First off, to buffer this journal in case people pass over it on their feed and haven't played it yet, I am saddened to report that my computer's power supply died. I can afford to get a new one, but it will be some time before it arrives. So, no new art and it will be some time before I can reconnect with my friends on here. Sorry
Secondly, I wanted to talk about my own personal feelings for ME3's ending.
I loved it, and I loved the choice I made.
I can understand why some people would be upset over some of the story decisions at the end; it makes no sense why the Normandy is randomly going through FTL space when the relays blow. We've been told and it has been shown that anything in a star system with a relay will disintegrate. Why do both of these things happen?
That said, I was satisfied with how ME3 ended. ME3 is built to have an overall polarized ending; the color choices, oddly, correspond to the colors used for your paragon and renegade. Anderson's choice, oddly, is the renegade option, where you opt to kill all synthetics for the sake of the organics. The Illusive Man's choice of controlling the reapers is oddly blue, where the races control the reapers. Even though the Illusive Man was an indoctrinated nutjob, and perhaps tragic like Saren before him, that choice does mean that everyone lives. Reapers live, but under control of the humans.
Then there's the third choice, where all life in the universe evolves to be both organic and synthetic. It's like the ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion in terms of WTF just happened, except with less people exploding into goo (hate that ending). It's the middle ground between the two other two endings. And what does that mean aside from everyone has circuits all over their body? I think in the case of synthetics, they develop free will and organic thinking like the Geth and Edi. And for organics? Some of the frailties of organics are taken away. Maybe not everything. Being organic means you can still die, but things are different. When Joker steps off of the Normandy at the end, I was hoping that his Vrilok's syndrome was cured because he was now partially synthetic. His bones won't shatter when he tries to move around. Maybe it also cured the genophage in a roundabout way if you cheated the Krogan out of it. I think it's bad that it's not something you could put to a vote, implementing it across the entire galaxy, but it was the best possible choice and the new cycle the galaxy finds itself in might promise very interesting things.
It's a bleak, despair filled ending and I think what Mass Effect was trying to do was tell a story about one person's life. And at the end of life, you die. You can't change that no matter what. But the choices you make along the way are what define you. And you don't get to know what happens after you die. I'm glad they didn't give us walls of text to let us know the impact of our choices on the galaxy. Just the decision to ultimately save everyone in the best way possible.
I am curious to see the ages of the people who hate the ending. I wonder if this is the first genuinely sad, tragic ending that a lot of young gamers might feel, especially if they haven't had any great losses in their life. Mass Effect is an achievement to get you that invested in a character that you are angry at how they die. Death does that. The game is about as subtle as a brick in telling you that this is the end. This isn't just farewell, this is goodbye. Everything is ending. Shepard is going down for the count and it's going to mean something at the end. And I didn't need a wall of text to tell me that.
Last note: the old man and the child looking up at the stars in the epilogue? The old man is voiced by Buzz Aldrin. The second man to walk on the moon. I thought it fitting that he be the one to close the game and let us know, however obliquely, that our life in Mass Effect served some purpose, even if it's one we made ourselves.