BioShock is a truly amazing game mostly because of its setting. Sure, it’s great to have mutant powers that let you shoot bees out of your hands, but really Rapture is the star of the show. A city created by revolutionary minds for revolutionary minds to create unhindered by the societal norms of the world above. This city was a paradise for free-thinkers, but it all went very wrong, as creative utopias often do. Everything came to a head on New Year’s Eve in BioShock’s version of 1958, as is evident from the signs celebrating the occasion found around place. Since we’ve all just entered a new decade, we thought we’d look back at one of the most iconic New Year’s in gaming, so here’s the story of Rapture’s abysmal New Year’s Eve.
The Build Up
In the days ahead of New Year’s Eve 1958, Atlas, the antagonist of BioShock, and a few of his followers were imprisoned in Fontaine’s Department Store alongside Frank Fontaine’s army of Splicers. For those of you who don’t know, splicers are the people who have taken too many plasmids, BioShock’s mutant power upgrades. Having too many of these will cause someone to lose their grip on reality, at which point they simply crave more, carving up their faces in desperation, which is why they all wear masks.
Whilst being cooped up with Fontaine’s splicers, Altas saw an opportunity to increase his followers, and so got to work persuading those imprisoned alongside him to join him. During this time he could also keep tabs on what was happening in Rapture, above the department store, through telegraphs sent by loyalists who were still walking free. As the prisoners grew closer they also grew more restless and angry with their captors. they knew that a mass breakout was the only way to win, so they began to plan. At this point there was no defined date, but some were mentioned as being an attack at Arcadia on Valentine’s Day, Fort Frolic on the anniversary of Rapture’s founding, the 5th of November, as well as the locations Adonis Luxury Resort, Farmer’s Market, and Pharaoh’s Fortune Casino.
It’s thanks to Elizabeth, from BioShock Infinite, that Atlas and his followers finally escape. It’s also because of her that they attack the Kashmir Restaurant on New Year’s Eve 1958.
New Year’s Eve Riots
Once Atlas and his followers broke out they attacked the Kashmir Restaurant first. The restaurant was hosting a New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, and no one was expecting there to be any trouble. While Kashmir was one location that was hit, a number of others were as well, leading to the power to Ryan Amusements being cut, separating it from the rest of the city. As a result of the power cut, most people inside Ryan Amusements were killed.
Nobody rang in the new year like we did for 2020, they were all either too bloodthirsty and driven by an addiction to ADAM, or scared and running for their lives. The Rapture players enter in BioShock and BioShock 2 is a very different place to the Rapture that was originally built. Had things gone differently, perhaps we’d be able to experience New Year’s Eve 2020 in the underwater city. With the logic of the BioShock universe, that there are a number of different realities with shared similarities, there’s a good chance that an intact version of Rapture exists. Maybe we’ll be going there in BioShock 4.