Screen Spitfire
Spitfire HUD

The final display to Spitfire.

Some of the boys in the code pit whipped up a real doozy of an entertainment: Monitor screen hooked into a sort of… tiny airplane cockpit, yeah? And that's swell, because what shows up onscreen is an X — that's you — and a bunch of Os, like a Spitfire surrounded by a squadron of Jap Zeroes. You fly your little X around and shoot'em down one after another."
― Johan Mordhagen[src]

Spitfire is a computer game created by computer coders and a minigame featured in the level Operations from the Minerva's Den DLC for BioShock 2.

Minerva's DenEdit

Main article: Minerva's Den

Possibly the first video game in history, Spitfire was invented by colleagues of Johan Mordhagen. He played the game and mentions it in his Audio Diary Spitfire, giving an overview of the game and such. Reed Wahl criticized the invention as a waste of time.


The minigame can be accessed from a computer terminal in the Programming wing of Operations. In the minigame, the player controls an X on the terminal screen. The objective is to score points by shooting incoming O's while avoiding contact with them, as well as their projectiles. Surpassing the highest score, 9999 points, triggers the kill screen. There is an Achievement/trophy for beating the high score, simply called "High Score."


Bioshock 2 Minerva's Den DLC Secret Achievement (High Score)

Bioshock 2 Minerva's Den DLC Secret Achievement (High Score)

The Spitfire game, with secret achievement.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • This game was featured on a screen in the Minerva's Den's trailer.
  • In an interview, Steve Gaynor confirmed Spitfire was inspired by the Atari video game, Asteroids.[1]
  • The Spitfire was a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force, produced in the years 1938-1948.[2] "Jap Zeroes," as Johan Mordhagen calls the Os in this game, were a long range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) from 1940 to 1945.[3]
  • The kill screen that appears after surpassing the highest possible score actually contains a pixel golf club and the letter "R." This is a reference to the final confrontation with Andrew Ryan in BioShock.[4]
  • The video game Gone Home features a Super Nintendo (SNES) cartridge entitled "Super Spitfire". It can be found in Sam's room.
    • The developers of the Fullbright Company, Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja, and Johnnemann Nordhagen, worked together on Minerva's Den. In an interview,[5] Gaynor linked the two games together:
In Minerva’s Den, there’s the world’s first video game, in theory, because there’s a video game down there and it was from the ‘50s or whatever. It’s called Spitfire. I don’t know if you found it when you played it, but it’s like a vector graphics, like an Asteroids kind of thing. It’s playable, the idea being that it was a super simple representation of a fighter plane in World War II shooting down enemy Zeros. In Gone Home, we wanted to make Super Nintendo cartridges that we put in the game, so one of them is called Super Spitfire. And the publisher is CMP Interactive, which stands for [Minerva’s Den protagonist] Charles Milton Porter, because he survived and made it back to the surface. As for how Super Spitfire could have ended up coming to fruition, Gaynor theorizes that, 'the art is very Japanese-style art, so what I think happened is [Charles Milton Porter] did start a computer company when he got back to the surface, and it’s been 50 years or something, so probably the company that he started licensed the IP for that game to a Japanese company, which then made a Super Nintendo version of it.
― Steve Gaynor, 2K Marin


  1. Asteroids (Atari game), on Wikipedia
  2. Supermarine Spitfire (Airplane), on Wikipedia
  3. Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Airplane), on Wikipedia
  4. "The Secrets of Minerva's Den" article on Cult of Rapture
  5. "Gone Home and BioShock Take Place in the Same Universe" Polygon interview
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