Positive Effect when ending reaches critical Mass

@blueharvest72 doesn’t just like Mass Effect, he loves it. He also didn’t really understand the criticisms of the end of the game. Read his words below:

The Mass Effect trilogy is, to me, the best there is. I was hooked from the moment I first played it. It wasn’t the game play or the graphics that did it for me it was the story, always the story.

To me the game is, at its heart, a love triangle between Shepard, Liara and Shepard’s drive for the salvation of the universe. I know you can have relations with other characters but it’s the ‘Shepard and Liara’ relationship that actually matters. I looked forward to the scenes between the two, especially the interactions between them in the Shadow Broker DLC which were beautiful and poignant. Knowing that they want to be together fully but they can’t fully because of the other element in the relationship, the inevitable consequences of Shepard’s calling – putting her neck on the line to save the universe. (I played as ‘femshep’)

Shepard & Liara

This leads me the most discussed segment of the game, its ending. In some ways it reminds me of the ending of Jonathan Blow’s masterpiece, Braid. You knew what was coming, you knew that wasn’t what you wanted, but it was the correct ending for the story being told. A lot of people were up in arms about it but their were some people who thought it was perfect; me included.

To believe that this time or any future time the Reapers would could be defeated without a massive sacrifice is nothing more than naive. Shepard herself knows this, as demonstrated metaphorically through her dreams, and the message that was created with Laira, which was an epitaph.

There were also complaints that you could not choose the ending, that all roads basically led to the same destination. Well, in which of the previous two could you? Was it possible to let Sovereign win in Mass Effect 1, or could you allow the production of the human Reaper in ME2? No, you couldn’t, there were boundaries. The final installment was no different.


Initially, you were initially given three options; kill, control or synthesis (later, In Mass Effect 3: The Extended Cut you were given a fourth to walk away). The option that fitted into the story was synthesis. You have built relationships with Legion and EDI, both synthetic beings, to destroy or control them would be counter intuitive. The whole game was about building bridges and gaining allegiances to break them would go against all that Sheppard had created.

To me the synthesis ending is the most beautiful moment in the game. Accompanied by Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velsco’s moving score, Shepard throws down her gun and runs to her death with the understanding that this was her fate and any second wasted would mean the loss of more lives.

The ending may not be the ending that people wanted but it was the ending the game deserved.


4 responses to “Positive Effect when ending reaches critical Mass

  1. This is what I love about the Mass Effect games but what I hated about the ending. It’s awesome that the game ended for you the way you thought it would, but I think the issue is that you don’t have the same character as everyone so why should everyone else’s stories end the same way as yours. Personally, I think the destroy ending fits my Shepard the best. I enjoyed the extended cut enough to be satisfied with the ending, even if I don’t totally love it. The main thing that upsets me is that every Shepard still gets the same ending options whether they are the incarnation of good or a complete asshole. I think the finale of this game was ripe for so many interesting branched paths that I feel BioWare missed a big opportunity. I was never convinced that Shepard would get the big happy ending, and I still don’t think this is what most people were upset with; more just the lack of variety. I read one suggestion that I thought was cool: what if one of the renegade endings was Shepard becoming the new Illusive man? It’s great thoughts like this that really make me feel like BioWare kinda missed the point. It takes some of the joy out of repeat playthroughs too knowing exactly what’s waiting at the end. I had three characters, a paragon Shep, a renegade Shep, and a paragon Femshep, each with different major decisions made and different love interests, ready to play through the final game and see the different outcomes I could create only to lose interest after my first time through. Still a bit let down, but I still do love everything leading up to the finale.

  2. That’s the beauty of endings; there is no right or wrong choice. Every option has a downside; Destroy has the death of the geth and EDI, Control suggests that the new Shepard/reaper entity might very well switch from guardian to overlord, and Synthesis forces every race to the same way of thinking, effectively brainwashing them.

    My Shepard considered the latter to be the worst travesty: taking away the right for sapient beings to make their own choices, and he certainly wasn’t going to take the option the Illusive Man wanted. He would mourn the loss of EDI and geth, though secretly he’d definitely think the starchild was Harbringer making one last desperate attempt to prevent the destruction of its kind.

    For my game, Destroy was the only choice, just as for your game, Synthesis was the best option, just as for some people, COntrol or Refusal was the best option. Saying one ending is better or worse is a matter of opinion; you can find plenty of supporting scenes throughout the game for any of them. I still think Bioware missed a beat in not allowing the Refusal ending to take Galactic Readiness into account, and offer a possible Victory ending, but that’s my opinion too.

    Now, I could argue the usual points about the ending; the quality of writing, the plot holes, the disregard for the series overarching themes, (not to mention the whole Synthesis ‘space magic debate) but does this seriously need to be dredged up again? It’s over. Thanks to the original outrage, the Extended endings fixed the originals and at least provided some amount of closure. It’s over; time to stop trying to pick fights and move on.

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