Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut: I can die happy now

Posted on Jul 1 2012 - 11:03am by Tatjana Vejnovic

me3ending1 Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut: I can die happy now

Roughly two and a half months ago, I sat in front of my television in tears; and not the good kind. My hundreds of hours invested into Mass Effect were shredded to pieces with no explanation, no closure, and some crazy kid in an ending that garnered more than a little attention. I was instantly upset, there was no debate on that. Then I found the Demand a Better Mass Effect Ending movement, which I was one of the first 5,000 people to join.

The following article is going to contain spoilers from this point on. If you wish to experience it for yourself first, please stop here, and continue on after you play.

Bioware did a good job of filling in a lot of unresolved elements, and making sure it killed the indoctrination theory (which I found absolutely absurd). I had two main points to counter the indoctrination theory: the Prothean VI said nothing, and neither did Javik. Yes, indoctrination causes nightmares, but it also causes extreme pain, which Shepard only felt when s/he was temporarily indoctrinated by The Illusive Man.

The story made it very clear that TIM was very much there, and that Anderson was also under his control. Anderson’s dialogue was slightly altered as well, to directly acknowledge TIM, and not imply that Shepard was indoctrinated. This, I liked. This made sense.

As far as your squad mates being magically on the other planet, that was also fixed. Your two squad mates go with you up to the beam, and one of yours is shot (which to my understanding is your love interest if that person’s with you). Shepard immediately calls for an evac, and the Normandy drops down, as you and the two squad members have one last conversation.

Going back to the scene with TIM, you have the same conversation with Anderson, and Hackett before teleporting up to the infamous lair of the crazy child. You have the three options, or you can make a fourth. Saying no. Refusing the options, and doing what you want. If you choose this option, it fast forwards to an Asari VI that’s actually Liara, and says, “My name is Dr. Liara T’Soni. My cycle did not survive the Reapers, but hopefully with this information, you can break the cycle.” After the credits roll, instead of [who I think is TIM] the old man and the kid, it’s an Asari-type person with the child telling the story of how Shepard saved their lives.

06162011 Mass Effect 3 FemShep 300x187 Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut: I can die happy now

My name is Commander Shepard, and this is the ending that should have been.

After doing that, I went back and completed the red ending, with Shepard living, and destroying the Reapers. Bioware fixed this immensely by explaining that now the Mass Effect relays were only severely damaged, and that they can rebuild civilization by working together. A five-minute monologue by Admiral Hackett gave me closure, and your love interest adding your name to the Normandy death board left that little bit of mystery of what could happen next.

Had Bioware originally offered this ending, I would have been completely pleased. So thank you, Bioware, for listening to the fans, and finally giving me closure to a series I hold close to heart. These small changes have pleased me, and many others, and I greatly appreciate it.

Shepard out.


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Gamer. Photographer. Internet superhero. Commander Shepard. Specializing in urban decay photography and being a gamer since she was two, Tatjana is one unique cookie. Not only does she climb fences and risk arrest for the perfect shot, she's also convinced that she's actually Commander Shepard.

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13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. exiteditor July 2, 2012 at 11:54 PM - Reply

    God you are an idiot. The prothean VI and Javik said nothing because Shepard wasn’t indoctrinated. The Harbinger was only TRYING to indoctrinate Shepard at the end. I don’t even know why I’m resonding to you since you obviously have no clue.

    • Eric Guzman July 3, 2012 at 1:44 AM - Reply

      What have you accomplished by calling the writer an idiot. Why couldn’t you present your point without being a huge dick. Grow up.

      • exiteditor July 3, 2012 at 5:26 AM - Reply

        The author is an idiot (and deservingly so) because he/she stated their opinion as fact, called the indoctrination theory “absurd”, and used a silly reason to supposedly disprove that theory. Any novice Mass Effect player will realize on their own or through minimal research/logic that Shepard wasn’t indoctrinated throughout the game and that Harbinger (if the IT is correct) attempted to indoctrinate him/her near the end.
        So, unfortunately some people are, simply stated, idiots when they get basic and obvious facts wrong. Moreover, it also makes you an even bigger idiot, and a major douchebag, for telling me to “grow up” because I’ve called someone an idiot.

        • Tatjana Vejnovic July 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM - Reply

          LOL. Clearly you don’t know how to read. My point was, that Javik and the VI said nothing due to Shepard not being indoctrinated. I KNOW that. People still thought he was indoctrinated, which I didn’t believe in. rofl I love the internet.

  2. Oldvideogamer July 3, 2012 at 3:02 AM - Reply

    Screw the ending. The game itself is a masterpiece. I have played it 5 times each with old and new Shepards and Im amazed at how many story outcomes there are. Same sized studio who did ME2 but triple the work load. Good writing and great QA.
    After gaming for 30 years I can say without a doubt that this 5 years series is going to remain on my top shelf for decades to come.
    Well done Bioware.
    The ending did not need extra FREE FAN SERVICE. Like Alan Wake… Stephen King once wrote ‘Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations.’
    I doubt even Stephen King would have giving you closure if he wrote the ending. Star Trek Next Gen being Sci Fi just relied on an entity called Q??? to wrap everything up.
    Shepard out.

  3. Michael Wilbur July 3, 2012 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    While I disagree about the indoctrination theory being absurd, I do agree that the new endings are what should’ve been there to begin with. I’m all for thinking over an ending, but the original endings just left far too much unanswered, especially for this kind of story. While a few plot holes remain, the new endings are, if not perfect, at least good enough to let those of us who’ve followed Shepard’s exploits from the beginning have some sense of closure.

    There may be little fun to be had in explanations, but leaving things too vague will make it look as though your story is unfinished (or worse, rushed) whatever your original intentions may have been.

    • Jeffrey L. Wilson July 3, 2012 at 9:44 AM - Reply

      Thank you for being a decent human being who knows how to respond with respect. Also, I know exactly what you mean about vagueness making a story feeling incomplete–that’s how I felt about Prometheus.

  4. Jake July 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM - Reply

    How much are Bioware paying you?
    The ending is still terrible. They answered only the most minor questions like why the Normandy was traveling between systems.
    The rest of the ending was still an incoherent nonsensical mess with a Deus Ex Machina cherry on top.

    I honestly don’t care at this point anyway. The series was doomed from ME2 when the plot went in a completely stupid direction with the Collectors. I was just stupid enough to think they could salvage SOMETHING.

    • Tatjana Vejnovic July 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM - Reply

      Bioware isn’t paying me anything. The point and the matter is, is that no matter what Bioware decides to do with their ending, not everyone is going to be happy. Is that the ending I wanted? Absolutely not. I have a much better ending planned out in my head. They had their first shitty ending, and they patched it up. That’s what we’re going to get. We have to grow up and realize this is the best it’s going to get, and move on.

  5. cartmaniac July 4, 2012 at 3:43 AM - Reply

    Wow exiteditor. get a life.

    Save for the commentary on the indoctrination theory, this article says it all. While there are many story developments that possibly disprove it, there are still plot holes within the ending as it is as well. To be honest, I would like that ending as well, but the ending as it was released was sub par.

    I believe Bioware did the right thing. They did not compromise the integrity of their art, but they pleased their fans (the people who keep them in business) by producing content that should have been there to begin with. I agree with Michael that a story like this cannot be left vague or purely symbolic. You discover the nature of the Reapers in ME1 and why the Collectors are targeting humans in such great numbers in ME2. Neither of these are left a mystery.

    And there is no way I can be mad when Bioware leaves me satisfied that I have made the right choice by exacting revenge on the Reapers with Lance Henrikson’s soothing voice.

  6. cartmaniac July 4, 2012 at 3:48 AM - Reply

    P.S.(3) The only real complaint I have with the ME series (either my favorite or a close second) is that too many of your choices don’t really affect that much except for War Assets (Humanity’s Councilor, Rachni Queen, Save or Abandon Council, Collector Base)

    • Tatjana Vejnovic July 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM - Reply

      Oh I have the same complaint too, trust me. I just don’t want to write about it because that would consist of me looking for a book contract.

  7. digispa July 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM - Reply

    Did you play any of the other endings? You didn’t mention any in your thoughts on them. I played the control ending and thought it wrapped up very nicely. Almost too nicely, but I won’t complain. I’m very curious about the “Synthesize” ending and how that changed.

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