Mass Effect 3 Ending Conspiracy. If you love Mass Effect and hated the ending, READ THIS PLEASE


New member
Mar 16, 2012
I'll admit that theres ALOT of strawgrasping in these theories, but regardless of any dlc ending I do believe the intention of the ending was indoctrination. The choices presented as "good" seem to be right in line with the reapers wishes. The destroy choice is clearly shown in a very negative way. Not just the paragon blue/renegade red, but the way the "Star Child" describes them.
He also states that choosing destroy would wipe out all synthetic life includin Shep. Yet destroy is the only end where your EMS matters, a high enough one gives you an extra scene where Shep clearly lives, meaning Star Kids full of shit.
Lastly, when choosing control/synth, as you disolve, Sheps eyes change to look just like Sarens/TIM. Who we all know sit right at the top of the ole indoctrination tree. Makes sense to me that indoctrination would have to construct some elaborate myth to make its subjects deluded enough to belive their right/in control.


New member
Sep 13, 2010
I must say the best thing to come out of the ME3 ending are the jokes about it.



New member
Mar 16, 2012
None of which makes the writing at the end less shit. (Even mysteries should be well written) Nor does it fix the fact that a waking Shep should have dusted off, charged the Citadel and actually DID WHAT HE CAME TO DO!

A real ending coming in dlc, for free, would go a long way to mending this for me. But my best faith in this true ending dlc is that EA is full of greedy bastards who love their dlc, especially when that means charging people for parts of their "complete" game. (See "From Ashes")


New member
Jul 12, 2011
Zeel said:
Man. You guys are spinning this at an almost professional level. Screw EA's PR team. You guys are the tops.

I don't know why people keep thinking the child was an "illusion" or some equally as convoluted crap. doesn't change anything for me. any child zipping around in vents during a reaper invasion deserves death.
We understand that you don't like Mass Effect 3. The things you say are deliberately said in such a way that anyone that liked the game is pissed off and then when they proceed to reply back you call them a fanboy. We get that you don't like the game and you are entitled to your opinion but can you please just leave people who liked the game and wish to discuss it alone. Why don't you go find a topic or make a topic about a game that you like and leave the rest of us alone. Please and thank you


New member
Feb 24, 2009
... Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Conspiracy theories are generally always going to be nothing more than conspiracy theories because they all involve looking into things too damn much. The truth is, if you look hard enough into anything, you can see whatever you want to see. The Mass Effect endings are exactly as they were intended to be and nothing is going to change that unless BioWare decide to appease everyone whinging about it and retcon it out of existence.

As a side note, I actually liked the ending. If other people didn't for whatever reason (to be very honest, I still don't get why, apart from the plot hole where the Mass Relay's get destroyed which SHOULD wipe out whole systems, I thought it was quite a fitting end to the series.

The only thing that makes sense about your theory and isn't just desperate grasping of straws is the form of the child being the kid from the start of the game (and the dream sequences) which I found strange when I played it too. This alone could be evidence Shepard is in some sort of dreamlike state, especially because the kid appeared in several other dreams earlier in the game. There are other explanations though, when I played through it my idea was simply that it had no form and took on a form that Shepard had some kind of connection to help manipulate him/her. and sorry, your theory as a whole just doesn't sit well with me at all.


New member
Feb 8, 2011
Fourth Ending: Shepard wakes up after the credits on Eden Prime and learns that what they found was a Prothean DVD Beacon and Saren's Cruiser was shot down while he was knocked out cold.

...However, how much I wish for this entire theory to be true (the topic, not above joke) - I am at a point where ME3 was the final straw in Bioware's descend for me... I will wait and keep my eyes open for how this concludes, but at the moment I am not convinced which one is truth and which one is a lie. We will see.


New member
Oct 17, 2011
I have no problems with what the endings tried to achieve. I wanted something a little bit more than a 'Shepard saves the day, everyone is happy' ending. But what we got was just so horridly written and presented. As soon as Shepard gets hit by that big ol' laser beam the story becomes contrived and lazy. Plot devices are suddenly forced into the lore of the Mass Effect universe just so the game can end. It just feels very amateurish to me. Bioware are capable of much much better.

Personally I'm not that interested if Bioware do any new ending dlc. Some games just have bad endings, which prevent them from being brilliant and memorable. Mass Effect 3 will just be remembered as a decent game with a terrible ending. Honestly, I can't even remember what happened at the end now. I remember my end screen was blue. Which ending was that? Thanks Bioware for colour coding your endings - I wouldn't remember a darn thing otherwise.


New member
Nov 18, 2010
Bravo 21 said:
Did some more thinking, even if the relays are destroyed, there is still the FTL drives, slower than mass relays, but still not half bad. Galactic Civilization isn't dead, it just moves slower now, more like, say Firefly, where it can take days, or even weeks to get to a neighboring system. Maybe... just maybe.. this isn't horrible, or maybe I'm just grasping at straws.
It takes the Reapers who have much further advanced FTl than anyone else 6 months to reach earth from the alpha relay system not to mention when the Mass Relay was destroyed in Arrival it took out the entire system so why doesn't that happen in the ending.


Cosmic Rays of Undeadly Fire
Nov 2, 2010
I think the more I think of it, the more I see this being a reality. It's like the ending is Shepard's struggle to fight the indoctrination, that's why Shepard lives (with the "bonus" ending) no matter what you choose, because the fight is over in his head.
I mean for one, I hate the fact it has to be DLC BUT if this is true, bravo Bioware.

EDIT: Ok, after reading the whole thread there are a couple of things that make me think this is true but I wish to correct something.
If you choose the synthesis or the control options, you were succesfully controled by the reapers hence you die. If you break free of their control, you live.

I do think this is true.


Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
Turtleboy1017 said:
I made another thread about this, but it was an awful jumbled mess that made me want to puke. Here is a nice neat version of what could very well be one of the greatest stunts ever pulled in video game history.

I started a reddit thread where I browsed a forum on the bioware fan site discussing the possibility that MAYBE... the endings were all a very intricate and insidious way for Mass Effect to go down in video gaming history as one of the greatest games ever made. If you are like me, depressed and disappointed at the ending we were provided, but KNOW in your hearts that Bioware is better than this, you may gain... HOPE. TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY. Or something. I don't know.

1. Assuming this is a hallucination, and this is Shepard's final test to see if he's indoctrinated or not, the Reapers would need 3 choices that looked like he won, but only 1 in which his resolve stayed true and he blew the **** out of the reapers. If he takes that 1 choice, it proves they have failed in their attempt. If he takes the other two, they've learned how to twist his mind into thinking he's doing the right thing when he isn't.
A few more obvious points from that last bit

2. Unlimited ammo pistol
Armor is... burned off?
Squad mates just kind of ditch you
Strange, dreamlike sequence. Not exactly unheard of, but the fashion in which they did it
was something I haven't seen before.

3.If you notice while walking up the ramp to get to the control panel on the left side it says 1M1..on the right it says 1M1 but its backwards- the 1's are completely mirrored and backwards. Logic: in this dream: whats RIGHT is skewed, its wrong, its not REAL. I.e. The right thing in your mind to do is represented as "WRONG" in this ending (dream) --- You get a renegade option (RED) to shoot TIM to save anderson?? really? im sorry thats paragon.. but see.. its indoctrination-- its making you think its WRONG to shoot TIM to save anderson.

4.Also some twitter stuff...
@jessicamerizan Really, a hallucination/dream? Cause that was trite when Dallas did it, what 30 yrs ago now? #lamelameamelamelamelamelame Jessica Merizan ‏ @JTFehrenbacher you are free to have your opinion and I'm free to have mine ">JessicaMerizan Close @JTFehrenbacher you are free to have your opinion and I'm free to have mine :)

Jessica Merizan, PR for Bioware, explaining how she believes hallucination/dream is NOT triet. Unrelated? Maybe. BUT MAYBE NOT.

5.There's one thing here I haven't seen mentioned, and maybe I'm just reading too much into things, but think about the definition of the word "crucible." Other than something to melt metal in, a crucible is also a test or trial that is usually incredibly difficult.
Does anyone see where I'm going with this?


This is an exercise done by the marine corp IRL.

"On the final day of the Crucible, recruits are awoken and begin their final march (including "The Reaper" a forced march up a steeply inclined hill to the top of Edson's Ridge on the west coast)."

7. I just listened to Saren's speech on Virmire again and i'm seeing many similarities to what Saren says in comparison nto the theories behind the three choices. He was convinced they could co-exist, albiet as slaves, and as an end result, Sovereign gain a powerful avatar to carry out the Reapers will, only to be thwarted and destroyed by Shepard in the end.

Perhaps the same is happening to Shepard, but with Harbinger instead, since it is the only Reaper that's had several conversations with Shepard and has shown an unusual amount of hatred for one human. Maybe Harbinger believes that by absorbing what makes Shepard who he/she is, it will increase its own power to the point where nothing could defy it or the Reapers. The Reapers are being faced with their own extinction because a united galaxy is fighting them and has proven it can destroy Reapers with their combined forces. Take Shepard out of the picture or indoctrinate Shepard to dissolve the alliances and the Reapers would win quite easily.

8. You mean when the old man and his presumably grandson are talking at the end?

From what I understand, theory says that that still happens, and when the grandfather says 'one more story of Shep', that 'one more story' is what happens to Shepard after waking up from the hallucination/getting hit with the Reaper beam.

9.There's one thing I'm hinging all my hopes on in regards to this:

Throughout the entire series, it has been repeatedly made clear that the Reapers are a sentient species of machines out to achieve their own agenda, that being to harvest other species to bolster their own numbers In other words, survival. It has never been hinted at that they were pawns for some space god.

It is logical to suggest Harbinger would try and achieve that goal, survival, by indoctrinating Shephard and misleading him, just like TIM.

10. 1) As soon as Shepherd "wakes up" after being blasted by the Reaper laser, he's limping. If, as you're playing, you try to look/aim down at Shep's feet, you can't. The view angle get's blocked so that you can't see below his/her knees. If you watch the pace of the legs moving, though, it becomes really obvious that Shepherd is moving considerably faster than he is actually walking, almost floating as it were. At first when I noticed this in the my second play-though I just figured it was designed that way because making Shepherds speed the same as his walk would make the last moments in the game take 3 times longer (and it already seemed to take forever). But if we're rolling with the hallucination/indoctrination theory, then the fact that he's practically floating on his feet just adds more fuel to the fire...

2) When the "Catalyst" child starts listing the three options, he goes out of his way to make destruction sound like a terrible idea. "If you do this you'll kill all the Geth you've helped, not to mention that your kids will just make more robots farther down the road and nothing will really be solved." The kid also very pointedly avoids claiming that Shepard will die outright if he chooses that option, merely dropping a hint that Shep "might" die. Shepard also expresses doubts in the child's judgment by saying "Maybe." This is in direct contrast with the other two options (control and synthesis), where the kid goes out of his way to make them sound much more appealing, says clearly that either option will kill Shepard, and Shepard expresses zero doubts about either of the propositions. Then there's the fact that, all of the sudden, a character (Anderson) that would typically be associated with the paragon color (blue) is represented by the renegade color (red/orange), and the Illusive Man, the embodiment of pure renegade, is given the paragon color. Everything about the scene is slanted to make the most obvious choice (destroy the Reapers) the least appealing, and turns the rest of the game (and the previous 2 games) on it's head. Not 30 seconds ago back by the console TIM was obviously the clear-cut indoctrinated villain (shooting Anderson) , but now the god-kid tries to snooker Shep into believing TIM was a tragic hero who would do the right thing. On the other hand, Anderson, who was making a heroic stand with Shep against the villainous Illusive Man, gets relegated to the role of murdering maniac who would choose the "bad" option and blow the Reapers to kingdom come. If that's not a clear attempt to indoctrinate Shepard, what is?

The line Harbinger repeated over and over in ME2 was that the Reapers would be "your salvation through destruction." Well, the synthesis and control options are literally salvation for the galaxy through Shep's destruction, buying into a compliance mindset. The only option that leaves Shep breathing is to destroy the Reapers, which has been the point since ME1. All the evidence points to the last sequence being a battle for Shepards mind that is only won when Shep chooses the path that the god-kid tries to convince him not to take.

What we then see (when we choose the RIGHT option) is Shepard waking up from the nightmare after having beaten the Reapers' last ditch attempt to stop him within his own mind. The fact that the god-kid just looks like a ghost version of the exact kid that has been haunting Shep's dreams since the beginning of the game makes it seem all the more plausible. I, for one, will assume that since Shep wakes up, victory is assured: he beams to the Citadel, blows away TIM with a REAL gun, punches the button on the console, and watches the Crucible-powered Citadel wipe the Reapers off the galactic map just like it was supposed to do.

I got the warning mods, I apologize for that horribad thread I created yesterday. I was REALLY REALLY tired.
Potential Spoilers:

I've heard this theory, but understand that a lot of this depends on Bioware putting a lot more effort into the details of their games than they really do anymore. "Dragon Age 2" recycled the same assets and maps continously. In Mass Effect 3, they couldn't even come up with any dedicated multiplayer maps, all of them seem to be portions of maps from the single player campaign. At one time you might have been able to point to recycled art assets meaning something, but that's just how Bioware rolls right now. In part it can be explained by Bioware having to juggle multiple franchises while sustaining an MMORPG, something they didn't really do before... basically they were lazy, it doesn't mean much.

As far as the question about where all the bodies came from, don't forget that The Reapers took The Citadel, so I kind of assumed that this was where they dragged the bodies, with the location being in the miles of keeper tunnels that were established to exist and not having been documented in earlier games. Given the passage of time I do not think that they were supposed to be the remnants of the hammer forces. The prescence of things that wouldn't be in hammer or look kind of like they might be from characters, was just for a pile of art assets being used to make body piles that looked like they came from The Citadel.

I also suspect that Bioware cut out an entire section of the game for whatever reason. You'll notice a lot of your sidequests all revolve around the Citadel Defense Force, and it's preparation. I get the impression that there was probably intended to be another battle on The Citadel against the Reapers instead of Cerberus. To be honest I actually thought when I hit the beam of light that I was going to be entering another map rather than the endgame, and that while the Reapers hijacked the thing I was going to wind up having to team up with the pockets of resistance with the desicians I made about security vs. liberty and such on the citadel having an effect on the situation and how difficult things were going to be.

The whole thing with the slow motion and pistol doesn't have any real meaning to me, because Bioware has already stepped on the gameplay for cinematic sequences and such. I don't think it was any more in your mind than say EVA charging you and how you automatically use your pistol instead of a more logical weapon that you actually would have had on hand.

Limitless ammo was probably because they didn't want to worry about reloading, or causing a problem if say Shepard was out of pistol ammo at the time that sequence started. What's more certain pistols can glitch the events, I managed to bug the "EVA" thing by having a Scorpian pistol in a New Game+ and had to redo it. Basically the mini-grenades wouldn't compute as doing damage.... the team that did the ending probably realized this, while the guys who did the EVA bit did not consider the potential glitch.

Losing your armor, differant weapon, etc... consider that all through Mass Effect, including in 3, I've had pictures of my character using weapons and such that she didn't have on hand. A couple of times I remember seeing my character dropping an M-8 which she didn't even have on her. Basically the more cinematic they get, the less they pay attention to the realities of your character and what was going on in the gameplay. It's like the story and gameplay are on two differant sides of a fence when you get down to it. Sometimes Bioware opens a gate in that fence, sometimes they don't.

Truthfully, I half suspect that if Bioware DOES backpedal on this, and decide to put in a contination or new chapter, they might use some of the things fans themselves conceived and try and claim they intended things to go that way... which would earn them greater fanatacism from the Biodrones. Right now all evidence seems to support this being "as intended" and pretty much meant to stand, including Bioware's own comments in response to it and how they intended the ending to "polarize" and generate contreversy.

In the end the case is interesting, and does show how they could continue things from this point by snapping back to the real world, BUT I honestly don't think that case, and people are really grasping at straws. If this had been any other situation people probably wouldn't be noticing the recycled art assets due to not looking that closely, or if they did they would probably be calling it sloppy, rather than trying to turn it into some deep, artistic point that represents a ray of hope.


New member
Jul 16, 2009
Did not read all 5 pages of discussion so forgive me if this was already mentioned, but here go my two cents on the whole thing:

So, as we find out at the end, the entire trilogy is narrated by the Stargazer to his son/grandson/abducted paedophilia victim. He does mention that some "details" were lost in the ages, but my question would be: How the hell did anybody find out what happened on the citadel? If the ending as presented is actually real, Shep was the only one to see or talk to the catalyst. And then the entire thing goes up in a 70 billion ton epic ball of molten steel. So how would ANYBODY know what happened on the citadel? This is a ginormous plothole and although I´ll admit Bioware has had times of bad writting (James stating that a Cerberus spy betrayed his squad to the collectors makes no sense for example) I do not believe that anyone who was written more than 2 pages of narrative would oversee that.

Tl;dr: BioWare either oversaw a plothole the size of rosie o´donnel, or this is not the end...