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Original 'Mass Effect' writer talks about the possible endings for 'Mass Effect 3'

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The alternate ending

Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3's ending could have been very different to what was actually published, according to former BioWare writer, Drew Karpyshyn.

Mass Effect 3's ending could have been very different to what was actually published, according to former BioWare writer, Drew Karpyshyn.

Karpyshyn was a part of BioWare for 12 years where he was the lead writer on Mass Effect 1 and 2, Knights of the Old Republic, and did work on Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal. He also worked on BioWare's MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, which clashed with the development of Mass Effect 3, meaning he could not work on the final instalment of the Mass Effect series. In an interview with Eurogamer, Karpyshyn talks about some of the possible endings that BioWare had considered for Mass Effect 3.

One of the possible endings concerned the spread of Dark Energy, a force used in mass effect fields and biotic powers that could ultimately destroy everything. The story went that the goal of the Reapers was to find a way to stop the spread of Dark Energy, which is why every 50,000 years they would turn an entire species into Reapers to slow its spread.

"The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time"

"The Reapers as a whole were 'nations' of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy," Karpyshyn said. "The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of its genetic diversity and represented the universe's best chance at stopping Dark Energy's spread."

The ending for Mass Effect 3 that Karpyshyn came up with, which was one of several, required the player to decide whether they would sacrifice the entire human race to create a Human Reaper, or take a chance that humanity could come up with an alternative.

Karpyshyn says that the plan was very vague; they knew they wanted to focus on key themes like organics versus synthetics, the Reapers, and the Mass Relays, but beyond that they did not go into detail because they knew the game would evolve and change.

"I don't like to say 'here's what we originally were thinking', because it gives a false and very distorted impression of the process," he wrote on his blog. "Mass Effect was the creation of a huge team, with contributions coming in from many people at many stages of the project. Some things I liked ended up getting cut, some stuff I wasn't sure of worked its way in. That's the nature of the beast with collaborative works, and in the end it makes the final product stronger."

Karpyshyn recently left BioWare to finish a trilogy of books, Children of Fire.