Would you Change the Ending of Homer's Odyssey (Spoilers!!!!!!)

#1 Posted by Greyking (5 posts) -

Look we have all been there, you invested your time and imagination into a story that captured your imagination, only to be ultimately disappointed by the ending. However stories like life don't always give us the ending that we want. The story is ultimately about the author's message, one that he or she is trying to convey to his readers. Good or bad ending aside, every story is ultimately attempting to make the reader think.

Perhaps the problem with the modern gamer is that we are too spoiled by large Hollywood movies that rarely ask you think. In fact most blockbusters ask you to check your brain at the door. I think when I went to go see the last Transformers movie the usher actually wanted me to leave my brain in the lobby, along with my cellular phone. The problem is that we as fans have become used to entertainment that doesn't ask us to think, that doesn't challenge our notions of good and bad, right or wrong (Yes Call of Duty Fans I am talking to you). We turn on our televisions, game systems, or go to the movies and consume countless amounts of mental junk food, and then call that entertainment.

The problem with Mass Effect, is it had all the trappings of a great science fiction movie, and maybe in the end the fans wanted a mindless victory. Shepard kicks Reapers ass, and all is well. While that might make a great piece of popcorn entertainment that is never what Mass Effect was about.

Science Fiction, good Science Fiction has always been an allegory. The allegory in Mass Effect is clear, it is Man vs. Fate.

Mass Effect like so many Greek Tragedies that have proceeded it is about Man vs. Fate. Honestly I think everyone is reading way too much into the game. This game has been in development for years, and I am going to make the assumption that the writers never pulled the endings out of their asses no matter how much the fans want this to be the case. Like all stories, there was a clear beginning, middle, and end.

To me the series was and always has been a Space Opera, a Greek tragedy. Man vs. Fate or (Sentient Life Vs. Fate in this case). The reapers represent fate, Shepard is the agent of change, and the catalyst was the key to changing fate.

If you look at it in terms of a real story with symbolism and meaning, then it becomes clear. The ending that's the hardest to get, Synthesis, is the only true ending because it is the only one that changes fate. Control or Destruction do not break the cycle. Synthesis does, it breaks the cycle it becomes the means of changing Fate. If you get the best ending, everything changes for the good or bad. In the case of my game the genophage was cured, the Geth and the Quarians made peace, the Turians and Krogans formed an Alliance, the Asari homeworld was devastated, the Rahkni were welcomed into the Alliance, Joker and EDI feel in love. I could go on, but whether you played the game for good or bad there were significant changes to breaking the Galactic Order. No matter what ending you choose the results would be the same, the cycle is broken and Fate has been changed. Hence the little boy in the bonus cut scene calls him THE Shepard not Shepard. He gathered the Galaxy and led them to a new Fate.

So maybe everyone completely overlooked that there was more than mindless action going on here, there was a story attached. There was a narrative, the author was attempting to convey.

Maybe I didn't like the end to Casablanca, Sophie's Choice, A Clockwork Orange, or Saving Private Ryan, but that doesn't mean I should tell the authors, "Hey man you guys suck because I didn't like how your story ended. In fact let me tell you how it could have been so much better."

Now if we are talking Star Wars episode 1 through 3 I am not going to argue with you.

Mass Effect is a classic, a tragedy of Epic proportions. Would any reasonable person find Homer in this world or the next and realistically argue with him that his stories sucked and I have an online petition to back this up?

#2 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

It's a video game. It's not classical literature.

#3 Posted by HanktheAwesome08 (36 posts) -

I disagree with you.

#4 Posted by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

If there was downloadable add-ons he could charge people for, I bet Homer would as leif change the ending

#5 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (733 posts) -

The problem wasn't that the story ended badly for it's characters, it's that it's riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies. I appreciate you trying to bring classical literature into this but it's not the same situation at all.

I suggest you read the complaint threads fully before coming to the conclusion that we didn't like the ending because it was sad.

#6 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Congratulations, you have managed to degrade the value of the Odyssey by comparing it to Mass Effect 3.

#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

I think that we need to keep these discussions in one thread.

#8 Posted by VoshiNova (1691 posts) -

Nope. I would not.

#9 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

As far as I can remember from my classical studies nowhere on the last page did a previously unknown god say "Hey there, Odysseus. Forget your entire journey and stuff that happened in The Iliad. You couldn't get home anyway because you didn't join the multiplayer match, but if you push one of these three buttons we'll show you a brief glimpse of what will happen with different colors, but mostly identical scenarios."

#10 Posted by Grixxel (766 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka said:

The problem wasn't that the story ended badly for it's characters, it's that it's riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies. I appreciate you trying to bring classical literature into this but it's not the same situation at all.

I suggest you read the complaint threads fully before coming to the conclusion that we didn't like the ending because it was sad.

#11 Posted by Hailinel (24883 posts) -
@LordXavierBritish
Congratulations, you have managed to degrade the value of the Odyssey by comparing it to Mass Effect 3.
#12 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1573 posts) -

The problem with this notion of creative authorship in regards to Mass Effect is that the entire Mass Effect franchise has been built around the concept that a player's actions will have impact and bare consequence, and that ultimately, you're taking part in the authorship of your character. I think that's where everyone's biggest hangup is with the ending, that it doesn't take enough into account the choices that you made or the character you've dedicated 100+ hours into.

#13 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Greyking said:

Maybe I didn't like the end to Casablanca, Sophie's Choice, A Clockwork Orange, or Saving Private Ryan, but that doesn't mean I should tell the authors, "Hey man you guys suck because I didn't like how your story ended. In fact let me tell you how it could have been so much better."

Now if we are talking Star Wars episode 1 through 3 I am not going to argue with you.

So... is Mass Effect supposed to be Casablanca in this analogy or is it the Star Wars prequels? Seems like you just screwed your own point.

I'd also like to see this argument that all endings are sacrosanct applied to the movie version of Dreamcatcher. I guess the screenwriters of that movie are also immune from criticism even though they rewrote King's novel and created one of the worst endings in movie history.

#14 Posted by NTM (7384 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka said:

The problem wasn't that the story ended badly for it's characters, it's that it's riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies. I appreciate you trying to bring classical literature into this but it's not the same situation at all.

I suggest you read the complaint threads fully before coming to the conclusion that we didn't like the ending because it was sad.

I had just beaten the game about an hour ago, so the ending is still going through my mind, and whether I liked it or not, but I'm thinking not. Anyways, you made a good point and recommendation to the OP.

Online
#15 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

The problem with this notion of creative authorship in regards to Mass Effect is that the entire Mass Effect franchise has been built around the concept that a player's actions will have impact and bare consequence, and that ultimately, you're taking part in the authorship of your character. I think that's where everyone's biggest hangup is with the ending, that it doesn't take enough into account the choices that you made or the character you've dedicated 100+ hours into.

What? The ending I got matched what my Shepard would do in that situation exactly...

#16 Edited by AdmiralStupid (77 posts) -

I personally take less of an issue with the events of the end, as I do the way they were told. A pyrrhic victory and heavy sacrifice and loss are entirely warranted in the story. Going back to the metaphor of greek epics, the Deus Ex Machina (pretty much literally what the character of the last 10 minutes is) was just too much of a contrivance for me to accept.

I walked into ME3 thoroughly expecting a heavy casualties list, and thought it almost inevitable that Shepard sacrifice him/herself at the end, as it would be justified by the narrative. However, the way the story almost literally has God descending from the heavens (or you ascending UP to the heavens, whatever) to provide a cursory speech and three 'choices', all of which will solve the conflict of the drama, seems overly simplistic and reductionist, compared to how deep and interwoven the narrative of ME has been all along. Add to it that the main character acts in ways that would seem counter to who they had been all along (whether Renegade or Paragon, Shepard pretty much always had a view on everything in the plot) and just blindly accept his/her situation at the finale without a moment's hesitaiton or dialogue with this new force: he/she just accepts what they are told is true and acts.

The other factor in the endings is that the differences between the denouement of them seem small, and are barely even touched upon at all: Shepard takes action/makes the choice, there're some explosions and almost nothing is 'resolved' for ANY other characters other than your own. (I am NOT arguing that we need to know exactly how every choice played out, how every species fared, or demanding 'slides' telling us what happened in the rest of the characters lives) For a story to have weight, I feel there needs to be some sort of resolution for the characters you invest in over the course of the story, and I feel that this absolutely does not happen in ME3. To use a comparison made elsewhere, Return of The Jedi ends with the Empire being defeated (essentially), but you're at least given a few minutes to see the main players' fates/resolutions afterwards (and you don't need to see their whole post-ending lives to do it).

Add into the above that the game (depending on choices) ends up trying to do two contradictory things: in the Destroy ending, you can end up getting the 'book-end' of the Stargazer framing the whole narrative as a story or myth AND the flashback to Earth/Shepard's body and waking up, with a hard cut to the credits... I don't think you can wrap your narrative in a "Once upon a time..." wrapper AND have a teaser "The End... or is it?" at the same time, they're incompatible storytelling devices.

I'm not arguing that the creator of the story 'sucks' because I disagree with the story conclusion: I'm disagreeing with the conclusion and how we got there. Though I will say that I think it's a testament to how well BioWare drew people in to their story that there's been such dismay in some quarters by the ending. If it wasn't good to begin with, people wouldn't care as much about how it went down.

P.S.

I'm certainly NOT demanding things be changed or whatever, that's not my right to do so (though it'd be nice), I'm just super bummed-out at how the sprawling epic of the Mass Effect concluded (... or did it? *DUN DUN DUNNNNN*)

/Damn, Long post is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

#17 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

No, no just no. And your facts are even wrong, the hardest ending to get is showing Shepard alive after the Destroy ending. And when the hell has Mass Effect been about man vs fate? There's man's own inhumanity to man in there, what it means to be sentient, free will, tolerance, hell even the meaning of life, but not fucking "man vs fate". Shepard isn't some chosen one. He just some soldier who was at the right place at the right time. That's how I see Shepard at least.

Anyways, I think you might wanna take a look at this article before making such a bombastic claim. http://www.gamefront.com/mass-effect-3-ending-hatred-5-reasons-the-fans-are-right/

#18 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

The problem with this notion of creative authorship in regards to Mass Effect is that the entire Mass Effect franchise has been built around the concept that a player's actions will have impact and bare consequence, and that ultimately, you're taking part in the authorship of your character. I think that's where everyone's biggest hangup is with the ending, that it doesn't take enough into account the choices that you made or the character you've dedicated 100+ hours into.

What? The ending I got matched what my Shepard would do in that situation exactly...

Poor Shepard. If he had taken one of the other paths too, he would have found out it didn't make much difference which path he chose. Best he died not knowing his decision was inconsequential.

#19 Posted by Enigma777 (6073 posts) -

@Impossibilium: I replayed all 3 of the endings. :)

#20 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

This thread also means that Uwe Boll is now immune from criticism. If he takes one of your favorite video game franchises and turns it into something completely different, well he's just creating his own story and you can't argue with the artistic interpretation of the creator.

Uwe Boll is now the best creator of video game movies in the world. Every one is his own unique vision and you can't say he did it wrong because you didn't write the movies.

#21 Posted by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

You are just...wrong...go read some Greek tragedies, man vs. fate is just one of the themes, but not the main one, as more often than not, it isn't fate, but the intervention of man, along with the concept of Hamartia, the fatal character flaw that brings about their downfall, usually with attention drawn to it by man or supernatural forces. Fate is a human term for things that we cannot understand or control, none of that applies to Mass Effect. Since Shepard came back from the dead, I'd say fate has very little to do with it.

Go read Oedipus the King, Antigone and Oedipus as Colonus, and see what real Greek tragedy is. Don't spout off terms you think sound cool because you think it proves your point. It's insulting to any fan of great literature.

Also, Hollywood movies? Insulting a vast majority of people and giving examples that are flat-out wrong? No dice OP, uncool, and this entire topic is based on false assumptions and pseudo-intellectualism that doesn't serve to do anything more than put a more contemporary spin on the word 'entitlement', which is a concept that doesn't apply here, seeing as it's the general consensus that ME3's ending was completely seperate from the rest of the game, and the series in general, and had no substance or closure. Shepard is a soldier, he always claims it, he doesn't want to be a hero, and I/he sure as hell didn't want to play God like I had to in Deus Ex: HR, which was pointless, but was allowed to be because it was a prequel. ME3 is the end of a trilogy, it's a whole other kettle of fish, it isn't just 'a game', it's a game that rounds out an entire storyline, themes, characters and all. It needs to do better than 'do magic shit Green, Red or Blue to completely pervert reality and nature, and make you no better than the enemies and ideals you've been fighting against for three games' while conforming to a star childs way of thinking, which you've clearly proven wrong throughout all three games.

#22 Posted by Greyking (5 posts) -

Thanks for all the responses. Really I am not trying to convince anyone that they are right or wrong, at the end of the day the only person who can say that is the author. I am just asking for everyone to give it a different point of view instead of joining the hate bandwagon.

And yes, I believe it is a fair comparison to compare 21st Century media to a classic piece of Greek Literature. They were both created as forms of entertainment.

#23 Posted by huser (1083 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

The problem with this notion of creative authorship in regards to Mass Effect is that the entire Mass Effect franchise has been built around the concept that a player's actions will have impact and bare consequence, and that ultimately, you're taking part in the authorship of your character. I think that's where everyone's biggest hangup is with the ending, that it doesn't take enough into account the choices that you made or the character you've dedicated 100+ hours into.

What? The ending I got matched what my Shepard would do in that situation exactly...

Really? My Shep would never take the word of a glowing hallucination in regards to the usage of our meticulously constructed plot device, especially given the many and varied folk that have had their minds crushed (like say an Asari Matriarch) and wills subverted by the particular threat I and my forces are now facing.

Then again, by all "previous" indications, my Shep would have 100% been able to convince Kaiden to join my crew in ME2.

#24 Posted by DragoonKain1687 (702 posts) -

Answer me this then. Sheppard dies right, which is the main reason many use to not showing what happens to the galaxy. THEN Why are we shown Normandy and the future of the Stargazing man? .

End of Thread.

#25 Posted by Impossibilium (684 posts) -

@Greyking said:

Thanks for all the responses. Really I am not trying to convince anyone that they are right or wrong, at the end of the day the only person who can say that is the author.

Wrong? Maybe not. Crap and poorly done? Absolutely.

There is plenty of shit out there and being the author of it doesn't make you immune.

#26 Posted by huser (1083 posts) -

@Impossibilium said:

@Greyking said:

Thanks for all the responses. Really I am not trying to convince anyone that they are right or wrong, at the end of the day the only person who can say that is the author.

Wrong? Maybe not. Crap and poorly done? Absolutely.

There is plenty of shit out there and being the author of it doesn't make you immune.

Yeah that's only a small hop to...well if you don't make movies then you can't critique this one!

#27 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1573 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

The problem with this notion of creative authorship in regards to Mass Effect is that the entire Mass Effect franchise has been built around the concept that a player's actions will have impact and bare consequence, and that ultimately, you're taking part in the authorship of your character. I think that's where everyone's biggest hangup is with the ending, that it doesn't take enough into account the choices that you made or the character you've dedicated 100+ hours into.

What? The ending I got matched what my Shepard would do in that situation exactly...

As did mine, but something my Shepard, and thus something I, would do that I was not presented with the option to do was ask questions. Not once was I allowed to ask what the hell was going on or what any of this would truly mean, instead, I just kind of had to go along with it. Unlike most people on the Internet, I didn't hate the ending, I just thought it could've been handled better, especially in the "answering lingering questions" department.

#28 Edited by Greyking (5 posts) -

Hey thanks so much for responding to the thread. The whole idea is to make conversation. As usual the internet proves you can make no one happy. At the end of the day EA and Bioware have our money so that's what really counts. I am not cramming my point down anyone's throat. I stick by my argument of comparing Mass Effect to a great piece of classic literature. Just because it is presented in a new medium and not written on papyrus or carved in stone doesn't make it illegitimate. Personally I did not find the ending of the game to be separate from the rest of the narrative, I felt it was a fitting conclusion. I too would have liked a little more closure on what happened to the rest of my crew. However having such an open ended game with some many choices I think at the end of the day, it would be difficult to make everyone happy. Perhaps we all were so invested in our individual Shepard's we assumed the game would give us a neat little gift wrapped custom tailored ending that would suit everyone. Unfortunately that technology is not here. I am not sugar coating the ending. Did it huge plot holes and laps in logic? Do I feel I was sucker punched by the Metal Gear Solid style ending of Shepard limping to his death? It was the ending I accept it, I hated the Star Wars Prequels but I got over it. In my opinion, and it is my opinion only, to add any DLC or change the narrative would be a cop out. There are people at Bioware who are paid large sums of money to create these games. I am hopeful that the Mass Effect Universe will continue in some form. Also why is everyone assuming the fleets are all stranded on Earth, they had enough resources and technology to rebuild the Crucible in a few months, why would it be impossible for them to start rebuilding the Mass Relays? In the synthesis or control endings the Reapers who built the Mass Relays still exist, why couldn't the Reapers who are now allies simply just rebuild them? If you choose destroy, then the Alliance built the Crucible within a few months from alien tech. They have been using the Mass Relays for years and have the full weight of the scientists and soldiers from around the galaxy, plus humn ingenuity, why couldn't they simply rebuild the relays. And if you believe the indoctrination ending, then it's all a dream and Shepard is buried in the rubble of London.

#29 Posted by RVonE (4638 posts) -

The ending of Homer's Odyssey is actually good whereas ME3's is bullshit; it's not even consistent with its own established universe.

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