- For the character in Minerva's Den, see Jack McClendon.
- “When Mum and Dad put me on that plane to visit my cousins in England, they told me, 'Son, you're special, you were born to do great things.' You know what? They were right.”
- ― Jack[src]
Jack is the protagonist of BioShock. He is a young man who, prior to his unwilling arrival in Rapture, was a passenger on an airplane that crashed near the lighthouse that provided entry to the underwater city. During his journey through Rapture, Jack comes across a number of gene-altering substances, known as Plasmids, that he uses to empower and protect himself. According to the passport he used to board the plane, his full name is Jack Wynand and he is twenty-four years old.
Jack is the illegitimate son of Andrew Ryan and Jasmine Jolene, Ryan's lover. While pregnant, Jolene suffered some financial difficulties and decided to sell Jack, as an embryo, to Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum on behalf of Frank Fontaine, without consulting Ryan. Jack was to be Fontaine's back-up plan if he was ever forced into an unfavorable situation by Ryan, which happened during Rapture's Civil War.
Jack was "born" and "grown" by the scientists of Fontaine Futuristics, including Dr. Yi Suchong and Brigid Tenenbaum. According to Audio Diaries by Dr. Yi Suchong, who was responsible for Jack's development, Jack, by the age of one, weighed fifty-eight pounds and had the "gross musculature of a fit nineteen-year-old", thanks to Lot 111. Dr. Suchong also reveals in another Audio Diary that he was responsible for the mind control imprinting that Frank Fontaine requested.
Jack's similar genetic structure to Andrew Ryan meant that he would be able to use the city's bathyspheres that were in lockdown, be resurrected at Vita-Chambers, and the automated security of Rapture would not be as effective against him.
Sometime in 1958, before Fontaine faked his own death in a shoot out with Chief of Security Sullivan's forces, Jack was smuggled out of Rapture in a bathysphere and sent to the surface as a sleeper agent, living out his pre-programmed life as Jack Wynand where he had memories of being born in 1936 and living on a farm in Overlook, Kansas with his "parents". Jack boarded a plane in 1960 supposedly visiting his cousins in England. However Frank Fontaine "activated" him using the trigger phrase "Would You Kindly", when the plane passed near Rapture's location in the North Atlantic, Jack hijacked it using a gun that was smuggled onto the plane in the form of a present gifted from home, forcing it to crash land at the coordinates of the Lighthouse, the main entrance to Rapture.
- Main article: Rapture Storyline
During the events of BioShock Jack arrives in Rapture in a Bathysphere taken from the lighthouse on the surface. In the beginning, he explores the different areas of Rapture under the guidance of Atlas, who speaks to him through a short wave radio. Jack's main objective, at first, is to find a functional bathysphere that will return him to the surface. Atlas promises to help him if in return Jack will save his trapped family in Neptune's Bounty. This proves to be more difficult than it seemed at first, as Andrew Ryan notices the intrusion and cuts off access to Neptune, keeping close tabs on Jack and setting Security Devices and Splicers on him from then on. Jack is forced to detour through Medical Pavilion, encountering the deranged cosmetic surgeon J.S. Steinman. After killing him, Jack meets Brigid Tenenbaum for the first time. She implores him not to hurt the Little Sisters, and gives Jack a way to rescue them, although Atlas advises against it, as he believes that they are monstrosities that have a higher reward when harvested (it becomes your choice to save or harvest them).
When Jack finally reaches Neptune's Bounty he makes his way to the Smuggler's Hideout where Atlas's family are allegedly trapped in a submarine. Jack is supposed to meet Atlas there, but when he enters the control booth to open the submarine, Andrew Ryan makes his move, sending a wave of Splicers that force Atlas to flee and destroying the sub, apparently killing Atlas' wife and son. Jack escapes through a tunnel to Arcadia, and Atlas informs him that their new objective is to put an end to Andrew Ryan.
Jack makes his way through Arcadia, the Farmer's Market, and Fort Frolic, facing numerous obstacles. In Fort Frolic, Jack makes the discovery that Jasmine Jolene was Ryan's murdered lover, although he does not realize the significance of this at first. While trapped at Fort Frolic, Jack is forced to work for Sander Cohen and assassinate his former disciples for one of Cohen's deranged works of "art."
Eventually, Jack reaches Hephaestus, where Atlas asks him, "Now, would you kindly head to Ryan's office and kill the son of a bitch? It's time to finish this." Ryan had set up strong defenses, but Jack eventually breaches them and enters Rapture Central Control only to find that Ryan has set the entire complex into self destruct, which will also destroy the city. Jack enters Ryan's office and sees the "Would You Kindly" board upon which Ryan has connected all the evidence about Jack's true past. Jack finally encounters Ryan for the first and last time in a scene during which Ryan proves that Jack has been a slave under the control of Atlas the entire time, saying "A man chooses, a slave obeys." Ryan forces Jack to kill him, and he takes his Genetic Key to shut down the self-destruct mechanism. Finally, Atlas reveals his true identity as Frank Fontaine and thanks Jack for handing the keys to Rapture to him, before betraying him, trying to kill Jack with the city's security devices, but Jack is led to an escape route by Tenenbaum's Little Sisters. Jack enters a vent only to have it collapse under him and is knocked unconscious.
Jack wakes up in Tenenbaum's Sanctuary, where she informs him that while he slept she removed most of the mental conditioning that Dr. Suchong put in his mind. Jack is no longer vulnerable to the "Would You Kindly" command, but Fontaine reluctantly proves that he still has control over Jack when he leaves the sanctuary by activating the phrase "Code Yellow". This causes Jack's heart to begin the slow process of shutting down (though it will not kill him, but it will lower his health bar to a certain degree). With the help of Tenenbaum, Jack finds the cure for the conditioning, a chemical produced by Dr. Suchong called Lot 192. Finally, Jack completely frees himself from Fontaine's mind control. Once he is free, Tenenbaum urges him to go after Fontaine and take his revenge, Fontaine obliges by challenging Jack to a showdown.
However, in order to pursue Fontaine, Jack is forced to "become" a Big Daddy to trick a Little Sister into thinking he is one of their protectors. However, this transformation is not complete, as he does not have the suit grafted onto him (he never wears the gloves, either), nor is his mind altered in the process. The only physical change he undertakes is the automated vocal cord surgery, which Frank Fontaine (truthfully or not) warns over the radio is irreversible in an attempt to stop him. Afterward, Jack confronts a heavily spliced Fontaine in a final battle, and after defeating Fontaine the cut scene starts. Jack is knocked to the ground by Fontaine. When Fontaine is about to attack Jack, a group of Little Sisters pounce on Fontaine with the hypodermic syringes they use to extract ADAM out of corpses, killing Fontaine.
Depending on the player's actions throughout the game, Jack will either become the new, power-hungry ruler of Rapture and leader of the Splicers, or he escapes to the surface with at least five Little Sisters, raising them as his own daughters until dying of old age, with the now adult women comforting him at his deathbed.
- Main article: BioShock 2
In BioShock 2, Jack has seemingly become a man of legend among the Splicers left in Rapture. Even Sofia Lamb looks upon him positively, seeing his lack of free will as a boon and inspiration for her to begin her Utopian Experiments. Simon Wales believes Jack to be a god, mentioning how he killed Andrew Ryan. In Siren Alley, paintings of Jack's activities in Rapture can be seen, with subjects such as the plane crash, Dr. Steinman, and Jack's wrist about to be injected with a Plasmid. In one of Frank Fontaine's Audio Diaries, set directly before the beginning of BioShock, he mentions "I've got a hell of a surprise for Andrew Ryan. Long time comin'. And right about now, I expect the prodigal son is bookin' his flight…"
Several Splicers can be heard mentioning Jack. In the Atlantic Express workshop, three Splicers have a conversation around a burning barrel as Subject Delta approaches. One of them speculates that Jack is "highballin with all the can-can girls" on the surface and in possession of the nuclear warhead seen on the submarine in the "Sad" and "Bad" endings, which he will use to destroy the city if anyone "gets lippy". Another states that he saved the Little Sisters and went up "happy ever after." This is a reference to the first game's two possible endings. Brute Splicers can also be heard referencing Jack; when idle, they mention their refusal to have children out of fear that they will suffer the same fate as Andrew Ryan. As in the first game, Jack's name is never mentioned in dialogue.
Burial at Sea - Episode 2
- Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 2
- “I can see all the doors, and what's behind all the doors. And behind one of them - incredibly - I see him.”
- ― Elizabeth[src]
Elizabeth returned to Rapture, despite losing her powers after she was killed by a Big Daddy. Her motives were forgotten, aside from settling her guilt after leaving Sally behind. It was then made clear that she came back to Rapture based off of her memory from what she saw in the future in the Sea of Doors. While in Rapture, before the fall, she had visions of Jack's journey to Rapture - and was unaware of this future or for whom it was for. Elizabeth returns to Rapture to rescue Sally, now a Little Sister, and in the clutches of Atlas and his men. Because of her memory of the future, she vaguely remembers the path and claims that she is Suchong's lab assistant and can get Atlas and his men out of the sunken department store and back into Rapture - in exchange for Sally. She holds her end of the bargain and returns Atlas to Rapture, but is captured by his men.
Atlas claims that Dr. Suchong had been working for him and would help him achieve his goals through an "ace in the hole." However, Atlas has yet to receive the information on his ace and since Atlas believes that Elizabeth is Suchong's lab assistant, he believes he can get the information out of her through torture. Through mental recognition of the future, Elizabeth reveals that the ace is in Dr. Suchong's Free Clinic in Artemis Suites. Elizabeth arrives in Suchong's clinc and comes across the room in which Jack was raised and conditioned to find what is referred to as the "ace in the hole." Suchong was successful in the conditioning of the ace. Elizabeth then witnesses the death of Dr. Suchong by a Big Daddy and retrieves the information on an ace - another encoded message by Suchong, and photos relating to Jack's "family" and location on the "farm."
Elizabeth delivers the information to Atlas in exchange for Sally, but realizes that he will just kill her anyway and accepts this fate. After being struck by Atlas, Elizabeth finds herself in the bathroom of the Apollo Air Flight DF-0301 and walks down the aisle as she approaches Jack just as he receives his orders, opens the package, and hijacks the plane. Atlas cannot read the encoded message, but as Elizabeth reads the message given to Jack in the future, and the encoded message in Suchong's letter, she reveals it says, "Would you Kindly." Atlas then prepares the orders to get Jack on the airplane and initiate his plan to take Rapture. Atlas then strikes a last, fatal blow before Elizabeth witnesses the events to come by Jack: hijacking and crashing the plane, arriving in Rapture, rescuing Sally and the other Little Sisters, and taking down Ryan and Fontaine.
As Elizabeth dies, she remembers what she saw behind the doors one last time—and witnesses Jack at the Lighthouse ascending from Rapture with Sally and other cured Little Sisters after the events to come.
Behind the Scenes
- For some technical reasons, the sentence spoken by Jack during the game's introduction is in fact not played entirely, but can be found complete in the audio file
vo_s_1_pl_playerintro. Oddly, all versions of BioShock dubbed in other languages (French, Italian, German and Spanish) play the translation of the whole sentence at the beginning of the game.
- In the BioShock game files for the first level, there is a passport for Jack that never appeared in the game. It states his (fake) name as "Jack Wynand" and other erroneous information. The surname "Wynand" may have been a reference to Gail Wynand, a main character in Ayn Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead.
- Jack's wallet shows an Irrational Games business card in one of the pockets. The person standing between the older man and woman in the family photo at the top of the wallet is the Lead Designer at Irrational Games, Bill Gardner. And according to a Tweet by Amanda Gardner (Bill Gardner's wife) , Bill Gardner was used as the basis for Jack's appearance.
- The original game had Jack mutate more and more with Plasmid use, and would make players decide if they wanted to splice themselves to the point of inhumanity, or keep Jack human, at the cost of safety.
- During the ending cutscenes of BioShock, Jack's chain tattoos are about half as large as they are in-game.
- Jack, or the playable character in this case, was originally called Joe in the first developer demo which was narrated by Ken Levine.
- The player uses Jack's model in the Challenge Rooms, but the downloadable content is not considered part of the canon, so this is just used as a placeholder.
- In BioShock 2D, it seems that Jack's hair color is dark brown/black and he wears a beige vest over his sweater, similar to his outfit from the BioShock trailers.
- Until Burial at Sea, Jack never had a true character model, and what images there were of him were brief or unclear. Even in-game during Burial at Sea, Elizabeth never gets a clear look at Jack (he either has his back turned on her or his face silhouetted), just his attire (a sweater, jeans and spectator shoes). However, he has a full model in Burial at Sea's game files, showing his complete appearance.
- During Jack's flashback in BioShock, the player can see the firearm in the gift is similar to the revolver from the first game, but in Burial at Sea - Episode 2, the gun Jack is holding is a Hand Cannon.
- According to Ken Levine, Jack's sweater was inspired by a member of BioShock's design team, Dorian Hart, who used to wear one.
- When Elizabeth walks down the aisle of the Apollo Air Flight DF-0301 in Burial at Sea - Episode 2, Jack is shown holding his cigarette in his right hand, while in the first BioShock, he is holding it in his left.
- Jack's unseen passport in BioShock
- Jack's unseen face model in Burial at Sea
- BioShock with designer JP LeBreton Part 1 video playthrough hosted by Idle Thumbs
- Confirmation from Adam Sietz and vocal samples
- Said by Sander Cohen through numerous radio messages in Fort Frolic during BioShock.
- Jasmine Jolene's Audio Diary: Pregnancy
- Andrew Ryan's Audio Diary: Betrayal
- Radio Message from Brigid Tenenbaum in Olympus Heights during BioShock: "You are angry at Fontaine, yes? Now you know the truth. You are his tool, brought back to Rapture to save him."
- Frank Fontaine's Audio Diary: Falling Into Place
- Yi Suchong's Audio Diary: Baby Status
- Yi Suchong's Audio Diary: Mind Control Test
- Sullivan's Audio Diary: Bathysphere Keys
- Yi Suchong's Audio Diary: The Vita Chamber
- Frank Fontaine's Radio Message: Ryan's flesh and blood
- "BioShock 2 Easter Egg Jack Reference", BioShock 2 gameplay video on YouTube
- Image of Jack's wallet at The Rapture Archives
- Post by Joe Faulstick on the "A small picture showing you Irrational actually never "died" :)" thread in the Irrational Games Forums
- Amanda Gardner's Twitter
- BioShock Tech Demo *HD* On YouTube
- Jack in the mobile game
- Post by Ken Levine on Twitter.
|Playable characters in the BioShock series|
|Jack · Subject Delta (Little Sister · Subject Sigma · Charles Milton Porter · BioShock 2 Multiplayer Characters) · Booker DeWitt (Zachary Hale Comstock · Elizabeth)|