Bioshock Infinite:

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Of course the Luteces are fine. Their existence had nothing to do with Comstock. Now, whether they're still spread throughout the multiverse is a trickier matter, because we have no idea how god-mode Elizabeth interacts with their own powers. I'm guessing they're still universally transcendent, though, since it's more interesting that way.
3252 Fighteer12th Aug 2013 04:29:40 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
It would be rather interesting if Booker's act also undid their existence as multiverse-spanning entities. Of course, then you have a chicken-and-egg problem.
3253 TobiasDrake12th Aug 2013 04:59:12 PM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Their existence had everything to do with Comstock. Without him, Rosalind Lutece is just a physicist staring through a window at a brother she will never have the money to reach. Comstock's funding made it possible for Rosalind to reach Robert, and his murder of them is what turned them into the transcendent beings they are now. Simply put, the Luteces as we know them do not exist without Comstock.

That being said, the state of existence they're in transcends time and space; it's unlikely that any change to the timeline will have any impact on the Transcendent Lutece Twins. You could probably write them out of existence entirely and those two Luteces would still be there.
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3254 FOFD22nd Sep 2013 10:40:17 PM , Relationship Status: Heisenberg unreliable
Fall Maiden
So why did all of the alternate Elizabeths showed up at the tail end? What did this represent? Why did they gather? One Elizabeth recognized Booker as Comstock, and the other didn't, and the main Elizabeth just looked bored; one Elizabeth was covered in blood. Another had the design of the pre-release version of Elizabeth.

At the Sea of Doors, we saw another Booker and Elizabeth walking by. I assumed this was a metaphor for when the player started the game over again, and that Booker and Dewitt would be "destined" to go along this same path, over and over, kind of like Journey. But that can't be right, because Booker, supposedly, doesn't "make it" to the Sea of Doors the other 122 times. And the metaphor doesn't really work since the game's ending involves Booker being erased, so all of those "other" lighthouses can't really happen, at least not at that time. By the end, it's implied that the cycle is broken, so starting over as another Dewitt doesn't make sense. Bye-bye metaphor.

Did the Luteces ever pick up on how 'loopy' they were after the incident?

Anyway, I finished my first playthrough of Bioshock Infinite. The only thing that left me a little disappointed was the conflict with Songbird, or lack thereof, and the absence of Saltonstall and Charles from the trailer (unless there was a really long side mission I missed).

Anyway, I figured that the game was going to focus on the conflict between Booker and Songbird, but that got shot down the moment that Songbird reappeared and Elizabeth told Booker that she'd rather die then go back into a cage. I mean I was REALLY hoping for the chance to fight that giant metal bird. That was kind of a let-down.

edited 22nd Sep '13 10:49:45 PM by FOFD

Something wicked this way comes.
3255 TobiasDrake23rd Sep 2013 08:14:03 AM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Songbird was supposed to be a let-down. Like many things in Infinite, it's a deconstruction of player expectations. You can't beat Songbird. You're told this over and over and over again, and every player who hears that goes, "Yep, I'm going to be the epic badass taking down Songbird at the end." But you're not. Because you can't beat Songbird. Because there is no version of this story in which Booker fights Songbird and does not die. Because when they say you can't beat Songbird, they mean it. This is not just foreshadowing an epic moment by building up your greatest achievement. They're being completely sincere. You can't beat Songbird.

Personally, I probably would have driven home the point by throwing in an Unwinnable optional boss fight with Songbird, but I can respect their decision not to open the door to a myriad of PC players hacking the game to make the boss fight Winnable just so they can establish their superiority over the developers, and thoroughly missing the point of Songbird. At his core, Songbird is a punch right in the ego for players who've been waiting and waiting for their opportunity to shove their balls in his face and dance atop his grave as a crowning testament to how awesome they are. You are not awesome and your balls are going nowhere. You can't beat Songbird.

edited 23rd Sep '13 8:15:54 AM by TobiasDrake

There is no going back. We are the Collective. We are My Little Pony. Join us.
3256 TheHandle23rd Sep 2013 11:26:44 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
Whatever happened to the Lord British Postulate?
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
3257 TobiasDrake23rd Sep 2013 11:45:33 AM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
[up] It was adhered to by some of the other 122 Booker De Witts, with unenthusiastic results.

edited 23rd Sep '13 11:46:09 AM by TobiasDrake

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3258 FOFD23rd Sep 2013 12:07:22 PM , Relationship Status: Heisenberg unreliable
Fall Maiden
I'm not great at dissecting philosophical themes, but I disagree on the direction of the narrative and its conflicts.

I didn't draw the same insight from Songbird. I wrote it off as the developers biting off a little more then they could chew, and reducing Songbird's role in the plot due to budget and gameplay constraints. I don't disagree with the principle of a Player Punch, but if that was their purpose in creating Songbird, then it wasn't well-executed. Songbird's lessened presence felt like a gameplay concept that just wasn't meant to be. What really stuck out was how Songbird basically became a death-from-above homing laser at the tail end of the game in a sequence that was over-the-top, yet rushed at the same time.

But "demonstrating superiority over Songbird" isn't what I was after. What I was after was the moral conflict between Booker and Elizabeth - Elizabeth didn't want Booker to fight Songbird, because she still cared for Songbird somewhat. But Booker's got survivalist traits (obviously, if he's the main character of a Bioshock game), so the player would determine how the battle between her two protectors would play out, and the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth would change as a result. Irrational could have made this a very interesting crux for the player, but time travel, racism riots, and the unreliable narrator's past took precedence. They pretty much removed that part of the plot, because Elizabeth made her stance on being captured pretty clear to Booker the second time Songbird attacked them.

They could still have hammered in the point that Booker isn't supposed to defeat Songbird (evidenced by his previous 122 losses) simply through the fact that Booker and Songbird repeatedly come to blows, with Songbird never the worse for wear and Booker never being able to land a mortal wound. Then, at the end, you could have an unwinnable gameplay sequence or whatever. But the problem I have with that is that the whole premise leads up to Booker finally, supposedly, breaking the cycle of timeloops.

With that 'happier ending' in mind, it doesn't make sense to illustrate the futility of the player's choices when the player, technically, actually succeeds in making a difference. The Luteces were more than enough hidden symbolism to represent the seeming futility of the player's actions.

Compared to Hunting The Big Daddy/Sister, the Bioshock Infinite trailers featured a lot of content that just didn't appear to make the final game. The Big Sister fight in the trailer? That happened, different from how we expected, but it happened. Saltsonstall? I saw his wig hanging in Shanytown somewhere. I don't think we ever even saw the guy.

My headcanon explanation would be that the trailers were actually showing Booker and Elizabeth during two of Booker's previous failed attempts to rescue her. The trailer where Booker screams "NOOOO!!!" as Songbird landed on top of him definitely made it seem like Booker was dead, after all, Songbird was about to land on top of him. Scratch Booker 88. The next showed Booker jumping off a tower to save a fleeing Songbird and Elizabeth. Scratch Booker 89. The first trailer showed Elizabeth getting snatched by a Handyman, leaving Booker to plummet to his death. Now, this was just a demo trailer so it's not meant to be taken as canon, but nonetheless, scratch Booker 87.

edited 23rd Sep '13 12:20:52 PM by FOFD

Something wicked this way comes.
3259 TobiasDrake23rd Sep 2013 01:23:40 PM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
That wasn't Saltonstall's wig, that was his scalp. It's hanging on a board with the scalps of other key players of Columbia that the Vox have successfully killed in their revolution.

But as to Songbird, the point of Songbird being unbeatable wasn't to represent the futility of your choices. Other parts of the game were to represent that. The point of Songbird being unbeatable was to have Songbird be unbeatable. The reason for Elizabeth trying to stop Booker from fighting him wasn't about not wanting Songbird to die; she was trying to protect Booker, because if he fought Songbird, he would die. It should be fairly obvious that she wasn't trying to protect Songbird from the fact that, ultimately, she kills Songbird.

There are also plenty of confrontations with Songbird. There just isn't a boss fight. Every confrontation with Songbird is a one-sided mess. That's because fighting Songbird is a one-sided mess. It's not futility of choice here, it's futility of trying to fight Songbird. Having the player actually fight Songbird would just end the same way; a one-sided mess. He's an unbeatable rock, and no amount of guns and Vigors changes that.

edited 23rd Sep '13 1:24:22 PM by TobiasDrake

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3260 TheHandle23rd Sep 2013 01:26:20 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
The guy can destroy a building by himself...
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I just don't think Songbird had enough of a presence in the narrative to be effective. We didn't need to have a boss fight, but we needed more Songbird in terms of Elizabeth's relationship with him, how unbeatable he really is, and the like.
This is a well-written signature by the genius SilentColossus
3262 TobiasDrake23rd Sep 2013 03:03:21 PM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
I agree with that. I would have liked to feel more like Songbird is actively pursuing you, rather than having him just show up when called. He's clearly meant to be The Dreaded, but it's hard to dread someone who you know will just faff off and go back to making patrol routes as soon as he loses sight of you. I support the idea and narrative purpose behind Songbird, but I don't think he was implemented quite as well as he could have been.

edited 23rd Sep '13 3:04:24 PM by TobiasDrake

There is no going back. We are the Collective. We are My Little Pony. Join us.
3263 TheHandle23rd Sep 2013 03:52:52 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
United Earth
In the players' defense, beating the unbeatable (raw bro fight the powah) is such a common narrative trope that they could be forgiven for thinking it possible. When you've played Shadow Of Colossus, God of War, or Metal Gear Rising, having someone like Songbird be unbeatable sounds downright implausible.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
3264 VeryMelon23rd Sep 2013 05:06:45 PM from United States , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
I honestly thought he got used plenty. He trashes the Monument Island statue while chasing you out, he tries to attack you in the elevator, he trashes the First Lady airship almost as soon as you get it back, he detects you inside of some building (forget which one), he kidnaps Elizabeth, tries to attack you on the zeppelin shortly after Elizabeth figures out how to control him, helps you fight the Vox, destroys the Siphon, and dies in Rapture.
3265 FOFD24th Sep 2013 04:40:41 PM , Relationship Status: Heisenberg unreliable
Fall Maiden
[up][up][up][up] [up][up][up]

Didn't I pretty much say the same as Silent Colossus? I'm not talking about what Songbird represents. You were telling me what he was supposed to represent. I'm saying that they removed the conflict with Songbird and that took away from the character. He was a let-down. You're telling me that Songbird was supposed to be a let-down. It's not the same let-down as having a weak final boss. It's a let-down because a story detail/gameplay feature involving Songbird was dropped, which to me made him feel less important.


That's a few more times than I remember, I'll admit. Still, compare Songbird to the Big Daddies, the very things that Songbird was based off of. Compared to them, Songbird's presence in the world isn't as formidable or intriguing. There wasn't that much to learn about Songbird. The only things that really mattered in the end were A) Songbird's control device, and B) Elizabeth letting him die under the sea, which was rather cold if you ask me.


Saltonstall was still only referenced.

edited 24th Sep '13 5:07:39 PM by FOFD

Something wicked this way comes.
Why the heck would you play dlc before the base game?

The press releases around it are the spoiler, I meant.
3267 RocketDude26th Sep 2013 06:28:46 PM from AZ, United States
Face Time
The thing is, Songbird is a protector. His vindictiveness is mainly because he was trying to get Elizabeth back. Elizabeth simply managed to figure out how to get Songbird to follow her orders while still protecting her. Honestly, my reaction to him being re-programmed was "about damn time, at least he won't be after us."
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3268 odafangirl6th Oct 2013 04:36:11 PM from Land of Fun and Pain , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
I really like this amv and feel it deserves more views. Warning, spoils basically the whole game.

Despite my screen-name, ranting to you about One Piece is not my top priority.
3269 UltimatelySubjective9th Oct 2013 07:41:53 PM from Once, not long ago
Conceptually Frameworked
Well I finished the game in a day.

The gameplay was kind of annoying. At least I was usually less worried about running out of salts/eve than in previous games, but it would have been really nice to be able to stockpile some. You're really at the mercy of your environment.

I don't like the ending. I have two issues with it.

The last chapter was great.

But it seems to me what they ended up doing was killing Booker. The one who wouldn't become Cornstock. That seems pointless.

That, and this being a multiverse I have trouble believing he doesn't still exist out there somewhere.

Booker and Elizabeth sorted out the problem in their world, and their actions would have been reflected in countless other worlds. Is it really necessary to destroy other worlds for this purpose?

From a more philosophical standpoint, isn't it possible they actually erased the existence of millions of people rather than saving them? Maybe they didn't achieve much at all but they merely shuffled the infinite possibilities to the side like Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel.

It actually reminded me of the Chronicles of Amber, moving through worlds to find one that has what you need, as well as bringing what you need through from other worlds.

edited 9th Oct '13 7:43:31 PM by UltimatelySubjective

"Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes."
3270 nomuru2d9th Oct 2013 07:44:36 PM from Port Saint Lucie, FL , Relationship Status: Longing for Dulcinea
You missed the point of Booker's death.

The point behind it was that thanks to the power of Elizabeth, he was taken to the baptism, now knowing everything about what happens and how Comstock comes into being. With that understood, he dies before the baptism can happen, thus erasing all Comstocks (and by extension all Bookers pulled into Comstock-universes).

And it was more than one Booker and Elizabeth that did it. It was all the versions of Booker who went to Comstock-universes and rescued their Elizabeths. They were ultimately merged together thanks to the timeline shenanigans.

edited 9th Oct '13 7:45:48 PM by nomuru2d

Long live Cinematech.

3271 UltimatelySubjective9th Oct 2013 08:05:33 PM from Once, not long ago
Conceptually Frameworked
I don't follow. Killing Booker at that point wouldn't change anything.

Was that a past version of Booker? How exactly is Booker not differentiated from a version of himself 20 years younger? The Booker we've come to know is not Comstock, so not only is there a logistical issue there, there's also a narrative issue.

It wasn't made clear, particularly the merging.

Obviously I can see that a very young Booker dying would also erase Comstock, but the presentation of that moment was particularly poor so as to lead me to disagree with the conclusion and premise.

It's actually quite rushed. Maybe that's Booker's impulsiveness, but pacing aside I'd want more information and whether there are any third options.
"Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes."
3272 TobiasDrake9th Oct 2013 09:10:40 PM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
It was foreshadowed just fine. Every time they merged two timelines, the people in those timelines became themselves from both at once. We see Booker wrestling with the inbound mind of another Booker at one point, and we see plenty of people being utterly ravaged by absorbing dead versions of themselves into their being. By leaping through the rifts, Booker and Liz aren't just going to other timelines; they're fusing them together.

Going back in time to before the baptism caused both Past and Present Booker to be absorbed into each other. Because it was before the baptism, Comstock did not exist. Comstock was a possible outcome of Booker's actions from here. By killing Booker before he could take his baptism, Liz prevented there from ever being an outcome to the baptism. Any Booker in any timeline that chose the baptism was drowned by Liz's intervention into their branch of the timeline, and because no Booker ever survived the baptism, no Booker ever became Comstock, and Comstock never existed in any timeline, anywhere, ever.

The Luteces make a fuss about constants repeatedly throughout the game; some things have to happen in the timelines where they come up. No matter how many times Booker flips the coin, it ALWAYS comes up Heads. There is no timeline in which Booker comes to the coin flip and has it come up Tails. If he flips the coin, it will be Heads. This is a Constant. Liz introduced a Constant into the baptism.

edited 9th Oct '13 9:12:48 PM by TobiasDrake

There is no going back. We are the Collective. We are My Little Pony. Join us.
3273 UltimatelySubjective9th Oct 2013 09:27:07 PM from Once, not long ago
Conceptually Frameworked
[up] Did she really? What we saw was many Elizabeths drowning one Booker. Perhaps paradoxically. If I accept that alternate Bookers merge (right after we walk past alternate versions mind you and while we are surrounded by separate Elizabeths) it doesn't follow that past versions merge, 20 years of difference can't be irrelevant.

And even if I get past all of that, why did Elizabeth knowingly merge them? If that was the logical outcome, keep Booker away from the past to avoid pointlessly killing him along with Comstock.
"Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri, quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes."
3274 JimmyTMalice9th Oct 2013 11:08:20 PM from Ironforge , Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
I don't really see the point of erasing every possible version of Booker anyway. After all, they'd already killed Comstock and won.
"Steel wins battles. Gold wins wars."
3275 TobiasDrake9th Oct 2013 11:08:27 PM from Colorado, USA , Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
You're assuming that Elizabeth is bound by the same rules as everyone else. She doesn't. She's effectively a Physical God in this setting. That's why she can even do something like create a Constant in the first place. She could open rifts, merge worlds, restore life, pull supplies out of other dimensions to give to Booker, all this before her powers got supercharged. And we walk past alternate versions in a space that doesn't exist, outside of time at a sort of nexus of all things. The entire final sequence flickers back and forth in and out of reality.

And to answer your other question, he chose to go. It was his plan. He even said it outright: smother the son of a bitch in his crib and none of this happens. She wanted him to understand and to help him carry it out, and she didn't pointlessly kill him; Booker wakes up safe and sound in his own timeline, with baby Anna in the other room. Comstock never existed, Elizabeth never existed - God!Elizabeth may or may not exist, ditto the Luteces, because of their nature of being outside of time, but the fact that the Lizes plink out of existence one by one suggests they do not - and he gets to have his life back.

[up] In one timeline, they killed Comstock and won, but in many other timelines, Comstock prevailed. We even see a timeline where Comstock wins, and his plans for Liz involve waging war on all the other timelines after she's conquered her own. If Comstock prevails in any timeline - and with all possible timelines, that is a certainty - then all timelines are in danger from Super Evil God Liz. One Comstock in one timeline dead means nothing.

edited 9th Oct '13 11:10:43 PM by TobiasDrake

There is no going back. We are the Collective. We are My Little Pony. Join us.

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