I’m trying to think of something clever to say, but I can’t. All I can say is good job.
Man, Bioshock Infinite was great.
I think you’re wrong but have a big huge thing still writing itself in my head about what I think really happened, so I won’t try to write it prematurely.
I just want to know, where are you getting these timeline numbers? Why 121 failures? How do you know Vox Booker was 124?
Andy, there are apparently 122 tally marks on the tally board when you first meet the Luteces and they ask you to call the coin flip. So the Booker you play would actually be 123. Not sure how he numbered the other timelines.
Oh REALLY. And I thought the tally marks were just a funny gag…
Andy, there are apparently 122 tally marks on the tally board when you first meet the Luteces and they ask you to call the coin flip.
My understanding is that there were 121, and this was trip #122 (also referenced by the opening bell code necessary to get into Columbia – 1, 2, 2).
How do you know Vox Booker was 124?
We don’t know that it was #124 exactly, but since it was evidently a failed timeline (as Booker-124 dies previously in it before current-Booker and Elizabeth arrive in it), logic says it should be one of the failures.
But 124 is bigger than 122. Vox Booker gets there before Booker, how is he from a later attempt?
There are also an arbitary large number of extra timelines where you get shot in the face while Elizabeth isn’t around and die. The game displays your office door again to point that out, and then respawns you in an alternate timeline where you reached the respawn point, but made slightly less money that time.
Because timelines 1-3 aren’t attempts. Booker begins making attempts in timeline #4.
Oh oh oh oh. Timeline 125 is Attempt 122. Got it.
Holy crap, I didn’t even think about the plagarized songs idea. I knew there were some old-timey renditions of popular songs, but I thought that was some kind of injoke or something.
This is really great work, Chris.
I just finished the game last night and spent like an hour reading Reddit and Gamefaqs trying to piece all this together.
I somehow missed the Voxphone that explained it was Anna’s severed finger remaining in the first timestream that gave her her odd ability. When I read that bit, everything fell into place for me.
Also, there’s a map at the end, in Comstock’s office. A branching timestream map. I’m dying to take a closer look at that.
I knew there were some old-timey renditions of popular songs, but I thought that was some kind of injoke or something.
There’s actually a Voxphone which explicitly says that Albert Fink heard the songs through tears.
Having worked in QA on Infinite, I can honestly say that some of this escaped even me. As I wasn’t senior staff, I can’t confirm or deny any of it, of course, but the logic all seems pretty sound.
I am glad that you picked up on the tech derived from Rapture. I’ve seen a few reviews that blasted Infinite for not explaining where the vigors COME from, when I think it’s actually reasonably clear if you listen to the audio logs, even if it’s not spelled out the way it was in Bioshock 1. It’s true that the citizens of Columbia aren’t as deformed as the splicers, but I have a couple personal — and I emphasize personal, as I was NOT given access to the game bible — theories on that: first, the vigors are still new. Second, the majority of Columbia citizens aren’t splicing the way Rapture’s citizens did. Very few enemies actually hurl vigors at you, and those that do actually ARE deformed — the firemen are trapped in metal suits, constantly burning; the zealots TURN THEMSELVES INTO CROWS and are basically insane; Slate has obvious tumors once you get close enough to him to take a good look. Fink’s managed to introduce some big, flashy stuff, but he hasn’t devised the same vast array of plasmids and gene tonics that Fontaine Futuristics and Ryan Industries did.
Just as Songbird is obviously based on a Big Daddy (but on a much larger scale, both for the intimidation factor and because, at a guess, Fink had to scale it up to make it work with early 20th century technology rather than post-WWII technology), the biologist Fink mentions in the voxophone in his brother’s house MUST be Tenenbaum or Suchong.
Oh, and yeah, the old-timey covers were always meant to be stolen from the future — Fink mentions it in the same aforementioned voxophone, where he says his brother will be the Mozart of Columbia, and then there are the two red tears that play “Fortunate Son” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” respectively, when you approach. I loved every one of those covers to pieces, and I wish they were on the soundtrack. If you haven’t noticed it already, pay attention to the music playing on the beach when you go to find Elizabeth. Not all of the covers are obvious. 🙂
I had thought that Comstock was from the prime timeline because of the Voxophone where he speculates that being reborn in baptism causes the death of the old self, and wonders what happened to his.
STOP MAKING ME WANT TO BUY THIS GAME AT FULL PRICE SO I CAN HAVE IT NOW.
(Learning that this ties to Rapture just makes me 1) want this title even more and 2) sad I never finished my GameFaq’s BioShock plot guide.)
(I think there is a tiny error when you suggest that the Chen Lin machines have been moved in timeline 121, but I think you are actually calling this timeline 124?)
I have seriously mixed feeling on Infinite. On the one hand, as a work of art/storytelling, I think it’s great. It walks some of the same paths as Bioshock, and some of the ideas are a little shopworn and have been explored in sci-fi forever, but it’s very solid and a great story. As a game, though, the that I have no real decisions to make for the last, like, 20 minutes of game play sort of sucks. It’s a little too linear for me, and, frankly, in the end, it’s the Mass Effect 3 thing all over. I thought I could make choices as I went, but in the end, I find out that it didn’t matter. The only difference was that Bioshock Infinite made that an explicit part of the story – it’s the theme and the point. And while I think that’s a legitimate artistic choice, I wonder if it means that this story isn’t well served by this medium, except to drive the point home to the audience that your choices really are pointless.
Questions I still have: Why is Comstock so much older than DeWitt? DeWitt is 38. Comstock looks to be in his 60s.
The ‘Archangel’ that Comstock refers to – old Elizabeth, yeah? I feel like the implications of that need to be worked through…
Also the nature of the Luteces is a pretty ambiguous, but I’m alright with that.
1. Comstock repeatedly crossed dimensions in an attempt to see the future, and apparently this caused both rapid ageing and infertility.
2. Uh…I think so? I’m not entirely sure, but it makes a lot of sense.
3. After Comstock murdered Lady Comstock and imprisoned Elizabeth, the Luteces wanted to make right and undo the damage their cross-dimensional travels had caused. In order to prevent this, Comstock promised Jeremiah Fink all of the Luteces patents if he killed the Luteces. Fink tampered with the Siphon so that their death looked like an accident, and this in turn dispersed their essence across the multiverse, hence their strange abilities.
Sorry to be so fanboy-ish, and I’m not expecting you to know everything that went on in the game, but I have a few questions.
1. I get that the technology for the Handymen/Songbird came from Fink witnessing the creation of Big Daddies in Rapture. What I don’t get is what the heck is supposed to be inside the Songbird suit. The Big Daddies had deformed-but-human sized people inside their suits, but the Songbird is like 30 ft tall! Was it some creature from another dimension, a bunch of people, mostly machinery with a few human components like the Handymen, or something else entirely?
2. So vigors are reversed-engineered versions of plasmids right? I thought that plasmids needed ADAM in order to be made, and that ADAM came from undersea slugs. This seems nitpicky, but did Fink send expeditions to the ocean floor to get slugs or something,and did I answer my own question?
Anyways, thanks and good work on the game 🙂
I actually got the voxophone, but I just never put it together. It doesn’t help that I generally listened to the vox things on the run, which is probably why I wasn’t as observant about it.
The vigors aren’t quite plasmids, although their marketing’s similar. They appear to be the same concept with a twist that the power fueling them isn’t Adam, but is siphoned Tear energy from Elizabeth, which is why they have that reality distortion effect when you first take them.
I don’t wanna spend $50 on the most awesomest game ever (of this month). Can I wait until the price drops to $29.95 at the local Target?
This chart raises an interesting philosophical question: Is it really a spoiler if you can’t understand it?
All I have to say about this is, Ken Levine should cut Larry Niven a handsome check if the game turns a profit.
I’m afraid that I don’t really know the answers to your questions, and what I do know — aside from what’s in the game — I can’t say. The whole ‘tear energy’ theory of vigors makes sense to me personally; you get plasmid-like substances based on Tenenbaum and Suchong’s work and powered by the weird stuff that’s already going on around Columbia, but it’s fairly limited, so you don’t end up with the vast range of products Fontaine and Ryan had on offer. But that’s not Word of God or even Shrug of God because I’m not Ken Levine. 🙂
As for Songbird…I, personally, never got an answer to the question of what’s inside the suit. My personal theory is an alternate-universe Andre the Giant resurrected by mad science to go after Booker, who is actually an alternate-universe Billy Crystal.
Honestly, if you listen to the audio logs you’ll get most of what I know already, which is why I’m comfortable discussing the game at all — as long as I can cite them, and specify ‘PERSONAL THEORY,’ I’m not divulging privileged information. I’m glad so many of you enjoyed the game, though. We all worked very hard on it, as I’m sure you can guess.
Great job !
Lots of good explanations, but there is still something i did not get :
If Booker dies leading the Vox, before he reached Elizabeth, there should be TWO Elizabeth in this timeline : the one in the tower (or at Comstock house as suggested) and the other travelling with us…
I may have missed something.
i notice one thing that seems wrong. When he drowns. That timeline is comestocks. Cause hes already been to his original timeline earlier. If he killed himself there. He would eraser booker dewitt. but not in comstocks. i think that would explain the ending.
Should the “Anna DeWitt Born” plot point not be on Timeline 2 instead, seeing as she wasn’t born in the timeline where Booker chose baptism?
I love complex stories, but I feel like this was too complex. I just can’t imagine anyone at the end of the game being like “i totally get it.” If I hadn’t looked online to understand, I could have played it 30 times and still been like wtf. I know some people like that complexity, but take something like Metal Gear – super complex, but by the end of the stories of each game, you understand what happened.
There’s only one fault I see on this timeline: Elizabeth *doesn’t* return Booker to the point where Young Elizabeth is abducted. She takes him back to DECEMBER 1912, six months after he started running into Comstock House. If you haven’t got the idea by Elizabeth’s comments, the stuff heard through the tears during your stay in Future Comstock House, the Voxophones you can collect there are explicitly dated as December 1912. Other than that, it makes perfect sense.
Oh, and I also believe that it’s possible that WE are explicitly creating new timelines every time we “die”. Unlike Bioshock 1&2, upon reviving enemies get more life. The kind of things you’d end up seeing in an alternate timeline…
[…] narrative, but for the sake of brevity, I’m just going to say that you might want to grab plot outline (spoiler), a good book on American history, familiarize yourself with the concept of American […]
Seems that the nature of timeline travelling implies that only one version of each person can exist in each timeline.
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