BioShock Creator Finished and Cancelled His Zelda-Style Game Prior to Rapture

The Zelda-style game was about a mother who makes a deal with the devil to bring her daughter back from Hell.


BioShock: The Collection released earlier this week, and in an interview with Rolling Stone's Glixel, creator Ken Levine talked about the making of the series and The Lost, a Zelda-style game that he finished but never released because he and his team "weren't happy with the product."

"It's a finished game for PS2 and original Xbox," Levine said. "It exists somewhere. We never released it because it wasn't up to our standards of quality. The game just wasn't good. I think it would have really hurt us.

"We made it right after System Shock 2. It was a game about a woman. Her daughter dies, and she makes a deal with the devil to go to hell to try to get her back. What it's really about is the process of accepting loss. It's a game about mourning. It reflects some things that I had seen in my own life at that point."

Levine added that it was a third-person action game in the style of The Legend of Zelda.

"Zelda is genius, Mozart-level stuff, how you find these tools that are both useful gameplay items but also essentially keys," Levine said. "You go through a dungeon and you get the bomb. All of a sudden you look around and see the cracks all over the walls. He's seeded in all this brilliant opportunity for me! The overworld/underworld structure is brilliant."

Pictured: BioShock Infinite
Pictured: BioShock Infinite

Unfortunately, Levine says the team "quickly realized" that it wasn't the type of game that he was necessarily suited to design, so they bought the rights back and cancelled it completely.

Levine also discusses why he quit making BioShock games, his aversion to cutscenes, and the internal struggles in the series' development. You can read the full interview over at Rolling Stone.

BioShock: The Collection is available now for the PS4 and Xbox One, with the PC release unlocking through Steam on September 15 at 3 PM PT. You can see if your rig can handle the remastered collection's system requirements or watch a graphics comparison video here.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 14 comments about this story