My Reaction to Playing Mass Effect 3 [ COMIC ]

Not actually my reaction per se, as I have yet to finish Mass Effect 3. No this is the opinion of Julia Lichty, but from what I’ve heard and read on the blogosphere this is pretty much the general consensus.

source: deviantART


  • Gothic Sora

    I don’t know why I trusted them after the ending to Dragon Age 2 though “AAAAAANNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRSSSSSSS!”

  • Dan


    I dont understand how people dont see that the whole sequence after shepard gets blasted by harbinger is played out in his head. It is all extremely obvious and the game has been working up to it. The way indoctrination is explained over the game (making people think they are willingly helping the reapers, convinced that the reapers serve a greater cause, and uplifting the reapers as some godlike being in the subjects mind).Also the dream sequences, there are multiple dream sequences in the game so as to make it entirely possible that the ending sequence could be some hallucination too.

    Now for the events itself, they are extremly clear. Harbinger, the one reaper who has been trying to indoctrinate shepard for so long, blasts shepard. He wakes up, hears whispers (Like every person that was being indoctrinated) and finds a pistol with unlimited ammo (the kind of inaccure detail one would find in a dream). He steps into the beam and gets teleported to the Citadel, the citadel which is horribly inaccurate (not recognisable, keepers cant be shot, dead human bodies litter the place in dramatic fashion which makes no sense except if imagined by shepards dispairing brain). Then theres Anderson, shepards father figure, who has no possiblity to be there (no survivors from the beam, cant have gotten passed shepard somehow). However it would make sense that he was there if it was a concotion of shepards brain, ofcourse shepard would imagine anderson there. They dont recognise the citadel, another thing commonly assosiated with dreams (if your in a dream everything makes sense, untill you start examining your surroundings and realise it totally unlogical and unrecognisable, you usually wake up not soon after). He gets to the console with anderson there, obviously imagined since anderson couldnt have gotten past shepard and according to the conversation he was only a couple seconds ahead yet you dont see him. Another figure of shepards imagination pops up out of nowhere, the illusive man. More dispair enters shepards brain as he imagines the illusive mans power, forcing him to shoot anderson. Through sheer will of force he overcomes his thoughts of the illusive man, either through breaking lose and shooting him, or by making him shoot himself.

    Then comes the reaper who talks directly to shepard. You know, that reaper that presents itself as the ghost of the kid haunting shepards dream and as a godlike figure. If you read the indoctrination codex you will see indoctrinated people see reapers as godlike figures. You also clearly (or not so very clearly) hear harbingers voice in the background while the kid speaks and he refers to himself as ‘we’ everytime he talks about the reapers (ie. he’s being pretty blatant about being a reaper). The reaper then comes up with an explenation which would make it (vaguely) seem as if the reapers serve a greater purpose (again, read the codex entry on indoctrination).
    Shortly after shepard is presented with 3 choices. There is only one choice that is considered ‘good’ for it gives the possibility for shepard to survive and, interestingly, this is also the choice portrayed as being the worst choice according to the reaper. “you can control the reapers, just touch the lightning thing, you will die (ie. succumb to us) but everything will be alright. Or you can jump in the beam, you will die, but everything will be alright. Or you can shoot that thing, you will destroy the reapers, but it will destroy all synthetics, even you are part synthetic and you will kill the geth and your friend edi”. Everything points out that the reapers Doesnt want you to make that choice, he wants shepard to willingly choose one of the other 2 options (thus completing the indoctrination of shepard).

    Shepard keeps his mind cool and picks destroy the reapers, defying what the reapers wants him to do. He then imagines all that he expects to happen, and includes his hopes and wishes. His friends who were with him at the beam somehow got to safety. He imagines them stepping out of the normandy unharmed on a distant world, giving him some peace of mind. He wakes up back in the rubble on earth, Harbinger has failed.
    Now we wait for Bioware to release the end (obviously this hallucination wasnt the end) for which I am gratefull. They made sure nobody gets spoiled cos of differing release dates around the globe and the datamining of the possible endings (the end isnt in the game yet so that it cant be datamined, its brilliant really).

    • Jimmybob

      Dan, anyone ever told you you’re a optimist?

    • foreverbadass

      Spoilers below.

      Actually if you think about it the ‘Control’ option isn’t exactly Reaper beneficial either as Shepard is still showing resistance by attempting to stop them even if it means sacrificing himself. The only one I think that directly benefits the Reapers is the ‘Synthesis’ ending as you essentially give them what they wanted: Organic/Synthetic hybrids much like the Reapers themselves. That could explain why Shepard wakes up only after the Control and Destruction endings, but not the Synthesis ending. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t it be impossible for Shepard to get back down to Earth alive after either ending?

      I’m not getting my hopes up for real endings via DLC, but as long as inconsistencies exist I think there’s a chance it could happen unless they’re adament with ‘leaving it up to the players to decide what really happened’.

    • Lowbow


      I did find that odd when present with the choice the destroying the reaper choice was presented in red light, while controlling them was presented in blue light. Which makes more sense its a dream since only in bizzaro world would going with the illusive mans ideology be considered the paragon option (In my opinion)

  • Trasch

    You mean Bioware would dare to publish the “real” ending as a DLC? (I have to admit:
    Good way to make money. Give the players a crappy end and offer a good one as DLC for ten bucks)
    The ending would fit to Bioware’s statement, that there won’t be another game in the Mass Effect Universe about Shepard. Shepards story is now finally and once and for all over.

    • Triaxx2

      Worked in Fallout 3.

  • JohnnyH87

    I really, really like BioWares games, but I honestly don’t like this ending.
    The theory that Shepard was being indoctrinated, and that the last part takes place in his/her mind just doesn’t hold up.
    For one thing, choosing to control the reapers or destroying them leads to the exact same ending, the only difference being the color of the energy and other small details.
    But, according to the guidebook, you’re supposed to get a different ending in the second playthrough, maybe that one makes more sense.

  • Trasch

    I read, that the “diffferent ending” is the Stargazer scene, which you will get if you beat the game with an imported character or by playing two times with a ME3-created Character.
    I think the ending is a rather severe case of “Fuck, we’re out of time and the ending isn’t finished yet. Quick, just write something. Anything should do …” (just like Deus Ex… the ending ruined the whole game)

    • JohnnyH87

      Oh, really? Then I’ve already seen that ending, since I played with an imported character.

  • (blatant non sequitur) I liked the ending to Deus Ex.

  • Arkham


    Dude, I’m with the chick in the comic. I chose the synthesis ending where everybody lives, all organic life turns into a bio-synthetic holy crapula universe, and shepard gets disintegrated. Really didn’t wanna kill the geth, they just started being awesome… But that ending was a load of horse crap if I ever damn saw one.

  • ZergMonkey

    You all are well aware of the fact that there are 16 endings to this game? Thats like saying Chrono Trigger sucks because in some of the endings you die really early on/and or the world is destroyed… Keep playing the game, watch EACH ending, then decide.

    • Tokrath

      The 16 ending to this game are related to your war resources. Things like does earth get destroyed or not. All of that is also tied to what ending you choose. So if you pick the Blue ending there is earth destroyed and earth not destroyed for that. Same for red and green.It isn’t like Chrono trigger where everything was different. So basically you get 1-2 seconds of difference between red/blue/green and they got to call that a whole new ending.

      It would be like saying that Mass Effect 2 has 13 ending because if one person died they didn’t show up in the ending. So one ending with Grunt dead, then one with him alive, One with Tali dead, one alive. and so on..

      • ZergMonkey

        Its not like the very last decision you make at the end of the game makes the ending different…(although it does determine whether Anderson/Shepard die). It comes down to 2 main things, the ending of ME2 and your decisions during the campaign. What the best ending? Get the most resources. Want a shitty ending that explains very little and makes you feel shitty and confused? Go low resources. Its not about picking ‘the blue ending’, its about the time and effort you’ve put into the game and your decisions up to that point.

        • AdvanceStrat

          I did that actually. The main difference was you also got a “green” ending.

          Or if you actually listen to (what very little) they say about it, I actually consider it the worst outcome of them all. And that’s suppsoed to be the best endng. :(

      • Bevin

        Its been proven that there are only 6 actual endings (ie 6 versions of the ending animation with differnces being Big ben getting blown up and different colour or reapers leaving) not 16… they cam eup with the number 16 because of did you kill The Illusive man – did Anderson get shot once or twice)…

  • Trasch

    I didn’t want to say i don’t like the ending(s). I just hate the “choose the ending by pressing a button”-thing (although there are no buttons in ME3 but it’s pretty much the same). That’s ….well… cheap.

  • Trasch

    Just found out, that there actually is a way for Shepard to survive.
    You need 5000 Effective Military Strength and then decide to destroy the Reapers (Remember the last decision during the dialog with the illusive man when he wants to shoot Anderson? With 4000 ESM you can pick Paragon/Renegade and Anderson survives. At least this is what I was told). Then you’ll see Shepard breathing at the end right before the credits (dispite the fact the Citadel blows up).
    There’s a video about this on Youtube.

  • Heretic

    Spoiler alert and all that jazz…

    So, yeah. Way to pull a Lost/BSG, BioWare. Everything that was great about the ME2 final mission/ending wasn’t here. All the endings were virtually identical, and didn’t make much sense. Mass Relay’s destroyed, with the entire frakkin’ Galactic Fleet now stranded on Earth. Great. Glad that female is around to keep the Krogans in line. Oh wait… Maybe Wreave *gets* Australia after all. And here’s to hoping that every planet wasn’t depending on the galactic economy to function, since that no longer exists. And then there’s Joker’s cowardly escape from the battle. The Normandy’s in FTL travel from what must obviously be SOL attempting to outrun the explosion, which means Joker bailed before the battle was over since he must have launched from the closest Relay. He crashes in Happy Land, along with EDI, who was in my squad that got blasted by Harbinger, yet walks out of Normandy without a scratch. Glad to see even choosing my final squadmates had *ZERO* affect on the ending whatsoever. And the whole organic vs synthetic thing? Where the hell did that come from? Talk about last minute “Oh, it’s been about that the whole time. Honest…” Ugh… The whole thing was just laziness… Fun game otherwise, but damn… that ending was *lousy*.

  • Fife

    I loved the ending. Though the indoctrination theory is just that, a theory. Everyone wants the ending to be played out so differently they are not thinking passed this one. There is going to be a Mass Effect 4, it will probably be how they get everyone back to their own homeworlds. Also, when the citadel blows up, you don’t see how Shepard escaped, which just means he more than likely got to the beam and went back down to Earth before it blew up, thus encasing him in rubble.

  • Katie

    Dan, great analogy, and honestly being a BioWare game veteran ever since Baldurs Gate came out (oh yeah, original Bhaalspawn here) this sounds exactly like the kind of head twist that BioWare’s been leading up to with this game. You’re actually experiencing “Indoctrination” as a player; you’re experiencing how the normal choices that your character clearly makes every day of their lives can be twisted to suit the Reapers purposes; how they make what they want (Control or Synthesis) seem like what you want too, (making Control “blue” or in place of a paragon choice). We have players have been slowly trained throughout the series to believe that blue means paragon, red means renegade; a choice on the upper right or upper left of the decision circle is paragon or “order/sympathy/trust” and a choice on the lower right or lower left is “chaos/intimidation/rebellion”. How many times have people said “Well controlling the Reapers didn’t really seem like a paragon choice but I’ve been playing paragon, so I chose it because it was in that position and/or colored blue.” Your OWN perceptions as a player are being twisted to suit the Reapers needs, just like an indoctrinated person in the game universe would be manipulated to see it. I wholly believe given my long love affair with BioWare games that this is a company that believes in its fans, and actually put an ending in place to make us experience what the player character would be experiencing. An ultimate immersive experience.

    Since they’re also playing with Lovecraftian Cthulhu type mythology, the indoctrination theory makes even more sense. The overwhelming sense of despair that comes with the challenge of “killing a god” (or attempting to) when you have little to no chance of surviving the encounter and when your defeat is ultimately garaunteed plays a huge part in indoctrination. People are easily indoctrinated into believing the Reapers because the alternative is almost certain destruction of all life everywhere. There’s already a natural inclination to hopelessness or self subjugation (think the Cthulhu cults in Lovecraft’s mythology and how many of them become despicable followers of the dark Gods because they really believe they will not survive otherwise.) So in a lot of cases indoctrination feeds off of a persons natural instinct for survival. And as the game creators say, this is a story where we “face a hopeless struggle for basic survival.” Our right to exist. It’s a theme that is perpetuated throughout the whole game; the Geth, the Quarians, the Krogan genophage, the rachni.

    I completely support the indoctrination theory; it makes perfect sense, and in my mind, is a gorgeous ending for the game (although I know there’s going to be DLC as Biowares reps have confirmed, so I know it’s not the last we’ll see of our commander.) I think a lot of people raging against the ending are still trying to find a classic “I beat everything and am the best EVER” sort of escapism, and the difficult choices that players have had to make throughout the series should be an indication that this is not another first person shooter, where you beat the final boss and retire in relative ease and comfort. This is not a classic video game mold or dynamic. And I, for one, am completely happy, because Bioware is making game-changing and industry changing leaps and bounds here. If I wanted to beat a giant end boss and then dance on rainbows with my squad mates before being named Best Hero of the Universe I’d probably just go play one of hundreds of first person shooters in stores right now. Or Mass Effect 1 again.