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"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

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Tea Garden Logo.png

Tranquil beauty in the Tea Garden.

What a night I got lined up. Everything's ready. Flowers, bottle of wine, even two tickets to the Tea Garden. Nothing gets the betties in the mood like nighttime in Arcadia.
― Dieter Sonnekalb[src]

The Tea Garden was once one of the most romantic places in Rapture, and it was a main paying attraction of Arcadia. The flowering trees and gentle streams of the Tea Garden were designed to be soothing for many citizens who missed the calm parklands of the surface.

History[edit | edit source]

Rapture required all the basic necessities that any functional habitat demands: water, oxygen, shelter, etc. The city also needed places where its citizens could relax and unwind; the Tea Garden was one such place. The pressures of living in any major metropolitan area, much less a secret one hidden miles beneath the sea, are enough to affect any individual. To decompress, many sought the placid serenity of the Tea Garden's verdant foliage, babbling brook, and generally tranquil atmosphere.

While the area itself was large and spacious, the garden was designed with many intimate spaces for visitors. The enclosure gained a reputation as a favorite destination for amorous couples. Others might enjoy reading a book or the newspaper on a park bench, picnicking along the stream, or taking a stroll along the stone pathways.

Some enjoyed the space so much, they chose to remain there forever. In the very rear of the space is a small Memorial Garden. Graves and mausoleums mark the final resting place of several Rapture citizens whose loved ones chose a more permanent place of internment than a burial at sea might offer. Still, the Tea Garden was more than just a place to lay back in the grass. The facility includes several storage and preparation spaces for Arcadia's staff of gardeners, groundskeepers, and researchers to tend to the wide-ranging flora.

While the Tea Garden was initially a very popular spot, crowds would begin to dwindle as time went on. First Andrew Ryan turned Arcadia into a private park, meaning individuals would have to pay to get in. Then, the effects of excessive ADAM use lead a number of elite, demented Rapturians to form The Saturnine cult. They conducted bizarre rites, attacked citizens, and made the "Rapture's Vacationland" a dangerous place. The final nail in the coffin was the Rapture Civil War which lead to the ultimate closure of Arcadia and all the businesses within it.

BioShock[edit | edit source]

Main article: BioShock

Following the devastating events in the Smuggler's Hideout, Jack finds himself in a secret tunnel leading to Arcadia. Atlas is left inconsolable over the loss of his family in the explosion, but his grief quickly turns to unmitigated rage. While Ryan gloats, Atlas gives Jack a new mission: reach the Rolling Hills and get to the Bathysphere in the Rapture Metro.

Memorial Garden[edit | edit source]

After preparation at Twilight Fields Funeral Homes, bodies are sent to their final resting place.

Jack breaks the padlock and finds himself emerging from a tomb along the west wall of the Memorial Garden. There's an eerie calm amongst the fallen grave markers and overgrown plant life. In the center rests a small mausoleum, which now lies in partial ruin. Headstones can be found littering the area. On the east wall is a sealed tomb which Jack can access by lighting torches with Incinerate!. Crates of smuggled goods and invention components can be found in the tomb.

Main Garden[edit | edit source]

Many ferns and shrubs can be found by the stream.

The main garden resembles a small park. It contains a waterfall, a small stream with a quaint wooden bridge, and park benches to simulate life above the surface. The ceiling and sprinkler pipes are painted to resemble blue skies with puffy clouds. Large ventilation grates can be seen on the walls circulating air through the space. A table, some chairs, and a broken bottle of Arcadia Merlot can be found in the stream along with a Corpse that looks like it was drowned in the water. The body is possibly that of Angelina, evidence of a bad date with Dieter Sonnekalb.

Further ahead is the Tea Garden antechamber. This smaller area decorated with several large boulders contains more seating beneath a causeway. On one end, someone enjoyed a book and a smoke sometime before the Rapture Civil War. On the other end is a bench where hints of Dieter and Angelina's date play out in ghostly memories. The path to Arcadia Glens is blocked by fallen timbers and overgrowth.

Storage Room[edit | edit source]

Jack is not alone.

The final area in the Tea Garden is the employee storage room. The lower area contains work stations, planting supplies, and gardening tools. As Jack nears the area, he hears several desperate cries for help. He goes to investigate but finds things are not as they appear. Jack comes face-to-masked-face with a Houdini Splicer belonging to the Saturnine cult.

The storage room contains all the gardening supplies you'll ever need.

He finishes the deceptive Splicer upstairs on the second floor. Here there are many closets and crawlspaces filled with groundskeeping utensils. Entering one triggers a Leadhead Splicer to appear. In the east side, there is a table with beakers and the audio diary Arcadia Closed. This is most likely one of Professor Langford's research stations. Next to the table is a Gene Bank.

A causeway connects one part of the upper floor with the other. While the dulcet tones of Django Reinhardt's Jitterbug Waltz plays over the P.A. system, a Thuggish Splicer searches through some pots on the opposite end while a Leadhead perches on a parallel balcony.

A malfunction in the water sprinklers adds to the decay of Rapture.

Crossing the catwalk over to the west side, Jack can find a Circus of Values, a Health Station, and a number of malfunctioning sprinklers inside a planting room. Several Splicers patrol the room while a single Machine Gun Turret protects a crawl space to the balcony with the Dr. Grossman Splicer. Posters of Atlas and gardening supplies can be found hanging from the walls. Electro Bolt can be used on a malfunctioning closet door housing useful supplies. A crawlspace houses various items including Bandages, Pistol Rounds, a dead cat, and a Safe containing 5 Antipersonnel Auto Round, 40 Napalm, and an Empty Hypo.

Jack heads down a set of stairs and is back on the lower floor of the storage area. The room is full of wheelbarrows, piles of soil, bags of fertilizer, and other potting supplies. Off to one side, a corpse is half buried in a shallow grave, evidence of a murder and a hasty cover-up. Jack dispatches with a Thuggish Splicer and makes his way over to Arcadia Glens. As he approaches the promenade, he can hear a Lady Smith Splicer screaming in fear of the approaching Saturnine; things are only going to get worse as Jack journeys on.

New Discoveries[edit | edit source]

Audio Diaries[edit | edit source]

  1. Bill McDonagh - Seeing Ghosts
  2. Dieter Sonnekalb - Big Night Out
  3. Brigid Tenenbaum - Mass Producing ADAM
  4. Julie Langford - Arcadia Closed

BioShock 2 Multiplayer[edit | edit source]

The re-designed Tea Garden in the multiplayer.

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

In the multiplayer version of Arcadia, the Tea Garden is located directly north of the closed entrance to the Farmer's Market. This version of the garden features a small dilapidated cafe with balconies overlooking a waterfall into a peaceful stream. Birdsong and buzzing insects can be heard among the flowering trees in this scenic area.

The Tea Garden is connected to Arcadia Glens by a pathway and a stream to the west, as well as by a hallway with telephone booths that exits onto a balcony above an RPG Turret in the northwest corner. A door in the cafe connects to the Storage area. Rolling Hills can be accessed by taking the pathway in the northeast corner.

A hypo to refill the player's EVE can be found on a balcony in this area. A broken wall in the southeast corner gives access to a short maintenance tunnel with another EVE hypo and an ammunition pack. The player can pass through the vent at the end of this tunnel to exit by a Circus of Values machine at the entrance to the Farmer's Market. A Big Daddy suit can spawn on a balcony in the Tea Garden or on the path by the stream to the west. The Tea Garden is also the location of a control point in Turf War mode.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The name "John Maynard Keynes" can be found on the tombstones in the Tea Garden in BioShock. The real Keynes was a British economist who believed in using government funds to help relieve the problems of private businesses during economic recessions, ironically the exact opposite of Andrew Ryan's philosophy, making it exceedingly unlikely that Ryan would have invited the real Keynes into Rapture. The date of death on the tombstone is listed as May 28, 1948, but according to Wikipedia, the real Keynes died on April 21, 1946. The tombstone also says that BioShock's Keynes died at the age of 36, while the real Keynes died at 62. His parents are listed as Adam and Ada Smith, but the real economist's parents were John and Florence Keynes. Curiously, his mother's middle name is Ada.[1] His fathers name may be referring to Adam Smith, the Father of Modern Economics.[2]
  • Through the left "Employees Only" entryway by the Arcadia Glens entrance is a storage area within a small glass roof. Looking out through the window, one can see a misplaced broken railing model in the ocean, not connected to anything. This is the railing to the balcony the Dr. Grossman was standing on. The skylight should be looking onto a wall.
  • In the original game, Jack must light the unlit torch with Incinerate! in order to access the mausoleum containing the valuable smuggled goods and invention components. However, in the remastered edition, Jack arrives in Arcadia to find both torches are already lit and the double doors are wide open.[3]
  • Developer Jean-Paul LeBreton remarks on this area:
    • "The very first version of Arcadia had the player entering through a bathysphere station, but early on we decided the player would be traveling into Arcadia from the smugglers' caves, and had the idea to truly shock the player with the strange sight of an underwater forest by coming into it unanticipated."
    • "While Hoagy and I were decorating the very first version of this space, we put down a gravestone simply liking its incongruity, but this soon grew into the idea that Arcadia actually had a small funeral plot for certain well-to-do families. Hence, the player enters the level via a smuggler passage disguised as a mausoleum."
    • "The torch-lighting secret area was my addition. Someone suggested a simple one-off puzzle that involved a player tool. It's a much more Zelda-esque touch than BioShock usually goes for, but works as a retro nod..."
    • "The Houdini Splicer intro concept was always the same, but went through many iterations for clarity and effect. The scripting behind it is fairly complex; the AI itself has zero concept of "teasing", so there are multiple instances of the Splicer that get destroyed and respawned at different places. Field-of-view-based triggers know whether or not the player has seen a given part of the tease, and I had to do special handling of the player researching this Splicer - before I did, you could almost max out Houdini research on this first encounter!"[4]

References[edit | edit source]

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