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|“||One thing I've learned: if you don't draw first, you don't get to draw at all.||„|
|~ Booker to Elizabeth on his experiences.|
Booker DeWitt is the protagonist and main playable character of Bioshock Infinite as well as its DLC Burial at Sea: Episode 1. 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 named Elizabeth imprisoned there. Over the course of the story, Booker reveals his past experiences, and shows his ability to make decisions independent of the player.
He is voiced by Troy Baker, known for voicing a wide number of characters including Joel, Alec Mason, Kanji Tatsumi, Robin, Jake Muller, Orkos, Delsin Rowe, Talion, Jack Mitchell, Snow Villiers, Rhys, Erron Black, and Sam Drake.
Booker DeWitt is a New Yorker of partial Native American descent, who was born on April 19, 1874. At the age of sixteen, he was part of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, and took part in the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. At Wounded Knee, a sergeant had accused him of having Native American lineage in front of the men in his unit. To avoid being stigmatized by his comrades, he scalped Native American 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 taking trophies from his victims.
Although he was seen as a hero to his fellow soldiers, Booker felt shame and regret for his part in the massacre. After the battle, Booker, fraught with guilt, attended a river baptism led by Preacher Witting to be reborn as a new man and be absolved of his past actions. However, Booker rejected his baptism at the last second, thinking that his sins could not be washed away by a "dunk in the river."
In January 1892, Booker became an employee of the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency. While working as a Pinkerton, Booker garnered a reputation by ending labor strikes with extreme violence. Around this time, he met a woman who shortly after became pregnant. She died while giving birth to a daughter, Anna. This, coupled with his dismissal from the Agency for excessively violent behavior, sent him into a depression. He turned to alcohol and gambling, which drove him far into debt.
Booker later became a private investigator, but his debts persisted. In October 1893, Robert Lutece came to his office, representing Father Comstock. Comstock set forth an agreement to wipe DeWitt of all debt in exchange for DeWitt's daughter. Desperate, DeWitt sold Anna to Lutece and Comstock, but, immediately wrought with guilt, Booker pursued the men to retrieve Anna. Booker arrived as the three were about to enter a Tear to another dimension with Rosalind Lutece. As the men and the baby entered the Tear, DeWitt struggled with Comstock to get Anna back. Comstock succeeded in pulling her through the Tear but as the Tear closed, the tip of Anna's pinky finger was severed.
Booker fell further into depression and later branded his right hand with Anna's initials, "A.D." Nearly twenty years later, in 1912, Robert and Rosalind Lutece returned once more, opening a Tear for Booker to enter. As he entered, he suffered the effects of transfusing into another dimension as Robert Lutece theorized, with his mind creating new memories from his old. Booker confused the sale of his daughter twenty years ago with the task at hand, "Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt." Robert and Rosalind Lutece then took DeWitt to a lighthouse on the coast of Maine.
Events of Bioshock: Infinite
Arrival in Columbia
While travelling to the lighthouse, Booker is tasked by the Lutece Twins to enter the city of Columbia, reach Monument Tower, retrieve a girl named Elizabeth, and bring her to New York City unharmed in order to clear his debts. Upon arriving at the lighthouse with information and supplies given by Rosalind, DeWitt enters the Pilgrim's Rocket and ascends to Columbia through the Church of Comstock. During his venture, he learns of the city's leader Zachary Comstock, but, because of the effects of Tear-jumping, remains unfamiliar of him despite making the deal twenty years prior. Comstock later conceived with Lady Comstock and referred to his child as the "Seed of the Prophet" who is destined to take his throne and destroy the "Sodom Below."
Before gaining access to the city, Booker is required to receive a baptism by Preacher Witting, but nearly drowns from it and passes out. In his unconscious state, Booker dreams of his office in New York and witnesses Columbia attacking New York — in the future. Booker, tasked with finding Monument Island, awakens and enters Columbia in the middle of its annual Independence Day Raffle and Fair. Despite earlier warnings from the Lutece Twins, he attends the annual lottery held by Jeremiah Fink and wins the lottery. His prize is a first throw at stoning an interracial couple. Before Booker can react, the Columbia Police discover the brand on Booker's hand which is referred as the the mark of the "False Shepherd" who is prophesized by Father Comstock to lead "his lamb astray." Booker fights through the Columbia Police force before being personally contacted by Zachary Comstock and crash-landing on his zeppelin, arriving on Monument Island.
To be continued...
Booker is a taciturn and serious man who feels deep regret for the atrocities and wrongdoings he 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. 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 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, as well as utilizes Elizabeth's Tears in combat. He is also perceptive in regard to dangerous situations, though whether he responds to them with violence is partially up to the player (particularly in the game's early stages).
Initially indifferent to Elizabeth, Booker becomes curious about her after entering the tower on Monument Island, and 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. He also volunteers to kill Comstock on her behalf after he witnesses her painful attempted indoctrination by his scientists. While he cares about Elizabeth, he is also afraid of her and what she has the potential to become. This fear is possibly a part of the reason he ends up trying to convince her to abandon killing Comstock altogether and instead steal an airship to Paris, as she originally wanted.
List of Vigors
- He can play guitar, mirroring his voice actor's talent.
- Stephen Russell originally did the voice of Booker before Troy Baker was hired.
- He is similar to Jack from Bioshock:
- Both have a mark or tattoo (Booker's on his arm, as Jack's is on his hand).
- Both kill the main antagonist, and are related to them (but Comstock is Booker from a different "door").