Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Am Going To Write My Own Mass Effect Ending

I'm not really much of an RPG guy, though I am a die hard Mass Effect fan (though I guess the last two games weren't exactly hardcore RPGs, but hey, I hate grinds, and streamlining can be good).

I do believe that the Mass Effect series (particularly the second - ranking #6 on my games of all time) is one of the greatest science fiction tales of all time, regardless of medium.  It's up there with the new Battlestar, Star Wars, Babylon 5, and anything that Patrick Stewart was ever in.

So you could imagine my chagrin at that ending...

Not gonna waste anyone's time explaining why it sucked, plenty have said it better than me, and I was a big proponent of The Indoctrination Theory, but alas, after playing the extended cut DLC, I still walked away disappointed.  Sure, it was a great thing for Bioware to do, and it does for the most part "fix" the ending.  What it does not do, is make the ending "good".  This is because it still doesn't address the two biggest problems hampering it that are pretty damn fundamental when it comes to storytelling:

1) The Deus Ex Machina

This trope is ancient.  In case you're not familiar, in the old days, writers would end their plays' central conflict by having a god or some god-like deity literally descend from the ceiling in order the resolve the central conflict (Deus Ex Machina = "God From the Machine").  Lazier than a stoned possum, and it has since become known as any plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object(thanks wikipedia).

The Starchild, and to a lesser extent, the crucible itself, is a Deus Ex Machina.  There is no denying that.  There is no art in that.  There is no defending that.

2) The Central Theme

I think I speak for most of the gaming community when I say that the primary themes of the Mass effect series were Hope, Comradery, and Unity despite Diversity.  Examples of this are littered liberally over the course of all three games.  What is not littered all over the story arc is bootleg Book of Genesis/Terminator philosophizing about those who turn against their masters.  Even with the Geth as primary antagonists in 1, and the Morning War, that theme is never explored.  Hell, it wasn't even the Geth's idea to start the war.  They were all "coom-bye-yah-meep-moop" until the Quarians freaked out.

And it still doesn't change the fact that the Reapers plan for extinction still makes no
fucking sense:





The ending spits in the face of the story that Mass Effect was trying to tell, creating a very unsettling disconnect between the ending and the rest of the series.

So I've decided that I am going to write my own ending to the story, screenplay style, based on my character's decisions, because I can, the idea makes me feel all gooey and self-satisfied, its good practice, and I've actually got some pretty damn good ideas.  I'll keep you posted.

-VMA




Harbinger The Reaper ‏@HarbyTheReaper
EC SHOWS WHAT A BIG HEART I HAVE, WHEN I REFUSE TO SHOOT HELPLESS NORMANDY WHICH JUST FLOATS THERE IN FRONT OF MY FACE FOR LIKE A MINUTE.

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