Pre-release Gameplay (here for a reason)
- Mind in Revolt finally gives us insight into the character of Daisy Fitzroy, and holy shit is she a badass. Basically, she gets stuck in a psychological interview designed to "show" how inferior she is to white males... and she breaks the scale the psychologist was using, and ends up sending him into an existential crisis through charisma alone.
- The Scenery Porn that is entering Columbia for the first time; it is something Booker won't forget soon... and neither will the player.
Ascension... Ascension... Five thousand feet... Ten thousand feet... Fifteen thousand feet...
(The pod emerges above the clouds, looking out over Columbia bathing in the sun.) Hallelujah.
- As the section image shows, the first hint that Columbia isn't the pure, idyllic Mary Suetopia it's made out to be is the raffle. The numbers are written on baseballs, and (naturally) your number gets drawn. So what's your prize? Getting to throw the first "pitch" at an interracial couple who's been trotted on stage with the intention of publicly stoning them to death. After emcee Jeremiah Fink taunts you over your hesitance to, you know, instigate the brutal public execution of an interracial couple for the hellworthy tresspass of being an interracial couple, you're given a choice: cast the proverbial/literal first stone, or knock that stupid mustache off Fink's face with the ball. The part immediately below happens, so you don't actually get to throw anything. What makes it awesome on a meta scale is that no one who worked on the game and got to this scene chose to target the interracial couple. And the number of Let's Players who have are similarly nonexistent.
- Booker lets us know early on in the game that he's NOT a man to be trifled with when he demonstrates one of gaming's most badass ways for a character to obtain his/her first weapon - in this case the Skyhook - by first distracting its original owner (by casually tossing a baseball straight upwards), then grabbing his equally distracted partner next to him, shoving his face straight into its spinning blades, and finally snatching it up straight out of the now unrecognizable mess left over.
- The very first time Elizabeth opens a tear. Booker is watching her through one of the one-way mirrors, as she's going about her usual business, when she stops in front of a painting of the Eiffel Tower. She looks it over for a moment, then gestures — and a tear opens to 1980s Paris, complete with a snippet from "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and a movie theater marquee with Return of the Jedi — pardon, REVENGE of the Jedi as a little in-joke/what could have been reference. Even if you know it's coming, that's still pretty impressive.
- Regarding Return of the Jedi, the original title was going to be Revenge before Lucas twigged to the notion that revenge wasn't really the Jedi way. Given how The Avengers (2012) was named Avengers Assemble regionally, France going with the original planned title on release is a perfectly plausible alternate, slyly reinforcing the idea she was opening dimensional gates.
- The unforgettable first encounter with Songbird. You don't see exactly what it does at first; you run to Elizabeth's side atop the monument tower, then there's a huge crash and, in the next instant, there's no more ground beneath the two of you. By pure luck, you catch onto a skyline to try escaping, and see the monument's head and wing falling away in the distance. You were just inside that massive structure less than a minute before, and Songbird ripped it to pieces in as little time. It's right about here that players have to ask themselves "How in the hell am I supposed to fight something like that?!" The answer? YOU DON'T.
- After she finds out Booker never intended to take her to Paris, and that she's just a package he's supposed to deliver, Elizabeth starts crying. And waits for Booker to get closer, so she can clock him with a nearby wrench which also happens to be identical to the one Jack used in Rapture.
- If you look closely, you'll see that just before she starts "crying" she glances at the wrench lying on the airship's dashboard.
- Though it does turn darker very fast, coming out into the third universe where Booker and Slate became martyrs and listening to the Vox Populi outside shouting "VOX! VOX! VOX! VOX!" makes you glad that the Founders are finally going to get what they deserve.
- In an echo of an aforementioned moment of awesome from one of the demos, Booker takes out an airship in a fairly similar way. However, this time the airship belongs to the Founders, and he's on the side of the Vox Populi. And this time, everyone below is watching him... and cheering him on! Elizabeth even calls Booker a total badass when he lands back on solid ground, which he casually brushes off like what he just did weren't no big thing.
- Even better is the fact that this universe's Booker had already given his life for the Vox Populi who subsequently revere him as a martyr. Here the Vox not only sees one man single-handedly taking down an airship, they're seeing it being done by their dead hero risen again. It is at this point that the rebellion stops chanting their usual "Vox! Vox! Vox!" in unison as Booker destroys the airship, instead they chant "DeWitt! DeWitt! DeWitt!"
- Elizabeth killing Daisy Fitzroy after a Moral Event Horizon crossing.
- The final events of Comstock house: once Booker's shut down the generators that were keeping Elizabeth's powers nullified, she proceeds to perform one of the most spectacular displays of power yet: opening a tear leading directly into a tornado, killing the sick bastards who were about to operate on her. Then, once she's patched up, she opens the same Tear again to give herself a dramatic backdrop while discussing whether or not she should kill Comstock. The badass threat to Booker—and Booker's flat response—really sells it.
Elizabeth: Really, Booker? What are you going do to stop me?
Booker: Not a damn thing.
- Which turns into a CMOH immediately afterwards with the second half of his reply:
Booker: 'Cause I'm gonna do it for you.
- Elizabeth starts out a very sheltered, albeit extremely intelligent, young women who just wants to see the world outside her room. She grows into a reality-warping force of nature capable of controlling the likes of Songbird. "I wasn't asking for permission." Also:
Elizabeth: Booker, are you afraid of God?"
Booker: No... but I'm afraid of you.
- There's a sequence involving Booker and Elizabeth taking one of the Founder's flying barges to Comstock's flagship, while fighting off incoming barges loaded with troops. The awesome comes from being able to use the Skyline to leap between crane hooks, allowing Booker to superhumanly fly between the different vessels. There's even a chance that upon landing on a barge and hanging from the hook, the soldiers aboard won't immediately fire (possibly due to a glitch in their AI) but will still all turn to look at you, which gives the impression that the sheer audacity of what you just did has stunned them.
- Songbird dogs Booker and Elizabeth through much of the game, until the end, where, through his song, you can command him to attack Vox airships.
- Booker drowning Comstock. He spends over a minute strangling him and beating his head over the font filled with baptism water while he delivers an Angrish-laden "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him before finally drowning him. After everything Comstock has put them through, it's easily one of the most cathartic experiences in the entire game.
Booker: She's your daughter, you son of a bitch! And you ABANDONED her! Was it worth it?! Huh? Did you get what you wanted?! Tell me! Tell me!
Comstock: It is... finished.
Booker: Nothing is finished! You lock her up for her whole life! You cut off her finger, and you put it on me!
- The entire final battle: you, Elizabeth, and the Songbird fight the entire Vox Populi in the sky. All of it. Which includes zeppelins, airships, an army of heavily armed foot soldiers, and a dozen Motorized Patriots, all ganging up on you. Badass Crew doesn't even begin to describe it.
- As you made your way through Columbia, you heard people speak of the Songbird in hushed tones and awed whispers, depicting him as some sort of mythic beast. The final battle does everything to vindicate that reputation; he single-handedly tears through the entire fleet of warships like an enraged sky-god out for blood, illuminated by lightning and heralded by thunder. If Zeus were real, he would fear the Songbird.
- Even better, you can command Songbird to attack the infantry in the middle of the arena. He crashes down and absolutely annihilates anything in arm's reach. Even Patriots.
- And the announcer, Brother Love, couldn't care less. The Vox know taking on Songbird is useless, so they don't even try. Love just keeps shouting for Comstock's death. Crying out for revenge and retribution and zeppelin after zeppelin is sent forward to release a new wave of Patriots on the hapless ship. They are willing to lose as many men as necessary to destroy Comstock's flagship and they never, NEVER stop coming, Songbird or not. His announcements are awesome as well.
: What do we say to the Founders?! Vox Crowd
: NO! Brother Love
: What do we say to their Prophet?! Vox Crowd
: NO! Brother Love
: What do we say to their little lamb?! Vox Crowd
- After the big finale, the player's brain is going to be full of Columbia-related things such as Songbird annihilating a Vox airship armada and the subsequent destruction of the Siphon. After the Siphon is destroyed, Songbird comes after Booker and Elizabeth at full speed. Elizabeth uses her power to open another tear, and the next thing you know, you're watching Songbird drown through a waterproof window. That's when the underwater fog clears up, and you discover that you're in RAPTURE!
: (freaking out
) I lost control, he's coming! Elizabeth
: (absolutely calm
) No, he's not.
- The plasmids are back and they're now known as vigors. These vigors vary between a possession power that allows you to possess enemies, a horse themed stun vigor named Bucking Bronco and Devil's Kiss which is an explosive fire vigor.
- Summoning a samurai to fight for you in Burial at Sea.
- The final scene in Burial at Sea is many things, including this trope. The sheer contempt in how Elizabeth and the Luteces treat Comstock is both chilling and awesome.
- Before Comstock's death. Elizabeth seems to smile at the prospect. It's not a big smile, not the adorable ones we've been getting, it's a tiny one, a evil one, a one that says "Even if you live, you will wish you have died!"
- Props to the Big Daddy that did the deed, especially considering how easily he managed to sneak up to Comstock before impaling him, a far-cry from the usual loud-as-hell Lightning Bruiser they usually are.
- This also doubles as an Oh, Crap! moment for Elizabeth in Episode 2, when she realises that she doesn't have any hope of taking on the Big Daddy because it somehow managed to get up even after it was apparently put down for good.
- Motorized Patriot vs. Big Daddy.◊ It's especially satisfying to watch the clockwork juggernaut get bowled over by the Daddy's charge attack, even if it is supposed to be helping you.
- Or if you whittle it down enough, the Motorized Patriot killing him. While villainous considering who you are, it's still quite awesome.
- Heck, the beginning of the boss fight is this. As Comstock is struggling to pull out Sally, she resists and screams the Most Wonderful Sound to fans of the first game: "MISTER BUBBLES!!!" Cue Big Daddy's explosive introduction as he fires a drill aimed at your face, and Comstock just barely dodging out of the way before it hits him.
- And keep in mind, yes, he can and will launch his drill at you during the fight itself. Don't see Mr. Bubbles in the other BioShock games doing that, now don't you?
- At the end of Episode 2, Elizabeth's Dying Moment of Awesome as she sets in motion the events of the first game by giving Atlas the means to bring Jack back to Rapture, whilst remaining Defiant to the End. In sacrificing herself, she allowed Jack to unknowingly take up her sword and bring about Atlas' downfall, as well as free the Little Sisters.
- Even though it's just a cutscene, there's something undeniably awesome about seeing through Jack's perspective one last time.
- In Episode 2, you'll see Daisy Fitzroy arguing with the Luteces over the prospect of possibly hurting Fink's child in order to goad Elizabeth into killing her, therefore making her a woman. She may be brutal, but Daisy will never hurt children.
- Remember Suchong's final audio log in the original BioShock? Well, during Burial at Sea Episode 2, Elizabeth actually sees the gruesome death take place at Suchong's lab between Suchong, two Little Sisters and the Big Daddy that she helped bond to the two girls. So in a way, Elizabeth is indirectly responsible for the death of Dr. Yi Suchong!
- One for the entire fandom's reaction to the ending of Part 2. Most were so saddened and angry at Atlas that they then opened BioShock 1 and proceeded to go through the entire game, reach the final level, and fight Fontaine with a wrench. Karma's a bitch, indeed.
- In retrospect, the sheer level of karma Atlas gets for activating Jack. He thought he'd get the ultimate weapon to take Rapture. And he got his weapon alright. He got Jack.