I had an entry that didn’t make it into yesterday’s article (The 6 Worst Ideas Nearly Included in Great Video Games, if you missed it like I did). I did a lot of research on it because I’ve never played Mass Effect and I was sad to see it go, so I wanted to share it with you guys. I assume it got killed off because the focus of the article changed from “weird things cut out of video games” to “things that were better off being cut from video games”, and this would have actually improved the game (or so I am led to believe).
The Mass Effect 3 Ending That Wasn’t Totally Weird
According to the internet, no one liked the ending to Mass Effect 3. Even people who thought it was okay weren’t thrilled by it or anything. After all, fans bitched so much that Bioware had to release a free DLC pack “expanding” the endings to get them to shut up.
The old “OH GOD STOP THROWING POOP AT OUR BUILDING” ploy.
The most common complaints were that it seemed tacked-on, player choice didn’t have much effect on what ending you were given, and that all the plot resolutions came out of nowhere.
Immediately after the game’s release, rumors flew about a cut ending from earlier in the game’s development. Fans claimed that leaked scripts caused Bioware to rewrite the game’s original conclusion, which revolved around “dark energy” (a force mentioned multiple times in the two previous games) and the Reapers’ obsession with human genetic diversity. No one could actually prove anything, though, so it was purely hearsay.
Also rumored: The ultra-realistic “Male Shepard crying alone and masturbating” relationship option.
But all those people get a gold star, because it’s totally true. Drew Karpyshyn, the writer behind the first two games, admitted in a post on Something Awful that the ending was real, but since he had changed projects inside Bioware before Mass Effect 3 went into production, he wasn’t sure when they got rid of it.
Essentially, the player would have found out that the galaxy’s over-reliance on technology (specifically, Element Zero) was building up to a huge Dark Energy backlash that would kill all living things. In fact, this very scenario had played out repeatedly throughout time, and the Reapers, the series’ big baddies, were actually trying to stop it. By killing everyone.
So, everyone dies, or everyone dies. The catch, however, is that the Reapers believed that by merging human DNA with their own, they might find a way to stop the Dark Energy apocalypse. The final choice given to players would be to sacrifice humanity for the greater good, or to give the Reapers the bird and try to figure out a different solution.
“Look, we worked hard on this thing. We can give it a happy face. Will that help?”
It’s not perfect, and it may have just been one possible ending out of several proposed ones, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than turning your whole crew into robots.