The fate of John Shepard? (or lady Shepard) With some spoilers!

With the release of ME3 coming in little under a year, and me finishing my second playthrough of ME2, I got to thinking what is the fate of Shepard? 
 
It is pretty common knowledge that Shepard died in the very begining of ME2, it setup the story of ME2 pretty nicely, and introduced Cerberus. The existence of a a pro-human organization was key to the development of the story and setup the whole Reaper invasion very nicely. It also made many of the decisions in the game very hard. On one hand Cerberus was a shady group with a dark past, on the other I felt that a lot of the time I kind of agreed with Cerberus. You know what maybe giving the Collector base over to The Illusive Man seemed unethical, but at the same time what has to be done just has to be done. One of the things I loved about the game was that you never knew if Cerberus was actually bad or if they were doing the necessary work to ensure that the Reapers were to be stopped in the future.
 
So I ultimately ask to you, what do you think the fate of Shepard will be? Do you think he will actually die in the end? Will that even feel conclusive, as Bioware has shown before that Shepard can be brought back from the dead? Will he trimuphantly defeat the Reapers and save humanity? This has to be a major concern over at Bioware as ME3 has been touted as the end of Shepard's story. I think they have a lot riding on it, and how the trilogy ends will color the perception of the story for years to come.

28 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by sagesebas

With the release of ME3 coming in little under a year, and me finishing my second playthrough of ME2, I got to thinking what is the fate of Shepard? 
 
It is pretty common knowledge that Shepard died in the very begining of ME2, it setup the story of ME2 pretty nicely, and introduced Cerberus. The existence of a a pro-human organization was key to the development of the story and setup the whole Reaper invasion very nicely. It also made many of the decisions in the game very hard. On one hand Cerberus was a shady group with a dark past, on the other I felt that a lot of the time I kind of agreed with Cerberus. You know what maybe giving the Collector base over to The Illusive Man seemed unethical, but at the same time what has to be done just has to be done. One of the things I loved about the game was that you never knew if Cerberus was actually bad or if they were doing the necessary work to ensure that the Reapers were to be stopped in the future.
 
So I ultimately ask to you, what do you think the fate of Shepard will be? Do you think he will actually die in the end? Will that even feel conclusive, as Bioware has shown before that Shepard can be brought back from the dead? Will he trimuphantly defeat the Reapers and save humanity? This has to be a major concern over at Bioware as ME3 has been touted as the end of Shepard's story. I think they have a lot riding on it, and how the trilogy ends will color the perception of the story for years to come.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

We don't even know why the Reapers are harvesting humans. I mean, sure, we know they want to use them and create more Reapers, but we don't know why this process exists. There are a lot of questions like that that need to be answered in ME3 before I can even get to whether or not I think John Shepard (was so happy when the canon name for Shepard was mine) will live or die. I'm personally pulling for the picket fence and little blue children, but that's just me.

Edited by foggel

Well Mass Effect games have a way of making you think Shepard is dead. Ending of the first game, and beginning of the second. I'm guessing something along those lines in the MIDDLE this time around. Then he conquers the Reapers, Batarians and Turians all in one go and is rightfully throned the ruler of the milky way.

Posted by Oldirtybearon
@foggel: Out of curiosity, how do you think ME3 will handle wanting to change your imported face or class? ME2 used the Lazarus  Project, and Bioware loves to make sure these kinds of "gamey" things are written cohesively into the story. What do you think will happen?
Posted by damswedon

I think depending on Shepard's actions in Mass Effect 1 & 2 (s)he will either be lauded as a hero of the galaxy or be tried as a war criminal. That is if (s)he doesn't die during the game.

Posted by 02sfraser

Cerberus are looking out for humans and only humans. That is why I don't always agree with them. It is interesting to see what might happen as Bioware did say Shepard's story would be a trilogy. I think it will come down to a 'sacrifice everything to save the day' type scenario. However in saying that, Bioware aren't one for cliches and always surprise me so it's hard to judge.

Posted by 02sfraser
@KingWilly: The Reapers weren't harvesting humans they're just trying to destroy them all. It was the collectors that were taking humans to make more husks to aid the Reapers in there invasion.
Edited by PhatSeeJay
@KingWilly said:

" @foggel: Out of curiosity, how do you think ME3 will handle wanting to change your imported face or class? ME2 used the Lazarus  Project, and Bioware loves to make sure these kinds of "gamey" things are written cohesively into the story. What do you think will happen? "

  Shepard goes to jail for what happened in Arrival and the Alliance scientists there decide to modify the upgrades Cerberus did to him. :p
Posted by Make_Me_Mad

Maybe it'll be a choice you have to make near the end.  You can turn yourself in for that whole Arrival thing like a tool, or... Space Pirate Captain Shepard.  It's not like anyone could go after you with the crew you've got.

Posted by Oldirtybearon
@02sfraser: I don't think that's it. I highly doubt some Collectors got together and said "let's make a Reaper!" while Harbinger twiddled his tentacles out in Dark Space. The whole "ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL" thing kind of puts a damper on 'em not being aware, much less playing an integral role in getting the human Reaper under construction.  
 
@PhatSeeJay: That... actually makes a whole lot of sense. Good one.
Edited by PhatSeeJay
@KingWilly:  I'm not sure about the scientists part but given how Arrival ended with the debriefing, I have a strong feeling that Shepard will be in jail, or at least standing trial, by the beginning of ME3. They're all "OH SHIT, SON! Shepard was right!" when the Reapers arrive. Making Arrival a complete waste of time.
Posted by Oldirtybearon
@PhatSeeJay: If it begins with Garrus breaking him out and Shepard donning a do-rag I will shit myself.
Posted by PhatSeeJay
@KingWilly: 
Shepard: Garrus! Get me the hell out of here!!
Garrus: Can it wait for a bit? I'm in the middle of some calibrations.
Posted by easthill
@02sfraser: The humans were the only race able to stop a Reaper - therefore the Reapers wanted a human Reaper. The collectors we're controlled by the Reapers. 
Personally I think the whole story of ME2 was a bit pointless in the big scheme. A new enemy was introduced and defeated without progressing the overarching Reaper plot a bit. Only in the DLC did something significant happen.
 
I hope BioWare will fuck over the Renegade path, and make Shepard screw everything up by being a jerk to the wrong people. But that won't happen, we'll probably only get one ending - paragon or renegade.
 
@02sfraser said:
" Bioware aren't one for cliches and always surprise me so it's hard to judge. "  
No? Collect 4 things/Recruit 4 things -> Point of no return -> End game. Oh, and this.
Posted by DeeGee
@02sfraser:  The Collectors were being controlled by the Reapers, and being forced to steal all those humans so that they could create the Human Reaper.
Posted by NakAttack

I believe Shepard was revived by the missing reaper tech, talk to Anderson and he'll mention something about how a whole lot of Sovereign went missing.

Posted by Oldirtybearon
@easthill said:
" @02sfraser: The humans were the only race able to stop a Reaper - therefore the Reapers wanted a human Reaper. The collectors we're controlled by the Reapers. 
Personally I think the whole story of ME2 was a bit pointless in the big scheme. A new enemy was introduced and defeated without progressing the overarching Reaper plot a bit. Only in the DLC did something significant happen.
 
I hope BioWare will fuck over the Renegade path, and make Shepard screw everything up by being a jerk to the wrong people. But that won't happen, we'll probably only get one ending - paragon or renegade.
 
@02sfraser said:
" Bioware aren't one for cliches and always surprise me so it's hard to judge. "  
No? Collect 4 things/Recruit 4 things -> Point of no return -> End game. Oh, and this. "
To be fair I think most middle-chapter stories fall into the same problem. Especially in video games. Two Towers was the worst of the three LOTR movies precisely because it was the middle of a very large book. Half Life 2: Episode 2 is a good expansion, but it lacks the narrative flavour of either Episode One or any of the HL games precisely because it's the middle. ME2's main plot thread had to introduce a new enemy, have you defeat said enemy, and set up for ME3 in the process. I think they did an admirable job when it comes to the main plot thread.
Posted by Jaize
@KingWilly: I had the same issue with Dead Space 2. When I arrived at the end after having battled my way through death, destruction, betrayal and the loss of humanity all around me and finally managed to destroy the beacon I just thought... well that was all a bit... bleh. If I were Isaac I'd have just given up and shot myself in the head. But I think that's sort of the point of middle chapters. They really are set up. Fortunately Bioware have always had a bit more decency when it comes to actually fleshing out story-lines, and I know a lot of people complained about the ME2 story, but at least it was better than many other games of that ilk.  
 
ME3 is going to be one of Bioware's most awaited on games of all time. I mean the Mass Effect franchise really catapulted them to stardom so if it turns out to be crappy, well, they'll be in trouble. 
Edited by SaltyJack

Shepard will find a Mass Relay that takes them to another dimension, where they will learn that their universe is just a videogame there and is being deleted by a program called the Reapers. 
 
*ObscureSO3refference*

Posted by Twisted_Scot

Doubt he'll die again, what would now be a little weak. Im expecting something a bit more "Epic" from the decisions this one. Somthing like being given teh choice to head the alliance or take over from the illusive man to even side with the reapers.

Posted by Oldirtybearon
@Twisted_Scot said:
" Doubt he'll die again, what would now be a little weak. Im expecting something a bit more "Epic" from the decisions this one. Somthing like being given teh choice to head the alliance or take over from the illusive man to even side with the reapers. "
Chances are you'll get that, since Casey Hudson has stated that working on ME3 has been a liberating process precisely because they can really cut loose on scenarios and writing. No importing to a ME4 and this being the conclusion of a trilogy grants them a ton of freedom to go in wildly different ways.
Posted by sagesebas
@damswedon: That would be crazy, it's a pretty cool idea,  I personally don't think they'd do that, But depending on how Cerberus turns out.
Posted by sagesebas
@Twisted_Scot: That would be really cool.
Posted by jorbear
@PhatSeeJay said:
" @KingWilly:  Garrus: Can it wait for a bit? I'm in the middle of some calibrations. "
I bet that Mass Effect 3 is just one big calibration mini-game, with some epic dialog trees.
Posted by TheHT
I read the title and went "who the heck's this John Shepard?" Then I read 'lady Shepard' and realized oh shiiit that the default name for Commander Shepard. Weird.
 
@KingWilly said:

" We don't even know why the Reapers are harvesting humans. I mean, sure, we know they want to use them and create more Reapers, but we don't know why this process exists. There are a lot of questions like that that need to be answered in ME3 before I can even get to whether or not I think John Shepard (was so happy when the canon name for Shepard was mine) will live or die. I'm personally pulling for the picket fence and little blue children, but that's just me. "

I thought the whole Reapher schtick was they wait every thousands of thousands of years waiting for civilizations to rise up so they can move in and eat them all up. Or was it to find worthy species to repoduce as Reapers.  Or did they only try to make the human Reaper because the humans (read: Shepard) were fucking up their plans so much.
 
Yup, guess you're right. Lots of questions. I kinda expect Shepard to die, I suppose that could be a choice-type thing, reflective of things you do in ME3. Thing is with all that they've done with ME and how they've talked about being free with ME3, they could damn well do a buncha different fates for Shepard.
Posted by sagesebas
@TheHT:  I believe it is somewhat of a phenomenon where every so long, can't remember if it is 50,000 or 500,000 years, might not be either of those anyways, they just come through and wipe every thing out.
Posted by Oldirtybearon
@sagesebas: Every 50,000 years the Reapers come in to wipe out galactic civilization while leaving the pre-space faring species alone. 
 
It's a cycle of extinction, but the why is really eating at me.
Posted by Gaff
@KingWilly
We don't even know why the Reapers are harvesting humans. I mean, sure, we know they want to use them and create more Reapers, but we don't know why this process exists. There are a lot of questions like that that need to be answered in ME3 before I can even get to whether or not I think John Shepard (was so happy when the canon name for Shepard was mine) will live or die. I'm personally pulling for the picket fence and little blue children, but that's just me.
I could have sworn Mordin mentions something about humans being special: genetic variety, biggest potential, etcetera. Remember that humanity literally is a baby compared to the other races in Mass Effect. That is why the Reapers are targeting humans.

Back on-topic:
I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't control Shepard in the beginning of the game: a fellow N7 operative sent out to investigate Shepard's claims and his / her effect on the universe as a whole (Rachni, Geth, witness testimonies), and saving Shepard for the ultimate confrontation with the Reapers.
Posted by sagesebas
@Gaff:  I loved that part where you controlled Joker. And controlling different characters for a brief amount of time is one of my new favorite trends.