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Wednesday, March 28

One more post on No Effect 3

No Effect 3 logo
Ok ONE more post on the ending of Mass Effect 3 or No effect 3 as the person who made the above logo has suggested. Anyways... on with it.

The lastest theory doing the rounds is that Commander Sheppard is in the some stage of indoctrination by the Reapers. And thus the ending is not reality and the choices we are asked to make are really the choice to resist the indoctrination process or accept it. 

There’s some very interesting reasoning around this indoctrination – this good doc has some questions that need answers.

A key point from it is this statement:

"How is the Illusive Man controlling Shepard if she isn't indoctrinated? The script has gone to great lengths in both Mass Effect 2 and 3 to establish that no control chip was placed in Shepard during her reconstruction. If anything, beating the audience over the head with this fact seems to encourage us to question the possibility of this scene.

The Illusive Man saying "look at what THEY can do" indicates that it was, directly or indirectly, the Reapers who made Shepard fire the gun - therefore Shepard is indoctrinated. Period. This scene cannot make sense and is not possible otherwise."

It’s a nice idea but I’m not sure that actually what is going on here... but suppose it's a valid theory. I’m just wondering where the opportunity to indoctrinate Sheppard occurred in the first place. If indoctrination is a slow passive process – then it sure didn’t start just after Sheppard when up to meet the God Like Reaper Child. Did it start to happen earlier – exposure to Saren and Harbinger perhaps? Or was it the dreams he had of the child? Who knows.

I’m not wholly convinced of the theory – however it seems a pretty neat way to make sense of the mind fuck ending that ME3 threw up.


Regardless of the indoctrination theory the google doc also has this gem of an argument to highlight how stupid some of the plot points are at the end of the game.

“The Child states that without his intervention, synthetics would destroy all organic life. For him to be so absolutely assured of this theory, it must have happened at some point in the history of the galaxy. However, if "all" organic life was extinguished at any point in time, organic life would not presently exist. The Child's assertion is disingenuous.”

It’s certainly a paradox eh?

But wait there’s more!

"However, again for no reason at all, he presents Shepard with the options to destroy or control the Reapers, both of which would bring this alleged "chaos" to the galaxy, which he spent untold aeons labouring to prevent. And he's just totally cool with this.

He could have never appeared to Shepard, never brought her up to the Catalyst room, or simply never said a single word... and Shepard would not have understood the purpose of the devices in that room, thus preserving the Solution."

Sounds like the Reaper child shot himself  in the foot? Or maybe writer Casey Hudson...

This guy gives a really cool spin on the story – what if Mass Effect was Lord of the Rings and you couldn’t destroy the ring at the end?




You might have heard was there was a different ending to ME3 planned.

The internet says the original Mass Effect writer, Drew Karpyshyn had this to say a once proposed ending:

"The Reapers' goal was to find a way to stop the spread of Dark Energy which would eventually consume everything. That's why there was so much foreshadowing about Dark Energy in ME," Karpyshyn wrote.

"The Reapers as a whole were 'nations' of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy. The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of its genetic diversity and represented the universe's best chance at stopping Dark Energy's spread.

"The original final choice was going to be 'Kill the Reapers and put your faith in the races of the galaxy in finding another way to stop the spread with what little time is left' or 'Sacrifice humanity, allowing them to be horrifically processed in hopes that the end result will justify the means.'

That could have been cool.

But it gets worse. There’s the now infamously deleted Patrick Weeks post to think about.

Week’s post had this to say about the planned ending:

“And then, just to be a dick… what was SUPPOSED to happen was that, say you picked “Destroy the Reapers”.

When you did that, the system was SUPPOSED to look at your score, and then you’d show a cutscene of Earth that was either:

a) Very high score: Earth obviously damaged, but woo victory
b) Medium score: Earth takes a bunch of damage from the Crucible activation. Like dropping a bomb on an already war-ravaged city. Uh, well, maybe not LIKE that as much as, uh, THAT.
c) Low score: Earth is a cinderblock, all life on it completely wiped out”

Why on earth did that get changed (if it’s true). That seems like a compelling story ending.

There's been a lot of rumour about Casey Hudson ignoring people or simply writing what he wanted etc and if that’s true, I’m really not sure I’ll ever buy another game that Casey Hudson is involved in again. He seems a nice guy but if he ‘panic’ with the supposed rewrite   I will distrust his future judgements. 

It will be bloody interesting to see what he comes up with in April. 

Let's hope the ending was not the indoctrination 'it was all just a dream theory' - I think that's fans just being pretty darn clever but none-the-less deluding themselves. I think ME3's producers and Casey tried to do something cool and ballsy but it simply backfired on them. 

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