#1 Edited by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

Hey everybody!

After some pretty extensive scouring of forums, I didn't chance upon a thorough explanation of the Lutece's, those delightful embodiments of the game's "we be fuckin' with you from minute one" mantra. I've gotta agree with our illustrious Mr. Gerstmann in his assessment that they are the game's most fascinating characters. So without further ado, allow me to test your patience.....

To begin, the Lutece's aren't twins. They are in fact two differing versions of the same person from two different universes, one born with a Y chromosome, the other with an X. Robert originally existed in tandem with the Booker who refused the baptism, learned to live with sin, had Anna, etc. Rosalind originally existed in the universe in which Booker accepted the baptism, "birthing" Comstock and, soon after, Columbia.

These two Lutece's of differing gender and universe gleaned the existence of each other and the alternate universe each inhabited because they were both (being of the same mind, literally) experimenting with the atom by way of what Rosalind refers to as the Lutece field. Rosalind on a much more impressive scale via the benefit of Comstocks funding, but nevertheless, through their tinkering the Lutece's were made aware of their alternate universe counterpart, and they began to communicate via trans-dimensional Morse code. This Morse code was implemented by turning their machines that generated the Lutece field on and off in a in a sequence recognizable by the Lutece in an alternate world..This, along with Comstock's money, lead to the creation Rosalind's machine, which could not only discern alternate worlds, but tear into them. This allowed for Comstock to acquire Anna from Booker with the help of Robert Lutece, the Lutece in the non-baptized Booker's world. It is explained, via voxophone, that exposure to the Lutee's machine has resulted in Comstock's sterility, leading him to use these rather alternative methods to seek out an heir, a seed, that will "sit the throne and drown in fire the mountains of man." When you arrive at the end game scene in which Booker hurtles down the alley in an attempt to stop the "transaction" you'll see Robert heatedly explaining to Rosalind (who is on the other side of the tear, Comstock and Columbia's side) his trepidation regarding stepping into another universe, though he ultimately does when Booker attempts to intervene, along with Comstock who is carrying baby Anna. There is a sightseer video that documents the Columbia denizen's confusion at a Lutece "twin" suddenly arriving in Columbia, as no one knew Rosalind had kin.

Anna/Elizabeth's finger inhabiting one universe and the rest of her another is what allows her to tear at will when not restricted by a siphon. A Rosalind voxophone postulates that the girl's power derives from the fact that "the universe doesn't like its peas mixed with its porridge." This likewise explains the craziness regarding the reincarnated Lady Comstock, as like Elizabeth, she was a single entity split across two universes. This concept also accounts for the Lutece's brand of universe hopping witnessed throughout the game, but we'll get there. Ancillary detail: when you're tooling around Monument Tower, before you rescue Elizabeth, the third siphon containing the hand towel with menarche bloodstains (creepy) reads age thirteen, and a room or two later you are presented with a chart that documents the drastic spike in Liz's trans-dimensional potency post puberty, at which point the siphon was installed.

Anyhow, when Robert jumps from his universe to Rosalind's, he finds his mind, and I quote from the very first visual the game presents us with, "desperately struggling to create memories where none exist." And who is this quote attributed to? Why, an R. Lutece no less, from their book The Barriers of Trans-Dimensional Travel. While Robert had Rosalind to help him sort out the cognitive dissonace that crops up when someone is transposed from one world into another, it was this period of disorientation that gave Robert the confidence that Booker would develop a narrative for himself when they ripped him from his universe of drunken, depressed stupor incited by the death of his wife and his sale of Anna. You can hear the Lutece's bickering about it in the scene on the docks that occurs directly before the lighthouse approach that instigates the game. When Booker groggily begins to verbalize his "bring us the girl, wipe away the debt" falsehood as the Lutece's carry him to the rowboat, Robert tells Rosalind see, I knew it would happen, because I lived it.

But why and how did the Lutece's come to tear Booker into the 1912 of Columbia and Comstock? Because the Lutece's eventually grew uneasy with what they'd helped create in Elizabeth, and like Lady Comstock before them, were killed when they made clear they would not keep silent. Well, an attempt to kill them was made. The task was handed to Fink, for as Columbia's foremost innovator in technology (innovation gleaned through observation of future biologists, physicists, etc via tears, which accounts for those fucking fantastic anachronistic jingles, vigors, the merging of man and beast that resulted in Songbird [elaborated upon in a Fink voxophone], etc.) he would best know how to make a sabotage of the Lutece's machine whilst they were using it appear a tragic accident. However, instead of killing the Lutece's, exploding their machine in the midst of them opening tears resulted in, as speculated by Rosalind in a voxophone, the singular entity of each Lutece being spread throughout all worlds. This is how they were able to talk to the photographer who documented their funeral. This is how, like omnipotent endgame Liz, they are able to open tears and appear where they like at will. I suppose that begs the question why they didn't just handle shit themselves, and instead used Booker. Speculative: I would say that you still need Booker's cooperation for that, and offering redemption and the chance to be reunited with a long lost daughter goes down easier than hey sorry but you need to be drowned ASAP cause we can glimpse every possible permutation of the universe and some variants of you done fucked up just trust us. Also, given Ken Levine wrote this game, I feel pretty safe in assuming Rosalind and Robert are shout outs to Hamlet's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Basically, they're the instigators.

As far as constants and variables go, the early game coin flip that always lands heads is an example of a constant. The hundred or so tallies for heads represents the hundred or so Booker DeWitts of slightly altered branching worlds who in total have flipped a hundred or so coins that the Lutece's, with their ability to be present in all worlds, have documented. Hence, when Robert expresses that the coin flip is never as satisfying as he thinks it'll be, Rosalind replies, "Chin up, there's always next time." The PI office death screen is a representation of these slightly differing worlds, as every time you die, when you open that door to Columbia that places you 50 or so feet away from the enemies that led to your demise, you are now playing as a Booker of a differing world in which he was not killed by those same enemies. Or at least, not in the same way, as even if as the player this time you surmount that particular encounter, the rules the game lays down would dictate that there are infinite ways in which Booker perishes in that encounter alone, just as there are myriad Booker's who manage to wrest Elizabeth from the songbird via the cipher given by elderly Elizabeth, and just as there are myriad Elizabeth's who fail to decipher said cipher in time to implement it for this or that reason, and so on, and so on. The branches are cut when the root (the acceptance of the baptism) is pulled, as they say over and over throughout the course of the game. Booker also always gives Anna away, as evidenced by Elizabeth explaining that no matter how long you wait, you always give him (Robert Lutece) what he wants. Robert's adamant stance on Booker not rowing in the opener is also a constant, as all the times they've taken him to the lighthouse in other universes, he apparently hasn't rowed. The cage and bird chokers the Lutece's offer are a representation of variables, admittedly along with, as detailed above, just about everything else you do in the game.

And there you have the Lutece's place in the story. I suppose you could say that really, it's all their fault. And yet, I can't help but enjoy that even in the midst of being scattered throughout universes, even in the middle of attempting to right so many wrongs they are very much responsible for, they're still conducting experiments and sniping at each other. And despite the fact that they remain aloof to the very end, even when they know Booker is about to walk into his own drowning, they lead him there knowing that when he dies, they as a united pair will cease to exist. And while sure, it's guaranteed that in other infinite worlds they'll reenact their connection without the aid of Comstock, their current incarnations won't experience that. I love that the duo first introduced as comic relief ultimately join the narrative confluence in such a critical and, when given some thought, heartbreaking fashion.

Stray Observations:

Loved the competition between Murder of Crows, Undertow, and Bucking Bronco for most disgusting passive animation in any game ever.

Loved the aesthetic of draped red throughout the war torn streets that embodied a simultaneously sinister and gorgeous this city is bleeding bit of symbolism.

Loved, as mentioned in the quick look, that violin sting for headshots and executions.

Loved the accompanying piano note as each Elizabeth ceases to exist, particularly that final, haunting ping as it pans up and cuts to black.

Loved the at times hilariously overt foreshadowing my second time through.

Hated the tonal dissonance between grim, affecting character beats for Elizabeth and, not a minute later, her glib quip regarding a requested lockpick.

Curious how people feel about the emotional gut punch ending of 'the Booker and the Elizabeth you grew fond of throughout the game no longer exist' being dulled by the 'wait, what the fuck' aspect that pervades your (or at the very least my) first time through. I think it makes it all the richer.

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9728 posts) -

You know, one question I had regarding these two is why they decided to help Elizabeth. Maybe it was in a voxaphone but I never fully understood their motivation.

#3 Posted by chilibean_3 (1697 posts) -

I don't really have much to add other than nice post.

#4 Edited by peritus (1068 posts) -

@gardenstateapologist: Thank you for this thread, its helping me make sense of it all. Kind of. I just finished the game half an hour ago and am still kind of confused though, but its coming together now that i read this. As for how i feel about the ending, kind of sad but also very impressed. Also, i think there is still one Elizabeth alive, maybe. Hopefully.

PS: AND HOLY SHIT, RAPTURE!

Edit: One thing that is bothering me is the universe that Rapture is in, did Booker/Comstock just never do anything there? Because you'd think there would be mention of Columbia in Rapture if it ever existed. ( and yes, i know that wouldnt be possible because the game didnt exist back then. But it was linked to bioshock infinite's story so thats their fault :p )

Or are universes that radically different? Seems like they are all very similar from what we could see in Infinite except for the Rapture one. So much to think about! Well done Irrational! ;-)

#5 Edited by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

@jasonr86: I always assumed they decided to "help" because given what they know, what is revealed in the tears along with the attempt on their lives they decided to act. The Luteces don't seem to me as the revenge type where they realize that time is on their side that at some point they will discover the correct combination of variables to change things to an outcome more favorable.

A more sinister view is that the Luteces aren't helping Booker or Elizabeth as much as just watching mice running around in a maze where they rearrange the walls every attempt and see how far they get.

#6 Posted by Snail (8662 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

You know, one question I had regarding these two is why they decided to help Elizabeth. Maybe it was in a voxaphone but I never fully understood their motivation.

They got backstabbed by Comstock. I'm pretty sure the plot told you that. Their reasons were further explored in voxaphones though, yes.

#7 Edited by LaszloKovacs (1213 posts) -

This is a great post, although I am still curious about the connection to Rapture (if there even is any connection more direct than "it happens in some set of universes and Elizabeth happened to go there because fanservice").

I'm also glad someone else pointed out the Rozencrantz and Guildenstern connection. That was literally my first thought when I was watching that opening sequence.

#8 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

You know, one question I had regarding these two is why they decided to help Elizabeth. Maybe it was in a voxaphone but I never fully understood their motivation.

I think they were trying to help themselves by helping Elizabeth. Since they got scattered through the multiverse, they needed to reset everything where it branched off so they could have never been scattered in the first place. Obviously Elizabeth is the only one powerful enough to do so. At least that's my interpretation. Cause they had a Voxaphone where they say "Oh we're not quite dead, but we're stuck in a pickle. There is one who can help us, though." (That was all paraphrased)

#9 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3823 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

@jasonr86 said:

You know, one question I had regarding these two is why they decided to help Elizabeth. Maybe it was in a voxaphone but I never fully understood their motivation.

I think they were trying to help themselves by helping Elizabeth. Since they got scattered through the multiverse, they needed to reset everything where it branched off so they could have never been scattered in the first place. Obviously Elizabeth is the only one powerful enough to do so. At least that's my interpretation. Cause they had a Voxaphone where they say "Oh we're not quite dead, but we're stuck in a pickle. There is one who can help us, though." (That was all paraphrased)

Yeah, revenge on Comstock was probably one goal, reticence towards the "New York in flames" future, and the male Lutece's lingering guilt over kidnapping a child from her father and helping lock her in a tower as some kind of science experiment (mentioned in a Voxaphone).

#10 Edited by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

@laszlokovacs: There's some (what I find to be) crazy theories out there, like Booker is Andrew Ryan or Ryan's son in a wildly different universe. I simply think Irrational included some very overt analogs between the worlds of Columbia and Rapture because it's cool and it ties into the similarities, and vast differences between possible worlds.. Plasmids and vigors. Songbird/Big Daddies are cast as the protector(s) of Elizabeth/Little Sisters, both of which adhere to a rather similar dress code. Or perhaps Booker DeWitt (B.D., or Big Daddy) is Elizabeth's protector. Comstock/Ryan create a fantastical, idealized city based upon singular, undeterred beliefs, and the undiluted implementation of these beliefs leads to ruin. Both are killed by Booker/Jack. These two sets of men are both deeply linked to each other in hidden ways, and both Comstock and Ryan are killed without resistance, and in fact with a degree of participation because the manner of said death reinforces their respective ideologues,. For Comstock, it fulfills his prophecy, For Ryan, he as an independent, unshackled man is choosing the nature of his demise. And on the parallels go."There's always a lighthouse, man, city, etc." It's very much in part a commentary on the thematic congruences Levine and company associate with a Bioshock game. Overreaching idealism, scientific innovation, religion, unfettered philosophy, ownership of narrative, etc. Also, I think folks are missing that the endless sea of branching lighthouses is a (gorgeous and quite apt) artistic representation of string theory, and I would imagine is Elizabeth's way of visually explaining to Booker the nature of a million million worlds. This is just speculative, but I think it's possible the "always a lighthouse, man, etc". is likewise artistic license employed in the interest of diluting down the concepts in an elegant, readily coherent way so it more clearly informs, and primes players for, the forthcoming denouement. As far as Rapture's relation to Bioshock Infinite's core narrative, I believe it's there to impress upon you Elizabeth's omnipotence and serve as the quite moving death of Songbird while paying homage to the original. Also, it's the starting point Elizabeth decided to implement in her explanation to Booker. She's, as previously stated, omnipotent at this point, and is well aware that Booker needs to be smothered before he becomes Comstock, thus pulling the accept the baptism variable up by the roots, which in turn redefines the decline the baptism variable as a constant. It's only because she's grown to care for Booker that she bothers explaining what needs to happen, and why, to him at all. So yeah, fans service, but smartly implemented fan service. I actually didn't have the "fuck that's so cooool!!!" response a lot of folks seemed to upon first being taken to Rapture. It felt unnecesary and hokey, like I'd long feared the (once previews revealed the tear aspects) inevitable tip o the hat to Rapture would be. It was only after completing the game (and subsequently spending the next few days trying to wrap my brain around the mindfuckery) that I came to appreciate, and be really impressed by them implementing Rapture at a juncture that lent context and understanding to the universe at a point where I as the player was floundering.

#11 Edited by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

@peritus: Thanks man, and you're welcome! I'd seek out a more general story thread if you're still confused as I sorta assumed some prior knowledge regarding the baptism variables, etc. I completely agree about there still being Anna's out there, as well as Booker's to raise her. When omnipotent Elizabeth drowns/smothers Booker in a reality in which Booker, horrified by the atrocities he committed at Wounded Knee, would have been baptized and "born" as Zachary Comstock, she's effectively reducing the probability of Comstock existing to zero. This redefines the variable of Booker refusing the baptism, and learning to live with sin, as a constant. Because there is no Comstock, no Columbia, and no Lutece tear, the constant of Booker selling Anna to Comstock isn't simply redefined, it ceases to exist at all. This means the Elizabeth we grow fond of throughout the game will never, can never, exist. That final discordant piano ping as the screen cuts to black is her ceasing to be, just like every other variation of Elizabeth created as a result of baby Anna's sale. However, there are infinite variables that branch off of constants. So many a Booker Dewitt who refuses baptism will never father a child. Many will father a boy. But many others still will father a girl, name her Annabelle, and take that girl to Paris.

As for Rapture's place in the scheme of things, I theorized about that n the post above, but keep in mind it's all very speculative and I likely haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking about.

#12 Edited by Veektarius (5024 posts) -

I was expecting to tl;dr this, but there are some individual points here you brought up that I had not seized up "he doesn't row", the explanation of the stuff in Elizabeth's tower. Mostly I got the stuff in the story, though.

I wasn't hit all that hard by getting killed there, though I'm not sure it had to happen. I can't say that I accept that my Booker bore any responsibility for things that didn't happen in his universe, but at the same time, he's not even in his universe anymore. He wiped out one Comstock, they can go to Paris. I don't really see any problem with that. Surely New York was destroyed by a hundred other things in a hundred other futures.

It was a lot of fun to run the story through my head again and again though as it blasted me with one revelation after another, and feel things start to click. Nevertheless, I can't help but say that the beginning and end of the game were a total revelation, but the middle doesn't become worthwhile until the ending redefines it. I'm not sure that's a legitimate tactic for a game, when so much more time is spent in the middle than in a movie.

#13 Posted by Ghostiet (5328 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

You know, one question I had regarding these two is why they decided to help Elizabeth. Maybe it was in a voxaphone but I never fully understood their motivation.

Because they understand what a fucking disaster may happen - however, Robert is sure they can fix things, while Rosalind is much more fatalistic. Robert blackmails her by saying that he'll find a way to leave so she'll be alone for eternity if she doesn't help him at least try to fix things (it's heavily implied that Robert and Rosalind fell in love with each other, which is why Rosalind is so touched by this threat).

#14 Posted by Daveyo520 (7003 posts) -

Very nice duder. I also think the Luteces are the best part of the game, loved every time I ran into them.

#15 Posted by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

@ghostiet: Forget to put that ultimatum bit in, but yes, this. On top of being the more fatalistic of the two, Rosalind's theories on the subject are that once set in motion, it cannot be stopped, only altered. Robert believes if you find the correct root to tweak, it can be wiped clean, like a slate, and then rewritten. It would appear the game is suggesting Robert is the correct one.

#16 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Dies. Died. Will die.

Lives. Lived. Will live.

#17 Edited by gaminghooligan (1483 posts) -

great post. It seems most of my Lutece related ideas have been covered so I'll just leave this sceenshot here, figure you all might like it.

#18 Posted by StarvingGamer (8558 posts) -

The Luteces are omniscient, not omnipotent. Their distribution across the probability space allows them to freely flow between realities but not actually alter those realities. For that they need a truly omnipotent being, Elizabeth.

#19 Posted by Andorski (5366 posts) -

About the PI Office door death and the concept that each respawn is another Booker in another alternate dimension: Doesn't the whole story of Bioshock Infinite follow the Booker that the Luteces' label as 123rd experiment? If so, doesn't that invalidate that respawn concept?

#20 Edited by Tapps (2 posts) -

I felt that this was actually a revenge story for the Luteces. Because Comstock betrayed them, they devised this whole occurrence of events to get Comstock to ultimately kill himself and never betray them in the first place.

@19 I think when you get to that point in the game it just happens to be number 123, but they don't know which one actually makes it through, so if you die 50 times in the game then it's 173 at the end. But making you play through all of it again would be quite a chore.

#21 Posted by MildMolasses (3229 posts) -

@peritus said:

Edit: One thing that is bothering me is the universe that Rapture is in, did Booker/Comstock just never do anything there? Because you'd think there would be mention of Columbia in Rapture if it ever existed. ( and yes, i know that wouldnt be possible because the game didnt exist back then. But it was linked to bioshock infinite's story so thats their fault :p )

Or are universes that radically different? Seems like they are all very similar from what we could see in Infinite except for the Rapture one. So much to think about! Well done Irrational! ;-)

In another dimension, Columbia is Rapture. That's why there is so many parallels. They don't exist in the same dimension. In one dimension, the choices of people culminate in Columbia, in another, the divergent choices culminate in Rapture. But there is constants in each of these dimensions

#22 Posted by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

@andorski: As Tappas said above me, you begin as 123, as evidenced by the coin toss. But throughout the game as you perish, that number is increasing. The PI door to Columbia is an artistic representation of the idea that the Booker Dewitt you are playing completed events identically to the previous Booker Dewitt, but has not yet died in the encounter you as a player just died at. This is because, as Tappas pointed out, it would sorta be less than ideal to play through the entire game again.

#23 Edited by GardenStateApologist (31 posts) -

@veektarius: Yeah, this got a bit overindulgent. More bits and pieces kept falling into place for me as I wrote about tangential stuff. I agree about the revelatory nature of the beginning and end, but that also brings up the point the Bombcrew often makes in that, cards on the table, games have to manifest as actual games at some point. And yet there's no way you could convey the particular, painstaking brand of ambient world building Irrational does so well in any other medium. It'a a problem, although I will say the lure of individual revelations around every corner, and the mesmerizing art design those tidbits were sure to be found near, kept me going throughout the more grueling paces.

#24 Edited by Andorski (5366 posts) -

@andorski: As Tappas said above me, you begin as 123, as evidenced by the coin toss. But throughout the game as you perish, that number is increasing. The PI door to Columbia is an artistic representation of the idea that the Booker Dewitt you are playing completed events identically to the previous Booker Dewitt, but has not yet died in the encounter you as a player just died at. This is because, as Tappas pointed out, it would sorta be less than ideal to play through the entire game again.

I'd have to check the game out again, but I could have sworn that in at least two occurrences (in between which there is an opportunity for Booker to die), you are specifically called the 123rd experiment version of Booker.

#25 Posted by SaltyOldCdog (1 posts) -

@andorski

It was shown that people have memories of dying even when they are living in another dimension so the deaths you are experiencing are really just Booker remembering his death in another dimension.

I'm still not entirely sure about all of this game so if anyone thinks of a counter-argument I'd love to hear your ideas!

#26 Posted by jbreezycp (6 posts) -

Problem with the idea of you being 123rd constant throughout the game, unless it was just an overlook by the developers, there are way too many times you can die in the game just to be the constant 123.

But perhaps, you could be the 123rd and everytime you die is just a memory of you dying beforehand, and it would be an issue then if you died 123 times, but I'm sure there is no way even on hard you died 123 times, I myself would probably have to say I died 60 at the most, and the majority of those were because of handyman which are damned impossible for me on hard. So this (if it is true you are mentioned more than once as the 123rd), would be the best conclusion. What if you don't die 123 times? Well he just doesn't remember the others....

#27 Posted by sevenmonks (1 posts) -

My take was that Comstock used the machine the Luteces made to look into the future and saw the future Elizabeth pulled us into - the one where she was old and watching NY being attacked - which is where he got his prophecy. The Lutece twins then started to come up with a plot to stop him, at which point Comstock ordered their murders - in which they were scattered through the worlds, and presumably became unable to change events themselves.

I wondered whether the baptism you have at the start of the game, before entering Columbia had any significance to the plot? or whether it was just a cheeky bit of foreshadowing.

Found the ending very good - but very sad, the characters we came to know and love, and the innocent Anna/Elizabeths ceasing to exist.

#28 Posted by juice8367 (446 posts) -

I don't really have much to add other than nice post.

#29 Posted by Atomsk1 (3 posts) -


Also, given Ken Levine wrote this game, I feel pretty safe in assuming Rosalind and Robert are shout outs to Hamlet's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Basically, they're the instigators.

I saw them more as Lunkwill & Fook (and Frankie & Benjy in the movie) from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a strange, interdimensional pair of scientists manipulating events from behind the scenes and who started the whole mess in the first place.

#30 Posted by Atomsk1 (3 posts) -

One thing though: If Elizabeth's powers are simply the result of having matter from her body exist in two different universes, shouldnt Booker and Robert Lutece have the powers as well? No, they didnt get a finger cut off or anything, but that finger would be decomposed into its constituent molecules fairly quickly, making it no different than all the hair/nail clippings and shed skin cells (or even foreskin) from either of them that was left behind in the universe of their origin. Although im guessing thats a plothole were probably just supposed to ignore for the sake of the story.

#31 Posted by urida (1 posts) -

Ok, i know this thread is probably obsolete by now but this seems to be the best place to Discuss the Lutece's so here i go.

There are a few Lutece related issues that I'm having trouble figuring out.

The first is the statue. When you enter Columbia you see a statue change from Robert Lutece to Ros Lutece. Now, pushing off for a moment why the statue changes, one thing this does imply is that there is some version of Columbia that is built by a Rob Lutece. I'm going to make (the very large) assumption that this is from Booker's universe, as that would explain why its changing now (because Booker is entering this Columbia and some things are temporarily brought with him). However this doesn't seem to fit with Columbia only coming about because of Comstock (because in Booker's universe there is of course no Comstock). There are a lot of other issues with Booker's Universe having a Columbia built by Robert Lutece but ill just leave the big one. An alternate explanation is that it is a different Robert Lutece, one from one of the universes where Booker did become Comstock. Unfortunately, this doesn't really give us a reason for why the statue changes here.

The 2nd issue i have is with the fatalistic vs changeable debate between Ros and Rob. From the voxaphones we see Ros is fatalistic while Rob thinks things can change. However the in game interactions with them seem backward. With the coin flip Rob is the one who expects the same result every time (successfully i might add). Later when choosing a pendant if you choose the bird, Ros says "I expected the cage" (if you choose cage Rob says "i expected the bird"). If she is the fatalist why would she expect the "wrong" result?

Then there's the coin flip itself. In the main post you propose that it is a constant which is why its always heads. The problem i have with that is the coin flip is initiated by the Lutece's. This is only their 123rd time doing it. So 123 times ago there was no coin flip. So i have trouble seeing how it could be a constant. In addition it seems (key word seems) to me that constants in Bioshock Infinite are not small arbitrary events, but rather large, timeline altering events. Booker becoming or not becoming Comstock at the baptism is a huge event and therefor the baptism becomes a constant. I would be more inclined to think that the coin flip is a test the Lutece's devised to test whether chance is changeable across universes. Perhaps choices can be different and therefor create alternate universes, but chance is the same. This would explain why they can be "wrong" by the pendant choice but not by the coin flip chance. However, this still seems to leave the Lutece's with backward opinions.

The last issue only related tangentially to the Lutece's but here it is. After the 2nd time you switch universes with Elizabeth (at the gun machinery), you see that in this universe Booker is a martyr for the Vox. Now this has a whole slew of problems. This universe also has a Comstock so we've now got a problem of whose universe this is; the martyr Booker's, this new Comstock, or the same Comstocks. Because this is a Lutece post im going to flip this back to them. If we say that this cannot be the martyr Booker's universe because in no version of a Booker universe can there be a Columbia, then that means that previous Booker (before our 123) interacted with the Lutece's and went to a Comstock universe. Regardless of whether this is a new Comstock universe or somehow, in the "time", we were in universe 2 (because of the first universe switch at Lee's dead body) we are now in a situation were a previous Booker's actions are affecting our Booker's actions. This means the Lutece's are dragging not just 2 universes together, but multiple. Shouldn't there be an issue here?

#32 Posted by cheapandtacky (130 posts) -

@urida "you see that in this universe Booker is a martyr for the Vox. Now this has a whole slew of problems. This universe also has a Comstock so we've now got a problem of whose universe this is; the martyr Booker's, this new Comstock, or the same Comstocks"

Every Universe you visit has a Comstock and a Booker (the one you play as at the time), in this particular one booker came to "rescue" Elizabeth found that she had already left the tower and ended up fighting for the Vox and died, there is no complication when further down the line a new Booker arrives with a new Elizabeth (If two Luteces can exist why not two or more Booker/Comstocks and Elizabeths)

With the statue, there are an infinite number of Robert Luteces so it's possible that the tear opens to show a different statue. Or as the Lutece Twins as they are referred to in this universe are well known it could be a deliberate and rather fancy statue trick setup by Ros and Rob.

The Bird / Cage, Ros expects you to be a bad person and choose the symbol of captivity, Rob expects you to choose freedom. Hence Rob is optimist Ros is fatalist.

With the coin flip it always comes up heads but Booker will sometimes choose tails. The size and importance of an event does not determine if it is a constant or not. There must be some universe where the coin does come up tails but it appears that in none of these universes has booker made it to that point.

#33 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

CONSTANTS AND VARIABLES.

#34 Posted by Aetheldod (3734 posts) -

Just finished the game myself ... I didnt formulate that much at the ending but this is the best explanation there is ... not to say that I didnt instintively formulated this theory but I was actually more impressed with myself that I actually knew that Booker was Comstock half way through the game :P , anyway the one thing tho is that Anna does cease to exist or not?

Im talking about the very last cinematic at the end of the credits when Booker enters Anna´s room to see if she is in the crib. I think it is left purposely open and falls into each one of the players to say if Anna is there or not , me being fatalistic say she is not there :´( . This brings me to conclude that we the players are also Luteces , one fatalistic the other not. Very interesting indeed.

#35 Edited by Aetheldod (3734 posts) -

My take was that Comstock used the machine the Luteces made to look into the future and saw the future Elizabeth pulled us into - the one where she was old and watching NY being attacked - which is where he got his prophecy. The Lutece twins then started to come up with a plot to stop him, at which point Comstock ordered their murders - in which they were scattered through the worlds, and presumably became unable to change events themselves.

I wondered whether the baptism you have at the start of the game, before entering Columbia had any significance to the plot? or whether it was just a cheeky bit of foreshadowing.

Found the ending very good - but very sad, the characters we came to know and love, and the innocent Anna/Elizabeths ceasing to exist.

Well the babtism that all who enter Columbia undergoes is the way Comstock initiates them , just as he was initiated when he stoped being Booker and becam Comstock .... the intiation ritual so it is not trivial or just simple overshadowing ... altho it does indeed still is part overshadow :D (not that is bad or wrong I say)