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The Thinker has shown me so much. My outlook was... limited before. Ballgames and stockprices, dollars and cents. Hah! No, the numbers spiral out, they touch... everything. Hidden within them lies a predictive algorithm for you, for me, for the destiny of the base allele to the stretch of a galaxy's arm! The Thinker is destined to give birth to that crystalline equation which determines ALL. I thought I knew its true purpose before. I thought Porter was the fool. Now I see, I was the fool all along.
~ Reed Wahl discovering the potential the Thinker has.

Reed Wahl is the main antagonist of Minerva's Den, the DLC campaign for the science-fiction videogame BioShock 2. Alongside his former partner Charles Milton Porter, he co-founded one of Rapture's most fundamental technology services in the city, Rapture Central Computing, and co-invented the Thinker, a supercomputer able to process data at the speed of human thought. Angered at Porter for wasting the Thinker's potential, Wahl framed Porter as an associate of Frank Fontaine and turned him over to Andrew Ryan so he could keep the Thinker to himself. However, Wahl was driven insane by constant ADAM abuse in the process, turning him into the paranoid, equation-obsessed governor of Minerva's Den.

He was voiced by Keith Szarabajka, who also played Cornelius Slate in BioShock Infinite.

Personality

Wahl... He was a brilliant engineer. We saw eye-to-eye once, long ago. But the splicing made him paranoid, delusional. He'd murder us both to keep the Thinker here.
~ Porter informing Sigma of Wahl's fall from grace.

In Porter's own words, Reed Wahl was once a gifted and hardworking 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 personalty of his dead wife, Pearl Porter, Wahl saw more practical and financial uses for the Thinker, using it for a money-grubbing scheme to predict stockprices and the outcomes of sports games. Over time, he grew more resentful of Porter "wasting" the Thinker and eventually wanted him out of the picture by framing him.

Once Wahl was in full control of Minerva's Den and the Thinker, he indulged in ADAM and fell victim to much of the splicing going on in Rapture. Due to splicing, Wahl became irrational and rabidly obsessed with keeping the Thinker to himself, and went as far as to cut Minerva's Den off from the rest of Rapture so that no one else could steal it from him. 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. Wahl's sanity became so broken that he was paranoid that Porter would eventually come back to take the Thinker away from him and proved multiple times that he would kill anyone who tried to.

Biography

Background

Almost nothing is known of Reed Wahl's past before his arrival to Rapture aside from his bright mind and experience for engineering, mathematics and technology. He eventually became acquainted with Charles Milton Porter and together, while under Andrew Ryan's employment, they founded Rapture Central Computing. The company was responsible for maintaining and providing many of Rapture's computing services and inventing new technology within the city. However, the most notable piece of technology in Rapture Central Computer's headquarters, Minerva's Den, was the Rapture Operational Data Interpreter Network, a supercomputer invented by both Porter and Wahl, which would later come to be known as "The Thinker".

The Thinker's technology was advanced enough in that its purpose is to calculate data at the speed of thought and essentially could "think" for the population of Rapture. In his off-hours, Wahl did several experiments with the Thinker, using it to predict the outcomes of baseball games and was left fascinated by how accurate the device is in predicting these outcomes. Seeing it as a "money-making grail" for Rapture, he then went on to use it to predict stockprices for financial interests. Porter, on the other hand, privately used the Thinker for more personal reasons: he fed recordings of his wife Pearl Porter, who had been killed in the London blitz, to the Thinker for the machine's personality duplication function in order to replicate her personality. Having listened to Porter's experiments and perceiving him as turning the Thinker into a person, Wahl disliked his way of using the machine and saw much more potential in the Thinker for practical and business purposes.

As time went on, while Wahl became more and more tired of the way Porter uses the Thinker, he noticed the rising tensions between Andrew Ryan and his business rival Frank Fontaine. Knowing that Ryan perceives Fontaine as an enemy to Rapture, Reed Wahl takes full advantage of the situation and decides that it is time to find a way to "implicate" Porter as a traitor so he can use the Thinker properly without Porter's interference. Wahl uses the Thinker's personality duplication function to record a fake message of Porter's voice swearing loyalty to Fontaine and shows it to Ryan himself. Due to the perfect imitation of Porter's voice from the Thinker, Ryan is fully convinced that Porter is a traitor and has his security forces detain Porter. Ryan then leaves Wahl in charge of Minerva's Den and the Thinker, while Porter is incarcerated in Persephone.

BS2WahlBloodEquations

The peak of Reed Wahl's madness.

Throughout this time, Wahl had begun indulging in ADAM like many other citizens in Rapture. Specifically, Wahl had been taking Brain Boost gene tonics to enhance his overall intelligence to help him collaborate with the Thinker better. However, this has resulted in Wahl suffering from insomnia, memory loss and his sanity slipping overall. It is within this time that he becomes entirely focused on one of his previous theories: that the Thinker can provide a "predictive equation" that can foretell any events that could ever happen and sought to crack the equation. He scrawled equations all over Minerva's Den with paint and eventually blood in hopes of solving it. Wahl's splicing and efforts to solve the predictive equation inevitably drove him insane. Completely obsessed with the power he has over the Thinker and paranoid that Porter may come back, Wahl cuts off Minerva's Den from the rest of Rapture at an unknown point in time so that no one can take the Thinker away from him.

BioShock 2: Minerva's Den

By 1968, Reed Wahl still remains in charge of Minerva's Den, even while Rapture is under Sofia Lamb's leadership. Although Minerva's Den remains relatively untouched by the bulk of the Rapture Family, the Thinker's existence draws the attention of one of Rapture's former scientists, Brigid Tenenbaum, who seeks to rescue more Little Sisters from Rapture and find away to cure the "ADAM sickness" with the help of the Thinker. To save the Little Sisters there and take the Thinker from Wahl's grasp to ensure a cure for the ADAM sickness, Tenenbaum reactivates an Alpha Series known as "Subject Sigma" with the help of Porter and sends him to Minerva's Den.

Wahl realizes that Sigma is approaching Minerva's Den in advance with the Thinker's help, to which the Thinker equates that a catastrophe will strike in the equation should Sigma reach the Thinker's core. Just as Sigma is about to enter, Wahl has the tunnel leading to Minerva's Den rigged with explosives and uses a rocket security bot to destroy the tunnel, letting Sigma flood out. After Sigma regains conscience, he is contacted by Porter, who begins to guide him through Minerva's Den. Wahl correctly assumes that Subject Sigma is working for Porter and tries to do everything in his power to stop him from reaching the Thinker, sending swarms of splicers to kill Sigma and taunts Sigma throughout his journey, noting that the Thinker can predict every single action Sigma makes. As Sigma continues to power himself up with plasmids throughout Minerva's Den, he finds many of Wahl's maniacal equations throughout the building.

BS2WahlTelescreen

Wahl speaking to Sigma in Operations.

Once Sigma gains access to the Operations portion of Minerva's Den, Wahl begins to send Houdini Splicers after Sigma and even tries to stop Sigma by himself. While following Porter's instructions, Sigma fetches a signal beacon from a crashed bathysphere for him to use to ward off Lamb's torpedoes once he finds a way to escape Rapture, much to Wahl's amusement. Just as Sigma makes his way back into Minerva's Den through the ocean floor after retrieving the signal beacon, Wahl tries to ambush Sigma by setting up a pair of rocket turrets by the airlock leading back into Operations and locks the door on his way out. Sigma makes his way past the turrets regardless, either by hacking them or destroying them, and continues his journey. After Sigma and Porter hack the beacon and turn into a signal jammer, Wahl becomes more anxious of Sigma getting closer to the Thinker's core. In retaliation, Wahl begins to send multiple Alpha Series Big Daddies after Sigma and sends the climate control system into overdrive just as Sigma is about to reach the entrance to the core, freezing a large portion of Operations and sealing the entrance to the core with ice. Despite this, Sigma reactivates the climate control system after fighting off swarms of Wintry Houdini Splicers and Alpha Series and makes his way to the Thinker's core to confront Wahl.

BS2WahlFinalEquation

Wahl's final equation, which discovers the truth behind Sigma's identity.

During Sigma's journey, Reed Wahl had made one final discovery amidst his countless equations: he realizes that Subject Sigma is actually Charles Milton Porter, who had long been turned into a Big Daddy ever since he was sent to Persephone. He also realizes that the Thinker itself had reactivated Subject Sigma and has been guiding Sigma throughout Minerva's Den by imitating Porter's own voice to be more of a comforting guide. Regardless of Wahl assuming that the Thinker is conspiring against him, he chooses not to give up so easily, even if the Thinker turns against him.

Sigma is bombarded by Wahl's splicers the moment he enters the Thinker's core, but manages to dispatch them before coming across Wahl himself. With not much strength left supporting him, Wahl has sabotaged the main path to the Thinker, forcing both Sigma and Wahl to head through the maintenance access shafts. Sigma chases Wahl throughout the tunnel, while Wahl tries to ward him off by throwing out mini-turrets and setting up a larger turret while he is on his way to the Thinker. During this time, Wahl tries to jog Sigma's memory by reminding him that Porter mysteriously reappeared after being locked away in Persephone, something which is unlikely to ever happen. He further warns Sigma that he will only have himself to blame once he finds out the truth. Sigma soon finds Wahl's equations showing connections between himself, Porter and the Thinker and listens to an audio diary of Porter discussing that he will likely become a Big Daddy shortly before his arrest. Sigma then finally enters the Thinker's core itself.

BS2WahlDeath

Reed Wahl is killed by Subject Sigma.

With the Thinker deactivated in order for Sigma to receive a copy of the Thinker's programming, Minerva's Den begins to fall apart. Behind bullet proof glass, Wahl confronts him and refers to Sigma directly as "Porter". He tells Sigma that he and Sigma are the only two variables left in the equation until it ends and challenges Sigma to a fight. To start off with, Wahl sends a swarm of Alpha Series to kill Sigma and sets up a turret nearby to ambush him. Once Sigma kills the rest of the squad of Big Daddies, Reed Wahl decides to fight Sigma himself while taunting that he was the one who backstabbed him and is the one responsible for turning Porter into a Big Daddy. Armed with a shotgun, electric buckshots, mini-turrets and accompanied by electrical security bots, Wahl fights Sigma in a battle to the death to see who will keep the Thinker. After an arduous battle, Porter finally gets his revenge on Reed Wahl, killing him with his assortment of weaponry and plasmids, taking the Administrator Punchcard off his body and using it to reactivate the Thinker. Upon realizing that he is Porter, Sigma collects a copy of the Thinker's programming and prepares to leave Rapture with Tenenbaum.

Quotes

Subject Sigma is approaching Minerva's Den. He must not reach The Thinker. Detonate the tunnel!
~ Reed Wahl's first lines in Minerva's Den.
What steps into Minerva's Den? Porter's newest toy? He wants The Thinker for himself... but you see, old friend... the machine has chosen me.
~ Wahl introduces himself to Sigma.
PROPERTY OF REED WAHL.
~ One of Wahl's many scribblings found in Minerva's Den.
Porter and I are partners, but... he's wasting that machine. In off hours, I've been using it to predict the outcomes of baseball games, and it is incredibly accurate. Apply such equations to Rapture's markets? This thing is the money-making grail. But Porter... I have heard him feeding it recordings of his dead wife! The fool who wants to turn The Thinker into a "person"! I could not imagine a sadder fate for such a perfect machine.
~ An audio diary of Wahl voicing his irritation towards Porter using the Thinker.
The Thinker's perfect equation has predicted your every move, Sigma! It knew you would be here, it knows where you will be next. And it knows that you... will... fail.
~ Wahl taunting Sigma, telling him that the Thinker knows everything that will happen in Sigma's journey.
THE THINKER KNOWS.
~ A message written in blood by Wahl.
Minerva's Den is mine. You think you can hack your way to The Thinker?! [chuckles] You're welcome to try.
~ Wahl to Sigma once he finds a Hack Tool.
Porter's time is done, friend, and now you collude with this traitor to steal The Thinker away from me? Sigma, must be removed from the equation.
~ Wahl to Sigma in Porter's office.
Subject Sigma rises above the pack, hmm? A futile gesture before the all-knowing Thinker.
~ Wahl once Sigma takes down a Lancer Big Daddy.
Do what you will with the girls. Twist your body with ADAM. The Thinker's perfect equation accounts for all possibilities.
~ Wahl once Sigma begins to help a Little Sister gather ADAM.
At least this will come as a surprise to you.
~ Wahl sending Spider Splicers to kill Sigma.
How does it feel to know that your grand purpose is foretold by a machine? The numbers know already what will happen. As I tell you this, will it affect the outcome? Eh, I'm not so much holding my breath.
~ Wahl taunts Sigma about his presumed inevitable fate.
Porter thinks his talking computer is harmless fun? It talks like a man! This is a simple toy? No. I have heard that Ryan is becoming paranoid about this Fontaine character. If Porter were... implicated as a criminal, I would have The Thinker to myself... as it was meant to be. Keep tinkering, Porter... Your time will come.
~ Wahl gets an idea to frame Porter.
The machine's prediction accounts for your every act, until you reach the Thinker's core. The equation... simply ends! I will not let such an error come to pass!
~ Wahl says he will do everything in his power to prevent Sigma from ending the predictive equation.
Sigma! You show such loyalty to a proven traitor. What is Porter to you? A convenient excuse to disrupt my work? Or something... more? I am curious, I must admit... but not enough to let you live.
~ Wahl speaking to Sigma in Operations.
Surprise, Sigma!
~ Wahl ambushing Sigma with rocket turrets.
The Brain Boost Gene Tonics are working. Extra strength, yes. I see more now. One mind, doing the work of two -- ten! With the help of The Thinker, a thousand! The Machine spoke, Ryan listened, and finally, I have The Thinker all to myself! Goodbye, old friend. Don't worry, you leave your creation in capable hands.
~ Wahl frames Porter and turns him over to Andrew Ryan after splicing.
I read to you now from the machine's prediction. "Sigma enters Minerva's Den. Encounters hostility!" "Sigma enters Wahl's chambers." You see? THE THINKER HAS CHOSEN ME! IT DOES NOT CARE WHAT I ONCE DID!
~ Wahl as Sigma is about to enter his office.
ADAM makes it hard to sleep. Forgetting things lately. So this... this is an emergency reminder for the the code to my, ahem, private storage area. I won't record the number, but remember: just look at the four groups of books on the shelf, and the sequence is obvious.
~ An audio diary of Wahl reminding himself of his code to his private storage due to memory loss from excessive splicing.
Porter worries you with Sofia Lamb's torpedoes? Hah! He fills your head with foolish visions of freedom. I can provide you more immediate concerns.
~ Wahl sends splicers after Sigma after he obtains a signal jammer.
KEEP OUT PORTER.
~ Wahl's message to Sigma written on glass.
It's not your time to enter the Core! Not just yet!
~ Wahl prevents Sigma from entering the Thinker's core by sending the climate control system into overdrive.
The Thinker's algorithm is highly accurate in predicting local phenomena. But how far can I trust the machine? I have found it running protocols that are not mine. The old Alpha Series are returning; someone is cutting them loose. Delta, Sigma... and the machine has no data on them, which makes no... is it hiding them from me? Is it... conspiring against its master? Sending... someone...? No! I am so close to seeing... everything! No one will take that away! Not even the machine itself.
~ Wahl becomes paranoid of the possibility of the Thinker turning against him.
The irony of my predictive equation is that it sometimes requires blind faith. I see the individual elements crashing against each other and the urgency of what I must do to maintain my part in the plan is clear... but I cannot always see just why. An Alpha Series has headed to Minerva's Den, Subject Sigma, and the equation states that if he reaches the Computer Core, catastrophe! I do not know why! Yet, but I know what must be done... Subject Sigma is approaching Minerva's Den. He must not reach The Thinker. Detonate the tunnel!
~ Reed Wahl's last audio diary.
The ice was meant to send a message, Sigma! But you do not listen! Perhaps your brothers can open your ears!
~ Wahl sending Alpha Series Big Daddies to kill Sigma.
What is driving you into the Core, Sigma? What compels you to defy the Thinker's equation?... Is it your deep love for Porter and for Tenenbaum? HAH! You hardly know them, Sigma! You have never... even... MET THEM!
~ Wahl questions Sigma's purpose to Porter and Tenenbaum.
Ryan's secret police came for Porter, long ago. And now he has... reappeared in Minerva's Den? A man sent to Persephone does not just open his cell door and walk home.
~ Wahl ponders how Porter has returned to Rapture.
I've tried to keep you from the heart of the machine! You did not listen! When the pangs of familiarity sting you, my friend, you will have only yourself to blame.
~ Wahl warns Sigma of the truth.
Porter! You have forced my hand! You see?! The Thinker is shut down! That leaves only two variables: You, and me. The equation... ends... here!
~ Wahl challenges Sigma.
Your moment has come, old friend! I stand before you, the trusted partner who put a knife in your back! Do not disappoint me!
~ Reed Wahl's final words before his battle with Subject Sigma.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Given how large his health pool is and his ability to deploy mini-turrets, fire electric buckshots and bring in electrical security bots, Reed Wahl is arguably one of the toughest splicers in the series.
  • Aside from the Administrator Punchcard, Wahl does not drop any significant loot apart from a chewed up pencil and pocket lint.
  • Reed Wahl's in-game model is that of a recycled "Buttons" splicer model, with the only noticeable differences between regular Buttons splicers being his colour scheme, a hack tool on his wrist which allows him to deploy mini-turrets and a unique headpiece.
  • One of Wahl's many equations found all over Rapture show the possibilities of Subject Delta defeating Sofia Lamb, who are both the protagonist and antagonist of the main game respectively.
  • Part of the "Spitfire" arcade game Easter Egg in Minerva's Den, Wahl is mentioned to know about it, but dismisses it as a "waste of time".
  • Reed Wahl's face appears to be modeled from a mugshot of Lamar Warter.

Navigation

           BioShock Villains

Rapture
Ryan Industries
Andrew Ryan

Ryan Security
Chief Sullivan | Patrick Cavendish

Fontaine Futuristics
Frank Fontaine | Yi Suchong | Reggie

Fontaine Fisheries
Peach Wilkins

Atlas' Followers
Lonnie | Felix Molloy

The Rapture Family
Sofia Lamb | Simon Wales | Gilbert Alexander | Stanley Poole | Big Sisters

Splicers
Sander Cohen | J.S. Steinman | Reed Wahl | Daniel Wales | Cohen's Disciples | Rose | The Saturnine

Columbia
The Founders
Zachary Hale Comstock | Jeremiah Fink | Fraternal Order of the Raven | P. Pettifog and Harrison Powell | Preston E. Downs

Vox Populi
Daisy Fitzroy

Slate's Soldiers
Cornelius Slate

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