Martyr of the
|Born||April 19, 1874|
|Arrived in Columbia||1912|
|Height||6 ft, 1 in|
|Appears in||BioShock Infinite|
|Voice Actor||Troy Baker|
- "One thing I've learned: if you don't draw first, you don't get to draw at all."
- ―Booker DeWitt, to Elizabeth
Booker DeWitt is the protagonist of BioShock Infinite, whom the player controls throughout the game. He is a private investigator and, prior to his reluctant arrival in Columbia, a former Pinkerton agent. Booker is offered a deal to wipe away his gambling debts if he goes to Columbia and retrieves a girl imprisoned there. Over the course of the story, Booker reveals his past experiences, and shows his ability to make decisions independent of the player. Unlike Jack and Subject Delta, Booker has his own persona rather than being a blank avatar for the player.
Booker DeWitt was born on April 19, 1874. At the age of sixteen, he was part of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. At one point during his service, his superior accused him of possessing Native American ancestry, ridiculing him in front of his comrades. To avoid the stigma brought by this rumor, Booker brutally massacred the Native Americans they fought, culminating in the Wounded Knee Massacre, where he scalped his victims and burned teepees with people still inside. Due to his gruesome actions, other members of his regiment, including Cornelius Slate, gave him the nickname "The White Injun," because of his habit of taking trophies from his victims.
Although he was seen as a hero to his men, Booker felt shame and regret for his part in the massacre. After the battle, fraught with guilt, Booker attended a river baptism led by Preacher Witting to be reborn a new man and absolve him of his past actions. However, Booker rejected his baptism before it could be completed, thinking that his sins could not be washed away by a "dunk in the river."
By 1892, when he was eighteen, his wife (or lover) had become pregnant with their child. However, she died while giving birth to their daughter, Anna DeWitt. Dealing with the scars of Wounded Knee and the stress of becoming a single father, Booker began to drink and gamble. He later became a Pinkerton Agent, tasked with breaking up union strike efforts, but was discharged due to his use of extreme methods on the job. Following his discharge from the agency, he became a private investigator, but his alcoholism and gambling addiction intensified.
By 1893, Booker met Robert Lutece, who offered him a deal on behalf of Father Comstock -- Comstock would wipe all of Booker's debts away in exchange for Anna. On October 8th, 1893, Booker sold Anna, but regretted his choice immediately, and pursued Robert. Booker finds him with Comstock and Anna in an alleyway, near a strange portal with a woman inside. Booker grabbed Comstock as the latter stepped through the portal, and tried to wrestle Anna from his grasp as Comstock ordered the portal shut. Comstock was able to shake Booker off, and the portal closed just as Anna reached out to Booker, severing her pinkie finger in the process. Overcome with regret, Booker fell even further into alcoholism and his gambling habits worsened. He closed the door in his rotting apartment to Anna's room, and eventually branded his hand with Anna's initials, "AD," so he'd never be able to forget his failure.
Nearly twenty years later, Booker re-encounters Robert Lutece, who offers him an opportunity to get Anna back; he must simply step through the portal that appears in his office. Traveling through the portal leaves Booker dazed and unable to consolidate his memories (a side-effect of traveling between realities) and he begins creating new, different memories from the old. When he has stabilized, Booker believes that he has been tasked with entering the floating city of Columbia to retrieve a girl named Elizabeth, thereby paying off his debts. With the demand, "Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt," still in his mind from twenty years ago, Booker remembers this phrase as the job description, rather than the deal he already made with Comstock. Robert and the woman from the portal, Rosalind, then take Booker to a rowboat, and discuss how Booker's altered memories confirm the man's theory about memory loss as related to trans-dimensional travel.
Booker awakens just as the boat arrives on a small island off the coast of Maine. The two give Booker his cavalry chest filled with information about the mission as they send him into a nearby lighthouse.
- "'Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt;' that was the deal. The details elude me now, but the details wouldn't change a goddamn thing."
- ―Booker DeWitt
On July 6th, 1912, Booker arrives in Columbia in a shuttle, which rises to the flying city from the lighthouse. Arriving in the Welcome Center, a shrine to Zachary Hale Comstock and his late wife, Lady Comstock, he finds that he must be baptized before being allowed to enter the city. When the baptizing priest becomes overzealous and Booker is knocked unconscious, he dreams of opening the door to his New York office to find the city burning around him.
Awaking outside the Welcome Center and shaking off the experience, Booker explores Columbia and its annual Raffle & Fair. Booker's main objective is to find the girl, Elizabeth, in her tower on Monument Island. During his travels, he is contacted and guided by Rosalind Lutece and her "twin" Robert, quantum physicists responsible for the flotation of Columbia and the trans-dimensional travel.
Booker discovers that Comstock is the leader of Columbia's political and religious parties, namely the Founders. He also learns that Comstock has warned the people of Columbia of the coming of a "False Shepherd," that will guide away the "Lamb of Columbia." The Shepherd, Comstock claims, can be identified by an AD branded on the back of his hand, as Booker has.
Booker eventually reaches the site of the Raffle, where he draws the winning number and is given the raffle prize: a chance to throw the first baseball to punish an interracial couple on stage, who will then be stoned to death by the crowd. Booker can choose to take the first throw, throw the baseball at the announcer, or refuse to throw at all. In every case, the brand on the back of his hand is revealed, and a Columbian police officer attempts to kill him with a Sky-Hook; Booker instead forces the man to kill one of his comrades and takes the Sky-Hook, catalyzing a city-wide manhunt for him. Fighting his way past the cops and defeating a Fireman who tries to burn him, he soon realizes that his task will not be easy.
Still intent on reaching Elizabeth and completing the job, Booker travels through a residential section of the city and the gathering place of the Fraternal Order of the Raven before boarding an airship owned by Comstock. Comstock berates Booker from a nearby ship, noting the man's many failures, and attempts to burn him alive inside the vessel. However, Booker manages to escape and reach the outer edge of Monument Island.
Booker enters Monument Island to discover a vast laboratory with an apartment at its center, where the girl has been imprisoned and observed there all her life. Through an observation room window, he sees Elizabeth tear through her painting of the Eiffel Tower onto an actual Paris street, circa 1983. Booker then accidentally falls through Elizabeth's ceiling into her library. She at first fears and attacks him, but is then relieved by his presence, likely due to the fact that she has never seen another human up close. Booker then helps Elizabeth escape her tower, but not before they are chased and attacked by a giant bird creature.
With Elizabeth intent on enjoying her freedom, Booker convinces her to come with him by saying that he will take her on The First Lady airship to Paris; his actual plan is to take her to New York and complete his job. Along the way, Elizabeth explains her ability to manipulate tears, saying they are windows to other realities. While Booker is initially shocked and somewhat fearful of the tears, he becomes more comfortable with them when it is revealed they can be used to his and Elizabeth's benefit in combat. Elizabeth is also inquisitive about Booker's life, asking him in Soldier's Field if "there [is] a woman in [his] life." Booker responds that his wife died during childbirth--when Elizabeth concludes that he has children, he corrects her, saying he does not.
The Hall of HeroesEdit
Upon reaching the rail line to the Aerodrome, Booker and Elizabeth find that it is closed down, and they will need to power it using some other electrical source. Traveling to the Hall of Heroes to find the Shock Jockey vigor, they come upon Booker's old war comrade, Cornelius Slate; disillusioned by Comstock's lies about his presence at Wounded Knee and his undercutting of true soldiers' efforts, Slate has taken over the Hall, and Booker and Elizabeth must fight their way inside to retrieve the Shock Jockey.
Inside, Slate reveals to Elizabeth that Booker was present at the Battle of Wounded Knee, and that unlike Comstock, Booker is a true soldier. Not wanting to remember or find glory in his regrettable past, Booker attempts to distance himself from Slate's comments, assuring Elizabeth that nothing Slate praises is truly good. They then battle their way through the Hall's exhibits on Wounded Knee and the Boxer Rebellion, with Slate sending teams of his soldiers after Booker so that they may "die a soldier's death."
When Booker finally confronts Slate, who himself holds the Shock Jockey vigor, the man asks that Booker kill him. If Booker chooses to spare Slate, the man raises against him, claiming Booker is nothing more than one of Comstock's "tin men." If Booker chooses to kill him, Slate happily remarks that Booker hasn't changed at all since their days in the army. This comment leaves Booker shaken, which Elizabeth notices and comments on.
When they take control of The First Lady, Elizabeth discovers Booker's plan to bring her to New York and begins to cry. Unsure what to do, Booker goes to comfort her, only to have her strike him with a wrench, knocking him unconscious. Elizabeth then leaves Booker and the ship to the Vox Populi, a Populist, anti-Founder movement headed by Daisy Fitzroy. Fitzroy offers to return control of the ship to Booker if he procures munitions from Finkton for their cause.
Booker finds Elizabeth on the docks at Fink Manufacturing (getting caught attempting to stow away on a supply blimp), only to have her flee, opening tears behind her to impede his advance. Her efforts draw the attention of Founder forces, whom Booker fights in order to rescue her. In the struggle, Booker is thrown from a building dock by a Handyman, and nearly falls to his death. However, he is saved when Elizabeth opens a tear, creating a cargo blimp to catch him. Booker immediately suggests a partnership, which Elizabeth initially rejects, calling him a "liar...and a thug." However, she soon admits that he is the only way for her to reach Paris, and agrees to accompany him despite her anger.
As they venture through Fink Manufacturing, Booker and Elizabeth realize that their tasks cannot be completed in their present reality, due to insurmountable obstacles -- the death of the gunsmith who was set to make the munitions, for instance. However, they find they can enter different realities in which these obstacles do not exist through use of the tears. Their travels through the tears eventually find them in a universe where the Vox Populi have begun their revolution, and Booker is a martyr of the Vox cause. Fitzroy, confused by Booker's presence, sends Vox soldiers after him, claiming that he is an imposter.
Along the way Booker discovers a signpost decorated with the scalps of various Founder figures. The Booker of this universe did not show remorse for his actions at Wounded Knee and was just as violent.
Booker and Elizabeth make it to Fitzroy just as she murders Jeremiah Fink, then turns on a nearby child. At her insistence, Booker boosts Elizabeth into a nearby vent, then distracts Fitzroy by criticizing her violent methods. As Fitzroy fanatically responds, saying that the children of the Founders must die for any gains to be made, Elizabeth stabs her in the back.
When Elizabeth, struck with horror at what she has done, flees to The First Lady, Booker attempts to comfort her before going to the ship controls. When Elizabeth emerges, in a new dress and with her hair cut, Booker notes that they have a choice to make: New York, or Paris. However, before a decision can be made, Songbird appears and takes down their ship.
After the ship's crash landing, Elizabeth and Booker emerge to find the Lutece twins, who reveal that a special flute can control Songbird. Booker and Elizabeth then set course for Comstock House. Along the way, they are nearly intercepted by Songbird, and just manage to hide. Afterward, Elizabeth makes a request of Booker: taking his hand and putting it on her neck, she asks him to promise that, "if it comes to it, you will not let him take me back." Upset by this request and refusing to accept the possibility of that happening, Booker presses Elizabeth for answers, wanting to know what happened to her in the tower. She doesn't say what will happen if Songbird takes her back, only noting that it is a fate akin to death.
Upon reaching Comstock House, the two discover that the gate can only be opened by someone with the appropriate fingerprints. Realizing that Lady Comstock is preserved in the nearby Memorial Gardens, Elizabeth takes off to procure her hand with Booker in pursuit.
Booker at first tries to talk Elizabeth down, attempting to draw on any familial love that Elizabeth might have for Lady Comstock. Elizabeth, however, feels only rage and betrayal, particularly after finding a diary by Lady Comstock which suggests she had Elizabeth locked in the tower. Booker eventually relents, saying that he will cut off Lady Comstock's hand to keep Elizabeth from having to do so. However, when he attempts to open the casket, Comstock springs a trap, siphoning away some of Elizabeth's power and using it to revive a foul and ghostly version of Lady Comstock called the Siren. Booker and Elizabeth then follow the Siren around Emporia, to various tears that she wishes them to see.
Through the tears, Booker and Elizabeth discover that Elizabeth is not the child of the Comstocks, but rather a child stolen from another reality. Years ago, Rosalind and Robert Lutece made a machine to open tears to other worlds, which Comstock utilized to become a true Prophet through the use of science. However, the machine caused him to age and become sterile. It is revealed that Elizabeth was simply taken from another universe to serve as Comstock's heir. Lady Comstock rejected this notion, hating the child and believing her to be the bastard daughter of her husband and Rosalind Lutece. When he began to fear that Lady Comstock would reveal the truth of Elizabeth's origins, Comstock murdered his wife and framed it on her servant, Daisy Fitzroy. Later, he had Jeremiah Fink arrange death of the Luteces as Fink was the only one who could make it look like an accident, sabotaging the contraption he previously used to procure technology from alternate universes. However, the plan misfired and the contraption's failure caused the Luteces to exist in all possible realities at once and grant them the ability to travel between space, time and probability at will.
After confronting the Siren, Booker and Elizabeth head to Comstock House, but are attacked by Songbird before they can reach it. Booker is thrown through a nearby building, and briefly lapses into unconsciousness before Songbird comes to finish him off. Too injured to move, Booker is only saved by Elizabeth's intervention, when she offers her freedom in exchange for Booker's life. Booker then pursues Songbird, desperate to save Elizabeth from whatever fate awaits her.
While crossing the bridge to Comstock House, Booker passes through a blinding fog, on the other side of which is unseasonably cold weather. In Comstock House, Booker finds several Voxophones and tears, suggesting that Elizabeth was exposed to experimentation, torture, and mental conditioning for at least six months waiting for Booker to come for her. Booker responds with astonishment, unaware how this situation could be possible, or how much time has truly passed.
When Booker finds Elizabeth, she has aged decades, and has become the indoctrinated heir to prophecy that Comstock wished. She shows him the New York City of 1984 under attack by Columbia, the mountains of men being drowned in flame. Booker weakly objects, saying that he was always going to come for her. She explains that he did, many times, but Songbird always stops him. Regretting her fate, Elizabeth gives Booker a card to deliver to her young self, and opens up a tear, sending Booker back to the right reality and time.
Arriving in the Comstock House laboratory, Booker follows Elizabeth's screams until he finds her being operated on by Comstock's scientists. Filled with rage, Booker shuts down the Siphon cancelling out Elizabeth's power, at which point she uses a tear to kill the scientists. Booker then carefully releases her from her restraints and spinal tap, delivering the message from Elizabeth's older self. When Elizabeth says she intends to kill Comstock, Booker refuses to let her, saying he plans to do it for what Comstock has put her through.
Comstock and SongbirdEdit
Booker and Elizabeth pursue Comstock to his ship, The Hand of the Prophet. When they arrive, Comstock attempts to shake Elizabeth's faith in Booker, saying that everything that has happened to her was Booker's doing. A struggle begins between Comstock and Elizabeth, as Comstock demands that Booker tell Elizabeth what happened to her missing pinkie. In a rage, Booker smashes Comstock's head into a baptismal font and drowns him. In doing so, Booker reveals he does have some knowledge of what happened to Elizabeth's finger, saying, "You [Comstock] cut off her finger, and you put it on me!" Elizabeth demands to know what he means; Booker, equally confused by his own outburst, tells her that it means nothing. However, Elizabeth questions Booker's honesty when she sees his nose suddenly bleeding.
Booker and Elizabeth soon discover that the only way to leave Columbia for good is through a tear out of the city, but this ability is prohibited by the Siphon still in the remains of Monument Island. Elizabeth realizes that the card given to Booker by her alternate self is a set of instructions on how to control Songbird--a drawing of a cage symbolizing the musical notes C, A, G, E--and she takes an instrument called the Whistler from a nearby statue, giving it to Booker. Using the Whistler to control Songbird, Booker destroys the Siphon. However, the Whistler breaks and Booker loses control of Songbird, who turns on them.
Elizabeth then transports herself, Booker, and Songbird to Rapture where Songbird is killed by ocean pressure. Elizabeth reveals to Booker that with the Siphon gone, she can see and open tears to infinite worlds, including Rapture. She also reveals that Comstock is not truly dead, because in other worlds, he is still alive.
On a quest to stop him for good, Elizabeth and Booker go through tears manifesting as doors, which reveal Booker's true history. Booker, reluctant and anxious, asks Elizabeth to leave with him, telling her to open a tear to Paris for them. Elizabeth, however, is intent on revealing the truth to him.
Booker relives the loss of his daughter, and realizes that Robert and Rosalind Lutece were the mysterious man and woman who took her away twenty years ago, and later brought Booker to the lighthouse. With his memories returning, Booker realizes that Elizabeth is actually Anna.
Blaming Comstock for everything that happened, Booker tells Elizabeth that they need to go back to when Comstock was an infant, and smother him in the crib. It isn't until she brings Booker back to his baptism that he realizes what has occurred: while he rejected the baptism in his reality, he accepted it in another — in that universe, Booker DeWitt became a deeply religious man and changed his name to Zachary Hale Comstock.
Multiple alternate versions of Elizabeth and Anna appear to reveal this truth to Booker. Booker then realizes that the only way to erase the atrocities committed by Comstock, and the harm visited upon Elizabeth, is for him to die before he can accept or reject his baptism. Several Elizabeths and Annas then drown Booker, and all realities in which Comstock exists are erased. One by one, the different versions of Elizabeth/Anna disappear except the original.
- "Anna? Is that you?"
- ―Booker DeWitt
Booker awakens in his residence, on October 8, 1893—the same day he lost Anna—and opens the door to her room, where he sees her crib and calls out her name before it cuts to black.
In an alternate version of Columbia, Elizabeth was already gone when Booker arrived at Monument Island. He joined forces with Daisy Fitzroy in an attempt to find her and became a notable leader of the Vox Populi. He eventually encountered and joined forces with Cornelius Slate in the Hall of Heroes. There he also encountered Preston E. Downs, who had been hired to kill DeWitt as well as Fitzroy. Speaking the Sioux language, he was able to help Preston communicate with a maimed Native American child that Preston had been caring for. The boy related details of his oppressed existence, prompting Downs to join the Vox Populi. Slate and Booker then destroyed the Hall of Heroes, dying in the process. Booker's martyrdom became a rallying call for the revolution of the Vox.
- Main article: Zachary Hale Comstock
While one version of Booker refused baptism after the Battle of Wounded Knee, another chose differently and took the name Zachary Hale Comstock. Believing the baptism absolved him of all his past sins, Comstock became a xenophobic, politically staunch and charismatic political figure. He was responsible for funding Rosalind Lutece's research (which he utilized to view future events and make a prophet of himself) and convincing the U.S. Congress to fund the construction of Columbia. Owing to the sterility and premature aging caused by exposure to the Luteces' technology, Comstock used their tears to retrieve the daughter of an alternate version of himself to raise as a messiah in Columbia.
- Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 1
In one reality, a version of Booker lived in Rapture, where he worked as a private investigator and eventually came to look after an orphaned girl named Sally. One day Sally disappeared while Booker was gambling at Sir Prize and he desperately searched for her, going so far as to torture Suchong in a chair for fifteen hours. His investigation proved fruitless and he gave up when Sullivan told him she had been found dead. On New Year's Eve 1958, he was contacted by a woman named Elizabeth that hired him to find Sally and insisted that she was missing, not dead.
Upon finding Sally in Fontaine's sunken department store, Booker's attempts to pull her from a vent and discovery that she had been turned into a Little Sister triggered the return of his memories before Rapture. He was actually a version of Booker that chose baptism and became Comstock. Like so many versions of Comstock in different realities, he had attempted to steal Anna away from her father and ended up struggling over the girl between dimensions as the Lutece Tear was closing. However his path diverged dramatically when Booker proved stronger in their struggle over Anna and she was not securely on Comstock's side of the portal when the tear closed. Instead of severing the baby's pinkie finger, it sealed around her neck, decapitating the infant in the process. To escape his guilt, Comstock had the Luteces open a tear to Rapture. He lost his memory of all that had occurred and began a new life as private investigator Booker DeWitt.
Horrified by his recovered memories, Comstock attempted to apologize to Elizabeth, addressing her as 'child'. The Luteces appeared and pointed out that Comstock always ran away from his problems and stole the lives of others instead of facing his own past. Elizabeth told him that he wasn't sorry, but he soon would be, after which he was impaled and killed by a Bouncer Big Daddy.
Booker is a taciturn and serious man, who feels deep regret for atrocities and wrongdoing committed in his past. In conversation with others, he expresses deep-seated self-loathing, remarking that there needs to be "more Daisy Fitzroys" because of men like him, and telling Elizabeth that she shouldn't get mixed up with him for her own sake. In addition to his past regrets, it is possible this attitude spawns from even earlier bouts of self-consciousness: Comstock claims in a Voxophone recording that a commanding officer once suggested that he had Native American ancestry, and the comment led him to excessively brutal acts against Native Americans to reclaim the respect of his comrades.
While Booker is often surprised, and sometimes frightened, by objects and situations encountered in Columbia, he is quick to adapt—he speedily takes to Vigors, for instance, as well as utilizing Elizabeth's tears in combat. He is also perceptive in regard to dangerous situations, though how often he responds to them with violence is partially up to the player (particularly in the game's early stages).
Although initially indifferent to Elizabeth, Booker becomes curious about her after entering the tower on Monument Island, and steadily more protective of her as the story proceeds. He is noticeably disturbed when she asks him to kill her, and desperately pursues her when she is captured by Songbird. While he cares about Elizabeth, he is also afraid of her and what she has the potential to become; this fear is likely part of the reason he volunteers to kill Comstock on her behalf.
Concept and Promotional ArtEdit
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In the tradition of BioShock protagonists' having a distinct mark or tattoo, the back of Booker's right hand bears the brand "AD."
- In Burial At Sea, Booker still has "AD" tattooed on his hand, except in a different style of writing. This can be seen in the 5-minute gameplay video when Booker hits the elevator button.
- Booker can play the guitar, mirroring his voice actor Troy Baker's talents.
- The scene depicting Booker with his belongings very much resembles Jack opening his suitcase in BioShock.
- Before Troy Baker was hired to be the voice of Booker DeWitt, Irrational Games had Stephen Russell (the voice of Garrett in the Thief games) voice the part.
- Booker DeWitt's office is at address "108 Bowery (Street), New York City, New York State (Zip Code would be 10013)," according to a picture left on the desk on the first floor of the Lutece laboratory.
- During his time in the Army, he held the rank of Corporal, but at one point he Attained the rank of Staff Sergeant as seen in his 7th Cavalry display in his office, including two Medals of Honor. His rank is an anachronism, however. The U.S. Army would not create the rank of Staff Sergeant until after the First World War. Additionally, in 1890, NCO chevrons were worn point down, not point up, as shown in the display. The Army only settled on point up chevrons in 1902. 
- The tally marks on the chalkboard worn by Robert Lutece at the Fairgrounds represent the number of attempts Booker has tried to accomplish his mission.
- If the player decides not to draw Booker's weapon or does nothing at the ticket booth in Battleship Bay, the man behind the counter will stab Booker in his right hand. For the rest of the game, Booker will sport a hand-wrap with a small blood stain on his right hand. However, during certain animations, such as acquiring a new Vigor, his hand is shown without the wrap or the stab wound.
- On the cover of the game, in most promotional material, and in any depiction of Booker throughout the game (barring his own actual character model, ostensibly), Booker is shown with a medical bandage wrapped around his hand and wrist. The bandage can be best viewed when using any of the "Decoy" tears that Elizabeth can activate (there is one to the left of the bank entrance in Emporia). The aforementioned bandage is different in appearance to the cloth handkerchief that Elizabeth wraps Booker's hand with in-game, should the player make the appropriate contextual decision.
- Because of this incident, Booker works all levers with his left hand rather than his right. From an in-game standpoint, this would be because using the right hand would be painful; from a development standpoint, Booker would have had to use his wounded hand at one point if animated to use the right.
- ↑ Booker's Pinkerton Badge
- ↑ "See the voices of Booker and Elizabeth at PAX" article at IrrationalGames.com
- ↑ "Ten Things You Should Know About BioShock Infinite: Day 2" article by Chris Remo at IrrationalGames.com
- ↑ http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/irrational-games-will-offer-fans-an-alternative-to-bioshock-infinites-cover-art/
- ↑ http://www.polygon.com/2013/10/4/4801862/playing-through-bioshock-infinites-compelling-burial-at-sea
- ↑ "Troy Baker, the industry's 'new' Nolan North" article by Thierry Nguyen at Joystiq.com
- ↑ "A Short History of the US Army Noncommissioned Officer" article by L.R. Arms at http://www.armystudyguide.com/
|Jack · Subject Delta · Subject Sigma · BioShock 2 Multiplayer Characters · Booker DeWitt · Elizabeth|