Let's Discuss BioShock Infinite (HUGE SPOILERS)

#501 Posted by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

Just went through this ENTIRE thread over the past few hours and some really fantastic analysis & discussion. Some questions have been brought up that I never thought about and answered but I still have one lingering one some one could clear up? The infinite cycle, where songbird always wins (is this when he knocks Booker across the bridge into the building or when he plays the notes? Ill get into that in a second). So he goes through the events 121 times and song bird wins, Elizabeth gets brainwashed whatever, goes bad, and attacks New York in 1984 121 times. what made the 122 time different where she goes "AH, I need to get booker here, give him the note with the cage, and send him back (or does she always send him back just with out the note?)" what made the 122 time different? What breaks the cycle? I looked out for this question/answer but no luck on finding a difinitive answer on the changed cycle. Thanks

It's simply a matter of variables and constants. These 121 attempts did not happen in the same dimension, but across 121 different versions of the twin Comstock/Booker dimensions. It's hard to say what makes this one different specifically, but Old Elizabeth talks about her limited power. She barely has the strength to reach Booker and send him back to the right point in dimensions. In every other dimension after Songbird recaptures Elizabeth, Booker is left trying to rescue her on his own and is repeatedly defeated (I don't believe this defeat occurs at a single point, rather that in each of the 121 instances no matter what he tries to do to rescue Elizabeth, Songbird thwarts him at every turn).

So this one Elizabeth had the strength to summon this one Booker and not only give him the cipher, but to send him back to Elizabeth directly to ensure that he wouldn't have to find a way past Songbird to begin with. The only way for Booker to beat Songbird is the not fight Songbird at all, similar to the ending where the only way to prevent Comstock from wreaking havoc is for Comstock to not be born at all.

#502 Edited by KevinWalsh (58 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@kevinwalsh said:

Just went through this ENTIRE thread over the past few hours and some really fantastic analysis & discussion. Some questions have been brought up that I never thought about and answered but I still have one lingering one some one could clear up? The infinite cycle, where songbird always wins (is this when he knocks Booker across the bridge into the building or when he plays the notes? Ill get into that in a second). So he goes through the events 121 times and song bird wins, Elizabeth gets brainwashed whatever, goes bad, and attacks New York in 1984 121 times. what made the 122 time different where she goes "AH, I need to get booker here, give him the note with the cage, and send him back (or does she always send him back just with out the note?)" what made the 122 time different? What breaks the cycle? I looked out for this question/answer but no luck on finding a difinitive answer on the changed cycle. Thanks

It's simply a matter of variables and constants. These 121 attempts did not happen in the same dimension, but across 121 different versions of the twin Comstock/Booker dimensions. It's hard to say what makes this one different specifically, but Old Elizabeth talks about her limited power. She barely has the strength to reach Booker and send him back to the right point in dimensions. In every other dimension after Songbird recaptures Elizabeth, Booker is left trying to rescue her on his own and is repeatedly defeated (I don't believe this defeat occurs at a single point, rather that in each of the 121 instances no matter what he tries to do to rescue Elizabeth, Songbird thwarts him at every turn).

So this one Elizabeth had the strength to summon this one Booker and not only give him the cipher, but to send him back to Elizabeth directly to ensure that he wouldn't have to find a way past Songbird to begin with. The only way for Booker to beat Songbird is the not fight Songbird at all, similar to the ending where the only way to prevent Comstock from wreaking havoc is for Comstock to not be born at all.

Thanks man. That makes sense, in spite of the craziness that is "infinite dimension Elizabeths" and "WHAT DO THE POST CREDITS MEAN?" this was the one thing driving me up the wall. Good input through out this forum, you seem to know your stuff, and have answered a lot of peoples with some clear but deep responses.

#503 Edited by OneKillWonder_ (1692 posts) -

I'm not going to read all of this just yet, but hopefully I will get around to it soon. I just finished the game this morning after I got home from work, and MAN....I loved the ending. For whatever gameplay flaws the game has that was making me hate it in the second half, the way this story ends redeems it completely. Not just with what happens to the characters, but how all of the BioShock worlds are explained and tied together blew me the fuck away. It leaves me wondering if there is anyway to have another BioShock game, or at least one that can match Infinite's story, knowing that what you're doing is basically an illusion and doesn't ultimately matter. Maybe introduce some variable that can disrupt the formula that all the universes have to adhere to? I dunno. All I know is that this game gave me something I was not at all expecting, and those are the best kind of games.

#504 Posted by Ghostiet (5222 posts) -

@kevinwalsh said:

Thanks man. That makes sense, in spite of the craziness that is "infinite dimension Elizabeths" and "WHAT DO THE POST CREDITS MEAN?" this was the one thing driving me up the wall. Good input through out this forum, you seem to know your stuff, and have answered a lot of peoples with some clear but deep responses.

What exactly is troubling you about the post-credits stinger? Its meaning has been explained a few times. I'm just curious.

#505 Edited by KevinWalsh (58 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@kevinwalsh said:

Thanks man. That makes sense, in spite of the craziness that is "infinite dimension Elizabeths" and "WHAT DO THE POST CREDITS MEAN?" this was the one thing driving me up the wall. Good input through out this forum, you seem to know your stuff, and have answered a lot of peoples with some clear but deep responses.

What exactly is troubling you about the post-credits stinger? Its meaning has been explained a few times. I'm just curious.

Nothing is. I feel like you (also putting in good work on this forum) and some others have really expressed some opinions that make sense. As I got through the last, I don't know 150 comments, people began to really get caught up in the ending and "why does Elizabeth drown him but he's alive after the credits". After spending 2 1/2 hours going through a lot of thoughts and opinions, reasonings and cold hard facts, I get it 100%. And while others are digging super deep on what it all means (and if its connected to Bioshock 1 or 2? Like directly.......like Booker is the father of Andrew Ryan or something which I feel is just reaching for straws at this point, I didn't even feel like investigating into that. I feel its infinite doors, infinite realities of variables and constants, they just found their way to rapture) I was feeling SUPER stuck on one thing, the infinite cycle/old elizabeth. I guess the 122 time things just lined up and worked. I feel like I get it all and you're right it has been well explained.

#506 Posted by yoshisaur (2634 posts) -

Did my game just forget to delete Elizabeth in the final scene? When she finally drowns Booker, all of the Elizabeth's disappear but the one we had come to known. Judging from everyone's posts, though, it seems I either had a bug or a different ending?

#507 Posted by Dalai (6991 posts) -

I won't add anything to the conversation except I'm glad to finally be able to read these spoiler-heavy topics about the game now that I finished it.

#508 Posted by golguin (3842 posts) -

@kindx said:

Did my game just forget to delete Elizabeth in the final scene? When she finally drowns Booker, all of the Elizabeth's disappear but the one we had come to known. Judging from everyone's posts, though, it seems I either had a bug or a different ending?

It's left unclear. It cuts out right before she would have faded away IF she does indeed fade away. It's possible that she's so powerful that she can exist outside of her multiverse. She essentially becomes god at the end.

#509 Posted by John1912 (1826 posts) -

Ive decided that you change nothing in the end, and the post credits are showing the cycle starting over. The twins state it from the start. The sister doesnt believe in the point of an experiment that has already failed. If you follow the logic the game present s over and over, that all points in time exist at once, there was no chance that you ever failed. You would have succeeded before you even started, and none of it would have happened in the first place.

The twins state over and over in the game that time doesnt matter. They state it with Lady Comstock. She will live, is living, and will die. They do it on the way to Comstock house as well. The male twin asks if he creates a new subjunctive. She says no, it would have already had to have been created.

I have to feel like in the end the game is just showing one of the many adventures that will play out, are playing out, and have played out endlessly, and will continue to do so endlessly.

#510 Posted by BeachThunder (11685 posts) -

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

#511 Edited by golguin (3842 posts) -

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

#512 Posted by BeachThunder (11685 posts) -

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

Ah, ok, I always have a hard time identifying Asians in games, Sleeping Dogs seems fine though...

#513 Posted by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

There are actually three of them. The first one is Asian, the second and third ones are white. I believe the second and third ones are the same woman, but the first one is completely different. It shows that the only Chen Lin that could survive the white-makes-right society in Columbia was the kind that would embrace, or pretend to embrace, those ideals, even going as far as to marry a white woman.

#514 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@golguin said:

@kindx said:

Did my game just forget to delete Elizabeth in the final scene? When she finally drowns Booker, all of the Elizabeth's disappear but the one we had come to known. Judging from everyone's posts, though, it seems I either had a bug or a different ending?

It's left unclear. It cuts out right before she would have faded away IF she does indeed fade away. It's possible that she's so powerful that she can exist outside of her multiverse. She essentially becomes god at the end.

Same with me the main Elizabeth was the only one left, don't think it's a bug.

#515 Posted by BeachThunder (11685 posts) -

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

There are actually three of them. The first one is Asian, the second and third ones are white. I believe the second and third ones are the same woman, but the first one is completely different. It shows that the only Chen Lin that could survive the white-makes-right society in Columbia was the kind that would embrace, or pretend to embrace, those ideals, even going as far as to marry a white woman.

Hm, I don't remember a third one?

#516 Posted by yoshisaur (2634 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior: Very interesting. Honestly, I would really love to see a developer's commentary on this. Pick Levine's brain. Then again, I don't know if I really want to go down that rabbit hole. The ending hit me hard; I wanted my feel goods to stay intact T.T.

#517 Edited by ozzdog12 (856 posts) -

@ozzdog12 said:

My head hurts from all this, however I was wondering if anybody saw this? I mean It blows my mind more than anything

Start at the :50 mark

Then go to the :14 mark of this video.

I mean the EXACT SAME sound.....

Blows my mind that in 2007 this little sounds turns out to be a major scene in 2013. I mean Levine is a genius....

With this video, you come to Rapture AFTER Jack has already been through(The plasmid is missing from the vending machine upstairs, the first one you get in Bioshock) and the Songbird is dying while Fitzpatrick dies in Bioshock

I dont even know what is real anymore

No, just no fucking way. Right?

Right? I mean it blows my mind! Its just unfathomable

#518 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@ozzdog12 said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

@ozzdog12 said:

My head hurts from all this, however I was wondering if anybody saw this? I mean It blows my mind more than anything

Start at the :50 mark

Then go to the :14 mark of this video.

I mean the EXACT SAME sound.....

Blows my mind that in 2007 this little sounds turns out to be a major scene in 2013. I mean Levine is a genius....

With this video, you come to Rapture AFTER Jack has already been through(The plasmid is missing from the vending machine upstairs, the first one you get in Bioshock) and the Songbird is dying while Fitzpatrick dies in Bioshock

I dont even know what is real anymore

No, just no fucking way. Right?

Right? I mean it blows my mind! Its just unfathomable

I don't think it was planned until the late stages of infinite, because it just pretty much sounds like dolphins or whales when I was playing Bioshock but its pretty awesome that they reused the audio.

#519 Posted by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

There are actually three of them. The first one is Asian, the second and third ones are white. I believe the second and third ones are the same woman, but the first one is completely different. It shows that the only Chen Lin that could survive the white-makes-right society in Columbia was the kind that would embrace, or pretend to embrace, those ideals, even going as far as to marry a white woman.

Hm, I don't remember a third one?

Third one was lying there dead with Chen Lin, looked the same as the second one, IIRC

#520 Posted by realph (253 posts) -

@dagas You remind me of a friend of mine. He watches playthroughs of games on YouTube and talks about them as if he's played them.

Playing a game and watching some one play a game are two different things.

#521 Edited by SpaceBoat (171 posts) -

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

There are actually three of them. The first one is Asian, the second and third ones are white. I believe the second and third ones are the same woman, but the first one is completely different. It shows that the only Chen Lin that could survive the white-makes-right society in Columbia was the kind that would embrace, or pretend to embrace, those ideals, even going as far as to marry a white woman.

To add to this, in the first two instances, Chen Lin's wives have different names. The first one is May Lin (Mei Lin? I don't remember), the second one is Sarah Lin.

#522 Posted by ThunderSlash (1544 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@golguin said:

@beachthunder said:

One thing that I still don't quite understand - is the Asian man's new wife an entirely different person; or is she the same wife he had before, but just Caucasian? (similar to Rob being the same person as Ros, but just male)

They are both white if I remember correctly and they are now Christian/Comstock's religion. Any individual in a new universe is their own person. They can be as similar or different to their multiverse analogue.

There are actually three of them. The first one is Asian, the second and third ones are white. I believe the second and third ones are the same woman, but the first one is completely different. It shows that the only Chen Lin that could survive the white-makes-right society in Columbia was the kind that would embrace, or pretend to embrace, those ideals, even going as far as to marry a white woman.

To add to this, in the first two instances, Chen Lin's wives have different names. The first one is May Lin (Mei Lin? I don't remember), the second one is Sarah Lin.

I thought that the reason Chen Lin survived the second universe was because even though he was taken in for questioning, his wife Sarah had connections with the cops there. I think the projector area on the way out of Good Time Club details that Sarah's brother was a high ranking officer.

#523 Posted by morrelloman (606 posts) -

This is the best game. All this ending talk reminds me of ME3 except no one is pissed. It's awesome that something this hyped up can exceed expectations. I re-watched the credits just so I could get that last scene. I think it is just the cycle starting over again. In Bioshock 1 it appears that you are actually the child(girl). Having had massive wrong doing upon you by your parents. In Bioshock 2 you are the Songbird protecting the little sisters, and in Infinite you are the man at the center of the story. Kind of a stretch I admit, but a "wouldn't it be cool if that was the case" case for sure. And even if I'm totally off base it could be a premise for a future game to take one of the other roles more explicitly.

#524 Edited by Eaxis (899 posts) -

I've been thinking of something. Is it possible that Rapture was founded on the remains of a Columbia that fell from the sky? In some universe anyway?

#525 Posted by dillonator (145 posts) -

If it's to be assumed that Booker has some memory of the events of Bioshock Infinite in the post credits epilogue, what about Anna/Elizabeth?

#526 Posted by evaNERV (14 posts) -

Just watched the ending again, the Elisabeth on your right that pushes you under the water looks to have a full pinky on her right hand. Your game Elisabeth, of course, had the thimble. So some Elisabeths never did the portal thing.

#527 Posted by BeachThunder (11685 posts) -

@eaxis said:

I've been thinking of something. Is it possible that Rapture was founded on the remains of a Columbia that fell from the sky? In some universe anyway?

I was initially thinking that would be some kind of plot twist in the game; alas, no. Anyway, Rapture is that reality's analogue to Columbia; so, if Columbia isn't built in one reality, then there ends up being a Rapture instead.

#528 Posted by theimmortalbum (465 posts) -

Okay, having finished the game, there are definitely some logistical issues I would LOVE to understand. But the big reveal of Booker is Comstock is somewhat telegraphed, especially given a few things.

1) The game's pretty damn open about the fact that time is pretty meaningless. I didn't expect Booker to be Comstock from a different timeline, I just imagined he was him from the past. Didn't expect universes to branch at Wounded Knee.

2) There's a scene or two relatively close to the start that I really can't remember much about, but basically Comstock and Booker are talking at the same time, saying the same things. That was a big clue for me.

It was still a cool ending, but I guess I'm not as blown away by it as others have been.

#529 Posted by kerse (2100 posts) -

This is the best game. All this ending talk reminds me of ME3 except no one is pissed. It's awesome that something this hyped up can exceed expectations. I re-watched the credits just so I could get that last scene. I think it is just the cycle starting over again. In Bioshock 1 it appears that you are actually the child(girl). Having had massive wrong doing upon you by your parents. In Bioshock 2 you are the Songbird protecting the little sisters, and in Infinite you are the man at the center of the story. Kind of a stretch I admit, but a "wouldn't it be cool if that was the case" case for sure. And even if I'm totally off base it could be a premise for a future game to take one of the other roles more explicitly.

My thoughts exactly.

Anyone else about to go replay Bioshock and maybe Bioshock 2 (I'm in the minority but I actually really enjoyed 2)?

#530 Posted by mems1224 (172 posts) -

I haven't read the thread yet but I do have two quick questions.

At the very end with all the Elizabeths, is the Elizabeth you played the entire game with there? That part confused me because when you turn around Booker says, "wait. You're not...you're not...who are you?" and that Elizabeth isn't all bruised up and isn't wearing the pendant you chose for her when you met her.

Also, after the credits when Booker is back in the room, is that supposed to be the afterlife or what?

#531 Posted by kishinfoulux (2253 posts) -

@ozzdog12 said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

@ozzdog12 said:

My head hurts from all this, however I was wondering if anybody saw this? I mean It blows my mind more than anything

Start at the :50 mark

Then go to the :14 mark of this video.

I mean the EXACT SAME sound.....

Blows my mind that in 2007 this little sounds turns out to be a major scene in 2013. I mean Levine is a genius....

With this video, you come to Rapture AFTER Jack has already been through(The plasmid is missing from the vending machine upstairs, the first one you get in Bioshock) and the Songbird is dying while Fitzpatrick dies in Bioshock

I dont even know what is real anymore

No, just no fucking way. Right?

Right? I mean it blows my mind! Its just unfathomable

I don't think it was planned until the late stages of infinite, because it just pretty much sounds like dolphins or whales when I was playing Bioshock but its pretty awesome that they reused the audio.

I just went to check this out because they mentioned it on the live stream. That's fucking incredible and haunting. It's more then likely a coincidence, but still amazing.

#532 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@kishinfoulux said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

@ozzdog12 said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

@ozzdog12 said:

My head hurts from all this, however I was wondering if anybody saw this? I mean It blows my mind more than anything

Start at the :50 mark

Then go to the :14 mark of this video.

I mean the EXACT SAME sound.....

Blows my mind that in 2007 this little sounds turns out to be a major scene in 2013. I mean Levine is a genius....

With this video, you come to Rapture AFTER Jack has already been through(The plasmid is missing from the vending machine upstairs, the first one you get in Bioshock) and the Songbird is dying while Fitzpatrick dies in Bioshock

I dont even know what is real anymore

No, just no fucking way. Right?

Right? I mean it blows my mind! Its just unfathomable

I don't think it was planned until the late stages of infinite, because it just pretty much sounds like dolphins or whales when I was playing Bioshock but its pretty awesome that they reused the audio.

I just went to check this out because they mentioned it on the live stream. That's fucking incredible and haunting. It's more then likely a coincidence, but still amazing.

I still believe it makes WAY TOO MUCH SENSE for it to simply be a coincidence, the main piece of sound design in that 2 minute sequence in Rapture uses a sound bite that was only used in Bioshock once, for a moment in Infinite while you are in Rapture for such a short bit of time, if it was at any other part in the game it would just be a cool bit of reusing a sound bite but it happens when you are in Rapture. I come to it thinking the sound designer used it again known it would retroactively be a awesome easter egg, sound designers know every bit of sound for every scene they use, they would of probably brought up the idea and it fit in perfectly with the story so Levine green lit it, that is my guess anyway I have been thinking about that for a few days know summing up how it could just be a coincidence but the variables for that to have worked without anyone on the team putting the two things together are just crazy and very unlikely.

I would love for someone to bring this up at a Ken Levine interview in the future but to me anyway whenever I replay Bioshock and hear that noise I will know to myself Elizabeth and Booker just used a tear in the other room and killed Song Bird.

#533 Posted by kishinfoulux (2253 posts) -

I imagine Ken Levine would probably just wink/nod about it, but not give a definitive answer. "Oh you never know" sort of thing.

#534 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

I really liked Infinite, possibly more than the original but I've got a couple of issues with the story.

1. How does drowning Booker (as in the Booker that you play as) at the baptism solve anything? Surely you should be watching on as Elizabeth drowns the young Booker who could eventually become Comstock. The Booker that dies has already passed the point at which he can become Comstock so killing him achieves nothing.

2. Is it assumed that no matter what happens all possible Bookers end up at the same baptism? Drowing that Booker prevents an inifinite amount of Bookers and Comstocks from existing but what about the infinite Bookers that don't end up at the baptism? Do they go on the become Comstock?

3. Why is stopping Comstock from ever existing so important? Elizabeth in 1984 (who is looking pretty good for 91 by the way) obviously knows what has happened up until that point in time e.g Hitler, Pol Pot etc. why not send Elizabeth after those dudes instead of Comstock/Booker? She could essentially prevent every atrocity that has ever occurred from happening but instead goes after Comstock.

4. If Comstock didn't truly want to stop Booker, like some people have suggested, why create Songbird?

#535 Posted by jakkblades (397 posts) -

I was interested by Brad's reaction. His main complaint about the B:I story seemed to be the radical transformation of Booker into Comstock, specifically how he went from being remorseful about his acts to almost glorifying them. I took that to be the effect of believing himself inspired by God and having an entire nation-city worshiping his life in a practically hagiographic manner. He's drunk his own kool-aid, so to speak, and now he believes that even his worst sins must have, in some way, been intended by God and justified. There are numerous historical examples of people in power positions "ret-conning" their own lives much like Comstock does in B:I. Also, though I'm not 100% on the meaning, it seems significant that the Booker that gives up Anna clearly has the Comstock prophet-beard, which presumably our rough-and-tumble Troy Baker Booker never grew out.

#536 Edited by Slaneesh (851 posts) -

@ramone said:

I really liked Infinite, possibly more than the original but I've got a couple of issues with the story.

1. How does drowning Booker (as in the Booker that you play as) at the baptism solve anything? Surely you should be watching on as Elizabeth drowns the young Booker who could eventually become Comstock. The Booker that dies has already passed the point at which he can become Comstock so killing him achieves nothing.

2. Is it assumed that no matter what happens all possible Bookers end up at the same baptism? Drowing that Booker prevents an inifinite amount of Bookers and Comstocks from existing but what about the infinite Bookers that don't end up at the baptism? Do they go on the become Comstock?

3. Why is stopping Comstock from ever existing so important? Elizabeth in 1984 (who is looking pretty good for 91 by the way) obviously knows what has happened up until that point in time e.g Hitler, Pol Pot etc. why not send Elizabeth after those dudes instead of Comstock/Booker? She could essentially prevent every atrocity that has ever occurred from happening but instead goes after Comstock.

4. If Comstock didn't truly want to stop Booker, like some people have suggested, why create Songbird?

I second this. If no matter what Booker does he always end up in the same spot somehow, how does drowning the booker that has denied the baptism help. I understand the coin heads/tails methaphor that he makes the same choices.

Should there not A: be an infinite ammount of universes where every possibility happens

or B: Be an infinite ammount of bookers that do not accept the baptism with one of them beeing a variable where he does not kill himself, or is the arugment that every booker that does not do the baptism kills himself.

What i fail to understand is how killing himself in the end prevent all the other possible outcomes.

#537 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (864 posts) -

What I think stumps a lot of people regarding the whole "what good does it do to kill Booker" is how they think that will only do any good in that one timeline. But that is not how I believe the timelines work in this world. You would expect it to work like this: There are infinite amount of universes, so killing Booker in one will do nothing to the others. Every possibility happens in endless amounts of timelines. But due to things Lutece says it doesn't seem like that is how it works. After all, "He doesn't row". There are constants, constants that happen every time , at least if previous conditions are met.

It appears that in every reality where Booker is Booker, he loses his daughter to Comstock. In every reality where Booker turned into Comstock, he steals Anna from Booker. This is what Lutece want to stop, as she/he was the reason for that to happen. But in order to stop that, the source of Comstock must be found. Because in every possible reality where Booker is born, goes to Wounded Knee and survives, he has the possibility of turning into Comstock.

So this one event in his life, this constant, is what you and Elizabeth is set to find. And you find it. At the baptism there was only two possible outcomes. Booker rejects it, and remains Booker. Has a daughter, debt, etc. Or he accepts the baptism (where I believe he was close to drowning, got visions and had his psyche messed up somewhat) and turns into Comstock. These two outcomes are constants. In every possible timeline, either of these two happen.

Because of Elizabeths powers to jump between these worlds, she can get you to that exact moment. What she does is changing one of those constants. Booker still either accepts or rejects, but now he will always drown if he accepts. No more Comstock in any timeline, because the pivotal constant that made him in the first place, now ends Bookers life. Due to the timey-wimey stuff being done to change that constant, every Elizabeth now blinks out of existence. What remains is Booker and Anna, or a grave with the name Booker DeWitt on it.

Not sure if I explained this in a good way, just needed to write it down. I know more people here and other places have written down the same conclusion, but still, it is really fun to join in on such a discussion!

#538 Edited by Ramone (2959 posts) -

@jaqen_hghar: I guess that makes sense. They aren't stopping all versions of Booker from existing, they are stopping the Booker that accepts the baptism from existing.

My issue is not what is happening, it's who it's is happening to. Why drown the Booker that you've played as? A version of Booker that doesn't become Comstock? They should be drowning the version of Booker that accepts the baptism.

#539 Edited by Shakey1245 (64 posts) -

@ramone said:

I really liked Infinite, possibly more than the original but I've got a couple of issues with the story.

1. How does drowning Booker (as in the Booker that you play as) at the baptism solve anything? Surely you should be watching on as Elizabeth drowns the young Booker who could eventually become Comstock. The Booker that dies has already passed the point at which he can become Comstock so killing him achieves nothing.

2. Is it assumed that no matter what happens all possible Bookers end up at the same baptism? Drowing that Booker prevents an inifinite amount of Bookers and Comstocks from existing but what about the infinite Bookers that don't end up at the baptism? Do they go on the become Comstock?

3. Why is stopping Comstock from ever existing so important? Elizabeth in 1984 (who is looking pretty good for 91 by the way) obviously knows what has happened up until that point in time e.g Hitler, Pol Pot etc. why not send Elizabeth after those dudes instead of Comstock/Booker? She could essentially prevent every atrocity that has ever occurred from happening but instead goes after Comstock.

4. If Comstock didn't truly want to stop Booker, like some people have suggested, why create Songbird?

1. It'll make your head spin trying to explain it fully so the easiest way I can is to say, think of it like Quantum Leap. He is both Bookers at once. To the Priest and as far as the timeline is concerned he is the young Booker DeWitt on the verge of becoming Comstock. To Elizabeth and Booker he is the man who lost his daughter and travelled through time and space to get her back.

2. It's safe to presume that Booker still has the potential to become Comstock even despite never going through with or drowning at the baptism. Maybe a religious awakening at another time and place or maybe he buys into another ideology that allows him to justify his actions at Wounded Knee.

The point is though that they stopped that Comstock. The one that becomes the theocratic ruler of Columbia who would torture his "daughter" till she becomes the cold, evil old woman that destroys her world and plans to do the same to the entire multiverse. The threat that had to be stopped, ultimately, wasn't Comstock it was what he would turn Elizabeth into. An omnipotent being who had the power and the desire to destroy all of reality.

3. When we meet Bad Future Elizabeth in 1984 she had long been broken by her father and accepted his view of the world. That the people who lived on the "Sodom Below" were undeserving and sinful. Hitler and Pol Pot would have just served as examples of that to her.

Part of what turned her into this person was that she had hope that Booker would turn up and save her, so when he eventually didn't she assumed that he had fled. Leaving her to this fate and breaking her spirit. It's not until much later she discovers the truth, that Booker did try to save her but is killled by the Songbird, and at some point after pulls our Booker to her future to tell him that if he tries to fight the Songbird he will fail and gives him and Elizabeth a chance to stop that from happening

In doing this she knows that they stand the best chance of stopping Comstock and preventing the decades of living in a torturous, despair ridden, guilt filled hell that she and presumably many other alternative Elizabeths had lived through.

4. Possibly because he didn't want to stop Booker till the time was right. Until Elizabeth was filled with enough hope that Booker would rescue her. That when that hope was shattered she would truly believe in her fathers vision.

As we saw and heard in the Bad Future, it worked.

#540 Edited by Quipido (612 posts) -

One more little (and to be honest insignificant) thing - everyone is saying the scene in NY takes place in 1984, but it is actually 1983 - the ad for the car is the next year kind of thing. If you look closely, there is scrolling text on another building warning about the attack/evacuation and it has full date stamp.

#541 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I was interested by Brad's reaction. His main complaint about the B:I story seemed to be the radical transformation of Booker into Comstock, specifically how he went from being remorseful about his acts to almost glorifying them. I took that to be the effect of believing himself inspired by God and having an entire nation-city worshiping his life in a practically hagiographic manner. He's drunk his own kool-aid, so to speak, and now he believes that even his worst sins must have, in some way, been intended by God and justified.

Yep, there's an audiolog which basically says so;

His Design For Cruelty: To tax the black more than the white, is that not cruel? To forbid the mixing of the races, is that not cruel? To give the vote to the white man, and deny it to the yellow, the black, the red -- is that not cruel? Hm. But is it not cruel to banish your children from a perfect garden? Or drown your flock under an ocean of water? Cruelty can be instructive and what is Columbia, if not the schoolhouse of the Lord?

#542 Posted by sanfordmay (6 posts) -

To make clear up front, I loved the game. I thought the play-through to the original BioShock was more than acceptable. I don't think the story had quite as much built-in zing, or novelty, as the original but I think the experience was smoother, the narrative more naturally expressed. Perhaps because the combat mechanics were refined and didn't get as much in the way. There are fewer upgrade and customization options in Infinite but I think it's better served by the more conservative vigors and weapons palette. And you don't die as much. Any dying in a complicated narrative game really gets in the way of the story; a lot of dying creates a very staccato pace.

However, the lighthouses connecting all the worlds -- the lighthouse multiverse, if you will -- is about pure CS Lewis. It's the Wood between the Worlds from The Magician's Nephew. I know there's nothing new under the sun and the same stories are retold in different ways all the time and there are only so many ways to metaphorically represent particular fictional concepts, but the Land of the Lighthouses is a pretty straight-up lift of the Wood between the Worlds. Lev Grossman lifted the Wood, too, in his novel The Magicians, and also in that novel's sequel, but Grossman was intentionally, unabashedly and with no attempt to veil whatsoever, spinning Lewis's Narnia books a little to the left to set up his own story. If Levine intended a wink at Lewis, maybe he should have full-on waved at him instead.

Again, though, it's a fantastic game and Levine, and his whole team, did an incredible job, not only writing the story but integrating that story into gameplay and gluing you to it all the way through. In fact I've read some criticism that for some people it slowed down a little much in the middle, became less compelling. But I never felt that way. The only thing kept me from playing all the way through in one sitting was scarce spare time.

#543 Edited by sanfordmay (6 posts) -

At the start of the game the Lutece's mention this all being just a 'thought experiment'. I believe that they are sending Timeline B Booker to Columbia simply to see the results of it, they are, quite simply, just messing around with dimensions to see an outcome. Oh and well, they may want a bit of revenge as well.

This may have already been addressed but I can't find where. Anyway, I don't think that's it. It's not just messing around or purely revenge. There's a point. The Luteces need the girl all over again. The Luteces originally tell Booker "bring us the girl and wipe away the debt." They're talking about Anna. The baby girl. They want Anna. Booker gives her up; he tries to get her back, but she's lost to him. He gave her to a Lutece who then jumped with her through a tear into a world where Booker is Comstock. I suppose at the time the Luteces consider Comstock an ally, or at least a pawn. But it turns out in the world the Luteces wind up in, one where Booker becomes Comstock, as Comstock he takes Anna/Elizabeth back to protect her from the Luteces. Thus "bring us the girl and wipe away the debt. **This is your last chance.**" He had a chance before. He gave them the girl, he cleared the debt. But as Comstock he blew that chance. He takes her back, not as Booker but as Comstock. So the agreement to clear his debt is void, and the Luteces reinstate the debt. So they're making the Booker who gave away Anna but never became Comstock go snatch Anna/Elizabeth, from himself actually, and deliver her all over again.

That's the way I see it. Of course you can never fully explain anything story like this. But I think that interpretation works pretty well. Booker welched on his deal with Luteces. But he welched on it as Comstock.

Anyway, all the jumping around, all those worlds, it's complicated. I've always said the most astounding thing about parallel universes such as proposed by physicist Hugh Everett in what's become known as the Many-World Interpretation, the astounding thing wouldn't be that they are there, or even that you could move between them, but they'd someone would have to keep an index to all of it to make jumping between them any kind of useful. Creating an accessible index of an infinite number of parallel universes would be the worst job ever.

#544 Posted by golguin (3842 posts) -

To make clear up front, I loved the game. I thought the play-through to the original BioShock was more than acceptable. I don't think the story had quite as much built-in zing, or novelty, as the original but I think the experience was smoother, the narrative more naturally expressed. Perhaps because the combat mechanics were refined and didn't get as much in the way. There are fewer upgrade and customization options in Infinite but I think it's better served by the more conservative vigors and weapons palette. And you don't die as much. Any dying in a complicated narrative game really gets in the way of the story; a lot of dying creates a very staccato pace.

However, the lighthouses connecting all the worlds -- the lighthouse multiverse, if you will -- is about pure CS Lewis. It's the Wood between the Worlds from The Magician's Nephew. I know there's nothing new under the sun and the same stories are retold in different ways all the time and there are only so many ways to metaphorically represent particular fictional concepts, but the Land of the Lighthouses is a pretty straight-up lift of the Wood between the Worlds. Lev Grossman lifted the Wood, too, in his novel The Magicians, and also in that novel's sequel, but Grossman was intentionally, unabashedly and with no attempt to veil whatsoever, spinning Lewis's Narnia books a little to the left to set up his own story. If Levine intended a wink at Lewis, maybe he should have full-on waved at him instead.

Again, though, it's a fantastic game and Levine, and his whole team, did an incredible job, not only writing the story but integrating that story into gameplay and gluing you to it all the way through. In fact I've read some criticism that for some people it slowed down a little much in the middle, became less compelling. But I never felt that way. The only thing kept me from playing all the way through in one sitting was scarce spare time.

Yes, the lighthouse area is a "World Between Worlds". I should also point out that after they get out of Rapture and open the first door at the lighthouse they essentially leave the traditional multiverse and arrive at Elizabeth's various pocket dimensions. None of the places after that point are "real". They are mechanisms for Booker to understand what happened.

The final area is a nexus that Elizabeth sets up to destroy the "Comstock Variable" with the help of other Elizabeths.

#545 Posted by KatyGaGa (274 posts) -

there's one point I don't get at all now that I think about it. if the Booker that you are playing is the original Booker, why does Elizabeth need to kill you? you (as Booker) clearly understand why you became Comstock etc. at the point of Baptism.

Its not like after going through all this with Elizabeth you're going to start Columbia...

#546 Edited by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

@katygaga: The way I see it, the ending is not a literal occurrence. Elizabeth is using her powers to form pocket dimensions to help Booker recall the past. Now remember that the multiple dimensions of Infinite revolve around constants and variables. The final drowning represents Elizabeth(s) using her powers, with Booker's permission/acceptance, to sever the "accepts baptism/becomes Comstock" variable from their part of the multiverse. The moment in time that was once a variable (bird or cage) is now a constant (heads). This is why, post-credits, we see Booker waking up again in 1893. The "rejects baptism/has Annabelle" timeline has been allowed to continue.

#547 Posted by sanfordmay (6 posts) -

@katygaga: The way I see it, the ending is not a literal occurrence. Elizabeth is using her powers to form pocket dimensions to help Booker recall the past. Now remember that the multiple dimensions of Infinite revolve around constants and variables. The final drowning represents Elizabeth(s) using her powers, with Booker's permission/acceptance, to sever the "accepts baptism/becomes Comstock" variable from their part of the multiverse. The moment in time that was once a variable (bird or cage) is now a constant (heads). This is why, post-credits, we see Booker waking up again in 1893. The "rejects baptism/has Annabelle" timeline has been allowed to continue.

I'm glad you mentioned that because I accidentally hit start and it looped back to the main menu before the end of the credits. That's why I hate the post-credits zinger. If you're going to do it at least make it difficult to accidentally skip the full credits roll.

Anyway, yeah. Your perception of the story end is super simple and super spot on. No one, creator or consumer, will ever resolve all the paradoxes created by multidimensional travel. That's likely a big reason we love these stories. Because there's a lot to talk about. But ultimately the resolutions to the specific plot elements are pretty simple though they're derived from agonizingly complicated backstories.

If you want to get all philosophical, baptism is symbolism for rebirth. Especially full-immersion baptism, which has more literal connotations. You "die" and are "reborn" as a Christian. Drowning would in this case be sort of the metaphorical opposite. If the Christian pastor baptizes Booker he's reborn as a Christian -- ostensibly Christian; his behavior isn't very Christian -- and becomes Comstock and does the stuff Comstock does. In the context of Infinite, drowning by Elizabeth is an anti-baptism. The end result of a Christian baptizing Booker is that Booker is at the time of the baptism reborn to Comstock's charismatic religious zealotry. The end result of Elizabeth drowning Booker is that Booker at the time he REJECTS baptism is instead reborn as decent Booker, good daddy Booker, not-creepy-Comstock Booker.

I mean I've rattled on about it, but it's pretty basic symbolism. Baptism and anti-baptism. In a novel there'd maybe be a lot of subtext on the power of religion to pervert its own doctrines and make worse what it sought to make better. But there's only so much deep-think subtext you can cram into the end of a video game in which you just got through blowing a bunch of people up with rainbow-colored zap-rays flung out of your hand.

#548 Posted by screwed (140 posts) -

For a moment after finishing Infinite, I got a little sad. Not because I was disappointed, but it felt it ruined all other video games for me.

Let us say someone makes a sequel, maybe not Irrational, but someone. It will basically just be another "lighthouse", another reality. Another hero trying to save something from an antagonist. It wont mean anything because there is not really anything more to add to the universe story. Everything we do from here will be just another reality. And that is so sad, you are just a branch in time. An excuse for a story.

The ending in this was a video game killer, what if every game you ever played or every new Bioshock game is just a lighthouse without anymore to add to the fiction.

A depressing thought after I let the game sink in on me, not that I would stop playing video games just for this reason. Just something that stuck with me.

#549 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3782 posts) -

@katygaga: The way I see it, the ending is not a literal occurrence. Elizabeth is using her powers to form pocket dimensions to help Booker recall the past. Now remember that the multiple dimensions of Infinite revolve around constants and variables. The final drowning represents Elizabeth(s) using her powers, with Booker's permission/acceptance, to sever the "accepts baptism/becomes Comstock" variable from their part of the multiverse. The moment in time that was once a variable (bird or cage) is now a constant (heads). This is why, post-credits, we see Booker waking up again in 1893. The "rejects baptism/has Annabelle" timeline has been allowed to continue.

Ok I like this a lot, thanks this was kinda the main sticking point for me that I've been trying to figure out. I had it in my head that when you move from one dimension to another you inhabit your version instead of there being two but then why would there be a Booker and a Comstock. But this explanation makes sense to me. Ugh this game. I need to play it again.

#550 Edited by BrianP (403 posts) -

I have a few questions about this game, but maybe I am just missing something that explained them.

1. Shortly after you meet up with elizabeth, and post waking up on the beach, you go in to a store and there is a bunch of posters with comstock's face on them. I believe she says something to the extent of "I don't like the look of him" and another character says "You don't like the face of the prophet?" and she talks about getting out of there. Does this imply that she has never actually met comstock?

2. Elizabeth comments on race segregated bathrooms as being a waste, and I think makes other comments that she is put off by the racism in Columbia. Given this and the first question, how was Elizabeth expected to run Columbia? Comstock saw his death at the hands of booker, so what was the expectation when she was finally exposed to the "seed of the prophet" stuff and the racism that columbia was inherently founded on? Why purposely keep her from comstock and the extreme nationalism if she was expected to lead the destruction of "the sodom below"?

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