Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

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Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

The ownership of a story belongs to its editor, as well.

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The intellectual property always belongs to the publisher. BioWare makes the games, but EA has the final say in all things.

Why does there have to be a discussion about this? It's a simple fact.

In regards to the ending, it isn't really A, B, and C. It's A and B, with Shepard either resisting the Reapers or assimilating. It's a ham-fisted, dick move by EA and the writers to set up the game for DLC expansions and more games in the series. And EA is known for making dick moves.

KingsGambit:

RaNDM G:
The intellectual property always belongs to the publisher. BioWare makes the games, but EA has the final say in all things.

Why does there have to be a discussion about this? It's a simple fact.

There has to be because of how badly the ending was cocked up. We're not talking about the IP here. The points are creative control vs. player-driven narrative and such a badly thought out mechanic. The premise, if you re-read the article, is that as players, we've guided the story/movie the entire time until that point and are then left without suitable options, reward or closure. THAT is a simple fact.

It's a ploy by EA and BioWare's writers to set-up future DLC expansions, like I said in the rest of my post you so diligently failed to mention. BioWare practically admits that right at the end of the game.

image

It's a marketing ploy. They're basically saying this:

"Hated the ending of Mass Effect 3? 1200 Microsoft points gives you an extended final mission lasting a WHOOPING [insert number of hours here]! Also comes with [insert complimentary in-game item(s) here] as well as [new multiplayer game mode(s) here]!"

The real problem is that this ploy is going to work. EA is going to make bank from gamers wanting a satisfying ending for Mass Effect 3. They will pay any amount of money to get that contrived ending out of their heads, which is the dickiest move of all.

I'm not even sure that's a real word. I'm kinda surprised it's in the dictionary.

Also, you messed up that second quote.

RaNDM G:
This is exactly the destroy option.

@Nimcha wrote that. Not me. Just want to make that clear.

Well written, Mr. Scimeca, very well written.

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

Nimcha:

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

Exactly this. He's claiming there's no choice that he likes, and then asks that there be a choice that there already is. You want to destroy the Reapers? Choose the destroy option. You want them to leave the galaxy? Choose the control option. Both will destroy the mass relays (and yes, this is not explained properly), but it'll get rid of the problem. Its that or let the Reapers kill everyone.

Crimson_Dragoon:
Both will destroy the mass relays (and yes, this is not explained properly)

No, but it does make sense. In order to be completely free from the Reapers, all Reaper technology must be destroyed. The galaxy must be given a chance to advance to that level on its own.

I do agree this point should probably have been elaborated on by the Catalyst. While it doesn't really make a difference as to what choice Shepard makes, it does provide more insight and could've added more weight to the decision.

Nimcha:

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.

Pontifex:

Nimcha:

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.

Ah indeed, good point.

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

Sir, congrats on being the only Escapist columnist to get it absolutely right.

Personally though, I think while a reshoot entails all the negatives you suggested, I'm tempted to treat this literature crime like any real world crime. If you don't want to pay the price, don't pull nasty shit on your fans.

We can agree to disagree.

cool idea. looks like bioware got bits and pieces of the ending you suggested in each ending. adding the forth ending would flesh out those ideas like you said.

overall, bioware had some cool ideas, but they couldn't see the forest through all the trees with gaps in logic and a lack of explanation. They left a lot of things to be inferred. they wanted people to think about their ending,and to do that, they would need things to be inferred. Doing that in any writing is actually really, really, tricky. You have to know what to explain to have the narrative make sense. If memory serves right, no-one in the gaming industry has tried something like this. Though a good example from other medias is Issac Asimov's Foundation series. He was a master of giving you enough information for everything to make sense, but hold enough back to keep the sense of wonder to the foundation universe intact.

Nimcha:

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

Not to mention that we don't know about other past civilizations problems with synthetics, we only know about the geth/quarian war and the prothean's war against the Zha'ti, a war that the protheans were "Turning the tide" before the reapers arrived.

Yay! The first piece to cover the issue with some sense!

I personally haven't bought ME3, but with all of the noise made about the ending, I don't think I will now =D

EA should hire you, although I bet they'd claim your idea was just too expensive to put in :p

I think getting rid of the currant endings is stupid. I would like to see additional endings, but im not really going to hold my breath.

zpfanatic81195:

Nimcha:

My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

Not to mention that we don't know about other past civilizations problems with synthetics, we only know about the geth/quarian war and the prothean's war against the Zha'ti, a war that the protheans were "Turning the tide" before the reapers arrived.

People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on, because as is made explicitly clear in ME2, the geth are open to it no problem.

SirBryghtside:
I always found this kind of funny.

"Well SCREW YOU STARKID! I DON'T AGREE WITH ANY OF YOUR OPTIONS, BECAUSE I'M COMMANDER BADASS SHEPARD AND I DO WHATEVER I WANT!"

"Um... okay. Are you... are you sure you don't want to pick any of the options?"

"YEAH!"

"So what are you planning on doing?"

"I'LL SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!"

"I'm a ghost, Shepard."

"WELL, THEN... I'll... um... I'LL KILL ALL THE REAPERS WITHOUT YOU!"

"...yeah, good luck with that. I'm sure you have a snowball's chance in hell. Bye, then!"

Come on, the 'Shepard tries to fight the catalyst' idea makes even less sense than the current ending.

That's not the point at all.
The 4th option would be to point out that the catalyst is an idiot and it's logic doesn't hold up.
If it really wanted to protect organics from synthetics they could
A) fuck off and let organics get on with it (you prove this is possible with both EDI and the Geth)
Or
B) If they're so awesome they could actually kill synthetics themselves, rather than kill organics o.O

I mean, Police want to stop criminals from killing innocent people. So do the police go wiping out entire towns of people so that the people won't either be killed by criminals, or some of them become criminals and kill others? No because that would be retarded.. much like everything the catalyst says.

Candidus:
Edit: I keep messing up quotes.. hang on.

People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on.

Except it doesn't really matter who starts the war. Legion explains that the geth acted out of self-defense. If the geth come to the consensus that the quarians will never let up (and this is a legitimate possibility, as shown by ME3 and your points) they might come to the decision the only option is genocide. Remember, the war between these two factions has been raging for 300 years before Shepard is even born. Peace has never been in sight. There is nothing indicating there would ever be peace without the necessity of opposing the Reapers. It doesn't matter who the initial aggressor is. If the choice is between your species being wiped out or theirs, you will choose your own.

Also remember that the Reapers already believe organics will destroy themselves eventually by way of creating AI that destroys them.

Dennis Scimeca:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

Honestly, I don't see why ownership is an issue here, and this article (Though I did find it a decent read), did nothing to convince me.

The core of the argument doesn't seem to be about who owns it, but promises v reality and the commercial nature of Bioware's "art."

Though one of the first things that came to mind was Babylon 5's major climax.

That said, we are the audience, actors and (in games like Mass Effect) editors to some extent, but we have no actual propriety in video games. The only real pull we have is commercial. Our say, even in "Sandbox" games is already limited by what they have decided we can do, often with very limited fields of freedom. Same with stories. While Mass Effect 3 promised to be the grandest and most ambitious "choose your own adventure" yet, it's still a choose your own adventure.

I don't honestly expect BioWare to do something like create my proposed fourth ending, but they could, and that's my point. It's not outrageous for fans to ask them to accommodate them somehow, because this:

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=15395

And this:

http://doycetesterman.com/index.php/2012/03/mass-effect-tolkein-and-your-bullshit-artistic-process/

And this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs&feature=youtu.be

I don't think everyone comprehends just how bad these endings are and why. If we did, I don't think we'd be debating whether asking for a change is justified, and I don't think so many pundits would be outright mocking the fans who are bummed out at how badly one of their favorite franchises of all time ended.

@Zachary -

I chose to address the issue of ownership because it's such a popular retort to the idea of why no change is warranted. I reject the notion that it's okay to ask for a patch to a mechanical bug, to which no one pontificates about artistic integrity, but it's not okay to ask for an alteration to an ending in a video game where constructing the story IS one of the chief mechanics, and there exists formal, narrative analysis to explain why that ending is broken.

Nimcha:

Candidus:
Edit: I keep messing up quotes.. hang on.

People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on.

Except it doesn't really matter who starts the war. Legion explains that the geth acted out of self-defense. If the geth come to the consensus that the quarians will never let up (and this is a legitimate possibility, as shown by ME3 and your points) they might come to the decision the only option is genocide. Remember, the war between these two factions has been raging for 300 years before Shepard is even born. Peace has never been in sight. There is nothing indicating there would ever be peace without the necessity of opposing the Reapers. It doesn't matter who the initial aggressor is. If the choice is between your species being wiped out or theirs, you will choose your own.

Also remember that the Reapers already believe organics will destroy themselves eventually by way of creating AI that destroys them.

Eugh, don't remind me.

Creating synthetics to kill us every 50,000 years so we won't be killed by synthetics. The repears' belief turns them from one among the best videogame villains ever to the most ridiculous and awfully written in three seconds of dialogue.

But no, I don't accept your argument as a whole. The only way in which the reapers even factor in to Shepard's peace brokering is as a mechanic for bringing the geth back from the brink after the destruction of their dreadnaught and the destroyer on Rannok. Say you preserved the re-written heretics, refused Tali the data, counselled against war in ME2 and allowed Legion to warn geth. Even without the repears, the geth and Shepard are in a position to force a peace under similar circumstances- the splendid 'or else' basis. (*hey, I'm only making as many assumptions as you here).

My point is, you say the repears argument has any sort of integrity- despite being a self defeating logical fallacy to begin with- because they're directly responsible for Shepard being able to make the peace. That's just not true.

Their only contribution is their code. Their code is simply a biword for "insurmountable advantage that forces the more warlike and irrational quarians into a peace". Well, there are other ways, such as numbers and Shepard's sabotage of the quarians over several games (which was my approach) to create such an advantage.

That advantage, and not the reapers specifically, is all that was required by the story.

Candidus:

Eugh, don't remind me.

Creating synthetics to kill us every 50,000 years so we won't be killed by synthetics. The repears' belief turns them from one among the best videogame villains ever to the most ridiculous and awfully written in three seconds of dialogue.

No. Only advanced organics are harvested/destroyed. It's a simple, but vital distinction. You accuse people of being forgetful when you can't remember the most important part of the Reapers' motivation.

But no, I don't accept your argument as a whole. The only way in which the reapers even factor in to Shepard's peace brokering is as a mechanic for bringing the geth back from the brink after the destruction of their dreadnaught and the destroyer on Rannok. Say you preserved the re-written heretics, refused Tali the data, counselled against war in ME2 and allowed Legion to warn geth. Even without the repears, the geth and Shepard are in a position to force a peace under similar circumstances- the splendid 'or else' basis. (*hey, I'm only making as many assumptions as you here).

My point is, you say the repears argument has any sort of integrity- despite being a self defeating logical fallacy to begin with- because they're directly responsible for Shepard being able to make the peace. That's just not true.

Their only contribution is their code. Their code is simply a biword for "insurmountable advantage that forces the more warlike and irrational quarians into a peace". Well, there are other ways, such as numbers and Shepard's sabotage of the quarians over several games (which was my approach) to create such an advantage.

That advantage, and not the reapers specifically, is all that was required by the story.

Nice try. But all of that is only possible with Shepard. And Shepard only factors in the story because of the Reapers. No Reapers means no Shepard having any incentive, motivation or possibility to even attempt any of that. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that without Shepard interfering the geth and quarians would have been able to make peace. And the only reason Shepard is interfering is, indeed, the emergence of the Reapers.

Nimcha:

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

Actually no. The Catalyst's main point was that "the created rebel against the creators", which has not been demonstrated or even strongly implied in this cycle. In the case of the Mourning War, the quarians were the aggressors against the geth, and the latter were happy to leave well enough alone once their existence wasn't threatened. In a rather bizzare twist, the quarian-geth conflict rather neatly mirrors the Reapers. The Quarians attacked their synthetic creations because they were afraid of reprisal from those creations, despite the fact that they had displayed no aggression towards their creators, and Legion indicates that - even after the Quarians lost Rannoch - the Geth still bore them no ill-will.

The Reapers mirror the Quarians in this regard, culling the galaxy out of an almost identical fear of synthetic life rebelling despite it not being adequately demontrated[1] and shortsightedly fail to acknowledge other possibilities until it becomes apparent that their original plan isn't working.

On a tangent, there's a general rule in writing stories: "Show, don't tell". If you are reading a book, then a character shouldn't just say "By the way, this is an apocalyptic wasteland", that fact should be adequately demonstrated in how the author describes the landscape. Similarly, if that same line is said while the described scenery looks positively idlyllic, then it should be very obvious that something is wrong in this story. If we're to take both accounts at face value, then either the writer made a rather glaring error or the claimant should rightly be considered to have either impossibly high standards or be outright delusional. Alternatively, other hints in the story could very well use this disconnect to demonstrate that the character is an unreliable narrator. In the case of ME3, we are told that organics and synthetics are eternal enemies[2] but we are shown the exact opposite, that not only are organics and synthetics not natural enemies but that the synthetics are actually kinda fond of organics[3]. Given the two conflicting points of data, it's more natural to trust the events demonstrated than those you're told about through exposition from a questionable source.

[1] For the conclusion to truly be upheld as 'inevitible' rather than simply a possibility, they would need to be able to cite an incidence where synthetic life went on the omnicidal rampage the catalyst suggests
[2] By the Big Bad of the series, no less, who is by nature an unreliable narrator due to a vested interest in specific results
[3] EDI is the most obvious example, but the over the course of the series it's made very clear that the Geth had no interest in fighting unless threatened and Legion's file in Lair of the Shadow Broker indicated they'd go out of their way to aid organics given the chance. (Of particular note are his stats for the game "Geth Attack: Eden Prime Fundraising Edition": Donation Level: Ultra Platinum, Player Score: 0 (Purchased but not played))

SirBryghtside:

Ilikemilkshake:

SirBryghtside:
I always found this kind of funny.

"Well SCREW YOU STARKID! I DON'T AGREE WITH ANY OF YOUR OPTIONS, BECAUSE I'M COMMANDER BADASS SHEPARD AND I DO WHATEVER I WANT!"

"Um... okay. Are you... are you sure you don't want to pick any of the options?"

"YEAH!"

"So what are you planning on doing?"

"I'LL SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!"

"I'm a ghost, Shepard."

"WELL, THEN... I'll... um... I'LL KILL ALL THE REAPERS WITHOUT YOU!"

"...yeah, good luck with that. I'm sure you have a snowball's chance in hell. Bye, then!"

Come on, the 'Shepard tries to fight the catalyst' idea makes even less sense than the current ending.

That's not the point at all.
The 4th option would be to point out that the catalyst is an idiot and it's logic doesn't hold up.
If it really wanted to protect organics from synthetics they could
A) fuck off and let organics get on with it (you prove this is possible with both EDI and the Geth)
Or
B) If they're so awesome they could actually kill synthetics themselves, rather than kill organics o.O

I mean, Police want to stop criminals from killing innocent people. So do the police go wiping out entire towns of people so that the people won't either be killed by criminals, or some of them become criminals and kill others? No because that would be retarded.. much like everything the catalyst says.

"Hey Catalyst! Geth and Quarians are fighting together outside! What do you say to that!"

"I say that I have had literally millions of years experience with this, and that one example doesn't negate the fact that THEY WERE AT WAR FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. I've seen it happen with countless civilisations. We created it because it was happening to our civilisation. In fact, I forsee that if it were not for a very specific chain of events that you happened to set in motion, your single example would not even have occurred. There is a 66% chance that one of those races would have wiped out the other on that day. You have not seen what I have seen. You could not possibly hope to understand."

Don't agree with the arguments my new version of Starkid gave there? Point is, it does. It's not going to let one human negate that. It would listen to your argument and disregard it.

The problem isn't what happened in the scene, it's the scene itself.

But the Catalyst has ALREADY admitted that one human has negated it's plan. That's why it gives you the 3 BS options, because you've radically upset it's view of the universe... I don't see why it couldn't have been taken to the logical end point.

And It still doesn't change the fact that its logic is flawed even IF synthetics were always destined to be at war with organics. Like i said, you don't protect someone from themselves by killing them -.-

RaNDM G:
The intellectual property always belongs to the publisher. BioWare makes the games, but EA has the final say in all things.

Why does there have to be a discussion about this? It's a simple fact.

There has to be because of how badly the ending was cocked up. We're not talking about the IP here. The points are creative control vs. player-driven narrative and such a badly thought out mechanic. The premise, if you re-read the article, is that as players, we've guided the story/movie the entire time until that point and are then left without suitable options, reward or closure. THAT is a simple fact.

RaNDM G:
This is exactly the destroy option.

No it isn't. The "destroy" option suggests putting an end to the mass relays as well, plunging the galaxy into a technological dark age, not to mention killing EDI and the Geth we had just intentionally saved. The argument suggests the the author, like many thousands of players, spent three games making choices and roleplaying to precisely avoid doing just that. Everything that was worked towards and his/my/our Shepard's ultimate goal wasn't even an option.

I think it's worth giving up a little creative control to maintain the positive experience Mass Effect was up until its very end, rather than having it collapse into a divisive, angry spectacle. That's not what I want to remember when I look back at the series twenty years from now. A compromise might turn this into a story of understanding the collaborative potential of videogames, and that's what we'll remember.

I wholeheartedly agree on this. The simple fact is that ME3 will forever be remembered not for its fun gameplay or even its story, but for how crap it ended, the injustice it did to the players, the series and BioWare (formerly Kings of the RPG) and the sour taste it left in our mouths, not to mention the controversy surrounding it.

The "ending machine" is a terrible idea. It quite simply meant that not a single thing we had done until that point, not one choice made, not one deed performed had any bearing whatsoever on the resolution. What was the point in playing renegade or paragon, saving the geth or doing all those loyalty missions? The crime is compounded by the fact that all three endings weren't even endings. We saw nothing of what happened to the galaxy at large, or the characters we know and love to explain the consequence of even that stupid ending choice. Three coloured energy beams, Normandy crash landing and an old man waxing lyrical about some nonsense that didn't vary.

The sad thing is that BW could have done it right. As recently as in TOR I can categorically state the can do endings.

Spoiler warning for spoilers ahead!
As an Imperial Agent in TOR, there are a number of endings to the agent storyline. I only found this out after finishing it and getting mine. Possibilities include:

Of the above, I got the first one. I didn't even consider that there were others really because it happened completely naturally and felt like the only real course of action that could have happened for my agent and the way I roleplayed him. Of the others, at the very end, a different choice made would have allowed me to end up with one, maybe two of the other possibilities. However at least two of the above, and others I believe exist but that I can't think of were NEVER an option because of choices I had made many hours of gameplay earlier. There was no "ending machine", the fact that character X was dead, or that I was an enemy of character Y meant that I could never have the possibility of that ending. That was BioWare and they got it absolutely spot on. It took my choices into account, I saw what happened next, I determined the course of the story and its conclusion.

Why did I go to all the trouble of saving the Geth if destroying the reapers means destroying them too? Why did I go to all the trouble of fighting to save organics if I'm going to "splice" them up? What did I do until that point that remotely suggested that's what I would want to do? And as the author said WhyTF didn't the reapers sincely splice organics/synthetics together at any point prior and end the cycle? Why don't they simply wipe out organics period, instead of leaving behind the primitve species each cycle? How did they even get there from dark space if Shepard closed off the two routes available? WhoTF was the ghost child and why hadn't he appeared until that point? Why did he even entertain Shepard and allow him to choose anything, if he, like the reapers simply wanted organics dead?

BioWare can, and should do better.

Asita:

Nimcha:

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

Actually no. The Catalyst's main point was that "the created rebel against the creators", which has not been demonstrated or even strongly implied in this cycle. In the case of the Mourning War, the quarians were the aggressors against the geth, and the latter were happy to leave well enough alone once their existence wasn't threatened. In a rather bizzare twist, the quarian-geth conflict rather neatly mirrors the Reapers. The Quarians attacked their synthetic creations because they were afraid of reprisal from those creations, despite the fact that they had displayed no aggression towards their creators, and Legion indicates that - even after the Quarians lost Rannoch - the Geth still bore them no ill-will.

The Reapers mirror the Quarians in this regard, culling the galaxy out of an almost identical fear of synthetic life rebelling despite it not being adequately demontrated[1] and shortsightedly fail to acknowledge other possibilities until it becomes apparent that their original plan isn't working.

On a tangent, there's a general rule in writing stories: "Show, don't tell". If you are reading a book, then a character shouldn't just say "By the way, this is an apocalyptic wasteland", that fact should be adequately demonstrated in how the author describes the landscape. Similarly, if that same line is said while the described scenery looks positively idlyllic, then it should be very obvious that something is wrong in this story. If we're to take both accounts at face value, then either the writer made a rather glaring error or the claimant should rightly be considered to have either impossibly high standards or be outright delusional. Alternatively, other hints in the story could very well use this disconnect to demonstrate that the character is an unreliable narrator. In the case of ME3, we are told that organics and synthetics are eternal enemies[2] but we are shown the exact opposite, that not only are organics and synthetics not natural enemies but that the synthetics are actually kinda fond of organics[3]. Given the two conflicting points of data, it's more natural to trust the events demonstrated than those you're told about through exposition from a questionable source.

Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creators. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out. The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When
the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.

EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.

Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.

[1] For the conclusion to truly be upheld as 'inevitible' rather than simply a possibility, they would need to be able to cite an incidence where synthetic life went on the omnicidal rampage the catalyst suggests
[2] By the Big Bad of the series, no less, who is by nature an unreliable narrator due to a vested interest in specific results
[3] EDI is the most obvious example, but the over the course of the series it's made very clear that the Geth had no interest in fighting unless threatened and Legion's file in Lair of the Shadow Broker indicated they'd go out of their way to aid organics given the chance. (Of particular note are his stats for the game "Geth Attack: Eden Prime Fundraising Edition": Donation Level: Ultra Platinum, Player Score: 0 (Purchased but not played))

Nimcha:
Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creaters. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out.

...That is not the thrust of the argument, and you know it. "Rebel" in the sense the Catalyst used it is laid out by the context of the rest of its argument to be a coup d'etat against organics.

Nimcha:
The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.

Which would be because of the actions of organics rather than synthetics. Much like you'd be ill-advised to blame a domestic abuse victim for the abusive spouse's actions, so too is it ill-advised to blame those acting in self-defense for the actions of their aggressors.

Nimcha:
EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.

...Why do you shift all the blame to EDI for that given that Shepherd was the one leading the expedition?

Nimcha:
Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.

And I argue that the conclusion is flawed and not adequately demonstrated to take as objective truth.

Asita:

Nimcha:
Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creaters. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out.

...That is not the thrust of the argument, and you know it. "Rebel" in the sense the Catalyst used it is laid out by the context of the rest of its argument to be a coup d'etat against organics.

Nimcha:
The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.

Which would be because of the actions of organics rather than synthetics. Much like you'd be ill-advised to blame a domestic abuse victim for the abusive spouse's actions, so too is it ill-advised to blame those acting in self-defense for the actions of their aggressors.

Nimcha:
EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.

...Why do you shift all the blame to EDI for that given that Shepherd was the one leading the expedition?

Nimcha:
Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.

And I argue that the conclusion is flawed and not adequately demonstrated to take as objective truth.

You keep hammering on 'blame', when I've already showed you that that's totally irrelevant. But let's take your reasoning then, organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics. That would only actually strenghten the Reapers' case. The organics are in that case indeed doomed without the Reapers' interference. Since, as you've been pointing out, organics will always initiate conflict with synthetics. And, as proven by the geth, they will react in self-defense. Hence, war. It's highly probable eventually the synthetics would get fed up with that and decide the only way to stop is to remove the threat altogether. That would be the rebelling.

So, even following your logic we'd eventually end up exactly at the same place.

Nimcha:

Pontifex:

Nimcha:

This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.

No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.

Ah indeed, good point.

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.

newdarkcloud:

Nimcha:

Pontifex:

No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.

Ah indeed, good point.

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.

Yeah, that's true. There's quite a large chance the geth would have stayed that way had the Reapers actually been just a myth. On the other hand, the chances of the quarians trying to take back their homeworld are much larger than that. Which would have prompted the geth again to respond. And they do eventually do that in ME3.

While I don't agree with some aspects of the article (personally I believe that the Starchild scene should be thrown out the windows and thus the Reapers maintain their Cthulesque Horror), the inclusion of the fourth option would seem to be the most economical one that is available to Bioware.

That being said, regardless of the outcome, Bioware will have lost its status as being the ultimate paragon of what is right in gaming. At least to me personally.

All in all, I think I've left the Mass Effect series a little more wiser and sober.

Nimcha:

newdarkcloud:

Nimcha:

Ah indeed, good point.

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.

You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.

Yeah, that's true. There's quite a large chance the geth would have stayed that way had the Reapers actually been just a myth. On the other hand, the chances of the quarians trying to take back their homeworld are much larger than that. Which would have prompted the geth again to respond. And they do eventually do that in ME3.

If the stated goal was to prevent the destruction of all organic life by synthetics, then why would Sovereign decide to bait Geth into fighting? Would it not have been easier to push for a treaty or an alliance between the two? We know that Reaper technology can be used to blend in with human society (the Mars mission at the beginning). It would make sense to broker peace if the goal is to avoid the death of all organic life.

Finally, a games journalist who understands the issue with the ending and doesn't babble on about "art".

You deserve a cupcake.

If the stated goal was to prevent the destruction of all organic life by synthetics, then why would Sovereign decide to bait Geth into fighting? Would it not have been easier to push for a treaty or an alliance between the two? We know that Reaper technology can be used to blend in with human society (the Mars mission at the beginning). It would make sense to broker peace if the goal is to avoid the death of all organic life.

Or better yet introduce the three laws of robotics

Nimcha:
snip

Nimcha I've seen you post quite bit about the Reapers/Godchild being logically and usually you are quite on the ball so if I could try to argue against you, I would be very much grateful.

Foremost do you not believe that the God child seems to suffer from a dearth of imagination in that his position is mired in presumptions. He presumes all intelligent life will create synthetic and go to war with them. but this seems very flawed to me. I find it hard to imagine the Rachnai building synthetic life. With all the myriad forms of life that could evolve there is no reason to imagine one couldn't evolve which wouldn't find a solution to this problem. In short it comes across as arrogant and ethnocentric to me.

The second major problem I have with it is that if the Reapers are synthetic and the boy AI then then he is demonstrating that synthetic won't inevitably kill all biological life as the Reapers don't. So his position is flawed at the starting point. And if we assume that Reapers aren't synthetics then surely it means that synthetic life didn't wipe out all organic life at one point and as such he is wrong in a way that should be immediately known.

Just to lay my cards fully on the table, I currently despise the ending and see it as a robot war being shoehorned into soemthing it shouldn't of been so I am biased.

Dennis Scimeca:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

The ownership of a story belongs to its editor, as well.

Read Full Article

This is the best case for fan "ownership" that I've seen so far. Not in the sense that the fans have a "right" to this or that, but recognizing that BioWare has already set the precedent of inviting the player to the table to decide how the story goes.

There's nothing wrong with pointing out that this final choice has nothing to do with the other choices we've been offered so far.

A word on the game mechanics themselves, though:

One masterful moment in the ending sequence, to me, was the "death march" to the transport beam. Rather than just a dramatic cutscene, giving the player control during that last slo-mo stretch finally brought the weight of this event onto me as a player. I am Shepard, I am dying, and if I don't get to that beam, it's all over for everyone. Heroism and desperation must coincide to carry that kind of gravity.

And then it's undone by the massive shift in tone once on the Citadel. The mechanics go back to same-old-walk-and-talk. It's like a batter making a huge, dramatic wind-up... and then bunting. But also missing.

Nimcha:
You keep hammering on 'blame', when I've already showed you that that's totally irrelevant. But let's take your reasoning then, organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics. That would only actually strenghten the Reapers' case. The organics are in that case indeed doomed without the Reapers' interference. Since, as you've been pointing out, organics will always initiate conflict with synthetics. And, as proven by the geth, they will react in self-defense. Hence, war. It's highly probable eventually the synthetics would get fed up with that and decide the only way to stop is to remove the threat altogether. That would be the rebelling.

So, even following your logic we'd eventually end up exactly at the same place.

Well first of all, you've demonstrated nothing. You've made the claim but that itself does not make for a demonstration. Second, I 'hammer' on blame only because you seemed so eager to dish it out. When you say things like "EDI destroyed Cerberus", you are dishing out blame and in the process cherry picking data to support your argument, notably ignoring the fact that EDI was one of a group predominantly comprised of organics that was as a whole responsible for the action you credited to EDI alone. Third, you're presenting a strawman by claiming that my position is "organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics". I never made such a claim, what I did say was that the Catalyst's logic had no precidence in the story shown as none of the organic/synthetic conflict in question took the form of the omnicidal coup d'etat that the Catalyst claimed was inevitible, and that what we were shown actually pointed rather strongly to the idea that organics and synthetics could indeed get along. My argument was that what the story showed stood in stark contrast to what the Catalyst told us, which provides ample reason to cast doubt on its claims.

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