ME3: The argument for/against Indoctrination Theory (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Destructor, Apr 30, 2012.

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Do you believe in Indoctrination Theory?

  1. Yes, the endgame of ME3 was a battle in Shepard's mind.

    3 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. No, the endgame of ME3 was literally what it appeared to be.

    12 vote(s)
    75.0%
  3. I don't know, there is not enough evidence either way.

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  1. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Firstly: Your aggressive tone is entirely unnecessary. We are spitballing about a computer game. GodBen managed to reply without being a jerk and his points came across all the more strongly for it.

    Secondly, the title of the thread is the argument for/against IT. Saying: "Look I can't be bothered making coherent points, just take my word for it that it's not true." is a worse argument than saying nothing at all.

    Since you can't be arsed, I'm actually going to go ahead and debunk my own arguments, because you're acting like I'm some sort of deranged fanatic who won't see reason. I actually WANT proof that IT is not true- it would be a relief to me! This is the whole point of this thread- to gather all evidence, for AND against. If anyone has any actual links to Bioware debunking the theory, please post them! Lots of talking about it, very little actual links.

    So, taking an extremely skeptical eye to the IT indicators:

    Explicit

    1. The trees in the end sequence: As you kindly pointed out Reverend, there are indeed trees on the right-hand side prior to the moment IT supposes the dream sequence starts. DEBUNKED

    2. The wound to Shepard's side: Could have been made during the battle, or Andersen could have shot Shepard as she shot him, or the Illusive Man could have shot Shepard as she shot Andersen. DEBUNKED

    3. The child and the dream sequences: As Reverend notes, these could just be a symbolic examination of the mounting toll of the war on Shepard. DEBUNKED

    4. Shepard's eyes: Could be a coincidence that they turn blue in the control/synthesis options. Lots of things are blue, it's one of the primary colours. DEBUNKED

    5. The breath: The rubble could be on the Citadel, and space magic could have protected Shepard from the blast. In fact, space magic could have protected Shepard even if he fell to earth from the Citadel. Space magic also protected him from the destroy option destroying all technology. DEBUNKED...uh, sort of...

    Implicit

    1. The musical cues: The game was being rushed into production and they probably just slapped whatever music they had available onto the scenes, so any inferences drawn from the music will be flawed. DEBUNKED

    2. The 'garden world': Okay, so in the extended DLC, what they will reveal is that in the moments after the final charge in London, Joker:
    a. bought the ship down to London.
    b. Told EDI, Liara and Garrus to get on board. Even though this is something that Liara and Garrus would NEVER DO, they did it for some reason. Y'know, cause bad writing.
    c. After picking them up, Joker inexplicably high-tailed it to the nearest Mass Relay.
    d. After the Mass Relay overloads, the Normandy survived the overloads because of space magic.
    e. After surviving the overload explosion, the Normandy crash landed on a garden paradise. EDI was not killed by the 'destroy' option because space magic.

    NOT DEBUNKED. This makes no sense. The 'literal' explanation does not explain this. IT does. When you remove all other alternatives, whatever remains, no matter how improbably, is the truth.

    3. The 'stargazer' epilogue: The line just before 'one more story' explains that what we just saw 'really happened'. Evidence cancels itself out. DEBUNKED

    4. The black distortion: This could just be a sign that the Illusive Man is trying to exert control over you. DEBUNKED

    5. The 'hum' on the Normandy: Engine trouble. DEBUNKED

    6. The voice of the Star Child: Even if the ending sequence is real, it seems clear the Catalyst took the form of the child because it represented your guilt over his death- so the voices in your mind could just be a side effect of whatever process the catalyst used to gain this information and present it to you. DEBUNKED

    7. Andersen and The Illusive Man: Andersen mentioned that the walls in the Citadel were moving, shifting- this could explain how he got to the console before you, even though there appeared to be no other way in or out. The Illusive Man would have prepared for this moment for years so no doubt had a secret way to arrange his presence on the Citadel. DEBUNKED

    External

    1. Official reaction: The reaction has been mixed, with many statements saying that they stood by the ending as-is. As I say, I don't think this debunks the theory and I've seen NOTHING out of Bioware that refutes it- would be happy to see something (anything) that does. NOT DEBUNKED

    2. Knights of the Old Republic: Irrelevant data point. DEBUNKED

    3. How games are made: It's been repeatedly stated that the ending was rushed- all problems with the narrative of the endgame, including the garden planet 'bug', can be explained by this. DEBUNKED
     
  2. Caliburn24

    Caliburn24 Commodore Commodore

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    I haven't played any of the MEs, but the IT fascinates me from a storytelling perspective.

    And I think Angry Joe's breakdown of the pros and cons of it are much better laid out than the video linked in the OP.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZOyeFvnhiI

    Or at least more clear to us outsiders.
     
  3. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I would like to say something about the Normandy.

    I think the starship was already on the planet before the charge on the conduit. Why do I believe this? The squad members that Commander Shepard didn't select for the strike team on the Hades Cannon were at the FOB. And, both of the Normandy's shuttles were used for the strike on the Hades Cannon. One was destroyed, and the other was either destroyed or badly damaged.

    I could be wrong, but this is my best attempt at understanding the events as portrayed in this final mission. I think it is a chaotic mess.

    As for the points raised by the Indoctrination Theory, I agree with the YouTube blogger Archangela. Each point could be explained by saying that the team involved with the ending were lazy, were out of budget, were out of time, or were careless.

    Here is the video. He talks about his feelings on the Indoctrination Theory after 37: 30.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVU5BHJYgGM&list=UUWDFAOZHGSy7ItmuQl32AYw&index=9&feature=plpp_video

    In my last play through, before I sold the game to Game Stop, I had my character, after jumping down from the cliff, stay at their 'landing zone' and I watched the events around my character. Occasionally, I would more forward a bit. I saw NPCs and vehicles appearing out of nowhere, running to the conduit, being destroyed, and vanishing. I would have sworn the trees were 2D sprites. Behind the edges of this map, the background details were poorly conceived and the areas felt barren. It was amazing to me as I watched these events how bad this sequence was.

    This, added with the wobbly tank, and other graphical and story issues in the game, for me says that this game wasn't crafted with passion and care.

    I have seen and read games mauled by critics for graphical issues this awful - the 2D sprites, the wobbly tank, characters suddenly appearing out of nowhere, eyes rolling back into the head, talking walls, etc. I have seen and read games mauled by critics for story issues - plot holes large enough to drive a Reaper through, meaningless fetch quests, nonsensical endings, etc. Yet, somehow, Bioware skated by, and received As from many critics.

    I feel the critics are rewarding failure from big name developers, and unfairly punishing lesser name developers.

    I was at Game Stop this last week to pick my copy of The Witcher 2. The clerk asked me if I wanted to pre-order a future game. I hesitated, and then said no. I refuse to buy another Skyrim or Mass Effect 3. I will read what the users' and independent critics' statements are on the games, for the best of them are more accurate and truthful than the big name critics'.
     
  4. Steven

    Steven Admiral Admiral

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    Hear hear. The graphical issues were very annoying. Eyes rolling to the side, people's heads swiveling at odd angles... hell, I even had some graphic smearing during the scene with Garrus and Shepard on the Citadel skywalk.

    It's not much of a stretch to go from that to laziness in the writing, especially the ending.

    For the sake of argument however, let's assume that the IT is actually what happened. In that case, what we got is a game that abruptly ends without any resolution to anything. And no, a 2-second scene of someone taking a gasping breath (if you choose the right colour) doesn't count. In other words, you just paid $60 (more if you include the previous games and DLC) for a story that doesn't have a proper ending - happy, sad, or otherwise. It just stops.

    From that realization comes the idea that maybe Bioware/EA (note: I strongly believe the latter is responsible for this situation) was going to release a "real" ending DLC. Why would they do that unless they were going to charge money for it?

    I don't know if that was going to be the case or not, but I wouldn't put it past EA to try something like that. And what better game to do it on than the last game in a trilogy that has millions of fans that would buy the game anyways? "To see the real ending, you'll need to fork over 10 bucks."

    Granted, that is purely speculation on my part. But the way I see it, the ending we have now is either:
    1. Bad (in the most generous sense of the word) writing; or
    2. An attempt to set up some real ending (and paid) DLC.

    I would hope that most people in the industry would realize how much of a risk the 2nd option would be. If anything, they should understand it now. It's not everyday that the ratings for a game get so thoroughly trashed over the last 5% of a game.

    At any rate, at least Bioware is attempting to gain back some of its reputation with the Extended Cut Ending DLC. But even that still leaves in some of the big problems people had with the ending (Star Child, space magic, pick your favourite colour, etc). So I'm not expecting a lot from it.
     
  5. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I believe the plan always was to make ending DLC (which is why they felt okay leaving it so open-ended), and possibly charge for it, but they probably underestimated the massive shitstorm this strategy brought down on them, and have now definitively said that they won't charge for the ending DLC (for one year).

    The beauty of IT is that it fixes all of the ending problems. I actually can't imagine what the ending DLC will consist of if IT ends up not being true (which I am totally prepared to believe). Like, with Shepard dead, the gates destroyed, the crew stranded on a garden planet... what's left to say?
     
  6. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    The Extended Ending DLC is free to April 12 2014.

    Silvia S., aka Epantiras, had this to say on the DLC:

    http://epantiras.deviantart.com/#/d4w8c8n

    I thought the first time that Commander Shepard was speaking with Liara T'Soni in her quarters was bad. This has been discussed before, elsewhere on the internet., where the heads of the two characters would follow the path of the drone. Then, on my second play through, I experienced a truly terrifying experience when the Commander was speaking with Dr. Karen Chakwas in the Medical Bay.

    Imagine the situation. Dr. Chakwas is facing the wall, with her back to the Commander. As the doctor is speaking, her head is literally attempting to twist around so that it can face the Commander. The head would turn as far it could, then would jerk back into position. There there was the camera. Sometimes the camera would switch from a point between the two characters, then would switch to a point in front of the doctor, then would jerk back to the original point. These two issues - the doctor's head attempting to face the Commander and the confused camera lasted throughout the conversation. I have never seen this in any game I have played.

    Someone else experienced the same problem with Dr. Chakwas. Here is the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ6cDtupeDY&feature=related

    Another person recorded Dr. Chakwas's eyes glitching. Here is the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mSkgnXkjzE&feature=related
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  7. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have a lot of questions about the reality of the moments after Harbringer pounds Shepherd and I don't like that idea either. So I'm hoping that the extended ending will provide what Bioware claims with clearing the water and not just turn out to be a surface skim of the murky depths the ending has created.
     
  8. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    EA has clarified that the DLC will remain free after that point as well. The expiration date was included only due to internal EA policy.
     
  9. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

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    Yup, The Fans of ME actually gave Bioware one of the best endings of all time (If not the greatest ending of all time). By Indoctrinating the actual gamer! How audacious would that have been? It was all gift wrapped, but Bioware wanted to protect it's artistic integrity.
     
  10. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They never explicitly said it, but it appeared clear from their tone that the IT wasn't intentional, they were fairly condescending to anyone that brought it up. It was almost like as if they were trying not to upset children, which is understandable considering elements of the fanbase were acting like children at the time.

    But game production doesn't work that way, at least not in secret. Some games end on cliffhangers, but never before has a game been billed as the finale to a series and then pulled the rug out from under it's fans in this way. It would just be a really, really stupid thing to do, it hurts the relationship the studio has with the fans and it opens the game up to all kinds of legal issues in regards to false advertising.

    Actually, they saw a significant sales decrease from the first week to the second week, right around the time that the backlash against the ending was hitting the internet. Sales often decline like that, especially for AAA games, but this decline was larger than the one for ME2. Also, 10 million sales is Bioware's target for all their big games. ME3 is unlikely to reach that now due to the ending controversy.

    I don't see how you have come to that conclusion. There is no solid real-world evidence for the IT, some vague statements from Bioware is all there is to support it. The idea that the writers screwed up the ending because they had no set plan for the Reapers when they started the trilogy, and they were forced to cut corners at the end due to the need to meet a release deadline set by EA, is far more likely in my opinion.

    It may have been scoped, but that doesn't mean they didn't change things either because they came up with a new idea or because they didn't have the time or resources to do what they wanted. We know that they were still tweaking the ending very late in the production cycle, they admit as much. For example, Martin Sheen's VO recording was postponed several times because they hadn't gotten around to finishing his dialogue yet, he was originally scheduled to do it in August but he only got around to it in November. Things like that clearly show that the game was behind schedule and they were struggling to get it finished.

    Well, it appears there is a first time for everything after all. ;)

    It doesn't so much fix them as erase them. If the IT is true, none of what happened in the final 15 minutes was real, so all the plot holes didn't happen.

    Well, it has been stated that in one of the extended endings (probably destroy with high EMS) Shepard will survive and be able to be reunited with their love interest. In another ending (probably control with high EMS) the races of the galaxy will have the ability to rebuild the mass relays. Part of the point of these extended endings is differentiate each of the endings so that they're not all the same.
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The tone of that statement came off far more derogatory than I had intended and for that I apologise. It wasn't meant to be directed at you personally, but the IT theory as a whole. Such are the perils of communicating exclusively through text.

    I still stand by the substance of it though. Nothing of what I've seen in the months since IT became popular has made me a believer. As you appear to acknowledge in your own point-by-point, there's no solid evidence at all and most of it smacks of wilful misinterpretation.

    The only oddities I will concede as, uh... "odd" are to do with the kid. Firstly, in his initial appearance, in the same amount of time it takes Shepard to walk from his holding cell to the courtroom, he manages to travel from the top of the building on which he was playing to the building in which she finds him. I've checked this for myself and it's about five blocks "left" (from Shepard's initial POV), across a car park and up another half dozen or so floors to the balcony where he is next seen looking out over the railing, shortly before the first husks show up,

    Of course we don't know how long Shepard was out following the blast in the courtroom. It could have been less than a minute or it could have been an hour before Anderson comes too and wakes her up. For all we know that building is where the child lives, or were his parent(s) work, explaining why he fled there at all. It look more like an office building that an apartment block, so I'm guessing the latter. Odd, sure, but not inexplicable.

    The other oddity and possibly the *only* thing that truly supports the indoctrination theory is the fact that the catalyst choose to appear in the boy's form. The only place that image could come from is Shepard's mind, thus, at least by the very end, the reapers had at least gotten into Shepard's memories or subconscious.

    It doesn't prove she was indoctrinated, just that they did somehow get inside her skull to some degree.

    I suppose it could be a passive thing in which Shepard's own mind projects a familiar image over something her mind can't fully comprehend, rather than it being the catalyst actively choosing and projecting that image. Maybe it's an primordial AI or maybe it's a highly evolved, post singularity "being of light" and the only way for such a young mind to comprehend it is to interpret it into a more familiar shape.
     
  12. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I have seen this concept in the film "Contact" where an alien whose form would be incomprehensible to a human chooses a form - her deceased father- that she would accept.

    The path of the child from the park to the building is I think the result of bad level design, and is another case where the IT proponents are using a piece of evidence that can be argued away as the result of the developers being lazy, out-of-budget, out-of-time, or careless.

    As for the Mass Relays being rebuilt, the Codex states clearly,

    (Codex/Technology, Primary, Mass Relays)

    Unlike the Protheans, who were able to build one primitive version of the mass relays that could transmit individuals and vehicles from Ilos to the Citadel, the best that the current cycle can do is communication buoys.

    These buoys are only capable of transmitting lasers.

    (Both quotes are from Codex/Technology, Secondary, Communications.)

    I have read people's comments where they suggest that systems separated by the vastness of space could communicate by quantum entanglement communications. A major flaw with this idea is that this communication medium is dependent on the comm buoys for transmission.

    (Planetary Journal - "Ontarom")

    The Reapers destroyed many of the comm buoys in the galaxy. (It is a major plot hole that the Reapers somehow missed the one buoy in the Sol system that would allow Anderson to communicate with the rest of the galaxy.)

    Even if the plot armored comm buoy in the Sol system was still functional after the Commander's decision, there was no guarantee that other comm buoys in the galaxy were intact and/or active.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  13. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    But we're only referencing IT because of the in-game clues that are pointing us towards it. It's like Chekov said: If you put a put on the mantel in Act I, it's going to go off in Act III. Bioware is the one who put all these little signs all over the place, we are just extrapolating them to their natural conclusion- it's not like the theory is being conjured out of whole cloth, here.

    While I was completely disgusted by the 'Retake Mass Effect' crew and the OTT reaction from some of the fans (I mean, even if you do take the ending literally, it didn't warrant that scale of reaction), so I completely understand if Bioware was a bit frustrated in their responses. However, and I mean this, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I will gratefully accept any evidence in either direction, but I have trawled through every bit of comment from Bioware I can find (and there is frustratingly little!) looking for some kind of comment that IT is or is not true, and everything they say seems... intentionally vague. Artistic choices and 'allowing players to make their own interpretation' and so on. If there's nothing to interpret... if it's all literal... why would they be responding in this manner?

    That is a fair statement and I in no way deny that this has backfired spectacularly, whether IT is true or not (and if it's not true, they just screwed up the ending, which is totally mundane and not fixable via extended content as they have described it).

    Isn't that sort of what we are after, here? Either the DLC will overwrite the ending, replacing it with something that makes sense, or it will extend the ending, in which case it will somehow need to make the last 15 mins of the game make sense- in which case, IT is the most logical way it would do that.

    Surely choosing control is as good as becoming the Illusive Man yourself? But seriously that is a good point, but again, it just makes me believe that IT is the only alternative. I cannot see a way that the ending would justify taking a path so clearly marked out by the game as being the path of evil.

    Thanks man. Apologies if my response was equally aggressive. I may not sound like it, but I am actually just having fun turning this over in my mind- I genuinely won't mind if it's IT or if it's not, and am excited to find out. A mate of mine said yesterday that he's just going to wait for the DLC before finishing the game 'so he gets the full ending'. I said that we are living in a very interesting time that will never come again- the time between the release of ME3 and the release of the ending DLC. After it's released, the answer will be out, one way or the other. There are very few mysteries in this age of google and wikipedia- generally if you want information, you can get it. Everyone knew the ending of Lost about 15 minutes after it aired, whether they'd seen it or not. It feels good, and fun (even if it is frustrating!) to have a genuine mystery to toy around with. I hope this discussion is all in good fun.

    Quite so! I absolutely concede that all points individually can be argued away or even denied outright- hell, the answer 'bad writing' or 'a bug' can explain anything- even the garden planet mystery. But when you take all of these points in aggregate, they all seem to be pointing in a similar direction. It's like if your husband comes home smelling like perfume. You say: "What's up with that?" and they give a reasonable answer ("Walked through the perfume department of the mall!", so you dismiss it, because it seems a small thing. Then you notice they step outside to take calls, they they come home late occasionally, that their overnight business trips seem to become more frequent. Each element, on it's own, would not be suspicious. But when they all pile on top of each other, they each add up to, if not evidence, then at the very lease a compelling case. I have other strained metaphors at my disposal that I will deploy later.

    I must admit I completely forgot about this appearance of the kid from my playthrough. I'm happy to believe the kid was real until his death, even with the Reaper growl and his mysterious disappearance and his odd statement (c'mon, what actual kid would say to Shepard: "You can't save me." Way to be a downer, kid. Don't you know who Shepard is?)

    Well, Shepard is also forced to shoot Andersen- that's a pretty clear sign that s/he was being controlled. In fact:

    NEW INDOCTRINATION THEORY!

    So, original IT maintained that Shepard went into his mind when hit by the Harbinger beam. How about this: Shepard did get into the beam and did go to the Citadel. Andersen and TIM are real and that scene happened. Then Shepard goes to activate the Crucible at the console and passes out before he can. Perhaps Indoctrination started then. Perhaps Shepard was just lying, passed out, in front of the console on the Crucible, and the battle in his mind was whether or not he would activate the crucible (destroying the Reapers) or not (succumbing to control). Same theory, different parameters.

    The fact that it is made up of Shepard's voices also supports this theory.

    Have you guys seen the video that shows the endings where, if you choose control or synthesis, the kid kind of... smirks, before disappearing. It's pretty creepy. I hate that kid If you choose destroy the kid just WIPES, like you have gotten rid of him.

    Heh- on my first playthrough, the moment that kid appeared I yelled: "Contact!" Which of course reminds me of the scene in South Park where Mr. Garrison vomits over how bad the end of Contact was.

    Interestingly, Quantum Entanglement is a real phenomenon (although we've not managed to turn it into a workable communication technology yet, but the theory is sound), and has massive implications for lightspeed communications. The ramifications for physics if QE allows for faster than light communications are staggering, since it would theoretically allow for messages to be received before they were sent. I was pleased and impressed when ME referenced this real-world concept:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
     
  14. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    One further thought: Something we do very commonly in my line of work is called a 'post-publish fix'. So basically, we reach the deadline and the content is not ready, still has bugs, still hasn't been 100% QA'd, and we publish it anyway. On our QA'd Functional Specs we write: "Post-publish fix." meaning we'll publish, fix the bug after publish, then re-upload after we've made the fixes. This is very common in gaming, as well, which is why we have day one patches and even patches 3 months after publish.

    Bioware no doubt was under immense time pressure to get the game finished, so maybe they just did a more advanced version of this? No time to finish the ending properly, so they just kind of... punted it down the line? Now they have no deadline and can spend more time with the ending. Doesn't support or deny IT one way or the other, but perhaps was planned to some degree.
     
  15. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indoctrination theory is clever, but doesn't fit with the kind of game Mass Effect is.

    Oh, you chose the control or synthesis ending? Too bad. You were wrong.

    That would be the first time the game basically shoves the idea of a particular choice being invalid down your throat. Paragon and Renegade are typically shown as equal, perfectly valid paths to the same goal. Instead of player agency being the driving force, you're being railroaded. Hell, I'd call it punishment, really, akin to how some people on BSN talked about how BioWare should punish Paragons for being naive, or punish Renegades for being dicks.

    I would accept indoctrination theory for any movie, any TV show, hell any other game, but not Mass Effect. It goes against Mass Effect's core conceits. I don't take much stock in it, for that reason, and that reason alone.

    I believed that particular oddity due to the Catalyst room actually being a sort of representative virtual environment, not unlike the area Geth Consensus you visit earlier. it explains how Shepard can still be up and about, despite having basically succumbed to blood loss.
     
  16. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    There have certainly been 'dialogue puzzles' previously in the game, where if you choose the wrong dialogue, you die and the game ends. The conversations with The Illusive Man immediately prior contains one of these, as does your encounter with Samara's daughter in ME2, off the top of my head. Many of your choices in ME2 can lead to your death at the end of the game, also. Besides- it's not 'the rest of the game'. It's the end of the game. All bets are off, whether you believe in IT or not.

    I didn't see the choices as paragon or renegade. I saw them as 'join with the goals of Saren/The Illusive Man' or 'continue on your original mission'.

    To say that Mass Effect's complexity and writing didn't meet and exceed any other game, TV show or movie is to ignore the previous 95% of the game.

    That's not far off Indoctrination Theory- the premise behind the theory is that the final sequence of the game is happening inside Shepard's mind. Everything else past that is just details. If you accept that the final sequence may be virtual, you're more on the side of IT than the literal interpretation.
     
  17. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Further evidence: People claimed they could see 'reflections of trees' on the shiny floor of the Crucible endgame area. This was all very 'Jesus on Toast', so someone went into the cubemap for the area and found this:

    http://i.imgur.com/RIIzj.jpg

    The trees ARE there. They are intentionally there. They have been specifically masked so that they generate reflections on the ground but cannot be seen directly.

    Someone please explain to me why they would do this, if IT was not true.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Easily. Like the catalyst's voice and appearance it's just more of the same reflection of Shepard's subconscious. The trees are just as much a part of that aspect of Shepard as the kid. In a sense they're one and the same.

    The main problem with IT, or rather those hoping to prove it is that they approached it in the wrong direction. They started with the basic premise that Shepard was indoctrinated and none of the ending was real (because the didn't *want* it to be) and then proceeded to find every little inconsistency that supports it. While that may sound perfectly reasonable, it falls apart when you notice how inconsistencies and oddities that don't directly support IT (of which there are a not insignificant number) are totally ignored. If all of them pointed towards IT, there'd be a valid argument. The don't and the ones purported to are bloody flimsy at best.
     
  19. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Location:
    Ireland
    Of course they're being intentionally vague. Throughout this shitstorm there has been a group of fans that are absolutely convinced, against the balance of probability, that Bioware are geniuses, and they've been encouraging the fans that are angry to cool off and wait for more. Bioware would be insane to intentionally throw away such an asset.

    Actually, all I want are two things; I want my decisions to be shown to have consequences, and I want to be able to challenge the Catalyst's reasoning. I think that the Catalyst is full of crap, but the fact that a machine intelligence came up with such a flawed plan makes a perverse kind of sense to me. So I don't need that whole segment gone, I just need them to re-add the dialogue sequences where you question the Catalyst, which they intentionally cut out because they wanted "lots of speculation from everyone". If they can also reflect some of my bigger choices throughout the trilogy in the extended ending cutscenes, that would be swell. It wont make for a great ending, and I'll still hate the synthesis option with a passion, but I would find such an ending acceptable.

    I don't think it was marked as the path of evil, control was the blue option after all and blue has always been the colour of paragon. That confused me the first time I played it, but that's the way it was. I also reject the idea TIM was evil. He was ruthless, he was certainly no hero, but he was motivated by a desire to protect humanity, and while he may have been tainted by indoctrination in his final days, that doesn't mean his ideas were invalid. The morality system in Mass Effect wasn't as complex as I would have liked, but it wasn't so simplistic that TIM can be characterised as a force for evil.
     
  20. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Location:
    Star Trekkin Across the universe.
    Except for
    • It being chossen by those who are indoctinated as Vendetta will tell you
    • You find out about from an indocrintaed person
    • And all your paragon options in the prvious section were telling the Illusive Man how it is wrong

    Considering paragons were arguing against not two minutes ago of course not making it the paragon choice makes not sense.

    So the dead admiral, the fact that he wanted to start Overlord all over against despite the horrific things that happened the first time, the fact that he turned people into Husk hybrid things, the fact that he wanted to use a Reaper murder factory, he policy of killing people who quit, and all the other crap Cerberus was up to in the Mass Effect games doesn't at least make consider the possibility that he may in fact be evil.

    No all the torture and death that was part of those ideas are what make them invalid.