Spoils, spoiled, will spoil - a BioShock Infinite FAQ

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#1 Edited by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

As the resident BioShock Infinite obsessors, @ghostiet, @golguin and I thought it might be handy to have a one-stop-shop for the most prevalent BioShock Infinite questions. Keep in mind this is a WIP and just the interpretations of some dudes. If you have any questions (or answers) you'd like to add, feel free to post them here.

Disclaimer: Much of what makes BioShock Infinite such a fun game to discuss is its openness to interpretation. With that in mind, know that many of these answers are not based purely on fact, but also on inference, deduction, and a bit of assumption as well. The many different forms of meta-universe theory, and how they may or may not be applied to the narrative of BioShock Infinite, make for a delectable mind-mess that reduces our best reasoned arguments to speculation, at best. Until Ken Levine suddenly decides to be more forthcoming, I'd take anything anyone (especially us) has to say about the ending with a huge grain of salt.

Spoilers, yo

Who is the dead man in the lighthouse?

He is a guard in charge of policing that gateway to Columbia. A note instructing him to stop Booker is left on the table signed "-C" who is most likely Comstock.

What is the point of choosing the bird or the cage?

For Booker and the actual game, nothing in particular. Similar to the coin flip, the Luteces are testing the constants and variables for iteration 123 of their experiment/quest to free Elizabeth.

Where does the number 123 come from?

After the coin flips "heads", Rosalind Lutece makes a mark under the Heads column bringing the total number of flips to 13. However, when the Luteces move out of the way to let Booker pass, the back of the board shows an additional 110 marks under the Heads column. The implication is that the Luteces have brought a Booker to a Columbia at least 122 times before, and that every time he has flipped the coin, it has come up heads.

Who is the woman that addresses Elizabeth as "Annabelle"?

She is a member of a team of Columbia agents, sent to intercept Booker and Elizabeth in accordance to one of Comstock's "prophecies". The "Annabelle" dialogue is her way of verifying the targets before they spring the trap at the ticketing window. While she does not actually understand the true significance of the name, it is possible that Comstock chose it specifically to test the current state of Booker's memories.

Why doesn't Booker remember losing Annabelle / her pinky finger?

Being displaced out of one's dimension has a quasi-amnesiatic effect where the mind of the individual struggles to create new memories to reconcile this change. The Luteces take advantage of this by providing Booker with subtle cues that transform his memories of giving away Annabelle ("Bring us the girl...and wipe away the debt") to new memories of his mission to rescue Elizabeth.

How can Booker and Comstock exist at the same time? Why isn't there a time paradox?

While Booker and Comstock are the same person (they are both Booker DeWitt, born April 19, 1874), they are not the same person. BioShock Infinite is not a story about time travel, it is a story about inter-dimensional travel. Following the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics with a sci-fi twist, a different dimension exists for every possible variable. Booker and Comstock inhabit different dimensions that reflect the split in the timeline that occurs when he chooses either to accept baptism or reject baptism.

What are the Luteces?

The Luteces are two instances of the same person inhabiting different dimensions. Much like Booker and Comstock, Robert and Rosalind Lutece are the result of a split in the timeline when he/she was born as either a male or a female.

Why does Comstock look so much older than Booker if they're the same age?

Comstock's accelerated age, aggressive cancer, and sterility are all a result of his overexposure to multiple dimensions via tears.

How does Comstock create/come to rule Columbia?

Shortly after the baptism, Comstock has a prophetic vision of the floating city, Columbia. Whether this vision simply comes via a tear or an actual message delivered by an "angel" (who may or may not be an alternate Elizabeth), it provides him with enough information to formulate a plan for Columbia's construction. He brings this plan, along with Lutece's research, to the US government whom he convinces to provide the funding necessary to build the floating city. This culminates in the city's launch at the World's Faire: Columbian Exposition in 1893 as a symbol of American supremacy.

Over the next 8 years, Comstock builds up a cult of personality around himself amongst the citizens of Columbia. In 1901, he commands the city to attack Peking in response to the Boxer Rebellion. The government disavows his actions and orders the city recalled but, at that point, his grip on the populous is too strong and Columbia instead secedes from the US.

Where do the Luteces and Elizabeth get their powers?

The Luteces' equipment is sabotaged by Jeremiah Fink. However, rather than die, they are dispersed across multiple dimensions. This provides them with a sort of omniscience but no way to exert any real change on their own, hence their need for Booker.

Because she lost a part of her finger as an infant when traveling into Comstock's dimension, Elizabeth technically exists in two dimensions simultaneously. Her powers are a manifestation of the multiverse trying to right this cosmic error. The siphon keeps her powers in check up until its destruction, at which point she gains full omnipotence.

Who are the odd men with large metal helmets in Comstock House?

Boys of Silence are part of the surveillance/security system of Columbia. Born blind, they are outfitted with helmets designed to amplify their sense of hearing.

Why does Booker become Comstock? How does baptism turn him into a religious zealot and racist?

The answer to this is twofold. The religious zealotry comes from the visions that he believes are gifts from god in the form of prophecy, but are actually glimpses into alternate dimensions via tears. Everything he does, from raising Columbia, to kidnapping Elizabeth, to his endgame of a New York on fire, is a result of his attempt to fulfill these visions.

The racism ties in to one of the underlying themes of BioShock Infinite, forgiveness of oneself. The baptism is an attempt by Booker to come to terms with the atrocities committed at Wounded Knee. However, regardless of whether or not he accepts baptism, he is unable to forgive himself. In the "rejects baptism" reality this sense of guilt manifests itself in his horrible alcoholism and gambling debt. In the "accepts baptism" reality, Comstock forces himself to see non-whites as subhuman to make their wholesale slaughter more palatable in his mind.

"Comstock feels self-loathing for himself due to his implied Native American lineage - there are two recordings which heavily imply this. The first one has Comstock complaining that he was suspected of being mixed-race, which completely outrages him. The second is a recording of Preston E. Downes talking how he met the martyr!Booker. The recording states that Booker knows Sioux, which is how he helps him communicate with an Indian boy." -Ghostiet

What happened at the end / what does the post-credits sequence mean? (NOTE: the following are different takes on a similar interpretation of the ending but completely theoretical, we could all be way off the mark)

"Remember that the BioShock Infinite multiverse operates on the ideas of constants (bird or cage) and variables (heads). Elizabeth uses her god-like powers to excise the accepts baptism/becomes Comstock variable from existence, effectively leaving the multiverse at infinity-1. An event that was once a variable (accepts baptism or rejects baptism) is now a constant. Without a Comstock to create her, the Elizabeths fade from existence. The rejects baptism/has Annabelle reality remains unchanged, as Booker reawakens in 1893 with his life as it was, outside of his second (124th?) chance at a life with Anna." -StarvingGamer

"Post-credits Booker wakes up in such confusion due to the multiverse "merging" him with the player!Booker - he now, in some capacity, possesses the knowledge of the successful plight of one of his incarnations. The exact same thing happens when Booker crosses to the universe where he became a martyr for the Vox Populi - he begins to remember things done by the incarnation native to the reality he crossed into. Similarly, this is the reason why Booker bleeds from his nose whenever he speaks with Comstock.

Booker being sent "back" by Old Elizabeth doesn't change time, but moves him back to the junction point of "Booker arrived in time" and "Booker came too late". When Elizabeth drowns Booker, she makes a replacement reality to introduce the constant of Booker rejecting baptism - the baptism site is not really the one where Booker made his choice, which is signalyzed by his dialogue." -Ghostiet

"I feel that this is a dispute over the nature of time where I view time as merely a measurement on the state of the universe and what changes have taken place. I see Elizabeth as opening portals to a universe that has the required variables she needs and the amount of change needed to arrive at her solution. The babtism at the end doesn't happen in any "past" experience by a single Booker. Elizabeth creates a universe that deals with the Comstock variable throughout her multiverse.

Elizabeth's portals leading to specific events have little to do with "time" and more to do with gathering the variables needed to produce a specific result. Opening a tear to the moment Booker gave away Anna to Lutece wasn't an actual place in "time", but instead a situation Elizabeth created to show Booker what's going on. The doors of Booker's office wouldn't lead to different universes as they did in the ending if they were an actual "real" place." -Golguin

What are the parallels between BioShock and BioShock Infinite? "There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man, there's always a city..."

The story of BioShock Infinite is an amalgamation of BioShock 1 & 2.

Both the Rapture dilogy and the story of Columbia begin the same way - a man, implanted with false memories (Booker/Jack) arrives at a lighthouse, from which he is transported into a strange city (Columbia/Rapture) created by a man to whom he has a connection (Comstock, who is Booker from a different reality/Andrew Ryan, who is Jack's "father"). The city is a utopia for a certain type of philosophical and political line of thought (Objectivism/American Exceptionalism).

The general story of Infinite is the same as in BioShock 2: a father (Booker/Delta) needs to save his daughter (Elizabeth/Eleanor) from a crazed parent (Comstock/Sofia Lamb). The parent wants to turn her into a world-bending super-creature (Old Elizabeth/The Utopian).

Similarly, the Little Sisters may also be seen as a version of Elizabeth, while the Songbird is a direct translation of the Big Daddies. Other similarities can be also found - like how Ryan and Comstock murder their mistresses after they make a move against them involving their children.

Understanding Parallel Universes

Timeline

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

The whole (illegible) shebang

#2 Edited by Dan_CiTi (3320 posts) -

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

#3 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2305 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

you mean this?

bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Boy_of_Silence

#4 Edited by Barrock (3533 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

The Boy of Silence?

#5 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3320 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

you mean this?

bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Boy_of_Silence

LALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU

#6 Edited by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

@oscar__explosion said:

@dan_citi said:

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

you mean this?

bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Boy_of_Silence

LALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU

But they can.

Really well.

#7 Posted by Sweep (8865 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

@oscar__explosion said:

@dan_citi said:

In the Comstock tower what exactly is that weird shrieking thing that alerts all the founding father enemies to attack you? Let's call it the Little Daddy.

you mean this?

bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Boy_of_Silence

LALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU

But they can.

Really well.

Heh.

Excellent work in this thread, incidentally! I wanted to dive into this stuff but was worried I was going to have to wade through hundreds of pages of threads scattered all over the internet.

Moderator
#8 Edited by coakroach (2490 posts) -

Wait wait wait, how could Comstocks religious visions be caused by tears when the tears were only made possible by Lutece after she had received funding from Comstock (who had presumably already had the religious visions) to create them in the first place?

Also are we assuming that the archangel Colombia is never really a person in any sense but is instead just something created by Comstock to give a face to all of his weird visions that he could sell to the other founders?

Edit: Oh, and on a less serious note why do the Boys of Silence 'see' from the front of their face, shouldn't they detect better from the sides of their heads? But hey, video games.

#9 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

Wait wait wait, how could Comstocks religious visions be caused by tears when the tears were only made possible by Lutece after she had received funding from Comstock (who had presumably already had the religious visions) to create them in the first place?

Also are we assuming that the archangel Colombia is never really a person in any sense but is instead just something created by Comstock to give a face to all of his weird visions that he could sell to the other founders?

Edit: Oh, and on a less serious note why do the Boys of Silence 'see' from the front of their face, shouldn't they detect better from the sides of their heads? But hey, video games.

While most tears merely seem to transcend dimension and space, there are those that also transcend time. It is likely that the Lutece Field did not create a majority of the tears, but rather made them more readily apparent. After all, by the end of the game, Elizabeth can theoretically open a tear to any point in any dimension. Whether it's before or after Lutece's experiments is immaterial, there always might be someone on the other side.

#10 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -
@sweep said:

Excellent work in this thread, incidentally! I wanted to dive into this stuff but was worried I was going to have to wade through hundreds of pages of threads scattered all over the internet.

Thanks. It's fun to have a game that makes me thinks this much, and a positive outlet for all of that energy.

#11 Posted by coakroach (2490 posts) -

@coakroach said:

Wait wait wait, how could Comstocks religious visions be caused by tears when the tears were only made possible by Lutece after she had received funding from Comstock (who had presumably already had the religious visions) to create them in the first place?

Also are we assuming that the archangel Colombia is never really a person in any sense but is instead just something created by Comstock to give a face to all of his weird visions that he could sell to the other founders?

Edit: Oh, and on a less serious note why do the Boys of Silence 'see' from the front of their face, shouldn't they detect better from the sides of their heads? But hey, video games.

While most tears merely seem to transcend dimension and space, there are those that also transcend time. It is likely that the Lutece Field did not create a majority of the tears, but rather made them more readily apparent. After all, by the end of the game, Elizabeth can theoretically open a tear to any point in any dimension. Whether it's before or after Lutece's experiments is immaterial, there always might be someone on the other side.

Not sure I follow, Booker needs tears to become Comstock but without Comstock there are no tears. So for Comstock to ever exist he would either:

a. Set Lutece's research in motion motivated purely by his PTSD + Baptism without the interference from tears

b. See tears created by someone in an entirely different reality where the technology used to create them didn't hinge on Comstock funding Lutece

Alright after reading this back to myself I really cant tell if i'm making valid points or just showing why I've never been good at Maths or Science and looking like a total dumbass. In either case, this game is pretty damn good.

#12 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

Very good. I would change "timeline" to something like "reality", "universe", "world" or some other phrase that makes no mention of the word "time". For example...

"The baptism is an attempt by Booker to come to terms with the atrocities committed at Wounded Knee. However, regardless of whether or not he accepts baptism, he is unable to forgive himself. In the "rejects baptism" *reality* this sense of guilt manifests itself in his horrible alcoholism and gambling debt. In the "accepts baptism" *reality*, Comstock forces himself to see non-whites as subhuman to make their wholesale slaughter more palatable in his mind.

"In a multiverse of infinite possibilities, Elizabeth uses her god-like powers to excise the Comstock *variable* from existence, leaving the multiverse at infinity-1. What was once a variable (accepts baptism/rejects baptism) is now a constant. Without a Comstock to create her, the Elizabeths fade from existence. The Booker *universe* remains unchanged, as he reawakens in 1893 with his life as it was, outside of his second (124th?) chance at a life with Annabelle."

Other than changing "timeline" it all sounds good.

#13 Edited by golguin (3932 posts) -

I've tried to be careful of making no reference to "time" in any of my posts because...

"I feel that this is a dispute over the nature of time where I view time as merely a measurement on the state of the universe and what changes have taken place. I see Elizabeth as opening portals to a universe that has the required variables she needs and the amount of change needed to arrive at her solution. The babtism at the end doesn't happen in any "past" experience by a single Booker. Elizabeth creates a universe that deals with the Comstock variable throughout her multiverse."

Elizabeth's portals leading to specific events have little to do with "time" and more to do with gathering the variables needed to produce a specific result. Opening a tear to the moment Booker gave away Anna to Lutece wasn't an actual place in "time", but instead a situation Elizabeth created to show Booker what's going on. The doors of Booker's office wouldn't lead to different universes as they did in the ending if they were an actual "real" place.

EDIT: Keep in mind that the scene Elizabeth sets up has Booker play an active role in the events. He isn't looking at an Alt Booker giving away Anna. She makes Booker do it in a reality where HE is the only Booker. The Luteces in the scene aren't even our dimension hopping Luteces. They don't arrive at the scene until you see them in the boat with Elizabeth explaining the difficulty of fixing the situation.

#14 Posted by PerryVandell (2103 posts) -

@starvinggamer @golguin @ghostiet I've already spent hours scouring message boards to make sense of the BioShock Infinite ending (including the GB one), but thanks for facilitating the process for other people. People like you are the reason why the Internet is pretty great :).

#15 Edited by Snail (8606 posts) -

@starvinggamer There's some stuff in there I'm not sure is entirely properly timed, but still great work. I had a few "ooooh" moments both with the graph and with the Q&A. There's some stuff I didn't entirely wrap my head around, but I want to go back myself and understand it better before I research it. I really want to go back in and listen to more Voxaphones.

Could you explain that whole "infinity-1" thing? Where did you get that from? Can you elaborate on turning "what was once a variable" into "a constant"?

Perhaps surprisingly the whole part of non-baptized Booker's actual memories from his own timeline, between giving away Anna and the end of the story, is what seems a bit murky to me. It seems a bit weird that, until the conclusion, he seemingly does not recall seeing Annabelle fade through a tear, as well as the sight of his daughter lose her pinky (which you'd think is something he wouldn't forget). I also don't understand how Booker was just dragged through a tear to the boat that leads him to the lighthouse, and never stops to wonder how on earth he got there. We just have to accept that he suppressed some memories over the course of his 18-or-so year long depressed drunken stupor, right? Which I guess makes sense after all, but it's a part of the story that's flown by a bit oddly.

Yeah I guess it does make sense now that I think about it. I really want to replay that game.

EDIT: Yeah that's why he flipped shit when Comstock was like "tell her what happened to her pinky" or something like that. Because those memories were coming back I guess. Hm.

EDIT 2: Just realized that dude killed himself from another timeline. I had not put much thought into that.

#16 Edited by Ghostiet (5281 posts) -

@snail: It's not the rampant alcoholism that made him lose his memory - it definitely helped, but it wasn't the most important factor. It was due to crossing universes. Pay attention that after the next jumps, Booker's memory is alright (apart from the multiverse trying to merge him with his other incarnations). I'm pretty sure it's mentioned that Robert Lutece went through the exact same thing when he jumped to Rosalind, which is where the opening quote comes from. golguin or StarvingGamer will correct me if I'm wrong.

#17 Posted by BeachThunder (11950 posts) -

Thanks guys for putting this together.

Have put, will put.

#18 Edited by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

#19 Posted by BeachThunder (11950 posts) -

@phatmac said:

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

Don't be silly, this thread actually takes place in an entirely different reality...

#20 Posted by EXTomar (4742 posts) -

Thumbs up on the observation of the Luteces. I had glossed over that although they were powerful they were powerless in correcting the situation.

And this is a personal observation: Since Elizabeth exists in multiple worlds at the same time, fixing Booker/Comstock and eliminating him doesn't mean she exists in any less worlds. If nothing else, if Elizabeth is "erased" then she couldn't "fix" the variable that lead to Booker to become Comstock.

#21 Edited by Ghostiet (5281 posts) -

@extomar said:

And this is a personal observation: Since Elizabeth exists in multiple worlds at the same time, fixing Booker/Comstock and eliminating him doesn't mean she exists in any less worlds. If nothing else, if Elizabeth is "erased" then she couldn't "fix" the variable that lead to Booker to become Comstock.

Not really. You are implying that there needs to be an Elizabeth somewhere so the changes stick - basically, that there's a stable time loop required. The changes to the BioShock multiverse are, from what we understand, instantaneous and on the spot. The realities also don't determine each other and don't loop.

This approach reduces the omnipotency of Elizabeth and only creates further holes, reducing the plot to basic time travel - since for an Elizabeth, ANY Elizabeth to exist, you need a Booker to sell an Anna and a Comstock to buy her and leave a finger on the other side. And that already contradicts the game's plot, since there are only two main timelines the game is concerned with - the other 123 only take place with Booker in Columbia and are a direct result of the Luteces intervening.

#22 Posted by GardenStateApologist (27 posts) -

Aha! Thanks in regards to why the Lutece's didn't just clean up their own mess. It was the single aspect of the story I hadn't been able to parse definitively. Also, great work here, you've condensed and explained all the facets really, really well.

#23 Edited by TooWalrus (13203 posts) -
@phatmac said:

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

...I feel violated somehow.

#24 Posted by Renahzor (991 posts) -
@snail said:

Perhaps surprisingly the whole part of non-baptized Booker's actual memories from his own timeline, between giving away Anna and the end of the story, is what seems a bit murky to me. It seems a bit weird that, until the conclusion, he seemingly does not recall seeing Annabelle fade through a tear, as well as the sight of his daughter lose her pinky (which you'd think is something he wouldn't forget). I also don't understand how Booker was just dragged through a tear to the boat that leads him to the lighthouse, and never stops to wonder how on earth he got there. We just have to accept that he suppressed some memories over the course of his 18-or-so year long depressed drunken stupor, right? Which I guess makes sense after all, but it's a part of the story that's flown by a bit oddly.

So this part kinda confused me for a bit too, unless you take it in a different context. As soon as Booker enters another world he starts processing memories from that world's counterpart, piecing together the events slowly, or struggling to create those memories. The Booker we play, from the opening, may be a Booker from a reality where there is simply no Annabelle. Thus he is still in gambling debt and needing to "bring the girl to new york" to satisfy his gambling debt through the Luteces. When later in the game he is shown another version of the events, one in which he hands over his daughter to Robert Lutece in exchange for paying off his debts, he struggles with that memory creation as well.

As for the opening scene this also makes sense. The Luteces allow this reality's Booker a way out of his debt(different from the Booker who gave up his daughter to Comstock), to go and retrieve a girl he does not currently know. The later realities are only known to player character Booker at the time they are finally revealed, and then he remembers all of what he has done in that reality as well. In addition, I interpreted the initial dimensional travel as having happened when Booker steps through the initial lighthouse door, much like the later scenes transport an individual to a specific place in another reality when they step through.

#25 Edited by Snail (8606 posts) -

@renahzor said:
@snail said:

Perhaps surprisingly the whole part of non-baptized Booker's actual memories from his own timeline, between giving away Anna and the end of the story, is what seems a bit murky to me. It seems a bit weird that, until the conclusion, he seemingly does not recall seeing Annabelle fade through a tear, as well as the sight of his daughter lose her pinky (which you'd think is something he wouldn't forget). I also don't understand how Booker was just dragged through a tear to the boat that leads him to the lighthouse, and never stops to wonder how on earth he got there. We just have to accept that he suppressed some memories over the course of his 18-or-so year long depressed drunken stupor, right? Which I guess makes sense after all, but it's a part of the story that's flown by a bit oddly.

So this part kinda confused me for a bit too, unless you take it in a different context. As soon as Booker enters another world he starts processing memories from that world's counterpart, piecing together the events slowly, or struggling to create those memories. The Booker we play, from the opening, may be a Booker from a reality where there is simply no Annabelle. Thus he is still in gambling debt and needing to "bring the girl to new york" to satisfy his gambling debt through the Luteces. When later in the game he is shown another version of the events, one in which he hands over his daughter to Robert Lutece in exchange for paying off his debts, he struggles with that memory creation as well.

As for the opening scene this also makes sense. The Luteces allow this reality's Booker a way out of his debt(different from the Booker who gave up his daughter to Comstock), to go and retrieve a girl he does not currently know. The later realities are only known to player character Booker at the time they are finally revealed, and then he remembers all of what he has done in that reality as well. In addition, I interpreted the initial dimensional travel as having happened when Booker steps through the initial lighthouse door, much like the later scenes transport an individual to a specific place in another reality when they step through.

Sorry, that won't fly. The Booker you play with is the one that gave up his daughter to Comstock and the Luteces. You know this because Booker engraved AD (Annabelle DeWitt) on his hand.

What you said about being conflicted with the memories from the Comstock timeline he's in makes sense though. Since he had conflicting memories maybe everything was "fuzzy" or he just couldn't think about it properly. When he tries to go to a memory he gets the nosebleed, and only at the end when his own timeline is shown to him can he properly recall his own memories.

#26 Edited by Renahzor (991 posts) -

@snail: Ah yes his brand, well he certainly doesn't seem to remember those events, certainly he doesnt remember giving anna up nor her pinky being cut off, and when he and Elizabeth talk about it in a specific scene he reveals his dead wife, but refuses to discuss his child. Thats the one opportunity they had really to allow him any foresight into the events, he clearly is having memory issues if that's the case.

Edit: I think I found it browsing a wiki page, Robert Lutece does give him the opportunity to retrieve his daughter, but its handwaved away as such: "After languishing in remorse for nearly twenty years, Booker re-encountered Robert Lutece, who along with Rosalind Lutece offered him the chance to travel to Columbia and retrieve her. Booker then entered Comstock's reality, but the effects of entering a different reality wiped his memory—thus his mind created new memories."

So the memory wipe would have occurred when he entered Comstock's reality, either through the lighthouse door, or through some other tear we're not privy to before the rowboat scene.

#27 Posted by WMoyer83 (643 posts) -

I have a question. Since it was explained that there are constants that always involve a lighthouse, a man, and a city, that it is a given that Rapture is an alternate universe to Columbia? Or are they in the same continuity (although I do not think Bioshock 1 ever mentions Columbia).

#28 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

#29 Edited by Ghostiet (5281 posts) -

@rebgav said:

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

I've already written earlier to StarvingGamer about that, it's gonna get corrected/expanded, alongside a few other things. But yeah, you're right and thanks for pointing it out.

@wmoyer83 said:

I have a question. Since it was explained that there are constants that always involve a lighthouse, a man, and a city, that it is a given that Rapture is an alternate universe to Columbia? Or are they in the same continuity (although I do not think Bioshock 1 ever mentions Columbia).

Rapture is an alternate universe.

@renahzor: That's precisely what happens and is basically stated by Rosalind in the ending - jumping into another reality causes the memory wipe. Robert Lutece himself went through the same thing. This is also what the opening quote is talking about.

#30 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -
@phatmac said:

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

...I feel violated somehow.

Eh? Eh? Oh christ, I just realized. o_O

Horrible punsters think alike?

#31 Edited by golguin (3932 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@rebgav said:

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

I've already written earlier to StarvingGamer about that, it's gonna get corrected/expanded, alongside a few other things. But yeah, you're right and thanks for pointing it out.

@wmoyer83 said:

I have a question. Since it was explained that there are constants that always involve a lighthouse, a man, and a city, that it is a given that Rapture is an alternate universe to Columbia? Or are they in the same continuity (although I do not think Bioshock 1 ever mentions Columbia).

Rapture is an alternate universe.

@renahzor: That's precisely what happens and is basically stated by Rosalind in the ending - jumping into another reality causes the memory wipe. Robert Lutece himself went through the same thing. This is also what the opening quote is talking about.

One part of the story that I myself am not clear on is what reality we are actually in when we enter the Martyr Booker Universe because I believe the Elizabeth there is still alive (assumed to have been taken to Comstock House) so there are two in that reality. Unless I'm missing another jump before we go to the Dark Elizabeth Universe the final Universe we end up in is not the Martyr Booker Universe (there would be 2 Elizabeths here) and not the original Comstock Universe.

We know that Elizabeth is captured and being held. We know she's been there a while. What happened to the original Booker there? The Booker we are playing can't be the one she was expecting because we were separated from our Original Elizabeth in the Martyr Booker Universe with two Elizabeths. If we return there who is the Elizabeth in the chair and where is the other one?

What I am ultimately saying is that the Elizabeth in the chair is not the Original Elizabeth, but one close enough to the original that we view her as "ours" and she views Booker as "her Booker".

#32 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@rebgav said:

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

I presume you're talking about this Voxophone: "Brother, what Comstock failed to understand is that our contraption is a window not into prophecy, but probability. But his money means the Lutece Field can become the Lutece Tear -- a window between worlds. A window through which you and I might finally be together." It becomes a bit of a chicken / egg scenario but the way I see it is this, a man like Booker would not make such an extreme shift into religious zealotry without a powerful outside influence. The idea to find Lutece and raise Columbia had to come from somewhere, so whether or not a woman actually came to him (bizarro Elizabeth?), it seems safe to assume that at some point, he caught a glimpse of an alternate dimension. Booker is not a man of science, so it should come as no surprise that his, at this point fragile mind would interpret it as a religious vision, hence zealotry.

Of course I could be completely off the mark here, but that's the logical sequence of events as I see it.

#33 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@golguin said:

One part of the story that I myself am not clear on is what reality we are actually in when we enter the Martyr Booker Universe because I believe the Elizabeth there is still alive (assumed to have been taken to Comstock House) so there are two in that reality. Unless I'm missing another jump before we go to the Dark Elizabeth Universe the final Universe we end up in is not the Martyr Booker Universe (there would be 2 Elizabeths here) and not the original Comstock Universe.

We know that Elizabeth is captured and being held. We know she's been there a while. What happened to the original Booker there? The Booker we are playing can't be the one she was expecting because we were separated from our Original Elizabeth in the Martyr Booker Universe with two Elizabeths. If we return there who is the Elizabeth in the chair and where is the other one?

What I am ultimately saying is that the Elizabeth in the chair is not the Original Elizabeth, but one close enough to the original that we view her as "ours" and she views Booker as "her Booker".

Yeah, hm.

I'm trying to remember the sequence of events after entering the Martyr universe. Fuck this game's shitty ass save system, seriously.

Of course it's hard to say what happened to the original Elizabeth from the Martyr reality. Even if Booker never reached her, something else may have happened to her. Comstock seems completely nonplussed about the fact that she's running around with the false shepherd despite the fact that she should be locked up somewhere.

Hm.

#34 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@golguin said:

@ghostiet said:

@rebgav said:

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

I've already written earlier to StarvingGamer about that, it's gonna get corrected/expanded, alongside a few other things. But yeah, you're right and thanks for pointing it out.

@wmoyer83 said:

I have a question. Since it was explained that there are constants that always involve a lighthouse, a man, and a city, that it is a given that Rapture is an alternate universe to Columbia? Or are they in the same continuity (although I do not think Bioshock 1 ever mentions Columbia).

Rapture is an alternate universe.

@renahzor: That's precisely what happens and is basically stated by Rosalind in the ending - jumping into another reality causes the memory wipe. Robert Lutece himself went through the same thing. This is also what the opening quote is talking about.

One part of the story that I myself am not clear on is what reality we are actually in when we enter the Martyr Booker Universe because I believe the Elizabeth there is still alive (assumed to have been taken to Comstock House) so there are two in that reality. Unless I'm missing another jump before we go to the Dark Elizabeth Universe the final Universe we end up in is not the Martyr Booker Universe (there would be 2 Elizabeths here) and not the original Comstock Universe.

We know that Elizabeth is captured and being held. We know she's been there a while. What happened to the original Booker there? The Booker we are playing can't be the one she was expecting because we were separated from our Original Elizabeth in the Martyr Booker Universe with two Elizabeths. If we return there who is the Elizabeth in the chair and where is the other one?

What I am ultimately saying is that the Elizabeth in the chair is not the Original Elizabeth, but one close enough to the original that we view her as "ours" and she views Booker as "her Booker".

If she's wearing the pendant, she's "our" Elizabeth. The final dimension kind of has to be the same one that our Elizabeth comes from otherwise there would be two regardless of which other reality you were in. It also has the correct "aged" Comstock, which isn't a constant itself. Of course, it makes no real sense that you end up back there but that reset occurs after the intervention of Magical Elderly Elizabeth so there's a big logic-fuzz around those transitions.

#35 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@golguin said:

@ghostiet said:

@rebgav said:

I'm not convinced that the inferred narrative in the FAQ is correct. I would like to see the text of the game presented alongside your conclusions to support your interpretations.

Specifically, the idea that the visions caused Comstock to become a religious zealot is exactly contrary to my memory of Lutece's interpretation; that Comstock contextualizes the tears as visions due to his zealotry. In regards to his racism, Comstock brags about murdering squaws at Wounded Knee to "put right" the accusation of a superior officer that DeWitt is part native, so it seems unlikely that he "became" racist after the fact to reframe his actions.

I've already written earlier to StarvingGamer about that, it's gonna get corrected/expanded, alongside a few other things. But yeah, you're right and thanks for pointing it out.

@wmoyer83 said:

I have a question. Since it was explained that there are constants that always involve a lighthouse, a man, and a city, that it is a given that Rapture is an alternate universe to Columbia? Or are they in the same continuity (although I do not think Bioshock 1 ever mentions Columbia).

Rapture is an alternate universe.

@renahzor: That's precisely what happens and is basically stated by Rosalind in the ending - jumping into another reality causes the memory wipe. Robert Lutece himself went through the same thing. This is also what the opening quote is talking about.

One part of the story that I myself am not clear on is what reality we are actually in when we enter the Martyr Booker Universe because I believe the Elizabeth there is still alive (assumed to have been taken to Comstock House) so there are two in that reality. Unless I'm missing another jump before we go to the Dark Elizabeth Universe the final Universe we end up in is not the Martyr Booker Universe (there would be 2 Elizabeths here) and not the original Comstock Universe.

We know that Elizabeth is captured and being held. We know she's been there a while. What happened to the original Booker there? The Booker we are playing can't be the one she was expecting because we were separated from our Original Elizabeth in the Martyr Booker Universe with two Elizabeths. If we return there who is the Elizabeth in the chair and where is the other one?

What I am ultimately saying is that the Elizabeth in the chair is not the Original Elizabeth, but one close enough to the original that we view her as "ours" and she views Booker as "her Booker".

If she's wearing the pendant, she's "our" Elizabeth. The final dimension kind of has to be the same one that our Elizabeth comes from otherwise there would be two regardless of which other reality you were in. It also has the correct "aged" Comstock, which isn't a constant itself. Of course, it makes no real sense that you end up back there but that reset occurs after the intervention of Magical Elderly Elizabeth so there's a big logic-fuzz around those transitions.

The pendant is only a check on reality set up by the Luteces. How many times did they include that check after they decided to start everything off with the coin flip (122 times) check?

Elizabeth in the chair can't come from her original reality. We left that reality with no Booker and Elizabeth at the place of the torture. We last saw our Elizabeth when she gets taken by songbird in the Martyr Booker reality. How did songbird fly her back to the original reality?

#36 Edited by Snail (8606 posts) -
#37 Posted by SSully (4192 posts) -

So why the hell is there more modern music then there should be, such as the beach boys, in some spots? I missed that part.

#38 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@ssully said:

So why the hell is there more modern music then there should be, such as the beach boys, in some spots? I missed that part.

Fink's brother is a composer and stole that music by listening to the originals through tears. An audio log explains that.

#39 Posted by Andorski (5310 posts) -

I've seen this question asked elsewhere so sorry if this is retreading old material, but I'm still confused by how the drowning of player!Booker would allow for the Booker seen in the post-credits to live on. As seen with the enemies you kill in one dimension but are alive in the next dimension you travel to, those people seem to be frozen in a maddening state. Shouldn't the drowning of player!Booker cause this effect on post-credits Booker?

As I type this question, I actually am becoming more suspect of this particular rule in the Bioshock multiverse. Considering the the multiverse as a whole constitutes of every permutation from every choice made by every individual, wouldn't everyone be in this frozen/maddening state? Considering the near infinite amount of choices we make throughout our whole lives, at least one of those instances would probably have lead us to die. Wouldn't this cause all other permutations of us to go mad?

#40 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@andorski said:

I've seen this question asked elsewhere so sorry if this is retreading old material, but I'm still confused by how the drowning of player!Booker would allow for the Booker seen in the post-credits to live on. As seen with the enemies you kill in one dimension but are alive in the next dimension you travel to, those people seem to be frozen in a maddening state. Shouldn't the drowning of player!Booker cause this effect on post-credits Booker?

As I type this question, I actually am becoming more suspect of this particular rule in the Bioshock multiverse. Considering the the multiverse as a whole constitutes of every permutation from every choice made by every individual, wouldn't everyone be in this frozen/maddening state? Considering the near infinite amount of choices we make throughout our whole lives, at least one of those instances would probably have lead us to die. Wouldn't this cause all other permutations of us to go mad?

From @golguin: "I feel that this is a dispute over the nature of time where I view time as merely a measurement on the state of the universe and what changes have taken place. I see Elizabeth as opening portals to a universe that has the required variables she needs and the amount of change needed to arrive at her solution. The baptism at the end doesn't happen in any "past" experience by a single Booker. Elizabeth creates a universe that deals with the Comstock variable throughout her multiverse."

As for the second part, I assume you're referencing the soldiers who start freaking out from being killed in a parallel dimension. I have two hypotheses on this. The first, and possibly simplest explanation, is that their cognitive disassociation is a result of a sort of memory bleed through the tears being forced open by Elizabeth. The second possibility is that their deaths at the hand of Booker occurred outside of their prescribed reality. That is to say that Booker, being out of dimension, is altering the events in these dimensions from their intended course, causing inter-dimensional ripples to the nearest parallel universes. In either case, this would have no impact on anyone outside of the very specific, very dangerous Booker/Elizabeth dimension hopping combo.

#41 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Although I disagree with some of the interpretations used to create your FAQ (specifically your and @golguin's collective views on time/quantum mechanics and attributing Elizabeth with the powers of creation/"omnipotence" at the end), it's a great starting point for someone who is completely confused to understand the ending from one of the accepted parallel viewpoints.

Great job.

I would suggest adding;

  • 122? Where did you get that number? (which is something I've been asked a couple of times)
  • What are some basics of quantum mechanics and the Multiple Worlds Interpretation as applied in Bioshock Infinite?
  • A larger disclaimer regarding there being alternate views on the final sequence
#42 Posted by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Fair enough, a bigger caveat is probably appropriate, and I'm still tooling around a few different ideas as towards the ending and how quantum mechanics and multiverse concepts actually relate to the Infinity fiction specifically, but the Infinity-1 theory seemed to be a common point we could all agree on as a likely conclusion.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the ending.

#43 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@selfconfessedcynic: Fair enough, a bigger caveat is probably appropriate, and I'm still tooling around a few different ideas as towards the ending and how quantum mechanics and multiverse concepts actually relate to the Infinity fiction specifically, but the Infinity-1 theory seemed to be a common point we could all agree on as a likely conclusion.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the ending.

My interpretation of the ending flows more from classical physics and how it relates to the laws of quantum mechanics, attributing Elizabeth with only one set of powers (travel between worlds and moving things between worlds - but not constrained to moving perpendicularly through time). As such, there is significant time travel in the game in a few instances (essentially whenever they travel through tears), along side moving through worlds and this in no way conflicts with the multiple worlds interpretation or quantum mechanics. In fact it adheres to them more strictly than many of the interpretations I've seen.

I explained it rather extensively to @golguin when we realised that the argument stemmed from our individual views of time itself and our interpretation of Elizabeth's powers. You can see our arguments in this thread , spread across both pages (I think we were most of the posts in that thread : P )

#44 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@starvinggamer @golguin

Oh, by the way, I'd love to get on steam chat or (preferably) mumble with you guys and hash out the time travel and creation interpretations of the ending. Even better if we record it.

#45 Posted by golguin (3932 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Although I disagree with some of the interpretations used to create your FAQ (specifically your and @golguin's collective views on time/quantum mechanics and attributing Elizabeth with the powers of creation/"omnipotence" at the end), it's a great starting point for someone who is completely confused to understand the ending from one of the accepted parallel viewpoints.

Great job.

I would suggest adding;

  • 122? Where did you get that number? (which is something I've been asked a couple of times)
  • What are some basics of quantum mechanics and the Multiple Worlds Interpretation as applied in Bioshock Infinite?
  • A larger disclaimer regarding there being alternate views on the final sequence

By some crazy coincidence minutephysics made this video 1 week after the game came out. I think it explains the multiverse theory very well and how they can be combined.


#46 Edited by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@toowalrus said:
@phatmac said:

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

...I feel violated somehow.

Eh? Eh? Oh christ, I just realized. o_O

Horrible punsters think alike?

Nice name change. :)

#47 Posted by TooWalrus (13203 posts) -

@phatmac said:

@starvinggamer said:
@toowalrus said:
@phatmac said:

Infinite Biotalk? Sounds familiar. :)

...I feel violated somehow.

Eh? Eh? Oh christ, I just realized. o_O

Horrible punsters think alike?

Nice name change. :)

Awe, you didn't have to do that, I was just being silly.

#48 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@golguin said:

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@starvinggamer: Although I disagree with some of the interpretations used to create your FAQ (specifically your and @golguin's collective views on time/quantum mechanics and attributing Elizabeth with the powers of creation/"omnipotence" at the end), it's a great starting point for someone who is completely confused to understand the ending from one of the accepted parallel viewpoints.

Great job.

I would suggest adding;

  • 122? Where did you get that number? (which is something I've been asked a couple of times)
  • What are some basics of quantum mechanics and the Multiple Worlds Interpretation as applied in Bioshock Infinite?
  • A larger disclaimer regarding there being alternate views on the final sequence

By some crazy coincidence minutephysics made this video 1 week after the game came out. I think it explains the multiverse theory very well and how they can be combined.

Yup!

To be clear, Bioshock Infniite deals with the 3rd meaning of "multiverse" as presented in that video, starting at 2:43 or so.

Here's another good insight into this stuff, it goes a little deeper but doesn't delve into how multiverse quantum mechanics interacts with time.

#49 Edited by StarvingGamer (8251 posts) -

@starvinggamer @golguin

Oh, by the way, I'd love to get on steam chat or (preferably) mumble with you guys and hash out the time travel and creation interpretations of the ending. Even better if we record it.

Let me skim that thread first and decide just how much of a fool I would be making out of myself :D

@golguin: Nice find, added to the OP

#50 Posted by Demoskinos (14841 posts) -

This is cool. I'll quickly post my admiration for this post existing and quickly leave to return once I've finished the game...

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