- “In my limited time as its master, The Thinker has shown me so much. My outlook was… limited before.”
- ― Reed Wahl[src]
Reed Wahl is the former colleague of Charles Milton Porter and the antagonist of the Minerva's Den DLC for BioShock 2. A brilliant engineer and technician driven mad by splicing, he managed to take full control of the Minerva's Den area away from Porter before proceeding to cut off the entire district from the rest of Rapture.
"I test you... but for a reason. I test all my disciples. Some shine like galaxies, and some... some burn like a moth at the flame!" - Sander Cohen
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The practical engineer to Porter's idealistic mathematician, Reed Wahl was the co-founder of Rapture Central Computing. He co-invented The Thinker, a supercomputer capable of realizing incredibly complex calculations at the speed of thought, with the help of Charles Milton Porter, his colleague and associate.
Once the shine wore off the business, he found less ethical ways to profit from The Thinker's abilities, and so he planned to use The Thinker to predict the outcome of ballgames and stock prices for which he may profit, but soon shifted his focus from money to power and foretelling after splicing.
After a while, he came under the delusion that there was a "predictive equation", capable of foretelling the course of events, and that The Thinker was on the verge of discovering it. Porter discarded this theory, preferring to give The Thinker a more human personality, which both frustrated and disgusted Wahl. In a bid to take The Thinker away from his colleague, he used The Thinker to frame Porter for high treason, creating a fake Audio Diary in which Porter claimed to side with Frank Fontaine. Sending this directly to Andrew Ryan, he offered to take Porter's position in maintaining The Thinker. Convinced of the authenticity of the recording, Ryan sent Porter to Persephone and put Wahl in charge of Minerva's Den. Soon after, the latter locked down the district, spending the next seven years attempting to crack the predictive equation.
As the years passed, Wahl remained in charge of Minerva's Den in the absence of Porter. Like so much of Rapture's populace, splicing has driven him insane, but, unlike most Splicers, his mania has a focus: The Thinker, as Wahl is obsessed with believing that the mainframe's untapped potential via a predictive equation can foresee all future events, perfectly.
- Main article: Minerva's Den
In 1968, Brigid Tenenbaum reactivated Subject Sigma with help from The Thinker, and sent him to Rapture Central Computing, to save the Little Sisters there. Wahl soon learned of this and destroyed the tunnel to the district. Sometime later, Sigma wakes up to the voice of Charles Milton Porter, who guides him towards the Den, hoping Sigma can acquire The Thinker's codes. Wahl proceeds to use The Thinker to predict Sigma's actions, resulting in the latter being attacked on multiple occasions by Wahl's Splicers and Security Devices. Wahl repeatedly mocks Sigma via radio, boasting that he can predict his every move. Wahl grows more anxious as Sigma gets closer to The Thinker, and increases the number of attacks.
When Sigma reaches Operations, Wahl starts to use Alpha Series Big Daddies and is eventually seen through the protective glass setting up Turrets, while Sigma advances through the ocean floor.
By the time Sigma gets to The Thinker, Wahl runs short of minions and decides to stop Sigma personally. He destroys the main path to The Thinker and sets up Mini-Turrets along his way. At this point, he realizes that Sigma and Porter are one and the same and The Thinker is impersonating the latter to overthrow him. When Sigma finally gets to The Thinker itself, Wahl taunts him behind a sheet of bulletproof glass, revealing that he was the one who framed him. He then sends four more Alpha Series Big Daddies onto Sigma, and sets up a Turret. After witnessing the fall of his last defenses, Wahl attacks with a Shotgun, two Electric Bots, and Miniature Turrets. He soon meets his demise at the hands of Sigma, who takes his Administrator Punchcard and prints out The Thinker's codes.
Wahl is a very powerful Leadhead Splicer armed with a shotgun which shoots Electric Buck and a Hack Tool that allows him to deploy Mini-Turrets. He also has two Electric Security Bots who follow him and attack Sigma on sight. He has as much health as a Big Sister and is easily the most powerful enemy in Minerva's Den, not to mention the player can only confront him after defeating four Alpha Series Big Daddies.
A good strategy against him would be to hack the Turret downstairs when fighting the Alpha Series. After all of them are defeated, stay upstairs and equip the Hack Tool. Hack both his Bots and any Mini-Turrets that he places with Automatic Hack Darts immediately, as they can provide supporting fire. It is also recommended to equip the Natural Camouflage Tonic, since it allows the player to hack without being noticed. Using Security Command is also good strategy, as it can make every security bot and turret attack him for a limited time.
As for weapons, both the Anti-Personnel Rounds of the Machine Gun and the Thermal Cell of the Ion Laser work very well against him, as these can decimate his health quickly. Setting traps might also be a viable strategy (although Trap Rivets must be applied in large amounts to do significant harm against him). He is also highly vulnerable to to the effects of the Gravity Well Plasmid.
Reed Wahl was once a gifted and hard-working engineer who worked well with Porter during their time together in Rapture. Despite this, Wahl disagreed with Porter's use of The Thinker by the time they invented it: while Porter tried to replicate the personality of his dead wife, Pearl, Wahl saw more practical and financial uses for the supercomputer, using it to predict stock prices and the outcomes of sports games. Over time, he grew more resentful of Porter "wasting" The Thinker and eventually framed him, leading to his arrest by Ryan Security.
Once in full control of Minerva's Den and The Thinker, Wahl indulged in ADAM use and fell victim to splicing. He became violent, paranoid, and rabidly obsessed with keeping The Thinker to himself, going as far as to isolate Minerva's Den from the rest of Rapture. Wahl came under the delusion that The Thinker could solve a perfect equation which could predict everything, resulting in him decorating the walls of Minerva's Den with his equations using paint and blood in an effort to discover it.
- Minerva's Den
- Removed Audio Diary
Behind the Scenes
- His in-game model is that of a recycled Buttons Splicer, with a special headpiece and a Hack Tool.
- Apart from the Administrator Punchcard necessary to proceed in the game, Wahl's loot is just pocket lint and a chewed-out pencil, two objects that cannot be used for anything, and will not be present anywhere in the player's inventory.
- Keith Szarabajka, Wahl's voice actor, also provided the voice of Cornelius Slate in BioShock Infinite.