to access exclusive content, comment on articles, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join now!

Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Your comments on our articles.

Total spoiler alert: but nothing explained within

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.... read more

Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby OXM ETboy » 28 Mar 2013, 12:12

I haven't finished this yet and will thus not be reading/modding ANYTHING YOU POST for the moment. So keep it clean, ladies and gents.
User avatar
OXM ETboy
OXM Staff
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: 09 Mar 2011, 18:07

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby Metalrodent » 28 Mar 2013, 12:18

get the feeling ths article has spoilers in....... ok I'll hold off reading it for a few years
Image
Hey you, yes you! Feel free to check out my blog
User avatar
Metalrodent 67
 
Posts: 4196
Joined: 20 Nov 2012, 15:22

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby annonashera » 28 Mar 2013, 15:23

Your title is misleading and the article reads like a list of baseless complaints. The BioShock and BioShock infinite subreddits answer every question posted here.

With regards to Elizabeth and drowning booker you are missing some vital information. Elizabeth is special, as the audio log explains, because being in two universes from her pinky. That is what gives her her power. You can think of parallel universes as branches or parallel lines either way the drowning will make sense. Elizabeth takes booker to that splitting/descision point and explains when he says they'd been here before she says no this is new. We are then in the pre-Comstock set of universes and by drowning booker that would turn into Comstock she stops Comstock from ever existing as she explains. All the Elizabeth's then dissapear as Elizabeth as we know her is gone. However it leaves it open to interpretation about the last Elizabeth and if she do dissapears.

Elizabeth not drown a single instance of booker. She used her power to bind the universes together if parallel lines, or went back to the branching point.

With regards to the ghost it is Elizabeth bringing in another dimension, which they explain and the twins explain. It is a gameplay boss, callback to BioShock, and it is a creation of both Elizabeth's perception and the truth (which the twins explain how hugely important perspective plays in quantum physics. A good example is the The "observer effect" in quantum mechanics.) Hence why when Elizabeth's perspectives and understanding changes so does the ghost.

With regards to searching for guns they stumble upon those tears by chance (or actually more likely they were set up specifically by the twins or elderly Elizabeth )to attempt for the 122nd time create the course of action to end the infinite loop. They don't originally plan on that but they are going is logical from their characters viewpoints and goals and motivations. It serves to further set up later ideas, like the nosebleeds and confusion. They aren't like "let's go search in a bunch of universes for guns". From their perspective they notice the tears are different and take logical guesses to think this next universe will get them where they need. They are surprised and unsure of where to go, and seem confused themselves about what to do now and if they're original goal of getting guns is becoming obsolete.

You are missing a great deal of information, and are also vastly underestimating Elizabeth's unlocked power.

Play the game, read the subreddits, and review all the audio logs before you post that "the ending doesn't work". That is simply ignorant of the complicated details in a BioShock story.
annonashera 3
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 15:02

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby annonashera » 28 Mar 2013, 15:45

It is also worth noting booker is a somewhat unreliable narrarator as his memories changed and he is confused. Remember Chen Li and seeing his gun machines that weren't there. So that kinda makes us ask other detailed questions about certain things.

Sorry for typos and double post typing on a tablet and it won't let me edit post more.
annonashera 3
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 15:02

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby Michael Kyle » 28 Mar 2013, 15:59

If you want a proper explanation that answers all these questions then I suggest you read this: http://michaelthekyle.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... nding.html
Michael Kyle 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 15:57

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby OXM Log » 28 Mar 2013, 16:02

Fair comment. It is complaining. But I don't buy that we're to blame for mis-, under-, mal-appreciating the Bioshock Infinite that we loved, because we haven't read subreddits. I don't mind bonus stuff being hidden in Voxophones (I was playing fairly slowly, and still missed half of them). But stuff that's essential to understanding a massive reveal, and an audacious plot, should not be left on a bench in an off-piste garden.

annonashera wrote:With regards to Elizabeth and drowning booker you are missing some vital information. Elizabeth is special, as the audio log explains, because being in two universes from her pinky.


This just takes me back to the initial feeling, that it was supposed to be a story about two dimensions, not Infinite. I wonder if that really was one of the original plans for the story?

annonashera wrote:You can think of parallel universes as branches or parallel lines.


The baptism was a branching moment. The many-universes interpretation of quantum theory on which this seems to be based talks of branching universes, not parallel. I don't get how parallel universes exist in this fiction.

annonashera wrote:Elizabeth takes booker to that splitting/descision point and explains when he says they'd been here before she says no this is new. We are them in the Comstock set of universes and by drowning booker that would turn into Comstock she stops Comstock from ever existing as she explains. All the Elizabeth's then dissapear as Elizabeth as we know her is gone. However it leaves it open to interpretation about the last Elizabeth and if she do dissapears.


This is interesting: I hadn't thought of sets of universes. A Comstock set, a Booker set, based on the baptism, and actions Elizabeth takes can be limited to discrete sets based on her location in the timeline? Is that what you're saying? I like that thought. I don't get it, but I like it. I'm going to think it a bit.

annonashera wrote:With regards to the ghost it is Elizabeth bringing in another dimension, which they explain and the twins explain. It is a gameplay boss, callback to BioShock, and it is a creation of both Elizabeth's perception and the truth (which the twins explain how hugely important perspective plays in. Ex. The observer effect in quantum mechanics.) Hence why when Elizabeth's perspectives and understanding changes so does the ghost.


The observer effect in quantum mechanics is nothing to do with human perception. If I understand it correctly, it is to do with the collision of a photon - the very thing that renders a phenomenon observable, affecting the outcome of experiments on the quantum scale. Sci-fi that makes human emotion the most important thing in the world is a real bugbear for me. To make an analogy leap, it's the same odd notion that makes people deny evolution, because dogs can't write poetry. It's Steven Moffat saying the love of a father can kill the Cybermen - something that implicitly suggests that all the other fathers who died just didn't love their kids as much as James Corden.

I guess that aversion might a blind spot for me. I will read up more on the ghost in these subreddits, but I suspect it will all read as foggily to me as your explanation, above. Like I said: my blind spot, my problem.

annonashera wrote:They don't originally plan on that but they are going where it makes sense to go. It serves to further set up later ideas, like the nosebleeds and confusion. They aren't like "let's go search in a bunch of universes for guns". From their perspective they notice the tears are different and take logical guesses to think this universe will get them where they need.


You're being extremely forgiving, here. The fact it wasn't part of the original plan made this even more suspicious. The act of stepping into another universe is as extreme as BioShock nameless-man finding a massive syringe and injecting himself with electricity. While I agree it's necessary to introduce the plot elements, I can't buy the ease with which they decide to step through, without even considering the consequences. Had there been extreme peril that forced them through, I'd have been on team. But to move some guns?

annonashera wrote:You are missing a great deal of information, and are also vastly underestimating Elizabeth's unlocked power.


And who's fault is that? *Squints erotically at the towering genius of Levine*
OXM Log
OXM Staff
 
Posts: 171
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 14:51
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby OXM Log » 28 Mar 2013, 16:04

annonashera wrote:It is also worth noting booker is a somewhat unreliable narrarator as his memories changed and he is confused. Remember Chen Li and seeing his gun machines that weren't there. So that kinda makes us ask other detailed questions about certain things.

Sorry for typos and double post typing on a tablet and it won't let me edit post more.


No, thanks! You're making me think more, and that is the absolute pleasure of this game. One complaining article might lead to unfair conclusions about my overall opinion. I LOVED this game. In the Sea of Doors, I was walking so slowly, not wanting it to end. Damn, I could have been led around these worlds by Elizabeth for another ten hours.
OXM Log
OXM Staff
 
Posts: 171
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 14:51
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby OXM Log » 28 Mar 2013, 16:11

Michael Kyle wrote:If you want a proper explanation that answers all these questions then I suggest you read this: http://michaelthekyle.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... nding.html


Oh boy. This is working for me. Can you wait a while, as my brain shuffles itself?

Edit, to avoid quad-post. Yes. I'm buying this, and have messaged Michael Kyle to thank his for his eloquence

Double-edit: I'm still a little worried that taking a Booker that has already made the decision back to the place where he originally made that decision is symbolic more than sci-fientific... unless... he has superimposed onto that Booker?

God, this is brilliant. I love this.
OXM Log
OXM Staff
 
Posts: 171
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 14:51
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby tonesnotes » 28 Mar 2013, 17:16

About Elizabeth's powers being the result of leaving her pinky tip behind in another universe...

Please? That's so lame. Everyone sheds skin cells all day long.

The game doesn't make sense. There is no grand-unifying world/universe view that it all fits into NEATLY.

Face it, the designers/artists used a broad brush and weren't sticklers for logical consistency. If they thought something would be cool they did it. When they wanted to convey some concept, they did so with artistic license. There's no way to see infinite universes simultaneously on our little computer screens - so we get a bunch of similar lighthouses and connecting paths that materialize as we choose to move in one direction over an other. Its cool. It conveys the idea. I have no problem accepting it in a game.

I was rather hugely disappointed by how they chose to finish off the character I'd invested the better part of twelve hours of my life into. Give me Kirk's "I don't believe in a no win scenario" approach to life over this pathetic resolution any day.

On the one hand Elizabeth has mind blowing, universe altering powers. But the best she and her "savior/father/boyfriend" can accomplish is to erase themselves? Please. Go back to the drawing board and find a world view that's worth living by.
tonesnotes 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 17:01

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby anusfluff » 28 Mar 2013, 19:51

This just takes me back to the initial feeling, that it was supposed to be a story about two dimensions, not Infinite. I wonder if that really was one of the original plans for the story?[/quote]

-I'm afraid the title says it all. "Infinite". The game focuses on a limited number of universes as to not overwhelm the player until the main story on Columbia is over then it has room to expand into the infinite number of universes.

Also, I believe the implication is the BAPTISM OF DEATH happens in every universe, shown by the other Booker and Elizabeth running into the lighthouse. The ending does not mean everything is solved, only what happens in the universe in which play Booker is solved. There are an infinite number of universes, there are an infinite number of Booker's, and I wager an infinite number of Elizabeth's as demonstrated by the fact several of them pop up to dunk Booker. Its a very pessimistic ending but one of the best video gaming endings I have ever come across.

P.s I don't know how to quote on this site so it be looking weird.
anusfluff 2
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 19:27

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby annonashera » 28 Mar 2013, 20:43

tonesnotes wrote:
I was rather hugely disappointed by how they chose to finish off the character I'd invested the better part of twelve hours of my life into. Give me Kirk's "I don't believe in a no win scenario" approach to life over this pathetic resolution any day.

On the one hand Elizabeth has mind blowing, universe altering powers. But the best she and her "savior/father/boyfriend" can accomplish is to erase themselves? Please. Go back to the drawing board and find a world view that's worth living by.


He is her father, not her boyfriend, that's kinda gross. :p He is NOT her savior, since he is Comstock, and Booker the two men who used her, abandoned her, sold her, and tortured her. I think you misunderstand the end, and you have to look at the big picture, like from an omniscient perspective. It isn't as sad as you think. They don't erase themselves, they stop Comstock from ever existing. Did you not watch the after credits movie? Booker and Anna are alive (although Anna may or may not be so similar to the Elizabeth we know and love.) It is somewhat sad, but its about redemption, and forgiveness.

There is masterful storytelling here. Booker doesn't believe in washing away sins, and tells Elizabeth there is no solution but to live with the things you've done wrong. The whole game shows the appeal of Comstock/religion because of forgiveness.
Irony is that Booker does atone for his sins in the end.

He thinks he is going "bring us the girl and wipe away the debt" when he goes to Columbia, however this isn't true, as his brain is creating these memories (as the male twin experienced when he says ,"I know, I lived it." However, in reality he is correct. By this final successful attempt to save Elizabeth, he ends up stopping himself from ever becoming Comstock (Comstock never existed) and he never sells Anna. He does redeem himself, and that a happy ending.

There are many layers and things going on here in terms of themes, irony, symbolism, etc. You just have to look really.
annonashera 3
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 15:02

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby annonashera » 28 Mar 2013, 21:00

OXM Log wrote:Fair comment. It is complaining. But I don't buy that we're to blame for mis-, under-, mal-appreciating the Bioshock Infinite that we loved, because we haven't read subreddits. I don't mind bonus stuff being hidden in Voxophones (I was playing fairly slowly, and still missed half of them). But stuff that's essential to understanding a massive reveal, and an audacious plot, should not be left on a bench in an off-piste garden.

:) I get what you mean but Irrational's philosophy is story through player discovery. Hence why the voxaphones are usually off the beaten path. I like the fact that it takes multiple playthroughs to get the whole thing, and that it treats you as a smart human being, not a dumb gamer.

OXM Log wrote:This just takes me back to the initial feeling, that it was supposed to be a story about two dimensions, not Infinite. I wonder if that really was one of the original plans for the story?


It is infinite, and it was in the plans considering "Will the circle be unbroken.." It is an infinite loop, as Elizabeth says she can see all the doors and all the universes/possible outcomes.

OXM Log wrote: This is interesting: I hadn't thought of sets of universes. A Comstock set, a Booker set, based on the baptism, and actions Elizabeth takes can be limited to discrete sets based on her location in the timeline? Is that what you're saying? I like that thought. I don't get it, but I like it. I'm going to think it a bit.


Set is probably the wrong word, I'm not physicist or expert writer. However, since Elizabeth can see/interact with all universes it makes sense she could tie them together or more likely FOLD them onto each other, as the universes fold in the game timeline once or twice. Essentially combining instead of splitting.

OXM Log wrote:The observer effect in quantum mechanics is nothing to do with human perception. If I understand it correctly, it is to do with the collision of a photon - the very thing that renders a phenomenon observable, affecting the outcome of experiments on the quantum scale. Sci-fi that makes human emotion the most important thing in the world is a real bugbear for me. To make an analogy leap, it's the same odd notion that makes people deny evolution, because dogs can't write poetry. It's Steven Moffat saying the love of a father can kill the Cybermen - something that implicitly suggests that all the other fathers who died just didn't love their kids as much as James Corden.


The idea of the observer is ALL about human perception. If they don't look it acts as a wave, if they do it is a particle. Human perception IS reality around us, according to some quantum theorists. We influence the world around us, and our perspective MAKES it so. The observer is addressing the question of the tree falling in the forest, and addressing the question consciousness and reality.

OXM Log wrote:You're being extremely forgiving, here. The fact it wasn't part of the original plan made this even more suspicious. The act of stepping into another universe is as extreme as BioShock nameless-man finding a massive syringe and injecting himself with electricity. While I agree it's necessary to introduce the plot elements, I can't buy the ease with which they decide to step through, without even considering the consequences. Had there been extreme peril that forced them through, I'd have been on team. But to move some guns?


I am probably being too forgiving, but I think they are just flying by the seat of their pants no? What should they have done instead? They needed the airship to escape. Elizabeth warns Booker there is no going back once they go, and they seemed hesitant to me but unsure?

OXM Log wrote:And who's fault is that? *Squints erotically at the towering genius of Levine*


You don't think ambiguity and complex plot lines are a good thing for video games? Levine doesn't treat us like children, expecting us to think and figure things out. They could have conveyed some things better I think particularly with Elizabeth's power's but no one likes NPC's spouting boring exposition, or scientific journals, or whatever. The fun thing about games like this is the discussion and the time people can put in learning things if they want to really know everything.

If this were a movie an ambiguous Christopher Nolan movie like Inception or Memento for example would people say the "ending doesn't work". Games are just a young medium, we aren't used to these sorts of narratives.
annonashera 3
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 15:02

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby David Delgado » 29 Mar 2013, 02:46

Perhaps Booker's death does make sense. Maybe, by some cause, the universes where comstock is created are destroyed when booker decides to kill comstock in his crib. The futeces probably had something to do with this, but im still trying to piece this together. Once Booker decides his death, which, again, is initiated by some cause in the story, all of comstock's universes are altered when Elizabeth kills booker. So, instead of the comstocks getting baptized and creating columbia, the comstocks are killed by Elizabeth who can travel between worlds. The bookers continue to exist because when he refuses baptism, elizabeth does not kill him. This is proven in the end when booker calls anna. So, the ending is happy, because booker will live with out comstock's interference. However, elizabeth is gone. Anna will take her place, and, although anna and elizabeth are the same people biologically, anna wont be anything like elzabeth because there would be no comstock or monument tower. I think the futeces devised a plan to alter the universes in this way, but im not sure how.
David Delgado 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Mar 2013, 02:34

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby Drew Henkels » 29 Mar 2013, 08:31

Why does a game need a puzzle and or confusing ending its a game as gamers we want to know what happens after playing how many hours not trying to guess at the end!
Drew Henkels 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Mar 2013, 08:28

Re: Why BioShock Infinite's ending doesn't work

Postby josh b 1012 » 29 Mar 2013, 11:55

Surely going back to the moment where Comstock was born, with the knowledge that Booker himself is Comstock, negates the need for Booker to die. All he needs to do is NOT become Comstock . Maybe I'm over simplifying it. On the plus side it certainly has inspired an interesting debate. :)
josh b 1012 12
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 30 Jun 2010, 21:48
Location: United Kingdom

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

The forum teamDelete all forum cookiesAll times are UTC [ DST ]