I Am You And You Are Me: The Luteces (Doppleganger Series)

Major spoilers for Bioshock Infinite. Didn’t watch/play? DON’T READ!

lutece2 copy

So let’s start off with the most obvious doubling in Infinite: the Luteces. They are our first and most blatant example of alternate versions of the same person, even though Rosalind likes to call Robert her ‘brother.’

The Luteces also act as the most obvious twin archetype in Infinite. They have Twin Telepathy and Coordinated Clothes; they are Creepy Twins and to a certain extent the Single-Minded Twins.

Robert: “Odd, isn’t it?”

Rosalind: “What’s odd?”

Robert: “The fact that we sometimes–”

Rosalind: “–finish each other’s sentences?”

Robert: “Exactly.”

Rosalind: “It would be odder if we didn’t.”

They are the Siamese twins in Lady and the Tramp, Desna and Eska from Legend of Korra, those creepy sisters from The Shining, the Weasley twins from Harry Potter, and childhood Jaime and Cersei from Game of Thrones.

What’s fascinating about the Luteces is how much they really are alike – we see from other alternate universe doubles like Booker and Comstock that that isn’t always the case – and also how, well, close they are. Rosalind ripped through time and space so she could be with the male-version of herself. You have to wonder if this isn’t some sort of aggrandized self-love.

So what’s the point of this double? Humor, as well as an educational example of inter-dimensional travel. The game developers play with the Creepy Twins trope as part of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-esque comedy of the characters. They are alike, yet unalike; they finish each other’s sentences but get confused by each other’s grammar. They are ‘twins’ existing in a state of dual-being: alive and dead, heads and tails. They are the cause of the paradox at the center of the game and yet they do not seem to feel its impact. You could argue that the continuous circle of King Lear/blank page has their prints on it.

But as Rosalind says: “my brother and I are together, and so, I am content.”

She also says: “what separates us now, but a single chromosome?” so she’s maintaining the creep-factor too.

The Lutece ‘twins’ also serve as a jumping point for other twin theories. They are the first hint that there are other ‘twins’ or doubles in the game too. I have to admit, I did not get that Booker and Comstock were the same person when I first experienced Infinite (I actually had pegged Booker as Elizabeth’s father, so 1/2 for me.) But the Luteces’ existence in the game should be a provoke some speculation into alternate versions of self — their coexistence also sets up the possibility of Booker and Comstock existing in the same world.

So in short, sometimes two sides of a coin can be brought together.

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