Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

Well if you don't care what happens after you die, then why not commit mass suicide? Why pick an ending? Why should anyone sacrifice their lives, ever? The whole game is filled with people sacrificing their lives, to say that it's pointless then makes the game pointless anyway.

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.

Spoiler:

If everything after that point was a dream, wouldn't that mean that everyone on Earth, or at least everyone military, would be dead in the next few minutes? The fight was going pretty damn badly for them.

kyrieee:

Yes, it goes both ways. It's not just about the game, it's about perspective. For me, the same reason that I get up and take and bath and go to work is the reason why I can enjoy Mass Effect 3 despite disliking its ending.

DSGamer was saying that having an awful end is enough to ruin an entire experience - to me that's like having an awful (or even just an ordinary death, since death is terrible enough) death ruins the entire point of living a life. Don't get me wrong - it's common for people to lose hope and attempt suicide when they realize the terrible inevitability of death. A lot of people are goal-oriented; it's even cited as being crucial to being successful, especially in a First World nation. However, being process-oriented can be necessary to stay sane in less fortunate circumstances.

Hope for goal-oriented people can be the concept of holding out for the littlest possibility of success so as to be ready when the moment arrives. To me, hope is to act as if your hopes can come true, even in the face of absolutely certain defeat - because whether or not they come true is not the point.

To that end, I think ME3's ending somewhat meta-analyzes the meaning of this unintentionally, and dichotomizes between process and goal-oriented gamers. Bear in mind that what Shepard and company are facing IS the coming oblivion of everything they are and stand for, and much of any of their goal-oriented hopes are founded on their own relative stupidity and ignorance.

LarryC wrote:

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.

The real question is how does any of you you're talking about really fit the Mass Effect games? To be harsh, Mass Effect games have been a bit glorified political-sim/dating-sim spliced into a third person shooter. Not once did Mass Effect truly divulge on heavy subjects like these inevitably introduced by citing technological singularity. And it certainly did not do so with the same level of emphasis/effort it placed on building relationships and appreciation for its characters and places. When it starts divulging in technological singularity, and inevitably walk straight into an intellectual void, it may as well be trying to answer the question of Life, Universe, and Everything*.

Am I saying 'this sh*t's too serious for a video game'? No. It might even seem that Mass Effect only goes on to show that where fictional books, tv, and movies have come short in the past in successfully dealing this subject matter, video games just might be the first form of media to truly tackle it and do it justice. Is Mass Effect that game? I am sorry, based on what I've seen/played in the last 2.95 games, no. If this was the ending Bioware was building the series up to, it did not succeed, at all.

Technically, sure, the decisions you made in the series are not rendered moot, but because of such a huge last minute shift in narrative focus/tone, they might as well have.

*= And I am sorry say, but unless that answer is 42, it's wrong.

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.

Wait. My understanding is that the galaxy is irrevocably changed by the ending. So this isn't even in the ballpark of a valid metaphor. If you chose to make the Krogan fertile (Yay!!!) but they can't get supplies they need as a race they die out anyway (Boo!!!)

So how did the ending not contradict your choices?

LarryC wrote:
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.

That's a good argument for not bothering to play the game. These are all pointless choices in a pointless video game that ends in an unsatisfactory way that some people are trying to square with. I think I'll go learn a foreign language or get in better shape in the real world with those 90+ hours. Thanks.

LarryC wrote:

kyrieee:

Yes, it goes both ways. It's not just about the game, it's about perspective. For me, the same reason that I get up and take and bath and go to work is the reason why I can enjoy Mass Effect 3 despite disliking its ending.

DSGamer was saying that having an awful end is enough to ruin an entire experience - to me that's like having an awful (or even just an ordinary death, since death is terrible enough) death ruins the entire point of living a life. Don't get me wrong - it's common for people to lose hope and attempt suicide when they realize the terrible inevitability of death. A lot of people are goal-oriented; it's even cited as being crucial to being successful, especially in a First World nation. However, being process-oriented can be necessary to stay sane in less fortunate circumstances.

Hope for goal-oriented people can be the concept of holding out for the littlest possibility of success so as to be ready when the moment arrives. To me, hope is to act as if your hopes can come true, even in the face of absolutely certain defeat - because whether or not they come true is not the point.

To that end, I think ME3's ending somewhat meta-analyzes the meaning of this unintentionally, and dichotomizes between process and goal-oriented gamers. Bear in mind that what Shepard and company are facing IS the coming oblivion of everything they are and stand for, and much of any of their goal-oriented hopes are founded on their own relative stupidity and ignorance.

Your life isn't contained, pre-determined, and presented within a defined preset medium as a narrative. It's perfectly reasonable to say an awful end is enough to ruin the entire experience of a narrative. Not sure why you're making comparisons with a failed narrative in a game/book/movie and a person's approach to life/death.

What keeps people going is hope. Not just in life, but in any enterprise. I stay up late studying because I hope I will pass an exam, if I somehow knew for a fact that I wouldn't, then I wouldn't be able to bring myself to study. If you view the ending of ME3 as a failure to accomplish the goal that you felt Shepard had throughout the entire series, then is it strange if you can't enjoy the games anymore?

There are exceptions, of course, but the whole premise of Mass Effect is extremely focused on a goal.

Also, people react the way they react. It's not something we can help or change, it's an emotional response.

kyrieee wrote:

What keeps people going is hope. Not just in life, but in any enterprise. I stay up late studying because I hope I will pass an exam, if I somehow knew for a fact that I wouldn't, then I wouldn't be able to bring myself to study. If you view the ending of ME3 as a failure to accomplish the goal that you felt Shepard had throughout the entire series, then is it strange if you can't enjoy the games anymore?

There are exceptions, of course, but the whole premise of Mass Effect is extremely focused on a goal.

Yup, until the last 5 min of ME3, all three ME games' driving theme is achieving the goal, and not losing hope.

More on the ending (video is spoiler)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gssM...

Spoiler:

If you listen VERY CAREFULLY you can hear that Jennifer Hale is reading the same lines as the kid, and Mark Meer is reading them as well. Hale's lines are panned to the left speaker and Meer's to the right one. At 1:37 you hear it quite clearly, "leaving the younger ones ALONE". You hear it on the last word in particular.

It doesn't really imply anything on its own, but it kind of fits with the idea that it's inside Shepard's head if she's hearing her own voice.

I guess I still don't get why you all feel that "nothing Shep did mattered." I actually think EVERYTHING shep did mattered. It all drove to the conclusion. If what you mean is "but my shep did A B and C and I want a unique ending that completely reflects all those choices" well, I guess then I can understand that, but really, games this big don't work that way. There was an *awful* lot of "my experience was different than yours" already in the game.

Spoiler:

If, again, it's just "the relays are gone, so life isn't worth living" I guess I just point to the fact (already mentioned) that there was an awful lot of flying around systems without needing a relay, and FTL is still FTL. The Krogan DMZ had like a *dozen* worlds in it, and presumably thats not "every single resource within an FTL jump," just a handful of locations of highest import. Do you honestly don't think there's not an awesome piece of fiction in "Krogan's regain ability to breed, galaxy cut off, they rebuild to dominance" as a story line? That by itself is a better setup than half the hard SF I've ever read. How about "Eden prime, now truly on the frontier, is perhaps better positioned to grow than all the networked worlds of the core." I think thats an awesome storyline. Those are the things I imagined when Joker limped out of the ship. Those are hopeful stories.

Is every race in tip top shape, of course not. Then again, they were all about to be wiped. I take this ending over Princess Amidala and frog boy holding up a glowing jellyfish and screaming "peace" any day of the week. And that I engendered my version of that ending by limping towards the machine, firing the pistol, remember everyone I'd lost and was going to lose ... man, I dunno. I guess there's no pleasing some people.

rabbit wrote:
Spoiler:

Is every race in tip top shape, of course not. Then again, they were all about to be wiped. I take this ending over Princess Amidala and frog boy holding up a glowing jellyfish and screaming "peace" any day of the week. And that I engendered my version of that ending by limping towards the machine, firing the pistol, remember everyone I'd lost and was going to lose ... man, I dunno. I guess there's no pleasing some people.

Are you sure that's the comparison you want to make? I already said earlier in this thread that the Matrix Sequels and Star Wars prequels almost completely ruined what came before them for me.

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

Synthetic life will eventually overwhelm organic life?

Actually, most of the underlying themes of the game demonstrated that this was wrong.

Spoiler:

I mean, you had an unshackled AI on your ship, and as a Paragon Shepherd you would probably have discovered that the Geth don't particularly want to hurt or kill organics, but were forced into a war by fearful Quarians. You run into a couple of bad AIs too, and plenty of hostile Geth, but the overwhelmingly strong evidence in the game is that synthetics and organics can get along just fine.

Redacted

rabbit wrote:

more stuff

Spoiler:

It's pretty simple really. For me, and for what seems the vast majority of other players, the ending saps any and all weight or meaning from every choice you've made in the series up to that moment. It no longer matters that you united the Geth and the Quarians, or that you destroyed the human reaper, or that you saved the Krogan. They throw out all of that and give you a choice between three cutscenes that have nothing to do with anything you've done up to that moment unless you played the completely inept Shephard that gets the earth blown up. Every other combination of anything leads you to the same place. It removes all true player agency and reduces the end of the series to whether you walk up the ramp on the left, the ramp on the right, or just wander straight forward, and they accomplish that by shoving in a truly terrible god character that they only just start to hint at in the very last bits of the last game. They completely ignore the hints you were given at what might be behind the reapers from the other two games and stick you with something so completely random and out of left field it that it feels like it doesn't belong in the game at all.

For the record, I saved Anderson, shot the thing and blew stuff up, and my Shepard lived. And I didn't care. My Shepard lived and I just straight up didn't care, to the point that I don't even believe I had mentioned which of the three(4) endings I chose to this point. To me, that means there's something very wrong here.

I guess I can take some comfort in the knowledge that I'm so very not alone in this.

Exactly:

Spoiler:

It removes all true player agency and reduces the end of the series to whether you walk up the ramp on the left, the ramp on the right, or just wander straight forward, and they accomplish that by shoving in a truly terrible god character that they only just start to hint at in the very last bits of the last game.

Again, to determine the outcome of the game, all you need is the last ten minutes. Everything that went before is irrelevant. Three choices, almost completely disconnected from everything you've pieced together about the Universe, and those three choices aren't even substantially different. Red fire, blue fire, or green fire are the only outcome of 150 hours of play.

You can get away with that kind of crap in a free indie game, but it makes me quite angry that they actually charged admission for this kind of lazy bullsh*t.

Wow. The level of vitriol hear just makes me uncomfortable. I'm gonna just back away from the discussion. I'm not sure how y'all feel like it was really going to be different. It sounds like, after ME2, you essentially wanted ME3 to be two ENTIRELY different games based on how you made your choice about the collectors. And then from there, inside each of those, entirely different games based on whether you, say, nuked or supported the geth, and so on. Fair enough. That'd be cool, and sure, we may eventually head that way. Of course, you end up with phenomenal development expenses to create 200 hours of content that most people see 20 of, which is the constant problem with story-based game development.

Effectively, you're bitter that the game was actually pretty linear all along. Was there any difference in the content (really) in ME3 if you'd chosen to save the collector ship? Or was it basically the same with a few lines of dialog in different places. I've heard the latter, which means you should be pissed about ALL of ME3, right? Because your choice didn't matter.

And yet, what I'm hearing, Malor, is that you feel that your entire experience was made actually worthless. That your experience of ME1 and ME2 and all but 5 minutes of ME3 is not worth a PENNY, because of the end. That it's actually worse than if they'd never made the game at all.

I'm guessing, then, that you're one of those people who hate ALL of the lord of the rings, because Tom Bombadil removes free will from it?

I guess I'm out. Makes me sad.

rabbit wrote:

Effectively, you're bitter that the game was actually pretty linear all along.

That's just it though. It wasn't really linear until the last ten minutes of the very last game.

And I'm not with Malor in that I think the entire experience of playing the series is somehow worthless now. I still love ME2 in particular, and ME3 has a great build up. But when your entire game (or series even) is a build up toward that big finale, and then said finale throws away basically everything you've done up until then I'm finding it pretty impossible not to be super disappointed.

Basically, the third game is great, but the story fails hard right at the finish line and I would caution anyone at getting anywhere close to as invested as I did in said story and characters before I recommended they play the games.

rabbit wrote:

I'm guessing, then, that you're one of those people who hate ALL of the lord of the rings, because Tom Bombadil removes free will from it?

That's not the same thing and you know it. We didn't play Lord of the Rings, going through deciding how parts of the story progressed and whether certain characters lived or died as we went.

Video showing slight differences in the endings.

Spoiler:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlgfr...
Looks like the Earth pretty much burns in the destroy option here, rather than just Reapers and tech. Due to low Military Strength.
It is not very well stated in-game though, I'm sure post-ending still tells how Shepard is a legend, despite just having killed off 99% of humanity and other races (One would assume all other planets close to relays burn the same way), but it shows slightly more variance than the "pick a color" options.

Seems like it is only the Destroy option which have such differences, as it also have the 'Shepard lives' ending.

Regarding the dream/indoctrination interpretation,

Spoiler:

the way I see it nothing after Shepard being hit by the Reaper is happening. He never makes it to the Citadel (since he can wake up back in London in the destroy option - waking up inside the citadel would be difficult after it is destroyed), the Crucible never fires etc. The Crucible probably wouldn't ever work - the Reapers doesn't seem particularly worried about its existence. They got plenty of time to destroy it in the space battle above Earth if it was a threat.

Ok. So that end was...not good. Like many others, I was loving it until the very end, and then it all fell apart. The whole thing is just nonsense. It makes no f*cking sense. The whole crucible thing was kind of hokey from the get-go, but I was willing to roll with it, but then it turned out to contain space-god, who can use his space magic to kill all synthetic life (how can it tell an AI from a regular old computer? Space magic!), or give everyone in the entire universe nano-machine infusions or whatever that green light was supposed to do (SPACE MAGIC), or completely control the reapers, but not the citadel it is housed in (Space Magic: EPIC FAIL?).

Not to mention that space-god's rationale for the repeated slaughter of sufficiently advanced sentient life is based on a false premise, the f*cking geth showed us that.

The hallucination explanation is the only thing that makes any kind of sense, and they do seem to be setting it up somewhat earlier (at least if you're romancing ashley and all her worries about cerberus controlling you through your implants, and the dream sequences, etc) but the whole normandy escape sequence (Why is Joker Fleeing the field of battle? How did Ashley go from lying unconcious in front of the pillar of light to aboard the Normandy in that little time? It's just not possible.) and "tell me another story about the shepherd grandpa" seems to indicate Bioware wants you to take it literally to a certain degree. Plus, if it's all a hallucination, the Reapers would've won, and how can there be kids asking about Shepard if they did?

(I'd be fine with the You Lose ending in comparison, actually. Just close with a new species finding one of the information packets Liara seeded, talking about Shepard, showing the plans for the crucible, etc. Bitter, but with a small hope the reapers will get proper f*cked next time around.)

Unless Bioware just gypped us out of the ending, and we have to pay another 10-20$ to get the real finale.

Bah. I was expecting the crucible to do something suitably corny, like piggy-back on the Reaper's communications and incapacitate them, and then I'd quietly bleed out on the Citadel floor while watching all those fleets I gathered tear into them. Or maybe even be a giant doomsday device that'd blow up the entire solar system, taking all those conveniently gathered reapers with me, but leave the rest of the galaxy to rebuild. Instead I got three nonsensical choices forced on me by a retarded control freak.

What a spectacular way to shoot themselves in the foot, as I really loved the game up to that point.

I was half expecting the Crucible to reroute the Citadel's power through the deflector dish in order to increase it by 200% and weaponize it by changing the phase-shift frequencies.

Haha
"Phase-shift frequencies" is the most nonsensical term I've heard in a long time

rabbit wrote:

Effectively, you're bitter that the game was actually pretty linear all along. Was there any difference in the content (really) in ME3 if you'd chosen to save the collector ship? Or was it basically the same with a few lines of dialog in different places. I've heard the latter, which means you should be pissed about ALL of ME3, right? Because your choice didn't matter.

Personally I'm fine with having a lot of linearity in the main story of a game. The more the options split up from each other the harder it gets to tell a coherent story.
The interesting choices in RPGs, and Bioware games especially, is not the world changing ones; "destroy the world or not", "kill the dragon or watch it destroy the world instead". Such choices easily hurt more than they help the story, as you can't really continue to tell a story in that same universe after offering such world-changing choices.

I'm one of those rare people who likes Dragon Age 2, exactly because the story was mostly personal, and all the world-changing stuff was highly linear - no matter what your Hawke did, the effect on the world was largely the same. The important choices only affected you and those close to you.

In Mass Effect the interesting choices are the small ones as well. How do you interact with your team members, how you you solve specific missions etc. Reading both this thread and others, the things people remember the best from ME1,2,3 are some random 2 minutes where they talk with Garrus, decide if they should put down Wrex or watch Mordin dying in the effort to help the Krogans. None of which is gong to change the world a whole lot, but it changes who your Shepard and his team are, and it influences future exchanges on your team for sure, but it is kept small and personal throughout the games.

Which is also why the ending doesn't ruin the game for me as a whole. All those moments remains intact.

For me, the ending doesn't have to change depending on all the things you did throughout the games, tbh the things you did throughout the games already had their effects shown on a personal level, as mentioned above.
However the ending should take into account the storyline which came before it, even if it does not include the aspects your Shepard could directly influence. A perfectly linear ending would be fine with me, as long as it actually made sense in the context of the story.
Which the ending in ME3 does not in my opinion.

Very nicely said, Shadout. I couldn't agree more.

It sounds like, after ME2, you essentially wanted ME3 to be two ENTIRELY different games based on how you made your choice about the collectors.

Well, at the very, very least, I wanted something like Fallout 3. That one killed the protagonist, but it had a great set of cameos of everyone you'd interacted with in the game, damn near, and how their lives were changed based on your interaction with them. Good story games have been doing that basic montage sequence for decades now. It's not a difficult concept.

I actually felt rather cheated by the retcon that 'you didn't die after all' in FO3, as it cheapened the overall experience. I didn't like the death at the end, but I really didn't like the 'we healed you' undoing. It robbed the ending of much of its power, and it did have a fair bit.

This? It's just sh*t. It makes no sense in terms of the overall story, and nothing you do anywhere in the game affects it at all. So why the f*ck were you even doing all that stuff? If it has no impact on final resolutions, why is it even there?

My mental image of the way the endings would work is that there would be a matrix of either six or nine, based on your trips through ME1, 2, and 3. Paragon/paragon/paragon, paragon/paragon/renegade, paragon/renegade/paragon and so on, and then have various details tacked on based on major plot points (the rachni queen and the Council's death or preservation are the only two I can think of that were probably important enough to rate major ending changes.) And I wanted more than the Three Buttons of f*cking Fate at the end. To cut costs, they could probably have done the four endings of paragon/renegade in ME2 and 3, and then the rachni/Citadel variants.

I'm imagining some kind of final battle where, depending on how many resources you'd summoned, different things would happen in the final mission to help and/or hinder your progress. If you'd done the minimum, those final battles would be an uphill slog... if you'd summoned as many resources as you could, they'd be a downhill coast until the final hill.

It would feel, in other words, like what you had done mattered, that taking the time to go search all those worlds and run all those FedEx quests made a difference. It doesn't have to be a HUGE difference, since they are pretty basic FedEx quests, but it should be visible, and it should be identified to the player in some way. ("Hey, Shepherd, this is Kirrahe. We've got these Brutes, you just keep going.")

And it's not like this is a weird or unusual request. Chrono Trigger has like sixteen different endings. Chrono Trigger. On the SNES. From 1994. They did a better job of handling an overarching epic story eighteen years ago, in four megabytes of ROM!

In Mass Effect, nothing you did made a damn bit of difference, and the more you cared about the people you'd known and tried to help, the worse you feel about f*cking them over at the end.

Unless Bioware just gypped us out of the ending, and we have to pay another 10-20$ to get the real finale.

If BioWare actually rolls with the "it was all a dream" resolution and presents The Real Ending via paid DLC, I fully expect the internet to swallow itself into a molten hot singularity of endless, inarticulable rage.

@Malor

I am going to counter your point of 'it's not like this is a weird or unusual request' with your own statement.

"Chrono Trigger has like sixteen different endings. Chrono Trigger. On the SNES. From 1994."

It's been more than a decade and a half since Chrono Trigger, things have changed. Costs have changed. Expectations have changed. Costs have REALLY changed.

And regards to what you've said about nothing you've done until the end mattering.

Spoiler:

All your decisions did matter. You saw the best options. Not only did you get to see your decisions in the last two games play out to a conclusion within ME3, they also contribute toward the EMS bar. And the EMS that's what allowed you to save earth and given the choice of three that you did see.

Also there are very important decisions you make in ME3 itself while you see the continuation of your decisions in ME1/2 play out in ME3.

You do realize that without enough EMS, your decisions ARE different? If you make enough wrong decisions, you lose SIGNIFICANT amount of EMS points and greatly affect your EMS. Not only can you completely fail and let the reapers win, with certain ratings, you aren't even given a choice, and with low enough ratings, Earth will be 'saved' but left completely devastated, removing the humans from your choice's resulting equation of 'hope' for the future.

Also, it would really convolute the ending if you were seeing each different ramification of any of the useless side quests you did more or less to raise your EMS.

Don't get me wrong, I also believe that the endings are very out of place/flawed for this series and may even go as far as to taint what is otherwise a very excellent trilogy. That said, a lot of people are also giving unfair amount of flak, and I certainly disagree with a lot of your points.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
Unless Bioware just gypped us out of the ending, and we have to pay another 10-20$ to get the real finale.

If BioWare actually rolls with the "it was all a dream" resolution and presents The Real Ending via paid DLC, I fully expect the internet to swallow itself into a molten hot singularity of endless, inarticulable rage.

No matter how much the fans wish it so, I don't see this happening.

Here's what I think is the 'Best case scenario' for anyone that expects an alternate ending patch; it will not come with an apology from Bioware, it will not be free, and it will so much later from now, that it won't really matter (Broken Steel was more than half a year after the game actually came out).

And that's assuming the DLC actually happens. If I recall correctly, DA2's fan-criticisms were sort of met with some hostility/sarcasm. It may not even go that far.

My biggest beef, and something I haven't seen proponents of the ending directly address is

Spoiler:

the kid/God wasn't properly built up in the main story. It wasn't mentioned at all in ME1 or 2, and in ME3, it was only mentioned once in the last five hours of the game (After defeating the Reaper on the Quarian homeworld). I don't believe it fit the fiction.

To be clear, a bad ending would have been great, as long as it fit the fiction. Shepard could died on Earth, just short of his goal, and it would have been a good ending. Shepard could have sacrificed himself at the end for the future of everyone, and that would have been ok too. The introduction of the kid/God and unexplained "space magic" is a poor justification for what amounts to arbitrary decisions. I don't mind the decisions--I just cannot abide the justification, especially when they are pulled out of thin air.

My question to the proponents is: How do you justify the existence and power of

Spoiler:

kid/God?

One of the things that I feel is common with all of us is that we loved the game, the storytelling, the characters up until the very end. So how does one judge a game or a story that does everything right except the end? I think most of us will fit into either the camp of "I enjoyed the ride" or "Disneyland was closed when we got there." For most any other game, I would have enjoyed the ride. But I really wanted to go to Disneyland.

ME1 spoiler:

Spoiler:

I wanted to not just stop the Reapers, I wanted to save the galaxy as it stood. That was my goal. That was the reason I played these games. I have played other games with cooler powers and other games with better shooting gameplay, but the universe I was in and the combination of it all was so great in ME that I wanted to save its galaxy. When I found out who the Reapers really were in ME1 I wanted to scream at the politicians who kept the Normandy grounded and I stopped doing any form of side quest because I felt like there was a chance that if I delayed at all, I might not stop Saren and Sovereign in time. When I was racing my Mako into the gate to go to the Citadel, I was racing full speed because I was convinced that it might close if I didn't get there in time! Now of course that is not true, it is a game! It would have allowed me to reload it a few times, but I was convinced that I had to do it the first time. I have never experienced that in a game, and I doubt I ever will. In fact, I will probably avoid getting that attached to a game's story just because of ME3. I feel the same way as I did after my Seahawks lost the Super Bowl: I felt so depressed that I resolved never to get that emotionally attached to them again.

Back to ME3 spoilers:

Spoiler:

I didn't want to stop the cycle of Reapers for the next generation, I wanted to stop it for MY generation. That is why the end hurts so much. You can argue that the goal was to stop the Reapers, and that is fine, you get the ending you want. But I wanted to save the friends I made. In my chat with Miranda right before the final mission I was talking about going away to finally stop saving the galaxy and spend time loving each other free from controling fathers and galactic threats. I wanted to save the galaxy for her. And I had no reason to believe I couldn't if I did everything right. Everything about the game leading up to that indicated that an ending with that was possible. Sure, in real life, you get to the point where all your plans can go up in smoke and there are no happy endings, but in real life your companions don't get up after being shot to death as soon as there are no more bad guys around. This game isn't real life and trying to cram real life down our throats is out of place. Let me experience real life in the real world, not in my escapist hero story.

It isn't just that I couldn't achieve my goal, it is that the reason why is so insanely stupid and out of character for the theme of the entire series.

And you can argue "the Mass Relays don't really spell doom because they have FTL" but you could just as easily argue that FTL isn't good enough or that a devastated earth wouldn't have the fuel supplies needed to get people to a point where they won't all starve to death. I think FTL being good enough is just as rational as the indoctrination conspiracy (which I want to believe). But the reason we are even left to argue this is because Bioware decided the galaxy they made was not even worth an epilogue.

Sadly, I woke up depressed by this game so I am going to have to take a break from all the discussion. Thanks Bioware, for dangling such a beautiful carrot in front of me just to get me close enough that you can hit me with a stick in the last 10 minutes.

weqw