Why do you think The Reapers did it?

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Yo Dawg i heard you don't wanna be killed by synthetics, so i made some synthetics to kill you every 50k years, so you won't be killed by synthetics.

Soo... Before we got to know this, what do you think was The Reapers reason to do it.

Mine is thad they did it to survive. They needed technology (or something (giant plothole)) like we need food to survive, and then they goes on sleeping for 50k years. They at us like we look at cattle. I believed this because of the use of words like harvest and cycle.

Would make sense, maybe their bio-synthetic material tends to degrade and they need organics to "buff up" and stay intact. But quite frankly they don't need a reason, least one they feel the need to share with us. Remember that great line from Sovereign?

"You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it."

That made the Reapers both mysterious and terrifying, like they existed on a plane of thinking that we couldn't comprehend and were so much more powerful than us, like they treated us how we treat ants. They managed to invoke that feeling without the Reaper constantly repeating that old line "You cannot comprehend us", and invoking that feeling is more important than saying it. So yeah, I would have been fine never knowing.

Yassen:
I would have been fine never knowing.

Although I agree with you, you must have been trying to guess thier reason.

Ziggy:
Yo Dawg i heard you don't wanna be killed by synthetics, so i made some synthetics to kill you every 50k years, so you won't be killed by synthetics.

Bit of a technicality here: the logic is that the Reapers only harvest the most advanced civilisations so that the primitive ones have a chance to evolve.

My theory is there was a bigass war between organic races and synthetics, and the synthetics were winning.

So the organics decided they needed more synthetics to fight the ones that wanted to kill them, fight fire with fire.

Now. They created the reapers to fight this other nameless group of synthetics. This time to be safe they hardwired into the reapers the command to preserve all sapient organic life in the galaxy.

The war was won by the organics and their reaper allies. But they didnt get rid of the reapers. Prehaps they wanted to keep them to protect themselves from future danger. Cut forward a few thousand years and the organics do it again, someone makes an illegal rogue AI or something and it spreads itself on the extranet and suddenly theres another galactic war. The reapers jump into action and slap the threat down, but the reapers are intelligent machines. Prehaps this happens a few dozen more times before the reapers look at their creators and say. "Well you motherfuckers are the problem" They proceed to try and take over the galaxy and control it so that the organics dont go making any more rogue AI. But telling organics not to isnt enough and Illegal AIs keep popping up.

So maybe the wording of the reapers hard wired programming was not to protect any particular intelligent organic race but to merely preserve all races. But the wording must have worked so that as long as there was at least one intelligent organic race in the galaxy, the reapers were fufilling their mission. Even if that intelligent race was some primitive tribe of cavemen banging sticks together, hey mission accomplished. So the reapers do their first reaping and kill any civilisation advanced enough to create synthetics.

Or maybe they were created by one race to protect that race and they did....by making them the keepers.

So they watch these new Organic races grow and develop.... Telling them not to create synthetic life, warning them all through their history. But once again rogue scientists start making AIs. Because Fuck The Police.

So the reapers reap the galaxy again. and the cycle happens again. Until the reapers decide that its futile. Organics will create synthetic life. The mere prescence of synthetic life that is not hardwired to preserve organic life like the reapers represents a chance that they will fail their mission(that the galaxy is never devoid of intelligent organic life) and in their cold relentless logical pursuit of their mission the only acceptable outcome is a 0% chance of synthetics ever being capable of destroying organic life.

They figure out that its about fifty thousand years between cycles before they need to come and reap the galaxy. A particularly advanced cycle might make a few synthetic races but they will be children compared to the reapers and can easily be stamped out.

Or maybe they were created by one race to protect that race and they did....by making them the keepers.

Thats how I interpreted the 5 minutes of the star child talking anyway. Good concept, shocking horrible delivery I say.

edit: Oh re-reading the post you want to know what our own personal theories were before the told us in the ending..... Lol well im not deleting that wall of text.

hmm. Well I just figured that the reapers were out to protect themselves, and that 50 thousand years between reaping was just deemed a logical amount of time before coming back to the galaxy and removing any potential threats to themselves before they grew powerful enough to challenge them. Also they could then grab some fuel from the galaxy and make some more of themselves and head back into space to hibernate again So that they could stay alive the maximum possible time without drying up the resources of the galaxy.

DoPo:
Shepard defeats the Reapers and saves the universe, only to realise the Reapers did their whole harvesting the lives of the universe to stop a different race - more ancient than them, of doing it. Those elder monstrosities, however require a much larger galactic population to feed them - that's why the Reapers were forced to periodically cull the Galaxy and acquire power with which to oppose their own end. Now either the Council should do the same thing as the Reapers or perish.

I was correct in an extremely vague sense of the word.

What if there was another sheppard and he choose the same ending. The synergy one and thats why the reapers are there.

My theory was based off the ending to ME 2 and was really a very simplistic look at the whole Reaper Cycle. Quite simply: the cycle of harvesting is actually the Reaper life cycle. They're a form of life, and every life form has a life cycle. Theirs consists of 50K years of hibernation before waking up for "mating season". And by "mating season" I mean "galactic genocide". As was made clear by the ending to ME 2: the way new Reapers are made is by harvesting an entire race, converting it to goo, pumping it through some magical science machines, and POOF! you've got a new Reaper. As such, the harvest periods are just the Reaper's means of reproduction.

Why do you think The Reapers did it?

Harbinger - So Catalyst, what we up to this weekend?

Catalyst - I'm bored, fancy a bit of genocide?

Harbinger - Yeah, i'm up for that. I'll phone the lads and we can make a party of it.

Or it could possibly be...

Catalyst - Harby, I hear a descendant of Justin Bieber's is about to take up a music career.

Harbinger - Fuck that, i'll wipe out all civilisation before that ever happens.

Rawne1980:

Why do you think The Reapers did it?

Harbinger - So Catalyst, what we up to this weekend?

Catalyst - I'm bored, fancy a bit of genocide?

Harbinger - Yeah, i'm up for that. I'll phone the lads and we can make a party of it.

Or it could possibly be...

Catalyst - Harby, I hear a descendant of Justin Bieber's is about to take up a music career.

Harbinger - Fuck that, i'll wipe out all civilisation before that ever happens.

You missed a parody opportunity...

Harbinger: So what are we doing in 50,000 years, Catalyst?

Catalyst: The same thing we do every 50,000 years Pinky Harbinger: Try to wipe out all organic life!

♪ It's the Reaper and the Kid, the Reaper and the Kid. One is a program, the other's a killer aphid. They do their Reaper work, and try wiping out Earth. They're the Reaper, the Reaper and the Kid Kid Kid Kid Kid ♪

The reapers were 'indoctrinated' by an ancient psychic race of organics who are scared that organic races will one-day surpass them, they programmed the Reapers to exterminate any race that became too powerful.

and they aren't happy you just wrecked their safety measure. dun dun duuuuuuun

My interpretation is that,in short, the Reapers rebelled against their creators, annihilated them, and then came up with the "cycle of extinction" idea so they wouldn't have to admit that they had become complete monsters.

It's funny. ALL of these, including the joke ones, are better explanations than what we got.

My personal idea is that the reapers where made by the first sentient race, who over thousands of years kept upgrading their forms technologically untill they reached a singularity and joined all their minds into one technological being. It might seem like a good idea, but they had no more reason to live. Organic life is not supposed to be perfect, it's purpose is to evolve constantly, and they hit a dead end. So they created the reapers to stop this from ever happening again, thus the harvesting of technologically advanced species. So that life could continue.

Grygor:
My interpretation is that,in short, the Reapers rebelled against their creators, annihilated them, and then came up with the "cycle of extinction" idea so they wouldn't have to admit that they had become complete monsters.

This with a minor difference, the claim of protecting organics from themselves, is just a lie to hide the reapers own fears that advanced enough organics may create a synthetic race more powerful than the reapers themselves.

Simple self preservation warped into delusion over the cycles.

I figured it was just that they wanted power seeing as how they created reapers based on the dominant species.

Thread's probably been deleted, but I kinda called it on these forums sometime mid last year, that the reapers were the "good guys" if you took it from a transhumanist kind of perspective. I feel like it's still a valid point and could have made for a powerful ending, but Bioware managed to screw it up pretty bad.

I was hoping for it to be some kind of cultural, social ritual for them. They were meant to be 'beyond your comprehension', so it didn't have to ever be specifically explained. Merely the fact that it can be explained is retconning Sovereign/Nazara's speech (my favourite story element of the entire series).

I liked it better when I thought Reapers were essentially harvesting organic life for their own survival. They were still an enemy, but it was easier to sympathize with them. You could fight against them, but you couldn't really fault them for wanting to survive.

Though the current explanation isn't bad either. I think too many people fail to use even basic critical thinking when talking about the current explanation. "rofl kill organics to save organics lolhowstupid!" Yeah, because we totally don't currently do that with wildlife to make sure their ecosystems don't implode, right? This is not a new concept.

My Theory:

The physical reapers (the giant robot space squids) do what they do because they are warped and twisted by their creation. They are meant to preserve organic civilizations but they do it in a manner they were created: twisted by fear and terror. Basically, reapers are made from slush of millions (billions?) of organics, and those organics died in terror in the face of an almost unstoppable foe. So, basically, the reapers are the terrified, warped, twisted consciousness of millions of individuals but only giving the outward appearance of cold, calculating space squid robot dreadnaughts.

The actual original conciousness behind the reapers, who takes the form of that fucking annoying kid, is actually the product of the very first advanced organic civilization in the galaxy. Because they were the first, they had the run of the ENTIRE galaxy. I mean all of it. Their technological power (they created the mass relays and every bit of technological superiority the reapers have is because it came from them) was immense, getting the stage where its almost techno godlike. But because they were the first and only race in a young, still forming universe, they were alone. And so they threw themselves into creating an artificial life of their own.

No their creation didnt rebel, it was exactly as it was intended to be. The entity/s that spawned the reapers eventually essentially started out as fully independent, free willed synthetic life. They found purpose with their creators and it was all completely harmonious. As time passed they began to evolve and become more and more entwined with their creators and it slowly started to coalesce into the galactic consciousness behind the reapers. basically it was a machine intelligence that covered the entire galaxy, linked to the entire race.

Then a series of events brought about the original races extinction on a galactic scale. You know, multiple cataclysms and pandemics and all kinds of shit brought about the essential premise that all things come to an end. The reaper conciousness endure however and was fundamentally scarred by the extintion of its creators, and because it was essentially one with them, that basically sent them mad.

Yeah, okay its that shitty insane AI principle, but its my own personal way of trying to rationalise the insanity, the stupidity, the delusion behind the reapers, but also the technological advantage.

Its also, on a reaper space squid armada level, my way of trying to explain why for a race of giant space squid robot thingies with a supposedly benevolent motive of protecting organic life, they achieve this through sheer nightmarish terror, excessively so.

The reason why the reapers are so cruel and sadistic and excessively nightmarish is because their foundation that gives them "life" is last thoughts of a terrified now dead population turned into liquid. That they are tainted by their creation.

So yeah, insane, misguided galactic consciousness from near the dawn of the universe spawned by the very first advanced organic species in our galaxy, who has spawned an out of control insane robot squid armada that recreates this delusional cycle over and over.

Its a shit, nonsensical reasoning, but I figure its no worse that Biowares and has as much right to be the in game reasoning.

I believed in their "we do it to elevate you to the pinnacle of evolution" thing. I thought the first game was about them controlling the universe like some robotic overlords that direct the universe to where it wants to go and then restarts it at whim. When Shepard proved able to combat them, humanity was deemed worthy of joining their little club, which was when they tried to turn them into a reaper. They killed Shepard because they didn't want any resistance to their plans, which Shepard would have done because she/he wasn't compliant the first time and she/he wouldn't be complaint the second time either.

I went the whole third game believing the Reapers to be supremely pissed off and coming to just wipe out everything themselves and without the dramatic flair I thought the other times they wiped out the galaxy had so it sort of added to the excitement. The Supreme AI God really really ruined that whole feeling.

I just took the obvious route and figured it was for their own sustainability.

Non of that matters however because according to Casey Hudson, it's because Casper the ghost told them to do it.

DustyDrB:

You missed a parody opportunity...

Harbinger: So what are we doing in 50,000 years, Catalyst?

Catalyst: The same thing we do every 50,000 years Pinky Harbinger: Try to wipe out all organic life!

♪ It's the Reaper and the Kid, the Reaper and the Kid. One is a program, the other's a killer aphid. They do their Reaper work, and try wiping out Earth. They're the Reaper, the Reaper and the Kid Kid Kid Kid Kid ♪

Gold pure gold.

Someone needs to fully write and perform this song.

...............

Anyway, the explanation that "they farm us like vegetables" is the most appealing to me. They're simply, as EDI elegantly put it interested in "nothing but self-preservation". Only extremely intelligent, advanced races are suitable to construct a reaper, as Harbinger's comments about your squad in ME2 suggests, so they hibernate for 50000 years to ensure there's always a fresh crop.

Maybe they were made to combat synthetics(which is still stupid) as starchild(who is still stupid) suggests, originally, but I REFUSE under any circumstances to believe the catalyst has any power over the reapers without the crucible, Harbinger is definitively the real leader in my headcanon. The reapers do their own thing for selfish reasons now.

I also believe Harbinger uses the "elevate you to evolutionary pinnacle" thing as justification and psychological warfare. Though he may believe it himself, it's kind of like saying to a chicken,

"You'd be much more useful as food for a human than in the life you lead now."

Ziggy:
Yo Dawg i heard you don't wanna be killed by synthetics, so i made some synthetics to kill you every 50k years, so you won't be killed by synthetics.

Soo... Before we got to know this, what do you think was The Reapers reason to do it.

Mine is thad they did it to survive. They needed technology (or something (giant plothole)) like we need food to survive, and then they goes on sleeping for 50k years. They at us like we look at cattle. I believed this because of the use of words like harvest and cycle.

BECAUSE. THEY. COULD.

There was literally no doubt in my mind that the entire reason the Reapers were eradicating life every 50k years was because they did not want any other race to advance far enough to be able to defeat and replace them.

The nations that composed the Reapers had virtually (no robot pun intended) ascended to godhood. The only problem being that they chose to be malevolant gods. So, they didn't want any of the "mortals" trying to usurp their seat of power.

"You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it."

That would have been a perfectly acceptable reason for doing what they did in my opinion.

For the lulz of course. Life gets kind of boring when you're basically immortal. Unless they have a giant PC or Xbox that we don't know about, the Reapers have nothing to do but sleep.

Smeggs:

BECAUSE. THEY. COULD.

There was literally no doubt in my mind that the entire reason the Reapers were eradicating life every 50k years was because they did not want any other race to advance far enough to be able to defeat and replace them.

The nations that composed the Reapers had virtually (no robot pun intended) ascended to godhood. The only problem being that they chose to be malevolant gods. So, they didn't want any of the "mortals" trying to usurp their seat of power.

"You exist because we allow it. You will die because we demand it."

Sad part is that this motivation was in the original script. They harvested to remain the apex predators of the galaxy. The original script also had an extended dialogue with Harbinger himself instead of the fucking starchild.

Seriously, this wreaks of executive-meddling so bad it's burning my eyes.

if they are half synthetic, then could it be that some really ancient race just spread across the galaxy so extensively, that it was starting to over crowd, so the only solution they could come up with was the reapers, so in that extent, as synthetics, they are following orders.

since that race also built the mass relays and possibly the citadel, the race decided to leave false info on the motivation of reapers, and also possibly the plan for the crucible, so that future races have a chance to see the burden that this ancient race has suffered through.

to complete this task, this race would have needed to build fleet of organic synthetic things, and what better way to do that than use the people of your galaxy as the galaxy is already bursting at it's seems. this would have of course started a galaxy wide war. but as the fleet grew larger, the resistance grew smaller.

as a final precaution, this race made sure that an optimum amount of races and people in those races was left, they programmed into them that information, and made sure that their race would always survive, trough similar programming.

once this was done, they destroyed any possible data on this galaxy wide genocide, sent the reapers into their dormant state for 50k years, and wiped their own memory of such an incident, so that the galaxy would never know of this deed.

this is my view on the reapers motivation, and i pulled it all out of my rear, in a sleepy state, so it may have some fallacies

I belive Bethesda programmed them but forgot to test for bugs so instead of defending us as expected they kill us.

that or space Jesus is retarded.

Innegativeion:

Smeggs:

BECAUSE. THEY. COULD.

There was literally no doubt in my mind that the entire reason the Reapers were eradicating life every 50k years was because they did not want any other race to advance far enough to be able to defeat and replace them.

The nations that composed the Reapers had virtually (no robot pun intended) ascended to godhood. The only problem being that they chose to be malevolant gods. So, they didn't want any of the "mortals" trying to usurp their seat of power.

"You exist because we allow it. You will die because we demand it."

Sad part is that this motivation was in the original script. They harvested to remain the apex predators of the galaxy. The original script also had an extended dialogue with Harbinger himself instead of the fucking starchild.

Seriously, this wreaks of executive-meddling so bad it's burning my eyes.

My corneas were already seared away by the pretty bullshit lights from the Crucible.

Capthca: "Toe-curling" Damn right, it was that bad, wasn't it, Captcha?

Because they were programmed to do so.

I originally thought they were going with some kind of chaos VS order thing. Whenever a chaotic organic civilisation rises up to the point where it could do real damage to the galaxy, they annihilate it, preserving only a reaper created from them. In this way they could stop the universe from ever being screwed up by those pesky organics that keep trying to blow each other up.

The Reapers harvested all life in the galaxy every 50,000 years to add new races thought patterns into their own collective because there was an almost uncontrollable build-up of dark energy in the galaxy that was threatening to cause all the suns to detonate thus destroying all habitable worlds in the galaxy and the original Reaper race couldn't find a solution on their own.

They explain it - It's to get rid of (and preserve in reaper form) advanced life to allow less advanced life room to grow
-edit- supposedly anyway. Doesn't seem to fit the other two games

It's not to defend organics from synthetics per se, it's to prevent the eradicaton of ALL life by a galactic Skynet incident by getting rid of spacefaring species capable of building AI. No one seems to get that distinction. To the Stargazer, the sum total of all life is more important than the few species capable of oppressing synthetics.

Nieroshai:
It's not to defend organics from synthetics per se, it's to prevent the eradicaton of ALL life by a galactic Skynet incident by getting rid of spacefaring species capable of building AI. No one seems to get that distinction. To the Stargazer, the sum total of all life is more important than the few species capable of oppressing synthetics.

No they DO get the distinction, they just want to ignore it for hate fuel.

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