We hated you so deeply, because we loved you so dearly

Posted by Draugen (616 posts) -

Random internet asshole Draugen comes late to the party, forces his rambling thoughts on Mass Effect on you, vents all his anger at the ending of 3, and finds inner peace and hope in the last paragraph.

Preface: This article contains massive, MASSIVE spoilers for Mass Effect 3. Do not read beyond this point if you don't want the entirety of the story spoiled.

In December of 2007, I bought an Xbox 360 for the first time. I wasn't planning on doing it. After all, I'd been a PC gamer for several years, and the new consoles coming out offered me nothing that my gaming rig couldn't do better. And still, right before Christmas, I hurried down to the electronics store, and bought it, armed with a single point of justification: Mass Effect, Bioware's latest RPG was at the time an Xbox exclusive. From what I'd heard, it was a game right up my alley. An epic quest, a host of interesting, crazy characters and a genuine impact from the players own choices. I got home, booted up the game, and so began a four and a half year long love affair that was to culminate in one of the most soul crushing entertainment-related disappointments I've experienced: the ending to Mass Effect 3.

Let me get this on the table first of all: I love Mass Effect 3. Whoever said that video games are incapable of eliciting genuine emotion from the player is either talking out of his ass, or is unable to empathize with fictional characters. On three separate occasions during the course of playing Mass Effect 3, I was genuinely choked up with tears in my eyes. On a further two, the impact of the choice I'd just made rocked me so hard I had to get up and go for a long walk to process the implications of those choices, which are monumental. And I'm not some overly emotional sap either. I'm a big, hairy, sweaty man who keeps his feelings locked away at the bottom of a deep pool replenished by alcohol to keep them at bay. But oh my God; Wrex, the 800 pound alien lizard I've spent the last three games with just told me he considers me his brother. I love you too, Wrex!

I think that's where Mass Effect's appeal comes from. The characters and the interaction between them. Take Jack for instance. When she is introduced, she (yes, she) appears like nothing but a tired archetype. An angry, powerful, borderline psychotic killer, with a tragic past which we've seen a million and one times in our games before. And while it's possible to get under the skin of the character in Mass Effect 2, you always kind of feel like she is a bit of a lost cause, that she'll never evolve into anything more than a biotic bad-ass, who doesn't care about anything.

That's why the direction BioWare chose to take the character in for Mass Effect 3 was such a pleasant surprise. When you meet her again in the trilogy closer, she has evolved in a very interesting direction. During the Grissom Academy mission early on in the game, you find her having taken a position as a teacher for a group of biotic kids. It's an unexpected, but not uncharacteristic evolution. She retains her core personality, she doesn't hesitate to use her considerable powers to mercilessly kill her enemies, but she no longer does it for the thrill or for the hell of it. She does it to protect her students. It's not breaking new ground; it's not exceptionally good story-telling, but it's really enjoyable and satisfying. That’s how I've always considered the Mass Effect games; like immensely entertaining pulp novels. For me, Mass Effect is, all hyperbole aside, the Star Wars of my generation.

Which is a bit ironic, given that I'm actually old enough to be of the actual Star Wars generation.

For nearly 30 hours, Mass Effect 3 was a thrill ride, the likes of which the gaming medium rarely delivers. The galaxy may feel a bit small at times, and the suspension of disbelief is stretched a bit thin, seeing as in a universe of billions upon billions it's never far between the familiar faces showing up seemingly by accident. But it works anyway. During the thirty hours it took me to reach London and the finale, my Shepard, "Vanilla John" as I like to call him, has been through some incredible things. Not only has he helped cure the thousand year old sterility plague which has kept the Krogan race subjugated for all that time, he has ended the threat of the geth, a race of sentient machines who decided to side with his enemy once to many and given the exiled quarians their planet back. He has also rekindled with whirlwind romance with Tali, the Russian-sounding quarian mechanic, fist bumped his way through his continuing bromance with Garrus, the rogue police-officer turned space-batman turned military strategist, and shared his hopes and fears for the future they're fighting for with gal-pal Liara, in addition to dozens of little events and scenes that make Mass Effect 3 one of the most memorable game experiences ever.

And then you get to the end. Those of you who saw my very spoilery comic strip on the subject will know more or less exactly how I feel about it.

It's really bad. Badly written, badly staged and such a sharp tonal shift I had to be examined for whiplash afterwards. It's horrendously bad. And I know bad fiction. I write bad fiction all the time, so I feel I can speak with authority on the subject. Basically, after fighting your way through London to get to a poorly defended space elevator, and being decimated by a Reaper laser, which also probably killed your teammates, you stumble up through the elevator to reach the big space maguffin (the crucible) which is apparently the only way of defeating the Reapers, the giant sentient space ships who are laying waste to all advanced organic species, you are suddenly taken on another, smaller magic space elevator, and set face to face with a little ghostly looking child in the familiar form of a human kid Shepard has been struggling with feelings of guilt for not being able to save in the beginning of the game.

The ghost child then tells you that he is the one controlling the Reapers. I had a bad feeling right there. If there is one sci-fi cliché I well and truly hate, it is when the main villain is introduced out of no-where literally in the last 10 minutes, just so he can cackle "it was me all along. MOHHAHAHA!" The ghost kid doesn't actually cackle, but he may as well have. Then the narrative starts sliding. The ghost offers you three choices on how to solve this conflict, to control the Reapers and die (don't ask), to destroy the Reapers and maybe die (again, don't ask), or to synthesize all sentient life in the galaxy into a single, organic/synthetic life form, to avoid an hypothesized conflict which is apparently the ghost's motivation ( what did I just tell you?)

I have to kill you to save you. Imagine that, another sci-fi trope I hate down to my very soul.

Oh, and by the way; picking any of these choices will demolish the mass relays, the ancient, mysterious superhighways which uphold the galactic infrastructure, rendering long distance space flight impossible. Why? Because space magic. A little aside: Is it just me who's concerned with the moral of the synthesis ending? Because it makes it seem like only way to avoid conflict is to stamp out any sign of individualism or diversity. That's communist and racist in one package!

Anyway, after being given these three choices, it is now the perfect time for Shepard to call on the strength of the considerable galactic fleet he has amassed to combat the Reapers to bomb the living shit out of the space station which the two of them are standing on, going down in a fiery blaze of glory, holding his middle finger high at the little shit how has the gall to give Shepard three stupid choices, which are all the same in the end anyway.

But no. Shepard can't do that. For three games and nearly a hundred hours, Shepard has defied the odds, and played by his own damn rules. But now, as he finally stands face to face with his enemy, he figures he'd rather not question the choices laid before him, and take whatever comes. And take it he does, no matter how much you as the player scream at him to sack up, and at the very least try to dig some clarity out of the little nonsense-spouting space spirit. You have to pick one of the three endings, which more or less boil down to which colour you want to destroy the universe with, blue, green or red. And if that wasn't silly enough, you get a little bonus scene where you see your crew racing across the galaxy in your space ship, going... somewhere. It's never made clear where they are going, but they get hit by the coloured shockwave you just triggered up in the crucible, and crash.

On a livable planet somewhere.

With no scorch trail behind the ship.

The door to the ship opens and out steps your pilot, who by the way suffers from brittle bone disease, and should have crumbled completely by the force of his ship falling out of the sky. Not content with that, however, you also find out that at least one of your teammates, who moments ago was being burned to death by a giant laser at the space elevator, was also somehow on the ship. And then they walk off. And that's how the game ends.

Actually, there is another scene after the credits, but it's just too much for me to go on about. I was devastated. There was no way the amazing adventure that was the Mass Effect trilogy could end this way. I thought I must have picked the wrong ending, so I spent the next hour playing through the other two, only to realize they were almost exactly the same. So where does the ending of Mass Effect leave us?

First of all, the mass relays are gone, so everyone is pretty much trapped where they were the moment the crucible fired its magic shockwave. Which is bad news for earth, given that pretty much every military space ship in the galaxy is orbiting it. Especially since it's been burned to cinder over the last few months. So as any student of history will tell you, this will lead to a war for the few resources that are left. All the aliens who are stranded, with no chance of ever seeing their homes again will turn on each other, and nearly finish the job the Reapers started.

Meanwhile, your crew, who lack the genetic diversity to create a new civilization, will have to languish on this unknown world they find themselves on for the rest of their lives with only each other for company, and an unknown access to sustenance. Cheerful stuff.

Mass Effect 3 is one of my favourite games of recent years. It is an absolutely fantastic game. But it leaves you utterly confused and depressed in the end. The ending veers hard away from any internal logic which has been established, it's difficult to believe the last 20 minutes are from the same game you've spent 30 hours with. The ending as it is, as I see it, is utterly broken, and I don't see any way it could be salvaged.

Still BioWare, bless their hearts, are going to try, submitting to the massive fan outrage the ending triggered, and announcing new, free DLC which is meant to offer more clarity and closure to the ending as it stands. I say this without snark or sarcasm: I think that is a good olive branch to those of us who loved so dearly and then hated so deeply. Despite my utter disdain for the ending, I never wanted them to change it after the fact, something a lot of fans did, and are still pissed off that they now definitely won't do. As an aspiring (read: failed) story-teller myself, I don't believe in narrative mulligans. You live with your decisions, no matter how much your audience hates you for it.

And that I can respect BioWare for. They are still my favourite video game developer, and I'll probably continue to buy their games. I just wish they hadn't fouled up the ending to the greatest space saga in a long time.

#1 Edited by Draugen (616 posts) -

Random internet asshole Draugen comes late to the party, forces his rambling thoughts on Mass Effect on you, vents all his anger at the ending of 3, and finds inner peace and hope in the last paragraph.

Preface: This article contains massive, MASSIVE spoilers for Mass Effect 3. Do not read beyond this point if you don't want the entirety of the story spoiled.

In December of 2007, I bought an Xbox 360 for the first time. I wasn't planning on doing it. After all, I'd been a PC gamer for several years, and the new consoles coming out offered me nothing that my gaming rig couldn't do better. And still, right before Christmas, I hurried down to the electronics store, and bought it, armed with a single point of justification: Mass Effect, Bioware's latest RPG was at the time an Xbox exclusive. From what I'd heard, it was a game right up my alley. An epic quest, a host of interesting, crazy characters and a genuine impact from the players own choices. I got home, booted up the game, and so began a four and a half year long love affair that was to culminate in one of the most soul crushing entertainment-related disappointments I've experienced: the ending to Mass Effect 3.

Let me get this on the table first of all: I love Mass Effect 3. Whoever said that video games are incapable of eliciting genuine emotion from the player is either talking out of his ass, or is unable to empathize with fictional characters. On three separate occasions during the course of playing Mass Effect 3, I was genuinely choked up with tears in my eyes. On a further two, the impact of the choice I'd just made rocked me so hard I had to get up and go for a long walk to process the implications of those choices, which are monumental. And I'm not some overly emotional sap either. I'm a big, hairy, sweaty man who keeps his feelings locked away at the bottom of a deep pool replenished by alcohol to keep them at bay. But oh my God; Wrex, the 800 pound alien lizard I've spent the last three games with just told me he considers me his brother. I love you too, Wrex!

I think that's where Mass Effect's appeal comes from. The characters and the interaction between them. Take Jack for instance. When she is introduced, she (yes, she) appears like nothing but a tired archetype. An angry, powerful, borderline psychotic killer, with a tragic past which we've seen a million and one times in our games before. And while it's possible to get under the skin of the character in Mass Effect 2, you always kind of feel like she is a bit of a lost cause, that she'll never evolve into anything more than a biotic bad-ass, who doesn't care about anything.

That's why the direction BioWare chose to take the character in for Mass Effect 3 was such a pleasant surprise. When you meet her again in the trilogy closer, she has evolved in a very interesting direction. During the Grissom Academy mission early on in the game, you find her having taken a position as a teacher for a group of biotic kids. It's an unexpected, but not uncharacteristic evolution. She retains her core personality, she doesn't hesitate to use her considerable powers to mercilessly kill her enemies, but she no longer does it for the thrill or for the hell of it. She does it to protect her students. It's not breaking new ground; it's not exceptionally good story-telling, but it's really enjoyable and satisfying. That’s how I've always considered the Mass Effect games; like immensely entertaining pulp novels. For me, Mass Effect is, all hyperbole aside, the Star Wars of my generation.

Which is a bit ironic, given that I'm actually old enough to be of the actual Star Wars generation.

For nearly 30 hours, Mass Effect 3 was a thrill ride, the likes of which the gaming medium rarely delivers. The galaxy may feel a bit small at times, and the suspension of disbelief is stretched a bit thin, seeing as in a universe of billions upon billions it's never far between the familiar faces showing up seemingly by accident. But it works anyway. During the thirty hours it took me to reach London and the finale, my Shepard, "Vanilla John" as I like to call him, has been through some incredible things. Not only has he helped cure the thousand year old sterility plague which has kept the Krogan race subjugated for all that time, he has ended the threat of the geth, a race of sentient machines who decided to side with his enemy once to many and given the exiled quarians their planet back. He has also rekindled with whirlwind romance with Tali, the Russian-sounding quarian mechanic, fist bumped his way through his continuing bromance with Garrus, the rogue police-officer turned space-batman turned military strategist, and shared his hopes and fears for the future they're fighting for with gal-pal Liara, in addition to dozens of little events and scenes that make Mass Effect 3 one of the most memorable game experiences ever.

And then you get to the end. Those of you who saw my very spoilery comic strip on the subject will know more or less exactly how I feel about it.

It's really bad. Badly written, badly staged and such a sharp tonal shift I had to be examined for whiplash afterwards. It's horrendously bad. And I know bad fiction. I write bad fiction all the time, so I feel I can speak with authority on the subject. Basically, after fighting your way through London to get to a poorly defended space elevator, and being decimated by a Reaper laser, which also probably killed your teammates, you stumble up through the elevator to reach the big space maguffin (the crucible) which is apparently the only way of defeating the Reapers, the giant sentient space ships who are laying waste to all advanced organic species, you are suddenly taken on another, smaller magic space elevator, and set face to face with a little ghostly looking child in the familiar form of a human kid Shepard has been struggling with feelings of guilt for not being able to save in the beginning of the game.

The ghost child then tells you that he is the one controlling the Reapers. I had a bad feeling right there. If there is one sci-fi cliché I well and truly hate, it is when the main villain is introduced out of no-where literally in the last 10 minutes, just so he can cackle "it was me all along. MOHHAHAHA!" The ghost kid doesn't actually cackle, but he may as well have. Then the narrative starts sliding. The ghost offers you three choices on how to solve this conflict, to control the Reapers and die (don't ask), to destroy the Reapers and maybe die (again, don't ask), or to synthesize all sentient life in the galaxy into a single, organic/synthetic life form, to avoid an hypothesized conflict which is apparently the ghost's motivation ( what did I just tell you?)

I have to kill you to save you. Imagine that, another sci-fi trope I hate down to my very soul.

Oh, and by the way; picking any of these choices will demolish the mass relays, the ancient, mysterious superhighways which uphold the galactic infrastructure, rendering long distance space flight impossible. Why? Because space magic. A little aside: Is it just me who's concerned with the moral of the synthesis ending? Because it makes it seem like only way to avoid conflict is to stamp out any sign of individualism or diversity. That's communist and racist in one package!

Anyway, after being given these three choices, it is now the perfect time for Shepard to call on the strength of the considerable galactic fleet he has amassed to combat the Reapers to bomb the living shit out of the space station which the two of them are standing on, going down in a fiery blaze of glory, holding his middle finger high at the little shit how has the gall to give Shepard three stupid choices, which are all the same in the end anyway.

But no. Shepard can't do that. For three games and nearly a hundred hours, Shepard has defied the odds, and played by his own damn rules. But now, as he finally stands face to face with his enemy, he figures he'd rather not question the choices laid before him, and take whatever comes. And take it he does, no matter how much you as the player scream at him to sack up, and at the very least try to dig some clarity out of the little nonsense-spouting space spirit. You have to pick one of the three endings, which more or less boil down to which colour you want to destroy the universe with, blue, green or red. And if that wasn't silly enough, you get a little bonus scene where you see your crew racing across the galaxy in your space ship, going... somewhere. It's never made clear where they are going, but they get hit by the coloured shockwave you just triggered up in the crucible, and crash.

On a livable planet somewhere.

With no scorch trail behind the ship.

The door to the ship opens and out steps your pilot, who by the way suffers from brittle bone disease, and should have crumbled completely by the force of his ship falling out of the sky. Not content with that, however, you also find out that at least one of your teammates, who moments ago was being burned to death by a giant laser at the space elevator, was also somehow on the ship. And then they walk off. And that's how the game ends.

Actually, there is another scene after the credits, but it's just too much for me to go on about. I was devastated. There was no way the amazing adventure that was the Mass Effect trilogy could end this way. I thought I must have picked the wrong ending, so I spent the next hour playing through the other two, only to realize they were almost exactly the same. So where does the ending of Mass Effect leave us?

First of all, the mass relays are gone, so everyone is pretty much trapped where they were the moment the crucible fired its magic shockwave. Which is bad news for earth, given that pretty much every military space ship in the galaxy is orbiting it. Especially since it's been burned to cinder over the last few months. So as any student of history will tell you, this will lead to a war for the few resources that are left. All the aliens who are stranded, with no chance of ever seeing their homes again will turn on each other, and nearly finish the job the Reapers started.

Meanwhile, your crew, who lack the genetic diversity to create a new civilization, will have to languish on this unknown world they find themselves on for the rest of their lives with only each other for company, and an unknown access to sustenance. Cheerful stuff.

Mass Effect 3 is one of my favourite games of recent years. It is an absolutely fantastic game. But it leaves you utterly confused and depressed in the end. The ending veers hard away from any internal logic which has been established, it's difficult to believe the last 20 minutes are from the same game you've spent 30 hours with. The ending as it is, as I see it, is utterly broken, and I don't see any way it could be salvaged.

Still BioWare, bless their hearts, are going to try, submitting to the massive fan outrage the ending triggered, and announcing new, free DLC which is meant to offer more clarity and closure to the ending as it stands. I say this without snark or sarcasm: I think that is a good olive branch to those of us who loved so dearly and then hated so deeply. Despite my utter disdain for the ending, I never wanted them to change it after the fact, something a lot of fans did, and are still pissed off that they now definitely won't do. As an aspiring (read: failed) story-teller myself, I don't believe in narrative mulligans. You live with your decisions, no matter how much your audience hates you for it.

And that I can respect BioWare for. They are still my favourite video game developer, and I'll probably continue to buy their games. I just wish they hadn't fouled up the ending to the greatest space saga in a long time.

#2 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

#3 Posted by Draugen (616 posts) -

@Bell_End: Well, I wasn't sure if I should, but now that I have your support, I will continue. Thanks alot.

#4 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

Metal Mickey is the very definition of boring and embarrassing.

#5 Posted by Village_Guy (2479 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

#6 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

Metal Mickey is the very definition of boring and embarrassing.

ouch... that hurt

#7 Posted by SlashDance (1801 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

So it got old in like an hour ? :)

#8 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

Why don't you stop reading them, then? With memes, you can't avoid it because someone says it and that's that. With threads, you can choose to ignore them. For example, I don't give a shit about sports games, but I don't go to sports games threads and say "Wow guys, stop talking about sports, it's fucking old as shit". You are actively choosing to not only come to the forums of a game in the middle of a controversy, you are choosing to enter and presumably read these threads (or you're coming in, not reading, and complaining even more pointlessly).

Have you tried not entering threads you don't care about? It works REALLY well.

#9 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

Metal Mickey is the very definition of boring and embarrassing.

ouch... that hurt

Dude when a robot's closest friend is the family grandma alcoholic....well...

#10 Posted by MrMuscle (443 posts) -

I enjoyed reading this and i like your writing style. Your name also sound Norwegian so five stars from me.

#11 Posted by Draugen (616 posts) -

@MrMuscle: There's a natural explanation to that. I'm straight outta nordvestlandet. :)

#12 Posted by LordAndrew (14417 posts) -

People like to complain about things they can easy avoid.

#13 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

STOP MAKING THREADS ABOUT THE MASS EFFECT 3 ENDING. YOUR OPINION IS NOT UNIQUE AND YOU'RE NOT SAYING SOMETHING THAT HASN'T BEEN SAID A DOZEN AND ONE TIMES ALREADY. PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

#14 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

Jesus just stop. Stop stop stop stop stop.

#15 Posted by morrelloman (605 posts) -

The first line of this thread makes it okay. Being self aware forgives the redundant topic.

#16 Posted by Draugen (616 posts) -

@Napalm: No.

@James_Giant_Peach: No.

Seriously though, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the post, but I think it's pretty clear from the header what the post was about. Pretty easy to avoid clicking on.

#17 Posted by IIGrayFoxII (302 posts) -

Great post. I think this is how most rational Mass Effect fans (including myself) feel about the game. I wish I could discuss the game (ending or not) without it turning so vile. Good read. Keep writing.

#18 Posted by Gravier251 (217 posts) -

It is an exhausted topic, but largely due to the way people approach it which tends to be screaming rather loudly about it all and dismissing all other ideas as stupid. It would be nice to have a more balanced discussion of it. I am still of the belief that indoctorination theory seems rather viable. Everything post getting hit had a surreal, disjointed dream like quality. The game subtly encourages every ending other than destroy, yet destroy (with over 5000 military strength) shows Shepard draw in a breath lying in London still. Destroy ending explicitly states "in this you die" whereas the others promise peace, immortality in some fashion even.

Immortality gained through either becoming a reaper through control (essentially what the reapers were there doing anyway), or using your genetic material to create a better hybrid being and unity between synthetic and organic for the next stage of evolution (which is potentially just the first option, but worded a bit differently). Which is pretty much the same stuff Saren was raving about back in ME1 when he was indoctorinated by Sovereign, and we were stood there trying to get him to see the truth of his indoctorination.

There is also the interesting little detail that upon reaching the catalyst, if you have under 5000 ems, the kid walks over and snaps "Why are you here?". If you have over 5000 ems though the kid actually comes over to you as you crouch their and says "Wake up". It just seems like a more intentional distinction to me, can't see why they would go to the trouble of recording and coding in subtle changes like that without some sort of reason.

I like the notion that it is indoctorination while retaining player agency. Games always handle mind control by taking control away from the player, or making it glaringly obvious it is happening so the player just picks to ignore it. It would be interesting to see it pulled off where the majority of players pick and feel the indoctorinated option is the "right" choice, while still taking everything at face value. Though with enough hints and allusions so people can put it together by looking deeper but without it being too obvious.

I like the potential of the ending quite a lot and the rest of the game I really enjoyed. Though with all the aggressive screaming over it I got quite tired of it all.

Anyway, ignoring the ending am I the only person not to cure the genophage? Given all the lore about Krogan birth rates, finding the worlds in the galaxy that were harsh in climate yet when krogan get introduced they manage to within 20 years overpopulate the planet, destroy the ecosystem and leave it a barren wasteland, moving on in search of new worlds to burn out. Even with Wrex leading (for as long as he may live) I don't trust that he can keep their population in check, he specifically states wanting to expand afterall. Unless they are willing to actively kill off their own young, instead of the genophage doing it for them then their population will be impossible to sustain.

It made for a really interesting experience, with some pretty harsh choices to push through. Spoilers ahead, though it seems redundant hiding them in a thread that is discussing the ending of the game and various details.

To start with, I had to try to talk Mordin down, which I couldn't do so it came down to threats; Essentially pointing a gun at him and demanding he not go through with it. To which he refused and said if I want to stop him I have to shoot. Renegade option came up as he turned and walked away and so after a moments hesitation I pulled the trigger on him. I killed one of my favourite characters because I feel that the Krogan are going to be too much of a threat if they go back to having every female giving birth to 1000+ live krogans every year, coupled with the millions (or billions of existing female Krogan, I can't remember the specifics that Edi listed on that, but it was rather alarming the numbers she ran) it was going to be an exponentional, impossible to control or hold back population growth.

There were quite a lot of awkward, painful scenes after that, with Wrex apologising for being suspicious of me earlier, and that I do care about Krogans afterall, etc. He eventually found out though, which came to a head in a violent shootout on the citadel which ended with Wrex taking a dozen rounds to the face and going on an abrupt flight out of the window of the tower to his death.

My Shepard is pretty much pure paragon. But sometimes I make the renegade call that I feel is right in the long run, no matter how hard it is to make. I rather enjoy that, and I am glad that with the geth it turned out that the renegade option in ME2 was in fact the right call to make, as Legion had warned saving and re-uploading the heretics may corrupt all of the Geth. Though as a pure paragon you can salvage that and still establish peace between the Geth and Quarians which is a shame.

ME3 and the series as a whole was very good, carrying varied plot elements from one game to another is pretty much never done by anyone. It is extra work not even available on a replay of the game on it's own, requiring playing a previous game and making different choices in that instead to change it's content. Most would never even bother with trying to move away (as much as budget can really permit) from complete linearity in storytelling. It is rather easy to lose sight of it all amidst the vile screaming and rage that has permeated all discussion from even before the game came out. I hope the indoctorination theory is indeed true, if it isn't then the ending would be a bit nonsensical. But the series is still good, and does things most others won't even try. It is nice to reach for some player agency within a narrative, even if it will eventually fall short as it becomes impossible to write and make enough content for divergent choices than to just stick to an utterly linear narrative. I appreciate what Bioware does and tries.

I have hopes for where the ending will go, but if they aren't met I am still glad for the series and what it did/tried.

#19 Posted by Zippedbinders (983 posts) -

About the whole "synthesis is communism and racism" thing.

It made plenty of sense to me that picking that answer was the right one for my Shepard, it represents cooperation and unity between sentient life as opposed to destroying them (which would be mass genocide) or controlling them (which is slavery). Considering I just spent 30 hours getting every fucking race in the galaxy on the same page, why not the Reapers?

How is the option where working together the one that bugs you the most?

#20 Edited by Draugen (616 posts) -

@Zippedbinders said:

About the whole "synthesis is communism and racism" thing.

It made plenty of sense to me that picking that answer was the right one for my Shepard, it represents cooperation and unity between sentient life as opposed to destroying them (which would be mass genocide) or controlling them (which is slavery). Considering I just spent 30 hours getting every fucking race in the galaxy on the same page, why not the Reapers?

How is the option where working together the one that bugs you the most?

I know. The communism/racism thing was supposed to be said tongue-in-cheek. My actual point is that it kind of flies in the face of everything you've been doing for the majority of the game, which is solving seemingly irecconcilable differences, and getting races with vastly different interests and cultural philosophies to work together for a common goal despite these differences. I do share your reluctance over the "control" option as well, both from a reliability perspective (how sure are we that you can maintain control), and a moral standpoint. "Destroy", not so much. If the enemy in question lives for the sole purpose of wiping you out, I have no problem with genocide.

(For the record; never in my life did I think I'd utter the last part of that sentence.) :)

@Gravier251: I agree that the indoc theory makes alot of sense, but I chose to avoid it in the original post. The problem for me is that if that was the case, the game simply stops dead before anything is resolved. That means that the credits start rolling just as Shepard wakes up in the rubble in London, and we are still in the middle of the battle. I very much like the idea of them taking the player on that ride, but where they leave it seems weak to me.

As for the Krogan, I had the best possible foundation before starting ME3. Mordin was alive, the cure was salvaged from 2, and Wrex was alive. I had my doubts, but Eve, who was a character I really liked by the way, convinced me to give them a chance. I figured: "if this is a problem I actually have to deal with, at least I've done something right."

#21 Posted by Gravier251 (217 posts) -

Yeah, it does leave it rather unresolved with that. It is nice in that it gives time for people to settle on a choice, without being influenced immediately after by the consequences being shown. But also it does make for a rather empty and abrupt ending which is a shame.

I rather liked Eve aswell, felt quite bad about lying to her. Due to the cure being wiped in 2 though she wound up dead. Wrex and Mordin were alive, in 3 till I killed them both myself >.<

Apparently if Wrex is dead in ME1 then Mordin can be talked down in ME3, resulting in Mordin surviving as a war asset, Krogan going uncured but under the oblivious Wreav you still have full krogan support and also gain salarian support aswell. Afterwards will likely be somewhat problematic. I was tempted to give the Krogan a chance, but due to their birth rate I didn't want to go gambling the fate of the galaxy by lifting the genophage. The Krogan would likely have to actively cull their own population to keep it from expanding beyond the constraints of resources.

It was a similar hard call in ME2 with the Geth Heretics, either re-write them and send them back to the Geth to let them live, or wipe them all out just in case. I opted to kill them all, as Legion warned that upon joining the rest of the Geth they would upload everything they had experienced back to the rest of the Geth. And that there is a possibility that what they upload to all the other Geth, could corrupt them all. I didn't feel comfortable risking the race as a whole for the heretics. Was glad to see the Geth in ME3 and hear Legion thank me for the renegade choice, saying that they did not wish to contact the reapers, and had only done so under extreme pressure from the Quarian assault.

Had the Heretics been uploaded, they would have not hesitated so long in making contact. (Also apparently you get +2 towards making peace with the Quarians and Geth, out of the requisite 5 for destroying the heretics).

It might be condemning the Krogan, they might be able to turn things around, etc. I just didn't want to take the risk. Wrex is decent enough, but I don't really trust the other bickering clans or the potential rapidly growing in number future generations, etc. Especially considering the genophage, even cured I imagine they will be bitter. Many may even feel after the cure it is time to build up and get back at everyone, etc. It is all conjecture and can go either way. I just wasn't willing to take the gamble.

Ever since playing The Witcher years ago i've become rather grey and utilitarian in outlook >.< hehe.

#22 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1723 posts) -
@Draugen said:

 I do share your reluctance over the "control" option as well, both from a reliability perspective (how sure are we that you can maintain control), and a moral standpoint. 

Dude, control is the best ending, now you control the Reapers you can just tell them to fuck off and leave your galaxy alone. 
#23 Posted by yoshisaur (2606 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

People keep saying that to me in various forms of forums, what the hell does it mean? I ask and they just act like I am suppose to know.

#24 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@Draugen said:

I do share your reluctance over the "control" option as well, both from a reliability perspective (how sure are we that you can maintain control), and a moral standpoint.

Dude, control is the best ending, now you control the Reapers you can just tell them to fuck off and leave your galaxy alone.

No, destroy is the best ending, because you don't let some pretentious prick game designer drop a bunch of stupid conditional bullshit on you in the last 10 minutes of the game, and keep you from doing the one thing you've been wanting to do for over 90 hours.

That wasn't even remotely constructive, but I'm not on the BioWare forums, and I still feel like venting.

@ccampb89 said:

@Village_Guy said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

People keep saying that to me in various forms of forums, what the hell does it mean? I ask and they just act like I am suppose to know.

I don't care if you think it "got old really fast," we're going to be talking about it. Matrix sequels sucked, Star Wars prequels sucked, Mass Effect 3 ending sucked, and none of that is ever going away. The only one that is a chance at going away is MAYBE ME3 if BioWare does the job that they should have done in the first place, and writes an ending that doesn't both suck and completely contradict the first two Mass Effect games.

And feel free not to click/bump these threads if you don't like them.

As for the meme, In Skyrim, one of the things they had characters say a lot is "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee." It's just some random dialog you can hear from a bunch of NPCs. For some stupid reason, the internet picked up on it, and an internet meme was born.

#25 Posted by JeanLuc (3565 posts) -

Ignore the haters. Sometimes you just need to get something off your chest and writing is a good way to do that. If you don't like it then don't read it guys.

#26 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1723 posts) -
@SpaceInsomniac said:

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@Draugen said:

I do share your reluctance over the "control" option as well, both from a reliability perspective (how sure are we that you can maintain control), and a moral standpoint.

Dude, control is the best ending, now you control the Reapers you can just tell them to fuck off and leave your galaxy alone.

No, destroy is the best ending, because you don't let some pretentious prick game designer drop a bunch of stupid conditional bullshit on you in the last 10 minutes of the game, and keep you from doing the one thing you've been wanting to do for over 90 hours.

That wasn't even remotely constructive, but I'm not on the BioWare forums, and I still feel like venting.


We'll if we're gonna go down that route, getting killed by Marauder Shields is the best ending because you can pretend nothing after that happens. 
#27 Posted by big_jon (5707 posts) -

@Village_Guy said:

@Bell_End said:

i hope people complain about the ending of ME3 for many years to come. as it will never get boring or old or embarrasing.

keep those threads coming

I hope you're sarcastic. If not, then fuck you for encouraging people to complain about it.

It got old really fast, seriously, it got old faster than the stupid "arrow to the knee..." meme.

Agreed

#28 Posted by Jimbo (9767 posts) -

Vote with your eyes, Boo! Vote with your eyes!

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