The ending to Mass Effect 3 is bad. I've ranted about it in many blogs now. If nothing else, it's given us all something to talk about. How then, can anyone think this is a good thing? How can people defend this?
With this blog, I hope to refute any defence for this game, as well as the Indoctrination Theory.
I know a lot of people think that this is a viable explanation to the ending, or even that this would be a good ending, but I want to make something clear: it is not. There is some evidence to support this, there is still plenty on the contrary to refute this. What I am sick of like hearing is that I "made the wrong choice" or that "I don't know enough about Mass Effect." Here is why the IT is wrong, both as an ending and as an explanation.
- There are no "wrong choices" in Mass Effect. According to the IT, Destroy is the proper ending, the one in which you resist indoctrination and defeat the Reapers. That's bollocks. You're telling me that after hundreds of dollars and hours of my time, I am presented with a black-and-white choice I don't even understand? Throughout the trilogy, we have been given a few choices, but there was never a right and a wrong choice. Sure, some choices might of had a bad outcome for you (i.e. a character dies), but the game kept going. Even if your decisions cause your team to die, and thus yourself, your mission is still complete. If you fail, you get a "Critical Mission Failure" screen and start over. There is not a cannon ending where you simply fail, and evil triumphs. You and your whole squad can be killed during the suicide mission, but not until after you complete your mission. No matter what happens, Mass Effect 2 is a complete, self-contained story. The Theorists claims then, that by not choosing Destroy, the Reapers win and we get punished for not understanding the deep meaning behind the theory. My retort then, is did you think of that then? Did you immediately come to the realisation when you made that choice? The choice for which you have no understanding? Did you stop and think it was all a dream? No, you probably didn't. You came and read blogs, watched videos, and listened to others rant about how it's true beyond the shadow of a doubt. You compiled perceived "clues" and came to the conclusion that it was something other than terrible writing. Not to say there are some clues, but that doesn't make it true ipso facto.
- I'm being punished. BioWare states that this game could be embraced by newcomers to the trilogy, and even allowed players the option to skip major decision making if they just wanted to enjoy the story and the action sequences. Why then, would we be punished for not knowing enough about the lore? Much of the evidence hinges on details about indoctrination in the past games. So if you don't know enough about indoctrination itself, didn't read the codex entry, and didn't play the last two games, you can't understand the ending? No, that's just stupid.
- We got a fake ending. Tricking us and not showing us why we were "wrong" is not smart writing. If it was indoctrination, why not say so? If the ending was done properly, I wouldn't have to write a blog about why the IT is so stupid. There wouldn't even by an IT, we would just know it's true or untrue. It seems like they pulled a "Lost" with this one.
- Fans are left out. If the point of the IT is that they were going to "finish" the ending with DLC, what about those without online? I suppose they don't matter either; they can't even get the best ending because they can't play multiplayer.
- We are offered the chance to destroy the Reapers. If the God Child is just Harbinger, or the Reapers, why even give that option? Wouldn't it be easier to leave it out, or lie about it? Another thing to consider: if you have low EMS, the only option you're given is to destroy them. I'll repeat that. If your forces are weak and unprepared, you cannot be indoctrinated, and will always resist the temptation. That in and of itself is so preposterous it blows the whole thing apart.
Seriously, stop saying this is true beyond any shadow of a doubt.ALL of the evidence in favour of the IT is circumstantial. It just seems suspicious. There is nothing solid. It would be well appreciated if you could learn the difference between a theory and fact. It is a theory. Learn the meaning of the word, and stop touting at as undeniable fact.
We see this defence a lot from very really annoying people (i.e. Colin Moriarty), but it is not just their game. Hell, it's not even art. It's a product. We DO deserve a better ending, not simply because we didn't like the ending, but because it's what we were promised. I wouldn't even mind the current ending, provided it wasn't the only one, and it was somewhat coherent. We are not entitled, whiny brats. Here's why:
- We paid a lot of money, thinking that BioWare would deliver on its promises. They didn't. They lied. Plain and simple. I think we have a right to remonstrant something when some of us have paid more than 80 dollars on this product.
- It's supposed to be an ending, not a cliff hanger. I have heard some say that "it was a great cliff hanger", but that's exactly the problem. We were promised an ending that answered out questions, and resolved the story. A cliff hanger doesn't exactly do that very well.
- This is not a dangerous precedent. Catering to and reconciling with the customer is actually a great business strategy. So is being honest, and doing your job right. Lying to your fans and customers, exploiting them and ripping them off is the real precedent.
BioWare: Allow me to clarify something for you. Stop saying you're proud of your work. Try this new thing called honesty. People respond to it.
List of Unanswered Questions
Thought I should put this in somewhere. Here is a list of some of the things that ending didn't touch on.
- How did they move the Crucible clear across the galaxy, with little effort of resistance?
- How and why did the Illusive Man tell the Reapers where the Crucible was?
- Why did they move it to earth? Why not simply move it to a hidden location, where no one can find it?
- How did Anderson get to the beam first?
- How the hell is the Illusive Man on the citadel at all?
- What happened to everyone on the Citadel? Did they fight back? Did they escape?
- Why did Joker just cut and run in the final battle?
- How did Joker have time to save all my friends (and Vega) and still escape the system before the relays exploded?
- Why does no one care about my death?
- Wouldn't the shock wave Joker from which Joker is esacaping be fatal to the rest of the fleet?
- How does grabbing two rods on the Citadel control the Reapers? Is it just that easy?
- How does shooting some random do-hickey destroy every Reaper in the universe? Are they that weak? Are they so easy to destroy? How can a race so powerful have a such a "Death Star" weakness?
- Why am I shooting said do-hickey? Was it ever implied that I should? Did the God-Child ever tell me to?
- Why am I walking toward the explosion? If I have a pistol, can't my death my avoided by simply shooting at a distance?
- How do you combine Synthetics with Organic DNA? How does that work? What's the practical meaning of that?
- What are the consequences of destroying all Synthetic life?
- Since the Volus and Quarians require exo-suits to live, won't they die?
- Since Biotics have sythetic implants, won't they die?
- What about any human who has been slightly augmented? Any human that has an artificial part to them is going to die now?
- Why can't I ask you about these things?
- Why can't I argue with the God Child?
- Did everyone starve to death?
- Why did BioWare do something so stupid!?
Some of the inspiration for this video came from YouTube user MrBtongue. His videos are extremely intelligent and entertaining, not to mention highly recommended by the Milkman. Some of this videos:
- Mass Effect 3 Ending: Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage
- Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage: Additional Clarity and Closure
- Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage: A Tale of Two Companies
Everybody, please shut up. I am tired of the Theorists telling me I'm stupid, and elitists like Colin telling me I'm "whiny" and "entitled". Well, I am entitled. We all are. We paid a lot of money, based on what we were told about that product. A greedy, money-grubbing, slime ball corporation just blatantly lied to me. Sorry for complaining about it.