Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

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Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:58 am

We've all heard the argument. "IT? Pffffft. Bioware aren't good enough writers to pull something like that off. It's a video game, not Inception!"

Right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Bioware have an established history of performing elaborate mindfunks on their player base. Their games have always been story driven, immersive and contained unexpected twists and turns in the narrative. Knight of the Old Republic contained what was probably one of the classiest plot twists in video gaming history. Jade Empire's ending was very cleverly handled. Baldur's Gate 2 contained premonitions and dream sequences which unravelled the secrets of the story in front of your very eyes.

Then we get Neverwinter Nights, and Hordes of the Underdark... and a final boss battle which presents us with a strangely familiar scenario.

Take a look for yourselves...


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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:06 am

For Bioware's plot twist in Knights of the Old Republic... check here. Major spoilers obviously, for those of you who haven't played it!

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by solidsnake78 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:09 am

There have also been little bait and switches IN Mass Effect. What about Sovereign? You were lead to believe it was just a Geth dreadnaught. Remember the first time you played Virmire?

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:13 am

Similarly, here's the "sacrifice" ending of Jade Empire. Once again, spoiler alert!

@solidsnake: Yeah, Virmire was a big twist in ME1's story - we knew there was something odd about Saren's flagship, but Virmire's reveal of the true nature of the Reapers - and that they were already among us - was a huge twist.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by shadowsenshi on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:41 am

If i could QFT this whole thread, i would :D

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:39 am

Thanks! Having been a long time Bioware fan, I was half expecting a twist from the moment I finished the original Mass Effect. I always wondered whether we would end up facing indoctrination directly - it's such an insidious plot device.

Bioware have done an incredible job of toying with their player base in Mass Effect 3. There's just enough content clearly visible to make you question what you're seeing and prompt you to dig deeper, and should you try, there's an incredible amount of subtle content to make you think and wonder.

You can choose to take ME3 literally, or you can be speculative. If you choose to think speculatively, then the rabbit hole goes enormously deep.

As for the literalists, well... they can end up speculating almost as much as us. Generally to defend their decisions. I've seen supporters of all the endings with their heads stuck so deep in the sand that they look like they've managed to indoctrinate themselves!

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Rifneno on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:51 am

solidsnake78 wrote:There have also been little bait and switches IN Mass Effect. What about Sovereign? You were lead to believe it was just a Geth dreadnaught. Remember the first time you played Virmire?

Oh God, Virmire the first time. I was just stunned. "Oh... oh... FUCK." The collector ship was another good one. I was planning on going to bed but I stayed up another 15 minutes for some ME2 first. The Prothean reveal hit me like a tackhammer. It took me 2 hours to get to sleep after that.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by GethJuggernautMKII on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:03 pm

The truth about the crucible ought to screw with a lot of minds. Theres no way that thing isnt a trap.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by dorktainian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:05 pm

''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Rifneno on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:07 pm

dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

I can think of one greater weapon. Having to stare at your avatar for any extended period of time. Synthesis!

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by dorktainian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:38 pm

Rifneno wrote:
dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

I can think of one greater weapon. Having to stare at your avatar for any extended period of time. Synthesis!
if only i could think of a way to carry it onto the BSN..... Suspect

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Maximus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:21 pm

dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

This! We all know what that quote means in KotOR, right? So imagine now, that they can do the same to Shepard! DD also provided some insight into those Datapads from Eden Prime. They said something about letting resistance's officer (Shepard) by Cerberus Forces (Reapers) escape after they did something to him (like indoctrination), then fire couple missed shots at him so it would look like they want to kill him, but they don't. Then resistance (Galaxy's Forces) would place him in command which makes the leader a perfect deep cover agent for Cerberus (Reapers). Brilliant!

Indoctrination entry from wikia: "If a galactic leader were to succumb to indoctrination, the resulting chaos could bring down entire societies."

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:22 pm

Rifneno wrote:
dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''
prophetic indeed

I can think of one greater weapon...
... so can I! Honey Badgers. Lots and lots of angry honey badgers.

CorranusMaximus wrote:
Indoctrination entry from wikia: "If a galactic leader were to succumb to indoctrination, the resulting chaos could bring down entire societies."

Utterly chilling. And how many players forget this, when making their final decision? Shepard is an icon for the various races of the galaxy. They are literally following Shepard into hell with the assault on Earth.

I should have mentioned in the OP - if you fail the resistance check in the Peaceful Clearing scene in Hordes of the Underdark (or opt not to try) the credits roll, and the game ends there...

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by dorktainian on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:46 pm

CorranusMaximus wrote:
dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

This! We all know what that quote means in KotOR, right? So imagine now, that they can do the same to Shepard! DD also provided some insight into those Datapads from Eden Prime. They said something about letting resistance's officer (Shepard) by Cerberus Forces (Reapers) escape after they did something to him (like indoctrination), then fire couple missed shots at him so it would look like they want to kill him, but they don't. Then resistance (Galaxy's Forces) would place him in command which makes the leader a perfect deep cover agent for Cerberus (Reapers). Brilliant!

Indoctrination entry from wikia: "If a galactic leader were to succumb to indoctrination, the resulting chaos could bring down entire societies."

can I throw Hacketts name into the mix?

Hackett has been the one that has been supporting shepard. When shepard was with Cerberus, Hackett still gave Shepard missions. some of which were a bit 'dodgy'. He would be a perfect target for the reapers. Remember Andersons.... ''Why havent we heard from admiral hackett?''. The number of high ranking officials who are indoctrinated could actually be quite high...

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Maximus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:02 pm

dork wrote:
CorranusMaximus wrote:
dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

This! We all know what that quote means in KotOR, right? So imagine now, that they can do the same to Shepard! DD also provided some insight into those Datapads from Eden Prime. They said something about letting resistance's officer (Shepard) by Cerberus Forces (Reapers) escape after they did something to him (like indoctrination), then fire couple missed shots at him so it would look like they want to kill him, but they don't. Then resistance (Galaxy's Forces) would place him in command which makes the leader a perfect deep cover agent for Cerberus (Reapers). Brilliant!

Indoctrination entry from wikia: "If a galactic leader were to succumb to indoctrination, the resulting chaos could bring down entire societies."

can I throw Hacketts name into the mix?

Hackett has been the one that has been supporting shepard. When shepard was with Cerberus, Hackett still gave Shepard missions. some of which were a bit 'dodgy'. He would be a perfect target for the reapers. Remember Andersons.... ''Why havent we heard from admiral hackett?''. The number of high ranking officials who are indoctrinated could actually be quite high...

Hmm, Hackett was always suspicious to me, since Arrival I mean. There's something weird about him. He might be one of Cerberu's leaders, you know, Cerberus is a three-headed dawg.

The Illusive Man, Hackett, and...Udina? Cerberus Trio! Hackett is Alliance's highest rank officer, got access to all advanced, military tech and stuff. Udina - political leader, most powerful human in ME 3, after Humanity joined Citadel Council. TIM - Spiritual leader, He's all about Great Ideas, secrecy, experiments and such. The main "head" of Cerberus...
It's like in Jade Empire, there are 3 statistics describing a character, a human and Cerberus is all about Humanity. Body, Mind and Spirit. It's also a common concept in many relligions of Far East, right?
That makes:
Hackett - Body/ Military strength
TIM - Spirit/Idea
Udina - Mind/Political power
Yeah, and in argument with TIM, Shepard said, that he won't sacrifice the Spirit of Humanity, yeah.
But that's just IMO...

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:23 pm

Back to Cerberus' actions in ME1, and the kidnap and murder of Admiral Kahoku.

I was always intrigued by Anderson's demeanour when you quesiton him about Baines and Cerberus.

"How do you know that name?!" "It's a black ops group, gone rogue."

That doesn't quite explain to me how a "black ops group gone rogue" not only has top secret and very expensive research facilities on a large number of planets and moons. How they manage to kidnap an Alliance Admiral who is aware of the threat. And of course, how they manage to obtain Rachnii, Thorian, Reaper and Geth tech. Cerberus was never a "black ops group gone rogue", even in ME1. They're far too well funded, far too well equipped and far too well connected. So why does Anderson attempt to brush Shepard's enquiries off, why does he gloss over the truth?

Simply by managing to take down Kahoku Cerberius show they must have highly-placed contacts and agent within the Alliance itself. But who?

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:29 pm

CorranusMaximus wrote: Hmm, Hackett was always suspicious to me, since Arrival I mean. There's something weird about him. He might be one of Cerberu's leaders, you know, Cerberus is a three-headed dawg.

The Illusive Man, Hackett, and...Udina? Cerberus Trio! Hackett is Alliance's highest rank officer, got access to all advanced, military tech and stuff. Udina - political leader, most powerful human in ME 3, after Humanity joined Citadel Council. TIM - Spiritual leader, He's all about Great Ideas, secrecy, experiments and such. The main "head" of Cerberus...
It's like in Jade Empire, there are 3 statistics describing a character, a human and Cerberus is all about Humanity. Body, Mind and Spirit. It's also a common concept in many relligions of Far East, right?
That makes:
Hackett - Body/ Military strength
TIM - Spirit/Idea
Udina - Mind/Political power
Yeah, and in argument with TIM, Shepard said, that he won't sacrifice the Spirit of Humanity, yeah.
But that's just IMO...
Interesting, but that's not why they are called Cerberus. They are called Cerberus because he was the guardian of Hades. Another name for Hades is Pluto. Next to Pluto is the aptly named Charon Relay. Charon was the ferryman to Hades. So basically, the Charon Relay ferried people to Pluto which is in the Sol System, Humanity's home. Cerberus was to guard and protect threats coming to Pluto and thus Sol by using the Charon Relay as well as keep people from leaving Hades. That fits TIM's idea that humanity should stand on it's own and deserved a protector to help ensure that, and thus he created the Cerberus organization..

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Maximus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Selim Bradley wrote:
CorranusMaximus wrote: Hmm, Hackett was always suspicious to me, since Arrival I mean. There's something weird about him. He might be one of Cerberu's leaders, you know, Cerberus is a three-headed dawg.

The Illusive Man, Hackett, and...Udina? Cerberus Trio! Hackett is Alliance's highest rank officer, got access to all advanced, military tech and stuff. Udina - political leader, most powerful human in ME 3, after Humanity joined Citadel Council. TIM - Spiritual leader, He's all about Great Ideas, secrecy, experiments and such. The main "head" of Cerberus...
It's like in Jade Empire, there are 3 statistics describing a character, a human and Cerberus is all about Humanity. Body, Mind and Spirit. It's also a common concept in many relligions of Far East, right?
That makes:
Hackett - Body/ Military strength
TIM - Spirit/Idea
Udina - Mind/Political power
Yeah, and in argument with TIM, Shepard said, that he won't sacrifice the Spirit of Humanity, yeah.
But that's just IMO...
Interesting, but that's not why they are called Cerberus. They are called Cerberus because he was the guardian of Hades. Another name for Hades is Pluto. Next to Pluto is the aptly named Charon Relay. Charon was the ferryman to Hades. So basically, the Charon Relay ferried people to Pluto which is in the Sol System, Humanity's home. Cerberus was to guard and protect threats coming to Pluto and thus Sol by using the Charon Relay as well as keep people from leaving Hades. That fits TIM's idea that humanity should stand on it's own and deserved a protector to help ensure that, and thus he created the Cerberus organization..

Yeah, yeah I know that too, but for me such explanation is simply not enough, so I added to it. Seems logical you know, that Cerberus has three leaders instead of one. More influence, more power, and it's three of them coz Cerberus is three-headed dawg.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by GethJuggernautMKII on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:55 pm

The decision chamber is shaped just like a dialogue wheel. Its a fun little bit of manipulation on Bioware's part that no literalist has a good answer for. Players are mind fucked into picking control because its paragon blue and allows shepard to make a noble sacrifice to save the galaxy.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by RavenEyry on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:59 pm

A minor one for the list because it was made obvious to the player and not a twist: Dragon Age had a dreamworld trying to convince you to abandon your quest.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:09 pm

CorranusMaximus wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
CorranusMaximus wrote: Hmm, Hackett was always suspicious to me, since Arrival I mean. There's something weird about him. He might be one of Cerberu's leaders, you know, Cerberus is a three-headed dawg.

The Illusive Man, Hackett, and...Udina? Cerberus Trio! Hackett is Alliance's highest rank officer, got access to all advanced, military tech and stuff. Udina - political leader, most powerful human in ME 3, after Humanity joined Citadel Council. TIM - Spiritual leader, He's all about Great Ideas, secrecy, experiments and such. The main "head" of Cerberus...
It's like in Jade Empire, there are 3 statistics describing a character, a human and Cerberus is all about Humanity. Body, Mind and Spirit. It's also a common concept in many relligions of Far East, right?
That makes:
Hackett - Body/ Military strength
TIM - Spirit/Idea
Udina - Mind/Political power
Yeah, and in argument with TIM, Shepard said, that he won't sacrifice the Spirit of Humanity, yeah.
But that's just IMO...
Interesting, but that's not why they are called Cerberus. They are called Cerberus because he was the guardian of Hades. Another name for Hades is Pluto. Next to Pluto is the aptly named Charon Relay. Charon was the ferryman to Hades. So basically, the Charon Relay ferried people to Pluto which is in the Sol System, Humanity's home. Cerberus was to guard and protect threats coming to Pluto and thus Sol by using the Charon Relay as well as keep people from leaving Hades. That fits TIM's idea that humanity should stand on it's own and deserved a protector to help ensure that, and thus he created the Cerberus organization..

Yeah, yeah I know that too, but for me such explanation is simply not enough, so I added to it. Seems logical you know, that Cerberus has three leaders instead of one. More influence, more power, and it's three of them coz Cerberus is three-headed dawg.
Oh, ok. I didn't know you knew that so I posted it for you. I agree with it's three heads being science, politics, and military but I disagree with who was in charge. General Oleg Petrovsky has been illustrated to be the leader of the military branch of Cerberus and TIM is in charge overall so he doesn't represent just science. If I had to hazard a guess, Science was Miranda Lawson(she knew about all the other projects despite Cerberus' compartmentalization policies).

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Maximus on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:36 pm

Selim Bradley wrote:
CorranusMaximus wrote:
Selim Bradley wrote:
CorranusMaximus wrote: Hmm, Hackett was always suspicious to me, since Arrival I mean. There's something weird about him. He might be one of Cerberu's leaders, you know, Cerberus is a three-headed dawg.

The Illusive Man, Hackett, and...Udina? Cerberus Trio! Hackett is Alliance's highest rank officer, got access to all advanced, military tech and stuff. Udina - political leader, most powerful human in ME 3, after Humanity joined Citadel Council. TIM - Spiritual leader, He's all about Great Ideas, secrecy, experiments and such. The main "head" of Cerberus...
It's like in Jade Empire, there are 3 statistics describing a character, a human and Cerberus is all about Humanity. Body, Mind and Spirit. It's also a common concept in many relligions of Far East, right?
That makes:
Hackett - Body/ Military strength
TIM - Spirit/Idea
Udina - Mind/Political power
Yeah, and in argument with TIM, Shepard said, that he won't sacrifice the Spirit of Humanity, yeah.
But that's just IMO...
Interesting, but that's not why they are called Cerberus. They are called Cerberus because he was the guardian of Hades. Another name for Hades is Pluto. Next to Pluto is the aptly named Charon Relay. Charon was the ferryman to Hades. So basically, the Charon Relay ferried people to Pluto which is in the Sol System, Humanity's home. Cerberus was to guard and protect threats coming to Pluto and thus Sol by using the Charon Relay as well as keep people from leaving Hades. That fits TIM's idea that humanity should stand on it's own and deserved a protector to help ensure that, and thus he created the Cerberus organization..

Yeah, yeah I know that too, but for me such explanation is simply not enough, so I added to it. Seems logical you know, that Cerberus has three leaders instead of one. More influence, more power, and it's three of them coz Cerberus is three-headed dawg.
Oh, ok. I didn't know you knew that so I posted it for you. I agree with it's three heads being science, politics, and military but I disagree with who was in charge. General Oleg Petrovsky has been illustrated to be the leader of the military branch of Cerberus and TIM is in charge overall so he doesn't represent just science. If I had to hazard a guess, Science was Miranda Lawson(she knew about all the other projects despite Cerberus' compartmentalization policies).

Hmm Petrovsky doesn't seem to agree with TIM. He stands for Humanity and does what's best for it but I doubt he supports all this crazy shit TIM does with Human race. He's like Shepard when the latter worked with Cerberus, you know. I also doubt he has enough power/influence to take all this advance military tech from Alliance, you need someone much more powerful and hidden. Nope, Petrovsky is just a pawn, IMO.

Miranda? First i thought she's TIM's XO, but right now, I'm not so sure. Cerberus is a secret organization formed by a group of zealots, strongly grasping to the idea of "ascending" Human race above other races. They're well hidden, otherwise they wouldn't exist. They hide in shadows, and that is their greatest strength. Miranda isn't someone who could lead Cerberus or a big part of it. She was a head of a Lazarus Cell, and IMO, a recent addition to Cerberus. She left them later, because she saw that Cerberus is wrong. A true zealot would NEVER do that. He would sacrifice his life, defending his ideas. (Allah Akbra! ---> or something like that >,<)

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Hanako Ikezawa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:45 pm

CorranusMaximus wrote: Hmm Petrovsky doesn't seem to agree with TIM. He stands for Humanity and does what's best for it but I doubt he supports all this crazy shit TIM does with Human race. He's like Shepard when the latter worked with Cerberus, you know. I also doubt he has enough power/influence to take all this advance military tech from Alliance, you need someone much more powerful and hidden. Nope, Petrovsky is just a pawn, IMO.

Miranda? First i thought she's TIM's XO, but right now, I'm not so sure. Cerberus is a secret organization formed by a group of zealots, strongly grasping to the idea of "ascending" Human race above other races. They're well hidden, otherwise they wouldn't exist. They hide in shadows, and that is their greatest strength. Miranda isn't someone who could lead Cerberus or a big part of it. She was a head of a Lazarus Cell, and IMO, a recent addition to Cerberus. She left them later, because she saw that Cerberus is wrong. A true zealot would NEVER do that. He would sacrifice his life, defending his ideas. (Allah Akbra! ---> or something like that >,<)
With Petrovsky, I've always viewed him as like General Robert E. Lee in the American Civil War. Lee fought for the confederacy, even though he was disgusted with the practice of slavery. The only reason he fought for them was because his home, the state of Virginia, was a part of the Confederacy, so he fought to protect his home. Petrovsky is very similar. He fights for Cerberus, even though he hates xenophobia. He only fights for them because Cerberus exists to protect Earth and humanity, his home and kin.

As for your post, I'm not saying you are wrong. Just I have a different opinion. You are probably right about Miranda, even though for a simple project head she got to meet TIM in person numerous times and as I said knows all about the other projects even though they are compartmentalized for security reasons.

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by magnetite on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:51 pm

They had to take a big risk with it, that's for sure. However, smart people don't take stupid risks if they don't think it'll pay off. I mean why create such an ending where you have the possibility in pissing off 90% of the playerbase and lose millions of dollars in sales and income. They were probably expecting this, although they didn't expect the reaction the way it was. They did say that the ending would make some people angry, and that was back in February last year before the game launched.

A lot of people I talked to thought EA had something to do with it. They believe that ever since Bioware was bought by them in 2007 that they somehow thought their game quality went downhill. Someone reminded me last year that EA themselves managed to do something similar (can't remember the game name, was it Dead Space?)

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Re: Bioware's History Of Manipulating Its Players.

Post by Andromidius on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:12 am

CorranusMaximus wrote:
dork wrote:''what greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause?''

prophetic indeed

This! We all know what that quote means in KotOR, right? So imagine now, that they can do the same to Shepard! DD also provided some insight into those Datapads from Eden Prime. They said something about letting resistance's officer (Shepard) by Cerberus Forces (Reapers) escape after they did something to him (like indoctrination), then fire couple missed shots at him so it would look like they want to kill him, but they don't. Then resistance (Galaxy's Forces) would place him in command which makes the leader a perfect deep cover agent for Cerberus (Reapers). Brilliant!

Indoctrination entry from wikia: "If a galactic leader were to succumb to indoctrination, the resulting chaos could bring down entire societies."

Oh? I don't remember the datapad analyse. Can someone link or copy that somewhere for me?

Andromidius
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