|Arrived in Rapture||c. 1948[src]|
|Died||September 12, 1958 |
|Place of Death||Fontaine's Lair,|
|Voice Actor||Greg Baldwin |
- "This Fontaine fellow is somebody to watch. Once, he was just a menace, to be convicted and hung. But he always manages to be where the evidence isn't. He's the most dangerous type of hoodlum... the kind with vision."
- ―Andrew Ryan[src]
Frank Fontaine is one of the primary antagonists in BioShock. He is a conman, criminal mastermind, the arch-enemy of Andrew Ryan, and the leader of the opposition in the power struggle which led to Rapture's collapse. During the Civil War, he ran an enclave/hideout in Apollo Square as Atlas. He speaks with a coarse, thick Bronx accent.
Life on the surfaceEdit
Frank lived in an orphanage at an early age, but he eventually ran away and found a job as a stage boy in a vaudeville theater. His three years of work in the theater gave him a lasting impression of how to influence an audience with acting and costumes. Frank was his real first name, but he used different last names throughout his life, include Gorland, Barris, Wiston, Moskowitz and Wang. Only a few people knew Frank's real last name, one of them being a bruiser from the Bronx named Reggie who knew Frank from the old days.
At one point, Frank was investigated by the FBI in an effort to connect him with an interstate bookmaking operation. Frank switched to the last name "Gorland" soon after, even going so far as to get a forged birth certificate to support his new identity. Frank Gorland settled in New York and set up a clandestine bookkeeping business which operated out of the basement of a drug store he owned.
In 1946, Gorland conned a bar owner named Harv Merton into signing a contract with "Hudson Loans" to pay off Merton's gambling debts. When Merton failed to pay interest on the loan, Gorland gained ownership of Merton's collateral, a bar in the dock district named "The Clanger." Gorland wanted the bar because it was a lucrative business, and because it was the perfect place to overhear rumors about boxing bets in the city. The information he overheard while bartending gave Frank an added edge in his grifts.
Soon after he started bartending at the Clanger, he overheard two gangsters talking about a plan for an up-and-coming boxer, Steele, to lose a fixed fight for a betting payoff. Using the fake name "Lucio Fabrici", Gorland snuck in to talk to Steele before the fight and tricked the boxer into thinking that the mobsters' plans had changed. Steele surprised all of his backers by winning instead of losing, and with all the big-time mobsters betting for Steele to lose, Gorland made a large profit by betting that he'd win.
While working in the bar, Gorland met a federal agent named Voss who had been involved in the interstate bookmaking investigation. Voss threatened to do a deep investigation of Frank's background if the grifter didn't help him by sharing information. Voss was trying to find details about Andrew Ryan's "North Atlantic Project," and he wanted Gorland to tip him off about anything that he might overhear in his bar. The mention of Ryan pouring his wealth into this project piqued Gorland's interest. He saw it as an opportunity for a potentially lucrative grift.
Several days later, Gorland spoke to a drunken woman in his bar who claimed that her man Irving had died under mysterious circumstances while doing deep sea construction work for Ryan. Her indignant ramblings tipped him off about Ryan's business, Seaworthy Construction. Days later, Gorland followed a pair of sailors down to Ryan's ship, the Olympian, in the dock district. Gorland tailed a deckhand as he was leaving and accosted him, pretending to be a federal agent. The frightened man revealed that Ryan's workers were laying the foundations for a city under the ocean in the North Atlantic. Investigating further, Gorland pretended to be a delivery man named "Bill Foster" bringing a shipment of canned goods to the Seaworthy Construction warehouse. An irate warehouse manager there gave him more details about Ryan's building project.
Hoping to gain more information, Gorland hired Reggie as "extra muscle" to help him interrogate Harv Merton. Under pressure, Merton tipped Gorland off about a smuggler named Frank Fontaine who was supplying Ryan's workers with fish. This Fontaine was the owner of "Fontaine Fisheries", a fishing fleet well known for smuggling goods from Cuba to the United States. Gorland eventually arranged a meeting with Fontaine at a bar on Staten Island. At the meeting, Gorland convinced the smuggler that Agent Voss was planning to frame him for smuggling drugs and had already drawn up a warrant for his arrest. This frightened Fontaine enough that he was willing to sell Gorland his fleet in exchange for enough money to retire safely to Cuba. Two nights later, Gorland met Fontaine on one of his former boats for the final payment. However, Gorland had no intention of paying, he had already fired all of Fontaine's old crew, and with no one present to witness the crime except for his new loyal helmsman, Gorland subdued Fontaine and dumped his body over the side, drowning him. From then on, Frank Gorland assumed the smuggler's identity as his own, becoming Frank Fontaine.
The new Frank Fontaine began sending flattering letters to Ryan with each shipment of fish that his men delivered to Rapture. In these letters he claimed to admire Ryan's ideals and asked to be allowed down into the city so that he could set up a fishing business with a fleet of modified submarines. In truth, Fontaine saw Ryan's utopian society as the perfect opportunity for a big-paying long con. In 1948, Ryan finally accepted Fontaine's request, and Chief of Security Sullivan personally met Fontaine in a boat on the surface to invite him down to the city. Fontaine brought his loyal men down with him, including Reggie and his first mate Peach Wilkins.
Life in RaptureEdit
Fontaine arrived in Rapture sometime in 1948. He soon expanded his income by creating a smuggling ring to bring high demand, contraband items into Rapture. Fontaine was a conman who loved nothing more than the power of a good grift. He was known to regularly disguise himself as various people to accomplish criminal activities that he would not normally get away with. One of these is mentioned by Fontaine himself after revealing himself "Hell, once I was even a Chinaman for six months!". Fontaine also partook in other illegal pastimes, and at one point he was a user of cocaine and heroin.
Fontaine's smugglers were the first to discover the sea slugs which naturally produce ADAM. When Brigid Tenenbaum witnessed the slug's properties during a chance encounter with a dockworker in Port Neptune, she came to Fontaine with a proposal that he fund her genetic research regarding this substance. Fontaine quickly saw the business possibilities in the endeavor. Fontaine soon set up his business monopoly, Fontaine Futuristics, employing Tenenbaum and Yi Suchong to research and develop Plasmids and Gene Tonics. When Tenenbaum informed him that they would need little girls in order to mass-produce ADAM, Fontaine created the Little Sister's Orphanage, pretending it was charity out of the goodness of his heart. In reality it was just a front to get parents to willingly give up their children to be turned into Little Sisters. Taking inspiration from Sofia Lamb's appeal to the lower class, Fontaine also created the Fontaine's Home for the Poor, which provided for the increasing number of destitute citizens who were victims of Rapture's free market policy. Fontaine mainly used these charity angles to boost his own public image in opposition to Ryan's.
Andrew Ryan at first observed Fontaine's rise to power with pride, as the opportunity for determined men to better themselves in this manner was exactly what he built Rapture to ensure. Even when Fontaine's empire began to compete with his own, he merely admonished Fontaine's detractors to Offer a Better Product. However, when he discovered the criminal arm of Fontaine's enterprises, the smuggling operations, he began to see Fontaine as a threat, as such activity might reveal the location of Rapture to surface-dwellers. Ryan instructed Security Chief Sullivan to crack down on the smuggling ring, employing increasingly severe measures to find a connection to Frank Fontaine.
Facing growing pressure from Ryan, Fontaine engineered, as a back-up plan, an elaborate scheme to take control of Rapture. After acquiring Jack, the illegitimate son of Ryan himself, he instructed Suchong to brainwash, train, and artificially age the child, creating an obedient assassin whom he sent to the surface as a sleeper agent.
On September 12, 1958, Fontaine apparently died in a shootout with Ryan's men, sealing himself the status of a martyr to those who did not know his true nature. In reality he faked his death, hoping to stir up discontent among the lower classes and give Ryan the false hope that his nemesis was dead. He reemerged as Atlas, a fisherman, proletariat hero and family man. His original voice remained, covered for with a heavy Irish accent. He then charismatically charmed the mob as a humble freedom fighter, while setting the stage for the Civil War which would tear Rapture apart. Originally hoping for victory in this genetic arms race, "Atlas" soon found himself trapped in Rapture, with Ryan in control of the bathyspheres and the Splicers through his pheromone systems. With no other way out, "Atlas" activated his sleeper agent, Jack.
While posing as Atlas, Fontaine never allowed Jack to see him, except for the brief moment during Atlas' "family" execution. After Andrew Ryan's death, he finally revealed his true persona. Fontaine reveals that his ultimate goal was not simply to conquer Rapture, but to use it and the ADAM technology to extend his power to the surface and become an industry tycoon.
After Jack frees himself from the effects of the mind control, he finally comes face-to-face with Fontaine in Point Prometheus, where he is already spliced up, displaying inhuman strength by hurling a massive iron statue. Fontaine hesitates to fight Jack, fearing that Jack would defeat him, so he barricades himself in Point Prometheus and starts splicing himself even more soon after, saying that he had never tasted ADAM before then, but now he cannot get enough. He straps himself into a machine that pumps all the ADAM (which the Little Sisters have collected) into him. He starts taunting Jack, proclaiming that no one can stop him, as he is too powerful.
When Jack finally reaches Fontaine, he has already spliced himself into a hulking, statuesque monster with three different major Plasmid elements. After each battle, Jack extracts the ADAM out of him with a Little Sister's needle until finally, he is weakened enough that he is ambushed and killed by a swarm of Little Sisters who stab Fontaine multiple times with their needles, draining him of the remaining ADAM in his body.
In his death, Fontaine illustrates Brigid Tenenbaum's realization that excessive ADAM use forces the body into dependency. The ambiguous expression "Keep back the tide" is shown to mean a not only mental but physical degeneration when the body's dependency is denied. Without ADAM, Fontaine's enhanced body simply could not survive.
Battle Strategy Edit
During the final battle, Fontaine will take one of three forms, and will switch to the next once Jack stabs him with the ADAM needle the Little Sister gave him:
Form One: Fire Edit
This is the first form Fontaine takes during the fight. While in Fire form, he will be immune to the effects of heat-based attacks and will throw giant fireballs which, like the ones cast by Houdini Splicers, can be caught with Telekinesis and thrown back, but only do minimal damage. Occasionally, he will pause to slam the ground with his fists, sending a flaming shockwave in the player's direction.
Form Two: Ice Edit
After defeating Frank Fontaine's Fire form, he will then switch to ice-based attacks. In this form, he is immune to ice-based attacks and throws orbs of ice at the player which can also be caught and thrown, which have a small chance of freezing him for a second. He will also call Security Bots down on the player in this form. He is also capable of sending ice shockwaves at the player in this form.
Form Three: Lightning Edit
This is Fontaine's final and most powerful form. In Lightning form, he is immune to all electrical attacks, and fires electrical orbs and lightning shockwaves at the player at a much faster rate than before. He will also send a wave of assorted Splicers after the player. In this form the orbs can be caught and thrown back with Telekinesis.
Preparing for the Fight Edit
- While still in the Proving Grounds, grab the needle from the Little Sister to the right of elevator. Do so before attempting anything else, as exiting the level may cause a glitch, in which the Little Sister won't be holding the needle anymore.
- Before saving, make sure all weapons are fully stocked up on ammunition. If low on ammo and cash, kill and search Splicers and Big Daddies in the previous levels as needed.
- Select the following Plasmids: Security Bullseye, Target Dummy, Incinerate!, Winter Blast (if purchased) and Telekinesis.
- Select antipersonnel ammunition for the Pistol and the Machine Gun, Electric Buck for the Shotgun, Proximity Mines for the Grenade Launcher, Electric Gel for the Chemical Thrower and Trap Bolts for the Crossbow.
- Select Human Inferno 1&2, Electric Flesh, Electric Flesh 2 and both Frozen Field tonics. Replace everything else with combat-oriented Gene Tonics (Scrounger and Natural Camouflage, for example, won't be of any use whereas the Armored Shell Tonics will help much more).
- Save before entering the elevator and go inside.
- While Fontaine's in the ADAM Inducer Device, set traps and hack the Health Station. He'll only get out of it once the player sticks him with the needle, which gives one ample time to prepare the arena. After initiating the battle, Fontaine will leave the Inducer once enough time has passed while retaining the form he was currently in.
- Pressure gas tanks.
- Steel drums.
- Gasoline on the floor in random places.
- Proximity Mines.
- Trap Bolts.
- Water pool at the back wall (with Electric Buck)
- When Fontaine knocks Jack down and jumps to the floor, place Proximity Mines and pressure tanks right at the bottom of the stairs in front of Fontaine.
- Set Proximity Mines and gas cans near any gasoline, and be certain to avoid those areas when fighting Fontaine afterwards.
- Set Trap Bolts at the sides of the arena to stop any incoming Splicers.
- After setting the traps, switch from Proximity Mines to Heat-Seeking RPGs and use Incendiary Bolts for the Crossbow.
- Go and stick Fontaine with the needle. He'll get out and knock Jack back to the elevator. If the player has set their traps correctly, he'll lose all of his health after jumping down the stairs.
- If he's still alive, hit him with Electric Buck from the Shotgun and RPG's from the Grenade Launcher. Dodge his charges but don't mind his elemental attacks (unless one hasn't equipped Walking Inferno).
- Once he's down, heal if necessary and stick him again. The moment one hears incoming Security Bots, cast Security Bullseye on Fontaine. Afterwards, switch to Incinerate! and set him on fire.
- Use all of the Chemical Thrower's Electric Gel on him if necessary. If out of ammo, finish him off with Incendiary Bolts from the Crossbow, or use Telekinesis to throw his elemental attacks back at him. Little Sisters will drop ammo next to their Little Sister Vents, which can be picked up safely.
- Heal again and stick him one last time with the ADAM needle. Once more Bots start coming in, cast Security Bullseye on him again.
- Use the Grenade Launcher and the Crossbow against him. Freeze him with Winter Blast if one finds him hard to hit. If one has Electric Flesh 2, his electrical attacks won't deal any damage but his charges will. Use Target Dummy if attacked.
- Stick Fontaine with the needle for one last time, and enjoy the final cutscene.
Even though Frank Fontaine is dead, his business Fontaine Futuristics remains as a level in BioShock 2, and he features in several Audio Diaries that Subject Delta finds throughout Rapture. The player is able to explore Fontaine's office, where there is an Audio Diary named "Goodbye to Fontaine" which reveals his planning to adopt his Atlas persona.
In the office there is also a large portrait on the wall of a man who resembles Fontaine standing next to a woman and a small boy. The picture is entitled "The Fontaine Family," but it is unclear who the people depicted in it might be, since Fontaine told Jack that he never had a wife or child.
Burial at SeaEdit
In the BioShock Infinite Downloadable Content Burial at Sea - Episode 1, Fontaine does not appear, although he is the subject of heated discussion among the citizens of Rapture even as they ring in the New Year. He is the focus of the Need to Know Theater film "Taking the Taint out of Fontaine," which condemns his shady business practices, explains his recent death, and highlights Ryan's nationalization of his company. The short features a reenactment of Fontaine's corpse after the gunfight with Ryan Security, but that corpse is actually someone else to fool Ryan and his Security.
BioShock 2 Edit
Behind the Scenes Edit
- Fontaine, like several of the main characters, exhibits influences from Ayn Rand. The alias Atlas is clearly a reference to Rand's magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. According to Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, the goal of a human being is rational self-interest: living for one's own happiness, success, and creativity, with as little interference as possible. However, Fontaine is manipulative, duping the public for his own gain and ultimately dooming them to mutation, insanity and death. These traits are contrary to Rand's ethos, and he casts doubt even upon Objectivism itself in his correct observation that not everyone in Rapture can become wealthy and famous (in one Audio Diary, where he pointed out the flaw of filling Rapture with what Andrew Ryan considered to be the best examples of humanity - even in such a society "someone had to scrub the toilets").
- In his final form, Fontaine bears resemblance to Atlas, whose namesake is also used in Rand's novel as well Fontaine's alias.
- Ken Levine has stated that the character of Frank Fontaine was partly inspired by Keyser Söze from the film "The Usual Suspects". In the film, Keyser Söze is a crime lord whom every criminal is afraid of and is described as a "boogeyman" like Fontaine is in Rapture. The scene where the police officer looks at the bulletin board and figures out who Keyser Söze actually is, also inspired the "Would You Kindly" board in Ryan's office.
- Greg Baldwin, the voice actor of Frank Fontaine, stated in an interview that he was originally asked to speak the part of Atlas as well, and would have done it in an American southern accent. However, the developers chose to switch to an Irish voice for Atlas, and they hired a separate voice actor (Karl Hanover) to record the lines for Atlas.
- Fontaine uses a recycled Splicer model in BioShock before his change in the final level, so he shows ADAM-induced deformities even though he tells Jack that he has never spliced before. The player never sees Atlas/Fontaine up close, so this distortion is meant to go unnoticed.
- ↑ New York dialect, Bronx accent, on Wikipedia
- ↑ BioShock: Rapture, Chapter 2
- ↑ BioShock: Rapture, Chapter 3
- ↑ BioShock: Rapture, Chapter 4
- ↑ BioShock: Rapture, Chapter 6
- ↑ Radio message: "A big investment"
- ↑ Radio Messages: Proving Grounds#8. Fontaine - ???: "nose candy and floor polish" (slang for cocaine and heroin)
- ↑ Ayn Rand on Wikipedia
- ↑ Atlas Shrugged on Wikipedia
- ↑ The Usual Suspects on Wikipedia
- ↑ Ken Levine on BioShock: The Spoiler Interview at shacknews.com
- ↑ The Fukerton’s Exclusive interview with the voice of Frank Fontaine: Greg Baldwin
- ↑ "BioShock’s Atlas Speaks. An Interview With Karl Hanover" article at TheGamingLiberty.com