"There is something more powerful than each of us, a combination of our efforts, a Great Chain of industry that unites us. But it is only when we struggle in our own interest that the chain pulls society in the right direction..." - Andrew Ryan
- “Ryan's woman in Arcadia is an old betty named Langford. An okay sort, but not above doing a dirty job for a dollar.”
- ― Atlas[src]
Langford Research Laboratories or Langford Labs is a botanical research center owned by Julie Langford under supervision of Ryan Industries. The lab is located in Rolling Hills of Arcadia, and contained the main administrative office and observation point of the gardens.
Life in Rapture would not be possible without Arcadia and the oxygen-producing trees and plants that grew therein, and Arcadia itself would not exist were it not for the work of the scientists at Langford Research Laboratories. The most important of these scientists was Professor Julie Langford, Ph.D. Rapture's founder Andrew Ryan charged Langford with the task of "[building] a forest at the bottom of the ocean" and then put her in charge of managing the botanical garden, monitoring oxygen production for the city, and overseeing all scientific breakthroughs. The latter included the study of ADAM and genetically-engineered plant life.
- Main article: BioShock
Jack journeys through Arcadia in search of a Bathysphere. When he reaches the Lower Rolling Hills, he sees both the entrance to the research laboratory and the district's Rapture Metro station. The lab has a small exterior section with the usual gardening supplies, an El Ammo Bandito vending machine, and a pathway to another part of the labs that is blocked off by debris. The whole area is guarded by a Security Camera. Beyond that is a glass tunnel which leads to the building holding the laboratory proper. If Jack deviates to check out the area, Langford appears on the monitors above the door and, mistaking him for a Splicer, shoos him away.
When Jack moves towards the metro station, Andrew Ryan releases a fast-acting and powerful herbicide throughout Arcadia. It withers the trees and immediately impacts the oxygen levels triggering a lockdown. Atlas suggests Jack consult with Langford for a method to remedy the situation before he asphyxiates. When he arrives at the front door, Langford, still processing the crisis, momentarily questions if Jack is to blame before realizing that only Ryan had the resources. She sends Jack to retrieve a bud of Rosa gallica so she can test a hypothesis.
After his trip to the Waterfall Grotto, Jack sends the rose up to Langford via the Pneumo Tube. With the needed test sample, her experiment seems to be a success and Langford invites Jack in to discuss how to revive the forest.
Jack enters the lab complex and finds himself at the security check-in area. The Gene Tonic Hacking Expert is on the desk, a flask of Chlorophyll Solution is on the filing cabinets, and the Audio Diary What Won't They Steal is on the floor. As Jack passes the Bot Shutdown Panel, he enters the split-level lab and it becomes apparent how Langford managed to survive the fallout of the Rapture Civil War. The facility has an impressive array of Security Devices though Langford assures Jack they're harmless as he ventures in. The entry area has desks and tables set up for the study of plant samples, a bookshelf full of scientific journals and research texts, and a row of incubators by the window. A Machine Gun Turret keeps watch in front of a sealed doorway, there's a Health Station next to a table, and the audio diary Teaching an Old Hound by a microscope.
More elaborate experiments were carried out in the next section over. The middle part has a mature tree growing in an isolated glass chamber, two more incubators, a Gene Bank, a potting station, and another sealed doorway. A Security Camera and another Machine Gun Turret monitor the space. A wide set of windows illuminates the area below; it's flooded but it has a useful Circus of Values and a U-Invent. Further up is a level with two more incubators, a Vita-Chamber, and a bulkhead that leads up to the administrative office. A Big Daddy lumbers between the two Little Sister Vents in the area, and his Little Sister can gather from two corpses around the lab.
Jack heads upstairs through another glass tunnel. When he approaches Langford's office, she's examining a flask of chemicals; the door suddenly locks. Over the PA System, Andrew Ryan cooly, sadistically accuses her of infringing on his copyright of the production and distribution of the Lazarus Vector. As he reads their business contract, toxic gas fills the room and Langford begs for mercy. In her final seconds of consciousness, she scrawls the code to her locked wall-safe upon the window, thereby giving Jack access to the list of resources needed to construct the Lazarus Vector and restore Arcadia. Langford's private lab contains a research table, pair of incubators, shelves of books, the Chemical Thrower, and the central misting control console.
With Langford dead, the security system turns hostile. In fact, when Jack heads back down, a pair of Leadhead Splicers have already entered the facility. After he deals with them, a Saturnine cultist teleports in.
Jack returns from the Farmer's Market to the labs to deposit the Lazarus Vector into the central mister. As he walks into Langford's office, he finds a Leadhead Splicer searching the body of a Houdini Splicer. Jack deposits the canister into the console, but it takes a moment to funnel the formula throughout Arcadia's pipes and vents.
While it processes Andrew Ryan radios in a threat and sends a battalion of Splicers to deal with Jack. As he heads to the lab entrance to fortify the front gate, a pair of Thuggish Splicers cut through the two sealed bulkheads with torches. Jack manages to activate the Lab Access Seal just in time as a mob of Splicers come charging at the door. While they attempt to cut through, Atlas sends some armaments (six proximity mines, ninety-seven Dollars, and a Automatic Hack Tool) via the Pneumo Tube. It's all for not though as they breach the lab. What follows is a barrage of Splicers in three waves.
The first round consists of the trio who cut through the entrance, a Houdini Saturnine, three Thuggish, and a Leadhead. Next comes a Thuggish, a Leadhead, another Thuggish, two more Leadheads, and a final pair of Thuggish. The final volley starts off with a Thuggish and two Leadheads all at the same time followed by five Thuggish and then a Houdini. After the long fight, a bell rings announcing that the formula is ready to be dispersed. A restorative mist flows through Arcadia's venting system and the green is brought back to the garden. With the lockdown ended, Jack can finally leave Arcadia.
- The key to handling the assault on Langford Labs is to make use of the surroundings. Rather than destroy the Security Devices after Langford is murdered, the player should hack them and the Health Station in preparation for the upcoming battle.
- The Rosie will be a constant presence. Even if the player kills one, another will just spawn shortly afterwards, so it's best to make the best of it. With Hypnotize Big Daddy, Jack will gain a powerful ally/human shield. At the very least, the player must be careful not to enrage it with a misplaced round or an easily spreading Plasmid like Insect Swarm or Incinerate!.
- In addition to the security devices and Big Daddy, the lab has a number of objects, loose ammunition, and oil slicks which prove useful in fighting the mob. There are a couple of acetylene tanks and oil drums scattered around, and several more tanks up in Langford's office that can be brought down and tossed at enemies. It's recommended those proximity mines Atlas sends along be placed in high traffic areas where Splicers spawn from like the door between the lab entrance and the research area or near the torched-open doorway in the experimentation area. The other torched-open doorway should perhaps be avoided as a mine placed there could damage the turret or anger the Rosie.
- It's not possible to wait out the commotion in the administrative office. As Jack leaves to seal the entrance, the bulkhead leading upstairs will lock behind him, so don't bother trying to fortify the place. Jack can't escape the labs either as the door connecting the complex to Rolling Hills is also shut tight.
New Plasmids and Tonics (Found)
- Hacking Expert - Security check-in area, on a desk.
- Langford's Office, 9457
- Julie Langford - What Won't They Steal - Security check-in area, on the floor in front of filing cabinets.
- Julie Langford - Teaching an Old Hound - On a table in the first part of the split-level lab.
- Julie Langford - Lazarus Vector Formula - Langford's office, in the wall safe.
- Julie Langford - The Lazarus Vector - Langford's office, on Julie Langford's corpse.
BioShock 2 Multiplayer
- Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer
Langford's laboratories also appear in the multiplayer version of Arcadia. Located in the northernmost part of the map, this version of the Laboratories houses little more than a few incubators and bookshelves. A glass container holding a small tree in the center of the room will fill with green gas anytime a player approaches it. Approaching the incubators can cause them to light up with green gas revealing ferns within, but one incubator is broken and will only spark and fill with smoke.
The laboratories can be accessed through two "Employees Only" doors in Arcadia Glens or by taking a stairway up from the flooded lower walkway.
- In the Multiplayer, the player can pass through the glass containing the tree by jumping up and into it from the east side.
Behind the Scenes
- Julie Langford's Rosa Gallica Officialis botanical illustration was redesigned from a Rosa Gallica illustration by Pierre-Joseph Redouté.
- When Langford lets Jack into the labs, the Security Devices are docile as indicated by a green timer. If the player lingers, the timer will eventually run out. While the turrets remain passive, the camera will return to its normal function and summon Security Bots if it spots the player.
- If the player points the cursor at the fluid pipes on top of the central misting control console the words "Unknown Item" will display. Only three other objects in game have this subtitle; a painting in Cohen's Collection, a grate on the floor in the Frozen Tunnel, and a piece of rebar in Rapture Records.
- In BioShock, if the player points their cursor over any sign for the labs, the subtitled text will read "Professor Holden Langford Research Laboratories." The name and gender differ from the final game's version of the character. This is because the BioShock developers had originally intended Langford's character to be male when they were planning the level.
- Other remarks on the area:
- "The "writing numbers on window" effect was a clever use of a traveling mask channel by the brilliant Stephen Alexander - Irrational's FX artist, for whom BioShock 2's Gil Alexander was named after."
- "The most difficult thing about Arcadia technically was the level-wide die-off that happens when Andrew Ryan pumps defoliant into the area to suffocate Jack. While the player only gets one good look at it in the final game, earlier versions had Ryan killing the forest off in stages as the player reached each new area, so we felt we needed a tech solution to help make it a memorable and convincing environmental state change. Australia's engine team created a special plant shader that used a masking effect similar to Stephen's window code drawing fx to make leaves whither before the player's eyes. The same effect is used to make the plants grow back over the windows of Langford's office when the player finally deploys the Vector. Aside from that, the die-off was just a huge amount of lighting, fog, ambient and FX changes, orchestrated by our custom scripting system (a descendant of the system used to script Tribes: Vengeance). The dead/living state of the level is tracked globally, so if you bother to go back to the Farmer's Market after reviving the forest, it will be green and vibrant as expected."
- "The final onslaught of Splicers that occurs in Langford's labs after the player starts circulating the Vector was our answer to the fact that the level didn't have a more character-focused resolution like Medical Pavilion or Fort Frolic. The scripting for this ambush went through many iterations, and I completely reimplemented it fairly late in development after a flash of inspiration as to how I could generalize the system to more easily tune the numbers and pacing. This approach to more data-driven ambush design became the genesis for BioShock 2's gather ambush system, programmed by David Pittman and shepherded by Kent Hudson and our excellent AI team."
- Other remarks on the area:
|ArcadiaLocations and Businesses in|
|Arcadia Glens||Tea Garden · Tree Farm · Waterfall Grotto|
|Rolling Hills||Langford Research Laboratories · Rapture Metro|
|BioShock 2 Multiplayer||Arcadia (BioShock 2 Multiplayer)|