Okay, Suchong was given quite the most delicious death imaginable sometime before the events of the game and the BioShock Wikia page lists his death at "1958", but... Well, it's odd. Assuming he died in 1958, he gets killed and Gil takes up the Big Daddy/Little Sister imprinting research, getting it juuuust right some time before the New Year party. So why the hell was Suchong still nailed to that operating table two years later? It's not like Suchong's death was a secret, it's not like he disappeared off the map; he was killed in his own medical office. Yet he was still left there like a piece of meat. It's not like space was a premium in Rapture, and that lab could have easily been kept and used by Gil's team, but they just kept Suchong's corpse there. Either the actual timeline of the game is messed up beyond all repair, or the only logical explanation is that Rapture's housekeeping crew was worse than Umbrella's.
That's because Rapture is, in fact, fucked up beyond sanity. Keep in mind the intro to BioShock 2 shows Delta walking past a dead body, and not twenty feet away there's a formal dinner party going on. Rapture is one of the most dysfunctional societies imaginable.
Why is there a free clinic near where all the big-shots live, in Apollo?
Apollo Square isn't an upper-class neighborhood, it is a residential area mainly for the working and middle class citizens. It makes sense for a free clinic to be there.
One issue I've always had in the game is the time period. Why does the game take place in 1960 and not the future? The incredibly advanced technology we see can get pretty hard to swallow at times consisting the game takes place about 50 years before modern day. The best explanation I can think of is to give Ryan more justification for resenting communism with it still being more active at that time, but it's not as though the ideas of socialism and communism are anywhere near dead today.
Well really, the toughest thing about Rapture is ADAM and EVE, which is something that could happen behind closed doors. The rest, it is vaguely feasible, in an unfeasible kind of way, that you could make it with enough money - and it being in the past, for it to fail.
Rapture was founded in 1946. Jack arrives in 1960. The war began in 1959. Why does everyone dress like it's 1920?
They dress like they're from the 40's, because that's when Rapture was built. You can't really know what the new fashions are when you're under the ocean.
Not to mention, the whole conflict broke out during a New Year's party. Now take a look at some parties we have nowadays for occasions like New Year's- fancy dress, and we've seen more of our fair share to '80's' parties. Maybe it was simply something that was set up as a 20's party, cause the citizens of Rapture were as nostalgic as we are?
While that could be said of the men (as male fashion changed very little in that time), the women, especially that one splicer model with the short black hair, was clearly wearing 1920s outfits. The 20s skirt was much shorter, so Rule of Sexy maybe?
I'd say there might be a bit of nostalgia among Rapture's elite for the 1920s, particularly since guys like Ryan probably made their fortunes in that time. Additionally, it seems fairly clear that the whole design ethos of art deco and Jazz Age Manhattan was deliberately chosen as the "official" look of Rapture, an approved architectural and artistic style that would celebrate the glory and creativity of unconstrained men and act as a counter to the austerity and conformism of the postwar surface society. Imagine a sort of a Socialist Realism for capitalists.
It's definitely this. Ayn Rand was EXTREMELY proscriptive about the music, architecture and fashion that was ideologically correct for Objectivists.
On the same topic, why are they using Tommy guns and not WWII era submachineguns?
Because the Tommy gun was a WWII era submachinegun. See here.
Good point, though. I think the only real-world weapon we ever see in the series is the Luger Sofia Lamb gives Delta to kill himself with in BioShock 2. I think that the idea was that Ryan, believing Rapture to be a utopia and all that, prohibited the import of firearms, leaving the populace to go all DIY once society began to break down. They're not really Thompsons so much as they are cobbled-together submachine guns that have a drum magazine.
That's exactly it. Look at the weapons you use. Sure, the revolver, shotgun, and machine gun look to be 'normal' weapons, but look at the other parts of your arsenal. A pipe wrench. A grenade launcher that has a magazine made from what looks like a large soup can. A chemical sprayer with a socket wrench as a handle (or a trigger, it's hard to tell). The crossbow looks somewhat normal, but all the other weapons (and the turrets and security bots) were cobbled together from whatever the citizens had at hand. Hell, most of the turrets are made up of a standard-issue swivel chair.
Always found it a bit odd that despite mostly being Americans, the main sidearm is a British Webley revolver.
The Webley Mk VI (chambered in .38 S&W instead of .455 Webley), Thompson M1921 and Spencer 1882 pump action shotgun are all real weapons (though it's less likely than, say, a Winchester Model 1897 or 1912, since both were used well into WWII and Korea). See more here.
While the above point about people cobbling guns and weapons together out of what was on hand is certainly valid and likely, given that Bibles were being smuggled into Rapture among other things despite clearly being prohibited it's not within of the realm of the impossible that, restrictions on guns or not, someone at some point might have thought it a good idea to smuggle in a few cases of old WW2 surplus firearms as well in case things kicked off, as they clearly did. An organised criminal like Fontaine would also probably want to back his words up with guns as well. Which also explains why the Webley rather than an American weapon — it was just what happened to be on sale at the time.
In the good ending, where Jack escapes Rapture with all the Little sisters he's saved and lives happily ever after? Well, I doubt it would be that simple. For one thing, when he gets to America/Britain/wherever, he has no passport, no documentation of any kind, and not nearly enough money to get by, much less support his new family. When he tries to register the little sisters for school, the authorities are going to have a lot of questions about why exactly is it that a single man is living with 20 some little girls that can't possibly be all his daughters. This isn't even taking into account the medical and psychological issues. Jack just learned that his whole life was a fake, the little girls where mind raped at a young age, and both them and their new "father" are bound to have PTSD from all the shit they've seen. Medically what are the long term side effects of carrying a parasitic sea slug in your body turning you into an ADAM factory? Or how about Jack's little Big Daddy voice box operation? Or now that he no longer has a steady supply of ADAM, but has still been spliced, won't he start to devolve like everyone else in Rapture did when they ran out of ADAM?
I'm pretty sure Jack has a passport. He did get on that plane at the beginning. And you collect like $20,000 dollars throughout the course of the game, if not more. And Jack seemed to cope just fine all things considered, the fact that he worked to save the Little Sisters despite higher temptations shows that his mental state must be relatively fine. And Jack didn't go under full conversion process to a Big Daddy, all he did really was slap on the suit, you'll notice it comes off before you fight Fontaine. The last one... unknown.
Even though Jack may have accumulated thousands of dollars throughout the game, they're Rapture dollars with Ryan's face on them; he might be hard-pressed finding someone who'd accept them as legal tender on the surface.
The second game establishes that Tenenbaum left Rapture too and lived on the surface until 1968. She's a successful scientist would have little trouble making money after she explained away her mysterious disappearance. She must've helped Jack get settled and raise the girls. As for the effects of splicing, my theory about how the whole ADAM-causes-insanity thing works explains it. Two IJBMs down, third bullet point. Basically, if Jack's not a mad splicer by the end of the game, he's not going to become one after leaving.
Was Ryan even surprised that it turned out the way it did? Obviously, if you bring people somewhere, tell them they'll become rich, then refuse to let them leave when they fail, and provide no support what so ever for the impoverished, and stigmatize altruism to the point where nobody would want to help them, they'll lash out. How could anybody, no matter how dogmatic, believe otherwise? It's even hinted that the reason Ryan shut down Fontaine was because of his poor houses (he didn't know about him building an army, or if he did, the journals never mentioned it). So really, you hate the idea of altruism so much that you'll punish people for helping each other? What. The. Fuck.
Rand didn't believe in altruism either - pure objectivism sees it as Ryan does, a way to encourage the poor to never take care of themselves and continue to be a drain on those who succeed. However, while the poorhouses bothered Ryan (especially because Fontaine opened them specifically because he knew Ryan wouldn't), it was mainly Fontaine just being flat out more successful than him. Ryan knew he was a smuggler on top of having the secrets to ADAM, so he kept trying to tie him to smuggling to find some way to legitimately remove his competition.
Okay, I'm confused. Is it the ADAM alone that made them insane? Or did it just push them over the edge? They make a lot of hints that it's the philosophy, or the war, or the isolation that played a role in it, but nobody ever acknowledges this. They just go "the ADAM did it." So, was this intentional on the designer's part, or am I just seeing subtext where there is none?
The ADAM was acknowledged to cause serious genetic breakdown, so while there were still revolutions going on and people upset with the status quo, the heavy use of ADAM was the biggest factor. Whatever revolution may have happened would have been very different without it. Also, it's much easier for the two biggest forces to control a population of drug addicts (such as the pheromones Ryan used).
My theory: Splicers have replaced so much of their genetic code with Plasmids that they eventually encroached on cells that were necessary for the brain to function (instead of healthy cells being replaced with other healthy cells, they were replaced with cells that let you shoot lightning). The "keeping back the tide" phrase refers to using further ADAM to repair those genes and keep your sanity. Sadly, with an increasing variety of other Plasmids to choose from in an already combat-filled environment, the temptation to keep splicing new stuff instead of leveling off or fixing their genes proved too great for many of them. Eventually, Rapture was left only with crazies, because the sane people didn't have enough enhanced abilities to survive.
Indirectly, we could say the philosophy did cause the destruction, since Ryan explicitly turned down the idea of regulating the plasmid market. Had Ryan not been so insistent on his philosophical purity, the splicing never would have gotten so out of hand.
Hacking the Vending machines. Why is this Parasitism, and not free enterprise? After all, if everyone has unlimited freedom to benefit off their work, then why not have the freedom to benefit from hacking a vending machine? Isn't that work?
It's theft of someone else's work. The idea is that you should be creating your own work and then charging what you believe your work is worth. If you rob a vending machine, you are taking away the work that someone else produced with less effort and without compensating for them. Yes, you work to hack the machine, but you're not doing it because you created something - you're doing it to relieve someone else of fair compensation.
One man's "fair compensation" is another man's "price gouger", huh?
While we're on the topic of hacking vending machines, why are there some items that can only be gotten if the machine is hacked? If they're in the machine, they should logically be for sale. If you need to hack the machine to get them, then why bother even putting them there in the first place? If you don't want people buying them, then just don't put them in!
I figured the logic behind that was that only certain people would be able to buy that item. Maybe they have a special key for the machine or a code they put in. Don't ask me what a successful businessman would want with armor-piercing rounds, though.
It's like Allegedly Free Game- ordinary users can use the "free" features, but if you pay the manufacturer an extortionate amount of cash you get more items available and reduced prices. And all for just R$9,999! Since this was added after the original machines were built they are easier to hack as they are not part of the regular anti-theft system.
What successful businessman wouldn't want armor-piercing rounds in this environment? Rapture is at war.
Remember the Buyout option? My theory is this: You don't buy out the machine to get the same benefits as hacking; You hack to get the same benefits as buying out. Essentially, buying or hacking puts you on the equivalent of their V.I.P. lists, so you can have this standard stuff, or, you can pay us a large sum of money, and get all this exclusive stuff, and get a discount on all further purchases.
Also, why on earth would you hack a vending machine to get a discount? I'm not too well versed in the art of vending machine hacking, but surely it'd be a lot more complicated to change the value of an item, rather than just get it to drop.
You're assuming that the vending machine has a computer in it. Juding by all the whirling servos and stuff, I'm thinking it's more of a crazy, purely mechanical device, with the prices hard-coded due to being made of mechancial parts, and owners could adjust the prices only in specific increments (such as X2 or X3), and by "hacking" you're simply lowing the price to the baseline level. Or maybe the developers didn't want players to get unlimited medpacks and stuff.
Originally, the vending machines, and other computer-run-devices, were actually splicers whose brains had been transplanted into the machinery. Hacking wasn't so much hacking as bribing, rerouting the flow of ADAM through the machine so that the splicer inside got an extra hit. In return for the bribe, the brain would give you a discount, or kick out a gift, or whatever. I'm really kind of sad they cut this, because it would have been a cool detail.
Given his role as Evil Objectivist Strawman, why the hell was Andrew Ryan so vehemently opposed to smuggling? The very concept of smuggling requires that the government place restrictions on what products can be sold, which is completely contrary to his aims.
Listening to the audio tapes, it's not hard to imagine Ryan slowly becoming the very thing he was fighting against (power-hungry and overbearing governments). This is seen pretty vividly when he started charging money for oxygen and confiscating Fontaine's business holdings.
It's more about the ends justifing the means, he must restrict SOME freedom, other wise those filthy Christians will spread their evil ideas of Altruism and destroy his society!
Ryan was convinced that any contact with the outer world would attract the attention of corrupt outer governments and lead to Rapture's destruction. Smuggling was the only crime that lead to contact with the world.
Then again, how could Rapture get by without any contact with the surface? There is no way in hell it could be completely self-sufficient - how would you make enough steel for maintaining the buildings? And surely it could not sustain the infrastructure for making technological advancements on its own? The number of inhabitants is not stated, but it seems unlikely to be more than a few thousand. Some discrete dealings with the surface would be a necessity. And that lighthouse was rather indiscreet anyway.
I don't think they were supposed to be entirely insular. The smugglers mostly moved in bibles, which went against the idea of removing irrationality.
I think the real problem with smuggling was not that it was contact with the outside world, but uncontrolled contact with the outside world. "Legal" shipping would likely be done in a tightly controlled and secretive manner to keep Rapture hidden, while smugglers wouldn't exactly be bound by those rules.
Keep in mind that they were 1: smuggling Bibles, and 2: having contact with potential parasites. The first point is probably satire on how a philosophy of minimal government inteference seems to care about other's religious beliefs, the second point is obviously to keep the "CIA jackals" from finding out about Rapture, even Galt forbid contact outside of Galt's Gulch.
...and you've just explained everything. Ryan isn't a straw man as much as he's a crappy Objectivist. He almost admits as much in one of the audio diaries (as regards Fontaine). He's fixated on an idea behind Objectivism, rather than the actual idea itself.
Alternatively, calling Ryan a crappy Objectivist may be like calling Lenin and Stalin crappy Communists because they did a lot of stuff Marx didn't plan for. Most political ideologies, especially the extremely 'purist' ones based on the supremacy of a single idea over all else, wind up getting a lot messier when someone actually tries to implement them on the ground.
At least according to Ken Levine, that was the point of Ryan - taking a pure fundamentalist of ideology and putting them in the real world. Ideals look great on paper, but they never take into account the human factor. Ryan's fall was actually the realization that a pure, free market had to apply to him as well - and he doesn't take it well when someone else manages to outdo him in fair competition.
What was Sander Cohen doing to people that was turning them into stone? Was he covering them with concrete or something?
Yeah, my guess is he just killed them and covered them in plaster of Paris or something.
If you look closely at some of them, you can see were the blood ran down their chests after he apparently slit their throats.
Also, if you strike them they bleed, so yeah, it looks like they're just coated in something. Although, if I recall correctly, you see him use a device that instantly petrifies one of them. I might be wrong though.
Possibly he has some sort of "cover you in concrete" plasmid, also. I mean, you have a plasmid that shoots bees...
I'm pretty sure that's ice. He was freezing everybody.
Don't think so - a lot of the statues in the game are under spotlights, which are generally known to be pretty heat-intensive, so surely they'd melt.
It's paper-mache, apparently.
I believe he covered them with some kind of wax
Has anyone read the Bioshock: Rapture book? Apparently Cohen went high on ADAM, kidnapped people who he thought were doing something wrong, attacked them with plasmids for sadistic "fun" and then covered them in plaster. Occasionally he would get tired and use a razor to simply slit their throats instead.
What was the purpose of Atlas going to the submarine to look for his family, given that they never existed in the first place? Surely, if Ryan hadn't attacked, the player would have seen through his deception?
Get on submarine. Wave goodbye. Leave.
Except that he was planning a takeover from the beginning. Only thing I can think of is that he wanted his story to be believable, except that should be unnecessary with the whole mind control thing.
Even with the mind control thing, it would probably be best not to antagonize Jack. If he did, Jack would go about his mission very reluctantly, and if he lost contact with him (which happened when Sander Cohen took over the radio at one point), or Jack managed to find a way to get rid of the radio, then the whole mission would be lost. And he can't be sure that the mind control is 100% insurmountable, so it's probably best to play it safe.
Yeah, and the stress of knowing that he was being mind controlled would also affect his ability to survive Rapture. Fontaine needed to work with the roles, and the role for Jack was a guy from the surface who stumbled onto this undersea mess and just wanted to get out. Atlas's initial interest in saving Jack made him the only sane voice in Rapture. The submarine incident was the set up for Fontaine's true objectives. It gave "Atlas" an emotional incentive for directing Jack to assassinate Ryan and it convinced Jack that as long as Ryan was alive, no one was going topside.
Exactly this. Next time you go through BioShock, pay attention to how many times Atlas actually invokes the Arc Words. It's actually surprisingly uncommon; he only does it when it's REALLY important.
The submarine could have been used to give him direct access to Ryan's throne roo- er- office, seeing as how there's a window open to the water right above the control panel, IIRC. Dock against glass, cut hole, kill Ryan, get Jack to use the key, kill Jack, Fontaine wins.
I think it was a bit of a Xanatos Gambit. Atlas knew that Ryan would blow up the submarine before you could get to it.
I assumed it was money/Eve/whatever valuables he could scrounge up and put together.
It's all about the radio. Atlas needed to keep Ryan, who was listening in on the radio the whole time, in the dark about his plan, or else, with said radio access, Ryan could've just hijacked control of Jack. Thus, he had to set up a story that would be convincing to both people and end with him ordering Jack to kill Ryan. The best way of making this convincing was to engineer a situation where Ryan would strike such a heart-wrenching blow as to drive Atlas to advocate bloody revenge—and killing your nonexistent family is pretty much the best way of doing that. Since he gave Ryan plenty of time and directions to figure out where the sub was, it was a safe bet that the thing would be destroyed before it could escape. The real risk was that he'd try to get inside it...
It was a good way of getting Jack to distrust Andrew Ryan. Think about it, you are trapped in an underwater slaughter house, and only one guy agrees to help you. Add the lucky coincidence of Andrew Ryan trying to kill you by locking you in a room (just before you get into Medical), and it's obvious who the bad guy is. I believe that the reason Atlas didn't simply use the "Would you kindly" command is because Jack would catch on quickly. Asking you to pick up a wrench as a weapon is fairly safe (considering the situation you are in) but saying "Would you kindly murder someone you don't know and have never met before" is a bit of a stretch. Presumably, such a command would not be as efficient as letting Jack do it of his own (ha ha) "free will". Hence the attempt to gain trust.
There were five audio-diaries left out of the game. One of them was of Peach Wilikins (the smuggling boss from Neptune's Bounty) describing his job as taking Fontaine's mini-sub to the surface and collecting choice items like tobacco and food. If the mini-sub is supposed to be Fontaine's old property, then he's not stealing it, he's reclaiming it. Probably to help rebuild his empire once Ryan is knocked off, but at the bottom of the ocean, it would be handy in hundreds of ways. Fontaine does say he's going to head to the surface and use the technology to make himself extremely wealthy.
Also, it's not as though the submarine would have been a terrible risk to Fontaine even if Ryan hadn't bombed it. If Jack had gotten inside to find nobody there, how much you wanna bet Atlas would have come on the radio with something like "Damn! Ryan must have beaten us here! I... I'm sorry to do this to you, but I just can't leave without my family. Please, there's a chance they're still alive... would you kindly head back into the city to help me look for them?"
Or said the same thing in person, since he was right there.
I just assumed that Fontaine had rigged the sub to explode himself. Ryan launching an attack was a happy coincidence. After the explosion, Ryan doesn't refer to the sub, but instead accuses you of being a thief. Given that he isn't happy about your being there, it seems less likely that he'd destroy your means of leaving.
It's possible that Fontaine rigged it, though given that he was presumably trying to deceive Ryan as well, it would have risked tipping off Ryan. However, given how strongly he enforced secrecy and reacted to potential government intrusions (i.e. you), I doubt Ryan would have wanted you to leave and potentially tell people about Rapture.
Actually, if you look, you can see a Spider Splicer leap out of the sub. Possibly a paid goon of Fontaine's to set the charges?
If you don't pull the lever and instead approach the submarine before the doors lock down, Atlas will radio saying, "Do you hear them? Do you hear anything at all?" Perhaps you would have found the body of a dead woman and child if you managed to get into the submarine, and Atlas would still be on a bloodlust revenge rampage, saying it was Ryan or one of his splicers.
However, Jack didn't have anything other than Atlas' word to go on for how to get out of Rapture anyway, so I really don't see the point of making him run to the Smugglers' Bay before heading after Andrew Ryan; if Atlas had just told Jack from the beginning that the only way out of Rapture was to get Ryan's genetic key, as he did after the Smuggler's bay, Jack would have had no choice but to believe him and pursue that option, mind-control or no mind-control. Sure, he might have had a little less reason to trust Atlas; but he still wouldn't have much reason to think he was lying, and the trigger phrase would be more than enough to overcome any hesitation, especially considering that Jack wouldn't really have any other choices besides sitting around and waiting to starve to death, and that Jack finds plenty of evidence as he travels through Rapture that Andrew Ryan is basically an evil bastard who deserves to die.
Why is it that when Ryan says "Sit... would you kindly.", Jack obeys immediately after the "sit", but before the command phrase is uttered?
I don't think it's necessary to say the phrase for every single command. Jack followed many commands from Atlas that didn't contain "would you kindly". One utterance seems to be enough to make Jack carry out several instructions. After all, Ryan's command to "Kill!" didn't need the phrase to work.
"Sit" isn't the most unreasonable request. Jack probably just did it because he asked, Ryan only added "...would you kindly?" to be dramatic.
But Jack sits on the floor. Who immediately sits on the floor outside somebody's office when told to sit?
Why would you sit at the request of someone you came to kill? It seems more likely that each "would you kindly" sensitizes Jack to anything said for some time, so just by saying "would you kindly" in the monologue leading up to that command, Ryan guarantees his control over Jack. Then he uses the phrase several times to make it very clear to Jack that it gives anyone who uses it complete control over him.
You'll notice that a lot of the time it's made so that you have no real option but to do as Atlas wants, if you want to go anywhere. Your other option is to sit on your ass and do nothing at all.
Why do the splicers not make use of the resurrection booths?
Given that their revivification capabilities aren't advertised, it's quite possible that their builder didn't let anyone else figure it out. The diaries inside the place claim that the Vita-Chambers only work for Andrew Ryan and close relatives, which is why Ryan turns the nearest Vita-Chamber off before letting you in.
What about Subject Delta and Subject Sigma aka Porter?
That one is explained in-game: Eleanor rekeyed the vita-chamber network to Delta during the Time Skip.
Exactly - as the player is Ryan's son, he is given control of parts of the station that are locked down to everyone else, including the booths and bathyspheres.
If the splicers are Rapture denizens driven insane by their use of plasmids, why can the player character upgrade himself to the brim with plasmids and tonics without suffering similar effects?
Splicing too fast causes hallucinations, dizziness, and other problems, but those are only short-term and can be treated with Adam. It's the New Year's Day attack, as well as the mind control stuff Andrew Ryan and Fontaine Industries added to the more popular cosmetic devices that cause the really decisive insanity. Well, that and evil greedy humans willing to kill for Adam.
The Splicers have also probably been suffering from severe withdrawal effects, seeing as how once plasmids were discovered, people quickly grew dependent on them and were hit hard when the natural sources of Adam were destroyed.
Since you spend the game murdering people you've never met, ripping the guts out of little girls, beating your dad to death because he tells you to and end up putting on the stinky rubberised covering of a dead man-beast, it's possible the whole game is just you going as crazy as everyone around you.
Also, not everyone who use ADAM appear to be driven insane. Fontaine loads up on the stuff by the liter and still seems relatively well-balanced, and Tenenbaum seems sane, and she had to have used the Sister-curing plasmid on herself (Jack can't have freed enough Sisters to have accounted for all the children in the safehouse by that point).
Tenenbaum may have used a little ADAM to activate the Sister-curing plasmid, but she might not have used very much, since she has no obvious superpowers or modifications to her appearance. It looks like the insanity-inducing effect comes from using a lot of the stuff, as do the deformities you see on the splicers (and, to a greater degree, on Fontaine).
Fontaine is * not* well-balanced. He's loaded up on the stuff by the liter but * never used it* , and once he starts using it, he turns into a frothing raving Hulk-like Frankenstein's Monster.
Actually, you see him quite clearly using superhuman strength right before you enter Prometheus Point, so he has been using plasmids before you fight him in the penthouse. Besides, if he was just an ordinary human, how did he fight off so many Spider Splicers in the sub bay?
I think it was made relatively clear somewhere (can't remember where) that Fontaine stayed clear from the plasmids himself until around the Point Prometheus level. In fact, I think he mentions it right there.
That said, if Jack takes the evil path and harvests the Sisters, he does eventually go mad with ADAM overload — the evil ending shows Jack going on a Sister-murdering rampage as he eats all their ADAM. The good ending has Jack fail to do so specifically because to get the good ending you have to have Jack show restraint and self-discipline every time he's faced with the temptation of more ADAM, i.e. have a will of iron.
Well, you get almost as much ADAM from the Little Sister's gifts and the little you can siphon off of them as you do just killing them and eating the slug. Rather, I would have it that Jack, being stronger and more capable than the regular denizens of Rapture (which are mentioned in one audio tape to be mostly poets, artists, and tennis players), is able to maintain a steady stream of ADAM. Without that stream, he'd be disfigured and insane. He also may have had serums to resist ADAM's effect put into him by Tenenbaum and Fontaine before he was sent to the surface, that way he was a more efficient murder machine.
Jack starts saving Little Sisters before he knows that he'll get gifts that make up for it. On top of that, you don't get the gifts that makes up for the lost ADAM until you've saved three Sisters. Until you actually pick up the gifts, you have way less ADAM than you would if you'd harvested them all. Then it mostly gets made up in one go.
Harvesting the Little Sisters feels like it's worth a lot more, but really it only adds up to 240 extra ADAM. (Thanks to the bonus 200 you get for every 3 you save.)
Or it could just be that Jack's body would not reject the plasmids, seeing as he was created with a lot of help from said plasmids? It would be like transfusing yourself with your own blood instead of someone else's. Jack's body doesn't see the plasmids as foreign substances, so there is virtually no risk of rejection. Or it could be that Jack was specifically designed to take advantage of plasmids in the first place. This would be a huge advantage over the regular denizens of Rapture, for whom injecting with plasmids was basically ripping out chunks of their own DNA and hastily slapping ADAM-altered Instagenes into the empty slots. Which may explain the deforming after-effects of taking plasmids as their bodies not only rejected the plasmids over time, but lost normal unaltered DNA parts as well.
Getting into some of the other material, specifically some of the early information about the game, it's a matter of time. Jack will be driven insane, if he keeps shooting ADAM. The crazy is a long term effect, partially because how much power it brings, rather than an immediate response.
Jack is a mind-fucked genetic mutant. Can he even go insane?
It should be kept in mind that Rapture's citizens were using far more plasmids than Jack gets access to. One example would be the cosmetic plasmids that changed one's race or appearance, which probably broke down into several different plasmids each.
My theory? That's the point of the plasmid/tonic slots. There's nothing to stop you from injecting yourself with several other plasmids. When you buy a 'slot' you are actually getting a plasmid/tonic/genetic modification thing that stablizes your genetic structure so you can handle more plasmids. The thing is, since they're pretyy expensive, not many people bothered with them in the first place, figuring "I'll be alright. It's just one more..." and destroyed themselves because there wasn't enough "room" for all the plasmids to work together. Instead, you had several genetic goo-things all "fighting" to replace other cells with theirs, hence why the splicers don't use plasmids against you in the game, even though you have two of them used against you in the opening scene from BioShock 2.
The good ending implies that the main character died in hospital with former Little Sisters by his side. What did the hospital staff make of his unusual physique? Also, did he get his voicebox back to normal?
Aside from the voicebox, there was no actual modification to the main character's physique. The first part of the ending clearly shows him OUT of the Big Daddy Suit he was wearing before. And he was a Heroic Mime anyways.
He was spliced up to be a fully grown man at the chronological age of two. He had stuffed his body full of plasmids and tonics which gave all kinds of absurd abilities. Surely this would leave some traces in his body?
Who says it didn't? That doesn't mean he won't eventually wind up in a hospital bed in his old age, which is all we really know.
Would the technology of the day (outside of Rapture) be able to find anything odd about him that didn't just look like cancer? He presumably died of old age, and most people who die of natural causes don't get extensive pathology done. Of course, since the game is set in the early 60's, his death might have come as late as the present day or near-future, assuming he didn't continue to rapid-age after the events of the game.
According to the good ending, Jack lived long enough to see the former Little Sisters grow up, and at least some of them get married. So he lived into at least the 1980s.
Not just get married, but also have children of their own (which is something I just caught after my second playthrough). So late Nineties, early 2000s is my guess.
ADAM was discovered because of its healing powers and while the game differentiates between HP and ADAM due to Gameplay and Story Segregation, I imagine it could have been used to fix the voicebox. Since plasmids and tonics can be erased to be replaced with new ones, I also imagine there's also the possibility of removing them entirely, so what's left is the removable suit and some pheromones (that I doubt last forever).
What happened to Tennenbaum at the end? I assume that she had to have escaped along with the main character in order to give the ending narrations, but I'm not even sure how she managed to survive Rapture in the first place, unless she's also spliced up with Adam.
She can narrate from wherever she damn well pleases, it's beyond the fourth wall, so it doesn't matter. As for how she survived, well, she could just be an intelligent, resourceful individual.
I thought that she met up with Jack near the end (off camera), just before she (or they in the good ending) escape to the surface. Whether he has Little Sisters in tow (or his degree of visible insanity) defines which ending you get. The things she mentions in the good ending are just educated guesses on her part. If he does not have Little Sisters, then she can safely assume that he harvested some or all of them, triggering one of the bad endings.
Tenenbaum has plasmids to control Big Daddies, as well as allies in the form of the indestructible Little Sisters. With allies like that, who could touch her? She's also shown in the Little Sisters' cove, hiding behind indestructible glass.
Besides being able to control Big Daddies, Fontaine does hint that she has some other tricks up her sleeve to have stayed alive this long.
The videos of the sequel suggest she has continued living in Rapture in the time between the two games, and is still there.
Tenenbaum mentions returning from the surface in BioShock 2, so it's possible she left with Jack for a time. Her possessing his wrench at the end of the Minerva's Den DLC might support this too.
How does the radio work? Sander Cohen is able to block out everyone's transmissions but his own apparently at will, but Tennenbaum is able to contact you pretty much everywhere (when you free Little Sisters).
Sander Cohen is the city's biggest artist and an absolute control freak. It's easy to imagine him becoming proficient at radio jamming and control to ensure that his voice is the only one heard on the airwaves.
I assumed that, as she was not stinking up the airwaves with incessant arguments and passionate threats, Sander Cohen didn't really mind her staying on, but Atlas and Ryan were really annoying him.
To answer the original question: shortwave radio won't propagate through seawater. What's probably happening is that Rapture's intercom system includes antennas scattered all over the inside of its buildings, which are used as repeaters. So all you have to do is link your transmitter up to the intercom system and it will carry your voice wherever you want via the intercom, then beam it to anyone in the area who's carrying a radio set to the appropriate frequency. Conceptually, it's very similar to the earliest types of cell phones.
Therefore, Cohen can take over the radio system in Fort Frolic just by disabling the repeater transmitters in his own area, or setting up an override switch. That gives him control over whose messages get transmitted to any radios in Fort Frolic.
Conversely, your shortwave radio can send audio signals back to receivers built into the walls, which carry the sound of whatever's going on around you to people who are plugged into the network.
You've got a city at the bottom of the sea. You've got plasmids and gene tonics. Why hasn't anyone thought of giving people gills so flooding wouldn't be a problem?
Gills aren't exactly marketable.
Another problem is pressure. So far under the surface of the water gills wouldn't help you much, since the water-pressure would just smash you to paste.
Actually, that wouldn't be an unsolvable problem with a little more tech - water pressure is only a danger for those with gas inside them (compressing solids and liquids takes other kinds of pressure). Flush out all the air in your lungs and you're fine since the rest is already dissolved in your blood. Of course, getting the water out of your lungs is another problem...
Wouldn't the pressure also mean any time we see water seeping in (such as in the cracked water tunnels) that it should be shooting with enough pressure to sheer clean through anyone who tries to cross the stream?
Frankly, yes. Having water seeping in only makes sense if there are multiple layers of wall: water shoots in through the outer wall, which breaks the force of the jet, so that it's under less pressure as it trickles through the inner wall. And that's not really true in the tunnels.
Not to mention the low temperature. Sea creatures are specifically designed to survive deep water environments, but humans are not. You'd have to make radical changes to allow somebody to survive in the event the city floods.
Besides which, the point of Rapture isn't to live at the bottom of the sea, it's to give people a place to develop the latest scientific technology. If the city's underwater then all the electronics and tech will be completely knackered, which would mean everyone fleeing the city anyway. In the event of Rapture flooding, the idea was to just ship everyone out of there - which obviously became impossible with Ryan locked down the bathyspheres.
Money for R&D was getting tight at that point with all the chaos. The Big Daddies *are* their attempt at using a combination of gene splicing and mechanical technology to make a human who can survive at the bottom of the sea — and as we can see, it's a pretty kludgy, incomplete solution.
It works though, evidenced by the gameplay trailer now on Youtube (I'm not going to link to it, partly because it'll get taken down and partly because I can't make external links). The Big Daddy prototype can actually walk around outside Rapture, so it stands to reason that the more developed ones could as well. It's just that the more modern ones are just drones, whereas the prototype was more intelligent.
At some points in the game (near windows), you do see Big Daddies walking around the ocean floor. Not sure what they're doing, but it did give me a start the first time it happened.
Why did Fontaine arrange it so that Jack would get to Rapture by hijacking a plane and crashing it, instead of just commandeering a suitable ship? Not only would there be no guarantee of Jack surviving the crash, but the resulting search might lead to Rapture being discovered, which is, presumably, not in Fontaine's interest - if it were, he would already have broadcasted the location to all and sundry.
It's possible that the plane crash was an implanted memory as well, and Fontaine just put him on the bathysphere himself.
I doubt it. In the opening level, a very solid, very real chunk of the plane smashes up the walkway you're using.
Possibly, he was hoping to attract attention in a manner similar to this: 1) Plane crashes in ocean. 2) Search party goes to find plane. 3) They find an anomalous lighthouse instead. 4) Search party is then replaced by the nuclear submarine seen in the "Bad" ending. 5) Fontaine, after taking control of Rapture with Jack's help, steals nuclear sub. Although this just reeks of Gambit Roulette, in hindsight, so did his entire plan.
It's difficult to get a random dude with no history and no papers on board a ship in the first place. Back then, a plane was easier. Also, it's almost impossible for someone with no training to steer a ship all the way to a set of coordinates all by himself, and simply hijacking the ship would leave too many witnesses. Crashing a plane full of people — none of whom can use the bathysphere in the lighthouse — is a pretty neat way to get him there witness-free. As for the chance he might die, sure, but remember that Jack is bred to be a superman killing machine.
Fontaine has contacts with the outside; he could hire a ship to carry Jack near Rapture, which would make Jack's lack of papers irrelevant.
Except that most of those contacts vanished with Fontaine's fake death. He couldn't very well use Peach Williams' smugglers to set this up, for instance.
The viral website for the sequel reveals that Andrew had made the area a 'no-go zone.' If Jack had gone the seafaring way, he would have been picked up by a patrol monitoring radar signals out there.
Actually, why couldn't Fontaine just bypass all need to slap Jack onto a ship, plane, or other vehicles of the outside world? He was able to have an entire personal history implanted into his brain. Couldn't he have just placed Jack knee-deep in the steps up to the bathysphere structure with him thinking to himself, "man, I can't believe I was lucky enough to survive that plane crash and find this oddly located lighthouse!".
As remarked just above, a very real piece of a plane crashes into the ship—not to mention all of the suitcases and debris scattered around.
What's to say the actual memories don't start just past that debris?
Given that Fontaine never used plasmids until the end, why is there a Gene Bank in his apartment?
Also, why did he splice away his penis? He is naked when in boss form, yet there is no sign of it.
Because if it was there, someone would shoot him in it and Jack Thompson would go on about these newfangled baby-killing castration simulators. Alternatively, it's a play on "Atlas", with him taking the idealized form of the Atlas statue in the Welcome To Rapture level, which was the impression I got from his Adam-less form looking like living bronze.
Even if Fontaine never touched the stuff, he could have used his apartment Gene Bank to outfit his thugs with plasmids after Fontaine Futuristics was seized by Ryan. As for his junk, it could have been retractable at that point, retreating into his body to be protected by the Armored Shell ability.
Fontaine remarks during one of the last radio transmissions that he might still get a family of his own in the future. I guess his package is still intact. That, or his modus operandi would rely on conning some single parent into falling in love with him. It's still amusing that you can wade through a game of turning little girls inside out into tennis rackets but you can't show a peener.
"Would you kindly" isn't exactly a rare phrase. Surely some kind of accident would have happened to Jack while he was away? I mean, what if someone had said "Would you kindly go get hit by a car" or something similar during an argument?
Then Jack would have walked out and got hit by the nearest car. The more you think about it, the more Fontaine's plan becomes a giant Gambit Roulette. It just happened to pay off.
Presumably, Jack would have been kept in a tightly-controlled environment on the surface, and if he stayed in a farmhouse like his memories implied, he might have been isolated from everyone.
Which the prison tattoos on his forearms (the chain links) seem to back up. Solitary confinement, maybe?
Why Andrew Ryan's son, who he never met, has "Great Chain of Industry" tats on his hands is a question for the ages. Subliminal connection to the symbol?
I always thought Fontaine gave him those. Less of the "Great Chain" and more of a reminder that Jack's will is not his own.
I assumed Jack has barely been on the surface for, what, a day or so? — not long enough to have had any kind of life at all. His "childhood", his "parents" — all purely implanted memories.
That is a good question, so let's think about this logically. So, we know Fontaine is a Chessmaster and a Manipulative Bastard. So in all likelihood, he saw that problem too. So, there was the phrase 'would you kindly' which makes Jack obey any order without question. But then, there's "code yellow" which tells Jack's brain to tell his heart to stop beating. This answers our question right here. From the above, we know that there were multiple 'command' phrases. Therefore, if you were an evil mastermind and wanted to make certain there wasn't a 'car' incident, as suggested above, what do you do? The answer is simple: You make a 'trigger' phrase which causes Jack's conscious to black out and follow the orders on the note, i.e. hijacking the plane and crashing it, while simultaneously prepping his mind to accept the 'command' phrases. It's like having an on/off switch. Of course, that's just a theory. I couldn't get a good look at the note. It went too fast.
The note's first words are "Would you kindly", but the rest of it is off-screen. Well, maybe you could see it with a model viewer. Someone with the PC version care to have a look at it?
You can see it briefly during a flashback when Ryan's has his big twist speech. It's basically "Would you kindly not open this package until such and such coorodinates and use the gun inside to hijack the plane." Essentially, it says exactly what you'd think it says once you hit The Reveal.
What is happening to the outside world while all this is going on? In Atlas Shrugged, Galt and company withdrew from society to basically bring about The End of the World as We Know It, yet in BioShock the goal is to simply "Get away from the stupid people." Surely stealing away some smart and presumably famous artists, doctors, actors, and scientists have to make some kind of wave outside. Could the CIA and KGB really know about Rapture after all?
That will most likely be covered in the sequel, if there's going to be one.
The sequel has already been announced, the teaser (featuring what looks like a pre-teen Little Sister) was even included on the PS3 port of BioShock.
Nothing, presumably. That's part of the point. BioShock's relation to Objectivism is that it deconstructs Atlas Shrugged by taking a contradiction (the situation at the end of the novel and how we know societies, innovation, markets, etc. actually work) and resolving it (the objectivist society is destroyed by externalities, our society keeps on ticking).
To add, not every brilliant and / or famous person (or even most) is an Objectivist. Plenty of smart people would have leapt at the chance to join Ryan's vision, true. Plenty more, however, would have just as likely reacted along the lines of "That's insane / horrific / monstrous / crazy / stupid / almost guaranteed not to end well / [insert your own objection]," and stayed right where they were. Some absences would have been noticed, certainly, but probably not enough to drastically affect the outside world in any meaningful way.
In the good ending we see that the sisters are given a chance to live full lives, and at the end we see an old and wrinkled female hand holding the hand of the presumably dying protagonist in a hospital bed; presumably one of the sisters. Which is nice, except for the age difference. Suchong's recording found right before meeting Ryan mentions that at an age of six months Jack has the body of a 45 year old, or something like that. Even if we assume the accelerated aging was turned off, he's about 30 years older than the sisters. Unless that was Tenenbaum there...
Suchong's log says that at a year old, Jack possessed the "gross musculature of a fit 19 year old." That'd make him physically about twelve or thirteen years older than the Little Sisters, if my numbers are right, which seems reasonable enough. Watching the cutscene, the female hand looks like it belongs to an adult woman. So even if Jack only lived to be forty, chronologically, that's enough time for the girls to grow up.
Aging is not a single process, growing up and getting old are two completely different bodily functions. You can grow someone's body to full maturity and it won't make them any older or closer to dying. Similarly, you could make someone older without making them more mature.
Growing old is caused by telomeres (non-coding regions of the DNA strands) getting shorter over time. It's possible the accelerated growth never triggered increased deterioration, allowing him to live a normal life span.
Presumably, but not definitely. It doesn't seem completely impossible that Jack got married himself, or perhaps even that Tennenbaum knew what happened because she attended to him at the end for all he had done.
Why does Fontaine attempt to have Jack killed immediately after he kills Ryan? You'd think someone who's been mind controlled into obeying your every command would be a valuable asset you'd want to keep around.
Because he would've eventually figured out that he was being mind-controlled (indeed, he already did before Atlas tried to kill him).
The only thing Jack needs to do to escape Fontaine's control is to get rid of the radio, and he's already made an ally out of Tenenbaum who knows how to undo the mind control. On top of that, he's a rapidly-resurrecting, plasmid-toting, enraged killing machine who'll be gunning straight for Fontaine at the earliest convenience. Jack needs to be taken out.
Interesting point worth noting is that Fontaine appears to be unaware that Jack can resurrect via the Vita Chambers. I mean, he tries to have Jack killed right off the bat in Hephaestus once the city is in his control, and later he tries to make Jack commit suicide via Big Daddy. Neither of those would work on Jack permenantly, and Fontaine attempting to kill him wouldn't make sense if he knew he could just resurrect and keep on coming back.
Maybe since Fontaine had the genetic key working for him, he planned on turning off the Vita Chambers when Jack was disposed? Of course, he doesn't for some reason, so maybe not. Otherwise, it looks like the mental triggers are active even after Jack resurrects in the chambers, so if he gives Jack a command to kill himself, he'll likely continue to do it even * after* he's resurrected. Fontaine may have just figured as long as Jack was programmed to keep dying, he wouldn't be a threat.
The secret is revealed, and Jack just found out he's been used as a tool. To continue to use him is about as foolish as relying on a Literal Genie.
Better yet, why doesn't he try to command him to die right away? He already has security bots shooting him, why not just tell him to stand still?
Pure arrogance. Fontaine has just won big time and (so he thinks) is now unstoppable. And but for a very timely rescue-by-Little-Sister, releasing the bots would've done Jack in.
Just how much did Tenenbaum know about Jack and all the psychological/genetic manipulation that had been done to him, anyway? And why didn't she say anything just a little bit sooner, like, say, when he first ran into her?
She really has no reason to. All Tenenbaum really cares about is protecting and saving the Little Sisters, and she needs to get rid of both Ryan and Fontaine. Jack's already on a collision course with Ryan anyway, so there's no reason to talk to Jack about what he really is until he's taken Ryan and a good chunk of the feral splicer population out. It is, of course, entirely probable that she thought Fontaine really was Atlas, too, and thus thought he was a good guy. Note that she only intervenes once Fontaine reveals himself.
She doesn't seem to be aware of who Jack actually is when she first meets him. She also isn't aware of Atlas' identity either, so it likely took her as long as it did for Ryan to put two and two together. My impression was that she wasn't even aware Fontaine was still alive, so she wouldn't be expecting the person she created to be returning to Rapture if there was no one to force him to.
Though her intervention required her to dispatch a couple of Little Sisters to Central Control, so she must have set it up at least a few minutes before hand.
Why does Jack murder the Little Sisters in the bad ending? Those Little Sisters have already been cured; you can tell by the fact that their eyes aren't glowing yellow. If they've been cured, then they're (physically) just normal kids and not a source of Adam, so what is the point of killing them?
Presumably, the bad ending depicts a Jack who has gone batshit insane on plasmids, just like all the other splicers.
He may think they have ADAM in their syringes and be mainly interested in those... in addition to being batshit insane on plasmids.
The strategy guide itself comments on the endings as being purely rational decisions, and Tenenbaum's narration doesn't say that he went insane; she says he couldn't resist the temptation of power. Taking the city doesn't make him insane. It makes him evil. In the bad ending, Jack quite literally had the possibility of controlling the entire city, and so he decided to take it. Why did Jack kill the cured Little Sisters? Because they just got done killing Fontaine right in front of him. If they could do it to Fontaine, they could do it to him. It doesn't make his actions any less evil, though. Children getting hurt is my Berserk Button.
Why is that only little girls can harvest ADAM? Is a pre-menstrual female body necessary? Do they hit puberty and menstruate all the ADAM out? Do pre-pubertal penises reject ADAM?
It's never explained. One of Tenenbaum's audio diaries does say that there's a reason little girls are the ones to be able to harvest ADAM, but she doesn't explain that reason.
Specifically, she expresses puzzlement as to why the 'Little Sister-ification' process only works with girls. Her comments about it failing to work on adults in the same recording suggest that it is doesn't work from a physiological perspective, rather than just being a constraint imposed by Fontaine. "One less bathroom" is just Fontaine wisecracking.
She also says that she knows why it doesn't work on adults of either sex; she just doesn't know why it won't work on male children. This implies that she's tried and failed. It may be a chromosome issue.
Maybe the hormonal make-up in female children is suitable or even required for successful implantation of the slug.
"Little Brothers" were actually considered at one point for BioShock 2; they would have been a failed experiment because they were too aggressive.
I can imagine that making it necessary instead of optional to kill a young child was the reason they cut it... although it would have been insanely awesome to have Big Brothers
Once The Reveal happened and Jack found out about the whole mind control thing, why didn't he just throw away the radio before Frank could make him do anything else or say "code yellow"? Yes, Tennenbaum managed to remove the "would you kindly" trigger but it wouldn't have required much thought to guess that there might be other triggers.
At that point, he needed the radio to stay in touch with Tennenbaum - she was still his only way of getting out alive. Throwing away the radio would have been suicide. Keeping it with him left himself open to more triggers, but still a better chance of survival than bumbling around Rapture blindly.
He wouldn't be completely out of contact if he could call her from the payphones scattered about Rapture.
Also, there isn't much elapsed time between the moment he wakes up and walks out of Tennenbaum's safehouse and the moment Fontaine triggers "Code Yellow." He may not have thought of it until after that, and after that he really needs Tennenbaum's advice, because Tennenbaum is the only one who has a freaking clue on how to beat that trigger.
I'm playing the game again and it occurred to me that you never find out what happened to Sullivan, Ryan's chief of security. Chronologically, his last audio diary is him turning in his badge after all the crap Ryan has him do, but you never find out if he died or what. I thought he was one of the more interesting minor characters because of how morally conflicted he was. Anyone have an idea?
My opinion is that he committed suicide. I mean, listen to how torn up he is after killing Anna Culpepper.
That is definitely what happens. When you find the tape mentioned above, look around the apartment/office some more. You'll find a hanging corpse. Sullivan, most likely.
It's certainly a strong possibility. That audio diary still chokes me up. I just wish there was something more definitive since all of the other characters from the audio diaries got their stories tied up (well, you found their corpses anyway...)
According to the novel, Sullivan gets drunk after killing Culpepper and makes it pretty clear that he's going to off himself, so it seems confirmed.
Just who the hell was Johnny? He is one of four sane people you meet in Rapture, yet he is a Redshirt who only lasts ten seconds. All the rest of the splicers who served Atlas were insane, why was this guy any different?
Presumably, the sane people in Rapture were all holed up elsewhere, not walking aorund looting the city and trying to kill strangers in the streets.
I bet Johnny was sent there to help you. Doesn't Atlas say something along those lines? It could have also been to show the first time players just how dangerous Rapture is, and to set the atmosphere. I'd like to know how Johnny made it far enough to see Jack without dying. Maybe Atlas somehow set Johnny up to be killed.
I think it's safe to assume that Jack is aware of what he's doing under the influence of "Would you kindly", as Atlas goes out of his way to mask his use of it. If that's the case, wouldn't Jack remember that a note from his parents asked him to hijack the plane he was on? And wouldn't he notice that after reading said note he immediately did as he was told?
Do we ever see any instructions apart from the ones telling him when to open the package? If not, perhaps there was another note ("Would you kindly hijack and crash the plane, then forget about all this?"), or mental suggestions set much earlier (along the lines of "Code Yellow" and such), that specified that he should forget about all of it after doing it.
There's also the shock of crashing the plane that could have caused a temporary blackout. Also note that Jack explicitly forgets about everything that happens after he reads the first "would you kindly" note. It's possible that a written "would you kindly" has a different effect than a spoken one.
Atlas was masking his use of "Would You Kindly" to keep Ryan from catching on.
It's at least possible that someone else, hired by Fontaine, crashed the plane. Anything else would require Jack to be 'triggered' at an oddly specific moment, because it's vital that the plane go down right next to the location of Rapture.
On the note of Jack crashing the plane, there's a gun in the box and the note (if you find a screencap of it) has instructions for him to hijack the plane and crash it at a specific set of coordinates. The intro sequence showing the blackout as the plane goes down and crashes could be showing what happens: Jack has loads of false memories implanted in him to give him a fake past, part of which likely included fragments of the crash to make it authentic to his mind. On the subject of the trigger phrases, notice how even the player likely won't catch on until the reveal that they're being triggered instead of Atlas simply using a common phrase. All of the suggestions Atlas gave were ones that seemed rather reasonable (Find a weapon to clear the debris, go pull that lever to get out, go kill the crazy bastard who murdered my family and is trying to kill you so we can finally escape, etc.), and masked their actual purpose as direct commands. While Jack couldn't have resisted, he could have caught on if he started doing things that he didn't want to do or was given too plain and direct of a command (Like Atlas opening up with "Would you kindly murder Andrew Ryan and take his genetic key?") and thrown away his radio.
// Also, Fontaine outright states as he drops the Atlas persona that he was trying to gain Jack's trust. By keeping his orders sounding like reasonable suggestions and playing the part of a helpful Mission Control, he ensured that Jack would trust him and he could minimize how much direct commanding he needed to do. Which, again, ties into the "Be subtle" aspect.
How long was Jack down in Rapture for, anyway? Days? A week? I mean he can't have covered that much ground in 24 hrs ....could he?.
It could potentially have been less than eight hours, as most of the game takes place over real-time. Probably longer though, considering his time in Tenenbaum's care.
Even if Rapture was the size of New York City, you can very easily go to a dozen different locations and spend an hour or two in each and still be done by sunset if you take the subways. Jack is the only one using the bathyspheres, which means that he's got free reign of an efficient mass transit system that isn't limited to a track. Imagine how fast you could drive around a city if you were the only car on the road, so to speak. I can't imagine more than an hour or two of transit time (plus maybe an hour of unconsciousness in the Little Sister refuge) is added to the time spent playing the game.
Why does Ryan have the Little Sisters wandering the halls of Rapture with the Big Daddies? Technically, all they need to do is harvest the ADAM from corpses. He could have had it done much easier, safer, and cheaper if he just kept the Little Sisters in a secure facility and had the corpses delivered to them. Heck, if he really wanted to cut corners he could just make a deal with the owner of the Funeral Home place or the Eternal Flame to have incoming corpses drained of blood using those syringe things and then have those shipped to the Little Sister Orphanage for the Sisters to drink from (which could also save on brainwashing treatment). Then if he really wants to make big mutant diving suit monsters out of people then he could use them as elite troops to kill off his enemies directly instead of having them wander around so people can ambush them.
Because of the giant, city-shattering civil war that was going on at the time. Ryan barely has the resources to fight Fontaine/Atlas, let alone maintain Rapture, let alone have dedicated teams going about recovering corpses. By the time Jack arrives, Ryan is stark raving mad and all semblance of civil order has broken down.
From Dr. Langford's audio diary: "We're paying for oxygen when we've got photosynthesizing trees!" Um, yeah. One, how stupid does one have to be to have not simply figured that out in the city's planning stages; and two, where the hell were they buying oxygen from?
Both questions are answered by one word: taxes. It's obvious that Ryan had some kind of gear to extract oxygen from seawater, which was where they got the oxygen for most of the city from. And operating the oxygen extractors will cost the city money. That, in turn, costs taxes.
Also, the trees may be producing oxygen but, like all living things, they also consume resources. They need fresh water, fresh soil, and nutrients to function. And when your community is at the bottom of the ocean with (for the most part) no access to the outside world, those resources don't come cheap.
Also, Ryan may not have been sure that the plan to set up a forest in Arcadia would work at first; the trees wouldn't have started growing yet. He may have set up another source of oxygen (electrolysis?) for the early years, then approved Langford's decision to switch over to relying on the trees, using whatever other method he had as a backup. Remember that Ryan tries to destroy the forest before he gives up on Rapture entirely; he must have some kind of fallback plan to keep the rest of the city from dying.
By what standards did Ryan choose who would populate Rapture? I mean if Rapture was supposed to be inhabited by the rich and influential, how come we've got undeducated criminal types coming out of the wazoo. And how did he get thousands of people into the city with just one small bathysphere?
He wasn't looking for the rich and influential, he just wanted anyone who was as fed up as he was with (in his opinion) the parasitical and stifling nature of all the existing governments of the world. Most likely the only people he would've kept out were the "parasites", i.e. charity cases and anyone unwilling to work for a living.
This. Bill McDonagh, for instance, is hardly a rich, influential man. He was a plumber before his ethics and engineering skills were brought to Ryan's attention. Ryan has a great deal of respect for individual members of the lower classes who show talent, willpower, and what he sees as honor, even though he despises the lower class as a class.
WRT the "uneducated criminal types," there weren't any; everyone who went to Rapture was expecting to become rich and powerful. Unfortunately, as Fontaine points out in an audio diary, someone has to handle toilet duty, even in paradise.
WRT the bathysphere, the method of entering the city prior to the current point in time was likely far different; Ryan was shutting down all external access anyway, so likely he brought people in while Rapture was still under construction. But, just running some maths here, assuming the bathysphere could move ten people from the surface to Rapture in about five minutes, with five minutes to return, that means the bathysphere could move sixty people from the surface to Rapture per hour. Assuming the bathysphere only operates eight hours per day (conservative estimate), it could move four hundred and eighty people in a single day's operation. So, roughly five hundred people per day. Assuming Rapture has a population of maybe ten thousand, that means the lone bathysphere can, based on a conservative estimate, move that many people from the surface to the city in twenty days. Since Rapture was built over several years and has a very low influx of people, it's perfectly reasonable to conclude the lone bathysphere could handle immigration.
And how did he manage to contact and invite thousands of people to Rapture and remain discrete?
Do you have any idea how many people just up and disappear every year? Most of them do that because they don't want to be found, and this is happening just after World War II and before the establishment of anything really resembling a network to find missing persons. Postwar chaos is the perfect time to vanish in; thousands of people simply disappearing across the globe following some thirty million dying in a massive war isn't going to raise any eyebrows.
The "There's Something In The Sea" website discusses just this: while most people attributed the great number of disappearances to the post WWII chaos, there were a few groups investigating "The Vanishing" since its beginning. While most groups attributed to the usual crackpot theories (UFOs, Communist plot), there was at least one guy who happened to stumble upon the truth.
How do the people who communicate with you know where you are or what you're doing? For example, Atlas knowing the moment you've killed Dr. Steinman ("You all right? It was time somebody took care of that sick bastard"), or Tenenbaum knowing when you've saved a Little Sister or when you've seen a bottle of Lot 192 ("Now hold there for a moment ... there is that drug again. Did we not see that at Fontaine's flat?"). Unless the radio has a camera for some reason, I don't think there's any other explanation.
In some cases, they can hear what you're doing. When Atlas hears you struggle your way through Medical, only to have a crazy guy shout how ugly you are and open up with a Tommy gun, he can reasonably assume that you've just found Steinman. Since he hears Steinman go down in the ensuing gunfight, he knows you've just killed him.
Another possibility is that you're actually giving status updates into the radio, but these are abstracted out of the game for mechanical reasons.
YMMV, but I think that would be a brilliant way to break from the Heroic Mime trope.
Fun fact: It's a gameplay mechanic they "imported" straight out of System Shock 2. Where it made perfect sense. However, the explanation that you're actually giving status updates kind of works.
If Little Sisters are indestructible, which is stated outright, complete with plot reasoning, why do they need Big Daddies? Obviously they need some kind of guide to help them do their job, but why a grunt in a diving suit with a big gun? Yes, Jack can harvest them, but we've seen nothing to indicate that the average splicer can do the same. The audio logs were commenting on how many adults wish they could have that kind of invincibility, which would be completely worthless if the average schmuck could walk up to you and press the harvest button.
It's to prevent people tampering with the Little Sisters and slowing them down.
Also, in an audio diary, Steinman only describes them as "nearly indestructible" - while they could probably heal from bullet wounds, cuts and bruises almost immediately, I doubt that a Little Sister could survive being crushed, blown up, or if she was being attacked by multiple Splicers faster than she could heal. Remember that in-universe, the sea slug ensures they regenerate wounded cells, so they heal from injuries, but they're not invincible. The reason why Jack can't hurt them at all is simply because the game would generate too much controversy if you could kill children - I'm sure that the Little Sisters can be killed, hence the need for the Big Daddies.
The average splicer CAN harvest the ADAM from a Little Sister, otherwise there wouldn't be any reason for the splicer at the beginning of the game to corner and try to forcibly remove the ADAM from the first Little Sister the player encounters. The reason that the average rapture denizen would love to have that invincibility is because you have to physically subdue someone containing a sea slug in order to harvest them (at the very least, you have to get really, really close to them for a little while), and even with a team of people, it's hard to subdue someone who is almost completely invincible and is also shooting bullets and lightning at you. On the other hand, it is easier to subdue children than it is to subdue adults, and the Little Sisters don't have weapons or weaponized plasmids. That's why the Little Sisters need Big Daddies.
However, in the sequel, it is discovered that the Little Sisters have a perhaps limited, but incredibly useful control over their ADAM. The only example we get is that they can heat themselves up enough to, in unison with other Sisters, evaporate a considerably large vat of water (and maybe produce enough oxygen to survive at the bottom for the duration of the process). I don't know about anyone else, but if a little girl was glowing red-hot, I would probably not want to come into contact with her, even if she held a large amount of ADAM. Although, as Eleanor puts it, "They have more power than they know."
There's a good reason for this, and it's just about the most sick, twisted and dark thing ever... pedophiles. Think about it. We have a little girl running around a melting pot of civil war, crime and perverts. And nobody will ever kidnap one? Since they're apparently indestructible, the pervert can get as rough as the want. But give the little girl a best friend who is seven feet tall and has a drill for an arm, and you've got guaranteed safety.
I always thought it was so that the Little Sister's wouldn't have random people coming up and trying to harvest them.
The Little Sisters, as demonstrated in the Escort Mission at the end, CAN be killed. Extremely rapid healing does not equal invincibility: a shotgun blast to the back of a little girl's head isn't exactly something that you can simply regenerate from unless you're Wolverine. I'd imagine that a gang of splicers, or even a lone splicer with enough tenacity (and insanity), could very easily kill a Little Sister and extract the sea slug and the ADAM in her body. The literal invincibility in the game is simply Gameplay and Story Segregation
I know it's a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, but in the Medical Pavilion, Atlas/Fontaine and Tenenbaum have a brief argument, each trying to convince you to either harvest or save a Little Sister. If Fontaine was so eager that you get your hands on the maximum amount of ADAM, why didn't he just ask you to "Harvest the Little Sister, would you kindly?". As Tenenbaum helped create you, I figure she knew about Atlas' true identity and about the mind control, so it's not as if Fontaine would worry about revealing this to Tenenbaum.
A variety of reasons. Tenenbaum and Ryan both, at that point, had no idea what was going on; to see Jack so blindly follow Atlas' orders would definitely have been further evidence to Jack, Tenenbaum AND Ryan about Fontaine's mind control scheme. Tenenbaum would have recognised the phrase and made an enemy of Fontaine and Jack. At the first meeting, she wouldn't have recognised Jack OR Fontaine, using the phrase so liberally would have clued her in. And Fontaine did not NEED Jack to get the ADAM. It was a suggestion.
Also keep in mind that even in 1960, nobody knew that Atlas was really Fontaine. For the past two years Fontaine has been dead and Atlas has been a working class hero leading the rebellion against Ryan. Using the phrase right in front of Tenenbaum would have tipped her off, blown his own cover and probably revealed Jack's true identity to everyone. Fontaine wasn't just lying to Jack, he was lying to everyone.
The downloadable Challenge Rooms in the PS3 version bug me - they're fun and I can understand the developers' decision not to mess with the original story, but I wish there was some sort of story justification for the Challenge Rooms. The loading screen implies that they're all fictional comic stories within the BioShock universe, written by Sander Cohen, but are the locations canon? Who are you meant to be playing as? When are these stories occurring? For a game with such a rich storyline and universe as BioShock, I'd have expected there to be at least a BIT of a storyline, rather than totally disconnected missions in never-before-seen, never-explained locations.
Bit of Fridge Brilliance: Sander Cohen, according to a certain diary, sucks as an artist and composer, and only stayed at the top through Ryan's good graces. It makes sense that even the comic stories he makes don't have any real backstory and have an AFGNCAAP as the hero.
Don't get me wrong, the good ending is one of the most heartwarming things ever, but...how did Jack go on to live a normal life, let alone give the Little Sisters one? He has no money, no past life, and twenty or more little girls to take care of. He also has no vocal cords, likely has some scarring from ADAM usage, superpowers, and will be working as a single dad for twenty or so little girls long enough for them to get through school and all have families of their own. A single parent with that many kids during the time period will raise a lot of eyebrows. Heck, just imagine what the parent-teacher conferences would be like! "Mr. Ryan, I'm afraid Emily's screaming about psychopaths, marine life, and this 'Mr. Bubbles' is seriously disturbing the other children. We're worried about what kind of life you lead for th-do you smell something burning?"
He probably raided the valuables found in Rapture and got help from Tennenbaum. As for how they managed to re-socialize the girls, dunno.
Tennenbaum either brainwashed the Sisters herself or worked closely with the people who did. She had access to all their files and protocols. She freed some Little Sisters some time before the beginning of the game and was working on deprogramming them, probably with some successes. They weren't flying blind. Anyway, while the trauma inflicted by Rapture can't be measured, they did have some socialization. They played with each other like normal girls. Also, I personally think giving Jack the gifts is a positive sign for their mental and emotional health. It would still be really hard, but the girls were already somewhat functional.
He may have adopted them out.
Alternatively, Jack and Tenenbaum set up an orphanage on the surface, financed by stuff looted from Rapture and then government funds. The women at the end are the few Little Sisters that could get to Jack's bedside before he died. Tenenbaum isn't narrating from beyond the fourth wall, she was actually there with them (albeit much older).
Post WWII. You think he's the only beaten up, scarred, bruised and damaged man with severe injuries to show up somewhere with nothing to his name but an ungodly amount of children?
The game was set in 1960. A little too late for a scarred veteran to show up with war injuries.
He can still claim to have been wounded in Korea, and his apparent age in 1960 is about 45, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch for someone in his forties with war injuries to show up claiming to be a veteran - he could also claim to have been in WWII, since he would appear to have been of age then and reinlisted in 1950. It may be a bit late for Returning War Vet, but he can still claim to have fought in either or both wars to anyone he meets. Plus he has Dr. Tenenbaum to back up his claims, and given the time, no one would really question someone in their forties with obvious wounds claiming to be a veteran.
More on the subject of the radio and Mind Control. After Fontaine gives you an order to "get stepped on by a Big Daddy", he almost immediately afterwards understands that his order was defied. U-uhm, how exactly can he tell that? There were no Big Daddies in your close vicinity then, so even having some way to visually spy on you, all he could see would be you going...somewhere, by all appearances to find the nearest Daddy and execute the order. After all, earlier in the game, you could Take Your Time and he never saw that as a sign of disobedience.
I would assume it's because he didn't hear the groans of a pissed off Big Daddy, followed by crunching noises, then static. At this point in the game, he's got no patience for any more Take Your Time crap, he wants Jack dead.
But there aren't any Big Daddies around. You could very well be running off madly to find a Daddy so you can put your head under his boot, for all Fontaine knows. He almost instantly assumes that you're not obeying him, even though it's pretty impossible to complete his order right then—in fact, you can even be seen as actually trying to finish his order by finding a way to open the door to search for a Daddy, since previous "would you kindly?" orders were followed even when Jack had obstacles in his way, by means of him completing other objectives to remove obstructions to his goal. Fontaine isn't hearing any Big Daddies in the vicinity, so why would he assume you are able to commit suicide by them at that exact instant?
I always figured Jack replied to whoever was speaking to him over the radio and they decided not to include it. In that case, Fontaine knew Jack was defying him because Jack said something like, "Nah, go fuck yourself."
If Fontaine could indeed watch over your adventures, surely he was aware that you can resurrect in Vita-Chambers? So what was the point of ordering you to kill yourself? It'd be more reasonable to order you to lock yourself in some closet and never come out!
He didn't know that you could use the Vita Chambers.
Yes, he knew. That was exactly why he needed Jack to be Andrew Ryan's son, so that he couldn't die.
O'rly? He could monitor your progress so well he knew the exact moment when, say, you assembled the EMP bomb and yet he failed to notice at least once that you died?
I always assumed that Jack, y'know, called him on the radio and told him. You don't hear it because you're supposed to be a Heroic Mime.
Fair enough. It still retains the question of how Fontaine knew right away that he lost control over you. Did you call him back and say: "Mr. Fontaine, go fuck yourself, would you kindly?"?
That's actually one of the most likely explanations right there.
My assumption was that part of the brainwashing included some sort of audio feedback from Jack when given a Arc Phrase command, and part of the programming would be that Jack is completely unaware that he said it, so when he was given that order and didn't reply, he realised that the command would no longer take.
I understand that Jack wouldn't want to get rid of the radio for good, so he could still speak with Dr. Tennenbaum, but couldn't he turn it off the moment he heard Fontaine's voice? Obviously, the bastard was up to no good and there was hardly anything useful he could've said?
Even if Jack turned off the radio, I don't think it would help him very much. Fontaine probably had control over the public announcement system. He could also just write the words on the walls in Jack's path.
Sparing Alexander, and condemning him to be a bloated fetus creature wracked with pain and insanity, is considered a good act. What the FUCK.
If anything, it comes off as a good act to kill him. I had no change in the ending when I killed him and when I spared him.
However, to get the achievement for being incredibly nice, letting him live is considered the good act. To me, it was a stark contrast to the other two non-Little Sister choices. Those were both choosing to turn the other cheek to someone who had wronged you, though not out of any actual malice. Killing Gil, on the other hand, came off strongly as a Mercy Kill. It just seems odd to judge that one as an evil act.
Yeah, that's my complaint as well. It just seems so arbitrary compared to the others, especially as he's trying to kill you just like the other Splicers!
Discussing about euthanasia is very risky business. There is a similar sub-quest in Mass Effect where you have to choose between disconnecting a brain-dead dude or leaving him be. No matter what you choose, your teammates will always say that's the right decision. By doing so, both in Mass Effect and in BioShock 2, the developers can hide their true beliefs. Thus, no one can say they are evil murderers or cruel bastards who leave people to suffer.
But this game doesn't do that; it goes the "evil murderers" route. Letting him live is good, and killing him is evil.
Umm, no, I did kill him on my first playthrough, let that black woman and that little asshole live, save the sisters and still get the good/best ending.
You can still get the good ending, it's just the action itself that isn't considered "good". See the first two bullet points under the original issue. Also, if you look up the ways to get various endings, "killing people" and "sparing people" are clearly lumped together without regard for specifically which people are killed or spared (e.g. killing him and allowing the others to live can be enough to get you an evil variant on some endings, while you can get the "best" ending if you spared him, even if you killed the other two.)
I think the reason is because if you kill him, it seems like you believe that he's a lost cause. letting him live looks like he can be cured. Or just the fact that the sea will eventually reclaim the area and kill him, and killing him yourself just isn't good enough.
I think Gil Alexander's life parallels Johnny Topside's. After ADAM and plasmids changed them, they were completely different beings. If Johnny Topside didn't want to risk his life to save the daughter of his worst enemy, or didn't want to live as a mutated freak at all, then Delta wouldn't give a crap. Therefore, Gil Alexander's opinion should not affect your dealings with Alex the Great (although you might argue he should be killed anyway since he's irreparably insane and murderous).
Besides, killing isn't about "good" or "bad" - it's about mercy. IIRC, saving or killing people makes Eleanor decide that it's alright or not to kill people - the reason is what varies with the Little Sisters part. If you're a savior, she wants Lamb to redeem herself, and if you're evil, it's a bit of cruel mercy. Alternatively, she would also kill Lamb either out of justice or vengeance.
Actually, it's been stated that letting him live was supposed to be the evil option. It's because of a bug that letting him live in agony was the "good" option.
You know, now that I've gone through this stage myself, I have to say it's not as straightforward as it seemed, and I'm not so sure at all it can qualify as Mercy Kill. Yes, Alex was clearly not sane, but I didn't notice any indications that he was actually suffering. On the other hand, when you're about to pull the plug, what does he do? He pleads you to spare him! If he values his own existance, what right do you have to dismiss it? Sure, Gil was urging you to kill him, but as he admitted himself "this man is long gone". Well then, this is a different person, and he doesn't get to dispose of his life. And besides, it's not like Alex was helpless. If he'd wanted to die, he could've easily pulled that plug himself. So, all in all, I didn't see much difference in his case from the previous ones - hell, that slimy prick whatshisname had personally betrayed you and caused your condition, so if I'm not killing him, then neither am I killing Alex, who hadn't done anything wrong to me personally (I don't count trying to kill me, for obvious reasons).
Why is there a need for Little Sisters to go out collecting ADAM at all? Why not just equip the Big Daddies with needles, or some kind of speedy, syringe-wielding robot to collect ADAM from corpses and deliver them to the sisters to drink?
Robots can be hacked, damaged, or destroyed, and can fail without proper maintenance. Little Sisters, not so much. Also, the robots don't seem to be that intelligent; they need either constant direction or very fixed and limited orders; Little Sisters can direct themselves without constant supervision. The Little Sisters are, effectively, an automated and intelligent collection system. The Big Daddies can't process ADAM anyway, as only children can house the ADAM slug to process the material.
The Big Daddies don't need to process ADAM, they just need to store it up in a tank and deliver it to the Sisters.
The Big Daddies seem barely intelligent enough to follow and protect the Little Sisters. Asking them to actually move through Rapture and find dead bodies on their own might be pushing the limits of their intellect.
I think the reason for that is two-fold: first, Little Sisters can sniff out the Adam. Not all bodies have Adam so it would be rather inefficient to find and carry all dead bodies back to the Little Sisters. Secondly, I assumed that Adam degrades after the user dies so it is vital to process it as fast as possible to get the optimum yield.
There's actually a canon explanation from Minerva's Den: Jack Mc Clendon was hired by Ryan to build a fleet of robotic Little Sisters to make for more efficient ADAM gathering without the need to transform any young girls (there's an audio diary where Ryan is noticeably disturbed by their existence). The problem is that the Big Daddies ignored the robots and couldn't be programmed to protect them, so they had to scrap it.
A fairly minor one, but...in BioShock 2, while you're in Siren Alley, the part where you get locked in the maintenance area and have to defend yourself from a swarm of Spider Splicers? Sinclair sends you some items through the mail tube to help you defend yourself...except he's still trapped in that wrecked train car. How does he have access to a mail tube?
Turn on radio. Call up [insert Rapture denizen who owes Sinclair a favor here]. Give him/her instructions and a pneumo address. Presto.
What the heck happened to Jack's big Daddy suit? At the end of the Proving Grounds, you get into a lift that should be too small for you, and it's gone in the next level. You could at least have an animation of it being removed or breaking apart in the final boss fight.
My guess is that he took it off in the elevator so he could deal with Atlas the good old fashioned way, face to face. Besides, wasn't the suit mainly to get past the training grounds? No need to keep it in the fight where Jack wouldn't be able to compete against Atlas with brute force. He has to use agility and have maximum situational awareness. The fight would have been much different in the suit.
How does evaporating the water inside the ballast tanks do any good? IIRC, buoyancy depends on the volume of the object (which doesn't change) and the mass of the object keeping it down (which, again, doesn't change since the water remains in those tanks, just in the form of steam instead of a liquid)? Or am I missing a detail somewhere?
Hot air rises. Heating the water tanks results in rising steam. It doesn't actually make anything anymore buoyant, but it does lighten the tanks' contents. Kind of on the same principle that a hot air balloon works. Sorta.
Except that can't work. Hot air balloons are different because the air has somewhere to expand to when you heat it. And hot air balloons do work on the principle of buoyancy, AFAIK.
Without going into the various relationships between mass, weight, temperature, density, volume, and buoyant force: hot air balloons use buoyancy to float, and that "hot air is lighter and thus floats" explanation is inaccurate. (The simplest starting point is: the hot air you're referencing isn't lighter so much as it is less dense. It's still the same mass, and thus weight, it just occupies a larger volume.) As for the JBM, maybe there's some kind of ventilation system? That would give the water somewhere to go, letting it expand/be replaced by air.
Why would you have a ventilation system inside ballast tanks? I would expect some kind of pumps, but what's the point of boiling the water then?
I thought the point was that the pumps were broken, but the pipes connecting the water to the pumps weren't, so they functioned as a ventilation system.
Re: Splicers swarming Jack in the Proving Grounds. The level is a training course for Daddies and Sisters, to make sure that all their mental conditioning stuck and that they were able to gather safely in Rapture's volatile environment. Maybe Splicers are kept in there specifically to attack the Sisters while they gather.
Why would an underwater city allow .50 caliber rounds?
IRL .50 caliber is a very common 'heavy' round to the point where you could literally buy a truckload if you had the money and knew where to shop. As for why it's 'allowed', this is Rapture, the ultimate Randian semi-anarchy. Anything short of outright Chaotic Evil behavior is 'allowed' unless one of the big cheeses doesn't like it or you're shot/lynched by your fellow citizens.
Rapture went through quite a bit of smuggling, so it's possible someone could have smuggled in ALOT of it.
But why would anyone smuggle in .50 caliber rounds? They're not exactly safe to use in environments where the smallest leak could mean the death of thousands. And it's not like anyone is using that GAU-19 Expy aside from Alpha series Big Daddies.
That's a good point. Rapture is a pretty confined environment. Not much call there for a bullet which is primarily designed for extreme long-range anti-material sniping.
I'm sorry, you seem to have gotten the impression that sanity was involved in Rapture's construction and supply. Remember, everyone in Rapture is crazy - even before ADAM.
Uh, hello, anarcho-capitalist dystopia! The crazy thing about the setting would be not allowing citizens to arm themselves with whatever the hell they want.
If the windows in Rapture can withstand huge pressure from all that sea water, then surely a .50 callibre round would be nothing to them.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there anything that would even be in .50 calibre? The M1919s are .30-'06, but their dropping .45 rounds indicate they use that instead, and in an underwater city, pistol rounds would be less likely to rupture the windows.
Delta's Gatling gun in BioShock 2 is .50 caliber, and they even have it so that the turrets and Thompson submachine guns you loot now carrying .50 caliber rounds. Considering their relatively low damage, it's probable that they're not the .50 BMG anti-materiel rounds they seem to be; it would be difficult to justify even an Armored Shell gene tonic protecting someone from a burst of gunfire that can chew through a brick wall. They're probably pistol rounds, closer to .50 AE or .500 S&W Magnum. They may even be relatively low velocity, on par with .45 ACP, and rely on their sheer mass and diameter for damage.
By the time the first game starts, Ryan has Atlas/Fontaine on the run. Most of the latter's allies are dead and he's hemmed in by Ryan's splicers. So A/F throws his Hail Mary pass and calls in Jack. What are the endgames for these two men?
Ryan succeeds, kills Jack and Atlas and finally has unchallenged control of Rapture. So he's king of a leaky underwater city-state, populated by gibbering heroin addicts. Is he going to spend the rest of his life locked in his office, practicing his putting?
Ryan was always playing it pretty loose with rationality (let's build a city where everything's going to be several times as expensive because it'll need to be imported through specific means, and then make it so that competition is the main method of getting ahead, and then completely ignore people who get stuck at the bottom of the ladder), but not long before you killed him, Ryan was insisting that the city was coming back to life. He'd slipped pretty far into denial and delusional paranoia by the time you showed up, let alone by the time you made it to his office.
All of that can be explained by the Rule Of Crazy, I suppose. Ryan's clearly lost it. But what's Fontaine's angle? He succeeds, kills Ryan and becomes king of Rapture. That would seem to mean even less to him than it would Ryan. Unlike Ryan, Fontaine hasn't descended into madness, at least at the beginning of the game and nor is he a Joker-esque Nihilistic villain anxious to see the world burn. He is what the academics might call a "rational actor." What does he get out of ruling Rapture, post-Ryan, post-productive society? He'll be filthy rich, granted, but that would seem to scarcely matter in a leaky underwater city-state, populated by gibbering heroin addicts. I'm sure Fontaine would carve out an existence, but hardly a comfortable one. There's no one left to con in Rapture. Once he got hold of Ryan's genetic key to Rapture and thus held access to everything in the city, why not hop in the bathysphere, wave a jaunty goodbye to Jack and the city and return to the surface to grift again?
My impression was that he wanted to sell Rapture's technology (that is, the ADAM-based stuff) to the surface, though I don't recall if that was explicitly stated. To get at the ADAM, he needed Rapture, and he also needed Jack out of the way so the super-soldier with a new grudge wouldn't come after him.
He specifically states in one of the last radio conversations that he's got all the ADAM he needs and he's going to leave the bucket for good.
Concerning Ryan, he could've waited for the splicers to exhaust their numbers trying to harvest Little Sisters and getting killed by Big Daddies in turn. Then he just reopens the city for immigration and starts the whole thing over again.
The city's not in very good shape by that point. The debris from the plane crash right above the city didn't do much good for the city's structure, but it's springing leaks and explosions are occurring with great regularity all across the city from the constant combat. And this civil war has been going on for quite some time. Even if he survives the war, he'll be left with his underwater utopia severely structurally compromised and have to basically rebuild everything. If he's even able to start before the whole thing collapses into ruins and drowns him.
How is Sander Cohen controlling the spotlights whilst he's fighting you?
Either he has Splicers moving them around, or there's a motion detector locked onto his genetic signature.
Why did Andrew Ryan choose to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea? The only explanation I heard is that it was "impossible to build it anywhere else." Presumably he's talking about creating a perfect, isolated society, but couldn't he just have built it on an island somewhere or something? Or encased the city in an impregnable dome above ground? How do you go about building a city at the bottom of the ocean, particularly with the technology of the 1940s? This is even stranger when you learn that at least some of Rapture's citizens know that they're doomed if the city springs so much as a single leak. Granted, an underwater city is rather dramatic and the fact that it must remain perfectly airtight is quite symbolic, but it still seems downright crazy once you get over the drama.
Likely due to being under the sea, it's a lot harder to find. If he encased it in a dome, or put it on an island, your average plane or boat could easily see it from a distance. He could've always put it underground, but underwater is just more cool.
Tunnel complexes under the sea are also nice for strict control over that pesky errant gameplay branching. ;)
Even ignoring for a minute that building Rapture would be blatantly impossible in the first place even with modern technology, let alone that time's, with the gradual progress of sea exploration technology, Rapture would eventually be found. It was only a matter of time. A more rational choice would be to build it under a mountain or something.
It's symbolic, part of the Deconstruction of Objectivism that the game features. Ryan chose to build Rapture at the bottom of the precisely because it was impossible. Impossible? HA! I am Andrew Ryan, Randian Superman! I can do anything and I will do this impossible thing! Because I choose to, and because I CAN!
Simple. He doesn't want the "parasites" finding out, shoving their way in, and wrecking his precious city. Y'know, the one he tries to blow up later?
Retaining the ability to jump in the first game after becoming a Big Daddy.
Delta can jump. I don't see why Jack can't.
Well you're not quite as big as them since you're not carrying a tank on your back or holding a giant drill or rivet gun in one hand. You're just wearing the basic suit.
I get that it has to do with the whole "deconstruction of linear gameplay" thing, but what was the point of Fontaine's "would you kindly" mind-control when Jack didn't really have any alternative to any of the things he wanted him to do anyway? I mean, the only way Jack could get out of Rapture involved killing Andrew Ryan, no two ways about it; and everything he did up to that point brought him closer to that goal. Except for the hunt for Lot 192, the whole game would have played out identically if Jack hadn't had any mind control. I suppose Fontaine wanted tight control over his assassin, but my point is that it never ACTUALLY came into play, since everything he commanded you to do, you would've had to do anyway to get out of Rapture.
Keep in mind that Fontaine very rarely uses to the trigger phrase on Jack. For the most part, he lets Jack work on his own, giving him advice, etc. He only uses the trigger phrase to help maintain absolute control at mission-critical moments, so Jack doesn't do something silly like stop to question Ryan and negotiate with him instead of killing him.
To keep Jack trusting him through the most vital part of the mission was important. He didn't want Jack getting any ideas of trying to break free from the brainwashing, or asking somebody for help. Better to be subtle. Besides, he probably had better things to say than detailing his instructions with 'Would you kindly" every few seconds.
Why did Ryan trigger the self-destruction of Rapture? He knew that in a few minutes he'd be dead and then nothing would stop Jack from taking the key card from his body and cancelling the process. On the other hand, the whole reason for his suicide was that he didn't want to kill Jack, but he certainly couldn't fail to notice that a collapsing underwater city is rather... lethal. On the third hand (I really need to put off that ADAM), if he meant to destroy the city, why didn't he just force Jack to stand there while everything collapsed or at least disposed of the key card or/and wrecked the receiver?
First, I think the reason he had Jack kill him was to slap home the whole "You're a mindless slave" thing while satisfying his own massive ego and go down on his own terms, not so he wouldn't have to kill Jack. Second, the reason he activated the self-destruct was along the lines of "If I can't be king of Rapture, no one gets to be king of Rapture!" I don't think he had any idea that Jack knew how to stop the self-destruct sequence.
A less satisfying answer related to the above: Ryan just really hated Atlas.
In addition to the "mine or no one's" mentality, by that point, Ryan had succumbed to insanity and desperation.
Ryan had a history of "If I can't have it, nobody can" mentality. He actually tells you that when the government tried to nationalize a forest he owned so they could make it into a national park, he burned it to the ground.
In the end of the game, a Naval submarine arrives to the lighthouse. Apparently, in the good ending, it's used to rescue Jack and his new family. But then what? Why didn't the surface dwellers investigate and eventually secure Rapture? Are we to assume that the bad ending is canon?
The ship was searching for the plane survivors. Jack and the Little Sisters would easily be able to just say they were survivors, and probably would in order to dodge anyone else finding Rapture and going insane. The Navy can't use the bathyspheres because they're gene-locked and submarines can't go down to Rapture as that's below crush-depth.
Neither the girls nor Tennenbaum were in the airplane passenger roster. I'm not exactly familiar with the check in procedures of the 1950s but I doubt you could bring several dozens minor stowaways aboard. And whether they could fool the rescuers or not, there is still an uncharted lighthouse with some fancy statues and at least a bathysphere bay (if Jack managed to destroy the bathysphere itself). Quite enough to instigate curiosity and make them bring their own bathyspheres.
They barely checked if you had a gun in the fifties. The flight registry was probably just a list of names and seats they could just say the kids where children from the flight and say they wanted to adopt them all.
Plane rosters in the 1950s were not actually that detailed or readily available. Its not like they had an FAA back then, or the obsessive passenger tracking databases that we have now. All the Navy in question would have would be a notification that a passenger plane may have gone down in X area and went to check it out.
Sure, but they would bring them back to the mainland afterwards. Are you telling me that the procedures were so lax back then that nobody would bother to establish their identities? I'd buy it, if it was only about Jack and Tennenbaum, since both of them were adults and had at least some past on the surface, but a couple dozen little girls with virtually no backstory? How in the world did they explain them to the authorities? As their own? As a kindergarten or an orphanage on a vacation trip? As children salvaged from a hellish underwater city, where they were submitted to inhuman, mind suppressing experiments? Oh, wait...
Are they under any obligation to explain the girls? The authorities would be suspicious, but at the end of the day if Jack basically says "I have no idea where they came from, I met them here" they couldn't prove otherwise.
Who said that the naval submarine was used to rescue Jack and the Sisters? Fontaine has access to ships that can reach the surface and transport people to land, he kind of has to in order for his endgame plot to work (he strongly implied he had such a ship when taunting Jack later on) and he needed something to get Jack to land so he can board a plane in the first place. Jack most likely used that.
It's irrelevant, really. The important thing is that the submarine approached a fancy but completely deserted and apparently uncharted lighthouse with a bathysphere bay inside. Then what? Humans are curious, there's no way they'd just dismiss a finding like that.
It only approaches it in the bad ending. It never does so in the good one. Coupled with the splicer assault, it can probably be assumed that Jack lured the submarine there.
So... Ryan, even after going power-hungry, didn't abuse Plasmids like crazy?
He was interested in propagating political ideals, rather than physical power. He likely saw the advantages in using them, but may have found them distasteful regardless.
Why would he need to? He runs Rapture far more effectively than anyone else without having to resort to Plasmids, considering he's got the genetic key that lets him rule the entire city. Once it became apparent that ADAM was highly addictive, Ryan would stay as far away from it as possible.
Because his greatest weapon was his intellect; he pretty much screams this at you throughout the game. It was probably part of his philosophy that it didn't matter how much physical power you had as long as you lacked the intellect to use it properly.
Ryan never really believed in the potential of ADAM or plasmids. He never saw them as a great scientific advancement; he only saw them as a fad. It's only when Fontaine started making money - and not just money, but enough to actually threaten his own fortune - that Ryan took an interest. Even then, Ryan remained a bottom-line guy: his prime motivation toward...well, anything is, "How can this make me money and/or keep me in power?" To him, plasmids are a commodity, a drug to hook customers with. And, like any drug dealer with half a brain, he's not about to get himself addicted to his own product.
Why are audio diaries just scattered everywhere? Lots of them concern confidential subject matter. For example, would Ryan just walk down the streets, record himself musing on Objectivist philosophy, then toss the cassette over his shoulder? People left stuff on tables and behind plants and stuff, with no worry that other people would pick them up. Even diaries recorded long before the Civil War are like this. For example, in the second game, Dr. Lamb recorded an audio diary she recorded in Rapture's glory days, before Eleanor was born. It was a message for Eleanor to hear when she grew up. This audio diary is located in the first level of BioShock 2, and where was it located? In a pile of rubble in a public bathroom. Shouldn't those things just be in filing cabinets in their offices or something?
Considering nearly everything in Rapture has been ransacked by packs of feral splicers, it actually does make sense that these things would be scattered around. A splicer found an audio diary while ransacking someone's office, and discarded it. Another picked it up and listened to it while walking around, and then dropped it. Another comes along....
Why do the dresses the Little Sisters wear in Rapture in the first game all have the right shoulder removed? It isn't torn out, or it would look more raggedy and damaged. It seriously looks like someone went in and deliberately cut out the shoulder portion, leaving the rest of the sleeve intact.
All but two or three of the humans and splicers in the game have the same few identical body types as well. Chalk it up to developers.
Why does Jack take the first Plasmid hypo he finds and immediately jam it into his wrist? Atlas didn't tell him to do it, "kindly" or otherwise, and Jack has no way of knowing he'll get a "fistful o'loightnin'" out of the deal. What gives?
Maybe he was programmed to unconsciously recognize plasmids when they were working on him?
There was a lot of plasmid advertisement around the place, so he could make up a general picture. Apparently, having gotten some idea about the place he'd gotten himself into, Jack decided to give it a try.
Maybe he was a drug addict before he returned to Rapture.
A bit petty, but why is the maximum amount of money 3-digits? We have four digits available!
An act of gameplay balancing, likely. Sure, you're still swamped with cash by the halfway point of the game, anyway, so that limitation did great things.
Why didn't Ryan or Tennenbaum ever consider saying "Would you kindly stop doing anything Atlas tells you to when he says 'Would you kindly do this or that?'"
Ryan appeared to be resigned to his death by the time he figured out who you were; he apparently realized just how utterly fucked-up Rapture was and wanted to destroy it all. Plus, he was insane and irrational. Tennenbaum wanted Ryan dead as much as Fontaine, which is why she waited until after Jack killed him before undoing his conditioning.
Ryan could have easily co-opted Jack into his own personal killing machine once he reached Rapture Control. He didn't want to. He wanted to prove to Jack just how worthless he was and how much he was being used.
It doesn't look like Ryan figured anything out until the last moments of his life. He can't even figure out who Jack is for ages after he shows up, accusing him of being a spy or assassin of various governments, or a thief who stumbled upon his city. His wall of various evidence and connections even has security photos of Jack walking around Rapture, so they can only be a few hours old. The board is full of various connections between photos of people like Jolene and Fontaine as well, so Ryan was likely madly connecting the dots to figure out the conspiracy as Jack shot and lightning'd his way across the city. Since he was listening in on the radio as well, he probably picked up on the constant use of "Would you kindly" and figured out (along with the rest of his evidence, especially finding out that Jolene sold their child to Fontaine and seeing that Jack could use the Vita-Chambers) that the kid was his son and being mind controlled. The giant WOULD YOU KINDLY? scrawled on the evidence wall was his own mad response to the revelation, possibly added mere minutes before you arrived.
Did Sigma/Porter ever have a Little Sister?
Word of God is no, he never did. According to this thread over at the 2K forums, Sigma never got that far in the development stage. Maybe he was deemed unsuitable for some reason, or maybe by that point the Alpha Series had pretty much outlived its usefulness.
Rapture's population is described to be in the thousands, along with an unknown number of workers who made the city. But, with all the businesses, jobs, and products seen in Rapture, the numbers just don't add up. Most big, modern corporations employ in the thousands, which would mean that Ryan Industries and Fontaine Futuristics would have employed most, if not all, of the people invited to Rapture. As for the workers. . . well, it's one thing to build a city, and another thing entirely to maintain a geothermal power plant.
It started out as thousands, but grew to several tens of thousands eventually. As for maintaining the geothermal plant, this is a game where you can grow a hive of bees in your forearm. The fact that they were able to build a functional city at the bottom of the sea in the 40's and develop technology more advanced than modern technology indicates that they probably did have the capacity to build a functional geothermal plant.
I always assumed almost everyone in Rapture was employed by either Ryan or Fontaine. Rapture always struck me as a company town.
My explanation for this is that you don't explore all of Rapture in the game. For instance, with the possible exception of Central Control, you can always look out a window and see really big buildings almost always towering over your position. The bathyspheres don't take you everywhere because of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
Why didn't they release the soundtrack for this?
Why did Jack have to undergo the process of becoming a Big Daddy in order to reach Fontaine when the Little Sisters that help him through the area are the ones that have been saved? It would make sense to halfway convert himself into a Big Daddy if the Little Sisters were the ones that still had the ADAM slug and the mental conditioning to stick with a Big Daddy, but these are the ones that Tenenbaum and/or possibly Jack saved, since they don't have access to the healing power of the ADAM slug or the glowing eyes.
Because the Little Sisters were the only ones who could open the doors, but would only do so for a Big Daddy due to their intense mental conditioning. The rescued ones were just the ones Tenenbaum had access too, and thus, could send off to aid Jack. Besides, how would he "halfway become a Big Daddy" and still be convincing to the Little Sisters?
^I think you're misunderstanding his problem. Why can't Tenenbaum just send one of the rescued girls to open the door for you, since all it needs is someone small enough to get to the other side? She never says that it has to be an infected one specifically, it would have been much simpler to send a rescued one to open it up for you.
The most jarring part is that apparently she does. Their eyes are not glowing and they can be killed. It's just that SUDDENLY their conditioning is back, even though back at Tenenbaum's place we've seen them acting perfectly normal. Oh, well, I suppose it's an Acceptable Break from Reality needed to provide us the most engaging and breathtakinglevel in the game.
The Little Sisters always act like little girls in some sense - their little songs, for instance, and they make those Big Daddy dolls. I always figured they had some downtime(after all, you only get two gathers from Delta's sisters) and played during that, so their actions in Tenenbaum's place are normal Sister behavior.
Liberated Little Sisters aren't completely free from mind control. Those that you have to escort still have to follow the instinct of jamming needles into dead bodies, so I assume opening the doors for Big Daddies alone is part of the indoctrination Tennenbaum wasn't able to erase.
Why is there the assumption that Jack's awareness would affect Fontaine's mind control? The audio diary "Mind Control Test" clearly shows Jack killing his puppy against his will. Surely Jack would still do the same things Atlas commands him to do, albeit begrudgingly.
An awareness that one is being controlled would effectively turn Jack into a Literal Genie. Sure, he would be compelled to do what Fontaine says, but unless Fontaine kept constantly giving him specific orders, Jack would do them however he interpreted they should be done. "Would you kindly go to Ryan's office and kill the son of a bitch" would be interpreted as "Go to Ryan's office. Wait, he didn't say I have to kill him right away. How about I kill him via old age instead?" And the moment Jack knows he's being controlled, he could just chuck away the radio and plug his ears or start yelling "LALALALA!" really loudly every time Fontaine speaks.
It also probably would have given Jack's identity away to Ryan who might've endangered Fontaine's already risky plan.
Fontaine mentions as he drops the Atlas guise that he needed to gain Jack's trust. Making his commands sound like appropriate suggestions instead of "Would you kindly be my slave? Would you kindly kill Andrew Ryan and take his genetic key to give me control of Rapture?" as soon as Jack came out of the bathysphere would have immediately tipped Jack off to the fact that he's being controlled and encourage him to try and resist, or even shoot himself to free his mind from the control. Making the commands infrequent and subtle ensured that Jack would always be thinking that he was acting of his own free will and just following a good idea instead of his body doing something his mind was saying he shouldn't be doing. Likewise, the player ends up thinking that they're blindly following the orders of Mission Control because it's what they have to do to win, instead of really being mind controlled by someone who can take advantage of that. In some sense, Atlas himself is directly controlling the player's actions.
So...when exactly did things start really going to hell in Rapture? The second game introduced, IMHO, a major continuity snarl. The Little Sisters are out gathering ADAM from corpses because the civil war led to both a shortage of refined ADAM and a surplus of unattended bodies lying around full of the stuff. And the Big Daddies were developed to protect them from splicers while they were doing so. Right? But the second game puts forward the concept that Big Daddy development was already going on before the war broke out. We see Subject Delta and Eleanor going on their rounds on that very New Year's Eve, and there are already bodies to harvest and roving gangs of splicers to fend off. Exactly when did the war start? And just how long was there ample political strife in Rapture to justify the need for Big Daddies?
Reading the wiki article on the war helps explain a lot of it. Basically, the Rapture Civil War didn't just suddenly start out of nowhere with the New Year's Eve attack. Fontaine's gangs of splicers (before they became the horrible genetic messes that Jack and Delta find) and the Rapture security team had been going on for some time beforehand, gradually getting more and more violent. The Little Sisters were initially created by Fontaine simply because the sea slugs only produced large amounts of ADAM when placed in the bodies of prepubescent girls; sending them out to collect ADAM from corpses was an idea that came after the war kicked into full gear and was spearheaded by Ryan Industries. There's not much info on the exact timeline of Big Daddy creation, but it's not inconceivable that Dr. Suchong had begun work on using the Little Sisters as gatherers and creating Protectors shortly before the attack on the Kashmir Restaurant brought Rapture into a full scale battleground.
An obvious question that I don't think anyone has asked. Ryan wanted to build a city at the bottom of the ocean. Okay fine, lets just say that he had an engineering genius to pull it all off. But how in the hell did he keep this secret? He built a CITY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN! I'm willing to bet he didn't use a box of scraps, so he had to talk to a lot of people, buy a lot of supplies, and engage in a crap ton of construction. Keeping Rapture a secret would have been tricky enough if he just found it at the bottom of the ocean and decided to build his objectivist paradise there. I mean, how would he contact enough people to populate it without word getting out? But actually building the damn thing goes way too far. It would be the greatest feat of human engineering ever achieved, and Ryan had to do it while keeping it secret, and have it completed during his lifetime. I'll accept the idea of sea slugs that let you shoot lightning, but that's going too far.
It requires a good bit of Willing Suspension of Belief, yeah, but I got the sense that Ryan built Rapture much the same way Batman built his gear and technology: outsourcing the manufacture of each individual component to a different company and doing the assembly himself, so that no one person or organization knows exactly what they're building. Granted, there's still a problem of scale - Rapture is a little bit bigger than the Batmobile - but it's at least somewhat plausible. As to the implausible number of people it would involve, well, think of Ryan as a Cult Leader. He's very wealthy and very charismatic. Charismatic enough to win over like-minded individuals to his crazy scheme, and wealthy enough to silence the ones who don't buy it. And since said like-minded individuals tended to be equally wealthy and/or influential, it's not hard to imagine a kind of pyramid scheme happening where a Captain of Industry likes his idea and pledges money and resources to it, then tells a fellow Captain of Industry about it, etc. Secrecy might be a problem if the scheme gets too big, true, but maybe Andrew Ryan was just that good at getting people to do what he wanted.
Why didn't they make Tenenbaum male? I'm not saying this game needed less women than it had, but on a thematic level it would have made more sense. "These children I brutalized have awoken something inside that for most is beautiful and natural, but in me, is an abomination... my maternal instinct." This would have been much more meaningful if it was paternal instinct, because the first game has a theme of warped father figures- The Big Daddies, Fontaine, Ryan... (or they could have made all of the above female, which could have been awesome)
Possibly to avoid having every major character in the game be male. It's a bit of a YMMV but I think the theme still works ok if you just think of it as a theme about parental instinct, not necessarily maternal or paternal, even though it does lead to a fair bit of Positive Discrimination with the only genuinely good-intentioned and ethical character being a woman (not counting Jack, who has the option of going evil).
Probably it was done to create some sort of family feel, assuming Jack will be suggested a father and Tennenbaum a mother to those little girls.
Why do the little sisters look so much different in the first game than in the second? In the first they have pupils and their eyes glow different colours, and in the second they all have solid yellow eyes. It can't just be Delta's mental conditioning, the Little Sister paintings on the wall look the same.
It is all Delta's conditioning. You're seeing them through his eyes, so every one you see will look more pleasant than creepy.
Moreover, these are different Sisters, probably made through somewhat altered process.
One thing that is bugging me about some of the Gene Tonics. Some of them don't seem like they have anything to do with modifying genetics. For example, there's Extended Reel in the second game, where it increases the time that the research camera records. What does that have to do with your genes? There's also Shorten Alarm 1 and 2, self-explanatory there, but again, what does that have to do with modifying yourself? Some Gene Tonics that increase damage or allow you to hack faster can be explained as increasing intelligence, meaning you can spot weak points to strike or think faster in certain ways. Heck, there's a Gene Tonic that is mentioned but can't be gained by the player called Brain Boost, so there is precedence for increasing intelligence. I can see their use in-game, but I can't logically explain how they work.
Did no one think that a society with an economy and scientific research unbound by "petty morality" would be self-destructive? We see this results in horrors such as Little Sisters and Big Daddies, not to mention all the wonderful things ADAM produces, and all the things Dr. Steinman does, the disenfranchisement and the social conflict...
The key phrase here is "We see this results in...". Yes, we see the results because we see what happens when someone tries to run a society along purely Objectivist lines, something which had never been tried earlier and has never been tried since, either in-universe or in real life. Some people may have seen Rapture for the future train-wreck it would be, but they wouldn't go to Rapture, for obvious reasons. Nobody thought Communism was going to implode as badly as it did when it was first implemented either. It's also worth pointing out that Rand was an even worse Objectivist than Ryan, and notorious for espousing individual thoughts and morality, while at the same time exiling anyone who disagreed with her in the slightest from her circle of "co-workers".
Big Daddy. Little Sister. Maybe it's explained why it's not "Big Brother" or "Little Daughter" (Or, for that matter, "Big Uncle" and "Little Niece"), but if so, I haven't seen that far in.