Lance Henriksen Is Recording Dialogue For New ME3 Ending
When BioWare announced the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut – the DLC they promise will address the mass of complaints about the game‘s ending – they managed expectations somewhat by immediately clarifying that they wouldn’t actually be changing the ending per se, rather the new content would merely clarify more fully what is already included. Specifically, “The DLC will offer extended scenes that provide additional context and deeper insight to the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s journey,” and “There will be no more/different endings.”
This didn’t make fans rest easier, since the problem isn’t a lack of clarity – it’s perfectly clear what happened – it’s what actually made it into the game. But BioWare’s insistence that the additional content won’t actually change the ending in any meaningful way may not quite reflect what is actually happening behind the scenes. Thanks to confirmation that Lance Henriksen, Tricia Helfer and Raphael Sbarge are all recording new dialogue for the extended ending, it’s beginning to look like something significant is going down.
Henriksen discussed his work on the Extended Cut with some rather specific comments made during an interview with G4. “I just did another session with them,” he said. “They were saying there’s a little bit of a problem with the abruptness of the ending. So we did a whole series of things to add to the end of the game, to live up to the quality they’ve been doing.” Note that He implies here that he was told by BioWare that fans didn’t like the abruptness of the ending (that’s putting it mildly), and also that the new ending needs to meet a higher standard of quality. BioWare has been very reluctant to acknowledge either point except in vague terms. It’s possible that privately, at least, the conversation at BioWare has moved beyond denial.
Of course, Henriksen also said “Usually, when a guy loses the game, the game shuts down; it’s over. It’s done. The players don’t like that.” So who knows what they’re telling him in the recording booth. It need also be noted that Henriksen recording new dialogue doesn’t necessarily mean much. Admiral Hackett appears briefly during the ending (voice over only), and it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine some additional dialogue to flesh out that appearance. But what makes this more interesting is the new dialogue recorded by Tricia Helfer (EDI) and Raphael Sbarge (Kaiden). Helfer only tersely referred to this work, telling G4 “I’m voicing some more Mass Effect on Monday,” while Sbarge was a bit more enthusiastic, tweeting “Just when you thought I would never go back, they keep PULLING me back in #MassEffect3 !! Recoding!! yay! Wha-hoo!”.
The thing is, neither EDI nor Kaiden appear in any meaningful way in the ending, unless you count the random coin toss algorithm that can result in one or both of them crawling out of the wreckage of the Normandy in the final scene. It’s true that their appearance could simply be in an extension of the scenes that take place after [SPOILER, HIGHLIGHT TO READ Shepard dies in all three of the almost identical endings. But it’s hard to imagine how they get expanded roles in the end without some significant alterations.
I suspect we’ll get a better idea of how changed the new ending might actually be once we know how many of the voice cast members have been called back. Mass Effect 3 has a huge cast. If they only bring back these three voice actors, keep expectations low. But if they’re calling back everyone who potentially made it to the end of your game – and especially Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale – we might be looking at changes that could actually fix this thing.
So, perhaps a little further comment is warranted. As I said, BioWare has insisted that the ending DLC won’t actually change anything, it will only ‘clarify it. In the absence of any real evidence, we suspect it will probably look like this spec script Phil Hornshaw and I devised.
SCENE: Shepard has just woken up on the Citadel.
SHEPARD: Ugh, I can’t believe that new, Reaper-proof armor they only gave to us just before the final battle and didn’t see the need to make a big deal about with any kind of formal announcement totally worked. And that I’ve been magically transported to the citadel!
ANDERSON: Shepard, are you there? Because you should know that I came up to the citadel after you, wearing the same Reaper-proof vest tech, however, because I still have my old set of keys from when I was Udina’s assistant after you chose him to be the ambassador…
SHEPARD: But I chose you in the first game because Udina was a jerk.
ANDERSON: Yes, and your choices matter. But, you actually chose Udina because it made more sense plotwise, retroactively. Anyway, I’m in the next room ahead of you. So don’t be weirded out by how improbable that is.
ILLUSIVE MAN: Hey guys, just thought I’d show up. I actually have been following you the entire time, and when I saw you go through the transporter beam, I saw my chance and took it.
ANDERSON: Wow, that really makes a lot more sense than if you’d just showed up at random without any explanation.
ILLUSIVE MAN: Oh, btw I’m totes indoctrinated. But since I’m half reaper now it gives me the power to do this.
ILLUSIVE MAN makes Shepard do stuff and Anderson ends up shot.
SHEPARD: That was kind of lame, but at least you explained why it happened, Illusive Man, so I’m not quite as annoyed by this total departure from your entire everything else you’ve ever done in your life.
HACKETT (over the omni tool): Sorry to interrupt you guys but actually Shepard I’ve just decoded a secret Reaper transmission that explains all of this ALLOW ME TO READ IT VERBATIM AND AT LENGTH.
ILLUSIVE MAN: No! I hate when my monologues are interrupted. (Shoots himself).
HACKETT explains that they’ve suddenly discovered evidence that the reapers were created by a space child who lived millions of years ago. Also mentions that synthetics will always kill humans.
HACKETT: Also we found an AI kid in the Crucible. Just FYI.
AI KID: Hey yeah, that’s me. ‘sup. Here’s the deal: That stuff Hacket said? True. And that’s all I have to say and will now disappear.
KAIDEN (also over the omni tool): You mean the Reapers are actually helping us?
EDI: (also over the omni tool). It seems that artificial intelligence inevitably destroys organic life. Sorry, Joker.
HACKETT: Yes, unfortunately, we’re all doomed to repeat the same mistakes even if we’re aware of those mistakes and can reasonably discuss them.
SHEPARD: Damn. So what’s the Crucible?
EDI: The Crucible seems to be a thing that will magically allow you to do some stuff to Reapers.
HACKETT: You’ll have to choose wisely, Shepard, since you’re about to change the face of the Galaxy.
SHEPARD: What if we could just…rewrite DNA so everyone was both synthetic and organic?
EDI: That would somehow solve the entire problem. My murder-rage disappears when I’m in the company of other synthetics, even partial ones. If only Joker’s bones were titanium rather than glass, I’d be able to control myself.
HACKETT: Yes I’ll get our top scientists on…making DNA…synthetic….
KAIDEN: I’ll call the Reapers and see if that’ll get them to stop murdering all of us.
SHEPARD: Well done, team. It’s been an honor serving with you.
Shepard then dies.