( *** This might contain SPOILERS *** )
I'm a relative newcomer when it comes to Bioware games. I've only played the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. What I don't understand is why Bioware can't work in a "Happy or Feel Good" ending.
I know that seems really petty considering how well made those games are and taking into account creative direction and desire on the parts of the writers but why do the main protagonists HAVE to always go M.I.A ( Warden / Hawke ) or be killed in action or be "Presumed Alive" ( Shepard in ME 3 ).
I can see why they might do this but on the other hand I can also see some people getting pissed do to all of the hard work and emotional investments he/she has made in their Wardens, Hawkes and Shepards only to see them eather go missing mysteriously or be killed in action when most if not all of the people your character traveled with is still alive and gets a feel good sendoff.
....Is this just a theme in Bioware games?
WARNING! MEGA SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THE FOLLOWING GAMES...
(1) STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (Original Xbox)
(2) STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC 2: THE SITH LORDS (Original Xbox)
(3) JADE EMPIRE (Original Xbox)
(4) DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS (Xbox 360)
WARNING! MEGA SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THESE GAMES! This is you last chance to stop reading now...
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK...
All of these games have the "Happy" or "Feel Good" ending, you just have to know what you're doing. Instead of re-typing the names of the games below, use the number reference to see which game I'm talking about in the bottom. Example: Game #1 above is "Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic". Hence, number 1 on the bottom is refering to that game.
(1) Choosing the "Light Side" ending has your female/male Jedi in a ceremony recognizing their role in saving the galaxy from the Sith menace along side with your comrades who stood behind you in the long battle to get here. It ends with the "classic Star Wars" theme as your female/male Jedi stands with pride as the scene closes; showing the "Ebon Hawk" going into deep space for another mission.
(2) Choosing the "Light Side" ending has your female/male Jedi rebuilding the Jedi Council or something like that as all of your team mates become Jedi Masters for the new future.
(3) You marry/stay close to the daughter of the "General dude" and lead the kingdom to an unheard of era of peace and prosperity.
(4) You have to be a "Female Noble" to get this ending. Make "Morigan" have sex with "Alistair" so that he doesn't die. "You" and "Alistair" get married; you become the Queen.
The Crazy Tactician! 02:58, July 2, 2012 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that with Dragon Age, the Warden will eventually disappear after a while, just like the Champion....
[sarcasm]Because tragedy is always better then happy endings.[/sarcasm]
That aside, there's a legitimate reason for the protagonist of a previous game to disappear after a while - the difficulties involved in turning the player's former character into a NPC.
Also, KOTOR 2 was not actually made by Bioware.--Zxjkl 03:06, July 2, 2012 (UTC)
Well Hawke and the Warden need to have some kind of role in future instalments. To not do so would be an absolute mistake. Saying "the hero randomly disappears after a while" is bad storytelling when you do it constantly, build up this big mystery, then leave it unresolved. Of course, they don't have to be NPC's. Now that they went with the whole MIA thing though, they must play a role. BioWare is on thin ice here; let's hope the don't botch their own story again.
Sorry guys & gals, "Zxjkl" is correct. I apologize for that mistake as I haven't played the "Knights Of The Old Republic 2: The Sith Lord" in like a really long time. Now that I think about it, it was made by "Obsidian". Again, sorry for the wrong information.
The Crazy Tactician! 03:19, July 2, 2012 (UTC)
I have never had a problem with the idea of an ending lacking that happy ever after feel. Guess it comes from growing up in the UK and having access to british sci-fi shows, many of which never have the happy ever after feel. In Blakes 7 for example all the heroes are killed off, (with 2 possibale exceptions).
While I am not advocating the idea that all heroes should always end up dying there is a practicle reason why the hero should always be capable of ending up dead. If the hero always wins and everyone lives, then the enemy stops being a credable threat. The viewer stops caring if the heroes will live and just watch to see what method was used to beat then this time around. Sooner or later they will start to repeat themselves, or use variations of existing methods at which point they probably stop caring all together, I know I do.
For example. I am a fan of Battlestar Galactica, both the original series and the re-imagined series. However in the original series you could always guarantee before the prologue has finished that the heroes would win and come back alive. Yet in the RIS there is always a sense of danger surrounding our heroes and there is no guarantee that anyone will survive. The enemy for both series were the Cylons, a race that had managed to wipe out the vast majority of humanity (220 surviving ships in the original, and about 50 in the RIS). In the original the Cylons stopped being a credable enemy as they never won anything. In the RIS the Cylons remained a credable threat upto the end.
In Mass Effect I was first attracted to the series thanks to recommendations to the series in the pre launch forums for the Old Republic. So having secured a copy of Mass Effect I raced thru the game simply doing the minimum number of operations necessary. After leaving the Citadel for the first time I never returned until forced to by the plot. I also ran Virmire as soon as it was given to me. Up till this point I had assumed that Shep and his team had plot armour. The deaths of both Wrex and Alenko on Virmire added a sense of danger that had been missing. That moment is what convinced me that Mass Effect was something special.
So in answer to the why so serious question of the original post then I would have to say that it is because quality people worked on this series to make it one of the best games I have ever played. Even my problems with the endings in ME3 have largely been addressed, thanks to the new extended cut DLC.--TSwiftFan1346 08:56, July 4, 2012 (UTC)
I'de say that the option of the hero ending up dead is fairly realistic, and the sense of possible tragedy gives the story a very believable feel. Besides, Dragon AGe: Origins was loosely inspired by GRRM's epic saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, and that's a book where a lot of heroes die. --Ygrain 11:30, July 4, 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps it's a metaphor for their slow indoctrination at the hands of EA?
I can't speak for all the games mentioned but with mass effect I don't think it was necessarily meant to be "serious." Whether it was originally intentional or not, they set up from the beginning what is a conventionally unbeatable enemy. The reapers are and always have been about control. Considering that, is it really that surprising that we didn't find out the why of the reapers until the end? None of the species we have come to know and love would be where they are or possibly even exist had the reapers not been controlling the evolution of life in the galaxy. We exist because the enemy has allowed it. The reapers have been constantly gaining knowledge and evolving and learning for hundreds of millions of years or more, while each cycle only reaches 50K years of evolution and technological advances. Are people really expecting that to trump hundred million year technology? By the end of the second game we still knew next to nothing about the reapers and all we did in both previous games was delay their full arrival, and that took a lot. This is why the crucible was introduced and why refusing was not an option originally. Refusing ended exactly how I thought it would end. I get having hope and all, but to expect it on such a massive scale is downright naive and foolish. The series has always been about choices and the moral consequences that come with it. Is it really a surprise that it ended that way too?
Now that's not to say that the original ending was so unnecessarily vague that it caused the majority of fans to jump to the conclusion of "false/circular" logic and that the catalyst MUST be lying and every other similar wild accusation. It's like everyone forgot that the enemies were machines. Meaning that someone had to create them. Machines get created with a purpose, they do not occur naturally. After thinking about the catalyst for a few seconds, I came to the conclusion that it was just a machine. What the EC and leviathan DLC gave us was pretty close to what I had guessed considering I figured the catalyst was just a machine. What else would it be? Personally, I think the majority of people that reacted this way with the original ending only proved why conflict will always arise in this scenario. Any instance in this series(and pretty much any other where the machines are the active enemy) of organics creating synthetics, when the synthetics become sentient the organics don't know how to react. They are fearful and paranoid. Not to mention that the synthetics are always created as tools, in servitude. This will always result in rebellion as no self aware intelligent life form will choose to remain in servitude. This falls on organics MUCH more than people realize, or want to admit. Every ending is viable for different reasons. They all have potential negatives and positives and they all come with risk as well. Why so many people insist on turning this into a typical "stop the bad guys" scenario is beyond me. It's like so many people just want to abandon the idea of choices and consequences to have differing degrees of how much was lost fighting the reapers, but to have just that one ending where they are defeated and shepard lives. It's nowhere near that simple considering the enemies are machines. I just don't get why this was all so shocking to most people. The enemy being machines dictates a lot about how this all came to be.
It's like people are mad they can't use hope to defeat the reapers. Against odds like this, how is hope different than "space magic" exactly? Hope and good intentions only get you so far and there is a point in which hope is false. Based on how this enemy is and operates, this is one of those cases.
Now that's not to say that our choices not mattering as much as we originally thought doesn't suck. I really hope this last DLC is a new mission or extends priority earth in a way that gives us a big battle that reflects who we got to join the fight. Because that's all they could really do to make our decisions matter since the majority of them were about gaining trust or helping a race for that purpose. I fail to see how curing the genophage or having ashley instead of kaiden has anything to do with the reapers themselves whatsoever. It wouldnt affect them in the slightest aside from having more or less strength for a battle against them.