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Default Mass Effect 3 - Scifi Writers Discusses the Ending@ CVG

May 27th, 2012, 22:16
In this thread at the BSN ME3 forums, StElmo mentions that sci fi writers Joe Abercrombie and Jonathan Green discusses ME3's ending in an interview at CVG. Here's their take on the ending:
"I personally prefer the hanging questions," says Green. "Life doesn't end with a medal ceremony or dancing Ewoks, and even when it does, somebody's still going to have to clear up all those discarded streamers the following morning. But there needs to be some form of emotional pay-off for all those people who stuck with the over-arching story from day one. When it comes to a huge game like Mass Effect 3, to have an ending which negates any of the travails of the player is a mean-spirited and lazy thing to do."
"The ending was bad," agrees Abercrombie, "but in no way spoiled the experience. I was vastly more disappointed by Dragon Age 2, which just seemed generally shoddy throughout. BioWare only owed players a great game and I think they largely delivered that. Shepard's relationships were actually paid off really well."
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May 27th, 2012, 22:16
But I'm actually a lot more interested in whether it made good fiction. And the answer is 'no' again. Heavy exposition by a glowing child never before mentioned seems a sure sign of failure.
Bingo.
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May 27th, 2012, 22:55
I'm not sure how a bit of DLC can make the difference for Mass Effect 3. If the spike on the top of the skyscraper is wonky because the foundation is wonky, a new spike ain't going to fix it.
Also bingo
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May 27th, 2012, 23:20
"Life doesn't end with a medal ceremony or dancing Ewoks, and even when it does, somebody's still going to have to clear up all those discarded streamers the following morning. "

Sorry but that is the single most dumb statement I EVER read about entertainment and story-telling. Of course some things can be left open for sequels. But the basic concept of storytelling is beginning, middle, climax and solution. That is why people tell each other stories, because it has a moral, a sense, it says something. And especially when it is entertainment I pay for, people want SOME real ending, whether dark or light, good or bad. It can be a triumph of good and a party and a medal, or it can be you become Evil Emperor and you toss the world into darkness and sit on your throne. But if it makes no meaningful conclusion, it violates all essential rules of storytelling.

If I want endless ambiguity, I have REAL LIFE. Stories have the purpose go give us meaning, to bring understanding and sense into the chaotic ambiguity of reality. Stories tell us something about us, about the world. And that is why they need a real conclusion. Otherwise it is superfluous.
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May 28th, 2012, 00:00
Originally Posted by elikal View Post
"Life doesn't end with a medal ceremony or dancing Ewoks, and even when it does, somebody's still going to have to clear up all those discarded streamers the following morning. "

Sorry but that is the single most dumb statement I EVER read about entertainment and story-telling.
I disagree to you, and I di because of this part :

somebody's still going to have to clear up all those discarded streamers the following morning.
Some tales are never told like : Who collects all of the litter and waste that is produced during a celebration, for example ? Those stories are never told. Those of the house cleaners, for example.

In terms of storytelling, imho nothing is as satisfying as an "Ewok Celebration Party", but it really doesn't need to be like that. There are indeed some works of world literature without similar parties.

And yes, even the Lord Of The Rings doesn't end with an "real" celebration party !

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May 28th, 2012, 00:16
I have to agree with Alrik elikal.

Your model for storytelling is certainly the most common and it is convenient and respected, but that does not change the legitimacy or the effectiveness of art that subverts that formula.

What if I want to get across to you, my audience, that sometimes there can be no solid conclusion? What if I actually want you to feel chest-tightening regret that sometimes things actually end messily? What if I want you to go home from the movie or whatever without a good catharsis, causing you to ponder things for awhile?
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May 28th, 2012, 00:31
Are we still talking about this really? It's nothing but entire forums going in circles at this point.

Fine so long as we are let me say this. Books and movies are to entertain and take you out of our of reality. I never enjoyed and never will any of the scfi classics or modern authors who write story's with cliffhangers and to many loopholes. I shouldn't have to ponder what happens to the world or the characters left unfinished. I consider that poor story telling.

In the end it all comes down to is this was the game enjoyable yes it was. It fell apart with the whole glowing god child part though.

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May 28th, 2012, 00:44
The storytelling in the West e.g. what we define as storytelling i.e. a beginning, a middle and an ending has been known since the ancient greeks. Aristotle defined that this is how we should tell stories in the West around 2,500-3,000 years ago, I think.

However, other cultures have other ways of telling stories. Just look at the narrative structure of the Bollywood movies that are way different than what we're used to. The traditional arabic and african ways of telling stories are also different than the ways we tell stories in the Western culture.

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As for the ending itself, could it be that the godchild in reality is a Being of Light from the planet Klencory (sp?)

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May 28th, 2012, 07:22
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
"The ending was bad," agrees Abercrombie, "but in no way spoiled the experience. BioWare only owed players a great game and I think they largely delivered that. Shepard's relationships were actually paid off really well."
Dead on thank you. The mass angst over the Mass Effect 3 ending will end up being one of the biggest eye roll moments of 2012.
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May 28th, 2012, 09:19
I on the other hand have never been able to understand people who claim a story can't possibly be ruined by the ending. There's so much wrong with that statement.
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May 28th, 2012, 09:32
Originally Posted by Raggie View Post
I on the other hand have never been able to understand people who claim a story can't possibly be ruined by the ending. There's so much wrong with that statement.
Nothing wrong with that idea, just prepare yourself for a LOT of disappointment in the future. It's rare that I find a book/movie or game that ends to my satisfaction. And if you're a fan of the fantasy genre you get those extra special series that never ever end… probably because the author ups and dies 3 books away from concluding his 15000 page epic
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May 28th, 2012, 09:33
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
In terms of storytelling, imho nothing is as satisfying as an "Ewok Celebration Party", but it really doesn't need to be like that. There are indeed some works of world literature without similar parties.

And yes, even the Lord Of The Rings doesn't end with an "real" celebration party !
Fun fact is, the original Mass Effect doesn't end with celebration party. You defeat Sovereign, you have your moment of glory and recognition and then Shepard leaves again to save the galaxy. Yeah, he wasn't exactly cleaning up the mess left on Citadel, but it still was a nice touch - and did not feel like it was forced so the sequels be made. It's a pity that a few years later BioWare has forgotten how to write stories.
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May 28th, 2012, 09:41
Originally Posted by fungus View Post
Fun fact is, the original Mass Effect doesn't end with celebration party. You defeat Sovereign, you have your moment of glory and recognition and then Shepard leaves again to save the galaxy. Yeah, he wasn't exactly cleaning up the mess left on Citadel, but it still was a nice touch - and did not feel like it was forced so the sequels be made. It's a pity that a few years later BioWare has forgotten how to write stories.
It ended with a boss fight and a congratulatory speech (if you sav the council), I fail to understand how anyone thinks that's a satisfactory ending. It's exactly the same way they ended KOTOR (if you chose the good ending) and I don't know a single person who was satisfied with that offering either.
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May 28th, 2012, 09:55
Because it is a door to the next episode. It is a satisfactory end for a first episode.

3 is the end to the Sheppard's arc.

Great game by Bioware by the way that manages to keep on the front stage through its failures.

Success, or failure, they are on the front. And that is the successful way to do things.
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May 28th, 2012, 11:41
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Some tales are never told like : Who collects all of the litter and waste that is produced during a celebration, for example ? Those stories are never told. Those of the house cleaners, for example.
Now now! Hold a second! (Had to post the link *snicker*)

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May 28th, 2012, 14:00
If BioWare were trying throughout the trilogy to convey some deep message about (eg) the futility of war, or human propensity to enslave other species, then a bitter, empty end would possibly be the right thing. KOTOR had undercurrents of your PC being evil incarnate in a past life, and so gave hints that all might not end well. Deus Ex HR I expected to end in a sad way because it was set in a totally dystopian world - a happy ending would have left me puzzled.

Instead with ME, BioWare was telling a space fantasy (not even a pretense of 'hard' sci-fi post ME1) where a two dimensional 'hooah' space marine saves the galaxy from space zombies while having sex with blue aliens. To then have him die a meaningless, glum, and depressing death to the backdrop of Clint Mansell piano music for reasons not understood by the majority of players is bad writing.
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May 28th, 2012, 14:56
I didn't think Shepard's death was depressing and meaningless.
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May 28th, 2012, 18:10
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Are we still talking about this really? It's nothing but entire forums going in circles at this point.

Fine so long as we are let me say this. Books and movies are to entertain and take you out of our of reality. I never enjoyed and never will any of the scfi classics or modern authors who write story's with cliffhangers and to many loopholes. I shouldn't have to ponder what happens to the world or the characters left unfinished. I consider that poor story telling.
Your preference sure. But you're wrong to speak with such certainty.
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May 28th, 2012, 23:11
Originally Posted by Bedwyr View Post
Your preference sure. But you're wrong to speak with such certainty.
Prove me wrong then. There wouldn't be such a big backlash if what I said isn't somewhat true. There should be a beginning, a middle, and an ending that concludes the story. Not hard is it?

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May 30th, 2012, 02:05
Denials and arguments don't change the fact that the Video Game industry is part of the entertainment industry. It's simple. Entertainment. That's why video games exist, and its how video game companies make money.

The ending of ME3 was not only bad; it undercut numerous major elements of Shepard's story, and the entire ME3 story.

SPOILER

One way or another all synthetics get destroyed. If Shepard worked to save them; tough luck. But hey, there's a great [not] compromise alternative; Shepard can destroy all humanity and all organics entirely. (Maybe you didn't really like your crew anyway!)

Personally, I would have much preferred to have had the choice to destroy Bioware. Don't know why they didn't offer that alternative.

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