Thursday, 28 March 2013

Understanding Bioshock Infinite's Ending - Ending Explanation

MASSIVE WARNING: DO NOT, UNDER ANY                                CIRCUMSTANCES, READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED AND FINISHED BIOSHOCK INFINITE. EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GAME IS SPOILED BELOW AND DISCUSSED IN DEPTH. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


OK so I noticed a lot of people are confused about the ending of Bioshock Infinite. Admittedly a lot is thrown at you at once in the last 25 minutes and you don't really have enough time to process or make much sense of it all.

I also want to point out that this explanation is also an actual ENDING explanation. I have seen a lot of people explaining the entire plot in detail, which I will also be doing, however they all seem to brush over exactly what the ending meant and how it was left. If you watched past the credits you should know what the true ending is, however if you didn't you will no doubt still be a bit confused. Basically what I'm trying to say is: don't worry; everything is explained here - not just the plot but the actual end too so if you want closure, then I guess just read this. There are a couple of things that I am a little unsure about myself, however these aren't massive plot points that really matter and either I just missed something or they are actual minor plot holes that weren't explained in the game properly. So, let us begin.

Let's start at the beginning. The basics.

Booker Dewitt, the players character, has been entrusted with the job of going to Columbia to rescue a girl called Elizabeth and bring her back to New York. Apparently, this deed will rid Booker of all his (gambling?) debts.

After blasting off into Columbia, Booker goes about trying to get to Elizabeth who is locked away in a tower. Before he can reach her though, he receives a telegram telling him NOT to pick number 77. He ignores it, not understanding what it means. He then sees a sign showing off a somewhat devilish hand with the letters AD printed on the back of it. These letters (AD) match the letters imprinted on the back of his, Booker's, hand.
The Prophecy Comstock, the ruler of Columbia, predicted that a 'false Shepard' would come to Columbia to try and steal their lamb (Elizabeth) from them. This false Shepard can be identified by the AD mark on the back of his hand. This false Shepard is Booker.

After going to watch the Columbia raffle on his way to the tower, Booker is told to choose a raffle ball, which he does. It is number 77 and he wins the raffle. His prize is getting to throw his ball at a couple of tied up villagers. After going to throw the ball, Booker's hand is stopped by a Police Officer who reveals him as the false Shepard. Now Booker must fight through hundreds of people just to get to Elizabeth and hundreds more to try and escape Columbia.

After he finds her things become pretty straight forward; escape this city in the sky.

It isn't until near the end that the plot heats up again. Before we go into this though, we need to take a look at Elizabeth's 'tearing' power.

Oh, off topic but it is also important to remember she has one of her little fingers missing.

Anyway, this tearing power was given to her as a child after the Lutece's twins experimented on her (she did not naturally have this power). The twins had previously made machinery that could open tears, however Elizabeth, after these experiments, could do it without any help.

Tears are basically otherworldly things. Other dimensions. A tear can be opened bringing in an object or thing from another world, or an entire world itself can be opened and entered into. However, and I stress this, new universes or items can't be created from scratch. They HAVE to already exist for them to be brought into either the current world or accessed in their entirety.

With Elizabeth's power out the way, let's move on.

Songbird, a massive mechanical bird that protects Elizabeth and can be summoned and controlled by a whistle flute thing, always seems to intervene at the last moment and take Elizabeth from Booker. When Songbird does this near the end, Booker goes on to try and rescue her. He hears, through mini tears in the air, Elizabeth being tortured and brainwashed into becoming the heir to the throne that Comstock wanted her to be.

After going through a tear into another dimension, Booker discovers an old, frail, Elizabeth looking out over a burning city. The chaos is her doing. She explains to Booker that this can never happen and gives him a piece of paper to give to the young Elizabeth. He then goes through another tear into a universe where Elizabeth is still being tortured and brainwashed. After rescuing her he gives her the note and all seems well.

They go on to find Comstock however after he (Comstock) tries to get Booker to explain why Elizabeth is missing her pinky finger, Booker kills him, denying any knowledge of it. Elizabeth, however, knows Booker knows something, even if he doesn't remember.

They attempt to escape, again, however they are attacked. This time by loads of Vox. Elizabeth then realises she can control Songbird by using his whistle. They use him to help kill the remaining Vox. Afterwards Elizabeth gets Songbird to destroy the Siphon; the original source of her power and a device that forces her to remain within Columbia and stops her opening up another dimension to escape into.

After it is destroyed, Booker drops Songbirds whistle because it becomes electrified and panics as Songbird rushes towards them, no doubt about to flatten them both. However Elizabeth opens up a tear into another world, allowing them to escape. This world is Rapture.

As they wander through Rapture they then leave through a lighthouse door and come into a huge, massive, open, infinite space full of never-ending lighthouses.

This is where the explanations start.

So each lighthouse represents a world, a dimension. What are these dimensions? Well they could be anything, worlds never even heard of, but they are also the outcome of every possible situation and choice.

So, for instance, if you decided to stay at home (and play Infinite lol) rather than go to work, another dimension would be created for where you didn't stay home and you did go to work. A new world is created for everything that could have ever been.

We then learn, by going through one of these lighthouses, that after killing thousands of African-Americans, Booker went to get Baptised to rid him of his sins, however he refused the Baptism at the last moment and went on to live his life. Booker and Elizabeth move onto another lighthouse - another thing that happened in Booker's life.

We are now in Booker's apartment, and there is Robert Lutece standing in the doorway. You hear a baby called Anna in one of the rooms and after entering it, you see a very young child (Anna) in a cot. Booker denies frantically there ever being a child, completely confused as to why this is happening. But to continue he must go through with the scene how it happened before. He hands his child over to Robert who then leaves, saying something along the lines of 'Mr. Comstock forgives your sins' or something like that. We then go to a scene where we see Comstock holding Booker's daughter as he is about to go through a tear into another dimension (the dimension of Columbia), however Booker tries to stop him leaving, begging for his daughter back. Unfortunately Comstock gets away, however he isn't quick enough and as the tear closes Anna's little finger gets caught in the closing tear and gets cut clean off.

It is now obvious that Elizabeth, previously called Anna, is Booker's daughter.

Now this is where it gets a little confusing. Booker realises that the Lutece's twins, who, I would like to point out now aren't actually twins, are just versions of the same person from different dimensions who met each other, came to help him after they were betrayed by Comstock. They came to help him get his daughter back from Columbia.

They opened a tear and brought him into the Columbia dimension. After bringing him through, Booker's mind created new memories in place of the old ones. He created a new purpose for himself in this other world, and this purpose was what he wanted to do all along: find Anna/Elizabeth and get her back.

Unfortunately it wasn't as simple as that.

Before entering the final lighthouse we hear Booker saying about how they will just go back and kill Comstock in his crib to prevent all this, however that actually means killing himself as you see in the next section.

When, in the original dimension, he rejected the Baptism, another world was created for if he had accepted it. This is the place they are in now. This is the world where he accepted the Baptism.

After being Baptised, what did this new, free of sin Booker do? He called himself Zachery Comstock and created a city in the sky called Columbia. He was born again but this time an evil man.

To kill Comstock when he was born, Booker has to kill himself when he turned into Comstock. And that is at the place in another dimension where he accepted the Baptism instead of rejecting it.

Lots of Elizabeths appear and they proceed to drown Booker, presumably in the Baptising basin. After he dies we see all of the Elizabeths disappear.

Now that is the end. The credits roll from there. HOWEVER, there is more. I will go into this after explaining all of the above, though.

So you might be wondering, generally, what all that meant.

When Booker was first faced with the choice of a Baptism, he declined. He then went on to have a baby. Obviously another dimension was made for if he had accepted the Baptism, in which case he then became Comstock who created Columbia. Both Comstock and the original Booker existed within their own dimensions, doing their own thing. However after Comstock needed an heir but couldn't have a child because he was infertile, he used the Lutece's twins tearing machine to take Booker's own child, Anna from him. Technically, because Comstock is Booker but just in another world, Anna is still biologically related to him. Booker actually sold Anna to him to pay off his depts to him, and I know what you are thinking: isn't there just another reality for if he HADN'T sold her? Well, yes but also no. Because Comstock wanted - needed in fact - Anna so badly (and it could be only Anna because she was the only child related to him) even if Booker hadn't sold her, Comstock would have entered Booker's world and taken her by force. There is no world, while Comstock existed anyway, where Booker and Anna stayed together.

Booker was caught in a never-ending cycle of trying to save his daughter. He had already been to Columbia over a hundred times before. This is proved when he is in Columbia and asked by the Lutece twins to flip a coin. He does and it is heads. They mark it on a chalk board under 'heads' and you see that there are tons (over 100) of other heads markings on it. No tails have been marked down. This means that Booker has been there over 100 times before, flipped the same coin and, as always, had the SAME OUTCOME. While you can choose, during the story, to kill someone or let them live, that is a choice (no doubt another world is created to accommodate the other choice you had) and not chance. Flipping a coin is chance. He already flipped the same coin every time he had been to Columbia before and, as always, just like all the events there, it was scripted to heads.

Back to where we were before, though. It didn't matter what happened, he would always end up where he was. It was IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. Because Booker had a daughter and Comstock needed her and he made their dimensions cross and he took her, there was NO OTHER dimensions with a different outcome. Every world Booker existed in ended up with him losing Anna and going to save her. A never ending-loop.

HOWEVER, it does end, here. After Booker accepted he needed to die to kill Comstock, he allowed Elizabeth to kill him. By killing himself at the point in time where he accepted the Baptism, he killed off ANY POSSIBILITY of a Comstock. Comstock never existed. Comstock never came and took Booker's baby and Columbia was never built. Anything Comstock had an effect on or had anything to do with was destroyed and never happened.

This is where a lot of people lose it. They think Booker, Comstock, Elizabeth and Columbia ALL died, but they didn't. Booker didn't kill himself when he was first born; he killed himself when he turned into Comstock. All that did was kill off any Comstock version of him that there ever was.

After the credits, there is a little, tiny section, where Booker wakes up in his apartment and hears Anna crying. He goes into her room and calls out "Anna?!". That is where the game really ends.

This little part backs up what I am saying.

Because only Comstock was killed and stopped from ever existing, the Booker that declined the Baptism STILL existed. However because Booker and Comstock's worlds crossed, all parts of Booker's life that included Comstock or anything from the Comstock dimension itself was removed from his life. There were no Lutece twins who came to collect his daughter, no Columbia, no Comstock and no adult Elizabeth in his, or any other dimension ever. He then went back to the last time in his life that was free from Comstock related madness: him in his apartment with Anna as a baby before he met Comstock.

Now people may come back with "But Elizabeth disappeared from the scene after drowning Booker", and while this is true, it makes sense, and is also one of the most depressing parts of the game, despite its happy ending. Elizabeth in that form never existed. The girl you went through the entire story with? She never existed. Anna IS Elizabeth, but because every outcome of baby Anna's life was to end up in Columbia with Comstock in that tower and grow up there, when Comstock died and everything he had done and he had effected died with him, the adult Elizabeth also went. There was no adult Elizabeth in any other dimension that Comstock wasn't in. Because he was in every world she was in, when he died, the adult her died to, leaving only baby Anna. This means that while Anna will be free to live with Booker, she will never turn into the same person. She will never be able to open tears as that was an ability given to her by the Lutece twins in Columbia, she will probably never be able to pick locks (why would she need to learn to do that?) and a lot of her personality that was influenced by being in Columbia will be different. She will never be Elizabeth. She will always be Anna, a completely different human than the one we got to know. So, in a way Elizabeth DID die. That, to me, is a very, very, very depressing thing indeed, as Elizabeth was an incredibly crafted character and the best female character in any game I've ever seen.

Another quick thing to note, that some people may mention, is: why did they bother to stop Comstock at all? Why not just change what had happened by going back to old memories and parts in time through those lighthouses? The thing is that they can't. When you go back to previously, already, made memories, you can only relive them, you can NOT remake them. Booker couldn't go back and choose to run off with Anna, because his decision to sell her was made and he HAD to go through with it even if he went back knowing it was wrong. Even in an alternate reality where he DIDN'T sell her, Comstock still came to steal her away.

Now, the only slight odd thing about this is: if you can't change already made memories and situations, how did he allow Elizabeth to drown him and kill off Comstock if that ISN'T what happened? Well, while Elizabeth was not in his memory, and could not effect proceedings to do with other people, you'll notice she can still touch and interact with Booker. So while her control over the entire, overall scene is limited, she can kill Booker in that scene herself, and end it there.

So there you have it! Ask any questions you want in the comments and I will try my best to answer them!

Quickly; if you want a summary of what happened minus the confusing shit: Comstock was Booker in an alternate reality where he didn't decline the Baptism. Comstock took, either by force or through buying, Booker's daughter Anna (also Elizabeth). Booker went on a cycle of trying to get her back that never ended and always ended up the same. In the end, he let himself be killed at the point where he turned into Comstock and thus everything 'Comstock related' died. He became himself in his last pure, Comstock-less memory, which was him with baby Anna. The end.

P.S: A quick note I forgot to mention: The AD on Booker's hand stands for: Anna Dewitt. Comstock foresaw Booker coming now doubt because he knew he would try and get his daughter back because he never wanted her to leave.

151 comments:

  1. Actually, I believe the depressing part of your theory may not exactly be the case. During the first encounters after Elizabeth transfers them to an alternate world while trying to get the weapons from Mister Chin, they run into soldiers and Chin himself, resurrected but freaking out as they remember dying. Quite likely, all of the variations of the people are connected, either my a common soul or some other thread, that causes them to share memories, or at least the feelings of what they had experienced, which also causes the nosebleeds whenever one dies or suffers contradicting memories (like the last occurance, when Booker denies what Elizabeth and the Luteces are trying to explain to him). This may also push them down similar paths, at least when it comes to their personality traits, as all of the Bookers and Comstocks were the same, though with slight variations (like how Booker chose to lead the Vox, and even in the current game timeline, he didn't but still fought for them). So Elizabeth, while growing up as Anna, may in fact turn out relatively the same, with the same curiosity about physics and desire to go to Paris. The epilogue also demonstrates this connection by how panicked Booker is when he hears the music in the other room, and rushes to check on her. He most likely recalls, or has the feelings of what had occured, and needs to make sure that she's really there. The same could happen to Anna, though she will be too young to really understand, she may grow up to be exactly like Elizabeth, even having some vague memories of her time in Columbia and her first meeting with Booker.

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    1. Brilliant comment. I actually wish I had added in the part about how I thought Booker might remember and I'm really glad you commented as you added that in yourself kinda thing. Also about the nosebleeds and different variations of people; I thought about the nosebleeds for hours before writing this as and I couldn't understand it. I think you put your finger on it with your explanation. Thanks very much for your comment, really appreciate it!

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    2. I agree! The worst thing about great games with fantastic characters is that I spend so much time after I finished the game just being depressed about their(usually) sad fates. I love when a game affects me that much, but I can never get used to the "finality" of it, like the fact that THE Elizabeth we learned to love never got to see Paris, even though we fought so hard for her freedom.

      You can argue that it was for the greater good and that the new Elizabeth or "Anna" now get to live a normal life with her father, but she will never truly be the girl we got to know.

      That's why your explanation soothes me greatly since it allows for the real Elizabeth to have conciousness, atleast partly, through her memories of what transpired. Seeing as the last scene obviously shows "our" Booker fully concious, I guess that is a possibility.

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    3. the only thing i dont understand is how booker and comstock were in the same dimension at all... he would have had to have been transported into his own future.

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    4. The calendar on Booker's desk in his office says 1893 when the Luteces come urging him to "pay the debts". The game is set in 1912 - 19 years later. So he kind of was transported into his own future(by the Luteces).

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    5. It is explained. The Luteces brought him there.

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    6. The twins brought him there.

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    7. It's important to know that Booker and Comstock in the world they exist in are technically the same age. There is an audio log where Lutece explains why Comstock looks older, and it's due to exposure by the dimension device. The Lutece twins did not bring Booker into the future, they brought him into an alternate dimension of the same time period.

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    8. But, if killing Comstock (Booker), wipes away all traces of any universe that Comstock, and by extension, Elizabeth, ever existed in, would she still have a slight memory of her life in those universes?

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    9. Well, when Booker was in the Comstock universe, he was still being affected by his memories from his original universe (when he was being asked about Elizabeth's finger) even though he didn't have these memories any more and there was no Booker in his original universe to influence him (as the Lutece's had brought him over). I think that maybe he was being affected by an 'echo' of himself in the other dimension, if so, Anna could be affected by Elizabeth through the echoes that the Comstock dimension left behind.

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    10. There's still one thing I can't understand after reading all this posts and your explanation (which is brilliant by the way , I just finished the game 3 hours ago and the ending still haunts me like crazy)

      Can someone please tell me why the lutece twins actually help Booker?
      I mean what can they gain from it ?
      If they know all that Booker does, and if they know that Booker will kill himself before becoming Comstock, then they know that Lutece will never have the economical funds required for her research so columbia will never exist and she might never be able to join her brother
      It seems like there's only drawbacks from helping Booker but they do it anyway

      Ow and in the game when you die and go to your appartement does that just mean that you're entering another dimension where you just didn't die in combat ? Then why are those passages remplaced with scenes of Elizabeth healing you?

      I know it's been a month since the last post but I really really would appreciate having more clarity :)
      Keep up the good work :D

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    11. Just finished the game as well. I thought I heart an audio log explaining this. They needed Comstock's resources to go trough with their groundbreaking research, so they were doing these dirty jobs for him.
      You can hear them complain about the religion stuff in the audio logs but they wanted to research their theories none the less.

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    12. i know I'm late to the party here, bu why do the twins also have universe bending powers? they are able to teleport around without all of the heavy machinery in their lab, so just... how? also how does Elizabeth burn New York. is she just creating a reality in which NYC is burned?

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    13. The lutece twins help booker because Robert wants to redeem himself for his part in the events but due to the fact that fink blew up their device while they were using it the twins were scattered through time and space or "Unstuck in Time" therefore no matter what happens in the future, past, present, alternative dimensions and time lines they will always be and be together. Anonymous (30 july) and Ryderson this should ease your understanding. Oh and Ryderson what you must understand is that when you enter the comstock house you actually have gone through a tear and the elizabeth you see is from a future dimension when she has been broken and leads columbia to war against the "Sodom" as they put it. So at that point in that dimension NYC is burning but not anymore since no more comstock.

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  2. Great post. Cleared a lot of things up.

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    1. Thank you for your support, really appreciate it!:D

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    2. i am not quite shore were to comment so if this is in the wrong place i am very sorry but any way i would just like to say that i agree with what you said about Elizabeth being one of the best female character in any game :)

      i would also like to thank you for clearing the story line of bioshock infinite up very informant thank you :)

      keep doing what you are doing its great.

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  3. Thanks for the clear explanation, it matches my thoughts on the story. I certainly found the fact that in drowning Booker/Comstock, Elizabeth was erasing her own current existence and consciousness most depressing. However, maybe as a practically god-like omniscient figure, she was could see the bigger picture, cutting out the Comstock branch of her existence out of her multi-verse consciousness to the benefit of all her selves?

    Still wish they could've visited Paris though. They could've at least visited before she killed Booker, wouldn't have been difficult for her. Post Comstock, Booker & un-siphoned Elizabeth would've been free to do whatever they wanted.

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    1. Well Booker and Anna (AKA Elizabeth) DID survive, and as a comment above reminded me; at the very end, after the credits, Booker seemed to remember what had happened. No doubt he and Anna would live very happy lives from then on in. In a way it's as happy as it is sad, because they get to start again, without the bad stuff=D

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    2. Michael i would just like to say that you cleared up the story of bioshock infinite i am very grateful because even though it is just a game and not reality at least i think i was felling quite upset because of the fact that i did not understand the ending so i then thought that both booker and Elizabeth had to save, wich made to be honest :( now knowing what the ending actually meant i am a lot happier thank very much you very informant.

      keep up the great work i love reading what you have to say :D

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  4. If there are infinite universes and stuff, wouldn't there be a universe were Elizabeth didn't drown Dewitt? Or one were Dewitt succeeded in getting Anna back before the exchange? That's what I don't like- the fact that there are an infinite number of outcomes. If it was just two universes I think It would've worked better.

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    1. There were infinite number of lighthouses , so i believe there are infinite universes

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    2. No, I don't think there would be a Universe where Booker wasn't drowned because those events were not part of an actual memory. It is a good point, however because they were simply in an already made and decided memory, her drowning him was not really to do with that actual scene as it happened. In reality, they should never have been able to tear. That is not a given power as such and thus when they were with the lighthouse it was a kind of 'limbo', where all they could do was relive memories or enter new worlds. Because they didn't have any relevance to proceedings, it is unlikely a new universe would be created for an already technically completed memory. In short, no I don't think there would have been. But who knows, only way to know for certain is ask Mr. Levine lol the game who made the game.

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    3. How could all infinite universes end the same way?

      Well they wouldn't remember a universe in which booker didn't drown because they weren't part of that universe right?

      The memories are part of the universe in which they succeed. So a memory of booker not drowning wouldn't mean that booker didn't not drown, but that it happened in a universe they didn't play a part in.

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    4. It would still cause problems to this synopsis of the story, as it would still allow for an elizibeth in some dimension, who is still able to jump dimensions.

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    5. I agree. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation , there will always be a world where dewitt isn't drowned even if you drown all existing dewitts. Breaking the whole event down to rudimentary quantum entanglement says for one state, a completely opposite state exists. Another thing that bothers me is how the current dewitt becames the dewitt about to be baptised. From what we saw, when you travel through tears, you happen to not travel as information/memories but physically. Al though you do gain some memories of your other self. Now here's the thing, dewitt in Columbia was comstock too, why did he never experience comstock's memories, al though he did experience dewitt the martyr's memories.

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  5. hello there , thank you about your very nice explanation , and i would like to point something out . You have said that when Booker dies , we see all the Elizabeth disappear and that there Elizabeth will never exist . But we can clearly see that all Elizabeth's disappear except the one we were with . she is still there with the dead Booker . I believe that the rest of Elizabeths disappear because as you said Comstock will never exist . So why this Elizabeth is still here ? well because THIS Booker succeed and destroyed the tower that was preventing Elizabeth to use The MAXimum of her powers . So i believe that THAT Elizabeth will still be alive even if there was no comstock to steal her , she will continue to exist and can travel through any dimension she wants !!! and this sounds like a sequel to me :D anyway its just my opinion
    Konstantinos Efstathiou

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    1. Hey, thank you for your comment! While obviously everyone is entitled to there own opinion, and I am in no way trying to disprove yours, the fact that Elizabeth, as an adult, only ever existed in Comstocks universes, when he died and everything do with him died, it would make no sense for her to still exist. Either way, even if she did die in her entirety, it isn't exactly sad as she still existed in her original form as Anna and would no doubt live a happy life with her real father, Booker!:D

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    2. What you're saying makes sense, but konefsta is correct; they deliberately showed that every Elizabeth except one disappears. I'm sure that wasn't an oversight.

      Perhaps this particular universe still exists because there must have been at least this one iteration of all of our characters to have achieved the obliteration of all the other Comstocks. Otherwise it's a Catch-22; if the Elizabeth Ensemble drowned Booker before he could ever become Comstock, there wouldn't have ever been a Comstock to cultivate this particular Elizabeth that achieved multiversal omniscience. Just a theory. :)

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    3. What you're saying makes sense, but konefsta is correct; they deliberately showed that every Elizabeth except one disappears. I'm sure that wasn't an oversight.

      Perhaps this particular universe still exists because there must have been at least this one iteration of all of our characters to have achieved the obliteration of all the other Comstocks. Otherwise it's a Catch-22; if the Elizabeth Ensemble drowned Booker before he could ever become Comstock, there wouldn't have ever been a Comstock to cultivate this particular Elizabeth that achieved multiversal omniscience. Just a theory. :)

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    4. I still think that there is a thing that doesnt make sense: if Elisabeth drowns Booker and then she dissapears because Comstock never existed, then Comstock would never existed. So if he never really existed then booker would never was drowned by Elisabeth, hence it would start an endless loop where all would start again from the begining and Comstock would exist again and again.

      To me it does not make any sense. It is kind of tough to play with time paradoxes, you can screw the whole history only by making a single mistake. And for me it is a mistake, a very big one to be ignored.

      * I really sorry for my bad english and grammar, im still begining to learn it. I hope you can understand it.

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    5. But we never see one of the Elizabeth's "disappear" after the drowning of Dewitt. There is still one left standing at the end before it fades to black. So we don't know what happened to her.

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    6. But we don't see all of the Elizabeth's disappear before it fades to black after the drowning of Dewitt. One of them is still left standing there. Who knows what really happened to her. I also think that Dewitt had to have had Anna pre-baptism. How else would Comstock know to go look for her? How would he know that she existed at all? I think, along with Wounded Knee, his reason for going to be baptized was for the sin of giving up his daughter.

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    7. I think that she might have actually vanished too. When the world they were in vanished, so did she (simultaneously so it wouldn't have been separate from the blackout). Assuming the blackout is part of the narrative, not the direction.

      And @James, I think he definitely had Anna post-baptism. There's no suggestion that Comstock had a previous wife. Also, it seems that the timelines are parallel (Comstock ages faster than Booker because of exposure to the machine). So when Booker lost Anna at 22 or whatever, Comstock stole her at 22. The timeline must have split before this. Now they are both 40, and Anna is 18, but Comstock looks like an old man. Comstock probably knew about her because the Luteces could see it through the window. That's how he knew all the prophecies as well.

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  6. when you said that there may not be lettuce twins and that it may be from another world that came to help , we see them digging their own grave when you fight lady's comstock ghost in the graveyard , dont we ?

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    1. another one thought ! it is supposed that there was 121 attempts to save elizabeth . so 121 bookers entered columbia and every single time , none of them bookers helped row the boat in the beginning , they all got heads , they all got number 77 in the ruffle . so booker is the constant isnt it ? so what does change ? what is the variable that change the outcome and booker succeeds ? i think the variable is the infinite doors to other worlds . i think that it took 121 bookers to finally open the tear to see new york burn in flames and talk with the old elizabeth when she gave him the way to control the song bird !!! every time booker could decide if he will open or not a tear in-game . ( we did not have a choice while playing but previous bookers may not open those tears )

      so the tear opening i thik its our variable , so when the variable was the correct one ( the one with the old elizabeth ) we finally succeed !!!

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    2. I actually thought about that for a while. What made this time he entered Columbia different from the rest and mean he could change the rhythm and solve everything and while I'm still not sure, I agree with you that it must be to do with the tears. Also on the Lutece twins; I'm not quite sure what you mean. They were just digging graves in my opinion lol Both are the same person, and the original one was the woman, not Robert, the man; after she created tearing she met Robert from an alternate reality where she was a man, not a woman lol

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    3. I'm not sure the original was the woman. In Booker's memories there was Robert Lutece only. Also when you first arrive in columbia, the statue of Robert Lutece turns into a statue of Rosalind Lutece.

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    4. really ? i havent even seen that !!! where ?

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    5. ya they are definitely digging their own graves in the graveyard after you fight the ghost of the lady... odd i thought

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    6. ya they were digging their own graves after the fight with the lady... struck me as quite odd.... well the graves only had their last name on them, but still

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    7. Well, they are dead... so, that would seem to fit with their post-life playful personalities.

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  7. good post now I understand..
    But does Booker remember what happend after he gets drowned by Elizabeth? I dont really understand what happens after, please anwser me cus i cant get it out of my head...

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    1. i cant be sure about this . but if you read the very first comment here , it has an opinion that actually helps !!!

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    2. I think he does. No one knows for sure. It is a bit like the end of Inception (and just as confusing as it). After the credits he wakes up, seemingly panic stricken and rushes towards Anna's room after he hears her crying. Upon entering he simply exclaims "Anna?" as if to ask if she is there, as if he can't believe it because of all the stuff that happened before. I think he does, not only because of his reaction at the end, but also because he is still HIM, he is still Booker. His memories might have transferred.

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    3. i am not exactly sure mate , but i strongly believe that those 2 graves they were digging was written on them "Lettuce" on both of them ... still not exactly sure but i remember that i saw that. so if it's true , they can be twins then

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    4. ya the grave thing is bothering me too .... i dont know where anyone got the idea they met in time and space versus them being siblings

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    5. the reason why the luteces both had graves is cause they were both betraided by comstock and was announced dead 7 days beforhand in that universe/timeline . Just as A voxophone recording says so whilst on the mission of finding the 3 tears that are related to lady comstock.
      and they are not twins . more like the same person, but from a different universe and the opposite gender.
      BTW
      Thaks Micheal for clearing a few bits up for my troubled head but there are still things left unanswerd

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  8. What that person said there... I totally agree with him.
    Now i can finally sleep :).

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  9. As brilliant as the game was, I don't quite think the ending worked, unfortunately.

    The flaw is that it's dealing with the many-worlds theory (multiverse), and with the many-worlds theory "anything that can happen, will happen". Any time there is a decision that is made there will be a 'split' between that universe and another universe where a difference choice is made.

    In the universe we witnessed (the ending) Booker accepted the drowning, but there would be a 'split' into another universe where he would not have. Hell, as it's quantum mechanics based (probabilities) there's a chance, so a probability, someone might have run along and stopped the drowning or there was a levee further down stream that broke and all the water spilled out so Booker was unable to drown! (Pedantic there, I know, but if there's a chance of something happening, in the many-worlds theory it will is my point).

    There's an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of possibilities. Booker and Elizabeth may have stopped one of the two possibilities (Booker fighting for the Vox or becoming Comstock) in THIS universe (and some others), but not ALL universes. So what happened throughout the game would still happen in several (well, an infinite) number of universes.

    Anyway, I may be wrong, but that's how I see it. Damn good game though, and the ending really makes you think.

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    1. I see what you mean but no one could have stopped the drowning because that was not part of the memory. So a kid could not come and stop it because in the original memory, a kid did not come along. Him drowning isn't actually part of the memory, but he can do it because Elizabeth, who was never in the memory either, could still touch him and control him in the situation. Also, there are only realities made for possible possibilities lol so a new universe is only made when there is a clear possibility of something different happening. Like if I think: "should I have an apple or a banana?" and I go with the apple, another world is made where I had a banana instead. Another world is NOT made for if I had an orange because that was never a possible possibility. There is no universe for if Hitler had died early from a car crash unless there was ever the actual possibility of a care crash. On the one hand, there would be a universe for where Hitler was accepted into that art academy or whatever he applied for instead of rejected because that is an actual possible possibility. I know what you mean, and it is confusing as HELL as well as possibly flawed. If you take the story itself and don't dig too deep, it is still wonderfully made. Otherwise, if you get technical, you might (and no doubt WILL) find a lot of potential if not outright issues lol

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    2. like elizabeth says... it is a new place.... she says she has the ability to create and so she creates this scenario where the only outcome is her drowning booker ... it makes you think but the idea they want to get across is that the elizabeth line figured out how to end the comstock line

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    3. I think that there are actually two ways that Elizabeth travels through the tears. One is into alternate timelines where you can make choices and change things. The other is into someone's direct past, like the end of the game, where Booker can only relive what he did because it's his timeline. So that's why they couldn't change Booker giving away Anna because no matter what, Comstock still existed and he would have gotten her somehow in Booker's timeline. But by going into Comstock's timeline where he was baptized, they were able to kill him. And Booker himself couldn't do it. Elizabeth had to do it.

      I think there was probably something else that happened earlier in Comstock's timeline that made his Baptism different from Booker's. (You see there is only the priest at Comstock's but at Booker's, there's a crowd of people.) This difference means the timeline split slightly before they actually underwent or refused the Baptism. That's why they were able to cleanly erase just Comstock's timeline and leave Booker's intact.

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    4. I don't think you should take the 'many-worlds' theory literally. What we are dealing with is a combination of about three different multi-universal theories. So, you have 'many worlds' in that there are branches from choices but it's NOT infinite. If that was the case, then every random tiny thing would spin off a new universe, not just the 'million million' Elizabeth talks about.

      It's more of a 'key decision' splitting where only certain decisions create a truly unique alternative (i.e. most potential alternate timelines merge back into one stream either quickly or eventually). So, for Booker, you have the two big branches with a certain (non infinite) number of variations. Notice in the drowning scene there aren't an infinite number of Elizabeths, there are less than a dozen. So each probably represents a collapsing of any number of universes into a single being.

      BUT you see that other people have their own decisions/variations to deal with (e.g. the weaponsmith's wife). So we are leaving the realm of the pure theory to a more personal one.

      The place between the worlds seems, to me, to be an obviously metaphysical creation. Elizabeth was able to give Booker access to HIS between worlds place due to her powers. And this allowed HIM to make a third choice to prevent Comstock from ever existing. In essence, instead of creating a new world, closing off that entire branch. This also had the effect of shifting his main 'Booker' branch into a new path where Anna wasn't given up.

      So instead of timelines that one can merely experience (or reexperience), Eliabeth's powers allow one to more directly manipulate the multi-worlds on a more fundamental level. And this ability takes it out of any of the 'pure' theories entirely. =)

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  10. here where you are wrong ( i think :D ) a universe is split when you make a decision in the present . i think that when they went there when booker was about to baptise , it was his past . it was a momment in bookers past where elizabeth wasnt even around ( not exist ) . so by choosing to drown him , there will never be any alternative universe as it will never be booker or comstock , so i think that was just one time action... its kinda confusing i know , i cant put exactly my thoughts into writing :D

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  11. So that is why every time you die while isn' Elizabeth around, you step through the door and just continue to play with a Booker that DIDN'T die at that moment am I right?

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    1. Well dying in GAMEPLAY is just part of the game mechanics and I don't think that the result of gameplay is much to look into. I think the animation of him walking through a door was symbolic of him walking into the universe from limbo or maybe it was just him hallucinating like he did in those dreams/vision of him in his apartment when he was knocked out.

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    2. I was thinking about this. Maybe it is the theory that because he is stuck in this infinite loop, it is saying that his death just starts another cycle which skips ahead (for player convenience) to a similar point close to the reality that he was killed in. This substantiates the inevitability of the games irreversible outcomes (for Booker) and backs the idea that it is Elizabeth that is the variable that is actually changing the outcome. As far as I can remember, every major change in the worlds revolved around her input/ tears (e.g. The guns for the Vox, the letter with the C-A-G-E , killing Booker).
      The coin toss results are also viable in this context as you can’t die prior to this in the story(unless you jump of Columbia), which means you are playing the events from the start of the 122nd attempt which ends up being successful (unless you die, then it zips you to a similar reality on try 123, then try 124).
      I see it as: You are in a similar scenario as Donnie Darko, but in BioShocks world Elizabeth is Donnie Darko and you (Booker) are the old lady that is constantly checking her mail box for mail, which Donnie at one point goes up to her and helps her to her mail box and pushes her away, thus why Elizabeth is Donnie in this context and booker is the assisted old lady helped by the variable (Elizabeth). This is deferent however as it is you (Booker) that must die not Elizabeth to end the loop. Which is why she has to help you through the story, so you accept her killing you under the correct conditions.
      You, Elizabeth, and the twins have different rules to the rest of the world as you all have used the pure rift portal the Twins developed, unlike the other knock on effects caused by the syphon dampened tears.
      I know this sounds a bit mental and I’m sure I will have missed something obvious, but let me know what you think.

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    3. I was thinking about this. Maybe it is the theory that because he is stuck in this infinite loop, it is saying that his death just starts another cycle which skips ahead (for player convenience) to a similar point close to the reality that he was killed in. This substantiates the inevitability of the games irreversible outcomes (for Booker) and backs the idea that it is Elizabeth that is the variable that is actually changing the outcome. As far as I can remember, every major change in the worlds revolved around her input/ tears (e.g. The guns for the Vox, the letter with the C-A-G-E , killing Booker).
      The coin toss results are also viable in this context as you can’t die prior to this in the story(unless you jump of Columbia), which means you are playing the events from the start of the 122nd attempt which ends up being successful (unless you die, then it zips you to a similar reality on try 123, then try 124).
      I see it as: You are in a similar scenario as Donnie Darko, but in BioShocks world Elizabeth is Donnie Darko and you (Booker) are the old lady that is constantly checking her mail box for mail, which Donnie at one point goes up to her and helps her to her mail box and pushes her away, thus why Elizabeth is Donnie in this context and booker is the assisted old lady helped by the variable (Elizabeth). This is deferent however as it is you (Booker) that must die not Elizabeth to end the loop. Which is why she has to help you through the story, so you accept her killing you under the correct conditions.
      You, Elizabeth, and the twins have different rules to the rest of the world as you all have used the pure rift portal the Twins developed, unlike the other knock on effects caused by the syphon dampened tears.
      I know this sounds a bit mental and I’m sure I will have missed something obvious, but let me know what you think.
      Sory if this double posts.

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  12. Nice article! :) The twins do say that Elizabeth has her powers because of existing in two universes at once with her pinky (that the universe "doesn't like it's peas with it's carrots) or something like that in a voxaphone.

    I only have two major questions.

    1. Why did the evil old elizabeth decide to help you? Why would she try to undo what she had done? If she became noah's ark flood Apocalypse woman and wanted to end the world, what happened to make that change? Since she brought him to 1980.

    2. The songbird has some significance. Who/What is inside it? The relationship, the ending. Obviously, people have said that the songbird is tech from/inspired by Rapture (as they say in the game), however it seems like there is a bit more significance to it.

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    1. OK so the old Elizabeth says she does not agree with or condone what she has done (or implies those feelings). She says that they did not brainwash or torture he into continuing as heir, but time wore her down until she just gave in. She has committed terrible acts and caused much violence but is also filled with sorrow and regret. It's sad really.

      On the question of the Songbird. It is a part of the game that was not built on, as many reviewers have mentioned. He has a hell of a lot of significance however he isn't built upon. This is an actual designing error. I, nor can anyone else or the game itself, explain more about him/her/it because the game itself did not explain more. I wish they had elaborated on him as a ting, but they didn't. Sorry.:( I don't know how the machine was built or anything so I can't answer the question of what/who is inside it.

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    2. about the songbird . i would like to believe something that michael said in his article , about using the tears the lettuce brothers or comstoc or lady comstock , they could see alternate universe from the future too , and so , they have might seen rapture and big daddy who will protect a little sister until he dies , and so they build the songbird like a big daddy , and they saw the plasmids , and created vigors like them ... just a thought .

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  13. I'm trying to wrap my head around the chronology as that seems to me to be the only issue outstanding from the story.
    During the course of the game Booker DeWitt is ~37 years old, the story takes place in 1912 so it is reasonable to estimate 1875 for DOB give or take a few months.
    Elizabeth was 20 during the course of the game putting her DOB in ~1892.
    Columbia is introduced in 1893 by "Comstock" at the world fair and launched in 1900.
    Now my issue seems to be unless Comstock traveled back in time why was he and Elizabeth so much older even though it was supposed to represent the same point in time for both worlds. (ie was Comstock and Anna pulled further back into the past at which point he began working towards Columbia...) We established that Elizabeth can move through time by the trip to Rapture (As it wasn't built until 1946-51) and the "twins" seems to find time a quaint notion which they no longer need adhere to, however the discrepancies in age between Anna, Comstock, and DeWitt make no sense from what explanations I have come across in game or in looking online.

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    1. There is an audio log on the propthet's ship from one of the 'twins' stating Comstock has aged rapidly due to his illness resulting from exposure to the tears. I recall, faintly, that Elizabeth said something about DeWitt spending years in guilt, so there is some time between the aartment and lighthouse scene.

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    2. the time discrepancies are definitely putting my head through loops right now

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  14. If Comstock was infertile, why do you think Booker was fertile?

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    1. Yep, good question. I forgot to mention he was infertile to do with being exposed to the tears for too long for some reason (don't ask). It's he was exposed to too much radiation. It affected him.

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  15. If this was a never ending cycle, then what was the deciding factor that lead to his death this time around, if he was stuck in this cycle what changed and broke it this time around?

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    1. Good question that I have no idea how to answer. Haha sorry. I can explain the enning itself, but not everything involved in the overall plot details. Sorry man:(

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    2. My understanding is that THIS iteration of Elizabeth is the determining factor as she is able to open tears because she exists in two universes at once (the Comstock timeline where 99.9% of her resides, and the Booker timeline where the tip of her pinky remains).

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  16. Anna was his WIFE! Elizabeth was always Elizabeth, as displayed by him shouting out her name as she gets pulled through the tear. Elizabeth also mentions that Anna left him after he gave over Elizabeth to get rid of his debts.

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    1. Nope, His wife died in childbirth. Booker named his daughter after his wife

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  17. Thanks for the awesome post!

    Little things bugs me:


    1- How is the tower in the "comstock reality" has note on it's door for deWitt? Is the lutece prepared the place before? also why would they hang a note to DeWitt on that tower if they're going to bring him the first time to this world? That would confuse him (although hw didn't seem to be able to read at all in that moment, lol).


    2- You say Dewitt went to when he's turned to comstock and killed him self?
    Wouldn't that be only OUR Dewitt killing him self in that scene?

    I mean we never let our eyes off him, our Dewitt (the one who sold anna, and regretted it for 20 years,, and so on) is jumping through worlds with Elizabeth until they went to a memory of (an alter version on him) that is turning into comstock... then he killed him his alternate version of him? or him self? :S

    So i presume that means he (our Dewitt) is able -some how- to possess the body of the deWitt who accepted that baptism? and killed him self?
    if that so, where the body\soul of our dewitt goes? and how in hell he posses the bodies of other versions of him?


    That part confuses the hell out of me.

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    2. OK for number 1; I don't actually know. This might be explained in a voxaphone I missed or something. Sorry.

      2) OK basically I think i get what you mean. if you are asking how he killed himself as Comstock when throughout the entire game we weren't actually playing as Comstock him, then this is what happened. He and Elizabeth were reliving his old memories through these lighthouses. All they did was relive a memory in an alternate universe where he ACCEPTED the Baptism and Elizabeth drowned him. It was still HIM but because he was reliving an alternate memory, her drowning him just killed off Comstock. There was no possessing anyone or anything. It is hard to explain, but if you replay that scene you may understand it better. Sorry for the poor explanation but it does make sense.

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    3. 2) We are the ~122nd playthrough of Dewitt. Our gameplay (as players, being the successful Dewitt) has got us through to the point that we are able to change our fate.

      The way that this is possible is because we (as players) destroyed Elizabeth's tower, which was limiting her powers. This made it so that she could now fully re-create dimensions rather than simply step into them. This explains why we are able to jump back to REWRITE/replace Dewitt and his actions at the baptism.

      In the past we have just been stepping into other existing dimensions - when we done it last we found a 2nd Dewitt who had become hero of the Rox (though we never met him, we might have if he hadn't died in that dimension already).

      I'm not sure why multiple Elizabeths would appear at the end to strangle him if only this iteration had made it this far.

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  18. I like your explanation, except I think you missed the idea of the coin flip. I think that was more to show that there are always two sides to any choice and in that universe when you flip a coin it is always heads, and in another it would always be tails. I don't think it has to do with him coming to Columbia multiple times, but to instead be a reference to the dual choices that the game ends with.

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  19. Also the bird and cage is another example of this symbolism. I was stumped as to the relevance, but as I thought about the coin toss, it came to me, it didn't really matter which one you picked because it doesn't change the end outcome of the game, because it could have went either way, once again highlighting two paths, but not changing the original decision that was made at the baptism.

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    1. No decision actually has an impact on the end result. It is just an illusion of choice, which is a great addition, like you said.

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    2. decision have an impact ? i did not know that , so if i choose tails instead of heads , if i kill slate , will change anything at all ? ( maybe not the last result but something else that doesnt matter ? ) Those tear that elizabeth was asking us if we are sure if we want to cross them , if we try and leave from there can you continue the game ? ( i think no , i havent tried it tho )

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  20. I just want to point out that there are technically a 3rd and 4th option for the different dimensions: The dark future where Booker never came back for Elizabeth, and the universe where Booker died as a hero of the Vox revolution. Going with the multiple universe theory for time travel those universes still exists even though Booker went back in time to erase the dark future. Also since the Vox revolution universe exists before you merged with it, it is possible to have a version of that universe where Booker didn't merge that universe with the 2nd version of the original.
    You have to remember in this game they make 3 dimension jumps that you know about the 1st is when you jump to the place where the gun maker isn't dead, the 2nd is the universe where the Vox have started the revolution and are making ground, the 3rd is the jump to the dark future and then back to the Vox Revolution. The 2nd and 3rd jumps could be mergers since this is when they introduce the walking dead people and ghosts (people that are dead in one universe but alive in another.)

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    1. Those universes would cease to exist the moment Comstock and subsequently the creation of Columbia ceased to exist.

      Those realities can't happen without the city in which they happened.

      Basically they did smite Comstock in his crib.

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  21. "We all make choices, but in the end, our choices...make...us."

    Applies to this game more than the game it actually came from...

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    1. Haha brilliant comment. Made me laugh:')

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  22. Very nice explanation. I was pretty confused when I first finished the game until I realized the baptism they were referring to was after Wounded Knee. They should have clarified that, cause the player is just remembering the baptism when he enters Columbia. I was thinking.. what would drowning him right when he came do? Lol, but then it all came together. Also I thought it was cool how going by the amount of heads on the board (122), the code he's given to ring the bell (First one once, second twice, third twice) is 122, very awesome. I had a few things I wanted to ask your opinion on, but I reread this post and now it's 330 AM and I can't think. :p

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    1. Haha thanks for your comment! If you wanna ask anything at all go ahead and I will try my best to answer it! I think the little things they hid in there were fantastic, like you said, with the ringing of the bells and the chalk board. Great stuff. Mind bending, but great!

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  23. There is sort of a anomaly in this entire equation. And thats Slate - The entire hall of heroes scene gives you the impression that Slate knew both men, as individuals. Slate goes on to talk about how DeWitt is a hero or a real fighter and Comstock is pretty much nothing that just took credit for Slate's work. Assuming that the concept of tears, time/space was limited to only a select few, its curious how Slate fell into of all this. And if we were to consider that Comstock and DeWitt apparent divergent places is the baptism it hurts the mind taking this into consideration of Slate.

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    1. maybe slate knows booker ( comstock ) from the woonded knee war . then booker is baptised and becomes comstock . and because of the continual exposure to the tears and such comstock is getting old quickly and slate maybe cant recognise him anymore so he thinks its entirely another person ! and when slate see booker from the other universe ( us ) he remembers him because they actually fought in the woonded knee together !!!

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  24. I thought Booker let himself drown is before he had a chance to accept/reject baptism. Wouldn't that mean BOTH Booker who became Cumstock, and Booker who went on to have Anna won't exist?

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    1. hahaha cumstock,but yeah thats what i didnt get either, did they open a memory or can they actually travel through time, i remember booker asking at some point in the game when he was looking as a tear and he asked " what is this" or something and the twins say, " the delicious question is when" and those little red tears you find in the game sometimes that are playing songs from our own time period in real life, i cant remember what songs, anyways if they did go back in time and kill booker before he was born again and couldnt make the decision the actually follow through with it, then he wouldnt be able to make the decision to not go through with it, hed be dead meaning nothing after would exist because he would not be able to make any new choices, also our booker chose the fight the war, if he chose not to then he wouldnt have needed the baptism at all, im pretty confused but i would say what we see is only relevant to like a couple alternate dimensions

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  25. thanks for the explanation, but for me the biggest question wasn't mentioned. when elizabeth drowns booker, does she hate him for selling her? the most depressing part for me is, that elizabeth, the cute, nice girl we saved, afraid of killing people, seems so ok with drowning booker.

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    1. Remember that she can see ALL the worlds and knows this isn't really his 'death' just a convergence of the time lines into the one they BOTH want to be the real one. Pre-enlightenment Elizabeth couldn't have done it because she truly cares about him, but the new Elizabeth realizes that it's a necessary thing. Also, recall that she asks him several times if he's okay with and is ready to do it... so they are both prepared.

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  26. Amazing job of explaining the ending for most people to understand. I already understood most of this, but I just wanted to add another fact. It seems that most people explaining the ending have missed this or decided that it was not in fact relevant (which I believe it is).

    At the Comstock House, (where Booker is sent to the future) after Booker pulls the lever opening the security gate, you start to hear the "Old Elizabeth" give a speech over the speakers about destroying the world. At one point she says something along the lines of "once we are finished with this world, a million others wait their turn."

    I'm not sure if maybe others missed this or didn't understand what she meant, but I can only assume that part of her evil plan is to travel to other dimensions and keep killing as many people as she can.

    This is the reason I believe why destroying Comstock is so important, stopping Elizabeth. Now the next question is why is stopping Elizabeth so bad compared to any other horrible mass murderer? The reason is because of her tempering/destruction of alternate dimensions is probably having a negative effect on the multiverse, and so the multiverse itself/fate/higher powers/natural order of things/Luteces, causes the events in Bioshock Infinite so Comstock can be killed, thus stopping Elizabeth.

    I hope this all make sense, if not ask questions and I'll try to answer them.

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  27. nice explanation, but there is a single open question. how did elizabeth feel by killing booker? she was always so nice and cute, and then just emotionlessly drowned him. did she hate him because she realized that booker sold her when she was a baby?

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    1. This is the most important question to me. The ending was satisfying on a plot level, but it felt emotionally vacuous. Booker and Elizabeth (thus the player and Elizabeth) had built an emotional bond throughout the game, and that bond seems to be ignored in her decision at the end. I'm not saying she wouldn't kill Booker, but I'd like to see more about how she felt and how Booker felt in the moments before it happened.

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    4. Elizabeth aquired an incompreensible and infinite knowledge about tears that makes she realize her acts, that inclusive would kill she - erasing her existence, was the best choice, so they could have more better worlds/universes with more chances for both to be happy together, that Booker and Anna lived without the intervention of Comstock. The real heros of the history in my opinion was Luttece and Elizabeth, the first because if she/he/they didn't teached Elizabeth about tears and if she/he/they didn't come to ask Booker to save his daugther, everything would be the way it was(Luttece really tried, more than a hundred times, to help them) and Elizabeth because in the end she gave away her life for her father's forgive (T T). That catharsis moment shows the real person she turned in: the Martir of all their history. He probably felt guilt about his acts and acepted the death as a debit with his daugther and then felt forgiven and Elizabeth helped him because it was the only way to end all that madness for everyone. I don't know how one being with such knowledge as her felt in that moment, but if would guess i would say she felt loved and free and maybe both feelings for the very first time.

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  28. This is a bit out there, but hear me out. What if there is an infinite loop of breaking infinite loops? The epilogue could just be the start of the story all over again. He gives away Anna because of gambling, and ends up at the baptism again. Comstock is created in some possible worlds and Booker in others, until Booker in one possible world cancels it all out, until the epilogue comes around again. It would also explain the other Booker and Elizabeths in the scene with all the lighthouses, which I assume is outside of space-time.

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    1. i think your right here about the lighthouses.
      they seem to me as a non-time and space continuum gateway were booker and liz will always end up (each universes with booker and liz in it) as Elizabeth does explain slightly.
      And besides an infinite loop breaking infinit loops sounds very unlikly and quiet far-fetched .

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  29. Hey man, amazing post, but just a quick question. What is meaning behind nosebleeds?

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    1. They mention in the game that people have problems reconciling different timelines/memories/lives. Not just Booker but other people are freaked out in other places, especially the ones who are dead/not-dead.

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  30. So why does Booker sell Anna? Why is he in debt with Comstock?

    That's the only part I can't make sense of :(

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    1. Booker amassed a substantial gambling debt and he was told it would be taken care of if he handed over Anna. And unless Comstock has got a multi-verse/multi-temporal sports gambling racket going on the side along with his plans for world domination, Booker isn't indebted to Comstock.

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    2. He wasn't directly in debt to Comstock. Comstock 'bought' his marker (i.e. his debt) from whomever Booker ran up the debts. Comstock then called in the marker (which must have been substantial!) in order to force Booker to give up Anna.

      In fact, one might ask how he got that amount of credit in the first place. My theory is that Comstock told the gambling house to extend Booker more credit than they normally would have in order to have him run up a tremendous amount of debt. Booker sold Anna because the amount of debt was so large, that he was sure he'd be killed if he didn't make the deal.

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  31. In your article, you state that Booker "killed thousands of African-Americans" before seeking baptism. But that's not the case.

    Booker participated in "The Wounded Knee Massacre" where the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment massacred over 300 Lakota Sioux men, women and children. The Lakota Sioux were Native Americans not African Americans.

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  32. In answer to your question above about Songbird, there are voxophones from Fink talking about how Comstock will need someone or something to defend the newly constructed tower (or something along those lines). There are other voxophones of him talking about seeing tears where he sees things that are "half-man, half-machine", my assumption here is that Songbird in actuality is something similar to a Handyman, which makes sense if Songbird is just a beefed up Handyman. There is another voxophone of Fink discussing a tear in which he encounters a biologist as well. And of course there's a voxophone of him discussing how there are tears where music is playing (I think most people have heard this one though).

    A lot of the information in the middle portion of the game is very important in my opinion, it explained a number of questions I had after I initially beat the game and it also explains helps to explain why Rapture appears (on top of the "There's always a man, a city... etc").

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  33. My first thought when all the light houses were connected, and with the comment about "there always being a city and a man" was an implication of future Bioshock games, that there are endless possibilities for riffs on the same theme--a fantastic city founded by a flawed visionary that ultimately tears itself apart because of it's own founding principles. That the next game to take place could be very similar to Bioshock and Infinite in many ways, but set in Space, a colony or space station, with an AI or aliens living with humans or any number of possibilities. Any thoughts on that?

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    Replies
    1. that's actually a really good idea! it lets the creators go anywhere and still make a game that is fundamentally bioshock.

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  34. Ok, so thanks for clearing that up for us people, this was really helpful to me.
    I will say that when Elizabeth went to kill you or rather when the two of you destroyed the siphon, she realized what needed to be done and had to be the bigger person and hold back her tears knowing that she will lose everything in that universe(memories) for the betterment of you(Booker)and to prevent all the terribleness that Comstock creates.

    The other thing I wanted to mention was just how happy this ending really is. Booker learns a valuable lesson and from the whole Columbian experience, and learns to put aside his sins to be with Elizabeth to be a better father. Also I would like to mention just how sad Elizabeth’s life is: trapped in a tower, your only friend a mechanical bird, and a tyrant for a father/guardian. At the beach scene she is so happy to be alive and free, but as the game progresses and Liz sees all the terribleness the is the world concluding with killing her father and ending her own self. It’s defiantly better to start fresh as Anna and have Booker as the father. The Father he should have been, especially now that he has seen his daughter and (hopefully) realized just how important it is that he raises her, also love. So the only real drawback is the players emotional attachment to Elizabeth as an amazingly well written character who "dies" with Comstock and the end of the game.

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  35. I would like to add my voice to the growing chorus of 'Nice explanation!'. You cleared up a lot of the 'hold on, what about...' thoughts I was having.

    What a great game.

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  36. Does Elizabeth hate Booker in the end? How can she so calmly drown him?

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  37. So here is where I am confused: Supposedly there is a circle within the dimensions resulting in Booker attempting to retrieve his daughter many times. Each time had turned out exactly the same way. This is demonstrated by the coin always flipping heads and Booker always drawing ball 77. How is it then that he, on one occasion, breaks the cycle altogether by drowning. If everything is the same, shouldn't this have occurred on Booker's first attempt to retrieve Anna?

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    Replies
    1. It's like there was a very, very unlikely possibility that he would succeed and, this time, he finally did it. Everything WASN'T the same the other 122 times but they weren't different enough to change the outcome. This time he got lucky or the cumulative effect of the almost remembered other attempts finally gave him enough knowledge/experience to do it right this time.

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  38. Hey man great explanation, it help me understand it much better. I think I have one more piece to the puzzle. A lot of people on different explanations cannot figure out what the variable was that allowed Elizabeth to kill Booker. I think of it kinda of like the movie looper. In the timeline where Booker doesn't accept the baptism he ends of selling Anna/Elizabeth to Comstock but the timing in his regret sets in at different times, some in which he is too late and completely misses Comstock, others he tries too early and his stopped by the Twins. This reality he was just on time to get in between severing her finger giving her powers. This was the variable that allowed Booker and Elizabeth to be successful. That is my theory at least. let me know what you think!

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  39. Great explanation! Definitely tied up a lot of loose ends for me. I still have a question left, but it's just extra information for my greedy brains. There might not be a right answer to this, but I'd just like to know what your opinion is on this.

    Are the lighthouses you enter at the beginning of both Bioshock and BioInfinite portals into other dimensions like we saw at the end of Infinite? Or are these just... physical lighthouses?
    The Lutece twins brought Booker to his lighthouse containing the Columbia-dimension so I'm assuming that this was a dimensional lighthouse, but what would that mean for the Rapture lighthouse? I realize that we can look at the lighthouses of Bioshock and BioInfinite as two completely different things from separate games, but I feel like there must be some kind of significance for them to reuse the idea of lighthouses.

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  40. Deep, sir! Very deep

    That was a good read. This game is incredible. The fact that so many talk so passionately and so many theories are thrown around just insures this games legacy. More Bioshock please. Thinking mans game!!

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  41. Best story I've ever 'played'. Mind blowing and pure gold! I just don't get 1 thing...
    How did the AD mark appear on his hand? It wasn't there at the start of the game!!!

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  42. Best story I've ever 'played'. Mind blowing and pure gold! I just don't get 1 thing...
    How did the AD mark appear on his hand? It wasn't there at the start of the game!!!

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  43. Really I have another explanation. first of all I am proud of everyone here for having such great thoughts. And I think somehow they all are right. I mashed my brain over and over to understand everything but in the end I draw the conclusion that there are probably an infinite number of explanations. Because there are INFINITE universes. Non of us will ever know what happens to Booker in another universe. It was said that every decision someone makes creates a new universe, even if you decide to scratch your balls or not. And what if there is an universe where Booker got another girlfriend and got a completely different child? Maybe even a boy? Ever thought of that? Why did Comstock come to this universe of Booker not to another one to get another child? I think there are NO answers to those questions. And that's why I think every explanation is probably right because there are an infinite number of if how everything could have happened. Just think about the word infinite! The key to the story was in the name of the game from the beginning. the last thing to say is that the developers succeeded to create an amazing story, the players can think about for Weeks. That keeps us busy til the next bioshock arrives. Best story I ever played, best characters I ever met in a game, and never thought that much about anything fictional.

    PS:I hope my English isn't that bad and you can understand everything

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  44. Please answer my question..or tell me what you think about it.

    Before coming to all the lighttowers they go to the future, into another universe or in the same in which Columbia is and there is the city of Rapture. But when Booker gets drowned, the whole story of the world changes (in all universes), so how could the same Rapture Elizabeth&Booker saw exist in 40 years? (It's a fact that Rapture exists, play Bioshock 1&2).

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  46. One thing this explanation overlooks is that Booker was set-up and the cards were stacked against him. There was no Comstock in his universe so how the hell did he owe him a debt? The answer is easy: Comstock having lost the ability to make his own heir, sought out a universe in which he already had one and then manipulated the variables until he pushed another version of himself into doing the unthinkable.

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  47. Absolute brilliant explanation, easy to read and understand. HATS OFF TO YOU SIR!

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  48. So the red tears that we hear modern music are other realities where those songs were created in their time? or are they tears into the future?

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  49. Hi
    First, thanks for the explanation.
    I just cleared the game and I have a few questions. I hope you (or someone else here) can answer them:
    1. When I was in Battleship Bay some woman came to Elizabeth and called her Annabelle. Any Idea who she was or how she knew that Annabelle is Elizabeth?
    2.What is with the Fink Brothers. How were they able to hear music through the tears or bring Songbird into this world? (Where did these tears come from?)

    PS.: I didn't get all the recordings in the game so maybe I missed something

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  50. So do *all* the Elizabeths actually disappear following the fatal baptism scene? When I watched it, I saw all of them disappear except the central one. It felt like the game was leaving it ambiguous about whether she vanished or not, because it cut away within the time before she would have vanished. Of course, this could have been a graphics artifact from me playing on lowest graphics settings on my craptastic computer. So I'm asking, did you guys actually *see* the final Liz disappear in that scene?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for commenting. This point you made, as well as many other points and questions are answered in my Infinite Ending Q&A follow up to this article here. http://michaelthekyle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/understanding-bisohock-infinites-ending.html Thanks.

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    2. No, she didn't disappear in the scene and I was watching carefully! My interpretation is that the 'alternate' Elizabeths were collapsing into a single unified girl. So they weren't vanishing so much as merging their personal timelines into one cohesive one.

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  51. I am still confused about a certain aspect. What happened when Booker got pulled into the Columbian dimension by the Lutece twins? How could he not remember anything that has happened up to when he gets pulled in the alternate dimension? At the beginning it says the mind will desperately struggle to create new memories where none exist. It doesn't say anything about alternating them. But the way the game seems to make sense of it is that his mind just erased his baby daughter from his memory and made him think he got hired for a search and recover mission for some unexistent person which is in fact a reflection of his desire?

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  52. I'm asking myself what happend with Elizabeths mother. Elizabeth said her haitred for her mother made her that way. Or something like that. Does Elizabeth have an Influence on what she takes through the tears? as you said it had to already have existed. Did she just take a mother from a different universe where she is the angriest of them all?

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  53. Perhaps it's obvious but I *loved* that they included Will the Circle Be Unbroken in the game. I won't post all the lyrics here but you can practically see the whole game through the lens of this song. I would argue that this Hymnal was perhaps an inspiration for the story.

    Two partsare particularly fitting. This is the refrain:
    Will the circle be unbroken
    By and by, by and by?
    In a better home awaiting
    In the sky, in the sky?

    (and the last stanza)
    One by one their seats were emptied,
    One by one they went away;
    Here the circle has been broken
    Will it be complete one day?

    The refrain certainly is a hearkening to Columbia (in terms of the game). The last stanza could DEFINITELY be a reference to the drowning when the various Elizabeths are vanishing.

    It's easy enough to find but here's a link http://www.hymns.me.uk/will-the-circle-be-unbroken.htm

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  54. I do not think that the Leuteces gave Elizabeth her powers. If you notice, Lady Comstock mentions that they told her that they "made" the baby. But that is a lie told to her because she would not believe that they brought Elizabeth from another dimension.
    As for Elizabeth's powers, in an audio log, Leutece hints that they derive from the fact that a piece of Elizabeth remained in her orignal reality. Leutece concludes that these powers arise because the "universe does not like its peas mixed with its porridge."

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  55. Well I agree with most of this- but there is something I do not 100% find myself inclined to agree with- that is the Elizabeth and the Lutece's simply...vanishing.

    Like Rosaline said- they exist across time. The final Elizabeth never vanished. She stood there while the rest faded- as she had mastered the powers, she too, existed then, across all realities of time.

    That being said, those three, I think, still exist. Because they DO still exist, just not in the same setting as they use to. IE- Robert still is alive in his world, never having met Comstock, Rosaline still in hers. Elizabeth, as Anna, still also lives, so in their incarnations, they exist.

    With their being "scattered across time" so to speak, it just shows that they are already sort of..."everywhere."

    The realities which spawned them do not exist- true, but as they exist in some fashion, and their ability to be "across time" they never ceased to be.

    At leas,t that's how I see it.

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  56. There's something I don't understand - what is the point that Booker reaches in the story where the circle ends, and he starts again? Since he has been doing the same thing 200+ times, how far does he get each time? And what is so different about this time that allows him to break the cycle? The cycle would continue endlessly, except that this time [INSERT EXPLANATION HERE].

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    Replies
    1. I think that he died those other times. There is supposed to be some kind of note near the dead body in the Lighthouse at the beginning signed C for Comstock which is directing someone, presumably the dead person on the chair, to kill Booker DeWitt. The Lutecce twins also state, when they give you the shield, their surprise that it didn't kill you, presumably hinting that it has some amount of times before been the cause of your death. if this is correct, you are approximately the 123rd Booker Dewitt to attempt this adventure, counting from the amount of lines on the chalkboard which kept records of Heads and Tales. That would also mean that you did it right but, following infinite possibilities, the Booker DeWitt you play as is one of an infinite number of Booker Dewitts who did it right.

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  57. I too would like to know how the cycle starts again as in the hundreds of times before it is broken. At what point does he lose Elizabeth and is sent to get her by the twins and remembers nothing?

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  58. Thanks a bunch for this. Here's my only question:

    You mentioned that Cooper is stuck in an infinite loop of losing Anna and going to Columbia to resque her. But why? When and how does Cooper go back to the past? When and how does the loop tie into itself?

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  59. I really enjoyed your explanation of the ending ( I really enjoy reading explanations of complicated endings to get as many view [points as possible) but I have some issues with what you wrote.

    Firstly, if there is an infinite number of worlds, there would be an infinite number of ones in which Booker kept Anna (perhaps to never falling into debt) and worlds where he did not become baptized and did not have a child as there is a different world for every minute detail.


    For the last reason, I believe that Elizabeth, at least the one Booker saved during the game, is still alive. Elizabeth not only had the ability to enter other worlds but to create new ones (i.e. one where she can exist), leading to the possibility of an infinite number of worlds with the original Elizabeth in them.

    What really got me angry, initially, was that Elizabeth (while still following my belief that she was not present during the drowning scene)let Booker go to his death without a "goodbye" or a "thanks for the adventure". That was remedied with the final Anna scene where I agree that he appears to have some sense of what happened in the game (as i can't imagine waking up and randomly yelling your daughter's name for no reason being a normal thing) which could mean that Elizabeth allowed him to continue life in another world. Also, in the final drowning scene, the first Elizabeth Booker sees is lacking the pendant she had just seconds earlier before opening the door. Booker also says something (I forgot exactly what it was) very briefly about her not being Elizabeth.


    As a final note, I believe that Elizabeth is still alive due to her not being in the final scene and the fact that the final scene also lacks the other people it had in it when Booker denied baptism only minutes earlier. I believe this hints to the fact Elizabeth created that world as a conduit to destroy all existence of Comstock. I also believe that Booker's ability to remember the events of the game as further proof that Elizabeth still exists due to the fact that I believe that the ability to remember and retain the experience of events which technically never existed to be a paradox, something which only one with the ability to create and mend worlds can allow.

    Sorry for such a long response and for it being so messy but I just finished the game and really wanted to write something about it, and this seemed like the perfect place to see some viewpoints and put forth my own. Also, I don't know much about physics or infinite possibilities so I'm sorry if something I said is Incorrect but, with the idea of Infinite possibilities in mind, everyone can, has and will be correct and incorrect at once.

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  60. Thank God for this explanation. The ending's been haunting me ever since I finished the game. Now I think I might just understand it. Thanks again.

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  61. BAPTISM NOT A CHOICE???

    I havent read all the comments so not sure if this has been mentioned before...

    We all know an important moment was the baptism - there is ALWAYS a Booker or Comstock after. That's always been seen as a choice, but one thing that remained constant the whole time was the Lutece's.

    From what we've learned, I think it's understood that in Bookers universe, Lutece is ALWAYS male. In Comstock's, ALWAYS female.

    So to put that in the right order:
    IF Lutece is born a man, THEN Booker remains Booker, ELSE he becomes Comstock.

    Did anyone else notice this? It means that the baptism wasn't a choice, as the decision was made before that point...

    Miller C

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  62. Hey so I think you missed explaining a spot of the plot, who is the boy that the Vox leader chick tried to kill before being stabbed by Elizabeth with the scissors. She said killing the boy would end it all? That bit doesn't tie into the ending or the main plot points?

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    Replies
    1. The kid was (probably) Jeremiah Fink's son. When she said killing the boy would end it, Daisy was (most likely) talking about the communist like structure of the factory, the starving low class workers and the god complex leader.

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  63. But when Elizabeth drowns Brooker, there should also be a version where she didn't drown Brooker right? :-S

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    1. I don't think so, she kills Booker in the origin of every timeline where Booker was Comstock. So, because she killed "Comstock" before he was ever created, Elizabeth (who's Anna, Booker's daughter, but the character of Elizabeth was only created in timelines where Comstock existed) ceased to exist, making it so she had to kill Booker or else he would become Comstock again and they would get stuck in a loop where it always comes back to her drowning Booker

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  64. My only question is: how did Booker the pure one(where he rejected baptism) manage to get in the world where he rejected baptism, thus becoming Comstock and building Columbia? Of course to save Elizabeth.

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  65. I know this is way late, but I just finished the game and I think I can explain a few things:

    Why even though there are infinite possible dimensions Booker will always lose Anna. Essentially each dimension is a coin where one one side of the Coin are all the choices Booker makes and the other side of the coin are all the choices Comstock makes and somewhere in the middle is the choice of accepting/rejecting the baptism. So because there are infinite number of dimensions (coins) there are an infinite number of Bookers to provide an Anna and an infinite number of Comstocks to buy/steal Anna away.

    Why does Booker not gain Comstock's memories? Essentially, it's because they are on opposite sides of the coin. When the dimensions cross, it's akin to having two coins existing in the same place, however, the matter of the one side will never reach the matter of its opposite, because then it would be on the wrong side of the coin and can no longer be that coin at all. Booker can't have Comstock's memories because he never was nor will be Comstock, just as Comstock can't have Booker's memories because he is no longer Booker. Comstock's knack for prophesy comes from the technology to look into other dimensions and see what happens.

    What exactly happens when the Elizabeths drown Booker? This part is trickier then the others, but revolves around the coin idea as well. Elizabeth's power is capable of separating a coin (dimension) into its two complete halves (Booker half and Comstock half) and seeing the common link between them. By severing that link (i.e. Killing the Booker that accepts the salvation and thus becoming Comstock she splits the two halves apart. The half that contains everything that Comstock is cannot survive without that choice and thus becomes non existent, leaving the Booker half intact as he existed before and can exist after.

    Does Anna retain memories of being Elizabeth? This is the true enigma, but I do see one way to solve it. We need to trace the point where Anna ceases to be Anna and becomes Elizabeth, however, this is difficult because unlike Booker who made a choice as an adult this choice was forced upon her as a baby and was not her own, so unlike with Booker and Comstock, Anna and Elizabeth are not different sides of the same coin but rather the same continuum. There is no dimension where Anna does not become Elizabeth because of the aforementioned causality between Comstock and Booker. Therefore, with Comstock, Anna must become Elizabeth and with the severing of Comstock Anna can't become Elizabeth. So, no, I don't believe Anna will receive Elizabeth's memories, that said all of Elizabeth's personality traits are inherent in Anna and as there are infinite choices for Anna to make there are certainly several where she goes to Paris and learns all kinds of things. Where Booker and Comstock can be seen as two entities with the same root, Anna and Elizabeth are the same entity.

    Again, I know I'm late to this party, but I hope this will help shed some light and give closure to this confusing ending.

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    1. One last thing, For those of you who have found this ending to be particularly depressing, I prescribe watching a Disney (Or other cheerful) movie to balance out the somberness. Cheers! :)

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  66. I have a question. How come the Booker that goes to Columbia to save Elizabeth is young and not the same age as Comstock. I remember Elizabeth saying that Booker was given a chance to save his daughter 20 years after he sold her.

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  67. I've sifted through most comments, and I've noticed that there are some people who think that there should be worlds in which Booker take the baptism but is not drowned by Elizabeth. To think this way, however would be to think of the baptism and drowning as two separate events, occurring independently of each other, which is not the case. In the original timelines, Booker either took the baptism, therefore becoming Comstock, or he refused it and stayed Booker. There is no world in which Booker refuses the baptism and still becomes Comstock, and likewise there is no world in which he took it and stayed Booker. When Elizabeth drowns Booker, she replaces "IF Booker is baptized, THEN he becomes Comstock" with "IF Booker is baptized, THEN he drowns." There is no chance that he continues on to become Comstock after baptized because they are not distinct events, but simply a cause and effect, all taking place as part of one event. I know I'm late to the party (all the better for me because I got to read all of these great comments), but I hope that this will help to clear some things up for someone

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