I’ve read the article a couple times now and thought I’d share my thoughts. If you’re not familiar with it, you can find much of what it contains here. Special thanks to @the3rdwalker for mailing me his copy. Continue reading
What is Mass Effect all about? Yeah, killing the Reapers, saving the galaxy, blah, blah, blah. That’s the plot. What are the overarching themes of Mass Effect? What concepts drive the narrative? There are a bunch: racism, artificial intelligence, genetic modification, and so on. But there is one, that to me anyway, stands above all others. For me, Mass Effect is a tale about the power of teamwork. It is about accepting each other’s differences and embracing the unique talents that each individual brings to the table. It’s about believing in each other and the cause and persevering in the face of overwhelming odds. It is about Shepard’s ability to bring out the best in people and to bring them together, to accomplish what no single person ever could. There are two trophies in Mass Effect 2 that summarize it perfectly: “Against All Odds” and “No One Left Behind”.
Which brings us to my problem with the ending of the series. It all comes down to: we can’t do it through teamwork, we can’t do it at all, we need the Prothean’s tech and a star child to do it for us. Shepard makes the final choice, but it doesn’t have to be him. It could have been anyone or no one. All that matters is that in the end, teamwork, loyalty, and friendship aren’t enough to get it done. And that my friends, flies in the face of everything the Mass Effect series is about right up until that final moment.
You, sir! You are a blight
Jack simply has too much baggage, so Tali is the only other option, and she’s a very good one. But, when I try to think of it as Shepard, I think Miranda makes more sense on a number of levels. Tali loves her people, and being with Shepard would preclude her from spending a lot of time with them. She is also brilliant and would likely be happiest in a lab as a researcher. Then there is the issue of the suit and risk of infection.
Miranda has no family save her sister. She is a soldier, like Shepard. I also view them as being more on the same level, whatever that means, but I think you get what I’m saying. They are good for each other, can push each other, and potentially pull each other’s ass out of the fire. It makes more sense to me, whereas I view Tali’s feelings as being more like a crush. Tali can move on, find someone else, and be happy doing research on the flotilla. What’s Miranda going to do? Shepard is the only man in the galaxy she admires, she loves him, wants to fight the same enemy as him, is every bit as capable as him, and basically has no place else to be, no direction. Yes, I have thought about this entirely too much, it’s kinda weird. It was a very difficult decision for me, but in the end, it felt right.