|Voice Actor||Nate Wells|
- "When Mum and Dad put me on that plane to visit my cousins in England, they told me, 'Son, you're special, you were born to do great things.' You know what? They were right."
Jack is the protagonist of BioShock, whom the player controls throughout the game. He is a young Caucasian male who, prior to his unwilling arrival in Rapture, was a passenger on an airplane that crashed near a lighthouse that provided entry to the underwater city. During his journey through Rapture, he comes across a number of various gene altering substances, known as Plasmids, that he uses to empower and protect himself.
Jack is the illegitimate son of Andrew Ryan and Jasmine Jolene, Ryan's mistress. An Audio Diary by Jolene, and photos found on Ryan's desk indicate that Jack was purchased by Brigid Tenenbaum on behalf of Frank Fontaine as an embryo. Jack was to be Fontaine's back up plan if he was ever forced into a bad position by Ryan during the increasing hostility leading up to Rapture's Civil War.
Jack was "born" and raised by the scientists of Fontaine Futuristics, including Dr. Yi Suchong and Brigid Tenenbaum. According to Audio Diaries by Dr. Yi Suchong, who was responsible for Jack's development, Jack weighed fifty-six pounds and had the "gross musculature of a fit nineteen-year-old by the age of one", thanks to Lot 111. Dr. Suchong also reveals in another Audio Diary that he was responsible for the mind control imprinting that Frank Fontaine requested.
Jack's similar genetic structure to Andrew Ryan meant that he would be able to use the bathyspheres that were in lockdown, be resurrected at Vita-Chambers, and the automated security of Rapture would not be as effective against him.
Sometime in 1958, before Fontaine faked his own death in a shoot out with Sullivan's forces, Jack was smuggled out of Rapture in a bathysphere and sent to the surface as a sleeper agent, living out his pre-programmed life until Frank Fontaine "activated" him. Upon Fontaine's command, using the trigger phrase "Would you kindly", Jack boarded a plane in 1960 that passed over Rapture's location in the North Atlantic, then hijacked it, forcing it to crash land at the coordinates of the Lighthouse, the Main entrance to Rapture.
- Main article: Rapture Storyline
During the events of BioShock Jack arrives in Rapture in a Bathysphere taken from the lighthouse at the surface. In the beginning, he explores the different areas of Rapture under the guidance of Atlas, who speaks to him through a short wave radio. Jack's main objective at first is to find a functional bathysphere that will return him to the surface. Atlas promises to help him if in return Jack will save his trapped family in Neptune's Bounty. This proves to be more difficult than it at first seemed, as Andrew Ryan had noticed the intrusion and cut off access to Neptune, keeping close tabs on Jack and setting security devices and Splicers on him from then on. Jack is forced to detour through Medical Pavilion, encountering the deranged cosmetic surgeon J.S. Steinman. Here Jack meets Brigid Tenenbaum for the first time, or so he thinks. She implores him not to hurt the Little Sisters, and gives Jack a way to rescue them, although Atlas advises against it (it becomes your choice to save or harvest them).
When Jack finally reaches Neptune's Bounty he makes his way to the Smuggler's Hideout where Atlas's family are allegedly trapped in a bathysphere. Jack is supposed to meet Atlas there, but when he enters the control booth to open the bathysphere Andrew Ryan takes control, sending a wave of Splicers that destroy the sub and force Atlas to flee. Jack escapes through a tunnel to Arcadia, and Atlas informs him that their new objective is vengeance, to put an end to Andrew Ryan.
Jack makes his way through Arcadia and Fort Frolic, finding his way constantly blocked by Andrew Ryan's influence. In Fort Frolic Jack makes the discovery that Jasmine Jolene was Ryan's murdered lover, though he does not realize the significance of this at first. Eventually Jack reaches Hephaestus, where Atlas asks him "Now, would you kindly head to Ryan's office and kill the son of a bitch? It's time to finish this." Ryan had set up strong defenses, but Jack eventually breaches them and enters Rapture Central Control only to find that Ryan has set the entire complex into self destruct. Jack enters Ryan's office and sees the "Would you kindly" board upon which Ryan has connected all the evidence about Jack's true past. Jack finally encounters Ryan for the first and last time in a scene during which Ryan proves that Jack has been a slave under the control of Atlas the whole time, saying "A man chooses, a slave obeys." Jack is forced to kill Ryan, and take his genetic key to shut down the self-destruct mechanism. Finally, Atlas reveals his true identity as Frank Fontaine and thanks Jack for handing the keys to Rapture to him. He sends Security Bots to kill Jack, but Jack is led to an escape route by rescued Little Sisters. Jack enters a vent only to have it collapse under him and is knocked unconscious.
Jack wakes up in Tenenbaum's Sanctuary, where she informs him that while he slept she removed most of the mental conditioning that Dr. Suchong put in his mind. Jack is no longer vulnerable to the "Would you kindly" command, but Fontaine quickly proves that he still has control over Jack by activating the phrase "Code Yellow." This causes Jack's heart to begin the slow process of ceasing to beat. With the help of Tenenbaum Jack finds the cure for the conditioning, a chemical produced by Dr. Suchong called Lot 192. Finally, Jack completely frees himself from Fontaine's mind control. Once he is free, Tenenbaum urges him to go after Fontaine and take his revenge, Fontaine obliges by challenging Jack to a showdown.
However, in order to pursue Fontaine, Jack is forced to "become" a Big Daddy to trick Little Sisters into thinking he is one of their protectors. However, this transformation is not complete, as he does not have the suit grafted onto him (he never wears the gloves, either), nor is his mind altered in the process. The only physical change he undertakes is the automated vocal cord surgery, which Frank Fontaine (truthfully or not) warns over the radio beforehand is irreversible in an attempt to stop him. Afterward, Jack confronts Fontaine in a final battle, after defeating Fontaine the cut scene starts. Jack is knocked to the ground by Fontaine. When Fontaine is about to attack Jack, a group of Little Sisters pounce on him with the hypodermic syringes they use to extract ADAM out of corpses, killing Fontaine.
Depending on the player's actions throughout the game, Jack will either become the new ruler of Rapture and leader of the Splicers, or he escapes to the surface with five Little Sisters, raising them as his own daughters until dying of old age, with all five now adult girls comforting him on his deathbed.
Theories of Jack's Aging Edit
It can be heard in an Audio Diary from Dr. Suchong that Jack grew to the physical condition of a nineteen-year-old, despite having a childlike stature, when he was just a year old. This can be inferred from the Audio Diary which states that "Baby is now a year old, weighs 58 pounds, and possesses gross musculature of a fit, 19 year old."
Doing the math, and considering the average human life span at the time (a little over sixty years), Jack could quite possibly have died when he was only 4 "real" years old, if he were lucky. On the other hand, there is evidence against this theory, such as:
- The Good End: Rescuing and raising the Little Sisters, graduating college and having children of their own, all of which would have taken at least twenty years after leaving Rapture. Given that when Jack was shown in the Good Ending to be dying with the Little Sisters reaching what seemed to be around their Middle Ages or after, it is possible he lived a lot longer. This theory would also explain Jack's absence in BioShock 2, eight years later.
- Considering the possibility that Fontaine left Jack on the surface for a few years also challenges the theory. Since Jack was born in 1956 and reentered Rapture in 1960, he would have been dead before the events of the story if the fast aging theory were correct.
- The aging process from birth to maturity (approximately 17–21 years old) is controlled by hormones, while the aging process from post-pubescent to death is caused by cellular and tissue degradation, meaning that, if lot 111 affected hormones, it would stop working after Jack fully matured. It is clear, moreover, from the fact that Jack weighs 58 pounds at age 1, that although he possesses the musculature of a 19-year-old, he is not quite the same weight as a "fit 19-year-old." The accelerated growth of lot 111 is not a precise, four-fold acceleration of Jack's aging.
As such, it is more likely Jack was only Spliced to grow rapidly to maturity, and then age as a normal human would. This would give him at least an extra fifty years to live after the events of BioShock.
BioShock 2 Edit
In BioShock 2, Jack has seemingly become a man of legend among the Splicers left in Rapture. Even Sofia Lamb looks upon him positively, seeing his lack of free will as a boon and inspiration for her to begin her Utopian Experiments. He is referenced in some of her audio recordings as "The son of Ryan". Simon Wales believes Jack to be a god, mentioning how he killed Andrew Ryan. In Siren Alley, paintings of Jack's activities in Rapture can be seen, with subjects such as the plane crash, Dr. Steinman, and Jack's wrist about to be injected with a Plasmid. In one of Frank Fontaine's Audio Diaries, set directly before the beginning of BioShock, he mentions "I've got a hell of a surprise for Andrew Ryan. Long time comin'. And right about now, I expect the prodigal son is bookin' his flight..."
Several Splicers can be heard mentioning Jack. In the Atlantic Express workshop, three Splicers have a conversation around a burning barrel as Subject Delta approaches. One of them speculates that Jack is "highballin with all the can-can girls" on the surface and in possession of a bomb, another that he saved the Little Sisters and went up "happy ever after." This is a reference to both possible endings of the first game and explains why, in an evil ending, Jack would not still be in Rapture. Brute Splicers can also be heard referencing Jack; when idle, they mention their refusal to have children out of fear that they will suffer the same fate as Andrew Ryan. In the downloadable content campaign Minerva's Den, what is likely Jack's Wrench can be seen inside a suitcase, now in the possession of Tenenbaum, possibly to remember him by. As in the first game, Jack's name is never mentioned in dialogue.
Behind the Scenes Edit
- For some technical reasons, the sentence spoken by Jack during the game's introduction is in fact not played entirely, but can be found complete in the audio file vo_s_1_pl_playerintro. Oddly, all the versions of BioShock in other languages (French, Italian, German and Spanish) play the translation of the whole sentence at the beginning of the game.
- In the BioShock game files for the first level there is a passport for Jack that never appeared in the game. It states his (fake) name as "Jack Wynand" and other erroneous information. The surname "Wynand" may have been a reference to Gail Wynand, a main character in Ayn Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead.
- Jack's wallet shows an Irrational Games business card in one of the pockets. The person standing between the older man and woman in the family photo at the top of the wallet is the Lead Designer at Irrational Games, Bill Gardner.
- ↑ BioShock with designer JP LeBreton Part 1 video playthrough hosted by Idle Thumbs
- ↑ Audio Diary, "Bathysphere Keys"
- ↑ Audio Diary, "The Vita Chamber"
- ↑ Radio Message, "Frank Fontaine - Ryan's flesh and blood"
- ↑ Life Expectancy Tables at EFMoody.com
- ↑ "BioShock 2 Easter Egg Jack Reference", BioShock 2 gameplay video on YouTube
- ↑ Talk:Jack#Passport
- ↑ BioShock 2 Intro clip on Youtube, at 0:35
- ↑ Image of Jack's wallet at The Rapture Archives
- ↑ Post by Joe Faulstick on the "A small picture showing you Irrational actually never "died" :)" thread in the Irrational Games Forums