Mass Effect: a hero’s story with a hero’s ending

Wednesday, 21st March 2012 07:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mass Effect tragic Brenna Hillier has kept quiet about the third entry’s much-criticised conclusion, but having saved the galaxy three times this week, she’s ready to talk. WARNING: THIS ARTICLE SPOILS ME3′S ENDING.

Shepard is true hero, and one who deserves better – but like all heroes, won’t get it. In a military sense – and remember, every Shepard is military to the bone – that’s what being a hero means: risking your chance at a happy ending so other people can have theirs.


I picked up the first Mass Effect because it was on sale, with absolutely no expectations of liking it, but it was the first game to really make me – lazy, weak, cowardly me – feel like a hero. I was sold. I love this series and I have no idea what I’m going to do now that it’s over. And over in such a spectacular way. A lot of clever things have been said about Mass Effect 3′s ending already, not the least of which is “you can’t please ‘em all”.

Many of these judgements I agree with; if you consider Mass Effect 3 as the ending in its entirety, it’s much more rewarding: it’s the journey which matters. And a lot of them I don’t agree with; I sincerely believe the synthetic-organic tension was a prominent theme throughout the whole series, and I don’t believe the endings of either previous game reflected player choice in any significant degree, either.

Inarguably, there are problems with the ending. I could probably live without that entire final sequence; just snip the film at the end of the final encounter with the Illusive Man, and cut straight to the Reapers and Mass Relays blowing up. The number of plot holes which surfaced in the last ten minutes is wince-worthy, but that’s probably an unavoidable side effect of an ambitious soft science fiction project written collaboratively by hundreds of people.

But it’s not like plot holes are new to the series (see: pretty much all of Mass Effect 2, as much as I loved it), or unique to Mass Effect – or that, in general, most consumers even notice flaky writing. No, as many others have pointed out, what makes Mass Effect 3′s conclusion much more disappointing than other games with bad endings is that we’ve all spent five years connecting with these characters, and to not know their fates is a bit hard.

I’d like to see BioWare release a free epilogue – even just scrolling text – giving a brief synopsis of what each of the characters did in the aftermath, especially as I am reasonably certain that in my playthrough Liara T’soni has a little blue baby on the way (“share some memories” my ass). That would completely remedy any dissatisfaction I feel in the ending. I have no other complaints which couldn’t fairly be levelled at, you know, every game ever.

And it must be said, BioWare delivered in other ways. In the final moments of my playthrough, I started to cry – but it wasn’t during the traditionally tearjerker bits. I cried when Hackett radioed moments after Anderson died and Shepard, bleeding to death, having made the most heroic effort of her distinguished career, instantly struggles to her feet and answers with, “What do you need me to do?” as if it were even reasonable to expect more.

The sound of inevitability

Shepard was always going to die*. BoWare didn’t hide that. You should have expected that going into Mass Effect 3, and even if you didn’t, the fact that you can off the Commander in Mass Effect 2, combined with the long slow goodbyes throughout Mass Effect 3, the revelation that Shepard had been brain dead before resurrection in Mass Effect 2, and an unskippable dream cinematic in which Shepard watches herself burn alongside a dead child really ought to have tipped you off. There is no happy ending for Shepard and we were never promised one.

The Mass Effect timeline takes place over a few short years, in which Commander Shepard is constantly under extreme pressure. At the beginning of the trilogy she is being considered for Spectre status, a high note in an already impressive CV, but moments later she is embroiled in a galactic threat which never goes away. From that moment on, right up until she makes a fateful decision aboard the Citadel, Commander Shepard never stops fighting. She never rests. And she never hesitates to respond to the call of duty.

Also heroic: watching this trailer and not
leaving a comment with the word “wub”
in it. Restrain yourselves. For me.

At the end of Mass Effect 3, as she achieves the impossible after years of toil and personal sacrifice, she’s dying and she knows it. She’s known all along that she wouldn’t make it out, and so did her friends and lovers. She never received any reward, never stopped to live her own life and dreams, and now her organs have been perforated and are leaking vital fluids on the floor. Despite that, when her radio bleeps, she’s instantly ready to serve.

Weepity. Oh, Commander. Not a moment’s rest, but not a moment’s hesitation. Shepard is true hero, and one who deserves better – but like all heroes, won’t get it. In a military sense – and remember, every Shepard is military to the bone – that’s what being a hero means: risking your chance at a happy ending so other people can have theirs.

Mass Effect 3 has a truly heroic ending in which players give Shepard the death she deserves – living out her promise to save the galaxy no matter the cost to herself. In that, I’d say, it is a resounding success.

*Apparently there is a “perfect” ending available in which Shepard lives – but despite following instructions to the letter, I couldn’t make this happen. Enough people have written about it that I accept it’s likely real, but it seems odd that only one of three choices would trigger it; until BioWare makes it explicit, I’m considering Shepard’s death canonical.



  1. Patrick Garratt

    I thought this was brilliant.

    Please show some restraint in the comments here, as they show up in the box on the homepage and people can see them by accident.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Joe Musashi

    People’s reaction to this game’s ending is worryingly reminiscent of Annie Wilkes’ in Stephen King’s Misery.


    #2 3 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    You know what I think? I think this is a watershed. I’m going to write about it, because I reckon this is a major moment for games as a medium, and the reason people are flipping out about it so much is because they’ve never had anything like this before. It’s true emotional engagement, and a lot of “kids” have never really experienced it before with a creative work.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Malmer

    …or it could simply be that the ending is utter shit and full of plot holes.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. GwynbleiddiuM

    To be perfectly honest with you when my Shepard died I was livid but deep down I knew it would come to that. That’s not my problem with the ending, I made my peace with that ever since Mass Effect 2′s beginning.

    There are points which annoys me, like the Proteon weapon, it was completely useless, the whole galaxy put everything together, hopes, resources, manpower, everything in that device only to find out it was a complete waste of time, it didn’t do anything. That hurts, and every time I hear about it I immediately picture the notorious trollface that mocks me and I want to tear it apart with bestial wrath.

    The Catalyst, and I really hate that part, was delivered rather poorly. I think the writers wanted to present it as sum of all fears that haunted Shepard ever since he became aware of the Reapers plot but it was just plain failure, it had no significant or majestic sense to it that would put everything to perspective. Even worse it completely destroyed the plot by presenting a shallow and weak reason as to why Reapers do what they do, the solution, the salvation through ruthless and utter destruction.

    As to which ending I prefer the one that Shepard becomes the new Catalyst, at least it made sense to me as I worked my ass off to bring peace to every species, synthetic and organic and it felt like a bat swing in the face if I choose to destroy the catalyst and the reapers and kill the Synthetics along the way.

    Brenna, I always enjoy your writing, thank you for this.

    @Patrick, exactly. I truly see that as a huge moment for gaming industry. We need more games like Mass Effect and Metal Gear Solid (when it was cool, not another call of duty wannabe with infinite installments that ruined the plost) that engage our emotions and makes us want to have something more than just shooting through things and move on to other stuff.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. nofear360

    I didn’t cry during that moment while playing the game, but almost did now while reading your description of that moment (as I recalled the moment). Great writing Brenna!

    Also, I really liked the ending. I’m gonna flip out if BioWare gives in to the pathetic fans demanding a new ending.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. GwynbleiddiuM

    This dude shares a similar view as mine and some of the points he mentions:

    PS: This is actually better:

    #7 3 years ago
  8. ItsFade

    I expected Shepard to die but I felt the last 10 minutes after the elevator scene were terrible. They should have just ended the game with Shepard dying next to Anderson and then added an end scene where the reapers are defeated or not. The God-Child/Super AI stuff was so cringe-inducing and the Battlestar Galactica knock-off ending with Stargazer and Normandy crashing on an unknown planet ugh. Made me feel like nothing I did in the last three games mattered.

    Relays are fucked and so is effectively Galactic Civilization, majority of the fleet stuck at Earth a near dead planet in the Mass Effect universe(no resources).

    That is of course if you ignore what happened in The Arrival downloadable content where the destruction of the Relay destroyed an entire solar system. Taken into consideration that the relays explode in most of the endings (hell they show it going galaxy wide on the map) somebody having played that could assume Shepard effectively just wiped out the majority of the galaxy when stopping the reapers. I’m all for bittersweet endings (Red Dead Redemption is a great example of Bittersweet done right) but damn that is brutal.

    One of endings also deviates from the main themes of the franchise largely that of unity. Mass Effect celebrates diversification and overcoming the impossible by standing united yet diverse. Something especially prevalent in Mass Effect 3 when recruiting all the races to help stop the reapers and it’s something Shepard genuinely believes in (especially Paragon Shep). Creating between peace the Quarian and Geth showing that it’s possible to co-exist despite being so different. Curing the genophage and allowing the Turians and Krogan overcome their violent past with each-other for the sake of the greater good. Naturally you can be renegade Shepard and ignore both these possibilities (another great aspect of Mass EFfect imo). The Prothean (Javik) also mentions this in cut-scenes that one of the reasons Shepard’s cycle has been able to come so close to defeating the reapers is due to their diversity whereas in the Prothean cycle there were much less variety in species and ways to come up with new solutions cross-species.

    God-Child shits all over the unity theme with the synthesis ending saying that it’s impossible for a co-existence between synthetics and organics despite Shepard uniting the Quarian and Geth (in my game) earlier and the relationship between Joker and EDI (however cringe-worthy that is). It’s not mentioned by Shepard when talking to God-Child. and the synthesis ending or “good ending” turns everybody half machine, half organic cyborgs by combining organic DNA with synthetic machinery that felt like it was straight out of Battlestar Galactica. It’s not consistent with the themes of the series.

    Personally i’m not pissed because the ending isn’t happy fairy tale ever after, i’m pissed because it doesn’t make sense if you take it apart. I can look past the occasional plot hole here and there for the sake of suspension of disbelief but the ending to a 5 year old franchise and trilogy shouldn’t be nonsensical. That is just bad storytelling. To quote Mac Walters the lead writer on the game. “Lots of speculation for everyone!”. Just no. There is also the lack of variety in the endings which were promised by BioWare but that is another discussion.

    Great article however it’s nice to see some discussion in regards to the ending at all here. I enjoyed it a lot even if I disagreed, so keep on keeping on VG247. Hopefully I didn’t come off as a raging fanboy here (which I most likely did).

    I’d say I will not be able to trust BioWare to ever deliver a story with a satisfactory ending again. They can end their games how they please as is their right as creators and storytellers but they’ve lost my trust as a consumer. Probably forgot some stuff here but eh.

    TL;DR: Loved 99% of the game, hated the last 10 minutes because they made no sense in terms of the series.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. KAP


    So you think most of the people who are complaining about this ending are “kids”, really?
    I for one found the ending “ok” … To a point, but at the same time the writers were going for certain emotion that lead to a confusing contradictory mess.

    Was Shepard the only survivor to travel to the conduit or wasn’t he?
    Why was joker running away from the battle?
    Was Anderson really in the citidel?

    The list will go on.. It was just so messy that they tried to make it speculative but fell before they even finished.
    Brenner one thing you said that I agree with completely was I also think gamers should look at the whole product/game as one entire swan song. Because if you do that you feel less enraged I think.

    Nice article. (until the very end) *wink*


    #9 3 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @8: SPOILER:

    Having Shepard die, at the end, next to Anderson, with some slow-mo flashbacks of the crew and/or the people he saved would’ve been enough. And much, much better. Just imagine that. Or just show them down on earth, fighting the reapers, and then they suddenly die? That would be great, definitely better.

    I’ve the feeling that they ran out of time, the biggest indicator for me WERE the slow-mo flashbacks. From what i saw on Youtube everyone seemed to have a flashback of the three crew member: Joker, Anderson and Liara. Why those three and where is the rest?

    The biggest question here is: Why overcomplicate things? Shepard saving the world would’ve been fine. Show some surviving crew member, fine.

    Give my Shepard the opportunity to ‘screw’ (Her words, not mine) Jack on last time and i love you. Because for me this was one of the biggest let-downs. Yes i understand that Shepard had to die, but i thought he’d at least had the chance to talk with Jack in private, not on some chat.

    That’s definitely bittersweet though, so i think i’m okay with this, as i like bittersweet endings. Still, people who were in a relationship with Kaiden, the fucking racist asshole and Liara had the chance to see them one last time before the last battle.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Edo

    “…..until BioWare makes it explicit, I’m considering Shepard’s death canonical.”Good luck with that.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. viralshag

    “It’s true emotional engagement, and a lot of “kids” have never really experienced it before with a creative work.”

    That’s a really silly and unfounded comment. I’m actually a little surprised someone that’s played the game would Say that.


    ME3 is full of emotionally engaging moments – Mordin’s death, or Tali’s suicide, Anderson passing away, or on the flip-happier-side the “bro it up” mission with Garrus.

    All of these moments in comparison, were done with so much more tact and feeling than what you find after you go up in the lift it’s almost unbelievable.

    No one is complaining that their favourite squad members died because they were done well. The last 10 minutes of this game is just terrible.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. sedrikhcain

    The interesting thing about this column to me, apart from the writer’s own personal details, is that she acknowledges the major complaint that most people unhappy with the ending have (the fact that we don’t get to learn the ultimate fates of the people and civilizations we’ve come to care about) and even says that it was a big problem, but then goes on to praise the ending anyway. Meanwhile, she addresses Shepard’s death as if that’s the big complaint most people have, which it isn’t.

    I mean, if she likes the ending, she’s entitled but let’s address the real complaint, please.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. sedrikhcain

    On my first playthrough, I got the “breath of life” ending, showing that Shepard was alive amid the rubble (the rubble of what, I have no idea but anyway…)

    On that playthrough, I was a paragon male shep with a full reputation bar (but not fullly paragon). I chose to destroy the Reapers and my EMS was between 4000 and 5000.

    For the record, I’ve also done the synthesis ending. As silly as it is, I like that one better, even though I’m still not happy with it. Shepard sacrifices himself in that one.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    @12 – I haven’t even played it. To be brutally honest, I don’t even like Mass Effect that much. It does seem to me that the big problem with the ending is…


    Shepard’s death, and the fact that players have been attached to “their” Shepard for hundreds of hours over several years. I doubt many of them expected such a final ending, and they’re simply not used to it in games. Master Chief didn’t die. Nathan Drake didn’t die. I believe this is a watershed moment because this *is* art imitating life. Tragedy is death. As has been said many times this week, isn’t this all about a load of people simply not being able to accept that their hero doesn’t live happily ever after?

    For the record, I believe BioWare was absolutely right to do what it did here. It’s only death that can make Shepard a true hero. I’m sure the plot’s full of daft holes, but from what I’ve read this week it does seem to be the dying aspect that really made people shriek.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. viralshag

    @15, Well to be honest, as #13 has said, I think you’re completely missing what people are complaining about.

    I don’t think there is anyone that’s really bothered about him dying, probably some, but I imagine most people expected it. And this isn’t the first time we’ve had characters die in games.

    I would highly suggest you actually look into what people are really complaining about before you decide to write anything about it.

    As I said, all other emotional moments in the game were fine, better than fine in fact. But the ending is what it is, and that’s half-arsed. If anything the problem is that compared to the rest of the game the ending is the LEAST emotionally engaging moment.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    Interesting. Well, maybe you’re right in that I shouldn’t write something, then. I’ll do some more reading.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Edo

    ” but from what I’ve read this week it does seem to be the dying aspect that really made people shriek.”You couldn’t be more wrong.People weren’t expecting sunshine and rainbows and that Shepard will live happily ever after…they were,expecting closure…resolution and that what they have done throughout these three games will matter in the END…but it didn’t…I m not even going to start about all the lies from from Bioware,you can check those here if you want .

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Hero of Canton

    I don’t agree with you there, Pat. I think Shepard dying is the least of anyone’s complaints. I was perfectly ready for Shepard to die. I think, more than anything, it’s the fact that there’s little visible difference to the choice you make. It’s like the same ending with different coloured explosions. Sure, it MEANS something different, but the beauty of Mass Effect is in seeing the (sometimes dreadful) consequences of your actions, whereas here you’re supposed to imagine what happens after you make your choice. And for a drama that’s driven by its characters, to essentially ignore the fates of those you’ve spent three games forging relationships with, is something that many have found hard to take.

    Some people have compared it to the ending of Lost, but Lost’s finale carried a sense of closure and emotional weight, even if it didn’t make a lot of sense. Whereas here you get something that’s neither emotionally nor intellectually satisfying. I’m not sure I agree that it’s a deus ex machina ending for a number of reasons I’m not going into here, because I haven’t really got the time nor inclination. But it is full of holes. Even those defending it have admitted that some elements of it don’t work. When your staunchest supporters say some things don’t add up, you know you’ve screwed your ending.

    FWIW, I think petitioning for a new ending and/or filing a complaint to the FTC is ridiculous. In the end, we weren’t guiding the story so much as plotting a path through Bioware’s massive flow chart of possibilities. It’s their story, we all just had different final edits.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. viralshag

    There’s something worth writing about because the topic’s clearly causing quite a fuss. I just don’t think that it’s because people can’t handle a “bad ending”.

    I mean, the end to LA Noire wasn’t exactly picture perfect but then I think that was handled really well.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Patrick Garratt

    Well, I clearly need to play it. Equally clearly, I shouldn’t write an editorial telling everyone to man-up.

    And yeah, I really don’t think BioWare should alter it. It’s done.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. ItsFade


    Shepard lives in one of the endings so it’s not the fact that Shepard dies in the other ones that have people pissed off for the most part I think. Lot of the outrage seems to be that people feel cheated by BioWare in regards to what they promised pre-release. At least that’s how I see it.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. YoungZer0

    @21: Just play it. So far everyone who disagrees with having a different ending, hasn’t seen it yet. :)

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Patrick Garratt

    @23 – I’m going to do it, yeah. I think I’ll start with ME2, though, or I seriously won’t know what’s going on. I tried to play the original Mass Effect and I honestly got bored of it. I’ve got ME2 sat here for PC. I’ll install it now.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. YoungZer0

    @24: Have fun. My brother also started with Mass Effect 2. Sadly he didn’t understand why i was so mad about the ending until i pulled out a list of what went wrong. He never managed to transfer his character from ME 2 and had to start from the get-go. I think that’s one of the reasons why people don’t understand the fans backlash.

    If you really stick with your own character and every decision you’ve made, you can’t help but be disappointed by the ending, because really, so many decisions mattered. The moment you meet characters from the first game the second time has a huge impact. I know i kind of sound like the forever-alone guy, but it really is like meeting an old buddy.

    But then you watch footage on Youtube, where the meeting is missing, because the guy who uploaded the footage killed him in the first game.

    You don’t happen to own some of the DLC? I recommend ‘Overlord’. It is one of the best DLC i’ve ever played.

    Maybe look on Youtube if there is some kind of ‘previously on Mass Effect 1′, while you install the game. The story really was the best in the first one.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. GwynbleiddiuM

    @Pat Word of advise, ME in my opinion is the best in the series, there might be awkward gameplay elements that doesn’t suit many, but it’s helluva a run and definitely worth playing. You wont miss a lot about big picture, but you’ll miss the decisions that makes your experience a bit unique to your personal choices. But yeah, first go through them it’s a huge fun.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Patrick Garratt

    I honestly can’t face the prospect of playing through three giant RPGs. I know I won’t do it. I’m installing ME2 as we type. Mass Effect 2 seemed to be where it really blew up with all the GOTY stuff, so I reckon it’ll be good to start there. I’ll watch a “previously on ME1″ vid, yep.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. nofear360

    @24: I was bored of Mass Effect 1 quickly too (played it on 360; they say it’s better on PC). It took me three separate attempts to finally finish the game (1st playthrough attempt lasted 2 hrs, 2nd 1hr. Only on my 3rd one I managed to play through the whole game (not in one sitting, mind you). It gets better midway through).

    I found Mass Effect 2 much better than ME 1. Combat was more refined, story was told better (imo) and pacing was much better (again imo).

    I loved ME3 just the same as ME2.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. endgame


    @Brenna Well said! That’s what I was thinking as well. You’re a really good writer. :) And about crying at the end? I did, but I also did when the Primarch’s son died and Mordin died and also when Thane did. Thane especially was a very good friend for me and what happened to him and how his life ended, those final moments were very intense for me. Anyway, thank you for this article. It’s good to know that there are people who love the game as much as I did.

    @Patrick The amount of reading you can do about this subject will never get you to understand what this game what this experience means for us. We played, we fought, we loved in this game for the last 4 years. I, personally, have spent more than 500 hours in this universe and everyone of the characters means a lot to me. Don’t think that you can come even close to feel what we feel about this game just by.. reading stuff.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. nofear360

    @29: I agree 100%. Don’t write about it if you haven’t played it. I assumed you (Patrick) played through all three of them… Writing just for the sake of it is quite pathetic, to be honest (sorry).

    #30 3 years ago
  31. YoungZer0

    @30: He knows that, that’s why he installs the second Mass Effect now. Something you’d know if you’d read the comments properly.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. nofear360

    @31: I know he is installing it as we speak, no need to get upset. But the way I understood him, at first he had no intention of playing before writing his article…

    #32 3 years ago
  33. hives

    “Hero’s story”? Nope. For me, whole ME trilogy is more about OTHERS, than about Shepard. Shepard is the least interesting character in these games :P That’s why I don’t like the ending…

    What about characters that are far more important for many, many players than Shepard? :f Nothing, bye.

    Of course not to mention complete LACK OF LOGIC. That kind of ending fits Human Revolution (because it’s all about Jensen in this game), but not the trilogy with so much focus on NPCs.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. thesamy

    me and my girlfriend are gamers and we just hed sex and i hed premature enjaculation and she said: “that even was better then mess effect 3 ending”

    #34 3 years ago
  35. orakaa

    @34: You made me laugh so much I had to comment just to thank you :D

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Patrick Garratt

    @30 – Nope! I’ve got the attention span of a goldfish. I’ve never written any opinion on ME because I honestly don’t know much about the plot.

    Just played the first bit of ME2. It’s good! I should have probably realised that by all the millions of people saying how good it was.


    #36 3 years ago
  37. bo_7md

    I don’t mind the ending as it is, but i have to admit that it’s not what I expected.


    If I were to tweak the story a bit this is what I’d do:

    Assuming you clear all personal missions + Save all crew memebers you get choices + High Paragon/Renegade:

    1) Mordins personal mission is cure the Genophage if you save him he discovers a frequency in the tower that disables/destroys the reapers. (Destroy Reapers Ending)

    2) EDI falls for Joker but calculates that this relationship won’t work unless she becomes human, so her personal mission is to find a professor who has done synthesis research. (Synthesis Ending)

    3) Illusive Man Ending Requires (High Renegade): based on several decisions through out the game you take the Illusive man side and try to control the Reapers (Control the Reapers Ending)

    Shepard dies and at the end a final mission and a different ending then DA text info that tells you what happens to the world based on your decisions.

    What i got is Decision A or Decision B or Decision C = Same Ending and no info on what happens to other races =/

    #37 3 years ago
  38. ItsFade

    I just got reminded of this image again but I still feel it sums up the ending perfectly and stupidity of it all:

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Aimless

    Pat, if you still wish to read up on the subject I think this article, especially the second page, gives a pretty comprehensive view of the situation without getting bogged down in spoilers or specifics.

    Also, you’d really be missing out by not playing ME3 as it is, ending aside, one of my favourite ever games. I admit it’s a bit of an ominous task as it wouldn’t have nearly as much impact if you didn’t at least play the second game first, but it really is a landmark series; it’s far from perfect, but it is a showcase of one of ways in which the medium of games is different to any other.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Gurdil

    I’ve already said what I thought of the ending so i won’t do it again. But, I’m getting tired of people who hated the ending saying “well you gotta respect our opinion” while also saying “if you don’t agree with me, then either you didn’t play the game or you’re just stupid”. Just cut this BS already! We (the ones who liked the ending) found something in it that you obviously don’t care about. That’s fine but stop pretending your opinion is the only one that can be correct, that’s childish and stupid. Thank you.

    Plus, stop linking to the same article over and over again, we’ve read it, we disagree on most of the points that are made, we said WHY we disagree (and yes I know I can’t speak for everybody but I’m not the only one who had numerous debates defending the ending so I find it weird to put an “I” as if nobody else cared). Less and less people think you’re just whining like bitches, so calm down and accept that other people may like what you don’t.


    #40 3 years ago
  41. Jockie

    Great article, broadly aligns with my own thoughts (I have certainly mentally ‘snipped’ everything to do with a certain mystical/mechanical ghost child).

    It’s a weird phenomena, this perceived ownership of a character by the players. I can understand it in a DnD game, where every facet of a character comes from the player, but Shephard is a defined character, with defined characteristics – a career soldier who never backs down or hesitates to make the hard choices for the greater good. Whether you’re a Paragon or Renegade it’s still pretty much the same character, making decisions in the heat of the moment – but it’s written well enough and engaging enough that we start to ascribe other characteristics to our Shepard (which is the essence of ‘roleplaying’ – getting inside your characters headspace).

    I think the outraged reaction has demonstrated how well Bioware managed to connect with the audience in the serie.s It’s a shame the ending of the final part of the series was pretty poor, but if you view the whole of ME3 as ‘the ending’ it feels a suitably epic and worthy way to finish.

    (also anyone who is seriously ‘outraged’ by the ending and is making ‘demands’ of Bioware needs to get a sense of fucking perspective)

    #41 3 years ago
  42. absolutezero

    Like I have mentioned before what I disliked the most about the endings were not the details, im not that big into the Mass Effect canon, I adored the first game, I enjoyed the second one. So im not that bothered about the plot ramifications of the events surrounding the ending.

    No, what bothered me more than anything was in a series which prided itself on choices and changing, mutable morals then ending ended up being a binary choice between three options. The worst thing is that no matter who your Shepard was throughout the previous games, a hero, a bastard, or a level-headed neutral it matters not a sod to the ending that you can get.

    Than and most of this video :

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Eversor

    Guys and girlz, just look at this:
    SPOILER ALERT. But after that clip, I can’t even think about Bioware other than they are F”"”ING BRILLIANT GINIOUS! Sorry for my english, but that MUST BE SEEN, a PERFECT EXPLANATION to misunderstanding what thousands whined about. It’s pretty 20 min, but it pretty sure worth of every second!

    #43 3 years ago
  44. Jayla

    I would have liked Shepherd to live, in the perfect world she would have. But I can get past her not surviving, you’re given hints at least in ME2 and all the way through ME3, plus the major goodbye at the last stretch to your entire team, I would have been an idiot not to see her kicking it. I was prepared for Shepherd dying.

    What I was not prepared for was the complete miss-information about what happens to the rest of your team. Sure; Joker, EDI + one other team member you had the highest relationship with in your Squad live if you choose Control/Synthesis, or Joker + two other team members you had the highest relationship with in your Squad lives if you choose Destroy, but what about everyone else? ME2 had so many squad members, not including the DLC characters you can pick up, not including ME1 and ME3 itself. As someone else mentioned, why is it you only see Joker, Anderson and Liara in your flashbacks through all choices?

    Bioware handled all DLC content as, apparently, canon. Whether you downloaded the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC or not in ME2, Liara is the Shadow Broker in ME3. Zaeed and Kasumi are present in ME3 whether you downloaded their content or not (granted, Zaeed was essentially free for all but he’s still DLC). If we take this logic with the Arrival DLC, then destroying the Mass Relays causing a Supernova which destroys planets and pissed off a lot of Batarians to almost extinction, and at least two of the ending choices causes the Mass Relays to be destroyed. Does this mean that we’ve essentially allowed a major portion of the Galaxy to be obliterated? That’s a MAJOR plot hole that I can’t ignore.

    There are so many other issues that I won’t even go into right now, as they’ve been mentioned to death. But these two are the issues that really rile me the most.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. Eversor

    Look at link above, please? =)

    #45 3 years ago
  46. Jayla


    I did, and I was blown away by the quality of the video. I had heard of that theory previously but was unsure as to accept it or not because it seemed like grasping at straws. That video has, to an extent, changed my mind.

    I made a comment on that video, which basically amounted too: “Even if Bioware never clarify the ending/s, I can at least hold on to this and ‘finish’ the game in my own mind”.

    It’s not perfect, not satisfactory, but its enough. For now. :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    #46 3 years ago
  47. bo_7md

    Which ever theory you pick they all have major plot holes. I’ll take the realistic one and go with the normal ending since you get a game message saying you destroyed the reapers.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Jayla

    @ bo_7md

    “Which ever theory you pick they all have major plot holes.”

    I could spot a few with the Indoctrination theory in that video, I’m interested to see what you considered plot holes. Care to explain? C:

    #48 3 years ago
  49. Silent Parallel

    The ending wasnt a bad ending, The only reason i found it a little bit enraging, was i immediatly thought of all the hours that played through Mass Effect, and then Mass Effect 2, And then spending more time on ME3, and having it just come crashing down, I knew it would be the end of the series, but i figured that that it would just be the end of Shepard’s storyand could lead into a spinoff, which it really could still do, to be honest this really was my least favourite entry, ME2 being favourite, but it was still an amazing game, and you have to admit, they could have at least made the endings have more difference, there were only 2 possibilities that let Shepard live, One of them was a certain amount of Effective Military Points, plus having Anderson live, or, have over 5000 of said points and chose destruction, both seem very difficult to get.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. Henry

    @49 One of the reason the ending is bad is the tons of inconsistent plot holes. e.g.


    1. The Mass Relays explosions at the end would destroy all star systems they are located in. But Shepard didn’t ask a question doing it.

    2. If survived, your armada is stranded around Earth now. Highly unlikely to get back home. Worse, highly likely starved to death. Again, Shepard didn’t ask a question doing it.

    3. Your teammates fighting the last battle with you on Earth mysteriously “teleported” back to Normandy, and Normandy chickened out of the battle before the Mass Replay exploded.

    4. If Citadel AI is controlling Reaper all long, Saren & Sovereign in ME1 are just running around like idiots. Citadel AI can just summon Reaper by itself.

    5. With Reaper’s overwhelming power, there are many easier solutions to solve “Organics creator vs Synthetic created”. E.g. Control the synthetic (Reaper is already controlling Geth), kill the synthetic, prevent organics from creating Synthetics (Sovereign said they controlled how we evolve, gave us the technology they allowed).
    Mass murdering the very beings they are trying to save is the stupidest solution.

    6. Sovereign said in ME1 that Reapers are “eternal, the pinnacle of evolution and existence”, “the end of everything”, “have no beginning”. But Citadel AI said Reaper is just the tool he created, and pinnacle of evolution is Synthesis.

    There are many others. They have nothing to do with “you like it or not”. They are just objective plot holes that shouldn’t exist in a story.

    #50 3 years ago

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