First off, I’d like to note that unlike 99% of the community, I don’t hate the endings as much as I should. This is probably because in my game’s universe, everything is pretty fucked up already. I’ll explain later. What I didn’t like about the endings is how inconsistent and impossible some of the ending scenes were. This is basically the gist of my universe:
- Wrex is dead. (In the first game, I didn’t know we had to max out on Renegade or Paragon points and barely talked to the shipmates after each mission. I was sort of a noob.)
- Ashley is dead. (I play FemShep and didn’t care for her racism, snotty attitude and I was chasing after Kaidan. I also distinctly remember at the time that since Kaidan was assigned to the nuke or something, it was strategically wiser to go to his location to save him, regardless of my relationships.)
- My entire crew was saved in ME2 because I finally learned how to play the game. I played as a bad ass Renegade.
- While playing ME3, I didn’t like Wreav’s threat to wage war for revenge once we got rid of the Reapers, but agreed to cure the Genophage because I felt for Mordin’s cause and my boyfriend had told me I should save them… FORGETTING THAT IN MY GAME, WREX IS DEAD. Basically when he found out I didn’t have Wrex, he was like… “Oh… You can trick Wreav into believing it’s cured because he’s stupid.” And Mordin and Eve died. (My first facepalm moment in the game.)
- I fucked up and let Samara shoot herself in the head. Meh… (Second facepalm)
- Finally, my greatest fuck up in the game was the fact that I didn’t have enough Renegade points to convince the Geth and Quarians to stop firing on each other. Under the suggestion of my boyfriend, ONCE AGAIN, I let Legion go through with the upload because I liked him, but then the Quarians died and Tali killed herself…. F&$#$^$*CK!
Soooo… In my universe, my Shepard is a trigger-happy asshole that ensured the Krogans would rise up and wage massive wars on everyone that crossed them and I fuckin killed the Quarians. Now on to the endings…
For my final mission I chose Kaidan and Garrus to accompany me. One was my love interest and the other was my best friend. Seemed about right. Now the first weird moment I noticed was when everyone was running towards the giant Reaper beam to reach the Citadel. I looked behind me and Garrus and Kaidan were no longer in sight… Okaaaay… Thought you guys had my back, soldiers. Whatever. The beam hits my face and I’m fried alive. Oh no wait, I’m just slightly burned, sluggish and bleeding. Can’t say everyone else around me looks the same. Whatever, beam me up Scotty! I’m inside the Citadel and Anderson is there… Looking alive and well. Wait, how’d you get there ahead of me? Then the whole Illusive Man chatter, blah blah, Anderson dies and things were looking okay… Until the God Child came…
Everyone hates the use of a random Deus Ex Machina to explain something as intricate as the Mass Effect world, but what bothered me wasn’t the fact that Bioware decided to use one. It was the fact that it was a kid. Small children are always used in movies and crap to portray innocence (as this kid was in the beginning of the game), although creepy apparitions of them are always a bad sign. Worse is when you have to listen to them speak for so long and not get the choice to smack them upside the head, as I know my designed Shepard would do. God child, or not.
So in the end I chose to destroy the Reapers because well, that was the point of the ENTIRE GAME. Synthesizing organics and machines was not a choice for me to make for everyone in the goddamn galaxy. Soldiers dying on the ground did not want to merge with the shit shooting at them and didn’t have any intention on making nice with them any time soon. Who was I to choose for them? And I didn’t care to allow for Joker to hook up with EDI. I’m sure it’s every male nerd’s dream… Finally, I didn’t want to control them for all time because I know my Shepard is a Renegade that could turn to the dark side at any time and any idea that the Illusive Man found right, I would find wrong. So why the hell was that the blue/good option? What the fuck Bioware? Shouldn’t killing the Reapers be the good option? Yes, Geth will die, but remember in MY world, choosing the Geth cost me the Quarians, so this was my redemption… Hahahaha…
Then finally, the Citadel fires, Mass relays explode, inexplicably Joker is already in a relay away from the fight and crash lands on a distant planet somewhere… With Kaidan and Javik (DLC Prothean character) following him and gazing into the sunset… WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE. Kaidan was with me on EARTH, fighting right behind me, before he abandoned me to the giant Reaper beam, no? Then why the fuck is he alive and well and how did he get on the Normandy, if it should have been fighting in space? Why would Joker pick up the crew and leave me?
It’s an algorithm or something, but basically either EDI is by Joker’s side or your love interest in the final scenes. Coincidentally, I had chosen my love interest to fight with me on Earth. Guess Bioware never thought about that one and assumed you’d choose someone else? Fuck man. The whole game has been glitchy, between the failure to load the DLCs at times, the random empty camera angle at a wall, where a talking character is supposed to be, and random objects going through each other during dialogue… But at least get the final scenes right!
So yea. Open-ended endings I don’t mind as much as I should, since I like the feeling of having my thoughts run rampant. However not everyone likes that, so the 16 different endings Bioware promised should be distinctive from each other. Not all one ending with minor tweaks of who shows up watching the sunset. Because all that is certain now is either Earth is destroyed (because you suck at the game so much as to have below 1350 effective military strength) but most importantly, the entire fleet that followed you to Earth are all stranded there due to the Mass Relays being destroyed… Which means all the pregnant females I left in Tachunka will be the next rulers of their kind, since most able-bodied male soldiers are on Earth, eating and raping everyone as resources run out. Asari and Turians, who cannot eat human food will be the first to die, unless they evolve super quickly to digest human meat. Oh, you know humans are the lowest on the food chain on Earth. The only humans that have it good are the humans in other galaxies and planets prior to the Mass Relays being destroyed. Like the old guy and his grandson at the end.
Thanks Bioware. Was that a happy ending, or was it a sad one? Why didn’t we hear an echoing scream of despair from Earth, with that scene of the kid and his grandfather? I guess you assumed we wouldn’t think past that far huh?
In my ending with the explosion of the Citadel, somehow it is hinted that Shepard is alive under a pile of rubble. If I remember correctly, the Citadel is in space and the last time Shepard came crashing down to a planet, she didn’t make it out alive… There’s this whole theory amongst fans that Shepard was indoctrinated and it was all a dream since the giant beam hit his/her face. You should read up on it if you want a chance at a better ending. It’s more hopeful than the ones we got, although it doesn’t explain why the Reapers would go away if Shepard is indoctrinated. Just because he/she won her mental battle with them, shouldn’t deter them from their goal.
Finally the idea that in order to preserve life, synthetic lifeforms (Reapers) were created to harvest and kill off intelligent organics before the machines they created wage war seems hypocritical. If anything, it makes the God Child seem like he’s the one playing with life and ruling as he sees fit. In this cycle, Shepard was “different” from all the others in the past in that he/she succeeded to finally meet the God Child, or the fact that he/she was able to unite the galaxy to fight against the Reapers? In the DLC you meet Javik, the lone surviving Prothean in a life pod, who tells Shepard that in his cycle, his race dominated the entire galaxy. He was amazed that in this cycle, the races were able to work together. Was that the change that allowed the God Child to force a new alternative? Because everything he said was stupid. In order to save life, you kill it before it kills itself? One would think natural events would balance things. What interest does the Child have in preserving/assimilating organics into Reaper forms anyway? It’s such a slow, brutal and painful process. Anyone would think that an omnipotent power trying to balance things would make a swift and absolute move. Why make robots to plow through things slowly, other than to create despair and chaos? If the minds of countless lives are within Reapers souls and whatnot, why aren’t they fighting back? What convinced them that what they are doing to organics are right, since the time they got harvested?
Like I said, the use of a Deus Ex Machina is fine… Just make the explanation make sense. The actions of this God Child seems more like a misguided mad-man’s ambitions, rather than an all-knowing being. If anything, the Kid was a douche that Shepard should have tried to put a bullet through midway through the conversation. Why Shepard would agree to anything the Kid said is confusing.
So Bioware. I don’t care that I didn’t have an ending that reflected all my choices, or the fact that a random God figure was used to solve everything. My beef was with the way the end of the story was presented. Basically it was sloppy, lazy and kind of sucked. If you’re going to make it philosophical, make it so damn good that it blows our minds. Don’t make us scratch our heads and then go “Yeah, use your imagination.” That’s just bullshit.
Everyone wants a DLC to patch up more alternate endings. How much do you want to bet they’ll charge us for it? Money, money…
Overall I loved this trilogy and it still built the best alien universe ever, with its amazing details to each race’s history, personalities, etc. You fall in love with the characters and your crew and so naturally, you’d want to know what happens to them. And the soundtrack? Fucking phenomenal. Mass Effect 3 at least pulled a heart string with the flashback images and somber music. The epic Reaper sound that buzzed when danger came? Chills. Just chills. Beautiful game and story that DESERVES a better ending.
Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut endings are exactly the same, only longer… Explained why your team left you. Brought the emotions back too… BUT Deus Ex still there… They do give a NEW fourth ending where you reject (or even shoot) the Catalyst, but that doesn’t explain why he exists to begin with. Nor does it explain why you stand there helplessly as all the ships around you explode. Why couldn’t you stick it to the Kid and go break things while going down? Shepard is tired now?
Nice try Bioware. You’ve gone from creating a rage inducing ending to a plain lazy ending.
P.S. I didn’t care for a happy ending so people QQing that they didn’t get an ending where Shepard is on a beach banging his/her loved one can go cry in the corner.