Charlie: Are we all assuming this girl is the protagonist of the game?
Brett: I honestly believe this is the main character, though "protagonist" might be off. If you're trying in any way to re-invent Rapture, others will be trying to stop you. Seems like she'd be at odds, unable to integrate into real society.
Joe: Nah, she's just like Amelie - misunderstood but pure in her heart. I think she's fighting the nightmares. The blue butterfly at the end seals it; something about that tone of blue is irrepressibly hopeful. Why add this cutesy little touch to the barnacle-encrusted logo?
Eric: I don't think she is, but I wouldn't mind if she were.
Charlie: If she's not the main hero – or anti-hero – who is?
Eric: I'm not reading quite that much into her character yet, but I do get the feeling that she's lonely and powerful. Which means that she's the hero, the villain or an innocent that the hero must protect from the villain.
Brett: It'd be cool if they went for an Ico-esque bond between her and the player. Despite her power, she's confused and lost. You're someone else trying to help.
Charlie: How about that Big Daddy toy she's holding?
Brett: Looks like she cobbled that together from junk and scraps, as a vague recollection of something she misses.
Joe: She may have built it at a U-Invent station. Maybe she just wants to feel the security the Big Daddy used to provide her.
Charlie: I'd say she doesn't quite remember the Big Daddies for what they really were. Like all childhood memories, hers are idealized. She doesn't fully understand what Rapture was like and she doesn't fully remember what terrible things the Big Daddies did to protect her.
Brett: If she does bring Rapture back, she could realize the mistake of that decision.
Joe: Throughout the game, her repressed memories could come back through a series of triggers.
Charlie: Right, that would be like the first game. Flashes of memory as you walk down a hallway.
Brett: Or maybe you're PLAYING her memories in the game? And it's all a flashback like Titanic. You go through her whole life as normal girl, Little Sister, rescue and present day.
Joe: Fontaine also talked about how memories had been implanted - maybe the Little Sister has been mind raped in a similar way.
Brett: This could be either a surviving Sister or the progenitor of all Sisters before first entering the sea. All Big Daddies could be based off the doll she took underwater with her.
Charlie: Next you’ll tell me that she’s a young Dr. Tennenbaum.
Charlie: Moving to the end of the teaser, what did you guys make of all the barnacles growing on the title card? And, as our intern Henry pointed out, the title card is completely drained of water before the fade to black. In the first game’s title animation, the water just kept dripping.
Eric: I was wondering if that's evidence of something long-submerged surfacing again.
Brett: I'm telling you, new city on the beach. Or perhaps they literally raise it, Atlantis-style.
Joe: There's a giant balloon under the city that Fontaine set to inflate and raise the city in the event he was killed
Charlie: My guess is she finds Rapture, but it's 10-15 years later and the city is extremely neglected and decayed. Even more so than in the first game.
Eric: She looks too young for it to be 10-15 years later. I'm thinking it's more like 5-7 years later.
Joe: The butterfly crawls out of a barnacle, not a cocoon.
Charlie: Well, let’s discuss that blue butterfly that emerges from the BioShock 2 title card. Joe mentioned it earlier.
Brett: Represents new life? Metamorphosis?
Joe: Dreams take flight on the wings of butterflies? Also, the fact that it’s dawn in the teaser creates a sense of newness, hope, light-after-the-dark, etc.
Eric: The question is, will that new life be compatible with the rest of the world, or will revitalizing Rapture require destruction of other life and civilization?
Charlie: Wrapping up, can each of you summarize - in a few sentences - your overall theory on BioShock 2 after seeing that teaser?
Brett: I'm intrigued by a Titanic-style series of flashback missions, but I think the more practical setup is that the "good" ending happened. You’re one of the surviving sisters, trying to bring back or rediscover Rapture... effectively making you the villain.
Joe: The horrors of Rapture have spread to the outside world, as depicted in the original’s “bad” ending, and the player is the Little Sister trying to stop it. She has powers from harvesting Adam, which grow and develop as she unlocks hidden memories. Since she no longer has Big Daddy to protect her, she must become a plasmid-wielding badass and destroy Rapture once and for all... including herself.
Eric: I'm thinking less drastically, not that I wouldn't love to play either of those games. My guess is that this is a sequel based upon the good ending, and not a prequel. At least one Little Sister has some sort of psychokinetic ability. I would love a city made of sand, but that seems too outrageous for this game world. Instead, I think that was just a signal that she's thinking - dreaming, maybe - about the real Rapture. This will cause the player to return there for some reason, either undersea or after it's risen to the surface. Perhaps she’ll clean things up and make the utopia work this time. Or kill the alien queen. One of those.
The BioShock 2 teaser was so mystifying, we couldn't leave only four editors in charge of the analysis. Here are deep thoughts and crazy theories from four more GamesRadar experts. Don't forget to add your own two cents in the comments below!
Carolyn Gudmundson, Production Editor: Maybe it's like The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. The girl in question is really the daughter of one of the Little Sisters. She rebelliously idealizes Rapture – and wants to return it to its former glory - because she never actually experienced its horrors for herself.
Mikel Reparaz, PlayStation Editor: If the Little Sister is in fact the protagonist, we're probably seeing a scene from her childhood - a memory - as she grows to become the character you'll eventually control. The buildings are just an extrapolation of what she's thinking about at that moment - the familiar towers of Rapture to which she'll eventually return. Only they're simplified, in the way that a child might remember and try to recreate them. They're vague.
Shane Patterson, Associate Features Editor: The original BioShock’s greatest strength is the city of Rapture itself. The success of this supposed return to Rapture rests on just how radical a change to the environment there will be. This city needs to be a ghost of its former self in order to differentiate this from an add-on or quick money grab.
Also, it’s no secret that the original’s storyline was created way late in the development process... hence the so-so ending. Based on this teaser, I sense the sequel's story has been created in tandem with the rest of the game.
But where is the threat? While the first game’s teasers screamed “claustrophobic underwater environment,” this teaser says "dry land!" Where’s the danger in that? Why should I care?
Paul Ryan, CheatPlanet Editor: You guys aren’t even close. From the size and position of the sun, I can tell you that the Big Daddy “doll” is actually the full-size body of the real thing. In BioShock 2, the Little Sisters are all grown up and back to seek vengeance on the world that destroyed their childhood protectors.
With their genes spliced up from spending their childhoods being hosts to freaky sea slugs, the girls had completely unchecked growth spurts after hitting puberty, and like bioengineered potatoes, they’ve grown to enormous size. They’re going to rise up from the ocean and smash through cities as if they were made of sand. “Made of sand,” get it? It’s like the buildings in the teaser.
The only thing between Little Sisters and world domination is you and your army of blue butterflies. You’ll have to explore what free will means, ask how much of your humanity you’ll sacrifice for power and brush up on the Ayn Rand Wikipedia page, if you’re going to “bio-shock” them back down to size.
Oct 16, 2008