Bioshock 1 Songbird Sound Effect “One of the Mysteries of the Universe”

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If you have any interest in Bioshock Infinite and its place in the Bioshock canon, you’ve probably heard about the Songbird sound effect. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the Songbird’s scream in the original Bioshock. Today Ken Levine commented on the theory, but, of course, you’d be silly for expecting a simple yes or no.

When asked whether the scream was placed into Bioshock 1 on purpose (or, more likely, specifically used after Bioshock to create a kind of unplanned connection), Levine was quick to put the issue to rest:

The answer to that question is one of the eternal mysteries of the universe.

Like Hideo Kojima, Levine is one of those people that it’s so easy to over-analyse. So does he mean the Bioshock universe, and that this is suddenly a far bigger deal than many of us thought, or was it just a throwaway answer to tease fans and continue discussion?

Probably the latter.

For those that have never heard of this theory – and naturally this contains spoilers for Bioshock Infinite – when the songbird makes it to Rapture, he makes quite a bit of noise. This noise is apparently heard in Bioshock 1. You can see and hear the example in the video below, and make your own mind up.

Despite how vague Levine was about the sound effect’s place in the canon, he was quick to correct someone who called it “just” a stock sound. 

That is NOT a stock sound. You just broke sound designer’s Pat Balthrop’s heart.

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Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. His first book is out this year, as is Hero Sapiens, the web series on which he's lead writer.

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