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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
Orrin Oscar Lutwidge is born.[1]


Undefined Date
Andrew Ryan, as a child, flees Russia in the wake of revolution; arrives in the United States of America.[2]


May 17
James Millard Oakes is born.[3]


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
Beginning of World War II.


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



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. [5]
September 2
End of World War II.


Undefined Date
Work begins on the construction of Rapture.[6]
Brigid Tenenbaum disappears.[7]
November 5
Rapture's infrastructure is built up enough to become habitable for a large population. The city opens to an influx of citizens.[13]
Yi Suchong noted missing in Chinese paper.[14]


Undefined Date
Dr. J.S. Steinman disappears.[15]
A number of Australians, including Kyburz, disappear from Turtle Bay.[16]


Frank Fontaine arrives in Rapture.[17]
Julie Langford disappears on surface.[18]
June 16
Fontaine Futuristics designs an advertisement for a Teleportation Plasmid.[19]


Undefined Date
Construction on Fontaine Fisheries is nearly finished.Bookicon?[20]


Undefined Date
Sofia Lamb arrives in Rapture.Bookicon?[21]


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






Undefined Date
Jack is "born" in a lab under the supervision of Tenenbaum and Suchong.[24]
July 12
A successful mind control test on Jack is recorded by Suchong.


Undefined Date
Celeste Roget travels to the Himalayas to find her father.[9]
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
Frank Fontaine installs the first Power to the People machine in Rapture.[26]
Infinite Spoilers


Early September
Frank Fontaine passes out experimental Plasmids to some of his men in prevision of the conflict to come around him.[27]
September 9
One of Fontaine's faithful men, Ray Lardner, starts to suffer from the heavy side-effects of the experimental Old Man Winter Plasmid given to him by his boss.[28]
September 10
Fontaine recalls the production of experimental drinkable Plasmids developed by Suchong in favor of the injectable ones, due to their high cost in ADAM and Fontaine Futuristics' inability to effectively produce sufficient quantities of ADAM.[29]
September 12
At the conclusion of Sullivan's investigations on Rapture's smuggling ring and following Ryan's orders, a full assault is launched by Ryan Security on Fontaine's front business Fontaine Fisheries. Frank Fontaine fakes his own death in the shoot-out that ensued.[26]
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.
Big Daddies are commissioned by Andrew Ryan to protect Little Sisters in Rapture during the mounting civil unrest.
Atlas and some of his closest followers are sent to Fontaine's by Ryan to prevent them from causing further trouble.
Control of the Silver Fin Restaurant is handed over to Suchong by Ryan when the owner reports the Tear that had appeared there.
Brigid Tenenbaum goes in to hiding (eventually residing under the streets of Olympus Heights) and starts to rescue Little Sisters. Ryan Industries publicly dismisses her disappearance.
Sofia Lamb takes control over Persephone from Sinclair.
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.[30][31]
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 has been stealing his researches on Plasmids and created a drinkable formula by introduction of an oxidizing agent.
Suchong recreates Fink's drinkable Plasmids and starts selling them through Ryan industries.

December 22
Some of Fontaine's former employees and the remainder of his army are sent to Fontaine's Department Store, after it is converted into a prison and is separated from the city,[35] by the orders of the Rapture Central Council.[36]
December 23
Sander Cohen brings down Sally to the department store.[37]
December 25
The Manta Ray Lounge, where supplies were stored for the prisoners under Atlas' command, is overrun by Splicers.[38]

December 31
The events of Burial at Sea begin.
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.
During the riots, the power to Ryan Amusements is cut off, trapping everyone inside, including 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.
The events of BioShock 2 Multiplayer begin.


Terrified citizens pull all of their money out of the banks causing an economic collapse.
Yi Suchong is killed in his Free Clinic by a Bouncer while working on a protection bond.
Elizabeth is murdered by Atlas after giving him the Ace in the hole.
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.
Siren Alley becomes the city's red light district when its residents suffer from the bank crash.

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.

Ryan puts all Bathyspheres into genetic lock-down, with only authorized personnel to use them.
Arcadia closes 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.
Bill McDonagh is executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Andrew Ryan.
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 occur.
Andrew Ryan is killed by Jack.
Frank Fontaine gains control of Rapture.
Fontaine is killed by Jack who is then given control over the city, thus ending the civil war.
Persistent rumors claim that a nuclear submarine sank while searching for Flight DF-0301.[11]
Elizabeth brings Booker DeWitt and Songbird to Rapture.



Icelandic vessel spots volcanic island forming, dubbed "Surtsey".[44]



Undefined Date
Sofia Lamb restarts the Protector Program in order 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. Andrew Ryan's Speech in BioShock Public Address announcements
  3. James Millard Oakes' United States Navy identification card
  4. Riddle from the fourth level of the Metal Box puzzle
  5. Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Building the Impossible!
  6. Twitter post from Ken Levine
  7. "Among the Missing:The Tenenbaum Mystery", article by Ulrich Broder
  8. James Millard Oakes League poster
  9. 9.0 9.1 Article from Phase Two of Something in the Sea, "U.S. Ambassador Speaks Out Against Roget Heiress"
  10. The Monthly Undergrounder article, "The Grey Ghost of Tangiers"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Page 13 of The Frozen Triangle.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Newspaper clippings of declarations of fictitious business name.
  13. Monument of Rapture's founding in Welcome to Rapture, "RAPTURE Nov 5 1946 ONE MAN'S VISION MANKIND'S SALVATION"
  14. Chinese article mentioning Suchong's disappearance
  15. Newspaper article clipping, "NYC Professor Pursues Missing Person.
  16. Newspaper article clipping, "The Secret of Turtle Bay"
  17. Radio message: "A Big Investment"
  18. Article from Phase Two of Something in the Sea, "Noted Botanist Still Missing"
  19. Date on picture may have been a mistake because its too early for ADAM
  20. BioShock: Rapture (Novel), Chapter 7
  21. BioShock: Rapture (Novel), Chapter 8
  22. Pages 72 and 73 of The Frozen Triangle
  23. Document from Phase Two of There's Something in the Sea
  24. Radio Message: "Ain't strictly business"
  25. Page 13 and page 63 of The Frozen Triangle
  26. 26.0 26.1 BioShock Loading Screen Quotes
  27. Ray Lardner's Audio Diary: A Gift from Fontaine
  28. Ray Lardner's Audio Diary: A Gift From Fontaine
  29. Frank Fontaine's Audio Diary: Product Recall (note that the date was inverted with that of You Stupid Bastard)
  30. 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"
  31. Carol Lynn's Audio Diary: The Blue Dress
  32. Tape recording from Phase Three of There's Something in the Sea, "Transmission Intercept Distress Call - English Fishing Boat 13 November 1958 - 01:15"
  33. Notes by Mark Meltzer on a newspaper clipping, "19 Die in Broadway Blaze, Casualties Include 2 Firemen"
  34. Mark Meltzer letter to Phil Isadore, pg 2
  35. Moses Lydecker's Audio Diary: Left Behind
  36. [ The department stores gated entrance.)
  37. Sander Cohen's Audio Diary: Critics
  38. Johnny Demarco's Audio Diary: C'est La Vie
  39. Letter from Dash Carmady to Mark Meltzer
  40. Page 156 of Lutwidge's "Utopian Metropolis" manuscript
  41. Auger Detection report on Lutwidge surveillance.
  42. Visionary Wonder Magazine article, "The Man From Utropolis (?)"
  43. Note on a photograph taken on Cindy's third birthday
  44. Page 62 of The Frozen Triangle
  45. 45.0 45.1 Letter from Lynch to Mark Meltzer on 3/18/67
  46. 46.0 46.1 Letter from Lynch to Mark Meltzer on 3/9/67
  47. 47.00 47.01 47.02 47.03 47.04 47.05 47.06 47.07 47.08 47.09 47.10 47.11 47.12 47.13 47.14 47.15 47.16 47.17 47.18 47.19 47.20 47.21 47.22 47.23 47.24 47.25 47.26 47.27 47.28 47.29 47.30 47.31 47.32 Documents from Phase One of There's Something in the Sea
  48. Reply letter from Lt. Commander Roscoe Inman on 9/1/67
  49. 49.0 49.1 Letter from Mark Meltzer to Roscoe Inman on 11/23/67
  50. Newspaper clipping from Phase Two of There's Something in the Sea, "UFO Buff Questioned in Daughter's Kidnapping"
  51. Discharge summary from Tollevue Hospital
  52. Letter to Roscoe Inman, 5/27/68
  53. X-ray images in "Days 1-6" folder, Something in the Sea website
  54. Divorce papers in "Days 1-6" folder, Something in the Sea website

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