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Yesterday I downloaded and played through the ending DLC. While I could only offer a few flailing and inarticulate meeps of protest to my boyfriend after finishing it, a day of gathering my thoughts and seeing other people's reactions on various forums has allowed me to put them down in words.
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It was in response to someone on the Bioware forums posting a link to a Youtube video of the Renegade control ending (which I hadn't seen before) that this outpouring finally erupted, so please view the beginning in that light.

*shivers* I already thought control was creepy. Even as a paragon, I can't help but see Shepard as, in tens of thousands of years, becoming essentially the next starchild. There's enough humanity left in her to go mad with that kind of power, that immortality. Paragon or renegade, you're still setting your Shepard up not as a figure of hope and cooperation, or of strength and leadership, but as a hopefully benevolent god with control of an unopposable army of horrors. TIM wanted that power for humanity, but my Shepard was telling him just a few moments before the final decision that humanity is not ready. Maybe a few cycles are skipped, but I see them resuming eventually, with Shepard now at the helm.

Synthesis - also creepy. Unless it's completely stopped evolution, in tens or hundreds of thousands of years, on some planet where there were only sub-sentient creatures prior to Shepard's decision, a species will rise up to full consciousness, create culture, computers, and even though they don't understand why their DNA is partially synthetic (does this make any sense in general, and especially on pre-civilization planets?), they will build machines to make their lives easier. In time, "the cycle" continues. Saren believed that a synthesis of organic and synthetic life was the way to achieve greatness for both. This rejects the idea that it's the differences between species (both organic and synthetic) being used to their greatest advantage, that makes this cycle the one that can finally break the Reapers.

Refuse - "What, no! Our endings were good! Choose one or it's your fault everyone dies!" I really wish there was a pants on head emoticon.

As crappy as killing EDI (who had told me not long before that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save Jeff from the Reapers, who repulsed her), and the Geth (didn't I spend two games trusting Legion and brokering peace between them and the Quarians?) was, I still see Destroy as the only acceptable ending. I'm not naive enough to say that peace between the Geth and Quarians meant that there would never be another conflict between organics and synthetics - only that peace is possible. And more than that, I can't stomach setting a human being up as a deity, or forcing every scrap of life in the galaxy into an imposed harmony through homogeny. Perhaps organic beings will continue to create synthetic beings who will rebel against them in time, but is it Shepard's place to not allow this to happen?


Backing up a bit - the added scene of your teammates taking an explosion to the face, then you calling for an evac and the Normandy appearing... Even though it punched me directly in the feels (of course I had Garrus with me), it was an explanation for what you saw in the original ending, but not a good one. The Normandy is part of the climactic fight for every advanced sentient being in the galaxy. All of you, especially your teammates, know that this is a do or die situation. It feels... implausible that the Reapers pause long enough for the ship to make it to the planet's surface and for you to say your touching goodbyes. It seems out of character (even though I know every Shepard can be played differently) for her to order Joker within a few hundred feet of the beam, just to pick up two wounded teammates, even if you love one of them.

I'm aware that the Extended Ending has brought closure and consolation to a lot of people. Some have changed which ending they prefer. Some have offered words of gratitude over being listened to at all. Most of the Indoctrination Theory believers seem to have left the camp, although it's also set a few more firmly in their minds. What I can say is that while I'll grant that the new content makes the endings more understandable, it does not turn the ending of the game from garbage to gold. I tried to keep my expectations very low - difficult for a universe I've so enjoyed participating in - so this leaves me more sad and wistful for what could have been than betrayed by a tiny spread of choices that each resulted in a different, insultingly bad ending.

Maybe I'll have more thoughts later, but for now, it's back to the same head canon-ing as before.
  • Mood: Not Impressed
  • Listening to: Florence + The Machine - Seven Devils
  • Reading: The Stand
  • Playing: Mass Effect 3
  • Eating: chicken soup
  • Drinking: coke zero
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrobstuff101:
RobStuff101 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
Destroy all the way for me! I look at it as I didn't spend all that time trying to defeat the Reapers to all of a sudden given a choice to "control" them. You kill billions, my Shepard is gonna do whatever it takes to take you out!

I don't agree with the Synthesis ending. I don't believe Shepard would do something like that with the rest of the Galaxy not knowing about it.
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:iconcvrc11:
cvrc11 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I must say I disagree completely on which ending is the best.
I really think Destroy sacrifices too much. If you sided with the Quarians and the Geth are extinct anyway, than MAYBE I can imagine sacrificing EDI (and Joker's happiness and his first true love, after years of being asocial) for the greater good, but just MAYBE... If you brought peace to the Geth and Quarians, then killing the Geth seems like giving in to the God-childs logic. I'd much rather leave them both alive and in peace simply to spite the God-child. And if you killed the Quarians, then picked Destroy, TALI DIED FOR NOTHING. And not just Tali, but 17 000 000 Quarian men, women and children were sacrificed to save a race that you wipe out a dew days later. So I really think Destroy is the worst ending, not just because of the above, but also because it's the only ending where the Galaxy is left worse than it was before ME3, since the Reapers destroyed a lot, and in the other endings the other races have access to Reaper tech to help rebuild.
Synthesis seems to leave the Galaxy in the best possible state, but there is a major moral dilemma as to wether Shepard has the right to make such a deeply personal decision (major genetic, physical and psychological alterations) for everyone in the Galaxy. It seems pretty unacceptable to bio-engineer the billions without asking them. Still, I see Synthesis as the anti-thesis of Destruction, since EDI and the Geth are the ones for whom it works out the best.
Control is, to me, the most clearly "good" choice, if you're a Paragon. You have to ask yourself, Do I trust Shepard, the woman / man whose story I have followed and helped create, to do the right thing? And, after a long time of contemplation, I found that I do. I cannot imagine Shepard ever being anything other than a benevolent and utterly benign deity, no matter how many millions of years pass. Control is a question of trust. And I trust Shepard.
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:iconxaneria:
Xaneria Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I came across this looking for some art, and [link] lol.

I agree with you in all manners.

Btw, your art is wonderful.
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:iconresidenteddy:
ResidentEddy Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
One of the good things (to me) was they released the dlc on my birthday, so it was like BioWare coming to my doorstep and saying "Happy Birthday, your present from us is reducing the ME flame war to a slight minimum! It was EA's fault.. " Unfortunately, I haven't played the extended cut version yet because I'm on vacation using a different xbox.

Personally, I like the Destroy ending a lot because it fit my Shepard as I expected, and that I've also expected from the start one of the consequences of war which is "You make good friends, but there IS a huge chance they won't survive by the end". Not many people got used to that, which explains why half the world's population ragequit at the middle of MW3 and Gears of War 3 simply because -spoiler- main characters died.
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:iconprototypeb:
PrototypeB Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I still believe in the Indoctrination Theory (more so now) but it's probably Shepard hallucinating Anderson and his/her surroundings on the Citadel and the Illusive Man being indoctrinated as well. Still makes zero sense how Anderson followed Shepard up lol.

I would have been fine with Destroy and Control being the only choices. Synthesis is just... there. So in context of what the Catalyst said "That they tried something similar in the past but it can't be "forced" by us, but Synthesis is the true way" made me go hmmm was that by turning people into husks with Indoctrination? I see what you tried to do there Space Child.

In which case with only Control and Destroy there is a hollow victory just like Mass Effect 1's choices. Save the council but you lose a few ships and good people or Kill the council focusing on Sovereign. You win regardless but different perspective. Destroy is like the Save option (Lose Synthetics... then fix them. :3), Control is Focus on Sovereign (Shepard being like the council, but very critical to others)

But regardless, still a 99.97% game (no Normandy crew and Shepard resolution) I'm hoping that Bioware is making that one to come with other Single Player DLC since they struggled to fit the 2GB limit (Take back Omega/Leviathan DLC). Till then... HEAD CANON.

Better be fucking free though.
Reply
:iconvampiregoddess0806:
VampireGoddess0806 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
I personally found synthesis a rather good ending... Maybe it's just me, but I disagree with the whole imposed-homogeny thing, probably because I don't see it. I mean, the quarians are still quarians and the humans are still humans, etc., they just have some extra synthetic stuff added to them. I mean, just because you have similar DNA doesn't mean you're the same. Your thing about the cycle continuing does cause some concern. But that argument could also be used for the Destroy ending (as much as I'd hate to agree with the Catalyst). So... I don't know. I feel like Bioware was kind of pushing Synthesis to be the "best" ending, but I guess now it's all up to player interpretation.

The refuse ending made me laugh a little, because I felt it was a bit of Bioware saying "F*** you guys" and adding their own little touch. Sure, that's probably not exactly a good thing but a little spunk never hurt anyone.

I agree with your take on Control. The extra dialogue Shepard makes in itself is pretty cool, but the thought of him/her the Reaper overlord freaked me out a bit. I don't know... I've heard people say that particular ending was pretty cool. I thought it was kind of creepy...

One thing I didn't really like about the new endings is in my opinion, Bioware made the endings more definitive in terms of which choice is more Paragon, Renegade, etc. It might just be my interpretation, because I'm hoping that wasn't what they were actually going for. Ah, whatever. At this point I don't really know anymore.

Some things I really liked about the new endings: in 2 of the endings the Reapers help rebuild. That was something I was 100% not expecting at all. Before the DLC was released I thought they just flew off back to deep space and permanently shut down or headed to a black hole or something. The Reapers helping to rebuild was a great touch to me because it shifted the way I saw them. Granted, they're still giant killing machines but at least now they're useful and the Citadel and mass relays can get finished faster.
Another thing is how there is no perfect ending. There is no ending where the Reapers help rebuild AND Shepard definitively survives (such as in Destroy). In my opinion it kind of follows one of the themes of ME3: war through sacrifice. A perfect ending would be really nice, but in my eyes Mass Effect was an incredibly unique series and the way the endings were set up seemed appropriate. Probably a lot of people will disagree with me, but hey. That's what I honestly think.

As for the Indoctrination Theory... At first I really liked the idea, it would have made Bioware one of the most gutsiest trolls to ever exist, but then I found a blog noting how there was one scene in ME3 that completely disproved the theory, which was the scene with the Prothean VI on Thessia. Ah, well, it's been Jossed anyway, but hey, gotta give creds for the people who came up with it.

This was a bit of a long read, I apologize... But the DLC does deserve its bit of discussion. Overall I thought it was an improvement over the original endings. Whether they were good endings in context, I'm still not quite sure. But I'm not going to let the final few moments of the game ruin my overall good opinion for the entire three games.
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:iconjaylaclark:
JaylaClark Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
Well I liked them... for a given amount of 'like'.

The plot holes don't distress me too badly, because I got caught up while playing the game to not notice them. Fridge Logic would knock me down later, at least in ordinary circumstances.

They really needed all six months between December and now to put together a better-thought-out ending, though. The pickup being moved from down the 'ramp' to 'just before the run'... making the Starchild an AI created by a previous cycle instead of the ultimate bad guy... and giving at least a simple explanation on how Synth works when ROBOTS DO NOT HAVE FREAKING DNA!!!... those three differences alone would probably bring the game up to uniting the entire gaming world in proclaiming this the best game ever made. (Even though that's not my idea of an ideal ending as is. I could go on for pages about my actual ideal. But it might hit Ice Cream Reaper territory... so I won't.)
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:iconmottledmoth:
mottledmoth Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012
This is a slightly abbreviated version of a Bioware forum I made, which no one replied too. XD
(start quote)
So I played through ME3 back in May and was happy with the ending. I went into the game prepared for the ending because my (rightfully) enraged friends had already told me about it. I also had read about the Indoctrination Theory before finishing the game, so playing through I found a lot of "evidence" to support the theory. Therefore upon finishing the game, I was feeling very optimistic and my faith in Bioware was still intact. In my mind it all made sense. Bioware had just mindf***ed us in order to make ME4 plausible. By having only ONE choice (destroy) where Shepard lives (if you have high enough EMS), it would be easy for them to make another game. (A situation similar to the endings of ME2; if Shep dies you can't import, choices/survivors from your importable playthrough will have an effect on the next game.) Bioware was more conniving and creative than we thought possible.
After watching all the endings of the Extended Cut DLC multiple times however, I feel like I was just being naive and a complete idiot and had too much faith in Bioware. There is still only one ending where Shep lives (destroy), but now it seems like all the events after getting hit by Harbinger's lazer are actual events and not a battle within Shep's mind. If this is the case then this "fixed" ending is even less plausible than the underdeveloped original ending. I just can't see any logic in this new ending and because they have stuffed all this extra s**t in there I can't use my imagination to reason away the inconsistences.
Therefore, I actually LIKED the original ending more than this "improved" one. Maybe I'm tunneled visioned, but I don't want to play spin-offs of the ME trilogy in which you aren't Shepard. I either want an epic finale to an amazing trilogy or another game where you play as Shepard and get the epic ending you've been waiting for.
(end quote)
In short, I agree with you. All the EC dlc did was sprinkle sugar on sh*t... so the ending is still sh*t, but that is just my opinion. I feel worse than before the EC dlc and will find it hard to forgive Bioware. However, I choose to still believe in the Indoctrination Theory, so that makes replaying all the games plausible. :)
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:icondrawanon:
drawanon Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree completely. BUT it made me feel a lot bit better, as to the last one just made me really depressed, this *new* ending just made me face/palm hard, but at least no depression. Just.. More confusion. I have my headcanon, and I'm happy with that untill bioware fixes this. If they do, then GREAT. If they don't, well theres nothing no one can do other than use their own imagination.
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:icond4ni3la:
D4NI3LA Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Professional Writer
The one thing I didn't like about the Control ending was the fact that Shepard was still (physically) gone for good. If you think about it, the Reapers are incredibly powerful. They can build an army of organic/synthetic organisms, but they can't re-create one person of the same chemical makeup? Especially when she's the one in charge? That's definitely what bothered me the most. In 3 out of 4 endings Shepard dies and even in the Destroy ending, nobody knows if that last second was also her last breath. The Control ending was probably their best chance to give the fans exactly what they wanted and they messed up big time.

That being said, the Refusal ending was realistic. You can't turn down the largest, most dangerous beings in the galaxy- the same ones who you've been fighting for 2+ years, and expect that everything will work out fine. In the end, all you did was piss off Starchild and basically leave it up to the next Commander Shepard of some other future race to make the same decisions. That makes sense to me, even if it is the worst choice you could ever make. Ever.

The only ending that I'm truly comfortable with is the Destroy ending because technically there is no net loss to the decision. It sucks that EDI dies, but Admiral Hackett says that all of these things can easily be rebuilt, and I believe that includes EDI and the Geth. If everything can be rebuilt that easily, there should be no problem restoring the galaxy (and Shepard) to the great place it was before the whole conflict. Which allows EA a blank slate for the 50 sequels that they promised would not be happening.

And Synthesis is just plain stupid. It's the polar opposite from the Refuse ending and basically defeats the purpose of either existing. :no:
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:iconjaylaclark:
JaylaClark Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012
Personally... I don't think EDI herself can ever come back. In my opinion. For the same reason why I don't buy the Commander Data existing in Star Trek Online is the same Commander Data -- as he stated in the second season, the act of experiencing data and stimuli makes said data unique from just downloading it. There can, however, be a new model of EDI built. I think it's possible. She'd have to relearn how to love Joker, so to speak, though...
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:icongreylycan:
GreyLycan Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012
Basically same as my reaction, bad guy still decides how you can win, and that's crap.
Reply
:iconrazorblade456:
razorblade456 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I went in with simply the desire for closure, knowing that was, at most, what I was going to get. I cried putting Garrus on the ship, and chose to ignore that it made no sense, because it also made no sense that he was on the ship in the original release. Plot holes breed plot holes...lol. I played MP enough to get the "perfect" ending with Shepard living after choosing destroy. I kind of wished they added a bit more than the survival gasp (or at the very least made a femshep version of the gasp. Just because that armor is busted up, does not mean I can't tell that chest is a dude.) My fiance mentioned that maybe instead they should have shown an arm hanging over some debris and have the hand twitch, least it could be more possible to be both genders, but I side track. I was hoping for a little more, since it takes some effort to get. Perhaps rescue crews running towards the body, shouts that they found Shepard. Because that gasp means Shepard didn't die from the explosion (still have no idea where Shepard is. On the citadel or back on earth?) not that he/she survived their wounds and lived on to see said universe he/she saved. And of course I would have cried girlish squees of joy if I was able to be reunited with Garrus (my LI), but apparently that would have been too sweet in my bittersweet ending of saving the galaxy but destroying all synthetic sentient beings (which might I add, the ghost child AI says that all the technology that the red beam destroys we will be able to fix in time. So why can't I fix EDI and the geth? Just saying.)
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:iconrussariel:
Russariel Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Just had to say you've summed my feelings up perfectly. I only recently played the game, and had fair warning that the endings were awful. Having heard about the indoctrination theory before playing the game, and powered through all three praying that it was what had actually happened. I was close to the end of the third game when the dlc came out.

I didn't even sit through the entire end cut-scene. I literally just turned it off and decided to head-canon indoctrination or anything else. The games were so incredible, so emotional and intense that to have that awful ending thrown in my face was not something I could stomach. Instead I decided to start ME1 over again to experience the unmatched awesome of Saren+ Sovereign. Maybe I'll give ME2 another go as well for the Harbinger. Not ME3 though, not likely anyways.
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:iconplanetaryjunction:
PlanetaryJunction Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
Unless they went on a completely different path with the EC I didn't think it would give me the closure and consolidation they were offering. Although I was somewhat disappointed by the more subtle plot holes left out and the fact that they didn't create another ending, I was actually quite happy with what they did do.

I'll admit that the new scenes like the plaque and the fixed Normandy did force me to fight back tears (of joy/sadness? I don't even know) and I do indeed feel the closure they were going for. Although they really should have gone in another direction altogether the EC is how the original ending should have been.

I do agree with you that the Destroy ending is the best. Sure Shepard has had to make a few hard decisions in the past but no one should have to make the decisions and be given the power offered to him by the control or the power to change the genetic makeup of the entire galaxy. I didn't really notice that they didn't put Shep's plaque up in the Destroy and it does add another level of satisfaction that they would go looking for him, especially since he was alive in my game.

All in all good assessment ghostfire, the ending should have been different from the start but if it has to be the three colours then I'm ok with the way the EC turned out. Slightly disappointed but ok.
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:iconyukiminamoto:
YukiMinamoto Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You know what?

I'd just make my own ending. XD That's the best.

But I'm okay with the DLC. Would have picked Destroy any time.

What disturbed me the most was the synthesis ending. That green shimmer. *shivers*
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
...and on that day, Bioware created more endings than any video game in the history of video games by so working over the fans that tens of thousands walked away from their consoles and computers, retreating into their imaginations.
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:iconyukiminamoto:
YukiMinamoto Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
XD So ironic isn't it?

All that money spent...
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:iconcomma-kazie:
Comma-Kazie Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012
The new endings were better, but not by much; they all failed to address the issue of the Star Child itself, a horrible last-minute character insertion which "The Matrix" series already proved didn't work. All it really boiled down to is BioWare showing us how to treat cancer with a Bandaid.
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:iconlegal-han:
Legal-Han Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012
The Extended Cut is an improvement. But it's not very hard to improve from bad. Worth mentioning Shepard's good-bye to Tali was very heart warming.


"I want you to live, go back to Rannoch. And build a home"
"I have a home"


Oh boy, that was very... *sniff*
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I saw a video of the Tali goodbye... it just reaffirmed how adorable she is. Home is where Shepard is, no matter what. I'm still glad I painted them together on Rannoch, though.
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:iconsaiyanprincesscat:
saiyanprincesscat Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Check out Padzi's insightful journal (some important images, not really text-filled): [link]

I liked that we were given more information...but like you, I saw a lot of flaws, the Normandy thing included (but I'm not going to complain too much since Garrus said "ily" finally). Mainly the fact that BW made Control and Synthesis seem, err, not evil. They were incredibly evil. Blue turns our beloved Shepard into Sovereign or Harbinger, and with time Shepard will lose humanity. Green knocks out culture, the very thing we've come to admire in the different species of the universe. Sigh.
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:iconblackmesanorth:
BlackMesaNorth Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
I'm pretty much with you on this one. I think Bioware painted themselves in a corner and couldn't write their way out of it. If my Shepard has to die, then control was the way to go. Stop the fighting. Repair everything. Stick around long enough until my crew lives out their lives and then fly the reapers into the sun, Battlestar Galatica style. Even is Shepard's story is over, I'm hoping to more Mass Effect universe in the future.
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:iconochrejelly:
OchreJelly Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012   Digital Artist
They patched it up from bad to meh, in my opinion. The explanation scenes were rather handwavy, I felt. Especially the Normandy, which prior to that could not land on planets directly, evacuating the injured squadmates (despite the excellent dialogue there.) I have no idea why Harbinger just... sat there and didn't pew-pew.

Control turned rather creepy, even as a Paragon. I'm not sure it's even a decent Paragon choice now, because there's a certain implication Reaper!Shepard might return to the old ways despite all of what came before. It was interesting and compelling though.

Synthesis is just laughable. I mean no offense to people who like it, but they just seemed to throw every possible good point into that one, sans Shepard living. I mean, immortality, Reapers living with everyone, husks waking up, infinite knowledge? I felt it was just absurd and a weird endgame for the story and pretty much the apparently detested "rainbows and unicorns" ending wrapped up in an incomprehensible green bow. It trashes the setting.

Destroy was good, if a bit scatterbrained. Wished for an actual momentary reunion scene instead of the same-old breath scene, as this is it for Shepard, unless EA is planning on bringing them back for another 20 games despite saying they wouldn't. The producer said they want us to imagine the implied reunion... but I am just so very tired of having to imagine or speculate anything now.

So yeah, better than before, but not as good as it could have been. I don't play a lot of games, and this whole weird episode really dumped on any excitement I had for Mass Effect.

There's always Kirby's Adventure, I guess. :la:
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:iconadeviantman:
Adeviantman Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
for the destroy ending to have more of an emotional impact. :saddrunk: they could have shown the geth and edi being destroyed which would have made me shed man tears :cling:
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Right now, there are plenty of people head canoning that neither EDI nor the geth were wiped out - just temporarily disabled.
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:iconadeviantman:
Adeviantman Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
but thats just confirming the fact that bioware did it again and didnt smooth over all the plot holes and give closure to every ending! and we used up our only new ending coupon and it sucked ass!!! :tantrum:
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:iconprototypeb:
PrototypeB Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well Bioware had a 2GB limit for DLC so I'm hoping that they wanted to put stuff with the Normandy and Shepard living but couldn't fit it.

Fact of the matter is that Control and Synthesis endings are done. No one really choose Refusal but we all get the point so that's done.

Only Destroy needs to be elaborated on, maybe make it harder where while Shepard may live in that ending the Geth and EDI can't be fixed. It better be fucking free if they do that... or they could just include it in the other Single Player DLC, like the Leviathan DLC or Taking Back Omega. I dunno.
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:iconadeviantman:
Adeviantman Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yea maybe but i think the whole extending the ending further idea is not going to happen cos for bioware (more specifically casey hudson)it was more of an ego and reputational thing, they (he) just didnt want to admit that they done fucked up in the first place.:judge: Still looking forward to single DLC though, that shit looks tight! :w00t:
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:iconprototypeb:
PrototypeB Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There is the whole "artistic integrity" thing which I can respect. Though Bioware should admit that they were somewhat wrong if they believed that we didn't need "closure." I'm still betting that EA pushed it and it's never good to talk bad about your publisher so I can understand their silence if that's the case. Who knows.

I'm with you there. Regardless of the ending fiasco I'll probably still get single player DLC. I hated playing multiplayer for high EMS (in concept a good idea, but not for me.) for the good ending. Glad they lowered the setting for Shepard living.
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:iconk3babas:
K3babas Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
EC didn't really fix shit plot wise TBH, only granted some fulfillment on an emotional level. The whole Starchild thing is so full of shit and plot holes it pretty much negates Mass effect 1 and 2 story. Clarifying 3 shitty ending doesn't change the fact that they didn't bother explaining/linking everything that happened in ME1 and 2. Not to mention the whole idea behind reaper purpose is just..... yeah.

Oh and they added ANOTHER cliffhanger. So now we have Shep breathe at the end and your LI hesitating to hang your nameplate. Coming up next, EXTENDED CUT, PART 2, ONLY 14.99!
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:iconprototypeb:
PrototypeB Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well Bioware had a 2GB limit for DLC so I'm hoping that they wanted to put stuff with the Normandy and Shepard living but couldn't fit it.

Fact of the matter is that Control and Synthesis endings are done. No one really choose Refusal but we all get the point so that's done.

Only Destroy needs to be elaborated on, maybe make it harder where while Shepard may live in that ending the Geth and EDI can't be fixed. It better be fucking free if they do that... or they could just include it in the other Single Player DLC, like the Leviathan DLC or Taking Back Omega. I dunno.
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
If Bioware released this DLC with the intention of setting people up for a further ending DLC down the road, but paid... I don't know if even EA would go that far. At least Mass Effect's fans were mailing letters and cupcakes during this controversy...
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:iconfreaknr1:
freaknr1 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
I haven't played through the Extended Cut yet, but plan to do so tomorrow (which is my day of XD). But I fully agree with your assesment regarding Control and Synthesis. My Shepard has convinced 2 guys, 1 that belived in Control (TIM) and 1 that believed in Synthesis (Saren), that they're logic is faulty, that they are indoctrinated, and then they blowed their brains out. And now she suddenly should think they had some good ideas after all?! Ok, maybe she was wrong, but we don't see any evidence that it is so. So yeah, while it breaks my heart to kill EDI and the Geth, I will again choose Destroy. I actually think it is quite poetic and tragic, that my Shepard, who has spent 3 games trying to have everyone live and be friends, realizes that she can't save everyone.:-)
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
My Shepard can be happy for the good times she had with Legion and EDI. At least the Rachni queen, which she also saved, should still be out there somewhere.
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:iconeventua:
Eventua Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Writer
I've not played the games, but I've read articles, looked at art, watched a let's play and various videos, discussed the game with others etc. It's an interesting universe with interesting characters. The game play is a bit too violent for me, but the lore and characters and plot etc. works really well, I feel.

The original endings were irritating and unbelievably out of place, but for me, eh... the extended cut seems to make Control work for me. Personally, I'd pick that. And yes, I read your opinion on it and the opinions of most other people. Personally, I've always deeply wished there was some kind of 'higher being(s)' that would (benevolently) rule over the universe, so the opportunity to provide that, even in a fictional context, would be kind of neat.

That, or refusal. At least that way there's the whole 'Liara's Beacon warns the future'. The Yahg were already at the stage of developing their first spacecraft, so with the technology everyone else was using, plus various other races to conquer/team up with (Raloi, amongst many others (perhaps including a few survivors in pods like Javik)) and another 50,000 years of development? Yeah, sorry Reapers. Have fun with the species of nine foot tall Krogan/Turian/Human/Salarian amalgamations.
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The ending that followed Shepard's refusal would have been a good one, had it been the result of Shepard's actions prior to the ending. With an extremely low EMS, the Reapers should simply have overwhelmed your forces, taking Shepard out before even reaching the Citadel - perhaps even before reaching Earth. If it was catastrophically low, perhaps the Crucible is unfinished when you're forced to bring it to Earth, and backfires - causing more destruction of the planet and of the fleets than the Reapers ever could have hoped for.

What I'm really saying is that the choice you make in front of the Starchild is the only one that truly matters, which is really, really sad.

As for the benevolent deity... well, I could see that working in a fictional context, but I have my doubts that a human can ascend to that and remain stable. Certainly Shepard could keep it together long enough to repair the mass relays and the Citadel, to rebuild Thessia and Palaven and Earth, and to watch every one of her friends live, and die of old age.
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:iconeventua:
Eventua Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Student Writer
Eh, good point. Refusal would've ideally just worked if they're really based it on EMS as opposed to just being 'Lol fail, you suck, better luck next time!'

Especially considering that the writers confirmed on twitter that the reason the next cycle one is just because they built the Crucible sooner and picked one of the main endings. I'm not kidding, that's all it is. So there's still the 'all machines go kaput/god-emperor/magitek hybrid time' options, it's just that *someone else* had to pick them 50,000 years later. Yeah, thanks Bioware. :/

The benevolent deity/Control thing, eh, I agree that a human running the joint eternally would do really badly. We're not really designed to rule over each other, I don't think...

Maybe Destroy really is the best option. Alternately, I'd still go for Refusal but supplant the official word with my head-canon: The Yahg + survivors in pods + left over tech = the Yahg Empire. Eat that, Reapers. :3
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:iconmacink:
MacInk Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree for the most part. I too, came to the conclusion of the "Starchild" Theory for Control. Although I disagree with one part: Shepard is not consciously in control of the reapers.

Shepard died, and a new "reaper soul" was born based on his convictions and beliefs. Reapers are as close to immortal as anything corporeal can get, so I believe his benevolent-paternal-deity schtick would hold true throughout the ages. The end result would still be all-out war because although the races would enjoy having a guard-dog armada watching over them, eventually they would tire of it's vigilance and come to resent their silent protector. The day we finally meet God is the first day we try and destroy it.

I enjoyed Synthesis, personally. Although we all would basically become happy-go-lucky Phyrexians, I'm strangely comfortable with that.

As for Destroy. Well, yeah we fuck over our metal buddies and Shepard survives to help rebuilt, but it means nothing would change. Eventually the deeds and value of the war and it's unity would be lost to history and the inevitability of continued conflict would come full-circle. But hey, in the immortal words of Andy LePlegua: "It's WAARRR!! That's what we men are built for!"

And though we get to see a little bit of a face-off with Harbinger, I'm still mad that he didn't get to yell "SHEPARRRD!" before blasting our plucky protagonist with his laser-face. I mean, come on. He wouldn't shut up in ME2, and now he's all taciturn? Evil monster machines deserve the right to monologue too :D

Okay, I think I'm done now. ..............Oh, one more thing. Splendid choice of music, I love Seven Devils. In fact, I'mma play it right now!
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I would have been delighted to hear Harbinger doing his damnedest to break Shepard's spirit on the way to the beam and crawling through the Citadel. One last bit of overt mental manipulation...

Florence + The Machine is just wonderful. I didn't know about it at all until I saw a Garrus/femShep video on Youtube set to "No Light, No Light". "Who knew delight could be so violent" indeed...
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:iconmacink:
MacInk Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
they even refer to his voice as "visceral and terrifying" (And I'm sure he sounds better not being sound-boarded through Collectors). But, like Slaughterships, we shall never experience their nightmarish splendor.
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:iconjowain92:
Jowain92 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Writer
I like the refusal ending, this is were the boss fight should have come in, but "no no no :iconnononoplz: you must do it our way, it's not like your choices matter..."
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
If, after refusing to work with this rogue AI, his voice had gone all Reaper-y, and then you fought the big boss while all alone and beat up, and your victory had caused the Reapers to become scattered, confused, and vulnerable... and the combined might of the galaxy's military forces had crushed them to pieces... oh man, yeah - that would have been awesome.
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:iconjowain92:
Jowain92 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Writer
Exactly! But no, no, we either need Blue Jesus, Green Jesus or Red Demo-man :icondemomanplz:
Shepard: "I died for your sins..."
Ah shut up Shepard.
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:icongenericproduct:
GenericProduct Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
On second thought apparently DA likes to torture me by hiding my comments whilst I am logged in.
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:icongenericproduct:
GenericProduct Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I think my whole comment just got deleted as it was too long. This angers me. I lack the patience to write another. Excuse me while I go shout into a pillow.
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:icongenericproduct:
GenericProduct Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
What can I say? To me it seems like they took all of the communities feedback and then just dumped it in the trash. Why am I still annoyed at these endings? Because it enforces its own ideologies upon me. This whole game series was about you being in control, you making the decisions; Right or wrong they were still yours to make so when I get to choose between four options that decide the fate of universe I'm going to be bloody pissed.

Why did I love this series? I was able to relate, be the character - my thoughts, my beliefs, shaping his actions. That's why, for me, this series has been so enjoyable and the ending so heartbreaking. What is an RPG? It's a role playing game - I played the role of Shepard, made friends, built relationships and even saved a few races from extinction in the process. Over three games, such an extensive story line and so much content I can certainly say I felt like part of the universe. The game builds you up only for you to lose it all in a bright flash. No matter what you do you're still forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Sure I may have been a bit too tied up in the game series but it certainly did its job. You've probably heard the story of how Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes only to be forced to resurrect him over mass outcries from his reader-base. It's been shown that most readers end up empathising with, subconsciously putting themselves in the place of, the protagonist. Now, in a game where you actually play the protagonist, actively making the decisions and governing their actions, you're going to expect some sort of relation to be formed between character and player. So, when they go and kill 'me' off, maroon my friends on some god-forsaken planet, destroy all the relays, leaving everyone stranded where they were last I'm going to be just a bit riled up.

The choices were incredibly basic and their ridiculous reasoning was the epitome of bullshit. What we are as humans is not so different from machines. We're a fair bit more adaptable compared to the computers of today but in the end we still run off a fairly primitive program in our heads. Synthetic verse organic? There's no real justification for why organic life cannot be upgraded past a set point as compared to synthetic life. At that point then the lines between synthetic and organic would blur but where's your war? If one side, organic or synthetic, triumphed then surely far less civilisations would die than the amount that did in the infinite cycles come before.

In the end, absolutely forgetting the over-simplified choices, the one thing that still gets me is that I'm no longer part of that universe. Mass Effect left me with a sour taste in my mouth and a sinking hole in my chest. There was no closure for me even with the extended endings. I wasn't concerned for the people of tomorrow when I forfeited my life at the end; It was all the friends in that game that I was giving it up for and yet, unless I choose the control ending, which is probably the closest to my way of thinking considering I don't believe this whole synthetic verse human shtick, the mass relays aren't reformed, the people I've saved have lost contact with this whole united front that the last game in the series made me channel all my efforts into. All the technology of the universe at the tip of my fingers and we can't just do a brain scan? Grab an imprint of my thoughts and feelings and utilise that scanned psyche to govern how I would control of the reapers? Catalyst can't just broadcast a message to the Reapers, who he created, saying another solution has been found? You can't just read my genetic makeup to dictate the reprogramming of all life rather than integrating me into the giant laser thing, in the process turning me to dust? I'm bloody Commander Shepard and I do what I want. That is all.
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:iconghostfire:
ghostfire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Very, very well said.

Where is the "victorious and uplifting" in any of what we were presented? Maybe we're too deeply invested in the series. Maybe part of our outcry is a form of mourning that our Shepards, our characters, those little avatars of parts of ourselves, have passed away. It wasn't in a rush of adrenaline, speared by a banshee, or with a with a creeping, cold squeeze of terror, lost and airless in space. No, it was with a wave of frustration and disgust, forced to simply do what I'm told by my own greatest enemy.

As I've said to others before, I don't need a video game to tell me that none of my actions or decisions have any bearing on how events unfold and work out in the end, no matter how hard I try - I have real life for that. When I take on the persona of the literal savior of the galaxy, I'd like to feel like what I've done has mattered.
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:icongenericproduct:
GenericProduct Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I absolutely agree. You've certainly captured the essence of my feelings about this. Loved that last line as well.


Just thought I'd mention this; I guess it's a bit related to my whole feelings about the series. Here's why I first started watching you - It wasn't because of your art, not to take away from the wonderful work you do. It was your pieces on the relationship between Garrus and Shepard that caught my eye. I may have played a male Shepard matching my actual gender but I really did love the idea of Garrus being with Shepard. He was such a great character and he deserved a happy ending. That's how I felt about the whole series. About a lot of series. Not just games but books and television shows. Sometimes I hate how overly attached I become to characters because I always set myself up for a fall. Those few days after where you know that you're not going to be reading, watching, experiencing their exploits ever again can be pretty miserable. "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".

Anyway, it was lovely talking to you and thanks for your head-cannon with Garrus/Shepard. Really does make me smile to think of an ending such as that. A quote that I feel is suitable; "I'm Garrus Vakarian and this is my favorite place on the Citadel."
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:iconersbethshadowsong:
ErsbethShadowsong Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'm going to confess that I'm quite torned in my opinion on the DLC. Firstly, I was in the same mood as you were: I expect something terrible, worse that what we already had, with Gamble and hudson physically appearing in the DLc to explain me how simple was my mind to not fullyunderstand the greatness they had created in that awesome and subliminal ending. I read several threads at the BSN even if they contained spoiler because I wanted to know how bad it could get.
Then, I played it. And it was not that bad as I expected. Not good, not brilliant, not something which could redeem Bioware in my eyes because I'm childish enough to want a NEW different ending, but it's more bearable than the thing we had before.
It addresses some of the complaints, clarifies some of the plot/dark narrative holes and it left me with some kind of... satisfaction.
I don't like it as the ending of this amazing series, but I know I accept it because it's somehow better than the original one. If this makes sense at all.
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June 27, 2012
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