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Old January 25 2014, 03:55 AM   #2311
Reverend
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Re: Mass Effect 3

To be fair I suspect the thing with Revan and the Exile was more Lucasarts doing than Bioware or Obsidian's. By tradition I think the "light side" endings to most of their games that have such things are the ones considered canon. That is whatever passes for canon in the Expanded Universe.

Regardless, Shepard's gender, background and who she or he diddled is hardly likely to come up much. In DA2 the Warden was mentioned half a dozen times or more and I'm pretty sure gender pronouns were only used a few times and race referred to once in passing.

None of which would make it difficult to write a Mass Effect story set centuries after Shepard died. They just have to keep an eye on their word budget and work around it for the most part. They've already done some of the legwork with that "stargazers" epilogue by establishing that in the indeterminate future, Shepard will just be referred to as "The Shepard" and most of the details are "lost in time". That last part is more credible than you might think when you consider that no matter the ending choice, civilization just fell. When that happens, accurate record keeping and the preservation of old documents tends not the be a priority for a while.

Of course logically all one need to in theory is ask a Geth (if they're still around) as it's a fair bet they'd remember everything they ever knew of Shepard, but that's neither here nor there.
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Old January 26 2014, 10:55 PM   #2312
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Time can make real stories into myths...
Atleast that is one future presented at the end of Assasin's Creed 3...
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Old February 4 2014, 02:57 PM   #2313
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Jeyl wrote: View Post
I'm still bummed out that Earth, and therefore the human race gets to keep the Citadel to themselves. I'm going to miss the notion that for the first time in a long time the Earth didn't have much of a role in an action science fiction series as it was in in the first two games. But thanks the writers insistence that Shepard cares only about saving the Earth and the endings leaving the Citadel in Earth orbit (complete with the transport beam still in London) it's now the most important planet in the whole galaxy. How original.
That's one of my few issues with Mass Effect 2. The Reapers basing their next evolutionary step on humanity? Ugh.

The original Mass Effect did such a great job of conveying the wonder and awe of a mature, diverse galactic civilization in which humankind still had to find its place.

So refreshingly different from, say, the human-centric UFP in Star Trek despite the similarities in other areas of the fiction.
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Old February 17 2014, 01:18 PM   #2314
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Humanity wasn't to be their "next evolutionary step", just the next race selected for preservation in reaper dreadnought form. What criteria they used for this is a bit vague, but I think it has to do with adaptability and diversity. By that logic though, it's possible that in the last cycle it wasn't actually the protheans that got liquefied since those buggers came across as very culturally rigid.
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Old February 19 2014, 03:04 PM   #2315
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Re: Mass Effect 3

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Humanity wasn't to be their "next evolutionary step", just the next race selected for preservation in reaper dreadnought form.
Admittedly, "evolutionary step" was poor wording on my part.

Still, besides the fact that the Terminator Baby of Doom (tm) was more than a bit silly looking, it certainly smacked of Human exceptionalism to me - which is to say, my underlying point still stands.
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Old February 19 2014, 05:47 PM   #2316
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I don't disagree, but I can't say that it bothered me terribly. Part of the point of sci-fi is to explore the nature of humanity and ask what, if anything defines human nature as a whole, often via allegory. A common way to do that is to break human nature down into it's component parts and give an exaggerated sets of those traits to fictional alien species.

Star Trek did this allot, which is partly why a lot of the alien cultures come off as monolithic (eg: Vulcans = the rational mind & emotional repression. Klingons = violence, cunning & personal honor).

In that case I think Trek's answer was that humanity is defined by the desire to ask questions, to explore and the capacity to "leap beyone logic". Whereas in B5 I think the central idea was "humans build communities", that we can take many disparate ideas, beliefs and cultures and make them work together.

For Mass Effect it seems as though they're saying that humanity is exceptionally adaptable. Darwinism incarnate if you will. Of course none of these arguments are right or wrong. The point is to consider and meditate on the concepts.

So yeah, human's being "special" in ME didn't stick in my craw as it's in a very narrowly defined sense and we're otherwise shown as being far from perfect and by no means "better" than any other race. It just so happens that we fit a set of criteria a billion year old AI decided make a race worthy of preservation before it wipes the slate clean again.

If humans were show to be naturally "superior" to all other races in some tangible way, then yeah, that would have irked me.

Last edited by Reverend; February 19 2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old February 19 2014, 05:54 PM   #2317
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Re: Mass Effect 3

^ If you put it like that, it makes the whole thing seem a lot less offensive, for sure.

I just can't help but feel a distinct pang of disappointment after Mass Effect 1's great job of setting up a universe that seemed both familiar and different in that regard.

Oh well. I don't want to come across too negative here. It's still one of my favorite SciFi franchises of all time, across all types of media.
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Old February 19 2014, 09:21 PM   #2318
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I thought that after a few harvests the resources available to allow for creation of AI races that the Reapers wanted to stop war with would be spent or dispersed too much.

Ah well, the fun I had elsewhere in ME 2 and 3 made up for the and from some of the plot.
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Old February 19 2014, 09:21 PM   #2319
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Re: Mass Effect 3

While I agree that ME1 did very well in setting up a new sci-fi universe that seemed different from the norm (the norm being one where humans are already either the most dominant race in the galaxy, or at least one of the most dominant), there were hints of human exceptionalism even there. All throughout the game we encounter aliens talking about how quickly humans have embraced mass effect technology, how quickly they've spread out and how powerful they've already become in just the 30+ years since they even discovered the mass relays. (Don't get me started on that last bit, by the way; I think humans becoming so big and bad in thirty years is freaking ridiculous.)

Then they talk about how it normally takes centuries for a species to build up enough power and influence to earn a seat on the Council, yet humanity has earned one by the end of ME1. Again, far faster than any other species has ever done so before.

The Humans Are Special trope didn't start to become really blatant until ME2 and especially ME3, but the seeds of it were already present in ME1.
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Old February 20 2014, 03:28 PM   #2320
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Re: Mass Effect 3

^ True, although the context in which "Mankind being different" was portrayed was interesting - I mean, in being these bully-ish kind of reckless upstarts, humanity came across to the galactic community as kind of a bunch of dicks.

I liked that.

My first (Paragon) Shepard basically set out on a quest to improve humanity's reputation, which up to that point, was kinda shitty.
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Old February 21 2014, 04:48 AM   #2321
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Everyone thought humans were dicks and treated you like you were a dick. Alienating the player helps a bit with feeling like you're in a foreign place and maybe a bit over your head (but not too much!). I like to call it the Morrowind Effect.
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Old February 22 2014, 05:30 AM   #2322
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Re: Mass Effect 3

While I certainly have my issues with the sequels, Mass Effect 1 was essentially the story of how humanity came to power and/or dominance because of how exceptional it is. All four variations on the ending basically revolve around this theme.

While it's certainly valid to miss the feeling of humanity as the underdog, which was largely missing in the sequels, I don't think it's entirely fair to blame the sequels for continuing in that direction.

Besides, I think the series turns that particular trope on it's head in an amusing way. "Yes, you're exceptional, but you'd probably be better off if you weren't."
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Old February 24 2014, 09:30 PM   #2323
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Re: Mass Effect 3

-Brett- wrote: View Post
While I certainly have my issues with the sequels, Mass Effect 1 was essentially the story of how humanity came to power and/or dominance because of how exceptional it is. All four variations on the ending basically revolve around this theme.
I always saw those endings stemming more from where the player's loyalty truly lies. Are you loyal to the diverse vastness of the galaxy and all the species that inhabit it, or are you loyal to the human race with the belief that your species should be regarded as the top dog race that should be calling all the shots?

And to be honest, I don't really see how humanity is more "exceptional" than any other race in the game. Like I don't see why an Asari couldn't have done all the things that Shepard had done in the first game, or even a Turian for that matter. Shepard just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:54 PM   #2324
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Well this game still has a few little surprises left for me. Just played a little today with my renegade, turian romancing engineer and noticed a little easter egg on the Citadel. If you go to the docking bay holding area and look at the memorial wall, there's a photo in the bottom left that feature an image of the early X05 pre-release version of default Shepard and the words "John, call soon".

That's about as obscure as a video game self reference can get!
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Old March 13 2014, 05:23 PM   #2325
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I'm about to start ME3 for the final time, my last ever (and my personal canon) play-through of the entire trilogy, including all DLC.
Just recently completed my last play-through of ME2 after 6 months of on/off playing. Rather shamefully I zipped through ME1 on the easy setting since I find the game mechanics almost unplayable now which gave more time to enjoy the actual story.
I'd almost forgotten just how awesome the Shepard character is in ME2. In terms of character development, Shepard is at his best in ME2. It's also the most epic of the trilogy and IMO has the best characters.
ME1 has the best story, while ME3 has (for me) the best game-play, so looking forward to starting the final round.
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