|Arrived in Rapture||c. 1946|
|Voice Actor||Anne Bobby|
- "That Tenenbaum ain't what you think. Florence Nightingale, huh? That'll all come crashing down 'fore you can say 'canned tomatoes'. I've seen good bunco, and I've seen great bunco. But, when you waltz through Rapture and World War Two without even a scratch? You got more than leprechauns watching over you."
- ―Frank Fontaine[src]
Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum is a geneticist who discovered and helped develop ADAM for commercial sale. She is also the "mother" of the Little Sisters; she created them, and eventually came to care a great deal about their safety, calling them her "little ones" and acting as a mother to them. The player is able to win her allegiance by saving the Little Sisters instead of harvesting them for ADAM.
Tenenbaum grew up near the city of Minsk in Belarus. Her father was German, and she was raised in the Jewish faith. When she was sixteen years old, she became a prisoner at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, where she observed German doctors experimenting on prisoners. Occasionally, when the Germans made scientific errors, she would correct them, and she discovered that she had a vocation for science. Eventually, the Germans put her to work assisting them in their infamous medical experiments. Tenenbaum considered the German experiments to be useless, and was indifferent to the Holocaust in general. She survived the concentration camp likely due to her helpfulness to the doctors, which had earned her the nickname "Das Wunderkind" ("The Wonderchild").
Tenenbaum later gained a reputation as a scientific genius. In 1946 she mysteriously disappeared. Speculations said she had been taken to America or the Soviet Union, like many scientists after WWII, or possibly that she had been the victim of a retaliation for her collaboration with the Nazis. Her true destination, however, was Rapture.
Life in RaptureEdit
Discovery of ADAMEdit
After her arrival in Rapture, while walking on the docks of Port Neptune she discovered a smuggler whose crippled hands had been restored to normal functionality after being bitten by a sea slug. She researched the slug and found it could heal damaged cells, even resurrect them. Her further research explored the functions of the substance the sea slugs produced. It was dubbed ADAM, which allowed people to manipulate (splice) their DNA, opening up the possibility of giving them superpowers through the use of Plasmids and expanded abilities using Gene Tonics.
Tenenbaum was turned away by all of the reputable research facilities, but Frank Fontaine saw the value of her discovery and agreed to fund her research. At Fontaine's urging, she engineered a way to mass-produce ADAM in the bodies of hosts. Through testing, Tenenbaum and Fontaine discovered that the only hosts capable of producing sufficient amounts of ADAM were young girls, thus creating the Little Sisters. Tenenbaum further developed her discovery and quickly became a major figure in the scientific community. the most well-known woman in Rapture, ensuring financial success for herself and Fontaine Futuristics. She eventually discovered that ADAM was addictive and had severe withdrawal side effects requiring it to be taken regularly. Over time ADAM caused mental and physical deterioration. However, Tenenbaum had no qualms about this effect and Fontaine exploiting his customers, and she continued to work for him.
Research on ADAM SicknessEdit
As Tenenbaum continued work for Fontaine she became increasingly distressed by what she was doing, specifically to the young girls. She noticed that despite implantation of the slugs and their mental conditioning, they still acted, played, and sang like little girls. Eventually, Tenenbaum began to feel responsible for her part in their creation, and hated herself for doing such things to children. She continued to work for Fontaine long enough to be influential in the development of his WYK back-up plan, Jack, purchasing a fertilized embryo from Jasmine Jolene on Fontaine's behalf.
Before Fontaine was 'killed' , the two had a falling out. After Fontaine died, Tenenbaum worked for Ryan who had taken over Fontaine Futuristics.and eventually left that employment. Her renounciation of the Little Sister Program caused her to be labeled a madwoman in the city's Newspapers. Tenenbaum soon after disappeared from the public eye, leaving her apartment in the Mercury Suites to take up residence in her sanctuary for Little Sisters. She then began working on a cure to reverse the 'ADAM Sickness', and produced a method of reverting Little Sisters. As the Rapture Civil War brewed, she continued rescuing Little Sisters to turn them human again. Much later, Tenenbaum believed that by using The Thinker she could calculate genetic bonding sites of ADAM-affected subjects to be able to undo the damage.
By the time Jack arrives in Rapture, Tenenbaum has become fully devoted to caring for the young girls. En route through the city one day, she spots a Little Sister with a Splicer and Jack. She shoots and kills the Splicer before threatening to kill Jack if he tries to hurt the girl. Atlas tries to reason with her and advises Jack to harvest the Little Sister, mocking Tenenbaum for turning the girls into monsters. Tenenbaum in turn begs Jack to help the girls, throwing him a Plasmid that can turn a Little Sister back into a normal girl; she tells him that if he saves the Little Sisters, she will make it worth his while.
Jack's choice is left up to the player. At the time, its not known that if Jack does what she asks, besides receiving 80 ADAM per rescue, after every three rescues she would reward him with 200 ADAM and various other items, including rare Plasmids and Gene Tonics. Tenenbaum then interacts with Jack to thank him for his bravery, heart, and sympathy in rescuing many Little Sisters Alternately, if Jack chooses to harvest the Little Sisters, he receives 160 ADAM each, and Tenenbaum expresses her anger toward him. As Jack harvests most or all of the Little Sisters, he will hear very little else from Tenenbaum.
Toward the conclusion of the game, Tenenbaum saves Jack from Fontaine after Andrew Ryan's death by sending Little Sisters to Rapture Central Control to lead Jack to her safe-house. However, Jack falls while climbing through a vent and is knocked unconscious. When Jack awakens in Tenenbaum's safe-house, she informs him that she undid part of Fontaine's mental conditioning, and suggests that they work together to undo the rest of Fontaine's control on Jack. She tells him that in order to fully get rid of the mental conditioning, he needs to find Lot 192 in Apollo Square. Tenenbaum then stays in constant communication with Jack for the remainder of the game.
When Jack finally encounters Fontaine at Point Prometheus, Tenenbaum demands Jack pursue the man, but Fontaine manages to escape to the Proving Grounds. Tenenbaum formulates a plan for Jack to trick the Little Sisters into thinking he is a Big Daddy so that he may use a Little Sister to lead him to Fontaine. Tenenbaum directs him to go through Failsafe Armored Escorts, Little Wonders Educational Facility, and Optimized Eugenics to find all the components and supplies to become a Big Daddy. After he is turned into a Big Daddy, Tenenbaum sends a Little Sister to help guide Jack through the Proving Grounds and then to give him her Harvesting Tool. When Jack finally reaches Fontaine, Tenenbaum tells him to remove the ADAM from the heavily-spliced Fontaine. At the end of the battle, just as Fontaine is about to kill Jack, Tenenbaum sends five "cured" Little Sisters to save Jack and to kill Fontaine with their Harvesting Tools.
Departure from RaptureEdit
An indeterminate amount of time later, Tenenbaum leaves Rapture with the girls she (and possibly Jack) rescued. Since most of the girls' parents are dead, insane, or could not make it to them, Tenenbaum adopts the girls as her own. It is not known if she interacted with Jack after leaving Rapture, though in the case of the good ending, further contact is implied by the game's final line: "And in the end, what was your reward? You never said, but I think I know: a family."
Return to RaptureEdit
Years after the events of BioShock, Tenenbaum becomes aware of abductions of little girls all around the world by what turns out to be Big Sisters. Knowing they are being taken to Rapture, she returns to the underwater city hoping to put a stop to their abuse. However, Sofia Lamb detects her approach and sends Splicers to destroy her sub. Tenenbaum escapes, and hiding in the ticket booth of the train station of the Atlantic Express Depot, continued to rescue Little Sisters and protect them as she had done years before. Though she knows that Sofia Lamb is using the new Little Sisters to gather ADAM for some purpose, she was unable to determine the nature of the woman's plans.
After Tenenbaum discovers Sofia's plot for the rebirth of Rapture, she brings an Alpha Series out of hibernation and uses him in an attempt to foil Sofia Lamb plans. Tenenbaum has the Alpha Model assists Little Sisters in gathering ADAM to keep it away from Lamb, and then return the sisters through the vents so Tenenbaum could rescue them. Eventually, the Alpha Model becomes incapacitated, so Tenenbaum continues the work on her own.
Tenenbaum is then contacted by Eleanor Lamb, who discovered her through her connection to the Little Sisters. Eleanor requests that Tenenbaum aid her in resurrecting Subject Delta, the strongest of the Big Daddies, and undoing his Big Daddy conditioning so they can rescue the other Little Sisters and take them all to the surface.
After Subject Delta is revived, Tenenbaum contacts him via radio to awaken him. However, the radio signal is weak, and Delta must reinstate power to the Adonis Luxury Resort to remain in contact with her. Tenenbaum explains what has happened to Rapture in the past ten years, stating that remnants of the city are under Lamb's control, and that the Splicers, Big Sisters, Little Sisters, Big Daddies and Security Devices are also under her rule. She encourages Delta to come find her, promising to give him information about his past. When Delta is near, she explains that he is an old Big Daddy model, and that his body is shutting down because of a separation from his long lost protection bonded Little Sister, who is Eleanor Lamb, daughter of Sofia.
Tenenbaum wants Delta to help her continue to save the little girls. Tenenbaum already saved several, but she does not know how they will get home. Finally, Delta arrives at the Ticket Booth and meets Tenenbaum. Explaining herself to Delta, she says that she fears the "Rapture nightmare" will repeat forever, and states that she will die to stop it if she must.
Before Tenenbaum can explain any more, Sofia Lamb makes an announcement to all the loyal members of the Rapture Family, telling them Delta's location. A wave of Splicers descends on the station. Fearing the Splicers may break in the booth and injure the children and herself, Tenenbaum escapes once again with the little girls and goes into hiding, breaking off contact with Delta. She leaves him with her ally Augustus Sinclair, and is not seen again during Delta's journey.
After leaving Delta, Tenenbaum focuses on her goal of finding the ultimate cure for the 'ADAM Sickness.' She is close to a breakthrough but realizes that she cannot continue her research on the cure without use of a very powerful computer. To that end, she reconnects with Charles Milton Porter, who claims he can return Tenenbaum and himself on the surface. The only way to do so is to break Reed Wahl's stranglehold on Rapture Central Computing to retrieve The Thinker. She finds and gets assistance from another recently revived Alpha Series, Subject Sigma. Sigma is helped by Porter, but it is eventually revealed that Sigma himself is Charles Milton Porter and had been talking to The Thinker.
As Porter and Tenenbaum prepare to leave for the surface, among her luggage is a suitcase full of ADAM and a wrench, likely having belonged to Jack. Tenenbaum claims that she and Porter have much to do on the surface to find the cure for the 'ADAM Sickness' and end the Rapture Nightmare.
In the BioShock Infinite: Downloadable Content Burial at Sea - Episode 1 Brigid Tenenbaum is a well-known figure in Rapture and a topic of discussion among the city's citizens. Although she is not encountered in the game, she is the subject of the Need to Know Theater film "The Greatness of Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum." In that short, she is seen from behind while working in her laboratory inventing Plasmids, as Ryan tries to hide her disapperance from the gossiping citizens of Rapture.
A photo of Tenenbaum is briefly seen in the Need To Know Theater film "Taking the Taint out of Fontaine", Suggesting she was a member of the city council.
Minerva's Den DLCEdit
Bugs / GlitchesEdit
- It is possible to exploit a glitch to kill Tenenbaum during her first appearance in BioShock. To do so, one must carry a grenade into the room where she is first seen. She will freeze, giving the player a chance to shoot her. Jack can then pull her corpse towards him with Telekinesis. Her body is revealed to be a Thuggish Splicer, despite the fact she has a gun and should be a Leadhead Splicer (similar to the Splicer that assaults a Little Sister in the Footlight Theater). Also, despite giving the player the Plasmid, one is still clenched in her hand along with her gun that she does not let go of.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Up until the development of BioShock 2 Tenenbaum's first name was spelled "Bridgette," and her name appears with that spelling in the area title for her apartment when the player first enters it in BioShock. However, in the course of the "Something in the Sea" viral marketing campaign her name appeared as "Brigid," and Elizabeth Tobey, community manager for 2K Games, confirmed that Brigid was the official spelling in a post on the 2K Forums in January 2009.
- During development of BioShock, Tenenbaum had several unique character models: a young model, nicknamed "Emily," as her flashback appearance, and an aged model for her current appearance. Both models wore a similar outfit to the Rosebud model, as seen in the gallery above. During production, both models were scrapped, and replaced with a recycled Lady Smith model. The "Emily" model only appears in the online portfolio of Irrational Game's Character Artist, J.I. Styles whereas the older Tenenbaum model appears in BradyGames Signature Series Guide for BioShock.
- Tenenbaum speaks snippets of German in her Audio Diaries and radio messages. The game misspells certain words, like 'Scheisse'; where there are the 2 s', it should be the German alphabet sharp s symbol (ß) (also called an Eszett). The symbol's sound is equivalent to 'ss.' However, in cases where "ß" is not available or in this case, where it would not be understood, "ss" is a valid substitution.
- Even though she was originally meant to be one of the most important characters in BioShock 2 Tenenbaum is mainly only seen in the first two levels, and her fate is relatively ambiguous. It seems the developers originally intended for her to play a larger role, including announcing Little Sister gifts to the player, as suggested by unused audio for Tenenbaum in the game files. Her responses to harvesting Little Sisters are very strong, stating, "I will teach the ones that I have already saved to forget you." There are four responses for each situation, even though the player only receives three gifts in the final game. There is also unused audio for Tenenbaum in the game files of Persephone, in which Tenenbaum gives a warning about opening the cells. Due to the changes in BioShock 2's plot during development, much of Tenenbaum's dialogue was cut from the game. Such audio includes lines like "The Splicers crave the ADAM more and more. It rewrites the DNA even as it destroys the mind."[source needed]
- As seen in the above gallery, Tenenbaum's photo was based on that of Geraldine Fitzgerald. The same photograph for Fitzgerald was also modified for the concept art for Baby Jane.
- In the "Hunting the Big Sister" trailer, she refers to the tale of the Golem while mentioning the Big Sister: the Golem is a tale of Jewish folklore, in which a rabbi conjures a being out of inanimate objects to protect the Jewish community of Prague. The early Big Sister's story mirrors this in many ways: her armor is built out of a ramshackle assortment of objects, she is controlled by a person to "protect" the Little Sisters, and she is unaware of the morality of her actions (or, as Tenenbaum calls them, her sin).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Twitter message 1 by Ken Levine on August 4th, 2011
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Among the Missing:The Tenenbaum Mystery", article by Ulrich Broder
- ↑ Twitter message 2 by Ken Levine on August 4th, 2011
- ↑ Twitter message 3 by Ken Levine on August 4th, 2011
- ↑ Twitter message 4 by Ken Levine on August 4th, 2011
- ↑ Audio Diary: Love for Science
- ↑ Audio Diary: Useless Experiments
- ↑ Audio Diary: Finding the Sea Slug
- ↑ Audio Diary: Mass Producing ADAM
- ↑ Audio Diary: Maternal Instinct
- ↑ Audio Diary: Hatred
- ↑ Audio Diary: Pregnancy
- ↑ Audio Diary: Fontaine's Breakup
- ↑ BioShock 2 Multiplayer Loading Screen Quotes
- ↑ "Cult of Rapture Exclusive: Voices from BioShock 2" thread post by 2K Elizabeth on the 2K BioShock 2 Forums
- ↑ , J.I. Styles' online porfolio
- ↑ Geraldine Fitzgerald on IMDB