Bioshock Infinite 1999 Mode Guide

Bioshock Infinite 1999 Mode Guide by Chris Lee.

Bioshock Infinite 1999 Mode Guide

Note: You can use CTRL + F on your keyboard to find a specific section or something else quickly.

Table of Contents                                                            !-
To navigate to the different sections, simply use the shortcut key sequence to
the right of each section/subsection in whatever "find" mechanism you're using
in your browser or text editor.  Section references later on in the text ignore
the '!' so that you don't end up jumping to the middle of a random paragraph,
so always be sure you start with a '!' when jumping around.

The pattern behind shortcut key sequence is simple:  the first three letters
(more, if necessary to be unambiguous) of each related section, separated by
commas, beginning with a ! and ending with -.
How To Use This Guide   !how-

Notes on 1999 Mode      !not-

Stats and Infusions     !sta-
    Consumables             !sta,con-
    Lockpicks               !sta,loc-

Money and Upgrading     !mon-
    Totals                  !mon,tot-

Vigors              !vig-
    Possession          !vig,pos-
    Devil's Kiss        !vig,dev-
    Murder of Crows     !vig,mur-
    Bucking Bronco      !vig,buc-
    Shock Jockey        !vig,sho-
    Charge              !vig,cha-
    Undertow            !vig,und-
    Return to Sender    !vig,ret-

Weapons                 !wea-
    Pistols/Machine Guns    !wea,pis-
    Rifle/Shotgun           !wea,rif-
    Explosives              !wea,exp-
    Special                 !wea,spe-

Gear        !gea-
    Hats        !gea,hat-
    Shirts      !gea,shi-
    Pants       !gea,pan-
    Boots       !gea,boo-

Strategies      !str-
    General         !str,gen-
    AI Quirks       !str,aiq-
    Firemen         !str,fir-
    Patriots        !str,pat-
    Handymen        !str,han-
    Lady Comstock   !str,lad-
    Final Fight     !str,fin-

Bestiary        !bes-
    Normal          !bes,nor-
    Automatons      !bes,aut-
    Heavy Hitters   !bes,hea-
    Special         !bes,spe-

Appendix            !app-
    Special Thanks      !app,spe-
    History             !app,his-
    Other Guides        !app,oth-

How To Use This Guide                                                     !how-
This guide serves two purposes.  One, to discuss various weapons, vigors, and
gear in a rigorous way.  Second, relatedly, to discuss all of this from the
perspective of 1999 Mode, which is by far a challenge worthy of its name.

What this guide is not:  a walkthrough.  If you want a walkthrough, there are
plenty of resources for that.  If however, you want to see the various merits
of various aspects of Bioshock Infinite's gameplay analyzed, all within a
helpful context of beating 1999 Mode (with the no-Dollar Bill achievement),
then you're at the right place.

NOTE:  this guide is written taking into without any of the
pre-order/collector's edition extra content taken into account.

If you have any tips, feedback, or corrections, feel free to contact me.  As
people who have contacted me on other guides know, I try to respond to any
correspondence, and I will take seriously any suggestions you may have to
offer.  Simply toss me an email at (with the subject beginning "Bioshock
Infinite guide"):
    [email protected]
WITHOUT the underscores (that's just to prevent auto-parsers from grabbing my
email for spam purposes).

Notes on 1999 Mode                                                        !not-
In case you aren't aware about 1999 Mode, you can either unlock it by beating
the game, or by starting a new game and--when selecting a difficulty--entering
the Konami Code:
    up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, [cancel], [confirm]
Though, if you haven't beaten the game yet, I highly recommend doing that first
before doing 1999 Mode.  It'll give you a lot of advanced metagame knowledge
for your second time around.  Plus, doing so will let you enjoy the
mind-blowing narrative of Bioshock Infinite without making you pound your head
into a wall in frustration.

The following changes take place when in 1999 Mode:
    - All damage you take from enemies is doubled.
    - All damage you deal is halved.*
    - Death costs $100, versus $50 on hard and $25 on medium.
    - Enemies revive almost to full health upon your death (versus limited
      levels at lower difficulties.)
    - If you don't have enough money to cover death, you are bumped back to the
      main menu.
    - It takes 4 seconds before your shield starts to regenerate, versus 3
      seconds on hard and 2 seconds on medium.
    - Your shield regenerates at a rate of 16.67% per second (or 100% over 6
      seconds), versus 20%/sec on hard and 25%/sec on medium.
    - There appear to be fewer checkpoint restart points.
    - Navigation arrow is turned off.
    - Aim assistance is turned off.
    - Enemies drop loot less commonly and in smaller amounts (for ammo and $).

* All damage numbers listed throughout the guide are their values for 1999
Mode and so already take into account the 50% penalty.

Because enemies hit you much harder (and there are fewer reload checkpoints
while death is much more expensive), strategy in 1999 Mode revolves around
being more evasive and keeping distance between you and your foes.  As such, a
lot of the analysis in this guide is centered around this central strategy.

Stats and Infusions                                                       !sta-
There are 24 Infusions (not counting the one special Infusion that gives you
the Shield), and each of your stats--Health, Shield, Salts--can be upgraded ten
times (for a * rating).

I only have rough estimates about Health and Shield details, based purely on
getting myself hit repeatedly by enemies (for the sake of SCIENCE!).  It
appears your Health starts at 1500 points and increases by 225 per Infusion.
Your Shield starts at 300 points and increase by 45 per Infusion.  Simply
looking at those numbers it appears Health, pound for pound, is a better choice
for Infusion for maximum survivability, but Shield regenerates without the need
for consumables which means each point of Shield has greater impact.  In
reality, you need closer to a balance; without investing in Shield, you will
have next-to-no-capacity to shrug off incidental damage in combat.  Without
investing in Health, you will have no way of surviving massive single-hit
attacks (like a Handyman's ramming attack or a sniper's shot).

In contrast to my estimates, I am 99% certain that my numbers on Salt are
accurate, based on doing some math and induction.  Your maximum Salts start at
100, and each upgrade increases that by 15, up to a potential maximum of 250.
In contrast to Health and Shield, Salts are less fundamental to your survival
in 1999 Mode, though the ability to regularly use disabling Vigors can extend
your life in a way simple Health/Shield cannot.

Compared to lower difficulties, in 1999 Mode (and to a lesser extent in Hard)
you should invest in Health/Shield a bit more aggressively early on.  It so
significantly helps your survivability that you should wait until you upgrade
them twice each before pursuing any specific Infusion specialization related to
your particular playstyle.  Due to the way stat upgrades work, low-level
upgrades are proportionally more important than high-level upgrades anyway.  To
use Salt as an example, going from 9 to * is 235 to 250, or a 6.4% increase.
By comparison, going from 0 to 1 is a 15% increase, more than twice as
effective.  So you want to get all your survivability stats up a point or two
just to maximize your early benefit.
Consumables                                                           !sta,con-

From what I can ascertain, consumable goods restore a _percentage_ of your
total Health or Salts instead of a fixed absolute number.  This is even though
Salt vials in particular state that they bestow +25, +50, or +100 Salt whereas
Health Kits explicitly state a percentage (e.g. 20/80%).  In reality, the
various Salt vials restore 25%, 50%, and 100% of your total Salts.

This percentage-based restoration includes Cigarettes and--as far as I can
tell--miscellaneous food like Oranges and Popcorn.  The only downside is that I
believe the _cost_ of using things like Alcohol (which drains Salt) and
Cigarettes (which drains Health) is also a percentage, however minor.  The only
exception to the percentage-based-recovery-rule is when you try to drink a
Vigor that you already have; you get back a fixed amount of Salt (50) instead
of restoring a percentage of your total Salts.

In particular, infusing your way to max Salts pays significant dividends;
smoking a Cigarette won't do much when you have 0 infusions in Salt, but
smoking a Cigarette when you have * in Salt will give you an extra blast of a
Shock Jockey.
Lockpicks                                                             !sta,loc-

In general, judicious exploration means you will be flush with lockpicks for
much of the game.  However, this is _not_ true for the part of the game before
you take the elevator down from the Fink Worker Induction Center.  There are
many safes and locked doors leading up to that moment and you will barely have
enough lockpicks to open them all; plus, once you hit a plot point after going
down the elevator, you won't even be able to backtrack up to the Worker
Induction Center which itself contains several locks.  It's absolutely crucial
that you are particularly judicious about exploring areas for lockpicks, inch
by inch up until this point, because otherwise you are missing out on infusions
and hundreds of Silver Eagles.

Some further notes:
    - There are enough lockpicks to open every safe and door in the game
      without needing to buy any from a Dollar Bill, though you may have to do
      a bit of backtracking.
    - You cannot backtrack past certain points in the game.  Notably, you
      cannot backtrack past these early points:
        1.  Boarding the Gondola from Soldier's Field.
        2.  After trying to chase Elizabeth from Fort Franklin Pier.
        3.  Shortly after taking the elevator down into Finkton from the Worker
            Induction Center.
        4.  Opening the tear in Fink's holding cells.
      As a result, it is _absolutely imperative_ that you fully explore areas
      before you get to these points of no return.  Not only will you find
      enough lockpicks to open everything prior to these points of no return,
      but you will also find lockpicks that you don't need immediately but are
      necessary for opening everything in future areas.

      Note that right after #2, you will see a Dollar Bill vending machine
      that sells lockpicks.  If you're really desperate (and not going for the
      Scavenger Hunt achievement), you can drop $100 or so to open the locks in
      the Worker Induction Center.

Additionally, here are some lockpick counts (so you can be sure you have picked
up all you need):
    1.  Soldier's Field:  +6 lockpicks -1 door -5 safe = no net.
    2.  Hall of Heroes:  +17 lockpicks -1 door -3 door -10 safe = +2 net.
    3.  Return to Soldier's Field:  +4 lockpicks = +4 net (6 total).
    4.  Lady's Airship:  +1 lockpick = +1 net (7 total).
    5.  Finkton Docks:  +2 lockpicks = +2 net (9 total).
    6.  Fort Franklin Pier:  -5 lockpicks = -5 net (4 total)
    7.  Worker Induction Center:  +5 lockpicks -5 door -1 safe = -1 net (3
    8.  Finkton:  +4 lockpicks -1 door = +3 net (6 total).
After your first arrival in Finkton you will be generally flush with lockpicks,
so don't worry too much about it after that.

Money and Upgrading                                                       !mon-
Compared to many other modern action-RPGs, you don't have a special
"experience" stat, some kind of skill tree, or anything like the original
Bioshock's "Adam", so you may think you are pretty unlimited in your character
development as both equipment and character upgrades are purchased with
currency (Silver Eagles).

However, in 1999 Mode, Silver Eagles are so much rarer than in earlier
difficulties that you are _forced_ to specialize, since you can't possibly
afford even a majority of upgrades at your disposal.  In fact, if you aren't
pursuing the no-Dollar Bill achievement, you actually have an interesting
tension between upgrading your character or outfitting him with ammo/health
kits/salt vials since all come from the same finite pool.

(I say finite, because while enemies can drop $ and Elizabeth can toss you $,
enemies very rarely drop $ and only in limited quantities in 1999 Mode, enemies
generally do not respawn, and Elizabeth's $-tossing seems significantly
dependent on you actually looting and buying things.  As a result, $ as a
function of time reveals that there there is an asymptotic limit on the total
supply of Silver Eagles in 1999 Mode.)

By looking at my most recent character and reversing his upgrades, I can say
that just as you reach the Roof of Comstock's House, you will have accumulated
about $13,000; by the time you are about to do the final battle, you will
have earned an additional $1,000.  However, these numbers are based on several
    - You never die (each death costs you a whopping $100).
    - You possess every vending machine (which causes them to cough up between
      $1 and $30 a piece).
    - You crack open _every_ locked door and safe (safes generally contain $100
      to $300).
    - You do not buy _anything_ at a Dollar Bill vending machine.
If you are planning on being less aggressive with using Possession on vending
machines, I would say that $11,500 is a safe target to use for determining
whether or not you can afford upgrades.  If you want to leave some buffer room
for deaths, a target of $9,500 will let you die up to 20 times without being
derailed.  If on top of that you want to leave yourself an allowance to buy
health/salt/ammunition at a Dollar Bill, reduce that target to $8,750.

NOTE:  I do realize that there are a few big fights left after the Roof of
Comstock's House so using that as the goalpoint may seem odd, but the point of
planning ahead is to make sure you hit the peak of your character's power while
there are still fights left to fight.  Plus, the last fight is _super_ hard, so
I would leave buffer room in your checking account so you can take a few deaths
(or use the Dollar Bill vending machine) without being bumped back to the main
menu in failure.

NOTE 2:  Because dying in 1999 Mode is super expensive (losing $100 in addition
to your enemies being healed to virtually full health), I recommend simply
reloading your game from the last checkpoint instead of eating the death.
However, this can be pretty frustrating for some areas and fights (notably Lady
Comstock), so feel free to just build in the buffer room for several deaths
throughout the course of your adventure.
Totals                                                                !mon,tot-

For ease of calculation, here are all the totals for upgrading.

    Total available by Comstock House Roof:         $13,000
    Total available by final fight (see note 1):    $14,000

    Penalty for not possessing vending machines:   ($ 1,500)
    Penalty for dying up to 20 times*:             ($ 2,000)
    Allowance for Dollar Bill spending*:           ($   750)

    * adjust to your needs, but leave yourself some wiggle room.

    Vigors                              Weapons
        Possession          $1,703+         Pistol              $1,077*^
        Devil's Kiss        $1,907*         Machine Gun         $1,375*^
        Murder of Crows     $2,030          Hand Cannon         $1,902
        Bucking Bronco      $1,198          Repeater            $1,694
        Shock Jockey        $1,840          Shotgun             $1,332
        Charge              $2,169          Carbine             $1,594
        Undertow            $1,449          Sniper Rifle        $1,640+
        Return to Sender    $2,185          Heater              $1,778
                                            Burstgun            $2,340^
                                            RPG                 $1,919
                                            Volley Gun          $2,320
                                            Hail Fire           $1,502^
    + Recommended.
    * Not recommended.
    ^ See note 2.

Note 1:  There aren't upgrade vending machines in the final fight, so you'll
have to stay on the lower levels of the airship and use the vending machines
before you climb to the 4th floor (people who have played the game previously
will know what I'm talking about).

Note 2:  Some weapons are rather inefficient in terms of net potential damage
for their reserve size.  As such, if you want to specialize in these weapons,
you may want to leave a Dollar Bill budget leeway for buying ammo.

Vigors                                                                    !vig-
With the exception of Devil's Kiss, the various Vigors are generally
well-balanced enough that none stand out as the "best," though there are
relative "tiers" of quality.  In general though, rather than basing your
character solely on what tier a Vigor is, you should really focus on matching
your playstyle.  After all, there's no point in heavily investing in and using
Possession if you just can't get the aiming/trapping quite right.

The following tier list assumes you fully upgrade the Vigors in question.  Also
note that even a bottom-tier Vigor like Devil's Kiss is still incredibly useful
in certain fights, so every Vigor can shine given a certain situation.
    Top Tier:  Possession, Murder of Crows, Return to Sender
    Middle Tier:  Bucking Bronco, Charge, Shock Jockey, Undertow
    Bottom Tier:  Devil's Kiss

In case it isn't obvious, Vigors--aside from Return to Sender--can also be
"combo"-ed to produce substantially superior effects.  To do a combo, you need
to use two Vigors in a specific order; I highlight the various combos available
for each Vigors.  The complete list is as follows (ordered by how early on you
can use them):
    1.  Possession + Devil's Kiss
    2.  Murder of Crows + Devil's Kiss
    3.  Possession + Shock Jockey
    4.  Murder of Crows + Shock Jockey
    5.  Bucking Bronco + Devil's Kiss (or vice versa)
    6.  Bucking Bronco + Charge
    7.  Devil's Kiss + Charge
    8.  Shock Jockey + Undertow (or vice versa)

I also provide all Silver Eagle upgrade costs, so you can help plan in advance
what Vigors you will be able to afford (see section mon- for specific $

The Vigors below are listed in the order in which you find them.
Possession                                                            !vig,pos-

Tier:  Top
Total Upgrade Cost:  $1,703

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  50
    Duration:  10 seconds
    Effect:  an automaton becomes your ally for the duration.  Patriots are
        only affected for half as long.  If you target a vending machine, it
        will drop a varying amount of Silver Eagles, though each vending
        machine can only be affected once.

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  100
    Duration:  20 seconds
    Effect:  sets a trap.  When triggered, all in the explosion are affected by
        Possession (though see footnote *).  Note that you need the "Possession
        Aid" upgrade before you can do this alternate effect.

    "Possession Aid"
        Cost:  $50
        Effect:  humanoids are also affected; at the end of the effect,
            humanoids kill themselves.  Firemen and Crows are only affected for
            half duration and do not suicide at the end.  Also unlocks the
            alternate effect.
        Location:  You can get this from the first Vigor vending machine you

    "Possession For Less"
        Cost:  $1,653
        Effect:  halves the Salt cost to 25 for the primary effect and 50 for
            the alternate effect.
        Location:  Hall of Heroes before fighting Slate.

    Shock Jockey:  Possess a target and then hit them with a Shock Jockey.
        They will become a mobile Tesla Coil, periodically electrocuting (as
        per Shock Jockey) every target in range, stunning them and making them
        vulnerable.  In case it isn't clear, you can affect Patriots, too (a
        Patriot that is electrocuting nearby enemies will clear out a room
        quite quickly).
    Devil's Kiss:  Possess a target and then hit them with Devil's Kiss.  They
        will emanate waves of fire, igniting everything in range and doing
        periodic damage/disruption, though at a much closer range than the
        Shock Jocky combo.

    Bucking Bronco and Possession do not mix well; the former will just waste
    the duration of the latter.

Footnote *
    You can only possess one target at a time.  If you possess a second target,
    the effect on the first target immediately ends.  If the first target was a
    non-heavy-hitter human, they immediately kill themselves.  This has the
    ramification that if you set a Possession trap and multiple humans trigger
    it, all but one will immediately suicide, and the survivor will be your
    ally until he or she kills themself at the end of the effect.
    Unfortunately, it's rather hard to predict who will be your ally and who
    will suicide.

    My personal favorite; immensely useful.  Long story short: Possession gives
    you dramatically increased survivability and a lot of ways to turn the
    tides of battle against your foes, in addition to having an incredible
    auxiliary use.
        At its basic level, if you have the Salt to spare, this Vigor is a
    money-maker, responsible for a non-trivial amount of the total $ available
    for your character-building.  Early on, this also lets you transform those
    early turrets (which are a bit too strong for being so early in the game)
    into valuable assets.
        The first upgrade is an amazing value proposition; for $50 you unlock
    the ability to insta-kill any non-heavy-hitting human, in addition to
    gaining an ally for a few seconds.  And while in effect, your
    enemies will want to attack your new ally, and any bullet/explosive that
    isn't going towards you is a Good Thing(tm).  For $50 you also unlock the
    trap alternate effect; the trap is very effective when you can anticipate
    an ambush or strike first.  For example, when you enter the "chapel" area
    of the Fraternal Order of the Raven, if look down from the balcony you can
    see around 6 enemies arranged around a podium.  Drop a trap in the middle
    of them, and you will instantly kill most of them, and whoever is missed
    will be slaughtered by your ally.
        Even if you aren't in a position to get more than one target at a time,
    the trap is still effective to use if only just for the extra duration.
    This is especially true for heavy-hitters, who are only possessed for half
    the normal duration and also the most likely to survive the entire duration
    without being killed by their (former) allies.  They will generally waste
    most of the default 5 second duration just standing up/getting into
    position; the additional 5 seconds from the trap effect can mean them
    wreaking much more than twice the havoc, especially if you've trapped a
    slow-moving Patriot.
        On top of all this, Possession combos _extremely_ well.  Hitting your
    possessed ally with Shock Jockey is an immensely powerful effect.  You can
    follow behind and clean up all the vulnerable enemies; your ally also gains
    a damage bonus against the zapped foes.  Moreover, the electrocution effect
    is near-constant, so even if you aren't able to finish off a vulnerable
    foe, your ally will most likely re-shock them immediately.  Hitting your
    ally with Devil's Kiss gives you a mobile firestorm.  Unfortunately, the
    range of this effect isn't as nice as the Shock Jockey combo, so you're
    best suited using this on an enemy who is likely to charge against your
    foes (generally someone wielding a bat or a shotgun).  Moreover, nothing is
    stopping you from doing _both_ combos on the same ally.  You can easily
    clear a room with one ally running around shooting, electrocuting, and
    burning enemies.
        Unfortunately, unless you get the "Possession For Less" upgrade,
    Possession is _so_ expensive to use that even with maximum Salt infusions,
    you will only be able to use the trap effect twice.  In fact, even if you
    just use the primary effect, 50 Salt is a steep price even for an effective
    insta-kill (especially if you end up missing).  This means that whereas all
    other Vigors are pretty much useable right off the bat, if you want to make
    any significant use out of this Vigor you _have_ to plan on spending the
    $1,653 upgrade.  Note that if you're only planning on using this to squeeze
    change from vending machines, the upgrade may not be worth it, since I'm
    not sure you actually end up making back the $1653 up-front cost.  On the
    other hand, if you _do_ plan on aggressively using Possession, then the
    ability to readily possess vending machines helps defray the cost of this
    necessary upgrade.

Special Note
    The projectile for Possession tries to home in on targets.  While generally
    helpful, this homing does mean you need to give a little breathing room
    when you launch it, as otherwise your projectile might immediately try to
    curve towards someone but then run into a doorway.
Devil's Kiss                                                          !vig,dev-

Tier:  Bottom
Total Upgrade Cost:  $1,907

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  23
    Damage:  250 over 3 seconds.
    Damage (Oil Slick): ~200 per second.
    Effect: tosses a fire grenade which sets enemies (and oil slicks) within
        the area of effect aflame.  Burning enemies are very briefly vulnerable
        and may be distracted.

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  46
    Damage:  1,050 over 5 seconds.
    Damage (Oil Slick):  ~200 per second.
    Effect:  sets a trap.  When triggered, all in the explosion are set aflame.
        Burning enemies are very briefly vulnerable and may be distracted.

    "Devil's Kiss Mod"
        Cost:  $1,241
        Effect:  after the initial explosion, smaller fire grenades are
            expelled, which also explode for damage.
        Location:  Pretty much any vending machine after the Possession Aid one
            (earliest is in Monument Island).

    "Devil's Kiss Boost"
        Cost:  $666
        Effect:  increases the damage done.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Finkton Docks.

    Possession:  Possess a target and then hit them with Devil's Kiss.  They
        will emanate waves of fire, igniting everything in range and doing
        periodic damage/disruption.
    Murder of Crows:  Hit a target with Murder of Crows and then Devil's
        Kiss.  All the crows will catch fire, dealing extra damage.
    Bucking Bronco:  Lift someone up with Bucking Bronco and then hit them with
        Devil's Kiss OR hit someone with Devil's Kiss and then lift them with
        Bucking Bronco.  The lifted enemy will drop smaller grenades.
    Charge: Hit a target with Devil's Kiss, then Charge them.  They will
        expel little grenades that explode at close range.

    Devil's Kiss is much more effective on lower difficulties, where the
    damage-to-Salt ratio is much better.  As it stands, by the end of the game,
    even with the two upgrades, you will still have a hard time effectively
    clearing out areas.  This is made worse by the fact that Devil's Kiss has a
    limited parabolic trajectory, so it's not well suited for dispatching far
    away foes (a necessity for 1999 Mode).
        That being said, Devil's Kiss still has some situational effectiveness.
    First, it's an incredibly cost-effective solution early on in the game for
    dispatching Turrets and small groups of enemies (versus dying or using up
    lots of precious ammo).  It also adds an extra source of damage against
    early-game Patriots.
        Second, Devil's Kiss combos quite well.  Possession followed up by
    Devil's Kiss gives you a mobile firestorm, and is a great way to make
    charge-prone melee users and shotgun wielders sow mayhem amongst enemy
    ranks.  Devil's Kiss with a Charge can quickly punish clusters of enemies,
    and works great if you've also upgraded Charge and are wielding a
    high-impact close range weapon like a Heater.  Crows followed by Devil's
    Kiss is a great way to layer on additional damage, especially later in the
    game when you need more than one shot of Crows by itself to take down
    enemies.  Bucking Bronco with Devil's Kiss is like a merge between the
    Crows combo and the Charge combo, giving you the effect of a disable but
    also wide damage.
        Finally, the trap is still passable, even unupgraded.  If you are
    anticipating an ambush (and if you've played through the game before, you
    should know when to expect them), you can pre-emptively clear the room by
    dropping a few traps.
Murder of Crows                                                       !vig,mur-

Tier:  Top
Total Upgrade Cost:  $2,030

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  28
    Damage/Stun Duration:  30 over ~4 seconds.
    Effect:  launches crows that, upon hitting a wall or enemy, start pecking
        away at enemies nearby, doing minor damage and rendering them

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  56
    Damage/Stun Duration:  150 over ~9 seconds.
    Effect:  sets a trap.  When triggered, crows launch out at everyone neaby,
        doing minor damage and rending them vulnerable.

    "Crows Trap Mod"
        Cost:  $1,485
        Effect:  anyone who dies while under the effects of Murder of Crows
            turns into a Murder of Crows Trap.
        Location:  Pretty much any vending machine after the Possession Aid one
            (earliest is in Monument Island).

    "Crows Boost"
        Cost:  $545
        Effect:  increases the stun duration by a few seconds.
        Location:  vending machines starting with the Factory.

    Devil's Kiss:  Hit a target with Murder of Crows and then Devil's Kiss.
        All the crows will catch fire, dealing extra damage.
    Shock Jockey:  Hit a target with Murder of Crows and then Shock Jockey.
        All the crows become electrified.  I, uh, don't know what this really
        does (aside from interacting with water spills), but it is counted as a
        combo by the game.  Just from my own experience using this on Handymen,
        I believe it might increase the amount of damage the crows do.

    Don't pay much mind to the damage numbers, the damage efficiency per Salt
    is too low to really pay it much heed.  What Murder of Crows is good at
    though, is mass disable/vulnerability.  In fact, unless you upgrade Shock
    Jockey or Bucking Bronco, Murder of Crows is really the only mass disable
    Vigor in the game; Bucking Bronco _can_ affect more than one enemy at a
    time, but the flotation effect is harder to really take advantage of.
        Where Murder of Crows really gets bonkers is with the "Crows Trap"
    upgrade.  Getting enemies to die while having crows on them is not that
    hard for most of the game, since while vulnerable they're taking twice as
    much damage.  So with one well-aimed blast of crows and follow up attack,
    you can quickly disable an entire battlefield and continue to produce more
    traps to disable new entrants or existing, tougher entrants.  The sheer
    Salt efficiency of this mayhem cannot be understated.  Combo this with
    Devil's Kiss and you can spread massive mayhem and damage (Shock Jockey to
    a lesser extent, if only I more clearly understood its use case).
        Murder of Crows also has the special distinction of being one of two
    disabling Vigors that has full effect on Handymen; the other is
    Undertow and Murder of Crows is more efficient (costing a little bit less
    Salt, but lasting potentially much longer with the Crows Boost upgrade).
    Don't bother trying to combo with it though since you probably want to
    spend those previous few seconds trying to shoot the Handyman in the heart
    rather than aiming and launching another Vigor.  Automatons are immune to
    Murder of Crows otherwise.
        The one drawback to Murder of Crows is that its range is limited and
    the crows as a projectile fly slower than, say, Bucking Bronco or Shock
Bucking Bronco                                                        !vig,buc-

Tier:  Middle
Total Upgrade Cost:  $1,198

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  15
    Duration:  ~3 seconds.
    Effect:  creates a wave of force that lifts (human) enemies up into the
        air, rendering them vulnerable and able to be knocked around.  Armored
        enemies become easy to hit for full damage.

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  30
    Duration:  ~6 seconds.
    Effect:  sets a trap.  When triggered, all nearby (human) enemies are
        launched into the air.  Armored enemies become easy to hit for full

    "Bronco Mod"
        Cost:  $777
        Effect:  the flotation effect can chain to nearby enemies.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Finkton Docks.

    "Bronco Boost"
        Cost:  $421
        Effect:  increases the flotation duration by a significant amount of
        Location:  vending machines starting with the Factory.

    Devil's Kiss:  Lift someone up with Bucking Bronco and then hit them with
        Devil's Kiss OR hit someone with Devil's Kiss and then lift them with
        Bucking Bronco.  The lifted enemy will drop smaller grenades.
    Charge:  Lift someone up with Bucking Bronco and then Charge them.  They
        will go flying far away, though the main use for this combo is to
        propel someone over railings for an instant death.

    Bucking Bronco and Possession do not mix well; the former will just waste
    the duration of the latter.

    Bucking Bronco's primary strength is that it's the most Salt-effective
    disabling effect for much of the game (in addition to being really cheap to
    fully upgrade).  Enemies that are launched in the air also move around
    depending on how you shoot them.  This is a double-edged sword; on the one
    hand, if the enemy is spinning around, it becomes hard to land critical
    hits; in fact, if you like using critical-hit-friendly weapons like
    carbines or hand cannons, you may hate Bucking Bronco.  On the other hand,
    if the enemy is near a railing, a few solid hits or a single whack with
    your sky-hook could be enough to knock them over the edge for an
        Moreover, against armored enemies (who are wearing some kind of helmet)
    Murder of Crows and Shock Jockey will stun them and make them vulnerable,
    but you still be having to deal with their heavy armor (so you will be
    doing twice damage but your base damage will still be very low).  With
    Bucking Bronco on the other hand, perhaps because of the way they are
    twirling in the air, you will easily hit armored enemies for full damage,
    making them much easier to dispatch.
        However, Bucking Bronco is held back by the fact that it cannot affect
    Patriots or Handymen (whereas Shock Jockey and Murder of Crows respectively
    do).  It _can_ lift enemies who are hiding behind cover, but not ones
    hiding behind walls.
        Chaining the area of effect is a modest upgrade; even with heavy use
    you won't see too much benefit compared to Shock Jockey's chain benefit (in
    part this is because Bucking Bronco could already affect more than one
    enemy if they were close together).  The "Bronco Boost" upgrade is quite
    good, however, being very $ efficient and disabling enemies for a very long
        The combos are decent if situational.  Enemies need to be clustered
    together for you to really take advantage of comboing with Devil's Kiss.
    Bucking Bronco and then Charge is alright, but eventually Undertow
    obsoletes this except in the most extreme of cases (where the enemy is very
    far from the railing).  The benefit to comboing with Charge over simply
    using Undertow though, is that you could theoretically give yourself some
    breathing room (from the lift), insta-kill a heavy-hitter (by ramming them
    off the map), and recharge your shield (from a Charge upgrade), all in a
    quick coordinated move.
Shock Jockey                                                          !vig,sho-

Tier:  Middle
Total Upgrade Cost:  $1,840

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  16
    Damage:  ~25 (~1000 for wet targets, ~200 per second for Undertow-launched
        targets, see Undertow Combo below.)
    Stun Duration:  ~3 seconds.
    Effect:  shoots out a bolt of electricity.  If it hits an enemy, it does
        minor damage and stuns them, which makes them vulnerable.  If it hits
        water (or hits an enemy in water), significant damage is dealt to
        everyone touching the water.  If it hits a power conduit, a door is
        opened (though these doors are only in Hall of Heroes and Soldier's

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  32
    Damage:  ~50 over time (~1000 for wet targets, ~200 per second for
        Undertow-launched targets, see Undertow Combo below.)
    Stun Duration:  ~4 seconds.
    Explosion Damage:  ~300
    Effect:  launches a crystal, which upon hitting a surface shatters.  The
        shrapnel grows into several full-size crystals and then every crystal
        is connected by arcing electricity.  If an enemy touches the
        electricity or a crystal, a crystal shatters and they are electrocuted
        and stunned.  You can also manually destroy a crystal that's been set
        near an enemy by firing at it, which will cause an explosion that deals

    "Shock Chain Aid"
        Cost:  $1,265
        Effect:  if the electricity hits an enemy, it arcs to nearby targets as
        Location:  vending machines starting with the Factory.

    "Shock Duration Aid"
        Cost:  $575
        Effect:  increases the stun duration by a few seconds.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Downtown Emporia.

    Possession:  Possess a target and then hit them with a Shock Jockey.  They
        will become a mobile Tesla Coil, periodically electrocuting (as per
        Shock Jockey) every target in range, stunning them and making them
    Murder of Crows:  Hit a target with Murder of Crows and then Shock Jockey.
        All the crows become electrified.  I, uh, don't know what this really
        does (aside from interacting with water spills), but it is counted as a
        combo by the game.  Just from my own experience using this on Handymen,
        I believe it might increase the amount of damage the crows do.
    Undertow:  Electrocute a target with Shock Jockey and then hit them with
        Undertow.  The target takes a significant amount of damage until the
        Undertow effect wears off (about 200 damage per second).
        Alternatively, use Undertow's alternate effect to bring a foe to you,
        then hit them with Shock Jockey for either an immediate electrical
        execution (if their health was low enough) or ~200 damage per second.

    For a while Shock Jockey stands behind Murder of Crows and Bucking Bronco
    as a disabling Vigor since it can only affect one target.  However, it
    possesses a bunch of nice utility and auxiliary uses that helps make it its
        For one, Shock Jockey finally provides you a decent answer to
    automatons, disabling and rendering them vulnerable for a significant
    amount of time.
        For two, Shock Jockey becomes ultra-efficient damage if you can hit
    someone in water.  Not terribly common, but there are a couple of water
    spill hazards (either as part of a level or via a Tear) that you can take
    advantage of.
        For three, Shock Jockey's alternate effect is very different from the
    other disabling Vigors, whose alternate effects are basically just slightly
    bigger triggered versions of the primary effect.  Instead, you basically
    are able to do territorial control; each use sets up a way to thwart anyone
    who would try to charge you, even if it's the Fireman doing his otherwise
    unstoppable suicide dash.  In fact, if you like to sit back and snipe away
    at enemies, one way to protect yourself from charges and being flanked is
    to set up a network of crystals near you.  Not only will it halt enemies in
    their tracks, but if you have Combat Text enabled you will be alerted by
    their presence by a sudden string of numbers appearing on your screen.
        For four, Shock Jockey comboes very well (even if I'm not positive on
    what Murder of Crows + Shock Jockey does); see the earlier Vigor sections
    for more discussion.
        "Shock Chain Aid" is almost mandatory if you plan on regularly using
    this Vigor.  The upgrade takes away its major drawback, its lack of area of
    effect.  In fact, with the upgrade, Shock Jockey's efficiency becomes on
    par with the super-efficient Bucking Bronco.
Charge                                                                !vig,cha-

Tier:  Middle
Total Upgrade Cost:  $2,169

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  25
    Damage:  175
    Effect:  instantly launches you at a target, doing impact damage and
        briefly disrupting them, making them vulnerable.  Not all enemies are
        vulnerable to being stunned (notably Handymen are immune).

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  25
    Damage:  350
    Effect:  launches you at a target, doing impact damage and briefly
        disrupting them, making them vulnerable.  Not all enemies are
        vulnerable to being stunned (notably Handymen are immune).

    "Charge Aid"
        Cost:  $1,614
        Effect:  upon impact, you become very briefly invulnerable and your
            shield immediately starts recharging.
        Location:  vending machines starting with the Factory.

    "Charge Boost"
        Cost:  $555
        Effect:  upon impact, you create a small explosion that adds ~100
            damage or so.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Downtown Emporia.

    Devil's Kiss:  Hit a target with Devil's Kiss, then Charge them.  They will
        expel little grenades that explode at close range.
    Charge:  Lift someone up with Bucking Bronco and then Charge them.  They
        will go flying far away, though the main use for this combo is to
        propel someone over the railing for an instant death.

    Charge's power curve over the course of the game is shaped like the letter
    U.  Very high power early on, when you can sometimes straight out kill
    enemies with a Charge and a follow up attack.  Then Charge's power level
    drops when Charging becomes suicidal--appearing right next to several
    enemies who can all hit you is a surefire way to losing $100.  Once you get
    at least the Charge Aid upgrade, the power curve climbs up again as now
    Charge is both an offensive and survival move.
        In fact, even with the "Charge Boost" upgrade and some serious
    close-range upgrades (a fully upgraded Heater for example), I would venture
    to say that Charge becomes mostly useful as a quick survival/travel Vigor.
    Really tough enemies in the end game are enormously resilient, so you
    should never truly anticipate being able to dispatch your target.  Instead,
    use it to give yourself a brief reprieve, recharge your shield, and have a
    follow up Vigor ready (even if just to Charge away from the situation
    towards a different foe).
Undertow                                                              !vig,und-

Tier:  Middle
Total Upgrade Cost:  $1,449

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  31
    Damage:  incidental damage from hitting obstacles.
    Special Damage:  Patriots take ~200 damage per second for the stun
        duration.  Turrets take ~80 damage per second for the stun duration.
        Handymen take a reduced amount of damage per second for the stun
        duration, but are not stunned.
    Stun:  3 seconds; for humanoids this is the time while they are being
        launched and standing back up, for automatons this is the total time
        (as they are not launched back).
    Effect:  shoots a gush of water which knocks enemies back about 20 feet
        (~6 meters).  Moving your aim very quickly when you trigger the
        effect can let you affect enemies in a wider cone than just directly in
        front of you.  Enemies are briefly vulnerable while they stand up
        again, though some enemies are immune to being knocked back.

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  31
    Damage:  ~50 from the impact.
    Special Damage:  Patriots take ~200 damage per second for the stun
        duration.  Turrets are immune to the alternate effect.  Handymen take a
        reduced amount of damage from the impact and are _fully_ stunned
        (unlike the primary effect).
    Stun:  3 seconds (uniform across vulnerable targets).
    Effect:  holding the button down creates a watery tentacle that
        auto-targets a faraway target.  Upon releasing, the tentacle pulls in
        the enemy to be right next to you, doing some damage from collision
        with the ground and briefly incapacitating them, making them

    "Undertow Aid"
        Cost:  $306
        Effect:  lets you grab up to two additional enemies with the alternate
            effect; while holding down the "use Vigor" button, sweep your
            targetting reticule over the additional targets you want to grab.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Emporia.

    "Undertow Boost"
        Cost:  $1,143
        Effect:  doubles the range of both the primary and alternate effects.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Downtown Emporia.

    Shock Jockey:  Electrocute a target with Shock Jockey and then hit them
        with Undertow.  The target takes a significant amount of damage until
        the Undertow effect wears off (about 200 damage per second).
        Alternatively, use Undertow's alternate effect to bring a foe to you,
        then hit them with Shock Jockey for either an immediate electrical
        execution (if their health was low enough) or ~200 damage per second.

    Previously I considered Undertow to be rather underpowered for 1999 Mode.
    Now that I realized (through some experimentation) that the alternate
    effect of Undertow does _not_ cost 62 Salt, I have to say that this is a
    serviceable Vigor with several situational use cases where it shines
        The disabling effect from the primary mode is incredibly weak for its
    cost; instead, it relies almost solely on situational use cases to shine:
    when your targets are near a railing or when you are fighting a Patriot or
    Automaton.  It's not that common when you're in these situations, but
    Undertow really shines when you do come across them.
        The alternate effect, however, can be a bit suicidal if you're not
    careful.  Much of your 1999 Mode survival depends on evasion and range, not
    by trying to do as much damage as possible at point-blank range.  Pulling
    in a far away target to close quarters is potentially a way to screw
    yourself over, as even a sniper can hit you with the butt of their gun for
    significant damage (wiping out your shield and part of your health).
    Instead, be prepared; even after you see the tell-tale watery tentacle that
    indicates you've hooked an enemy, you can still move around so long as you
    don't exceed the maximum range.  Thus, you can move next to a railing, move
    out of the way, etc.  Be sure to have something ready, whether another
    blast of Undertow to blow them off the edge of the map, a Shock Jockey to
    electrocute them, a Possession trap, a shot from a heater, etc...  However,
    you have to be careful; while you are trying to grab foes (especially if
    you're trying to grab multiple foes with the Undertow Aid upgrade) you are
    exposing yourself to danger.
        The alternate effect is also 100% effective against Handymen
    and--unlike Murder of Crows--the Handyman is stationary while stunned,
    making him a prime target for critical hits in the heart, an easy way to
    get the Heartbreaker achievement.  The stun won't last as long as Murder of
    Crows, but then again for only 3 more Salt (31 versus 28) you may be
    getting a lot more damage out of it, especially with a high-critical hit
    damage setup.
        In certain fights, you can also use the alternate effect to move foes
    into a position where they don't really pose a threat, such as pulling a
    Patriot onto a ledge at the edge of the battlefield or a Fireman next to a
    Tesla Coil.  Again, primarily situational.
        The combo is mediocre or inefficient depending on how you do it.  Doing
    a primary effect blast of Undertow on an electrocuted foe is semi-efficient
    in terms of damage, but if you've got an electrocuted foe don't you just
    want to headshot them a few times?  Here, the combo is better suited for
    groups of electrocuted enemies (either via an upgraded Shock Jockey, an
    Overkill chain, or a Tesla Coil).  Doing an alternate effect and then
    following up with a Shock Jockey is potentially better, but in 1999 Mode
    the electrocution may not be enough damage to kill your foe so you should
    be prepared with a further follow up; the need for a further follow up
    makes the combo potentially inefficient, especially if you're pulling in up
    to three foes (spending 31 + 16 x 3 Salt to only three weakened enemies).
    Note that upgrading Shock Jockey helps the efficiency problem out, as you
    could theoretically grab three far away foes and then electrocute them all
    in one hit.
Return to Sender                                                      !vig,ret-

Tier:  Top
Total Upgrade Cost:  $2,185

Primary (tap)
    Salt Cost:  20
    Shield Duration:  3 seconds.
    Effect:  creates a blue shield, which stops all bullets from hitting you.

Alternate (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  20
    Damage:  450
    Effect:  creates a trap; when triggered, it propels enemies away, dealing
        damage and rendering them vulnerable while they stand up.

Alternate 2 (hold & release)
    Salt Cost:  20 to start, 10 per second
    Damage:  somewhat dependant on absorbed ammunition, at least 450 but I
        generally can do at least ~900 after absorbing a few bullets.
    Effect:  holding the button down creates an orange shield which holds onto
        any incoming bullets.  Releasing the button launches the orange shield
        (and any absorbed ammunition) as a trap; upon impact or when triggered,
        it deals damage and renders nearby targets vulnerable.

    "Send for Less"
        Cost:  $898
        Effect:  increases blue shield duration to 5 seconds, halves Salt
            consumption rate to 5 per second for the second alternate effect.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Downtown Emporia.

    "Sender Aid"
        Cost:  $1,287
        Effect:  absorbed ammunition is added directly to your stock.
        Location:  vending machines starting with Downtown Emporia.


    A wonderful survival tool.  The primary effect can be used to give yourself
    brief defense while you hop from cover to cover, or if you need to pop out
    and shoot at a sniper without getting shot yourself.  It can also be used
    to get the heck out of dodge when your Shield breaks.  Do note that this
    only stops _bullets_, so Return to Sender won't do anything against
    rockets, flak cannon shells, or a Fireman's Devil's Kiss.
        The first alternate effect isn't terribly great; the vulnerability is
    short and the damage minimal (though oddly, still better and more efficient
    than a non-fully-upgraded Devil's Kiss), but it can be used to give
    yourself quick breathing room in a pinch.  Interestingly, it does more base
    damage with greater efficiency than Devil's Kiss primary effect, but it has
    very tricky aiming (it's effectively a trap, so you have to be on-target or
    shoot it with a weapon) and you can't upgrade the damage effect or combo it
    like you can with Devil's Kiss.
        The second alternate effect is quite good.  In addition to making you
    invulnerable to normal shots, you steadily build up a powerful retaliatory
    attack.  Even with a small amount of caught bullets you can do upwards of
    1,000 damage.  Unfortunately, enemies tend to be smart and will fire less
    at you when you start popping out that orange bubble.
        In short, you probably don't want this sitting as one of your two main
    Vigors all the time, but always be ready to switch out for this at a
    moment's notice.  Some playstyles will benefit enormously from the
    upgrades, though interestingly you may not need both since each upgrade
    accomplishes something quite different.  In general, the boost to your
    survivability from regularly using this Vigor is amazing.

Weapons                                                                   !wea-
As a general rule, you should focus on having one "at range" weapon and one
"close-up" weapon that you upgrade and use to a fair amount.  At lower
difficulties you have much more flexibility about what weapons to upgrade and
use, but in 1999 Mode you need to make sure a) you aren't spreading yourself
thin and b) that you will have fully upgraded weapons to use in the game's
final fights.

The "at range" weapon selection is important since this is really the meat of
how you should conduct your fights in 1999 Mode.  Enemies can quickly pummel
you to death in close quarters and you won't always have a luxurious amount of
Salts to use on disabling Vigors.
    Top tier "at range" weapons:  sniper rifle, carbine.

The "close-up" weapon is both a finisher as well as an "oh-shit!" response.
Enemies wielding shotguns and bats will love to charge you, and you need
something with good stopping power to make sure they don't prematurely end your
run.  Note that your skyhook does _not_ count as a close-up weapon, since even
a highly inaccurate Heater can still hit enemies without having to get right
next to them.
    Top tier "close-up" weapons:  shotgun, hand cannon.
    Honorable mention:  repeater with all upgrades.

In the lists below, I use two terms: "spread" and "recoil." They sound similar,
but refer to distinct aspects of a weapon.  "Spread" is how far apart the
ammunition scatters every time you fire them out of the weapon.  "Recoil" is
how far your weapon moves away from your target after each shot and mainly
impacts zoomed-in aiming.  A high spread can be good or bad; for a weapon that
fires its bullets one at a time, you generally want a low spread, while for a
weapon that fires a mass of ammo with one shot (like a Shotgun or Heater) a
high spread is good.  A high recoil is always worse than low recoil, though.
In general, a high spread weapon is great for a "close-up" role, while you need
a low spread weapon for ranged fighting.  Assume that if I do not explicitly
mention spread or recoil for a weapon that it has low amounts of both.

I also provide all Silver Eagle upgrade costs, so you can help plan in advance
what weapons you will be able to afford to specialize in.

Final note:  unlike the Bullet Boon gear, clip size upgrades for weapons
actually let you carry more ammo.  That is because with Bullet Boon, the extra
clip size comes straight out of the reserve (e.g. a repeater would go from 20
clip 60 reserve to 30 clip 50 reserve).  However, clip size upgrades directly
increase the clip size without decreasing the reserve (e.g. a repeater with the
clip size upgrades would go from 20 clip 60 reserve to 40 clip 60 reserve).
Pistols/Machine Guns                                                  !wea,pis-

These are weapons characterized by a high rate of fire.

    Damage:     ~50
        ...on critical hit does x3.5
    Clip:       12          Reserve:        108
    Fire Rate:  400 rpm     Reload Speed:   Fast
    Damage Boost 1:     $199, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $199, +25% damage.
    Ammo Increase:      $404, +50% reserve size (to 162).
    Clip Increase:      $275, +50% clip size (to 18).

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,077

    Discussion:  you get this as your first weapon and for the most part it
        is rapidly obsoleted.  Its only saving grace is that, given its
        fast rate of fire (in fact only beaten by the machine gun and crank
        gun) and reload rate, its damage per second output is actually quite
        comparable to better weapons, except with low spread.  However,
        even with damage upgrades, if you don't have perfect aiming (for
        criticals), it could take you two clips just to clear out one enemy in
        the later stages of the games.  1999 Mode isn't a great place to be
        messing around, so don't waste money here unless you are _very_
        confident in your shooting skills.

Machine Gun
    Damage:     ~40
        ...on critical hit does x1.5
        ...moderate spread
    Clip:       35          Reserve:        105
    Fire Rate:  600 rpm     Reload Speed:   Fast
    Damage Boost 1:     $236, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $236, +25% damage.
    Accuracy Increase:  $512, -75% spread.
    Clip Increase:      $391, +100% clip size (to 70).

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,375

    Discussion:  also available rather early on and isn't that much of an
        improvement over the pistol.  It fires faster, so it effectively does
        more damage than a pistol, but its low accuracy means that it's
        ill-suited for distance attacks or consistently landing criticals.  As
        a result, you may actually do worse with this weapon than with a
        straight-up pistol.  Also note that despite having such a high fire
        rate, the machine gun does not have a large reserve, which means that
        later in the game you could easily empty out your entire ammo supply
        just to kill one enemy, though ammo is relatively plentiful.

Hand Cannon
    Damage:     ~300
        ...on critical hit does x3
        ...moderate recoil
    Clip:       6           Reserve:        18
    Fire Rate:  75 rpm      Reload Speed:   Moderate
    Damage Boost 1:     $448, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $448, +25% damage.
    Reload Increase:    $656, -50% reload time.
    Recoil Decrease:    $350, -20% recoil.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,902

    Discussion:  now we're talking.  Basically a pistol's take on the shotgun.
        Roughly similar damage profiles, great close-up stopping power.  The
        shotgun does a bit more damage and has a spread, but the hand cannon is
        faster to reload and has much better accuracy, making consistent
        criticals possible.  In a pinch, you can also use the hand cannon to
        snipe moderately distanced enemies.

    Damage:     ~100
        ...on critical hit does x2
        ...moderate spread
        ...moderate recoil
    Clip:       20          Reserve:        60
    Fire Rate:  350 rpm     Reload Speed:   Moderate
    Damage Boost 1:     installed by default, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $423, +25% damage.
    Recoil Decrease:    $822, -50% recoil.
    Clip Increase:      $449, +100% clip size (to 40).

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,694

    Discussion:  much better than the machine gun (the repeater is effectively
        a Vox-modified machine gun, hence the default damage boost mod).  Very
        high damage rate, reasonably easy to critical with, though you will
        still need some Vigor usage to weaken tougher enemies in order to make
        the damage per total carry ammo ratio a bit more efficient.  The only
        downside to this weapon is that it has such a low reserve that you
        basically are only able to use this in prolonged fashion when actually
        fighting Vox (who tend to drop this in spades).
Rifles/Shotguns                                                       !wea,rif-

Rifles are great for distance shots, while shotguns are high-impact close up
area of effect damage.

    Damage:     ~450
        ...on critical hit does x1.5
        ...high spread
        ...high recoil
    Clip:       4           Reserve:        20
    Fire Rate:  45 rpm      Reload Speed:   Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     $255, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $255, +25% damage.
    Reload Increase:    $462, -50% reload time.
    Spread Increase:    $360, +20% spread.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,332

    Discussion:  from the moment you get this until the end of the game, the
        shotgun is an able performer.  Very powerful hits, frequently able to
        hit more than one enemy at a time, and literal stopping power (pretty
        much every shot is guaranteed to cause a stagger).  To balance this
        out, it is very difficult to land a critical on anyone with a small
        weak spot (human enemies's heads or the Handyman's heart), each shell
        has to be loaded individually during a reload, and the clip size is
        very low.  In fact, this means that you might see a better overall
        damage rate increase if you go for the reload upgrade first versus the
        actual damage boosts.

    Damage:     ~125
        ...on critical hit does x2.25
        ...moderate recoil
    Clip:       8           Reserve:        80
    Fire Rate:  240 rpm     Reload Speed:   Moderate
    Damage Boost 1:     $375, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $375, +25% damage.
    Clip Increase:      $484, +50% clip size (to 12).
    Recoil Decrease:    $360, -60% recoil.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,594

    Discussion:  basically a cross between a pistol and sniper rifle.  As such,
        it is much better than a sniper rifle at hip shooting and much better
        than a pistol at distance combat.  Ammo is relatively plentiful, so for
        a versatile weapon you can't go terribly wrong with specializing in a

Sniper Rifle
    Damage:     ~350
        ...on critical hit does x2.5
        ...very high recoil
    Clip:       4           Reserve:        20
    Fire Rate:  50 rpm      Reload Speed:   Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     $349, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $349, +25% damage.
    RoF Increase:       $654, +100% fire rate.
    Recoil Decrease:    $288, -50% recoil.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,640

    Discussion:  if you like killing things from across the battlefield, this
        is your pick.  The zoom-in for this weapon is the best in the game and
        will make it almost trivial to critical enemies from far away, which
        more than doubles this weapon's damage rate.  Above all other weapons,
        I recommend that you seriously consider this as one of your 1999 Mode
        specialties, as the ability to slay your foes without ever exposing
        yourself to any real danger is an incredible boon for your survival.
            As a side note, the fire rate increase upgrade almost makes the
        sniper rifle on par with a shotgun or hand cannon for hip shooting
        enemies (though ammo for a sniper rifle is suitably rare that you
        should only do this in emergencies).

    Damage:     ~800
        ...on critical hit does x1.5
        ...very high spread
        ...very high recoil
        ...catches enemies on fire
    Clip:       1           Reserve:        8
    Fire Rate:  35 rpm      Reload Speed:   Very Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     Installed by default, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $554, +25% damage.
    Spread Increase:    $467, +20% spread.
    Reload Increase:    $757, -50% reload time.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,778

    Discussion:  if you hit an enemy even moderately on-target with this
        weapon, they are going to almost assuredly die.  Even heavy hitters
        will succumb rather quickly if you made them vulnerable beforehand.
        However, this weapon is _slow_.  Even if you use the Bullet Boon shirt
        to increase the clip size to 2, you'll realize that half of the slow
        reload time is actually just the weapon's incredibly slow rate of fire:
        you are literally waiting for the weapon to cool down.  Coupled with
        the rarity of the ammo, you have to make each shot count.  Great for a
        show-stopping close-up weapon, but not very reliable.

    Special:  the "catch on fire" effect functions somewhat like a Devil's
        Kiss, which means you can combo this weapon much like Devil's Kiss
        (with Bucking Bronco or Charge).

    Damage:     ~50
        ...on critical hit does x2.25
        ...moderate spread
        ...moderate recoil
    Clip:       30          Reserve:        120
    Fire Rate:  265 rpm     Reload Speed:   Moderate
    Damage Boost 1:     $423, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $423, +25% damage.
    Recoil Decrease:    $822, -50% recoil.
    Ammo Increase:      $672, +50% reserve.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $2,340

    Discussion:  basically a carbine that shoots in bursts of three instead of
        one at a time.  This has the side effect of making it overall less
        accurate than a carbine (and makes the recoil a necessary upgrade), but
        this is still a rather versatile weapon, functioning for normal combat
        purposes like a machine gun while still having the ability to snipe
        (complete with a sniper-rifle-style scope).
            Unfortunately, while the scope of this weapon is better than the
        normal carbine, the base accuracy is much, much worse, so this is
        better suited for moderate distances, not long.
Explosives                                                            !wea,exp-

High-impact weapons that have no finesse (and thus no critical hit bonus).

    Damage:     ~750
        ...high recoil
    Clip:       2           Reserve:        8
    Fire Rate:  40 rpm      Reload Speed:   Very Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     $385, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $385, +25% damage.
    Clip Increase:      $816, +50% clip size (to 3).
    RPG Speed Increase: $333, +100% projectile speed.

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,919

    Discussion:  able to clear out enemies with abandon.  The major downsides
        are that enemies closer to the edge of the effect will take--at
        best--minor damage and the rocket itself moves slowly enough that you
        have to significantly lead your targets.  The projectile speed upgrade
        will mitigate this to a slight degree, but the point still stands that
        the RPG occupies a weird spot where it can't be used at distance, but
        neither can it be used in close range (unless you like blowing yourself
        up).  However, the RPG is still worth a consideration for
        specialization, as many hard fights feature an RPG that you can readily
        use (whether strewn somewhere or via a tear), so being able to maximize
        this free gift every time it shows up can be worth it.

Volley Gun
    Damage:     ~112 from shell, ~300 from explosion
    Clip:       8           Reserve:        24
    Fire Rate:  120 rpm     Reload Speed:   Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     $522, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $522, +25% damage.
    Radius Increase:    $536, +50% explosion radius.
    Clip Increase:      $740, +100% clip size (to 16).

    Total Upgrade Cost: $2,320

    Discussion:  high rate of fire coupled with a tricky parabolic trajectory
        that, once you get the hang of, can be used to circumvent enemy cover.
        Unfortunately, a significant amount of the damage comes from the shell
        itself, and it's rather hard to actually hit someone with that.
        Moreover, there is a steep drop off in the area of effect damage, so
        even with upgrades you may find yourself hitting foes for around 100
        damage or so.  However, unlike the RPG you barely have to worry about
        hitting yourself with the explosion, and the relatively high rate of
        fire and reload time means that the volley gun works really well for
        taking advantage of large groups of disabled enemies.  Plus, like the
        RPG, many hard fights feature a volley gun you can bring in via a tear.

Hail Fire
    Damage:     ~350
        ...if you delay the detonation of the shell (by holding down the attack
        button), then the impact of the shell on an enemy will also do ~112
    Clip:       5           Reserve:        25
    Fire Rate:  545 rpm*    Reload Speed:   Slow
    Damage Boost 1:     Installed by default, +25% damage.
    Damage Boost 2:     $688, +25% damage.
    Radius Increase:    $415, +100% explosion radius.
    Clip Increase:      $399, +50% clip size (to 8).

    Total Upgrade Cost: $1,502

    * Theoretically this weapon has a fast fire rate, but to take full
        advantage of the weapon itself, you have to hold down the attack button
        to launch, and then release the attack button to explode the
        projectile, which is significantly slower than if you were just
        rapidly mashing the attack button.

    Discussion:  honestly, you should give this weapon a pass in 1999 Mode.
        The firing mechanism is tricky but not damaging enough to warrant
        mastering.  Ammunition is incredibly rare, so you either have to plow
        precious $ into stocking up at a Dollar Bill (which is a no-go if
        you're going for the Scavenger Hunt achievement) or have to live with
        the fact that you're plowing lots of money into specializing in a
        weapon that you'll hardly ever use.
Special                                                               !wea,spe-

    Damage:     ~112
    Fire Rate:  Moderate

    Discussion:  there are plenty of Gear that specifically enhances this melee
        weapon, too, but for the most part the damage output is so low and
        enemies so hazardous that if you ever are in a situation where you have
        to seriously melee, you should either go ahead and restart from the
        last checkpoint or just get it over with and die.

Crank Gun
    Damage:     ~50
        ...on critical hit does x1.5
        ...moderate spread zoom
    Clip:       100         Reserve:        100
    Fire Rate:  1500 rpm    Reload Speed:   Very Slow

    Discussion:  the crank gun is really good early on, but quickly becomes
        more and more of a novelty.  You can't upgrade it, there's no
        consistent source for ammo, and in addition to a wind-up time, your
        movement speed slows down dramatically while firing away.  This is
        pretty much a recipe for death in later fights.

Gear                                                                      !gea-
Note that Gear is semi-randomized.  While the locations are set in stone, when
you activate a piece of Gear you get a semi-random result.  As such, if you
reload the game from your last checkpoint, you may get completely different
Gear.  There are a few places where aggressively reloading may be a
worthwhile pursuit, to try and get some of the better Gear:
    1.  Right after you take the elevator up in the Fraternal Order of the
        Raven, there is a piece of Gear behind a bookshelf.  The checkpoint is
        right after the elevator, so it's a quick jog.
    2.  Right before you enter the Arcade in Battleship bay (when Elizabeth
        tosses you your first batch of $), there are two Gears, one in a closet
        and one in a hallway or in the arcade proper (based on what you did at
        the Raffle).  The checkpoint is right before Elizabeth tosses you the
        $, so it's a very quick jog.
    3.  Right when you wake up at Finkton Docks, you can run across the first
        area to an "Employees Only" shed where a Gear is sitting next to a
        desk; the checkpoint is rigth when you wake up.  Do note that entering
        the "Employees Only" shed will trigger a fight, so if you get some good
        Gear, don't end up dying shortly afterwards (as you'll either lose
        money or be forced to reload and probably not get the same Gear again).

Some Gear are not randomized and are always in the same location.  Those Gear
are (in chronological order):
    Burning Halo
    Spare the Rod (room right before you see Fitzroy and Fink's showdown,
        behind a vending machine)
    Spectral Sidekick (in the Bank)
    Health for Salts (in the Asylum)
    Rising Bloodlust (in the Asylum after you open the main door)

Also note that while there are 40 Gear, there are only 25 locations, so you
will never see all the Gear in one game (in fact, since some are fixed, you
really have 35 randomized Gear in 20 locations plus the 5 fixed Gear).  In
fact, you could get extremely unlucky and get a bunch of Gear poorly suited for
1999 Mode, which might be an argument in favor of reloading at a checkpoint.

Note that there's nothing stopping you from changing out your gear mid-fight.
A lot of Gear is situation-dependent, so to maximize your 1999 Mode success, be
ready to switch out your Gear at a moment's notice.  Like Vigors, a lot of Gear
is well-balanced enough that even if I tier a piece of equipment as "Bottom
Tier," it may still have situations where it will shine (though unlike Vigors,
there are definitely a few that are unabashedly bad).

Just as a reminder - all damage numbers here are showing the 1999 Mode
versions, which differ from the stated numbers in-game.
Hats                                                                  !gea,hat-

Top Tier:  Hill Runner's Hat, Sheltered Life
Middle Tier:  Ammo Cap, Electric Touch, Spare the Rod, Rising Bloodlust, Storm
Bottom Tier:  Burning Halo, Gear Head, Quick Handed, Throttle Control

Ammo Cap
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  40% chance that you instantly reload when you run out of ammo.
    Discussion:  while using this Hat, don't play sub-optimally and stop
        reloading until you run out of ammo, that's a recipe for disaster.
        Instead, what this Hat does is in frantic situations (or for
        low-clip-size and slow-reload weapons) give you a quick boost in
        emergency power.

Burning Halo
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  70% chance that a melee target will take 200* damage over 3
    Discussion:  modestly useful early in the game, but relying on melee to
        kill your foes is a recipe for death in 1999 Mode.
    (* takes into account 1999 Mode penalty.)

Electric Touch
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  50% chance that a melee target is electrocuted and vulnerable for
        3 seconds.
    Discussion:  if you're in a dire situation (someone has ambushed you from
        behind), then two quick taps to stun them (on average) could be the
        difference between a death/reload or surviving to the next checkpoint.

Gear Head
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  makes you harder to detect by automatons, zeppelins, and Patriots.
    Discussion:  _very_ situational.  Makes it easier to shoot Patriots in the
        back, and makes it easier to shoot away at turrets, though eventually
        Shock Jockey makes both of these easier anyway.

Hill Runner's Hat
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  when your shield breaks, your movement speed is 50% faster for 5
    Discussion:  when your shield breaks is precisely the moment when you need
        to get the heck out of there, and a 50% movement speed boost is
        _significant_.  My life has been saved innumerable times because of
        this Hat.

Quick Handed
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  decreases weapon reload speed times by 30%.
    Discussion:  it's not a _bad_ Hat, it's just not that great of an effect,
        especially since for some slow weapons the crux of why they are slow is
        independent from their reload times (like an RPG's crank or a Heater's
        literal cool down time).

Rising Bloodlust
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  every enemy you kill within a span of 10 seconds (up to five) will
        increase your damage.
    Discussion:  an otherwise solid hat, but as I've mentioned before, evasion
        and survivability are tantamount in 1999 Mode and this Hat encourages
        the wrong kind of behavior.

Sheltered Life
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  every time you eat a snack or use a health kit, you gain brief
    Discussion:  to maximize this effect, you need to adjust your playstyle
        instead of ravenously devouring everything you see; keep a mental map
        of where goods are stashed and be sure to immediately loot fallen foes
        (they may have Chips or something on them).

Spare the Rod
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  30% chance that a melee target is possessed.
    Discussion:  the effect is great and, like Electric Touch, gives you an
        oh-shit-I'm-about-to-die button you can quickly tap.  Unfortunately,
        30% is a very low chance, which keeps this from being top tier.

    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  When an enemy dies while under the effect of Devil's Kiss, Shock
        Jockey, or Bucking Bronco, the effect chains to nearby enemies.
    Discussion:  Basically gives a weaker version of the "Crows Trap Mod"
        upgrade to other Vigors.  Unfortunately, the range is rather limited,
        so you might not get as much use out of it as you might hope.

Throttle Control
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  Better braking and throttling on skylines.
    Discussion:  Gweh?  The only Gear I really see no point for.
Shirts                                                                !gea,shi-

AMAZING Tier:  Winter Shield
Top Tier:  Blood to Salt
Middle Tier:  Bullet Boon, Coat of Harms, Drop Cloth, Nitro Vest, Scavenger's
    Vest, Shock Jacket
Bottom Tier:  Executioner, Pyromaniac, Sky-Line Accuracy

Blood to Salt
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  slain enemies have a 40% chance of instantly restoring a
        percentage of your total Salts.
    Discussion:  absolutely bonkers for anyone who uses Vigors with any
        regularity.  A 40% chance may not seem like a lot, but the difference
        is being flush with Salt and spamming Vigors or scrambling around with
        a "Low on Salt!" notice before the fight is even half done.  Because
        the recovery is a percentage of your total Salts, this Vigor heavily
        rewards players who invest their infusions in Salt.

Bullet Boon
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  increases clip size for weapons by 50%.
    Discussion:  most noticable for weapons like the Heater (which rounds up to
        having a clip size of 2) that are both slow to reload and have tiny
        clip sizes.  Combined with an Ammo Cap hat, your ability to mete out
        punishment will increase dramatically.  Interestingly, shotguns don't
        get as much of a benefit out of this since each extra shell has to be
        reloaded on its own, so you get an increased clip size but also an
        increased reload time.

Coat of Harms
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  enemies are easier to execute.
    Discussion:  an enemy you manage to execute is one that doesn't use up
        precious ammo/Salts, plus you're invulnerable while the cutscene is
        taking place.  Synergizes with Kill to Live, which rewards executions.

Drop Cloth
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  when you dismount from a sky-line, your movement speed is
        increased by 50%.
    Discussion:  can be situationally useful for sprawling fights or if you
        need to put distance between yourself and a Handyman.  In general
        though, simply the act of dismounting will be enough to put space
        between your enemies and yourself; you don't need the extra help.

    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  a 60% chance to critically hit vulnerable enemies.  25% increased
    Discussion:  while this effectively makes melee-ing a bit more attractive,
        you still don't want to be in a situation where you have to rely on
        meleeing.  For comparison, against an armored non-heavy-hitter in
        Comstock House, taking him down took repeated Shock Jockeys and more
        than a clip of fully-upgraded Shotgun blasts (each doing roughly 1000
        damage).  Do you really think that a slight damage boost and a critical
        hit chance is going to go over well against such resilient enemies?

Nitro Vest
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  boosts area of effect for explosive weapons
    Discussion:  very situational, but is gangbusters when you can take
        advantage of it.

    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  when struck, 50% chance of burning nearby enemies for 200* damage
        over 3 seconds.
    Discussion:  don't rely on having to be struck for your damage output.
    (* takes into account 1999 Mode penalty.)

Scavenger's Vest
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  slain enemies have a 40% chance of directly restoring some ammo.
    Discussion:  not quite as good as Blood to Salt, but by the end game you
        may be scrambling for ammunition, especially if you're avoiding Dollar
        Bill vending machines.  So in particular for weapons with small
        reserves or rare ammo, this could be a situational godsend.

Shock Jacket
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  when struck, 50% chance of shocking nearby enemies for 25* damage
        and stunning them for 2 seconds.
    Discussion:  unlike the very similar Pyromaniac, stunning an enemy that's
        in position to hit you can be a lifesaving effect.
    (* takes into account 1999 Mode penalty.)

Sky-Line Accuracy
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  your shots are more likely to hit enemies when on a sky-line.
    Discussion:  in general, shooting straight off a sky-line isn't the
        greatest of ideas, but if you're really good at doing that, perhaps you
        can benefit more from this.  Pretty much the only reason why I ever
        shot weapons off a sky-line was just to get the achievement.

Winter Shield
    Tier:  "So good there probably will be a patch to weaken it"
    Effect:  jumping on or off a sky-line or sky-hook grants you brief
        invulnerability (NOTE: sometimes it doesn't trigger, just immediately
        dismount or re-attach to trigger it).
    Discussion:  absolutely, positively, insanely good.  A happy coincidence is
        that every Handyman fight tends to involve hooks and sky-lines; with
        aggressive attaching and dismounting you can spend the entire encounter
        invulnerable.  Even when Handymen aren't involved, doing a sky-line
        strike, gaining the invulnerability, laying a Vigor or firing some
        shots at other enemies, then immediately re-attaching to refresh your
        invulnerability will render many encounters easy.
            This Gear is so good that the difference in 1999 Mode with it and
        without it is night and day.  Don't leave it on all the time,
        obviously, since sky-lines and hooks aren't everywhere.  If there is
        only one Gear that you will probably want to aggressively reload for,
        it's this.
            I do fully anticipate that the developers will find a way to weaken
        this somehow; it's just way too good.
Pants                                                                 !gea,pan-

Top Tier:  Ghost Posse, Head Master, Urgent Care
Middle Tier:  Angry Stompers, Fire Bird, Last Man Standing, Sky-Line Reloader
Bottom Tier:  Brittle-Skinned, Deadly Lungers, Health for Salts,
    Spectral Sidekick

Angry Stompers
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  when extremely low on health, do 2x damage.
    Discussion:  obviously don't keep this on all the time, only when you are
        extremely low on health.  It might give you the edge you need to turn
        that period of near-death into a victory.  Note that this rewards
        players who heavily infuse their Health as the threshold appears to be
        a percentage, so players with more health will still have more absolute

    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  melee targets are vulnerable for 5 seconds.
    Discussion:  if you're out of Salts, this might be the only way you can buy
        yourself some extra damage, but don't go around just swiping at people
        just because you can.  Ironically, this would be way better if you
        could also somehow wear Deadly Lungers.

Deadly Lungers
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  3x normal melee range.
    Discussion:  coupled with Electric Touch, Spare the Rod, or Coat of Harms,
        this could be quite serviceable, but aside from situational uses, your
        melee attack is by far your worst attack, so you should generally just
        shoot the damn enemy.

Fire Bird
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  dismounting from a sky-line or hook will burn nearby enemies for
        200* damage over 3 seconds.
    Discussion:  a nice little damage boost, especially when combined with
        Winter Shield and Newton's Law.
    (* takes into account 1999 Mode penalty.)

Ghost Posse
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  enemies slain by a Vigor trap have a 50% chance that their guns
        turn into floating allies for a few seconds.
    Discussion:  do note that it has to be a Vigor _trap_.  That being said,
        combined with stuff like Murder of Crows, you can quickly turn a
        battlefield into an orgy of destruction on your side.

Head Master
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  increases critical hit damage by 50% (see special note *).
    Discussion:  incredible for good aimers.  If you're not a good aimer,
        practice until you are.  The sheer increase in damage output is
    * Special Note:  it appears that the way this is implemented, it's not
        actually a 50% bonus of your total critical hit damage, it's an
        increase in the critical hit multiplier by .5 (if there is one).  In
        other words, if you're using a sniper rifle, a critical hit does 2.5x
        normal damage.  However, with this Gear, rather than doing 3.75x normal
        damage on a critical hit (2.5 increased by 50%), it does 3x normal
        damage (2.5 plus .5).  Still a good Gear though.

Health for Salts
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  lets you use Health to use Vigors when out of Salts.
    Discussion:  generally a recipe for suicide.  Situationally, it could be a
        life or death scenario where swapping into this Gear can mean using
        an oh-so-crucial Murder of Crows or Possession.  But in general, if
        you're out of Salts, you should wait for Elizabeth to toss you more or
        at least take solace in the fact that "well, at least I'm not about to

Last Man Standing
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  when very low on health, killing an enemy grants you health.
    Discussion:  the health gain is modest (roughly equivalent to a small
        health kit), but it's way better than nothing.  You don't always need
        to have this gear equipped, just swap into it when you are in a dire

Sky-Line Reloader
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  jumping onto or off a sky-line reloads your current weapon.
    Discussion:  surprisingly effective.  Especially in frantic fights
        involving Handymen, being guaranteed a full clip everytime you dismount
        is a significant weight off your shoulders.

Spectral Sidekick
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  when you drop a weapon, that weapon becomes an ally for a few
    Discussion:  sounds great on paper, but I had an extremely hard time
        getting this to be effective.  Trouble is, you generally are holding
        onto weapons you _want_ to use (and have been upgrading).  And if
        you want to swap out in the middle of a fight, the weapon you're
        switching with rarely ever tends to be in a great spot, either nestled
        away in a corner or in the middle of a frantic battlefield that would
        be suicide to run to just to get an ally.  Your mileage may vary, and I
        happily accept any advice or suggestions to the contrary.

Urgent Care
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  decreases delay before Shield recharge by 1 second (to 3 seconds)
        and doubles the regeneration rate (to 33%/sec or 100% in 3 seconds).
    Discussion:  1999 Mode is all about survivability, and this gives you that
        in spades.  The normal delay rate is 4 seconds, so this is a
        significant boost.  Thanks to the reduced delay and increased
        regeneration rate, this could actually mean an exponential increase in
        your overall survivability:  frequently you might be about to
        regenerate your Shield, but a stray bullet hits you, which resets the
        delay and hurts your health.  With Urgent Care, you would have already
        started regenerating your Shield, and there would have been enough of
        it to absorb the bullet entirely.
            Because of the way this Gear works, players who heavily infuse
        their Shield stat benefit the most.  With a significant Shield stat,
        you may almost never take normal damage.
Boots                                                                 !gea,boo-

Top Tier:  Overkill, Tunnel Vision, Newton's Law
Middle Tier:  Kill to Live, Nor'Easter
Bottom Tier:  Death from Above, Fit as a Fiddle, Vampire's Embrace

Death from Above
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  weapon damage increased by 30% on sky-lines.
    Discussion:  a very situational effect; I generally spend more of my time
        doing sky-line strikes than shooting from sky-lines, but if you're the
        type of person who likes gunning down/exploding foes via rail, you will
        definitely want this.

Fit as a Fiddle
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  when revived, come back with full health.
    Discussion:  you _really_ can't afford to die that much on 1999 Mode.  On
        Hard, this was definitely one of my oft-used Gears, but on 1999 Mode
        you need to be a lot more prudent, since enemies regain a _lot_ of
        their health when you revive (virtually all of it).  Because you need
        to be a lot more prudent, you will be dying less.  Because you will be
        dying less, this Gear will see less use.  And in my runs at least
        (where I don't die), this Gear bestows zero benefit.

Kill to Live
    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  melee executions have a 65% chance of bestowing health.
    Discussion:  the health gain is modest (roughly like a small health kit).
        But, melee executions are rather painless to pull off; regardless of
        your preferred weapon, so long as you are good at noticing the little
        skulls you get an unstoppable attack for which you are briefly
        invincible.  So not bad at keeping your health topped off.

Newton's Law
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  landing from a sky-line or hook knocks nearby enemies away.
    Discussion:  as the game advances, rather than individual enemies you can
        strike down upon, you will be in awkward situations where you will jump
        into a fray of multiple enemies, all of whom will be quick to shoot at
        the guy who just killed their friend.  This counters that, giving you a
        brief moment of reprieve to either escape or to launch some disabling

    Tier:  Middle
    Effect:  killing an enemy from a sky-line gives you a 50% chance of brief
    Discussion:  much more effective than Death from Above, as generally when
        you are able to stably attack enemies from a sky-line, they are also
        able to attack you.  Giving yourself invulnerability while launching a
        rocket at enemies is quite good.

    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  killing with excessive damage electrocutes nearby enemies
        (stunning them like Shock Jockey).
    Discussion:  you don't need _that_ much excessive damage to trigger the
        effect, just a couple hundred, which later in the game with upgraded
        weapons and disabling Vigors is not that hard.  And in effect, since
        stunned enemies are themselves vulnerable, you can quite possibly chain
        the Overkill effect from foe to foe.

Tunnel Vision
    Tier:  Top
    Effect:  aiming down your weapon's sights increases your damage by 25%, but
        aiming from the hip reduces it by 25%.
    Discussion:  for anyone who likes to use pistols, rifles, or really
        anything other than a Crank Gun, this is a god-send.  You'll have to
        get used to rapidly switching in and out of zoomed-in-aiming mode, but
        this is a rather significant boost in your damage output.

Vampire's Embrace
    Tier:  Bottom
    Effect:  melee kills bestow a little bit of health.
    Discussion:  you may think that this is better than Kill to Live (which
        rewards executions and only 65% of the time), but the difference is in
        the playstyle they encourage.  Kill to Live fits in seemlessly with a
        1999 Mode mindset; Vampire's Embrace encourages you to just whack at
        enemies even though you do not have an execution possibility.  An
        execution is a guaranteed kill.  A melee strike, even if the enemy has
        but a sliver of health left, is not, especially when you're up against
        normal enemies who can withstand many tens of melee strikes.  You're
        much better off shooting your foe with a high-powered weapon rather
        than hoping your melee strike kills them.

Strategies                                                                !str-
General                                                               !str,gen-

Pretty much the general strategy to keep in mind throughout all of 1999 Mode
can be summed up with one word:  "prudence."  In lower difficulties, you have
much more leeway to go charging in to the fray, blasting enemies away.  In 1999
Mode, that's a surefire recipe for death.

Instead, think of fighting in 1999 Mode as a numbered series of tactics, that
you progress down only as you exhaust each previous one.
    1.  Pre-empt a fight in advance with Vigor traps or certain tears.
    2.  Use an "at range" weapon to take out opposition from afar, while
        staying behind cover and using nearby Vigor traps as defense.
    3.  If no more enemies are able to be shot at (due to distance or cover) OR
        a new front has opened (from an ambush/charge that couldn't be stopped
        by nearby traps or tears), find the next suitable bit of cover and run
        to it.
    4.  Repeat, going from 2-3, until you are very close to your enemies.  Then
        use Vigor Traps and/or an "up close" weapon to finish off the remaining
The progression has to be very methodical.  In 1999 Mode, you will spend a
_lot_ more time peeking out from behind a pillar, just to assess the state of
the battlefield and to be 100% absolutely sure that the next bit of cover
you're going to run to is a) actually safe and b) close enough so that you
don't die in transit (Hill Runner's Hat helps out a lot for this).

Moreover, among possible tears, you'll find that all sorts of automated allies
are significantly diminished in relative effectiveness.  Even the rare
Motorized Patriot will be destroyed by your enemies with relative ease.  That
doesn't mean you shouldn't use them (a shot fired at an ally is a shot that
isn't fired at you).  But it does mean that you should make sure you have a
quick follow-up--such as opening up a bit of cover or dashing to higher
ground--as once your automaton is dispatched all those bullets will be flying
at you.

Aside from this, encounter-specific strategies follow below.
AI Quirks                                                             !str,aiq-

Enemies you fight can be broadly categorized into three behavior groups:
    1.  Ones who charge you.
    2.  Ones who will advance towards you or use area of effect weapons.
    3.  Ones who will try to kill you from afar.

Enemies sometimes switch gears from one behavior to another, but some enemies
are bound to a specific strategy.  For example, any enemy you see with a melee
weapon or a shotgun is _guaranteed_ to fall into group #1.  Snipers are always
going to be in group #3.

While pursuing your general strategy (see above discussion in section
str,gen-), you should also assess which enemies are in which behavior group.
Enemies in group #1 should be higher priority than enemies in group #2, and
enemies in group #2 should be higher priority than enemies in group #3.  That's
because an enemy who sits back and snipes you is not going to try to flush you
out of your cover, so you can take your time with them.  An enemy in group #2
will pose an increasing threat as they get closer to you, but you still have
reasonable amounts of time before your current position is no longer safe.  An
enemy in group #1 will single-mindedly try to usurp any secure, defensible
position you may have.  Moreover, if you like to use Return to Sender, Return
to Sender can protect you against group #3 just fine, but less so against group
#2 (since either they're using explosives or are steadily getting within
rifle-butt range), and Return to Sender is almost useless against group #1
(except for shotgunners).

In fact, because of the way enemies tend to come out in waves, what may happen
is that as you dispatch enemies, a new wave of enemies will appear to fill in
the gaps.  If you keep dispatching charging enemies, while the general absolute
number of your foes isn't really changing, the overall threat level of your
enemies _is_.  Whereas if you were to immediately snipe away all the ranged
threats and trigger a new wave of enemies, you might find yourself overwhelmed
by charging, shotguns-blazing, heavily armored foes.

So in general, proper threat assessment of what behavior pattern your enemies
are using is important.  In fact, it will also teach you when to use traps and
when to not.  If there are still charging AI, setting up a trap near yourself
is worth the Salt.  If however you are only left fighting enemies trying to
take potshots at you while hopping laterally from cover to cover, setting up a
trap would be a guranteed waste of time and Salt.

Though do note that whatever the behavior pattern, getting too close to an
enemy will force them to charge and melee you, which is a rather dangerous
prospect for your survival.  Unless you have a solid exit plan involving a
great defense or a solid finishing move, keep a respectable distance!
Firemen                                                               !str,fir-

Firemen have one rather special trait about them.  See, virtually every time
you become "briefly invulnerable" (with the exception of Charge), you get a
little frozen graphic over your Health/Shield bars that slowly goes away.  In
fact, Gear that provides brief invulnerability are even "cold" themed, whether
in the name (e.g. "Nor'Easter") or by the imagery (e.g. a snowflake in the
middle of Sheltered Life's icon).

These little touches aren't just for show.  Any and all fire-based sources of
damage will instantly cancel out your invulnerability (except for Charge's).
So save yourself the trouble and don't bother trying to do Sheltered
Life/Nor'Easter/Winter Shield tricks with the Fireman, he'll just wipe it out
with one hit.

That being said, Firemen are otherwise straightforward to dispatch.  They're
basically souped-up versions of flak cannon enemies, launching Devil's Kiss
instead of explosive shells.  As would be expected, Firemen are immune to
Devil's Kiss and other fiery effects.  They can be briefly possessed (at half
normal duration) so in crowded fights a Possession trap a) can get the
Fireman to dispatch a lot of your enemies AND/OR b) let your other foes do some
of the damage to the Fireman for you.

The only major gotcha is that once at low health, a Fireman will charge at you
and then explode suicidally.  Vigor traps can stop this from happening, but
don't underestimate just how far a Fireman is willing to run just to chase you
down (though with enough distance you could manually kill him before he gets
too close).
Patriots                                                              !str,pat-

Early Patriots are a major pain.  It's unlikely you have any decent ammunition,
and their weak point (the back) is extremely hard to hit.  They are immune to
Murder of Crows and at least for a short while, you don't have Shock Jockey.
That being said, Devil's Kiss does do damage to them, so you can supplement
your ammunition with a Devil's Kiss trap or two; since the trap does more than
twice normal damage for only twice the Salt cost and since Patriots have very
predictable movement patterns, it's more efficient to use the alternate effect
than the primary effect.

Also note that as a Patriot gets damaged, their head starts to fall apart.
Once it's down to a basic skeleton, their head becomes a critical hit point.
Once it's blown off, their neck becomes a critical hit point.  Make sure to
exploit these.

Later on, Shock Jockey gives you the umph you need to help trivialize these
fights; it's the only disabling Vigor that works on them.  Even with the stun
duration upgrade though, Shock Jockey won't provide enough time for you to
flank the Patriot and start shooting them in the back, so you're better off
just unloading at them from wherever you are.  (Unless of course, you're
already behind them or very nearly behind them, at which point knock yourself

Ever later on, Undertow provides an immensely powerful weapon against Patriots.
While it won't stun them for as long as a Shock Jockey with a duration upgrade,
you will quickly destroy Patriots thanks to the combined vulnerability and ~200
damage per second electrocution.  With a quick wave of your targetting
reticule, you can even target multiple Patriots with one blast.

You can possess Patriots to good effect, and if you have the Salts, doing a
Possession Trap followed up with a Shock Jockey will turn your Patriot into a
riddling-vulnerable-enemies-with-bullets machine of destruction (for 10
seconds).  This is an especially effective maneuver when you have two Patriots
near each other; in all likelihood they'll start trying to fight each other,
except one will constantly be electrocuted by the other, allowing the other to
do a significant amount of damage.
Handymen                                                              !str,han-

These guys are tough as nails.  There are two ways to really effectively
dispatch them, a cheesy way and the insane way.
    Cheesy way:  equip Winter Shield and constantly mount and dismount from
        sky-lines and hooks so that you are only fighting the Handyman while
    Insane way:  use Murder of Crows/Undertow to land in a shot or two, but
        then otherwise keep moving; use sky-lines and hooks for a brief second
        or two to run away, but not long enough to get electrocuted.

The cheesy way is self-explanatory.  Pretty much if you have Winter Shield,
Handymen are actually rather easy (if requiring constant, panicky fleeing)
since Irrational Games has made sure that every encounter with a Handyman takes
place near plenty of sky-lines and hooks for you to use.  Note that sometimes
mounting/dismounting won't trigger the invulnerability, so you'll need to
dismount/mount immediately in order to trigger it.  For this reason, it's worth
starting your escape when you still have half your invulnerability left, so
that you aren't accidentally caught flat-footed without any protection.

It _is_ possible to kill Handymen without Winter Shield and without dying, but
it is much, much harder.  Between the two Vigors that actuall disable the
Handyman, Murder of Crows is much more efficient (the primary effect of
Undertow doesn't do anything, so you _have_ to do the much more expensive
alternate effect).  It's not worth combo-ing the Vigors with anything as any
extra damage you get out of it pales in comparison to the fact that you're
better off just shooting the Handyman and saving your Salts to do more

Without the Murder of Crows stun duration upgrade, you really only have time to
land one or two good shots before you need to start high-tailing it out of
there; the moment Murder of Crows ends the Handyman is going to ram you.  The
stun duration upgrade buys you an extra shot or two, but you still need to make
sure you are well on your way to a new location before the effect wears off.
Since there's no stun duration upgrade for Undertow, you have to be in a
position to really take advantage of the Handyman's stillness, such as pounding
away at his heart with a hand cannon.

Even if you do not have Winter Shield, you need to still aggressively use hooks
and sky-lines.  Jumping on or off gives you a very brief amount of
cutscene-related-invulnerability, and attaching onto a hook/riding a sky-line
and then dismounting as far as you can is one of the fastest ways to travel.
Plus, by aggressively jumping on/off hooks and sky-lines, you're not giving the
Handyman a chance to electrocute you, which could spell instant disaster
(especially if there are still other non-Handymen that you need to dispatch).

If you don't have any Salts for Murder of Crows; well, then hopefully Elizabeth
tosses you some soon.  Otherwise, I hope you're really good at hip shooting
from a far distance, as your strategy then becomes escaping via hook/sky-line,
then immediately dismounting and trying to shoot the Handyman while he's
jumping to you, which is a brief window of about a second or so.

Whatever you do, do not try to hit Handymen in the back.  They are heavily
armored, so unless you're striking his heart or the front of his body, you will
not do much damage at all.
Lady Comstock                                                         !str,lad-

Whew, if there's any one type of fight in the game that poses a huge threat of
ending your 1999 Mode run, Lady Comstock is it.  You may be overwhelmed at
first, but trust me; with some practice Lady Comstock will actually be much
easier than a Handyman.  The specific tactics vary a bit based on which
location you're in (graveyard, vault, or plaza), but the three best overall
strategies are:
    1.  Return to Sender plus sniping.
    2.  Find a sweet spot and snipe her.
    3.  Use Shock Jockey, Devil's Kiss, or Burning Halo to disintegrate many of
        her minions and just go toe-to-toe with her (thanks to nocturbulous and
        endersgame33 for pointing this out!).
For strategies 1 and 2, it is absolutely imperative that you are well-stocked
with your "at range" weapon of choice.  If you go into the graveyard or vault
with a Shotgun and Crank Gun, you may find yourself irrevocably screwed.
(Fortunately, in the plaza there is a Sniper Rifle tear.)

For strategy 3, having an "at range" weapon is less important and in fact, as
endersgame33 pointed out, you can just equip on a lot of melee-based Gear and
just keep Charging Lady Comstock over and over again (though the shield
regeneration upgrade for Charge is highly recommended).

Also note that for the graveyard, you have one extra strategy that I would
consider the best of the best:
    4.  Use a fully upgraded repeater with at least 40 shots in reserve plus
    Head Master and Tunnel Vision and kill her before she has a chance to do

For strategy 1, what you're basically doing is finding some kind of cover
reasonably far away from her and her minions.  Stay behind it until you are
reasonably sure where Comstock is, at which point you should pop out, trigger
Return to Sender's primary effect, and then snipe at Lady Comstock's head until
your blue shield is almost gone (this will protect you from the many, many
bullets that will be flying towards you).  Duck back behind cover, reload your
weapon, and repeat.  If you do this right, you can wipe her out before she
revives all her minions.

For strategy 2, you're taking a similar approach, except now you're trying to
find a specific place you can camp out where you will be relatively unharassed.
The graveyard is by far the hardest location to find such a spot and it's
really contingent on the AI; a spot that was good in one run may not be good in
another.  The vault and plaza are both easier to do this; the vault gives you a
nice bottleneck that sometimes her minions are loath to cross, and the plaza
gives you plenty of hiding spots plus a Mosquito tear that you can use to
distract aggressive minions.

The main difference between those two strategies is that strategy 1 is a bit
more consistent at the cost of having stricter prerequisites.  Consistent,
because you don't need to find a sweet spot to trick the AI.  Stricter, because
you need to have enough Salts for repeated uses of Return to Sender and a high
enough ranged damage output to slay Lady Comstock before the opposition becomes

Strategy 3 revolves around the fact that enemies that die under the effects of
Shock Jockey and Devil's Kiss will be disintegrated.  Doing so will prevent
them from being revived.  You need to come prepared to use up a lot of Salt
(either to use those aforementioned Vigors or to Charge enemies with the
Burning Halo Gear equipped), but if you lack any decent "at range" weapon or
are lacking ammo you can take this approach to the battle.

As for strategy 4, if you have a fully upgraded repeater and the requisite
Gear, the moment you open the gate to start the graveyard fight zoom in and
fire away at her at full auto.  It doesn't have to be at her head; as long as
you're in the general vicinity of the top half of her body, you will critical
hit her a lot.  Disable the first two minions she raises with Murder of Crows,
an upgraded Shock Jockey, or an upgraded Bucking Bronco (or simply turn on
Return to Sender) and continue to fire away; if Elizabeth offers you more ammo,
don't take it, just reload your weapon when you run out.  After Lady Comstock
raises her first two minions, she'll stand around a bit, and then charge you.
If you've done everything right, you will kill her before she reaches you (this
is by far the easiest way to dispatch her).  You can sort of do the same thing
in the vault and the plaza, though without using a Dollar Bill machine you may
not have scavenged enough repeater ammo during your explorations to pull it off

Other than for strategy 3, you generally shouldn't waste your ammo/Salts/time
fighting Lady Comstock's minions since she will just make more.  However,
sometimes killing a minion is necessary because when Lady Comstock is busy
making more allies, she will rise up into the air very slowly.  This is a
perfect time to shoot her repeatedly in the head, though make sure that you are
far enough away from her that her post-revival explosion doesn't hit you (it
immediately wipes out your shield, which can mean certain death).  You can also
kill minions to try to coax her into specific locations.

Lady Comstock is also vulnerable to being Charged, so if you desperately need a
survival boost and you've upgraded Charge, you can ram her, let off a shot at
close range, and then high-tail it out of there (and as alluded to, you can
make Charge a central part of pursuing strategy #3).
Final Fight                                                           !str,fin-

If you've made it this far, the final fight is actually not that bad, as far as
1999 Mode conflicts go, if only because by now you are at the peak of your
power.  Just one thing to keep in mind:
    Once you gain the objective to destroy all Vox zeppelins, enemy Vox and
    Patriots will keep being summoned until you destroy all the zeppelins in
    the wave.
This means that if you're _too_ quick at killing off all the foes, another wave
of Vox and Patriots will appear before you have a chance to summon Songbird.

This means that ways to harmlessly delay the fights (to buy your time for
another Songbird) are golden.  Three suggestions:
    1.  When you're down to your last Vox, simply use Possession on them (maybe
        even a trapped version).  They will wander around for 10/20 seconds
        doing nothing, during which your Songbird cooldown finishes and you
        have noone to worry about.
    2.  Use a fully upgraded Bucking Bronco judiciously.  It has a sinfully
        long duration and while your enemies are just floating around, they
        aren't attacking your ship's core.
    3.  Use Undertow to pull a Patriot (or two!) to an awkward part of the
        sniper's nest at the top of the ship.  Their ability to hurt your
        ship's core will be severly hampered (if not cancelled out), which buys
        you plenty of time to deal with other foes and take out the zeppelins
        with Songbird.

Bestiary                                                                  !bes-
I don't pretend to have come up with any of this data on my own.  It is pulled
from the Brady Games official strategy guide, though some of its accuracy is

The official Brady Games talks about "ranks" of enemies that are tied to
successive areas of the game.  This is much like the original Bioshock, where
splicers would become tougher after you hit certain geographic checkpoints.  In
1999 Mode, enemies are pulled more liberally from higher ranks.  In the
interest of avoiding copyright infringement, I won't list when the different
ranks theoretically occur (since that's all just straight from the strategy
guide), but if you have the guide itself, do note that you will easily be
fighting enemies 1-2 ranks higher than you should be.

All damage numbers are adjusted for 1999 Mode.  As you'll be able to
ascertain, enemies _hurt_ when they hit you.  Moreover, enemies that have a
ranged weapon will still have a melee damage listed; if you get too close, they
will whack you with their weapon and this damage is just as intense as a
straight-up melee-er's atack.

In the listings below, rather than provide enemies by rank--as Brady Game
does--I merely provide the range of their health and damage.  In general, the
earlier you are in the game, the more likely you will be fighting enemies on
the lower end of the spectrum; the opposite is true for later in the game.
Normal                                                                !bes,nor-

Normal foes are grouped by what weapon they use.  In general, lower-end weapons
occur earlier in the game, while they start to get replaced with much better
equipped foes later in the game.  All normal (aka "humanoid") foes have their
heads as weak points for critical hits.

Police (only at the start of the game)
    Health:  150
    Damage (melee only):  200
    Special:  Right at the start of the game, in Raffle Square, there is one
        special Police Officer that has 100 Health, does slightly less melee
        damage, and has a Pistol that does 50 damage.  This is where you get
        your first non-skyhook weapon.

    Health:  705 - 1,191
    Damage (melee only):  374 - 646

    Health:  295 - 648
    Damage:  100 - 176 ranged, 374 - 646 melee

Hand Cannon
    Health:  499 - 648
    Damage:  1,150 - 1,382 ranged, 540 - 646 melee
    Special:  You can easily distinguish these chaps from normal
        pistol-wielders because these guys wear little "Statue of Liberty"

Machine Gun (only Founders)
    Health:  354 - 777
    Damage:  82 - 142 ranged, 374 - 646 melee
    Special:  may be "armored" in later stages of the game (see "armored" note*

Repeater (only Vox)
    Health:  777
    Damage:  312 ranged, 646 melee

Carbine (only Founders)
    Health:  460 - 777
    Damage:  360 - 518 ranged, 450 - 646 melee

Shotgun (only Founders)
    Health:  642 - 1,085
    Damage:  1,250 - 1,800 ranged, 450 - 646 melee
    Special:  may be "armored" in later stages of the game (see "armored" note*

Heater (only Vox)
    Health:  1,085
    Damage:  2,902 ranged (!!), 646 melee
    Special:  as you can ascertain, this guy is definitely an argument for
        prioritizing charging foes (in section str,aiq-):  the damage is
        immense, able to take you down in one hit unless you are heavily
        Health/Shield-infused.  But, this damage drops off exponentially at any
        decent range, so the further away you engage this guy, the better.

    Health:  460 - 777
    Damage:  1,846 - 2,658 ranged (!!), 450 - 646 melee
    Special:  while the ranged damage is immense, Elizabeth tends to yell out
        if there are snipers anywhere, so it's unlikely you'll be caught
        off-guard.  This means you'll have the benefit of taking your time in
        taking these guys out.

Burstgun (only Vox)
    Health:  598 - 777
    Damage:  346 - 414 ranged, 540 - 646 melee

RPG (only Founders)
    Health:  1,743 - 3,830
    Damage:  2,224 - 3,203 ranged (!!), 450 - 646 melee
    Special:  are always armored (see "armored" note* below).

Volley Gun
    Health:  1,743 - 3,830
    Damage:  1,334 - 2,401 ranged (!!), 374 - 646 melee
    Special:  are always armored (see "armored" note* below).

* Note on "armored" foes:  some foes are heavily armored.  This means that they
take significantly reduced damage and cannot be critically hit, at least until
you hit them in the head enough to knock off their helmet.  However, despite
Brady Games listing only "Beasts" as heavily armored, heavily armored foes are
_not_ heavy-hitters, so will kill themselves just fine after the effects of a
Automatons                                                            !bes,aut-

Automatons do not have critical hit weak points, though they have special
vulnerabilities to Shock Jockey and Undertow.

Machine Gun Automaton
    Health:  1,742 - 3,828
    Damage:  61 - 108 ranged, 480 - 818 from explosion upon death

Rocket Automaton
    Health:  1,472 - 3,828
    Damage:  1,080 - 1,258 ranged, 690 - 818 from explosion upon death

Barrage "Automaton"
    Health:  4,394
    Damage:  864 ranged
    Special:  These "automatons" are those gigantic cannon like things that you
        see at specific plot points, such as the police impound entrance or
        attached to gunships in the final fight.  They cannot be affected by
        any Vigor, so your best bet is to just wail on them with ranged

    Health:  1,132 - 1,914
    Damage:  74 - 108 ranged
    Special:  Mosquitos are listed as having an explosion damage like other
        turrets, but in practice since they float around in the air, no one
        will ever be impacted by it.
Heavy Hitters                                                         !bes,hea-

All Heavy Hitters are only affected at half-strength by Possession and do not
kill themselves at the end of the effect.

    Health:  1,430 - 4,833
    Damage:  480 - 1658 Devil's Kiss, 600 - 2074 melee, 720 - 2,488 suicide
    Special:  immune to Devil's Kiss and other fire-like effects.  Their
        Devil's Kiss cancels out all invulnerability effects (other than
        Charge's).  It's possible to prevent a Fireman suicide charge by
        holding them in place with a Vigor and manually bringing them to 0
        health yourself.  Upon death, guaranteed to drop decent consumables and
        generally also a lockpick.  See str,fir- for further discussion.

    Health:  2,356 - 5,175
    Damage (melee only):  1,064 - 1,842
    Special:  teleports around by turning into a murder of crows.  Is
        completely invulnerable during this effect.

    Health:  5,053 - 8,540
    Damage:  144 - 208 ranged, 846 - 1,244 melee
    Special:  see str,pat- for a full discussion on Patriots.  Guaranteed to
        drop a crank gun upon death.
Special                                                               !bes,spe-

These fellows are so special that they follow their own rules of vulnerability,
combat, and how they are affected by Vigors.

    Health:  9,952 - 12,938
    Damage:  1,600 - 1,920 ranged (only used if you are dangling on a hook),
        2,764 - 3,318 melee
    Special:  weak point is his heart; he is heavily armored from the back.  If
        you stay on a sky-line for too long, he will jump on it and electrocute
        the entire thing, which deals ~4000 damage per second to you if you're
        still on it (in general if you don't jump off as soon as you start
        taking damage, you will probably die).  He also can recklessly attack
        other enemies, though if you still have lots of enemies around when a
        Handyman shows up, you may be in bad shape.  See str,han- for further

Lady Comstock
    Health:  15,994
    Damage:  1,970 melee
    Special:  will try to maintain a given size of raised minions; if the
        number of minions drops below this amount, she will rise up into the
        air and create more (unless those minions were disintegrated).  At the
        end of the resurrection effect, she emanates a wave of energy which
        instantly wipes out your shield if you are caught in it.  She will
        generally not try to charge you for her actual up-close attack unless
        you are camping out somewhere in the graveyard or she has no one left
        to raise.  See str,lad- for further discussion.

Appendix                                                                  !app-
Special Thanks                                                        !app,spe- for somehow having specific numbers to various elements of
Bioshock Infinite's gameplay.

BradyGames for the details on 1999 Mode's changes.

Other Bioshock Infinite fans who have contributed to this guide:
    ...and others who preferred to stay anonymous.
History                                                               !app,his-

2012.04.16 - v 1.11 (minor update)
    Miscellaneous grammar fixes affecting the following sections:

2012.04.16 - v 1.11
    Miscellaneous grammar fixes affecting the following sections:
    Significantly revising discussions about Undertow, since its alternate
    effect only causes 31 Salt, not 62.  This includes changes to the following
    Fixing references to "Combo X" where X is a number; these references were
    left behind after the significant reworking of sections following v1.9.
    This includes changes to the following sections:
    mon,tot-:  vending machines can drop up to $30, though not frequently.

2012.04.15 - v 1.9
    Grammatical/spelling/copy fixes in the following sections:
    sta,loc-:  fixing lockpick running totals.
    vig-:  cleaning up all formatting for improved readability/skimming.
    vig,buc-:  fixing formatting.
    vig,cha-:  additional damage is about 100.
    wea-:  fixing formatting.
    wea,rif-:  heater combos.
    str,pat-:  adding Undertow interaction.
    str,lad-:  giving nocturbulous credit for strategy #3, adding
        Charge/Burning Halo interactions from endersgame33.
    bes-:  new section.

2012.04.15 - v 1.8
    mon,tot-:  Undertow is no longer not recommended, but Devil's Kiss is.
    vig,buc-:  Bronco Boost _really_ helps the duration.
    vig,und-:  fixing damage numbers for turrets.
    str,lad-:  adding note that Shock Jockey can disintegrate foes to prevent
    str,fin-:  adding strategy.

2012.04.15 - v 1.7 (not posted)
    vig,und-:  more notes about Handyman stun effect and Shock Jockey combo,
        fixing Undertow Boost to mention that it also affects the primary
    wea-:  adding note about clip size upgrades.
    wea-:  tiering best "close-up" and "at range" weapons.
    wea,pis-:  adding more notes about repeater.
    wea,exp-:  adding volley gun fire rate (d'oh!).
    str,han-:  adding Undertow strategy.
    str,lad-:  adding cheesy repeater strategy, removing personal "easiest"
        story as it should now be apparent that the repeater was the personal
        easiest version.

2012.04.13 - v 1.6 (not posted)
    sta,con-:  drinking vigors yields 50 Salt.
    sta,loc-:  detailed lockpick counts.
    mon-:  safes yield 100 to 300, not 100 to 250.
    mon,tot-:  adding disclaimer about certain weapons.
    mon,tot- vig,sho-:  fixing Shock Jockey total $ cost.
    vig-:  fixing ordering for several combos.
    vig- vig,ret-:  upgrading Return to Sender to top tier.
    vig,pos- vig,buc-:  adding anti-combo note.
    vig,buc-:  Bucking Bronco disability does not combine well with criticals.
    vig,sho-:  adding damage note for undertow targets
    vig,und-:  more documentation about its effects.
    wea,rif-:  grammar fix for shotgun.
    wea,rif-:  adding more negativity to burstgun.
    wea,rif-:  fixing carbine reserve amount.
    wea,exp-:  hail fire shell also does damage (like volley gun).
    gea,shi-:  adding Drop Cloth.

2012.04.12 - v 1.5
    not-:  enemies revive more health, too.
    not-:  smaller loot quantities don't apply to consumables (which always
        restore the same amount on difficulties).
    sta,loc-:  more information about lockpicks.
    wea,rif-:  missing info about sniper rifle rate of fire, changing reload
        speed to "slow"

2012.04.11 - v 1.4
    Grammatical/spelling/copy fixes in the following sections:
    not-:  note about reduced drops in 1999 Mode.
    sta-:  adding estimates about Health and Shield.
    mon-:  adding provisions for buying things at vending machines.
    vig,dev-:  notes about vulnerability, oil slick damage.

2012.04.11 - v 1.3 (not posted)
    Grammatical/spelling/copy fixes in the following sections:
    not-:  specific details about 1999 Mode.
    vig-:  correct damage/duration numbers to all vigors.
    wea-:  correct damage numbers to all weapons.
    wea-:  rates of fire and critical multipliers to all weapons.
    wea,pis-:  adding clarification and disclaimer to pistol.
    gea-:  adjusting all damage numbers for 1999 Mode.
    gea,pan-:  clarifying Head Master mechanics.
    gea,pan-:  giving exact numbers to Urgent Care.

2012.04.10 - v 1.2 (not posted)
    Lowering estimated amount of $ from vending machines.

2012.04.10 - v 1.1b (not posted)
    Fixing date format for updates.
    Modifying header to be a bit more SEO.

2012.04.10 - v 1.1
    Miscellaneous grammatical and spelling fixes.
    how-:  adding contact info.
    how-:  moving konami code to not-.
    New sub-section in mon-:  totals (mon,tot-).
    vig,ret:  adding comparison to Devil's Kiss.
    New sub-section in str-:  ai quirks (str,aiq-).
    app,his-:  fixing release date for 1.0.

2012.04.09 - v 1.0
    Initial release.  Still missing some data, but important to get out there.
Other Guides                                                          !app,oth-

Heart of Fury Guide (Icewind Dale 2)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate:  Enhanced Edition)
Populous II Guide (Populous II)
Thief Guide (Baldur's Gate 2)
Ultimate Analysis (System Shock 2)
Ultimate Oblivion FAQ (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)

The Stinger
    "When I was a girl, I dreamt of standing in a room looking at a girl who
was and was not myself, who stood looking at another girl, who was and was not
myself.  My mother took this for a nightmare. I saw it as the beginning of a
career in physics."
            - Rosalind Lutece