The Fall of Atlas

Warning: Here be Spoilers!

So, I beat Bioshock.  Well, I actually beat it several weeks ago – I’ve just been too busy on my project from work to take the time to write this post.  My cousin James wanted to know how it ended for me, since I chose the “light” side: I saved every Little Sister instead of harvesting them.

First, I have to say the twist at the end of the game (after you “defeat” Ryan – pre-meditated murder simulator anyone?) is pretty brilliant.  Now, I knew that Atlas was evil, and not to be trusted, the moment he advised that I should harvest the Little Sisters.  I mean, it’s bad enough (for me anyhow) that you have to kill their Mr. Bubbles and make them cry – but “harvesting” them?  Yah, I smelled something fishy about Atlas – but it never occurred to me that he would turn out to be Fontaine.  The strange thing was that I felt like my little radio display in the corner had been lying to me – it showed a picture of Atlas when it should have known that I was really talking to Fontaine, shouldn’t it have?

So, when you play the light side of things, here are some things that happen that I imagine would happen differently if you played the dark side.  Someone will have to fill me in.  😉

  • Every 3 or 4 Little Sisters that you save, Tenenbaum (aka “Mother Goose”) comes on the radio and gives you a heart-warming thank you, then says that the Little Sisters will leave you a gift at the next Gatherers Garden you come to.  The gift is a Teddy bear with 200-400 Adam inside, plus a couple of other nice things (rare ammo, new plasmid, etc).  I have to wonder what she is saying (if anything) to you if you keep harvesting her little girls.  Maybe Atlas says stuff instead – “That a boy, now, would you kindly continue harvesting those little girls.”  Hmm… kind of makes me wonder why Atlas didn’t use his mind control to make you do that.
  • When you first come to the den of “Mother Goose”, all of the Little Sisters are sitting around playing cards and rolling balls around and such.  If you walk up to them, they said nice things about you to each other like “That’s the one that saved me.”  See the pictures below.  I wonder what Tenenbaum and the girls’ attitude is toward you if you Harvested a bunch of them.  Maybe they are not there anymore.
  • The movie at the end is different, this much I know (see section below).  For the light ending, you float up to the surface with all the little girls, and then you see flashes of them going on to get diplomas, get married, and then be with you at your death bed – well, you see flashes of their hands. 🙂

The Videos

I know the ending video is different because I looked in the “BinkMovies” folder of my Bioshock install (for me, this is at C:\Program Files\2K Games\BioShock\Content\BinkMovies) and found some interesting videos.  You can watch the .bik files in this folder if you download and install The RAD Video Tools here.  Some of my findings:

  • HarvestedGatherers.bik – this is the “dark side” end movie.
  • SavedGatherers.bik – this is the “light side” end movie.
  • KilledGatherers.bik – this is exactly the same (except file size) as the “dark side” end movie.  Maybe they originally planned a 3rd ending / mode, where you could Harvest the girls until you kill them?  I got the impression when I read the game manual that when you harvest the girls it was like a mini-game where you tried to get the most Adam out of them as you could without killing them.  Perhaps that was too violent, or they just didn’t get time to implement.
  • attractMovie.bik – this is some sort of pre-release trailer, or maybe early concept video?  It’s not in the game, and I’d never seen anything like it before.  Think violent snuff film from the 1st-person.
  • <plasmid_name>Clean.bik vs Plasmid<plasmid_name>.bik – each plasmid has a “clean” version, and then one where they add old-timey film and audio filtering.  Strange that they left the “clean” in the final version of the game.  Of course, if you look around a little more in the game assets, it seems like they left quite a bit of fluff.
  • GathererTeddyBear.bik – this is the background image for the main menu of the game.  Not sure what went wrong with the name.  Maybe they were originally going to make a movie for when you pick up a teddy bear the Little Sisters left?  Still doesn’t explain why they used this name for the main menu.

Pics

Tenenbaum’s Hideout (“light” side only?, the 2nd pic is a little dark):

biogirls bio2

Disturbing end scene:

 bio3

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2 Responses to “The Fall of Atlas”


  1. 1 ChiliDaddy December 11, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks! In the evil (harvesting) game, the girls are there (I’m not sure why, seems like they should NOT be there…) but they are very cold to you and say things like “There is the one who hurts us.”

    The evil ending (which you saw) is perhaps the worst ending I’ve seen for a game in a long time. I was most bothered by the sudden change from 1280×960 resolution (or whatever) to what felt like 128×96 resolution. I think games on my commodore 64 almost had better graphics. Why not render it in the first place? Or prerender it at DVD resolution at least if you are going to do so. Especially since (the other thing that bothered me) it is so very, very short. It would have been better with scrolling text to read… my imagination is higher res than the video.

    Guess I’m just a bad person, so I don’t deserve a good ending!

    He did not compel you to harvest the girls, cause then it would have not been your fault. There would have been no ethical dilemma. I had trouble harvesting the last few girls after “mother goose”‘s house… but I persisted and got all of the little brats. 😉

    Note: Mass Effect had a crappy short ending also. But I didn’t feel at all gyped since the last 30 minutes of the game was so awesome… it was basically an ending you played through. I didn’t care much for the last Bioshock level, so that might add to my belief that it was a terrible ending.

  2. 2 Noffie December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, both of the endings sucked hardcore. The “good” ending at least made you feel warm and fuzzy inside, even if it felt horribly out of place with the crappy graphics.

    The bad ending, the writers were like “umm… and then you were bad… so you started wars and had WMDs, because thats what bad people do… right?”


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