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post #151 of 400 Old 04-06-2012, 01:55 PM
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just finished and i thought people were blowing the whole ending thing out of proportion... well until i saw it... the plot holes are huge?? how did my team get back on the normandy, why were they going through a mass relay? how will all the standard people survive with no way to get back home, etc.....

don't really care about not having 20 endings to choose from, how about an ending that makes sense??

also, can someone expound on the reapers a little bit, over the last 5 years it is all running together... so this "kid" created them to kill everyone because eventually everyone will go to war and kill eachother?? so he is killing them ever so often because they might get killed??? also how did they get created (what resources did he have), etc... sorry for the dumb questions on the reapers just hoping someone can clear me up... thanks
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post #152 of 400 Old 04-06-2012, 04:45 PM
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I think what they're getting at is the first race that ever created synthetics saw them overrule them. And so they created the Reapers (or became the Reapers) and purposely destroy all life in order to prevent them from creating more synthetics.

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post #153 of 400 Old 04-06-2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin-benjami View Post

just finished and i thought people were blowing the whole ending thing out of proportion... well until i saw it... the plot holes are huge?? how did my team get back on the normandy, why were they going through a mass relay? how will all the standard people survive with no way to get back home, etc.....

don't really care about not having 20 endings to choose from, how about an ending that makes sense??

also, can someone expound on the reapers a little bit, over the last 5 years it is all running together... so this "kid" created them to kill everyone because eventually everyone will go to war and kill eachother?? so he is killing them ever so often because they might get killed??? also how did they get created (what resources did he have), etc... sorry for the dumb questions on the reapers just hoping someone can clear me up... thanks

Pretty well written clarification in the mass effect wiki, hopefully they lay it out a little more clearly for everyone in-game in the extended cut...cause it is pretty interesting stuff, just really, really poorly explained.

Quote:
The Reapers destroy advanced organic life in order to preserve a fragile balance. The Reapers believe that without the extinction cycles, synthetic intelligence would completely annihilate all organic life. This is because of a natural tendency to chaos; organics will always create synthetics and synthetics will always rebel against them. The Reapers also believe that destroying advanced civilizations is the only way to allow new civilizations to come into existence. The Reapers leave no evidence of their conquest, nor of their existence - only desolate, barren ruins of those who came before.
The trap created by the Reapers was simple. A sentient species would develop an FTL drive, but would still be limited in its speed. By leaving a network of relays capable of instant transport across the galaxy that led to the impressive Citadel, the Reapers ensured that it would become the center of galactic civilization. Further, Sovereign implies that the presence of the mass relays would lead the sentient species down a predetermined route with regards to weapons and armor technology (both of which are based upon element zero technology for the Citadel races). It is probable that this reduces the possibility of organic life discovering alternative, more advanced technology and progressing down a different 'path'; or, as Sovereign explains, "By using it [mass relay technology] your society develops along the paths we desire."

Once the sentient races have established themselves on the Citadel with the aid of the keepers, a lone Reaper vanguard stationed within the galaxy sends a signal to the Citadel, instructing the keepers to activate the station's hidden mass relay. This opens a path between the Citadel and dark space. The Reapers then flood through, killing the leaders of the assembled species before branching out and obliterating all spacefaring life around them.

Because the Reapers first enter the galaxy at the point that they have ensured will be the center of galactic politics, information and finance, they are able to cripple any resistance almost before the Citadel civilizations have any idea that they are under attack. The Citadel also gives them control of the relay network, cutting off star systems from each other and destroying communications.

The Reapers then use their control of the Citadel and its data to begin the most sinister phase of their attack. Records allow them to track down every settled planet and attack them, harvesting their populations or enslaving them through indoctrination.

The extinction events may be part of the Reapers' reproductive cycle, in which all the sentient life in the galaxy is harvested and essentially melted down into techno-organic Reaper shells based on the individual species' physical form, as seen with the Human-Reaper in Mass Effect 2. This is further expanded upon in Mass Effect 3 where it is explained that the Reapers harvest organic civilizations at the height of their power in order to "preserve" the individual species in Reaper form.


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post #154 of 400 Old 04-06-2012, 07:30 PM
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Also, reaper intelligence is essentially composed of an aggregate of billions of organic minds, uploaded and integrated before the bodies are melted down. This could have made your final decision a little more interesting had they taken the time to get it across...instead, all this is revealed in a difficult to access conversation with legion...in ME2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqtAHNQT3-w

This is why the uproar over the ending seems tragic to me...there is lots of genuinely cool stuff in the fiction, that's actually quite deep and consistent, and it all got lost in the short, confusing and generally poorly executed ending. Hopefully they can bring some of this more to the surface in the extended cut.

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post #155 of 400 Old 04-06-2012, 08:54 PM
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thanks BD
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post #156 of 400 Old 04-08-2012, 08:39 PM
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Whether it was Bioware's intent or not, indoctrination is the ONLY conclusion to these endings that makes sense. Control and synthesis options are reaper victories that result in Shepard "giving in" and dying and the reapers living - destruction wakes Shepard up out of the indoctrination back in London for one last hurrah. The star child was a manifestation of Shepard's mind in his indoctrination dream.

The game still needs to be finished.

Shepard gets asked several times throughout the game if he is ok - he seems out of it. These could be early signs of indoctrination, as he has spent quite a bit of time around reapers across the 3 games.

The relays exploding can be explained away, as the reapers built the relays, and our only knowledge of them exploding is based on rupturing the containment of the element zero core. If the red destruction beam is sent to a relay, it could somehow fundamentally change the manner in which the relay works, negating the mass effect engine. Definitely a stretch.

The Normandy in another system with your crew members that were with you in London can maybe, just maybe be explained away. Shepard got knocked out cold by the reaper blast, assumed to be dead. That could have been the tide turning event that caused your crew and most of the other forces to abandon hope and evacuate.

The only problem is that the Normandy scenario and the exploding relay scenario aren't real if the interactions in the Citadel are an indoctrinated dream, they are just part of Shepard's dream. The part I can't piece together is how the Illusive Man intended to control the reapers without the crucible, but now I'm probably giving Bioware too much credit

If Bioware ever wants to live this down, they would make this new DLC treat the current ending as an indoctrinated dream. The rest of the game was awesome though - best of the bunch, and I loved the whole series.


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post #157 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 07:50 AM
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I'm also thinking more along the lines of indoctrination. I mean 3 whole games Shep's been in contact with Reapers and their minions. More contact than most.

The Normandy scene is probably just Shep's mind wanting a happy ending.

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post #158 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 08:01 AM
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Yeah I really think the indoctrination theory is the right one based on the evidence in the video.

Besides that after the type of ending Bioware did it's other other scifi RPG (Knights of the Old Republic) I would be disappointed with any other explanation in the DLC. Hopefully they make the 'reveal' more obvious and just expand upon what happens afterwards.

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post #159 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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Nobody has ever mentioned it, but is it possible that ALL of ME 2 and 3 are all in Shepard's mind? That she was never rebuilt by the Illusive Man at all? That the final gasp we see her take (assuming you did the Co-Op garbage and got the so-called "best" ending) is simply implying that she never "died" in the events that supposedly took place from ME1 to ME2? Is it also possible that they could tell us that Shep was controlled from the very moment that she came in contact with the first beacon in ME1? That BioWare could just "reboot" the series from any point they wish?

This isn't an ideal situation at all, but it's better than saying she was indoctinated at the end, imo. Sorry, but MY Shep is far too bad-ass to simply be taken over at the last minute in the darkest hour with the fate of the galaxy at stake, particularly given the series of events and monumental sacrifices that we were led to believe actually happened.
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post #160 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 10:11 AM
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The simplest explanation is always the best one. Indoctrination theory is flat out crazy.

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post #161 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 10:19 AM
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Finished the SP this weekend. I've done 3 playthroughs of each of the first two games and did this one with my first character, a mostly paragon standard male infiltrator. The game is a lot of fun, loved that they added back some detail with the weapons & powers.

The ending was terrible. As some others have said, I'd be happy if it was actually an ending. I did it a couple of times and I'm left not being sure what the hell actually happened. I'm not asking for it to be wrapped up in a nice tidy box but this was really absurd. All this internet discussion about alternative theories and Bioware issuing 'no comment' statements is because we don't actually know what happened. Even if you accept that what you saw is what happened it really didn't make sense and pretty much sucked. TonyDP's post #56 summed it up nicely.

I was geeked up while running towards that elevator to the Citadel, dodging the blasts from Harbinger. Totally expecting another battle through the Citadel (a la the end of ME1 in the way Halo 3's ending mirrored the original's) to a great ending. Instead I got some nonsense and the realization many others have expressed that the endings are all the same and it doesn't matter what you did in those 100 or so hours of gameplay leading up to it. ugh.

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post #162 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyder696969 View Post

Sorry, but MY Shep is far too bad-ass to simply be taken over at the last minute in the darkest hour with the fate of the galaxy at stake, particularly given the series of events and monumental sacrifices that we were led to believe actually happened.

Shepard gets indoctrinated by the Illusive Man while up in the Citadel, and his indoctrination abilities can't be nearly as potent as those of Harbinger.

Shepard spent time on a reaper in ME2, fought a reaper in close quarters at the end of ME2, spent a lot of time in close proximity to a reaper artifact in ME2 Arrival, and spent time next to three of four reapers in ME3 before having Harbinger land in front of him. That's a lot of exposure. He fought it off as long as he could - crew members noting how stressed he seemed - but when Harbinger's blast knocked him out, that was the opening it needed to enter Shepard's mind.

It's really not a far stretch at all. Why else would Shepard be shown alive in London and not still up in the Citadel at the end of the destruction ending? Did an explosion in the Citadel knock him towards earth, and without any armor, he passed through the atmosphere without burning up and plumitted to earth at several thousands of miles per hour to land safely and come back to life? No. He woke up from Harbinger's blast.

Just think how clever Bioware will be if they can pull this off.


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post #163 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 11:10 AM
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Formula - Are you even paying attention to your own explanation? You tell us that the relays didn't explode, then three lines later tell us about the exploding relays crashing the Normandy.

Normandy crashes before Lazarus kicks back in. It didn't happen.

Let's spell this out nice and simple guys. What happened is that you spent an entire game wrangling up the galaxy's military forces and bringing them to one location for extremely efficient anihilation by the Reapers. Meanwhile, you also made sure that the galaxy was occupied dumping all of their available resources in to a mcguffin that the Reapers provided you with, instead of on something useful. There is no other missing two hours of story. We already know the end, but Bioware made the mistake of thinking that their audience was smart enough to follow along.

Shepard left the rest of the galaxy defenseless and ill-prepared. This will now be the quickest Reaper cleansing in history.

The galaxy was defenseless and ill-prepared before Shepard came along. By your logic, we could all have kept our money and bioware could have just sent us a post card with the message "a galaxy was harvested somewhere". People are upset because they wanted to save the galaxy and see a proper ending for all their efforts realized. They got the middle finger instead. Anger is justified.
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post #164 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 11:30 AM
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The dream idea is overplayed and far too cliche. I can't see BW going that route. But who knows...

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post #165 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post

Shepard gets indoctrinated by the Illusive Man while up in the Citadel, and his indoctrination abilities can't be nearly as potent as those of Harbinger.

Shepard spent time on a reaper in ME2, fought a reaper in close quarters at the end of ME2, spent a lot of time in close proximity to a reaper artifact in ME2 Arrival, and spent time next to three of four reapers in ME3 before having Harbinger land in front of him. That's a lot of exposure. He fought it off as long as he could - crew members noting how stressed he seemed - but when Harbinger's blast knocked him out, that was the opening it needed to enter Shepard's mind.

It's really not a far stretch at all. Why else would Shepard be shown alive in London and not still up in the Citadel at the end of the destruction ending? Did an explosion in the Citadel knock him towards earth, and without any armor, he passed through the atmosphere without burning up and plumitted to earth at several thousands of miles per hour to land safely and come back to life? No. He woke up from Harbinger's blast.

Just think how clever Bioware will be if they can pull this off.

For as much as people bitched, whined, cried, moaned, and threw childish temper tantrums over Shepard dying, this option is 1,000,000 times worse. I'd take a dead, yet strong Shepard that held to her beliefs and died a hero's death over a weak-minded and indoctrinated Shepard anyday.
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post #166 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by spyder696969 View Post

Nobody has ever mentioned it, but is it possible that ALL of ME 2 and 3 are all in Shepard's mind? That she was never rebuilt by the Illusive Man at all?

In my case...Shepard is a He. But your hypothesis is exactly what I believed after playing ME2. I even wrote about it on the "old" XBox Live Forum...Before MS screwed the forum up with the worst update ever. But that is another story altogether.

At the end of ME2 I thought the Illusive Man and Shepard were one and the same. Part of a common consciousness. And the young Reaper Shepard fought at the Collector station was what he was actually becoming. I thought the conflict would be conclusively resolved in ME3. But it doesn't appear to be resolved at all. I think I'll wait to play ME3 after Bioware makes the reissue with the extended ending.
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post #167 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spyder696969 View Post


For as much as people bitched, whined, cried, moaned, and threw childish temper tantrums over Shepard dying, this option is 1,000,000 times worse. I'd take a dead, yet strong Shepard that held to her beliefs and died a hero's death over a weak-minded and indoctrinated Shepard anyday.

Seriously. I hate the idea that there's any ending at all in which she lived.

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post #168 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 05:51 PM
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For as much as people bitched, whined, cried, moaned, and threw childish temper tantrums over Shepard dying, this option is 1,000,000 times worse. I'd take a dead, yet strong Shepard that held to her beliefs and died a hero's death over a weak-minded and indoctrinated Shepard anyday.

If you pick destruction, you beat the indoctrination and live. If you pick control or sythesis, you give in and die.


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post #169 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 06:57 PM
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It makes so much sense - this is worth every minute. Bioware will go from looking like buffoons to geniuses when they pull this off, a delayed, dramatic ending that was always there. From a terrible ending to one of the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZOye...eature=related


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post #170 of 400 Old 04-09-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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Seriously. I hate the idea that there's any ending at all in which she lived.

Agree 100%. This is ME, not a Disney flick.
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post #171 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 05:37 AM
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Agree 100%. This is ME, not a Disney flick.

If she lived, the fight is not over and it looks more dire than ever. How is that like a Disney flick?

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post #172 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 05:47 AM
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Have to agree that the indoctrination theory is the only theory that would allow a proper conclusion to the game. As pointed out above, it just means that the reapers "tried" to indoctrinate Shepard but he/she can resist. It sets up well for an expansion pack (like DA: Awakening). My problem is that, If this is the route they are taking, it is still very shady at best. Talk about bleeding the money from the golden calf.
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post #173 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 05:55 AM
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It seems to me, whether you believe in indoc. theory or not, there was only one correct choice at the end. Saren wanted synthesis in ME1. TIM wanted to control the Reapers. They were both controlled by the Reapers so those options couldn't be right. The right choice must have been to destroy the Reapers.

The first time I finished the game, I chose synthesis because my Shepard had risked everything to give the Geth their freedom and individuality. The Geth and the Quarians were at peace and working together. I couldn't see destroying all synthetic life.

Next time, I'll pick 'destroy the Reapers' and assume that the ghost kid AI is lying about all synthetic life being destroyed. Why should we believe anything that AI tells Shepard?
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post #174 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 06:39 AM
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My main issue with indoctrination theory is that it's treating the game as if it's history or science, not literature. Like as if these events really happened, and that every little thing is some shred of evidence of the "truth". The real truth is that human beings wrote the game, and they have artistic license to write/enact anything they desire, and they're not beholden to physics, causality, or even common sense.

Watching the video posted above there's definitely a ton of grasping at straws, but I think there's enough to say that the bioware writers seemingly threw some things in there that allow for this indoctrination theory to be a "valid" interpretation.

But more than anything, if there's any one "truth", it's that the writers intentionally built ambiguity in it to allow this kind of speculation. So go with whatever interpretation satisfies you...but it's kind of a fools errand to chase "the truth". The "real" ending is open to interpretation, and always will be. People seem to be looking for some sort of validation that their pet theory is "what really happened", and I don't think bioware is ever going to be that explicit.

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post #175 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 07:08 AM
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I have a feeling that the "ending DLC" that's coming out in June will answer this. We'll just have to wait till then.

FWIW, if BW does go for indoctrination, it's a masterpiece of literature. NOT history or science. The best writing is when the audience doesn't even realize what's happened and is left to interpret everything again. We've looked at this world through Shepard's eyes for three games. To us, we've never lost sight of our goal to defeat the Reapers. Saren and TIM had similar goals (one to join because we couldn't defeat, the other to control). Both of these people became indoctrinated without even knowing it. With Saren, it was easy for us to detect the indoctrination. At what point did TIM become indoctrinated? Both of them realized their indoctrination with our help. So who is there to check us at the end?

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post #176 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord_Zath View Post

I have a feeling that the "ending DLC" that's coming out in June will answer this. We'll just have to wait till then.

FWIW, if BW does go for indoctrination, it's a masterpiece of literature. NOT history or science. The best writing is when the audience doesn't even realize what's happened and is left to interpret everything again. We've looked at this world through Shepard's eyes for three games. To us, we've never lost sight of our goal to defeat the Reapers. Saren and TIM had similar goals (one to join because we couldn't defeat, the other to control). Both of these people became indoctrinated without even knowing it. With Saren, it was easy for us to detect the indoctrination. At what point did TIM become indoctrinated? Both of them realized their indoctrination with our help. So who is there to check us at the end?

Well, it'll never be a matter of if bioware "goes" for indoctrination. The above video convinced me at least to the point that they intentionally built stuff in to seed that theory, but it doesn't preclude a face value interpretation either. They'll probably do more of the same in the extended cut. They said they're not going to compromise on their artistic vision, and one of the very clear statements about their intentions for the ending is that they want speculation. So I just don't see how they backtrack on that. My respect for them has gone up now that I see how clever some of those hints are (the eyes).

Still, what I really question is the need for a speculative ending at all. Why they even needed to leave it open for a trick ending like the sixth sense. It seems like ultimately they wanted people to have fun with it, but virtually all of the theorizing has been tainted with hate for the writers. Even if they intentionally seeded the indoc theory, they're still considered idiots until they validate it, which flies in the face of what they were trying to do. Clearly they misjudged their audience. They could have succeeded magnificently with an unambiguous ending....which is clearly what even the indoc theory people wanted.

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post #177 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 08:35 AM
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I agree with your 2nd paragraph. Gamers aren't the same as readers (usually). We want to know how things ended so we can have closure and move on to the next game. Perhaps you're right - the intentional ambiguity is to keep interest on the game with the plan to sell new content and make $$$.

In reading all the press about the ending (BW execs saying choices matter, not A/B/C, etc...), I'm wondering if EA simply told BW to finish the game and be done with it. There are so many stories to tie up that I am starting to think EA could only tolerate one delay. After that, it was publish the game or lose funding. The ending could very well be something that people kept pushing off to later until it was too late.

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post #178 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord_Zath View Post

I agree with your 2nd paragraph. Gamers aren't the same as readers (usually). We want to know how things ended so we can have closure and move on to the next game. Perhaps you're right - the intentional ambiguity is to keep interest on the game with the plan to sell new content and make $$$.

In reading all the press about the ending (BW execs saying choices matter, not A/B/C, etc...), I'm wondering if EA simply told BW to finish the game and be done with it. There are so many stories to tie up that I am starting to think EA could only tolerate one delay. After that, it was publish the game or lose funding. The ending could very well be something that people kept pushing off to later until it was too late.

It's just bizarre that it's so speculative given that nothing leading up to the end would prepare you for that. Lost and the matrix had speculative endings, but it was that way from the very beginning.

ME was predicated on direct choice and consequential effect. You didn't guess what really happened, it depended explicitly on your choice, which could be very different from someone else's. There wasn't an ounce of ambiguity before the last 5 minutes. Nothing prepared anyone for having to guess or deduce what really happened at the end. I won't go as far as to say its a cop out because there's too many indications that this was their ultimate intention...it was just a really crazy derailment, and its too late to fix it. I can see the extended cut making it worse in a lot of ways.

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post #179 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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Seriously. I hate the idea that there's any ending at all in which she lived.

Thought about this some more. To compare, how much impact would Braveheart have if Wallace screams out "Mercy!" instead of "FREEEEEDOOOOOMMM!" in the last scene? Some would have it that way, where he, the king, and all the crowd burst into song, dancing in the streets, ala a Disney film. Maybe we should have Maximus live at the end of Gladiator as well? He magically comes back to life, jumps up onto the sand, and does a jig in the center of the coloseum! What a great ending.

Let's assume that BW planned on releasing the "real" ending the entire time. Let's also assume that the indoctination theory is correct, at least for now. Let's further assume that Shepard is lying there, unconscious, and will awaken to find herself fighting the Reapers once more. Fine.

HOWEVER...

Is this "brilliant?" Is this "creative?"

If this indeed their plan, then it is little more than a pathetically uninspired and laughable recreation of "The Best of Both Worlds" wherein our Shep emulates the greatest mind in the history of any galaxy, Captain Jean Luc Picard, aka, Locutus of Borg. Sorry, BW, but ripping off other's ideas isn't going to net you any more points than your so-called "ending" right now.

As to the "best" ending to date, let's explore:

Destruction: You destroy the Reapers. Great. If history has shown us anything, it's that when you overthrow one despot, another quickly rises to take its place. Is it the Krogans, who have a bajillion babies in every nook and cranny of the galaxy? Or is it some rogue councilman, George Tiberius Bush XXIII? Maybe it's the Salarians or even those crazy-ass Kardashians. To quote Fallout, "War...war never changes."

Control: Meh. You "control" the Reapers...for now. They or other machines eventually rise up. Skynet goes berzerk. The Reapers come back and whoop the asses of all of Shepards great, great, great, great grandkids. Again, nothing changes.

Synthesis: Everybody has powers. From The Incredibles, "When everyone is special, no one is." The galaxy experiences a genetic meltdown. I still don't see everyone as "the same," and "diversity being lost" since Krogans are still Krogans, humans still human, etc. Still, if all humans on Earth were to suddenly be blended into the same color of skin, would there be disputes? Is simply being black, white, or purple the sole cause for one to seek out violence? I think not.

With gaping plot holes and huge tears in the very fabric of the game, some tiny little DLC "patch" isn't going to fix it, regardless of what does or does not happen. At this point, they should just show us Liara, EDI and female Shepard in a full-frontal, HLA (hot lesbian action), no-holds-barred, triple tag-team sex scene and let it be.
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post #180 of 400 Old 04-10-2012, 10:54 AM
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Spyder, for once I agree with you.

On the HLA that is.

Are you trying to say Picard was indoctrinated?

Also, this is very different - you're playing the game through the eyes of the main character, not just watching them. Imagine if we, the audience, experienced everything Picard did during that transformation. In the following episode, he breaks into tears with Robert (his brother) because he couldn't stop the Borg, no matter how hard he tried. But we never saw him try to do it in the previous episode, because we're not seeing it through his eyes...

As an aside, my wife and I just finished watching ALL Star Trek series, going DS9 -> VOY -> TNG -> ENT. Picard is the best. By far.

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