Spoils, spoiled, will spoil - a BioShock Infinite FAQ

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#151 Posted by Winternet (8006 posts) -

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

That's the one thing you can't believe?

#152 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -

@beachthunder said:

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

That's the one thing you can't believe?

No, it's one thing, not the one thing.

#153 Posted by Winternet (8006 posts) -

@winternet said:

@beachthunder said:

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

That's the one thing you can't believe?

No, it's one thing, not the one thing.

Oh, ok. Misread it.

#154 Posted by YI_Orange (1129 posts) -

@starvinggamer: I'm still not sure I get it. That Booker already made that decision, so is that instance supposed to be actual time travel and not just dimension travel? Everything I'm about to say is more a question than a statement. I'm not really trying to refute, more just understand.

Also, there are supposed to be infinite universes, correct? And the existence of at least 123 baptism rejections is acknowledged right? So if splits only happen where a choice is to be made, the baptism scene would become 2 timelines, and taking into account the rest of the game, not many more timelines would have been created over the course of the rapture journey, so most of the timelines would have to have been created before then? Or is it safe to assume that with infinite timelines comes infinite possibilities. Elizabeth mentions how songbird keeps stopping Booker. And some have interpreted dying as that timeline ending and then being dropped into another. Could we assume that every possibility for difference in events creates a new timeline? Even down to something so simple as to whether or not he picked up a silver eagle? To your coin example, the result is always heads, but does that mean Booker always selected tails? Again, I don't really know. It's very possible I don't understand the laws of the universe.

That stuff aside, I don't understand how drowning that one Booker would eliminate the other timelines. Especially considering he already made that choice. It might make a bit more sense to me if it somehow broke the loop and prevented timelines created out of the timeline central to the game from having Comstock and Columbia, but I don't get how it works retroactively. Unless they travel back to some sort of "Alpha" timeline. But even then, I don't see how drowning that Booker would help. Wouldn't you have to drown the Alpha Booker?

Sorry if this is a bit confusing. I'm confused so just kinda saying whatever's coming to mind.

#155 Edited by Winternet (8006 posts) -

@beachthunder: That said, it's an established fact. It's not meant to be debatable, it's part of the groundwork of the fiction. There is gravity, the language spoken is English and Lutece created an inter-dimensional device.

@yi_orange The drowning sequence is more of a symbolic, dramatized event than an actual literal event that happened for realz. It's Elizabeth changing a variable to a constant and that's how they visualize or chose to show those actions.

#156 Edited by YI_Orange (1129 posts) -

@winternet: So Elizabeth can just do that just because she feels like it?

edit - And if it is just supposed to be symbolic, then what of the actual event? What actually happens?

#157 Posted by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

Elizabeth can't "do anything" but she can find doors to places where "do anything" does happen.

#158 Edited by Winternet (8006 posts) -

@yi_orange: Well, by the end, Elizabeth is very God-like. She has the three traits of a god (or at least something very similar to those traits): omnipresence (she can be wherever she wants), omnipotence (her power is pretty much uncountable by this point) and omniscience (the one that is more deliberately stated in the game, when she says that she sees millions of doors and what lies beyond each door. She knows it all). So, yeah, I think she can just do that.

#159 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@yi_orange: The split at the baptism is the root of the countless Comstock/Booker dual realities. From that point on, different events and occurrences would cause further splits, to the point of effectively creating infinite realities by the time the game takes place some 21 years later. Keep in mind this is BioShock Infinite's version of a multiverse, which has almost nothing to do with actual science outside of a basic inspiration point.

As far as what actually happens, well, again this is a great big guess. Just taking the ending before the credits you would assume that Elizabeth is going back to the point before the baptism and killing Booker outright, preventing the entire baptism from ever happening and ending both the Comstock and the Booker sides of the timeline. However, post-credits we have the scene with Booker waking up once again in 1893 to memories of Annabelle and a crib. The Elizabeths disappear at the end, which means the Comstock timeline has not occurred. Booker and Anna are still around, meaning the Booker timeline has continued to exist. Because of the extensive discussion of dimensional constants and variables, the logical conclusions seems to be that Elizabeth used her powers to change the accepts/rejects baptism variable to a rejects baptism constant.

#160 Posted by coaxmetal (1579 posts) -

who sent that telegraph?

#161 Edited by golguin (3843 posts) -

who sent that telegraph?

Telegraph was sent by the Luteces. They knew what would happen and mentioned 77 because they can.

#162 Posted by Overtshot (2 posts) -

Within the infinite universes of Bioshock Infinite, is there a version of Jet Li and has he been murdered by an evil version of Jet Li in order to become even more powerful?

#163 Edited by Cimpy (24 posts) -

How does Comstock create Columbia? I know the Luteces created the tech, but how does Comstock get involved? He's just a normal dude who became a war hero. What qualifies him to be able to create what is likely the worlds greatest achievement- a city in the sky? Who put him in charge and why?

Unless it's explained in game and I missed it, they're asking me to overlook a very big plothole that begins this whole adventure.

#164 Edited by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

Because Comstock is a charismatic person with an intense righteous if not religious fervor. The man can convince people to set themselves on fire where convincing people to hand him a mountain of money so he can create his vision of paradise would be simple after that.

#165 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@cimpy said:

Unless it's explained in game and I missed it, they're asking me to overlook a very big plothole that begins this whole adventure.

It seems that Comstock lobbied for the construction over a period of time, using his religious rhetoric and military history to convert politicians to his cause. The US Government actually builds it as a weapons platform and propaganda piece.

#166 Edited by HubrisRanger (479 posts) -

@starvinggamer: I'm still not sure I get it. That Booker already made that decision, so is that instance supposed to be actual time travel and not just dimension travel? Everything I'm about to say is more a question than a statement. I'm not really trying to refute, more just understand.

Also, there are supposed to be infinite universes, correct? And the existence of at least 123 baptism rejections is acknowledged right? So if splits only happen where a choice is to be made, the baptism scene would become 2 timelines, and taking into account the rest of the game, not many more timelines would have been created over the course of the rapture journey, so most of the timelines would have to have been created before then? Or is it safe to assume that with infinite timelines comes infinite possibilities. Elizabeth mentions how songbird keeps stopping Booker. And some have interpreted dying as that timeline ending and then being dropped into another. Could we assume that every possibility for difference in events creates a new timeline? Even down to something so simple as to whether or not he picked up a silver eagle? To your coin example, the result is always heads, but does that mean Booker always selected tails? Again, I don't really know. It's very possible I don't understand the laws of the universe.

That stuff aside, I don't understand how drowning that one Booker would eliminate the other timelines. Especially considering he already made that choice. It might make a bit more sense to me if it somehow broke the loop and prevented timelines created out of the timeline central to the game from having Comstock and Columbia, but I don't get how it works retroactively. Unless they travel back to some sort of "Alpha" timeline. But even then, I don't see how drowning that Booker would help. Wouldn't you have to drown the Alpha Booker?

Sorry if this is a bit confusing. I'm confused so just kinda saying whatever's coming to mind.

In short, the "Alpha timeline" explanation is probably the clearest, and most significant in terms of player-Booker accomplishing anything of note on a multidimensional level. It is possible to argue that due to the infinite nature of fractal reality models, it's impossible for Booker to actually stop anything on a multidimensional level, but we'll leave that aside because it keeps me late at nights.

Essentially, the Baptism is a flashpoint. There's a very good video in the original post that explain "Many Worlds" quantum mechanics, but one of the basic understandings of is that for every decision that we make, there is a theoretical other existence where we made the other decision. The near-infinite element of this comes into play when you start stacking these decisions on top of each other. If I choose to have PB&J for lunch today or not branches into two worlds, and from those two worlds spring four worlds on if I decide to have a glass of milk or not, and from those four world, eight more based on if I decide to have desert or not. In this way, I've created eight separate but nearly identical realities before the afternoon, and that's only taking in account the decisions that I've made. If you add all of the decisions being made independently from anything to do with my lunch, the math becomes so convoluted that at a point it's best to just say that there are infinite possible theoretical existences, again many with very negligible differences between them.

However, there are major decision points that create dramatically different realities in their wake. I refer to these as flashpoints. Imagine a world where Hitler didn't choose to kill himself, or enlist in the German army but instead pursue his art career. The Baptism is represented as one of these Flashpoints, as it is the "birth" of Comstock and the figurative death of Booker DeWitt. In any of the resulting universes after DeWitt's baptism, Comstock exists; in every existence where he rejects the baptism, a Booker remains. Keeping in mind the above infinite variables of seemingly minor decisions, there are endless Comstocks, endless Bookers, and endless Luteces of both genders to play through the Elizabeth scenario; 123 barely scratches the surface.

Now keep in mind this reading requires a few accepted but unstated aspects of the finale of the game:

A) The Baptism is indeed a unique Flashpoint that occurred only once in the vast multiverse, at least in regards to being the birthplace of Zachary Comstock. DeWitt may have had other baptisms in his infinite existences, but only this one gave birth to the man that would eventually become the creator of Columbia. As stated above, there are infinite moments that are spawned by out inconsequential decisions, not just our significant ones, so this is a bit hard to swallow if you take a "hard science" approach (as hard as you can get anyway, with something this wildly speculative), but I think it works from a narrative perspective.

B) Elizabeth/Anna can time travel. Again, it isn't enough that this is stopped in one potential reality that exists sideways in terms of temporal expediency; this has to be THE Baptism, not A Baptism. In some ways, this makes the whole game make more sense to me. The Luteces frankly know what needs to be done to stop Comstock from existing, but their limited reality hopping abilities stop just short of being able to move back in time. But super ripper Anna does have that ability, thus why it is important for Booker to free her, release her god-like power, thus enabling her to in turn stop Booker from ever becoming Comstock...and erase her infinite existences.

Also interesting thing to consider: Comstock can't counter-engineer what Booker is doing because to stop Booker from ever existing past the Baptism means that he's also killing Anna/Elizabeth, depriving him of the heir that he's so desperate for. Thus he's stuck just trying to stop Booker, but realizing due to the infinite nature of time, reality and eventual probability, a Booker will eventually free a Elizabeth from a Comstock, thus setting into motion the final moments where Comstock is smothered at birth. In short, Comstock can't win while Booker eventually has to. The coin will come up tails eventually.
#167 Posted by n0nametaz (272 posts) -

I've only glimpsed over this but it looks awesome! I love stuff like this.

#168 Posted by Oginam (446 posts) -

Awesome thread, still need to read through a bunch of it.

However, since I just finished the game I want to throw my 2 cents in here; or rather a question I don't like not knowing an answer for.

To me, the Baptism isn't the choice that creates everything - its Rosalind/Robert Lutece. Nothing is really preventing Lutece from screwing with everything again and empowering another version of Comstock. Especially if Booker can remember the story of 123 then that implies that Lutece can also, as she (its Rosalind in 123's I think) would also be reverted into a former non-godlike state (no Comstock, no Fink sabotaging the machine that creates the god-like state). Whether Comstock exists to fund Lutece or not is irrelevant, she should know everything still.

I guess, by that logic, Anna would also have all of Elizabeth's memories as well. So maybe only Booker "could" keep his memories since it was his choice - but how the hell would Elizabeth or the Luteces know that?

#169 Edited by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

I'm not sure where you are coming from. Booker's choice made the events possible and Booker's choice is what allows Elizabeth to sever and fix the multi-verses where it doesn't matter what Luteces are doing. In fact it is shown multiple times the Luteces can not act to change anything (the coin toss, the telegram, multiple conversations).

#170 Edited by SightsSetSouth (1 posts) -

Just realized that Comstock wasn't lying about fighting all those battles because Comstock IS Booker.

#171 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@cimpy said:

Unless it's explained in game and I missed it, they're asking me to overlook a very big plothole that begins this whole adventure.

It seems that Comstock lobbied for the construction over a period of time, using his religious rhetoric and military history to convert politicians to his cause. The US Government actually builds it as a weapons platform and propaganda piece.

Until she met Comstock, all Lutece had was tech. She was a brain, not a visionary. He was the one with the plan to create a flying city, a plan he brought to the US government with Lutece's experiments as proof that it could be done. Of course they agreed to give him funding, no government in their right mind wouldn't. It had nothing to do with religion or military history and everything to do with the ability to create a flying city in 1893.

The reason he was in charge is because as far as anyone knew, it was his idea from the very beginning.

#172 Edited by Winternet (8006 posts) -

@oginam said:

Awesome thread, still need to read through a bunch of it.

However, since I just finished the game I want to throw my 2 cents in here; or rather a question I don't like not knowing an answer for.

To me, the Baptism isn't the choice that creates everything - its Rosalind/Robert Lutece. Nothing is really preventing Lutece from screwing with everything again and empowering another version of Comstock. Especially if Booker can remember the story of 123 then that implies that Lutece can also, as she (its Rosalind in 123's I think) would also be reverted into a former non-godlike state (no Comstock, no Fink sabotaging the machine that creates the god-like state). Whether Comstock exists to fund Lutece or not is irrelevant, she should know everything still.

I guess, by that logic, Anna would also have all of Elizabeth's memories as well. So maybe only Booker "could" keep his memories since it was his choice - but how the hell would Elizabeth or the Luteces know that?

Well, that just turns into a debate of how far back do you want to go to stop all of this from happening. The goal here is to stop Anna/Elizabeth from being taken away from Booker and the baptism thingy accomplishes that just fine.

#173 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@rebgav: Since you so kindly pointed it out, I thought I'd let you know that I got around to tidying up the timeline. :D

#174 Posted by Rasmoss (433 posts) -

What is the odd metaphysical importance of lighthouses?

#175 Edited by Lively (298 posts) -

I'm not sure if this has been touched on, but I see a lot of people saying that the post-credits sequence means that "our" Booker has somehow survived, and I don't really see that. I think that the drowning essentially kills all Bookers / Comstocks that even went to the baptism, including the version of Booker that we played as. There were enough Comstocks generated from that point that Elizabeth had to kill that line at the root, even if it included some Bookers as well.

There will still be other Bookers who never even went to the the Baptism, who still ended up having Anna (or maybe Anna has already been conceived / born at this point, we don't know), and that's what the post-credits sequence shows.

On the subject of the importance of light-houses, it might be commenting on how a lot of different Bookers came to Columbia via the lighthouse, but I actually think it's a bit of meta-commentary about the Bioshock series, almost breaking the 4th wall a little bit, especially since I don't think Booker had anything to do with Rapture.

#176 Edited by Rasmoss (433 posts) -

@lively said:

I'm not sure if this has been touched on, but I see a lot of people saying that the post-credits sequence means that "our" Booker has somehow survived, and I don't really see that. I think that the drowning essentially kills all Bookers / Comstocks that even went to the baptism, including the version of Booker that we played as. There were enough Comstocks generated from that point that Elizabeth had to kill that line at the root, even if it included some Bookers as well.

There will still be other Bookers who never even went to the the Baptism, who still ended up having Anna (or maybe Anna has already been conceived / born at this point, we don't know), and that's what the post-credits sequence shows.

On the subject of the importance of light-houses, it might be commenting on how a lot of different Bookers came to Columbia via the lighthouse, but I actually think it's a bit of meta-commentary about the Bioshock series, almost breaking the 4th wall a little bit, especially since I don't think Booker had anything to do with Rapture.

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

#177 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -
@rasmoss said:

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

So because thousands of people are dying somewhere else, why bother saving thousands of people here?

When you are directly responsible for their deaths?

#178 Posted by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

@lively said:

I'm not sure if this has been touched on, but I see a lot of people saying that the post-credits sequence means that "our" Booker has somehow survived, and I don't really see that. I think that the drowning essentially kills all Bookers / Comstocks that even went to the baptism, including the version of Booker that we played as. There were enough Comstocks generated from that point that Elizabeth had to kill that line at the root, even if it included some Bookers as well.

There will still be other Bookers who never even went to the the Baptism, who still ended up having Anna (or maybe Anna has already been conceived / born at this point, we don't know), and that's what the post-credits sequence shows.

On the subject of the importance of light-houses, it might be commenting on how a lot of different Bookers came to Columbia via the lighthouse, but I actually think it's a bit of meta-commentary about the Bioshock series, almost breaking the 4th wall a little bit, especially since I don't think Booker had anything to do with Rapture.

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

You are correct except for one key fact: It matters to Anna.

#179 Posted by Rasmoss (433 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

So because thousands of people are dying somewhere else, why bother saving thousands of people here?

When you are directly responsible for their deaths?

"I" am not. Booker is. In a certain number of universes.

#180 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

@starvinggamer said:
@rasmoss said:

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

So because thousands of people are dying somewhere else, why bother saving thousands of people here?

When you are directly responsible for their deaths?

"I" am not. Booker is. In a certain number of universes.

I don't even know what you're saying at this point. Your problem with BioShock Infinite is that "you" don't have a personal stake in a fictional story, which is also true for any other work of fiction.

#181 Edited by Rasmoss (433 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

@starvinggamer said:
@rasmoss said:

The problem I have with the whole setup is, that in a world of infinite universes based on infinite choices, there must be an infinite number of realities where the world ends. So I really fail to see how it's so important to stop this particular example.

So because thousands of people are dying somewhere else, why bother saving thousands of people here?

When you are directly responsible for their deaths?

"I" am not. Booker is. In a certain number of universes.

I don't even know what you're saying at this point. Your problem with BioShock Infinite is that "you" don't have a personal stake in a fictional story, which is also true for any other work of fiction.

I'm just saying that a world of infinite universes of inifinite possibilites are kind of detrimental to dramatic weight. I just had a feeling that nothing really mattered in the end.

#182 Posted by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

Again you are missing out on the important point is that multiple decisions let alone the two big choices in the game matter a lot to Anna. You are free to feel to feel whatever you want in the game but it is not accurate let alone correct in saying "nothing mattered in the end".

#183 Posted by squidraid (129 posts) -

the multiple universes stuff in this game was cool, seemed like a less complex version of Neal Stephenson's Anathem, or some of the concepts there.

I'm glad someone besides me thought of this comparison. I have to go read that book again.

#184 Edited by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -

Something I've been thinking - wouldn't everyone constantly suffer from inter-dimensional-cognitive-dissonance (ie. flickering in and out of existence), given that in some reality, everyone would already be dead or unborn? Consider a reality where there is a Rosalind; in that reality Rosalind should be affected by inter-dimensional-cognitive-dissonance because she would not exist in a Robert reality (and vice-versa). Basically, each one of them would have conflicting thoughts of simultaneously being alive an unborn. Obviously, this would also apply for everyone else's unborn male or female counterparts too (unless you happened to be a part of a male-female twin).

#185 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@beachthunder: I believe that has something to do with the tears. Correct me if I'm wrong, but every time you encountered soldiers doing the woogy shuffle wasn't it immediately after Elizabeth pulled herself and Booker into another dimension by overlapping it over the original?

#186 Posted by BeachThunder (11702 posts) -
#187 Edited by Strider57 (12 posts) -

I am confused how trans-dimension travel is not also time travel, at least in the perspective of this game. How is contemporary music finding its way to Columbia?

#188 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

How is contemporary music finding its way to Columbia?

Fink's brother hears modern music through the tears and rewrites it in a manner more appropriate for the times, selling it as "The music of tomorrow... today!" He becomes wildly successful, and as a result inspires his brother to do the same thing with technology.

#189 Posted by Strider57 (12 posts) -

@StarvingGamer Whoops. Sorry, I got that part. I meant to add, how are the tears opening into an alternate universe that is also in the future?

I thought time would remain constant in every universe, so how, or why, are tears opening up in 1966?

#190 Edited by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@strider57 said:

@StarvingGamer Whoops. Sorry, I got that part. I meant to add, how are the tears opening into an alternate universe that is also in the future?

I thought time would remain constant in every universe, so how, or why, are tears opening up in 1966?

The tears are opening as a result of the experiments performed by Comstock and the Luteces. And remember, while time may remain constant between multiverses, the year 1966 is a man-made concept. Whether or not it is 1966 is determined by the people living in that universe.

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