SPOILERS AHEAD: Ending Question
SPOILERS. DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU HAVE NOT BEAT IT YET.
I have a question. People have been telling me that this game ends the "BioShock Universe" with the whole "Elizabeth goes back in time and stops the tears from happening by killing Booker". But how is that plausible? If Elizabeth goes back in time to kill Booker Dewitt, then Booker Dewitt never had a kid (it's evident Elizabeth comes after Wounded Knee as she fades away at the end). If Booker Dewitt never had the kid, then Elizabeth was never born. If Liz was never born, she was never taken to Columbia through the Tear. If she was never taken through the Tear to Columbia, she wouldn't have the ability to go back in time to kill Booker DeWitt. Is this not a paradox? Because, by killing Booker, she couldn't have gone back and killed Booker. Therefore, there is still a reality where Booker made Columbia and Booker saved Elizabeth. Would this not lead to the whole thing repeating itself over and over and over? Therefore, the reality where Booker dies at Wounded Knee is actually one of the realities branching from another reality. It's a huge branching web of paradoxes. Or, it's another "Lighthouse" in another version of the tear, no?
Needless to say, the question is: Why are people saying that the "BioShock" Universe is over, done, kaput? Didn't Kevin Levine say in some interview that each BioShock is unique and brings you a taste of a different/unique world/atmosphere? Or am I wrong and Infinite is really the final BioShock Game (which I highly doubt, it's a real money maker and has brilliant concepts so far)?
And that is why traditional physics say we can't travel back in time (though we can fast forward). That paradox is OK for a sci-fi that's based on... romanized left wing physics. I think it made sense in a narrative point of view. Liz can only do that after the Siphon is destroyed.
And about this being the last... I hadn't heard anything. I really think (and hope) it won't.
Yeah, lets hope it is not. Everytime I try to explain it's a paradox to someone, they always seem to outright deny it. I mean, if anything, Booker DeWitt's Death Arc is just another "Lighthouse" in another version of the Tear.
Originally Posted by Solid_Altair
I'm pretty sure that all universes were destroyed except for one. The creation of the rest of universes occurred at the defining moment when Booker decides whether or not to accept the baptism. When Elizabeth(s) take Booker back to the defining moment and put him down, the universes where he becomes Comstock or wallows in his guilt and has a child are erased. The post credits scene shows the remaining universe, where the proverbial coin flip resulted in tails. Perhaps Booker in that universe did not accept baptism and forgave himself for his sins. Anna was also (possibly) born, and the Booker from our story through the nosebleed effect survived in the remaining universe.
There are actually several ways to rationalize the ending including the one you guys put forth.
I heard from another person that BECAUSE there is a paradox, the Universe resets into one world where Dewitt is alive with Anna but he keeps his memories from the events from the game. Thus, Dewitt makes his choice of accepting the baptism (thus forgiving himself of past sins) but does not turn into Comstock (by extension, not creating any tears and Elizabeth ceasing to exist as who we know her as). One Dewitt. One Anna. One World. In that way, they are reunited and live the lives they were supposed to.
Personally, I think that's a bit far-fetched and too optimistic. On the other hand, it does fit in quite well with what the game has shown us.
The game is presenting its story in a way that it gives us all the clues of what it all means, but there are many ways to solve the puzzle. In an hour long interview with Gamespot (its on youtube), Ken Levine mentioned how the game's story could be likened to the ending of Lost in the way that it gives players options to theorize their own ideas of what the story's conclusion meant. So trying to theorize a canon conclusion is up for extreme debate and ultimately futile.
OF course, this has nothing to do with the Bioshock Universe ending. I'm not even sure how you got "Universe ending" out of this story. The universe will still exist even if Booker dies. Rapture would still exist in these worlds as it is not predicated on Booker's existence. So would any place later Bioshock settings would take place (if they are also not predicated on Booker's existence). Columbia is a different case in the sense that Columbia would not have existed without the existence of Comstock, and by extension, Booker. What the ending shows is that they are trying to erase the past chain of events that begun with Comstock's first emergence from Booker's baptism. It will have nothing to do with any future original Bioshock story Irrational games will cook up. It only shows that these stories are coexisting.
i sorta lol when i think about the fact the Elizabeths literally killed trillions and trillions(an infinite) number of kids that were all born due to Columbia being built. All wiped out of existence.
I pretty much agree with coolerdude, but also with the OP.
The ending is designed to be a paradox (backwards time travel is very problematic per theoretical physicists, even though the game otherwise toys with quantum mechanics ... that last bit goes beyond that into pure fiction), and subject to different interpretations.
I can see an interpretation whereby going back in time and killing Booker in the definitive universe that was the 'source' of the split in the Booker/Comstock timelines, the entirety of the Booker/Comstock/Elizabeth timeline in all realities is destroyed. That doesn't necessarily mean that the Booker/Anna timeline is destroyed in all realities. There would likely still be many other parallel universes where Booker exists and lives his life normally as Anna's father (and this could be what the vignette at the end after the credits is suggesting), but the split between Booker and Comstock would not happen, and therefore neither would the sale of Anna nor the creation of Elizabeth.
Of course a problem is that in a multiverse of infinite possibilities, it's unclear how shutting down that particular "root" of the Booker/Comstock dichotomy would necessarily prevent it from happening again of its own accord in another one of the infinite parallel universes -- one would think that given the infinite possibilities offered by the multiverse it would be possible if not likely that some other Booker in some other parallel universe accepts baptism after Wounded Knee and becomes Comstock or something like him.
I don't think that wrecks the story -- these characters were doing the best they could with the challenge they had. I do think that the multiverse as a set of infinite universes with infinite possibilities, however, makes a definitive conclusion about the impact of the endgame events problematic.
As for ending the BioShock universe, I actually think that this helps to preserve it, because there are simply an infinite number of realities in which places like Columbia or Rapture or something else like them will happen, and that's where we will have future BioShocks -- all in different realities (as the game strongly suggests that Rapture was in a different universe from Columbia, or at least from the universe of "our" playable Booker).
Another detail worth noting, Infinite also effectively explains how it is possible for Bioshock 1 and 2 to have multiple endings and how neither is necessarily "right". It is also possible that Bioshock 2 does not occur in EXACTLY the same door as Bioshock 1, since another world is created with every choice you make.
Alright, I just want to make sure. Some people I know were adamant about it being the end, at least I can say the general consensus is that it's just the end of the Elizabeth Arc if we are to believe that Elizabeth can change her past without causing a paradox which would prevent that from happening.
Originally Posted by coolerdude
Even ignoring the potential paradox the ending of the game isn't the ending of the bioshock universe(s) because, as Elizabeth says, there are constants and variables. There's always a man, always a lighthouse and always a city.
That's my tuppence worth anyway.
I agree, that quote seemed like foreshadowing a series formula kind of thing to me. Not that they'll necessarily follow through with it, but they've made it very easy for themselves if they want to and are able. They probably already have a multitude of directions they'd be considering where to take it - I wonder how much that is dependent on the reception of Infinite.
Originally Posted by Hereticus
Honestly, although it's great they made it possible to make a great series of story-driven games in varied environments, I would prefer they not really bring up the alternative realities in other games - and if they do, not really make it the focus. I mean, it's a great ending for Infinite, but I feel like it'll hinder other games. Elizabeth is a unique character; having other games with the same sort of tears and alternative realities would just dampen the uniqueness that was Infinite. Although, I am not too worried because Irrational Games hasn't disappointed me before. They are truly one of the only companies that I have faith in; they know what they are doing. I assume the Luteces, or at least some other version of them correlating to the new light house, will make an appearance again.
Originally Posted by AXidenT
Also; I realized my problem with this game is that it made my Booker feel rather insignificant in the whole scheme of things. It's sort of like, "Oh, I went through all this that doesn't matter because there is infinite universes with infinite amount of DeWitts?". The sacrifice doesn't feel really big because, in some other "light house", another Booker already did that. In another light house, Booker never gave Anna away. In another light house, Booker never lost his wife. In another light house, Comstock succeeded. And your death only shuts down on light house in the infinite amount on another level.
Last edited by ramzca; 04-04-2013 at 04:49 PM.
Booker had to die before making the choice to be baptized or not. Drowning Booker at the point in time they did suggests that Comstock could ONLY come from that choice in that time and place. So if Booker had delayed, even a few hours, getting to the pool to be baptized then he would not have become Comstock. So Booker is still alive in a billion other realities and Elizabeth/Anna was born in some of those. In a few of those realities a city called Rapture was built at the bottom of the ocean and an artificial AI called SHODAN went a bit nuts, developing psyonic Monkeys...