Big Daddies (originally named Protectors, and occasionally referred to as Mister Bubbles by Little Sisters) are genetically enhanced human beings who have had their skin and organs grafted into an enormous diving suit, with Alpha Series being an apparent exception to the grafting process, but still heavily spliced. Their primary purpose is to protect Little Sisters while they escort them around Rapture.
Aside from the Alpha Series, Big Daddies communicate by uttering haunting sounds similar to that of whale calls. Alpha Series communicate with low, inhuman grunts and roars. For easier interpretation (as stated in the Deco Devolution art book), production model Big Daddies have a bio-luminescent chemical substance filled into the helmet which displays what state of mind or emotion it is in. Big Daddy helmets have three light colors: green indicates the Big Daddy is hypnotized and friendly, yellow indicates awareness but indifference to his environment, and red indicates rage towards assailants. If the first few attempts to drive away potential threats prove futile, Big Daddies will become enraged, unlike Alpha Series who always begin enraged.
Big Daddies have become a staple in the BioShock games, becoming the face of the franchise.
Before their conversion into Protectors, these suited cyborgs served as Rapture's maintenance workers; Rosies repaired the leaks and Bouncers drilled deep sea rocks for expansion of the city.
The "Protector Program" (the project responsible for Big Daddies becoming the guardians of Little Sisters) was the brainchild of Dr. Yi Suchong. Finding that the Little Sisters were at great risk when out on the streets gathering ADAM without protection, Suchong sought to rectify the problem. He presented his idea to Andrew Ryan. Knowing that becoming a Big Daddy would be a "one-way street", Suchong fretted about finding suitable candidates despite Ryan's assurances that it would not be a problem. Although the true identities of the candidates are unknown, many were exiled criminals, the criminally insane, and seditionists who were prisoners in Persephone. Augustus Sinclair had originally contracted volunteering prisoners out to Fontaine and later Ryan Industries as test subjects in the ADAM research labs of Fontaine Futuristics and Point Prometheus.
While the process of 'assembling' Little Sisters and Big Daddies proceeded relatively smoothly, the bond connecting them was more difficult. Although he was unaware of it at the time, Suchong succeeded in creating the Protection Bond - an automatic response for the Big Daddies to attack anything that physically harmed a Little Sister.
After Suchong's accidental death at the hands of a Big Daddy, the Protector Program was placed under the control of Dr. Gilbert Alexander. Alexander took inspiration from the common nickname for the Protector Program candidates, "Big Daddies", and engineered a conditioned physical bond between the Protectors and their charges which would mimic the emotional bond between a father and his daughter, the "Pair Bond." The Pair Bond not only ensured that the protectors would guard their charges at all times, they would also not wander away from the girls or else slip into a coma. This breakthrough generated the first fully bonded Big Daddies: the Alpha Series. The first candidate from the protector program to be successfully Pair Bonded was Subject Delta, formerly known as "Johnny Topside". In short time, the Alpha Series protectors failed, as they would protect one and only one Little Sister. In response, the Bouncer and Rosie models were utilized to become the new guardians with conditioning for protecting any Little Sister. Pair Bonding between Daddies and Sisters was no longer necessary and the modified Protection Bonding was deemed sufficient.
As the Big Daddies were sent out on the streets of Rapture, citizens responded to them in different ways. They were referred to by many slang names among Splicers, including "metal daddy" or "tin daddy." Their intimidating appearance and aggressive nature caused fear among the populace. Confrontations with Splicers and well-meaning citizens prompted Ryan to create public address announcements that warned against approaching Big Daddies and Little Sisters. Ryan even tried to combat public dislike of the Protector Program by spinning the Big Daddies as "Knights In Shining Armor" created to protect Rapture against the "Parasites".
Induction and Conditioning ProcessEdit
From the time of its founding, maintenance of Rapture required trained divers in reinforced suits to walk outside along the sea floor to repair leaks and maintain the city's structure. Originally they were normal trained divers, but later, more efficient ADAM-modified criminals were utilized. Former citizens of Rapture had been genetically altered with ADAM and permanently sealed inside the special diving suits and were made useful to the city. After the end of the Protector Program's tests, the inhabitants of those metal diving suits were also conditioned to become Big Daddy Protectors. Additional candidates were genetically modified and conditioned in the research labs and facilities of Point Prometheus. Protector training was eventually done in the Proving Grounds.
The candidates for induction into the Protector Program went through voice box modification, and then the candidates' skin and organs were grafted and integrated into the suit to become one functional unit. The subjects were then placed in large vats of a substance which reduced them to will-less servitors. Pheromone applications were made to the suits, which attracted the Little Sisters to the Big Daddies.
Through Gene splicing, the humans inside the heavy suits were given enhanced strength and agility. Their suit exoskeletons contained the life support machinery needed to keep them alive during their duties, to allow a Big Daddy to lift heavy weights and do other strenuous tasks, and to help resist the cold deep ocean pressure. In BioShock, Big Daddies have been seen doing maintenance repairs both inside and outside in the ocean. Big Daddies were also programmed to periodically return to facilities like Hephaestus for routine maintenance check-ups.
In addition to making the Big Daddies stronger, the heavy splicing also made them dependent on ADAM to survive. The Little Sisters they guard inject a portion of their harvest into their Protectors to keep them functioning. Making their bond a symbiosis, appealing to the sense of self-preservation within these lumbering brutes, if the Pair/Protector Bond wasn't intensive enough for them to proctect their charges. 
Big Daddy TypesEdit
So far, there are five main types of Big Daddy protectors, including two elite versions for only the Bouncer and Rosie. Of the five protectors, only four are functional and protect the Little Sisters, with only the original Alpha Series as non-functional protectors, with the exception of Subject Delta and Subject Sigma.
Bouncers are clad in a very distinct heavy diving suit, the entire torso of which is covered by a thick metal carapace. The head protrudes directly forward from the upper chest area, and is encased in a hemispherical helmet studded with eight lit portholes. A large, fully-functional conical drill is attached to the right arm just forward of the elbow, and is used for powerful melee attacks. The Bouncers get their name from an attack they use, in which they strike the ground with their drills, resulting in a tremor that gives close-proximity enemies unstable footing.
Both a regular and a red striped Elite version with a harpoon-like drill appear in BioShock and BioShock 2.
In the BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC, the Bouncer could use the drill as a grappling hook to move about easier, and also to get closer to those that threaten a Little Sister. It is a new feature for that tool/weapon not seen in previous games. This is explained with a noted in Suchong's clinic stating that the the gases that project the drill make the subject unstable and to discontinue this idea.
Rosies are clad in a basic heavy flexible fabric diving suit, the upper torso of which is covered by a high-gauge metal carapace. The head is guarded by a thick metal diving helmet welded to the torso carapace, and has three large lit portholes. They wield a large Rivet Gun and Proximity Mines at long range, and swing the Rivet Gun for powerful melee attacks as well.
A red striped Elite version is present in the original BioShock.
Introduced in BioShock 2 Edit
- "Big Daddies represent BioShock: They are iconic fixtures in Rapture. In BioShock 2, you step into the shoes of the first Big Daddy and assume the role of one of the most feared beings within the city walls. Designing new Big Daddies posed a significant challenge: Not only did the team have to design a playable Big Daddy, but they also had to create other Big Daddies that would still present a significant threat to you, despite the fact that you now also wield a drill."
- ―Deco Devolution Artbook - Introduction to Big Daddy chapter
Eight years after the events of BioShock, Sofia Lamb is in control of Rapture and she and her followers have produced new Big Daddies to help protect the Little Sisters. Bouncers and Rosies return to the sequel, along with three new types.
The Rumbler is the newest type of Big Daddy, and debuts in BioShock 2. Designed by Gilbert Alexander, his arsenal includes deployable Miniature Turrets and a shoulder mounted RPG that shoots non guided rockets. This Big Daddy type seems to be more mobile than the other two types, although less armored. Its combat style gives it an advantage in open spaces, unlike its two counterparts, and it seems to fare well in long to mid-range combat. Its attacks are designed to keep the player on the move, and it can quickly turn the environment to its advantage and give the player as little cover as possible. A very formidable foe to say the least.
Like Subject Delta, other failed prototypes of the Alpha Series of Big Daddies survived. They have long since lost their Sisters, and have evolved into something vaguely like a Splicer. These are barely sentient monsters that attack anything near them. Like Delta, they can use Plasmids and regularly emit bursts of Electro Bolt, Incinerate!, and Winter Blast from within their malfunctioning suits. They tend to use Launchers, Machine Guns, and sometimes Shotguns in addition to their Plasmids. Their armor is similar to Delta's, but more decayed with part of the arm exposed.
Their bond was to be to a single Little Sister, with Delta being the first bonding success. Because of this, they are believed to not have undergone some of the modifications later Big Daddies have, such as the application of pheromones. There was no need due to their physiologically enforced bond to a single Little Sister. They were not fused into their suits (as Subject Delta could remove his helmet when he was ordered to by Sofia Lamb). Many of the Alpha Series subjects appear to have had incomplete or otherwise faulty bonds, so that instead of slipping into a coma after losing their Little Sisters, they simply went insane.
Minerva's Den, BioShock 2's final DLC, features a new type of Big Daddy. The Lancer is much slimmer, slightly taller, and more decorated than his counterparts. He holds an Ion Laser, and appears to be a finished version of the Deco-Rosie, as seen in concept art and as a statue in the main Single-Player campaign. This is the only type of Big Daddy the player encounters in the Minerva's Den campaign aside from the Alpha Series.
In the multiplayer segment of BioShock 2, the player is able to become a Rosie by picking up a Big Daddy Suit. As a Big Daddy, the player has access to the Rosie's Rivet Gun and Proximity Mines, as well as the ability to perform a stomp which stuns nearby enemies. In the multiplayer, Rosies have three different "moods," indicated by the light emanating from their portholes:
- Blue Light: Indicates that the Rosie is on the player's team, and as such is friendly to them.
- Yellow Light: Indicates the Rosie is unallied yet hostile. Yellow Lights only appear in free for all games.
- Red Light: Indicates that the Rosie is a member of the opposite team, and thus hostile to the player.
Introduced in BioShock Infinite Edit
Songbird's mechanical features are similar to that of the Big Daddy, with color-changing eyes to indicate its mood. Green eyes indicate friendliness toward a person or object of focus, namely Elizabeth, orange indicates awareness but indifference to Songbird's surroundings, and red represents heavy hostility, chiefly towards Booker. Initially, this was found to be nothing more than a coincidence, but in Burial at Sea: Part Two, it is revealed to be a prototype of the Big Daddy Program as a result of a collaboration between Fink of Fink Inc. and Dr. Yi Suchong of Rapture (made possible by a Tear). He is part of the first, and now prototype line of experimental Big Daddy's (Though that name hadn't been used then) using animals such as gorillas and horses in place of humans to test the possibility of Pair Bonding. He bonded with a young Elizabeth making him the first Big Daddy (prototype) to form a pair bond, something once thought to only be achieved by Subject Delta.
Significant Big Daddies Edit
There are six "named" Big Daddies so far in the BioShock series:
- Jack, the main protagonist of BioShock, partially turned himself into a Rosie in order to follow Atlas.
- Knuckles, a friend of Louie McGraff, was apparently turned into a Rosie.
- Mark Meltzer, was turned into a Rumbler after being captured by Sofia Lamb in BioShock 2.
- Subject Delta, the Alpha Series protagonist of BioShock 2.
- Augustus Sinclair, who was turned into the last Alpha Series, Subject Omega, after being captured by Sofia Lamb in BioShock 2.
- Subject Sigma, the Alpha Series protagonist of the Minerva's Den.
- Songbird one of the earliest prototypes using animals instead of humans, boss of BioShock Infinite.
Popular Culture Edit
- For appearances of the Big Daddy outside the BioShock series, see BioShock in Other Media.
- ↑ BioShock 2 Multiplayer Loading Screen Quotes, rank 9 Rapture Standard quote
- ↑ BioShock 2 Strategy Guide, pg 22
- ↑ Audio Diary: "Running Short on R-34s"