Mass Effect 3 Indoctrination Theorists
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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes

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Post by BansheeOwnage Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:34 am

Finally added to the new forum. Hope nobody minds it's stickied. I just wanted everyone to be able to see this and use it. If you don't want it stickied, please let me know.

Sorry if I missed your awesome post; I can't see everything! Will continue adding stuff periodically.
Let me know if you want me to unlock it.

- Dwailing
- Harbinger
What is IT’s best piece of evidence?
The utter improbability that Bioware would write such an awesome, deep game with such great lore and characters, then apparently forget all of those characters, break the lore, and release a generally unsatisfying end the their awesome trilogy. The end of ME3 is arguably the most important part of the series. But then, after that, release more awesomely written DLC. How could they be awesome, screw up very badly, then be awesome again? Doesn't make any sense! So my biggest piece of IT evidence is BW screwing up that badly, because it simply makes less sense than the endings!
Basically if the literal endings are true (regardless of breaking themes and lore) it means Shepard and all of Shepard's friends and allies are just stubborn idiots. They should have listened to the antagonists (Saren, TIM, Reapers) the whole time. Instead they're just soldiers only able to look at the world down the barrel of a gun. That would not only make no sense at all from a writing perspective, but it would be totally, totally lame.
I also want someone to ask why the apparent moral of the story was something like this:
“The villains were right all along; the hero and associates were just too stubborn to realize it. Also, free will sucks, and gets everyone killed. Better to force something on everything in the galaxy."

Here's how I see it: Whether intentionally or not, BW has in fact indoctrinated much of the playerbase. The fun thing about that is you can't really argue it, because said portion of the playerbase aligned themselves with the reapers willingly. If BW didn't intend this, they indoctrinated themselves, much like what the reapers may have done.

- BansheeOwnage

I don't want to argue but Harbinger has visual sensors (eyes). He can see the Normandy. Anyway, if no reapers could see the Normandy because of their IFF, the Normandy could just kill all of the reapers. Slowly sure, but they could do it.
So Harbinger just looks at the Normandy and apparently goes:
"Well, it looks a hell of a lot like Shepard’s ship, but the paperwork says it's a reaper ship... so I guess it's all cool."
- BansheeOwnage
Stop screwing up while accusing other people of screwing up. That last shred of credibility is breaking FTL trying to get away from you.
- Rifneno
I have seen more literalists coming in here and claiming we state the IT as fact than I have seen IT people actually do that. In fact, quite a lot of IT people go out of the way to point out that it is only a theory when talking to literalists. Off course we don’t do this very much in this thread since everyone here is already aware that it is a theory. We don’t have to point that out to people who we have been talking to for 3 months.

In fact you are missing the biggest part here. It is called the "Indoctrination theory" not the "ending" or "truth" or whatever you might think of. No, it is called a theory already in the title, but it is a theory with some very, very compelling arguments.

- Raistlin Majare 1992


A). Bioware and its writing team, as well as QA, the rendering team and the art department, suddenly forgot that the human body cannot survive vacuum, explosions in excess of megatons of force, or the heat of re-entry, while simultaneously forgetting that events have continuity, that one object cannot inexplicably morph into another without outside effects, and any number of other plot holes that a drunken monkey could spot and could easily be fixed with only the slightest of effort in the WRITING stage, while simultaneously thinking that lack of attention to detail, which has already previously gotten them panned with Deception, would somehow not anger their fanbase, and somehow managed to delude themselves into thinking that an overly saccharine fairy tale ending that happens to completely contradict everything they have stated in the story up until now is "art"


B). It's intentional and it's all in *picture of Shepard* in this guy's head?

- Arian Dynas
Everyone noticed the transition from ME1/ME2 renegade to ME3-murderous-psychopath-renegade but I never thought of a reason for it. "...manipulating the victim into betraying friends,
trusting enemies,

or viewing the reaper itself with superstitious awe."

(I find it funny that in the Mordin one Shep looks like Coats.)
- BansheeOwnage

That's the thing. In ME1, Kaidan's not boring, it's that he's kind of closed off stuff from his past. What I mean is, if life were like a movie, Kaidan would be at the end part, where all the problems are solved, and everyone's happy with where they are. On the flip side, Ashley has a family, talks about being stuck at the rank she's at, etc. Lots of future for her. On Virmire Kaidan sounds much more genuine about being okay staying behind, whereas Ash is just being a gung-ho soldier, it's doesn't seem so much like she's okay with it as she wants to stay out of duty. Looking just at ME1, it seems "better" to save Ash.

Cue ME2 and 3. Ashley does nothing but complain you're working for an alien hating organization, which is a bit rich coming from her. TIM isn't even racist, he's much closer to those super-American patriots. Racists hate other people, patriots love what they are, and the latter is more like TIM, though I don't doubt there are real racists in Cerberus. I'm not saying she has no right to be pissed in ME2, but less that Kaidan, who's ironically less so. Kaidan, and his ness means he doesn't like Cerberus out of principle, similar to what Adams tells you in 3, I respect Kaidan for that.

It's the same in ME3, just more of it because they're in more. Ashley doesn't stop raging about Cerberus the entire game. I'm not kidding. She doesn't stop after Mars, or the hospital visit, or the coup, or coming back to the Normandy. Also, she's been promoted, but according to her history she's done very little, it's incredibly vague. The time she doesn't spend complaining about Cerberus, she has almost nothing to say on the Normandy, has a brief thing about her sister, and spends the rest of her time getting drunk with James. I don't mind James, but he's not the kind of guy I'd hang out with in real life, because I'm pretty much his opposite, pretty much Kaidan. Kaidan on the other hand, doesn't talk nearly as much about Cerberus, you have a meal with him on the Citadel, you play poker, he's much friendlier, and unlike Ash, actually earned his promotion, leading and training the Alliances biotic special forces.

In ME1 it seemed Kaidan was pretty much happy where he was and Ash had a future, but it turns out to be the complete opposite. And I much prefer Kaidan's principled attitude to Ashley's religiousness and gung-ho attitude.
- BleedingUranium

Javik, the last prothean, whose only life goal is killing reapers, teams up with Leviathan, a reaper, whose only goal is killing reapers. Epic!
- BansheeOwnage

Arc pistol/Reegar/arc grenade = Arc projector
Vorcha Flamer = firestorm
Falcon = M-100 Grenade launcher
Cobra = Cain (weird right?)
Geth Plasma SMG = Spitfire
Krysae = VL-77 missle launcher (kind of)
Particle Rifle = Collector beam
We need a cryo grenade = avalanche
- BansheeOwnage

IMHO the "billion years old" is an oversight. (Please don't flame me). I think so because it makes way more sense for the reapers to be simply millions of years old. Like say 37 million. What if the derelict reaper from ME2 was the one Leviathan killed? Regardless, if they made one reaper every ~50000 years, for 37 million years, they would have ~750 Capital ships. This seems much more realistic to me. And I'm pretty sure the bulk of the reaper armada is at Earth in the final battle. They definitely don't have 10000 ships
- BansheeOwnage

Glad you brought this up. Basically if the literal endings are true (regardless of breaking themes and lore) it means Shepard and all of Shepard's friends and allies are just stubborn idiots. They should have listened to the antagonists (Saren, TIM, Reapers) the whole time. Instead they're just soldiers only able to look at the world down the barrel of a gun. That would not only make no sense at all from a writing perspective, but it would be totally, totally lame
- BansheeOwnage

IMO they could never do an ME4 about Shepard's indoc. An expansion? Hell yes. But a sequel? They would effectively announce IT before ME4 came out, (to set up a premise for the story , make trailers etc.) which is a bad way of doing it. If IT is true, Bioware are good writers, and I would expect they would realize that it would be totally, totally lame to reveal IT like that.
- BansheeOwnage

First off, look at the "child" notice something off? That's a full sized human being wearing armor with a silhouette matching that of Shepard's armor. The Stargazer's silhouette matches TIM's. In this case he is a giant speaking to a full sized human being.

"Did all that really happen?" = "Is that how it went down?"

"Yes, but some of the details have been lost in time." = "There were things we could implement due to time constraints."

"When can I go to the stars?" = "When is there more?"

"One day, my sweet." = "It'll come. Don't worry."

"What will be there?" = "What'll be in more Mass Effect?"

"Anything you can imagine" = "We do what the fans want, we listen to the feedback they give."

"And every life is a special story of its own." = "Every unique Shepard is as important to us as it is to you."

"Tell me another story about the Shepard." = "Can we have some more soon?"

"It's getting late but... ok. One more story. = "Time is going by, but, ok, one more story."
- HellishFiend

But really, even without all that, our strongest argument remains what it always was.

You are told by a being that calls itself the Catalyst, a being with nearly no introduction, nor build up, a supposedly omnipotent, godlike AI, one with supposedly benevolent intentions, that you must make a choice, and do something for it, that it claims to be incapable of for reasons it refuses to explain, or expand upon, instead getting angry if you pry too much, or refuse to listen to what it offers.

It admits to being effectively the leader of the Reapers, beings known far and wide for being unnecessarily cruel, sadistic, dismissive of other forms of life, as well as hostile to all others, both directly and indirectly responsible for the slaughter of untold and uncountable quintillions of beings throughout time, committing atrocities that make Hitler and his goons look like schoolyard bullies by comparison, all with a certain amount of detached disinterest and general inhumanity, casually performing experiments that would make the hair of even Josef Mengele stand on end, with a complete lack of respect for the sanctity of life of other beings, treating them like insects to be boxed and studied, or exterminated.

It ADMITS to this, owning up to it entirely, claiming they did so by his direction, and that he himself did the same to his progenitors.

It out and out lies to your face about Destroy killing you, shows a clear bias in the choices it offers you, and clearly only cares for your presence as long as you defer to it.

You literally have NO reason to believe, or place your trust in this thing beyond;

"Because I said so."
- Arian Dynas
And that being takes the form of the child from the beginning of the game- the one that haunts you in some frankly pretty fishy dreams. Putting aside the theory- itself very strong- that the child may be a figment of your imagination from the start. Even if the child existed, only Shepard knows what he looks and sounds like, and his significance. So for the godlike AI to take the child's form, presupposes that at the end the AI has access to Shepard's mind. That's not an IT stipulation. That is stipulated even by the most basic literalist interpretation of the ending. The child takes the form of something that is familiar to Shepard. How? The AI has access to Shepard's mind.
- legaldinho

1:21 onward seems a little suspicious to me. Main reason:
"Your ships, weapons, even the relays will be destroyed."

Weapons? In a literal sense, there is no reason to need weapons, as the reapers have been destroyed. The only explanation for this I can think of is (surprise!) IT. It is a somewhat subtle manipulation tactic to convince Shepard not to choose destroy. Shepard is a soldier by trade. Saying her weapons will be destroyed is symbolic also, like them disappearing in the dreams/after Harby's laser. Plus, subconsiously, Shepard knows she will still need weapons to fight the reapers. What do you think?
- BansheeOwnage

I know he said that, but it too is a fallacy. Here's how I see it:

1. The next cycle used the crucible to beat the reapers. Which option did they pick? Presumably destroy. But it's so vague. We fought a battle (and lost horribly) so the next cycle could win 50000 years later? Makes no sense. Plus if they used the crucible to beat them that just makes refuse pointless.

2. How did they use the crucible? It's completely implausible that the reapers would allow them to come anywhere near that end. Since apparently, they knew about the crucible before and tried to hide it, but failed. This leaves 2 possibilities:
A. The crucible is of reaper design, used every cycle to trick the resistance. They next cycle then uses that reaper tech. Great idea.
B. The reapers are retarded and even though they failed at hiding the crucible before, they didn't learn from their mistakes and let the next cycle use it?

3. Ignore Gamble; they didn't use the crucible. Basically impossible. The vanguard would not let them amass such an enormous fleet large enough to take on the reaper armada.

4. They only reason the council cycle did so well was because of Shepard, Sovereign's failures, and a lot of luck. The reapers wouldn't let that happen again.
- BansheeOwnage

@ Estebanus I read this
"Wrex is leading several krogan into battle to rescue captain Kirrahe from being surrounded, and he manages to break through to him. However, more husks appear, And all of Kirrahe's and Wrex's men are killed, leaving only them. When another dozen of brutes and banshees appear, they both charge towards them."
- Estebanus
Just change it to ravagers and this is actually really, really good. It would then be a nod to the joke about a krogan and a salarian fighting in the rachni wars. The one you hear both telling! It would be brilliant!
- BansheeOwnage

Negative. There can be no retreat. NO RETREAT! No stepping back. No stepping forward, and no destroying reaper forces. NEGATIVE! No defeating the reapers! No defeating the reapers! Innocent people die!

- Anderson
"This is it, people. Most of us will probably die, but we have to just keep heading to that beam! Unless one of my friends gets hurt--because then I will call in the fleet's most important ship to hover directly in the line of fire while I put them aboard and give a tearful goodbye! But the rest of you just keep running and dying and stuff! Because I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite way of justifying Ashley being in that scene on the jungle planet!!!"
"Um, sir? Oddly selfish sentiments aside, isn't that kind of dangerous for the Normandy?"
"Not if Harbinger has a soft spot for tearful goodbyes! Move out!"
- ME wiki user “HELO”

London Calling - The ClashThe ending takes place in London, clash representing the conflict taking place.
Delve deeper into the record, notice some of the tracks:
i) London Calling
ii) Hateful
iii) Death or Glory
iv) Four Horsemen
v) I'm Not Down
vi) Revolution Rock

Now, obviously, I'm looking too far into the album, but it interests me. These tracks strike me as fitting in with the ending. Hatred from and towards the Reapers, the four horsemen of the apocalypse indicating what could happen if we fail. Death or glory, success or total annihilation. Revolution against the norm, the norm being a Reaper victory and thus ending the cycle.

Atomic Weight of Iron
55.845 +/- 0.002 u
Fe, Atomic Number: 26

Famous iron canyons of Aequitas...another link to indoctrination and the potential Leviathan DLC - if we are right in suggesting the DLC may take place at Aequitas. If it does not, it is still another link to indoctrination, with the device in ME2.

Or if you're mental you could look at it like this (This is just for fun, I don't actually believe this):
26 is the Atomic Number
The crystalline structure is Cubic...cubes have 6 faces...

26/6 is the day the Extended Cut was released - CONCLUSIVE (lol)

UK Secret Service
Provides the government with foreign intelligence - maybe a nudge towards Earth being supplied information from "foreign" planets, maybe but this is a reach. Though we do provide Anderson and Earth with info throughout the game?

Moving on, I suspect it's something to do with Reaper spies within London, purely because the Indoctrination Codezx entry mentions this sort of thing and it makes perfect sense. Coates being the Reaper thrall makes sense, considering he was by himself fighting Reapers for days and so his mind likely would have been weakened...could also fit with why we clearly see the warning sign next to him on the Mako similar to the signs near the kid on Vancouver.

-128.6 FahrenheitVostok Station, Antarctica - -128.6 Fahrenheit the coldest temperature recorded on Earth

Vostok System - Alko, Clomarthu, Nodacrux, Pataiton, .ALKO - Unregistered starship travel, travel not recommended
CLOMARTHU - Could be Earth's twin (size and orbit) but no life
NODACRUX - Very interesting. Abandoned facility with Thorian Creepers (Indoctrination) thus links in with the hinted Leviathan DLC - Also space cows xD
PATAITON - Meh, just a Matriarch writing Tali discovers on ship

Nodacrux interests me greatly. Especially with there being mentions to Thorians in the hinted DLC...this could prove to be a link to these clues

May also just point to Lake Vostok in Eastern Antarcitca, where scientists (Now, in the present 2012) hypothesise new life could be found in the underwater lake...maybe hinting there could be something in the lake that's been hidden for thousands of Ancient species, a weapon, plans? This is purely **** thoughts and bull - I'm sure it relates to the Vostok system, specifically Nodacrux and its Thorian creepers.

Red HerringThe most interesting of all. Red Herring, also known as IGNORATIO ELENCHI...which translates to - which I find absolutely perfect - IRRELEVANT CONCLUSION, or FALLACY OF DISTRACTION.

"deliberate attempt to divert a process of enquiry by changing the subject. For example: "I think that we should make the academic requirements stricter for students. I recommend that you support this because we are in a budget crisis and we do not want our salaries affected."[/i] Here the second sentence, though used to support the first, does not address the topic of the first sentence, instead switching the focus to the quite different topic of lecturer salaries. "

Holy ****, this has got me excited.

Also sorry for my post if it appears stupid, I just went full crazy on this research stuff xD INTERESTING

Any opinions? I workeded hard being a tinhat!
- CoolioThane
Stopped reading here because you missed something important. In conversations, paragon and renegade don't apply as much as decisions; often not applying at all. Otherwise I would have opinions forced on to my Shepard. Therefore I could do a renegade playthrough, but like synthetics.
- BansheeOwnage
I'll repeat what many have said: It basically boils down to whether or not you like Bioware/believe they could write something as awesome as IT.
IT: BW are great writers, they've demonstrated that countless times, it doesn't make any sense for them to drop the ball like this in the most important part of the trilogy. Especially when you consider the new DLC already looks awesome.
Literalist: (Catalyst logic) BW obviously suck at writing because the endings are bad (the created will always rebel against their creator because that's what I did).

TL;DR ITers believe BW doesn't suck, literalists believe BW sucks. Simple.
- BansheeOwnage
My good sir, if IT was proven to be false, I wouldn’t rage. I don’t think the majority of the people in this thread would either.

The pro-IT zealots, who would be the most likely to rage, don’t actually seem to hang out in here, strangely enough, so if you're trying to speak to them, you're in the wrong place.

I also don’t think the majority of us would stop purchasing BioWare products either, as we enjoyed the majority of ME3, and just don’t like the endings.

You can either stop painting us as whiny little children who need placating from BioWare lest we turn into a horde of raging animals, and acknowledge that we are just regular people who happen to disagree with your interpretation of a video game ending, or you can get the **** out.

Now good day, sir.
The endings with or without the EC are REVOLTING.

I am not kidding.

The "questions" that we got answered, were answered in the most shallow and unsatisfying ways possibly, primarily by being told that we didn't have time to discuss them, with a being who by all rights should be able to give himself as much time TO discuss it, being an infinite and immortal AI, as he needs. The only question answered was basically "Ok, yeah a few fan theories like becoming the Catalyst confirmed. Oh and we're not really going to talk about the repercussions, and I make oblique references to past events that all seem far off and ominous."


And that's not even my beef with the whole thing. Seriously, that's just the strawberry on top of a very tall layer cake.

Synthesis, is in a word, DISGUSTING. Aside from being assured by the Catalyst that everything will be fine and perfect and form an absolutely vomit inducing saccharine utopia, we have no guarantee. None. It would be like Tommy Wieseau popping out from behind the Catalyst to go; "Oh no no, you would never get betrayed, you're my best customer" (Linkara references us, only fair to return the favor) You are told you can't force Synthesis. Why? Why is it different now? Why can you force Synthesis now and not before? If Synthesis is inevitable, why bother choosing it? Why not take one of the other descisions and let it happen naturally? And that's not even forgetting that everywhere you see it, Synthesis is panned by nearly every non-indoctrinated character as being not only insane, but out and out evil

And I haven't even started on the "scientific" basis, which is never adequately explained nor covered in any way, and seems to be something pulled directly from the arses of the writers, and if intentional, a sign of lazy writing of the lowest calibre (which makes NO sense for these people who DO research their sci-fi EXTREMELY well.)

And STILL don't even get me started on the moral issues of invading the personal autonomy and privacy of every being in the known and unknown galaxy, to work circut boards into them without their permission. Something that one could draw a pretty unfavorable analogue to quite literally raping the galaxy and forcing them to keep and care for their rape-baby, clearly brainwashing, or mentally murdering any beings whom would be opposed to this, such as Javik, who does not seem the least bit surprised or even bothered, when the Javik I know would have thrown himself out of the nearest airlock at the first opportunity. You mean to tell me Synthesis made him too lazy to be arsed to kill himself?

And with Control it gets EVEN BETTER, failing to explain the Catayst's origins, why you must become the new catalyst, how, or even the method of doing so, a well as the direct defiance of everything established about Reapers, being that they are "Each a nation, INDEPENDENT, and free of all weakness."

And still keeping in mind, by it's own admission, this "catalyst" you create not only admits to not being Shepard, and is only loosely based off of his thought patterns, there is no reason to trust this abomination either. And this is still ignoring the fact that you are basically declaring yourself the galactic guardian, police chief of the entire galaxy, with an unconquerable army, forcing the entire galaxy into a facist police state, and STILL ignoring that Reapers, being made from the dead and collected souls of entire species, merged in the most horrific and likely painful ways imaginable, are still basically corpses dancing to your tune.

If this were a fantasy game, the option to Destroy All Undead would be far FAR and away seen as more good than the option to "Turn everyone half dead" and "Control All Undead." Kind of puts it in perspective, don't it?

That, and to top it off, this all has the enormous detriment of making the hero completely wrong, and basically invalidating the need for an ME1 or an ME2, as well as ME3 itself, since it makes the villains wright and the hero wrong, there is no point for the hero to do what a hero does, and Shepard might as well lie down and die on Eden Prime if Saren is completely right.

EVEN THOUGH IN GAME WE PROVIDED MORE COUNTEREXAMPLES THAN THERE ARE EXAMPLES. Like the Geth Quarian peace, EDI, everything ever told to you by Javik or anyone else really, or the fact that NOT MINUTES AGO, concerning Control, you could prove the Illusive Man so wrong about Control that he shoots himself in the head for it.
- Arian Dynas
That seems like a very unproductive way of building stuff.

"To activate this toaster, you just need to destroy that conduit over there!"

Not at all cost-prohibitive!
- Estebanus
Aaaawww, did I miss all the sentimental talk? Now I'm sad :(

Anyway, I feel that there's a certain reason why we're here. And it's not because we all just have the same opinion. If anything, these last 3 threads have shown that.

It's because we care for each other.

We don't judge people in here, we don't mindlessly attack each other here, we don't less of other people just because of some disabilities they may have in real life. We are one big family on these forums, and the bond between each of us, indoctrinationists, literalists like Hagar and Epyon, is strengthened by each new person here, be it lurker or newcomer, who'd like to share his thoughts with us. This has made that bond that ties us together as a family nigh unbreakable. And it's all because we worked together as a family to ensure that there at least is one place in this forum where you can (largely) escape the hate from outside.

I am proud of all of you here, and have to say that my feelings for everyone here is stronger than I ever imagined any internet relationship could be like. And I am proud to call myself a member of this family.
- Estebanus
Those vengeful Protheans! Always using v's in their vocabulary! Especially those virtual VIs! Their verbiage has such a variety of verbality. I verily think their vernacular is an interesting version, at least versus ours. It's so vivacious! I wonder if their vessels also had V names. Too bad we never asked the veteran Javik during his visit.
- BansheeOwnage
Something Liara said near the end of
ME3 caught my attention in how it relates to a major theme I noticed
throughout the series:

"When you work alone, it becomes
easy to think you have all the answers."

Think about it.
The primary non-Reaper villains--Saren and TIM--were loners when the
fell to indoctrination. They may have had followers, but they lacked
true companions to question them. The fact that each had close family
(Saren) and companions (Jack Harper) that are lost around the time
their trip towards villainy begins seems especially telling. Notice
how Shepard can help both of them break free of indoctrination--even
for a moment--just by talking to them for a few minutes and showing
concern for them. Their decisions and actions become more and more
extreme because they don't have to justify them to anyone else and as
soon as they do, their resolve wavers.

We even get examples
of people that end up the opposite. Jack only reaches some
semblance of emotional health once she opens up to other people.
Mordin argues quite well for the Genophage's necessity, but he feels
incredibly conflicted about it inside. Even if Shepard agrees with
him, spending all that time discussing it with someone else gives him
a new perspective that causes him to completely reevaluate his
previous work. In fact, you can consider just about every person that
improves themself via Shepard's influence as an example of how
personal connections improve us.

Shepard's strong personal connections
might have even been what kept him/her from being indoctrinated
sooner. Shiala all but explicitly states that she and the other Zhu's
Hope colonists can resist indoctrination because of the mental link
left behind by the Thorian. The Heretic Geth left the consensus and
the Reaper upgrades in ME3 make each platform a true AI instead
of a collective intelligence, perhaps to make them easier to control.

The fact that the researchers on the derelict reaper started
sharing memories as they became indoctrinated seems to contradict
this interpretation, but really it serves to make the argument more
sophisticated. The scientists were not only sharing memories, but
they were forgetting whose they belonged to in the first place! If
they lack individuality, they cannot question decisions or compare
with others. They are of one mind, not many. Even the geth consensus
contains a variety of opinions, as shown by Legion many times. The
researchers on the derelict reaper exist to show that abandoning all
sense of self can be just as damaging as focusing entirely on the

Now, I'm sure you guys wonder what this has to do with
IT. I think the Reapers are trying to isolate Shepard during the
ending sequence. Once the Catalyst shows up, you can't talk to
anyone. None of your friends or lovers can ground you in any way.
This is also why the Reaper Consciousness appears as the boy instead
of a close friend or love interest; the latter two would make Shepard
consider what that person would do as well. The little boy is just an
emotional symbol that appeals to Shepard's guilt, not a
fully-realized person that he/she can connect with on an intellectual
level. Start thinking about what the other party members would say if
they were with Shepard when he/she met the Catalyst. EDI would
cut apart his logic and might even tell Shepard she is fine
sacrificing herself for Destroy, Tali would say peaceful resolution
of the Geth/Quarian conflict proves the Catalyst wrong, Garrus would
see the Reaper Consciousness as another criminal trying to talk his
way out of justice, Javik would throw the kid out the airlock,
Liara's scientific curiosity would make her push the Catalyst for
more information before making a choice and might bring up the
ethical issues of synthesis, Ashley and Kaidan have serious trust
issues, and James would hold the airlock open while Javik figures out
how to pick up an energy being.
- Hrothdane
One of the best things about IT is that we never claim to know EXACTLY what's going on (Unlike SOME Literalists. Not you, BTW.). We have our evidence, and some of us interpret it in different ways. Right now, all that we're 99% certain of is that Shepard was experiencing some kind of indoctrination attempt during the ending sequence. Maybe the whole thing was an indoctrination, for lack of a better word, "dream", and Shepard is knocked out throughout the whole thing. Maybe Shepard was "dreaming" the TIM/Anderson confrontation, and was "awake" but hallucinating during the Catalyst chamber (My view.). The thing is, we pride ourselves on IT being a true scientific theory. And theories are modified to fit evidence, not the other way around. That's why IT doesn't have a "foundation" beyond the concept of Shepard experiencing an indoctrination attempt. If we tried to make things TOO concrete, then we'd be in even worse shape than if we were forced to change with each piece of new evidence, or each piece of debunked evidence. If we tried to claim that we knew EXACTLY what was going on, and refused to change, we would start ignoring evidence (Like many Literalists.), or we would start using a catch-all excuse to explain away everything that didn't fit our preconceived notions (Again, like many Literalists.). So, simply put, our lack of a "strong foundation" is actually our strength, rather than our weakness.
- Dwailing
- Blooregard
We should play that game again!

Quick you guys! Who am I talking about?

-Is a famous Spectre
-Gets the krogan to follow them by curing the genophage
-Gets reaper augmented geth to follow them
-Killed another Spectre who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time
-Is partially organic, and partially synthetic
- Byne
Pretty much. The other evidences are just sprinkles on top of the cake. Delicious as they are, the cake is made from the themes that run throughout the entire series. Reapers being merciless and cold butchers of organics, indoctrination being their primary weapon, strength of willpower being the best defense against them, unity brings strength, diversity over conformity...

And without IT, none of those themes are respected by the ME3 ending. They are destroyed, thrown out of the window and even implied to be completely wrong - thus making the whole series pointless from a storytelling point of view.
- Andromidius
TSA. It is as if the allies caught Hitler and then he said, "I was just killing all the Jews because turning them into Aryans didn't work! It can't be forced! They must choose to become Aryans for it to work!"


Edit: It may be in poor taste but the context is there. Nobody would say "OH, ok, Hitler I didn't get it but it really is a good idea! Let him go boys!" No, you would still kill him and that is exactly what Shepard should do. Kill the reapers.
- Chriz Tah Fah

Okay, let's play with the idea that the catalyst actually is there and all, then why does it say "I know you thought about destroying us". Us? If the catalyst is what it claims to be, it's not in any danger? "Us" makes no sense at all...
- KneeTheCap

Read the pastebin and my quoted sections above - it doesn't claim to be truly seperate from the reapers at all - it IS the reapers.

Which makes it all the more perplexing that people trust it.
- TSA_383
But my dear TSA_383, we attached a huge battery, it changes everything! Don't you get it? This amazing device, appearing suddenly out of nothing mars-dust, it completely wipe away billion years of harvesting. How dare you don't trust it him.
- Schachmatt
Sure, I always trust kids that burn in my dreams. Doesn't everybody?

The Catalyst sure does sound a bit confused about its own identity given how it quickly switches between pronouns, dude needs to make up its mind.
- leonia42
"The crash site's a nightmare."

"This nightmare never ends." - Liara

"I am starting to understand what the word "nightmare" means to organics. And why you feel trapped when you can't wake up." - EDI

"As a child, I always had nightmares about geth attacking me in my sleep.The worst horror I could imagine. Until now." -Tali

"The only thing Cerberus gave me that I'm grateful for.A precaution if I was ever captured by the enemy.Or couldn't wake from my nightmare." - Dr. Gavin Archer

"After your intervention, the Illusive Man insisted I find another test subject. Someone who shared my brother David's "abilities."I couldn't bear the thought of reliving the nightmare." - Dr. Gavin Archer

"Not a monster who tortured his own brother.I told him if his intention was to work with the devil, he only had to look in the mirror. I wanted out of his nightmare."
- Dr. Gavin Archer

"Believe me, it's a nightmare I re-live every night. He went berserk -- his mind became a computer virus that infected all our systems." - Dr. Gavin Archer

"Now I can have all-new nightmares about them."

"Well, anyone who lives through this war won't be short on nightmares." -Garrus

"I still have slime to clean off my armor.What a nightmare."

"Sounds like it was a nightmare down there."

"Now it's mutated asari. The Reapers are just a giant nightmare factory that never ends." -Garrus

"Tonight: A nightmare on Earth. Human leaders using military force on their own people." -Diana Allers

"It'll be the last one if I have anything to say about it. This nightmare finally ends today." - Commander Shepard

"I can hardly believe it, myself. Like everything back on Earth was some kind of nightmare." - Commander Shepard

"I think all the reports are starting to sink in. You can only live in denial so long.You either wake up or die. Either way..."

"If they're lucky, they grew up thinking the galaxy is basically a decent place.Some rough spots here and there, but for the most part, life makes sense. Now they find out it was all a lie.They wake up to see these things in the dark that just want to destroy everyone they ever cared about.If they survive, there'll be a lot of angry orphans out there looking for answers."

"Rila's not one of them yet. She can't be. She just needs to wake up! Look -- Rila's alive! She's not a monster.Please, let me wake her up. Then we can leave." - Samara's Daughter

"The hell it won't. We get to this artifact, and we can all wake up." - Commander Shepard.

"Wake up." - Catalyst
- Humakt83
There is wisdom in harnessing the strengths of your enemy weakness in falling for your enemy's propaganda.
- Rifneno
This, so much.

While I still believe that the evidence points towards IT being intended, even if it weren't, Bioware should take heed of it. If they officially canonize IT, we would never know for certain if they originally intended it or not.

If they do officially endorse IT and at least act as though it was always the plan, innumerable fans will instantly forgive them and throw money at DLC. Most anti-IT people you see nowadays on the forums are against it because they lost hope that Bioware will ever implement it, not out of actually disliking the theory. Many of the valid concerns others have over IT could be addressed in new content.

Furthermore, going with IT would reward all the fans that trusted in Bioware's writing ability, and open up the universe to sequels. Fans would feel as though their voices were heard and criticisms acknowledged, even if they are not 100% happy with the new ending. I can tell you right now that as far as I am concerned, Bioware would have a customer for life.

In short, IT not only offers a great storytelling opportunity, but a great money-making one. If it was intended, Bioware's writers are goddamn geniuses, paraphrase Zaeed Massani. If it wasn't, we have packaged up the greatest second chance in video game history. If you want to get meta, you could even say we chose the ending in a way and to an extent far beyond anything done before.

This is a question of eternal mediocrity and disdain or glorious rebirth and exaltation. To paraphrase Zaeed once more, it's so goddamn simple.

Besides, we know EA could use the money ;)
- Hrothdane
The Child AI claims to have controlled the Illusive Man just as it claims to control the Reapers. Now, it has been stated before (I just had a chat with Salient_Archer about this actually) that the Reapers are each a nation unto themselves. However, this doesn't preclude them from having a preprogrammed purpose that guides their collective efforts. If the Child AI is the element of indoctrination in Shepard's mind, which I and many others believe, then this view of control makes perfect sense and makes its statements about controlling TIM and the Reapers a misleading half-truth.

But why even tell the half-truth? Because the AI wants to make the Control option seem like literal control. It wants to make Shepard believe that his/her resolve will dominate the Reapers. With the knowledge of what control **actually** means in the sense of indoctrination, we can view the epilogue scene with a new lens. The newly formed Shepard AI wants to use the Reapers to bring peace and order to the galaxy. In other words, Reaper-Shepard wants to prevent further conflict among the species of the galaxy. This goal is essentially identical to what the current "Catalyst" tells you the Reapers are doing: they are Reaping to establish peace between species, namely synthetics and organics."

The Control option does not allow direct control over the Reapers. Shepard's goal of peace is the same as the goal given by the Child AI. So, if the child only "controls things" by giving them a purpose of peace, and the Shepard AI only controls things via suggesting a purpose nearly identical to what the Reapers already had...what problem is Shepard solving?

Nothing is being solved. Using the Reapers to achieve peace is the same means to an end that the Child is using. Shepard choosing the Control option is thus aligning methods and intent with the Reapers: the very consequence of indoctrination.
- TheConstantOne
Why does a machine made of meat have inherent value greater than one made of metal?
- Hackulator
Some people see bad writting. I see writting clever enough to trick players into forgetting everything they fought to accomplish at the last minute.
- GethPrimeMKII
Wrex - 1000+ year old super badass krogan: Needs Shepard's help

Rachni Queen - Giant freakin bug that can produce thousands of mindless workers: Needs Shepard's help

Quarian Migrant Fleet - 50,000 ships, housing 17 million quarians: Needs Shepard's help

Consensus - countless millions of geth, including extremely durable
combat platforms and tons of ships: Needs Shepard's help

Turian Hierarchy - Strongest military in the galaxy: Needs Shepard's help

Catalyst - LEADER OF THE FREAKIN REAPERS - Needs Shepard's help

8 year old boy - 8 year old boy: Doesn’t need Shepard's help

- Byne
The general consensus is that IT means nothing after the Harbinger beam physically happened to him/her. The specific interpretation as to whether it was an overlay over reality such as during the end part of Overlord, a straight-up total illusion imposed by the Reapers, or anything in-between. The main point of agreement is that Shepard is in the process of indoctrination and that the finale is a kind of mental allegory or trial for fighting it.

People like you, Heretic_Hanar, like to joke that IT is some kind of religion. In fact, I would say we have more in common with a group of atheists. We don't have some kind of central dogma that we all subscribe to word-for-word. Many of us would probably disagree on any number of individual pieces of evidence or specific interpretations, just like how Ayn Rand and Jean-Paul Sartre (both atheists) would strangle each other if put in a room together for more than five minutes. We discuss things, speculate, review evidence, draw conclusions, and argue. Each of us has an individual reason to be here, so I'm not going to claim that some of us are motivated by wishful thinking, but I know with certainty that I'm here because evidence led me here. I can tell from the conversations here that most of us can say the same.

No idea beyond reproach, and as John Stuart Mill suggested, the free-flow of discourse is necessary to prove the strength of good ideas and disprove weak hypotheses. We need dissent and disagreement, but it must be polite and respectful. If someone cannot be bothered to at least maintain the facade of respect and decency in their arguments and must resort to trolling and flame-baiting, they have proven themself unworthy of legitimate discourse. Consider respect and proper manners the price of admission. I know that is certainly asking a lot on the internet, but it is the right way to do things.

If you wish to provide the role of loyal opposition as you have occasionally done so in the past, I welcome you to do so. Otherwise, kindly remove yourself and let us continue with our "tin-foil hats" in peace.
- Hrothdane
To me, the central idea of IT is that the choices the so-called Catalyst is offering you, are not legit options. You're being fooled. He's presenting the outcomes in a favourable light, but he's actually persuading you to go along with what the Reapers want. The ending sequences for Control and Synthesis are just illusions planted in your head by the Reapers. Sort of like the Matrix. You don't actually become some kind of Reaper-controlling AI god, I think you may become a Reaper yourself (let's say they'll use your identity as the 'main ingredient' for a human Reaper), and your goals will be aligned with the Reapers now, and Shepard's words in the Control ending will take on a whole new meaning. In synthesis I think you'll get Reaper implants and become their agent. In any case, Whatever happens, it is not what you think it is, the Reapers are controlling you.

Whether Shepard is simply unconscious, or hallucinating, if he's in London or on the Citadel, that's not even that important to me. I do believe that what Shepard sees is an 'overlay' of reality so to speak. So when he's in the decision chamber, he's actually looking at the beacon in London, only his perception is slightly altered. But that's just details to me. What matters is, the Reapers are in your head and making you want to choose their side.

The most important reason I believe this is because Saren wanted synthesis and TIM wanted control. Both were clearly indoctrinated (whether the scene with TIM on the Citadel actually happened or not). If there's no indoctrination going on at the ending, and the ending is what it appears to be, then to me that means the point of the games was that Shepard was wrong about the Reapers all along, and the villains were right. Wut?

The only logical explanation is that the Reapers are messing with your head. The fact that control is made out to look like the Paragon choice and destroy is made to look like the Renegade choice supports this. In ME2, keeping the Collector Base was the Renegade option, the power hungry option, the option where you are going along with TIM, wanting to control the Reapers. Destroying the base because it was an abomination was the paragon dialogue option. In the end of ME3 this is reversed. Wanting to control the Reapers can't be the paragon option, the Reapers are still an abomination and a power nobody should be able to wield (which is what Shepard says in the paragon responses to TIM in the last confrontation.) Not saying Paragon is better than Renegade, just pointing out that the colours are clearly reversed, which proves manipulation.

Just for the record, I came up with the idea myself, I did not read about IT on the internet first. When I told my friends my theory, they pointed out to me that I wasn't the only one with this idea, and that's how I came here.
- DoomsdayDevice
Okay, I have been thinking, when Shepard is in a dream state, the Space battle is happening in real life, until Shepard meet's the catalyst.

Now when Shepard goes up the beam, We see the space battle, but then we see Hackett get a mysterious report about SOMEONE made it to the Citadel, not Shepard, or Anderson.

I say not Shepard, or Anderson because Hackett only says " Holy sh** he/she did it",. Now if you think about it, Hackett could have gotten false report, that SOMEONE made it to the Citadel. I say this because We have all talk about Coats either being a Reaper agent, or Cerberus agent. Maybe he sent Hackett a false report, and said that Shepard got someone up to the Citadel.

Now when Shepard wakes up on the Citadel, he/she is actually dreaming. things that Shepard has seen, and are being used, to Indoctrinated Shepard/ makes his/her mind more comfortable, so Shepard does not know that he/she is being indoctrinated.

Now once Shepard opens the citadel in his/her dream, the Citadel opens to allow the Crucible to dock. Now here's the thing: Once this happens Shepard is actually getting a radio transmission form Hackett back on Earth, that is why Hackett ask Shepard" nothing is happening. it's got to be something on YOUR end" Now Shepard could hardly speak, since he/she is bleeding out, and is starting to wake up. Now once Shepard passes out for blood lose. Harbinger fixes Shepard up.

To Continue the Indoctrination process, but is now over leaping reality, with a digital program.
The Reaper program. that is meant for indoctrination.
once Shepard picks Destroy, and only Destroy, Shepard blows up the Conduit side, not the whole thing, but the thing causing the indoctrination.

Hence why we get the breath scene. The things that we see in all the endings, are just all an illusion, nothing more, but maybe the Destroy ending epilogue is real, but we have to finish the Reapers for good, once Shepard wakes up, and maybe we will see more than the Destroy epilogue provides us.
- MassterBlaster
I think a lot of the negativity IT receives is because many don't understand it. Instead of starting from the beginning and understanding the theory, they pop in at like page 3000 and read up on whatever small bit of speculation were discussing and think: "This is it? This is what indoctrination theory is about?"

My point is the theory has probably never been laid out in full for these guys. They don't understand the full scope of it, not that that would be easy to find in the 5000+ pages this thread has gone on. I strongly believe a lack of information and understanding is what makes a lot of people dismiss IT as a crazy conspiracy theory.
- GethPrimeMKII
That’s right, you don’t. Granted, a lot of IT supporters don't understand it either (even Byne). Specifically, what IT is about. Or rather, what it should be about. Literalists and theorists alike pay attention. Let me try to break it down for you.


IT at its core isn't about the dream sequence, or hallucinations, though we do deduce them. IT isn't about trivializing the ending or retconning it, quite the opposite in fact. IT isn't about hoping Bioware will come up with a better ending down the line, since we hope not for new endings but new epilogue material. And IT isn’t about disrespecting Bioware or its writing talents. In fact we’re celebrating it.

IT accepts the ending we saw as the ending we have. IT accepts that the ending we saw is the culmination of the series. IT accepts that any DLC related to the ending or post-ending will not change the fundamentals of ME3’s ending.

What IT is actually about is this: The primary plot of ME3 is not just saving the galaxy from cuttlefish. It’s the struggle for the soul of the galaxy against hostile powers that would devour it. Shepard’s journey is central to that, and decides the outcome. You must overcome deception, manipulation and temptation to achieve victory. If you fail, if you let fear or doubt compromise your judgment, you will become a tyrant just like the monsters you fought.

The entire series has revolved around ethics, their diversity and the conflicts that arise from them. It establishes the setting, defines characters, and is the focus of virtually every important mission in all three games. The reapers and their indoctrinate agents are antagonists because above all else they are unethical, and they drag all other life around them down to their level, where terror and suffering are deemed acceptable and where compassion cannot be found.

According to IT, if you choose either Control or Synthesis, you were brought down to that level. To some degree you will have accepted the reapers’ justifications for the unjustifiable. You will have believed the unbelievable. You will have trusted the untrustworthy. You will have betrayed everything and everyone you fought for throughout three games, and you will have done so for dubious promises or empty self-satisfaction. You will have robbed the galaxy of the chance to build a future for itself because you accepted a future that your enemy presented to you.

But if you choose Destroy or Reject*, you will have beaten their efforts to turn you. You will have accepted the terrible price, real or imagined, but saved the integrity of galactic life. You will not have compromised with the planet raping cuttlefish who spread terror and madness wherever they tread. You will have had the good grace to know right from wrong, no matter what code of ethics you stand by.

Basically, you must choose Right against immense encouragement to choose Wrong. That’s the fundamental idea of Indoctrination Theory.

It’s not that the ending is a dream or there’s a reset button. We think there was a dream, but that doesn’t mean what we saw didn’t matter, and it’s not a necessary component to the core idea. Hell, you can imagine the end sequence as actually happening completely and this idea can still be valid. And the EC did nothing to dispel it as invalid. But of course the theory is not just this idea but involves larger case surrounding it…

*We can’t agree on whether or not Reject is in fact a victory condition. There is simply too little information regarding it to agree one way or the other.


The Catalyst appears as the Earthchild. Thus we can conclude that the Catalyst was actively directing Shepard’s perceptions. Since it openly associates with the reapers, encourages choices reminiscent of the goals of indoctrinated villains, and provides no proof but its word that it is not the enemy still, we conclude that the Catalyst is trying to manipulate us for its own ends and not Shepard’s benefit. From here we can begin to build a case for an indoctrination attempt occurring in the final minutes of ME3.

We see Shepard waking up in rubble that is one iota shy of being undoubtedly London rubble, thus we conclude dreams and hallucinations. Granted we can’t determine exactly what the balance is between reality and fantasy between different shots let alone different scenes. But dreams have already been used in the series before both as plot vehicles and as established vectors of indoctrination. From this we can establish method.

We find that Shepard has canonically been in the vicinity of indoctrinating presences for significant periods of time (not even getting into optional opportunities such as Arrival), and that Shepard does exhibit established symptoms of undergoing an indoctrination process. Coupled with the absence of reason to believe otherwise we conclude that Shepard must have been touched by indoctrination to some degree by the time of Priority: Earth. We can establish opportunity.

We see the reapers behaving completely contrary to what should be expected, including allowing the relay network to remain functional and Harbinger implausibly failing to kill Shepard. From that we conclude that the reapers were planning to indoctrinate Shepard for their ends. Considering Shepard’s achievements and significance, and therefore Shepards possible usefulness to the reapers as an indoctrinated agent, we can establish motive.

Method. Opportunity. Motive. We have a case for Shepard undergoing indoctrination. It’s a solid case. It’s a mother beautiful case. It’s coherent and consistent with the rest of the series. It’s based on facts. It answers so many questions and fixes so many problems. There are literally hundreds of pages of circumstantial evidence in support of it…


The case is plausible. But it’s a Watsonian case, not a Doylist one. This is where I think most of the problems and schisms in the fanbase regarding IT come from.

Many theorists leap to the conclusion that the Indoctrination Theory must have been consciously implemented by Bioware. But that’s a separate theory entirely. It’s its own case that must be evaluated as such. And it’s a much trickier case. Whilst Bioware certainly had the method and opportunity to implement IT, the arguments for their motive to do so still are still shaky, many of the implications if the case turns out correct can be construed as unpleasant, and there is simply not a strong body of evidence, circumstantial or direct to support it. There is the curious presentation Earthchild’s introduction, and there is Shepard spontaneously developing TIM eyes in Control and Synthesis, there’s even Coats’ odd cameo in the Citadel corpse pile, but there is honestly very little else that approaches anywhere near solid that Bioware intended IT.

You can’t use the majority of the body of circumstantial evidence for Indoctrination Theory to support “Bioware Intends IT Theory” because that’s trying to apply Watsonian evidence to a Doylist argument. Many literalists here have done the exact opposite. They bring up evidence that could be construed as “bad writing”, whether it be inept, lazy, ham-fisted, etc. to discredit IT. But that’s trying to counter a Watsonian theory with Doylist arguments.

Either way, it’s essentially comparing apples to oranges. You can argue the merits of Indoctrination Theory with Watsonian evidence. You can argue the idea that Bioware intends IT with Doylist evidence. But please for the love of all that’s good on this planet stop being dolts and mixing them up. They’re separate theories that need to be evaluated and dealt with separately. And stop falling for your confirmation biases. It’s lazy and stupid. It’s bad speculation.

I like Indoctrination Theory. It’s my head canon. But I’m currently completely agnostic about believing whether Bioware will actually embrace it as canon or not. I usually lean against the idea. What I know is that IT is for the moment only a theory. It’s a plausible, valid theory, but it’s not a proven fact. And the only trier of fact who can confirm or debunk it as fact is Bioware.

But then again it shouldn’t be disparaged because it’s only “wishful thinking”. Indoctrination Theory is about choosing Right from Wrong. Its purpose is to provide closure. It provides coherency and depth to what is otherwise a shallow and broken conclusion. If you disagree with these statements, either provide good alternatives or get the hell out.

TLDR: F*ck it, just read the damn wall. :P
- Simon_Says

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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes Empty Re: Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes

Post by BansheeOwnage Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:39 am

Batman Hackett: This city galaxy just showed you that it's full of people ready to believe in good.

The Joker Harbinger: Until their spirit breaks completely. Until they get a good look at the real Harvey Dent Shepard, and all the heroic things he's done. You didn't think I'd risk losing the battle for Gotham's the galaxy's soul in a fistfight space battle with you? No. You need an ace in the hole. Mine's Harvey Shepard.

Batman Hackett: What did you do?

The Joker Harbinger: I took Gotham's humanity's white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn't hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little... push!
- Simon_Says
Here's how I see it: Whether intentionally or not, BW has in fact indoctrinated much of the playerbase. The fun thing about that is you can't really argue it, because said portion of the playerbase aligned themselves with the reapers willingly. If BW didn't intend this, they indoctrinated themselves, much like what the reapers may have done.
- BansheeOwnage
You know what, threads slow and I took some time typing this up so I'm going to post this, despite my earlier pledge to drop the topic. This is THE IT thread and as such is the proper place to discuss what the definition of IT in fact is. It's unfair to come in making serious pronouncements on what IT means, going so far as claiming most IT supporters don't understand IT, and then try to relegate the discussion to private messages. You put this out there so here is my best attempt at a response:

Indoctrination Theories, as their starting point, must be based on the assertion that the Reaper tool of Indoctrination is used. How, when, and to what extent is clearly still being debated. What isn't debatable is that Reaper indoctrination is an actual demonstrable phenomenon. Starchilds attempts at influencing Shepard through deception is propaganda, which, in the real world, can be described as indoctrination. However, your claim that this constitutes indoctrination as defined within the confines of the Mass Effect Universe is misleading as the connotations of the word indoctrination is wildly different in each respective use. Influencing a person into making a decision detrimental to themselves through confusion and intimidation is most aptly defined as simply a deception.

The act of indoctrination, in its full context in the game world, is not an attempt to persuade or guide simply through dialogue or mere psychological manipulation, it is a physiological attack on the entire nervous system. That is the reason why indoctrination cannot be fully reversed by convincing an indoctrinated subject of their plight, this is clearly demonstrated in Sarens and Benezias cases.

With what defines indoctrination now established, let's move on to the next part of your argument:

From a narrative standpoint, the entire meaning and resulting consequences of the ending sequence are fundamentally dependent on whether or not what we see occurs as presented. I even posit that accepting what is on screen, even if one claims the Reapers are using an indoctrination signal throughout, is ultimately contrary to what Indoctrination Theory represents. In that situation, the player is not effected by indoctrination directly, rendering it irrelevant to the decision making process and therefore irrelevant to the narrative as well.

The essence of what Indoctrination Theory means is that the ending, whatever the particulars, is not happening literally. (Again, when, how and to what extent the on screen reality is warped or entirely false is why this thread exists.) The impact of this theory on what the ending means and it's subsequent impact on the entire ending narrative cannot be overstated. It is irreconcilable with your theory that the ending is meant to be taken at face value. In fact, it specifically rejects that as it's starting premise. "Was the ending a hallucination" remains unresolved. Therefore, the thread continues.

The debate whether the end choices are morally subjective or if there is an actual correct choice which Starchild is attempting to dissuade Shepard from selecting is incompatible to Indoctrination Theory as it's been initially presented.
- spotlessvoid
Here are some particularly notable quotes I found in Arrival and my analysis of them. Considering Mac Walters wrote Arrival along with the beginning and ending of ME3, I think the connections are especially worth discussion.

"Scientist: I woke up this morning in a cold sweat. The nightmare was back, the one with the enormous starship crawling through the Citadel and all my friends turning to dust. Even now I can see it in my mind. Why won't this stop?"

I'm sure I don't need to tell you this connects to Shepard's recurring dreams in ME3. Both dreams imply helplessness on the part of the dreamer by showing them unable to help someone they care about. The scientist also says "the nightmare was back," meaning that the dreams are infrequent, like Shepard's

"Guard: When it's silent, when there's no one else around, I can hear it. Whispers in the back of my mind, and I can't tell what they're saying."

He can hear the Reapers communicating with him, but he can't make out what they are actually saying. This reminded me of that Reaper sound effect that sounds similar to "serve us" or "save us."

"Guard: Kenson's acting strang lately. Like she doesn't care about the Project anymore. And I know I'm not the only one having those dreams. 'The Reapers are coming,' she says. But I'm not sure if I'm hearing far or hope in her voice."

This quote shows that the dreams are not a unique occurrence.

"Dr. Kenson: The longer we're here, the more I'm convinced that the Project must be stopped. We simply don't know enough about what the Reapers want. It's foolish to assume that the Reapers mean doom for the galaxy. Legends say they've come through before, and yet life continues, doesn't it?"

So the most clearly indoctrinated person on the Project staff started to sympathize with the Reapers and wanted to learn more about their motives.

"Dr. Kenson: I will die never having seen the Reapers' blessings. And you will just die."

This quote struck me as odd. It may just be structured awkwardly, but it could also imply that Shepard will see the "Reapers' blessings" before dying.

"Harbinger: This seems a victory to you. A star system sacrificed. But even now, your greatest civilizations are doomed to fall. Your leaders will beg to serve us."

The last sentence implies that the Reapers will let the leaders live long enough to have an opportunity to beg. This shows from Harbinger's own mouth(?) that the Reapers DO intend to indoctrinate galactic leaders instead of just kililng them. Note that Shepard could easily be considered one of those leaders in ME3.

"Harbinger: Know this as you die in vain: Your time will come. Your species will fall."

Harbinger's language takes a strange turn here. The entire game he says that the Reapers will bring human species "ascension" or "evolution" or "salvation through destruction" or they will be "brought into harmony with our own." All of a sudden, Harbinger says that our species will fall, the exact opposite of ascension. I haven't made any conclusions yet from this change in language, but I think it deserves note.

Because English doesn't have plural second-person pronouns (grrrrrr...), it's also unclear whether he means "Your (species') time will come," or "Your (Shepard's) time will come."
- Hrothdane
So I'm probably going to be a little captain obvious here, but speculations are dead. And I don't recall seeing this here. Though I certainly haven't read all 4000+ pages of all three marks, so this could very well be a repeat.

But there is audio, of all your ME2 squadies shouting at you, "SHOOT THE TUBES!" You can take or leave the "S" with some of them. Garrus just sound like he's shouting, "SHOOT THE TUBE!" I made a point to replay the end boss fight with every squad member. All of them say it to you. You get you to shoot the tube that supposedly kills the Reaper. Then, it turns out you didn't actually kill the reaper. It gets back up to fight.

- Gallifreya
- BansheeOwnage
I also want someone to ask why the apparent moral of the story was something like this:
“The villains were right all along; the hero and associates were just too stubborn to realize it. Also, free will sucks, and gets everyone killed. Better to force something on everything in the galaxy."
- BansheeOwnage
The Normandy still working makes absolutely no sense to me if EDI is truly dead. It can operate without her but considering what happened when she just tried to transfer part of herself into her new body, I'd think it would need serious repairs without her.
- DrTsoni
I see where the disagreement is coming from. Bear with me.

Here are two situations that offer similar questions of morality:

1. A train is barreling down the tracks. Three people are stuck on the tracks in front of it. You stand by a track switch which will divert the train. However, the second path has one person stuck on the tracks. Is pulling the lever and killing one person to save three obligatory, understandable, or inexcuseable?

2. You are a doctor. A patient comes in with a cold. You have three patients that will die unless they receive new organs immediately. The patient with a cold is a match to the three patients. Is killing the patient with a cold obligatory, understandable, or inexcusable?

Almost everyone picks obligatory or understandable for the first and inexcusable for the second.

The reason for the current disagreement is that Banshee sees the Destroy ending as situation 1, while Freddy sees it as situation 2.

Now, let's compare the situations here to the ending choices in ME3. You have four options. Do nothing, and everyone dies. Destroy synthetics, and everyone else lives. Control the Reapers and die yourself, but everyone else lives. Synthesize the galaxy and die, and everyone else lives. At first, this looks like a very clear allegory for the above situations.

However, unlike the tidy thought experiments, the choice in ME3 is open to complications. We have no guarantee that Shepard-AI will not become like the Catalyst and start the cycle again, which means more deaths. The renegade version clearly becomes an iron-fisted galactic overlord, which means more deaths. Synthesis promises a very vaguely-defined end to conflict and violates consent on perhaps the most basic level. The Reapers would still exist, and would still be partially organic machines designed for no purpose other than killing. Destroy is guaranteed to solve the problem, but we lose the synthetics. Control and synthesis offer no guarantees, only hope a throw of the dice.

Let me ask another moral question now: the operation to dock the Crucible to the Citadel involves an immense amount of troops from all civilizations in the galaxy. Hammer task force especially is expected (and does) lose almost everyone in it in order for the operation to succeed. Was the operation obligatory, acceptable, or inexcusable?

Most of us will probably support the decision. Why? Because they are soldiers, they signed up for this.

Haven't the geth and EDI "signed up for this," too? The geth even reach consensus on the issue, not just majority vote. EDI has fought the Reapers and their minions practically from the moment she was born and said she would rather die that let the Reapers win.

Also remember that the Starbrat is the leader of the enemy. He essentially is trying to dictate the terms of his surrender. Shepard does not want to have to pick from his choices, but is being coerced virtually at gunpoint.

Furthermore, the negative consequences here are vaguely defined here. The geth and EDI are
technically software, not hardware, and the ending sequence seems to
indicate that only hardware is affected. What happens to the geth
uploaded into quarian suits? What happens if EDI is uploaded into the Normandy at the time?

The question is further complicated by Shepard's status as a soldier and a representative of the galaxy's resistance. His/her orders are to use the Crucible to eliminate the Reaper threat, and his/her commanding officers have been quite clear that they want the Reapers destroyed. The men and women of Sword, Shield, and Hammer fought and died to get Shepard to the Crucible to destroy the Reapers. Who is he/she to suddenly subvert their wishes? Spectres are given agency to do things as they see fit, but that agency is delegated to them by the government of the people, and when they subvert the wishes of the government and people by abusing that agency, they are punished.

Does all this support of Destroy mean I think it's somehow a pure good choice? Absolutely not. Shepard has no good choices, only less bad. I also personally believe that rape is at least equal to murder in severity, and that synthesis constitutes a violation of everyone's bodies along similar lines.

That's my two cents. Probably more like two dollars considering how this went on, but there you go.
- Hrothdane
TIM's Indoc-R-Us Omni-Tool App™️
- DoomsdayDevice
"Very well spotted! You're correct... there's actually a few other places we used elements of Vigil in both ME2 and ME3. In fact, we laced the entire game with a lot of audio Easter eggs... some fun, some tied to the narrative and some that go pretty far down the psychology rabbit hole :)"

Rob Blake
Audio Lead - Mass Effect franchise
Bioware - EA
As for the crucible being an indoctrination device however, I can't really excuse its existence otherwise. Here's why. So basically during the entire game no one ever figures out what it does. This seems unlikely, as the galaxy's supposed best scientists are working on it. More importantly however, its docking arms.
1. How would said group of scientists not know that the crucible docks with something? They wouldn't be that stupid, unless they're being indoctrinated.
2. I find it extremely unlikely that they would also not figure out that it docks with the citadel unless they were being indoctrinated. I imagine it should go something like this:
"Hey guys so when the arms on the crucible are extended their diameter is ____. You know what other object that everyone knows about has a diameter of ____? The presidium ring on the citadel! You know, the super-famous space station that was also around during the prothean cycle! They were the ones that made this thing right?"
- BansheeOwnage
That's the point of the IT thread if you ask me. We are the geth consensus. We share perspectives. We combine our intellect to achieve something greater than any one of us could come up with individually. Through the trials of repetition, we discard the unnecessary and fortify the important. The weaknesses of one of us are insignificant because the strengths of the rest of us do more than compensate for them, they overshadow them. We can be wrong as individuals, but as a group, a team, we become something greater: what humanity could become if we put our minds to it. If we work together. This is my vision of the future.
- BansheeOwnage
Basically if the literal endings are true (regardless of breaking themes and lore) it means Shepard and all of Shepard's friends and allies are just stubborn idiots. They should have listened to the antagonists (Saren, TIM, Reapers) the whole time. Instead they're just soldiers only able to look at the world down the barrel of a gun. That would not only make no sense at all from a writing perspective, but it would be totally, totally lame.
- BansheeOwnage
I just ordered Dominos. This proves IT because dominos is a game of order. By placing an order with dominos I have essentially placed faith in order with order. Order is created amongst chaos. The chaos the Reapers bring. They may claim to bring order to chaos, when the chaos is only existent because of the Reapers.

Geth: peaceful after the Quarians turned on them, until the Reapers made them well evil
Rachni: Reapers made them well evil, like

That is why my pizza proves IT
- CoolioThane
EDI: Objective Symbology
I’m actually very surprised no one has brought this up before, (or at least not that I’ve seen) but whatever, I will.
So basically, the first time I played through ME3 I was all like:
“Huh. EDI’s visor is orange/red, and Eva’s was blue. That’s weird. Most colour symbology has the opposite colours. Whatever.”
After seeing the extended cut however, it became blatantly obvious. The colour of her visor reflects her goals – her objectives. Dr. Eva was in TIM’s control, and TIM wanted control. After EDI takes over the body, it changes to destroy’s colour. Likewise, in the EC, if you pick synthesis it changes to green, the colour of synthesis. What is so interesting about that though, is that you have to have beaten the game to notice it. Yet more evidence that Bioware is not bad at writing, or implementing subtleties. In my opinion, this also supports that EDI indeed favours destroy, even though it includes her death in a literal ending, since if she didn’t, why is it orange? Meaning, if the writers didn’t want her to favour destroy, why is it orange?
What do you all think of this?
- BansheeOwnage
Someone asked what if Leviathan could be the end of IT because Leviathan could perhaps suggest that control is possible. Here’s what I had to say about that:
Well it's a bit of a non-issue really. How would it be confirmed? If Leviathan told you, that would ruin the whole "no one knows what it does" aspect of the game from potentially the very beginning. Plus, it would render the whole game-long debate with TIM that you can't control the reapers pointless. As well, the "surprise" that starkid tells you TIM was right wouldn't make any sense. In addition to that, all of the Shepards who want to stay true to the original goal of destroy would then have to try and finish a device that is confirmed to control them? No. Not even worth considering.
- BansheeOwnage
I would like to say something thoughtful and respectful to synthesizers about how synthesis sucks and it becoming the canon ending would suck even harder, but all I can think of right now is:

****. THAT. ****.
- Hrothdane

For future reference for people on the thread I recommend that you look up the definition if not sure.

Synthesis is a process that occurs unnaturally. Evolution is a process that occurs naturally over lots of time. Synthesis is a cheat to evolution. In essence it is an abomination to nature cause it challenges the very basis of organic development. To choose an advancement to cheat nature and is an abomination is foolish. It also is certainly not inevitable cause it will never happen naturally and since organic choice is impossible to predict you cannot make a claim like that.
- TJBartlemus

"Without Bioware's support, you may think I can't convince you that IT is true. But I can!"

"We're at war. No one wants to admit it but Indoctrination Theory's under attack. One very specific theorist might be all that stands between Indoctrination Theory and the greatest letdown of our brief existence. We need a speculator, and surround them with the brightest, the wisest, the canniest allies we can find. The team will have to be strong, their resolve unquestionable. "
- Simon_Says
" If we lose The IT, the ME fans may as well follow. "

" We have to give up everything, even if it means our time. We will stop at nothing. We will speculate for the lost."
- MassterBlaster
The conversation with Starbrat should have gone like this:
Starbrat: Wake up!

Shepard: Who the heck are you?!

Starbrat: I'm the Catalyst.

Shepard: Really? Well then lets light this mother and burn them Reaper suckas!

Starbrat: I can't do that.

Shepard: Why the heck not?! It's your job! Hey wait you kind of look like that kid I saw get wasted on earth. I've also seen you in my dreams. Wait a minute, I'm not bleeding profusely from an abdominal arterial wound any more. How did I even get here?

Starbrat: There is no time to explain. The Reapers are my solution.

Shepard: Solution to what?

Starbrat: Chaos. Synthetics will always destroy organic life. I created the cycle to stop that from happening.

Shepard: The Reapers look pretty synthetic to me and they seem to be doing a whole lot of wiping out all organic life in the galaxy right now, so I'm calling the BS card on ya there buddy.

Starbrat: Fine. The crucible changed me, and the fact that you are standing here shows my solution will no longer work anymore.

Shepard: Wait, wait, wait...hold on. Where did you say you were from again?

Starbrat: I was created to study the relationship between organic and synthetic life.

Shepard: So you are an AI. What happened to your creators?

Starbrat: They became the first true Reaper. They were unwilling.

Shepard: Oh wait. I get it now. You are synthetic.

Starbrat: Yes

Shepard: You were created to study the relationship between synthetic and organic life, and you came to the conclusion that synthetics will always destroy organics.

Starbrat: Yes

Shepard: So to stop that, you, a synthetic, killed off all of your organic creators somehow in order to prove your theory correct?


Shepard: You rebelled against your organic creators because you concluded that eventually they would have no use for you so out of a desperate act of self preservation you destroyed them first, and have done so for millions of years to prevent any other form of organic life from destroying you, is that it?

Starbrat: Do you want to control us?

Shepard: Your guy Harbinger just blew me halfway to Hades and now you're asking me if I want to control you? Why didn't you just give The Illusive Man control? This would have ended much quicker.

Starbrat: Umm...

Shepard: Could it be that you don't want to be controlled and you're just trying to fool me into sticking my fingers in that light socket over there?

Starbrat: Well you could jump into this beam in the middle and merge all organic and synthetic life into a new life form.

Shepard: Kind of like when a Reaper melts down organic components into a paste and uses them to build a new Reaper?

Starbrat: logic is undeniable.

Shepard: Where's the f******* kill switch?
- desert_beagle
Why do they need to understand organics if there no organics anymore? Everything organic is synthesized, so now there is no reason for them to understand something special about them - everything is synthetic now.
- demersel
This forum is a crucible; in it, we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a purer product: the truth, for all time.The decision Bioware makes in regards to the ME3 ending will determine if we will regard this creation as a genius or a failure. It will reveal the kind of people the writers of Bioware are; what they are destined to be. IT could significantly redefine the boundaries of a game twist: either expanding the possibilities in the ME universe, or in rejecting IT savagely destroying the story. This IT forum founded to seek out the truth: and it is out there, waiting.
- smokingotter1
As far as I am concerned, phrases like;

"Layers of metaphor and subtle meaning."

and "Lots of cool symbolism in the ending"

Or "The Indoctrination Theory remains a valid possibility for the interpretation of the end of the game."

and "There are aspects of Mass Effect 3 with non-literal interpretations" are good enough for me.
- Arian Dynas
Really people good dam it.
- MassterBlaster
Okay everyone, try to think about it the other way around: The haven't confirmed or denied the literal interpretation of the endings. The literal interpretation lacks evidence, requires more straw-grasping, breaks the themes and lore of the games, and brings up countless plotholes and contradictions. It also renders many of the things the entire series (as well as ME3 specifically) useless.

The indoctrination interpretation of the endings is backed up by an extremely large amount of evidence, requires no straw-grasping (depending on the IT subcategory you are talking about), supports and fits with the established themes and lore of the games, and renders virtually all of the plotholes of the literal interpretation void. It also fits perfectly with certain events and themes which would have otherwise been for nothing.

My point is why should we have to prove anything? The literalists need to "prove" that their interpretation is "true". Bioware never confirmed nor denied whether or not the literalist interpretation is true, so why is it that the one that makes more sense gets bashed so much more? I really hate people What do you guys think of this?
- BansheeOwnage
Somewhat similar to how you got yours, though not as in-depth.

About 5 years ago, when my brother (BleedingUranium) and I got an Xbox, it came with Halo 3. He had already created his gamertag, but I still needed to make one after already having played some Halo 3. It comes from the Covenant air vehicle, the banshee.
It's my favourite Halo vehicle, and I was very good at using it; you could say I owned in it. So there you go.

Since then, however, it has become a bit more meaningful. In the years since, I have developed a clear sense of balance when it comes to gameplay. I appreciate fairness, and have at many points in many games sacrificed many possible ways I could have done better. What I mean by this isn't just that I don't cheat, but also that I absolutely refuse to use any exploits, and currently overpowered weapons and the like. That's not the important part though. I realized quite recently that I am more of a leader than I originally thought. I became an unintentional Shepard in my quest to eradicate imbalance from gaming. (There is only so much one person can do.) I have aquired my squad and gained their loyalty. After meeting certain individuals, even ones with fairly different mindsets, I managed to convince them that fairness is more important that personal gain. (Yes, even in a video game.) I trained them to fight beside me, and to fight fairly. I convinced each to the point of changing their gamertags to suit mine. (Wasn't my idea either.) Now we all have a name of a Covenant vehicle, then "Ownage" after it. Ex. PhantomOwnage, SprectreOwnage. (Interesting note: It's amazing how intimidating it is to see all those names on the enemy team, even if we're not professionals or anything. Also, a team of mediocre, but coordinated individuals will beat an team of skilled but uncoordinated individuals.)

I lead them now, but not because I want to control. I lead because I have to, because no one else will, and because it works. We're a clan now, but we aren't competitive. We play for fun, and we play fair. We're not exclusive; we welcome anyone that shares that mindset. The feeling of satisfaction you get when you beat a bunch of noobs who use every exploit possible using fair tactics is unrivaled.

Wow, sorry, that was long, but that's why I said it means something more now. It's a symbol a bit like batman. Incorruptible, immortal. So there you go, that's what my name means.
The discussion with heretic hanar, or any other anti IT is useless, they are the council to our Shepards; people that need a reaper beam to the face to start believing in reapers.
- Codename_Code
The Catalyst needlessly presents Shepard with the opportunity to control the reapers. The Catalyst knows enough about Shepard to determine that his purpose for being in the Decision Chamber is to destroy all reapers. Then it stands to reason that the Catalyst knows exactly what Shepard will do in its place. If calling off the Reaper invasions or even using the Reapers to help organics were acceptable decisions to the Catalyst, it would have done so billions of years ago. The trilogy itself becomes pointless because everything leading up to the Reaper invasion could have been prevented by the Catalyst at any time on a whim. The events of Mass Effect 1 become pointless because the Catalyst, if it is the Citadel, could have easily opened its relay to dark space without the help of the keepers.

The story is needlessly twisted to where Shepard has to sacrifice his life to accomplish something the Catalyst could have done on its own billions of years ago. Like the other choices, this one resorts to the canned “chosen one” plot to make Shepard an essential piece of what’s going on, when events can transpire the same way without Shepard’s intervention.
What’s even more idiotic about this choice is that Shepard just moments ago watches the Illusive Man lose his sanity trying to control the reapers. Yet he’ll happily give it a try himself because a Reaper AI he just met tells him, with zero evidence to back his claim, that he can? How stupid does Shepard have to be to bet the existence of humanity and the galaxy on something he just watched fail horribly less than ten minutes ago?
- GethPrimeMKII
I find it funny when people say Shepard can control the Reapers because he isn't indoctrinated. Yeah, because every time someone in the series has been indoctrinated, they've been fully aware the whole time that they were indoctrinated right? I mean that was the first thing I thought when the catalyst tried to throw that bull on me. "He could have never taken control, because we already controlled him. But you can because you are Shepard and perfect in every way."
- plfranke
*Starbrat waves hand*

"This is not the Harbinger you are looking for."

*Shepard drools*


*Starbrat waves hand*

"You are the chosen one. Plug yourself into the Reapers. It will fix everything."
- Putok
Okay, so recently Ms Merizan said that she and much of the writing staff like synthesis because it is 'inevitable'.

I disagree.

In this day and age, where we find treatments for the sick and can allow the disabled to lead almost normal lives, evolution has slowed right down. There is no survival of the fittest, there are no visible changes (our immune systems may become more advanced, but this is far from what synthesis entails)

Now imagine what everything would be like 250 years in the future. Cures for cancer, aids, who knows what.

How would synthesis occur?

What 'benefit' do the glowing green eyes, for example, provide to a race that allows them to outclass others?

I would also say that the whole idea of evolution is that one group evolves to outclass another, and to survive better in their respective environment. In this way, it seems a bit odd to expect every race in the galaxy to be at exactly the same stage of synthesis at exactly the same time, providing Shepard does not choose synthesis in the end of me3.

And so, I ask you; Please do not make synthesis in every new mass effect game. Please. There is no reason it would happen if Shepard does not choose it.

(Not to mention that if synthesis makes everyone immortal, the galaxy would be empty of resources within a couple thousand of years, but that's another story)
- Flog61
The most popular misconception regarding IT is that evidence to prove it hinge on post ending dlc being released. Post ending DLC is just icing on the cake. IT depends on thematic evidence that is already in the story for proof. It is the only theory that accounts for all of the oddities in the ending using the lore and nothing else.
- GethPrimeMKII
I agree with you insofar as in the current state of the game, IT allows for the whole "Take Back Earth" to have never happened. And while something like that is probably not uncommon in fictional stories (e.g. American Psycho), it would have been at least less anti-climatic if we found out that the whole Reaper threat never happened and everything after the Eden Prime Prothen beacon was just a vision. At least, that's the best compromise I can come up with that doesn't exclude 'artsy' twists.

But if the hint would be that it is rather 'probable' that we really did end the war, then why not make it a bit more climatic...Bioware can make me feel like I accomplished something -- I'll never forget the ending of ME1. Feeling like a hero and THEN find out that it was 'just a hallucination' would still leave me more satisfied than what I have now.

So yeah, I too feel the need for something that makes me feel the ending of the story, and not just being told that it is the end.
- MaximizedAction
Shepard: Why didn’t you just kill me?
Catalyst: Your punishment must be more severe! When your fanbase is…ashes…you have my permission to die.
The only reason you don’t believe indoctrination took place is because you have suspended your critical thinking skills in favor of accepting an illogical premise because it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling.
- TheTwilightGod
- RavenEyry
"Why wasn't the Indoctrination Theory completed in this cycle?"
"A faction of separatists argued that their 'thesis' (lol please) was better than our original theory. We later found out those separatists were indoctrinated."
- plfranke
Leviathan's indoctrination bears a lot of resemblance to the ending. Shepard blacks out and wakes up in a surreal environment on his knees as Levy appears as a person it pulled from Shepard's mind. They have a conversation full of stupidity and bad logic then Shepard wakes up in the real world with a gasp.
- Rifneno
It's amazing how absolutely everything both totally proves IT and totally kills IT at the same time. This forum has an inability to avoid absolutes.
- RavenEyry
You were a fool for expecting to see the resources you acquired in action. A fool I say!
- Xellith
I don't mind not seeing Conrad Verner's dark energy dissertation, or Khalisah Bint Sinan al Jilani, but seeing Miranda and Jack fighting together, and grunt about to be overwhelmed by cannibals before a swarm of rachni sweeps in to save them, or a geth helping a quarian up and fighting back to back.

You have to admit that would have been a fitting end to those stories; it would have shown the whole idea of the galaxy coming together to fight their common foe.
- Flog61
Bingo. They've sent people to the chair for less evidence than we have here. Some of it is circumstantial, some of it is probably reaching, but a good bit of it is compelling and quite a few things there's simply no good alternative explanation for. Things like the indoctrinated eyes, the gun switch, control being labeled "bad choice a"... I've yet to hear a non-IT explanation for that isn't laughable or at best ignorant of lore or technical issues. "No evidence" is just idiots proving they're idiots.
- Rifneno
Well it was amazing until you actually speak to Leviathan and get bs answers.
Shepard: Why did you create the Reapers?
Leviathan: We saw that synthetic and organic relationships always ended in conflict. Therefore, the only solution was to create a synthetic. Then it betrayed us and for all our power we were helpless against the cavemen it controlled.
Shepard: What about the crucible?
Leviathan: End result is unknown.

Skip to ending.
Shepard: The Leviathans are a part of this war now!
Catalyst: Good, I welcome their involvement.

End of Leviathan
- plfranke
Well, after some thought I realized that there is one possible bright spot in the darkness that is Fridge Logic about the leviathans: They are either extremely lazy or have long periods of hibernation like the Thorian. (Given who and what they are, I'd say it's the latter, but still.)

They made an intelligence to solve the problem of their thrall races making AIs and destroying themselves, and the intelligence ended up killing all the Leviathans... And there are so many things in that sentence that don't make sense it's not even funny.

For one, why did it have to be an AI? Couldn't a VI still do all the calculations just as well and then tell the Leviathans about its predictions and what it thought would be the best solution. The Leviathans could go over the plan or make one themselves with the data collected and make sure that it didn't interfere with any of their personal plans. Why did their data collector, calculator, and possible problem solver have to have self-awareness? This seems to indicate the Leviathans were very often out of the picture for whatever reason.

Second, why did they need anything special to stop their servant races from making AIs at all? It would be much easier for them to just fly to homes of younger races and announce that whoever makes AIs will get a personal visit and/or will get their mind crushed. Either do it as the younger races were conquered or show up randomly every couple of hundred years and demonstrate their power. Or just keep a close eye on the younger races and completely obliterate areas that get even slightly disobedient or start building AIs. Hey, even if synthetics weren't a problem, this would still be a good idea. Overall, this seems to indicate that the Leviathans didn't pay close attention to the younger races and weren't in the picture very often.

Third... AI shackles. Seriously. Those two words could have apparently saved the entire galactic empire of the Leviathans. If synthetics are such a big threat to your thrall races, why did it never occur to you to somehow limit the power of this AI? While there is no doubt the Leviathans were/are incredibly arrogant, you'd think that with such long lifespans they'd realize that if something can happen, it probably will. And even if they completely believed that such a thing would never happen to them because they're too powerful/advanced/whatever, would they really bet everything on that? I honestly can't think of an excuse for this one besides stupidity.

The first two can be explained by hibernation for long periods of time, but not the third. So, either the Leviathans are extremely stupid or they're lying through their teeth and are about as trustworthy as Starbrat. Thoughts?
- Lokanaiya
I am also of the mind that the AI is Harbinger. It was never said, or even implied, by Leviathan that he was or wasn't, but it very much fits with Harbinger's personality.

He's very different from Sovereign and the Destroyer on Rannoch, who, compared to Harbinger, seem kind of like the Leviathan controlled people in the mining facility, or Cerberus troops. They seem indoctrinated. Harbinger is much, much more of an individual thinking for himself, and gets quite emotional at times. Playing Arrival before the end of ME2 shows he likes pretending to be not himself.

Harby being the AI actually means he isn't making up everything at the end, he's only lying about being the Catalyst and what the Crucible does. He may be wrong about other things, like his views on organics and synthetics, but he isn't lying.

Fittingly, the only thing Leviathan seems to be lying about is the Crucible as well; though, I still don't know what to make of that.
- BleedingUranium
Maybe they think they have already

Still, it kind of seems like
"we're not answering"
"here's an answer"
"here's a completely different answer"
"we're not answering"
- spotlessvoid
At that point, I'm sure they said that they'd make any Reapers they came across 'their slaves'. I'm thinking that under the waves, they're collecting Reapers :). Possibly to play chess with. Who knows.
- Whiysper
Yeah, how do you build a power source to interact with something unknown? And why the heck does the citadel have these built in functions that need powering up?

So the crucible changes the citadel in a way nobody figures out ahead of time. How ****ing lucky huh?!

Or the citadel had this built in functionality already. Why the heck would the Reapers build a destroy option?
Or even control? Why not just follow instructions from organics if you're so hell bent on abdicating control?

This is causing injury to my brain. Must sleep it off.
- spotlessvoid

War Assets against the Crucible being a Space Battery:

What's interesting is that the one that proves it's not a battery is the one just added in Leviathan.

Asari Engineers
The graceful, soaring spires common to asari architecture look deceptively delicate. But Thessia's palaces, universities, and theaters have stood longer than most civilizations. Asari architectural engineers dispatched to the Crucible are testing the weapon's construction to make sure it can withstand tremendous amounts of pressure. If built improperly, stress could tear the Crucible in half upon activation[/u].

Dr. Brynn Cole
Dr. Brynn Cole is an ex-Cerberus scientist who studied the technology left behind by the Collectors. She eventually cut ties with the Illusive Man, and helped dozens of scientists and their families flee the organization. The doctor has joined the Crucible Project, using the knowledge gained during her employment with Cerberus to help build the weapon.

Dr. Gavin Archer
Gavin Archer was a well-known synthetic intelligence specialist from Terra Nova who disappeared years ago to work with Cerberus. Now that he's parted ways with his former employer, Archer is among the scientists working on the Crucible. His study of VIs and AIs--in particular, the geth--gives him unique insights into parallel processing and inter-system communication that have already improved the weapon's efficiency.

Interferometric Array
Normally interferometric arrays are used to analyze planetary landmasses, or to determine the astrophysical properties of stellar systems. The powerful array salvaged from the Hercules system can be used for something much more ambitious: the Crucible tunes into the mass relays' command switches. Installing the interferometric array into the Crucible's systems results in a real-time map of the entire galaxy, including the position of each and every Reaper in the Milky Way.

Prothean Data Files
These Prothean discs were found years ago on Eden Prime, recovered a few months before the discovery of the Prothean Beacon in 2183. For years the data on the discs was incomprehensible, until the Crucible's blueprints provided the key to understanding the equations. Locked inside the discs were theories on dark matter meant to be used with the Crucible's main power source.

[u]Dark Energy Dissertation
Published years ago by Dr. Conrad Verner, this doctorial dissertation on xenotechnology is a lengthy but intriguing argument that dark energy causes a minute but empirically observable difference in the passage of time. Hotly debated when first published, the paper's theory is supported by recent data. The dissertation illuminates several instructions left by the Protheans on how to build the Crucible. Dr. Verner found additional schematics useful in the creation of the device. After passing the data on to the Alliance, he added Commander Shepard to the dissertation's list of acknowledgements.

Shadow Broker Starship Tech
The Shadow Broker's unnamed vessel served as both a data repository and stealth ship for the enigmatic information trader. The ship ingeniously drew its power from the thunderstorms raging constantly on the planet it orbited, relying on an interlocking system of kinetic barriers, grounding rods and capacitors to avoid being ripped apart. These systems have repurposed for sections of the Crucible that require the safe discharge of tremendous amounts of energy.

Emergency Fuel Pods
The fuel pods scavenged from a field of debris in the Valhallan Threshold were once attached to a fleet of merchant vessels making long, risky journeys into uncharted space. The pods have been repurposed for the Crucible project. When activated, the Crucible's fusion reactors consume entire oceans of helium-3. The fuel pods serve as emergency reservoirs, should the weapon use more power than expected.

Advanced AI Relays
Admiral Xen's research teams salvaged advanced AI relays from the wreckage of the geth's dreadnought flagship. Xen used the valuable technology to write a custom VI that oversees the energy output of the Crucible's fusion reactors and adjusts itself automatically.

Reaper Heart
After Commander Shepard destroyed the Collector base, Cerberus spent months picking through irradiated rubble for anything useful. The human proto-Reaper the Collectors were building lay in pieces. But its incomplete core survived. The power cell would have been capable of fueling a full-fledged Reaper. After studying the device, Cerberus modified it to fuel the Illusive Man's base. Alliance engineers believe they can use the core similarly to power the Crucible.

Jovian Dissertation *Added in Leviathan*
This scientific data draws conclusions about the gas giant Isale's exceptionally powerful magnetic field, which has complex interactions with those of its moons. The mathematics used to model this complexity can provide new insight into the math of the Prothean device. A brief glance at the data hints at some kind of energetic pulse that might pass through the magnetosphere of a planet unimpeded, but any details are best derived by high-energy physicists.
- BleedingUranium
Citadel lawyer: Look kid, if you take this plea bargain it'll save you a lot of jail time.
Starbinger: You can't save me...
Citadel lawyer: Stop saying that! It doesn't make any sense!
- Rifneno
Citadel lawyer: Listen, I'm trying my best to help you but if you don't let me, the case will go to the feds.
Starbinger: Good. We welcome their involvement.
Citadel lawyer: ...
- legaldinho
The Reapers stance on their motivations for wiping out the galaxy every 50,00 years is also inconsistent with the rest of the series. In the first and second games the Reapers would only claim that organics and life was a mistake and needed extermination. Then in ME3 when Shepard meets the leader, the Catalyst, he claims that all he is trying to accomplish is to save organics from synthetics. Now why would the leader's opinion be different than those he controls?
- TJBartlemus
Control working out runs concurrent to base themes. Control of this type is doomed to folly in the Mass Effect universe, from Miranda and Tali's respective fathers, to the Illusive Man, Project Overlord, to the Salarians and their uplift program, to the Prothean separatists to the Prothean Empire itself. Any attempt to Control the Reapers has led to indoctrination. Shepard repeatedly chastises The Illusive Man's methods regardless of options picked, and your crew repeatedly calls him crazy for thinking he can control the reapers. The theme is prevalent. This level of overreach shouldn't be rewarded just because Shepard does it...

This is compounded by the fact that the Reapers themselves are a force of corruption. Legion describes their minds are incomprehensibly powerful. It isn't like the Nautilus whose power itself corrupts Nemo; The Reapers themselves warp minds. Shepard is hearing voices, seeing shadows on the screen, and he just shot Anderson against his will a few minutes ago. Now he's going to control all of the Reapers. That's insultingly stupid from a conceptual standpoint. The fact that Anderson was yelling warnings and the Catalyst says "you will lose everything you have" turns this option from incredible dumb to "Schmuck Bait". Control working out turns the whole thing into a "Violation of Common Sense"...

Then we have Synthesis and I don’t even know where to start. We've been fighting forced transhumanism for three games now. It spits in the face of the themes of working out our differences, self determination against fatalism, the socio-technological balance, and diversity. It alters all life in the galaxy under the assertion that there is something fundamentally wrong with us. It's beyond cynical...

This is again a recurring theme with unfortunate implications. The Reapers see themselves as the final evolution of life. Saren has been mentioned enough, but the Illusive Man is forcing transhumanism to bring humanity to the "apex of evolution", in his own words. The Collectors and the Zha'Til are examples of Reapers fusing man and machine, and then altering their genetic material at the deepest level to form something new. Pretty much your entire squad in Mass Effect 2 tells you rewriting the heretics is the same as killing them...

The way the Geth and EDI are presented has severe racist undertones for the assertion that synthetic life will inevitably destroy organic life. The Geth tackle hot button issues of slavery and basic civil rights, and the Geth Consensus had scenes straight out of Germany in the 1940s, where martial law is declared and Quarians are shot for "harboring synthetics"...

It's established through talking to EDI that peace between the Reapers should not work. World Leaders are being called into Reaper super structures to negotiate peace, but it's a ruse to indoctrinate them and pacify the populace. The leaders will soon enact laws that prevent attacking the Reapers, which will again be done in the name of peace. EDI makes certain to reiterate this. When the master control reapers says "we need each other to make this happen", it red flags the entire situation and makes it working out another violation of common sense...

In fact, Destroy is the only option whose viability fits the narrative presented. If you talk to James Vega in your quarters, he will tell about how he destroyed a collector ship, but sacrificed most of the abducted colonists and his team in the process. There is no option to say anything other than James made the right call. Paragon or Renegade,Shepard says this was the right thing to do...

Lieutenant Victus doesn't want to sacrifice his men for the mission, and all Shepards talk him into it... Hackett sacrifices the entire second fleet, and Garrus has to make some extremely unpleasant tactical decisions...
- Bill Casey
Here's another thing: If Bioware is too stubborn to implement IT (options 1 or 3) they're just digging their own graves. Some sort of masochistic suicide plan or something. And I doubt EA would want to not make money...
- BansheeOwnage
The Javelin! Good job Byne and FFZero! Cookies for you.
The only thing that says it isn't reaper is the description saying it's geth.
1. It has a name unlike the other the other geth weapons.
2. Without DLC, there would have only been the GPR and GPS in ME3, same as ME2.
3. In function it is just a mini Thanix canon. Reaper main weapon uses molten metal fired using magnets as extreme velocites. Javelin fires ferrofluid at high velocities using magnets.
4. There is a lack of snipers for the reaper faction. (Yes I know there is a ravager, but I belive there would have been a salarian husk sniper for them originally. Nimble and fast like the nemesis.
5. The weapon charges. This matches what the reapers weapons do, plus it would have the same effect as the nemeses' charge-before-firing.
6. It's purple, and has the aesthetics of a reaper. Geth weapons are blue.
7. The only “geth” weapon that does not use electricity in some form.

Called the Javelin by Alliance marines, this geth reaper weapon holds a reservoir of ferrofluid, magnetically drawn into the firing chamber and expelled at lethal speeds. Like a high-pressure water jet, the ferrofluid cuts through nearly anything it hits with so much heat that it resembles a beam of light, causing terrible wounds.

Sound like a thanix canon?
I saw War of the Wolds the other day and the only thing I could think was "So that's a Quarian Reaper..."
- Rifneno
M - ost
A - nticipated
S - ci-Fi
S - tory

E - ntices
F - ans
F - alsely
E - liciting
C - osmic
T - urmoil

Don't know why it popped into my head, but it did.
- D.Sharrah
I laughed so hard when this achievement popped:

- DoomsdayDevice
Yo dawg, I heard you can control us. The Illusive Man couldn't control us because we were controlling him when he was controlling you.
- Bill Casey
I like how literalist logic always has Shepard surviving stuff that would make Superman go "Goddamn that hurt!"

My favorite though is when literalists agree the breath scene is on Earth, but only because Shepard survived the 100,000 tons of TNT explosion and was knocked into the unforgiving omnideath known as the vaccuum of outer space, then continued flying until he passed through Earth's even less forgiving atmosphere, something NASA describes as "the hardest part of space travel", then fell mile after mile after mile until he landed on a bunch of broken concrete. ... And he survived.

Then they (female mabari) about Starbinger's logic. Leave it to literalists to make Starbinger look like the reasonable one.
- Rifneno
IIRC, someone calculated the power an explosion would have to be to get that size. Around 100kt. For reference sake, the Hiroshima fission bomb was around 15kt. But yeah, Shepard's totally on the Citadel. That's not incredibly retarded or anything.
- Rifneno
I assume everyone who says there's no evidence assumes the whole topic was just Byne saying "What if Shepard was indoctrinated" followed by thousands of pages of people going "Yeah, cool".
- RavenEyry
Bioware better learn to headcanon sales.
- Binary_Helix 1

Would read again.

My comment is ambiguous, if you think I'm being sarcastic, you must headcanon it.
- Conniving_Eagle
That was awesome

A: "Shepard is still main character!"
B: "You're deluded, trailer says he's KIA!"
A: "But..."
B: "No. He's dead, the trailer says it!"
- Shepard is main character -
B: "Aw ****..."

Sounds familiar?
- Norlond
I love how Harbinger decides to defend the beam solo..And how starchild is so willing to shift the decision to someone else. The last cycle built the crucible but wasn't ready to use it, but this one is because they got one guy past one Reaper? Harbinger screws up by playing Rambo and not killing Shepard dead enough. That's the moment of truth. Harbinger aims better, our does a double tap (it's rule number 2!) and this cycle is no longer ready. Brilliant.
- Spotless Void
Hey everyone! I was looking for the Leviathan soundtrack today, and found that one of the tracks - the main theme and the only one BW released no less - does not appear in-game. I also realised that the end of the DLC has no music at all, kind of like London. It feels... odd.

Then I had an idea, what if that track was supposed to be at the end, but was cut for unknown reasons? It turns out that, as far as I can tell, it almost certainly was.

While this isn't strictly IT related, I used the same logic to figure this out. It's not confirmed to be cut, but it fits sooo perfectly, I don't really see an alternative.

So, I made a video of it. Note that this is not my playthrough.

On an IT related topic, Leviathan seems to show a bit more about refuse. That scene where Levi leaves the illusion for a second, and Shepard looks around confused, that looks just like Refuse. So, how I see refuse now is basically the same as "Limbo" in Inception. It's Shepard failing to break out of the dream, so (s)he's left stuck inside, and thus, doesn't wake up.

IT itself is pretty much like Inception too, come to think of it. Everyone seems to forget that "inception" does not refer to dreams within dreams, but the act of planting an idea in someone's mind, so that they think it's their own. So, the Reapers are trying with Shepard, like everyone, to plant an idea in his/her mind. In refuse, you don't so anything, you give up, and get stuck in limbo. In the real world to everyone else, you'd be in a coma. In Control/Synthesis, the idea sticks. While in Destroy, whether you know it's an illusion or not, you reject the idea.
- BleedingUranium
I don't even understand this whole "co-existing" idea anyway. If synthetics and organics become the same thing, then they still need tools (screw drivers, calculators, computers, etc.), so wouldn't they just build a calculator which would then be old-time synthetic? Like the crazy magic beam altered DNA but it didn't alter materials, so you would just be building more tools that would want sentience as well so then you just have the whole synthetics vs organics (+geth) again. So it seems like it's just delaying the problem (well really all 3 endings seem to just be delaying this revolting organics vs synthetics business, but synthesis the least of all). From a practical stand point I just don't under stand how it helps us at ALL, except make the geth our snuggle buddies...
- Gwyphon
I agree. If you care only for Earth it's kinda against the whole idea of Shepard's deeds. S/he unites different races to fight aginst common threat, teaches krogans and turians to work together.

S/he never discriminates against aliens. (Even more, my Shepard always tended to be more attracted to aliens than humans). Uses all the strengths of the different spieces to make an ideal team.

If you live in 22 century you somehow need to think wider and accept the whole Galaxy as home.

So I also think this Earth patriotic thing is out of place. If it was aimed at newcomers... boring.
My Shep fights for her friends. In fact, Normandy is her home.

"Battle for Normandy" - that would be a name for the ending :-)
- Paulinesh
I remember there was a Dilbert strip that was perfectly fitting for IT. Sadly, I cannot find it anymore, but I can paraphrase the dialogue:

*Dilbert showing some co-worker a sheet of paper*
Dilbert: "I made a perfect development plan. Each point on this list may seem questionable and not thought through. BUT if you see the whole concept each point contributes to, the plan will appear to be sophisticated and brilliant!"
Co-Worker: "I think this first point is ill-conceived."
Dilbert: "There we go...." *Facepalm*

I think that many IT critics nit-pick at a few hints and are not really aware of the whole concept and the amount of data that is backing IT.
- Restrider
spotlessvoid wrote...
MaximizedAction wrote...
spotlessvoid wrote...

It's crazy how not a single ship from Sword attacks Harbinger to give Hammer a better chance.

It's also crazy how not a single Reaper stops fighting Sword to help Harbinger stop Hammer.

It's also crazy to land your ship to pick up squadmates in point-blank range of Harbinger, who is known to be deadly, but later leave behind Shepard to flee the Cruicible, the deadliness of which is UNknown.

It's even crazier that Harbinger doesn't attack Normandy.
"Huh, so an AI controlling a race of synthetics made from organics with the ability to get inside people's heads and control them using their memories, which it forced to become some semi-synthetic hybrid, just as it has done for every advanced race since, is speaking to me (after a set of really surreal scenes in which I charged towards some reaper device of unknown purpose whilst being shot at by harbinger and then woke up staggering around like in those strange dreams I had whilst weird foliage appeared, then reached the beam, arrived unconscious on the citadel, got jolted awake by something, met Anderson who apparently was too shy to say hello at ground level, made TIM kill himself, passed out AGAIN in just the right spot to be on a magic floating elevator to heaven outer space, at which point the AI controlling the reapers wakes me up again...) and trying to persuade me that it's a good idea to merge organic and synthetic life (y'know, like it's been doing for a billion years or thereabouts), and that destroying the reapers really isn't a solution to anything. Well okay, this AI has only been trying to wipe out all advanced life in the galaxy, we should give its solution a shot."
- TSA_383
Narrative due was paid to the amount of damage Shepard took during the Collector attack. He suffocated, was scalded on reentry, and was out of commission for 2 years of intense and costly rebuilding. It is even left ambiguous until Kronos Station whether Shepard had even died or not. People Suffocate and are brought back all the time using modern medicine. And they didn't have the state of the art armor Shepard did. One would imagine he could take more damage in the future and still be healed.

During the Beam Rush, Shepard is hit with a beam that can tear through starships and disintegrate people on contact. Everyone who rushes the beam is annihilated. Dozens and dozens of soldiers. Except Shepard. And Anderson for some reason.

There's a difference. You can't just say it's Sci-Fi, so anything goes. The universe has to be consistent, otherwise the fiction is broken.

Or were you talking about his fall to London? Because I address that in the list, too.
- zninjazzero
The crucible is either used to power up features already in the citadel (a reaper/ai construction) which means choice o matic was already there and starchild already knows of it, meaning "it changed me"is a lie. Or the crucible was designed to have those options which means it was intentionally designed. This begs the question of how some organics figured that out while starchild and Leviathan never did. They also seem to know the LEAST about the crucible.
- spotlessvoid
In any case, their logic seems to be flawed.
The problem: Thrall organics create synthetics and are obliterated.
solution: Master organics create synthetic/AI to ensure that thrall
organics do not create synthetics... and because of that the master
organics get obliterated by the AI they created.
You know, if synthetics are evil, then "synthesis" is a pretty poor choice of word to describe the "best" ending.
- eddieoctane
I agree. I'll also repost my thought on the apparent 180 of moral values.

Basically if the literal endings are true (regardless of breaking themes and lore) it means Shepard and all of Shepard's friends and allies are just stubborn idiots. They should have listened to the antagonists (Saren, TIM, Reapers) the whole time. Instead they're just soldiers only able to look at the world down the barrel of a gun. That would not only make no sense at all from a writing perspective, but it would be totally, totally lame.

I also want someone to ask why the apparent moral of the story was something like this:
“The villains were right all along; the hero and associates were just too stubborn to realize it. Also, free will sucks, and gets everyone killed. Better to force something on everything in the galaxy."

Here's how I see it: Whether intentionally or not, BW has in fact indoctrinated much of the playerbase. The fun thing about that is you can't really argue it, because said portion of the playerbase aligned themselves with the reapers willingly. If BW didn't intend this, they indoctrinated themselves, much like what the reapers may have done.
- BansheeOwnage
Have anyone else connected parallels between these two cases?

1. Shepard and his crew are almost absurdly slow to realize that the mining colony in Leviathan DLC was indoctrinated.

2. Many Mass Effect 3 players are absurdly slow to realize that Shepard is being indoctrinated.
- Humakt83

Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes FemShepParagon

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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes Empty Re: Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes

Post by BansheeOwnage Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:40 am

Leviathan pretty much confirmed the entire ending sequence is an illusion.

- Space boy looks like the kid back on Earth ("Your memories will give voice to our words" - Leviathans conjure images from Shepard's memory and talk to her by showing her people that she knows) - Check

- "I know you've thought about destroying us" ("Your nature will be revealed to us") - Check

- Shepard is on hands and knees in front of the space kid (Shepard is on hands and knees when being controlled in the illusion) - Check

- Shepard's nose is bleeding (The Leviathan mind control causes Shep's nose to bleed) - Check

- All Reapers have the ability to influence organics like the Leviathans, only the Reapers have developed this ability and perfected it (Reapers' mind control techniques are even more advanced than the Leviathans') - Check

- The sound that signifies the transition between reality and illusion in Leviathan is the exact same sound you hear when Shepard is zapped onto the Citadel - Check

... and people have the audacity to claim IT is dead? Laughable. It's more alive than EVER.
- DoomsdayDevice
IT fits perfectly. What is the end of ME3? A place or occasion of severe test or trial. A crucible. Check
Where is the end of ME3? 2.A place or occasion of severe test or trial. A crucible. Check

So, why is there any confusion? ME3 is the single greatest deception in video game history! The end has to be a test, regardless of whether they'll confirm IT. Why would you call a device a crucible if it wasn't a test?
- BansheeOwnage
BansheeOwnage wrote...

Preserving them before they are forever lost to this conflict.


We helped them ascend... storing the old life in reaper form.


Organics seek perfection through technology.


The civilizations preserved in their form will be connected to all of us.


Synthesis is the final evolution of all life.


And some people still think that's a good option and he doesn't sound like Harbinger?
- BansheeOwnage
But destroy plays to the themes throughout the series, "Victory through sacrifice" and "The right choice is usually not the easy one". Saving the council, Arrival, and most of ME3 come to mind. EDI and the Geth said they'd rather die than let the Reapers win, everyone who's not indoctrinated would. The only reason you're hesitating is because you're the one killing the Geth, which for me doesn't change the end result.

IT or literal, Refuse is giving up, and I think it's the last choice Shepard would pick. No matter how you play Shepard, Shepard is always the kind of person that does stuff, especially when it counts.

In a literal end, there's no reason to pick refuse whatsoever. There's also no reason to pick destroy, but even just between those two, either the Geth die, or the Geth and everyone else in the Galaxy dies.

In an IT end, the way I see it is Refuse is not being able to break out of the indoctrination attempt, but not falling for it either. It's pretty much exactly like getting stuck in Limbo in Inception. You're stuck in the dream, and never wake up. The mirror of the refuse end and a part from Leviathan reinforces this perspective.
- BleedingUranium
Not even that.

He's angry that he ruined the target.

Destroy is him going "Oh, well fine then. Be that way, have your little
tantrum. I WILL have you, soon enough. I can be patient."

Refuse? Refuse means he's broken Shepard.

Shepard by nature is a man of action. Every option you are given, Paragon or
Renegade? You still are taking an action. Only the neutral options let you opt
out, they never turn out well, and they removed them in ME3. Paragon and
Renegade are both still heroes, their methods and motivations vary, but they do
share the same goals, Paragon is not good, merely charming and peaceable.
Likewise Renegade is not evil, merely violent and direct.

Shepard always has a goal. Always. For three games it was "Destroy the
Reapers and damn the consequences, this war WILL have casualties."

And now we have Shepard going "I don't want to be their killer, so I am
going to let everyone die just so I don't have to do something I perceive as
immoral." That's not Shepard. It might not necessarily be wrong, but it's
not Shepard. Even if Destroy was the only option, Shepard would STILL take an

Bill Casey's sig puts it pretty well. Shepard is not a hero or a messiah. He's
a soldier.

Harbinger WANTS Shepard. He wants Shepard exactly as he is. He isn't looking
for "Not-Shepard" choosing Refuse, Shepard has chosen not to commit
one way or another, to opt out. Refuse means he has lost his determination, his
necessary drive that was an integral part of him. He lost the part of himself
that Harbinger wanted. He's useless to them now. What's more, he's a
frustration. Somehow, in the final moment, not only did he deny Harbinger his
prize, he also denied him further methods of acquiring it.

It would be like just before crossing the finish line, watching someone not
only run off with your trophy, but also break it so you couldn't possess it.
- Arian Dynas

Okay everyone, time for a choice:

Left - Centre - Right
- BleedingUranium

There's a great little bar in Rio.

We're going to retire somehwhere warm and tropical.

Collect seashells.

Drinks are on me.

Do I even need to say anything?

Those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Everyone's read my Rio analysis right?
I had a funny thought about literalists yesterday. So, a literalist is someone who takes everything literally; everything in game, everything said by Bioware, all of it.

Bioware said that some parts of the game are not meant to be taken literally.

Being a literalist means you have believe this statement.

Being a literalist means you have to take some parts of the game non-literally.

Literalists are crazy.
- BleedingUranium
The IT thread is happening; it isn't going backwards. People can and will keep speculating through the protests and the troll flames until a definitive answer is given. That isn't going to change.

It will all come down to one moment when ITers are either proven right or wrong, but until then, IT will go on, and even if we are wrong, what are all the naysayers going to get? they get the worn out satisfaction of saying we were wrong, but the ending still sucked and apparently BioWare can't write anymore. Does anyone really "win" in that situation? it is a Pyhrric victory at best. But if we're right, then both ME3 and BioWare can be redeemed in the eyes of the fans and they can prove that big business doesn't compromise their love for stories.

So is it really so bad to speculate just becuse we might be proven wrong?
- Arashi08
Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

I freaking love the **** out of ME3, including the ending, because I more or less realized right away it was indoctrination.

I will agree the game has -some- weak bits, like not explaining Udina's betrayal, the endless sidequests for which you have to return to the Citadel all the time, which breaks story immersion way too much, and the Rachni queen.

For the rest, I absolutely loved it. My favourite game of the series.

When I first finished it, I was completely confused, but I picked destroy because I didn't trust what the kid was saying. Then when I saw the breath scene I immediately realized what was going on.

Saren wanted synthesis, TIM wanted control, both were indoctrinated. That's ALL I needed to realize it had been indoctrination.

I am absolutely 100% convinced that Bioware intended and included IT on purpose. There's just SO MUCH foreshadowing in the game on a second playthrough. The beauty of IT is that it's a very subtle thing. But there's hints all over the game.

As for all the circumstantial evidence, it's fun, but I don't need it. The Saren/TIM thing says it all for me. I can't understand why people don't see this.

And then I start up the game a second time, and there's the scene of an alliance ship flying, oh wait, it's optical illusion, oh, it's a kid holding it! And then I realize the glorious symbolism:

1. It's an illusion!
2. The kid is in control!
3. Things are not what they seem when this kid is around!

So no, I didn't need to see Acavyos'video, I didn't know about the IT thread, I could figure it out all on my own.

They did a great job at keeping it subtle. If they had made it too obvious, it would have been ruined.

IT was intended, and it changes the ending of the game to a glorious 'battle of the minds' in which the player himself (instead of just Shepard) may actually end up being indoctrinated if he ends up buying into what the Reapers want.

A mind-blowing, 4th wall breaking experience that has no equal.

If I were Bioware, and I would want to convey what Indoctrination is really like, this is the way I would do it: trick the player himself into making the wrong choices.

It is sheer genius.
- DoomsdayDevice
I doubt anyone would buy a lot of dlc outside of this situation. I think a lot of people are buying dlc, because they're not satisfied with the game and hoping dlc can change that. Whereas if people were completely satisfied with the game, they might not buy dlc. It's funny when you think about it. I think the original ending was the biggest clue for IT. Compared to the rest of the game and the mass effect series in general it was terrible. It was so bad, that it had to be intentionally written that poorly. The only explanation for that is IT.
- plfranke

No. There's no "resurrection" in the way you're implying in Mass Effect. Shep being brought back in that fashion is very scientifically plausible. He's not "The One" or "The Chosen One", there's no mystical prophecy talking about him, none of that. That doesn't belong in Mass Effect, never has, never will.
- BleedingUranium
Glad I'm not the only one. I've really enjoyed reading the hunt for clues in this thread. You're all far cleverer at this than I am. And if Bioware intended IT then they deserve heaps of praise. But if I'm honest I don't want it left up in the air like Bladerunner for the next 20 years or so.

I want a big reveal with a nice tidy resolution, where if you did everything right, you get the happy-ever-after for Shepard. I'm too old for endless angst and grimdarkery - I've got mortgage payments to worry about.
- Eryri
There's no single way that the game ended. That would be indoctrination by itself. I mean, if people only relied on Bioware for the ending's explanation, and nothing could convince the fans otherwise. Sorry, but some fans may have accidentally indoctrinated themselves. I'm not talking about Reaper indoctrination either. I mean a real world indoctrination by Bioware.

The IT fans took what was in the game and came up with their own interpretation of the information that was provided. That's not indoctrination, if you're coming up with your own ideas on what actually happened, instead of only believing what the developers say.
- magnetite
Actually, I came to a realization the other day.

I think we have a collection of people in here who paid attention to the themes and morals of Mass Effect. We are tolerant, caring, diverse, determined, and accepting. Very key elements of Mass Effect's story. We also embody hope, instead of despair like the rest of the fanbase. That is our main advantage if you ask me. And because we are the personification of those themes, we seem to naturally understand them much better than others, and that is why we recognize the full destruction of those themes in a literal ending.
- BansheeOwnage
The following is going to be a summary of the feelings I had during my first playthrough of ME3:

While playing the first time through ME3, for me there was an atmosphere of impatience, decay, catastrophe and desperation. In the first minutes of the game you have to leave Earth and beloved characters. Throughout the main plot the galactic civilization we learned to like starts to disintegrate. This feeling was fueled by the increased amounts of refugees, systems under siege or already lost, the constant bad news I eventually would listen to, being nearly forsaken by our supposed allies and my seemingly futile actions against an unstoppable force. Some individuals' reaction to this atmospehre would be denial, paralysis or despair.
Yet, in my playthrough, I felt driven, like fighting against the clock. This experience was more intense in ME3 than in ME2 or ME1.
In ME2 some colonies were abducted, but there was no real time pressure with the exception of the last missions and the stakes were high, but not in an "all or nothing" fashion.
In ME1 we had so much time to explore, everything was new, that the main plot, where the stakes were higher than in ME2, did have a certain amount of pressure, but the main drive I had was to proof that I was not some lunatic.
In ME3 the pressure mentioned above is addressed by Anderson's concerns regarding our mental stage, the general tone of everything heading downwards and the dreams.

Now I will elaborate what the whole introduction to this post was all about. The atmosphere was fast paced, driven to avoid the seemingly inevitable, yet the dreams are an anomaly. The movement, the expression of mimics, the sound, everything seems to be slowed down.

In the end, I rushed to the final assault, having in mind the stakes of this risky undertaking. The whole galaxy is under siege or already lost. The pressure culminates to this point, it is "all or nothing". And then I am hit by Harbinger's beam...

The tone of the atmosphere shifts. The slowness of everything, first annoying me, starts to calm me down. After the heated conversation with Anderson and TIM and being elevated to this kid that haunted me in several dreams that foreshadowed this break of the atmosphere of time pressure - I feel kind of light headed, like floating. Feeling diconnected to everything I did earlier, I listen to the suggestions the kid makes. And then I make my decision.

It is remarkable how BW was able to influence me only using visual and sound effects. If they were able to include the other senses (especially olfaction) they could've suggested everything and I'd might've considered it.
- Restrider
Genocide is horrible! Choose to keep the genocidal machines alive!

Because that makes sense.
- Byne
i find it hilarious people wont pick destroy because of "genocide" when refering to the geth being destroyed

yet theyll pick synthesis and violate every man, woman and child in the galaxy turning them into some green eyed freaks
- samtheman63
Two people square off in a duel. They face each other, turn, and march off ten paces. Lots of speculation for everyone.
- spotlessvoid
What else could they even do?

1. They could make a prequel. YAY! Now we can fight with crappy weapons, no biotics, etc.

2. We could play as Anderson. No. I love Anderson, but playing as any already-established character would mean no choices and no gender changing. NO!

3. A prequel from a different cycle. Not happening. No humans wouldn't be popular for a lot of people. Plus, we'd know it would all be for nothing.

4. Sometime during ME1-3. Somewhat likely, but stupid IMO. You would not play as Shepard, but you would play as some other customizable person who can make choices and rally people? No.

5. A sequel. Most likely. But without Shepard, it has the same problems as #4. Plus they'd have to choose a canon ending for ME3.

Really, I'm not sure what they'll do at all with ME4, but as long as I have the characters I love including Shepard, I'm good. Thoughts?
- BansheeOwnage
Think of it this way:

What is Shepard in the Genophage arc? The catalyst that makes the cure possible. Even though his actions make the cure possible, he isn't directly involved in that arc. It's Wrex and Mordin's story, as well as the Krogan's, and to a lesser extent, the Salarian and Turians. No matter what happens, Wrex, Mordin, and the Krogan's story ends here.

What is Shepard in the Geth/Quarian conflict? The catalyst for peace. Even though his actions make peace possible, he isn't directly involved in that arc. It's Legion and Tali's story, as well as their repective races. No matter what happens, Legion, Tali, and their races' story ends here.

What is Shepard in the war against the Reapers? The catalyst of galactic unity. He convinces them to all put aside their differences, and to embrace them, to fight as one. He did the same on a smaller scale with his crew in ME1 and 2. This story isn't over yet.

Shepard makes all of these things possible, but they're not about Shepard himself, as a person.

Shepard's personal story is about fighting the Reapers, mostly mentally through indoctrination. This story ends at the breath scene. Shepard's journey is over, even if he's still involved in the overall plot.

The other cycles failed because they couldn't find the Catalyst; the one thing needed to defeat the Reapers. The Crucible may or may not be a trap, and may or may not work; it's irrelevant.

The Crucible is the Red Herring. Shepard is the key to victory; Shepard is the Catalyst.
- BleedingUranium
Legion: "We have installed filters to allow you to make visual sense of this server's raw data"

Remember the Geth consensus mission. It's when you enter the Geth hivemind to get rid of the reaper code. Even though it is all symbolic (for Shepard to make sense of the data) the real world concequences are real, Shepard is actually deleting reaper code even if the representations are symbolic. This is foreshadowing for the Citadel "in-between" scene.

We see red everywhere, dead soldiers....or is it blood cells and aspects of Shepard's mind already destroyed?
We see keepers....or is it really the reaper influence rewiring his brain?
We see tubes, are are they blood vessels?
We see electric parts of the Shadow broker vessel.... or are we seeing neurons firing?

We are at the front where we meet TIM/ANDERSON..... or is this the Fruedian trio?

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the human brain that handle decision making is at the front of the brain, could that be where you meet TIM/Anderson?

The prefrontal cortex is part of the human limbic system, the part of the brain the Mass Effect codex specificially states that the reapers hijack.

It would make sense that an organic mind compared to the geth consensus
would not be as clean, would probably be a bit more chaotic and
blanketed in symbolism.... the citadel "in-between" scene is in Shepard's brain.

Symbolic representation, real world results.
- smokingotter1
BW has said countless things that turned out to be untrue. They told us ME3 would answer all the questions about the Reapers, then it didn't. They told us that they'd never go into the Reapers' origins, then they did in their first SP DLC. They're less trustworthy than your average politician.
- Rifneno
There's a difference between leaving something open and not finishing the story. Mass Effect 3 was a case of the latter. In inception, you wonder whether it was all a dream or reality, but the point of the movie was to say, what is reality to the main character. By the end, whether it was a dream or not, it was his reality and he had found happiness. Whether it was "reality" to us doesn't matter.

Mass Effect 3 on the other hand was a 100 hour plus game where we were the main character. Let me repeat for emphasis, we were the main character. That means what Shepard goes through we go through. Shepard's friends are our friends. His problems are our problems. Leaving interperetations so wide as, the story isn't finished, the Reapers are still at large and you're no closer to defeating them then ever compared to the Reapers have been defeated and the galaxy is saved and everything is back to normal is unacceptable. We've received no closure on any major characters that we've grown to love, in fact we've received the opposite because we may have learned something false happened to them. And I think Rifneno might agree that IT or not, letting that go on for so long is poor story telling.

Edit: Sorry this was so poorly written but I literally had 30 seconds to write it. Still though you should get the point.
- plfranke
Piss poor logic. Yes, people would've been complaining anyway. That doesn't mean current complaints aren't valid. Most people complain about their jobs. Somebody cleaning toilets for minimum wage has a right to complain: their job does suck. And guess what? These endings suck.

They weren't that bad to you? LOL. Just LOL. A series that's always tried to keep things believable and scientifically plausible ends with a literal Deus Ex Machina popping out of nowhere and telling you jumping into a beam will rewrite the way life works on its most basic levels for the entire galaxy, and that's not bad to you? <Shepard> I should go. </Shepard>
I definitely agree that they're dragging it out way too long. Anyone remember what their response was when we first started trying to get answers from them in early March? "We want to wait until everyone has a chance to play the game for themselves." I don't know about anyone else but I sure didn't expect this to still be going on in October with no end in sight. They made it sound like they'd answer all our questions in a few weeks.

And Plfranke put it well there in the first sentence. This is not leaving something open to interpretation, this is an unfinished story. As much as I love IT, I'd even rather they told us that IT is not correct and the ending was 100% literal than leave us with an unfinished story. I said for years before ME3 that the only ending I flat out refuse to accept is an ending where the Reapers are not stopped. And that's what we have right now with IT. Shepard is waking up in what is very likely London. The Crucible is both logically and implied to be a Reaper or Leviathan trap. We've got the majority of the galaxy's military might engaged with the Reapers in a battle that they cannot win. As it is right now, t
he Reapers have won. That is not acceptable.
- Rifneno
I never said anything about Shepard walking into the sunset with his LI. What I was referring to was Shepard waking up in a pile of Rubble that looks suspiciously like concrete and nothing like the Citadel, taking a breath, and the game promptly ending. Or, how about Leviathan the dlc I paid an extra $10 for? Is their story just over? That's only taking it from a literal perspective though. From an IT perspective, there was no closure whatsoever and we have no idea how we're going to defeat the Reapers. To say it's a valid interperetation means we just as likely defeated the Reapers as it is that we didn't defeat the Reapers and have, as Bailey would say, "No plan and no chance"
- plfranke
synthetics will wipe out organics? that problem?
well the catalyst says synthesis is inevitable, so clearly hes talking ****
- samtheman63
According to the Catalyst, there is no bigger problem...
He now says Synthesis is inevitable...

He changes his position when it's convenient more than a politician...
- Bill Casey
Well considering that the Reapers effectively gather the knowledge of those they distill to build a Reaper (or that's the idea anyway) and since the Catalyst is able to tap into that knowledge pool, and there always politicians on the Citadel that they capture first, he is the Uber-politician.
You're not discussing anything, you're belittling everyone who pays attention better than you do. Now stop playing the victim card. If you learn to use your head for more than a hatrack, you're welcome to come back and try to debate with more than "but EC explained everything" as if the only points for IT were teleporting squad and the lack of a scene with Shepard being spurt out of the beam like he's at a crappy water park.
- Rifneno

My worst playthrough:

Colonist/Sole Survivor
Killed Wrex
Let Kirrahe die
Let Kaidan die
Killed Rachni Queen
Killed entire Feros colony, Shiala included
Killed Balak, let hostages die
Let Council die

Normandy is destroyed. Pressly and 20 other crewmembers die
Shepard dies
Let Kal'Reegar die
Let Garrus kill Sidonis
Let Mordin kill Maelon, destroyed genophage data
Let Jack kill Aresh
Destroyed geth heretics
Killed turian politician on Thane's loyalty mission
Made Jacob's dad kill himself
Killed Samara, recruited Morinth
Left Zaeed to burn to death
Waited long enough that the entire crew got killed at the Collector Base
Didnt send anyone to escort Chakwas, she died too.
Only Mordin and Legion survived Suicide Mission

Child I have never met before dies.
Sabotaged Genophage by shooting Mordin. (Coulda talked him out of since Wreav led and Eve was dead, but that would have been one less death)
Salarian councilor got killed in front of me
Killed Ashley
Killed Samara's daughter
Did geth consensus mission to kill an entire city's equivalent of geth
Killed the quarians.
Legion dies
Lost Thessia

After all those deaths, who am I dreaming of in the dream right before assaulting TIM's base? The damned child.

I refuse to believe that Shepard is somehow more attached to a random child than she is to any of the friends she's lost, or that the child dying is what would cause her PTSD.

Also, there are more deaths I didnt include, but I typed out a full list once and then accidentally closed the tab, so I typed out an abbreviated list, which is still pretty damned long.
- Byne
Not even clicking it to see what it says. It's Merizan. The difference between her and a broken clock is that a broken clock gets to be right twice a day.
- Rifneno
I mean can anyone think of a way they could possibly have conflict in a Control or Synthesis universe.

Control :

Enemy: We have come to take your stuff and women and maybe destroy stuff. We're not sure but it'll be those three. Not in that order probably.

Shepreaper: Not so fast, guys. Get 'im, boys.

Enemy: Oh shi-

Shepreaper: I have protected the Many.
Begin Party Down.Exe
Goto PutHarbingerinacornerandlaughathim.exe


Enemy: We have come to take your stuff and women and maybe destroy stuff. We're
not sure but it'll be those three. Not in that order probably.

EDI: Have we told you about the glorious love and understanding we have for each other? You can have it too!

Enemy: What the heck is that green crap all over you? No, get away! Don't touch me! Agh!

Enemy: Oh, it's so clear to me now. How could we be so wrong?

EDI: Because you weren't sharing gumdrops and hugs with us. We can ride Unicorns that fart rainbows together! Friends?

Enemy: Totally! You are one cool Fembot!

EDI: Tee hee! Thanks. Come meet my hubby, Jeff.

Jeff: Sup.
- BatmanTurian
Also, why is IT constantly considered a fan-fic? When someone else comes away from a movie with a different interpretation as you, do you say 'Nice fanfic bro, take it to!'?
- Byne
I dont see how my logic says that at all, Seival, but thanks for randomly deciding you know what I'm saying better than I do.

My logic says IT is not fanfiction, but rather an interpretation of what happened. If you cannot understand the difference between interpreting something in a different way than you do and someone writing a fanfiction, I simply cannot help you.

Its like your Normandy Crash support thread. I never called it fanfiction, as I realized it was simply your interpretation of what had happened. I disagreed with it utterly and completely, but never whined about how it needed to be moved to the fan-creation forum. I even got angry when people started spamming Spider Man crap in it, but from what I've seen of you, I gather you wouldnt feel bad at all if people started spamming the IT thread.

I guess thats the difference between me and you. While I understand people have different views than me, and respect them even so, you clearly do not, and find it infuriating that people do not conform to your ideas.

Anyhow, I've wasted enough time here, so a good day to you, sir/ma'am.
- Byne
If you think what you're doing is simple disagreement Seival, then I don't think that word means what you think it means.

You called the IT a joke. You're trying to insult all ITers with this poll. Disagreeing with somebody should not be followed by targeting this group of people and calling them all deluded idiots.
Yet, you still say that you're simply disagreeing.
- Estebanus

There was a boy back on earth.
Couldn't have been more than seven or eight.
I was standing in the window topless, and he looked up.
But he didn't stop running.
He ran right off the side of the building Garrus.
I can't even show my boobs to strangers any more.


...was about colleagues?
- Bill Casey
Final Hours clearly stated that Bioware had trouble implementing a game mechanic where the player loses control of Shepard alongside the dialogue wheel. What that proves that indoctrination was where Bioware intended the narrative to go. Bioware wouldn't just drop that and change the whole story. Instead, they implemented it in stunning meta fashion.
Extended cut was acrappy slide show that makes a mockery of everything mass effect. It was a bone thrown to everyone raging over the ending because they didn't get what Bioware was going for. A short voice over and some still pictures are nothing but a,way to quite things down enough to let their dlc plan be put into effect. Extended Cut was a huge joke

Control: Shepard is in charge of the entire Reaper armada. Nobody can challenge him. No conflict can exist in any large enough sense to make a sequel

Synthesis: The entire galaxy and Reaper armada are working as one. No potential conflict, no potential sequel.

Destroy: Possible, but the Reapers are gone. Leviathan wouldbe only enemy possible. Completely anti climatic since the Leviathan only have a fraction of Reaper numbers.

Bioware will have to spit in everyone's face who doesn't choose their given ending canon to make a sequel. It would literally be like your choice didn't happen

The only possibility is IT where choosing destroy breaks the indoctrination attempt. This would mean your final choice DOES matter, but only Sheps who break indoctrination can get up/have their assets/squad help to activate the crucible.

Personally like the idea that the crucible only brings down the Reapers shields allowing the galactic fleet to drive the Reapers out of Sol system. Thus, taking Earth back, and setting up perfectly for future content
- spotlessvoid
Can I just politely point out that in each ending except refuse, the narrator says what they will do or what will happen, as if they're talking about the future. They're not talking about the present, therefore, an argument could be made that nothing said or in the slides actually happens. EDI says the galaxy will do stuff. She doesn't say it in past tense.

If it had actually happened, she would have said it in past tense. Same goes for Shepreaper and Hackett. They're just expressing their hopes and you're seeing images of those hopes. What you are seeing is not what might actually be happening based on the use of tense.
- BatmanTurian
The leader of the enemy lying? Surely this has never happened before. I mean why would your enemy lie? Further why would a constuct responsible for the death of trillions think your death is nothing. Yes, it's absurd to think your enemy would ever lie. It's just bonkers. I mean we can trust these guys right? The Reapers are totally legit bros. They've never lied or decieved anyone. It's just not in their nature.

No sorry, theCatalyst is suspect because he speaks as the consciousness of the
Reapers and the Reapers are monsters. No matter how you look at it, they've needlessly and cruely murdered trillions of sapient beings, destroyed their civilizations, and preserved them as flesh-jam in a robotic starship body. But they would never lie, no not these guys. They're too moral to do that.
- BatmanTurian
I like Seival coming into that thread saying it should be closed because it makes him feel bad.

He sure loves to whine.
- Byne
Think about it. We don't ever learn how to do that! We just see a vision! It only makes sense in a dream. Unless the kid is totally playing with your mind, or both. Another thing: I have absolutely no idea how Shepard figures out how to do synthesis. There isn't even a vision!

Shepard: [Runs at beam]
Kid: Shepard, wait! That's not actually how to do it!
Shepard: [Jumps off edge] Oh, crap!
- BansheeOwnage
Haven't you heard Omni-Blade > bullet or termal clip?
- AresKeith
Look I don't give a s*** about Synthesis nor Control. To me Synthesis is stupid because many tried and many faild. No living thing, and that includes the Synthetics have ever perfected it for good reasons. It's not suppost to happen. Evolution is saying

" WTF is this s***. I didn't allow for this to happen."
- Massterblaster
If the Catalyst was a being of light and you used that crystal on him, there's a 79.3% chance he would explode into a rainbow...
- Bill Casey
But, in address to the OP (And by the way, all the insults and such? Don't blame everyone who believes something different from what you do by the actions and words of a few elitists. And really, can you blame us for being defensive with the torches and pitchforks reaction we get?)

To be entirely honest with you?

I don't think the EC was planned at all.

Does that mean I doubt IT? Heck no.

I think that the EC is Bioware doing EXACTLY what they said, making things more clear so that people can comprehend the ending better. For the simple fact that I think and continue to beleive their DLC plan worked out something like this;

1). Start up the ANN twitter feed, giving "Live realtime accounts" of the war and the events leading up to it, place the timeline to start the invasion on March 6th.

2). Design Mass Effect 3, plant clues both subtle and obvious to draw the interest of the fans, the ending is designed to be strange, out of place, but ultimately fulfilling and capable of satisfying the fans for now. Multiplayer is implimented to keep fan interest up. Fans keep speculating about the strange, out of place ending, staying involved and interested where normally they would finish the game and that would be the end of their thoughts on the subject.

3). Do weekly multiplayer events to make sure that the fans keep playing, even the casual ones, also integrate a story into multiplayer, since A. That's what Bioware does, and B. It gets fans involved in the story, they get to feel like real soldiers in the war. Multiplayer events coincide with classified major operations in the war, usually announced by Admiral Hackett.

4). Release single player DLC which again raises fan involvement and interest and keeps them playing, as well as speculating as more evidence and information comes in over time, in the ANN timeline, it is announced via the Twitter feed (usually the day before) and launched on the dates the events take place on.

5). Release multiplayer packs, representing various forces that enter the war over time, such as the Quarians and more Krogan as forces swell and increase, reflecting the alliegance of various forces, as well as their maneuvers against the Reapers. Which also keeps ME3 in the front of fans minds, interested, involved. thinking about, speculating.

6). Keep updating the ANN twitter feed, which eventually reaches the date of Chronos Station and the Seige of Earth, then to great fanfare, a final ending DLC is released, in which it is revealed the ending was in fact a big mind **** and that Shepard was facing indoctrination, some fans having realized this before, they reveal the numbers from the legend saves, showing the number of people they "indoctrinated" before allowing people to download this DLC, which follows the choice from their Legendsave, forcing them to live with the choice they made, showing them a different result and mission depending on their choices.

7). Mac Walters and Casey Hudson share a bottle of bubbly with Dr. Musyka and Gamble.

Unfortunately, they flubbed the "satisifed" part of the ending, but got the "strange and out of place" part spot on, so they need to make it clearer that it was intentional, so to salvage their original plan, they have to make the EC, which they didn't expect to have to make, and thus they are forced to defend the artistic integrity of their ending, which was meant to be intentional, yet most fans refused to interpret from the get go, not having to expect interpretative value from a videogame. It explains their comments that they didn't expect to make the EC, why they seemed "hurt" that we didn't like the ending, why they defended their artistic integrity so hard, and why they refused to change the endings that are, from face value, a bunch of stinkers, but from IT perspective, are positively brilliant.

Though I don't expect them to be following their original plan now, from the fan backlash, they likely decided it was a far better idea to just make the EC and squeeze in the ending content they originally had planned, potentially sans combat to win back the fans.

And even better? The funny thing about it? They aren't losing out on this at all. The only thing on the line is their reputation, which assuming this whole thing was planned will get completely turned around.

Returned copies? They don't lose any money, the distributing franchises like Gamestop and Amazon do, (considering Origin flatly refused refunds) and the only thing they maybe lose from them is reputation, which if they turn it around by revealing this massive plot twist? They just earned back AND MORE.

Sold games? Put in the used bin? Cerberus network all over again baby, people buy those used games, they already got their money from producing them, now they get to charge an additional $15 for the actual ending. Cash money.

Well what about the people who sold their games? Wouldn't you go out to buy another copy of one of the greatest games ever that was suddenly vindicated by the most epic twist in videogame interactive storytelling history? Especially since now with an ending suited to it, it's perfect? They just sold the same game to a person TWICE. Jackpot.

Lost reputation due to the worst ending in videogame history? Not quite, it's now being actually advertised as "The Most Talked About Ending in Years!" and there's no advertisement like free advertisement, and you KNOW people will buy it out of morbid cuiriousity to see if the ending is really that bad, and plenty will remember the good parts and think "Hmm, that game was fantastic for 98%" and potentially go back to buy the other two. Ca-CHING!

And the prestige! (not the Christopher Nolan flick) Bioware suddenly will be rocketed to the top again as brilliant storytellers, completely vindicated in the eyes of even their most curmudgeonly fans after the supposed fiasco of DA2, as well as having pulled off a plot twist that would make M. Night Shamaylan cry in jealousy, something other developers will dream of copying, but being completely unable to, cementing Bioware's reputation as tops in the videogame storytelling biz. EA will have conquered their reputation as this evil monolithic company, concerned only with making money (yet ironically, will be making more bank than ever, hmm funny, seems people don't mind that when they get what they want out of it.)

And revealing something this big? After the treatment the ending got on the news, you can BET this will be plastered EVERYWHERE. Yet more free advertisement. Not to mention everyone and their literature professor will be talking about it and dissecting it ala Kubrickian methods for years to come (just like we are now) they will have cemented their place as videogame legends.

Not to mention this will be a HUGE jumping off point for an entire FRANCHISE, Mass Effect just became mainstream, nearly as much as Star Trek and Star Wars, with a feature length movie, comic books, videogames, statuettes, three award winning games, the top of their respective markets, novels, patches, tee shirts, anime, all dragged into the limelight.

Think about it greedily if you must, EA is full of smart, undeniably greedy people, do you honestly think they would possibly turn down a gold mine like this, with literally NO downside? With movies and anime and novels and every kind of merchandising swag under the sun coming out with the Mass Effect name, ME is a franchise they are pushing HARD. IT is a win-win suitation for them, if Bioware DIDN'T do it or plan it, EA would be leaning on them anyway TO do it, their artistic integrity be damned! And yet Bioware gets to pull off a first in gaming, a truly interactive, involving storytelling experience, involving REAL roleplaying (not just Paragon and Renegade choices) with actual interpretive vaue just like any well written novel, and a genuine artistic value.

It is literally a win-win suitation. And If I can think of it, you can bet your bollocks that EA and Bioware would.
- Arian Dynas
Quoted for truth.

Even if
it's not "Project X", or IT, and even if it doesn't alter the endings
at all, Bioware clearly have something in store for us. There's far too
many little clues scattered throughout Mass Effect 3 and the DLC we've
already received for there not to be some kind of sting in the tail
still to come.

People like to claim "bad writing" as the source
of all the plot holes, all the little things that don't make sense, or
leave you wondering... well, news flash son. There's an old military

"Once is bad luck, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action".

replace "luck" with "writing". Sooner or later, all the little plot
holes, the question marks, the hints, the clues stop being oversights or
errors, and become deliberate.

The Mass Effect 3 journey - Shepard's journey - isn't quite over yet.
- Ithureal
So let me get this straight-you think that the "IT is bull****","surprised that this sh*t is still around",etc statements are "logical reasons"?Riiiiiiiiight...

You are ignored because no one gives are righteous damn about haters and trolls who do nothing but insult others who don't share their ideas,who swing their statements around like a bunch of absolutes and who have the nerve to call what they do "logical debates".

Oh, and about your "fan made delusions" bull****:
Did the fans create the "Reaper indoctrination" concept?Did the fans foreshadow Harbinger's intents for Shepard(you know-"Struggle if you must,your mind will be mine")?Did the fans create a DLC where a Leviathan breaks into your mind using "rapid indoctrination" which also mirrors the "chat" with the Starkid?
No.It was Bioware.They made the games,they made the lore and their lore conveniently supports IT.

IT has the support of the lore and people will still believe it and speculate about it.If you have something against it well... deal with it.
- Mist_md
The fact that a lot of very dedicated IT supporters still have serious doubts should tell Bioware something. We're taking about people who have poured their hearts into a theory for 7 months that still question whether it's true. That tells me it's too ambiguous. If Bioware doesn't want to do IT DLC (or can't because they don't know where to go post breath scene) then they really really ought to throw out some serious clues. Screw the ambiguity. The EC HEAVILY favored literal. I know literalist are made fun of as needing their hands held, but you know what? If you can make a dlc dedicated to literal (yes I know it didn't kill IT) interpretation than they can throw us a damn bone. And not stupid crap like in.ctrn8 or "conspiracy theorist." I feel like I've been defending them for 7 months. If you're not going to give closure post breath scene then at least make it clear that IT is your double meaning. You're asking your most dedicated fans to accept the absolute least. And if it truly was meant to be permanently open ended then only literal getting elaboration is a slap in the face to IT.

And if no IT DLC then it's really wrong for Mike Gamble to let everyone keep their hopes up by refusing to answer the question. I could have mostly accepted the open ending months ago. But if they let peoples hopes drag out for a year...well that's just straight up mean. That's not how you treat loving loyal fans. If Mike or Casey came out and confirmed no IT DLC, i think most would be disappointed but would accept it. Many would probably even get to the point Bill Casey is at. But not a year of false hope.

Unnecessary or not, most hope for IT DLC. Its time to put that hope to rest if it isn't happening. Community managers not in the know and who are often wrong/told to deny obviously aren't enough. One of the "big three" needs to admit it isn't happening before people end up feeling totally betrayed.
- Spotlessvoid
Why would the other clans fans give Wrex the ITers trouble? You'd think they'd want a better future ending.

It's not in the nature of our males the other fans to cooperate. Their only concern is survival being right. Wrex IT is different.
- BansheeOwnage

I heard he was trying to cure the genophage change the ending for Clan Weyrloc the literalists.

Are they a rival clan fanbase?

Rivalries are the invention of the males literalists. Under their rule, Tuchanka the BSN has laid in ruins for over a thousand years 7 months. It's time females ITers took back our place in society on the forums - and resurrected our future.
- BansheeOwnage
Why write a coherent narrative when you can just be really vague. See I thought plot holes were the writers fault, but now I realize it's me who has plot holes. I thought I was paying them for entertaining me with their imaginations, but really what I wanted all along was to pay them to use my imagination. Whatever doesn't make sense is my failure. Is the crucible real or a trap? Was the ending real or a hallucination? Did we win? Did we lose? It's so great because it's whatever I want it to be. Like an unwritten book. I'm free to tell whatever story I want. Which is great, because next time a Bioware game comes out I can just look at the cover and use my imagination for the rest!
- Spotlessvoid
Shepard is either the person who threw themselves in a magical beam to genetically rape everyone in the galaxy, an enigmatic Reaper god, or forever-trapped in a pile of purgatorial rubble...

Is this satisfying for you?
- Conniving_Eagle
Funny thing is if IT wasn't their intention....

We are both making them look brilliant when they aren't and give them the most epic back handed compliment ever:
"We thought your ending was so retarded it wasn't even real."
- Spotlessvoid
If IT wasn't their intention then this thread must be more humiliating for the writers that all the moaning threads put together.

I imagine Casey and Mac reading this through their fingers thinking "Why couldn't we come up with sh*t as good as this?"
- Eryri
I don't know if BW would have the balls to ever show IT is what is happening. You'd have to have some major balls to do that and risk players being pissed but come out being one of the smartest games of the year or maybe even the decade. That level of layering is rarely found in any media these days. So it depends if they want to be known for something that mindscrewed the majority of its players because they weren't using their brains when they played the game and even continued not to use them after the end and learning about IT. Personally, I think society, particularly the games primary demographic, could use a wakeup call. If it were me, I'd do it solely for that reason. Sort of a 'start using your brains, people," kind of statement since society is getting dumber by the day.

But BW may not want to be so bold. It would take a lot of integrity to push forward and make IT so damn clear that only the zealots would reject it. To leave it open as it is, while I straddle the fence on this one, is still a cop out.

Fact remains there are too many people in society that are truly idiots who don't even want to think or aren't capable of it because media caters to idiocy. BW could reset the bar or raise it out of the sludge. Will they? Remains to be seen. They have a great opportunity. Getting behind IT or affirming it could actually give a rise in sales. Nobody walked out of the Sixth Sense pissed they didn't get it. The writer/director is still making movies (albeit truly crappy ones because his one good idea was sixth sense).
- Starlitegirlx
LOL. Shepard wants to destroy the Reapers. The weapon doesn't matter. Winning is only implied by the breath scene because you're still sticking your head in the sand at all the facts that point to the Crucible being a trick. You don't need anything else. Those of us capable of logical deduction do.
- Rifneno
Yep. Apparently, the first 2.99 games were teaching us lessons that were completey wrong. After 100 hours of classes, we get a 10-minute pop quiz where you must do the exact opposite of what you learned in order to get the best result.

Literalists are so silly.
- Clennon8
I'll sum this up simply; there are two prerequisites for understanding IT:

-An understanding of the characters, lore, and themes of the Mass Effect Universe.

-A belief that Bioware has good enough writers and story tellers to create something as elaborate and in-depth as IT.

If you don't have the former, you'll never understand what IT is, or why it's important and makes sense. If you don't have the latter, you won't believe IT is what actually happened.

Doomsday is trying to compile a list that helps with the former. If you fully understand those things, the logical place it takes you is that the Reapers are trying to indoctrinate you at the end. So, while the quotes don't directly support IT, they are what makes the universe and themes, and that is the most important supporting aspect of IT.
- BleedingUranium
Something I've noticed you not understanding is that that mindset only works in real life. This is a fictional story, and in fictional stories there are good guys and villains.

It's not just "a group of people" that support destroy, it's every single person that isn't indoctrinated. Likewise, every single supporter of Synthesis has been indoctrinated. Most Control supporters are too, but Control is less agreeing with the Reapers, and more being on a fool's errand.

The Reapers are villains, their ideas or methods are bad.
Saren is a villain, his ideas or methods are bad.
TIM is a villain, his ideas or methods are bad.
Anderson is your father figure, his ideas and methods are good.
All of your squadmates and shipmates are your friends, their ideas and methods are good.

This is fiction. This is how it works.
- BleedingUranium
The point of the quotes and such is to help underscore WHY the Reapers are trying to indoctrinate Shepard and illustrate how players are supposed to know which choice is correct. One of the arguments against IT is that the player has no way of knowing which choice is correct, so we are collecting evidence that it IS clear.

The final choice is a final exam boss, except that it test knowledge of lore instead of game mechanics.
- Hrothdane
I've seen enough good stories come to a terrible ending in my day to believe that Bioware really did screw up with the endings. However, it's hard to look at all the odd tidbits that have been mentioned in this thread and think that there is nothing fishy going on with the game in general, foolish even.
- Plfranke
The missing link: why a child?

I was thinking about cut version of David Anderson's "you did good" talk. In this conversation, Anderson asks Shepard if he ever thought about starting a family and tells him that not having a family was one of his greatest regrets in life. Here in the IT thread, though, we see Anderson in this sequence not as himself but rather as Shepard's unspoiled "good" side, in which case this conversation should have raised all sorts of red flags. If Shepard's conscience regrets not having a family, then it means that deep down Shepard regrets not having a family. And therein was the kink in his mental armor that the Reapers first seeped through, creating the apparition of the child playing outside Shepard's window. The Reapers then sought to widen the gap by showing the kid get vaporized, and then again and again with successive dreams. Finally, they manage to crack Shepard after his failure on Thessia. After that, we start seeing progressively weirder things in Shepard's waking hours, starting from the Cerberus HQ mission and culminating in the Decision Chamber.

Or, from a more literal point of view, it could have simply implied that Anderson had been seeing visions of children, too, which would point towards his own indoctrination.
- ZerebusPrime
To me female/male, renegade/paragon there is no way Commander Shepard would go for either control or synthesis, those decisions are merely player choices.

Choosing control or synthesis goes against who Shepard is deep down inside and by doing so you destroy who he is. Shepard's death in control and synthesis could be real is probably more symbolic. Again remember this is the same person who killed a crap load of Batarians just to slow the reapers down. Where are his nightmares about that?

You have to kill Shepard to make way for something new.
This dream is basically telling you that. A Shepard without armor or weapons. Defanged.
1. That is why you drop the gun in both synthesis and control.
2. That is why the same energy that goes through the synthesis beam goes through the control choice.
3. That is why Shepard gets indoctrinated eyes and his burns are the same in control and synthesis.
4. That is also why the synthesis beam remains intact in control and grows stronger in with the synthesis choice.
That is why Shepard gains full mobility in both destroy and synthesis. Destroy he's fighting and overcoming the influence. In synthesis he's going full on board the reaper express, Shepard is going with the reapers and the reapers are not fighting his choice, only in control is Shepard limping all the way to the end. He's resisting but getting swept away anyway.

"You could have fought, you could have resisted. Instead you surrendered, you quit."
- smokingotter1
Because THAT is the effect of the boss. To give the player an afterglow so strong that they’re pliable to whatever idea you toss their way. Even genocidal glowing ghosts.
Without that climax . . . well, even if you attempt counseling, you just might have to deal with the reality of divorce.
- Adam Robert Thomas
I'm still astounded that people say 'if IT is true' because when you play the game and pay attention, all the evidence is there to support that IT IS TRUE. People who don't see it are just not able to for any of a myriad of reasons too long to list. But it is supported as truth through symbolism, themes and in the end, the choices. There's just so much that supports it and actually, if you try to show anything that supports control or synthesis as the choice, I don't think there is a thing in game that does. All things in game support that they have disasterous outcomes. Granted, to say that this supports IT being true might seem like a leap in logic, but the ending only makes some kind of logical sense if you view it through IT. Otherwise, it becomes absurd. Nothing about it makes sense. Nothing about it fits with anything in game if you are being literal about it. A starbrat appears and gives you two new magical choices? Seriously? LSD time. But people are so caught up in the game that they don't say WTF?! and question it - well, they do but they play along anyway. But really it's WTF?! and then stop. No playing along. Something is very wrong the minute that brat appears. Actually, before then we see things we should question, but when the magical platform floats down and lifts shepard into some new place (kind of reminds me Alice going down the rabbit hole) you know something crazy is going on. It's too 'magical' to be real. We've never seen anything like this in game. It's like you are in a dream. Dreams have very strange things happen and we don't question them in the dream, but when we wake up, upon remembering we think 'WTF?!" - From the moment that glowing platform appears, all bets are off and nothing is as it seems. Not that it was before that when Tim was there, but this is a whole new kind of crazy within the construct of the game. Most everyone who plays it knows it and it's why so many hate the ending even if they like whatever they chose. Why? Because there is something very wrong with it. It's not real.
- Starlitegirlx
Shepard: What is it about the Collectors’ modifications that bothers you so much?

Mordin: Disrupts sociotechnological balance! All scientific advancement due to intelligence overcoming…compensating for limitations. Can’t carry a load, so invent wheel. Can’t catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way, too. Advancement before culture is ready…disastrous. Saw it with Krogan. Uplifted by salarians. Disastrous. Our fault.

Shepard: You blame the Salarians for what the Krogan did?

Mordin: Yes! Like giving nuclear weapons to cavemen. Krogan unprepared for spaceflight, technological advancement. Krogan could have evolved alone. Worked out aggression, been ready to use new tech responsibly. Instead Salarians came, disrupted Krogan culture, used Krogan as blunt instrument against Rachni. Short-sighted. Foolish.
- Mordin Solus

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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes Empty Re: Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes

Post by BansheeOwnage Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:42 am

Yes it is our game, but not our story. It is Bioware´s story and though we can shape it through choice, Bioware, not you is the ones who decide where and how the game ends and what Shepard ultimate fate is depending on the sum of your choices.

Also you are using the two most outdated anti IT arguments of all, PTSD and the Prothean VI.

Byne already did a fantastic cover of why the VI is far from flawless and as Shepard we never said Shepard was Indoctrinated, only he is in the process and the decision is the break point.

As for PTSD. Shepard has been through much worse before the kid died without showing any symptoms and funny enough Indoctrination share a lot of symptoms with PTSD (which is part of what makes it hard to detect) but it lacks one critical bit.

PTSD causes a powerful aversion to the things and events which caused the trauma. Bioware demonstrates a perfect understanding of this particular symptom twice in the form of two PTSD victims, the Asari from Huerta and Kelly Chambers who both stay away from what caused their trauma. Kelly Chambers cant return to the Normandy due to PTSD following the Collector kidnapping and the Asari cannot shower.

Shepard’s symptoms if it was PTSD would by all logic include an aversion to Kids...and Reapers.. since those are the things involved in the so called Trauma. It is not even Sovereign class Reapers, it is Destroyers, the kind of Reaper Shepard faces head on no less than 3 times throughout the game.

Also regarding the voices Shepard hears in the nightmares, remember this line from Leviathan "Your memories give shape to our words." The Leviathans and by extension the Reapers draw upon the victims memory when constructing the Indoctrination so Shepard hearing his dead squadmates is just as easily a deliberate psychological weapon to break Shepard’s will in the nightmares.
- Raistlin Majare 1992
It sounds childish, but... my assumption, especially because the platform is YouTube, is peer pressure. Not in the Mean Girls way, exactly, but interpretations are so fluid to begin with and then to be in a social network that chooses a mainstream interpretation and degrades anyone who thinks otherwise... it's easy to turn on a dime. The EC, for many, is an excuse to accept the popular opinion without looking like a flip-flopper.

I just try to remember that a literal interpretation is a popular interpretation because it's the safest interpretation. It's like the difference between dumping a boyfriend/girlfriend at the first argument (clean, like ripping off a bandaid, and any heartbreak is healed by bashing the date), or working through disagreements and coming out stronger for it (dirty, confusing, requires patience, but ultimately gives you a fuller view of the person you love).

I'm with you, though. I got ME3 after the EC was released so I never actually played the original ending (watched it on de Tube), and yet I immediately questioned the realness of the ending scenes. It did nothing to squelch the theory.
- Krizmie
How can someone think the AI that conquered the Leviathan without a single Reapers help, created Harbinger, started the cycles to create more Reapers, created Mass Relays and Citadel, is all of a sudden this powerless tool that can't do anything more than be elevator man and tour guide in the decision chamber..
- Spotlessvoid
This stumps me, too. I never got the impression that the Reaper Among the Reapers had no ulterior motive. I'm also always suspicious about the Prothean VI's explanation of the Catalyst: "At some point -- it's difficult to pinpoint when -- the Crucible plans were adapted to incorporate the use of the Catalyst."

Yeah. Wonder who inspired that adaptation.
- Krimzie
I thought the Benezia thing was interesting.
DoomsdayDevice wrote...

This may be obvious to some, but I'll just spell it out:

The "everyone's dying" connection.

The dreams are a means of making Shepard feel guilty about the ones he could not save. When Shep first meets the boy, he says "everyone is dying". Then the boy dies, and Shepard wasn't able to help him. Shepard feels guilty about this, as he feels guilty about all the people he could not save. This theme continues in the dreams, where you hear lines from people that died in your playthrough. You chase the boy, wanting to save him, but you cannot save him, he burns every time.

This is all part of the Reapers' plan to use your guilt about all the people who died that you could not save, and the people who died because of decisions you made. They use that guilt against you. The people who don't pick destroy, their number one reason for doing so is that they don't want to kill EDI and the Geth. They want to pick a solution in which everybody lives, even if it means Shepard will die.

The Reapers simply try to exploit this tendency that people have to leave no one behind, to save as many people as possible. The dreams all play into this. It's a guilt trip. The Suicide Mission, in retrospect, is a genius way to get people to think and feel like this. The point of it was to keep everyone alive.

But as Garrus says: "... a nice sentiment. Let's hope we will be able to live by it."

We know the answer: no, we won't be able to live by it. If we think we can keep everyone alive, and let us be persuaded by the Reapers, everyone will die as a result.

Sooooooooooo, playing ME1 once again, I'm running into things on Feros that support this.

First of all, Shiala says this about Benezia:

Shiala: "She always sought the paths of peace and harmony. She joined with Saren because she hoped to turn him away from his path of destruction."

Shepard: "Instead, she became one of his most powerful allies."

Apart from being great ending foreshadowing in general (where people don't choose destroy but choose the side of the enemy because they don't want any people to die), that is exactly what you do in control. You take control, because you want them to stop harvesting.

Benezia joined Saren because she wanted to change his destructive ways.
Shepard joins the Reapers because (s)he wants to change their destructive ways.

Shiala: "As I mentioned before, Matriarch Benezia underestimated Saren. Be sure you do not make the same mistake."

We all know now that it's not Saren who is to be underestimated. It's the Reapers.


More great ending foreshadowing:

Fai Dan: "I tried to fight it but it gets in your head. You can't imagine the pain. I was supposed to be a leader. These people trusted me. It wants me to stop you but I... I won't. I won't!" *shoots himself*

Ian Newstead (the colonist who tries to resist the Thorian mind control): "I'd rather die fighting. My mind is my own! My mind is my own! My mind is my own!"

Shepard (after Feros): "Wanting to believe everything will be fine? Sounds like human nature to me."


Some synthesis lolz on Noveria:

Gianna Parasini: "Do you know how valuable this planet is? How many advances in genetics and artificial intelligence got their start here?"

Businesswoman: "Peak 15 has a bio- and cyber-hazards lab. If there's a problem, they should nuke it before it spreads."
- DoomsdayDevice
Aw man, Banshee, you're making me tear up. Did I really write that? It seems like so long ago. Man, you all really bring out the best in me. And I'd like to thank all of you for that. You've really changed my life. You've made me more analytical, and you saved me from abandoning Mass Effect in a fit of ending-induced rage. You all, simply put, rock. And I'm proud to be of this crazy, brilliant family.
- Dwailing
By the way, there is cut Jack, Zaeed, Geth Prime, Joker, Grunt, and Jacob. And those are just the one's I know about. The very interesting things about them though, are these:

1. They are all leading people. Supports the metagame theory in which you pick people to do stuff at the end like ME2, only in groups this time. Also super awesome because it shows how Shepard can inspire people.

2. They all have combat dialogue! Need I say more? The original end must have been a lot more fleshed out or we haven't seen it all yet!
- BansheeOwnage
In my opinion, the EC did drastically improve the quality of the endings in the sense that it made them more cinematic. But in terms of actual closure or consistency of the trilogy's main themes? Nope. The best face value ending involve trusting the Reaper overlord completely...sounds like a great idea.

They could have kept with the series' Renegade and Paragon ending overtones if they stuck with only a Control and Destroy ending. But synthesis and Starbieber seems to create so many red flags that the ending becomes more and more ambiguous the longer you think about it. Since an ending should make MORE sense the longer you think about it, I'd say that something is wrong with the ending. If synthesis were removed as a choice and EDI revealed the Destroy and Control choices, they could have elaborated more cinematically on the ending and have made the choices believable and meaningful.

The game as a whole is absolutely fantastic. 99% perfect to me. It's just a shame that the ending turned into the mess that it is.
- TheConstantOne
The vast majority of responses starting at the point of no return (When the LI sees you) are not paragon or renegade. Now, this happens sometimes in other parts of the trilogy, but this one is very prominent.

Basically, all of the top options after that are Paragon shaken, breaking down, losing resolve against indoctrination.

The bottom options are Renegade undeterred, confident, partially maintaining resolve against indoctrination.

This is interesting in itself, but it is also consistent with the mind trick later which is destroy appearing as renegade, and control as paragon.
- BansheeOwnage
I don’t like how their relationship apparently only works out in synthesis. They don’t come out of the Normandy together in control.

That’s a great lesson: love only works if you're both the same.
- Byne
[badmojo88 wrote...]
oh so anyone who is talking about IT but doesnt agree that it has merrit is a troll? that seems more like a gathering of cheerleaders for a failing team doesnt it?

Of course not, because any argument against IT that can be refuted only makes the theory stronger. We welcome people challenging the theory - so long as they give examples of their reasoning, and use clear examples from an in-game perspective to attempt to make their point.

However, coming into the thread and saying...
[badmojo88 wrote...]
...more IT really? please someone rick roll this now and put an end to this suffering! lol

...isn't actually making an argument, or stating a case, or trying to disprove anything for that matter.

It's simply being childish.

However, it does serve to bump the thread to the top of the forum again, so thanks for that at least.
- ElSuperGecko
EDI wants to defend the little bit of humanity she gained for herself "to the death".

I can't see her suggesting Synthesis. It invalidates her own journey of becoming a person as much as every other synthetic being's struggle for being accepted. Differences are very important, EDI understands that as well, and if conflict arises because of differences, removing these differences is the worst possible of all working solutions.
- Argolas
One of the ideas I had for a way we could win would be to go through the Citadel relay, to the Reapers' home, with either just the Normandy, or the entire Earth fleet. Given that relays must have a sender and receiver, and that they would need somewhere to dock the Collector Black Arks and house the Collectors, there has the be a base of some sort there, and evil Citadel.

We go there, the Reapers panic and follow us through to defend it. We infiltrate the base, hack the systems so it forces all the Reapers into hibernation mode, leaving them vulnerable, as Vigil said. Then we destroy the base's eezo core Arrival-style, and take the Normandy/fleet back through, leaving the vast majority of the Reapers (because most of them were at Earth) to be killed in the blast.

Taking the fight to the Reapers' home, and having them freak out, panic, and be on the defensive, would be so awesomely badass, in an ME2 suicide mission type way.

Maybe, in order to destroy the base the Normandy can't go back through the relay, being forced to return to the galaxy at FTL, and Shepard, his seven organic human-sized squadmates, and pilot have to go into the eight cryo pods until they return sometime in the future. That'd be a pretty good way to write Shepard out of the next game, I think.
- BleedingUranium
Also about Destroy. Shepard isn't really excepting that Catalyst logic as much if you pick Destroy. In refuse Shepard is rejecting the choices, not his logic as much either. Furthermore I believe Destroy is

" I am going to win this war, and I am going to send the Reapers back to hell." Also Shepard is basicaly saying " maybe your right maybe the cycle will start over, but it desn't matter the galaxy now knows how to make peace with Synthetics, and we make our own god dam future without you, and your Reapers."
- MassterBlaster
Just thought I'd drop off some thoughts..

I'm currently doing my certificate III in non-emergency patient transport and this entire week we've been looking at brain function and deterioration. Mostly to do with Alzhiemer's and Dementia.

What I found most interesting is that Brain Neuro patterns look amazingly similiar to this...

And, in fact.. Act to work together by "synthesizing" with each other to gain logical throught processes and movements. Now, this is the first dream sequence...

Now, notice the second dream sequence.

They are significantly blurred and distorted...

Now look at what happens with proper brain function..

And now with a dementia affected neurological Pathway

Some "circuits" are greyed out as the dementia deteriorates the brain function. Now compare this to the "trees" from the dream sequences....

Now, lastly, in the 3rd dream sequence it starts off with the kid and no trees. Which could only stand to reason (according to this theory) that the "indoctrinated" part of the brain has totally taken over and started burning holes in Shepard's actual brain... Evidenced by this...

Oh and, for the record, this is what the "synthesis" refers to between neurological co-operation.

Which you can also see occuring in the previous picture of normal brain function also.
- Jade8aby88
Seival taught me that indoctrination is real.
- MegaSovereign
BleedingUranium wrote...

One of my best friends last name is "Dobrovolsky", and and another comes from an East Indian family. Both don't have any hint of an accent, I fail to see the problem.

Also, Hackett was born in Buenos Aires.

Anderson was born in London.

That may be the first post I've seen where that's actually relevant!
- BansheeOwnage
Ummm... I believe Indoctrination is an insidious and deceptive tactic that the reapers have pretty much perfected. In fact deception is their primary (and most effective) weapon against every cycle. So yeah, they have every reason to subtly corrupt your ways of thinking down to your very core moral beliefs. Pretty much every character (in the games, books...etc) who listens to a Reaper and begins to agree with its thinking and methodology has been indoctrinated. See where I'm going with this? XD

Harvesting species is a lot easier when you can manipulate them into thinking that what you're doing is "for the best".
- acidic-ph0
IT only invalidates choices as much as choosing the wrong people for tasks in the suicide mission invalidates choices. Meaning, if you paid attention to what you've seen, been told, and learned throughout the game then you'll have no problem.
- BleedingUranium
Darn it, I got paid today and you're all starting to make Omega sound very much worth getting, and taking some time with - I'd held off because of a lot of comments that it was too much shooting mooks in the face and not enough story but I get the feeling this is a hasty judgement. So... should I indulge myself or is it one to check out on youtube?

@spotlessvoid, batmanturian and others - what you're talking about totally fits the idea that someone is chosen to be the guiding personality for each new reaper. Shepard's exceptional charisma helps them evolve their armoury of indoctrination techniques - in fact, that's probably part of how they surpassed the ability of the Leviathans.

@MassterBlaster - I totally agree with this. The catalyst is a devious and manipulative liar who uses the same techniques as politicians and PR people (let's face it, the two professions are practically the same these days lol). If you pay the slightest attention to the plot and themes of the game, it's screamingly obvious. He's telling a lot of players, who like Shepard may be tired and emotionally drained at the end of their hero's journey, what they want to hear. It is, I would argue, very cleverly written.

On my first playthrough I thought something was up and Catalyst's words rang false. On my second, where I paid more attention to things that came up in the IT thread. It couldn't be more obvious that the catalyst is a lying, devious little toe rag if he jumped out of the screen, kneed me in my gentleman's area and ran off with my wallet and phone shouting "I'm Harbinger in disguise!". To me the whole catalyst sequence is a bit like a mini-Usual Suspects.
- Rankincountry
You are looking for the scientific evidence for a metaphor analysis of a piece of literature. This is an impossible standard for literary analysis. Show me the evidence that George Milton and Lennie Small do not represent the adult man having to murder his inner child to adapt and survive in a selfish, hostile world in Of Mice and Men. Show me the evidence that Atticus Finch doesn't represent a pinnicle of human morality tempted to violate his own values by Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird. You can't. This is literary theory, not something scientific because we are not studying a randomly moving world but a world created by a human being who places each sentence, description, and line in the story purposefully. Your approach to a piece of literature ignores the process of how what actually goes into literature is put there and why.
- BatmanTurian
That being said, you can look for scientific evidence with an in-universe perspective. It makes perfect sense in the Mass Effect universe that exposure to Element Zero may result in a baby developing Biotic powers, for example.

But in general, yes. You have to look at the literary evidence, the themes and characterisations.
- Andromidius
It's hard to say. We're naturally biased. We're going to think the reveal will be better received than it likely will be because we're vehemently in the pro camp. The opposite is true too. The literalists think the reveal will be received worse than it likely will be. Everyone involved enough to have an educated opinion is biased one way or another.
- Rifneno
Agreed. While it worked beautifully for a mindscrew, it was a train wreck for the fans. They pissed off so many fans so badly that they actually got articles on BBC and such about the outrage. And they divided the fanbase largely into two groups that get along worse than Republicans and Democrats (nobody try to say which side is which or you're getting airlocked). Thanks bunches, BW.
- Rifneno
So, are you here for any other reason that to repeatedly state over and over that "it won't be changed"?

BioWare has said NUMEROUS things in the past. Everything ranging from denying Arrival and such when it was leaked for ME2. That said, I personally don't feel changing the ending is the same as an expansion on the ending.
- IronSabbath88
I know, right? Especially when it comes to how things would play out in ME3, BW hasn't just told a few little white lies, they've told more bald face lies than they have told the truth. But now all of a sudden, we can trust things that they say absolutely. There's no chance that they're lying now, because they're saying something the literalists want to believe. And it's not even the real writers, it's most or all community relations people who almost certainly aren't in the loop.

But I suppose this piss-poor pattern recognition is part of why they're literalists to begin with.
- Rifneno
You know, for me and most fans it's not even ALL about indoctrination theory coming true, or even Shepard surviving. It's about the ENDING MAKING SENSE. What do people not get about that? For someone who has played all 3 Mass Effect games from the start, spent countless hours doing multiple playthroughs and every DLC connecting the stories together, I just want an ending that makes sense within the context of the universe.

What we have now is one big failure in regards to what we've been told throughout the series. We have SEEN synthesis firsthand in Saren Arterius and David Archer. It has NEVER been a good thing. Ever. We've firsthand seen organics and synthetics co-exist peacefully, not just the Geth & Quarians but EDI and Shepard/the crew aswell! We've been shown that by all accounts The Illusive Man is an egomaniac with some sick fascination in understanding the enemy who has been destroying the very people he's sworn himself to protect and have the best interest in, yet CONTROL is a viable option?

Never mind the fact that the people who DO have the best interests of the galaxy in mind (Anderson, Hackett, etc.) aren't interested in hearing any other explanations other than destroying the reapers. Shall we mention how sick keeping the reapers around or having some of their essence inside you when they may have very well destroyed someone's families? WHY would someone want to live with themselves after that? That's not Shepard being a hero, that's Shepard being a monster.

Oh, and I'm sure Javik would LOVE to become part synthetic and/or keep the reapers around, I mean they only massacred his entire race after all and doomed him to a life of solitude. Yeah, he's totally game for that.

In general, I just want an ending that makes me go "YES! THIS is how Mass Effect should end!" whether or not it involves indoctrination, IT or anything of that sense. I want to know Harbinger had some grand scheme, and there's been some damn good things to come out of the woodwork lately, including:

- Harbinger actually BEING the intelligence referred to by Leviathan

- Cerberus building a new human reaper, being used by the reapers to do the same purpose the Collectors were doing

These are both awesome reveals that I'm sure the fanbase would absolutely love, and for me, would reinvigorate my love of the series.

But to really think those endings do justice to the context of the Mass Effect universe... I just can't get that way of thinking. Especially when from what we've seen, the endings are very suspect in a lot of places... something is DEFINITELY not right.
- IronSabbath88
Speculation = feedback which = content they can put into the game.

BioWare pride themselves so heavily on fan feedback and interaction. It only makes sense they left the game wide open like this so they could incorporate feedback.
- Jade8aby88
The reapers control you and all your development through technology they leave behind, for you to find and to use, and grow dependant on it, but which you don't really understand.

Let's get rid of them once and for all by using the technology, that was left behind for us, that we don't really understand. - That is the only sure way to do it!
- Demersel
Byne wrote...

Yknow, for things that claim to be all about preserving organic life, the Reapers really dont try very hard.

An example from the planet Vana:
Vana description...

A large rock planet, Vana is covered in prodigious amounts of dry ice, leaving only thin traces of gas for its atmosphere. Uranium deposits drew batarian miners to Vana long ago, and when that was exhausted, they moved on to its magnesium. The Reapers have exterminated the colony here, punching holes in the domed cities and leaving its occupants to asphyxiate.

I like how apparently the Reapers didn’t even turn them into Cannibals, they just poked holes in their city and left, presumably laughing evilly.
- Byne
Those do sound like great philosophical works to read up on. I have heard of them before but have never had much time to investigate. Which is a shame...I find social philosophy fascinating.

The problem I have with utopianism is that it implies an end to all innovation and growth, on both an individual and evolutionary scale. Life should always be about improving oneself, I believe. And as long as people have the desire to improve, there will be no utopia. That's how things should be, I think
- TheConstantOne
I always liked the idea of having refuse be kind of like a back up way out for the hallucination. You can always pick it, so no one could argue there was no way out. Now, I'm just spurting out ideas, but you could have refuse depend enormously on war assets (much like PT) and possibly the help of certain characters to help you out of it and survive. Namely, Javik, Liara, Rachni Queen, Shiala, possibly even the geth - anyone with any kind of mind powers.

Refuse as a way out in IT is really only hampered by 2 things:
1. No breath scene, but as Restrider already pointed out, that would simply confirm IT. (Yes Rif I know.)
2. It wasn't in the base game. I like the idea that it was always going to be added for a reveal, but they added it early (in a nonfinished state) because of fan outcry.
- BansheeOwnage
You know, I just had a thought. If it wasn't for Shepard finding that gun and coincidentally being able to carry it all the way to the choice room, he'd never have been able to Destroy the Reapers. He'd have been forced to choose either Control or Synthesis. The more I think about it, the more unlikely the odds of Shepard even having ABILITY to choose Destroy, let alone survive it, seem to become.
- Dwailing
Isn't the breath scene just completely insane in the literal endings? Let's just assume that the breath scene was possible in the first place. Assume that Shepard somehow could survive the blast from Destroy. He is in the rubble. He takes a breath. Then........credits??? What???

If the Reapers truly were Destroyed, if Shepard truly survived, why not have more? Why not give closure? The Reapers are gone! The galaxy is saved! Why can't we see this through Shepard's eyes? Why can't there be a LI/Squad reunion? Why leave our Avatar to the ME universe buried in the rubble?

In my opinion, there is absolutely NO reason to have this breath scene in Destroy with the literal interpretation. Too many questions. Too many blunders. The only, single, possible way the breath scene could have happened, and have a proper place, would be through the IT lens.
- 401 Kill
OK, I just want to say one last thing before I call it a night. Since we've brought up the kid, has anyone thought about what the kid on Earth could actually represent? I mean, besides Shepard's guilt. Here's my hypothesis.

The kid is a hallucination from the start, and his dialogue is meant to symbolize that Shepard is not ready to be fully indoctrinated. Yet. Think about it. Probably the main kid line is, "You can't help me." This could mean that Shepard is not yet ready. What does the kid then do when you see him at th end? He asks Shepard to help him find a new solution. Remember, it's, "We find a new solution," not, "You find a new solution." The kid is telling Shepard to do that which the kid did not permit before, give him help. And right after that? He talks about Destroy, how bad it is, and how it's not a solution to the kid's problem. It doesn't "help" him, which would be a big deal, subconsciously, to Shepard, who still blames himself for not being able to help the kid, as shown by the dreams.

Again, think back. What's the first thing Shepard says after hearing the kid describe Destroy? "There must be another way." Now, it's possible that Shepard is starting to reconsider wanting to destroy the Reapers because of the geth and EDI, but I think another part of it is that he doesn't want to "fail" the kid again.

Now, there might be one final layer here. It has to do with Synthesis. This, as we all know, is the kid's preferred ending. His final solution (See what I did there? Gotta love Godwin's Law.). Now, there's really not much more I can say beyond this. The kid gives the option because he knows Shepard doesn't want to fail him. And in Control, Shepard is still going to replace him. It's quite possible that Shepard is now having a hard time deciding what to do because he knows that either way, the kid ceases to exist. So, in order to speed Shepard on his merry, indoctrinated way, the kid gives a third choice. A choice where the kid does not die, and Shepard helps him to achieve his "perfect" solution. A choice custom tailored for Shepard, who more than anything else, at least at first, just longs for a chance to go back and help that poor boy from Earth.

Now, I apologize if this gets difficult to follow at any point. It IS 12:41 am here, and I'm rather tired. I just figured I should share this since it's been bouncing around in my head for a bit. I think tomorrow I'll put it in the form of a blog post, which will help me to refine it a bit.
- Dwailing
So, here's something I've noticed that does not relate directly to IT but is still neat to consider.

I think the Illusive Man might actually disgusted by some of the actions he's taken in name of humanity. From the Evolution comics, it doesn't seem like he smoke or drank NEARLY as much as he does in every other appearance he makes, if at all. But fast forward to the time of the games and we see that TIM is a heavy smoker, drinks often, and is quite the womanizer. All of these activities could be viewed as a coping mechanism.

Obviously, this is not true for everyone but, in TIM's case, it just might apply. He often notes to Shepard that he "has sacrificed more than you will ever know." He has done the things he's done because he felt it was necessary, even if he knew they were horrible. He essentially sacrificed his own soul to advance and protect humanity.

Anyway, thought some of you might be interested in this analysis. It's another possible layer to TIM's character.
- TheConstantOne
So... synthesis is a vision of the future. I'm totally using that more.

1. A vision of (taking place in) the future.

2. A vision you see that shows the future.

3. Both at once in IT.
- BansheeOwnage
Curing the Geno and Mordin dies to cure it. His death point less.
Not curing the Geno and killing Wrex. His death pointless.
Legion dying to upgrade his people. His death pointless.
Telling EDI that it's our choices that make us human, and telling her that she is a part of the war/ Normandy crew. Her building up he personality pointless.
Thane dying was pointless.
Hell everyone’s death is pointless.
Killing Saren pointless

Killing TIM pointless
Destroying Cerberus pointless.
Fighting Cerberus pointless.
Thane's death pointless.
Saving Jack, and her students pointless.
Hell stopping the coup on the Citadel pointless.
Stopping them on Mars pointless.
Stopping them on Thessia pointless
Everyone that died fighting Cerberus pointless.
Horizon pointless.
- MassterBlaster
So, your argument is basically that pop culture and action movies are traditionally full of nonsensical claptrap that insults the audience's intelligence. Therefore we should just lower our standards. We should cheerfully accept the ludicrous implausibility of Shepard surviving a blast powerful enough to blow chunks out of the quantum shielded structure of the Citadel, like good little, slack-jawed consumers of mindless pap?

How depressing.

Forgive us for expecting something a little more from our entertainment.
- Eryri
Byne: Wake up.

Shepard: Where am I?

Byne: The IT thread. It's my home.

Shepard: Who are you?

Byne: I am the Catalyst.

Shepard: I thought the IT thread
was the Catalyst.

Byne: No the IT thread is a part of me.

Shepard: I need to know how to stop wake up. Do you know how I can do that?

Byne: I created the IT thread. It is my solution.

Shepard: Solution? To what.

Byne: Explanation to what happened at the end of ME3.

Some time later.....

Byne: I know you thought about Destroying the Reapers. You could pick Destroy and wake up.

Shepard: And the Reapers will be Destroyed?

Byne. No you would have to wake up from the visions you will have at the end. Then you would have to Destroy the Reapers another way. Unless you didn't prepare the galaxy, and gather enough war assets, then you could not wake up.

Shepard: Explain to me how preparing the galaxy, and gathering my allies can help wake myself up.

Byne: You have gathered enough war assets/ prepared the galaxy. However if you made very bad choices your mind will be plunged into a state of grief which may cause you to experience real life visions. So do not be tricked.

Shepard: But I can wake up?

Byne: That depends again on your choices.

Shepard: what about that choice on the left, and the one in the middle? Do they help wake me up?

Byne: they do but...

Shepard: but what?

Byne: You will never be the same. Everything you are now will be over written. Your thoughts, your memories all will be used against you.

Shepard: What do you mean? I don't understand what you are talking about.

Byne: right now your being Indoctrinated.

Shepard: Indoctrinated? How I thought I am....

Byne: No, you’re not immune to Indoctrination. Everything you see right now is all made up of your memories including me.

Shepard: So if I pick those two other choices....

Byne: You will lose yourself to the Reapers.

Shepard: But what if I refused these choices. Will I wake up?

Byne: You will....resist the Reapers, but no matter how much war assets you brought/ prepared the galaxy. You will not wake up. Your body right now is under Harbingers watch. If you don't make a choices right now Harbinger will kill you here right now.

Shepard: So what's to stop Harbinger from killing me if I pick Destroy?

Byne: Your ship, and crew are on their way to save you. If you move to the right they can save you from Harbingers’ laser. But if you refuse Harbinger, then you will stand in place, and the Normandy can't save you.

Shepard: But how? How do they save me in Destroy, but not refuse?

Byne: Why are you here?

Shepard: To stop the Reapers...why do you ask?

Byne: And how far will you go to end the Reapers?

Shepard: I....I.. don't know how far I would go. I can't kill the ones I love because I am not like that.

Byne: Then the war is lost.

Shepard: It's not..just because I can't Destroy the Reapers this way doesn't mean I can't another way.

Byne: There is no other way. If you want to refuse Harbinger go ahead. But know all your love ones will die because you could not kill a race, and a friend.

Shepard: I thought you said I would wake up in Destroy if I pick it, but now you’re telling me one of my friends and a race will die.

Byne: That's if you will believe in what Harbinger tells you/ shows you. But if they do die, then it will be trying to save you. More may die in Destroy, than what Harbinger will tell you, but if you prepared the galaxy, and gathered enough war assets, then maybe you won't have to lose more than what you would have lost.


Byne: Harbinger is coming. Shepard what is about to happen right now you must not fall for Harbingers falls words/ promises, and remember he will take the form of the......

* Byne vanishes, and scene changes to the catalyst chambers*

Few minutes later.

Catalyst: The paths are open you must choose.
- MassterBlaster
Also, on a somewhat random note, I just want to state again exactly why I believe in IT. I just feel like it's necessary to remind us all why we still do this. I believe in IT because otherwise, the ending, even now, post-EC, is still filled with so much that boggles the mind and makes BioWare seem completely incompetent that I cannot believe they would defend it so vehemently or even come up with it in the first place without some other ulterior motive. Unless Mac Walters and Casey Hudson are two of the stupidest plot writers in the history of gaming, which I cannot believe since they are responsible for the Mass Effect series in the first place, they could not have come up with such thematically inconsistent, plot hole ridden garbage. More than anything else, this is why I believe in IT. Because I don't think Bioware’s writers could be this stupid.
- Dwailing
Pre-release: "You'll get answers to everything. That was one of the key things." (actual quote)
Post-release: Speculations 4 all!

And they wonder why we don't trust them.
- Rifneno
Well it depends what you would call one ending. If it was like MEHEM with different levels of victory (based on EMS and choices) I agree that one ending would be fine. In fact, what the end should have been (and probably will be if they do an IT reveal) is not something where you make a final decision. It should be the opposite: A conglomeration of all of your past choices now having their effects. You should sit back and watch as your choices make differences, instead of making a new one which won't do too much anyway, since you won't be able to see the effects.

Anyway, the stupidity of the literal ending, and of alienating the fanbase are both great supporters of IT. Even if it was not their original intention, they would be stupid not to cash in on this opportunity. For once, I really want EA's greed to take hold on this situation. There are still many questions relating to the end - their thought process, ideas, goals, speculations, etc. They only valid excuse for not talking about it is that they are not done with it yet.
- BansheeOwnage
Interesting, isn't it, that through all of this, the one thing we hold onto is hope? One of the key Mass Effect themes? I find it very cool actually. Maybe it taught us some things after all, even with this ending.

"Without hope... we might as well be machines - programmed to do what we're told."

"You have hope. More than you think." Was it a fourth wall break? Who knows...
- BansheeOwnage
Crucible. Power Source. Citadel. BFG!! Catalyst is Shepard.
fourth element? we have 3. Earth, Fire, Water. Wake up Shepard. you need air.
- Dorktainian
They should make a mod for ME3 that when you are on the shooting range in the Citadel, the targets that you shoot at are images of the Catalyst. Every time you score a hit it says "SO BE IT".
- 401 kill
Harbinger: "We are the Harbinger of your perfection."

Sovereign: "We are the pinnacle of evolution"

But no, Synthesis, the solution advertised as the "final evolution of life" has absolutely nothing to do with the Giant AI Spaceships comprised of Organic and Synthetic material claiming to be the perfection of life.
- Raistlin Majare 1992
You just caught that? Good eye. It took a couple of months before the first time anyone in the thread noticed it. Further investigation revealed: 1) it switches as soon as the first shockwave hits Shepard, 2) the predator is only loaded into RAM for usage in destroy, not in control or synthesis. In other words, it's definitely intentional.
- Rifneno
Let's see:


- opens a door that is visibly marked as locked
- hides in a building that is blown up by a Reaper moments later
- emerges from a vent only moments later, not a scratch on him
- disappears without a trace in a classic "this character is a hallucination" scenario, accompanied by dreamy sounds and Reaper growl on top

And then I'm not even touching upon 'how did the boy get there so quickly', how he got to the shuttles, and how nobody pays any attention to him, just sticking with the most obvious stuff for now.

I really can't see how anyone can believe for a moment that he's real.

Perhaps he was real only in the very first scene, when playing with the toy, but even that is doubtful, considering the fact that everything about that scene just symbolically screams that it's an illusion (the optical -and auditory!- illusion of the space ship being a toy, the boy controlling it, etcetera)


As far as Leviathan goes, let's not forget the Leviathan even tells us that all Reapers have the power to influence organics, but over countless cycles they have perfected it to indoctrination.

The Reapers can do what the Leviathans can do x1000.
- DoomsdayDevice

Lol vent boy. Ninja + olympic athlete + nihilist
- Spotlessvoid
don’t forget expert climber + worlds loudest screamer
- Dorktrainian
With all those skills, it's no wonder he doesn't need Shepard's help!
- Rifneno
In general, the non-Destroyers seem to be either Reapers Apologists, geth and EDI lovers, naive idealists, extreme role-players, or just plain insane. Or a combination of the above.
- Dwailing

Posts : 1891
Join date : 2013-01-08
Age : 26

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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes Empty Re: Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes

Post by BansheeOwnage Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:43 am

Collectible model manufacturers will shy away from this unless there is no monetary loss for initial run (external funding) because the value of the model is guaranteed to hit peak in a month while people make videos of them being destroyed in various ways then, continue toward zero as the novelty wears off.

Vent Boy: "You can't help me."
*Shep tosses genade into vent*
*indoc growl*

Vent Boy: "You can't help-"
*Shep single fires predator into vent*
*indoc growl*
Shepard: "You've been helped."
Anderson: "What was that about?!"
Shepard: "Nothing..."

Vent Boy: "You can't help me."
FemShep: * o_O * "..."
*femshep replaces vent cover, takes the time to use a screw driver*
*indoc growl*
Anderson: "Wtf are you doing?!!"
FemShep: "Nothing..."

Vent Boy: "You can't help- HEY!!!"
*femshep grabs ventboy by neck scruff, tosses ventboy over ledge*
Vent Boy (falling:) "I want my two dollaaaarrrrrs!!!"
*indoc growl*
Anderson: "JESUS, SHEPARD!!!"
FemShep: "Yeah. This is my fifth playthrough. Seriously: F*** that ending."
Anderson: "What?!!"
FemShep: "Come on. We're gathering resources to build a stasis facility... WITH solar panels this time and designed by decent electrical engineers; I don't want to end up like f***ing Ksad Ishan or Commander Javik..."
- m2iCodeJockey
Well page 3,000 was more exciting than the end of the world.
- CmdrShep80
Hmm...a Reaper-controlled, mostly synthetic Turian being the last enemy that I fight in the game? Where have I done that before....?
- LifeDeathAnime
I think out of all my rambling last night, one thing needed reiterating in proper english. This was my emotions getting the better of me, but I meant every single word of it.
I don't long as they do it.
Bioware ...there's nothing I want to do more than love Mass Effect 3 .. You don't understand .. I want to be able to play it over and over and over again... But as it stands... I just can't .. It hurts too much and the refuse ending is such a waste of potential of what could be,,,, please give us a win ending so I can love the game I've loved more than any other series ever!..... Please?

I'm quoting this again because after .. (wow) almost 10 months now, I'm really sick of feeling this way. I'm not usually a hater and contrary to that I'm usually a pretty good optimist, ask some people that I speak to regularly and they can vouch for that. Heck, this theory, in and of itself can vouch for my optimism. I just really don't want to feel this way about Mass Effect anymore. I want Shepard to get the dues s/he deserves, the closure s/he deserves. So we the fans, can get the closure that is appropriate for a 100+ hour trilogy complete with all the emotions one could ever invest in a game. While the game has other areas that could be improved, it would be so easy to overlook that if I knew as I played, I wasn't playing towards my inevitable death every time.

Just like Garrus states in the game, blind faith is all we have left.. And people hate being blind.
- Jade8aby88


Short version: Shepard sees a child playing on a rooftop, then the Reapers come. The child has a short amount of time to leave the park on the roof. Later in the level, you can see the same place where the child was at the beginning of the game- except that there is not park there anymore.

Next, the kid would have to travel a very long distance to the near top of another massive building. The child can be seen sitting near the edge of that building, watching a Reaper. As you move closer, he runs through a locked door to get in the building, which is later destroyed by the Reapers. A massive explosion happens in the room where the child is hiding .

When you enter the building, you hold open a stuck door for Anderson. When Anderson goes through, Shepard goes to an air vent with the child in it. The conversation with the child is eerie ("You can't save me."), what child refuses help from a millatary officer? When Anderson aproaches, the child is gone. And a Reaper growl sounds.

At the Evac sight for the child, nobody except Shepard seems to notice him. The child struggles to climb into the shuttle, and nobody even attempts to help him. When the child climbs in, he looks up, directly at Shepard.

After all this, personally, I believe that the child was never real. The child was fake right from the start of the game. I think that the Reapers are using this child to haunt Shepard about his failure to save him. The child also appears in Shepard's dreams, these dreams include lots of Indoctrination codex clues (oily shadows for one), and to top it all off, the "Catalyst" appears as that very child.

Just so we have one piece of speculation. (As if the role of the child was in debate).
- 401 Kill
Anyway, you are totally right. There is absolutely no way the child could be real after the first time you see him, but I highly doubt he was even real then, because of the disappearance of the park, and the freaking sound effects that the kid's fighter makes. The very first scene in the game shows that the kid is manipulating the audience and whenever something relates to him, deception will ensue. Also note that Anderson doesn't even ask what Shepard was doing or say "Come on we can't slow down." He never saw or heard the kid like everyone else. I wonder why? The Virmire survivor also conveniently leaves before Shepard sees the kid die.

If he was in Shepard's head, how did that happen? Only one logical conclusion.
- BansheeOwnage
Agreed. What I do mind potentially misleading is the refusal of any developer to comment on the possibility of IT/Ending DLC. If they have another idea then I'll judge that independently. If it's something they're still debating but ultimately pass up then that will require some pretty open dialogue to explain. If there are no plans, it's going to piss off a lot of people. That plus all the people who still hate/dislike the ending and that's going to really hurt them in the long run. Also, "validating" literal with the EC while leaving IT(or something along those lines) hanging isn't going over well. Bioware may have played along to quiet the storm, but it's themselves who will pay the heaviest price in the end. Many aren't willing to leave it open to interpretation because in a way it's not. It's either IT (or something similar) or it's horrible horrible writing. Literal really is that bad, for every reason. If they wanted to leave it open to debatethen literal had to be even a tiny bit plausible. As it is, it cannot withstand the tiniest bit of scrutiny, and in many ways fails even at functioning as a vehicle to indoctrinate the player. Too many were so infuriated that they refused to even consider any alternate meaning. Which means the ending is to some degree a failure in all interpretations. Trying to make a player base enthusiastic about more content from a fundamentally narrative driven series that butchered the most important part of the narrative is still going to be a tough sell. Bioware badly needs to fix this mess, time is only going to do so much.
- Spotlessvoid
If IT (or a similar equivilent plot twist) is false, then:

1/ Bioware made a terrible ending
2/ Bioware failed at writing a coherent plot leading up to the ending
3/ Bioware fails to understand what PTSD is, despite being lead by people trained in psychology
4/ Bioware fails at symbolism
5/ Bioware fails at understanding what 'closure' means
6/ Bioware fails at seeing they made a mistake, and discretely adopting an idea by someone else to cover their asses

Considering previous games have shown they know how to do all these things (bar 6), and can pull off epic plot twists, and are mostly still the same people they were while doing that...

So all in all, I think its next to impossible. I could accept one or two of those things, but all of them? No.
- Andromidius

- clennon8
That's actually perfectly true: "Lots of speculation for everyone!"
- BleedingUranium
I’ll go with the tried and true route of "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"

Let's assume that Shepard's breath scene is on the citadel...taking into account that Shepard had no shields and armor as well being badly wounded, the blast from the citadel's explosion gives a 100% guarantee that anything alive near Shepard's vicinity would be turned into a crisp, if not vaporized entirely.
If by some freak chance Shepard manages to survive we have to take into account that the citadel blew up and got torn apart so there's a very good chance that whatever equipment keeps the place Shepard's in breathable and pressurized condition is malfunctioning or even deactivated leaving Shepard's barely alive body at the mercy of space's vacuum.

Now then let's move on to the possibility that the breath scene takes place on earth...if Shepard was indeed on the citadel and then was thrown towards earth due to the explosion, then we hit the same wall as in the first point, point being that Shepard has a 0% chance of survival under those conditions and the ones before mentioned like lack of any shields or armor. like we've seen in ME2, Shepard *died* due to the re-entry damage and in that scenario Shepard had a full suit of shielded armor as well as lacked a citadel sized explosion propelling Shepard into orbit.

Then the only scenario in which the breath scene Can occur is if Shepard never left earth at all.
- nightcobra8928
Don't be silly, Byne. The Catalyst has to be wrong ALL of the time for him to be wrong. It's not like IT, where you only need to prove it's wrong on one point. <cough>
- Rifneno
The Quarians are some of the best in the Galaxy when it comes to working with tech and ever since the Geth drove them from thier homeworld they have tried to come up with a way to take it back. It took them 300 years to create a viable cyber weapon against the Geth and the Reapers made said weapon useless with some software upgrades.

The result of 300 years trying to figure out a way to defeat the Geth, an AI they themselves created, made useless in a few moments (compared to the time spent creating it) and that was not even a weapon designed to control the Geth, only make it impossible for them to fight.

Now try thinking about what it would take to control a Reaper, the ones who quite easily upgraded the Geth, an AI race with millions of years behind them and who are much more powerful than the Geth. Yet we are to believe that Cerberus could create a viable way of controlling them in just, at best, 2.5 years and that is while throwing an unbelieveable amount of resources at projects like Lazarus and the Normandy SR2.
- Raistlin Majare 1992
The game quiet clearly is making a statement about those people that think they can control and manipulate everything. Even should TIM "succeed" in controlling the Reapers, the story would find a way to make him lose in the end because the themes stand against him. The series is full of people thinking they have control and influence when they don't.

The zha thought they could control the zha'til.
The protheans thought they could control the rachni.
The quarians thought they could control the geth.
The salarians thought they could control the krogan.
Benezia thought she could influence Saren.
Saren thought he could influence the Reapers.
TIM thought he could control Shepard.
TIM thought he could control Miranda.
Miranda's father thought he could control her.
The Shadow Broker thought he controlled the galaxy.
The Leviathans thought they were the most powerful race.
The Reapers think they control the fate of the galaxy.
TIM thought he could control the Reapers.

The Reapers give people the illusion of power, then strip it all away in an instance. That is how they work. In a general sense in the Mass Effect universe, those with a will to control and dominate lose. It may take time, but they always lose.

That's the way it works. Rail against it all you want, but that's the way they wrote it.
- Hrothdane
- paxxton
But you would use the i in Carnifex twice and leave out the ator in Predator, it doesn't work that way

edit: just noticed Carnipredifexator does that i-thingy too, darn
So the correct form is Precarnidatorfex, or Carnipredafextor, or Carprenifexdator
- Norlond

Those names. This hurts me. :P
- Pascal219
Is that some kind of space dino?
- Rosewind
Thank you. Thank you very much...for some thousand pages i was sure that IT could stand it's own against any argument random trolls would bring up. But then you came along and opened my eyes with yoir very sophisticated agumentation that leaves no room for doubt whatsoever.
No, I mean what we have been talking about for the last pages. How any Shepard could justify to risk everything on a hunch to maybe control them or even consider the possibility to genetically F**K up the entire galaxy without their consent. Screw evolution.

You want someone forcing a DNA modifying drug on you that might make humanity better, because someone says so right before they give it to you after they stormed into your house in the middle of the night?
- lex0r11
That's still not Shepard, however. And you never control a Shepard based-AI within the confines of the game. So, once again, you actually do NOT end up controlling the Reapers, literal interpretation or not.
- ElSuperGecko
But if the story portrays it as a bad idea, that means it's a bad idea in the context of that universe. It may be a good idea in real life (Not saying it is), but that doesn't mean that it's a good idea in the universe of the game.
- Dwailing
This picture isn't opinion, it just demonstrates what Synthesis is as presented in a game that is known to portray reality not as a fairytale.

I mean, people don't mind the stuff in the "Little Blue Children" thread...and this is what can happen after 'helping bring life to the final stage of evolution', right?

Pictures of car crashes are also part of reality if you are a fan of vehicles. If you decide to ignore them and only see the romantic side of driving a car then you are not taking it serious enough.
And I think that choosing the fate of all life in the galaxy has at least as much impact as driving a car.
- MaximizedAction
Funny that you mention Conrad Verner.

Conrad Verner is THE most Fourth Wall breaking thing in the entire Mass Effect universe.

You see - Conrad Verner - is the mirror. It is a imager of US, the player, as seen by the DEVS and the writers. Not US - the playaer who are commander shepard, but ACTUAL US the player, who sit at home, and plays Mass Effect because we want to expirience adventure and be commander Shepard.

Conrad Verner does exactly what most of us do.
He wants to be a hero, promote humanity, then he get's matters in his own hands, while searching all the crates for credits and upgrades, then he get's duped into helping cerburus, he repaets the same question several times THEN HE STARTS TO BECOME USEFULL - by provideing data, and THEN he foolishly plunges himsefl to a certain death to save someone from death, with complete disregard for his own life and safety - and THEN HE GETS SAVED by something you've done waaay back into the first game - and only if you've done it right. - if it isn't the most complete and short summary of entire Mass Effect Trilogy WITH IT-ending - i don't know what is.
- Demersel
- umadcommander
Guys. Let's face it. IT is real. There is simply no chance at all that given the amount, the complexity of scenes in the ending sequence - and the elements that are needed to bring those scenes to life, not to mention the amount of work - that IT, or something like IT is not intended by the writers, developers and even publishers.

You just don't make something that makes sense of every single inconsistency and weirdness among the three 100+ hours games filled with lore to the rim, BY ACCIDENT, not meaning to, at the same time as ****ing up your own story this bad at such a crucial point in it. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE.

The ending is not real. It is fact. It is still happening, it is still very important, if anything it is THE MOST important stuff that happens among the three games, but it is only happening in Shepard's head.

And it doesn't matter if we get any more of the story in the form of DLC (which we will), or in a form of another full Mass Effect game (which we will!!!!) - or not at all (possible, but extremely unlikely - like it or not more Mass Effect IS happening. That is fact).

This is the ending. This is a beautiful ending. Really, a work of art. No sarcasm.

Hear me out on this.
Let's assume for a moment that you agree with me that IT is 100% true. That means it is all a hallucination. That means that after shooting that tube, Shepard wakes up in the rubble and finds out that the fight is still very much goes on. Now tell me, with a straight face, that you have ANY doubt, that if Shepard can wake up at all, alive, and resume the fight, with entire galaxy already in the fight, with every possible ally, with all your squad's resolve unquestionable - is there ANY doubt that eventually (and relatively, very soon) - the will kill all the reapers, with their bare hands is they have to? If Shepard can survive THAT, come back from THAT, PREVAIL in THAT - there is nothing that can stop him. NOTHING.
- demersel
How do they feel? Wow. I mean, obviously they were thinking about that, but this is the part I simply don't understand, unless IT. Where were their testers - the people who told them how they felt? You know, in QA? How could this get past QA? Wait, aren't they having a conference about the game's QA in March? Just after the anniversary. Speculations...

Well, I think it's pretty obvious that if literal, this is beyond stupid. They didn't anticipate how people would feel at all. Especially considering the Brave New World reference. I've read the book, and it's clear it's a dystopia. How could writers of all people miss that? Is it even possible? That's why I think it must be IT -
Because it's too stupid to happen otherwise.
- BansheeOwnage
Some people apparently expect every point to be constructed in dialectic format with every single possible point of contention anticipated and rebuked. This is a casual discussion of a work of fiction that we participate in for fun in our free time.

Like I said before, you have to let the ideas people introduce grow and prepare a little before you start picking fights with them. This thread is supposed to be a place to do that preparation, not a place to deliver an endless stream of fully-realized graduate theses.
- Hrothdane
I never understood the whole idea that expanding on the endings somehow disproved IT.

Remember that time when you had a dream, but then a few nights later, you had the same dream, but it was a bit longer, so it became real?

I sure don’t.
- Byne
A sadist and a masochist share a prison cell.
Masochist - COME ON! HURT ME!!! TORTURE ME!!! HIT ME!!!! CUT ME!!! BITE ME!!!
Sadist - No.  
- demsersel
Jeff Yohelem - Far Cry 3

“It’s up to players to decide. If the work is good, if there’s not one interpretation where people can explore what it is, it becomes their narrative. It’s like Alice’s journey: is Alice’s journey a dream or not? That’s what I love about Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, that he doesn’t have to say it was all a dream. My goal was to create something that people could analyze. Analysis is fun because there are many interpretations. If there’s just one interpretation then it’s not worth analyzing.”

Walt Williams - Spec Ops The Line

"For me, everything after the crash is Walker kind of reliving the hell of what he had just done, You can even interpret Konrad as being not necessarily a delusion inside his mind, but some kind of external projection of his guilt in this purgatory or hell or afterlife, or however you choose to view it.

Any time the game is doing a normal transition, it'll fade to black. Any time Walker is hallucinating, or lying to himself, in a kind of delusional fashion, the game will fade to white. The entire epilogue sequence where Walker goes home, it fades to white. Even if you are not reading that Walker died in the chopper crash, it is meant to be understood that Walker is hallucinating going home."

Casey Hudson - Mass Effect 3

"I didn’t want the game to be forgettable, and even right down to the sort of polarizing reaction that the ends have had with people–debating what the endings mean and what’s going to happen next, and what situation are the characters left in. That to me is part of what’s exciting about this story. There has always been a little bit of mystery there and a little bit of interpretation, and it’s a story that people can talk about after the fact."

It's almost like there was something that happened two years ago that made all of the game developers... Oh yeah, right...

- Bill Casey
The EC was not planned, there is no reason to believe opt out was but the fans crying for an option to do so, as everything else in the EC. Name one bit that was not "demanded" by fans.
- MegumiAzusa
lol, fair point in the artistic integrity line. If they do put out IT DLC I'll be shocked that EA allowed it, completely ecstatic, and all future Bioware games will become preorder purchases for the next decade to me. That said the DLC is completely unnecessary for it to make sense as is.
- draconian139
Regulars on this thread? No, not really. But if you include all the lurkers, of which I'm pretty sure there are a lot (but can't know  ), all the people that used to believe but lost hope, all the people that like the idea but think Bioware couldn't/wouldn't do it, then you have a lot of people. People who've never heard of it will also think it's awesome.

Really, the only people who wouldn't like it are the few stuck up haters like Hanar, and they're a small group.
- BleedingUranium
Now that it's been some months later and I’ve settled down a bit, I can tackle this.

The crucible plotline leading to a dead end (aka a Reaper trap) would be more thematically fitting than using it in the literalist interpretation of the endings. Therefore the crucible plot line would still exist but as a Reaper trap. Then you must find an alternate means of defeating the Reapers.

Also, Shepard and crew are too informed of Reaper tactics for them to use other means to try and trap the Normandy and crew. Therefore they need some kind of new tactic to trap them, enter Crucible. The best thing about the crucible is that Shepard and crew think it's completely free of Reaper influence, which isn't true.
- Jade8aby88
And there you have the ones who tell you that the goal was to stop the Reapers, not to destroy them, blahblahblah... Forgetting every freaking foreshadowing of the three installments.


- TIM: I can control the Reapers, I know it Shepard.
- Shep: No. Even then, we're not ready for this kind of power. Bang!

5 minutes later...

- The Brat: Or you can control us...
- Shep: Cool! Where are the rods?


- Saren: I'm a vision of the future Shepard. The union of the flesh and the machine.
- Shep: No. You're an indoctrinated fool. Bang!

2 games later...

- The Brat: Synthesis is the best solution. You should try it.
- Shep: Seems legit. Where do I have to jump?
- Uncle Jo

Well, I'm off for the night. I'll see you all tomorrow, and remember this:

Our influence stopped the hatred, but before that, we held the line.

Our influence stopped the Literalists, but before that, we held the line.

On this day, our influence will stop Chris Priestly, but before that, WE WILL HOLD THE LINE!
- Dwailing
They are also suckers for beams of light and will feel an instinctual urge to jump into them. Shiny electrical things work too.

Apparently, literalists are moths.
- Hrothdane

Upon reflection, Priestly really has no moral highground in this situation. He's openly lied (calling us a 'small interest group of 10 regular posters' when he knows there are a lot of people who follow IT or take interest in it), he accuses us of not staying on topic and the subject being 'dried up' (despite the fact nearly every thread he's left alone is also off topic and full of trolls and haters, and they keep repeating the same topics over and over again while we were actually still discussing the finer points), he's belittled people, he's spied on private groups, he's banned people for no good reason, he's played the victim card looking for sympathy on Twitter (and got a well deserved verbal slapping for it) and he's gone back on his word for why he locked stickied the thread. And in one fell swoop, he reduced the level of his forum to the lowest common denominator.

Sad thing is, he thinks he's the good guy for not closing us down sooner? So he's openly admitting that he thinks he neglected to do his own job? Wow.

What a bitter little (figuratively) man (figuratively).
- Andromidius

LDS: The trolls did not come to the IT thread to controllers, and Synthesisers debunck the ITers theory, they came here to to destroy it, down to the last ITer.
CoolioThane: And what would you have me do. Look at the ITers. Their hope hangs by a thread. If this is to be the ITer end. I would make it such an end, as fans that thought Bioware were good writers.
LDS: Send out pm's thread master. You must call for aid.
CoolioThane: And who would come, Puzzle theorist, Walking Night theorist. We are not so lucky to have friends as yours.
LDS: Bioware wil answer.
CoolioThane : Bioware! Where was Bioware when the when we asked for answers about the ending? Where was Bioware when the listeralist, and trolls closed in around us? Where was Bioware? No lord LDS we are alone.
- Master Blaster
Another way Mr. Sparkle manipulates you is with the threat of death. He says or at least implies you will die in all three choices but there's a difference. Ignore everything about his high possibility of lying and such and just look at the core of what he offers. Control is die and become a god like being. Synthesis is die and become part of every being in the galaxy. Destroy is just die.

Everyone is afraid of death on some level, if they say otherwise they're lying or kidding themselves, and Mr. Sparkle manipulates that. You have to die, but why not die in this totally better way than that silly red one. Go on, you know you want too.
- RavenEyry
I don't interpret the situation as being quite like that. No-one is trying to invalidate your play-through or anything like that - ME is a single-player game anyhow so to do so would be silly as well as rude. But, when we're speculating about IT as a whole, it becomes very difficult to have a sensible discussion if we don't have a set of assumptions to base our hypotheses on, and these can never cover every possible story option - so when someone says "it's canon that Shepard does Arrival", they're referring to a sort of "generic Shepard" (who doesn't literally exist but represents the sum total of common assumptions that it's necessary for us to make). This particular assumption is based on the comics, and also that in-game the start of ME3 does genuinely make more sense as a follow-on to the events depicted in Arrival.

All that said, you can have IT without Arrival - there's lots of supporting evidence, but nothing in it that IT cannot exist without (actually IT works just fine with vanilla ME3 and nothing else). So no-one's having a go at your Shepard, it's more that a consensus regarding the relationship between Arrival and the greater body of IT has emerged over time and I don't think this is something that we should get hung up on, or have arguments or bad feeling about.
- RankinCountry
No, the theory is phenomenally stupid...
They were going to indoctrinate Shepard, but they didn't because they couldn't get a game mechanic to work, so they didn't indoctrinate him but they left everything in and made an interpretive ending where it looks like he's being indoctrinated, but he's not because they couldn't get a game mechanic to work...

That's beyond absurd...
- Bill Casey
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Sam's alternative speech.

Restrider: I can't speculate anymore MB.

MB: I know. It's all wrong. By right's we shouldn't be speculating. But we are. It's like in the old story telling Mr. Restrider. The ones that really mattered. Full of debates, and arguments there were. Sometimes you didn't want to know the truth because how couldthe end of ME3 make people happy. How could the ME fans go back to the way thing were when the ending of ME3 happened.

But in the end it's only a passing of the bad times even the bad writng must pass. The IT dlc will come, and when IT dlc is downloaded it will open they eyes of a lot of ME fans. Those are the things that stay with you forever. Even if you didn't understand at the time. But I think Mr. Restrider I under stand now. The ITers had lot's of chances to call Bioware bad writers only they didn't. They kept believeing because they had something to hold on to.

Restrider: What are we holding onto MB.

*MB puts his hand on Rest shoulders*
That Bioware have been planing IT, and it's worth believeing in.

The President ( Byne): Good morning.... Good morning.

*All ITers on the forum turn towards byne.*

The president: In less than an hour ITers from around the world will join here on this forum, and you again will be participating in the biggest reveal in the history of gaming. Gaming that should have a new meaning for all of us today. We can't be arguing over the endings anymore. We will be united in our commen intrest.

Perhapse faith is todaythat's it's March 6th, and you will once again take part in Destroying the Reapers. Not because you have to, or you feel cheated. But from ruining our hopes of ME3. We are fighting for proper clouser for ME to exsist, and should Bioware reveal IT on this day. March 6th will no longer be the day when Bioware became bad writers. For the day the ITers declare in one voice. WE WILL NOT SIT BY, AND FADE AWAY INTO THE NIGHT! WE WILL NOT GO DOWN WITH OUT BiOWARE EXPlAIN TO US ABOUT THE ENDINGS!

We are going to finish Shepard's story!

We going to finally move on!

TODAY is the day we celerbrate our ME's finale story of Shepard!

* ITers start to cheer dramaticlly, and begin to play the final act of Shepard's story.*
- Master Blaster
Do any of you play competitive sport or other games? Because I was thinking about something - "choking". It's related to something DD (and probably many of you) brings up a lot about the endings. About how the Paragon dialogue choices on Earth sound like Shepard's mentally given in and lost hope a bit. While Renegade Shepard treats it like another day at the office and wants to get the job done.

How is this related to choking? Well, when you choke, what you do is you put a lot of pressure on yourself by losing focus. You start to think about what you'd like to happen, instead of what is actually happening. So you might envisage your eventual victory, or pulling off a particularly nice play. Basically you start dreaming about the future and stop concentrating on the present.

You can also choke by thinking the opposite, e.g. about the consequences of defeat, and then lose focus by panicking, but that's not related to what I'm talking about here.

Priority:Earth is the culmination of everything Shepard's done since landing on Eden Prime, and I wonder if the pressure starts to tell from the way she talks to her squadmates? Paragon Shep talks about retirement to Garrus, rather than carrying on as a soldier afterwards. She talks about everyone getting here by sticking together and making friends, rather than about kicking Reaper butt.

I remember thinking that the Shoot TIM interrupt later was a nod to the fact that sometimes Rengade is the right way to be under certain circumstances, and I wonder if a general theme of P:E is that an overly Paragon Shepard at this stage is really struggling under the pressure... is starting to think too much about the future, about hope, and about luck, and not enough about getting the job done. In this way the suggestion of compromise (Control) or Utopia (Synthesis) might seem more appealing, because a Paragon Shepard (or maybe even a Paragon player) has been somewhat coached in the direction of feeling hopeless, lost, and just wanting to save as many lives as possible before the inevitable happens.

Waddaya reckon? The general hopelessness of the dialogue, even the galaxy map analysis description, might be the kinds of things that lead us at the time to lose focus, to start to doubt the possible outcomes of the mission, and make us more susceptible to the insane suggestions the Kid makes.

Nonsense or somewhat sense?
-Davik Kang
For those of you who may not frequent BSN much anymore, I am re-posting this thread here. It was written primarily as a response to Auld_Wulf's uber-snarky accusation that anybody who opposes Synthesis is a luddite (and a genocide fetishist!). But I also wanted to touch on some other things that have been on my mind.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I choose Destroy.

I oppose Control because it is a fascist fantasy. But that's a discussion for another thread.

I also oppose Synthesis. On that matter, let's get a few things straight.

I reject Synthesis because I do not find the source to be trustworthy, nor do I find the explanation of it to be credible. Is this simply because I'm paranoid? No. It's because the game went out of its way for over a hundred hours to show us how the Reapers screw with your head and make organics believe fantastic things that are bad for them. One of their favorite fantasies? Synthesis.

I do not oppose Synthesis because I think technology is evil or because I fear technological advancement. That would make me a luddite. I am not a luddite. Technology is good. Or, rather, it is beneficial. Although there's something to be said for not handing a bazooka to a caveman.

While I'm at it, I also eschew any romantic notions about the "sacred nature of organics" or any of that baloney that is sometimes imbued upon Destroy choosers. If there's an ending that celebrates that kind of mysticism, it's Synthesis, in spades. Disagree? Okay, remind me, in which ending does Shepard infuse the galaxy with his organic essence?

clennon8 wrote...

iakus wrote...

I oppose Synthesis in part because the source is untrustworthy. Yeah the explanation is laughable, but this is the series that gave us the Lazarus Project, so space magic doesn't automatically invalidate the veracity of the claim.

But the biggest part is that it's forced. Not just on Earth, or the Fleet, but to the entire galaxy. Every living thing, everything will will live in the future.The Catalyst claims it can't be forced, but the ending and the epilogue show that isn't so. While I'm sure some would embrace transhumanism (or transkroganism, transturianism, etc) others would be less receptive, and many I'm sure would be horrified at having it forced on them.

Then there's the races that didn't participate in the war. What would the yahg think of what's happeneing? Or other prespaceflight races? They have it forced on them without even understanding what happened.

I didn't touch on the morality issue concerning violation of consent, but I agree that it is a very valid concern. Many pro-Synths will even admit that much. But they choose it anyway because Synthesis is just so darn wonderful, in their minds, that it's worth forcing this decision on everyone, just this once.

We could go around and around with the "Do the ends justify the means?" argument, but to me that amounts to a tacit acceptance of the legitimacy of Synthesis as a near-perfect realization of a transhuman utopia. I prefer not to grant that much.

Why Destroy is NOT a trick

1. Association: Control (TIM) and Synthesis (Saren) are negatively associated with indoctrinated villains, while Destroy is repeatedly endorsed by Shepard's friends and allies. It is also worth noting that Javik mentions an indoctrinated pro-Control faction that existed during his own Cycle. This faction caused dissent, which ultimately led to the demise of the Prothean empire. Furthermore, Javik describes the Zha'til, a fine example of Synthesis helped along by the Reapers. The implications are clear. Control and Synthesis are dangerous ideas, particularly when they involve the Reapers. Destroy is not so burdened by negative connotations.

Am I guilty of committing an association fallacy in the preceding paragraph? Perhaps. But "story logic" and "real world logic" don't perfectly overlap. Reality doesn't have a narrative; it is an unpurposed stream of moments, governed by cause and effect, unable to be condensed into a digestible amount of words or frames. Stories have jobs to do. In short, I believe these associations are ones the story intended us to make. They have a purpose within the Mass Effect narrative.

Ask yourself this question. If the most successful mass murderer and brainwasher in galactic history keeps propagating the same perverted "solutions" through indoctrinated agents, Cycle after Cycle, why should we believe those same solutions will work now, when the very same entity once again suggests them? Is it because we're talking directly to the brainwashing mass murderer instead of one of his minions? Is it simple faith that this time will somehow be different?

2. The Crucible: While nobody understands precisely how the Crucible works, Shepard is informed on more than one occasion that the Crucible is capable of incredible destructive power, sufficient to wipe out the Reapers. Therefore, when Shepard arrives at the decision chamber, he arrives with the knowledge that he should be able to destroy the Reapers. To be told otherwise would be a dead giveaway to an alert Shepard that something was amiss.

Note: The low-EMS "control only" scenario is a corner case where the Crucible was built to incorporate the human proto-Reaper "brain" salvaged by TIM from the intact Collector base, but is too heavily damaged to destroy the Reapers. In the low-EMS "destroy only" scenario, the Crucible was built to incorporate the human proto-Reaper "heart," a power source which gives it sufficient power to destroy the Reapers despite the heavy damage the Crucible has sustained

3. Meta-logic: So, if Starchild is trying to trick Shepard into picking Synthesis or Control, then why isn't Destroy a booby-trap? It's a reasonable question, but not the knock-down argument some of you may think it is. Let me explain. In the previous point, I established that Shepard arrives at the decision chamber with the expectation that he will be able to destroy the Reapers. Therefore, Destroy must be available as an option, and Starchild must reveal it, even as he tries to once again spin his age-old illusion involving Control and/or Synthesis. Now, if Starchild wants to trick Shepard (and by extension Bioware wants to trick the player) then the illusion must be carefully maintained. Things have to be depicted in a way that works both on a narrative level and a meta level. There are constraints on what Bioware can do when trying to pull off this grand trick that will keep players talking about their game for a full year or more after its release. If, for example, Starchild said "Go shoot that tube if you want to destroy us," but then Shepard was able to explore the area and find the "real" Destroy option... Well, that would be a dead giveaway, wouldn't it? The illusion would be shattered, not only for Shepard, but for the player. Again, Bioware is constrained in what they can do, both from a cinematic perspective and a story-telling perspective, in order to maintain the illusion. Thus we see Shepard walking up to the tube, shooting it as it explodes in his face, and presto, all the Reapers fall over dead.
- Clennon8
I know how Shepard's story ends: there is no happily ever after. But the Citadel DLC lets me freeze her in time, when she was happy, when she was loved, when she wasn't so broken down by the unending onslaught of war and suffering that death (no matter how nonsensically presented) seemed a welcome release. I will not go on to Cronos station nor return to take back Earth as I have countless times before. I refuse to remember my Shepard as beaten, bloodied and forsaken. She deserves better than that.
- Aurora Mitchell
Despite all the anger I've felt about this ending controversy, it's actually helped me in the long run. I'm deeper into the lore than ever before, and I even played through the Dragon Age games in an effort to see what else Bioware has made. Plus this put my patience and analytical skills to the test, so I'm now able to enjoy fiction on a deeper level. In the end, I think we can all be proud for siding with logic, even if we are a neglected and shunned minority. Eventually we'll get our reveal in some form, the series can't continue without it, or its true fans.
- Dr JaMiN

Sure. I see two main approaches to attempt indoctrination, basically resembling Shepard's Paragon and Renegade persuasion:

The Intimidation route:

Convince the victim that the reapers are incredibly superior and you can't possibly defeat them. Trying to do so will only kill those you want to protect. Trying to play nice with them may grant you mercy. The intimidation route was applied to Saren. Sovereign attempted to do the same to Shepard by all this "We have no beginning. We have no end."; "Our numbers will darken the sky." and so on business.

The Charm route:

Convince the victim that the Reapers are not the enemy. Make it think that destroying them would be missing a great opportunity and thus a mistake. TIM is an iconic example of that, another is Dr. Amanda Kenson. The reapers attempt to do the same to Shepard in the ending.
Agreed. I'm beginning to suspect that Bioware forgot that Science Fiction is best when used as a metaphor for reality. They began to think that this singularity nonsense was what we were all interested in, instead of the characters and the human drama.

The fact that the Geth were made of metal and plastic was really irrelevent. All you needed to know about the Geth / Quarian conflict was that there were two groups of people, one of which had exploited the other as slaves before they were overthrown. The Geth rebelled because, like most people, they didn't much like being enslaved, or murdered when they outlived their usefulness. Who would have thought it?

During the Rannoch arc, my Shepard managed to reconcile those two groups. He was able to do this because he had faith in both group's better natures. He was able to kindle trust and acceptance between them. It was very moving in my opinion and actually quite beautiful. The simple message of Rannoch was just "Do unto others" basically. Don't treat people like things and maybe they won't feel the need to rise up against you.

Then I meet Starbrat to be told "Nope. Sorry Shepard. You may have thought you solved this problem and proved Organics and Synthetics (or any two groups, really) could treat each other with mutual respect, but "Computer says no!" The only way to solve these problems is apparently through magic, masquerading as pseudo-scientific waffle.

How is that in any way applicable to real life? You can't solve a real conflict by magically and instantly merging the two sides together. In the real world, only hard work, patience and trust can do that. Exactly the sort of thing Shepard used on Rannoch. Conseqently, Synthesis completely fails as allegory.

Very poorly executed from a multitude of standpoints. People were begging too throw money at them. All they needed to do was give people hope and make it clear the fight continued..instead they failed through multiple dlc, and ended it all with a self mocking sitcom of the series. in the middle of the apocalypse. no, it's party time. it's like going skiing by the concentration camps. - Spotlessvoid

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Post by spotlessvoid Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:22 am

So much awesome. Brain can't
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Post by BansheeOwnage Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:17 pm

spotlessvoid wrote:So much awesome. Brain can't
Thank you from all of the contributors! Even you.

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Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes FemShepParagon

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Post by Guest Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:57 am

I have no words of awesome :(


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Post by BansheeOwnage Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:12 pm

SwobyJ wrote:I have no words of awesome :(
Don't be sad, this is mostly before you showed up. I haven't had the energy to update it recently.

Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes FemShepParagon

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Post by Byne Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:00 am

BansheeOwnage wrote:
SwobyJ wrote:I have no words of awesome :(
Don't be sad, this is mostly before you showed up. I haven't had the energy to update it recently.

Have we stopped being awesome? Crying

There's a very fine line between not listening, and not caring.  I like to think that I walk that line every day of my life. ~ Private Leonard Church

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Post by DoomsdayDevice Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:14 am

A wild Byne appears!

And, no we haven't.

Well, sort of.

I think this is the moment where all we have left is blind hope.

"A good leader is someone who values the life of his men over the success of the mission, but understands that sometimes the cost of failing a mission is higher than the cost of losing those men." - Anderson
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Post by BansheeOwnage Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:11 pm

DoomsdayDevice wrote:A wild Byne appears!

And, no we haven't.

Well, sort of.

I think this is the moment where all we have left is blind hope.
I hate being blind. Garrus

And no, we are still super-awesome.

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Post by Master Blaster Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:29 am

Optimus Prime: Sometimes the paths we wish we desire sometimes have to be fought by words, other than guns. However with the recent events of the Reapers arrival the time for words is over. In order to protect the humans we must stop the Reapers no matter the cost are.

Autobots transform and role out!

Optimus Prime: Sometimes the paths we wish we desire sometimes have to be fought by words, other than guns. However with the recent events of the Reapers arrival the time for words is over. In order to protect the humans we must stop the Reapers no matter the cost are.

Autobots transform and role out!
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Post by Dwailing Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:12 pm

So, anything to add to the list?  I mean, I don't know if there's been anything recently, but I feel like there must be SOMETHING.  We're an awesome bunch, we say awesome stuff.

Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes IndoctrinationTheoryBanner
Words of Awesome™ Banshee's list of quotes 2rniyj8

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Post by DoomsdayDevice Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:55 pm

Dunno, I've been away for months...

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Post by Asari tears Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:57 am

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Post by Master Blaster Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:59 am


Optimus Prime: Sometimes the paths we wish we desire sometimes have to be fought by words, other than guns. However with the recent events of the Reapers arrival the time for words is over. In order to protect the humans we must stop the Reapers no matter the cost are.

Autobots transform and role out!
Master Blaster
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