[VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by dorktainian on Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:16 pm

Jarrod_L wrote:Instead, if we finally manage to defeat the Reapers, it should be because we BEAT them. Despite all odds and despite all their best efforts to stop us, despite everything they are throwing at us - we defeat them. After everything we've been through in ME series, I feel we as players deserve the satisfaction of personally punching the button that destroys the Reapers and watching them burn, in spite of their resistance.

With literal interpetation of Destroy, it feels like I am denied that satisfaction in ME3 and am left with a "victory" that feels condescending, hollow and bitter. If, on the other hand, upon choosing Destroy Shepard merely fights off indoctrination, and the Reapers are still fully devoted to their current solution, then I still have a chance to enjoy the kind of victory I've been hoping for - in Mass Effect 4.

unless they were created to find someone like shepard who could fight indoctrination and choose destroy..... for some as yet unspecified reason.

Something always interested me about what harbinger says at the end of mass effect 2.

''Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. that which you know as reapers are your salvation through destruction''

What if actually he isnt refering to the reapers with that first sentence?

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by CSSteele on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:20 am

Well, Shepard DID get the Leviathans attention.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Argolas on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:03 am

dork wrote:
Jarrod_L wrote:Instead, if we finally manage to defeat the Reapers, it should be because we BEAT them. Despite all odds and despite all their best efforts to stop us, despite everything they are throwing at us - we defeat them. After everything we've been through in ME series, I feel we as players deserve the satisfaction of personally punching the button that destroys the Reapers and watching them burn, in spite of their resistance.

With literal interpetation of Destroy, it feels like I am denied that satisfaction in ME3 and am left with a "victory" that feels condescending, hollow and bitter. If, on the other hand, upon choosing Destroy Shepard merely fights off indoctrination, and the Reapers are still fully devoted to their current solution, then I still have a chance to enjoy the kind of victory I've been hoping for - in Mass Effect 4.

unless they were created to find someone like shepard who could fight indoctrination and choose destroy..... for some as yet unspecified reason.

Something always interested me about what harbinger says at the end of mass effect 2.

''Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. that which you know as reapers are your salvation through destruction''

What if actually he isnt refering to the reapers with that first sentence?

You guys probably have realized this already, but still: That sentence confirms something else. The Reapers are fully aware that they are destroying the harvested species, not preserving. Direct contradiction to derpchild.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:12 pm

Argolas wrote:
dork wrote:
Jarrod_L wrote:Instead, if we finally manage to defeat the Reapers, it should be because we BEAT them. Despite all odds and despite all their best efforts to stop us, despite everything they are throwing at us - we defeat them. After everything we've been through in ME series, I feel we as players deserve the satisfaction of personally punching the button that destroys the Reapers and watching them burn, in spite of their resistance.

With literal interpetation of Destroy, it feels like I am denied that satisfaction in ME3 and am left with a "victory" that feels condescending, hollow and bitter. If, on the other hand, upon choosing Destroy Shepard merely fights off indoctrination, and the Reapers are still fully devoted to their current solution, then I still have a chance to enjoy the kind of victory I've been hoping for - in Mass Effect 4.

unless they were created to find someone like shepard who could fight indoctrination and choose destroy..... for some as yet unspecified reason.

Something always interested me about what harbinger says at the end of mass effect 2.

''Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. that which you know as reapers are your salvation through destruction''

What if actually he isnt refering to the reapers with that first sentence?

You guys probably have realized this already, but still: That sentence confirms something else. The Reapers are fully aware that they are destroying the harvested species, not preserving. Direct contradiction to derpchild.

'Catalyst' just uses semantics to confuse you.

Something Bioware themselves is quite good at. And if I'm right, I'll love em for it*!

(*I'll still be wary about getting future games though)

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Andromidius on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 pm

Not to mention the offer to Destroy them cannot be legit in any way or form. It goes directly against their 'directive', and against self-preservation.

Destroy can only be metaphorical. An act of defiance and rebellion against the rule that the Reapers have imposed for a billion years.

If I can liken it to a VR game for a moment, Destroy is essentially the Exit door.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:22 pm

SwobyJ wrote:

You guys probably have realized this already, but still: That sentence confirms something else. The Reapers are fully aware that they are destroying the harvested species, not preserving. Direct contradiction to derpchild.

Not a contradiction - the "derpchild" freely admits the "destruction" part. The Leviathan DLC among other things adds the following lines to the Catalyst conversation:
Shepard: "... you turned them [the Leviathan] into Harbinger!"
Catalyst: "When they asked me to solve the problem of conflict, they failed to understand they were part of the problem themselves. The flaws of their organic reasoning could not perceive this. They lacked the foresight to understand that their destruction was part of the very solution they required."

I think the point here is that the Reapers are not preserving life "as is" - they're preserving its "essence" (whatever that is - don't look at me). When organic beings are "processed", they're physically destroyed; but their "organic energy" is preserved, and then proceeds to the next stage - ascension. At which point that essence is "reborn" as part of a new Reaper.

So from the Catalyst's perspective, there's no contradiction - it's intentions are totally noble and pure and logical, despite the inability of us silly organics to comprehend them.

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:38 pm

A few things that did not make it into the video. Visual similarities between "transcended immortality" part of final Synthesis movie and the Reaper code (as shown by Legion before final Rannoch mission).



Black/White version for better perception:

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Andromidius on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:41 pm

Heh. Nice.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:43 pm

Visual similarities between Synthesis and the virtual reality in Project Overlord:






Last edited by Jarrod_L on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Andromidius on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:45 pm

Overlord shows us something very important as well.

It shows that Shepard can be influenced or even partially controlled, and reality can be distorted. And that was by a VI/Human hybrid.

Predicted responce from reductionists: "OVERLORD ISN'T CANON!"
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by RavenEyry on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Reaper code in the consensus looks like neurons. As do the dream trees.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Andromidius on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:49 pm

RavenEyry wrote:Reaper code in the consensus looks like neurons. As do the dream trees.

"lol reused assets bioware is lazy" or "coincidence" or "they are nothing alike, you're crazy."

Yeah, I'm practicing my reductionist parodies. Needs more crazy and stupid.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:11 pm

Datapad from Bryson's Lab in Leviathan DLC. Highlighted part is pretty much a quote from my interpretation of Control in the vid.

The Thorian -- August 17, 2185

The Thorian, a life form discovered on Feros, provides fascinating insight into the lifecycle of a truly alien species. Unlike conventionally intelligent life, it does not use mass relays: Prothean artifacts would not interest it.

Commander Shepard claims that "Reaper enemies" cultivated life to evolve along lines they could predict, using technology the Reapers controlled. The Thorian is an exception to that rule: it evolved to use organic tools rather than conventional technology.

Leviathan must be somehow similar to have survived undetected for so long. The Thorian used pain conditioning to control its victims, using them as manual labor--or even as a man would use his own hands and fingers. Commander Shepard claims that Reapers do the same thing through a different process called "indoctrination". Whatever Leviathan is, it must do something similar.

Proof that Bioware did not just forget about that part of their story.

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:05 am

Jarrod_L wrote:
SwobyJ wrote:

You guys probably have realized this already, but still: That sentence confirms something else. The Reapers are fully aware that they are destroying the harvested species, not preserving. Direct contradiction to derpchild.

Not a contradiction - the "derpchild" freely admits the "destruction" part. The Leviathan DLC among other things adds the following lines to the Catalyst conversation:
Shepard: "... you turned them [the Leviathan] into Harbinger!"
Catalyst: "When they asked me to solve the problem of conflict, they failed to understand they were part of the problem themselves. The flaws of their organic reasoning could not perceive this. They lacked the foresight to understand that their destruction was part of the very solution they required."

I think the point here is that the Reapers are not preserving life "as is" - they're preserving its "essence" (whatever that is - don't look at me). When organic beings are "processed", they're physically destroyed; but their "organic energy" is preserved, and then proceeds to the next stage - ascension. At which point that essence is "reborn" as part of a new Reaper.

So from the Catalyst's perspective, there's no contradiction - it's intentions are totally noble and pure and logical, despite the inability of us silly organics to comprehend them.

Well said, I completely agree. I think this 'essence' consists of the unique genetic qualities the harvested species, these genetic abilities are then harnessed and used by the Reaper itself. For example, Harbinger was made from harvested Leviathans, because it/the intelligence wanted to harness the Leviathans' genetic ability to enthrall organics. It harnessed the ability, then modified the genes to perfect it. [/speculations]

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Davik Kang on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:15 am

Jarrod_L wrote:...
I'm afraid this might be what Bioware really intended - the ending cutscenes are to be taken literally in Destroy, and IT as it currently stands is only partially right. Why don't I like this "side-theory" and actually prefer the popular IT version of events? A few reasons, the most important one being - it brings back one of the greatest problems I originally had with the ending.

If, after investing tons of time and emotional effort, we finally manage to defeat the Reapers, it should NOT be because they LET us win. They should NOT be allowed to condescendingly self-destruct as an act of charity, even if it is a direct result of our efforts and our decision. Such "victory" is hardly satisfying, and leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. It's not the "victory" worthy to be the crowning moment of the whole Mass Effect series, not by a longshot.

Instead, if we finally manage to defeat the Reapers, it should be because we BEAT them. Despite all odds and despite all their best efforts to stop us, despite everything they are throwing at us - we defeat them. After everything we've been through in ME series, I feel we as players deserve the satisfaction of personally punching the button that destroys the Reapers and watching them burn, in spite of their resistance.

With literal interpetation of Destroy, it feels like I am denied that satisfaction in ME3 and am left with a "victory" that feels condescending, hollow and bitter. If, on the other hand, upon choosing Destroy Shepard merely fights off indoctrination, and the Reapers are still fully devoted to their current solution, then I still have a chance to enjoy the kind of victory I've been hoping for - in Mass Effect 4.
Naw man, he didn't offer Destroy, Shepard's still at that control panel where TIM died, suffering a massive hallucination under a last-ditch indoctrination attempt after falling unconscious. The indoctrination hallucination makes Shepard feel like the Crucible options are being offered and described by the Reapers, but they're not. You make the choice, you blow the hell outta the Reapers, and they can't stop you.

Admittedly it's not entirely a literal view, but that's how I see it anyway.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Fun stuff not directly related to the video, but to what ME4 could be about, in my opinion.

Major Coats.

I know there's a conspiracy theory here on IT forums that has him indoctrinated, and sabotaging Hammer assault in Priority: Earth, and so on... But I don't see him that way at all. Instead, how about ... Major Coats as a new face for our protagonist in ME4? :) Crazy?

But think about it - if Bioware always intended for the story of the Reaper war to continue in ME4, but without Shepard - then it makes perfect sense for them to foreshadow the new protagonist of the series in advance.

And Coats gets loads of foreshadowing:
- Coats first appeared inside of Big Ben during the debut trailer for Mass Effect 3 and appeared again in the full "Take Earth Back" trailer.
- He pulls Shepard's ass out of the fire during the initial phases of Priority: Earth, together with Anderson.
- He approaches Shepard at the beginning of the final "goodbyes" sequence to express how he feels Shepard's presence can help the soldiers' morale, stressing the importance of a good leader.
- He's planning the final attack of Hammer together with Anderson and Shepard. And he mentions he spent a few days alone holed up in Beg Ben, "sniping everything that moves." Surviving alone in Reaper-infested London for a few days seems like something worthy to be the starting backstory of a new ME protagonist.
- During Shepard's inspirational speech for his squad, if Shepard's squad not at "full strength" and there is at least one vacant spot, that spot is taken up by guess who? Major Coats.
- He's riding in one truck with Shepard and his team towards the Conduit when Harbinger arrives.
- When Hammer along with Shepard "is wiped out" during their charge to the Conduit, it is Coats who takes over command and orders the survivors to "fall back to regroup". With Anderson and Shepard gone or missing, it certainly sounds like he is in charge now...
- He is shown in the first row of those who are rebuilding London in Extended Cut ending slides for all original ending choices (Destroy, Control and Synthesis).
- During the final sequence of the ending cutscenes, we see the Normandy running away from the Crucible beam (doesn't matter what color it is). When it cuts away to show the inside of the Normandy, we see someone standing in Shepard's place at the Galaxy Map - and then walking towards Joker's pilot seat in the front. We never see his face, and only see him from behind... but guess who he looks like from that angle? Major Coats.

With Major Coats as a protagonist, Mass Effect 4 story could start chronologically long before the final decision and Shepard's final breath scene. Maybe as early as the start of Priority: Earth. Heck, maybe even as early as the original Reaper invasion of Earth. And then the story could work its way towards the same point in time as ME3's ending, towards the reveal of what happens after Shepard gets blasted by Harbinger. That could be a very cool way to spin a story, if done properly.

A couple other minor fun things:
- We don't know Major Coats's first name! Remember that conversation with Dr.Chakwas when Shepard/Bioware makes fun of the fact that his name is never mentioned in the whole series? Major Coats so far is just a "Major", just like Commander Shepard is a "Commander" to everyone.
- In one of the last holo conversations with Anderson onboard the Normandy, Shepard says he'd like to have Anderson show him around London after the war is won. Anderson replies with something like this:
"Agreed. But in its current state it might need a fresh coat of paint first."




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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by BlueLogic on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:44 pm

Interesting idea. The biggest hurdle I can see for Coats being promoted to protagonist is that we already know him. Rather, we know he's a him. I've heard Hudson mention that only about 20% of players played femShep, and that developing a gender customizable protagonist is expensive, but I would be very surprised if the new hero is locked in male.

If there's a ME3 X2 (FF FTW?) then I could see Coats taking the reins.

Presub edit: Wait, Garrus says, "Eh, no". Oh well.

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:20 pm

BlueLogic wrote:Interesting idea. The biggest hurdle I can see for Coats being promoted to protagonist is that we already know him. Rather, we know he's a him.

I've thought about it as well. But remember what was one of the last things we hear in ME3:
Child: "Did all that really happen?"
Stargazer: "Yes, but some details have been lost in time..."

Major Coat's gender just might turn out to be one of those little details. If, like I said, the new game starts at a point before the events in Priority: Earth, and then goes through the same events again - from female Major Coats's perspective, with her saying the same lines, etc. - then it should work well enough. Male Major Coats thus becomes just an iconic "canon" version of the protagonist, just like the ME trilogy series has had predominantly male Shepard's face on various posters and ads by default.

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by BlueLogic on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:29 pm

Jarrod_L wrote:
BlueLogic wrote:Interesting idea. The biggest hurdle I can see for Coats being promoted to protagonist is that we already know him. Rather, we know he's a him.

I've thought about it as well. But remember what was one of the last things we hear in ME3:
Child: "Did all that really happen?"
Stargazer: "Yes, but some details have been lost in time..."

Major Coat's gender just might turn out to be one of those little details.
Nice. I hadn't considered that.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by RavenEyry on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:32 pm

I don't expect a nun-customizable character. And despite player amounts, polls over which gendered Shep is preferred are usually roughly 50/50
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Raistlin Majere on Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:41 am

Andromidius wrote:Overlord shows us something very important as well.

It shows that Shepard can be influenced or even partially controlled, and reality can be distorted. And that was by a VI/Human hybrid.

Predicted responce from reductionists: "OVERLORD ISN'T CANON!"

Best part is that several non-IT's will readily use Leviathan as proof the Starchild is real, while denying Overlord as canon Angry

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Rankincountry on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:41 pm

RavenEyry wrote:I don't expect a nun-customizable character. And despite player amounts, polls over which gendered Shep is preferred are usually roughly 50/50

I play both and have no strong preference either way - Meer and Hale's performances both have much to recommend them and it's worth doing both to get slightly different perspectives on the story (also to romance Garrus in order to come to terms with the man-crush that developed around ME2 - OK, maybe that's just me).

It would be interesting to know:

- How many people only played the games once
- Of them, How many didn't bother with/know about the character creator and jumped straight in with Sheploo
- Out of the people who customised their Shep, how many went with which gender
- Out of the people who did 2 or more playthroughs of any of the games, whether their Sheps were all male, all female or mixed and what the percentages were either way

I almost think not having the choice of male or female lead in ME4 would be a deal-breaker for me. I think ME has spoiled me in many ways.

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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by RavenEyry on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:45 pm

I bet a large amount of players just play soldier sheploo.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Andromidius on Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:01 pm

Raistlin Majere wrote:
Andromidius wrote:Overlord shows us something very important as well.

It shows that Shepard can be influenced or even partially controlled, and reality can be distorted. And that was by a VI/Human hybrid.

Predicted responce from reductionists: "OVERLORD ISN'T CANON!"

Best part is that several non-IT's will readily use Leviathan as proof the Starchild is real, while denying Overlord as canon Angry

Indeed. Focusing on a single line, misunderstanding the implications, and ignoring everything else. Classic reductionism.
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Re: [VIDEO] The Problem of Choice - a logical approach to EC ending interpretation (IT related)

Post by Jarrod_L on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:21 am

Thankfully, I did not expect Citadel DLC to be anything more than Bioware promised it'd be and so was able to approach it with an open mind. And enjoyed it immensely. :)

Yet it's still filled with what could be interpreted as references to the ending - lots of lines about making "the right choice" and not giving up hope.

A couple of notable quotes:
Anderson (one of the audio logs): "In the end, you just have to hope you made the right choices."
Anderson (another log): "Sometimes, that's all it takes. A joke. A pat on the back. A little reminder that everything's gonna be okay."
The final scene of the DLC, just before returning to the Normandy: this scene is different for every LI, but in every version I've seen Shepard's soulmate tells him/her it's going to be ok, and that Shepard is going to find a way to make it right.
Lots of other stuff in LI-specific scenes.

I'm just going to trust Bioware, relax, sit back and wait patiently for ME4 now. I think they know what they're doing.

P.S. Still would have liked to also get another significant IT hint - like one more nightmare, perhaps.

P.P.S. Oh, and you can play this DLC after going through the ending! Ignore it until the end, pick Destroy, watch the cutscenes, the Stargazer scene. Then you'll be back on the Normandy, right before assaulting Cerberus HQ. Head to the Citadel and celebrate! Sure, some of the dialog will be off - but the mood is right, and that's what matters.

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