Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

Did the series ever present any convincing evidence for the claim that

Spoiler:

Synthetic life will eventually overwhelm organic life? It sounds like the Prothean Empire was doing ok in their synthetic war before the Reapers arrived, and the Geth were heavily isolationist before Sovereign convinced some of them to start attacking organics. Even then, only a small fraction of Geth actually chose to side with the Reapers. Granted that's only two cycles out of who knows how many, but the fact that the Reapers actually instigated the most recent organic-synthetic conflict is pretty suspicious.

muttonchop wrote:

stuff

No. Yet another reason the ending you get isn't at all earned by the story up to that point.

Yeah, the Geth

Spoiler:

actually let the Quarians live. They could easily have killed them off, but they didn't. (In the first conflict between them. Not talking about the choices you make in ME3.)

muttonchop:

Actually the ending doesn't require that to be true.

Spoiler:

Catalyst isn't instituting the Reaper solution to protect organic life - he's doing it to provide order and predictability to the conflict of synthetic vs. organic that presumably marked the penultimate end of his cycle; or the start of the Reaper Cycles, it depends on your viewpoint.

The events of the current cycle could be interpreted as being suggestive that Shepard will eventually head up to where Catalyst is; or Shepard being allowed into Catalyst's presence is Catalyst's acknowledgement that this cycle has proved his solution incomplete. I imagine that's why he's offering synthetic destruction and/or synthesis.

I'm more than a little enamored of the indoctrination theory; the ending has too many inconsistencies otherwise.

Regarding Galactic Readiness:

Spoiler:

I'm about to go attack the Illusive Man's base. The game gives me the impression that this is the last time I'll have to collect all the side quest stuff, so here are a few questions to those who can answer:

I've done all the Citadel Hub missions.
I've done all the N7 missions.
I've done all the side missions.

My total readiness is 5829, but my rating is only 50%, leaving my effective readiness at 2914. From what I've seen, this isn't high enough to get the "best" ending, that is, the ending with the most choice? Does anyone have any idea how this system works? Did Bioware lie and make it so you have to play the multiplayer to get the most complete ending, or do I need to go through each and every system and cluster to scan all the little things?

Xeknos wrote:
Spoiler:

Did Bioware lie and make it so you have to play the multiplayer to get the most complete ending, or do I need to go through each and every system and cluster to scan all the little things?

It's your choice. One or the other should do it.

muttonchop wrote:

Did the series ever present any convincing evidence for the claim that
[spoiler]Synthetic life will eventually overwhelm organic life? It sounds like the Prothean Empire was doing ok in their synthetic war before the Reapers arrived, and the Geth were heavily isolationist before Sovereign convinced some of them to start attacking organics. Even then, only a small fraction of Geth actually chose to side with the Reapers. Granted that's only two cycles out of who knows how many, but the fact that the Reapers actually instigated the most recent organic-synthetic conflict is pretty suspicious

Spoiler:

This is a fantastic point. The more I think about this and the more it seems like bioware outsourced the ending to some people who were not familiar with details of the story. They just said "give us a twist!" Because every Bioware game has a twist and didn't look at it before they shipped it. How else can the character of Shepherd and the theme change so dramatically?

LarryC wrote:

muttonchop:

Actually the ending doesn't require that to be true.

Spoiler:

Catalyst isn't instituting the Reaper solution to protect organic life - he's doing it to provide order and predictability to the conflict of synthetic vs. organic that presumably marked the penultimate end of his cycle; or the start of the Reaper Cycles, it depends on your viewpoint.

The events of the current cycle could be interpreted as being suggestive that Shepard will eventually head up to where Catalyst is; or Shepard being allowed into Catalyst's presence is Catalyst's acknowledgement that this cycle has proved his solution incomplete. I imagine that's why he's offering synthetic destruction and/or synthesis.

I'm more than a little enamored of the indoctrination theory; the ending has too many inconsistencies otherwise.

Spoiler:

I think the indoctrination theory is bit of a cop-out. Even if they do eventually introduce a DLC that lets this theory come to life, I can't bring myself to accept it as Cannon.

Logically, the current ending makes enough sense that I can't see Bioware justify completely nullifying with a DLC or ret/con.

The problem was the execution. And sadly, I can't imagine a DLC dedicated to just 'refining' a product they already stamped and shipped.

Pikey26 wrote:
Spoiler:

I think the indoctrination theory is bit of a cop-out. Even if they do eventually introduce a DLC that lets this theory come to life, I can't bring myself to accept it as Cannon.

Logically, the current ending makes enough sense that I can't see Bioware justify completely nullifying with a DLC or ret/con.

The problem was the execution. And sadly, I can't imagine a DLC dedicated to just 'refining' a product they already stamped and shipped.

Spoiler:

As much as I like it, I agree completely. The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that Shepard only survives if you destroy the Reapers, which can be read as Shepard resisting indoctrination. We'll see how it plays out, but I'm doubtful.

I know this got dropped out there, but, regarding the last 15 minutes ...

Spoiler:

Did everyone actually interpret everything from the beam to the closing credits as literal? Because as soon as he got up there I *immediately* thought it was dreamstate. Had similar ambient music, the slow mo, etc. Once we went into the "room of moving walls" I was pretty convinced. When the IM starts doing his thing and the black tendrils crush in -- just like they did his dreams -- I made the immediate "aha, the dreams were incoming-indoctrination!" connection, and interpreted all of this as dreamstuff.

In my ending, Shep died, but having youtubed the "shep lives" bit, it seems even more clear to me. It also seems clear that the "blow up the relays" bit is a pretty darn clear way to solve a lot of problems for a long time. I get some internal inconsistencies it creates (the "Nova" thing) but then again, maybe the sacrifice of the relays through this particular mechanism just overloads them -- the explosion of the Sol one didn't seem all that enormous after all.

Was anyone else pretty sure the old man at the end was on the same planet Joker lands on? Same two moons and stuff.

Xeknos wrote:

Regarding Galactic Readiness:

Spoiler:

I'm about to go attack the Illusive Man's base. The game gives me the impression that this is the last time I'll have to collect all the side quest stuff, so here are a few questions to those who can answer:

I've done all the Citadel Hub missions.
I've done all the N7 missions.
I've done all the side missions.

My total readiness is 5829, but my rating is only 50%, leaving my effective readiness at 2914. From what I've seen, this isn't high enough to get the "best" ending, that is, the ending with the most choice? Does anyone have any idea how this system works? Did Bioware lie and make it so you have to play the multiplayer to get the most complete ending, or do I need to go through each and every system and cluster to scan all the little things?

I was at around 3500 effective readiness when I started the final mission. You must have missed things. Every time you do a 'priority' mission there's likelihood that whatever side quest that you may have been working on or was available to you will no longer be available. A lot of those side quests provide a lot of points. Scans either give you additional points or enhance existing points. Likewise for certain decisions/pick-ups throughout the game.

HOWEVER with your effective readiness at 2914, you should get to pick any one of the three 'good' ending variations. There are certain minor details that change and/or are added to the endings for pushing your points even higher up to the 4k mark and the 5k mark. I don't know how much you're willing to spoil but here's the relatively small difference you will see at the 4k mark and 5k mark.

[spoiler]@4k mark, you can "save" Anderson and as a result, yourself too, provided you pick the one of the 'correct' end-game options out of the three to achieve this.
@5k mark, you can save yourself even without saving Anderson provided you pick the one of the 'correct' end-game options out of the three to achieve this.

rabbit wrote:

I know this got dropped out there, but, regarding the last 15 minutes ...

Spoiler:

If you don't interpret the last 15 minutes literally, then you can't interpret the relays blowing up literally either, can you? If Shepard never goes up, how does the Citadel open? edit: or maybe you mean he goes up there and does something, but what we see is not the literal version of what he does.

But yes, people are upset because they're interpreting it literally.

@Pikey, some people are saying you can get 9k 'raw' strength. I don't know how... maybe difficulty levels?

rabbit wrote:

I know this got dropped out there, but, regarding the last 15 minutes ...

Spoiler:

Did everyone actually interpret everything from the beam to the closing credits as literal? Because as soon as he got up there I *immediately* thought it was dreamstate. Had similar ambient music, the slow mo, etc. Once we went into the "room of moving walls" I was pretty convinced. When the IM starts doing his thing and the black tendrils crush in -- just like they did his dreams -- I made the immediate "aha, the dreams were incoming-indoctrination!" connection, and interpreted all of this as dreamstuff.

In my ending, Shep died, but having youtubed the "shep lives" bit, it seems even more clear to me. It also seems clear that the "blow up the relays" bit is a pretty darn clear way to solve a lot of problems for a long time. I get some internal inconsistencies it creates (the "Nova" thing) but then again, maybe the sacrifice of the relays through this particular mechanism just overloads them -- the explosion of the Sol one didn't seem all that enormous after all.

Was anyone else pretty sure the old man at the end was on the same planet Joker lands on? Same two moons and stuff.

Whether this is how it's supposed to be interpreted or not, it doesn't make anything any better. Especially if it means they're tacking an actual ending on with DLC later. That won't do anything but justify every single angry word of all the pre-release bitching we heard about DLC with this game. Most of that argument I can't say I cared about but if this ends up being the case I'll be changing my tune.

It's like they called up M Night Shyamalan and said "Hey, what should we do with this?" and then just went with whatever he threw at them.

Played on hardcore and I had 6k war assets. I also missed a huge string of collectathon missions when the first citadel event kept me from turning them in

If people are going to bitch about DLC, they should be bitching already, as this was really a $70 game. Because how the hell ANYONE played this game through to completion without Javik is beyond me. He's honestly my very favorite part of the WHOLE GAME, and was absolutely integral to my journey from the minute I picked him up. He provided context for the entire series.

rabbit wrote:

If people are going to bitch about DLC, they should be bitching already, as this was really a $70 game. Because how the hell ANYONE played this game through to completion without Javik is beyond me. He's honestly my very favorite part of the WHOLE GAME, and was absolutely integral to my journey from the minute I picked him up. He provided context for the entire series.

Really? I didn't really care for him off the bat and didn't bother using him. I guess I'll give him more of a shot next time I play through.

Who's Javik? Oh, you mean Prothy the Prothean?

*fights to stay out of airlock* Javik!

While he is proving to be a great combat asset and to provide good exposition now and then, I'm not finding him essential. It's one of the reasons why I held off buying the DLC for my first playthrough.

rabbit wrote:

If people are going to bitch about DLC, they should be bitching already, as this was really a $70 game. Because how the hell ANYONE played this game through to completion without Javik is beyond me. He's honestly my very favorite part of the WHOLE GAME, and was absolutely integral to my journey from the minute I picked him up. He provided context for the entire series.

Agree completely. He added so much to several missions, especially priority ones, and had some amazing conversations.

And Dark Channel may be the best power in the game.

I keep hearing people complaining about nits and stuff, but I still challenge you to point to another long-running gaming series as powerful and successful as this one. Was ME3 perfect? No. I have complaints about UI decisions, the conveyance of story and system goals, and a bunch of other minor stuff.

But again, like I said a few pages back, Mass Effect is an incredibly powerful game series. One of the best that has ever been made. As an ending to the series, ME3 is more than 'good enough', and has provided me with moments I will *always* remember fondly in years to come.

Spoiler:

- The HILARIOUS reactions from Liara to meeting Javik.
- The heartbreaking death of Mordin Solus, arguably my favorite videogame character ever.
- The personal triumph and satisfaction of feeling like I'd set right a centuries-old injustice with the end of the Genophage.
- Stabbing Kai Leng with my omni-blade as payback for Thane's death - IE: The death of my Shep's love from ME2.
- The AMAZING moment walking in on Tali and Garrus in the weapons room.
- The incredibly satisfying payoffs for every character in the last moments before the final push. I honestly don't understand what everyone else is talking about as regards companion payoffs. Talking with Grunt and Jack via holonet, having a final tender moment with Liara, the last chat with Garrus that actually physically got me choked up ... that's amazing writing, and amazing voice acting.
- Again, the image of Joker reaching up to give EDI his hand. Fantastic.

Amidst a sea of 'whatever' FPS games and entirely forgettable RPGs, how many games can you really look back on and say "That, right there, is why I play videogames".

The Mass Effect series is why I play videogames. To have unique experiences, see unbelievable sights, and meet unforgettable characters that I could never experience in any other medium.

Stele wrote:
rabbit wrote:

If people are going to bitch about DLC, they should be bitching already, as this was really a $70 game. Because how the hell ANYONE played this game through to completion without Javik is beyond me. He's honestly my very favorite part of the WHOLE GAME, and was absolutely integral to my journey from the minute I picked him up. He provided context for the entire series.

Agree completely. He added so much to several missions, especially priority ones, and had some amazing conversations.

And Dark Channel may be the best power in the game.

I do want to say, on this point, I was totally wrong about the DLC as regards its importance to the game. I don't think I liked the character and the mission as much as Rabbit did, but I can't imagine playing the game without Javik in there. They should have just raised the price of the game to $70 and had done with it; it's not really 'DLC' if it's an integral part of the game's story.

But what about Malor's point? That the ending literally renders moot everything you did to that point. Doesn't that effect the series as a whole?

DSGamer wrote:

But what about Malor's point? That the ending literally renders moot everything you did to that point. Doesn't that effect the series as a whole?

Only if dying invalidates every decision you ever make in life.

MojoBox wrote:
rabbit wrote:

If people are going to bitch about DLC, they should be bitching already, as this was really a $70 game. Because how the hell ANYONE played this game through to completion without Javik is beyond me. He's honestly my very favorite part of the WHOLE GAME, and was absolutely integral to my journey from the minute I picked him up. He provided context for the entire series.

Really? I didn't really care for him off the bat and didn't bother using him. I guess I'll give him more of a shot next time I play through.

He was such a bitchy whiner I just ended up leaving him alone in his little corner of the ship. Same with the meathead gears of war ripoff in the hanger bay.
I had plenty of bio-bucks left over form all the Dragon Age 2 DLC I was spared from having to purchase so it was no biggie to pick it up regardless.

TOTALLY worth it for Garrus's bitchin' camo-gear

DSGamer wrote:

But what about Malor's point? That the ending literally renders moot everything you did to that point. Doesn't that effect the series as a whole?

It just simply doesn't. I don't see how in any of the endings what Shepard did is rendered moot.

Spoiler:

He beats the Reapers, he ends the cycle. There are sacrifices made and consequences to that actions. But Shepard ends the 50,000 year cycle of death that has gone on for untold ages. You can dislike the ending, but I just don't see how it makes anything inconsequential.

Michael Zenke: Huzzah, the ME series is a triumph of narrative in videogames, and a damn fine series of RPGs to boot. Shame that people want to write the whole thing off because they are dissatisfied with the ending. Endings are hard, and no medium is short of great works that botch the ending.

Michael Zenke wrote:

Amidst a sea of 'whatever' FPS games and entirely forgettable RPGs, how many games can you really look back on and say "That, right there, is why I play videogames".

The Mass Effect series is why I play videogames. To have unique experiences, see unbelievable sights, and meet unforgettable characters that I could never experience in any other medium.

I just can't see how you can get yourself to accept the ending as it is. And I think I am one of the most tolerant of the ending out of most people on these boards too. What the writers were obviously going for with the ending is more than 'good enough' and acceptable, however it just does not come together in the execution.

I completely agree, Mass Effect series is one of the, if not THE most, notable series I've played yet in gaming. Sadly, the ending really sours on its greatness. For all its amazing accomplishments and milestones, as far as the ending is concerned, the series clearly bites off more than it can chew.

I can clearly see how good this game/series is, and I feel privileged to be able to say I was there to play it when it came out. Yet, instead of feeling like I've witnessed a hallmark in gaming, as I should, why do I feel like I just witnessed a tragedy in gaming? (And I do not mean that in the sense that they made a good tragedy here).

LarryC wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

But what about Malor's point? That the ending literally renders moot everything you did to that point. Doesn't that effect the series as a whole?

Only if dying invalidates every decision you ever make in life.

More like if the atomic bomb blew up the entire earth and only the cockroaches survived, which would eventually evolve into intelligent life. That's the kind of victory you're talking about.

kyrieee wrote:
LarryC wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

But what about Malor's point? That the ending literally renders moot everything you did to that point. Doesn't that effect the series as a whole?

Only if dying invalidates every decision you ever make in life.

More like if the atomic bomb blew up the entire earth and only the cockroaches survived, which would eventually evolve into intelligent life. That's the kind of victory you're talking about.

Man, your Shepard sucked, he didn't save sh*t

Maybe it'd be better if they finished it with

Spoiler:

the Catalyst kid saying:

"Sorry Shepard, your doomsday device is in another castle!"

kyrieee:

More like if the atomic bomb blew up the entire earth and only the cockroaches survived, which would eventually evolve into intelligent life. That's the kind of victory you're talking about.

We're all going to end up dead. Once you're dead, the atomic bomb may as well have blown up the earth - you'll never know.

If the concept is that a bad end that unifies all the decisions you made into one inevitable outcome, then every decision we make in life should be pointless and moot, since we're all going to die anyway, and nothing you do will change that. Death ruins life.

No, you can change the lives of those who live.
If they live.

kyrieee wrote:

No, you can change the lives of those who live.
If they live.

They're worm food as well. Everyone dies eventually. There's no telling how much ongoing impact you'll have on the world 5 years after your death. For many people, that would be "zilch." Ten, a hundred years on? Let's not kid ourselves here.

"Changing the lives of others," makes for a nice altruistic slogan, but it doesn't really mean anything beyond pleasing your evolutionarily grown pleasure centers. Very few people were Mongols at the turning of the Middle Ages, and only one of them was Genghis Khan.