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I had thought you some golem of Sinclair's, brought here to hold Rapture's arms as he rifles through her pockets. But no… you are aware of your plight. Who, I wonder, would be so cruel? To force a mirror on a man with no face…
― Sofia Lamb[src]

Subject Delta (Symbol: Δ) is the protagonist of BioShock 2. Delta was the first successful Big Daddy subject bonded to a Little Sister. He has a Delta symbol on his suit, which is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, signifying Delta was the fourth counted test subject taken from Persephone for Alpha Series conversion at Fontaine Futuristics. Delta is also a symbol commonly used in mathematics to represent change or variation.


Subject Delta has the features of a Big Daddy, such as the vocal cord modulator surgery and large diving suit. Like other Alpha Series Big Daddies, he retains a large degree of free will, but he is forced into a protection bond with a single Little Sister. As a prototype, Delta is granted use of the Bouncer's Drill (which is detachable and goes over the hand) in addition to other weapons, such as the Rosie's Rivet Gun and a Hack Tool that allows him to remotely hack from a distance. Delta has the ability to use Plasmids, and can wield them simultaneously with his weapons. His suit's gloves have openings on his fingertips and palms designed to accommodate the necessary contact with the environment which Plasmids require. The suit's sleeves have IV ports for ADAM injection and a tube for transporting EVE from his tank straight to his wrists, to allow swift replenishment even during combat. Being less bulky than the later Protector production models gives Delta greater speed and agility than other types of Big Daddies, at the sacrifice of some of their raw strength and the endurance they possess. First Aid Kits and EVE are fed intravenously to Delta, making him capable of continuing to fight while replenishing his EVE reserves. A camera attached to the top of Delta's helmet allows his allies to watch from his perspective, and keep track of his progress through Rapture. He also starts with a wallet that can reach 600 Dollars, which can then be upgraded via research.

Throughout the game, Delta must defeat other Big Daddies and take their Little Sisters, at which point he is given the option to either "harvest" or "adopt" them. Harvesting functions the same as it did in BioShock, whereas with the new "adopt" option, Delta puts the Little Sister on his shoulders, forming a temporary bond with the girl. He then must protect her as she extracts ADAM. The Little Sister will give him some of the ADAM she harvests from Splicer corpses as a reward. After the Little Sister has finished, Delta can take her to a Little Sister Vent, where he will have the choice of saving or harvesting her.



Before his arrival in Rapture, the man who would become Subject Delta was a deep sea diver who conducted an investigation of the many ship and submarine disappearances in the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Iceland. While surveying the area in an advanced diving chamber, he accidentally discovered the hidden city.[7] He was accepted into Rapture, becoming something of a celebrity for his heroics and nicknamed "Johnny Topside" by articles in the Rapture Tribune.

Stanley Poole, a journalist, had written a story on "Johnny Topside" and brought it to Andrew Ryan's attention. Ryan did not trust the visitor's story and was convinced that he must have been a foreign agent from the surface sent to spy on Rapture. Ryan had him incarcerated at Persephone Penal Colony.[8] Thus, he effectively disappeared from the public eye, and was locked up with other exiled citizens who had worked against Ryan's philosophy or "posed a threat" to Rapture.[1]

A vague memory of Delta being converted into an Alpha Series Big Daddy.

As a prisoner in Persephone, he was contracted out by Augustus Sinclair as a test subject for research of ADAM products. He was labeled "Subject Delta" (Δ) and was transferred to Fontaine Futuristics to be used in various Plasmid experiments, performing in the Plasmid Theater to amaze crowds of Rapture citizens. Eventually, he became one of the candidates for conversion into a Big Daddy.  He endured strenuous genetic and physiological conditioning, losing much of his free will in the process, and became the first Alpha Series Protector to successfully bond to a Little Sister.[9] His bond partner was Eleanor Lamb, the daughter of Rapture's psychiatrist Sofia Lamb, who had been incarcerated in Persephone some time before.

The golden Luger.

During New Year's Eve of 1958, Eleanor and Delta began their normal rounds of harvesting ADAM. Eleanor was attacked by four Splicers, and as Delta fought to protect her, one of the Splicers used a Hypnotize Plasmid on him. The Splicers were Sofia Lamb's agents, and Lamb herself used the Hypnotize's effect to force Delta to kill himself in front of Eleanor, by a shot to his own head with a Luger pistol.[10]

BioShock 2[]

Main article: BioShock 2

As Eleanor grew up in her mother's care, she still remembered her "Father," Delta, and longed for a way to bring him back. Through her influence over the other Little Sisters, she managed to find Delta's body and extract a gene sample. She used this sample to calibrate the Vita-Chambers to his genetic frequency. She also contacted Brigid Tenenbaum, requesting her aid in undoing psychological conditioning that had been imprinted in Delta's mind when he was a Big Daddy. Roughly ten years after Delta's death, Eleanor's plan succeeded in bringing her "Father" back.

Subject Delta is revived in a Vita-Chamber, in the Adonis Luxury Resort. Having no recollection of the previous ten years, Delta is unaware of the city's situation, and has no knowledge of the downfall of Rapture. He is greeted by a distorted radio transmission from Brigid Tenenbaum, and receives a strange vision of a girl calling him "Father" when he finds the Electro Bolt Plasmid to return power to a broken generator. Tenenbaum then speaks to him more clearly, promising to tell him what she knows of his past, if he will travel to meet her in the station ticket booth in the Atlantic Express train yard. Delta encounters a Big Sister who floods the resort, forcing him to make his way through on the seabed.

Security photos of Delta urge the Splicers to hunt him down.

Delta begins his journey to Tenenbaum, but is assaulted by Splicers loyal to the Rapture Family in a trap laid for him by Sofia Lamb. He survives, but Lamb continues to follow his progress through the city, contacting him through the radio and calling on Splicers to attack him. Eventually, he reaches Tenenbaum, who has several Little Sisters hidden with her in an armored ticket booth. She briefly tells him of the situation in the city and what little she knows of his own background. Tenenbaum tells him to find Augustus Sinclair and follow his instructions to reach Fontaine Futuristics to find his bonded Little Sister, Eleanor. Tenenbaum and the Little Sisters manage to escape while Delta takes on a wave of attacking Splicers before departing on a train headed for Andrew Ryan's dilapidated amusement park.

Contacted by Sinclair, Delta is guided through Ryan Amusements, uses some Little Sisters to gain ADAM and fights another Big Sister. A newly obtained plasmid Incinerate! is used to clear the ice blocking the train. Subject Delta meets Sinclair, before they depart and continue on to Pauper's Drop. There they are trapped by a city-wide lockdown initiated by Lamb, and forced to find Grace Holloway in The Sinclair Deluxe to get a security key from her. As Delta makes his way through one of Rapture's oldest and poorest districts towards Grace's apartment, he learns more about Grace's history with Eleanor, and why Grace holds such a strong grudge against Delta. When they finally meet face to face, Delta has the choice of whether to kill Grace or show mercy by letting her live.

After he obtains the key from Grace, Delta and Sinclair continue in the Atlantic Express train on their way to Dionysus Park. As they approach the Park, the train is hit by a torpedo launched by Simon Wales in Siren Alley. Delta is thrown from the train car and lands on the ocean floor, while Sinclair continues on to Dionysus in the damaged train car. Dionysus Park had been flooded for a long time, and Delta must hurry to drain it using the pumping station in Siren Alley before oxygen runs out in Sinclair's train car. Siren Alley is heavily guarded by Simon Wales and loyal Splicers of the Rapture Family. After Delta defeats these opponents, he uses a control in the pumping station to drain all the water from Dionysus. To demonstrate how little regard she has for Rapture's people versus her Utopian plans for Eleanor, Sofia Lamb floods Siren Alley, killing anyone remaining there. Delta, safe in his diving suit, walks through the flooding Siren Alley as Lamb taunts him over the radio, then makes his way back out to the seafloor and through the basement airlock into Dionysus Park.

In Dionysus, Delta meets Stanley Poole, an ex-journalist and spy for Ryan who was instrumental in Ryan's arrest of Sofia Lamb. Stanley has locked himself in the security booth of the train station and refuses to let the train pass until Delta has dealt with every single Little Sister in the level. After Delta deals with each Little Sister, Eleanor Lamb tells him about the memories hidden in the harvested ADAM which Stanley had not wanted to be discovered. Delta learns Stanley had, over several years ago, previously flooded the entire park, thereby killing all the people inside in the process. He was also the one who handed Eleanor over to be made into a Little Sister. Delta hears that Stanley gave away Johnny Topside to Ryan, resulting in his being sent to Persephone. Stanley opens the way for the train to leave, but Sofia Lamb unlocks the train booth, giving Delta the choice of whether to take revenge on him or leave him.

From Dionysus, the Atlantic Express train moves on to Fontaine Futuristics, their destination. Delta hopes to find Eleanor here, but she is actually down below in Persephone, which can only be accessed by getting a genetic key from Gilbert Alexander. Because of Sofia's Utopian experiment, Alexander has gone insane, but has left messages from before his insanity for anyone who would come in the future. These messages ask to end his life. Following his instructions, Delta gets through the main building and enters the hidden labs of Fontaine Futuristics. Delta sees what Sofia Lamb's experiments have caused Alexander to become. Delta takes a genetic sample for the key from Alexander, and Alexander's pre-insanity recording urges Delta to end his life.

Delta finds Eleanor in the Persephone Detention facility, sealed in a decontamination chamber. In an effort to kill him once and for all, Sofia Lamb suffocates Eleanor to stop her heart just long enough to break Delta's bond with her, and to bring his death. Sofia's plot almost succeeds, but, with Eleanor's help, Delta is freed and works with Eleanor to escape in a "Lifeboat" submersible owned by Augustus Sinclair. Delta must defeat Sinclair, who is revealed to have been captured by Sofia and transformed into an Alpha Series Big Daddy. To force Eleanor to join her, Sofia orders her followers to detonate explosive charges on supports of the hanging complex of Persephone, so as to drop the entire structure into a trench below. Eleanor, using the powers she had gained from the ADAM treatments her mother forced on her, teleports herself to the rising escape submersible just as the final charges detonate. She reaches out and attempts to teleport Delta along with her, but the explosives detonate before he gets close enough to grab her hand. Delta is close enough to the rising submersible to grab onto a railing on its outside and climbs onto it as it floats towards the surface.


Main article: Rapture Storyline

Delta is able to survive long enough to reach the surface with Eleanor. However, his wounds (as well as his broken bond with Eleanor) proved too much for him, and by the time they reach the surface, the Protector is breathing his last. Depending on the player's choices throughout the game, one of several outcomes are possible. In the end, Eleanor either preserves Delta's essence within herself by extracting his ADAM, or she allows him to die without doing so.

  • The "Good" Ending (Sofia lives): Save all the Little Sisters. Spare at least one choice character (Grace, Stanley, Dr. Alexander). Eleanor saves her mother's life by giving her an oxygen mask, allowing her to breathe in the flooded lifeboat. She reflects on the things Delta taught her, how "evil is just a word" and that "under the skin, it's simple pain." When they reach the surface, she carefully drains Delta's ADAM, transferring his memories and consciousness into herself. This way, he will always be with her, lending her his wisdom and guiding her along the path to becoming a good person.
  • The "Justice" Ending (Sofia dies): Save all the Little Sisters and kill all the choice characters. Eleanor believes in saving the innocent and punishing those who have committed terrible sins. She kills her mother and muses on the nature of innocence, which she describes as "chrysalis, a phase designed to end." She then drains Delta's ADAM, hoping that with his help, she will be able to judge people correctly and honestly.
  • The "Neutral" Ending (Sofia lives): Harvest at least one Little Sister and save at least one. Spare all the choice characters. Eleanor saves her mother but is confused by the conflicting nature of Delta's choices. Before she can drain his ADAM, the player is given a choice: allow Eleanor to absorb Delta's ADAM, meaning that he will live on in her, or push the needle away. To get the neutral good ending, choose the latter ("Sacrifice Myself"). Eleanor sits down next to her old Protector, crying silently as he dies. She wonders why he chose to make a monster of her and then leave her to fend for herself. She grieves his passing, but she also feels hope, because for the first time in her life, she is truly free.
  • The "Neutral" Ending (Sofia dies): Harvest at least one Little Sister and save at least one. Kill at least one choice character. Eleanor drowns her mother and prepares to drain Delta's ADAM. Once again, the player is given the choice to allow her to do so or have Delta push her away. To get the neutral good ending, choose the latter ("Sacrifice Myself"). The remainder of the cutscene proceeds as above.
  • The "Evil" Ending (Sofia lives): Harvest all the Little Sisters and spare all the choice characters. (Alternatively, get the neutral ending (Sofia lives) and let Eleanor drain Delta's ADAM ("Save Myself"), which triggers the last half of the evil ending.) Eleanor saves her mother, but by killing the Little Sisters, Delta has created a monster who cares for nothing except her own survival. She forcefully drains his ADAM and, smirking, looks out over a churning ocean filled with dead bodies.
  • The "Evil" Ending (Sofia dies): Harvest all the Little Sisters and kill all the choice characters. (Alternatively, get the neutral ending (Sofia dies) and let Eleanor drain Delta's ADAM ("Save Myself"), which triggers the last half of the evil ending.) Eleanor kills her mother, and the rest of the cutscene proceeds as above.


Concept Art, Models, and Promotional Images[]

In-Game Images[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • An early preview video of BioShock 2, "Hunting the Big Sister", showed Delta's reflection when he first awakened to be the same model as a Rosie. This was a preliminary model before the Alpha Series designs were finalized.[11]
  • Subject Delta and Subject Sigma are the only Big Daddies seen with the ability to take off their helmets (although the player is unable to see their faces). While this may be common to all Alpha Series, no others have been seen doing so to date. Production model Big Daddies (e.g. Rosies, Bouncers, and Rumblers) were created by grafting their organs into their suits, making helmet removal seemingly impossible.
  • Jordan Thomas, Director of BioShock 2 revealed that in a preliminary plan for the plot of BioShock 2 had "Meltzer tracking the player's investigative trail, realizing he was a kindred spirit, but it got convoluted so we kept it more open."[7]
  • The lack of a true name for Subject Delta was a deliberate choice by the game developers. They felt that giving him a name would only add more distance between the player and the experience of being the character.[12]
  • A removed Eleanor vision that is still present in the game files reveals that the developers at one point intended Subject Delta to be Eleanor's actual biological father. It would have stated that Sofia Lamb bought Delta's DNA while he was imprisoned in Persephone. Sofia did not explicitly choose Delta; she simply needed the seed by which she could make Eleanor.[13]
    • However, another unused file shows they also planned to make it clear she was not Delta's daughter.[14]
  • In one of the original concepts for what would become Subject Delta, his armor would have been painted to resemble WWII bombers. As quoted by Colin Fix, Senior Character Concept Artist, 2K Marin, in the Deco Devolution artbook, "I really focused on old WWII bombers for the look. If you came around a corner and saw this guy, you would think 'this is a bad ass Big Daddy that's going to kill me.'" It had a classic shark face across the stomach, "DF 2-22" on the shoulder, and a representation of a blond woman in a flowing red dress on the forearm.
  • The Little Sisters almost never call Delta "Mr. B./Mr. Bubbles," including his bonded Little Sister Eleanor, who only ever addresses Delta as "Father" and, when she was young, "Daddy".
  • In a security photo labeled "Shoot On Sight" seen on TV screens in the game, Delta appears to be holding a Rosie's Rivet Gun and not the one that the player receives in the game. In another, labeled "Interloper," Delta appears to be holding the Rivet Gun he actually uses in the same manner as the Rosie's Rivet Gun shown in the "Shoot On Sight" photo.

Delta's suit from a Little Sister's perspective.

  • During the sequence where the player controls a Little Sister in Outer Persephone, Delta's knight-like armor is colored gold and white with green patterns, while the symbol on his hand is colored in jade. This is due to the Little Sisters' mental conditioning, which causes them to see Rapture in a child-like idealized way, hence Delta looking more "colorful" and heroic. Little Sisters likely saw all Big Daddies like this.
  • Subject Delta, along with Subject Sigma, are the only known Alpha Series to use a Drill.
  • Subject Delta is mentioned in the DLC campaign Minerva's Den, in Reed Wahl's Audio Diary: "Wheels within Wheels".
    • He is also mentioned in the novel BioShock: Rapture, both as his former self and his Alpha self.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Radio Message by Stanley Pole in Dionysus Park: "Subject Delta's just a serial number, amigo. I did a lot of diggin' on you for a feature once. They used to call you Johnny Topside — found the city all on your own in a divin' bell … real shame what they did to ya."
  2. Radio Message by Brigid Tenenbaum in the Atlantic Express: "Thank you. Now I must leave you, and I am sorry for this. But there are others I must help before the city drowns. This man Sinclair, he is an ally and will guide you to Eleanor. Goodbye, Herr Delta, und good luck."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radio Message by Grace Holloway in Pauper's Drop: "Blood divides us, monster. It's blood that makes us strangers. But thanks to Dr. Lamb, we're all family now. One people, one cause, you can stop this heart, bleed this old body, but you cannot end the family. And as for you, Tin Daddy, you're dying alone."
  4. ADAM vision by Eleanor Lamb in the Atlantic Express: "Father, it's me, Eleanor. I know you're awake in there, I can feel it. Mother won't be able to…to toy with you like that. Ever again. This Plasmid is for you. If I'm right, you can use it now. Please, find me!"
  5. Subject Delta is often referred to as "Daddy" by the Little Sisters (example: "Daddy… you would never go away… right?") and by young Eleanor Lamb, as seen in BioShock 2's Prologue.
  6. Said by Simon Wales when encountering Subject Delta in Little Eden Plaza of Siren Alley: "The beast of Ryan lives! Gather the family!"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Post by Jordan Thomas in 2k Forum thread "Who is Delta? *SPOILERS*"
  8. Radio Message by Stanley Pole in Dionysus Park: "Now, you were just a deep sea explorer with iron cojones, pal … the public gave ya the nickname. But Ryan was sure you were a spook, so his people locked you up … erased your damn name! Goodbye Johnny Topside -– hello Subject Delta."
  9. The Pair Bond Mechanism
  10. Luger P08 pistol on Wikipedia
  11. "Hunting the Big Sister" video on
  12. Jordan Thomas on "Johnny Topside"
  13. Unused Radio Messages: Fontaine Futuristics ABY_S_Bsis_Pairbond_3a and ABY_S_Bsis_Pairbond_3b
  14. Unused Radio Messages: Outer Persephone 13b. Eleanor Lamb - The Meaning of Love