Explaining BioShock Infinite

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Explaining BioShock Infinite

Dissecting BioShock Infinite's remarkably complex storyline. Warning: Spoilers!

Read Full Article

Thanks for this. I feel like I got all of this on the first try, but good to get everyone else up to speed. Definitely a game I want to replay later for all the foreshadowing.

thanks, i was missing one minor thing you mentioned (why comstock is so much older) but i got everything else and even explained it to my sister because that makes it way easier to figure out.
funnily enough i called booker and comstock being the same in the hall of heroes but forgot about it because i didn't play the game over Easter.

You've pretty much summed up exactly what I've been explaining to friends of mine about the ending of the game.

As far as the other political themes go, I get this sense that there's this message about patriotism, or at least evangelical behaviour of what people think to be patriotism.

Everyone there believes that they are patriots and worship the founding fathers as deities. I've seen "patriotic" Americans do something similar where they see the American government as being able to do no wrong and belittle people as being "Unpatriotic" or "Hating America" when they criticize. I may be wrong, but that's how I felt part of the message was.

Thanks for explaining this because I was somewhat confused. Based on my original understanding I thought it was like the movie Looper and

I'd implore anyone who likes a game that plays with your mind to try this.

If people here wish to hear more about what Mr. Young has to say about Infinite, I highly -HIGHLY- recommend his podcast on the subject. Be sure to check out his other podcasts, articles, blogs and analytic let's plays while you're at it. They tend to be fantastic.

Yeah, I don't want to sound like I'm bragging (especially considering whenever something delves in to heavily theoretical and complex science stuff like this I tend to just switch off), but I never had any trouble figuring out what was was happening in Bioshock Infinite. By that I don't mean that I guessed the ending, just that when it came to all the reveals, everything made sense and I didn't have any trouble understanding it.

The only part where I couldn't figure out what had just happened was...

Waaghpowa:
You've pretty much summed up exactly what I've been explaining to friends of mine about the ending of the game.

As far as the other political themes go, I get this sense that there's this message about patriotism, or at least evangelical behaviour of what people think to be patriotism.

Everyone there believes that they are patriots and worship the founding fathers as deities. I've seen "patriotic" Americans do something similar where they see the American government as being able to do no wrong and belittle people as being "Unpatriotic" or "Hating America" when they criticize. I may be wrong, but that's how I felt part of the message was.

Patriotism (or more topically American Exceptionalism) is only one facet of it, but Columbia is basically an extreme representation of the attitudes and beliefs that made up late 19th and early 20th century America (much like Rapture was an extreme representation of 40's/50's America in the dawn of the nuclear age). You've also got radical splinters of Christianity (particularly Baptism), Rampant Capitalism (and conversely Anarchism), as well as generous helpings of Racism and Xenophobia.

My biggest problem with the ending is kind of simple, why do we need to stop Comstock in all the universes?

Our Dewitt and Elizabeth/Anna are safe and together. Dewitt is (IMO) redeemed by fighting for, and getting back his daughter. So why do we need to do more?

And if you have a good answer please tell me :)

I actually guessed the whole 'he is you' thing but I still liked the ending, thanks for explaining the whole 'its young Booker before Comstock' thing though, its makes sense now... God damn it, then that post credits reveal makes no sense!... I give up, fuck time travel, Timesplitters was the only series that I enjoyed it in because it kept things so simple.

Still, I do love the new Bioshock even if I agree with what Campster said about it but as i've already posted one of his vids today I won't do it again.

Best part about Infinate, this cover, it fits Booker so well its genius.

I have spoken to some friends about this who have had troubles with the ending. The best things I could come up with was a Doctor Who sort of explanation.

One of the things in Doctor Who is that certain fixed events in time always and "have to" happen. Well, what if you stopped one of these events before it happened? By becoming the younger Booker and allowing yourself to be drowned, you are stopping all of the future decision tree branches from ever being allowed to occur. You cause a paradox in essence, and cancel out your future existence.

Now my question and where I hope some of the DLC will lead to is, which Booker is there after the credits? I may have part of the timeline wrong, but my understanding is that Booker knocked up a girl after he rejected Baptism. So if he died, how is it that we see him in his office in the end? Is this maybe a version of Booker where he didn't go to Battle but still had a child? That is a possibility since the paradox of him at Baptism would have never occurred, but the ability for Booker to exist is still out there.

I guess that's why it's called Infinite. . . Infinite possibilities.

Shamus Young:
Explaining BioShock Infinite

Dissecting BioShock Infinite's remarkably complex storyline. Warning: Spoilers!

Read Full Article

You have the some of the chronology mixed up. Robert Lutece arrives at Comstock's universe at roughly the same time, having been present when Booker tried to stop his evil self from bringing his daughter into Comstock's timeline.

Thanks for this, I never got that Booker was Comstock for some reason but that makes perfect sense now.

The ending was really weird in that it kept a lot of stuff ambiguous for some reason. Is the after-credits scene really a new wish-fulfillment route? Does Elizabeth from the game really vanish? Or does grandfather paradox ruin her plans?

What's kinda pissing me off about is that nothing was really gained tho. Everything you've fought for was invalidated, literally blasted into retcon oblivion, and every world ever connected to a Comstock route (because someone peeked into it or a random tear opened) will be obliterated for the same reason as the "heroic" Booker route. And for what? A new route that will still have a man, a city and a girl, complete with its own apocalyptic bad ending possibilities.

So really we just burnt infinite worlds with infinitely little significance in a multiverse purged of anyone that could care.
Also a child commits double-suicide with her father who tried everything to save her.

Ain't that just fucking depressing.

(Tho personally I'm a fan of the theory that Booker just respawned like when that assassinating priest and the Songbird tried to drown him).

Funny thing about Comstock's voice. When I was on my way to the top of "The Hand of the Profit" ship, he was talking his talk to me, and I swear he sounded just like Booker. I think it had something to do with his voice being messed up by his broadcast system thing, but I think it may have been on purpose. One last clue before you get to him, ya know.

:/ I wonder what kind of DLC Infinite will have, or rather what it will mean for the story?

Anyway, I could only find about 71 or 72 of the 80 voxophones too. I may go back for the others later.

I wonder if maybe, after Elizabeth is free of the Siphon is that she is no longer effected by Tears so to speak. So there is no paradox because she wouldn't vanish because even though the events were stopped, she is no longer tied down to that. Essentially free of any changes that occur.

Just a theory.

About Booker's age... didn't the Lutece twins grab Booker from a time shortly after he gave up Anna and pull him forward so that they'd still be able to take advantage of the "deliver the girl, erase the debt" memory? I seem to remember the flashback has Robert mentioning that he's filling in the memories when he appears in the boat.

If that's the case Booker's age wouldn't be 38. He was 18 when Anna was born and 19 when he sold Elizabeth to Comstock.

Even after I wrote that and thinking about it they'd probably have to grab him at that time. After 20 years he may have moved on or self destructed (given the state of his home when he's recruited).

romxxii:

Shamus Young:
Explaining BioShock Infinite

Dissecting BioShock Infinite's remarkably complex storyline. Warning: Spoilers!

Read Full Article

You have the some of the chronology mixed up. Robert Lutece arrives at Comstock's universe at roughly the same time, having been present when Booker tried to stop his evil self from bringing his daughter into Comstock's timeline.

I agree, I think the article misses the reason Robert Lutece is demanding Rosalind fix the problem (in the audiolog about her brother's demands) is they are guilty of aiding Comstock to thieve Ana, and they have to atone for it and they set up 'the experiment' to do so (although I dont remember in the beginning rowboat who doubts it will work, so I may be a bit off there). Robert is the one banging on the door and then standing in the door demanding Ana in the flashback timeline. Then shown at the tear where comstock is taking the girl through. Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt is finally revealed to be the causing act, not the redemption.

Otherwise a great spoiler summary.

Like I am always apt to point out.

The game's ending really has little do to with why it fails.

Bioshock Infinite fails because it creates an entire world, then puts you on a linear path through it. Not really so much exploring it as stopping at certain attractions to ride them. There was an amazing amount of potential story here and it just was not told.

It is to busy trying to be Bioshock that it forgets that it should be it's own game in the first place.

We had a whole fucking narrative about Plasmids and how they are made. Vigours? They just fucking exist. Now shut up and gulp down this bottle that makes crows shoot out of your arms. There was so much wonder and possible exploration and it was ignored for an attempt to wax philosophically and the opportunity to attempt to pull a Shyamalan.

The biggest most glaring fucking problem should be Comstock and Fitzroy vs Ryan and Atlas.

Ryan and Atlas EMBODY their very ideology. Ryan is a man who builds what he wants. Who will not let anyone stop him from achieving his dreams. Atlas is a man who takes what he wants. Who will not let anyone stop him from achieving his goals. They are basically the two epitomes of objectivism.

The man who makes.
The man who takes.

Both at odds with each other and both held in the highest regard by the same philosophy because they follow the ultimate pursuit of happiness. Both are explored and you understand why they are who they are.

In Bioshock Infinite you have the Charlatan Prophet and Robespierre. What links these two other than their conflict? There is nothing besides the fact that Comstock sees no problem with smocking a cigar whilst sitting on the porch of his cotton plantation and Fitzroy would rather switch up the roles.

Nothing. They bring up racism then drop it. They bring up the socio-econimic class struggle then drop it. They bring up religion multiple times and do nothing with it. The only thing they do with it is imply that religion is really nothing more than a get out of jail free card delusion which I find the utter height of insult. I hold no religion myself but even I find it ridiculous to reduce someone's religion to nothing more than that.

Each of these could have been the dynamic between these two but there is just nothing.

Do I really need to point out to anyone that finished the game that the Songbird was wasted to such a degree that it should be a crime? That could have been the biggest Boogeyman ever to haunt your entire playthrough, but it just disappears for long periods of time and we never even get close to figuring out what it is.

Phew, that surely explains a lot. I kinda, sorta catched up most of that in my first playthrough like Comstock = Booker, but you definitely lessened the time fuckery of the story.

The thing I like about this game, is that even having full knowdeledge of the ending, it doesn't nullify the consequent playthroughs afterwards, heck, it even completely validates BioShock 1 itself!, making it more relevant than ever, even after finishing Infinite.

I love this game and I thank you for clearing up some stuff.

NinjaDeathSlap:

Waaghpowa:
You've pretty much summed up exactly what I've been explaining to friends of mine about the ending of the game.

As far as the other political themes go, I get this sense that there's this message about patriotism, or at least evangelical behaviour of what people think to be patriotism.

Everyone there believes that they are patriots and worship the founding fathers as deities. I've seen "patriotic" Americans do something similar where they see the American government as being able to do no wrong and belittle people as being "Unpatriotic" or "Hating America" when they criticize. I may be wrong, but that's how I felt part of the message was.

Patriotism (or more topically American Exceptionalism) is only one facet of it, but Columbia is basically an extreme representation of the attitudes and beliefs that made up late 19th and early 20th century America (much like Rapture was an extreme representation of 40's/50's America in the dawn of the nuclear age). You've also got radical splinters of Christianity (particularly Baptism), Rampant Capitalism (and conversely Anarchism), as well as generous helpings of Racism and Xenophobia.

I assumed all those things were true as well, just that the statues of founding fathers everywhere stuck in my mind. Also to a certain degree, a lot of the things you mentioned still exist in America in one way or another.

1337mokro:
Like I am always apt to point out.

The game's ending really has little do to with why it fails.

Bioshock Infinite fails because it creates an entire world, then puts you on a linear path through it. Not really so much exploring it as stopping at certain attractions to ride them. There was an amazing amount of potential story here and it just was not told.

It is to busy trying to be Bioshock that it forgets that it should be it's own game in the first place.

We had a whole fucking narrative about Plasmids and how they are made. Vigours? They just fucking exist. Now shut up and gulp down this bottle that makes crows shoot out of your arms. There was so much wonder and possible exploration and it was ignored for an attempt to wax philosophically and the opportunity to attempt to pull a Shyamalan.

The biggest most glaring fucking problem should be Comstock and Fitzroy vs Ryan and Atlas.

Ryan and Atlas EMBODY their very ideology. Ryan is a man who builds what he wants. Who will not let anyone stop him from achieving his dreams. Atlas is a man who takes what he wants. Who will not let anyone stop him from achieving his goals. They are basically the two epitomes of objectivism.

The man who makes.
The man who takes.

Both at odds with each other and both held in the highest regard by the same philosophy because they follow the ultimate pursuit of happiness. Both are explored and you understand why they are who they are.

In Bioshock Infinite you have the Charlatan Prophet and Robespierre. What links these two other than their conflict? There is nothing besides the fact that Comstock sees no problem with smocking a cigar whilst sitting on the porch of his cotton plantation and Fitzroy would rather switch up the roles.

Nothing. They bring up racism then drop it. They bring up the socio-econimic class struggle then drop it. They bring up religion multiple times and do nothing with it. The only thing they do with it is imply that religion is really nothing more than a get out of jail free card delusion which I find the utter height of insult. I hold no religion myself but even I find it ridiculous to reduce someone's religion to nothing more than that.

Each of these could have been the dynamic between these two but there is just nothing.

Do I really need to point out to anyone that finished the game that the Songbird was wasted to such a degree that it should be a crime? That could have been the biggest Boogeyman ever to haunt your entire playthrough, but it just disappears for long periods of time and we never even get close to figuring out what it is.

I agree with everything that you said but alot of the slower points of the game (like Elizabeth at Battleship bay) make up for the 'hey look how deep we are' narrative for me.

I thought the vigors were tied into the Plasmids in the same way that the Handymen were tied into the Big Daddys in that they pulled the tech from the future but maybe im wrong and even though I agree that they squandered Songbird in terms of gameplay, his death was still really sad.

Im really conflicted about the game, I loved the crap out of it (I finished it in two sittings over an evening and morning) but the praise its getting grates me when I think of all the things that got forgotten. Not to mention that the combat in the original fitted the context of the game as it was about a slave, Infinate is about a man who laments what he's done one minute then blasts a guy in the face the next.

I still loved the game, one of my favourites of recent years, they just needed to really sink their teeth into the themes they presneted and not fear using the slower moments of the game to really explain these ideas. Still, im just gonna go and listen to 'God Only Knows' for the 100th time today. They nailed it with that over the credits.

Songbird will probably be solved via DLC, but he is forever lost in the main game. The vigors just exist, ok. But, why am I the only one using them. at all? See, they are everywhere in the city, and you will find the Crow/Coffin/Sword/KKK guy, or the Armor on Fire guy, but that's it. Why the other enemies do not use vigors, but, if you played Industrial Revolution they say the police is using at leas Bulking Bronco, probably charge too, since you find in the armory of a police station.
And if you follow the many, many speeches of the Lutece fellows, you will see they say that something is and always will be. So, kill Booker is 100% useless. And even worse, every time they kill a version, it will mess up the memories of the other versions, so, maybe that explains the post-credits scene. So yeah, again, the ending just do not work. And a last thing, since she killed Songbird and Booker, and said she would kill Comstock, and yet, was surprised when you do it, I have to say that Elisabeth is, maybe, a bit more dangerous and out of control that she looks. Years locked away in that tower might be the case.
The tower is another absurd: Why Comstock would hide her even from himself? Why hide Columbia from her? If she lived with him from the start, even inside that tower, you can bet that Booker would not be capable to take her away.
And the thing about killing the Lutece and Lady Comstock, first, if he liked her, why not tell her how he got the child? Maybe he killed her more for the effect over the public than anything else. The Lutece crew could see the future! Kind of. I do believe the lady Lutece would be curious about future, their future. Maybe she was, and maybe she desired that. And by the way, I would love if Irrational had called Mark Meer to be the male Lutece. It would just be nice.
About the philosophies involved, well, I would love to be capable to understand and build a good argument, but, it's just
not my area. Anyway, yeah, it's a bit weird to see the whole prejudice theme just disappear in thin air after the first scene. Bioshock Infinite world have depth, but it's hide in well guarded recorder devices, not in the story we live through.
But really, it's one of the best things I ever experimented in gaming.
PS.: At the ending, imagine if after she visited Rapture, she also could take him to see the stars even a bit more closer, maybe, in the UNN Rickenbacker...

eltonborges:
At the ending, imagine if after she visited Rapture, she also could take him to see the stars even a bit more closer, maybe, in the UNN Rickenbacker...

YES!, that's exactly what I thought!, if she takes you to Rapture and after her lines of "there will always be a man and a city", it would make a lot of sense (and lots of tingly feelings) if she'd take you to the Von Braun just for teh lulz.

But I guess that there's some legal stuff that prevented Irrational from using anything from System Shock 2 and simply because BioShock 1 is more recent in most gamers memories.

PunkRex:
Still, im just gonna go and listen to 'God Only Knows' for the 100th time today. They nailed it with that over the credits.

OH fuck yeah I restarted that level multiple times before there was a youtube video of it.

But that again show cases how much this game fails. We could have had this a capela group pop up over multiple parts of the game singing ironic songs. God Only Knows at the start. Now we're together in Battleship Bay. There's Something Special About You after passing through the tear and entering alternate reality FINK industries where he was revealing the first Handyman or something.

The game could have done SO much more with what it had but it just didn't.

It could have even had some genuine comedy, think about the hilarity if the a capela group was similar to the Luteces because they got accidentally unegulfed in the tear when the machine exploded because they lived next door. Now they are interdimensionally popping up everywhere because they exist everywhere and nowhere engaging in ironic songs because they basically have eternity and nothing to do till the Luteces fix shit.

1337mokro:

PunkRex:
Still, im just gonna go and listen to 'God Only Knows' for the 100th time today. They nailed it with that over the credits.

OH fuck yeah I restarted that level multiple times before there was a youtube video of it.

But that again show cases how much this game fails. We could have had this a capela group pop up over multiple parts of the game singing ironic songs. God Only Knows at the start. Now we're together in Battleship Bay. There's Something Special About You after passing through the tear and entering alternate reality FINK industries where he was revealing the first Handyman or something.

The game could have done SO much more with what it had but it just didn't.

It could have even had some genuine comedy, think about the hilarity if the a capela group was similar to the Luteces because they got accidentally unegulfed in the tear when the machine exploded because they lived next door. Now they are interdimensionally popping up everywhere because they exist everywhere and nowhere engaging in ironic songs because they basically have eternity and nothing to do till the Luteces fix shit.

Wow, thats an awesome idea. It would have basically made it a musical... theres a thought, a musical shooter, i'd buy the shit out of that!

EDIT: Fiarflair has convinced me I was wrong about this matter, see later in the thread
An important point to note is that Elizabeth does not drown Booker - she drowns Comstock. She drowns each and every Booker that did not walk away from the baptism. So the game does not end with the death of the protagonist, but with a new start for the once-broken Booker DeWitt. Sadly, this is lost to most people not wanting to watch 16 minutes of credits for a ten-second stinger.

CAPTCHA: hot diggity dog
Darnit, Captcha, I'm trying to run a serious post here!

The ending's pretty crazy.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/04/bioshock-infinite-wizard-of-oz/

Here's a VERY FUCKING INTERESTING article i read a few days ago talking about the parallels between Infinite and the wizard of Oz which i think is somewhat relevant here.

TLDR for the who = the WoO counterparts

The imagery REALLY is similar when you think about it, Booker's office/New york and the light house are incredibly dark and washed away colored until you get to Columbia, the what is a dream kind of mood of the stinger, the obvious tornado scene. The fact that our fist encounter with Comstock was a giant projected head that revealed his body as just some old man etc etc

Tombsite:
My biggest problem with the ending is kind of simple, why do we need to stop Comstock in all the universes?

Our Dewitt and Elizabeth/Anna are safe and together. Dewitt is (IMO) redeemed by fighting for, and getting back his daughter. So why do we need to do more?

And if you have a good answer please tell me :)

If Comstock still exists then there is still a possibility that he'll create the evil Elizabeth to "drown the mountains of man", and because of her dimension tearing abilities you could assume she won't just stop with her own universe. So basically the entire multiverse is screwed if you allow evil Elizabeth to ever exist.

philosophicalbastard:

Tombsite:
My biggest problem with the ending is kind of simple, why do we need to stop Comstock in all the universes?

Our Dewitt and Elizabeth/Anna are safe and together. Dewitt is (IMO) redeemed by fighting for, and getting back his daughter. So why do we need to do more?

And if you have a good answer please tell me :)

If Comstock still exists then there is still a possibility that he'll create the evil Elizabeth to "drown the mountains of man", and because of her dimension tearing abilities you could assume she won't just stop with her own universe. So basically the entire multiverse is screwed if you allow evil Elizabeth to ever exist.

Not a bad suggestion. Still the game doesn't really hint at that as an outcome.

Shamus Young:
Explaining BioShock Infinite

Dissecting BioShock Infinite's remarkably complex storyline. Warning: Spoilers!

Read Full Article

IF we're talking alternate universes, and Infinity, aren't we just talking a multiverse theory where everything happens? Meaning that the "Kill Booker to deny Comstock" universe is just another split. Therefore nothing changes, and there can be no paradox because there is still a Booker/Comstock universe and a Booker/Drunk Booker to be pulled into it setting up the 3rd choice of killing Booker before he's Comstock...
It makes the brain hurt but it works I guess.

NinjaDeathSlap:

The only part where I couldn't figure out what had just happened was...

eltonborges:
Songbird will probably be solved via DLC, but he is forever lost in the main game. The vigors just exist, ok. But, why am I the only one using them. at all? See, they are everywhere in the city, and you will find the Crow/Coffin/Sword/KKK guy, or the Armor on Fire guy, but that's it. Why the other enemies do not use vigors, but, if you played Industrial Revolution they say the police is using at leas Bulking Bronco, probably charge too, since you find in the armory of a police station.
And if you follow the many, many speeches of the Lutece fellows, you will see they say that something is and always will be. So, kill Booker is 100% useless. And even worse, every time they kill a version, it will mess up the memories of the other versions, so, maybe that explains the post-credits scene. So yeah, again, the ending just do not work. And a last thing, since she killed Songbird and Booker, and said she would kill Comstock, and yet, was surprised when you do it, I have to say that Elisabeth is, maybe, a bit more dangerous and out of control that she looks. Years locked away in that tower might be the case.
The tower is another absurd: Why Comstock would hide her even from himself? Why hide Columbia from her? If she lived with him from the start, even inside that tower, you can bet that Booker would not be capable to take her away.
And the thing about killing the Lutece and Lady Comstock, first, if he liked her, why not tell her how he got the child? Maybe he killed her more for the effect over the public than anything else. The Lutece crew could see the future! Kind of. I do believe the lady Lutece would be curious about future, their future. Maybe she was, and maybe she desired that. And by the way, I would love if Irrational had called Mark Meer to be the male Lutece. It would just be nice.
About the philosophies involved, well, I would love to be capable to understand and build a good argument, but, it's just
not my area. Anyway, yeah, it's a bit weird to see the whole prejudice theme just disappear in thin air after the first scene. Bioshock Infinite world have depth, but it's hide in well guarded recorder devices, not in the story we live through.
But really, it's one of the best things I ever experimented in gaming.
PS.: At the ending, imagine if after she visited Rapture, she also could take him to see the stars even a bit more closer, maybe, in the UNN Rickenbacker...

Elizabeth's tower wasn't just to keep her locked. Its was a device that drained her powers and prevented her from escaping through tears.
Lady Comstock thought that her husband was chosen by God to see the future, she wasn't his partner in crime(you can see how revealing the truth about Zachary Comstock might hurt his prophet public image, so she had to die.) Also Lutece tried to explain to her but LC thought she was lying.
Also the Luteces could see other universes, not the future.

aeric90:
About Booker's age... didn't the Lutece twins grab Booker from a time shortly after he gave up Anna and pull him forward so that they'd still be able to take advantage of the "deliver the girl, erase the debt" memory? I seem to remember the flashback has Robert mentioning that he's filling in the memories when he appears in the boat.

If that's the case Booker's age wouldn't be 38. He was 18 when Anna was born and 19 when he sold Elizabeth to Comstock.

Even after I wrote that and thinking about it they'd probably have to grab him at that time. After 20 years he may have moved on or self destructed (given the state of his home when he's recruited).

I believe that Lutece or Elizabeth mention at some point that you sell Anna to Comstock twenty years later, after you've spent 20 years drinking away your memories about Wounded Knee and hook up with some unmentioned woman. Then shortly after you're grabbed and pulled into Comstocks universe and the process scrambles the heck out of your brain.

NinjaDeathSlap:
The only part where I couldn't figure out what had just happened was...

When you go after her, you somehow manage to get transported decades into the future seemingly without going through a tear, and the game never really explains how you got there.

Future Elizabeth transports you there. She literally tells you this, or maybe it's contained in an voxophone, I forget now. I wouldn't bother with spoiler tags really; you shouldn't even be reading this thread if you're worried about spoilers and this was pointed out in the article.

amaranth_dru:
IF we're talking alternate universes, and Infinity, aren't we just talking a multiverse theory where everything happens? Meaning that the "Kill Booker to deny Comstock" universe is just another split. Therefore nothing changes, and there can be no paradox because there is still a Booker/Comstock universe and a Booker/Drunk Booker to be pulled into it setting up the 3rd choice of killing Booker before he's Comstock...
It makes the brain hurt but it works I guess.

Constants and variables, my friend. It is not strictly a multiverse theory where everything that can happen, does. It's more like some things can deviate into a multiverse of possibilities and others do not; for instance, the coin toss early on in the game always remaining the same, or the fact that you jump through a couple different tears but no matter which you do, Rosa Parks is always blamed for Lady Comstocks death and Comstock is always a villian.

You have to think about it like a series of "if thens": if Booker agrees to be baptized he becomes the Comstock who builds Columbia and becomes the villian (even if certain things happen differently, he always becomes a villain who builds Columbia and steals his counterparts baby), and if he backs away at the last minute and rejects the idea that baptism can absolve him, he becomes the Booker who drinks his life away, remains heavily in debt, and has his baby stolen. This is a "variable" but it's also a constant in the sense that those two possibilities are the only two possibilities to come from the baptism. If there was an earlier scenario where Booker never even considers being baptized (maybe he never participated in Wounded Knee, or perhaps he was never accused of having Indian blood, or whatever) Comstock simply couldn't exist in such a universe, so there could conceivably be a multitude of universes with a non-alchoholic Booker and no Anna.

So imagine an infinite number of universes and an infinite number of Bookers, but there is exactly one point where Comstock could come to be: the baptism; Elizabeth, using her amazing deus ex powers of cross-universe perception that she gets when the Siphon is destroyed, knows what this point is, and drowns him during the Baptism.

You can say that there are some universes where Elizabeth drowns Booker during the baptism, and others where she does not, but remember, Elizabeth is literally teleporting between universes and thus changing the multiverse. She is deciding what the constants and variables are at that point.

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