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Rapture Timeline

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"Oh magus, you have begun thy journey. Your master's temple has fallen but his work is not yet finished…"Orrin Oscar Lutwidge

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This is a chronological timeline of events related to the history of Rapture, based on information revealed in the BioShock game series and There's Something in the Sea. Please note that when specific months and days are not given, they are only known to occur within the specified month or year.



September 3


Undefined Date


Undefined Date
  • Andrew Ryan, as a child, flees Russia in the wake of revolution; arrives in the United States of America.[3]


May 17


June 15


June 17
  • Pearl Philips and Charles Milton Porter are married.[6]
August 26
  • After accepting a job opening from Alan Turing, Charles Milton Porter and his wife Pearl take the Apollo Airways Flight DF-0113 from Philadelphia to London, to begin working with him for the Allies.
September 1


September 7
  • Beginning of the Blitz on London. Pearl Porter is killed by the first bombing.[7]



August 6
  • United States drops an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Sofia Lamb survives the bombing but loses all her friends in the explosion.
August 9
  • A second atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.
August 21
  • Andrew Ryan announces the plans for the construction of Rapture. He discusses the manner in which the city will be built and how they will keep the building materials hidden from the government.[9]
September 2
  • End of World War II.


Undefined Date
November 5
  • Rapture's infrastructure is built up enough to become habitable for a large population. The city opens to an influx of citizens.[17]


Undefined Date
  • A number of Australians, including Kyburz, disappear from Turtle Bay.[20]


June 16


Undefined Date


Undefined Date
  • Sofia Lamb arrives in Rapture.Bookicon?[29]


  • (Presumably) Rapture is finished. Andrew Ryan cuts off contact with the surface.






Undefined Date
July 12


Undefined Date
  • Celeste Roget travels to the Himalayas to find her father.[13]
  • After discovering the city of Rapture by accident, a deep sea explorer is nicknamed 'Johnny Topside' by the city's populace and becomes something of a celebrity.
January 22
Infinite Spoilers


Early September
  • Frank Fontaine passes out Plasmids, some of which are still experimental, to some of his followers and employees in preparation for the conflict soon to come.[36]
September 9
  • One of Fontaine's loyal men, Ray Lardner, starts to suffer from the heavy side-effects of the Old Man Winter Plasmid given to him by his boss.[36]
September 10
  • Fontaine cancels the production of drinkable Plasmids developed by Suchong in favor of injectible versions, due to the drinkable's high cost in ADAM when Fontaine Futuristics was unable to effectively produce sufficient quantities of ADAM.[37]
September 12
  • On success of Sullivan's investigations of Rapture's smuggling ring, and following Ryan's orders, Fontaine is ordered arrested and his criminal operation shut down. Fontaine resists, resulting in a major firefight at Fontaine's front business Fontaine Fisheries. A full assault is launched by Ryan Security, and Frank Fontaine fakes his own death in the mayhem that ensued.[35]
Undefined date
  • A revolutionary named Atlas begins protesting and rallying supporters against Ryan's philosophy in running Rapture.
  • Ryan is given false evidence that Charles Milton Porter swore loyalty to Fontaine and has him incarcerated in Persephone. Control of Rapture Central Computing, The Thinker and so Minerva's Den are handed over to his colleague Reed Wahl.
  • Brigid Tenenbaum goes into hiding (eventually residing under the streets of Olympus Heights) and starts to rescue Little Sisters. Ryan Industries publicly dismisses her disappearance.
  • Control of the Silver Fin Restaurant is handed over to Suchong by Ryan when the owner reports the Tear that had appeared there.
  • Big Daddies are commissioned by Andrew Ryan to protect Little Sisters in Rapture during the mounting civil unrest.
  • The bonding process for Protectors and Gatherers was still a work in progress. Where as Dr. Yi Suchong had difficulties with adapting the Protector Bond for all Big Daddies and Little Sisters to accept it, Gilbert Alexander creates the Alpha Series to use the Pair Bond as a more permanent solution.
  • Atlas and some of his closest followers are sent to Fontaine's by Ryan to prevent them from causing further trouble.
  • Sofia Lamb takes control over Persephone from Sinclair.
  • The Incinerate! and Telekinesis Plasmids are released to the public.
October 8
  • Elizabeth first arrives in Rapture in search of Zachary Hale Comstock through a Tear opened in the Silver Fin Restaurant at Fontaine's Department Store.[38][39]
October (Undefined date)
  • Tears start appearing throughout Rapture. Suchong becomes aware of the phenomena and sends investigators to study them.
  • Suchong becomes aware that Jeremiah Fink of Columbia has been stealing his research on Plasmids and had developed a drinkable formula by introduction of an 'oxidizing agent'.
  • Suchong recreates Fink's drinkable Plasmids and starts selling them through Ryan Industries.
  • The Kashmir Restaurant hosts its yearly gala, with an unknown purpose.[40]

December 2
December 23
December 25
  • The Manta Ray Lounge, where supplies were stored for the prisoners under Atlas' command, is overrun by Splicers.[47]

December 31
  • The events of Burial at Sea begin.
    • Sander Cohen hosts The Business of Rapture is Business at his private club.
    • Zachary Hale Comstock and Elizabeth are killed by a Bouncer in the Toy Department. However Elizabeth remained in existence because of her quantum-superposition and leaves Rapture for "Paris."
    • Elizabeth returns to the Toy Department to save Sally from Atlas, and by returning, her quantum state collapses, loosing her Tear manipulating abilities, trapping her in Rapture.
    • Ryan Security is sent to Fontaine's Department Store for Operation Deep Dive: To find and eliminate Atlas and Elizabeth.
    • Atlas and his followers escape Fontaine's Department Store.
  • The Masquerade party is thrown; the Kashmir Restaurant is attacked during the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots, and the Rapture Civil War begins.
  • The events of BioShock 2 Multiplayer begin.
  • During the riots, the power to Ryan Amusements is cut off, trapping everyone inside, including Carlson Fiddle, and Nina Carnegie with an entire third grade class.
  • Subject Delta is forced to shoot himself by Sofia Lamb while under the influence of a Hypnotize Plasmid.


  • The Rapture Civil War takes place. Rapture goes from a working society to a warzone, as Ryan and Atlas fight for control. Both sides actively splice, and many citizens splicing for their own self-defense become unstable. The people who survive and keep their sanity stay barricaded in small holdouts within the city. During this time, Sofia Lamb builds up more followers, who escape from the bloodshed, in Persephone.


  • Terrified citizens pull all of their money out of the banks causing an economic collapse.
  • Alexander discovers that the Pair Bond is too unstable, and decomissions the bond and Alpha Series.
  • Maintenance Big Daddies are chosen to be programmed as new protectors.
  • Yi Suchong is killed in his Free Clinic by a Bouncer while working on the Protection Bond.
  • Elizabeth is murdered by Atlas after giving him the Ace in the hole and the events of Burial at Sea ends.
  • The last recording by Nina Carnegie is made, still trapped in Ryan Amusements with the children.
  • A powerful bomb is detonated in Fin De Siècle Boutiques, destroying an entire level of the building.
  • The Vita-Chamber project is fast-tracked and the devices are installed throughout the city.

Undefined Date

  • The Hypnotize Big Daddy Plasmid is released to the public.
  • The Limbo Room is forced to close, making Grace Holloway unemployed.
  • The Atlantic Express is bought by Austin Bathysphere Co.
  • Siren Alley becomes the city's red light district when its residents suffer from the economic collapse.
  • Jasmine Jolene is murdered by Andrew Ryan.
  • Apollo Square is turned into a containment camp for the growing number of citizens against Ryan.
  • Ryan puts all Bathyspheres into genetic lock-down, with only authorized personnel (and close genetic matches to them) able to use them.

Undefined Date (1959-1960)Edit

The following events take place during the Civil War in Rapture, however it is unknown exactly which year of the war they occurred in as the exact date of Jack's arrival in 1960 is never given.

  • After a number of lock-downs, Arcadia closes permanently due to incidents caused by the Saturnine cultists.
  • Fort Frolic is closed to the public by Sander Cohen.
  • Minerva's Den is sealed off from the rest of Rapture by Reed Wahl.
  • Dionysus Park is flooded in what is deemed by the newspapers as a 'cult-related' incident.
  • Elite models of the Rosie and Bouncer are created to help fight the greater threat to Gatherers.
  • A new model of protector, The Lancer, is created but is never released due to Minerva's Den's being sealed off.
  • Bill McDonagh is executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Andrew Ryan.
  • Anya Andersdotter is executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Andrew Ryan.
  • Samuel & Mariska Lutz commit suicide.
  • Diane McClintock is killed by Atlas after discovering his true identity.
  • A large fire breaks out in a football stadium, cancelling the game between The Stingers and The Sea Bulls.
  • All publications cease distribution due to Security Order 217.


Undefined Date
  • Transatlantic Apollo Air Flight DF-0301 (Jack's flight) run by Apollo Air vanishes with six crew persons and eighty-nine passengers; international search efforts fail. U.S. and NATO vessels are sent out to sweep the area.
  • The events of BioShock 2 Multiplayer ends.
  • The events of BioShock occur.
    • Dr. Steinman and Peach Wilkins are killed by Jack.
    • Julie Langford is killed by Ryan for sharing information about the Lazarus Vector.
    • Andrew Ryan forces Jack to kill him after revealing his identity.
    • Atlas reveals himself as being Frank Fontaine after gaining control of Rapture.
    • Fontaine is killed by Jack who is then offered control over the city.
  • Persistent rumors claim that a nuclear submarine sank while searching for Flight DF-0301.[15]
  • Elizabeth brings Booker DeWitt and Songbird to Rapture.



  • An Icelandic sea vessel spots a volcanic island forming, later named "Surtsey".[53]



Undefined Date
  • Sofia Lamb restarts the Gatherer Program to gain ADAM for her plans. Since the Little Sisters left in Rapture have all become too old to gather effectively, young girls are kidnapped from the surface to become new Gatherers.


Undefined Date

  • Brigid Tenenbaum returns to Rapture to investigate the disappearance of young girls who lived near the sea.
  • Mark Meltzer enters Rapture.
  • The events of BioShock 2 and Minerva's Den occur.
    • A large window in Demeter's Banquet Hall is shattered by a Big Sister, flooding the restaurant and part of the Adonis Luxury Resort.
    • Siren Alley is flooded when Sofia Lamb overloads the pumps in Pumping Station 5.
    • Dionysus Park is drained of sea water by Subject Delta after 10 years of being flooded.
    • Persephone is sunk down into an ocean trench by Lamb's followers, dragging the Fontaine Futuristics Headquarters with it.
    • A 'Lifeboat', containing Subject Delta, Eleanor and Sofia Lamb, rises to the surface.
    • Tenenbaum returns with Charles Milton Porter to the surface with a copy of The Thinker's codes in order to synthesize a cure to splicing.
    • Porter is reverted back to normal by Tenenbaum and visits his wife's grave for a final goodbye.


  • The American channel PHE broadcast a two-parts episode of the TV documentary Fact From Myth narrated by Miles Bloom, which covers some of the mysteries surrounding Rapture, presented as a "modern day Atlantis."

See AlsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Documents about RØd Killian Quain from Tollevue Mental Hospital
  2. Pearl Porter's Headstone
  3. Andrew Ryan's Speech in BioShock Public Address announcements
  4. James Millard Oakes' United States Navy identification card
  5. Charles Milton Porter's Lincoln University Degree
  6. The Porters' Wedding Invitation
  7. Charles Milton Porter's Audio Diary: Nothing But Ashes
  8. Riddle from the fourth level of the Metal Box puzzle
  9. Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Building the Impossible!
  10. Twitter post from Ken Levine
  11. "Among the Missing:The Tenenbaum Mystery", article by Ulrich Broder
  12. James Millard Oakes League poster
  13. 13.0 13.1 Article from Phase Two of Something in the Sea, "U.S. Ambassador Speaks Out Against Roget Heiress"
  14. The Monthly Undergrounder article, "The Grey Ghost of Tangiers"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Page 13 of The Frozen Triangle.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Newspaper clippings of declarations of fictitious business name.
  17. Monument of Rapture's founding in Welcome to Rapture, "RAPTURE Nov 5 1946 ONE MAN'S VISION MANKIND'S SALVATION"
  18. Chinese article mentioning Suchong's disappearance
  19. Newspaper article clipping, "NYC Professor Pursues Missing Person.
  20. Newspaper article clipping, "The Secret of Turtle Bay"
  21. Radio message: "A Big Investment"
  22. Article from Phase Two Day 18 of There's Something in the Sea, "Noted Botanist Still Missing" newspaper clipping article is dated January 7, 1949 but it is implied that Langford has been missing for at least several weeks
  23. Date on the Farmer's Market marquee
  24. Unfinished advertisements for a Teleportation Plasmid (Date on picture may have been a mistake because its too early for ADAM)
  25. BioShock: Rapture (Novel), Chapter 7
  26. Date on Lotz & Sons' logo
  27. Hop-Up cola Advertisement
  28. Based on Burial at Sea - Episode 1's ending and the following exchange in the elevator to the The Pavilion:
    Elizabeth: "When did you come to Rapture?"
    (Zachary Hale Comstock as) Booker DeWitt: "Oh, it was… jeez… I guess around '51. No… '48?"
    Elizabeth: "That's a rather large gap."
    Booker DeWitt: "Time… Life I had before… sort of becomes a blur. '49, '49 for sure."
    [Booker's nose start to bleed]
    Booker DeWitt: "Damn."
    Elizabeth: "You look a mess, Mr. DeWitt."
    Booker DeWitt: "Just keep your eyes open for Splicers. They can do us a whole lot worse."
  29. BioShock: Rapture (Novel), Chapter 8
  30. Pages 72 and 73 of The Frozen Triangle
  31. Document from Phase Two of There's Something in the Sea
  32. Radio Message: "Ain't strictly business"
  33. Plaque in the Administrative Offices of the Therapy Wing in Inner Persephone
  34. Page 13 and page 63 of The Frozen Triangle
  35. 35.0 35.1 BioShock Loading Screen Quotes
  36. 36.0 36.1 Ray Lardner's Audio Diary: A Gift from Fontaine
  37. Frank Fontaine's Audio Diary: Product Recall (note that the date was inverted with that of You Stupid Bastard)
  38. Upon entering Cupid's Arrow: "I was here as well… Right after I came through, I needed… I needed something to wear that was a little more Rapture-appropriate"
  39. Carol Lynn's Audio Diary: The Blue Dress
  40. Herschel Weiss' Audio Diary: False Advertising
  41. Tape recording from Phase Three of There's Something in the Sea, "Transmission Intercept Distress Call - English Fishing Boat 13 November 1958 - 01:15"
  42. Notes by Mark Meltzer on a newspaper clipping, "19 Die in Broadway Blaze, Casualties Include 2 Firemen"
  43. Mark Meltzer letter to Phil Isadore, pg 2
  44. Moses Lydecker's Audio Diary: Left Behind
  45. The department stores gated entrance.)
  46. Sander Cohen's Audio Diary: Critics
  47. Johnny Demarco's Audio Diary: C'est La Vie
  48. Letter from Dash Carmady to Mark Meltzer
  49. Page 156 of Lutwidge's "Utopian Metropolis" manuscript
  50. Auger Detection report on Lutwidge surveillance.
  51. Visionary Wonder Magazine article, "The Man From Utropolis (?)"
  52. Note on a photograph taken on Cindy's third birthday
  53. Page 62 of The Frozen Triangle
  54. 54.0 54.1 Letter from Lynch to Mark Meltzer on 3/18/67
  55. 55.0 55.1 Letter from Lynch to Mark Meltzer on 3/9/67
  56. 56.00 56.01 56.02 56.03 56.04 56.05 56.06 56.07 56.08 56.09 56.10 56.11 56.12 56.13 56.14 56.15 56.16 56.17 56.18 56.19 56.20 56.21 56.22 56.23 56.24 56.25 56.26 56.27 56.28 56.29 56.30 56.31 56.32 Documents from Phase One of There's Something in the Sea
  57. Reply letter from Lt. Commander Roscoe Inman on 9/1/67
  58. 58.0 58.1 Letter from Mark Meltzer to Roscoe Inman on 11/23/67
  59. Newspaper clipping from Phase Two of There's Something in the Sea, "UFO Buff Questioned in Daughter's Kidnapping"
  60. Discharge summary from Tollevue Hospital
  61. Letter to Roscoe Inman, 5/27/68
  62. X-ray images in "Days 1-6" folder, Something in the Sea website
  63. Divorce papers in "Days 1-6" folder, Something in the Sea website

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