Guide to Rapture: The Underwater White Elephant

So who do you want to blow up today?

The release date for Bioshock is slowly sinking down towards us and so we at MAP thought we’d list some info about what you’ll be confronted with in Bioshock… an undersea primer, if you will. Put on any aquatic related music you got and let’s get going.

The Where.

Where you’ll be is, of course, the underwater city of Rapture. Even though it has recently been the site of quite an ugly war, there are still many places for you to explore in the city. There is a shopping mall, the Medical Pavilion, a biosphere which held its very own forest but has been killed off by time you get there, and also the rooms and living areas of many of Rapture’s now sadly expired citizens. Be careful, though… the city will be patrolled by the genetically mutated survivors, who, it must be said, are not inclined to be chatty.

The Who

Just because you’re stuck in a heavily damaged underwater city that no one has ever heard of with no hope of rescue (everyone up above does think you’re dead, after all) doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone down there waiting to welcome you. The problem is that these people aren’t going to welcome you with hot food and bottles of champagne… more like hot lead and Molotov cocktails.

1. Big Daddies-These are the major muscle in Bioshock; heavily armed and armored warriors that roam the hallways looking for Little Sisters, those strange little girls who creepily extract that priceless material Adam from the dead bodies around the city and process it for use. Big Daddies will leave you alone if you leave them alone, but if you try to pick a fight with them there won’t be much left of you to pick up.
2. Splicers-Once she used to be an ordinary woman… well, ordinary by Rapture’s terms. Now she’s a crazed, bioengineered, party dress wearing warrior who uses her quick moves and homicidal instincts to render you to little pieces. This is just one type of Splicer to be found in Bioshock, though, so keep on your guard.
3. Security bots-Not all the enemies you’ll fight in Bioshock are, well, biological. If you’re spotted by one of the many security cameras to be found around Bioshock, you’ll often be confronted by these security bots that are essentially mini helicopters with guns. However, the good news if you can bring them down without destroying them is you can hack them to protect you. Use them carefully.

When vauldville goes horribly wrong.

The How

Survival is a tricky question in Bioshock… resources are scarce so you’ll always be in short supply of everything. Therefore, you’ll have to use your brains to get you through this crisis as opposed to the usual method of just shooting up the entire countryside and everyone in it. In this segment, we will talk about the weapons you have at your disposal as you fight your way through the city of Rapture.

1. Plasmids-These are by far the most interesting tools at your disposal. Refined from the genetic material Adam, that led to the war being triggered in the first place, these items can bestow upon you any number of useful abilities from telekinesis to teleportation to causing your enemies to go into a berserker rage that will cause them to attack anything around them, including anything that would like to have a go at you.

2. Tonics-These beverages, while no doubt cool and refreshing can also be handy in your journeys through Rapture. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?

A. Bloodlust-Heals you as you battle someone in melee combat.
B. Medical Expert-After consuming this, your first aid kits will last longer and be more effective.
C. Booze Hound-One of the more interesting tonics, Booze Hound gives you the ability to turn every bottle of alcohol you drink into a life prolonging tonic via your own body chemistry. Neat, huh?
D. Security Expert-Increases your abilities in shutting down security systems.
E. Vending Expert-Allows you to fool the price meter at all of Rapture’s vending machines.
F. Armored Shell-Makes you more resistant to damage.
E. Melee Master-Your upper body muscles are bulked up to give you the edge in hand to hand combat. Now come out…Toguro!

You also have weapons that you can alter for a specific type of enemy… details about that aren’t too clear, but many of the Bioshock videos currently on the Net show the weapon customization process.

The Why

So just how did you get here, in this nutty underwater metropolis gone mad? More importantly how did it get here, who built it, and why haven’t these garbage cans been emptied?

Just sit tight, my friend. I have the answers to your questions.

You are well… you. An ordinary mid 1950s man who boarded a plane to go from left to right but found himself going up and then coming down… down into the ocean, that is. You’re all the survivors of the other sad souls on your plane, but this luck is somewhat made less fortuitous by the fact that you’re stuck out in the middle of the ocean with no chance of rescue. Luckily, though, you find a nearby bathysphere (a one man deep sea submarine) with a body inside. You chuck out the corpse and dive beneath the water to find the city of Rapture spread out beneath you on the ocean floor; a technological middle finger to Mother Nature.

This is what you get when you try to surgery by yourself

You enter the city and find that things inside are even worse than outside. The city is a wreck with water seeping in through various cracks and fractures in the walls and windows, the hallways roaming with crazed and/or mutated remnants of its once obnoxiously intelligent citizenry… who are they? And why do they hate you so much? It’s not the shoes is it?

No, it’s not… although your pants could probably do with a change by now. You see, Rapture was designed to be somewhere where the unconventional could escape from the cultural and societal restrictions they found above. Artists, writers, musicians, scientists… all of those who never felt at home above the ocean could come down beneath it and make a home in Rapture. That was the dream of Andrew Ryan, a former Soviet citizen who slipped out from under the Iron Curtain, and made himself a pack of cash (millions of dollars, actually) from his industrialist activities and inventions. At first life in the good old USA worked out well for him, but as he saw the world gripped by oppression, war, and various other forms of misery he decided that he’d had enough.

Thus was Rapture was born and many, up to 7,000 people, made their home there and were free to make whatever out of life they wanted.

This lasted for a while until the find of the century was made… Adam… pure stem cells… it was the kiss of life, the Fountain of Youth, a tool, a weapon… it was a miracle… at least at first. The citizens of Rapture used Adam to alter those things about them that they’d never really liked. So long wrinkles, bye bye flab, helloooo high IQ. The use of it became so widespread; however, that it eventually became the chief currency of the city. And, as Thomas Malthus predicted, where there is low supply and high demand it will eventually lead to trouble.

And boy did it ever.

The citizens divided themselves into two groups, one loyal to Andrew Ryan, and the other loyal to a mysterious man calling himself Atlas. These two groups fought it out; using Adam to alter their bodies to give them more and more of an edge in the fight, until many were left lying dead and those that were left alive had very little left in the way of humanity about them.

What you are probably now thinking is


I’m afraid, though, that there aren’t any more answers left. You’ll just have to keep on your toes, use your head, and be prepared to make sacrifices…either of yourself or of other people. It’s all up to you.

Good luck.

Author: Nick2930

I am a 33 year old librarian, part time writer, all time gamer, and what my cousin refers to as an intellectual badasss. Normally I wouldn't brag, but I like that so much I feel compelled to.