Prelude is the original introduction level to BioShock 2, cut in development and replaced with the Adonis Luxury Resort in the retail version. This level was set on the night of the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots in the form of a playable flashback, and guided the player through the world of Rapture, introducing him to various gameplay elements such as weapons, Plasmids, Splicers and security devices. This level also reused the Welcome to Rapture chapter from BioShock.
- Main article: Unused Radio Messages: Prelude
On the night of the 1958 New Year's Eve in Rapture, Subject Delta, the first Alpha Series Big Daddy to have been successfully pair bonded to a Little Sister, regains his free will at the headquarters of Ryan Industries. Shortly after, he is contacted via radio by Sofia Lamb, who promises to help him escape and regain his lost identity as long as he follows her instructions.
Lamb explains to the freed Protector that "his masters" have put him to test in the field with his Gatherer on a freshly murdered Splicer. She warns him that even though Ryan's people are not aware of their communications, they are still watching and Delta will have to carry out the test first before attempting to escape. She also tells him that the Little Sister he will have to escort is her own daughter, Eleanor, and that she counts on him to lead her to safety.
She asks Delta to take a drill along with his weapons, though the scientists have put on a safety lock for the duration of the test. She then leads the Big Daddy to an elevator down to a maintenance junction, where he can reach the Welcome Pavilion. From here, the Little Sister runs ahead after sniffing out the ADAM-filled corpse they were asked to harvest. After dispatching with a Splicer roaming on the crime scene, they carry out the harvest.
Once their task is done, the pair cuts through the Kashmir Restaurant where the Masquerade Ball is taking place, while Lamb warns Delta to remain unseen from the civilians on the premises. However, a bomb explodes and Delta is caught in the shock wave. Standing back on his feet, Lamb hurries him to take Eleanor before the arrival of Ryan Security. Knowing of the bombing before it happened, she explains to the Protector that she was counting on the confusion created by rioting Splicers all around the city to help their escape. With his weapons now live, the pair reaches the Welcome Pavilion's Lounge where Lamb asks Delta to splice himself with Telekinesis from the nearby Gatherer's Garden in order to clear a blockade. They then proceed to the Bathysphere Station where they are ambushed by a group of Splicers and confronted to a grenade launcher Turret.
With the area secured, Delta and Eleanor enter a Bathysphere. Sofia Lamb thanks him for the rescue of her daughter, but instead of a reward the submarine is shot down by a torpedo, which sends both Big Daddy and Little Sister to the bottom of the ocean, where Delta is given a choice to either save himself or to save young Eleanor.
The flashback would have end with Subject Delta waking up ten years later in the Welcome Center and walking through the now completely flooded Kashmir Restaurant.
Behind the Scenes
- The laboratories at Ryan Industries were designed by 2K Marin's Senior Level Architect Devin St. Clair and Level Architect Karina Riesgo, and were to reflect Rapture before its fall.
- The pictures of the reused Welcome to Rapture map come from unused loading screens found in the game's files.
- The first screen in the gallery above is used on the main menu's loading screen of BioShock 2 Remastered.
- Even though this level was cut, part of its plot were reused in the introduction cutscene of BioShock 2, where Delta and Eleanor are wandering near the Adonis Luxury Resort for gathering before being ambushed by Sofia Lamb and a group of Splicers.
- The upper floor of the undamaged Kashmir is used as the background during the installation of BioShock 2. Interesting to note is the arches at the balcony are different.
- Some of the Ducky variants show no signs of mutation, and wear a uniform with no stains or signs of damage. It's likely these models were intended to appear in this level as security before the level was cut.
- Certain aesthetics from the Prelude such as textures, the Kashmir's stage area, arches, and decorations were also used for the party seen in the Adonis during the retail game's prologue.
- The male and female Partygoer models mainly seen in the prologue and Outer Persephone were supposed to appear in this Prelude as enemies. Both models were given a "Spliced" variant.
- The male Spliced variant occasionally appears in Outer Persephone, but this is likely a mistake as the Little Sisters are supposed to see everything in a perfect way.
- If the player uses Console Commands and returns as Subject Delta to the Little Sister vision areas where the Partygoers are found in Outer Persephone, one would get a hint to their previous design. Both models can be attacked by Eleanor Lamb if summoned by the Summon Eleanor Plasmid, who will start to throw fireballs at them. Once dead, they will be labeled as "Rapture Citizen" and sometimes carry loot.
- As the Prelude was to take place in the Welcome Center before the Civil War, everything had to look pristine, including advertising posters. The war-torn posters that were featured in the Welcome Center of BioShock, were remade to look undamaged. Including advertisements for Accu-Vox Personal Voice Recorder, Eve's Garden, Chechnya Vodka, Cocktail Lounge and the Rapture Masquerade Ball 1959. These were reused for BioShock 2 Multiplayer and some even appear in the main game (The Eve's Garden poster can be seen in Siren Alley).