Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

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Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:35 am

From: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/15052516/1

"I don't think we have enough concrete proof to assert this, but I still have an idea:

The harvest is a literal harvest, in some ways.

And with a harvest, the farmer makes sure that the crops are of a uniform variety, with managed soil and as ideal climate as possible.

The organics of Mass Effect have a reason for being almost always bipedal and similar to each other.

I live next to an experimental farm for one of my city's local universities. The scientists have various sorts of crops planted there and they are tested under various conditions, but always within safe parameters (they wouldn't want something to spread beyond the farm, for example). (Hell, I'm sure some Bioware people have seen it, as its in Ottawa)

I think of it as the same as the Mass Effect galaxy in some ways. The organics we know are all engineered, even if on the most subtle level possible.

-To avoid Destruction of the Reapers
-To seek control over Synthetics, ensuring no peace between them (and therefore being able to band together to destroy the Reaper)
-To be more easily enthralled/indoctrinated


Any 'merging' of the two 'factions', is also controlled by the Reapers, through huskification. So even the solution to the galactic conflict is engineered by the Reapers, when it comes to that.

Problem --> Reaction --> Solution

And then, when the organic dominated cycle (and it is always organic dominated) reaches its peak, the Reapers come to Harvest. They gather data and material on any (safe) outlying features and technologies that the cycle develops, and improve their kind with each successful cycle.

The synthetics are nothing to them, as the Reapers (as Sovereign did), view them as utterly inferior. They're much lower on the 'food chain', and are likely seen the same as rodents messing up the crop for a bit. The cycle itself may be created in order to ensure no other technologically based race challenges Reaper dominance, and also that and organically based race evolves into enough telepathic power (Leviathan, Thorian, Rachni) to fight as one against the Reapers too."

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by BleedingUranium on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:42 am

Magnetite's picture of early planning for the series could support this.
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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Andromidius on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:47 am

Honestly this is less a theory, more stating the obvious. The Reapers sowed their crops, allowed them to grow and have now returned to reap their harvest.

Problem is, parasites have taken root and need to be eradicated.

(Edit: This is a positive post. +1)
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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by CSSteele on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:45 am

What parasites? Also, what proof is there that the Reapers are sowing the seeds for our genetics? I looked at it as the Protheans were mostly responsible for organizing the races into what they've become through subtle alterations, preparing the 'younger races' to finally over-throw the Reapers.

I like the idea, I can see how shaping the galaxy is already .. well, as the Leviathan's and Soverign said, they build the relays to control evolution, but it didn't go so far back as to state that they seeded the races to become what they are.
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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:26 am

My theory is barely a theory, more of a hypothesis.

And farmers don't always 'sow seeds', they tend crops. Reapers guide evolution.


My idea is that the Prothians are a Leviathan focused cycle. Once the Prothians failed, the Leviathans more-or-less gave up working strongly against the Reapers, and resigned to the shadows.

But then this Shepard arrives, and possibly presents an opportunity for them.

~~~

An ideal 'crop' for the Reapers is one that bears the 'shepard' fruit. A cycle that creates the Crucible (possibly) passes their test, and if there is a chief personality behind it (Shepard), that personality is given the 'blessing' to become the chief personality of a new capital REAPER.

Citadel is a trap, sure, but its just one part of the Reapers' larger trap, or rather, TEST.

A test of evolution, and how to bend it entirely to their will. Shepard is the key to understanding this.

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:32 am

Andromidius wrote:Honestly this is less a theory, more stating the obvious. The Reapers sowed their crops, allowed them to grow and have now returned to reap their harvest.

Problem is, parasites have taken root and need to be eradicated.

(Edit: This is a positive post. +1)

Like I said in my previous post, the Reapers don't sow the crops - they just let certain ones be, and reap the harvest.

This is a special cycle, imo, because it is a result of various actions throughout the eons.

I believe the Prothians were strongly influenced by the Leviathans (yet still not overtly, but in the shadows), and this is why they were able to resist for so long, even after the Citadel was taken.
It wasn't the Leviathans waging war, but they were doing something. I think seeing so many possible 'leviathan artifacts' (or at least things that look almost identical to them..) in Prothian ruins is a sign.

It's more complicated than I'm even putting it, but I'll just say that if a ME4 is going to advance this story, it has a LOT to work with.

In the end, I view ME3 as Shepard's extended Loyalty Mission, and we'll see the results of it with either the next/final big DLC, or an expansion (unlikely), or ME4, even if ME4 will have a different form of plot.

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by CSSteele on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:33 am

Okay, that I can get behind. Especially 'part two' there. The first bit about the Protheans and the Leviathans has no support, but it is an interesting theory.

Part two there is ... well, makes sense to me. I believed they wanted Shepard for the 'capstone' of the Reaper since back in ME2.
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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:40 am

As a sidenote, another post I've made:

---"I see Omega as more of the Beginning of the End. It's the start of the race forward towards the 'real ending' (or at least enough explanation for players to have a good idea), not the ending itself.

"So it begins" and all that.

In the IT sense, its where the real fight begins (symbolically).

Original ending --> Dream
EC ending --> Elaborate Dream
Leviathan --> Haze (see how Shepard acts on mining facility and with Leviathan)
Omega --> Shaken awake
Citadel (?) --> Eyes opened
???? --> "Wake up" "Um kid, I am awake. And you're Harbinger.""


(("Wow... haven't seen it that way, yet... Omega as the beginning of the end of Shepard's dream... seems really far-fetched to me. But I like it.""))

--->"Just metaphorically.. Of course this DLC happens during the game, so its not like its chronologically.

Just watch the trailer again, get the sense from it: youtu.be/J7mHMcklArc ("Ready to put that gun to good use?" ha...)

Omega is a microcosm of the 'chaos' of organic life in the galaxy. Reapers/Cerberus are the order. Taking Omega Back is Taking Earth Back.

For further inspiration, check out this fan trailer made with the same track, and with a few of the same cues imo, enough for me to think that MAYBE Bioware watched it themselves (kidding...kinda): youtu.be/By2-txdv3eQ"




I believe that Mass Effect is all about the concept of 'breaking the cycle'. Even the Leviathans, in all of their arrogance, seek to do this, even if it is of their own origin and hubris.

So the point of my Theory is that the Reapers attempt to have ALL the bases covered. It's not even as simple as the cycles+Citadel is a trap, but in fact the Reapers have everything laid out, and their confidence is VERY solid, even as Shepard 'resists' them.

Because his resistance only impresses them more. Drives Harbinger nuts, but it only shows them that he is increasingly more worthy of:
-first, being studied, dead or alive (ME1 to ME2)
-then, being indoctrinated and understood (ME2)
-but then... being taken apart and used as a Reaper leader (ME3)

Now, with the full effect of Indoctrination put onto you, do you resist, or do you fail? Do you toss the game out the window (Refuse) and die as a result, or do you 'break through' without even realizing you could? (think Aria in Omega DLC trap in the engine...)

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:43 am

Cssteele wrote:Okay, that I can get behind. Especially 'part two' there. The first bit about the Protheans and the Leviathans has no support, but it is an interesting theory.

Part two there is ... well, makes sense to me. I believed they wanted Shepard for the 'capstone' of the Reaper since back in ME2.

Yeah I agree that the Prothian/Leviathan stuff is guesswork, but the thing that IS 100% confirmed is that:

The Leviathans have watched the Prothians via their artifacts.

This is outright stated. We also know they have thralls that conduct experiments on evolution (... nah, Prothians don't do that...).

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:53 am

To close for now, my take on the ending.

ALERT ALERT ITER HERE

Don't reply if you're just going to be a meany. You were warned. Now that that's over with, I'll take it from both a Literal and IT(or my own version of it) standpoint.

Literal:

Synthesis - He dies, but his 'essence' is spread in order to change all of the galaxy. In a way, think 'good husks' (with Shepard as the..um..heh.. 'Catalyst', the failures of the Reapers is brought to success) So he lives on in others.

Low EMS Control - He dies, but his 'essence' is put into a Reaper (a leader one?). Galaxy is kinda poop. So he lives on as as new Guardian of the galaxy.
High EMS Control - He dies, but his 'essence' is put into a Reaper (a leader one?). Galaxy is pretty alright. So he lives on as a new Guardian of the galaxy.

Low EMS Destroy - He dies, and Reapers are destroyed. Galaxy is kinda poop.
High EMS Destroy - He dies, and Reapers are destroyed. Galaxy is pretty alright.
Max EMS Destroy - He lives, and Reapers are destroyed. Galaxy is pretty alright.

Refuse - He dies, and the cycle is continued. Next cycle galaxy is at least hinted to have defeated the Reapers.

So he dies in all but one ending. He's copied into a framework for a Reaper AI in Control, and used as the framework for spacemagic in all synthetics and organics in Synthesis, but his ....well, as Harbinger (you know, the one who was supposed to be the 'big bad'?) put it: Pain is an illusion. The flesh is a machine.

Shepard, as we know him for 99% of the series, has died in all but one ending. Shepard, as we may wonder him to be (Dominator), lives in Control, to some players. Shepard, as we may wish him to be (Savior), lives in Synthesis, to some players. But again, that's up to perception. His mortal form is absolutely killed in all but one ending though.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now my personal Indoctrination take. Yay more interesting! First, will be what I think the ending slides, scenes, and wording by the Catalyst/Shep-AI/EDI/Hackett really mean, and then I will say what I think is actually happening outside of the dream. Again, personal take. Don't go flailing around calling me an idiot.

Messages:

Synthesis - EDI is in a dream world, and she can't even tell (as she 'lacks salient information'). She can't tell that she's in his matrix, and everyone else is trapped. Now, the Reapers truly understand organics, because they took what Shepard learned about organic-synthetic relations and utilized it into what is the new form of the cycle, one where Javik... doesn't question the Reapers. One where EDI doesn't reprogram herself ('learning'), but instead is grateful for being provided the means to emotions. One where all organic live is covered with green techno-squigglies.
Anyway, is Shepard dead here? Yes. He's at least part of a Reaper now, grats.

NOTE: I picked Synthesis on my first playthrough. I love the ideals of it, but disagree strongly with allowing the Reaper Controller to provide the means to it, in such a short timeframe. Spells out disaster to me, and the ending doesn't give me nearly enough answers on how it really plays out. EDI being happy can be hugely subjective information.

Low/High EMS Control - You're now just as bad as the Reapers. They, even in their arrogantassery, continued in the series to regard themselves as the saviors of the galaxy, even as they *kill off trilions* of its inhabitants. You embraced the methods and means that just 10 minutes ago, you were shouting down the Illusive Man over. In the end, you're shown to be on the inside of a Reaper, which regardless of your internal RPing, *every* Shepard would have been against until the end. If you chose Control to ensure peace, how will you enforce this peace? If you chose it to rule the galaxy, how will you exercise this rule? Your troops are husks of organics, and Reapers still have the blood of trillions on them. What's wrong with this picture? Is Shepard dead here? Yes. And in more ways than one...
All you do in Control is give the Reapers another chief personality to make into their new Shepard Reaper.

Low EMS Destroy - You stuck to the plan, to stop the Reapers at any cost. But it can be debated that the cost this time, was too great. The galaxy is hobbling along, and probably won't get on its feet for at least decades, if some other huge war doesn't break out. You've left the galaxy in huge uncertainty, and you know this is a 'Future Many Will Never See'. Dead? Yes.

High EMS Destroy - You were simply much more prepared, and had a much better fate after the Reapers' destruction. However, for some reason, it wasn't enough, and are you dead? Yes.

Max EMS Destroy - Hope. The embodiment of Shepard, by the time the end of ME3 rolls around. He climbed out of the rubble of the Council Chambers in ME1. He helped his allies out of it in ME2. And now, in ME3, he's stuck, weakened by the conflict both internally and externally, waiting for someone to pull him out of the rubble instead, this time around. Alive? No - they all but explicitly state it.

Refuse - You gave up. Amazing Shepard speech, yes, but it missed one thing... you saw an opportunity to stop the Reapers, and you didn't take it. While its a moral victory in some ways, it also means that Shepard, again, lost what makes him SHEPARD. In the view that the Crucible choice is more symbolic and metaphorical, it means that Shepard has lost any potential to stay as himself, and that the Reapers finally brought him down, no delusion required. You beat the Reapers, but they beat the galaxy. This is where you take the good parts of Javik's lessons into context, but when you pick Refuse, you didn't, and you failed. You retain some hope in the beacons, that maybe, next time, the next cycle's species will clue in earlier... that the Crucible 'doesn't work'.


To end, my Indoctrination take:

I think that Shepard actually lives in all the high-EMS endings but Refuse.

Synthesis - Shepard may survive, but he'll be Saren 2.0. The Paragon Shep hasn't used his ties to others as a strength, and instead it blinded him to what is happening to him. The Renegade Shep sees this as the way to get the job done, and to neutralize the threat. Both are capitulations to the Reapers, and when Shepard wakes up, he'll be fully converted to the Reapers, barring any standoff with his LI, close friends, etc. EDI and the geth themselves, would have rejected Synthesis at this point - why make this choice for them? You 'fell for it'.

Low/High EMS Control - Not sure how EMS will play into it, but I think that Control leads to Shepard being TIM 2.0. You'll not be fully indoctrinated, but quite enough to have your actions play directly and indirectly into the Reapers' intentions. You 'dug the wrong way', and in thinking you avoided the Reapers' 'solution', you grasped the same 'energy' that Synthesis was even made of. Yet, people will pick this because they think the Geth and EDI will die and Synthesis is just too far out for them. It's a trap, but still a more sneaky one. But come on! You've been warned against Control for at least 2 games now! If you played ME2, you should know about Control. If you played ME1 (and more), you should know about Synthesis!

Whether Shepard survives is up to Bioware, if there's any post-ending Mass Effect content (DLC, expansion, new game) that references the choice as an indoctrination attempt. If I'm wrong, ok, but this is my take so far.

Low EMS Destroy - You rejected the Reapers (sure I'll take your tech... and destroy it and destroy you) and Destroy was only given as an option because if it wasn't, then the whole damn illusion breaks down. Yet break it, you did... with a gun. Like the rest of the series. Illusion shatters. But, if EMS is really 'Shepard's Meter of Hope', then low EMS means you're still a goner. You fought indoctrination and won, but you didn't win in the battle for your life.

High EMS Destroy - Same as above, except you at least have hope enough for the galaxy to pull through.

Max EMS Destroy - I think that Shepard breathing in rubble is more of an easter egg, than a legit scene. It's a lead in to future content, but it doesn't mean that High EMS Destroy NEEDS to be the only one that Shepard's physical form survives in. Anyway, aside from that, Max EMS Destroy means that Shepard also has *hope in himself* to survive this war. You both fought Indoctrination, but also it's effect on your psyche.

Refuse - You're bleeding out in rubble, dead. Harbinger don't give a damn about you at this point, and you sorely disappointed him. He needs you alive and as you always were, not a 'coward' that won't even take the chance to destroy the Reapers. You aren't the anomaly they thought you were, and you succumbed to the pressure in the end.

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:39 pm

I don't know about this Prothean/Leviathan connection you're making, but other than that, I think that this harvest idea is pretty much central to the idea of the Reapers, yeah.

What's interesting, is how the Protheans essentially did the same things as the Reapers... they enslaved the other races, and those who didn't want to be enslaved, were destroyed. They also 'ascended' lesser races by uplifting them. (Which lead to all kinds of disasters - because the Krogan weren't ready, for one.)

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by ElSuperGecko on Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:54 pm

I think the whole Leviathan orbs thing is definitely intended to make us think back to the "Prothean" artifacts we discovered in ME1 and ME2. Retrospective foreshadowing is nothing new.

The mysterious "Protean Orb" we discover on Eletania in ME1 was probably originally intended as nothing more than a Prothean artifact, a hint that the development of mankind was being watched and influenced by aliens.

However the appearance of another such orb in ME2 and the (re)use of these orbs during Leviathan makes this a little bit more intriguing. Especially as the Leviathan admit to using these orbs to monitor events in the galaxy.

Choose Wisely 2 does a good job of hinting at how these appearences could tie together. That's the thing about foreshadowing - it doesn't necessarily have to all be pre-planned from the beginning - the hints you're given merely have to lead to something deliberate in the end.

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:13 pm

What's interesting, is how the Protheans essentially did the same things as the Reapers... they enslaved the other races, and those who didn't want to be enslaved, were destroyed. They also 'ascended' lesser races by uplifting them.

I'd also venture a guess that the Leviathans did that too. However, being the 'devils of the deep' that they are, they likely, instead of ascending (as these 'machine fallen angels/Reapers' do) species, they keep them down for the sake of worship.

I think the whole Leviathan orbs thing is definitely intended to make us think back to the "Prothean" artifacts we discovered in ME1 and ME2. Retrospective foreshadowing is nothing new.

Yep that's exactly what I'm getting at :)
The orbs may have just been Prothian originated at first (in ME1), then experimented on by the writers (especially Mac Walters..) (in ME2), but then they fully decided on what they meant by ME3, when Mac was lead writer.

Thing is, while what we got in ME3 and kinda ME1 is certainly (imo) DIFFERENT from what the original plan was with Drew, etc - all I think Bioware did was change the details of things, not the thing itself.

Drew may have had us confronted by the Reapers to join them in stopping the dark energy expansion, or rejecting them and facing an uncertain future.

Mac has us confronted by the Reapers to join them in stopping the synthetic/organic conflict, or rejecting them and racing an uncertain future.

Drew may have had us followed by many 'Prothian orbs', to show that they may have a larger legacy than even ME1 shows.

Mac decided to draw the Prothians down a notch and he showed that through what we learn with JAVIK. Instead, he illustrated what the orbs mean via the LEVIATHANS.

It's funny that people bash his 'abortion of an ending', when ...at least when I look at it, Drew might have done even worse. They abandoned the dark energy thing (at least for now) for a reason - most would have rejected the Reapers, if the cause was 'dark energy expansion'.


People have theorized that the Leviathans have been manipulating the organic cycles, not just watching them. I'm of the opinion that they don't want to break the cycle, but instead subvert it via manipulating the organic cycles OVER MUCH MUCH TIME.
-Destroy the Reapers (they're very much for this)
-Preserve their legacy
-????
-Profit (aka they don't have to worry about organics making synthetics that could help with defeating the Leviathans)


And this ties into what I think for ME4: It'll be a more exploration and conspiracy focused story, after the Reapers are either driven off from the galaxy or dealt a nearly totally crippling blow (I don't think they'll be extinct), and the galaxy has moved on, reflecting the choices you've made through ME1-ME3, or using a default story where most species make it. The conspiracy will reveal the Leviathans, in much more detail than the Leviathan DLC got into.

Enemy NPCs in ME1: Criminals, Geth, Husks
Enemy NPCs in ME2: Gangs (Blood Pack, Eclipse, Blue Suns), Geth, Husks/Collectors
Enemy NPCs in ME3: Cerberus, Geth, Reapers
Enemy NPCs in ME4: Gangs, Geth (yep, they won't resist this), Indoctrinated/Enthralled

We're in for a reset in the story, but not a total one. Just a big shift in tone, a progression in plot development, the 'end of Shepard's story' will be done with, and we'll have multiple species to pick and play as.

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Re: Harvest Theory (BSN Repost)

Post by Guest on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:25 pm

Oh and to those who wonder 'how could species survive or die and have that reflected in ME4?'

(assuming current endings are dreams)

Humans - Earth ravaged. It either becomes the galaxy's focus to rebuild it, or it is largely left behind and humanity spreads even further across the stars. We'll see.

Asari - Always same, regardless of choice.

Turians - Always same regardless of choice. Palaven might be less damaged if the Krogan arrived as reinforcements.

Salarians - Always same, regardless of choice.

Geth/Quarian - Tricky, but could create areas of ME4 that either have all Quarians and a story focused on them, or all Geth and a story focused on them, or both and a story focused on their trials together or new conflicts (default story?)

Enemy geth, if they're in the game, would appear just as rachni do in ME3 - created and controlled by other forces.

Krogan - This one is big, and in a way, bigger than the Geth/Quarian issue. I can think of several writing ways to sidestep this for ME4, but it'll have to be confronted eventually. Even for ME4 - we can still have Krogan, they'll just be talking about their people truly dying out, or breeding like crazy, and that can effect some story, sure, but not a ton.

Drell/Elcor/Volus/Hanar - Always same, regardless of choice (you didn't think those EMS side quests would matter, did you?).

Council/Citadel - I have a strong feeling that the Council as we know it, will no longer exist. All species (not just Humans) will have stood up to the plate and shown their role in the galaxy as not simply outsiders. We could have anything from a Parliament on Earth, to something entirely unexpected. I'm just quite sure that the 3-4 race Council just isn't going to happen, so choices with them don't matter much.

And that's it. The whole thing seems very well put together (if IT is true, haha) to give us a united galaxy regardless of EMS, and we'll be exploring both the origins of this galaxy, and what lies outside it.

But first, a smaller game (like ME1 was), where we root out what's happening in our own current galaxy :)

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