The ending to BioShock Infinite rocked the video game landscape unlike any game that has come before it. The last 20-minutes of the story leaves an impression on you that won’t be satiated until you confirm your thoughts with the those of other deep thinking gamers. In this day and age this process of discovery is as simple as turning to your favorite search engine and typing in a few keywords that may lead you to the information you seek.
I found myself doing exactly this within moments of watching the after credits scene at the conclusion of BioShock Infinite. I didn’t do so because I’m too unintelligent to figure out the inner workings of multiverse theory on my own, but rather to enhance my understanding and confirm it with the thoughts of other creative outside-the-box type of individuals. Throughout my search I found many common threads that echoed each other, which not only speaks to how well the game is written and resolved, but that the ending we all see is in fact being interpreted identically amongst fans, which usually can’t be said about any entertainment medium that throws the scientific theory kitchen sink at you.
I’ve already done the research for you, so I thought I’d share the fruits of my labor by compiling some of the better explanations of the BioShock Infinite ending that I came across. Like me I’ll think you’ll see the similarities between all of these synopsis pieces, and I think they’ll help to clearly spell out the science of Infinite, and why the game had to end the way it did.
DO NOT PROCEED PAST THIS LINE OF TEXT UNLESS YOU WANT TO SPOIL THE HELL OUT OF THE ENDING!
MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED TWICE! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Before I list the resources that you should read to deepen your understanding of BioShock Infinite’s multiverse I want to list a few key concepts to focus on. I more or less had the ending satisfactorily figured out before I went in search of confirmation from the Internet, but I found each of the resources below to further enlighten my grasp on the mind twisting concept of the BioShock multiverse.
The following themes turn up in all of the listed posts.
– To fully understand the game’s intricate tale of manipulating the space and time continuum you must recover as many voxophones as possible. They offer some great nuggets of information that you will miss if you don’t find them, and they all elaborate on exactly what is taking place in the game. - Study the core concept of multiverse theory. This theory basically states that there are parallel universes that can exist that will be full of constants and variables. Essentially we can exist in an infinite number of realities that will each play out differently depending on the choices we make in each reality. Deep shit. I know, but just trust the concept and it’ll make the ending to BioShock Infinite seem even clearer.
Elizabeth/Anna has the ability to interact with every multiverse through portals known as tears
– Decisions effect these realities severely and spawn additional constants and variables. Let’s say in one dimension I decide to not eat cereal for breakfast, and as a result I run over my neighbor because I left 5 minutes earlier than I usually do. Take the same example and apply it to another one of my realities, but this time I do eat the cereal, so my neighbor doesn’t die, which allows him to one day become the President who finally accomplishes world peace. See what I mean about the power of choice and how it can effect these various parallel universes?
– Pay close attention to the Lutece character(s). They are the key to everything that takes place in the game BioShock Infinite. An argument can be made that they both caused the tragic events in the game, while at the same time they used their mastery of quantum physics to fix their errors. Their existence explains how multiple versions of the same person can exist, and how in one universe the variable of a constant can be slightly altered to create the illusion of a new being. The Luteces are in fact the same person. In one universe this person (constants) just so happens to be a female (variables), while in another this person is a male.
Same person from different realities now existing in the same reality
This makes the revelation at the very end of the game seem more logical than it may have the first time you saw it. Booker and Comstock are indeed the same person that exist in different universes. A fateful decision (the Wounded Knee baptism) in the life of Booker DeWitt spawned the Comstock character who goes on to do terrible things. In one reality he shuns the baptism, which results in the Booker we control in the game. In the other reality he accepts salvation and changed his persona to reflect his rebirth, and therefore Zachary Comstock was born (DeWitt changed his name). Remember what I said about choices?
Make sure to also pay attention to the quote displayed at the beginning of the game. It helps to explain why Booker doesn’t know what the hell is going on.
– During the final moments Elizabeth/Anna says a line that ties Booker’s BioShock to that of an infinite amount of other BioShock tales occurring in the multiverse. She says, “There’s always a light-house, there’s always a man, there’s always a city”. If you apply that statement to what you know about BioShock 1 then you’ll understand how these games are related, and why the title is BioShock Infinite.
There truly is an infinite amount of BioShocks happening where a man uses a lighthouse to enter a dystopian city, and ultimately destroys the evil from it. This statement essentially proves that Jack, Booker, Andrew Ryan, and Comstock are all in fact the same person who each play out their roles differently in the infinite amount of universes that they exist in. I know. My brain hurst a little too, but isn’t everything starting to make sense now?
– Keep Looper’s ending in mind and apply it to the ending of Infinite. Loops eventually need to be closed ;)
Alright now for the full gamut of resources to pour over to help make BioShock Infinite’s ending make more sense if it did not in the first place.
Best full explanation of the BioShock Infinite universe and its ending
I found this post to be the best overall summary of what exactly went down in this game. The author formed very clear thoughts and spells everything out in an easy to follow manner. If you’re looking for the best and most succinct theory, this is the article to read. Shaun does a great job breaking down the multiverse concept, the power of decisions, and the role the Luteces play in Infinite. Remember, they are the key to everything. Honestly, they should be on the game’s box art when you really process things!
Best explanation of how BioShock Infinite relates to the original
I found this post to be the best at explaining the parallels between Infinite and the original game. The author even breaks out logic reasoning using an IF/THEN statement to prove that the characters in each game are actually the same but in different realities.
Best explanation of multiverse theory, quantum physics, string theory, and all sorts of deep scientific jargon
The creator of this video is a game developer, professor, and psychologist, which means he’s probably really freaking intelligent. Throughout the video he states facts about the science Ken Levine used in Infinite, and how in theory it is sound. He’s pretty intense, so watch out. He still provides some solid insights into the science of Infinite, so I found it to be a worthy addition to this guide.
His second video expands upon the topics he brings up in the first.
Best of the rest
These remaining posts are all similar in nature in how they explain BioShock Infinite’s ending, so if you need further evidence to convince yourself of what really happened, I suggest checking these sites out as well.
There you have it geeks! I hope through reading, and/or watching the material above you too can fully understand just how perfect the ending to BioShock Infinite is. Through a little intense science it does indeed tie up the events of the game into a pretty little bow, and depending on your interpretation of the final scene, it is a happy one.
Please feel free to leave your own opinions on the subject using the comment section below,and don’t forget to check out my full review of the game. You’ve been truly enlightened by a video game…
[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”