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“Would you kindly?” and “a man chooses, a slave obeys” are both quotes from the 2007 first-person-shooter science-fiction videogame, “BioShock”.
“BioShock” is a 2007 First-Person-Shooter game set in the fictional underwater city of Rapture, in the US. It takes place in an alternate history, similar to other games like the Half-Life series. You play as “Jack”, an unwilling victim of a plane crash that stranded him near a lighthouse, which sent him to Rapture. Andrew Ryan is the game’s antagonist and creator of Rapture.
After being sent by Atlas (actually Frank Fontaine) to Andrew Ryan’s office on a mission to kill him, it is revealed by Ryan that through the duration of the game, Atlas has been mind-controlling Jack using the phrase “Would you kindly?”. Realizing that Fontaine has the upper hand, Ryan then commands Jack to kill him with a golf club. Every time Jack strikes Andrew Ryan with the club, he repeats the phrase “a man chooses, a slave obeys!”, to show that he is dying of his own will. After killing Ryan, Atlas reveals himself to be Fontaine and shuts off Ryan’s systems, and releases splicers into Ryan’s office to finish off Jack.
After BioShock’s release in 2007, the phrase became popular, being used in many forum posts and comments, mainly 4chan. The use of it on Reddit suddenly spiked in 2008. A website by the name of wouldyoukindly.com has also been opened. It primarily reviews games and upload gaming footage. After the release of BioShock, it was not uncommon to see the phrase being used a lot on gaming and tech forums.
Another first-person-shooter game, Far Cry 3, references the “Would you kindly?” phrase in one of the achievements.
Ryan’s speech which can be seen below is very popular and quite memorable.
The assassin has overcome my final line of defense, and now he plans to murder me. In the end what separates a man from a slave? Money? Power? No, a man chooses, and a slave obeys! You think you have memories. A farm; a family. An airplane. A crash. And then this place.
Was there really a family? Did that airplane crash, or, was it hijacked? Forced down, forced down by something less than a man, something bred to sleepwalk through life unless activated by a simple phrase, spoken by their kindly master. Come in. Stop, would you kindly? Would you kindly, powerful phrase. Familiar phrase? Sit, would you kindly? Stand, would you kindly? Run! Stop! Turn. Was a man sent to kill, or a slave?
A man chooses!
A slave obeys!
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