Elizabeth was originally going to be mute, because Irrational Games wasn't confident in their ability to create a talking companion character, and were worried that repetitive chatter or quips would annoy the player. However, they felt that having to focus the camera on her for her to communicate visually interrupted the player's experience too much, and was also annoying. They were faced with the decision to either cut her completely, or commit to making her a speaking character, and the decision was very controversial around the studio at the time.
Some distant building models display an older Comstock graphic which does not reflect his final design. This suggests that these buildings come from earlier builds of the game, perhaps as far back as from 2010.
The ambient rumbling noise that can be heard in some parts of the game is actually music that has been pitch shifted downwards. Audio director Pat Balthrop was surprised that people discovered this by playing recordings of the game at high speed.
There is an unused vendor that was going to be used as a tailor machine. All of them are destroyed in game, although a single piece of equipment can be found within each of them. However, they have cut subtitles that seem to hint they were once going to be usable in the game.
The Old Man Winter Plasmid used in the "Burial At Sea" DLC was created by Joe Trinder. He posted the design on the game's official forums. Trinder’s design was immediately praised by other fans, quickly gaining attention on Reddit and even earning the approval of BioShock creator Ken Levine. Within a day, Irrational contacted Trinder and asked for permission to publish the poster on their Facebook page. A month later, the team bought the design from Trinder, and told him they planned to use it in the game. His initial version was for a Vigor, but it was changed into a plasmid to fit with the game's DLC.
While in Rapture, Booker uses the Bathyspheres for transport. According to an Audio Log in Bioshock, the Bathyspheres were locked to Andrew Ryan's genetic code, and because Jack, the protagonist from Bioshock, had similar DNA to Ryan, he was able to use them. This may imply that both Booker and Elizabeth are in some way related to Andrew Ryan.
When in front of the ticket salesman for the First Lady Airship, if you do nothing or demand the tickets, the salesman will stab you in the right hand, making Booker wear a bandage around that hand for the rest of the game. This is considered canon as this is how Booker is seen in all of his promotional art and even the front cover.
Right after Songbird dies in Rapture, if you look out the window you can see a little sister crying over a dead Big Daddy.
After a competition held by Irrational Games for fans to submit their names to be used as part of an in-game advertisement, the lead artists had picked entrant "Payton Lane Easter". The advertisement created which incorporated the name was "Payton Lane Easter & Sons Premium Automated Stallions".
In the Graveyard Shift Bar in Shanty town, if you head down to the cellar a guitar can be found. Elizabeth will state "I wish I could play" and if the player interacts with the guitar, Booker will start to play the guitar, and Elizabeth will sing along.
In the cemetery containing Lady Comstock’s mausoleum, explore the gravestones to the left of the entrance to her body. One of the graves, the only grave with legible hand-writing, says “SNIGHT” in bold letters. This is the personal signature of Mike Snight, one of the game's environment designers.
After rescuing Elizabeth from Monument Tower and waking up on the beach, it was originally intended for there to be a scene where Booker spoke to a couple instead of Elizabeth. This was changed to have Elizabeth save you from drowning and asking Booker if she could go listen to music, as it would show that she cared about Booker. The couple are still on the beach in the final game.
If you try to kill the Lutece twins at the Blue Ribbon, they will mock your attempts at trying to harm them (they are invulnerable).
After Booker first sees the Monument Island statue and receives the telegram from Lutece, if you approach the telescope to the left and look through it, you can see the twins at the bottom left of the screen. Robert will be juggling as Rosalind watches. Exit the telescope and they are nowhere to be found.
When Elizabeth enters the Duke and Dimwit game room in Battleship Bay, she talks about the latest version of the game "Flawless Flintlock" being "delayed three times". This is a self-referential nod to the game's development cycle, as it was delayed three times.
During seemingly music-less stretches of the game, an extremely slowed-down song is played in the background. When sped up, what seem to be voices can be heard in the song.
Throughout the game renditions of popular songs spanning the late 20th century can be heard. For example, when Elizabeth opens the tear to Paris, you can hear Tears for Fear's "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (1985) being played. The quartet at the fair are singing the Beach Boy's "God only Knows" (1966), and the crowd at the raffle is singing Huddie Ledbetter's "Goodnight, Irene" (1933). This is part of a subplot, in which a rich music producer has heard music from the future through tears, and has gone on to produce and sell it in the current day (the past), making money on future hit songs.
During the scene where you first meet Elizabeth, she tears a hole in reality to Paris. There is a theatre there showing 'la revanche du jedi', which translates to 'The revenge of the jedi'. This was the original name of 'Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi'.
Booker Dewitt was originally voiced by Stephen Russel (Garrett from the Thief series) until the team finally hired Troy Baker to take on the role.
Connection to Other Media
In the Warden's Office of Comstock House is a record player, with a record on it which reads "Rapture Records". This is a reference to the city of Rapture from the previous Bioshock games.
The propaganda poster featuring a little boy playing with toy soldiers and a little girl sitting on her father's lap asking him "Daddy, what did you do during the Siege of Columbia?" is based on a British World War I recruitment poster with the same illustration, but reads "Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?".
1999 Mode is a reference to the then-released game System Shock 2 also by Irrational Games.
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