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Edited by zombie007

I don't get The Sopranos comparison. It felt weird and like a cop out at first, but when you thought about it later on and really put things into perspective it closes itself nicely and is, in my opinion, one of the most genius endings to a series ever. Fans just really need to think about it pretty hard.

With Lost it was a mixture of weird stuff all the time, but the final season prepared you for that, but with Mass Effect 3 it is just a mess that gets worse the more you think about it, the opposite of what you would like.

Posted by CornBREDX
@SlashDance said:

@Sooty said:

@seanfoster said:

@Sooty said:

You sat with friends and cried watching Lost?

wtf

I did too. So what?

Nothing in that show strikes me as that sad, tearing up? Sure, but actually crying...I don't see it.

I guess it's all those years caring about those characters, and suddenly it's over. Add sad music and some people will cry. Makes sense.

Ya, I won't add any spoilers but when main characters died in that show they made it mean something every time and every time it was incredibly sad. 
Posted by defenestr8ed

Still feel weird about actually really liking the ending to Mass Effect. In fact, I kind of love how straight up Biblical the themes of organics vs. synthetics and the "uplifting" of societies gets by the end.

On the other hand, I can understand why people could be disappointed by the delivery system for those themes at the VERY end, but for whatever reason it didn't bother me. What I really don't get is the argument for a "heroic" ending where Shepard singlehandedly kills all the bad things and then high fives the world and flies off into the sunset. I just never got the impression that this was where the story was headed. All of the build up thoughout the series implies that the conflicts in ME1 and 2 (which humanity barely defeats), are insignificant compared to what's coming with the reaper invasion, and honestly I was expecting that at best, humanity would barely make it out of the conflict surviving at all. It's essentially set up as a fight between us mortal beings and the Divine, Eternal and All-Powerful. Shephard is punching C'thulu in the face here, and honestly I was surprised that things turned out as well as they did.

Posted by BasketSnake

Scrap all ideas - take the best suggestions from the fan forums and then create multiple endings based on that. Or have they already done that? I don't know, I only played M2 and I didn't really enjoy it.

Posted by DirtyEagles

The ending was great, it didn't really make much sense, but it was still great.

Posted by Pinworm45

@Milkman said:

@Pinworm45 said:

I really hate how there's an attempt to shrug off what Bioware did with the ending by saying "endings are hard, you can never please everything, there would always be people upset it ended, or that the ending "tried something different [it didn't] and people just didn't get it/like it" etc. Some of that may be true, but that is irrelevant in this case. The issue is on an objective level: The ending is just objectively terrible. It has massive plot holes.. in fact, they're not even plot holes. That's simply too small. It has wrongs. That's the only way to describe them. It has nothing to do with expectations that were too high, and everything to do with the ending just being terrible on an objective level.

If it's objectively terrible then why are there people in these very comments who say it's great?

You don't like it. Fine, good for you. But stop acting like your opinion is the only one that exists.

I haven't seen a single person say it's great. The best I've seen was "it's not that bad".

Also, The Room is an objectively terrible movie. I love it. So do other people. That's irrelevant.

And my opinion isn't the only one that exists, but it is the most important one to me. Anyway, I could list the objectively terrible aspects of it, but is that really necessary? There's a million threads on the subject. I'll leave you with one, anyway: Crew mates that were on earth with me magically teleported onto the Normandy, which joker is using to flee the most important battle in galactic history for some reason.

That is objectively terrible. I haven't seen a single person say they liked that, thought it was great, hell, the people who defend the ending don't even acknowledge that part. Even if they did, it's still objectively terrible, nonsensical, and a plot hole. Opinions don't change that.

Posted by Matiaz_Tapia

Patrick, that was mighty great of you to bring different perspectives into the mix. Not only that, but a leveled and almost kind way to handle what it's already becoming an unnecessarily heated discussion. Great article!

Posted by EDfromRED

There seems to be a lot of game journalist pushback concerning reports that Bioware is thinking of making changes to the ending of Mass Effect 3. Me thinks they protest too much. Maybe if they did their jobs right in the first place and covered the shit endings with the criticism they deserved, instead of rubber stamping it with a perfect score, they would not be embarrassed by the rightous anger of fans who were flabberghasted at how miserable the concluding moments were.

Posted by clank543

I'm really enjoying Mass Effect 3 so far after about 7 hours. All of this controversy about the ending has really made me want to finish it faster, though. I'm excited to see what everyone's so mad about.

Posted by Winternet

What? The ending of Sopranos was brilliant.

Posted by daydreamdrooler

I don't agree with Jensen at all, as a writer I feel the man doesn't give a shit about the writer and only wants money from his consumers which he will back 100% just so he can sleep easy at night. Its the writers story and no one else, its pretty cut and dry, the writer has all the power when it comes to the story he wants to tell and your along for the ride, love it or hate but accept it as the story that writer wished to tell. your not entitled to have any say what so ever over that story, its not yours.

Posted by GrandHarrier

@hermes said:

@Kyodra said:

I have always had bad vibes about studios changing endings to be more positive for the audience. This was done with the films Blade Runner and Army of Darkness, one ending was changed for the worse (by a lot), the other was about as good as the original.

I am with you... I haven't finished the game, but without risking spoiling it for me, this controversy sounds like fans were expecting a better/happier ending that they got.

If this is the case, and the ending is bad (not in badly done, but in the sad way it leaves the universe), I can't support this movement... Authors should be able to have a saying in the story, no matter how awesome you thing your Shepard is...

Its bad because it makes absolutely no sense. It has plot holes, as in genuine, irreconcilable plot holes, that you could fly a Reaper through. We don't want a "happy" ending. We want an ending that makes sense.

Posted by Shun_Akiyama

Can we move on to a new controversy now? This one is getting really old and really stupid.

Posted by EndrzGame

@Olivaw said:

“Most screenwriters will tell you the hardest part of any movie, any story to tell, is just the end. It’s the thing that changes the most, it's the endings that are the most fought over among collaborators. They’re the things that are just the hardest to land.”

Which is super funny, since that Final Hours app basically says that it was just Casey Hudson and Mac Walters who wrote the ending, and they didn't let anyone else see it before it was too late to change it!

I know right? Maybe if they shopped the ending around to the other writers it could of been better. I really don't blame Bioware for this debacle as much as I blame EA. They take the lead writer from ME 1 and 2, (Drew Karpyshyn), and move him over to SWOTOR. The game leading up to the ending was pretty good, but it's obvious the ending was rushed and under developed cause what we got was seriously....wtf?

Glad their adding to it too it.

Posted by TheHT

@Pinworm45: I like the ending and think it's great.

@GrandHarrier: What plotholes are there?

Posted by Rothbart

@Carac said:

If the indoctrination theory is true, they planned all of this. It would also explain why they want to wait until more people have finished it to say, "You all got tricked/indocrinated...and here's the battle that happened after the battle of shepard's will vs reaper Indocrtination that was happening in his head" (the ending we've seen).

The only ending where Shepard breathes in the rubble where he was hit by the Harbringer blast on earth was the one the reapers didn't want you to pick and the one that symbolizes not giving into indoctrincation. The left choice being that of the illusive man, and the central choice being that of Saren. We've all been played/tricked by indoctrination...I hope. I mean, why else would the trees and bushes from your dreams show up on the field around you after being hit by Harbinger's beam. Why would the narrow path to the console in the citadel be an amalgam of ship designs throughout Shepard's story (including the Shadow Broker's), all of that "Reaper vignetting" in the next to last scene. The last scene where Anderson represents Shepard's will fighting Indoctrination and the Illusive man representing Indoctrination. And the "choice of three" being the Reaper's test to see if indoctrination worked.

I think it's safe to say that there is no "if" to the whole indoctrination business; one thing that Bioware has demonstrated over the years is that they are master storytellers, who always have a trick or two up their sleeve when you least expect it. In addition to all that you said there's also the way in which the three choices were represented, with the "Destroy the Reapers" option being painted as the most negative. By placing it on the right they made it harder for people to accept as well, since the majority of right handed people instinctively will turn left or go straight if placed at such a fork. Honestly, I'm super curious as to what Bioware has in store for us.

It's probably way too much to expect a Mass Effect 4, but given the way the ending is framed I wouldn't doubt it. I'd be happy if they wrapped up the cliffhanger with some DLC myself, though. All in all I think the problem is that the ending just went right over most people's heads, since they probably weren't expecting an ending that required active user participation to deduce. Most people it seems would have been happier with a bland, trite "Commander Sheperd hero of the Galaxy" type thing.

Posted by bybeach

I'm not going to look at the comments, because ppl will bring out their spoilers inadvertingly or probably one..not so much so. but this makes me think of the end of the Matrix films. Don't read this if it spoils it for you.

He's aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!!!!!!!!!!!

He's deeeeaaaaad!!!!!!!!!

He's both! He's Neo the MATRIX MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perfect ending perfection. Also, I never saw rthe sopranos..but I did hear of that one conversation , and think the ending well done.

Posted by ballsnbayonets

i agree the ending to lost and sopranos both sucked too.

Posted by Agikamike

Mass Effect 3's ending, when take on it's own terms, isn't half bad. It has its own emotional resonance, resolution, and honestly a cool theme.It's why, as soon as I finished the game, I actually felt pretty alright about it. But as time went on, I began to dislike it more and more.

It's just totally unrelated to the themes of Mass Effect, and especially the themes of Mass Effect 3. It's also straight up inconsistent with itself. That's what gets me, personally. Mass Effect is a series that strove to explain even the smallest of its scifi contrivances. From the FTL relays to the thermal clips to the biotic powers, they all were explained. And then... the series introduces a massive amount of new "science" and gives you no reason to believe any of it.Add to that violations of simply plot consistency and you get a bad ending.

It's got good themes, but the theme can be amazing and still not Mass Effect, and it's just not well written as far a consistent plot goes.

Edited by GrandHarrier

@TheHT said:

@Pinworm45: I like the ending and think it's great.

@GrandHarrier: What plotholes are there?

Spoiler tags in case you haven't finished the game.

Your squadmates on the ground somehow magically end up on the Normandy, which is randomly light hours away from the battle at the Charon Relay, fleeing from Sol for no reason? First of all, how the hell did they get up there? Second, why would they abandon you at the crucial moment of the battle?

The Vent God claims that Synthetics will always rebel against their creators. Which isn't true, as the Geth actually held back from killing off the Quarians when they could have. You then broker peace and unification between them. EDI, an AI that started out homicidal, ends up your staunchest ally. Oh and if Synthetics will rebel, why haven't the Reapers? Not to mention the fact that their logic is "We are Synthetics who kill Organics so they don't create Synthetics that kill Organics." Uh. What? They also force species to develop along lines they sow, which apparently includes always creating Synthetics? Why not do something to break the cycle then perpetuate it?

Just a few of them.

Posted by Duecenage

Stephen King also states that endings are really hard to do. He goes so far to say that the amount of distaste for an ending is usually proportional to the amount of love a series gets. He talked about it a bit during Lost's run on TV, but went deep into it when he concluded The Dark Tower books. Dark Tower VII had 2 endings, the one where King wanted to end it, and the other, just like Jensen said, would appease to the audience that wanted more closure.

In my opinion, I don't think King needed his PSA in that book because both endings are amazing and probably one of the best conclusions to anything I've ever been witness to, but I carry the sentiment forward to every other piece of entertainment. That's why I felt that Lost's ending was perfect for me as well. That's why the Mass Effect 3 ending didn't bother me that much either. I figured they left it ambigous so that they could come up with where to go in future games. If they were to provide epilogues and closure for everyone, then they are locking themselves into something without proper planning, and would be forced to retcon a whole bunch of it when the new series starts up. I do agree that it was executed poorly and there's totally a way to fill in some of those holes and make one last "Hurrah!" of an ending.

I just hope that they don't change the context of the ending. That's where I feel the indoctrination theorists could become upset, because as cool as that theory seems, Bioware would have to realize that going that route that would piss off more people than fleshing out what was already delivered to us at face value. If they do go that route, like I said, I'm okay with that as well, because I already did receive my ending already.

Posted by jakkblades

The statement from "Retake Mass Effect" makes no sense whatsoever. I don't think I'm entitled but I do think I'm entitled to change the ending.

Posted by Death_Burnout

“I think Mass Effect, as a franchise, these three games taken together, I just can’t see how it’s not regarded as anything less than a landmark,” said Jensen. “There’s so many things to enjoy about these games and this world and the creative accomplishment of this series than just those final moments.”

This a million times over.

Great article! Also I would like to say that Lost was an immensely powerful show, but if you're a cynical asshole you'd hate it, and it's ending.

Posted by Nardak

I found a Blog where a user named JediMB summoned very nicely in a long blog post the problems that I had with the ending:

A Collapsing Mass Effect Threeld

March 21, 2012 JediMB

To preface this post, I’d like to say a couple of things about me and my relationship with BioWare’s games, which I’ve played since Knights of the Old Republic brought me in via my love for the Star Wars universe.

I’ve never been one for participating in boycotts or similar organized efforts. Yes, I’ve participated in the Fight For The Love group that asked for more homosexual romance options for Mass Effect 3, but that issue alone was never going to decide whether or not I would purchase the game. I’ve always figured that I’ll buy the games I want, and if they’re not for me for one reason or another I’ll simply leave them be.

I’ve also been there to defend BioWare and Electronic Arts when I’ve felt others were overreacting to development and marketing decisions. I was there with my pre-orders for Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2: Collector’s Edition, Dragon Age II: BioWare Signature Edition, Star Wars: The Old Republic – Collector’s Edition, and Mass Effect 3: N7 Collector’s Edition.

Yet here I am, among a legion of upset and/or angry BioWare fans who are protesting critical development decisions made for the final part of the Mass Effect trilogy. Rest assured, most of the game was absolutely fantastic, despite the doubts I had about the Crucible plot device introduced at the beginning of the game. It would certainly be my preference that the entire Crucible project was changed into an extension of the fleet-building process that the entire game focused on. But I can stand the presence of an ancient superweapon being introduced in the final part of the trilogy as long as its use in the big finale is properly executed. Which it is not.

The ending, as it has been since release, can most easily be described as heartbreaking. It manages, it seems, to do the exact opposite of what one would expect. It creates more questions rather than delivers answers. It is a source of anxiety and unfulfillment rather than closure. It forces you to accept someone else’s terms when you’ve set out to reach victory on your own. It just plain fails to make sense within the context of the series’ lore and themes. It is not a bittersweet ending as much as it is simply bitter.

The ending has failed to the point where I’m doubting if I’ll ever want to actually replay the game, or its predecessors. And this is coming from someone who has played through Mass Effect 1 and 2 at least four times each.

Primary problems

To start, Mass Effect 3′s ending disregards and undermines choices made throughout the series. With the exception of the moment you’re given to talk to former and current squad mates in the resistance HQ in London, all your choices are basically condensed into the number that is your Effective Military Strength. Then, in the end, every player is presented with the same color-coded choices that are completely disconnected from the choices and themes you were presented with earlier. All ending variants have roughly the same devastating consequences, and seem to all be designed to sabotage the player’s past efforts.

Then there’s the seemingly changing purpose of the Crucible. Throughout the game, even when talking to the Prothean VI Vendetta near the end, you are given the impression that the Crucible was meant to utilize the Catalyst for its own purposes, but once you do reach the Catalyst it somehow turns out to be the other way around: the Citadel/Catalyst utilizes the Crucible to modify its own capabilities in ways that are more than a little hard to swallow.

Lastly, there’s the fallacies of the Catalyst that is introduced in the very final minutes of the game. Not only is its existence entirely inappropriate for the series, especially as a thing introduced simply to tell you what your options are at the very end, but its motivation is highly flawed. It asserts that synthetics will always strive to eradicate all organics, when all the evidence presented throughout the series seems to point towards that only being applicable to the Reapers… even if the Reapers do it a few species at a time every 50,000 years. It’s just not a motivation that works for the Reapers.

We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.
–Sovereign

The Catalyst claims that the Reapers exist to save organic life from synthetic life, but if you go back to Mass Effect 1 and 2 and listen to Sovereign and Harbinger, you’ll find that they express distaste for organic life. Sovereign says that organic life is chaotic and a genetic accident, whereas Harbinger later concludes that humanity is the only sentient species worth ascending into Reaper form. Whatever their purpose, it clearly is not to save organics from synthetics.

Your worlds will become our laboratories.
–Harbinger

The Catalyst’s solutions don’t make much sense either, and the re-colored ending sequences showing them off are just abysmal. Destroying the Reapers is one thing, but how are a series of shockwaves seemingly capable of distinguishing synthetic life and implants from other occurrences of metals, minerals, plastics and electrical/magnetic charges? This sounds more like magic than any kind of science to me, and that only gets worse in the Synthesis ending… which also spits life’s celebrated diversity in the face. The only truly believable ending is the Control one, but choosing The Illusive Man’s path is hardly a desirable ending to many players.

As a final note, the destruction of all mass relays seems impossible when you consider how Primary (paired) and Secondary (multidirectional) relays work. Primary relay pairs should be entirely unaffected by the chain reaction, since they can only connect to each other, and Secondary relays wouldn’t likely be able to transmit to all other nearby relays due to their own destruction after passing the beam from the Citadel on to the next relay. (If relay A connects to relay B, C and D, relay A would be destroyed after passing the signal on to relay B, but relay B is probably out of range for relay C and D.)

Secondary problems

The first time the game made me pause and wonder what the hell was going on was when I finished the assault on Cronos Station – the Cerberus base. Being told that the Catalyst was actually the Citadel was one thing, but finding out moments later that the Citadel had been taken to Earth by the Reapers. How is that even possible?

Mass Effect 1 established that the Sovereign couldn’t get anyone onboard the Citadel without the Conduit on Ilos, so how did they do this now? And how was the Citadel moved to Earth? It seems too big to be able to travel via mass relays, and it would certainly take it quite some time to make it to Earth via regular FTL? Furthermore, how does this new Conduit in London work? How does it transport people into the Citadel without a receiver relay, and why would it transport people and corpses into a previously unseen area that (on top of looking more like a mesh between human and Shadow Broker tech) is for some reason directly connected to another control panel like the one in the Council chambers?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense if the Reapers had salvaged the Prothean Conduit from Ilos, and had people transported into the Presidium, which in turn is only a short trip from the Council chambers’ controls?

Closing statements

I realize fully that there’s no way to get a “perfect” ending, but it’s really hard to wrap my head around how the current ending was even considered; much less approved. I’ve heard about how script changes were made, and the writing team was basically scrambling to piece something new together with both time and ideas running out. It just saddens me immensely that this is how the most epic space opera conceived could end on such an unfitting note.

I’m not going to pretend that it’s just the continuity errors, though. Or the way the game goes from a plot device (The Crucible), to a MacGuffin (The Catalyst), and suddenly veers into a Diabolus Ex Nihilo (The Catalyst being the “Star Child”). I’ll openly admit that I wanted my little piece of a happy ending too. I know, I know, saving what remains of the Earth and the rest of the galaxy is a happy thing in itself, but like I said… Mass Effect is a space opera. It’s as much about the characters and their relationships as it is about saving the galaxy.

Having played through the entire Mass Effect trilogy, I feel deeply invested in its characters. Maybe too much so, because as I took in Mass Effect 3′s ending I felt truly pathetic for caring so much about Joker and EDI, Garrus and Tali, that brandy I was supposed to share with Chakwas, and not least how Shepard and Liara had promised each other they were going to get through this and have their little blue children. This is why I felt betrayed. No matter how well I did, Shepard’s life was not in my own hands anymore, and I felt that last-minute plot twists were destroying all I had fought for just for the hell of it.

And there wasn’t even a proper epilogue to console me. It was just me and my nihilism.

I don’t hate BioWare. I don’t want to be angry or disappointed with them. I guess I expected bittersweet endings more akin to those in Dragon Age: Origins, where self-sacrifice was one of many decisions, and where I felt that the world actually had things for me to look forward to. As I’m typing the very end of this post, I’ve just read Dr. Muzyka’s statement on the future of the game’s ending, and I have hope that they’ll soon be able to rekindle my trust in them.

Posted by jakonovski

@EDfromRED said:

There seems to be a lot of game journalist pushback concerning reports that Bioware is thinking of making changes to the ending of Mass Effect 3. Me thinks they protest too much. Maybe if they did their jobs right in the first place and covered the shit endings with the criticism they deserved, instead of rubber stamping it with a perfect score, they would not be embarrassed by the rightous anger of fans who were flabberghasted at how miserable the concluding moments were.

Yeah, it's kind of horrible that Jeff was one of the few that even brought up the issues.

Posted by NTM

They shouldn't retcon the ending, but add to it if anything. At first I could understand some of the complaints, and while I didn't hate the ending, I did/do feel like if there was just a little bit more, my fantastic experience with three (and the trilogy as a whole) would be justified a little more, but with all of this news and all the strong opinions towards it is just making it ridiculous. In years to come, those people that are complaining about it with deep feelings will look back and think "wow, I really did that?" I love fiction just as much as anyone, more than many, but really, people need to take a step back and think about what they're doing.

Posted by JStaunton

good read

Edited by Mezmero

I like many others was disappointed by the ending. I don't think it was bad enough to suggest something as insane as changing it but I did feel like they set it up to make a clean break from making ANY more games in this universe. The fact that the mass relays are destroyed regardless of your final decision gives me the impression that they don't want this fiction to go forward which I am staunchly against. My biggest problem with the ending is that even though I had my readiness full both on percentage and number, I am still not clear if I got the "true" ending or if there is a "truer" ending. I shouldn't have to scour the internet to know if what I saw was a definitive timeline. It is to this game's detriment that I should even question what I saw

Even though the ending was poor in my eyes I felt the lead up to it left me more than satisfied with the game overall. Watching the Reapers and the Alliance forces go at it was really a moment that left me cooing like an infant and hungering for more Mass Effect. For the record I hated the ending of Lost and for that matter I hated just about everything beyond season 2. They traded in the sense of mystery for pure confusion. Those writers had no clue what they were doing. That show only went as long as it did because they wanted those advertisement bucks. Interesting story kleptok. These guys need to chill.

Edited by Majkiboy

So fucking childish. Just because there was an anticlimax people have to go bonkers (i.e not up to your expectations). Just live with the imho good ending.

Posted by Rawrz

The ending of Mass Effect 3 is perfect. That whole series is about making choices, and its finale left the world with choices. Move on, or bitch about it. Oh hey there even Paragon and Renegade choices too! haha.

Posted by Baraka528

shut up with this jesus it's a video game..... fuckin go buy a new one lol

Posted by PrivateIronTFU

I'm just hoping that all the people bitching and whining about this ending are not adults. Because adults should not be acting like this.

And keep in mind I'm not talking about everybody who doesn't like the ending. If you don't like the ending, that's totally fine, but the way some people are acting, I just hope that they're minors. Because adults who act this way are beyond pathetic.

Posted by chaosnovaxz

SPOILERS:

I don't get how people overlook the obvious things that point to the final moments on the Citadel being a dream sequence.

There is NO precedent established for the Illusive Man being able to control Shepard and Anderson like puppets. He's controlling their movements. This isn't even possible in the ME fiction, and they go out of their way in ME2 and ME3 to tell us that Cerberus did NOT place a control chip in Shepard. Even if they had, they can't control Anderson like that.

Furthermore, in my save, the Illusive Man used this control to make me shoot Anderson in the side. Later on, as I sat with Anderson watching the battle, Shepard began bleeding from the SAME exact wound (shown by a deliberate camera shot), even though Shepard had never been hit there. Symbolic wound, much?

Given that the Catalyst VI conveniently takes the form of the kid you see through the whole game, how does anyone pass off that whole level as actually happening? (Also, notice how Anderson and the dudes loading the transports at the beginning of the game don't seem to hear OR even notice the kid, and indoctrination is supposed to cause ghostly hallucinations to weaken you?)

I'd prefer the Indoctrination ending. It makes MOST of the ending they gave us make sense....except..

If it WAS a dream sequence, then that means Shepard never actually went onto the Citadel to open the arms, meaning the Crucible was never attached, meaning Bioware essentially just cut to credits in the middle of the battle after Shepard got knocked out, which also makes no sense, and there's no way he could have hit the different switches, since he was never there..

And the Normandy teleporting thing....there's no way Bioware could expect us to figure that out on our own. Our loyal squadmates are somehow teleporting back to the ship and fleeing while millions of others stand and fight? How do we deduce the cause for THAT on our own? Perhaps it supports the "dream sequence" theory. The battle turns for the worst while Shepard is knocked out, so everyone begins to flee. But they couldn't be fleeing from a relay explosion if Shepard never beamed up to hit the damn switch, so neither explanation makes sense.

And EVERY ending destroys the mass relays, which essentially does the Reapers job for them, according to the Codex, since the resulting explosions are likely to wipe out all life in their respective systems.

And the post credits sequence - I don't think Bioware was trying to pull the "Oh, it was all just some old man's story!" thing. I'm not really sure what they were after.

Still, excellent game up until the last 30 minutes!

Posted by GrandHarrier

@Baraka528 said:

shut up with this jesus it's a video game..... fuckin go buy a new one lol

lol thanks for your insightful opinion lol.

Posted by ElCapitan

@SolidOcelot: To be perfectly fair,

the cycle with the Quarians/Geth and EDI are only broken because they all incorporate Reaper technology. The Reapers claim to be beyond the cycle (to a certain extent they are) so the cycle has not been broken, you've simply integrated Reaper understanding to current synthetic life.
Posted by buckybit

I want to give EA/Bioware my new Annual Innovation Award for their RGB-Endings. Brilliant!!

Code reuse/inheritance is sooo underappreciated!

Posted by Dtat

Good article, Patrick. It's nice to see someone taking these complaints seriously instead of writing them off as spoiled, entitle fanboys.

Posted by kyrieee

Thanks Patrick, that was a good read.

I don't think ME3's legacy will be that it tried something bold and failed; I think it will be remembered as a game that didn't get enough development time.

Posted by TheHT

@GrandHarrier said:

@TheHT said:

@Pinworm45: I like the ending and think it's great.

@GrandHarrier: What plotholes are there?

Spoiler tags in case you haven't finished the game.

Your squadmates on the ground somehow magically end up on the Normandy, which is randomly light hours away from the battle at the Charon Relay, fleeing from Sol for no reason?

The Vent God claims that Synthetics will always rebel against their creators. Which isn't true, as the Geth actually held back from killing off the Quarians when they could have. You then broker peace and unification between them. EDI, an AI that started out homicidal, ends up your staunchest ally. Oh and if Synthetics will rebel, why haven't the Reapers? Not to mention the fact that their logic is "We are Synthetics who kill Organics so they don't create Synthetics that kill Organics." Uh. What? They also force species to develop along lines they sow, which apparently includes always creating Synthetics? Why not do something to break the cycle then perpetuate it?

Just a few of them.

No one knew what the Crucible would do. Seeing it activate would no doubt incite a retreat to anyone who doesn't want to risk the energy emitted not just passing over them. Now, the crew that was with you while running to the beam elevator thing surviving and leaving you, that's a plothole.

The Catalyst believed that synthetics would always rebel against organics. That the geth don't (though they did, even if it wasn't their fault, their fight for survival was a rebellion) after taking a developmental leap and the Catalyst (which is likely an AI) is wrong is not a plothole.

Who would the Reapers rebel against? The Catalyst? The Catalyst again is a likely synthetic to who created and oversees the Reapers. If the Reapers were capable of evolving to a point where they could break free from their purpose, theoretically they could rebel. But they're not capable of evolution, and again, that the Catalyst could be wrong isn't a plothole.

They harvest organics to impose order on the galaxy, that order is the prevention of complete organic annihilation (which it would thus obviously see as chaos). Destroying the synthetics of that time would not deal with the organics of that cycle having the ability to create synthetics at a later time. So they harvest organics more or less at intervals of time corresponding to technological advancement.

They don't force species to develop. The existence of the Mass Relays ensures that the actions of the organics are not beyong the domain of the Reapers. That there isn't a splinter group with the potential of synthetic creation outside of their sight.

Shepard has the option of breaking the cycle at the end, something that the synthetic Catalyst and Reapers are incapable of doing because of their very nature.

Posted by Mikular

You can always tell a Patrick Klepek brand story by the vague, only-sort-of-relevant title.

Posted by Asinies

I think people are blowing this waaaay out of proportion. Fallout 3 did this before. And even outside of video games, plenty of writers and artists have changed their works. The latter not so much to demands from fans, but the former certainly. In fact, I'm pretty sure Sherlock Holmes is the greatest example of this. And in all honesty, that retcon only IMPROVED the stories. In the recent movie and recent television show, both Holmes seemingly "die", only to later show themselves alive. This leads to fans going "woah, how did that happen? I want to see more for an explanation!"

Granted, I can understand people's feelings towards Shepard dying. In fact, I think he should be dead! That brings some closure. But I think that with the rest of the ending, some things need to change for the better. It just looked like they brought closure to the entire series rather than just Shepard, which is something a lot of people don't want. We want to see the repercussions of the three choices we made. But I'm going back to a topic discussed last week. The point is, yes an ending is incredibly important, but if an ending is upsetting so many people, who are you to say it should stay? Who are you to say a new ending cannot be better, and will please more people? Again, I'm not implying we get "the happy ending", as I mentioned above, I rather Shepard stay dead; hell, I'd be okay with half his squad dying. But I think the endings need to be expanded upon, and that the Reaper's motivations be re-evaluated a bit.

Posted by walter_sobchak

Spike Murphy filing a complaint to the FTC is definitely over the line. He's wasting OUR tax dollars because a story someone told didn't live up to his expectations?!? GET A FUCKING GRIP, SPIKE! Come back to planet earth and maybe try to use that energy to solve some real problems here, maybe? I'd hate to be the person who has to read his crap as part of their job for the federal government, decide if it legally has merit, etc... waste all that time on something so amazingly frivolous in the grand scheme of things. Get a fucking grip on reality, Spike and stop wasting my money because you are butt-hurt that some imaginary character in some imaginary world wasn't somehow fulfilled with imaginary rewards.

Posted by Sword5

This whole experience has been depressing.

Fans had an emotion reaction to a video game and the games press has done everything to belittle and mock those people.

  1. The "happy ending" idea that is being floating around was to downplay the arguments about theme and execution.
  2. The venom about art that was flowing from twitter yesterday was mind blowing. I thought the games as art debate was still going on. Art has never been easy and shouldn't go unquestioned.
  3. IGN dressed up one of their employees to mock fans.
  4. Multiple people were talking about Roger Ebert yesterday as well. How is an industry ever going to grow when it spending all its time wanting approval from someone that doesn't care?
  5. Comparing fan reaction to having a bad sandwich shows a great deal on contempt.

Even the bombcast was weird. Mock the fans and then spend two episodes talking about how this critically acclaimed masterpiece is disappointing.

I know the whole victim thing doesn't help, but this isn't a conversation or a debate. This has been two different conversations. For fans it is about a series they loved giving them a terrible lasting impression. For the games press this is about a generic big picture and what they want for the future of the industry they cover.

Posted by deadmoscow

This is one of the best articles I've read on the whole ending kerfluffle. Kudos to Patrick for not lumping in every disappointed fan with crazy people who file FTC complaints.

Edited by patrickklepek

@Mikular said:

You can always tell a Patrick Klepek brand story by the vague, only-sort-of-relevant title.

You guys are here, anyway, why give it a boring title like "Fans, Media Discuss Mass Effect 3 Ending"? I tend to think of headlines here, at least for featurey content, as the equivalent of headlines in a magazine.

Posted by jakonovski

@walter_sobchak said:

Spike Murphy filing a complaint to the FTC is definitely over the line. He's wasting OUR tax dollars because a story someone told didn't live up to his expectations?!? GET A FUCKING GRIP, SPIKE! Come back to planet earth and maybe try to use that energy to solve some real problems here, maybe? I'd hate to be the person who has to read his crap as part of their job for the federal government, decide if it legally has merit, etc... waste all that time on something so amazingly frivolous in the grand scheme of things. Get a fucking grip on reality, Spike and stop wasting my money because you are butt-hurt that some imaginary character in some imaginary world wasn't somehow fulfilled with imaginary rewards.

You good sir are a drama queen.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

@Mikular said:

You can always tell a Patrick Klepek brand story by the vague, only-sort-of-relevant title.

That's because Patrick writes like a journalist, if this story was on Kotaku the headline would be "Mass Effect ending, why it might not have sucked" probably accompanied by a picture of half dressed femshep.

Posted by Jumanji

The ending of Lost was just the sight and sound of a bunch of hack writers cashing out on their long con.
 
The ending of the Sopranos was OBVIOUS and a bit heavy handed: Tony got whacked.
 
I don't care about Mass Effect because I don't fuck with space malls.

Posted by DarkbeatDK

The reason that Mass Effect fans are so uppity is obviously because they love the games a lot and because it's a very personal experience. I love Mass Effect too, but I think that the changing or rewriting the ending would be offensive to the original creators creativity.

Sure, people might not like it, but if the creator decided that this is the way the story ends, it's the way the story ends. There is no "consumer rights" involved in a story.

I bet no one went up to Leonardo Da Vinci and said "'ey mate... I've seen that Mona Lisa you've done, but the backgrounds a bit depressing. Couldn't ya put a sun in there somewhere? Also, make her boobs bigger!"

Posted by SinKing

Writing proper stories takes longer than producing an AAA game. The consumer want a game every two years (if not every year) and since we buy it anyway what's gonna change? So the consumer is always right - in being wrong?

I find it terrible if a writer just sees himself as part of the service industry. That means he will know the mechanisms to make you laugh and cry, but that's a joke, not a story.