Indoctrination Theory... I laughed so hard.

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#51 Edited by Rohok (554 posts) -

I wasn't really calling them idiots. I was just wondering if they felt that way when it was proven wrong, like the rest of us might of felt dumb for missing something everyone else seemed to catch.

#52 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I think you maybe need to let it go.

The rest of the world has since the Extended Cut. Get over it and move on.

#53 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

I never beleaved in the me3 inception theory

#54 Posted by Undeadpool (4989 posts) -

@N7 said:

I will have to agree. Dumb topic. Most other places celebrate the indoctrination theory as proof to how dedicated a fanbase can be. The indoctrination theory is no different than the millions of millions of theories on the ending of Inception, the ending of The Thing or so on and so forth. People can get really attached to these things. There are a huge amount of videos on the theory and quite a lot of them are still right to this day. Nothing about the original ending made sense. Who what when why where. None of it added up and there were gaps. And not to mention the fact that there was entire interviews about the ending of the game, one made exactly one week before it released, that were 100% incorrect. So, the fanbase filled these gaps on their own to make the game more interesting. The theory did a lot more for Bioware than they would probably care to admit. Look at Koobismo's alternate ending comics on deviantArt(edited). He's actually had the voice actors take a look and pledge their support of what he's doing(Jack's voice actor, for instance, who has an hour long interview with his team on dA). It gave the game a whole new level of exposure and made it a heated topic of discussion for months after the game came out. Then the Extended Cut came out and made the ending better than it was. Which, funnily enough, looking at the old endings, they weren't ever really as bad as I remember them. It's all in the heat of the moment. So, in closing, dumb topic(No offense), the indoctrination theory was a fun little fanbase created, fanbase approved experiment that ended up giving Mass Effect 3 more exposure than it would have gotten, and showing just how creative and dedicated a fanbase can be.

That about sums up my feelings (except for disliking the originals, but I definitely agree that the Extended Cut made things a lot better).

#55 Posted by glyn (382 posts) -

@AndrewB said:

@Rohok: My answer is still nope. I was questioning things the moment that

blast that should have annihilated Shepard hit, and then suddenly he's the only one walking towards the conduit, and then suddenly he's on some strange unseen section of the Citadel, and then suddenly Anderson is there and somehow constantly ahead of Shepard even though the path is straight and you can see far ahead of yourself, and then suddenly the Elusive Man is there and the two are having a philosophical conversation between each other that plays out like Shepard's good and evil consciousness speaking to one another, and then to top it off, you're teleported to a strange room with a holographic child taking the form of the kid you saw at the beginning of the game, further making it seem like things were all playing out in Shepard's mind.

At least from my understanding of it (the Indoctrination Theory), no, I don't think people questioning the depth of what Bioware was getting at with the ending to their trilogy were crazy, and I'm more disappointed that there wasn't something deeper to the way the story evolved over three games.

I still can't believe that they thought their superficial layer of an ending was good and that is how they intended it to be.

#56 Posted by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

The issue is the the ending to Inception can be broken down to a few core ideas that are carefully choreographed into every major event and woven together in such a way where it reiterates this question. This culminates into the final scene where the viewer is left asking "Is this a dream?" where neither yes or no adds or detracts from it.

On the other hand, Mass Effect 3 just has a stupid ending where they need a strange ending because they need to dispose of Shepard without tarnishing his "heroic status" but keeping the setting in tact for more games.

#57 Posted by TheCowman (60 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

The issue is the the ending to Inception can be broken down to a few core ideas that are carefully choreographed into every major event and woven together in such a way where it reiterates this question. This culminates into the final scene where the viewer is left asking "Is this a dream?" where neither yes or no adds or detracts from it.

On the other hand, Mass Effect 3 just has a stupid ending where they need a strange ending because they need to dispose of Shepard without tarnishing his "heroic status" but keeping the setting in tact for more games.

I suppose it doesn't speak well of me that I've played through Mass Effect 3 three times now; yet you couldn't pay me to watch Inception again. :(

#58 Posted by Mike76x (558 posts) -

@EXTomar said:

The issue is the the ending to Inception can be broken down to a few core ideas that are carefully choreographed into every major event and woven together in such a way where it reiterates this question. This culminates into the final scene where the viewer is left asking "Is this a dream?" where neither yes or no adds or detracts from it.

On the other hand, Mass Effect 3 just has a stupid ending where they need a strange ending because they need to dispose of Shepard without tarnishing his "heroic status" but keeping the setting in tact for more games.

In an interview with Mac Walters one month before ME3 came out, he said by the end of the game, the galaxy was "a wasteland".

Meaning the original intent was to dispose of the entire ME universe.

#59 Posted by talideon (51 posts) -

To flog a dead horse for a moment.

Nobody "believes" in Indoctrination Theory, not even the people who came up with it. Sure, it has *adherents*, but that only means that they think it'd be a better ending that the piece of crap Bioware sharted out.

Indoctrination Theory was a fan mulligan, that is, a fan-suggested way to provide a less-rubbish ending with the fewest number of retcons. It's not a fantastic ending, but it is better than what we got.

Personally, the game ended for me with Anderson and Shepard dying on the Citadel after hitting the launch button. Had the game ended there for real, I would've been quite happy.

So, can we all let this go now?

#60 Posted by huser (1097 posts) -

@Elazul said:

@Rohok said:

I only post now because me and a few friends just recently playing the extended cut and had a few discussions. A few of us didn't believe in the indoctrination theory and were really curious if people feel dumb or not for believing in it. I don't mean to insult anyone. I phrase it that way because in the beginning when it first came out, I almost questioned whether or not I was dumb for overlooking it. Quite frankly, I wrote everything off as oversights, blunders, or EA, and when you do that, you don't really look for any depth when there probably isn't any there. The cyborg ninja practically took me out of the game before it even began.

So I was wondering if the feeling is reversed now, because now I'm relieved, and maybe when proponents of the theory first played the cut they felt a little duped.

That's a substantially more reasonable way of putting it.

I'll say that while I wanted it to be true given how short and uninteresting the original ending was, I at no point truly believed that anyone making a big-budget game for EA would ever be allowed to make the "real" ending to a full trilogy so subtle. Obviously anyone who was calling you dumb for not picking up on the "obvious" signs is a pretentious moron, but just try not to insult others just because they wanted to believe that Bioware was capable of something that would honestly have been kind of amazing if it were true.

That's where I am at on the matter. It was wrong, nonetheless what have you gained by being right? A shittier game studio than might have been? Congrats.

#61 Posted by huser (1097 posts) -

@Sufferthorn said:

I just beat it today....and i gotta say, maybe i'm missing something, but the Indoctrination Theory seems like a load of crap..

I DID what i needed to do.

I destroyed the Geth to save the Quarians

I gathered as many Fleets as i could.

I stopped Cerberus

I led the attack to retake Earth

I shot the Illusive Man in the head

I rolled my eyes at the Catalyst kid, obviously trying to appeal to my sense of "justice"

Admiral Hackett ordered me to destroy the Reapers, Anderson sacrificed his life to get me there, Garrus took a shot in the gut forr me, everyone sacrificed their fleets to get me there, and they want me to spare the Reapers and become some sort of God-like creature that rules over the Galaxy? How does that make me different from the power hungry idiot that the Illusive Man was?

No, I followed my orders, I knew that the Starchild Catalyst was a liar, EVERY single person throughout the entire series told me i couldn't win...but i won, and now they expect me to buy into their BS because some Starchild says that the only way to stop a war between robots and organics is to maintain an endless cycle of genocide. Which is the stupidest way to do anything. Solving Violence with more violence? Great little world there for YOU people maybe, but i'm not buyin it.

The solution the reapers had was one that came from Hatred and Fear...they were evil, and i destroyed them.

Not sure what indoctrination has to do with that. It's the dumbest theory i ever heard of. The Indoctrination Theory would mean that the promises Bioware made to let us SEE what consequences our actions led to, would be gone.

It just makes no sense.

Maybe you guys didn't like the way you handled things in your game, and want some way out. But i'm satisified with it, and i accept my consequences.

Thanks for reading. Aye :)

Edit: Also....maybe i'm satisfied wigh my ending because i got the extended cut right off the bat....no loose ends for me. :P oh well, it's just a game for gods sake.

Your final edit? Yeah that's not a trivial thing. The whole crux of the matter was that you DIDN'T see what consequences your actions led to. And especially not your final choice. No idea what happened to your companions or the galaxy at large, other than the superficial notion everyone died. So, if you weren't there don't get on a high horse about it after the fact.

#62 Posted by Sufferthorn (19 posts) -

@huser:

Well if that's true....the Indoctrination Theory will only exist with those who are too stubborn to accept the final edit because of their own tireless playthrough.

Which is fair, since that's what they shouldve got in the first place. The community deserved it anyway.

#63 Posted by huser (1097 posts) -

@Sufferthorn: Oh it's clear now and fair even then to reject the Indoctrination Theory. It's just the difference between judging it and those that adhered to it based on what was known finishing the game when it came out (ie many months ago) versus finishing it now, after additional information specifically tailored to address most of the more common complaints almost like a checklist (picking up your squadmates, specific orders to evacuate the Sol system, the Normandy lifting off that strange world, etc) has been appended.

I mean heck, one of the central tenets of the IT was that Destroy WAS the only and true ending that didn't end in Reapers murdering everyone led by an indoctrinated Shepard, so most adherents would have applauded choosing that. That ending was followed in popularity in the IT crowd by demanding a Reject option...which was then added to the extended ending.

#64 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

I used to want to play Mass Effect

After all these threads I never want to see it again

#65 Posted by Milkman (17201 posts) -

All the Indoctrination theory ever was people trying to rationalize the horrible ending. It's time for the world to move on from Mass Effect. It's a huge bummer and no one wants to talk about it anymore.

#66 Posted by Sufferthorn (19 posts) -

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

I used to want to play Mass Effect

After all these threads I never want to see it again

Play it anyway, it's an awesome game. I Loved it.

Ignore the complaining

#67 Posted by tddraeger (2 posts) -

So the problem with the indoctrination theory is it doesn't make sense with all the little details and the fact that it's a dream. (given the DLC did not point to this at all)

***SPOILERS***

My take is this: The people around you die when you rush after the beam. But they spare you and want to indoctrinate you. Because my take on it is that you've gotten such an attention from the reapers that I could see this being a possibility. So you get in to the citidel, note that Hackett says a report came in that "someone" got to the citidel, not the team made it. So you get on to the citidel and are faced with your devil (illusive man) and your angel (anderson) you're trying to be indoctrinated (the headaches and the vibrating noise that follows). Once the crucible docks with the citidel, it changes the equation (like adding or changing routines to a program) and thus you get the choices.

To me the indoctrination theory doesn't hold water, but some of the concepts do. I feel the important part of the indoctrination theory that remains is that you are alone on the citidel trying to be indoctrinated up to the end and that the wound that anderson receives in the abdomen is actually yours, with the focus of blood on your hand. But either way, it makes complete sense that what I said above fits with what Bioware wrote.

#68 Posted by Riven126 (13 posts) -

I don't know why fans refused to accept the ending as it was. Yeah, it was terrible. But to make up this crazy indoctrination theory and pretend that the mediore writers at Bioware could even conjure up something that detailed after witnessing those writers in action in ME3, is to me, pretty spectacular. But at the end of the day, it's just giving Bioware too much credit.

#69 Posted by KevinK (198 posts) -
@Rohok said:

Does everyone who thought it was correct think they're completely idiot now for believing in it, now that it was proven false?

I remember the evidence presented for why it was right.

"All of the bodies look like dolls"

"Where'd you armor go?"

"Why do you have infinite ammo with your pistol?"

"Why can't you shoot the keepers?"

Didn't it ever cross anyone's mind that Bioware just didn't want to model a destroyed armor bit for every piece in the game? Or the fact that there were so many bodies, to have them super hi-res like the models you play as would lag out the game? Or the fact that if you ran out of ammo during their linear cinematic line up it'd ruin what they were going for. And keepers have never been able to be shot throughout the entire game. Does that mean you were dreaming all of ME1's citadel scenes too?

I'm just curious what proponents of the theory are thinking about it. Post extended endings it seems no one is talking about it. I think everyone is embarrassed that they so adamantly clung to the indoctrination theory and discovered it was wrong. It's funny how quiet and indifferent people get when they look so stupid.

I think "cock-up before conspiracy" is a term everyone should become acquainted with before the next Bioware game.

The "Indoctrination Theory" is the 9/11 truther conspiracy of the Mass Effect community.
#70 Posted by brownsfantb (409 posts) -

In my mind, it's still the real ending. I never went back and played the uncut ending or whatever it was called and I don't really want to play any DLC either.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Mass Effect series, even the 3rd game. But, I do feel a little burned by the devs for most of the story beats in 3.

#71 Posted by Kadayi (185 posts) -

@Ghostiet said:

@XChairmanDrekX said:

The only reason people wanted to stick with it was because it was about a thousand times better and more interesting than all the endings Bioware gave us.

Pretty much. It was a work of denial. And that belief ceased the moment Walters'/Hudson's notes came out.

^Truth

I thought it was quite fascinating how it was strung together, but there wasn't any part of it that couldn't simply be explained by developer oversight at the end of the day.

#72 Edited by Ravelle (1375 posts) -

@KevinK said:

@Rohok said:

Does everyone who thought it was correct think they're completely idiot now for believing in it, now that it was proven false?

I remember the evidence presented for why it was right.

"All of the bodies look like dolls"

"Where'd you armor go?"

"Why do you have infinite ammo with your pistol?"

"Why can't you shoot the keepers?"

Didn't it ever cross anyone's mind that Bioware just didn't want to model a destroyed armor bit for every piece in the game? Or the fact that there were so many bodies, to have them super hi-res like the models you play as would lag out the game? Or the fact that if you ran out of ammo during their linear cinematic line up it'd ruin what they were going for. And keepers have never been able to be shot throughout the entire game. Does that mean you were dreaming all of ME1's citadel scenes too?

I'm just curious what proponents of the theory are thinking about it. Post extended endings it seems no one is talking about it. I think everyone is embarrassed that they so adamantly clung to the indoctrination theory and discovered it was wrong. It's funny how quiet and indifferent people get when they look so stupid.

I think "cock-up before conspiracy" is a term everyone should become acquainted with before the next Bioware game.

The "Indoctrination Theory" is the 9/11 truther conspiracy of the Mass Effect community.

Well she was indoctrinated but only at the ending and suffered from the effects in her/his sleep while people went on she was from the beginning of ME3.

#73 Edited by galloughs (192 posts) -

None of the "evidence" given in the OP was used to support the indoctrination theory, except maybe by idiots.

Also, where was this disproven? I must've missed something.

#74 Posted by MikeJFlick (443 posts) -

Since I only registered a few weeks ago I may as well add my comment, I believe the Indoctrination Theory holds more water then the actual ending, why would this random child who Shepard has no connection with be this "amazing" spark that haunts him? Because he actually saw this child "die"? You would think Alenko or Williams whomever died in ME1 hell even pressly who dies at the start of ME2 would be more haunting character of "loss" to Shepard then some little kid, added to the fact that Indoctrination's codex description of Indoctrination and what happens during ME3 sounds pretty spot on.

I'm not going to harp on since it doesn't matter anymore EAware already decided how ME3 ended, I just hope EAware is fucking with us and is going to pull the rug out from under us with ME4, because it's hell of alot more interesting premise then god-child controlling everything.

#75 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

@MikeJFlick: To defend the child issue, the child was symbolic to the grief and burden Shepard felt over humanity. The world he surrounded himself was separate from home, separate from humanity. Kaiden/Ashley were soldiers, making a sacrifice for humanity that they were able to choose, Pressly was a life long navy boy who died in the heat of combat on a ship he loved. They either were able to chose or had a chance to fight back in some one. The child on the other hand was uninvolved in the whole affair, unable to choose, and unable to fight back. A pure spirit which summed up for Shepard everything he was fighting for and everything that was at stake. The child didn't haunt him, the burden of humanity haunted him, personified.

#76 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

ASS EFFECT

#77 Posted by vikingdeath1 (996 posts) -

I STILL like to believe in it, and I probably always will, it's Way more interesting.

at least until the Next ME game comes out and i'm forced into the harsh light of reality....

#78 Posted by Trav (241 posts) -

@xMEGADETHxSLY said:

ASS EFFECT

#79 Edited by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

The problem is that never, ever, before in Mass Effect (maybe in all Bioware games?) where we ever told "This is how you should feel". If Bioware wanted us to feel guilty about a death or a bad situation then they would go about it another way (presenting a scene with dialog choices that display this, which would include a dialog option that is simply "I don't feel guilty") but they never before told us "Now you should feel guilty about that". Its kind of uncharacteristic if not a stupid way to go about it.

#80 Posted by DeShawn2ks (1056 posts) -

@MikeJFlick said:

Since I only registered a few weeks ago I may as well add my comment, I believe the Indoctrination Theory holds more water then the actual ending, why would this random child who Shepard has no connection with be this "amazing" spark that haunts him? Because he actually saw this child "die"? You would think Alenko or Williams whomever died in ME1 hell even pressly who dies at the start of ME2 would be more haunting character of "loss" to Shepard then some little kid, added to the fact that Indoctrination's codex description of Indoctrination and what happens during ME3 sounds pretty spot on.

I'm not going to harp on since it doesn't matter anymore EAware already decided how ME3 ended, I just hope EAware is fucking with us and is going to pull the rug out from under us with ME4, because it's hell of alot more interesting premise then god-child controlling everything.

I believed the Indoctrination Theory before the extended cut because the dreams Shepard was having were almost spot on how the Rachni queen described them being indoctrinated back in ME1. The black oily shapes and hearing the dead. Bioware also went out there way to show the kid running into the building right before it blows up. How did he survive that blast without a scratch on him and why didn't anyone acknowledge him when he was getting on the ship? The adults were helping each other you think they would help a little kid by himself. I just really want to believe that Bioware had bigger plans for the end of ME3 and it wasn't just bad writing on their part.

#81 Edited by MikeJFlick (443 posts) -

@allworkandlowpay: Perhaps they weren't "innocent" like the kid was suppose to be, but they would atleast be much more symbolic of things lost and what not to let happen to anyone else, Shepard knew what was a stake the moment he knew the reapers were coming(he would of broken down then and there not later), for him to be shell-shocked so easily by the weight of the events as they were happening is seemingly very unlikely especially as you said "burden of humanity" why would he allow himself to be spun by God-Child? Isn't the fact that the god-child controls the reapers a sure sign that he should disregard what he says because of what is at stake? Anyway I don't buy it unless it was indoctrination or just terrible writing.

@DeShawn2ks: I haven't replayed ME3 since it came out, so other then what I've heard I don't know much about what the extended cut really did other then changing a few things like the relays not blowing up or something and adding a 4th option of shooting at the child-god for the EAware special ending of:

So I really don't know if they derailed the theory or not, but to add to what you said, the fact that shepard was never shot in his side until after ...... TIM shoots him(sorry forgot his name) and the fact he started walking normally after choosing destroy.

#82 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Shepherd died in space in the begging of Mass Effect 2. The rest of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 was just the afterlife, a dream, created by him, for him. He was never cloned, or recreated with alien technology. It was all just a fantasy of his.

#83 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

I quite liked the Indoctrination theory. Some parts (like the ones listed) are quite crazy, but it was the only way I could really understand the ending.

#84 Posted by JerichoBlyth (1044 posts) -

I think at this stage, I can safely say that Mass Effect 3 was a load of shite.

#85 Posted by TheMasterDS (2122 posts) -

I think the original ending had two problems: One it was filled with plot holes, two it was really fucking stupid. Indoctrination Theory in a way addressed both. Hell, they made the whole game better by saying "Starchild was supposed to be cloying and stupid from the start". Extended Ending from what I hear just fixed the plot holes and said "Yes, we were serious before." End result is a really stupid ending which they had a chance to make less stupid but didn't.

#86 Posted by Worcanna (90 posts) -

I think the fact this whole post started based on someone laughing at people trying to find some hope in a poorly written and developed ending says more that the fans wish for the best in the game, not that the fans wasted their time doing so. You can cover it up all you want, making fun of them is just spiteful.

I still have ME2, i think thats my fave ME and that is my own fact. I love Omega to bits and i love the general direction it all goes in. Thus, i think my Shep, shall die with honor at the end :) *shrugs*

#87 Posted by Zereta (1370 posts) -

While I was fine with the ending that I got, with the way developers are taking video game story telling, I honestly would not have been surprised if the Indoctrination theory was true. Its not so far out from the realm of possibility. It could have been true.

Hell, I still think Bioware should have seen the theory and even if it wasn't part of the plan, just shrugged and take it in anyway.

#88 Edited by palfrei (24 posts) -
#89 Edited by palfrei (24 posts) -

Is anyone still reding this?

I've played the game many times already but I remember the feeling of something going wrong about the plot during my first run through it.

It does not matter whether BW denied the Indoctrination Theory ["IT" from now on] because no script writter in their most basic common sense would have ever put together a story with so many gaps in it unless it was done on purpose.

Scripting is also done with vignettes, specially for visual media, so that the story flow can be seen clearer and more complete. Everyone at BW involved with the tittle's development, specially the project directors, percieved these gaps and filled them in the very same way players did hence the IT is not the product of wishfull-thinking gamers hoping to make more of the game they love so much for the sake of reality avoidance regarding its poor ending.

As few commentors pointed out, the IT fills those gaps better than anything else written by BW.

And here's another interesting twist, even though the Leviathans showed the power to control and destroy the reapers, they did not because the Reapers are fulfilling the task for which they were created. If EDI had shackles, the Reapers must have [had] theirs. The Reapers are nothing more than the Levianthans' tool to keep every single race in the galaxy below their evolutionary status; they remain hidden while being the apex of evolution just as Sovereign and the Reapers do between cycles.

The Reapers are the Leviathan's agents for galactic dominance.

What they told Shepard was just another lie, like the Illusive Man's like the Reapers'.

#90 Posted by Hailinel (25203 posts) -

@palfrei said:

It does not matter whether BW denied the Indoctrination Theory ["IT" from now on] because no script writter in their most basic common sense would have ever put together a story with so many gaps in it unless it was done on purpose.

Scripting is also done with vignettes, specially for visual media, so that the story flow can be seen clearer and more complete. Everyone at BW involved with the tittle's development, specially the project directors, percieved these gaps and filled them in the very same way players did hence the IT is not the product of wishfull-thinking gamers hoping to make more of the game they love so much for the sake of reality avoidance regarding its poor ending.

As few commentors pointed out, the IT fills those gaps better than anything else written by BW.

And here's another plus, the Leviathans did not destroy the Reapers because they are fulfilling the task for which they were created. The Reapers are the Levianthans' tool to keep every single race in the galaxy below their evolutionary status; they remain hidden being the apex of evolution just as Sovereing and the Reapers do between cycles.

Terrible, plothole-riddled scripts are written all of the time. And it being the case that a script is riddled with plotholes does not mean that these holes were intentional or desired. If a fan theory as cockamamie as the indoctrination theory is needed to explain away issues in the writing (or to make it make a lick of sense), it does not absolve the writing from having pronounced issues. The extended cut ending Bioware produced specifically negates the indoctrination theory, which they had already said was incorrect anyway.

Beyond all of that, I can't believe that people are still willing to argue the merits of the indoctrination theory in 2014.

#91 Posted by ThunderSlash (1909 posts) -

*tumbleweeds*

#92 Posted by Capum15 (4966 posts) -

Ye olde thread...e.

Anyway, even though it's wrong, I still like the theory. Would've been quite an interesting thing.

#93 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (863 posts) -

Necromancers are the worst. Need more paladins.

#94 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

Man stop bringing up Mass Effect 3's story. It's just as depressing today as it was the first time through. What a waste of a series.

#95 Posted by KoolAid (1008 posts) -

The truth has been bumped!

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