Mass Effect's Ending: A New Perspective

  • I don't know if any of you cares about the Trilogy anymore, but since it's officially confirmed that a Trilogy Remaster is coming, I thought that I might poke your interest once again. Though I'd prefer that we have a Remake instead of a Remaster and if someone might be wondering about what's the difference between the two?

    - Remaster: New Textures, new graphics and basically a way for the company to make extra bucks. Not to mention that we already have that and it's called: A LOT (A Lot of Textures).
    - Remake: New Game Engine, New Mechanics (Combat etc.), New UI (User Interface), Additional Stories/Characters/DLCs, A Chance to Fix some plot holes, etc. but without affecting the main story and characters, merely to improve and fix some plot holes.

    But regardless, I'd like to share a new perspective about the events of the whole Trilogy and why we may have had such an ending. I've been looking at the whole Trilogy with a different set of eyes and have noticed many things that I've missed before, especially about why we had such an ending and why so many people were left confused, not happy or even got to the point of getting mad at BioWare. I'll also NOT get into the agenda that BioWare had put in that ending, i.e. Synthesis (merging Organic with Technology -> Transhumanism, among others) so I'll put that aside and just focus on this new perspective that I've recently been thinking about the ending of the ME Trilogy.


    A short summary: We're playing with Commander Shepard, the greatest soldier in the galaxy who's trying to stop this imminent threat (The Reapers) from destroying all life in the galaxy and despite all odds, he eventually succeeds (in one way or another).

    We know that the Reapers were created by the Catalyst in the image of the Leviathans (who were the first Apex beings in the galaxy) and the Catalyst "cleanses" all advanced civilizations in the galaxy every 50 000 years, a nonstop cycle that's been going on for millions of years... until Commander Shepard.

    Harbinger being probably the very first Reaper had noticed the actions of Commander Shepard destroying Sovereign (which was probably never done before in any of the previous cycles), then surviving the attack of the Collectors, being brought back to life by the Lazarus Project and then destroying the Collectors all together. Not to mention that Shepard was the only one who couldn't be indoctrinated by the Reapers and who didn't die from the Prothean beacons (which would have destroyed any other mind except a prothean one).

    The Leviathans themselves also noticed the actions of Shepard and even called him an "anomaly" and a "threat" to the Reapers and tried to keep him to themselves to study him, but his mind couldn't be broken, so they've decided to better let him go (otherwise he would have died -> the nose bleed) and see how the events would turn out.

    NOW to the 'revelation' (if you will):

    WHAT IF Harbinger was also indoctrinated? The Catalyst is the one who/that controlled the Reapers and was 'cleansing' the galaxy through them (for whatever reason) every 50 000 years. What if Harbinger wanted to break free of his/its control and Shepard was the one who could have set him/it/them free?

    We've been told in the game (like from Benezia, the mother of Liara) that indoctrination can't take a full control of somebody, there'll always be a remnant in the person's mind no matter how strong the control is, eventually he/she will have a moment of 'breaking free' until he's/she's/it's brought back under control. Which makes sense under a 'normal' mind control, you can't control the person fully.

    Take a look at this:



    I've listened to it many times already (and I actually missed it the first time that I've played the game, even afterwards) because I wasn't paying attention. But I've listened to it many times now and I'm pretty sure that Harbinger says "Save Us". Which would make sense because Harbinger killed everyone in that field except Shepard and even the Normandy was right behind Shepard (picking up some of his squad), yet Harbinger didn't destroy it. The beam didn't kill Shepard probably because of two reasons:

    1) Harbinger tried to convince The Catalyst that Shepard was dead, hence why Harbinger immediately took off and didn't stay behind to make sure that Shepard was dead.
    2) At the very last moment that could have killed Shepard, Harbinger broke free from the Catalyst's control to divert the beam, giving him the chance to go through the portal.

    Also why Harbinger got there first (before the other Reapers) to make sure that Shepard gets through the portal.


    BOTTOM LINE: The Reapers wanted to break free from The Catalyst and through the many cycles, they haven't encountered their "savior" yet, until Shepard showed up. Probably why they also tried constructing that Human Reaper and wanted Shepard's body so that they could 'extract' his mind and put it into that Reaper.

    Harbinger could have also left out clues on purpose by working through scientists (indoctrinating them) so that they could be able to build the Crucible which would eventually lead to his (and probably the rest of the Reapers) salvation.

    In other words, Harbinger saw that Shepard was worthy and the only one who can set him/them (Reapers) free and that's why he didn't kill him (nor the Normandy) and let him go through the portal so he could either use Synthesis (making sure the Reapers survive), or Control (here comes the "being worthy" part) or even knowing that he could end them all together (the Destruction) option, realizing also that risk.

    There's also this: Why did The Catalyst allow Shepard to decide the fate of everyone? Doesn't it have some... defensive mechanisms? Maybe The Catalyst also realized that Shepard was the only way to end all of this, since he/it said it that was also looking for another solution.


    I don't know about you and your thoughts are regarding the ending of the ME Trilogy, BioWare hasn't exactly made it official, we only have bits and pieces that we can try and put together, but... that ending makes perfect sense to me now, at least... after analyzing all of the available data that we have because I was also confused before (not mad or anything, just... confused).

    I'm a huge Mass Effect fan (definitely my most favorite franchise of all) and I just thought that I might share my thoughts.

    - Thanks for reading through.

    AbandonedAnguishedCatfish.webp


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    Edited 2 times, last by ILIYAN ().