Mass Effect 3: Endings Guide

Collector’s Base Saved

Readiness Rating < 1750 – Earth is destroyed regardless of whatever decisions you made.
Readiness Rating 1750 – Choose to Save the Reapers and the Earth will be saved.
Readiness Rating 2050 – Choose to control a Reaper and the Earth will be saved.
Readiness Rating 2350 – Choose to destroy the Repears and the Earth will be somewhat destroyed
Readiness Rating 2650 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Earth is destroyed.
Readiness Rating 2800 – Earth and the Galaxy will be saved once you’re able to create synergy
Readiness Rating 4000 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.
Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

Collector’s Base Destroyed

Readiness Rating < 1750 – Earth is destroyed regardless of whatever decisions you made.
Readiness Rating 1750 – Choose to control a Reaper and the Earth will be destroyed.
Readiness Rating 1900 – Choose to destroy the Repears and the Earth will be somewhat destroyed
Readiness Rating 2350 – Choose to control a Reaper and the Earth will be saved.
Readiness Rating 2650 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Earth will be saved.
Readiness Rating 2800 – Earth and the Galaxy will be saved once you’re able to create synergy
Readiness Rating 4000 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.
Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

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126 Comments

  1. Nikki
    March 7, 2012, 10:56 AM

    So Shep can be saved?!?

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  2. Ryan
    March 7, 2012, 11:49 AM

    Ya I really want to know if there is a way to save him.

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  3. Mark Fajardo
    March 7, 2012, 11:51 AM

    There’s a way to save him but as the guide stated, you must play the Galaxy AT War on the multiplayer portion to have a high readiness rating… Look it up above to see what you need to do to save Shepard

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  4. Aidan Artymiuk
    March 7, 2012, 1:27 PM

    So for the 5000 can you still save Anderson and see Shepard lives, or is that just the 4000?

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  5. stelio
    March 7, 2012, 2:31 PM

    I would really like to see a video confirming there are more than the three endings already confirmed in which the only thing that changes is the colour of the explosions

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  6. Orillion
    March 7, 2012, 2:49 PM

    Just finished the game. I odn’t like that you have to play Multiplayer to get good endings on the Single Player… But oh well. I died :(

    Also, anyone else get uber-pissed at Cerberus for Kelly?

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  7. Pippin781
    March 7, 2012, 11:29 PM

    I read something online today saying that if your War Assets bar was full that you would get the good ending where Shep lives… but mine is full and yet the only options I was given are die, die, and die… wtf BioWare, wtf

    And yes I was UBER PISSED with that Cerberus did to Kelly!

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  8. IdiedJim
    March 8, 2012, 12:28 AM

    Yes I had a galactic awareness of over 5.6k (+100% multiplayer) still wasn’t given an option to live… (couldn’t even save Anderson… honestly… if I am going to farm planets for hours and multiplayer for a day the LEAST you can do is let me have my perfect ending. I ended up choosing the synth. route… all i can say are dem trees with wires.

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  9. wat
    March 8, 2012, 4:03 AM

    If you watch until after the credits and you destroyed the reapers, you see an armored figure with an N7 tag take take a big breath, as if waking up. That’s your alive Shepard if you ask me.

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  10. roger
    March 8, 2012, 6:12 AM

    The PS3 version per definition has a lot less chances to again a good and even less the perfect ending, due to important assets from the first game. Sucks to have a PS3, as always.

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  11. Emma
    March 8, 2012, 7:21 AM

    Yeah good that Shepard lives, but still shitty because you get separated from your team forever.

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  12. DRAGONX
    March 8, 2012, 8:52 AM

    ANY BE U NEED TO THE GAME A FEW TIME TO GET THAT ENDING

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  13. Appak
    March 8, 2012, 8:54 AM

    You can get >5K readiness rating without playing the multiplayer. There is more than enough out there to get it with solo play.

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  14. Furko99
    March 8, 2012, 10:25 AM

    hmm I had 3.2k of effective militariy strength (guess that’s readniess)….and I got…well chose synth ending and after the credits SPOILER!…..there was an old man called stargazer who was telling Sheppards story to what I guess was his grandson who asks stargazer to tell another story about sheppard……and I also have 2 questions…..

    1. Do the collections from ME1 make any difference in ME3 ?
    2. And according to stargazer and the kid will Bioware make a sequel to tell another shepards story ?

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  15. Lum
    March 8, 2012, 10:26 AM

    Even if you do destroy the reapers. Doesn’t that mean that all the species that fought on Earth are still there? So pretty much everyone is stuck on Earth.

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  16. watson
    March 8, 2012, 11:45 AM

    guys after stargazer says that about another story about the shepard it resets you to the way you were before the final mission kicks off, it says that shepard has become a legend and such and that now you can build upon that legend by doing DLC and other missions

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  17. DRAGONX
    March 8, 2012, 4:46 PM

    so the mp do effect the single player mode

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  18. DRAGONX
    March 8, 2012, 4:51 PM

    the readiness is the % rate my is at 70% that to mp

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  19. Aya
    March 9, 2012, 12:54 AM

    The three are the main endings from what I’ve learned. But there are 10 or so other endings, some including Shepard living. From seeing this everywhere, I believe it true. Shepard is separated, but that leaves us the fans open to believe Shepard and the team would one day reunite. It’s freaking Commander Shepard–it’d happen. I think Bioware wanted it to either end with no loose ties, or an open ending so the fans can imagine what happens next with the galaxy saved.

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  20. Carmesi
    March 9, 2012, 2:03 AM

    So with 5000 readiness, you have to let Anderson die so Shepard can live?

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  21. Afthraste
    March 9, 2012, 7:24 AM

    @Appak You really think there is so many war assets you can get over 5k without mp? there is overall 10k war assets, including the iOS infitlrator and datapad or what the hell, I explored everything, did every sidequest, talked to everyone, saved everyone, and still 3,5k, so you are fucked without mp, no matter what you say, you may gain 5k without mp if you are an iOS owner and did everything, saved everything. Just to say, I did all the 3 mass effects, so in the 3,5k (7k, but 50% readiness), there is the bonuses for the imported saves.

    So if I get it right, if you have 4k and you choose renegade (destroy) option, Anderson will save Shepard, or what? Cause in the list, it didn’t separate saving anderson and shepard living, also, why do I need 1k more war assets, for anderson not to live?

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  22. childs145
    March 9, 2012, 8:01 AM

    I am totally pissed with my 3 endings
    SPOILER:
    total military strength was = 6940
    readiness rating = 50%(0 online play)
    effective military strength = 3470
    all missions done and planets explored
    full paragon shep
    36hr gameplay (just in case how long it takes you determines ending like saving the crew in ME2)
    1-kill the reapers and for some reason the geth and yourself and relays destroyed
    2- control the reapers and die and relays destroyed
    3- merge synthetics and organics and die and relays get destroyed
    why is it important to note the relays getting destroyed well all the aliens are now stuck on earth no one can get back to the homes they were fighting for WTF.
    all- my anderson died
    al-l the normandy got crashed on some unknown planet for no reason (if the blast hurt the normandy wouldn’t it have hurt all ships around earth stranding every species)
    all- old guy telling kid the story you just played

    I really feel like they dropped the ball on the endings where are the choices, why couldn’t i just destroy the citadel since…………i’ll let you find that out. or just kill the reapers leaving the geth alone. Why can my shep not live I’m so tired of suicide mission endings, I loved ME2 ending. and now just because of the endings and having more choices of dialogue ME2 is the better game in my eyes. Just had to vent. I actually regret buying the collector edition now I’m going to bed.

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  23. Tyrone
    March 9, 2012, 9:50 AM

    Making multiplayer the only way to have a good story ending seems kinda like a downfall to me. It is a cool concept however. I just wish I new that before the game ended. I really wanted to see if Shepard’s and Ash’s (who I romanced with in ME1 and stayed faithful to in ME2) relationship went any further after the reapers were destroyed. Guess I’ll have to play multiplayer to raise the readiness rating and then play through the ending again to find out.

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  24. Zhuinden
    March 9, 2012, 10:19 AM

    Wait a second, so I have a chance to save Anderson only if my GaW points are between 4000 and 5000, or am I supposed to have 5000 or above and the guide is just messed up?

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  25. RuinedXJosh
    March 9, 2012, 10:42 AM

    I’ve read several claims stating that in an interview Bioware clarifies that you DO NOT NEED TO PLAY MULTIPLAYER in order to get the “Perfect Ending” in Mass Effect 3. There is more than enough side quests in the game to achieve well over an effective military strength rating of 5000 with your galactic readiness rating at 50%. You just have to do them all if you want to get that ending and not play ANY multiplayer.

    Also, I’m pissed off about the ending to Mass Effect 3, it didn’t feel right. You go through the whole game building alliances, making treaties, ending wars, romancing, fighting reapers, saving alien races, all of which had a very Mass Effect feel to it, to such an anticlimactic ending.

    SPOILER ALERT: This site lists 16 different endings, but I’ve been reading all over the place that there is a 17th ending that can only be achieved by beating the game once and importing that save into another playthrough, and achieving a high enough effective military strength rating. In my ending, my EMS was nearly at 7000 and during the confrontation with the Illusive man on the citadel, The final paragon/renegade conversation options were locked. I wonder what would have happened If it was a second playthrough and I got to that point. Would I be able to persuade The Illusive Man to stop? Would there be a new choice? And if so would there be a new cinematic or would there be an extended scene? I guess that I’m going to have to refer to the strategy guide on this one.

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  26. me3
    March 9, 2012, 10:48 AM

    The ending sucks so hard, it hurts.

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  27. Ray
    March 9, 2012, 11:34 AM

    @RuinedXJosh
    But your 5000 military rating with 50% readiness only means 2500 effective military strenght… So if you want the perfect ending without multiplayer you need 10.000 military rating with 50% readiness and this is impossible to achieve.

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  28. Naktis
    March 9, 2012, 11:49 AM

    RuinedX Josh:

    You didnt get Paragon/Renegade options with Illusive Man ? wth ? maybe your characters is mediocre between them then ? for example mine character is Almost full blue Paragon. And I got those options. But for it only forced Illusive Man to suicide , by shoting himself in head.

    For the rest ppl. You know that you can save Thane for example , instead Captain Kirrahea from ME1 dies in his place…there are some war assets you can get from ME1 choices. Also if Wrex is dead , you can fake Genophage cure , still get Krogan support + FULL salarian support , and Mordin even lives..Check ME3 Wiki for more stuff.
    Btw you can save Kelly if u tell her to fake her identity before cerberus raid. You also can get Miranda and Grunt dead. And Jack+ Legion as enemies in cerberus base.

    Btw From Ashes DLC is a must and Bioware sucked by making it a DLC…idiots. And if for best fkng ending you need to grind in multiplayer…..no comments. Also first we need to see that BEST ending in youtube..

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  29. DRAGONX
    March 9, 2012, 12:50 PM

    that is funny if u have 5000 military rating with 50% readiness only means 2500 effective military strength so it is best to play mp it is really not that hard , the game play is the same as story mode just as 4 players

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  30. Anxa
    March 9, 2012, 1:40 PM

    The information presented on this page is incorrect; I don’t know where they got it.

    On my carryover from ME2, I destroyed the collector base. Before playing multiplayer, I had an effective rating of 3200. After, I had an effective rating of ~5300. Both times, I tried out the ending of the game to see if anything changed. The ending was identical (same three options, same three endings from each). Apparently once you fill up that green bar, that’s it.

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  31. ComShepard
    March 9, 2012, 1:59 PM

    @Anxa

    you’re doing something wrong then. All endings on this article has been tested.

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  32. Skip
    March 9, 2012, 3:23 PM

    @ComShepard

    You and this article are full of horse***.

    I beat the game two days ago. I had my readiness at ONE HUNDRED percent, and I had an effective military rating of 6000.

    I got the same three endings that everyone else gets.

    Check the official Bioware forums, in the story spoiler section. The ONLY ENDINGS that are being reported are the three that everyone is familiar with.

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  33. Bryce
    March 9, 2012, 3:43 PM

    Did anyone else feel like they were watching the Matrix when the end scene happened for ME3? The door to your left leads to Zions salvation, door to the right leads to its destruction. I thought the kid at the end was incredibly dumb.

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  34. ComShepard
    March 9, 2012, 3:50 PM

    @Skip

    For the second time, the endings on this article are tested…

    I guess you don’t understand the article at all. Read the possible endings again and count how many there is… just becase there’s 16 listed on the article, doesnt mean theres gonna be 16 endings. Go read it… and you can count how many possible endings are there….

    Earth Will be saved / destroyed, Anderson Dies / LIves, and Shepard LIves and Dies.. so how many endings is that? 3?

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  35. Rick
    March 9, 2012, 4:50 PM

    So once and for all. What does saving or destroying the collector base do in ME3??? I’m confused.

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  36. Richard
    March 9, 2012, 5:50 PM

    I beat the game with a readiness rating of 3500 and got the crappy ending. Then went in and boosted my multiplayer up so my readiness rating was above 5000 and then restated the last mission but I did not get the good ending. Do I need to start a whole new game our can I simply restart from an earlier save? If so how far back?

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  37. Skip
    March 9, 2012, 6:41 PM

    @ ComShepard

    You cannot save Anderson. Also, Shepard only lives on the red ending. Obviously this guide needs to test again; all the endings are in .bik files for the PC version, you can watch them all.

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  38. Skip
    March 9, 2012, 6:46 PM

    @ ComShepard

    To clarify, Earth can be saved or destroyed. Anderson always dies. Shepard only lives on the red ending, which is one of the endings.

    The three endings are the green, blue, and red endings. That is it.

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  39. Richard
    March 9, 2012, 7:30 PM

    I loaded right before ‘Send fleet to earth’ and beat the game again and I got the same ending.

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  40. trojanz3x
    March 9, 2012, 8:35 PM

    The “ten” endings are nothing of the sort. It is 3 endings, with tiny variances., no epilogue, and no explanation of any kind.

    It uses the same scene with 3 different colors and slight difference in the cutscene (scene less than 10 secs with the differences being about 5 seconds).

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  41. Erynn
    March 9, 2012, 8:36 PM

    I completed with maximum readiness, no Multiplayer. Over 5000k. Don’t forget to get involved with people’s conversations. You can onyl save sheperd if you’re willing to kill the geth.

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  42. SRGamer
    March 10, 2012, 2:21 AM

    I wasn’t really pleased with the ending, but it only reinforces what the reapers had been trying to tell Shepard all along. It -was- something we could never comprehend. The idea that there was another force even greater than the reapers and that the end (of life as it was known in the ME universe) was inevitable. Either the Reapers continue the harvesting cycle and space-faring society continues with the next evolution of species, or the Reapers are stopped and the galaxy is reduced to a pre-spaceflight state anyway.

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  43. Quentarus
    March 10, 2012, 3:08 AM

    Sorry guys, This is a false forum… I had everything at Maximum, My Galactic Readiness was at 99% when I finished, My War Assets was 6.1k I finished with full paragon, yet My Shepard does die.

    All the endings are, is just three different Light shows.

    If you want to watch the difference between a red, green, and blue ending, then by all means, beat the game 3 times… and Each and every time, Shepard dies… Unless Future DLC prevents that from happening, but still…

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  44. Dakota
    March 10, 2012, 5:37 AM

    Just played through a few times. Ive witnessed multiple endings and perfect ending is good. Had over 5000 EMS and my shepard survived. First time i went through he died. No deep breath. Umm anybody have any questions about my playthrough just email me and ill help as good as i can.

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  45. datboi
    March 10, 2012, 7:38 AM

    A real renegade ending to the game would have been shepard saying screw you catalyst Im making a 4th choice!

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  46. biminy
    March 10, 2012, 9:11 AM

    So, If I have to let the geth die, does that mean the quarians are more valuable to my readiness rating?

    And I helped cure the genophage, angering the Salarians, but they later joined me anyway…do I get less points for that?

    I really got into the story, that was good. But it made it frustrating when they’d have cutscenes that took away all your power and effort, like with Kai leng taking the prothean VI, and of course the ending.

    And I suspect they wanted Shepard to die because that’s romantic in some way, but I agree, it can still be a great story if you survive. So why is it like pulling teeth to find out the magic formula for WINNING?

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  47. biminy
    March 10, 2012, 9:23 AM

    Also, If I play multi-player in order to build up my readiness rating (a ridiculous stipulation by bioware if you ask me), will that count toward ALL of my single player games, or just one?

    If I import an ME2 character into ME3, will I start out with extra readiness or paragon/renegade bar?

    Is there any way to save Miranda?

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  48. Sarah
    March 10, 2012, 9:38 AM

    I would love to have the best ending as possible, but I don’t play the MP. I’ve been playing single player and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to play MP. How, in fact, do you even do that if you’re already in the middle of a game? Can you? I’m still only a little over halfway through and I saw that IGN had released the spoiler that Shepard died, and that ultimately put knots in my stomach. I was so disconcerted, which I know sounds silly to feel about a video game. I feel a little heartbroken knowing this; it’s like I almost want to jump into another game right after so I know she’s alive again. I would love pointers on how to get the best possible ending–without MP preferably. I’ve gotten involved in conversations, done as many finder missions as I can find–hah, I know. I’m a renegade in this playthrough and it’s almost maxed out. And I can’t foresee having anymore than about 15 hours left of gameplay. Someone who knows what I can do to get the best available ending, I’d appreciate the tip(s).

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  49. MKX
    March 10, 2012, 9:47 AM

    I’m tired of people complaining about the endings. Have you never seen a tragic movie or play?

    “The hero succeeds at a terrible cost” is not a novel concept. It may seem anticlimatic to the Hollywood generation, but it doesn’t automatically makes the story bad.

    Yes, the game has bittersweet ending. Deal with it. A narrative doesn’t need to have a happy end. In fact, it would have been very strange for ME3 to have one, when it constantly hammers the point that war is hell, the end of the world is near, everyone can (and will) die, the galaxy is going to hell, survival comes at horrible cost, etc.

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  50. Spowis
    March 10, 2012, 11:14 AM

    What we need are less comments about how much they loved/hated the ending and more posts about number-crunching to see if it’s even remotely possible to get the best possible ending using solely Single-Player on a single playthrough.

    Seems like the number most people are getting using SP is ~3,500 EMS. How you’re meant to gain an additional 1500 EMS on the first playthrough is beyond me. You either have to go through a second playthough for the added bonus to your EMS or you HAVE to play the Multiplayer, there is no other way.

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  51. Alex Gregory
    March 10, 2012, 12:36 PM

    @MRX

    You are a fool. The ending is stupid, any way you look at it.

    1) It’s based on a blatant deus ex machina.
    2) It makes the player character (Shepard) act like an mute idiot in order to work.
    3) The Mass Relays are destroyed in all three endings – entire fleets of various alien species are stuck at Earth, and everyone is cut off from each other, rendering whole portions of the game pointless.
    4) There isn’t much variation beyond the color of the beam in all three endings. It smacks of laziness.
    5) Even if Shepard survives, he’s stuck on a blown-out station in space bleeding out. I don’t consider that to be “bittersweet”.

    The previous ME games were predicated on giving you the choice to have a “good” (most survive, at a small cost) or terrible (in ME2, everyone dies except EDI and Joker) ending. ME3 uses a bizarre middle ground that doesn’t resolve anything, changes the enemies’ motivations to something entirely absurd and makes all your choices over the past three games meaningless.

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  52. MacRedsun
    March 10, 2012, 2:35 PM

    Alright, I’ve been playing the series from the get go, and spent all my free time in the week prior to release replaying the previous games, making sure I had all the choices I wanted to carry over made. With that there are a few important things I need to say about my (paragon) sheperd

    1) I did EVERY side quest in both 1 and 2, because they matter. Even in the smallest ways of ways, they can make a difference.
    2) I had FULL loyalty of everyone in two (so with the choices I made only Legion, Thane and Mordy died)
    3) I did NOT play the multi-player until I had beaten in, and still got over 5000 for my readiness (which is you assets divided by the multiplayer multiplier). It is quite possible, IF you had full loyalty, ALL the DLC, and made the right choices (including with Konrad)
    4) I saw Sheperd breath, after destroying the reapers (you only need the 5k if anderson was gunned down, now bled out)

    I hope this helps out. I am now off to discover this “secret ending”. Good luck to all, cheers. Oh and iif you have any questions, email me

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  53. Skip
    March 10, 2012, 3:03 PM

    @ MRX

    For God’s sake. Why do you people keep bringing up the “There’s nothing wrong with ending on a tragic note!” I’m not saying that there is!!! Most people aren’t saying that there is!!! What I’m saying is that the ending needs to MAKE SENSE. Why was Joker using a mass relay? Doesn’t destroying the mass relays destroy all the solar systems? Why were the teammates that were with me suddenly on the Normandy?!

    Also, I don’t care about a tragic ending, but to simply plop down three choices for an ending that does not take into account ANY of your actions over the course of three games is lazy. There is no other word for it. Basically, anything you did in any game doesn’t matter.

    @ Spowis

    The reason people are debating the ending is because we have already figured out all the endings. The “best possible ending” is a two second cutscene at the end of the red ending. That’s it. That’s the best possible ending. You may as well just watch Youtube. In addition, I have seen people mention they got that ending never having played multiplayer.

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  54. Xeos
    March 10, 2012, 3:33 PM

    @MKX Please realise that sad endings are fine. But like @skip said, the endings have to make sense, and it should validate the entire storyline from ME1 and 2. Doesn’t make sense why in ME1 the Reaper would attack and drop Saren and assault the Citadel when the Citadel is it’s boss.

    Also, can’t the Citadel just open itself and jump the reaper fleet in? Wasn’t that the premise of ME1? That the Citadel was thought to be a giant mass relay?

    Not only were the endings bad, it was lazy, and it punched more holes into the storyline.

    The cherry on top is that the Normandy lands in Gilligan’s Island, to live, rebuild and breed. LA-DEE-DAH! The whole game was excellent, the ending is crap.

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  55. Merize
    March 10, 2012, 3:42 PM

    I don’t care if Shepard dies or not. But come on Bioware, you should did a better dramatic ending.

    On any ending where Sheps dies, he just remember Liara, Anderson and Joker. How about the full squad since ME1? He should remembered all the squad mates from all ME games. I don’t care Anderson, the team was there always and sacrificed through the saga even if they lived or died. Squadmates died helpin Shephard and he doesn’t even care. No funeral, nothing. Bioware didn’t focus on the squadmates.

    Decisions from ME2 should be more relevant on ME3 too. Miranda was my loving choice in ME2 and I didn’t have the chance to play with her in ME3! But come on, the universe is at stake and even if they are ill (Thane), moved on (Jack, Miranda, Jacob, Mordin) should be choosable.

    Damn, I’m pissed with ME3 >.<

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  56. Paragorn
    March 10, 2012, 4:16 PM

    @Xeos: Correct. It was good to meet and speak the characters from ME1-2. EDI with body was surpriseing. I just enjoy the happenings and then we got 3 shit endings where isn’t realy decisions and each is disappointing and silly like hell.
    The mass relays are destroyed…but the planets isn’t.
    The squad is killed by Harbringer.. a few hours earlier Shepard just jump away from the other reaper’s laser. Sure it was smaller but there Shep was alone.
    So ridiculous. Shit.. like KotOR2 ending.

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  57. MKX
    March 10, 2012, 4:18 PM

    @Alex Gregory: Let’s not trade insults, all right?

    1) Hardly. The Catalyst doesn’t solve your problems and doesn’t bring a resolution to the plot. Its only function is to outline all possible choices.

    2) What?

    3) It’s cruel, I agree. But they manage to survive – which was the objective all along. Better isolated than dead. And they can still get home with FTL ships, although that will take lots of time.

    4) Yeah, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the ending. I’m not aesthetically pleased either, but it’s a minor thing.

    5) He saves the galaxy through heroic sacrifice. Yes, he dies, but he manages to break the cycle and save organic life. His objective is accomplished, although at a terrible price. It is a bittersweet ending.

    6) The previous ME games were ALL very dark – Mass Effect is an extremely crapsack setting, where the glass is always half empty. None of the endings were “good” – the fact that your squadmates survived is irrelevant to the big picture. In the first game you find you are doomed but nobody cares and ultimately you achieve pyrrhic victory. In the second game you brave untold dangers and destroy the bad guys… only to find they weren’t the real bad guys and your actions changed nothing. (Not to mention you are forced to ally with your enemies, because your allies refuse to commit.) In the third game the situation progressively worsens – your enemies are always one step ahead of you and sentient life is on the brink of extinction. Bittersweet ending is the best one can hope for in such setting – I fully expected the Reapers to win in at least one of the endings. It would have been anticlimatic if such a hellish series suddenly ended in happy end.

    The story IS resolved, but very unsatisfactorily so. That’s the real problem with the ending. I’ll be very happy if someone explains to me what the Reapers were fighting for – the Catalyst, with his insane logic and vague explanations, sounded downright idiotic. So, organics and synthetics are doomed to fight one another and there is no hope for peace between them? Why? Can this be averted? What about EDI, who proves the opposite? Why is this accepted as an axiom in the Reaper culture? Why the Reapers have so little depth?

    From what I understood, it boils down to “humans and machines will always kill one another, so we commit genocide to stop the killing”. WTF…

    It’s awful. Reapers lack a mandatory trait for antagonists – discernable motivation. Villains who kill just for the lulz are boring. (Well, technically the Reapers kill for a reason, but that reason is so illogical and poorly articulated that it ceases to be believable.) The Catalyst is arguing for something which is proven wrong, using very bad arguments and commiting numerous logical fallacies. It is understandable for him, since he is a member of arrogant superior species… but why are WE not given opportunity to call him on it?

    It’s absurd. The enemy is too stupid/arrogant/paranoid (depending on the interpretation) to see the truth. That I can buy. Problem is, Shepard suffers from plot-induced stupidity in this particular conversation and is unable to point out even the most glaring flaws in the Catalyst’s reasoning.

    If I have to make an educated guess, I’d say the Reapers were intended to be Cthulhu-esque monstrosity – something so alien, that its very thoughts are incomprehensible to a human being. Due to poor writing though, they come off as stupid rather than alien.

    In my personal opinion, the ending is great – it’s dark, heavy, brutal and fits the atmosphere. It’s very dramatic – war is hell, survival comes at a terrible price and untold devastation is wrought. Now, if I can only erase the Catalyst’s existence from my consciousness it would become perfect.

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  58. MKX
    March 10, 2012, 4:56 PM

    @Skip: Yeah, the relays’ power is internally inconsistent. Should be noted though, that the Arrival relay was blown up by a high-impact asteroid – such thing will probably generate much bigger explosion. Or maybe not. There is no explanation given.

    Your teammates were on the ship because of the phenomenon known as “gameplay and story segregation”. It makes no sense of course, but from a designer viewpoint you should not have more than two companions at a time – it will make the mission too easy.

    It would’ve been very unwise to make the endings dependent on your decisions in the previous games – that would force people to play them. Each game of the series should be stand-alone.

    I apologize if I came off as rude, but people on the official forums (and nearly everywhere else) are constantly bitching and moaning about how cruel the endings are. I’m tired of it.

    @Xeos: The Citadel was barely scratched in the first game – only the buildings on it were destroyed. Shepard basically forced the Reapers’ hand and Sovereign had to attack prematurely. The Citadel cannot be opened, because the Keepers were cut off and were unable to receive commands.

    Apparently, the Citadel is not all-powerful. It cannot do whatever it wants. It acts through intermediaries, sets events in motion, but cannot affect anything directly and is unable to think outside the box. That’s why the Catalyst talks with Shepard instead of incinerating him – it outright says it is unable to stop him.

    And yes, the part where the crew settles a planet is cheesy. It was probably supposed to symbolize the new beginning, but comes off as bathos.

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  59. biminy
    March 10, 2012, 5:30 PM

    1) Tons of people say they can’t see the good endings even with high readiness ratings and respect
    2) Tons of people say they CAN see the good endings even without MP.

    So…3) There must be something ELSE needed. Let’s figure out what THAT is.

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  60. childs145
    March 10, 2012, 6:29 PM

    If you think that ending was good you didn’t play 1 or 2 and if you did you didn’t pay attention to the crap you were doing.
    in ME3 there was the part where the engineers wanted shep to buy a heat core, once i bought it there was nothing at the end to show how it came in handy lazy! in ME2 ship upgrades increased who survived. I did everything in ME1 and 2 and then topped it off in 3 my ending should have been god mode but no i get hit by huge laser that i had no problem dodging in 2 other boss fights ***** lazy!

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  61. BiS
    March 10, 2012, 9:42 PM

    I had 1300 readiness rate and imported savegame from ME2, i could CONTROL reapers and save earth, but sephard died ofc (destroy rele craps and such, and people lived in earth).

    I had 2700 points with 50% real rate or that thing (idk names @ english :P)

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  62. JaC
    March 10, 2012, 9:58 PM

    @MKX

    If your tired of seeing people cry about it then why do you keep coming to the fourm to look??

    Maybe its just me but i dont think the ending to such a great trilogy should be so depressing. I could live with shepard dieing. He was the galaxies hero and 9/10 the hero has to make that sacrifice but to cut off the rest of the races from there families and flat out ignoring what happens to the rest of your crew (Liara, James, EDI, Grunt) or your love interest mine being Miranda seems a little over the top for my taste.

    Simple matter is they should have cleaned the endings up like ME2 allowing some to die and some to live Shepard included. That way if you want Shepard to survive its possible or if you want him to make that sacrifice you can do that to.

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  63. Sprink07
    March 11, 2012, 12:59 AM

    Guys all bioware did was throw in a curve ball by saying you can be the most ready (5000+) and shepard and anderson both die but if you have the readiness between 4000 and 4999 then both Shepard and anderson live.

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  64. Christian
    March 11, 2012, 1:19 AM

    I am right now at the ending for the ps3 and I only got 2 options but I have 3.6 military strength and rediness.
    the options were destroy the reapers all synthetic life and yourself but earth and all other places will be safe, or the next option is controll the reapers but anyone who is close to me will perish including myself and all mass relays will me destroyed.

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  65. Tyramun
    March 11, 2012, 5:00 PM

    Hi all i am new to this forum thing but i just wanted to day a few things.

    1. It seems people are forgetting a few things, Sovereign’s purpose was not to “attack” the citadel it was to Activate it, and let the Reapers in, as they explained all through out the games. Just had to point that out for those that missed that.

    2. The story across all boards is lacking in continuity and consistency, The relay’s blowing up for example… i would like some sort of explanation how the creators of the game allowed that to hapen… in Arrival you blow one up and it destroys the solar system… this one blows all the relays and nothing happens… oh thats right just the one ship (Normandy) by the way is blown out of the sky trying to out run the blast. why was it even there, why dod it leave Sol, why was it running away with my squad mates.

    3. Somthing that never even made sense to me was, this. Shepards people, The alliance never believed him, but he had clear undeniable evidence, why did he not continue to recruit on his own, he had support in other venues. After ME2 why the hell did he turn himself in Knowing the stakes? And Three if the reapers could get into the galaxy so fast say those 6 months after the arival, or even just two years of Traveling from dark space, what is the Point of the Citadel?

    Meh im just dissapointed with the ending while good in its own ways, just leavs you wanting more, a Prologue would have been nice. the Shepard memorial with all the still living people would have been nice.

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  66. nexorxist
    March 11, 2012, 7:50 PM

    I had an imported save with saved collector ship, 7100 military strengths with 100% multiplayer. My endings were same 3 ones.
    So scores mean nothing.
    Very disappointing.

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  67. James
    March 11, 2012, 9:41 PM

    These endings aren’t even true. There are only 3. I know this because I had an effective military strength of 6800, did nearly every side quest (missed 3, and got every single race to join. I also played multiplayer and got galaxtic readiness to 100%. You know what I got? The EXACT SAME ENDINGS THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS CONFIRMED. You either kill reapers, yourself, and the relays or control the reapers and kill yourself and the relays or the who magical synthesis (merge organics and synthetics) and kill yourself and the relays. If you read the comments of other people who had lower military strength or galatic readiness you will see they had the same endings. What’s more is this is a page out of the book of the last Dues Ex game. You make choices all through the game(s) but in the end all that matters is if you walk left straight or right.

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  68. Darthbone
    March 12, 2012, 1:12 AM

    @Quentarus

    Sorry, i just beat the game and Shepard lived. 6900 EMS, 100% Readiness. I chose the right side in the ending.

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  69. Poizun
    March 12, 2012, 1:57 AM

    There is another “secret ending” when you beat it for a second time. Kinda lame but gives more incentive for a second play through. Yes there is only 3 “true” endings. The only thing difference having the highest number of readiness is you get to pick and earth is saved and. It “devastated” or destroyed.

    @Tyramun The relay in arrival was destroyed by a giant asteroid which would definitely release more energy. In the ending it’s the byproduct of your choice and they more or less just “break” rather than get destroyed. The creator of the relays would know more info on how to do it than the rest of the galaxy.

    The point of the citadel was it being a relay would get the reapers there instantly rather than them travelling. Element of surprise and would you rather have to walk to work or school 100 miles away or drive?

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  70. Mike_ME1-3PLAYA
    March 12, 2012, 2:49 AM

    I wasn’t really dissatisfied with the choices because well they were heavy choices and that’s what this series is about. I just wish there was more closure at the end, it just seemed super abstract.

    I mean I get the fact that from what I chose and my ending that the reapers are destroyed and the galaxy is saved and in a sense reset and organics are now free to have a future instead of the “solution” being wiping them out every 50k years.

    what I don’t get is why and where joker was going with the normandy(and my crew some of which were on earth with me) during the battle of the galaxy. Also I wished to know what happened to all the people elsewhere in the fight(Hackett, wrex, the quarians, etc), maybe see a little wrex junior running around b/c genophage is cured… guess my sense of closure is kinda like how in star wars there were fireworks on every planet and u got to see how all is well or hell.

    I just wished there was a little more closure(I guess DLC?), otherwise THANK YOU BIOWARE FOR A GREAT FREAKIN SERIES!

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  71. Weirdguy
    March 12, 2012, 3:31 AM

    Ok, a few points I want to make.

    1. There is still space flight without relays. You did have to cross space from a solar system with a relay to one without a relay somehow (costs you fuel). Relays are just “fast lanes” of space flight, they’re not necessary. However, getting across the galaxy is now going to take decades.

    2. Mass Relays are not impossible to rebuild. The Protheans had their own working prototype of their own creation. I know, I drove a Mako tank through the silly thing in the first game. That network can be rebuilt, just not anytime soon.

    2. It is ambiguous if the ending of ME-3 means all the homeworlds of every race (they each have a relay) are blown up or not. The DLC from ME-2 says blowing a relay = destroyed solar system.

    3. Why the hell was the Normandy traveling down a relay jump during the final battle? Beer run for the celebration party they never got?!? And did he have all your buddies on it (I’m assuming the answer is yes).

    4. It felt like the only life in the universe were on the “secondary” planets, those solar systems that didn’t have relays. All the minor colony worlds are now the major population sites for all the races. Sucks to be Quarians. You get your homeworld back for all of a few weeks or so, then the relay blows up and its back to living in the space Winnebago’s.

    5. The Paragon/Blue ending you take control of the Reapers, they all up sticks and head into space. Where did they go? Blown up by being too close to the Citadel? Were the Reapers all at Earth for the last battle?

    6. How the hell does blowing up all the mass relays mean everyone gets reset back to the steam age? It seemed like that was a galaxy wide result. That is some seriously powerful tech in those gizmos to send everyone back to a blank slate when they blew (especially in the Synthesis ending which makes every living thing half machine somehow).

    7. In the Synthesis ending, EDI gets off the Normandy with Joker, but shouldn’t she be part biological now? She still looks like a robot. Then again, EDI is down in the computer core forward of the sick bay. That was just her remote control toy. Ok, then why was Joker so against her going on the Cerberus mission when she insisted she had to be there? EDI was never actually in danger.

    8. Is there an ending where Anderson lives? It looks to me that Anderson “living” is actually just him lasting a few minutes longer to sit with you and talk a bit, but the guy still dies from blood loss.

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  72. Adam
    March 12, 2012, 9:36 AM

    Just out of curiosity, if the reapers absorb each advanced civilization to a new reaper, then wouldn’t the reaper that is the species that built the relays know how to build more?

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  73. OvertOddity
    March 12, 2012, 10:06 AM

    A mistake in the guide. I kept the Collector Base in ME2 and with a TMS of 6794, an EMS of 6250 and a RR of 92% I got the Synthesis option. I did play some multiplayer, but when I did I already had an EMS of over 5000.

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  74. Swylen
    March 12, 2012, 11:17 AM

    I saw James step off the Normandy after I died. That rat bastard must have slipped out of the final battle I took him on and hopped a shuttle to the Normandy while I was getting blasted and crawling half dead to the beam.

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  75. Brett
    March 12, 2012, 2:40 PM

    Still confused, how do I create a synergy?

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  76. LTK
    March 12, 2012, 3:01 PM

    I don’t understand it. I had 5300 EMS (I played multiplayer for getting that number), Anderson lived long enough and I went to the red route. No Shepard alive video :S

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  77. Frag2k4
    March 12, 2012, 3:18 PM

    My Two Cents

    1) The issue with the gates blowing up but not taking out the solar system does not make sense so does choosing any ending mean that earth and all other civilisations get destroyed? Still in regards to arrival DLC that everyone keeps quoting maybe the energy that was released when the gate was destroyed by the asteroid was instead channeled to the other gates instead thus not blowing a big hole into the galaxy.

    2) As for the Red ending. Maybe it was just a vision like his periodic Prothian ones a way of showing him no matter the choice the suffering will continue, if thats so not only is that such a cop out, but I would just limp back to a shuttle get back on the Normandy and find a nice secluded planet to live on.

    3) For those who said it, the Catalyst is NOT a kid it choose an avatar that Sheperd could speak too, as that was the boy from the start. Still his reasoning was nothing short of flawed, i’ll attribute Sheperds lack of responses to blood lose.

    4) For some reason whenever Sheperd does his flashback before his death?! mine always shows Liara but I never romanced her in this one.

    5) EDI was with me during the final push why was she in 2 of the 3 endings on the Normandy?

    6) Would this be a better ending for those who want one:

    Sheperd is given the three choices, Hell no he says and somehow sends a code that shuts down the reapers (yeah I know plot hole but this games full of them) Sheperd limps back to the beam, on Earth the reapers shut down the soldiers rejoice then show other races Geth and quarians shaking hands, Salarians and Krogan ect. Sheperds love interest walks through the carnage (injured?) sees the injured Sheperd they embrace and look up at the sky The Climatic words “It’s over” “no” says Sheperd “It’s just beginning.” Jumps Several years the council is back and galactic peace reigns scenes then like the Geth and quarians rebuilding their home, Wrex leading the krogan and so forth, then Sheperd and his/her love interest living peacfully (depending on the character) with maybe a few Sheperd Jr’s running around. Bar the plot hole issue at the start I think this may be close to what some people wanted.

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  78. Steve Shepard
    March 12, 2012, 3:31 PM

    Mass Effect is my favourite game franchise ever, the world Bioware created is absolutely amazing.. I have finished number 1 13 times, and still get chills when I speak to Sovereign in Vermire. So don’t talk shit about not being able to like the ending if you have been a fan from the start.. but my point is

    SPOILERS – if you haven’t finished it once, why are reading this page anyway? :P

    I loved my ending, it is true that i thought a lot during my 42 hours with ME3 about what i wanted to happen at the end, and that i was terrified of my best buddy Garrus or my love Tali dying at the end.. I had full everything, 100% readiness, collector base was destroyed and i had full reputation. When i was presented with my options, and thought that each way presented my death, i thought long and hard about a future spent with Tali on her home world… before choosing to control the reapers in order to save as many as I could.

    The “secret” ending is the bit after the credits, the star gazer scene, if you imported a me2 character it counts the same as new game plus (hence the achievement). Shepard’s legend will go on.

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  79. Dus
    March 12, 2012, 4:23 PM

    Some rubbish information is being copied over the net, with these weird numerical values and *16* endings info.

    ONLY GREEN BAR MATTERS.

    People are looking at misleading numerical scores when they should be looking at the military strength bar in the war screen. If its FULL green, you’ll get the ‘best ending’.

    I got to choose between three different endings with a military effectiveness rating of 4700. Shepard ‘lives’ if he blows up the Reapers. By ‘live’ I mean bleeding to death on an empty space station. Anderson also ‘lived’, as in he died peacefully having a chat with Shepard. There was also a Stargazer ending after the credits.

    Shepard dies if he controls or synths the Reapers.

    Shep dies in all the options, except one result isn’t shown, its implied. Like the Sopranos ending.

    ALSO

    People are mixing up total military strength and military effective strength.

    and

    People are mixing up total military strength and military effective strength.

    and

    People are mixing up total military strength and military effective strength.

    Total military strength x readiness rating gives you military effective strength.

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  80. Shahab
    March 12, 2012, 6:40 PM

    My military strenght was at +6000 with the multiplayer game without playing a min of multibplayer… downloaded a crack that upgrades your readiness from 50% to 100% sine i wasnt in the mood to spend endless hours playing…

    long story short… i still only get the same three endings….

    I mean sure… it wasnt a sucky ending just cuz shepard died… but seriously WTF?? they chouldnt have come up with an better ending??

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  81. IFlip92
    March 12, 2012, 8:02 PM

    1) About the Citadel, if anyone bothered reading through the codex or listening to some of the stuff you would know that Reapers can travel 30 Light Years per Hour! Sovereign was trying to activate the Citadel relay and transport some Reapers or all Reapers forth to start the Cycle but Shephard delayed the Cycle in the sense that the Reapers had to actually fly to the Milky Way (Kinda makes you think what’s going on in other Galaxies huh?).

    2) Endings are inconsistent but I pretty much agree with everything @Weirdguy said a few posts up. The best solution I found was to Merge synthetics with Humans to achieve ultimate evolution as this seemed to me as the best possible solution since everyone would become unquantifiably (is that even a word?) smart while retaining uniqueness as a species. But I do agree that it was lazy to just apply some sort of circuit texture over the characters. I was xpecting Joker to be up, running and jumping since his bone disease would’ve been nonexistant as ultimate beings in my view should be free of disease and need of consumables. So with this new found evolution, intelligence and free time aren’t they able to just simply build some sort of Teleportation device? Or at least rebuild the Mass Relays?

    3) The ending with controlling the Reapers also seemed viable as I would’ve been able to access all of their knowledge and like the Illusive Man said, evolve all species with Reaper tech, effectively advancing all of them by 10.000 years on the evolution scale therefore being able to rebuild the Mass Relays easily right?

    4) Why the hell in my moments of death all I could think about was Joker, Anderson and Liara? Sure they were all good friends but I romanced Tali but it would’ve been better to show all of the crew as the whole ending cinematic seemed a bit short and hectic. Made it seem like 1 of them movies where directors have to cut scenes and shrink other in order to keep it under a certain time but this is a game and shouldn’t suffer from such a time constraint. Hell, the longer the better.

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  82. IFlip92
    March 12, 2012, 8:13 PM

    Oh and the kid in the game is 1 ugly ass motherf*****. If I had a kid that looks like that I would’ve sent him in the beam of light. I didn’t feel anything towards him so it kinda ruined the experience for me. They should’ve stuck to the lil’ girl in the Take Back Earth Trailer.

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  83. cphoenix
    March 13, 2012, 12:43 AM

    The guide is utter crap. There are three endings, presented Deus Ex style, but hell, even in Deus Ex: HR the one presenting your options at least had some familiarity. This was just some nutzo super-AI with absolutely no grasp of basic philosophy and logic. O.o

    Frankly, if your writing anything that needs deus ex machina to work, like this ending did, it’s not worth the paper you’re printing on (or the bits you’re typing on? I wonder how that phrase might evolve in a few centuries…but I digress).

    This was KotOR2-esque for sure. Lazy, rushed, kinda “Oh, yeah, ending! Right…uh…*deus ex machina!* There, solved.” At least one knew the end was coming. KotOR2′s ending just sorta popped-up out of nowhere (I honestly didn’t know that game was coming to an end until the last two minutes).

    Anyway…yeah. Lazy. Just plain goddam lazy. Anything that did a better job reflecting all the galaxy-changing one’s Shepard made over the past games would’ve been nice. Bah.

    I’d personally love to see more games in the ME franchise…but then I fear of what EA will do to it. Bioware’s done an admirable job not being totally sucked of all their awesome by EA (like what happened to…say…Westwood), but………..we shall see….

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  84. Luke
    March 13, 2012, 3:30 AM

    I just beat the game the other day and i chose the synth choice also.

    I just wanted to know, as i’m running towards the teleportation beam. I had Garrus and Ashley as my squad mates, did they get blown up by the Harbinger dual beams?

    The ending i got was Joke, EDI and some female who i could not make out got off the ship after it crashed. After the credits, i could see some guy with a kid. My friends tell me it’s Joker telling his son the legend of Shepard but who did he have a kid with? EDI?

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  85. Ali
    March 13, 2012, 6:17 AM

    ::SPOILER WARNING::

    Exploring the Movies folder on the PC version, there are two files that *DO* point to the fact that Shepard (male or female ) is in fact alive! These files are named:

    End03_Shepard_Alive_Fem &
    End03_Shepard_Alive_Male

    in the folder “\Mass Effect 3\BIOGame\Movies”

    If you do have over >5000 EMS this little clip plays once NPC’s disembark from the crashed Normandy

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  86. Kyuuri
    March 13, 2012, 6:22 AM

    Just read through this, some good points for the argument that the endings were good or bad, not gonna get into that. However, what really got me thinking was what the guy right above me @Luke mentioned. I’m assuming the synth ending is the ideal ending due to the fact that it is the ‘hardest’ to unlock, as you need the green bar filled up. However, taking that into account, along with the ‘secret’ ending after the credits that you get for playing a ME2 character or beating the game twice…I propose that the grandpa could really be Joker. Here is my reasoning. Due to the synth ending, jokers life could have been greatly prolonged given his new DNA. EDI, given the new synth ending, would no lover be tied to the ship (ship has crashed, can assume destroyed) also, if you look very closely at the synth ending, you can see that edi moves very fluently for a robot when she hugs Joker, more fluidly than she had been moving all game. Due to new DNA, possible for them to have kids. Also, the entire crew would have been there even though you are only shown joker, EDI, and in my case liara. By entire crew, I mean entire crew, not just your squad mates. With an extended life span, plenty of people to fill a new gene pool, and no reference as to how far in the future the secret ending is (although!!! If we are to assume ME1, 2 and 3 were all told to the kid as stories…one will realize that they will all told in VERY good detail…detail that really would have had to come first or second hand….this along with the fact that we are only told in he secret ending that a good chunk of tome has passed…AND that the same tree from th synth ending was there…but win snow which symbolizes and end of life…as opposed to the new healthy tree in the synth ending…) anyway, excuse the insanity but it really does make some sort of twisted sense that joker is the stargazer, after all, what better way to remember a past life in the stars than by stargazing.

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  87. CherryZero
    March 13, 2012, 10:38 AM

    When they talk about “saving” Anderson, they’re referring to the confrontation with the Illusive Man. If you don’t take the Paragon/Renegade options every time in your convo with him up to a certain point, he shoots and kills Anderson. Anderson still dies after you activate the Crucible, so you’re only “saving” him for a few minutes.

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  88. Kirov
    March 13, 2012, 11:10 PM

    Hi, in that guide its says that in the readinnes rating 4000/5000 end shepard lives… When you say that shepard lives, are you talking about the short scene that shows that shepard takes a deep breath? Or is there another scene im missing? Sorry for my bad english, it’s not my native lenguage.

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  89. Kirov
    March 13, 2012, 11:41 PM

    Kyuuri i think you’re right, the stargazer could be joker… I was just watching the synthesis ending and i saw something really interesting, if you pay attention, when joker gets off the crashed normandy, you can see in the sky two planets (or moons, or stars, i’m not really sure), and it the secret ending, when the stargazer is telling the story to the little kid, you can see the same two planets in the sky. Joker couldn’t get off that planet since they don’t have a ship, or mass relays to travel trough the galaxy… he lived the rest of his life in that same planet… But there’s a lot of loose ends… Other thing, in the red ending, shepard lives, takes a deep breath being half buired in concrete, but he is not in the citadel, he is on earth, you can see perfectly that he is buired in the street, in the same spot where he got shot by that big reaper, so maybe the final events on the citadel never happened… maybe he was dreaming, or hallucinating because of the injuries he got from the reaper’s laser? It could be, i did the last mission with ash and garrus, they were right behind me when the reaper almost killed me…and then, in the radio anderson says that no one made it out alive… but then they were totally unharmed in the planet where the normandy crashed with joker and the rest of the crew… The whole thing seems messed up.

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  90. phil
    March 14, 2012, 6:31 PM

    I gotta ask who cares? I mean if you dont like the ending maybe play through all 3 games again in a few months, its still fun and you can make completely different choices,

    and if you still dont like the ending, too bad, whats the point in trying to change it?

    if you get a crappy ending it just means you were a crappy commander shepherd, in fact you might as well make up an ending, that makes you happy

    I really doubt that if they make a mass effect 4 it will continue the story from there with all the same characters anyway, it will be either decades later, or decades earlier, maybe the first contact war or something?

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  91. Rapscallion
    March 15, 2012, 4:36 PM

    I really love reading all the people whining about the ending to this great game and series. First off the fact that the last decision has nothing to do with the decisions made through the game means absolutely nothing. The decisions made throughout the game are there to set up the state of the galaxy post game. What universe did Shepard leave behind as a result of his decision/sacrifice is what they are all there for. Also what force would be there for earth when the final battle happens. I thought it was an excellent ending to a great series.

    Also I was able to get all three choices with my paragon game by doing what was mentioned earlier which is doing EVERYTHING + both DLC’s in ME1, doing EVERYTHING + all DLC’s + All crew members loyal in ME2 and fully exploring the universe for all assets and doing as many side missions i could find in ME3 allowed me to get the “good” ending with zero multiplayer (50% readiness).

    Quit complaining, enjoy the game for what it is. They tied up just about everything nicely which is what is expected of the third edition of a trilogy. It’s a well known fact that the second is always the best in a trilogy, you should have expected that coming in. It doesn’t degrade the third one bit and I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the other two.

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  92. DANmedic
    March 16, 2012, 5:12 AM

    OK. So after finishing my first 50 hour playthrough and being left with a WTF at the end wondering “where is the good ending? ” I got on here to find out that apparently that was the good ending? Bullshit .. my character was imported from all 3 ME games. Did everything right and that was it? I respect the IDEA of the heroic self sacrifice but that should not have been the only outcome… I got the deep breath YAY I think in true ME form there would have been a go home.to.my.girl.ending . A die for the cause ending and a I’m a tool who wants to rule the galaxy ending. Just after years of play I’m dissapointed. And for those who keep sighting the “war is hell ” card. I’m a combat medic in the army I’ve been there done that it sucks, lost friends seen horrible shit but that doesn’t mean I want to play a video game and be reminded that life can always suck. One happy ending would have been nice.

    Oh and stat wise I had 100% readiness and just above 5000 assets with full paragon and Max level and it change nothing that has been listed already. That was a me1, and me2 import character

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  93. Luke
    March 16, 2012, 3:27 PM

    So anyone know if the Return to Ashe DLC has any impact on the story?

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  94. Simon
    March 17, 2012, 3:12 AM

    THEY ARE NOT STUCK ON EARTH, THEY STILL HAVE FTL DRIVES. after mass effect 3 has finished your crew will just be picked up.

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  95. dave
    March 17, 2012, 10:25 AM

    There isn’t a “good” ending to ME3 from what I can find.. heres what I done spanning all ME games;

    ME1:
    Left Kaidan to die (he sucks)
    Kirrahe survived on Virmire
    Wrex survived
    Saved council

    ME2:
    Everybody survived the “suicide” mission
    Blew collector base up

    ME3:
    Cured genophage (nothing I can snap like a twig will try to bully me)
    Got the Quarians and Geth to work together
    Still got help from the Salarians (happens if you save Kirrahe in ME1)
    Done every mission, pillaged every planet
    50% galactic readiness rating (I’ll never play ME online)
    Had a military strength rating of over 7000 going into final mission (effective strength over 3500)

    Even after all that my options boiled down to die, die, or bleed to death. Nomatter what after the credits I also only get the stargazer thing, not the Shepard lives endings you can watch if you have the PC version. So all I have to say is WTF Bioware? The ending doesn’t make any sence at all. I could list everything thats wrong but thats already been covered. So… fairly good game starts off well then rapidly declines into doing nothing but running errands and saving the rest of the galaxy all by yourself. Then at the end everything you have done in the past ME games ends up to not make a bloody difference at all. Waste of time and money. You can also do everything ME3 has to offer in about 35hrs too… no idea why some have said it took them 50hrs+, seriously?

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  96. DANmedic
    March 17, 2012, 3:23 PM

    My 50 hours was what it.said on my saved game. Probably because I left it on when I left for work once or twice. Definitely not all play time.

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  97. Anon
    March 17, 2012, 10:59 PM

    There is no “good” ending.

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  98. Anne
    March 18, 2012, 2:47 AM

    Knowing the difference between the TOTAL military strength and the EFFECTIVE militiary strength is important. The Effective military strength is what counts not your total military strength. Just wanted to clear some things up for anyone confused. It really helps to do multiplayer. I had 50 percent and after around 6 or 7 multiplayer missions i had 100 percent and increased my effective military strength from 1300 to 3700 in a day and a half. Just a warning your percentage actually decreases a few percent a day thanks to bioware.. I didn’t mind the endings but i really hope they release a DLC to clear some lingering questions up.

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  99. Simple answer
    March 18, 2012, 3:03 AM

    Guys there’s a simple answer to see how much endings there are, or if Shepard dies or lives or not: YouTube.

    Don’t trade insults, trade YouTube links.

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  100. Chapel
    March 18, 2012, 5:12 PM

    I don’t really understand why so many people hated the endings. Just because an ending isn’t happy doesn’t mean it’s “bad.” If anything, the fact that so many people are upset that Shep died and the relays were destroyed is a testament to how great Bioware is at story-telling. Few games have people so invested that they actually get mad when the ending isn’t what they wanted.

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  101. Rustman
    March 19, 2012, 6:36 AM

    No. Bioware has a trick up their sleeve… and it is truly insidious… and not only would it make the “endings” good, but amazing. There is more to this story. There is going to be something else… probably a major DLC release, a la Dragon Age 2: Awakenings. Lets look at the facts.

    He got blown up, but somehow, not only survives alone and unconscious in a hostile environment surrounded by bad guys, but wakes up right next to the beam… his objective… and has no problem getting there… and he is the only one who makes it on board. Oh yea… except Anderson who magically arrives and, somehow, inexplicably, the Illusive Man… both of which somehow end up in completely different parts of the ship. Any bad guys? Nope. Not a single one. Not a single husk or cannibal doing whatever it is that they do with all those bodies.

    A fight ensues between Anderson and the Illusive Man.. blah blah… assume you make it to the kid.

    You only see this kid when you are dreaming. That is the only time. Oh, yea, Shepherd’s mind is his own.. oh except for that little piece of information… they took his memory of the kid freely enough. Then the “kid” offers him his three choices.

    Don’t you find it odd that the preferred option of Illusive Man… the INDOCTRINATED BAD GUY… is now suddenly pitched as the “Paragon” option? The choice of Anderson.. and your entire goal of all three games is now “Renegade”? They flipped a complete 180 with the story in 30 seconds.

    Lets examine the endings. In the 2 “good” endings you die… and nothing makes sense. First, Joker is running away. No. Nothing about the character says that would happen… and second, running from what? He in the same system as the Citadel and engaged in a fight that he said he was going to stay in. He wouldn’t know what would happen and would have no reason to run, nor the capability to do so when the Citadel and the Local Cluster Relay would be the first to blow up. Then, they crash on an alien planet and who gets off the ship? Joker, EDI, and ONE Of YOUR SQUAD MEMBERS. EDI and, obviously, your squad member are not on the Normandy and they have neither the means, nor a reason, to go back to the ship at this time.

    Lets look at the “Renegade” ending… Ok, take out all the BS about the Normandy crashing… all the stuff that makes no sense. What are you left with? The “kid” really pushes the point that if you pick that option you will be wiping out an entire race of sentient life… the Geth… oh, and, by the way, you are synthetic too, so your toast also. He really doesn’t want you to take that option. What happens? You survive… in a pile of Rubble.. and my guess is that its in London.

    Shepherd… who has been in close contact with Reaper technology repeatedly over all three games… longer than any other character in the entire series… is indoctrinated. That’s my guess. That entire ending sequence was in his head. That wasn’t a final battle on the Citadel, but a final battle over the control of his mind. The “choices” given to him were to decide whether he succumbs to the indoctrination and dies, or if he defeats it and summons the will to survive.

    I think the real fight hasn’t happened yet…. besides, where is Harbinger? This big build up to a final epic confrontation and he is, noticeably, absent. Weird.

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  102. Sneakytiki
    March 20, 2012, 9:12 PM

    Agreed. You guys actually think that an insanely powerful super-sized being, head of the entire reaper fleet….who talked shit for an entire game (me2) is not going to culminate in a final confrontation. Everybody is pissed at Harbinger. The ending in my opinion, I hate cliffhangers (Half-Life 2), is genius. Bioware is definitely not pulling punches in doing this.

    *SPOILERS*

    There are clues hinting at Shepard battling indoctrination throughout the entire game of Mass Effect 3. Just watch for them. Multiple characters give warning to it in conversations. There are crucial moments in the game where Shepard is even distracted and his squad-mates need to try to get his attention. The clues are there. Just pay attention.

    The ending is the culmination of everything. Either Bioware just wrote one of the best endings to a game ever or they are complete fools. Now if they charge us for it, then yeah, I’ll be pissed. I’ll still buy it because I want to see the ending. Honestly I think they were just pressed for time.

    You think you’re pissed…imagine how pissed Shepard is going to be when he wakes up thinking everything is semi-okay and he realizes he just got knocked out.

    Worst part is, I hate it, he is probably going to end up dying in a bittersweet ending. I don’t care about that, I just want closure and to find out what the hell happens to everybody after the final battle. Bioware would not ruin their flagship series….not in a long shot. Just give them time and a chance.

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  103. Christian
    March 20, 2012, 11:13 PM

    I’ve played through the ending three times now.

    Choosing the center (synthesis) pretty much saves the galaxy but Shep dies.

    Choosing the right (destroy synthetics) basically destroys all synthetics and if you watch close enough, it shows Shepard after the citadel has fired and he moves slightly, indicating he’s alive.

    Choosing the left (control synthetics) basically kills Shepard but somehow he’s still controllin the Reapers.

    All three endings are generally the same except for some minor details.

    So far, there is no true “happy” ending, in my opinion.

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  104. Kit
    March 21, 2012, 11:17 AM

    Guys, what the problem?! I got all I need in Campaign, all the endings. No multiplayer, I just wasn’t lazy to accomplish and complete everything =)

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  105. Tracy
    March 23, 2012, 1:41 AM

    I wasnt lazy either. Ill spare details but i played the hell outta this game… 100% rating… Yadda yadda…i only see three real endings and i still cant save anderson. I heard the time u play has something to do with it…maybe difficulty too? Im about to start an insanity campaign and see if it does. Ive beat it on normal.. It had a tragic ending with a dead shep.. I didnt have multiplayer at the time. After i got 100% tho.. The only thing i can see is shephard barely move? And yall are right.. Everyone is screwed…lol. Stuck on whatever planet they were on… Imagine ppl on those hot as hell planets who may have just supposed to have been there for a short time.. Lol. The happiest ending to me was the synthesis. Hell… Shephard dies but the scene between joker and edi was cool. Afterall.. He cant avoid death forever… But i would like to see a mass effect 4. With less multiplayer influence… It felt Like mist levels were specifically geared to be multiplayer maps. I personally think there should be a seperation.. Instead on having to force non-multiplayer gamers to suffer through the cheasy level design… There just so happens to be cover just about everwhere.. Sometimes thats just not how it happens..mass effect 1 one was more like KOTOR but damn it was fun. Seemed like an equally full game. The rover bit was buggy and a lil lackluster, but i think they couldve improved on it instead of taking it out completely. Hell theyre all over the last map…at the very least they couldve added extra planets to land on and do other side quests on. I dont like that the cutadel always seems to b the main place to buy anything..what.. There arent any other shops in the universe? With all them relays? I also enjoyed that ME 1 allowed u to equip all kinds of stuff on other characters. Thats a good key factor in any decent RPG..ME 3 was lacking in that. :/. I could rant for days about this.. But ill leave it at that. Lol

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  106. dew
    March 23, 2012, 4:49 AM

    Someone on Youtube explained the endings in a way that made the most sense no matter what ending you get. The thing is, as it seems, Shepard dies no matter what you do…however… Before going up into the Citadel, you see a blast from a Reaper. The most likely result is that Shepard is knocked unconscious from this and nearly dead, then Shepard imagines what he/she would do to end the war while unconscious. Then, no matter what you see at the end with either the Stargazer old man or Shepard charred and taking in a breath, it would make sense that he/she lives either way due to the old man saying he had one more story to tell or that you see Shepard breathe all charred up. So to effectively explain what we saw, was only imagined/dreamed by Shepard and now the truly impossible task of Shepard winning the war and defeating the enemy would really begin. In the dream state, you see the child in which Shepard had been having night terrors about ever since the beginning when he/she sees the boy die on earth. It would only make sense that the catalyst in that form would have to be a manifestation from a dream state. So now, Commander Shepard more than likely is found by survivors, whatever is left of the fleet must retreat, and they must figure out a way to stop their enemy in a 4th game. I can not imagine a game that has been spread over this much time and effort to end here like it did. It just cant. I have only played ME3 and from seeing this, Bioware is not done yet with Shepard. If they wanted to end the series, sure..they could and what we saw was not a dream. But if it wasnt real, then we have a whole another adventure to play through in another 3 years.

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  107. roivas
    March 23, 2012, 1:07 PM

    Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

    I got that and I still can’t get ending with shepard breathing :/

    And yes it’s readiness I’ve above 5000, I’ve played online only to be able the see shepard breathing and it’s not happening something is wrong with this guide :/

    Anyone one got an idea? I’ve read on the web i’m not the only one in this situation..

    Excuse my english & thx for your help ;o;

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  108. Roivas
    March 23, 2012, 2:03 PM

    Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

    It’s not working :/ I’ve got done all this & my Shepard is not breathing

    And yes, it’s readiness I’ve got to 5000+ (5230 exactly) I’ve played multiplayer just to get my shepard breathing (galactic thing is @ 98%)

    So they must be something else to do :/

    Maybe because I’ve not the “green ending” choice ?? (not sur how you can get this one)

    If anyone can help, I’ve read on the web that i’m not alone in this situation..

    Thx & excuse my enlgish ^^;

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  109. Roivas
    March 23, 2012, 2:04 PM

    oups sorry, I Thought my first post didn’t work >.< plz delete one, again sorry :3

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  110. jessica
    March 23, 2012, 5:55 PM

    I don’t even know if I lived or died. Oh, there is more after the credits roll. Apparently, everybody reveres “the shepard” in the future. remind you of anyone?

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  111. Anon
    March 25, 2012, 2:53 PM

    Just because it’s the highest readiness rating ending doesn’t mean it’s “The best ending”
    The best ending is Synthesis. Shepard sacrifices himself so Joker and EDI can get their freak on. The crash landing planet has the same skyline as the Stargazer and Child with the large planet and moon. Clearly Joker and EDI got their freak on and the Stargazer is Joker with a touch of Alzheimer’s talking to his grandson which is why the story is different every time.

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  112. Sadstory
    March 26, 2012, 5:13 AM

    Very Sad. I had played through the 1st two games three times (maybe more with new game plus, but at least three) to cover my bases on almost every option. Then they put out a crap ending like that. It makes me very sad. I don’t even know if I want to play through it with my other two. I expected the 100+ decisions I made to matter, and apparently they barely did. At least they had some cause during the game, but no ending at all. Its just depressing. I was really looking forward to playing with my soldier and my vanguard… WTF Bioware.

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  113. RexiaXIV
    March 26, 2012, 9:09 PM

    The ending wasn’t “bad” to me because Shepard pretty much always dies (die, die, bleed out). Also the whole ‘good ending can’t be achieved without killing all synthetic life [EDI and the geth]‘ bothered me, but didn’t make me label the ending as bad.
    Sure, I hoped hard for happy tiems everything’s back to normal, like the ending to some Disney movie. But I knew that Shepard was probably going to die and there was going to have to be some consequences to defeating the Reapers.

    The worst thing is not knowing what happens to everyone immediately after. Instead, we get this old dude telling stories of THE SHEPARD to his kid. I got -really- worried about my whole squad, considering they build up all of this romance/bromance with the whole squad in all 3 games. Didn’t we spend all 3 games building up the galaxy problems? Even a glimpse or a HINT to the aftermath of those species would’ve been great, but we got nothing.

    What about the aliens (vorcha, volus, geth, quarians, turians, salarians, krogan, elcor, hanar, drell, ect ect ect) trapped on Sol? WHAT ABOUT WREX!? What about my old ME2/ME1 squadmates? ;A; (what happend to mah bros/precious babbehs?)
    What happened to the krogan and quarians on their home world? Did things work out for the geth and quarians and did Eve manage to lead the krogan in the right direction?

    What the hell happened to the Normandy other than they landed on planet Whothehellknowswhere? (I mean, the same star/planet is visible with the old man scene, but unless if they managed to travel to a non-Sol galaxy and miraculously crashed on a planet with other people, I think repopulation will be pretty… hard)

    LITTLE BOY, TELL YOUR GRANDPA STARGAZER TO TELL THE EPILOGUE. >:C

    Sorry, but I generally despise “open-ended for the imagination and all possibilities” endings. I mean, I had a fuckton of fun playing all 3 ME games. Regardless of plot holes, I had years of fun. But the ending felt… empty to me. No cheers, no tears, no celebratory soda to choke down after. Just… what? ;A;
    I DON’T hate the game or the ending. I just wish the ending answered some of my worries and questions instead of adding to them. I believe it could’ve been much better, but it felt like they rushed it.
    Especially feel disappointed after hearing ‘OH BOY 13 ENDINGS OR SOMETHING’ but it’s basically the SAME ending, 10 second differences and different colors.

    ALSO, If they didn’t reuse practically the whole cutscene with different colors, I’d have a bit more respect for the ending.

    Bioware and co just kept talking about how the ending was going to be perfect and the whole game was going to be great because they’re taking extra steps to make it totally awesome all the way through before they release it. But then we get an ending that disappoints many ME players.

    BUT I STILL LOVE TO PLAY THE GAME. I loved -EVERYTHING-, except the horrible common glitches in Multiplayer, until the very end where it’s all “Shepard, choose a color! 8D”

    FYI, I got 2 endings. First playthrough got the green bar ALMOST full, no multiplayer, got Anderosn shot by the Illusive man BY ACCIDENT, choose Red. No silly OHMYGOD SHEPARD WILL BE ALIVE FOR A MINUTE AFTER PAINFULLY HURTLING TOWARDS EARTH’S SURFACE EVEN THOUGH THAT KILLED HIM/HER IN ME2. Yeah, I’m sorry, but I watched the cutscene on youtube, and I laughed. e.e; I mean, c’mon. She/He ain’t gonna live long at that rate. They’ll have doctors left in London, sure, but they’re not Cerberus on the bloody Lazerus Project.

    Second time, my insanity playthrough (which wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be), I played multiplayer and got 99% galatic rediness. I got 6800ish points and full green bar. Choose synthesis. Thanks to RelationshipCounsoler!Shepard, Joker and EDI have a moment which is adorbs, but the rest of the crew is ignored, sans seeing Garrus (Who I romanced-SORRY FOR LEAVING YOU ALONE ;A; MEET YOU AT THAT BAR)

    I mean, I’m glad with the implications of the synthesis ending IN THE LONG RUN. Also means that all of the stranded post-war people may not be as screwed as with the other 2 endings.

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  114. jonathan
    March 30, 2012, 9:36 AM

    with the ending that has the “grandfather” explaining the legend that is Shepard. notice that there is two moons…. if you look at the scene with the crashed Normandy there are two moons there also… could this mean that somehow the survivors of Normandy are passing down the history of Shepard and keeping the legend alive?

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  115. xorn
    March 31, 2012, 7:15 PM

    If you want the best ending, and you want to skip multiplayer mode, simply cheat. There are modified coalesced editors and even coalesced save files floating around. The one I got, gave you 1000 points. I just explored all of the planets with that in, got my score up to 15000, divided by 1/2 and WALLA 7500. Then put back in original coalesced and continued playing without cheating. I know it’s not perfect, but it works. Just stay away from EA until you are done.

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  116. Raja Sims
    April 1, 2012, 11:42 AM

    @Rustman: I really could not wish more to what you said………..if we get more of ME (obviously taking all the ending as his dream or any other ‘Shepard Alive’ option) than it would be one of my life’s BEST MOMENTS……and ultimately I won’t have to send any more of hate mails to Bioware!!! ;-) PLEASE GOD MAKE IT TRUE

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  117. LuckyGMx
    April 1, 2012, 1:46 PM

    OK, i’ve read through all of your comments and i feel that maybe i’m the only person that the following happened too…

    OK so i’m running towards the portal to the citadel, Harbinger fires a lazer, everyone disappears and guess what?

    Suddenly my armor has disintergrated and i’m limping about in my torn up casual clothes… Where has my armor gone and why haven’t i got any of my original weapons?

    Because, the only thing that can make sense at this point it that I MUST BE UNCONSCIOUS!

    I agree with one of the comments above, i also have started to believe that Shepard has been exposed to reaper technology, and has been indoctornated, else why would saving the Geth be a paragon choice in ME3, after they were destroying planets and people in ME1?

    I think the choice of killing the reapers is the only way shepard is fighting indoctornation? and if there is going to be a Mass Effect 4, then these 3 endings are the PERFECT closing to ME3 and an opening to ME4.

    Believe me guys, i was looking forward to my beers with Jacob and Garrus, and going home (wherever home is) with Ashley, but lets hope that there is an ME4 and it tidies all this up :)

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  118. Cossack Eder
    April 3, 2012, 2:38 AM

    “Multiple Endings” my ass. Red, Green, or Blue. Pick your poison.

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  119. BlkArtsViper
    April 4, 2012, 4:28 AM

    The Stargazer and child, are basically just telling you to play the game again, and to increase your Galactic rating by doing the side missions dlc’s and etc. since the games completly over after you defeat the reapers. theres no real meaning to their conversation. i think that was the whole to get gamers talking bit casey mentioned.

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  120. CFlood18
    April 6, 2012, 1:28 AM

    Yea I had 100% Galaxy at War ratings, and I had nearly every side mission done, and yet Shepard and Anderson still died… the hell?

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  121. Naktis
    April 6, 2012, 5:35 PM

    I have thought of theory that prob most of you forgot.

    When you choose blue or green ending , you see reapers leave , then mass relays blown up…and Joker gets caught..

    BUT what it didn’t show or reveals to us…is a time lag…Im pretty sure that those relays wont blown instantly , so first Reapers leave this solar system , only after that it gets dismantled those relays not blown…its kinda shows like they dismantled rather then blown. So that would explain why Joker go caught in it , maybe was returning from some location and got caught , also this would explain that all other races had returned to they own space already.

    So when its shows that reapers leaves , the dismantle of relays could be happening like 2-3days later.
    Cmon Im trying my best to find explanation :( game was great , superb CG’s ,superb voice casting , great story , just to stupid ending part , with retarded explanation of wtf is going on.

    And ya like someone mentioned I wanted more different endings to choose from , I even wanted too see ending where Reapers won and shows how after centuries they break Last Stands etc..and instead that Kid and old man video at the end it would show a new race finding mass relay, so to start next cycle. This would be BAD ending , but also a badass ending.

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  122. SuckMeBioWare
    April 7, 2012, 12:11 AM

    Well, I’ve beaten the game. After playing ME1 and ME2, the endings I’ve received in ME3 are horrible. Terrible. The cutscenes and gameplay before the final decisions were emotionally overwhelming, and they led me to believe I was really in for a great ending. Boy was I wrong. I was on the verge of destroying my Xbox360, and throwing my TV on the floor. Nothing made sense. Nothing tied in with ANYTHING I did throughout my entire 37+ hours of gameplay. I am frustrated, dissappointed, and quite frankly, pissed at BioWare. How in the hell could such innovative game creators come up with SHIT like this? All 3 endings were terrible. I’m returning this game.

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  123. Hugo
    May 26, 2012, 12:41 AM

    Too many fan’s don’t like the ending of mass effect 3 and I understand that! – but the end of the game is in fact a dream. The game give some clues about that, try to analise all the images from the kid! – but mass effect 3 have a real problem for the fan’s. Mass Effect 2 was great a lot of action, cinematics and a great story about shepard. Mass Effect 3 many people die and Shepard don’t have de chance to save them, is stupid in that! – In Mass effect 2, people die only if we made a decision…………that’s the big problem in Mass Effect 3, at this moment is a game with a very sad story. I hope BIOWARE creat a lot DLC’s to this game to change that.

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  124. deep_chaos
    June 3, 2012, 9:31 PM

    Well, sure ME3 ending is a huge topic to debate. I’m not disappointed with the games different outcomes, what I argue, just like everyone else, is the lack of explanation, probably developers were not reaching the development deadline and rushed everything to release the game in time (this is a common problem in big budget projects generally). The result? A game full of bugs, lazy sidequest gathering, loses a lot of the RPG-style it had in previous games, more action focused…. what I think Bioware intended with ME3 was to create a game “for everyone” or at least a wider audience (the three game modes: cinematics mode, action mode, rpg mode, probe this), they focused on including a lot of aspects more friendly to newcomers to the series and other gaming public as well, but that focus made them miss and forgot about the true followers of the series (in my point of view, ME3 should have been more focused on the series followers, and from that stage create a wider experience, I’m not against that). In fact, I find ME3 to be a great game with lots of flaws, due to developer’s laziness or lack of time to do it.

    When you play ME1 and ME2, you develop relations with a lot of different characters (ME2 did a great job in that topic, Loyalty missions were a great idea), make difficult decisions (some of them means someone dies), and you do everything you can to stop inevitable doom. After Arrival DLC events, it is not clear how the Reapers are able to reach the galaxy so quickly, but they do and keep rolling in. So you begin ME3 trying to get your ass out as soon as possible from Earth to gather allies all across the galaxy and during that process you will meet with old allies who will somehow aid you in your final battle (becoming war assets or team members in a few cases). However, all the interaction and development you were able to do in previous games is not well reflected, and in fact, the game is more focused in getting all the races together to confront the reapers rather than giving that plus ME games had. I know, galaxy survival is at risk so there is no time to waste, but planet scanning is just an option that is time wasting (but it is optional, you can do it or not, it would have been great if character interaction and sidequests were more developed and were just like in the previous games, don’t include the fact that the ending just don’t give you any explanation of what happened with your former allies after they managed to survive).

    Regarding the ending and the story conclusion, at least at Shepard’s era, I give my point of view to some of the concerns and questions some people did here.

    1 – Mass Relays destruction not destroying planets

    Mass Relays aren’t destroyed through collision, the fact that in Arrival the destruction of the Alpha Relay leaded to the destruction of an entire solar system was more related to the strength of the explosion generated by hitting the relay with the asteroid than to the destruction of the relay itself. In ME3 ending, they are destroyed through the Crucible’s beam, following a chain reaction destroying all possible routes between solar systems. Destruction is not “conventional”, as someone stated, I guess the relay’s creators know how to get rid of them as clean as possible and without leaving trace.

    2- Aliens stucked on Sol and galaxy without mass relays

    Well, if you start thinking about the fact that mass relays were created by the Reapers and left at sight, so that when a race advances technologically enough to discover one they started developing in the way the Reapers desired. It is wise to have them destroyed, to destroy the Cycle as well, without Mass Relays, races will advance in their own ways and not others.

    Their destruction is not something that will prevent people to travel through solar systems, the problem is the time needed for space even with FTL engines. During ME games, Asari mentioned they were thinking in creating a Mass Relay themselves (they had great knowledge and technology), unite them with Salarians, Quarians, Turians and humans, and surely something will come up (they managed to build a huge ancient artifact like the Crucible, come on). The problem with the relays is that you need two nodes to make the shortcut, so even if the races are able to rebuild mass relays, they will still need to travel to another spot to create a destination node. Surely this can lead to multiple stories and possible sequels for Mass Effect (Bioware confirmed they will be working on another ME game in the future).

    By the way, not all the aliens went to Earth to fight, there are lots of civilians that were left behind, so they could rebuild and start developing again on their own. More story possibilities here.

    3 – The Catalyst nature, the cycles and the Reapers’ motives

    This is perhaps the most controversial topic of Mass Effect series. The Catalyst present itself as an spirit (representing the kid who died at the beginning of the game and the one that act as symbol of Shepard fears and guilt because he couldn’t save everyone). This spirit gives an explanation of the Cycles logic: organics and synthetics are destined to battle each other, bringing chaos to the galaxy, so, the Reapers come in, exterminate the most advanced organic races and leave without trace. This doesn’t make sense at first, but if you think about it, all these stuff seems a bit child’s game. Let me explain myself:

    a. Reapers exterminate the most advanced races, but leave primitive ones alive, and let them advance to provoke another cycle of extermination. So, if they are saviors of the galaxy, why would they let the same story happens over and over again? It is a mix of sadistic and childish behaviour, it is like a game. In this aspect I see the Catalyst child image truly fit for this reasoning. A child plays a game because it is fun for him or he is used to it, but he won’t reason what he is doing or find another way to play the same game or look for another one.

    b. Reapers are created with both synthetic and organic materials, the cycles could mean the only way of reproduction the Reapers have, as IDE stated when you find the human reaper. This point of view could explain abduction and harvesting of some populations, but not extermination. So, this leaves the Reapers motives as more childish to me.

    I think the best questions here are, who created the Reapers? why they were originally created? Reapers didn’t come from nowhere, they were created perhaps by an ancient civilization and there creation turned against them or perhaps there are another dark entities behind all this, perhaps future ME titles will put some light on this, or not.

    4 – Endings

    Yes, they are few. Yes, they are not satisfying. Bioware is working on the Extended Cut DLC to clarify the endings, giving addtional cutscenes and an Epilogue as well (it is something followers of the series deserve by the way).

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  125. sara
    August 26, 2012, 9:20 AM

    yeah, but all the there ending was bad.1. become a reaper : this choice is so bad .in this ending shepard(not commander shepard, she is no human anymore in this ending she will be a reaper)
    is talking about commander shepard ,and how she gave her life for saving galexy and controling reapers.i hate this ending scene thats creepy !2. synthesis:: in this ending shepard will die to save all galexy from reapers,(thee child say to shepard its a ideal Solution) but im not sure! seing shepard dies like that.that sucks. but everyone will be saved and joker and edi can be together.
    3-destroy:: i think its a better than other choices… shepard will destroy reapers. but geth and edi will die( its crazy! and so bad) but shepard will be alive if u have 4000+ ems)
    but i wish the scene is showing shepard budy was better they should show normandy will back for shepard. and i wish we had more choices .cause edi and geth was so good and letting them die its not right. anyway if it will be a me4 with continue shepard this endings will be importand

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  126. Robert
    December 13, 2012, 6:20 PM

    By Save Anderson, it should be noted with a HUGE asterisk that this means you’re just delaying his death. If you “save” him, that means that he isn’t executed by the Illusive Man, but rather dies after being shot by indoctrinated Shep and his wounds. If you save him, you get some closure with him but there is no way to get Anderson to survive the Reaper War. Anderson dies in the Citadel Control Room. He cannot be saved. Shepard can and will survive so long as you have over 4000 EMS. Just do all missions and if you need 1000 more points (as I did) just do like 10 rounds of multiplayer (and win) and you’ll be set.

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