Cerberus Reaper Theory!

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Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by BleedingUranium on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:02 am



A popular theory on how a Reaper's mind works is that each Reaper, though its brain is made from millions of melted people, only has one consciousness, one mind. The Reapers only make one new Reaper per cycle, why? Because each Reaper's mind is taken from the best that cycle has to offer. At one point in the leaked script a Reaper said "We are all Shepards".

Why do you think they were interested in Saren, but as soon as Shepard proved he was better, they went after Shepard? They want the best. Why did they fail to make a Prothean Reaper? They couldn't capture Javik; the Shepard of his cycle.

Remember Shepard's line to TIM when debating saving the Collector base? "Next thing I know, you'll want to grow your own Reaper". That's exactly what he's doing! That's his grand plan in ME3! And what does a Reaper need? Four things: An understanding of how to build it, a whole lot of eezo for the core, millions of people melted into goo to form the brain, and a singular consciousness to form the mind. Cerberus has all of those.

They have part of the Collectors' proto-Reaper hanging in their base, and the Illusive Man's been studying Harbinger to some degree since the suicide mission. Building plans? Check.

Cerberus's only true goal on Omega seems to be mining vast amounts of eezo very quickly, with emphasis on the quickly. The rest of what they were doing they could've done somewhere else far more easily. Eezo core? Check.

Remember in Sanctuary, anyone not useful in experiments or as troops was liquefied? Now we know why! Organic material? Check.

"Humanity needs your mind, and they need it intact". We never did have an explanation as to what TIM did to himself, much less to this line. Now we do. Singular consciousness? Check.

This also gives a better reason for dream-TIM from a writing standpoint. It's already been discussed that having a goodbye with dream-Anderson opens up the possibility of him being indoctrinated or killed in reality, but this does the same for TIM, as next time we see him, he won't be TIM anymore...

These are also listed in order of least to most important, story telling-wise; it has proper build up. While you can do Omega after Sanctuary, that's a terrible idea from a plot and story telling perspective.

Also of note, the official guide book for Mass Effect 3 calls the Control ending, the mentality and goal of Cerberus, "Become a Reaper". This gives that title much more meaning, as the other two endings match their supporters' goals.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:05 am

human reaper........ Whistling

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by skillz1986 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:04 am

I must say, this is a very compelling read.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:27 am

hey. if cerberus build a reaper, would they pit it against the other reapers, or join with them - and would humanity then be extinguished?

also - is this the true purpose of project overlord?

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Restrider on Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:15 pm

+1 for white Cerberus Reaper pic.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Rankincountry on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:01 pm

dork wrote: hey. if cerberus build a reaper, would they pit it against the other reapers, or join with them - and would humanity then be extinguished?

also - is this the true purpose of project overlord?

Ooh... I'm going to do some lunchtime speculatifications.

Hmm... perhaps TIM started with the intention of creating the equivalent of a reaper in order to turn it against them, but through indoctrination is actually just finishing the job the collectors started in ME2? The attack on Sanctuary may be Harbinger cleaning house once Cerberus has served its purpose, ensuring that reaper control tech does not fall into non-indoctrinated hands.

Project Overlord might well have been an early stage of this work - the interface of human and machine minds to form a collective intelligence. This gets interesting if we speculate whether the Geth victims of Overlord were heretics. Was Overlord partly based on Reaper code?

More circumstantial evidence comes from the N7 mission to the Cerberus Lab - the mission involves collecting reaper artifacts and at one point, a holographic schematic of an unusual Reaper type is displayed (it appears in Arrival as part of the Reaper fleet and is the size of a Sovereign class but distincly different looking). Screenshots on the wiki page here: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/N7:_Cerberus_Lab. So, a lab containing failed medical experiments, reaper artifacts and a reaper capital-sized ship schematic?

In fact unless I'm mistaken, Blur's hypothesis makes ME2 make a lot more sense in the context of the trilogy.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:35 pm

hey have you seen the visual comparisons between the ME2 reapers and the ME3 reapers? very interesting.

also people asking questions about why the reapers would sacrifice themselves. What if the reapers havent even appeared yet? what if what we see are like.......puppets?


Last edited by dork on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Rifneno on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:46 pm

I like this theory. And you know me, I'm the first one to punch holes in these types of things. This has some real merit.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by ElSuperGecko on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:30 pm

If the honeybadger has given his seal of approval, then you know it's worth discussing!

But yeah, it's a very good call. We know TIM relocated to the Citadel prior top the assault on Cronos Station, and we see piles of human corpses around the beam. The comparison between the beam's exit point and Shepard's description of the Collector base is even mentioned in the conversation between Shepard and Anderson, as is the possibility that a Reaper may be under construction there.

edit: Thinking about it, it's pretty interesting that this subject was touched on so late in the game, yet never actually built upon. Shepard and Anderson discuss the possibility, and then.... what, exactly?

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Humakt on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:37 pm

Seems promising. Ties up some Cerberus loose ends well.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:00 pm

Human Reaper holo in Cerberus lab mission:


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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:14 pm




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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Andromidius on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:32 pm

Rankincountry wrote:
Hmm... perhaps TIM started with the intention of creating the equivalent of a reaper in order to turn it against them, but through indoctrination is actually just finishing the job the collectors started in ME2? The attack on Sanctuary may be Harbinger cleaning house once Cerberus has served its purpose, ensuring that reaper control tech does not fall into non-indoctrinated hands.

That makes a lot of sense.

Or Cerberus got all they could from the project on Santuary, so they used their own experiments 'as a test' to destroy the facility and kill any personnel that might become compromised due to not being indoctrinated themselves - Henry Lawson and his team. Cerberus has already had many defectors, so they've stopped taking chances and are killing off everyone non-essential once their task is done.

Of course the Reapers could have influenced TIM into doing that as well. Would also explain why there's no Reaper vessels in the area - the Reaper forces were already there, brought or created there by Cerberus for 'testing'.

Might also explain why they tried to seize the Citadel, if its what we suspect it might be - a Reaper factory. We know they were after the Catalyst, after all! And we know that the Citadel was taken right after we find out that it is the Catalyst, and dream-TIM tells us that he informed the Reapers to seize it (this may well be true, or a half-truth, being told to Shepard by the Reapers. All good deceptions require a grain of truth).
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:03 pm

maybe harbinger actually prefers to control one slave species per cycle, so he had TIM get rid of the collectors, knowing TIM would continue to build the reaper anyway?

He used the Collectors to gather information about human DNA. Humans were going to be used to replace the collectors all along.

B5 quote again.

''Always plant a lie inside a truth, makes it easier to swallow''

TIM did want shep to take care of the collectors - but because harbinger wanted them out of the way and TIM was going to build them a new army & reaper.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Andromidius on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:36 pm

dork wrote:maybe harbinger actually prefers to control one slave species per cycle, so he had TIM get rid of the collectors, knowing TIM would continue to build the reaper anyway?

He used the Collectors to gather information about human DNA. Humans were going to be used to replace the collectors all along.

B5 quote again.

''Always plant a lie inside a truth, makes it easier to swallow''

TIM did want shep to take care of the collectors - but because harbinger wanted them out of the way and TIM was going to build them a new army & reaper.

Interesting. I think I have another reason why Harbinger wanted the Collectors killed off too.

They were becoming gradually more useless and disfunctional. Thousands of generations of clones, each degrading more and requiring more technology to sustain. He wanted a replacement minion - Cerberus. What better test then to get them to kill off his old minions?

Not to mention it has the added benefit of making them appear to not be working for him, and to potentially have the trust of other Organics so they can better bring them down from within. Cerberus were seen as heroes by many for fighting the Collectors. It wouldn't suprise me if the Collectors were originally very similar, and maybe even took down Harbinger's older minions - the Adjutants - to better hide the fact they were traitors to the Protheans.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by DoomsdayDevice on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:45 pm

Cerberus' development is completely analogous to the Collectors. All those 'hurr Derperus evil Sith empire' literalists just fail to see that.

In ME3 they have completely taken over the Collectors' role. They have been 'improved' and 'integrated', and are even 'collecting' humans on Sanctuary.

Same damn thing, completely analogous to the Prothean splinter group who wanted to control the Reapers, and turned out to be indoctrinated.

Some people really have problems with pattern recognition.

It should be obvious that the Reapers -want- people to think they can be controlled. They'll start to study reaper tech, and as a result, the joke is on them.

It's a recurring theme in ME. Those who want to control or enslave, end up being controlled or enslaved. Just look at Project Overlord, etcetera.

I really don't understand anyone who thinks control is a legit possibility.

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Gavin Archer: David volunteered to interface with the VI to give it genuine consciousness. Theoretically it should have been safe, but... with artificial intelligence there is no such thing as safe.
Shepard: Then you shouldn't have attempted it.


This is also one of the main reasons I believe indoctrination will be eventually revealed.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by RavenEyry on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:50 pm

dork wrote: hey. if cerberus build a reaper, would they pit it against the other reapers, or join with them - and would humanity then be extinguished?

They would build it thinking they will use it against the reapers but really they're doing what the reapers want. It ties in with the theory that the collectors were the cerberus of their cycle.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by CSSteele on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:55 pm

Love the idea, Blur. Nothing to add or try and detract from it as it makes perfect sense with my interpretation of it all.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by dorktainian on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:06 pm

kill da reaper.....or do you?

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by solidsnake78 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:20 am

Love the idea, but I dont think they were doing it willingly , as to further Cerberus's goals, remember, they are all indoctrinated and are furthering the Reapers goals in the end.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by invetro on Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:34 am

"Humanity needs your mind, and they need it intact"

Wow, that really does get put into context when you look at it that way. Everything that happened in the second game, everything I've seen literalists describe as pointless, it all makes so much sense when you consider that Cerberus are doing this.

I've just replayed Overlord as well, and I'm really listening this time. Dr Archer does what he does to appease TIM, leading me to believe that TIM was desperate at that point to have a human/machine interface that was viable. Maybe a back up plan in case Shepard didn't want to play ball?

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by BleedingUranium on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:32 am

invetro wrote:
"Humanity needs your mind, and they need it intact"

Wow, that really does get put into context when you look at it that way. Everything that happened in the second game, everything I've seen literalists describe as pointless, it all makes so much sense when you consider that Cerberus are doing this.

I've just replayed Overlord as well, and I'm really listening this time. Dr Archer does what he does to appease TIM, leading me to believe that TIM was desperate at that point to have a human/machine interface that was viable. Maybe a back up plan in case Shepard didn't want to play ball?

And the Geth tech Legion uses to bring Shepard into the consensus is based on Overlord's tech, further showing that.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by invetro on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:42 am

Plus it shows how reality and virtual reality can be overlayed.

Now there's a thing. When the "virus" is trying to upload onto the Normandy, I can hardly imagine that we are shooting real globs of energy. They are virtual, but guns still work on them, disabling some kind of shield so you can weaken the armour around Davids little entrapment hangout, which IS real.

And the Overlord tech is obviously quite primitive compared to what the Geth have, and even more so compared to what Reapers obviously have, yet Shepard can still interface with it against his or her will.

More thematic consistency supporting destroy. Shoot the virtual things, everything gets better.

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by Maximus on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:53 am

What about that second Reaper holo from Cerberus Lab? The one with that Reaper we saw in Arrival. Fat one, with like eight eyes and it looks like a cone or something. Let's call him Cony! :P

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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

Post by BleedingUranium on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:09 pm

CorranusMaximus wrote:What about that second Reaper holo from Cerberus Lab? The one with that Reaper we saw in Arrival. Fat one, with like eight eyes and it looks like a cone or something. Let's call him Cony! :P

Since there were only a few unique types of Reapers seen at the end of ME2, and the codex says there are also Processor Ships and Troop Transports, which we never get to see, then I bet that's a Processor Ship. The nose thing is probably like an emergency induction port for people goo, or people.
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Re: Cerberus Reaper Theory!

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