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Mass Effect 2
Crazyrabbits: For sheer story derailment, the "Arrival" mission for Mass Effect 2 (which is intended as a tie-in to the third game) is quite possibly the worst DLC in the franchise. This is due to the fact that many of the gameplay elements and plot points are designed to railroad the player into one choice, and one choice only: blow up a Mass Relay by ramming it with an asteroid that has 300,000 Batarian colonists living on it. Admiral Hackett forces Shepard to go on a solo mission for no other reason than "because the plot says so" - after 10 minutes of sneaking around (which is optional anyway), Shepard's cover is blown and he has to escape with Dr. Kenson. Later on, Shepard is knocked out for two days by the indoctrinated Kenson and her research team, and instead of killing him and/or dismantling the asteroid so that it won't be used as a weapon for his plan, they sit on their hands and leave him in a cell with two woefully-inept guards, access to a sentry robot and all his gear lying right outside the door. Really?
L Dragon 2. Mass Effect 3's endings. After all the hard work and toil that one has done over the course of three games, and with the hopes of at least getting an ending that reflects your choices, it ends up being confined to three choices: destroy the Reapers, sacrifice Shepard to control the Reapers, or turn all life in the galaxy into organic-synthetic crossbreeds. No matter what you choose, Shepard either dies or wakes up in a pile of rubble, the mass relays are destroyed, and the Normandy is stranded on a distant planet with all your squadmates aboard. Not only does this completely go against the whole idea of having meaningful choices in a game, as they clearly had no impact since one is forced to choose between these three endings, it also feels like a slap to the face of all the fans who had invested in the series. All of this just so Bioware could try to squeeze in a Bittersweet Ending. It wouldn't even be bad if there was a way to get a happier ending.
atrasicarius: Ditto, but for me, it's because the ending makes no sense, is completely contrary to the themes of the games, and makes all the things you did in the games completely irrelevant. I mean, you get pretty much exactly the same ending no matter which option you pick or how any war assets you have. That is not what they promised us the endings would be like.
Dr Zulu 2010: What's even worse, we have to agree with the Catalyst on his claims even if the bastard is the biggest fucking hypocrite of the whole galaxy. Because 1. He creates the reapers so we can be saved from the synthetics rebelling against the organics... by killing the organics, 2. That, despise the contrary (ie: The geth and the quarians), we can't go to peace with the synthetics, and 3. His logic is fully flawed. If he created the reapers and that "the created will always rebel against the creators", doesn't that mean that the reapers might rebel against him? I always hated that when they introduced a character at the last minute, worse if it an important one. Because that they make this for a cheap plot twist. Sorry Bioware but this is hardly better than M. Night Shyamalan.
Pikachu 4 Prezident: I'm disappointed in the fact that there was no epic, definite, final confrontation with Harbinger. Yeah, remember him? He hardly showed up in the game! So, retroactively, he becomes a Karma Houdini because of crappy writing (seems to me that there's a lot of these characters generating dethroning moments nowadays, and I'm really not big on them in general). The sacrifices you make in this game and the other two are all rendered moot and pointless all because of this sorry excuse for an ending! Bioware promised, and failed, to deliver, which in turn ruins the other two games and ultimately reduces the entire franchise to dust.
thenameisbean: For me, it's The Stinger. After pissing all over one of my favorite franchises, they have the nerve to stick in that little 'everything turns out alright but we're not telling you how! teehee' disclaimer. Not only are you irrevocably destroying one of the best new video game franchises, but you're mocking me as well?
Sachiko: The worst for me is not that it downplays the Reapers as villains after such a long buildup to a climactic moment, that it goes completely against the themes of the entire series, that your capability of choice is shattered beyond recovery, or that it has no sense of sensible conclusion and closure. The worst is that, apparently, the developers thought that it was meant to make sense! We, the players, are being treated like morons for saying that this godawful ending makes absolutely no sense!
Crazyrabbits: The "Refusal" ending in the Extended Cut. For one, the very act of shooting the Catalyst (which many commentators that critiqued the endings in the months following the game's release showed as a point of mockery) triggers what appears to be a whiny, petulant response, "SO BE IT," almost like the writers were venting their frustrations to the players. Next, Shepard's cycle apparently lost offscreen - even if we're to buy the notion that conventional victory is impossible (which the prior two games have shown is completely false, given that the galaxy has beaten insurmountable odds), why not give the player the chance to win or lose based on their Effective Military Strength, instead of still having it be a pointless game mechanic. Finally, we learn in The Stinger that the following cycle found Liara's plans and beat the Reapers anyway, making the whole exercise throughout the three games a near-pointless waste of time.
Umbrage: Agreed. There is absolutely no point to Refusal other than to allow the devs to get back at the players. "You don't like our endings? Fine, then YOU LOSE!!!" Although I didn't like the original endings, I didn't hate BioWare for making them and saw it as a forgivable mistakes. But Refusal was just insulting, a childish reaction to deserved criticism. It doesn't make sense with the rest of the games. If they didn't want to give us the chance for a different ending, fine, but this was a petty move, intentionally ruining the game just to spite the players.
Canonier: I was actually completely fine with the endings themselves, but the lead-up frustrated me like nothing else. First Shepard is blasted to the point where the only way he can move is a slow limp. Then he has to hold extensive conversations where everyone speaks slowly because they're too busy wheezing, all delivered by unskippable cutscenes. Then he has to once again limp to the ending of your choice. The net effect is extending the endgame by several minutes, with absolutely none of that time being spent having fun. It kills all sense of excitement built up just before.
Oris: For me, it wasn't necessarilly the content of the endings themselves (though that was still pretty bad) so much as the sudden derailment of Shepard's character. Yes, sure, it's a character you get to help shape over the course of three games, but some traits are pretty damn consistent - namely, the refusal to give up. If the war and physical trauma has worn Shepard down to the point where he/she has at last abandoned that trait, fine. Drama. Woo. But you have to draw some attention to that fact, you have to have some kind of obvious meltdown related to it - maybe with Anderson and TIM, or during the conversation with the Catalyst. The passive way Shepard just kind of stands there and nods while his/her greatest enemy gives what sounds, from an in-game perspective, like a completely bullshit speech just seems stupid. Especially since it comes on the heels of potentially talking down TIM. Without the knowledge that you are sitting there playing a video game, the scenarios Shepard is presented with seem so suspect that the Refuse ending - the worst ending - looks like the most logical choice, since all other options come from an apparent AI who insists that all AI will try to wipe out organic life, so you have to let him wipe out organic life, because it's the only way to save organic life. If you are going to present information that convoluted, at least provide a trustworthy source, rather than a totally new character who is apparently a genocidal lunatic. How does Shepard even know that anything he/she does will do what the Catalyst says it will? It's possible - likelier, even, than the truth - that the who Crucible was a trap and everything he/she could do would just be hitting a 'make the Reapers even stronger' switch. We - the player - know it probably isn't, but that kind of slip-up sort of defeats the whole purpose of roleplaying in the first place.
X Spectre Grey X: The endings singlehandedly ruined the entire trilogy for me. Not just the endings, but the final mission altogether and how it disregards player choices. It doesn't matter what resources you have, as long as you got the number. But the ending itself basically disregards everything you've done up until that point, and even things you didn't influence. Also, why would shooting at a machine turn it on? Why would jumping into the green beam do anything?! If synthetics are doomed to betray their creators, then won't the reapers betray you?! Better yet, won't you betray your creators (turns out you did)? And let's not even get into the science behind the space magic. The follow-up from BioWare didn't help either.
Storm Kensho: I object to calling the original endings anything close to Bittersweet. They were out-and-out Downer Endings. There is absolutely nothing in them that suggests that Galactic Civilization was going to recover. Absolutely no hope that anything turned out alright for any of the crew or Shepard. A Bittersweet Ending would be more along the lines of what the Extended Cut endings somewhat succeeded in making them: The losses were great, many planets will likely never recover from the devastation the Reapers wreaked upon them(see: Earth), and there will always be scars to remind the galaxy of what was lost. But, the galaxy's population, at least, was able to be spared the brunt of the Reapers' wrath, and the Reapers' defeat and the gaining of much of their technological knowledge can only mean a far brighter future than any preceding civilization. That would have been a Bittersweet Ending: A reflection on what was lost but hope was still present in what was won.
Bobchillingworth: That Bioware felt the need to tamper with the nature and objectives of the Reapers is infuriating. We already learned in ME2 why the Reapers destroy galactic civilization- it's how they reproduce. It was a brilliant, wonderfully prosaic revelation- here's this species of nigh-omnipotent space monstrosities, and the reason for their genocidal purges is because they've advanced so far past the singularity that they can't even get laid normally any more. It made their pretensions to immortality and being beyond human comprehension a laughable farce, and it was very satisfying to see the truly base motivations of the Reapers laid bare. They're no better than you- hell, they're really just oversized parasites. And then ME3 rolls around with this nonsense about how the Reapers are ACTUALLY all about synthetics encouraging the development of organics so that synthetics could kill organics so that organics won't develop synthetics to kill organics. It's like it wasn't enough for the Reapers to threaten all of galactic civilization, but they also had to be about Destiny and Galactic Purpose and The Nature of Free Will. Ugh.
Isaiah XII: The very existence of the Catalyst completely invalidates the main plot of the first game and causes the entire story of the trilogy to collapse in on itself. Remember that the Citadel had a hidden mass relay to dark space (Dark Relay for short) which the reapers used to enter the galaxy in previous cycles. In the last cycle, the last protheans sacrificed themselves to sabotage the connection between the reapers and the keepers to give Shepard's cycle a chance. All of Sovereign's actions prior to and during ME1 including: Indoctrinating the Rachni, Recruiting the Geth Heratics, Indoctrinating Saren and Liara's mom and more were all part of an attempt to regain control of the Citadel to continue the original plan. This directly leads to Shepard's rise as a hero and eventually becoming the single greatest hope for the galaxy. But if the Catalyst controls the reapers, created the reapers and the citadel, lives on the citadel, the citadel is part of him and he is the collective consciousness of all reapers...then why didn't he just activate the Dark Relay himself? Ultimately, any answer only leads to one of two answers: A) He Can't or B) He won't. Neither answer makes any sense in the context of the presentation and information concerning the Catalyst and that makes that little Starbrat a walking plothole.
Baeraad555: My problem with the ending is partly that the choice comes out of nowhere (a space god thing that no one knew exited walks up to you and tells you to make it? Seriously?), but mostly that only one of the options even seemed to follow on anything that came before it. Destroy the Reapers, sure, that's what we've been working towards for three games. At the cost of killing the Geth, EDI and probably Shepard, okay, that fits in with the theme of sacrifice in this game. Control the Reapers? The fact that the Illusive Man thought that that was even remotely possible was stupid; the fact that he turned out to be right was idiotic. And that synthesis thing... where did that even come from? Why would it even be possible? Or desirable? Really, the choice boiled down to 1) do the thing that makes sense, 2) do the thing that makes no sense but that someone thought would be cool, and 3) do the thing that forces a stupid solution onto a problem no one was particularly concerned with - with the game hinting pretty strongly that 3) is the correct choice.
Glittering Wolf: What really bugged me was that, even though I made all the right choices and got all the stupid assets that I could possibly get, I still got pretty much the crappiest ending because I didn't do downloadable content or play the multiplayer stuff (I didn't have X Box Live at the time and it wouldn't let me do anything)It's frustrating to still do so bad when I worked my ass off trying to make everything okay.
The Rello 99: Unlike a large amount of people, my issues started from the very first minute I booted up the game. The Dethroning Moment, for me, was not sudden but gradually. Normally I am the kind of guy who can ignore bad writing if the game compensates like a First Person Shooter. But that is nigh-impossible in an RPG. When I am sitting there with my Female Shepard, emotionlessly talking to an equally emotionless, teleporting child, I got the slow, grim realization that Mass Effect 3 was not what the previous two titles were. While I consider Mass Effect 3 a Dethroning Moment in its entirety, those kind of entries aren't allowed and that discussion is saved for another day. But the first mission on Earth was definitely the definitive Dethroning Moment for this Troper. Playing the Suicide Mission of Mass Effect 2 and then going to the invasion of Earth in Mass Effect 3 is like being served a nice, juicy steak with a dessert of ice cream with chocolate sauce and then immediately ditching that scrumptious meal for a cup of urine.