Note: Due to the complex nature of Bioshock Infinite’s timeline, I delineate between Bookers based on which dystopia they come from. It gets a little confusing, so bear with me.
With Infinite’s latest DLC video circling teh internetz as I write this, I thought it might be prudent to discusses what I think and want out of the official return to Rapture. I’ll say here that “Clash in the Clouds” is a nice take on Horde mode, and really opens up possibilities for combat, but isn’t interesting beyond that point.
Beneath the lighthouse door
One of the major plot points of Infinite, and its namesake, was the concept of an infinitely spanning multiverse of realities. Elizabeth, existing in two separate and otherwise out of conjunction realities, can traverse any and all of them at will. In the ending cutscene of Infinite, Booker and Elizabeth visit Rapture, then leave so she can stop the temporal loop that is Zachariah Comstock. As I mentioned in my review of the base game, the after-credits scene reveals Elizabeth failed in her mission to close the loop, as there are still an infinite number of Bookers to live out the game again.
With the “Buried at Sea” DLC, players are ostensibly taken to yet another alternate reality, but with a twist. In the trailer, we see that Elizabeth is quite a bit older than her appearance in the base game, and this gives me an idea. Granted, the “it’s one of an infinite number of universes” argument stands, but I think I know where Irrational’s going with this one.
As “Buried at Sea” takes place while Rapture is still the utopia everyone hoped it would remain, in its reality Columbia never existed. Booker did however, and without the interference of the Lutece twins, he went down instead of up. Elizabeth, however, traveled to the Rapture reality with or without the Columbia Booker, and decided she liked the sea more than the sky. What she did with the Columbia Booker I’ll get to below, but for now, know that the journey Elizabeth took in Infinite is still very much in play.
The billion Bookers
Elizabeth exists initially in a world without Columbia, and through a very long winded scenario becomes intimately tied to it. One of a billion or so Bookers rescues her and learns how she gained her powers. A second of a billion Bookers never met the Luteces, was born several years after the one we play as in Infinite, and goes to work for Andrew Ryan.
Unbenounced to the Rapture Booker, Elizabeth and the Columbia Booker were partially responsible for Rapture’s creation. With her knowledge of Columbia and her reality spanning senses, Elizabeth assisted Andrew Ryan in sinking a city. Knowing the Infinite loop isn’t going to close, she decides to keep Booker with her, possibly turning him into the first Big Daddy, or some other fate we’ll learn of in due time.
Now situated in another utopian world, Elizabeth waits for the appearance of the Rapture Booker, with plans to use/rescue him from the fate she’s already foreseen and, in some reality, lived. From there, the story goes two ways. One, Elizabeth lost the Columbia Booker some time before and wants to keep the Rapture Booker from a similar end.
Behold the end of all things
The far more interesting direction, however, is thus: Elizabeth has become nihilistic and more than a little insane. Her mind is fractured attempting to compartmentalize an infinite number of answers to every possible scenario, and she’s seen one too many utopias end in mass slaughter. Instead of trying to save Booker or return him to a former state, she wants to destroy all the realities she can no longer tolerate. Stop me if you’ve seen Back to the Future and can already predict where I’m going with this. She’s kept the Columbia Booker alive for the express purpose of having two totally separate versions of him meet and tear a hole in reality so big that it can’t be closed.
This Omega Tear (my coinage) begins warping space and time beyond repair, eventually causing a fracture in causality that destroys the multiverse. When the “smoke” clears, nothing remains. Even the Luteces die, as there is no more “possibility space” remaining. All that is has become null.
But wait! There’s two parts of “Buried at Sea,” and we play as Elizabeth in the second. My prediction, then, is that a second Elizabeth, or even a massive number of them, learns of this rogue element in their ranks and they flock to Rapture to stop the end of all things. The problem is, the Elizabeth they face is far more powerful, having had years of being unfettered by the Siphon. The final boss of Part 2 is Elizabeth vs. Elizabeths, for the fate of all existence.
The billions of Bookers, of course, just get to watch and scratch their heads.