One of the more eccentric characters of Bioshock, Sander Cohen was invited by Andrew Ryan to become a part of Rapture due to his amazing artistic talents. Before Rapture's descent into anarchy, Cohen owned an art gallery in the Fort Frolic portion of Rapture, an area only playable in the expansion to Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea. Cohen also produced multiple theatrical performances including "Patrick and Moira", which is possibly where Frank Fontaine coined the names of his pseudo family from. Cohen held a strong envy and hatred toward a rival performer known as Anna Culpepper, who derisively referred to Cohen as "Ryan's Songbird." Having ties with Andrew Ryan, Cohen had Security Chief Sullivan kill her in order to remove her from the picture.
When Rapture descended into madness, Cohen went insane partly due to the side effects of splicing and also the lack of appreciation he felt that he and his work deserved. As such, he assumed control of Fort Frolic and locked it down, sealing in the remaining survivors there after being given the key to the area by Andrew Ryan. Cohen had four disciple (Silas Cobb, Martin Finnegan, Hector Rodriguez and Kyle Fitzpatrick), who he orders the main character (referred to as Cohen's "little moth") to kill and take pictures of their corpses in order to complete his Quadtych masterpiece. Upon it's completion, Cohen reveals himself (and it can be seen that he has a unique character model when compared to Dr. Steinman or Professor Julie Langford). Although killable, if he is left alive in Fort Frolic, Cohen will appear again in his apartment in Olympus Heights, saying "I hear your wings, flapping in my home. Flip flap flip flap flip flap. Come into the light little moth. Come in..."
Some conceptions about Cohen include that he is partly based off of the surreal artist, Salvador Dali, as well as he may be a homosexual who loved Ryan. While the latter conception cannot be proven, there are possible hints in the game such as multiple recorded messages of characters referring to him as an "Old Fruit" as well as Cohen referring to Ryan as the "man I once loved."
Appearance in Burial at Sea
In the Bioshock Infinite expansion Burial at Sea, protagonists Booker Dewitt and Elizabeth gain access to an exclusive Cohen performance, and must dance for Sander Cohen in order to earn the information they desire from him. Cohen ultimately does send Booker and Elizabeth in the right direction, albeit by electrocuting them and sending them in a bathysphere to the ocean floor.
- If the player leaves Cohen alive, he will allow the player to access a secret room in his apartment with a power to the people station. If he is killed, it is inaccessible.
- Sander Cohen's physical appearance is based off the real life impressionist artist Salvador Dali, while his name derives from George Cohan a real life playwright , actor ,composer, and dancer.
- "Regarding your review of Anna Culpepper's latest musical insult: Of all of the worthy artists in Rapture, why you continue to devote column inches to this musical GREMLIN is beyond my imagination. Where she is not derivative, she's boring. Where she's not boring, she's obvious. Where she's not obvious, she's dangerous!"
- "The Wild Bunny by Sander Cohen: I want to take the ears off, but I can't. I hop, and when I hop, I never get off the ground. It's my curse, my eternal curse! I want to take the ears off but I can't! It's my curse! It's my fucking curse! I want to take the ears off! Please! Take them off! Please!"
- "I'm Sander Fucking Cohen!"