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The imposing Atrium of the Welcome Center.

The Atrium serves as a hub connecting several sections of the Welcome Center complex together. Jack must pass through here during the events of BioShock.


The Great Chain is Guided by Our Hand.

After the new citizens of Rapture arrive at the Welcome Center complex, they could gain information and experience the luxuries of their new underwater utopia. The Atrium connects several different portions of Rapture together from the tunnels leading to the Bathysphere Station to the elevator bank leading to several businesses. The area consists of a public waiting area and the actual Atrium located further up a flight of stairs. Like most of Rapture, the Atrium suffered serious damage from the Civil War. At some point, a lone Thuggish Splicer took up residence in the alcoves of the waiting area.


Thank you for choosing Apollo Airways.

Main article: BioShock


From the Lounge of the Bathysphere Station, a glass tunnel takes newly arrived citizens to other parts of Rapture. Luggage can be seen descending from high above at the crash site. Just as Jack traverses the tunnel, the tail section of Apollo Air Flight DF-0301 crashes into the tunnel, causing it to flood. Water pouring in through the breach immediately triggers the bulkhead door from the Lounge to seal. Fortunately, Jack can climb into the plane and escape through the craft's rear exit door. While the damaged tunnel's glass begins to crack under the water pressure, an adjoining section of tunnel collapses, and the structure begins to buckle. Jack escapes through the flooding tunnel to another door leading to the Atrium.

Waiting Area[]

Left Alcove.png Welcome-Atrium Alcove01.jpg

The left and right alcoves.

The bulkhead to the tunnels immediately seals behind Jack after he walks through. As he looks backward, the bulkhead leading to the tunnel will buckle; there's no going back now. Jack finds himself in a small waiting room, but the door leading ahead is sealed. While gathering the abundant loot in the dark and damp room, a Thuggish Splicer skulks around. Atlas teaches Jack the "One-Two Punch," which proves effective. Afterwards, another Splicer will unlock the bulkhead and enter the room, and Jack dispatches with him, shortly.


A Splicer stands at the entrance to the Atrium.

The Atrium stretches several stories high, it is decorated with a small reflecting pool and pro-capitalism art including several banners and a giant Great Chain monument. At one end of the room is an elevator bank with six elevators adorned by a gilded statue and a cascading waterfall. The elevators lead to several different businesses including a Le Marquis D'Epoque and the Kashmir Restaurant. However, all businesses except for the Kashmir have been shuttered and most of the elevators have fallen into disrepair.

A Splicer at a locked door.

As Jack climbs the broken staircase, a man is overheard begging for his life with another person. Apparently, he failed Ryan in some way and now pays the price. Just as Jack reaches the top of the stairs, there is an explosion and an elevator crashes to the bottom floor. A Thuggish Splicer engulfed in flames emerges from the elevator bank. Jack takes out the fiery enemy, boards the last remaining express elevator up, and observes a Thuggish Splicer trapped on one of the landings banging on a locked door.

As Jack rides, Atlas pleads with him to save his family in Neptune's Bounty. The elevator reaches the top and a deeply disturbed female Thuggish Splicer is seen hunched over a baby carriage singing a demented lullaby. Jack is forced to deal with her and afterwards comes across the Pistol. On one side of the landing is a closed Le Marquis D'Epoque with a memorial to Winston Hoffner at the base of the security gate. Beyond the carriage is the entrance to the Kashmir Restaurant.


Pre-Launch Images and Concept Art[]

In-Game Images[]

Behind the Scenes[]

That's quite a look.

  • In the waiting area, when Jack investigates either alcove and then looks back towards the center of the room, a silhouetted Splicer will dart between the arches and Atlas will explain the "One-Two Punch." If Jack is in the left alcove, the Splicer that runs by will be a Thuggish Toasty model who runs by without a melee weapon. If Jack is in the right, the Splicer will be a Spider Splicer with a Toasty model's body and a Baby Jane model hair piece. Regardless, the runner will disappear and a new normal Thuggish Toasty model Splicer will appear to fight Jack. Normally, the player would not be close or quick enough to notice these discrepancies while playing without Console Commands, but the hair was likely added to help hide the Splicer's face.
  • Upon entering the elevator bank, the doors will seal. The waterfall has been emptying onto the elevator bank's ceiling for some time, but after Jack enters the space, the glass ceiling will crack and then break. The space will start flooding as the water pours in, even extinguishing the fire in the crashed elevator car. However, Jack cannot drown as the water will only rise to knee height.
    • In early iterations of the game, this scene was slightly more dramatic. Bill Gardner explains this would be a puzzle/pressure test sequence that would involve retrieving a key from the elevator car after the fire had been extinguished and escape before drowning. When he felt the experience didn't work completely, it was decided that this would ultimately be reduced to a piece of dramatic set dressing.[1]