|In non-cellular news, I just beat Mass Effect 3 and had some thoughts.|
|Femshep or noshep|
There has been a lot of hoo ha about the different (barely) endings available in Mass Effect 3. Having just finished it, I have to say I pretty much agree. There is a fantastic (and lengthy) post at Game Front by Ross Lincoln that explains exactly what is disappointing about these ending choices. At Kotaku you can watch a sample of the 16 available endings and see for yourself (how similar they are).
So yeah, I do agree that the ending is a little disappointing (for pretty much exactly the reasons Ross Lincoln points out in his article). It was a huge info-dump on themes and topics not essential to the main plot of the game, and that seriously just didn't make sense. Bioware should have hired Brandon Sanderson to write the ending of this game because that guy knows how to wrap sh*t up.
so yeah, disappointing, but the end of my world, no.
Would I buy a new downloadable ending from Bioware? no, probably not. Will I complain endlessly on twitter that Bioware 'owes us' a better ending? no, I think they delivered an amazing game and I had a great time playing it. Am I going to write my own endings on my blog? ...Yes...
Here are some endings divided up into categories to make everyone happy:
1. Sad, but worth it endings
a. Control the Reapers:
Shepard dies, and you see the reapers leave. Then you should see Shepard in that digital-shape that the kid is in at the end, implying that Shepard takes the place of that kid as the reaper-controller. She becomes god, basically. Also you should see Shepard looking down at some of her teammates (like Garrus, who she specifically tells she will 'watch over' if she dies and he doesn't)
b. Destroy the Reapers:
Shepard dies, along with all synthetics. So you see a scene on Rannoch where the Quarian and Geth are working together to rebuild a new world (if you saved the Geth), and all of a sudden all the Geth just fall over dead. Sad, but interesting. Also, you see EDI die because she is, of course, synthetic, and you see Joker freak out. Also very sad. Your love interest from the game should find out your are dead and be miserable. But then you see some great scenes of the new Krogan utopia (if you cured the genophage) with little krogan babies (awww), and Wrex being a dad with his kid Mordin, how cute right? This is the Galaxy that you sacrificed yourself and everyone else to save. Maybe a scene of Kolyat praying, Jacob and his new family, Jack and her students, Miranda laughing with her sister... you know nice stuff that lets you know It was worth it.
To be honest, I liked this ending as it was. I like the Joker and EDI =Adam and Eve look of the whole thing. It's a good ending to support the idea that there is a completely new age starting, one where synthetics and organics are merged. However, the third person should NOT walk out of the normandy though, seriously why the 3rd wheel?
|Joker and EDI = Adam and Eve (Eden Prime Prime?)|
2. Happy, everything is perfect endings
I am glad that Mass Effect 3 didn't go the cheesy route of everything being perfect. A happily-ever-after just doesn't fit The Shepard. But it is fun to think about, so here are some scenes that would make delightful endings for the disney-lovers out there. In each ending, Shepard lives, her/his love interest lives, earth is saved, and the galaxy is back to 'normal.' The endings mostly involve babies:
|Asari baby, awww. (source)|
a. Liara: Little babies in blue running around Thessia, messing with mommy's shadow broker VI.
b. Thane: Yeah, he's dead, but a scene of shepard visiting his grave or seeing his son wouldn't be horrible. Also, everyone wants to go to the Hanar-Drell homeworld and cure Keprel syndrome.
c. Garrus: ok no babies here, just some totally fun hanging out and being happy together scene of Shepard and Garrus on a newly rebuilt Palovan.
d. Kaiden: Some super sweet scene where Kaiden and Shepard look out at the sunset from their porch-swing on Kaiden's land on the Sun Coast. Also...Shepard's pregnant.
e. Jacob: Just like Kaiden's ending but with Jacob.
f. Ashley: Just like Kaiden's ending but with male shepard and Ashley's pregnant.
g. Tali: Retiring to a beautiful house on Rannoch, you get to see her face! and you have a geth nanny to help out with the kids.
h. Miranda: no babies (if you are astute, you may have read the shadow broker's intel explaining that she can't have kids), but you see her and Shepard being happy together somewhere beautiful just like all the other endings.
i. Jack: I can't really think of anything good here, but she'd be happy.
ha, ok my teeth are sore from all this sugar.
3. Really Sad Ending
Another possibility is that a huge portion of your team dies, but Shepard her/himself doesn't. It's pretty clear that Shepard is the only one to survive that ending blast, so the two people you bring with you to the last fight should both die. If one of those is your love interest for the game or if one is EDI, there should be a sad scene of you lonely and wondering if it was worth it, and/or of Joker freaking out. The main theme of the whole game is what is worth it? You tell the Illusive Man that he "Sacrificed too much" but maybe you did too.
4. Epilogue-style endings
Another idea entirely, that would not be too much work for Bioware in the animation department, would be to expand the epilogue scene with the grandfather and kid to actually 'show' the legend of The Shepard. As in have a story-book style book that you can flip through at the end detailing Shepard's major choices throughout all three games. Just some stylized drawings (I'm thinking Fable here) and text.
|Story book Thane from Dashiana|
Everything could be taken into account here and basically every playthrough could have a slightly different story at the end. It would also be cool if some clever writer could put in little interesting twists that could represent the story being destorted as it is passed down through generations. For example, if you choose the Krogan over the Salarians on Tuchanka, the story might show the Salarians as bad guys with their 'antennae' turned into devil horns or something. Similarly if you support the Salarians, the Krogan would be depicted as dangerous and evil.
Anyway, I think this story book ending would be the best solution because it would be easy enough for bioware to put together, it would be different depending on the choices made, and it would be satisfying to see that your decisions made a difference in the future mythology of the galaxy.
UPDATE 7/2/12: Thank you Bioware for following my advice and adding the story-book style epilogue to each ending! I was really delighted that in the destroy ending there were no geth and no EDI and that the Quarians were still in their suits. The ending choice now has actual consequences, and is therefore much more satisfying.