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

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Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
The only way the ending made sense to me was to have this Booker going to Columbia before he gave up Anna, and the baptism normally happens after he gives her up. If he leaves in this window, the ending makes sense. The only problem is, Elizabeth mentions he spends 20 years in his apartment regretting giving up Anna, until someone gives him a chance to make it right. If there was a concrete timeline it would help, but the game is fairly vague when it comes to this. Which must be intentional, given how much detail is everywhere else.
 
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Phanuel

Platinum Member
Apr 25, 2008
2,304
2
0
To quote Looper -

Older Joe: I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws.

This is pretty much where we're at, about to make diagrams with straws to explain some of the ending.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
The problem I have with this theory is earlier you are brought to the baptism scene and reject the baptism yet again, but you still clearly remember Elizabeth.
Apparently she is able to choose whether to allow you to view your past as your current self, or fully regress you into being that past self. The first visit was part of her leading Booker to the conclusion she already reached, that Comstock must be killed at the moment of his birth.

Anyway, he did sort of partially fall into each scene and act each one out as though he thought it was really happening. In the first baptism scene he steps up to the preacher and responds to him as though it was the first time. In the scene where he catches Comstock escaping with Anna what he does is almost certainly what he had done before, because it results in the same thing happening again. Only in between each scene does he seem to regain his senses and realize he is following Elizabeth through a series of vignettes. Maybe all she has to do is allow him to fall completely into the last one.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
When Booker goes to another reality, his memories are merged with that version's memories, but I dont think there was an example in the game where he actually replaced that version. Either the Booker that was there died, or maybe that version's Booker was in another reality. The only time time there was more than one Booker was when they moved between lighthouses.

Although it would explain a few things if the Bookers were actually merged, instead of just their memories.
 

Phanuel

Platinum Member
Apr 25, 2008
2,304
2
0
I'm still stuck with the fact that, how can we really even stop ourselves from doing something in the past when we're in a multiverse world? All we do is go to our own past and drown ourselves then and there. We'd have to get all of our multiverse selves to go back in time and kill themselves at that exact moment or at least jump over into their Comstock alternate worlds and do the deed.

We're still in a multiverse where everyone else on the planet is making decisions and spawning infinite multiverses on their own with copies of us in it. We're not the sole creator and decision maker of when multiverses spawn.
 

tygeezy

Senior member
Aug 28, 2012
300
14
81
I think anytime you present a story where your character is traveling through time and universes and trying to change outcomes you will have more questions than answers. If we were simply viewing these different outcomes and not trying to change any outcomes the story things would be much more clear.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
I'm still stuck with the fact that, how can we really even stop ourselves from doing something in the past when we're in a multiverse world? All we do is go to our own past and drown ourselves then and there. We'd have to get all of our multiverse selves to go back in time and kill themselves at that exact moment or at least jump over into their Comstock alternate worlds and do the deed.

We're still in a multiverse where everyone else on the planet is making decisions and spawning infinite multiverses on their own with copies of us in it. We're not the sole creator and decision maker of when multiverses spawn.
Normally in this kind of thing, there is a prime universe that all the others are based off of.
 

Phanuel

Platinum Member
Apr 25, 2008
2,304
2
0
Normally in this kind of thing, there is a prime universe that all the others are based off of.
And that's kind of what I assumed was happening, but we weren't clearly explained to that that's what all of the lighthouse traversing we did led us to.
 

StinkyPinky

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2002
6,725
718
126
I don't get where the other Elizabeths are? She moves her booker to different worlds but in none of them do we see the Elizabeth of that world? The only time is the ending.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Just finished it tonight and done some reading to try and get things straight.

One thing I'm not certain on is the timeline for anna being born, is she born before or after the baptism. If it's before then what happens to anna in comstock timeline? It makes more sense that booker goes on to have anna after failing to get baptised, I'm not sure what the truth is though.

To me it makes the most sense that at the end elizabeth is simply putting you in the shoes of the prior booker, you experience handing over anna, and then later trying to chase her down leading to her finger getting sliced off, I think these sections are your original memories coming back to you (that was genuinely earlier in your own timeline)

Near the end booker doesn't know who elizabeth is shortly before drowning. That would suggest something more than just dimension hopping, more like time travel...thats where it gets a little fuzzy for me.

But it seems that in the infinite universes there is a whole series of bookers and elizabeths working towards the same goal and at least some of them make it as far as you do because you see them crossing the wooden bridges near the end having the same conversation as you're having. To me that suggests that they all lead their versions of their bookers to the same spot...

In which case the ending very much feels like all the successful bookers kind of amalgamate at the end (there's an elastic term for you!), and sort of come together at one point in space/time, there's only one fate for booker at that point and you witness it first person but there's multiple very slightly different elizabeths which is why several hold you down.

Eliminating comstock eliminates him taking elizabeth and such returns the timeline to just being a drunk booker before he sold anna. The ending is obviously meant to be ambiguous deliberately in the same way inception was, in some respects it doesn't really matter that much, as far as I'm concerned those things are a bit of a cheap trick to just generate interest and talk about the game post completion, I suspect that it's just meant to be left open to the interpretation, i'd personally like a happy ending where Anna is alive and booker gets his shit together but unless someone finds a reason to positively identify what happens, or Ken steps forwards and clarifies I'm just not going to waste my time on it.

Fantastic game though, GOTY for 2013 without a doubt and squarely in my top 5 of all time best single player games, very probably my fave ever singleplayer FPS.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Normally in this kind of thing, there is a prime universe that all the others are based off of.
Thinking about this a bit more, I think the unique "prime" universe might be the one in which anna is successfully born?

We see multiple elizabeths later on but they're ALL spawned by actions that occur after comstock has taken anna, of course you're the booker from that prime universe, and you're revisited by lost memories of handing over anna and then trying to get her back.

The multiple 122 bookers attempting to survive the city I guess are variants of bookers actions after he's given up anna and not their own unique bookers from their own timelines with their own anna to fight for.

In some very real way I think the choice/option to get baptized or not causes only 2 possible futures there, at least inside the scope of the game story.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,735
442
126
So being drowned by Elizabeth is supposed to break the cycle, but by doing so he completely removes the chance of becoming Comstock... Right? Which is why all the Elizabeths disappear. But if he did that then there's not going to be the Elizabeths to drown him in the first place.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Its classic time travel style paradox.

"Elizabeth" is really just Anna who was stolen and raised by Comstock, if she succeeds in preventing comstocks "birth" they comstock ceases to exist and never steals Anna in the first place, Elizabeths cease to exist as we know her, they all dissapear from the scene to a musical note, all except the last one where the screen goes back upon the last note being played, I think the inference here is that ALL Elizabeths are gone.

That collapses all those possible universes/timelines into just one, one where Booker refuses the baptism, goes on raise Anna.

I've just noticed Anna, Booker, Comstock, ABC, that's interesting I wonder if that's a coincidence?
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
So being drowned by Elizabeth is supposed to break the cycle, but by doing so he completely removes the chance of becoming Comstock... Right? Which is why all the Elizabeths disappear. But if he did that then there's not going to be the Elizabeths to drown him in the first place.
For me there are two major forks:
1) DeWitt baptized and becomes Comstock
2) DeWitt not baptized and becomes a drunk

Anna is born after DeWitt rejects baptism. In the fork where he accepts it, he becomes a powerful man and with Lutece's help builds Columbia. But because of the rift technology that allowed the technological progress, he becomes old and sterile and can't have a true heir (I guess cloning or some other advanced genetic science wasn't discovered by Lutece, even via peeking into rifts?). So he uses the rift technology to find a fork where he has a real daughter and steals her. Because Elizabeth's/Anna's finger stays in her old fork, she gets all those cool rift powers (something Lutece can do with technology).

At the end of Bioshock Infinite, what actually happens is the whole fork with accepting baptism "implodes" and is wiped - as you state, there's a contradiction. The variable which was accepting/rejecting baptism becomes a constant = rejecting it.

That's how I understand the ending - changing a variable into a constant.
 

darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
13,749
4
81
There was a baptism event at the beginning of the game, was that the one? I'm not sure if it was the one or not, he was given the choice but you really had to accept to advance the game which doesn't make sense to me. Then again he blacks out so that may be where the fork first opens up and we jump into another reality where he actually didn't accept it even though we had to?
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,735
442
126
There was a baptism event at the beginning of the game, was that the one? I'm not sure if it was the one or not, he was given the choice but you really had to accept to advance the game which doesn't make sense to me. Then again he blacks out so that may be where the fork first opens up and we jump into another reality where he actually didn't accept it even though we had to?
It was foreshadowing

Comstock requires everyone in his city to be baptized and follow the light, as that's what he did. It's not related to the baptism in the river.
 

darkxshade

Lifer
Mar 31, 2001
13,749
4
81
It was foreshadowing

Comstock requires everyone in his city to be baptized and follow the light, as that's what he did. It's not related to the baptism in the river.

I thought that might be the case but I still found it contradictory that the player was given the choice to accept the baptism. Would've been intersting if he became Comstock and then there were 2 of them.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
It was foreshadowing

Comstock requires everyone in his city to be baptized and follow the light, as that's what he did. It's not related to the baptism in the river.
I did find it interesting that Booker blacks out during the Baptism at the beginning. The fact that from your perspective you basically go under water and then wake up somewhere in Columbia could have been used as a way to insert some additional plot elements. I think he actually blacks out because of both being held under water and of the memories the experience awakens though. Later you're supposed to realize that was a more traumatic experience than you knew at the time it was happening.
 

Rhezuss

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,120
34
91
Just finished the game yesterday evening near midnight. Was effing sleepy and thought the ending with the trajillion punches was really cool. Took me about 1 hour to actually falling asleep as I was thinking about this whole weird ending.

This discussion thread is really cool too, helps put together some pieces of the puzzle. I got the game for "free" with my 7950 and bought the Season pass and glad I did. Hope some DLCs will shed some light to this whole confusing ending or add more weird stuff and confusion to the whole experience.

Great game!
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
Booker wouldn't have had memories of the first baptism during the second one (as he enters the city), he's the version of Booker who never did get baptized.
He did go to the place where the preacher was giving baptisms in every universe we know of though. In every universe he felt guilty over what he did while in the 7th cavalry and sought redemption in religion. So both Comstock and Booker will have memories of standing with the preacher at the baptismal waters, but the difference is that Booker will remember freaking out and running away at the key moment, while Comstock will remember going through with it. We can guess that Booker still carries the guilt of what happened at Wounded knee with him in addition to the guilt over not going through with the baptism, all of which would have come to the surface upon seeing the same preacher at Columbia.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
I would still like someone yo explain to me what the deal with the songbird was.
We know very little about songbird ultimately. It was manufactured by Fink probably. The technology behind it was first glimpsed by Fink through a tear. What he saw was probably the manufacturing of a Big Daddy from Rapture. Extrapolating from that, the Songbird probably has a human component like a Big Daddy, and it seems to have a link with Elizabeth similar to the one Big Daddies shared with Little Sisters in Rapture. Who knows who it is that was made into SongBird. I've heard theories that ranged from Constance Field, the little girl who doesn't seem to play much role in the game other than a few Voxophones you find, to an alternate reality Booker Dewitt. One seems as likely as the other to me.
 

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