Shepards Indoctrination (Major Spoilers!)

    • Level   7

    CosmoRBGSpacely

    This theory actually makes the ending decent. If this is not what bioware intended to go with the story line, they should watch and capitalize off this.

    Heard they aren't gonna change it, but just add more to it. which is fine with me. I just would like to know more about the story of my squadmates after my decision.



    I can't see how it actually makes the ending decent.  I think a lot of people aren't taking into consideration the fact that the indoctrination theory means that Shepard is lying on the ground, dead... or best case scenario, almost dead without finishing the fight, or even knowing how it ended.

    Think about it. If the indoctrination theory holds true, then Shepard is unconscious after being hit while running towards the beam of light. That means that the only ending in which he actually regains consciousness would be the 'best' ending because everything that happens after that point is only happening within his mind. Draw that to it's natural conclusion. He never actually made it onto the citadel, never actually had the confrontation with TIM, Anderson and Star-boy... none of that happened in reality. And BTW, those confusing video clips about what happens to different squad mates... all in Shepard's mind too. IF you get the 'takes a breath ending' it happens after the clips of what supposedly happens to your squad mates.

    So according to the indoctrination theory, Shepard gets killed (or best case, mortally wounded) in the final hour of the conflict that this whole series has been leading up to, without ever seeing IF it ends or how.  Unless somebody is going to start saying something like; Oh yeah, BTW everything that happens in Shepard's indoctrinated mind while he's unconscious actually happens in reality too. I'm not buying that for a minute.

    MPO, we could just call it ME 3 indoctrination theory: Don't Finish The Fight.

    • Level   7

    There are as many things that don't make sense about the indoctrination theory as there are that do, IMO.

    But, to me, the biggest example is this.  No one seems to point out that this theory only makes sense if you have high enough war assets to get the option of all three endings.  In fact, if your war assets are extremely low you don't even get an option.  Your only choice is to destroy the Reapers,  The very ending they are supposed to not want you to choose.  So, if you suck at bringing the galaxy together the Reapers give up and let you destroy them?   But, if you don't they decided to make it hard on you and try and 'trick' you into saving them?

    Makes about as much sense as the actual ending to me.

    • Level   5

    OR, more like the "default" ending is Shepard picks "destroy" because that's the only way to really beat the reapers. If, even at your worst, you got the "destroy Reaper" ending then it means you weren't indoctrinated, the Reapers didn't win and we have aftermath with what happened next. If you end up picking the others then the Reapers win and you'd almost have a 'Mission Fail' much like when you don't choose the Renegade option of Shooting the Illusive Man... The whole "you become what you fear" sort of thing.

    Also, of note, is how being Renegade seems to be the "right choice" a lot. Renegade was never "Evil" as per the Fable series but more the "Selfish" route. You can tell people "I'm fine. Don't worry about me. I just need to focus on the war." and get Paragon points or tell them "I'm having a bad day but I don't want to talk about it. Can we just move on?" and get Renegade points. In that example, being honest is the Renegade option.

    .

    I also agree with something Back Lot Basher pointed out. I loved Inception, and the ending leaves all kind of room for deconstruction, speculation and theory. ME3 is no Inception and the ending isn't perfect, but it's what I expected and I like that it's being analyzed. I mean, if we'd already gotten the closure most people are asking for right now wouldn't we all have just moved on to Max Payne 3 by now?

    • Level   7

    Why would the "default" ending be the ending in which you "win"?  You did the worst, why would you still win?

    I agree about the Renegade stuff and do believe it's the best ending.  I just don't see how it fits with the theory.  The whole point of it is moot if the consequence for preparing poorly is just getting to pointed to the only option they don't want you to pick.

    • Level   2

    I'm on another run through of the game and I just noticed something new. When you're on Eden Prime trying to gain the Prothean squad member and you come across the data that only Shepard can see (everyone else just sees static) they explain it away as Shepard must be able to understand it because (s)he came in contact with the beacon. But, When Shepard is viewing the video, his/her eyes change to a bright glowing blue. Is this an indication of indoctrination???

    • Level   4

    :)

    I did not mean to sound arrogant.

    You would probably measure up better than me in any contest :)

    I can see how the views can shift in the medium.  I find myself on the fence with the ending after watching it a couple of times again.  I still think that the center does not hold in the ending.  Mind you, I thought Galactica's finale was well done, and LOST was mediocre.

    Best regards,

    • Level   7

    Insomniac- It is not because of the beacon, but because of the cipher you gained on Feros. His eyes glowing blue are probably just some way to show that he is using the cipher.

    • Level   8

    So, according to this THEORY, no matter what we do or what CHOICES we made in the 3 games, we get the same generic, linear ending as everyone else? Oh, okay then, good -- I was worried Bioware lied to me for 5 years about my choices meaning something...

    Dragon's Dogma 1000/1000 on 2 gamertags. #nerd
    • Level   8

    Forgive me if someone already asked (or answered) this, but don't you have to be in constant proximity to a Reaper to be indoctrinated? Saren lived on Sovereign, Dr. Kenson was on a station w/ a reaper artifact, TIM was on a station w/ reaper tech...

    Dragon's Dogma 1000/1000 on 2 gamertags. #nerd
    • Level   8

    True but we don't know the origin of the synthetic components used to rebuild Shepard and EDI also had Reaper tech.

    Mass Effect 3 - MEHEM and Extended Anderson Conversation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmofIH7rN9U.

    • Level   8

    Even if that video is correct (which very well may be), it is still moot to the arguments against the ending. None of our choices shape it & there's only 3 possible outcomes (not 16.... hahaha, 16). Everything we did from the beginning of ME1 up until the assault on Earth at the end of ME3 is rendered completely pointless by this ending. Indoctrinated or not, our choices should've mattered & they didn't.

    Dragon's Dogma 1000/1000 on 2 gamertags. #nerd
    • Level   2

    how do you know, if you destroyed the reapers and got the breathing ending, he wakes up on earth? didnt he get up from rubble at the end of ME1 on the citadel? couldnt the last two games be a hallucination or dream?

    • Level   2

    Excellent video. It makes perfect sense that he was indoctrinated especially at the end.  I didnt even have the ending in that video but what it shows at 19:33 confirms exactly what I have been saying. Shepard is still alive and there will be more Mass Effect games with Shepard for sure. Especially when it says "One more story".   There is no reason to end a successful money making series.  Even if they say "trilogy".  That does not mean the series will end with the 3rd game.  Same with Halo, same with Gears of War 3, same with Mass Effect.

    • Level   2

    @ Implantedwall14  Thanks for the clarification of cypher not beacon. I still think it's bizarre that Shepard's eyes glow. I'm just one of the many picking things apart looking for meaning. Like last night when I picked up on Vega saying, "Do you hear that hum? Is that just me?" I spent a half an hour reading forums on what people suspect it means and why lol

    • Level   5

    XRAY1975

    how do you know, if you destroyed the reapers and got the breathing ending, he wakes up on earth? didnt he get up from rubble at the end of ME1 on the citadel? couldnt the last two games be a hallucination or dream?

    How about the whole last 10 minutes was a dream, and that last breath was him/her waking up from that blast? Has anyone explained whatever happened to Shep's armor, weapons, powers?