Spoils, spoiled, will spoil - a BioShock Infinite FAQ

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#101 Posted by golguin (3843 posts) -

So maybe this is a quantum mechanics question more than a game specific question, but I understand that there are infinite realities all occurring in parallel with each other, but is there an explanation for why time seems to be at different points in these infinite realities? I get that by peeking through tears people could find popular music of other realities, steal them and reconfigure them for Rapture, but how is this not a form of time travel? Is time moving faster in those parallel realities? All theoretical, I understand, but still a bit inconsistent with the "It's not time travel" statements, when the only "twist" that really protects is the fact that Comstock and DeWitt are actually the same age. If it's possible to harness the energy to cause tears across potential realities, is it that much more of a leap of scientific logic to say it could also be tears across time as well?

On a more game narrative level, is the reason Comstock needs/wants Annabelle in the first place because he wants an heir, and who better than his own child from another universe where he wasn't sterile? It just feels weirdly coincidental that Anna/Elizabeth's powers are a total fluke of quantum paradoxes, rather than the designed purpose of drawing her into the Comstock reality in the first place. I understand that the Luteces have to be able to create tears to get Annabelle, so she can't be the source of the tears, but it also feels like there is to some extent that with the budding of Elizabeth's abilities that Columbia is that much more capable in regards to manipulating and pulling from tears.

This is why it's not "Time Travel". It's "Trans-Dimensional Travel".

"So here we go. The trans-dimensional travel is not depending on a specific time or location. We saw throughout the game that the tears that Elizabeth opens are not depending on the location they are currently in. She does not open a tear to 20 minutes ago or 1 hour in the future or even a perpendicular step into a new reality. The time and place that they go to is independent of those factors.

That gate she opens to Paris at the start of the game has no relation to her current position in space. It opened a tear into a particular reality of Paris that has nothing to do with her particular time.

When she's trying to escape from Booker at Fink Manufacturing she opens several tears to simply bring in new objects into their reality to impede his progress. She does the same to help you in the game. They are simply variations from different realities with no relation to the time that they exist within their own reality.

The situation with Chen Lin should clearly shows that they did not travel in time to fix that situation. They completely left their own universe to go into a Columbia where Chen Lin did not die because he was white and not Asian. What form of time travel creates that situation? They could have gone to the moment right before they started the torture, but they didn't because they couldn't.

Toward the end of the game she demonstrates the ability to open a tear into some midwest location with a tornado. Keep in mind they are still in the sky. The time and space that the tears reveal have no connection to her current time or location.

We saw the effect that the dimensional machine had on Comstock by making him sterile and speeding up the breakdown of his body. Lutece points out that not every version of Comstock suffers the same effects. His "time" was not changed. He did not percieve the world around him as being faster or slower. His body simply started to break down as a result of the exposure.

At the end of the game we see that Elizabeth has gained the sort of the control over the multiverse that the Twins seem to have. You see them seemingly move together to the rowing scene and the Lutece's even comment on the futility of their situation. They are not picking a particular moment in time to go back to. They are selecting a specific reality and a specific point in that reality. Booker tells Elizabeth that none of it matters because Comstock is dead. Elizabeth makes no reference to time when she tells him he still exists in millions and millions of worlds.

Your insistence on time travel rests upon the fact that they seemed to create a ripple that prevented the creation of Comstock through the multiverse. Why is that not resolved with the multiverse idea? How is it that every instance in the game tells you "They are jumping between realities" and yet the ending is somehow time travel?"

This was my response to @selfconfessedcynic in http://www.giantbomb.com/bioshock-infinite/3030-32317/forums/possible-dlc-bait-plotholes-massive-spoilers-1430495/?page=2

#102 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@wmoyer83 said:

So what is the explanation for the Columbia community not chugging vigor and going completely bonkers the same way Rapture did with plasmids? Is this a variable?

Plasmids were let loose by Ryan to have better control of society. Vigors are only introduced during the raffle.

Random dialog at the fair;

"Have you tried any of the new vigors yet?"

"I usually wait 'til Fink works out the kinks with them. It's safer that way...."

#103 Edited by Ghostiet (5224 posts) -
#104 Posted by golguin (3843 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@rebgav: Good catch, hm.

The Industrial Revolution DLC shows specifically how some of the vigors were used before Booker arrives at the scene. They were not available to the public. They were used for practical purposes until the police and Vox weaponized them. I don't know if the DLC is canon.

#105 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

@golguin said:

@hubrisranger said:

So maybe this is a quantum mechanics question more than a game specific question, but I understand that there are infinite realities all occurring in parallel with each other, but is there an explanation for why time seems to be at different points in these infinite realities? I get that by peeking through tears people could find popular music of other realities, steal them and reconfigure them for Rapture, but how is this not a form of time travel? Is time moving faster in those parallel realities? All theoretical, I understand, but still a bit inconsistent with the "It's not time travel" statements, when the only "twist" that really protects is the fact that Comstock and DeWitt are actually the same age. If it's possible to harness the energy to cause tears across potential realities, is it that much more of a leap of scientific logic to say it could also be tears across time as well?

On a more game narrative level, is the reason Comstock needs/wants Annabelle in the first place because he wants an heir, and who better than his own child from another universe where he wasn't sterile? It just feels weirdly coincidental that Anna/Elizabeth's powers are a total fluke of quantum paradoxes, rather than the designed purpose of drawing her into the Comstock reality in the first place. I understand that the Luteces have to be able to create tears to get Annabelle, so she can't be the source of the tears, but it also feels like there is to some extent that with the budding of Elizabeth's abilities that Columbia is that much more capable in regards to manipulating and pulling from tears.

This is why it's not "Time Travel". It's "Trans-Dimensional Travel".

[...]

This was my response to @selfconfessedcynic in http://www.giantbomb.com/bioshock-infinite/3030-32317/forums/possible-dlc-bait-plotholes-massive-spoilers-1430495/?page=2

Haha, I see this is something that will come up again and again.

In the end @hubrisranger , it comes down to there being at least 2 fields of thought as to how time works in conjunction with reality (and following that, cross-dimensional travel) in relation to Bioshock Infinite. There are also at least 2 fields of thought regarding the nature of Elizabeth's powers. @golguin did a great job there of highlighting his view on how the events work - though, as I've stated before, I personally have a different view which is more in line with yours. That view is essentially that there does seem to be time travel taking place and cross dimensional travel to a point further on/back in time is a form of time travel, especially if you do so more than once. It stems from taking the rate of time as a constant across parallel universes and recognising that in this game there does not appear to be a truly parallel universe ever visited, just universes existing in parallel now, but had actually branched off at some point in the past. These assumptions come from applying the laws of quantum mechanics rather than relying entirely upon the narrative.

The only thing one can do is accept that there are in fact multiple interpretations of the ending as at least their view does seem to be logically consistent, though our views can explain the same phenomena.

For reference, I did a small pseudo mathematical proof explaining why our interpretation of the ending (combined time travel and cross dimensional travel) makes sense and doesn't conflict with the multiple worlds interpretation. I'll include that at the end.

As for your other questions - yes, Comstock needed his heir, and thus he chose to take his heir from a different version of himself. Whether the results of this (her making tears etc) were intended or not is honestly unknown.

If you are desperate for answers, my favourite theory on the matter (not because of likliness, but simply coolness) is that there is some speculation as to the nature of the Archangel who is said to have spoken to and inspired Comstock. Some theorists believe that the Archangel was possibly an Elizabeth from an alternate reality who had been fully indoctrinated and chose to influence Comstock's future actions to self perpetuate the whole cycle. Of course, the Archangel could have been a lie or possibly a legitimate third party, but there you go. Possibilities.

As for that pseudo-mathematical proof as to why a combined time-travel and cross-dimensional travel theory is a rational interpretation of the ending which can indeed explain it, I repost my little drawing;

#106 Posted by Sylinder (77 posts) -

Ok, so is it possible that Columbia only existed in the timeline where there was Rapture? Seeing as you row a boat to get to the lighthouse that takes you to Columbia. Could this be a world that places the other lighthouses under water (like in rapture) and your only choice would be the lighthouse that takes you to Columbia... Or something like that?

And also, the Elizabeth that at the end drowns you has no pendant in her necklace, so she is not the "true" Elizabeth, the one you sold and the one you once again meet up with. What happened to this "true" Elizabeth?

Did the old Elizabeth have the pendant you chose at the beginning?

#107 Posted by Daneian (1207 posts) -

I haven't spent much time in any of the mega threads so I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just needed to ask it. This question is based on two assumptions I've made from what I have seen:

1. There is no time travel within a single universe. We are moving between universes that are currently at different dates.

2. When Booker jumps through a tear, he doesn't physically replace that universe's Booker, he only exists there in addition to him.

So, my question is this. When our Booker drowns himself, isn't he only killing a man that has already made his choice whether or not to go through with the baptism, not changing the timeline for the Booker that already exists there? Isn't that world's Booker still free to make the same mistakes all over again?

Online
#108 Posted by jakkblades (397 posts) -

Not at all a fan of the thumbnail image for this topic. Compromising picture of Elizabeth. She's your daughter, for God's sake.

#109 Posted by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

It may have been asked in here but are all the answers from the FAQ found in the game (voxophones)? Specifically story things like Elizabeth's power origin and so on.

Some of it is inference. The identity of the man in the lighthouse, the baptism = racism? transition, and everything about the ending is inferred, not explicit.

#110 Edited by EXTomar (4497 posts) -

@daneian said:

I haven't spent much time in any of the mega threads so I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just needed to ask it. This question is based on two assumptions I've made from what I have seen:

1. There is no time travel within a single universe. We are moving between universes that are currently at different dates.

2. When Booker jumps through a tear, he doesn't physically replace that universe's Booker, he only exists there in addition to him.

So, my question is this. When our Booker drowns himself, isn't he only killing a man that has already made his choice whether or not to go through with the baptism, not changing the timeline for the Booker that already exists there? Isn't that world's Booker still free to make the same mistakes all over again?

For 1: Space and time are related....or unrelated depending on your perspective. In the context of World-A (the world with only Booker) and World-B (the world where Comstock rises and creates Columbia), 1983 Elizabeth had to come from World-B. It isn't that it is impossible but there is no Columbia in World-A.

For 2: That is true but it has an effect on their mind where their memories and even perceptions get scrambled.

For your final question: Take a look at the MinutePhysics video on multi-verses. What Booker and Elizabeth have done is "prune" the branch of the possible worlds of that event where the only outcome are Worlds-N* that "never have a Comstock" which isn't the same as "never have a Booker". It seems entirely possible that there is some World-N Booker never even considered trying to turn to religion let alone show up at the river to accept or reject the baptism.

#111 Posted by golguin (3843 posts) -

@extomar said:

@daneian said:

I haven't spent much time in any of the mega threads so I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just needed to ask it. This question is based on two assumptions I've made from what I have seen:

1. There is no time travel within a single universe. We are moving between universes that are currently at different dates.

2. When Booker jumps through a tear, he doesn't physically replace that universe's Booker, he only exists there in addition to him.

So, my question is this. When our Booker drowns himself, isn't he only killing a man that has already made his choice whether or not to go through with the baptism, not changing the timeline for the Booker that already exists there? Isn't that world's Booker still free to make the same mistakes all over again?

For 1: Space and time are related....or unrelated depending on your perspective. In the context of World-A (the world with only Booker) and World-B (the world where Comstock rises and creates Columbia), 1983 Elizabeth had to come from World-B. It isn't that it is impossible but there is no Columbia in World-A.

For 2: That is true but it has an effect on their mind where their memories and even perceptions get scrambled.

For your final question: Take a look at the MinutePhysics video on multi-verses. What Booker and Elizabeth have done is "prune" the branch of the possible worlds of that event where the only outcome are Worlds-N* that "never have a Comstock" which isn't the same as "never have a Booker". It seems entirely possible that there is some World-N Booker never even considered trying to turn to religion let alone show up at the river for the baptism.

I feel that the phrase "Space and time are related....or unrelated depending on your perspective." is an excellent way to frame the disagreement I had with @selfconfessedcynic without reading through the whole explanations we provided. It works in the same way as "Infinity - 1" = "elimination of Comstock variable".

#112 Edited by kishinfoulux (2255 posts) -

Fantastic topic TS. Very well put together.

#113 Edited by Chibithor (574 posts) -

Question about tears! Specifically, when you go to the Vox Populi revolution world:

Booker observes the tear expanding and has to force himself to remember the revolution, getting a nosebleed (I think) in the process. For him, the tear was just transportation and getting some new memories. A soldier who was dead is very confused. From the soldier's viewpoint what happened exactly? Was Daisy Fitzroy entirely unaffected by the tear?

#114 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

Question about tears! Specifically, when you go to the Vox Populi revolution world:

Booker observes the tear expanding and has to force himself to remember the revolution, getting a nosebleed (I think) in the process. For him, the tear was just transportation and getting some new memories. A soldier who was dead is very confused. From the soldier's viewpoint what happened exactly? Was Daisy Fitzroy entirely unaffected by the tear?

I suspect that the root idea is that, like the music drifting in through the rifts in various spots, there could be some localized bleed between two realities when a tear is opened. This would explain why people who haven't traversed the tear might be trapped between two states.

#115 Edited by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@chibithor said:

Question about tears! Specifically, when you go to the Vox Populi revolution world:

Booker observes the tear expanding and has to force himself to remember the revolution, getting a nosebleed (I think) in the process. For him, the tear was just transportation and getting some new memories. A soldier who was dead is very confused. From the soldier's viewpoint what happened exactly? Was Daisy Fitzroy entirely unaffected by the tear?

I suspect that the root idea is that, like the music drifting in through the rifts in various spots, there could be some localized bleed between two realities when a tear is opened. This would explain why people who haven't traversed the tear might be trapped between two states.

My thoughts are along these lines as well. Because of their proximity to the tear, the soldiers experience a memory-bleed as the dimensions momentarily overlap. The moment of death suddenly being incorporated into their memories is severe enough to put them into a state akin to catatonia.

#116 Edited by Chibithor (574 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@rebgav said:

I suspect that the root idea is that, like the music drifting in through the rifts in various spots, there could be some localized bleed between two realities when a tear is opened. This would explain why people who haven't traversed the tear might be trapped between two states.

My thoughts are along these lines as well. Because of their proximity to the tear, the soldiers experience a memory-bleed as the dimensions momentarily overlap. The moment of death suddenly being incorporated into their memories is severe enough to put them into a state akin to catatonia.

Would that mean that everyone in the revolution police station happened to be there in the other reality as well? That'd be fine I suppose, just a bit convenient.

But didn't Booker also get the memory of being killed, since he was a martyr in the revolution world? I guess his distance from the tear would be the answer again, he transferred completely, Daisy not at all and they both retain their 'own' memories, soldiers are caught in between. I need to replay on easy and write notes or something.

#117 Posted by Winternet (8006 posts) -

Question: Does Booker and Elizabeth talk about Columbia? (I'm pretty sure they do) If so, what do they talk about, specifically the relation of Columbia to the outside world? Is Booker aware of the existence of Columbia or does he say anything that implies that? Or does he say that he never heard of Columbia before arriving there?

#118 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

Anyone who thinks Rapture was a "utopia" for Objectivists knows nothing of Objectivism. The same goes for Columbia and American Exceptionalism. The attempt at political commentary in the games is by far its weakest point--strawmen that drag down what are otherwise very good games.

#119 Posted by Ghostiet (5224 posts) -

@winternet said:

Question: Does Booker and Elizabeth talk about Columbia? (I'm pretty sure they do) If so, what do they talk about, specifically the relation of Columbia to the outside world? Is Booker aware of the existence of Columbia or does he say anything that implies that? Or does he say that he never heard of Columbia before arriving there?

When you're strolling through the boardwalk, Elizabeth will ask him why they chose him and Booker replies that he has no idea and he didn't even know Columbia existed. So yes, he was never aware of Columbia, since it never existed in his reality.

#120 Edited by Winternet (8006 posts) -
@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:

Question: Does Booker and Elizabeth talk about Columbia? (I'm pretty sure they do) If so, what do they talk about, specifically the relation of Columbia to the outside world? Is Booker aware of the existence of Columbia or does he say anything that implies that? Or does he say that he never heard of Columbia before arriving there?

When you're strolling through the boardwalk, Elizabeth will ask him why they chose him and Booker replies that he has no idea and he didn't even know Columbia existed. So yes, he was never aware of Columbia, since it never existed in his reality.

Ok, thanks dude. Booker is pretty ok with going around in a flying city though :)

#121 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:

Question: Does Booker and Elizabeth talk about Columbia? (I'm pretty sure they do) If so, what do they talk about, specifically the relation of Columbia to the outside world? Is Booker aware of the existence of Columbia or does he say anything that implies that? Or does he say that he never heard of Columbia before arriving there?

When you're strolling through the boardwalk, Elizabeth will ask him why they chose him and Booker replies that he has no idea and he didn't even know Columbia existed. So yes, he was never aware of Columbia, since it never existed in his reality.

I'm surprised he doesn't have more questions about Columbia and Comstock then considering how important both of them have apparently been in American history.

#122 Edited by Ghostiet (5224 posts) -

@haggis said:

Anyone who thinks Rapture was a "utopia" for Objectivists knows nothing of Objectivism. The same goes for Columbia and American Exceptionalism. The attempt at political commentary in the games is by far its weakest point--strawmen that drag down what are otherwise very good games.

It's not really called a "utopia" in a serious way. Especially considering how Columbia takes the concept of American Exceptionalism so far that the citizens' opinions are already way too extreme for 1912.

@ramone said:

I'm surprised he doesn't have more questions about Columbia and Comstock then considering how important both of them have apparently been in American history.

Yeah, kinda. It's really the only thing that really irks me about the game, but chalk it up to voice acting being expensive and them not wanting to throw in too much expository dialogue, considering a lot of people actually missed some of it during the beach and boardwalk scenes.

#123 Edited by HubrisRanger (476 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@ramone said:

I'm surprised he doesn't have more questions about Columbia and Comstock then considering how important both of them have apparently been in American history.

Yeah, kinda. It's really the only thing that really irks me about the game, but chalk it up to voice acting being expensive and them not wanting to throw in too much expository dialogue, considering a lot of people actually missed some of it during the beach and boardwalk scenes.

I also think that the the general tenor for most of Booker's early portion of the adventure is to get "the girl" and get out, to the point where all of the additional questions he might want to ask are going to have to wait. It only come relatively late in the game that he actually dedicates himself to destroying Columbia as an idea at it's source, and even then only because Elizabeth won't leave otherwise. It's a little unbelievable to think that he wouldn't at least mention it, but I don't think it's out of character for him to just try to keep barreling forward without too much concern about the hows and whys. All that matters is his mission, and the sooner he can accomplish that the better.

#124 Posted by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

My thoughts are along these lines as well. Because of their proximity to the tear, the soldiers experience a memory-bleed as the dimensions momentarily overlap. The moment of death suddenly being incorporated into their memories is severe enough to put them into a state akin to catatonia.

Would that mean that everyone in the revolution police station happened to be there in the other reality as well? That'd be fine I suppose, just a bit convenient.

But didn't Booker also get the memory of being killed, since he was a martyr in the revolution world? I guess his distance from the tear would be the answer again, he transferred completely, Daisy not at all and they both retain their 'own' memories, soldiers are caught in between. I need to replay on easy and write notes or something.

I don't remember the sequence of events exactly, were there are inordinate amount of zombie people after traveling into the revolution world? I'll have to go back and look again

As far as Booker goes, the difference may have to do with the fact that he was the invading entity so he was bringing the memories, rather than having them brought. Also presumably martyr Booker did not die right before they passed through whereas you were killing the soldiers minutes ago, so the time difference may have been a factor. Or it could have something to do with strength of will. I dunno, science!

#125 Posted by Chibithor (574 posts) -

@chibithor said:

@starvinggamer said:

My thoughts are along these lines as well. Because of their proximity to the tear, the soldiers experience a memory-bleed as the dimensions momentarily overlap. The moment of death suddenly being incorporated into their memories is severe enough to put them into a state akin to catatonia.

Would that mean that everyone in the revolution police station happened to be there in the other reality as well? That'd be fine I suppose, just a bit convenient.

But didn't Booker also get the memory of being killed, since he was a martyr in the revolution world? I guess his distance from the tear would be the answer again, he transferred completely, Daisy not at all and they both retain their 'own' memories, soldiers are caught in between. I need to replay on easy and write notes or something.

I don't remember the sequence of events exactly, were there are inordinate amount of zombie people after traveling into the revolution world? I'll have to go back and look again

As far as Booker goes, the difference may have to do with the fact that he was the invading entity so he was bringing the memories, rather than having them brought. Also presumably martyr Booker did not die right before they passed through whereas you were killing the soldiers minutes ago, so the time difference may have been a factor. Or it could have something to do with strength of will. I dunno, science!

Just two, looking at a video, but I would've expected an uprising like that to change things up a bit so there'd be someone new at the station who Booker didn't kill in the previous world.

One other thing is that Booker had already experienced going through tears so he might simply be more used to it by then, whereas for the soldiers it's new and completely out of the blue.

#126 Posted by Winternet (8006 posts) -

Question: What determines what's a variable and what is a constant? Can a constant become a variable and vice versa?

#127 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@starvinggamer: I am not sure that I'm reading your timeline correctly, it doesn't seem to match up with this one at all;

The way that I'm reading your timeline, it looks like you have Anna being kidnapped in '97, two years after Lady Comstock died. It also looks like you have Lutece and Comstock meeting and going to Washington in '93 which is the year that Columbia is launched.

#128 Posted by mooncake (155 posts) -

Good stuff guys. Just a small thing though, isn't her name just Anna? And the Annabelle name used by the agents was just purely a coincidence (or as you guys said, a code from Comstock to see if Booker still had his memories). I don't think it's stated anywhere that her full name is Annabelle, and it's assumed her name is just Anna Dewitt.

#129 Posted by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@rebgav: Well I have Booker giving Anna up to Lutece some time in 1893. She was later imprisoned on Monument Island in 1897 so the Luteces have a safe environment to run tests on her powers and keep her isolated. I'm not sure about the discrepancy of the launch dates. I'd have to go back and watch the Kinetoscopes to make sure as, to my knowledge, the construction was supposed to have started in 1893 and the launch was supposed to be the big 1900 new millennium America fuck yeah! event.

Hm, weird.

#130 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@rebgav: Well I have Booker giving Anna up to Lutece some time in 1893. She was later imprisoned on Monument Island in 1897 so the Luteces have a safe environment to run tests on her powers and keep her isolated. I'm not sure about the discrepancy of the launch dates. I'd have to go back and watch the Kinetoscopes to make sure as, to my knowledge, the construction was supposed to have started in 1893 and the launch was supposed to be the big 1900 new millennium America fuck yeah! event.

Hm, weird.

Yeah, I figured that I was just reading some of it wrong.

The launch date seems consistent with the kinetoscope "A Look Back At Opening Day." That one seems to put the actual launch in 1893.

- 1893 -

The dream of The Prophet is finally aloft

Columbia begins her journey to spread America's vision to the world!

#131 Posted by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@rebgav: Well, there it is then. I'll need to take a closer look at everything from 1890-93 and figure out where it fits. Thanks.

#132 Posted by TeenageJesusSuperstar (170 posts) -

But why are the beds so goddamned short?

#133 Posted by Bakumatsu (354 posts) -

Kinda crazy how they built a floating city in 2-3 years but yeah science.. The thing that still is more confusing to me is after Booker and Elizabeth "travel" to other universe, in the gunsmith part, the soldiers remember that they were supposed to be dead and Fitzroy remembers the deal that she made with Booker. She opens the major tears two times on that mission - Ling death/alive and Ling without/with the machinery and it is only on the second time that Booker becomes the revolution martyr. This was already somewhat discussed here but still doesn't make any sense. Someone said they didn't travel to other universe, but that Elizabeth fused the two universes. Now this would explain some things, like the already mentioned zombie soldiers or the fact that Ling thinks he still has his machinery.

#134 Posted by Klager (126 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.


The Booker we play as has a vision, or a prediction, of a New York under attack.

#135 Edited by John1912 (1829 posts) -

Something good to point out that may have been missed. At the start of the game the sister says she does not believe in the entire "thought experiment." She also notes that it is pointless because it has already failed. In most cases a thought experiment is done for the exercise itself, it is not real, or concrete. It is never supposed to be a real world experiment. Thus you change nothing at the end of the game. Its one of the many paths that have happened, are happening, and will happen endlessly.

A thought experiment orGedankenexperiment (from German) considers some hypothesis, theory,[1] orprinciple for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. Given the structure of the experiment, it may or may not be possible to actually perform it, and, in the case that it is possible for it to be performed, there need be no intention of any kind to actually perform the experiment in question. The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question.

#136 Posted by ozzdog12 (856 posts) -
#137 Posted by CJduke (782 posts) -

Questions: So why did this all start in the first place? I don't understand why the Luteces got Comstock to take Anna away and now have been doing this experiment over and over to see if Booker can ever get her back? Are they trying to help Booker get his daughter back? I just don't understand the basis of the Luteces having Comstock take Anna from Booker.

I don't know if anything I asked makes sense. I'm really confused.

#138 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@john1912 said:

Something good to point out that may have been missed. At the start of the game the sister says she does not believe in the entire "thought experiment." She also notes that it is pointless because it has already failed. In most cases a thought experiment is done for the exercise itself, it is not real, or concrete. It is never supposed to be a real world experiment. Thus you change nothing at the end of the game. Its one of the many paths that have happened, are happening, and will happen endlessly.

From Rosalind's point of view it's a thought experiment, she firmly believes that they cannot change the course of events. From Robert's perspective it is imperative that that they succeed, to absolve themselves of their involvement.

What's Done is Done: Our contraption shows us the girl is the flame that shall ignite the world. My brother says we must undo what we have done. But time is more an ocean than a river. Why try to bring in a tide that will only again go out?

An Ultimatum: My brother has presented me with an ultimatum: if we do not send the girl back from where we brought her, he and I must part. Where he sees an empty page, I see King Lear. But he is my brother, so I shall play my part, knowing it shall all end in tears.

#139 Posted by dgtlty (153 posts) -

As I understand it their plan is to return Anna to Booker and stop Comstock (and therefore Columbia) from ever being "born". I could be way off.

#140 Edited by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@cjduke: This all started with a vision Comstock saw, shortly after being baptized, of a floating city named Columbia and a bunch of other shit. Rosalind Lutece was a willing accomplice because Comstock had acquired the funding necessary for her to pursue her research and bring her "brother" Robert into her dimension. Comstock saw a vision of his heir raining fire down on the world and believed it to be prophecy. Unfortunately, he had been made sterile by the Luteces' experiments, and the closest he could get to an heir was to steal Anna away from an alternate version of himself. Comstock was the one making their dreams come true so, of course, the Luteces helped him.

However, paranoid that they would betray him and reveal the true nature of Elizabeth's "birth", Comstock arranged for Fink to sabotage their equipment and kill them. This had the unintended side-effect of dispersing the Luteces across multiple dimensions, granting them a form of immortality and omnipresence. Rosalind is happy with this because she just wants to spend eternity with Robert, but Robert feels guilt for their involvement in Elizabeth's torture and the horrible future their actions cause. He forces Rosalind to help him try to make things right and they sic Booker after Comstock. Rosalind chooses to think of the exercise as an experiment, but Robert sees it as atonement.

#141 Posted by Legion_ (1256 posts) -

So this has been bothering me. Is it right to assume that there can only be one lighthouse, one man and one city in each universe? In one universe that is Andrew Ryan and Rapture, and in another it is Zachary Comstock and Columbia? To put it in another way; they can't both exist in the same universe?

#142 Edited by EXTomar (4497 posts) -

There are other parallels but if you are referencing that specific reference, "the man" in Bioshock is "Jack". Also given the nature of parallel worlds, Booker is "just as real" as Comstock. Why can't they exist in the same world?

Edit: It should also be pointed out that it appears that Robert did "the dirty work" where he was the one who confronted Booker and retreived Anna. It isn't a far leap to see why Rosalind seems blase while Robert seems to want to fix it.

#143 Edited by probablytuna (3535 posts) -

So, having not read all the post on this thread so I don't know if this has been answered already but, did Comstock not experience the same thing Booker did when he entered into another dimension? Wouldn't he have lost/replaced his memory since Comstock was clearly inside Booker's timeline?

#144 Edited by CJduke (782 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@cjduke: This all started with a vision Comstock saw, shortly after being baptized, of a floating city named Columbia and a bunch of other shit. Rosalind Lutece was a willing accomplice because Comstock had acquired the funding necessary for her to pursue her research and bring her "brother" Robert into her dimension. Comstock saw a vision of his heir raining fire down on the world and believed it to be prophecy. Unfortunately, he had been made sterile by the Luteces' experiments, and the closest he could get to an heir was to steal Anna away from an alternate version of himself. Comstock was the one making their dreams come true so, of course, the Luteces helped him.

However, paranoid that they would betray him and reveal the true nature of Elizabeth's "birth", Comstock arranged for Fink to sabotage their equipment and kill them. This had the unintended side-effect of dispersing the Luteces across multiple dimensions, granting them a form of immortality and omnipresence. Rosalind is happy with this because she just wants to spend eternity with Robert, but Robert feels guilt for their involvement in Elizabeth's torture and the horrible future their actions cause. He forces Rosalind to help him try to make things right and they sic Booker after Comstock. Rosalind chooses to think of the exercise as an experiment, but Robert sees it as atonement.

Thank you, that makes perfect sense! I have one more question! So at the end Booker says the only way to stop all this from happening is to kill Comstock at his birth which means Booker would have to die before making the decision about whether to be reborn or not. So he lets Elizabeth drown him to prevent Comstock from ever happening? This confuses me because there are infinite dimensions where Comstock has happened and where he hasn't already. How can drowning this one Booker in this one random world seemingly created by Elizabeth to relive Booker's memory, solve anything? Won't there still be other dimensions with other Bookers and Comstocks? Also, how can the Booker we are playing as have any impact on whether Comstock is "born" or not since, at least from what I understand, we are playing as a version of Booker that rejected his rebirth after Wounded Knee. What would our version of Booker's death make possible? Furthermore, if Comstock was never "born" wouldn't that change the entire lives/realities of the Luteces as well as Elizabeth/Anna? As well as all the people who lived in Columbia?

#145 Posted by ApeGantz (216 posts) -
#146 Edited by StarvingGamer (7995 posts) -

@cjduke said:

Thank you, that makes perfect sense! I have one more question! So at the end Booker says the only way to stop all this from happening is to kill Comstock at his birth which means Booker would have to die before making the decision about whether to be reborn or not. So he lets Elizabeth drown him to prevent Comstock from ever happening? This confuses me because there are infinite dimensions where Comstock has happened and where he hasn't already. How can drowning this one Booker in this one random world seemingly created by Elizabeth to relive Booker's memory, solve anything? Won't there still be other dimensions with other Bookers and Comstocks? Also, how can the Booker we are playing as have any impact on whether Comstock is "born" or not since, at least from what I understand, we are playing as a version of Booker that rejected his rebirth after Wounded Knee. What would our version of Booker's death make possible? Furthermore, if Comstock was never "born" wouldn't that change the entire lives/realities of the Luteces as well as Elizabeth/Anna? As well as all the people who lived in Columbia?

Ok so big disclaimer, this is all my interpretation of events and in no way definitive.

After the destruction of the Siphon, Elizabeth becomes full control of her powers, effectively becoming a god. After taking Booker to Rapture they pass through the lighthouse door and everything from that point on takes place in manufactured pocket dimensions that she is using to help explain everything that happened. Nothing and no one they see is real, outside of possibly the Luteces that are rowing the boat because they are the only ones to acknowledge Elizabeth's presence and the whole situation.

This culminates in the final reveal at the return to the "baptism", which still is not taking place in any sort of actual reality. The multiple Elizabeths (note "our" Elizabeth, the one with the Bird or Cage, is not there) confront Booker with the final revelation that he is Comstock. Whether his permission/acceptance is necessary at this point or simply for her own satisfaction, once Booker comes to terms with the truth she "drowns" him, which is actually her severing the accepts baptism/becomes Comstock timeline from reality.

Remember that the multiverse of Infinite deals in variables and constants. Parallel dimensions only occur when a specific event has a variable outcome. For example, when Booker flips the coin there is no dimensional split because the result is always heads. The events of Infinite can be traced back to one split, where Booker accepts or rejects baptism. By turning this occurrence from a variable to a constant, Elizabeth prevents Comstock from ever being born. As a result, Anna is never kidnapped and all the Elizabeths start to disappear from existence. Whether or not the ur-Elizabeth survives this is questionable, as at this point she seems to be no longer bound by causality.

So yes, everything changes, or rather doesn't change, for everyone involved. The versions of people that existed along the Comstock timeline all disappear from reality. The versions that existed along the Booker timeline remain unaffected.

#147 Posted by CJduke (782 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Alright, I think I get it, thanks a lot for the awesome explanations!

#148 Posted by Dalai (6996 posts) -

Now that I look back at it, the ending is similar to how Super Mario Galaxy ends?

#149 Posted by Hardtarget (237 posts) -

@cjduke said:

Thank you, that makes perfect sense! I have one more question! So at the end Booker says the only way to stop all this from happening is to kill Comstock at his birth which means Booker would have to die before making the decision about whether to be reborn or not. So he lets Elizabeth drown him to prevent Comstock from ever happening? This confuses me because there are infinite dimensions where Comstock has happened and where he hasn't already. How can drowning this one Booker in this one random world seemingly created by Elizabeth to relive Booker's memory, solve anything? Won't there still be other dimensions with other Bookers and Comstocks? Also, how can the Booker we are playing as have any impact on whether Comstock is "born" or not since, at least from what I understand, we are playing as a version of Booker that rejected his rebirth after Wounded Knee. What would our version of Booker's death make possible? Furthermore, if Comstock was never "born" wouldn't that change the entire lives/realities of the Luteces as well as Elizabeth/Anna? As well as all the people who lived in Columbia?

Ok so big disclaimer, this is all my interpretation of events and in no way definitive.

After the destruction of the Siphon, Elizabeth becomes full control of her powers, effectively becoming a god. After taking Booker to Rapture they pass through the lighthouse door and everything from that point on takes place in manufactured pocket dimensions that she is using to help explain everything that happened. Nothing and no one they see is real, outside of possibly the Luteces that are rowing the boat because they are the only ones to acknowledge Elizabeth's presence and the whole situation.

This culminates in the final reveal at the return to the "baptism", which still is not taking place in any sort of actual reality. The multiple Elizabeths (note "our" Elizabeth, the one with the Bird or Cage, is not there) confront Booker with the final revelation that he is Comstock. Whether his permission/acceptance is necessary at this point or simply for her own satisfaction, once Booker comes to terms with the truth she "drowns" him, which is actually her severing the accepts baptism/becomes Comstock timeline from reality.

Remember that the multiverse of Infinite deals in variables and constants. Parallel dimensions only occur when a specific event has a variable outcome. For example, when Booker flips the coin there is no dimensional split because the result is always heads. The events of Infinite can be traced back to one split, where Booker accepts or rejects baptism. By turning this occurrence from a variable to a constant, Elizabeth prevents Comstock from ever being born. As a result, Anna is never kidnapped and all the Elizabeths start to disappear from existence. Whether or not the ur-Elizabeth survives this is questionable, as at this point she seems to be no longer bound by causality.

So yes, everything changes, or rather doesn't change, for everyone involved. The versions of people that existed along the Comstock timeline all disappear from reality. The versions that existed along the Booker timeline remain unaffected.

nice work man, that's good stuff.

Awesome thread all around everybody!

#150 Posted by BeachThunder (11695 posts) -

One thing that gets me is that Rosalind managed to create an inter-dimensional travel device in the late 1800s...

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