Why a good chunk of the game takes place in 1914.

posted 9 Jun 2013, 01:02 by Roonco Prime   [ updated 11 Jun 2013, 02:01 ]
I touched on this in my post regarding the timeline of events in Bioshock Infinite:
  1. First, cast your minds back to the Vox!Booker universe. He dies on July 14th, 1912 (as evidenced by his last Voxophone). But he's already a martyr by the time you arrive in this Columbia, with posters to his name as well as the well wishes of (all) the Vox Populi! Wouldn't that take quite a bit of time?
  2. Remember that gate guarding the path to Comstock House? What does it say to "Lady Comstock"? That she's awfully spry of someone who's been dead for 19 years. A Voxophone found in the same universe suggest she died on the night  of Jan 5th 1895. Of course, 1895+19=1914.
Here's why I think you "return" to a fourth Columbia after your visit to 1983:
  1. When we finally reach the top floor of Comstock's airship (after saving Elizabeth), take a look around as Elizabeth observes the scale model of Monument Tower. There are six plaques, depicting the events of the  game, with one discrepancy: the 5th shows Elizabeth killing Daisy Fitzroy in her second outfit, not her first! Yes, Rosalind states later on (in yet another Voxophone) that Comstock can only view the most likely outcome via the tears, not the actual outcome, but what if this WAS the actual outcome for this universe? That the native Elizabeth's clothes had been damaged/ bloodied before killing her?
  2. The first Voxophone (dated December 23, 1912) you find after rescuing Elizabeth is from Dr. Powell, the scientist assigned to "look after" her during her imprisonment (evidenced by the tears you find in 1983), detailing the procedure that will tame her. He is still around during the rescue attempt. I find it odd that Comstock would keep a man who has been unsuccessfully operating on the Lamb for the course of two years in his employ. On the other hand, you could make the argument that Comstock is a man of secrets and violence, and is arrogant enough to keep Powell around despite this.
Counter-arguments:

  1.  When you rescue her, Elizabeth mentions Booker's dream, implying this is the same one you've gone through the length of the game with. Granted the conversation we see beforehand does seem oddly casual, but don't you think "Hey, I had a frighteningly realistic dream of an enlarged New York being destroyed!" would be something that would be brought up anyway?
  2. I personally would not be surprised if Powell had recorded the Voxophone without having the Lamb to hand, possibly referring to the tools we first saw on Monument Island. We know that the tower in this world was destroyed somehow, so it seems fair that Comstock would keep his scientists working in the event of her recapture.
  3. Why do the Vox have weapons in this timeline? My theory is that this fourth universe is a copy of the first, where Chen Lin did not die. Either the Vox were able to accumulate significant resources within Booker's 5 month absence (assuming his arriving in Columbia on July 6th is a constant), or they had Chen arm them in advance.
Those are my thoughts. What really, really bothers me is that we never got to save OUR Elizabeth; we see her in the future! :(

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