Mass Effect 3′s Ending DLC Restores Some Fans’ Trust

Marauder Shields,” a comic strip created by DeviantArt user Koobismo based on a meme born of the controversy, is one of the biggest and best-received things to come out of the ending controversy. Marauder Shields is the final enemy Shepard shoots down on Earth after encountering the Reaper Harbinger; the character was given that name because the enemy is a Marauder type, and when players first see it, the enemy has a “Shields” bar referring to how much damage it can sustain to its energy shields. The Internet ran with it, dubbing Marauder Shields as the final boss of Mass Effect 3 and claiming that his goal in attacking Shepard in those final moments is not to kill him, but to stop fans from reaching the controversial ending of the series.

Koobismo’s “Marauder Shields” comic started out as adding to that joke, but quickly became a much more poignant, touching and involved take on the Mass Effect 3 ending. The story is still ongoing, in fact, after 27 episodes, and also has an audiobook version. For Koobismo, the Extended Cut was just not satisfying; he’s hoping to provide what fans wanted and needed from BioWare’s endings with his own.

“The original endings were bad from the storytelling perspective and broken from the presentational standpoint,” Koobismo said in an interview with Game Front. “The Extended Cut fixed the ‘broken presentation’ part — more or less — but it didn’t fix the fact that the Star Child and its demigod powers just don’t belong in the Mass Effect universe. You can call him an ‘ancient A.I.’ as often as you want, but if you look closer, look beneath the first layer, you’ll see a Space Wizard defining the whole universe with the use of his Space Magic, stripping each and every of your prior actions of real consequence, because the rules of the world are shifted from ‘conflict-resolution-impact’ to ‘everything can be done and undone by colored lights.’

“In my opinion –- both private and professional –- the ending of Mass Effect 3 breaks the whole trilogy on a very basic level, shattering the emotional engagement of a vast percentage of players. This is what I’m trying to fix, whether it’s something doable or not… It’s up to you all to decide, people.”

Probably the most detailed and well-conceived analysis of the Mass Effect 3 endings created in the wake of the game’s release is a YouTube video created by Bob Case for his burgeoning “Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage” series. Case has done a lot of analysis of ME3′s ending, and his most recent video focuses on the Extended Cut.

In Case’s view, taken on its own, the Extended Cut is actually pretty good — but the fundamental problems of the endings still remain.

“I would say that the most glaring problem with the original ending was a lack of narrative coherence on the surface level, and that there were things like characters showing up on the Normandy who were on Earth with no explanation, or the Normandy being in full flight to a mass relay ahead of the explosion when that seems like it should have been impossible. These are things that were so unexpected and implausible that they take you out of the story entirely,” Case told Game Front. “So, those two things have been addressed — I mean, I don’t think it was possible to do it in an ideal way, but they did as best they could. So I guess, if we were to separate the content of the Extended Cut from the ending as a whole, then I would say they did a pretty good job.

“The downside is that all of what I’d consider to be the core problems are still there. The problems to me are just the existence of this hologram kid, the fact that the existence of the crucible makes no sense to me, and I just feel like it was a big dump of implausible and strange things at the worst possible time.”

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16 Comments on Mass Effect 3′s Ending DLC Restores Some Fans’ Trust

Choobie

On July 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hell yeah! Very well written article. I completely agree with the point koobismo is making. I’m actually reading his comic though. x)

Stuff

On July 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Personally, I’m in the camp of being happy they made an EC but still dissatisfied with the ending as a whole. So I’m pretty happy with all the fan-made alternate endings out there. And Marauder Shields is totes awesome.

Jeff

On July 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I’ve been a fan of Koobismo’s Marauder Shields comic since episode 8. Every episode gets better and better. I would feel bad for Mac Walters if he ever got in a debate with that guy. Koobismo understands and respects the Mass Effect universe far more than Mac Walters could ever dream of. It’s just too bad BioWare didn’t get this guy to fix the ending.

Jimminy

On July 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The EC was the same, I agree. The main problem was not fixed.

TwereWOW

On July 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

My connection is acting up… :P But I’m glad to have read this. Thank you. I was afraid that everyone around is okay with the game after the extended cut… and I will read the comics now.

ToeNail

On July 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I teared up when reading the Marauder Shields comic, I now consider it canon as opposed to the “true endings”. Thank you gamefront, for both bringing the comic to my attention and being sincere and true in your own opinions of the ME3 endings. You guys represent one of only a few voices of sanity on the internet and I don’t think I’ll forget that.

Pella

On July 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm

The comics are amazing. Nuf said.

Fair34

On July 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

The next time there is a game with Mac Walters as lead writer, I will approach with extreme caution.

SevenCell

On July 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm

All this discussion of Mass Effect 3 is all very well and good, and interesting at that, but can we please let it die in peace now? It’s like reanimating a mouse just to have the pleasure of methodically dissecting it all over again.
It’s been good, but it’s over now.
Let it rest, for God’s sake.

JimP

On July 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Another great article. I would really hesitate to say that any trust has been restored though. Personally, that’s why, as upset as I am about the endings, I’ve never been on-board with demanding new ones. Frankly, the trust that was broken was the trust in BioWare’s ability to tell a great story and the fundamental flaws in the ending show that such a trust is undeserved as of late. The plot-holes and the very existence of the Star Child, show a lack of understanding of great storytelling, and that was unthinkable to me with regard to BioWare until recently.

wesker1984

On July 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Can you just all get over it about the Star Child, moving forward and appreciate Mass Effect 3 as an awesome action-rpg game? The extended cut fixed the problems with Mass Effect 3 and the game itself is now complete. I regained faith in bioware and i’m impatient to see news about a new DLC or a possible Mass Effect 4.

And the Star Child embodies the collective consciousness and memories of the Reapers. The catalyst is all the reapers and all the reapers are the catalyst. When you talking with it you are talking wih the reapers colective. The child form of the catalyst is not its true form.

JimP

On July 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm

@ Wesker1984

I respect your opinion and your right to it, but it doesn’t negate mine or that of anyone else. You make some interesting assertions, but in the end, it’s all just conjecture. In effect, that’s all that one can do with such a pivotal character that is only introduced in the final 10 minutes of a story that took over a hundred hours to tell. This is a fundamental flaw in the writing of ME3, in my opinion. I won’t speak for other people.

Eddie

On July 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

you said it jim, can’t introduce something out of left field at the very end, especially when they dont even try to make it conform to the rest of the universe and canon established in the previous games, plus books and comics

David

On July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

For me, the extended cut fixed things from “franchise breakingly bad.” to just “kinda mediocre.” I can work with “kinda mediocre” at least, and it doesn’t make it seem like the entire series was a complete waste of time. What reason would I have to pick up ME1, 2, or 3 if I knew that it was all going to just end in galactic genocide no matter what you did. At least now, while the endings are still kinda meh to me, it isn’t so bad that it takes all interest out of playing any of it and resorting to fanfiction.net

I still think that the whole ending could have been done better in the first place, and there are still problems with how it plays out. But at the same time from bioware’s perspective, they would have wanted to get this out quickly (I’d imagine no amount of ending dlc would have helped if it took them a year to do it.), and artistic integrity bullcrap or not, trying to make the ending they had less horrible instead of starting from scratch I’d imagine helped keep things reasonable on a timetable perspective.

In the end, I’m still going to be more cautious when looking up anything coming out of bioware in the future, especially on any new IP’s. But I’m also still a fan of mass effect, and there was some good stuff in the game I thought worked great. For example, the reputation system they set up in ME3 was the kind of thing I wish they had from the start of the series. Much better way of doing it then how it was set up originally.

Hopefully, bioware/EA learns from what happened here and finally kicks themselves into gear to do things right, instead of rushing things out before they’re ready, or settling for multiplayer dlc.

Or maybe I’m just being too much of an optimist about the whole thing. I did play a mostly paragon shepard for a reason.

Ted

On July 10, 2012 at 5:08 am

I am happier, though in the larger scheme of things that happy meter went from 2 (being bad) to 4 (mediocre) in terms of the ending and of bioware. I am glad that they did take the time to make the extended cut.

But, as I am done and finished with ME3 (now with extended cut!) I am moving on to.. guild wars 2 when that comes out.

Ignore the Infant.

On July 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

Don’t bother responding to wesker1984, he is a troll. He just defends Bioware to the death no matter what the argument is, attacks anyone with an alternative take (including Gamefront itself for giving Retake a voice to begin with), and never deviates from his established vocabulary of ‘entitled trolls’, ‘babies’, ‘whiny children’, ‘retards’ and so forth. He is not here to engage in any debate, so do not “respect” his opinion because he has no respect for the opinions of others. He doesn’t even appear to have any individual opinions of his own that he can justify, simply a single paradigm of “games companies are always right, fans are always wrong if they disagree with them”. He’s not worth the time it takes for you to type the word ‘idiot’ on a keyboard.