Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

They had all the pieces in place to make the ending epic, all your good/bad choices matter in some way. However, they decided at the last moment to turn and drive Mass Effect straight into a black hole. Quick and dirty; I smell accountants.

kyrieee wrote:
I thought it was posted somewhere already but I couldn't find it. A pretty good theory on the ending if you ask me.

That certainly isn't implausible, and it would be *kind* of cool if it were true, but it would also piss me right off.

On this new theory

Spoiler:
I like this "falling asleep in the shower" ending better than the deus ex machina ending

Some cut dialogue from the ending:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booBm...

Also, tweet from some BioWare guy:
IMAGE(http://filesmelt.com/dl/Naamloos59.png)

Agree 100% with everyone who says the endings completely ruin things. Just wasted 20 minutes going back and playing through each of them in search of one I was happy with - mission failed

EVERYTHING else in the game is AWESOME but those endings....good grief.

Especially...ESPECIALLY!....

Spoiler:
That "Tell me another story of 'The Shepherd' Grandpa! Bullsh*t they pull after the credits...just....what the hell!? Was that just so they could justify adding DLC by putting you back before attacking the Cerberus base? Utter madness.

Oh..and that 'middle' option.....wtf? That's possibly the stupidest ending to anything I've seen this side of DX:Invisible War.

Hyetal wrote:
kyrieee wrote:
I thought it was posted somewhere already but I couldn't find it. A pretty good theory on the ending if you ask me.

That certainly isn't implausible, and it would be *kind* of cool if it were true, but it would also piss me right off.

I got the "perfect" ending, and one of the things that stood out to me was:

Spoiler:
During the entire citadel sequence, Shepard was not wearing recognizable N7 armor. However, during the end sequence where apparently Shepard breathes, he is wearing full N7 armor. EDIT Watched it again, it was a dog tag not the armor emblem. So scratch that.

That is probably just sloppy asset management, but if I take it together with some of the "theories"... maybe, just maybe..

Ending

Spoiler:
I'm probably just in denial and not thinking rationally about this anymore, but having the dream sequences with all the whispering voices be Shepard's beginning indoctrination seems to make some kind of sense. At least more sense than PTSD. Shepard waking up in the rubble in London if you have enough EMS suggests that she never went up into the Citadel, and that it was all just a mind battle against the indoctrination or something like that. It's not completely implausible, but it doesn't fit with the ending cutscene and Normady crashing. Someone had to go up there to open the Citadel.

kyrieee wrote:
Some cut dialogue from the ending:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booBm...

Also, tweet from some BioWare guy:
IMAGE(http://filesmelt.com/dl/Naamloos59.png)

Yeah, bits of information like that make me hope that the ending(s) are nothing more than palette swapped gotchas. I want to believe...
But with the financial swings that occurred during the development of this game, I can easily see the bean-counters gutting content/funds in the name of profit.

A few more things to add to the ending theory:

Spoiler:
If you talk to Vega, one of his repeating lines is something like "Do you hear that hum? Or is it just me".
Also, on Sanctuary one of the science logs talks about adrenaline being a catalyst for indoctrination.

ending rant spewing unedited brainthoughts...

Spoiler:
I'm OK with a bleak ending - I expected Sheperd to die, INVITED it actually - it's a good bookend to the story. I'm even OK with the magical crucible deus Ex Machina existing, since it's introduced in a semi plausable manner (a device being worked on and improved through each cycle until one day being ready to work, and disrupt the cycle)...although they seem to fall into the usual trap of making a foe so terribly advanced that they need to come up with some sort of magic weapon to kill them rather than an - in my opinion more satisfying - conventional (if costly) means of defeating them.

I'm also OK with the options presented...(well, not the MIDDLE option, since it's a borderline farce that someone must have added because they figured they needed a middle option and decided the best course of action was LOLMAGIC!).

What really bugs me is the need to destroy the Mass Relay Network. As someone mentioned above - doesn't the resulting explosion from such an event cause a supernova-level explosion (see: The Arrival DLC and the reason for you being courtmartialled at the start of ME3). Given that every homeworld system has a Mass Relay in the same system...well great. So much for saving the universe from extintion. I guess future civilizations will have more luck next time around...yay.

Even if that's not the case...ever scan any of the Sol system planets? Each and every one of them displays DEPLETED. Oh and most of the only planet capable of sustaining life is on fire. Congratulations! You won! Now starve to death along with the bulk of the other races that survived the attack (have fun with a bunch of hungry Krogans and Vorcha), locked into a system with no natural resources left!

Oh, and why exactly did the Normandy end up running from the multi-hued explosion anyway? That's awfully prescient of him to commit treason by running away when it looked like we were about to win....

....and how exactly do they explain the presence of Liara / EDE / Garrus on the crashed Normandy when they were right there on Earth with me right up to the point when I charged towards the light...so much for having faith in me getting the job done.

It's just such a damned shame. I hope, HOPE that Bioware just be Trollin' and..

Spoiler:
it turns out to be another dream like the ones from earlier in the game, like people say

EVERYTHING up to that point was just pitch perfect for me...some of the stuff that happens in the game was heartbreaking/rousing in all the right ways

Spoiler:
Thane's death, Legion, Taking out the Reapers on Tchunka and the Quarian Homeworld, Sheperd and Liara stealing little moments together now and then, Miranda's dad turning out to be Alan "I used to be Jim from 'Neighbours' but now I play a villian in every US TV series EVER" Dale

all fantastic stuff.

..GAH! So frustrating!

Until further notice my solution for future playthroughs is going to be to Hit ALt-F4 after

Spoiler:
Martin Sheen shoots himself and I crawl over to the control console...

...and then making up the rest of the ending in my head.

***

On a lighter note - I actually started to half expect the Illusive man to turn out to be a 12 year old hacker disguised by a hologram...

Spoiler:
seriously - his second in commands have been a genetically perfect woman in a skin-tight suit, a Fembot and a Cyborg Ninja.

Seriously?!

Spoiler:
Horizon
mission spoilers

Spoiler:
Another squad mate down? Miranda!

I guess I'm glad I broke the romance off now? Or would she have lived if I had only loved her enough?

That's 5 friends down now, and I'm still not at end game. sh*t.

stevenmack wrote:
For the record my companion death count by the end of the game was...
Spoiler:
just Thane, Morden and Legion

Same for me. More stuff that was handled excellently, I have to say.

Stele wrote:
Seriously?!

Spoiler:
Horizon
mission spoilers

Spoiler:
Another squad mate down? Miranda!

I guess I'm glad I broke the romance off now? Or would she have lived if I had only loved her enough?

That's 5 friends down now, and I'm still not at end game. sh*t.

Spoiler:
She survived Horizon in my game - not sure what the difference would be, unless you didn't catch all her side-questy bits from earlier (She contacts you three times I think)?
I never romanced her at all in the first game

For the record my companion death count by the end of the game was...

Spoiler:
just Thane, Morden and Legion - Grunt and Samara came close in their respective cameos, but they survived

MY POST IS USELESS

Hyetal wrote:

MY POST IS USELESS

MY REPLY TO YOUR POST IS NOW ALSO USELESS

Also...something I meant to ask about earlier but didn't want to risk going into the spoiler thread for.

The sidequest involving a possible indocrinated Hanaar...

Spoiler:
where Kasumi shows up

Did that break for anyone else? Or did I miss something. I went over and used the hotspot outside the Embassy Offices, there was a line of dialogue I was only half paying attention to at the time and then...nothing. Couldn't find any other way to advance it and Kasumi never shows up again

Spoiler:
Not even on the magic companion communication device in London at the final battle

disappointing, since that was one of my favorite side characters from ME2

Stele wrote:
Seriously?!

Spoiler:
Horizon
mission spoilers

Spoiler:
Another squad mate down? Miranda!

I guess I'm glad I broke the romance off now? Or would she have lived if I had only loved her enough?

That's 5 friends down now, and I'm still not at end game. sh*t.

Spoiler:
Yes she would've

stevenmack wrote:
Did that break for anyone else?

Spoiler:
Saving and reloading/leaving and re-entering the area seems to fix that mission. And I'm guessing unless you make her a war asset, she's not in that communication fella's directory.

stevenmack wrote:
Did that break for anyone else? Or did I miss something. I went over and used the hotspot outside the Embassy Offices, there was a line of dialogue I was only half paying attention to at the time and then...nothing. Couldn't find any other way to advance it and Kasumi never shows up again.

It kind of broke for me. The direction marker wouldn't go away and kept pointing to the same terminal, when in fact you need to go to bunch of different floors and find other terminals there (check your map). However, I heard that if you leave the citadel when the quest is in progress then it breaks permanently.

rabbit wrote:

"Betrayal" seems an awfully charged word for "I didn't like it." There is no contract between author and reader that the author handle things a certain way. You can certainly hate it, but the idea that somehow you were entitled to have the story conclude in a certain way seems, frankly, a bit absurd. I TOTALLY get why some folks are all "the ending sucked." But the idea that somehow they just phoned it in after 100 hours of storytelling, rather than making a deliberate, authorial decision, is hollow and false on the face of it. You may DETEST that authorial decision, but it is still an authorial decision.

Rabbit, I just think it's different if you invested time in this series. Honestly. I finished ME1 4 times and ME2 twice. And when I heard spoilers about the endings I was son angry I skipped even buying the game and went straight to reading spoilers.

In summary I loved Mass Effect. I love it so much that when I heard what they did to the end of the series I didn't even bother playing it. To me that's the most damning indictment you can have of a game. When fans decide to take a complete pass on your work. I guess after the Matrix sequels and Star Wars prequels I decided it was time to say "no" to something beloved being ruined. I spent too much time with that crew to have it end like that.

Also, I wish EA didn't own Bioware. I don't know of a single example of where this has actually improved Bioware.

DSGamer wrote:
rabbit wrote:

"Betrayal" seems an awfully charged word for "I didn't like it." There is no contract between author and reader that the author handle things a certain way. You can certainly hate it, but the idea that somehow you were entitled to have the story conclude in a certain way seems, frankly, a bit absurd. I TOTALLY get why some folks are all "the ending sucked." But the idea that somehow they just phoned it in after 100 hours of storytelling, rather than making a deliberate, authorial decision, is hollow and false on the face of it. You may DETEST that authorial decision, but it is still an authorial decision.

Rabbit, I just think it's different if you invested time in this series. Honestly. I finished ME1 4 times and ME2 twice. And when I heard spoilers about the endings I was son angry I skipped even buying the game and went straight to reading spoilers.

In summary I loved Mass Effect. I love it so much that when I heard what they did to the end of the series I didn't even bother playing it. To me that's the most damning indictment you can have of a game. When fans decide to take a complete pass on your work. I guess after the Matrix sequels and Star Wars prequels I decided it was time to say "no" to something beloved being ruined. I spent too much time with that crew to have it end like that.

I think your making a mistake by doing that as well from everything I've heard the ride up to the ending is some of the best out of any mass effect game but the ending is what hurts it, I've seen the ending but I reserve judgement on it till I am fully done. I would still recommend to play it though even if you wait for a price drop or rent it.

I will say that if you, as someone said ...

Spoiler:
stop playing when IM shoots himself

... then you have absolutely the best part of the series, and one of the finest games I have ever played. To avoid the whole 25-30 hour experience because you don't like the way the ending *sounds*, but which you haven't actually experienced seems -- odd. It borders a bit on saying "I hate all movies where the lead character dies, so I know I'll hate this one" or "well, I hate all romantic comedies, so I know for sure I will hate this one."

To each his own. Lots of great games to play. The arc from ME2 through ME3, warts and all, will remain an absolute peak gaming experience.

rabbit wrote:
I will say that if you, as someone said ...

Spoiler:
stop playing when IM shoots himself

... then you have absolutely the best part of the series, and one of the finest games I have ever played. To avoid the whole 25-30 hour experience because you don't like the way the ending *sounds*, but which you haven't actually experienced seems -- odd. It borders a bit on saying "I hate all movies where the lead character dies, so I know I'll hate this one" or "well, I hate all romantic comedies, so I know for sure I will hate this one."

To each his own. Lots of great games to play. The arc from ME2 through ME3, warts and all, will remain an absolute peak gaming experience.

Here's what I know. Almost every single person I've seen talk about ME3 dislikes or hates the ending. I feel like this is similar to the point where I stopped watching Lost at the start of Season 3. Maybe I'll miss out on something amazing, but maybe I'll save myself some money and heartache. I'm playing The Witcher and a pile of Vita games, anyway, so I'm good.

While I'm not really a fan of the ending I have to say that I think that playing ME3 was an incredible experience. The humour, the callbacks to the earlier games, the improvements to the combat engine added to the emotional hit of the big moments really made for a fantastic game (though the quest log is infuriating).

I like the theory posted above about the ending.

Spoiler:
Even though the wearing down of Shep's psyche was touched on numerous times thoughout the game, if it is a personal battle against indoctrination then they should have made the clues less subtle and the outcome more clear cut. Of course that's not how indoctrination works.

I dunno, when someone makes something THIS amazing for $2 an hour, I'm willing to give them a LOT of slack.

Malor wrote:
At least with a nihilist movie or book, you only have a few hours invested. Playing all the way through all three ME games would take something like a full time month. If you're going for the nihilist ending, you should be setting it up by no later than Week 2 of playtime, not get sandbagged with it in the last five minutes.

This is kind of where I am with it. I could learn Russian finally. Or I could finish some training I am doing in iOS development or MangoDB. There's a lot of stuff I could spend my time on that would be more worth it.

Nevermind that I don't have a Mass Effect 2 save any longer and would have to wade through the save editor or play 1 and 2 again... ugh. No thanks.

But the value of the whole is eroded enormously by such a poor ending. It's like they phoned it in from Pluto or something.

There was a lot of good stuff about ME3. I didn't like the combat quite as well, but I really, REALLY enjoyed the way the characters actually interacted with each other on the ship. Them having real conversations with each other was a very big deal. I loved listening to them talk without needing my input.

But at the end, the value of the whole, for me, was cut to maybe a tenth what it had been thirty minutes prior. In my Imperfect Paragon Shepherd game, as far as I could tell, nothing that I did had any impact whatsoever on the ending. All that work, all those decisions, all that struggle, was worthless.

As commentary on the futility of life or something, I suppose that could work, but it's sure a giant f*cking waste to spend 150 hours adventuring, only to get slapped in the face with a dead trout. Cue a Nelson laugh. "What a schmuck you were to spend all that time on this. Ha ha!"

Spoiler:
It's the same exact bullsh*t that you had with Deus Ex 3 -- the Three Buttons of Fate. After 150 hours, that's bullsh*t.

At least with a nihilist movie or book, you only have a few hours invested. Playing all the way through all three ME games would take something like a full time month. If you're going for the nihilist ending, you should be setting it up by no later than Week 2 of playtime, not get sandbagged with it in the last five minutes.

Wow so I just finished the game and tried to read this whole thread (but failed on page 5) so here are my thoughts.

The early part of this game was blowing my mind at times. I thought ME2 was very cinematic but the first few hours of ME3 blew it away (the approach to Mars was gorgeous for instance). Sadly I don't feel they maintained that level of production values through-out the game. Like it started out with loading screens hidden behind cool videos but switched to regular loading screens after a certain point.

Disc swapping on the 360 was way less smooth than it was with ME2. I think I had to swap around five times in total.

Loved seeing all the old characters return but I wish a few more of them could have become squad members (Liara just isn't as powerful a biotic as Jack or Samara).

Also speaking of powers they felt way less powerful than they did in ME2 to me.

I was surprised by how funny a few scenes were.

Spoiler:
Specifically I laughed my ass off at both Ashley and Tali getting drunk and at Conrad Verner and at Tali telling Garrus she was only using him for his body when I caught them snuggling in the main battery.

I was impressed when I got a bit verklempt during a few scenes. Usually a long standing character dying or just one of the "This is it" scenes that happened about 4 times towards the end of the game. I don't think a game has ever really produced those emotions in me. Note to Peter Molyneux: Fable has never, no matter how much you talk about hand holding or having a dog leading to it, come anywhere close to producing this reaction and that is because the Fable games (and most other games) completely fail at strong characterization of the player character.

I think the people I lost are the people everyone losses at a minimum.

Spoiler:
Thane, Mordin, Legion, and Kelly Chambers (who I was disappointed didn't get added to the wall on the Normandy).

LOVED shooting you know who in the face.

Spoiler:
Udina.

Was sad that I didn't get to do the same to Zaeed.

There were a few things that were inconsistant with the fiction that kind of bugged me. Some of the others have been covered above but here is one that stuck in my head for some reason that I didn't see covered.

Spoiler:
In ME1 it was established that the Quarian Fleet was assembled from ships built by all the different races and that they didn't really have their own manufacturing resources to make ships and that most of the ship still left over from the Exodus where rust buckets, yet all their ships were of the same design.

Final battle/ending stuff:

Spoiler:
All the cinematics felt canned like no matter what I had done this was what I would have seen. Like everybody else I loved what was happening right up to the part I met the stupid Catalyst kid. I am assuming the AI choose to look like the kid because it had probed Shepard's mind a la Contact.

The main thing I hate about the ending is the way it didn't give me any closure on my crew or really anything. I choose Synthesis because I thought that might lead to something cool and then I hunted down the others online and all three left me going WTF? I've read a lot of sci-fi and I am okay with this type of ending in the right sci-fi stories but ME wasn't the right place for this ending IMHO.

The thing that has made the ME games some of my favorite over the past few years wasn't the whole "Save the Galaxy/Humanity/Whatever" story. What I loved most about the ME games was the personal stories that I had with my crew. It was watching Liara grow from a naive girl into a somewhat cold and driven woman and then back to something a bit more balanced, but kind of haunted by what she had been through. The same holds true for a bunch of the others with different themes explored (Garrus and Tali especially and Jack and Grunt and Wrex to a lesser extent). All three of the endings really just sh*t on all that. They all three removed the characters from the story and made the whole thing about something else. I know Liara lived thanks to the ending (and I suspect she may be carrying my child after that mind meld thing towards the end) and that she is crashed on some planet as a Cyber-Asari now with Joker and EDI but that is it.

I'm okay with the final choices here being somewhat grey even. I went into this expecting there to be a save everyone/stop the reapers but die in the process ending and a sacrifice your alien allies/stop the reapers and save humanity ending and maybe even a sacrifice yourself and your friends/stop the reapers and save everyone ending. To some extent I am glad they tried to throw me a curve ball, but all three choices here felt more like sacrifice everything and save almost nobody but ensure a better future. I think I could live with any of the endings if they just offered a bit more information on what happened to my crew, Earth, and generally what happened with the various alien species after I made my choice. Even just a voice over by Hackett or Joker or Liara or EDI or whoever. Or maybe the crew sitting around together raising a class and reminiscing about Shepard and the adventures they had had and just catching up at some undisclosed point in the future (with Liara holding a little baby Asari and Tali maskless of course). So I guess what I am saying is that the thing that bugs me the most about the ending as it stands is that it is just so lacking in closure for the things I cared about.

Done. Gotta go back and read to see if I'm as upset as you guys or not.

I mean... damn, there's some anger in this thread.

I do admit that the very last bit, after

Spoiler:
the Illusive Man showdown
was
Spoiler:
pretty damn weird. I'm not sure if I hate it yet. But it was very strange to say the least. Maybe just hearing how awful it was from some people even without knowing details prepared me for worse. I'm curious to see the other two choices I didn't choose, but I'm not sure if that will help or hurt.

I will say that being dumped back aboard my ship to "create more legends" was about the lamest post-credits thing I have ever seen. It's basically a big ad for "buy some DLC" and makes me want to tell EA to go f*ck themselves. :p

Maybe I will use my bioware points for coop after all. ;)

Well, the fundamental problem appears to be this:

Spoiler:
That the entire game that you just went through is irrelevant. I gather that you get the same three endings no matter what you did. Super Paragon, super renegate, completionist, bee-line-ist, made mistakes, didn't make mistakes, companions alive or dead, none of it means anything at the ending.

That score you just spent thirty hours cranking up? Meaningless.

If I had rolled up a brand new character and stepped right into the ending, it would be exactly the same. Everything in between didn't need to exist, and has no real impact on the ending, except which three people you see step out of the perma-wrecked Normandy.

That's not just lazy storytelling, that's very nearly malice.