Could someone give me a Leviathan summary? [Spoilers]

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#51 Posted by Brodehouse (10080 posts) -
@RenegadeDoppelganger

Maybe I totally missed the logic here but

Why was The Catalyst's solution to the task preserve all life to have the reapers wipe a good chunk of it out every cycle?

He was built with an order, a compunction, to ensure the continuation of organic life in the galaxy; not any specific race or species. His logic says that another AI created by these organics may not share his orders. Some may be peaceful (the geth), but some may not (every other killer AI). Even if there's a 1% probability a killer AI grows powerful enough to overtake the galaxy, that's a meaningful enough probability to act first (especially to a being that can live forever).

Consider it this way, a tree growing near power lines. If you let it grow, it might hit the power lines and burn the entire thing down, never to grow again. If you prune the tallest leaves and branches, it can regrow. This is what the Intelligence is thinking. There's also the aspect that he feels he's 'preserving' those species 'in Reaper form'. Tantamount to building a house or furniture out of lumber cut from that tree.
#52 Edited by mostman (251 posts) -

This probably would have made all those dream sequences suck a little less as well. I mean, sure, at the end you get to say "Ohhh - hes the catalyst - he was in my dreams" - but this sort of background detail would have made the reveal SO much better. I mean the whole catalyst thing was basically what pissed me off about the game. 3 whole games and toward the end of the third you are told there is this all powerful thing (is it the Citadel!?) that is the solution to all problems. Then you meet a personification of it. Then game over. The whole thing felt tacked on. Add in Leviathan about three quarters of the way through 3, and now you have something special.

#53 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (414 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@RenegadeDoppelganger

Maybe I totally missed the logic here but

Why was The Catalyst's solution to the task preserve all life to have the reapers wipe a good chunk of it out every cycle?

He was built with an order, a compunction, to ensure the continuation of organic life in the galaxy; not any specific race or species. His logic says that another AI created by these organics may not share his orders. Some may be peaceful (the geth), but some may not (every other killer AI). Even if there's a 1% probability a killer AI grows powerful enough to overtake the galaxy, that's a meaningful enough probability to act first (especially to a being that can live forever). Consider it this way, a tree growing near power lines. If you let it grow, it might hit the power lines and burn the entire thing down, never to grow again. If you prune the tallest leaves and branches, it can regrow. This is what the Intelligence is thinking. There's also the aspect that he feels he's 'preserving' those species 'in Reaper form'. Tantamount to building a house or furniture out of lumber cut from that tree.

Thanks, that makes it a little clearer. My initial thought was closer to your second point; that it was trying to preserve life by converting it to a more resilient, more evolved form (a reaper) although this brings up the debate of whether the reapers are technically a form of life and how broad one's definition of "alive" is. It also brings up the possibility of a slight misinterpretation or extrapolation of the order to "preserve".

I guess it's just weird (or perhaps really convenient) that The Leviathan -a practically omni-potent super species- thought it prudent to give an AI with limitless resources a one line mission without even the slightest catch (like, say, don't do anything that would jeopardize the universe). At the very least you'd think they could have foreseen seen the potential conflict of interest their admittedly disruptive way of going about things in the universe poses to The Catalyst's directive.

Also why was the "synthesis" option provided to the player in the ending never considered by the AI as a preferable option to clear- cut all of civilization every couple thousand years? If The Catalyst had control of the reapers this whole time, surely one would think it would have had ample resources and time research and construct The Crucible (or a device like it).

I know the answer to most of the above (because videogames) but it's fun to think about.

#54 Posted by Subjugation (4725 posts) -

Wow, it's kind of crazy this wasn't included in the retail game. This is a pretty important piece of lore. So first Javik and then the Leviathan story are kept from the main game? Not cool man.

#55 Posted by Veektarius (4922 posts) -

I'm all for arguing that the EC shouldn't have been in the game, but if you ask me, something that expands on the lore in interesting but nonessential ways is the perfect kind of DLC for ME3. Something that actually makes you want to play through again to see how it changes things instead of just starting the game up to play through the dlc and then throwing the disc back in the pile.

#56 Edited by Rasmoss (460 posts) -

I played through Leviathan this weekend and it made everything a lot clearer. Should have been in the main game.

But let's be completely honest here:

So there is this all powerful race who notices that lesser species tend to build AI that eventually completely destroy their masters.

To solve this conundrum the powerful race builds an advanced AI. And in a massive twist of irony what the AI comes up with is to wipe out all life, including the powerful race itself, to prevent the races from destroying themselves.

Doesn't this seem a bit Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? I mean isn't this a spectacularly silly plot?

#57 Posted by Brodehouse (10080 posts) -

@RenegadeDoppelganger said:

@Brodehouse said:

@RenegadeDoppelganger

Maybe I totally missed the logic here but

Why was The Catalyst's solution to the task preserve all life to have the reapers wipe a good chunk of it out every cycle?

He was built with an order, a compunction, to ensure the continuation of organic life in the galaxy; not any specific race or species. His logic says that another AI created by these organics may not share his orders. Some may be peaceful (the geth), but some may not (every other killer AI). Even if there's a 1% probability a killer AI grows powerful enough to overtake the galaxy, that's a meaningful enough probability to act first (especially to a being that can live forever). Consider it this way, a tree growing near power lines. If you let it grow, it might hit the power lines and burn the entire thing down, never to grow again. If you prune the tallest leaves and branches, it can regrow. This is what the Intelligence is thinking. There's also the aspect that he feels he's 'preserving' those species 'in Reaper form'. Tantamount to building a house or furniture out of lumber cut from that tree.

Thanks, that makes it a little clearer. My initial thought was closer to your second point; that it was trying to preserve life by converting it to a more resilient, more evolved form (a reaper) although this brings up the debate of whether the reapers are technically a form of life and how broad one's definition of "alive" is. It also brings up the possibility of a slight misinterpretation or extrapolation of the order to "preserve".

I guess it's just weird (or perhaps really convenient) that The Leviathan -a practically omni-potent super species- thought it prudent to give an AI with limitless resources a one line mission without even the slightest catch (like, say, don't do anything that would jeopardize the universe). At the very least you'd think they could have foreseen seen the potential conflict of interest their admittedly disruptive way of going about things in the universe poses to The Catalyst's directive.

Also why was the "synthesis" option provided to the player in the ending never considered by the AI as a preferable option to clear- cut all of civilization every couple thousand years? If The Catalyst had control of the reapers this whole time, surely one would think it would have had ample resources and time research and construct The Crucible (or a device like it).

I know the answer to most of the above (because videogames) but it's fun to think about.

Yeah, the whole thing with the Intelligence is the thing any synthetic villain does; take the thing you told it and misinterpret it in the most horrifying way possible. Fulfill its orders to the most horrifying degree possible. I think a big problem people had with the Intelligence is that, for some reason, they expected to meet up with the mother brain of the Reapers and thought it would have a perfectly cromulent reason for the most massive, million year spanning genocidal campaign.

The Leviathans thought it was a good idea for the same reason that all the species they watched destroy themselves did; 'if we build this we will be even more powerful, and it could never harm us'. Hubris. The same reason why we built Skynet, or the Large Hadron Collider, or any other wonderfully dangerous and hubristic thing; our own perceived invincibility. The Leviathans rightly saw themselves as the living gods of the galaxy; what could ever destroy them?

Don't ask me anything about synthesis though... I will defend the Control and Destroy endings, I will defend the entire modus operandi of the Intelligence, but... the Synthesis option is the most baffling thing about anything that happens in the Mass Effect fiction.

The reason why I think it even gives Shepard the option is because it realizes that this could easily happen again. "My solution won't work anymore." It's technically still fighting for its life, it's actively destroying the Crucible and the Alliance Fleet while talking to Shepard, but it's also realized that if this could happen once, it could happen twice, a million more times. This time is no more special than next time, it might as well inform Shepard of the ramifications of his/her actions. If not Shepard, it will be someone else in 50 thousand years, or maybe 50 million years. What's the difference to an ancient being?

#58 Posted by SkullcrusherMountain (957 posts) -

@smcn said:

Leviathan is the species that created the Reapers Catalyst.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Leviathan

EDIT: My mistake

Oh, hello there. Thank you, good sir. Like everyone else said, that seems SUPER CRAZY to not include in the main storyline. Sigh. Oh well.

#59 Posted by SkullcrusherMountain (957 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

@FLStyle: @Colourful_Hippie: I Thought when he said he was shocked because of what was added in the extended cut, it was because he play the vanilla endings. You can interpret it both ways. I guess we'll find out for sure tomorow.

Side note: MAN is Jeff still a downer about this game. Always looking trough his rose tinted mass effect 2 branded glasses. Hope Brad and Vinny can fight for ME3 on the top ten this year, it still deserves it even with the bad ending.

I agree with Jeff, man. The whole tone, storyline and events of ME3 were quite inferior to 2. Everything in 2 was a build up to an end that was on the horizon, but not an imminent threat. ME3 starts off the game with the entire galaxy pretty much fucked, and you are traipsing around the citadel being Creepy McEavesdropper and dancing in that stupid club. The structure of the game was just simply a let down and felt rushed (which is SUPER ironic, since they pushed out the release date from the original one to apparently add multiplayer rather than deal with singleplayer issues). It had so much potential, one of the best, if not THE best fictions in all of video game history, but went out with a whisper rather than a bang.

Just like your dad says, "I'm not mad, I'm just really disappointed."

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