So, Leviathan is out. Whether you liked it or not, it has brought around the SECOND significant context shift in terms of the endings to Mass Effect 3.
Wait, what? Second?
'das roit. Second. The first came about in the EC, when the Starchild's "We heard you don't like being killed by synthetics, so we made some synthetics to kill you before you can make synthetics that can kill you" was turned into "We must preserve organic life from being destroyed by synthetics, and to do that, we must prevent organic life from creating synthetics, so we mush them and we slush them and we put them in a jar and that jar can fly around and do the same to other organics! Oh, and we started with our creators! And this is totally not a dream!"
The Starchild, at that moment, went from "weird holographic something something induced possibly by indoctrination" into "this is not a dream, this is not a dream, this is merely an insane AI, very very crudely coded insane AI".
Admit it, your opinion of the game and its story changed the moment you found out. It was no Reaper God, or any other supranatural entity, it was merely an AI that went overboard with its supposed goal of protecting life that decided that taxidermy is the best form of preservation imaginable.
Well, this DLC brings about the second shift, although this one is about the scope and ridiculousness of WEAR IT LIKE A HAAAAAT!
The Leviathans controlled all known space, enslaving everyone who was anyone with their indoctrination abilities. They created the Catalyst to solve the problem of their subjects creating synthetics which could threaten their rule and/or the subjects' lives, and so the Catalyst was supposed to prevent them from making synthetics. Through some fluke logic, it decided that jarring the Leviathans and their subjects was a smart thing to do. THAT is why the Reapers are cuttlefish - because the Leviathans are cuttlefish! THAT IS WHY THE CATALYST'S LOGIC IS FLAWED, because the Leviathans coded it shoddily and gave it too broad and nonspecific a goal with no instruction on how to go about it. So it devised its own.
Oh, and also once the Reapers, which culled them badly, are gone, one way or another, the Leviathans might re-emerge from hiding, and will probably enslave every living thing in the universe, as their indoctrination is far stronger than that of the Reapers. Your only REAL hope for a happy ending is through Synthesis and a strategic alliance with the Reapers. WHAT?!
Let me run this by you again. ME1: Reapers are space robot Cthulhu. They are timeless, ageless, superior to us in every respect. They are also dicks, but it's understandable when you're as hard to kill as they are and live as long as they do. They kill stuff every 50K years.
ME2: Reapers reaperduce by sludging sentients and using them to fuel AND run the cuttlefish hulls. They are also coming RIGHT THE HECK NOW. Reapers can be killed by A, B, C, D and E.
ME3: Reapers are here. Reapers can be killed by F, G and H. Also I and J, but we don't quite know how to build them. There's also K, and we have plans for it, but it's missing one part. Which is on the Citadel. Which turns out to be the Seat of The Reaper Maker. Who is an AI, and Reapers are merely his serfs, they are no gods, they are mere underlings of a crappy dime-store villain with no motivation. Also, though we know we can kill Reapers with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and K, we still only have proof that only I and J are useles... but are allowed to use only K, which hinges on DOING WHAT SAID VILLAIN TELLS US TO DO.
EC DLC: The crappy dime-store villain is not certifiably insane, he's CERTIFIED insane. Also, K is not a weapon, but merely a BATTERY to power one that's been in the Citadel all along.
Leviathan DLC: He's not insane, he's poorly coded by his creators. Which, when/if you disable or kill the Reapers, can and probably will return from exile to enslave you. A WINNER IS YOU. Also, the reveal of the Reaper motivations now happens significantly earlier in the game and if you had the misfortune of not playing the game beforehand, basically spoils the final scenes of the game for you. Congrats.
While an admirable effort at recontextualizing the Catalyst into insignificance in the grand scheme of things and setting up a Mass Effect 4, this also recontextualizes the Catalyst into insignificance after it recontextualized THE REAPERS into insignificance. This is the SECOND last-second villain switch they did on us. This... this has no description. This is either the grandest writing heist you've ever witnessed, or the most horrid betrayal of fanbase imaginable. Which one do you think it is?
Memetic Viruses and You: Context Defines Understanding (Leviathan Spoilers, ahoy!)
Blog entry posted by Noelemahc, Aug 29, 2012.
About the Author
A Russian Econ major with a minor in graphomania. Used to write for a Russian gaming magazine a while back, apparently wasn't very good or they wouldn't've cancelled his column to replace it with one devoted to listing erotic fanservice moments in videogames and anime series. Has a penchant for long-winded distracted rants and a bizarre affection for very old videogames.