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Rapture's Grand Carnival sign
BioShock challenge room

The entrance to the stalls of the grand carnival.

Rapture's Grand Carnival is a location seen only in the Challenge Room "A Shocking Turn of Events". Filled with various stalls, bars, stores, games and a large Ferris wheel, it was a place where the citizens of Rapture could go to unwind during their free time.


The Carnival was connected to the Rapture Metro via bathysphere. Patrons would pay at a ticket box before entering the foyer, where numerous shows by Sander Cohen are advertised on posters and a pair of double doors lead to the observation lounge. Behind a locked door and a sheet of glass is an adjoining room with a Vita-Chamber; the corpse of a woman with a Shotgun indicates that this room was to be used by a security warden.

Observation LoungeEdit

Grandcarnival balcony

A view from the top of the Ferris wheel.

On the third floor of the Carnival's main hall is the entrance to the observation lounge, a balcony area with a bar and several tables and chairs where patrons could have a drink while watching the Ferris wheel. A pair of elevators connect the three floors of the main hall, although by the time the player visits the Grand Carnival, only one of them is operational. On the second floor was the main bar area, with more tables and chairs along with Slot Machines. There would have once been musical entertainment, as evidenced by the presence of a guitar and grand piano. There is also a ruined Gatherer's Garden machine so that patrons could splice the latest Plasmids during their visit, with the Instant Piano Prodigy and Static Discharge tonics found scattered around the bar.

Ferris WheelEdit


The grand Ferris wheel.

By the far the most iconic feature of the Grand Carnival is the Ferris wheel located in the middle of the main hall, with eight visitor pods and rising the full height of the structure. It also played a tune as it turned. Prior to the player's visit to the Carnival, the Ferris wheel had broken down, leaving a Little Sister trapped at the top. Located close by to the Ferris wheel are several other amenities. There are bathrooms for men and women, although by the time of the player's visit a large hole has been made in the dividing wall, allowing free passage between the bathrooms. There are also several stores; Gardner Delux Modern, Le Marquis D'Epoque, and Rapture Records all have outlets in the Carnival. There is also one Epstein the Swami fortune-teller, and a U-Invent machine.


Located off the main hall under a door marked "Rapture's Grand Carnival", this street has several stalls and games to play. There is a stall which sold food such as pies, cakes and puddings, and the area behind the stall front features a short corridor which is partially on fire, leading to the cold storage room which features, among other things, a broken pneumo tube. The opposite stall once sold teddy bears in a variety of colors, but the area behind the stall is now dark and trapped. If the player tries to open the broken electric safe in the middle of the room, Trap Bolts will spawn all over the room.

Other items of interest include several huge teddies, a wall full of newspaper clippings, and the corpse of what was presumably the store's owner. Three more stalls offer a variety of sideshow games, all involving use of the Telekinesis Plasmid. One sees the player throwing tennis balls into barrels, another has the player knocking over cans, and the last sees the player using hooks (like those wielded by Spider Splicers) to pop balloons. This last game in particular features a corpse pinned to the back wall of the stall by two hooks. Lastly, there is Zimmermann Chardonnay, a small store which has been long-since abandoned and now features pictures of missing people pinned to the walls.


Concept Art and Pre-Launch ImagesEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The Ferris wheel in the Carnival was originally intended to feature in Fort Frolic in the main game, BioShock.[1] For reasons unknown it ended up being cut, but was finally revealed to the public as part of the Challenge Room "A Shocking Turn of Events", in which it plays a pivotal role.


  1. BioShock: Breaking the Mold, forward by Ken Levine
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