"There is something more powerful than each of us, a combination of our efforts, a Great Chain of industry that unites us. But it is only when we struggle in our own interest that the chain pulls society in the right direction..." - Andrew Ryan
- “How many people do you suppose Ryan's got locked up in that place?"
"Enough. Fontaine had amassed something near an army. Now they're down there, spliced up and wild.”
- ― Elizabeth and Booker as they approach the department store[src]
Fontaine's Department Store (commonly simplified to Fontaine's) was a business run and owned by Frank Fontaine and one of the largest seen retail establishments in Rapture. The business' location serves as the primary location for BioShock Infinite's downloadable contents, Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2. The department store consists of a set of three floating buildings, now turned into a prison and isolated from the city.
While Frank Fontaine is most well-known for his role in the development and commercialization of the Plasmid industry, he had ownership of a diverse range of businesses which increased his growing wealth. Fontaine Futuristics oversaw the creation of a variety of different products including pharmaceuticals, Bathyspheres, electronics, household appliances, and many more. Rather than selling his products through other distributors, he cut out the middleman and set up Fontaine's to showcase and sell items from his businesses directly to the consumer.
Fontaine's also rented out space for other businesses, such as Cupid's Arrow and The Daily Bread. Even Andrew Ryan rented space for a small educational center. Products from other companies were also sold at the store. In addition to the department store, Fontaine's featured a home delivery service for purchases via the use of Jet-Postal's Pneumo Lines throughout the premises. It also housed several recreational businesses and eateries, for example Jack Frost's Village and its ice rink in the main building, and the Bistro or the Manta Ray Lounge in the second building.
After Frank Fontaine's battle with Rapture's security forces ended in death September 12, 1958, his businesses and various assets were seized and taken over by Ryan Industries. Fontaine's was left under the stewardship of Ryan Industries for nearly two months before its closure, when the Rapture Central Council ordered the store to be converted into a prison on November 22, 1958. The building's access from the city was disconnected and Fontaine's remaining followers were imprisoned within. With no guards and the ocean slowly leaking in, conditions inside the store quickly deteriorated. Even though the city continued to provide rations to the establishment, the prisoners, mainly Splicers, fought amongst each other for the resources.
A short time after the store's sinking, Ryan had Atlas, with some of his followers, rounded up and sent to the prison to stop the disruptions and mayhem they were creating. In the prison, Atlas was able to win over many there, most of whom hated Ryan. Atlas and his followers set up a base in the Bathyspheres DeLuxe area of the Housewares building, where they distributed food to splicers, provided medical care, and gathered up weapons and ammunition, while they devised plans for their return to the city. All the while, Atlas' followers in the city continued to carry out his plans, communicating to him by morse code.
By the end of December, when Booker and Elizabeth arrive, Atlas was losing control of the Splicers, likely due to being unable to supply the ADAM they were addicted to. Most of the facilities in his base have been overrun and looted by Splicers, and many of the prison's sane inmates have been brutally murdered.
Burial at SeaEdit
Fontaine's features three department buildings:
Only two parts of Fontaine's can be visited during the downloadable content episodes: the central building and its pavilion, which acts as a hub, which specialized in retail clothing, and the Houseware building which sold a vast array of small and large appliances, as well as electronics and services.
Fontaine's Department StoreEdit
- Bottom Floor
- Fontaine's Station
- First Floor
- Second Floor
- Home Delivery
- Third Floor
- First Floor
- Bottom Floor
- Middle Floor
- Top Floor
- Executive Suite
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Fontaine's is decorated with several depictions of Poseidon, the Greek "God of the Sea," the most prominent of which is the bust of the deity atop the main building's crown. The surrounding two towers and submersible trams linking the buildings together are shaped like seahorses, a reminder that Poseidon is also known as the "Tamer of Horses." The use here of the marine fish is more a play on the words "sea horses."
- A Public Address Announcement states that magnetic mines were installed around the prison to prevent anyone escaping. These mines are seen from the Executive Suite at the top of Housewares, outside the Bathysphere Deluxe Service Bay and Test-Drive, but none can be seen when Booker and Elizabeth first approach the prison via bathysphere, or from any of the complex's many other windows.
- With this safety precaution in mind, it should have been impossible for Booker and Elizabeth to enter the Department Store without their Bathysphere attracting one of the mines, unless the mines are capable of being deactivated from a distance (i.e. by Sander Cohen or Ryan's security when delivering supplies).
- The broken rotating sign over the third building actually reads; Ladieswear Menswear, but this is likely just used as a place holder as both of these departments are located in the main building.
- The advertising poster "Stand above the crowd" for Fontaine's took inspiration from an Italian 1935 Art Deco poster by Franz Lenhart, advertising cigarette paper produced by the Italian manufacturer Modiano.