Okay, so I was playing the original BioShock again today (you can thank the announcement of Burial at Sea for that) when I came across the 0451 code. Now apparently, the code is quite significant to Looking Glass and Irrational Games.
The code, “0451” used to open the first locked door in BioShock (and the only one that can’t be hacked) is a reference that has been used in several games made by previous employees of Looking Glass Studios since the creation of the System Shock game series, considered as the spiritual predecessor of BioShock. The number itself is a reference to the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, in which it represents “the temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns.”
- In System Shock (released in 1994) the first locked door could be opened with the code 451.
- In its sequel System Shock 2 (released in 1999 and on which Ken Levine participated), one of them could be opened with the code 45100.
- In Deus Ex (released in 2000 and made by Ion Storm, a company with several previous employees of Looking Glass Studios such as Warren Spector) 0451 was a code to open a locked armory and could only be obtained with a specific choice. The code is featured twice afterward, to unlock a van and a door later in the game.
- In its sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War (released in 2003), though the number does not appear as a code it is used as the room number of the first unlockable door of the game.
The reference has then be perpetuated through the further games of the Deus Ex and BioShock series.
- In BioShock 2 (released in 2010), the code 1540 (0451 reversed) opens the first locked door of the game.
- In Deus Ex: Human Revolution (released in 2011), the code 0451 was the first to appear in the game and was needed to access an elevator. It is used again as the first code of the game’s add-on The Missing Link. Also, a direct reference to Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury is made through an announcer, asking for “detective Bradbury in office 451.”
- In BioShock Infinite (released in 2013), the first and only code required in the game to open a locked door is 0451.
System Shock 2 - while a masterpiece - gets a bit too much credit, in my opinion. The original System Shock was released in 1994.
Fucking 1994! Its unique hybrid of stealth, RPG, survival horror (two full years before Resident Evil, by the way) and FPS within a cyberpunk framework was both massively influential to games like Deus Ex, Bioshock and Mass Effect… and an absolute technical revelation at a time when full 3D was still a relative novelty.
This game should not be overlooked. Now that there exists a downloadable version (at all of 60MB in size) which both circumvents the need for DOSBox (it’s actually included in the actual game launcher, sidestepping that annoyance entirely) and makes major graphical and technical upgrades to the core game, definitelygive it a whirl.
The guy on the left: Garrett, the Master Thief, the One True Keeper, he truly needs no introduction. Known for his sarcastic wit and his mastery of the art of stealthy thieving, saved the world from a trickster god, a religiously fanatical madman and a power-hungry centegenerean hag, because, what good are super thieving skills in a ruined place with nothing to pilfer?
The guy on the right: A stupid annoying, make-up wearing fucknugget amnesiac petty thief with appalling and impractical fashion sense, colloquially known as Gorrott, who steals pens and forks and fucking scissors and can’t be stealthy to save his damn life. Didn’t save but instead tortured the world with a very cliched, dry, boring storyline full of groan-inducing and sometimes ham-handed dialogue and very forgettable characters, to say the least.
Learn the difference. It may save your life from awful games that completely miss the point of its franchise’s spirit and made by people who wanted to make the original games seem bad in the eyes of modern casual gamers who don’t know any better
I just beat Thief II: The Metal Age. The last mission took me just over three hours, and I found it extremely difficult. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this satisfied after beating a game. Cannot wait to play Deadly Shadows, and then wait impatiently for the next!