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blarkfase

Mass Effect 3 Ending

19 posts in this topic

That's nice. How about you post an opinion first.
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(I'll go ahead and warn of vague spoilers and possible deterrents in this post...)

Well, I haven't played through all of the campaigns to have as much of an established opinion as I should and I especially haven't played through ME3, so I don't really have a solid established opinion on the matter.

From the research I've done though, it seems like the ending was extremely lack luster and disappointing, especially given the game-play and story that made up the rest of the franchise. I've seen the alternate endings and they are all the same and don't seem to make sense when put into context.Their logic and approach to the end of it just seemed extremely abrupt and not well thought out at all. There seem to be lots of contradictions in the thought process of the new character that is introduced at the end that negates whatever you have done throughout the rest of the game (or series). I've also seen a lot of people complaining about not getting any closure at all in the ending, which is something I don't mind a lot in stories or games, but I think they took it way too far here.

Granted all of this may have come from a disagreement in the company that ruined the story or they ran out of time or something drastic like that, but it is disappointing to see a series that has done so well and promised so much in the way of a cohesive ending, just give in and make up some BS ending that allows for DLC that you have to buy and play through.

It's like the death of a comic book hero. That should be it and they should just stay dead, because that's what death is, but it never turns out that way.
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Too many questions unanswered. The list would exceed the post size limit, even without whitespace. But there is more than that. What bugs me the most is this :

[b][size=5]*SPOILERS AHEAD [size=4]if you haven't played at least ME2[/size]*[/size][/b]
The Reapers have periodically eradicated all advanced civilizations from the galaxy, some of which amounted to trillions of individuals according to Javik the Prothean. Every 50,000 years. For millions of years. Let's suppose it has lasted for 5 million years, and the average death toll at the end of each cycle is one trillion people. That's 500 trillion people dead. So Bioware has created a universe where 500 trillion people died at the hands of relentless, immortal machines who, according to the ones Shepard talks to, have a good reason for doing what they do. This poses a MASSIVE philosophical problem, questioning the very value of life and suggesting the possibility of a superior mode of existence, the reapers', that would justify mass murder of such a scale ! Yet Bioware didn't judge it necessary to provide an explanation.

Which leads me to think that they simply do not have an explanation. They had no reason to write this story in the first place, other than becuz it wuz kewl to hav biggazz macheenz destroy everything and make the player fight them. No reason.

The truth is, I could come up with several endings each a million times better than Bioware's, and I'm not the only one. They started writing the plot without knowing where it would go. At least they could have winged it somehow and come up with a story at the time they wrote Mass Effect 2 or 3, but no... All they could give their fan base is a deus ex machina telling the player, in essence, "we kill you so you won't be killed".
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[quote name='Promit' timestamp='1332463543' post='4924476']
Why are organics and synthetics doomed to fight? Because the dude said so.
[/quote]
You said it all, and contradicted yourself in doing so, didn't you ? You said that only the synthesis option makes sense, but it has no reason to be in the first place ! So why is this ending any better ? Emotionally speaking, I find it's the most bland of all three... In addition to that, the "we are synthetics and we kill all organics so they won't be killed by their synthetic creations" rationale is not exactly what I'd call sensible...[url="http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af134/gnosblax/yodawgme.jpg"]http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af134/gnosblax/yodawgme.jpg[/url]

But that's not what I mean to say here. The only occurrence of synthetics VS organics fight is in Geth vs. the Quarians and reapers vs the galaxy. Turians, Salarians, Asari, humans and Krogans (and Protheans !!) do not hold a grudge towards synthetics in particular just because they are synthetics. They do fear AIs somehow, as shown in several side quests and sometimes in dialogue, but the fight against synthetics is in no way an essential arc of the story, until the ending. It's simply the Quarians' fight. In much the same way as the Krogans' fight is against genophage and against their own desire to crush Turians and Salarians, because what they need is to reconquer their pride as a species, not through war but through reconciliation with the other species, and this is what Wrex has understood and strives for.
Same for the Salarians, whose fight is against their intrinsic weaknesses, which they have a history of compensating through the immoral use of technology as a weapon (STG, Mordin's regrets, Maleon's guilt, the Deletress).
The Turians' fight is against their contempt towards lesser races like Krogans (seen as brutes) and Quarians (seen as nomads, bohemians) and newcomers like humans, and towards acceptance, because they have to accept cooperation (the Turian councilor in ME1, executor Pallin in ME1, the Primarch, sorry for spelling mistakes i didn't have subtitles turned on).
As far as the Asari are concerned, I can't think of any specific ordeal they face, but they tend to alternate between bursts of racial pride and belittling themselves for being superficial, foul beings (the Ardat Yakshi are both powerful and criminal in a dirty way... they epitomize this paradox). The Asari in general are the "promiscuous biotics" of the galaxy...

So all in all, I believe this "synth vs organics" pretext at the end of the game was BS. The part of the game that revolves around it is way too small for it to justify the atrocities committed by the reapers. And it's not even the least bit explained. I really think the ending was rushed, maybe because of EA, and that Bioware came up with the "Reapers annihilating everything" story (some time between the middle of the development of ME1 and the start of the development of ME2 surely) without any other reason than just because it made for cool antagonists.
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[quote name='madshogo' timestamp='1332466072' post='4924487']
So all in all, I believe this "synth vs organics" pretext at the end of the game was BS. The part of the game that revolves around it is way too small for it to justify the atrocities committed by the reapers. And it's not even the least bit explained.
[/quote]This is really what I was getting at regarding the ending. The ending suggests that it should have been a central theme throughout, but it wasn't. The places where it would've been possible to make it a central theme, it wasn't really even present. It simply shows up at the end and is supposed to be a big deal because projected hologram kid said so. "Synthetics will destroy all organics." Why? There is no reason. But they said it so it must be true. I am projecting my own desires for how I wanted the game to go onto that ending, I will admit. I love what that ending [i]could[/i] have been.

The most emotional part of the synthesis ending is actually Joker and EDI, and has nothing to do with the Reapers or Earth or Shepard.
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Ok sorry for the misunderstanding. I can see soooo many alternate endings for this epic saga ! I'm full of ideas. I'm definitely gonna write one and post it in another topic. Ultra-long and complete. Taht would be weird though, because gamedev.net is about developing new games, not about "re-developing" already existing ones.
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Basically, Promit is lamenting the -fact- that the ME3 writers pulled the biggest taboo of writerdom: the [i]Deus Ex Machina[/i] (God out of the Machine). Its a literary term for what Bioware did: pulled a game-changer/ender out of their ass at the last minute that was non-alluded/non-expected/non-probable that completely changes the way the story is handled. This is often seen as [i][b]extremely[/b][/i] poor writing.

So you can imagine the general let-down from a fanbase when a company known for its stories, pulls one of the largest story taboos.
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I'm not really a Mass Effect guy, but it's interesting from a writing perspective.

I feel that it has been done better in sci-fi before, for example:

**** VARIOUS SPOILERS ****

Alastair Reynolds in his Revelation Space books has a machine intelligence which killed technologically advanced races only (not primitive ones) because it had a massive engineering task to perform (stopping the collision of the Milky Way Galaxy with another galaxy in a hundred thousand years from wiping out all life) and it viewed space-faring civilisations as too short-sighted and an unpredictable risk to it's project.

Babylon 5 had the Shadows, whose goal is not to kill all life but to strengthen it by weeding out the weak.

Ender's Game had aliens with a hive mind, who considered killing a few humans as no more terrible than killing a few skin cells during a handshake.

Various books have had AIs created for a war which continue long after their creators have gone extinct. All aliens are considered enemies.

Various books have had aliens or AIs that considered our civilisations as low-intelligence pests, or were too vast to comprehend that we were intelligent.
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[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1332708950' post='4925182']
Alastair Reynolds in his Revelation Space books has a machine intelligence which killed technologically advanced races only (not primitive ones) because it had a massive engineering task to perform (stopping the collision of the Milky Way Galaxy with another galaxy in a hundred thousand years from wiping out all life) and it viewed space-faring civilisations as too short-sighted and an unpredictable risk to it's project.
[/quote]
Nope. They weren't there to stop it, even they couldn't do that. They were there to prevent space faring life from interfering with their work, which was to move stars and planets around to avoid the extinction of life when the two galaxies DID collide (Andromeda and Milky Way specifically, which is actually going to collide with us). It was an interesting idea, although the wolves eventually failed when the greenfly emerged.

[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1332708950' post='4925182']
Ender's Game had aliens with a hive mind, who considered killing a few humans as no more terrible than killing a few skin cells during a handshake.
[/quote]
Well, they considered the first humans they contacted to be drones. As their own species was primarily composed of drones which were controlled by the queen and thus weren't actually individuals.
[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1332708950' post='4925182']
Babylon 5 had the Shadows, whose goal is not to kill all life but to strengthen it by weeding out the weak.
[/quote]
Well, the Shadow and the Vorlons had different ideals about how life should evolve and grow. The shadows embraced struggle as the mechanism to cause a species to grow and advanced.
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I worded the first point clumsily and you seem to have misread it. They were not stopping the collision, they were stopping it *from wiping out all life*.

Interpretation aside, I feel they are examples of more plausible directions the writers could have gone, rather than "we're killing you to stop you killing yourselves". There doesn't seem to be a plausible win condition by which the Reapers save more than they kill, at least in any way that the putative creators of the Reapers would approve of.
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Various spoilers ahead:


The biggest logical fallacy I see here is the kid (or whoever it was) saying that there is only salvation through destruction -- yet, one of the choices is merging synth and organic, to which the Reapers seem to be okay. Did such a possibility pop out of nowhere, or was it just a gigantic troll plot from the Deus ex Kid?

Before I commited to the ending, I gave it a lot of thought. Destuction was obviously a no-go, spent too much time brokering peace between the retarded Quarians and Geth. Synthesis, while probably easy, is a gigantic change in everyone's life -- a choice too big to take by a single person "because he/she thought it was good". It is akin to a man being granted a choice by God to change every human into females or males (reproduction issues aside) -- there is just too many voices and opinions and lives at stake. So, the control option seemed kind of legit, as the only one affected would be Shepard him/herself, and the Reapers would at least for some time go away.

In fact, controlling the Reapers could pretty much counter what each and every ending does to the game world -- destruction of the Mass Relays, effectivelly killing travel, commerce and galactic civilisations. With the Reapers under controll, the relays could be rebuilt (their technology after all) and galactic civilisations pushed even further in technology thanks to some selfless Reaper sacrifices. Then, people would eventually find out how to hybridize organics and synthetics, allowing the choice to become natural.

Eh, as the others said above, it is sloppy story-writing. hopefully the summer DLC will rectify things with a *TrollFace* "You thought that was the real ending? THINK AGAIN LOLOLOL".
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Two notes to make: ***Spoilers***

1) the Reapers do not extinguish ALL life, just advanced life. Synthetics or Organics alike, if they're advanced at the 50,000 year mark, they are harvested and/or destroyed. This is why the Human, Asari, Turian, Salarian, etc. races were not extinguished despite Javik (the Prothean) having had knowledge of their existence. They existed during the last Reaper harvest, but were all primitive races at the time, so the Reapers left them alone. The theory is that synthetic life, should it engage in warfare with organic life, would not have such restraint and would instead eliminate all sentient organic life.

2) ***BIGGER SPOILERS*** If you get the Geth and Quarians to work together, rather than taking a side, and later talk to Tali, she notes how the Geth, being software, are transferring into Quarian suits to assist in repairing the Quarian's atrophied immune system. This seems to me to be a big push towards the synthesis option, as the game is constantly changing who your enemies and allies are. Think ME1, you largely fight the Geth and Cerberus, and yet in ME2 you end up teaming up with both. ME2 you often find yourself fighting mercenaries, whom you enlist in 3. This is also the same with every race you ever fight in ME2, since you unite the galaxy agains the Reapers. With the Collectors being represented by Javik, the only enemy you have yet to team up with is the Reaper army, who your former ally the Illusive Man believes can be controlled and is right.

Just a thought.
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I am going to put my thoughts into it, after looking at all the endings and what not i believe that it is the "Indoctrination Theory". Shephard has had a lot of contact with the Reapers, there has to be some sort of indoctrination happening to him. I believe there will be a fourth game (or DLC but i doubt the DLC part) where you will play as a completely new person where you find out that the ending of ME3 was a lie, to try and convert Shephard into accepting the Reapers (ex: synthesis and control options) the right choice was to destory them, to completly reject them. I have my reasons for all of this so if someone wants me to explain them just ask.
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I think the whole ending should have been scrapped and the big weapon should actually have been a big weapon with a big boom and a lot of blown up reapers. Close out with a touching cut scene and everyone would have had their warm and fuzzies.

I think previous posters were right in pointing out that the reapers may well have been the antagonist just because they are really cool. If Bioware didn't hire enough philosophy/lit double majors to figure out something better, then they should have gone with their first instinct and done what was cool, big booms.
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well, the endings per se wasn't bad, but i really think bioware should have adopted the indocrination theory.

i'll miss Mass Effect [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png[/img]
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[quote name='Burning Hand' timestamp='1342938683' post='4961874']
I think the whole ending should have been scrapped and the big weapon should actually have been a big weapon with a big boom and a lot of blown up reapers. Close out with a touching cut scene and everyone would have had their warm and fuzzies.

I think previous posters were right in pointing out that the reapers may well have been the antagonist just because they are really cool. If Bioware didn't hire enough philosophy/lit double majors to figure out something better, then they should have gone with their first instinct and done what was cool, big booms.
[/quote]

Have to side with Burning Hand on this one. They went for artsy/deep and we got a jar of piss with ME1 and 2 in it. At least, had the secret weapon been an actual weapon, we would have been granted the satisfaction of taking down more Reapers, something that had been maintained even through ME3 as an incredibly tough feat. Gives you that ol' RPG sense of progress and accomplishment.
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if the crucible was a real weapon, humanity would lost. think, a gun that is the size of the citadel shooting reapers that are engaging the last fleet at earth's orbit. the reapers wouldn't be the only ones to be destroyed,
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I personally love the new reject ending. I didn't care for the old endings, but with reject sure we lost, but the entire series set it up that we were in a losing battle. The Prothean's lost, and were far more united then us. what we did do though is setup the next cycle to win the conventional battle, they are told straight up that the crucible does not work, so they'd never bother to build it(as i disagree with anyone whom claims they just made the same decisions in that cycle for victory). They were given schematics for the reaper weapons, the tatic's used in our battle's. and on top of that, from reading the codex, it's likly the next species to become space faring were the Yahg, a violent and highly intelligent species, who would build the weapons necessary to defeat the reapers.

so at the end of the day, we lost, for them to win. and i'm personally cool with that. Edited by slicer4ever
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