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For the location in Fontaine Futuristics, see Holding Cells.
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Inside the Holding Cells.

Mother has locked all of Persephone down, including the gangway leading up to the lifeboat. We can reverse it from the Holding Wing if we hurry. Come on!
― Eleanor Lamb[src]

Holding is one of the wings in Inner Persephone of Rapture, along with the Therapy and Infirmary wings. Sofia Lamb has locked down the facility and therefore cut off access to the lifeboat. Subject Delta must locate the captured Augustus Sinclair, obtain the Master Key, and end the security curfew.



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The Holding Wing was where the political prisoners of Persephone spent the overwhelming majority of their time. When not recovering from sickness or injury in the Infirmary, being rented out for Plasmid testing trials at Fontaine Futuristics, or undergoing treatment from said testing in Therapy, the inmates were confined to Holding. So as to maintain order and keep the terrible truth of the internment camp a secret, Persephone was almost entirely self-contained. In fact, to keep the compound extra secure, most of the facilities needed for the inmates' everyday life could be found all in this one area. Eventually, the interred citizens of Persephone broke under the warden's rule began plotting to attack the guard tower in a futile effort to escape the prison camp.

BioShock 2[]

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High stakes, high security.

Main article: BioShock 2

Subject Delta and Eleanor Lamb seek to board the large Escape Vessel that Augustus Sinclair had berthed at the Docking Platform next to Persephone in case he had to flee the facility quickly. Sinclair is nowhere to be seen, Sofia Lamb seals the detention center, and the Rapture Family set up explosives at support structures with the intent to send the prison plummeting to the chasm below. She offers an ultimatum: surrender or die.

Eleanor offers another option: head to the Holding Wing, reach the warden's watchtower, and override the lockdown. From the Docking Platform, Subject Delta heads towards the Holding Wing. An Elite Brute Splicer orderly and two Leadhead Splicer guards come rushing out to stop him from the wing.

Security Checkpoint A[]

Files and footprints.

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Subject Delta enters the Holding Wing and finds himself at the first security checkpoint. No one got in or out of the wing without passing through here and being processed for by the security officers. While the prisoners were accounted for, they were held in shackles. A guard has been killed and violently thrown through the glass partition allowing for Delta to shoot a Hack Dart and override the Door Control. He heads toward the South Quad Cell Block when he's rocked by tremors and his health drains a little bit, the result of having his connection with Eleanor severed.

The booth in Checkpoint A has some useful loot including the audio diary Out With the Old... and a safe. The files in the place have been ransacked and a trail of footprints in ink can be seen across the floor. When Delta comes in, a Splicer appears from the Docking Platform and runs to try and attack Delta.

Security Checkpoint B[]

Subject Omega with the Master Key.

This was the final checkpoint before entering the cellblocks. Here, new prisoners were filed, photographed, and fingerprinted. The place has a Gene Bank and access to Checkpoint A. The door to the cell complex is locked, so Delta his the Prisoner Admittance Button. As the admittance sequence is activated, an Alpha Series lumbers into view. Over the radio, Sofia cold-heartedly introduces Subject Omega: Augustus Sinclair. He's been put through the conversion process, but can still speak. Now under Lamb's control, he holds the warden's Master Key.

Image of Imago.

Sinclair takes off running down the stairway with Delta in hot pursuit. A massive, impromptu butterfly created by the Rapture Family is suspended in the stairwell. It's the largest shrine Delta's seen yet. The passageway to the Cellblock is blocked by debris, but the path to the cafeteria is open.


Not exactly appetizing.

The prisoners would eat their daily meals together in the cafeteria. They’d be served from the line, eat at the booths, and return their trays, dishes, and implements at the sink window. Some used the area to play cards, socialize, or do anything to else mitigate their hopelessness. Thomas gave into his misery and drank himself to death. His corpse and audio diary The Definition of Despair can be found here.

Delta finds the place a mess with rotting food in the serving line, broken dishes by the sink, and filth all over the floor. A Security Camera monitors the room while a Leadhead, a Brute, and a Houdini Splicer patrol the space.


Warm yourself by the grease fire.

Skilled or well-behaved inmates worked in the kitchen under the supervision of the prison staff. Once the food was prepared, it was brought up a flight of stairs to the serving line. One of the several refrigerators toppled and crushed a guard and a cat. It froze over and encased their corpses in a block of ice along with two proximity mines. Before attending to the valuables, Delta has another Brute to deal with.

The rear wall of the kitchen has collapsed opening access to the maintenance passage. A pair of trap spears blocks the path. While Delta handles the spears, Lamb radioes and announces that she's now in the Escape Vessel. She beseeches Eleanor to abandon Delta and return to the surface with her rather than die with him. Eleanor refuses.

Laundry Room[]

Wash and dry.

The incarcerated citizens who worked in the laundry used five massive industrial washers to attended to the clothes and towels of the facility. The linens were washed, dried, folded, and sorted under the strict supervision of the security officers. Delta enters the room through a hole in the wall. A Leadhead looks through the machines. Sinclair runs up the stairs and two more Leadheads jump down.


Delta heads upstairs and into a hall. To the left are the cellblock showers. The room is overgrown with marine life. A broken male prisoner rocks back and forth beneath one of the sixteen showerheads. The corpse of a female captive is in the stall next to his.

Cellblock North Quad[]

All along the watchtower.

Further along is the northern quadrant of the cellblocks. As Delta steps in, Sinclair, secure within the watchtower, locks the area down. He confesses under duress that Lamb has forced him to lock himself and Delta here in Holding until the bombs go off and the penitentiary plunges below. Knowing he can’t control himself, Sinclair instructs Delta to break into the tower, take the key, and grant him death. He sincerely apologizes for renting Delta out to the Protector Program and offers the lifeboat as an act of recompense.

His task in mind, Delta looks for a way to gain access to the watchtower. The lower level of North Quad houses three High Security cells and the entrance to Solitary Confinement, the Shower, and the Laundry Room.

Solitary Confinement[]

This way to isolation.

Life in Persephone was hard enough, but add to it, the mind and body altering Plasmid tests and the overwhelming feeling of desperation and abandonment, and anyone might reach the point where they would lash out. Solitary was a form of punishment where anyone who got out of line would be isolated from human contact.

Delta's cell?

The area is dark, flooded, and foreboding. The upper level has five tanks, one of which houses the corpse of a captive who did not survive the experience. Six can be found on the lower level. The tank in the corner has the “∆” symbol and the Elemental Vampire Gene Tonic floating inside. Upon picking it up, a Dr. Grossman Houdini Splicer appears and the lights go dim. When they come up again, Delta is surrounded by three Houdinis who then disappear with the lights. When Delta exits Solitary, two of the doctors reappear and attack.


All cells came equipped with a modest toilet and sink, but for inmates who desired privacy and more comfortable facilities, the toilets in the bathroom were an option; that is, of course, if they could pay the five Dollar admittance fee. The restroom has access to a service tunnel, but it's iced over. The code to the tower, along with some supplies, are hidden in the tank of the furthest toilet, the only one with the downed lid.

Block D[]

Drowned rat.

All of the cellblocks contain four cells with beds for one to three inmates, a large pump filtering the area's water, and enough common space for the members of each unit to congregate. The unit's pipe is busted, and a Turret has been set up. The diaries First Two Digits and A Trade can be found in Mattson and Murphy's cells, respectively. Both had figured out the code to the guard tower and were planning to utilize their knowledge and resources before being attacked.

Block C[]

Follow the butterflies.

This block doesn't contain much of intrinsic value besides a few small collectibles. A woman sits in a fetal position in the corner of her cell. She looks like just another pitiable, crazed prisoner, but if Delta searches the corpse of a male guard in her bed, she reveals herself to be a Houdini Splicer, springs to attention, and attacks Subject Delta. In one of the other cells, the back wall has been broken open. A Leadhead Splicer walks circles between this cellblock and the adjoining one via the hole in the adjacent cells.

Cellblock South Quad[]

Down south.

The southern quadrant of the cellblocks is very similar to its northern counterpart. The lower level has five cells, two of which are High Security. In one cell, hidden behind a padded mat is a detailed map showing plans to access the tower via the maintenance tunnel in the Bathroom. Nearby is Connor's cell, where he chipped his way into an adjacent crawlspace and amassed a small treasure trove of items to take on the guard tower. Connor never got to use the cache, which includes two frag grenades, bandages, a remote hack dart, and the diary Last Two Digits.

The area is monitored by a camera. This side's Door Control can be hacked, but that won't get Delta inside. The path to the tower's back entrance has fallen. The best bet would be to chuck something to cause a fight inside the door.

Block B[]

Forever enchained.

The doorway to cellblock B is blocked by debris; the only way to enter is back through Block C. This area is utterly dark, but the eerie light emanating from the trench below was enough to drive poor Harold Parson mad. He hung himself in his cell. His final thoughts, recorded on the audio diary No More Hope Left, were of his wife and child. The cellblock is filled with symbolic images of the Rapture Family. A prisoner has painted butterflies all along the floor while dozens of live ones fill his cell. The fourth cell has the Tonic Elemental Sponge, the corpse of an inmate, and the complete code to the tower door.

Block A[]

Cellblock A was home to Dodge. He collected a handful of heat-seeking rockets and learned where to gain the tower code, but never got to utilize either. The diary A Generous Offer can be found near Dodge's corpse. A Brute can be found patrolling the cellblock.


Awaiting execution.

From the tower, the security staff kept an eye on the prisoners. The main console controlled major functions of the detention center such as instituting and overriding lockdowns. Now Subject Omega watches the movements of Delta as he explores the cellblocks. A pair of oil drums are inside the tower, and one of them has spilled oil all over the floor. Also inside is a downed Security Bot, a Power to the People machine, and Nigel Weir's diary Magic Sauce.

Omega, locked within a cell of his own.

No matter how Subject Delta does it, he gains access to the guard tower and engages Augustus Sinclair. After killing him, Delta gains the Master Key. Ending the Security Curfew opens all of the High Security cells releasing several Alpha Series Big Daddies. Delta fights two before backtracking to the Docking Platform. Along the way, he fights an Alpha Series in the Laundry Room and another two in the Cafeteria.

New Discoveries[]

Single Use Events[]

  • There is 1 Power to the People vending machine.
    • In the back of the room where Sinclair is being held captive, on the left hand side.

New Plasmids and Tonics (Found)[]

  • Elemental Sponge - Found in a prison cell on far side of Cell Block B.
  • Elemental Vampire - Solitary Confinement in Cell Block North Quad of the Holding wing, look for an open hatch on the ground with a delta symbol above it (Delta's cell).

Coded Lock[]

  • Watchtower - 2673

Audio Diaries[]

  1. Thomas - The Definition of Despair - On a table just past a camera in the cafeteria of the Holding Wing.
  2. Connor - Last Two Digits - Enter the area with a sign that reads Cell Block South Quad, it's the second cell on your right, crouch to get into the hole.
  3. Mattson - First Two Digits - In Cell Block D, on the left side.
  4. Dodge - A Trade - In Cell Block D, on the right side.
  5. Harold Parson - No More Hope Left - On a prisoner's corpse (hung himself) in Cell Block B.
  6. Murphy - A Generous Offer - In the cell with the hole in the wall in Cell Block A.
  7. Nigel Weir - Magic Sauce - In the room where Sinclair is located.
  8. Nigel Weir - Out With the Old... - Security Checkpoint A in the Holding wing.


Getting to Sinclair[]

There are an excessive number of ways to discover the code (2673) to the guard tower in the holding cells:

  • Find Mattson's and Connor's tapes.
  • Find Murphy's tape, then search the last toilet on the left of the community bathroom.
  • Find the code written in red on the back wall of the farthest cell in Cell Block B.
  • Or the player could have simply memorized it from a previous playthrough.

The code is not necessary if the player has Incinerate! equipped: Go to the community bathroom, thaw the entrance to the maintenance tunnel, then ignite the fuel slick in the guard tower, forcing Sinclair to open the front door to flee the fire. The player can also deal with Sinclair by hacking the control panel of the back door. When the back door has been opened, the player can then ignite the fuel slick, driving Sinclair out, or send Eleanor in through the back door to deal with Sinclair.


Concept Art and Models[]

In-Game Images[]

Behind the Scenes[]

The Mugshots from game textures.

The "Businessman Rolling Up His Sleeves To Fight" clip art.

  • A board of mugshots in the Security Checkpoint B are actually photos of BioShock 2 developers, including Jordan Thomas, Michael Kamper, Rinaldo Tjan, Rich Wilson, Hogarth de la Plante, Steve Gaynor and Ryan Mattson.[1]
  • Several of the “High Security” cells (one in Block A, one in Block D, and on in the lower cells of North Quad) appear to contain dangerous Brutes. If Delta approaches them, the metal will buckle outwards as if struck by a massive blow and a Brute can be heard screaming in frustration from within. By using Console Commands one can see that the cells are actually empty and the recorded voice is just attached to the animation.
  • The large butterfly sculpture was designed by Brandon Pham.[2]
  • The man seen on the "Absolutely no FIGHTING!" poster is a royalty-free "Businessman Rolling Up His Sleeves To Fight" clip art, altered to wear a prison uniform.