Tomorrow, BioWare will release the free ending-enhancing downloadable content for Mass Effect 3, hopefully laying to rest the concerns of countless players that were disappointed with the game's ending.
But what of the gamer's that took it upon themselves to write their own epilogues?
FanFiction.net's Mass Effect archives are loaded with entries from players that wanted to give their own spin to the story. Some of them crafted their tales as soon as the credits rolled. Others hastily committed pen to paper once they heard BioWare would be revising the official finale via DLC.
While tomorrow morning's free content is a dream-come-true to many, for the writers of Mass Effect 3 fan fiction, it's the closing chapter in their own speculative saga.
Let us honour them.
And while we honour them, keep in mind this article is going to be riddled with spoilers, both real and imaginary, so if you don't want to ruin the game, don't read on.
Writer acevolkner begins his post-Mass Effect 3 story "All in the Mind", which he stresses is not a fix-it fic, with an acknowledgement that tonight's downloadable content might render it null and void.
This isn't, or at least, I don't think it's a fix it fic. I'm trying to keep as close to canon as possible following the ending of ME3. Honestly, I didn't HATE the ending like most of the internet did. I mean, I didn't like it, but then I had decided back in January that I'd never like any ending purely because it was an end to the trilogy. Also, just in case future people read this (I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. Your mandibles are to die for), I'm scribbling before the Extended Cut DLC comes out, just in case it renders this story useless.
The story itself doesn't differ much from the real ending, with the exception of the ultimate fate of the Normandy -- fan-fiction writers almost unanimously agree that didn't actually happen. If it did, Shepard and Liara wouldn't be separated again, a reversal of the events that followed the first Mass Effect. And we couldn't have gushy insight like this.
She pictured Liara, now, alone. She had seen what her death had done to the Asari first hand. Even now that they were together again, Shepard still felt the occasional pangs of her pain and grief. During their melds, the two years of Shepard's absence were walled off tightly, a cold bitter corner in Liara's otherwise warm and loving mind. Neither Human or Asari were to blame for it, of course, that fell solely on the Reapers. But those two years were still there, a poisonous lump of hurt that Shepard worried would never fully disappear.
Other authors are not so gentle, changing the entire ending to fit their vision of universal salvation. Of these my favourite (I am not being sarcastic here either) comes from E350, who twists the anticlimax into something straight out of a big budget science fiction movie in "Mass Effect: Endgame". There's drama! There are explosions! There are twists!
A tremendous volley of mass-accelerated shells, combined with blast from her Thanix Cannon, blasted the Crucible. The super weapon, already enveloped in green light, began to shake as shot after shot collided with its superstructure.
And then it went up.
Shepard fell backwards as the whole Citadel was rocked by recoil. A massive beam of green light fired from the Crucible, sapping energy from the arms of the Citadel. For a few moments, it stopped at the edge of arms, soaking up the energy.
Tali looked over the console.
"It's like a massive virus," she realised, "It's designed to delete the Reaper's code. The Crucible isn't a weapon, it's a massive supercomputer."
Man, that's some good stuff. It doesn't get much better than that, though it does get a little stranger.
HotaruGFC's "Beyond All Odds" is an interesting exploration of the post-Reaper world through the eyes of a survivor Shepard, delving into the reconstruction efforts on Earth. I, however, only read it for the gushy bits.
"But at least we survived. Somehow, I survived." She had no memory of what happened after the explosion, but Chakwas had told her she was found on Earth, about a mile away from the Conduit's location. They had started to give up on her, but somehow she had held on. She knew she was in pretty bad shape when she was found; the good doctor had given her the litany of broken parts and conditions at one point, but she didn't care to remember them. She just knew that, even though she was cleared to leave the hospital, she was definitely NOT cleared for duty... or pretty much anything else.
The door opened next to her and she turned to see Kaidan-my Kaidan, she thought-climbing in next to her. He grinned at her like a schoolboy as he took her hand and kissed it lightly.
"Ready to go home?"
She laid her head on his shoulder. She knew he meant the settlement in the country, but it seemed such a empty question. She never really had a home, always growing up jumping from place to place. Home was her family-or what was left of it. Slipping her rail-thin arm around his, she interlaced their fingers.
"I already am." She whispered.
Imo-musume's self-explanatory "Garrus Haiku" is a four-part longing memory of a lover lost.
Our worlds are burning
ashes rising to the sky
... is she looking down?
Author Sakura123's "A Wild Sheploo Has Appeared" isn't exactly an ending; it's more of a post Mass Effect 3 fever dream, but it does feature one of the best lines I've ever read about anything ever.
Instead he broke down and cried; he cried for the loss his pie, his sister and the absence of Thane, completely oblivious to the Thresher Maw about to pounce.
I know I have a habit of viciously tearing fan fiction apart, but there are some truly gifted writers out there, just waiting to be discovered. Hit up the link below to explore the countless possibilities of Mass Effect 3, before BioWare closes the book.
Mass Effect 3 Fan Fiction [FanFiction.net]