Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 2

Explorator Vimes

New member
Jun 7, 2010
Hey there all, it's been over a year since I've even been on the Escapist, but when I saw this podcast I just had to come back and comment. First of all, I was stunned by the endings because much like the one gentleman said, I felt nothing from them. I was literally in tears watching Morden ride that elevator, Grunt beat up and escape his own death scene, and Legion giving up his self to give all the other Geth a chance, none of which are exactly something I can say normally happens to me as 25 year old male. Though, when I got to the ending, the first thing I did was turn around and try to shoot the hologram child thing, the second thing I did was just walk to the Synthesis because the other options seemed monstrous.

My main problem seems to be in fairly lock step with the rest of the players. I invested literal days worth of time into this series, I deserve and have earned some closure and explanation to the ending. Trying the artsy defense just means you don't actually seem to understand it yourself and pulled it out of your bum.

I don't think you have to have this "Cake" ending, and while Ms. Arendt has my utmost respect in a lot of things, I think she is being far too reductionist when it comes to that argument. I spent 100+ hours on all three games total getting every scrap in each game so I could have the ultimate experience when three rolled around, not so I could get to choose the color green and ruin the galaxy, but to actually win and save the day. When you push that button you damn the galaxy. With the destruction of the Citadel and the Mass Relays you have doomed untold civilizations that rely on those things to feed, protect, etc billions of sentient life forms. That smacks of about as unheroic as you can get.

Also something Ms. Arendt said that I disagree with is that because they love it they know what's best for it. I know plenty of people that love something and are far too close to be objective about things, or that because of said love do less than good choices. I don't think because they made it they happen to care more about it than us, they're still paid employees making a product, though unlike a book or movie, this is an interactive medium and when you make a game, people have far more of a say. We were told endlessly of how our choices matter, and in the sense for the game they didn't. I agonized in One over the Rachni choice and ended up preserving the race even though I was pretty much straight Renegade. Why? Because it felt like it was the right thing to do, back then I didn't even know they were doing a trilogy, and just couldn't commit genocide, but then in Three they give you some Scientists for the Crucible and nothing more. That just smacks of laziness on their part. We were promised the world, but we barely got New Jersey. I think they were blinded by their own PR, and when it went off the rails they didn't/couldn't see it because they said it was good, then it must be so.

As for Indoctrination Theory, it falls flat for me completely due to one thing that I haven't noticed talked about, but then again I haven't trawled all the discussions, so I fully admit to having possibly missed this. The Prothean VI says flat out when Kai Leng shows up that it detects Indoctrinated Persons approaching, which means that it easily and powerfully scans lifeforms and knows they have become indoctrinated. The VI never reacts to you as being indoctrinated or starting down that path and it seems to me that with how the Protheans were paranoid about that kind of thing they would probably have mentioned it. Also with how late in the game that was it would be an extreme stretch to try and claim the indoctrination took place afterwards when I had already dealt with all the Reapers up close that I was going to. Especially when fast indoctrination cripples you mentally, the game would have had to just be a cinematic of a slack jawed Shepard doing stuff as we watch. Please feel free to clue me in if that is explained away somehow with the Indoctrination Theory, I honestly have trouble getting into it for the aforementioned reason, not exactly the best way to go about setting up your argument, but at least I come out and admit it, heh.

Moving on to DLCs, I don't see how Bioware gets my trust back in this. If they claim, Surprise! You've been fooled, now pay us for the "Real Ending" I might actually be far more annoyed than if they just own up to, in my opinion, really crappy endings and say, alright we'll see what we can do to fix it. Because the idea that I have to pay for the true ending to a game sickens me as a consumer, I don't have the money for many games, heck the only reason I got to play ME:3 at all is because my best friend shelled out the cash for me. I don't have the income to pay more to get an actual ending to things.

I don't know anything about the other three Podcast members, and I thoroughly enjoyed all their takes, I just hope if you see this Ms. Arendt, please know that I do really agree with a lot of what you say and have truly respected your opinion on many many things that I saw you do for the Escapist over the years, just you happened to give voice to a few of the things that I disagree with over this Mass Effect Kerfuffle.

Now I think if anyone actually read through this whole thing, thank you for taking the time, I had to get my feelings out about this somewhere, and I like and respect the community here, which is rare on the internet, to know that people may disagree, but they prefer to teach instead of condemn. So thanks for indulging me.

P.S. A friend linked me to a Deviant Art account that has a Mass Effect 3 ending that if they modeled it after I would be pretty happy. Look up a fellow named Arkis and his Mass Effect 3 Alternate Endings, not for everyone I suppose, but that's what I'll think of when I think of how it all ended.

Edit: One other thing I thought of about the "Cake"/"Happy" ending. Why not? I think after 100+ hours, 3 games, all that blood, sweat, and tears, we could've definitely been given a Happy ending. Sad/Dark endings are not, let me make this caps to prove how serious I totally am heh, NOT automatically better or more mature, and inversely happy being more childish. Millions of people had died, even if we survived, that ain't happy. I think their desire to kill off Shepard to be edgy is stupid because that's the new normal anymore, everything and everyone wants to be Dark; Dark Sci-Fi, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian Future, blah blah blah, it gets tedious real quick for me, again though let me state this isn't why I hated the endings, but it does still beg the question why we couldn't get one here when we got a perfectly happy one in 2 with a Suicide Mission.


New member
Dec 15, 2010
Hey, funny thing that I haven't heard anyone else talk about. (at least not that I know of)

How did the reapers capture the citadel and move it to earth? how did they manage to transport that entire ginormous station?


New member
May 15, 2010
I didn't like the ending. There wasn't closure, parts of it didn't make sense (Normandy wtf?), it completely went against the themes of the game(s), and, in connection to the last point, the endings are essentially as follows: wreck the galaxy and kill your self by a.), wreck the galaxy and kill yourself by b.), or (and here's the kicker) wreck the galaxy and kill yourself by c.). The game can't decide what it wants to do. You basically destroy everything, but not really, and you save the galaxy, but not really. The game doesn't know which way it wants to go, and so goes no where and that stagnation breaks it.

To elaborate, the entire theme of the game is all the species of the galaxy settling their differences and working together, usually through the sacrifice of some main character, to defeat a common threat. The problem with the ending is that it doesn't use this theme effectively. When you confront what the subtitles dub "The Child," he essentially tells you that the Reapers are necessary, that he created them to maintain order,that, with out them, chaos would rule, that synthetic life would obliterate organics, and that the created would always destroy the creators. This argument clearly contradicts the preceding themes of the game. Now, they could have used this contradiction to utterly crush hope, to say I'm sorry Shepard but you're wrong, this is inevitable, not even you can stop this, it was all in vain. I think that would have been a more valid ending, not one I'd have liked personally, but a more valid one. Instead they give you half ass choice of not really saving the world but also not really destroying it.

Personally, what I would have done, is have Shepard point out the flaws in "The Child's" logic. "Really?" He'd say, "Synthetics will always destroy organics? Tell that to the Geth and the Quarians cooperating right now, or the A.I. I helped form into a living being. The created will always destroy the creators? Tell that to the Krogan fighting with the Turians and Solarians on the planet below." I've spent the entire game discrediting this argument the, but that never happens. What does happen, though, is Shepard follows The Child's logic, not really challenging what he had to say or the options presented to him and blindly follows along. Instead, I would have had Shepard completely defy The Child and activate the Crucible, safely destroying the Citadel, and by extension The Child, the Reapers and Shepard himself. Honestly, the symbolism is there. The Child says that Shepard is the first organic to reach that level of the Citadel and thus proves that The Child's method is no longer valid. Think about that, Shepard, representing the life forms of that cycle, both literally and figuratively ascends to the level of a god(The Child), thus proving the god wrong. It's basically Manfred or "Parable of the Madman." This was such a brilliant opportunity to put an optimistic spin on it. Like Manfred or "Parable of the Madman" we could have risen above God, killing him, in fact, but unlike those works, we'd have earned it, we'd have proved that we were ready to take responsibility for ourselves.

But that doesn't happen. We're still bound by the choices presented to us. We don't really get a clear ending, we just save the galaxy, kind of, but not really.

Explorator Vimes said:
Now I think if anyone actually read through this whole thing, thank you for taking the time, I had to get my feelings out about this somewhere, and I like and respect the community here, which is rare on the internet, to know that people may disagree, but they prefer to teach instead of condemn. So thanks for indulging me.
You're welcome.


New member
Nov 5, 2008
ProTip about planet scanning: the game autosaves when you enter a system. For me, Reapers almost always came after just 2-3 scans, which was a huge pain in the butt - but once I realized the autosave trick....
Well, I would simply enter a system, run around the whole place scanning until I pinged everything, the *let the Reapers catch me*. Then I'd click Resume and be popped right back into the system I was in, and home in on the targets, whose locations I now knew. I know this sounds cheesy, but scanning was simply annoying without it (heck, even with it, Reapers would frequently appear after that second scan, which, yes, was very annoying).

EDIT: ad-based captchas? Seriously? Funny word combinations were acceptable and understandable, but this is just silly.


New member
Sep 29, 2009
I think all of this was said in the podcast, but I want to specify what I would like in the DLC.

Start big, go from how each race is rebuilding, how the galaxy has gone on without the mass relays, or if they have the technology to make a warp drive or something that would have made the relays obsolete.

Then you could go small to provide the closure on how your squad mates or crew, who you have fought along side and had the backs of for the entire time, have dealt with Shepard's choice and quite possible death. And more personal would be how the love interest has gone on or have they even moved on.

And for the sunshine and lollipops, possibly bringing Shepard back again because they technology is there and it only took two years with the Lazarus Project, but I don't think having that would help the end of Commander Shepard's story at all. Nice as it would be for the beach hotel Shepard Towers to go into business, I think it would be too much of a stretch.

Again, all of the above has been mentioned in the podcast, I'm sure of it, but I want to voice what I would like to see in my own words. I know for sure that Dark Horse is making a comic for each squad member and what has happened to them after the events of the game, but I doubt that it will incorporate the choices you and I and everyone has made with their Shepard, so it won't be as personal an ending as such a DLC described above could provide.


New member
Apr 8, 2004
I don't demand the hooray let's get cake ending.

I just felt sad that Shepard wasn't going to get to retire to Rannoch and have quiet life with Tali. I realized that had to happen at that point, but I just felt bad for Shepard.

The lack of closure was a bitter pill to swallow afterwards.