[SPOILER] Destroy ending, the bit in the rubble...

Hi everyone

So... I completed the game last night with my paragon Shep imported across all 3 games.  I'm not going to comment on what I thought of the endings here (I've got my opinions, saw all 3), but I was wondering what people thought about the bit with Shep supposedly alive in the rubble after choosign the 'destroy' ending.

I don't know if this has been raised anywhere already (I haven't seen it anywhere), but has anyone considered that the survivor isn't Shepard?  Everything thing I've read seems to state as fact that it is, but there's things making me think otherwise.  For example...

  • The rubble looks like stone and concrete, not the steel or whatever the Citadel is (was) made of.  I know the 'indoctrincation' theory points this out too (but i think that's unlikely to be what Bioware have in mind).
  • Shep's armour was virtually disintegrated by the kill-shot from Harbinger before he got to the Citadel.  The survivor's armour is comparably in much better condition, and has an N7 emblem on it, which Shepard didn't by the end.
  • Bioware have stated more than once that ME3 is the end of Shepard's journey (although how much faith can be placed in Bioware's words is debatable right now of course).

I read that you only get that scene if your EMS was high enough too.  So personally I think it was actually just a little easter egg giving us a glimpse into the future of the franchise - I'm now expecting the next ME protagonist to be a veteren of the final stand of the Reaper war in London , who came close to death him/herself.  Although I can't think why you would only get this extra scene after the 'destroy' ending, unless it either really is Shepard or Bioware purposely want to leave us thinking so.

Just an opinion, what do you think?


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Last updated July 3, 2018 Views 2 Applies to:

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The Ending is broken and convoluted. There are many inconsistencies then just that.

Yeah, I know there's uproar about it, and I agree - I'm far from happy with the way a universe and characters I've fallen in love with and become attached to over the last 5 years has been handled in it's climactic moments.


But that's not what I'm asking.  I'm asking if you think the survivor is Shepard or more likely somthing along the lines I've suggested.

Its really pointless to write spoiler if your thread title hints at two separate spoilers

Really?  I hardly think simply putting the words 'destroy' and 'bit in the rubble' gives away plot details does it?  I thought everyone knew there were titles the 3 endings are being referred to by now, so I apologise if that's not the case.  But as for 'rubble'... it's hardly inconceivable that there might be some rubble during the ending.


Anyway, anyone got an opinion on what I said?  Meant to be Shepard or not?

If you believe the Indoctrination Theory, then Shepard never left Earth and the scene signifies that he is waking up in the rubble of the area where he was hit by Harbinger's beam.  If not, then he somehow survived being blown out of the Citadel (let alone the fact that the destroy ending was supposed to kill him), did not burn up in the atmosphere, and woke up in the rubble of London with the Ctiadel's debris noticeably absent (or amidst the debris of the Citadel, despite it being uncharacteristic of the Citadel's metallic composition).  So either Bioware has a grander scheme planned and that scene is part of it (and they probably don't based on what the new DLC is supposed to be), or they just added a pointless scene that added to the plotholes of the ending and no one ever reviewed the decision.  Or, more blatantly, either they're really clever or they've lost their touch a bit

Take your pick

Hahaha, yeah, I guess it could be anything, and it's only harder to guess with the general feeling that Bioware have hardly been consistent in the way they've tied up Shepard's story.


I like the indoctrination theory, and I think the reason it's gathered ground is becasue it's preferable to most (maybe) than what Bioware actually gave us.  Not perfect, but better... closer to what we hoped for, or at least it treats the characters and the ME universe in a way that's more acceptable, which doesn't leave such a bitter taste in your mouth.  But... I really doubt that is what Bioware had in mind.  So that's why I think it's a set up for the next ME protagonist.  It seems to fit without holes at least - or can you see any?

Indoctrination theory and all the other BS inconsistencies aside, I'm pretty convinced that no matter how convoluted the whole ending may be, it is in fact Shepard in the rubble.  I didn't come to this conclusion without any evidence of proof (even if only to myself).

How I reached my conclusion was:

Played through as Shepard, met the criteria to get the 'breath' scene.

Played through as Femshep, met the criteria to get the 'breath' scene.

In both instances, the armor and 'breath sound' that was displayed in that little scene was gender specific. It was definitely male for Shep and female for femshep, no mistake about it.

As far as the armor being N7, it's been a few days since I watched that scene... but if you were watching closely, there was an N7 dogtag laying on Shep's chest. You can clearly see that it's a dogtag. Are you sure that it's N7 armor you're seeing, or is it just that you thought the dogtag was an N7 insignia? I just youtubed it but it was pretty dark so can't say for sure from that vid.

I currently am going with the theory that everything that happened after the Harbinger beam was all in Shep's indoctrinated mind.  It was written in such a way that what you thought was really happening was metaphorical, symbolic of Shepard's fight against indoctrination.


The rubble was London, on Earth.  Shep never went up to the Citadel.  But being all cybernetic and stuff, was able to barely survive the Reaper beam.

One of the things I don't understand is why Shepard needs to keep walking toward the power conduit while shooting it.


All I can guess is that it was done to look dramatic but I would have stood back a bit so I would not have caught the brunt of the explosion. As soon as I heard the first bang I'd be running like a mad thing to find a way off the Citadel.

I wasn't a real explosion.  It was a "Reaper code fragment" inside your brain!  And the "Mass Relays exploding" were synapses clearing your head of indoctrination.


Or fully succumbing to it, depending on your choice there.


This is also why I believe that when Bioware stated you can "rebuild the Mass Relays", it's actually because they were never destroyed.  The Victory Fleet is fine, for now.  But so are the Reapers and everyone else.  As of the final breath scene, the battle may still be waging overhead.

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