Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Mass Effect 3 Page 2

Go To

The first is here, and the second is here.

Unmarked spoilers of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 (including DLC)!

Storyline, final battle, post-game, and multi-player theories are here. General, squad, and romance theories are here.


The Leviathans are actually malfunctioning, rogue, or otherwise flawed Reapers
They misremember events because they are, as stated, broken. They were either separated from the rest of the Reaper collective by the same event that created the Catalyst/led to the nonsense about the Reapers motives being to prevent synthetics from killing organics...

OR, they are still part of the Reaper fleet, but, the true motives of the Reapers being unknowable to organics, it fits into the Reapers' plans for some of them to fight back, anyway.


Both of these explanations allow for the Indoctrination Theory to take place, or not. Either way, they offer an explanation to make the ending, as well as the motives of the Reapers, slightly less retarded.

The Ghost Kid is The First
It appears as a dead person with emotional impact, is clearly non corporeal yet has powerful followers. Like The First, it seems to operate largely through psychological warfare once it's initial plan is compromised and forces Shepard to choose between three equally stupid options, all of which potentially cause suffering

When the Reapers realized the humans will defeat them, some escaped to other universes to eventually come back and finish the humans once and for all: returning as The Flood, The Chimera, The Combine, The X-Parasites, and The Locust.

We're aware this is ignoring a LOT of expanded universe, but hey.

  • Harbinger, realizing Shepard and Anderson made it to the Catalyst and could not be stopped, immediately ordered several fellow Reapers to begin modifying their remaining payload of husks and/or prisoners and to jump to nearby universes. WE WILL FIND ANOTHER WAY.
    • The first was ordered to modify its Adjutants to speed up its Reaperization process, immediately both converting the infected and Indoctrinating them as well and to begin the cycle anew elsewhere. Lacking enough Reaper parts, the Reaper and Harbinger, believing it would be ironic (and a fitting continuation of the cycle), made the Adjutants biological in nature. Testing on the prisoners on-board was near-instantaneous: like a flood had enveloped them. So they were deemed.
    • Advertisement:
    • The next few gathered and decided to use an even smaller way to Indoctrinate, and holding the last few Collectors, they were modified as well. The Reapers decided to terraform and use a planet as the base of their operations. Unfortunately, with limited resources, this would take a very long time. Over time, the new Collectors - dubbing themselves the "Chimera" - rechristened the Reapers, now converted to biological matter, as "Angels".
    • The next ship contained no husks, but plenty of Indoctrinated humans and aliens. Harbinger gave it the tools to construct a modified Mass Relay that allowed it to gather enough energy to rip into other realities, and sent it to another universe - and modified smaller Reapers to accompany it and spread their Indoctrination. Christening itself the "Combine", it began to spread its forces among less advanced civilizations, one even a human civilization itself. The Reaper sent an Indoctrinated scientist to prepare this human civilization for its coming: a scientist named Dr. Wallace Breen.
    • Advertisement:
    • The next reaper wasn't so lucky, but it did have some genetic capabilities. Though it was badly damaged and quickly "dying", it modified its materials to become a self-replicating parasite, capable of adapting to a species to destroy them, and very hard to destroy. (Harbringer really was obsessed with having organics destroy themselves with organics.) These parasites were deemed "X" by the local civilization, a Prothean/Raloi offshoot calling themselves the "Chozo".
    • The final Reaper contained a great number of Asari prisoners, but its cargo of turian, krogan, and human were liquefied. The Reaper, also dying, liquefied the Asari and formed a miniature Reaper of sorts: "Myrrah", or so the base subject called itself, and gave her the knowledge to continue making husks. It taught "Myrrah" swarm tactics, like the Earth insect known as "Locusts". Myrrah thought this appropriate, and named her Reaper faction the "Locust", vowing, despite her lessened resources, to destroy the local human planet, a place called Sera.

  • Hey, how about the Shivans? Haestrom's sun destabilizing may have been a Reaper effort to see if they could accelerate the rate in which a star dies, and the Shivans may have been indoctrinated several millenniums before the Protheans. This could explain one of the things about how the sun in Capella had gone supernova in a matter of hours in the Freespace 2 ending.
    • Or the Strogg, which are also a race of militant, genocidal machines who inflict horrendous torture and convert organics into their foot soldiers.

The Earth will become the new capitol of Galactic Civilization
  • Think about it. After the final battle there are millions of aliens from all of the major races stranded in the Sol system, plus the ruins of the old capitol are floating in orbit above Earth. Even if they did repair the Citadel, with the mass relays gone, they might not be able to move it back where it was before - and with the relays gone the non-geth/quarian races might not have enough supplies for the long flight back home.

The Reapers won and assimilated the human race...
  • The final battle and endings of the gave take place in a sort of Reaper Instrumentality into which Shepard has been assimilated. The ending choices represent Shepards response to Instrumentality: The destroy ending represents Shepard rejecting it, the control ending represents Shepard striving to dominate it, and the synthesis ending is Shepard embracing it. CONGRATULATIONS Shepard!

Shepard will be in an Alliance prison at the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
In the "Arrival" DLC, Shepard was forced to wipe out an entire Batarian system to delay the Reapers' invasion. Admiral Hackett told Shepard at the end of that mission that the Batarians would use the incident as an excuse to go to war, the Alliance is more than willing to use Shepard as a fall guy to prevent it, and Shepard will eventually have to return to Earth and face trial. Presumably a guilty verdict will be predetermined to appease the Batarians, and Shepard will be locked up for however long it takes for the Reapers to arrive and start wrecking the galaxy's shit, at which point the Alliance will use the Reaper attack as an excuse to set Shepard free and send him back out to save everything. Should this be the case, part of Shepard's quest to defeat the Reapers will involve trying to convince a species that sees him as the greatest mass murderer in their history to simultaneously not declare war on humanity after his release and ally themselves with the rest of the galaxy to stop the Reapers. As for the gameplay angle, a couple of years in prison will be at least a passable reason to reset Shepard's stats for a third time (Unless Bioware follows through with their stated intention to not do that again, of course).
  • Jossed by recent demo videos, which have the Reapers attacking Earth while Shepard's trial is in progress.

Dealing with the Shadow Broker will be the first major goal of Mass Effect 3.
He was working for the Collectors, which means he might have ties to the Reapers. Thus, Shepard will focus on him as a person of interest to prepare for the coming invasion. As an added bonus, dealing with him will free Liara to join your crew.
  • Jossed, since in the DLC you whack the Broker dead and have Liara take his place. If you didn't play it then Liara raided the lair alone and lost Faron.

Mass Effect 3 will be Dragon Age: Origins IN SPACE where you spend the whole game running around gathering allies to face the Reaper threat.
The major factions to recruit will be the quarian Migrant Fleet using Tali (if she lived), the geth using Legion (if it lived), the krogan (not sure how they'll fight in space, but useful on the ground) using their clan leader, the Alliance through Anderson or Hackett, and the Citadel fleet by finally convincing the Council to stop being stupid. Those last two will also be the last to be convinced, only coming to your side once the Reapers have thoroughly reaped their way through a good portion of the Milky Way. Alternatively, the Citadel is the first place to be conquered by the Reapers and they make it into their base of operations, thus making it much easier to convince everyone else.
  • Logic would dictate that the krogan can fight effectively in space. How else could the Rebellions last for centuries?
    • Krogan fight in space by being launched at the enemy via torpedoes. Individually.
      • The above troper just made my day.
  • It is, in fact, entirely likely that you have actually been doing this since Mass Effect. The Rachni Queen on Noveria? If you save her, she sends you a message in Mass Effect 2 telling you that she's rebuilding her race and will fight for you when the Reapers arrive. During Tali's loyalty mission, if you suggest to the quarian admirals that they should seek peace with the geth, they'll do exactly that come Mass Effect 3, and you'll already have the Migrant Fleet and Legion's true geth on your side. If Wrex survives Mass Effect and you do the loyalty missions for both Mordin and Grunt, thus eliminating some of Wrex's rivals, you'll also start the game with the Krogan armies on your side too. Although it's quite possible that this outcome will occur even if Wrex dies, since Shepard's actions on Tuchunka in ME2 will have left Urdnot Wreav equally indebted to Shepard.
  • You're forgetting the batarians. They will be the biggest pain in the ass to recruit, and will probably only agree after their colonies start getting slaughtered by someone not Shepard. Either they're the last race you recruit or there are consequences if you wait too long to recruit them. Like what happens when you wait too long to get your crew back in ME2: the longer you take, the more of their colonies get slaughtered, and the less they can contribute when you do recruit them. But if you get them early, they give you the biggest bonus out of anyone. But it'll be a major bitch to do it.

There will be many, many Heroic Sacrifices.
  • Several are likely for returning squadmates for ME 2, to make room for new characters, or simply to provide a badass sendoff on a particular Wham Level. Imagine, if you will, Tuchanka under attack, fire raining from the sky, armies of husks and indoctrinated krogan assaulting Urdnot's compound, and then Wrex and Grunt pulling Back-to-Back Badasses, Dual Wielding krogan shotguns, blasting scions, maybe even siccing a Thresher Maw on something before eventually they realize that all hope is lost, yell some ancestral krogan war cry, and then krogan-charge headlong into their opponents as the screen fades to black.
  • A particular one that struck This Troper as a Moment of Awesome would make an excellent Wham Cutscene: The Citadel under seige by an overwhelming Reaper attack force, maybe civilians evacuating to Ilos through the Conduit, and possibly a mission into the Citadel core (fighting off waves of keepers?) to unlock any possible defenses. However, it all proves naught, and as Shepard & Co. leave through the Conduit, the Council/Human Council decide to stay. And then, as the Reapers descend, the turian Councilor simply looks up from the Presidium at the massive shadow blocking out the sky, and delivers his immortal line, "Ah, yes, Reapers." He then triggers the overload of whatever MacGuffin is powering the Citadel, destroying the station and the entire Reaper attack force with it.
    • Better: The human councilor gives the universes greatest "What the hell were you thinking" glare then quotes the Turian Councillor and sets off the MacGuffin.
  • The ultimate Tear Jerker/Moment of Awesome : The Reaper fleet engages the Quarian fleet while they hold the line. After a hard fought battle with thousands of Quarians dead and the Reapers are about to break through, the entire Geth armada comes out of FTL and launches a suicidal assault that absolutely curb-stomps the Reaper forces attacking the Quarian fleet. If Bioware is reading this page then PLEASE make it so.
    • If you screw up negotiations with the quarians, some of the Migrant Fleet will start firing on the geth, causing them to either return fire or back off, resulting in the Migrant Fleet's destruction.
  • The Earth escape mission which opens the game. Thane and Mordin, both with their limited life spans, elect to stay behind to hold off the Husks while the Normandy escapes. Mordin goes down quickly and eventually we see a final image of Thane, standing alone atop a pile of dead husks, watching the Normandy break atmosphere and escape, knowing he's finally atoned.
    • Mordin definitely isn't on Earth at that point, as he's encountered later on.
  • If Legion sacrificed itself to save Tali. Tali is going to town with her shotgun blazing when a bunch of troops land behind her. Suddenly Legion runs in front of Tali mowing the soldiers down with his assault rifle while getting hit with an insane amount of fire. Upon seeing it become horribly damaged Tali runs to Legions side.
    Legion: Creator Tali'Zorrah, DO Geth have a soul? We have not run processes concerning "death", Geth have never regarded it as a possibility, but we find ourselves... afraid. We are afraid of death. Do we... Do I.. have a soul?
    Tali: Yes Legion... Yes, you have a soul. All things that live do.
    Legion: Then I am not simply a machine? I am truly alive?
    Tali: Of course you are. You are alive. How could you not be? You are my friend.
    Legion: I, Geth, am alive. Thank you, Creator Tali'Zorah. I hope you are correct... (static as systems fail)
  • Given Bioware's history with Mom's, on the raid of the Illusive Man's hideout when he is about to kill Shepard then Hannah jumps in the way of the shot sacrificing her life to save the life of her child then Shepard gives a [[:Big"NO!"]] then go's into [[:Unstoppable Rage]] and then kills him with a point blank shot to the head then starts to cradle his/her dying mother and she is giving a [[So Proud Of You Final Speech]] and the rest of the crew that was participating enters at the last moment and the camera pan's to the back of shepard and hannah say's "I love you and I am very proud of you" then shows shepard shedding a [[single tear]].
  • If you cheated on your ME1 love interest and failed to make up with them, then there will be a situation where they coldly leave your current LI to die. However, if you DID earn their loyalty again, they'll try to save your current love interest instead, which may or may not result in their own death. If you stayed faithful to your ME1 love interest, then the situation is reversed, and whichever possible ME2 LI you were closest to will sacrifice themselves instead.
  • There will indeed be many sacrifices. Some heroic, some pointless, all tragic.

Shepard can be promoted to Captain after the final battle.
  • If the player gets an ending where the Reapers are defeated and the upper structure of the Alliance is at least somewhat intact, the Alliance brass will reward Shepard with formal command of the Normandy and a promotion to Captain to boot. Shepard's technically a Lieutenant Commander, and under U.S. Navy protocols, the promotion would be a two rank jump, but under the circumstances, what with saving the galaxy from total destruction and all, it's the very least they could do. If Shepard beats the Reapers but dies in the process, the Alliance will make the promotion posthumously in honor.
    • There is a list of actual ranks in the Alliance Navy on the ME wiki, just fyi. Also, if you save the galaxy, forget captain—you deserve to be an Admiral! Or maybe you can become the next Human Councilor!

Mass Effect 3 will detail a years-long war with the Reapers, from their arrival up to their defeat/victory.
  • Anyone who survived the first two games will help or hurt you in some capacity. The game will either start or end at Earth. Oh, and as per the Mass Effect 2 ending the Reapers will get a humanoid Reaper built by the end of the game. Renegade Sheperd may or may not finally get to do a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Keeping your love interest from all the way in the first game will have a massive payoff. Oh, and one possible ending is to marry a squadmate of your choosing.
      • It doesn't matter how long you've had a love interest, if you remain loyal, you get to marry them.
      • Alternatively, if you play things right, you can get the Tecnhci Solution if you cheated.

Mass Effect 3 will entail...
  • The Reapers coming to beat down the organics, regardless of whether you were a total Paragon, gaining the loyalty of the rachni (via queen), possibly geth (via Legion or their own will), etc etc, largely because Shepard will go off to discover the Reapers' origin.
  • This will then culminate with Shepard pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment, infiltrating the 'Boss' Reaper, and then... lecturing him to death, pointing out the flaws within its plan (going with the Well-Intentioned Extremist theory... that or pointing out that it was made by organics (since machines are made, not born/created - that logic).
  • If you did enough research, the Reaper explodes. If you don't (or did not get sufficient evidence), then it will culminate with a massive boss battle with a Reaper-Mech.
  • And Wrex will save you with the Krogan-statue-mech.
  • And if you Logic Bomb the Reaper, Cerberus will hijack it.
  • And you will still have the sudden genre shift to mecha battles.... with Shepard in the Statue of Liberty.
    • This Troper prefers Rodina Mat' Zovyot!, as she has a sword.
      • Shepard will have to choose between the two, then fight in it against the other. Which will be piloted by the Illusive Man. In a three-way fight against the Reaper-Mech.
      • Of course, Liberty Enlightening the World is headless, thanks to D Onovan Hock.
      • She was restored.

Mass Effect 3 will completely break Bioware's formula and crazily subvert everyone's expectations.
  • By now people have noticed the "four main quests to complete, SURPRISE Reveal after the third, and then upshift into the endgame" formula that Bioware uses for its biggest hits like Knights of the Old Republic, the original Mass Effect, and Dragon Age: Origins. (Disclaimer: I have never played Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights, or indeed finished Dragon Age: Origins, so I do not know if those actually subvert the formula in any way.) Mass Effect 2 mucked with that a little bit by making the majority of the quests largely focused on the characters before upshifting into the endgame. It follows, then, that Mass Effect 3 will not adhere to the aforementioned formula in the slightest. Sure, it'll be about Shepard's final battle against the Reapers, but you won't be gathering allies like Dragon Age or MacGuffins like Knights of the Old Republic. It will be this crazy new formula that no one is expecting and will blow everyone's minds. Extreme divisiveness will ensue, and no one will be sure quite what to make of it all, but the game will receive several confused Game of the Year nominations because of it.
  • My personal prediction? Galaxy-wide Real-Time Strategy. When the Reapers attack, Shepard will be promoted to Admiral and given the task of guiding Alliance and Citadel forces across the Milky Way to ward off the scuttlefish overlords before it's too late.
  • Nah, just kidding. Bioware will come up with something more original than that.
    • I WANT that as a spinoff game.

Mass Effect 3 will turn the standard Bioware conversation on its head.
In most (if not all) Bioware games conversations tend to go like this: the PC says one or two sentences and the NPC they're talking to starts talking at length about their backstory, mission objectives or any needed exposition. Mass Effect 3 will invert this formula for the first time; at some point Shepard will have a conversation with someone (probably his/her love interest or maybe someone like Joker or Captain Anderson). And for once the NPC will be the one asking the one or two sentence questions while Shepard goes on at length about who he/she is and why they act the way they do. This will give players another chance to really customize their Commander Shepard as it will let them choose not only what Shepard does but help them explain why Shepard acts the way he or she does.
  • Please, Bioware, do this. The way I play Shepard is a weird combination of Paragon and Renegade that largely consists of using Renegade methods but going Paragon on the big choices and being good to the crew and allies. I want the opportunity to do this.
    • But doesn't a player already know why Shepard acts as he does? Wouldn't you already understand your Shepard's motivations and reasoning?
    • Yes, but there's a difference between what the player knowing the character's motivation and the character acting that way. Outside of a few instances Shepard hasn't really gone into the hows and whys of how s/he acts and when s/he does it normally doesn't affect much beyond a few lines of dialogue. But imagine combining the epic Paragon Speech against Al-Jilani with the heartfelt intimacy of catching-up with Liara at the end of Liar of the Shadow Broker. That's what this would be: no moral choices, no Paragon/Renegade, just Commander Shepard talking about being Commander Shepard.

Mass Effect 3 will feature a mission involving a war between the batarians and the Alliance.
  • It will involve the Leviathan of Dis, and will eventually come down to a Sadistic Choice between brokering peace (which preserves the batarian military for the fight against the Reapers, and limits the suffering of innocents) or helping the Alliance to conquer baterian space. To make it harder the mission will feature at least one villain who will get away with it if you broker peace, and sympathetic batarians who will die if you allow the Alliance to win. No matter what you choose at least one character will say What the Hell, Hero?.
    • That feels like something that should be left to later games in the franchise, rather than the game that's supposed to revolve entirely around the Reapers.
      • ... This is the last game in the franchise. Bioware keeps going on about how much the story can diverge because there's nothing after ME3.
      • Dude... I just realized. The batarian-human war will be part of the MMO!
    • Remember, the batarians possess the Leviathan of Dis, a vast organic dreadnought. Given what we've learned about the Reapers it is almost certain that it is somehow connected to them, and given the batarian love of taking slaves I wouldn't be surprised if they've been repairing it over these past years.
      • It's a corpse. Reverse-engineering it, on the other hand...
      • Although the Leviathan hasn't made an appearance, the batarians are indeed out for blood following "Arrival", what with Shepard blowing up one of their star systems and all.
      • The Levithan does get mentioned. It was based on Reaper Tech and indoctrinated the Batarian Hegemony.

Mass Effect 3 will feature a loyalty mission for EDI.
She'll start to slide towards the Reapers' side, and Shepard will have to talk her back. If you fail, she'll be reprogrammed... with a grenade.
  • No loyalty missions for anybody.

EDI will become a Robot Girl.
Between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, Shephard or Joker will become attached enough to EDI as a friend to have an android body constructed for her. She may become a playable squad mate with heavy Tech/Hacking abilities.
  • Confirmed!

The bulk of the forces opposing the Reapers will consist of the former "bad guy" races while the Citadel races twiddle their thumbs and hope the problem goes away.
  • Things aren't looking exactly confidence-inspiring with the Council or the Alliance, but the geth, and potentially the rachni and the krogans are more than happy to offer a hand in the coming war. Maybe in Mass Effect 3 you get to convince the batarians and the vorcha to join the party, and then finally triumphantly march to the Council with an entourage of everybody they wanted to keep a million miles away from the Citadel.
  • Nope. Every race is fighting as hard as it can against the Reapers.

There will be a Heel–Face Turn character in Mass Effect 3.
  • Well, this (usually as the 11th-Hour Ranger) and a romantic subplot are Bioware's two favorite tropes that drift from game to game with no aversions. Note that Legion doesn't count as this, because they were never even tangentially evil to begin with. And while we are on Bioware tropes, there will be a character that can say "Well, fuck this, I don't like you, Shepard. I quit."
  • Confirmed, several characters can inadvertantly turn against Shep forcing him/her to kill them.

Anyone Can Die will be in effect for Mass Effect 3 as well.
  • Sure, it'd be a blatant reuse of the trope that the second game was pretty much entirely based around. However, it was a good way to emphasize that your decisions can have real consequences in the game world, and it is in fact possible to screw things up so badly that you won't make it out alive. The worst ending of the second game had everyone dead but Joker. Following the Rule of Cool and Up to Eleven, then, the worst ending of the entire series will end in total, complete, abject failure — the Reapers destroy the Alliance/Citadel fleets, Harbinger executes Shepard personally, Earth is harvested and destroyed, and the Reapers retreat back into dark space for the next 50,000 years to wait for the next poor bastards to rise out of the primordial muck. But that's only if you screw up all the story missions.
    • Not to mention having all of Shepard's fish die. That was a bad day, all things considered.
  • I'd say the real Bad End involves Shepard being indoctrinated and helping the Reapers wipe out the galaxy.
  • Many but not all can die if the wrong choices were made.

To expand from the above, while in Mass Effect 2 squad members could die, in Mass Effect 3 entire planets can be destroyed.
  • Including Earth. Once again you can have Everybody Lives ending if you're really good and do everything just right, but otherwise you're going to lose entire civilizations. In the worst case scenario only the quarian Migrant Fleet and whatever refugees manage to band together with them succeed in fleeing the known areas of the galaxy to seek a new home, while the surviving Reapers ravage their home planets, while in the best you'll get away with the loss of a few small colonies.
    • This troper envisioned a scenario whereby you use Conduits to move troops between multiple worlds. Having the rachni, geth, and/or krogan on your side will make it possible to get an Everybody Lives ending.
    • Remember that old ME1 "Signal Lost" advertising campaign? I think it is VERY likely that ME3 will include the loss of at least a few planets.
      • I'm pretty sure only colony planets would be doomed by the plot no matter what you do, but you'll have the oppurtunity to save the home planets of every race.
Confirmed in the "bad ending" with Earth.

In Mass Effect 3 you can choose to side with the Reapers.
  • This option will not be Paragon or Renagade since both are actually heroic. You will also be made into a Reaper.
    • The worst Bad End involves Shepard getting indoctrinated while still remaining competant. Then the galaxy dons their brown pants.

Mass Effect 3 if Shepard dies.
  • You do NOT have to start a new save file, in fact, there is no choice to. Instead:
    • The turian Councilor will stand on a balcony of the tower as the Reaper Fleet approaches. "Ah, yes," he will say as they approach, "the 'Reapers'. We have dismissed that claim." As he says this, the fleet disappears from existence. The credits roll.
      • You win at life forever.

Mass Effect 3 will take the concept of Old Save Bonus and take it Up to Eleven.
  • BioWare really wants player decisions to have an impact throughout the entire trilogy and, although we got a taste of what they meant by that in the second game, they've stated they're going all out for the third. Highlights most likely include:
  • Everyone survived the suicide mission only if you imported a game with the No One Left Behind achievement. Otherwise, only the potential love interests survived.
  • Shiala will be a recruitable love interest, but only if you spared her in the first game and helped her with her quest in the second.
  • Gianna Parasini will be recruitable, but she'll only be a love interest if you're male and helped her with her quests in the previous two games.
  • The rachni will show up as Big Damn Heroes during the final battle, but only if you spared the rachni queen in the first game. Otherwise, Shepard will be faced with a Sadistic Choice.
  • The choices you made concerning the rachni, the genophage cure, the Migrant Fleet, the geth and the Collector base will most likely differ from the default decisions in the final game and will help or hinder you during the final battle since it will determine how many allies you have.
  • If you stop Garrus from killing Sidonis he will come back in ME3 and pull a Heroic Sacrifice saving Garrus' life. Otherwise he dies or Shepard is faced with a Sadistic Choice.
  • The family members of the person you left behind on Virmire will confront Shepard at his/her trial at the beginning of ME3.
    • And the survivor will show up to defend you after being a dick when you met on Horizon.

Mass Effect 3 will keep the concept of Old Save Bonus just as cosmetic as Mass Effect 2 did.
  • In other words:
    • Another excuse for a Bag of Spilling is added.
      • They've said they don't want to do that.
      • And it was greatly jossed. If you import a save from Mass Effect 2, Shepard starts at the level that he was in the end of the second game.
    • Liara will be the only returning party member, since she's the only one guaranteed not to be dead. The others will have token appearances only, as Ashley/Kaidan/Wrex did in Mass Effect 3.
      • The Virmire Survivor and Garrus (if he survived the suicide mission) have also been confirmed.
      • As well as Tali. Wrex, Mordin and Legion make appearances and help with the plot, but we don't know if they'll even be temporary squadmates. I'd put money on the rest of the ME2 crew to show up as well for at least a cameo role. I would also think that the potential Love Interests might play a significant role.
    • The choice to save the Citadel Council or not continues to affect absolutely nothing important. As will the choice to give the Collector Base to Cerberus.
      • If they died, you meet their replacements in the third game. Cerberus salvages a different part of the Human-Reaper depending on if you spared the base or not. It can be recovered as a war asset later.
    • The rachni, if saved, will make only a minor appearance. Maybe a short encounter between Shepard and the queen in which (s)he can convince them to help against the Reapers, followed by their ships participating in the background of some big multi-species fleet cutscene(s) later. This will not affect the outcome of any battle.
      • Alternatively, the rachni will turn out not to be as extinct as everyone thought and the only difference between saving the queen or not is if the rachni representative you inevitably must convince to help already knows Shepard or not.
      • An artificial rachni queen is created by the Reapers if the real one is killed. If you spare this one, then you will regret it. However, sparing the real queen will help you.
    • The choices to rewrite the geth heretics or to give Tali's father's research to the Admiralty Board mean nothing. There will be a war between the quarians and the geth, and Shepard must end it one way or another to get one or both to help against the Reapers.
      • Seems to be confirmed. A mission in ME3 is going to involve resolving the geth/quarian conflict.
      • Rewriting the heretics hinders you in the third game.
    • The genophage will be cured regardless of your choices. Shepard must somehow prevent the krogan from getting all conquest-happy and convince them to help with the Reapers.
      • Curing the genophage is a major objective, but you can choose whether to or not. Depending on choices in the previous games, this turns out either to be a good or a bad idea.
  • I'd like to point out that ME3 is designed to be playable and replayable by even players who have never played ME1 or ME2. Whether or not you imported save data and what you did in it will only affect how difficult it is to achieve certain goals, not whether or not you can.

We will encounter a dreadnought named Newton in Mass Effect 3.
  • Normally, Alliance dreadnoughts are named after mountains, while carriers are named after famous humans. However, construction on the carrier SSV Newton had only begun at the time of the Battle of the Citadel, enough that it could be re-purposed as a dreadnought. It was to be renamed McKinley, but the crew vetoed the idea, as the "Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space" speech is legendary among Alliance gunnery crews. After the XO apparently threatened Admiral Hackett with a copy of the Principia, the original name was retained.
    • Servicemen Burnside and Servicemen Chung will be the main gunners. Eventually their sensors will get damaged to the point where one of them will say to the other to 'just eyeball it!'
    • EDI will leave the Normandy in Joker's capable hands and hijack the Newton's systems after A) a bunch of the crew gets spaced, specifically the bridge personnel and weapons operators or B) after it gets hijacked by the indoctrinated Cerberus, in which case EDI spaces them. And then she murders some nearby Reapers, possibly a Heroic Sacrifice if you screwed things up.
  • A ship named Newton would probably be a carrier. The different classes of Alliance ships have different themes. Dreadnaughts are named after famous Earth mountains, carriers are named after scientists. It will still be the deadliest sonova bitch in space, because carriers (and their many hangars of small fighters) are a human innovation and a zillion tiny targets may prove to be more dangerous to the Reapers than a giant ship that can be killed in one blow.
  • Unfortunately such a ship never appears. Shame as it might have been a good joke to write in.

Mass Effect 3 will end with a Distant Finale.
  • One which can only be viewed if the player plays Shepard solely as a Paragon or Renegade through all three games. In either case, both possible endings will show the galaxy 50,000 years from now, roughly around the time of the Reapers' next cycle.
    • The Paragon variant will show humanity's descendants fulfilling much the same role as the Protheans did for whatever sapient species have sprung up this time around. The Citadel will have been retired as a center of galactic civilization and alternatives to Mass Relays will have been discovered. Furthermore, the predominant religion of this utopian society will be a form of monotheism venerating the god who stood against the Machine Devils from Beyond The Stars and drove them back into the darkness whence they came forevermore. Though his true name has long since been lost to the sands of time, the peoples of the galaxy have christened their Messiah the Shepard.
      • I award you the extranet
    • Conversely, the Renegade version will show a galaxy much as it was during the height of the Prothean empire: a single species as the dominant power in the Milky Way, with a civilization spanning thousands of worlds and capable of wonders beyond imagination. And at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished as the keepers - newly resubjugated - receive the signal from the current vanguard and open the relay to dark space, allowing the Reapers to come pouring through. At the head of their illimitable fleet is the greatest and youngest among their number, a butcher of worlds and civilizations even before their conversion to a perfect, mechanical existence... the second Human-Reaper, Shepard.
      • "There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own, you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Shepard. And this my is my favorite species to harvest."
      • That sounds more like a Bad End than a Renegade end. For Renegade, humanity would be the dominant—and perhaps only—sentient race in the galaxy. They would remember Shepard much more realistically than your Paragon ending religion, as a legendary war hero who saved humanity in spite of the rest of the galaxy's complacency. At around the 50,000 year mark, they wouldn't be preparing their defenses—they'de be going on the offensive, going into dark space to murder the Reapers once and for all. Or perhaps to start colonizing other galaxies.
  • For a Paragon ending, there's a quiet scene of a uniformed person (human male or female, or an asari) at a memorial to the Normandy (both of them) in a garden with a statue of each of the team members, with Shepard's in the middle, of course. A junior officer runs up and informs the officer that there's been a call for help due to an unexpected threat from a newly opened mass relay, and calls him/her Captain Shepard. The captain looks up that the Shepard statue, says "I have to go, Mom/Dad" (thus the possibility of an asari) and cuts to the bridge of a multispecies-crewed ship, including unmasked quarians, as he/she assumes the command position and gives the order to go. Outside shot of an obviously powerful warship named Normandy hitting the mass relay and flashing out.
    • Thus achieving the Triple Crown of Heartwarming, Awesome, and Tearjerker.
  • Confirmed. An old man relaying the tale of Sheperd and his/her crew to a young audience. The old man being voiced by Buzz Aldrin.

Paragon Shepard's actions will result in a huge backfire.
  • Seriously. Let's look at most major results of your actions as a Paragon. Council: saved. Krogans: more likely to be your side, thanks to Wrex. Rachni: on your side. Geth and quarians: are going to stop the war, on your side, both. Collectors' base: destroyed. Am I the single person who sees a severe disbalance here? Seriously. You've got, like, half the galaxy of friends. Thus, there will be a major help for Renegade or backfire for Paragon Shepard. Say, the Collectors' base containing a lot of immensely useful technology which will help to destroy the Reapers. The Council being indoctrinated by Reapers. Some treachery. Et cetera.
    • As one of the purported strengths of the Mass Effect series is that Paragon and Renegade are equally effective, this would only work if there was an enormous backfire for Renegade Shepard too. Say, humans defeat the Reapers but are then turned upon by the rest of the galaxy and exterminated. Otherwise, I'm of the opinion the "major help" for Renegade Shepard would involve the entirety of the human race.
      • And that's exactly what I'm implying: equally effective. By now, they are not equally effective. Renegade's actions already result in a major backfire: you have neither Council nor the rachni on your side, plus dealing w/ krogans, geth and quarians is harder. The sole thing that will help you on your quest is the Collectors' base.
      • A Renegade solution to the quarian's/geth might not be as lopsided as it initially appears. It's somewhat implied during Tali's loyalty mission that Rael'Zorah's team was very close to a huge breakthrough in hacking the geth (and Legion's mission shows that it is possible to "brainwash" the geth). A Renegade could still easily have the quarians and their geth legions onside.
    • I don't think Mass Effect is there on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Paragon actions might appear to backfire, and the reapers will cackle at Shepard for his naivety, but a second later, there would be a huge Big Damn Heroes moment as the rachni warp in, the geth sacrifice themselves to shield the Migrant fleet, and the turian councillor fights off his indoctrination, seizes a pack of grenades, and throws himself into the Reaper core. If they wanted to balance it, the obvious answer is this: the Paragon has more resources, but s/he also has more s/he wants to defend. A Renegade would be quite happy if Earth is all that's left of the galaxy. The Paragon wants to get everyone through this in one piece.
    "Does this unit have a soul?"
    • At above: This Troper actually almost cried just thinking about it. D'awww.
    • This troper can picture that: Legion is fatally injured with Tali as the only squadmate on-hand. Legion: Creator Tali'Zorrah, DOES Geth have a soul? We have not run processes concerning "death", Geth have never regarded it as a possibility, but we find ourselves... afraid. Do we... Do I have a soul? Tali: Oh, Legion... Yes, you have a soul. Legion: Thank you, I hope you are correct... (static as systems fail)
    • One possibility: the Council will be actively hostile towards Paragon!Shepard in Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. He'll have the combined forces of the krogan, the rachni, the geth and the quarians on his side, ready to fight the Reapers. That sort of large-scale preparation would be impossible to hide. I can see some people in the galaxy starting to call them "Shepard's Fleet." The Council, who still don't beleive in the Reapers, will assume Shepard is plotting a coup, and will send numerous Spectres or even a fleet to stop him. A big challenge for Paragon Shepard will be convincing the Council races to join up with him. Whether or not the Alliance is on your side depends on who you put in the Council seat.
      • Oo. Do we get to play a mission where we need to fight off multiple Spectres at the same time? I likey.
    • Renegade Shep could have the same help as Paragon Shep, actually. If pro-human and saving Reaper tech, humanity ends up being a heavily mechanized and cyborgized race - in place of say, geth, you'd have husks. In place of krogan, scions. Sure, you'd be giving up people but that's kind of the Renegade hat - doing whatever it takes to win.
  • Surprisingly enough some Paragon actions DO come back to haunt you. Saving the Heretic geth makes taking a third option in ending the Geth/Quarian conflict much harder. In a small scale not telling Kelly to change her identity while she is on the citadel causes her to be executed when Cerberus raids the Citadel to kill the council.
    • Although saving the Heretics does pay off slightly in the end if you do succeed at making peace between the two groups or picking the geth; depending on whether you save or rewrite them one of the groups will lose and the other gain 150 military strength, balancing the two out, but once the geth join you they get a small strength bump from their higher numbers.

Renegade Shepard will die like a punk at the end of the third game.
  • Methods may involve getting shot in the back by an alien teammate, getting impaled by the final boss, falling to his doom (again), or having a literal bridge drop on him. Why? Just to teach a lesson to those who think that being a dick to the rest of the galaxy pays off. Sorry, but there needed to be some balancing out of the "Things won't end well for Paragon Shepard" theories...
  • I doubt it. The pure Renegade path will probably lead to all the other races dying in the fight against the Reapers, leaving humanity indisputedly in charge. They could possibly be the only sentient species in existance when the dust settles.

Shepard will get to mock the Council with impunity in Mass Effect 3.
  • The Council, and the turian Councilor in particular, have always been massively dismissive of Shepard's claims through the first two games. In the end, this is going to bite them in the ass, as Mass Effect 3 is going to at some point reveal incontrovertible proof of the Reapers to them, and they'll realize they've been wrong the entire time.
  • This will possibly happen when the Council receives word of the Reapers attacking and utterly destroying some worlds, at which point they'll call back Shepard to grovel. The Paragon option will be to righteously declare how they were wrong and that they have to listen to him now.
  • The Renegade option, however, will be a truly epic sarcastic smackdown where Shepard verbally rips them to pieces in a blow-by-blow accounting of all their failings, noting that "obviously, since Reapers can't exist, these attacks are clearly the effect of my delusions becoming so strong they warp the fabric of reality!" The salarian and asari Councilors will note that this is all the turian Councilor's fault. Shepard will likely make use of airquotes at some point.
    • Said Renegade option will be labelled "Ah yes, Reapers" on the dialogue wheel.
    • This will not be the option, as the Renegade option will be to simply say "screw you" and disconnect. The "ah yes, reapers" option will be in gold and will require at least two levels each of Paragon and Renegade.
    • Alternate idea: as Reapers besiege the Citadel, the turian Councilor calls Shepard to ask for help. Renegade Shepard replies "Ah, yes, Reapers. We have dismissed that claim." and cuts him off, leaving him to die.
      • Renegade Shepard? My Shep is as Paragon as they come and I'm *still* choosing this.
      • Seconded!
  • I'd be satisfied if Shepard greeted them with "Ah yes, 'Councilor'" complete with quote fingers.
  • Shepard will also have the option of publically raking the Council over the coals for their negligence. The galaxy will lose faith in them, leaving Shepard and (maybe) the human Councilor effectively in charge. On the other hand, Shepard could choose to encourage the galaxy to stand united behind the the Council and fight together against the Reapers.
  • Nothing as extreme as suggested but the councilors will come to the realization that whenever they doubted Sheperd in the past, he/she was actually 100% correct. This time they trust you without the need for a mountain of concrete evidence.

Shpehard will get to kick the Turian Counselor sqauare in the ass.

General Septimus will return.
  • Remember him from the first game? How before falling into his spiteful slump, he was fairly respected? Well, why can't he show off WHY he got that position in the first place by being the first of the Citadel military to mount a competent defense against the Reapers? Further, having enough respect for Shepard that he believes whatever warning is sent about the mechanical monsters, and immediusiately sets up the trenches so to speak, all while the Council balks?
  • Septimus is never seen again.
  • General Septimus returns in a side quest on the Citadel, where he is attempting to stop Blue Suns. His full name is revealed: Septimus Oraka.

You will be able to hire the whole crew or even army, not just a party.
  • Seriously. In first game you had to perform a small surgical strike into the enemy territory to kill Saren. In the second game you had to act secretly and perform a small surgical strike to destroy the Collectors' base. Thus, having a small party of crazy killers was entirely justified (Mordin was the sole person who wasn't needed to be a killer, but still was one).
  • But in the third game another swarm of mooks to secretly fight through is just stupid, because you killed the Collectors, you destroyed the heretics, and the Reapers don't need another bunch of slaves, as they are coming themselves to kill organic stuff. You are very likely to stop working with Cerberus, thus you don't have a powerful organization at your hand which will help you gather an army... and they were never powerful to begin with.
  • Thus, you need to gather a mini-organization yourself. Recruting people will still have a major influence, but who said that some guy must be proficient in killing things to help you on your quest? He may stay on a planet to help you, he can become a part of your crew and stay on a ship, or you can take him to the planets as a specialist, not as another badass.

  • Some of these will be.
    • The survival of the first game's Love Interest or the second's.
    • The survival of humanity or the Citadel.
    • The survival of the geth or the quarians.
    • The survival of the krogans or the rachni.
    • The survival of Shepard or at least one planet.

  • What do I mean? Each of the allies you gain over the course of the games will work with someone(and someplace) you're already familiar with to stop a splinter fleet of Reapers, each led by a "Harvester Lord".
    • Omega: Clan Urdnot, alongside Aria (really Wrex's old rival) and her mob, as well as possibly the salarian STG. Reaper: Purgator= "Even by our standards, you are rejects. Worthless life. Your only salvation is destruction..."
    • The Citadel: The Rachni Swarm, alongside Citadel forces(turians and asari). Reaper: Executor: "Pathetic. Millions of years, and you mortals haven't bothered to try something new. These insectoids will not save you..."

The batarians will be involved in a big way.
  • Vague? Extremely! But much as the first game made a good effort to build up the geth as huge colossal pricks only to subvert it with Legion, way too much effort has gone into vilifying the batarians without some kind of payoff. My guess is a Neutral Good batarian crewmember, possibly a batarian abolitionist or freedom fighter. The Codex suggests that the reason batarians seem so evil is because the only representatives we see are the evil government and the criminals who escaped the planet. Alternatively, there may be some kind of batarian civil war - possibly the Reapers approach them with false promises of crushing humanity underfoot, much as they did the heretic geth.

Other than the Reapers, the other major foes of Mass Effect 3 will be the following:
  • Mr. Lawson, Miranda's father, who is rather ticked at Shepard for meddling in his family affairs.
    • If Miranda survives, you can get a mission to deal with him. Either because you blew up the Collector base (with Miranda's support) or just because they're indoctrinated, Cerberus tells Mr. Lawson where Oriana is. You either try to prevent him from getting her or rescue her after she's kidnapped.
  • The Shadow Broker, Liara's hunted them down and now it's payback time for the body snatch incident along with Thane's wife.
    • Jossed. If you complete "Lair of the Shadow Broker", after which The Shadow Broker (AKA Liara) is now on your side.
  • Cerberus, of course.
    • Cerberus is confirmed by Bioware to want Shepard dead. They've been indoctrinated.
  • Another Ardat-Yakshi.
    • The only other two in the galaxy are Samara's imprisoned daughters.
      • Those are the only ones Samara is aware of. Doesn't mean there aren't more.
      • Or the Reapers go out of their way to indoctrinate them. And then you have t help Smara kill her other two daughters, provided she survived ME2.
    • You fight numerous indoctrinated Ardat-Yakshi throughout the game. Including Morinth if she survived.
  • The batarian higher-ups.
    • The mission to get them on your side will be the last or at least the hardest. They have a bad history with humanity in general and with Shepard in particular, sometimes all the way back to Shepard's origin.
    • Nope. The batarians have pretty much collapsed due to being the first to suffer Reaper attacks.
  • A faction of quarians led by Admiral Xen who is about to take control over the geth by force and then dominate the galaxy.
    • The quarians aren't really after galactic dominance, they just hate the geth and want their homeworld back. At best Xen will be your biggest opponent if you try to get them to ally with the geth and may try to kill you and any Admirals that support you (Koris).
    • Doesn't happen.
  • All of them will have an option when they're defeated to either finish them off in the name of justice/revenge/prevention of future acts or keep them alive in exchange for something that might help against the Reapers.
  • A Terminus Systems alliance group who is hellbent on making the Alliance pay for the humans killed during the Collectors incident (there were no survivors from the Collectors Reaper process IIRC, only Shepard's crew avoided the fate), led by human survivors, they plan to destroy all mass relays.
    • Actually, a couple colonists did survive. At least, if you hold off on going through the Omega-4 Relay, the pods that would normally hold your crew hold colonists, instead.
    • Doesn't happen.

The Cool Starship in Mass Effect 3 will be a Reaper
  • Really, they'll need a ship and just making the Normandy bigger and stronger again would be just lame. Could be:
    • A Reaper does a Heel–Face Turn.
    • EDI takes over a Reaper with the anti-Reaper algorithms mentioned in ME2.
    • Someone repairs the derelict Reaper you got the IFF from, possibly with parts salvaged from Sovereign's remains.
      • Might be tough, seeing as how it's crushed by the gas giant.
  • The Reaper will have a female humanoid avatar who is available as a squad member.
  • If this is true, there's some epic foreshadowing at the end of Mass Effect 2: that music that plays as the Reapers move into view? The ending of "The Normandy Reborn". Oh yeah.
  • Funny but Jossed. The Alliance takes apart the Normandy SR-2, studies it, and put it back together. And they keep EDI! But yeah, you get the Normandy SR-2.

Mass Effect 3 will contain a choice that causes either Tali, or Garrus, to die.
  • They did this with Ashley/Kaidan, and what better way to impress upon the player that sacrifices have to be made, than to kill one of the 2 characters who will have gone through the entire game.
    • How about no. That one achievement we all know about greatly improved replayability. BioWare can't be that stupid.
      • I don't think I know about it. Unless you're talking about the one related to the Suicide mission?

Choosing your second-in-command will be a big decision in ME3.
  • When Shepard died at the beginning of ME2, it caused the Normandy crew to fall apart and scatter to the four winds. In order to make sure that doesn't happen again, you'll be able to choose one of your squadmates *cough*Garrus*cough* to take over the group should anything happen to Shepard. Naturally, near the end of the game there will be a section where Shepard is incapacitated and you'll have to play as whoever you chose earlier for a short time.
    • Miranda is already your XO, providing she survived. Garrus is unlikely to be your second-in-command - a turian in charge of a human vessel looking to save humanity from the Reapers is unlikely, even if he is completely awesome. If someone had to be put in charge of the galaxy-saving in Shepard (and Miranda's) stead, it would probably have to be Joker. He's not an action guy, but he is badass as all hell.
      • It's awesome just because it's unlikely. The Normandy's task is to save the galaxy, not merely humanity, and that's why putting the turian in charge would be heavily favoured by Paragon Shepard. Garrus is the strongest example of a party member trying to follow in Shepard's footsteps, even gathering a multi-species band to fight injustice in his absence. He's the perfect successor to a Paragon Shepard. It's worth noting that Miranda and Garrus are both approved fire team leaders at the end of Mass Effect 2, and hence, if this WMG is correct, both good leader choices.
    • Ashley or Kaidan could also work, if they return as squadmates.
      • Kaidan now holds the rank of Staff Commander, so it's likely he comes back as your XO, Miranda having left to do her own thing or being sent elsewhere by the Alliance. If Kaidan survives, then he is the same guy he was in ME1 and a great Executive Officer. If he died, the replacement is a stick-in-the-mud regulations-before-everything Frank Burns look-a-like that everyone hates.
      • Kaidan/ Ashley is made a Spectre, so I'd say it's an even match between them and Garrus. Miranda is capable, but doesn't engender and loyalty based on her personality.
    • Choosing anyone else won't be bad, but your social options will be limited.
      • I'm sorry, you don't think making Jack your XO might have negative consquences?
    • Jacob's a decent possibility. Experienced Alliance soldier, experienced Cerberus operative, and he mentions that he has captained a ship before back when he was a Corsair.
    • Captain Anderson (If he's in the squad) would be a pretty decent choice.

Harbinger will be The Dragon in ME3.
  • Harbinger (noun): a person or thing that foreshadows or foretells the coming of someone or something. You could easily argue that Harbinger is foreshadowing the Reapers' return, but this was pretty much a given. In ME3 Harbinger will be The Dragon to the true Big Bad, the leader of the Reapers.
    • He's the Big Bad. The codex also reveals that he is both the oldest and most powerful Reaper of them all.
    • Confirmed: Harbinger and all the other Reapers are all servants of the Catalyst, the AI that lives in the Citadel and controls the Cycle.

If you Earn Your Happy Ending, that ending will be....
  • The best possible Paragon ending (if you do everything right, and are somehow able to save the Galaxy with as little loss of life as possible, are able to fully do your romance option and survive, all while not being a complete maniac-asshole..) will see:
    • You getting a big parade.
    • The Citadel Species becoming a political entity that is something akin to The Federation of Star Trek fame. You get a choice that lets you either become its first President, its first Admiral or you can simply retire.
    • The Keepers, finally free of the Reapers' will and modifications, regain sentience and reveal the secrets of the Citadel to the Galaxy.
    • Joker's Vrolik Syndrome is cured.
    • You and your romantic option get married (if possible).
    • And then, maybe a year or two later, you are honored as the now-unified Citadel Fleet unveils it's new flagship: "Normandy-3". Shep glances at his/her Wife/Husband/Whatever (if Shep is male and married to a human or asari, the wife will be noticeably pregnant, same goes for a Fem Shep and a asari), and then at Joker, and then at the other Squad/Crew members from the past 3 adventures who are still alive, and then says: "Well, a ship like this... it'll need a good crew." Maybe it'll be meant as a joke, maybe it is meant as a wish or a order... but no matter what, one thing is clear: The Adventures Never Truly End.
    • Shepard dying in bed after a long life.
    • Maybe you get your crew together to exterminate the Reapers in dark space? Even with the most powerful galactic alliance, the best I expect is to drive them away. Unless they'll die if the have to retreat to dark space again, in which case they'll fight to the last Reaper.

Mass Effect 2's ending determines how Mass Effect 3 starts.
  • If you chose Paragon, and destroyed the base, the game starts with you storming Cerberus main base of operations and capturing TIM as well as key members of the organisation, deciding whether to turn them over to the Council, or excecute them yourself, as your first Paragon/Renegade choice in the game. After which your ties to the Alliance, and the Citadel are restored (along with your spectre status if you didn't already get it back), and you're promoted to Captain.
    • Staff Commander, actually. Shepard is a Lieutenant Commander (which are usually referred to simply as Commander).
      • While that's the situation in the first game, we have no idea if that's the same for the second. Staff Commanders are usually referred to as just Commanders; and after what Shepard did, then a promotion is the least s/he deserves. Not to mention they could just skip that rank and make him/her a Captain without being a Staff Commander first.
      • They technically could, but one would wonder why (other than bestowing upon him a rank that sounds more badass). If there were a promotion in between games, we would have probably been told, but I have to admit that can't be ruled out.
  • If you went Renegade and turned the base over to Cerberus, the game starts with you storming Cerberus main base of operations and usurping TIM as it's leader, sparing him and making him your subordinate, or killing him face to face, as your first Paragon/Renegade choice in the game. After which you have effectively taken over Cerberus, and they grow to become a force rivaling the Citadel in power thanks to the Collector tech.
  • Both are equaly effective in furthering your goals, just one is the 'do it right, not fast' path the other is the 'ends justify the means' path.
  • Actually, either way, it starts with you on Earth, under trial.
    • Also, much of Cerberus has been indoctrinated. No word of TIM's condition, though.

Midway through the game...
  • ...Shepard will be somehow be removed from play, by being mortally wounded or suffering a Heroic BSoD, leaving it up to your crew to move on with the game for a good deal of time without you.
  • Hmm... maybe you get to play as the Love Interest, who goes out and kicks ass, but gets pinned down/ cut off/ captured, and Shepard goes in and rescues them. Or maybe S Hepard's the one who gets captured amd the Love Interest rescues them?

You will have to fight off Reaper Indoctrination.
  • It'd be like the "fight off Morinth" scene, though much grander in scope. Here's a scenario as an example: During a major battle, Shepard takes a squad to board an enemy Reaper and destroy it from inside. As you fight through the Reaper's crew and onboard defenses, the Reaper will slowly try to indoctrinate you and your teammates. (Picture something like the Scarecrow sequences from Batman: Arkham Asylum: you're walking along shooting things, something mind-bending and horrifying happens as your mind unravels, and suddenly it shifts back to normal.) Once you reach a critical part of the ship, you'll be hit with a particularly strong wave. The only to beat it is by having sufficient Paragon/Renegade points, otherwise you'll get a Game Over as Shepard is fully indoctrinated. But even after you fight off the indoctrination, your squadmates won't have the same luck as they start to succumb. You'll have to snap them out of it, which will only be possible if you have an absurdly high Persuade/Intimidate score and if the squadmates are loyal. (It'll be easier if one of your squadmates is your Love Interest.) If you succeed, the spell is broken and you kick Reaper ass together. If not... your teammates draw weapons and turn on you, forcing you to kill them in a boss fight.
    • If you'd get an automatic Game Over for insufficient Paragade points, wouldn't that make the game Unwinnable for players who for some reason or another don't have a high-enough Paragade meter? For the sake of Gameplay, that's doubtful to be implemented unless the required Paragade needed is relatively low for that part of the game, it's an end-game Non-Standard Game Over equivalent to going through the Omega-Relay unprepared or something else.
      • Oops, didn't think of that. Ah well.
      • Alternatively, Shepard resists the indoctrination anyway, but a high Paragon/Renegade allows you to help your squadmates resist it. Otherwise, you're forced to kill one or both.
      • Why is a Game Over at that point a game breaker? If you're going through something as major as fighting off indoctrination, it would probably be at the end of the game, after you've been slowly exposed to more and more Reaper tech.

Miranda will play a very big role in Mass Effect 3.
As noted on this very wiki, Miranda can survive in several points on the suicide mission where other squad members would die. Even if she gets carried away by the seeker swarms, she pops up again later. It seems like the only way to get her to die is for Shepard to also die, rendering you unable to import a save. Ergo, she will be heavily involved in the plot in some way, most likely in connection to Cerberus.
  • Actually, it is possible to kill her by taking her to the final boss un-loyal or leaving her behind to Hold the Line with insufficient backup. That said, her plot armor is a sure sign that she will play a big role, and getting her killed will probably have a large effect on how ME3 plays out.
    • Debatable. While this troper thinks Miranda will have an important role to play (Connected to the Illusive Man, a Love Interest, and her father is implied to be a pretty powerful individual), it's possible the only she survives as long as she does in the Suicide Mission is that she has unique dialogue throughout it.

The Illusive Man will resurrect the Virmire sacrifice to lead Cerberus' forces against Shepard.
I mean think about it - in ME2, Shepard's made off with billions of Cerberus credits worth of technology, swayed some of his most loyal officers to his/her cause, possibly destroyed the Collector base, and conceivably has access to plenty of Cerberus secrets. TIM has to be pissed about this, so he orders the resurrection of the Virmire survivor in order to lead his forces. Sure, they were Alliance officers in life, but this time he puts in the control chip - he doesn't need the personality intact, and the abilities aren't essential, because he's looking for the psychological effect on Shepard.
  • I'm skeptical on this one because while you were a semi-charred corpse after your orbital re-entry, your friend was at or near ground zero of a nuke. I'm pretty sure your buddy is little more than vapour. Maybe that's the Renegade reaction to the situation *Ashley pops out and confronts you. You gun her down without missing a beat. When the Illusive Man goes all "What the Hell, Hero?", you point out that "Ashley" there was some clone and likely mind controlled to boot*.
    • Maybe they could wear a Cool Mask to hide their scarred face?

The storyline of ME3 will revolve around the series's titular effect.
After all, why else would you name it that way?

There is no other force as powerful as the mass effect in its titular universe. It is fundamentally a part of it; no other element is more essential in making the fiction work. It seems fitting, then, that the nature of the series' namesake—its origins and relation to the Reapers, as well as the workings of the mass relays—be explored in detail during the events of Mass Effect 3. I predict that not only will element zero, the mass effect, and the mass relays play a large role in the overall plot, but will be essential to its conclusion. Note that the relays have played a key role in the finales of both games. In fact...

The conclusion of ME3 will see the end of the mass relay network.
We will even have a hand in its termination. The plot of ME3 will have Shepard and crew working to defeat the Reapers by using the relays as weapons, setting up a nice little Hoist by His Own Petard scenario, but nonetheless extinguishing the relays' element zero cores. This would actually be an interesting conclusion to the trilogy; the Reapers are defeated, and the crew of the Normandy survive, but the galaxy's avenues of transport are cut. Depending on the mark left on the galaxy by Shepard, this either results in a long, yet peaceful process of attempting to reconnect with each other, or a violent dark age where all the species attempt to fend for themselves. As for the Commander and crew, they are left adrift, slowly planet-hopping their way across the galaxy, a band of brothers without abode, alone and yet together in a universe of wild adventure.
  • Or the game could have you slowly enabling humanity to develop an alternate form of FTL travel in sidequests throughout the game, leading to the game's big Paragon/Renegade choice, where either you share this new technology with the other species before destroying the relays to ensure a peaceful coexistence or keep it for humanity and establish a new galaxy-spanning human empire, as humans are the only ones who can travel the great distances required to keep the other species in line.
  • Partially confirmed, both endings destroy the network

At some point, probably towards the end, Joker will die.
Everybody likes Joker. He's just awesome. Which is why it would be the mother of all Player Punches to kill him.

The Council acknowledges that the Reapers exist, but insists that they're Not The Council's Problem.
When have the Council been of any assistance whatsoever? This is what they insisted about the Collector attacks, remember? Shepard stole the Normandy to save their Too Dumb to Live asses in Mass Effect 1, and they blew Shepard off so hard that once Mass Effect 2 started, it was work with Cerberus or hitchike from vanished colony to vanished colony. And they chewed Shepard out for it. And once Mass Effect 3 begins, they'll show their true colors. If Shepard is still with Cerberus, Shepard is a terrorist. If Shepard split with Cerberus, they'll consider Shepard tainted. If Shepard saved the rachni/krogan/geth, Shepard is a megalomaniac bent on galactic domination. If Shepard doomed the rachni/krogan/geth, Shepard is a genocidal madman who can't be trusted with the authority of a Spectre. It's Up To Shepard to save his species, and the whole galaxy. The narrator said that in as many words! All the Reapers have to say is that they only have a problem with Humans, and the Council will open the Citadel Relay, stand aside, and let them charge through. They're half-right; Humans are the species they want to use to make the next Reaper, and it was Humans who hurt them the worst. Everyone else is next of course, but for now, they're ignoring the rest of the Galaxy "Casablanca" style. Shepard had better be at least a Paragade - he'll need rachni, krogan and geth armies just to survive - and the Council will villify Humanity for allying with enemies of the Council. Shepard will have to fight off the turian peackeeping fleet, defend human networks from STG saboteurs, and protect human commanders from asari assassins. Shepard should have let them die in the first game - except if he did, the Reapers will simply indoctrinate even an All-Human Council.
  • Why would the Council want to openly betray and sabotage humanity of their own free will? They're jerks, and I wouldn't be surprised if they made your job harder, but they're first and foremost politicians. Openly and publically leaving an entire species to to be assimilated/destroyed by the Reapers would lose them countless points among the public, especially those who like humanity and don't want to see them destroyed. And besides, humanity is now part of the Council, so they're obligated to try to help them in some capacity. Will they try to get in Shepard's way for stupid reasons? Quite possible. Will they become a group of moustache-twirling villains for no good reason? Unlikely.
    • Confirmed. According to German gaming magazine Gamestar, not only are the Citadel races ignoring your pleas from the beginning, they claim they have nothing to do with this war. That is until the Reapers come knocking on their doorstep as well.

The Reapers aren't launching their full-scale invasion. The Reapers attacking Earth are an advance force that is normally positioned much closer to the galaxy in the event of the Citadel becoming unusable, usually relegated to to backup (or overkill) during previous cycles. The Reaper assault on Earth is not the beginning of the game, and may even be something a crafty Shepard can completely avert.
  • Jossed, Earth is definitely under invasion at the start of the game. No avoiding it. Earth is under attack, and you have to hurry your ass off-planet to not die.

The Reapers will begin rebuilding the Collectors and possibly Keepers.
For millennia, the Keepers and Collectors have been instrumental to the Reaper plan. The Keepers open the backdoor to the Citadel and let the Reapers take control of the galaxy, and the Collectors help create the next generation of Reapers. Now, the Keepers have been compromised by the Protheans' tampering, and the Collectors are kinda sorta dead. The Reapers will begin capturing other aliens and begin the process of turning them into replacements for their lost minions. The new Collectors (made up of just about every humanoid alien the Reapers can get their tentacles on) will be no less effective then their predecessors. However, the biggest change with these Collectors is that they're incomplete. The Reapers had millions of years to perfect the previous Collectors. Here, they only had a couple months to put them together. These Collectors' bodies will be a horrific mishmash of Collector and their original species, as the genetic engineering and Reaper implants haven't quite been perfected. (Picture a badly put together Collector-asari hybrid. Do the same for all the other aliens. From a designer's perspective, this also has the benefit of making several unique character models.) The Indoctrination isn't all there either, and every once in a while a Collector will break down sobbing and apologize, begging you to kill them while still attacking you. When this happens, it will always mean Harbinger is about to possess them. ("Please, tell my my family ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.") Though that last part might not happen since it could easily lead to narm.

The Reapers may or may not do the same for the Keepers, though they won't be as prominently featured. The "may not" part is because the Reapers could just fix the Keepers after they retake the Citadel.

The Reapers will trick the major Citadel races into infighting.
While Earth will be their biggest target (because they want to create more Reapers from humanity), the Reapers are smart enough to realize the other races could be a problem. They'll send out forces to cripple the turian, asari, and salarian armies. With their people dying, their economies in ruins, and resources spread too thin, the three major Council races begin ignoring their allies to tend to their own problems. Since the Council was founded on the idea of interspecies cooperation, outrage and hatred will spread as those ideals are being betrayed. The Council will do its best to make peace, but even they are falling prey to the infighting, and rumors of war breaking out are spreading. The Reapers essentially let their enemies deal with themselves while they focus on building more Reapers to help with the galactic genocide. However, the Reapers will make the mistake of not paying enough attention to the less prominent races, leaving them in the best position to help Shepard at the beginning of the game.

There will be a joke about how the Reapers want humanity's babies.
It kind of writes itself.
  • Yes, it does.

Resource gathering will become an even more important part of this game.
In the first game, collecting resources was a side mission of little to no real importance, something that was done while more important things were getting done, like exploring planets and star systems. In the second game, the vast majority of your weapons upgrades and the ship upgrades that effect the ending are based off of how well you can gather resources. So, in the third game, there will only be one mission - gather enough resources to create a Dyson Sphere large enough to house the entire galaxy (implausible/impossible as that is), which is covered with weapons on the outside and will use the energy of every star in the galaxy to laser the Reapers to death. The trailer is what happens if you take the lame way out and decide to play the game by actually gathering allies and fighting your enemies.

The crew of the Normandy are literally the only ones who can help
The game will start out with the Reapers attacking the Citadel and winning. The first playable level is Shepard trying to get the hell off and back to the Normandy before the Reapers kill everyone. The Reapers will then proceed to use the Citadel to knock out the mass relay system (there was something in the first game about them doing this to the Protheans). However, it makes no sense that they would knock out their main source of transportation across the galaxy. So, they will likely make the mass relays not work, except for Reapers. This is why, in the trailer, Big Ben says that Shepard has to get there soon. With the Reaper IFF, Shepard and the Normandy are the only ones able to use the relays, and thus spend the game travelling around, protecting each of the planets (Earth, Palaven, Migrant Fleet, etc.) and helping out the troops already stationed at the planets. The people you saved will help you out on the planets (Wrex on Tuchanka, Kal'Reegar for the Migrant Fleet, Ash/Kaiden on Earth) and may or may not join you to help on the other planets.
  • You actually start on Earth.

Human/Prothean connection
It will be revealed that Protheans had some hand in creating/modifying the human race. This is somewhat supported by in-game facts such as humans being monitored by the Protheans (the trinket the consort gave you, and that vision on Eletania), there's the fact they lived on Mars that, compared to Earth, isn't really ideal for life now, neither it was 50000 years ago. Also there is such a thing as Y-chromosomal Adam, a common male ancestor of all humans today who lived around the time period, and who could have been specially created by the Protheans (to add that genetic diversity Mordin mentioned, among other things), it could also explain why the Collectors were comparing their DNA to human DNA. And as to why would have the Protheans done this? I could think of several reasons ranging from simple genetic and medical research to them wanting to create a race of exotic sex slaves and/or workers, but you are welcome to add your own ideas.
  • For crying out loud, do some research about MRCAs before posting theories of an MRCA being a specific, fixed individual.
    • I went back and did some research and I'm not sure what the problem is, if you're saying that there couldn't have been a single common ancestor and that there had to be several, I'm okay with that, and now that I think about it it makes sense to use several modified humans to spread the desired traits faster (for the sake of diversity they are not identical clones spread over a large area, but different individuals that carry desirable traits, and the traits they carry can be different too). Also to add to the details that point to the Human/Prothean connection, after defeating the Shadow Broker you can have a conversation with Liara where she says that the the Shadow Broker believed there to be something else the Protheans left behind.
Whoever was left behind on Virmire comes back alive and indoctrinated.
Seriously, why not?
1. It's a standard case of Never Found the Body as we never actually saw the character during the explosion itself.
2. Being the Grand Finale, the "Holy Shit!" Quotient is going to be at all-time high with plenty of twists and turns, and it would make for a good Wham Mission.
3. It would help set up a personal conflict in the storyline.
  • Except that you just watched a nuke go off right next to them in the cutscene of the first game. Sorry but the one you left on Virmire is dead for good.
    • Look again, a good several moments passes (perhaps more given the jump between the Normandy taking off and it actually showing up above the planet) between the last time you see said squad member and the explosion. In a science fiction setting, that's about all it requires.
    • It's totally implausible to outrun the blast radius of a 20 kiloton nuke when you were sitting right next to the bomb itself a few moments earlier then it detonated. The Reapers are advanced but not omnipotent. Unless they somehow found DNA in the hyper radioactive ashes that was once your teammate... You might not want to believe it but this troper would be 120% certain that Ashley/Kaidan is deader then dead.

If you saved the Council in the first game...
Well, remember how Anderson can mention to Shepherd that all of Sovereign's remains haven't been accounted for? And then take into consideration that part of a Reaper indoctrinated Kenson & her team in Arrival? Yeah, the Galactic Council were indoctrinated sometime during the period Shepard was dead, which is why they're adamant that the Reapers don't exist; they're intentionally weakening their own military forces before the Reapers come & kill everyone.
  • It was a Reaper artifact in Arrival, not a piece of a Reaper, so it may have been designed specifically to indoctrinate people. But it's certainly possible the Council is at least mildly indoctrinated, as other WMG's have suggested.
    • Dude, a millions of years old dead Reaper managed to mind-fry a Cerberus team, what's to say a recently dead one won't do that to the Council?

Why Cerberus is hunting Shepard
According to Mass Effect: Evolution, the Illusive Man encountered a Reaper Artifact during the First Contact war. He was in close enough proximity with it, and was even hit by an energy blast that almost killed and indoctrinated his companion. While he seemed to have been uneffected, remember, even dead Reapers can still indoctrinate. So that brief time was enough to make him a little more succeptible to Reaper's persuasions. Perhaps it was a weak enough case so that he was largely unaffected until Reapers actually invaded, or his seeming immunity was a plan by the Reapers. Either way, they're cashing in on their check, and they've either influenced him enought to think that taking Shepard out of the picture is necescary, or he's straight up done a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Well remember that the more control exerted over an indoctrinated, the less effective they are (mild to moderate indoctrination like Saren was still functional and rational, up to the slaves on Virmire that are little more than cattle). I'd say any indoctrination to the Illusive Man is probably between moderate where the Reapers are controlling his actions and ordering his men through that, to complete enslavement.
  • Or maybe the Illusive Man has been indoctrinated the entire time, and was actively working against Shepard in ME2. Without constant monitoring by the Reapers, he is left with just instructions to waste all Cerberus funds on long-shot schemes. As we know from ME1, that is what he's been doing for a long time (rachni experiments, husk experiments, etc.). One of his long-shot schemes was to blow billions of credits on bringing a single person (Shepard) back to life. To his surprise, it works, and so he sends Shepard off to work against the Collectors. TIM is under orders not to work against the Reapers, but since he can plausibly deny 'knowing' that the Collectors serve the Reapers, he can work around his orders. As you go through the game, he is more and more strongly indoctrinated by the Reapers (once Harbinger finds out what he's done), and is increasingly unhelpful, throughout the missions. 'Forgetting' to mention what he'd agreed to do for Zaeed and Kasumi, baiting Horizon with Shepard's friend, and that sort of thing. Once he is more indoctrinated (whether ordered to sabatage Shepard, or just made to greatly overestimate Shepard's abilities) he sends Shepard blind into a blatant Collector trap. Shepard escapes. Then he sends Shepard to investigate the derelict Reaper, knowing full well what happened to Chandana's team, and expecting that Shepard will be trapped and killed. Shepard escapes, and prepares to take the fight to take the fight through the Omega 4 relay. Once Shepard survives the trip there (in a ship that Cerberus had made to be vulnerable to Collector weapons just like the original, though Shepard might have done some upgrades himself) Harbinger cannot let this go on, and takes complete control of TIM. TIM, now a near-mindless slave of the Reapers, point-blank orders Shepard to preserve the Collector base (for the Reapers, though he doesn't say it). And now, in ME3, TIM is a Reaper agent, and is commanded to stop Shepard at any cost.

The Council will do everything they can to stop the Reapers. However, they will (initially) refuse to let Shepard help.
From what we've heard so far, the Reapers will be attacking the rest of the galaxy as well as Earth. Even if the Council still doesn't believe they're Reapers, they will have to recognize this is a gigantic threat to the galaxy and will respond accordingly. However, when Shepard offers to help or asks them to collaborate with him, they will refuse based on the events of Arrival. "Shepard, you freely admit that you blew up a system of innocent people to stop these things. When we win this, we want the galaxy to still be there." However, you can get them to change their mind. You'll just have to work for it. (If you don't get them to change their minds, they'll most likely get themselves killed.)

The Reapers are acting on horrifyingly pragmatic Well-Intentioned Extremist goals long since faded into madness and meglomania.

Having forseen the immanent fusion of our galaxy with Andromeda, the first coalition of space-faring races decided to create massive Sower bodies for themselves, fusing the collective knowledge of their races together into metallic shells to weather the coming storm. They went into the Dark Space outside the Milky Way to avoid the collision, and created the Citadel to ensure they could return after long periods spent inactive so that they could induct the advanced races who had uncovered the station into new Sowers. These periods of inactivity would help fend off the madness and mental degradation of waiting for millenia with nothing to do.

The ultimate plan was to take the "seeds" of knowledge and genetics of the entire Milky Way galaxy, then "sow" them into the new one created by the collision with Andromeda.

However, the second wave of space-farers were unconvinced, and refused to be inducted. After fruitlessly trying diplomacy, the Sowers, resolving to save them from themselves whatever the cost, created the process of Indoctrination to force them to do so. However, they quickly discovered that removing a creature's free will left it mad and useless, unable to be inducted. Finally, in an act of perfect desperation, they proved that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and, over the objections of some Reapers, fought a quick and decisive war against the stubborn settlers, forcibly inducting them. However, the process was much more painful than a willing fusion, and created terrible residual memories that slowly drove these new Reapers mad.

In time, the later Sowers were forced to purge their organic memories to avoid madness. They have long since decided that only the "worthy," the genetically strong, are to be forcibly inducted into their ranks, rechristening themselves the Reapers.

Furthermore, this happened multiple times, and unforeseen problems in the Hive Mind software has led to mnemonic degradation. The Reapers have long since forgotten why they do what they do, and only repeat that organics will never understand them. Their disgust for the geth is rooted in their inability to assimilate them.

The less-mad original Sowers have almost entirely been trapped within a prison formed from setting their eezo cores to produce gravitation, forming the planetoid shell that is Klencory around them, by their maddened progeny. Due to greater processing power and longer periods of inert "recharge time," they are much saner than their brethren, and are attempting to free themselves by mentally contacting a sensitive individual with the resources to dig them out.

  • I would actually bet a large amount of money this is what it turns out to be. Nicely done, good sir.

The Reapers' plan for organic life is immortality, not total annihilation.

Similar to the above Well-Intentioned Extremist WMG, the Reapers' origins and goals concern the protection of life in the galaxy.

Having reached (what they considered) the 'pinnacle of evolution' millions of years ago, the original Reapers were faced with the inevitability of stagnation and decline of their empire, and old age and death on a more personal level. Furthermore, it seemed increasingly likely that the mass effect technology on which their empire was based had a destabilising effect on the very fabric of the galaxy, as can be seen in the premature ageing of Haestrom's sun. After years of frantic study, they discovered a way around these problems.

By abandoning their individual bodies and transferring their consciousness into grey goo housed within huge space-faring machines, the Reapers achieved a form of transcendence and immortality. In the words of Arthur C. Clarke, 'They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.
' Then, by withdrawing from the galaxy itself for thousands of years at a time, the Reapers allowed the galaxy to recover from the effects of sustaining great civilisations, and allowed new forms of life to develop and flourish.

From their aeons-spanning point of view, sentient life and galactic civilisations rise, decline and fall in the blink of an eye, leaving all of their achievements to go to waste. This is why the Reapers, unlike Clarke's Firstborns, have taken a somewhat more proactive stance on other lifeforms' development. Not only do they encourage civilisations to develop along predetermined lines with the relay network and possibly even playing the role of 'enkindlers' in the same way that the protheans helped the hanar, the Reapers decided to intervene whenever a civilisation reaches its zenith and make others 'become like they are,' by force if necessary.

Consequently, Harbinger's comments about ascension and being our salvation through destruction are in fact truthful. Even if they kill half the galaxy in their invasion, they will consider it a huge success if they can indoctrinate and raise the other half to Reaperhood. Even if all forms of sentient organic life are wiped out as the Reapers return it would not be a complete loss for them, as they would at least succeed in preventing the destruction of the galaxy's stars and planets through the overuse of mass effect tech, allowing the cycle of civilisation's rise and fall to begin anew.

Therefore, the final conflict in Mass Effect 3 will be whether to accept or reject this Assimilation Plot, leading all remaining sentient life in the galaxy to a new existence in Reaperified transcendence, or to convince them to leave and allow the current civilisation to follow its own path.

Naturally, this kind of ending to the Mass Effect saga would be one heck of a Mind Screw, inevitably culminating in this:

  • Confirmed

Shepard will have his or her SPECTRE status revoked
  • Considering that the game opens with Shepard standing trial for the events of Arrival, it makes sense. After all, Saren's SPECTRE status was revoked for attacking one colony, and Shepard DID kind of blow up an entire solar system.

The Illusive Man will be killed by falling into his star.
At some point, Shepard will find the Illusive Man's hiding place and storm the place. After fighting through Cerebus forces, s/he'll sabotage the station so it will drift into the nearby star. As Shepard escapes, the Illusive Man will have a freakout, calm down, and have one last smoke as the station burns up.

The Reapers are now targeting ALL organic life for Reaperfication, not just humans.
After getting his ass handed to him by a multiracial squad led by Shepard, Harbinger decides that singling out one species for making new reapers is a bad idea, and decides instead to use a blend of humans, turians, krogan, asari, and whatever other races the Reapers can get their tentacles on. Hence why we're seeing non-human husks for the first time. This means that Earth won't be the only homeworld being attacked by the Reapers; Palaven, Thessia, Tuchanka, and others will be on the chopping block, as well.
  • Eerily close to being confirmed. We know those worlds are going to be battlegrounds in the war against the Reapers, and Casey has vaguely said that the Reapers are trying to harvest organic life, and not specifically humans. Whether this is just to not spoil ME2's ending or if it becomes a plot point remains to be seen.

The Reapers will attack Rannoch.
We already know that the Reapers are attacking Earth and Palaven, taking out the two leading military powers in Citadel space. But the geth are also a major military power in their own right, with possibly the largest fleet in the galaxy. Perhaps Shepard will have to convince the quarians to help, while the Admiralty Board plans to let the geth and Reapers kill each other. There are four possible outcomes:
  • Shepard fails to convince the quarians, and they sit the war out. Shepard might still be able to save the geth, gaining them as an ally, but not the quarians.
  • Shepard agrees with the quarians, gaining them as an ally, but losing the geth.
  • Shepard convinces them, gaining both as allies. (Paragon)
  • Shepard decides to use Admiral Xen's approach, and hack the geth. This gains both as allies, with the geth under quarian control. (Renegade)

The Reapers will attack Kharshan.
Following on the above, the batarians probably have a strong military of their own, given that they can't get any help from allies.
  • And when they do, the batarians will stun everyone by actually managing to Hold the Line against the Reapers... by deploying [[ the Leviathan of Dis]] and letting it kick Reaper ass.

The game will begin with someone reading out every crime you have ever committed in the trilogy.
  • Can you imagine how hilarious it would be to have 'Killed 300,000 batarians' and 'Stole an Alliance Warship' next to, say, 'Smuggled contraband into Noveria'?
    • 'Punched out reporter'.
      • 'Twice'.

In order to defeat the Reapers, you'll have to find some long lost Prothean technology whipped up to help destroy them or expel them permanently
  • Remember how the Prothean researchers who survived on Ilos went to the Citadel through the conduit, with Vigil unaware of what happened afterward? He suspected they just starved to death, but who is to say they didn't find some way to survive and spend the remainder of their lives whipping up some serious anti-Reaper tech for future civilizations? Liara even mentions in Lair of the Shadow Broker that the Shadow Broker suspected there was more out there to be found, beyond the beacons and the warning, which seems a serious bit of foreshadowing. Otherwise, I can't imagine how all the Big Damn Hero moments in the world could overcome that entire Reaper fleet when all it took was one Reaper to nearly wipe out the combined naval might of the Citadel races.

We will see newer races in ME3
As in, we'll see the yahg, the raloi, Husked versions of extinct races, and/or a newer species altogether.
  • The yahg, at least, are confirmed.

Not every Reaper is as powerful as Sovereign.
If every single Reaper is just as powerful as Sovereign, it could strain credibility as to how Shepard could beat them. So it will turn out that because Sovereign would be spending centuries in the Milky Way with no support and since he was in charge of ensuring that the cycle continued, he was given special enhancements to armor and weapons in case something went wrong. This is why Sovereign was able to decimate the Alliance and Citadel fleets so easily. Other Reapers will not have these enhancements, and will not be as hard to put down. Heck, some of them may even die off screen! (Like say, you hear a news report of how a coalition of mercenaries heroically sacrificed their lives to bring down a Reaper.) However, even one these unenhanced Reapers will still be a terrible force to be reckoned with, just not as tough as Sovereign. And not only will enhanced Reapers still be among there ranks, but there will be at least one Reaper who is more powerful then Sovereign.
  • Gameplay footage shows a 600' Reaper mech get hit with an orbital bombardment. And then continue chasing you. So, yeah, pretty tough either way.

Saren in ME3
We saw a statue of him in Kasumi's DLC loyalty mission, so we'll likely see Saren as a vision or in a flashback for the third game.

The Cerberus Humongus Mecha will be used by Shepard to kill a Reaper.
Because that would rock. Also, a Reaper boss battle was mentioned in the magazine article where the mech piloting section was revealed.

Choosing your allies in the previous games will have large effects on ME3.
A Paragon Shepard looks like he has it made at the end of ME2, with almost the entire galaxy on his side. However, I theorize that there will be issues if you indiscriminately make nice with everyone.
  • Choosing to save the rachni means that Wrex is unable to properly unite the krogan (why would they side with the guy who helped bring back the rachni?), meaning that you do get a nice force of rachni, but a much smaller krogan army. Killing the Rachni Queen makes Wrex and you look much better in the krogan's eyes, meaning you have a much larger krogan force.
  • Gaining the help of the geth is even more problematic. The Citadel Species are shocked at your brazen alliance with what seems to be a major force of geth, and you are very likely to lose almost all support from the quarians. In game terms, you get a very dangerous fleet of geth, but allying with the quarians is significantly harder, along with reduced support from the Citadel.
  • Siding with the quarians, on the other hand, also arouses suspicion amongst the other races. Choosing them as allies reduces your support from the other races.
  • Punching that reporter in the face reduces your support from the Systems Alliance. ;)
    • Or INCREASES the support. They all know she deserved it.
In addition, your Paragon and Renegade actions significantly affect your goals. A pure Paragon obviously has much larger forces at their disposal, but they also need to defend much more areas in order to get a good ending (such as homeworlds, Omega, important Mass Relays, etc). A Renegade Shepard is more interested in humanity's forces (Earth, the Citadel and major colonies). As always, a neutral approach brings the worst of both worlds on your head.

At some point in the game, you'll have to kill Jacob and Miranda.
Supposedly Cerberus have all been indoctrinated by the Reapers (source: this wiki; dunno where that person got it), which is why TIM is opposing you. Well, what better Sadistic Choice could he—or BioWare, for that matter—deploy against you? Either kill your Lancers or surrender the galaxy. Even more terrifying, it isn't a Sadistic Choice: you aren't given a peaceful resolution. At some point in the game, leading up to when you deal with Cerberus once and for all, you'll have to kill Jacob and Miranda.
  • (Alternate: you kill TIM but get to choose one of them to step up to the leadership and/or kill the other. More friendly, but less of a Player Punch. Which is why it's less likely.)
  • It's doubtful that Miranda and/or Jacob are indoctrinated. Miranda openly quits Cerberus if you take her with you to the final battle and destroy the Collector Base, and Jacob was never really loyal to Cerberus to begin with, so it's likely that he ditches them as well. If there was any time for Indoctrination to kick in, that was it, and they were with Shepard 100%.
  • Having Miranda or Jacob replace the Illusive Man is an interesting proposition, though. It would depend on how many of Cerberus' operatives were exposed to indoctrination. If it was just TIM and some of the higher ranking operatives, then having Cerberus' resources under a more Shepard-friendly leadership would be very helpful, but if they're all indoctrinated then it would be better to destroy Cerberus entirely. Hoo boy, not sure which of those would be Paragon or Renegade...

Captain Anderson will be Killed Off for Real in the opening mission
Anderson has been confirmed to be a temporary squadmate in the opening mission. And, considering what happened to Jenkins and Wilson, it seems that Bioware has a pattern of killing off a teammate in every first mission. Besides, it would be one hell of a Player Punch.
  • He does opt to stay behind to rally humanity.

Choosing to Cure the Genophage Will Have Terrible Consequences in the Epilogue
Remember, as terrible as it was and is, the genophage is essentially the only thing preventing the krogan population from exploding the same way it did pre-Rebellion. Fixing it will only set the problem back to square one, ensuring that another Rebellion will inevitably occur as the krogan require more and more systems to support their expanding population. However, if you choose not to fix it, the krogan will eventually experience a cultural Renaissance, a massive bloom of scientific, artistic and technological growth as their once-crude "uplifted" culture becomes truly worthy of galactic citizenship... racist tourist guides aside.
  • Alternatively, Mordin might make a third version that makes all krogan fertile, but they don't give birth to thousands at a time, and gives them Vulcan-like reproductive tendencies (a cycle that occurs every few years). Basically a fertility rate comparable to the rest of the galaxy.
    • Alternately alternatively, Mordin won't be able to cure the genophage entirely, but will make a major dent in its efficacy by undoing the changes he and his squad made, allowing the krogan to adapt to the genophage naturally over time like they were doing before. You'll then be able to offer this cure to the leader of Clan Urdnot in exchange for their help against the Reapers. Wrex, naturally, will accept it right away (a partial cure is better than nothing), while Wreav will need some convincing before he'll accept.

Renegade choices will weaken the Reaper army while Paragon choices will strengthen them
While this troper is a massive Paragade, even I have noticed how several Paragon choices can backfire immensely in Mass Effect 3. If the rachni were killed off, the Reapers will lose valuable husk soldiers in the coming war. The same can be said for whether you cure or leave the Genophage as it is, resulting in whether or not the krogan are also added to that huge list. And even if they're already added, the Paragon choices alone may be all the Reapers need to grow those numbers to even greater levels.
  • I can see this as a sort of balancing act; in the grand scheme of things, Paragon options will help the larger mission by having more allies fight the Reapers, but you won't see the benefits of this except in the occasional cutscene. Instead, you'll be forced to fight a wider variety of husks/indoctrination victims than if you tried to go it alone and made Renegade choices. It fits well with the selfless paragon/selfish renegade pattern, and it doesn't necessarily favor one side over the other.

Both Paragon and Renegade choices will bite you in the ass
I doubt Bioware will shun an entire gameplay style just because of perceived lack of realism/comeuppance. Both Paragon and Renegade paths will have their plusses and minuses, such as:
Paragon: Plus: you get lots of extra allies that will make the fight against the Reapers far less devastating on your side. Minus: so many allegiances on the map will mean lots and lots and lots of interspecies feuds, so you'll have to spend most of the game putting out fires so they'll work together before it's too late. There could even be wars started.
Renegade: Plus: fewer species to contend with means you won't have to spend so much time on diplomacy, along with there being less species for the Reapers to indoctrinate/huskify. Minus: cutting out the grudge middleman leaves all those species free to focus their energy directly on you, and fewer allies means a bloodier campaign against the invasion.
Kinda like that. And Paragade or Renegon won't be risk-free either; actually, I think that could potentially turn out more dangerous than either straight playthrough. Sparing rachni + killing Wrex + destruction of genophage cure + allegiance with salarians = new Krogan Revolutions.
  • Interestingly, BioWare has said that going all Paragon or all Renegade in ME3 will lead to you losing. Slightly unrelated to what you're saying here, though.

Daro'Xen will bring back the Heretic Geth.
We know that Geth are returning as an enemy, even if you did Legion's Loyalty Mission. Daro'Xen will end up indoctrinated and finish the weapon created by Tali's father, using it to brainwash a good chunk of the Geth to the Reaper cause once again.

At least one major galactic authority figure will end up indoctrinated.

The game will have a Sequel Hook as the possibility of intergalactic travel is discovered.
Someone will get their hands on technology that allows for intergalactic travel (most likely taken from the Reapers). This will allow the hinted at future games to take place outside of the Milky Way, as Milky Way civilization expands out towards other galaxies and meets new alien species. It may also be revealed that the Reapers are also harvesting other galaxies other then the Milky Way, and that Shepard and company only destroyed the local Reapers.

James Vega is the game's villain.
Vega will initially join your squad early, but will bang heads with you over your methods, and will quit after an early triumph. His role in the triumph will turn him into the charismatic leader of a human-first movement to repel the Reapers, damaging your efforts to unite the galaxy and actually defeat the Reapers. This move lets Bioware create a villain with a face you can punch, rather than the too-big-to-be-hated Reapers; it makes sense of his meathead appearance (no wonder fans hate it; they're meant to!) and gives the finale a much needed emotional connection beyond big Reaper battles from start to finish.

Shepard will, at some point, visit Trident
One of the planets that can be mined is called "Trident", and is described as a planet covered almost entirely by water, with ocean life ranging from microbial to terrifying monsters. Shepard will visit Trident, and the entire level will be an expy of Manaan.
  • It did get a mention in the Shadow Broker dossier on Cerberus, saying that Cerberus has infiltrated Trident's security forces. BioWare might pull a Klendagon and have it be important.

Cerberus's army is a Replica army
.With ME3 taking place mere months after the conclusion of ME2, the Illusive Man uses DNA samples of Shepard gathered from the Lazarus Project as well as the Collector/Reaper tech used to Huskify Paul Grayson to create an indoctrinated, fast-grown army of the most badass human in the galaxy.

The differing sexes amongst Cerberus's army are no problem: Miranda and Oriana prove it's possible to create an Opposite-Sex Clone in the ME universe, and that's without Reaper technology. Imagine what could be done with Reaper aid.

Each soldier in the Cerberus army is implanted with a quantum entanglement device allowing them to remotely be controlled from a master controller (most likely a Reaper). Should this controller be destroyed, the soldiers will all "shut down" and go into a state of hibernation, doing absolutely nothing except standing still and breathing.

The Golden Ending is neither pure Paragon nor Renegade.
It's already clear that several Renegade options are very detrimental, the foremost among them being saving the Collector Base. But some Paragon options (keeping Keiji's graybox is the one that comes to mind) are not exactly the smartest ideas either. The best ending should come from a Shepard who is not purely one or the other, but can do both as the situation calls for it. Alternately, the true ending might not be that one either, but a Distant Finale for those who take their time to do all three endings (or four, if the Worst Ending is everyone dying, one of the species (rachni/asari/turian?) becomes the new Collectors, and a Human-Reaper with Shepard at the head as the next Big Bad), that will be the same no matter what. (Somebody above mentioned the son/daughter of Shepard who pays their respect at a Shepard Memorial and then leaves to be Captain of the Normandy SR-3. That would be perfect.)
  • Confirmed, actually. BioWare has said that you can't win with pure Paragon or pure Renegade.
    • When was this? Link please.

Miranda will be your reluctant enemy.
The Illusive Man will move Oriana to one of Cerberus' bases to force her into fighting you. Between finding out about that and actually fighting Miranda you will be able to rescue Oriana and get her to stand down when the time comes, but if you don't you'll be forced to kill her and Miranda's dying wish will be for you to rescue her sister. Which you'll still be able to do, but it'll be a much different scene.

The head of the Reapers will be female.
It would potentially fit that the leader of the Reapers will take on a female persona, possible the last one or the Reapers once used to operate on a insect-type breeding cycle (one fertile female of a hive), but has long since lost the ability to make her own children, and merely wants to continue her species. There are a number of references to motherhood and its importance throughout the first two games (Benezia, the Rachni Queen, Samara numerous overhead NPC conversations), so this would just be the extreme progression. Sovereign states that their reasons are incomprehensible, because not even HE knows what it must be like to be responsible for the entirity of your race and be unable to fufill this role. We have encountered two Reapers, with names indictative of being vanguards of a sort, and both male (at least voiced). Now considering that a single Reaper is made up of countless individuals, thus requiring procreation in other species in order to facilitate their own, making new life seems to be a recurring theme. Add to that the comments made about reapers being internalised hive minds, it would be feasible to extend that to the race as a whole. That and a Reaper speaking with a female voice would be all kinds of horrifying (or awesome).
  • What if "her" name is Lilith, and considers humanity as the new possible reaper(and is a shoutout to a forum thread about a reaper assuming complete control and demanding babies)?

Cerberus is going to take over Arcturus Station
The ME games already use a lot of naming symbolism, so this only makes sense. Charon is the ferryman who takes you in and out of the underworld, which is guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus. The only relay that attaches to the Charon Relay in-story is the Arcturus Relay. So, in story, Earth (And for that matter, the rest of Sol) is the Underworld. The Reapers can only get to Earth by going through the Charon Relay if they use the relay network in a standard method (Which they may not, in light of Arrival and the Alpha Relay.). This means that Cerberus will try to protect Earth by staging a coup on Arcturus Station and trying to take direct control of the Systems Alliance. Of course, given what we know of how the game starts and Cerberus' lack of anything resembling sanity, this will probably work out to them trying to prevent Shepard and company from reaching Sol near the end of the game while simultaneously trying to kill the Reapers by themselves. Shepard may or may not have the option to negotiate Cerberus's cooperation. One can only hope that as the stand-in for the Underworld, Earth will not become Tartarus.
Haestrom's sun is being converted into a mass relay.
The star seems to have been exposed to dark energy, possibly intentionaly, making it change. This is all part of the process that Reapers use to make new mass relays.

The plot of the third game will revolve around gathering the anti-Reaper weapons which have been foreshadowed over the first two
Sure, rallying the species of the galaxy will be a large theme, but even with the Geth, Rachni, Krogan, Batarians, and Quarians adding their strength, standing up to 300+ beings similar to the one which tore through the fleets of three species is implausible. Instead, Shepard must gain access to:
  • The giant Mass Accelerator which killed the Derelict Reaper. Note that Cerberus has already found this (the Illusive Man said so, but his team hadn't gotten it working yet), so it should be relatively easy to track down some Cerberus files, and then take out the gun's defenders.
  • The ever-popular "lost crypts of beings of light" in Klencory.
  • The ability to weaponize more Mass Relays, as you did in Arrival.
  • A cloned/revived Leviathan Of Dis.
  • Possibly some sort of Prothian device stepping up from the Obelisk in 1 and the sphere thing from Firewalker, though this is more likely to be a side bonus than part of the main mission.

The identity of the kid hiding in the vent.
It's a hallucination of Shepard as a child. The sequence was only shown with male Shepard, so it's impossible to claim that the kid will always be a boy, even if the player Shepard is a female. The only person, so far, who is seen interacting with the child is Shepard himself (Anderson, who was nearby during that sequence, doesn't seem to have seen the kid). Even if the kid could have just randomly escaped down the vent, it's doubtful a kid could crawl fast enough to completely escape from view without being noticed in the 3 seconds Shepard looked away to pull off the Stealth Hi/Bye seen in the preview.

Captain Kirrahe (or whatever character replaces him in a save file where he died) is the indoctrinated mole in the STG.
Just a thought.
  • Maybe. The newly appointed Major Kirrahe appears in the Surkesh part of the Demo whilst Cerberus attacks and the crew acknowledges that a traitor must have led Cerberus there. In fact, this fits perfectly...

The Problem with Haestrom's Sun...
  • Was the result of someone/thing launching a Reaper into it. Just because it'd be funny.
  • The sun *is* a Reaper!
  • The sun is being artificially destabilized by the Reapers to produce a supernova to make more element zero.

The Reapers take over the Shadow Broker's base and operations
  • The Reapers are huge and monstrous, but not mindless monsters. They fight smart and they set all kinds of traps (the Citadel, the Reaper IFF). they know the power of intel—their typical plan has them assassinating galactic leadership on the Citadel *and* hacking into all of their databases so they can find all the colonies. Sice they can't get to the citadel, they instead go for the Shadow Broker's base for its intel. This is why Liara is free to join you—her base is gone.
    • Even worse, anyone giving intel to the Shadow Broker is actually giving that intel to the Reapers.
    • You will eventually get a mission to help Liara out by reclaiming her base.

At some point, Shepard must fight against Indoctrination
  • And one of the bad ends includes Shepard succumbing to it and becoming the Reaper's point man, like Saren but infinitely more competant.
  • You would probably avoid this by having a high Paragon or Renegade score, which allows you to assert your own identity and shake off the affects, at least temporarily.
    • The scene I see is Shepard aboard a Reaper, and he's been stuck their long enough for the Indoctination to begin. He's desparately struggling to get to its power core and blow it up. If you don't have enough Paragon/ Renegade, you succumb to it and start serving the Reapers. If you are Paragon/ Renegade enough, you keep control long enough to detroy the Reaper and yourself with it, but the rest of the galaxy is safe. There would be better ways to end the game, namely with Shepard surviving, but they would require more effort.

Khalisah al-Jilani and Emily Wong will have a televised debate
  • Probably as pundits on some talk show or the news. At the very least, they'll be dueling via their reports. They'll be discussing Shepard's trial and his allegations about the Reaers, with Wong supporting you and al-Jilani being her punch-worthy self. If you played ME1 and helped Wong with her reports, she will punch al-Jilani for you.

We will find out what the Keepers used to be
  • And my money is on the same things the Reapers used to be, only less lucky.

The Hanar Debate
  • Every race will have some sort of issue that Shepard needs to sort out so that they will join the fight against the Reapers. For the Hanar it's a religious one. In Cerberus Daily News, there are reports by Dr. Kenson (from Arrival DLC, but they take place before she leaves) that prove that the relays predate the Protheans. This is obviously met with skpeticism/ outrage by the Hanar, but at least one Hanar religious leader argues that it's not heresy to say that the Enkindlers were themselves Enkindled by whoever created the relays.
  • The arguement at this point is that, in a twisted way, the Hanar may legitamately worship the Reapers. So if you are really evil, you could wind up murdering one of the most peace-loving species in the galaxy. Or at least waves of badass Drell assassins.
    • Another possibility s that the Drell will support you but the Hanar don't, leading to a possible schism.

At some point, Bioware will include at least one veiled insult directed towards their more idiotic fans.
  • Not unlike how Lair of the Shadow Broker included an exchange between Shepard and Liara over how hacking was easier with omni-gel ("A lot of people weren't happy about that change!"). They could easily make fun of how everyone hates James Vega just from his picture and how his mere presence will singlehandedly destroy Bioware as a company, for instance.

Khalisa Al-Jilani turns out to be a badass

She's been punched in the face by practically every Citadel race, most notably a Krogan, AND Commander Shepard. Surviving looking no worse for ware. Its just now, with everything going to hell does her badass trait get noticed.

  • Yes, actually.

Vigil's countermeasure is still in effect.
Remember that file Vigil gave Shepard at the end of the first game? The one that prevented Sovereign from getting the other Reapers from dark space and shutting off the relay network? It lasted a little longer then expected. That's why the Reapers don't try to shut off the Mass Relays: their control is cut off. The Reapers know how to fix it, but they need to get back to the Citadel to do it, and need a decent amount of time to put it together. They got the first part right, but weren't able to fix it in time for the Final Battle.

Storyline - Final Battle

Shepard didn't die when s(he) jumped into the Crucible...
  • ...instead Shepard will later re-materialize as a near omnipotent/omniscient god-like being ala Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. This will also unlock an optional god mode cheat for the new game+

The Synthesis Ending was only possible because of Legion's sacrifice.
The Catalyst says that Synthesis is only possible because of the way that things have changed this cycle. It specifically mentions that Synthesis will "give synthetics understanding", and that Synthesis is only possible because organics, and particularly Shepard, open to the possibility. For the Quarians and the Geth, Synthesis has actually already been started, by Legion giving up his life to make all Geth sentient, and Synthesis is an extention of that to the whole galaxy.
  • Except that it's possible to achieve Synthesis AND to still have had wiped out the Geth.

Shepard's personality infects the Reapers
In the end, if your Shepard is a Paragon (s)he will kill Harbinger and use its technology to create a virus. With the help of Legion and the rest of the True Geth, Shepard's ideas, virtues, personality, and memories will be copied into data and will infect all of the other Reapers. Sadly, this causes his/her death, but also leads to all of the remaining Reapers realizing the beauty of life and each of them taking up Shepard's mission of protecting innocents and helping others. They also rename their race, Paragons. If your Shepard is Renegade, the same thing happens, but the Reapers, now calling themselves Renegades, go around killing all non-humans or turning them into slaves, including Thane, Garrus, Tali, and the rest of the non-human crew.
  • If this seriously happens I'm killing everyone.
    • Seconded.

The Illusive Man has become Saren 2.0
He has shown blatant symptoms of indoctrination, and appears partially huskified. You'll probably be be able to convince him he has become indoctrinated, just like Saren, and skip a portion of his boss battle. This might even involve comparing him to Saren. Concept Art of a fully huskified TIM has been leaked, which greatly supports this theory.

If you had the Genophage Cure continued on and saved Wrex and the rachni, you'll see their fleets enter a system in a huge fight, working together.
Same thing for geth/quarian peace.

The Final Battle will be in the Hawking Eta systems.
Ok, the Hawking Eta systems seem to be very important to the ME Universe. After all, in Mass Effect 1, we learn that it was controlled by the rachni and is the home of the Mu Relay, which takes you to Ilos, helping save the 'verse from Saren and Sovereign. However, the second game informs us that NOT ONLY was the Hawking Eta controlled by the rachni and the Protheans before them, and housed the only way to save the galaxy, but housed the only way to save the galaxy AGAIN, a dead Reaper (who is partially Still Alive, dreaming and indoctrinating). You also find Legion, who's basically the representative of the True Geth and can speak, and seems to hint that the geth think of Shepard as something more than a typical person (he can't explain why he used the N7 part of his armor and seems to have alot of respect, making me wonder if the reason the others are called Heretics isn't because they don't go with the others, but the normal reason, they don't follow the other's religion, which might have something to do with Shepard saving the Galaxy). There's just something about the Hawking Eta systems that seems to SCREAM important to the Trilogy. Something's going down there, I swear. How much you want to bet our Illusive Man or the Shadow Broker is there too?
  • The Shadow Broker is actually in the Hourglass Nebula, and TIM moves his station around. Hawking Eta also has Klendagon (with the Great Rift).
All the allies you gain throughout the games will join together for a Grand Finale at the end of Mass Effect 3.
  • For example, if you chose to spare the Rachni Queen, she will bring a fleet of loyal rachni to help you in the final battle. Likewise with Cerberus, as implied above.
    • Conversely, this implies that playing hard and fast with the Renegade options through all three games, alienating almost every potential ally, will cause you to lose the trilogy and force you to replay - from the beginning - as a Paragon.
      • Alternatively to the conversely, a Renegade path Shepard will have a different, smaller set of allies and need to pull a serious One-Man Army act.
      • Corollary to the alternatively: the Renegade options have a strong bias towards Earth First politics. You can win the trilogy as a Renegade, but that involves bolstering humanity to new xenophobic lows. Winning actions include: subverting the Citadel to humanity's ends with a human only Council, utilizing Cerberus' black ops resources to steal tech and ships from other species (especially turian dreadnoughts), inciting a human expansionist effort into salarian, asari, and turian space, raising the species-wide military recruitment rate much higher than 3%, subjugating the Migrant Fleet, enslaving the geth, exploiting the krogans with false or otherwise promises of a genophage cure, and so on. Sure, you'll destroy the way half a dozen distinct species live their lives, but Earth made it out okay, right?
      • 2nd corollary to the alternatively: a Renegade Sheppard can, with much maneuvering, let the Alien species get pounded to dust by the Reapers. Then, when the aliens have weakened the Reapers, the Alliance fights them and, after suffering heavy losses, prevails. This way, the Reapers will be destroyed and all the aliens will be so weak that they will be unable to prevent a galaxy-wide takeover by Humanity. A paragon Sheppard, by contrast, will unite all (or most) alien species with the Alliance to fight the Reapers at once, spreading out the losses and ultimately ensuring a lower death toll on the Galaxy. This will make a Human takeover impossible, but it will enhance the reputation of Humanity among the aliens, who will switch from resentment to admiration. These options would balance the effectiveness of Paragon and Renegade choices as well as being in line with the general ruthlessness and pro-Human agenda of the Renegade path, and the general compassionate and inclusive nature of the Paragon path. Also, in line with the general suckiness of the Neutral path, a neutral set of choices will result on the worst balance of alien power to alien friendliness toward humans.

All the enemies you foolishly chose to spare throughout the games will join together for a Grand Finale at the end of Mass Effect 3 in order to destroy you.
  • For example, if you chose to spare the Rachni Queen, she will bring a fleet of terrifying rachni to destroy you in the final battle. Likewise with Cerberus, as implied above.
    • Conversely, this implies that playing naively and irresponsibly with the Paragon options through all three games, sparing the many threats to the galaxy, will cause you to lose the trilogy and force you to replay - from the beginning - as a Renegade.
      • Alternatively to the conversely, a Paragon path Shepard will have a different, smaller set of allies and need to pull a serious One-Man Army act.
    • Largely Jossed. The single largest enemy force that could stand out in contrast to a Reaper army, the rachni, are on your side should you spare them. Now, smaller enemies like Balak or the gang member from the Earthborn background may come back as enemies, but they're hardly the world shattering event that the ending of Mass Effect 2 is.

The allies you gather to fight the Reapers will be the same regardless of whether you played Paragon or Renegade
  • It fits the theme of the game perfectly thus far: Paragon and Renegade actions have largely the same positive results, but go about it in different means. While a Paragon Shepard rallies all the various races that are indebted to him together like a big Space Messiah, the I Did What I Had to Do Renegade Shepard coerces them into joining him against their will. So s/he threatens the krogan with orbital bombardment from the blockade fleet, s/he uses the cloning technology from Noveria to make an army of slave rachni, s/he uses either the Cerberus or quarian virus to brainwash the geth into helping etc. etc.

  • The final battle of the first game was against a mutilated Saren acting like a Geth Hopper on steroids; the final battle of the second game was against a Reaper human larva that kind of acts like a giant 25%-formed Terminator. It's hard to see how Bioware can top this unless they throw in a space battle against a fully-grown Reaper itself (probably Harbinger), and given how awesome the Normandy is and how powerful it can be when in Joker's hands...
    • Yes, this would be essentially exactly what Star Fox Adventures did. No, it probably would not be received well either. No, when has that ever stopped videogame developers?
      • Somehow, I don't think of BioWare as "just another videogame developer."
    • Well, space combat has been confirmed. If Halo: Reach could do it...
      • Star Wars: The Old Republic, also developed by part of Bioware, has a Star Fox-esque shooter as it's daily quest, and fighters have been seen often in trailers.

A wild mass guess about how the finale of Mass Effect 3 will play out.
  • The Reaper fleet engages the combined might of the Council races (who've been rallied by Shepard during the course of the game) in the Sol system. The Reapers have set a course straight for Earth because that species really worries them after what happened in the first two games. At first the defense fleet gets its butt kicked, but then the rachni pull a Big Damn Bugswarm. That's not enough to cause a dent in the Reapers yet, though, but that's alright, because Shepard and company arrive onboard a protype geth ship (having convinced them to join the fight as well) designed to interface with Reaper AI. Knowing by now that each Reaper is composed of a collective of different programs, Shephard and crew enter a virtual simulation of their minds and beat down the Reaper programs that favour destruction, forcing the nicer programs to take control. The result is that slightly less than half of the Reaper fleet turn on themselves, reducing their numbers to something realistically beatable by our low-tech heroes. Seriously, Legion's explanation of Reaper AI just seems like such a huge Chekhov's Gun.

The Endgame of Mass Effect 3 will take place on Earth and the Citadel simultaneously.
  • And since you can't be in two places at once, which one you choose to complete first will be Mass Effect 3's Sadistic Choice.
  • If you go to the Citadel first (Paragon option), you can head off a massive Reaper assault before they have a chance to reach any of the other races (cue the biggest Gondor Calls for Aid sequence by anyone ever), but by the time you finish at the Citadel and get to Earth, it's already been mostly decimated by a smaller Reaper group which the combined allied fleets of the galaxy finish off easily. Humanity will recover eventually, but their place at the forefront of galactic power would come to an end, leaving the door open for new races to take the spotlight, some of which you had a hand in supporting.
  • If you go to Earth first (Renegade option), you can stop the Reapers from destroying Earth, but at the cost of the Council and any allies you might have made throughout the course of the game. Using the technology from the Collector Base (or elsewhere if you destroyed it in Mass Effect 2), humanity finds and hunts down the remaining Reapers, eventually filling the power vacuum left by the Council and becoming the galaxy's dominant race.
  • Alternately, neither choice will necessarily be Paragon or Renegade. Paragons will have perfectly good reasons to go to Earth (there are more lives there to save, and it's been hit harder than the Citadel, whose defenses have had time to prepare, etc.), while Renegades will have their own reasons to stay at the Citadel (it's the best place to fend off a Reaper attack, and it's the central hub of the Relay network, etc.). And since this will be at the end of the game where you probably won't need to make any more Charm or Intimidate options, the final choice won't contribute to either side; whether your actions fit with being a Paragon or Renegade is entirely up to you.

The Final Big Bad will be...
  • Paul Grayson. He's a human being implanted with Reaper Tech, if that isn't an opportunity for an epic Augmented-mano a Augmented-mano then tell me what is?
    • Alternately, the Illusive Man will send him to kill Shepard in DLC or Mass Effect 3 as punishment for both of their betrayals.
    • Jossed. He is killed in Mass Effect: Retribution.

The final sequence of Mass Effect 3 will be like the Suicide Mission, only on a massive scale.
  • It has been many times remarked on this page that by the time of Mass Effect 3 Shepard will have a huge number of allies that can include:
    • The krogan
    • The rachni
    • The Migrant Fleet
    • The geth
    • The Citadel
    • The Alliance
    • Conceivably the Blue Suns if you killed Vido Santiago
    • And with the latest DLC, you also get the new Shadow Broker, aka "Dr. Liara T'Soni".
  • In the final sequence you will choose armies of your allies to perform specific tasks, like choosing specialists in the Suicide Mission. Choosing the wrong army to do the wrong task will get them all killed. If all of them die, consider yourself the new Protheans.

The final choice in Mass Effect 3 will be something really sadistic.
  • Something like "Let billions of humans die, or let billions of aliens die". Because Bioware is evil like that.
    • Or "let your love interest die, or let the entire crew of the Normandy die." There would probably be a way around it, though.
      • Agreed, considering that BioWare loves to Take a Third Option. Given the nature of the trilogy, however, you'll probably only get that option if you made certain decisions in the previous games.
    • They've already presented that option: saving the Destiny Ascension versus focusing attacks on Sovereign. Besides, that's not a very effective Paragon/Renegade choice: either one is legitimate, since the loss of life is the same either way. If they did decide to go that way, the decision is more likely to be letting billions of aliens die or letting millions of humans die. Since Renegade Shepard tends towards human supremacy, it fits the pattern better.
      • Each decision is not legitimate: either you save the Ascension and give Sovereign more time to open the Relay, or you focus on Sovereign, giving him less time and attacking with more ships. A few thousand lives vs trillions? Yes, in hindsight, you know you can do both and stop Sovereign, but not at the time.
  • Honestly, judging from the 37 million year old failed attempt to destroy the Reapers, the ending should be as bleak as possible. Why? There is no reasonable chance for them to fight back, except with a MacGuffin, which would be an awful Independence Day style ending. Remember how the single alien survivor from ME1 was able to hide from the Reapers because he was not in their database on the Citadel? Chances are the Illusive Man has some sort of back-up "Noah's Ark" program that the Reapers will never find and you're not informed of it at all, but you are given the chance to fight the Reapers or to hide on the "Ark." Both cases, trillions die, but the races live on, and your decision is to die, trying to somehow stop the Reapers from ever returning or to live and have them return in 50 000 years to murder trillions once again.
    • Why would the 37 million years of failure mean this one will happen? Remember the Reapers' main plan, to shut down the Citadel, and therefore the relay network (isolating each planet to be destroyed one by one) didn't work, the Protheans saw to that. Their vanguard (Sovereign) is dead as a result of Shepard. Their attempts to use the Collectors to make a new Reaper also failed, due to, once again, Shepard. There are also a sizable number of spacefaring species this time around as opposed to just one like when the Protheans were around. Uniting them all together, there is at least a fighting chance.

Commander Shepard will be the Final Boss.
  • In the Overlord DLC, the rogue VI briefly incapacitates Shepard via his cybernetic implants. Sovereign was able to control Saren via his impants, and it's not unlikely that there's some Reaper tech in Shepard. In the game's final minutes, the Reapers assume control of Shepard in the same way Sovereign took over Saren, burning away his flesh and leaving nothing but the metallic skeleton. The player takes control of the Love Interest and it's up to them to kill Shepard and win the battle. Seriously, people don't come back from the dead. There are going to be consequences other than a few scars.
  • How about your Distaff Counterpart? I just think it would be a great way of having both M!Shep and Femshep interact the last game, but have the Reapers control them. They would be your opposite in every way. You get to try letting them understand your reasoning, but all they will know is that you're in the way. No one gets in Shepard's way. In the end only one Shepard will walk out alive. Either that or upon meeting the Universe will implode from too much Shep Badassedness. I'm not good at elaborating, but that's the basic idea.

Commander Shepard punches out the final boss.
  • Of course, this only happens if you chose the most Renegade option at every dialogue choice and performed every Renegade interrupt over the course of all three games.
    • And if the final boss is a certain reporter.

The final battle will involve the quarian homeworld's sun.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Tali is investigating their old homeworld's sun that's dying a hell of a lot earlier than it should. The final battle will involve luring the reaper fleets to the system and then cause the sun to supernova.
    • Actually, it wasn't their homeworld, just one of their former colonies.
  • A great way of ending would be to make Sol go supernova. Sure, Earth is fried, but then so are the Reapers. No idea if that would be Paragon or Renegade. Don't do it and the Reapers might hit other worlds before you can stop them. Do and and... no more Earth.

The location of the final showdown will depend on what your decisions have been, or alternatively, there could be multiple "final battles".
  • Like this:
    • If you were a Renegade who let the Council die and made Humanity the de-facto leaders of the Galaxy, the final fight will be in the Sol System (or, alternatively, a location that is on the invasion route to the Sol System, see below).
    • If you had the Council saved and Humanity became merely a part of it, then it will take place near the Citadel (sort of like the ending of ME1... or at least on the way to the Citadel.
    • If you made friendly with the geth the final battle actually ends up in geth Space, as the geth have been able to slow down the Reapers enough where it is possible that the Organics could send reinforcements that could help turn the tide once and for all. Needless to say, the Organics are.... heavily reluctant, so whether the "Old Machines" are stopped depends heavily on what races and/or organizations Shepard is able to rally together. If not enough are gathered, the Reapers proceed to either Earth or the Citadel.

Mass Effect 3 will have a ton of Multiple Endings.
  • And the best one won't be Paragon or Renegade. If you did everything you could to stop the Reapers, regardless of alignment (for instance, you saved both the Council AND the Collector Base in the same playthrough), the payoff will be that the Reapers will be stopped with minimal casualties. Shepard, the Normandy, and most of your allies will survive.
    • Well the danger there is Collector tech is pretty much Reaper tech, what with them being slaves and all. Just as likely saving the Collector base indoctrinated the Cerberus personnel that went to search through it in the first place.
      • Confirmed. There will be a bad ending for people who rush through the game, as there was for those who rushed through ME2. Also, since you'll be fighting Cerberus, giving them the Collector Base is almost certainly a bad idea.
  • The best Paragon and Renegade endings will still result in the defeat of the Reapers, but not without some sort of loss. As a Paragon, you may have to sacrifice yourself to save the Normandy crew. Renegade Shep may have to sell out your allies to keep humanity safe, etc.
  • And the worst ending, if you took too many shortcuts throughout the series (losing squadmates in ME2, killing off the Council, destroying the Collector base, etc.), will result in the complete victory of the Reapers.
  • Confirmed by Bioware. There will be multiple endings based upon your actions throughout the entire trilogy including the DLC.
    • Sadly Bioware decided to take back what they said and jossed it.

Anderson will lead the final assault against the Reapers.
  • Now that he is no longer in the Council (if he was in it), he will rejoin the Alliance, and he will be promoted to Admiral. Being a former member of the Council, or knowing about the Reaper threat from the beginning, he will be the Alliance and Citatel's choice to lead the allied fleet against the Reapers.

Udina will take a level in badass near the end.
  • When the Reapers finally come knocking right next door, the Councilors will start with the initial Oh, Crap! sentiments and begin falling apart before Udina decides "Screw it" and decides that since being "diplomatic" with them (as he has been for quite a while now) is useless now, it's time to drop the act and take control of this Failboat. He gets their act together, makes them acknowledge the Reaper threat and makes them more cooperative towards Anderson and Shep.
    • Except that he's a Reaper denier too. Forget about his Normandy lockdown in ME1 so quickly did we?
      • I see that more as political posturing, he didn't believe Shepard about the Reapers either, and why should he? I can see it as being a good cover for being a Reaper agent, but more likely he was just kissing up to the Council just to increase his political clout regarding a threat he doesn't think exists.

The last scene will be Shepard in bed with Morinth.
  • They've just done the deed; Morinth has a look of surprise and excitement on her face because Shepard JUST SURVIVED MATING WITH AN ARDAT-YAKSHI WHICH IS PHYSIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Because Shepard is the shit.
    • That is a pretty disturbing image if you let Samara bash her head in.
    • Alternatively, if Morinth is dead, Shepard will instead be in bed with Samara's other two daughters, AT THE SAME TIME!

The final battle will take place in Sagittarius A, at the center of the galaxy.
Why? Because there's something important to the plot there, like a control system for the mass relay network. Picture it, Shepard luring the Reapers to the galaxy's core, then firing a mass relay at the supermassive black hole there. Unstoppable force meets immovable object. It's just the kind of epic clash of natural and unnatural forces which should accompany a final, epic battle.
  • There's already something important to the plot there (or not, depending on your choice): the Collector Base.

"Machine Killing Super-gun"
Knowing BioWare's love of Scenery Porn, and how the smallest, most insignifact details will come back later, in the case of the ME 1 implying where the Dead Reaper would be in ME 2, it says "- a canyon on the southern hemisphere appears to be unnatural, the product of a mass accelerator shot from nearly thirty-seven million years ago." There's another planet that says a volus merchant is excavating after a dream told him a "machine-killing superweapon lies underneath the surface". Perhaps there's more truth to this then believed, and a plot point in ME3 will be finding this weapon so Shepard can *actually* fight Eldritch Abominations on his/her own?
  • Actually, the volus is an eccentric billionaire who had a dream telling him to look for "beings of light to fight machine devils." Arguably, it could be more important than the supergun.
  • The supergun mentioned in Klendagon's info is stated to have been found by one of Cerberus' science teams, but is inoperable.

The outcome of Mass Effect 3's final battle will depend on a massive interplay of variables - including your ability to play diplomat.
With the massive amount of decisions made in the series, it's inevitable that some of them would come into conflict with each other, and a lot of these could affect a major battle. Success in Mass Effect 3 will depend on your capacity to get opposing forces to work together, or at least not kill each other on sight. Some of the big ones:
  • The krogan and the rachni
Obviously, the krogan will be pissed if you spared the rachni. Will that affect their willingness to fight for you? Can the rachni build up a force strong enough to significantly assist you within three or four years? Will the Council races trust them if they demonstrate they can? Will your relationship with Wrex help the krogan put aside their differences? What about Grunt? Will the rachni be able to prove their goodness?
  • its gonna be Krogan/Salarian. for the whole genophage thing
    • Given the krogan Proud Warrior Race status, I doubt they would hold a grudge against the rachni. Salarian / Krogan is the conflict.
  • The quarians and the geth
How much of the quarians seek peace with the geth, like Zaal'Koris? Will destroying the rogue geth make you go up in the eyes of the quarians? Will reprogramming them cause Admirals Daro'Xen and Han'Gerrel to join in an unholy political alliance against the empowered "geth threat," especially if you accidentally allowed Xen to retrieve Rael's research by covering it up? Will Tali assist you in settling disputes? How about Legion? If you got them to make nice after completing both their loyalty missions, will they call the quarians and the geth to work together? How much of the geth will be willing to help you?
  • The Council
Will saving the original Council damage your cause, as they try their best to keep the existence of the Reapers quiet? How many claims can they believably dismiss? Will a Citadel led by a human-dominated Council be at all willing to fight for a human's cause? Will a human-led, but still relatively balanced, Council have a better time of it?
We've already had a few chances to try to convince people to compromise, such as Tali's trial and the interactions of certain crew members after their loyalty missions. That could all be a build-up to this single, massive set of decision points.

In honor of Shepard's ship...
One of the missions on Earth will take place in Normandy.

Shepard dies.
Shepard is made of Heroic Sacrifice, and a lot of the dialogue in ME1 and ME2 keep hinting at it. Of course, a pure Renegade Shepard will do his Heroic Sacrifice via Bring It followed by a Take That!.

The trailer did show the Reapers invading London... Very poor choice on their part.
Hello. I'm the Doctor. This is Shepard. Basically... RUN.
  • The Doctor won't be yelling at the Reapers. He'll just be holding a screwdriver.

A MacGuffin will defeat the Reapers.
A single Reaper managed to wipe out most of the Citadel fleet on its own and it took the entire Alliance Navy to destroy it. Now, the galaxy is facing all of the Reapers. There's no way even the combined might of every race in the galaxy could stop the Reapers in a face-to-face battle.

The ending of the series will be a bittersweet one.
As mentioned above the series has shown that the titular "mass effect" has played a huge part in the plot the reapers plan is completely dependent upon the races use of mass effect-based technology. And several characters in the games have noted that the use of reverse-engineered Prothean/Reaper tech has caused creative stagnation of the races development.

In the end of Mass Effect 3 in order to stop the Reapers Shepard will be left with only the option of forcing them back into deep space and destroying/deactivating the mass relays cutting the council races off from each other forcing them to find alternative methods of FTL travel but permanently putting a stop to the reapers cycle of terror through technological dominance the epilogue will be millions of years later the races have re-found each other and various species have blossomed into millions of new species all with wildly different advanced technologies just as the reapers reenter the milky way to find themselves at a disadvantage.

Another possible ending.
Depending on a lot of different choices in the previous games and what you do if and when Cerberus try to move against you, Shepard can kill The Illusive Man. At the end of the game a scene will be shown of TIM's cool office, with a figure completely in shade and concealed, sitting in the chair smoking. Depending on some choices it will be revealed to either be Miranda or Shepard who has taken control of Cerberus. There will then be a voice heard or perhaps a messenger will walk in and say "You've got a call waiting from the Shadow Broker."

The Geth will be the Big Damn Heroes
Regardless of whether or not you decided to overwrite or destroy the heretics, the geth will uncharacteristically consider interacting with other races by aiding them against the Reapers. There were about 40 ships with Sovereign in ME1. That was respective of 5% of their total population, and that's considering they had lost forces. So just image the Reapers' Oh, Crap! moment when, suddenly, 800 geth warships jump out of FTL right on them.

There will exists a Reaper counterpart which needed to be found to save the galaxy
Let's face it, considering how huge one Reaper is and how many of them there are, even all the alien races put together will be hard pressed to dent them, let alone win against them. There may exists a race that is the exact counterpart of the Reapers, perhaps known as the Sowers, who help populate and nature life in the galaxies. Shephard and Co. will need to find them and convince them to help or bring them out of stasis. They may even have rescued and protected survivors of otherwise extinct species such as the Protheans, so ME3 may see those species being reintroduced due to them.
  • Extremely doubtful. A big theme in Mass Effect is having individuals and races as a whole forge their own path rather than following someone else's guidelines. ME1 provides a deconstruction of Precursors: the Protheans are Benevolent Precursors, but the Citadel and the mass relays that everyone credits them for were actually left by the Reapers as an elabrate trap. Part of that trap was to lead technological development in a direction the Reapers desired. In the second game (especially with Arrival) we see more of indoctrination, which is the Reaper's way of cutting out the middle man to get people to do what they want. All of Mass Effect is about asserting your independance (Paragon: you can't intimidate me to change my morals/ Renegade: nobody tells me what to do), so there is no way they're going to undermine it with a Deus ex Machina wonder race that you wake up to fix everything for you.

The final destruction of the Reapers will include the destruction of the Citadel
The Citadel is the centerpiece of the Reapers' grand scheme, the means they use to control the development of organic races, the hub of the relay network, and the gate through which they enter the galaxy. Destroying it would symbolize their utter defeat and destruction.

Possible moral choices include delaying it so as many as possible can get off the station first, or blowing it immediately before the Reapers figure out what's happening.

If the Destiny Ascension was saved in ME1, she will have her own Big Damn Heroes moment.
... mirroring the one of humans in the first game. During the battle, the Human Alliance ships start losing to the Reapers and their allies. Then, the asari dreadnought jumps in and starts punding enemies with her upgraded cannons.

Zaal'Koris will be at the head of the Quarians charge with his mighty warship The QWIB-QWIB.
I'd bet you feel pretty silly for mocking him if the Qwib-Qwib turned out to be a total reaper killing machine.

The turians are building a warfleet for the Reapers, with Council backing.
If you do not save the Citadel Council in the first game, the second game includes a news story about the Turian Hierarchy repudiating the Treaty of Farixen and expanding their dreadnought fleet beyond the proscribed limits. Recent Cerberus Daily News updates in March 2011 also include this regardless of whether or not the Council was saved, including that Alliance officials are not worried about this because they "[feel] the threats of the 22nd and 23rd centuries [Earth standard] will be external to the signatories of the Treaty of Farixen." If you did not save the Council, the turians have been building up this fleet for longer, and thus it will be more powerful (since Renshep needs some positives). On the other hand, if you did save the Council, this warfleet will be led by the turian councilor.
Turian Councilor: Ah, yes, "Reapers". We have dismissed this claim. With 0.85c kinetic broadsides.

Conrad Verner will actually do something heroic.
If he has survived the first two games, he will end up being able to fulfill his original dream of being a hero by fighting for Earth, and will lead an assault of humans alongside a lot of other groups, ending with him pulling a heroic sacrifice to save Shepard, and Shepard gives him a heroic farewell before mowing down some reapers.
  • Or if he ended up starting that orphanage, he'll end up fighting and dying to save the kids and get them out by buying time for some shuttles to take off before getting overrun by husks or indoctrinated humans.

The game will include at least one Gainax Ending.
One of which will ideally consist of a strange, trippy Mind Screw going on within Shepard's head as s/he and the rest of humanity is processed into sapient orange goo.

The best ending will be completely neutral.
BioWare looked at this page and got sick of the Paragon vs Renegade debate, so they decided to Joss every single theory.
  • Not as far fetched as you may think. Current (unconfirmed) details about the ending say that playing straight paragon or renegade will not yield the best ending of the game. maybe some neutral responses or a paragade mix will be necessary for the best ending.

How Shepard will kill the Reapers.
Someone develops a device that creates an effect similar to Biotic Charge, only with a range of hundreds of kilometers. As Biotic Charge can pass through solid matter, it was originally slated as a delivery system for big bombs. However, they don't have nearly enough of the devices. Instead, a new plan is devised:1. Shepard & co use the devices to board a Reaper.2. They destroy its mass effect core, disabling its barriers.3. They get out.4. Every allied ship focuses fire on the suddenly-vulnerable Reaper.5. Reaper dies.6. Repeat until all Reapers are dead.

This makes use of existing knowledge of the Reapers, makes the final battle a real fight rather than a cutscene, and results in Shepard personally killing the Reapers.

The Reapers are not destroyed
If BioWare intends to continue the Mass Effect franchise, why would they eliminate their primary villain?

What happens is that some of the Reapers escape Shepard's onslaught, hiding in uninhabited systems and the like. In future Mass Effect games, these "rogue Reapers" could serve as antagonists in their own right. The threat of galactic extinction is ended, but the Reapers live on.

Also, one ending might have the Reaper fleet deciding to retreat, perhaps seeking out another galaxy rather than face annihilation at Shepard's hands. While this would deprive us of the opportunity to wipe them out, we would get to see the humiliating sight of the Reapers fleeing.

  • Additional support for this theory: whoever you select as Councilor in the first game, his Rousing Speech to the Council at the end has him promising to "drive the Reapers back into dark space." He says nothing about "blowing them to hell" or anything like that.

To echo what an earlier WMG said: "Renegade Shepard will die like a punk at the end" of the final battle
Seriously, how can you be that much of a jerk to the rest of the galaxy and not suffer a Karmic Death?

A Combined Energy Attack will be deployed against a Reaper or two
One of your stronger biotics, whether it's Shepard, Jack, Liara or even Samara/Morinth will use a powerful enough biotic bomb strong enough to kill one Reaper.

Shepard is not only racing against Earth's destruction, but also his/her own indoctrination by the Reapers.
Sometime after escaping Earth during the Prologue, Shepard starts coming down with headaches and hearing strange whispers. Knowing that's never a good sign, s/he will have Mordin/Chakwas/the Normandy's current medic check it out. This will result in a third meter being added to your status: an Indoctrination meter that increases slowly over time (and increases faster the more you're exposed to the Reapers or Reaper tech) and starts to override your ability to use Charm/Intimidate, among other drawbacks. If you take too long in preparing to fight the Reapers, the Indoctrination meter will max out and Shepard will succumb to the Reapers, forcing you to play as one of your squadmates for the endgame, which is now forced on you right away since Shepard is out of commission.
  • Hm. It would be hard to balance right - remember, the game designers have said they want to reward doing side-quests. If one cannot do all side-quests, because that makes one a reaper, then that would add a large guessing element into deciding which side-quests will be important enough to the end-game to be worth the cost in time, and which of them won't. If one can do all side-quests... what will 'taking one's time' mean?
  • The basic idea is that you can't complete every single sidequest and still get the Golden Ending, like what happens if you delay in saving the Normandy crew in ME2. You would have to prioritize which missions will give you the most benefit for the time it takes to finish them, and that means you can go back on subsequent playthroughs, do things in a different order, and possibly get a different final outcome. Once the endgame is finished and the Reapers are no longer a threat, you can go back and finish anything you left behind (assuming that you didn't let Shepard get indoctrinated in the meantime).
    • Except in Mass Effect 2 you could do every single sidequest.
      • By deliberately ignoring the Derelict Reaper until all those sidequests are done. This way you have a much longer time frame to get things done before the consequences start to set in, but the timer itself is unavoidable because it's set at or near the start of the game, not the end of it.

You will not be able to win
No matter what you do, no matter how much loyal races you gather under your banner, the Reapers are eternal beings beyond your comprehension. They number in the millions, and the best fleet in the galaxy can only defeat one because it succumbed to hubris and decided to fight Shepard personally. These beings with intelligences billions of times greater than us, with power infinitely your greater - they can't be defeated. Their dead can break your mind, even the dust left behind after the destruction of one of their uncounted millions will make you go insane. All you can do is try and help the next cycle - give them more information, try and not let them fall into the same trap. Your race has barely stepped into the galactic community, how can you hope to be greater than societies that lived on for tens of thousands of years in unity? - This would be a great twist, and an excellent introduction of Lovecraftian horror into gaming.
  • Actually, we may as well just give up now that the Reapers have access to TV Tropes.
  • It'd indeed be a great example of Lovecraftian horror in a game... If Mass Effect was a Lovecraftian Horror based series. The tone of the other two games is set far more on the idealistic side of idealism vs. cynicism, even for Renegade choices, for that to be the case: this'd just end up as an awkward tonal shift.

There will be tons of Big Badass Battle Sequence(s)
Large-scale battle sequences aplenty, with Husks and Reapers, and/or between the various warring races (geth vs quarians).

More Named Reapers
We have Sovereign (red) and Harbinger (yellow). We'll be introduced to a few more named Reapers, with their own distinct colors.

Newer Husk Enemy Types
We had regulars, then Abominations, Scions and Praetorians. We'll see more, plenty more, maybe even Husk-type bosses.
  • We're already starting to see some.

Cerberus will trade Shepard to the Reapers in exchange for humanity's survival
Hence why (they think) they're helping the Reapers in ME 3.

Shepard will die
It will be one of many possible endings for Shepard, either through a Heroic Sacrifice (if Paragon), a Last Stand, a Dying as Yourself, or a Dropped a Bridge on Him (if Renegade, preferably by an alien).
  • Confirmed. Shepard either gives up his physical body to take command of the Reapers (Control), or gets disintegrated to power the fusion of organic and synthetic life (Synthesis). The Destroy ending also kills Shepard, unless you have sufficient War Assets.

The Final Battle will be a multi-battle climax
A space battle against the Reapers, a land battle against the Husks, a firefight involving your squad-mates, and finally, a fight between Shepard and the Final Boss.
  • In other words, just like Mass Effect 2's finale? (Space battle against Oculi and Collector ship, land battle against husks and Collectors, squadmates hold the line, then final battle against human-Reaper larva)

The Big Bad will not be Harbinger
It'll either be another Reaper, the progenitor of the Reapers, or a non-Reaper character.
  • Extremely likely given Harbinger's name literally means "that which fortells the coming of something."

One ending will result in not only Shepard's death, but that of his entire crew
The Heroic Sacrifice is a classic trope, and the chance of an ending where Shepard sacrifices himself to save the galaxy is pretty good. But even more interesting - and perhaps more of a Player Punch - would be for all of Shepard's companions to die with him.

For the final mission, every surviving squadmate becomes available
This includes the temporary ones, and give players the chance to build their dream teams:
  • Male!Shep + Kaidan + Jacob = Attack of the Mr. Fanservice!
  • Sentinel!Shep + Kaidan + Miranda = Sentinels save the galaxy!
    • Somehow, that reminds me of this.
  • Shepard + Grunt + Wrex = Two krogan.
    • Make that Shepard a Vanguard, and you have Team CHARGE!

The elcor and/or hanar get a Moment of Awesome.
BioWare simply couldn't work an elcor or hanar squadmate into the final game. But as a cop-out, they did show them to be awesome. I'm just picturing a pitched battle, with Shepard heavily outnumbered, only for a blistering barrage to tear into the enemy. You look to the side, and it's a small army of elcor shock troops.
Elcor Commander: With unhinged fury: Kill them all. Show no mercy.
  • And then you get to fight alongside the elcor.
    • Sure, that would only be the slowest battle in the history of gaming.
      • From the ME Wiki: "Elcor warriors don't carry small arms; their broad shoulders serve as a stable platform for the same size of weapons typically mounted on Alliance fighting vehicles." It would be awesome.

Shepard's survival will depend on a seemingly trivial action
The Reapers swarm through the Galaxy. All hope is lost. Realizing that he has no other choice, Shepard makes the toughest choice of his life. Despite all the protests of his cohorts, he prepares himself for a final suicide run on the enemy. He shares one last passion filled kiss with the love of his life before defiantly charging the enemy. In a flurry of fire and smoke that blackens the stars themselves, Shepard is blown clean from the cockpit of his ship. Satisfied that the threat is over, he closes his eyes and all fades to white. Then the voice of a thoroughly obnoxious wee shite blurts out, 'Shepard, it's me, Conrad Verner! You remember me right?' Shepard awakes and finds himself sitting in the back seat of a shuttle belonging to one C.Verenr who, inspired by the courage of his idol, flew into the scene at the last minute to save you. And they all live happily ever after. Cut to credits.

The Illusive Man will perform a Heroic Sacrifice
He, and Cerberus by extension, are being manipulated by the Reaper which has led to his betrayal of Shepard. However, towards the end he'll regain some control and have a What Have I Done? moment and work to set things right. He'll trick several Reapers into travelling to his base, where he'll detonate the star it revolves around. He'll die, but so will several Reapers. His final words to Shepard will be "I always have humanity's best interests at heart".

If you did badly enough (few allies, lots of squad member deaths, etc.)
The Reaper fleet will be stopped... by Cthulhu. Right before everyone else dies.

You fight an indoctrinated Anderson.
He stayed behind on Earth where most of the Reapers seem to be hanging out. What did you think would happen?
  • Jossed

The entire Mass Relay Network will be sacrificed to stop the Reapers
Stopping the full-scale invasion that is already occurring on multiple fronts will probably require blowing up every Mass Relay at once, just to make sure no Reaper escapes destruction. The "Paragon" choice will probably be delaying the act to allow time for the people who live near the relays to evacuate a safe distance which would also allow a Reaper or two to escape to fight another day. The "Renegade" choice would be to blow them up immediately — the ending of "The Arrival" DLC taken Up to Eleven. Either way, the ending will be bittersweet at best, since Shepard will probably have to be near one of the Relays to trigger the destruction and sacrifice himself/herself in the process. Bonus points if the Love Interest is the only member of the crew who won't leave Shepard's side no matter what happens. It would also have galactic ramifications since the Relays made the current civilization possible in the first place. Depending on whether Shepard was a Paragon or a Renegade for most of the series, he/she will be remembered as a great savior or a ruthless monster.

The Illusive Man will be the final boss
The two enemies we've seen so far are Cerberus and the Reapers. The first games end boss was a Reaper-Antagonist Hybrid. The second games boss was also part-reaper. The Illusive Man will be indoctrinated if Shepard kept the Collector base, and become a boss, and if the player destroys the Collector Base, he will find out that it was a trap, and forgive Shepard. Then Harbinger quickly assumes control.
  • Josed.

There will be no good ending
It took an entire fleet to take down one Reaper. Said Reaper was already weakened, and the fleet suffered heavy losses in the process. An entire armada of Reapers is on its way in. These are ridiculously powerful warships, and there is no way even the combined fleets of the galaxy will defeat them. I can envision several endings, in order of best to worst.
  • Earth is sacrificed to defeat the Reapers
    • The most obvious solution is to ignite Sol into a supernova. This would destroy the Reapers, killing billions of humans but saving most organic life in the galaxy. It doesn't have to be blowing up a sun- the Earth itself is also a viable option. Alternatively, like the one below, Earth is sacrificed to destroy a small distraction force.
  • Forces are rallied to defend Earth, but it turns out that it's only a distraction.
    • A small force of Reapers are defeated at immense cost and Earth is saved. However, it turns out the main force is heading for other targets, such as the Citadel or other homeworlds. With those fleets out of the way, the Reapers easily win. There is still an opportunity to continue from here, however, such as remnants fighting a desperate war against the Reapers.
  • The war against the Reapers is won, but at the cost of virtually all intelligent life in the galaxy
    • Everybody Dies. Maybe this involves Heroic Sacrifice, or simply a long, drawn-out war. The relays and Citadel may also take a hit in the process. On the good side, the Reapers are gone, and the next evolution of life blossoms. I can see this ending with epilogue thousands to millions of years in the future, possibly digging up archaeological evidence of the fight against the Reapers.
  • The war against the Reapers is lost, but they Fling a Light into the Future
    • Similar to what the Protheans did. Maybe they destroy the relays or Citadel, or leave technology or information behind. After this, it can really end two ways. The good version is that it works, and the next evolution of life successfully destroys the Reapers. The bad version is that it doesn't work- turns out that this is part of the cycle.
  • The war against the Reapers is simply lost
    • They fought hard, but in the end, it didn't matter. The might of the Reapers could not be matched- defeat was inevitable.
  • Jossed by Bioware. It will be brutal and hard fought but Hudson promised a Good Ending to the story if everything was done right.
    • They lied. There was no happy ending at all.
    • Until the Extended Cut.

we will reach the Godzilla Threshold
only in this case, it will be the "blow up a lot of mass relays" threshold

The Reapers will be defeated by a Logic Bomb.
It seems unlikely that even unified forces of the galaxy could take on the Reapers in a direct battle, but they can tie their attention for long enough for Shepard to infiltrate some forgotten ruins, or even the depths of some Reaper's brain to discover the truth of their origins and the reason they were born that they have forgotten, and broadcast it across their entire fleet, causing them to turn on one another or go crazy in other equally spectacular way.
The Illusive Man in the end was fake
It was some random brainwashed and remote controlled mook with cybernetic implants. Real one alive and plotting. And he is not indoctronated.

Post-Shepard Mass Effect

The main trilogy may spell the end of Shepard's arc, but that won't spell the end of Mass Effect.

Newer Threats
A typical yahg has the intelligence of a salarian, the brutality and adaptability of a krogan, and the discipline of a turian. Following that Evil Counterpart trend, there will be a race that has the turians' militarism taken Up to Eleven and the ME equivalent to The Empire.

Newer Protagonists
Because Shepard will either retire or die by the end of ME-3, so why not have other novels, comics or games with new main characters?

The Yahg will be enemies
Since the Reapers are attacking everyone, the asari and turian blockade of the yahg homeworld will either get attacked and destroyed by the Reapers, force their admirals to spread their forces to combat the Reapers, or get hijacked by the yahg themselves, allowing the yahg to involve themselves into the galaxy, but in a particularly bad way.
  • The yahg will also be shown in ME3. I would guess as enemies.

Extinct Species will be Husked
We have Collectors (Protheans), so who's to say that the arthenn, inusannon, thoi'han, the zei'oph, and the Mnemosyne species that built the Derelict Reaper-killing weapon won't enslaved by the Reapers?

The raloi will make an appearance in ME3, but they'll get more prominent later on.

There are Heretic Reapers
Similar to Legion and the Geth, it'd be a twist of irony if there are friendly Reapers who are more than annoyed at some of their fellows exterminating the galaxy. Again.
  • More like evidence that there were heretic Reapers. I doubt the main Reapers would let dissidents within their ranks.
    • I am imagining that the Reapers we know are like destructive little children, and either their mothers or their wives get pissed off that their little Reaper-kins are extinguishing that nice species again. Why can't they all just get along?
  • Jossed. The main writer said all the Reapers are bad.
    • But not all of them agree with the cycle, if the Leviathan DLC has anything to say about it.
      • The Leviathans aren't actually Reapers. They're the beings that created the Catalyst which created the Reapers. Btw, the Leviathans are arguably just as evil as the Reapers.

There won't be any games taking place after ME3...
But there will be prequels. BioWare has said that the only reason each ending to the first two games were so so similar (the only really difference between the multiple endings of both games is the conversations you had with The Council/Illusive Man) was because they had to make it so the third always started the same way. They don't plan to make a ME4 so ME3 will have such wildly different endings that any future games would be nigh impossible because of all the variables. However, a prequel would not be out of the question. Perhaps one about humans during the fighting in the First Contact War.
  • Unless they decide on a relatively canon storyline. The further into the future they set it, the less they need to worry about a canon story.
    • Or they could simply make it a game played in universe. I wana play alliance corsair,personally.
    • Or, going off of the prequel idea, a game based around the geth uprising on the quarian homeworld. They've made plenty of references to it. Why not make a game around it? You'd play either side, and the story would change based on whether you were geth or quarian, due to the whole "one side of the story" thing.

The next game will be an RTS
There are so many wars in the history of the galaxy to make it worthwhile. It will be a similar style to Star Wars: Empire At War but with a greater emphasis on individual squads like Dawn of War II. Campaigns will include:
  • The fall of the Protheans (prologue/tutorial).
  • The rise of the Turian Hierarchy.
  • The Rachni Wars.
  • The Krogan Rebellion.
  • The Geth Rebellion.
  • The First Contact War.
  • Some conflict that takes place after ME 3 (expansion).
    • Considering that both endings have the Mass Relays destroyed and the "bad" ending knocks civilization back a few tech levels there probably will be several interstellar wars between the various colonies of the former Citadel races

The next game will detail Garrus's exploits on Omega

The classified companion character promised to come with the Collector's Edition will be either Gianna Parasini or Shiala.
Both have been teased as possible future companions and love interests in ME2 if you play your cards right in the first game. Perhaps one of them will be just a companion if you buy the Collector's Edition, but will also be a love interest if you fulfilled their quests properly in the previous two games as extra special reward for hardcore fans?

If they survive, the Geth will be key to reintroducing FTL travel and reconnecting the races after the destruction of the mass relays.
In ME2 Legion tells us that the (non-heretic) Geth are the one race in the galaxy uninterested in using Reaper technology to advance their tech, preferring to upgrade based on their own efforts. Which would make them likely to be closest to working out their own form of FTL travel, or at the very least likely to be the closest to having worked out how to make new relays.Alternately it could turn out that some of the asari paid Aethyta's ideas more mind than she thought, and had been quietly working on them behind the scenes. Or they could both work on the problem independently!

We've already played the sequels to Mass Effect. They were pretty okay, I guess.
By the amount of logic that was thrown into the endings, I'm pretty sure BioWare has released the next two Mass Effect games. Without the relays around, all galactic civilization gets stuck in the dark ages. Without technology, species on some lucky planets will be integrating element zero into their bodies over time, eventually refining their abilities enough to do more than alter gravity (magic). Their fine level of control allows them to tap into the remains of the relay network (Golden City in the Fade), but in doing so they are corrupted by the Reaper code fragments still hanging out in there...thus becoming indoctrinated (the first Darkspawn). Since the newly indoctrinated beings can't integrate with technology, they just choose the biggest, nastiest organism around to create a new Reaper line (Dragons -> Archdemons). The new organic Reapers are still hell-bent on destroying all life, and so they come up with a new way to create husks (broodmothers). Just as before, different species create different husks. Though they now operate on a much smaller amount of time per cycle, they still follow through with a lesser version of the 50,000 year galactic cycle (Blights). As before, the best way to fight the Reapers is to have a little Reaper-tech of your own (the Joining to become a Grey Warden). Of course, eventually the Reapers will indoctrinate you unless you die first (the Calling).

The Reapers will help to reestablishing the Mass Relay network in the Synthesis and Control endings.
In Synthesis, they just lost their sole reason for existence, but they still got the impulse to preserve and sustain. New form of life or no, the Sol System is still rather small for everybody gathered there, and building new connections in the form of Mass Relays would probably be the next best thing. In Control Shepard's personality upload has power over the Reaper Collective, and probably comes to the same conclusion, that it's better for the galaxy to stay tied together. And since there are Reapers in all the inhabited worlds now, they don't have to travel millennia to each destination; they can start the reconstruction of the network right away. If you chose to destroy them however...tough luck, better hope that you can salvage enough information and tech from the remains, and keep those quantum entanglers functional enough to coordinate at least some reconstruction.
  • Confirmed in the Extended Cut DLC.

The Stargazer kid will be the protagonist of Mass Effect 4
And s/he'll have a line about how s/he used to bug his/her grandfather for stories about the Shepard.

Following the above WMG, the Main Character of Mass Effect 4 will be an Ascended Fanboy/Fangirl Hero-Worshipper of Shepard, In-Universe
And their name? Commander Lamb.

The Catalyst lied. The real reason the Reapers harvest the advanced organic species every 50,000 years...
... is to prevent organic consciousness from giving birth to the Chaos Gods of Warhammer 40,000. The true purpose of the mass relays is to discourage the discovery and exploration of the warp. In destroying the Reapers, Shepard condemns the galaxy to the grim darkness of the far future.

The endings were ripped off from Deus Ex.
- Merge with the Reapers (Helios)- Destroy the Reapers (Tong)- Control the Reapers (Illuminati)

The interstellar travel will be done with Conduits for the next few decades/centuries.
Building full-sized Mass Relays can be a bit of a problem with the post-war reconstruction and chaos going on, but as long as the blueprints can be harvested from somewhere, it shouldn't be too hard to build a bunch of scale models, using quantum entaglement to communicate the plans between systems. The Conduit on Ilos went all the way from Terminus Systems to the Citadel, so the size doesn't seem to limit the distance they can take you. The scale of interstellar travel is by necessity reduced, but everyone can go home safely, and contact and basic trade can continue as before.

The new interstellar communication will be based on the Rachni Song.
After the mission of dealing with the Rachni sightings Specialist Traynor mentions that the rachni communication is fascinating and mysterious, capable of transferring information instantaneously over interstellar distances. Something like that will sure come in handy after the ending, in spite of the many quantum entanglers likely to travel with the fleet to the Sol System.

The Extended Cut DLC will be one big Ass Pull.
Considering how unhappy people are over the endings, what with the left field outcome and numerous plot holes, Bioware will attempt to placate as many fans as possible, whilst claiming to stick to the "artistic integrity" of their ending. However, as this will all be additional epilogue, their original vision can be whatever they want, whilst still saying that's what they intended. For example-
  • The races will reverse engineer Reaper technology/find blueprints to make new Mass Relays
  • The Normandy fled Earth because Shepard secretly told Joker to do so in the event of his death, as it's already established in conversation that Shepard's stress levels are monitored, so there is some basis for this. Perhaps being hit by Harbinger's beam screwed up the systems.
    • Jossed. They (reluctantly) flee Earth because Admiral Hackett orders the fleet to withdraw once the Crucible is activated.
  • Any squad members with you when you're attacked by Harbinger get picked up by Alliance forces/Joker, as we do not see them get hit during the beam assault, so it's feasible they took enough cover, were only grazed/injured as opposed to disintegrated or some such.
  • As unlikely as it'll be, there will be text epilogue for major characters and races a la Dragon Age: Origins, if not full blown cutscenes. Again, Bioware's claim will be something along the lines of "This was our intended vision, how could you not see this?"
  • The scene with the Stargazer and Child will be explained as being 50,000 in the future, showing that the Reapers really did not win/that the endings were not indoctrination
    • It's not really Ass Pull when the suggestions fit in the witnessed scenes quite well. Most of the suggestions are quite plausible, although I'm more inclined to think that the Mass Relays will be reverse-engineered from the blueprints of the Crucible, which explicitly uses the same technology, and that Joker and co. left as a secret contingency plan to seed information to the raloi and the yagh, and any other pre-spaceflight species they could find so they would be ready for the next invasion. And as for epilogue, one has explicitly been promised, though whether it'll be text or full-blown cutscenes is anybody's guess. It's unlikely that the stinger will actually be explained though; it really has no need for clarification.

The garden planet the Normandy crashed on was 2175 Aeia, i.e. the same one the MSV Hugo Gernsback, which Jacob's dad captained, landed on.

There will be sequels, which will use a single backstory of what happened in the trilogy
This lack of incorporating player choices will be explained by the grandfather telling the story being an Unreliable Narrator. The sequels might even derive plot twists from revealing things he got wrong telling the first trilogy.

BioWare is indoctrinated.
Mass Effect is actually the result of Shepard traveling back in time to the early 21st century, in order to give prior warning about the Reapers, including the key to defeating them. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, BioWare itself became indoctrinated, and they wrote the current ending to cover up the real one.

The future of interstellar long-range travel will be subspace.

After the Mass Relay Network is gone, the next few generations of Earth will have to make their way through the galaxy again, and from the ruins of the network is subspace. Eventually, they couldn't find nodes that would lead them to the other races' homeworlds (and presumably they faded from existence), and eventually found the Vasudans, which were initially hostile at first (hey, if anyone read the lore or scraps around here, some relay gates were closed because their destinations were uncharted and potentially hostile).

The Human Reaper...
...was supposed to have been the template for all succeeding Reapers to be made after it, out of respect for Shepard; in the same way that Harbinger was made out of the Leviathan race, and every other Reaper since was made in their image. I just can't imagine it enclosed in a Leviathan-like casing, and this theory makes their undeniable respect for Shepard that much more significant.

The citadel relay was used after the Fall of Thessia to send a multi-species team to the Andromeda Galaxy
Since the relay links to the intergalactic medium and the Reapers are currently here, a small team of soldiers, scientists and diplomats were sent out of the Milky Way as a contingency. They would drift at light speed for millenia till they reached Andromeda at which point they were to either colonize and repopulate, build a new alliance with spacefaring races there to attack the reapers, or build new mass relays that will allow more people to escape the Milky Way harvest. The fourth game will be about one of these teams.

Multiplayer Guesses

Multiplayer will have heroic sacrifices as an option at one point.
I'd put the players in hard situations and probably involve that character staying dead requiring theplayer to make a new one.

Multiplayer conversations will involve everyplayer in the campaign.
However importance will be based one stuff like who joined first and levels.
  • Another likely possibility is that each player will choose their option and it will randomly determine who actually speaks, which is the system they're using for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Your Multiplayer characters will appear as elite allied mooks in the game.
After all, that mysterious "promote" button in the character select has to be used for something. Maybe Shep will meet them in certain levels with fierce fighting, gain them as temporary squadmates, or assign them to command squads to tackle hotspots that s/he can't get to him/herself.
  • Better yet, you can add them to your squad! they will join you on the next misson shepard undertakes, but be unavailable in multiplayer until they are taken on that mission.
  • Partially jossed. The multiplayer characters never appear in person in the single player, but promoting them turn them into War Assets, so they do "appear as elite mooks", in a way.

The next game in the series will be titled... Mass Effect 4X!
Yes, as in an eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, galaxy-wide strategy game.The plot will kick off when all of the races stranded in the Sol system pool their collective knowledge to create a mode of interstellar travel that renders mass relay technology obsolete, thus beginning a new age of exploration and re-colonization in the wake of the war with the reapers.
  • Before you dismiss this as being too crazy, remember what Legion said about how relying on the technology of others blinds you to alternatives. After relying on the relays for interstellar travel for thousands of years, the firing of the Crucible and the destruction of the relay network has left galactic civilization free to explore other possible methods of transportation.

The Crucible Shackles the Catalyst.
This one is pretty basic but I noticed a lot of people had other theories (IE: Why does the Catalyst LET you win?, etc... ) so I just wanted to offer my take on the ending, mainly this: The Crucible shackled the Starchild. (Or, as it coyly puts it: "The Crucible changed me. Created new... possibilities. But I can't make them happen (and in the case of low EMS (Destroy and/or Control only), it adds, "And I won't.") .)

Like EDI in Mass Effect 2, it still had a will of its own and could express its own opinion (trying like mad to make the Destroy Ending seem bad to save itself) but had no choice but to serve Shepard at that point. It doesn't let Shepard win at all.

  • This actually makes a lot of sense. When the Player doesn't have enough EMS to achieve Synthesis (the one ending the Catalyst actually favors), the Catalyst acts really grouchy and irritated towards Shepard.


Example of: