Todays article concerns the Bioshock franchise, in the form of a fan theory about the series. I would add a spoiler warning, but if you haven’t played these games and still decided to read this, you have no excuse, and only yourself to blame.
Not much to add to that, I feel, so let’s not waste any time and just get to it. Dave?
Dave: The theory is that Andrew Ryan and Booker Dewitt are the same person.
I see. And what do you offer as evidence supporting the theory?
Dave: A few things. In the ending to Infinite, Elizabeth explains the existence of the myriad of parallel worlds, and you visit a few over the course of the game, right?
Dave: And one of those places you visit is Rapture. The city from the first game! This, coupled with Elizabeth saying ”there’s always a lighthouse, always a man, always a city” suggests that Andrew Ryan is a parallel version of Comstock!
Is that it?
Dave: Pretty much.
Good. In that case, don’t you find it a bit strange that Andrew Ryan somehow is still alive and looking pretty good in the first game, considering he’s supposed to be 86 years old?
Dave: What do you mean?
Well, Booker Dewitt was born in 1874, and Andrew Ryan died in 1960. That means he should have been an octogenarian by the time of his death, not a man in his late 40’s or early 50’s.
This is also ignoring the fact that a simple google search would tell you that Andrew Ryan was born in 1911. Doesn’t that burst the theory, right there?
Dave: As a matter of fact, smartass, no it doesn’t. We’re dealing with a mutlitude of parallel worlds, all different in various ways. Perhaps in one of those, Booker Dewitt was born later, and became Andrew Ryan instead of Zachary Hale Comstock.
But… we know Andrew Ryans backstory! We know he wasn’t born as Booker Dewitt. Comstock came to be, because in one reality, Booker accepted his baptism, taking Comstock as his new name.
Andrew Ryan was born in the Russian Empire as Andrei Rayanovsky, and anglicanized his name when he moved to the US.
Dave: See? That’s a similarity between them! No matter the reality, he changes his name!
And that would maybe mean something, if the circumstances surrounding the change were similar, but they’re not! Booker changed his name to wash away his guilt over his actions as a soldier. Andrew changed his name to fit in better in his new country.
And that brings me to the crucial flaw with this theory. Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that it IS true. That in this reality, the person that would otherwise be born in 1874 in the US as Booker Dewitt is instead born in Russia as Andrei Rayanovsky in 1911. Instead of being a soldier, he became a businessman. Instead of changing his name to wash away his shame, he did it to further his business interests.
Instead of being a super right wing christian fanatic, he becomes an atheistic embodiment of objectivist capitalism. Instead of creating a theocratic confederacy in the sky, he made a city where the creative and brilliant would be free of ”parasites” who’d try to mooch off their success or hold them back in the name of social morals or religion.
Instead of wanting to eradicate the sinners of the world, he wants to be left alone at the bottom of the sea.
Let’s suppose that’s all true. At that point, what fucking difference does it make?!
Even if this theory was true, Ryan is so different to Comstock that calling them the same person is still idiotic! His backstory, personality, political stance, religious views, age and end goal are all radically different! They’re not the same person! They have nothing but the most barebone details in common!
Dave: Well, and their DNA.
Dave: Booker at one point uses a bathysphere. They are outright mentioned as being keyed to a specific genetic code, which is why Jack could use one in the first game. Booker can use one, because his DNA is identical to Andrew Ryan, because they’re the same person.
Ah, right. Only Andrew Ryan and his family could use the bathyspheres. I would say that’s a very good argument.
Dave: I knew it!
At least I would, if not for the fact that other people than Booker and Jack use the bathyspheres. The lockdown on the bathyspheres was only allowing Ryan and his closest allies to use them. Unfortunatly, the locks are mentioned as being so unreliable, they will accept anyone ”in the genetic ballpark” of the valid user. Siblings, parents, cousins, uncles… We’re just talking about a time difference of 70 or so years, with people mostly from the US. He could have had some nephew in this reality who was close friends with Ryan. It’s not impossible.
Dave: No, but very unlikely. It makes more sense if this theory is true.
Ok, that would mean the only real function of this theory is to explain why Booker could use a bathysphere. That is literally the only thing this theory would contribute. And the thing is, even without the possibility that one of his descendants was in Rapture (seeing as Booker Dewitt and Andrew Ryan have different colored eyes and hair, meaning they CANNOT HAVE THE SAME DNA) there’s another, pretty good explanation for why he can use them.
Dave: And that is?
I’ll give you a hint.
Or did you forget about Elizabeth, the girl who can take the space time continuum and twist it into a fucking balloon animal?!
Somehow, I can imagine a DNA lock is a fucking cakewalk for someone who can transfer people through time and space at a fucking whim!
So congratulations, Dave. The theory is stupid, the arguments don’t work, it wouldn’t affect anything of any importance even if it was true, and the only problem it might solve is a complete non-issue anyway.
You’ve somehow managed to be stupid on four different levels. That’s a new record, isn’t it?
Now, go away, would you kindly?
Dave: That’s not gonna work on me.
Alright, I’ll rephrase it: Fuck off or I’ll set you on fire.
Dave: That works.