The Vox Populi (Latin for "Voice of the People") are a militant underground insurgency group led primarily by revolutionary Daisy Fitzroy. They are in open conflict with Zachary Hale Comstock and the Founders, rejecting their puritanical and xenophobic ideology. Though initially, the middle and upper classes of Columbia regard the Vox as simply a worrisome nuisance, referring to them derisively as "anarchists", as Booker DeWitt progresses through Columbia, it becomes apparent that the city is on the verge of revolution, which eventually breaks into an all-out destructive war.
Led by Daisy Fitzroy, the Vox Populi first began as a protest group and a confederation of working-class citizens and oppressed groups, but as it became more organized, its members grew more militant. Driven underground by the Founders' response, the movement eventually abandoned its initial peaceful tactics in favor of retaliatory violence against the Founders. They had even set up a secret code, called the Vox Cipher, used to keep secrets hidden from their enemies.
Though the Vox do not claim to adhere to any particular ideology, their original goal was to breach the divide between Columbia's privileged few and the rest, erasing the social and racial boundaries imposed by the Founders. As idealism turned to bitterness, however, the Vox simply sought to appropriate all that belonged to their oppressors. A member is heard shouting, "Your homes are ours! Your lives are ours! Your wives are ours! It all belongs to the Vox!"
Once revolution breaks out in Columbia, the Vox show their true colors. Driven by vengeance, they destroy entire portions of the city, and vandalize the rest, executing anyone standing in their way. They also torture innocent citizens they come across, inflicting upon them the same oppression they lived through several-fold. Vox Populi members can be seen murdering civilians in Emporia.
The Vox Populi draws its main recruitment from Columbia's segregated communities. These are Irish, Asians, Blacks, and even Native Americans. Another recruitment source is the working class, in poor neighborhoods and market shops. Joining minorities within Columbia, there are supporters among the white population, including several whites pushing a black rights movement.
Most of the Vox Populi's symbols exist to oppose those of the Founders: In stark contrast to the Founders' puritanism, the Vox adorn themselves with devil horns and hoods. In mockery of Jeremiah Fink's perception of workers as cattle, many Vox fighters wear helmets in the shape of bull heads. In opposition to the Founders' blue, the Vox's primary color is red. In combat, Vox fighters tend to imitate the battle cries of American Indians, one of the many groups the Founders attempted to eradicate. Later in the game, hijacked Motorized Patriots bear the features of Abraham Lincoln, a figure reviled by the Founders for his support of the oppressed. Some Vox fighters make use of clothing and equipment appropriated from the Founders, such as body armor and masks, which are decorated with their signature red paint. They perform similar modifications upon hijacked hovercrafts and Zeppelins, lashing long sheets of red cloth to their hulls in order to mark the vehicles' change of allegiance.
Revolution in Columbia Edit
During the events of BioShock Infinite, the Vox Populi's status changes from an underground resistance group to the dominant power in the city. When Booker enters Columbia, the Vox are organized and ready to fight, but lack the weaponry needed to stand against the Founders. As part of a deal with Daisy Fitzroy, Booker and Elizabeth set out to find Chen Lin, a Chinese gunsmith sympathetic to the group's cause.
When Chen Lin is found to be dead, brutally murdered at the hands of Fink's henchmen, Elizabeth opens a Tear to an alternate Columbia, one in a state of revolt. In this Columbia, the conflict between the two factions is at a tipping point, though Chen Lin, partially phased out of time, has had his tools confiscated. Traveling through to Shantytown, home of the poor and oppressed citizens of Columbia, the pair arrive at the local police station to recover what they find to be a huge pile of the gunsmith's tools. After passing through another Tear where the tools are no longer in the police station, Booker and Elizabeth find themselves in a Columbia in the middle of an uprising. In this changed reality, where Booker was a lieutenant of Daisy Fitzroy and working with Cornelius Slate to bring down Comstock's reign of oppression, the alternate Booker was killed in the process. Chen Lin and his wife are dead, but not before the gunsmith had supplied enough weapons for an armed revolution.
After the Booker assists the Vox in taking over Fink Manufacturing, Fitzroy kills Jeremiah Fink, ending his ruthless exploitation of the poor. Paranoid, bloodthirsty and mad with power, Fitzroy orders the death of Booker as a counterfeit, and Elizabeth, who then kills Fitzroy when she is about to murder a child. It is suggested that Preston E. Downs takes over leadership of the Vox Populi, who rampage across Columbia, burning entire Founders districts to the ground and murdering many innocent citizens. Booker and Elizabeth head out to destroy the Siphon, while the whole of Columbia is shown to be in flames as the Vox take over the city.
Vox Propaganda Edit
Behind the Scenes Edit
- Ken Levine stated in an interview with GameInformer magazine that the concept of the Vox Populi was partially inspired by history of the infamous 1970's German leftist group known as "Rote Armee Fraktion" (Red Army Faction) a.k.a. the Baader-Meinhof Group.
- "Vox Populi" in Latin means "Voice of the People", and is derived from the maxim "Vox populi, vox Dei" ("The word of the people is the word of God").
- It was originally planned that like many groups throughout history, the Vox Populi would fragment into several splinter groups over various internal ideological differences and fight each other, but this never occurred in the game. It was also planned that much like the Founders, the Vox Populi want Elizabeth for themselves, either for her gifted abilities, for their own agenda, or to possibly kill her in order to prevent the Founders from using her against them, but in the final game, they have no interest in Elizabeth.
- The horned masks worn by the Vox heavy fighters seem to be inspired by that of the Bald Knobbers, a vigilante group active in the Old West.