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Posted by Sanious

I really do think the indoctrination theory is the 'correct' ending, cause think about what you get when you get 100% readiness and all that business. You're honestly going to tell me that little snippet is all you get for all the work you would put into getting 100%? I honestly think this was a last ditch effort to exploit cash out of the fans of the series. The 'best way' to get some cash flow in from anyone is to 'with hold' the 'true ending' and make it dlc.

As disappointed as people are, people are going to want to see it and are most likely willing to pay for it considering how much time a lot of us put into the series. I only finished the game last night, so forgive me if someone has already said this in the comments. But with the rest of the game, I was pretty please with how everything was working out between the galaxy and the characters. I find it really hard to believe that the lackluster ending that we have is what was really intended, considering all the stuff that leads up to it.

It is a really shitty end and business practice model to a series that was really worth playing the whole way through, such a shame.

Posted by brighteye

I wasnt that upset with the ending , sure it felt really out of character, not only for shepard, but also from the team.

I still can live with it ... what REALLY bugs me is the lying! Boiware stated over and over again that your actions as a player would have an impact in the end. Different color was not what i had in mind when they said that.

Posted by kerse

I think this is terrible, if they make enough money off this real ending dlc its gonna open the floodgates for "if you want the real ending for the game buy this 15$ DLC" on more games. Thats if they charge for it though I guess, which I'm expecting, if they don't though that would be a good move for them.

Posted by DG991

@Luthorcrow: Calling that show sci-fi is like calling harry potter sci-fi. It wasn't intelligent, well written, or crafted well besides the very first episode.

Lost was a terrible excuse for a show. The writers kept saying they would somehow tie all the pieces together, answer questions, and give a satisfying conclusion. The reason I don't want it associated with Mass effect is because Mass effect never had to really tie pieces together, most things were fully explained or given to you in a codex. Lost was just some classic TV writing. "TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" without any real direction. Mass Effect had a plan, I think the ending was only bad in three because bioware shipped a product in less time than they needed to complete it because who cares if they fuck up the third game. It was probably about money.

Mass effect 1 had an awesome story with a bunch of cool plot twists and a satisfying ending. Mass effect 2 had an awesome story with a bunch of cool plot twists and a satisfying ending with the exception of the giant human reaper. Mass effect 3 gave conclusion to conflicts that probably should never have been completely solved in one single game, but the over all immediate conflict had a half assed ending.

Posted by darkdragonmage99
@kerse:  A very good move They are only caving because they feel they need to garner some good will from there fan base.   Charge for the ending of a game would only gain you an even worse rep. They are losing their golden  reputation  and they are scrambling to try and fix it.  It has always amazed me how all these great developers with loyal fan bases could decline so very fast when they sell out to the likes of EA. 
Posted by Mjdemon

im gonna have to spoil myself. Just beat ME2 again so i can save my crew and have everyone survive plus decided to be an Adept but with all this outrage for the ending i need to know lol. Im still gonna buy the game and play it alot but i cant wait.

Posted by Luthorcrow

@phrali said:

i never liked lost. but that ending was dumb.

but the sopranos? i used to absolutely love that show. and the ending basically RUINED THE WHOLE SERIES. it was just so fucking stupid. it was like "hey thanks for watching all these years, by the way, fuck you, here's an ending where nothing happens. NOTHING. show over. thanks for the money."

Wow, you obviously didn't get it. The ending for the Sopranos had everything to do with what the whole show was about. The running theme of the entire show was that being a mobster was not glamorous and the constant threat of violence tainted everything to the point that protagonist could never enjoy his spoils. The violence seeped into every facet of his life, no matter how hard he might attempt to shield is family, everything is stained and corrupted by it.

In the final dinner seen it may be implied that they family is about to be wacked or that simply they feel like they about to be wacked, a feeling that will be ever present until they are dead or in jail.

Posted by Luthorcrow

@Nicholas said:

@catpowerd said:

@mutha3 said:

"artistic integrity"

Hahaha that's gotta be shoped right?

No. Unfortunately.

Wow, EDI was a member of my wrecking crew and I never noticed.

On the other hand, I have applaud Bioware for pushing the limits. But them I am not a prude. Hopefully the don't patch this because of the overly sensitiveness types.

Posted by lorex

Like a lot of fans I feel betrayed by the ending of ME3. All throughout the series all Bioware can talk about is how your choices throughout your journey can affect the way the story will play out. Then we get to the end and we find out that no matter what you do all the endings are virtually the same but for some tiny differences. I know there are many theories out there from an indoctrination attempt to the company manipulating us to buying some DLC. Whatever happens I have pretty much lost faith in Bioware at this point.

Posted by Zalathar

@lorex said:

All throughout the series all Bioware can talk about is how your choices throughout your journey can affect the way the story will play out. Then we get to the end and we find out that no matter what you do all the endings are virtually the same but for some tiny differences.

This was annoying, but for me it wasn't my major complaint. What I really disliked is that the galaxy you know and love, and fought so hard to save for three games, ends up being irrevocably destroyed anyway.

All I wanted was an ending where Shepard gets a pat on the back for defeating the Reapers, and then everybody in the galaxy gets on with their lives. Instead, the whole place gets completely fucked up in service of a “high concept” ending that nobody asked for.
Posted by Dalfiuss

Everyone needs to stop overanalyzing everything.

I got the best ending and thought it was excellent. Some aspects of it didn't make complete sense, but I ended the game happy and feel like the entire journey from ME1 to the conclusion of ME3 has been incredible.

Even if you didn't like the ending, the game and the series are great, and your tastes aside, the ending was handled about as well as you can handle an ending with such a massive scope and fan base.

The ending is oddly similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution's ending, and I don't recall people getting up in arms about that.

Posted by ICF_19XX

@Dalfiuss said:

The ending is oddly similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution's ending, and I don't recall people getting up in arms about that.

There's a reason for that.

Posted by ICF_19XX

@Luthorcrow: Fat PHAT lips.

Posted by skalnor

@Alex_Carrillo: if you're so proactive why are you commenting here?

Posted by d715

To me it feels like everyone who defends the Mass Effect endings are missing major points.

Like "artistic integrity" Bioware proves that wrong, if they were doing this for art they would have made Javik free, and wouldn't end the game with "Buy MORE DLCS!!!?!!111" remember Halo's 3 ending? How the note form Bungie thanking you for the love and support? Remember how Bungie made Reach? A game they didn't really want to make but ending up being one of the best of all the Halo games ending with another letter to the fans?

That's artistic integrity. Or at least more soon than Bioware.

Also claims that "Bioware took a risk and not made a happy ending" yeah so did about 50 other games to have came out, Downer endings aren't new they're just as cliche and overused as a happy one. Fans are made because its a stupid ending, fans want to have both, like Mass Effect 2, we want an ending that lets the Reapers win, but we also want to be able to send the Reapers crying back to dark space.

Also a lot of people compare this to Fallout 3's ending change aka Broken Steel. In fact its very much like the same.

Fallout games have always been about doing anything. You can be and do anything you want, a saint? sure, an ax crazy killer you bet, Rambo or a guy who can beat armies with his silver tough.

Fallout 3 end you're force to turn on the water machine no if an or buts. You can't even ask the friendly Super Mutant (who did something just like this not too long ago) or you ghoul buddy (who not only is immune to Radiation but is healed by it) .

Another is how it ends. Most Fallout games like the newest one New Vegas, talks about how your actions changed the area, for good and bad. Fallout 3 doesn't do this. And this just also happens to be why people dislike Mass Effect 3's end, you don't know what will happen. Knowing Bioware its just going to make up anything they want like they did in Dragon Age 2.

Posted by worfdata

Even if bioware isn't the best story teller I'm afraid of the precedent it would send to creators. That maybe this medium can't be art and freedom for story tellers to roam free, but is in actuality a product like a computer you can tweak it as you se fit. And as usual an interesting read by Patrick!

Posted by ptys

@Dalfiuss said:

Everyone needs to stop overanalyzing everything.

I got the best ending and thought it was excellent. Some aspects of it didn't make complete sense, but I ended the game happy and feel like the entire journey from ME1 to the conclusion of ME3 has been incredible.

Even if you didn't like the ending, the game and the series are great, and your tastes aside, the ending was handled about as well as you can handle an ending with such a massive scope and fan base.

The ending is oddly similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution's ending, and I don't recall people getting up in arms about that.

I agree! Don't know what ending I got but thought it was an excellent final act, highlight of the series in my opinion.

Posted by Gildermershina

I kind of like endings which are like "Well fuck, you can't go back now." The toothpaste is out of the tube.

Lost keeps getting brought up in the context of this discussion, and I think it's an apt comparison. There are fans in the sci-fi/fantasy community who think that everything needs a tidy little bow on it, but unfortunately the reality is that's not how storytelling really works. Nobody ever starts a huge story and plots out everything perfectly so that from page 1 it all ties together. I think Lost's production is a great example of this. They had a plan in the beginning, and as it unfolded, the plan expanded, and changed, and twisted. In a way, my favourite thing about Lost was the way they stayed consistent to the overall themes of the show, but made up the story as they went along. Then when it came down to it, they threw away the parts they didn't need to create a grander mythological ending that resonated with the most important themes of the show.

Not everything needs to be explained, not everything can be explained, and usually when something awesome and weird is explained, it turns out to be mundane and dull.

I say thank you to Bioware for having the balls to say fuck it, you build the context for the ending, you build the characters' stories, but when it comes down to it, you still have to make that same difficult choice. I applaud them for not adding some super-paragon option where everything turns out okay, or a renegade option where he gets to blow up the entire universe. I don't feel robbed by the choice of three difficult options instead of being given one good, one bad and one in the middle, like in every other case.

I think what bothers me most about this controversy is the way people seem to think there's some crazy conspiracy going on to sell a DLC ending. Yes they want to sell you DLC. No, they don't want fans to be screaming abuse across the internet about how EA has turned Bioware into an evil monster that delights in alienating its fans. And if they change the ending because of people doing that, then I hope those people are happy with whatever shitty outcome they get - but I know they fucking won't be.

Posted by Spintzel

How would they have wanted the game to end? I haven't played the game, but I suspect it isn't a "Lived Happily Ever After" ending. Sometimes stories don't end happy, I think people need to realize this.

Posted by d715


Well if you talk to most of them its more of a "We want to be able to have a happy ending" Bioware flat out said they were going to make an ending based on how you played, if you didn't prepare for the final fight you're going to loss, if you did everything you can possibly you're going to save the day and everything in between. What we got was an ending that none of the things you did matter. What's the point of bring all the races together and ending their warring if none of them are ever going to see each other again? Tali is never going to have a house on the homeworld, you'll never have blue babies with Laria no matter what you do. People want to be able to earn an happy ending, its needed in video games because you play it and want all you hours to pay off.

We want something like in Gears of War. Yes 90% of the human race is dead, yes you lost your best friend and farther but the war is over you can finally stop fighting and rebuild, mankind now has hope. Something like that. Mass Effect just ends with everyone's fucked no matter what you do, in a game about how your chose matter its an insult.

Also its starting to seem like now "sometimes" now means "all the time". I think you need to realize that a downing ending is just as overused as a happy one and it doesn't mean the story is "smart or mature".

The ideal that games can be art isn't about the media itself rather like anything the game. Some games can be, some are just produces made, Mass Effect 3 isn't art they're making toys with dlcs now. Its a cashcow.

Posted by Rekt_Hed

The more comments I read on the ending of mass effect 3 the more I get this god awful pain in my head. I think everyone's made enough of a fuss by now please just let bioware do what they do so we can get passed this.

It's time to move on people and find somethi.....hang there's DLC still in the pipeline......FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Posted by DoctorLazy

Was this reposted by anyone yet?

I have nothing to do with the ending beyond a) having argued successfully a long time ago that we needed a chance to say goodbye to our squad, b) having argued successfully that Cortez shouldn’t automatically die in that shuttle crash, and c) having written Tali’s goodbye bit, as well as a couple of the holo-goodbyes for people I wrote (Mordin, Kasumi, Jack, etc).

No other writer did, either, except for our lead. This was entirely the work of our lead and Casey himself, sitting in a room and going through draft after draft.

And honestly, it kind of shows.

Every other mission in the game had to be held up to the rest of the writing team, and the writing team then picked it apart and made suggestions and pointed out the parts that made no sense. This mission? Casey and our lead deciding that they didn’t need to be peer-reviewe.d

And again, it shows.

If you’d asked me the themes of Mass Effect 3, I’d break them down as:

Galactic Alliances


Organics versus Synthetics

In my personal opinion, the first two got a perfunctory nod. We did get a goodbye to our friends, but it was in a scene that was divorced from the gameplay — a deliberate “nothing happens here” area with one turret thrown in for no reason I really understand, except possibly to obfuscate the “nothing happens here”-ness. The best missions in our game are the ones in which the gameplay and the narrative reinforce each other. The end of the Genophage campaign exemplifies that for me — every line of dialog is showing you both sides of the krogan, be they horrible brutes or proud warriors; the art shows both their bombed-out wasteland and the beautiful world they once had and could have again; the combat shows the terror of the Reapers as well as a blatant reminder of the rachni, which threatened the galaxy and had to be stopped by the krogan last time. Every line of code in that mission is on target with the overall message.

The endgame doesn’t have that. I wanted to see banshees attacking you, and then have asari gunships zoom in and blow them away. I wanted to see a wave of rachni ravagers come around a corner only to be met by a wall of krogan roaring a battle cry. Here’s the horror the Reapers inflicted upon each race, and here’s the army that you, Commander Shepard, made out of every race in the galaxy to fight them.

I personally thought that the Illusive Man conversation was about twice as long as it needed to be — something that I’ve been told in my peer reviews of my missions and made edits on, but again, this is a conversation no writer but the lead ever saw until it was already recorded. I did love Anderson’s goodbye.

For me, Anderson’s goodbye is where it ended. The stuff with the Catalyst just… You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he’s not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.

And then, just to be a dick… what was SUPPOSED to happen was that, say you picked “Destroy the Reapers”. When you did that, the system was SUPPOSED to look at your score, and then you’d show a cutscene of Earth that was either:

a) Very high score: Earth obviously damaged, but woo victory

b) Medium score: Earth takes a bunch of damage from the Crucible activation. Like dropping a bomb on an already war-ravaged city. Uh, well, maybe not LIKE that as much as, uh, THAT.

c) Low score: Earth is a cinderblock, all life on it completely wiped out

I have NO IDEA why these different cutscenes aren’t in there. As far as I know, they were never cut. Maybe they were cut for budget reasons at the last minute. I don’t know. But holy crap, yeah, I can see how incredibly disappointing it’d be to hear of all the different ending possibilities and have it break down to “which color is stuff glowing?” Or maybe they ARE in, but they’re too subtle to really see obvious differences, and again, that’s… yeah.

Okay, that’s a lot to have written for something that’s gonna go away in an hour.

I still teared up at the ending myself, but really, I was tearing up for the quick flashbacks to old friends and the death of Anderson. I wasn’t tearing up over making a choice that, as it turned out, didn’t have enough cutscene differentiation on it.

And to be clear, I don’t even really wish Shepard had gotten a ride-off-into-sunset ending. I was honestly okay with Shepard sacrificing himself. I just expected it to be for something with more obvious differentiation, and a stronger tie to the core themes — all three of them

Posted by BetterTomorrow

I believe there is clearly more to come, I also believe it was intended all along. So weather it's a good thing or a bad thing, weather the additional content feels like a victory for the trolls or not, something will happen, and eventually everyone will get the closure they so much desire. And we will finally be able to put all this behind us. Great article, I can appreciate drawing the LOST comparison. I remember being in a simar "defensive" camp for that ending aswell. Like ME3 I very much enjoyed and appreciated the finale very much, and am very glad they didn't try and have that changed. I am still fully confident Bioware will come through for both sides of the camp.

Posted by nutter
@SolidOcelot RE: your spoiler tag, who's to say that the in-game source of that information is reliable? I took that information as BS the moment I got to that part of the game.
Posted by cristhianfs


Well at least she's anatomically correct.

Posted by jessej07

My tip to enjoying the ending:

Don't listen to all the disappointed hype surrounding it, let your previous experience and decisions in the series give you context and frame of reference for the ending.

The game ended beautifully.

Posted by Undeadpool

@WiqidBritt: I think Ryan really nailed it on this last Bombcast when he talked about what a great deal ME2 is getting in hindsight. Cause I remember the forums on here, and elsewhere, being on FIRE with people declaring Bioware was dead, DEAD, to them after ME2.

I'll admit it, it seemed rushed. But Hell, that to me just says they did the best with the time they had. They're clearly not Blizzard and EA is clearly not accepting "When it's done" as a timeframe. Am I blaming EA? Maybe a teeny bit, but I really don't think Bioware would just piss away the last seven years because...I don't know. What IS their motivation in that scenario?

Posted by myketuna

Just finished the game. Picked the Synthesis option. I thought the game ended alright, but I do agree that all it kind of needed was the Animal House ending on top of what's already there. I want to know what happened to all those people I saved.

Posted by leem101

hmm i thought the ending of the sopranos at first was complete wtf, but now i think its a masterful way to end the series, maybe people one day will feel the same about mass effect

Posted by iTWAN

@mutha3: LMAO!!! Best post Evar!!!

Posted by Sylect

i thought the ending was beautiful and i think it only annoys you if you go watch other endings, so what if they are similar, the ramifications left to the imagination in each is more than enough and i felt like my mass effect 3 ended in a good way. i wouldnt have had it any other way

Posted by Pinworm45
Posted by MooseyMcMan

@Pinworm45 said:

Yeah, and we all know what the results of Stallone continuing to make Rambo movies are...

Posted by CLP_TR4P

At the end, when the surviving crew exit the Normandy onto the leafy green world, that's the same Island in "Lost".

Posted by Hass


I'm usually quiet open minded. I get carried away now and then, when I'm getting forced to drink some kool aid

mixed with semantics, that hide the core of things. I've been around, I love innovation, but many things that

are new, are no way near innovative. Or even that creative. My comment may have been provocative.

In it's core Mass Effect stays a linear shooter, with character stats, that's what RPGs are called

nowadays. That's why it is so successful. They are aiming for a low common denominator.

At some points, it is that low, that people recognize, their intelligence is being offended, and

that this is maybe not the direction at all, they wanted to go. Then again, games are in a process

of evolution too, and there haven't been that many generations since the first home computers.

We'll see what will happen in the future. More diversification perhaps. Maybe indie games and

some of the kickstarter projects are able to shift the minds of publishers, that they can

expect their audience to be smart, and able to bear some challenge, even within a casual

way of things. I'm older now too, I don't have the time, or don't want to spend it anymore,

for games I once loved. But it was great, that they existed, you were able to play them.

Ah, and you wouldn't believe how stupid some of the games are, that I like. ;)

Posted by BBQBram

@DaBuddaDa: As far as I'm concerned The Final Cut is the only version of Blade Runner to exist!

Posted by Sooty

@jessej07 said:

My tip to enjoying the ending:

Don't listen to all the disappointed hype surrounding it, let your previous experience and decisions in the series give you context and frame of reference for the ending.

The game ended beautifully.

You probably think Grown Ups is a good movie.

Posted by jessej07

@Sooty: Highly underrated film, almost as brilliant as Bucky Larson, another underrated gem.

Posted by anubite

@Zithe: The impact on the universe is an illusion though. Because the world ends right there, as far as the player is concerned, and if BioWare ever decides to pick off where things left off - the universe pretty much ends in any of the choices you make. That's of course why they did it, to make the production of the next game cheaper.

The ultimate outcome is the same, even if the means to accomplish it are of different colors. That's partially why everone dislikes the ending. I mean, even Fallout 3 gave you a different series of slideshow information depending upon your choices, and that was hailed as a shitty copout. The ME3 endings were a massive travesty.

In the past, RPGs with choices have offered multiple endings. Of course, games with multiple unique endings have never been truly diverse as ME3 could have promised - but that's what was marketed. That we would get diverse, unique endings.

So we didn't, but it's not even that, it's that they didn't give us what we got in the past. I can open up any other BioWare RPG, even the awful DA2, and get some kind of epilogue that varies by my choice. Or, I could get an even older game, like Fallout 2, which lets me complete the game in 10 different ways and get different endings based on how I completed the game. Or fuck, look at VTMB, which had you going to different levels in the final act depending upon who you sided with, your ending being fairly different depending upon who you sided with.

Posted by hurtfulmadmax