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Circus of Values

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"Welcome to the Circus of Values!"


Circus of Values is the name given to the general vending machines found throughout Rapture. The machines contain many items, ranging from food to ammunition. Hacking a vending machine lowers the prices and sometimes provides items that are not otherwise available. Circus of Values machines often have an El Ammo Bandito machine or Gatherer's Garden nearby.

History Edit

The President of the Circus of Values franchise was Lloyd Webster. Previously, these vending machines likely sold more appropriate items for the public until the Civil War hit Rapture. Then, the inclusion of ammunition and healing materials would make them very convenient. They were heavily reinforced and armored, purposely making them highly resistant to damage and pilfering. This is noted as the player can only hack these machines to lower the price and not crack it open by any means, although a number of broken machines are seen in various locations throughout the city.



A vandalized, yet still functional, Circus of Values - an example of the machine's reliable durability.

Main article: BioShock Items

Prices are random and sometimes outrageous (For example: in Fort Frolic, the price of a single Creme-Filled Cake goes over $200), but most of the time they are reasonable, though they seem to go up on later levels. The prices of all items can be lowered through the Gene Tonic Vending Expert.

The following is a list of typical prices:

BioShock 2 Edit

Main article: BioShock 2 Items
Circus of Values (BioShock 2)

Circus of Values (BioShock 2).

Circus of Values vending machines return in BioShock 2, but appear corroded in rust and water damage. The dollar symbol below the coin slot has been replaced with an embossed letter 'A'. They also no longer make sound effects. This has been revealed, by 2K-Marin Audio Lead Michael Kamper, to be a mistake caused just before the game was shipped. It is, however, fixed in the DLC's, The Protector Trials[1] and Minerva's Den.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer Edit

The Circus of Values vending machines appear in the multiplayer, with several drastic changes. First of all, there is no longer an interface or a need for payment. After a short delay, the Circus of Values will respawn vials of EVE and ammunition in its chute. These completely refill the player's EVE and ammunition when collected. Circus of Values also have a light at the top right corner indicating their status:

  • Blue Light: A blue light indicates that the Circus of Values has been hacked by the player or a member of their team.
  • Yellow/White Light: A yellow/white light indicates that the Circus of Values hasn't been hacked, and will recharge anybody's resources instantly.
  • Red Light: A red light indicates that the Circus of Values has been hacked by an enemy, and should the player attempt to use it is will drop a small bomb. If the player is standing directly against the machine, the bomb will go off instantly and kill them.

It is possible to set traps by hacking Circus of Values vending machines, and successfully doing so will make it damage, if not kill, the next enemy who tries to use it. After that, it reverts to normal until hacked again.


Bugs / Glitches Edit

  • Icon ps3 When a player enters an ongoing match in BioShock 2 Multiplayer, The light showing if the vending machine is hacked might glow white in the beginning/the rest of the match (instead of blue or red) when hacked, this might cause some unpleasant surprises.

Behind the Scenes Edit

Jo Jo

The image that inspired the logo.

  • The iconic clown of the Circus of Values is a repurposed, slightly altered image from a fruit crate label for Jo Jo Brand melons.
  • The Circus of Values machines all feature a recorded voice of a laughing clown, voiced by BioShock creative director Ken Levine, saying "Fill (or cure/kill) your cravings at the Circus of Values! Ha ha ha ha ha!"[2] If the player doesn't have enough money to make a purchase or if they are already at their limit for the item purchased, it will produce the following line: "Come back when you get some money, buddy!"
  • There is one vending machine near the Core in Hephaestus that will drop an active frag grenade should the player attempt to use it because a Houdini Splicer tampered with the mechanics. Hacking is unavailable on this machine. For coding purposes, this grenade is considered to be dropped by a Nitro Splicer, thus it is affected by Research done on other Nitro Splicers.
  • Though the vending machines don't have any connections to vents of any kind, they never seem to run out of items when the player uses them (as some Splicers can be heard complaining the vending machines won't work). The vending machines in BioShock 2, however, do run out of some items such as EVE Hypos, First Aid Kits and rare ammunition types.
  • The vending machines in BioShock 2 Multiplayer are slightly smaller than the ones in BioShock, where the vending machines nearly towered over Splicers and the player.
  • The vending machines in Minerva's Den do make sound effects, but their voices are heavily distorted, likely due to decay.
  • The Columbia counterpart of this vending machine is the Dollar Bill.

References Edit

  1. Apology from Michael Kamper; 2K Forums
  2. BioShock Audio by Major Nelson, at

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