The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

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The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:30 pm

OK, after some interesting debate in the main thread, I felt it was time to give this particular little gem a life of it's own. Let's take a look at each of the ending choices, and how they're portrated within the game.

The conversation started thusly:

ElSuperGecko wrote:
Andromidius wrote:
AxStapleton wrote:The only reason they didn't implement direct Reaper interference against the player was because it was troublesome for them to implement the programming alongside the dialogue. NOT that they wanted to drop the idea entirely.

Indeed.

Besides, they kind of DID impliment it. When it happens there's no dialogue. I am of course referring to the Synthesis leap of faith stupidity.

You're certainly not controlling Shepard at that stage...

THIS IS A VERY GOOD POINT.

The moment you start walking towards the Synthesis beam, Shepard starts running towards it and literally throws him/herself into it. You physically lose control of Shepard and the cut scene triggers itself.

As opposed to the Destroy tube, which you actually have to shoot multiple times to trigger the cut scene that follows.

Then we had a few extra contributors weigh in:

AxStapleton wrote:Based on a post you made in an earlier thread, I think the way the central beam reacts is most telling in terms of symbolism.

Synthesis- Grows in size and gets brighter.
Control- Stays around about the same.
Refuse- Gently turns off.
Destroy- Beam gets violently broken.

Restrider wrote:
An interesting thought occured to me:

How are the four different endings triggered?

1.) Control - you have to go to the control handles and activate/use them.
2.) Synthesis - you have to go straight and not really near the beam to trigger the leap of "faith".
3.) Destroy - you have to repeatedly shoot the tube.
4.) Refuse - you have to disagree with the Guardian several times or you have to shoot it.

Do you see a pattern?
The most indoctrinated way is the easiest...

Selim Bradley wrote:I still think refuse is just as stupid as synthesis though. Destroy and control are my favorite endings, as were destroy is my most favorite, for obvious reasons.
I actually view Refuse as slightly more indoctrinated than Destroy simply because the Catalyst was able to persuade Shepard not to choose it. I always view the relationship between how indoctrinated you are to the endings by seeing how well off the Reapers will be after each ending. So from most to lest indoctrinated:

1) Synthesis= all Reapers alive
2)Control= all Reapers alive, but enslaved
3)Refuse= some Reapers alive
4)Destroy= no Reapers alive[/quote]

That's not all, of course.

The sentiments for each of the choices are echoed throughout the games by various characters.

Synthesis is advocated by Saren and, just as importantly, the Catalyst itself - the creator of the Reapers and the cycle of extinction enthusiastically suggests it, claiming it to be it's "perfect solution"
Control's primary advocate is the Illusive Man, however almost every example we see in the series of organics trying to exert control over synthetics is doomed to failure.
Destroy is advocated by a whole plethora of characters - Anderson, Hackett, Garrus, EDI, even Shepard at times. The vast majority of the crew talk about destroying the Reapers being the only way to end the war, and suggest it is something which has to be done regardless of the consequences.

Then we get Refuse. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere before, but Refuse is also mirrored throughout the series - by the Council. Throughout the series, they bury their heads in the sand, refusing to listen to Shepard, refusing to take the players advice to prepare and refusing to act on the information the player delivers. This leads to the attack on the Citadel, and the eventual Arrival of the Reapers themselves.

Finally, I'm going to add a note about how Shepard reacts once you make the final decision. In each scenario, we see a definite affectr on Shepard's resolve and fighting spirit.

Refuse - Despite the defiant speech, Shepard refuses to act, making no decision and essentially allows the Reapers to continue the cycle. It almost appears as though Shepard's shoulders slump when the Crucible powers down, standing there looking lost and defeated.
Synthesis - Shepard staggers forward a couple of steps, then drops the gun, before seeming gaining a spurt of energy, running forward and jumping blindly into the beam in what appears to be a leap of faith.
Control - Again, Shepard discards the weapon before attempting to use the control panel.
Destroy - Shepard continues to fire repeatedly at the tube throughout the cutscene, staggering at first but then driving forward and firing with grim determination.

So. We have:

Refuse: Mirrored by the Council's refusal to act or help the player throughout the series. You have to argue with (or shoot) the Catalyst to staert the cutscene, whereupon Shepard refuses to act further, looking helpless and defeated. The beam turns off, the Reapers complete their harvest and their threat persists into the next cycle.

Synthesis: Advocated by the (indoctrinated) Saren and the Catalyst itself. Synthesis is mirrored by the fate of the Protheans (becoming the Reaper-controlled Collector hybrid race), and the Reapers themselves which are a hybrid of synthetic and organic material. "We have tried a... similar solution before." The Catalyst is enthusiastic about the idea. "It is the perfect solution." You simply stagger forward to trigger the cutscene, whereupon you discard your weapon and esentially perform a leap of faith. The beam grows in size and becomes brighter, and the Reapers (and the threat they represent) persists.

Control: Advocated by the (indoctrinated) Illusive Man, and we learn that an indoctrinated Prothean group attempted the same thing. All attempts by organics to control synthetics in the series are doomed to failure. The Catalyst is indifferent to but accepts the idea. You discard your weapon to activate the cutscene, whereupon Shepard appears to dissolve into a Husk-like figure. The beam stays the same, and the Reapers (and the threat they represent) persists.

Destroy: Advocated by the vast majority of Shepards superiors, crew, friends and allies. The Catalyst does not like the suggestion. You have to repatedly shoot at the tube to trigger the cutscene, whereupon Shepard continues to fight until the very end and the beam gets violently broken. The Reapers (and the threat they represent) are gone.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by southbeatz on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:46 pm

I'll paste what I had put on another post but I'm going to add to it at the end.

southbeatz wrote:1. Control has always felt like it's the Catalyst's sneaky way of getting Shepard to become a Reaper.
2. I think one thing to keep in mind, everytime someone wanted Shepard to give up his/her gun, Shepard always refuses even sometimes to the point of seemingly being willing to shoot people to keep the guns. Taking this into perspective could say that in Synthesis Shepard gives up everything and lets go of his/her gun after the Catalyst says organic and synthetic will merge which really still makes everyone Reapers imo.
3. I think Destroy is okay but not really the ideal solution. I'll say what I've said before, Javik says the Protheans fought for over 200 years and lost but yet Shepard can run around for 6 months or so and then just be given a choice to shoot something a few times after having a CHAT? This is an ending to a game series as good as Mass Effect? We chat a bit then we shoot a gun a few times and bye bye Reapers? That just felt far fetched also to me.
4. Refuse is the only ending I've felt has any merit. Given all Shepard does and says in the series, I just cannot see Shepard accepting of the choices given by the Reaper Boy. Refuse is the only option I can see Shepard going for. I admit I usually chose Destroy but lol after choosing Refuse once and seeing how lame that ending was, I felt Destroy was the only one I could live with choosing for now. The Refuse ending I think is heavily dependent on the IT being true and if not then that would mean Shepard would have to attempt to rally everyone and let them know that all this work was for nothing and it's time for a new plan.

I think the only way Bioware can make the ending actually fit the story from ME1, ME2 and ME3 is to go with the IT. I don't know if Bioware planned IT from the start or if they really did make poor choices on endings. Regardless of which it was, the IT is their chance to redeem themselves I think. They can use IT to tell a much deeper story and expand on that and actually look really good in the process or they can let IT not be real and look like a total money grubbing joke. If they did that then I might have to start calling them EAware because they wouldn't be Bioware to me anymore lol.

I still stand behind my belief that it's almost a joke to think that what no other Species has been able to do throughout millions of years can be done in 6 months by Shepard simply by chatting with a Reaper then firing a few bullets and just like that the Reapers stop functioning? I think Destroy is potentially part of the Reaper trap, like Control and Synthesis is. IT would clear this up better though since that would remove the need for these options possibly. I think they're baited options by the Reaper.
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:51 pm

I would shed more light on the beam during the various ending:

Synthesis - a violent eruption of energy.
Control - the beam stays nearly the same.
Destroy - the beam is violently interrupted.
Refuse - the beam slowly disappears.

Furthermore I do not really agree with the comparison between the Council and Refuse. There may be parallels (vocally promising action while nothing follows maybe), but I think it is a bit contrived to make that comparison.

Actually, Refuse has no real counterpart in the trilogy.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:11 pm

Restrider wrote:I would shed more light on the beam during the various ending:

Synthesis - a violent eruption of energy.
Control - the beam stays nearly the same.
Destroy - the beam is violently interrupted.
Refuse - the beam slowly disappears.

Furthermore I do not really agree with the comparison between the Council and Refuse. There may be parallels (vocally promising action while nothing follows maybe), but I think it is a bit contrived to make that comparison.

Actually, Refuse has no real counterpart in the trilogy.

No problem, I shall amend the OP's summaries with a bit more emphasis on the beam's reaction.

I'm not a huge believer in Refuse at the best of times to be honest - it was added as an afterthough based on the fan backlash, as such I doubt it was part of Bioware's original vision and as such I don't think it has any real true place in the preceding narrative.

However, I do find the parallel between the Council's refusal to act leading to disaster and Shepard's refusal to act leading to the Reapers completing the cycle to be quite interesting. If you consider it to be contrived or reaching, fair enough, but there's not a huge amount of material we can draw on in order to evaluate Refuse either way.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:13 pm

ElSuperGecko wrote:

No problem, I shall amend the OP's summaries with a bit more emphasis on the beam's reaction.

I'm not a huge believer in Refuse at the best of times to be honest - it was added as an afterthough based on the fan backlash, as such I doubt it was part of Bioware's original vision and as such I don't think it has any real true place in the preceding narrative.

However, I do find the parallel between the Council's refusal to act leading to disaster and Shepard's refusal to act leading to the Reapers completing the cycle to be quite interesting. If you consider it to be contrived or reaching, fair enough, but there's not a huge amount of material we can draw on in order to evaluate Refuse either way.
Agreed.
But there are some discussions going on about Refuse -- in its own thread.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by southbeatz on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:41 pm

The council refuses to help in ME1 because they do not believe the Reapers are real. In ME2 the council refuses to help because Shepard is working with Cerberus. In ME3 the council refuses to help because they're looking out for their own worlds, foolishly thinking that a single species could fight the Reapers and win.

I know refusal was added and may possibly have no purpose but the 3 endings given imo really are 3 choices Shepard would refuse to make. If Shepard were to consider Destroy, wouldn't Shepard wonder why the Reaper would just stand there and allow Shepard to end the Reapers? If the Reapers are such a threat going back millions of years then how can shooting something a few times just make the Reapers stop functioning?

Supposedly the Reapers built the Citadel to use as a means to control new species and their technological progress. Would the Reapers create the Citadel and have it being capable to simply disable the Reapers? I hate to say it but the endings are just a joke imo and none fit that well. That's a huge reason I started supporting the IT.

If the decision chamber is real then I think it's a Reaper trap of some sort. If IT proves the decision chamber isn't real then the choices may not matter.
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Eryri on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:43 pm

ElSuperGecko wrote: snip
So. We have:

Refuse: Mirrored by the Council's refusal to act or help the player throughout the series. You have to argue with (or shoot) the Catalyst to staert the cutscene, whereupon Shepard refuses to act further, looking helpless and defeated. The beam turns off, the Reapers complete their harvest and their threat persists into the next cycle.

Synthesis: Advocated by the (indoctrinated) Saren and the Catalyst itself. Synthesis is mirrored by the fate of the Protheans (becoming the Reaper-controlled Collector hybrid race), and the Reapers themselves which are a hybrid of synthetic and organic material. "We have tried a... similar solution before." The Catalyst is enthusiastic about the idea. "It is the perfect solution." You simply stagger forward to trigger the cutscene, whereupon you discard your weapon and esentially perform a leap of faith. The beam grows in size and becomes brighter, and the Reapers (and the threat they represent) persists.

Control: Advocated by the (indoctrinated) Illusive Man, and we learn that an indoctrinated Prothean group attempted the same thing. All attempts by organics to control synthetics in the series are doomed to failure. The Catalyst is indifferent to but accepts the idea. You discard your weapon to activate the cutscene, whereupon Shepard appears to dissolve into a Husk-like figure. The beam stays the same, and the Reapers (and the threat they represent) persists.

Destroy: Advocated by the vast majority of Shepards superiors, crew, friends and allies. The Catalyst does not like the suggestion. You have to repatedly shoot at the tube to trigger the cutscene, whereupon Shepard continues to fight until the very end and the beam gets violently broken. The Reapers (and the threat they represent) are gone.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

Very good analysis, particularly about who each choice is associated with. But to attempt to play devils' advocate for a minute, one thing that I have seen synthesis and control supporters bring up against this argument, is that we're applying the association fallacy to the choices, i.e. were unfairly judging the ideas based on our opinion of their sources rather than their own merits. They would say that just because TIM and Saren were evil, it doesn't automatically follow that every idea they ever supported (control and synthesis respectively) was also evil.

Never having been educated in philosophy or rhetoric I didn't know how to counter their argument properly, but I suppose I would reply that just as one can't apply Occam's Razor to fiction, neither can one apply terms such as the association fallacy. Mass effect is a fable, not real life. Therefore if an evil character espouses a particular view, it's safe to assume that the author also thinks that idea is evil, and is using that character to paint that view in a negative light.

Sorry if I'm not explaining that very clearly. Could anybody put that idea a bit more succinctly?


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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:13 pm

@Eryri
I wouldn't say that Saren and TIM are evil (though they are) and thus their beliefs are as well.
The point is that these two characters were consumed by their views. The views themselves are dangerous/evil and create these evil characters.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Eryri on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:18 pm

Restrider wrote:@Eryri
I wouldn't say that Saren and TIM are evil (though they are) and thus their beliefs are as well.
The point is that these two characters were consumed by their views. The views themselves are dangerous/evil and create these evil characters.

Ah, I see what you mean. Good Point. It's a bit "chicken and the egg" I suppose.

Were TIM and Saren evil characters before their exposure to the Reapers? I gather from Anderson's account of him in ME1 that Saren was always a bit of a nasty piece of work, but I don't know much of Jack Harper's back-story.
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:51 pm

Eryri wrote:
Restrider wrote:@Eryri
I wouldn't say that Saren and TIM are evil (though they are) and thus their beliefs are as well.
The point is that these two characters were consumed by their views. The views themselves are dangerous/evil and create these evil characters.

Ah, I see what you mean. Good Point. It's a bit "chicken and the egg" I suppose.

Were TIM and Saren evil characters before their exposure to the Reapers? I gather from Anderson's account of him in ME1 that Saren was always a bit of a nasty piece of work, but I don't know much of Jack Harper's back-story.

The thing to remember with TIM and Saren / Control and Synthesis is that the pair of them became consumed by these concepts as they became indoctrinated. The stronger the Reaper's influence became, the more they believed their own arguments and the more ruthlessly and relentlessly they pursued their goals. They became fixated on those two possibilities as a result of the Reapers growing influence over them.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DSharrah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:19 am

One thing that I always found interesting from ME 2 was that it was TIM that did not want to control Shep...you could argue why he did this until you are blue in the face, but the boiled down in game reason really resonates here - he knew that controlling Shep was a bad idea.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:20 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:Then we had a few extra contributors weigh in:

Yeah, too bad you left out the following contributions :stick: :

DoomsdayDevice wrote:
AxStapleton wrote:
DoomsdayDevice wrote:I disagree. They didn't want to take away the player's control of Shepard because it would make the indoctrination attempt too obvious.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim under the impression that he's entirely in control of himself.

"No! I'm in control! No one is telling me what to do!"

I'm just loosely quoting the final hours app.

I understand, but I'm saying I don't believe their explanation. Wink

As for the whole 'destroy is the only choice that isn't automated' thing, it is wrong.

If you don't fire a shot at the tube, and walk forward a little more, then the cutscene will trigger, even if you didn't fire a single shot.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I had this happen to me once.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:24 am

No bubble has been burst I'm afraid Doomsday, that sounds like a glitch to me. Every time I've played through I've walked forward as far as it will let me, and then I'm frozen in place until I fire at the tube.

Of course, if you can provide evidence of that happening on a regular basis for multiple people, I'll happily adjust my stance. :)

edit: I think you may be misunderstanding that particular part of the argument as well - at the point the cutscenes trigger, the player loses control of Shepard. I doubt many people who decided to explore the beam for the first time expected Shepard to run headlong into it without any input of their own.


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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Eryri on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:25 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:

The thing to remember with TIM and Saren / Control and Synthesis is that the pair of them became consumed by these concepts as they became indoctrinated. The stronger the Reaper's influence became, the more they believed their own arguments and the more ruthlessly and relentlessly they pursued their goals. They became fixated on those two possibilities as a result of the Reapers growing influence over them.

Makes sense. In the unlikely event that I ever venture onto the BSN again I might use that idea in debate.

DSharrah wrote:One thing that I always found interesting from ME 2 was that it was TIM that did not want to control Shep...you could argue why he did this until you are blue in the face, but the boiled down in game reason really resonates here - he knew that controlling Shep was a bad idea.

I wonder if that was due to a tiny spark of TIM's last remaining free will? Perhaps he hoped that am untainted Shepard could rescue him if he ever fell to indoctrination?
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:37 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:No bubble has been burst I'm afraid Doomsday, that sounds like a glitch to me. Every time I've played through I've walked forward as far as it will let me, and then I'm frozen in place until I fire at the tube.

Of course, if you can provide evidence of that happening on a regular basis for multiple people, I'll happily adjust my stance. :)

edit: I think you may be misunderstanding that particular part of the argument as well - at the point the cutscenes trigger, the player loses control of Shepard. I doubt many people who decided to explore the beam for the first time expected Shepard to run headlong into it without any input of their own.

Well yeah, it could be a glitch I suppose, but I am just not buying into this whole idea.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim in the illusion that he is in control of himself.

If control is taken away from the player, then that illusion is gone. A cutscene is just a cutscene.

I mean no offense, but I really think this is one of those cases where there's confirmation bias at work.

I know that must sound ironic, coming from someone with a topic about hidden messages in the dialogue. Laughing

I'll agree with what happens to the beam though.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DSharrah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:48 am

Eryri wrote:
ElSuperGecko wrote:

The thing to remember with TIM and Saren / Control and Synthesis is that the pair of them became consumed by these concepts as they became indoctrinated. The stronger the Reaper's influence became, the more they believed their own arguments and the more ruthlessly and relentlessly they pursued their goals. They became fixated on those two possibilities as a result of the Reapers growing influence over them.

Makes sense. In the unlikely event that I ever venture onto the BSN again I might use that idea in debate.

DSharrah wrote:One thing that I always found interesting from ME 2 was that it was TIM that did not want to control Shep...you could argue why he did this until you are blue in the face, but the boiled down in game reason really resonates here - he knew that controlling Shep was a bad idea.

I wonder if that was due to a tiny spark of TIM's last remaining free will? Perhaps he hoped that am untainted Shepard could rescue him if he ever fell to indoctrination?

Not sure...but I do find it interesting that you find a case where the in game advocate of control essentially says, "Bad things will come from that". Its one of those things that on retrospect when looking at the entirity of the series - it makes me not want to touch "Control" with a ten foot pole...

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:56 am

DoomsdayDevice wrote:
Well yeah, it could be a glitch I suppose, but I am just not buying into this whole idea.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim in the illusion that he is in control of himself.

If control is taken away from the player, then that illusion is gone. A cutscene is just a cutscene.

DoomsdayDevice wrote:I disagree. They didn't want to take away the player's control of Shepard because it would make the indoctrination attempt too obvious.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim under the impression that he's entirely in control of himself.

"No! I'm in control! No one is telling me what to do!"

For what it's worth DD, I agree with you entirely on the above points, and I understand exactly where you're coming from. It depends what you mean by "the player losing control of Shepard" I guess. I've said as much myself in the past, that if the player suddenly and physically lost control of Shepard during the game, then it would be obvious that something untoward was happening and players would be immediately on their guard.

But no-one really considers the idea of "losing control of Shepard" in a cutscene. Because a cutscene is just a cutscene... right?

I see this particular definition of "losing control" as a bit of an irony here to be honest. We're not talking about Shepard falling under Reaper control, simply about the player having no further influence over what Shepard actually does after a certain point is reached.

Consider this: How many times have you heard a player say something along the lnes of "yeah, I picked Synthesis by accident the first time around. I walked forward to see if I could figure out what to do, next thing I know I'm running and jumping into the beam".

I've seen a lot of players express anger and frustration at how they got accidentally "locked in" to a particular decision at the end of the game. Why? Because they lost control of Shepard.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DSharrah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:02 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:
DoomsdayDevice wrote:
Well yeah, it could be a glitch I suppose, but I am just not buying into this whole idea.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim in the illusion that he is in control of himself.

If control is taken away from the player, then that illusion is gone. A cutscene is just a cutscene.

DoomsdayDevice wrote:I disagree. They didn't want to take away the player's control of Shepard because it would make the indoctrination attempt too obvious.

The whole point of indoctrination is that it leaves the victim under the impression that he's entirely in control of himself.

"No! I'm in control! No one is telling me what to do!"

For what it's worth DD, I agree with you entirely on the above points, and I understand exactly where you're coming from. It depends what you mean by "the player losing control of Shepard" I guess. I've said as much myself in the past, that if the player suddenly and physically lost control of Shepard during the game, then it would be obvious that something untoward was happening and players would be immediately on their guard.

But no-one really considers the idea of "losing control of Shepard" in a cutscene. Because a cutscene is just a cutscene... right?

I see this particular definition of "losing control" as a bit of an irony here to be honest. We're not talking about Shepard falling under Reaper control, simply about the player having no further influence over what Shepard actually does after a certain point is reached.

Consider this: How many times have you heard a player say something along the lnes of "yeah, I picked Synthesis by accident the first time around. I walked forward to see if I could figure out what to do, next thing I know I'm running and jumping into the beam".

I've seen a lot of players express anger and frustration at how they got accidentally "locked in" to a particular decision at the end of the game. Why? Because they lost control of Shepard.

Don't forget that the first time the "lose the control of Shep" mechanic actually happens in the scene just before the decision chamber...when TIM magically makes Shep shoot Anderson - the player had no control during that portion of the scene, even though we do retain the ability to direct Shep's dialogue...

But wait didn't they throw that mechanic out of the game b/c it was too difficult to implement it with dialogue...

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:05 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:I see this particular definition of "losing control" as a bit of an irony here to be honest. We're not talking about Shepard falling under Reaper control, simply about the player having no further influence over what Shepard actually does after a certain point is reached.

Consider this: How many times have you heard a player say something along the lnes of "yeah, I picked Synthesis by accident the first time around. I walked forward to see if I could figure out what to do, next thing I know I'm running and jumping into the beam".

Fair enough, that's a pretty hilarious point you're making. Laughing

Not to mention the complaints about auto-dialogue.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by southbeatz on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:12 am

I admit the very first play through of ME3 I ran forward and then Shepard took off on her own to the Synthesis beam lol. At first I was like WTF is this shit. The Reaper offered 3 options and I had, at first, thought there was only 1 option instead.

On a side note, Shepard never ever gives up his/her gun in the series but in Control and Synthesis Shepard drops the gun which is out of character regardless of the situation.
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:15 am

Excellent topic for the rest, Gecko.

I wholeheartedly agree with the bulk of it.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by BleedingUranium on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:24 am

I don't have anything to add right now, but this is very well put together!
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:04 am

southbeatz wrote:I'll paste what I had put on another post but I'm going to add to it at the end.

southbeatz wrote:1. Control has always felt like it's the Catalyst's sneaky way of getting Shepard to become a Reaper.
2. I think one thing to keep in mind, everytime someone wanted Shepard to give up his/her gun, Shepard always refuses even sometimes to the point of seemingly being willing to shoot people to keep the guns. Taking this into perspective could say that in Synthesis Shepard gives up everything and lets go of his/her gun after the Catalyst says organic and synthetic will merge which really still makes everyone Reapers imo.
3. I think Destroy is okay but not really the ideal solution. I'll say what I've said before, Javik says the Protheans fought for over 200 years and lost but yet Shepard can run around for 6 months or so and then just be given a choice to shoot something a few times after having a CHAT? This is an ending to a game series as good as Mass Effect? We chat a bit then we shoot a gun a few times and bye bye Reapers? That just felt far fetched also to me.
4. Refuse is the only ending I've felt has any merit. Given all Shepard does and says in the series, I just cannot see Shepard accepting of the choices given by the Reaper Boy. Refuse is the only option I can see Shepard going for. I admit I usually chose Destroy but lol after choosing Refuse once and seeing how lame that ending was, I felt Destroy was the only one I could live with choosing for now. The Refuse ending I think is heavily dependent on the IT being true and if not then that would mean Shepard would have to attempt to rally everyone and let them know that all this work was for nothing and it's time for a new plan.

I think the only way Bioware can make the ending actually fit the story from ME1, ME2 and ME3 is to go with the IT. I don't know if Bioware planned IT from the start or if they really did make poor choices on endings. Regardless of which it was, the IT is their chance to redeem themselves I think. They can use IT to tell a much deeper story and expand on that and actually look really good in the process or they can let IT not be real and look like a total money grubbing joke. If they did that then I might have to start calling them EAware because they wouldn't be Bioware to me anymore lol.

I still stand behind my belief that it's almost a joke to think that what no other Species has been able to do throughout millions of years can be done in 6 months by Shepard simply by chatting with a Reaper then firing a few bullets and just like that the Reapers stop functioning? I think Destroy is potentially part of the Reaper trap, like Control and Synthesis is. IT would clear this up better though since that would remove the need for these options possibly. I think they're baited options by the Reaper.

I agree that Destroy (may be) part of the same trap. But I also think it doesn't matter.

The Citadel was a trap, but we still defeat Sovereign there.

Aria was in a couple traps in Omega DLC, but there's always 'another way' out.

Refuse is the same as choosing not to play the 'bully's game'. Well, that kind of thing works in human interpersonal relationships, but it won't work against the Reapers, where the conflict has been inevitable and unavoidable (as opposed to just removing yourself from the situation).

In order to defeat the Reapers:
-we DON'T need to understand them, in themselves (thus Leviathan = optional)
-we DO (especially if Paragon) need to understand how they manipulate others, and turn it around on them
-we DO (especially if Renegade) need to focus on Destroying them, ignoring any manipulation

Control is an extreme of Paragon. Destroy is an extreme of Renegade.
Control brings beings together and advances development in many areas, but it is shown to be time and time again, a path of ruination for those seeking to Control. So yeah, you can pick it for other situations, but against the Reapers? WARNING, WARNING.
Destroy is necessary to even fight the enemies you're fighting. And in ME3, you're only fighting rewritten or indoctrinated beings ;)


Think of it this way - you're stuck with someone in a small, deserted island, but with plenty of resources on it to make a life.
You can't leave the situation, and you're forced by it to socialize with this other person.
Trouble is, he's a sociopath, and the worst kind. In the end, he'll love to have you as his slave, as he plans to degrade you, bit by bit, until you accept and embrace his point of view. If you don't, he'll make you think you're 'in control', but guide you towards still doing the same things for him. If you don't accept that, he'll try to murder you and eat your corpse on the fire, because he's that crazy, and sees something like that as quite practical.


Your choices:

1)'Synthesis' = Thinking you can get along with a person like this, and opening yourself emotionally to him. He'll take that as weakness and eventually turn you into an emotional battery and literal slave. But he was so nice up til that! Result? You're fucked.

2)'Control' = Aware of the dangers that this man poses, but thinking "Two can play at this game!", you play mind games right back. Problem is, you're not a sociopath and not trained in manipulation. In fact, you're a straightforward person who just wants to do good things. He'll allow you to play the mind games and you may even wound him with them, but eventually you'll tire and he'll still have you doing what he wants. Result? You're resistant, but the situation calls for you to still end up fucked.

3)'Destroy' = You either don't take mind games well at all ("Screw manipulators!"), or you know very well how they work and how to truly fight against them (aka you don't use mind games back, as that sucks you into his web), even as you stay empathetic and otherwise would be susceptible to this stuff. So you end up fighting and possibly killing the guy. Will some of you regret it? Yes, because you'll wonder if you could have done something else.

That's also the problem that Destroy poses. "Did I really make the right choice?" "But EDI and the geth died.." "Was the Catalyst telling the truth?"

But Destroy also the final defense against actual indoctrination, when you have no way of avoiding the 'signals'. You have to fight back, and destroy the manipulator before they change you into something you never would recognize. You can't 'take the reigns' and think you'll change them from within, and you certainly can't take a leap of faith, at least if you know what they HAVE done in the past.

4)'Refuse' = Is actually not possible in this situation. After exposing him, the sociopath will simply not share any of his resources, and will leave you stranded in a hole in the ground until you die. Then later people will arrive on the Island and stop him, where you couldn't. You may have had awareness in you that you're being screwed with, but you didn't have the strength of will to go "Fuck it, I don't care if this is or isn't a game. I'll resist you, whatever it takes."


Reapers are pure sociopathic/narcissistic behavior in a giant metal form.

This is why the story focuses so much on 'daddy/creator' issues. A flawed creator leads to damaged children, until those children can put on their big boy pants and know the difference between good creators and bad ones, and move on.

One example is the geth. They know their creators are essentially good, but fearful. So they hold their form of 'hope', and eventually, with Shepard's.. well, guidance (aka 'shepherding'...hehe), they reach resolution and peace.

Another example is Tali. She finally realizes both the good and the bad of her father. She respects the good, but understands the bad, and can resolve to not make the same mistakes that her father made, while honoring the memory of the goodness he instilled in her.

Another example of EDI. Her whole awareness is based on how she regards her 'creators', in their various forms. Earth military formed her core, TIM arranged her intelligence, Joker unleashed her self-awareness, and Shepard teaches her to be ethical and 'human'.

But the Reapers never had help, their own 'Shepard'. Or rather, the Intelligence that guides the Reapers (I personally believe Intelligence = what is now Harbinger) never had the opportunity to learn what life truly is, or can be.

They're that 'sociopath on the Island', x1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. They have to be killed, and we can mourn the loss of their potential later on, instead of deluding ourselves on their 'current potential' (Control) right now, allowing them to strike us while we're weak.

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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by southbeatz on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 pm

If we need to stick to the original 3 choices and say that refusal cannot work because it may likely cause the cycle to simply continue then we can look at the original 3 choices. I know on Control and Synthesis Shepard appears to be fully indoctrinated but I'm going to put that to the side for a minute.

Control at the best would make Shepard a Reaper eventually. Maybe at first Shepard would do good things but over time Shepard would think like a Reaper since Shepard would no longer be alive.

Synthesis is forcing everyone to merge with the Reapers essentially becomes partly Reapers themselves.

Destroy is killing the Reapers at any cost which in war there is loss and death.

If indoctrination is taken out of these choices then Destroy is the only choice that would have an effective outcome long term. Without indoctrination though these choices also seem too easy. We are just given the choices to simply tell the Reapers to go die and they actually do it? I cannot believe that ever. It's good for discussions though lol.
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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:01 pm

SwobyJ wrote:I agree that Destroy (may be) part of the same trap. But I also think it doesn't matter.

The Citadel was a trap, but we still defeat Sovereign there.

Aria was in a couple traps in Omega DLC, but there's always 'another way' out.

Refuse is the same as choosing not to play the 'bully's game'. Well, that kind of thing works in human interpersonal relationships, but it won't work against the Reapers, where the conflict has been inevitable and unavoidable (as opposed to just removing yourself from the situation).

In order to defeat the Reapers:
-we DON'T need to understand them, in themselves (thus Leviathan = optional)
-we DO (especially if Paragon) need to understand how they manipulate others, and turn it around on them
-we DO (especially if Renegade) need to focus on Destroying them, ignoring any manipulation

Control is an extreme of Paragon. Destroy is an extreme of Renegade.
Control brings beings together and advances development in many areas, but it is shown to be time and time again, a path of ruination for those seeking to Control. So yeah, you can pick it for other situations, but against the Reapers? WARNING, WARNING.
Destroy is necessary to even fight the enemies you're fighting. And in ME3, you're only fighting rewritten or indoctrinated beings ;)


Think of it this way - you're stuck with someone in a small, deserted island, but with plenty of resources on it to make a life.
You can't leave the situation, and you're forced by it to socialize with this other person.
Trouble is, he's a sociopath, and the worst kind. In the end, he'll love to have you as his slave, as he plans to degrade you, bit by bit, until you accept and embrace his point of view. If you don't, he'll make you think you're 'in control', but guide you towards still doing the same things for him. If you don't accept that, he'll try to murder you and eat your corpse on the fire, because he's that crazy, and sees something like that as quite practical.


Your choices:

1)'Synthesis' = Thinking you can get along with a person like this, and opening yourself emotionally to him. He'll take that as weakness and eventually turn you into an emotional battery and literal slave. But he was so nice up til that! Result? You're fucked.

2)'Control' = Aware of the dangers that this man poses, but thinking "Two can play at this game!", you play mind games right back. Problem is, you're not a sociopath and not trained in manipulation. In fact, you're a straightforward person who just wants to do good things. He'll allow you to play the mind games and you may even wound him with them, but eventually you'll tire and he'll still have you doing what he wants. Result? You're resistant, but the situation calls for you to still end up fucked.

3)'Destroy' = You either don't take mind games well at all ("Screw manipulators!"), or you know very well how they work and how to truly fight against them (aka you don't use mind games back, as that sucks you into his web), even as you stay empathetic and otherwise would be susceptible to this stuff. So you end up fighting and possibly killing the guy. Will some of you regret it? Yes, because you'll wonder if you could have done something else.

That's also the problem that Destroy poses. "Did I really make the right choice?" "But EDI and the geth died.." "Was the Catalyst telling the truth?"

But Destroy also the final defense against actual indoctrination, when you have no way of avoiding the 'signals'. You have to fight back, and destroy the manipulator before they change you into something you never would recognize. You can't 'take the reigns' and think you'll change them from within, and you certainly can't take a leap of faith, at least if you know what they HAVE done in the past.

4)'Refuse' = Is actually not possible in this situation. After exposing him, the sociopath will simply not share any of his resources, and will leave you stranded in a hole in the ground until you die. Then later people will arrive on the Island and stop him, where you couldn't. You may have had awareness in you that you're being screwed with, but you didn't have the strength of will to go "Fuck it, I don't care if this is or isn't a game. I'll resist you, whatever it takes."


Reapers are pure sociopathic/narcissistic behavior in a giant metal form.

This is why the story focuses so much on 'daddy/creator' issues. A flawed creator leads to damaged children, until those children can put on their big boy pants and know the difference between good creators and bad ones, and move on.

One example is the geth. They know their creators are essentially good, but fearful. So they hold their form of 'hope', and eventually, with Shepard's.. well, guidance (aka 'shepherding'...hehe), they reach resolution and peace.

Another example is Tali. She finally realizes both the good and the bad of her father. She respects the good, but understands the bad, and can resolve to not make the same mistakes that her father made, while honoring the memory of the goodness he instilled in her.

Another example of EDI. Her whole awareness is based on how she regards her 'creators', in their various forms. Earth military formed her core, TIM arranged her intelligence, Joker unleashed her self-awareness, and Shepard teaches her to be ethical and 'human'.

But the Reapers never had help, their own 'Shepard'. Or rather, the Intelligence that guides the Reapers (I personally believe Intelligence = what is now Harbinger) never had the opportunity to learn what life truly is, or can be.

They're that 'sociopath on the Island', x1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. They have to be killed, and we can mourn the loss of their potential later on, instead of deluding ourselves on their 'current potential' (Control) right now, allowing them to strike us while we're weak.

See, this is why I said we were missing you here.

Awesome.


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Re: The Four Choices: A Breakdown.

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