Old wall of text, the Lying Catalyst.

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Old wall of text, the Lying Catalyst.

Post by Raistlin Majere on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:13 am

Hello everyone, wall of text incoming:

With the new forum I thought I would repost a wall of text i made back in the It thread.
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The Catalyst in Mass Effect 3 is lying, not just as in deceiving you, it is lying and going against its own core programming as said by the Leviathans and itself. In the following bit I will explain why.

"Mandate to preserve life at any cost" - Leviathan

This is how the Leviathan describes the Intelligence it created, the one which turned upon them and harvested them. One could easily see the flaw in such a programming and why it went haywire. It saw the Leviathans as live to be preserved as well and thought broad, wanting to preserve all life which would come into existence, not just the current.

The problem is the Catalyst we meet does not follow that mandate even though it itself claims to do so. First to be completely sure that we can be certain it is this mandate it is following look at these two quotes from it.
"Storing the old life in reaper form" - Catalyst

"Reapers harvest all life - organic and synthetic - preserving them before they are forever lost to this conflict" - Catalyst

Simple enough and in line with the original mandate. Especially notice the "all" in the second part, there are no exceptions to the harvest. Problem is the Catalysts actions do not support its words.

First let us look at its servants, the Reapers. They are in charge of the harvest yet if we look at their actions it would seem they didn't get the memo from the Catalyst regarding preserving all life.

One of the first time line indications of this is the Rachni Wars. There is a heavy implication that Sovereign caused the Rachni wars through the queens comments about a "sour yellow note from space" and it is all but confirmed by ME3 with the line: "The machines came. They heard our song. The shriek of sour notes drowned us out."

The problem is the Rachni Wars caused the Rachni's near extinction with only the queen surviving by a miracle . In short the Reaper just destroyed a race which according to the Catalyst self stated purpose should be harvested.

This one can be explained in that the Rachni were harvested during the Prothean cycle where they were also around, but the next example cannot be explained in that way.

Mass Effect 3 pits the Quarians against the Geth in their final battle and as we learn the Reapers are the ones controlling the Geth. problem is that without Shepard's either the Geth or the Quarian's are wiped out…completely. Even with interference there is a high possibility of this outcome anyway removing a race which should have been harvested.

Again I refer you to the fact that the Catalyst says "all life" even emphasizing that it includes Synthetics. There is no explanation for this breach of programming for the Catalyst.

It only gets stranger when you remember the lines Harbinger could speak during the final battle in ME2 against the Proto Reaper. These lines depended on what species of squad mate you had with you.

“Quarian; considered due to cybernetic augmentation, weakened immune system too debilitating.”

“Drell; useless, insufficient numbers.”

“Asari; reliance upon alien species for reproduction shows genetic weakness.”

“Salarian; insufficient lifespan, fragile genetic structure.”

“Geth; an annoyance, limited utility.”

“Krogan; sterilized race, potential wasted.”

“Turian; you are considered...too primitive.”

Did Harbinger, the original Reaper not get the memo on harvesting all life? Sounds more like any other species than humanity is going to be wiped out.

But let us move on from the Reapers and to the Catalyst himself as two of the three options you can make at the end goes directly against his mandate.

"Soon your children will create Synthetics and then the chaos will come back" - Catalyst

Look above, isn't it nice when he spells out the problem in his own offer? No, I don’t refer to the synthetics coming back, I refer to the fact that if Destroy truly isn't a permanent solution then why is he offering it?

His mandate was to preserve all life at any cost, but if Shepard goes through with Destroy not only will every single Reaper and the life it represents get wiped out, but he will also halt any future harvests and even according to this line cause the death of everything as the Synthetics rise up again. It even kills the Geth wiping out another race it should preserve. It is the ultimate failure of his purpose and programming, yet he is allowing it.

Control is the same though less so. If Shepard takes control of the Reapers then the harvest will stop, no more species will be preserved and every dead species will be lost forever. It is less of a break, but the catalyst mandate is still to preserve "all" life (funny how a single word can bite you in the ass so many times. I would call it a slip of tongue was it not an AI supercomputer talking).

Obviously this is only the case if Reaper Shepard doesn't reach the same conclusion as the catalyst and starts up the cycle again.

You might assume that the Catalyst simply did not have any choice regarding this, that he had to tell Shepard due to the Crucible and couldn’t stop him in any way. That would be true until the extended Cut rolled around and gave us the Refuse ending.

In this ending the Catalyst walks away and disappears, the lights go dark and the Crucible shuts down. lacking any other visible factors we have to assume it was the Catalyst cause. If he could shut down the Crucible at will, why allow Destroy to happen?

Also finally this is unrelated to his direct trust, but I think I got that point across already as we are clearly shown the Catalyst and its supposed minions going against its supposed purpose and mandate several times.

But consider that the catalyst takes the form of a child Shepard sees on Earth. The only logical explanation there is for it taking this form is that it knows about the child, but how? How does it know about this child which Shepard saw on Earth and had nightmares about, how does it know the child is significant to Shepard?

The only explanation is that it has accessed Shepard´s mind at some point seeing this. That would mean it has been in your head without you knowing and as it furthermore takes the shape of a child instead of trusted person from Shepard's memories mean it is trying to use symbol of innocence and guilt, most likely to manipulate Shepard as using a form with those meanings make little sense else.

And then there is the fact that the Catalyst reveals itself to be the leader of the Reapers, you know the killing machines directly aiming to kill you for three games straight and are known for deception and mind control? Can you really trust it?

Especially considering Harbinger was firing at you moments before, Shepard only surviving by a miracle. Then you encounter TIM who tries to kill you and quote on quote from the Catalyst, "we already controlled him."

Again you are probably going to say the Crucible changed the Catalyst, but how? It is just a giant battery, no one even knew of the catalyst being an AI (The Catalyst directly says you are the first person to make it that far) so the Crucible was not designed to alter it and even if it altered it, it clearly did not alter its core programming as the Catalyst states its purpose twice after the Crucible connects.

"Storing the old life in reaper form" - Catalyst

"Reapers harvest all life - organic and synthetic - preserving them before they are forever lost to this conflict" - Catalyst

And even then we have the Reapers going against the Catalyst "purpose" before the Crucible was even close to the Citadel.

What does this mean? I will leave the conclusions to you, I just want to point out that this "benevolent" Catalyst is not speaking a lot of truths during its conversation and is not following the programming it says it has, so why can you trust it?
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And that was it, nothing to new, but found it important to get this up again as I shows the Catalyst as liar purely using its own words and our knowledge, without ever bringing up Indoctrination.



Last edited by Raistlin Majere on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Old wall of text, the Lying Catalyst.

Post by RavenEyry on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:20 am

I remember seeing this before, but it's good to be here. There are several walls of text that could do with (pardon the pun) harvesting from BSN.

Like Simon Says did a detailed analysis and comparison of Vigil and Vendetta before he left.
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Re: Old wall of text, the Lying Catalyst.

Post by Avin180 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:41 am

Huh never knew Harbinger would say different quotes on accordance to what squadmates you bring with you to the human proto reaper.
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Re: Old wall of text, the Lying Catalyst.

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