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Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:27 am

Alright, as I've thought more about ME3 and heard more about ME:Next, I've begun to think IT might not be entirely true.  I think IT was definitely on the right track, but I also think it went a bit too far in its assumptions.  Based on a thorough examination of the endings and the series in my mind, I think I've reached a new understanding of the endings which gives rise to a "new" theory.  I put new in quotations marks because it's not actually a completely new theory.  It's actually based on a theory I had a few months ago after I finished Spec Ops: The Line.  I present it here for your consideration.  I will note beforehand that I'm not making a judgment call about whether this improves the quality of the endings more than IT.  Personally, I think it's more likely specifically BECAUSE it isn't totally brilliant.  Instead, it's a much more flawed view of the ending while still explaining it's problems in a way that makes sense.  This isn't Badd Rytting Lulz, but it's not BioWare are Gods either; I also hope to avoid the Golden Mean Fallacy.   

1) The Decision Chamber is the only part of the ending that is a full blown hallucination.  There may be hallucinatory elements in the rest of the ending sequence but Shepard is still conscious up until he passes out before reaching the control panel in the Confrontation Chamber.  I say this because that's THE most undeniably funky part of the endings.  The rest could be explained as severe stretching of Willing Suspension of Disbelief.  The Decision Chamber is the only section that is so weird that the sole probable explanation besides very, VERY crappy writing is complete hallucination.

2) The Crucible IS activated by Shepard when s/he shoots the tube.  As much as I would love the Reaper War to continue, it seems most likely based on what we know of the next game that the Reaper War is over at the end of ME3.  I think it's wasted potential, I think they should do more with Shepard, but it sounds like that's wishful thinking.  So, what I've concluded is that the Decision Chamber represents Shepard internal struggle about whether s/he's willing to go on after the war is over, if s/he wants to finish it with his/her death, or if s/he just can't go on any longer.  I think indoctrination plays a role in it as well, but it's not an external thing from Harbinger or the Leviathans or anything like that.  It's a personal struggle that reaches its conclusion at the climax of the war.  The actual activation of the Crucible comes from the control panel in the Confrontation Chamber, but Shepard doesn't consciously do it.

3) The Catalyst isn't not real.  If anyone was worried I was going to say he was real, you can stop now.  There's no way Starbrat is actually real.  Not even the kid in the beginning is real.  He's a symptom of Shepard's indoctrination/PTSD/something else from the very beginning.  He represents Shepard's guilt and his/her indoctrination.  He's not the "Intelligence," he's not the "Catalyst," or anything else like that.

4) I'm not certain as to whether the epilogue is meant to be taken literally, but I will say that there's no way Control or Synthesis is real.  It's just not possible.  I'm absolutely certain Destroy is what they'll use going forward (the preview from PAX confirms that it's not Synthesis, and I don't see Control working), and I'm absolutely certain that Refusal ends with Shepard's death and the Crucible not being activated, not by Shepard, anyway.  Citadel has way too much Destroy symbolism for me to think that the canon ending will be anything other than Destroy.  The other choices will be retconned either as not existing or being Destroy just without Shepard's survival, I'm sure of that. 

5) The scene with TIM and Anderson can be explained as the result of nanites being used by TIM to control Shepard and Anderson.  I know they don't appear in any visual way, but it's the only logical explanation if the confrontation is real.  Given how the devs (Mac in particular) have talked about Anderson's death scene like it's reality, the only logical thing to do is try to explain it in reality.  Nanites make the most sense, otherwise, the entire Horizon mission would be pointless.  This is where that stretching of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief thing pops up.  I think the confrontation could have been done in a much better way, but it's what we're given.

6) Harbinger letting the Normandy go is... weird.  The only explanation I can come up with for it is that he knew Shepard was close to completely succumbing and decided to let the Normandy go to focus on the people trying to get to the beam.  Is it a great explanation?  No, not really.  That whole scene smacks of poorly thought out plot hole filling that introduced a whole new plot hole.  The only other explanation I can think of is that Shepard is hallucinating the Normandy, and in reality it's a shuttle picking up his/her team.  I'm not entirely sure what to do with it.

7) With regard to Anderson and his presence of the Citadel, I think he made it up before Shepard, and Shepard hallucinated his voice when he woke up on the Citadel.  There's no way Anderson would have known Shepard made it up to the Citadel if he made it up first, and there's no way he came up after Shepard, no matter what the voice says.  Rather, I think Anderson's voice was Shepard's mind's way of getting him/her back up and moving.  Anderson's actual presence was either a lucky coincidence, or Shepard somehow knew he made it up there and just didn't consciously register it. 

There's more that I could talk about, but I'd rather hear questions and comments before going further.  I freely admit that I could be wrong, but I just can't believe that IT as it currently stands is what they intended.  It's just too perfect, and they're just too unwilling to comment on it for me to think it's completely right.  I'm sorry, I wish I could believe in it as much as I did when I first encountered IT, but I just can't.  I still like almost everyone here, I just don't think BioWare pulled the ending off very well.  It's not as bad like this as it would be if it was completely literal, but it's not as brilliant as IT, and I really, really hope Mac doesn't try something like this again.  He... didn't do it very well. Tongue


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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Master Blaster on Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:46 am

So basically Shepard is on the Citadel, and is undergoing Indoctrination.....

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:50 am

Master Blaster wrote:So basically Shepard is on the Citadel, and is undergoing Indoctrination.....
Yes, but s/he's actually awake up until the Decision Chamber, and the Crucible is actually activated when Shepard chooses Destroy.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:55 am

So.... You're telling me it's a "dream" and shepard was indoctrinated. Gee, that sounds like something else..... I just can't put my finger on it???? 

Oh, I know. IT. 

It's really the same thing as IT starting post Harby beam, just that he doesn't wake up until the catalyst convo. Which isn't really possible. Cause you know. 

Space and stuff.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:21 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:So.... You're telling me it's a "dream" and shepard was indoctrinated. Gee, that sounds like something else..... I just can't put my finger on it???? 

Oh, I know. IT. 

It's really the same thing as IT starting post Harby beam, just that he doesn't wake up until the catalyst convo. Which isn't really possible. Cause you know. 

Space and stuff.
I think you got the exact opposite of what I was saying, because I'm saying that the Decision Chamber was the dream while everything until that point was real.  The activation of the Crucible isn't caused by Shepard shooting the tube, it's caused by Shepard using the control panel in the Confrontation Room (what I call the room where TIM, Anderson, and Shepard have their conflict) to activate the Crucible after resolving to keep fighting by shooting the tube which is in his head.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:26 am

Just to clarify things a bit further, I classify this as a separate theory from IT because IT holds that NOTHING after a certain point in the ending is real, while I say that there is a point where things get unreal, but there's another point after that point where everything becomes real again.  Also, I'm not certain how much of a role indoctrination plays until I know more about the consequences of Synthesis and Control.  If Shepard becomes indoctrinated after those two choices, then obviously indoctrination plays a massive role.  However, if those two choices merely result in Shepard activating the Crucible to destroy the Reapers but dying afterwards, then I would say indoctrination doesn't play a large role.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:27 am

Dwailing wrote:
TurianRebel212 wrote:So.... You're telling me it's a "dream" and shepard was indoctrinated. Gee, that sounds like something else..... I just can't put my finger on it???? 

Oh, I know. IT. 

It's really the same thing as IT starting post Harby beam, just that he doesn't wake up until the catalyst convo. Which isn't really possible. Cause you know. 

Space and stuff.
I think you got the exact opposite of what I was saying, because I'm saying that the Decision Chamber was the dream while everything until that point was real.  The activation of the Crucible isn't caused by Shepard shooting the tube, it's caused by Shepard using the control panel in the Confrontation Room (what I call the room where TIM, Anderson, and Shepard have their conflict) to activate the Crucible after resolving to keep fighting by shooting the tube which is in his head.
I've never thought the "decision chamber" was real, IT or otherwise. That shit is fake. Your interpretation makes sense, as Shepard does collapse after the control panel and then magically "ascends" to the chamber.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:30 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:
Dwailing wrote:
TurianRebel212 wrote:So.... You're telling me it's a "dream" and shepard was indoctrinated. Gee, that sounds like something else..... I just can't put my finger on it???? 

Oh, I know. IT. 

It's really the same thing as IT starting post Harby beam, just that he doesn't wake up until the catalyst convo. Which isn't really possible. Cause you know. 

Space and stuff.
I think you got the exact opposite of what I was saying, because I'm saying that the Decision Chamber was the dream while everything until that point was real.  The activation of the Crucible isn't caused by Shepard shooting the tube, it's caused by Shepard using the control panel in the Confrontation Room (what I call the room where TIM, Anderson, and Shepard have their conflict) to activate the Crucible after resolving to keep fighting by shooting the tube which is in his head.
I've never thought the "decision chamber" was real, IT or otherwise. That shit is fake. Your interpretation makes sense, as Shepard does collapse after the control panel and then magically "ascends" to the chamber.
Thank you, it's nice to see you agree with me.  Hopefully you will be the first of many. Joyful

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:35 am

I don't think any of the choices are real. None. I think the "war" was decided when Shepard activated the control panel. 

Kinda like what Saren was suppose to do... 


But meh.... That's just me. 

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Guest on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:36 am

I've always been sure about one thing.

The decision chamber is not real.

So in that, yes, I entirely agree lol. Heck, I would concede that even Citadel DLC (my pet "It is a fabrication!" content), could be 'happening'.

But the decision chamber? LOL no. It makes the least sense of anything in the entire series.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:44 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:I don't think any of the choices are real. None. I think the "war" was decided when Shepard activated the control panel. 

Kinda like what Saren was suppose to do... 


But meh.... That's just me. 

"Speculations from Everyone!!!".
I say the choice has some effect on the real world because of the presence of Refusal and its aftermath.  If Shepard does nothing, the Reapers win, and the next cycle destroys the Reapers.  However, in all three of the original choices, our cycle survives as shown by the Stargazer scene.  Also, the Stargazer scene has no differences regardless of choice.  I'm led by these facts to the belief that the choice of how the Crucible is activated might be meaningless as long as it is activated in some way, with the only real difference being whether Shepard lives or dies.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by WeAreHarbinger on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:50 am

Even after all this time i'm still currently undecided whether my point of the hallucination starts at Harby's beam...or as we go on the "magic elevator fun ride of doom".
I'm more leaning towards after the Harby shot, as even Anderson's "I followed you up" irks me still for obvious reasons.... also the puppet abilities of TIM.

Even if i make up mind at some point or Bioware does a reveal and physically shows me where the "dream" starts, one thing is for sure.

The chamber is not and never will be real. Harbinger


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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:59 am

The "crucible" is the red herring. It was never going to do anything. It's a trojan horse a resource waster of sorts. A Reaper tactic to distract and deflect. 

The Reapers moved the citadel to Earth. 

Why did they do this? 

Just look in the "mirror", you'll see what the "game" is trying to show you. 

To think Harbinger- the wisest- (it is the Leviathan collective mind), and most powerful entity in the galaxy (it is the largest and most powerful reaper in the armada) in the galaxy just let Shepard go and get all the crucible plans and parts and unify the galaxy, is just.... Absurd. 

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. 

"Shepard, you cannot escape your destiny"-Harbinger 

Shepard, you are arrogant. You don't know your place in things"-Harbinger 

You will learn shepard, you will learn"- guess who... Harby 

"The forces of the universe bend to me"


"Through our technology YOU evolve along the 'paths' we desire"- sovereign 


The PATH's are open, you must "choose"- The "Catalyst". 

All of these are directed at YOU the player. 

Who are you in the mass effect universe? 

I'm glad someone else noticed that the citadel panel and TIM, Anderson and Shepard convo's IS real. Because it is. 

And that's when "our" Shepard's journey ends. 

The rest..... 

Well, I guess according to Mac Walters recently, it can be attributed to the....



"Shepard incident".


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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:00 am

Hm, I'm going to add something to my original post which just popped into my head.  I think Shepard was hallucinating Anderson's voice even if he wasn't hallucinating Anderson's actual presence.  It's the first sign that something's up, since it makes no sense when compared to the facts.  If he followed Shepard up, how did he get to the control panel first?  I think Anderson made it up before Shepard, and Shepard imagined his voice when he got to the Citadel.  There's no reason Anderson, after getting up there, should have known Shepard made it up.  It's more likely he would have said something like, "Is anyone there?" rather than, "Shepard," if he was going to send out any radio signals.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Prettz on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:26 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:

The Reapers moved the citadel to Earth. 

.
yeah about that, before I can address all the other things you brought up. how exactly did the Reapers get the citadel to Earth?

as for the star brat chamber being real or not is answered in Leviathan DLC

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Rifneno on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:34 am

ITT: Dwailing slowly giving up on IT in favor of BW fanboyism.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by dorktainian on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:47 am

remember the geth concensus on rannoch and legion adjusting it so shepard sees something familiar? Sheploo imo is in the reaper concensus and he is seeing what they want him to see...

as for the citadel being at earth? of course it is. Head meets wall 

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:50 am

Prettz wrote:
TurianRebel212 wrote:

The Reapers moved the citadel to Earth. 

.
yeah about that, before I can address all the other things you brought up. how exactly did the Reapers get the citadel to Earth?

as for the star brat chamber being real or not is answered in Leviathan DLC
I don't know. Probably something about how "the powers of the universe bend to me" type of thing. I do not know. Or how did the Reapers in what, 6 months, come from Darkspace??? 

I do not know. 

The decision chamber is not real. I'm pretty sure of that. 

Best I can come with, maybe the "Beam" can act as a Citadel only Mass Relay, and once the Reapers took control of the citadel, they accessed the relay on the presidium and then it sent the "signal" to the beam on Earth and away the citadel went.

Stupid and thin, I know. 

But I really have no idea. 

this is a HUGE plothole if you take the endings at face value. But so is the "arrival" of the fleets. As I've stated in a thread I created. The arrival of Shepard and all the fleets through the charon relay is, shall we say, Problematic. 

But..... There is a reason why Harby led the invasion of Earth, brought the citadel to Earth, and allowed Shepard to make it to the beam. 

That's all I'm saying. 

Shepard is "indoctrinated" I think. 

But I'm starting to think that it was way before Earth and the beam and crucible. 

The "Shepard Incident" Those are Walter's words in that complex interview talking about the narrative and plot and future of Mass Effect. 

That is interesting in and of itself. 

Is it more straw grasping and speculations??? 

Probably. 

But....

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:54 am

Rifneno wrote:ITT: Dwailing slowly giving up on IT in favor of BW fanboyism.
In what universe is this BioWare fanboyism?  Seriously, it's right in the first post that I don't think it's anywhere near the brilliance of IT.  It is not better than IT by any means.  IT is still a much, much better ending than what we got.  In fact, I actually don't like this theory nearly as much as I like IT, but it's not about personal approval, it's about what seems probable.  To me, based on what Mac has said, this seems much more likely that IT as their intention for the endings.  It wraps up Shepard's story while leaving the future open to new developments in the universe.  However, it doesn't do that in a very elegant way.  For one thing, there's no real branching in the ending.  The Reapers are gone, and Shepard either lives or dies.  That is it.  That is the whole extent of the "vastly difference conclusions" we were promised by Casey Hudson.  For another thing, I think they tried to create the illusion of branching endings by making it very open to speculation, which, while not an inherently bad thing, has to be handled very delicately.  The good open ending has to be clear enough that a few basic principles besides, "It was in the game," are agreed upon by most people while still having interpretation friendly elements.  ME3's ending went too far with interpretation and didn't give enough concrete details.  If it did, we wouldn't be here, 19 months later, still trying to figure out just what the frak they intended.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:07 am

They intended a cliff hanger. And that's what they did. 

Then they use a PR practice of deflection and "lies" about Shepard's "story" being over. 

They wanted this. The EC just proved it too me. They could have killed all the speculations, they could have removed the dreams, removed the catalyst taking the form of vent boy, they could have removed the N7 breath scene, they could have removed the ominous "serve us" line by Harby. Nope. They added that one. Then they added a "refuse you lose" option, just for kicks you know. 

This is all planned. 

Or at least, I'd like to think it is, lol.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Dwailing on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:15 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:They intended a cliff hanger. And that's what they did. 

Then they use a PR practice of deflection and "lies" about Shepard's "story" being over. 

They wanted this. The EC just proved it too me. They could have killed all the speculations, they could have removed the dreams, removed the catalyst taking the form of vent boy, they could have removed the N7 breath scene, they could have removed the ominous "serve us" line by Harby. Nope. They added that one. Then they added a "refuse you lose" option, just for kicks you know. 

This is all planned. 

Or at least, I'd like to think it is, lol.
I'm reluctant to think, at this point, that everything was planned long in advance.  Most of what I've heard seems to suggest that they were to a great degree making this up as they went along.  Sure, they may have had a few general ideas, but I think most of the details were only hashed out as they went.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Rifneno on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:24 am

Dwailing wrote:In what universe is this BioWare fanboyism?  Seriously, it's right in the first post that I don't think it's anywhere near the brilliance of IT.  It is not better than IT by any means.  IT is still a much, much better ending than what we got.  In fact, I actually don't like this theory nearly as much as I like IT, but it's not about personal approval, it's about what seems probable.  To me, based on what Mac has said, this seems much more likely that IT as their intention for the endings.  It wraps up Shepard's story while leaving the future open to new developments in the universe.  However, it doesn't do that in a very elegant way.  For one thing, there's no real branching in the ending.  The Reapers are gone, and Shepard either lives or dies.  That is it.  That is the whole extent of the "vastly difference conclusions" we were promised by Casey Hudson.  For another thing, I think they tried to create the illusion of branching endings by making it very open to speculation, which, while not an inherently bad thing, has to be handled very delicately.  The good open ending has to be clear enough that a few basic principles besides, "It was in the game," are agreed upon by most people while still having interpretation friendly elements.  ME3's ending went too far with interpretation and didn't give enough concrete details.  If it did, we wouldn't be here, 19 months later, still trying to figure out just what the frak they intended.
That's exactly it. You're not coming to different conclusions based on the content, you're taking whatever conclusions BW feeds you and twisting the content to fit it because you just can't accept that they're lying assholes. I'm surprised it took this long to be honest. Figured you were due for a literalist ticket ever since Hudson or Walters or whoever tweeted that the breath scene was on the Citadel (which it obviously is in a literal interpretation) and you ran around going "guise, yew guise! We've got to rework IT to fit this stupid new tweet!" because you just wouldn't hear of the possibility that there wasn't a magical unseen line 340 days after release where the guys who told us "No A, B, C endings" stopped being lying bitches.

And really, that's what we're still on. While everyone else is ready to tar and feather the pricks at BW for their neverending stream of bullshit, you're still taking their blatant trolling and self-congratulatory drivel seriously.

Here, let me kill this real quick. This whole "if you shoot the tube in a dream, the Reapers die in real life" thing? That's what Merizan believes. Therefor, it's wrong. Scientology levels of wrong.

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Rifneno
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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:28 am

Rifneno wrote:
Dwailing wrote:In what universe is this BioWare fanboyism?  Seriously, it's right in the first post that I don't think it's anywhere near the brilliance of IT.  It is not better than IT by any means.  IT is still a much, much better ending than what we got.  In fact, I actually don't like this theory nearly as much as I like IT, but it's not about personal approval, it's about what seems probable.  To me, based on what Mac has said, this seems much more likely that IT as their intention for the endings.  It wraps up Shepard's story while leaving the future open to new developments in the universe.  However, it doesn't do that in a very elegant way.  For one thing, there's no real branching in the ending.  The Reapers are gone, and Shepard either lives or dies.  That is it.  That is the whole extent of the "vastly difference conclusions" we were promised by Casey Hudson.  For another thing, I think they tried to create the illusion of branching endings by making it very open to speculation, which, while not an inherently bad thing, has to be handled very delicately.  The good open ending has to be clear enough that a few basic principles besides, "It was in the game," are agreed upon by most people while still having interpretation friendly elements.  ME3's ending went too far with interpretation and didn't give enough concrete details.  If it did, we wouldn't be here, 19 months later, still trying to figure out just what the frak they intended.
That's exactly it.  You're not coming to different conclusions based on the content, you're taking whatever conclusions BW feeds you and twisting the content to fit it because you just can't accept that they're lying assholes.  I'm surprised it took this long to be honest.  Figured you were due for a literalist ticket ever since Hudson or Walters or whoever tweeted that the breath scene was on the Citadel (which it obviously is in a literal interpretation) and you ran around going "guise, yew guise!  We've got to rework IT to fit this stupid new tweet!" because you just wouldn't hear of the possibility that there wasn't a magical unseen line 340 days after release where the guys who told us "No A, B, C endings" stopped being lying bitches.

And really, that's what we're still on.  While everyone else is ready to tar and feather the pricks at BW for their neverending stream of bullshit, you're still taking their blatant trolling and self-congratulatory drivel seriously.

Here, let me kill this real quick.  This whole "if you shoot the tube in a dream, the Reapers die in real life" thing?  That's what Merizan believes.  Therefor, it's wrong.  Scientology levels of wrong.
Chill bro. It's just a game. And as comrade Stalin would say- "In order to create. One must first destroy."

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by Rifneno on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:31 am

TurianRebel212 wrote:Chill bro. It's just a game.
Any other brilliant insights to go with that one?

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

Post by TurianRebel212 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:38 am

Rifneno wrote:
TurianRebel212 wrote:Chill bro. It's just a game.
Any other brilliant insights to go with that one?
Honey Badgers taste best after they're grilled and barbecued over an open flame.

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Re: Decision Chamber Hallucination Theory Mark 1

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