The Big Daddy is one of the meanest enemies you’ll find in a game. It’s a man turned into a monster and when you take them on, you prepare yourself. First appearing in the game Bioshock you fight a fair few of them throughout the game, although you avoid them when you can. Hit the jump to find out more about these hulking creatures.
Big Daddies are former humans, who have had heavy metal diving suits and apparatus surgically grafted onto their very bones, bodies and organs. Though they have no true voices, they let out moans and groans as you encounter them, probably due to their sheer size and weight; who knows if its the suit groaning, or whatever is left of the person inside.
They lumber around the post apocalyptic city of rapture, which is located entirely underwater. Mentally brainwashed to serve and protect the Little Sisters; little girls who have the ability to harvest ADAM (a mutagen that enhances unnatural abilities) from corpses. The player interactions with the Big Daddies are the cornerstone of Bioshocks gameplay, due to the need to enhance yourself with ADAM, with the Little Sisters being the prominent source of the drug.
With the early on design revolving around the idea of a man encased in a diving suit, they wanted to give the Big Daddy “that hulking metal feel of an underwater protector, so solid not even a shotgun blast could knock him off his feet.” While the main concept of the protector for the ADAM gatherers stuck through, many different prototypes for the Big Daddy himself were come up with. Some of the ideas put forth even included a wheelchair bound Big Daddy, but eventually they decided upon having it seem as though their creators had salvaged parts from Rapture itself to build upon their monstrous creations. They also chose the gatherers to be Little Girls so that they could explore the protector role of the Big Daddy further.
In Bioshock there are 2 different versions of the Big Daddy; Rosie and The Bouncer. The Rosie model featured it in a light atmospheric diving suit with a single hole in the helmet to look through, later designs added a rivet gun, heavy oxygen tanks mounted on both shoulders and a squid-like tentacle extending from each shoulder. Although in the end they cut the oxygen tanks down to one, and removed the tentacles. The Bouncer however was designed to be a lot heavier, with multiple small holes for viewing on its helmet. Weapons for it included hooks, fans and even grinders, but eventually they decided upon a a heavy drill on its right hand.
Even though there are only two Big Daddies present in Bioshock, ideas for a third were put forward. Dubbed “Slow Pro FUM” by the development team, “Slow moving, projectile shooting, f’ed up melee”, unfortunately he was excluded from the final game. He was designed to be slow but powerful, shooting heavy projectiles at you from a distance.
In order to become more powerful in Bioshock you have to take on and kill the Big Daddies. The Little Sisters often refer to them as “Mr. Bubbles” and sing to them gently, and often mourn their passing after you kill them.The best way to describe a Big Daddy would be; a former human, who has been spliced to excess, so much that they have become mentally and physically unstable. When created their skin is removed, and they are surgically grafted into the suit, and they have their voice boxes altered to give out low pitched moans. N
ext they are infused with plasmids to give them a drive to protect the gatherers, and outside of that they rarely interact with anything else. Apparently the lights on the Big Daddies helmet indicate it’s mood; Green – Stable, Yellow – Cautious, Red – Angry. Later this year Bioshock 2 will be released, but instead of taking on the role of a human, you play as a Big Daddy. One which has regained “rational mind and free will” , it’ll be interesting to get inside of of these creatures and really let loose.
So that’s the Big Daddy, you fear him but have no reason to dislike him. When you see the Big Daddy helping his Little Sister to her cosy hiding hole on the wall while he fights off Splicers, you can’t help but want to help him. They don’t choose to fight you, it’s you who makes the first move, in the need for ADAM. In that way we’re no better than the Splicers, because if we didn’t want the ADAM, they would leave us completely alone.