The BioShock series is arguably one of the best video game franchises of all time. The first-person shooter games not only include intense action and outstanding gameplay but also feature a convoluted narrative and an intriguing plot that few other FPS games have managed. Having such an interesting story that spans across all sets of the franchise and their respective DLC packs means that there are plenty of BioShock mysteries for fans to discover.
The fan theories from the BioShock games are easily some of the most complicated and well-thought-out in gaming. They range from trying to make sense of the confusing ending of BioShock Infinite to suggesting new ideas about how the protagonist and antagonists are intrinsically linked throughout all three titles. So if you are a huge fan of the franchise, read these conspiracy theories about BioShock and vote up the ones that are so brilliant, they might be right.
Numerous users over at Irrational Game’s forums believe that the ending of the series might mean Elizabeth and Booker have finally found peace. The brief post-credit screen shows Booker traveling over to a crib, with some thinking that this means the two are now able to live together peacefully as father and daughter. This would mean that both have managed to survive their apparent deaths at the end of BioShock Infinite and Burial At Sea.
The story throughout the Burial At Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite saw Elizabeth attempting to escape capture. However, YouTube user Noah Caldwell-Gervais explained that the plot implies that the protagonist went back to Rapture because she realized how she had used Sally in the same way that the men in the various parallel universes had abused her. This meant that she felt that she had a debt to pay to the young girl by returning to the location.
The first game in the series has a moment towards the end that sees the player kill the Rapture founder, Andrew Ryan. He is beaten to death by Jack, due to the manipulation of Fontaine. However, Redditor /u/Bigspartandaddy believes that this may have been a setup by Ryan to escape from Fontaine without his knowledge.
Although the only nearby Vita Chamber in his office is shown to be off when he is killed, BioShock does reveal that the player can respawn over quite vast distances using the chambers. This allows for the possibility that Ryan was revived outside of his office, meaning he could have run away without anyone noticing.
Before founding Columbia, Comstock/Booker did some pretty horrible things in the Battle of Wounded Knee. On that day in history, US soldiers massacred somewhere between 150 and 300 Native Americans on a reservation in South Dakota. Comstock/Booker bloodied his hands, and the two characters diverge based on their reaction to the prospect of being baptized afterward (Comstock accepts the baptism, Booker does not).
Comstock truly believes the baptism cleansed him of sin, and his redemption confirms his belief that God is a white supremacist. This experience leads him to set up the racist city of Columbia, as he thinks he is following God's plan by practicing segregation. In contrast to this, Booker rejects the baptism, takes responsibility for his actions at Wounded Knee, and is horrified by the bigotry he encounters in Columbia.
The ending of BioShock Infinite might be confusing to many players, but it does reveal some rather interesting information about protagonist Booker DeWitt. According to the end, the hero is numerous different people, thanks to the parallel universes that allow individuals to take various forms. He's even confirmed to be Comstock, the creator of Columbia.
Paul Tassi, a writer for Forbes, takes this new information from Infinite to theorize that Booker might also be Andrew Ryan from the first game. The evidence comes from the fact that he can use Ryan’s Bathysphere to escape Rapture - something that should not be possible unless they both share the same DNA and gene frequencies.
One fan theory that has some significant evidence is that the Rapture the player visits at the end of BioShock Infinite is not the same one that is the setting for the original BioShock. The primary way of deducing this is that even though many of the details between the two locations are the same, there are some small, but seemingly deliberate, differences between them. Celeste Monsour from Fandomania shares a detailed rundown of these changes between the two Raptures, suggesting that the Rapture Elizabeth and Booker travel to is a different parallel universe.
Redditor /u/Smartasm suggests that Elizabeth returned to Rapture during the events of Burial At Sea with the knowledge that she would die at the end. After all, she can see through different dimensions and would have known about this possible fate. Having allowed Booker, her only real friend, and love, to die to stop other evil characters from being created, she no longer has anything to live for. Combined with her inherent unhappiness due to the godlike powers that Elizabeth possesses, it leads her to march to her death to help the Little Sisters.
Elizabeth makes it clear that certain things are maintained throughout all of the various parallel universes. These include a man, a lighthouse, and a city. Some Reddit users believe that this could consist of the world of Dishonored into the BioShock universe. Dishonored has an isolated town that is going through severe upheaval, much like Rapture and Columbia. A protagonist is also a lone man fighting against an egomaniacal leader, and the last mission of the game takes place at a lighthouse. Coincidence? Hm...
One theory put forward by Redditor /u/Burnnoticelover is that you are killing the same enemies over and over again throughout the first game. This would account for the limited number of models used for splicers and why they all look very similar. The theory posits that these genetically mutated creatures have some of Andrew Ryan’s DNA frequencies implanted into them so that they can use the Vita Chambers. This stops them from permanently dying, allowing them to revive further away to fight you again.
According to NeoGAF user A-V-B, Songbird may be another mutated version of Booker DeWitt. The evidence for this theory is the difficulty of imprinting apparent machines onto others, as shown with the Big Daddies and Little Sisters. Songbird seems to have an incredibly strong relationship with Elizabeth and protects her at all costs. The only other person to have such a bond with her is Booker. It may even be possible for Fink to capture a Booker from another parallel universe.
Throughout BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth can create tears in reality and bring in items from other parallel universes. One of the ways this manifests itself is when she brings what she calls decoys of Booker into the world to distract enemies. TVsNoah of Reddit advances the idea that these aren't constructed decoys, but just different versions of Booker from other planets.
Grabbing real people would be more comfortable than mechanically created ones, and it would also add a deeper layer to Elizabeth. She is instinctively bringing in these Bookers to be killed in brutal ways because she subconsciously knows that they and Comstock are the same person.
While some fans have argued Booker is Songbird, one GameFAQs user believes Elizabeth's mechanical protector is created from a selection of her mother's characteristics. Late in the story, the ghost of Elizabeth's mother appears, and she's dead-set on killing the game's heroes. To explain this, Elizabeth says, "I brought back a version of you from a reality I built up in my head," implying the malicious ghost is a manifestation of Elizabeth's perception of her mother's resentment.
According to the theory, Songbird is a similar manifestation, and only it comes from the loving memories Elizabeth has of her mother. This explains why Songbird is fully committed to protecting Elizabeth, as well as why the creature seemingly has it out for Booker. If Booker and Lady Comstock are Elizabeth's parents, then the whole game can be seen as a massive custody battle.
One theory proposed by Redditor /u/JoeDaStudd advocates that the events of both BioShock and BioShock 2 are training simulations rather than real-life interactions. He argues that the apparent journey and choices made throughout the games are just illusions, methods that would be perfect for training a Big Daddy to choose to bond with a Little Sister. The simulations effectively manipulate the player into becoming a Big Daddy without there being any free will involved.
The podcast Abstract Nonsense suggests the little sisters are ancestors of the superheroes seen in The Incredibles. If the player achieves the excellent ending of Bioshock, they're rewarded with a scene showing the little sisters growing up, getting married, and living healthy lives above the ocean's surface. However, just because they look ordinary doesn't mean they are. At a young age, Adam slugs are implanted in the girls, giving them special abilities. While Jack can dispel the little sisters' mind control, there's no concrete evidence to prove they reverted into normal humans.
Since Bioshock took place in 1960, the escaped little sisters reach maturity in the '70s, the exact period when superpower use was first recorded in The Incredibles. Additionally, many of the heroes in The Incredibles feel constrained, as they are superhumans living among an unremarkable populous. This sentiment is shared by Andrew Ryan, who created Rapture to give gifted humans a place to explore their powers.
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