- “Stop moving! Every sound hurts!”
- ― A Handyman
The Handyman appears in BioShock Infinite as an archetypal armored enemy in Columbia. Their mechanized form was created by Bettermen's Autobodies to help disabled, sickly, or severely injured citizens of Columbia to not only be able-bodied, but to regain their vitality and technically "live forever." However, the procedure came at the price of having to live with a large and highly disproportionate body and often many unintended side effects. At the Columbian Annual Raffle and Fair, a Handyman is on display, and appears fearful and distressed by the gawking crowd. Combat quotes from Handymen suggest that some live in great pain and cannot sleep, showing that the Autobody doesn't work as effectively as advertised, or even that they were forced into the Autobody against their will. The sadness of living while encased in a machine as well as the intense physical pain that is experienced by many due to this process often leads to outbreaks of psychotic rage, during which they are inconsolable and will harm anything and everything that represents a threat to them.
Like the Big Daddies of Rapture, the Handyman is a human artificially bonded to a large mechanical suit turning them into a crude type of cyborg. Most Handymen are dressed in a badly torn blue-gray suit with the exception of those loyal to the Vox Populi. Those loyal to the Vox wear a simple pair of tan trousers and pieces of red cloth covering their torso and head, thus clearly showing their affiliation. All handymen have a gorilla-like posture and build, often using their arms to propel themselves in a manner similar to that of a gorilla. They also have exposed human body parts, particularly their head and heart, the latter of which is kept in a fluid-filled glass tank on their chests attached to several hoses. Thick bundles of cables run from their shoulders to a pair of conductors on their backs, which allow the Handyman to utilize electricity as a weapon (upon defeating a Handyman, the conductors will overload and send a blast of electricity around the area, which does not harm the player). Their mechanical hands appear to be made of porcelain, and their feet are like hob-nailed boots, with some bent nails hanging out. Each Handyman's torso bears the label "AUTOBODY."
The Handymen possess great strength and speed and are capable of leaping great distances. In addition to their incredible physical attributes, they are completely free-willed, unlike the Big Daddies of Rapture. This makes them even more dangerous because they will not simply attack the player until the player is killed: they seek cover, exploit the environment around them to flank the player (and other enemies), and even throw people at the protagonist if he's out of reach, but within their throwing range. They can close the distance between themselves and their target in fast charges. Moreover, they have the capacity to conduct electricity from their suits, including the ability to hurl balls of lightning as well as electrify Sky-Line rails with their hands. However, while in combat, they frequently pause in order to cough or to compose themselves before attacking again.
Handymen are very resilient when attacked with Vigors. The effective weaknesses of Handymen are their hearts and heads. They appear to be in a state of constant pain and are extremely sensitive to loud noises.
Tips for fighting the Handyman (especially on Hard and 1999 Mode):
- Do not use Possession on Handymen, as they are immune to the Vigor's effects.
- Defeat as many other enemies as possible to eliminate distractions.
- Stay near the Handyman on a Sky-Line (which are present every time a Handyman is encountered, excluding the first fight in Finkton), reversing back and forth as necessary. This behavior will frustrate the Handyman, and he will jump on the Sky-Line to electrify it. As soon as the Handyman jumps up, immediately drop from the Sky-Line.
- The Handyman will hang from the Sky-Line until the animation is complete, exposing his heart. Lay into his chest for as long as you can before he drops down again, then jump back on the Sky-Line as soon as the electricity wears off.
- Repeat this to defeat the Handyman.
- Defeating a Handyman by shooting him only in the heart will earn the Achievement/Trophy "Heartbreaker".
- Due to the chaotic nature of fighting in BioShock Infinite, accurately attacking the Handyman's weak points is a constant struggle. Explosive weapons are recommended when accuracy must be sacrificed for survival, due to the Handyman's large size.
- Should the player be exceptionally skilled at accurate firing, a Carbine is suitable for combating a Handyman. Its high fire rate allows the player to easily score heartshots on Handymen if unloaded at close range; however, it is not as effective at medium range due to recoil, and the need to pace shots to retain accuracy.
- A Hand Cannon is a fair substitute for a Carbine at medium range. In this case, fire rate and magazine size are sacrificed for a large increase in damage, especially when scoring critical hits, while retaining accuracy.
- Although few situations present themselves as such, it is possible, but still difficult due to recoil, to topple a Handyman with a well-spent magazine from the Crank Gun.
- A Shotgun is an effective secondary weapon, as after the Handyman electrifies the Sky-Lines the Shotgun can be used to deal massive amounts of damage to the heart. It is important to escape the Handyman's striking range before he drops from the Sky-Line, as their melee strikes can easily deal critical damage.
- Murder of Crows is a highly recommended Vigor, as it not only distracts the Handyman, but he will try to hit the crows away, exposing his heart.
- Shock Jockey achieves the same stunning effect, except the Handyman will use his hand to cover his heart within the second he is shocked.
- The second variant of Undertow is recommended for Handymen fights as the watery tentacle will restrain his arms, leaving an open view of his heart for several seconds; this allows for use of heavy-hitting weapons, such as the Hand Cannon, Shotgun, or even the Sniper Rifle. In addition, since the majority of his body is machinery, he will take electrical damage from the use of Undertow.
- Devil's Kiss deals minor damage to a Handyman, but is easy to use due to the Handyman's large profile.
- Charge with the invulnerability upgrade can cause some damage and quickly recharge Booker's shield, which can help when there are other threats with the Handyman nearby.
- Return to Sender can absorb the damage dealt by a Handyman attack, filling it in an instant. It can then be sent right back at the Handyman to return the damage, making it very effective.
- Using the Gears Winter Shield (Shirt) and Fire Bird (Pants), the player can take advantage of the Sky-Lines in combat. Winter Shield will provide temporary invulnerability, while Fire Bird will cause 400 damage over 5 seconds. All the player must do is continuously jump off the Sky-Line near the Handyman to repeatedly deal damage.
- Urgent Care will improve the recharge rate of Booker's shields if they happen to to be depleted, and reduce the delay before the shield begins to recharge.
- Handyman Nemesis will deal more critical damage to a Handyman.
Vigor Effects on Handymen
|Possession (Effect Length)||Immune|
|Murder of Crows (Effect Length)||75%|
|Bucking Bronco (Effect Length)||Causes Weakness, Immune to Levitation|
|Shock Jockey (Stun Effect)||10%|
|Charge (Impact Effect)||Immune|
|Undertow (Knockback Effect)||Deals Electrical Damage, Causes Vulnerability|
|Rank||Health||Melee Damage||Ranged Damage||Explosion Damage|
Burial at Sea - Episode 2
- Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 2
On her way to find the hair sample in Columbia that Suchong needs, Elizabeth passes through the Surgical Suite and finds a dead, incomplete Handyman, which was left abandoned when the Vox Populi arrived.
When Elizabeth returns to the Factory Docks after finding the sample, she will find the corpse of the same Vox-aligned Handyman that she and Booker DeWitt fought in BioShock Infinite, outside the door to Fink's Office.
The only known identity of a Handyman is Samuel Gerst. In an office on Finkton Docks, a Voxophone recorded by Samuel's wife Hattie reveals that he developed stomach cancer after several years of work at Monument Island. She then claims that Comstock provided her husband with a new body "through his servant, Fink." Later in the game, when Daisy Fitzroy is giving her victory speech in Shantytown, the player can encounter some Vox Populi members posing for pictures alongside the deceased Samuel near the Graveyard Shift. In his hand is a Voxophone containing a comforting message from his wife.
Attacking the Player
- "You're making so much noise!"
- "Stop moving! Every sound hurts!"
- "Stop tormenting me!"
- "Stop it. Stop it!"
- "You wanna feel like me?!"
- "You're supposed to die!"
- "Turn me off, please!"
- "Get you for what you did to me!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "You're mine!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "You're not Dewitt! Liar!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Impostor! Impostor!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "You are gonna feel what I feel!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Break your legs!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Teach you real pain!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Go away! Go away!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
Event (First Meet)
- "False Shepherd!"
- "My heart feels like a block of ice… heavy…"
- "I miss my old body. It was so… so warm!"
- "Gears are turning in my head! And they hurt!"
- "Teeth are chattering… but don't have teeth no more!"
- "I want to sleep! But noise of my lungs keeps me awake!"
- "Give me back my body Comstock! Give it back to me!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Comstock took my body! Wasn't even sick!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Comstock… gonna pay!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "I didn't do nothing… and they did this to me!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
Lost the Player
- "No hiding!"
- "Get over here!"
- "Where do you go?"
- "I know where you are!"
- "Stop running!"
- "Coward!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Come on out!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Get out here and fight!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "I see you!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Why running?!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
Searching for Player
- "Come back here!"
- "Where did you go?"
- "Nothing can outrun me!"
- "I'll find you!"
- "When I find you…"
- "Get back here!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Where do you run?" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Gonna make you feel what I feel." (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Do to you what they did to me!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Making me angry?!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Get off that thing!"
- "Get off!"
- "Get down!"
- "Down from there!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "That's my line! Mine!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Get off from there!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Who's there?"
- "I heard that."
- "I hear something loud."
- "Come out here!"
- "Uh?" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Ahh?!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Heard something." (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "What's that?" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Somebody there?" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Every step is like coals!"
- "Go away. Please, go away."
- "Everything hurts!" (Founders & Vox)
- "Why are you doing this?"
- "So loud!"
- "Cut it out of you!"
- "The pain! The pain!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "The gears are grinding my skin!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "See how you like it!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Look at me… look at me!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "My heart… it hurts!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
- "Pummel you to bits!" (Vox-aligned Handyman)
Concept Art and Pre-Release
Behind the Scenes
- The name "Handyman" could possibly be derived from the first successful exo-skeleton suit developed in the late 1960s, the "Hardiman", which bears resemblance to the bulky nature of Handymen as well as their motorised form.
- Before the name "Handyman" was revealed, this type of enemy was referred to as an "Alpha" by the Irrational Games team.
- The October 2010 issue of GameInformer featured three different BioShock Infinite themed covers. One of the covers showed a full-body artwork of a Handyman.
- In The Art of BioShock Infinite, Handyman conceptually originated as art for a rejected "Claw Daddy", a normal looking man that wore an Art Nouveau-styled exoskeleton suit with large claws. The art concepts also depict how this enemy would grab and rip his foes in half.
- An early concept for Merged Citizens and enemies would have also included the Handyman. Two art versions from the Merged concepts were made: one having a distorted face with a unique Auto-Body (as seen in the Gallery above), and the rejected "Claw Daddy", which would have had an Art Nouveau-styled scarred face.
- Their appearance have many similarities towards the Negative pressure ventilator, or more commonly known as Iron lung.
- A photo of one particular Handyman is placed under the "pacifist" heading on a board in the Comstock House entrance, when Columbia is under an alternate Elizabeth's control.
- The Handyman was the first known enemy for BioShock Infinite, as it appeared in the game's first trailer.
- There are three different styles of Handyman:
- The most common one encountered is bald and wears a tattered blue suit.
- A single Vox Populi Handyman is fought at the Factory; it wears a red hood and no clothing on its arms or torso, and has red or blood-splattered hands. Others like this one are encountered in Clash in the Clouds.
- The final Handyman wears patriotic clothing and sports a mustache; this variant only appears in early screenshots and in the 2010 demo gameplay and is not seen in the final game, with the exception of an unlockable model in the DLC Clash in the Clouds.
- Handymen only appear eight times over the course of BioShock Infinite, only four of which are actual enemies.
- The Handyman makes an appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale in the stage "Stowaways".
- Due to the enormous scale of the Handyman models, their heads are disproportionate to, and larger than, any other human model in the game.
- After being burned (with Devil's Kiss or explosive weaponry), the red cloth on the Vox Populi Handyman will turn navy blue.
- ↑ "Irrational Behavior Episode 7 Part 2: Making of the BioShock Infinite Trailer" podcast at IrrationalGames.com
|Enemies in BioShock Infinite|
|Basic||Columbia Citizen • Police • Soldier (Slate's Soldiers)|
|Support||Gun Automaton • Rocket Automaton • Mosquito • Security Zeppelin • Barrage Automaton|
|Heavy Hitters||Beast • Boy of Silence • Fireman • Handyman • Motorized Patriot • Siren • Zealot of the Lady|
|Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2||Beast • Bouncer • Early Splicers (Leadhead Splicer • Thuggish Splicer) • Frosty Splicer • Gun Automaton • Houdini Splicer • Ryan Security • Soldier • Turret|