A Love Letter to the 'BioShock' Wrench 

The trusty 2.5-inch Excalibur of Rapture.

Nicholas Bashore

Originally released in 2007, BioShock was a dive into an underwater city filled with corrupt people and twisted ideologies: Rapture. A city designed to be a place where thinkers and artists could live (and experiment) free from the regulations of the outside world. As you can imagine, they ended up doing horrible things. But out of all the bad came something beautiful. A 2.5-inch, red-handled pipe wrench.

Just as a tiny sampling, though: They genetically modified and brainwashed young girls to collect ADAM for their research, they spliced humans with so much ADAM that they because incredibly violent and killed half the city’s population, and they experimented on prisoners, grafting their organs and skin into giant diving suits armed with drills. You know, to name a few.

But the wrench!

Nicholas Bashore

The reveal of Rapture when I first descended into the salty waters from the top of the lighthouse as Jack was a marvelous moment, covered in neon signs and complete with a whale appearance. But, when I docked my bathysphere in the city, I quickly witnessed the true nature of Rapture; one filled with murder, blood and mayhem.

As I stepped out of the bathysphere into a dark section of the city, I immediately began to look for a weapon and was greeted by the infamous BioShock pipe wrench. Red certainly wasn’t my favorite color (frankly, I would have preferred green) and it didn’t look very effective in combat, but we quickly became best friends after whacking our way through a few rooms of splicers.

Eventually I found weapons that were clearly more effective than my wrench, but that didn’t stop me from swapping back and working on strategies to make it viable. (Bless you, Electro Bolt plasmid.)

Nicholas Bashore

That’s where gene tonics come in, further augmenting my trusty wrench with additional damage and various effects. Not only was it more dangerous while sneaking, but it could cause elemental damage as well — freezing people solid in their tracks. Plus, you know, restoring small amounts of my EVE and health is nothing to scoff at.

Over time my trusty wrench became the Excalibur of Rapture. No matter the situation, it worked flawlessly to crush jaws, limbs, and more. It didn’t break, it didn’t require additional ammunition, and it never stopped looking intimidating as Jack patted it against his hand while waiting for the next enemy to make themselves known. I appreciated that, and still do.

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