If you beat Frozen Synapse this week, don't be surprised to find a t-rex in a sweet hat waiting near the credits to teach you about personal expectations and moving on.
As a somewhat unexpected consequence to the recent furor over Mass Effect 3's ending, an entirely different, unaffiliated game has rewritten its own final moments while BioWare considers changing its own. PC and iOS tactical shooter Frozen Synapse may have attracted much of its fan-base for its acclaimed multiplayer mode, but the game also boasts a robust single-player experience that, up until recently, didn't conclude with a troll-faced pony, a top-hat-wearing t-rex, nor a snarky yet, perhaps, important message for gamers.
"This is the ending to a computer game," the new final cut scene reads beneath a hand-drawn picture of the aforementioned animal duo. "We don't care if you like it ... but at least the pony and dinosaur are happy." As the screen fades to black, the message continues in a small, but stark white font. "We go through a lot of things in life," it reads. "Not all of them are under our control. But that's ok because it's all water under the bridge, right? We can't expect the outcome of our stories to conform to our own perceptions."
The game then shifts gears, and informs its community that they are both "moist and dolphin-proof."
Yes, this is the new, non-optional, total replacement ending for Frozen Synapse ... at least for about a week. After that, things will supposedly revert to normal. Paul Taylor, co-founder of the game's developer, Mode 7, has already commented on the potentially controversial decision, claiming that the move was mostly a personal experiment.
"This is not a criticism of Bioware or anything they have said/done," Taylor remarked. "It is an experiment: I wanted to know how this felt. Honestly, it felt like vandalizing my own work, which was interesting."
If BioWare eventually caves to the demands of certain outspoken fans(?) of Mass Effect 3, and does change its ending, perhaps Taylor's experiment is one that more developers would be interested in exploring for themselves at some point in the near future. While a decision to alter the conclusion to one of the most successful game series in recent history wouldn't create a stone mandate for other developers' own actions, it would certainly set some kind of precedent that would, at the very least, form a wake sure to attract the industry's acute notice moving forward.