For the Multiplayer Level of Arcadia, see Arcadia (BioShock 2 Multiplayer).
Arcadia Entrance Sign
Today Arcadia was closed off to all but paying customers. The man hires me to build a forest at the bottom of the ocean, and then turns a walk in the woods into a luxury.
― Julie Langford[src]

Arcadia is the fifth level in BioShock. Here, the player will do battle with new and disturbing Houdini Splicers, and fight for survival within its simulated natural spaces.


Arcadia Rapture's Vacationland Tree Poster

Arcadia is the living, breathing heart of Rapture. Its lush forests and abundant plant life served to generate life-sustaining oxygen the city needed.[1] It was a tranquil haven for those seeking a respite from the daily rigors of city life to relax in solitude among the many trees and grassy hills. Vacationers seeking something more relaxing than the flashing lights of Fort Frolic could find peace and serenity in the lovely Waterfall Grotto, Tea Garden, and other havens beneath the canopy of trees. Arcadia was very popular on Valentine's Day among couples, being an amorous environment.[2]

Arcadia was created by botanical scientists on Ryan's payroll, most notably Julie Langford. Langford helped create Arcadia and its agricultural research facility, and later used ADAM to grow plants and trees. For a time, Arcadia was a free park for the citizens of Rapture, but Andrew Ryan closed Arcadia to all but paying customers, as he believed the service it provided warranted payment.[3]

During the Civil War, a cult known as the Saturnine appeared in Arcadia. The cult members worshiped nature and indulged in splicing and drinking ADAM as part of their "rituals." Ryan vowed to put a stop to the Saturnine, whom he saw as an organized religion, as their activities endangered citizens and disrupted the work of Arcadia's scientists. The park experienced a number of lock downs as the violence in the city became worse, and was eventually closed to the public altogether. However Langford continued to return to her lab in the park to continue work on the Lazarus Vector.


Main article: BioShock

Tea GardenEdit

Aracdia-Tea Garden-01

The Tea Garden.

The Tea Garden was one of the calmest places in Rapture. Nothing got the betties in the mood better than a night-time stroll in the Arcadia Tea Garden. Gently rolling hills, admirable waterfalls, a calm stream, dim light, and a perfect atmosphere were all part of the Garden's allure. After the fall of Rapture, the Tea Garden's customers were kept away by the growing civil strife.

Tree FarmEdit

The Tree Farm was a place where citizens could see trees and farm plants growing under the ocean. Situated next to the entrance gates to Arcadia, it was nigh impossible to miss. By the end of the Civil War, the area was in disuse and became overgrown, making it nearly inaccessible with a growth of vines keeping the doors shut.

Arcadia GlensEdit

Arcadia Glens was the main hub of Arcadia. From the Glens, visitors could reach the Waterfall Grotto, the Rolling Hills, the Tea Garden and the Tree Farm. It consists of a long concourse running through Arcadia, connecting with lower paths where water was circulated through the various areas.

Waterfall GrottoEdit

The Waterfall Grotto is one of the more impressive areas in Arcadia. Like the rest of Arcadia, it has fallen into disorder. Its former glory is barely visible beneath the plant growth, rubble, flood-water, and shadows. The Rosa Gallica is one of the rare plants that bloomed there.

Rolling HillsEdit

The Rolling Hills was another place citizens of Rapture could relax and enjoy the serenity of the verdant park. As the name suggests, the Rolling Hills' features a smooth hilly landscape. With its abundance of trees and foliage, it is one of the best places to have a walk in the "woods" of Rapture.

Rapture Metro StationEdit

BS1 Arcadia RMetro

The Rapture Metro station in Arcadia.

The entrance to Arcadia's metro station is adorned by two decorated fountains on both sides of a small chamber. Like many Bathysphere stations, the walls are decorated with the symbols of The Great Chain, but the station is also home to a large abundance of plants and features vines growing on its walls.

Thanks to the closure of Arcadia to the public during the war, Arcadia's Rapture Metro station is in nearly perfect condition. A jukebox provided entertainment while citizens waited for the next available Bathysphere. A present on a bench by the entrance never made it to who it was intended for.

Research LaboratoriesEdit

Central Misting Control

Arcadia's Central Misting Control Panel.

The Research Center, supervised by Julie Langford, was an important place for botanical research in Rapture. Despite lockdown of the bathyspheres and growing dangers in Rapture, Langford continued to conduct her research here under contract with Ryan Industries. She had high security systems installed to keep Splicers out, and to ward off the members of the Saturnine cult. The Central Misting Control for all areas of the district, including the Farmer's Market, was situated in Langford's Office, which overlooks the Rolling Hills.



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Icon vending
Icon gathergard
Bot Shutdown
Icon uinvent
Physical Tonic
Combat Tonic

New DiscoveriesEdit

Little Sisters in this Level

Ungathered Icon Ungathered Icon Ungathered Iconq

Single Use EventsEdit

New WeaponryEdit

New Plasmids and Tonics (Found)Edit

New Plasmids and Tonics (Available at a Gatherer's Garden)Edit

New EnemiesEdit

Coded Doors/SafesEdit

  • Langford's Office, 9457

Audio DiariesEdit

For Radio Messages in Arcadia, see Radio Messages: Arcadia - Farmer's Market.
  1. Bill McDonagh - Seeing Ghosts
  2. Dieter Sonnekalb - Big Night Out
  3. Brigid Tenenbaum - Mass Producing ADAM
  4. Julie Langford - Arcadia Closed
  5. Julie Langford - The Saturnine
  6. Mariska Lutz - Shouldn't Have Come
  7. Andrew Ryan - The Market is Patient
  8. Julie Langford - Early Tests Promising
  9. Andrew Ryan - Offer a Better Product
  10. Diane McClintock - Heroes and Criminals
  11. Julie Langford - What Won't They Steal
  12. Julie Langford - Teaching an Old Hound
  13. Julie Langford - Lazarus Vector Formula
  14. Julie Langford - The Lazarus Vector
  15. Julie Langford - Arcadia and Oxygen
  16. Brigid Tenenbaum - Maternal Instinct
  17. Andrew Ryan - The Great Chain


Extended Walkthrough

Arcadia's lush greenery provides oxygen for the whole of Rapture.

Entry Passage

  • Two First Aid Kits ("FAKs") on floor.
  • Crates now have components for U-Invent machines.
  • Break lock on door and go right around mausoleum.
  • Use Incinerate! to ignite torch to right of door to open door.
  • Store Room:
    • 2 Proximity Mines, Liquid Nitrogen, ammo.
    • Casket: $33 or so on corpse.

Tea Garden

  • Right of entry door: 00 Buck, Electric Buck
  • Left of door: Film, recording: Seeing Ghosts.

Arcadia Glens

Screenshot 13 xl

Promotional image of a Little Sister in Arcadia Glens.

  • Enter left door.
  • Exit left door (opposite the one you came in). Go to next door.

Rapture Metro Connector

  • Take photos of Houdini Splicer the instant the door opens.
    • Turn right and go towards shadow.
    • Make sure the Machine Gun has anti-personnel ammo loaded, if any.
    • Keep camera ready.
    • Keep going to the workbench.
    • Look up at the shadow on the wall.
    • Turn and instantly photograph twice, bring up Machine Gun, fire.
    • You should have 3 photos of this Houdini Splicer by now, so no more.
    • These Houdini pics are crucial because they help you get Natural Camouflage.
  • Killing the Houdini Splicer:
    • Keep your Machine Gun (or weapon of choice) out.
    • Facing away from the workbench, turn left and walk sideways away from it.
    • When you get the chance, walk forward to the next wall then resume walking sideways.
    • As you pass the end of that wall, the Splicer will appear briefly.
    • Start firing as soon as you can.
    • His health should be seriously degraded by now.
    • Follow him upstairs. He'll be waiting on the first landing.
    • Again, walk sideways up the stairs facing left then fire as soon as you see him.
    • If he is not dead yet, he will start fighting upstairs.
    • It should not take much to finish him. He carries good loot:
      • $45 or so, Chlorophyll Solution, FAK.
      • This is a good time to save, then start looting.
  • Downstairs area
    • Flooded area: 4 Frag Grenades. EVE by right steps into area.
    • If maxed on FAKs or EVE, use Telekinesis ("TK") to carry them upstairs.
  • Upstairs area
    • Open the door to the left and look at the balcony.
      • Aim TK at it and fetch a Proximity Mine.
      • If you see a Splicer, photo and Incinerate! him and back up. Resume looting room.
    • Crawl space between this door and your entry door: EVE, coffee
      • Splicer enters outer room while you are in crawl space.
    • Crawl space door in center of room. Pistol ammo and Hack Tool.
    • FAK in pile of dirt to the left.
    • Recording on bench: Arcadia Closed, lockbox, bandages.
    • Go back out the door to the…
  • Bridge
    • Around the corner is a bridge with the balcony to the right.
      • Even if you already incinerated the Splicer there, watch out.
    • Incinerate! Splicer at far end of bridge, then photograph him.
    • Cross the bridge.
  • Next Room
    • Two Splicers are inside and a Machine Gun Turret is on the right.
    • Incinerate! the Splicers, then Machine Gun them.
    • Run around post on right and circle back towards the MGT.
    • Photo it twice, before hacking it.
    • Crawlspace on other side of MGT: a corpse or two with loot.
    • FAK, armor Pistol ammo on workbench.
    • Zap door control on store room: FAK, Electric Buck, lockbox.
    • Crawlspace around corner by Health Station. Ammo, bandages,
      • safe: Medium. 5 Antipersonnel Auto Rounds, Napalm, hypo.
      • Open 2nd door for crawlspace to room with electric wire traps.
    • Trapped room.
      • Put target dummy, if any, in center of wires to lure Splicer in.
      • If any wires remain, use TK to fetch Splicer's body to knock down wires.
      • Antipersonnel rounds, coffee, liq.Nitrogen, Film, EVE, 00 Buck.
  • Downstairs
    • Splicer has her back to you: photograph twice and kill.
    • A little loot around, nothing hidden.
    • Follow the arrow out.
  • Passageway
    • U-Invent is to the right.
    • If you are using the Scrounger tonic, note what you need to get to make items you want most.
    • Later on, if searching and those items don't appear, Scrounger lets you try again.
    • Some of the most valuable/useful items, some of which are hard to come by, include:
      • Distilled water, alcohol, batteries, screws, Shotgun Shells, kerosene.
    • There is a crawlspace door above and to the right of the U-Invent.
      • To access this crawlspace (contains corpse, Shotgun, FAK), make a running jump onto the first crate then onto the stacked crates beside it, then onto the ledge above. From there, jump onto the inclined timber and walk across it to the other side, then step onto the level timber next to it and cross back over to the crawlspace.
      • There is also a storage crate packed with components, which varies with Scrounging.

Lower Concourse

  • Go down the steps into the water and make a u-turn.
  • Use the corpse to knock down the electric wire: components in crate.
  • Walk along the water and go right, still in the water, at the stairs.
  • When you see the water ruffle, a Houdini is about to appear:
    • Set up a Target Dummy if you have one.
    • Get a couple of pics of Houdini while he attacks the dummy.
    • Kill the Houdini however you prefer.
  • Continue following the water over a drop-off.
  • Check a crate in a nook on the right.
  • Hit dry land.
    • Circus of Values ("CoV") machine has a FAK in the tray.
    • Across is a trashcan with Liquid Nitrogen.
    • Crawl space is to the right.
      • Safe: Medium. 20 anti-pers. auto, 6 Electric Buck, $77 or so.
    • At the far end of this area in the corner are double doors.
      • The instant the doors open, snap 2 pics of Houdini.
      • You should have earned Natural Camouflage (invisibility) tonic by now.
      • This is the most valuable tonic in the game.
    • Turn and set up a Target Dummy out in the open.
    • When Houdini attacks it, kill with anti-personnel auto.
  • Go into the room: FAK on work bench. U-Invent machine. Exit.
  • A Big Daddy-Little Sister may be found here or upstairs. Kill him.
  • Exit this area, up 2 flights of stairs, through another door, up another set of stairs.
  • A Security Camera is on the other side of the next arch, so ease forward.
  • It is possible to hack the camera by jumping to reach it. Otherwise, just destroy it.
  • On the edge of the beam over the canal there are armor-piercing Pistol Rounds. Dollars in similar position a few beams downstream. Use TK to fetch.
  • At Rolling Hills door, turn right and follow the path to a Gatherer's Garden.
  • Across from the Gatherer's Garden is the…

Waterfall Grotto

  • Recording on bench: The Market is Patient
  • U-Invent to far left with 2 Heat-Seeking RPGs on ground, frag to right.
  • Far right is a door to a sunken water area which is heavily guarded.
  • First Walkway
    • Walkways are trapped. Turret is around the corner.
    • A second Turret faces it from down by the water.
    • A camera is at the far right around the corner of the walkway.
    • Use TK to fetch the corpse from right of U-Invent and drop by stairs.
    • Run down stairs and hug wall.
    • Fetch corpse and fire it down walkway. Repeat until trap wires are gone.
    • If you can spot a Splicer in the water below, 2 zaps should kill her.
    • Hug left wall, run to closest edge of last column where nothing can see you.
    • If you have Target Dummy, put a target down in the water.
  • Second Walkway
    • While the Turrets are firing, photo and hack the Turret around the corner.
    • Hug the back wall so the camera can't see you.
    • Crouch so the lower Turret can't see you.
    • If a trap wire is by the Turret, pick up the corpse and short out the wire.
    • Go back to the spot where nothing can see you and set another target below.
    • (This keeps the hacked Turret and the lower Turret from shooting each other.)
    • Run to the end of the walkway. Zap (if needed) and hack the camera.
  • Lower Water Area
    • Run downstairs to photo and hack the lower Turret.
    • Pick up 2 Proximity Mines around the Turret.
    • Recording: Offer a Better Product
    • Find passageway on the left when leaving lower Turret.
    • Around 2nd corner is a Turret. Photo and hack it.
    • In this area: corpse with EVE, crate with anti-personnel Auto Rounds
    • In lower water area: recording (Early Tests Promising). Crate: ~$50.
  • Back Upstairs
    • Up the stairs, zap broken door controller on right.
    • Inside room: Film, Recording: Heroes and Criminals, EVE, anti-personnel auto
    • Out by broken CoV: 3 frags, 2 FAKs
  • There's an oil barrel and enough tanks of gas in the grotto to kill a BD on any level.
  • Exit the Grotto and go left to…

Rolling Hills

  • Upper Level
    • Keep tree between you and RPG Turret while you kill a Thuggish Splicer.
    • Decoy or zap Turret while you photo and hack it.
    • FAK on bench, EVE, cash up on beam behind tree looking right from Turret.
    • Big Daddy to photograph.
    • Frag Grenade on rounded awning above RPGT.
    • Armor rounds above Rolling Hills exit sign.
    • EVE, Auto-hack, ammo in upper corner to the right.
    • Recording below sign: Shouldn't Have Come. Lockbox with Film.
  • Lower Level
    • Ryan poisons trees. (Can't hurt you.)
    • Liq.Nitrogen on beam left of Metro exit.
    • Storage Crate with inventing materials on other side of exit and EVE inside a small crate.
      • Walk up sloped ground next to a raised platform to reach the crate.

Research Laboratories

    • Security Camera on right.
    • Ammo Vending Machine in nook to the left. Contains frags and proximity mines, no FAKs or EVE.
    • In a pile of rubble in the corner opposite the Ammo Machine is a corpse with a proximity mine.
    • Go through next door; talk to Langford.
  • Lower Level
    • Upon exit, three Splicers are out in Rolling Hills.
    • Incinerate! and back up until door closes while the fire works.
    • Have camera and anti-personnel rounds ready for Houdini coming up.
    • Hug right wall coming out of Labs, facing away from wall.
    • Houdini Splicer is in a new cave opening. Photo, then shoot him.
    • Go in the opening, cross water, pick up chlorophyll.
    • As you exit, Houdini appears in doorway. Finish him off.
    • Recording: The Saturnine.
  • Upper Level
    • Up the stairs and look left and up for EVE, hacker, Pistol Rounds.
    • Big Daddy and Little Sister. When they go downstairs, set prox. mines.
    • Grenade the BD to bring him back up. RPG Turret helps you. Easy kill.
    • Another new cave opening:
      • frag, crate, chlorophyll
      • Houdini Splicer appears when you pick up chlorophyll.
      • Steamer trunk: FAK, Kerosene (or other component)
    • Go back to…

Waterfall Grotto, 2nd Visit

  • Three Splicers inside. Take 6 pictures, then Incinerate.
  • Security Evasion tonic inside.
  • Check the U-Invent and go out to Gatherer's Garden if you wish.
  • With 160+ ADAM, a Plasmid slot and Cyclone Trap are very good.
  • Go back in Grotto and downstairs. Hacked Turrets will help you.
  • Pick rose and run under the stairs while Turrets and bots work. (Take pics.)
  • Go back to Lab.

Research Labs

  • Enter Labs reception and go up to Langford's lab.
    • Loot: Chemical Thrower, Liq.Nitrogen, corpse, components in desk.
    • Wall safe (number on window): Recording: Lazarus Vector formula, market key, $39
    • Recording: Lazarus Vector – Found on Langford’s corpse.
AD gNr055-lNr14 Julie Langford - The Lazarus Vector f0445

Julie Langford's final message.

  • 5 areas/rooms downstairs
    • 1. Reception
    • 2. Divided room behind reception.
    • 3. Central area through door to the right.
    • 4. Flooded room to left of door.
    • 5. Raised area to right of door.
  • Area 5:
    • Two Splicers - Napalm them. (can also use tank from Lab with Telekinesis)
    • Turrets and cameras are now hostile, so don't loot bodies yet.
    • Hug left wall, move forward when red light moves away.
  • Area 3:
    • Photo-Zap-hack Turret on left past stairs, then turn and hack Security Camera.
    • Houdini Splicer appears. Help kill it before Turret is damaged.
    • Napalm is by the Vita-Chamber.
  • Room 4:
    • Electric Gel at base of U-Invent.
      • (Save Electric Gel for Big Daddies. One tank can take one down.)
    • Hack the CoV for later use. (Very Difficult)
      • Coming shortly: 4+ FAKs, 1+ EVE, 1+ hacking tool.
  • Room 2:
    • Zap-hack Turret at end of room 2.
    • Hack the Health Station for later.
    • Recording on table: Teaching an Old Hound
  • Room 1:
  • Follow arrow to…

Tree Farm

  • Move to left side of platform and wait with frags for Splicer-Bot pair.
  • Frag the Splicer, hack the bot.
  • Recording on platform: Arcadia and Oxygen.
  • Loot under the platform.
  • Move forward to stairs on left. Loot below.
  • Opposite those stairs is a wall which rises in three stages like steps.
    • You can jump up on them and climb to ledge with loot spread around.
    • Keep climbing to the right to another ledge with more loot.
    • Loot includes a FAK, EVE, Buckshot, auto-hacker and some Electric Gel.
  • Up the stairs, photograph burning Splicer before he dies.
  • Power to the People on your left: Chem.Thrower Consumption Rate is #1 choice.
  • A burning Splicer staggers through the right stairway opening.
  • A FAK is at the top left of the left stairs.
  • A CoV is at the bottom of the stairs. Easy hack.
  • A Houdini Splicer is waiting through the door.
  • Safe in left ticket booth: Easy. ~$96, 2 FAKs, 20 anti-personnel Auto Rounds.
  • Right ticket booth: 2 Pep Bars.
  • Floor beyond booths: recording: Maternal Instinct
  • Go through bulkhead to Farmer's Market.
  • Farmer's Market has its own page and also has its own Little Sister.
    • After completing that area, return to this page to continue.
  • (Tree Farm continues…)
  • Ryan sends bots after you. If you have Natural Camouflage/invisibility, just wait them out.

Research Laboratories

  • A big battle is ahead with as many possible strategies as there are players.
  • Stay in the area with the Turret, Security Camera, and CoV machine.
  • The Target Dummy Plasmid makes this fun. Stay in the raised room and
  • Set Decoy Targets down in front of the Turret and camera.
  • Napalm the Splicers as they appear. If Health wanes, run down to the CoV.
  • After a long time, you get the go ahead to flip the switch.
  • Loot all the corpses, one may have 3 heat-seekers, 3 FAKs, and 3 EVEs.
  • You will probably leave maxed out on FAKs, EVE, and ammo.

Additional detailed advice:

It is a good idea to set up Proximity Mines around the entrances before starting the battle as Atlas will send 6 down the pneumo tube, but make sure not to put any in the Big Daddy's path. On harder difficulty settings using cyclone traps is also a good idea. Put cyclone traps in front of the two locked doors; one near the Vita-Chamber and the other next to the Turret in the other room to take out the first attackers. There are also numerous gas tanks and oil barrels around the labs that can be placed in strategic positions to the player's advantage. Placing a Proximity Mine in the corner between the Vita-Chamber and the door in the raised room by the Bot Shutdown Panel will take out the first Houdini Splicer as soon as it appears.

Minerva's DenEdit

Main article: Minerva's Den

Among other locations in Rapture, posters can be found, advertising Arcadia in certain locations through out Minerva's Den. Such as "The BEAUTY of ARCADIA" poster lying on the floor in the Executive Wing.

Burial at SeaEdit

DLCB WhiteOats poster

A poster for white oats.

Main article: Burial at Sea

Arcadia is referenced in both Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2. It is mentioned in a reused public address announcement heard throughout the levels and can be seen on several consumables, showing products from cereals to vegetables were grown there. Booker DeWitt implies in Episode 1 that Arcadia had secluded cabins.[4] Recreational lodgings such as these would further Arcadia's reputation as a scenic vacation destination.


Concept ArtEdit

Signs and AdvertisementsEdit

In-Game ImagesEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The level name "Arcadia" was inspired by the Latin phrase "Et in Arcadia ego", which translates to "Even in Arcadia I exist" spoken by Death personified.[5] The Utopian vision, Arcadia, is associated with bountiful natural splendor and harmony,[6] so the phrase is a reminder that even in paradise things die, which ironically could be a reference to Rapture itself. Early in development for the level Andrew Ryan was intended to say this phrase just before releasing the poison into the level. The line was later cut, but the name of the level remained.[7]
  • When the level Arcadia was made, the artists developing it utilized code from a previously removed feature of the game. This feature was originally intended to change lighting, fog, etc. in relation to the pressure of the area the player was in. The artists used the remaining code for the events such as the dying and revival of the trees.[8]
  • The "Arcadia - Rapture's Vacationland" poster is a repurposed image from a fruit crate label of Yosemite Brand oranges. The Nature's Beauty Arcadia poster uses an altered royalty-free "Vacationland" clip art and the Arcadia A Place To Get Away poster uses an altered royalty-free "Come To The Mountains" clip art.
  • A grave stone in the small cemetery at the start of the level has the names "Faith", John Maynard Keys and Adam Smith on it. Both Smith and Keys are well know for their ground breaking economic theories. Faith would seem to be a reference that religious faith in Rapture was "dead".


  1. Julie Langford's Audio Diary: Arcadia and Oxygen
  2. Felix Molloy's Audio Diary: For All Occasions
  3. Julie Langford's Audio Diary: Arcadia Closed
  4. Based on the following exchange on Market Street in Burial at Sea - Episode 1:
    Elizabeth: "What happened to these children? What are they?"
    Booker: "Where've you been, a cabin in Arcadia? Little Sisters. ADAM factories."
    Elizabeth: "It's grotesque."
  5. Et in Arcadia ego on Wikipedia
  6. Arcadia on Wikipedia
  7. Arcadia Demade, designer commentary by BioShock developer Jean-Paul LeBreton on his blog,
  8. Five Cut Features article on
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