His name… was Marauder Shields.

It’s been a month and change since Mass Effect 3’s retail release, so spoilers abound as we finally shine a retrospective light on the game’s final fifteen minutes and its surrounding controversy. With one spokesman for all three color-coded outcomes (and one participant who remains unexposed), Brandon, Tom, Josh and Harrison delve deep into such elements as character motivations, gaping plot holes, and overall narrative choices.

Also in this week’s episode: Harrison’s oversea anime con adventure and some fresh opinions and enthusiasm for both FEZ and Skullgirls, PLUS a handful of listener emails and another amazing and painful piece of fanart.

Hit the jump for this weeks videos and images!

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Use Your Keyboard to Yell at Us

21 comments on “JKP! Ep.95: Control, Alt, Delete

  1. well….not gonna be following what happens in this weeks comments and gonna skip everything except emails…..yey =)

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  2. Andrew Apr 25, 2012

    Intermission- Street Fighter 2010 nes ?

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  3. Copious notes are absolutely required for Fez, especially in New Game Plus. And to what Brandon was saying, you really only need to beat it once to equip yourself to solve the rest of the puzzles (new game plus gives you a new ability other than turning the perspective), as long as you’ve visited most of the map.

    The telescope room’s “real” solution is bananas, and I have no idea how anyone figured it out, but it’s easy enough to get it by luck if you just try long enough

    I was following along with the final puzzle during the attempts to solve it, the “Black Monolith”, and even took part in some of the brute force attempt spreadsheets. It’s a shame there still isn’t a clear in-game solution to it, other than luck or attrition.

    I still feel like there is some last puzzle left, especially considering the strange completion percentage of 209.3%, but considering how busted the leaderboards are of people using bugs to get extra cubes, it’s probably an oversight.

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  4. so you guys pretty much covered my e-mail in the first half of this weeks podcast. if you want, feel free to just delete mine from the growing list.

    also, i was very happy to hear other people shared my distain for anime conventions. My city only has one major convention a year and it happens to be an anime convention. i usually drag my ass over in the delusion “that it’ll be better this year. it has to be”. it never is. to top it all off, this years theme was announced to be MLP, to which point i said nope and i’ve decided that i’m never going back.

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  5. Okay, so firstly the Steam thing: I guess I’ll go with AudioSurf, since i’ve been meaning to buy that eventually. I think that’s 10 dollars, right?

    Now, ME stuff, quite possibly TL;DR, but alot of my friends still haven’t finished the game, so I haven’t done much talking about it yet:

    Like you were saying in this week’s episode, even if the Indoctrination Theory is true (and I do think it has considerable merit even if it is just fanfiction), it doesn’t provide any further closure to the story than the “actual” ending, which is to say it provides no closure whatsoever. You guys hit the nail on the head saying “You go from having a bad ending to no ending”, which in this case I think I prefer. Whether it’s true or not, it makes ME feel better about the experience, probably because I fell for the same paragon trap as Josh. Though really I thought the game would have me actively select the option I wanted rather than just launch into the ending when I got close enough to one of the choices, so I was walking to investigate further. Silly me for expecting a button prompt to show up, but that’s neither here nor there.

    The video you posted does do an excellent job of providing some evidence for the Indoctrination Theory, especially taking note of Shepard’s eyes in the “blue” and “green” sequences, which is something I noticed watching them all after finishing the game, although I do think some of it is just latching on to vagueness and assumptions. I do think the explanation of the Normandy crashing and your friends being seen surviving does make more sense as just an illusion of hope in Shepard’s mind then actually occurring. As you guys discussed, there’s no way they possibly could do all that given the time frame, nor would they all abandon Shepard. It’s extremely out of character for every member of his rag-tag crew, but I do think that that is what Shepard would want and hope for them, to escape and to survive. That’s what he’s been fighting for is these people, all these races to survive and to coexist, like they do on the Normandy. I believe that is why the love interest shows up as well, though I can’t explain the Ashley Williams thing. I didn’t even let that bitch back on the Normandy in this game, so i guess that was your mistake, Harrison. That sequence fits far better as a fever dream then as what actually happens anyway.

    Regardless of what is true or is not true about the ending, it was handled incredibly poorly as a narrative, and I made the same decision as Tom and Harrison about the DLC when I heard they did succumb to the fan fervor: I’m not playing this game again. I’ll watch the cutscenes on YouTube, but the damage has been done. It’s not even that I’m angry about the ending, but there is no way to change that initial experience. I don’t regret playing the game, in fact I enjoyed most of it, though some things throughout did seem sloppy (Rachni showing up again even though I killed the queen, and Cerberus having a replica human Reaper from the end of 2 even though I FUCKING DESTROYED IT SO ILLUSIVE MAN COULDN’T HAVE IT, BUT OOPS THEY GOT IT ANYWAY, HAHA CHOICES). I enjoyed the closure of my party member’s stories more then of my actual character, which I think is more significant. I brought a fitting end to the Krogan/Turrian/Solarian struggle, as well as the Quarian/Geth (in my opinion, anyway), and I did choke up at some of the more poignant moments of this game, because of the connection to the characters built up through 1 and 2.

    While 2 is the superior game, I wasn’t disappointed enough by 3 to not recommend it, especially if you did form bonds with these fictional polygonal people. You want to know what happens to them, and I feel like I did get that, regardless of the last 15-20 minutes.

    The disappointment at the end of this game was the same sort of disappointment I felt at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, where there is a clear moment that the game should end, and if it had, there would be no discussion to be had about it because it would have been an incredibly powerful and memorable ending, but instead it just keeps going. ME3 had the same problem, where I think either BioWare overestimated their responsibility to fanservice, or underestimated fan’s acceptance of a more simplistic, yet satisfying ending. If the conversation with Anderson had taken place, they cut to a scene of reapers being destroyed all over earth, and cut back to Shepard and Anderson just both closing their eyes and rolling credits, that would have left room for healthier speculation about what happened to the rest of your team, rather than anger and defensive gymnastics about how it’s possible they escaped.

    anywho, that’s my 2 cents (or a alot more cents, probably) on all of this. I do still feel like this was a great franchise of games, and an incredible universe of characters, locations, and concepts, and I really want to read the tie-in books, which is something I never thought I would do for a videogame. It’s just a shame that this final piece of the Shepard pie had to have the dirty fingers of focus tested boardroom meetings all over it before it could get to us.

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  6. Its a damn shame that the ending is so bad that people are forgetting that the rest of the game(especially Rannoch and Tuchunka) is pretty good.

    Imagine you are watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Samwise, Frodo and Gollum drop the ring then cut to the final battle is beginning, but you don’t see Aragorn, Gimili, Legolas or any other character you’ve met in the past ~8 hours. Instead its faceless humans and orcs fighting. No Dwarves, no Elves, no Ents, even though you know they’re “supposed” to be there. Then cut to that scene from Hildago where Aragorn is trying to out run the sandstorm. Aragorn finds some safety in a canyon or something and covers himself and his horse under his tent. When the sandstorm clears Aragorn stands up out of the sand, his horse, Samwise and an Ent all also exit the little safety area Aragorn made. Then the horse explodes.

    Also, Deus Ex had basically the same destroy, control, merge ending. Guess what game Casey Hudson has said is one of his favorites?

    I’m a bit worried that they ended the trilogy the way they did to set up Mass Effect 4 for a Dragon Age-ing. They now have Humans, Turians, et al all “living” in the Local Cluster. So it could easily set up the next game where you are more or less stuck to the Local Cluster. That worked out well with Dragon Age when Dragon Age 1 had your character crossing the country being awesome, then Dragon Age 2 had you more or less chained you to that one shitty town and the local environments.

    Here’s that writer saying that Casey Hudson took the ending from the rest of the writers and did it all himself: http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5695/article/mass-effect-3-writer-allegedly-slams-controversial-ending/

    Here’s the BBB thing: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/04/mass-effect-3-is-having-a-mass-effect-on-its-consumers-for-better-or-worse/ Since its from an employee’s blog it isn’t quite official.

    Its really sad that BioWare fucked up the ending so bad that so many people want the “It was all a dream” ending. I’m sad that the outcry has died down(its been great fun to watch), but at least it will kick back up a bit after the DLC is released.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs
    Its a 40 minute youtube video that rips off the Plinkett Star Wars reviews both in style and in it’s well directed criticisms. The video very clearly explains so much that is wrong with the ending so much better than I could. Same guy also has some other videos that address the Indoctrination Theory, the Extended ending, and EA’s rule over Bioware. They are all well put together, and interesting(especially compared to the “quality” of the majority of the Mass Effect 3 response videos). IMO, really worth watching.

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    • That last link is a great one

      also: “Its really sad that BioWare fucked up the ending so bad that so many people want the “It was all a dream” ending.”

      you know you’ve fucked up your story when the cop-out ending is the one that’s most appealing to your fans…

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    • You know, it’s funny: Deus Ex DID have basically the same endings, at least in terms of pure execution. I didn’t mind it so much there because A) Deus Ex isn’t a trilogy, those endings weren’t really the culmination of much of anything and B) because the entire last stage of that game is worthless. Seriously, it’s god awful. So somehow, picking an A, B or C ending, none of which is really “right” and watching an explanation of it over some stock footage isn’t as galling after slogging through an hour of pointlessness.

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  7. I’ve been looking forward to this episode. I’ll start listening as soon as I get home. My feelings about the ending may not be quite as vehement as most other people, but I do enjoy talking about it and hearing what people have to say.

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  8. Patrick Apr 25, 2012

    Nice episode as always.

    The difference between Fez and Jrpg’s that while Fez has literally 5 years of concept and story filled to the brim in the game to the point that communities discuss how the puzzles are and what it all means, Jrpg’s are just convoluted bs story with stunning visuals and weird sometimes broken gameplay. Mind you this is coming from an Atlus, Persona, Jrpg fan.

    Josh the game was Dark Void aka Rocketeer 2: electric boogaloo (which they should have just made Rocketeer!)

    Capcom has just been the most obvious with this trend of not making the games the fanbase is begging for while dumping the same franchise on us over and over until they force their own hand to design a game that will sell.

    Lastly even though this is the ME3 episode I was half expecting to hear something from Josh about the Diablo 3 beta.

    Shadra thank you so much, can’t stop laughing whenever I see it.

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    • Andrew Apr 26, 2012

      Josh didn’t play the Diablo 3 beta he watched me play it on occasion instead. It is whole heartedly fantastic and I cannot wait for its release may 15th. Josh looks forward to it as well.

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      • Patrick Apr 26, 2012

        I had fun with it but I kept getting this feeling that it was more hack/slash rpg and could be ported over to console easily which is unexpected from blizzard. Still is going to be a great game I will eventually get into.

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      • andrew Apr 26, 2012

        Well it was designed with a console port in mind. I thought the chapter select feature was an amazing addition. All of the classes were loads of fun to play. I almost got all the achievements I only have witch doctor and wizard to 13 and I would have had them all. So I did spend a lot of time playing the beta.

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        • Perturbo Apr 30, 2012

          Okkkaaayyy…that is a disturbing version of “My Friend Totoro.”

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  9. Billy Apr 27, 2012

    DC Douglas is the voice of Wesker and Legion, so he made this scene himself.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj2BKTYbZjg&w=560&h=315%5D

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  10. Patrick Apr 30, 2012

    So I know this is off topic but I wanted to make sure you guys see it. If you do not have cable and can’t afford Legend of Korra at the moment they have been airing the episodes online mondays (much like Adult swim does/did with their content) Again “how to promote a show: the right way”

    heres episode 4
    http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/legend-of-korra-104-the-voice-in-the-night-full-episode.html?xid=LOKFB_E04

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