Bioshock – The Story Behind The Story

By Chris ‘spiros za’ Hartley

So, we were casually playing Gears Of War 2 (as usual) and waiting in the lobby for the next game to start when someone popped up with the question “has anyone played Bioshock?” There was an immediate reaction of great positivity towards it, even after nearly 2 years since its release. Everyone was commenting how great it was and the different ways of playing it. There is a great story behind the game filled with intrigue, blackmail, suspense and questions that leaves you wondering…

What is the story behind how Jack (the main character) came to be and how he “conveniently” crashed right at the lighthouse that leads into Rapture? How did Rapture fall and who are all the characters that you meet along the way?


The fall of Rapture

The game takes place in the 1960’s when Rapture fell under its own power. Rapture was built secretly in the mid 1940’s by business tycoon Andrew Ryan to escape from the normal day to day political, religious and economic pressure and give freedom of rights to people that wanted to escape from the daily routine of “surface life”. Science flourished in Rapture and progressed at exponential rates because of the scientists that Ryan brought to Rapture specifically in biotechnology and engineering. Dr. Bridgette Tenenbaum is to thank for the discovery of ADAM. ADAM is found in a previously unknown species of sea slug and rapidly regenerates damaged tissues and enhances the human body. This is where Frank Fontaine steps in, a business tycoon as well as a mobster. He and Dr. Tenenbaum made a business is producing plasmids for the average human to enhance themselves. The mass production started when Dr. Tenenbaum discovered that if one of the sea slugs was implanted in the stomach of a young girl, they could mass produce ADAM, cue “little sister”.


As time went the gap between upper and lower class grew larger. Fontaine started to smuggle in illegal items into Rapture and formed groups to help the lower class and because the lower class was more than the upper. With support from the lower class and his plasmid industry Fontaine became a very powerful man, but as the human psyche goes, it was not enough for him. This is where the downfall of Rapture starts. Fontaine tried to overthrow Ryan but was stopped and supposedly he got killed. Ryan took over the plasmid industry. Out of the ashes a new figure immerged in the lower class, Atlas. On New Years of 1959 Atlas and his ADAM junkies started a new revolution against Ryan. Ryan retaliated with his own army of genetically enhanced forces using ADAM and became delusional. He started hanging the citizens of Rapture in the main hall as example of what would happen should they revolt again. Little Sister where dispatched to “harvest” ADAM from the dead around the city due to shortage and they were protected by enhanced humans dressed in diving suits as armour, Bid Daddies .

With the production of ADAM coming to a halt and people not getting it anymore they started to lose their minds and Rapture plunged deeper into turmoil. When our playing character Jack arrives in Rapture all but a few people have lost their minds.


Who is Jack?

Jack is in fact a genetically enhanced “Rapturian” born a mere 2 years before the fall of Rapture! Jack is the illegitimate offspring of Ryan and a dancer, Jasmine Jolene and has been genetically tuned to mature quicker. Fontaine bought Jack’s embryo and designed him to obey orders with the phrase “would you kindly…” During the war in Rapture Jack was sent to the surface beyond Ryan’s reach. When the fight between the two biggest tycoons in Rapture (Ryan and Fontaine) reached a stalemate Jack was given instructions to board a plane with a package and to make use of the contents inside. The contents in the package were a revolver and Jack used it to highjack and crash the plane near the lighthouse leading to Rapture. Because Jack is Ryan’s son, he is able to use the bathysphere network in Rapture that has been locked to everyone except those that share Ryan’s genes.


Waiting for the sequel and more…

Thankfully fans won’t be disappointed and probably know by now that a sequel is on its way soon (should be here by Dec 2009 as announced by Take Two games). But, did the fans know that Take-Two has stated that Bioshock is now considered a franchise and because of this 2K has announced that there could be as many as FIVE sequels!  If this does happen, it is stated that a new Bioshock will be hitting the shelves every 2-3 years.

All in all, Bioshock, to me personally, is one of those games that I will never get rid of and when the new one comes along I will pop the original in and spend a couple of hours on it just to marvel at the surroundings, gameplay and just all in all the pure brilliance that is Bioshock.