The Half Elf wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 10:14:
I'm not sure if it was just me, but not sure if I somehow missed a huge part of the story or what in Bioshock Infinite, but the ending made no sense to me on how Booker was the father. And that being said i still need to finish Prey.
Let's see if I can do this quickly...
So... Realize you're dealing with parallel universes here. Lots of them.
So in one universe, Rosalind Lutece does research into quantum mechanics and discovers parallel universes. She reaches out into one universe where instead of being a woman, she was born a man. They learn to communicate with each other, and eventually meet up in the same world via a tear. Comstock uses their technology to peek into the future and into parallel realities (this is what racks his body with cancer and leaves him sterile). Wanting a child, he looks at parallel universes and finds an alternate version of himself, who has a daughter, and lots of gambling debts. He pays off Booker, takes the daughter, and as you see, the daughter's pinky is cut off as the tear closes. Because Elizabeth's body is occupying 2 universes at once she can create tears. Probably. They never make that explicit.
Edit: An important thing about tear jumping is that eventually your memory changes and kind of molds to the reality you've jumped to, leaving two memories of the same "timeline". When you have two memories of the same event, you get the nosebleed as one of them takes precedence over the other. But the important part to remember is that you *can* forget when you play with tears, timelines, and parallel universes.
So Booker/Comstock. In Booker's youth, he was accused of being part native american and having divided loyalties. So he was particularly bloody and ruthless against the native americans he fought with. He also participated in the Boxer rebellion. All this bloodshed and really, really vicious fighting left him guilt-ridden. And so he came to a point of decision. A priest offered to baptize him and cleanse him of his sins. Every decision point in every life in this game leads to multiple parallel universes. Eventually this branches out into infinity.
So there are 2 main branch bundles to the timeline at this point. In one, Booker rejects religion and stays Booker, becomes a gambling drunk, has a daughter, becomes a Pinkerton. (Or any number of variants on this story. But the important thing to remember is, in all of these parallel universes Booker rejects religion).
The other bundle of timelines, Booker accepts the baptism and religion and finds god and becomes an evangelical. He changes his name to Comstock. In one of the timelines of this branch bundle, he meets Lutece, uses her technology to build both Columbia and the ability to look into the future/past/parallel universes. Doing this however leaves him sterile and wracked with cancer. But he's had a premonition that his movement and his progeny will at least firebomb New York if not take over America/the world. So he uses the Lutece technology to find a timeline where he has a child. And so he peeks at the Booker timeline bundle where Booker has a daughter, and makes Booker a deal to trade the girl to wipe away the debt.
The Luteces eventually discover the New York firebombing thing, and I"m simplifying but agree to send Elizabeth back to her original timeline. So they go to that timeline and hire Booker, again in debt, to "Bring them the girl". So he's unwittingly going to go rescue his own daughter.
Eventually Elizabeth figures all of this out and realizes the only way to stop Comstock, *really* stop Comstock and all the parallel realities that lead to the NYC firebombing is to stop *all* the Comstocks. However, as soon as Booker is Baptized, an infinite number of parallel realities branch out from there involving Comstock.
Therefore, the only way to *stop* Comstock is to stop the baptism. But just stopping Booker from getting baptized in that one instance doesn't prevent Comstock. In an infinite number of realities, something happens and Booker becomes Comstock anyway. So the only solution is to go back through the timelines of the infinite parallel realities to the point where there *is* no Comstock, which is just prior to the baptism, and kill Booker.
This is why Elizabeth drowns him in the river. But as a side effect, if Booker dies, Elizabeth is never born. Which is why after he dies all the versions of her disappear.
I *think* that's the most plain that I can make this. I'm not even getting into all the reality-jumping that happens in the game and if Booker is corrupting Elizabeth (each jump takes you to a world that's more grim than the last as Bookers' cynicism rubs off on Elizabeth. She says the Tears are sort of a wish fulfillment so she's jumping to places that she has influence over), nor am I getting into some of the other fuzzy stuff. There's some bad writing here and a few gaps in the story, but hopefully that answers your questions.