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lore, learning about the mysteries and the Protheans and the Reapers, being able to decide for yourself how all of these things come to anend.” — Casey Hudson
The Reapers used to be a awesome and terrible foe, but no more. Thanks to the God Child, the terrifying, god-like "Reapers" are nothing but a joke to me know. Personally, I think that a good antagonist doesn't need clear motivation, just clear intentions. We knew what the Reapers wanted to do, and we have to stop it. It's as simple as that. There doesn't have to be mystery surprise antagonist we've known nothing about, with a random, nonsensical conflict shoehorned in. Despite all the questions BioWare didn't answer, they answered the one I didn't particularly care to know: the Reaper's origins.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have been upset about the mystery being revealed, if it was done properly. Instead of an earth-shattering, mind-blowing revelation, we got a bit of flawed logic and a new conflict...in the last ten minutes of the story.
Also, allow me to apologise in advance for the inane ranting.
What Went Wrong
- According to the Star Ghost God Child Brat, he created the Reapers because apparently, Synthetics are always fated to rebel against Organics. The only time the player is truly introduced to this conflict however, is if the player bought the day-one DLC. Javik seems to support this notion, saying he had the same problem in his cycle. Shepard will erroneously cite the geth as an example of Synthetics rebelling against Organics, when it's actually the opposite. The quarians sought to exterminate them out of fear. Facing genocide, the geth fought back in self-defence. They have no inclinations toward war, and constantly work towards facilitating co-existence. Why not then, kill off Organics, if they are the belligerents here?
- Another point: What exactly are the Reapers accomplishing? They're Synthetics who aim to kill all intelligent Organics. What is the difference between them and the Reapers? Is there any guarantee that we can't beat them? Because we have. By creating the Reapers, all God Kid accomplishes is the death of Organics by different Synthetics. Good job.
- I think the worst aspect of their logic however, is their own deluded sense of importance. They claim to be saviours, protecting us from Synthetics like the geth. Those particular synthetics however, wouldn't have started attacking if it weren't for the Reaper's indoctrination. If the Reapers didn't show up, wouldn't the Geth still be on the fringes of space? Does this mean that they are just coming in to clean the mess they made? It strikes me as a bit odd that they assume they are not needed before 50,000 years passes. What happens if an advanced cycle creates Synthetics that wipe out all Organics before the 50K mark?
- Despite Mike Gamble's erm...wager that we wouldn't get an ending that gave us more questions than answers, that is exactly what we got. At least with the leaked ending they had a better-reasoned purpose. Even if they are right, we should have the ability to simply destroy the Reapers and take our chances. Shep him/herself even states that God Child is denying us hope, but you never get a chance to challenge his point-of-view. Throughout the series, we were able to question and reason with other characters. But in the end, we just had to go along with it. You can unite the geth and the quarians, but you don't have the option to say "You're wrong".
By giving us half an answer, we end up worse than if we had no answer at all. If the mystery remained, great. That fits with the theme of the narrative (Cosmicism). If they decided to make an epic reveal, I would have been fine, so long as it made since and didn't go against the rest of the plot.
Seriously, the ending would be much better if BioWare simply retconned his holographic arse out of Mass Effect entirely. Or at least give us the option to kill him. That'd be fun.
Case in point: When I first saw the little kid die in the beginning of Mass Effect 3, I got goose bumps. Now every time I watch that scene, I laugh hysterically.