For the Multiplayer Level of Pauper's Drop, see Pauper's Drop (BioShock 2 Multiplayer).
Pauper's Drop
My folks lived in the St. Louis Hooverville in '32… and the Drop is worse by a mile. Nobody's supposed to live down here…
― Grace Holloway[src]

Pauper's Drop is the fourth level of BioShock 2. With the train station in lockdown by Sofia Lamb's local governor, Grace Holloway, Subject Delta will need to find her and get the security override key from her. This is also where Delta acquires a Research Camera and is introduced to research in order to learn from Brute Splicers how to clear a path through wreckage.



Pauper's Drop was originally the Maintenance Junction 17[1] of the Atlantic Express railroad, and became ad hoc housing for workers and their families after the construction of the train network ended. Workers found they could not afford to live anywhere else, and were stuck in the ramshackle neighborhood. They were later joined by former tycoons, like Prentice Mill, the founder of the Atlantic Express himself, who had fallen on hard times and ruination when economic depression struck Rapture. Augustus Sinclair saw an opportunity and built The Sinclair Deluxe, a cheap hotel for workers, as well as other down-on-their-luck Rapture citizens who had few other choices. Sofia Lamb observed the desperation in the citizens of the Drop, and began offering free counseling sessions, subtly spreading her collectivist philosophies among the impoverished people there and eventually gaining a strong grip over them.

Even with its miserable appearance, Pauper's Drop was organized as a small town inside Rapture, housing several businesses and tenements. There were located the Fishbowl Diner and the Sinclair Deluxe in the area near the train station, several businesses for the poorest customers in Town Square, and a few others including a market in Skid Row. The Drop also featured Harold Parson's bookshop before it was closed down due to his propaganda against Andrew Ryan's policies.

When Lamb seized control of Rapture, her followers led by Holloway established a stronghold in Pauper's Drop and eventually kicked Sinclair out of his hotel, which became Grace's own quarters.

BioShock 2Edit

Main article: BioShock 2

Atlantic Express Station Edit

PaupersDrop Station

Welcome to the Drop! You won't enjoy your stay.

The train station was not the most welcoming of entrances into the Drop. Above the leaky glass ceiling the city loomed overhead, while outside the windows old rail lines and small buildings decayed on the sea floor. The original entrance to Maintenance Junction 17 has been completely boarded up, and the bulkhead beside it now serves as the main entrance.

The corridor leading into the town like district is in a horrendous state, with support beams needed to hold up the roof and old appliances left to rust. A sacrificial altar for the Rapture Family has been set up by an old and also boarded up entry way to the old maintenance junction. The ticket booths to the left lead to one of the squares, though it's been a long time since anyone has needed to buy a ticket.

Fishbowl DinerEdit

Fishbowl diner

The exterior of the Fishbowl Diner.

Fishbowl Diner Sign Crude

This corner of Pauper's Drop held two businesses and was the main hub for the area. The center of this section is occupied by The Fishbowl Diner. After the tracks were built, this diner possibly was started to feed workers and families settled in the Drop. It was expanded when the area was redeveloped, and the population was increased by the new Sinclair Deluxe. It likely served transit customers going to local attractions like the Limbo Room. Later, like much of Rapture in the Civil War's economic disruptions, the Diner was closed down and boarded up, but the back door remained accessible.

Behind the Diner is Marlene's Flower Emporium, now completely empty. The area connects to the Sinclair Deluxe, the Atlantic Express train station, Town Square, and Skid Row. There is a third bulkhead to another area of Pauper's Drop beside the entrance to the train station, but it is blocked by debris.

Town SquareEdit

Downtown Sign Crude
PaupersDrop 14

Over the years, fallen train cars from rails above are left to rust.

The Town Square was part of the downtown area of Pauper's Drop and housed several hotels and businesses. Fontaine Clinics collected blood and sold Gene Tonic remedies to the people of the Drop, and had extreme security measures to prevent burglary by its desperate spliced customers. Rock Flanagan ran a private investigative firm out of a small office at The Hamilton, which went out of business when the civil war ruined his chance of customers. Luxury Rooms charged by the hour for quick dalliances. One of the only businesses to profit from the economic hardships, King Pawn, maintained a heavily locked shop there.

Skid RowEdit


Skid Row, originally a pump access station for the Atlantic Express, was one of the worst places in the "The Drop." It housed the marketplace, where many low quality inexpensive goods were peddled. Swindlers and quacks, such as snake oil salesman James Hollcroft, took advantage of the people's desperation to make a profit selling shoddy products. Dr. Hollcroft took up residence in the defunct Reliable Pharmacy in the Market, and refitted it to brew and sell his "Doc Hollcroft's Cure-All."

The Skid Row section also houses the Limbo Room, once a popular jazz and blues venue which hosted singers such as Grace Holloway, who sang about  the "down and out" in Rapture. Sofia Lamb's supporters often handed out pamphlets between songs, spreading her collectivist philosophy. After the 1958 New Year's Eve Riots, the Limbo Room was closed because of the economic crash, when patrons stopped coming.

The Sinclair DeluxeEdit

Sinclair Deluxe Sign Crude

The Sinclair Deluxe was constructed by Augustus Sinclair to capitalize on the demand for cheap housing in Rapture, likely using cheap out-of-work construction labor. The hotel's many rooms offered shelter to those who had fallen on hard times, including Grace Holloway and Gloria Parson.

Now the hotel primarily houses the Rapture Family. Grace resides in the penthouse apartment on the top floor. Delta's goal is to make it there in one piece and retrieve her genetic key or risk never making it out of the locked down slum.


Icon vending
Circus of
El Ammo
Bot Shutdown
Little Sister
Power to the People Icon
Power to the
People Machine
Plasmid Slot Button

New DiscoveriesEdit

Little Sisters in this Level

Ungathered Icon Ungathered Icon 

Single Use EventsEdit

  • There are 3 Power to the People vending machines.
    • Hamilton building, 2nd floor, down the hall from an El Ammo Bandito vending machine.
    • In the back of Skid Row, in the Limbo Room club, behind the stage and in one of the side rooms.
    • In the opposite hallway of the vent shrine in the Sinclair Deluxe, there will be a connecting hallway with a Turret at the end of it. Next to said Turret is the room where the machine can be found.
  • There are 7 ADAM corpses.

New WeaponryEdit

New Plasmids & TonicsEdit

New EnemiesEdit

Coded DoorsEdit

  • 0047

Audio DiariesEdit

For Radio Messages in Pauper's Drop, see Radio Messages: Pauper's Drop.
  1. Sofia Lamb - Ryan vs Lamb: Religious Rights - On a cabinet in Marine's Flower Emporium.
  2. Grace Holloway - Better Times with Lamb - On the roof of Marine's Flower Emporium.
  3. Prentice Mill - The End of the Line - On the shrine to Prentice Mill in the Town Square.
  4. Tobias Riefers - Clinic Code at the Fishbowl - Beside the locked door to Fontaine Clinics.
  5. Rock Flanagan, P. I. - Camera in Hock - On the desk in the office of R. Flanagan.
  6. Sofia Lamb - Arrangements - Beside the vent shrine on the roof area of the Town Square.
  7. Sofia Lamb - Therapy with Grace 1 - On a cabinet in the upper level of an unnamed hotel (red neon sign saying "Luxury Rooms") in the Town Square.
  8. Augustus Sinclair - Wrong Side of the Tracks - Behind the Sinclair Hotel reception desk, left side.
  9. Mark Meltzer - Blood and Lamb - In the locked room accessible from a hole in Doc. Hollcroft's Pharmacy.
  10. Andrew Ryan - Pauper's Drop - In the small room above Doc. Hollcroft's Pharmacy.
  11. Jackie Rodkins - Sunday Services - Exit the Limbo Room, head left, and take the stairs on the left continue until you find it next to a gatherable corpse.
  12. Stanley Poole - Mole - Beside a Rosie corpse in the tunnel between Market and the plaza in front of the Limbo Room.
  13. Grace Holloway - Closing the Limbo Room - In the dressing room of the Limbo Room.
  14. Grace Holloway - A Gift from Lamb - In the bathroom of Room 106 of the Sinclair Deluxe.
  15. Augustus Sinclair - Profit Coming, Profit Going - On the broken floor above the vent shrine in the Sinclair Deluxe.
  16. Gloria Parson - Where has Harry Gone? - In Room 213 of the Sinclair Deluxe near a safe and a Turret.
  17. Gideon Wyborn - The Butterfly - In Room 212 of the Sinclair Deluxe, in the area with many butterflies.
  18. Elliot Nelson - What a Snap - Beside a wheelchair on the top level of the atrium of the Sinclair Deluxe.
  19. Eleanor Lamb - Barbarism - Under the bed in Eleanor's room.
  20. Grace Holloway - Failing Lamb - On the bed next to the wide window in Grace Halloway's room.
  21. Leo Hartwig - Field Trial#1 - On the corpse of a hostile Brute Splicer near the diner on the way out of Pauper's Drop. (Note that freezing and shattering him will make him unlootable.)


Concept Art and ModelsEdit

In-Game ImagesEdit


  •  Icon pc Icon xbox Icon ps3 Oddly, if the player chooses not to kill Grace Holloway's but sets traps where she sits, the player will hear the traps go off as Subject Delta leaves the passage behind the wardrobe, but Grace will be unharmed.
  •  Icon ps3 If the player moves Grace Holloway's chair in her saferoom or grabs it with Telekinesis and does not kill her, Grace will be sitting on her chair if the player goes back to see through the small window.
  •  Icon pc Icon xbox Icon ps3 If the player saves, then loads, at any time after defeating a Big Sister, the battle music will play continuously for the remainder of the level.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • An unused radio message from Sinclair in the game's audio files explains the origin of the level's name: "Welcome to Pauper's Drop, kid- named after a suicide in point o' fact. They used to say all the world's weepin' collects down here. Gracie's people have been loyal to Lamb from the very beginning. I guess a desperate man'll buy most anything." — VO_GTO_R_Sinc_FindDeluxe_01 in Bio2_DX_04_05_06_ALL_Stream.fsb
  • A quote by Hogarth de la Plante, Lead Environment Artist of 2K Marin in the Deco Devolution artbook explains more the level's origins: "Pauper's Drop is a district that is under the tracks or under the Brooklyn Bridge or something like that. It's somewhere people are living where they weren't originally supposed to live. We came up with the idea of the Atlantic Express Train System that permeates BioShock 2. You go through all the train stations, but there was also a maintenance switch yard on the ocean floor where trains would stop to be worked on. But then at some point Sinclair realized that there was all this real estate down there that nobody was using for anything so he sublet or purchased it from Atlantic Express and built a low income housing area literally down under the Atlantic Express tracks."
  • A television at the entrance to the level shows a Security Camera shot of Subject Delta in front of the sign for "J Green Groceries." Oddly, the player does not encounter this store until the next level, Siren Alley. This could be explained by the developers commentary below that would suggest it is an artifact of when Pauper's Drop and Siren Alley were one map.
  • As mentioned in the Deco Devolution artbook by Alex Munn, Senior Level Architect, 2K Marin: "We really started with a tenement district and the diner. Early on Jordan wanted to have some sort of diner. He was thinking of Edward Hopper's painting and the idea of a lonely character hanging out in diners. Everything changed but the diner. Early on in development we realized we had so much content we had to break it into two maps so part of it went into the Pauper's Drop map and the other went to the Siren Alley map." This explains why the two maps have similar tones. This explains the previous point, since the grocery would have been on the same level.
  • As mentioned in the Deco Devolution artbook by Hogarth de la Plante, Lead Environment Artist, 2K Marin: "There was also going to be a garbage dump. All the Rapture trash getting thrown down garbage chutes and ended up out here and so they'd send out underwater people to go scavenge it."
  • Originally, this level was to include a lot of Film Noir elements, such as dim lighting, flickering neon signs, and foggy alleyways.


    A sign partially covered by "Pauper's Drop" sign reads "Main.........ion 17", which, by reading the texture, can be observed to mean "Maintenance Junction 17".