Mass Effect 3 Ending

Here's a discussion that will never go away. What do you guys think about the ending to Mass Effect 3?

I didn't sleep for days after that ending.

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Yeah, fortunately I heard about it from the internet before getting the game, so I had emotionally prepared myself, but it was terrible.
I could see what they were possibly trying to do by keeping it vague, so you could imagine what happened yourself to keep the whole fan base satisfied, but it was executed so badly, and backfired big time.
But I would have been very upset if I got everything from the past games, just to find out it doesn't really do much in the end apart from show a five second scene of a N7 chest breathing, and that is if you chose the destroy ending which throws the whole choice mechanic out the airlock.
The saddest part for me, personally, is the fact the whole game is over shadowed by it.

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I.... Loved it. It's a controversial opinion but I did. I found that it made sense, though I didn't really like the execution as much as I hoped I would. That being said I found it bittersweet in a way that it was expected from the beginning. You're a Five foot Eight dude fighting Death Robots up to like, Seventy stories high. all they had to do was actively hunt down Shepard and he woulda lost. The reapers just weren't very smart.

The first time I had played it, I had only played halfway through Mass Effect 1. So I didn't start with any of the choices made in the first game being actually my own. But even then, I thought the ending was pretty bad (this was before the extended version). I disliked how they just made choices not matter.

About a year layer, I grabbed the Mass Effect Trilogy from Amazon and sat through and played through the entire trilogy. I wanted to get the whole experience, so that meant not just playing through the trilogy, but completing every side quest, getting every weapon, listening to every database entry and snagging every achievement (except in Mass Effect 1, which had you go like ten times through the campaign bringing along a certain character for 90% of the game).

I was even more pissed off when I got to the ending this time.

Here's the thing: Mass Effect has two big morals that the series seems to play in. The first is that united, you are much stronger than on your own. There's a big theme of unison as you basically solve racism for so many people, an have a team assembled of all these different alien creatures.

The second moral is that humans are absolutely the best race, hands down.

I mean, look at it. Every other species in the galaxy takes decades, even centuries to get just representation on the Citadel. Humans? Just 10, and in under 40 years after discovering Mass Effect technology, we're already running the show. It takes centuries of establishment for other races to be considered to become Spectres. Humans? Less than half of one of our lifetimes, and that's only after they dropped Anderson as a candidate.

All throughout the game you get races bemoaning how it took them so long to do this and how it was impossible to do this. Our first contact with aliens were making the freaking turians run with their tails between their legs. We basically come in and storm the entire galaxy in less than half a century, rising up ranks like they're not even there. Humans are the best race there are, and Commander Sheppard is the best human.

And that's why I hated that ending, because it went against everything that had been set place so far. One of the reasons I loved this game is because I played as a real, honest to goodness commander, someone who made sure the galaxy was in his/her favor and made choices that effected entire species. I mean, you choose between genocide like half a dozen times. Sure, I know the Reapers had devastated tons of other cycles before, but none of those cycles ever had humans in it. None of the cycles ever had me. Because of me, these people were going to crumble.

My Sheppard would have and always did choose the "Reject" ending. Because screw you, Catalyst. I'm Commander Sheppard. I'm a human. This is my world. You don't get to just give me "options". You are the one that plays by my rules. And that is my favorite store on the Citadel.


That never happened, actually. The Turians would've wiped out the humans easily if the council hadn't intervened.

Also do you refer to "Reject" as the bittersweet, "we all die anyways" ending or the destroy? Because "We all die anyways" ending is best ending, though kinda lackluster in execution. Would've preferred to fight a Multiplayer style battle with the whole squad until everyone's dead kinda thing

Was terribad.


Ah yes, the Mass Effect 3 ending... I remember playing it through the first time, never having played a Mass Effect game before. I chose synthesis, watched the ending, and was actually pleased with it.

...and then I thought about it. As the credits rolled, and my mind processed what I'd just seen and heard, my slight smile slowly turned into a frown. By the time the credits finished, I was lost, frustrated, baffled, and most importantly, completely confused. I sought solace on the internet and looked to see if anyone else shared my opinions. The first place that I consulted was the Minecraft forums, where I saw that others shared my feelings of confusion.

Over the next couple of months, it became my obsession. I researched everything about it, all the logical fallacies, and delved very deeply into the Indoctrination Theory, which helped placate my anger. Once I eventually played Mass Effect 2, my anger merely increased, considering how great that game was in comparison.

Then, the EC came out and I was actually pretty okay with it. It didn't fix all the issues but Destroy EC is actually a pretty solid ending and I had very few issues with it. Nowadays, I really don't care about it too much, but it's still a very interesting topic to discuss and read up on.


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Reject. That's the ending my Sheppard chose, every time. Even though I know how it ends, she wouldn't make any other choice. And yeah, if they had you play through that, the ending would have completely changed for me. Structure it like a mob rush mode, and if you actually do get to the end you get the "good ending".

Without the EC, you could omit the first letter of the game and you would have a decent summary of my thoughts on the matter.

Ultimately, the introduction of the leviathians and the bemusing reasoning that fell out of the Citadel AI's mouth is what soured it for me.

Not only had the 'mystique' of the Reapers' supposed timelessness (as mentioned by Harbinger,) been ruined for me but the fact they would refuse to acknowledge a Shepherd's complete handling of the Quarian-Geth negotiations made them seem like nothing more than flawed robots.

Elements of cosmic horror had been downgraded to something which was easily dismissible as 'doi hoi hoi stoopit robot code' - I honestly would've preferred it if the Reapers' intentions had never been revealed. It was dispelling that mystery which made everything empty for me... in a way, I might draw a comparison with the early atmosphere of Bionicle's story, and how that was dispelled as the story marched on - case in point, 'Makuta Teridax'.

That said, the EC made it a little more stomachable, IF ONLY because they gave some voice what used to be three-colour-disco-party-pick-your-poison. Again though, the Synthesis ending made me kind of ill with how saccharine it was - fair enough, everything, organic or synthetic, was now 'compatible' (wink wink le joker edi face :^) ) but a major, major biological change like that shouldn't JUST be accepted with making quasiorganicrobobabies, it's practically body horror.

I also HATE, HATE, HATE human-centric sci-fi stories. That's probably because of my inner misanthrope, but whenever I see sci-fi that champions humans as a universal high-odds entity 'just because', I feel like sighing.

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Oh boy.
This can of worms...

I played the series through and when I finished the game the first time, I had the EC and I chose Refuse.
And then I went and wrote a crossover fanfiction where the Dominus Astra and the Legion of the Damned from Warhammer 40,000 were unleashed on the Reapers by the Crucible firing and the whole Starchild sequence being a dream.

Because that made about as much sense, but gave a more satisfying ending.

well, I was ticked I didn't get to see my shepard build a house on rannoch with a certain purple quarian, but I only played mass effect a few months ago, all the way through, all side quests, all dlc and I was happy because of the extended cut (i looked up the original ending, it was atrocious) I picked red, one thing that will always bug me though is that I am getting quarians and geth to work together outside and the catalyst is ignoring it, so the only way for there to be peace is to kill genetic diversity or control these monsters? yeah, no destroy grant the galaxy freedom fro the reapers and the ability to make their own choices (bonus that shep lives) that is what i think about it

Now I feel like I am resurrecting a deceased thread :laughing:

In honesty I wasn't someone who played Mass Effect as the prospect alone didn't interest me and seemed like a lot of side missions bundled on top of each other pretending to be a main storyline. I suppose you can consider the idea of bringing together the galaxy to be of some importance in the over-all storyline, but the ending wrecked that.

We don't take part in the final space battle so no matter how much of the galaxy you unite it ends up being pointless in the grand scheme of the game. The main ending itself involving the nonsensical lying God Child who contradicts 99% of what you've played in the game so far and then has the audacity to offer you a selection of choices that he designed.

Not to mention so many other aspects in the ending that simply don't make sense, such as everything after Shepherd is hit by the Reaper's beam. Its just a nonsensical mess that only the Indoctrination theory gave any sense to, however when they realised that everyone had figured out the true ending they changed it to a cliché 'Shepherd saves everyone' clip show.

I mean those alone point out how dumb the ending truly was;

As for wanting a better ending, I think this works well;

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Hate the ending. Destroy is the only smart choice and Shepard may or may not have died there regardless of everything you did to prepare for that last mission. Control is dumb. Synthesis is even worse (hey guys, lets make the corpses of our fallen comrades, lovers, and family members sentient????) Also Star Child can suck a big fleshy stick, hate his idiotic logic that ruined the Reapers for me.

This was a case of reverse hype backlash for me. You see, I played the Mass Effect series after 3 came out, so I was well aware of the controversial ending before I knew anything else about the series. I played through the entire series and loved it. However, when I got the ending, I was disappointed not because it was bad but because I thought it wasn't bad enough.

After seeing so much hate and backlash against it, I was ready for the worst ending ever. I was pumped, excited even, to see what a train wreck it would be. All it got out of me was a "meh."


Did you play with the original ending, or the Extended Cut version? The EC makes it a tolerably OK ending IMO, but I do think the original is awful.

I played with the extended cut, but I am well aware of how the original went down. Even then, while I understand the frustration, I would not be as angry as everyone else was.

It's kind of like when a friend just saw a movie and expresses his/her excitement for it constantly. "You gotta see it; it's amazing, the best movie ever!" So finally, after constantly hearing praises about it, you go see and it doesn't live up to your expectations. Now, maybe if your friend didn't hype it up so much you would've liked it more, possibly even as passionately as your friend does. However, since it was hyped up so much, your expectations were raised to the point the movie couldn't be.

Same thing with the ending but on the opposite end of the spectrum. As a latecomer, I don't quite understand the amount of backlash it received. While I wouldn't say the original ending was good, everyone oversold how bad it was.

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I dunno, man. I was a latecomer too, and intentionally played without the EC, just to see firsthand what the backlash was about. I didn't think it was that bad at first, but over the course of a day or so I kept finding more and more problems until I hated it. I've gotta run right now, but I can elaborate more on that later.

Don't get me wrong; the ending is full of problems. My biggest issues are the fact that all your war assets amount to nothing, the three options should be more different than "pick your favorite color explosion", and I felt the explanation the reaper's cycle was stupid. That said, I do see complaints with it that I do not agree with, such as...

1. Shepard shouldn't die at all
I'm perfectly fine with Shepard dying. While it can suck to have your character die, it would be a fitting end to the story. Mass Effect 3 was the final chapter of the series at the time and sacrificing him/herself to save the galaxy would be a noble end. It would be bittersweet but this leads to the point of...

2. Mass Effect MUST have a perfect, happy ending!
An "everybody lives" option would be fine but a bittersweet one would suit the story just as well. Mass Effect 3 is not an optimistic game. It's a war story. We see the loss of life and hardship it causes. There is a sense of despair and even hopelessness throughout the whole game. Suck to say, wars do not have happy endings, even if your side won.

3. But what happened to everyone we knew?
We do not need to know what happened to everyone, the one thing I did not like about the expanded cut. We can speculate what happened to the crew and the aftermath of the galaxy. Going into great detail would just make the ending go on for far to long, much like The Return of the King.

4. There should be many radically different endings based on ALL of our past decisions.
Keyword being "all" or even "most" here. It would be cool to see but impossible to execute. Factoring all of the player's decisions throughout the whole trilogy would make the number of endings a ludicrous amount to make. Again, I'd like to have seen more variety in the endings with your previous decisions taken into account, but many people don't seems to grasp how large of a task it would be.

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Shout out to my man Archengeia, he knows how to explain it all.

@Sharnak You went in ME as a new player, and had a very different experience with the game as oppose to those that have been with it since the beginning. You were not there when they promised 40 different endings, you were not there when they said it would not end in A,B or C choices. They lied to us but all of that would have been salvaged, if they didnt blame the fans for all that happened. The ones that were cheering, wanting the game to be grate, wanted them to do the best, and they just spat at them with all the media bullfudge that came up in those initial days after we found out about the ending.
I have ended with the series, it was a great series, but that last kick in the jewels should not be forgotten, which is why when ME4 comes up, I will not be playing it. (as oppose to the Dragon Age crew, which to some extent has redeemed themselves with the way they treated Inquisition) .

Edited for Double Post -Nyran


I'd be down for that in all honesty


Bro I agree with you, I was not there since the beginning, I'm actually rather new, and I understand where you are coming from, but I suggest you change your wording because remember this is a kid friendly site

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