Spoiler Note: Keep in mind that this article will discuss some of the endings and various details. Read at your own risk.

Things are heating up over on the Bioware Social Network as more details emerge about the development process of Mass Effect 3. In a thread titled “Mass Effect 3: Final Hours [Pictures removed due to Copyright]” some fans have pieced together why some of the plot holes exist. There’s no clever ending being planned, or any indoctrination sub-plot that was being speculated, but rather just some terrible writing pieced together at the last minute.

 Geoff Keighley, best known for his shameless work on Gametrailers and the Spike Video Game Awards has released an iPad app called Mass Effect 3: The Final Hours. Detailed is a plethora of information that is sure to put even more fire in the bellies of Mass Effect and Bioware fans around the world.

Below is a bunch of information taken directly from the thread. Keep in mind that it’s paraphrased by the forum member.


[quote]Mac Walters on the Star Child/Reapers
“Originally, with the catalyst, the star child at the end of the game, I had written that much more in the guise of a investigative style conversation, where there is something he tells you but then, you get to ask a bunch of questions and you get your questions answered. But then me and Casey talked and decided, lets keep the conversation “High level”. Give you the details that you need to know, but don’t get into the stuff that you don’t need to know. Like “How long have they been reaping?” You don’t need to know the answers to the mass effect universe. So we intentionally left those out”[/quote]

[quote]Casey on after Mass Effect 3
“Whatever we do would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3, not after”[/quote]

[quote]Casey on the End Boss
‘We had the final fight with the Illusive man in the game, but it just felt very Video Gamey. It didnt fit in with the themes. And really, is there a point of the end boss if only for the sake of an end boss?'[/quote]

[quote]On Tali’s Face
We eventually decided that she gives you a memento of her pictures, but the team was throwing around a lot of pictures and designs until we decided on something and said “Yup, that’s her”.)[/quote]

[quote]On Deciding the End of the Game
The illusive man boss fight had been scrapped… but there was still much debate. ‘One night walters scribbled down some thought on various ways the game could end with the line “Lots of speculation for Everyone!” at the bottom of the page.'[/quote]

[quote]On delaying the game  
In March 2011, he also faced a roomful of Mass Effect developers who expressed concern about hitting the promised holiday release date… New release date set for March 2012. After much deliberation, the CAT mission (or rather, the Prothean mission) had to be removed from the set of tasks. The missions would later be completed as post-release content”[/quote]

[quote]The article also states ‘Although art was created for this sequence, it was ultimately dropped because it felt too predictable to end the series on a massive boss battle.'[/quote]

[quote]In truth the final bits of dialogue were debated right up until the end of 2011. Martin sheen’s voice-over session for the illusive man, originally scheduled for August, was delayed until mid-November so the writers would have more time to finesse the ending.[/quote]

[quote]And even in November the gameplay team was still experimenting with an endgame sequence where players would suddenly lose control of Shepard’s movement and fall under full reaper control. (This sequence was dropped because the gaemplay mechanic proved too troublesome to implement alongside dialogue choice[/quote]

What does this mean?

Well it certainly leads credence to many of the fans worst fears. Given Casey Hudson’s recent comments about the ending it seems even with these new developments that Bioware is satisfied with the current endings. It just seems utterly baffling that Bioware thought any of this was a good idea.

What do you think about these latest developments? Let us know in the comment section.


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  • josh
    March 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    so important, you had to say it twice

  • Joe
    March 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm


    This is all I can say – everyone is having a go at bioware for these endings; what if, the theory in this article is true? rather than things getting worse, i think using the story to completely indoctrinate your fan-base – at the risk of your own profit is brilliant… heres hoping things dont get worse

    • bleachorange
      May 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      bioware pretty much said the indoctrination theory is untrue. will they change their minds? possibly. but at this point i hold out little hope for the franchise.

      and i think drew karpyshyn is torn between seeing his legacy falter like this and getting a kick out of watching the guys he disagreed with on the ending trip and fall on their faces.

    • alvin padayachee
      June 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

      I never believed the indoctrination theory in the first place. I mean if Shepard was indoctrinated why even bother to show the scene with Joker and EDI. I mean how does that scene tie into Shepard being indoctrinated… I enjoyed the game for what it was. I won’t be downloading the addon. Justifying an ending was a bad idea from Bioware from the start. I doubt anyone was hoping for a fundamentally different ending. Its not plausible without rebuilding the game itself.

  • siwushjhjjosshii
    March 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    i was brought here mainly becuase of the main charectors rape / derp face (more like a combo of the two)

  • Daniel Flatt
    March 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I just beat the game, eager to see what all the fuss is about. Honestly I have to say I don’t get it.

    What does everyone have their panties so in a bunch about? There are certain things that don’t entirely mesh, but seriously folks we are talking about a video game here. A video game about enormous talking spaceships filled with organic DNA goo and humans who shoot fields of mass effect energy from their fingertips.

    Regardless of how I feel about the ending I know that I had an absolute blast playing through all three titles. The sheer number of choices that affected my gameplay experience through three titles was staggering and it was awesome to see it all come to bear in the third installment. My brothers and I played differently, saved different people, and had entirely different game structures.

    Everybody is so busy crying about an ending that, honestly, wasn’t even that bad, that they forget to stop and think if they had fun. For me that answer is a resounding yes and I put Mass Effect 3 on the list as one of the best finales to a game experience I’ve ever played.

    • Blaine Stokes
      May 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Wow Daniel! Have you never gotten into anything, like a storyline of a movie, a book serires, a game series???? O.O

      So what if it’s a video game????

      There is a reason it is called an RPG game! So you Role Play as if it were really you in that role!

      So of course people, like myself, become very emotionally invested in a game’s storyline and character.

      Not sure how you missed this. Maybe you really don’t ever roleplay, therefore have no frame of reference to understand why those of us who have invested so much into Mass Effect, for years, are so upset about the way Bioware completely let us real fans of MA down; very terribly down.

      I hope there is something in your life that you feel passionate about. If there is, think of it, then how much you really love it. Then try and imagine some outside entity (like Bioware) changed what you love and feel passionate about, so you no longer even like what you loved. How would you feel?

      If you can’t answer the above question, then you have no place making comments like the one you posted, because you are commenting from a place of ignorace, not understanding and a common framework.

      And for the record, I did have some fun playing MA3, but the ending was so terrible, and out of sync with the first two titles, that is overshadowed what fun I did have.

      Again, try and find something you really feel passionate about and try and relate.

      Goodluck and cheers!

      A faithful fan of MA and MA2.

      • Daniel Flatt
        July 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

        Sorry I missed this comment entirely.

        Wow, I think people completely missed my point. Of course there are things I feel passionate about and you couldn’t be more wrong about me not RP’ing. Go check out a few SWTOR forum boards and you’ll see tons of shameless RP’ing on a subject I love.

        I can imagine exactly that because the series I love most, Star Wars, is constantly retconned, the entire thing is a complete mess. Sometimes in the course of spending a lot of money and time reading a comic or a book Lucas will wipe it clean with one 30 minute cartoon.

        BUT, I still love Star Wars.

        I think the big issue I have with people hating on Bioware and ME3 isn’t so much they have another opinion then mine. That’s wonderful, if we all had the same opinion this world would be a terribly boring place. My problem is with the way people go about expressing that opinion.

        Also, yes the ending is not a good one. I don’t feel that invalidates the entire time you spent with the game. Really I felt most of Mass Effect 3 was a great experience (albeit flawed) even if I was let down by the ending. Actually while I didn’t write any ME fanfic I do own every book released, all the comics, and every collectors edition. Trust me I LOVE Mass Effect 3.

        I think the disconnect here, the part I don’t get, is that people completely abandon the thing they love or denounce an entire company over an ending. Maybe it’s just the Star Wars fan in me that is constantly braced for changes like these, I don’t know, but if you drop something you love every time it makes a misstep…..well that seems like a life full of disappointment to me.

    • bleachorange
      May 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      i’ll have to disagree with you on that daniel. i feel the conclusion to a story is just as important (if not moreso) than the rest of it. it is the last thing you see or do, and if it falls flat on it’s face (imo) then i think it negatively affects the whole narrative.

      that aside, i rarely been more disappointed or upset by an ending to any narrative i have encountered.

      good call on ‘ready player one’, however (your article, right?). i enjoyed that immensely.

      • JoshC
        June 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        I completely agree!!! The ending of a game is as important if not more than the initial journey of a game, book, movie, etc. I WILL admit ALL 3 Mass Effect games were brilliantly written…. But the very ending of Mass Effect 3 sinks the game for me everytime I beat it. I’ve beaten the game 4 times (almost 5) simply because I love the game…. But I get so upset everytime I finish because eventhough this is a game based on choice you ultimately have ONE ending. “No you have the rainbow game at the end” True… but they all lead up to the same ending so why not just say there’s one ending? Bioware shouldn’t be giving an “extended cut with more cinematics” they should give the fans what we ACTUALLY want… MORE endings based on our choices in-game

  • huh
    April 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

    wait…I don’t get it… sooooo, Bioware just really afterall made a shitty ending? and the IT isn’t real?! O: *sudden heart and mind explodes* X_x I wasted a whole month believing Bioware was some master genius. I feel decieved and ANGRY! I think…I think….T_T I’ll do the cruelist thing you can do!!! Kill EVERYONE….in Mass effect 3….. GOODBYE TALI AND WREX! You will feel my wrath >.< or MORE LIKE YOU WILL BE SAVED BY MY SHEP IN HIS ATTEMPT TO FREE HIS FRIENDS FROM THE SHITTY ENDING!! Must play Me2 and kill EVERYONE! T.T I'll shoot Ashley and eveyone else that you can have die. Good by Samara! Goodbye JACK! goodbye EDI and Geth and Quarians. GOODBYE! This is my last attempt to save the world….duh I get it. It's not about fighting the Reapers, it's about SAVING your friends from the shitty ending. All this time we thought it was about "Saving the world" Please… we had choices because there is no "Saving." T_T yeah………..

  • LordOfPit
    May 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    How the heck did people think something like a Galactic War with an unknown number of artificial sentient entities — some of which are 2km in size — could end when to defeat even the smallest ones a fleet of ships needs to be assembled and coordinated?

    Of course it would end with a plot-device and without leaving the player in charge of anything. Perhaps people should try making up their own ending before complaining about BioWare’s.

    • bleachorange
      May 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      actually i came up with several endings that are much better than bioware’s ending. and none of them involve a character introduced at the last moment (sort of like saying the murderer was someone the author didn’t let the reader know existed until the last few pages in a mystery). they also don’t include an advertisement for DLC after you finish the game. and thankfully, none of them contradict lore either. guess what? I even came up with a way of actually having a mechanic to where your fleet matters beyond pick a color. and no, there are no illogical plot holes in it (though i’m willing to subject that to others’ opinions, not just plot in the dark as the writer did on this one). no, i even came up with a basic gameplay template for the final levels that make quite a bit more sense than the current series of events. if i got toasted by a capitalship laser, i don’t think i’m getting up after that. it’s ludicrous, as is the whole original finale.

  • centaurchester
    June 19, 2012 at 5:37 am

    You know, main reason ME3 fell apart? The proof is right there in front everybody eyes and has been hinted and post all over the net..

    Several of key people who we’re part of Me1 ME 2 we’re not there for the final of me3. Some we’re either a) fired b) let go c) Quite d) Left.

    This is why ME3 fell apart and did not live up to what everybody was hoping it to be.. The sad thing is Bioworks will never fully admit that they had writing problems since me 3 started..

    Will they every fix it? no.. They throw free crap at us and distract us with other things to shut many people up..
    As for the end stuff that will supposedly make things more sence for Lore and storyline? It just excuse and more proof of just how poorly written the last 10-15mins really was.. A ban-aid. Nothing more..

    It’s sad too. I really loved ME world. Now my faith in ME world/Bioworks
    and there writers has been pretty much a middle finger or a slap in the face. Or a ” Ha ha ” we got your money…I won’t be every buying another
    EA/Bioworks game anymore. As much I really LOVE world.

    Personally I would like to throw my ME 3 at there HQ buildings for lying
    to us. And fact that they suppose be Canadian too even big low blow.

    And EA/Bioworks is going get away with it..

  • me
    June 25, 2012 at 12:23 am

    personally i think the ending is ok (emphasis on ok). it is no where near the magnitude of what they delivered in the previous installments. the ending to final fantasy 13-2 sucked, but it made sense and i can do accept it. mass effect 3 was a great game. i have a problem here and there on some minor issues, but overall i enjoyed the game. the ending (they continue to call their artistic vision, which the more i read that the more i want to scream) is more a wad of toliet paper they wiped their water consistentsy diaretic butt’s with and call an artisc vision makes no sense. if they can pull a miracle out of the collective butt’s and salvage this debutchery hey great. will it restore my faith? maybe, maybe not. i’m not holding my breath. i would like to see something come out of this extended cut DLC, but i’m taking a wait til i see it approach. for those of you who continue to try and defend ea/bioware who ever they are now, the more i read your comments i can not help consider whether you are ea/bioware employed in some capacity. i know there are people on this Earth who rather dimwitted, slow, limited in perception, ect…, but i find it hard to believe that you people can actually play the game (one moron even claims he has not even played the first two let alone the third, or caught any ending footage and defends them as if they were his royal jewels) and not follow the great climb through all those hours to reach the summit and not realize the ground break away under your feet to land you in the pile of manure at the bottom. i think the ending works with the crucible and the beam being shot out to anilialte, issue shepard’s command, or assimilate all synthetic and organic life. the true number of reapers is monumentaly staggering. hell they fall to their own technology. perfect. but this is the conclusion. the end. ??? there is no conclusion. not unless this was a page from the twilight zone and even then the twilight zone made sense. i don’t care if they just send me a detailed letter in the mail describeing what in the sam f…king hell this artistic vision is supposed to be, just give me some clarity. help me understand just what in god’s name happened. i have spent over three hundred dollars in games and novels getting here. all i want is something to make sense of this so i can enjoy the artistic vision. i stumbled onto mass effect by sheer accident. i mistook it for the actual game i was looking for and feel hopelessly in love. i agree with others. i will buy one more game and only because i played a demo before this mess came about, and got irrevocablely attached. ea/bioware better get their shit straight or will not matter which of us is stand valid. they won’t have a leg left to stand.

    • Michelle
      June 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      I agree with you. The game is okay, but the ending is just disappointing. Up until the last few minutes of the game I was caught. I was completely taken with the story. I laughed over James Vega’s lines, I cried at the death of well loved characters, I raged over Cerberus on Thessia, and I squealed over the romantic moments between my Shepard and her LI. It was in the last few minutes, between Anderson dying and that freaking annoying Grandfather and Grandson ending that I felt let down. It was like eating a delicious dinner only to discover a cockroach hidden by a thick sauce. The meal was so good, but that disgusting tidbit makes you want to throw up until your stomach comes out. I felt horribly betrayed because the majority of the game was so good, to end it on such a half-assed attempt was disappointing. I agree completely, overall the game wasn’t bad, but we’ll see tomorrow if I’ll ever play it through completely again.

  • Taylor Parolini
    June 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

    The extended cut didn’t help at all for me. There was a tiny, tiny bit of new CGI, but most of the shots were still frames, like a digital comic, often just with the different ending colors thrown around. The red, blue, green endings remain intact. It even creates some new plot holes, like how everyone is alright with the reapers coming back after a few weeks or months to help fix everything. It’s like if Osama Bin Laden went over to New York and helped them clean up rubble at ground zero and everyone was fine with it.

    • bleachorange
      June 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      I can see it now: hordes of angry people throwing stones at the returning reaper and it makes a sad electronic whale sound and says “this hurts me”.

    • Daniel Flatt
      June 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      But Osama Bin Laden isn’t a race of sentient Organic/Synthetic life forms guided by a paragon of morality and hope.

      Or at least that was my ending. I was never just devestated by the original endings and I like the ending I had always choose even better with the extended cut because it gave me a better idea of what I was actually choosing.

      Do I think it solves a lot of the loop holes or all the things people complained about? No, but I certainly feel that it strengthens all the endings.

      • bleachorange
        June 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

        I’m sure bin laden thought he was guided by a paragon of morality and hope. and how did that turn out?

        • Daniel Flatt
          June 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

          I think there is a little difference between Bin Laden and a full paragon Shepard. One united and saved entire races and basically made galaxy wide peace….the other blew up buildings and killed thousands of innocents.

          I know you were just trying to be humorous, but it’s kinda ridiculous.

  • Taylor Parolini
    June 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I guess it does “strengthen” them, in so far as you can indeed rivet some rusty, crumbling girders onto a shuddering collapsing tower in order to marginally stabilize it. That sounds about right to me.

    • bleachorange
      June 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Using your building analogy, what happened to Mass Effect series was like this: You have a couple of talented architects who design a skyscraper. You proceed to build aforementioned skyscraper. But when you are 2/3 of the way up, your best architects leave your project because you’re being a douche. So you decide to flip them the bird, and completely redesign the top 3rd of the building. Only when it’s done, due to a rushed construction schedule and inferior building material contributing to make the redesigned architecture not mesh well, the entire structure collapses under it’s own weight.

      • Taylor Parolini
        June 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

        And then collapses onto all the people who funded its construction for years and paid to dwell inside it. Once those poor souls manage to pull themselves free of the wreckage and demand some answers to what just befell them and how the building could collapse so spectacularly despite a wonderful beginning, the media calls them “entitled” and the construction company promises to eventually build them a substandard housing project to live in instead.

        • Daniel Flatt
          June 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm

          Then you have the one guy who wasn’t even in the building and millions of miles away watching a televised broadcast of it who, without even really having knowledge of the actual event, complains and yells about how it should have been constructed better. So he writes pointless rants and letters in newspapers about something that he really doesn’t honestly know what he’s talking about.

          He wasn’t there, he didn’t experience it, and he’s getting all his information from Fox News. Yeah that sounds about right.

          • bleachorange
            June 30, 2012 at 5:27 am

            I hope you aren’t talking about me. And no, I was comparing paragon to the starchild, not shepard. though, a full paragon shepard would have chosen destroy, because he would not believe in enslaving a lifeform (reapers) or homeostasis (synthesis). If all life were the same, the universe would be a lesser place.

    • Daniel Flatt
      June 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Honestly I don’t think anything would have made you happy. Which is hilarious considering YOU NEVER EVEN PLAYED THE GAME!

  • Taylor Parolini
    June 30, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Good thing for you I didn’t. Can you imagine how upset I’d be if I actually wasted $60 on this pile? Sheesh.

    • Daniel Flatt
      July 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      I just don’t understand how you could possibly have such a vocal opinion about something you haven’t even experienced. You’ve watched YouTube videos and then feel that somehow makes the entire game horrible and that’s basically the complete opposite of what we, as video game journalists, are supposed to do.

      You speak as if you have some sort of insight, yet you haven’t even experienced the game. It’d be like having a food blog and running down something you’ve never eaten because some strangers on the internet said it was nasty. If you want to be taken seriously experience something and then form an opinion about it, not the other way around.

      I suppose you also never play games that don’t get an 8 or above because IGN tells you so?

      • Taylor Parolini
        July 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        Why would I need to play it? I already know what the gameplay is like, both from the previous games, the multiplayer beta and the free trial on PSN. It’s the same cover shooter it ever was with only a few very minor additions. I play Mass Effect primarily for the story, not for the passable shooting mechanics that really, at the end of the day, aren’t all that unique. I’ve seen pretty much everything that the story has to offer and I’m extremely dissatisfied with it. Therefore, I have virtually no reason to play it. Naturally, if I was writing the review for the title I’d have played it through from start to finish and maybe even loaded up a different save, but that simply isn’t the case.

        All I can offer is my informed opinion. I look at Mass Effect 3 and I see a turd sandwich. I’ve examined it quite closely and I’m aware of all of its individual components and how that turd sandwich is put together. Sure, I haven’t jammed it in my mouth but hey…it’s a turd sandwich, why would I want to?

        Don’t worry though. In a couple months when I’m bored and it’s even cheaper than it already is, I’ll set aside all of my higher reasoning and pick it up used so that they don’t get a dime off me, and I’ll give it a playthrough to satisfy my “journalistic” integrity. I’m quite sure that my opinion will remain the same as the gameplay alone isn’t enough to wash the taste of a horribly botched trilogy out of my mouth. I wonder what argument you’ll use then?

        • Daniel Flatt
          July 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

          Of course you won’t like it at that point. By then you’ve a hundred percent commited yourself to hating it and it won’t matter.

          How have you experienced everything the story has to offer? Reading through a wikipedia post or watching some YouTube videos is not the same as playing the game and if you haven’t experienced the whole trilogy the game really isn’t for you anyway.

          In your estimation I could read a plot summary on Wikipedia of a epic RPG and decide that it isn’t any good without ever touching it. After all I’ve played JRPG, why would I need to play it?

          Honestly at this point it doesn’t matter. I liked the game, loved it right up to the ending. I still think it’s a good game and far superior to a lot of games out there regardless of a plot hole filled ending. At this point it’s more popular to dislike it then like it so whatever. I know what I played and liked and that’s all there is to it.

          I’m curious did you even play or like the other two? How would you have changed the ending? What would have made a better story? If you are quick to tear this all down you must have the answers right?

  • Daniel Flatt
    July 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Bleach, the comment about not playing it was NOT directed at you.

    As far as what a paragon Shepard would do how would wiping out an entire race be better then guiding them in a separate direction? Their will was never their own, they were created for one reason alone and have always strived in that direction. You guide them in a different direction.

    Not to metion as destroy method you also wipe out not only the Reapers, but the Geth as well. Oh and your own friend EDI. Seems kind of clear cut the good guy choice there.

    • bleachorange
      July 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      well, it depends. are you going to control the reapers as the starchild has done for so long? what makes you ultimately different from him? you’re still imposing your will on the galaxy and the remains of entire species . Are you going to turn everyone into cyborgs? are you sure you would like that if someone else did it to you? or will you sacrifice the geth and edi, knowing that they would rather die free than have another rule them (the very reason they battle against the reapers and not with them)? I know my choice, and it was pretty easy to make. Me? I call it paragon, no matter what color bioware slapped on it.

      • bleachorange
        July 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

        After all, EDI herself rewrote her core processes to allow self-sacrifice for others. Doesn’t that say it all? Doesn’t Legion’s example show you what the Geth cherish above all else? They want to choose their own path, and they have.

      • Daniel Flatt
        July 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        I think you’ve confused two endings here or just managed to confuse me. First of all with the Pargaon ending Shepard is FAR different from Starchild. Starchild was an AI type creation made by whatever race to guide the Reapers and to guide them towards wiping out all life every so many thousands of years.

        Not only was Shepard human before hand, but he is also opposed to doing just that depending on if you played him as a good guy or not. In that scenario he would lead the Reapers towards a brighter future.

        The part that confuses me is when you say controlling EDI and the Geth. Shepard Reaper (essentially what he is or the Reapers conciousness…whatevs) has no control over them. The only beings he has any control over is the Reapers.

        The new endings make this all much more clear.

        • bleachorange
          July 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

          and by controlling the reapers, he becomes starchild, a la anakin and vader, and becomes the very thing he wished to stop.

        • bleachorange
          July 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

          by that, i mean, if someone was doing something shepard deemed bad, he would use the reapers to stop them, would he not? what i’m saying is shepard is putting himself on that pedestal of god (deciding right from wrong), not just for a single moment, but for some time to come. what if the quarians decided to kill the geth after all? what would shepard do then? what if edi went rogue and started acting like eva? I’m just saying, with great power comes great responsibility. and this goes back to my comment about controlling others. with a power so great none can challenge it, who can defy him?

    • Darth Weasel
      October 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      It seems like both choices are cloaked in a shade of gray. i don’t really see how either choice is good or bad as much as necessary. i personally think there should have been multiple types of endings with variable choices based on your trilogy playthrough. multiple endings where shepard dies, lives, destroys, and protects. seeings how mass effect is a personal story shaped by your decisions and and morality the 3 lightshow ending doesn’t justify what mass effect is all about and the personal investment players including myself have in it.

      • bleachorange
        October 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        that’s not the only thing that’s bad, it’s the heart of the problem. the mass effect series is about playing your way, about player choice, and consequence, and then you get pigeon-holed into essentially the same ending that doesn’t even mesh with the rest of the game. here you are, played through 3 games, and all of a sudden there’s a big EASY FIX button that you press that shines different colors and magically fixes everything. i feel that this ending, like fable 2’s ending, was handled horribly.

        even so, even being pigeon-holed into what amounts to a single ending, why did it have to suck so much? my shepard stepped away from that ending feeling emasculated like conrad verner if you ridicule him. there is no ‘hero’ option, no option that let’s you be a badass, there’s only dumb, dumber, and dumberer. i don’t want to do that all the time, but the choice should have been the player’s, not the writers’.

        • Daniel Flatt
          October 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm

          For me, again, the hero option is becoming the Reaper’s guiding light and to sacrifice yourself so that others can live. Everyone who has power does not become evil and Starchild was never human, was never influenced by a life lived like Shepard was.

          My Shepard fought for equality amongst races and fought to protect life in whatever form he found it. He made hard choices to let others live and to ensure they had a choice. In the end he did exactly what he’s done the entire time, he sacrificed what he wanted to become something others needed.

          By throwing away the vestiges of mortality and flesh he could for the first time guide the Reapers as beacons of hope rather than forces for extinction. With my Shepard there is absolutely no reason to believe that he would do anything else, human or no, because in the end what made him the person he is still exists. In the new add on DLC it’s very clearly stated that he is helping rebuild, doing what he can to repair what the Reapers started.

          Will it end badly? Who is to know unless they make a game where you play as a Reaper. (please don’t) As it is I can only go off how my protagonist played the entire game, and it was as a Paragon and beacon of hope.

          I know without a doubt that he wouldn’t choose to wipe out an entire race, no matter the cost. I’m sure if the Geth were there they wouldn’t wipe themselves out either so that isn’t giving them any sort of choice anyhow.

          I know he wouldn’t walk away from the choice and let the whole thing fall apart without him.

          I know he wouldn’t force the combination of human and synthetics and basically rape two races free will.

          If you ask me, with the choices presented, there is only one clear choice for someone playing a good guy, as defined by my experiences anyway; and that’s kind of the point isn’t it? Defined by my experiences?

      • Daniel Flatt
        October 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm

        I agree with this, but honestly I think that Bioware bit off a little more than they could chew here. You have a massive amount of choice throughout the three games (well…..on the surface anyway). Combining that into a ending that pleased everyone was always impossible.

        Besides I didn’t see tons of people complaining about ME1 and ME2 ending and they were more fixed than anything else. For instance ME1 doesn’t matter what you did it ended the same. Whether the council lived or died, who you appointed, none of it truly mattered. Same thing with ME2 ending. Doesn’t matter what you choose regarding the Illusive Man it all ends the same. The Reapers are coming.

        So really none of the series had choice much more than an illusion of it.

  • synopsis
    July 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Dang… won’t be able to play tonight because i injured my index finger scrolling down through all the comments…

    I’ve never played the game, i have the first 2. I will no doubt buy it at some point, so i didn’t read all of the above comments, want to stay as spoil free as possible. Anyway, it seems most people loved the game.. and hated the story, at least towards the end anyway. Have we came so far that, its that big of an issue? I mean was it really THAT bad? When i was a kid and you beat a game, you got a picture of the “hero” on the screen… and…. well, that was it… ha. When i get around to playing it, if the gameplay is good, and i get let down story wise at the end, i would be let down, but i don’t think it would make my opinion of the game be that much different. Seems to be some very extreme differeing opinions here. If anything though, people getting so heated about it, this far after the fact…. well it kinda proves that something was really messed up for such a strong fanbase to turn like that, in what ends up being 1 or 2 percent of the total game(between the 3), if that.

    • synopsis
      July 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Excuse the typos… were quite a few….. firefox let me down!

    • Daniel Flatt
      July 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Honestly the story wasn’t even bad throughout the game itself. It falls apart in literally the last hour of the game. Most of the people that were disappointed by the ending were the ones that had digested every bit of information about the universe and had memorized most of it’s rules. If you aren’t a codex junkie chance are you won’t even notice some of the plot holes which was a major concern with everyone.

      As for the gameplay it improves upon the second’s action direction while making a misstep here or there with optional side quests that add nothing to the game, but overall it was an extremely enjoyable experience that saw choices reflected through all three games throughout the game.

      Honestly, especially with the patch, the ending (while not great or even good) is certainly not enough to boycott Bioware or never play a game because the last 20 minutes disappointed.

      • bleachorange
        July 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        for me, all the way through until the final set of missions, it was a great game with some flaws that I forgave (for the most part. making shepard psychologically traumatized, while realistic, isn’t something i really want to see in an avatar representing me as the hero of the galaxy, and I pretty much loathed any part that had that (they weren’t very subtle either)). With the inclusion of the ending missions, though, Bioware succeeded in basically ruining the trilogy for me.

        I have not quite gotten to the EC endings, and am in no rush to do so mainly because I’ve pretty much un-invested myself from the franchise at this point. The conclusion is what ties together the story by resolving the conflict in a satisfactory manner. In my opinion, Bioware pretty much failed to deliver that, mostly by introducing a brand new character as an essential plot device at the end and by giving you three choices that do pretty much the same thing, but even less if you’re color-blind.

        Needless to say, I don’t like the ending, which isn’t that bad compared to most of the crap out there. But the fact that the rest of the story is so good, it’s like shakespeare ruining the tragic scene in romeo and juliet at the end, or having odysseus(ulysses) drowning or something equally ridiculous just before he gets home after a years-long voyage.

        Perhaps the EC will change that. But I doubt it. Oh, and there’s no boss fight this time either, it was fable 2 all over again.

        • Daniel Flatt
          July 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm

          I agree with alot of what Bleach says this, though I prefer no boss fight here. I think the Reaper fight in ME2 was forced and sort of stupid.

          • bleachorange
            July 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

            i’m not saying i needed a boss fight with the illusive man (i liked that part okay, but the rest can rot). I’m saying, i needed a boss fight with SOMEBODY. throw me a bone here! there was this whole build-up of action leading to the catalyst, and then you hobble through it, talk to someone, get talked AT by someone, and then pick a color.

            I needed something more.

          • bleachorange
            July 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

            though i agree the reaper fight in me2 was a little forced, i’d take that over what happened here.

        • Daniel Flatt
          July 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

          Personally I feel that we’ve kind of grown past needing boss fights. Look what it did to BioShock? It’s like they did such an unconventional game and that at the very end thought what if they don’t like it and slapped in a normal boss. It took a lot away from the game I think.

          • bleachorange
            July 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

            I never played Bioshock, but I can say two games I loved until the end, ME3 and Fable 2, didn’t have boss fights at the end. Then I hated the ending. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel a boss fight is the perfect way to handle the climax of a game.

            I still remember in Fable 2 where the bad guy was so powerful he had you imprisoned in a tower for years. And then you battle onward, work your way up to him, and then there’s a cutscene of you pulling a gun and shooting him. VERY anticlimactic. And you know what? ME3’s ending was worse than that.

  • Greyfox
    July 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

    How bout a mod to fix the ending. Just a thought.

  • Justin Z.
    September 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    It’s been months since I played ME3 (I never replayed it after the first time). I also saw the extended cut online. And yet I am still not really interested in replaying it. It just took the fun out of everything.

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