Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

I'm also confused about what color represented what choice apparently.


I thought blue was destroy the reapers? Blue was hwat I was fighting for the whole game. The whole TIM debate was all about Blue/Anderson/Destroy vs Red/TIM/Control. But apparently blue is control? Red is the destroy/Shep lives ending?

I guess I need to go reload and choose what I actually meant to choose, not that it means much.

And damn could they not disable saves all the f*cking time and take away my ability to make my own? I guess I need to alt-tab out and backup/copy the auto-saves so at least I can replay the parts I want to replay.

The whole


go meet with Anderson part on Earth and talk to all your squad

was one of the best parts of the entire game. But it wouldn't let me save, even at the start of it. And now the auto-save was saved over 10 times after that. So to replay any of that I have to go back and do a whole bunch of other fighting before it. Argh.

This is, far and away, one of the best gaming series that has ever been made.


End of Line.


I think that that ultimately has to do with what kind of gamer and what kind of person you are. I like the story well enough, but that's not why I like Mass Effect. Gameplay in ME3 is improved in several key aspects, both the narrative part and the shooting part.

Furthermore, I'm not a goal-driven sort of person. If the journey doesn't interest me, the goal will rarely motivate me enough to undertake the trip. The journey, the process - that is its own reward, for me. I mean that literally. A lot of the narrative and gameplay in ME3 makes me smile, and none of that is predicated on "what it really means" in the context of the ending. Regardless of how the story ends, I still got to see Tali drunk and it was hilarious as all hell.

The only thing that the ending really cheapens is that stupid green meter, which I never really paid that much attention to, because it was inherently boring.

I didn't like the narrative in Mass Effect 3 as much as Mass Effect 2. Certain character interactions seemed "off" to me for one reason or another. There was a lot of fan service and happy coincidences in this game that took me out of the story. Some characters themselves seem to have changed dramatically in ways that I cannot quite grasp.


Jacob, a character I feel had some depth in ME2, comes across as a tired, old man in ME3. Zaeed has virtually nothing interesting to say, sounding more bored than invested in the end of the galaxy. Hell, he was contemplating suicide (according to the Shadow Broker files, but he could have been joking) and apparently that doesn't matter in the sequel. Kasumi acts like a child, trying to get Shepherd to ask her to join the mission. How playful, Kasumi! Finally, Tali acts like a horny teenager in some parts, which bummed me out. We're on a mission, Tali; we can talk about boning later... when Garrus isn't standing right here.

I do appreciate the growth of some characters though.


I hated Wrex in Mass Effect 1, tolerated him in 2 and liked him in 3. He had an interesting trajectory. I also like Shepard more as a character too. He had more personality, which is something I can appreciate, given that in Mass Effect, Shep is intentionally a boring character. Jack's transformation is a little hoaky, but I can get behind that. It's better than her latent daddy issues (i.e. behind every strong woman is actually a girl who just wants to be loved). Finally, Legion turned from a boring cylon into an interesting character. I'm very pleased with how that played out.

I am critical of course, but I played Mass Effect as a character study, so seeing some characters fail to live up to their potential stung a little. Oh well, if Bioware addresses the issues with the ending (I mean, c'mon, it's Deus Ex Machina at its finest), then I am eager to see where the series goes from here.

I think that that ultimately has to do with what kind of gamer and what kind of person you are.

The entire game is predicated on the idea that you can make choices, and that those choices matter.

But, in the end, they don't. Not even a little bit.

Sort of a retort on the thoughts here.


To be honest, the endings are kinda fine. The problem is they felt too rushed.

There is clearly hope in all three of the 'good' ending options. There's undoubtedly a little too much devastation in all of them, but all of them bare hope.

The problem is that most of them are 'meh' or 'wtf' on first impression. But if you look at all of them in the long stretch, and really think about it, they all bear hope.

My problem is Bioware did a piss poor job of communicating that imo. Also, they could have done without destroying the mass relays in all of them (especially doesn't make sense in the Paragon's 'become the reaper' option). Destroying the mass relay clearly renders the world you're familiar with and spent the three games of the trilogy building connection to and loved completely moot for the forseeeable future (I am talking thousands of years of foreseeable future), which is where the biggest 'punch in the gut' feeling comes from.

Also, doesn't make sense to strand the normandy in the middle of nowhere. Doesn't fit, but i have a feeling they squeezed this in the way they did, in an attempt to consolidate and make budget cuts for the final cut scenes. Sad.

Malor wrote:
I think that that ultimately has to do with what kind of gamer and what kind of person you are.

The entire game is predicated on the idea that you can make choices, and that those choices matter.

But, in the end, they don't. Not even a little bit.

For me, it's not the linearity of the ending that bugs me so much as it's basically saying: "Congratulations, you saved Galactic Civilization and your friends!..."


But, woops! - in the process you actually destroyed galactic civilization yourself (with space magic) and doomed your friends to a solitary life abandoned on an alien world with no hope of rescue. An especially mean spirited ending for some of the characters (Joker's not going to last long without access to medication, Garrus probably can't eat the local wildlife, Tali will likely be dead after her first accidental infection once medical supplies run out - and she wont be able to eat the local food either). And on a larger scale - how many colonies have enough population to sustain themselves? How many worlds were dependent on supplies and materials being shipped in from elsewhere? The more you think about the ramifications of events the less sense it makes.

Even from just a marketing perspetive it seems like a baffling choice -why destroy a perfectly good universe that's ripe for more games and stories?

*sigh* I'm hoping for the "indocrinated illusion" theory to be true, even if that would mean some cynical paid-for-DLC "true ending".

It is like eating a bowl of soup, enjoying it, but the last spoonful contains a crunchy fly. True, I liked 99% of the soup. But that fly doesn't belong there.


As I said, that impression is derived largely from a goal-driven perspective.

Story spoilers


For instance, does it matter that Shepard decided to save the krogan? Yes, and the character significance of that is largely independent of whether or not the cure actually works. The historical significance is something else, of course.

It's both a combat game and a story game. The outcome and enjoyment of combat victories is not dependent on narrative outcome unless you're only in it for the ending. If you like the combat for itself, as I do, then playing is itself a reward.

Your choices surrounding romance options can lead your Shepard to one or another of them. Does it not make a difference how you chose and what love your Shepard shared just because the ending is the way it is? No. That's not the point of pursuing love and romance. Likewise, the effort of raising the galaxy in defiance of the Reapers is borne by hope, not certainty, that it may make a difference. It may or it may not, but it doesn't matter.

In life, you will ultimately die. Your entire life will, in all probability, be pointless and ineffectual. Why bother living?

One issue with that train of thought is replayability.


If your war against the reapers is fueled by hope, how could I suspend my knowledge of the fact that whatever I do in the second play-through, it's ultimately inconsequential? Your nihilist point is well-taken, but for some people and for some games, the end point is still as important as the journey. I would have disliked DA:O were it not for what I thought was a satisfying ending to my character's journey (in his case, death).

I liked the journey in Mass Effect 3, but given that its the final tale in a trilogy, I expected a lot more from the ending than what I got. The knowledge of the ending has left me with one thought when I consider playing my other two characters: What's the point?


I would agree that the ending is bad, and to people for whose that is a great part of why they do things, ME3 can ruin not only itself, but the previous two games. You probably cannot get a satisfactory replay if you maintain that perspective. Might be something EA wants to fix.

It applies to replay value as well. YOU may know what's in store, but Shepard doesn't. If you want to effectively roleplay Shepard, you need get set aside your metaknowlge. This is true regardless of what the ending is. A desperate defense would ring false if you knew you were going to win.

For me, it is not about winning or losing. It is about agency.

But I think we understand each other on that point.

To be clear, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind -- if you hate it you hate it. I'm just saying, there are some number of us for whom it either just doesn't matter that much to our enjoyment of the series, or liked it. I'm halfway through ME1 again, doing a run all the way through, and can't wait to get through to the end again, this time as asshole femshep.

FemShep is most definitely not an asshole. It's just that the universe sometimes makes her do bad things for good reasons.

On the ending:


I was fine with the ending. I threw myself into the light, but that was mainly because I thought that Liara was dead (she had been on the 'last push' mission and I'd assumed both my squad mates had died in that blast), and it made complete sense at that moment for my character to kill herself and bring this fundamental shift to the galaxy. I also read the Normandy's crash as a "back to basics" eco-friendly ending, which makes a lot of sense given the BSG-style theme of endless cycles of machines vs. humans. I interpreted the green glow on both Joker and EDI in the cutscene to mean that they were more at peace with their environment than the mentality that lead to giant spaceships and rogue AIs. I didn't like that Liara (I think) got out of the Normandy at the end of the cutscene (I think that just didn't happen in my universe).

Companion Tally:


Legion died when he uploaded the program, Mordin and Wrex both ... died in unfortunate ways that couldn't be avoided because the whole galaxy was at stake, and everyone else from ME2 lived.

Final thoughts:
A few too many bugs, and the dialogue was pretty awful sometimes (maybe not awful so much as "they did in 30 seconds what should have taken 3 minutes of screen time"). Other than that, I think that Mass Effect has become my favorite gaming series. The visual style and strength of the characters' personalities trumps any quibbles I might have.



Maybe it's just that I want a happier ending, but I don't think that the ending fits tonally with the other games and with Shepard's character. Shepard's origin story is one of overcoming impossible odds, and in the games that's what Shepard keeps doing over and over. I mean, Shepard is pretty much a comic book character. For them to then end the series with a moment where Shepard is so powerless, it's just out of place I think.

Yes, ME3 was a bit darker in tone, but it's not exactly The Witcher 2. You still go 1vs1 with a Reaper and dodge its laser death beam. It's completely ridiculous. What happens at the end feels like slipping on a banana peel right as you're about to climb mount everest. It comes out of left field and isn't satisfying at all.

OK, having slept on it a while I think I'm a bit better about the endings. A couple of thoughts...

First, Rabbit's comment about authorial intent


I agree that an author should write the story they want to tell, which is not necessarily the one that fans want, but in an RPG who is really the author? As someone who has played a very large number of PnP RPGs (and I'm sure you have too) I know that the best games are the ones where the gamemaster works with the players to let them tell their own stories within the world the gamemaster has created.

And yes, I know we are nowhere near the point where a computer RPG can handle that. But I think a lot of the disconnect is that players are going "Bu.. bu.. but it's my Shepard!" We've been given the illusion of painting our own Shepards but we've really only been given the choice of what color to use inside the lines; the overall picture belongs to someone else.

Now, about those endings...


I'll confess, I took the "destroy" option because despite the color it seemed to be the "correct" one. Here's my logic...

OK, remember that the entire goal of this exercise has been to defeat the Reapers. If the Destroy option had not included destroying all synthetic life (as opposed to just the Reapers) and had not resulted in the destruction of the Mass Relays I suspect that everyone would be considering this to be the "Good" ending. So it's really those two things that are causing the problem. (From what I can tell anyway, feel free to correct me.)

I could actually live with both of those. I'll get to them in a minute.

First, let's look at the other options.

Control - Not a good idea and I'm pretty sure it's impossible anyway. Saren thought he was in control of Harbinger after all and we saw how well that worked out. Plus Control was what The Illusive Man was wanting which to me is enough to make it the obvious wrong choice. Besides, who could you trust with control of those things?

Synthesis - This is the odd one but to me it is basically the "surrender" option. Kind of "If you can't beat them, join them." To be fair, Shepard kinda is the Synthesis option in that she was rebuilt by Cerberus, but it's also kinda what the Reapers have been doing all along with the husks and the DNA sludge the Collectors were taking and the like.

Plus we know the Collectors (at least, iirc) looked like the Protheans. So it's actually possible that the Protheans tried the Synthesis option.

The problem here is, is it really right to force the Synthesis option on every sentient organic in the galaxy? I really felt that Shepard (my Shepard at least) would never make that choice. It just seemed wrong.

That leaves Destroy.

As I said, I think that if it were not for the collateral damage then everyone would be happy with this one. My problem with it was the Catalyst kid.

First, I hate Deus Ex Machina characters. You have a godlike being show up at the last moment, present you with a set of options and tell you that these are your only choices. Now, I don't mind a fixed set of choices (especially in a game where I know that all outcomes have to be coded for), I just didn't like the manner in which they were presented.

Let me get to the center with the remnants of my team, let us discuss it and come down to the same three choices, then have one of them say "Shepard, we trust you. Do what you think is best." Don't have a DxM show up and simply present them to me as an immutable law of the universe.

The other big problem I had was with the idea that war between organics and synthetics was inevitable. This is completely undermined by the fact that I just worked things out between the Quarians and the Geth! Don't let me do something then turn around and tell me what I just did was impossible.

That was my problem with the ending.

Finally, about the Mass Relays


Again, much of the anger at the ending seems to be directed at the destruction of the Mass Relays and the effect that will have on the galaxy. And yes, it will have an effect. (A massive one, if I can make the pun.)

But remember that The Reapers built the Mass Relays. Way back in ME1 we learned that the Mass Relays (and the Citadel) were created so that organic life would spread through the galaxy in a predictable way. So destroying the Reapers and ending the 50,000 year cycle almost demands that they be destroyed as well.

You actually could make the argument that the Relays should only be destroyed if you take the Destroy option. (Or maybe in the Control option as well, they self-destruct if someone takes control of the Reapers.) Wouldn't that make for a more interesting choice at the end; destroy the Reapers and destroy the Relays or save the Relays at the cost of something else.

Yes, there is a problem here in that the Arrival DLC told us that destroying a Mass Relay results in a nova-sized explosion. Either someone forgot that or we're supposed to assume the explosions weren't that big in this case.

At any rate, the destruction of the Relays does not mean interstellar travel ends. The ships can travel FTL even without the Relays. Yes, it will take much longer to go across the galaxy, years as opposed to instantaneously, but it can still be done.

And who knows? There are probably huge parts of the galaxy that have never been mapped or visited because there were no Mass Relays there. Now they will be visited (if only to set up refueling stations and the like). Who knows what may be out there.

In fact, there's your next Mass Effect series right there. Galactic civilization is in chaos and ruins after the war with the Reapers and the subsequent destruction of the Mass Relays. Can one person find their way across a galaxy in collapse to bring the now isolated and fighting species together to reform the galactic union?

Coming Spring 2015. ;)


So I decided to crack and purchase the ending to one of my favorite series after I said I woudnt out of protest. Played the game to completion and I have to agree with a lot of the folks who are upset. The game before the endings was one of the best ever, the run to light reminded me of the mako run to the relay at the end of ME1. I think like a lot of folks I am going to stop playing my next run through (if I ever do one)


At the point where Anderson dies

Some random thoughts....


Why would the Normandy be in the relay at the time Sheppard dies. There is no logical reason and they didnt even bother to give us one. I didnt get this decision at all, if all life was dead except for the normandy then perhaps



How did Garrius and Liara survive if everyone but me and anderson died at the point on London? How were they on the Normandy if they were on the last mission with me?



Why the heck are we supposed to strand the entire Quarian race on Earth after finally gtting their homeland back? WTF



Why are there no good endings? I get Die save no-one, Die Make everyone a reaper, Die save a few folks but not really..... Those are the choices! Who the heck thought this would be a good way to end the series?



The payoff for some of your decisions frankly sucked, the racni had nearly Zero impact to the game. There should have been more of an impact for saving them. Like others have said we should have seen those decisions make the ending better or have an effect on the final battle.



I agree with others who feel robbed with the ending itself



If they do what Fallout3 did and change the ending with a DLC (which at this point I think is called for) I hope for heavens sake they do it right

Inlining it looks funny, so I'll link it instead:

150 hours of gameplay for that.

After having chewed on it for a day, I'm going to go ahead and buck concensus and say I just straight up like the ending (or at least my ending anyway)


The Reapers are such an enormous threat, and they have long been the established order of the galaxy, that to over throw them must be a monumental shift, it cannot be business as usual after the Reapers are gone. It strikes me as an enormous but neccesary change for the mass relays to be gone. The way galactic civilization was organized was the way the Reapers desired. Without there tech organic civilization must organize in a new and different way. And the situation of Earth is fascinating, large contingents of most advanced species in the galaxy will now be tasked with rebuilding on one planet, to survive these disparate species will have to cooperate and build one society. It's a huge shift for the ME universe.

The only problems I have are:


The lack of any denoument. I really wanna know what happened to my friends. I strongly suspect we'll see this in DLC, but that is way lame and I won't defend it.

The other problem is the Crucible remains an unexplained ass pull, very out of place for a series that goes to great efforts to provide plausible rationalizations for all it's lore. Maybe this gets explores in post release DLC, see my last point for that.

All told I'm happy

Edit: On another note, the whole "let's petition BioWare for a new ending" is just typical Internet boohooing self entitled tripe. Not gonna pull any punches there, if you don't like the ending, that's perfectly fine but you don't get to demand the ending you want from the author. Write your own work of fiction.

Not gonna pull any punches there, if you don't like the ending, that's perfectly fine but you don't get to demand the ending you want from the author. Write your own work of fiction.

And Bioware can get any further money from someone else. They're permanently on my sh*t list for this one.

I mean, you spend all that time learning to like these characters and that world, and your only option at the end, no matter how good or bad you've been, no matter how much or little effort you put into sorting out the various galactic problems, is to f*ck everyone you've ever met in the bunghole.

The game only needed to be, in other words, about ten minutes long. Ultimately, paying $150 for a ten minute game would have been more rewarding, because then at least I'd be dooming strangers to lonely deaths on alien worlds.

Well, I'm guessing that the next MMO project from Bioware won't be a ME property.

This was a pretty cool find, it's from someone on neogaf
I totally missed it myself


Ok, so I just posted this somewhere else, but I hadn't seen it brought up here.

You know how Joker talks about his family that lives on a farm way out on the outskirts of civilized space?
You know that PTSD Asari at the Citadel Hospital that talks about how she was stranded on a farm way out on the edges of civilized space?

The girl she rescued, accompanied, ended up killing the indoctrinated family of, and eventually murdered to keep her crying from alerting nearby enemies was named Hillary.

Joker's sister is named Hillary.

That Asari Commando with PTSD in the Citadel Hospital killed Joker's entire family, and none of the characters even know its happened. But the really terrifying part was when I realized what this meant for the implications of the "Allow the patient to have a gun" option that comes up at the Spectre Terminal.

She probably *knows*.

She spent several days with Hillary. They probably had a bit of a rapport going. Hillary would would be worried sick about the family that she knows is on the farm and the brother who's personal pilot to the famous Commander Shepard and doing who knows what. I wouldn't be surprised if the Asari get to know Hillary pretty well, and lots of trivia about her family members.

And how could you not mention you brother is best friends with Commander Shepard? And I bet he's famous enough at this point that the Asari knows who he is. So she stages this rescue mission, and it goes bad, and she kills the family. And then, to save herself, probably thinking it won't even buy her that much more time anyway, she kills Hillary.

By some miracle, she's rescued, and she ends up back on the Citadel. But, she knows who she's killed. And she can't take it. She wants out. She knows. And every time Shepard walks through the lobby she *knows.* And every time we pause over her or her doctor's shoulder, listening to this story we think is totally unrelated to us, she's panicking inside. "Does Shepard know? Does Shepard know I know he knows!?" And she keeps pleading for the gun nobody will let her have.

And then, one day, an orderly gives her a package.
"Special Spectre Authorization"
A gun. Straight from Commander Shepard.

To most of us, hitting X on that report was just "paperwork."
But to her, especially if you played a Renegade Shep, we might've basically been saying "Yeah, get it over with."

edit: nevermind.

kyrieee wrote:

This was a pretty cool find,

I really loved those side stories, and it was a nice touch that you got to interact with them sometimes by giving spectre authorization. Almost all of the side discussions were great stories though. The only problem was once they hit their resolution, the conversations would just start over instead of those people moving on.

I liked the one in the docking bay I got to help with.


Some private's brother had joined Cerberus and she wanted to fight Reapers so she didn't end up killing her own brother.

And the teenager in the refugee camp talking to the turian at the desk.


Her family put her on a shuttle, and they said they'd be on the next one. But they haven't showed up yet. The Turian is so patient with the kid, but they're not coming... :(

The Human with an Asari daughter in the embassies


whose parents disowned her for marrying an alien and she was getting shipped out to duty and couldn't find her in-laws to send her daughter to, but the Asari person at the desk found them for her.

Of course thanks to the ending


and the Citadel getting taken over by Reapers, I guess all those people are f*cked anyway, so why bother helping them? :p

Stele wrote:

why bother helping them? :p

Gamers sure are a fatalistic bunch, aren't they?

MojoBox wrote:
Stele wrote:

why bother helping them? :p

Gamers sure are a fatalistic bunch, aren't they? :P

Sorry it's just like someone else mentioned above. It's really hard to pretend you don't know the ending and do another playthrough.

I had 4 Sheps waiting to run through this game because ME2 was so damn fun. And now, I don't even know if I'll do 2 runs, much less 4.

You're totally justified in feeling that way, but my entire view of life is that there is ONLY the journey to be had, the end is always the same. Goes for my games too Maybe that's pretty fatalistic too? Hahaha


Don't open if you don't know who Liara's father is:


There's a lot of those little things in the convos in ME3. The difference is that you don't have to go to the conversation minigame to have these little vignettes. You can just observe however much you like and make snap judgments on insufficient information, if you feel like it.

A lot of it is just entertaining exposition. It's hard not to smile when Liara and Aethyta are having a conversation about Liara being one-quarter krogan and Liara going ballistic over it, all the while insisting that she was not, in fact, one quarter krogan while raging over an insignificant conversation. Also, Aethyta having an affair with a hanar. Tentacle porn, anyone? Game's getting more Japanese by the minute.

Stele wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

This was a pretty cool find,

Of course thanks to the ending


and the Citadel getting taken over by Reapers, I guess all those people are f*cked anyway, so why bother helping them? :p

Yep just like the rest of the game