Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mass Effect 3: My Ending

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the ending of Mass Effect 3.

A commenter suggested that I write my own ending for ME3. They may have been tongue-in-cheek, but I'm bored, so here's my ending.

Continued below the jump.

I think that there are four things that we want to see from a good ME3 ending:

  1. Defeat the Reapers.
  2. Save the Galaxy
  3. Resolve the Illusive Man thread
  4. Either see what happens to our companions in the future, or give them good deaths.
My ending borrows heavily from the ending of ME1. Let's start with with the ending that is already in the game.

Citadel, Redux
  • Shepard gets to the top of the building and star-child does his spiel and offers Shepard the three choices.
  • As Shepard starts to move towards a choice, the Illusive Man appears and tells Shepard to stop. He says that the star-child is actually the Reaper Harbinger attempting to indoctrinate Shepard. He tells Shepard that he can control the Reaper, but he needs Shepard to get to the Citadel and activate the Crucible so that they can control all the Reapers.
  • If Shepard choose to go towards the Illusive Man, the star child reveals itself to be Harbinger. The Illusive Man takes control of Harbinger, and Shepard wakes up back on Earth, just before the beam. Her two companions are also alive, though wounded.
  • Shepard goes through the beam to the Citadel. 
  • Cutscene where Harbinger takes off from the planet and starts attacking other Reapers, to the great surprise of Hackett and the fleet.
  • On the Citadel, Shepard finds herself in the middle of a firefight between the Citadel defenders and the Husks, etc. Shepard and team have to fight their way through a stretch of monsters to the top of the Citadel. The difficulty of this depends on your Citadel defense force score. Higher score means less monsters, maybe more friendly forces, etc. At the same time, there's chatter from the fleet, and the fleet battle reflects the other war assets. I.e. the Rachni show up at some point if you saved them, etc.
  • Shepard gets to the top and unlocks the doors to the Crucible Control room. The two teammates take defensive positions around the door to hold back the Reapers while Shepard goes inside.
Illusive Man
  • When Shepard enters the control room, the Illusive Man enters from another door. There's a control mechanism.
  • Long conversation between Illusive Man and Shepard. Illusive Man reveals that he is not indocrinated, and that his control of the Reapers actually works. There are three outcomes of this conversation:
  • Pure Renegade through conversation: Illusive Man convinces Shepard that control is the best option, the one that makes humans the strongest. Illusive Man reveals that he is terminally ill (previously hinted at in the Cerberus base), and asks Shepard to be his successor and help lead humanity in the next phase of the galaxy. The Illusive Man uses the control mechanism and takes control of all the Reapers. Go to Human Ascendancy Ending.
  • Pure Paragon through conversation: Shepard convinces the Illusive Man that he is wrong, his plan will not work in the end, and the Reapers must be destroyed. The Illusive Man stands down. Shepard uses the control mechanism to destroy all the Reapers. Go to Councillor Shepard Ending.
  • If those two paths are not taken, there is a boss fight between the Illusive Man/Harbinger and Shepard. If Shepard wins, cutscene with the Illusive Man dying, but getting off one last shot, mortally wounding Shepard. Shepard staggers to the control mechanism and can choose between controlling or destroying the Reapers.
  • If control, Shepard merges with the Reapers and is healed/merged with the Reapers. The Reapers are under her control. Go to Military Council Ending.
  • If destroy, Shepard destroys all the Reapers, but dies. Go to Death of Shepard Ending.
  • One year later...
Human Ascendancy Ending
  • Meeting of the government of the Human Ascendancy. The Illusive Man is the President, referred to as "Mr. President" so he doesn't have to be named. 
  • Shepard is Vice-President. 
  • The other races are present, but definitely much lower in the hierarchy.
Military Council Ending
  • Meeting of the Council. The first two councillor are Human and Turian. The third councillor is Krogan if the genophage was cured, Solarian otherwise. Very militaristic. 
  • Shepard is the human councillor, but is merged with the Reapers. 
  • Order has been brought to the galaxy, through the Human, Turian, and Reaper fleets.
Death of Shepard Ending
  • Shepard gets a big statue on the Citadel, next to the Krogan statue. Council holding a ceremony commemorating her victory.
  • Human councilor is Anderson.
Councilor Shepard Ending
  • Meeting of the council commemorating the end of the Reaper war. Shepard is the human councilor.
  • If the genophage was cured, Krogan have been added to the council. Urdnot Batara is the Krogan councilor.
  • If the quarians and geth made peace, a representative of the quarians and geth is on the council. Councillor can be Tali, the peaceful admiral, or Raan, depending on what happened.
Companion Montage
  • Montage of what happened to your companions (just give them all happy endings, Garrus is second-in-command of the Turians, etc.)
So that's my ME3 ending. Four distinct endings. Shepard lives in three, dies in one. Different outcomes for the galaxy, but the galaxy is saved (at least from the Reapers). Good outcomes for all your companions, mostly because giving some of them a good death would take a lot of time to do right.

It's not a particularly clever ending, or one that people will talk about, but I think it gets at what people wanted from the ME3 ending.


  1. Particularly clever or not, it's definitely one I would have been satisfied with and seems solid.

  2. I really like the fact that the Illusive man is not completely bonkers/indoctrinated. He's much more interesting as a character with some real agency than just another pawn. Given his actions prior to ME3, the waging war on everyone else is still plausible.

  3. I could most certainly live with your options.

    me - I'm going with hallucination/indoctrination theory for now and building up from that. there's a hidden clip you get if you "save" anderson, have 4000EMS score and chose destroy (which I did) I just continued on from there. for now. lets see how long bioware will hold out though. I mean - they did start this thread yesterday, and it already has 100 pages worth of responses.. and that's after several other threads trying to deal with the fan outcry

    P.S. (I canceled my SWTOR account as well - I put ME3 ending as a reason, but its more then that.. ME3 ending almost entirely murdered my desire to play video games. it was just that bad. I had plenty of other issues with ME3, but I would have dealt. ending was the last straw

  4. I certainly hope they don't take the Indoctrination route.

    Why? Because if that happens, the Reapers win. BAD END is BAD!

    You have any idea how utterly stupid it would be to end the series on a note like that? It'd be even worse than the Star Child.

    And frankly, where are my little blue children, dammit!

  5. well - indoctrination route means, you fight it off and keep going into the real fight, where assets you gathered actually make a difference. it could even be done well with Shepard choosing any single on of the colors, not just "red"

    its just that the present endings? reapers have won anyways. this cycle is destroyed for all intents and purposes. the only thing is, with red option, there will be no more cycles, for sure.

  6. Your endings would be MORE than adequate. They're great.

  7. Your wish is coming true. NEW ENDING TO BE WRITTEN!