Mass Effect 3′s Refusal Ending: ‘Artistic Integrity’ Achieved
WARNING: There are likely a buttload of spoilers in here.
This is a joint article authored by Phil Hornshaw and Ross Lincoln.
For some background, you might want to check out our “Mass Effect 3 Ending: The Game Front Primer”, “Mass Effect 3 Ending-Hatred: Five Reasons the Fans are Right”, the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC Review and “Mass Effect Extended Edition: Putting Lipstick on a Frog?”
“So be it.”
Three words that carry a lot of meaning in Mass Effect 3. Those three words accompany the triggering of the “Refusal” ending, added by fan request to the Extended Cut free DLC BioWare dropped this week, following the huge outcry against the game’s original endings.
The Refusal Ending might be the first time BioWare has communicated honestly with fans complaining about the ending of Mass Effect 3. It might be the most artistically relevant part of the entire game. And it might be the only conclusion that satisfies the requirements of the themes and characters of the series — even if it’s awful.
What the Refusal Ending Is
The new content added to Mass Effect includes a fourth ending option at the meeting with the Star Child. There are new dialog options that allow the player to reject the Catalyst, its choices and its logic, which results in new dialog from the machine as well. The Catalyst insists that the situation is hopeless, and that Shepard and the rest of the galaxy will ultimately lose to the Reapers should he choose not to fire the Crucible.
But you can still make that choice by rejecting the Catalyst. If that happens, the Star Child’s voice deepens and he bellows, “So be it,” walking off only to disappear, with the rest of the ending implying a Reaper victory and the deaths of everyone, everywhere.
This is how it plays out:
You can watch all the endings right here.