Mass Effect 3 Actors Come Back For More

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Innegativeion:

WanderingFool:

Sixcess:

Personally if I was Bioware I'd just break the 4th wall and just insert a sequence where the various characters argue about what the hell just happened over the closing credits - director's commentary style.

...I love you...

But seriously, that would actually be worth a couple bucks, IMO, just for the lulz.

Hell yes.

Commander Shepard Version of

NOW! Make it happen!!!

Hell, re-watching this video, I realized that replacing Shinji's voice with the commander's, the video almost makes perfect sense in the context of mass effect!

I actually did mentally replace Shinji's voice with that of Male Shep, and promptly fell out of my chair laughing. Yes, that is exactly what we need for ME3.

The cat's out of the bag: turns out it isn't the ending that's being changed in an upcoming update, but the Game Over screen.

Well, I'll be interested to see what they do. I didn't like the endings at all, but I was also against changing them, since people should be allowed to make mistakes. Also, changing it would have felt like a hollow victory - them just giving what some fans scream for the loudest, and that wouldn't have been any good.

If they expand the ending, then it wouldn't be so bad, I guess. I suppose they were going to let subsequent games delve into the effects the ending had on the galaxy, but that wasn't a wise move.

Mildly interested to see what they come up with, but I'm damn certain they'll end up pleasing few fans.

Arcadian Legend:

Antonio Torrente:
This will just divide the fanbase even more and like someone already said above will do more harm than good.

Let's face it, Bioware will never give us the satisfying ending we want, and it's just gonna be be a patch up work they made in what a weekend?

I'm hoping to be wrong in this, but judging with the games I played this year and last year with flashy AAA games that when the excitement passes and you will begin to see the glaring flaws and the disappointments that follows. Examples are Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, so you can't but feel a bit pessimistic of what will they give us.

If they are gonna release this summer, can they give a definitive date so we don't have to guess.

Wait, following that logic, if they were able to make it in just a weekend, wouldn't it be available for download ages ago? It's been a good while since they announced the EC.

What I meant was the "Extended Cut" that they will give us is a kind of a rushed job and will add more questions than answers. And I don't literally mean that they will just do it in a weekend.

Of course I still hoping that I'm wrong with what I said.

I realize I'm making a mistake here by letting myself feel some hope...
I was kind of disappointed that I didn't see Hale's name though. Oh well.

Dear BioWare:

insanelich:
This ending doesn't fit into the story. And not surprising, given that the writing staff changed between ME2 and ME3.

Oh, I don't contest that at all - as I've said, there's no question that from a purely technical, narratological view, the ending is a dud. I just don't understand why people are pushing for Indoctrination Theory when it doesn't solve the problem, so much as create an artificial means through which the problem can be solved in some other way...

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
Let's be clear here: Indoctrination Theory won't solve or fix anything. At best it loops the player back to before the Citadel sequence - in that way it's even less of an ending than what we already have.

It doesn't provide any satisfying resolution, but it makes total sense out of the entire ending that we've seen so far. Almost every loose end is tied up. And yeah, it's open-ended by itself, but if IT is correct then it was always going to be followed up by an epilogue... which is what we're about to see as free DLC. ;)

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
And it's ultimately unnecessary. IT sprung up as a tool BioWare could use if they wanted to insert a completely different ending - a "real" ending, as it were - after the RGB sequence. That's not going to happen, so what use would IT be on its own?

Except it isn't a totally different ending. Not at all. It's an interpretation, one that is based upon numerous in-game and real-life indicators that something similar to IT had always been planned. Bioware keeps talking about "artistic integrity" and people keep giving them shit for their stubbornness... but nobody ever stops to think that maybe we don't have the full picture, or that Bioware may benefit in the long run from all the attention and press their ending has generated...

Kingjackl:
The problem with the Indoctrination Theory is that it would be a great and intelligent twist...if there was actually any sort of in-game payoff. If we accept that Indoctrination Theory is true, then what does that actually mean? Shepard is still either dead or dying, the Illusive Man is still up on the Citadel desparately trying to convince himself he's doing the right thing, Hammer Force is wiped out, the fleets are being decimated and the Crucible ain't going anywhere anytime soon. If Bioware really did intend to do a twist like that, they would have shown the outcome and given it proper closure.

Whereas the 'official' ending, despite being a poorly presented rush job (the sort of thing the EC would be best suited to fixing) makes things much clearer. The Reapers are defeated in one of three methods, all of which have their own pros and cons, meaning the choice comes down to more than just 'top left blue = win'. The cycle is broken, Shepard lives or dies a hero and the survivng races are united. It's overall a more optimistic ending for the series than IT, which really just comes down to "okay, that one was all just a dream, try not to get too upset".

I agree, but you have to remember that the EC is going to "clarify existing endings"... if IT or something similar is actually on the money, then there's our closure. :)

Judging by the sound of it, they're putting a fair bit of effort into the EC (which is free, meaning they want everyone to see it). So I don't think it'll just be a few tacked on cutscenes, hopefully it'll include gameplay as well.

Besides, you ever see the Renegade cutscene where Shepard awakes in the pile of rubble at the very end of the game? That's a massive hint that what we saw wasn't actually full closure...

SpiderJerusalem:
I'm confused that ANYONE would want the incredibly retarded Indoctrination Theory to be true. It reads like one of the dumbest, most convoluted fan fictions I've ever read and worse than the infamous Dallas episode of years back.

In fact, I'd be satisfied with the crappy and nonsensical ending to Mass Effect 3 as it is, if the other option would be taking the asinine fanboy diarrhea that they're pushing.

I'd love to hear your counter arguments... :)

Kingjackl:
That's still not getting past the fact that it didn't actually happen. How does s/he go from being passed out on the floor in the Citadel control room to suddenly being back on the ground waiting to 'finish the fight'?

The current theory is that the hallucination/indoctrination attempt begins when Shepard is knocked out by the laser (which never actually hits him/her directly). Nothing after that (entering the beam, walking through the Citadel, talking to Anderson and TIM, listening to starchild, etc) actually happens. It's all in Shepard's head from there on out, until he wakes up in the Renegade ending.

Kingjackl:
Also, if you accept the idea that all the Catalyst stuff didn't happen, then what's the point of giving us the three choices at the end? People make jokes about the whole Red/Green/Blue thing, but the actual choices themselves and the benefits and consequences that come with them are all morally grey, meaning you actually have to rationalise them, which is more than can be said for most of the choices in the Mass Effect series.

Because they're designed to appeal to Shepard... ie., you, the player.

The fact that the choices have contextual relevance or meaning doesn't necessarily make them real... that's the ingenuity of it. If we think they're real, then Shepard thinks they're real... and he's successfully manipulated by Harbinger. We have to take the initiative and realise the symbolism of each choice and it's greater relevance (control = TIM, synthesis = Saren, renegade = your driving goal all along, throughout all three games).

Here are two videos that will hopefully explain IT better than I ever could. ;)

I_am_a_Spoon:
It doesn't provide any satisfying resolution, but it makes total sense out of the entire ending that we've seen so far. Almost every loose end is tied up. And yeah, it's open-ended by itself, but if IT is correct then it was always going to be followed up by an epilogue... which is what we're about to see as free DLC. ;)

The counter-argument to that is if we're getting an epilogue, we don't actually need IT at all. It's an unnecessary Shyamalan-esque "twist" that's more about negation than contribution, because for all the interpretations and "evidence", IT ultimately accomplishes exactly one thing: writing out the Star Child. Which, great, I hated that little twit, but it doesn't add anything in terms of content. From a narrative standpoint, it's completely useless unless something else is attached to it. The simpler solution would just be to recontextualize what they already have - and, as has already been indicated, there are ways to salvage the existing ending without changing a single word of the original script.

Except it isn't a totally different ending. Not at all. It's an interpretation, one that is based upon numerous in-game and real-life indicators that something similar to IT had always been planned. Bioware keeps talking about "artistic integrity" and people keep giving them shit for their stubbornness... but nobody ever stops to think that maybe we don't have the full picture, or that Bioware may benefit in the long run from all the attention and press their ending has generated...

BioWare uses "artistic integrity" because that's the only defense they could have used in the face of story-based (rather than gameplay-based) criticisms. As for IT always being planned, the original ending provided by Drew Karpyshyn before his departure had nothing to do with indoctrination either.

And long-term benefit? Really? There are exactly two possible reactions to the EC based on what it contains: it will either fail to address the flaws of the original ending, in which case we'll get a repeat of the previous backlash, or it will deliver the ending ME3 should have had to begin with, in which case fans will be mollified.

Neither will change the fact that ME3's been a webcomics punchline for months. It won't change what happened, nor will it change the fact that we needed to wait three to six months for a satisfying conclusion. Even if the EC delivers everything we hope for, even if it gives us the emotional/thematic denouement we spent three games reaching for, the question will still be asked: if BioWare had it in them to deliver a proper ending all along, why didn't they just do so from the start?

pilouuuu:

soren7550:
This is kind of old news. Sbarge reported on Twitter (along with several other ME3 voice actors) that they were heading back to the VO booth to record new lines some time ago.

Admiral Hackett talking about the matter is not old news...

True, but the fact that a bunch of the other VOs are going back to the booth isn't.

capatcha: lunchtime
Indeed it is! I better eat something. *eyes boyfriend*

Fappy:
I really hope they insert a Marauder Shields joke.

I really hope they don't. Calibration jokes were pathetic enough.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

I_am_a_Spoon:
Indoctrination theory.

Oy, here we go again.

Let's be clear here: Indoctrination Theory won't solve or fix anything. At best it loops the player back to before the Citadel sequence - in that way it's even less of an ending than what we already have.

And it's ultimately unnecessary. IT sprung up as a tool BioWare could use if they wanted to insert a completely different ending - a "real" ending, as it were - after the RGB sequence. That's not going to happen, so what use would IT be on its own?

That's just the point, the true beauty of the IT! It's a perfectly legitimate and sound way to effectively remove that entire Citadel sequence from existence. IT may not be an ending in itself but it does remove the part of the game that is so loathed.

If the other Mass Effect fans are anything like myself, they would most like IT to be true because it would mean that Bioware didn't screw up and it still gives us hope that the game can still be great despite what has happened so far. IT would mean that the game doesn't have to be CHANGED to have a better ending, it simply means more would need to be ADDED. That way Bioware's artistic integrity remains intact and the insatiable fans get even more Mass Effect. Everyone wins.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

I_am_a_Spoon:
It doesn't provide any satisfying resolution, but it makes total sense out of the entire ending that we've seen so far. Almost every loose end is tied up. And yeah, it's open-ended by itself, but if IT is correct then it was always going to be followed up by an epilogue... which is what we're about to see as free DLC. ;)

The counter-argument to that is if we're getting an epilogue, we don't actually need IT at all. It's an unnecessary Shyamalan-esque "twist" that's more about negation than contribution, because for all the interpretations and "evidence", IT ultimately accomplishes exactly one thing: writing out the Star Child.

It isn't just a patch-up or unnecessary twist. It puts the entire ME3 narrative into a whole new league of sophistication and execution, vastly better than any generic but satisfying ending we might have been happy with on the disc. It would give ME3 one of the most original and intelligent endings in science fiction history, and constitute successful meta-gaming on a global scale.

It would also, as a result, reinvigorate Bioware's reputation and bring back fans who might have mistaken what was actually a veiled cliffhanger for bad quality, as well as reach the ears of every gamer out there (who hasn't heard about the shitty ending?) and motivate them to pick up the series (knowing that the trilogy you're about to buy has one of the most mind-blowing endings in video game history is a hell of an incentive).

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

I_am_a_Spoon:
Except it isn't a totally different ending. Not at all. It's an interpretation, one that is based upon numerous in-game and real-life indicators that something similar to IT had always been planned. Bioware keeps talking about "artistic integrity" and people keep giving them shit for their stubbornness... but nobody ever stops to think that maybe we don't have the full picture, or that Bioware may benefit in the long run from all the attention and press their ending has generated...

BioWare uses "artistic integrity" because that's the only defense they could have used in the face of story-based (rather than gameplay-based) criticisms. As for IT always being planned, the original ending provided by Drew Karpyshyn before his departure had nothing to do with indoctrination either.

But like I said, maybe we don't fully understand what they mean by artistic integrity yet. They might have a very good reason for being stubborn about it. ;)

And apparently the team did throw around indoctrination as a possible ending (alongside others), but figured that it wouldn't mesh well with their gameplay if implemented...

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
And long-term benefit? Really? There are exactly two possible reactions to the EC based on what it contains: it will either fail to address the flaws of the original ending, in which case we'll get a repeat of the previous backlash, or it will deliver the ending ME3 should have had to begin with, in which case fans will be mollified.

Or it could deliver way more than what most people are expecting...

Not saying I have unconditional faith in Bioware, but you don't need to be so pessimistic. :)

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
Neither will change the fact that ME3's been a webcomics punchline for months. It won't change what happened, nor will it change the fact that we needed to wait three to six months for a satisfying conclusion. Even if the EC delivers everything we hope for, even if it gives us the emotional/thematic denouement we spent three games reaching for, the question will still be asked: if BioWare had it in them to deliver a proper ending all along, why didn't they just do so from the start?

Well, nobody other than Bioware can answer that. And they might be able to, you never know.

Maybe this is all one big experiment. Maybe a delayed epilogue is something they wanted to try out. Maybe they wanted to manipulate the gaming world in a way that's never been done before as a publicity stunt. We'll just have to wait and see if they cough up a decent explanation.

Antonio Torrente:

Arcadian Legend:

Antonio Torrente:
This will just divide the fanbase even more and like someone already said above will do more harm than good.

Let's face it, Bioware will never give us the satisfying ending we want, and it's just gonna be be a patch up work they made in what a weekend?

I'm hoping to be wrong in this, but judging with the games I played this year and last year with flashy AAA games that when the excitement passes and you will begin to see the glaring flaws and the disappointments that follows. Examples are Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, so you can't but feel a bit pessimistic of what will they give us.

If they are gonna release this summer, can they give a definitive date so we don't have to guess.

Wait, following that logic, if they were able to make it in just a weekend, wouldn't it be available for download ages ago? It's been a good while since they announced the EC.

What I meant was the "Extended Cut" that they will give us is a kind of a rushed job and will add more questions than answers. And I don't literally mean that they will just do it in a weekend.

Of course I still hoping that I'm wrong with what I said.

Oh wait I get what you're getting at now. Yeah, hopefully they won't do a rush job.

Captcha: oh, wait (O.o)

wooty:
Coooooome ooooooon yooouuuu indoctrinationtheory!

Be fun if it was real.

It is real. However, it still means the game ends without you actually beating the Reapers.

nathan-dts:

wooty:
Coooooome ooooooon yooouuuu indoctrinationtheory!

Be fun if it was real.

It is real. However, it still means the game ends without you actually beating the Reapers.

Any expanded ending will be welcome in my book, some closure admidst the speculation.

As Ozzy Osbourne said, "I'm just a dreamer".

Proverbial Jon:
That's just the point, the true beauty of the IT! It's a perfectly legitimate and sound way to effectively remove that entire Citadel sequence from existence. IT may not be an ending in itself but it does remove the part of the game that is so loathed.

How does that solve anything? Again, IT is worthless in any scenario that doesn't involve the addition of a completely new ending. If you're pinning your hopes on that, you'll be disappointed, simply because it would take BioWare substantially less effort to work with what they already have.

And that's setting aside the fact that as a player, you'd still have to play through the entire Citadel sequence to even reach a theoretical IT point.

If the other Mass Effect fans are anything like myself, they would most like IT to be true because it would mean that Bioware didn't screw up and it still gives us hope that the game can still be great despite what has happened so far. IT would mean that the game doesn't have to be CHANGED to have a better ending, it simply means more would need to be ADDED. That way Bioware's artistic integrity remains intact and the insatiable fans get even more Mass Effect. Everyone wins.

It sounds to me more like IT is the only scenario that magically gets BioWare "off the hook", which... yeah, sorry, as a gamer and a storyteller I have zero interest in the company's reputation. They got lazy at the 11th hour, they put out a subpar ending, they earned an unprecedented backlash as a result, and now they're doing what they can to remedy the situation. I give them points for understanding that something needed to be done, and I'll give them more points if they actually pull it off, but that's as far as it goes.

I_am_a_Spoon:
It isn't just a patch-up or unnecessary twist. It puts the entire ME3 narrative into a whole new league of sophistication and execution, vastly better than any generic but satisfying ending we might have been happy with on the disc. It would give ME3 one of the most original and intelligent endings in science fiction history, and constitute successful meta-gaming on a global scale.

What?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllJustADream

Even if we were to limit ourselves to science fiction endings in which the climactic events are revealed or implied to be a product of the protagonist's mind, that list would include Total Recall, The Butterfly Effect, Vanilla Sky, Brazil, possibly The Matrix, Inception, the occasional Star Trek episode... that's just off the top of my head. So no, it's not the least bit original.

Intelligent? That depends entirely on what follows it - fans of Indoctrination Theory don't seem to understand that even if it's implemented, there's no guarantee that the "real" ending would be any better than the current one. You're actually asking for two different things here: that IT invalidates the Star Child scenes and that some other ending delivers what we should've had the first time around. These two things are totally unrelated: having IT doesn't automatically mean that the "new" conclusion does what it's supposed to do.

It would also, as a result, reinvigorate Bioware's reputation and bring back fans who might have mistaken what was actually a veiled cliffhanger for bad quality, as well as reach the ears of every gamer out there (who hasn't heard about the shitty ending?) and motivate them to pick up the series (knowing that the trilogy you're about to buy has one of the most mind-blowing endings in video game history is a hell of an incentive).

"Mistaken"? Are you serious? They published a game. The game had a fantastic story and a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad ending. Those are the facts, that's what actually happened. BioWare had no reason to withhold some imaginary "true ending", especially after the PR beating they took. You honestly think they would've risked real damage to the IP for some experiment in meta-gaming? Commercial entities don't work that way.

And here's the thing: even if the scenario you're describing were remotely possible, they would've had the "real ending" finished and ready to go before things like Retake ME3 started. The fact that they're just now pulling in voice actors and getting the material together (to say nothing of delaying the rumored Omega DLC) indicates that they had nothing planned. This isn't some master manipulation on the part of BioWare: they're admitting "mea culpa" and doing their best to salvage the situation. Good for them, but they wouldn't have been in that situation to begin with.

I_am_a_Spoon:
But like I said, maybe we don't fully understand what they mean by artistic integrity yet. They might have a very good reason for being stubborn about it. ;)

I happen to have a higher opinion of the average gamer's intelligence than that. To be blunt, if BioWare had had any cards to play after launch, they would have done so. The "artistic integrity" rhetoric was used by the developers as a way of defending their product, not coyly advertising some future plan we poor little silly gamers just can't comprehend.

And apparently the team did throw around indoctrination as a possible ending (alongside others), but figured that it wouldn't mesh well with their gameplay if implemented...

There's no evidence of that. No one at BioWare has suggested that indoctrination was ever a real narrative possibility. Even if it were, they obviously chose not to implement it - are we supposed to believe they went digging through the trash for a plot twist they'd already discarded?

Or it could deliver way more than what most people are expecting...

Not saying I have unconditional faith in Bioware, but you don't need to be so pessimistic. :)

It's not pessimism, it's realism. The problem here is BioWare's lack of transparency: so far, they've offered no clarification on exactly what the EC will contain, other than the fact that it will not change the existing endings. As I've said, that's not necessarily a dealbreaker - there's still plenty of leg room within the current framework - but it'll come down to the question of whether or not they understand why the ending didn't work. And to be blunt, if the people working on the EC are the same people who gave us the Star Child in the first place? I don't think there's any reason to "hope for the best", as it were.

Well, nobody other than Bioware can answer that. And they might be able to, you never know.

Again, if they could have, they probably would have by now. If it got to the point where Ray Muzyka had to acknowledge the backlash in a public forum, where discussion of the game's ending has overshadowed every other aspect of the game by a ridiculous margin... the time to act, to say something substantial, came and went.

As I've said before, if the EC works, it'll placate the fans who are still upset, and who haven't been motivated to play the game a second time since. But I doubt it'll have any effect on the gamers who shrugged their shoulders and wrote the whole thing off a la "Battlestar Galactica". And that represents a real loss for BioWare that they would never have consented to risk in the first place if they'd planned this all along.

So, no idea what someone might be in here for without having played the game and seen the endings, but..

SPOILER WARNING!

That out of the way, let us recap.

Pre Ending.

If you have played from the beginning of Mass Effect 1, you probably have between 50 - 80 hours played across all three games. That is over 25 times the length of a feature film. That is an astounding length of time to famliarize and bond with a host of interesting, quirky, in depth characters.

Bioware, in my opinion, did an awesome job on almost every single interaction you have in the game. A lot of thought and appreciation went into backstories and conversations you have with squadmates, civilians, council members, criminals, etc. I cannot fault them for creating a massive, somewhat cohesive universe in which to play.

We care about our characters. We care about our squadmates. We care about the NPCs. We care about the universe. And we damn well care what happens to it.

Mass Effect 3 made a good decision in pruning back squad mate choices. They did a commendable in tying off the story lines of our now-unplayable squadmates and major NPCs. I was with them and thoroughly enjoyed all three games with my own 200+ hours of playtime across the entire franchise.

I became truly invested.

And what did I get for it?

Post Ending.

So, my assumptions first.

The ending is real. No take backs, no dream sequence, no indoctrination. They made it, so let Bioware stick to their guns.

This is the final game. At least, that thought filtered through my gleanings of the internet. Feel free to correct me, but I thought this was the end of the conflict, end of the trilogy. No more specifically Shepard vs Reaper Mass Effect stories after this. The End.

And how does it end?

We make a choice. A physical choice, rather than a dialogue wheel choice. I am with BW there.

Then we get a series of images. Excluding the final scene, just images, no dialogue.

For example, if we choose destroying the reapers, we get a shot of them getting destroyed in space and around earth, we get a shot of the mass relays overloading, a shot of the Normandy trying to outrun an energy wave then crash landing on a temperate planet somewhere, and squadmates I had chosen (sometimes) hopping out of the ship with Joker.

After 80 hours with those characters, we get three minutes of images. Disconnected, illogical images.

What do I want out of the ending? Questions answered.

What we 'know'.

Shepard died. Uber ending aside, the character is dead. I can accept that. He/she has been through a hell of a lot, let the character take a rest, Shadow style (American Gods).

Mass Relays are destroyed.

What I want to know.

What happened with the Normandy, and where the hell did the Normandy end up?

How did squadmates I had chosen on earth end up back on the ship?

In the case Control, what was done with the Reapers?

Probably many others, but those are the big questions: what happened to my ship, and the enemies I spent so long fighting?

I hold with the opinion that no matter what Bioware does at this point, it will please very few people. However, I think most people are just looking for logical closure at this point. They, to put it mildly, choked on the ending, the event that should tie an epic like this all together and leave us feeling satisfied, rather than flabberghasted and angry.

TL;DR?

Great game. Ending Sucked. 'New' ending probably won't please anyone.

However, in your opinion, what would it take for Bioware to somewhat redeem them selves?

For me, simple, logical closure. End everything neatly. A Return of the Kind denouement would be awesome, but a more cohesive and understanding Normandy scene with some actual dialogue would at least mollify me.

I_am_a_Spoon:
I'd love to hear your counter arguments... :)

Having the entire ending hinge on the "it was all a dream/hallucination" story is the laziest trope around, something that even first year writing students know better than to use. It is unimaginative, dull and offers absolutely nothing except the easiest possible way out for a writer.

Even the currently placed ending, as anti-climactic and poorly written as it is, stands head and shoulders above such retarded writing.

SpiderJerusalem:

I_am_a_Spoon:
I'd love to hear your counter arguments... :)

Having the entire ending hinge on the "it was all a dream/hallucination" story is the laziest trope around, something that even first year writing students know better than to use. It is unimaginative, dull and offers absolutely nothing except the easiest possible way out for a writer.

Even the currently placed ending, as anti-climactic and poorly written as it is, stands head and shoulders above such retarded writing.

"It was all a dream" is bad writing only if it's the ACTUAL ENDING. Indoctrination theory doesn't rely on "it was all a dream". It relies on a plot twist. And a pretty awesome one. The entire dialogue between TIM, Anderson and Shepard is just Shepard's internal struggle against the indoctrination, according to the theory. That would not be bad writing. And judging by the overwhelming amount of evidence, it seems like indoctrination was planned all along.

Watch this documentary:

I_am_a_Spoon:

Kingjackl:
That's still not getting past the fact that it didn't actually happen. How does s/he go from being passed out on the floor in the Citadel control room to suddenly being back on the ground waiting to 'finish the fight'?

The current theory is that the hallucination/indoctrination attempt begins when Shepard is knocked out by the laser (which never actually hits him/her directly). Nothing after that (entering the beam, walking through the Citadel, talking to Anderson and TIM, listening to starchild, etc) actually happens. It's all in Shepard's head from there on out, until he wakes up in the Renegade ending.

The problem with that idea is it renders the entire Citadel sequence a complete waste of time. I could possibly accept that if the Citadel beam took Shepard straight to the Catalyst, but the preceding scene with Anderson and the Illusive Man kicks that idea in the head. If Bioware had wanted us to believe that whole area was just an elaborate fantasy, then why go to the trouble of giving those two characters such dramatic and heart-wrenching send-offs? You don't write scenes like that if you're just going to retcon them with some insane "it's all just a dream" theory.

I_am_a_Spoon:

Kingjackl:
Also, if you accept the idea that all the Catalyst stuff didn't happen, then what's the point of giving us the three choices at the end? People make jokes about the whole Red/Green/Blue thing, but the actual choices themselves and the benefits and consequences that come with them are all morally grey, meaning you actually have to rationalise them, which is more than can be said for most of the choices in the Mass Effect series.

Because they're designed to appeal to Shepard... ie., you, the player.

[The fact that the choices have contextual relevance or meaning doesn't necessarily make them real... that's the ingenuity of it. If we think they're real, then Shepard thinks they're real... and he's successfully manipulated by Harbinger. We have to take the initiative and realise the symbolism of each choice and it's greater relevance (control = TIM, synthesis = Saren, renegade = your driving goal all along, throughout all three games).

The idea that 'Destroy' is the only right choice is incorrect because...

A: You only get the 'Shepard lives' teaser if your EMS was high enough. The criteria for that is not 'spot the hidden thread', it's a reward for putting the extra effort in. The reason it only occurs in destory is because it's the only ending where Shepard had a slim chance of surviving. Just because control and synthesis are what TIM and Saren wanted, doesn't make them evil choices. If anything, synthesis represents idealism and control represents pragmatism. Destroy feels more in line with the whole 'brutal calculus of war' that Garrus discusses, since it's about sacrificing an entire race to save the the rest of the galaxy.

B: It's poor design philosophy to present us with this kind of decision if you're only going to punish people for not picking the right one. I'm reminded of a disucssion I saw on the Bioware forums where someone was complaing about how the Rachni cave mission occurs regardless of whether or not you saved the queen in ME1. One of the devs came on and said they had gone to all the effort of designing this unique level which provides closure for both the Rachni and Grunts story, and they didn't want to deny people access to that content. So instead, they re-wrote the dialogue to reflect the player's decision and had the end result change based on whether or not the original queen died.

The point I'm trying to make is that you can't deny a player proper closure based on whether or not they made the right decision, especially when there is no indication that one choice is obviously superior to the others. It strikes me that the people who believe in the Indoctrination Theory are all people who picked Destroy, but didn't want to come to terms with the fact they willingly wiped out EDI and the geth.

Adam Jensen:

Watch this documentary:

Now, I know most of you have nothing better to do, but I am not wasting my time on a 90-minute fan doc about why people should take their "it's all a dream!" crap seriously. If you can't have a concise argument why someone should bother with something as asinine and ridiculous as what you're proposing, you're doing it wrong.

I'm looking forward to this "Extended Cut" release, mainly to see what they think will "add further clarity" and appease the masses. I personally didn't like the ending, but I wasn't up in arms demanding a re-do either. So, I suppose for me this is just another opportunity to get some Mass Effect into my life. At this point, assuming the series is actually over, I'll take whatever I can get. ^_^'

SpiderJerusalem:

Adam Jensen:

Watch this documentary:

Now, I know most of you have nothing better to do, but I am not wasting my time on a 90-minute fan doc about why people should take their "it's all a dream!" crap seriously. If you can't have a concise argument why someone should bother with something as asinine and ridiculous as what you're proposing, you're doing it wrong.

There are too many arguments and I'm lazy. Posting a video that pretty much covers everything seems a lot easier. And it's actually fun to is correct soon enough anyway.

Arcadian Legend:

Antonio Torrente:

Arcadian Legend:

Wait, following that logic, if they were able to make it in just a weekend, wouldn't it be available for download ages ago? It's been a good while since they announced the EC.

What I meant was the "Extended Cut" that they will give us is a kind of a rushed job and will add more questions than answers. And I don't literally mean that they will just do it in a weekend.

Of course I still hoping that I'm wrong with what I said.

Oh wait I get what you're getting at now. Yeah, hopefully they won't do a rush job.

Captcha: oh, wait (O.o)

Yeah, I just don't want to be disappointed with ME3 again.
But I don't have my hopes up for the "Extended Cut" that will be released.

I hope these aren't the only three returning....oh wait, I don't even care anymore. They'd have to rewrite the ending entirely for the conclusion of Mass Effect 3 to reach anywhere near what the series deserves. Adding some voiced epilogues from Kaidan and EDI won't accomplish this.

LOL, Bioware hit the final nail in the coffin with this ending fiasco.

Fappy:
I really hope they insert a Marauder Shields joke.

Oh God. Glorious!, lol

In other news, what's Mass Effect, never heard of it? (trauma wiped out of memory)

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
I think that's a rather gross oversimplification of what's playing out here. There are substantial plot holes in the ending as it currently stands. If these are fixed in the EC, then that'll be the end of that. If, on the other hand, BioWare fail to address any of the existing problems, further backlash is to be expected.

The creation of the EC isn't a reaction to some vocal minority of the sort that's always displeased with everything forever, it's a tacit acknowledgment that the overwhelming majority of ME3 players - extremists, moderates and apologists alike - were incredibly dissatisfied with the poorly-written conclusion. There's no shortage of potential explanations as to how/why it all went wrong, but none of that is relevant anymore. The EC will either fix the flaws or it won't.

And where in my original post did I say that a great amount of moderates *weren't* displeased with the original ME3 ending? Heck, I agree with you - the reason why we're even getting the EC is because they *were*. What I did say, however, is that some of these same moderates will probably like the EC just fine while some won't. But either way - we won't know for certain what it was that they liked or disliked about it or indeed if more moderates actually liked the EC.

You know why? Because just looking at this thread's replies I can already see the forum addicts who will bitch bravely onwards even after the EC is released. They claim that they're done with it and that Bioware has crashed and burned and that they'll never trust them ever...but I'm willing to bet *all* of them will still download the EC anyway. The reason for this is simple - they need to have something new to bitch about while staying hip and trendy. And believe me they'll always find something to complain about, even if Bioware *does* surprise us all by caving in to them even further or perhaps by, indeed, using the Indoctrination Theory as its baseline.

For a reference as to what I'm pretty certain will happen after the EC is released...

...and if you're now thinking "Oh but that's the Sonic fanbase hahaha, they're wierd anyway." trust me - all fandom, no matter what it worships, is fundamentally the same.

That kind of zealotry really grinds on most moderates to the point they don't want to voice their opinions anymore. Heck, even I had to think long and hard before deciding to reply ITT. And that's probably the worst thing about all of this crap. That the further down the timeline of this whole thing one goes, the harder it gets to find decent constructive criticism as opposed to just mindless bitching and moaning that is so far out of touch with reality it might as well be in another dimension (including the kind that tries to masquerade itself as an intelligent blog post or somesuch, while always being a variation of "Stop liking what I don't like!").

But hey. It's the internet, right? And whatever presses your buttons is valid.

Loonerinoes:
just looking at this thread's replies I can already see the forum addicts who will bitch bravely onwards even after the EC is released. They claim that they're done with it and that Bioware has crashed and burned and that they'll never trust them ever...but I'm willing to bet *all* of them will still download the EC anyway. The reason for this is simple - they need to have something new to bitch about while staying hip and trendy.

Again, I think you're overstating your case here. A percentage of any fandom is prone to venting bile 24-7, that doesn't mean the entire discourse needs to be viewed with the same skepticism. I'm sure everyone who can still be arsed to play ME3 (and that's not a given when we're talking about the single-player campaign) will download the EC, but you seem to think the majority is doing so because they actively want it to fail. If that were the prevailing attitude all along, the collective fanbase wouldn't have gone as rabid as they did, nor would they have been able to sustain that anger for as long as they did. There's something more at work here than typical forum negativity.

That kind of zealotry really grinds on most moderates to the point they don't want to voice their opinions anymore.

It seems to me that moderates post when they're compelled to do so, when they feel strongly about certain topics that are more substantial than, say, the color of Sonic's eyes. If I were someone with no emotional attachment to the "Mass Effect" series, I could conceivably have reached the end and been disappointed, but largely apathetic in terms of continuing the discussion online. What makes this particular topic remarkable, at least in my opinion, is that the level of conversation went above that precisely because so many moderates contributed their opinions.

But hey. It's the internet, right? And whatever presses your buttons is valid.

No one's forcing you to participate in discussions you don't want to be part of. And one skill everyone needs when involved in online conversations is the ability to identify and filter out mindless raging. (Not the most difficult task, really - it's hardly a subtle phenomenon.) You don't have to agree with everyone who makes a cogent point, but you can't summarily dismiss them because you're generally tired of trolls either.

Proverbial Jon:

That's just the point, the true beauty of the IT! It's a perfectly legitimate and sound way to effectively remove that entire Citadel sequence from existence. IT may not be an ending in itself but it does remove the part of the game that is so loathed.

And none of that sounds convenient to you?

And the understatement of the year award goes to...

yeah, i don't think the actors quite 'get' it...

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