Contains massive spoilers for Bioshock Infinite so if you haven't finished the game DO NOT read on. If you do, all will be ruined for you. You have been warned.
People have been tweeting, commenting and e-mailing me constantly with questions about Bioshock Infinite's ending and the actual plot too, so I thought I would save everyone the trouble of having to go to these lengths to try and get an response from me and just post my answers to commonly asked Questions here.
Before I start I also want to say 2 more things, the first being that I know I said I would answer comments in the original article and I tried, I really did, but nearly 100 comments on my blog and over 800 on Gamesbeat? Yeh, that, well, that is a little out of my league. I never thought it would get so big.
My second note is that I did get some MINOR details wrong. Jesus people quick to point things out when you get them wrong, so don't worry; all those little niggly bits I made mistakes on will also be resolved here. None of the things I got wrong were proper ending or overall plot details though so they were pretty irrelevant. Actually, I would like to point out that I am by no means Mr. Bioshock Infinite Plot Explainer Extraordinaire; I simply do and did understand the ending to the game and did a lot of research and decided to help all those confused out. I understand the ending; I do not get every little piece of the puzzle that may be to do with the game. I did mention that in the original article. So please do not expect me to be able to answer absolutely everything you throw at me.
Oh, and before we begin (sorry for the delay); I am not going to go over details I already covered in the first feature; so if you have asked the same question over and over and not had a response, you might be missing something that was already explained. I've noticed a ton of comments asking questions or pointing out flaws with the plot that were already explained in great detail before.
OK, so let's do this!
QUESTIONS:Question 1: Why was Comstock infertile and older than Booker if they are the same person and they existed within the same timeline?
Good question, however this is easily explained. Due to a lot of experimenting and things, Comstock became seriously ill and sterile. He also aged, or at least 'appeared to age' a lot faster.
Question 2: Wouldn't there be another universe made for if Booker HADN'T drowned? And another world made for if Comstock HADN'T made Columbia?
Another really common and really, really, really, really good question.
This is difficult to answer and cannot, at least from me, be responded to with total certainty.
First of all on the whole 'Another universe made for if he hadn't killed himself', I thought about this a lot, and I have so far come up with 2 theories.
1st Theory: As Elizabeth and Booker are in a sort of 'Limbo', in-between and going to and from memories, their decisions may not result in other worlds being made to accommodate the opposite decision, because they are not in a real place as such.
On top of that, when you take into account the fact that Elizabeth really shouldn't be able to tear (it is an unnatural ability) and the fact they should not, really, be able to go back to old memories and relive them, this might explain why other universes do not open for things they do in this 'Limbo'.
2nd theory: This one is actually really plot focused, so if it is true then it would change a lot to do with the story and how people view it.
What if there IS a universe created for if he hadn't drowned and then went on to become Comstock. This would actually explain a lot.
So in the world he drowns in, he dies, then goes back to being with Anna in the world where he rejected the Baptism.
However, a universe is made for if he hadn't drowned, in which case Comstock still existed and went on to make Columbia. Then, say, that Comstock goes and steals/buys the baby from the Booker who did accept the drowning, and who died, then went back to being with Anna.
It's a mind-f but one you should ponder. This would actually be really depressing but would explain the loop Booker goes. In fact, if this is the case, then there really is no way for the loop to end, ever.
One thing this wouldn't explain is what Booker and Elizabeth would do in the world where he didn't drown. What would happen? Would Booker just say 'I'm not doing this, drowning' and Elizabeth would answer 'OK....' and then what? They would just carry on living as excess in a world they don't belong in? That really makes no sense at all.
Onto the second question; is there not a world for if Comstock hadn't made Columbia and the answer is yes, yes there is. It is called the world where Booker rejects the Baptism.
No, seriously though, I get the question. What if he had accepted the Baptism and then NOT made Columbia, that is what you mean. I get that, but the thing is that you need to view the Baptism choice AS THAT choice. Like I said above, the other world where he rejects it IS the world where he doesn't make Columbia. Remember, Comstock is still Booker so saying 'What about a place where COMSTOCK didn't make Columbia' is basically saying 'What about a place where BOOKER didn't make Columbia' and there is; like I said before, it's the place where her rejects the Baptism.
Question 3: What broke the cycle of Booker going to save Elizabeth, and what made him keep going on a loop?
Another brilliant question that I am going to answer in a really short way. I don't know. I'm not a genius that knows everything but if you do have the answer please comment. After a lot of research I'm still in the dark about it.
Question 4: What debt did Booker owe Comstock in the first place?
This is actually a really interesting point and one I still don't understand. In truth, unless Comstock and Booker had previously met or had crossed paths, it does not make sense for Booker to 'owe' him a debt. That said, this might be explained it one of the few Voxaphones I missed.
Question 5: Who left the note for Booker on the Lighthouse door and who killed that man in the Lighthouse?
I believe, and I would like to thank Disqus user Uttrik for backing this up in the comment(s) he left on my Gamesbeat article, that the beginning part with the Lighthouse and even the part when he first enters the city in that massive church area and then gets Baptised, was all in his head. Those were some of the memories he invented for himself after he switched universes. Him entering the city, the note, the dead man; it was all in his head.
Question 6: What happened to Lady Comstock? Why was she so angry?
Comstock had her murdered because he knew she would reveal that baby Elizabeth was not her own child, thus discrediting her as an heir (even though, technically, she is biologically related to Comstock). He then blamed the servant, Daisy Fitzroy, who went on to lead the Vox.
I do not quite get why she was so angry at Elizabeth, after all, it wasn't HER fault she was abducted and that Comstock was infertile.
Question 7: Do the choices made affect the outcome or events of the story? Is there only one ending?
Asked frequently but easy as hell to answer, so I'll put this one to rest.
No and no. The game gives you the illusion of choice all the way through, making you think that what you are doing; who you are letting live and who you are killing, actually has an affect on the end result. But it doesn't because Booker has already been to Columbia over 100 times and those events do not change a thing.
Actually, it does make you think about the whole multi-universe thing though. After all, the opposite of what you choose yourself during the story then becomes an alternate world. Interesting.
Question 8: BUT WHAT ABOUT RAPTURE? DOESN'T THIS HAVE SOMETHING, LIKE, AWESOME TO DO WITH COLUMBIA AND COMSTOCK AND, AND, AND, ANNNNND OH MY GURRRD THIS IS MASSIVE?!....
OK OK OK OK, everyone slow the f**k down. Je-sus. There are so many comments and e-mails from people basically screaming conspiracy or hidden secrets and meanings and tie-ins and this and that and this and that and just slow down. Please.
OK. Deep breaths acknowledged. Now continue.
A lot of the Rapture 'stuff' is personal interpretation. The game offers absolutely no solid confirmation or denial about people's theories.
That said, we can be realistic and use what we do know to come to an educated guess on how much it has to do with Infinite's story.
Realistically Rapture is not some sort of 'other worldly' Columbia. That makes no sense. No, Andrew Ryan is not actually Comstock/Booker and no Jack is not this person and that person is this person and all the rest. This also makes no sense because unless these characters teared into the Rapture world, they would not even live long enough to make Rapture themselves (Rapture was made in 1946 as opposed to when Infinite is set which is in 1912).
A lot of these ideas I've read and received in my inbox are quite, well, outlandish and pretty crazy. I think people are buying into it way too much. Think of it like this: Rapture is just another world that exists within all of these universes. It is there to prove to the player that all Bioshock games from before, and from now on, are all connected by these tears and are all affected by the whole multi-universe thing. The next Bioshock will be a part of these worlds too and will have its own Lighthouses dedicated to it, and the decisions made by the characters that split it into multi-universes.
That is not to say Rapture is not, sneakily, relevant.
In fact, it does have some relevance to the story. Or rather; to the finer details.
Fink used tears to see into the future and copied many things from the city of Rapture. He drew from the Big Daddies that protected the Little Sisters and made Songbird to protect Elizabeth in a similar way. He also drew from many of the technologies Rapture featured and made them a reality in Columbia.
That is, in my opinion at least, as far as Rapture's involvement with Infinite goes. Who knows, maybe it does go deeper, but I'm not buying into it all just yet. So far I haven't heard, or thought up, a theory very convincing. Still, you never do know. We still have the DLC to play don't we?
I do want to add in one thing, and this is something suggested, or rather pointed out by a couple of people, and this is that in Bioshock 1 only Andrew Ryan and his inner circle, as well as Jack (because he is Ryan's son), could use the Bathyspheres. This means, or at least people are saying it does, that because Booker activates the Bathysphere he and Elizabeth use after tearing into Rapture, he must be something to do with Rapture and its story.
The thing is that the Bathyspheres could be activated and used by anyone UNTIL the civil war broke out. Only then were they blocked from being used by anyone but Ryan himself and his inner circle.
The Rapture we see in Infinite is a shabby, destroyed one. This means that things are not, well, good there. This could counter what I just said as the state of Rapture suggests that Booker uses the Bathysphere after the Civil war has started, however we can't be 100% certain of the date. I believe Elizabeth and Booker enter before Jack arrives, as the place where the Bathysphere Jack used is empty, suggesting he is not there yet.
Ultimately this is either one of three things. One: A plot hole. Two: An actual twist/conspiracy that was included on purpose and may be explored in later games or the DLC. Or Three: Booker and Elizabeth used the Bathysphere at a time before they were available only to Andrew Ryan and his inner circle.
EDIT: I have also realised that they may have teared into an alternate Rapture universe where Ryan did not stop the Bathyspheres from being used by normal people. This too is a possibility.
Question 9: But what about a universe where Comstock died from choking on a pip or this happened and that happened and.....
People have been saying a lot that there must be other universes out there where random events happened, like Comstock dying from this or that or Booker doing that or this, and my answer to these ideas is this:
Random events are not accounted for. Another universe is NOT made for something random that might have happened. Only possible possibilities are accounted for.
So if you sat down for breakfast and wanted either cereal or toast, and you chose cereal, another world would be made for if you had chosen toast. Another world would not be created for if you ate bagels instead because that was never a considered possible possibility, even if you had a pack of bagels in your cupboard.
Another good example is this:
Another universe would not be made to account for if you had randomly had a car crash and died or got inured, UNLESS you had a near miss or were actually in a crash in real life, in which case, as that was not only a possible possibility but an actual event, an alternate world would be made. The only time another universe opens is when there is a clear cut choice or a possible possibility of an event happening.
Unless Comstock almost did, actually, choke and die on a pip, then why would another universe be created for something that never, or could ever, have happened?
Question 10: Why doesn't slate realise, or recognise, that Comstock is Booker if they fought together? And how come Slate didn't question that Booker had come in from another universe?
We don't, as far as I know, know when Slate came to Columbia, so chances are he turned up when Comstock was already old looking and bearded. He probably didn't recognise him or realise it was him because not only did he look totally different but he was a totally different person too.
The second part is also easily answered. Slate didn't know that Booker HAD come in from another world. As he didn't know Comstock was Booker he no doubt thought that Booker was still out there in his normal form, so when the Booker from the other world came in and met him, he thought it was just good ol' Booker from his OWN world.
Question 11: Why don't Booker and Elizabeth just live in one of these other worlds forever instead of Booker drowning and stuff?
Elizabeth shouldn't be able to tear. It's an unnatural ability, as I mentioned earlier. Technically, as fate would have had it, her and Booker probably would've, and should've, been squished by Songbird at the end when he was racing towards them. That or he would have killed Booker and then Elizabeth would just have lived on until old age. Either way, they would have died in the world they were in.
If they went and teared into and lived in another world they would be like excess, not really belonging there as they should have stayed in the old world.
HOWEVER I actually see a bit of a flaw with my answer. Well, more the game than my answer.
If they can't survive in another world, how did Booker survive in the Columbia world when the Lutece twins brought him into it? This contradicts what I said above and confuses me. If you understand it then please comment your explanation.
Got more Questions? Comment them and what you think in the comments!!!
Point 1: Booker killed Indians, not African-Americans
Yep, I get it. He killed Indians, not African-Americans. I actually answered one of the comments pointing this out and the guy got really heated over it, which I don't get. This doesn't even have any affect on the plot, so chill out.
But yeah, for the record I was wrong in the first feature; Booker killed Indians at Wounded Knee NOT African-Americans.
Point 2: Elizabeth can tear because she lost her finger in another universe
This one was pointed out to me a lot of times too. So apparently she can tear because she was both experimented on by the Lutece twins but also, mainly, because she lost her pinkie in another world.
Point 3: By the way, you spelled Lutece wrong throughout half the article. And there are also other spelling mistakes in there...
I've already explained this one A LOT but I'm going to go ahead and do it again.
The spelling in my Gamesbeat version of the original ending explanation article was horrid, while my blog version is/was fine. This is because I accidentally copied and pasted the WRONG draft (2nd draft) to Gamesbeat, not the final draft.
When I write an article on my blog, I write it all out and finish it and then that is the first draft. It has plenty of mistakes in it and is the base of the article.
Then I use a simple spelling and grammar corrector to save myself some time and point out some of the flaws with it to me. However this is very inconsistent and does not point out all spelling issues.
Once that is done, I now have the SECOND draft, which has been ridded of its main issues but not all of them. This is the version of the first article I put on Gamesbeat, by accident.
Then I proof read it a few times, correct any remaining mistakes and finish it up. This is the third, final, draft. The one I publish (normally).
Point 4: There was 1 Elizabeth left at the end, not all of them did disappear
OK so not all of them disappeared, my bad. It still would make minimal sense for her to still exist at the end if there was no Comstock so I stick by what I said before.
That said, if my earlier theory is correct in that there WAS another Universe made where Booker didn't drown and Comstock was still alive, that would explain this.
Point 5/Slash Question 12: Why do you think this and that and whatever?
What? Why were people questioning my own opinion on the actual game and not the story? I thought the characters were incredible. I liked the game. That has nothing to do with the ending. Why do you even care? If you want to question my opinion do it on my actual review of the game, but the ending explanation? People be crazy.
Point 6: "This article is terribly written and horribly researched. Please hire some editors. Thanks bunches."
No, thank you Disqus user hoopleton for making me laugh. First of all the article was poorly written, you were right. Because it was the wrong draft as I did say in the comments of the article on Gamesbeat (where this comment was) myself. Obviously your research on this matter wasn't great either.
Also, 'horribly researched'? Nice, I like your own 3,000 word explanation. Oh, you don't have one? Shame, I was looking forward to nitpicking that one too...
Oh and I like the way you don't actually point out what was poorly researched, so you are not even giving basis to your argument.
And 'Thanks Bunches'? For what? I didn't do anything - or anything you liked anyway. You clearly dislike my article and don't care for me so why are you thanking me? YOUR LOGIC MAKES NO SENSE. I'M SO CONFUSED.
Don't be so angry, hoopleton. Relax. Chill. Go on holiday or something.
There you have it. My answers to the most frequently asked questions I get and a response to many points made by people in the comments on the article. Remember to keep posting your opinions and ideas in the comments! Thanks to everyone who read the first article, commented, tweeted, followed me, liked it on facebook, shared it on Google+ and basically supported it and me. Thank you.
I hope I helped some of you out with your questions and, yeah, remember guys (especially you hoopleton) Chill out and PEACE!