As a followup to the eerie faux documentary on the origins of BioShock Infinite’s flying city Columbia, Irrational Games has released part 2 of the ‘Columbia: A Modern Day Icarus?’ series. Where the first part of this 16mm documentary looks briefly at the origins of the flying city, part 2 expounds upon the story of the infamous Songbird.

Picking up where the last part left off, the city of Columbia had all but vanished from the world, but its stories persisted and stuck in the minds of many. The mythical creature known of as the Songbird however, captured the imaginations of millions across the world and spawned many theories as to its purpose. The creature became so popular that a children’s nursery rhyme was spawned.

“Songbird, Songbird, see him fly. Drop the children from the sky. When the young ones misbehave, escorts children to their grave.”

The most common theories were that the Songbird was the watchful protector of Columbia, keeping the city safe from possible invaders. However, as fallen artifacts from Columbia were discovered, the Songbird’s purpose became shrouded in mystery. Artifacts suggested that the Songbird’s purpose was not to keep invaders out, but rather to keep something in. The “Lamb of Columbia”, something held precious by all of Columbia’s inhabitants but also held captive by the city itself is believed to be the Songbird’s charge.

BioShock Infinite Songbird

Elizabeth, the “Lamb of Columbia,” is direly essential to the fate of the flying city since it is believed that her death will cause the city itself to crash to the ground. Songbird’s only mission has been to keep Elizabeth locked in her tower and will do anything necessary to protect her from the Vox Populi or anyone else for that matter. Despite being kept in captivity, Elizabeth has grown to love the creature and it has become her only friend. As a result, the creature doesn’t seem to be meaninglessly violent and, if Elizabeth cooperates, Songbird will simply ignore others including the protagonist Booker DeWitt (as seen in the clip below). All in all, the parallels that Elizabeth and the Songbird share with Beauty and the Beast are fairly obvious and it will be interesting to see how Irrational Games has been able to spin the motif to make it unique to their story.

BioShock Infinite  recently found itself saddled with another delay and a few internal changes when several development members left the team. Creative director Ken Levine is one of the most vocal developers in the gaming industry, oftentimes being directly responsible for revealing information about his upcoming games as well as responding directly to criticism (even that which is aimed at other games). The last time that rumors of BioShock‘s development surfaced, Mr. Levine made an open letter to fans discussing the rumors and putting them to rest. Mr. Levine should have a lot to talk about with BioShock Infinite launching this March and with the announcement of the delay, but Mr. Levine has been mostly silent for the past few months.

Mr. Levine has found his voice again and talked about the recent changes to his team as well as the multiplayer that was rumored to cause the first delay in a recent interview.

“It was a little frustrating for us. Not because anything was actually wrong but simply because we didn’t have any news for so long it allowed time for speculation. We were very careful never to say there was multiplayer in the game. It was a little frustrating for us to say it has been cut when we never announced it in the first place!”

“We didn’t want to talk about anything regarding that (multiplayer) because we weren’t sure about it, in the same way we weren’t sure about a million things — you’ll see the art book when it comes out and you’ll see a million characters that were cut; a million levels that were changed, ideas for weapons were thrown out. It’s just part of the process and we are fortunate as a company that we are able to do that kind of stuff.”

Mr. Levine goes on to comment on the staffing changes that have occurred over the last few months,

“It’s far less dramatic and interesting. Somebody leaving the company or somebody joining the company. I’m sure your business has people leaving, it’s not particularly interesting.”

BioShock Infinite launches on March 26th for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. What are your thoughts on the monstrous Songbird?

Source: PlayStation Magazine