Characters of the BioShock series
The BioShock series is a collection of story-driven first person shooters in which the player explores dystopian settings created by Ken Levine and his team at Irrational Games. The first two games, BioShock and its direct sequel, BioShock 2, take place in the underwater city of Rapture in the 1950s and 1960s, which was influenced heavily by Ayn Rand's Objectivism. The third installment, BioShock Infinite, is set aboard the floating air-city of Columbia in 1912, designed around the concept of American Exceptionalism. Though Infinite is not a direct sequel to the previous games, the game is thematically linked; a short scene within the core Infinite game returns to Rapture, while the downloadable content BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea tie in many of the plot elements between BioShock and BioShock Infinite.
As a heavily plot-driven series of games, BioShock contains a long list of non-playable characters (NPC) with which the player interacts and which drive the games' respective stories.
- 1 BioShock
- 1.1 Jack
- 1.2 Andrew Ryan
- 1.3 Frank Fontaine/Atlas
- 1.4 Big Daddies
- 1.5 Little Sisters
- 1.6 Sander Cohen
- 1.7 Brigid Tenenbaum
- 1.8 Yi Suchong
- 1.9 J.S. Steinman
- 1.10 Splicers
- 2 BioShock 2
- 3 BioShock Infinite
- 4 References
Jack is the protagonist of BioShock, whom the player controls throughout the game. He begins the first game aboard an airplane, which crashes near a lighthouse in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean containing a bathysphere terminal providing entry to Rapture. During his journey through Rapture, Jack encounters various gene-altering substances known as plasmids and Gene tonics, which he uses to defend himself. As Jack travels through Rapture, he has strange visions of his family, but eventually he discovers that he is the illegitimate son of Andrew Ryan and Jasmine Jolene, "Andrew Ryan's Favorite Girl." After becoming pregnant, Jasmine sold her fertilized egg to Brigid Tenenbaum, an employee of Frank Fontaine. Jack was genetically conditioned to age rapidly and to follow any order that followed "would you kindly," a phrase which Atlas uses throughout the game to control the main character and his actions.
There are two endings for Jack depending on how many Little Sisters he saved and/or harvested throughout the game: one where he lives out the rest of his life with the Little Sisters he saved, and another in which he becomes power-hungry and destructive. In the second part of the Bioshock: Infinite DLC, Burial at Sea II, it is revealed that the former ending is canon.
Andrew Ryan was a business magnate in the 1940s and 1950s, and seeking to avoid scrutiny from governments and other oversight, ordered the secret construction of an underwater city, Rapture. When Ryan's vision for a utopia in Rapture collapsed into dystopia, he hides himself away and uses armies of mutated humans, "Splicers", to defend himself and fight against those resisting him, including the player-character Jack within the first game. His name along with his objectivist philosophy are inspired by Ayn Rand. He is voiced by Armin Shimerman.
Frank Fontaine is the main antagonist in BioShock. He is a criminal mastermind, is very intelligent and has a skill for evasion, and becomes the arch-enemy of Andrew Ryan as he simply wishes to use Rapture for money and power instead of Ryan's lofty ideals. He was responsible for countless murders and igniting the civil war, as well as Jack's kidnapping. To escape from Ryan's forces, Fontaine faked his death and later took up the identity of Atlas, speaking for the lower class of Rapture. Ryan feared Atlas' power and initially captured him and sent him and his loyal men to an underwater prison 2000 fathoms beneath Rapture, but they were able to escape and in 1959 launched an all-out war against Ryan. Atlas serves as Jack's guide for most of the game, luring him towards Ryan under the guise of trying to save his fictitious wife and son that he claimed Ryan had trapped. He betrays Jack after the death of Ryan and becomes the game's final boss, pumping himself so full of ADAM that he barely resembles his original self. He is killed when a number of freed Little Sisters swarm him and stab him to death with their ADAM needles. In BioShock, Fontaine is voiced by Greg Baldwin while his alter ego Atlas is voiced by Karl Hanover. In BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Hanover replaces Baldwin, voicing both Fontaine and Atlas.
Frank, or in his Atlas guise, also served as the main antagonist in Bioshock Infinite, Burial at Sea II. In this "prequel" to Bioshock, Atlas captures a Little Sister, formerly known as Sally. He forced an alternate reality Elizabeth to work for him to find Dr. Yi Suchong. Elizabeth not only finds him, but also retrieves a canister of "Quantum Particles" that allowed Atlas main base of operations, "Fontaine Department Stores" to rise from its 2000 fathoms depth, promptly igniting the civil war that would destroy Rapture. Atlas then forced Elizabeth to retrieve his "Ace in the Hole", which turned out to be the phrase "Would you kindly...". After retrieving it, he ordered his men to send Jack "home" before killing Elizabeth.
Big Daddies are heavily spliced (genetically mutated and altered) human beings whose skin and organs have been grafted into antiqued, heavily armored atmospheric diving suits. They are armed with a rivet gun, heavy drill, rocket launcher, or ion laser. They roam the underwater dystopian city of Rapture, mentally conditioned to protect the Little Sisters — little girls that harvest a substance called ADAM from corpses — thanks to a series of plasmids stripping them of their humanity and free will. The main types of Big Daddies are Rosies (named after the famous Rosie the riveter), Bouncers, Rumblers, and only appearing in the BioShock 2 downloadable content Minerva's Den, Lancers. Big Daddies appear in both BioShock and BioShock 2, and also one is found in a small easter egg at Rapture in BioShock Infinite. They also played big roles in BioShock Infinite's DLC missions of Burial at Sea.
Little Sisters (originally known as Gatherers) are young girls who have been genetically altered and mentally conditioned to reclaim ADAM from corpses around Rapture. Little Sisters are always accompanied by a Big Daddy. The Little Sisters are almost completely immune to damage but have no offensive abilities. Approaching or attacking them, however, will incur the wrath of their Big Daddy protectors. When the player defeats these protectors, the player can choose either to harvest or rescue the Little Sisters, which affects how much ADAM the player gains and has consequences revealed in the game's ending. Little Sisters are usually hiding in the air vents hidden around Rapture, and they will only come out when called by a Big Daddy. They are not dangerous when their Big Daddy is killed, but stand over its corpse to mourn. If the player decides to rescue the majority of the Little Sisters, Dr. Tenenbaum gives the player gifts as a reward for his kindness. In this case, Tenenbaum leaves a teddy bear somewhere on the map, along with large amounts of First Aid Kits, EVE, money, and ADAM.
Sander Cohen lived among the most famous individuals in Rapture. As one of Rapture's more respected musicians, playwrights, and poets, Cohen resided in a lavish apartment in Mercury Suites, along with other Rapture celebrities such as Frank Fontaine, Brigid Tenenbaum and Yi Suchong. As a result of Rapture's civil war and the chaotic months that followed, Cohen grew extremely paranoid and violently insane. Cohen was given jurisdiction over an area of the city known as Fort Frolic by Rapture's founder Andrew Ryan, with whom he had a close relationship (as Cohen said Ryan was "the man I loved"). The splicers under his domination are often the subject of Cohen's newfound sadistic enjoyment in the death and suffering of others, now seeing violence as an art form. He is voiced by T. Ryder Smith.
Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum is a genetic scientist who helped originally develop ADAM. Brigid Tenenbaum was born near the city of Minsk, Belarus, into a Jewish family with a German father. At the age of 16, she was sent via train to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was going to be experimented on by German doctors, notably Josef Mengele. Before Tenenbaum was tested on, she observed Mengele and started correcting him, which led to the doctors sparing her life and letting her participate in the experiments on the other prisoners. At this time Tenenbaum discovered her love for science and due to her participation in the tests, she survived the Holocaust. Tenenbaum was at early age diagnosed with high-functioning autism. Her absolute adoration of science caused her to be blinded on what happened around her, including the horrific experiments she did, which continued into her adult years.
After arriving in Rapture, she had a bit of a struggle to get the recognition she deserved among the best and brightest, until she discovered the Sea Slug, which contained a substance that could replace cells, which led to the discovery of the wonder-drug ADAM, which allowed the citizens of Rapture to manipulate their DNA. With the help of Frank Fontaine, who further developed the drug, Tenenbaum become known as a scientific genius in the city. Tenenbaum discovered that by putting the slug into a host, it would produce up to thirty times as much ADAM and the only hosts that proved effective were young girls. While Tenenbaum was the "mother" of the Little Sisters, Dr. Yi Suchong was the creator of the Plasmids. Much like her younger self, Tenenbaum was blind to what she was doing, exploiting little girls to her own scientific benefits. When the Little Sisters were first created, she had no regard for them or their lives, seeing the removal of the slugs as no different from removing life support from a terminal patient. Soon before the Rapture Civil War, Tenenbaum's maternal instinct was awoken, causing her to leave her Mercury Suites apartment and life, to reside in the sewers of the residential complex Olympus Heights. Here Tenenbaum began rescuing Little Sisters via a Plasmid she developed, as she felt that they were her responsibility and began to care a great deal about their safety, calling them "little ones" and they called her "Mama Tenenbaum". Tenenbaum was able to survive the fall of Rapture and continued to save Little Sisters in her hiding place.
During the events of BioShock, while in the Medical Pavilion, Jack approaches a lounge in the Surgery wing and sees a Big Daddy being killed by Splicers and thrown through a window. This Big Daddy was protecting a Little Sister, which now is left alone with the remaining Splicer. Just as the Splicer is about to strike the Little Sister, Tenenbaum emerges and shoots him. Tenenbaum warns Jack not to hurt her, while Atlas encourages him to harvest the Sister to get ADAM. When Tenenbaum question Jack's morality, Atlas accuses her of hypocrisy, as she's the one that turned the girls into Little Sister. While Atlas tries to convince Jack that they are not children anymore, Tenenbaum presents an alternative; A Plasmid that would remove the Sea Slug from the girls. The following events gives the player a choice of harvesting the Little Sisters or saving them with Tenenbaum's Plasmid. From this point on, Tenenbaum's perception of Jack is up to the player. If Jack saves the Sisters, Tenenbaum will show her gratitude to him by providing an ADAM gift for him after every third Sister he saves and an overall good attitude towards him. If Jack harvests the Sisters, he will not be granted gifts and she will express her anger towards him. After the Andrew Ryan confrontation and revival of Atlas true identity in Hephaestus, Tenenbaum sends Little Sisters to save Jack from the hands of Fontaine, by leading him into a vent, in where Jack falls and blacks out. Jack wakes up in Tenenbaum's safehouse and she has undone the Would you Kindly mind control condition on him. Tenenbaum can be seen behind glass in an office in the safehouse, smoking and explaining to Jack what has occurred and what he should do next. After this, she serves as Jack's guide throughout the final third of the game and provides the narration during the final scene (which is effected by Jack's choice to save or harvest the Sisters). Sometime after the events of the first game, Tenenbaum leaves Rapture with an undisclosed amount of Little Sisters.
During the events of BioShock 2, 8 years later, she returns to Rapture to rescue Little Sisters and in an attempt to find the cure for Splicing. She contacts Subject Delta's during the beginning and guides him through the first two levels, and is then replaced by Augustus Sinclair, as she needs to help others, aka Charles Milton Porter.
She is voiced by Anne Bobby.
Brigid Tenenbaum's personality and back story were largely developed by Ken Levine, who wanted a believable and flawed human which was managed with the combinations of her medical condition, ethnic background, and overall circumstances. Levine felt that her core characteristics - being a woman, autistic and Jewish - were not what defined her, but 'her absolute adoration of science' was what ultimately did. Up until the development of BioShock 2, her name was spelled "Bridgette" instead of "Brigid". Her in-game Audio Diary portrait for BioShock was based on a photo of actress Geraldine Fitzgerald.
Dr. Yi Suchong is a medical doctor that came to Rapture and set up an independent research lab to help exploit the resources for financial gain. Suchong saw the possibilities of Dr. Tenenbaum's discovery of ADAM, and bore out the means of using ADAM to create plasmids and other technology wonders. He is also credited with creating the Big Daddies to help protect Tenenbaum's Little Sisters. Though initially neutral in the feud between Ryan and Fontaine, Suchong became dissatisfied with Ryan's work and secretly worked with Fontaine. Suchong was part of Fontaine's project to create Jack, Fontaine's "ace in the hole". Suchong conditioned a rapidly growing Jack with his triggers, including the phrase "would you kindly" before Jack was smuggled back to the surface, but was not able to give this information to Fontaine. Within BioShock, Suchong is already dead, though Jack discovers Suchong's name in various recordings. In Burial At Sea Episode Two, which takes place a year before BioShock, Suchong is still alive and shown to have been able to use tears to communicate to Jerimiah Fink from Columbia, the two sharing their research data for the betterment of both Cities, though remaining cautious of the others' motives. Elizabeth witnesses Suchong killed by a Big Daddy, and finds Suchong's notes about Jack, and is able to deliver them to Atlas (Fontaine) for him to utilize the 'ace in the hole'. He is voiced by James Yaegashi.
Dr. J.S. Steinman is Jewish American and one of Rapture's most accomplished surgeons, especially in cosmetics. After ADAM was introduced, Steinman started to become bored as ADAM provided almost no boundaries, but was restricted to the requests of the costumers. When ADAM started to take a toll on his mind he started to mutilate his patients and, becoming insane, began having hallucinations of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. He is voiced by Peter Francis James.
Splicers serve as the mainstay "infantry" within the first two BioShock games. These are humans who through the excessive use of ADAM have mutated into humanoids permanently endowed with various superpowers, but who are also murderously and irreversibly insane. Unlike the protagonists of the first two BioShock games, who can mix and match the powers given to them by the use of plasmids with near-limitless variety, Splicers fall into a set of different categories that give each splicer type a consistent but limited set of abilities and powers (Spider Splicers, Houdini Splicers, Leadhead Splicers, Brute Splicers, etc.). The various Splicer models are also named based on their appearance and persona. The models are Baby Jane, Breadwinner, Brute, Buttons, Crawler, Dr. Grossman, Ducky, Heady, Lady Smith, Pigskin, Rosebud, Toasty and Waders.
The "Baby Jane" splicer model is found throughout Rapture. A failed theater actress, Baby Jane still believes herself to be a star despite the societal collapse around her (of which she seems mostly oblivious.) Her dialogue implies that she was never able to find a steady acting career and had to engage in prostitution in order to make a living. She appears in both BioShock and BioShock 2, and is voiced by C.G. Walker.
The "Breadwinner" splicer was an aspiring businessman who came to Rapture with plans to turn a profit through big business. The Breadwinner is under the delusion that Rapture's steady decline is "just a bad quarter" and that his good fortune is still on the rise. Despite his aspirations (and occasional delusions that he has already achieved his goal), it is heavily implied that he never possessed the business skills or corporate influence he claims to have. Curiously, when the player kills him, the Breadwinner may remark that he is "finally happy." He appears in the first and second games, and is voiced by Adam Sietz.
The Splicer model "Dr. Grossman" is one of the roving medical personnel in Rapture. He is overly eager to provide the player with surgery and his dialogue suggests he was very careless as a doctor, and became one solely for the sake of cutting into people. In addition to his poor bedside manner, he is also a paranoid germophobe. Dr.Grossman also appears in BioShock 2, and is voiced by J.G. Hertzler.
Appearing in the first two games, the "Ducky" Splicer model is an elderly security guard and/or law enforcement official. While more lucid in comparison to other Splicers, Ducky is also intensely prejudiced against racial and religious minorities, mistrustful of younger people, and paranoid of authority figures, believing that he is being watched at all times. Some dialogue implies that he answers to the name "Mr. Coswell." His voice actor in the first game is uncredited, but in the second game, he is voiced by Marcelo Tubert.
The "Lady Smith" Splicer was once a wealthy WASP socialite who enjoyed a life of luxury. However, Rapture's civil war and subsequent societal collapse has left her financially destitute, reducing her to the level of the working class she once looked down upon. Lady Smith is also a prejudiced, self-important elitist who is often heard making bigoted remarks when not bemoaning her fall from grace. She appears in the first two games and is voiced by Susan Blakeslee.
The "Pigskin" Splicer was a teenaged American football player. Despite being forced to kill the player under the command of Andrew Ryan, the Pigskin is vocally reluctant to do so and expresses a desire to simply return home to his parents. He also seems to be scared of Jack, as the "parents" line has a greater chance to occur after the Pigskin witnesses him kill several other splicers. His dialogue implies that his father pressured him to succeed in athletics and set up standards too high for his son to meet. As a result, this Splicer seems to be motivated by a desire to prove to himself and others that he is "good enough" and that he is not a lost cause. He appears only in the first game and is voiced by Joshua Gomez.
The "Rosebud" Splicer is an enemy exclusive to the first game. She represents the female working-class.
The Splicer model "Toasty" appears throughout the first two games. A lecherous, self-entitled individual, Toasty at first believed himself to be a potential lady's man among Rapture's women, only for all of his romantic pursuits to end in total failure. His lack of success at finding a girlfriend has caused him to become violently bitter and misogynistic, to the point where his dialogue implies that he was suspected or accused of raping or murdering a woman, although he vehemently denies this (for example, he will often say things like "I never touched her!", or "I didn't mean to hurt anyone!", etc.) He is often heard complaining about both his romantic failures and his Plasmid-induced deformities, which have made his initial goal of finding romance even more difficult. By the second game, Toasty seems to have mostly overcome his issues with women, claiming to be married and expecting a child. Although it is obvious to the audience that his "family" is merely a figment of his imagination, Toasty is nevertheless often heard expressing great enthusiasm at the prospect of becoming a father, when not occasionally relapsing into his misogynistic ways. He is voiced by Marcelo Tubert.
The "Wader" Splicer model represents Rapture's underclass of Latin-American blue-collar workers. After the decline of Rapture, the Wader turned toward religion to find solace, only for his renewed faith to become an obsession, not helped by the inherent mind-altering nature of Plasmids. The Wader is often heard reciting scripture and religious phrases to himself, and repeatedly claims to "observe all His commandments" even as he attacks the player. He even seems to believe that, by murdering others and contributing to the chaos around him, he is doing God's work. He appears only in the first game, and is voiced by Marcelo Tubert.
Subject Delta is the main protagonist of BioShock 2. Originally known as "Johnny Topside", he discovered Rapture. After being sent to prison, Delta became the first successful Big Daddy subject bonded to a Little Sister, Eleanor Lamb. This bond was capable of killing or inducing coma if it were to be broken, which is what happened on New Year's Eve 1958 when Dr. Sofia Lamb forced (via plasmid) Delta to commit suicide with the use of a pistol, reclaiming her daughter. Ten years later, 1968, Delta is revived by the now adolescent Eleanor Lamb with the use of a vita-chamber reprogrammed to his DNA. Delta is required to find Eleanor, thus repairing the bond between the two. He is part of the Alpha series of Big Daddies.
Augustus Sinclair is Subject Delta's guide through Rapture. He was the creator of Persephone, the headquarters of Sinclair Solutions and also Rapture's prison. During Rapture's height he was a successful businessman with links to Andrew Ryan. Sofia Lamb later, against Sinclair's own freewill, transformed him into the last of the Alpha series, Subject Omega, whom Subject Delta must kill to gain access to the escape raft to exit Rapture. He is voiced by Doug Boyd.
The daughter of Sofia Lamb, and a previous Little Sister. Roughly ten years after the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots she contacts Subject Delta, beginning the events of BioShock 2. Eleanor still remembers Delta after ten years and knows he is searching for her. Throughout the course of the game, she will leave him gifts and messages written on the walls of the city. In the story of BioShock 2, her behavior is influenced by Delta's actions towards the Little Sisters and NPCs. She is voiced by Sydney Unseth and Sarah Bolger.
Dr. Sofia Lamb is the primary antagonist of BioShock 2. She has taken over Andrew Ryan's position as the leader of Rapture, albeit with a completely different ideological view revolving around collectivism. She uses her skills as a psychiatrist to brainwash most of the Splicers in the city, forming a cult known as "The Family". She sends out members of The Family to prevent Subject Delta from reuniting with Eleanor. She is voiced by Fenella Woolgar.
In 2013, Liz Lanier of Game Informer included Lamb among top ten female villains in video games, stating that "an extremist obsessed with the "greater good," Lamb will sacrifice anything and anyone for her own agenda; whether that means brainwashing or murdering to create her utopia, she's down."
The Splicer model "Brute" is exclusive to the second game. The Brute is named such due to his sheer amount of physical strength and raw muscle, resembling a shaved gorilla. This Splicer is motivated primarily by an addiction to violence, as opposed to the religious fervor and cult of personality motivating the other Splicers in Sophia Lamb's Family. The Brute is coarse, pugnacious, and violently and vocally homophobic; ironically, some of his dialogue while under hypnosis suggests that he may himself be a repressed homosexual. He is voiced by Rick D. Wasserman.
The Big Sisters were created when Dr. Gil Alexander noticed that Little Sisters were not being protected sufficiently, and decided they needed a last defense. The Big Sisters are post-pubescent Little Sisters that have become unstable in Rapture's environment. Eight years after the events of BioShock, they are charged with maintaining the ecological balance in Rapture. Their extreme level of powers, far beyond normal plasmid users, can be attributed to their children's bodies adapting to the ADAM created while they were still developing. Thus they have a more natural affinity for the powers ADAM creates. They are extremely fast and agile, making them even deadlier opponents than the slower Big Daddies. The only game Big Sisters are featured in is BioShock 2.
Previously known as Charles Milton Porter, Subject Sigma is the protagonist of Minerva's Den.
The Thinker is a supercomputer located in Rapture Central Computing. A location from Minerva's Den.
Booker DeWitt (Troy Baker), the player protagonist, is a disgraced former agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. As a soldier in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, he had performed brutal acts against native American Indians at the Battle of Wounded Knee to impress his fellow soldiers, and earned him the title "White Injun" due to his tendency to scalp those he killed. These acts left him emotionally scarred, leading to excessive drinking and gambling. He was given an opportunity to be baptized and start anew, but declined. He was later dismissed for behavior beyond the acceptable bounds of the Pinkerton Agency, but considers his actions in quelling labor strikes to be among his many sins. He continued to work as a private investigator from New York City, referring to himself as an "independent contractor". Outwardly, he cares little for the extraordinary, provided that it does not interfere with his ability to do his job; internally, he is disturbed by both his role in the events at Wounded Knee and recurring visions of New York City under attack from the air. Booker is skeptical of faith, unwilling to accept the idea that he can be absolved of his sins by embracing religion, as he considers his sins to be so extreme as to demand a penance rather than forgiveness.
The character of Booker was well received. He was nominated for the Best Male Character by Cheat Code Central, awarded second place. Troy Baker was also praised for his performance as Booker. At the 2013 Spike VGX, his role as Booker was nominated for Best Voice Actor; he ultimately won the award for his role in The Last of Us.
Elizabeth (Courtnee Draper) is a young woman who has been held captive in Columbia for most of her life. She is shown to be intelligent, having spent most of her life studying a wide variety of subjects from geography to medicine and physics, whilst acquiring more practical skills in the form of cryptography and lock-picking. She also has the ability to perceive and interact with the dimensional tears across Columbia. She wears a thimble in place of the tip of her little finger, which had been cut off, though she does not remember how this happened. It is later revealed that she is Anna DeWitt, Booker's daughter, who Comstock kidnapped across dimensions. Her finger was severed when the portal Comstock kidnapped her with closed on it and cut it off. She is the only main character alive at the end of the game (as all the other hypothetical Elizabeths and Annas vanished from existence). She reappears in the Burial at Sea DLCs, first as a companion, and again in part 2, as the playable character, hunting down any and all versions of Comstock who may have survived Booker's sacrifice. She is killed after saving Sally from Fontaine and is beaten to death by him as a result, but not before foreseeing that Jack (whom she met earlier) would kill Fontaine and end the cycle of violence for good.
Elizabeth's confinement within Columbia has been maintained by Songbird, a large, robotic bird-like creature who had been both her friend and her warden. Songbird was designed by its creator to feel betrayal should Elizabeth escape, and Elizabeth notes she "would rather be killed than be recaptured by Songbird." Similar to a Big Daddy (upon which the technology used in its creation may have been based) Songbird's eyes can also turn into 3 different colors: green, yellow and red
Zachary Hale Comstock
Father Zachary Hale Comstock (Kiff VandenHeuvel) serves as the main antagonist of the story. He is revealed to be an alternate version of Booker DeWitt; whereas Booker refused the baptism after the Battle of Wounded Knee, this version accepted it, found faith in religion, and renamed himself as Comstock. Claiming to have received a vision of the future from an archangel, Comstock became a religious fanatic who founded Columbia with the help of the Luteces, and is revered there as "The Prophet".
Comstock created a religion that Ken Levine described as being a hybrid of Christianity and the worship of the Founding Fathers as religious figures. At the same time, he eschews figures like Abraham Lincoln, considering him to be a "devil" that led America astray; in one area of the game, the player encounters a cult-like group that reveres John Wilkes Booth as a hero. To maintain his leadership, Comstock has created a cult of personality and Police State within Columbia, which also protects his secrets by weaving them into the mythology he has created. Under his leadership, Columbia exists with racist and sexist attitudes, with minority groups subject to seizure of assets, false imprisonment and penal labor, torture and summary execution without charge. Although Comstock's acknowledgement of these as crimes is never shown, he himself is revealed to be responsible for at least three murders and leading a violent purge of over forty dissidents.
Comstock claims that Elizabeth is his daughter, born miraculously to his late wife, Lady Comstock, after only seven days in the womb, and that she is "The Lamb" that will lead Columbia in the future. It is later revealed that he had become sterile from the 'Tear' technology used by the Lutece twins, and he employed them to take Anna DeWitt, Booker's child, from another reality to become Elizabeth and his genetic heir to Columbia. He subsequently killed his wife and attempted to kill the Lutece twins to hide this conspiracy. He is killed in the garden room of his airship, the Hand of the Prophet, when Booker smashes his skull in on a baptismal font. A version of Comstock also serves as the protagonist for the first Burial at Sea DLC. After the baby Anna was killed when the dimensional portal (which in the main game only severed her finger) decapitated her, Comstock left his Columbia for Rapture to forget his grief and returned to being Booker DeWitt. There he unofficially adopted a Little Sister named Sally, and was later hired by a version of Elizabeth to find her. This was revealed to be a test to see if this version of Comstock had changed his ways, and when it became apparent that he had not, Elizabeth had the Big Daddy they were fighting impale Comstock from behind and kill him for good.
One source of inspiration for the character and the setting might have been Anthony Comstock (March 7, 1844 – September 21, 1915). He served as United States Postal Inspector and was a politician obsessed with censoring ideas he deemed lewd or immoral. He was known for his witch hunts to censor information and reportedly drove over a dozen people to commit suicide.
Daisy Fitzroy (Kimberly Brooks) is the leader of the Vox Populi. A woman of African-American descent, she originally journeyed to Columbia to find a new life, and took a position as housekeeper in Comstock's mansion. When Comstock murdered his wife to keep Elizabeth's parentage secret, he turned Fitzroy into a scapegoat for the crime and framed the Vox Populi, a group of dissidents, as having ordered the murder in order to create a common enemy to justify the establishment of a police state. This inspired Fitzroy to develop a bitter hatred of the Founders and what they stand for, and she assumed control of the Vox Populi, transforming them into a violent band of extremists. Despite fighting against the injustices perpetrated by the Founders, Daisy and the Vox Populi are presented as being no better than the Founders, given the lengths they are willing to go to in order to overthrow Comstock, including murdering innocent civilians, using child soldiers for psychological warfare, and Fitzroy's propaganda which calls for the seizure of property and wealth belonging to the Founders and the deaths of their families. After staging a successful uprising at the factory of Jeremiah Fink (for which Elizabeth bore some responsibility), she shoots him and attempts to do the same to his son, forcing Elizabeth to stab her through the chest with a pair of shears. In Episode 2 of Burial at Sea, it is revealed that these events were orchestrated by the Lutece twins; they convinced Daisy to take the child to help Elizabeth learn to make hard decisions after revealing that she would not have survived long after the rebellion anyway. Recordings left by Daisy explain that she was increasingly disturbed by the violence perpetuated by her followers, and was unsure as to whether or not she could truly build a better society for Columbia's downtrodden.
The Lutece Twins
Robert (Oliver Vaquer) and Rosalind Lutece (Jennifer Hale) are two mysterious individuals that direct Booker to Columbia and appear throughout his travels. They appear to be near-identical fraternal twins, but it is later revealed that they are the same person from two different realities, differing by sex as well as core ideas, causing them to disagree about certain theories, such as the effects of one person being introduced into a dimension other than their own. Rosalind is shown to be the one to have developed the technology that keeps Columbia afloat under Comstock's orders, and through that, made contact with Robert. Together they worked out how to communicate with and subsequently cross between dimensions to the extent where they can now do so at will. Over the course of the story, it is revealed that Comstock attempted to murder the Lutece twins by sabotaging one of their devices to protect his secrets, but instead they ended up in a state of flux, existing along the entire "possibility space". They now act as agents of reality, attempting to correct imbalances without directly manipulating events.
Lady Annabelle Comstock (Laura Bailey) is the wife of Zachary Hale Comstock and the adoptive mother of Elizabeth. Shortly after meeting Comstock, she became one of his most dedicated followers, but soon became disillusioned when Comstock resorted to increasingly violent tactics to impose his will on the city of Columbia. She grew to resent Elizabeth, and as she grew evermore unstable, she was unable to keep the secret of Elizabeth's parentage and threatened to undermine Comstock's rule over Columbia. Comstock murdered her and blamed Daisy Fitzroy and the Vox Populi for her death, using the act to further establish control over the city by portraying his late wife as a saint to be worshipped by Columbia's citizens. Lady Comstock is eventually resurrected using Elizabeth's powers by Comstock, becoming the "Siren", a being of hate and rage who has the ability to raise the dead to do her bidding. She attempts to kill Elizabeth several times until she convinces her that they are both Comstock's victims, which convinces her to renounce her power and dissipate.
Jeremiah Fink (Bill Lobley) is an unscrupulous businessman who has a monopoly over manufacturing in Columbia, aided by usurping technology that he has observed through the tears, including that of Songbird. Fink is a key supporter of Comstock as it enables him to exploit cheap labor of the underclass, though he does not share Comstock's religious fervor. He has achieved a celebrity status within Columbia, and produces most of the propaganda throughout the city. He also guided Albert, his brother and a composer, to take music heard through the tears and claim it as his own for profit. He is ultimately killed by Daisy Fitzroy when she instigates a revolt at his factory. In Burial at Sea, it is shown that Fink and Suchong shared data and research through a tear linking Rapture and Columbia.
Cornelius Slate (Keith Szarabajka) is a former soldier that fought alongside Booker at the Battle of Wounded Knee before becoming a follower of Comstock and going on to destroy Peking during the Boxer Rebellion. Slate becomes disillusioned with Comstock's rule when he discovers that Comstock has claimed both Slate's and Booker's achievements in battle as his own, and rebels against the city. After Booker defeats his followers, he demands that his old war buddy kill him; if Booker refuses, he is ultimately taken into custody and winds up wheelchair-bound, locked in a remote prison. When Elizabeth opens a tear to another reality where Booker died fighting for the Vox Populi, it is revealed that Cornelius convinced him to join his rebellion, before being killed in a shootout with Comstock's men.
- @IGLevine (4 August 2011). "@TheBeesQueen Tenembaum is from near Minsk, in Belarus. Langford's sexuality is her business!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @IGLevine (4 August 2011). "@TheBeesQueen characters made assumptions. Her father was German, she grew up in Belarus" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @IGLevine (4 August 2011). "@PossumSauce I actually have an unpublished bit of prose about her on the train from Minsk to auschwitz" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- Irrational Games (2007-08-21). BioShock. 2K Games. Scene: Audio Diary Recording: "ADAM Discovery". Level/area: Neptune's Bounty.
Brigid Tenenbaum: "This little Sea Slug has come along and glued together all the crazy ideas I've had since the war… it doesn't just heal damaged cells, it… resurrects them… I can bend the double helix… black can be reborn white, tall, short, weak, strong… But the slugs alone are not enough… I'll need money… and one other thing…"
- Irrational Games (2007-08-21). BioShock. 2K Games. Scene: Audio Diary Recording: "Mass Producing ADAM". Level/area: Arcadia.
Brigid Tenenbaum: "The augmentation procedure is a success. The slugs alone could not provide enough ADAM for serious work. But combined with the host… now we have something. The slug is embedded in the lining of the host's stomach and after the host feeds we induce regurgitation, and then we have twenty, thirty times yield of usable ADAM. The problem now is the shortage of hosts. Fontaine says, "Patience, Tenenbaum. Soon the first home for Little Sisters will be open, and that problem will be solved…""
- Irrational Games (2007-08-21). BioShock. 2K Games. Scene: Audio Diary Recording: "Why Just Girls?". Level/area: Point Prometheus.
Brigid Tenenbaum: "I know why it has to be children, but why just girls? This I cannot determine why, but I know it is so. Fontaine says, "Ah, one less bathroom to build in the orphanage". It is amazing to watch the effect of ADAM on their small bodies. Their own cells, replaced by the new stems the instant they are damaged. These children are practically invulnerable. It is a shame you could not do the same thing to an adult. There would be quite a market for a man you could not kill.""
- Irrational Games (2007-08-21). BioShock. 2K Games. Level/area: Medical Pavilion.
Tenenbaum: "Stay away from her, or it is you who will be shot next."
Atlas: "Easy now, Doctor. He's just looking for a wee bit of ADAM, just enough to get by."
Tenenbaum: "I'll not have him hurt my little ones."
Atlas: "It's okay, lad. That's not a child, not anymore it ain't. Dr. Tenenbaum saw to that."
Tenenbaum: "Bitte, do not hurt her! Have you no heart?"
Atlas: "Aye, that's a pretty sermon coming from the ghoul who cooked up them creatures in the first place. Took fine little girls and turned them into that, didn't you? Listen to me, boyo: you won't survive without the ADAM those… things… are carrying. Are you prepared to trade your life, the lives of my wife and child, for Tenenbaum's little Frankensteins?"
Tenenbaum: "Here! There is another way. Use this, free them from their torment. I will make it to be worth your while, somehow."
- Irrational Games (2007-08-21). BioShock. 2K Games. Level/area: Hephaestus/Rapture Central Control.
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- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Welcome Center.
Zachary Hale Comstock (via Voxophone) - "And then, the archangel showed a vision: a city, lighter than air. I asked her, 'Why do you show this to me, archangel? I'm not a strong man. I'm not a righteous man. I am not a holy man.' And she told me the most remarkable thing: 'You're right, Prophet. But if grace is within the grasp of one such as you, how can anyone else not see it in themselves?'"
- Sydell, Laura (2013-04-01). "'Bioshock Infinite': A First-Person Shooter, A Tragic Play". NPR. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
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- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Downtown Emporia.
Lady Comstock (via Voxophone) - "Tonight, the Prophet moved against his political enemies. He preaches mercy, but forty souls lie tonight dead, in unmarked graves. If a man was ever unworthy of grace, it would be my husband. But when I was beyond redemption, he offered it anyway. How can I deny forgiveness to one who, with love, granted it to me?"
- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Soldier's Field.
Daisy Fitzroy (via Voxophone) - "Days at Comstock House was simple. Hard work, sure, but simple. Wringin' the linens, scrubbing the floors… Lady Comstuck, she even had a kind word, now and then. Almost enough to make me think I had a place in their world. God made foolish girls so HE could have something to play with."
- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Bull House Impound.
Daisy Fitzroy (via Voxophone) - "They argued somethin' fierce at night-- Lady Comstock and the Prophet. Could never make out what it was about from my bunk, though. After the worst, I see she ain't left for morning prayer… so I crept upstairs to check in on her. And like a fool… I lingered. "Scullery maid" was what they called me when I walked into Comstock House. "Murderer" was what they shouted when I ran out."
- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Shantytown.
Preston E. Downs (via Voxophone) - "Well, Fitzroy-- you… you got a low cunning in ya, if nothing else. Dropped a couple grizzly traps 'round the lines up here. Idea was to… to bleed one of your couriers till he gave you up. 'Cept, of course, you're using kids now. Now I got this… tiny Injun boy, eyeballing me. Had to take his leg off. Damn thing's just lying here between us. I sure wish he'd cry or something."
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- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Downtown Emporia.
Rosalind Lutece (via Voxophone) - "Comstock has sabotaged our contraption. Yet, we are not dead. A theory: we are scattered amongst the possibility space. But my brother and I are together, and so, I am content. He is not. The business with the girl lies unresolved. But perhaps there is one who can finish it in our stead."
- Amini, Tina (2013-04-01). "Seeing Through The Eyes Of A BioShock Infinite Villain". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Welcome Center.
Jeremiah Fink (via Voxophone) - "I told you, Comstock, you sell 'em paradise, and the costumers expect cherubs for every chore! No menials in God's kingdom! Well, I've a man in Georgia who'll lease us as many Negro convicts as you can board! Why, you can say they're simple souls, in penance for rising above their station. Whatever eases your conscience, I suppose."
- Irrational Games (2013-03-26). BioShock Infinite. 2K Games. Level/area: Worker Induction Center.
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