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 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 mind controlling, bio-luminescent chemical substance which was filled into the helmet to display what state of emotion or mind that 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 a mascot of sorts for the series.
The "Protector Program" (the project responsible for the creation of Big Daddies) was the brainchild of Dr. Yi Suchong. Knowing that the Little Sisters would be at great risk if they were out on the streets gathering ADAM without any 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 criminals and political dissidents who were prisoners of Persephone. Augustus Sinclair contracted these prisoners out to Ryan Industries as test subjects in the research labs of Fontaine Futuristics and Point Prometheus.
After Suchong's accidental death at the hands of a prototype 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 physical bond between the protectors and their charges that would mimic the emotional bond between a father and his daughter. This breakthrough generated the first successfully bonded Big Daddies: the Alpha Series.
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 conditioning 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. Ryan even tried to combat public dislike of the Protector Program by spinning the Big Daddies as "Knights In Shining Armor" created to protect 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 reinforce the city's structure. After the end of the Protector Program's tests, the inhabitants of those metal diving suits were genetically altered to become the common, mass product Big Daddies. They were genetically conditioned in the research labs of Point Prometheus and trained in the Proving Grounds.
The candidates for induction into the Protector Program went through voice box modification and pheromone application. The pheromones are what attract the Little Sisters to the Big Daddies. After the voice box is modified, the candidates' skin and organs are grafted into the suit to ensure complete adhesion. The candidates are then placed in large vats with a substance that effectively turns them into mindless drones. With gene splicing, the humans inside the suits are given enhanced strength and agility. Their steel suit exoskeletons contain the life support machinery needed to keep them alive during their duties, and allow a Big Daddy to lift heavy weights with ease. The suits also give them the ability to resist deep ocean pressure to a depth of six miles. Big Daddies are sometimes assigned and outfitted to do other constructive tasks around Rapture, and have been seen doing repairs and other maintenance tasks both inside and directly outside the city. The Big Daddies periodically returned to Hephaestus for routine maintenance check-ups.
Big Daddy TypesEdit
So far, there are five main types of Big Daddy protectors, plus 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 high-gauge 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.
Rosies are clad in a basic heavy diving suit, the upper torso of which is covered by a high-gauge metal carapace. The head is guarded by a high-gauge metal diving helmet welded to the torso carapace, and has three large lit portholes. They wield large Rivet Guns and Proximity Mines at long range, and use 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
Ten years later after the events of BioShock, Sofia Lamb is on the rise 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 newer type of Big Daddy. It debuts in BioShock 2. 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.
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 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 have more decayed armor with part of the arm exposed.
Their bonds are to a single Little Sister, Delta being the first successful. Because of this they are believed to not have undergone some of the modifications modern Big Daddies have such as the ingestion of pheromones since there is no need due to their physiologically enforced bond to a single sister and they weren't fused to their suits (as Subject Delta could remove his helmet when he was ordered to by Sofia Lamb when Hypnotized). A lot of the Alpha Series appear to have had incomplete or otherwise faulty bonds in that instead of slipping into a coma, they simply went mad.
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 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.
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 Frank Fontaine
- Knuckles, a friend of Louie McGraff, was apparently turned into a Rosie
- Mark Meltzer, who 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 campaign for BioShock 2
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"