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Thread: Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

  1. #1
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    Mass Effect 3 Spoiler Thread

    Not a bad idea, Sir Moose.

    Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, in my initial run through, I had no problem with the end I chose (Synthesis). The issue to me seems to be the very "vanilla" nature of the three endings. They are VERY similar, and only the Renegade ending shows Shepard actually surviving (at the expense of the Geth and EDI, which I've got qualms with).

    Other than that, it was great. I didn't even mind the Photoshopped photo they used to finally reveal Tali's face in the picture she leaves for the Talimancer crowd in the captain's quarters. (Yet another ridiculous "controversy")

  2. #2
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    Speaking as someone who never has, and probably never will play Mass Effect, what are the ending(s) and what's everyone so upset about? I just hear lots of complaints from people who assume everyone else knows what they're talking about.

    Or is it all too much to summarize?

    I'm just curious because I've never been so upset about a videogame ending. Sure, I've been disappointed, but I just shrug and think, "Oh, well."

  3. #3
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    Basically, the problem with the final ending is that it is only an ending. The first two games built up a series of very strong alternate narratives based on choice; depending on how you acted, who you befriended, who you killed, they ended very differently, and the consequences carried through into the next game. The final ending is essentially the same no matter what you do, which feels like a gyp to longterm players.

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    As I said before (though rather vaguely), that ending mostly works for me. I'll explain why in detail in a moment. First, though, among the details that I do have a problem with, I want to know exactly why (and how) James turned up on the Normandy. He was _supposed_ to be right behind me. Et tu, James? Et tu?

    The big theme of the ending is that wherever "you" turn up, you're entirely and irrevocably cut off from the rest of the galaxy, and all of that "Prothean" mass effect technology that allowed you to violate the laws of physics? The basket containing the eggs of every space-faring civilization ever? Caveat emptor, Buddy.

    I think it's fitting, in a way, that the audience ends up marooned on some unknown habitable world with the surviving crew of the Normandy. We're cut off along with the crew, and we now acutely feel what the crew are feeling. Violently and suddenly isolated. We'll never know if our friends survived, let alone if they'll thrive.

    What we do know:

    1) Surviving colonies and homeworlds have a chance to rebuild, though at a drastically lower level of technology.

    2) The crews and ground forces of the Unified fleet, representing all major species (including most of the Krogan males and _none_ of the females), are now stranded on a ruined and depleted Earth. (And thankfully, Wrex is there and well disposed towards humans. Garrus, if he's not spread across several acres of real-estate right now, may well liaise, given that Wrex holds Garrus in almost as much esteem as he held Shep.) [Assumes choices similar to mine.]

    What we can guess:

    3) This new world settled by the crew of the Normandy, or Horizon, or Novaria, or Feros, any of these may someday become the seat of government for the Terran peoples (deliberate plural, given the circumstances), whichever planet first manages to figure out a new way to travel FTL, despite the laws of physics still telling us this isn't really possible short of the now-defunct Mass Effect.

    4) We can guess that among the isolated worlds (particularly among the Terran, Hanarr, and perhaps the very spiritually-inclined Asari worlds), the legend of Shepard will turn to myth, which will turn to religion. Whether or not this will actually plausibly happen, I suspect, given certain plot elements that might tend to resonate among western cultures, that we're meant to think so. For obvious reasons, I'm not going to pursue this line of thought any further.

    5) ... Except to suggest that Grandpa (in the part of the ending you get with a war strength of 5000+) appears to be drawing upon deeply held cultural lore, rather than mere legend.

    IsaacKuo, see for yourself. (Once you've seen them, we can fill in lost context if you're still curious.)

    [Added: Yeah, while I wanted to choose the "no reapers forever" ending, with no real way to tell them apart, I apparently chose the "control the reapers" ending (which I only learned just now). Now I think I understand why people are upset. There needs to be some distinction between what you do and what happens. Generally, Bioware was on the right track as far as the isolation, but there needs to be considerably more clarity.]
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    I would have started the thread myself, but I've had a bad cold and tended to get a headache if I looked at the screen too long. That at least seems to be improving, so my comments (and remember, *SPOILERS* - I'm not hiding anything):

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    [Added: Yeah, while I wanted to choose the "no reapers forever" ending, with no real way to tell them apart, I apparently chose the "control the reapers" ending (which I only learned just now). Now I think I understand why people are upset. There needs to be some distinction between what you do and what happens. Generally, Bioware was on the right track as far as the isolation, but there needs to be considerably more clarity.]
    On my first play through, I wasn't happy at all, but I thought I must have done something wrong in game, so I went through the "walking through molasses" thing again (which I found annoying in itself) with what I THOUGHT was a different choice, and it played out essentially the same. At that point I assumed I had messed up somewhere earlier in game and had lost choices somehow, so I Googled it, and found out that, no, there were no real options: All prior game choices were made essentially irrelevant. And I found out a lot of people had already run into the same issue and were angry about it. Yes, that is the biggest thing that annoys me about the ending, and it did seriously tick me off.

    For me, the story completely falls apart at the "invisible kid" stage. There is no explanation about why it is appearing as a human in the first place, and when it gave the three choices, the option I wanted to pick was: None of the above. I do not accept that Shepard would meekly accept those three non-options. I expected a Kirk/Sheridan/Shepard speech option, to tell the kid that they were wrong, followed by either something defiantly heroic, or a discussion with a possibly winnable debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    As I said before (though rather vaguely), that ending mostly works for me. I'll explain why in detail in a moment. First, though, among the details that I do have a problem with, I want to know exactly why (and how) James turned up on the Normandy. He was _supposed_ to be right behind me. Et tu, James? Et tu?
    And that was another issue with ending: Plot holes and continuity errors. There's no explanation as to why the Normandy is flying off in the first place, and characters that might have been in your party may be seen on the ship. How did they get there? Who knows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    The big theme of the ending is that wherever "you" turn up, you're entirely and irrevocably cut off from the rest of the galaxy, and all of that "Prothean" mass effect technology that allowed you to violate the laws of physics? The basket containing the eggs of every space-faring civilization ever? Caveat emptor, Buddy.

    I think it's fitting, in a way, that the audience ends up marooned on some unknown habitable world with the surviving crew of the Normandy. We're cut off along with the crew, and we now acutely feel what the crew are feeling. Violently and suddenly isolated. We'll never know if our friends survived, let alone if they'll thrive.
    Now, that does not work for me. Yes, I wanted to see more of what happened due to my CHOICES. There could have been communication at least, given the quantum entanglement communicators that were mentioned repeatedly. (Incidentally, I thought that was Chekhov's gun - they brought it up often enough I thought it would play a part in the story ending, as a different technology path not under Reaper control, but no, it was ignored.)

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  6. #6
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    As far as I knew, it only destroyed the Mass Relay network, not all eezo based mass effect technology. FTL is still possible, but now much slower. I'm pretty sure the Quarians and Salarians are probably having herds of cattle in the aftermath of their destruction. The Asari and Krogan have lifespans that leave the aftermath still tolerable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    As far as I knew, it only destroyed the Mass Relay network, not all eezo based mass effect technology. FTL is still possible, but now much slower.
    The ending's not explicit on that point, but it stands to reason that FTL has ended too. [Edit: I misread. I've retracted most of this paragraph, as you weren't arguing otherwise.]

    Grandpa implies _very_ strongly that living memory has passed (including the very long lived Liara, who may have been on the Normandy) without a return to spaceflight, let alone any contact with other worlds.

    Here are the things we know definitively have been directly impacted by detonating the Crucible.

    1) All Reapers in the galaxy. (Destroyed.)
    2) All Reaperlings in the galaxy. (Destroyed.)
    3) The Citadel. (Destroyed, although that has other candidate explanations.)
    4) The Catalist. (Ended, may or may not be a result of the destruction of the Crucible by the Citadel.)
    5) Mass relays. (Burned out and destroyed transmitting the destroy/control/merge instruction.)
    6) EDI. (Not caused by the destruction of the Normandy, the landed Normandy has power enough to run EDI's server. The Fembot is a terminal, not a server core.)
    7) All Geth in the galaxy.
    8) The Normandy (Crashed, but there are other candidate explanations. I know EDI is very important to him, but had EDI been the motivation for fleeing the battle, it would have been an act of mutiny/piracy/cowardice during a war, and he wouldn't have known the crucible would have offed EDI anyway.)
    7) Shep. (Although there are other candidate explanations.)
    8) We also don't see anybody fire a weapon from the moment the effect wave hits. (Other candidate explanations.)

    I can only think of one plausible mechanism that might cause all of this: the induced dissipation of Element Zero, causing the cessation of the mass effect (and any technology that uses the mass effect.)

    It seems very logical to me that the universe is again subject to physics as understood by Einstein/Hawking. Thus, no FTL, no eezo power generation, and all ships, everywhere, are probably doomed.

    I'm pretty sure the Quarians and Salarians are probably having herds of cattle in the aftermath of their destruction. The Asari and Krogan have lifespans that leave the aftermath still tolerable.
    It would be interesting to know what happens on Earth. Hopefully Wrex can keep the Krogan contained/content until they die out.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    With the Synthesis ending, mass effect technology is DEFINITELY still in play. The Reapers were not destroyed by the green wave, they launched back into space, ceasing hostilities with the Citadel races. In the Codex, it's directly stated that Reapers need mass effect fields in order to land on planets. With the Synthesis ending, the merger of DNA with circuitry ends the differences between biological and technological life. The run for their life doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense, as once they're on the planet, both Joker and EDI are showing signs of the change to unified life.

    The implications of the grandfather's story is extremely unclear, as even with Sythesis where technology is clearly still in action, the scene doesn't change. With no indication of what kind of civilization they're a part of, non-tech or otherwise, it's hard to tell whether he's speaking of other civilizations as unknown, or if he's just jumpstarting the kid's imagination by telling him anything's possible. Heck, he does tell the kid that it is possible to travel to other stars, and that he could do it when he's grown.

    As good as it was to hear Doc Aldrin's voiceover work, it's a real headscratcher that they'd leave the ending as ambiguous as Contact and 2001's misbegotten offspring...

  9. #9
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    Well, we've got the extended ending DLC so time to resurrect the thread.

    Short version: It isn't perfect, but if they'd had this to start, I would have been satisfied with the ending. I was actually dreading this DLC, but ended up being pleasantly surprised.


    *****Spoilers***** below.


    It's a spoiler thread, but I still want to emphasize that. DO NOT READ further if you want to see for yourself.






    Seeing this, it reinforces the feeling they originally kicked the game onto the street before it was finished. Not that there's a huge amount of new material, but it covers most of the plot holes and "What the heck is this?" moments.

    - We see how others in the squad survived.

    - We see a very short, but very important Joker scene.

    - There's more conversation with Casper the Ghost Kid, which still doesn't make me happy about the introduction of that Deus ex machina, but justifies the story a bit better.

    - There is a defiant speech option! YES! It's a fail option, but that's okay. The important thing is that it logically should have been one of the choices, and it made me very annoyed it wasn't there. Also, there's a hint of hope even with this option.

    - On the synthesis option:

    After seeing the original, horrible ending, when I was trying to put together what would be a "best possible" option to me, if it were, oh, say, actually explained: It would be voluntary synthesis, with everyone mentally still being essentially themselves. I saw the original EDI and Joker scene as a possible example of that.

    Well, they didn't go with voluntary synthesis - everyone has glowing green eyes. But they aren't technozombies - they still have their minds, they're still people, just becoming something more, not less. We see at least a few scenes from around the worlds. EDI has a nice little speech and there are some good final goodbyes.

    And this made me very happy: The Normandy rose again.

    This is a good enough ending for me. The other endings are okay as well, and interesting in there own way. Is the control option with the ascended Shepard better or worse? I don't know, but at least I think it can be reasonably debated. The "destroy" option wouldn't be the one I'd pick, but I can see why some would.

    There's still too much repetitive material between options. It still feels a bit rushed. There isn't more real gameplay, but that wasn't the point, there needed to be a proper end to the story.

    I might actually buy a Bioware game again. Though I wouldn't jump in so quick again, no matter what. I'd have been a lot happier with this game if I'd waited until this DLC came out. Hopefully the company has learned something, and it won't happen again with them.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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    Oh, by the way, earlier names I've seen for the ghost kid were "Casper the Genocidal Ghost," "Destroyer of Endings," and "Voldebrat." I don't dislike him quite so much now, though it's too bad they put Ghost Kid in the story in the first place.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  11. #11
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    Still playing, haven't seen the ending yet so I'm still mostly avoiding this thread for the moment, but I wanted to slightly brag/snark/wisecrack about something since I'm playing much more completionist than I normally do.

    [In the war room.]
    *Garrus is checking the fleet strength statistics through his visor lens.*
    Garrus: "It's OVER 6000!!!!
    [/itwr]

    Meh, just Saiyan.

    (snicker)
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  12. #12
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    What? Not nine thousand?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  13. #13
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    Heh, is that the quote?
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    In ME 3, I don't know. It was just a joke/question, regarding the trope namer, where it is 9000:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiMHTK15Pik

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    In ME 3, I don't know. It was just a joke/question, regarding the trope namer, where it is 9000:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiMHTK15Pik
    Oh, sorry, that was just me joking around/being silly/mildly bragging with a made up scene to "announce" that I've passed the 6000 war score mark (Topped off at 6400 now). Just to let you know that I was getting there and would be able to read/reply to your spoiler post in a few more days.

    Maybe Monday. I'm on Thessia now, and I think I've completed the galaxy map, save the odd wrecks with fuel that I won't bother with.

    I'm not much of a DBZ fan, so I genuinely couldn't remember the actual quote. Google suggested it could be 6000, although I should have checked with TVTropes.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    I'm not much of a DBZ fan, so I genuinely couldn't remember the actual quote. Google suggested it could be 6000, although I should have checked with TVTropes.
    I've watched maybe 1 1/2 episodes. I remember forcing myself through one episode, then trying another from another season/version/whatever years later, then giving up before it finished.

    But I've heard a lot of versions of the power level joke and googled the video some time ago.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  17. #17
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    Heh. I bug my friend, who is a fan, about how the show is two minutes of screaming as someone unleashes something new, with the remaining twenty minutes of everybody else looking astonished.

    [Edit: On Horizon, and looks like I'll top out at around 6500 and pocket change.]
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    Update: 6773, actually. Go figure.

    I officially have a new favorite weapon: the M99 Saber. It's classified as an assault rifle, but I rightly can't decide if it's really a poor man's assault rifle or a high speed shotgun. Accurate to medium-longish range, hits like a basic sniper weapon, carries ammo like a heavy pistol, will stagger most opponents like a shotgun if it doesn't kill them outright, and makes a very satisfying thump when you fire it.

    I've also taken time to play with the Geth Plasma Shotgun. If I thought the fully-upgraded Saber was nice in close, the Geth Plasma Shotgun, non-upgraded, is spectacular at short range. It outperformed even the big Krogan shotguns on almost every level. Very, very effective weapon in close. I've since upgraded it to level 7 with my last cash. I'm saving it for that nasty last battle at the ruined dépanneur. Thanks for the new toys, Legion.

    Next stop, Earth.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  19. #19
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    Just want to mention before I comment further. The rumor was that the original ending had been the brain (star)child of a single lead, and had not been peer-reviewed like all other scenes in the game (presumably due to schedule slippage). The rumor suggested that, internally, the original ending would have failed peer-review as-was.

    Okay. So I've seen the Synthesis ending. It's better. Much better, actually. Now I know why my squad-mates, the ones who had been right behind me, wound up where they wound up, and not right behind me. I also know why Joker turned up where he did, and who put him up to it. (And why.)

    Twinklebot's explanations were clearer this time around, and a more tolerable twist. The extra dialogue choice was appreciated.

    EDI's epilogue was satisfying, despite my reservations about choosing Synthesis. It was good (though a bit strange) to see her smile. On the other hand, saving the Geth (and EDI), offset by the look of dawning horror on the face of the Husk... That consequence had not occurred to me. Even given the overall results, Synthesis is not a slam-dunk ending for me, although perhaps the least-worst choice.

    I would have liked to have seen them dynamic your "first name" into the memorial, had that been at all feasible (maybe through some sort of real-time overlay.) Still, that would never have been anything more than a nice to have.

    I also see, at least for the Synthesis ending, that my earlier theory about Element Zero's nullification doesn't hold.

    I'll save the other two endings for later/another day.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  20. #20
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    Seen all of them.

    Paragon ending, basically the same as Synthesis, minus the Borgification of all life. The Quarians and Geth are shown separately, the Quarians still in masks. The new Reaper overmind narrates with Shep's voice, but says outright, it is not Shep, but an imprint of his mind upon the overmind.

    Destroy ending, narrated by Hackett, shows a lot of carnage, but essentially the same as the others, except that EDI and the Geth are notably absent.

    The "Go frak yourself, starkid" ending. Shows the holorecording that Liara was working on buried in a cavern on a world after the end of the cycle. All life wiped, the Reapers win, and the cycle continues

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