- "NO SIN EVADES HIS GAZE"
- ―Warning sign displayed in Comstock House
The Boys of Silence are indoctrinated young men fitted with sense-enhancing helmets and are forced to act as watchmen. Booker DeWitt encounters them in Columbia during the course of BioShock Infinite once he reaches Comstock House.
Boys of Silence are outfitted in blue suits that are reminiscent of a school uniform, and their most noticeable feature is their large metal helmets. The latter amplify their sense of sound, but obscure their face. These helmets have been fitted onto leather shoulder straps, fastened on by metal clamps, and padlocked shut. Since they were fitted with their uniforms early in life (and have since outgrown them), their blazer sleeves are too short for their arms and their trousers have torn. Referred to as Elizabeth's "children", they are in fact young men brainwashed from childhood and forced into total subservience. Thanks to Elizabeth's intervention, they also have limited control over Tears, allowing them to partially control the Lunatics of Comstock House and teleport out of existence after raising the alarm or being attacked.
The Boys of Silence do not actually engage in combat. Their primary purpose is to keep watch over the facility and the similarly brainwashed men in Founding Fathers masks, referred to as the Lunatics. Rather than fighting Booker directly, Boys of Silence summon the men to fight for them. When summoned, the Lunatics charge head-on and will not hesitate to land devastating blows with cudgels like Thuggish Splicers.
The Lunatics are the inmates of Comstock House. Once ordinary citizens of Columbia, these individuals did not fall in line with Elizabeth's totalitarian rule and were brought to the asylum to be reconditioned. In order to be "purified," they were exposed, via Tears, to every version of themselves across time and space. This traumatic experience shattered the mind leaving them as broken, will-less husks who shuffle aimlessly around the facility. The event also instilled them minor Tear-like characteristics such as intangibility, and thus cannot be harmed unless awakened by a Boy of Silence. They can be seen saluting the Boys of Silence occasionally.
The Boys of Silence are encountered in an alternate-timeline version of Comstock House, and act as stationary sentries. A beam of white light from their mouths indicates their line of "sight," and Booker must maneuver around them to avoid notice.
If Booker enters a Boy of Silence's line of sight it will stand still and focus on him. If he stays for too long, gets too close to the Boy, or attacks it, the Boy of Silence will let out a piercing scream and teleport away. Though the scream deals only minor damage at close range, it pulls every nearby minion through to the current reality, allowing them to attack Booker and rendering them mortal. The minions themselves only wield wooden clubs, but come in great numbers and are tougher than most enemies.
Attacking a Boy of Silence serves no purpose, as they are impervious to damage and will immediately sound the alarm. However, they can be completely bypassed: they can only see whatever their masks illuminate and so walking outside of their range of vision won't attract their ire. If they do happen to spot Booker they will momentarily stand still. If the player retreats out of their line of sight in time, they will resume scanning the area, otherwise they will eventually sound the alarm.
One of the more notable Boys of Silence was encountered in the Warden's Office just after unlocking the gate to reach Elizabeth in the torture chamber. Once pulling the switch to deactivate the lock, the player turns around and finds themselves face to face with a Boy of Silence who immediately sounds the alarm, a frightening and surprising moment that's come to be known as a jump-scare.
Concept Art and Promotional ImagesEdit
Behind the ScenesEdit
- At Pax East 2012, Ken Levine and Nate Wells mentioned that the Boy of Silence originally had a different purpose, which was to wait and attack the player after it collected every sound from them, such as gunshots and footsteps, and that it was meant to compel the player to choose more silent weapons. They found that this became too problematic, both from a gameplay aspect as most players wouldn't understand what was happening, and the technical aspect of removing ambient sounds from the environment, since this enemy would collect those as well.
- Balthrop, one of the sound team members, mentioned that the Boys of Silence went through months of different sound changes. One of these sounds was from female death metal singer, Mallika Sundaramurthy of Abnormality, to rasp out the harshest and roughest screams, to later be blended by the sound team with machine sounds that were described as a rev of a factory belt starting after years of disuse. The sound file was even played at PAX East 2012, where the audience was visibly affected by it. As granting as it was, both Balthrop and Levine felt it sounded like a "wet" noise that didn't sound like it would come out of the Boys of Silence, and changed it to a more boot-up noise, and adds in the scream with the grinding ting-tings of metal gears and power.
- On the back of the NECA figurine of the Boy of Silence is the following nursery rhyme: "Watch where you step! Don't say a word! You'll be in trou-ble if the Boys have heard!"
- Boys of Silence were originally to have a much larger role in the game, and would try to hunt down Booker across entire levels before calling for reinforcements. Ken Levine compared them to the Security Cameras of BioShock, except with the ability to move and consciously track down the player. IGN commented on their Rewind Theater that the Boy of Silence seems to be "Draining the color from the room" while demonstrating his ability in possibly Fink Theatre, as a fog-like wave surrounds the environment, while a bright aura surrounds him.
- Boys of Silence are the only Heavy Hitters not to be included in the Clash in the Clouds DLC.
- Interestingly, the Boy of Silence's in Game 3D Model has no facial rigging on it (such as mouth and eyes), unlike other characters, even ones with helmets which include Firemen and Crows who have facial rigging but have no shown face.
- To add to this, even when no-clipping through a Boy's helmet, it is empty inside -- probably of lack of reason for a face or head to be underneath the helmet. This is unlike Beasts, who do have a face with rigging under their helmet.
- In BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 2, a Boy of Silence helmet can be seen in Fink's Factory. This could imply that Fink himself created the Boy of Silence idea, long before Elizabeth attacked New York in 1983.
- The helmet appears to come off, like a normal helmet, implying that the wearer is not stuck inside the helmet forever, unlike Big Daddies.
- ↑ The Original Plan For BioShock Infinite’s Boys of Silence Sounded Awesome on Kotaku
- ↑ Boy of Silence original sound from PAX
- ↑ An Irrational Fear of Monsters on Joystiq
- ↑ "Meet BioShock Infinite's Boys of Silence" article by Jake Gaskill at G4TV.com
- ↑ IGN Rewind Theater: BioShock Infinite: Beast of America Trailer Analysis on YouTube.
|Enemies in BioShock Infinite|
|Basic||Citizen • Police • Soldier|
|Support||Gun Automaton • Rocket Automaton • Mosquito • Security Zeppelin|
|Heavy Hitters||Beast • Boy of Silence • Fireman • Handyman • Motorized Patriot • Siren • Zealot of the Lady|
|Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2||Bouncer • Frosty Splicer • Gun Automaton • Houdini Splicer • Leadhead Splicer • Motorized Patriot • Ryan Security • Thuggish Splicer • Turret|