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Old 2012-06-28, 20:52   Link #3261
synaesthetic
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Yeah, it's interesting how in the first two games (which had Drew Karpyshyn's writing influencing the tone) the idea of "synthetics and organics can work out their differences" was a major theme, especially in ME2 (where the geth aren't the primary enemy). Karpyshyn left partially through ME2's development.

The original plan for ME3's story was to be something about dark energy that'd make the Reapers basically into the Antispirals and Kyuubey combined, rather than "anti-Skynet" that they are in the actual ME3. The hard turn "against" coexistence toward the end of ME3 is just indicative of the change in narrative direction toward a more typical Hollywood-style "robot apocalypse" story.

This sort of thing always frustrated me, an avid fan of Asimov's works where robots and AI aren't automatically considered the villains. It's a major plot point of the book I'm working on as well--one of the two main characters is an artificial intelligence and a large part of the early story revolves around her development as a person. I went into the work trying to prove that AI isn't automatically good or bad, but like any other intelligence, it depends on the person--and the person in this case just wants to be treated with the same respect any other good person would be.

Legion and the geth always struck me the same way. The geth didn't want war; it was forced upon them.
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Old 2012-06-29, 04:32   Link #3262
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ME3 also had "synthetics and organics can work out their differences." Hell, the entirety of Rannoch was centered around that. They just tossed it out the window in the last ten minutes. Legion flashing on the screen doesn't really matter, since that was referring to his sacrifice to allow the geth to become individuals. A sacrifice you destroy in the red ending.
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Old 2012-06-29, 07:05   Link #3263
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idk why they couldn't just say "But destroying the reapers also includes destroying you and the relays... why ALL synthetics?
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Old 2012-06-29, 07:25   Link #3264
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It essentially makes control the best ending of the three, since in control the only one being sacrificed is yourself. And even you live on, in a way. With a better understanding of the geth to boot.
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Old 2012-06-29, 07:38   Link #3265
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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idk why they couldn't just say "But destroying the reapers also includes destroying you and the relays... why ALL synthetics?
Because that's what the Reaper kid wanted. The ME3 ending somehow claimed that Synthetics are a threat by just existing. So you are only allowed to destroy the Reapers if you kill the Geth too.

Quote:
It essentially makes control the best ending of the three, since in control the only one being sacrificed is yourself. And even you live on, in a way. With a better understanding of the geth to boot.
Only if you don't believe the Reapers merely lay dormant and await a time when they need to reactivate and start purging again. There is NO reason to trust the Star Child. You know nothing about him, he has different goals from you, you have been opposing him all game, so on what grounds do you stand on to suppose that he isn't just toying with Shepard? Especially since the Child wanted Shepard to assimilate himself to the Reapers.

There is no reason why the star child can't "assume direct control" again when he feels like it. It just isn't the right time.
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Old 2012-06-29, 08:00   Link #3266
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Hence "of the three."
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Old 2012-06-29, 14:51   Link #3267
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I'll echo what other people say, in that the ending upgraded from a 1/10 to a 4/10. It's still unsatisfying.

I think Bioware kind of wrote themselves into a corner, due to the plot changes that were made in the transition from ME1 to ME2 (IE adding most of the cerberus stuff) and ME2 to ME3 (ditching "dark energy") it meant they had a plot that was very tricky to resolve. Once they ditched dark energy, there wasn't anything left they had dropped extensive hints about. That said, I'm not sure if Dark Energy would have been satisfactory either. Also, the presence of Cerberus somewhat divided the focus of the game. A lot of time had to be spent on cerberus related things, which divided the attention of the game.

If I was to rewrite the ending of the game, I would have made the crucible a gigantic black hole bomb, and for "mysterious reasons" (IE unexplained) had the vast majority of the reapers congregate around Earth. The fact the crucible is a black hole bomb would have been known from the start (it's a bit silly that they don't exactly know what they're building). In order to justify the (rather cool) endgame of fighting on earth, the reapers could have set up some mass effect device either on earth or in orbit that "dampens mass effect fields" would prevent the crucible from detonating. When Shephard reaches the installation, s/he has a climactic confrontation with the Illusive Man, followed by Harbinger (and maybe Harbinger possessing the Illusive Man, in a nod to ME1). Shephard is wounded sends the signal telling the fleet to detonate the Crucible and the Crucible destroys the Solar system and the vast majority of the Reapers with it. In his/her last moments s/he might trade words with Harbinger. Maybe in Shep's climactic confrontation with harbinger there might even be a point where s/he gets indoctrinated and has to fight it off (we might see the "starchild" there before Shep punches him out of existence).

Depending on your war readiness/other factors there would be a variety of changes to the epilogue. For all but the worst ending you'd see the Allied forces building more Crucibles to send against the remnants of the Reapers. and fighting words from Admiral Hackett. Your war readiness would affect how much of Earth was evacuated (as the fleet was able to buy more time to evacuate more people).The specifics of the epilogue would change depending on what choices you made over the course of the series.

I think this would be a 7 or 8/10 ending. To get a "perfect" ending you'd have needed to change a lot of the details present in the series, and planted the seeds of the ending as far back as ME1. The big issue with the writing is that while individual elements are extremely good (the best in gaming I'd say), the whole is less then the sum of it's parts. It doesn't come together in a cohesive factor, and there's too many plot threads to resolve all at once.

Still, I think this ending works better mainly because:

a) it preserves the "mystery" of the Reapers. The Reapers were cool and scary because you didn't really know what their goals were. Any explanation would have been dissapointing. These kind of vital plot points should not be revealed at the very end.

b) It preserves the "majesty" of the reapers, because the Reapers are still only destroyed by the greatest force in the Galaxy, a black hole, and a big sacrifice is required. Losing Earth in order to be able to defeat the Reapers is a fitting end.

c) It's not all over at once, the idea that the entire war is over in one swoop doesn't sit well with me, in this way there's still cleanup to do. There's still the remnants of the Reapers out there.

d) There's hope, You can imagine it will be hard, but ultimately the Alliance will finish off the rest of the Reapers.

e) You can see the fate of the rest of galaxy, your choices up to that point have more meaning, as while the actual ending itself is the same regardless, the atmosphere around it will be very different.

f) There's sequel opportunities, while the main plot threads have been brought to a close, there's still some reapers out there, and more mysteries to unravel. The world of ME is still fundamentally the same.

What y'all think?

My inspiration for Earth getting destroyed is Freespace, after all, the Reapers are already similiar to the Shivans anyway. Volition handled the ending of that game much better.
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Old 2012-06-29, 16:32   Link #3268
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I actually like the new ending. I reckon if I was Shepard, being half-dead and then some child like figure, who tried to kill me for the last few years, ask me to make a decision on his terms, I would say "f*ck off, I am not playing your stupid game". This ending isn't too bad, and leaves room for more stories, with a new generation of lifeforms. And maybe their cycle would have more success.

All the other ending, extended or not, just doesn't make any sense and have holes in it, so yeah I wished they would have included this ending with the game in the beginning. It just got a more epic feeling to it, you play the last part of a cycle that fails, but now you know at least why.
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Old 2012-06-29, 17:06   Link #3269
DonQuigleone
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I actually like the new ending. I reckon if I was Shepard, being half-dead and then some child like figure, who tried to kill me for the last few years, ask me to make a decision on his terms, I would say "f*ck off, I am not playing your stupid game". This ending isn't too bad, and leaves room for more stories, with a new generation of lifeforms. And maybe their cycle would have more success.

All the other ending, extended or not, just doesn't make any sense and have holes in it, so yeah I wished they would have included this ending with the game in the beginning. It just got a more epic feeling to it, you play the last part of a cycle that fails, but now you know at least why.
The refuse ending was probably the most fitting.

If only what came afterwards didn't feel so much like "lawl you LOSE lololololol".
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Old 2012-06-29, 17:13   Link #3270
synaesthetic
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If only what came afterwards didn't feel so much like "lawl you LOSE lololololol".
This is my problem with the refusal ending. It's not that the "bad end" idea is a bad idea, it's that it's handled in such a terrible way.

You could replace the end cutscene with a video of Casey Hudson flipping you off and telling you to fuck off and pick a colored ending; it'd have the same effect.
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Old 2012-06-29, 18:10   Link #3271
Keroko
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It's just.... we see one ship explode and then we cut to the timeskip. That's it. Had we seen more, like, oh, all your war assets in action (personalized ending, wink wink, nudge nude) in one last battle before all intelligent life is doomed it would have been far more interesting.
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Old 2012-06-29, 19:23   Link #3272
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The refuse ending was probably the most fitting.

If only what came afterwards didn't feel so much like "lawl you LOSE lololololol".
Its much worse if you don't trigger it through the dialog and instead accidentally choose it by shooting the godchild in the face (which is what I did not knowing it actually triggered anything) only to hear the godchild's voice growling "so be it" followed by the the universe ending...
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Old 2012-06-29, 20:09   Link #3273
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On the positive side, at least Bioware acknowledged that everyone wants to shoot that stupid God Child in the head.
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Old 2012-06-30, 00:16   Link #3274
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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On the positive side, at least Bioware acknowledged that everyone wants to shoot that stupid God Child in the head.
Only after the fact. Which means Bioware genuinely believed we should be on the Star Child's side. Which means Bioware believe the Reapers are the good guys.
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Old 2012-06-30, 00:22   Link #3275
Tiresias
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I miss the time when the Reapers were incomprehensible horrors from beyond the stars, their motives beyond the understanding of us puny mortals, uncaring of the labels "Good" or "Evil". Giving them motives took away that charm, giving them a stupid one even moreso.
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Old 2012-06-30, 00:40   Link #3276
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Only after the fact. Which means Bioware genuinely believed we should be on the Star Child's side. Which means Bioware believe the Reapers are the good guys.
Essentially, Bioware's indoctrinated but none of the consumers have enough Paragon/Renegade points to make them quit Saren/Illusive Man style.
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Old 2012-06-30, 03:44   Link #3277
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Essentially, Bioware's indoctrinated but none of the consumers have enough Paragon/Renegade points to make them quit Saren/Illusive Man style.
This remind me of Moulin Rouge!.
In the story, the cast was making a Play about how a girl picked the poor writer as her lover over the rich man because of love.

The sponsor of the play decided that he hates the ending, and demanded that the girl marry the rich man in a re-written ending because he projects himself into that character.

That's what I suspect has happened in ME3. EA decided that the Reapers resemble EA too much, and as such to allow the Reapers to lose is too much. So Shepard is doomed because the god of his universe, Bioware, got indoctrinated. The big and powerful, i.e. EA, has the right to pillage, rape and kill. And all who oppose will die.
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Old 2012-06-30, 10:32   Link #3278
DonQuigleone
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I miss the time when the Reapers were incomprehensible horrors from beyond the stars, their motives beyond the understanding of us puny mortals, uncaring of the labels "Good" or "Evil". Giving them motives took away that charm, giving them a stupid one even moreso.
Definitely.

Not only that, but the way the motives of the Reapers was revealed is simply dissapointing. We're talking about the primary antagonist of 3 games, and we're only told about them in the last 5 minutes? Either you leave them as "mysterious" and "unknowable" or you go the whole hog and devote several missions to finding out about them, similiar to what they did with the Geth (which was very very well done, might I add). In an anime, where they go to the effort of humanising their villains, they start it very early, from the point they introduce them. They don't wait and spring at the very end.

Furthermore, "humanising" the Reapers, who in the game more play the role of an eldritch abomination, isn't neccessarily a good idea anyway. I mean, are they asking us to sympathise with a race of "beings" that routinely commit mass genocide (remember, not all races can be turned into reapers), and turn people into zombies? The Reapers work because they're scary. Unlike the Geth, who work because they go to the trouble of fleshing them out.

That they turn people into Reapers to somehow "protect" them is fine with me, if starchild had left it at that I would have found it an easier pill to swallow, because the whole "inevitability of conflict between Synthetics and Organics" just didn't feel right, that hadn't been a major theme since ME1, and in fact a significant portion of ME3 was about showing "Hey, Synthetics and Organics can get along!" The only way that explanation could have worked is if they had kept synthetics as entirely villainous throughout the series, which would have been fine, they can't have it both ways. Those two themes clash way too much.

The major theme of ME3 was "Strength through Diversity", and the ending just completely clashes with that, the ending should have been the forces of the galaxy working together to thwack the reapers, at great cost. None of this starchild bullcrap.

I also found it dissapointing they didn't bring in Harbinger more, consider the number of lines he had in ME2, it would have been easy to give him lots of lines in ME3, along with some Boss encounters with Shephard. Instead we're left without any major figure to "hate" on among the Reapers. Cerberus are actually more effectively used as a villainous group, at least with them we have the Illusive Man and Kai Leng.

I think the root cause of all this is poor planning among ME3 writers. The game overall has quality writing. All the major plot archs in the game have satisfactory conclusions, not only that, but multiple satisfying conclusions. The ending on Tuchanka where Shepard shoots Mordin is just as well done and fitting as the ending where Mordin sacrifices himself. Likewise the Rannoch arch is also very high quality, whether you side with Quarians, Geth, or broker a peace between them.

Hopefully Bioware will learn the right lesson from this, "if you plan on making a quality story based game, plan it better, and aim for a satisfying ending". They should have had a single ending in mind in ME2 (or better yet, ME1) and been working towards it. It's actually a similiar thing to what happens in American TV, they write it as they go along and don't have any idea how to draw things to a close.


I think it's so frustrating because they came so close. If the writing in the rest of ME3 had been worse people wouldn't have been so dissapointed.
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Old 2012-06-30, 13:44   Link #3279
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the problem is that you can't defeat Reapers in a conventional warfare

look at Palaven
look at Thessia
look at operation Hammer

This shows me that there just isn't enough military power to fight the Reapers

If they were only a hundred or so Reaper, I guess it would be a manageable. But the numbers are clearly into the ten thousands.

don't believe me?

during the game you find out the Batarians managed to get their hand on something called the Leviathan of Dis.. which turns out to be another Reaper corpse. A BILLION year old Reaper corpse

now divided that number with 50,000. There has been at least 20,000 cycles which translates to ten of thousands or Reapers. And that's probably just the capital ships.

If Mass Effect was a tetralogy instead of trilogy that perhaps we could have discovered other plot device alternative plans to the defeat the Reapers, and we would get to choose on what plan to follow.

But the bottom line is clear. You need a plot device to defeat the Reapers. Conventional strength just isn't cutting it. The Protheans tried to do that and they were more advanced than present races. They failed.
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Old 2012-06-30, 14:12   Link #3280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key Board View Post
the problem is that you can't defeat Reapers in a conventional warfare

look at Palaven
look at Thessia
look at operation Hammer

This shows me that there just isn't enough military power to fight the Reapers

If they were only a hundred or so Reaper, I guess it would be a manageable. But the numbers are clearly into the ten thousands.

don't believe me?

during the game you find out the Batarians managed to get their hand on something called the Leviathan of Dis.. which turns out to be another Reaper corpse. A BILLION year old Reaper corpse

now divided that number with 50,000. There has been at least 20,000 cycles which translates to ten of thousands or Reapers. And that's probably just the capital ships.

If Mass Effect was a tetralogy instead of trilogy that perhaps we could have discovered other plot device alternative plans to the defeat the Reapers, and we would get to choose on what plan to follow.

But the bottom line is clear. You need a plot device to defeat the Reapers. Conventional strength just isn't cutting it. The Protheans tried to do that and they were more advanced than present races. They failed.
The Protheans failed because they were isolated in their own areas. Of course you can't fight off Reapers with whatever military force you happen to have in a single area at one time. No point even mentioning them since they lost because the Reapers original method succeeded with them.

What the earlier games proved was that all you need is a big enough gun to beat the Reapers. If instead of wasting time on the Crucible they worked on building the most advanced weapons platform they possibly could who knows. All those planets proved was that if you fight the Reapers by yourself then you are screwed.

In the end not like the writers themselves considered the implications of throwing around massive numbers like the age of that Reaper corpse. Also we can't possibly speculate on the Reaper numbers in the first place. What if one cycle was so damn good they managed to take out 3/4 of the Reapers before they fell? The amount of cycles doesn't matter since we don't have an accurate history of the universe to work with. The Reapers might have only started using the Citadel part way through their cycles and actually had to fight the old fashioned way before that. For all we know (and frankly it could have simply been written) that the Reapers didn't have enough left to win against the combined force of the galaxy.

We got a silly plot device and god child because Bioware really loved Deus Ex and are full of it.
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