Mass Effect 3 Ending Discussio...

Mass Effect 3 Ending Discussion [SPOILER ALERT]

Mass Effect 3 Ending Discussion [SPOILER ALERT]

Thread started by Lord on Saturday, 6:38pm March 17th with 38 replies. Views: 5,036


9,657 posts

6:38pm Mar 17th 12

Before I start, this will obviously include massive spoilers so don't read on unless you have finished the game.

After playing the game and the series in general for what could be up to 100 hours of gameplay I felt I deserved a justified and meaningful ending that not only summed up the game in general but also provided closure to me as a long-time fan of the series. Having completed the game I've felt the game achieved one of these concepts; That of representing the game. The ending was a suitable heart-wrenching and poignant end to Shepard, with his life ending in all but one circumstance. The near death of Joker ripped from me an emotional distraught I'd never thought I'd have with a video game and the bittersweet knowledge that, while safe from the reapers, the fleet Shepard constructed are now stranded and isolated on Earth.

To counter this story of achieving success with great sacrifice is the simple fact that there are no answers, there is no conclusion, there is no closure. We do not see the end of the story arc, we are simply left with an open-ended conclusion to such a detailed world. On top of this we lose one of the core foundations that Mass Effect was built on; player choice. Not only do we have only 3 endings but they are also all essentially the same. A complete slap to the face of the player, it destroyed the ideals and love of the game I held.

And yet there is hope. People across the world, both in a rage and a fit of desperation, have begun to piece together clues that argue that the ending may not be all we think it is.

Are they grasping at straws? Maybe. I guess we will see.

READ BELOW (taken/stolen from:

This theory thread originates from the BSN (Bioware Social Network) thread started by community member Byne. This is a continuation of her work about the theorizing and interpretation of evidence from the Mass Effect franchise that makes the theory plausible in the scope of the endings at the end of Mass Effect 3. The credit for the birth of the theory goes to Byne and the collection of data and evidence goes out to all the participating community members who support (and argue) the theory's credibility.

Canon or not, we should all be proud of ourselves for the combined effort of interpretation of Mass Effect 3's endings (and Bioware should be in awe of us). I understand that this post is a long read but it is worth the time and effort, for it is a collection of all thoughts and evidence provided by the community, not just a singular person.

Debate and discussion is encouraged but before you ask a question, please be sure that it has not already been answered or discussed already in this post or the one immediately below.

lookingglassmind's collected thoughts from Byne's original BSN thread
[spoiler]In defense of the Hallucination/Indoctrination theory: the BioWare/Player Indoctrination Theory

With the assistance of my peers throughout the rest of this thread, I have collated a series of facts that I would like to present to the community as being evidence for a a priori intention for the endings of ME3. Some of this information will not be new to a lot of you, and it may seem downright strange to a lot of you. It does require a strong and disorienting amount of suspension of disbelief, so if you cannot engage in this type of thought process, I encourage you to skip over this post. It will hurt your brain. Or make you think that I'm crazy. Likely both. (I'm okay with either.)

With the assistance of countless others' highly important observations in this thread, I sumbit to you that possibility the endings of ME3 represent the highest form of the metagaming experience. The highest form of BioWare's "giving the player choice that matters, from ME1 to ME3". The highest form of player interaction that we have yet seen from a video game. This has never before been attempted by a company, and it represents the ballsiest dedication to story and lore that may exist.

I believe that the endings may be indicative of BioWare attempting to allow the player the real-time experience of what indoctrination would be like. This theory explains (in a highly weird, impossible, and completely insane way) all of the missing pieces in the hallucination sequence, and also explains BioWare's real-world actions (such as
complete silence since the fan sh*tstorm broke in response to the endings).

If you have not been keeping up with the thread, or if you have not read Byne's/Kitten Tactics/Turtlicious' amalgamation of all of the evidence we have accumulated for the originial hallucination theory on page 1, then I would urge you to do so before you read any more of this post. Due to time constraints, I won't be posting all of the evidences that we have located in this post to confirm or contradict this theory: I leave it in your capable and self-aware hands to attain this information yourself. I am posting this as an add-on to page 1, as I don't think it was properly represented there in its entire grand scope.

So, to the meat of the issue:

We have already established as much evidence as we can that 'proves' that Shepard is either hallucinating/dreaming just prior to/immediately after he runs into Harbinger's beam/Conduit. The hallucination/dream sequence has been quite well fleshed out, with a lot of compelling environmental evidence to support it (again, please see page 1 for further analysis). I am going to use this particular vehicle of suspension of disbelief to propose that BioWare's intention during this sequence is to flag the player with as many markers as they can: This current reality playing
before your eyes (the Citadel, the Catalyst, TIM, Anderson) is a reflection of Shepard. It is the product of his/her mind. The meeting with the Catalyst may or may not be rooted in reality; they may meet in some metalphysical dimension, or Shepard may just hallucinate the entire thing. Either way, this theory would argue that it essentially doesn't matter, because what truly matters is the role of the player in this sequence. Your role. The scene is set in a way that urges the player to become aware of things just not being right, of being a place that mirrors (literally) Shepard's experiences throughout the game. The reality presented on the Citadel is an amalgamation of archetypes of every thing Shepard has seen in the series, which this theory challenges the player to understand as being a
direct prompt from BioWare to understand that what is truly happening during this scene is all within Shepard's mind. His/her reality. Under her/his control.

Understanding that the reality on the Citadel as being a cerebral concoction that is entirely of Shepard's creation is
important when we arrive upon the Crucible. It becomes a vital understanding when we are faced with these three, seemingly bizarre and unexpected choices that the Catalyst gives us. This theory submits that BioWare is asking the player to actively question EVERYTHING that happens once Shepard runs into Harbinger's beam. The cost of not
questioning, or making the right choice even if you do?

Real-time player indoctrination. Shepard's literal death.

Think about it carefully. We arrive on the Crucible, and are faced with an archetype of manipulation, the Catalyst. Taking the form of a child that has come to represent everything that is horrendous about the Reapers to Shepard, the Catalyst/Harbinger provides Shepard with three strange and disorienting choices. He first presents Shepard with the option of Destroy, making swift and empty assertations about how it is the wrong choice because it would kill all synthetic life and Shepard herself/himself. At its surface, this seems like the renegade/chaos option, and is even insidiously portrayed in Renegade Red, a direct nod to the Player himself/herself. Directly appealing to your experiences with how the game works. He then goes on at great length about the Control and Synthesis options, portraying Control as the blue paragon/order option. Again, directly appealing to the Player. He argues
that Control is the best option, implies that Shepard is the new Catalyst, and leaves us to contemplate the possibility that we could use it to try and save the people we love; after all, we are Shepard, and we would never become like TIM.

Synthesis is the last option explored, and it is portrayed as a compromise or as being the Brave New Hope for the galaxy. I have a suspicion that Synthesis may actually be the 'perfect' choice, but thatis for another theory. (If you're curious, read about the tech-singularity lore within the game, and research humes spork's posts about the singularity within this thread.) Either way, Synthesis smacks of strangeness because it seems so inherently Reaper-oriented. As though it were servicing the Reapers' philosophy more strongly than the other two options.

This moment, when you are standing there, agonizing over your choice? This is your indoctrination moment. This is where, it could be (fantastically and insanely) argued that this is the moment when indoctrination and all of its insidious power becomes as real as it possibly CAN be to the Player. Think about it! We stand there. We
agonize. We freak out about the ridiculous choices, and we wonder (like Shepard would) why we just can't ARUGE with the Catalyst (like Shepard would). And then, as this reality seems to be the only way forward (much like how indoctrination presents a version of reality to the indoctrinated that he/she sees as being the ONLY REAL OPTION -- echoes of TIM, Kai Leng, Saren here), we begin to accept it. Tremulously, we start to make our choice.

If you choose Control, then you, the player -- the one who moves through the game though Shepard's eyes; every choice s/he has ever made in the game has been directly because of you -- have been indoctrinated. It may
have been because you thought you could save your crew, your LI, or that you really could gain perfect Control over the Reapers because you are Shepard. Regardless, you have been duped. Indoctrinated by the game.
Your slow exposure to the Reapers in 2007 culminates to this final choice -- complete and free player agency and determination.

If you choose Synthesis, you face a fate similar to that of Control. It's debatable to me at this point as to whether or not you have chosen to fulfill the Reapers' purpose, but indoctrination is still a heavy possibility with this one. The only reason that I state this with any certainty is because, like the ending we see with Control, Shepard is dead at the final credits.

If you choose Destroy, then the Player Indoctrination Theory submits that this is you, the player, deciding whether or not Shepard overcomes the indoctrination attempt being rained upon him/her by Harbinger/the Catalyst. If you decide this option, and if you have enough EMS to ensure that Shepard has enough real-world time to get through the indoctrination attempt/hallucination -- Shepard lives. We see him/her breathing in the rubble of London streets at the end of the game. Shepard has defied indoctrination. You, yourself, have defied indoctrination.

Does this theory make sense? Maybe not. When we consider BioWare's real-world motivations and risks (profit, losing a large fanbase over the disgusting wretchedness of the endings as they currently exist), then the theory is hard to support. But if, for just one moment, we can let ourselves believe that BioWare may just have lived up to their celebrated philiosophy of Player Choice and Player Acutalization, then this theory becomes awe-inspiring. Is it possible? Could BioWare have sacrificed the potential for safe profits in order to bring the most insane and beautiful gaming experience of all time to its fans? The most unprecedented example of player immersion of our times? Would BioWare have truly allowed the risk for profit and angering a serious amount of their fan population in pure deference to the story, and its lore?

It may explain BioWare's silence on the matter, until "more people have played the game", or until all regions have the game. It may explain Jess M.'s twitter about fans "reacting before having all of the facts". It may.... just may explain these super sh*tty endings in a way that would make BioWare the God of RPGs.

Is it likely? No. Am I reaching, insanely? Yes.

But is it possible?



Full Indoctrination of Shepard begins after Harbinger's attack during the Conduit Run

This theory is perhaps the strongest theory out of the variants that exist for the Indoctrination theory. After Harbinger's attack during the Conduit run knocks Shepard unconscious, Harbinger's close proximity initiates the final stages of indoctrination, inducing the dream/hallucination when Shepard stands and goes through the Conduit. The variety of inconsistencies, symbolism, and repeated events from Mass Effect 1 suggest that this is a test of Shepard's will and determination. With varying factors taken into account (EMS being the major one), Shepard's results can lead to death, becoming an indoctrinated sleeper agent, or resisting the indoctrination and waking up, as evident by the secret 'taking a breath' scene. There are some details that do not fully support this theory, but it is the strongest.

Full Indoctrination of Shepard begins at the Crucible Console Room

This theory stems from the strong symbolism that occurs after Shepard reaches the console room and encounters Anderson and the Illusive Man. Though there is not as much strong evidence to support this, the theory has merit and is undergoing a lot of debate and discussion. One of the largest pieces behind this theory is when Shepard is forced to shoot Anderson and the wound reflects on Shepard themselves, but is gone after the elevator ride to the exterior of the Citadel.

Illos Run (by Byne)

Shepard is fully indoctrinated by the time he/she boards the shuttle in London. It is theorized that the shuttle was destroyed at some point while trying to land and Shepard was buried under a pile of rubble, giving Harbinger a chance to complete the indoctrination of Shepard fully while the Commander is in a weakened state, both physically and mentally. This is supported by the dream-like appearance of the Conduit run and the lack of squad mates following you. As the indoctrination becomes stronger, the dream-like appearance of the environment also becomes stronger. The Conduit run also bears near-identical resemblance to the Illos Conduit Run in the MAKO in Mass Effect 1.


Vancouver Child
This character has been one of the largest known inconsistencies to Mass Effect 3. At first glance, he just appears to be a child Shepard notices in the beginning of the game and later haunts him, manifesting as Shepard's guilt and insecurities at having to leave Earth behind after the initial assault on Earth. After much discussioin and debate, there is serious doubts the child was ever real at all, since the beginning. The current theory is that the child is an indoctrinated image implanted by Harbinger to steer Shepard along the decisions it wants Shepard to make.

The Child: Was he real at all?
**Any future evidence or theories pertaining to the Child should go to this thread from now on.

The community, as whole is split between two theories in regards to the child's existence. 1) The Child was real when Shepard first sees him playing, but from that point on, the child is nothing more than an illusion. 2) The Child never existed at any point and its all an illusion in Shepard's mind. Evidence from the game supports both theories equally, so it is unclear which may be the correct one. The general community consensus, however, is that the child is a metaphor for Shepard's regrets about the people he/she was unable to save on Earth and its colonies and serves as a disguise for Harbinger's indoctrination throughout the game. This is also supported by the appearance of Catalyst at the end when having to make the decisions as well as the dreams Shepard has throughout the game.

Harbinger played a major key-role in Mass Effect 2 and Arrival. The Reaper develops a personal vendetta against Shepard after not only Sovereign's failed attempt to manually activate the Dark Space Relay (Citadel), but also having the Collectors (its servants) destroyed at the conclusion of the game. Harbinger will repeatedly talk with and mock Shepard at every chance it can get.

Harbinger also displays an unusually possessiveness towards the Commander. The Reaper makes it VERY clear that it wishes to possess Shepard, going as far as to try and procure Shepard's body after the Collector ship attacked and destroyed the Normandy, only to be thwarted by Liara T'soni and Cerebrus (Mass Effect: Redemption). Never at any point has Harbinger attempted to kill Shepard out-right when there's been opportunity to, but painstakingly orders that the Commander be captured alive at any costs.

Harbinger's Battle Dialogue

It is theorized that Harbinger is the likely 'leader' of the Reapers, due to its variant appearance from Sovereign and other Reapers (the eyes) and the fact that Harbinger requires less recharging time to fire its laser weapons. However, a single glaring difference in Mass Effect 3 is Harbinger's sudden disinterest in Shepard. He does not possess any lines of dialogue in the game (Keith Szarabajka is lacking a notable VO credit in Mass Effect 3) and the only time Harbinger is really mentioned or seen is by the Destroyer-class Reaper on Rannoch, Admiral Hackett just before the Conduit Run, and during the Conduit Run as he attacks Hammer squad to stop their attempts at reaching the Conduit. Harbinger's behavior in Mass Effect 3 is inconsistent with his behavior in Mass Effect 2.

Codex Entry on HARBINGER

The Reaper called Harbinger is believed to be the oldest and largest in the Reaper armada. From the reaches of dark space, Harbinger managed to control the Collectors, a race of human-sized insectoid bipeds, as it sent them on a campaign to kill and gather humans from vulnerable colonies. The Collectors became a terrifying force in the galaxy, responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands. Surviving colonists have described the tone of Harbinger's threats, heard through the Collectors as they attacked, as visceral and terrifying.

Alliance intelligence has tentatively identified Harbinger as one of the Reapers leading the attack on Earth.


Codex Entry on Indoctrination

Reaper "indoctrination" is an insidious means of corrupting organic minds, "reprogramming" the brain through physical and psychological conditioning using electromagnetic fields, infrasonic and ultrasonic noise, and other subliminal methods. The Reaper's resulting control over the limbic system leaves the victim highly susceptible to its suggestions.

Organics undergoing indoctrination may complain of headaches and buzzing or ringing in their ears. As time passes, they have feelings of "being watched" and hallucinations of "ghostly" presences. Ultimately, the Reaper gains the ability to use the victim's body to amplify its signals, manifesting as "alien" voices in the mind.

Indoctrination can create perfect deep cover agents. A Reaper's "suggestions" can manipulate victims into betraying friends, trusting enemies, or viewing the Reaper itself with superstitious awe. Should a Reaper subvert a well-placed political or military leader, the resulting chaos can bring down nations.

Long-term physical effects of the manipulation are unsustainable. Higher mental functioning decays, ultimately leaving the victim a gibbering animal. Rapid indoctrination is possible, but causes this decay in days or weeks. Slow, patient indoctrination allows the thrall to last for months or years.

Mass Effect Wiki - Dragon's Teeth

Throughout all three Mass Effect games, we witness the effects and signs of indoctrination. It is known that Reapers emit some kind of audio frequency that can be perceived by organics, usually as a horribly uncomfortable or even painful sound. Though the nature of the signal's frequencies are unknown, prolonged exposure to the signal induces the deteriorating effects of indoctrination. Indoctrination through the exposure of just the signal can take weeks or months to fully manifest, driving the subjects insane and turning them into slaves of the Reapers. It is known that Reaper-based implants and Dragon's Teeth can greatly increase the effects of indoctrination.

It is also proven that the signal does not even need to come from a living Reaper itself. The Derelict Repear in Mass Effect 2 was still emitting an indoctrination signal, given that it's Mass Effect core was still active. Many devices that come from Reapers or built directly based on a Reaper also are prone to emitting an indoctrination signal, though not as powerful as one from an actual Reaper (speculation). It appears that the indoctrination signal is very much a part of the Reaper's construction and purpose. A separate discussion thread was started to debate the origins and true purpose of the Reapers.

Reaper Origins

- After waking up from Harbinger's attack, the landscape behind and around Shepard seems strangely devoid of debris (like downed gun-ships and several MAKOS). The surrounding area is also strangely blurred beyond recognition and buildings seem to be either missing or very far away, especially in the direction Shepard just came from.
It is yet to be determined, concretely, if the two dead trees in the scene are from Shepard's previous dreams or are part of the actual environment.
**There is also another strange observation about some of the textures used in the environment [spoiler]I just noticed this right now...don't know if anyone's mentioned this already or if it's been explained, but I thought I'd bring it up.

So you know that oddly colorful rubble that's littered around the Makos near the beam?


Yeah, that crap looks weird. PC, I'm ashamed of you and those textures.

...hey, wait a minute.


Are those BODIES?

Yes. As you can clearly see, there are faces, torsos, and legs in that pile of low-res polygons. Now, why it's so low-res I don't know; that might really be an issue with my computer. But I've never had this level of terrible with any other texture in the game...and you have to admit, seeing it so blurry and awful-looking lends it a very eerie quality.

Besides that, why are there SO MANY? There were absolutely not that many people running for the beam. And even if there were, how did they all end up in neat little piles off to the sides? And, most importantly...

Take a closer look at the bodies pink and purple circles. Look familiar?

[img][/img] about now?

- James Vega comments to Shepard that he hears a strange humming sound in the Normandy throughout the entire game (needs a video link)
** It is theorized that this comment does not come up until after the Mars mission, when Eva Core's advanced android body is brought aboard the ship (unconfirmed)
** Video on the comment provided by Murasame

- After Harbinger's attack, Shepard picks up a pistol that requires no thermal clips and no reloading. This pistol is picked up again after reaching and passing through the Conduit and landing on the Citadel

- After Harbinger's attack, the UI is missing from the game and Shepard is unable to access any biotic, tech, or bullet powers from that point on.

- As Shepard limps towards the Conduit, you will see one of two things on the ground based on your EMS (Effective Military Score) at that point
  • Dead Alliance Marines [HIGH EMS]
  • The corpse of Ashley/Kaiden or the companions you brought with you (unconfirmed) [LOW EMS]

- When you are on the Citadel, in the hallway full of bodies, Anderson will contact you and state he made it to the Citadel behind you, yet Anderson was not behind you. He will also claim that he (and others) landed in a different part of the Citadel, but describe it in a similar manner to the hall way Shepard is in. (needs video link)

- The first hallway is piled with bodies, with a couple of Keepers mindlessly working or walking. The two most notable features of this area is the strange black webbing on the walls and the piles of bodies. The bodies appear to not be generated using the face generator in the game and are missing hair, giving them a doll-like appearance when there is no helmet on. They are also all human, no Asari, Turian, Salari, Krogan, Volus, Elcor, or Hanar bodies can be seen anywhere
[img][/img] [img][/img]

- The Illusive Man is taking on the appearance similar to the pseudo-husk Cerebrus soldiers are seen on Mars, yet throughout the game, his appearance has remained human.

- During the conversation with Illusive Man and Anderson, at different points of the conversation, you will see 'oily shadows' on the edges of the screen, as well as a deep, Reaper-like trilling sound.

- When Illusive Man forces Shepard to shoot Anderson, Anderson is clearly stuck in the lower right side of his torso, yet does not bleed and only reacts mildly to the wound. However, Shepard is suddenly bearing the exact same would and bleeding after Illusive Man is defeated.

- After the elevator drops Shepard off, Catalyst will appear in the form of the young boy and say one of two things to Shepard depending on EMS score (unconfirmed)
  • What are you doing here? [LOW EMS]
  • Wake up [HIGH EMS]

**Images and explainations provided by MonochromeWench
[spoiler]Posted this to the BSN thread about a day ago, seems to have been 'missed' by a lot of people, but seems quite relevant. Made a few other posts, but this is the only one that I think is 'good' enough to cross post.

If your EMS is high enough the child says "Wake up". If its too low the child says "Why are you here." On the surface it seems ok, but when you examine it, there is one big flaw with the "Wake Up" line. Let me show you:

First we have what Shepard looks like at the beginning of the section. Note she is kneeling with eyes open. She is not asleep.

She shakes her head and looks up. Again obviously not asleep

Child come over, and says wake up.

Doesn't it seem odd that the child would say "Wake Up" when Shepard is already awake. Well, if this theory is true, then Shepard is not actually awake at all. The child is Shepards subconsious trying to get Shepard to wake up in the real world. The fight isn't over yet... WAKE UP!

This of course is not exactly a particularly special plot device. I've seen it used elsewhere. If a character a tells character b to WAKE UP when character b is already awake then its likely that character b is in a coma or similar state and the entire scene is just in their head. And that is exactly what this theory is all about.[/spoiler]

- Depending on EMS, Shepard is present with 1-3 options by Catalyst
Blue - Control
Center - Synthesis
Red - Destruction

However, these choices are not just represented by color, but by two particular people as well. Illusive Man is seen as choosing Control and Andrson is seen choosing destruction, opposite representations of their coloration in the Paragon/Renegade manner. (see second post for more in depth explanation into the ending of the game)

- Shepard is standing in a complete vacuum, on the exterior of the Citadel. There are no Mass Effect fields anyone else on the Citadel except for the Wards.
**Complied by Rainwhisker, Weak With The Dawn, and ceruleancrescent

After Mars you fly to the citadel. In the ring-thing at the center you see what is presumably the 'corridor'.

What do people make of it?

Also a damn shame that Harbinger kid's image is shopped.

Also; the OP is perfectly cool to me, Thefish.

Quote from Weak With The Dawn,(time=1331782797)
Isn't that supposed to be the council tower?

Quote from Rainwhisker,(time=1331782536)
The structure sticking out of the middle part of the structure is the Citadel tower where the counsel officially meets. It's also were Sovereign attached himself in ME1 and where the Citadel master control panel is.


Yet in ME3, when the Crucible attaches and Shepard meets the GC, the control panels for Control and Destroy as well as Synthesis are on the underside of the Citadel Tower.


When Shepard opens the Citadel citadel arms, the open out, showing that Shepard must be in the Citadel Tower somewhere. Since this is showing that they are in the Citadel Tower somewhere at another master control console, they can't be where they were in ME1.


When Shepard collapses/passes out in front of the new console in an area of the Citadel they've never seen before they are taken upwards. However, if they were going upwards, they would be going towards the top of the citadel tower (where Sovereign connected) and out into space.


Instead they end up on the underside, where they Crucible connects to the Citadel. The blue arrow pointing to the Citadel Tower is where Shepard ends up approx. according to they're orientation to the Citadel arms (that have not opened up all the way yet, they open up so the end capsule can open for the Crucible to attach, but the long arms themselves stay open part way). The white arrow shows the direction Shepard goes when "lifted" by the random white panel. The other blue arrow pointing the the Crucible/Citadel connecting point is where Shepard ends up and meets the GC.


What happens is not possible.

There also does not seem to be enough room in the Citadel Tower itself for there to be a giant chasm.
It also seems that this "never before seen area of the citadel" that has walls move on its own and has an additional master control console, is on a lower level of the Citadel Tower.
I'm not so sure.... ^o)


- If Destruction is chosen with an EMS score at either 4k or 5k (if TIM kills Anderson or not), there is a bonus 'breathing' scene depicting Shepard in a pile of rubble after the Normandy crash. The scarring on the armor is identical.


- The trees in the background behind Shepard after Harbinger's attack are from the dreams that haunt Shepard during the game.

- Hackett and Anderson both appear to be speaking to Shepard through an open comm channel, yet there is no static to suggest they are. Both voices come in clearly to Shepard.

- A message from either Kaiden or Ashley will show up after beating the game via the iPhone App Infiltrator

- Shepard's scarring from Mass Effect 2 reappears once confronting the Catalyst (this is not true in every player's case)

- The pathway after the Conduit resembles several places Shepard has already visited; Collector's Ship/Base, Shadow Broker's Ship, Cerebrus facilities, and the Citadel itself.

- Shepard's companions as well as Dr. Chakwas will either inquire or comment on the condition of Shepard's implants.

- The save files have specific tags that specify what kind of ending you have achieved for importing and are labeled as the following (reported by Golferguy758)
  • Blaze of Glory
  • Not Finished
  • Live to Fight Another Day

- The definition for Catalyst: One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences

- The definition for Crucible: A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial. See Synonyms at trial.

- Shepard has spent time in contact with not only Reapers, but Reaper technology and artifacts. It is well documented that anything purely related to the Reapers can and will emit an indoctrination signal.
  • Conversations and close proximity to Sovereign on Virmire and the Citadel
  • Conversations with Harbinger and its puppets
  • Derelict Reaper
  • Incomplete Human Reaper on the Collector base
  • Fragments of the Human Reaper in the Cerebrus Main base
  • Reaper Artifact from 'Arrival'
  • Reaper IFF installed on the Normandy (unconfirmed)

- EDI's body and/or the Reaper IFF, as well as other Reaper parts fitted to the Normandy SR2, are emitting an indoctrination signal.


5,641 posts

6:49pm Mar 17th 12

Will read through it all later, basically was most annoyed at the fact that all the time I spent on the first two games (and now ME3) meant nothing. It came down to whether your preferred colour is green, red or blue. It's an incredible game without a doubt, one of the best I've played. However, from the sequence where you charge toward the beam below the Citadel right to the end credits nearly ruins how great a game it is.

I'll add this now. It's also a long read, but I agree with pretty much everything about why the ending was poor (to put it mildly)


9,657 posts

6:51pm Mar 17th 12

It is imperative that you read the indoctrination theory falcano. If it is true then bioware have achieved what could be considered one of the greatest things in video game history. if it is true then they have indoctrinated the player.


5,641 posts

6:57pm Mar 17th 12

I'd heard little bits about it as a possible transition to some DLC containing a alternate ending. Gotta go have some dinner now though


9,848 posts

7:02pm Mar 17th 12


And the ending was shit. I've done options 1 and 3 with 5000 strength & killed the illusive man.


5,641 posts

7:04pm Mar 17th 12

I got to the point with the Illusive Man and had to take the Renegade option and shoot him or it wouldn't let me progress. This despite being entirely paragon throughout all three games.


9,657 posts

7:05pm Mar 17th 12


I've done destroy and control - with control you see shepard take a breath and live in some rubble which is kind of cool. In terms of the illusive man I managed to make him shoot himself.


5,119 posts

7:10pm Mar 17th 12


Ending was alright i chose to destroy em all and seeing my companions stranded on some unknown world.


5,641 posts

7:12pm Mar 17th 12

In terms of the illusive man I managed to make him shoot himself.

Quote from Lordsome on the 17th of March 2012
The Paragon (and equivalent Renegade) chat option which lead to that was locked for me. No idea why seeing as how I'd done every side quest, have well over 5000 effective strength/readiness/whatever it is, and always choosing the paragon options as I went.

Heroez youtube the other endings, they're effectively identical except for the colour of the explosion lol (Except you don't see Shepard in the rubble in the Control/Synthesize options).


5,119 posts

7:14pm Mar 17th 12

Heroez youtube the other endings, they're effectively identical except for the colour of the explosion lol (Except you don't see Shepard in the rubble in the Control/Synthesize options).

Quote from falcano on the 17th of March 2012
Yeah u told me but fuck it i loved the game ending was a let down just waiting for the dlc

Would be sick if they did a whole different story like 1000 of years after the end of mass effect or somethin cause i love playing bioware games as the story is good and they spend loads on voice actors


5,641 posts

8:28pm Mar 17th 12

Read through it all, very very interesting. The amount of thought and effort people have put into it is incredible.


1,055 posts

11:48pm Mar 17th 12

long read but its a game people theses day lol but i see where there coming from would love a mass effect 4, or DLC showing the prothien end of the cycle and how they added there peice to the puzzle


5,641 posts

8:53pm Mar 18th 12
Most of it's already covered in the other thread I linked, still interesting to read.


6,213 posts

6:16pm Mar 19th 12

I am so shitty! Finally had enough time to finish the game.

I selected the left hand side option, co-exist etc and watched my girlfriend (liara) and garrus and joker stuck on some randy planet.

Sigh I already miss it.


9,657 posts

7:02pm Mar 19th 12

You play as Male or FemShep?

The whole ending in general provided little to no explanation as to what actually happened - along with the fact that you had essentially no effect on the ending.