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#1 Edited by StriderNo9 (1077 posts) -

So I know I'm really late to the party but I just finished Mass Effect 3 and I'm a bit head fucked, but not in a fun Donnie Darko way, in a "what the fuck was that?" type of way.

If it's not obvious I'm going to be mentioning spoilers.

I beat the game but before walking my Shepard to one of my three choices I did my research. I was already spoiled long ago that Shepard dies so I didn't care so much about ruining the last cutscene, I sort of wanted to see which was the best option for the galaxy. After reading countless threads about synthesis, control, and destroy I decided my Paragon Shepard would pick control and act as a guardian to the galaxy. Pretty happy with that decision, only I sort of wanted to pick synthesis because it's a bold new direction for everyone and it changes the ME universe in a very cool way. I just had this nagging feeling that's what the Reapers wanted me to pick and forcing everyone to change their DNA isn't very paragon. I didn't want destroy because I worked so hard with the Geth and I love EDI and to kill them like that will never sit well with me. Control had it's ups and downs also, I mean Shepard isn't one about having ultimate power so that felt weird but that's what I picked because that seemed like the lesser of the three evils.

What did you pick and why? After all this time of people complaining about the ending I thought it was only because not a lot was explained, but now I realize it's because Bioware really screwed the pooch on the choices they present and then fleshing them out to show you what you've done.

I played the game with all the DLC installed and with the extended ending.

#2 Posted by Chumley_Marchbanks (87 posts) -

I always feel like this bit from The Simpsons accurately sums up my thoughts on the ending.

#3 Edited by Killerfridge (300 posts) -

Did you have DLC installed? Like Leviathon and/or others? Me, I picked destroy because in that moment I was angry at them and just wanted to destroy them. Although for some reason my Shepard lived in the end, not sure why they added that in.

#4 Posted by Akyho (1584 posts) -

I always feel like this bit from The Simpsons accurately sums up my thoughts on the ending.

That actually sums up the original ending to a T.

You need to tell us @striderno9 if you did this without the extended ending or not.

I did it blind on the original ending and chose controll, thinking "Shepard sacrifices himself and becomes the guardian of the universe." same as strider. However what happens is blue light and the a bunch of beebing and squeaking untill it pans out with the normandy crashed on the planet. It was a bunch of random stuff and no sense making to be had.

Extended cut fixes things by giving more inbetween with explanations and while it is still pretty much the same ending, aside from flying off. It made more sense and looked better. Then put the little cherry ontop of an Epilogue.

I am not going to say the new ending is great or even good. However after the original ending its way more satisfying.

#5 Posted by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -

Tell me didn't fuck up and did the extended cut and the leviathan DLC

#6 Posted by StriderNo9 (1077 posts) -

Oh sorry, yeah I beat the game with all the DLC installed and this was the extending ending.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

the ending of ME3 owns, it's so goddamn stupid.

#8 Edited by pyrodactyl (1855 posts) -

So you did the citadel dlc before the ending?

#9 Edited by Akyho (1584 posts) -

Oh sorry, yeah I beat the game with all the DLC installed and this was the extending ending.

Then you sir had the best ending experience one can ever ask for with ME3. Which if you consider thing such as "People had to bitch to get the ending semi decent." and then add on "you need to buy DLC to make it at all decent" then its pretty fucked up by that margin.

I cant comment too much on the end result as I never bought the Leviathan DLC and just watched the GB crew get pissed at it on on Unpro and GOTY podcast. Since that annoyed the piss out of me. VITAL FUCKING INFO KEPT IN DLC! Uh I still get pissed off about it now.

#10 Posted by Veektarius (4540 posts) -

I've beaten ME3 twice, but my original choice was to destroy the reapers, because that was what I had set out to do. The other options were just distractions. My renegade Shepard chose control, however.

#11 Edited by LackingSaint (1764 posts) -

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

That said I was still pulled out of the experience by the ending, mainly because I jokingly shot the kid and had to replay the last hour of the game because he did a scary face and said "SO BE IT" and then the credits rolled. Because that's totally a fair thing to add as an ending to the culmination of three games of narrative, and shooting someone outside of a specific cutscene has totally affected the game in any way at any time prior to that.

#12 Edited by StriderNo9 (1077 posts) -

Actually, I googled for the best sequence to play the DLC in and there was a Giant Bomb thread that went into a lot of detail so I used that. The Citadel is by far my favorite DLC ever. It felt like an ending that should have been. Obviously it's a bit too happy to be a real ending in a game all about making "tough" choices, I just feel like Bioware did themselves a great disservice by not explaining things better.

While I like the idea of combining organics and synthetics, doing it against everyone's will seems like what the Reapers wanted to do. With Control I had an interesting thought. When you raid Cerberus and take it down there is a moment there with TIM makes a valid point about EDI taking CONTROL of Eva's body. EDI says it was necessary, and TIM all of a sudden seems like the wise one, albeit still insane and compromised. With that in my mind until the very end, having to make that decision, I thought to myself. This is necessary. It also helps that Shepard blatantly says TIM was right before asking for another choice. And in the end, it seemed appropriate that the man named Shepard would oversee the galaxy and protect his "flock".

#13 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (2944 posts) -

when playing the ending play the benny hill song in the background. Makes that ending 10x better.

#14 Posted by MB (11884 posts) -

@striderno9: moved to the ME3 forum - can you please start using the game-specific boards instead of lumping things into General? It will save us a ton of work. Thanks.

Moderator
#15 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3720 posts) -

@striderno9 said:

What did you pick and why? After all this time of people complaining about the ending I thought it was only because not a lot was explained, but now I realize it's because Bioware really screwed the pooch on the choices they present and then fleshing them out to show you what you've done.

Pretty much sum it up here in a lot of ways.

It was pretty reminiscent of Deus Ex's ending in a lot of ways where you decide basically which huge change is going to happen to the world. And there were even similar choices to be made between the endings.

There it was better to me because Deus Ex was about broad strokes (global conspiracies)... and well that game came out a while back too. Also the delivery wasn't smooth but... no star child was sure great.

But Mass Effect was so much about the characters, especially with your crew, so having these giant choices and not really being able to see how they come out of it feels so abrupt. Plus it's the end to three long games. I only finished the game after the extended cut came out and I couldn't help but laugh because I couldn't believe the abrupt ending I just saw was an "extended" version. People must have been so pissed on the first run.

And now, thinking about sequels and franchises how we have to these days... are they going to really continue Mass Effect 4 set after this? Doesn't it just make sense to do a prequel? We will see... I mean they did make a Deus Ex 2 (even after I chose to send society back to the dark ages.)

#16 Posted by SunBroZak (979 posts) -

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against the themes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

#18 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11418 posts) -

Mass Effect 3 still has a really bad ending, and the fact that Bioware had to use DLC to "fix" and explain it makes it that much worse. For the record, I picked Destroy, because I wasn't about to trust some clearly evil holographic star child thing who created synthetics to harvest organics who created synthetics.

#19 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3720 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

Exactly. It's just about all the races working together.

#20 Posted by RecSpec (3752 posts) -

Posted this once and it got eaten. So let's try this again.

I played all three back to back this year (all dlc minus Citadel), and the first ending I got was the refusal ending. Didn't even realize that was a choice, and thought it was great that it would end like that. I got that through dialogue instead of shooting the kid. Reminded me of Dragon's Dogma how the Dragon only comes back because the person who slayed it can't handle being a god.

#21 Posted by Dasacant2 (210 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

beat me to it, it also really hurt the idea that synthetics and organics could coexist despite their differences. This seems to say that everyone can only get along if they are the same.

#22 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@sunbrozak said:

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

Exactly. Unity does not mean homogeneous.

Honestly the only "real" ending to ME3 is the Destroy ending. In that you do exactly what you set out to do from the end of ME1; stop the Reapers and preserve galactic civilization. Control doesn't work because, really, that's what the Ilusive Man wanted. Synthesis doesn't work because you do realize you're agreeing with Saren Arterius right?

Destroy or maybe Reject are the only real "Shepard" choices in that whole lot. It's bizarre because while all three games had their flaws, the writing was consistent and so were the themes. Well, until the last ten minutes anyhow.

#23 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -

Destroy doesn't seem like a good choice especially if you brokered peace between the quarian and geth AND made friends with EDI and her stuff with Joker. You're essentially invalidating an entire section of the game by picking destroy. Synthesis is just all around silly and control, apart from being very 2001-esque but instead of space baby god we get space Shepard god, sucks because it proves the Illusive Man right in the end. There's really no good ending. Reject is probably the one that stings the least but it's still not good because you still wind up losing.

Online
#24 Edited by StriderNo9 (1077 posts) -

I sort of reject the idea that control is wrong simply because TIM wanted to do that. Again, I refer back to EDI's control over EVA, she saw it as a necessity. I felt the same way here. Plus, destroying the Geth who I worked with felt very wrong.

#25 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I always feel like this bit from The Simpsons accurately sums up my thoughts on the ending.

Offtopic: I suppose there's supposed to be a youtube embed in your post. Only I don't see it on Firefox, which is my preferred browser. Am I the only one? And what the eff's up with that?

#26 Posted by cmblasko (1108 posts) -

I chose control, seemed to be the choice that would work best for everyone.

So much has been written about ME3 that I will simply say it was the only game in the series I didn't play through multiple times since the ending deflated me so much.

#27 Posted by VoleMaulder (62 posts) -

I chose Control with my paragon Shepard for the same reasons. Synthesis wasn't my choice to make, and it seemed too invasive to be right. Destroy didn't sit well at all with how my game had played out up to that point, what with the peace between Geth and Quarians and accepting EDI as a person. Destroy, to me, felt like a betrayal towards them. Plus, the kid said that all technology would be destroyed. How the fuck were we gonna rebuild, then? Not to mention that all the militaries from all the Galaxy would be trapped in the Sol system. Furthermore, since I couldn't yet, at that time, fathom the amount of disregard they would show towards their own mythos, I also thought that the Destroy ending would destroy everything, because, you know, when Mass Relays are destroyed they go supernova-like, as we learned from what happened in the Batarian system at the end of ME 2. But no, Bioware writers destroyed the Mass Relays anyway, regardless of which ending you chose, so, that's two birds with one stone. Both leaving all the ships stranded in the Sol system and destroying every world near a relay (which, of course, didn't happen because...reasons!)

Anyway, long rant short, I thought I'd pick control, help everyone rebuild and then, because my Shepard wouldn't feel comfortable playing God, I would take all the Reapers and go hide in a black hole or something.

#28 Edited by Veektarius (4540 posts) -

@sunbrozak said:

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

beat me to it, it also really hurt the idea that synthetics and organics could coexist despite their differences. This seems to say that everyone can only get along if they are the same.

I just want to point out that even though you may believe organics and synthetics could coexist, that is clearly in contradiction to what the Catalyst believes/what the Reapers believe, and since it's the Catalyst who's giving you the options...

#29 Edited by kerse (2098 posts) -

I chose synthesis, but I'm not really sure why. I guess maybe because control seemed like what the illusive man wanted and fuck that guy, and then destroy would kill the geth and edi, so yeah only one other choice. I still thought it was a really stupid choice though and control is probably the right choice when I think about it. I was just kinda deflated by the time that choice came up though, as soon as you start walking towards the beam right at the end after harbinger shoots you with his laser just had this weird shift in writing and style that it kinda felt like I was playing a different game. Its hard to explain, but yeah thats how I felt at the time.

#30 Posted by Xeiphyer (5593 posts) -

@sunbrozak said:

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

beat me to it, it also really hurt the idea that synthetics and organics could coexist despite their differences. This seems to say that everyone can only get along if they are the same.

Hmm never really thought about it like that. I picked Synthesis for the same reasons as @lackingsaint but I guess peace through conformity and standardization is more oppression than freedom.

Although I guess it depends on what exactly changes, if everyone is still the same but are basically just more awesome versions of themselves, maybe its okay. I took it to mean that the eventual bypass of organics by synthetics in terms of ability and capability was stopped by advancing everyone to a hybrid form that was superior to both, that way there would never be the eventual war between them. Could be a good or evil choice depending on how it goes I suppose.

#31 Edited by VoleMaulder (62 posts) -

Another way to see the whole ending is that Shep dies when the Reaper shoots him/her and the rest is some weird dream/hallucination that actually lasts a few seconds before the brain shuts down. The real ending to Mass Effect is that you fail and everybody's harvested and the cycle continues, just not with all the stupidity inside the Citadel, but that would be a really fucking brave thing for Bioware to seriously pull off at the ending of a trilogy, so, sadly, they'd never do it :P

To be honest, since I went completely blind into the whole game, but with knowledge of the whole "ending scandal", for a moment I thought that was it, but only for a moment. Because if they'd pulled something that brave there would've been at least a couple of people commending them for it.

#32 Edited by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -

@dasacant2 said:

@sunbrozak said:

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

beat me to it, it also really hurt the idea that synthetics and organics could coexist despite their differences. This seems to say that everyone can only get along if they are the same.

I just want to point out that even though you may believe organics and synthetics could coexist, that is clearly in contradiction to what the Catalyst believes/what the Reapers believe, and since it's the Catalyst who's giving you the options...

The Catalyst is also an old as fuck being. Dude isn't exactly the most trustworthy thing.

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#33 Edited by Veektarius (4540 posts) -

@donchipotle: I didn't say he was right, I'm just saying that it's not inconsistent within the game for him to claim that synthetics and organics can't get along. However, there is more evidence in the game to suggest that they can't than to say that they can.

#35 Edited by LackingSaint (1764 posts) -

@sunbrozak said:

@lackingsaint said:

Synthesis was, in my opinion, the only "good" ending. The theme of uniting races seems like the main thread of the entire series, and everyone got to live.

I disagree. I thought it went against thethemes Mass Effect had always been about. That, the differences between all these species, would define their roles in the united universe. Making every creature in the galaxy one thing seemed like a slap in the face, in my opinion.

But they don't become the same thing, they just become unified in elements of one-another. Turians are still Turians, Geth are still Geth, there was just a newfound understanding and connection between the races. That to me is much more beautiful than Shepard becoming a supreme overlord of all things or forcing all races back into the dark ages. Honestly i'd just pick the "Kill the Reapers and leave everything else the same" ending, but Synthesis seems like the least troubling conclusion to me.

#37 Edited by EXTomar (4444 posts) -

The issue has been is that except for the Destroy ending, none of the other options where hinted, discussed, or entertained at any moment before Shepard takes the elevator up and talks to star kid which is where the "What the hell was that?" sensation comes from. It is basically sloppy writing where a small core group of writers absconded to write up some ending but never bothered to check if they "showed their work" or even if it integrated well into the other sections of the game.

The writing is so poor they setup a deus ex machina and still messed it up.

#39 Edited by LackingSaint (1764 posts) -

@extomar said:

The issue has been is that except for the Destroy ending, none of the other options where hinted, discussed, or entertained at any moment before Shepard takes the elevator up and talks to star kid which is where the "What the hell was that?" sensation comes from. It is basically sloppy writing where a small core group of writers absconded to write up some ending but never bothered to check if they "showed their work" or even if it integrated well into the other sections of the game.

I don't know if I really agree with that. To me, The Illusive Man always seemed like Control and Saren always seemed like Synthesis.

#42 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@striderno9 said:

I sort of reject the idea that control is wrong simply because TIM wanted to do that. Again, I refer back to EDI's control over EVA, she saw it as a necessity. I felt the same way here. Plus, destroying the Geth who I worked with felt very wrong.

That doesn't ring any alarm bells to you? It did to me the first time I played. EDI was making the conscious decision to destroy another sentient being (EVA was an AI after all) and is now strutting around in her corpse. To put it in human terms, we call people who do what she did a psychopath. As much as I like EDI, I am not putting her above every civilization in the galaxy.

As far as the Geth are concerned; yeah, that sucked. That being said I think BioWare would've been chickenshit for sparing EDI and the Geth. Saving the galaxy from Cthulhu Machine Gods required a sacrifice; and it did make sense since both EDI and the Geth (at that point in the story) were heavily based on Reaper technology. The pulse destroyed the Reapers and sadly EDI and the Geth counted.

#43 Edited by EXTomar (4444 posts) -

@lackingsaint said:

@extomar said:

The issue has been is that except for the Destroy ending, none of the other options where hinted, discussed, or entertained at any moment before Shepard takes the elevator up and talks to star kid which is where the "What the hell was that?" sensation comes from. It is basically sloppy writing where a small core group of writers absconded to write up some ending but never bothered to check if they "showed their work" or even if it integrated well into the other sections of the game.

I don't know if I really agree with that. To me, The Illusive Man always seemed like Control and Saren always seemed like Synthesis.

But they never bothered to discuss even with those characters. Was synthesis possible? How would control be possible? How would either actually work within the framework of the fiction created? Would it have been possible that Shepard was sent on an nearly impossible mission with an improbable outcome that could have taken key Reaper tech and turn it against them? Sure but that isn't what happened. Nevermind if either of those fit in to the thematic goals set about other plot and setting features.

All you need to do is look at the end scene to see what I mean. Why sending Shepard jumping into a beam of light going to trigger synthesis? Why is sending Shepard to touch these two glowing pylons going to trigger Control? It just does because the star kid (and the game) says so which is pretty far from story telling. I don't blame anyone for saying this is a poor way to end because the author(s) basically said "These are a great to end the story because we said so". It is their call but don't be surprised if others don't think so highly of it.

What really kinds of bites is that there was a setup for a bit of exploration into fate and destiny or a cleaver take on (player) agency but that was squandered.

#45 Edited by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

The real choice at the end was if you would choose benevolent dictatorship, toxic egalitarianism or if you would make the sacrifices necessary to allow sentient beings to self-determine,. When I reached the end and made my choice, I realized how ineffably cruel it is for one man or woman to decide how trillions of beings would live their lives, no matter how much a paragon of virtue that man or woman is. The destruction option was the only one I felt I as Shepard had any right to even consider, even though it indirectly (hell, directly) spells the doom of entire races, of personal friends. It also happens to be the decision that all of the organic races of the galaxy have been working and fighting to achieve, for Shepard to decide at the last minute to crown him or herself Eternal Dictat ('God' might be a better term) would be an incredible lapse in ethics. So is making major physiological changes to every sentient being in existence; you have no more right to direct the lives of others than the Reapers did. That you have the ability to do so and you believe the outcome to be more harmonious in the end is exactly the logic that installed the Reaper cycles.

#46 Posted by Dasacant2 (210 posts) -

I just want to point out that even though you may believe organics and synthetics could coexist, that is clearly in contradiction to what the Catalyst believes/what the Reapers believe, and since it's the Catalyst who's giving you the options...

Sure I think it makes sense from a in game perspective, especially after leviathan but I just think from a narritive perspective it does not fit with the themes of ME2 and 3.

Also Falafel why do you keep coming back?

#47 Edited by senrat (308 posts) -

The synthesis ending was completely stupid and rediculous. I did not like the idea of the reapers surviving in any way given how dangerous they are. The destroy all synthetic life option seemed like the best option for ending the reapers forever and making the galaxy normal again. Also its implied that sheperd survives in this ending with a gasping breath at the end.

#48 Edited by chilibean_3 (1610 posts) -

It was bad and it sucks that what should have been the final game to an amazing trilogy will be best remembered for that ending clusterfuck and awful, exploitative DLC practices.

#49 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

The real choice at the end was if you would choose benevolent dictatorship, toxic egalitarianism or if you would make the sacrifices necessary to allow sentient beings to self-determine,. When I reached the end and made my choice, I realized how ineffably cruel it is for one man or woman to decide how trillions of beings would live their lives, no matter how much a paragon of virtue that man or woman is. The destruction option was the only one I felt I as Shepard had any right to even consider, even though it indirectly (hell, directly) spells the doom of entire races, of personal friends. It also happens to be the decision that all of the organic races of the galaxy have been working and fighting to achieve, for Shepard to decide at the last minute to crown him or herself Eternal Dictat ('God' might be a better term) would be an incredible lapse in ethics. So is making major physiological changes to every sentient being in existence; you have no more right to direct the lives of others than the Reapers did. That you have the ability to do so and you believe the outcome to be more harmonious in the end is exactly the logic that installed the Reaper cycles.

What he said.

#50 Edited by Random45 (995 posts) -

I hated it and I always will.

I'm not going to bother to explain it because the horse is rotting right now, but that's my feelings on it.