Potterpuffs: Ravenclaw

Ravenclaw: We're smarter and stranger than you are

Methods be damned; I just want to be the smartest

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Mass Effect 3 Ending - Part 1
Potterpuffs: Ravenclaw
amylan
So apparently the ME3 fans have completely lost it, and now they're trying to complain to the Federal Trade Commission. I can understand being upset by the ending, but I disagree that Bioware betrayed the fans with it. With the theorized DLC that gives a perfect ending, maybe, but not with the ending given in the game.



While I was equally upset when I first got to the ending, I've since had time to go through the "stages of grief" as it were, and as it stands now, while I dislike the logic of the ending (I'll get to this later), I believe that the tone and general "idea" of the ending makes sense and fits perfectly. I'm ignoring the Normandy's sudden escape out of the Sol System with my crewmembers it's basically a plot hole that was introduced solely so we could see the mass effect relays send off the energy and then shut down, and then see the changes in the universe reflected by characters we cared about. It's stupid and makes no sense, but it's not important.

A lot of the game was laying down that Shepard would need to make some tough decisions that would end up negatively affecting something or someone, no matter what her(since I have a FemShep) good intentions. From the very beginning, the path was laid down by that child: "You can't save me." And no matter what choice you make in that scene, the child will not go with you and will later die after being caught up in the beam of the Reaper Destroyer. During the entire game, Shepard is haunted by this child, who represents all the people that she could not save during the series. This is further represented by an increasing amount of black silhouettes in her nightmares, as well as the whispers of those dead. While I may disagree with exactly how the designers decided to create the nightmare levels, since I feel that using a child is a very easy but ultimately cheap way of eliciting sympathy/sorrow, they do convey the point very clearly: all the people that Shepard has been unable to save, ever since the first game, have become the albatross around her neck and it's weighing down on her.

And it doesn't stop there. Throughout the game, Shepard has to make several decisions that can end in life or death. She gets optional side quests, but (possibly unknown to the player), several of them are time sensitive and she needs to complete them before the major mission at that point or else everyone in those areas dies--one in particular I would like to point to is in the first act.

One of the two missions unlocked after Priority: Sur'Kesh is Tuchanka-Turian Platoon. During this mission, you must help turian marines who were dumped on Tuchanka after a crash landing. It turns out the leader is the son of the turian you are trying to get aid from, Primarch Victus. His son is in trouble with his squad because he had two choices: he could go the planned route and head straight into Reaper fire, or he could try or a stealthier approach. As it turned out, choosing the stealthier approach led to the ship not having enough room for evasive maneuvers, and they were shot down. You are responsible for motivating him so he can motivate his team, but either way, completing this mission leads to Tuchanka-Bomb. It turns out that the turians planted a very large (roughly the size of a medium building) bomb on Tuchanka after the Krogan Wars, in case the krogan still attempted to kill/conquer everyone and they needed a large resort. Now that a potential turian-krogan alliance is underway, the turians want to remove the bomb quietly before the truce is destroyed by the bomb being activated.

This is what the platoon is for. Matters are quickly complicated by Cerberus showing up, and by the time you and the turians both reach the platoon, the turians are being picked off while the Primarch's son deactivates the bomb. You hold the line while Victus works, but by the time he can deactivate the bomb, he finds out that the countdown has already been started by Cerberus. The only way he can stop the bomb is manually releasing the trigger device from the bomb itself, which involves climbing up onto the bomb and activating the releasing protocols. However, more misfortune strikes as the release malfunctions, and the marine chooses to sacrifice his life brute-forcing it to release, which drops him with the trigger to his death. "Victory at any cost." No matter what choices you make, no matter what you did, the entire platoon will be wiped out. They saved the krogans in the valley where the bomb is, but sacrificed their lives to do it. This is a war, after all.

Shepard has other missions where she must make a decision between two sides, and where he cannot get full support from both sides unless she makes some unsavory decisions--depending on previous choices, of course. The biggest example of this is the entire Tuchanka mission, from Sur'Kesh to the enaction of the genophage cure. The problem is that the salarian dalatrass refuses to take responsibility for what the salarians did to the krogan and believes that if the krogan make a comeback, they will kill everyone again, whether or not you have Wreav or Wrex as the leader of Urdnot. As a result, she offers you an option: sabotage the genophage cure, and she will give you the salarians fleets as a war asset. While all solutions for getting the salarian fleets involve lying to the krogans about the cure, the "problem" in this scenario is Mordin. Mordin will only agree that the krogans aren't ready for a cure if the leader of Urdnot is Wreav (and if you've played a game of ME2 with Wreav, you'll understand why; he's very much a stereotypical bloodthirsty, xenophobic krogan) and if Eve, the other catalyst for change, has died. Otherwise, to get both salarian and krogan support, you must kill Mordin in cold blood--and later, if he is alive, Wrex himself (losing you krogan support).

The other mission involves a choice between the rachni queen (if you spared her) and the krogan special forces group and by God, believe me when I say that if it hadn't been the rachni queen, the choice wouldn't have been a question. And I was still wavering on it. The situation is this: you have to go into some caverns to find out what happened to krogan scouts. It turns out that Reapers have had their way with the rachni and they've made them into husks called Ravagers which will be the bane of your existence in multiplayer. At the deepest point of the caverns, you find the rachni queen, who asks that you release her or else she'lll be killed by the Ravagers. If you release her, then you have to buy enough time for her that the krogan special forces end up slaughtered. If you abandon her instead--and it if VERY tempting--then you save the special forces, but lose the rachni as a war asset. There is no in-between. More personally, saving the rachni queen can cause Grunt (who is the leader of the special forces) to die, unless you got his loyalty in 2. Act 1 is a set-up to show how you won't be able to save everyone--echoing the child.

I'll discuss more on the endings later.


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