Why We Hate ME3's Ending

(125 votes, average 4.61 out of 5)
Facebook Share

See more at AngryJoeShow.com

Doug's Official Facebook Page
Comments (181)
  • lycanfan  - #TakeBackMassEffect?
    avatar
    As much as I detest, and mean DETEST the ending(s) of ME3, I simply cannot support the #TakeBackMassEffect movement, at least not as long as it takes an artistic stance. I will never even attempt to force a creator to adjust or alter their vision however much I may hate it.

    That being said, the game fails on a basic consumer/seller level. As a seller, BioWare promised their product (Mass Effect 3) would posses certain features (conclusive answers, previous player choices deeply effecting the ending, finality and closure, wildly different endings), which the final product did not have. As consumers, we have the right to complain and request (but not demand as many have done) some sort of compensation here. I say we take an economic stance, one which would actually give us a leg to stand on, rather than an artistic one which sounds like we're trying to impose our desires on a creative group due to our own disapproval, which in-and-of-itself seems entitled to me. I agree that the endings were terrible, but we shouldn't go at it like that. Just saying.

    Also, great video Joe.
  • Josh_47ra  - What?
    avatar
    Who are games made for? They aren't the property of Bioware so the plebians can get a glimpse. Its a consumer product. Games can be artistic, but they are as much art as a blender or oven (which can be beautiful, but also must be functional). I don't agree it needs a new ending because Bioware is clearly a cash grab company now (see DAII, TOR, EA alliance) and it would likely be a 10 or 15 dollar DLC when it should be free. You sound just like that douchebag on IGN, Colin Moriarty, and I recall his video being incredibly unpopular.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    If the games belong to the audience, then they not only belong to those of us that hated the endings (like me), but also to the people that liked them (and some folks out there did). And who are we to simply take that away from them or invalidate it by forcing BioWare to render the endings non-canon? And what about the people that created them, the people that pumped hundreds of hours of man power and god-only-knows how much money into making it. How do they not in someway own it? They wrote the story. How about this: books are consumer products as well. Does JK Rowling not own Harry Potter? Should we be able to dictate what she can and cannot do with it?

    Also, to quote my own comment: "That being said, the game fails on a basic consumer/seller level. As a seller, BioWare promised their product (Mass Effect 3) would posses certain features (conclusive answers, previous player choices deeply effecting the ending, finality and closure, wildly different endings), which the final product did not have. As consumers, we have the right to complain and request (but not demand as many have done) some sort of compensation here. I say we take an economic stance, one which would actually give us a leg to stand on." Pretty sure that plays directly into your consumer product argument.
  • trlkly
    avatar
    Why should the happiness of 5% of viewers be worth more than 95%? Why does being an artist mean you suddenly have the right that you must be happy with your work even if it makes everyone you wrote it for unhappy?

    Artists are not entitled to be selfish gits. Artists are not better than the rest of us. The idea that they shouldn't have to change what they do is just an excuse to let them be selfish.

    And of course we have the right to tell any author that they suck and that they need to change their ending. I don't know why you seem to think it wouldn't apply to J.K. Rowling. If the majority of the people said that the ending sucked, and they were willing to accept a rewrite, then she sure as hell should change it. Again, to not do so is to say that the author's feelings matter more than anyone else's, and that's textbook selfishness.
  • ohe
    avatar
    'Selfish' is not the word you're looking for, here. You misunderstand that what you call "the author's feelings." Sadly, I cannot correct you as you don't really explain your views any further.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    But you don't have any right to dictate to any writer what they can or cannot, should or should not do with their work. You didn't like it, fine. Why does that mean you get to dictate what hey should do with it? If I hate a painting should I walk up to the artist and demand he redo it? Demanding that an artist alter their work to suit my desires is the height of selfishness. yes, you have the right to tell them that you think their work is crap, you have the basic freedom of speech. Hell, you can even ask them to change it, but guess what? It's. Their. Work. They don't have to do what you demand of them. If they're happy with their work but are willing to accept the criticism and improve in the future then I see no problem. Yes, a writer writes for an audience, but also for themselves, because they love to write, and, yes, to earn a living. The purpose of criticism is to point the flaws in a work and help the creator improve for the future, not to get them to alter their own work. I never said artists are better than anyone, but I will say this: they have the right to be happy with their work because their work is exactly that, theirs. They own it, they made it, they hold the copyright. Not me. Not you.
    And as for your "accurate" statistic of 5%, how exactly do you judge human happiness and assign it value? Does happiness only matter to the majority? How can you break down joy to mere numbers?
    Oh and I was only using Rowling as an example. I could have used any author really.
  • Chton66  - your right
    Iycanfan is right here. To make this argument shorter, and because it's gotten off topic, we could and can demand that BioWare fix these endings, BUT they don't have to. They don't need to. They owe you, the consumer, nothing. You've bought the product, you've put down the money. Their stance would be that; they don't care. Now this has problems with it, especially from a business plan perspective. One problem would be they lose customers for their next product release. Another reason would be they lose loyalty from us, the consumers, but that's their choice as a company. They, as a company, hold no reason or need to change the ending unless they think they'll profit from it.
  • JaylaClark  - Guess what?
    avatar
    They owe me the game they promised. Or they owe me sixty bucks. They. Ripped. Me. OFF.

    It's not even an ending! It doesn't answer anything and makes things look worse for wear! It even looks like lots of people DIE and it doesn't tell you a damn thing about what happened afterwards!

    I mean excuse ME Bioware, didn't you CONFIRM that there would be NO post-ending content? Then why the FUCK DID YOU NOT TELL US WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENS!
  • SickBritKid
    avatar
    And the Retake movement is about forcing those who liked the endings(all two of them) into accepting better endings.

    For the most part, Retake's fine with keeping the endings in place and letting those who enjoyed them(in all of their idiotic, headscratching "glory") continue to enjoy them.

    All WE want are BETTER endings, MORE options, and MORE influence on your choices from the series to be factored in.
  • Jane the Bane
    avatar
    You don't happen to be an Ayn Rand fan, do you?
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    No. I'm not sure why thinking that a story's creator has final say over that story make me a follower of Objectivism when that actually has very little to do with Rand's beliefs on art and the nature of perception. In my opinion, a story belongs to it's creator/creators. And if anyone can simply demand changes because they don't like it, why should a writer even bother writing a story. What's the real difference between some demanding a rewrite because they hate the ending, and, say, a reader demanding a rewrite for a story to omit a character because the character is gay and the reader is a homophobe. In both cases, the audience makes demands of the writer simply because they don't like how the works. The reasons are different, but the methodology is the same.
  • Ohsha
    It's not an artistic choice. It's half-assing and cutting corners b/c they don't have the time to do proper endings.

    If you think ME3's design is the best the development team could do and not a result of corporate executives demanding bilEwAre put out a game a year (like Madden) while changing the design goals (multiplayer!) you're a fool.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Like I said above: "That being said, the game fails on a basic consumer/seller level. As a seller, BioWare promised their product (Mass Effect 3) would posses certain features (conclusive answers, previous player choices deeply effecting the ending, finality and closure, wildly different endings), which the final product did not have. As consumers, we have the right to complain and request (but not demand as many have done) some sort of compensation here. I say we take an economic stance, one which would actually give us a leg to stand on."
    BUT, that's not how most people I've seen are approaching it. Most people I've seen have attacked this from an artistic standpoint. Not really sure where you got the idea that I was fine with the design.
  • kingsnake661
    First... the lead writer for ME1, ME2, 3 of the novels... the comics and think, and who could arguably be consider one of the main artists behind the ME franchise was Drew Karpision..(I killed that...) He was replaced by Mac Walters in the 3rd.

    I seem to recall the 4th novel, intresingly enough also the one drew didn't write, so badly buchered HIS work he was brought in to fix it and rerelease it.

    Seeing as how there isn't ONE artistic force behind the project, but many, MANY people, and it's as much a *product* as it is a pic of art, and the lead writer wasn't writing it, i don't think it's out of the question to ask for them to at the very least deliver what they promised.
    They pick your colors ending wasnt anything, at ALL close to what they hyped to use. What the video's end... read the captions from the creators. I would say holding them to what they said isn't demanding too much.

    Granted, from all the postering and rumbleings i'm hearing about them "Listening" to us... i get a very, VERY bad feeling we're being played... and THAT really PISSES me off...
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    I understand where you're coming from but I still feel uncomfortable attempting to dictate to BioWare what to do with their story. I understand that there's more going on behind the scenes (Drew leaving, multiple writers, EA's dickery), but I really only feel I can approach this from a consumer/seller standpoint.
    I HATED the ending of the sixth installment of my much beloved Ultima series, but it wasn't my story, it was Richard Garriot's. I experienced my version of it, much like I experienced my version of the Mass Effect trilogy, but's it's not story. I will decry BioWare for not living up to their promises and will REQUEST compensation for for their release of an unfinished product that didn't have all of it's promised features, but that's it.
  • Rupert3434  - A rebuttal or three
    avatar
    So...basically, you're arguing the semantic difference between "request" and "demand"?

    How would it make you feel less like you were trying to dictate what BioWare wanted for their story if you requested rather than demanded "compensation for for[sic] their release of an unfinished product that didn't have all of it's promised features"?

    I may be missing something here, but I read your earlier posts and I have a hard time making sense of your argument. Yes, Mass Effect is BioWare's creative property, and if they wanted to, they have the artistic license to give it any ending they want and, speaking as people who are not the creators of the game, we have no right to say the ending is bad from a story standpoint. I don't agree with that, but I can at least understand it.

    What does this argument have anything to do with the second point you make about BioWare breaking promises to their fans (or apparently even addressing this fact), and asking consumers to pay full price for an unfinished product?

    To quote you again, "And if anyone can simply demand changes because they don't like it, why should a writer even bother writing a story. What's the real difference between some demanding a rewrite because they hate the ending, and, say, a reader demanding a rewrite for a story to omit a character because the character is gay and the reader is a homophobe. In both cases, the audience makes demands of the writer simply because they don't like how the works[sic]. The reasons are different, but the methodology is the same."

    I'd have to disagree. The methodology here ISN'T the same. Art is art for it's own sake, and because of this writers and painters don't necessarily need to explain their choices. This being said, fans of an artist do not have any obligation to respect those changes, and every right to voice their disagreement (this is what critics do for a living). What separates the methodology at work here from someone saying that they don't like something because a character is gay comes from three sources:

    1)False Promises. Regardless of the artist's intention, promises were made to us, the audience, which were not delivered in a satisfying way.

    2)Apparent Lack of Effort. Both story content and the lack of variation in the endings can be used as evidence to support a claim that effort was slacked here.

    3)The Plot Holes. For a story that is usually as lovingly crafted as Mass Effect, it behooves me that the creator would have suddenly make an ending with this many plot holes.
  • Rupert3434  - cont'd
    avatar
    While any of these could be explained by the artist, they have not been. Either way, there is clearly a difference between saying a change to the story is bad when it shows lack of effort, plot holes, and breaks promises to the audience, than when it offends someone on a level of personal sensibilities (which it may also do for some people). The difference is, one can be backed up by non-bigoted, objective reasoning, while the other cannot.

    So then, if the ending is rushed, why should we care about the artistic ego of the game's creator? Even assuming that Richard Garriot DID intend for this ending all along, don't we have a right to demand better, considering all of the promises that were made to us beforehand not only as valued consumers but as the fan base responsible for keeping this series in demand for so many years? Even assuming he played no part in making the aforementioned false promises (I mean maybe he got shafted by BioWare and was forced to work with too short a time frame to fulfill his vision) wouldn't he still be able to explain himself to the millions of fans he's disappointed?

    Finally, why is it that we should "request" instead of "demand" compensation for this? To me, it sounds like a weakening or watering down of a sentiment that needs to be pure and undiluted if game developers are going to take it seriously (because, as another commenter pointed out, why should they even care, we already paid for the game). Saying that we aren't entitled to an explanation (at the very least) comes off as an insult to fans of the series everywhere. Sure, they doesn't HAVE to give us one, that's their choice, but we have every right to feel as though we deserve one and demand action be taken, considering how invested we've become in the series. People in this case are speaking from a point of outrage, whether as fans, as consumers, or both, and I don't think anybody has the right to deny people that sentiment on intellectual or methodological grounds when it can be backed up by objective reasoning.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    You're right on several counts. I have not explained myself clearly in any reasonable capacity. For that, let me apologize. Now, let us see if I can actually explain my stance on this without butchering my own sentiment through poor communication.

    I cannot, nor will I ever attempt to dictate to any writer (or any other type of artist) what they can or cannot do with their own work. I can criticize it, I can say I hate it, I can go up to them and inform them of every single thing I feel is wrong with it, but I simply do not feel it is my place to tell them "I hated your work & so do a good number of other people. Change it to suit what we want." This is not my place. The only person who should have say as to the content of a story is the one who wrote it. Just because I hated a work, doesn't mean I get to dictate it's contents. Maybe it's half-assed, maybe it's rushed. If so, I'll critique it, but not force what I want down the authors throat. Offer critique, don't spare their feelings, let them know what's wrong & let them learn from their mistakes and improve in the future.

    Now then, taking the points you've made into account, thus changing my stance a bit, let me say this: this situation with BioWare is quite different from my example of Ultima VI above. With Ultima VI, Garriot made NO promises of any sort other than VI would be A) an Ultima game, B) a RPG, & C) would continue the story of Ultimas 3-5. That's it, & even then those were unspoken, the type of "promises" made by simply announcing the games' release. BioWare, on the other hand, mad a slew of promises as to the feature set of their product. They did not fulfill their end of the bargain. And you're right. We, as consumers, have the right to demand (you were also right about the semantics) some sort of recompense as consumers & BioWare at least should address this issue. However, I, personally, will only attack them from the standpoint of a consumer who has purchased an unfinished product. I will not approach the issue from an artistic standpoint. Like I said, I don't believe that's the stance to take here and I don't believe anyone should dictate the contents of someone else's story. I will not demand some sort of content change via DLC (like many other have), but either a explanation of the content or, barring that, some other sort of recompense.

    I hope that clears things up.

    Oh, & I believe there was some confusion on Garriot. Garriot & the Ultima games have nothing to do BioWare or Mass Effect and are in fact separated by at least 13 years between Ultima IX and Mass Effect 1. I was merely using them as an example.
  • MistahFixIt  - Oh God, Here we go...
    avatar
    This is a complete trainwreck that deserves every second of caustic vitriol that is poured upon it.

    It's almost as if... like, the game was developed by one team, and then for the last ten minutes, they handed it off to some complete chucklehead of a writer who'd never even _seen_ a Mass Effect game prior to this.

    _THAT'S_ how completely jarring this is.
  • ender140
    Wow, just wow. Not watching to avoid spoilers. I am now finishing again ME2 before ME3, and I'm truly worried. I don't know about the ending of course, but I've never expected such an attack. If ending to KOTOR2 was said to be rushed, this must be really disastrous.
  • Ohsha
    Even incomplete as it was (and that's Lucasart's fault, not Obsidian's) The Sith Lords had way more content and a much better story throughout, ending included, than any ME game.

    ME2 is as good as the trilogy gets. If you want a taste of how bad ME3 is play the arrival DLC.
  • elrick43
    You may have been kidding when you said it, but the crew of the normandy sitting on a beach drinking beers while watching the reaper wreckage would have been awesome
  • gentleEvan  - General Jeo if I may ask
    avatar
    Does this leave you worried about how Dragon Age might have a crappy ending too? I'm invested into that as well.
    Just keep leading the way with you honest reviews General and we will fallow. SIR (saluting)
  • Mucca
    avatar
    Jesus CHRIST, people are overreacting to this. Look, I get it, it's a bad ending. But there is NO way this is enough to ruin the series, or even the game. I've seen people give it 0/10 just for the ending alone. And yet, the terrible endings in Halo 2 and Fallout 3* are, for the most part, completely overlooked. And I'd say those games' endings are WORSE.
    *Yeah, Broken Steel was added to make up for it. You know what? Broken Steel was mostly alright, but its ending sucked too.

    You know what the ending reminds me of? Battlestar Galactica. Pretty much the worst moment of the series, but you should NOT let it ruin the rest of the series for you.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    It's not just that the endings are bad. it that, the game fails on a basic consumer/seller level. As a seller, BioWare promised their product (Mass Effect 3) would posses certain features (conclusive answers, previous player choices deeply effecting the ending, finality and closure, wildly different endings), which the final product did not have. As consumers, we have the right to complain and request (but not demand as many have done) some sort of compensation here.

    And keep in mind that the way the ending works, it effectively renders null and void all of the choices you made over the trilogy. It doesn't ruin the series, but it fucks over any real desire to replay knowing all of your choices made in choice driven Role Playing Game are meaningless.

    Also, what was so terrible about Halo 2's ending? yeah it was a cilffhanger, but 2 was the middle of the trilogy, so what's so bad about that?
  • Josh_47ra
    avatar
    Fallout 3 had a great ending, people were just annoyed you couldn't play anymore. And Halo 2's didn't end the series or RETCONN everything, it was just a cliffhanger. And this ending does ruin the entire series because it Retconn's everything.
  • GrimMontrose
    avatar
    The fight just got real. I choose to apply the lessons I learned from my comrades in arms.

    Jack taught me, even a punk can choose to stand for something.

    Garrus taught me, if you show you can get things done people will follow you. And its worth trying even if you fail.

    Tali and Legion taught me that almost anything can be forgiven.

    Mordin taught me no regret is beyond redemption.

    Thane taught me that no matter how dark the galaxy seems, you can always make it a little brighter if you add something good.

    And Shephard taught me that when the big machine bearing down on you says your ending is already decided, and that you have no choice, you UNITE the galaxy and bring the FIGHT to the machine!!!

    I AM COMMANDER SHEPHARD!

    TAKE BACK THE END
  • Mayhem66
    I have to agree with the sentiment that the unhappy ending has become the new cliche'. It's why I have a hard time watching Whedon's works now. He says that he can't stand happy ending because they're overdone, but it's the depressing twists that are overdone now. ME3 is just one more example of that. As you said, even a bittersweet victory would have been more satisfying.
  • DeusTerran  - #lycanfan
    When the ending is so bad that even GameStop is accepting opened returns out of fear. when the ending is so bad small riots are forming. When the ending is so bad that people are banding together on THIS SCALE to take back what we were promised.

    THAT is when the creators of those endings should be either forced to change it, or fired and have someone that actually KNOWS THEIR ASS FROM THEIR FACE.
  • BaltoStephenWinter  - "Beast Machines" had "Phat Planet" as its intro?
    avatar
    Someone on the internet is going to replace the Star Wars 3D thing with ME3's ending and have Angry Joe screaming FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUU...
  • SagaciousDave
    Honestly I thought that the part of the ending dealing with Joker and the Normandy crew was a visual metaphor not an accurate depiction. How I interpreted it was like this: What we see is Joker and the other people you've lived and fought beside struggling to outpace an impossible powerful and vast force and just barely managing to succeed. They then crash land the Normandy, the pinnacle of Alliance ship technology, representing the destruction of the high tech pinnacles that are the mass relays. They survive the crash that nearly killed them all and walk out into a dawn on a verdant new world. This represents that while they have lost a hugely important bit of technology that enabled them to travel vast distances. But they survive and walk out into this new day WITH the salvageable remnants behind them facing a new world and hope.
    See taken literally this cinematic is stupid as hell but when I first finished the game I didn't look at it realistically. I thought it was just a visual metaphor which would make it make sense. It actually works that way. If it were taken literally Tali and Garrus would starve to death. Either that or everyone BUT Garrus and Tali would starve.
    Personally I think the best way to redo the ending would be to have the game end after Anderson dies. It was a perfect scene and full of emotion and that music still makes me cry. After that they should have shown text detailing the consequences and endings for the characters and societies you've impacted like in the fallout games and Dragon Age. It would be cheap to produce this and could be sent out for free.
    To be perfectly honest I don't think it's a bad thing for the relays to have been destroyed. One of the things this series has portrayed is that it's a bad thing for us to have technology we haven't earned and that the mass relays were created to help FORCE the organic life to develop their technology in specific ways. The Protheans managed to duplicate the relays themselves and as such would indicate that it CAN be done. The races wouldn't be dependent on Reaper developed tech anymore and we'd be shaping our on future. The destruction of the relays isn't the doom of civilization, it's impetus to create our own tech and develop it ourselves. After this huge alliance is stranded there we could combine our best and brightest to fix the problems. Plus the Quarians DO have their liveships with them and help the Turians survive until a way out has been created.
    So in conclusion I have no problem with the destruction of the relays or thee races being trapped there. I have a problem with the God stand in and the fact that they don't show that there IS hope BECAUSE the alliance of species are all together and capable. I think the ending is poorly explained. If they address the issues the way I've outlined do you think the ending would be good, Joe? Especially after I explained my personal reasons for thinking the des...
  • lycanfan  - Shepard Wasn't Indoctrinated!
    avatar
    Oh, one of the dumbest reactions from fans is the notion that the endings are the result of Shepard being indoctrinated and halucinating it all. Which makes no damn sense.
    Indoctrination takes weeks to months and involves extended contact with a Reaper or multiple Reapers. Contact Shepard never had. Over the course of over two years between the end ME1 & the end of ME3, Shepard has maybe a few instances, several minutes each, of distant contact with functioning Reapers. It isn't instantaneous, it isn't short &, in the end, the point where the subject would be hallucinating is also the point they've gone totally insane & have been insane for awhile. So, how much of ME2 & 3 are just hallucinations? How much of the trilogy never happend? What really occured? And keep in mind no one, NO ONE has ever overcome indoctrination. Not The Illusive Man, not Saren, not Benezia, not the Protheans, no one. So if Shep is indoctrinated & somehow survives she/he will still be controlled afterward (IE, during the Shep "lives" end). And if you think that being partially machine thanks to the Lazerus Project saves him, first remember that Sheps brain was intact after the Collector attack & wasn't tampered with & remember that indoctrination effects the brain. Also remember that even if his/her brain was part machine, the Reapers were able to overtake the machine race the Geth not once but twice. In addition, if Shep, argueablly the Reapers greatest enemy, was truly indoctrinated & right in the clutches of the Catalyst, why let him/her live? Why not kill her? Why take the risk? He/she will soon be gibbering mad & thus useless, so why keep him/her around? And if Shep was indoctrianted why did no one call it out? If they had, sure you'd have been given dialogue options to blow it off, but that never happened. People will call the indoctrinated out on it and the indoctrinated will recognize it, but not believe it. This never occured. And why don't you have mechanized parts visable like everyone else in the final stages of the process? And what about the post credits scene, the one that plays AFTER the bit where Shep wakes up? If you somehow overcame the process, why would you even see that? I'm sorry, but this doesn't work.
  • Fenrir Moridin  - Several small problems I have with your argument
    First of all, your argument that Shepard hasn't had much contact with the Reapers only works for months and years: in Arrival he was exposed to a Reaper artifact for roughly two days.

    Furthermore, the events on the Derelict Reaper show that the hallucinations begin a substantial period before the indoctrination is directly noticeable. The scientists were sharing memories with each other and seeing motion in the ship before they were clearly indoctrinated.

    Your argument then descends to several reasons why indoctrination would raise questions about the integrity of the plot from Mass Effect 2 and 3, which isn't valid as an argument for why indoctrination wouldn't work story-wise. It can work as a criticism of the plot's quality, yes, but it doesn't make it internally inconsistent with the story.

    You also say that no one has overcome indoctrination when the entire purpose of building up your paragon and renegade has been to have enough charm or intimidate (reduced to reputation in Mass Effect 3) to be able to convince people to (at least temporarily) overcome indoctrination. Saren and the Illusive Man are prime examples of this, as you can convince them to commit suicide since you demonstrate that they are indoctrinated and they overcome it long enough to commit suicide (realizing that overcoming it long term is not possible or extremely dangerous). they are even examples within Mass Effect 3 outside the ending, such as one of Samara's daughters, who overcomes the beginning stages of being turned into a banshee long enough to blow up the Reaper forces there.

    Moving on...you criticize how it would be wrong to use the indoctrination ending to be hopeful, saying that it wouldn't be likely for Shepard to overcome the indoctrination. Again, this doesn't actually affect whether or not the indoctrination ending is consistent with the universe. In fact, most people supporting the indoctrination ending point out how it makes the ending even worse.

    You also argue that there is no reason for Harbinger to indoctrinate Shepard when he could just kill him. This assumes that the Reapers have direct knowledge of how much effect indoctrination has, when the universe has only demonstrated that the Reaper's have control over the amount of indoctrination and the ability to judge how much is working based on the organic's responses. This is why they are so wary of individuals like Saren, who only function well under light indoctrination but must be carefully monitored to ensure that the indoctrination works well enough. Furthermore, you're also assuming that even if Shepard is indoctrinated blunt force trauma, that the people around him who were also blasted by Harbinger would, through all of their own injuries and confusion, be able to deduce that Shepard is being indoctrinated.
  • Fenrir Moridin
    You also mention how Shepard doesn't have mechanized parts showing like everyone else. This is completely wrong: after the laser blasts you, your implants are clearly shown on Shepard's face regardless of whether or not you were a Paragon the whole time and had "mental healing" of the scars. Now, you could argue that is simply because Shepard sustained massive damage, but that doesn't rule it out as a possible effect of being indoctrinated (although I don't actually see it mentioned as support).

    Finally, for the post credits scene, why wouldn't you begin to see Shepard move after overcoming indoctrination? I understood your arguments for why Shepard shouldn't be able to overcome indoctrination, but assuming he could, isn't it logical that they would depict him as beginning to move, no doubt to actually go to the citadel and open up the arms? Basically, you're going to see Shepard finish the fight he didn't get to do. Now, if you think an ending like that is BS since it doesn't provide a conclusion to Shepard's story or the fight (which it is), that is fine. However, from the viewpoint of the indoctrination theory, it only makes sense, after picking the one end that absolutely refuses the Reapers, that we would begin to see Shepard move.

    Edit: Sorry that took 2 posts, but I thought I should give your argument a fair shake and go into every problem I had with it. I also broke up the parts so you could more easily identify which segment dealt with which part of your argument.

    Oh, and I just find it sad that, when you consider it, Bioware fumbled the ball so badly in what amounted to the last 1/540 of the series (if you go with Joe's conservative 90 hour estimate. Personally, I know I put in a lot more time, but that makes the fumble even worse). That's the last 0.185% for people who gave it only a single playthrough, and most hardcore fans have at least a couple.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Thank you for the intelligent and well thought out response. Very much appreciated, Now then.

    Quoting someone else here:"I wanted to get this out there because I see a lot of people throwing around the indoctrination theory as though it was secretly bioware's master plan all along. Fan theories like this crop up often in regards to a lot of different media, including video games. It can be tempting to give them weight, but they should not be assumed to have been intended by the creator. These kinds of things almost always exist to explain away plot holes, which this theory embraces wholeheartedly. A "reading" of the ending that shepard has been/is being indoctrinated is totally valid! if the support is there in the game, you can theorize about it all you like! That's totally cool. I'm fine with that and I look forward to reading a well thought out critical analysis of the ending from this position.My issue is that it's being attributed to bioware as the truth about the ending and the reason why they're secretly so great, and I can't get through a single thread about this theory that doesn't do this in some way. It can be tempting to look at the previous works of a creator that you're a fan of and figure that it makes no sense for them to have let you down in the way you suspect they have, but the sad truth is, they probably did. Remember: their most recent game is Dragon Age 2. It could have been Bioware's plan all along, sure, but unless they can produce definitive proof of that at any point in time, there is no logical reason to give them the benefit of the doubt (and they shouldn't be given reason to claim credit either way). The most important thing is to remember that while Shepard may or may not have been indoctrinated by the Reapers, you need to make sure not to let Bioware indoctrinate you."
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Cntd: "'I'm going to self bump this since it already fell off the first page, but I'll try to address something different than my first post. The indoctrination theory is not without issues of its own. What I seem to be gathering is that for proponents of this, the entire ending segment takes place inside Shepard's head. This makes me question why the indoctrination is even necessary. Shepard's been hit by a giant Reaper laser, and he's probably dying on the surface of the earth. The superweapon can't be activated, the largest individual threat to their existence is eating dirt, and the reapers have the citadel so they can turn off the mass effect relays, as was Sovreign's original goal (why didn't they do this when they took it to earth?). At this point, the reapers have won. Why even give Shepard a chance? What do they stand to gain? And if they do stand to gain, why is Shepard as an individual required for it? Next issue I have is that if the indoctrination theory is correct and only the choice to destroy the reapers indicates a breaking free of the indoctrination, in what way does this better the situation? It has been established that in this theory, the entire thing takes place in Shepard's head. Why would the Reapers even leave a legitimate threat to themselves in this mental scenario? I think it's incredibly likely that the player would choose "destroy all synthetic life," the indoctrination effect would be broken... and all of the reapers would still be sitting right there on earth. With the citadel. And no superweapon to stop them. And Commander Shepard definitively taken out of the action, considering the injuries. Finally I want to consider every element of the ending cutscene which I've seen typically ignored by this theory, which is every part that's exactly identical to every other ending. If we're seeing the exact same things in every scenario I think it's incredibly likely that the exact same thing is happening in every scenario. The most telling thing is the conversation between the grandfather/grandson at the end of the game. If the indoctrination theory was correct, why would that even appear for synthesis or control? The story of getting indoctrinated and losing is hardly the thing you tell a young child to inspire them to explore the stars. And if this entire ending sequence takes place as a result of the indoctrination process, why would it appear for destroy, in which that's supposed to have failed?"
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Also, Why was the vision so elaborate? And assuming there is an ending DLC, is it only accessible to the people whom chose the destroy option? That's what the Indoctrination theory suggests.
  • Fenrir Moridin
    Although I have...problems with defending an argument against a quote from someone I don't even know, I feel I should point out a few things.

    First, although the person worded it fairly nicely, the first half or so of their argument simply dismisses it as a "fan theory" which shouldn't hold weight. It is both dismissive and patronizing, essentially arguing that these people are going far and beyond regular consumers in order to give meaning to something that is, simply, a mistake on Bioware's part. This glances over the fact that, by stating this, the person is also admitting to being of the stance that the ending is written exactly as it is meant. I'm not arguing that this is wrong or false, but it should be pointed out that this kind of analysis doesn't work when the work in question relies on psychological viewpoints, extreme satire, etc. It should also be noted that proponents of the indoctrination theory are basically arguing that there is a bizarre psychological disconnect going on in the ending, which is where they're argument diverges from the person's.

    Now, as for the second part, I addressed most of those arguments if my first post. I could quote myself about it, but that feels...masturbatory to me, so I won't. However, I think I will address why the Reapers have a "lose" option available. To put it simply, it increase the verisimilitude of the final choice to Shepard, i.e. there should be an option to destroy the Reapers, otherwise why would the Crucible be a threat? It should be noted that, of all the options presented by the child spirit, the destroy option is presented as the most negative, with the death of a squad mate (EDI), the geth, and the inevitable death of all organic existence. The fact that the child spirit presents any of the options either positively or negatively is suspicious, especially considering how all other major decisions make sure to present Shepard with clear pros and cons to either choice he makes.

    The person (I really wish you would have at least identified their gender, assuming you yourself know) also mentions how it didn't make sense that the ending is overwhelmingly similar if one of the options is to resist the indoctrination, as well as questioning why the indoctrination ending would be so positive if Shepard is fully indoctrinated if he decided green or blue. Besides the assumption that the Reapers have an immense amount of control over their indoctrination, this ignores the fact that someone acting under indoctrination wholeheartedly believes what they're doing is the right thing to do. That is what makes indoctrination so frightening: it turns its victims into servants who will wholly support the Reapers while thinking they are doing the right thing (like most villains actually do, which is something Spoony addresses in an episode of Counter Monkey, although sadly I can't direct you to which exact one).
  • Fenrir Moridin
    Although it seems confusing at first that Shepard still undergoes the same vision even if he initially resists indoctrination, it follows with what we've seen happen with other victims like Saren (where you need to constantly make them think about their situation with Charm or Intimidate). Making the wrong choice removes all the later options for Shepard to reject the vision, so one could argue that it always happens as a manifestation of the indoctrination and that a Shepard who took the red response is the only one watching it who realizes that there is something false.

    And for your point about only the red choice opening up to the DLC, I think you answered that yourself when you asked why squad mates wouldn't notice Shepard was indoctrinated: the red option has Shepard breaking out on his own, while the other two require a squad mate to help him. He always experiences the vision because it happens so quickly in his own head (think of how time works in dreams, etc.).

    On a final note, I would like to mention my own personal viewpoint, which is that the situation still probably needs a few weeks before we can have any idea what will happen with the endings. I personally hope that Bioware changes the endings in future DLC, especially since they'll be working on content for the game anyways and they might as well address the biggest problem people have with it anyways.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Again, you present a wonderfully well thought out case, but something about the theory just doesn't sit well with me. Even with all that's been counter argued to me, it still seem to sit on very shakey ground. So much of it left open to interpretation when it was promised that it would be conclusive and the whole idea just feels cheap, like a "it was all just a dream" ending. And I still feel as though it's got some holes in it. Like the undoubted brain damage that Shepard or anyone would have from such a sudden take over, or the fact the right before the sequence (pretty sure you cover this, but it still feels off to me) Harbinger blasts you, and Shep is most likely dying. I don't know, either indoctrination or not, the ending still pisses me off.
  • Fenrir Moridin
    I can understand that. To be honest, it just feels like the ending as it is can't be a capstone to the trilogy (indoctrination theory or not). There is something so fundamentally unsatisfying that it just ruins those last 10 minutes.

    That said, after a week or so when I'm finally over these endings I'm going to import another of my saves and play through so I can see how some of the other choices (and more importantly Femshep and Garrus) play out.

    Oh, and why has no one mentioned in their reviews of Mass Effect 3 the sheer awesomeness of the side quest when you get the kakliosaur fossil for the salarian? You give him amber with kakliosaur DNA, which he uses to clone them to give the krogan dinosaur mounts. So, Shepard basically enables the salarian to go Jurassic Park on the krogan to give them dinosaur mounts.
    Awesome.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Sadly, until this ending business is sorted out, I'm not sure I really want to replay the games, at least not for awhile.

    As for the kakliosaur fossil, oh yeah, that was amazing. If at the final battle we had been able to see krogan riding dinosaurs, I think I could forgive the endings a little bit. Mostly because that is an image so badass the holy choirs sing of it as we speak.
  • ll_Exile_ll  - Indotrination Clarifications
    A direct quote from Rana Thanoptis in ME1 about indoctrination.
    "Over time; days, maybe a week, it weakens your will. You become easier to manipulate and control, but it's a degenerative condition"

    Indoctrination is much faster than "weeks to months" as you say.

    Let's look at the amount of time Shepard has been in possible indoctrination situations:
    ME1:
    1. A short time on Eden Prime in the vicinity of Sovereign.
    2.Several hours on Virmire in the vicinity of Sovereign.
    3. The final Battle on the Citadel Tower with Sovereign right on top of it; at least 1 hour.
    ME2:
    1. Though not not really known if it was really an indoctrination environment, several hours on both the Collector Ship and the Collector base. Not confirmed, but possible.
    2. At least an hour inside a Reaper.
    3. And here's the big one. TWO DAYS in the vicinity of Object Rho, which had already fully indoctrinated an entire base of humans.
    ME3:
    Signicant close contact with several Reapers on Earth, Menae, Tuchanka, Rannoch, Thessia, and Earth again.

    Given the amount of time spent in indoctrination scenarios over the course of all three games, I think it is absolutely plausible that Shepard could be in the very early stages of indoctrination. At this point, the Reapers could not gain full control over him, so a dream/hallucination could be their best opportunity to stop him. It is believable that in this early stage, he would be more susceptible to their mind tricks, but still capable of fighting them off.

    It's also worth noting that Rana Thanoptis and Shiala both led normal lives for years after being slightly indoctrinated, with Rana only succumbing once the Reapers arrived, and Shiala completely overcoming due to the Thorian spores in her system, so there is precedent for indoctrination being fought off.

    Given Shepard's extensive knowledge of the Reapers and the process of indoctrination, I think it is acceptable that he could overcome the early stages through sheer will.

    This is all meaningless unless their is an actual extension to the ending released at some point, I am only trying to show that many aspects of this theory are fairly sound, and I, like many other fans, would be in favor of a continuation of the game where this indoctrination theory is proven true.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Quoting someone else here: "The indoctrination theory is not without issues of its own. What I seem to be gathering is that for proponents of this, the entire ending segment takes place inside Shepard's head. This makes me question why the indoctrination is even necessary. Shepard's been hit by a giant Reaper laser, and he's probably dying on the surface of the earth. The superweapon can't be activated, the largest individual threat to their existence is eating dirt, and the reapers have the citadel so they can turn off the mass effect relays, as was Sovreign's original goal (why didn't they do this when they took it to earth?). At this point, the reapers have won. Why even give Shepard a chance? What do they stand to gain? And if they do stand to gain, why is Shepard as an individual required for it? Next issue I have is that if the indoctrination theory is correct and only the choice to destroy the reapers indicates a breaking free of the indoctrination, in what way does this better the situation? It has been established that in this theory, the entire thing takes place in Shepard's head. Why would the Reapers even leave a legitimate threat to themselves in this mental scenario? I think it's incredibly likely that the player would choose "destroy all synthetic life," the indoctrination effect would be broken... and all of the reapers would still be sitting right there on earth. With the citadel. And no superweapon to stop them. And Commander Shepard definitively taken out of the action, considering the injuries. Finally I want to consider every element of the ending cutscene which I've seen typically ignored by this theory, which is every part that's exactly identical to every other ending. If we're seeing the exact same things in every scenario I think it's incredibly likely that the exact same thing is happening in every scenario. The most telling thing is the conversation between the grandfather/grandson at the end of the game. If the indoctrination theory was correct, why would that even appear for synthesis or control? The story of getting indoctrinated and losing is hardly the thing you tell a young child to inspire them to explore the stars. And if this entire ending sequence takes place as a result of the indoctrination process, why would it appear for destroy, in which that's supposed to have failed?"
  • ll_Exile_ll  - Confusion
    Instead of posting the exact same reply to everyone who responds to you, why don't you actually address the actual points people are making.
    Also, I am not saying the indoctrination theory is without problems of its own, but they are far less damning to the entire series than the ending as it is now.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    With the reply I'm using, I AM addressing the counterarguments and points. What more do want me to do? I bring up further issues that the theory has, and, by the way you were right about points how much time SHep spent around Reapers and Reaper tech, which pokes a hole in what I said. What should I have said? I just moved on.
  • Ohsha
    1) The games have never been internally consistent so why expect it now?
    2) It has been speculated since ME2 that the tech used to revive Shepherd included Reaper tech, making him part reaper, and inclining him towards indoctrination.

    Look at a renegade Shepherd's cracked face, doesn't it remind you of TIM's?
  • CaptainDoctor007
    avatar
    Even though I personally enjoyed the ending, felt a sense of bittersweet accomplishment, and found it to be satisfying for my own tastes, you have presented a very well thought out and put together case. I just wish more people could present their thoughts and opinions on the ending like you do, Joe.
  • SagaciousDave
    RE: Lycanfan's argument against the indoctrination theory: That's not strictly true. It's been stated before that the Reapers CAN rapidly indoctrinate a person they just prefer NOT to as it causes a far more rapid deterioration of the persons faculties. With that in mind, it is definitely possible that Shepard was affected in the most minor of ways in the lead up to this game and that Harbinger, knowing that this was about to get extremely bad for his entire species, choose to try and rapidly indoctrinate Shepard when he got close enough for the laser strike.
    Also, does anyone wonder if we could actually sue Bioware for false advertising? They've been recorded in many official capacities making claims about the endings being wildly varied and radically different from each other. Hell, they've advertised it that way. As such I'm pretty sure that counts as false advertising and making demonstrably false statements to the consumer. I'd be willing to join up for a class action suit for either monetary reparations OR a new, FREE to download with any legally purchased copy, endings.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    But, if Shep was rapidly indoctrinated then the ending STILL won't matter because Shep is still going to be insane afterward. And again I must ask: if Shep, argueablly the Reapers greatest enemy, was truly indoctrinated & right in the clutches of the Catalyst, why let him/her live? Why not kill her? Why take the risk? He/she will soon be gibbering mad & thus useless, so why keep him/her around?
    And like I said: "keep in mind no one, NO ONE has ever overcome indoctrination. Not The Illusive Man, not Saren, not Benezia, not the Protheans, no one. So if Shep is indoctrinated & somehow survives she/he will still be controlled afterward (IE, during the Shep "lives" end)."
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    The indoctrination ending theory pretty much takes care of all those plot holes. Everything after getting hit by that laser was a dream or illusion. It's the only possible way this ending can make any lick of sense. And I like the fact that the endings don't have any clear cut idea of whats good or whats bad. I think the best choice was to kill all synthetics and just restart over. Seemed logical...sad but logical. Also, that last breath secret scene only happens if you take the reject synthetics ending...is that a clue that means Shepard rejected the reapers indoctrination and now he's waking up in the rubble after being hit by the Reaper laser? Only Bioware has the answers and I'm hoping they release free DLC that continues the ending. Maybe they had to leave the ending for later due to release constraints? I'm hoping that is the case...sad how I love Bioware games so much that I defend them till the end :P
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    It actually replaces the old ones with new ones. Please see my original comment on the subject.
  • sordcooper
    avatar
    I was also very upset with the endings for how they went against the lore of the series and completely ignored the foreshadowing and hints at the true nature of the reapers from ME2, as well as how Shepperd laid down and took the choices given to him when the time came. However; in the end that could have been purposeful, and as both a writer and a student of game design i recognize that the choices made by a writing staff that is under the gun of a release date and ever dwindling budget are hard ones to make (though they should have learned from Paragon Shep's lessons of "there's always another way" and what have you).

    Where i do feel betrayed and outright OWED something better is in the quality of the ending cut scenes (or lack there of), the fact that we are told nothing of our squadmates and the freinds we've made over the coarse of the franchise, the ultimate fate of the galaxy after our tough calls with the geth, the genophage, and even the citadel council back at the end of ME1! Hell, say what you will about the endings in the Fallout Franchise being slide shows, but at least they informed us about our legacies and our companions while changing to fit what we had done over the coarse of the game!

    ...oh yeah, AND WHERE ARE MY BLUE BABIES!
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    The visible mechanical parts only appear after indoctrination. And are you seriously asking why Shepard can survive indoctrination and not everyone else? He's freaking Shepard for gods sake! He's been through a lot of tough choices before and what makes the indoctrination theory so brilliant is the idea that everyone is confused about which is the best choice. The supposed "best" ending which involves fusing is a load of bull because it is not the best ending! The actual best ending is destroying and rejecting synthetics, which also means your rejecting indoctrination. The choice is red because the child is trying to confuse the players and Shepard in choosing the bad choices!
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    But WHY is Shepard able to do this when no one else in the last 37 million years has been able to do so? This is a series that explains damn near EVERYTHING, so, again, why? How? Simply saying "He's freaking Shepard for gods sake" is not even close to being a good enough explanation.

    And AGAIN I mus ask the following: if Shep, argueablly the Reapers greatest enemy, was truly indoctrinated & right in the clutches of the Catalyst, why let him/her live? Why not kill her? Why take the risk? He/she will soon be gibbering mad & thus useless, so why keep him/her around?

    AND even if Shep can through off the control, the damage has been done. Shep's still probably going to go insane, just like everyone else.

    And if they are going to explain everything with DLC, then they're just wringing us for money and lied when they said the game was complete.
  • shadow4659
    RE: Lycanfan. With the indroctination theory, after shepard gets hit with harbinger's beam everything that takes place is all a "dream" or the process of indroctionation, made to confuse shepard into falling into it. Shepard is the only one able to overcome indroctionation, all those dream sequences with the kid and even at the very beginning of the game, are harbinger's attempts a indroctionation, which shows that shepard CAN overcome indroctionation, otherwise he would have been under Harbinger's control from the very beginning of the game. And as for the scene after the credits, that is not part of the "dream" state, that is only there to show that the story is not over. the story definitely is not over because Harbinger played no role in this game what so ever and was only mentioned at the very end, there will be more either in DLC or my guess a new game to continue it.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    But WHY is Shepard able to do this when no one else in the last 37 million years has been able to do so? This is a series that explains damn near EVERYTHING, so, again, why? How?

    And AGAIN I mus ask the following: if Shep, argueablly the Reapers greatest enemy, was truly indoctrinated & right in the clutches of the Catalyst, why let him/her live? Why not kill her? Why take the risk? He/she will soon be gibbering mad & thus useless, so why keep him/her around?

    AND even if Shep can through off the control, the damage has been done. Shep's still probably going to go insane, just like everyone else.

    And if they are going to explain everything with DLC, then they're just wringing us for money and lied when they said the game was complete.
  • sjneow  - Harbinger says: Keep Shepard alive, if possible
    [And AGAIN I mus ask the following: if Shep, argueablly the Reapers greatest enemy, was truly indoctrinated & right in the clutches of the Catalyst, why let him/her live? Why not kill her? Why take the risk? He/she will soon be gibbering mad & thus useless, so why keep him/her around? ]

    I feel like I need to reply to this since this was copy pasted quite a few times, if you played Mass Effect 2 Harbinger has a quote "Keep Shepard alive, if possible". He has plans for Shepard, plans which probably will never be made clear to us.

    And Indoctrinated doesn't mean you will be gibbering mad or useless, The illusive man was indoctrinated years ago, thus making him believe that he can control the Reapers, spending his whole life researching for means to do so, he pretty much has his mind intact and sane.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Also in the "dream state", you are offered options that make no sense due to the fact the leader of the Reapers is just handing their fate over to you. Why would they do this? If Shep can just break the control, why wouldn't the nonsensical nature of this choice stick out to him/her, especially if this is only the process of the take over, not the actual take over? You maybe confused, but wouldn't that just stick out as being bizarre?
  • VoidedFilms  - Perfect
    avatar
    I think this says everything anyone could ever say on the ending/s

    With this we are vindicated :D
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    RE: Lycanfan. Why not keep Shepard indoctrinated? The man is the most important figure to ever battle the Reapers. He's basically a person that the Reapers are hoping they can break down and use for their own gain. Shepard is the most respected and important individual in the Galaxy! Trust me when I say that the Reapers would definitely want a person like that on their side! Also, the Illusive man was only gibbering insane when you convinced him he was already in their control. He was easy to control due to the fact that he wanted control since the beginning anyways.

    If he fights off the control then I'm sure he'll still be himself. Remember how Benezia in her last moments was able to be herself again. If Shepard rejects indoctrination, then I'm pretty damn sure his epicness will be able to keep him sane :P

    Also, I think the indoctrination not working on Shepard was just a last ditch effort by the Reapers in order to stop him. He did have contact with some Reaper technology, but the Reapers never actually physically got their hands on him. That explains your idea about why nobody else was able to reject indoctrination.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Benazia wan't in the final stages, she wasn't even as far along as Saren, and both of them were being indoctrinated for months, the safer method, as opposed to the all-at-once method that would've had to been used on Shep, the method that does brain damage and psychological marring almost immediately, thus screwing the subject. And, The Illusive Man was never in Reaper clutches, just exposed to Reaper tech, just like Shep.
    And again, his/her "epicness" is not a applicable reason here.
  • Ratin8tor
    avatar
    Angry Joe. Par run of the course, nothing new about seeing him get angry.

    Calm, collected Joe filled with dissapointment and comtempt? Far, far more unsettling. I've never played Mass Effect in my life (hell I don't even know what any of it is about), but hearing Joe speak so calmly is enough for me to know it's crap.
  • Fenrir Moridin
    This.

    I think it was perfect how Joe decided to do this in a completely cold, calculated tone. It's reminiscent of a person being pushed beyond their breaking point: he's not angry anymore, he's something so far beyond it that we can't even identify it as anger anymore.

    Thanks for pointing it out, I almost forgot how awesome that was when I was involving myself in that kerfuffle over the indoctrination theory ^_^
  • Dust
    I believe they call that "tranquil fury".
  • Whisky Tango Foxtrot
    avatar
    What bothers me isn't the fact that the game had a bad ending. Sure, it sucks that the story you've invested so much time into over the past five years had such a shitty conclusion (speaking hypothetically here, as I had enough of Bioware's bullshit when they tried to tell me that the entire Star Wars galaxy was the leftovers of some ancient alien race that nobody had mentioned before in the originak KotOR and I haven't played another of their games since) but ultimately, life goes on.

    What bothers me is the fact that this glaring flaw was either completely ignored or severely downplayed by pretty much every one of the mainstream critics. That a game based largely on its story can have such an unsatisfying, nonsensical conclusion and still get 9.5s across the board.

    Bad games exist. I accept that. Even talented developers with the best of intentions can put out a shitty game simply due to all the unpredictable factors that go into a large project like game development (so it comes as no surprise that a group of hacks like Bioware can do it.) However, it's the job of the critics to inform us of when this happens so that we can make informed purchases, and the gaming press completely failed to do their jobs on this one.

    Sure, the accusations that the gaming press are nothing more than the PR agents for the major publishers is nothing new, but this debacle really shows that something needs to change.
  • Ohsha
    Haven't you learned mainstream videogame magazines and websites are all bought and paid for? Even Penny Arcade did a week+ of advertisements for ME3.
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    But Shepard was already in the stages of indoctrination for months. Why do you think he kept seeing that child everywhere. That child never existed and never came into contact with anybody else accept Shepard. He was already starting to lose his mind from the beginning of the game!

    But it wasn't fast enough, the Reapers needed a last minute ditch effort in order to control him, thus the reason for the choices. The good choice is in red in order to trick him. Also, notice how when you destroy Reapers, the child in the back of Shepard disappears. In all the other choices, the kid is still there.

    Really this all I can do to convince you. It is better explained on the Bioware forums the indoctrination theory, something you should check out because its pretty interesting and plausible.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Even if he/she is indoctrinated, Shep was hit, full on at close range with a Reapers laser. Shep prolly dying in the dirt. If it is all in his/her head, it makes more sense that it's a hallucination brought on by being so close to death.
    I just went to the forums, and I'm sorry, but the indoctrination theory seems to be ful of just as many holes as the ending NOT being indoctrination, which speaks volumes about just how awful the ending really is.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Also, if the indoctrination theory is correct and only the choice to destroy the reapers indicates a breaking free of the indoctrination, in what way does this better the situation? It has been established that in this theory, the entire thing takes place in Shepard's head. Why would the Reapers even leave a legitimate threat to themselves in this mental scenario? I think it's incredibly likely that the player would choose "destroy all synthetic life," the indoctrination effect would be broken... and all of the reapers would still be sitting right there on earth. With the citadel. And no superweapon to stop them. And Commander Shepard definitively taken out of the action, considering the injuries.
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    Also, I do agree that if Bioware make us pay for the real ending...that will definitely be a dick move on their part :P That's why I'm hoping its free :) I man can dream though. lol
  • Fenrir Moridin
    I've never tried linking in the TGWTG forum, but here's a comic I think summed it up pretty well:

    http://www.nerfnow.com/ comic/image/711
  • olehoncho
    avatar
    It's choice. Your options are limited throughout the entire game, and that is what weakens ME3.

    From the start of the game where Shepard, who has no reason to answer to the alliance, is grounded for something done in a DLC. Would a renegade Shepard really go back to stand trial when s/he knows the Reapers are already incoming? Comics/stories between ME2-ME3 should only be supplementary, the games should matter more.

    The Conduit as the focus of the game was terrible. Multiple options for the final confrontation would have been better:
    - Using the Haestrom data to send the Sun supernova, destroying the Reapers and Earth - making the ultimate sacrifice.
    - Using Reaper data from the Collector base or Sovereign's remains to find a flaw in their shields to deactivate them for the fleet battle.
    - Sovereign decimated the Rachni because their acid compounds can destroy Reaper metals.
    - Boarding a Mass Effect Relay and reprogramming it to send a reaper fleet into a sun or some other trap.

    A Galaxy full of options, and we're railroaded into this. Other options too. Where is the option to research a long-range omni-tool drone so Mordin can release the cure via remote? Bioware has made the role our character plays less important as our ability to influence events is lessened.
  • Ohsha
    Those would be some pretty neat options, except for the Rachni one. That'd feel like a McGuffin.

    It seems like Drew was trying to change the most boilerplate of RPG plotlines, "an ancient evil has awoken" into something Lovecraftian but failed to understand how to execute it properly. Each game since has moved further from that goal-marker with giant terminator babies and a nerfed Reaper group that functions like the invading army in Dragon Age.
  • SpeedyEric
    avatar
    0:26- "Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?"

    The ending of Star Wars Episode VI is my favorite film endings of all time, because it perfectly ends the entire saga, and it always puts a smile on my face.
  • Fredwin  - Yeah..
    How can you argue that this train-wreck of an ending DOESN'T ruin the entire trilogy?

    Mass-Effect is a completely story-driven game. COMPLETELY. ME was never a technological wonder nor did it boast any type of incredible gameplay. It was simply a great story where you got to make choices based in an awesome universe.

    This ending totally tore that apart. Now it's impossible to think or even bear to be reminded of any single part of the entire trilogy that you may have liked without being reminded of this utter shite.

    To argue in favor of the ending you either have to be a troll or just love playing devil's advocate. Clearly based on Bioware's on words. They lied or were unable to deliver on false promises. Not really a defensible position.

    The pressure needs to be applied until someone in the company comes forth and says something, then this will get better.
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    RE: Lycanfan. All reapers would be sitting right there on earth. Whats your point? Isn't that the idea behind a cliffhanger. If you want to answer to your question then ask Bioware, I can't tell you what happens in the real ending because I don't know it!
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    Mass Effect t3 wasn't supposed to have a cliffahanger, it was supposed to end the story of Shepard and the War with the Reapers. A cliffhanger doesn't end a damn thing. That's why it's a valid question. Weather or not the indoctrination theory is correct doesn't matter. The ending was terribly executed and shoddily put together and BioWare fucked up royally.
  • metalmaiden
    avatar
    hey hey, I'm not trying to defend the idea that this ending was good, I'm trying to defend the idea that this ending can be fixed if the indoctrination theory is actually reality. The plot holes disappear thanks to this theory and it opens up the possibility for a "real ending" DLC. If Bioware uses this theory and gives out free DLC, then I would forgive them completely and actually applaud them for giving us this crazy awesome cliffhanger. It would also be funny trolling on the parts of Bioware :P But if they don't fix it... then yes, I myself would be disappointed in this cliffhanger BS ending, and I wouldn't forgive them for completely lying to us! Bioware said that they would respond to the outcry once enough people have beaten the game, lets just hope this free DLC vision of mine becomes reality.
  • Fredwin
    I didn't think you were trying to defend it. I was just saying how I feel about it in general. I don't see why someone would defend the ending itself unless they are just trying to be a dick.

    If this ending was even 20% better than it is, I might be one of those people asking everyone to quit whining, it's not a big deal, etc. This was really too much to swallow though. I typically don't even put much stock into endings because I feel they are usually pretty unsatisfying. It's more about the Journey.

    I'll never feel that way about Mass Effect though. For better or for worse, what Mass Effect became was trying to get the ending you desired through your own choices through-out the trilogy. I was upset when I found out I lost my 60 hour ME 1 playthrough and couldn't import it into ME 2. Now I'm glad though, because it turns out it didn't mean shit. At least I saved that playthrough Shepard from reaching the end and getting shat on.

    ME 1 was mostly about exploration. ME 2 was about developing relations with your squad. ME 3 was about invalidating everything that took place in both prior games. So yup, game ruined.

    I've played hundreds of bad games, and I've seen hundreds of bad endings. This is the first time I've ever felt compelled to actually make a post about one of them though. I guess the disappointment really stems from just the pure colossal waste of potential. It really is a shame.
  • lycanfan
    avatar
    I hope it works out for you. But for me, the indoctrination theory just replaces old plot holes with new ones and just feels cheap and lazy like a "it was all a dream" ending.
  • TheWrittenDemon
    avatar
    Someone explain to me then this ending: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=QjWlb-99ZHs Though it's still as bad, I just want to know if anyone else has seen it.
  • X-kaliber
    That's the 'bad' destroy ending. Basically it seems like anything/anyone even vaguely synthetic dies along with the reapers. Don't forget that Joker has synthetic parts and EDI would be destroyed, along with all the Geth, AI's, etc.

    On the subject of the indoctrination theory, if that turned out to be the answer for these endings, it would be the sloppiest ending to the series physically possible. It's basically a 'but then he woke up and realised it was all just a dream.' ending, which is literally the most childishly over used method of ending something, ever.

    The endings that we get should only have applied to the 'Destroy' choice. It would basically have been the Renegade's choice de jour, allowing them to save the galaxy in the most assholish way possible, removing the reapers and damning everyone else to mere survival, thousands upon thousands trapped in the Sol system.

    The 'Control' ending should've shown Shepard becoming one with the Reaper's conciousness/hivemind and taking them away from Sol and out into the vast darkness of space, leaving everyone else behind, sacrificing himself to protect the rest of the universe. This would then culminate in a genuine reason for the old man to refer to him as 'The Shepard'. There was no necessity for the Mass Relays to be destroyed in this ending, it was simply bad writing.

    The 'Synthesis' ending should have been the most ambiguous and perhaps most questionable. As pointed out, the whole reason that we could defeat the Reapers or even have a chance at it is because we had such a diverse range of peoples and species working together. For them to all become one, new race, is very Budda-like. It's the whole idea that in the end, we are all originally created from the same beginning, we are all part of the same universe and are inherently intertwined as such.

    It would be used to emphasise what had started and ended with the Geth and the Quarians, learning to live together, that they do not all have to destroy each other, much as the other races learn to do across the course of the games. The synthesis ending would be the closest thing possible to a galactic scale enlightenment possible.

    Now, the reason why the endings make everything we've ever done such a waste:

    It's actually more humane to do as little as possible, get the bare minimum requirements to complete the game and as little help from the other races as possible. By not helping them, by not requesting their assistance, by not resolving centuries old conflicts, you actually save more people than you do by gathering all of the known universe's races to the Sol system. If you'd left all the people that came with you, all the fleets that followed you where they came from, they'd have more chance of surviving the annihilation of the relays than they do by coming with you... (edited to continue in separate post)
  • X-kaliber
    Every person and race that you befriended and brought with you for the final fight, you personally damn forever. As noted, Earth cannot sustain its own population in an effective manner after all of this is over. Don't forget that all synthetics, regardless of relation or links to the reapers will either be destroyed, removed from the system or cross-bred into a new race. There's;

    A: Not enough space in our system or enough habitable planets for all the races gathered there.

    B: No knowing how people would react to the 'synthesis' choice. Or the fact that you essentially have to Destroy/remove all of the Geth and also things like EDI from existence.

    C: The fact that a lot of the races were in desparate need of aid or assistance with rebuilding, that they'll probably never receive now.

    D: The fact that countless colonies and Space Stations, etc, that are never going to be reached ever again (within a number of Asari life spans).

    E: Not enough resources in the Sol System to even attempt to create a new Mass Relay, even if the combined efforts of all the races went into this, there would be no Relays anywhere else to target it with.

    You know what annoys me most though? The fact that I could've shot Wrex in the face in Mass Effect 1, lost the help of his people and I would have saved more people than I do in the current endings.
Only registered users can write comments!

Follow us on:

Latest Videos

Rap Critic: Ridin

Watch Video

Brad: TR - Infringment

Watch Video

NChick: BYOA - S2E8

Watch Video

Paw: QfG4 Parts 5-6

Watch Video

Tom: Beneath the PotA P3

Watch Video

Adventure Time: Breezy

Watch Video

Brad: Babe Ruth Story

Watch Video

Making of NC: Bloodrayne

Watch Video

Vangelus: Batman Arkham City

Watch Video

Word Funk: Serious Dudes

Watch Video

WMR: The Evil Cat

Watch Video

Nerd: Ep 121 - Voice Acting

Watch Video

Lotus: Galerians P1-2

Watch Video

MikeJ: When in Rome

Watch Video

Diamanda: Rock & Rule

Watch Video

Leon: Four Lions

Watch Video

Phelous: Beauty & the Beast P1

Watch Video

Shaun K: One Piece OWR

Watch Video

Adventure Time: Sad Face

Watch Video

NC: WYKNA - Hot Fuzz

Watch Video

Todd: Informer by Snow

Watch Video

MarzGurl: AT of The Guyver P1

Watch Video

Brad: Planes: Fire & Rescue

Watch Video

Korra: Old Wounds &

Watch Video

Linkara: Sinnamon #1

Watch Video

Sage: Night Warriors

Watch Video

AWD: Shovel Knight

Watch Video

Lupa: Lethal

Watch Video

Brad: Purge 2 & Sex Tape

Watch Video

Adventure Time: The Tower

Watch Video

BB: I, Frankenstein

Watch Video

MikeJ: Boy vs Girl Food Challenges

Watch Video

Nash: The Motherlovin

Watch Video

Smarty: LotB - Chrono Trigger

Watch Video

Lesbian Talk: Episode 64

Watch Video

Blog Categories

What's Up? (142)
Sports (264)
News (279)
Book Reviews (549)
Funny (574)
Top # Lists (737)
Animation (917)
Wrestling (985)
Movies (1052)
Anime (1065)
Thoughts (1145)
Comics (1190)
Misc Reviews (1280)
Music (1388)
Video Reviews (1927)
Film Review (2735)
Uncategorized (4006)
Video Games (5136)
Old Blogs (15314)