It was upon us, the finale to the best sci fi franchise gaming has ever created. Then the ending happened and all hell broke loose. It didn't matter if you liked it or not, there were problems and many found them so unforgivable, they petitioned the federal government to change it. Preposterous I know, but it happened. But what if they, along with all of us who have played and finished the game, were the victims of gaming's greatest ruse and the uproar created was carefully planned by Bioware. No, this isn't a 9/11 conspiracy theory article. What if they are laughing at all of us and looking down from their perch on high with smiling anticipation in what they have in store for naysayers and fans alike.
I finished the game today and was immediately full of emotion. I mean real emotion, not tears, but sadness. A little anger was there as well, the trilogy I loved had ended and I wasn't satisfied. I didn't feel the need to petition congress or burn my copy of the game, but I had a hundred questions to coincidences and head scratching moments that were left open ended and I refused to admit that at the culmination of Bioware's magnus opus that they suddenly forgot how to make sense and just dropped the ball. Maybe I made the wrong choice I thought, so I watched the other two. The endings are referred to in terms of color for the explosion the Citadel gives off in each of your choices at the end. My first choice was blue, but I replayed each one and was still left with questions, especially after watching the secret scene unlocked by having a high enough readiness in game and by promoting characters through multiplayer. This scene ONLY shows up in the red ending, the supposed Renegade or bad choice. Or is it? I went in search of answers on this wonderful thing we call the internet and what I found has not only blown my mind, but realized we are victims of gamings greatest ruse and when it is played out in its entirety, every singly naysayer, gaming journalist who lauded Bioware for bowing to the pressure, or anyone else that criticized the ending will have to write written apologies to the company that gave us Mass Effect.
So what am I talking about? Let's get to it.
What if the ending you played was not real, but the final attempt on Shepard's mind that was years in the making? What if the choices you were given through out were intentionally implemented to throw you off at the end when they mattered most and there was truly only one choice to make? What if Bioware knew exactly what they were doing……
What we see as the ending, leading from the black out scene at the Citadel beam, to the finality of your choice as to what to do with the Reapers, is a carefully orchestrated ruse in the form of the Reapers final attempt to indoctrinate Shepard. The final battle we are shown is one that takes place not on the battlefield, but in Shepards mind. Anderson represents the part of your mind that is not under control and the Illusive Man are the Reapers fighting for the last part of Shepards psyche. BOOM. MIND. BLOWN.
Don't believe me? Didn't you have the feeling something was off at the end? Even if you did like the ending, you couldn't have been completely confident about what had transpired at the end of a franchise three games in the making. When did I know something was off? When Admiral Anderson didn't acknowledge the child on Earth. Something was wrong and I knew it. The Reaper growls only furthered my suspicions. Everything from the child that only Shepard could see, to the comments from Vega about hearing the hum that seemingly came out of nowhere and had no explanation. There was more to the ending and I knew it. When you put your ego and humiliation from being completely fooled aside, it's almost impossible to deny that this is what has happened. Why is Shepard the only person in the entire galaxy impervious to indoctrination? The camera foreshadowing only confirms it further, as do the codex descriptions and the voices of Harbringer and Sovereign. The Illusive Man and Anderson being on the Citadel are impossible, it defies every realistic reasoning, as does Hacket contacting us. Everything from the vision of the Citadel, to the being of light at the end, are all images taken from your past experiences.
Bioware has done something that in this age of technology I thought would be impossible. They pulled the carpet out from their fanbase and have captured the very essence of storytelling. They've evoked an emotional reaction out of their fans, it doesn't matter what it was, negative, positive, DIDN'T MATTER. It only mattered that your felt something and now they are going to follow it up with an emotional knockout in the form of a true finale at the end of this month, an Epilogue.
We are all witnesses to the best finale gaming has ever told. I never thought I'd say that after finishing Mass Effect 3, but it's true. Relax, let it happen and when it is all said and done, know that you read it here first. We were all indoctrinated by the Reapers and played for fools. The future only remembers the Shepard that chose to save the world, as there was only one choice to make. The final battle against the Reapers isn't over yet.
EDIT: After speaking with the Mass Effect twitter feed, the Indoctrination Theory is fact, no question about it. It isn't speculation or false hope and there will be no retraction of the ending because the ending hasn't happened yet.
Videos that explain the theory in its entirety.