It's not a far stretch to believe that there was a central intelligence to a bunch of A.I. killing machines. I assume the kid is a projection of the kid from Sheapards mind since humans are only a part of this cycle. Since when is there a story writing 101 that you have to follow. If all stories were structured the same then they would get boring pretty quickly. I don't see a problem with having a new character up there. It would play exactly the same if that was a projection of Harbinger up there.
This is the problem. Assuming. The ending is badly written. It's not clear at all. It's not even one of those: "Let the reader figure it out" endings. It's just badly written.
There are certain "rules" you follow when writing a story. It's basic stuff. "Show, don't tell." "No information dumping", etc. Introducing a character that completely changes everything right at the end without some serious foreshadowing is just bad.
It might surprise you but 90% of stories are structured the same. Having studied the subject, I feel I have enough knowledge to make that kind of a statement. There are a lot of stuff "under the hood" that readers don't realize
I don't have a lot to say on the writing part. But some of Mass Effect is everyone is supposed to have their own story, so I think they were really trying to have not so much a "figure it out" ending as a "you can have your own ending" type situation. If you want the indoctrination theory to be you ending, then believe that's what happend. If you want the universe to still be in disarray, then believe that's what happend. Now the extended cut made some of that less inferable unfortunately but I do believe that's what Mass Effect is about.
Does the child really change everything? I think he gave more answers than questions in regards to why the Reapers were doing what they were doing. There's always going to be a mystery of where they came from because they were created who knows how many cycles ago, it's like the flood in Halo. Both games are starting to dig into that subject and it's a thin line because fans have so much made up in their head.
The Extended Cut helped a LOT more when they were trying to explain the different choices. Also when everybody is running toward the teleporter, your friends get picked up by the Normandy (before, they just died). Epilouge was a nice plus, just wish they added other things, like the Rachni or the Batarians. Just shed a little more light on the other races.
I disagree with you completely. Mass Effect has never been "you can have your own ending" in the sense you're talking. There were different endings that can happen, but they were all written well and they were detailed (note written perfectly). The problem with ME3 is that that shits on the whole series. The ending doesn't make any sense. Just the fact that people actually had to invent a theory to make any sense to it proves that. Oh and the theory is completely busted.
The EE endings did what they said they would. They explained the ending. Except they didn't explain anything important. It didn't fix any of the problems. It's still badly written ending. If it was done by anyone except Bioware, they wouldn't have gotten away with it this easily. Now they just made few new clips and people are all: "Brilliant! Best ending ever"
I'm legitimately interested in hearing your problems with the endings.
And it has been a have your own story type of game. Maybe not from the beginning because you have to build on the branches, I've listened to a number of podcasts where the people are talking and have no idea that situations that have happened to their co-workers are even possible. Yeah I agree that Bioware could have done more to differentiate and take into account some decisions but it's really a tall order if you think about it.
In Mass Effect 2 they did nothing to explain why there was a human reaper being built. Throughout the series we see what 2? variations of the reaper ships. In all the cycles why are there only two Reaper forms? ... ( I don't know if that helped or hurt my argument, I was just stating that it isn't particularly well written.)
I think we can all agree that the biggest problem with the ending of Mass Effect 3 is that the people who keep bitching about it don't have anything else in their life worth bitching about.... which is pretty fucking lame.
I liked it. Synthesis is still a terrible idea and the epilogue was all sunshine and bunnies with no questions about what synthesis would mean for the galaxy or any explanation as to how the hell it was possible. The best Destroy ending, however, was more than satisfactory. BioWare might be too stubborn to apologise openly, but at least they listened to the fans and gave us this.
They did tell us that Collectors are Protheans though... Interesting you didn't realize that. That's what they do, preserve other species as Reapers. The Protheans were preserved as Collectors, Asari as Banshees, Humans as Husks/The one from the ending, Turians as Marauders and possibly Krogan as Brutes.
Sorry I haven't answered. Been a little sick. Head isn't in the shape of thinking much of anything. I'll try to get down my reasons during the weekend. Want to make a good post that explains my views completely.
I totally agree about Synthesis. Even if I ignore the indoctrination theory, take the endings at face value, and put all my other problems with the endings aside, the Synthesis ending alone makes absolutely no sense to me and is about as effective as "love and friendship and magic save the universe!". It's something I was thinking about going over in more detail in a journal post or a youtube video when I have more time.
It kind of explained what synthesis means. I do wonder if people still have to eat and if they still die from disease and stuff, what it means for population issues, etc. But it did say that the Reapers could share their collective knowledge with everyone now, so it's similar to the control ending in that regard.
And I realize that they transform the races, but what do they do with the husks, mauraders, etc, after they wipe out the galaxy? We don't see old races in Reaper form running around with the exception of the Collectors, but I feel like the Protheans were unique in the that they were the closest to stopping the Reapers because they were such a dominant race... Maybe I'm answering my own questions again.
In reply to sinfulace, #41: Where did you read that in the Codex?
All the endings make sense, pleas tell me how they don't? With this add on its pretty clear that these ending you must take at face value, clearly the Indoctrination Theory is clearly impossible. It's just desperate fans clinging onto something that never will and never has existed.
The list of evidence that the indoctrination theory is possible is massive. So much so that there's a 2-part documentary totaling 3 hours that discusses it (Part 1, Part 2). The same evidence has been talked about ever since the theory first came up. Watch the documentary (or read the evidence elsewhere), remove the things that were addressed by the extended cut (which isn't a lot), and you're still left with a huge list of concerns. When taken at face value, so much still contradicts itself. So much still makes no sense. Not just the choices at the very end, but events leading up to it.
I'm not going to sit here and list and nit-pick at every little thing because that's been done to death already and is still being done on other sites and forums and such. I have no desire to start doing it here too.
God dammit. I watched part 1 and 2 and... I think I would have to say Indoctrination Theory does seem right. I mean 3hrs of proof right there. The part that stood out the most, was Bioware employs were asked about "The Indoctrination Theory." They said that they are not going to say that its true or false. I agree with CleverNoob that this ending split the Mass Effect community half and half, some like it some don't. But this defiantly got me thinking that it might be true. I mean there is so much proof and I found myself not being able to come up with any explanation. So I am sorry for my previous dumb comments, this theory still could be true. If it is I can not wait for the final battle.But I really hope they get there shit together soon and stop teasing what is going on. I wan't a ending and I wan't it to say if the Indoctrination Theory is true or false. But I have defiantly changed my opinion I encourage people to watch it!
I want to talk (rant) about Synthesis. Much of what I'll say has already been said a hundred times over, but this image nicely sums up how I feel about what Bioware did with Synthesis in the EC.
They tried, but in the end I think they made Synthesis WORSE in the EC than it was in the vanilla game.
So here's what the Catalyst tells us when we ask how Synthesis will work:
"Your organic energy, the essence of who and what you are will be broken down and dispersed."
Wait a minute, how do you alter the DNA of every living organic being in the galaxy to instantly turn them into half-robots using the power of Shepard's "organic energy", whatever that is, and vice-versa with synthetics?
"Synthesis is the final evolution of all life."
What does this even mean? What about Mass Effect 2 where Harbinger says:
"Evolution cannot be halted, progress cannot be stopped."
With this in mind, how can there be a final stage of evolution? Harbinger states that evolution is a never-ending road we're constantly going down but the Catalyst sure throws that out of the window. And, if both organics and synthetics used to evolve, why don't the organic-synthetic hybrids too? And you can't finalize the evolution of all life, and even if you could, doesn't saying that synthesizing everyone was the final step in their evolution directly contradict what EDI says later in the epilogue?
"We may transcend mortality itself to reach a level of existence I cannot even imagine."
How can she not imagine a level of existence she's already supposed to be at? Synthesis is the FINAL evolution of life, how can they transcend that?
"I am alive."
OK, sure you are EDI, we've known that one for a while now. Oh, you mean now you're alive? As in, the entire point made by ME2 and 3 about synthetics being just as valid-a-form of life as organics was what, bollocks? Didn't you say you were alive back when we were saying goodbye on Earth? Oh, that's right, you did:
"Jeff was the one who allowed me to think for myself. But only now do I feel alive."
So what is it with this implication that you needed to become partly organic in order to become a... 'real girl'?
Next she says this sentence:
"As a galaxy, we can now live the lives we have wished for, taking our first steps into a new and wonderful future, where organics and synthetics can coexist peacefully."
Ok, how exactly can "organics and synthetics" coexist in any way when there are no actual organics or synthetics anymore? The whole point of Synthesis is that it does away with this barrier and EDI even says later that the lines between organics and synthetics has gone - so what was the point of this piece of dialogue? But more importantly, the implication that the only possible way you accomplish lasting peaceful coexistence between two different groups is by making them more like each other (without their consent no less!) is a beyond -blam!- up idea that has brought us so much pain and all kinds of pure horror throughout history that I have many, many issues with it being presented so lightly and cheerfully here.
"As a galaxy, we can now live the lives we have wished for."
What galaxy are you talking about there EDI, 'cause it sure as hell isn't the one I've just spent 3 games in. No one wished for that. If you went around the galaxy asking people, from turians to asari, how they'd feel about being transformed into some half-organic-half-synthetic form of life without their consent, I pretty guarantee you that the great majority of them, if not all of them, would be strongly against the idea. How many people were happy with the way they were? How many of them had religious or philosophical beliefs that'd make them consider being something like this abomination? How many of them would say they'd rather die than become some organic-synthetic hybrid?
Mordin in ME2 on Collectors becoming organic/synthetic hybrids:
"No soul - replaced by tech!"
I could go on here, and probably will eventually, but I hope I've made the point that thematically Synthesis is 110% stupid and contradictory... and stupid.
Love your rant, good stuff so I want to say something about the refusal ending. How can someone that just spent three games, died once, almost died again, all to save the galaxy from the Reapers, just turn and decide that he cant make a choice. Is the choice really that difficult?
Sure destroy and synthesis have their repercussions, but what repercussions does control have? Shepard wants the ability to save the galaxy but can't choose to control the Reapers and fly them off into dark space forever? What is the issue with that? Maybe he could be afraid of rogue Reapers (Leviathan DLC??). I just don't get it.