Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:11am
[Spoilers] 2 Reasons why the ending was bad
Sorry if this adds to a pile of threads complaining about the ending. Let me preface this by saying I love the first Bioshock and I really enjoyed this game up until the ending which left me in a kind of dazed funk (but not in a good way). But I feel it will be good to get this off my chest. Warning: long post.

1. The ending dazzles you with talk about infinite branching realities, but then goes on to ignore the most basic paradox of time travel--that changing the past would alter the future in a way that would not lead to you going back to change the past. The way that time travel is generally seen as possible (at least in sci fi) is that travel back to alternate pasts is possible--thereby creating a new branching timeline. This fits with the general series of events in the game. However if that held true for the ending, the Elizabeths would have killed Booker/Comstock and created a new timeline where Comstock did not arise--but they would have remained. They would not/could not have eliminated him in a way that would have prevented their own existence.

I saw no mechanism in any of the discussions in the game for how Elizabeth(s) could have transcended this paradox. And it really flies in the face of there being infinite variations of this scenario.

2. Having played it all the way through, the game really boils down to a narrative of child abuse. When you first encounter Elizabeth, she has been held in near solitary confinement for years by Comstock. You rescue her and lead her through multiple violent encounters while you lie to her about your motives (which is essentially human trafficking). ♥♥♥♥ happens, you grow closer to her and try to help--but then she is taken away and subjected to a lifetime of torture and brainwashing until you encounter her as an old woman, razing 1980s New York city with....zeppelins. But she sends you back in time to right things.

After rescuing young Elizabeth, you are not allowed to take her to Paris. When she asks you if "you really want to go through with this" the player is given no choice in the matter. Then Booker/Comstock is drowned and all the Elizabeths cease to exist. So the character you play is killed and the emotional driver of the storyline ceases to ever have existed. Imagine a great novel where, at the end, an omniscient narrator appears and says "oh, actually none of the events you read actually happened. The hopes and aspirations of the characters don't go anywhere because it turns out that none of them actually lived."

At some point, the developers got so enamoured with the idea of variables and constraints that they discarded the significance of the characters as moral agents and the pleasure the player feels for making a difference within the confines of the game world. Imagine in Bioshock if you had spared all the little sisters and then at the end they all drowned anyways, regardless of any actions you may have taken to save them. If I play this game again, I'm going to feel like a real ♥♥♥♥♥ when I interrupt Elizabeth's dance on the beach since that's one of the few moments of genuine happiness the character experiences.

But wait--there's the Schrodinger's baby cutscene after the credits. Possibly a reality where Booker doesn't give away Anna (who still would never become Elizabeth). Given that the child is actually there--YAY! WE ARE BACK TO SQUARE ONE. There is an infant in the hands of a morally compromised, debt-ridden, alcoholic single father. The is no reason to believe that Booker would somehow remember the events of the game narrative, which never actually occured. So it's entirely possible that he'll sell her off to the first pedophile that comes knocking. Or he'll drink himself to death, or whatever.

Bioshock Infinite is like a Greek tragedy where good people fall into ruin do to a chain of events that they don't understand and can't control. Except the story has no good people, only victims.
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Okihara Jones Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:16am 
Nihilism? Well, that's just, like... your opinion, man.
Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:23am 
Sure man. But not all opinions are created equal.
Choice is a narrative feature in the other Bioshock games. It's not in this one.
Sir_Rule Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:25am 
time paradoxes and abused child... yep, you're right. Completely uninteresting.
ImportedAlien Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:36am 
I really liked your explanation on the game. Even though the ending leaves alot of plot wholes, I still enjoy it. Alot of people have amazing ideas about the ending. It's not told through the story though. It's all ininsuated and thought up by the fans, not the game. I feel they executed it very well. Going to rapture, walking through multiple doors to see the multi timelines, and having multiple Elizabeths. I have to add it to my list of bad stuff I like.
熊猫 (蛮横的肌肉在身) Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:41am 
yes!thats wasnt what we want! we want elizabeth go paris with book and they married.full wish to change this end! this end is so sad!
Washing Machine Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:43am 
Originally posted by Okihara Jones:
Nihilism? Well, that's just, like... your opinion, man.
If this was youtube, I'd upvote your comment.
I myself found the plot really interesting, and yes, even the ending. I get where you're coming from, but to me, all this doesn't ruin anything.
Born 2 eat Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:44am 
So none of the choices you make throughout the game changes anything?

This calls for maped and detailed playthroughs to prove this point.

I'll get right on it ;)
Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:45am 
Thanks. I really loved this franchise and I was totally hooked on this one up until the end. I'm hoping that over time I'll like it better or that there DLC will add something but at the moment I feel really let down by how they resolved the story.
Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:47am 
"So none of the choices you make throughout the game changes anything?"

Anything related to the ultimate outcome. If I'm wrong about that I'd love to hear it.
thedragoonknight Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:48am 
In reply to the people who say they want Booker and Elizabeth to get married and move to Paris... have you beaten the game all the way through? Also in reply to the people saying the ending was sad... did you watch the after credits sequence?
Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:51am 
Originally posted by thedragoonknight:
In reply to the people who say they want Booker and Elizabeth to get married and move to Paris... have you beaten the game all the way through? Also in reply to the people saying the ending was sad... did you watch the after credits sequence?

You get that Anna is not Elizabeth. Elizabeth is gone. Period.
CulBlu Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:52am 
If you read "The man who folded himself", and then play this game again, the ending would be pretty sensable. As for elizabeth ending her own liniage by "stopping" (so to speak) Booker from being reborn into booker/comstock, It all connects solidly.

From what I gathered from the ending, elizabeth was drowning Booker not only in his reality, but in all alternate realities simitaneously. This included the reality where they went to paris right off the back, the reality where they never returned the weapons, the reality where booker stayed a marter, the reality where the never got the ship back, and so on and so forth.

Basically, Elizabeth ended all possibilities at that point in time when she came to the realization that the vox arn't the issue, nor is Columbia for that matter, but Booker. As Fitzgerald woudl say, she had to pull it up from da roots; and so she did.

All in all, drowning booker at all points in reality would effectively end that link in time and space since it would no longer continue to cycle indefinatly.
euryleia Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:54am 
In the first premise, you insisted that the rules given inside the game world is invalid and therefore, must obey the rules you set out. The rules you want the game to follow would invalidate the time travelling because it inevitable leads the logic down the paradox. That's a self-made problem.

Since you asked for proof on how could Liz "transcend this paradox" that you insisted having, I am just going to point out the one thing she did during the final scene that transcended anything we've seen since then: In one moment, she blinked you, her, and Bird, from the top of an airship, to the bottom of the sea, at will. She did not even struggle as she did at Chen Lin when she opened up an existing world. Here she blinked with ease to a brand new, never before discussed section of Infinite. That's trascendence.

* * *

In the second premise, I like your reading of child abuse. Certainly that's a recurring imagery, but you mistaken the smaller theme for the larger one. Child abuse is never about abusing children. It is about control. Pluck any study of parental psychiatric journal, and look up the subject of general abuse, and see for yourself the diagnostics.

You bemoaned the fact that you have no choice but to go to through the motion, instead of going to Paris. Booker (you) did want to go to Paris. Liz, at this point, wants to get to the bottom of things. She practically overules you---showing that you are, at this point, is just a mean to an end---something she said as you leave Finktown. Tragic to know that you are just a pawn.

* * *

Killing the main character, along with Liz, might sound exponentially devastating in a game, but for those reading books written before the Harry Potter generation, strong, valid characters die midway through a story is common and all okay. There's nothing to get hung up about. In fact, I don't get the gripe about the "emotional driver" being killed at the end of the story. For those who felt melancholic, that emotion means the writers did their job during the lead-up, bonding phase, and now the pay off is reaped in the detachment moment.

Your mentioning Greek tragedies at the end is a nice touch. Too bad I have no clue which classical text you had in mind when you talked about losing control (nicely dove-tail with premise 2, right?).
Espectro Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:57am 
Originally posted by CulBlu:
If you read "The man who folded himself", and then play this game again, the ending would be pretty sensable. As for elizabeth ending her own liniage by "stopping" (so to speak) Booker from being reborn into booker/comstock, It all connects solidly.

From what I gathered from the ending, elizabeth was drowning Booker not only in his reality, but in all alternate realities simitaneously. This included the reality where they went to paris right off the back, the reality where they never returned the weapons, the reality where booker stayed a marter, the reality where the never got the ship back, and so on and so forth.

Basically, Elizabeth ended all possibilities at that point in time when she came to the realization that the vox arn't the issue, nor is Columbia for that matter, but Booker. As Fitzgerald woudl say, she had to pull it up from da roots; and so she did.

All in all, drowning booker at all points in reality would effectively end that link in time and space since it would no longer continue to cycle indefinatly.

This type of paradox is a logical impossibility. It's been a staple for discussion for years and years. Now it's possible that the universe of the game doesn't follow these principles of logic. But if that's the case, Elizabeth killing Booker/Comstock doesn't necessarily mean that she or anything else will cease to exist in all timelines.
euryleia Apr 2, 2013 @ 11:02am 
But if that's the case, Elizabeth killing Booker/Comstock doesn't necessarily mean that she or anything else will cease to exist in all timelines.

We assume it did because many Liz showed up at the drown scene and then vanished.

And one thing: Logic or Logos is an art term. Multiverse is a scientific finding, which defies the logic we had up until then. Such is why logic on multiverse is yet fully developeed. "The Elegant Universe" tried cutting into this, but the author concedes that the math is still evolving---and that the only time we can fully prove/disprove string or multiverse, is when we can finally experience it and experiement with it at will.
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Date Posted: Apr 2, 2013 @ 10:11am
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