Down the ME3 Ending Rabbit Hole

#1 Edited by Diachron (91 posts) -

So I've spent too much time down the ME3 ending internet rabbit hole, and need to take a break from the whole scene. But I guess I didn't spend much of that time on GB because I don't know if this video was linked anywhere in the ME3 forum here. A self-admitted flimsy search says no, so pardon me if it has been linked already.

http://youtu.be/7MlatxLP-xs

I've watched way too many YouTube diatribes, but this one manages to convey a great deal of information without going off the rails. The author also manages a good balance of humor and self-deprecation.

Some quick notes:

  • It's 40 minutes long (!) but it's 40 breezy minutes.
  • It's done in the Red Letter Media style. If you like RLM, then you'll like this. If you don't like RLM (like me..) then you'll like this anyway. ;^)
  • It's well composed and logically constructed.
  • It was useful to me because despite being one of the most articulate anti-ending arguments I've come across, it did not sway me from my pro-ending support. But it did help me me coalesce and refine my thoughts and opinions to a finer degree.
  • If you suddenly feel the urge to kill me for supporting the ending, then don't let that dissuade you from the video. This guy is should be the champion of the anti-ending movement.

Enough yammering-- if you haven't seen it yet, enjoy.

Edited to make the link a linky.

#2 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

This video has been posted about 100 times. Please look through the other discussions before starting yet another of these threads.

#3 Posted by lavaman77 (567 posts) -

I haven't seen it. Thanks for the link.

#4 Posted by MB (11988 posts) -

@BrockNRolla said:

This video has been posted about 100 times. Please look through the other discussions before starting yet another of these threads.

Where? If you're going to say something like this, then please provide some links. It makes it a lot easier for everyone involved.

Moderator
#5 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

@MB said:

@BrockNRolla said:

This video has been posted about 100 times. Please look through the other discussions before starting yet another of these threads.

Where? If you're going to say something like this, then please provide some links. It makes it a lot easier for everyone involved.

Here's one. A moderator locked this one too.

#6 Posted by MB (11988 posts) -

Thanks. I'm going to leave this thread open for now. At least the poster took the time to talk about the video in detail and didn't just say, "Hey here's a video, watch it."

Not every video posted to the forums is YouTube spam. In the future, please just use the flagging system and let us look into this stuff on the back end.

Moderator
#7 Posted by xyzygy (9895 posts) -

Wow I actually didn't see this video before. It's a great counter argument (and one that actually makes sense, and doesn't require your mind to leap over so many obstacles). 
 
What is says is completely accurate and I really have a hard time seeing how people could state otherwise or even argue against it. This video needs more views! Thanks for the post!

#8 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

Good video, but I think he's wrong. You can't just completely change the ending. Not everybody has the internet, not everybody is dissatisfied with the ending. You can modify or expand upon it, but completely changing it would be a bad move.

#9 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

People saying that the endings have nothing to do with the story that came before it are flat out wrong.

One of the main themes of the ME trilogy that has always driven the whole thing has been "People using technology they don't understand, and the unexpected consequences of doing so." In the third game specifically one of the running themes was always "We are relying on this technology that we don't fully understand" Seriously, running theme throughout the game. The out of nowhere choice at the end? It makes perfect sense within this theme: Shepard decided to use this technology that he/she didn't understand, expecting certain consequences, and didn't get what he/she showed up for.

Do I think the ending is great? No. I agree that clarification is sorely needed. I don't, however, buy people that claim how the endings don't represent the series at all. They spent so much time before the end closing out all of your relationships that doing that all over again at the end would be redundant anyway.

#10 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@Brendan said:

People saying that the endings have nothing to do with the story that came before it are flat out wrong.

One of the main themes of the ME trilogy that has always driven the whole thing has been "People using technology they don't understand, and the unexpected consequences of doing so." In the third game specifically one of the running themes was always "We are relying on this technology that we don't fully understand" Seriously, running theme throughout the game. The out of nowhere choice at the end? It makes perfect sense within this theme: Shepard decided to use this technology that he/she didn't understand, expecting certain consequences, and didn't get what he/she showed up for.

Do I think the ending is great? No. I agree that clarification is sorely needed. I don't, however, buy people that claim how the endings don't represent the series at all. They spent so much time before the end closing out all of your relationships that doing that all over again at the end would be redundant anyway.

I pretty much agree. Though I'd say that the ending made things even worse by seeming to rush through the plot point and the events preceding it. Also, the revelation felt both awkward to what we understood about the Reapers previously, while simultaneously removing all the mystique and awe from them. Some things are better left unsaid, and their "reason for the reap" was probably one of them.

#11 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@Brendan: One of the biggest themes of the game was how stereotypes or racism can be wrong. Everyone assumed the Geth was evil, when really they just wanted to live in peace and THEY were the ones that were attacked. That's why the ending was bullshit: you just spent the entire game with an AI character (EDI) and you allied with the Geth (or at least you can choose to do so), they were never hostile, they were the ones attacked. Then the end says no actually, they're such a major threat that apparently killing everyone is the only way to deal with them, I guess.

That goes against one of the biggest themes in the game. "AI exists" isn't a theme. That's why it's bullshit.

Another theme was perseverance, never getting up, getting things done the right way, whatever the cost may be. That was a theme. "Shepard is a little bitch who will just genocide a race, kills his friends, and offer ABSOLUTELY NO RESISTANCE TO SOME CUNT KID TELLING HIM HE HAS TO DO THIS" was also not a theme of the game.

Also, the AI were already dealt with. It makes no sense to have them be the "biggest threat" when the reapers LITERALLY "KILL ALL LIFE IN THE GALAXY", as the intro the game says. You are already friendly with them. you are already friendly with EDI. Let me make an analogy.

Let's take Star Wars episode 6. Fast forward to when Luke is talking to the Emperor and Vader. The Emperor proceeds to tell luke that the real reason The Empire exists is.. to stop Boba Fett. Yes, Boba Fett is the REAL villain. You see, if everyone joins the Empire, that would mean that there would be no one left to have put on a Contract for Boba Fett to kill. That's why they must kill EVERYONE not in the Empire - so that Boba Fett won't kill them. Maybe. THIS IS ALL DESPITE THE FACT THAT BOBA FETT WAS ALREADY DEALT WITH EARLIER. And this is despite the fact that THE EMPIRE IS THE ONE PAYING THE DUDE TO KILL (the reapers ALLIED with the Geth, rather than destroying them even though they're apparently the big threat, remember?)

That is 100% analogous. It's butt fuck retarded, and it absolutely does have nothing to do with the game that came before it because everything about the ending is the exact opposite of what the entire game has been trying to tell us - which is that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, not everyone is flat out evil for no reason, the geth can be reasoned with, AI can be fine, Shepard isn't a pussy who rolls over when someone talks in a commanding manner at him and tells him some bullshit.

#12 Posted by TheHT (10890 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@Brendan: One of the biggest themes of the game was how stereotypes or racism can be wrong. Everyone assumed the Geth was evil, when really they just wanted to live in peace and THEY were the ones that were attacked. That's why the ending was bullshit: you just spent the entire game with an AI character (EDI) and you allied with the Geth (or at least you can choose to do so), they were never hostile, they were the ones attacked. Then the end says no actually, they're such a major threat that apparently killing everyone is the only way to deal with them, I guess.

That goes against one of the biggest themes in the game. "AI exists" isn't a theme. That's why it's bullshit.

Another theme was perseverance, never getting up, getting things done the right way, whatever the cost may be. That was a theme. "Shepard is a little bitch who will just genocide a race, kills his friends, and offer ABSOLUTELY NO RESISTANCE TO SOME CUNT KID TELLING HIM HE HAS TO DO THIS" was also not a theme of the game.

Also, the AI were already dealt with. It makes no sense to have them be the "biggest threat" when the reapers LITERALLY "KILL ALL LIFE IN THE GALAXY", as the intro the game says. You are already friendly with them. you are already friendly with EDI. Let me make an analogy.

Let's take Star Wars episode 6. Fast forward to when Luke is talking to the Emperor and Vader. The Emperor proceeds to tell luke that the real reason The Empire exists is.. to stop Boba Fett. Yes, Boba Fett is the REAL villain. You see, if everyone joins the Empire, that would mean that there would be no one left to have put on a Contract for Boba Fett to kill. That's why they must kill EVERYONE not in the Empire - so that Boba Fett won't kill them. Maybe. THIS IS ALL DESPITE THE FACT THAT BOBA FETT WAS ALREADY DEALT WITH EARLIER. And this is despite the fact that THE EMPIRE IS THE ONE PAYING THE DUDE TO KILL (the reapers ALLIED with the Geth, rather than destroying them even though they're apparently the big threat, remember?)

That is 100% analogous. It's butt fuck retarded, and it absolutely does have nothing to do with the game that came before it because everything about the ending is the exact opposite of what the entire game has been trying to tell us - which is that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, not everyone is flat out evil for no reason, the geth can be reasoned with, AI can be fine, Shepard isn't a pussy who rolls over when someone talks in a commanding manner at him and tells him some bullshit.

The end doesn't go against themes of the series at all. There are three ways to deal with the Reaper threat. If you don't believe killing the geth and other synthetics is the right thing to do, make a different choice, but the Destroy ending in and of itself appeals to another theme of the Mass Effect series: sacrifice.

Shepard got up, twice, when he should've be dead (Harbinger blast and to open the Citadel). If that's not perseverance to you, I think you might be looking for a different word.

The synthetic problem the Catalyst is concerned with wasn't dealt with when the geth become peaceful. The Reapers harvest intelligent organic life when the time is right. That time is when they're able to create synthetics that could go on to destroy all organics. Even after the geth situation is resolved, the potential for other synthetics to be created by those intelligent organics and not working out so amicably in the end is still always there as long as the technological capability is. That's what drives the Catalyst, that's its purpose, that's why the geth would not dissuade it, and that's why the kill those organics.

#13 Edited by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

@Brendan: That is a fine theme but I don't think that was the "the point" of any Mass Effect game or story especially ME3. There is a much stronger, more prevalent theme of "strength through diversity". There was always the undercurrent and suggestion that everyone should be wary of the Citadel and the ME Relays and especially be afraid of The Reapers but "the strangeness" was never presented as the challenge to Shepard to solve. The problem was "The Reapers exist to wipe out life" not "Why do The Reapers exist?"

In other words, that is a fine way to setup a grand trap for Shepard and crew to stumble into. If done another way, this and this alone would be a twist people would be praising. However the story shouldn't be about the trap but how Shepard and crew solves the trap which is where Bioware messed up.

#14 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@Brendan: One of the biggest themes of the game was how stereotypes or racism can be wrong. Everyone assumed the Geth was evil, when really they just wanted to live in peace and THEY were the ones that were attacked. That's why the ending was bullshit: you just spent the entire game with an AI character (EDI) and you allied with the Geth (or at least you can choose to do so), they were never hostile, they were the ones attacked. Then the end says no actually, they're such a major threat that apparently killing everyone is the only way to deal with them, I guess.

That goes against one of the biggest themes in the game. "AI exists" isn't a theme. That's why it's bullshit.

Another theme was perseverance, never getting up, getting things done the right way, whatever the cost may be. That was a theme. "Shepard is a little bitch who will just genocide a race, kills his friends, and offer ABSOLUTELY NO RESISTANCE TO SOME CUNT KID TELLING HIM HE HAS TO DO THIS" was also not a theme of the game.

Also, the AI were already dealt with. It makes no sense to have them be the "biggest threat" when the reapers LITERALLY "KILL ALL LIFE IN THE GALAXY", as the intro the game says. You are already friendly with them. you are already friendly with EDI. Let me make an analogy.

Let's take Star Wars episode 6. Fast forward to when Luke is talking to the Emperor and Vader. The Emperor proceeds to tell luke that the real reason The Empire exists is.. to stop Boba Fett. Yes, Boba Fett is the REAL villain. You see, if everyone joins the Empire, that would mean that there would be no one left to have put on a Contract for Boba Fett to kill. That's why they must kill EVERYONE not in the Empire - so that Boba Fett won't kill them. Maybe. THIS IS ALL DESPITE THE FACT THAT BOBA FETT WAS ALREADY DEALT WITH EARLIER. And this is despite the fact that THE EMPIRE IS THE ONE PAYING THE DUDE TO KILL (the reapers ALLIED with the Geth, rather than destroying them even though they're apparently the big threat, remember?)

That is 100% analogous. It's butt fuck retarded, and it absolutely does have nothing to do with the game that came before it because everything about the ending is the exact opposite of what the entire game has been trying to tell us - which is that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, not everyone is flat out evil for no reason, the geth can be reasoned with, AI can be fine, Shepard isn't a pussy who rolls over when someone talks in a commanding manner at him and tells him some bullshit.

What I'm talking about is the basis for the entire conflict of the series. Diversity wasn't underlying conflict, although it was a major one. We can divide this up into two parts: Cause, and effect. The cause being what the universe did, the effect being the reapers.

The Mass Effect technology (what the series is named after for crying out loud) including the citadel,the mass relays, and everything else, was technology that was beyond the beings who used it. They overextended their reach. You are mad about one of the options presented, which you don't have to pick. The reason that option, and the others, weren't what you expected was because the method used to arrive at those choices used technology that the characters in the game did not understand. Just like the universe had to confront the unexpected reality of the reapers as a consequence of using tech they didn't understand, so was Shepard faced with making choices and being confronted with ugly consequences he/she didn't see coming because he/she used the crucible-once again, tech that wasn't fully understood. It's why the Mass relays are made inactive at the end. By "winning" Shepard releases the galaxy from it's cycle of reliance, but it's bittersweet because in the end you had to deal with unexpected fallout from trying to solve a problem that was beyond your ability or understanding.

Players don't ever think about this overarching conflict because they define Mass Effect by what happened during the games, not what framed the games as a whole. I can understand being displeased with that approach, and I think that it was poorly done anyway because it was so obtuse. The endings, however, do not betray the game at all. They simply focus on a bigger picture that is never explicitly explained in-game.

#15 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

@Brendan: That is a fine theme but I don't think that was the "the point" of any Mass Effect game or story especially ME3. There is a much stronger, more prevalent theme of "strength through diversity". There was always the undercurrent and suggestion that everyone should be wary of the Citadel and the ME Relays and especially be afraid of The Reapers but "the strangeness" was never presented as the challenge to Shepard to solve. The problem was "The Reapers exist to wipe out life" not "Why do The Reapers exist?"

In other words, that is a fine way to setup a grand trap for Shepard and crew to stumble into. If done another way, this and this alone would be a twist people would be praising. However the story shouldn't be about the trap but how Shepard and crew solves the trap which is where Bioware messed up.

Read my response to the other person. Not trying to be short, but I replied saying that diversity is a running theme throughout the game, but that the conflict that the trilogy is based upon (that being the galaxy against the reapers) is what the endings were about. When you say "prevalent" what you mean is "active". Diversity may have been the active theme, but it was not the top-level guiding force of the fiction that created the conflict in the first place. I understand why having the endings being about something that isn't explicitly explained like diversity was so many times when playing seems wrong to people, but it's really not. It's just different.

#16 Posted by VaddixBell (227 posts) -

I think it's a detailed ending of why the ending is broke.

It went for the cheapest ending in the book with a god like being at the ending and I think he hits the nail on the head on why exactly it's terrible and references what Mass Effect did incredibly well over 2 and a half games in order to show them how to fix it.

Casey Hudson just directly lied to people, as did Bioware and EA marketing and PR to the lead up to this game which makes the issue even worse.

#17 Posted by boj4ngles (287 posts) -

Are you gentlemen familiar with the Intoxication Theory?

It is a new and ambitious line of thought in the school of ME3 Ending Interpretation. The essential basis for it is that Shepard's experiences throughout the entirety of ME3 can be rationalized through the perspective of someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One of the reasons this new theory is so exciting is that it seems to be laying the groundwork for turning ME3 into a drinking game. I think you may find it surprisingly persuasive. Consider the following video:

#18 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3558 posts) -

I agree with a good deal of this video, and the points that are made here. With that said, his presentation lost a lot of points for me when he decided to use the Benny Hill theme over every moment of the game that he didn't like.

#19 Edited by umdesch4 (772 posts) -

@boj4ngles: Thanks for that! First time I've heard of the Intoxication Theory, and it makes more sense than anything else I've seen on the subject so far!

#20 Edited by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

To explain it again, the issue appears to be structural. The reason why the Star Child was added is speculative and outside the topic of this thread but that character alone is like giving a voice to the trap. People aren't interested in what "the trap" thinks or if "the trap" explains itself but how Shepard deals with the trap which is what makes the situation unsatisfying.

Another way to frame this: Japanese games often fall into this in a cliche way and it gets ridiculed often. That chat between The Star Child and Shepard is analogous to Sephiroth berating Cloud for not understanding "The Truth". They (and by extension the player) aren't necessarily looking or searching for "The Truth" but want to stop their crazy plans which involves killing everyone where focusing on "The Truth" didn't help and made it clumsy.

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