Mass Effect 3 Spoilercast! Brought to you by Groovy Gamer!

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Posted by MattBodega (2276 posts) -

Giant Bomb user and all-around swell guy EvilDeadRon invited me to be on the Groovy Gamer podcast and talk all of Mass Effect 3; from the mechanics to the story to that ending. What seemed like a fun way to analyze the game quickly turned into a brutally tense, no-holds barred smackdown that sent the Groovy Gamer podcast teetering on the razor's edge, dangling above a pit of madness that is the Mass Effect 3 ending. Lives were lost, friendships were destroyed, and I can't remember why I said 2/3's of the stuff I did.

All of which is to say that I had a really good time on the podcast and that you should give it a listen! IF YOU DARE.

You can listen to the podcast by going to Groovy Gamer or downloading it from iTunes. And, if you like it, why not leave us a review there? We’d greatly appreciate it.

Give it a whirl if you like conspiracies, incoherent rambling (thanks to me!) and threats of violence!

#1 Posted by MattBodega (2276 posts) -

Giant Bomb user and all-around swell guy EvilDeadRon invited me to be on the Groovy Gamer podcast and talk all of Mass Effect 3; from the mechanics to the story to that ending. What seemed like a fun way to analyze the game quickly turned into a brutally tense, no-holds barred smackdown that sent the Groovy Gamer podcast teetering on the razor's edge, dangling above a pit of madness that is the Mass Effect 3 ending. Lives were lost, friendships were destroyed, and I can't remember why I said 2/3's of the stuff I did.

All of which is to say that I had a really good time on the podcast and that you should give it a listen! IF YOU DARE.

You can listen to the podcast by going to Groovy Gamer or downloading it from iTunes. And, if you like it, why not leave us a review there? We’d greatly appreciate it.

Give it a whirl if you like conspiracies, incoherent rambling (thanks to me!) and threats of violence!

#2 Posted by evildeadron (883 posts) -

I was exhausted after recording this

#3 Edited by Tennmuerti (8340 posts) -

Hope this podcast is better informed and not as fact forgetfull as the GB one :P
I trust you Bodega.

#4 Posted by imooumoo (48 posts) -

Thanks guys. I had to drop 3 of 4 podcasts I listened too, needed a replacement. Was sick of being called an entitled punk all the time. Here we go!

#5 Posted by imooumoo (48 posts) -

Loving it already. Less then 10 minuets in :D

#6 Posted by evildeadron (883 posts) -

@imooumoo: Thanks man, I appreciate it

#7 Posted by CaptainCharisma (347 posts) -

20 minutes in and I think I have a new podcast to subscribe to.

#8 Posted by imooumoo (48 posts) -

About 25 minutes in you guys were talking about how long the Reapers need to destroy a Planet. I want to note: At sometime during ME3 they say it took something like a century for The Reapers to originally destroy the Protheans. Obviously not 100 years for a planet, but still. Lot's of time per planet.

#9 Posted by Sjosz (489 posts) -


Centuries to conquer the Protheans, in fact. A couple of weeks on Earth really isn't that crazy a consideration.

#10 Posted by ApertureSilence (1180 posts) -

@Sjosz: Building an ancient Prothean super-weapon in a few weeks seems crazy. That's why I felt it was *months* passing.

#11 Edited by Tennmuerti (8340 posts) -

Listened to 40 minutes so far. Yea....
This was what I was afraid of.
Again a bunch of misinformation and people not familiar or forgetting certain aspects of the lore or previous games, asking basic stuff like oh "why this or why that, oh no this doesnt make sense", sigh.
There was like one guy making sense and putting things back into rationality, explaining certain game facts to others. My respect goes out to him.
I don't mind people shitting on certain aspects of ME3, the game has it's problems, but damn i hate it when it's being shit on for the wrong reason simply due to just ingoring/forgetting stuff.
This is in the vein of Ryan going on a tirade on the bomcast about mass relays and the Citadel. Altho i admit his moment of ignorance was a bit more extreme.

#12 Posted by HistoryInRust (6599 posts) -
@evildeadron said:

I was exhausted after recording this

Well, know that you've earned yourself a new listener.  
I appreciate that Ron was willing to champion the Indoctrination thing, even if I don't totally believe it, there is enough substantial weight for it to be a topic of serious discussion. 
#13 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

Giving it a shot! May be back when I'm done.

#14 Edited by Tennmuerti (8340 posts) -
Ok, im 2:30 into the podcast at the hilarious ending part.
And it has gotten much better after the first half an hour, fully enjoyed listening to the 2 hours from then and now, good stuff.
I disagree with some minor stuff, agree to most and there are some minor factual errors (or lore ammisions) but it's an interesting listen nontheless. Enjoying it.
#15 Posted by Tylea002 (2382 posts) -

On what you said about the crucible: I agree completely. The only twist with the Crucible that could have justified such a clear Deus Ex Machina is that it does nothing, and the Reapers built it and left plans as a false beacon of hope to prevent civilisations committing mass suicide and avoiding harvest. What happened instead was one of the worst things ever, but even still, the whole crucible plotline is so lazy.

#16 Posted by Tennmuerti (8340 posts) -

"I have indesputable fucking evidence, Shepard is wearing civilian clothes after waking up" - Brilliant .... since he isn't 
"because I paid attention and you all didn't! - BRILLIANCE OF LEGENDARY PROPORTIONS
Oh man listening to that person wriggle his ass and deliberately avoid answering direct questions posed regarding the indoctrination theory was the most entertaining part of the podcast.
It was like listening to someone dig their own grave.
Love that sound.

#17 Posted by ApertureSilence (1180 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: I think it's telling that the ending drove Ron to such monumental levels of denial. I just read The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 last night, and the BioWare folks made it VERY clear that the ending is to be taken completely at face value.

#18 Posted by imooumoo (48 posts) -

Ron misinterpreted the Indoctrination theory. The point was that it was still an incomplete ending, but the scene after you choose your ending where the citadel's arms are opening and you see the final scene's including the Normandy and the new planet are all still a result of ending the indoctrination process, and when Shepard wakes up, yes he is no longer indoctrinated, but the Reapers are still alive, and there is still a fight. The ending according to the theory is still incomplete.

#19 Posted by ApertureSilence (1180 posts) -

@imooumoo: This is what we were saying. If true, it would be an unfinished ending. But of course it isn't.

#20 Edited by CaptainCharisma (347 posts) -

I was totally on board with Ron and his theory, but then he started to make less sense. The fact that the control ending has someone breathing in N7 armor at the end is all he had to say. And maybe bring in the point that the Illusive Man was the blue option when I don't see how controlling something is a Paragon thing to do. While Anderson was somehow the Renegade option.

#21 Posted by RenMcKormack (1087 posts) -

Kessler where are you going to be ending up with the buy-out stuff.

#22 Posted by RetroVirus (1540 posts) -

Good cast guys! It's nice to hear some more people talking about Mass Effect.

#23 Posted by CaptainCharisma (347 posts) -

And props to you guys for talking about how"self entitled" haters of the ending are. You guys put it very well and I can definitely respect that.

#24 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

Glad you guys enjoyed it! I certainly had a lot fun talking about the ending and it felt good to let it all out. I needed this...

#25 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

So, I'm not saying I'm an Indoctrination Theory believer (mostly because even if it's true, it's not what I want out of Mass Effect) but it's worth noting that the only way Shepard takes that breath at the end of the Destroy The Reapers option is if you've collected 5000 points in War Assets to get the "true ending." There's a deep flaw in thinking that Shepard must be the one to stop The Reapers singlehandedly; if that was ever the case, why assemble the crack squad in ME2 or the massive fleet in ME3 if Shepard's the only one who can have anything to do with the defeat of The Reapers? If anything, the interpretation that Shepard is lying in the rubble after the insanely large galactic fleet has forced a retreat by The Reapers is the only ending that takes the player's choices into account, as it's the only one that acknowledges the giant fleet Shepard's spent the whole game assembling.

Just a thought on that specific complaint. I think the idea that the ending would be expanded or "solved" in DLC would be pretty disgusting.

#26 Edited by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

I feel kind of bad for Ron (I hope that's his name)... the guy with the indoctrination theory. people keep bad mouthing him on the podcast and its just rude. He's clearly onto something but I think what he failed to do was mention 3 specific areas...

if shepard survived, that means

a) the reapers weren't killed


b) the reapers were killed by someone else making it onto the citadel (Anderson?)


c) what the actual meaning of the post-credits moment is?

the fact that Bioware has said that this is the end of Shepard's story doesn't mean that HE NEEDED to be the one to destroy the reapers... thats a very video-gamey way of thinking about it and I give Mass Effect the edge by assuming that it is a little bit smarter and more mature than that. This ending, I admittedly still don't quite fully understand it, is slowly becoming the only way I could now think of the trilogy ending. As much as I loved my squad, dealing with this ending's abstract nature is infinitely cooler to think about.

EDIT: this podcast is great and its my first time listening to it so I have one more comment. the guy in the podcast who said the man in the rubble in the N7 armour may not be Shepard is bizarre. Why the hell would the game cut to SOMEONE ELSE taking a breath at the end of the game?

#27 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: That's my biggest problem with the indoctrination theory. If the reapers weren't killed then we have a incomplete ending. If they were killed by someone else... well that's just lunacy. After everything Shepard has done it would be insane to me that he didn't finish the job or at the very least see it happen.

#28 Posted by evildeadron (883 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: Heh, thanks...yes it's Ron......I assure you our normal shows are not quite as heated

#29 Edited by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

@Matt: why is it insane? It may be incomplete now (DLC in the future) or it may be complete for the character of Shepard. Just because it doesn't fully satisfy you (and even me) doesn't make it not possible. as I said, thats a very video-gamey way to think about it. In spite of what was said on the podcast, Shepard IS a real character that is GUIDED by you but he still has his own agenda. It would be like if you're presented with a character in class that has to go to the bathroom and the renegade and paragon actions were to either "just sneak out of class" or "to let the teacher know then go". Regardless of what option you choose, the CHARACTER STILL NEEDS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. So, in spite of what options you chose throughout all 3 games, be they renegade or paragon, SHEPARD STILL WANTS TO SAVE THE GALAXY which implies some kind of empathy/sympathy for humans and aliens that are dying in this conflict. The kid could represent that and/or could be a set-up for the ending. The fact that the ending is abstract and could mean different things to different people makes the idea of choices the trilogy has set-up even more prominent.

Also, the fact that you're not in control of what strange context Shepard is put in makes it more interesting. From what has been set-up, The Reapers, their origin, their maker etc. are beyond human understanding, so it makes sense that you, as Shepard, can not and will not be ever prepared for the decisions or comprehension of the Reapers or their agenda.

Shepard has done SO much throughout the series, i.e. uniting different species etc. What he has done is very important. Just because there's a possibility that he LITERALLY didn't push the "kill reapers" button at the end doesn't make him any less spectacular or a hero. Or maybe the Reapers weren't killed...

I agree with Ron. The ending of the game was very strange and was obviously meant for debate.

I didn't even know that a white tree was growing behind Shepard when I played it, how is that explained if its not some kind of dream or hallucination?

Also, Why is the Normandy seemingly already mid-travel between relays, implying that they have left Shepard behind. Why would they leave Shepard behind?

And, again, who is the guy that wakes up in the N7 armour? All logic would dictate that it is Shepard. He breathes, meaning he is alive. If it wasn't a hallucination, he somehow then survived the blast from the citadel and landed back in London under a pile of rubble.... what?!

I agree, us followers of Ron, we may not have the theory perfect but it is probably closer to what will eventually (hopefully) be revealed as a kind of truth. And, if not... if the ending is forever left open-ended, I don't mind that. This ending has really affected me and I stand by it, no matter how abstract it is because thats what makes it so interesting. The idea that it does become abstract and weirdly philosophical is exactly what makes is so very interesting.

I am pretty sure Bioware has said that this is the end of Shepard's story and that the ending is meant to be discussed. I agree with Ron as I had very similar reactions to the ending, myself.

Regardless of all this, you guys made an excellent and thoughtful podcast about a trilogy that I really care about. Great JOB! :)

#30 Posted by Tylea002 (2382 posts) -

@Matt: I prefer the indoctrination theory but the other one as Ron, that EVERYTHING is in Shepard's mind, and he wakes up and the fight has not finished, and the game is incomplete. It is a terrible ending, and a really shitty way to handle it, but it makes MORE sense than the stupid bullshit that was presented. Either way, the writing was poor and the ending was terible.

#31 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: I'm not saying that the indoctrination theory isn't possible. It definitely is possible but every outcome of that theory leaves us with a incomplete ending. Mass Effect has always been about the choices you make and to have a ending where it takes in absolutely nothing from the choies you made or what you did is just ridiculous to me. You may consider the ending abstract but that doesn't make it automatically interesting or good. More than anything I find the ending comes off as lazy.

#32 Posted by gregjay24 (36 posts) -

I listened to the whole thing. I have to say great discussion ive been waiting for something like this. I will be probably will follow you guys more, although the arguments got heated in the ending its not like listening to people yell at each other which is a problem with these types of discussions. So bravo. With regards to the whole indoctrination theory, there is some rumors of a possible dlc ending that confirms this. I honestly don't think it will happen. Shepard could have however as you said been indoctrinated from the point before you are beamed up from the citadel. The whole thing is a battle for control of his mind versus the Harbinger then when he wakes up, if you choose to destroy the Reapers proving the Indoctrination failed, hes in the rubble of the blast of the beam Harbinger hits Shepard with. The Reapers aren't destroyed yet though and the DLC finishes the game. It's just a theory obviously, and I dont think theyll come out with a DLC ending but if they don't I think it sort of disproves this whole Indoctrination theory. I agree with the other people in the podcast that Bioware wouldn't leave it to anyone else besides Shepard to destroy the Reapers. The endings though by themselves are so disappointing, I won't go as far as it ruined the series but I can say it will ALWAYS be remembered as "The series that COULD have been the greatest ever"

#33 Edited by Hector (3514 posts) -

That was a great podcast. Learned some new things that I didn't know you could do. Also I completely agree with Matt's literal version of the ending. That's exactly what it is. There is no indoctrination or anything else. People are upset and start creating all these crazy theories that's all it is.

#34 Edited by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

@Matt: From what I've heard on the podcast, you all seem to be very knowledgeable of the trilogy and thoughtful about it which is something that I respect greatly.

However, I will question you now on a few things. You say if the indoctrination ending is true it would make the ending "incomplete". As I've stated, it would not make the ending incomplete but would more focus on Shepard and his state of mind. As stated from Bioware, this is the completion of Shepard's story and was meant to be discussed. From what has been set-up in the trilogy, the reapers and their origin is something beyond our understanding. Realistically speaking, if the reapers and the creator (if there even is such a thing) were to actually start a war with all sentient life, it would be impossible to win. These are essentially Gods that we're battling. Something that apparently has been apart of the universe since forever... as Sovereign alludes to the fact that the reapers have always been and will always continue to exist.

It would be safe to assume that their creator would be as close to something that we, humans, would understand to be as a God. Something that is simultaneously an intelligent being and an unalterable fact of objective reality. Do you really think that Shepard, or the "Shepards" of previous cycles, would EVER be able to properly do battle with a destructive force on this scale? Do you really think that if Shepard saved Fist or the Quarians or let Jack die or ANYTHING, that any of these decisions would affect such an eerie and bizarre threat? Frankly, it would be ludicrous if Shepard DID win against the reapers in any meaningful way by his own doing. If he did, it would betray all the mystery and menace behind the Reapers. And even if Shepard did win, it still, on a grand scale, wouldn't be Shepard's fight. It would be more about the ingenuity of all the beings that helped create the crucible from the previous cycles.

The endings, to my knowledge are:

You become one with the reapers and control them, essentially becoming something like a God or you've been indoctrinated.

You are indoctrinated into thinking you destroyed the reapers but free yourself from this and/or the reapers were destroyed by someone else. Or at the very least you survive but are still indoctrinated. (ironically, this ending seems the least bizarre and most realistic outcome for what the fiction has set-up. In other words, the Crucible did work but had nothing to do with Shepard and was instead the long and hard work done by many civilizations over numerous, maybe infinite, cycles. Or the Crucible didn't work and its all in Shepard's mind....)

You create a new form of DNA and usher in the next step of evolution, irreversibly changing every living and synthetic being in the galaxy or you've been indoctrinated.

Now, given what has been set up for the Reapers, how exactly are any of the above endings out of line with Mass Effect's lore? How are they lazy? How are they uninteresting? Specifically about the indoctrination theory but this question can be applied to all 3. They are as close to something that could call itself a necessary response to such a galactic and enigmatic terror.

Your choices have made a difference within the galaxy and to its residents but when it comes to a force that is timeless, and arguably formless, and beyond our or any of the previous cycles' understanding, how do you suppose any of the information that has been given to Shepard over the course of all 3 games or any of the choices he has made would affect the Reapers in any way?

I clearly think this ending is the best it could have been with what lead up to it. Its sad, oddly triumphant and always thought provoking.

Now you clearly think this not interesting and you call it lazy. My main question for you and this is an important one and is something that I am very curious about is how exactly did you see the trilogy ending? If I had that information, you may change my mind but just saying it is "lazy" and "not interesting" are meaningless things to say when I can easily say it wasn't lazy because it fell right in line with what the previous games set up and it is interesting because I find Mass Effect interesting.

#35 Posted by HistoryInRust (6599 posts) -
@ApertureSilence said:

@Tennmuerti: I think it's telling that the ending drove Ron to such monumental levels of denial. I just read The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 last night, and the BioWare folks made it VERY clear that the ending is to be taken completely at face value.

I agree with you on a number of levels.  
It's important to point out the fallacy of the thought,  "Bioware intended X, therefore X must be true," when interpreting a creative piece of work. Ultimately, the "text" is the only source of information the reader ought to use to determine the meaning of said "text." That isn't to say a piece of artwork can't refer to reality, of course, since artwork is almost universally referential to some modicum, to vary degrees even, of the real, ever-present human condition the reader confronts on a daily basis.  
But what the text is saying isn't what the author is saying, if that makes sense. A book can be written, and when it is given a close-reading, similar to the "close-reading" you folks gave Mass Effect 3, it can turn out that the artwork can have implications severe and manifold, perhaps far beyond or opposite the scope of the author's intent. The artwork becomes it's own being, in that sense. Like a child or a Youtube video. Obviously the author addresses certain thematic motifs, and obviously the author has an intent when they do, but once the work is out of the author's clay-encrusted hands, once it is free to exist disparate and autonomous from all other things, the work is then its own universe.  
Think of it this way. Think of any bad painting or writing or song a friend of yours has made. Or maybe one that you've made (if you can look inwards to that degree, I suppose). You show it to a friend and they say, "Huh. It's pretty." Or, "Huh, I don't get it." If you proceed to tell them what your intent was, and they take you for your word, they are no longer subscribing to an interpretation of the text as they read or view or hear it, but an interpretation of the text as you, the author, has demanded it. It's almost a sick sort of connivery on the part of the author, to negotiate their "intent" into the mind of their "reader" as the one, true objective meaning.  
All that aside, you folks did a fine job reading into the ending and demonstrating that the ending isn't totally logical on either front (read: the literal front or the "Indoctrination" front). The Indoctrination stuff is an attractive theory, and one I don't hate in concept, but there isn't a precedent in the series for the narrative to go that reflexive, or that postmodern. And from a pure storytelling standpoint, it doesn't make sense. Otherwise Shepard is still in London, or on the Citadel, or maybe he's dead in Whereverthefuck, Wisconsin. But that means the Reapers are still tearing shit up. And that means the ending isn't an ending at all, which means the game has no closure and isn't totally complete. 

That being said, it is also very important to understand what is happening here on a financial basis. Or maybe on a marketing basis. I'm not savvy enough with the "business" side of this business to know the lingo. But I know that, indeed, the "intent" was to have this ending. What we have wasn't a mistake or a flub. No gaffes or excuses being used here to supplicate the fans for understanding. This is it. This is how they wanted it.  
Which means now they're watching us. They are certainly seeing all this. I read this statement from Casey Hudson, and I know how PR works and why this weekend is the weekend they decide to distract us all with Operation: Goliath or whatever. And why the DLC will almost certainly be content designed to assuage some of the issues the users have with the ending. I'm not sure Bioware wanted to suckerpunch their fanbase. I think they wanted to give Mass Effect a literary high-mindedness it neither needed nor really wanted. But now they have to backpedal and attempt to clean the sheets they've soiled.  
The interesting part for me in all this is what Bioware chooses to do next. They're in an interesting spot. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they leave the ending, then Mass Effect as a franchise is permanently marred (it probably already is, let's be honest). If they rectify the situation with DLC, they acknowledge the serious issues present in a game they continue to describe as a "labor of love," a game they released knowing full well didn't totally function narratologically.  
Maybe they pawn the blame off on EA, who seems to be resurrected as the gaming community's preeminent beating post. Maybe they blame deadlines and man power and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Who knows.  
It's sad this is even happening to what could've been the most important gaming franchise of this generation. That's what I keep coming back to. 
#36 Posted by evildeadron (883 posts) -

I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to listen to the show, and joining in on the discussion here. Regardless of what side your on about the ending, good debate is healthy and it's clear we are all really passionate about the Mass Effect Trilogy. I also hope you guys continue to listen to our show every Wednesday.



#37 Posted by HistoryInRust (6599 posts) -
@evildeadron: Loved the podcast. Barring sheer laziness, you have yourself a new listener. 
#38 Edited by Tennmuerti (8340 posts) -
@CaptainCharisma said:

And props to you guys for talking about how"self entitled" haters of the ending are. You guys put it very well and I can definitely respect that.

It's peoples right to dislike something.
Just as they have every right to try and petition for something.
And Bioware has every right to not listen to them as well.
Those "haters" are some of ME biggest fans.
Dismissing the whole groups of people feelings by labeling them all "haters" is the most shallow approach possible.
(no i'm not among those petitioning)
#39 Posted by ApertureSilence (1180 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: Yes, exactly. That's why I said that I am goddamn sick and tired of being called "entitled" just because I feel that this is a shitty ending, and BioWare done goofed. I unfollowed many games journalists on Twitter this week, because I just couldn't take their asshole attitude anymore.

#40 Edited by Matt (1072 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: I can see where you’re going with the indoctrination ending and I get it but I still feel like every outcome of that would be a incomplete ending. I did not feel like I got any closure at all from any of the endings. I consider the endings lazy since they come out of nowhere with no build up or any consideration to what your Shepard has done in the past. This franchise has always been about choice so much so that you import your choices into the new game and to dismiss it at the last moment is crazy. It only gets worse if you look up the endings online and see how similar they are. Here’s a video of all the endings being played at once the biggest difference being the colour of light you get.

All of this can’t be blamed on the ending though it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mass Effect 3 limited choice far more than ME1 or 2 did. You could charm your way out of every hard decision and get a everyone wins situation at the end. The crucible was a huge deus ex machina and I feel like I didn’t see outcomes of the choices I made. The ending was just salt in the wound.

As far as I saw the trilogy ending... I don’t know but it’s not my job to know. Bioware’s writers have done amazing stuff in the past and it’s a shame to see them fall from grace. I can’t help but feel that EA had a hand in all of this but that’s me just speculating.

Also I find it telling that Bioware have started a "ME3 Suggested Changes Feedback Thread" on their forums (

I think this guy sums all most of my problems in a elegant manner:

#41 Edited by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

@Matt: I have seen all the endings and videos pertaining to the outrage against the ending. At this point, I believe we have reached an impasse. I respectfully and completely disagree with what you're saying. In my past posts I've explained how this ending, abstract as it may be, still is as satisfying an ending for the trilogy as I could have hoped for, to a certain extent. It ends Shepard's story in a few different, interesting ways and it allowed me to say goodbye to all the characters I had come to care deeply about. For me, it respects the idea of The Reapers enough not to just piss away the mystery of what has been set up. If The Reapers were killed or controlled or not killed at all, all these particular avenues still allowed for a satisfying, moving and thought provoking ending. Yes, the series has been about choices but it has also been an amazing, arguably one of the best science-fiction narratives in a while and I'm happy to have made my own choices in this story but in the end it is still a story being told by someone else and I can respect that... and I have even come to agree with that. Art is not about the receiver, ultimately it is ALWAYS about the creator. There will always be a massive disconnect between the author and the reader, thats just the way subjective reality is constructed. You may have issues with that but that is ART and you may have legitimate issues by saying then art is hugely flawed and I would agree with that but it is still ART. Art is about the transmission of one's inner most essence to another. When you start caring about who is receiving it, it becomes a business... which isn't a bad thing... its just not as pure an art as it should be then. its still art, just not very good and rather spineless.

If any part of the ending disappointed me its that it wasn't weird enough. And, the fact that people are now using the whole "take the ending at face value" argument with the hopes of disproving the indoctrination theory is just silly. THAT'S exactly what people are doing with the indoctrination ending... we're taking the images that have been presented to us, the context and background at face value and the indoctrination theory is as simple and logical a conclusion that we can come up with. This isn't like seeing Jesus in a pile of hay. This is about certain things that are presented to us that logically lead to something resembling an indoctrination. Again, I am open to being proved wrong but what I analyze from the images and sounds that are presented to me "at face value" logically leads me to an indoctrination theory. I don't understand the weird outrage against this theory. The podcast got heated in a manner like as if Ron had just admitted to being a racist homophobe who kicks puppies in his spare time. Comparing it to the arguments of a "born again Christian" or whatever was said in the podcast is just ridiculous.

#42 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: Well first off I wouldn't take the podcast so seriously at the end of it we were all laughing. I agree with you in the sense that we are at a impasse here as far as trying to connive each other. This whole thing gets very sticky when we start debating video games as art and then EA's influence in this game specifically. I think it says a lot how one person can be happy with the ending and another completely upset. We all have different Shepards and while this ending may of fit your Shepard it most certainly didn't fit mine and that's the main problem. They made a handful of endings and made your Shepard pick one of them without any consideration to what you have done previously. It doesn't help that there are so many plot holes that it just comes off as bad writing.

#43 Posted by Tylea002 (2382 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: @Matt: The general view among lots of people that I've talked to is that indoctrination makes more sense than the face value of the ending, but is still incomplete and a slap in the face to fans. But of the two evils, the incomplete ending with eventual DLC that finishes it, is the lesser one, even though it's still definitely in the 'evil and stupid' camp. Just less so than face value.

#44 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

@KatyGaGa: @Matt: The general view among lots of people that I've talked to is that indoctrination makes more sense than the face value of the ending, but is still incomplete and a slap in the face to fans. But of the two evils, the incomplete ending with eventual DLC that finishes it, is the lesser one, even though it's still definitely in the 'evil and stupid' camp. Just less so than face value.

Pretty much.

#45 Edited by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

@Matt: ok. alright. I can agree there have been plot holes throughout all 3 games and that is bad writing. You're right. But, I'll say now, I think I didn't properly convey my point. The endings and/or the ending I chose didn't fit my Shepard. I think they're designed to NOT fit any Shepard and that's what so cool about them. Given the nature of The Reapers, this conflict has always been larger than Shepard and I find that very interesting. If The Reapers can be clearly brought to their knees by some human ... the least technologically advanced and one of the most flawed species in the galaxy, it would make The Reapers kind of pussies and, somewhat, idiots.

#46 Posted by Matt (1072 posts) -

@KatyGaGa: and that's where we fundamentally disagree. To have a ending that doesn't fit your character? It makes everything seem pointless to me. I agree with you about the reapers would look kinda bad if Shepard took them down by himself but I think that comes back to the crucible being a dumb plot point.

#47 Posted by KatyGaGa (372 posts) -

@Matt: I think the endings feel natural but I do agree with you about The Crucible. The idea of The Crucible, itself, is pretty entertaining. The fact that over an infinite amount of cycles, a doomsday machine for The Reapers was constructed is pretty great but the fact that it suddenly is discovered now is kind of stupid. Your outrage to the endings matches my outrage towards the sudden discovery of The Crucible. It should have been introduced to Shepard long ago and, in a sense, The Crucible should have been what all 3 games should have been about. Finding out about The Crucible now kinda negates some of the intensity and priority of the previous games.

#48 Edited by CaptainCharisma (347 posts) -

: So does Bioware/ES benefit from trying to make Mass Effect art now? I hated the endings but I would like to know if you think the choice in ending will have repercussions in a positive or negative way. With a charity going on to make $58,000 to show people are not entitled, a PR movement going on in the Bioware forums, and now people going to the FTC, how do you think this effects Bioware?

#49 Posted by Chubbaluphigous (610 posts) -

I would like to extend a hearty thank you to all the lovely people telling Ron to shut up with the nutty ass conspiracy Theory until the end where he could be "as wrong as he would like". Every time he tried to chime in with "If you only knew(etc)" I felt like I was listening to a crazy conspiracy jobber on the street corner going on about mole people.

And to the bloke who digs mechanical keyboards: Fucking A! I'm typing this up on a Das with Cherry blues.

#50 Edited by Matt (1072 posts) -

@CaptainCharisma: It's hard to say right now. Movements on the internet tend to go away after everyone gets bored. I feel like the name of Bioware has definitely fallen from grace and people (like myself) are definitely more hesitant when viewing their products. On the other hand Bioware doesn't make crap. Mass Effect 3 is a good game it's just disappointing that the ending is so poor.

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