Blue Rose of Illium

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This comic is wonderful. Or better, beautiful. I say that if it's possible, make some more related to side stuff from the game, like that one girl trying to get her child taken care of at the Embassy.

Like 23 posts about the ending, 24 including this one. My head went kind of blurry near the end so there might be more or less. Facebook comments only had 7.

For perspective: I didn't read this comic because I didn't want spoilers to Mass Effect 3, as I intend to play it someday, most likely when I see a price drop. By now though, I probably know the ending flaw-for-flaw, so I wasn't afraid of subjecting myself to counting out each individual comment about the ending by scanning this entire comment thread. I still have no idea what exactly the comic spoiled, aside from the few comments saying something about emotions.

That's all I got to say. Take that as you will.

Nice little comic, loved the art work. Shame about the typo on #9 _

Amazing paintings.
I hate that little thing Grey wrote at the end but maybe that's just my intense bias against him so I can't think straight.

That quest was heart-rending.
This comic was too. It was awesome, and you guys are awesome too.

Only thing not ok was Garrus's fringe, which was way too short.

Very well done. I like the focus on the minor characters, Bioware did a good job of including them in ME3 if only in very bit parts.

Hell yea this was an awesome little story. Yea we all know the ending sucked, but when people say the whole game is bad just because of that I get annoyed since everything else was so great.

The art on the Ravagers is especially awesome.

When I was running around the Citadel in ME3 I found the Asari wife and I clearly remembered her from ME2. So later in the Rachni caves I found a dead Krogan with a poem it took me about 5 seconds to put 2 and 2 together. I was legitimately sad. That Korgan poet just wanted to live with his wife and write poetry and those jerks at Bioware had a Husk treat his skull like a pinjata. So damn sad. It really was a memorable moment in gaming.

Almost as memorable as when I learned the fate of the Petrovsky family and Conrad Verner. You may remember them as the mother and uncle from ME1 who had to with baby Jake, and the fanboy.
And you remember how right before you go up the Citadel Grav lift at the end. Yea.... Marauder Shields killed toddler Jake (Conrad tries and fails to save him) and then turned Conrad, Michael and Rebekah Petrovsky into Husks and they are the three Husks you kill right before going into the Citadel Lift.
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Probably.

Irridium:
Uh... I think you want Grey, not me.

All I did was link to another comic relating to the ending.

Really? Weird. Must've clicked 'quote for the wrong post. Apologies.

evilthecat:
No, you didn't.

The joke which you're not getting is based on comic irony. It establishes a preposition and then reveals it to be false, deriving comic effect from the breaking of expectation between what the viewer initially perceived and reality.

In this case, the comic opens with the aforementioned accusation, which is then revealed to be part of a cynical (and fictional) marketing campaign to sell T-shirts. It's a satire on how a collective outpouring of emotion, like RME, can be exploited for financial gain.

Seriously, there is nothing worse than explaining a joke, and this joke should not require me to explain it.

That would make sense...if not for a couple things.

1) It goes against half of the other content posted by regulars of this site back when they were giving their two-cents on the subject. Yahtzee wrote about how great the endings were based on the underlying themes of the series, Moviebob ranted about the value of artistic integrity and how it rendered the endings impervious to fan input, etc. In other words, pattern recognition would paint this as more of the same, and the little paragraph below that normally provides more details amounts to a 'U mad bro?' in bullet format.

2) You talk about how RME was "exploited for financial gain." I'm not entirely sure how you think Child's Play works, but it certainly isn't a way for someone to make a profit from other people's outrage.

3) You're ending it by saying that you're "explaining a joke." That would require there to be a joke first. If it was meant to be funny, then it didn't do a very good job of it. Most jokes aren't built as "Insult Insult Insult Punchline," especially when they're told at a time when that insult is going around an awful lot without any intended irony. If you spend 75% of the setup offending your audience (or at least a big chunk of it), you're probably not going to make them laugh even if it's a legitimately good punchline.

evilthecat:
Alright, so maybe you're still really hurt. But that's not an excuse, is it?

I can understand all the rant threads. But dude.. this is 3 months down the line, it's totally unrelated, the guy even specifically addressed your position within the piece itself. Do you still have to throw this shit at people when it's not related? Are you that self absorbed that it honestly makes you feel better?

...right, maybe you missed the part where I related it to the comic. Because that was a rather integral part of my original post. And it probably helped that the guy attempting to pluck at our heartstrings was also the one who published the etc, etc, moving on.

evilthecat:
One more time, since you clearly have trouble believing this. I did not like the ending. What happened is that I got over it. I found that I didn't have to writhe around on the floor three months down the line still screaming at everyone who dares to bring up mass effect. I found that I could put my feelings about the ending to one side and appreciate the fun which I had had without abrogating either experience.

See above.

evilthecat:
And thus, when Grey here goes to the trouble to co-produce a really excellent piece of art and distribute it free for my entertainment, I find I have the basic decency to do as is specifically requested and leave my issues with the ending at the door long enough to appreciate it. That it not too much to ask.

Right, again, I can live with lousy 'endings' to series. I enjoyed Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs without even bothering to go past a few dozen pages in either of the other two, because they were just hundreds of pages of Hannibal Lecter gruesomely murdering people. They didn't affect the ones I liked, and that's what was important.

Did you know there was almost a sequel to Casablanca? It was almost made, too. It would've revealed that Rick and Renault were American agents the whole time, undermining literally every action they took or, perhaps more importantly, didn't take during the original. It would've done other stupid, stupid things, but the one I mentioned stood out for me for the same reason ME3's ending has a special place in my Hall of Infamy. It wasn't just bad: it was retroactively bad, and did so after a stellar first installment. At least prior to yesterday, the endings of ME3 were brightly colored variations of "Rock falls, all die."

evilthecat:
See, what's actually bad about the ending is that it tells us almost nothing. It doesn't explain whether the galaxy adapts to the loss of all the reaper tech. It doesn't explain the fate of the population, or indeed any individual characters within the population.

1) We saw the detonation of a mass relay in The Arrival. It looked like a sun going supernova.

2) We blew up the Citadel. Even if there were survivors (in spite of the mounds of mutilated corpses), it still exploded.

3) Until yesterday, nobody who was in the Sol system left it when the Catalyst went off. Ergo, nobody left it, except Joker, because (again, until yesterday) he's apparently a cowardly deserter. Because even if they survived the apocalyptic supernova, their ships aren't capable of independent FTL travel.

So yes, on one level, you're right: the lack of information was horrible. The next level up, however, is the one where we're supposed to fill in the blanks with conjecture based on information we already know. I didn't assume that everything worked out just fine in spite of the lack of information because seemingly every piece of info we're given prior to that point indicated otherwise.

evilthecat:
But no, that simple ignorance can't possibly do justice to quite how awful this whole experience is for you people, so instead you simply insert your own version of events based on imagination.

Replace 'imagination' with 'evidence presented by the writers' and you're spot on.

evilthecat:
However, what you have conveniently forgotten is that you are not a writer. Your youtube buddies are not writers. The actual writers employed by Bioware could systematically wipe out every little theory and piece of speculation you have about the setting by simply saying that something different happens. They may well do so in about a weeks time.

Oh, the wonderful appeal to authority. If I'm posting criticism of a pair of writers online, then my criticism obviously is completely invalid because I'm not being paid to write it. Tell me: what is it that makes fan speculation less valid than creator silence? Because that's like saying that the work of an amateur craftsman will always be inferior to the non-work of a more experienced one. Or maybe this is just a variation of the "If you don't like it, why haven't you done something better" argument.

But that being said, I'm offended that you claim I'm not a writer. I've written many things! Surely you've heard of Julius Caesar and Macbeth? Because I can claim with just as much validity to be the ghost of William Shakespeare as you can claim that I, with absolute certainty, am not a writer.

evilthecat:
That wouldn't mean you have to accept it. It may be that suspension of disbelief has been permanently ruined for you, and fair enough. But the point is that noone is obligated to care about what you think, no theory you produce or idea you come up with has any bearing whatsoever on Mass Effect, and it never will.

Ah, and therein lies the inherent hypocrisy: I'm allowed to have my opinion on a subject, as long as I never relate it to a discussion of said subject for fear of raining on your parade. Because otherwise, you'll be forced to drop everything to tell me, at length, how little you care about what I'm saying.

I'm a bit confused now, though. If no one is obligated to care about what I think (which is true), why are you going to such lengths to hammer that in? Or is this the part where you reveal that you're my Tyler Durden-esque alter ego?

...come to think of it, that would actually seal this argument for you quite nicely.

evilthecat:
This is why your argument has not been taken seriously (beyond your utter failure to realize what is and isn't an appropriate forum for your bitching) because it's not a real argument. A real argument would be to point out that the ending is inadequate because it is not conclusive, because it doesn't provide any detail, because it is full of plot holes.

I remember three particularly noticeable plotholes, and they were all technically just one type of plothole: How did Person X get to Location Y? It happens with Anderson, the Illusive Man, and your squadmates after Harbinger attacks. Unless you count bad writing as a plothole, I can't think of many more beyond that. I suppose you can count the Catalyst's physical appearance, too, but that's about it.

evilthecat:
But that wouldn't be enough for you, so you have to insert events which weren't even mentioned in the ending and then you honestly expect anyone to take you seriously when you've clearly based your opinion on things you have imagined.

Okay then, let's take one part of my 'imaginary' argument: Ereba's status at the end of the game. Now, you would say that we have absolutely no way of knowing what happened to her because we didn't specifically get an email saying she died. I would say:

-She was living on the Citadel.

-The Citadel was invaded by Reapers.

-The next time we see the Citadel, it was filled with mutilated corpses.

-And then we blow up the Citadel.

-And we blow up the mass relays. Thessia is not accessible from Sol by any means other than mass relay travel.

I say that we have reasonable grounds to believe that she died, and we're presented to evidence to the contrary. What's your counterargument? Is she Shroedainger's Character? Both alive and dead until we get an email telling us which one?

evilthecat:
But I'm aware I'm feeding the trolls here and probably making it worse, so unless the response is mindblowing I suspect this will be my last word on the subject. Maybe give it some thought though, you might earn more sympathy.

...hang on, what? Earn sympathy from who? How? That doesn't make any sense.

Warachia:
Okay, I have just one question, WHY DID YOU WRITE ANY OF THIS? This isn't even remotely related to the ending (the commic, if you want to talk about his comment say so and he never tried to join the supporters to retake mass effect), this is incredibly late as well, why even bother trying to dig up stuff on the guy as opposed to stuff he puts out now,

Because I think that people should be judged on the actions of their recent past, especially if they provide context to their actions in the present.

Warachia:
unless they are connected, which these aren't.

I brought up an opinion he had on the ME3 ending in the discussion of a comic he did in which he posts a fair aside about the ME3 ending.

Yeah. Totally unrelated.

Warachia:
Even more confusing, you are not the devils advocate, you are not defending something everyone else is demonizing,

Nice job Googling "Devil's Advocate." You even had the sense to look at the secondary definition, rather than calling me out for not being the appointed defender for someone being put on trial.

Unfortunately, you didn't really get the nuances of the term. Playing devil's advocate can be as simple as taking the opposing side of something for argument's sake, or simply arguing for an unpopular point of view because it warrants representation.

Warachia:
you are crying about events that have no relation to this one, and finally, if you don't care, then what is the point of writing a comment saying that you don't care?

I'll just stop you right there, because it's almost hilariously clear that you missed the point of my post. If you can't tell the difference between posts reading "I don't care about Mass Effect" and "I'm pissed that the ending took away the emotional investment I had in Mass Effect," then it ain't my duty to explain it.

Char-Nobyl:

Warachia:
Okay, I have just one question, WHY DID YOU WRITE ANY OF THIS? This isn't even remotely related to the ending (the commic, if you want to talk about his comment say so and he never tried to join the supporters to retake mass effect), this is incredibly late as well, why even bother trying to dig up stuff on the guy as opposed to stuff he puts out now,

Because I think that people should be judged on the actions of their recent past, especially if they provide context to their actions in the present.

Then how do you define "recent past"? to me the past stops being recent for a person past a month, and I recall he said (in a different message, probably in the comments of the one you linked) that he also hated the ending, he just didn't think we had the right to demand a change, he also never asks the ending to be changed in this comic, he only said it sucked, you were looking at something he said, and inferring what was never intended.

Char-Nobyl:

Warachia:
unless they are connected, which these aren't.

I brought up an opinion he had on the ME3 ending in the discussion of a comic he did in which he posts a fair aside about the ME3 ending.

Yeah. Totally unrelated.

I meant unrelated as in having no relation to the comic on hand, besides that, the opinion on the ending there, and here, have remained the same.

Char-Nobyl:

Warachia:
Even more confusing, you are not the devils advocate, you are not defending something everyone else is demonizing,

Nice job Googling "Devil's Advocate." You even had the sense to look at the secondary definition, rather than calling me out for not being the appointed defender for someone being put on trial.

Unfortunately, you didn't really get the nuances of the term. Playing devil's advocate can be as simple as taking the opposing side of something for argument's sake, or simply arguing for an unpopular point of view because it warrants representation.

Again, you aren't the devils advocate here, you aren't arguing for an unpopular view (if you were I wouldn't have called you out on it) being the devils advocate would mean defending the unpopular ending, or defending the game when it first came out despite the ending, last time I checked, people didn't like the ending, and you aren't defending it, you are arguing with people who you could probably agree with if you and them didn't seem to have more fun arguing.

Incidentally, I didn't Google it, I just thought what the easiest way to explain it's definition would be.

Char-Nobyl:

Warachia:
you are crying about events that have no relation to this one, and finally, if you don't care, then what is the point of writing a comment saying that you don't care?

I'll just stop you right there, because it's almost hilariously clear that you missed the point of my post. If you can't tell the difference between posts reading "I don't care about Mass Effect" and "I'm pissed that the ending took away the emotional investment I had in Mass Effect," then it ain't my duty to explain it.

My problem is you start by saying the ending made you not care, I'm not psychic, I can't just know what context you mean, I can't just know "I don't care about the good stuff like this because the ending was terrible" means "the ending pisses me off and overshadows everything else". If you had said something across those lines you wouldn't have come across as feeling indifferent.

Warachia:
Then how do you define "recent past"? to me the past stops being recent for a person past a month,

For me, it's six months at the absolute least, and that's for minor things (like this). If it's for something bigger (projects, money, etc), then it can go back as far as a year.

Warachia:
and I recall he said (in a different message, probably in the comments of the one you linked) that he also hated the ending, he just didn't think we had the right to demand a change, he also never asks the ending to be changed in this comic, he only said it sucked, you were looking at something he said, and inferring what was never intended.

No, Moviebob said we didn't have the right to demand a change. Carter said that anyone who demanded a change was a crybaby pussy. There's a difference there.

Warachia:
I meant unrelated as in having no relation to the comic on hand, besides that, the opinion on the ending there, and here, have remained the same.

But the tone has dramatically shifted: it's gone from saying that the ending sucked as a minor footnote in a later strip while insulting everyone who was visibly outraged by it to acting as though it's something unfortunate that we can all get along about while enjoying what lead up to it.

Warachia:
Again, you aren't the devils advocate here, you aren't arguing for an unpopular view (if you were I wouldn't have called you out on it) being the devils advocate would mean defending the unpopular ending, or defending the game when it first came out despite the ending, last time I checked, people didn't like the ending, and you aren't defending it, you are arguing with people who you could probably agree with if you and them didn't seem to have more fun arguing.

That's...completely wrong. Why on Earth would there be only one specific type of argument to be made when you're playing devil's advocate? That's like saying a lawyer is only truly playing devil's advocate if he argues that the plaintiff deserved whatever crime the defendant inflicted on them instead of, say, arguing that the defendant didn't do anything.

Warachia:
Incidentally, I didn't Google it, I just thought what the easiest way to explain it's definition would be.

And you were partially right: I would be playing etc etc if I were arguing that the ME3 endings were actually good...but that's an absurdly specific argument and by no means the only one to be made here.

Warachia:
My problem is you start by saying the ending made you not care, I'm not psychic, I can't just know what context you mean, I can't just know "I don't care about the good stuff like this because the ending was terrible" means "the ending pisses me off and overshadows everything else". If you had said something across those lines you wouldn't have come across as feeling indifferent.

You're describing two completely different things. And, because it's easiest, I'll just quote myself: "A terrible ending is easy to make. An ending so terrible to a series so amazing that it robs me of my investment in that universe? That's so much worse."

How did you not get my point? I outright said that I was shocked when I didn't feel any desire to replay the game. It wasn't that the ending was merely bad. That award goes to the revised endings. It was that the ending was such a specific sort of bad that it retroactively took away any motive I had to try and play differently.

Awwwww thats so sad, the asari kid on page 8 was headbutting awww.

Awesome!!!! This really hits on the things that made this game series the best.

Char-Nobyl:

How did you not get my point? I outright said that I was shocked when I didn't feel any desire to replay the game. It wasn't that the ending was merely bad. That award goes to the revised endings. It was that the ending was such a specific sort of bad that it retroactively took away any motive I had to try and play differently.

And yet... you're here... complaining and whining like a spoiled brat about it in a comments thread that has NOTHING to do with it.

This is beautifully done, I love being able to see into these small moments, and you orchestrated this perfectly. Beautiful artwork and even more lovely story.

Thomas Knapp:
And yet... you're here... complaining and whining like a spoiled brat about it in a comments thread that has NOTHING to do with it.

Instead of trying to explain what words like "retroactively" mean to you, I'll just have a laugh that you swooped in a month late to an argument thinking that the one thing this argument was missing was poorly thought-out ad hominem attacks.

Thank you for this.

Wow...this is just plain amazing. Great work.

Your thought on the ending and the rest of the game mirror mine, but you put them together in a much better way.

Grey Carter:
Blue Rose of Illium

The writer of Critical Miss brings you an unofficial tale from the Mass Effect universe.

Read Full Article

That was vbeautiful,man. Looks like the offical comics as well. Good Job.

this is amazing o.O
and I remember that quest from ME2

I actually just finished ME3, and while the ending wasn't the best it could've been...I don't hate or dislike it even
cuz the game was just that good. still made me love and appreciate the series as a whole...and all the characters in it

Waaay late to the party but the first time I saw this I didn't read it because I didn't know anything about Mass Effect at the time; now having played 1 and part enough through 2 to have seen the touching bit on Illium where the Krogan ex-boyfriend tries to woo the indecisive asari with his poetry, I can say that this is excellent.

I don't know how I missed this but the second one on the site was posted today and a link to this was provided.

More comics like this please! Maybe set in other game verses too. :o

As someone who aspires to be a comic artist but has a chronic lack of a work ethic, the artwork in this comic is verybloodygood (yes, that's a technical term!) and the whole thing is handled beautifully. As has been said before, there are simply too many untold stories to tell in the games but that's not to say that they cannot be told through other mediums. I hope to see many more of these kinds of comic based on the Mass Effect universe - very good job all round!

Where has this been hiding? You need to do more stuff like this. That was absolutely gorgeous! I've only played part of ME1 so far, so the fact that I came to care about these characters just through your comic says a lot. Please do more comics like this.

I feel like Salarians would use shorter words. Not dumb down their speech, but definitely the shortest word that conveys the right idea.

Their race only live to be 40 or so and the game always describes them as the quick thinkers. Other races were always "slow" to them. I think efficiency would be more honored than using big words.

Thoroughly enjoyed this comic though, especially since it made me realize he was the same Krogan poet.

I come back to re-read this comic every 6-12 months. It makes me reminisce and recall all those really, really good moments in the trilogy. :-)

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