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Alpha Series (Big Daddy)

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"Poor things… what a life. Marchin’ around playin’ Daddy until some Splicer manages to kill off their Sister… and then if the coma doesn’t take ‘em they turn maniac... nothin’ left to do but scream."
―Augustus Sinclair[src]

The Alpha Series, a type of Big Daddy, was the first line of protectors to be bonded to Little Sisters. They are introduced in BioShock 2 as a new type of enemy.

HistoryEdit

The Alpha Series were a failed line of prototype Protectors developed first by Dr. Yi Suchong. The line was completed by Dr. Alexander using prisoners from Persephone Penal Colony as test subjects. Each member of the Alpha Series began as a test subject for various Fontaine Futuristics Plasmids, and they retain some Plasmid abilities as a result. The bodies of the Alpha Series were less drastically modified than the later models when placed inside their suits. Functioning Alpha Series such as Subject Delta were still heavily spliced, granting them greater strength and stature than most citizens.

The main difference between the Alpha Series and the other Big Daddies is the nature of their bond to the Little Sisters. Each Alpha Series was created with an unbreakable physiological bond to a single Little Sister. This bond created a fail-safe enforced by each Little Sister's pheromone signature—an Alpha Series that wandered too far from his bond partner for an extended period of time would lapse into coma or madness.

This bond proved to be too effective, as each Big Daddy in the Alpha Series became useless after his Little Sister was killed by attacking Splicers or saved by Brigid Tenenbaum. Any Alpha Series model that was not rendered comatose as a result of his Sister being lost descended into emotional instability to the point of psychosis. (Gilbert Alexander recalls seeing one Alpha Series crying at a Gatherer's Garden in mourning for his Little Sister in one of his audio diaries). The Plasmids and Tonics the candidates were exposed to destabilized them further, as rips in the armor of Alpha Series encountered in Fontaine Futuristics reveal their skin as lumpy and grotesque. The prototypes still remaining by the events of BioShock 2 were only useful as foot soldiers, as their suicidal aggression made them unfit for anything else.[1]

When the Alpha Series failed, it was discovered that previous Big Daddy models, namely the Bouncer and Rosie, could be used as suitable protectors. These models had been created before the Alpha Series, but their sole purpose was for the construction and repair of the city. The Bouncer and Rosie were much more suitable protectors as there already existed a large population of them, and they would be able to protect any Little Sister while still carrying out their original function.

CharacteristicsEdit

Alpha 1

An Alpha Series in the Plasmid Show Rooms in Fontaine Futuristics.

Unlike other types of Big Daddies, the Alpha Series attacks the player immediately, eliminating any chance to prepare. Like Subject Delta, the Alpha Series prototypes are not as heavily armored as production-line Big Daddies. As a consequence, they cannot withstand the same level of damage, although they are still significantly tougher than standard Splicers (other than Brute Splicers, which have roughly the same level of health and strength as the Alpha Series). They are also vulnerable to bonus damage from headshots, such as the Rivet or Spear Gun, and take 50% increased damage from explosives.

Alpha Series models have six times the health of standard Leadhead Splicers in Fontaine Futuristics and Persephone. However, their reduced durability is balanced by increased speed, better combat flexibility, greater damage output, and tactical intelligence. They also appear in greater numbers than other Big Daddies, often attacking in pairs or in concert with Rapture Family Splicers. Like Subject Delta, Alpha Series come equipped with a variety of firearms, including Shotguns, Machine Guns, or Launchers, all of which possess the same upgrades that the player has chosen for their own weapons.

MoodsEdit

Unlike all other Big Daddies, Alpha Series models are always hostile unless under the effects of the Hypnotize 3 Plasmid.

AttacksEdit

Delta Model

An Alpha Series emitting an elemental burst in Inner Persephone.

  • Melee - Alpha Series have two different melee attacks:
    • Quick-Melee - The Alpha Series' standard melee attack, in which they use their weapon to hit Delta. This attack is identical to the one used by the latter when performing a quick-melee attack with the same weapon.
    • Headbutt - A more powerful melee attack in which the Alpha Series will grab Subject Delta's shoulders and headbutt him, stunning him momentarily. The damage from this attack can be minimized if Delta hits the Alpha at the right time, or dodges.
  • Shoot - The Alpha Series' standard ranged attack, during which they fire their Launcher, Machine Gun or Shotgun. The weapons used by the Alpha Series have exactly the same upgrades as the players', and so their shots possess the same properties.
  • Frag Throw - The Alpha Series throws a Frag Grenade, which explodes upon impact.
  • Elemental Burst - The Alpha Series releases fire, ice, or lightning at random from its suit. This attack occurs randomly, even outside combat, and will temporarily stun the Alpha Series while it discharges its elemental burst.

StrategyEdit

Alpha Series are drastically different from production line Big Daddies in both behavior and combat style. Most, if not all, standard Big Daddy tactics do not apply when combating them. The following section is specific to Alpha Series, and does not cover other Big Daddies:

  • The first Alpha Series Big Daddy crashes through the wall of a large room near the beginning of the Fontaine Futuristics level. While waiting for him, simply move to the edge of the upper platform and he will stop below to fire grenades at Delta. Catch them with Telekinesis and release the trigger to fire them back at him. This eventually kills him without Subject Delta ever taking a hit. Additionally, setting traps on the large globe he first appears on will easily down him.
  • Unlike regular Big Daddies, Alpha Series are vulnerable to headshot damage. Additionally, their heads are very large, making it very easy to score headshots on them.
  • Alpha Series, however different from their mass-production counterparts, retain their vulnerability to Armor-Piercing ammunition.
  • Avoid getting too close to an Alpha, as their elemental storm ability may damage the player.
  • Alpha Series are some of the fastest enemies in the game, and can easily cross a room or navigate through a level and attack Delta, using lightning-fast melee strikes to juggle the player.
  • Alpha Series can do a large amount of damage in a short time depending on their weapon. As such, they should almost always be prioritized over other enemies.
  • While most other gun-wielding enemies will keep their distance, Alpha Series will always close in on the player, mixing their long range firepower with close-range blows and elemental discharges. Only the Alpha Series armed with the Launcher will keep their distance to unleash their explosive payload.
  • Alpha Series models are able to charge the player without seeing them, and can perform the attack from behind scenery or a different section of the area.

Recommended Weapons and AmmunitionEdit

  • The Drill, if upgraded, will be able to kill an Alpha Series very quickly. They can also be killed with a maximum of four Drill Dashes.
  • The Rivet Gun's ability to headshot makes it a cheap and effective means of killing an Alpha Series. Heavy Rivets are the most recommended form of ammunition, as they will kill an Alpha Series in five headshots, or as little as two depending on upgrades, Gene Tonics, and difficulty level.
  • Spears from the Spear Gun will deal a huge amount of damage with every headshot. A single headshot with an upgraded Spear will almost completely drain an Alpha Series' health, allowing the player to finish them off quickly.
  • The Launcher's high damage output will allow the player to fell an Alpha Series in four shots (three with a fully-upgraded Launcher). Heat-Seeking RPGs work best, as they deal the most damage.

Recommended PlasmidsEdit

  • Electro Bolt will stop an Alpha Series' charge attack, and will allow the player to score headshots during the stun time. It is also very useful if the Alpha Series is standing in water, causing high damage through electrocution.
  • Winter Blast at levels 2 or 3 will allow the player to easily destroy these enemies—a single Drill Dash will shatter a frozen Alpha Series—and still be able to collect loot from them. Alpha Series shatter under the effects of Winter Blast 1, so avoid using the Plasmid without upgrading it.
  • Hypnotize will set the Alpha against all nearby enemies. If the Plasmid is at level 3, the player will also be able to befriend this enemy, gaining a powerful ally.
  • Incinerate! 3 will create a stream a fire that lowers the Alpha Series' health quickly. The player can then finish them off with any other weapon.
  • Decoy will distract the Alpha Series so the player can have time to strike.
  • Insect Swarm causes continuous damage against Alpha Series and will also temporarily distract them. Insect Swarm 3 turns dead enemies killed by the Plasmid into traps, which are useful as Alpha Series often attack with other enemies.

Recommended TonicsEdit

  • The Armored Shell line of tonics decreases any physical damage taken. This helps against the Alpha Series' high damage attacks.
  • Elemental Sponge will allow the player to make the most of an Alpha's elemental burst by gaining EVE while suffering from its effects, compensating somewhat for the health lost in the process.
  • Walking Inferno decreases any fire damage taken and increases fire damage dealt. This helps when an Alpha Series releases a burst of fire.
  • Electric Flesh makes the user immune to electricity-based damage, and boosts the effects of any electrical attacks inflicted upon an enemy. This effect will completely protect the player from an Alpha Series' electrical bursts, as well as their Tesla Upgrade to the Shotgun if the player has purchased it.
  • Damage Research increases the effect of any damage bonuses against the Alpha Series earned from research. This is entirely dependent on how much research the player has done.
  • Headhunter will increase the effectiveness of headshots against this enemy.

Help CaptionEdit

It took some time to get the Big Daddy formula right. The Alpha Series is evidence of years of false starts. Former test subjects for experimental Plasmids, these poor volunteers were then brainwashed and sealed into metal armor. Attempts to pair bond them with Little Sisters failed, leaving them as feral, barely-human wrecks.
Fiercely territorial, the Alpha Series now wander the halls of Fontaine Futuristics and Persephone Penal Colony, attacking anything that might intrude from the outside -- namely, you. They are prone to uncontrolled Plasmid outbursts, and tend to favor heavy munitions in fending off their foes.
Spoilers

Notable Alpha Series MembersEdit

  • Subject Delta: The protagonist of BioShock 2.
  • The first Alpha Series encountered, in a one-on-one "boss battle" in the lobby of Fontaine Futuristics, has roughly 50% more health than a normal Alpha Series.
  • Unnamed Alpha Series: The protagonist of the Protector Trials for BioShock 2.
  • Subject Omega (Augustus Sinclair): He has 2.5 times as much health as a standard Alpha Series, as well as a clean, undamaged suit similar to that of Subject Delta.
  • Subject Sigma (Charles Milton Porter): The protagonist of Minerva's Den, the narrative downloadable content of BioShock 2.

GalleryEdit

Bugs/GlitchesEdit

  •  Icon pc Icon xbox Icon ps3The Alpha Series encountered in Inner Persephone have the "Δ" symbol on their hand. This might suggest that the skin and model used for these particular Alpha Series may have originally been intended for Subject Delta before being replaced and relegated to the Alpha Series in Inner Persephone. In this case, the symbol's presence is most likely an oversight by the developers.
  • A glitch can be activated while heading to the pediatric ward in the infirmary of Inner Persephone that will create an invincible Alpha Series. Use the Summon Eleanor Plasmid to send Eleanor through the door heading to the ward. Do not enter the door, or the Alpha Series at the end of the hall leading to the ward will disappear like it is scripted to. If done correctly, the glitch will create an unstoppable Alpha Series that displays no health bar, cannot be researched, and is immune to all Plasmid effects.[confirmation needed]
  • When the player encounters the first Alpha Series in the game, he or she can freeze it with Winter Blast 2, then use Telekinesis to launch it back into the hole in the wall it came from. Doing so will force the player to go back to the last saved spot, as it is impossible for the player to progress through the game after throwing the Alpha Series through the wall.[confirmation needed]

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Alpha Series that the player encounters have a suit color which differs from that of Subject Delta, indicating either later creation or more advanced decay. Delta's suit is blue and brown with a copper colored helmet, while most of the Alpha Series wear a faded blue and brown suit with a bronze colored helmet. In addition, their armor differs slightly compared to that of Subject Delta: there is only one pipe connected to the helmet, and the eve/health containers do not appear to be connected to the suit. The oxygen tanks also seem to be smaller.
  • The Alpha Series encountered in Persephone have silver helmets and gray diving suits, much like Subject Omega.
  • In the original concept arts for the Alpha Series in the Deco Devolution Artbook, they showed extreme degradation. This appearance included large holes in their suits oozing flesh, green decayed helmets, and eyes and mouths extending from tumorous growths in the broken helmet. This grotesque design was dropped; however, Alpha Series do have their left arm partially exposed, a holdover from the concept art.
  • In most of the original concept art, the Greek symbol for Gamma ( Γ ) is branded on the back of the hands of the Alpha Series. Although Colin Fix calls one of these concepts "Subject Gamma," the symbol is more likely used as an example of a labeled Alpha Series, as it also appears on more than one Alpha Series concept. The finalized in-game model doesn't have this or any symbol, which is replaced with layered barnacles.
  • Alpha Series have animated shadows, unlike Delta, whose shadow only changes when he rotates.
  • In BioShock 2's game files, the Alpha Series model is classified as "Mad Daddy," likely due to their hostile nature.
  • The Alpha Series' call is a guttural roar, unlike the low groans of the other Big Daddies.
  • Due to the Alpha Series' lesser modifications (they are not fused to their suits, as Delta and Sigma are able to remove their helmets), they still have the ability to cry, as mentioned by Gilbert Alexander in Outlived Usefulness.
  • Delta (and other Alpha Series Big Daddies) have 'diving knives' on their hips, but they are unusable. However, Delta's diving knife will disappear at random when his body is shown.
  • Alpha Series, with the exception of Subject Delta, Sigma, and Omega, are the only type of Big Daddy which do not produce light from their portholes. Additionally, if one inspects the porthole after defeating an Alpha Series, cracks can be seen throughout the glass.
  • Alpha Series, such as the unnamed Alpha Series, Sigma, and Delta, appear to carry Little Sisters on their backs. This behavior varies from that of other Big Daddies, who let their Little Sisters walk on the ground to guide them to corpses.
  • When playing on any difficulty setting, at least one Alpha Series will play dead in the laboratories of Fontaine Futuristics.
  • Although Alpha Series have been seen wielding Machine Guns, Shotguns and Launchers, they have never been encountered wielding the Drill or the Rivet Gun (with the exception of Subjects Delta and Sigma, as well as the protagonist in the Protector Trials).
  • In the novel BioShock: Rapture, Dr. Suchong refers to the Alpha Series as the "Alpha creatures."
  • The Alpha Series hold the barrel of the Machine Gun when they fire it, which would prevent it from spinning and firing properly in reality.
  • Despite their suicidal aggression, Alpha Series only attack Subject Delta, ignoring other enemies completely unless prompted to attack them with Hypnotize. Furthermore, their elemental outbursts only damage Delta unless befriended.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Audio Diary: Outlived Usefulness

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