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"Pick your Plasmid and evolve!"
―Mural advertising Plasmids in Rapture
"Imagine if you could be smarter, stronger, healthier. What if you could even have amazing powers, light fires with your mind... That's what Plasmids do for a man."

Plasmids are special serums made from processed ADAM that introduce modified stem cells into the body, allowing for genetic modification and mutation, giving the user what some might call "super powers". Active Plasmids require EVE for use, while passive Plasmids, called Gene Tonics, provide an effect merely by being equipped. Plasmids are powerful, but excessive use of them leads to physical and mental addiction and instability. This was a major factor in the eventual downfall of Rapture society.


Creation and UsesEdit

When Brigid Tenenbaum discovered the properties of ADAM and was seeking Frank Fontaine's help for financing and equipments, the latter introduced her to Yi Suchong, another brilliant geneticist. Together, the two scientists developed the first Plasmids for what would eventually become Fontaine Futuristics, Fontaine's own science company. Plasmids were first introduced to Rapture's consumers as domestic aids (light a fire instantly, pick up objects from a distance, lit a lamp by zapping it with electricity...) although their use could still be distorted into harmful ways. This reality became apparent when Rapture's security forces were confronted to groups of Splicers[1] while conducting an arrest on Fontaine and his properties for his connection to the smuggling ring[2] With Fontaine's presumed death in the shoot-outs, the Central Council transferred stewardship of his science company to Andrew Ryan and Ryan Industries. This event was not perceived well by parts of Rapture's population, especially those believing in Fontaine's charity works, and tensions grew in the city.

The Genetic Arms RaceEdit

Preparing for the protests to come, Ryan started changing Plasmids' marketed use to home defense products. A civil war finally erupted after Atlas's followers bombed the 1958 New Year's Eve celebrations at the Kashmir Restaurant and thus Plasmid development became a genetic arms race[3]. Both side of the war started equipping themselves while field tests were conducted by Sinclair Solutions for more powerful and diverse Plasmids. Slowly, the population degraded into insanity when the side-effects of ADAM overuse became too important, and Ryan resorted in adding inducing pheromones in his products to influence the Splicers and win the war against Atlas.

An Alternative to InjectionsEdit

Infinite Spoilers

Before the war, Suchong worked on a new form of Plasmid to be assimilated by ingestion rather than through injection in the blood streams.[4] This method however, while better on marketing stand, required ten times the regular amount of ADAM for creation and production was aborted by Fontaine himself to avoid shortage on the raw genetic material. The scientist came back to the idea after witnessing his own work stolen and improved by Jeremiah Fink[5], a businessman using trans-dimensional technologies to appropriate scientific wonders from other realities. Suchong proposed the idea to Ryan, by then administrating Fontaine's assets after his demise, and a few drinkable Plasmids were released to the public. They were eventually abandoned for good when the Civil War erupted and ADAM went into shortage.

Plasmid Listings Edit

Main article: BioShock Plasmids
Main article: BioShock 2 Plasmids
Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer Plasmids
Main article: Burial at Sea Plasmids
Main article: Predefined Plasmids

Gallery Edit

Behind the Scenes Edit

  • The use of the name "Plasmids" was inspired by the term in genetics for circular extra-chromosomal DNA strands that can be found in cell's mitochondria, in bacteria, and some eukaryotic cells. These molecules are commonly used as vectors in genetic engineering.[6]
  • The player uses a Plasmid given by Brigid Tenenbaum to remove the ADAM Sea Slug from the Little Sisters. Not only is this is the only unnamed Plasmid, it also isn't contained in any Plasmid/Tonic Slot.
    • A storyboard for BioShock 2 shows Tenenbaum sending Subject Delta this Plasmid via the pneumo during their first meeting. In the final version of the game however, Delta already has this ability. A line in the game's text files also reveals its name as Little Sister Antidote, and that it was to be given to Delta in Ryan Amusement, which introduce him to gathering and harvesting.
  • In the early development video of BioShock, Hunting the Big Daddy, the player could wield Plasmids in both hands at once.
  • Originally, Plasmids appeared as small, white bottles with red caps and red labels. This is evident from BioShock's Hunting the Big Daddy video, when finding the removed Plasmid, Splicer Irritant.
  • In the original BioShock trailer, Plasmids (the Plasmid in use was shown to be Insect Swarm) were shown to be much smaller and thinner, more reminiscent of needles of the time. [7] But they were soon updated to the more current models, at some time in the development.
  • Plasmids can be both Injectable (as seen in BioShock and BioShock 2) and Drinkable (as seen in BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea). Injectable Plasmids can be made drinkable by the use of an oxidizing agent, however this changes the Plasmids qualities and requires 10 times as much ADAM to produce.
  • The "campy" plasmid training video slideshows were drawn by Rob Waters[8]
  • The iconic "Plasmids" sign with the hand shooting Electro-Bolt was designed by Laura Zimmerman.[9]

References Edit

  1. Fontaine's Army
  2. Smuggling Ring
  3. Genetic Arms Race
  4. Product Recall
  5. Observation 33
  6. Plasmids on Wikipedia.
  8. Graphics section Robb Water's portfolio
  9. Plasmid Signage - Bioshock Laura Zimmerman's portfolio

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