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News video games 22 October 2021, 15:18

author: Adrian Werner

Mass Effect 3 Finale's Original Shape Revealed - It Had a Reaper Queen

One of former BioWare employees revealed how the ending of Mass Effect 3 was supposed to look like. In many details it strongly differed from the final, even uncut, version. We were supposed to meet the Reaper Queen, among other things.

  1. Originally the devs planned a different ending for Mass Effect;
  2. It would lack the hologram of a child and we would encounter the Reaper Queen;
  3. The player's final decisions would lead to events partially overlapping with what we witnessed in ME3.

The finale of Mass Effect 3 remains highly controversial to this day. After its release, BioWare modified and expanded this element of the game, but even in this form it does not satisfy many fans. It turns out that originally the finale of the trilogy was supposed to look vastly different.

This information was revealed in a short documentary titled The Inside Story of Mass Effect 3's Endings, Finally Told, published by the People Make Games channel. It features statements of many developers who worked on the game, and the most interesting of them is a fragment in which animation director Dave Wilkinson describes the original version of the ending. It lacked The Catalyst, the ancient artificial intelligence, which in ME3 took the form of a hologram of a child who died during the war. Instead, Shepard was to connect via implants directly to the Citadel network, where he would encounter a being described as a goddess or queen of the Reapers. She was imprisoned there after she began questioning the cycles of murdering the most advanced civilizations, believing that it could not be repeated indefinitely.

During this conversation a lot would depend on what decisions the player made during the game. If they took the Paragon path, they could take control of the Reapers, becoming their new king/god, and use their power for good. For the Renegade, on the other hand, the option would be available to disconnect from the network, blowing up a key part of the Citadel and thereby destroying both the Reapers and Earth.

In either case, an alternate choice would be available in the form of Synthesis, where Shepard, along with the Reaper Queen, would transform life across the galaxy, creating perfect hybrids of organic and mechanical elements. The final scene would show an Asari-like fusion of synthetic parts between a child and his parent, living long after the events of Mass Effect 3. The game eventually featured a similar sequence, but with heavily altered details.

The abandoned finale, while differing in details, would lead to similar story endings overall. So it's hard to judge whether players would have received it more warmly than what they found at the end of Mass Effect 3.

As you may remember, this May has seen the release of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a collection containing refreshed versions of the first three installments of BioWare's RPG series. The set is available on PC, PlayStaton 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The next installment of the series is also in production.

  1. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Preview - Ultimate Reason to (Re)play Mass Effect
  2. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition - official website
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