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Proving Grounds

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Proving Grounds Museum Sign
Proving Grounds-Central Atrium-01
Proving Grounds
Previous levelPoint Prometheus
Next levelFontaine
Little Sisters1
Enemies encountered
SplicersThuggish Splicer
Leadhead Splicer
Spider Splicer
ProtectorsElite Bouncer
SupportTurret (machine gun)
Turret (flamethrower)
"You won't believe your eyes!"
―Postcard for Point Prometheus

The Proving Grounds is the penultimate and one of the most difficult levels of BioShock. Jack must run the gauntlet through a derelict museum while protecting a vulnerable Little Sister in order to gain access to his final opponent at the top of Point Prometheus.



Rapture Memorial Museum Sign
Proving Grounds-Museum Lobby-01

The Museum Lobby Entrance.

Originally before the Civil War, the Armored-Escort Proving Grounds were known as the Memorial Museum of Point Prometheus, a grand establishment where citizens could visit and learn about the splendors of the surrounding sea. After Big Daddies were assigned to become the protectors of Little Sisters, the entire location was closed to the public and hastily converted into a training area for Protectors and their Gatherers. The complex is topped with a dome and the tower at the west end is the tallest structure in Rapture.


Proving Grounds-South Exhib Hall-01

The gravely damaged South Exhibit Halls.

Main article: BioShock

The Museum is one of the most powerful visuals demonstrating Rapture's fall. What was once a showplace of knowledge is now reduced to a corpse-ridden training gauntlet for the gruesome pairs that roam Rapture. While a few of the exhibits have been stored in the Gift Shop, most have just been left in their displays and are now damaged. The Gift Shop is in a state of disrepair and has mostly been picked clean by the insane Splicers who wander the halls. When the player enters the museum, gunfire and the rumbling roars of a Big Daddy can be heard from the lower floor. A Baby Jane is seen duking it out with a Rosie. The Big Daddy shoots the Splicer, but, in her death throes, she fires her machine gun at the ceiling. This causes one of the two whale skeletons suspended above to come loose from its cables and crush the Big Daddy as it falls.


The rogue Bouncer bursting through a wall.

The winding hallways of the Proving Grounds are littered with fresh corpses from which Little Sisters gather ADAM while the Big Daddies protect them. Jack must follow a Little Sister to get through specially locked doors to get to Fontaine. To Tenenbaum's chagrin, the Little Sisters mental conditioning still forces them to stop and harvest ADAM before leading Jack on. These Little Sisters are no longer implanted with a slug, and are therefore physically vulnerable to attack. Gathering sessions are the focus of the mission in this area: the player escorting the girl safely through the Proving Grounds' linear route (divided into sections by locked "Little Sister doors"), while defending her from Splicers, Turrets, and finally a rogue Bouncer. When the player first enters the lower portion of the Central Atrium, the Bouncer can be seen up on a balcony opposite, staring momentarily (and menacingly) at the player, then doing an about-face and charging through a door. Towards the very end of the Proving Grounds route, this Big Daddy breaks through a wall and angrily charges the player.

After dealing with the Bouncer, Jack and the Little Sister enter the end of the museum called the Special Exhibit Entry. This place once took visitors up an elevator to large unique exhibits on the top floor. Jack heads up there to confront his enemy. Before leaving, Jack restocks his ammo and the Little Sister offers him her Harvesting Tool to use on Fontaine.


This map is interactive. Click on an icon to find out more about it.
Circus of ValuesCircus of ValuesCircus of ValuesGatherer's GardenGene BankGene BankGene BankU-InventU-InventBot Shutdown PanelBot Shutdown PanelBot Shutdown PanelHealth StationHealth StationHealth StationProving Grounds Map
Icon vending
Icon gathergard
Bot Shutdown
Icon uinvent
Physical Tonic
Combat Tonic



Bugs / GlitchesEdit

Proving Grounds-Central Atrium-05

The Central Atrium.

  • Icon mac Shooting the fallen whale skeleton with exploding buck shot or igniting it with Incinerate! will cause the entire Central Atrium to be engulfed in flames that do not harm the player.
  • Icon pcPossible failure of developers, allows you to transit testing area with 1 or more Little Sister: After you complete the testing area. Take the syringe ADAM little sister's hand (do not go now face the Fontaine), return to Point Prometheus, wait for the door to open. After that, go back into the testing area and to get the Tenenbaum message again, allowing you to attract another Little Sister. A tip: When you re-enter the testing area at the entrance of the museum, walk to the first door (which now does not need a Little Sister to open). Before opening, note that there is a vent. Following the same direction you will see there is another vent, walk to your left and you will see that in the south hall there are 2 vents. If you are quick, you can hit up to 4 vents, so can attract 4 Little Sisters.[confirmation needed]

Just as the escort mission is about to be completed, the Little Sister might freeze near the Vent when she is supposed to go inside and deliver the Adam needle to the player. It is unknown what causes this, but the Little Sister will simply stay there forever, urging the player to hurry up. To fix this either reload a previous save (recommended if you saved halfway through the mission) or alternatively and very painfully, you'll have to exit the Proving Grounds through the Bulkhead and enter again, this will respawn a Little Sister near you at full health and she will take the same path, however, she thankfully won't draw Adam from corpses making the journey much less enervating to the player.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The "Memorial Museum" sign reappears in the Rapture Memorial Museum in Ryan Amusements in BioShock 2.
  • Both Bouncer and Rosie type Big Daddies appear in this level: an Elite Rosie and the Bouncer that attacks Jack.
  • Despite the Little Sister walking slowly, she will keep urging the player to hurry up.
  • The rogue Bouncer in this level can be killed while he is staring at the player. If the player quickly hits it with Winter Blast when it is on the balcony, it can be shattered with the Machine Gun. This does not stop it from spawning and attacking the player at the end of the level, however.
  • Strangely, when the player searches the rogue Bouncer, it is listed as "Elite Bouncer", but it does not have the red trim or harpoon drill.

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