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Submitted by dirigiblebill 1048d ago | opinion piece

Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

OXM's Log writes: "You shouldn't be reading this unless you've played the game, right? Played it and finished it. Then played it again, to enjoy how the world fits together with your new knowledge, even if the plot is flapping raggedy up a flagpole. This article is replete with spoilers, from the very second you make the jump." (BioShock: Infinite, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Nitrowolf2  +   1048d ago
this is a good read for those who didn't understand the ending: http://michaelthekyle.blogs...

There is a ton explained in the audio logs and by the twins. Reddit and forum posts also explain more, which is what the devs really wanted.It was never meant to be straight forward from the start.


The twins (well they are the same people, just different dimension) are really the key to the game. Betrayed by Comstock they went back to help Booker so they could erase that universe, thus the ending bit where all the Elizabeth disappear (Universes are erased). The one we play, the Booker, no longer exists or at least never lost anna because this time the Twins weren't there to take his children. While one can go on to say that wouldn't there be one where they do (not really since it's a clean universe), that's not the point really. We are following the life of this Booker, the one who managed to have a daughter only to forget due to his mind not being able to comprehend his daughter being taken away from an alternate version of himself.

As mentioned to, the Twins have traveled through many universes, and Elizabeth knows that Song Bird every single time stops him. The coin flip with the chalk Board is also proof.

Think of it like this, this Ending erases all those alternate Universes. They cease to exists, but new ones will be formed. I like to think that Booker, the one we play, is the final link, the final version, the one that all Booker merged into, thus the reason why there are so many version of Elizabeth. Reason why it erases the whole thing.
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Root  +   1048d ago
Well least he gets to keep Anna in the end and start over going by the post credits scene.

I love how Rapture was a version of Columbia from one of millions of worlds...a world where the Variables are so differnt.

Who know what kind of city is next....maybe a one hidden and built into moutains or even an island city....whatever is next it will start with a light house.

The only thing I don't get though is, is the whole going to a lost city, exploring etc a differnt form of Bookers story where the Variables are too much thus changing pretty much everything

I mean in Bioshock we had

Andrew Ryan - Comstock
Booker - Atlas
Elizabeth - Jack
Nitrowolf2  +   1048d ago
I kind of think they did that just for the joy of it, to tie it into the game after saying they aren't related, because they still pretty much aren't besides from that.

Either way I like to see this as an ending for the Twins, not for Booker. Booker, like Jack, was just a pawn in the whole thing.
Mainsqueeze  +   1048d ago
I think that Rapture and Colombia are still separate cities but are still connected in some way. They were made like 60 years apart from eachother. Comstock would of been long dead before he would of had a chance to make rapture. But if you remember back to the first Bioshock, only people that are related to Andrew Ryan can use the bathyspheres and Booker uses one to get to the surface. So i'm thinking Andrew Ryan is a descendant of Booker. Plus fink gets the idea and instructions for vigors through a tear (as revealed through a voxophone). Maybe a tear to rapture?
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FriedGoat  +   1047d ago
Why did Elizabeth drown his present self? This makes no sense to me, Going back to the past and killing either the version of him that sold the baby (before he did it) or killing the version that got baptised (and became comstock) would solve the problem. Killing the present day him doesn't solve anything and just seemed a bit stupid. I liked the ending and the twist and everything, but it made no sense that she killed him when the events had already happened. We even saw all the different versions of him at the lighthouses, so that shows that the other versions of him are "different people" so there was no need to be killed.

And also killing him in that universe wont erase all the INFINITE other universes where he forgot to tie his shoelace before attending the baptism costing 5 minutes etc, It all seemed a bit pointless.
SpacemanSpliffz  +   1046d ago
Booker was Comstock, so that means:

Booker is Comstock/Andrew Ryan
Daisy Fitzroy is Atlas
Twins are Tenenbaum
Elizabeth is the Little Sisters (split up of course)
Songbird is the Big Daddies (split up as well)
Vigors are Plasmids
Salts are EVE

The variables change, but the constant stays the same. Elizabeth points this out for you: "there is always a man, a city, and a lighthouse". Both the original Bioshock as well as Infinite are almost mirrors of each other. In the ending of each game, you die with multiple Little Sisters/Elizabeths around you. The whole point of Infinite's ending is that Booker died before he became Comstock, thereby erasing any world where he existed as Comstock. This means there was no Rapture, there was no Columbia, there was no debt to be repaid to Comstock (because Comstock never came to be)....this means that the events we all went through in Bioshock as well as Infinite never happened. There was no adult Elizabeth because she was never given away. The end sequence after the credits proves this: Baby Anna is crying in her crib. Father and Daughter are together and all is well.

In retrospect this game was eerily beautiful, and affected me in ways I never thought it would. Hands down, the best game I have ever played.
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SnakeCQC  +   1048d ago
what i didnt like was none of the choices in game had any effect there was no good/bad ending but still liked this one (just missed the morality choices)
SpacemanSpliffz  +   1046d ago
The point of this is that it doesn't matter what you choose, the outcome will always be the same. Remember when the twins ask you to flip a quarter? Look at the board draped over him. This means Booker had been to Colombia over a hundred times before, with each result ending the same way. This all changes when the multiple Elizabeths drown him in the end.
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HebrewHammer  +   1048d ago
Nitro, I read the explanation you linked us too and it's AWFUL. First of all, he calls the interracial couple "villagers." That's WRONG. Second, he claims that Booker killed thousands of African-Americans... WTF?! He fought in the Battle at Wounded Knee! I'm going to keep reading it just for its laugh-inducing idiocy.
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SeraphimBlade  +   1048d ago
Well, I think it still "works," I've just yet to figure out the kinks. (and that's what it sounds like the authors of this article are doing to)

I have the dimension traveling thing more or less figured out. Elizabeth's tears don't "move" you to universes, they "change" the one you're in. Only when she destroys the siphon (in the future, and during your last battle back in 1912) does she gets the power she needs to make huge, drastic changes. (and maybe she gains the power to "move," like the Luteces. That's how you end up in Rapture.)

Time travel is where things get a bit iffier. I figured the point of the ending is that they could go back in time to before the baptism, and make Booker's death a new "constant." Liz is practically a god at this point so... sure? (Really, ANYTHING with time travel can have its logic thrown out the window)

As for the ghosts, that's really what drives home the idea that Liz's thoughts affect what tears do. She pictured her mother coming back as some wrathful, hateful banshee and that's what happened.

This is the one part I haven't figured out: Why does Liz have these powers in the first place? I'm sure there are logs I missed. I'm probably gonna start another playthrough this weekend.

And I'm nerding out so hard talking about this I'm probably going to spend the rest of the weekend making a flowchart about all of it...
SeraphimBlade  +   1048d ago
Also, for Liz's mind affecting tears, REALLY think about what happens when she tries to save Lin. She WANTED to help the people in the slums, and she had started to worry that Booker was just some hired thug, not a hero. So, she changes the world so that Booker was a hero of the Vox.
ghostman123  +   1048d ago
The way I understand it, when Baby Anna was pulled through the tear and lost her pinky, she existed in two different demisions, and that somehow makes her different and able to cross through, because she doesn't belong to one world.
Nitrowolf2  +   1047d ago
She doesn't belong in Comstocks Dimension, that's why she has the powers she has
SeraphimBlade  +   1047d ago
Then I have to ask why Booker doesn't get any kind of ability or the "brother" Lutece, assuming that their act is a result of their science, not personal powers. I think there's merit to the finger idea, since that would mean Liz exists in both world simultaneously. Or, in a way, she was "touched" by the barrier between worlds.

UNLESS Booker's ability to follow Liz and retain his memories is a result of having already crossed dimensions. You may be onto something.
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Blacklash93  +   1048d ago
But if there's infinite universes, wouldn't there be infinite variations of Elizabeth achieving that god-like state and ending Comstock in the past and future? Yet the events of Columbia still take place as the game's storyline, indicating Elizabeth can change nothing.
Jormungandr  +   1047d ago | Intelligent

That's the kind of thing that makes this ending so wonderful. In some universes she does, in some she doesn't, in some Booker wasn't baptized but still managed to forgive himself before selling Anna. In some he was baptized but still didn't become the monster known as Comstock. In some where Booker and his paired Comstock (the one he sold his daughter to) did everything the same up to that point might still have not locked Elizabeth up, or not created songbird, or the letices might not have been murdered, or Booker might have failed, or Elizabeth might never forgive him for tricking her near the beginning.

Infinite universes doesn't mean there were were an infinite number of universes where Elizabeth becomes a demigod and kills her Booker. It means there are "a million million" or so to quote Elizabeth, and each of *those* created a godlike Elizabeth that could travel to all the rest (picking up her counterparts as she goes) and make sure that no Booker DeWitts ever live past their baptism.

And that is where your conundrum comes in. If Elizabeth goes back in time and changes the past so that she was never born, then she never went back into the past, so she never changed anything, so it all happened, which lead her to go back and change the past, which means she was never born, which means it didnt happen, which means she didnt go back into the past, which means... It's the Grandfather Paradox common to all time travel fiction... just presented in what may be an entirely original manner.

How would the universe reconcile this occurance? I dunno. No one does even today. Maybe it creates a second set of million million universes where the Elizabeths kill Booker, leaving the existing ones where she didnt. Maybe the universe implodes and everything everywhere just ends. Maybe it introduces an instability into the foundation of the universe itself, setting up the next Bioshock game. It's any one's guess.

And that's the great part. There is no one answer. Just an endless number of esoteric questions the fans of the series get to debate till the next game comes out.

If you wanna really bake your noodle, think about this: every time Booker dies without Elizabeth to revive him, maybe the Luteces are moving Booker to another universe where he didn't, and the door he walks through is his mind making sense of being dropped into yet another new universe by creating an explanation for his apparent ability to not be dead after being killed. In other words, every time you die in game, that's a universe where Booker failed in his mission.
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ArchangelMike  +   1046d ago
Awesome, simply Awesome. Need I say more. bubs up my man.
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F1reRise  +   1047d ago
Just to clear things up, the twins infused the power to use tears into elizabeth by a machine they invented, she did not have the power naturally, and elizabeth cannot "change" dimensions, it clearly states that in the game. She can only enter different ones, and until she finds the infinite doors, she cannot choose what dimension to go into, she just has to use the one thats there. And sadly, I dont believe there is a connection between columbia and rapture, there just happened to be a tear to it. This was probably just a fun reference that Ken Levine put into the game, just like when that random girl thinks elizabeth looks like a girl named Anabell, that also is just random, and has no meaning except to get people's minds wondering.
Jormungandr  +   1047d ago
It's ironic that you use the phrase "it clearly states that in the game" when it clearly states in the game that everything you just said is wrong.
F1reRise  +   1047d ago
Umm not quite, in one of Lucete's tapes she states that she engineered the power of quantum physics into elizabeth, and near the end of the game right after you get out of the comstock house elizabeth says that she realizes that non of it is her fault because she cannot create universes, she can only enter new ones, look it up.
detectiveken  +   1047d ago
The Annabell thing wasn't random.

Right after you start getting attacked, you find a voxophone from that same woman who's looking for Elizabeth. I assume she was just asking every girl she knew until she got a specific name, since she wouldn't be able to immediately confirm it was Elizabeth otherwise, not having seen her before.

Sure, it required some breakdown, but it definitely wasn't a random thing.
F1reRise  +   1046d ago
I see, what i was saying is I assumed that the name Annabell was referring to Booker's Anna, which would be nearly impossible. I definitely understand why she said that now, thanks.
SpacemanSpliffz  +   1046d ago
"There is always a city, a man, and a lighthouse."
aliengmr  +   1047d ago

I thought it was kind of simple. Booker = Comstock. So in order to stop what was happening he had die at the precise moment he became Comstock, which was during his baptism after Wounded Knee.
ghostman123  +   1047d ago
It becomes less simple when you think of alternate Bookers, just like there were alternate Elizbaeths at that baptism. Unless ALL of the Bookers drowned, there was no way to gaurantee one of them wouldn't become Comstock. But if they ALL drowned then the post-credits scene with Booker and Anna doesn't make sense because he could never exist at that point.
aliengmr  +   1047d ago
The issue was none of the alternate Bookers realized that to kill Comstock was to kill himself. And like links in a tangled chain, the baptism link was the one that unraveled them all. Or so I picked up from the story anyway.
ghostman123  +   1046d ago
I think the ending takes place RIGHT after the Baptism, after the universe branched into a Booker Universe and Comstock Universe and at that point you'd gone through with it and were in the Comstock Universe. From there you would become Comstock one way or another. So all "Bookers" in that Universe were merged into one single dimension, so drowning them all would erase any possible future of COmstock existing, but NOT erase the Booker who didn't go through with it. Problems solved.
KaBaW  +   1047d ago
Even though I shouldn't be, as I haven't played the game, yet..
I still don't understand anything that anyone is really talking about, lol.

Oh well, soon enough I will. :D
But, is this a 'it doesn't work' in a Mass Effect 3 way, or ina much better way?
Jormungandr  +   1047d ago
Ugh... the Mass Effect 3 ending worked perfectly fine. What happened was people jumped on the bandwagon of repeating inaccurate information and outright BS. The ending of ME3 was completely consistent with the game up to that point, even the so called "star child." To date no one has been able to point out a single inconsistency to me that I couldn't prove them wrong on with in-game in-universe data. They have tried... but they have always turned out to be repeating misinformation or to have ignored an explanation that's already given in-universe.

The best *valid* argument I've heard for the ME3 ending not being good is that it doesn't give good closure to the stories of the supporting cast. I happen to disagree with that, but it's not something I can prove wrong.

So I won't claim the ME3 ending was good... but there was *nothing* about it that didn't "work" except that there are too many really vocal morons who couldn't understand things even when they had already been spelled out to them over the course of the previous 3 games combined with too many morons who let the first set of morons do their thinking for them instead of doing it for themselves. Seriously, the extended cut didn't introduce *any* new material... just regurgitated info that was already in the games a second time.

And my guess is the author of this article is one of those first group of morons looking for a repeat performance.
Saryk  +   1047d ago
I said the same thing. But there are more idiots than artist!
aliengmr  +   1047d ago
Choosing to ignore evidence or arguments isn't the same as there not being any.
Imalwaysright  +   1047d ago
"the Mass Effect 3 ending worked perfectly fine" Stopped reading there. Mass Effect ending rendered more than 100 hours and € 230 useless. 1st none of our choices mattered and 2nd we don't get closure. Mass Effect ending is far from being fine.
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KaBaW  +   1047d ago
@Jormungandr -
I should have been more clear.. I didn't have a problem with ME3 ending.
Sure, it could have been a whole lot better, but it didn't piss me off.
I was just asking from the articles point of view, that it doesn't work.
So many people, like you said, said ME3 ending was terrible and such.
So, just from that perspective is what my question was meaning.
If it didn't make sense in an opinion way or is it just out of whack.

Cause some endings.. really just honestly make no sense what so ever.
ME3's ending was one that, obviously, is just an opinion.
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aliengmr  +   1047d ago
Nah, actual thought was put into the Bioshock ending.

As opposed to slapping together random CG clips.
KaBaW  +   1047d ago
Alright, great. That's always good. I like odd endings that make ya think.

O.O Thanks!
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anderssc  +   1047d ago
Can't help but feel that the entirety of this convoluted "I got ya" moment is nothing more then a clever story device. From the implementation and the arc of the story one could surmise that the idea of "tricking" the player was the goal, the rest was just a simple way of "clothing" this. I really like the premise behind the ending, but feel that having "controlled omnipotence" is a cheap cop out that seems highly unrealistic. Perhaps I am just thinking too much into it but like time travel, alternate universes often feel contrived because in reality nobody knows if such things could exist.

Even if it were possible nobody knows what the consequences would be, example; if the coin flipping scenario would always turn to heads, then that takes away the idea of chaos theory in which one small thing could change a larger thing and so on and so forth, which would leave us with a sub-predeterministic reality, in which we have choices of what to do with the hand we are given, but not a choice of the hand you are dealt, which feels woefully inadequate and untrue if higher mathematics and philosophy are taken into account.
Again I may be rambling but insoasfar as the "time travel" story hook, nobody truly knows what would happen if you went back in time to kill your grandfather.

If nobody knows the outcome of a concept, does it not seem like a poor story choice to choose "time travel", or "alternate realities" and just shoehorn whatever literary theme you wanted into it?
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Saryk  +   1047d ago
In theory, if you went back in time to kill your grandfather, you would only kill someone who looked like your grandfather, but wouldn't be your grandfather. Why, because the event of you being there has already happened and cannot be changed. The person you just killed would be another dimensional grandfather.

This will blow you mind!

This too
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rataranian  +   1047d ago
It's a franchise game. It will never have an ending.
ironcreed  +   1047d ago
Infinite sequels and DLC.
Chuk5  +   1047d ago
Ok I have one question about the ending


If Elizabeth's deformity is reliant on Booker going back in time to try and save her, how does time elapse so that she's grown up in Columbia? If Comstock Booker was aware of false sheppard booker coming after Elizabeth (As he tells booker to explain Elizabeth's finger to her) that means booker's reality travel and interference has to happen, right?

I just can't figure out how time goes on so that he meets Elizabeth as a 19-year old in columbia, if he tries to interfere when she was a baby.
detectiveken  +   1047d ago
What? They time travelled CONSTANTLY.

And all the events leading until old Elizabeth's interference was by the whims of the Lutece's. It was only after they "died" that Booker was brought trough time and space to Columbia.
cyphon46  +   1046d ago
here's a theory, (please understand i do not defend or fully believe this in any way so don't get irate). so, if rapture was just one of many variable cities, controlled by a mad man, with an evil half human half machine, that's overcome by an unsuspecting hero, adn this all controlling mad man was just another veriable of comstock and therefore booker, then if Booker was killed therefore ending the cycle of heroes turned mad men that create physics defying cities then surely this was Bethesda's (slightly lazy) way of ending the bioshock series? i don't know what i fully believe in any more after playing through infinite...

BUT! we don't know whether our Elizabeth dissapears like the others (because the game cuts out in some kind of soprano-like ending) suggesting that there was one variable that survived , meaning there could be other variables to explore <- just to get the ball rolling .
aliengmr  +   1046d ago
The game is about alternate timelines/dimensions and Rapture was just one. Rapture was only connected by virtue of existing as a dimension. Infinite was about the infinite dimensions that exist.

Its like saying 2 stories happened in different locations on the same continent. In one of them you are shown there is this continent in which things happen. In the other you are unaware of it. See what I'm getting at?

Bioshock: Infinite didn't end the universe just stopped Booker from becoming Comstock.
AK47OG  +   1045d ago
Pi is bigger than 3.1415 but smaller than 3.1416, so it is not infinite, even though the number of decimal numbers needed to represent it may well be. Like the Bioshock universe there are Variables and constants that contradict each other but are quite possible.
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