These People Made A 90 Minute Documentary About The Mass Effect 3 Ending

These People Made A 90 Minute Documentary About The Mass Effect 3 Ending

Man, I don’t want to say another word about the Mass Effect 3 ending, but these folks do — in fact they want 90 minutes worth. This is The Indoctrination Theory, and attempts to explain all perspectives on the ending. It’s pretty definitive.

Discussion about the ending is unlikely to end. The whole fracas has genuinely put me off the game, and I honestly doubt if I’ll ever finish it. But for those who have invested time discussing and debating Bioware’s controversial ending, this is about as long, and as indulgent, as it gets.

I’ll say one thing — a game that can inspire this kind of dedication? Whether or not you like the ending of Mass Effect 3, that’s some achievement.

You can discuss your thoughts on the documentary at the creator’s website, or in the comments below!

Thanks Corey!


  • I could never get into the Mass Effect games because, for a game incredibly story driven with a shit-ton of movie segments to watch, I always felt like the characters had dead eyes. Even more so than much older games. It’s like trying to enjoy the show Battlestar Galactica if all the characters were waxwork models.

  • And Mark, you should definitely play it through, even if you bump the difficulty down to narrative so that you can fly through the combat sections. There’s some genuinely cool areas and scenarios and you get to see how everybody’s story plays out before you reach the ending. Plus you’re missing out on wanting to punch the illusive Man in the face. Man I hate that guy.

    • Almost all of the ending was great, everything on the citadel was really cool and emotional, and I suspect that was where the original game was intended to end before someone at EA came in and demanded an open ended ending. But it still had some really epic scenes leading up to that, totally worth playing.

  • Im glad i finished it before it got exploded too far. It however puts me off wanting to get any DLC add-ons/ending extension for the game though, as it will surely be tarred with the “not good enough replacement for ending” by the trolls.

    I think I would be happy having it end the way it did, just to avoid any more internet forums/news reports clogged with for and against articles on whatever they do to “fix” or “extend” the ending.

  • DUUUUDE! You have to finish it, the ending is good…. it’s just not fleshed out enough too satisfy properly, hence everyone’s anger. It’s still one of the best Sci-fi franchises in existence, well worth the playthrough.

  • Honestly Mark, if I were you I would finish it JUST to get some perspective this Indoctrination Theory. I had initially dismissed this as just a crack-pot idea, but the more i read into it, the more interesting it became and it just made sense. In all honesty, just the existence of such a theory, whether it’s true or not, makes the ending more interesting.

    There are a couple of clues left in the ending of ME3 which seem WAY too convenient, so if Indoctrination Theory is actually correct, and the current ending is not actually the REAL ending, then an entire leigon of grumpy Mass Effect fans are going to shit their asses from the biggest mindf*ck of an ending in gaming history.

    That said, it doesn’t mean I really believe the theory, but you can’t deny it’s fun to speculate 🙂

  • I don’t 100% believe the theory, but there are a lot of interesting facts to suggest it is true, and I also want it to be true just because that would be awesome.

    • Same. It’s Biowares stance on the theory that has put me off. There’s a LOT of evidence for it, it’s either accept the indoctrination theory or accept the ending full of plot holes.

  • I love the bits where the video essentially says “BioWare would not be lazy and create plot holes and re-use assets…so it must be a dream!”

    • = Fan desperation trying to make sense of the crappy ending.

      In fairness, to each their own – but ME3’s ending turned me off the whole franchise and I certainly won’t be buying any DLC either. What’s the point of replaying the games / DLC for variation when it’s still the same turd at the end?

  • Mark’s been indoctrinated against finishing the game.

    Mark, you’re only scared that once you’ve seen the ending you’ll be inevitably drawn into the ending arguments. Join us!

  • This is NOT a Documentary, this is a video seminar.

    In order for something like this to be considered a documentary it would have to have multiple points of view.

  • My wee net can’t handle 90 minutes of video, so forgive me if I’m wrong or this is covered or whatever.

    But if the indoctrination theory is correct and Shepard is imagining the end of the game – specifically the part where he kills all the reapers – then doesn’t that mean while all this is going on, and Shepard is out of action, and the game had ended and you’ve stopped playing, doesn’t that mean that while all that has happened, the reapers are still tearing up Earth? And killing everyone?

    Because that’s not really an ending.

    Also I’d hate the idea that this whole theory is wrong, and that Bioware planned none of it, but then they suddenly decided “yeah actually yeah we totally planned this all along.”

  • My problem with the indoctrination theory is that although lots of things are consistent with it, there are a few key events that refute it entirely.

    The prothean divulges its information stating very clearly that Shepard is not indoctrinated.

    **end spoilers**

    I want this to be true, but I suspect its just lazy writing. Da2 had a completely rubbish ending too, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented.

  • I do wish Diablo would hurry up and come out so the gamers of the world would have something else to fixate on. Hell I could probably put up with the rainbow debate again at this point.

  • I will suport the indoctrination theory until the extended cut dlc show me i´m was wrong. But about the child from the beginning. There is a picture of him in the memorial wall on the citadel´s docks. Is really similar, I don´t think that the picture is for another child. See it for yourself. Great video!

  • I love Mass effect and the idea that people have put so much time in trying to make sense of the ending. It’s just a shame that BioWare couldn’t have done this themselves. Also, if we didn’t get the “real ending” does that mean that EA wants us to front 15-20 dollars for the REAL ending? That’s some bullshit. FF13-2 did this, Asura Wraith did this, and I don’t want to add Mass Effect in to that list.

    Is it cool that they did all these “subtle” things to lead you to the right way. It’s a shame you had to read the books to know all this. =/ I don’t think this would be the “greatest ending of all time”. It’s just an attempt to say “To be Continued” without actually saying it. Which would mean they are trying to indoctrinate our money from us. Sorry BioWare, I’ll be resisting your attempt to get more money out of me even though I already gave you the 60 dollars for the full ending.

  • Ultimately, we won’t know whether IT is true or not until EC is released. If I were a betting man, I would put money on IT being true. Other think differently, and that is fine (that is the point, even). All we can do is place our bets and see how we roll.

    As for the author of this post, is there honestly no-one else at Kotaku who could have written this? “I haven’t finished ME3 and don’t plan to… so here’s some information about it!”

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