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Mass Effect cleanup:

Lord of Castamere
I was sleeping, sorry for the late answer.

As I've pointed out, the Catalyst is foreshadowed

Still insisting with the oversimplification. A device called the Catalyst, which was required to make the Crucible work, was foreshadowed. The Catalyst looking like a blue kid hologram and being the leader of the Reapers was not. And no, Vendetta's comments do not count as foreshadowing. Watch the scene again and you will see how nothing it says prepares us for that revelation that happens in the last 5 minutes of the game

Catalyst being an AI is a twist, but it is not one that drastically alters the resolution and does not change how the plot is resolved (unless you choose Synthesis). I feel the same applies to Shocking Swerve: it is a major twist, but not one that completely changes everything (unless you choose Synthesis).

Wrong. The plot of the 3 games was built around the Reapers. You cannot tell me that discovering what the Reapers want, who is their leader, etc. is not of supreme importance to the plot. As for impacting on the resolution, of course he does. He tells us that Destroy will also kill synthetics, we receive the Synthesis ending, which consists of altering life at a genetic level for the entire galaxy... how is this not important to the plot?

The ending changes everything, unless you oversimplify the plot beyond recognition.

Eliminating the Ass Pull entry or worse, the Shocking Swerve one, would be a major mistake.


The Rachni decision affects EMS, yes, but it's just some arbitrary numbers. The mission plays about the same regardless of what you did with the Rachni in past games (if you kill the Rachni Queen, the Reapers "build" another one, etc). A Bioware employee said this was because of lack of time and resources. If you want I can go find the source.


it's only the ending that's upset most of the detractors.

Oh what small thing, an ending to a story that spans 3 games. Almost nothing! Also, regardless of what you say, common sense points to the other direction. Even people who did not play the game know about this because of for example, our beloved vandal. The game was divisive, as evidenced by the vandalism in this wiki and everything else.

edited 24th Jun '12 10:03:24 AM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 152 Spirit, Sun, 24th Jun '12 11:32:49 AM from America Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
We're told from the get go that the Crucible will do something to stop the Reapers. And it does, how it does is irrelevant in terms of asspulling. Having the Catalyst turn out to be the Starchild is a twist for the sake of having a twist, pretty much the definition of shocking swerve. Maybe the Synthesis ending qualifies as an asspull as it had zero foreshadowing whatsoever, but the rest of the ending doesn't.

Bioware's quality has deminished while under EA's banner but not to the degree required for Screwed by the Network. Not everything that gets left on the cutting room floor means it fulfills the trope.

Almost everyone can agree that the ending was hated, but an equal number of people can also agree that near everything before it was great.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Lord of Castamere
At least we agree on Shocking Swerve. And I see your point about the Starkid not being an Ass Pull. I don't really agree, but 'tis something less objective than the Starkid being a Shocking Swerve, so if the rest agre with Spirit, I wouldn't mind to see the entry removed.


Another question, what about the Crucible itself as an Ass Pull? I don't know if it counts if you consider only Mass Effect 3 since 'tis introduced early, but if you consider the whole trilogy, the Reapers invade at the end and then the protagonists suddenly find the blueprints of a superweapon that will conveniently defeat them. The Crucible is not foreshadowed previous to its discovery.

edited 24th Jun '12 11:56:37 AM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 154 Spirit, Sun, 24th Jun '12 1:10:25 PM from America Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
The Crucible blueprints is found on the Mars base at the start of 3. Narratively its introduced barely in the first 5% of 3's story, and about 66% in the trilogy's story, and it becomes the main plot point of the story afterwords. Practically it is found in the same place where humanity first found the titular mass effect, making it something of a call back. In other words it's no more of an asspull than, say, second Death Star or the rebuilt Installation 04 was.

edited 24th Jun '12 1:16:19 PM by Spirit

There are none so blind as those who will not see.
 155 nrjxll, Sun, 24th Jun '12 1:14:35 PM Relationship Status: Not war
The Crucible's sudden appearance (within the context of the trilogy and setting) is... problematic. But I don't think I'd go so far as to call it an Ass Pull.

Also, I've read that same 'interview' as Shaoken, and it is made pretty clear that the game was rushed in some aspects. The ending itself wasn't mentioned, but the on-screen absence of a lot of your forces in the final battle was. I have to say that Screwed by the Network is at least partially applicable.

edited 24th Jun '12 1:14:56 PM by nrjxll

Lord of Castamere
Instead of talking about percents of length and such, we could talk about the plot itself.

In Mass Effect 1 we stop Sovereign from causing the whole Reaper Armada to attack the galaxy. In Mass Effect 2 we defeat Harbinger's plans, and then in Arrival (the last DLC between 2 and 3) we slow down the main Reaper forces so they cannot enter the galaxy just yet. The risk of the main Reaper forces attacking is an important part of the plot, and when they finally do in Mass Effect 3, Shepard & co instantly find a convenient superweapon to defeat them. If we think of Mass Effect as a whole instead of isolating each game, the Crucible becomes an Ass Pull. Remember that Deus Ex Machina-ish Ass Pulls are not required to happen in the resolution of the story, the thing is that they provide an easy exit for Only the Author Can Save Us Now and similar situations, and they are not foreshadowed. The Crucible is not foreshadowed, and gives the protagonists means to defeat the Reaper Invasion.

edited 24th Jun '12 1:46:38 PM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 157 nrjxll, Sun, 24th Jun '12 1:53:03 PM Relationship Status: Not war
If we think of Mass Effect as a whole instead of isolating each game, the Crucible becomes an Ass Pull.

Thing is, I think that to a large extent the writers didn't (although some of that is due to plot changes along the way). That's a highly questionable decision, but I'm inclined to think we should stick with it as far as tropes go.

Lord of Castamere
Or we could say that "Mass Effect" contains the Crucible Ass Pull and instead of linking to one of the games, we link to Mass Effect (Franchise / Mass Effect).

edited 24th Jun '12 2:23:21 PM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 159 lrrose, Mon, 25th Jun '12 6:27:31 AM Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
I don't think that there was sufficient foreshadowing for the Catalyst.

Judging from the summary of the "Making of Mass Effect 3" IOS App that I read, the ending controversy was the result of a brainfart from Hudson and Walters. I don't see how EA can be blamed for it. Not to mention that it is a critically acclaimed and popular game.

The Crucible isn't an Asspull. As a dark energy weapon, it is foreshadowed by Mass Effect 2. Also, you spend an entire game building it. Hardly comes out of nowhere.

Lord of Castamere
Wait. Dark Energy is introduced in the plot of Tali's mission in 2 as in "oh why is this sun dying early"? and then forgotten (rumors are that Drew Karpyshyn had another ending planned based on this idea and thus Tali's mission plot was the foreshadowing for it)

The Crucible working on dark energy is only a very minor detail on which the narrative does not focus, it does not even appear on the codex. 'Tis only mentioned in a short comment in an obscure quest.

Plus how the dark energy in Tali's mission works is much different than the Crucible. There is a Reaper weapon that also works on dark energy (I think 'twas called Blackstar), that weapon was not foreshadowed by Mass Effect 2 either, the dark energy stuff just works as a minor Continuity Nod and as "oh, we haven't forgotten that dark energy existed"...

Plus like I said, even if the Crucible is introduced very early in Mass Effect 3, it still works as an Ass Pull if we consider the 3 games to have an overarching plot (they have).

edited 25th Jun '12 8:39:44 AM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 161 lrrose, Mon, 25th Jun '12 9:34:46 AM Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
An Ass Pull is a moment when the writers pull something out of thin air in a less-than-graceful narrative development, violating the Law of Conservation of Detail by dropping a plot-critical detail in the middle, or near the end of their narrative without Foreshadowing or dropping a Chekhov's Gun earlier on.

The Crucible is introduced 66% into the franchise's plot. so it meets the "in the middle or near the end of the narrative" requirement.

As for whether it was foreshadowed, aside from it being a Dark Energy weapon, we also have the weapon that created the Great Rift on Klendagon and the Shadow Broker's belief that the Protheans might have come up a solution to the Reaper problem. Also, the fact that its the collective work of every species that the Reapers have destroyed is kind of awesome. Not sure if that last sentence is relevant, but still...

I'm also not sure if the fact that it is built over the course of a ~30 hour game means that it is not "dropped in to the narrative"

Honestly, Asspull seems to be a rather odd trope, even for a YMMV. It seems that virtually everything in it can be covered by Deus ex Machina*, Diabolus ex Machina and Shocking Swerve.

edited 25th Jun '12 9:38:40 AM by lrrose

Lord of Castamere
Honestly, Asspull seems to be a rather odd trope, even for a YMMV. It seems that virtually everything in it can be covered by Deus ex Machina*, Diabolus ex Machina and Shocking Swerve.

Isn't Ass Pull a sort of supertrope that contains Deus Ex Machina, Diabolus Ex Machina, Shocking Swerve, etc? I'm not sure.

As for whether it was foreshadowed, aside from it being a Dark Energy weapon, we also have the weapon that created the Great Rift on Klendagon and the Shadow Broker's belief that the Protheans might have come up a solution to the Reaper problem. Also, the fact that its the collective work of every species that the Reapers have destroyed is kind of awesome. Not sure if that last sentence is relevant, but still...

I covered the dark energy thing in my previous post. The Klendagon weapon has nothing to do with the idea of the Crucible. The Shadow Broker thing is the only thing that could be related to it, but I still don't think it counts as the Crucible being foreshadowed. By the way, I don't hate the idea of the Crucible, I just think it suffered because of poor long term planning on the trilogy and that's why we suddenly find its blueprints the second the Reapers attack. If those blueprints had been found or referenced in the previous game it would have worked much better and avoided Asspullery.

I'm also not sure if the fact that it is built over the course of a ~30 hour game means that it is not "dropped in to the narrative"

The blueprints are the Ass Pull, in my opinion. As in, the possibility of creating such superweapon.


Anyways, I see your point. As for the Rule of Cool element you invoke, 'tis not relevant, for example you have the Deus Ex Machina article clarifying that story can use a Deus Ex Machina in a satisfactory way. I agree that the Crucible is not a Deus Ex Machina, by the way.


On another note, the Ass Pull article should also say that the trope does not always mean that the issue in question is pure crap. The name "ass pull" sounds quite derisive.

edited 25th Jun '12 10:40:14 AM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 163 Spirit, Mon, 25th Jun '12 10:52:15 AM from America Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
I'm starting to wonder if you really understand what foreshadowing means. It does not mean "Everything that will ever be used for anything ever, ever, must be revealed in specific detail in the first 5 minutes or else it is just the writers making things up." You cite the Blackstar as an example of a lack of foreshadowing, huh? It's a Reaper weapon, who we know possesses technology far beyond ours; it's not an asspull or even a lack of foreshadowing for a super advanced race to have a super advanced gun.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Lord of Castamere
I cited the Blackstar as an example of not foreshadowing, yes, but I did not say it needed it. You misunderstand me. I just used it to show that the fact that something runs on dark energy does not mean that ME 2 foreshadowed it.

It does not mean "Everything that will ever be used for anything ever, ever, must be revealed in specific detail in the first 5 minutes or else it is just the writers making things up.

This is a strawman. I did not imply such things. The Crucible is not "everything", 'tis the means through which the characters resolve the plot.

If we stop treating the games as isolated isles and think of them as one story, we can see that mere minutes after the Reapers invade, the blueprint of a superweapon that defeats them is suddenly found. It does not mean "lol Crucible sucks", it means "Oh how convenient that they suddenly find the blueprints for this device the same moment we are getting an Only the Author Can Save Us Now situation".


Anyways, I beg you separate these kind of discussions that I create out of love for discussing from the other ones (the discussions about topics I assure are objective, such as the Catalyst being a Shocking Swerve, the themes of the series, etc.). I should stop arguing about these things because they discredit me for when I criticize more important stuff, heheheheh.

I mean, I don't care much for the outcome of these ones, because even if I believe I'm right, I still see valid points in Irrose's claims. Which means that I'm okay with the Crucible not being added to Ass Pull.

edited 25th Jun '12 11:13:07 AM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 165 nrjxll, Mon, 25th Jun '12 2:15:04 PM Relationship Status: Not war
On that note, I'd say the Crucible is an example of Only the Author Can Save Them Now.

edited 25th Jun '12 2:16:00 PM by nrjxll

 166 Shaoken, Tue, 26th Jun '12 10:09:56 AM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
Okay everybody, the Extended Cut is now out. So expect all hell to break loose on every Mass Effect page now.

 167 nrjxll, Tue, 26th Jun '12 3:45:55 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Is it too late to lock 'em for the duration?

Although it could be worse, seeing as the fan reaction I've encountered is more or less positive.

 168 Spirit, Tue, 26th Jun '12 4:59:34 PM from America Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
So far reactions have started as a kneejerk "It's not as good as I wanted!" before quickly becoming "Well, it's not so bad." I don't think a lock is necessary, but the pages will need monitoring for the time being.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Lord of Castamere
'Tis rather like "the Extended Cut is good..."

1) "...and now I like the endings / I tolerate them / I have moved on"

2) "...but not good enough because the original endings are just irredeemable"

Which is still nice and balanced.

By the way, the only negative tropes introduced by the EC to the game that I can think of right now are Author Tract and Take That, Audience!. I shall elaborate later.

edited 26th Jun '12 8:48:05 PM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 170 Shaoken, Tue, 26th Jun '12 9:11:09 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
[up]I disagree with "Take That Auidence." People are saying that the reject choice is a middle finger from Bioware to the fanbase because it always results in everybody dying, but the entire game hammered in the fact that Reapers can't be defeated conventionally and the Crucible is the only way to win.

 171 nrjxll, Tue, 26th Jun '12 9:17:17 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Also, it does show that the cycle is broken eventually.

I dunno; could go either way on that one.

Could you elaborate on Author Tract?

Lord of Castamere
'Tis a Take That, Audience! because not only everyone dies (which is understandable) but the next cycle uses the Crucible according to Word of God (some posts in the BSN by Bioware people) which implies that the next cycle chose one of RGB or similar "solutions".

Synthesis is a huge Author Tract in my opinion. I will elaborate tomorrow, I'm tired and I have yet to polish my arguments.

edited 26th Jun '12 9:25:01 PM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 173 Shaoken, Tue, 26th Jun '12 9:24:24 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
[up]So...because the solution is what the game presented it to be, it's a Take That Auidence?

Personally I find that perspective just to be whinning on the part of those who wanted to be able to shoot the Catalyst in the face and then beat the Reapers regardless.

Lord of Castamere
No, but the whole motivation behind a Refuse option is well, refusing the RGB choices. So the Cycle dies (again, this could be seen as Reality Ensues therefore 'tis not as bad) but then the next cycle explicitly goes and chooses one of the Catalyst's options. Which means that the whole Refuse option is in vain.

Liara's narration even says that they hope the next cycle does not make the same mistakes as this one, and since the next cycle went and chose one of the Catalyst's solutions...

Also, "I believe it's whining" is not valid criticism.

For what 'tis worth, I actually like the Refuse option.

edited 26th Jun '12 9:38:34 PM by Anfauglith

Instead, I have learned a horrible truth of existence...some stories have no meaning.
 175 Shaoken, Tue, 26th Jun '12 9:40:00 PM Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
[up]The problem is that nothing in that ending says how they actually won; the Woman in the ending doesn't mention the Crucible at all, only that they learned from the previous cycles mistakes. Which could mean a lot of things.

So the "take that" is pretty much entirely in people's minds. Either way, it sounds too much like complaining about endings you don't like to me.

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