Is There Something in the Sea?

Something In the SeaIn March of this year posters began showing up on the east coast warning of an undersea threat. The posters ended with a URL that led the curious to Something in the Sea: and for the past six months, the rabbit hole has wound deeper and deeper.

While the website originally only displayed a map detailing an unseen researcher’s efforts to track seemingly random kidnapping cases from around the world, the site has since evolved. Players have found themselves silent observers to Mark Meltzer’s search for his missing daughter Cindy. Mark’s very research into the missing girls led to his own daughter’s kidnapping and the collapse of his marriage, causing his obsession to take on a more personal nature as he searches frantically for any information that might lead him to his daughter.

As time has gone on and Mark’s search has become more desperate, he has even reached out to players for help. Those who have been willing to write to Mark and offer their assistance have found themselves receiving strange packages in the mail containing children’s drawings or vinyl records that hint at strange monsters and unknown cities. Earlier this month, players around the world who ventured out to specific beaches that Mark indicated would hold a clue to his search discovered champagne bottles full of propaganda from that same mysterious city, buried in the sand as the sun rose on the adventurers who attended the event.

These exciting developments coupled with the depth of passion found in Mark’s hunt has brought in players by the thousands who check the site daily for updates to his office, hoping to discover along with their hero the fate of missing Cindy, a fact that most be happy news for the creators over at 2K Games. Mark’s moving tale is part of a brilliant marketing campaign for the upcoming video game Bioshock 2, the hotly anticipated sequel to the award winning video game Bioshock.

The champagne bottles, the record, even the drawings hint at the true purpose behind Mark’s adventures. The villain abducting little girls is none other than the Big Sister set to make her debut in Bioshock 2, while the new home of said abductees is the city of Rapture, tucked far beneath the sea. Built by Andrew Ryan in the original game to be a utopia for the best and brightest of mankind, the eventual greed of its inhabitants pulled Rapture down around their ears. In the Bioshock universe, Little Sisters working alongside a Big Daddy harvesting ADAM for Mr. Ryan. The Big Sister, formerly a Little Sister herself, has returned to Rapture as an adult with a desire to restore her home to its former glory, something she needs her own Little Sisters to accomplish.

Players familiar with the first game know the fate of Little Sisters and therefore hope just as much as Mark that he is able to find and rescue his missing daughter. Whether he will or not remains to be seen, but what is guaranteed is that his devoted fans will follow him into the very bowels of Rapture or, if need be, the nearest video game store when Bioshock 2 is released the first quarter of 2010.

Head over to Something in the Sea and follow Mark as he prepares to venture into the dangerous mystery that is Rapture.


  1. anKo

    Thus far, the somethinginthesea game has proven to be great fun. There was something quite exhilarating about getting a record in the mail, complete with antique mailing label.

  2. Andrecito77

    Please help! I know I am really late in starting this!!! Where do I start? What is the latest puzzle?

  3. Stacey Leggieri

    Now that the related video game is out, I’d like to note that this ARG really did things right up until the very end. Players following along received some insight into the game – but not too much – and got a good flavor from the historical era and media genre. The most avid ARGers received gifts like posters, vinyl records, empty wine bottles, and party masks from “Rapture.”

    The video game even continues the story, though it is a subplot to the central action. The main character from the ARG leaves recordings of his journey into Rapture that the player finds along the way. While I don’t want to spoil it, Bioshock 2 players even get to see how Mark Meltzer’s journey finally ends. It’s a relatively seamless experience, even though the web-based Flash game and the first person video game are totally different game types. It was a rare treat for people like me who are capable of enjoying both.