Sunday, March 11, 2012

Character Analysis- Sofia Lamb

Please understand that like all I've done, this... is an act of love."

Sofia Lamb is the villain of Bioshock 2.  Much like Andrew Ryan, we never fight her.  Unlike Andrew Ryan, her death is entirely due to our choices in the game.  (See here for more information)

Sofia Lamb is never mentioned in Bioshock 1, but plays a large part in it's backstory. Before Rapture, she worked as a psychiatrist.  She grew up under her father, a physician who believed in a "Triage" philosophy.  Namely, things should be done for the greater good. Later on, she worked in Hiroshima as medical personnel during World War II.  While she survived the bombings, her friends did not.  Around this time Andrew Ryan came to her.  She believed the world was going to Hell and was in the process of destroyingitself, so she accepted his offer and joined him in Rapture.

In Rapture, she began to make a name for herself.  She offered free psychiatry sessions to the poor, intentionally lost poker games so the person with the most to gain got the money, and set up a place for artists to work.  While these would normally be good things, things quickly escalated due to the interference of Andrew Ryan.  Andrew Ryan believed that the harder you worked, the more you were rewarded.  If you had trouble financially, it was your fault and you should suffer for it.  In addition, he had no use for art.  Andrew Ryan arranged debates to weaken her position.  But in the increasingly stifling atmosphere of Rapture (due to Fontaine, the discovery of ADAM and it's side effects) Andrew Ryan instituted rules and methods that were increasingly draconian and betrayed his ideology.   During this time, she took genetic material and had a daughter.  
 (watch Eleanor's Progress, but the other videos do explain her ideology.)

Her supporters began to organize into a religion, and since religion was illegal in Rapture, Ryan arrested her.  He made evidence of her existence disappear, but the poor never forgot her.

In 1958, she escaped from the prison colony "Persephone" and used the confusion of the attack on Kashmir Restaurant to take back her daughter, Eleanor, who had turned into the first Little Sister.  To do that, she had splicers sacrifice themselves so that Delta would be hit by a "Hypnotize Big Daddy" plasmid.  She then ordered Delta to shoot herself in the head in front of Eleanor
Eleanor is taken back to Persephone and injected with ADAM so she can possess the entirety of Rapture in herself.  Everyone's thoughts, memories, powers, Lamb believed that her daughter was the "Utopian" who could possess everyone within her.  She would work only to help other people, she would be compelled to.

As Delta journeys through the game, he finds out things about Sofia Lamb.  She murders anyone who attempts to flee Rapture.  She uses both the Splicers, rogue Big Daddies, and Big Sisters as weapons.  As long as their ADAM is returned to the cycle, she does not care about what happens to them. She kidnapped Mark Meltzer and turned him into a Big Daddy.  She also kidnapped an unknown number of girls  to become new Little Sisters once the old ones grew up and became crazy.

In the end, she smothers Eleanor because she knows that will slowly kill Delta (therefore he will be unable to revive)  and then she detonates Persephone because she realized that she failed.

In the end of the game, Eleanor uses the freedom of choice that Delta gave her to either forgive Sofia, ignore her death, or actively murder her

What do we know?
1) She originally started out as a good person.  "The Greater Good" is something that has been desired for years.   She sincerely wanted to help people when she arrived in Rapture.  Her ideas were good, but Rapture sickness gets to everybody and she very quickly went to the absolute extremes

2) She's uncaring. All Mark Meltzer wanted was to be with his daughter.  All other people wanted was to escape.  She denied all of these.  She ordered Splicers to go on suicide missions to stop and/or control Delta. She turned Sinclair into an Alpha Big Daddy against his will.  She suffocated Eleanor Lamb.  She does not care about other people.

3) She does not care about choice.  What Bioshock 2 emphasizes throughout it's gameplay and story is the ability for people to choose their fate.  Mark Meltzer did not get much of a choice, but he still chose.  Sofia Lamb eliminates all major choice from life. Instead of asking if Eleanor wanted to be the utopian, she forced it on her.  

People often despise Sofia Lamb more then Andrew Ryan or Frank Fontaine. It's not due to  love of capitalism. Instead, it is the horror at how she twists something so good and turns herself into a villain.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome analysis - Lamb is a truly underrated videogame villain!