|Place of Death||Fontaine's Lair,|
|Appears in||BioShock |
|Voice Actor||Karl Hanover|
- "I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. These people will liberate themselves."
Atlas is the revolutionary who led the working class of Rapture against Andrew Ryan and his followers during the Civil War. A significant character in BioShock, he guides the protagonist through the collapsed utopia since his arrival. He speaks with a thick Irish accent.
When Ryan nationalized Fontaine Futuristics, Atlas was the first to protest against him in front of the citizens. With Frank Fontaine pronounced dead by the Council, Atlas used the poor houses left behind by him (such as Fontaine's Home for the Poor) to rally the disillusioned citizens and build an army against Ryan. Making the Hestia Chambers in Apollo Square their headquarters, Atlas' followers started to gather weapons, Plasmids and Gene Tonics to arm themselves. The decisive action which officially started the war was the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots and the bombing of the Kashmir Restaurant, where most of the important and wealthy people in Rapture were gathered for the Masquerade Ball.
In order to contain the rebels, Ryan gave orders to "relocate" any malcontents and isolate them in Apollo Square, thus transforming the district into a ghetto closed in by a giant gate and defended by Ryan's private forces. The Council agreed to introduce the death penalty in Rapture, which caused more people in Ryan's ranks to reconsider their position in the conflict, including Security Chief Sullivan.
As the conflict deepened through 1959, more people joined Atlas' cause, including Ryan's ex-lover Diane McClintock. These followers organized themselves to take down Big Daddies, causing casualties on both sides during the armed struggles. The raiding parties were purely focused on the goal of wresting power from Ryan, and they were willing to kill young girls, the Little Sisters, to get the ADAM stored within them.
In the desperate arms race with the rebels, Ryan was forced to use more and more extreme measures, eventually locking down most public transportation in the city in an attempt to restrict the Atlas' movements. In the end, Ryan resorted to using a plan left to him by the late Dr. Suchong: modifying the structure of Ryan Industries' Plasmid line to make users vulnerable to mental suggestion through pheromones. With his army now controlled by his enemy, Atlas and the few remaining unspliced rebels went into hiding in the ruined city, unable to escape it with the bathyspheres put in lock down since the beginning of the war.
At the beginning of the game, Atlas is trying to escape the city with his family. When a plane crash occurs near the Lighthouse over Rapture, one of Atlas' followers, Johnny, tries to reach the only survivor of the accident, Jack, who had descended in the only bathysphere left topside. With Johnny trapped and killed by a female Splicer and the bathysphere severely damaged, his only option to help Jack is to guide him through the wrecked districts of Rapture via a shortwave radio, hoping that Jack will help him rescue his wife Moira and infant son Patrick, who both are trapped in Rapture. Atlas states that he had come to Rapture in search of a better life for them (like many among the working class), but now feels as if "God's punishing [him] for bringing her and Patrick to this place".
Thus, Atlas serves as Jack's guide, proving to be a useful ally in the otherwise totally alien city of Rapture. He introduces the young man to the fallen utopia, ADAM, and the events which occurred after the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots. He asks Jack to help him reach his family in a bathysphere hidden in the Smuggler's Hideout, a secret cave used by the smugglers before the Civil War and located in the foundation of Fontaine Fisheries in Neptune's Bounty. Atlas states that his plan is for them to escape the city once they have been reunited in the bathysphere.
Atlas helps Jack by guiding him through the Medical Pavilion and then through Neptune's Bounty. Eventually, Jack reaches the secret submarine bay in the hidden base used by the smugglers. However, waves of Splicers sent by Ryan begin to invade the area soon after Jack opens the door to let Atlas into the submarine chamber. As Atlas fights for his life, the submarine is blown up, killing his wife and son. With Jack retreating in Arcadia, Atlas' goal then becomes revenge — the assassination of Andrew Ryan and the retaking of Rapture from his corrupt hands. And so, Atlas asks again for Jack's continued help in order to end the tyrant's reign.
Atlas continues to guide Jack through Arcadia and the Farmer's Market, where Ryan introduces a toxin into the air that kills all the trees producing oxygen, decreasing the oxygen in both places enough to automatically put the area into lock down. Atlas then guides Jack through the process of creating the Lazarus Vector, an invention of professor Julie Langford, which restores the trees to health and ends the lock down. Jack continues on to Fort Frolic, where Atlas' radio frequency is jammed by the head of that district, the eccentric artist Sander Cohen. This forces Jack to rely only on himself to escape the recreation district.
Finally, Jack reaches Hephaestus and Rapture Central Control, Ryan's headquarters. With the self-destruction of Rapture triggered, Jack has a final confrontation with Ryan in which the latter reveals Jack's true origins and the fact that Atlas had been controlling all of his movements since his arrival through mental conditioning. This conditioning had forced Jack to obey every command Atlas gave that was connected to a single trivial phrase: "Would you kindly". With Ryan dead, Atlas orders Jack to use the city's genetic key in order to stop Rapture's impending destruction. Once this has been completed, Atlas drops his disguise.
With all his long-awaited objectives now accomplished, "Atlas" reveals his true identity as Frank Fontaine, the businessman, smuggler and mobster who rose to power in Rapture's society and challenged Andrew Ryan's claim over the city, thus leading to its downfall. Atlas was a name that Fontaine first adopted when he was listed as dead in 1958, supposedly killed in a staged shootout at Fontaine Fisheries with Security Chief Sullivan's security forces. Referring to Atlas as his "longest con", Fontaine created his new persona to be a working class hero who could rally the people in the continued struggle against Ryan.
Subject Delta is able to explore Fontaine's office at Fontaine Futuristics, where the player can find the Audio Diary "Goodbye to Fontaine" which depicts Fontaine sliding into his Atlas persona for the first time. In Fontaine's office there is also a picture of a man who looks like Fontaine next to a small boy and a woman, although the identity of this trio is unknown. The picture is entitled "The Fontaine Family."
Another of Fontaine's Audio Diaries, "Falling Into Place", can be found in Imago Fine Arts within Dionysus Park. In this Audio Diary, he marvels at the fact that he has an entirely new face to fit his fully developed Atlas persona, and he mentions setting up the events that occur in first game, including that "the prodigal son is 'bookin' his flight."
In Multiplayer, Team Atlas is one of the two factions fighting the civil war (The other being Andrew Ryan's). Also, several of the loading screen quotes either reference Atlas or are spoken by him.
Behind the Scenes Edit
- The name "Atlas" is, like Andrew Ryan, inspired by the works of Ayn Rand, a Russian-American philosopher whose 'Objectivism' is similar to the philosophy on which Ryan founded Rapture. Rand's last novel was entitled, Atlas Shrugged, a reference to the Greek myth of a Titan condemned to support the heavens on his shoulders for eternity.
- The posters inscribed, "Who is Atlas?" are a reference to the line, "Who is John Galt?" from Ayn Rand's novel, 'Atlas Shrugged'.
- The player may find a poster in Fort Frolic and Atlas' HQ in Apollo Square advertising the play "Patrick and Moira", a story of love after death. This was probably the source of Fontaine's inspiration for the names of his fictional family.
- Occasionally throughout the game, Fontaine gets out of character of being Atlas and he does not have his story straight. While posing as Atlas, Fontaine tells Jack that he brought his wife, Moira, and son, Patrick down from the surface to Rapture. However, when Jack enters The Fighting McDonagh's Tavern, he says that he took Moira there for their first date. He also uses distinctly American phrases, like when commenting that Nitro Splicers are "sounding off like it's the 4th of July," Cohen being a "Section 8" kind of crazy, using the term "yards"(An American unit of measurement) rather then the metric "meters" used by the rest of the world and an American football allusion: "Every time we get a yard ahead, Ryan goes and moves the goal line down to the other side of the field!"
- If one compares his photo to Fontaine's, it is easy to notice that Atlas's face is clearly Fontaine, only with hair, without a mustache, and a more noticeable cleft chin. It wasn't so hard for Fontaine to disguise himself as Atlas: only the basic change of appearance and a different way of speaking.
- Inside Fontaine's apartment in Olympus Heights, a phonograph can be heard playing "Danny Boy" by Mario Lanza, a famous Irish song.
- Greg Baldwin, the voice actor of Frank Fontaine, has stated in an interview that he was originally asked to speak the part of Atlas as well, and would have done them in an American southern accent. However, the developers chose to switch to an Irish voice for Atlas, and hired a separate voice actor.
- Even though Atlas is a major character, he does not have a uniquely designed model (unlike Andrew Ryan and Sander Cohen). Instead his model is a re-skinned Waders Splicer. This is because Atlas is never encountered up close until the final boss encounter.
- His "I am not a Liberator" quote is taken from the famous Argentinian-born revolutionary, Che Guevara.
- In the BioShock: Rapture novel, Atlas claims to have a daughter when speaking to Diane McClintock and yet claims to have a son in the game.
- ↑ Ayn Rand on Wikipedia
- ↑ Atlas Shrugged on Wikipedia
- ↑ Atlas, Greek mythology on Wikipedia
- ↑ Atlas Shrugged, plot summary on Wikipedia
- ↑ Neptune's Bounty Radio Message: "My wife Moira"
- ↑ Neptune's Bounty Radio Message: "First date"
- ↑ Medical Pavilion Radio Message: "Catch Explosives"
- ↑ Fort Frolic Radio Messages: "Sander Cohen"
- ↑ Radio Messages: Arcadia - Farmer's Market#10. Atlas - A yard ahead
- ↑ Danny Boy (Irish folksong), on Wikipedia
- ↑ The Fukerton’s Exclusive interview with the voice of Frank Fontaine: Greg Baldwin
- ↑ Che Guevara, article on Wikipedia