Mass Effect 3 $$(ENDINGS SPOILERS)$$

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Reverend, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    OK, since I've now finished my first playthrough and it looks like the other ME3 thread is becoming increasingly filled with spoiler tags, I've decided to start a new discussion to be fair to those that haven't finished the game yet.

    So, last warning. Spoilers ahead!
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    First thing I want to get off me chest is, of course the bloody endings! I'd heard this has caused a bit of an uproar before I even started the game and I've no doubt there's an apocalyptic going on over on the official bioware forums, so I don't want this to turn into a rant...still...gah!

    OK, my *major* problem with this is that no matter which of the three options you choose, it effectively renders ALL of your hard work up until this point utterly meaningless.
    By destroying the entire relay network, all the races have become totally scattered and isolated from one-another, all the homeworlds are devastated with no hope of getting help to rebuild. The various Asari populations are going to be OK as they can reproduce with anything, but what about the Turians and Quarians stuck in places where the local food is poisonous to them?

    Also, how the hell did the Normandy end up mid-relay transit with Liara & EDI on board? Last I checked the Normandy was with the other fleets, EDI was at the command post and I'd assumed Liara was killed in the final run to the conduit.

    Most of all though, I felt it robbed my Shepard of a well earned happy ending. You know, retirement, beach front property and lots of little blue children?

    Other than that, the game was a tour de force! Such a fantastic build-up and they screw up the ending? Typical!
     
  2. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Heh, I was debating whether it was finally time to start a spoilers spin-off thread.

    Here's what I said in spoiler tag in the original thread:
    And here are some more thoughts from PM conversation with Deks:
    On that note of "future DLC," a supposed low-level BioWare employee has "leaked" a short list of planned items.
    [​IMG]
    The Omega idea and the two packs (since we've received those two in the past for ME2) feel like "truth" to me - and there was a BioWare Pulse episode a while back that showed Shepard fighting with one asari squad member who was not Liara.
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^I'd say the "Rescue DLC" bit has the distinct odour of bovine excrement about it.

    I agree that the techno-organic fusion option was the only one that made any kind of sense and I would have been *fine* with Shepard not surviving IF the ending had more meaning. And yes, the thing with the Normandy makes no bloody sense whatsoever.

    I don't mind the trite epilogue with the two decendents of Normandy's stranded crew, though it comes off as unintentionally bleak when you consider that they can only be human or Asari. Tali and Garrus are the only ones of their race aboard, so as far as they're concerned they're both the last of their race.

    I suppose in the long run they could reverse engineer reaper FTL drives that are able to travel between clusters in a matter of months or years, but the aforementioned epilogue appears to rule that out.


    P.S. Nothing to do with the ending, but did anyone else totally call what sanctuary was about the instant they heard it mentioned on the citadel? Watching Logan's Run finally paid off! ;)

    [Edit]

    P.P.S. It just now occurred to me; what the hell happened to that sub-plot from ME2 about dark energy affecting stars? We were led to believe that it would play a significant part in ME3, were we not?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  4. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    What do you guys think of the indoctrination theory?
     
  5. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    I liked this view of a fan ending, it actually gives you a reason for getting the different fleets. The current ending does it really matter if your cure the genophage or bring peace to the quarians and geth, in the end those decisions amount to a few hundred points and a different variation to a different color light beam

    http://arkis.deviantart.com/art/Mass-Effect-3-Alternate-Endings-SPOILERS-289902125
     
  6. HotRod

    HotRod Commander Red Shirt

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    I honestly don't know what Bioware was thinking. They made what might be the greatest trilogy in the history of gaming, but somehow managed to totally screw up the last 10 minutes. Like, really......no matter which ending you pick, EVERYONE you knew or cared about is royally screwed over.

    The Turians: Palaven is likely in ruin and without the Mass Relays to bring in outside support, it will likely stay in ruin. Plus, the Turians are now leaderless as the Primarch is trapped in the Sol system. Plus Garrus likely starves to death, wherever he may be.

    The Krogans: Stuck with their radioactive mess of a home world and leaderless as Wrex is trapped in the Sol System. So much for Wrex starting a family and leading the Krogans to a new beginning.

    The Quarians: Sure they got their homeworld back, but without the means to bring in outside supplies it will be very difficult to rebuild. Plus they lost several of the Live Ships as they are trapped in the Sol System. So much for Tali building that house on the homeworld.....Wherever she is, be it earth or trapped on that planet the Normandy crashed on, she will likely starve to death as she can't eat the food. Sames goes for the thousands of other Quarians trapped in the Sol System, tho I suppose they do have the Live Ships.

    The Humans: If your lucky, Earth is in ruin. Without outside aid I can see life being very very difficult for the survivors.

    The Citadel: All those people you helped out are likely dead or "Husked". And even if they were hiding away in some corner somewhere, it looks to me like the Citadel blew up. So there goes another what.....13 million.....

    The Asari: World in ruin, in need of outside aid.....It aint coming.

    And don't even get me started on what the blue hell the Normandy was doing in a Relay. Why the fuck would Joker take it away from the battle to end all battles. Plus how the hell did any of my squadmates get aboard when they were fighting on earth minutes before!

    I LOVE Bioware. I had complete faith in them. They need to FIX THIS. We thankfully live in an age where it can be done through patch or dlc or whatever. I don't care if it's free, or cost me an arm and a leg. I just want this fixed. All will be forgiven and Mass Effect will take it's rightful place as one of the greatest game experiences in history.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  7. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I might have been okay with the endings until the Normandy sequence. It wouldn't have been great, but it wouldn't have been completely insulting.

    It's the Normandy segment that kills it. Destroy the Citadel and the relays? Fine. The universe will just have to adapt. Put everyone back on the Normandy and plop it down on some planet light years away from where it should be? That's the kind of thing that demands explanation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  8. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Normandy segement makes no sense, but I'm willing to ignore it until it's explained.

    The Control and Synthesis endings both make sense to me, and are fine. But the Destroy one spits on my hard work cooperating with the geth, etc.

    If it was just Destroy The Reapers, I'd have been happy. Two words different, Bioware. Two words different.
     
  9. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I feel like all three choices amount to, basically, a slap in the face to every single person that's ever played Mass Effect. Not only that, but the ending is also a franchise-killer. Without the mass relays, all of galactic society is destroyed. Sure, conventional FTL still exists, but IIRC the fastest drives can only take you about a dozen light-years in a day. Three games and thousands of hours of gameplay add up to a gigantic waste of everyone's time. There's no closure, and worst of all, no point.

    The entire story of Mass Effect from the very beginning has been about Shepard searching for a way to end the cycle of destruction and forge a new path for the galaxy. The choices that were presented to us at the end ignore the whole point of this story. The Reapers warn Shepard that he's (I know not everyone plays a male, but I don't feel like typing he/she all the time) fighting uselessly against inevitability, but he soldiers on regardless, determined to circumvent the fate the Reapers have laid out for the galaxy and create a new future for everyone.

    The solution to fixing the ending is so simple, I don't see how BioWare couldn't have thought of it. This whole time, Shepard has been taking what the Reapers have been telling him and throwing it right back in their faces, refusing them and finding his own way. When the Catalyst presented Shepard with the two options, Shepard should have been able to tell the Catalyst to go frak itself and reprogram the Illusive Man's signal to kill the Reapers, rather than take control of them. He then should have been able to use the Crucible to transmit the signal through the mass relay network and kill every Reaper in the galaxy, without harming the relays themselves. This would leave the galaxy devoid of Reapers, but still able to use the relay network. Now, whether or not Shepard survives this act isn't really important. Sure, I'd prefer that he lived, but I don't mind him being a martyr. I just hate that all of the endings we were given essentially render everything pointless.

    And I don't really care if what did happen was just Shepard dreaming, or hallucinating, or whatever. That's even worse than it having actually happened, I think. If you're going to stick everybody with a crap ending that ruins the story, at least have the balls to make it real.
     
  10. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I already posted my long ranty thing in the other thread. Basically, I agree with the main points raised here - the endings make everything that happened up to that point in the game irrelevant. They are also strange, dystopian answers to a trilogy that never dipped its toe in those particular waters, so the whole sequence sort of came out of nowhere. I also dislike the Normandy scene, which makes absolutely no sense.

    The whole thing is a confused mess with no proper resolution, and it snapped me right out it. I'm just glad it's a couple of days later now; I don't feel as aimless as I did when I finished it. I'd been playing it all day long, from like 10am till 5am the next day. I just got so caught up in everything - it had been brilliant up that point. It just seemed like I could have gone to bed if I'd known it wasn't worth it in the end.
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just now found out that you need 4000 effective points to get the "best" ending and after a quick look at an earlier save it turns out I only have something like 3700. What did I do wrong!? I save the rachni queen *twice*, I saved the destiny ascension, rewrote the geth heretics and made them all individuals, I gave the quarrians back their home, cured the genophage...etc, etc. I have a hard time seeing how not being able to complete the Aria: Eclipse mission (due to a bug I might add) or complete the Kasumi mission (*another* bug) and a handful of sidequests I didn't know needed to be turned in before the Priority: Tuchanka mission.

    Anyone know at what stage the points are taken into account? Is it before the final jump to Sol or can I load from the last Citadel autosave?
    Come to think of it, how much of a difference does it make? I'm not sure I can be bothered to replay that whole sequence again just to see if things turn out *slightly* less crappy.
    If all it takes is a few games of multiplayer to make up the 7.5% I need
     
  12. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For the achievement, it's supposedly when you make the jump to the Illusive Man's base (where the post-game autosave kicks you back to). To just get a better ending...? No idea whether you have to go back that far or the autosave's good enough.

    Not much of one, if you were already at 3700. You need to be over 3000 to get Synthesis available. Over 4000 lets Shepard live if you chose to destroy all synthetic life, and can get you a slightly longer cutscene with the dying Anderson, but there's no substantial difference in the endings.
     
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You need 4000 EMS to avoid Shepard die when picking 'destroy synthetics' option.

    I personally think the indoctrination/hallucination theory fits what we saw but we have no way of knowing that Bioware intended it like that or that the 'real ending' (if there is one), will be released as a DLC.
    The final options are so 'reaper-like' and presented as 'absolutes' (whatever happened to the notion that just because there are repeating patterns there are also bound to be ever so minute variables that can easily throw the 'repetition' line out the airlock?).

    Why must all synthetic life die in order to destroy the Reapers?
    That option completely invalidates my Quarian/Geth peace, not to mention EDI's growth as a self-aware AI both of which demonstrate that synthetics don't have to always turn on their creators in an attempt to destroy all organic life (which in a sense is what the Reapers are doing by justifying it through 'preservation in Reaper form for your own protection' - a statement that by itself means little to the organic races that are about to be 'preserved' seeing the death tolls) and all were working together to stop the Reapers.

    I can understand what Bioware might have wanted to do, but seriously, the current ending leaves way too many questions into the air riddled with plot holes/inconsistencies that throw everything out of whack.
     
  14. Evil Twin

    Evil Twin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You'll need to do a little multiplayer to get your EMS above 5000. Don't worry though, it doesn't really take that long. Maybe 2 hour or so to get your galactic readiness to about 75%, which should do the trick.

    Finally finished it myself after staying up late last night, and yeah, not terribly happy with the ending either. I chose the synthesis option which is probably the happiest, relatively speaking. I kind of wish they at least went for the Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal type ending, which had text descriptions of what happens to all your party members afterwards, and was very satisfying as a result. Aside from the ending however, I thought the game was fantastic. I was a bit doubtful about it at the start, with Earth, Mars, and the limited Citadel, but once you finish the Turian mission the game really opens up and becomes great. So many wonderful character moments if you're thorough about talking to everyone on the Normandy after every mission, and lots of great encounters on the Citadel as well.
     
  15. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    I do enjoy how you spend all this time gathering all of these forces to your side over the past 3 games (Rachni, Krogran, Geth, Quarian), and in the end, did any of that matter at all? Do we see Rachni forces attacking Reapers? or Krograns in battle? No, all it did was add to some number so you could get a different color ray beam and earth survives.

    Its just a load of crap.
     
  16. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also read on the wiki that you can buy war assets in the multiplayer as well, but I don't know how true it is.
     
  17. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    So possible reasons why all of a sudden Normandy is leaving the Relay and Why Shepard is in the rubble (Because it totally looks out of place):

     
  18. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    EXILE + ATTON = GUUUUUUSH!!!! (pic by aimo)
    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booBmcFw_Lk[/yt]

    There's the extra Anderson stuff anyway.
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't take long at all, just two bronze missions with location & enemies set to "unknown" and it was enough to earn 9% extra. Good god I was useless though! I miss my more capable MP characters from the demo.

    Anyway, I did that, checked in a pre-London save to make sure the points were over the 4000 mark then loaded the Citadel autosave. No change as far as I can see, though this time I chose the "control" ending so that might have affected things.

    On another note, the dark energy thing (or lack thereof) made me wonder at what else seemed oddly absent.
    So, in no particular order: -

    - Did we ever see any dragons teeth, anywhere in the game? Even before that 'Take Back Earth' trailer I fully expected to see Vlad the Impaler style fields of those things but I don't think I spotted even one.

    - What happened to Parasini? From her appearance in ME2 I'd have expected some follow up. Preferably a cameo, but an email at least? On a similar note, Shiala and Rana get reduced to mere mention; the former leading a commando team as a war asset, the latter going nuts and killing herself off screen.

    - Wasn't there supposed to be a story behind that mech dog? All I got was an email from the engineer that accidentally left it behind.

    - Perhaps the most glaring omission; in the 'From Ashes' DLC, so we're on Eden Prime, but where the hell were the damn gas bags! :p

    Finally, what was the point of that embedded reporter? You only ever give two interviews and next to no conversation outside of that (though I gather she was a romance option.) Also, if they wanted to have such a character then why create a new one voiced by some obscure internet journalist? Why not reuse Emily Wong, or hell, just for kicks why not al-Jilani? We had two perfectly viable journalist characters already established, so why create a new one and then do next to nothing with her?
     
  20. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    This was from BSN, it is response to someone complaining about people complaining about the game. Its a long read, but it is good.

    DEUS EX MACHINA:

    You're getting your literary devices mixed up. The Crucible is not deus ex machina, it is a MacGuffin. It's largely irrelevant except as a plot device. It is the exhaust port on the Death Star.

    The narrative of ME3 is not about finding the Crucible, it is about building the greatest alliance ever seen in the galaxy (which the Crucible, as a plot device, allows to happen).

    Why the Catalyst AI and his Monty Hall spiel of the Adjust Hue/Saturation is a deus ex machina is that it is the resolution to the narrative. The fact that he is also literally a "god from the machine" is irrelevant, albeit ironic. He is a deus ex machina in the literary sense, i.e. a handwaved contrivance that shows up out of the blue to quickly whisk away all the dangling story threads, and to abruptly end the story.

    This is abysmal writing. This is abysmal game design; a Pick Your Own Adventure book where all choices take you to the same final chapter. It is counter to everything this game is. And what is this game?

    In a recent Extra Credits, Portnow discussed core elements of a game. The Mass Effect series is really not a third person shooter. It is also really not a roll-the-dice-and-level-up CRPG. Mass Effect is, at its core, interactive fiction. All the memorable moments in these games take place in cutscenes that play out in myriad ways based on prior choices. You are role-playing in the most literal sense of crafting a character's personality based on your choices. The climax of Mass Effect 2 was not shooting the Human Reaper in the eye, the climax of Mass Effect 2 were the cutscenes that played and showed the results of your actions. Did you defy TIM? Did your crewmates survive? If your choices were poor enough, you could defeat the final boss, only to make a desperate leap towards the Normandy with no one to catch you.

    The desperate leap in Mass Effect 3 is your dash towards the Beam. The only input that matters at all past this point is the encounter with TIM. That encounter is true to Mass Effect, and honors your previous choices, and provides closure for the secondary antagonist.

    But for the main antagonist (Reapers), nothing you did matters. You are given three arbitrary choices to solve a problem that, depending on your actions, may be proven to be a false dilemma in the first place. If you saved both the Quarians and the Geth, witnessed Legion's messianic sacrifice, and humanized EDI - the Catalyst's claim of organic/synthetic conflict being unavoidable is patently false.

    The Catalyst AI is completely incongruous with the narrative and the themes of the game. It shows up, provides a complete strawman of a conflict, and then offers three vapid, plot-hole ridden resolutions to this conflict, which abruptly end the narrative in a blinding flash of Space Magic (pick your color!).

    CHOICES DON'T MATTER

    Again, you're missing the point. No one is complaining about the preceding 30 hours of gameplay. Choices did seem to matter. Your treatment of the Rachni queen from two games ago ended up gaining you a seemingly valuable ally. Saving Wrex can gain a hopeful future for the Krogan. Your choices regarding Legion and the Migrant Fleet in ME2 have incredibly strong consequences in the seeming conclusion of the Geth/Quarian storyline. This is why we loved the game up to the ending.

    And the ending completely demolished all of it, and made it completely illusory. Who gives a **** if you saved the Rachni? They just end up giving you Space Points and don't affect your ending at all. Who gives a **** if the Quarians or Geth or both survived? They're all dead anyway. Who cares if you cured the genophage and saved the one leader who could lead the Krogan into a less brutish, more hopeful future? He's either trapped on earth or dead, and the radioactive husk that is Tuchanka cannot sustain their race without supplies anyway.

    And even more egregiously, the choices you made in the development of YOUR Shepard don't matter. She acts EXACTLY the same when facing the ultimate antagonist regardless of whether she's a Space Racist Renegade or Never Surrender Paragon or whatever your Shepard actually is, and what (insert pronoun) stands for.

    You accept Space Hitler's premise without argument, and dejectedly pick one of the three Slightly Less Turning Everyone Into Paste final solutions he has to offer.

    How does it matter in the slightest that I've done the frickin' impossible and united the Geth and the Quarians into a hopeful future, shown that we need not fear synthetic life, seen a nascent artificial sentience freely decide to set "Love and compassion" as their main motivation, and fought for the reactionary, bleak idea of "AI will always rebel" to be proven wrong? Space Hitler shows up, says "AI will always rebel, here are drastic fixes to this undeniable problem". And I go "yessuh"?

    WHY IS EVERYTHING SO SAD

    It's not sad. You are being incredibly myopic and dismissive of our experiences by reducing it to "y every1 has 2 diezorz?". The ending of the story is not actually sad, it's just anticlimactic, contrived, incongruous, and ridden with plot holes.

    The part that's sad and what's tearing me apart is that this is not a case of people writing themselves into a corner. This is not a case of glorified hacks like Ronald D. Moore or Cuse/Lindelof making **** up as they go along, to find themselves at the end with no way to tie all the crap together in a cathartic way.

    This is a beautifully written game, for the majority of the experience. Bioware has bona fide talent within their ranks. And the story, up to the very end, is redeemable in dozens of ways. Even the contrived, out-of-the-blue Star Child could be made into an interesting character by presenting it as a shackled AI who was given a specific, limited goal born of fear (stop AI from wiping out organic life forever), and it arrived at the grotesque solution of Reapers not because AI is evil, but the constraints never allow it to look past the false dilemma it's attempting to solve.

    Most importantly, this is not a TV show or a movie. This narrative is, by design, told in a unique medium which is NOT doomed to give us a singular ending. Our Shepards can be varied, yes, but there is a finite amount of paradigms that lead you to the end, and they could all have a cathartic, poignant, and persistent ending. Let the Renegades ascend to rule the galaxy. Let the Paragons defeat primitive fear and xenophobia.

    I do not care if the Relays have to go down, but don't do it in such a thoughtless way as to destroy everything meaningful I accomplished. I do not care if my Shepard dies. In fact, I expected her to go down in a blaze of glory, in the greatest battle that shall ever be fought, for the most meaningful (to her) victory a soldier could ever earn. She did not get this. I did not get this.

    TENS OF THOUSANDS of people didn't get this. We are not asking for a Disney ending. We are not asking for a dance party with Ewoks. We are just asking for our Big Damn Heroes to go out on their own terms, win or lose.