In anticipation for Bioshock Infinite, I got it in my mind to sit down and play where it all started. I put in the game, survived the plane crash, and swam to the Lighthouse for the first time in years. I found myself humming along to 'Beyond the Sea' while waiting for the bathysphere, oblivious for just a moment to the horrors that awaited me. I still found myself with a sense of wide-eyed wonder as Rapture laid itself out in front of me, actually gasping as a whale swam between 'skyscrapers'. I took the trip, and even had a sense of hope as the neon lit above me. "All good things of this world flow into the city."

Of course, as soon as the lights went out, I remembered exactly why I love this game. The sinister voices, the slinking shadows. The innate sense of wrongness in this sunken city. I was taken to being awestruck at the shell of this new world, to seeing how the inside has rotted, all in the course of a few seconds, and it still gives me a chill. This, however, did not hold a candle to the first time I heard the voice of Rapture's lord and benefactor, Andrew Ryan. In one moment, we go from hearing how grandiose his dream started, to witnessing firsthand how the cancer of this sunken city has even affected the man a the top of it, I am the ultimate outsider. Atlas, the kindly voice on the other end of the radio, is my only friend in the entire world, and every other person in the entire city is looking to take my entrails, and make a lovely hat out of them.

The cap of the opening act of this game came in the form of meeting my first Big Daddy. In my first play through, I has only caught glimpses of these behemoths in the game, and had been terrified by the promo material. These beasts were huge, and terrifying, and utterly inhuman. They oozed violence, and were about as cute and cuddly as a rabid badger. Coming back, it was no easier. If anything, It was harder to approach these beasts, not because I have fought them before, but because at this point, I am totally unprepared. I have fought these monsters without problem when we were on equal footing. If given a chance to prepare, and take the fight on my own terms. Looking at my meager handgun, a few paltry shotgun shells, and plasmids that I has just started to be good with, I was firmly in David and Goliath territory. The true horror of this was that I has to start the fight. I was a non-entity to this hulking beast, and he would remain neutral as long as I would.

The truly incredible part of this set piece was the knowledge that between myself and the Big Daddy, I was the monster here. They were simple, mostly mindless beasts. Their entire purpose in life was to protect their Little Sisters, and cared for nothing outside of that. I go from wandering stranger to the idiot kid that pokes a bee's nest hoping for honey. I've not felt a greater, scarier, or more emotionally charged fight than my first Big Daddy. Not even the Dragons of Skyrim gave me that same rush. Instead of shouting "FUS-RO-DAH!" at my foe, the best I can muster is a "Please, God, Don't Kill Me!". Even knowing what was coming this latest time around, and having been through it all a few times before, this fight still caused me to pause, set down my controller, and reflect. Even now, it took a few moments to get my hands to stop shaking and my heart to find a regular beat. I had nightmares that night of drills and diving suits.

Rise, Rapture! Rise! I know I'll keep coming back.

I have hope that BioShock Infinite will start on as high of an emotional note. Even if it doesn't, the look and feel seems epic enough to keep my attention. Having a shoot-out with a mechanical, chain-gun wielding George Washington? Sign me up!

Note: This was written for the BioShock Infinite Contest held just prior to the release of BioShock Infinite. Even though, it was a blast to revisit Rapture, and I'm glad the folks here at Cheerful Ghost gave me an excuse to get back in the ol' bathysphere.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 03/25/2013 at 10:14pm

Thanks for entering you are now in the contest. Going to take this off the main page, but fear not, your entry will be counted!


Nick_Donahoo   Post Author wrote on 03/25/2013 at 10:18pm

many thanks. fingers crossed! this was a blast! thanks!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 03/25/2013 at 10:20pm

Yeah, thanks for entering! :D

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/26/2013 at 01:21am

If I may bother you for a moment, you may want to take a look at this post. I think it's quite relevant to your interests :D

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