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.
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.