"I know you've thought about destroying us." + The Tree!

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#1 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS.

HOLD THE PHONE. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Okay, finishing a second run-through right now, and I'm paying very close attention to the end, dialogue, the cues, basically, all of the little things. While continuing my conversation with spacechild, and about to present me with the options, he says this:

"I KNOW YOU'VE THOUGHT ABOUT DESTROYING US."

Destroying us.

Thought about.

Us.

SPACECHILD IS A FUCKING REAPER.

FUCK. IT'S A FUCKING REAPER.

And if you're going to combat that this isn't a dream sequence, or some crazy shit is happening, right when Shepard gets up, turn the fuck around.

What do you see? I understand most of the hallucination theory grabbing at straws, but those denying it, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TREE?

#2 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -

That fucking tree is a reaper!

#3 Posted by EuanDewar (4507 posts) -

"How the fuck do you explain this tree" is a funny ass fucking sentence dude, kudos.

#4 Edited by GodsMistakeXx (134 posts) -

Damnit, that gave me a laugh.

EDIT: Guys, it's a fucking Tree....

#5 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

Trees just don't fucking pop up, guys! That shit wasn't there a minute ago!

#6 Edited by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

Seeing trees is a clear sign of indoctrination.

Edit: You might want spoiler tags/spoiler warning in thread title.

#7 Edited by Creamypies (4012 posts) -

@owl_of_minerva said:

Seeing trees is a clear sign of indoctrination.

OH SHIT! THERE WERE TREES IN MASS EFFECT 1!!!!!

EDIT: Joking aside though, this theory really does compel me. I still ain't convinced that it's what Bioware intended, but if this theory turns out to be true... then Mass Effect 3's ending is up there with one of the best. Considering the fact that Harbinger had just been zapping the shit out of that area, it does seem odd that one tree would just be there. And I guess the dream sequences do have a lot of trees in them.

#8 Edited by pyrodactyl (1638 posts) -

well played sir, well played

#9 Posted by Hailinel (22670 posts) -

Well, the tree is really just a huge straw that's easy to grasp. :P

#10 Edited by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -

Too bad Bioware officially said that they scrapped the sequence of Shepard being indoctrinated towards the end in 3.
 
Of course the space child is of reaper origin, that was kind of obvious, but that has no bearing on whether or not you are in an indoctrinated dream or something. Reapers apeared as holo projections plenty of times in ME games.
You explain the tree the same way you exaplian a bush and some rocks. Artificial devastation due to war is never total.
 
Unless ...
You are joking?
 
But hey can't blame me, you can see some crackpot saying this with a straight face, plenty of them around these days.

#11 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: You can't explain how a tree randomly popped up behind you when there was nothing but destroyed rubble. They may deny it, but there's a few facts that very consistently point in that direction.

#12 Posted by Thoseposers (747 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: where did they say they scrapped the indoctrination theme? just curious

#13 Posted by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -
@Napalm said:

@Tennmuerti: You can't explain how a tree randomly popped up behind you when there was nothing but destroyed rubble. They may deny it, but there's a few facts that very consistently point in that direction.

Same way art assets are deleted and pop up throughought the entire game.
You should see how much shit Bioware cuts out that is not in your immediate field of vision, try to increase the FoV from time to time on the PC, the results are hilarious.
The things i've seen. /shudder
#14 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Thoseposers: They didn't say they scrapped the entire idea. They said they scrapped the "uncontrolled Shepard indoctrination sequence". There's a few tidbits in the end that point to it being not real.

#15 Posted by JeanLuc (3518 posts) -

Tree? Tree?

...

FOREST KAYSEN IS A REAPER!

#16 Edited by Zithe (1045 posts) -

@Napalm: We already know the kid is on the side of the reapers. He straight up tells you that he controls them.

I guess the tree could possibly be evidence for the whole dream ending thing. I really hope it doesn't turn out to be the case because it would mean that the game ended on a true cliffhanger as opposed to simply not giving much closure.

#17 Posted by Fistfulofmetal (662 posts) -

When I'm heading into work tomorrow I'm going to make sure I take a moment and reflect on HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TREE??

#18 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Zithe: There's isn't closure anyway except for the Illusive Man.

#19 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

You definitely can't say they scrapped indoctrination as a main theme when it comes up constantly in the game: Illusive Man/Kai Leng, the conversation with the Prothean VI, the indoctrinated Asari who kills herself on Thessia, the science lab studying indoctrination, aspects of the ending sequence that are difficult to explain otherwise, etc, etc.

#20 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

@Napalm: I agree that there isn't much closure like I said, but if you take the endings as they are shown and take everything to happen literally, would you call them cliffhangers? I wouldn't. The dream ending truly would be a cliffhanger.

#21 Posted by benspyda (1891 posts) -

Turns out the Illusive Man was a tree.

#22 Edited by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -
@owl_of_minerva said:

You definitely can't say they scrapped indoctrination as a main theme when it comes up constantly in the game: Illusive Man/Kai Leng, the conversation with the Prothean VI, the indoctrinated Asari who kills herself on Thessia, the science lab studying indoctrination, aspects of the ending sequence that are difficult to explain otherwise, etc, etc.

I worded it poorly.
They did not scap the entire theme.
Just Shepard being indoctrinated in the end.
Edited the original text.
#23 Posted by august (3811 posts) -

So Mass Effect is a sequel to The Happening is what you're saying here.

#24 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Napalm said:

SPACECHILD IS A FUCKING REAPER.

No shit.

I mean, you're kidding us, right? It hasn't really taken you three weeks to absorb something that the character flat-out tells you?!

Hey, relax. I'm a little slow. Anyway, no, it didn't take my three weeks. I just finished my second playthrough tonight specifically paying attention to the dialogue and the cues. And spacechild never says he is a reaper. He says he made and controls the reapers.

#25 Posted by StarvingGamer (7546 posts) -
@Hailinel

Well, the tree is really just a huge straw that's easy to grasp. :P

:D
#26 Edited by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@august said:

So Mass Effect is a sequel to The Happening is what you're saying here.

What a twist.
#27 Posted by Enigma777 (6047 posts) -

@Napalm said:

@Tennmuerti: You can't explain how a tree randomly popped up behind you when there was nothing but destroyed rubble. They may deny it, but there's a few facts that very consistently point in that direction.

It's a space tree. There! Theory debunked.

#28 Posted by Sackmanjones (4609 posts) -

Wasn't the citidal made by the reapers? It would make total since that the catalyst is the reapers last line of defense if someone were to get that far

#29 Posted by Sackmanjones (4609 posts) -

While I like te idea of the theory it seems pretty viable to me that the only job of the "catalyst" is to convince whoever got that far to not destroy the reapers and instead control or synthesis. This all just came to me right now. Awesome

#30 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1267 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

Wasn't the citidal made by the reapers? It would make total since that the catalyst is the reapers last line of defense if someone were to get that far

Buuuuuuuuuut,

If the Reapers had a damn AI in the Citadel, why did they need the Keepers to activate the backdoor relay to start invasions? Why did Sovereign need Saren when the Keepers failed if they had an AI in the Citadel? While the indoctrination theory isn't perfect, it could possibly be explained in such a way that doesn't ruin the lore and events of the entire series like the current endings do.

#31 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3323 posts) -

There's one other aspect of indoctrination theory that I haven't seen anywhere else so far. 
 
Anyone who finishes ME1 can import a save into ME2.  Anyone who survives ME2 can import a save into ME3.  If there IS going to be post game ME3 DLC, the only way you would be able to import your Shepard is if you survive, and the ONLY way to survive the ending of ME3 is to pick the "destroy" option.   
 
Even MORE evidence is the fact that once you you've finished the game, you're then returned to just before the attack on Cerberus, which is the point of no return.  For anyone using only one save, this would allow you to go back to ME3 to get the "true" ending, so you could continue your game in ME3 DLC and/or ME4. 
 
And then there's this explanation of indoctrination, taken from the game itself. 
 
From the Codex: 

Reaper "indoctrination" is an insidious means of corrupting organic minds, "reprogramming" the brain through physical and psychological conditioning using electromagnetic fields, infrasonic and ultrasonic noise, and other subliminal methods. The Reaper's resulting control over the limbic system leaves the victim highly susceptible to its suggestions.

Indoctrination can create perfect deep cover agents. A Reaper's "suggestions" can manipulate victims into betraying friends, trusting enemies, or viewing the Reaper itself with superstitious awe. 

Rapid indoctrination is possible, but causes this decay in days or weeks. Slow, patient indoctrination allows the thrall to last for months or years. Organics undergoing indoctrination may complain of headaches and buzzing or ringing in their ears. 

As time passes, they have feelings of "being watched" and hallucinations of "ghostly" presences. Ultimately, the Reaper gains the ability to use the victim's body to amplify its signals, manifesting as "alien" voices in the mind. 

      
Why on EARTH would they have Shepard black out twice, and see a ghost child in her/his dreams, who then turns out to be the personification of the reapers?  Either the endings are true, and BioWare really does expect you to believe in "space magic," or nothing is true, and Shephard is being controlled and manipulated.  I'm not saying that the indoctrination theory is correct, but it's the only thing that would make any sort of sense.
 
But with all that said, I think BioWare just simply wrote a crappy, high-concept ending that just isn't very good, make no sense, and offers almost no real closure.  Indoctrination might make a more logical ending, but I don't really think it's what they had in mind.   
 
I hope I'm wrong.
#32 Edited by AckbarTheGreat (418 posts) -

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! The Reapers were created by the Trees to stop the rampant deforestation that advanced civilizations bring! The Catalyst was then created as a red herring to throw everyone off the trees tails. It also explains why all the ending shots involve trees in some way because they were mocking us and our defeat.

#33 Posted by Sackmanjones (4609 posts) -
@ll_Exile_ll

@Sackmanjones said:

Wasn't the citidal made by the reapers? It would make total since that the catalyst is the reapers last line of defense if someone were to get that far

Buuuuuuuuuut,

If the Reapers had a damn AI in the Citadel, why did they need the Keepers to activate the backdoor relay to start invasions? Why did Sovereign need Saren when the Keepers failed if they had an AI in the Citadel? While the indoctrination theory isn't perfect, it could possibly be explained in such a way that doesn't ruin the lore and events of the entire series like the current endings do.

Trust me I like the theory. But I mean we could say that the ai has the strict regulation of misleading people. The keepers were there to open it because they were designed to do it. Like I said I'm just speculating
#34 Posted by Harkat (1089 posts) -

@EuanDewar said:

"How the fuck do you explain this tree" is a funny ass fucking sentence dude, kudos.

I would buy a T-shirt that said "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TREE?".

#35 Posted by selbie (1777 posts) -

Then I guess it must be...

the root of all evil

YEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH

#36 Posted by Village_Guy (2402 posts) -

Two things...

And...

#37 Posted by Korwin (2720 posts) -

I need a t-shirt with "HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TREE?!?!" on it.

#38 Edited by AdmiralStupid (76 posts) -

@rebgav: I think it's the wording that's the issue. The child starts by saying (emphasis added) 'I am the catalyst', 'the Reapers are MY solution' then just switches to saying 'the last time WE were here', 'destroying US' and that just seems to imply less that the Catalyst was the Reapers' creator more implies that the Child identifies itself as a Reaper. In all likelihood it's just sloppy-ass writing, but it's a weird mid-conversation switch nonetheless.

#39 Posted by AdmiralStupid (76 posts) -
#40 Posted by MEATBALL (2781 posts) -

@Napalm said:

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS.

HOLD THE PHONE. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Okay, finishing a second run-through right now, and I'm paying very close attention to the end, dialogue, the cues, basically, all of the little things. While continuing my conversation with spacechild, and about to present me with the options, he says this:

"I KNOW YOU'VE THOUGHT ABOUT DESTROYING US."

Destroying us.

Thought about.

Us.

SPACECHILD IS A FUCKING REAPER.

FUCK. IT'S A FUCKING REAPER.

And if you're going to combat that this isn't a dream sequence, or some crazy shit is happening, right when Shepard gets up, turn the fuck around.

What do you see? I understand most of the hallucination theory grabbing at straws, but those denying it, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TREE?

The tree is one of the reapers anderson mentioned had changed course to stop them.

#41 Posted by Mars_Cleric (1587 posts) -

Oh fuck duders...

There's a tree outside my window right now.

#42 Edited by thebatmobile (978 posts) -

@Harkat said:

@EuanDewar said:

"How the fuck do you explain this tree" is a funny ass fucking sentence dude, kudos.

I would buy a T-shirt that said "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TREE?".

I'm with you. That is fucking hilarious.

#43 Posted by morrelloman (599 posts) -

Tree > Lamp

#44 Posted by Liquidus (939 posts) -

@Mars_Cleric said:

Oh fuck duders...

There's a tree outside my window right now.

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide you husband cuz they're reaping errbody out here!

#45 Posted by N7 (3570 posts) -
#46 Posted by TheHumanDove (2393 posts) -

And then the entire ME series was a children's story told by Buzz.

#47 Posted by Chubbaluphigous (571 posts) -

The space kid also says that he created the reapers, and that the created will rise up against their creators. The Reapers should have wiped out his ass a long time ago, and took back control of themselves.

But yeah, this is probably just re-purposed assets to save time. All the problems with the ending that the conspiracy theorists use can be explained by lazy workarounds, rushed developers, and last minute changes or cuts. "1M1", "Dream Trees", "Shadow Broker Ship Panels", "Star Child = Dream Child": These are all just recycled models or textures. We could concoct a scenario where these are recycled to create a dreamlike atmosphere, or we could realize that this is an industry standard. When you're given a deadline that is difficult to meet, you will cut corners wherever you can. If you need a blasted landscape and you already have a model called "dead_tree", you'll just use that and move on. The "1M1" on the walls of the supposedly never-seen-by-organics Catalyst is recycled directly from other areas of the Citadel and some of the mechs (LOKI mechs in ME2 have it on their forehead).

#48 Posted by Renachan (137 posts) -
@JeanLuc

Tree? Tree?

...

FOREST KAYSEN IS A REAPER!

I always was going "What the fuck are you doing in my dream Zack? Is this for not playing Deadly Premonition lately?"
#49 Posted by Chubbaluphigous (571 posts) -
#50 Edited by 815Sox (72 posts) -

@Creamypies said:

@owl_of_minerva said:

Seeing trees is a clear sign of indoctrination.

OH SHIT! THERE WERE TREES IN MASS EFFECT 1!!!!!

EDIT: Joking aside though, this theory really does compel me. I still ain't convinced that it's what Bioware intended, but if this theory turns out to be true... then Mass Effect 3's ending is up there with one of the best. Considering the fact that Harbinger had just been zapping the shit out of that area, it does seem odd that one tree would just be there. And I guess the dream sequences do have a lot of trees in them.

How can something that BW did not intend to be the ending "turn out to be true"?

And no, it is not obvious that the starchild was a Reaper, he clearly explains why he uses them... its in order to keep control of the universe and to prevent Synthetics from rising up against their creators. He states that he controls them and it is "our method". However, Shepard kinda did that you know (rebel against his creator and is part synthetic, part organic). I still think the Citadel resembles Heaven and Hell and that Shepard sacrificing himself exemplifies man merging with god.

Lots of people say "god" is "all knowing and all good", yet this god still allows terrible things happen on Earth... children starve to death daily, disasters happen, genocide happens (over and over again)... yet they still claim that god is "all-good and moral". Maybe the starchild has a very different sense of how to solve things then we do?!?!?

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