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Splicer

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A Spider Splicer in Rapture.

"This little fish looks like he just had his cherry popped! I wonder if he's still got some ADAM on him."
―Splicers looking at a semi-conscious Jack, searching for ADAM on his body

Splicers are the main enemies in the BioShock and BioShock 2 series. The remnants of Rapture's human population, they are the result of ADAM use during the violent conflict of the Rapture Civil War. In this war, and the chaotic days that followed, the Splicers apparently murdered most of the sane population of the city. Due to abusive ADAM consumption, their bodies and minds have been deformed beyond repair (though some of their physical deformities can be attributed to Dr. J.S. Steinman's plastic surgery). They have become dependent on the substance, both mentally and physically. Many of them still wear Masquerade Ball masks, perhaps, as Atlas suggested, out of shame at how ADAM has deformed their bodies.[1]

Although the term Splicer can be applied to anyone who has altered their genetic structure with ADAM, it has since become the term used only to describe those who have become addicted to the substance, and have lost their sanity and became physically deformed from the addiction.

BioShock Edit

Main article: BioShock

In BioShock, Splicers wander the corridors and the tunnels of Rapture, searching for ADAM, usually in the form of Little Sisters, which often puts them at odds with their Big Daddy protectors -- something which Jack can easily exploit to help him survive. Splicers tend to wear very little armor (if any), but they have advanced physical strength and tend to be extremely aggressive in contrast to the calmer Big Daddies. They will sometimes work in groups, use Plasmids and sometimes even play dead to get the advantage on the player.

Thuggish Splicer Edit

Main article: Thuggish Splicer

The Thuggish Splicer attacks with melee weapons. They can be found throughout the game and are fairly weak, but make up for it by running fast and attacking in groups whenever they can. Later on in the game this Splicer type is more often equipped with the Electric Flesh gene tonic, making them immune to all electrical damage such as Electro Bolt and the Static Discharge Gene Tonic.

Leadhead Splicer Edit

Main article: Leadhead Splicer

The Leadhead Splicer is still capable of wielding firearms and attacks with either a Pistol or a Machine Gun. They can also be found throughout the game but are more dangerous than the Thuggish Splicer since they can attack from a distance. Leadheads will always keep their distance from the player whenever possible but at very close range they will attempt to pistol-whip them. It is worth knowing that they have to reload their guns, just like Jack, and are defenseless when doing so. They also have more health than a Thuggish Splicer making them harder to take down especially if there are more than one.

Spider Splicer Edit

Main article: Spider Splicer

The Spider Splicer is the first Splicer the player sees when they arrive in Rapture, although the player only starts fighting them in Neptune's Bounty. These Splicers can crawl on the ceiling and throw hooks at the player from afar, which can be caught and tossed back with Telekinesis. When on the ground, the Spider Splicer will get near enough to physically attack the player, then immediately jump to the ceiling or backflip away and come at them from another angle. Their agility and ability to crawl on walls make them difficult to hit, and their modus operandi, which involves ambushing the player by crawling on the ceiling, can easily surprise anyone who is unprepared.  One can easily hear their movement, thanks to the telltale sound of cracking plaster.

Houdini Splicer Edit

Main article: Houdini Splicer

The Houdini Splicer is first encountered when the player enters Arcadia. These Splicers have the ability to teleport in the middle of combat, disappearing from one location and reappearing at another. They can be tracked through a cloud of smoke that appears around them whenever they do so, which becomes much more visible upon researching this Splicer to the fourth research level. The Houdini Splicer will most often attack by shooting balls of fire (and, in some cases, ice), but like the Leadhead Splicer, will attack physically when at close range. In combat, the Houdini Splicer uses a hit-and-run strategy by appearing, firing an elemental attack, and then vanishing to repeat the cycle.

Nitro Splicer Edit

Main article: Nitro Splicer

Nitro Splicers are rarely found throughout the game, mostly in Neptune's Bounty. The first one the player will encounter is in the Medical Pavilion. They will attack by throwing Grenades (and, later, Molotov cocktails) at the player from a distance. At melee range, they will either throw a smoke bomb to the ground, temporarily blinding the player, or they will attempt to flee, tossing an explosive over their shoulder or attempt to kick the player, doing moderate damage. Upon dying, they will drop a live Grenade, with the intent of damaging the player if they were at close range. A common way of killing this Splicer type is by using Telekinesis to catch its grenades and throw them back at it. Researching this Splicer type will increase the chance that their explosives turn out to be duds.

BioShock 2 Edit

Main article: BioShock 2

After ten years of splicing and surviving, Splicers are fewer, more aggressive and much more powerful than those who were encountered in the original game. They are also far more deformed with their faces often having conformed to the shape of the masks that they used to wear. Their limbs have heavily mutated becoming lankier and in some cases the bone structure actually remodeling itself (such as the development of extra fingers, toes, or even talons). On top of their increased resilience the remaining Splicers show a twisted form of unity due to the influence of Sofia Lamb and the Rapture Family. The Splicers loyal to the Family are no longer hostile to Little Sisters but they see Subject Delta as an enemy and attack him on sight.

Some Splicer models seen in the first game are still present in BioShock 2 such as Leadhead Splicers and Spider Splicers among other newer or evolved models now unique to the second game. Splicers are also able to throw grenades while firing their weapons at Delta.

Brute Splicer Edit

Main article: Brute Splicer

A new Splicer type which makes its first appearance in BioShock 2. Brute Splicers are much bigger, more powerful and bulkier than any other Splicer, and is able to pick up an array of items or debris strewn around Rapture such as large rocks, and explosives, and throw them at the player. Brute Splicers can also perform staggering jumps several meters in length and height such as off of balconies or onto walkways above the ground.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer Edit

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

As part of the narrative concept of the multiplayer game of BioShock 2, all players take the role of citizens of Rapture who enlisted themselves to the Sinclair Solutions Home Consumer Rewards Program for their own reason. They are testing weapons, Plasmids and other genetic enhancements for the firm and conducting trials, which act as field testing on the account of Ryan Industries for their newest line of "home defense" products. However, all those enhancements turn them into Splicers, ruining their bodies and slowly driving them mad.

Burial at SeaEdit

Main article: Early Splicers

Before Rapture's Civil War caused Splicers to become mentally and physically unstable due to withdrawal, many Citizens were actually seen using Plasmids and Tonic enhancements with little visible signs of genetic or mental damage. Some can be seen in Market Street and High Street, such as the waiter assisting customers at Le Temps Perdu and a man attracting the opposite sex with his spliced aesthetics. This does not mean that dangerous Splicers were not present. Rogue Splicers, many of them the remains of Fontaine's army, were locked away in the sunken Fontaine's Department Store after Andrew Ryan and the City Council seized and shut down most of Fontaine's businesses. With their connection to Rapture's ADAM supply cut off the splicers grew more and more deranged. 

Many are either Leadheads or Thuggish Splicers, and a newly seen Splicer type: the Frosty Splicer. These Splicers are not as mutated as those met during and after the Civil War but show the characteristic mental instability associated with ADAM abuse and various injuries from fighting Ryan's forces and each other. Being cut off from the rest of Rapture before the 1958 New Year's party, they lack the distinctive masquerade masks seen in earlier games. Most of these male Splicers can be seen wearing wooden crates or crudely cut-out poster images as masks of brands like Hop-Up SodaCircus of Values, and Meal-Time Frozen Dinners. Some female Splicers hide their faces with heavy makeup or masks that are either domino-like or a facial prosthetic patch.

Frosty SplicerEdit

Main article: Frosty Splicer

Covered in protruding, icy growths, Frosty Splicers can fire multiple projectile blasts of ice at Booker DeWitt, not only causing him to be temporarily stunned but freezing any enemy in the way as well. Their transformation is a result of an overdose of the new drinkable Plasmid -- Old Man Winter. The first Frosty Splicer is encountered at Rapture on Ice. They are likely immune to frost-based (or similar) attacks.

Splicer Models Edit

There are ten Splicer models in BioShock and eight in BioShock 2. Their names are not revealed in-game; instead, they are associated with the sound files used for their sound bites in the game data. The Pigskin, Plastered Splicer, Rosebud, and Waders only appear in the first game. The models that return in BioShock 2 have a more deformed appearance, Additionally, two new Splicer models were introduced; Brute and Crawler, who both have their own splicer type. Splicers are also given a unique and totally new model when seen from a Little Sisters perspective. Also with Minerva's Den, the narrative Downloadable Content for BioShock 2, a further two more splicer models are shown; Heady and Buttons. Each of those models feature their own appearance (with some variants in colors) personality and social rank, making them characters on their own.

In the same way as the two first singleplayer games, each of the ten playable characters in BioShock 2 Multiplayer also feature their own appearance and personality, as well as social rank. This and their associated Audio Diaries contribute to telling a different story for each of them.

In the first narrative DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea - Episode 1, which returns to the city of Rapture on the eve of its war, Three new splicer models are introduced. The early male and female splicers encountered in the game are what is left of Fontaine's army after his failed attempt of taking over the city. Both of these models feature different designs and personalities, unlike the models seen in previous games. A third model known as the Frosty Splicer, is also shown, and is the first splicer model to show the effects of Drinkable Plasmids.

In the next episode, Burial at Sea - Episode 2, Ryan's Security Forces are encountered by the players, many of which are splicers, and thus show deformities, although they seem to be quite sane.

In Both Singleplayer Games Edit

BioShock OnlyEdit

BioShock 2 OnlyEdit

BioShock 2: Minerva's DenEdit

BioShock 2: Fall of RaptureEdit

Standard Characters
BioShock 2 Character Pack
Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack Characters

BioShock Infinite: Burial at SeaEdit

Removed ContentEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Early in the design process of BioShock, Splicers were known only as "Aggressors".[2]
  • The term "Splicer" is a reference to gene splicing[3], a natural process that occurs during RNA transcription in cells.
  • Several Splicer models are based on soldiers who sustained horrific facial injuries from the First World War and subsequently underwent pioneering surgery to reconstruct their faces with varying degrees of success.[4]
  • In BioShock 2, there is always one original model and three variations for each of the Splicers' models, plus some variations for specific levels or characters, such as Brute models dressed as orderlies and Toasty models dressed as inmates in Persephone Penal Colony, or Daniel and Simon Wales' Breadwinner and Crawler specific models. Most of these variations, which consist of different clothing, hair and skin colors, are shown in BioShock 2's artbook, Deco Devolution.
  • Each Splicer model (with the exception of HeadyButtons, Crawler, Survivor, and the men and women trapped in Fontaine's) has their own cartoon character, which can be seen on Plasmid instruction videos as well as various advertisements.
  • In the Clash in the Clouds downloadable content of BioShock Infinite, completing each of the four levels will unlock at the Columbian Archeological Society a Tear to a water puddle, which, when activated, will bring in a Thuggish Splicer bearing the Toasty model's body and a Waders' head and wearing a white rabbit mask. This Easter egg is advertising the next two DLC packs for BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2, which both take place in Rapture.
  • In Burial at Sea, the Frosty Splicer uses the same model of the scrapped Vigor Junkie from BioShock Infinite.
  • The cartoon versions of Splicers "pre-fall" from BioShock and BioShock 2 can be seen in several Need to Know Theaters, training, and propaganda videos in Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Episode 2, including: Breadwinner, Ducky, Baby Jane, Dr. Grossman, Waders, and Lady Smith.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Radio message by Atlas in the Farmer's Market: "Why do they wear those masks? Maybe there's a part of them that remembers how they used to be, how they used to look. And they're ashamed."
  2. "Episode One: What Is BioShock?", podcast available: The Cult of Rapture
  3. RNA gene splicing, on Wikipedia
  4. Project Facade (WARNING: do not click the link if easily upset, as these are actual photos of people with real deformities.)

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