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Thread: Jack's tattoo

  1. #1
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    Jack's tattoo

    I hope this is the right place for this...I figured it would be since Jack's tattoo is something you see sometimes while playing the game..mostly during cinematics..
    But anyway!
    I made this topic because I'm thinking about getting the tattoo myself, but I feel sort of like an idiot at the same time because I'm not sure what it symbolizes..if anything..and I haven't been able to find too much information on the board..or the Bioshock wikipedia..other than that it may have been inspired by the book 'Atlas Shrugged,' which is something I have never read, but will be looking into..
    I personally thought maybe it had something to do with Ryan's "A man chooses, a slave obeys," since Jack is practically a slave to his and Fontaine's commands...and it may have been placed there to symbolize that he wasn't free..since chains can symbolize ownership, I guess...maybe it's just me...
    If anyone has any information about the tattoo or pictures of the tattoo itself for future reference, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I personally thought maybe it had something to do with Ryan's "A man chooses, a slave obeys," since Jack is practically a slave to his and Fontaine's commands...and it may have been placed there to symbolize that he wasn't free..since chains can symbolize ownership, I guess...maybe it's just me...
    Oh, thats actually a really good idea. I haven't thought of that before.

  3. #3
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    I figured the tatoo meant Ryan's Great Chain is falling apart, since one of the loops is broken.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I personally thought maybe it had something to do with Ryan's "A man chooses, a slave obeys," since Jack is practically a slave to his and Fontaine's commands...and it may have been placed there to symbolize that he wasn't free..since chains can symbolize ownership, I guess...maybe it's just me...
    That was my idea all along as well. Glad to know I wasn't the only one thinking that!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I'm thinking about getting the tattoo myself
    Another member beat you to it and got this done already.


    You can view the thread about it by clicking here.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I hope this is the right place for this...I figured it would be since Jack's tattoo is something you see sometimes while playing the game..mostly during cinematics..
    But anyway!
    I made this topic because I'm thinking about getting the tattoo myself, but I feel sort of like an idiot at the same time because I'm not sure what it symbolizes..if anything..and I haven't been able to find too much information on the board..or the Bioshock wikipedia..other than that it may have been inspired by the book 'Atlas Shrugged,' which is something I have never read, but will be looking into..

    If anyone has any information about the tattoo or pictures of the tattoo itself for future reference, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
    This was definitely a reference to the book "Atlas Shrugged"; as the main protaginist in the book, a woman named Dagny Taggart has a band on the wrist of her arm.

    In Atlas Shrugged, Rand writes that the "band on the wrist of [Dagny's] naked arm gave her the most feminine of all aspects: the look of being chained." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_rand)

    I'm looking into reading this book too. It obviously inspired much of the Bioshock setting, and 'Andrew Ryan' is a very direct reference to the author of Atlas Shrugged, 'Ayn Rand'. I recommend you guys look it up; I read a little about it on Wikipedia, and was slightly disturbed to know that some people actually have and believe in a 'Ryanesque' mentality.

    **SPOILER ALERT**

    I agree with the others who have posted here, and think that the in game reason for the tattoos was that it was placed there by Dr Suchong / Fontaine / Ryan to denote Jack's identity as a slave to people interacting with him, and to reinforce his mental conditioning and obedience.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pj_dmsfrnd View Post
    Another member beat you to it and got this done already.


    You can view the thread about it by clicking here.
    WOO!
    go me

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by h8tred View Post

    **SPOILER ALERT**

    I agree with the others who have posted here, and think that the in game reason for the tattoos was that it was placed there by Dr Suchong / Fontaine / Ryan to denote Jack's identity as a slave to people interacting with him, and to reinforce his mental conditioning and obedience.

    That's exactly what I believe as well! And thanks for all the info and opinions/ideas everyone!
    I may be thinking a bit too deeply about this, but...
    Jack was a slave, and his tattoos were a symbol of that. But through his choices, he was able to rise up again as a man. ("A man chooses, a slave obeys").
    Anyway, I really believe that as people, our choices/actions make us who we are, regardless of what others or the world has planned for us; our future, etc..
    Our lives are what we make them..

    And that's what my tattoos will symbolize once I get them.

  9. #9
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    If you look closley the chain is -broken-. Why would a broken chain symbolize a slave?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalui View Post
    If you look closley the chain is -broken-. Why would a broken chain symbolize a slave?
    Let's look at some reference...
    http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u...waltz/Jack.png

    It doesn't look broken to me...(more like separated because it's a two-part chain)but even if it is, I'm sure Dr. Suchong/Ryan/Fontaine put them there for a reason. And it would make sense if they were there to symbolize him being a slave since they treated him like a dog.

  11. #11
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    I swear I can remember one of the chain loops being broken..

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    Maybe instead of the chains coming from the story directly the artists or someone decided to put it there to symbolize he was a slave but broke the chains and became free (thus the reason they are split. Just a thought.

  13. #13
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    I think that the chain itself along with maybe some other references is made to speak more to the player as it represents ryans great chain how "the hand commands the great chain" is a reference to jack (the main char) took control of his own fate < (great chain) which the results of his choices are shown at the end (good bad ending) which is why chains are on his hand the tattoo doesnt control his hand his hand controls the tattoo (or chain) and maybe some other in game references

  14. #14
    I'd say they re there to make his hands look less bland when using a not so shiny plasmid or weapon(telekinesis and wrench, which happen to be the most commonly used combo in the game)

  15. #15
    *SPOILERS*
    Perhaps one of the points of the game is that it's good to resign yourself to certain boundaries rather than constantly trying to put yourself in control. Ryan had the motto, "no gods, no kings, only man," yet his efforts to be in complete control of his own fate, to deliberately concern himself with his own interests over all else, led to his demise and the terrible failure that is Rapture (not that Rapture's downfall was all Ryan's fault). But the player who sacrifices personal power (adam) for the sake of others (little sisters), who chooses to remain somewhat weak and bound, attains a greater freedom in the end. Is it coincidence that Jack's tattoo, which could symbolize enslavement, is shown in the good ending of the game but not the bad? Well, maybe... but it works out well anyway.

    EDIT: I was wrong. See posts below.
    Last edited by Anthropoid; 12-29-2007 at 04:21 PM.

  16. #16
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    i thought they were just meant to represent raptures "great chain of industry". AKA massive spoiler if you notice it.

  17. #17
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    i always thought it stood for strength or family. when people get chain tattoos thats usually what they mean

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthropoid View Post
    *SPOILERS*
    Perhaps one of the points of the game is that it's good to resign yourself to certain boundaries rather than constantly trying to put yourself in control. Ryan had the motto, "no gods, no kings, only man," yet his efforts to be in complete control of his own fate, to deliberately concern himself with his own interests over all else, led to his demise and the terrible failure that is Rapture (not that Rapture's downfall was all Ryan's fault). But the player who sacrifices personal power (adam) for the sake of others (little sisters), who chooses to remain somewhat weak and bound, attains a greater freedom in the end. Is it coincidence that Jack's tattoo, which could symbolize enslavement, is shown in the good ending of the game but not the bad? Well, maybe... but it works out well anyway.
    They are visible in the bad ending as well, when he grabs the first LS. The other 75% of the ending doesn't involve Jack at all so how would they have shown the chains then?

  19. #19
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    What is interesting is that in the good ending (I cannot speak for the bad) the chain IS broken, although it is not during the rest of the game.

    Comparison:
    http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u...waltz/Jack.pnghttp://img183.imageshack.us/img183/6201/tatoopn1.jpg
    sorry for the poor quality, taken from youtube

  20. #20
    Ah... suddenly the chain symbolism in the endings seems a lot more typical. Oh well, I think it's a good message.

    EDIT: Not that I think my idea for tattoo symbolism in the ending is better. Now that I consider that the tattoo is also meant to allude to Ryan's "Great Chain," it wouldn't make sense to prominently feature the tattoo in the good ending.
    Last edited by Anthropoid; 12-29-2007 at 04:20 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I hope this is the right place for this...I figured it would be since Jack's tattoo is something you see sometimes while playing the game..mostly during cinematics..
    But anyway!
    I made this topic because I'm thinking about getting the tattoo myself, but I feel sort of like an idiot at the same time because I'm not sure what it symbolizes..if anything..and I haven't been able to find too much information on the board..or the Bioshock wikipedia..other than that it may have been inspired by the book 'Atlas Shrugged,' which is something I have never read, but will be looking into..
    I personally thought maybe it had something to do with Ryan's "A man chooses, a slave obeys," since Jack is practically a slave to his and Fontaine's commands...and it may have been placed there to symbolize that he wasn't free..since chains can symbolize ownership, I guess...maybe it's just me...
    If anyone has any information about the tattoo or pictures of the tattoo itself for future reference, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
    You're right about that. I thought it was meant to symbolize that he broke the Great Chain Andrew Ryan built. But, then, I realized another meaning, and you stated it

  22. #22
    Ah, but this new bit of information about the tattoo being covered (or broken, according to the person who posted, though I can't tell from the pic) in the good ending has some bad implications for someone wanting to actually get that tattoo...

  23. #23
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    i would get that tattoo. I have a tattoo of the fast shot perk from fallout on my right arm. and now that i think about it, the great chain on my wrists sound pretty bad ass. I am drunk though.

  24. #24
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    for me, the Chain on his hand symbolizes the Great Chain of Rapture. The great chain was actually the symbol that showed that in the small community of Rapture, every action affects everyone. everybody pulls the chain, and when someone pulls the chain hard, someone else is pulled off balance and falls. The chain on his wrists symbolize that Ultimitely, He will be the one pulling the chain, Jack, the son of the man who created it, will give the chain it's final Tug, although he is nothing more than a slave. I think the chain is broken into two parts because they knew that when Fontaine took over, there would be no chain, just domination. Jack would ultimitaly be the one to break the chain. so.... yeah, that's my thought. apoligies, since this has basically been said before.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria Sunderland View Post
    That was my idea all along as well. Glad to know I wasn't the only one thinking that!
    That's what I was thinking too. But I never thought about asking.
    ~Mari.

  26. #26
    I see the chain tattoo more as a builders mark, like a "made in rapture" sort of thing.
    like those stamps silver smiths put on there creation.

  27. #27
    Fontaine put them there to symbolize his slavery.

    Ryan never even saw Jack before 1960, and so couldn't have put them there as reference to the Great Chain. Jasmine Jolene sold the baby to Fontaine.
    Last edited by WrenchMaster; 03-21-2008 at 07:10 AM.

  28. #28
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    I wonder if Stormy ever got his tattoo...

  29. #29
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    Not sure, I was going to get one but I have seen about 6 of them floating around the net now so it seems somewhat less intriguing now. There is even one on the Cult of Rapture homepage. :\

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    Yeah. I have actually not seen any, but it's not surprising that people would get it. It's a simple design that you could still be happy with even if you eventually stopped caring for BioShock, which most people will.

    I have to admit that I guess I am not as deep thinking as I used to be because I hadn't even stopped to consider that Jack's tattoo might mean anything. It's like I saw that he had a tattoo and then my brain instantly filed it in the meaningless/do not ponder folder.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucketBot View Post
    Yeah. I have actually not seen any, but it's not surprising that people would get it. It's a simple design that you could still be happy with even if you eventually stopped caring for BioShock, which most people will.

    I have to admit that I guess I am not as deep thinking as I used to be because I hadn't even stopped to consider that Jack's tattoo might mean anything. It's like I saw that he had a tattoo and then my brain instantly filed it in the meaningless/do not ponder folder.
    The biggest problem I have is I already have a tattoo on my left wrist so, I would either have to go with one chain on my right or put it above or below my other tattoo.

  32. #32
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    Ah yeah. I have run into that problem before. I have a tattoo on the back of each shoulder and then I found something that I loved, but in my mind it would only have really worked on a shoulder.
    I think it would still look cool on just one wrist. I mean, it wouldn't be the same, but things don't always have to be exact to be awesome.

  33. #33
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    That's true.
    I wanted to get the chain tattooed and on one wrist only too, but I was wondering, hmm...I wonder if it'll look weird. Most people won't know unless they're Bioshock fans. But I don't think it'd look bad on one wrist only. I'd do.
    ~Mari.

  34. #34
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    OK well I'll do it if you do it

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    Lol. Ok.
    Dunno when tho.
    Maybe when I get some courage to go get a tattoo Lmao.
    I don't have any tattoos so I'm still scared. I already have what I want in mind, but the chain tattoos come next. I HATE needles, but I have piercings. lol. Ironic huh?
    ~Mari.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BioShock Freak View Post
    I don't have any tattoos so I'm still scared.
    If you have piercings getting a tattoo will be a breeze. At one point in time I had my septum and my lip pierced and they were both way worse than the tattoos. I have two (one on the back of each shoulder) and I got them done at the same time (they are a pair) and it took about four hours to have them finished and it wasn't bad at all.
    You can handle it! It does hurt, but it's not the kind of pain that you can't sit still through. It's more of an irritation than a real pain. Paying for it is the part that hurts the most.

  37. #37
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    I think it ment Jack was a slave bound by Fontaine..

    Like, he could of either, had the tattoo when he was born, saying he was a bound slave OR Fontaine or Ryan could've made him get the tattoo when he was on the surface..

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucketBot View Post
    If you have piercings getting a tattoo will be a breeze. At one point in time I had my septum and my lip pierced and they were both way worse than the tattoos. I have two (one on the back of each shoulder) and I got them done at the same time (they are a pair) and it took about four hours to have them finished and it wasn't bad at all.
    You can handle it! It does hurt, but it's not the kind of pain that you can't sit still through. It's more of an irritation than a real pain. Paying for it is the part that hurts the most.
    Yeah, my sis has a tattoo and she says it don't hurt. She says it's just an annoying feeling. says it feels like when u pop a pimple. Lmao. Shes weird. lol.
    ~Mari.

  39. #39
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    I have been thinking of getting the links as a tattoo. But I need some good screen shots to go by.
    Last edited by Raining Light; 03-25-2008 at 10:50 AM.

  40. #40
    is it just me or does the tattoo in the outro seem smaller and thinner then the one in the game itself ?

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