EDIT - There's even a video to help explain it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDSwW7… EDIT PART 2 - Here's an even better video to explain it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ7bsI…EDIT PART 3 - Here's a link to the BSN Thread with more details: social.bioware.com/forum/1/top…
EDIT PART 4 - Here are some images that help make more sense:
"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." Doesn't this sound oddly familiar?
By picking the blue or green options in Mass Effect 3, you basically agreed to give up, stop fighting and just die. Picking the red beam means your still fighting, struggling against the Reapers, not going to just lay there and die like they want you to. Live to fight another day... or give up and die. (thanks mcomommy
"We fight or we die."
Now before you continue having your panties in a bunch, take a moment to think about all the subliminal messages BioWare left in Mass Effect about the endings. If you think about everything, the ending makes complete sense and it also throws in a sense of completion. What on Earth am I talking about? Well
hear me out:
In Mass Effect 1, Saren's final conversation with Shepard mentions, "The relationship is symbiotic. Organic and machine intertwined a union of flesh and steel. The strengths of both, the weaknesses of neither. I am a vision of the future, Shepard. The evolution of all organic life. This is our destiny. Join Sovereign and experience a true rebirth. We can't stop it. Not forever. You saw the visions. You saw what happened to the Protheans. The Reapers are too strong." - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk5r8a…
Meaning that he is mentioning synergy, one of the options Shepard can choose. It is something the Reapers want
especially from strong opponents. Implant them, succumb their thoughts, and let them think they are still in control.
The Illusive Man is no different except he believes that controlling the Reapers is the only way. As he says, "Control is the means to survival. Control of the Reapers and of you, if necessary. This is the way humanity must evolve. I've dedicated my life to understanding the Reapers, and I know with certainty the Crucible will allow me to control them. This isn't about me or you. It's about things so much bigger than all of us. And who will you listen to Shepard? An old soldier, stuck in his ways, only able to see the world down the barrel of a gun? And what if he's wrong? What if controlling the Reapers is the answer?" - www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHXN3x…
Even the Catalyst makes you believe this is the correct answer
only because they know the outcome.
Coming to the conclusion that Shepard is indoctrinated. If you go to the Codex, the definition is: Organics undergoing indoctrination may complain of headaches and buzzing or ringing in their ears. As time passes, they have feelings of "being watched" and hallucinations of "ghostly" presences. Ultimately, the Reaper gains the ability to use the victim's body to amplify its signals, manifesting as "alien" voices in the mind.
the one Shepard has been having
what do you think they were? They are nothing more than the side effects of indoctrination. Another way to confirm this hypothesis is by visiting the virtual reality for the Geth Consensus. Legion states, "We have installed filters to allow you to make virtual sense of this server's raw data. Your mind perceives our world as something familiar. You processed our memories by using your own." Shepard may be stronger-willed than Saren and the Illusive Man but it was bound to happen. They have been around Reapers this long and are part machine
it was only a matter of time before any effect of indoctrination would take place. The Reapers could make superior viruses and upgrades to the geth immediately
I'm pretty sure they would make one for their greatest opponent. "Infection programs are increasing, we will stabilize." If the Reapers can quickly adapt a change in geth programs
how easy would it be for a person who is part machine already?
The Catalyst the kid
that damn kid
I knew the moment I laid eyes upon that child that something was different. Why wasn't anyone helping him into the Alliance Kodiak? Why didn't anyone pay attention to him? Any human with paternal instincts would have assisted
so I immediately knew there was something wrong with it. The child was Shepard's interpretation of the Catalyst
and the Catalyst was nothing more than a figment created by indoctrination. The Catalyst represents god/creator. Whenever the species came to questioning their creator, they were wiped out. If they didn't, the species would become too strong and figure out a way to cancel out the Reapers. "The created will always rebel against their creators." Because humans have progressed to this point, the kid gives Shepard three choices control, synthesis, and destroy. Saying they cannot choose the final outcome
but secretly they are aiming for two of them.
Control Shepard "controls" the Reapers. But if they choose this option, they will die. How can one control the Reapers if they are dead? They will leave but for how long? This is a false sense that Shepard can save both synthetics and organics, which they are both. To think Shepard can control the Reapers is only a dream. The Illusive Man believed he could control the Reapers
a lot of good that did. "So
the Illusive Man was right after all." "Yes, but he could never have taken control because we already controlled him." If Shepard chooses this, the Reapers win.
Synthesis Shepard merges the two. Synthetics and organics are now one entity. Taking away the image of a person's being. You are no longer a human, you are no longer a synthetic, you are no longer an individual
you are a hybrid like Shepard. "I think we'd rather keep our own form." This is also a false sense that Shepard can save both synthetics and organics but again
she will die. Saren believed this was the only way for it to end, that is why he allowed Sovereign to implant all those upgrades. "Synthesis is the final evolution of life but we need each other to make it happen." Yet the Catalyst also stated, "We helped them ascend so they could make way for new life, storing the old life in Reaper form." It may shape the DNA of humans
but it would in turn make us no different than what the Reapers originally intended for us. If Shepard chooses this, the Reapers win.
Destroy Shepard destroys everything synthetic Geth, EDI, Reapers, and herself. She leaves the universe with only organics, saving Earth and the identity of human beings. This is the option the Catalyst does not want you to make, giving you the false sense that you will die if you choose this option and that you will kill any friends and allies that are synthetic. They also falsely reassure Shepard that the peace will not last with this option. But how come this is the only ending that Shepard lives? This is because if Shepard chooses this
Now onto dying
Before Shepard's death, they receive flashbacks, much like anyone does in their final moments. But some people idealize how their outcomes affected others. In Shepard's case, they thought about the safety of their crew. There is no way for someone who was by Shepard's side to magically appear on a vessel miles away
think about that for a moment. If Shepard is anything like me, my last thought would be the safety of my loved ones and that is what the final scene is. Just knowing Joker and my LI made it, would give Shepard the peace of mind to pass on. In reality, they know that their LI is waiting where they last parted
waiting for Shepard to return victoriously.
If your Shepard survived, then the indoctrination they received will become severed. You get a brief glimpse of them waking up in a pile of rubble
where exactly is this rubble? And wasn't Shepard in space? If she died where she "thought" she was, wouldn't she be drifting in space
with no way to survive? Even if this room collided into the atmosphere, she would have burned before reaching the ground. Even if my theory is not accurate, Shepard would not stop until everything is right again. If they defied the odds of surviving Suicide Missions, if they were able to take out the "indestructible" Reapers, if they could reunite species who have been quarreling for centuries
they can make things right again. Mordin says it best, "Anyone else would have gotten it wrong." The same goes for Shepard
anyone else would have done this wrong. If the relays are damaged, she'll find ways to fix them. If her crew is stranded, she will find them. If the Reapers return in some way, she will defeat them again. Shepard can never die
their spirit will live forever. Their name will mean "hero" for the krogans, their legacy will be remembered across the universe, and they will become the savior for their time.
I loved the ending. It leaves it wide open for interpretation still. What I think happens is when Shepard wakes up in the rubble, they will discover that they are either back on Earth or back on the Citadel. Their choices have completely destroyed the Reapers. Through this rubble they will need to discover everyone who has survived
which depending on your stats would determine the actual outcome. All in all, if you have successfully played since ME1, then all you loved would have made it
with the exception of those who sacrificed themselves on the way. And another story would begin
as was mentioned at the end of the game. Another story of the great Commander Shepard.
Now if you don't mind... I'm going back to replay every single interaction between Shepard and Garrus as well as start my other playthroughs. This was by far one of the best games I have ever played. It's touching, it's beautiful, and it's outright amazing. If you want to continue flaming, go elsewhere. Because I love this ending for Mass Effect and it will be my favorite game for years to come.