Bioshock infinite spoiler thread. Free discussion about the plot and ending.

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
I have a spoilery question about the chronology of events. I also know that some people read the forums on tapatalk, which may not recognize spoiler tags, so I thought that it might be best to put this kind of discussion in a separate thread that those people could choose to avoid entirely. I must say that I have not thought about a game this long and hard ever. I also can't remember a game that so effectively drew me into the game world and stayed with me so long. I think it's worth discussing in it's own thread anyway.

I've read a few deconstructions of the plot and I've come across some conclusions that I didn't get out of my playthrough of the game. I also have some speculation as to what happened. Others who have beaten the game are welcome to tell me if they got the same thing out of it as I did.
Everything below is a major spoiler. You have been warned.


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One thing I've seen repeatedly is that the transformation of Dewitt into Comstock is in the future of the Dewitt we play in the game. I didn't get that at all. My impression is that the baptism, which was the moment Comstock was born, occurred about 20 years in both Dewitt and Comstock's past. The pivotal difference between the two worlds was Dewitt's decision to either be baptized or not to be baptized. That's the whole reason that the Columbia universe can be said to have a "root", where you can go back far enough and snuff out the entire Columbia universe by killing Dewitt in one universe rather than facing an infinite number of Dewitts undergoing an infinite number of baptisms. I can't see how the older Dewitt would become Comstock when both of them have that moment in their past.

There are also a few indications that Dewitt has been going back to Columbia over and over again. The Lutece's seem to demonstrate that with the coin flip and the 122 marks under "heads" showing that the coin flip has occurred many times before, and has always had the same result. I never saw the mechanism by which he has been returning to Columbia though. Does it always end in his death at the baptism waters? I don't see how that's possible, since that was supposed to wipe out the Columbia universe entirely. Did he simply fail and die trying to save Elizabeth the other 122 times, after which the Lutece's simply go back and get him from another similar universe? I suppose that last one makes the most sense. After the baptism initially created the Columbia universe, each universe would probably branch out into many more universes based on Dewitt/Comstock's possible decisions after that point, leaving many Dewitt's for the Lutece's to choose from. Perhaps it took the "right" Dewitt to get the job done, hence the 122 unsuccessful attempts. They couldn't be bringing him back to the same Columbia universe though, or else he'd be meeting himself every time. So each attempt was a different Dewitt being taken to a different Columbia every time?

The last problem I have is with the very last scene. Elizabeth brings Dewitt back to the baptism waters and drowns him to get rid of Comstock before he was ever born. The thing is, we're the older Dewitt at this point. The actual baptism was years in his past. It's true that going back and killing Dewitt at the baptism would cause this Dewitt to cease to exist, along with Comstock, but that doesn't change the fact that this Dewitt is just further along the timeline. Killing him would affect his future decisions, but would not affect the original baptism. Even if she went into the past and killed him, we shouldn't have seen it from the first person perspective. Something I noted was that shortly after arriving at the baptism waters for the last time, Dewitt seems to forget who Elizabeth is. He says something like "Wait, you're not...Who are you"? The only conclusion I can draw from this is that he is literally becoming the previous Dewitt, who naturally would not know who Elizabeth is, as she wasn't born yet in his timeline. This transition isn't accompanied by any other indicators though, so I was never certain of it. It would semi-explain how his death is supposed to solve things though.

Well those are my questions. If anyone else has anything illuminating about them to say, or has musings about the game plot in general, feel free to post them. That's what I made this thread for.
 
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Nemesis13

Golden Member
Jun 7, 2006
1,226
1
81
I have the same questions. I wonder if they left these "loose ends" to sell dlc, if so it worked.
 

Truthslayer

Member
Dec 21, 2010
63
0
66
You're assuming it's only at most two timelines/universes being affected here. It's more like a long, winding chain with a infinite number of Comstocks buying Anna an infinite number of times, thus having an infinite number of Bookers on hand to retrieve her. And technically Booker/Comstock have the same chronological age. Comstock looks older because of excessive use of the tears causing premature aging.

Anna can manipulate time and space freely at the end, and thus placed Booker back at the original Baptism scene as he went through as if for the first time. When Baptised!Booker was drowned, that overwrote any instance of Booker becoming Comstock. Timelines now collapse into two root instances: Either he drowned after Wounded Knee with no kid, or he walked away as normal and had a kid a couple years later and never sold her. There's also the possible timeline(s) that he never had his experience with Wounded Knee, thus avoiding the whole thing altogether. That could be the Booker in the post-credits section.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
We probably dont need spoiler tags in a spoiler thread.

I think the game takes place between two events. When Comstock went back and stole his daughter, and the baptism. When Booker goes to Columbia, he is doing it in an alternate timeline, one of an infinite number of timelines. But the one where he is originally from is the prime, and he did not attempt baptism yet. What he thinks he remembers was the effect of being in the alternate timeline, where the memories of the alternate version of himself (Comstock) and his own memories were merging. So he remembers Comstock's baptism, but he himself wouldnt be baptized because thats not who he is because events were changed.

Had the twins not intervened, he would have always become Comstock. But because they did, he felt he had another shot at forgiving his debts. The idea of needing to be baptized didnt have the same allure, because he still had an out. Elizabeth returned him to his original timeline, which was before the baptism. Since he never did it in the first place, there is no paradox.

And then there is the moment after the credits. Still thinking on that one. Maybe the twins took him to Columbia before he handed over his daughter, so when he was drowned it destroyed all the alternate timelines, and the prime timeline was reset to when it was originally altered. Now there can't be any twins interfering, because Comstock funded their experiments. So they can't buy his daughter, and Comstock will never exist.
 
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gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,735
442
126
We probably dont need spoiler tags for a spoiler thread.

I think the game takes place between two events. When Comstock went back and stole his daughter, and the baptism. When Booker goes to Columbia, he is doing it in an alternate timeline, one of an infinite number of timelines. But the one where he is originally from is the prime, and he did not attempt baptism yet. What he thinks he remembers was the effect of being in the alternate timeline, where the memories of the alternate version of himself (Comstock) were merging. So he remembers the baptism, but he himself wouldnt be baptized because thats not who he was because events were changed.

Had the twins not intervened, he would have always become Comstock. But because they did, he felt he had another shot at forgiving his debts, so the idea of needing to be baptized didnt have the same allure. Elizabeth returned him to his original timeline, which was before the baptism. Since he never did it in the first place, there is no paradox.

And then there is the moment after the credits. Still thinking on that one. Maybe the twins took him to Columbia before he handed over his daughter, so when he was drowned it destroyed all the alternate timelines, and the timeline was reset when it was originally altered. Now there can't be any twins interfering, because Comstock funded their experiments. So they can't buy his daughter, and Comstock will never exist.
That scene after the credits almost ruined everything for me honestly. At the end before the credits you get the idea that Dewitt is merely sacrificing himself so he:
a.) doesn't become a crazed nut as Comstock
b.) doesn't have a daughter to be twisted and tortured through her life
c.) doesn't end up destroying New York(or was it Chicago?) by raising an awful daughter as Comstock.

So it's depressing, but I understood that he'd rather sacrifice himself so Elizabeth never existed just so those awful things don't happen. THEN that scene after the credits pops up and ruins everything. :mad: The only explanation I can offer is that he was in the afterlife.

IMO that scene was a huge error on their part and it makes far more sense without it.
 
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SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
You're assuming it's only at most two timelines/universes being affected here. It's more like a long, winding chain with a infinite number of Comstocks buying Anna an infinite number of times, thus having an infinite number of Bookers on hand to retrieve her. And technically Booker/Comstock have the same chronological age. Comstock looks older because of excessive use of the tears causing premature aging.
I'm not exactly assuming only two universes. I think that all of the Comstock universes began at a single point in a single universe. The moment of the baptism is where every single Comstock universe originated. There can't have been an infinite number of baptisms though, because that would present the same problem that Elizabeth alludes to when she tells Booker that simply killing Comstock in the present isn't enough. The whole "getting at the root" theme is one that is present throughout the game, so it could be that that is what is intended here as well. In a sense, going back to that moment is "getting at the root", but only if that was the sole originating point for all Comstock universes. The reason for Comstock's aged appearance wasn't lost on me. If anyone doubts that, all they have to do is look at the timeline posted in the Hall of Heroes. It says Comstock was born in 1874. That makes him ~38 years old in 1912. I considered the idea that perhaps that was just the date of the baptism, and thus his figurative birthdate, but the timeline places Wounded Knee some years later, and the baptism necessarily occurred after wounded knee.

Anna can manipulate time and space freely at the end, and thus placed Booker back at the original Baptism scene as he went through as if for the first time. When Baptised!Booker was drowned, that overwrote any instance of Booker becoming Comstock. Timelines now collapse into two root instances: Either he drowned after Wounded Knee with no kid, or he walked away as normal and had a kid a couple years later and never sold her. There's also the possible timeline(s) that he never had his experience with Wounded Knee, thus avoiding the whole thing altogether. That could be the Booker in the post-credits section.
This is more or less what I understood she must be doing, but the way it was carried out left me wondering. The Booker at the end of the credits could be either of the remaining possibilities, but here was something about it that didn't quit fit with those.

Dewitt says "Anna? Is that you"?

Presumably Anna is a baby at that time, so why would he be wondering if that was her? If she's in the crib it's because he had to have put her there some time earlier. He has to be one of the Dewitts who never lost Anna. Yet he seems to doubt that it could be her for some reason. It's almost like he remembers not having her, and is surprised to hear music coming from her room. I really don't know what to make of it.
 

Udgnim

Diamond Member
Apr 16, 2008
3,661
104
106
the way I see things

there are constants and variables

the variables create branches that can branch out to create infinite additional branches

Booker being baptized is a variable that essentially got zeroed when he was drowned at the end erasing any branches that would have spanned out if Booker got baptized and turned into Comstock
 
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Udgnim

Diamond Member
Apr 16, 2008
3,661
104
106
This is more or less what I understood she must be doing, but the way it was carried out left me wondering. The Booker at the end of the credits could be either of the remaining possibilities, but here was something about it that didn't quit fit with those.

Dewitt says "Anna? Is that you"?

Presumably Anna is a baby at that time, so why would he be wondering if that was her? If she's in the crib it's because he had to have put her there some time earlier. He has to be one of the Dewitts who never lost Anna. Yet he seems to doubt that it could be her for some reason. It's almost like he remembers not having her, and is surprised to hear music coming from her room. I really don't know what to make of it.
I think it's meant to be left open for interpretation like the ending of Inception

could easily say that the Booker at the end is the one who recently gave up Anna to Luttece, imagines the sound, sees Anna not in the crib, immediately regrets his decision, and tracks down Luttece to attempt to get Anna back
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
I think it's meant to be left open for interpretation like the ending of Inception

could easily say that the Booker at the end is the one who recently gave up Anna to Luttece, imagines the sound, sees Anna not in the crib, immediately regrets his decision, and tracks down Luttece to attempt to get Anna back
Maybe that's true, but I don't like that kind of ending. I want there to be deeper meaning regardless of whether I see it or not. I want there to be a right answer. I guess I can't help it if there's not though. ^_^
 

CrackRabbit

Lifer
Mar 30, 2001
16,641
58
91
Something that I noticed that most people don't seem to be catching on is that the Luteces are not twins, per se, but the same person from alternate realities.
There is a voxophone that can be found where Rosalind is talking about contacting her "brother" the first time using a "Morse Code" of quantumly entangled particles.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
Something that I noticed that most people don't seem to be catching on is that the Luteces are not twins, per se, but the same person from alternate realities.
There is a voxophone that can be found where Rosalind is talking about contacting her "brother" the first time using a "Morse Code" of quantumly entangled particles.
Weren't they essentially the same person, just from different realities? I would just play the tapes and continue playing, but thats what I thought I heard. Saying twins is shorter than saying whatever the technical term is for them, if there is a term. :p
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
Weren't they essentially the same person, just from different realities? I would just play the tapes and continue playing, but thats what I thought I heard. Saying twins is shorter than saying whatever the technical term is for them, if there is a term. :p
that's what i got from it. they were the same person just different realities.


the ending scene was confusing. He remembers everything that happened in the future. yet in a "time" before he gave Anna away?
 

mistercrabby

Senior member
Mar 9, 2013
963
53
91
First, kudos to the thought you've put into this. I too connected to the story and characters. I really liked the Inception/Matrix - timeline - reality/not aspect. I really liked the twins! Kinda like the G-man in Half-life 2.
 
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mistercrabby

Senior member
Mar 9, 2013
963
53
91
As to the timeline, the Wounded Knee massacre occured December 29, 1890 in our historical timeline. If booker/comstock was born in '72, that makes him about 18, so that could fit.
 

mistercrabby

Senior member
Mar 9, 2013
963
53
91
that's what i got from it. they were the same person just different realities.


the ending scene was confusing. He remembers everything that happened in the future. yet in a "time" before he gave Anna away?
Yeah, that's what it seems like.

I guess why go back to that particular point in time? Why not go back to before he gives Anna away, assuming Elizabeth/Anna can control that?

What does it mean when after she/they drown Booker that they start popping out of the scene like bubbles? Are they returning to their timeline, ceasing to exist, or what?
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,145
9
81
As to the timeline, the Wounded Knee massacre occured December 29, 1890 in our historical timeline. If booker/comstock was born in '72, that makes him about 18, so that could fit.
one of the loading screens has his DOB can't remember what it said,. i wanna say 71
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
Yeah, that's what it seems like.

I guess why go back to that particular point in time? Why not go back to before he gives Anna away, assuming Elizabeth/Anna can control that?

What does it mean when after she/they drown Booker that they start popping out of the scene like bubbles? Are they returning to their timeline, ceasing to exist, or what?
I think it's most likely that they ceased to exist. There is some indication that the whole reason that Elizabeth has her powers over time and space is because she left a part of herself in Booker's universe, that being her right pinky finger. There is a voxophone recording early in the game by the Rosalind Lutece that mentions the universe "doesn't like it's peas mixed with it's porridge" or something. Elizabeth only loses that finger if Comstock exists, so not only does she remain with Dewitt as Anna, but she never gains her powers either. All of those Elizabeths presumably had the powers, so they all came from a Comstock universe, which all ceased to exist when Booker died.
 

CrackRabbit

Lifer
Mar 30, 2001
16,641
58
91
Yeah, that's what it seems like.

I guess why go back to that particular point in time? Why not go back to before he gives Anna away, assuming Elizabeth/Anna can control that?

What does it mean when after she/they drown Booker that they start popping out of the scene like bubbles? Are they returning to their timeline, ceasing to exist, or what?
She didn't just do that because there are possibly infinite Comstocks and Bookers it would be impossible to prevent Comstock from taking Anna in all of them.
And the popping out of existence is them ceasing to exist, due to her never being born in those timelines.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
The birth of Comstock was not in the future. It happened at the same time as DeWitt's rejection of baptism, in the past.

There have been a lot of times Booker came back. It always failed, as Elizabeth tells you, because they can never get past the Songbird. That's why future Elizabeth had to drag Booker forward and give him the code.

Once Elizabeth was freed, she understood the only way to stop Comstock since his development was such a powerful "constant" was to stop him at his birth. Because in so many worlds he is born, and, if he isn't, he remains as Booker DeWitt and gives Elizabeth away. In this sense, there is a fork but it always leads to both things, Elizabeth being given away or Comstock being born.

So Comstock must be killed before birth. That eliminates the constant. Whether this also eliminates the Booker fork is up for interpretation.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
The birth of Comstock was not in the future. It happened at the same time as DeWitt's rejection of baptism, in the past.

There have been a lot of times Booker came back. It always failed, as Elizabeth tells you, because they can never get past the Songbird. That's why future Elizabeth had to drag Booker forward and give him the code.

Once Elizabeth was freed, she understood the only way to stop Comstock since his development was such a powerful "constant" was to stop him at his birth. Because in so many worlds he is born, and, if he isn't, he remains as Booker DeWitt and gives Elizabeth away. In this sense, there is a fork but it always leads to both things, Elizabeth being given away or Comstock being born.

So Comstock must be killed before birth. That eliminates the constant. Whether this also eliminates the Booker fork is up for interpretation.
I completely forgot about that. So that explains the reason for the multiple attempts.
 

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
Just to add to the binary nature of the question, the writers reinforce this idea often.

A) The flipping of the coin scene. There's only two choices, heads or tails, Booker always chooses tails. Variables and Constants-the variable is which he will choose, the constant is twofold. He always picks tails, and there's only a single coin. Comstock or Booker. Also, the number of tallies on the chalkboard show how often Lutece has tried and failed to change the multiverse. Every mark is a DeWitt that didn't make it. Hence, why he's their "hair shirt".

B) Dimwit and Duke. Dimwit=Dewitt. Duke=Lord Comstock. The last ones was delayed by "3 months" similar to how Infinite was delayed 3 months IIRC. In other words, "Dimwit and Duke" is Bioshock Infinite.

On the ending. I agree that the reason why all the Elizabeth's disappear is because she ceases to be. If Anna never gets kidnapped, there is never an "Elizabeth". Also, the reason why the player's DeWitt dies is because he also ceases to be. If Comstock never takes his daughter then he never jumps through tears. (BTW, anyone notice the double entendre of tears and tears?)

About the credit scene. I could see it interpreted in two ways. I'll start with the one I haven't heard.

A) It's not what happens at the end of the game, but at the beginning. (Recall that you can watch the credits at any time.) It could be right before the tear appears and Lutece takes Booker into Comstock's reality. Anna/Elizabeth is calling, but clearly she hasn't been there for a very long time, otherwise Booker wouldn't say something like "Anna, is that you?" when he hears a lullaby.

B)The common interpretation. If Anna is never taken then Booker never gave her up. I would add that then he's still a drunk. He's still a man who owes a lot of debts. He still might be in such a stupor that he doesn't know if Anna is there or not. But at least he has a chance that things might be better.
 

Regs

Lifer
Aug 9, 2002
16,665
21
81
The beginning of the game there was a priest that baptized him before he entered the city walls of Columbia , and almost to the point he almost drowned. I find it a little ironic that the priest looked the same as the one Booker had before he was originally baptized and became Comstock in the alternative timeline/universe. The story tellers of the game kind of went out of the way of expressing how he almost drowned getting into the city.
 
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giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
The beginning of the game there was a priest that baptized him before he entered the city walls of Columbia , and almost to the point he almost drowned. I find it a little ironic that the priest looked the same as the one Booker had before he was originally baptized and became Comstock in the alternative timeline/universe. The story tellers of the game kind of went out of the way of expressing how he almost drowned getting into the city.
It is the same priest. He has the same exact name and character model.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
Dammit...had a whole essay of a post written up and I guess I forgot to submit it when I went into work. Anyways, its kind of interesting how they tweaked the game from the original gameplay they showed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbf2L62I6g8

I almost didnt play the game because of that video, but none of this is in the game.
 

Skel

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2001
6,187
562
136
Personally I found myself very sad at the Songbird's death. I had been expecting it as the end boss, to see it go out like that was a bit heartbreaking.
 

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