- "Why hast thou forsaken us?"
- ―Sign beside preacher
Shantytown is a residential area where the working class employees in Finkton live. Though officially called Factory Worker Housing, it is universally referred to as "Shantytown" by the residents of Columbia. Due to the low pay, poor working conditions, and egregious work hours set by Jeremiah Fink, many of his workers struggle just to survive in Shantytown. It is also the largest stronghold for the Vox Populi and their supporters.
As the largest workhouse in Columbia, Fink Manufacturing requires a place for its laborers to reside when not at work. The borough designed for this purpose was named "Factory Worker Housing." The entry sign has since been vandalized to read "Shantytown." Individuals are paid in tokens only good at the Fink Company store, meaning all wages go directly back to Fink MFG. Employees are paid little and often cannot afford the store's high prices. Consequently, some people in Shantytown resort to eating rats to stave off hunger. Others turn to armed robbery and vandalize vending machines in order to survive. The twelve-hour work days of Fink MFG often leave its laborers in a weakened and vulnerable state. Many are susceptible to illness and the living conditions of Shantytown only exacerbates the problem.
The inhabitants of Shantytown are the lower class citizens of Columbia. The population is composed of Black, Irish, Asian and even some Anglo-Saxon citizens. Most of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants which make up the majority of Columbia's upper and middle classes have never even set foot in Shantytown. Any outsiders ignorant of the area's history or even of poverty, like Elizabeth, quickly realize the reality of the workers' unfortunate situation.
- Main article: BioShock Infinite
Path to ShantytownEdit
From the Plaza of Zeal, they first pass through the Path to Shantytown. Previously, this area had been blocked by fallen containers, but now the way is cleared. The area is guarded by the Fink Manufacturing Housing Authority, which includes a Beast with an RPG, but Elizabeth can bring in a freight hook, Gun Automaton, or cover, to help Booker fight them off.
Further up the path is an outpost for the Columbia Authority. Inside the armory is the Vigor Charge, but it's locked up tight and cannot be obtained presently. The two take the elevator down to reach the ward.
Shantytown is shown to be an overall depressing area, filled with deteriorating and condemned buildings, and populated by sick, malnourished workers and their families. Upon entering Shantytown, a man with a copy of The People's Voice can be seen preaching to young children about the evil of their oppressors and the hope offered by Daisy Fitzroy. A pair of food distributors are over to the left; there's an Infusion, on their counter, but approaching them will start a fight. There are several homeless people to the right. Elizabeth approaches one man seated by a column and he reaches out to her in desperation. A woman warming her hands with two children by a fire states that her husband lost his job and the whole family was evicted.
Elizabeth expresses feelings of sorrow for the people of Shantytown, questioning why they are treated so poorly by the wealthy of Columbia. The two can explore a neighboring bar or head straight for the police station for Chen Lin's tools. In either direction, the pair witness the hopeless misery of the district's residents.
The Graveyard Shift BarEdit
If Booker and Elizabeth approach the nearby Graveyard Shift, two men posing as panhandlers attempt to rob them at gunpoint.
As they enter the bar, they will come across a small group of citizens drowning their sorrows while the radio plays. Exploration of the bar's basement reveals a child hiding under the stairs, a Voxophone, a Locksmith Bag, a lockpick, a set of keys, and a guitar. Booker has the option of playing the guitar, which prompts Elizabeth to sing, "Will the Circle be Unbroken?" If Booker doesn't eat up the nearby food before playing the guitar, Elizabeth will give some of the food to the child.
After leaving the bar, they pass an Irish woman who begs for help for her daughter and another woman washing clothes in water from the drainage run off.
Heading to the Bull House ImpoundEdit
On the way to the station, a Tear can be found that allows Elizabeth to bring bags of food into existence. Opening the Tear causes a nearby group of people to rush towards the food, abandoning a vending machine they are robbing and allowing Booker to retrieve the Silver Eagles they have extracted. Further on, three children near the area entrance have formed a small band, singing Shake Sugaree for spare coins.
At the stockades, they see men imprisoned in stocks for being "labor agitators", while useful crops that could be given to the needy are seized for belonging to Vox sympathizers.
When the duo head toward the police station, they see a group of Founder agents being told to kill all Vox Populi members on sight. After taking out this force and the automated rocket turrets guarding the front, Booker and Elizabeth infiltrate the Bull House Impound.
Upon finding the tools, Booker realizes that he and Elizabeth cannot possibly carry them on their own, due to the volume and size of the supplies. Elizabeth sees another Tear to a world where the tools are not at the impound. With no other options, she opens the portal and they head out.
The Third ColumbiaEdit
Elizabeth brings them to a reality in which the Vox Populi have already received weapons and are carrying out a successful revolt. With the Vox on his side, they crush the feeble opposition attempting to retake the Bull House.
Heading back past the stockades, Booker and Elizabeth pass a young woman joyfully singing "Fortunate Son"; the prisoners have been set free. A Vox Populi agent walking by recognizes him as "Booker DeWitt, the hero of the Vox". A nearby poster proclaims Booker as the "Martyr of the Revolution." Booker is hit with a rush of memories of him and Cornelius Slate burning the Hall of Heroes to the ground. He starts hemorrhaging, but Elizabeth brings him back. The duo head out to find Daisy Fitzroy, regain The First Lady, and leave Columbia.
As they return through the main thoroughfare, they see the Vox execute POWs (others hang from balconies) and the Fink MFG signs being ripped from the buildings. The residents of Shantytown have all taken up arms and are being led by Daisy Fitzroy to rip Fink MFG up "from the roots." Her image is seen over the monitor of the airship as she leads the charge to destroy the Factory.
Back over by the Graveyard Shift, some Vox soldiers have their photo taken over a fallen Handyman clutching a Voxophone close to his heart. Inside the bar, a couple of Vox individuals drink to the success of the revolution while Fitzroy's propaganda plays over the radio. A Voxophone recording from Booker can be found on the counter.
Booker and Elizabeth ride the elevator back up to Finkton Proper. Booker posits that Daisy Fitzroy and Zachary Hale Comstock are more alike than different. When they return to the path to Shantytown, they find the armory has been broken into, and Booker can now obtain the Charge Vigor. The armed forces have appeared to try and crush the rebellion, but Booker takes them out instead. They head back to the Plaza of Zeal.
- Vox Burstgun
- Daisy Fitzroy - Fanning a Flame
- Preston E. Downs - Trapped
- Daisy Fitzroy - Terminated
- Wilbur Sykes - That Goddamn Key
- Daisy Fitzroy - Kindling
- Hattie Gerst - That Eternal Shore
- Booker DeWitt - Drawing Dead
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The painted over sign is similar to how Pauper's Drop, another poor neighborhood, uses a makeshift level sign.
- In the building closest to the stairs leading to the Graveyard Shift, piano plays the hymn "Just a Closer Walk with Thee". If the player is positioned correctly at the top of the stairs, Elizabeth will lean against the post and hum in accompaniment. Otherwise, the piano will play solo.
- "Tainted Love" was recorded by Ed Cobb and Gloria Jones in 1965, and covered by Soft Cell in the 1980s, can be heard playing in The Graveyard Shift bar.
- "Shake Sugaree" is not a modern cover, but uses the original 1967 recording of Elizabeth Cotten playing guitar with her great granddaughter, Brenda Evans.
- "Fortunate Son" was recorded in 1969 by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It is one of several songs sung in the game by Jessy Carolina.
- This is one of two levels where the player is assisted with an army of friendly AI's.
- However, provoking a friendly AI by shooting at it will become hostile.
- Despite the fact that the children are begging for spare coins, Booker cannot offer them any.
- Early iterations of Shantytown were headed by art director Nate Wells, drawing inspiration from the slums of Jamaica and Key West. "All of the housing was wooden and colorful, as if painted by the residents to make the depressed quarters more livable. And each bright shack was stacked atop the next, climbing into the sky like an anthill, with the skyline piercing through it."
- However, creative director Ken Levine argued that "It looked like the residents lived in garbage. It needed to be beautiful, because Columbia was designed so that even the poor lived beautifully."
- In the Xbox 360 version, when Booker first approaches the food distributing line, one of the men will tell Booker to step back. Even if the player does step away from the area, the man will still call Booker a "thieving bastard" and become hostile. This glitch is not present on the PC version of the game.