So...that Theory about the ending to Mass Effect 3*Spoilers*

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#1 Posted by Aelric (401 posts) -


#2 Posted by Aelric (401 posts) -

Indoctrination, literal? Where do you stand, regardless of DLC rumors or whiny complains for a happy ending. I'm actually in the indoctrination camp due to continuing examples, despite being fine with the ending.

#3 Posted by AdmiralStupid (76 posts) -

BLIND HOPE WILL SAVE ME!

Right? RIGHT?!?!

#4 Posted by turbomonkey138 (4950 posts) -

If it isn't it is the biggest troll ever :P

#5 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Wait people are still buying the fake kid thing?
 
That is by far the weakest part of the entire theory, not to mention it isn't actually essential to it at all.
 
In fact it is stronger if the kid was initially real, although I guess that just goes to show the amazing intellect of the masterminds behind this garbage.

#6 Posted by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

Whether it is the case or not, you have to admit that the indoctrination theory has some good evidence and decent backing. I think it is believable.

#7 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (2950 posts) -

It's actually kind of surprising to see the downright delusional lengths people will go to in order to avoid the ending.

#8 Posted by TMThomsen (2068 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad: The indoctrination have pretty much been confirmed by Bioware in The Final Hours digital book.

#9 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@TMThomsen: How has it been confirmed? Pretty much everything I've heard about the book sounds like it should put an end to that rumor. They talk about how they cut dialog from the Guardian because they didn't want him to explain everything and thought it'd be better for people to "speculate."

http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/9999272/1

#10 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -
@TMThomsen said:

@Make_Me_Mad: The indoctrination have pretty much been confirmed by Bioware in The Final Hours digital book.

You do realize Final Hours almost completely kills Indoctrination theory.
#11 Posted by TMThomsen (2068 posts) -

@CrossTheAtlantic: @LordXavierBritish:

They cut a traditional bossfight and created this open-ended ending where they wanted people to be unsure of what really happened. As you put it: "they wanted people to speculate". The book explains how it instead turned into an ending where the Reapers finally indoctrinated Shepard. Originally the game would take control of the player model, but it ended up being cut. Instead, we've been given this more indirect and obscure "ending" that deals with the Reapers indoctrination attempt on Shepard.

#12 Posted by Hailinel (22712 posts) -
@Make_Me_Mad

It's actually kind of surprising to see the downright delusional lengths people will go to in order to avoid the ending.

#13 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

It's a bad ending. Sure, there's some evidence that would suggest indoctrination but whether it's true or not it still makes Bioware look like a complete jackass on a galactic scale. I'm not surprised that people are in denial. They care about the franchise and so do I. But that ending is just bad. No way around it.

#14 Posted by Fawkes (209 posts) -

It's a neat theory, and I like it more than the actual ending, but I believe that Bioware was just crunched for time and made a bad thing.

Like, I assume everyone ignores the kid because they probably made that cutscene without him first and then someone had the bright idea of trying to tug at heartstrings more so they added a kid but didn't go back and reanimate the other dudes to help him into the shuttle or anything.

#15 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1722 posts) -
@TMThomsen said:

@CrossTheAtlantic: @LordXavierBritish:

They cut a traditional bossfight and created this open-ended ending where they wanted people to be unsure of what really happened. As you put it: "they wanted people to speculate". The book explains how it instead turned into an ending where the Reapers finally indoctrinated Shepard. Originally the game would take control of the player model, but it ended up being cut. Instead, we've been given this more indirect and obscure "ending" that deals with the Reapers indoctrination attempt on Shepard.

No, instead you've been given a shitty plot-hole ridden ending that spits on the legacy of the franchise from which the fans have salvaged something resembling an acceptable ending but one that still leaves the ME story unresolved. 
 You have been left out high and dry, and have made do with your own imaginations. The 'indoctrination' is pretty clear to see, but it certainly isn't Shepard's. (ziiing!)
#16 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4480 posts) -

52.1% of people are indoctrinated by Bioware.

We call them the Drones.

#17 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

I really like the idea of the indoctrination ending. It jives with what we know Hudson wanted to do in 3 already, makes for an interesting twist for a potential sequel, and actually fulfills a lot of what has been hinted at in 3. At the same time, the problem with the theory is that every point proponents for the theory give can be answered equally as well with "The developers were just lazy."

For example:

Why were the textures of the rubble on Earth Kaiden and Ashley's skin repeated over and over again?

A) It's part of Shepard's unconscious, trying to tell him everything he knows and loves is being destroyed.

B) The developers were lazy and cut corners in designing the rubble.

Why was the rubble Shepard laid in at the end concrete and rebar? It's supposed to be the Citadel and the Crucible. It should be steel and weird metal alloys.

A) It's Shepard waking up from his Indoctrinated spell in London, ready to finish the fight.

B) The developers were lazy and said "Hey, somebody make some rubble up." And didn't critique it later.

#18 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

I don't give a fuck what Bioware says (they basically ruled this out at this point), my Shepard was Indoctrinated and is still stuck under Rubble in London after fighting off Indoctrination

#19 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

I've seen a lot of what both arguments have to offer and I don't buy it. The endings happened.

#20 Posted by HadesTimes (793 posts) -

I think what happens after the credits pretty much dismisses anything other than the most obvious answer to happened.

#21 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

I just want to know how the fuck James Vega got back to the Normandy.

#22 Posted by wsowen02 (307 posts) -

I'd like to believe the indoctrination theory, but honestly, I think it is just more likely that they fucked up.

#23 Posted by N7 (3570 posts) -
@easthill said:

I just want to know how the fuck James Vega got back to the Normandy.

In my ending it was Javik and Liara.
 
I want to know why the fuck the "love" of Shepard's life abandoned him, and why Javik, the guy whose entire civilization was destroyed by The Reapers - who said he was going to kill himself on the graves of his fallen comrades after the battle - picked up and bounced up to Joker, who was neck-deep fighting Reapers in orbit.
 
That's the reason people believe this Indoctrination theory anyway. Bioware has filled the final moments and cutscenes with so many inaccuracies and fallacies that we had to start looking at what we saw and extrapolate from that. It felt so rushed and last minute and that's what gives me some hope. Maybe they changed as much as possible and are doing a DLC ending. And maybe not.
 
The "destroy" ending has Shepard waking up on the streets of London and taking a huge gasp of air, wearing his completely intact armor.(The armor that two seconds ago was busted up beyond repair and burned almost completely off. Not to even mention the gaping hole in his side) You know, the ending that ensures the destruction of the Reapers... And I seem to remember a quote from the end of Mass Effect 2 was "I won't let fear compromise who I am". So he kills The Reapers, who in this case, is just Harbinger's control of Shepard, which ends with him waking up, pissed off and ready to go. I will also note that the Citadel blows straight the fuck up in this ending. So we're supposed to believe that Shepard survived the fall from Orbit to Earth, or that LOLJK it was Indoctrination. I seem to remember the last fall into Orbit he died. And that was with a helmet.
 
I swear, if the first words out of his mouth isn't "HARBINGER! YOU MOTHER. FUCKER!" I am going to be disappoint.
#24 Edited by Zithe (1045 posts) -

@N7 said:

The "destroy" ending has Shepard waking up on the streets of London and taking a huge gasp of air, wearing his completely intact armor.(The armor that two seconds ago was busted up beyond repair and burned almost completely off. Not to even mention the gaping hole in his side)

I've re-watched that gasp of air on YouTube about 20 times at this point and this sounds ridiculous. All you can see is Shepard's shoulder and the upper part of his arm and the armor looks just as scratched up and burned as it does on the Citadel. And how exactly can you see the presence or absence of the gaping hole in his side? The camera angle does not allow that at all.

Edit: Unless that shot is supposed to be the side of his torso with his legs like...hanging down at a weird angle like he's lying on a steep hill? I always pictured it as Shepard lying face down with his head toward the camera (blocked in the shot by the rubble to the left) and what we see is largely his left shoulder. Now I don't know what to think. That armor is definitely still busted up though.

#25 Edited by TMThomsen (2068 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@TMThomsen said:

@CrossTheAtlantic: @LordXavierBritish:

They cut a traditional bossfight and created this open-ended ending where they wanted people to be unsure of what really happened. As you put it: "they wanted people to speculate". The book explains how it instead turned into an ending where the Reapers finally indoctrinated Shepard. Originally the game would take control of the player model, but it ended up being cut. Instead, we've been given this more indirect and obscure "ending" that deals with the Reapers indoctrination attempt on Shepard.

No, instead you've been given a shitty plot-hole ridden ending that spits on the legacy of the franchise from which the fans have salvaged something resembling an acceptable ending but one that still leaves the ME story unresolved.
You have been left out high and dry, and have made do with your own imaginations. The 'indoctrination' is pretty clear to see, but it certainly isn't Shepard's. (ziiing!)

If you take it all literally I agree with you; it is shitty plot-hole filled ending. But I don't see how one can take it literally and I certainly don't view the trilogy as done yet (hence the urgent message after the game "Buy DLC to continue your adventure!!!").

If you think what happened was literally taking place, then why does the game have a true ending? You're presented with 3 choices and one of them is the best (without you knowing it directly though).

#26 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

It's funny to me how reluctant gamers are to take a game at anything other than face value. The moment Shepherd gets up from that blast after the fade to white I knew it was some kind of Inception/Jacob's Ladder shenanigans simply from conditioning to those cinematic tropes. There was no way Shepherd was getting up from that blast right away + the events you are seeing unfold are contradicted immediately: "Did anyone get through to the beam? No"...yet somehow Capt Anderson and Shepherd get through. Also, what people don't seem to understand is that the indoctrination theory is an interpretation, and thus cannot simply be wrong unless it fails to refer to any textual evidence, of which there is ample evidence for the indoctrination theory even if it might be subject for debate. That said, we are working with incomplete information here, since the game's story clearly will not be completed until all of the DLC is released.

At this point in time indoctrination theory is the simplest and most coherent explanation for what happens in the endgame sequence, unless Bioware retcons, spins, or otherwise changes what it's established in the core game.

#27 Posted by MaFoLu (1854 posts) -

Even if the theory makes more sense than the current ending in many ways, I am almost completely sure they never planned for that... 
Still, it gives them an out to change the ending if they want to, but I don't think they do.
If they had planned this all along and released the real ending after release, that would have been the craziest/greatest thing ever. That is, if their new ending wasn't as nonsensical as the current one... 
 
Even if it wasn't planned, I still believe the indoctrination theory makes at least as much sense as the current ending, if not more, and I wouldn't be completely opposed to them using that to change the ending in the future...

#28 Posted by Swoxx (2980 posts) -

@wsowen02 said:

I'd like to believe the indoctrination theory, but honestly, I think it is just more likely that they fucked up.

I kinda agree with this. But it just doesn't make sense, the entire game of ME3 was amazingly written and polished, all the bits and pieces that stems from an awesome bioware production. To have the ending be so shotty, I...I want to believe.

#29 Posted by zombie2011 (4941 posts) -

I like the indoctrination theory, i thinks it's a pretty awesome way to look at the ending.

#30 Posted by Swoxx (2980 posts) -

Say that it was a dream, and your squadmates pull you out of the rubble, it would make sense for all of you to go up to the citadel. have Shepard explain that he has to sacrifice himself, tell his squad to get the hell out of dodge (by having the Normandy pick them up) and then you make your decision. This would explain why the Normandy is barreling away from the blast with potential squadmates on board.

#31 Edited by Harkat (1090 posts) -

I generally like abstract high-concept weirdness in Sci-Fi, but it had no place in a pretty straightforward space opera like Mass Effect.

I understand Bioware's want to make a thought-provoking ending, but they went way too far. The solutions you choose from at the end are completely unexplained and out of nowhere. If I destroy all synthetics, doesn't that mean I kill everyone aboard a space station or spacefaring vessel? Can the Mass Relays be rebuilt? As for synthesis, what exactly does that do? Make a single race or just give every robot organs and every organic cybernetic components? How come it's never even addressed what Shepard will do with the Reapers if he controls them?

The ending should have:

  • Been more in line with events up to that point (looking away from indoctrination theory).
  • Provided proper closure with the characters, featured spoken dialogue from them.
  • Been more affected by your choices throughout the series.
  • FEATURED A FINAL CHOICE THAT WASN'T SO RIDICULOUSLY ABSTRACT AND UNCLEAR.

As for the indoctrination theory: It's probably not intended, but it makes me feel less shitty about the ending. If it IS intended, they should have hinted at it more strongly in the final cutscene.

#32 Posted by Draugen (574 posts) -

I don't get why people say that those who belive in the indoc theory are clinging to hope, since if true, that ending is almost as bad as if it's to be taken literally. That would mean that the game simply fades to black in the middle of the fight.

For the record, I believe indoctriantion is taking place.

#33 Posted by Chubbaluphigous (571 posts) -

I can't believe so many people are falling for the indoctrination thing. Fucking Occam's razor that shit. Use the facts given to drawn simple likely conclusions, not draw convoluted complex conclusions from plot holes and disinformation.

#34 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

I wish there was one single place we could discuss this so I didn't have to post the same thing in several places.

The indoctrination theory doesn't make sense because if you go into the ending with very low EMS, the only option available to you is to destroy the Reapers (along with just about everything else). You haven't unlocked the other endings. And even this Shepard who is not indoctrinated or tricked into a "wrong ending" at all still sees the scenes with Anderson, The Illusive Man, and the Catalyst the same as everyone else.

The only argument you could make to get yourself out of the endings is to say that it's purely a dream and drop all of this useless indoctrination crap. If everything that takes place after Shepard nearly gets hit by the beam is a dream in his unconscious mind, that will be a pretty lame move on BioWare's part, but at least there is no way to poke holes in it like the current theory.

@owl_of_minerva said:

It's funny to me how reluctant gamers are to take a game at anything other than face value. The moment Shepherd gets up from that blast after the fade to white I knew it was some kind of Inception/Jacob's Ladder shenanigans simply from conditioning to those cinematic tropes.

It's certainly possible that it's a dream, but I find it funny that you're calling out others for not taking the game AT FACE VALUE when you have created your own non-proven theory.

There was no way Shepherd was getting up from that blast right away + the events you are seeing unfold are contradicted immediately: "Did anyone get through to the beam? No"...yet somehow Capt Anderson and Shepherd get through.

Why not? He didn't get hit directly. Also, the line of dialogue about no one making it up to the Citadel is said before either of them actually go up there.

At this point in time indoctrination theory is the simplest and most coherent explanation for what happens in the endgame sequence

lol

#35 Posted by mrfarenheit (6 posts) -

It seems clear to me that the dreamy sequences with the kid is the reapers trying to indoctrinate sheperd and the option of assimilating with reapers is exactly what the reapers want and the game repeatedly tells you that the reapers cant be controlled throughout the whole game. The prothean says that exact thing when describing a group of indoctrinated protheans who thought they could control the reapers. Mass effect 3 has the best ending ever and indoctrination will be confirmed in dlc for all the haters.

#36 Edited by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

@Zithe: @Zithe said:

The indoctrination theory doesn't make sense because if you go into the ending with very low EMS, (a) the only option available to you is to destroy the Reapers (along with just about everything else). You haven't unlocked the other endings. (b) And even this Shepard who is not indoctrinated or tricked into a "wrong ending" at all still sees the scenes with Anderson, The Illusive Man, and the Catalyst the same as everyone else.

(A) I've answered this already and it wasn't so achingly important to take up the same argument with me here. I'll restate for the benefit of those ITT: it's because it simply doesn't matter if they succeed at indoctrinating Shepherd because a paltry offensive ensures everyone's death and poses no threat to the Reapers, and since the other endings imply subtle attempts at indoctrination they aren't proffered to Shepherd (indoctrination happens due to proximity but it isn't pushed as hard as when Shep is an actual threat) (B) No idea what point you're trying to make with that.

@Zithe said:

It's funny to me how reluctant gamers are to take a game at anything other than face value. The moment Shepherd gets up from that blast after the fade to white I knew it was some kind of Inception/Jacob's Ladder shenanigans simply from conditioning to those cinematic tropes.

It's certainly possible that it's a dream, but I find it funny that you're calling out others for not taking the game AT FACE VALUE when you have created your own non-proven theory.

I'm not posing a theory, I'm posing an interpretation. An interpretation can be strong or weak, it cannot be demonstrably be true or false because no one owns the meaning of a cultural product, not even Bioware. That said, all interpretations are provisional on what DLC comes out, because they might provide strong evidence for one interpretation or another. We shall see. That said, it'll be hard to do DLC if everyone explodes because of space magic, rather than Shepherd waking up having to finish the fight. Just a thought.

@Zithe said:

Why not? He didn't get hit directly. Also, the line of dialogue about no one making it up to the Citadel is said before either of them actually go up there.

Because if they saw people moving toward the Citadel, you don't think they'd comment? It'd be hard to miss. Also, why does the Reaper just fly away when Shepherd is walking toward the beam, you know, the thing it's meant to be defending? Why does the pistol have unlimited ammo and where does it come from? How come we don't see Anderson on the way to the beam? How does Anderson get ahead of Shepherd? How come Shepherd doesn't see Anderson inside the Citadel since there's apparently only one entrance to the room with the Illusive Man?

@Zithe said:

derp

I stand by what I said. Although the Indoctrination Theory isn't perfect, it is much more consistent and coherent. It's not like those defending the ending as stuff that actually happened don't have things they have to explain. In fact, accepting what happens as actual fact is simply another interpretation, and I'd argue a much weaker one.

#37 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

@owl_of_minerva said:

(A) I've answered this already and it wasn't so achingly important to take up the same argument with me here. I'll restate for the benefit of those ITT: it's because it simply doesn't matter if they succeed at indoctrinating Shepherd because a paltry offensive ensures everyone's death and poses no threat to the Reapers, and since the other endings imply subtle attempts at indoctrination they aren't proffered to Shepherd (indoctrination happens due to proximity but it isn't pushed as hard as when Shep is an actual threat) (B) No idea what point you're trying to make with that.

I'll wait and see your response in the other thread before I do anything else with this.

Because if they saw people moving toward the Citadel, you don't think they'd comment? It'd be hard to miss. Also, why does the Reaper just fly away when Shepherd is walking toward the beam, you know, the thing it's meant to be defending?

I haven't seen this part in a while, but from what I remember, the line of dialogue you pointed out is said just as Shepard is beginning to stand up. Anderson may very well have already been running over to help Shepard or something (this will come up again in a second), but I don't think the lack of comment by the radio guy is really proof of anything. I don't have a good explanation for the Reaper flying away, other than allowing the story to progress, the same way villains in movies always go off on some speech right before they succeed and give the protagonist enough time to stop them. *shrug*

Why does the pistol have unlimited ammo and where does it come from? How come we don't see Anderson on the way to the beam? How does Anderson get ahead of Shepherd? How come Shepherd doesn't see Anderson inside the Citadel since there's apparently only one entrance to the room with the Illusive Man?

I've offered some thoughts on the pistol in my first post here and the Anderson/Citadel thing in my first post here. I'm not saying this is exactly how the Anderson thing happened, just pointing out that it's not impossible.

#38 Posted by nutter (122 posts) -

S P O I L E R S
--------------------

The biggest thing that has me going with the indoctrination theory is the fact that doors one and two are Saren and The Illusive Man's indoctrinated goals. We've seen diluted men go down those roads and shouldn't be arrogant enough to think Shepard would do better.

Throw in that keeping to your goal, choosing the resolute path and deciding to destroy the reapers in spite of the massive effect to the galaxy is the only way that you wake up, and I'm convinced.

Now, I've only heard about the other endings. On my playthrough, FemShep decided that the reaper AI construct was unreliable at best and shot the circuits out of the board on the right.

In any event, you knew something was fishy when it played out. Too many things suddenly felt like David Lynch suddenly took the reigns.

I can't wait to see what the future holds, and I'd be thrilled if the indoctrination theory end up being true.

I'd go on, but I'm writing this on a phone. Sorry if typo-ridden, proof-reading is a pain and typos are easy to come by.

#39 Posted by nutter (122 posts) -

In any event, I'd say the ending was a HUGE success for it to generate this much heated discussion. Accidental or otherwise, it's proven worthy of debate which is more than most games can (are willing?) to do.

#40 Posted by DonChipotle (2657 posts) -

It's kind of adorable how people cling to this theory in desperate hope that the ending is anything more than it is. Personally I subscribe to the Dave Bowman theory. It makes more sense.

#41 Edited by pyrodactyl (1646 posts) -

Seeing that, most people would rather believe that the last 10-20 minutes of the game were all a dream than accept the ending as what it actually is, is hilarious to me.

Also, the human race is doomed. Not in mass effect, just a comment on life in general.

#42 Edited by Quarters (1548 posts) -

I say the indoctrination theory doesn't work.

A) It totally makes two endings a complete loss, which goes against the fact that Casey Hudson said there wasn't a "Reapers Win" scenario.

B) To go along with the previous point, that makes one of the endings the "right" ending, and two the "wrong" ending. ME has never been about being right or wrong, just facing consequences either way.

C) If you have low enough War Assets, you HAVE to choose the Destroy option. That...obviously seems silly if you think about it. They would be tricking you to totally kill them and ruin their plans.

All in all, it just doesn't add up. I get the feeling it's a case of seeing things where you want to see things. I get why people go for it, but overall, it just doesn't ring true to me based off everything else. Also, it ironically makes the game have even LESS closure, which is why so many people hate the ending in the first place. It basically just means that, "Oh, crap, I got shot...wait, no I woke up." ROLL CREDITS. Yeah, man...I don't know.

#43 Posted by Red (5991 posts) -

While I doubt it was BioWare's original intent, the Indoctrination Theory is actually a pretty good ending, so I believe that's what happened to my Shepard.

#44 Posted by khidi (37 posts) -

I want to believe (no pun intended) in the indoctrination theory, clues/evidence seem to be there and they seem to fit too well for being just hopeful brainstorming. It sure can be it but it seems to be an awful lot of work to be just fanfic but then again it would not be the first one (you know what I probably mean).

My mind felt blown when I watched the youtube video and read the tumblr post about it. It seems plausible atleast, would fit with rest of the series.

How they would end it IF indoctrination theory is valid/real I have no idea but I'm clinging to my hope that BW is smarter than what we have seen (naive mind I know).

Aren't the Destroy endings like this, low EMS = reapers go boom, earth go boom and Shep dies, average/medium EMS = reapers go boom and Shep dies, "best"/high EMS = reapers go boom and mad gasp of air in the end?

Wouldn't low EMS, "forced", Destroy ending still serve Reapers plans?

TL:DR I'm hoping Indoctrination Theory has some seed of truth in it but I wouldn't bet money on it if you asked.

#45 Edited by BoOzak (839 posts) -

@Red said:

While I doubt it was BioWare's original intent, the Indoctrination Theory is actually a pretty good ending, so I believe that's what happened to my Shepard.

Exactly, If the theory were true Bioware would've confirmed it just to save face and avoid all the hatred. Personally I think it makes more sense than what actually happend so i'll believe it. As for everyone calling people crazy and in denial for believing such garbage, what's the harm? It's fiction you can see it anyway you want unless proven otherwise.

#46 Posted by WilliamHenry (1195 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

Seeing that, most people would rather believe that the last 10-20 minutes of the game were all a dream than accept the ending as what it actually is, is hilarious to me.

Also, the human race is doomed. Not in mass effect, just a comment on life in general.

Every race/species is doomed. Its just a matter of how immediate that doom is.

#47 Posted by TheHT (10284 posts) -

@owl_of_minerva said:

@Zithe: @Zithe said:

The indoctrination theory doesn't make sense because if you go into the ending with very low EMS, (a) the only option available to you is to destroy the Reapers (along with just about everything else). You haven't unlocked the other endings. (b) And even this Shepard who is not indoctrinated or tricked into a "wrong ending" at all still sees the scenes with Anderson, The Illusive Man, and the Catalyst the same as everyone else.

(A) I've answered this already and it wasn't so achingly important to take up the same argument with me here. I'll restate for the benefit of those ITT: it's because it simply doesn't matter if they succeed at indoctrinating Shepherd because a paltry offensive ensures everyone's death and poses no threat to the Reapers, and since the other endings imply subtle attempts at indoctrination they aren't proffered to Shepherd (indoctrination happens due to proximity but it isn't pushed as hard as when Shep is an actual threat) (B) No idea what point you're trying to make with that.

@Zithe said:

It's funny to me how reluctant gamers are to take a game at anything other than face value. The moment Shepherd gets up from that blast after the fade to white I knew it was some kind of Inception/Jacob's Ladder shenanigans simply from conditioning to those cinematic tropes.

It's certainly possible that it's a dream, but I find it funny that you're calling out others for not taking the game AT FACE VALUE when you have created your own non-proven theory.

I'm not posing a theory, I'm posing an interpretation. An interpretation can be strong or weak, it cannot be demonstrably be true or false because no one owns the meaning of a cultural product, not even Bioware. That said, all interpretations are provisional on what DLC comes out, because they might provide strong evidence for one interpretation or another. We shall see. That said, it'll be hard to do DLC if everyone explodes because of space magic, rather than Shepherd waking up having to finish the fight. Just a thought.

@Zithe said:

Why not? He didn't get hit directly. Also, the line of dialogue about no one making it up to the Citadel is said before either of them actually go up there.

Because if they saw people moving toward the Citadel, you don't think they'd comment? It'd be hard to miss. Also, why does the Reaper just fly away when Shepherd is walking toward the beam, you know, the thing it's meant to be defending? Why does the pistol have unlimited ammo and where does it come from? How come we don't see Anderson on the way to the beam? How does Anderson get ahead of Shepherd? How come Shepherd doesn't see Anderson inside the Citadel since there's apparently only one entrance to the room with the Illusive Man?

@Zithe said:

derp

I stand by what I said. Although the Indoctrination Theory isn't perfect, it is much more consistent and coherent. It's not like those defending the ending as stuff that actually happened don't have things they have to explain. In fact, accepting what happens as actual fact is simply another interpretation, and I'd argue a much weaker one.

I think indoctrination theorists forgot how indoctrination happens. You're implying that, in the low EMS scenario, the Reapers consciously decided "nah" when it comes to indoctrinating Shepard, thus explaining what the Destroy ending is all that's available. That's not indoctrination first of all, and second, why they hell would the Reapers abandon an asset for calming the masses.

I think his point with b) is that even if this Shepard, who you say the Reapers don't care about indoctrinating, still experiences what some indoctrination theorists consider Shepards struggle against indoctrination before the final choice: the exchange with Anderson and Illusive Man.

Indoctrination theory is a theory for what happened at the end. That other thread about Biblical themes in Mass Effect? That's an interpretation of the events of Mass Effect.

They were getting assaulted by Harbinger itself, seeing the squad all go down and already being in a shitty position (after being ambushed no less) I don't think they'd be sticking around to see if anyone gets up. Harbinger probably left because it's in the middle of a war. Besides, it underestimated Shepard before, and Reapers seem to be so very full of themselves.

The pistol has unlimited ammo because if it didn't, you couldn't a) get to the beam if you waste shots, b) couldn't choose the Destroy ending if you wasted shots. If most likely came from somewhere in the planetwide war you're in the middle of. Or maybe one of the dead soldiers you wake up near.

One beam to the entire Citadel. The Reapers were using it to transport humans. I doubt the beam would only lead to one place on the Citadel. That would be a real inefficient use of space, and Anderson says he's in a place like Shepard's in, so it's likely that the beam takes those who use it to areas like that of which there are many. They seem to be holding areas for cadavers.

Anderson was clearly not as beat up as 1ft/h Shepard, so could get to the console faster. Anderson makes mention of the Citadel walls shifting. That's probably how he got in without coming from where Shepard came from.

#48 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

The ending, "as is," is an incoherent jumble of scenes that are almost not even related to each other, not even mentioning the shitty Spacechild retcon'ing mess. The indoctrination theory is supported by clear-cut evidence. And yes, there are holes in the indoctrination theory, mainly because we haven't been given all of the facts/evidence, as BioWare has clearly stated themselves. This has led to a lot of understandable leaps with the logic. BioWare is to blame for that one.

If you truly, honestly thought, "oh yeah, Shepard is totally awake, clearly alive, and in the right state of mind!" as soon as they get hit by the beam, then you are a fucking idiot. Even from the standpoint of the dramatic structure, there are far too many inconsistencies and weird, ethereal shit happening in the following ten minutes for any of that shit to be god-damn real. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out, just a bit of perusing, which most people clearly haven't bothered to do.

#49 Posted by TheHT (10284 posts) -

@Napalm said:

The ending, "as is" is an incoherent jumble of scenes that almost aren't even related to each other and introduces an unsuccessful retcon into the entire mess.

What retcon?

#50 Posted by TheHT (10284 posts) -

@Napalm said:

The ending, "as is," is an incoherent jumble of scenes that are almost not even related to each other, not even mentioning the shitty Spacechild retcon'ing mess.

What did the Catalyst retcon?

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