Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 2

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I just really don't like the endings.
The catalyst is introduced last minute and raises more questions than answers, you shouldn't be adding to your plot at this stage, you should be winding down the tension.
I don't like any of the choices you make.

Synthesis is just silly, too far of a leap of logic for me, and in a way feels like I'm defiling everybody without their consent...and how the eff do you add DNA to a Geth? DNA doesn't work like that!

Destroy also fucks over the Geth, so genocide is just about the least heroic ending I can think of.

Control is not what we set out to do from the start, it's what the illusive man wanted, and that's too much power for any one person to have, so it's out of character for Shep.

There is no catharsis from any of the chosen endings.

Stranding your crew (in the half assed way they did) is more cheap emotional manipulation just as bad as killing the kid in the beginning of the game. BioWare's strength is their characters and you strand them on a friggin desert island?

The destruction of the Mass Relays, I guess I can come around to, but I don't understand why they felt the need to torch their universe. Star Wars is great because you can easily imagine further adventures in that galaxy far far away...I can't help but feel prequels are always boring because you know the future, and a sequel in the ME universe after the relays are destroyed .... well I can't help but feel it's not the universe I fell in love with.

BioWare should WANT to re-do the endings. I can't fathom they're satisfied with them if what you say is true, and they love the characters even more than we do.

Tyler Poling:
If they do plan on releasing DLC that "fixes" the ending, or expands on it would we be responsible consumers if we buy it (assuming that they charge us)? To me, if that is the case, that means that they published and released an incomplete game; a game without an ending. Shouldn't we as consumers be entitled to a complete game? In my eyes we are consumer whores if we buy into their DLC.

Also, I'm just re-asking the question because it got drowned out, I'd like to hear the Internet's thoughts.

I like the indoctrination theory and would be totally cool if Bioware decided to go this way with the game. I really don't think I'll buy any DLC unless it takes place after the current ending of the game, I see no reason to boot up an old save and play a new scenario if I know none of it is going to mean shit at the end, just a moot point.

If Bioware decides against the indoctrination theory than they should still do some after the ending DLC, even if Shepard is dead in most of the games, let us play as Garrus (how badass would that be?) and have the DLC be all about solving the huge plot holes the game left and finding a way to return the fleets home, and finally showing us just how every race ended up after the war ended, just give us closure, even if it is somber.

Zetsubou-Sama:
I was really enjoying this podcast until you started with the heroic ending thing -_-

Most people aren't annoyed Shepard died/heroic enough/happy endings, people want to have the option if they did everything right 100% EMS, and were all paragon and all that stuff, that they can get a happy ending.

Yes, this.

I didn't want every ending to be a mega happy ending, I wanted it to be one of the options. To have it be the ultimate ending to attain through a precise mix of Paragon and Renegade choices.

I don't really want new endings as DLC though. I just feel like they'll make even more of a mess out of it if they tinker with just to appease the fans.

Oh, and Kai Lang was probably the worst fucking character in the series. Who the hell was that guy and why should I suddenly care about his lame ass when I've got Reapers to worry about. And why for the love of god does he even wield a sword in a universe filled with laser weaponry? Where the fuck was Harbinger, where was my Reaper villain?

I wouldn't object to an ending where everyone gets martinis and has beach parties but I yeah,one with some kind of text scroll or image slideshow abou what happend to everyone would be just as good for me.

Also, Bioware, please don't only make a shitload of new guns or something as DLC I will cut you. Even if you release some kind of dlc for the singleplayer where you only get to play a ping pong mini game with your crew, I don't care, I'd buy that.

Tyler Poling:

Tyler Poling:
If they do plan on releasing DLC that "fixes" the ending, or expands on it would we be responsible consumers if we buy it (assuming that they charge us)? To me, if that is the case, that means that they published and released an incomplete game; a game without an ending. Shouldn't we as consumers be entitled to a complete game? In my eyes we are consumer whores if we buy into their DLC.

Also, I'm just re-asking the question because it got drowned out, I'd like to hear the Internet's thoughts.

The only rumor with any concrete information on DLC is saying it will be free. However, they almost certainly will make it free since paid dlc, while some people would buy it, would create too much long term backlash. Not to mention it would be the single most pirated dlc ever created.

"The Protheans made the Mass Relays, right?"

Oh my dear Shepard, this has been clear since part 1, lady...

Great Podcast, it's nice to hear folks talking about it. Love the podcasts as a whole, by the way.

I love this series, I love the game, and I'm not quite as bummed out as other people seem to be about this (I'm certainly not of the opinion that it ruined the game forever), but the endings just seem bad, on multiple levels, and it's a real stark contrast with the rest of the game.

To me, the ending felt so incomplete that I think it's likely that BioWare always intended to change it, Indoctrination Ending or no. Like you pointed out, so little detail is given in the end choice that it doesn't really feel like an actual choice, because you can't really appreciate what your options are - seems to me that it's more likely that they put that in as intentionally jarring than they slipped up RIGHT THERE. Now, while some folks may disagree they were always planning it, the amount of fervor being worked up means that there's a decent probability of it going down. Now, what I'm wondering is whether that would balance out the damage BioWare's taking over this - would you forgive them? Would you dislike them more, even if it were free? I don't know, but if this is an intentional move, there's a big chance that it might backlash on BioWare. Also, it would be really low if they decided to release an 'Indoctrination Ending' on April 1.

But yeah, there were so many great moments in this game, ranging from the funny (Emergency Induction Port) to the gut-wrenching (MORDIN in particular) to the just plain nice (Shooting Contest). The game is awesome, screw the ending (and I just mean the very end, the Illusive Man ROCKS), it doesn't ruin the game.

One problem I see with the Indoctrination Ending, in terms of inconsistencies - if the Prothean VI can detect Kai Leng is Indoctrinated, and SHUTS DOWN... why doesn't it do that to Shepard if he/she's Indoctrinated/semi-indoctrinated? I know it doesn't rule it out, Shepard might not be far enough gone for it to be detected, but still...

That's heartening. The ending has got me quite cynical, and I immediately assumed they'd charge us for a decent one; here's hoping your right. A lot of people I know have jokingly said "I'd buy a new ending for Mass Effect 3.", the four podcasters included in that group, and that worries me.

Mass Effect 3 Ending - Bioware You're Gonna Die One Day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMM2ut1-Sro

Youtube video pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.

Tyler Poling:
You troll, this isn't an argument if games are art or not (which they totally are you tit), It's a discussion if you liked the ending or not.

One, just because someone has a different viewpoint from you doesnt make them a troll.

Two, there is no need to resort to personal attacks just because I have a different viewpoint from you.

Three, if you actually want to have a discussion with me about it then actually read my post, because if you had you woulda got why I brought up the Art Point.

But to be nice about it I will reiterate. The discussion is also about the controversy about the endings, and about the movement to get them changed. Which is why i brought up the point, because its one of the erroneous reasons people give for not changing the endings.

If you believe differently from me on that subject and are not willing to discuss the topic to see if we cant change each others minds, well then thats your thing. And thats fine, we will just agree to disagree on it.

Thank you for your opinion though.

I'm still of the mind set that the endings are an extended April Fools Prank by EA. The combination of EA's marketing history (Sin to Win and "Your mom will hate it") and the strange handling of disappointed reactions and future DLC by Mass Effects twitter just seems way too fishy to me.

And now this rumor of DLC in April/May really doesn't help either.

Okay, I have two really big problems with the ending:

First off, the destruction of the Mass Relays makes it all seem rather pyrrhic. Sure, I defeat the Reapers no matter what, but in the end, I've essentially destroyed any hope of another unified galactic government. You can't govern anyone when the commute to them is a 10-year-one. Couple that with the second problem:

I have no idea how the galaxy is fairing now that I activated the crucible. Which means I have to consider the most logical outcome, which is also the most bleak. What about all those off world mining companies that depend on other places for food? Or the space stations? How are any of the races going to rebuild their home planet when most of the places they could get resources from are cut off from them, and a large chunk of their ships and population are stranded in the Sol System? Hell, how is that fleet going to survive? Not a lot of food or fuel left on Earth, I would assume.

I don't know about more endings. If you can give it to me, I might spring for it. I can live with that. But Everyone who played this series from start to finish deserves a friggin epilogue. It is not okay. I should at least know, in the end, what I've accomplished. It's...just unfair.

Hey I just realized, you guys never talked about drunk Tali like you said you where going to in the last part. >.>

what I learned from this podcast

The endings okay if you "magic wand" and "hand wave" every single problem with them and don;t care about deus ex machina.

great. couldn't that be said about anything?

EDIT: also, the ending being bad isn't based on it not have "kittens and rainbows", it's, like I said, because it's a plot hole filled deus ex machina that totally negates any choices you made. but hey, if you want to keep thinking everyone's issue is that it's not a super happy ending, then you can go right ahead. "fanboy" it up.

1. I have to agree that the ending was broken, mechanically.

the mechanics dont fit into any of the mass effect games, the endings are suppose to be progresive choices that lead up to the end. ME 2 does this perfectly.

Now with ME3, everything just halts, and you are given 3 choices all in the same room/area it doesnt make sense, the inputs for the crucible device happen to be in equal walking distance from one another? all those war assets you collected dont have their effects on the ending? every choice you made in ME is seen later in one form or another, but all these choices you make in ME3 dont have any outcomes.

The could have made the ending where you see how your choices change the last level(area) or cutscene.

So for me the ending is broken, i dont mind seeing shepard die, i think its the perfect end to the series (since you cant play him/her anymore) but the ending was made so badly and rushed.

One more thing that proves the ending was broken... the ending image (with the stargazer and child) is an edited stock photo from a deviant art user ( http://derecv2.deviantart.com/gallery/#/dpqs6e ), this could imply bioware was rushed at the ending, this would explain how the ending comprises of a handful of dialogue, and the same video (edited to green/blue and red explosions)

2. I believe the ending was a hallucinatioin/indoctrination attempt

the scene of the N7/shepard breathing at the end also implies hes still on earth so he never went to the citadel, and you only get that ending if you destroy the reapers.

Also i believe the choices are metaphors (control - death - resist) and if you resist (kill the reapers) you get the ending showing shepard waking up. This would also explain how the 3 weapon triggers (the choices) are so conveniently placed together.

Also why is the creator letting some random human, who would have died without it lifting him/her up, decide the fate of the galaxy?

"oh hello, never seen an organic here before, since your the first here ill let you decide whether to destroy us, control us or fuse us"

the only thing that doesnt hold is the scene (with the illusive man) before the catalyst lifted sheperd up to the choice room.

3. Another thing, turians and quarians would starve to death since they cant eat human food, not to mention the biggest armada in galactic history is stranded on earth, so earth would ahve to sustain that somehow. so either way the krogan would probably wipe out the earth in the process and doom humanity.

IF the endings were real, i would choose to control the reapers. because atleast then you can use your technology to rebuild the mass relays, and transport everyone back to their homeworlds (since reapers can travel without the relays) then happy days!

I think my issue with this is that it's an obvious business move, its telling us all to buy the extra DLC despite the fact that they kept saying Mass Effect 3 will help summarise all the main points in the game but instead just give us some kind of shoddy end where I feel like "okay....that's it?".

Personally, I think that if Bioware didn't want to invest in producing a new ending (as lots of people are demanding for) then they could possibly produce some kind of FMV (like a new story update) and then it will explain the consequences of what you did. And then maybe a brief moment on what happened to your squad...

That's completely ignoring the fact that Earth is now populated by every race that you recruited for your fight and that the Turians have just lost their leader (Victus) because he came to "personally return the favour".... After considering this, surely quite a lot of people would be angry towards Shephard? Yeah he saved the galaxy from the Reapers....but what about the fact that most planets have given up their fleets leaving them more or less defenceless against pirates and what not?

A final thing, Casey Hudson (I think that's his name) came and said that he wanted people to remember ME3 and that's why the ending is like it is because everyone is talking about it. Surely it's a bad thing to remember a game that forces people to buy DLC for the full story/ending? I know that the company is a business and as such needs to make money, I totally get that, but surely its a better business move to make the fans/customers happy with their ending and feel "Man, that was brilliant. Can't wait for their next game if its gonna be anywhere as good as this" rather than "Man, that was a crap ending. What the hell happened to....etc, etc"

Well that's my own opinion on this issue really.

Let me sum this up, the ending was bad because it was bad. It has NOTHING to do with whether is was happy or not, ffs

gombie:
Snip

Shinobi Sung:
Snip

Two huge posts with valid points, both made by new members, consecutively. Don't see that very often.

Welcome to the escapist, guys.

Have a pleasant stay :D

The very short version I eventually decided on was that the endings presented at face value were stupid, but the Indoctrination Theory take on it was less stupid.

The endings presented at face value are broken. Straight up. Plot holes abound like characters aren't where they're suppose to be and your team, along with Joker, wouldn't suddenly abandon you. I chose the unification ending as the lesser evil, which ended up being space magic which makes absolutely no sense in the context of this game when it's been trying so hard to be the sort of sci-fi that's something like believable. But more than that, the choices were non-choices that thematically don't fit the game. The synthetics vs organics 'central' theme they're based on are contrary to much of the trilogy and is more or less sprung on you at some point in ME3. None of these ending are much like a victory if you think about them either. Control was all sorts of sketchy, and destruction was...trying to be some sort of lesser evil that still doomed trillions? And I'll even buy that the relay net going down doesn't vaporize everyone in the galaxy, but they all basically do the same thing - Reapers are removed by imposing your will upon most to all of the galaxy to disastrous effect. You basically do what the Reapers set out to do in a flash rather than over a hundred or so years of intense war. It's the sort of copout you get with bad writing trying to grope for some sort of 'higher plane' of choice and effect when it hits a wall with where it's at, and then fails, hard.

None of it particularly makes sense or flows from the rest of the games, and none of it really achieves the goals you set out to do, and none of it particularly honors, nevermind plays into what's gone before. You get a 'new beginning' on the Reaper's terms, which is what would have happened anyway if Shepard had done nothing (barring the Reaper's destroying/uplifting humanity if left completely to their own devices).

Then looking into the Indoctrination theory, I had to admit it makes sense in that the whole sequence of Shepard getting to the ascension beam and everything after is very dreamlike. Slow motion husks and only getting shot once by the Maurader who then mostly sits there until you kill it. Never having to reload. The Illusive Man just showing up at a critical juncture. Joker fleeing with the Normandy to crash land on an alien world with the very people you took on this final mission with you. The Illusive Man's compulsion effect is very similar in style to Shepard's nightmares at that, nightmares that are trying to say something but don't really serve any thematic purpose other than to lend weight to the Indoctrination theory with the visual effects, chasing the child/burning, and all the shadow people surrounding you, talking about/at you, haunting your dream like Reapers just might do with Indoctrinated people. Even more telling is that Shepard's corpse starts breathing again if your galactic readiness rating is high enough...in the rubble on earth, which would be a special sort of stupid if Shepard had actually been on the Citadel as it blew up and then crashed into the planet. This really suggests that your war efforts saved the day in the end and none of this catalyst BS was anything more than death dream mind games.

It cheats, but it's less stupid, and fits more with Bioware as I perceive them.

And then I thought back to the Reaper's doom beam intercepting Shepard at the beginning of the end, so s/he should just be dead and all of this is total bullshit anyways.

What makes me really mad at this setup, and Bioware and EA in general, is that I was told this was the ending of the trilogy, but it probably isn't. It seems they're just playing with our emotions to get 80% of us to buy more DLC and get the 'true' ending at some point down the road.

I am a special sort of bitter about this.

As for my personal ending, I'd go with everything up to Anderson dying, then have Shepard more slowly bleed out as you watch the armada you've brought together and your friends and comrades grind the Reapers down to dust. They cross the finish line without you, because of you and all the other sacrifices, but they do it. And Shepard's reward is to watch this as s/he dies. (Or maybe Shepard gets saved in just in the nick of time if you went completionist on the game.)

Sorry, Susan, but I think most people who aren't happy with the ending are like me and weren't expecting a 'cake!' ending, are definitely not demanding one, and only sorta envision/want one for that gamer completionist/catharsis/I damned earned a happy ending at this point sort of way. That said, a creator has a right to define their creation any way they see fit, but that creation can still be utterly broken and wrong.

I don't care that I got an unhappy ending. Hell, I was even expecting it. A pure, happy, "WE WON!" ending would've been terrible, but we were given an ending totally ignored the hundreds of hours we spent on Mass Effect 1 and 2. In the end of the day, NONE of our choices mattered or had any effect on the ending. Wasn't that the point of playing Mass Effect? That my decisions would have consequences? It feels like such a kick in the balls. Worse, I feel like I've wasted my time by emotionally investing myself in this series.

Here is a post someone on the Bioware Social Network made regarding the ending. I think it sums it up beautifully if you are in for a little read:

http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/9992961/87#10020867

I support the indoctrination ending

check out this vid regarding it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbghjn7_Byc&feature=g-u-u&context=G296b84aFUAAAAAAABAA

they make some sexy points

Duffeknol:
"The Protheans made the Mass Relays, right?"

Oh my dear Shepard, this has been clear since part 1, lady...

I haven't played 1 or 2 since they came out, so I was a bit fuzzy on some of the lore. That's why I asked. :)

Darkmantle:
what I learned from this podcast

The endings okay if you "magic wand" and "hand wave" every single problem with them and don;t care about deus ex machina.

great. couldn't that be said about anything?

EDIT: also, the ending being bad isn't based on it not have "kittens and rainbows", it's, like I said, because it's a plot hole filled deus ex machina that totally negates any choices you made. but hey, if you want to keep thinking everyone's issue is that it's not a super happy ending, then you can go right ahead. "fanboy" it up.

We raised plenty of issues that fans have with the endings. Details that don't make sense, lack of closure, lack of heroism, etc.at no point did we suggest the only reason people are upset is the lack of happy ending. Your hostility is out of place.

Susan Arendt:

Duffeknol:
"The Protheans made the Mass Relays, right?"

Oh my dear Shepard, this has been clear since part 1, lady...

I haven't played 1 or 2 since they came out, so I was a bit fuzzy on some of the lore. That's why I asked. :)

Pfft, real fans have encyclopedic knowledge of the lore that they can recall at any time, anywhere.

You disappoint me Susan, I thought you liked Mass Effect?

Daystar Clarion:

Susan Arendt:

Duffeknol:
"The Protheans made the Mass Relays, right?"

Oh my dear Shepard, this has been clear since part 1, lady...

I haven't played 1 or 2 since they came out, so I was a bit fuzzy on some of the lore. That's why I asked. :)

Pfft, real fans have encyclopedic knowledge of the lore that they can recall at any time, anywhere.

You disappoint me Susan, I thought you liked Mass Effect?

Only when EA pays me to.

Susan Arendt:

Darkmantle:
what I learned from this podcast

The endings okay if you "magic wand" and "hand wave" every single problem with them and don;t care about deus ex machina.

great. couldn't that be said about anything?

EDIT: also, the ending being bad isn't based on it not have "kittens and rainbows", it's, like I said, because it's a plot hole filled deus ex machina that totally negates any choices you made. but hey, if you want to keep thinking everyone's issue is that it's not a super happy ending, then you can go right ahead. "fanboy" it up.

We raised plenty of issues that fans have with the endings. Details that don't make sense, lack of closure, lack of heroism, etc.at no point did we suggest the only reason people are upset is the lack of happy ending. Your hostility is out of place.

Yes, sadly it is, but that might be because the lot of you spent what felt like an agonizing amount of time talking about Kai Leng. ;p

The indoctrination theory is unfortunately wrong according to http://www.me3finalhours.com/

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"

So the ending is basically just bad writing on biowares part.

and that is not why players are up in arms about this ending. It boils down to choice, or lack there of. Bioware promoted their product as one with several endings depending on choice.

Now you get. Shepard dies, shepard dies, shepard dies and the rest can be hand-waved. They said 16 endings. This is simply not true and the one were shepard supposedly lives? That is simply just an easter egg to give a semblance of hope to people that this isn't the end.

And that end is so bad that it ruins the entire trilogy for anyone with more than one character. You know where shepard ends up now, so theres no point in playing it again.

Susan Arendt:

Daystar Clarion:

Susan Arendt:

I haven't played 1 or 2 since they came out, so I was a bit fuzzy on some of the lore. That's why I asked. :)

Pfft, real fans have encyclopedic knowledge of the lore that they can recall at any time, anywhere.

You disappoint me Susan, I thought you liked Mass Effect?

Only when EA pays me to.

Ah yes.

Digital Sushi filled me in about your 'arrangement'.

I still think money would have been better than baby lotion.

Susan Arendt:

Darkmantle:
what I learned from this podcast

The endings okay if you "magic wand" and "hand wave" every single problem with them and don;t care about deus ex machina.

great. couldn't that be said about anything?

EDIT: also, the ending being bad isn't based on it not have "kittens and rainbows", it's, like I said, because it's a plot hole filled deus ex machina that totally negates any choices you made. but hey, if you want to keep thinking everyone's issue is that it's not a super happy ending, then you can go right ahead. "fanboy" it up.

We raised plenty of issues that fans have with the endings. Details that don't make sense, lack of closure, lack of heroism, etc.at no point did we suggest the only reason people are upset is the lack of happy ending. Your hostility is out of place.

Isn't that the truth. Check yourself mate. Excellent podcast guys, nice to hear new perspectives and get insight into different events from my game - for example, I had no idea Tali would just straight jump off that cliff, very interesting.

I don't hate the endings I just think all of them are "meh" lots of MEH. I mean the endings are all similar your Shepard doesn't even get to investigate/challenge the kid's logic (with the typical ME style) none of the endings have any closure. (I mean I would love an epilogue telling me what happen to my crew/ results of all my actions etc)

So In my endings (destroy) with the relays gone I'm forced to assume that everyone is now stuck around earth. So the turians/quarians now face starving to death etc (all of this has been listed by others before)

And the biggest thing that bugs me is Planet X and my Squad member/LI (liara ) during the end run ending up on that planet unharmed... How did she get back on the ship? Why would she or any one apart of my squad leave shepard ?( heck I defiantly don't see Garrus aka space batman leaving until the job is done even if shepard did die)

Oh and why was Joker flying away he didn't know the color of doom was going to mess the Normandy up. I just can't see him flying off during the fight

Edit: also I don't mine my Shepard giving his life heck It fits with my paragon Shep and the way I played me3 but the happy cake ending should still be available for people as well depending on all your choices

I'm gonna ask a rhetorical question: are gaming journalists besides Yahtzee (that's something of a generous estimation of his job description, but I digress) not allowed to say anything negative or "divisive" as Bioware has retroactively decided to define to word? Like does he just meet your boat rocking quota for the year everytime or summat?

Emiscary:
I'm gonna ask a rhetorical question: are gaming journalists besides Yahtzee (that's something of a generous estimation of his job description, but I digress) not allowed to say anything negative or "divisive" as Bioware has retroactively decided to define to word? Like does he just meet your boat rocking quota for the year everytime or summat?

We discussed several things we didn't like about the ending...how is that not saying something negative?

The wounded Batarian on the citadel confirms that destroying a mass relay burned up his system.

bootz:
The wounded Batarian on the citadel confirms that destroying a mass relay burned up his system.

Like they said in the podcast.

It's not entirely outside the realms of possibility that that the relays were destroyed in a 'not wipeout the system' kind of way.

Great podcast, I just signed up because of this episode, I'm not sure if posting videolinks is allowed, if not, sorry, just wanted to contribute to the conversation.

The Indoctrination Theory explained: (Very good editing work)

http://youtu.be/Tbghjn7_Byc

Just one other clue: During ME1 and ME3 the Rachni discribe the Indoctrination process as "the oily shadows" or "oily songs", compare that discription to the "shadows" during the talk with the Illusive Man on the Citadel, shown in this video.

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