#1 Posted by Hunkulese (2526 posts) -

I don't know if there is a reason that I missed or it's just poor writing too add a convenient plot twist but why does Booker have no recollection that he sold his baby? This isn't kind of a memory you can repress especially considering his entire mission is based upon retrieving the girl. Do you think that the Luteces are able to alter Booker's memories and they are even more involved in the story than they appear or do you think it's somehow possible that the Booker we play as is from a reality where he never had a daughter? Or is it just some convenient writing to tie everything together and give us a twist?

#2 Edited by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

"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."

"The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist..." -Rosalind Lutece, Barriers to Trans-Dimensional Travel c.1889

"You have been transfused, brother, into a new reality, but your body rejects the cognitive dissonance through confusion and hemorrhage. But we are together, and I will mend you. For what separates us now, but a single chromosome?" -Rosalind Lutece, Voxophone 057

#3 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

I don't know if there is a reason that I missed or it's just poor writing too add a convenient plot twist but why does Booker have no recollection that he sold his baby? This isn't kind of a memory you can repress especially considering his entire mission is based upon retrieving the girl. Do you think that the Luteces are able to alter Booker's memories and they are even more involved in the story than they appear or do you think it's somehow possible that the Booker we play as is from a reality where he never had a daughter? Or is it just some convenient writing to tie everything together and give us a twist?

Because he was taken to another dimension at the start of the game and his brain made up memorys. The two memories mixed and matched blocking his old ones. He even makes mention of it when they are in the world where he died for the vox.

#4 Posted by JasonR86 (9372 posts) -

@hunkulese:

Well, the 'get the girl' thing is based around the belief of the male Lutece that a subject will create memories where there are none to better situate himself in a reality, time, or place that he doesn't belong. It plays off the quote at the start of the game (which I just read as I'm replaying it but I don't remember who said it).

As to how he forgot, I'm a little foggy on this. I was under the impression that either it was too dramatic for him so over those years he festered in his room he was able to repress the memory of his daughter one way or another. The other option is that, in order for him to enter the new reality and stay sane and form those new memories I mentioned above, the memory of his daughter had to be completely wiped out by the Luteces. I'm playing it again now so if it is more clear I'll let you know.

#5 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@hunkulese:

Well, the 'get the girl' thing is based around the belief of the male Lutece that a subject will create memories where there are none to better situate himself in a reality, time, or place that he doesn't belong. It plays off the quote at the start of the game (which I just read as I'm replaying it but I don't remember who said it).

As to how he forgot, I'm a little foggy on this. I was under the impression that either it was too dramatic for him so over those years he festered in his room he was able to repress the memory of his daughter one way or another. The other option is that, in order for him to enter the new reality and stay sane and form those new memories I mentioned above, the memory of his daughter had to be completely wiped out by the Luteces. I'm playing it again now so if it is more clear I'll let you know.

Its an effect of entering another dimension for the first time. His brain trying to cope with his "death/non existence" In that reality.

#6 Edited by Hunkulese (2526 posts) -

@hunkulese said:

I don't know if there is a reason that I missed or it's just poor writing too add a convenient plot twist but why does Booker have no recollection that he sold his baby? This isn't kind of a memory you can repress especially considering his entire mission is based upon retrieving the girl. Do you think that the Luteces are able to alter Booker's memories and they are even more involved in the story than they appear or do you think it's somehow possible that the Booker we play as is from a reality where he never had a daughter? Or is it just some convenient writing to tie everything together and give us a twist?

Because he was taken to another dimension at the start of the game and his brain made up memorys. The two memories mixed and matched blocking his old ones. He even makes mention of it when they are in the world where he died for the vox.

I understood this part but they also say that he's been trying to deal with selling his daughter for the last 20 years. It's clearly the most important part of his life but he seems to have clear memories of everything else that doesn't involve Anna/Elizabeth and every time he jumps through a tear in the rest of the game he doesn't appear to lose any memories but gains slight access to new ones. Why would it only be Anna that he would be making new memories for? That is what makes me think it's just convenient writing. I don't really have a problem with this but I was just wondering if I missed something.

#7 Posted by Hunkulese (2526 posts) -

"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."

"The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist..." -Rosalind Lutece, Barriers to Trans-Dimensional Travel c.1889

"You have been transfused, brother, into a new reality, but your body rejects the cognitive dissonance through confusion and hemorrhage. But we are together, and I will mend you. For what separates us now, but a single chromosome?" -Rosalind Lutece, Voxophone 057

I understood those parts but why is he creating memories where none exist if he's been torn apart by selling his daughter for the last 20 years? It seems to walk a very thin line (for me at least) where it can easily be seen that nothing we see can be trusted because the Luteces are in complete control of Booker's thoughts.

#8 Edited by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@hunkulese: The way I see it is this - Immediately after giving away Anna he drinks himself into a 19-year stupor trying to forget. This would make giving away Anna the most recent solid, strong memory at the forefront of his mind and, therefore, the most logical place for memory alteration to begin. The Luteces capitalize on this fact by providing him with very specific imagery and clues to co-opt this memory into something that better suits their needs. Yes, the Luteces are controlling his thoughts after a fashion, but it's an opportunist control and a far cry from complete.

#9 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

"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."

"The mind of the subject will desperately struggle to create memories where none exist..." -Rosalind Lutece, Barriers to Trans-Dimensional Travel c.1889

"You have been transfused, brother, into a new reality, but your body rejects the cognitive dissonance through confusion and hemorrhage. But we are together, and I will mend you. For what separates us now, but a single chromosome?" -Rosalind Lutece, Voxophone 057

I understood those parts but why is he creating memories where none exist if he's been torn apart by selling his daughter for the last 20 years? It seems to walk a very thin line (for me at least) where it can easily be seen that nothing we see can be trusted because the Luteces are in complete control of Booker's thoughts.

His memories are muddled and Elizabeth is transposed with Anna. Consider the scene where they escape the tower and Booker almost drowns, he imagines that he's back in his apartment at the moment that Lutece comes for Anna but Elizabeth is there with him instead. As he is revived he is looking directly at Elizabeth but calling out for Anna. Lutece has deliberately tried to influence Booker's mental state by commingling the "bring us the girl and wipe away the debt" refrain with "bring her to New York unharmed." Lutece is preying upon Booker's confusion and guilt and offering him a more palatable narrative than the truth.

#10 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@hunkulese:

Well, the 'get the girl' thing is based around the belief of the male Lutece that a subject will create memories where there are none to better situate himself in a reality, time, or place that he doesn't belong. It plays off the quote at the start of the game (which I just read as I'm replaying it but I don't remember who said it).

As to how he forgot, I'm a little foggy on this. I was under the impression that either it was too dramatic for him so over those years he festered in his room he was able to repress the memory of his daughter one way or another. The other option is that, in order for him to enter the new reality and stay sane and form those new memories I mentioned above, the memory of his daughter had to be completely wiped out by the Luteces. I'm playing it again now so if it is more clear I'll let you know.

It's established in the game that crossing over into a new dimension causes cognitive dissonance as the mind (or reality?) tries to resolve the merger. The specifics are unclear but we see the effect in Booker's nosebleeds, the "zombified" npcs who have died in another reality passed-through by Booker and Elizabeth, and in the audiologs about Robert Lutece coming into Rosalind's dimension.

The quote from the start of the game is from "R. Lutece" by the way.

#11 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@jasonr86 said:

@hunkulese:

Well, the 'get the girl' thing is based around the belief of the male Lutece that a subject will create memories where there are none to better situate himself in a reality, time, or place that he doesn't belong. It plays off the quote at the start of the game (which I just read as I'm replaying it but I don't remember who said it).

As to how he forgot, I'm a little foggy on this. I was under the impression that either it was too dramatic for him so over those years he festered in his room he was able to repress the memory of his daughter one way or another. The other option is that, in order for him to enter the new reality and stay sane and form those new memories I mentioned above, the memory of his daughter had to be completely wiped out by the Luteces. I'm playing it again now so if it is more clear I'll let you know.

It's established in the game that crossing over into a new dimension causes cognitive dissonance as the mind (or reality?) tries to resolve the merger. The specifics are unclear but we see the effect in Booker's nosebleeds, the "zombified" npcs who have died in another reality passed-through by Booker and Elizabeth, and in the audiologs about Robert Lutece coming into Rosalind's dimension.

The quote from the start of the game is from "R. Lutece" by the way.

Bam. This. The memories are adapted so the head wont explode or something. As they say" The brain adapts"

#12 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@hunkulese: The way I see it is this - Immediately after giving away Anna he drinks himself into a 19-year stupor trying to forget. This would make giving away Anna the most recent solid, strong memory at the forefront of his mind and, therefore, the most logical place for memory alteration to begin. The Luteces capitalize on this fact by providing him with very specific imagery and clues to co-opt this memory into something that better suits their needs. Yes, the Luteces are controlling his thoughts after a fashion, but it's an opportunist control and a far cry from complete.

Well, I'm pretty sure that a 19 year drinking bender doesn't result in anything but death or something pretty close to it. So, it's very difficult to believe that his most recent solid memory would be him giving away his child.

#13 Edited by natetodamax (19136 posts) -

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

#14 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

#15 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

#16 Posted by Ghostiet (5153 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

The same thing happened to Robert Lutece, so it's not really selective solely towards Booker. Not to mention that the Luteces are purposefully screwing with him so his mind creates a better narrative to follow - like with the dead assassin in the lighthouse.

#17 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -
@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

The same thing happened to Robert Lutece, so it's not really selective solely towards Booker. Not to mention that the Luteces are purposefully screwing with him so his mind creates a better narrative to follow - like with the dead assassin in the lighthouse.

But, the fact that he remembers having a child but not remembering what happened to said child is something very particular.

#18 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

The same thing happened to Robert Lutece, so it's not really selective solely towards Booker. Not to mention that the Luteces are purposefully screwing with him so his mind creates a better narrative to follow - like with the dead assassin in the lighthouse.

But, the fact that he remembers having a child but not remembering what happened to said child is something very particular.

He also can not recall who gave him the job since the Lutce row him to the lighthouse. He also does not remember the attempted baptism.

#19 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@winternet said:
@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

The same thing happened to Robert Lutece, so it's not really selective solely towards Booker. Not to mention that the Luteces are purposefully screwing with him so his mind creates a better narrative to follow - like with the dead assassin in the lighthouse.

But, the fact that he remembers having a child but not remembering what happened to said child is something very particular.

He also can not recall who gave him the job since the Lutce row him to the lighthouse. He also does not remember the attempted baptism.

Yet he remembers being in Wounded Knee.

#20 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

@winternet said:
@ghostiet said:

@winternet said:
@the_laughing_man said:

@voxel said:

My question is, how did they bring him into another dimension without him knowing?

Again it messed up his memories. His mind adjusted to that him all ways having lived in that reality.

It was a very selective way of messing up his memories.

The same thing happened to Robert Lutece, so it's not really selective solely towards Booker. Not to mention that the Luteces are purposefully screwing with him so his mind creates a better narrative to follow - like with the dead assassin in the lighthouse.

But, the fact that he remembers having a child but not remembering what happened to said child is something very particular.

He also can not recall who gave him the job since the Lutce row him to the lighthouse. He also does not remember the attempted baptism.

Yet he remembers being in Wounded Knee.

I wanna assume eveything before the baptism was semi intact. After that when the big change happened is when stuff gets fuzzy.

#21 Posted by crusader8463 (14305 posts) -

Because it's a story about alternate realities so they waved the magic wand and it was so.

#22 Posted by Ramone (2931 posts) -

Although his amnesia is slightly convenient I think the box at the start of the game (with his belongings in) is what informs a lot of his memories, whether they are real or fabricated. The box has an engraving which says something like 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee on it and I think his Pinkerton badge is also in there.

#23 Edited by Jay_Ray (1006 posts) -

@the_laughing_man: You are right. Since everything up to the baptism was constant between Comstock and Booker. The realities and subsequently their memory are more or less the same up to the baptism. When Booker travels to another dimension every memory that doesn't exist for his counterpart (Comstock) becomes fuzzy and distorted. Rosalind helped Robert through his trans dimensional travel allowing his memory to completely reform. Without Rosalind Robert would probably have been ended up in an asylum.

#24 Posted by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@hunkulese: The way I see it is this - Immediately after giving away Anna he drinks himself into a 19-year stupor trying to forget. This would make giving away Anna the most recent solid, strong memory at the forefront of his mind and, therefore, the most logical place for memory alteration to begin. The Luteces capitalize on this fact by providing him with very specific imagery and clues to co-opt this memory into something that better suits their needs. Yes, the Luteces are controlling his thoughts after a fashion, but it's an opportunist control and a far cry from complete.

Well, I'm pretty sure that a 19 year drinking bender doesn't result in anything but death or something pretty close to it. So, it's very difficult to believe that his most recent solid memory would be him giving away his child.

I realized after writing this that I probably made a poor choice of words. Anna, and thinking about Anna, would be the most prevalent/present memory in his mind. Presumably he was drinking to try and forget, but was so obsessed over this mistake that he went so far as to brand himself so he couldn't forget. For the most part his mind would be in one of two states - too drunk to think about it or lucid enough so that it was the only thing he could think about. This culminates with the Luteces approaching him and offering him a chance to get Anna back. All that anguish and pain and regret suddenly turns into a hopeful need, and right at the moment he steps through the tear. Lutece hands him the box which takes Elizabeth and forcibly inserts her into "Bring us the girl...and wipe away the debt", essentially cutting his strongest memories of Anna at the root.

#25 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@the_laughing_man: But, what big change? Booker refused the baptism. There's no change for him.

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

#26 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

Booker is very much of the pulp noir, detective fiction archetype. It is rather typical that he'd be an alcoholic degenerate gambler who is tormented by some past wrongdoing. This is usually the reason for the protagonist to be susceptible to scumbag clients and their bizarre requests. That it is an unrealistic archetype is completely irrelevant to the fiction.

#27 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

Booker is very much of the pulp noir, detective fiction archetype. It is rather typical that he'd be an alcoholic degenerate gambler who is tormented by some past wrongdoing. This is usually the reason for the protagonist to be susceptible to scumbag clients and their bizarre requests. That it is an unrealistic archetype is completely irrelevant to the fiction.

Sure, but that means that a lot happened in those 19 years. He wasn't just drinking. And for him to just don't remember any of it is what makes it silly. Not that he is a noir-like detective.

#28 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

Booker is very much of the pulp noir, detective fiction archetype. It is rather typical that he'd be an alcoholic degenerate gambler who is tormented by some past wrongdoing. This is usually the reason for the protagonist to be susceptible to scumbag clients and their bizarre requests. That it is an unrealistic archetype is completely irrelevant to the fiction.

Sure, but that means that a lot happened in those 19 years. He wasn't just drinking. And for him to just don't remember any of it is what makes it silly. Not that he is a noir-like detective.

There isn't really any suggestion that "a lot" happened in those years, for all we know he could have simply continued to drink and gamble and take petty investigation jobs. There's also the indication that Booker does remember on some level but he's in denial thanks to the cognitive dissonance and Lutece's manufactured narrative. Booker "remembers" things when it's convenient for the story and there are a handful of story elements which exist purely to justify that. It's fine to not like it or not "buy it" but it is what it is.

#29 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

Booker is very much of the pulp noir, detective fiction archetype. It is rather typical that he'd be an alcoholic degenerate gambler who is tormented by some past wrongdoing. This is usually the reason for the protagonist to be susceptible to scumbag clients and their bizarre requests. That it is an unrealistic archetype is completely irrelevant to the fiction.

Sure, but that means that a lot happened in those 19 years. He wasn't just drinking. And for him to just don't remember any of it is what makes it silly. Not that he is a noir-like detective.

There isn't really any suggestion that "a lot" happened in those years, for all we know he could have simply continued to drink and gamble and take petty investigation jobs. There's also the indication that Booker does remember on some level but he's in denial thanks to the cognitive dissonance and Lutece's manufactured narrative. Booker "remembers" things when it's convenient for the story and there are a handful of story elements which exist purely to justify that. It's fine to not like it or not "buy it" but it is what it is.

Yes, he remembers what it's convenient to the game, therefore it's illogical. Trying to explain it is just a disservice to the overall story/narrative. It's unnecessary that's what it is.

#30 Edited by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

One of the first things that happens when you start the game is Booker has a nose bleed. After completing the game you should realize what that means where Booker's brain has been scrambled where memories are mixed up. He isn't sure how he got on the boat, his memories are fragmented and mixed up where all it takes is handing him a box with a note in it to shove him in the right direction.

#31 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@extomar: Actually, there is no nose bleed at the beginning. And don't the nose bleeds happen when two "realities", two sets of memories are clashing against each other?

#32 Posted by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

I could have swore that a nose bleed happened on the boat trip but maybe it was during the intro area. I'd start a new game to take a look but I don't want to mess with the autosaves I currently have.

#33 Edited by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@rebgav said:

@winternet said:

@starvinggamer: The thing I was going against was the 19 years drinking. That just doesn't make sense. No one that survives 19 years of drinking is in a state to go on a quest of ... anything really. Booker must be in a somewhat reasonable state during those 19 years so he could a) survive b) stay in enough good shape physically and mentally so he could go in a snap in a quest that includes murdering fools in a very accurate and relentless way.

Booker is very much of the pulp noir, detective fiction archetype. It is rather typical that he'd be an alcoholic degenerate gambler who is tormented by some past wrongdoing. This is usually the reason for the protagonist to be susceptible to scumbag clients and their bizarre requests. That it is an unrealistic archetype is completely irrelevant to the fiction.

Sure, but that means that a lot happened in those 19 years. He wasn't just drinking. And for him to just don't remember any of it is what makes it silly. Not that he is a noir-like detective.

There isn't really any suggestion that "a lot" happened in those years, for all we know he could have simply continued to drink and gamble and take petty investigation jobs. There's also the indication that Booker does remember on some level but he's in denial thanks to the cognitive dissonance and Lutece's manufactured narrative. Booker "remembers" things when it's convenient for the story and there are a handful of story elements which exist purely to justify that. It's fine to not like it or not "buy it" but it is what it is.

Yes, he remembers what it's convenient to the game, therefore it's illogical. Trying to explain it is just a disservice to the overall story/narrative. It's unnecessary that's what it is.

I dunno, I think trying to prescribe a hard logic to this sort of pseudo-science is, in and of itself, illogical. Being dimensionally displaced causes your memories to be rewired. This rewiring just so happens to work in exactly the right way to further the fiction of Infinite. Who are we to argue? None of us have published books on the barriers to trans-dimensional travel.

#34 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@starvinggamer: a) you shouldn't make assumptions :) b) trans-dimensional travel does not exist and is incomprehensible to the human mind. It can't be explained and attempts in doing so just result in failure. And Infinite did not need these ending explanations and they end up being prejudicial to the game (in a minor capacity, but still), in my opinion.

#35 Posted by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@winternet: a) They're speculations and I've never claimed them to be otherwise. b) This is a work of science fiction, not even grounded in real science but in vague concepts somewhere adjacent to real science. I don't see the harm in trying to figure out how all these fantastical systems operate within the logic of their own universe.

#36 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@starvinggamer: a) I was actually talking about neither of us having published books on barriers to trans-dimensional travel b) but that's why, in this case, more explanation leads to less understanding and more confusion. Because, trans-dimensional travel is so far off the scale of human understanding that trying to explain it in detail just raises questions that end up nowhere. And, in my opinion, it's unnecessary. What does "Booker is Comcstock" bring to the table? How does it improve Bioshock Infinite? What is important in clearly showing that Elizabeth is Booker daughter? How does that improve the game?

In my opinion, it doesn't. There is no conflict, there is no duality, no meaningful interaction between Comstock and Booker. Comstock is basically an image, the head figure of one side of Columbia that is in the way between Booker and his goal, rescuing Elizabeth. Same way Daisy is the head of the other side of Columbia that is also in the way of your goal. Daisy is, in fact, more present and more meaningful to Booker, because there's actually a relation forming there, initially as a "you help me, I help you" and then as "comrades" and then it finishes as "enemies". Comstock is just kinda there in the beginning and kinda there in the end.

And Elizabeth being your daughter is just as not relevant. Booker is about to get drowned, Elizabeth is basically God, their relationship is ending. Who cares if she is your daughter, wife or grandmother? It's the end.

#37 Posted by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@winternet: a) Ah, fair point :) b) It's less an exercise in science and more an exercise in writing. Most works of fiction attempt to have their own internal logic. When these works of fiction have a vague scientific basis, it is easier to see where those lines of logic begin. All we're doing is trying to connect the dots, not from a scientific standpoint, but from a creative one.

In my mind, the whole thing circles back to some of the underlying themes of Infinite, choices, mistakes, and forgiveness. The duality of the Booker/Comstock and Annabelle/Elizabeth relationships gives them their weight. And that relationship still matters when Booker is being drowned because there is an implication, post-credits, that somewhere a Booker and an Annabelle have been given a second chance to make better choices and live a better life.

#38 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Them stating that Elizabeth is Booker's daughter is not as, for lack of a better term, bad as Booker being Comstock (which, I can't find any good reason for them going there). And yes, the drowning sequence is symbolic and not something that happens in reality, although they try to tie it to a logic, factual concept that it stops Comstock from ever existing which is a big leap of faith, but still, let's call it, believable. The point is that the player doesn't care about the infinite number Booker. The player cares about the Booker he plays, call it Booker 123 if you want, and the Elizabeth that is "tied" with that Booker. And that Booker dies and so does that relationship. Also, nothing says that the epilogue Booker is on his way for a better life. In fact, it's probably the other way, since all that is changed is the possibility of baptism and the "born" of Comstock. Booker is still filled with gambling debts. What changed is that there isn't a Robert Lutece visiting him and offering the solution. It's quite likely that Booker's debts haunts him in other ways which lead to other unfortunate situations.

I feel like it would be better if none of this was the end road. Wouldn't be better to end with a lighthouse, a man, a city? Booker and Elizabeth going through doors, finding new cities and new lighthouses. Or them going to Paris. And we'd be discussing their relationship, a man and a woman, be it a father and daughter or two companions or something more than that. A god and man. Instead of this pseudo-scientific talk. Or even going to the "Elizabeth is Booker's daughter" and utilize the finger to something more than "hey guys, look. The finger is going to be cut-off. Slow-motion! Look at it". Something like, the finger was in Booker's possession in his "office" and the finger could reunite with Elizabeth making her whole again and therefore make her lose her abilities and turn her back into a "normal" person, giving them the chance of living a better, "normal" life as father and daughter in a world without Columbia.

I think the end game could have been something more impactful, more interesting and more illuminated than what it ended up being.

#39 Edited by StarvingGamer (7558 posts) -

@winternet: Well, I guess we're gonna like what we're gonna like. I respect your opinion and, while I prefer the ending that I got, I can understand why you would prefer the ending(s) you imagined. Agree to disagree.

The only thing I'll add is that the reason the ending is hopeful to me is because the way the post-credit scene is framed implies that this Booker, whether he's our original Booker (which I believe) or another similar Booker, is somehow partially aware of the events of the game. I said before that I think that forgiveness, or the (in)ability to forgive oneself, is a theme of Infinite. In my mind, the journey he takes culminating in the revelation that he is Comstock allows him to reach a level of understanding of himself. That self-awareness then bleeds into post-credits Booker, giving him the strength to forgive himself and work towards building a better life for himself and Anna.

And if we learned anything from the game, it's that Booker can get himself through anything if he puts his mind to it. He'll eat as many trashcan hotdogs as he has to and dig through chocolate boxes for coins until he makes it happen.

#40 Edited by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

I agree with Starving on this one where it is about parents and children and choices and mistakes and ultimately forgiveness. This is a thing that parents and children have been in stories since time and memorial: Parents make mistakes with their children but how much should the parent pay since they did literally ruin the life of the child? Lets not beat around the bush: Booker did give away Anna because he was in serious debt. That alone is quite monstrous but that action set off a series of events in multiple worlds that resulted in a lot of people dying and ultimately standing before the last door in the game saying "We need to do something to stop all of it." Of course stopping Comstock is paramount (stopping Fitzroy and Fink is a good bonus too) but then there is the "literal theory" that Booker needs to pay penance as well where that moment is actually the best moment in the story to extract it from him. Accepting that punishment through baptism cleanses him from the sins that created so many problems.

In the end, I never felt it was never that Elizabeth didn't care or was acting like furies filled with divine retribution or whatever but that Booker made his choice and opened the door. A lot of the themes actually follow Greek Tragedy where the sin of the father are paid through the hand of the child.

#41 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@starvinggamer: I guess so.

Just one more thing: I don't feel like post-credits scenes are worth a damn. The game ends when the credits roll. The end of Infinite is the drowning sequence. Anything that comes after that has to be treated as not relevant, not canon, not important. And to see, like I feel you're doing here, people give it such an important as it was another part of the game is a misstep from Irrational. The end is the end and nothing comes after it. If they felt that was important it should be a part of the ending sequence and not after credits. It's a bad decision.

#42 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Them stating that Elizabeth is Booker's daughter is not as, for lack of a better term, bad as Booker being Comstock (which, I can't find any good reason for them going there).

They use Comstock to describe Booker. All of Booker's guilt, self-loathing, and his resignation to his fate are expressed through Comstock's tyranny, deceit, and his divine gift - and by extension, through how and why Columbia is shaped and molded socially. The two are separated by the specifics of their lives after the baptism but Comstock's audiologs, the kinetophones, and his actions speak directly to his thoughts, fears and motivations. Who Comstock has become is a reaction to who Booker is so examining Comstock is examining Booker (through a grossly distorted lens.)

Cornelius Slate, too, is an irrelevant character in terms of the plot and story and he also exists purely to inform the player about who Booker was and about who Comstock is, that entire section of the game is about that dichotomy. The problem with Comstock's character is the same as the problem with Slate, that they are devices more than they are characters.

#43 Edited by Green_Incarnate (1782 posts) -

I thought this was the weakest part of the story, especially since they could have easily explained it by saying the Booker they hired was from a dimension where he didn't have a child. No need to make up some memory loss video game McGuffin trope.

#44 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@rebgav: That's why you don't really care much about Comstock. There isn't much throughout the game that confronts Comstock with Booker. Comstock is portrayed as the leader of the city who had a vision of fire falling down from the skies and uses Elizabeth as his heir who will fulfill his prophecies. And as Booker is concerned, that's pretty much it. Sure, there is side stuff that fleshes him a bit more but nothing that relates to Booker. Even the part with Slate, which is where there's more common ground between the two, is concerned about how Comstock fabricated his character of "war hero" in order to pull people into him and his ideas of Columbia (by the end, we know that it isn't actually that fabricated, is just Booker's actions) more than a platform of interaction/confrontation with Booker.

So, the "Comstock is Booker" part is nothing more than a trick and has little impact on the game, apart from telling you that baptism is some wicked strong stuff.

#45 Edited by rebgav (1429 posts) -

I don't think that you're meant to care about Comstock. As I said, he's a device to describe Booker and, for the early portion of the game, to stand in as a sort of default antagonist. The story just isn't about Booker Vs Comstock, I don't think it's accidental or a shortcoming that Comstock isn't front-and-center baiting Booker along.

#46 Posted by FengShuiGod (1470 posts) -

@extomar said:

I agree with Starving on this one where it is about parents and children and choices and mistakes and ultimately forgiveness. This is a thing that parents and children have been in stories since time and memorial: Parents make mistakes with their children but how much should the parent pay since they did literally ruin the life of the child? Lets not beat around the bush: Booker did give away Anna because he was in serious debt. That alone is quite monstrous but that action set off a series of events in multiple worlds that resulted in a lot of people dying and ultimately standing before the last door in the game saying "We need to do something to stop all of it." Of course stopping Comstock is paramount (stopping Fitzroy and Fink is a good bonus too) but then there is the "literal theory" that Booker needs to pay penance as well where that moment is actually the best moment in the story to extract it from him. Accepting that punishment through baptism cleanses him from the sins that created so many problems.

In the end, I never felt it was never that Elizabeth didn't care or was acting like furies filled with divine retribution or whatever but that Booker made his choice and opened the door. A lot of the themes actually follow Greek Tragedy where the sin of the father are paid through the hand of the child.

Everything about Bioshock feels cool until you think about the multiverse stuff. If there are so many dimensions, does it matter that Booker is bad in one? Of course giving away a child sets off a series of bad events in some dimensions, but with infinite universes it also sets off a chain of good events as does every single action ever and vice versa, which kind of abrogates the gravitas of the drama IMO. If child neglect was a constant then the game might work better, as Booker could function as a kind of universal archetype for the themes to play out upon, but it's just a man, a city, and a lighthouse.

#47 Edited by Winternet (7936 posts) -

@rebgav: I didn't mean care in the sense of like, but in the sense of giving an eff or having any sort of meaningful connection. And you're right, so that's why I feel like making the endgame about Booker being Comstock is a bad idea. It's not like a reveal or a final moment of something that was integral or meaningful throughout the game. It is, in my opinion, an unnecessary turn of events that doesn't improve the game and just dissipates the power of an ending. And it brings questions, like the fact they don't look at all like each other, physically or mentally, that, again, don't improve the game as an whole.

#48 Posted by OurSin_360 (755 posts) -

When he goes through the portal to the boat the luteces state specifically that his mind recreated his memories to accept being displaced in a new reality. Same part where they comment on the brand on his hand.