Mass Effect 3 is one of the greatest games of all time. Unfortunately, it also has one of the most controversial endings to date. Fan reaction to the game’s final moments has been strong and ranges from unabashed love to a general acceptance and even a very strong dislike
which left gamers with a bad taste in their collective mouths. Some fans in the latter category have even gone as far as to file frivolous lawsuits and submit complaints to the Better Business Bureau. But could BioWare have actually foreshadowed how the saga would end way back in 2008?
Players can explore a galaxy full of planets in the Mass Effect series, and each one comes with a Journal entry containing additional details about the fictitious world. Believe it or not, one of these in the original Mass Effect (2008) actually reveals the twist presented to players in the final moments of Mass Effect 3. WARNING
: Spoilers to follow.
“Klencory is famously claimed by the eccentric volus billionaire Kumun Shol. He claims that a vision of a higher being told him to seek on Klencory the "lost crypts of beings of light." These entities were supposedly created at the dawn of time to protect organic life from synthetic "machine devils."
Shol has been excavating on Klencory's toxic surface for two decades, at great expense. No government has valued the world enough to evict his small army of mercenaries.”
The planet’s Journal entry was again updated in Mass Effect 3 with further details about the eccentric billionaire:
“Klencory is famously claimed by the eccentric volus billionaire Kumun Shol. His once-ridiculed visions of "beings of light" protecting organic life from synthetic "machine devils" don't seem quite so far-fetched now. His private army of mercenaries are well-established on the planet, waiting for husks to come knocking in on their door. In all likelihood, they will be obliterated by the molten metal of a Reaper orbital bombardment, on its way to somewhere important.”
What’s even more amazing, however, is that one perceptive gamer actually picked up on this tidbit
during a replay of the original Mass Effect two years ago. And, like the game’s fictional character, his theory went largely ignored until now. Fascinating.
It’s impossible to know whether BioWare had this planned from the start, and BioWare’s writers aren’t talking. However, Drew Karpyshyn, former BioWare storyteller and lead writer on the first two Mass Effect titles, had this to say
on his personal blog:
“The collaborative creative process is incredibly complicated, and the story and ideas are constantly evolving as you go forward. Yes, we had a plan, but it was very vague. We knew we wanted to focus on some key themes and bring in certain key elements: organics vs synthetics; the Reapers; the Mass Relays. Beyond that, we didn’t go into detail because we knew it would change radically as the game continued to evolve.”
One has to wonder if the game’s final reveal, the deus ex machina, was one of those “key themes” brought forward throughout the series. We may never know the truth, but if that was indeed the case, then BioWare’s masterful storytellers managed to hide the controversial ending in plain sight for five years.