The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

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What is your opinion about Refuse and the possibilities with IT (multiple votes possible)?

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The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:26 pm

This has been a topic that has been discussed several times in the IT threads and also in Jade's PT thread.
As the title of this thread already points out, this is a discussion about Refuse in the lights of IT.

Let me first of all underline a thing that usually causes some form of confusion.
Do not use the term conventional victory, if you are talking about a way to beat the Reapers without actually using the Crucible and/or the choices provided by the Reapers. If you want to express such a victory, call it non-Crucible/non-Guardian victory.

Furthermore I am assuming that everything that is shown to us after our choice (all four of them) is still a hallucination. Even the Liara-VI scene. Keep in mind that all endings show us hope and the defeat of the Reapers. I personally think that it is Shepard's mind trying to justify the decision previously made, including Refuse.

Now let's get to the meat of this discussion.
Let's take a look at how we trigger Refuse:

Either we reject all options that are given us by the Guardian through dialogue, which will then trigger this speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PThzItSAT5c

or we shoot the Guardian, which will then trigger the "SO BE IT!" line, without any further dialogue with Shepard.

Here are a few quotes (actually all of Shepard's lines) out of that speech that are interesting in my view:

"I'm going to end this war on my terms."
"I fight for freedom. Mine and everyone's. I fight for the right to choose our own fate."
"And if I die, I'll die knowing that I've done everything I could to stop you. And I'll die free."

Since there are several possible ways to see Refuse in IT, I'll do seperate sections.

I. Is Refuse a way out of indoctrination?

Personally I would say this is the case, since Refuse is a choice that obviously does not align Shepard with the Reapers' goals, logic or view. The fact that the Guardian stops the masquerade and speaks to us in its normal voice (SO BE IT!) underlines that.
The common interpretation for this has been that the Guardian/Harbinger loses interest in Shepard since s/he lost the will to fight and is now useless to the Reapers. Usually Shepard's death is assumed (comparable to low/mid EMS Destroy) due to the lack of any breath scene.

Personally I cannot really understand why people say that Shepard loses the will to fight. Taking into account the words s/he says, it shows a ferocious will to end this war without relying on the Guardian's help. Although the lack of any action after these words are uttered can be interpreted as lack of will power.

Another interpretation is that Shepard actually has such a strong will power that he will never be able to be indoctrinated. The Guardian/Harbinger notices that - which is the reason for the end of the masquerade - and in turn just kills Shepard, since s/he will never be useful to them alive.
I think this interpretation shows some merits and is reasonable, though - as it stands right now - it will not be a viable way to go on, if IT turns out to be true.


II. Is Refuse the only way out of indoctrination?

Some people think that aligning yourself to the Reapers is the start of any indoctrination process and I would agree with that statement. Control and Synthesis are the choices that are seen as the "most indoctrinated" choices right now (though there are different interpretations as well). But is Destroy also tainted with the Reapers' will?

First of all, you could say that Destroy is presented by the Guardian, but I think that is not the case. It was Shepard's goal to destroy the Reapers from the get-go and it is in most cases present as a choice - with the only exception of low-EMS Control, where people saved the Collector Base in ME2.

The following line shows that the Guardian knows Shepard's initial goal and acknowledges it:
"I know that you have thought about destroying us." - The Guardian.

While Refuse is the outcome, where your Shepard does not align him/herself with the Reapers, Destroy is that aswell.
Let's face it, Destroy is described by the Guardian as the most awful choice out of the presented three and it is the preference of all your allies during ME3. I think I do not need to go too much into detail to explain, why Destroy is not a Reaper-choice.

However, at my first playthrough, I did not trust Destroy. I had the feeling that something was off - there are enough reasons to feel that way - and Destroy just seemed asinine. Why "offer" it in the first place? I thought it might be a trap, but as it turns out, the content that follows and the reasoning behind IT does rebut this assumption.

Another - more interesting - perspective is that Destroy confirms the Guardian's inherent logic of "there will always be conflict between Synthetics and Organics". If you want to argue that Refuse is the only/best choice in lights of IT, then you should argue along these lines. I can see the reasoning behind it, but I still think that Destroy is a valid way out if not the best way out.


III. Refuse and the themes of the trilogy.

In one of the last pages of Mark III, this was posted:
"One last thing: Destroy is the "practical" correct choice, but Refuse is the "thematic" correct choice. Personally, I think thematic stuff would be more important when facing down the Reapers in a battle in the mind. " - Lokanaiya

The underlying theme of Refuse is the freedom of choice and freedom in general. It is a huge theme of the trilogy. I would say that the struggle between self-determinism and determinism is the most important theme of the trilogy.
For instance, Shepard's last words to Saren in ME 1 pointed out that it is preferable to die than live like a slave.

Don't get me wrong! I know that there are thematic points that speak against Refuse, like the theme of sacrifice for the greater good. It has been present throughout the whole trilogy and especially in the last isntallment. I think DoomsdayDevice could provide us with a few quotes about this theme.


IV. Meta reasons for and against Refuse.

I'll keep this simple:

1. We have no breath scene.
-> If we had though, the assumed IT reveal would be spoiled. On the other hand, people still believe that the breath scene in Destroy happened on the Crucible after an explosion of a considerable amount of Megatons.

2. It was not in the original game.
-> That is true. However this could be explained with the assumption that a successful (in breaking indoctrination) Refuse would've been part of later content and a half-arsed version was implemented to the EC due to fan-outcry.


In conclusion I would like to say that I think that Refuse would be a valid way to break indoctrination. But I would not go that far to discredit Destroy or call Refuse the best way out of the indoctrination.



Last edited by Restrider on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by solidsnake78 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:29 pm

I think refusing constitutes giving up, an action that will also make you not wake up if you follow IT.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Eryri on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:42 pm

As you say, Refuse feels the most "thematically" correct in many ways. And Shepard's speech is terrific.

At the moment, I think I still prefer Destroy, because Shepard remains single mindedly focused on his original goal. But if Refuse turns out to be the real means of beating indoctrination, then I'll be perfectly happy with that.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by solidsnake78 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:45 pm

Eryri wrote:As you say, Refuse feels the most "thematically" correct in many ways. And Shepard's speech is terrific.

At the moment, I think I still prefer Destroy, because Shepard remains single mindedly focused on his original goal. But if Refuse turns out to be the real means of beating indoctrination, then I'll be perfectly happy with that.

Basically my exact thoughts. Prefer destroy, refuse would suffice.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by The Math Effect on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:49 pm

I would just like to comment that the Catalyst's response when you first refuse makes it seems like he's already assuming you would choose Synthesis otherwise.

"Why not? Synthetics are already part of you. Can you imagine your life without them?"
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Rankincountry on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:08 pm

I've thought about this one quite a bit - is destroy or refuse the way out? If I had to pick one (which I do if I want to finish ME3 hehe) then it would be destroy - while I think Restrider and others have made a very good case for refuse, for me the breath scene is the clincher. I also think that it makes a lot of sense under IT that as well as "give in and join the reapers" through control and synthesis and "break free" with destroy that there should be a "give up because Shepard's brain is broken" option in refuse.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by draconian139 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:52 am

"The common interpretation for this has been that the Guardian/Harbinger loses interest in Shepard since s/he lost the will to fight and is now useless to the Reapers. Usually Shepard's death is assumed (comparable to low/mid EMS Destroy) due to the lack of any breath scene."

The largest single issue that I have with this interpretation is that its saying that the Reapers lose interest in valuable targets if they lose the will to fight. Saren had no will to fight the reapers, he was still deemed useful.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Hrothdane on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:57 am

I agree with you on everything on this issue, Restrider.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:44 am

draconian139 wrote:"The common interpretation for this has been that the Guardian/Harbinger loses interest in Shepard since s/he lost the will to fight and is now useless to the Reapers. Usually Shepard's death is assumed (comparable to low/mid EMS Destroy) due to the lack of any breath scene."

The largest single issue that I have with this interpretation is that its saying that the Reapers lose interest in valuable targets if they lose the will to fight. Saren had no will to fight the reapers, he was still deemed useful.

Yep, I agree with that.
I usually tend to give the other interpretation more credit, where Shepard just cannot be indoctrinated and is thus eliminated. I think you were one of those, who proposed this idea.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Maximus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:09 pm

The Math Effect wrote:Commentary: I would just like to comment that the Catalyst's response when you first refuse makes it seems like he's already assuming you would choose Synthesis otherwise.

Playback: "Why not? Synthetics are already part of you. Can you imagine your life without them?"

Fixed! Now you sound more like HK-47! ;>

As for the Refuse. I'd love to be it the only way to "wake up". Screw Starkid's options, screw him, screw three choices. I frakin Refuse to play his game and I shall make my own way out of his Illusion!

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by dorktainian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:16 pm

it was always my take that refuse is the opposite of IT. To be able to decide for yourself rather than accept any of the three choices. but then again it could work the other way.

Destroy looks great...but i dunno.

anyways time will tell.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by 401 Kill on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:15 pm

draconian139 wrote:"The common interpretation for this has been that the Guardian/Harbinger loses interest in Shepard since s/he lost the will to fight and is now useless to the Reapers. Usually Shepard's death is assumed (comparable to low/mid EMS Destroy) due to the lack of any breath scene."

The largest single issue that I have with this interpretation is that its saying that the Reapers lose interest in valuable targets if they lose the will to fight. Saren had no will to fight the reapers, he was still deemed useful.
Well remember, Saren did not want to fight the Reapers, that is correct. But Saren instead helped the Reapers, he was helping them start the cycle by opening up the Citadel relay.

Shepard in refuse wants to end the war on his/her own terms, not take the option of destroy when it is right in front of him/her. (The option presumably coming from Shepards subconscience). Shepard is effectively trapped within the hallucination with no hope of escaping after this since he is not willing to move forward.

I am just as stumped as most on refuse though. Would I be unhappy if you were able to break through Indoctrination by refuse? No, I wouldn't. Do I believe it is possible? It's tough to say, but for now, I will stick with Destroy as the way to break free/resist the Indoctrination attempt.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by draconian139 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 pm

401 Kill wrote:
draconian139 wrote:"The common interpretation for this has been that the Guardian/Harbinger loses interest in Shepard since s/he lost the will to fight and is now useless to the Reapers. Usually Shepard's death is assumed (comparable to low/mid EMS Destroy) due to the lack of any breath scene."

The largest single issue that I have with this interpretation is that its saying that the Reapers lose interest in valuable targets if they lose the will to fight. Saren had no will to fight the reapers, he was still deemed useful.
Well remember, Saren did not want to fight the Reapers, that is correct. But Saren instead helped the Reapers, he was helping them start the cycle by opening up the Citadel relay.

Shepard in refuse wants to end the war on his/her own terms, not take the option of destroy when it is right in front of him/her. (The option presumably coming from Shepards subconscience). Shepard is effectively trapped within the hallucination with no hope of escaping after this since he is not willing to move forward.

I am just as stumped as most on refuse though. Would I be unhappy if you were able to break through Indoctrination by refuse? No, I wouldn't. Do I believe it is possible? It's tough to say, but for now, I will stick with Destroy as the way to break free/resist the Indoctrination attempt.

That was sort of my point, the reapers don't lose interest when someone loses their will. If Shepard lost his will they wouldn't lose interest in him. Its pretty clear that even if Shepard chooses refuse he hasn't lost his will to fight. When Shepard chooses destroy he is choosing an option that he has no valid reason to believe will actually destroy the reapers. The way that I see it this means that he's not indoctrinated(you can't be indoctrinated if your whole goal is the destruction by any means of the Reapers) but he may be compromised to a degree.

He is showing himself to be vulnerable to hallucinations and falling for something that he sees as a path to destroy the reapers even if the action doesn't make sense(shoot this tube...really?). In low EMS its not worth the risk to the Reapers to let him live since he might see through such a deception in the future. In very high EMS they're desperate enough to attempt to use anything available despite risk involved and therefore allow him to wake up. Maybe the next time he sees some soldiers they make him hallucinate reaper forces instead of seeing the actual soldiers. Basically in my interpretation of the ending Shepard can't actually help the war effort no matter what he chooses at the end. The choice just decides whether he does no damage(resists indoctrination and is immediately killed), slight damage(resists indoctrination but is vulnerable to hallucinations), or large amounts of damage(is indoctrinated) to the war effort.

To clarify about the reapers being desperate, I'm not one of those that believe they can be defeated conventionally, at least not in this cycle. However, they can be dealt a large blow conventionally. Very few Reapers are created in each cycle, if they take large losses in successive cycles(and we're given the impression that the Protheans at least did some damage by the length of their war) their numbers would be diminished to the point that their defeat would become inevitable.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by FreewheelinDylan on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:30 pm

Lol. I once made up an ending scenario involving Refuse that wasn't well received:

Basically, the original 3 endings are valid. However, the Catalyst is merely using Shepard to activate the Crucible. The reason being that the Catalyst fears Harbinger (hence, he states "The created will always rebel against their creators") and wants Shepard to react as quickly as possible before Harbinger can rebel.

See, Harbinger is slowly gaining independence and after seeing Shepard defeat Sovereign, has become infatuated with humanity and sees himself as the Shepard of the Reapers. We learn that the Reapers are just as indoctrinated as any other species. Harbinger, on the other hand, is evolving past indoctrination. Because of this, he wants to free the Reapers from Indoctrination. He also fears that the Catalyst will a) replace the Reapers with Shepard, b) synthesize their species, or c) destroy them. This is perfect motivation to rebel.

Depending on how successful you are at "Refuse" (Puzzle Theory?), Harbinger will either interrupt the Catalyst and speak with Shepard OR wait until the next cycle to rebel (no longer impressed with Shepard's bravado). Having this third dynamic makes the conversation more compelling. It'd be akin to Return of the Jedi (Luke-Palpatine-Vader). The Catalyst can explain how the Crucible works, why his views should be considered over Harbinger, etc while Harbinger will attempt to dissuade you from becoming a thrall to the Catalyst. Harbinger will also ask that you join him. In order to fulfill his mandate, Harbinger will preserve and ascend all life in the galaxy. It'd be akin to absorbing everyone into the Matrix and thus, would give everyone peace. Afterward, the Reapers can then rest as the dormant gods they were meant to become (Sovereign - "We have no end or beginning. We are infinite").

If you refuse Harbinger's ending, Harbinger will attempt to control you anyway. However, the Catalyst will interrupt Harbinger and give Shepard the option of fighting. This ensures that the player gets an actual last boss battle. The battle would be a hybrid of cinematic/dream sequences, decision making, time limits, and game play (think Suicide Mission on steroids). You'd be fighting within within the hull of Harbinger while combating planes of hallucinatory existences/indoctrination.

If you win, you get to decide the fate of the Reapers, the Catalyst, the galaxy, etc.

The canon ending is that, in ME4, you would be able to have an independent galaxy thanks to the Shepard. You'll even get the chance to meet one or two independent Reapers near the edges of dark space (think the Dragons from Skyrim).



Just an idea though. In theory, it was meant to be a community ending where all the big ideas could contribute and every ending/theory (including the original 3) were valid possibilities.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by dorktainian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:31 pm

not bad. so star brat is cacking his pants cos he'll lose control of the reapers? i've heard worse.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Sphenacodon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:56 pm

I agree that refuse should be a way to break the indoctrination along with destroy, because destroy is Shepard choosing the option the reapers don't want, and refuse is Shepard refusing to play their game at all. I don't know why the developers didn't add the breath scene to the refuse ending when they put it in the EC.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:56 pm

FreewheelinDylan wrote:Lol. I once made up an ending scenario involving Refuse that wasn't well received:
--snip--

Your theory is not bad. Though I think you should also incorporate the Leviathans somehow.

Although I prefer the idea that Harbinger=The Intelligence. It would not portrait the intelligent, merciless death-machines as slaves/victims.

But I could live with it, as long as they do not start to portait the Reapers as stupid morons (thinking of what happened to the Cylons in BSG: The Plan... in 2 hours the Cylons changed for me from deceptive, intelligent and cunning opponents to a bunch of cretins with daddy issues).
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Sphenacodon wrote:I agree that refuse should be a way to break the indoctrination along with destroy, because destroy is Shepard choosing the option the reapers don't want, and refuse is Shepard refusing to play their game at all. I don't know why the developers didn't add the breath scene to the refuse ending when they put it in the EC.

Well, imagine they did?
First of all, when would you play it? Between the Liara-VI scene and the stargazer scene?
Well, then everyone would know that something is off, since that Liara scene supposedly happens tens of thousands of years in the future. However, something similar happens to the slideshows, the memorial scene and the breath scene. Though the time jumps are not thaaat dramatic.

I could see it being placed before the Liara-VI scene, but what is next? We would assume Shepard woke up and died...
No, I think the Refuse ending got its ambiguity through the "SO BE IT!" line. Anything more precise would've spoiled it too much, imho.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Raistlin Majere on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:01 pm

Sphenacodon wrote:I agree that refuse should be a way to break the indoctrination along with destroy, because destroy is Shepard choosing the option the reapers don't want, and refuse is Shepard refusing to play their game at all. I don't know why the developers didn't add the breath scene to the refuse ending when they put it in the EC.

Shepard going from standing around seemingly next to the Crucible as everything goes dark to waking up covered in rubble (after we are told through Liara's capsule that we failed no less) would be a pretty big tip off taht something is not right.

Not that the Kids "So be it!" is not already enough.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Sphenacodon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:13 pm

Restrider wrote:
Sphenacodon wrote:I agree that refuse should be a way to break the indoctrination along with destroy, because destroy is Shepard choosing the option the reapers don't want, and refuse is Shepard refusing to play their game at all. I don't know why the developers didn't add the breath scene to the refuse ending when they put it in the EC.

Well, imagine they did?
First of all, when would you play it? Between the Liara-VI scene and the stargazer scene?
Well, then everyone would know that something is off, since that Liara scene supposedly happens tens of thousands of years in the future. However, something similar happens to the slideshows, the memorial scene and the breath scene. Though the time jumps are not thaaat dramatic.

I could see it being placed before the Liara-VI scene, but what is next? We would assume Shepard woke up and died...
No, I think the Refuse ending got its ambiguity through the "SO BE IT!" line. Anything more precise would've spoiled it too much, imho.

I hadn't thought of that, although in destroy we see Shepard wake up in rubble after being blown up in space, so logic doesn't seem to play too much of a part in these scenes.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:43 pm

Sphenacodon wrote:

I hadn't thought of that, although in destroy we see Shepard wake up in rubble after being blown up in space, so logic doesn't seem to play too much of a part in these scenes.

Yeah, I agree with you on that one. The Breath Scene in Destroy should tip off an average human being, but it does not with the majority of players.
However, I'd still think that a Refuse Breath Scene would be too obvious, even for the literalist hordes of the BSN. But maybe I just overestimate them...
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by BRAVO543211 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:57 pm

I would say either Refuse or Destroy would help break Indoctrination.
Destroy-because you stay true to your goal, and is supported by the breath scene.
Refuse-because Shepard refuses to buy into the Reaper dream/hallucination and refuses Starchild AKA Harbinger.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Terramine on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:08 pm

Now I just want to say that something is to be noted: Some evidence suggests that being vaporized is the way out of the indoc attempt. It hasn't been tested Post-EC yet I don't think, but apparently Shepard disappears in destroy as he/she takes explosions to the face.

So that means in 3 out of 4 endings you get "vaporized". But in 2 of them you look similar to a husk with those eyes and Reaper cables. This indicates Shepard will wake up indoctrinated from those 2 choices, but in only 1 ending does Shepard get vaporized but not husklike, which is destroy. So unless someone wants to be bold enough to say destroy fails the attempt, something is up with Refuse because you don't end up vaporized and ergo don't leave the attempt?

Refuse to me only makes sense if Shepard is aware of the Attempt, which I don't think is the case. Nor do I think Shepard would suddenly realize it either. Now maybe it is a way out, and I understand where others are coming from, just thought I'd explain why I don't think so.

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by Restrider on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:07 pm

IronicParticle wrote:Now I just want to say that something is to be noted: Some evidence suggests that being vaporized is the way out of the indoc attempt. It hasn't been tested Post-EC yet I don't think, but apparently Shepard disappears in destroy as he/she takes explosions to the face.

So that means in 3 out of 4 endings you get "vaporized". But in 2 of them you look similar to a husk with those eyes and Reaper cables. This indicates Shepard will wake up indoctrinated from those 2 choices, but in only 1 ending does Shepard get vaporized but not husklike, which is destroy. So unless someone wants to be bold enough to say destroy fails the attempt, something is up with Refuse because you don't end up vaporized and ergo don't leave the attempt?

Refuse to me only makes sense if Shepard is aware of the Attempt, which I don't think is the case. Nor do I think Shepard would suddenly realize it either. Now maybe it is a way out, and I understand where others are coming from, just thought I'd explain why I don't think so.

Your reasoning usually explains the common view on Refuse in the light of IT. That is that Shepard remains in a state of limbo. Shepard is not indoctrinated, but he also is not able to leave the hallucinatory state. Due to the lack of any breath scene, Shepard's death is assumed.
I've already explained why there could not be a breath scene in Refuse without totally spoiling the endings.

However, I think that Refuse might be a viable possibility, if an external stimulus could wake Shepard up. Usual candidates would be squadmates/LI, War Assets - specifically those with mind altering/melding abilities like Liara, Shiala/Feros colonists, the Rachni Queen etc.
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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:13 pm

Restrider wrote:III. Refuse and the themes of the trilogy.

In one of the last pages of Mark III, this was posted:
"One last thing: Destroy is the "practical" correct choice, but Refuse is the "thematic" correct choice. Personally, I think thematic stuff would be more important when facing down the Reapers in a battle in the mind. " - Lokanaiya

The underlying theme of Refuse is the freedom of choice and freedom in general. It is a huge theme of the trilogy. I would say that the struggle between self-determinism and determinism is the most important theme of the trilogy.
For instance, Shepard's last words to Saren in ME 1 pointed out that it is preferable to die than live like a slave.

Don't get me wrong! I know that there are thematic points that speak against Refuse, like the theme of sacrifice for the greater good. It has been present throughout the whole trilogy and especially in the last isntallment. I think DoomsdayDevice could provide us with a few quotes about this theme.

Sorry for late reply - I discussed this so often recently, that I was avoiding the topic, haha.

I see where you're coming from, but I would argue the themes of the game are not in favour of refuse.

Javik: I sense you have the lineage of a leader. A warrior's skill and cunning--they are strong in your genes. But you've grown tired of war, you're exhausted by defeat, and now you worry you don't have the courage left to go on. Find your resolve. This war can end if you do.

(This is what Javik says to the Asari officer on Thessia who is about to ignore her orders and withdraw because of too many casualties!)

And, of course:

Lt. Victus: Commander Shepard. My men and I are in your debt. Thank you for saving so many.
Shepard: What happened here?
Soldier: He screwed up!
Lt. Victus: Stand down, soldier.
Soldier: These men are dead because of him!
Lt. Victus: I said: stand down.
Shepard: Hey! I just saved all your asses, so everyone just calm down. Lieutenant, what's going on here?
Lt. Victus: I made a bad call. This is all on me. I chose caution and clever tactics over a head-on attack, and... my men paid the price. (...) We could see on holo that Reaper forces were blocking our intended path--staying on course guaranteed heavy casualties. So I chose a safer route, skirting the enemy, and that took us low and through these ruins. When we encountered resistance, there was no room to maneuver. Suddenly, we were in a fight for our lives. A lot of my men lost that fight.
Shepard: Making hard decisions and dealing with the consequences--that's what being a leader is about.
Lt. Victus: You're right, Commander. Our mission is still a failure. When we've stabilized the injured, we'll head back to the fleet.
Shepard: You're abandoning your mission?
Lt. Victus: We're down over thirty men! It would be suicide.
Shepard: What exactly did you come here to do?
Lt. Victus: There's a bomb on the planet. We were sent to defuse it.
Shepard: A bomb? How big?
Lt. Victus: Enormous. Cerberus has it.
Shepard: Lieutenant, if Cerberus has that bomb, you have to finish your mission.
Lt. Victus: Haven't these men sacrificed enough?
Shepard: Sacrifice is what we sign on for. They know that, and so should you.
Lt. Victus: My men have lost hope, Commander. Even if I wanted to finish the mission, they don't.
Shepard: It's your job to make them want to.
Lt. Victus: How?
Shepard: What's wrong with you? Inspire them! Threaten them! Lieutenant, if Cerberus succeeds, the Reapers divide and conquer us, and then that is on them.
Lt. Victus: Listen up! This isn't about your fears and grievances!
Soldier: Fears? We're only afraid of the next messed up order you give.
Lt. Victus: Irrelevant! Court martial, death and dishonour awaits anyone who balks (*) at his duty. We are Turian! We finish what we came here to do, or we die trying.
(...)
Shepard: Victus, I've given you a second chance. Don't screw this up.



(*) balk [bawk] verb (used without object)

1. to stop, as at an obstacle, and refuse to proceed or to do something specified (usually followed by at ): He balked at making the speech.

2. (of a horse, mule, etc.) to stop short and stubbornly refuse to go on.


Then there's:

Javik: You still have hope that this war will end with your honour intact.
Shepard: I do.
Javik: Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honour matters. The silence is your answer.
Shepard: *blank stare*


Also:

Javik: You should have not have let the Turian soldier evade his responsibility.
Shepard: I take it Protheans didn't forgive many mistakes?
Javik: If we would have been under my command, I would have marooned him in the desert, buried him in the sand up to his neck, and let the wildlife feast upon his eyes. If he survived that, I would have rewarded him. By shooting him in the head. Good soldiers are a precious resource. The stupidity of one can not be allowed to jeopardize the lives of others.


It's hard to come up with things that would support refuse.

The thing is, if refuse would be the "correct" choice, you'd expect the game's themes to stress it from time to time.

Instead, we get a lot of 'good soldiers do not abandon their mission'. You can argue high and low, but destroying the Reapers was your objective. Doing anything else, is abandoning the mission.

Look at all the support for destroy:

Shepard: People will die, but we will fight your regardless. We will fight, we will sacrifice, and we will find another way.

Shepard: Do your job or be vaporized.

Anderson: Mostly you were hired to kill Reapers. I hope you haven't been sidetracked by all the politics.

Javik: Vengeance is the goal, suicide is not.

Samara: Sometimes the most brutal path is the only honest one.

Samara: Treat them as any other enemy: Show no quarter, mercy, or weakness.

Javik: Do not waver. Victory is never won without difficult choices.

Shepard: Sacrifice is what we sign on for. They know that, and so should you.

Shepard: Making hard decisions and dealing with the consequences--that's what being a leader is about.

Lt. Victus: Court martial, death and dishonour awaits anyone who balks at his duty. We are Turian! We finish what we came here to do, or we die trying.

Shepard: If you'd saved them all, would things have worked out better?
Vega: I... I don't know. I don't think so.
Shepard: The right choice is usually not the easy one.

Garrus: If just one survivor is left standing at the end of the war, then the fight was worth it. But humans want to save everyone. In this war, that's not going to happen.

Javik: Your empathy is a weakness. You must numb yourself to loss. (...) As I said, steel yourself. Many more lives will be lost.
Shepard (renegade): I know it's difficult, Liara, but he's right. You could spend all day counting casualties.
Javik: When you should be avenging them.
Liara: I'm sorry, I can't be that callous.
Javik: (long pause) War doesn't always provide you a choice.

Aethyta (on why Benezia joined Saren): She always wanted to solve things the smart way. I just wanted to fight.
Liara: Those aren't mutually exclusive.

Salarian councilor: Sometimes Spectres have to make sacrifices. I hope you're ready to do that when the time comes.

"Diplomacy doesn't win wars, powerful and plentiful firearms do." -Priority: Rannoch

Javik: Subjugating the Reapers will not bring victory, only extinction will.

Garrus: Go out there and give them hell, you were born to do this.

Vigil: Your survival depends on destroying them, not in understanding them.

Shepard: Don't let them take your will to fight.

Shepard: We fight, or we die.

Javik: We fight, or we die.

Shepard: The Illusive Man talked about controlling the Reapers. He seems to think that's how we win this.
Hackett: He's wrong. Dead Reapers are how we win this.

Joker: What do you mean, "Whatever happens"? Everyone knows what's going to happen. You're going to kick some Reaper ass. That's what you do.

Hackett: There's only one way we defeat the Reapers: no more Reapers.

Shepard: I have a better idea, we destroy you and live our lives in peace.

Mad Preacher: Draw your weapons for the word, my friends! Draw your weapons and fight! Else certain doom awaits us all!

Ian Newstead (the colonist who tries to resist the Thorian mind control): I'd rather die fighting. My mind is my own! My mind is my own! My mind is my own!

Anderson: Shepard. So I imagine you've wiped the galaxy clean of Reapers, and we can all come up for air?

Garrus: Don't forget to come up for air, there's a lot more war to go.

Shepard: You either wake up or die.



Last edited by DoomsdayDevice on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:20 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The Indoctrination Theory and Refuse

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