Mass Effect 3 SPOILERS THREAD

TheOneKnownAsMe

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As the title states, I believe a separate thread should be set aside for the complete discussion of the entire Mass Effect 3 storyline.

Spoilers, endings, theories, etc. should all be contained here, as to keep such information from accidentally being leaked out in the Mass Effect 3 Discussion Thread, thus (hopefully) reducing the chances of someone accidentally ruining the ending for someone either though lack of spoiler tags, poor wording, or just blatantly talking about the ending. Which, unfortunately, happened to me.

Repeat, everything following this line will contain spoilers of one sort or another, you have been warned.

I'll just go ahead and post a link explaining one of the most prominent theories regarding all three of the endings (posted in the ME3 Discussion Thread, but posted here due to relevance): http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/9861052/1#9861052

As well as a video (also linked in the above thread on the Bioware forums): http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid=kmXGAtjv5aQ&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_302313&v=PZ7bsIpEKIg

Really, I strongly believe that the above theories are correct, though the video incorrectly stated that everything up to the point where you ascend to the catalyst and make the decision is real, when in reality everything following your mad dash across the ruins to the citadel is fake. It just makes sense.

But anyway, feel free to post your opinions below, and don't hesitate to post just how much you hated the ending or thought how bad it sucked, we've all got our own opinions, just keep it as... civil... as possible. We don't need to give the moderators a reason to lock this thread.
 

Monkey God

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ME3 Fans that got screwed over with a horrible ending:
I WANT TO BELEIVE
 

TheOneKnownAsMe

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ME3 Fans that got screwed over with a horrible ending:
I WANT TO BELEIVE
To an extent, I suppose.

But really, when you consider that we've followed the Mass Effect trilogy for effectively 5 years and hundreds of hours of invested time, it's not surprising. We have a personal connection with the game (in the sense that we've dedicated a comparatively large portion of our free time to it), so a response like this makes sense.

And then there's the scene at the VERY end, after all of cut-scenes and whatnot that has shepard lying amidst the rubble, as he takes a breath. Whether that's his dying breath or not is unexplained, but it's very presence in the game indicates that another ending could be on the horizon.
 

Dan_D

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The more I analyze the choices presented by the AI / Child thing the more I believe that the entire end game is a hallucination of an injured Shepard near the beam site. The fact that he wakes up in the so called "Renegade ending" leads me to believe more and more that this is the case as well.

So far, none of the videos I've seen, or anything I've read suggests its possible for Shepard to wake up alive in the rubble in the other two ending choices. If he does, then this makes his choices even more meaningless. It also seems to me that BioWare did things this way so they had an out to change the ending and to buy more time while they write the real end game for this saga. I think this may be their own way to fight the Reaper known as Electronic Arts. That's just a guess and perhaps wishful thinking on my part. But given the popularity of the DLC with ME2, I have no doubt we'll be seeing more of Shepard in Mass Effect 3 before too long.

Let's analyze your choices more carefully.

1.) Destroy the Reapers and all synthetic life. This would also kill Shepard, EDI and even the Geth according to the AI Child.

Let's examine this carefully. Shepard wakes up at the end of this choice. This tells me that the boy is a liar. This ending has other implications as well. Despite the "red" coloring of those choice, it seems like the most paragon choice of the three. Shepard has vowed to stop the Reapers at almost any cost. This choice destroys them so that they couldn't be maniuplated ever again and the cycle would be broken. Furthermore, EDI stated that she'd gladly sacrifice herself to save Jeff. I don't think Shepard would forget that. While the Geth have been turned (depending on your decisions) into an ally, they do contain Reaper code now. That's a bit disconcerning. Also let's not forget that this is one race of people and one ally sacrificed to save the rest. Shepard has already made the choice to sacrifice an entire star system full of Batarian colonists to delay a Reaper invasion.

This is the type of choice Shepard has made in the past. He's never wanted to control Reapers or the Collector base assuming you played a paragon Shepard in earlier games.

2.) Control the Reapers

This is presented as a choice in which Shepard can give his life to send the Reapers away. At a first glance this seems like the best way to go. The Reapers are alive, (though this game precludes the idea that they have self-determination the way we understand it.) Ideally they could be sent away and we could all live in peace. In this choice I think there are two give aways indicating that this is a renegade choice and a lie. First off, how will they obey Shepard if he dies making it? Even if that's true, controlling them leaves the option for them to return and continue the cycle later. Another implication is that the Reapers may be controllable by someone after he is gone. Shepard doesn't seem to wake up and live after this choice. This to me indicates he may "give up" and die or actually suffer from indocrination as this behavior does actually fall in line with the Illusive Man's beliefs.

3.) Synergy (Or as I call it the total nonsense or Star Trek the Motion Picture Choice.)
This one is pure bullshit. This choice unites organics and machines into a new form of life, yet this is not what the ending video shows. AS the child AI explains, Reapers cull advanced organics and in essence they live on as Reapers which are living biomechanical beings anyway. These are already almost borg-like organic / machine hybrids. This non-commital middle ground approach seems more like giving into the Reapers than fighting them in anyway. Also, this is Shepard making a choice for all races and all people in how they should live and if this synergy shit were true, then he'd be condeming his companions to die and be reformated into something else. Which is what the Reapers do anyway.

As the link to the BioWare forum thread points out, this isn't what we see in the videos. What we see may be more metaphorical than anything and given that Shepard wakes up in the Renegade ending, this all sounds like a dream. I have to believe right now that these choices merely represent Shepards own internal struggle against indoctrination. They represent his will to live and continue. Mass Effect 2 also had choices which could result in Shepard's death while still beating the game on a technical level. I think this game does so as well, but hides it better. If you pick the so called paragon or middle of the road options, you die before reaching the beam and making it to the Citadel.

In Mass Effect 2 if you went too early, you could beat the Reapers, but Shepard's team and Shepard would die at the end. This was still considered "beating the game." You could also beat the game in any combination of ways, then surrender to Morinth's advances if you chose her over Samara. This act would culminate in your Shepard's death. Again I think this is ultimately what we wanted to see here.

There are two other non-story related things that tell me this is actually most likely the right way of looking at things.

BioWare and specifically I believe it was either Casey Hudson or Mac Walters that stated they've never liked the perception of paragon and renegade choices by the public, and that most people opt to go the paragon route believing the renegade methods to be wrong or too extreme. My second point seems to validate this. If you look at ME3, none of the renegade / paragon interrupts are severe at all. In fact they are almost and often times indistinguishable. Also by coloring things red / blue in the past, this has made your choice much more clear. I think they wanted you to actually think about your choice in the end and not look at it as a red/blue option.

And again, just to reiterate, the radio chatter being heard when you are moving towards the beam talks about Shepard and Anderson failing to reach the beam and make it to the Citadel. Shepard also does not answer the radio at all, but does later supposedly on the Citadel itself. Anderson also suddenly appears as does the Illusive man in the chamber once Shepard arrives. This is much like how people sometimes show up who shouldn't be at a certain place in a dream. Further more, the Illusive Man's appearance is completely different than it was when he spoke to Shepard while Shepard was standing in his office at the Cerberus base. Seems unlikely he could get himself that jacked up in such a short time. I think it's more like Shepard's view of him clouds the dream version of him making him look that way. He even shoots himself like Saren does. This also seems dream like. Everything after that seems almost abstract and disjoined after the choice is made. Just how dreams often are.

Then again, in the so called renegade ending Shepard wakes up and gasps for air in friend armor in London. The fact that he's there indicates he didn't make it to the beam and nothing since the Reaper's beam hit them is real.

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking and we are reading too much into it, but god I hope not because leaving the series like this just sucks. And just to get a jump on the preservation of artistic vision crowd:

Artistic vision is one thing. Games are another. I'm not saying games can't have an element of art, but as entertainment, a game needs to be fun first and foremost. Everything else is secondary. If the game's ending sucks so bad that the game isn't fun and isn't replayable, then the ending should be changed.

That is all.
 

TheOneKnownAsMe

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I too thought it was interesting how much grey was present in this game. People complained about the lack of Paragon/Renegade options, when in reality, there were plenty of them, they just weren't pointed out or highlighted like in games past. It really helps give the choices a sense of immediacy or importance, and prevents the players from going "Let's see, which option is highlighted in blue... Ah, yes! I'll go with that one, because that must be the 'good' thing to do, otherwise, why would it be highlighted in blue?"

The very fact that the control and destroy options are highlighted opposite to their actual alignment only help to cement the fact that the devs obviously wanted the player to really think about what choice they make.

Think about it, this whole time, from the very first game we've been opposed to cerberus and the illusive man, we've been completely dedicated to the destruction of the reapers, and now... self-inflicted indoctrination and control of the reapers is suddenly the right decision? It gave me a moment of pause, and allowed me to really think things through.

Edit: One of the choices that they forced on you that was initially a renegade decision but was ultimately the right thing to do was when Udina had his gun pointed at the Asari councilor's head. You could commit what the game presented as the "renegade" option, but in reality it was the right thing to do. Inaction would have resulted in a net loss (or so I assume, I shot him the instant I had the chance). Overall, there was also a lot of discussion regarding right and wrong and shades of grey throughout the entire game. There really wasn't talk of "good or bad" just sacrifices and consequences, the "cruel calculus of war" as Garrus called it.
 

Sycraft

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Then again, in the so called renegade ending Shepard wakes up and gasps for air in friend armor in London. The fact that he's there indicates he didn't make it to the beam and nothing since the Reaper's beam hit them is real.
They may layer decide that is the case, and make some DLC to that effect, since people are so pissed off, however it is all wishful thinking. People are reading WAY too much in to it and letting their wishful thinking fill in gaps. It was a poorly written ending, part of a too dark plot, and compromises in general.

The proof is in the pattern it took. The "no matter what you did it all ends the same." They said quite specifically that was NOT going to be the case, that Mass Effect 3 would be highly divergent. They had to have the first two loop to a common end point to a degree since they had to continue to another game. However they said 3 would diverge radically and there could be major ending differences. That didn't happen. There was less difference than the first two practically.

That tells you that it was a case of a rushed ending process, and lazy writing. Who knows why, but basically they just took a single dark ending and went and wrote out a couple options relating to that and slapped it on the game.

So maybe they'll take the advice and pull an "it was all a dream!" shit later but it wasn't some brilliant master stroke conceived as that, it was just a shit ending.
 
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Yeah pretty much. I think what bothered me the most was how nearly every decision you made in the game didn't matter at all in the end, they just added up to some arbitrary counter. The ending doesn't make sense at all if you play the game with a Paragon Shepard.

I would almost prefer if the Reapers were doing this to prevent an even bigger threat, such as the original "Dark Energy" ending, because that would suggest that there's a good reason for them to be here and would actually add some moral ambiguity to the choices presented to the player. As it is, the only real ending is to destroy the reapers because anything else wouldn't make sense from a storyline perspective.

I mean, shit, Deus Ex: HR did this way better and it's a goddamn prequel.
 

TheNuker

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I played the game.

I watched the ending.

I want to believe it can be better.

But...

 

Dan_D

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I too thought it was interesting how much grey was present in this game. People complained about the lack of Paragon/Renegade options, when in reality, there were plenty of them, they just weren't pointed out or highlighted like in games past. It really helps give the choices a sense of immediacy or importance, and prevents the players from going "Let's see, which option is highlighted in blue... Ah, yes! I'll go with that one, because that must be the 'good' thing to do, otherwise, why would it be highlighted in blue?"

The very fact that the control and destroy options are highlighted opposite to their actual alignment only help to cement the fact that the devs obviously wanted the player to really think about what choice they make.

Think about it, this whole time, from the very first game we've been opposed to cerberus and the illusive man, we've been completely dedicated to the destruction of the reapers, and now... self-inflicted indoctrination and control of the reapers is suddenly the right decision? It gave me a moment of pause, and allowed me to really think things through.

Edit: One of the choices that they forced on you that was initially a renegade decision but was ultimately the right thing to do was when Udina had his gun pointed at the Asari councilor's head. You could commit what the game presented as the "renegade" option, but in reality it was the right thing to do. Inaction would have resulted in a net loss (or so I assume, I shot him the instant I had the chance). Overall, there was also a lot of discussion regarding right and wrong and shades of grey throughout the entire game. There really wasn't talk of "good or bad" just sacrifices and consequences, the "cruel calculus of war" as Garrus called it.
If you don't shoot Udina, Ashley does. But it seems to take a toll on her. I'm not sure how shooting him yourself plays out with her after the fact. But it's almost a paragon action because it needed to be done and Shepard can either take the heat for it and protect Ashley from doing it, or trust her to let her make the decision and live with the consequences. Shepard has to be feeling the pressure of all the decisions he makes. I can see him wanting to guard his crew from some of that same type of strife.
 

Dan_D

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They may layer decide that is the case, and make some DLC to that effect, since people are so pissed off, however it is all wishful thinking. People are reading WAY too much in to it and letting their wishful thinking fill in gaps. It was a poorly written ending, part of a too dark plot, and compromises in general.

The proof is in the pattern it took. The "no matter what you did it all ends the same." They said quite specifically that was NOT going to be the case, that Mass Effect 3 would be highly divergent. They had to have the first two loop to a common end point to a degree since they had to continue to another game. However they said 3 would diverge radically and there could be major ending differences. That didn't happen. There was less difference than the first two practically.

That tells you that it was a case of a rushed ending process, and lazy writing. Who knows why, but basically they just took a single dark ending and went and wrote out a couple options relating to that and slapped it on the game.

So maybe they'll take the advice and pull an "it was all a dream!" shit later but it wasn't some brilliant master stroke conceived as that, it was just a shit ending.
Agreed. It was a pretty shitty and almost nonsensical ending.

Yeah pretty much. I think what bothered me the most was how nearly every decision you made in the game didn't matter at all in the end, they just added up to some arbitrary counter. The ending doesn't make sense at all if you play the game with a Paragon Shepard.

I would almost prefer if the Reapers were doing this to prevent an even bigger threat, such as the original "Dark Energy" ending, because that would suggest that there's a good reason for them to be here and would actually add some moral ambiguity to the choices presented to the player. As it is, the only real ending is to destroy the reapers because anything else wouldn't make sense from a storyline perspective.

I mean, shit, Deus Ex: HR did this way better and it's a goddamn prequel.
I have to agree. Though something worse than the Reapers is a fairly tall order given how powerful they are.
 

LstOfTheBrunnenG

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Bottom line is, if Bioware pulls the whole "You were right, fans! You were being indoctrinated the whole time! For $9.99 you can have the real ending..." it's going to be a massive cop-out. Even if they release it for free, how can you have a game released without the ending? No matter what they do there will always be the lingering doubt that maybe they just wrote a crappy ending, and they're just trying to lie their way out of it.

OTOH, there are some things about this ending I can't ignore:

  1. Shepard survives the Destroy option if you have enough points. So ghost vent kid lied?
  2. Shepard wakes up in his armor in London amidst the rubble, after having been on the Citadel not in his armor.
  3. Your squad mates teleport back to the Normandy.
I'm sure the list is longer, but I'm following this discussion from the periphery as I haven't reached the end myself yet.
 

kcthebrewer

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As my other thread will be lost in oblivion soon enough...

My random thoughts on the end and possible DLC:
I really believe that the end of ME3 is the end of Shep and not the end of the Reaper invasion. If the world dies with Shep, it is impossible for the Stargazer to exist (also causing all future ME games to be prequels). And if Shep never completed his mission (which he did not), someone else has to take the reins to save the day.

The problem with this is that unless they create a new character for you to play as, they will have to choose an existing player for you to continue as - and one that could not die in ME2. The real only choices for existing characters that would move forward as the main character would have to be either Kaidan or Ashley (new Spectres).

Introducing a new character at this stage would really suck. Of course Bioware could pull a 180 and bring Shep back to finish it, but I am pretty sure Shep is done.
 

Dan_D

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Bottom line is, if Bioware pulls the whole "You were right, fans! You were being indoctrinated the whole time! For $9.99 you can have the real ending..." it's going to be a massive cop-out. Even if they release it for free, how can you have a game released without the ending? No matter what they do there will always be the lingering doubt that maybe they just wrote a crappy ending, and they're just trying to lie their way out of it.

OTOH, there are some things about this ending I can't ignore:

  1. Shepard survives the Destroy option if you have enough points. So ghost vent kid lied?
  2. Shepard wakes up in his armor in London amidst the rubble, after having been on the Citadel not in his armor.
  3. Your squad mates teleport back to the Normandy.
I'm sure the list is longer, but I'm following this discussion from the periphery as I haven't reached the end myself yet.
It's pretty hard to ignore those things.

I also think there needs to be more to it than this because all your choices in the game so far and even the whole series amount to jack shit. Beyond that, the sacrifices were for nothing. it's bullshit that Thane, Mordin, Legion and Shepard all died to accomplish squat.
 
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Dan_D

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As my other thread will be lost in oblivion soon enough...

My random thoughts on the end and possible DLC:
I really believe that the end of ME3 is the end of Shep and not the end of the Reaper invasion. If the world dies with Shep, it is impossible for the Stargazer to exist (also causing all future ME games to be prequels). And if Shep never completed his mission (which he did not), someone else has to take the reins to save the day.

The problem with this is that unless they create a new character for you to play as, they will have to choose an existing player for you to continue as - and one that could not die in ME2. The real only choices for existing characters that would move forward as the main character would have to be either Kaidan or Ashley (new Spectres).

Introducing a new character at this stage would really suck. Of course Bioware could pull a 180 and bring Shep back to finish it, but I am pretty sure Shep is done.
Assuming they release a DLC that gives us a real ending, ultimately, I think that Shepard will complete the mission, at least if you choose the renegade ending. Shepard may need to pause for a moment and gather strength and maybe a new suit of armor, but he/she will finish. If he or she dies as I fear he does from the control the Reapers ending and Star Trek the Motion Picture endings, then it would be interesting to be able to pick up the character of your choice, or at least from a pool of Garrus, Liara, Ashley, Vega or even Javik to finish the mission inspired by their time with Shepard and what he taught them. Obviously you can't customize them beyond choosing their armor and weapons but it would be an interesting way to end the story. I'm not saying they should, but I find the idea interesting.
 

TwistedAegis

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OTOH, there are some things about this ending I can't ignore:

  1. Shepard survives the Destroy option if you have enough points. So ghost vent kid lied?
  2. Shepard wakes up in his armor in London amidst the rubble, after having been on the Citadel not in his armor.
  3. Your squad mates teleport back to the Normandy.
I'm sure the list is longer, but I'm following this discussion from the periphery as I haven't reached the end myself yet.
Yeah it just seems that no matter how you try to spin the ending, there are gaping holes that make no sense. I took Ashley with me to the last mission - and then the final movie shows Joker, EDI and Ashley getting out of the Normandy, crash landed on some random planet. Not only is it beyond imagining the Normandy landed on Earth to pick Ashley up - she got fried in the same Reaper ray I did! OTOH, now that I think about, that gives credence to the fact that this is a dream.

I did end up choosing to "control" the Reapers, thinking it was the only option that gave my companions and friends a chance to live, at least for a bit. Shepard does die, but it appears more that he is "uploaded" to the Catalyst and becomes its controller - if in fact it isn't just indoctrination and a hallucination/dream.

Jesus...I've never gone this deep into any book, game, movie whatever - I used to think people who made posts like this were crazy. Damn you Bioware for making such an amazing set of games with such a crappy ending. :mad: (And now off to play my 2nd playthrough...I'm sick in the head. )
 

LstOfTheBrunnenG

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It's pretty hard to ignore those things.

I also think there needs to be more to it than this because all your choices in the game so far and even the whole series amount to jack shit. Beyond that, the sacrifices were for nothing. it's bullshit that Thane, Mordin, Legion and Shepard all died to accomplish squat.
Well I can even see them rationalizing the ending-tron-3000 ending with their previous statements because, regardless of the final choice, the galaxy is a potentially VERY different place as a result of your actions. Sure, the mass relays may be down in all three endings, but they're down in a ravaged galaxy with massive casualties and a very fractured population, or they're down in a largely united and strong galaxy with good prospects to recover. Your choices are the difference between those possibilities.

The problem is that they didn't SHOW any of that. You push a button, cut to credits. Not at all satisfying.
 

PureBooYah

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They may layer decide that is the case, and make some DLC to that effect, since people are so pissed off, however it is all wishful thinking. People are reading WAY too much in to it and letting their wishful thinking fill in gaps. It was a poorly written ending, part of a too dark plot, and compromises in general.

The proof is in the pattern it took. The "no matter what you did it all ends the same." They said quite specifically that was NOT going to be the case, that Mass Effect 3 would be highly divergent. They had to have the first two loop to a common end point to a degree since they had to continue to another game. However they said 3 would diverge radically and there could be major ending differences. That didn't happen. There was less difference than the first two practically.

That tells you that it was a case of a rushed ending process, and lazy writing. Who knows why, but basically they just took a single dark ending and went and wrote out a couple options relating to that and slapped it on the game.

So maybe they'll take the advice and pull an "it was all a dream!" shit later but it wasn't some brilliant master stroke conceived as that, it was just a shit ending.
You can take the ending at face value but you can't say that the indoctrination theory isn't a valid argument and people are "reading too much into it." There's a lot of evidence that supports the theory and since Bioware hasn't said anything there's no absolute proof for either side.

The main thing that's keeping me on the indoctrination theory side is the ending actually makes some sense that way, otherwise it's just nonsensical crap, so nonsensical that I can't really see it as anything but a hallucination. And personally, I would rather have the game "end" on a cliff hanger where you don't know what happened (as would happen if the theory was true) than see the series end with what was shown.

edit:
No matter what your view is of the ending, it's still not a good way to end a trilogy. The indoctrinating ending makes it not as bad, but it still leaves unanswered questions along with decisions and sacrifices you made that didn't matter
 
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TwistedAegis

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The problem is that they didn't SHOW any of that. You push a button, cut to credits. Not at all satisfying.
I think this is a lot of what the issue is! Even if they keep the RGB ending, but showed WTF the Alliance/galaxy is doing afterwards, maybe it would feel better. Instead it's this disjointed video of the Normandy running away, the relays blowing up and some weird Adam/Eve moment.
 

CrimsonKnight13

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No matter what your view is of the ending, it's still not a good way to end a trilogy. The indoctrinating ending makes it not as bad, but it still leaves unanswered questions along with decisions and sacrifices you made that didn't matter
Just something to think about with ME2. It wasn't over until the last DLC was released. I suspect this will occur with ME3 & will continue until the last DLC has been released as well. Even Dragon Age 2 is following this trend. Its BioWare's new way of extending a game. Instead of an expansion pack, its a string of DLCs to tell the tale after the (psuedo) end of the full game.
 

Nexus6

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You can take the ending at face value but you can't say that the indoctrination theory isn't a valid argument and people are "reading too much into it." There's a lot of evidence that supports the theory and since Bioware hasn't said anything there's no absolute proof for either side.
Really though, what exposure to reaper tech did Shepard have in the last quarter of the game or so, in the time it would take him to get indoctrinated enough to defy the reapers by killing the Illusive man but then doing their bidding at the very end?

We know Shepard isn't indoctrinated as late as the mission on Thessia, because the Prothian VI only starts freaking out about an indoctrinated presence when Kai Leng shows up. Not to mention that same VI - having the ability to detect such a thing - would probably mention something about it in the Illusive man's base when Shepard gets the final information about the catalyst from it.
 

KatalDT

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snip

That is all.
While I love this theory, and it would be fantastic if it was true, I disagree. The level of writing in this game was completely sub par. Plot holes abound, even when you disregard the ending. The dialogue was pretty bad for much of the game (not all of it, there were some gems) but it was *NOT* an intelligently written story.

An ending like you described in ME3 as it stands - it would be like taking Starship Troopers (the movie) and replacing the last 15 minutes with the end of Starship Troopers (the book). Completely unbelievable.
 

Dan_D

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Well I can even see them rationalizing the ending-tron-3000 ending with their previous statements because, regardless of the final choice, the galaxy is a potentially VERY different place as a result of your actions. Sure, the mass relays may be down in all three endings, but they're down in a ravaged galaxy with massive casualties and a very fractured population, or they're down in a largely united and strong galaxy with good prospects to recover. Your choices are the difference between those possibilities.

The problem is that they didn't SHOW any of that. You push a button, cut to credits. Not at all satisfying.
Agreed. You don't see squat. What you do see is pretty nonsensical and disjointed. Which again gives some credence to the dream / hallucination / indoctrination theory.

Ships have FTL drives that don't depend on relays, though they are shorter range, and not every ship in the galaxy would be fighting with Reapers. More to the point, the Matriarch Atheyta (Liara's other mother / father) said in ME2 that she had recommended to the Asari people that they build new Mass Relay's implying they have the ability from a technological standpoint. So the galaxy definitely could recover, especially with what Shepard had done to unite them. Even if they leave this game the way it is, I'm hoping that a future game takes place a hundred years or more from this one so that everyone has a chance to recover back to where they were pre-Reaper invasion, and then whatever force needs to be dealt with. This still allows Grunt, Wrex, and Liara to reappear for continuity and connection to the original games given that they are all able to live up to 1,000 years old or more. Assuming they all survived that long of course.
 

Dan_D

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While I love this theory, and it would be fantastic if it was true, I disagree. The level of writing in this game was completely sub par. Plot holes abound, even when you disregard the ending. The dialogue was pretty bad for much of the game (not all of it, there were some gems) but it was *NOT* an intelligently written story.

An ending like you described in ME3 as it stands - it would be like taking Starship Troopers (the movie) and replacing the last 15 minutes with the end of Starship Troopers (the book). Completely unbelievable.
I thought much of the dialog and relationships were more believable in this game than they were in earlier installments. Some of the quests lacked the depth they had in earlier games I'd agree, but not all of them were like that. I thought the game was well presented, albiet bleak. The final act from a game standpoint is pretty lackluster. They just throw hordes of crap at you that simply must be endured. They don't necessarily need a boss mechanic there, but after the brilliant final act mechanics of ME2, this one just fell apart in the last couple of hours. You had but two objectives, which Shepard only really completed half of from the looks of the ending, but you had no tasks to assign you group to complete. I don't know, this just felt wrong as ME2 had a place and a job for every member of your team. Not just the two brought with you at any given time.
 

TheOneKnownAsMe

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You had but two objectives, which Shepard only really completed half of from the looks of the ending, but you had no tasks to assign you group to complete. I don't know, this just felt wrong as ME2 had a place and a job for every member of your team. Not just the two brought with you at any given time.
I also found that odd. This is the final mission, the one thing that everyone has been gearing up for for the last few years, and half of the crew just sits on the Normandy while Shepard and two others duke it out on ground zero?

But as far as the entire game goes, it looks like this one was once again dominated by the characters rather than the storyline. Just like ME2.

And, another thing I was thinking about. There were several references to people breaking free of indoctrination in a few spots throughout the game/series. Benezia and Saren were two individuals who were able to break free, albeit momentarily. Perhaps Shepard waking up amidst the rubble is his version of breaking free of the influence of indoctrination just long enough to get the job done later on?

But really, the ending is just... too ridiculous and disjointed, there just doesn't seem to be any way that this is how they planned on ending it. I just can't imagine seeing anyone on the development team being 100% comfortable and satisfied with how things turned out.

Edit: Also, as someone else pointed out. Before he gets hit by the laser, he's in his armor. Afterwards and throughout the entire citadel sequence, he's in his casual uniform. When and how did he change? And then he wakes up in the rubble, with his armor on again, after we had just watched him sacrifice himself. It just screams "THAT REALLY WASN'T THE ENDING!!!".
 

Dan_D

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I also found that odd. This is the final mission, the one thing that everyone has been gearing up for for the last few years, and half of the crew just sits on the Normandy while Shepard and two others duke it out on ground zero?

But as far as the entire game goes, it looks like this one was once again dominated by the characters rather than the storyline. Just like ME2.

And, another thing I was thinking about. There were several references to people breaking free of indoctrination in a few spots throughout the game/series. Benezia and Saren were two individuals who were able to break free, albeit momentarily. Perhaps Shepard waking up amidst the rubble is his version of breaking free of the influence of indoctrination just long enough to get the job done later on?

But really, the ending is just... too ridiculous and disjointed, there just doesn't seem to be any way that this is how they planned on ending it. I just can't imagine seeing anyone on the development team being 100% comfortable and satisfied with how things turned out.

Edit: Also, as someone else pointed out. Before he gets hit by the laser, he's in his armor. Afterwards and throughout the entire citadel sequence, he's in his casual uniform. When and how did he change? And then he wakes up in the rubble, with his armor on again, after we had just watched him sacrifice himself. It just screams "THAT REALLY WASN'T THE ENDING!!!".
He isn't in his casual uniform on the Citadel. He's in his regular N7 armor, albeit fried almost beyond recognition.
 

Curious_George

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I just don't understand how a huge company like Bioware, with I would assume a staff of writers, fails to notice all the glaring inconsistencies in the endings they developed? I know the internet is good at obsessively picking things apart, but there's just so much wrong/missing/confusing about it that I can't help but wonder how they didn't recognize it. I think even if they never release any additional fiction, I want more than anything a post-mortem of ME3 from the perspective of the writers so I can understand what happened (or what they were thinking).
 

TheOneKnownAsMe

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I just don't understand how a huge company like Bioware, with I would assume a staff of writers, fails to notice all the glaring inconsistencies in the endings they developed? I know the internet is good at obsessively picking things apart, but there's just so much wrong/missing/confusing about it that I can't help but wonder how they didn't recognize it. I think even if they never release any additional fiction, I want more than anything a post-mortem of ME3 from the perspective of the writers so I can understand what happened (or what they were thinking).
Exactly. How is it exactly that the writers did a bang up job for 98% of the game, then suddenly forget how to write during the last 2%?
 

Dan_D

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Exactly. How is it exactly that the writers did a bang up job for 98% of the game, then suddenly forget how to write during the last 2%?
Like I said, there is obviously more going on here than we can possibly know. Why they chose to do things this way is beyond me.
 

TheOneKnownAsMe

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Like I said, there is obviously more going on here than we can possibly know. Why they chose to do things this way is beyond me.
Yeah, I know, I just don't see how people can look at the situation and assume that the ending we got is the ending they intended to give us, and that there's absolutely nothing else to it.
 

tunatime

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wtf i just beat this game and i was so pumped up when i saw the massive fleet jump in and get its ass handed to it, my pilot get killed and every one getting there ass kicked on the ground , then i get in to the citadel and then i get to the ending and the choose and im like cool then i get a 30 sec clip of shooting a gun after it took me 2 mim to limp to it. then i see my ship some how go to ftl crash in to the garden of eve and adm and eve walk out then after 20 mim of creds i see pepoel looking up in the sky WTF? and did i wast my whole time finding all the things to help the war for all those hours?

i loved the game it was very very good till i got pumped up for the ending then this:( they could have at least made a sex ending whit adm and eve and have the reapers leave them alone becues there is no tech on there new world that would have been a better ending and they needed a fail ending to if you did not get your fleet up to str you should fail in a epic space battle
 

Curious_George

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Let's analyze your choices more carefully.

1.) Destroy the Reapers and all synthetic life. This would also kill Shepard, EDI and even the Geth according to the AI Child.

Let's examine this carefully. Shepard wakes up at the end of this choice. This tells me that the boy is a liar.
Also, the Destruction ending never shows us if the Geth or EDI are actually destroyed! In fact, as Dan_D pointed out, Shepard's survival scene is in contradiction with what the AI child said.

I know I'm not the first to bring this up, but it keeps grating on me how docile and out of character Shepard is during the conversation with the AI child. Not once does he ask one of the most important questions, which is, "Why should I trust you?" Here is an AI that admits he is controlling the Reapers, which themselves use indoctrination to manipulate people's minds, and we're just suppose to assume what he tells us is reliable? I've seen Deus Ex Machina thrown around a lot, but at least in most cases the "god" intervening is considered reliable. The AI child is like having Loki offer you three wishes. Even if he has the power, nothing about his character indicates that it couldn't be a ruse. In the end, all we have is the word of Reaper associated AI child and many short sequences that don't reveal enough to completely validate his word.
 

J W

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After two days I'm still thinking about the ending. I still don't think it's bad or that it deserves hate, but I do think it's rather depressing. I find myself hoping that it is a dream/hallucination and that we're all shocked when Bioware/EA announces a ME4, featuring all the old crew.

I definitely think there's room to do that given the story, but I'm curious how the game saves would work considering the last autosave is back on the Normandy, pre-final mission.

I also can't figure out how Bioware/EA could make an ending that would garner so much uproar. All that money and market research? Player testing? Good writers (the rest of the game had pretty solid bits and chunks - gems). Heck, the game was even delayed. I don't buy that BioWare rushed it; they'd have gotten extra time if they needed it. I think they're either not giving the audience enough credit, they're giving us too much, or they've got something tricky up their sleeves.
 
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PureBooYah

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Also, the Destruction ending never shows us if the Geth or EDI are actually destroyed! In fact, as Dan_D pointed out, Shepard's survival scene is in contradiction with what the AI child said.

I know I'm not the first to bring this up, but it keeps grating on me how docile and out of character Shepard is during the conversation with the AI child. Not once does he ask one of the most important questions, which is, "Why should I trust you?" Here is an AI that admits he is controlling the Reapers, which themselves use indoctrination to manipulate people's minds, and we're just suppose to assume what he tells us is reliable? I've seen Deus Ex Machina thrown around a lot, but at least in most cases the "god" intervening is considered reliable. The AI child is like having Loki offer you three wishes. Even if he has the power, nothing about his character indicates that it couldn't be a ruse. In the end, all we have is the word of Reaper associated AI child and many short sequences that don't reveal enough to completely validate his word.
Yeah, when I was first going through it, before I even read the indoctrination theory, I was saying to myself through the whole conversation, "Why is Shep listening to this kid. We spent 3 games not listening to anything the Reapers said and at the end we're not arguing with the Reaper creator? Something is off about this whole thing." All the other choices except destroy is doing what the kid wants so I choose destroy which, to me, was the only logical choice. Then I read about the indoctrination theory and have been in that camp ever since.
 

Monkey God

Mangina Full of Sand
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Yeah, I know, I just don't see how people can look at the situation and assume that the ending we got is the ending they intended to give us, and that there's absolutely nothing else to it.
Because that's what they fucking delivered. Talk is cheap with regards to what they *might* do. If its not the ending they intended, then its not done. If that's the case, they are nothing more than DLC whores. Either way, as it stands TODAY, right now, the ending is bullshit and it sucks, and it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

How is a bunch of pissed off early-adopting fans pissed off good for future sales?
 

MaZa

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Just something to think about with ME2. It wasn't over until the last DLC was released. I suspect this will occur with ME3 & will continue until the last DLC has been released as well. Even Dragon Age 2 is following this trend. Its BioWare's new way of extending a game. Instead of an expansion pack, its a string of DLCs to tell the tale after the (psuedo) end of the full game.

Good point. ME2 definetly ends with Arrival DLC, not with Collector Base. But differece is that both DAII and ME2 still has a proper ending without DLCs. DLCs merely served as a bridge to next game. However ME3 should be the end for Shepards trilogy, it should contain actual ending to it all. DLCs here should be about expanding the game sideways before the end, not at the end unless they turn the game into SimCity clone after Reapers are destroyed and you are rebuild everything.

...actually that would be badass now that I think about it... :cool:


But no, as good as this game is at first (HUGE upgrade over ME2 in gameplay and story terms) it simply FAILS at the end. If this is truly the end for the Shepard trilogy then its just epic fail and we wasted a good portion of time during the 5 years of our lives...

If the end is all indoctrination hallucinations (very likely theory with lots of evidence), then it still fails because 1. its very confusing and it required a lot of brainpower from different people to figure out and 2. a pure shameless ripoff because THEY SOLD A STORY BASED RPG WITH THE WHOLE ENDING CHAPTER MISSING. :mad:
 
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Dan_D

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Good point. ME2 definetly ends with Arrival DLC, not with Collector Base. But differece is that both DAII and ME2 still has a proper ending without DLCs. DLCs merely served as a bridge to next game. However ME3 should be the end for Shepards trilogy, it should contain actual ending to it all. DLCs here should be about expanding the game sideways before the end, not at the end unless they turn the game into SimCity clone after Reapers are destroyed and you are rebuild everything.

...actually that would be badass now that I think about it... :cool:


But no, as good as this game at first (HUGE upgrade over ME2 in gameplay and story terms) it simply FAILS at the end. If this is truly the end for the Shepard trilogy then its just epic fail and we wasted a good portion of time during the 5 years of our lives...

If the end is all indoctrination hallucinations (very likely theory with lots of evidence), then it still fails because 1. its very confusing and it required a lot of brainpower from different people to figure out and 2. a pure shameless ripoff because THEY SOLD A STORY BASED RPG WITH THE WHOLE ENDING CHAPTER MISSING. :mad:
Hard to argue with this.
 

DJS4000

Gawd
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685
ok, now, after having thought about this for a while and calming my anger outburst, i am thinking that a) bioware screwed up big time or b) they are fucking geniuses for implementing the endings as they are now. after reading this thread i am hoping for option B. i mean, think about it, what if they are just mind-fucking EVERYONE and simulate indoctrination for the player himself? and after some time has passed they go "haha, gotcha! every ending but the red one equals indoctrination. here's free DLC in case you chose the correct one. <enter closure, stage left>"

seems kinda thin, but hope dies last. we'll see.
 

KatalDT

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ok, now, after having thought about this for a while and calming my anger outburst, i am thinking that a) bioware screwed up big time or b) they are fucking geniuses for implementing the endings as they are now. after reading this thread i am hoping for option B. i mean, think about it, what if they are just mind-fucking EVERYONE and simulate indoctrination for the player himself? and after some time has passed they go "haha, gotcha! every ending but the red one equals indoctrination. here's free DLC in case you chose the correct one. <enter closure, stage left>"

seems kinda thin, but hope dies last. we'll see.
http://kotaku.com/5893123/mass-effect-3-director-didnt-want-you-to-forget-the-games-ending

Casey Hudson, the Director and Executive Producer of Mass Effect 3, has spoken with Digital Trends about the game's controversial ending sequences, and how it was BioWare's intent all along to "polarise reaction".

"I didn't want the game to be forgettable, and even right down to the sort of polarizing reaction that the ends have had with people–debating what the endings mean and what's going to happen next, and what situation are the characters left in", he said.

"That to me is part of what's exciting about this story. There has always been a little bit of mystery there and a little bit of interpretation, and it's a story that people can talk about after the fact."
 
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