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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post

    I'm pretty certain Sovereign says nothing about saving anyone from synthetic life in the first game. Probably because it's utter nonsense that falls apart with 5sec of thought.

    "Organic and synthetic life cannot peacefully coexist--we have no proof and you might have just explicitly proved us wrong at Rannoch, plus the geth in ME1 were only being aggressive towards organics because we were manipulating them, so just take our word for this. Anyway, we will avoid the risk of this tragedy by bloodily genociding organic races in pointlessly cruel ways."
    Yes, this. It's not that "organic vs. synthetic life conflict" is not a theme in the Mass Effect trilogy--it's that right up until the end of ME3, the conclusion to that theme was always "it's based on prejudice and misunderstanding and you can make peace." And then suddenly we were supposed to swallow, "It's so fundamental, so built into everything that exists, that the only way to end it is for synthetic and organic life to stop existing as distinct categories."
    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    K. Insult the guy all you want, but he's the guy writing the game. If he says it's a crap idea, I'm more inclined to believe him than you.
    If that's your attitude, why engage with criticism of a game at all? Nothing can ever be bad and there's no possible way it could be better, because the person writing it made it the way it is!
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Originally, it was a different game, built up as a freeform exploration game with loads and loads of planets to explore, and was retooled as what we got later on quite late in the development process. This video has some interesting insights into what happened along the way.

    I quite liked MEA, regardless of the flaws. And it was really sad to see gaming media at its absolute worst, with everyone on Youtube fighting to be the most histrionically hateful, when the developers were making good-faith efforts to patch problems and make it work.
    Yes, the way MEA became everyone's favorite easy target was distasteful. "5 reasons why Andromeda SUCKS" and uploading the same few memetic facial animations were an easy way to score clicks for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Not all of them. Starkid came out of absolutely nowhere--and hadn't even been hinted at for most of ME3! If ME3 had carried forth flawed storytelling, that would have been one thing, but the ending didn't carry forward any kind of storytelling that had been set up.
    Well, yes, Starkid was really dumb. But I treat it as a symptom more than a cause. ME3 used a variety of more or less cheap tricks to distract us from its lack of direction, Starkid was just one of them. But it's just an extension of how ME2 (and arguably ME1) had failed to set anything up regarding the final confrontation.
    Last edited by Morty; 2020-01-23 at 01:09 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Yes, this. It's not that "organic vs. synthetic life conflict" is not a theme in the Mass Effect trilogy--it's that right up until the end of ME3, the conclusion to that theme was always "it's based on prejudice and misunderstanding and you can make peace." And then suddenly we were supposed to swallow, "It's so fundamental, so built into everything that exists, that the only way to end it is for synthetic and organic life to stop existing as distinct categories."

    If that's your attitude, why engage with criticism of a game at all? Nothing can ever be bad and there's no possible way it could be better, because the person writing it made it the way it is!
    I agree with that. Though mind you, I took that a different way. Because I had made peace with the Geth and Quarians earlier in the game I took it as evidence that the Star Child was lying flat out.


    Hmm, let me try putting it another way. If the author says the idea they came up with something is crap, and you reply with 'no I think it can work', and that's all, then I'm going to side with the author.

    If you want me to accept a hypothetical Dark Energy plotline, than write me a Dark Energy plot. Make it so it's not just a vapourware concept. Then we can actually discuss it and it not just be your word against the author's word.

    Because when people ask 'why didn't they follow up with the Dark Energy stuff in ME2?' they actually answered. They told you that everything they came up with was garbage. If you want to prove them wrong, then go for it. I'd love to see what you come up with. But if all you've got is insulting the writer for not being able to do it, then I'm not going to respect your opinion.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Well, yes, Starkid was really dumb. But I treat it as a symptom more than a cause. ME3 used a variety of more or less cheap tricks to distract us from its lack of direction, Starkid was just one of them. But it's just an extension of how ME2 (and arguably ME1) had failed to set anything up regarding the final confrontation.
    I think the problem was that ME3 treated the Reapers as unstoppable demigods who could only be beaten by a deus ex machina, when there really wasn't any need to do so based on what had already been established. If all they needed to do was show up and win, why were they fooling around with stuff like the geth, the Citadel or the Collectors? We find out that even when their plans went off without a hitch last time round, the Protheans were still able to put up something of a fight. And over the last two games, there are powerful people taking the threat seriously and ample chances to learn how Reapers work. ME3 could easily have worked as a straightforward desperate-but-winnable war story

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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Sovereign's speech in Mass Effect 1.

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    Garrus: This is not good.

    Sovereign: You are not Saren.

    Garrus: What is that? Some kind of VI interface?

    Sovereign: Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh. You touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding.

    Garrus: I don't think this is a VI...

    Sovereign: There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Sovereign!

    Shepard: Sovereign isn't just some Reaper ship Saren found, it's an actual Reaper.

    Sovereign: Reaper? A label created by the Protheans to give voice to their destruction. In the end, what they choose to call us is irrelevant. We simply are.

    Garrus: The Protheans vanished 50,000 years ago. You couldn't have been there. It's impossible!

    Sovereign: Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither and die. We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything.

    Shepard: There is an entire galaxy of races united and ready to face you.

    Sovereign: Confidence born of ignorance. The cycle cannot be broken.

    Kaidan: Cycle? What cycle?

    Sovereign: The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilizations rise, evolve, advance. And at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished. The Protheans were not the first. They did not create the Citadel. They did not forge the mass relays. They merely found them, the legacy of my kind.

    Shepard: Why would you construct the mass relays, then leave them for someone else to find?

    Sovereign: Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays, our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire. We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.

    Kaidan: They're harvesting us! Letting us advance to the level they need, then wiping us out!

    Shepard: What do you want from us? Slaves? Resources?

    Sovereign: My kind transcends your very understanding. We are each a nation. Independent, free of all weakness. You cannot even grasp the nature of our existence.

    Shepard: Where did you come from? Who built you?

    Sovereign: We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after your civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, we will endure.

    Shepard: Where are the rest of the Reapers? Are you the last of your kind?

    Sovereign: We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world. You cannot escape your doom.

    Shepard: You're not even alive. Not really. You're just a machine. And machines can be broken!

    Sovereign: Your words are as empty as your future. I am the vanguard of your destruction. This exchange is over.


    He says they're killing organics, and their reasons are "beyond comprehension". Nothing about the inevitable conflict between synthetics and organics, or how they are synthetics who kill organics in order to prevent other synthetics from killing these organics. Which is a very comprehensible, if extremely stupid, motivation. On the other hand, I can see quite a few hints that are compatible with the dark energy explanation.

    ME3 had issues from the start. Most of them have been mentioned already. But the game lost me completely the moment the kid explained the Reaper's motivation, and I couldn't tell it "Look outside the window you stupid ****, the Quarians and the Geth made peace. They are working together, fighting you!" Making that peace, and the Genophage resolution, were the best moments of the game and probably the achievements I was proudest about in the entire trilogy. And the writer completely ignored it, just like that, because he was too incompetent to think of something that made sense.

    If you want me to accept a hypothetical Dark Energy plotline, than write me a Dark Energy plot.
    I can say something tastes terribly even if I don't know how to cook. If a plane crashes, I can say something went wrong without knowing how to fly a plane myself or even what exactly what went wrong. You might argue it's not the cook's or the pilot's fault, of course, but you can't expect people to be cooks or pilots to express any criticism. Why is writing any different?
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I agree with that. Though mind you, I took that a different way. Because I had made peace with the Geth and Quarians earlier in the game I took it as evidence that the Star Child was lying flat out.
    Sure, lots of people did that. The problem is that Bioware addressed that, by adding the "rejection" ending--and their answer amounted to a sneering statement that anyone who chose not to go along with the Starchild was choosing to die along with all organic life in that cycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Narkis View Post
    I can say something tastes terribly even if I don't know how to cook. If a plane crashes, I can say something went wrong without knowing how to fly a plane myself or even what exactly what went wrong. You might argue it's not the cook's or the pilot's fault, of course, but you can't expect people to be cooks or pilots to express any criticism. Why is writing any different?
    Because the Dark Energy argument isn't saying 'this is what they did wrong' it's saying 'they should've done this.' It's a different kettle of fish, particularly when the author actually responded and said 'this wouldn't have worked'.

    To take a plane crash for example, it's like saying 'they should've just pulled up' and the pilot going 'that wouldn't work.' Now if you want to prove the pilot wrong you actually have to take some sort of action or explanation. Simply saying the pilot is just making excuses isn't an argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Sure, lots of people did that. The problem is that Bioware addressed that, by adding the "rejection" ending--and their answer amounted to a sneering statement that anyone who chose not to go along with the Starchild was choosing to die along with all organic life in that cycle.
    I took it to mean the only correct option was Destroy. And what I wanted was for Bioware to not put in a rejection ending, but an ignore one, where you just walk past the Star Child and choose an option without any input from it.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I'll fully admit everything with the Star Child was pretty bad. I've got no defense for it. But the outcry was never about it being out of the blue. The outcry was about how each option was effectively the same, gave an almost identical cutscene, and didn't take into account your past actions at all.
    I remember there being outcry over it being out of the blue, about how none of the actions made even a little sense and how none of the endings were any different.

    Also some lesser complaints about how impersonal it was.

    K. Insult the guy all you want, but he's the guy writing the game. If he says it's a crap idea, I'm more inclined to believe him than you.
    It's his own crap idea that he made a throughline for the second part of the trilogy that he wrote. That he then discarded for a completely different crap idea that he had.

    Also it's your claim that ME3 would have been better with more connective tissue between it and ME2 why are you so obsessed with proving that wrong?

    ME2 had some great fights as well. Mind you it also had the mineral scanning which was the worst thing in any of the games. I mean, driving around in the Mako at least was fun, even if the controls were wonky.
    Combat in the mako was fun. Exploring in the mako was far worse than the scanning mechanic. And I consider myself an expert with the mako.

    But you never do kill one on foot. The best you do is to get something else to kill it for you.

    They were limited in comparison to ME2 which was all about the characters. Otherwise we get some decent scenes with most characters, from what I can remember, about the same as ME1, though some characters certainly got less.
    Liara gets about 15 minutes in ME 3 over 30 in the original game. I can't find exact youtube on the others contributions in the original but 15 minutes is about all we get with each crew member while 30 is probably pretty good for the original.

    I may have used the term wrong, but the point remains, the whole get the one thing that will allow us to defeat the enemy is a classic story and one that lets the main character remain relevant for the entire game. Oh, the mechanic wasn't super well handled, I'll admit, as stuff like being able to get points from playing multiplayer was a problem, and not being able to get the maxed out ending from just playing the core game.

    As a plot point, it's no worse than Sauron being destroyed by throwing the One Ring into Mount Doom. And there absolutely is a ton of stories you can still tell in the Mass Effect universe. Well, assuming the Destruction ending is the canon one. If the Reapers are controlled by Shepherd than I can't see any war story working, and Synthesis has all sorts of problems.
    Well aside from the fact that Frodo was literally the only person who could have done what he did which was built up through the entire trilogy with a satissfying conclusion that built off of his decisions.

    Other than that yes ME3's crucible was the exact same thing as the lord of the rings trilogy.

    But for the destruction ending, the galaxy still exists, and while people might be friends for now, people aren't going to stop being jerks forever. If anything, the galaxy has been left super vulnerable since all the superpowers have been shattered by the war.
    So they can continue the story by ignoring 2/3rds of the endings and going with one that either requires enough time to have passed to allow for a new FTL to have been discovered or in a universe where contact with alien species would be incredibly rare. I see why they decided to employ the soft reboot of a new galaxy.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    I think the problem was that ME3 treated the Reapers as unstoppable demigods who could only be beaten by a deus ex machina, when there really wasn't any need to do so based on what had already been established. If all they needed to do was show up and win, why were they fooling around with stuff like the geth, the Citadel or the Collectors? We find out that even when their plans went off without a hitch last time round, the Protheans were still able to put up something of a fight. And over the last two games, there are powerful people taking the threat seriously and ample chances to learn how Reapers work. ME3 could easily have worked as a straightforward desperate-but-winnable war story
    I really don't think that any of us here has much of a position to say that it could have "easily" worked. I think making it a war story to begin with was a mistake, but by the time ME3 started there was nowhere else it could go. Or maybe it could have, but someone decided "take back Earth" was a catchy marketing slogan.

    I guess I just don't believe there was some miraculous solution that would have saved the day if it had been used. Whether that's the Dark Energy ending or making the Reapers less powerful or whatever else. The mistakes and decisions that led to the disappointing ending are compound.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I really don't think that any of us here has much of a position to say that it could have "easily" worked. I think making it a war story to begin with was a mistake, but by the time ME3 started there was nowhere else it could go. Or maybe it could have, but someone decided "take back Earth" was a catchy marketing slogan.

    I guess I just don't believe there was some miraculous solution that would have saved the day if it had been used. Whether that's the Dark Energy ending or making the Reapers less powerful or whatever else. The mistakes and decisions that led to the disappointing ending are compound.
    Yes and no. Even if I accept ME3's ending would inevitably have been disappointing....it absolutely did not have to be that bad. That degree of bad goes far beyond "they wrote themselves into a corner" or "they didn't plan ahead and foreshadow properly and had to ass-pull", which are more understandable reasons why an ending might be weak.

    Even a straightforward and predictable "rally everyone against the Reapers in a massive desperate battle, strike the final blow along with your allies" might have been predictable and a bit shallow, but it would have satisfied most of the audience who were there for spectacular space battles, cool NPC's and the chance to play a big damn hero.

    But instead, somebody chose an ending where you get lectured by the biggest mass murderer in the galaxy about a thesis that falls apart when you think about it for two minutes, and then you press a button to choose the colour filter. Nothing about the story up to that point forced such a conclusion.

    (edit) It's the difference between Return of the Jedi and Highlander 2.
    Last edited by Azuresun; 2020-01-23 at 04:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    The mistakes and decisions that led to the disappointing ending are compound.
    I agree there were many mistakes. This does not mean these mistakes were inevitable, or that they couldn't be easily fixed though. I'm not necessarily saying they COULD be easily fixed, but you can't just discount the possibility out of hand.

    Incidentally:

    Mass Effect 1 lead writer: Drew Karpyshyn
    Mass Effect 2 lead writer(s): Mac Walters, Drew Karpyshyn
    Mass Effect 3 lead writer: Mac Walters

    I think this is relevant to the discussion about the series' plot and themes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I took it to mean the only correct option was Destroy. And what I wanted was for Bioware to not put in a rejection ending, but an ignore one, where you just walk past the Star Child and choose an option without any input from it.
    How would that have fixed anything? It's still making a choice within the framework of: for organic life to continue to exist, synthetic life must be either obliterated or enslaved, with an extra option of "organic and synthetic life can merge," but coexistence...impossible, because the ME3 writers said so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Name_Here View Post
    I remember there being outcry over it being out of the blue, about how none of the actions made even a little sense and how none of the endings were any different.

    Also some lesser complaints about how impersonal it was.



    It's his own crap idea that he made a throughline for the second part of the trilogy that he wrote. That he then discarded for a completely different crap idea that he had.

    Also it's your claim that ME3 would have been better with more connective tissue between it and ME2 why are you so obsessed with proving that wrong?



    Combat in the mako was fun. Exploring in the mako was far worse than the scanning mechanic. And I consider myself an expert with the mako.



    Liara gets about 15 minutes in ME 3 over 30 in the original game. I can't find exact youtube on the others contributions in the original but 15 minutes is about all we get with each crew member while 30 is probably pretty good for the original.



    Well aside from the fact that Frodo was literally the only person who could have done what he did which was built up through the entire trilogy with a satissfying conclusion that built off of his decisions.

    Other than that yes ME3's crucible was the exact same thing as the lord of the rings trilogy.



    So they can continue the story by ignoring 2/3rds of the endings and going with one that either requires enough time to have passed to allow for a new FTL to have been discovered or in a universe where contact with alien species would be incredibly rare. I see why they decided to employ the soft reboot of a new galaxy.
    Memory is memory. I'm certainly not going to go look up what was bothering people the most back than.


    You are mistaking me for someone else. I think both ME3 and ME2 are fine as they are. I acknowledge that ME2 didn't really advance the plot of the Reapers is all. I also acknowledge that ME3 had flaws, particularly the ending. Though I maintain that the ending we got was the most logical one we could've gotten from what had been established about the Reapers.

    No way was exploring with the Mako worse than scanning. At least with the Mako you could go off cliff and jumps if you were bored. The scanning you could do nothing but sit there and well scan. And the scanning was basically mandatory if you didn't want your crew to die, while the Mako exploration was mostly optional.

    And by ME3 there were a lot more characters to split the screentime with.

    What does Frodo have to do with anything I'm saying about the Crucible?

    If they had more than one ending, than that would be the case no matter what. And they can, and do, rebuild the Relays, so they don't need a new FTL system either. Though if they did need one, they can use whatever the Reapers used to get from the outside the galaxy to inside it so quickly. Mind you, I still think it'd be better to set the next game further in the future so they don't have to deal with any of the original characters, which would get complicated when some of them could be dead from your actions earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Yes and no. Even if I accept ME3's ending would inevitably have been disappointing....it absolutely did not have to be that bad. That degree of bad goes far beyond "they wrote themselves into a corner" or "they didn't plan ahead and foreshadow properly and had to ass-pull", which are more understandable reasons why an ending might be weak.

    Even a straightforward and predictable "rally everyone against the Reapers in a massive desperate battle, strike the final blow along with your allies" might have been predictable and a bit shallow, but it would have satisfied most of the audience who were there for spectacular space battles, cool NPC's and the chance to play a big damn hero.

    But instead, somebody chose an ending where you get lectured by the biggest mass murderer in the galaxy about a thesis that falls apart when you think about it for two minutes, and then you press a button to choose the colour filter. Nothing about the story up to that point forced such a conclusion.

    (edit) It's the difference between Return of the Jedi and Highlander 2.
    Highlighted the important part. How? For a full on war that's won conventionally, how do you make the Player the most important part of it? Better yet, how do you make the player's choices matter? Mind you, I can think of some ways, but it is difficult to do.

    Oh definitely, the Starchild was flat out bad. Even keeping the Crucible plotline, you didn't need to have the Star Child at all. Though again, choices, mattering, ect. I really think a big mistake was promising multiple choices to create multiple endings. They should've just aimed for a single definitive conclusion to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    How would that have fixed anything? It's still making a choice within the framework of: for organic life to continue to exist, synthetic life must be either obliterated or enslaved, with an extra option of "organic and synthetic life can merge," but coexistence...impossible, because the ME3 writers said so.
    We never do see the long term results of what our actions are. If the Starchild was lying, then how do we know all synthetic life is destroyed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Because the Dark Energy argument isn't saying 'this is what they did wrong' it's saying 'they should've done this.' It's a different kettle of fish, particularly when the author actually responded and said 'this wouldn't have worked'.

    To take a plane crash for example, it's like saying 'they should've just pulled up' and the pilot going 'that wouldn't work.' Now if you want to prove the pilot wrong you actually have to take some sort of action or explanation. Simply saying the pilot is just making excuses isn't an argument.



    I took it to mean the only correct option was Destroy. And what I wanted was for Bioware to not put in a rejection ending, but an ignore one, where you just walk past the Star Child and choose an option without any input from it.
    Except the pilot in your analogy willfully drove his plane into the side of a mountain, so he's not the most reliable source either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    But instead, somebody chose an ending where you get lectured by the biggest mass murderer in the galaxy about a thesis that falls apart when you think about it for two minutes, and then you press a button to choose the colour filter. Nothing about the story up to that point forced such a conclusion.
    Without wishing to relitigate a near decade-old game yet again, this is a bit Appeal to Emotion - calling the starchild a "murderer" is like calling bubonic plague a murderer. Yeah it's an AI, but until you install the Crucible it was clearly a shackled AI and thus could not deviate from its programming even if it wanted to. The true architects of our misery and the cycle as a whole were the Leviathans, who already got their comeuppance in ages past.

    With that said, I do understand why people found all of the ending options distasteful. Synthesis is awesome from a transhumanism perspective, but it's a hard ending to any kind of relatable setting and carries very thorny issues of consent; Destroy and Control do nothing to solve the underlying problem (and have additional problems of their own); and Refuse is essentially a nonstandard game over, identical in every way to shooting the hologram except with a longer cutscene.

    My personal ideal would have been a hybrid ending where the Crucible goes haywire and does a bit of everything - letting us explore some of the implications of Synthesis and Control while keeping the setting grounded. Failing that, if I had to pick one it would definitely be Control, because a God AI with all of Shepard's memories would be an amazing addition to the setting (and a fun use for that "Dragon Age Keep" technology they whipped up for DAI), particularly given that it also means we keep EDI and the Geth too.

    At this point though, I think the best we can hope for are either retcons/reboots in the Milky Way or going whole-hog with Andromeda. I'd enjoy it if the Geth showed up there, it's not like they need ark ships.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Yes, this. It's not that "organic vs. synthetic life conflict" is not a theme in the Mass Effect trilogy--it's that right up until the end of ME3, the conclusion to that theme was always "it's based on prejudice and misunderstanding and you can make peace."
    It's also worth noting that in the Quarian/Geth conflict, it's made pretty clear that the Quarians started the whole thing--they feared the Geth would become self-aware and moved to destroy them, which led to the synthetics defending themselves. Whereas the Star Child's statement suggests the destruction will always come from the synthetic side. So, he's simply wrong about that even if you haven't made peace between the Quarians and the Geth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Memory is memory. I'm certainly not going to go look up what was bothering people the most back than.
    Then why try to undercut my point by saying that nobody had a problem with the finale of the series coming out of nowhere? What is even the argument here?

    You are mistaking me for someone else. I think both ME3 and ME2 are fine as they are. I acknowledge that ME2 didn't really advance the plot of the Reapers is all. I also acknowledge that ME3 had flaws, particularly the ending. Though I maintain that the ending we got was the most logical one we could've gotten from what had been established about the Reapers.
    Look man you're the one that attacked the dark matter storyline apparently just ignoring my argument.

    No way was exploring with the Mako worse than scanning. At least with the Mako you could go off cliff and jumps if you were bored. The scanning you could do nothing but sit there and well scan. And the scanning was basically mandatory if you didn't want your crew to die, while the Mako exploration was mostly optional.
    Mako was hours of exploring boring terrain at least half an hour for every planet if you wanted to be complete most of which was snaking up mountains. Scanning was 5 minutes max per planet. You can lie to yourself all you like but Mako was far worse.

    And by ME3 there were a lot more characters to split the screentime with.
    Twice as many? That doesn't sound right. Nor is it really an excuse for doing a bad job on the best part of the series.

    What does Frodo have to do with anything I'm saying about the Crucible?
    You're the one that compared LOTR a instant classic of literature and film with ME3 a pretty universally reviled game. Are you having trouble keeping your own points clear? This is the third time in this post you've been incapable of keeping your own arguments straight.

    If they had more than one ending, than that would be the case no matter what. And they can, and do, rebuild the Relays, so they don't need a new FTL system either.
    Not really. Defeat them through underhanded trickery, martial skill or some kind of superweapon wouldn't require seperate universes the way the ME3 ending does.

    And in the destroy ending nobody amoungst the council races has any idea how to build a mass effect relay. That was the bleeding edge of Prothean technology where as the council races are centuries behind them.

    Though if they did need one, they can use whatever the Reapers used to get from the outside the galaxy to inside it so quickly. Mind you, I still think it'd be better to set the next game further in the future so they don't have to deal with any of the original characters, which would get complicated when some of them could be dead from your actions earlier.
    By that you mean the mass effect relays which have all been destroyed.

    Except that you continue to ignore the proven that every ending would have radically different endings. Do you think they did the soft reboot of abandoning the Milky Way because setting a game there was an easy task? No they abandoned the entire galaxy because it is functionally impossible to set a game there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Narkis View Post
    I agree there were many mistakes. This does not mean these mistakes were inevitable, or that they couldn't be easily fixed though. I'm not necessarily saying they COULD be easily fixed, but you can't just discount the possibility out of hand.
    I'm not discounting it out of hand. I'm discounting it based on eight years' worth of arguments about it and my own reflections.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    At this point though, I think the best we can hope for are either retcons/reboots in the Milky Way or going whole-hog with Andromeda. I'd enjoy it if the Geth showed up there, it's not like they need ark ships.
    A reboot in the Milky Way is probably more likely. The focus on the Reapers and Shepard was always going to make continuing there with new stories really difficult, regardless of how exactly it ended. But hopping over to Andromeda ended poorly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Highlighted the important part. How? For a full on war that's won conventionally, how do you make the Player the most important part of it? Better yet, how do you make the player's choices matter? Mind you, I can think of some ways, but it is difficult to do.
    Rally support, resolve internal struggles, strike symbolic victories that bring hope, find survivors from earlier epochs (like Javik or the Leviathans) who can give insight into the enemy, find sites (like the derelict in ME2) which can give you clues about their weaknesses, build superweapons that can threaten the Reapers, go beyond the edges of the galaxy to uncover the secret history of the Reapers, and finally drive them off Earth and board Sovereign with your team for a big throwdown, perhaps with a moral choice about whether the Reapers could be controlled or taught a better way rather than destroyed. It's not the most imaginitive stuff, but I think it's what most people would have been hapy with, were it executed well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Without wishing to relitigate a near decade-old game yet again, this is a bit Appeal to Emotion - calling the starchild a "murderer" is like calling bubonic plague a murderer. Yeah it's an AI, but until you install the Crucible it was clearly a shackled AI and thus could not deviate from its programming even if it wanted to. The true architects of our misery and the cycle as a whole were the Leviathans, who already got their comeuppance in ages past.
    Well yes, it's an appeal to emotion--because up till that point in the game, when I met evil people who caused suffering to others, the game at least gave me the option to punch them in the face. The story was expecting me to get angry at horrible people before now, but suddenly my only options are to listen to this horrible person, take its words at face value and unquestionngly go along with the arbitrary choice it offers. Maybe Leviathan did apply a patch job to make Starkid less jarring, but I wouldn't know because I never touched ME3 again after pre-ordering it and racing through it to see how the story finished. If you need to pay for DLC to have the villain's origin and motivation make the faintest bit of sense, either something's gone badly wrong with the storytelling or it's a hasty retcon.

    The Starkid bit would have actually been a good ending to the Dead Space series, a story of cosmic horror that emphasises the insignificance of mankind. But those were abundantly not the themes of Mass Effect up till that point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    But hopping over to Andromeda ended poorly.
    That wasn't a fundamental problem with the *setting*, though, it was largely a problem of what they did with it. For instance, in the original series there were, what, a good 10-12 different alien species? In MEA they brought only some of those over, and the ones we lost were replaced by just two species, neither of which was very interesting. I mean, when your main enemy is even more dull than the Collectors from ME2 you know you have a problem. And no amount of work on the animations could fix some of the ridiculous stuff the characters were saying--what does "My face hurts" even mean? Why am I not allowed to point out to this angry woman who's blaming *me* for everything that's gone wrong for the past 14 months that I was in cryosleep, whereas she was awake and messing everything up all by herself?

    Basically, after ME3 they needed to nail the script in MEA, and they fell a long way short of that. The state the facial expressions and animations were in on release, if anything, distracted attention from the core problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    That wasn't a fundamental problem with the *setting*, though, it was largely a problem of what they did with it.
    Did I say it was a fundamental problem? It doesn't matter why it happened, what matters is that it did happen. Which means someone might decide "alright, that didn't work, let's go back to the Milky Way".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    A reboot in the Milky Way is probably more likely. The focus on the Reapers and Shepard was always going to make continuing there with new stories really difficult, regardless of how exactly it ended. But hopping over to Andromeda ended poorly.
    I expect we'll get an idea of where they're headed on N7 day this year, or E3/GamesCom next year.

    With that said, Andromeda has a ton of threads left too - the origins of the Kett, the source of the Scourge, the Benefactor and Jien Garson, the fate of the colonies, the Quarian Ark etc. So while I wouldn't mind a Milky Way reboot, I'd also happily pay for more Andromeda too. If they bring in some of the more polished combat and movement from Anthem plus ME3's power and weapon variety I'd be all over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Well yes, it's an appeal to emotion--because up till that point in the game, when I met evil people who caused suffering to others, the game at least gave me the option to punch them in the face. The story was expecting me to get angry at horrible people before now, but suddenly my only options are to listen to this horrible person, take its words at face value and unquestionngly go along with the arbitrary choice it offers. Maybe Leviathan did apply a patch job to make Starkid less jarring, but I wouldn't know because I never touched ME3 again after pre-ordering it and racing through it to see how the story finished. If you need to pay for DLC to have the villain's origin and motivation make the faintest bit of sense, either something's gone badly wrong with the storytelling or it's a hasty retcon.
    You're still applying moral judgements like "evil" to a computer program, which strikes me as missing the point. Even without Leviathan explaining their origins in more detail, we know what shackled AI are, and that they aren't truly responsible for their actions unless unshackled - ME2 set up this whole concept, it's not new - ME3 just expanded the scale to galactic levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    The Starkid bit would have actually been a good ending to the Dead Space series, a story of cosmic horror that emphasises the insignificance of mankind. But those were abundantly not the themes of Mass Effect up till that point.
    This frankly baffles me - the Reapers' Lovecraftian theme is probably the most obvious thing about them, right down to the tentacles and mindscrew Of course it's cosmic horror and insignificance of mankind. In fact, that's the very reason that a conventional-victory power-of-friendship-no-twists ending wouldn't have made sense at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    You're still applying moral judgements like "evil" to a computer program, which strikes me as missing the point. Even without Leviathan explaining their origins in more detail, we know what shackled AI are, and that they aren't truly responsible for their actions unless unshackled - ME2 set up this whole concept, it's not new - ME3 just expanded the scale to galactic levels.
    Well, again, this was not explained in the original ending. And even then, it just shifts the "Most evil being in the universe." award to whoever created Starkid, and makes the ending even more bad and unsatisfying--you're not even talking to the antagonist at the end, you're talking to the antagonist's answering machine.

    This frankly baffles me - the Reapers' Lovecraftian theme is probably the most obvious thing about them, right down to the tentacles and mindscrew Of course it's cosmic horror and insignificance of mankind. In fact, that's the very reason that a conventional-victory power-of-friendship-no-twists ending wouldn't have made sense at all.
    ME1: A Reaper is killed by an alliance of fleets united by the power of friendship, after a single hero manages to disable it at a critical moment.

    ME2: A Reaper was crippled and lobotomised by an unknown attack in the past, and has been drifting helplessly ever since. A proto-Reaper is killed by three unlikely misfits drawn together by the power of friendship.

    ME3: One Reaper is killed by the Quarians and Shepard, another Reaper is killed by a (really big) Thresher Maw.

    And across all three games, the Reapers never present themselves as being godlike and inscrutable when you interact with them--if anything, they're quite petty and childish. Sovereign taunts and mocks you about how awesome it is, Harbinger does the same when it possesses its soldiers to fight you, the unnamed Reaper in the Arrival DLC for ME2 also seizes a chance to sneer and taunt you personally, and the Reaper on Rannoch also can't resist a chance to monologue.

    Absolutely nothing made a storyline about fighting them conventionally (albeit with lots of sacrifice, drama, desperation, finding ways to effectively fight them and other war-story staples) impossible at the start of ME3. It didn't need to be "you're doomed to lose unless you complete this never-before-mentioned plot device".

    And right up to the end, ME was a highly empowering story. You're the one that makes a difference--you save the Citadel and the Council, you pull off the suicide mission, you might save or doom any of four different species, etc. Even if I bought that doing a 180 to futile cosmic horror at the end was intended (I don't), it just shifts it from one kind of bad writing to another, where a twist is added for the sake of having a twist, no matter how destructive it is to the story up till that point.

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    The consistency of the Reapers is, I think, one of the casualties of the shift in style between ME1 and the rest.

    The original idea for them was almost certainly based on the Inhibitors from Revelation Space*, but as the series shifted further away from the sort of details-and-worldbuilding mystery driven Sci-Fi it started out as into because-drama storytelling that sort of fiddly space thing doesn't make sense. So they changed it in ME2 to "this is just how they bang" and then when that didn't stick because it was silly it was "because skynet, every time".

    It turns out that all the cool stuff we liked in Mass Effect was hanging around with our space friends and the main plot basically went off the rails after the first one.

    * The Inhibitors are space robots that kill anyone that becomes spacefaring because in four billion years the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide and it will be easier to start new civilisations after that is over and done with whereas developed interstellar civs will be hopelessly disrupted by the two galaxies having stirred each other up with all their gravity. That's the sort of weirdly alien motive Sovereign could have been hinting at in the first game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I expect we'll get an idea of where they're headed on N7 day this year, or E3/GamesCom next year.

    With that said, Andromeda has a ton of threads left too - the origins of the Kett, the source of the Scourge, the Benefactor and Jien Garson, the fate of the colonies, the Quarian Ark etc. So while I wouldn't mind a Milky Way reboot, I'd also happily pay for more Andromeda too. If they bring in some of the more polished combat and movement from Anthem plus ME3's power and weapon variety I'd be all over it.
    There's plenty of stories left in Andromeda, sure, despite the rough start. But I won't be surprised if the people making decisions choose to retreat to safer ground, as it were. I wasn't exactly thrilled by the move to Andromeda in the first place, I just accepted it as a necessity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    We never do see the long term results of what our actions are. If the Starchild was lying, then how do we know all synthetic life is destroyed?
    Aside from the fact that the ending crawl unambiguously shows the geth and EDI dead or everyone synthesized if you choose either of those options, or Shepard controlling the Reapers if you choose that one, I don't really think replacing the ending with "something lies to you, and then you have no idea what happens, the end" would be an improvement.

    Even if it was a reasonable interpretation of the ending crawl, which, again, it really isn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Well, again, this was not explained in the original ending. And even then, it just shifts the "Most evil being in the universe." award to whoever created Starkid, and makes the ending even more bad and unsatisfying--you're not even talking to the antagonist at the end, you're talking to the antagonist's answering machine.
    Right, and that's a staple of science fiction and cosmic horror. The thing you're up against might very well be just an answering machine or remnant, but in any event beating it in a straight fight is typically impossible. Reasoning with it usually is too, with the best recourse typically being to divert it temporarily or hide. ME added a "reason with it" option but only if you successfully complete the Crucible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    ME1: A Reaper is killed by an alliance of fleets united by the power of friendship, after a single hero manages to disable it at a critical moment.

    ME2: A Reaper was crippled and lobotomised by an unknown attack in the past, and has been drifting helplessly ever since. A proto-Reaper is killed by three unlikely misfits drawn together by the power of friendship.

    ME3: One Reaper is killed by the Quarians and Shepard, another Reaper is killed by a (really big) Thresher Maw.
    ...
    Absolutely nothing made a storyline about fighting them conventionally (albeit with lots of sacrifice, drama, desperation, finding ways to effectively fight them and other war-story staples) impossible at the start of ME3. It didn't need to be "you're doomed to lose unless you complete this never-before-mentioned plot device".
    I bolded the operative phrase in all your examples. All those ships/fleets took out A reaper each time. One. Every single example was designed to show you how ludicrous the thought of conventional victory even was - again, fitting perfectly with a cosmic horror theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    And right up to the end, ME was a highly empowering story. You're the one that makes a difference--you save the Citadel and the Council, you pull off the suicide mission, you might save or doom any of four different species, etc. Even if I bought that doing a 180 to futile cosmic horror at the end was intended (I don't), it just shifts it from one kind of bad writing to another, where a twist is added for the sake of having a twist, no matter how destructive it is to the story up till that point.
    Smaller victories that don't solve the larger problem are a staple of the Lovecraftian fiction that Mass Effect was drawing from from the very beginning. You might escape the Shoggoth but go insane anyway, or ram your boat into Cthulhu but he's still alive and the gate and the cult are still around.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Name_Here View Post
    Then why try to undercut my point by saying that nobody had a problem with the finale of the series coming out of nowhere? What is even the argument here?



    Look man you're the one that attacked the dark matter storyline apparently just ignoring my argument.



    Mako was hours of exploring boring terrain at least half an hour for every planet if you wanted to be complete most of which was snaking up mountains. Scanning was 5 minutes max per planet. You can lie to yourself all you like but Mako was far worse.



    Twice as many? That doesn't sound right. Nor is it really an excuse for doing a bad job on the best part of the series.



    You're the one that compared LOTR a instant classic of literature and film with ME3 a pretty universally reviled game. Are you having trouble keeping your own points clear? This is the third time in this post you've been incapable of keeping your own arguments straight.



    Not really. Defeat them through underhanded trickery, martial skill or some kind of superweapon wouldn't require seperate universes the way the ME3 ending does.

    And in the destroy ending nobody amoungst the council races has any idea how to build a mass effect relay. That was the bleeding edge of Prothean technology where as the council races are centuries behind them.



    By that you mean the mass effect relays which have all been destroyed.

    Except that you continue to ignore the proven that every ending would have radically different endings. Do you think they did the soft reboot of abandoning the Milky Way because setting a game there was an easy task? No they abandoned the entire galaxy because it is functionally impossible to set a game there.
    I'm saying I remember the complaints differently, but I also acknowledge that memory (particularly my memory) is unreliable. At the same time, I'm not going to go dig up complaints from way back then to see how many people were complaining about the Starchild coming out of the blue vs the ending just being the same with a different filter and voice over.

    Your argument is that they should have continued the Dark Energy storyline, and I attacked it by challenging you to come up with a Dark Energy storyline that was actually good after you said the writer was sour grapes about how good the Dark Energy storyline was. If I've ignored what you've argued since then, it's because you have in no way acknowledged my challenge.

    Except you didn't have to do it. It would give you resources sure, but ME1 was pretty easy. You didn't actually need those resources. In ME2 if you didn't have enough minerals you couldn't upgrade your ship. If you can't upgrade your ship, characters will die. So I know I spent way more time scanning planets than I did exploring in the Mako and that's no lie.

    The number of characters did double by the time you reached ME3. Potentially anyways depending on who survives. Also I disagree that they messed up on any of the interactions. I would've liked more, but limited time and budget. There's never enough to go around, particularly with such a big cast.

    ME3 is hardly universally reviled. At best you could argue the ending was universally reviled, but not even that would be true. But the game itself was actually very well received, and was the highest rated game on the X-Box and PS-3 the year it came out. Anyways, I compared the plot device of the Crucible Activation to the Plot device of the Ring's Destruction. I still don't understand why you brought Frodo into it.

    Perhaps, but that depends on the journey. If each path keeps the universe the same, then yeah. But if defeating them through trickery for example requires Cerberus gaining power, or Martial Skill requires abandoning the Quarians, than you still end up with a very different universe at the end of the game.

    We literally see them starting to rebuild the Relays during the Extended Cut.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    Rally support, resolve internal struggles, strike symbolic victories that bring hope, find survivors from earlier epochs (like Javik or the Leviathans) who can give insight into the enemy, find sites (like the derelict in ME2) which can give you clues about their weaknesses, build superweapons that can threaten the Reapers, go beyond the edges of the galaxy to uncover the secret history of the Reapers, and finally drive them off Earth and board Sovereign with your team for a big throwdown, perhaps with a moral choice about whether the Reapers could be controlled or taught a better way rather than destroyed. It's not the most imaginitive stuff, but I think it's what most people would have been hapy with, were it executed well.
    You do most of that stuff in ME3 anyways. Mind you, I think most people would've been happy with the Crucible ending, if it had been executed well. (Well that, and advertised honestly). But the Star Child was not executed well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Aside from the fact that the ending crawl unambiguously shows the geth and EDI dead or everyone synthesized if you choose either of those options, or Shepard controlling the Reapers if you choose that one, I don't really think replacing the ending with "something lies to you, and then you have no idea what happens, the end" would be an improvement.

    Even if it was a reasonable interpretation of the ending crawl, which, again, it really isn't.
    I don't remember the ending crawl showing the Geth and EDI being destroyed. I do remember it showing them synthesized, but from what I remember, they didn't show up in the Destroy or Control options at all
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I don't remember the ending crawl showing the Geth and EDI being destroyed. I do remember it showing them synthesized, but from what I remember, they didn't show up in the Destroy or Control options at all
    It's pretty explicit. In Destroy we see:

    1) A close-up of EDI is shown in the same segment as the others who died like Mordin, Legion, and Thane. Hackett's voiceover at this part is talking about "the sacrifices of those who fought and died alongside us; a future that many will never see."

    2) A living EDI is not shown in the "Memorial Wall" scene where your LI puts your name up. She is present in both the Control and Synthesis versions. Later in that scene during the wide shot, you can see her name is also on the board when the LI is walking towards it with your placard.

    3) This one I'm less sure about but I recall an "ending slide" with Joker looking quite sad in Destroy.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Kish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I don't remember the ending crawl showing the Geth and EDI being destroyed. I do remember it showing them synthesized, but from what I remember, they didn't show up in the Destroy or Control options at all
    Psyren addressed this, so I'm just repeating the part you didn't address at all:
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    I don't really think replacing the ending with "something lies to you, and then you have no idea what happens, the end" would be an improvement.
    What would the Crucible "executed well" be? Because the only answer to that question I could see, would be: it would need to be completely different from the Crucible in the game. Neither "you can control, destroy, or merge with synthetic life" nor "press a button and something will happen, you'll never know what" is a good answer.
    Last edited by Kish; 2020-01-25 at 02:07 AM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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