Pneumo Tubes, or Mail Tubes, were components of Jet-Postal's primary mailing system in Rapture prior to the Civil War, it was also used for delivering small packages such as packaged food to the different parts of the city.
Ryan Industries finished installing the Pneumo system in 1956, on the 10th anniversary of Rapture's founding. Pneumo tubes were commonly located in Jet-Postal substations, which handled the bulk of mail processing and delivery throughout the city. Many individual pneumo tubes can also be found in residential or business sectors, such as the ones seen in Fort Frolic, and were labeled with a serial number system similar to mail box numbering on the surface. This numbering system included letter abbreviations of the district of Rapture in which the tube was located. Since the Civil War, the pneumo tubes have become quite unreliable and only parts of the system continue to function.
- Main article: BioShock
Pneumo tubes are large, bullet-shaped devices found around Rapture. Many of them are searchable containers. Pneumo tubes occasionally contain high value items, and are definitely something to look into every time they are available. They are used in the storyline at various times by Jack to send items to people and to receive items through the pneumo system. A full Pneumo Substation Post Office is found in Neptune's Bounty.
- Main article: BioShock 2
The pneumo delivery system is prominent in BioShock 2, and several stations are present in different parts of the city, equivalent to post offices for each district. One pneumo tube station is encountered in the Atlantic Express workshop, where Subject Delta finds the Telekinesis Plasmid and can test it on the cans of food that are shot out of the broken pneumatic pipes. A large mail-drop station can also be seen in the lobby of The Sinclair Deluxe in Pauper's Drop. This station was installed to provide mail delivery for all the residents of the hotel. Mail service was still guaranteed to prisoners in the Persephone Detention Facility four pneumo tubes were located in the Administrative Offices of the Therapy Wing.
- Main article: Minerva's Den
BioShock 2's downloadable content Minerva's Den also depicts the Air-Tite Archives, a company providing safe-keeping for citizens' private possessions through pneumatic storage. Belongings to be locked away were sent in canisters via a specialized kind of Pneumo Tubes, called "Pham Pneumo", to Minerva's Den, thus keeping them away from prying eyes. Later on, Andrew Ryan's security men started looking through the archives for evidence to use against subversives and criminals, under the pretense of doing maintenance on the pneumatic system.
Burial at Sea - Episode 1
- Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 1
Pneumo Tubes can be seen operational in Rapture before its fall. Some of the pneumatic sections are equipped with signs indicating their destinations (such as the Kashmir Restaurant or the Little Wonders Educational Facility in Market Street). Pneumo Lines are also introduced throughout the game as a variant for large package deliveries. A Pneumo Tube can be brought in with a Tear giving the player EVE.
Burial at Sea - Episode 2
- Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 2
Elizabeth, trapped in Fontaine's Department Store, uses the Pneumo Tube in the Silver Fin Restaurant to transport the Hair Sample to Yi Suchong. She later sees the tube Suchong used to get the sample from when going through his Free Clinic. The Pneumo Tube on the second floor of the Silver Fin Restaurant gives an unlimited amount of EVE to the player, until Elizabeth returns from Columbia.
Behind the Scenes
- Pneumo tubes are based on their real life counterparts, pneumatic tube systems.
- As discussed and shown in the Deco Devolution Artbook, early on in BioShock 2's development, the game designers planned for pneumo tubes to be part of a network of bartering with non-spliced characters. The player would enter an improvised sealed box with a TV, improvised radio, and pneumo in it, and Subject Delta would contact a non-spliced items dealer, and thus deal with him/her. As the game developed further, this concept was dropped.
- The Pneumo Tubes in Burial at Sea are designed by Laura Zimmermann.