saturn in
    ancient Rome is that the principal festival, the Saturnalia, was
    celebrated in December.  It was customary to give and receive small
    gifts amongst family and friends during Saturnalia, i.e. it was pretty
    much Roman Christmas.  There is a (frequently disputed) theory that
    early Christians positioned Christmas to compete with the Romans'
    Saturnalia (or later, similar feasts such as Sol Invictus), or
    possibly vice versa.  So in a way, even the pagan group in Rapture may
    be a backhanded Christian reference."
    This is interesting in reference to BioShock, because it potentially sets
    a key festival that may have been important to the Saturnine at the end of
    December, which coincides with the collapse of Rapture's society. (I'm
    not saying that the Saturnines were any more responsible for what happened
    on New Year's Eve 1958 than the rest of the Splicers, but they certainly
    appear to be a powerful group, if small in number, and would certainly have
    helped foster disorder if they attacked other Rapture inhabitants).
    There is also plenty of pre-Christian references within BioShock which
    may suggest why the Saturnine may have had a foothold in this society. Names
    like Olympus Heights, Hephaestus and Arcadia are all powerful names that
    link Rapture to some sort of idealised world that is ruled by gods. Given
    that within Rapture throwing lightning bolts and being "stronger than
    Hercules" were all very real capabilities, I can certainly see how adopting
    a bastardised form of pre-Christian belief could become very attractive to
    certain groups of people.
    In short, Christian symbols appear throughout BioShock, but they've been
    co-opted - by Fontaine, who is likely using it to hide his smuggling
    operation, by merchants who are using the names irreverrantly, by
    scientists who are (and I hate this term) playing god with genetics. If
    you were of the right persuasion, you could probably argue that what
    happens in Rapture is a result in any society that lacks an organised
    morality structure such as Christianity... but I'm not that kind of person.
    On the plus side, Irrational Games appears to have steered away from putting
    into BioShock the most hoary of all religious cliches - the evil or
    fallen priest (at least, I didn't see one). Cheers to Irrational Games for
    *UPDATE - gKaiser wrote in to say that Suchong's use of the term "Lot" for
    naming his plasmid batches can potentially be tied in with the biblical
    story of Lot, who offered his daughters to a mob in order to protect two
    angels who were staying at his home in Sodom / Gommorah. I certainly can
    see an argument that sees Rapture as a city that has moved away from god and
    has daughters (the Little Sisters) involved in protecting "angels" (ADAM).
    *UPDATE - Several people have wrote in to say that I didn't mention the
    Lazarus Vector as part of the above discussion (DrIchthus and
    Diehanddieverletzt got there first). This is true - my oversight. Lazarus
    (the more famous version, anyway) was a man Jesus Christ resurrected from
    the dead after he had been buried. Within Rapture, the Lazarus Vector is
    a compound that would bring trees back to life in order to help produce
    more oxygen.
    To be completely honest, I hate gender readings, because they so often seem
    to boil down to who is the most unfairly treated. Face it: no-one in Rapture
    comes across really well, regardless of gender.
    A potential gender reading of BioShock could take issue that ADAM (the male)
    is much more uncommon and valuable than EVE (the female) and the Narrator
    goes through EVE in a disposable manner. Also, rather than female coming from
    the male (i.e. Eve from Adam's rib), BioShock reverses the gender role in
    having the male (ADAM) emerge from the female (Little Sisters), which is fatal
    to the female if you want the greatest immediate male benefit.
    However, there is another factor at play here - ADAM physically deforms you
    and eventually causes psychosis if you can't get enough of it. EVE appears to
    be harmless (I don't think there is any mention of EVE overdoes or it causing
    the same problems that ADAM does).
    In terms of enemies you face, Splicers are pretty gender neutral. You'll fight
    a mix of obviously male and female Splicers of all kinds. The only male-only
    Splicer I can remember seeing are Nitro Splicers... but they aren't
    particularly common in Rapture anyway.
    *UPDATE: Shay Willard wrote in to indicate that female Nitro Splicers exist,
    even if just in a rare circumstance in Olympus Heights. Chris Bolts indicated
    that they may also exist elsewhere in the game, but are rare.
    Within the game, all the sub-bosses are male. All the powerful figures are
    male. It is fairly obvious that Rapture is a masculine-orientated society
    patterned after gender relations circa 1946 (listen to some of the overhead
    announcements / advertisements, with a female voice listing "free men" as an
    advantage of being in Rapture, or a strong, self-assured male telling an
    unsure female that she should ease her worries by going shopping and then go
    to the football game). However, before anyone gets their feminist blood up -
    all of these males are powermad and / or insane. Ryan is a paranoid control
    freak. Dr Steinman is a surgery addicted butcher under the guise of creating
    physical art. Sander Cohen is an insane artist who sends you around to take
    pictures of the people you kill for him. And so on. Let's just say: the
    men of BioShock aren't the kind you'd want to emulate.
    Although there are fewer female characters in BioShock, they are definitely
    more sympathetic. Two key female characters within BioShock that the narrator
    interacts with are Tenenbaum and botonist Julie Langford. As a German
    scientific "wunderkind", Tenenbaum discovered ADAM and helped create the
    Little Sisters, but this (eventually) awoke a frightening maternal instinct
    in her and she realised what she did was wrong. She is the one who asks you
    to save the Little Sisters and who will reward you if you do. Tenenbaum
    is also key to saving the Narrator after the death of Ryan.
    Julie Langford, who the Narrator only sees for a short time before being
    killed by Ryan, is a botonist who developed defoliation weapons during
    World War II who is being paid by Ryan to create a forest that will create an
    oxygen supply for Rapture. She is not insane or power-crazed - she has
    simply locked herself in her laboratory to keep people / Splicers away from
    her research. On seeing that Ryan has attempted to poison her trees, she
    provides help to the Narrator (which immediately causes her death at the
    hands - well, gas vents - of Ryan). She provides the Lazarus Vector - a
    secret formula that the Narrator must collect ingredients for - that allows
    the reversal of Ryan's attempt to poison the forest.
    Other female characters who appear (via voice recording) include Marista
    and Diane McClintock. Marista is a mother who's daughter has been turned
    into a Little Sister, which is incredibly distressing for her (especially
    since her daughter no longer recognises her). It appears that this familial
    loss, together with the collapse of Rapture society has driven her and her
    husband to commit suicide together. You can find them embracing on a bed in
    Room 7 of the Fighting McDonaghs inn (in a scene I found sadly touching).
    Diane McClintock is the jilted girlfriend of Andrew Ryan who was injured in
    a Resistance-caused explosion and who went under Dr Steinman's knife. You
    can also see Diane's ghost a few times - she certainly led an unhappy
    existence, bouncing from one overly controlling man (Ryan) to an overly
    deceitful one (Atlas / Fontaine).
    In summary, a gender reading would see Rapture filled with insane masculine
    meglomaniacs and with female figures often held captive (literally or
    figuratively) by such a society. Male characters tend to stride rapidly
    forward, no matter the cost, while female characters tend to be more
    reflective (and even apologetic) about what happened in Rapture.
    I hate doing race readings too, for similar reasons to why I hate gender
    readings of narratives. This one'll be quick:
    Apart from Dr Suchong (who I believe is a Chinese scientist) all the
    characters in BioShock are caucasian. Different varieties of caucasian -
    Irish, German, American, Eastern European, etc - but caucasian none-the-less.
    Make of that what you will.
    *UPDATE: To slightly modify the above statement, there is a Hector
    Rodriguez who appears as a mini-boss in Fort Frolic. A name like that would
    likely see him having a Latino heritage. However, I don't believe his
    physical appearance is any different to other Caucasian Nitro Splicer
    3.9 THE MASKS
    demoniam has kicked off this section when he sent in the following message:
    "Butterflies often represent change, as in the change of the citizens,
    from their normal state, to their disfigured, ADAM crazed selves.
    Also in many cultures the butterfly is a symbol of death.
    Rabbit masks could possibly be an allusion to Lewis Carroll's
    Adventurers of Alice In Wonderland (1864).  A wonderful story in
    which a little girl follows a rabbit into a world where things are
    not at all what they seem.  This world is both wonderful and
    horiffic.  Rapture mirrors this as a wonderful (plasmid "super
    powers", built in an impossible location, a technological/architectural
    wonder for 1940's time) and horrible (crazed splicers, death, destruction)."
    From an in-game perspective, the masks within Rapture are so prevalent on
    Splicers due to Rapture's organised society collapsing on New Year's Eve
    1958, at which point a lot of the more well-off citizens of Rapture were
    attending a masquerade ball at the Kashmir restaurant. Although there are
    some fairly generic masks, there are some quite distinctive rabbit / bunny
    masks, cat masks and butterfly masks. It seems that Sander Cohen was likely
    the source of the masks' theme, given the large rabbit mask he has hanging
    in Fort Frolic.
    (For a visual reference of the butterfly mask, here's a link:
    You can also see the large rabbit mask (as well as cat masks and spider
    slicers wearing rabbit masks) in this video:
    The reason that, at least 12 months later, the citizens of Rapture are still
    wearing masks is stated by Atlas: "I wonder why they wear the masks? Maybe
    it's because they have a shred of humanity left, and they're ashamed of
    what they've become." (Taken from http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Enemies on
    16 September 2007) The masks help hide the deformities of the previously
    rich and attractive. (On a side note: workers, football players and police
    officers who are splicers don't get to wear any masks, meaning you could
    set up a class discussion regarding personal identity within Rapture, but
    I feel I've already wandered all over those kinds of things above, so I'll
    skip that one.) So we know the "why" for the wearing of the masks.
    But what is the significance of the types of masks? What do rabbits, cats
    and butterflies have in common? I can see two main threads to follow:
    1) Cats, rabbits and butterflies are all symbols of life and fertility. In
    Egypt, the cat goddess Bast was linked to (among other things) fertility and
    protection. Rabbits / hares have long been associated with fertility, being
    seen in ancient Greece as attributes of Aphrodite, goddess of love and
    sexuality. Butterflies (along with being representative of change) are
    symbols of rebirth - the repeating cycle of the caterpillar becoming the
    chrysalis becoming the butterfly - as part of life. The fact that these
    life-affirming symbols are being fixed to the faces of those belonging to
    a dead / dying society such as Rapture is certainly an interesting contrast
    in what is actually happening to their world and how the inhabitants may
    be potentially deluding themselves about what is going on. (Commentary on
    symbols above used _The Complete Dictionary of Symbols in Myth, Art and
    Literature_ editted by Jack Tresidder as a reference)
    2) A more general link between these three types of animal is that they
    are all creatures associated with the freedom of the open air. Cats live a
    very independent lifestyle and can come and go as they please, rabbits are
    creatures of the open field and butterflies go where the wind carries them.
    These creatures aren't bound by strong responsibilities or held in place
    by social structures. This must be very appealing to a group of people
    trapped in a claustrophobic metal world for more than a decade and who
    are defined by what they do as a job.
    I find it very telling that none of the masks are of sea creatures - it may
    be that Rapture's inhabitants have gotten over the charm of living under the
    sea and would much rather be able to experience the freedom under a natural
    sun again.
    1945 - World War II ends; May 8 was V-E day (Victory Europe), August 15 was
    V-J day (Victory Japan)
    1946 - Ryan opens Rapture November 5 (which suggests he had started construction
    during World War II; Rapture would have been very attractive to those who
    believed that WWII would see the rest of the world destroyed)
    1958 - It is most likely that some point in 1958 that Fontaine sends Jack
    (the Narrator) up to the surface to execute his mission
         - A newspaper dated 12 September indicates that "Ryan Smashes Smuggling
    Ring" and that Fontaine and the smugglers had been killed in a firefight
         - At the New Year's Eve Party (31 December) the society of Rapture
    reaches the tipping point and boils over into widespread civil disorder as
    Fontaine lets loose his army (thanks to nathaniel turner for pointing out I
    had 1959 down as the date)
    1959 - Fontaine uses the persona of Atlas and uses his Poor House as a source
    of his resistance army
    1960 - The plane carrying the Narrator crashes near an entrance to Rapture
    (I can't recall there being a date for this crash, but I can't see Rapture
    being more than a month or so on from New Year's Eve, especially if
    it has only just started to leak)
    *In the real world, Objectivism saw a rapid growth of popularity in the US
    in the 1960s, which only started to decline in the 1970s.
    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivist_movement, accessed on 31
    August 2007
    This section covers the characters who are given voice within BioShock.
    Some have a lot to say, others offer only small pieces of the puzzle - I'll
    do my best to cover them all.
    I'm going to quote audio diary entries from ShadowsDieAway's excellent
    Audio Diary Guide for the relevant people. I'll include the diary number
    next to the quote so that you can cross reference these guides if required.
    ShadowsDieAway's Audio Diary guide can be found on Gamefaqs.com BioShock
    page. In using these diaries, I've attempted to put some sort of
    chronological order on them in order to provide a context for them, but
    in many cases I'm just guessing.
    The point-of-view the player controls, who also provides a few statements
    here and there. His name is Jack, which can be seen on a package he's
    holding on the plane before it crashes. (Moral of the story: if your name
    is Jack, please stay away from air travel.)
    On Jack's wrists are a tattoo of a chain - this is believed to possibly
    represent 1) the Narrator's role as a link in Ryan's 'Great Chain' belief
    of society, and / or 2) that the Narrator is actually a slave to Rapture /
    Ryan / Fontaine. I'd also like to suggest that the pattern on the Narrator's
    white jumper - which is visible during certain animations - also resembles a
    series of chain links. As a bit of trivia - such patterned jumpers were
    developed by Scottish fishing communities to help identify the bodies of
    sailors lost at sea. Washing up a month after falling overboard might not
    leave much that would be easy to identify in terms of the flesh, but the
    uniquely patterned jumper (or even a part of it) allowed for proper
    identification and burial.
    The chain tattoo is most likely from Fontaine and serves a practical purpose -
    to identify the returning person when they re-enter Rapture, since purely
    visual recognition could be flawed - and as a metaphoric joke - Fontaine
    is laughing at Ryan's Great Chain by making his genetic son a slave to his
    If you want to know what the Narrator looks like, it is probably pretty
    similar to the unnamed photo in the middle of Ryan's "would you kindly"
    montage. Given that everyone else in that montage is named and important
    to the "would you kindly" scheme, I think it is pretty safe to say that
    the picture at the centre of it is that of Jack.
    Thinking about it, Jack is a man of two sets of parents - Jolene and Ryan
    are his biological parents, while Fontaine and Tenenbaum are his
    'birth' parents, and those who shape his destiny, telling him he will
    be responsible for great things. Interestingly, both of the mothers are
    fairly absent of maternal love - Jolene sold what would be Jack off
    for money, while Tenenbaum never expresses any interest in you - while
    both Ryan and Fontaine are actively interested in you since you are the
    closest thing to a son that either of them ever had. Although both have
    a weird, twisted paternal love for Jack, both of them allow Jack closer
    to them than they have any other in Rapture.
    As for the name Jack - it is a good hero's name that is, at the same
    time, very generic. Given what we find out about Jack's upbringing,
    his name was probably a vague afterthought of his creators.
    On a final note - while the bad ending shows Jack appearing to take
    control of nuclear missiles in order to perhaps start a war with the
    surface, the good ending shows that following his experiences in
    Rapture, what Jack wants most of all is exposure to real, honest-to-god
    love given to him by a family. Given what happens to him in Rapture,
    this is probably not too surprising.
    Andrew Ryan looms throughout BioShock from pretty much the moment you start -
    his looming statue stands over you the moment you enter the Lighthouse.
    According to the "Making of BioShock" interviews, Andrew Ryan was actually
    born in Russia and emmigrated to the United States (which is why he refers to
    himself as Andrei in one tape you come across). This makes his already stong
    links to Ayn Rand (who was also born in Russia and came to the US) even
    Also in Randian fashion, Ryan is very anti-religion, calling the Bible "the
    book of lies" at one point. Another Rand link is that the logo for Ryan
    is reminiscent of Atlas holding up the world - a reference to Rand's novel
    In a similar vein to "Atlas Shrugged", Ryan is acting as the Destroyer,
    taking the best and brightest minds away from the rest of the world and
    giving them their own areas to play in. Unfortunately for Ryan, the results of
    his actions don't mirror those of John Galt - where in "Atlas Shrugged" it is
    the rest of the world that falls apart when the geniuses go missing, in
    Rapture it is the society of geniuses who end up collapsing into civil
    Ryan's personal narrative within Rapture is that of a personal dream that
    spirals out of control and into chaos. It is during this sprial that Ryan
    abandons all of his Objectivist principals and goes after control of Rapture
    by any means necessary. He is very much an Objectivist inventor in the Randian
    mold, with grand vision and ability, but complete inflexibility in dealing
    with other people regarding his views. Instead of dealing with those who
    may disagree with him, he constructs a giant undersea world that will be his
    sanctuary, away from those he sees as "parasites" on his great ideas and
    Ryan gets a number of audio diaries. A number of them are arguably just
    Objectivist propaganda / the statement of his ideology, such as:
    6   Andrew Ryan - Parasite Expectations
    	On the surface, the Parasite expects the doctor to heal them for free,
    	the farmer to feed them out of charity. How little they differ from the
    	pervert who prowls the streets, looking for a victim he can ravish for
    	his grotesque amusement.
    66  Andrew Ryan - The Great Chain
    	I believe in no God, no invisible man in the sky. But there is something
    	more powerful than each of us, a combination of our efforts, a Great
    	Chain of industry that unites us. But it is only when we struggle in our
    	own interest that the chain pulls society in the right direction. The
    	chain is too powerful and too mysterious for ant government to guide.
    	Any man who tells you different either has his hand in your pocket, or a
    	pistol to your neck.
    (There are a few of these - I'll leave only those two as examples. They sound
    very close to the key Howard Roarke speech in "The Fountainhead" - take a look
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc7oZ9yWqO4 for the film version of this speech)
    The more interesting Ryan audio diaries are those that involve Fontaine and
    show his slide from Objectivist creator of Rapture to its despotic ruler.
    Early on, Ryan fails to see the potential threat that Fontaine, ADAM and
    have to him and Rapture. He still firmly believes in the Great Chain and that
    market will solve any and all problems.
    34  Andrew Ryan - Working Late Again
    	Diane, my dear I'm sorry but I'll be late again tonight... Rosenberg is
    	demanding to speak about this Fontaine business. I'm trying to build a
    	proper financial market and this idiot keeps going on about Adam this
    	and genetic modification that. I'll go spend an hour pretending to pay
    	attention to the poor fellow and be home as soon as I can. -Andrei
    48  Andrew Ryan - Offer a Better Product
    	Gregory, don't come whining to me about market forces. And don't expect
    	me to punish citizens for showing a little initiative. If you don't like
    	what Fontaine is doing, well, I suggest you find a way to offer a better
    46  Andrew Ryan - The Market is Patient
    	There has been tremendous pressure to regulate this plasmid business.
    	There have been side effects: blindness, insanity, death. But what use
    	is our ideology if it is not tested? The market does not respond like an
    	infant, shrieking at the first sign of displeasure. The market is
    	patient, and we must be too.
    After a period of time though, Ryan must see that trouble is brewing. Despite
    publically proclaiming that he isn't going to do anything, privately he is
    worried about Fontaine and what Fontaine Futuristics are doing. In truth, they
    have passed him by - while he was building infrastructure, Fontaine was creating
    a whole new industry and one that everyone in Rapture wants part of. Knowing of
    Fontaine's smuggler connections, it is likely that at this point he chooses to
    start implementing a "big government" approach to Rapture and starts ordering
    smugglers be executed. He refuses to doubt himself or reflect on his actions,
    which only sees him move further away from his original Objectivist ideals and
    more toward that of a dictator.
    95  Andrew Ryan - Great Chain Moves Slowly
    	Is there blood in the streets? Of course. Have some chosen to destroy
    	themselves with careless splicing? Undeniable. But I will make no
    	proclamations, I will dictate no laws. The Great Chain moves slowly, but
    	with wisdom. It is our impatience that invites in the Parasite of big
    	government. And once you've invited it in, it will never stop feeding on
    	the body of the city.
    26  Andrew Ryan - Watch Fontaine
    	This Fontaine fellow is somebody to watch. Once, he was just a menace,
    	to be convicted and hung. But he always manages to be where the evidence
    	isn't. He's the most dangerous type of hoodlum... the kind with vision.
    22  Andrew Ryan - Fontaine Must Go
    	Something must be done about Fontaine. While I was buying buildings and
    	fish futures, he was cornering the market on genotypes and nucleotide
    	sequences. Rapture is transforming before my eyes. The Great Chain is
    	pulling away from me. Perhaps it's time to give it a tug.
    118 Andrew Ryan - Mistakes
    	Could I have made mistakes? One does not build cities if one is guided
    	by doubt. But can one govern in absolute certainty? I know that my
    	beliefs have elevated me, just as I know that the things I have rejected
    	would have destroyed me. But the city... it is collapsing before my...
    	have I become so convinced by my own beliefs that I have stopped seeing
    	the truth? Perhaps. But Atlas is out there, and he aims to destroy me,
    	and destroy my city. To question is to surrender. I will not question.
    31  Andrew Ryan - Death Penalty in Rapture
    	The death penalty in Rapture! Council's in an uproar. Riots in the
    	streets they say! But this is the time for leadership. Action must be
    	taken against the smugglers. Any contact with the surface exposes
    	Rapture to the very Parasites we fled from. A few stretched necks are a
    	small price to pay for our ideals.
    By this point, Fontaine Futuristics has been nationalised (an exceptionally
    un-Objectivist thing to do and an act that brings to mind the nationalisation of
    the San Sebastian rail line in "Atlas Shrugged" - an act that was meant to
    the Mexican Government with wealth since someone else paid for the construction,
    only for it to be discovered the mine that the line had been built to service
    was worthless) so Suchong works for Ryan Industries. By this time, Fontaine is
    "dead", but has been replaced by Atlas - this makes the date likely to be early
    The fact that Ryan has nationalised another business shows exactly how far he
    has fallen, given that earlier he boasted in a radio message that he'd
    previously burned a forest he'd owned to the ground when a government body had
    tried to force him to let the public use it (which was a very Howard Roarke
    thing to do, given that he burned a house to that had incorrectly used his
    architectual plans in "The Fountainhead").
    By this point, Ryan has thrown out any Objectivist social leanings, instead
    prefering to control Rapture society directly. However, he is still the
    businessman, and has worked on the Gatherer's Garden concept to better
    distribute plasmids.
    62  Andrew Ryan - Desperate Times
    	Doctor Suchong, frankly, I'm shocked by your proposal. If we were to
    	modify the structure of out commercial plasmid line as you propose, to
    	have them make the user vulnerable to mental suggestion through
    	pheromones, would we not be able to effectively control the actions of
    	the citizens of Rapture? Free will is the cornerstone of this city. The
    	thought of sacrificing it is abhorrent. However... we are indeed in a
    	time of war. If Atlas and his bandits have their way, will they not turn
    	us into slaves? And what will become of free will then? Desperate times
    	call for desperate measures.
    115 Andrew Ryan - Marketing Gold
    	I'll admit Fontaine showed some foresight when he built up the plasmid
    	business, but the man really never understood sales. Hiding those little
    	girls beneath a bushel. I've just seen the preliminary design work on
    	the new plasmid machines, and they're exactly what I wanted. Mark my
    	words- presented property, those little sisters are marketing gold.
    Of course, by this point it is too late. Rapture has spun out of control and
    is no longer a working society. Machines are breaking down, sea water is
    to get in and the populace is either insane or dead. Ryan is left a ruler who
    can trust no-one and lives locked away in Rapture Central Control. His former
    friends and councillors are now dead, speared to the wall in his "trophy room"
    after a failed attempt to kill him in order to stop the civil war.
    It is into this scenario that the Narrator arrives. Ryan initially thinks that
    the Narrator must be a CIA or KGB spy, but due to the Narrator's lack of
    immediate exit from Rapture and his association with Atlas, Ryan starts to
    question the Narrator's purpose in Rapture. Starting to put two and two
    together, Ryan works out that the Narrator is actually his genetic
    offspring, thus setting up his "greatest disappointment" and the result of a
    long-term scheme of Fontaine's. Ryan doesn't want to fight his son (I believe
    that Ryan's strength of feeling towards his offspring is shown by his murdering
    of Jasmine Jolene after he finds out she sold a fertilised egg to Fontaine -
    not a good kind of feeling, but Ryan has to feel immensely betrayed that his
    mistress sold his son to his worst enemy) so lets the Narrator come face-to-face
    with him.
    I don't think that Ryan is fully aware of Fontaine's plot to use the Narrator
    against him until long after the Narrator arrives in Rapture. It is very likely
    that Ryan had discovered bits and pieces of the scheme, but it wasn't until he
    realised the "would you kindly" control phrase along with who you were that
    he understood what was coming in his direction.
    The death of Andrew Ryan is a widely debated narrative point within BioShock.
    Did Ryan want to die? Was it a form of suicide? In my opinion, no. Ryan didn't
    want to die. But he couldn't accept that his son - his genetic offspring -
    was a slave. In handing his golf club to the Narrator, Ryan starts his mantra
    of "A man chooses. A slave obeys.". Ryan wants the Narrator to break his
    cognitive programming and make a decision on his own; unfortunately for Ryan,
    the programming can't be broken so easily and he is beaten to death.
    However, given that the Vita-Chambers in Rapture are keyed to Ryan's genetic
    sequence and someone as smart as Ryan had to have a least one back-up escape
    plan, I don't see Ryan's death as being permanent. Especially since BioShock
    has sold well enough for their to be more sequels published.
    Frank Fontaine is the lynchpin around which everyone thing in BioShock
    revolves. However, he is also the most secretive and unreliable character,
    so looking for details about him in-game can be difficult.
    It has been noted that Fontaine is pretty close to "Fountainhead" (another of
    Rand's books is "The Fountainhead"), with Fontaine translating to "fountain"
    in old French. Another link to Fontaine is the french poet Jean de la
    Fontaine (1621 - 1695), who is most famous for translating and popularising
    Aesop's fables - fables that often showed people / animals / characters
    being humbled (or worse) due to their inability to use common sense or
    see beyond their personal needs.
    Fontaine's role in Rapture is as Ryan's direct competitor for control of
    Rapture and also as possibly another flawed Randian hero. Fontaine
    certainly appears to follow the ideal of rational self-interest and belief
    in the market, while also marketing the greatest discovery within Rapture -
    ADAM. However, he is also more than willing to use murderous force when
    it suits his goals and also uses altruism as a front in order to exploit
    the poor and vulnerable in his poorhouses and orphanages. Although
    Ken Levine, creative director of BioShock, has said that Fontaine believes
    in "nothing" (interview:
    I strongly disagree with that assessment. Fontaine believes in his
    individual self-interest just as much as Ryan does. Fontaine is not a
    nihilist - if he truly believed in nothing, he'd be happy to see Rapture
    collapse - so much as he is completely selfish; Fontaine's opinion is that
    his self-interest is worth more than anyone else's in Rapture.
    In terms of timing, Fontaine has been in Rapture for 12 (?) years, making
    his arrival there some time in 1948. It appears that his first business
    was Fontaine Fisheries in the Neptune's Bounty area and was a legitimate
    source of income; however, it probably coincided with his development of
    the smuggling network. Fontaine is a conman going back a long way, with
    his greatest joy being the running of a "long con" on a group of smart
    people. In Rapture, he finds the possibility of running the longest
    con of all against some very clever individuals for a very big prize at
    the end; his joy in pulling it off is evident when he continually
    gushes to the Narrator about how clever he after the death of Ryan.
    But to pull back from that part a moment ... Fontaine has been clever
    in managing both his legitimate and illegitimate businesses and keeping
    himself clean in both. However, it is likely that he is one of many
    such businessmen - there is certainly enough evidence of other fishmongers
    (Lotz and Sons) and other businesses in Rapture. It is also very likely
    that the authorities are starting to note him as a person of interest for
    his involvement in smuggling. However, fortune smiles on Fontaine when
    Tenenbaum, unable to get development funding from legitimate research
    sources, turns to the smugglers to help her develop ADAM. Fontaine sees
    the huge potential of ADAM in the market and a partnership is born.
    40  Frank Fontaine - Kraut Scientist
    	Spent the morning jawing with that Kraut scientist. She's damaged goods,
    	all right. Just like all those chumps they scraped out of them prison
    	camps. But she's no crackpot... she's gonna make me the kinda scratch
    	that'll have Ryan look like he's runnin' a paper route. She just needs
    	some supplies to get the ball rolling... and a friend to watch her back.
    Fontaine sets up Fontaine Futuristics as demand for ADAM increases and
    recruits Suchong, who works on the plasmid side of the business. The money
    and power follows as Fontaine moves from fish merchant to high technology
    tycoon. He still keeps his fingers in his illegal pies, but by this point
    he matches Ryan for importance and power within Rapture society.
    However, this isn't enough for Fontaine. He wants it all. He wants to
    take ADAM out of the closed market of Rapture and into the outside world.
    And the only way to do this is to get rid of Ryan and take over Rapture.
    Setting a timeline for this point is hard. It's difficult to work out at
    what point Tenenbaum started work on ADAM, joined up with Fontaine and
    for how long Fontaine Futuristics was started before Fontaine's 'death',
    so I won't try to guess based on the information I have. Having set up
    Fontaine Futuristics, Fontaine also sets up his poorhouses and Little
    Sister orphanages - the poorhouses serve as a recruiting ground for
    both experimentation for plasmids and for building a fighting force,
    the orphanages are used to create Little Sisters and keep the ADAM
    flowing. Rapture would have been closed off to the rest of the world for
    a while now, and it is obvious that certain proportion of its citizens
    are unable to find work if there is enough demand for a poorhouse.
    In exchange for food, Fontaine gets the loyalty of the poor - exactly
    what he wants.
    107 Frank Fontaine - Sad Saps
    	These sad saps. They come to Rapture, thinking they're gonna be captains
    	of industry. But they all forget that somebody's gotta scrub the
    	toilets. What an angle they gave me- I hand these mugs a cot and a bowl
    	of soup, and they give me their lives. Who needs an army when I got
    	Fontaine's Home for the Poor?
    (He also shows off his faux-altruistic side through the Fontaine
    Futuristics-developed Power to the People weapon upgrade consoles.)
    The other thing that Fontaine has found time to do is obtain a human
    egg fertilised by Ryan from his mistress, Jasmine Jolene. Again, the
    timing on this is hard to pin down exactly, but I suspect that he
    obtained this a year or two before Rapture collapses, if only to
    provide time for Tenenbaum to extract the egg (before falling out with
    Fontaine over the Little Sisters), for Suchong to do the required work
    and for Fontaine to put his plan into action. It's an assumption, but
    I believe it's fair to say that Fontaine didn't start out with the
    plan of sending Jack out of Rapture, but had a plan to use this "ace
    in the hole" at some point to get past Ryan's genetically-orientated
    protections. At some point before Ryan and the Council came crashing
    down on Fontaine, Fontaine came up with the plan to disguise Jack as a
    'topworlder' and throw all those who knew about his plan off the scent
    (except Tenenbaum, who helped put the two-year old Jack into the
    bathyscape). At some point after this (and Jack may even had been the
    straw that broke the camel's back) Tenenbaum has a falling out with
    Fontaine and stops working for Fontaine Futuristics.
    106 Paparazzi - Fontaine's Breakup
    	Looks like things have gone busto between Fontaine and his little German
    	beanpole. Why a guy like Fontaine would waste his time with that spooky
    	Kraut when he could be gettin' the gravy from any dish he chooses is
    	beyond the understanding of this paparazzi. Even reset the door code to
    	5744, maybe to be double-sure that beanpole don't sprout up in his yard
    What is certain is that by 1958, Ryan sees Fontaine as a real threat.
    Being unable to catch him legitimately - none of Fontaine's people will
    talk, even under torture, while Fontaine is smart enough not to be
    caught in anything compromising - Ryan and the Council of Rapture
    stage a full scale assault of Fontaine's smuggling operation.
    During this assault, Fontaine is 'killed' (more than likely this
    was set-up by Fontaine as part of his con - although he could
    have just got lucky and decided to lie about how clever he
    was) and the smuggling ring is 'smashed'.
    112 Frank Fontaine - The Longest Con
    	Frank Fontaine: Never play a man for the short con when you can play 'em
    		for the long one. Atlas is the longest con of all. Ryan wanted
    		Frank Fontaine Dead, I just gave him what he wanted. As Atlas,
    		I got a new face, a clean record, and a fresh start. Now it's
    		time to take back Rapture and-
    	Diane McClintock: ...Ryan did. I can't wait to tell Atlas. He'll be so
    	Frank Fontaine: Uhh, Miss McClintock... what are you doing here? Let me
    		just turn this off...
    Which leaves Fontaine free and in the clear to become Atlas, champion
    of the people and leader of a resistance against an increasingly
    unpopular Ryan. Atlas probably started before Fontaine's 'death',
    but he really steps into the limelight after this point. Ryan's
    increasingly heavy-handed tactics make Atlas more popular, which
    in turn sees Rapture society head further and further into a civil
    war.  Which all plays into Fontaine's hands, because he's pulling
    the strings. After all, what he really wants is control of the
    ADAM, and if the easiest way is for the population of Rapture to
    kill themselves off so that the Little Sisters can harvest the
    corpses, so be it.
    Plus he knows that, some point soon, Jack will be returning to
    Rapture. (As a personal note, I see it has a huge plot hole that
    Fontaine, smart guy that he is, decides the best way to get Jack
    into Rapture is via a plane crash into the ocean. Is Fontaine
    completely unaware of how dangerous that action is or how there
    are many safer options for getting Jack to Rapture... for example,
    a boat that mysteriously sinks near the Lighthouse? The plane
    crash is a great entry for the player to BioShock, but a lousy
    plan for Fontaine.)
    Jack returns to Rapture and is played like a violin by Fontaine
    all the way through. The whole point to the "save my family"
    bit is designed to 1) make Ryan look very bad in Jack's eyes and
    2) to provide the player with a foil for "why am I meant to kill
    this Ryan guy who's done nothing to me?". The death of Fontaine's
    'family' (I didn't see them, but apparently the exploding
    bathyscape does leave bodies behind) is probably due more to
    Fontaine than Ryan - Ryan simply sends some Spicer Splicers
    Atlas' way, but Fontaine has plenty of time and the opportunity
    to plant some explosives to guarantee a dramatic scene.
    Following that part, the Narrator heads on up to the point of
    meeting (and beating) Ryan. Having made sure that the Narrator
    has reset Rapture's auto-destruct system (another thing that
    having Ryan's genetic son was useful for - looks like Fontaine
    understood exactly where your strengths lay, Ryan), Fontaine
    is compelled to drop the Atlas act and tell the Narrator how
    clever he is. Fontaine has played the long con and has won.
    At this point, he assumes that the Narrator will be easy to
    bump off via some simple commands via the "would you kindly"
    system that has worked so well thus far. And if that doesn't
    work, there is always the "Code: Yellow" command that will
    slowly yet surely kill Jack.
    However, following Tenenbaum's interference and his subsequent
    loss of control over Jack, Fontaine gets very nervous. He
    threatens to blow Rapture up himself and, when the Narrator
    gets too close, injects himself with enough ADAM that he
    ends up looking like one of the large humanoid art deco
    statues that can be seen elsewhere in Rapture.
    Of course, this isn't enough - the Narrator uses a Little
    Sister needle to extract the ADAM from Fontaine. The final
    blow comes from the Little Sisters, who stab Fontaine with
    so many ADAM extraction needles that his death is assured.
    As a recap - Fontaine is a thug and a manipulator, but he
    is also the only one to take golden opportunities missed by
    other, more supposedly intelligent people. In comparing him
    and Ryan, I see two sides of a very similar coin - whereas
    Fontaine was willing to be ruthless from the very beginning
    when it suited him, Ryan became brutal relatively quickly
    following in the increasingly pressured role of running
    Rapture. Fontaine would at least use guile and persuasion
    to get what he wanted - Ryan decided that if people wouldn't
    listen to him immediately, he'd have them hanged. Both are
    responsible for the state of Rapture, a paradise lost, on
    the arrival of the Narrator into this world.
    4.4 ATLAS
    Atlas (if you aren't aware of "Atlas Shrugged" at this point in the guide,
    I'm sorry, but I can't help you) is a pseudonym cooked up by Fontaine to
    build a resistance against Andrew Ryan. Atlas is covered in detail in section
    "4.3 Frank Fontaine" above, but I thought is fair to separate out the two
    names in case someone looked at my guide index and felt it spoiled the
    game for them by accident.
    The persona of Atlas is that of a charismatic populist leader, who, on the
    surface of it, only wants the people of Rapture to be able to look after
    themselves. Obviously the truth of it is much darker.
    I won't include any radio quotes from Atlas, since he is pretty straight-
    forward in what he wants you to do... "would you kindly" as the irresistable
    control phrase and all that.
    If there is any character that deserves sympathy in BioShock, it is Diane
    McClintock. Her experiences reflect those of Rapture - originally
    romanced by Ryan, her subsequent disfigurement on New Year's Eve 1958 sees
    her abandoned by an increasingly distant lover and left to fend for herself.
    This isolation sees Diane walk straight into the influence of Atlas, which,
    in turn, sees her death at his hands.
    Stood up on New Year's Eve 1958 (when Ryan is possibly off seeing his mistress
    Jasmine Jolene) Diane is caught in a blast set off in or near the Kashmir
    Restaurant. The blast leaves her alive, but disfigured.
    1   Diane McClintock - New Year's Eve Alone
    	Another New Year's, another night alone. I'm out, and you're stuck in
    	Hephaestus, working. Imagine my surprise. I guess I'll have another
    	drink... here's a toast to Diane McClintock, silliest girl in Rapture.
    	Silly enough to fall in love with Andrew Ryan, silly enough to- *sound
    	of a raid and people screaming* What... what happened... I'm bleeding...
    	oh, god... what's happening...
    Her injuries worked on by Steinman (before he's gone off on his own surgery
    addiction tangent), Diane recovers, only to find that Ryan is no longer
    there for her. Ryan is now obsessed with protecting Rapture, no matter what
    the cost is.
    3   Diane McClintock - Released Today
    	Dr. Steinman said he'd release me today. Ryan didn't come to see me
    	since the New Year's attack. Not once. But Dr. Steinman was very
    	attentive. He told me that once the scar tissue was gone, he was going
    	to fix me right up. Make me prettier than any girl I've ever seen. He's
    	sweet all right... and so interested in my case!
    49  Diane McClintock - Heroes and Criminals
    	I couldn't believe how much things had changed since I left Dr.
    	Steinman's office. It's like I don't even recognize Rapture no more. I
    	hear they've been rounding up people in 'pollo Square... I asked Ryan
    	how could he do such things to innocents. He said, 'Innocents? If they
    	haven't chosen to defend Rapture, they've chosen to side with Atlas and
    	his bandits. So there are no innocents. There are heroes, and there are
    Left alone and with plenty of time on her hands, Diane decides to visit Apollo
    Square and reconcile her feelings of anger for what happened to her with those
    accused / involved with those who were responsible for the explosion that
    disfigured her. To her horror, she finds ordinary people being persecuted under
    Ryan's draconian regime. Her view of Ryan / Rapture shaken, she is
    completely vulnerable to the safe, reassuring words of Atlas, so ends up
    joining his resistance. In truth, Atlas is probably taking advantage of her
    to learn more about Ryan, rather than any concern for her well-being.
    67  Diane McClintock - Stood Up Again
    	Stood up! Again... Second time this week. Ever since my face was...
    	Steinman worked on me, but it was never the same since the blast...
    	Being alone so much gives a girl time to think. Who could hate me so
    	much they'd ruin me like this? What did I do to them? I keep thinking of
    	all them bandits and terrorists Ryan's got locked up in 'pollo Square
    	and I get so mad... sometimes I can hardly breathe... if I could only
    	confront them, tell them what they did to me, how they're ruining
    	everything for me, for Rapture... maybe I'd... well, maybe I'd feel
    108 Diane McClintock - What's Happening Here?
    	I was so angry when I came down here, but... my god... I had no idea...
    	there's armed men all over the place... I saw a woman climb over the
    	fence trying to escape... one of Ryan's guards pointed at her, and she
    	lit on fire... just like that. What's happening here?
    109 Diane McClintock - Atlas Lives
    	I bribed one of the gorillas at the gate to let me in. It's awful in
    	here... to my right, I can see a dead woman lying in the street...
    	everybody's just walking by her, like she isn't there. But I noticed
    	something, spray-painted everywhere... 'Atlas lives.' I don't know what
    	it means, but something tells me it's important to these people...
    111 Diane McClintock - Meeting Atlas
    	The people here have grown to trust me... Ryan's mistress, and still
    	they take me in! They finally brought me to Atlas. Without him, the
    	people of 'pollo Square would give up. I asked him if he was going to
    	lead the people in some kind of uprising against Ryan. He sighed and
    	said, 'I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. These people will
    	liberate themselves.' I thought Andrew Ryan was a great man. I was a
    Unfortunately for Diane, she stumbles in on Fontaine recording a diary entry
    cooing over how clever he is. He can't take the chance that she heard the
    wrong thing - Atlas brutally murders Diane in Fontaine's Home for the Poor.
    The fact that the desk that is Diane's final resting place is broken under
    her could indicate that Fontaine has been splicing himself with strength
    113 Diane McClintock - Today's Raid
    	We went on a raid outside the wire today. We snagged 31 rounds of
    	buckshot, 4 frag grenades, a shotgun, and 34 Adam. We lost McGee,
    	Epstein and Vallette. We got one of those goddamn Big Daddies in the
    	bargain, though. It was something awful what they had to do to that
    	little girl to get the Adam, but we didn't start this thing. Ryan did. I
    	can't wait to tell Atlas. He'll be so pleased...
    112 Frank Fontaine - The Longest Con
    	Frank Fontaine: Never play a man for the short con when you can play 'em
    		for the long one. Atlas is the longest con of all. Ryan wanted
    		Frank Fontaine Dead, I just gave him what he wanted. As Atlas,
    		I got a new face, a clean record, and a fresh start. Now it's
    		time to take back Rapture and-
    	Diane McClintock: ...Ryan did. I can't wait to tell Atlas. He'll be so
    	Frank Fontaine: Uhh, Miss McClintock... what are you doing here? Let me
    		just turn this off...
    So ends the sad life of Diane McClintock. Used up and disposed of by two men she
    believed in, her tale is probably the most straight-forward yet revealing about
    how Rapture society changed after New Year's Eve 1958.
    (A thank you to Adam Taylor who pointed out that Tenenbaum's first name can
    be found in her apartment and is Bridgette)
    Bridgette Tenenbaum is the discoverer of ADAM, which makes her a key player
    in the narrative of Rapture. Her origin indicates that she started her
    scientific career as a 16 year-old prisoner at a German prison camp as
    one of the prisoners. Why she is there is unclear - 'Tenenbaum' may have
    Jewish links, but she doesn't mention her parents or what happened to them,
    so it is just as likely she has been rounded up as part of general population
    clearing if she was living in a orphanage or was an itinerant. Regardless, her
    natural ability of scientific interpretation is of such quality that she is
    recognised as a wonder child and drafted into the Nazi scientific war effort.
    (It is to this extent that Tenenbaum's links to a Jewish inheritance is
    questionable, since at the time Jews in all scientific endeavours were being
    replaced by Germans on grounds of 'racial hygiene'; as such, it is likely that
    Tenenbaum was a destitute German citizen who has been rounded up, or someone
    who played down her Jewish heritage, in order to get her new position in the
    Regardless of heritage, Tenenbaum is a natural scientific genius with regards
    to genetics.
    7   Tenenbaum - Love for Science
    	I was at German prison camp only of sixteen years old when I realize I
    	have love for science. German doctor, he make experiment. Sometime, he
    	make scientific error. I tell him of this error, and this make him
    	angry. But then he asks, 'how can a child know such a thing?' I tell
    	him, 'Sometimes, I just know.' He screams at me, 'Then why tell me?'
    	'Well,' I said, 'if you're going to do such things, at least you should
    	do them properly.'
    13  Tenenbaum - Useless Experiments
    	At the German prison camp they put me to work on genetic experiments on
    	other prisoners. They call me 'Das Wunderkind', the wonder child.
    	Germans, all they can talk about is blue eyes, and shape of forehead.
    	All I care about is why is this one born strong, and that one weak?
    	This one smart, that one stupid? All that killing, you think the Germans
    	could have been interested in something useful?
    Assuming that Tenenbaum was in the camp during the early part of World War II,
    she would have been in her early 20s by the time the war ended. With interest
    in particular types of German scientists high from those who wished to recruit
    them and those who wished them to stand trial for the horrific experiments
    that they had performed (please see _Hitler's Scientists: Science, War and the
    Devil's Pact_ by John Cornwall which goes into the breakdown of scientific
    ethics in Nazi Germany as well as describing some of the experimentd conducted
    on human guinea pigs), I'm sure that Rapture looked like a good middle ground
    to her.
    However, it seems that Rapture didn't initially have much need for a
    geneticist, given that she wasn't able to find work in labs and appears to have
    spent her days wandering the docks of Neptune's Bounty and getting to know
    the smugglers. This let her discover a sea slug that would unlock Rapture's
    ability to manipulate every aspect of their genes.
    23  Tenenbaum - Finding the Sea Slug
    	I saw one of the smugglers having a game of catching on the docks today.
    	And this surprised me, because his hands were crippled during the war.
    	He was unloading the barge the other day when he was bitten from this
    	sea slug. He woke up the next morning and he found he could move his
    	fingers for the first time in years. I asked him if he still had that
    	sea slug. As luck would have it, he did...
    28  Tenenbaum - Adam Discovery
    	This little sea slug has come along and glued together all the crazy
    	ideas I've had since the war... if doesn't just heal damaged cells,
    	it... resurrects them... I can bend the double helix... Black can be
    	reborn white, tall short. Weak, strong... But the slugs alone are not
    	enough... I'll need money... and one other thing...
    However, no serious scientific lab will touch Tenenbaum's discovery. Perhaps
    it is because she has no formal training, perhaps it is because they won't
    with former Nazi scientist, perhaps it was just that Tenenbaum didn't
    present the potential of her discovery well enough - whatever the reason,
    Tenenbaum is only able to obtain the money and resources she needs from
    the smugglers (led by Fontaine). However, that is all she needs to get to
    work and fully unlock the potential of ADAM.
    30  Tenenbaum - Fontaine's Smugglers
    	As the respectable labs have all turned me away, I have turned to
    	Fontaine's smugglers in Port Neptune for supplies. Fontaine's men are
    	pigs. They spit, they stink. But they deliver and they don't ask
    	questions. They're all terrified of Fontaine... he reminds me a bit of
    	the Germans- so efficient. It wouldn't surprise me if he were soon
    	running things down here.
    Tenenbaum's research into ADAM is successful and she has discovered a
    substance that can re-write the human genetic code. It is not a discovery
    without drawbacks - ADAM is unstable, causing mental and physical deformity if
    not regularly used in greater doses. (It is probably this angle that Fontaine
    sees the value in - the addictive drug nature of ADAM - rather than its genetic
    However, in order to produce enough ADAM, Tenenbaum needs that "something else"
    she needs hosts to produce more ADAM through a symbiotic implantation (or
    impregnation, if you want to look at it that way). Unfortunately, only children
    are capable of being successful impregnated with the sea slugs and Fontaine has
    set up his Little Sister's Orphanages to provide a steady stream of hosts. That
    ADAM is harvested from the vomit of young girls who have been forced into a life
    of slavery is probably the most morally unsettling thing you will come across in
    the BioShock narrative.
    As for "why girls?", I think that Fontaine has picked the weakest, most
    citizens of Rapture for the role. Young boys may have been a bit harder to
    handle (in Fontaine's eyes, anyway) whereas he would probably see young girls
    as more easy to manipulate.
    64  Tenenbaum - Adam Explained
    	Adam acts like a benign cancer, destroying native cells and replacing
    	them with unstable stem versions. While this very instability is what
    	gives it its amazing properties, it is also what causes the cosmetic and
    	mental damage. You need more and more Adam just to keep back the tide.
    	From a medical standpoint, this is catastrophic. From a business
    	standpoint, well... Fontaine sees the possibilities.
    45  Tenenbaum - Mass Producting Adam
    	The augmentation procedure is a success. The slugs alone could not
    	provide enough Adam for serious work. But combined with the host... now
    	we have something. The slug is embedded in the lining of the host's
    	stomach and after the host feeds we induce regurgitation, and then we
    	have twenty, thirty times the yield of usable Adam. The problem now is
    	the shortage of hosts. Fontaine says, 'Patience, Tenenbaum. Soon the
    	first home for Little Sisters will be open, and that problem will be
    114 Tenenbaum - Why Just Girls?
    	I know why it has to be children, but why just girls? This I cannot
    	determine why, but I know it is so. Fontaine says 'ah, one less bathroom
    	to build in the orphanage'. It is amazing to watch the effect of Adam on
    	their small bodies. Their own cells, replaced by the new stems the
    	instant they are damaged. These children are practically invulnerable.
    	It is a shame you could not do the same thing to an adult. There would
    	be quite a market for a man you could not kill.
    While Tenenbaum works at perfecting ADAM, Fontaine hired Dr Yi Suchong, a more
    classically trained geneticist, to work on developing the plasmids. Suchong
    a mixed view of Tenenbaum, but certainly doesn't doubt her genius.
    19  Suchong - Plasmids are the Paint
    	Tenenbaum... sometimes I pity the little freak. Such a tiny
    	imagination... Content to sit there with her tanks of Adam, tweaking
    	and optimizing. I need to create... Adam is a canvas of genetic
    	modification... but plasmids are the paint.
    102 Suchong - Mozart of Genetics
    	That's quite a little monster Fontaine's dug up. When she does speak,
    	which is almost never, her accent is thick and grating. Her hair is
    	filthy and she seems to wear the same mustard-stained jumper day after
    	day. But I've got to hand it to Frank: Tenenbaum is the all-time
    	diamond in the rough. No formal training, no experience... but put her
    	in front of a gene sequence, and she's Mozart at the harpsichord.
    Incidently, it is the above passage that makes me think that Tenenbaum may have
    been an orphan or itinerant most of her life. She is indifferent to her
    and is apparently quite a silent person, used to possibly being invisible. It's
    not solid proof, but I believe that Tenenbaum wasn't unfamiliar with being
    dispossessed and alone in the world.
    Over time, Tenenbaum's work with ADAM starts to eat away at Tenenbaum's ability
    to continue at Fontaine Futuristics. She had been able to look the other way
    when it came to Nazi experimentation, but in Rapture she was looking her
    right in the eye. Her actions are starting to haunt her, possibly because she
    has come to empathise with the Little Sisters. She has started to hate herself.
    65  Tenenbaum - Functional Children
    	The children must remain functional to be effective producers of Adam. I
    	had hoped we place them into vegetative state, so they would be more
    	pliable. I find being around them very uncomfortable. Even with those
    	things implanted in their bellies, they are still children. They play,
    	and sing. Sometimes they look at me, and they don't stop. Sometimes
    	they smile.
    57  Tenenbaum - Maternal Instinct
    	What makes something like me? I look at genes all day long, and never do
    	I see the blueprint of sin. I could blame the Germans, but in truth, I
    	did not find tormentors in the Prison Camp, but kindred spirits. These
    	children I brutalized have awoken something inside that for most is
    	beautiful and natural, but in me, is an abomination... my maternal
    61  Tenenbaum - Hatred
    	One of the children came and sat in my lap. I push her off, I shout,
    	'Get away from me!' I can see the Adam oozing out of the corner of her
    	mouth, thick and green. Her filthy hair hanging in her face, dirty
    	clothes, and that dead glow in her eye... I feel... hatred, like I never
    	felt before, in my chest. Bitter, burning, fury. I can barely breathe.
    	And suddenly, I know, it is not this child I hate.
    At some point prior to her exit from Fontaine Futuristics, Tenenbaum is
    involved in extracting the egg (fertilised by Ryan) from Jolene. She has some
    small hand in Fontaine's plan at this point, but in a much more limited role
    than Suchong. According to Fontaine, Tenenbaum is there when the Narrator is
    sent to the surface; how reliable this information is depends on how much you
    can trust the source.
    Regardless, at some point (likely 1958, since the Paparazzi note that Fontaine
    has changed his keycode for his appartment since Tenenbaum left, meaning it
    occurred before he 'died') Tenenbaum leaves Fontaine's employ. Instead, she
    sets up a hidden orphanage and develops a plasmid that can undo a Little
    Sister conversion. Tenenbaum is working to atone for her sins.
    When the Narrator arrives in Rapture, your first meeting with Tenenbaum sees
    her provide you with a plasmid that can rescue the Little Sisters and turn
    them back to young girls. Her next major impact is to help you recover from
    Fontaine's mind control plasmids and to guide you in going up against
    Fontaine. She also serves as the narrator for the ending scenes. She is
    the only character I can think of that you encounter who doesn't end up
    dead by the end of the game.
    Tenenbaum is very much the great discoverer who comes to question the cost
    of her discovery on its smallest victims. Perhaps she does this too late
    (it is certainly too late to stop Fontaine's plans against Ryan) but that
    she does take the step away from coldly following scientific experimentation
    rationales to asking the ethical question of whether she should be doing
    something just because she can shows her as perhaps the only character in
    BioShock who evolves a greater societal / moral perspective as the in-game
    narrative progresses. Given that she survives the events of BioShock without
    dying would suggest to me that perhaps this late grasp at redemption was
    enough to avoid karmic retribution for her actions.
    Steinman is the first mini-boss that the player will come across and is
    arguably competing with Sander Cohen for the Mr Most Mentally Disturbed
    award for 1960. He is a gifted surgeon who's use of ADAM has seen him walk a
    dark path into surgery addiction and possibly body dimorphic disorder (also
    called body dysmorphism disorder) (BDD).
    The possibility of ADAM excites Dr Steinman in many ways. Being able to
    alter humans on the genetic level excites him because it will make the work
    of a doctor easier and more effective. However, it is important to note that
    the first audio diary we get from Steinman indicates that he believes that
    it is up to the individual to decide what they want change, not the doctor.
    4   Steinman - Adam's Changes
    	Ryan and Adam, Adam and Ryan... all those years of study, and was I ever
    	truly a surgeon	before I met them? How we plinked away with our
    	scalpels and toy morality. Yes, we could lop a boil here, and shave down
    	a beak there, but... but could we really change anything? No. But Adam
    	gives us the means to do it. And Ryan frees us from the phony ethics
    	that held us back. Change your look, change your sex, change your race.
    	It's yours to change, nobody else's.
    However, that respect for individual choice doesn't last long, especially as
    Steinman starts to see himself less as a doctor and more of an artist. It is
    strongly likely that Steinman has been using ADAM himself (indicated by his
    increased health bar / ability to resist damage when you fight him) over a
    long period of time, which has seen Steinman bloom into a full scale
    psychopath. It is most likely the collapse of order in Rapture has helped to
    accelerate this psychosis, which sees Steinman hole up in the Medical
    He abandons the Hypocratic Oath (there is a harsh irony in the
    statement "Above all, do no harm" being written in a patient's blood on the
    floor - a 'blood oath' he has broken) and replaces with the idea of
    aesthetic ideals ("Aesthetics are a morale imperative"). Steinman has taken
    a very literal view Objectivist aesthetic ideals - art that depicts humankind
    as it should be but placed in the world as it is - while abandoning any kind
    of morality or duty to his patients.
    However, by this point, Steinman believes the only duty he has is to beauty
    (as he envisions it, anyway) and that Aphrodite herself has appeared to him.
    I interpret his audio diaries as though he believes that Aphrodite has quite
    literally appeared to him - I don't believe he is being metaphoric at all
    about the encounters he describes. Long before this point Steinman has started
    to cut and shape his patients without their permission - surgery addiction at
    work - and after talking with Aphrodite he has decided to abandon the principle
    human basics of symmetry in order to achieve (unreachable) perfection.
    The fact that Steinman mentions he has used a scalpel and ADAM to reshape
    himself together with his abandonment of the rules of human symmetry suggests
    to me that he is suffering from a form of body dysmorphism disorder - a mental
    condition that, in it's most extreme cases, leaves sufferers "believ[ing]
    that some part or area of their body is misshapen, asymmetrical, wrongly sized,
    or ugly." (from: http://www.homestead.com/westsuffolkpsych/BDD.html
    on 25 September 2007). Lesser forms of this condition leave sufferers wanting
    parts of their body changed to 'improve' their appearance, sometimes in ways
    that violate symmetrical human design. It is hard to pin down exactly, since
    sufferers of BDD aren't always easy to pick, but it is likely those those
    suffering BDD are more likely to commit suicide, seek plastic surgery (perhaps
    even multiple surgeries, or repeated surgeries on the same body part) or
    self-mutilate (from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder on 25 September 2007).
    Steinman may not have a typical case of BDD - he sees the imperfections in
    rather than himself - but he certainly appears to be showing some of the same
    symptoms of BDD. Together with his surgery addiction, this has left Steinman
    as a very dangerous individual in a collapsed society.
    5   Steinman - Higher Standards
    	Adam presents new problems for the professional. As your tools improve,
    	so do your standards. There was a time, I was happy enough to take off
    	a wart or two, or turn a real circus freak into something you can
    	show in the daylight. But that was then, when we took what we got, but
    	with Adam... the flesh becomes clay. What excuse do we have not to
    	sculpt, and sculpt, and sculpt, until the job is done?
    17  Steinman - Not What She Wanted
    	Steinman: Four-oh silk and ...done.
    	Nurse: The nose looks terrific, Doctor Steinman ...Doctor?
    	Steinman: You know, looking at it now... I didn't realize how much her
    		face sags... Scalpel...
    	Nurse: Excuse me?
    	Steinman: Scalpel!
    	Nurse: Uh, doctor, she's not booked for a face lift...
    	Steinman: Let's just come in here and... *starts whistling*
    	Nurse: Doctor... Stop cutting... Doctor, stop cutting... Get me the
    		chief of surgery! Get me the chief of surgery NOW!!!
    8   Steinman - Limits of Imagination
    	I am beautiful, yes. Look at me, what could I do to make my features
    	finer? With Adam and my scalpel, I have been transformed. But is there
    	not something better? What if now it is not my skill that fails me...
    	but my imagination?
    10  Steinman - Surgery's Picasso
    	When Picasso became bored of painting people, he started representing
    	them as cubes and other abstract forms. The world called him a genius!
    	I've spent my entire surgical career creating the same tired shapes,
    	over and over again: the upturned nose, the cleft chin, the ample
    	bosom. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could do with a knife what that old
    	Spaniard did with a brush?
    15  Steinman - Symmetry
    	Today I had lunch with the Goddess, 'Steinman,' she said... 'I'm here to
    	free you from the tyranny of the commonplace. I'm here to show you a new
    	kind of beauty.' I asked her, 'What do you mean, goddess?' 'Symmetry,
    	dear Steinman. It's time we did something about symmetry...'
    16  Steinman - Aphrodite Waking
    	Aphrodite is walking the halls - shimmering, like a scalpel...
    	'Steinman,' she calls, 'Steinman! I have what you're looking for! Just
    	open your eyes!' And when I see her, she cuts into me a thousand
    	beautiful pieces.
    When you encounter Steinman, he is failing in yet another experiment in
    'perfection' on another poor victim. He sees you as hideously ugly (due to your
    normal appearance) and attacks with a machine gun. Fortunately for you (and
    probably the rest of Rapture) the Narrator kills him and ends his insane quest
    for an unreachable aesthetic ideal.
    Sander Cohen is Ryan's pseudo-official artist-in-residence in Rapture -
    although there are other artists in Rapture, it is Cohen who has Ryan's ear.
    Cohen has taken control of Fort Frolic by the time the Narrator arrives in
    Rapture and has turned it into area of grotesque performance art murders.
    This section is going to discuss the locations of Rapture and the symbolism
    / features they contain.
    I'm going to flesh this section out further at a later date, but I came
    across something I thought was very interesting, so I'm putting it here lest
    I forget.
    INCINERATE - this Plasmid allows you to send a ball of flame towards a target
    which can see them burst into flame. It can also be used to ignite pools of
    oil or to melt ice.
    In "Atlas Shrugged", cigarettes are used as a symbol and metaphor for the
    light of knowledge in the following passage:
    "I like to think of fire held in man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force,
    tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits
    alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great
    things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of
    fire alive in his mind - and it is proper that he should have the burning
    point of a cigarette as his one expression."
    From: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Synopsis_of_Atlas_Shrugged%2C_
    Chapters_1-5#CHAPTER_THREE:_THE_TOP_AND_THE_BOTTOM, accessed 29 August 2007.
    I find it interesting that BioShock has both cigarettes as being relatively
    commonplace and available for the Narrator to smoke (for a small EVE boost
    i.e. mental benefit) while also allowing a Plasmid that literally gives
    fire "tamed at [the player's] fingertips". The fact that the only thing
    the Narrator does before the plame crash is smoke a cigarette, perhaps
    symbolic of the lighting of Ryan's mental fire in him.
    Or maybe what happens following that is a reason why people aren't allowed to
    smoke on planes anymore.
    BioShock is an excellent game and a good send-off for Irrational Games. It's
    not a perfect game - there are some flaws and I think it starts to drift
    towards being a more typical FPS after a great start, but the narrative more
    than makes up for this.
    I'm hopeful that there will be a BioShock 2, but I wonder what ideology it
    could attach itself to. Post-modernism? A distopian Buddhist society set on
    the sun? ;-)
    Regardless, BioShock was a great experience.
    My wife, who is currently letting me play BioShock with little complaint,
    but warns me that this situation will be ending "soon"
    v0.70: AlphaHumana, DrIchthus, Diehanddieverletzt
    v0.60: Shay Willard, gKaiser, Chris Bolts, vonpoon, Stephen Deininger, Adam
    Taylor, Michael Buchheim, nathaniel turner, demoniam
    7.2 Version History
    0.50 - Guide released to beat the rush; released 2 September.
    0.60 - Included more content; released 16 September.

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