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|“||It's time to end this little masquerade. There ain't no "Atlas", kid. Never was. Fella in my line of work takes on a variety of aliases. Hell, once, I was even a Chinaman for six months. But you've been a sport, so I guess I owe you a little honesty: The name's Frank Fontaine... I gotta say, I had a lotta business partners in my life, but you... 'Course, the fact that you were genetically conditioned to bark like a cocker spaniel when I said "Would you kindly", might have had something to do with it, but still. Now as that machine finishes processing the genetic key you just fished off Ryan, I'm gonna run Rapture, tits to toes. You been a pal, but you know what they say: never mix business with friendship. Thanks for everything, kid. Don't forget to say "hi" to Ryan for me.||„|
|~ Frank Fontaine reveals himself to Jack.|
|“||Would you kindly?||„|
|~ Frank Fontaine's catchphrase as Atlas.|
Frank Fontaine is one of the main antagonists of the science fiction video game series BioShock, serving as the main antagonist of both BioShock and its prequel BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea. He also serves as the main antagonist of the prequel novel BioShock: Rapture, as well as one of its main POV characters. He is a criminal mastermind, businessman and con artist who resides in the underwater city of Rapture.
By exploiting Andrew Ryan's philosophy and free market policies, Fontaine made himself rich through smuggling and built Fontaine Futuristics, which developed ADAM, the genetic material needed for the manufacturing of plasmids and gene tonics. He also built other business such as Fontaine Fisheries, which was a front for his smuggling ring, and Fontaine's Home for the Poor, a charity program he used to recruit the poor citizens of Rapture to his cause while getting them hooked on ADAM. After faking his death, he re-emerged as the revolutionary Irish-man Atlas, in which he lead a large-scale rebellion and "genetic arms race" against Ryan, inciting a civil war which brought Rapture to the brink of ruin.
In BioShock, he was voiced by Greg Baldwin, who also voiced Aku in the final season of Samurai Jack. While under his Atlas persona and in BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, he was voiced by Karl Hanover.
Fontaine was a master con artist who was so good at his job that he could even impersonate a "chinaman" for as long as two weeks. He arrived in Andrew Ryan's city of Rapture sometime in 1948 and founded Fontaine Fisheries. However, Fontaine used it as a front for smuggling and selling contraband items from the surface. He grew rich from these practices, and they led him to a new line of business. One of his smugglers discovered a sea slug that regenerated tissue. This caught the attention of a scientist in Rapture named Brigid Tenenbaum, who asked Fontaine to fund her study of the slug. Along with Dr. Yi Suchong, they founded Fontaine Futuristics, which eventually discovered how to reproduce and refine the healing properties of the slug, which became known as ADAM and made the plasmid and gene tonic industries possible. Looking for a way to produce ADAM more quickly, Fontaine opened the Little Sister's Orphanage, where little girls were experimented on and turned into the ADAM producing Little Sisters. Having gained economic dominance in Rapture, Fontaine sought ultimate control. He opened Fontaine's Home for the Poor and sought to build an army from the masses of people that were victimized by Ryan's free-market policies.
On September 12, 1958, Fontaine apparently died in a shootout with Ryan's men, sealing himself the status of a martyr to those who did not know his true nature. In reality, he faked his death, hoping to stir up discontent among the lower classes and give Ryan the false hope that his nemesis was dead. He reemerged as Atlas, a fisherman, proletariat hero, and family man. His original voice remained, covered for with a heavy Irish accent. He then charismatically charmed the mob as a humble freedom fighter, while setting the stage for the Civil War which would tear Rapture apart. Originally hoping for victory in this genetic arms race, "Atlas" soon found himself trapped in Rapture, with Ryan in control of the bathyspheres and the Splicers through his pheromone systems. With no other way out, "Atlas" activated his sleeper agent, Jack.
For Jack, Atlas was the friendly tutorial and friend that helped and would stick with him through his adventures, this is, however, until Ryan reveals that Atlas has been playing him for a fool this entire time, controlling Jack's actions without him noticing by using a hypnotic phrase, Would You Kindly? After Ryan uses the phrase to force Jack to kill him, Atlas comes in and uses the phrase to make Jack use the genetics key to turn off the self-destruct and to give control of Rapture to Fontaine Futuristics, Fontaine then reveals himself to Jack, before abandoning him to be murdered by the Security Bots.
Luckily, Jack survived, Fontaine then decides to dispose of Jack one and for all, to ensure Jack dies, Fontaine commands Jack to get stepped on by a Big Daddy by once again using the Would You Kindly phrase, however thanks to Tenenbaum, some of Jack's mental conditioning was removed, making Jack immune to the Would You Kindly phrase. Amused, Fontaine reveals he has another way to control Jack, called Code Yellow, another hypnotic phrase which will make the heart stop beating, however the heart is a "stubborn muscle" described by Fontaine, which is the sole reason Code Yellow doesn't just stop the heart immediately, this gives Jack enough time to make Lot 192, a cure to Code Yellow, after taking Lot 192, Jack is completely freed from Fontaine's control.
Jack and Fontaine come face-to-face in Point Prometheus, however. Fontaine has spliced himself with ADAM, he throws an iron statue at Jack, however, Jack survives, Fontaine, not wishing to fight Jack, locks himself in Point Prometheus' tower, threatening to completely flood Rapture if Jack continues to chase him.
Despite this threat lingering in the air, Jack comes to fight Fontaine at the top of the tower, Jack finds that Fontaine has strapped himself into a big machine that pumps his body full of ADAM, transforming him into a bigger version of himself, Jack comes up into the strapped Fontaine and begins sucking him of his ADAM, Fontaine knocks Jack back to the elevator and breaks himself out of the machine, using Fire abilities, after receiving a brutal beat down from Jack, Fontaine quickly renters the machine which uses the ADAM to refuel his strength, however Jack comes back up and once again sucks out some of Fontaine's ADAM, Fontaine knocks Jack back to the elevator before breaking out of the machine, using Ice abilities, receiving another beat down, Fontaine once again retreats to the machine, Jack sucks up more of Fontaine's ADAM, Fontaine knocks Jack back to the elevator and breaks out a third time, this time using Electric abilities, receiving one final beat down from Jack, Fontaine tried to regain his strength, however Jack sucks up more of his ADAM, Fontaine then knocks Jack to the floor, very weak and almost falling, Fontaine contemplates what a family is before he tries to kill Jack, however a Little Sister comes behind him and stabs Fontaine, Fontaine manages to get her off, but she signals for more Little Sisters, the Little Sisters then bombarde Fontaine before stabbing him with their needles and sucking out his ADAM, explained by Tenenbaum, the body becomes desperate for ADAM, to the point it needs ADAM to survive, with the Little Sisters draining him of his ADAM, and too weak to get back to the machine to refuel his ADAM, Fontaine's body just couldn’t survive, leading to his demise.
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea
- Just as Andrew Ryan is based off of Ayn Rand and represents Objectivist Idealism, Frank Fontaine embodies the same philosophies' core vices. Rand's Objectivism teaches that it every human being's core responsibility to achieve self-fulfillment in whatever it is they do by means of rational thinking, assertiveness, and most of all by achieving said goal on one's own. Objectivism pans theft, manipulation of others and restrictions by outside forces. In contrast, Fontaine is a crook who wishes to make money by profiteering off of other's gullibility and misfortune. He achieves this by tricking people into believing in something greater than themselves, id est Fontaine's "Atlas" persona and has them fight against Andrew Ryan, who for all intents and purposes was a self-made-man.
- Frank Fontaine's family name is a reference to the novel The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand, while his Atlas persona references Atlas Shrugged, a novel also by Rand. This is done ironically to illustrate Fontaine's mockery of the objectivist philosophy.
- In his statuesque, ADAM infused form during the game's end, Fontaine resembles an Art Deco statue, possibly relating to the Atlas statue located in front of the Rockefeller Centre in Midtown Manhattan. Again relating to Objectivist philosophy.
- In the original BioShock, prior to encountering his boss form, Fontaine uses a recycled "Waders" splicer model as his human form, so he shows deformities even before using ADAM. However, as he is only seen at a distance, this is meant to go unnoticed until he is seen up close in Point Prometheus. He is eventually given a unique model in Burial at Sea under his Atlas disguise.
- According to Ken Levine, the creative director of BioShock, Fontaine was partially inspired by Keyser Söze, the antagonist of The Usual Suspects. This is evident due to both being crime bosses feared by every criminal, as well as both being con-artists who pretend to be completely different people.
- If one closely inspects the portraits for Fontaine and Atlas in both BioShock and Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea, they do in fact share very similar facial features with each other. In BioShock, their ears are nearly identical to each other and also share a similar eye shape, while in Burial at Sea, their noses, ears and eyes (except for the eye color) are the most notable similarities.