Super Special Sneak Preview!

by Dan H

Dan Leaks the Script to the ME3 Extended Cut
So it turns out that they're releasing free extended edition DLC for Mass Effect 3 which will “clarify” the original endings.

Now on the one hand, props to Bioware for making some effort to address fan disappointment. On the other hand, anti-props to Bioware for trying to spin this as being all about people not understanding the ending when actually a lot of us understood it perfectly well, and just thought it was shit.

Still, judge for yourselves, because I have managed to get hold of a super secret leaked transcript of the new ending cinematics, which better explain the artistic vision behind Bioware's magnum opus. I think we can all agree that these new scenes make everything much more clear, so that even a very stupid person could understand quite how clever and sophisticated Bioware have been.

Opening Sequence (Same for all Endings)

JOKER is at the helm of the Normandy, franticly punching at the controls while panicked voices shout over the intercom. Suddenly GARRUS and LIARA burst in.

GARRUS: It's no good! We have to retreat. Get to the Mass Relay.

JOKER: Garrus? I thought you were in London with Shepherd?

GARRUS looks blank.

LIARA: He's right, the rest of the fleet have already retreated back to their homeworlds. So if anything were to happen to the Mass Relays, they would not be trapped around Sol unable to make it home.

EDI (VO): Although of course, even if something were to happen to the Mass Relays, it is important to remember that FTL technology does exist, and my extremely fast AI calculations predict that the overall impact on the galactic economy of the loss of the Mass Relay system would be bearable, and not lead to widespread panic, mass starvation, or the economic collapse of known space.

GARRUS: We need to get out of here now.

JOKER enters a series of commands into the flight console, and the Normandy turns around. We see the ship moving towards the Mass Relay – the rest of the allied ships have already gone, because they have already gone back to their homeworlds, so they will not be stuck on Earth. Behind them we see great swarms of Reapers materialising out of the darkness of space.

TALI'S voice crackles over the intercom.

TALI (VO): Joker, several fires have broken out in the engine room. We must make for the Mass Relay. Quickly. Also, I feel that now would be a good time to talk about how much Commander Shepherd's decisions influenced the outcome of this battle.

JOKER: They sure have.

GARRUS: For example, when Shepherd decided whether or not to cure the genophage, that had a profound impact on the outcome of this battle.

LIARA: [Smiling] Yes. Imagine how different it would have been if Shepherd had made the other decision.

TALI (VO): I'm not sure I want to imagine.

JOKER: Nearly at the Mass Relay!

LIARA: Look! The arms of the Citadel are opening!

Ending One: Control

The arms of the citadel open and beams of BLUE light radiate in all directions.

EDI (VO): It seems the reapers have stopped attacking.

JOKER: But why?

EDI (VO): My very fast AI calculations suggest the Commander has used the relay to take control of the Reapers, and that he/she will now return them to unknown space, where they can do no more harm.

TALI (VO): Wasn't that the Illusive Man's plan?

LIARA: Yes. And notice that the light which radiated out of the Citadel was blue. A colour which throughout the galaxy symbolises peace, but also submission to authority, be it the authority of the Council, or the authority of the Illusive man. Remember that the colour is also associated with the system of moral philosophy which some thinkers describe as “Paragon” and which is sometimes incorrectly equated with moral goodness. I cannot explain why, but I feel that in the last moments of the battle, Shepherd was confronted with an extremely complex, extremely sophisticated moral choice in which there was no clear right answer. In choosing to control the Reapers, I believe Shepherd ultimately decided that a stable but potentially tyrannical authoritarian government was preferable to the anarchy caused by destruction or the alternatives that could have been provided by a hypothetical third option that might only have been available depending on how powerful our army was.

JOKER: Hold tight, we're hitting the Relay!

Ending Two: Destroy

The arms of the citadel open and beams of RED light radiate in all directions.

EDI (VO): It seems the … reapers have … been … destroyed. But I … fear my … Very Vast AI Calculations … predict that this has … also destroyed … all other artificial life. I am … dying.

JOKER: Nooooooo!

TALI (VO): Messages from The Civilian Fleet confirm that the energy released by the Catalyst is likely to destroy all synthetic life, including the Geth if we did not already destroy them around my homeworld. Which, I mean, we might have. I can't really remember.

JOKER: Do not want! Hey what about my legs?

EDI (VO): My … very … fast … AI … calculations … predict that that the energy will destroy only those synthetics whose destruction would cause little to no damage to the assumed technological level of the setting.

JOKER: EDI! We've got to do something!

LIARA: No, there is nothing we can do. Notice that the light which came out of the citadel was red, which symbolises destruction and violent change, but also new opportunities and rebirth. I cannot say why, but I somehow also feel that it is associated with Admiral Anderson, although it also symbolises the moral philosophy which modern thinkers describe as “Renegade”, which is often mistakenly identified with moral evil, and which emphasises the importance of rebellion against authority and the determination to pursue one's personal goals to their conclusion regardless of their potential consequences. I believe that in those final moments aboard the Citadel, Shepherd was confronted with a highly sophisticated, and deeply complex moral choice to which there was no clear right answer, and that in the end he decided that the destruction of the Reapers and, by extension, the rejection of the Cycle of destruction that they represented was the option which best preserved the right to self-determination of the sentient races of the galaxy, although it necessitated the sacrifice of all other synthetic life for reasons which I am sure make absolute sense.

JOKER: Look out, we're hitting the Relay!

Ending Three: Synthesis

The arms of the citadel open. Beams of GREEN light radiate in all directions.

EDI (VO): It seems the Reapers have stopped attacking. Also my sensors indicate that they, and I, have become partly organic.

JOKER: Hey, my skin's glowing.

GARRUS: Somebody better explain this.

EDI (VO): My Very Fast AI Calculations indicate that the energy released by the citadel has transformed all of us, and perhaps all life in the galaxy, into a synthesis of Organic and Synthetic life. My Very Fast AI Calculations further indicate that, had this not been the case, and had the Reapers been destroyed by any other means, or had Shepherd or the Illusive Man taken control of the reapers, then Synthetic organisms would inevitably have destroyed all Organic organisms, such that Organic life would never arise again.

TALI (VO): But Shepherd discovered that the Geth only rebelled against my people after we tried to destroy them. And we showed that if we had been less ignorant we could live in harmony with them. Unless we destroyed them around my homeworld, which would have been the other alternative. I've had a long day.

EDI (VO): No. The destruction of all organic life would have been inevitable. My Very Fast AI Calculations have proved it. With Science.

JOKER: But what about you and me?

EDI (VO): I fear I would inevitably have destroyed you. I mean, you've got that bone thing and my pelvis was made of Titanium. But my Very Fast AI calculations reveal it would have been one hell of a way to go. Fortunately, all such impediments to our relationship have been removed.

LIARA: Of course! And the light coming out of the Citadel was green, a colour which symbolises rebirth, renewal, hope and fresh beginnings. Whereas other alternatives that might potentially have happened had Shepherd made different decisions would have reflected the narrow perspectives of the individual – symbolised perhaps by the Illusive Man or Admiral Anderson – this new synthesis of synthetic and organic life progresses beyond such false, narrow divisions and embraces the totality of the galaxy, or indeed the universe, as one. In fact, this returns us to one of the central themes of Shepherd's entire career, which has always revolved around the need to bring the galaxy together not only to face a common enemy, but also to face a common future. Why, you may even remember that when Shepherd first trained as a Spectre he-stroke-she learned a technique which was actually called Unity, directly underlining this theme and foreshadowing this ending by five years. Truly I am deeply satisfied and feel a profound sense of closure.

EDI (VO): My Very Fast AI calculations also reveal that this miraculous galaxy-spanning transformation was only possible as a direct consequence of the efforts Shepherd made in order to prepare the galaxy for war.

JOKER: We're hitting the relay!

Coda (Same in all Endings)

The Normandy enters the Mass Relay, but is followed by a massive shockwave, JOKER gradually loses control of the ship and is forced to make a crash landing on a lush forest world in an unknown part of the galaxy.

Small reskins are applied to this cutscene, so that if the player chose DESTROY, EDI is absent, while if the player chose SYNTHESIS everybody will be covered in green glowing lines.

The crew stand looking up at the stars, watching the explosions of the Mass Relays across the galaxy.

GARRUS: Well here we are. At the end of a truly epic story.

JOKER: Yeah. It seems a shame that Shepherd is almost certainly dead.

LIARA: Joker, when you have lived a thousand years as we Asari do, you will learn that death is not something to be feared. You will also learn that when a story ends with the main character getting killed, that story is always much more sophisticated and more emotionally satisfying.

JOKER: And it seems a shame that we're kind of stuck here on this planet.

LIARA: Joker, when you have lived a thousand years as we Asari do, you will learn that at the end of an epic narrative such as ours what works best is for the ending to be one of promise and of wonder, rather than one that merely returns to the world with which we are familiar. And besides, the final confrontation with the reapers provided such a satisfying conclusion to everything that went before it that the experience would be cheapened if we were attempt to revisit our old lives to tie up loose ends. Not that there are any loose ends.

JOKER: Yeah, but, after everything that's happened. It just feels odd that we're just dumped here.

LIARA: Joker, when you have lived a thousand years as we Asari do, you will learn that sometimes it is important to remember your insignificance in the face of the vastness and wonder of the galaxy. After all, an underlying theme of Shepherd's story has always been the sheer incomprehensible magnitude of the galaxy, with its billions of stars and countless ages of history. That our journey should end here regardless of the path we chose is therefore fitting, and should not be seen to cheapen or to undermine the value of the journey we have undertaken together. Why, the only thing that would better highlight the strange wonder and beauty of this remarkable universe would be if a small – but look!

LIARA points off into the distance, and we can just make out a tiny pinprick of light. The light grows closer, and we see it is the glowing form of the STAR CHILD, who hovers in the air above the party.

STAR CHILD: You have come far and suffered much. I am sure you have questions. Many questions.


STAR CHILD: All shall be made clear. At the start of all things, before there was a Galaxy there were the Creators, and the Creators had a Vision...

The screen fades to black. When it fades back in the STAR CHILD has gone, and the party are standing around wearing expressions of rapt fascination.

JOKER: It all makes sense now. I can't believe how little I understood before but now...

LIARA: I know, Joker. There are many Asari who have lived a thousand years and never understood so much as you understand now.

JOKER: It just all makes so much sense, you know. And it all fits so well and makes me feel so satisfied after all this time.

LIARA: I know, Joker. I know. Now come, we have much to do.

Fade to Black.

Secret Ending: Renegade Only

On Earth, the ruins of London. Somebody in N7 armour breathes a single breath under a pile of wreckage. The figure sits up, removes his/her helmet. It is COMMANDER SHEPHERD.

SHEPHERD: Wow! I am so glad that I spent so long building up the military readiness of the galaxy, otherwise there would have been no way I would have survived that explosion, plus atmospheric re-entry, plus the fall, plus all this debris that seems to have landed on top of me. And just to be clear, the fact that I managed to survive that just shows what a badass I am, and in no way undermines the very real sacrifice I made to destroy the Reapers.

Super Secret Ending: Available Only On Second Playthrough

We pan back from the forest world into space, and then we see the whole ending cutscene spool backwards rapidly. We see the whole encounter on the Citadel play out in reverse until finally we see Shepherd standing in a column of light in the ruins of London.

Cut to GARRUS and LIARA watching from a nearby building.

GARRUS: What's wrong with Shepherd?

LIARA: I don't know.

GARRUS: Oh no! I hope Shepherd isn't being INDOCTRINATED!

Closeup of LIARA looking shocked.

Fade to Black.

Post-Credits Scene (Same in all Endings)

An old man and a young boy stand beneath a starry sky that looks suspiciously like one of the default Windows wallpapers.

OLD MAN: I'm Buzz Aldrin. Buy DLC.

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