Bioshock Infinite Posters. Also, Stuff.

My photography and my photoshop skills are neck and neck.

While I’m finishing off the transcript of the Levine interview, I thought this may be of passing interest. At certain press events, you can find yourself given what I’ll describe as gumpf. Having a house already brimming with literature, Skaven and literature about Skaven, I tend to give it to a passing tramp. However, noting that some of the actual repurpose Bioshock: Infinite propaganda posters were among them, I dragged ’em with me and took some quick cam phone shots. Also, some of the other stuff, which may reveal some fine detail of what Irrational are up to. Possibly.

Er… the Alice Munroe collection is just to pin the poster down. That’s irrelevant.

I didn’t actually mention in the feature, but it’s possible that some – or maybe many – aren’t aware of what Columbia is. In short, Columbia is to America what Britannia is to Britain: the personification of the national spirit and secular deity. Hence the name has more connotations other than the early Oasis album track. In fact, as nothing on Qt3 noted, there’s also this.

I was circle-strafing, you foolish little girl.

Anyway, there’s also some more questionable stuff, such as this…

Which is a Murder Of Crows “tonic” – though it’s not called a tonic anywhere on it. Established 1895, however, which implies that this sort of “powers” technology has been in the game world for quite some time previous to Columbia and its disappearance. In the played section, this is what the player drank to basically unlock the psychic-crow attack, which reminds me of the splendid Casanova psychic attack motif.

Oh – it also is full of a liquid, but is totally sealed in all ways. Short of a large black sphere with a fuse in the top, this makes it the world’s most suspicious item to get through customs.

There’s also this…

Which is labelled “Dr Gallop’s Cocoa Restorative”, which suggests there’s an NPC called Dr Gallop with a fine line in restoratives in the game. Inside the box is some fancy local chocolates, including this one…

Which may imply there’s a mouse in the game. Or it’s a promise of proper mouse-control systems. Or possibly, sometimes a tiny chocolate mouse is just a tiny chocolate mouse.


  1. Freud says:

    I think if there is anything other developers can borrow from Irrational it is their amazing sense of design. Bioshock is one of the few shooters where I did wander around just looking at stuff. Granted, they do pick time periods rarely done so it comes off as really original but they pull it off. They must have some very talented artists working there.

  2. Out Reach says:

    make sure you examine the posters under UV light. remember the rapture posters.

  3. robrob says:

    Shame they didn’t include a miniature dedicated server chocolate or a chocolate in the shape of the ability to alt tab.

  4. Kast says:

    That Murder of Crows jar intrigues me. Looks like a canopic jar with roman-esque and of course American neo-classical design elements. The eagle’s breast feathers remind me of the skirt-like leather strips roman soldiers wore (though that’s probably because it was designed to look like feathers I guess).

    In the second poster, are the boy’s toys anything particular?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The posters are actually period ones with the text re-done.


    • wm says:

      The second poster is a real WW 1 poster that originally said “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” They toys are just toys, I believe.

    • Kast says:

      Yeah, I realised that. :) I thought they might have changed little details like the toys too. Guess not, thanks for answering.

  5. Tei says:

    Is that “The Maltese Falcon”.

    Also, after a visit to the 50’s. I think the 1800+ is a good period to go. Just avoid WWW.

    • J. Prevost says:

      World War Won?

    • Freud says:

      It slightly resembles it. “The stuff that dreams are made of” kinda fits with the overall themes Levine & Co are trying to do, I guess.

      The turned head of the bird also looks a bit like The eagle in the presidential seal or a Roman Eagle I guess. It also looks like something 60s Batman would throw at hired goons.

    • Tei says:

      The scary thing is on the computer on background. Seems to have winamp installed… eeeeerrk!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      By far the best thing for transcription, basically.


    • Huggster says:

      What? Whats wrong with Winamp? What should I use instead – I’ve used it for donkeys years!

    • Tei says:

      Winamp stoped being cool ~5 years ago. Started taking over the control of the computer, and registering itself as the default player for video, something at what is shit. It likes to populate the explorer right click options, make permanent taskbar options, etc.. It seems the original developers got replaced by marketing droids, focused on monetize the tool, at expenses the fame of the program. Using it today is like browsing with Netscape Navigator.

      Probably a decent replacement can be foobar2000. I don’t know, because I don’t like music myself, so I don’t use that type of program.

    • Tei says:

      Even Yahoo users think Winampp is bloated “to AOL levels”.

      VLC is another good replacement, and is open source.

    • qrter says:

      All of those options are, well, options which you can choose to not install during installa- wait, what?

      “I don’t like music, myself”??

      What the hell, Tei!

    • Huggster says:

      Come on Tei you must like some music?
      Try SomaFM and see if any stations there tickle your fancy.
      This upsets me.

    • Tei says:

      I think silence is a awesome sound. There are very good music out here, and I like some of it, but I always return to silence, as it beats all and any style of music.

    • Freud says:

      @ Tei

      “Winamp stoped being cool ~5 years ago”

      I am using Winamp 2.81 (from 2002) for mp3s. Plays music just fine and comes from an era when programmers took pride in not using up resources. I just tested and it played music just fine at 0% CPU use and 4768 kB memory used. I have yet seen any reason to upgrade.

    • Tei says:

      Using a old version make sense to me, as back then, the app was very good as his original purpose. I remenber that there was a moment where searching new themes for winamp was the favorite hobby of the netticents.

      Now, I make a point, I do, to remove Winamp and Winzip anywhere I see it, and replace it by VLC and 7Zip (or similar tools).

    • Tei says:

      Sorry for the typo.

    • Sarlix says:

      I don’t know if it still has this feature, but years ago I used to watch streaming TV through Winamp, some guy would steam endless episodes of Duckman. Admittedly it was fairly low quality and you would have to sit through an episode of Pinky and the Brain before you got to Duckman. It used to drive me mental.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Freud: Hey, me too!. I tried winamps 3, 4, 5, and found that all of them fell into the trap of bloatware. I just want to listen to music, dammit!. So I came back to WinAmp 2. I haven’t found nothing better in years.

      I’m using 2.95, though, which fixes same exploits. Try to upgrade if you don’t get your MP3’s from, let’s say, official sources.

    • Huggster says:

      Okay Tei, how about the sound of Wind rustling through trees? (If you don’t live near any – Environments 5)

      link to

      You have now thrown me down a gauntlet / challenge.

    • Ozzie says:

      You can actually deactivate all the bloat options in Winamp. I also use the oldest available skin. With it it’s still as fast as it always was. The new bento skin is indeed quite cpu intensive and actually not nearly as practical.
      I think VLC is quite impractical as an audio player. Just managing a play list is not nearly as comfortable as with Winamp.

    • terry says:

      To continue this odd derail of music that’s not really music, I like Aire Freshener – link to . It plays soothing sounds of windchimes (although I turn them off) over the sounds of crashing waves or birds. If you want to maintain a zen-like state I suggest avoiding the “Helicopter” preset, however.

    • sfury says:

      Silence is nice, when you can have it.

      When everyone around is blasting music, or TVs though (because they’re all frickin deaf, young and old alike), and it’s ususally not your thing, you’ll start singing a different song fast. Or play some on Winamp. Though I agree it’s become awful bloatware lately. Sometimes I’m tempted to install a good 2.9x version myself, I also know some people who do that.

      I haven’t listened to Environments, will try that, but there are some lovely ambient stations on the beforementioned, you can try that Tei.

      And to finally come on-topic – looks a bit like the Maltese Falcon indeed, form here on it will be called the Columbian Crow (I bet it’s secretly stuffed with heroin).

    • Huggster says:

      Also I have some secret radio stations, sssssh, don’t tell too many people:

      link to

      More well known:
      link to

      Mission control on SomaFM is really neat idea. DroneZone is perfect for minecraft.

    • nabeel says:

      Somewhat Irrational-related, my media player of choice is Winamp with the System Shock 2 skin.

  6. Sporknight says:

    I find myself anticipating this game for the setting alone – not only is it a rarely-done time period, as Freud mentioned, but airships! Airships! Not enough of that these days.

    • Benny says:

      The premise of Sky Pirates alone makes me very intrigued with this game. I just wish they didn’t have to rely on the Bioshock+Subtitle to make console gamers buy this game. What a shame.

    • qrter says:

      Much more annoying to me is that we’ll have to wait for 2012 to possibly be able to play the game.

      It’s the one aspect that makes me strongly dislike previews of any kind.

  7. Mike Russo says:

    The chocolate mice are a specialty of a chocolatier based up in New Hampshire (Burdock’s, I believe) — since Irrational are Boston based I’m guessing that’s where they bought the giveaways, and the mice have nothing to do with the game.

    Also, I’m reading some Alice Munro right now too! What are the odds.

  8. Vague-rant says:

    If I had that Murder of Crows tonic, I would be tempted/compelled to just smash it open and drink it. Not so much for the power to control crows but just because I’d have to know what they filled it with and the best way is to a)look at it b) gulp it rapidly and ignore the burning sensation. Its probably a good thing I don’t have one then.

  9. Fetthesten says:

    Those posters don’t look infinite to me.

  10. Dean says:

    Burdick’s has a store in Harvard Square, so it’s probable that the Irrational guys contracted with them.

    They also do a fine chocolate penguin.

    link to

  11. Roland says:

    Is that Michael Schumacher being asked by his children “What did he do during the siege of Columbia”?

  12. hitnrun says:

    Re: Columbia and Britannia. That’s true, but it should be noted that the use of Columbia that way (as the American secular goddess) is somewhat archaic. Most non-geeky modern Britons would know what you meant if you said “Britannia”; if not the secular goddess, than at least the patriotic ideal.

    Few Americans would think of either if you said Columbia. The word is now mostly used in quaint or staid references to historical America up through the pioneering and settling era, e.g. “District of Columbia” remaining the formal title of the capital region. It’s also not USA-specific (at least any longer), but can encompass North America, and sometimes even South America, after European contact.

    This is interesting to me because it suggests the scope Bioshock canon is going to be expanded to include some kind of pre-Rapture war, or a twist to World War II that involves America being invaded. One of the things I like about Bioshock’s fiction – even if I never actually thought about it until now – was its true-to-life period placement. The only explicit departure from real-world history in Bioshock is the building of Rapture, itself (and the existence of the characters, of course). I hope they don’t go overboard with the historical fiction. I think Bioshock would lose a lot of it were set in some alternate universe.

    • perilisk says:

      Still, it makes sense in context. The 1893 World’s Fair (alluded to in the trailer) was called the World Colombian Exposition. Of course, in the context of militarization, the name “Columbia” (with a root meaning “dove”) is already a bit ironic.

      Of course, a lot of the buildings in the White City burned down around the time of (and probably as a direct result of ) the Pullman Strike, which saw the involvement of the Pinkertons, the strikebreaking detective agency that employed the protagonist of Bioshock: Infinite.

      The Pullman strike also directly lead to Eugene Debs becoming a socialist, which may or may not be relevant — he was opposed to entering WWI and his antagonism with progressive Woodrow Wilson turned him into a political prisoner.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah, Columbia isn’t particularly meaningful in that sense in North America. I wasn’t aware of the idea of Columbia as a secular goddess of a country’s ideal until you mentioned it just now, and despite living in British Columbia my whole life, had no idea where the term Columbia was supposed to refer to until I looked it up rather recently. It doesn’t help that the term gets thrown around a lot. Obviously there’s the District of Columbia that houses the United States capital, but there’s also the Columbia District which is an outdated term for what is now the Pacific Northwest (and as mentioned earlier, where British Columbia gets its name) as well as obviously the South American Columbia. As a name it gets used quite a bit in the Americas, but I’d wager that if you asked 10 Americans what Columbia was, you’d be lucky if one of them mentioned the female personification of the United States.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I stress, people not knowing it doesn’t change that’s what it means.


    • Josh W says:

      But it may give it another set of incompatible meanings.

  13. bill says:

    It’s an interesting time period to explore. Good that they’re mixing it up a bit from Bioshock.

    But, as hitnrun said, I’m a bit worried that they’re going to ret-con an entire alternate reality past onto Bioshock!!

    An alternate reality would be awesome in and of itself. There was a cool drama-documentary a few years back where they imagined the south won the war, and how america developed. (all the good music went to canada!).

    But what was great about bioshock was that it was (i thought) set in a real reality, and it was an attempt to make a city that was different to real 50s america. If it turns out to have been an excape from some kind of alternate america, it’d lose some of it’s magic.

    PS/ Having just read Atlas Shrugged – we need more epic steam locomotives in our FPS games!

  14. Zetetic says:

    The retitling of “Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?” is awful. Just… rubbish. “…in the Siege?” might’ve been a little better, I suppose.

    • perilisk says:

      That reminds me: how the hell do you besiege a flying city, unless you have your own flying army?