LiquidPrince

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So there are two possible BEST endings... Will blow your noggin!

If you're going to comment, please actually read... What I say may be slightly different then what others have said, and this is just my way of venting. Reading "oh hey that thread again" by people who haven't even given the courtesy to read through is a tad annoying.

So after beating the game, I've been in a giant debate with myself as to what the endings mean. I love the endings because they are causing so much chaos which then breeds interesting theories. Reminds me of the Assassin's Creed endings... Anyways, on with it! (Make sure to check out the epic video below that might cause you to rethink the whole series.)

Possible Best Ending # 1 - Synthesis

So this is what most people are considering to be the best ending at this moment simply because you need the highest EMS and Paragon points to get. This is what I chose, and in all seriousness, I'm not sure if I chose correctly. This ending will ONLY considered the best ending if you disregard the Indoctrination Theory. This will only be canonical if everything on the Citadel actually occurred, in which case your Shepard sacrifices himself and synthetics and organics merge (which coincidentally causes your eyes to glow paragon blue, same as when you try to control them.)

I liked the idea of my Shepard dying to save the galaxy because I just couldn't bring myself to kill the newly allied Geth, or EDI of course. Again, if you want to disregard the Indoctrination Theory (which states that everything after Harbinger attacking is an illusion) then this works the best. Shepard dies, galaxy all live together.

Problems with this ending: Synthesis is essentially exactly what Saren wanted to do in Mass Effect, which makes me feel uncomfortable that your solutions ends by doing what Saren and even The Illusive Man wanted to do in 2.

Possible Best Ending # 2 - Destruction / Indoctrination Theory

First things first, watch this extremely well edited video (which some of you might have seen already) which sends chills down my spine:

So if you consider destruction the best ending, despite killing EDI (you dicks...) then I would say it's in your best interest to assume that the Indoctrination theory is correct. (Or that is how I see it.) Assuming you had over 5000 EMS everything falls so well in to place, even down to the very end where the two choice your presented are Paragon blue, and Renegade Red, except that Renegade is to follow Anderson and Paragon to follow the Illusive Man. That is their way of tricking you. By destroying the Reapers, you are going against the Reapers wishes and remaining in full control of your will so that ends up being Renegade and against the Reapers. If you try and control them, you become fully indoctrinated because you can't control something that is already controlling you...

The call backs to the first game also blow my mind. The description of indoctrination given by the Rachni Queen is EXACTLY what Shepard sees when he is having those "dreams." Shadowy figures wailing in sorrow, meant to break the will of the person and have them lose all hope.

Problems with this ending: If everything was an illusion after getting hit by Harbinger, then who opened the Citadel and blasted off the Crucible? If Shepard wakes up in London, that would mean that the Reapers can't have actually been destroyed because no one would have gone to open the Citadel. Unless Shepard opened the Citadel with his telepathy?

Also the Star Child said that Shepard was also half Synthetic, so even assuming that somehow the Citadel DID open and destroyed the Reapers, how would Shepard still be alive in the end when you see his chest rise?

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LiquidPrince

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If you're going to comment, please actually read... What I say may be slightly different then what others have said, and this is just my way of venting. Reading "oh hey that thread again" by people who haven't even given the courtesy to read through is a tad annoying.

So after beating the game, I've been in a giant debate with myself as to what the endings mean. I love the endings because they are causing so much chaos which then breeds interesting theories. Reminds me of the Assassin's Creed endings... Anyways, on with it! (Make sure to check out the epic video below that might cause you to rethink the whole series.)

Possible Best Ending # 1 - Synthesis

So this is what most people are considering to be the best ending at this moment simply because you need the highest EMS and Paragon points to get. This is what I chose, and in all seriousness, I'm not sure if I chose correctly. This ending will ONLY considered the best ending if you disregard the Indoctrination Theory. This will only be canonical if everything on the Citadel actually occurred, in which case your Shepard sacrifices himself and synthetics and organics merge (which coincidentally causes your eyes to glow paragon blue, same as when you try to control them.)

I liked the idea of my Shepard dying to save the galaxy because I just couldn't bring myself to kill the newly allied Geth, or EDI of course. Again, if you want to disregard the Indoctrination Theory (which states that everything after Harbinger attacking is an illusion) then this works the best. Shepard dies, galaxy all live together.

Problems with this ending: Synthesis is essentially exactly what Saren wanted to do in Mass Effect, which makes me feel uncomfortable that your solutions ends by doing what Saren and even The Illusive Man wanted to do in 2.

Possible Best Ending # 2 - Destruction / Indoctrination Theory

First things first, watch this extremely well edited video (which some of you might have seen already) which sends chills down my spine:

So if you consider destruction the best ending, despite killing EDI (you dicks...) then I would say it's in your best interest to assume that the Indoctrination theory is correct. (Or that is how I see it.) Assuming you had over 5000 EMS everything falls so well in to place, even down to the very end where the two choice your presented are Paragon blue, and Renegade Red, except that Renegade is to follow Anderson and Paragon to follow the Illusive Man. That is their way of tricking you. By destroying the Reapers, you are going against the Reapers wishes and remaining in full control of your will so that ends up being Renegade and against the Reapers. If you try and control them, you become fully indoctrinated because you can't control something that is already controlling you...

The call backs to the first game also blow my mind. The description of indoctrination given by the Rachni Queen is EXACTLY what Shepard sees when he is having those "dreams." Shadowy figures wailing in sorrow, meant to break the will of the person and have them lose all hope.

Problems with this ending: If everything was an illusion after getting hit by Harbinger, then who opened the Citadel and blasted off the Crucible? If Shepard wakes up in London, that would mean that the Reapers can't have actually been destroyed because no one would have gone to open the Citadel. Unless Shepard opened the Citadel with his telepathy?

Also the Star Child said that Shepard was also half Synthetic, so even assuming that somehow the Citadel DID open and destroyed the Reapers, how would Shepard still be alive in the end when you see his chest rise?

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WMWA

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Fuck that noise, son

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GunslingerPanda

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Yay, it's this thread again! :D

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deactivated-629eab11cc270

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Hey guys, did you hear Giant Bomb got bought by CBS? Pretty crazy right?

Not as crazy as that Mass Effect 3 ending stuff though. Let's all keep on talking about that.

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LiquidPrince

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@wmaustin55: @GunslingerPanda: @Zacagawea: Yeah, my blog, my idea, my take. Sorry, but you know... need to vent.

Thanks for the productive comment though. I'm sure you actually read and saw the possible differences in my theory. Right? You did that right? You didn't just come in and post a reply without reading? Of course not. You wouldn't do that. =)

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Animasta

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do you know how many ending threads have been made?

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donchipotle

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Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

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This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

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LiquidPrince

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@Animasta said:

do you know how many ending threads have been made?

Yeah, and this is my take on it. If you aren't interested, no problem... Doesn't mean you should just post spam like comments. Especially since people I assume aren't even reading. But like I said, whatever, just trying vent since I just beat the game last night due to being tied up with exams and what not.

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onan

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You can blog as much as you'd like and no one will say a word, but you posted the blog to the ME3 forum as a thread too, fyi.

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LiquidPrince

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@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

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LiquidPrince

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@onan said:

You can blog as much as you'd like and no one will say a word, but you posted the blog to the ME3 forum as a thread too, fyi.

Yeah, because blogs get automatically attached to Off Topic if you do not indicate a proper forum for them to be posted. This is ME related so, ME forum I think is understandable.

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donchipotle

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

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Arker101

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Honestly Destruction is the best "ending", and the InDoc Theory gives Bioware way to much credit.

I think it's hilarious how Jokers hat gets synthesis lines on it. I wonder if the toaster has murdered anyone.

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LiquidPrince

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@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

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donchipotle

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

By that logic, most of the Normandy should also be indoctrinated. Your ground team in particular (EDI and Javik not included) because they have been around just as much Reaper tech and are under equal amounts of stress.

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@LiquidPrince said:

@onan said:

You can blog as much as you'd like and no one will say a word, but you posted the blog to the ME3 forum as a thread too, fyi.

Yeah, because blogs get automatically attached to Off Topic if you do not indicate a proper forum for them to be posted. This is ME related so, ME forum I think is understandable.

Or you could choose not to attach your blog to any forums?

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@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

By that logic, most of the Normandy should also be indoctrinated. Your ground team in particular (EDI and Javik not included) because they have been around just as much Reaper tech and are under equal amounts of stress.

If you want to argue that the Normandy crew is fighting their own indoctrination demons that Shepard doesn't know about, sure.  I don't personally believe in this theory, but that point is not really one of its weaknesses.
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LiquidPrince

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@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

By that logic, most of the Normandy should also be indoctrinated. Your ground team in particular (EDI and Javik not included) because they have been around just as much Reaper tech and are under equal amounts of stress.

Not really though. Shepard has the burden of saving the galaxy, whereas the other just follow Shepard. The burden of leadership is a lot harder then following. Shepard has to decide how to deal the with Tuchanka, not Garrus. Shepard has to deal with the Quarians and Geth, not Tali. They even mention it in the game multiple times, that a bunch of people consider Shepard almost a myth, even when Shepard replies, I'm just a soldier like them. The people say, but that's not how others see you. He has a lot more stress in my opinion.

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MooseyMcMan

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

By that logic, most of the Normandy should also be indoctrinated. Your ground team in particular (EDI and Javik not included) because they have been around just as much Reaper tech and are under equal amounts of stress.

Not really though. Shepard has the burden of saving the galaxy, whereas the other just follow Shepard. The burden of leadership is a lot harder then following. Shepard has to decide how to deal the with Tuchanka, not Garrus. Shepard has to deal with the Quarians and Geth, not Tali. They even mention it in the game multiple times, that a bunch of people consider Shepard almost a myth, even when Shepard replies, I'm just a soldier like them. The people say, but that's not how others see you. He has a lot more stress in my opinion.

Don't forget that Shepard was knocked out for a couple days in that base in the Arrival DLC. Who knows what happened to him then.

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Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

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@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?


Because people are assuming that because the 'regular' ending is shitty and half-assed, Bioware must have intended this DEEPER ending to be the real one. If Bioware really intended some sort of massive bait and switch at the end of the game, why does the 'regular' ending have to be a shitty one?  
 
Why couldn't they come up with a satisfying 'regular' one that people could actually believe to be true and just leave these subtle hints alongside that? Why would the company intentionally leave users with a shitty 'regular' ending that cost them time and money to make?
 
The whole line of thought behind this new theory is dumb. 
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@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

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@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. Nothing actually happens in the Indoctrination Theory. Shepard just continues control of or loses control of his mind.

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donchipotle

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

By that logic, most of the Normandy should also be indoctrinated. Your ground team in particular (EDI and Javik not included) because they have been around just as much Reaper tech and are under equal amounts of stress.

Not really though. Shepard has the burden of saving the galaxy, whereas the other just follow Shepard. The burden of leadership is a lot harder then following. Shepard has to decide how to deal the with Tuchanka, not Garrus. Shepard has to deal with the Quarians and Geth, not Tali. They even mention it in the game multiple times, that a bunch of people consider Shepard almost a myth, even when Shepard replies, I'm just a soldier like them. The people say, but that's not how others see you. He has a lot more stress in my opinion.

Garrus is under a lot of stress seeing as how he is constantly having to deal with the situation on Palaven and the fact that a lot of people back on Palaven believe him to be an expert on the things. Liara has been stressed ever since ME1 ended and her being the Shadow Broker only added to that. Tali went through a lot in ME2 and her situation only adds to the pure emotional stress she has to be feeling when the geth situation and the possibility of her people being wiped out come to a head. Just because they aren't dealing with the Reaper threat in the same way as Shepard doesn't mean they aren't going throuhg extraordinary amounts of stress. Using the same logic as the 'derelict Reaper' and the 'collector base' and the 'exposure to Reaper tech', Garrus and Tali would be just as susceptible since they were with Shepard through it all. So yes, the crew is under stress. Why do you think Tali got drunk or that Garrus deflects things with humor? It's a way to release stress.

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@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

Because people are assuming that because the 'regular' ending is shitty and half-assed, Bioware must have intended this DEEPER ending to be the real one. If Bioware really intended some sort of massive bait and switch at the end of the game, why does the 'regular' ending have to be a shitty one?

Why couldn't they come up with a satisfying 'regular' one that people could actually believe to be true and just leave these subtle hints alongside that? Why would the company intentionally leave users with a shitty 'regular' ending that cost them time and money to make?

The whole line of thought behind this new theory is dumb.

Except that video that I posted has some really awesome and clever links that are too detailed to be coincidence. For example the Rachni queen explaining indoctrination from ME1, and how in ME3 Shepard's dreams look EXACTLY like what she was describing. There's also a ton more. The video provides too many point for it to have been coincidence on Bioware's part.

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@MooseyMcMan said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

The real ending is the ending we got. The DLC isn't going to change that.

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hahahaha

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@DonChipotle: Right, except now all those stressors that the individual team mates feel is ALL put on Shepards shoulders. He deals with the situation on Palaven, Tuchanka, Rannoch, etc... The individuals are stressed, but Shepard is the one who has to decide the solutions.

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@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

The real ending is the ending we got. The DLC isn't going to change that.

They've already said they're doing something with it. Whether they are adding onto the literal interpretation of the ending, or confirming the Indoctrination Theory is unknown, but they've said they're doing something with it.

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donchipotle

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle: Right, except now all those stressors that the individual team mates feel is ALL put on Shepards shoulders. He deals with the situation on Palaven, Tuchanka, Rannoch, etc... The individuals are stressed, but Shepard is the one who has to decide the solutions.

Except Shepard doesn't solve the problem on Palaven and he may or may not solve the problem on Tuchanka or Rannoch. And just because he helps out doesn't make the situation any less stressful for those involved. It's not like Tali goes "Gee thanks, Shepard, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that you're here. I'll just be down in engineering whistling. Keelah se'lai." The entire galaxy is in a state of war. Everyone is stressed. Faced with the destruction of your homeworld, even one you're so close to reclaiming, will make you stressed out even if your commanding officer and intergalactic icon is there with you.

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donchipotle

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@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

The real ending is the ending we got. The DLC isn't going to change that.

They've already said they're doing something with it. Whether they are adding onto the literal interpretation of the ending, or confirming the Indoctrination Theory is unknown, but they've said they're doing something with it.

Yes, but that something isn't altering the content of the ending so much as it is adding closure. They have said as much.

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@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

The real ending is the ending we got. The DLC isn't going to change that.

They've already said they're doing something with it. Whether they are adding onto the literal interpretation of the ending, or confirming the Indoctrination Theory is unknown, but they've said they're doing something with it.

Yes, but that something isn't altering the content of the ending so much as it is adding closure. They have said as much.

Which could be Shepard waking up, like he does in the "Shepard Lives" ending, and then it turns out he was dreaming, and then the real ending happens.

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@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle: Right, except now all those stressors that the individual team mates feel is ALL put on Shepards shoulders. He deals with the situation on Palaven, Tuchanka, Rannoch, etc... The individuals are stressed, but Shepard is the one who has to decide the solutions.

Except Shepard doesn't solve the problem on Palaven and he may or may not solve the problem on Tuchanka or Rannoch. And just because he helps out doesn't make the situation any less stressful for those involved. It's not like Tali goes "Gee thanks, Shepard, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that you're here. I'll just be down in engineering whistling. Keelah se'lai." The entire galaxy is in a state of war. Everyone is stressed. Faced with the destruction of your homeworld, even one you're so close to reclaiming, will make you stressed out even if your commanding officer and intergalactic icon is there with you.

But what you're not getting from what I'm saying is Tali is not as stressed about Palaven the way Shepard is. Garrus is not stressed about Rannoch like Shepard is. Wrex is not stressed about Earth like Shepard is. They all have their individual stress, but it's up to Shepard to decide for ALL of that stuff combined. Whether or not he successfully deals with Palaven, Tuchanka, and Rannoch is irrelevant. What matters is that the burden of all the combined choices are left to Shepard.

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donchipotle

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@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@SuperWristBands said:

Indoctrination isn't an illusion. It is all taking place in Shepard's mind.

In which case who activated the physical Crucible?

No one. None of that happened. The real ending is going to be in the DLC.

The real ending is the ending we got. The DLC isn't going to change that.

They've already said they're doing something with it. Whether they are adding onto the literal interpretation of the ending, or confirming the Indoctrination Theory is unknown, but they've said they're doing something with it.

Yes, but that something isn't altering the content of the ending so much as it is adding closure. They have said as much.

Which could be Shepard waking up, like he does in the "Shepard Lives" ending, and then it turns out he was dreaming, and then the real ending happens.

No, because that is altering the content of the ending. You know, the ending. With the space elevator. And the part where it ends.

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle: Right, except now all those stressors that the individual team mates feel is ALL put on Shepards shoulders. He deals with the situation on Palaven, Tuchanka, Rannoch, etc... The individuals are stressed, but Shepard is the one who has to decide the solutions.

Except Shepard doesn't solve the problem on Palaven and he may or may not solve the problem on Tuchanka or Rannoch. And just because he helps out doesn't make the situation any less stressful for those involved. It's not like Tali goes "Gee thanks, Shepard, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that you're here. I'll just be down in engineering whistling. Keelah se'lai." The entire galaxy is in a state of war. Everyone is stressed. Faced with the destruction of your homeworld, even one you're so close to reclaiming, will make you stressed out even if your commanding officer and intergalactic icon is there with you.

But what you're not getting from what I'm saying is Tali is not as stressed about Palaven the way Shepard is. Garrus is not stressed about Rannoch like Shepard is. Wrex is not stressed about Earth like Shepard is. They all have their individual stress, but it's up to Shepard to decide for ALL of that stuff combined. Whether or not he successfully deals with Palaven, Tuchanka, and Rannoch is irrelevant. What matters is that the burden of all the combined choices are left to Shepard.

Tali is as stressed about Earth and Palaven as anyone else. Losing a planet to the Reapers is getting one step closer to eradication. Dealing with mortality on top of everything else adds to stress. Shepard has always had a 'in the moment' kind of attitude and he never really comes off as stressed, especially in game when he spends so much time dicking around the Citadel and talking about feelings.

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@DonChipotle: No, they're not. They're adding onto it. If you get the Shepard Lives ending, that's the last thing you see before the credits. They wouldn't be changing a single thing about that. It still happens exactly the way it did, but it would be revealed that it was all a dream.

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@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle: No, they're not. They're adding onto it. If you get the Shepard Lives ending, that's the last thing you see before the credits. They wouldn't be changing a single thing about that. It still happens exactly the way it did, but it would be revealed that it was all a dream.

No, it won't be revealed that it was all a dream because that would make no sense because then they'd have to add in the part where the game ends since if it was all a dream the problem has yet to be resolved.

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@DonChipotle: I guess I don't agree with you. Being stressed by "oh my god Palaven blew up, is Rannoch next" is different then "god damnit I have to decide something that will appease everyone to the point where they can come help get the damned reapers off earth." There is multiple indications in the game that Shepard is way more stressed then others. He questions Hackett as to why he's in charge of this mission. He states that he's a regular soldier, even when other say nope, you a legend. Dicking around on the Citadel is is just a consequence of it being a game, where you need to... you know... play... It can't all be fight fight fight. There needs to be downtime, and that doesn't affect the actually story scenarios which show how Shepard is the one who has to deal with everything.

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@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle: No, they're not. They're adding onto it. If you get the Shepard Lives ending, that's the last thing you see before the credits. They wouldn't be changing a single thing about that. It still happens exactly the way it did, but it would be revealed that it was all a dream.

No, it won't be revealed that it was all a dream because that would make no sense because then they'd have to add in the part where the game ends since if it was all a dream the problem has yet to be resolved.

Exactly. The point isn't that BioWare thought this was some brilliant way to end the game and keep people talking about it for weeks. It's because EA wanted to make more money, and they know enough people will buy it to offset whatever other people would be too disgruntled to buy the DLC.

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Indoctrination Theory is pretty cool ... right up until you figure out plot holes. Like:

  • What's with the Normandy and its people being entirely somewhere else?
  • Why bother having any of the colourful explosions and following events, if you've been indoctrinated or regained control anyway? Wouldn't you either wake up straight away, or see a visual representation of you losing your mind?
  • Why aren't some of your party members being indoctrinated too, considering that they were under extreme pressure (Tali especially) when in the presence of a dead Reaper (which has been demonstrated to still cause indoctrination)?
  • If Bioware really did intend to do this ending, why would they give up in the literal last five minutes and stick in a shitty ending?
  • Is it possible that people are just extrapolating because they want the truth to not be the truth?

I would love ID Theory to be true, but it's not really feasible. Seems to me to be an excuse to avoid disappointment, which I believe is escapist and irrational.

EDIT: Also, why the hell is Shepard not being like Shepard? If my Shepard were being faced with the three coloured choices, he'd say "Fuck this" or some equivalent, use his radio (which he's shown to still have) to come pick him up, or blow up the Catalyst from orbit, or something other than "Well, I guess I'm just a pawn now, absolutely no way I can decide to do things my way rather than what I've been doing these past three years."

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@RPGeesus said:

Indoctrination Theory is pretty cool ... right up until you figure out plot holes. Like:

  • What's with the Normandy and its people being entirely somewhere else?
  • Why bother having any of the colourful explosions and following events, if you've been indoctrinated or regained control anyway? Wouldn't you either wake up straight away, or see a visual representation of you losing your mind?
  • Why aren't some of your party members being indoctrinated too, considering that they were under extreme pressure (Tali especially) when in the presence of a dead Reaper (which has been demonstrated to still cause indoctrination)?
  • If Bioware really did intend to do this ending, why would they give up in the literal last five minutes and stick in a shitty ending?
  • Is it possible that people are just extrapolating because they want the truth to not be the truth?

I would love ID Theory to be true, but it's not really feasible. Seems to me to be an excuse to avoid disappointment, which I believe is escapist and irrational.

All of that is also a dream. That's the thing. The Normandy wasn't somewhere else, and the lightning didn't spread across the galaxy destroying the Relays.

Also, it doesn't show what happens to Garrus, Tali, etc when Shepard has the Indoctrination Dream at the end. They could very well be going through the same thing.

EA wants more money, so the real ending is (possibly) going to be DLC. I don't think BioWare intended that, but it's what has (possibly) happened.

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donchipotle

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle: I guess I don't agree with you. Being stressed by "oh my god Palaven blew up, is Rannoch next" is different then "god damnit I have to decide something that will appease everyone to the point where they can come help get the damned reapers off earth." There is multiple indications in the game that Shepard is way more stressed then others. He questions Hackett as to why he's in charge of this mission. He states that he's a regular soldier, even when other say nope, you a legend. Dicking around on the Citadel is is just a consequence of it being a game, where you need to... you know... play... It can't all be fight fight fight. There needs to be downtime, and that doesn't affect the actually story scenarios which show how Shepard is the one who has to deal with everything.

He questions Hackett not out of stress but because he is just a soldier. There are probably others more qualified to deal with a diplomatic summit and with foreign relations, especially given his past dealings with a known terrorist organization. It's like telling a Marine to negotiate with the U.N. Just because that marine may have done some fancy heroics that doesn't mean he should be in charge of political dealings. There's more than one Admiral in the fleet and more than one human politician. Shepard has always followed orders, be it from the Council, Hackett, or Illusive Man. Just because they gave him free reign on how to get the job done, at the end of the mission he still had to file a report.

The entire crew is shown to be just as stressed, if not more so, than Shepard. The exceptions being the newcomers because EDI is worrying about love or something, Javik is Javik, and James is the center that keeps everyone grounded because he isn't stressed about anything. The talks Garrus has with Victus shows that he is cracking. Asking him about his family shows that he is cracking. But he has to put on the game face when he's in the dirt because that's what a soldier does. Shepard never comes off as stressed until he wakes up from the dreams and after Thessia, and that Thessia part is only because he has to cope with failure. Fact is, he has nothing to be stressed about when he resolves problems because that is less he has to worry about when it comes to galactic readiness.

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@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@DonChipotle: No, they're not. They're adding onto it. If you get the Shepard Lives ending, that's the last thing you see before the credits. They wouldn't be changing a single thing about that. It still happens exactly the way it did, but it would be revealed that it was all a dream.

No, it won't be revealed that it was all a dream because that would make no sense because then they'd have to add in the part where the game ends since if it was all a dream the problem has yet to be resolved.

Exactly. The point isn't that BioWare thought this was some brilliant way to end the game and keep people talking about it for weeks. It's because EA wanted to make more money, and they know enough people will buy it to offset whatever other people would be too disgruntled to buy the DLC.

You are implying that this was the plan all along? That they would effectively troll its fanbase with a non-ending and then go "hahahah, just kidding, guys, now give us ten bucks and we'll give you the REAL ending"?

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If all of that is a dream, then fuck the endings even more. That is an incredibly short-sighted, limiting and overall bullshit justification for anything.

Unless it was all the imaginings of an autistic child looking into a snow-globe. That might be okay.

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I was already sold on the whole idea of an illusion and all that. Ever since the Beta of Mass Effect 3, I had found that the kid was a strange thing, that only Shepard was seeing him for some reason. What that video (I didn't feel like reading anything else right now) is saying seems pretty legit. I haven't watched all of it yet, but so far everything fits together too perfectly for it all to be a coincidence.

If this stuff is true (and I honestly would not mind buying a "true ending" DLC if that were to happen; money they earn, I say), Mass Effect is one of the greatest works of all time, in my opinion, and written by some of the greatest writers (and company) of all time. To have all that crazy stuff connect through three games that were great by themselves, well, I'm impressed.

Anyway, I was never sold on the idea that this ending sucked, I thought, "OK, so where are they going with this?" Until now, I didn't have actual evidence of the theory, so thanks for this video.

Oh, and people definitely overreacted to the ending. It just doesn't make sense to have such a bad ending.

EDIT: Finished the video. Everything checks out for me; though, I'm kind of pissed that I didn't realize all that stuff as I played Mass Effect 3 (but who did, anyway?), and that I got a bad end with Synthesis. I knew that something weird was going on when I got to the final decision, I just knew it. I don't even mean just the child, the decision didn't make sense. Anderson is bad, Illusive Man is good, the kind-of-cool-sounding Synthesis (as shown in the green pulse "space magic," not the Husks) was so-so? It's Reaper trickery.

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Please, April. End this.

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@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

If I recall correctly it took Saren and Benezia about a week, maybe more, to get indoctrinated? That was a week inside an active Reaper.

Even then, Saren was able to become of it and doubt his beliefs, at which point Sovereign forced physical modifications on him to make him more compliant. And even then he could resist.

Hard to believe Shepard (the one who sparked that resistance in Saren, if you made that choice) would become indoctrinated so quickly after so little contact (and virtually no prolonged contact). Or that he would so quickly reach a critical point in the indoctrination process where he would make a decision to either become indoctrinated or not (a choice that never seems to happen to indoctrinated; yes it's a series of bad choices but never a singluar choice out of the blue followed by obedience). Let alone that Shepard could get fooled by the Reapers into getting indoctrinated (which, again, we have no reason to believe would ever happen in the indoctrination process).

As far as we know, the indoctrination process takes the form of whispers in the back of your mind, echoing twisted beliefs and motivations, commands and reassurance. Not an elaborate dream sequence, seeming to continue from where you left off in waking, in which character projections from your life debate with you.

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I loved this game. Reading all of this shit makes me never want to see anything Mass Effect related again. I fucking hate all of you.

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@TheHT said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

@LiquidPrince said:

@DonChipotle said:

Indoctrination is stupid and people should not believe it.

How so?

@onan said:

This is going to get shut down pretty quick. But to answer your question, the problem with ID Theory is that it means that ME3 had no ending, just a hallucination that abruptly ends at the climax. It's all very clever, but still not a good ending because it didn't end. This can work, and has worked in stuff like Inception, but it wasn't handled well. Any way you slice it, all of the endings are pretty terrible from a narrative perspective.

Maybe. Synthesis makes good sense, if you disregard the ID theory though.

Because it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that Shepard would be indoctrinated so easily after such little time, especially given that his longest exposure was to a derelict Reaper for all of an hour, give or take. If it were so easy to indoctrinate someone in such a short time, way more people would be indoctrinated since it would be the easiest way for the Reapers to do their dirty work. Not to mention that with the indoctrination theory the game doesn't end. Assuming it is all some crappy dream, nothing is resolved. The Reapers are still fucking everyone up while Shepard is literally dying under inexplicable rubble. How is that an ending? At least with Synthesis there is an actual close to the story. If it is all some hallucination there is no close, no wrap up. It assumes that, if this is what BioWare intended that they always wanted to ship a game with no ending just to nickel and dime the consumer.

But he's been in contact with Reaper tech since ME1. Also, in the new theory video I posted, (which has some compelling evidence to support this via in game audio) when someone is under stress, the indoctrination process because way easier, even to strong willed individuals. Sheaprd is under massive stress after arrival, or if you never played that, after the collector base, and Harbinger even mentions this.

If I recall correctly it took Saren and Benezia about a week, maybe more, to get indoctrinated? That was a week inside an active Reaper.

Even then, Saren was able to become of it and doubt his beliefs, at which point Sovereign forced physical modifications on him to make him more compliant. And even then he could resist.

Hard to believe Shepard (the one who sparked that resistance in Saren, if you made that choice) would become indoctrinated so quickly after so little contact (and virtually no prolonged contact). Or that he would so quickly reach a critical point in the indoctrination process where he would make a decision to either become indoctrinated or not (a choice that never seems to happen to indoctrinated; yes it's a series of bad choices but never a singluar choice out of the blue followed by obedience). Let alone that Shepard could get fooled by the Reapers into getting indoctrinated (which, again, we have no reason to believe would ever happen in the indoctrination process).

As far as we know, the indoctrination process takes the form of whispers in the back of your mind, echoing twisted beliefs and motivations, commands and reassurance. Not an elaborate dream sequence, seeming to continue from where you left off in waking, in which character projections from your life debate with you.

But he's been in contact with Reaper related stuff since ME1. And in Arrival he gets knocked out for three days in which anything could have happened, especially considering how everyone in Arrival was indoctrinated by Harbinger.