Bioshock 2: Fontaine Futuristics
I can feel the end of Bioshock 2 is near. We’ve left Dionysus and gone on to visit our old nemesis’ domain. Frank Fontaine’s name makes me grit my teeth in some sort of pavlovian response, which is a bit funny considering how he had a pavlovian control over us (the us in Bioshock 1, not current us, Subject Delta).
ANYHOW. We’re greeted by a prerecorded message from Gil Alexander, who informs us that he is going to be insensible soon and thus needs us to kill him. But first, he needs to check our sanity. It’s alarming that we might be considered sane enough to go up against him, because I don’t think we’re all that sane. We’re a bonded Big Daddy brought back to life searching desperately for our fading little sister. That’s not a measure of sanity I can get behind.
Speaking of measures of insanity, your first glimpse of Fontaine Futuristics is this charming tableau. And right after that, you hear “Alex the Great” telling off some poor sucker for stealing office supplies and then obliterating him with lasers. This sets the tone for a very surreal experience here in Fontaine Futuristics, because Alex isn’t actually THERE. He’s just flying around on a security bot with a monitor showing eyes. Where is he actually? Well, I started pondering that question with increasing dread as I started wandering.
I’m also vaguely alarmed that Alex recognizes me — he’s very familiar with me and my story, much like Stanley Poole and I assume Sinclair. Why won’t anyone TELL me my backstory, for chrissake. It’s like Bioshock 1 all over again, except this time I won’t be shocked by my own reflection as a monster. I already KNOW I’m a monster this time.
Alex is a bit of a jerk, as well.
The goal is pretty clearly to get to Alexander and kill him — the prerecorded messages you run into let you know that he’s slowly losing his marbles as he records them and he needs you to destroy him. Of course, his new persona is actively trying to stop you from doing so, but he’s a bit disjointed. He’s a jerk one moment, complimentary the next. It all felt alarmingly like a Portal moment — especially when the curtains lifted to the plasmid demonstration and confetti burst out.
The front part of Fontaine Futuristics is all about showing off plasmids — it’s the heart of where Atlas/Fontaine once sat, ruling over his angry kingdom, plotting against Ryan.
The backend is the offices, of course, including one where you find this picture of Fontaine and family — what the hell, he DID have a wife and a kid! I thought that was just an Atlas invention. I wonder what happened to them — did Ryan kill them? Did they even die? The ripped portraits make me think something worse happened and that Fontaine actually took them down. Or those could be portraits of Ryan and Lamb, i suppose. Either way, makes his crying as Atlas about his wife and darling son even more nauseating. Bastard. Killing him was such a great feeling.
Things get a little more sinister when you make it past the public face of Fontaine Futuristics and into the bowels of it. FIRST OF ALL, look who we finally get to meet. Yup, that’s Alex the Great, some sort of awful ADAM infused glob with a vaguely human shape in an enormous tube. When you first arrive in this room, it’s completely dark because the light will agitate him. I can handle a lot in this game, but I am NOT ok with the dark.
On the other hand, once the lights come on, out come the freaking splicers AND our old friends, the Alpha series. You find that the Alpha series are deemed a failure because once Tenebaum helped free some little sisters, the Big Daddies who lost their pairings became either cationic or rage filled. Presumably that’s the reason these guys are such assholes, but seriously, WE’RE BROTHERS. STOP KILLING ME with your bombs and your, your, your ME ness.
Things are about to get worse, here, as well, because this is where the big daddies were BIRTHED. There are horrifying high security cells down below the main level, equipped with not much at all. I imagine all of these strapping men being subjected to whatever chemical work that is entailed in messing them up so badly. By the looks of the room, it was pretty painful, and they must have been an unholy mess prior to bonding with a little sister. Violent, deadly, and miserable.
Alexander knows how close we are to destroying him and tries to lock us into a small chamber filled with smoke, but we don’t have time for that. I was alarmed because there are more lose first aid kits and EVE around than I could collect, making me think we were gonna be in the battle of our lives. I admit that I’m a bit fuzzy on the details here — the recording he makes tells us to gather some special seaweed that sea slugs eat to draw him out, but he’s already in the damn tube.
I was expecting to have to fight him but… instead, he panics, there’s an immediate influx of Alphas and splicers, and the fight is on. Except it was easy. A couple of proximity mines, Inferno!, and the machine gun neatly took care of the ravening horde and I was able to get the genetic key from Alexander that would then let me into Eleanor’s prison.
Nothing about the latter half of that sentence made any sense to me.
Alexander’s final recording tells us to make sure to kill him. Not because he’s dangerourous, although he is, but because it is an act of mercy, no matter WHAT he says to try and convince us otherwise. I could have left him alive — but this time, unlike Stanley Poole and Grace, killing seemed like the right thing to do. After all, his motives were good:
Unfortunately, that led to one of the most horrifying things of the game so far.
And speaking of Eleanor, here’s her thoughts on her current state:
Whatever, we made it through, and it’s time to go see what’s going on with her. My mind is FULL of possibilities. Has this whole thing been a setup? Lamb is enamored of what happened with Fontaine in Bioshock 1 — she loves how Fontaine sublimated the self of our playable character there and made him an obedient puppet.
That’s more or less halfway to what happened to the big daddies anyway. She’s been playing up Eleanor as the key here, but what if it’s not Eleanor? What if she’s luring me in?
We’ll find out soon — this is the last thing I saw before my game crashed: