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So Mass Effect was consistently brilliant old school populist space opera like the new BSG. The new BSG had one of the worst closing mythologies and endings the material could possibly have generated. Mass Effect not only has the worst closing mythology and ending since then, it has essentially the same one. It started out as Captain Kirk and the Colonial Marines versus the Lovecraftian robots and ended with the "Paul Atreides can make it rain" ending from David Lynch's Dune. Bravo guys. 120 hours of emotional investment and enjoyable carnage and you flip off the lights when I'm done.

It does make me pose a question - Mass Effect was a human story, it was about choices, alliances, friendships and relationships. Political, practical, personal, romantic - it was a story about people. My question is for the writers and is this, "is it SF that's the problem?" while you clearly know how to tell human stories about characters while working in a medium, computer games, where well drawn characters could not be more exciting and gratifying, and which hasn't traditionally done much with characterisation, did you second guess all that work you've done making them live because you were working in SF? Did you feel you had to conform to its conventions? Did you, moreover, misunderstand them? Rather than making an ending that turns on everything I'd chose and everyone I'd won over or loved and everyone I'd had to fight or just not liked, which is what the story you'd written was building towards, did you feel the need to make it about Big Universal Questions? SF might be a fiction of ideas, but it's still a fiction of human relationships. As Steve rightly pointed out we got the Maud'dib's magic rain ending, but what we needed was the "guys dancing at a barbecue with furry midgets" ending from Return of the Jedi. That's the sort of story you'd been writing. The story you were writing was one of unity born of co-operation and shared use of technology - the technology of government, law, codes of behaviour, not just space ships and superweapons. You introduced one deus ex machina to stopper an entire arsenal of Chekhov's, and you completely ruined it. Damp squibbed it. Whatever.


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