Mass Effect may just be my favorite video game series of all time.

I played all three games back when they came out and was there for the whole debacle with Mass Effect 3’s ending.

If you weren’t there and you don’t know what happened the ending quite simply was not great. It was rushed, nothing made sense, you had characters who were in one place who were suddenly in a different place, etc.

The ending involved the destruction of the Mass Relays which according to the in game lore should have destroyed entire solar systems including ours.

Ultimately though it boiled down to watching the same ending cutscene in a different color depending on what choice you made at the end. For a series the boasted about how all your choices would matter this was probably the part that angered fans the most.

It was such a mess and so weird that it gave rise to a very interesting theory called the Indoctrination Theory which posited that the entire ending wasn’t real. Instead it was a battle taking place in Commander Shepard’s mind where the Reaper’s were trying to indoctrinate him.

It did explain why things were so weird and dreamlike with the ending and I thought it was a very interesting theory.

Bioware later though doubled down on their ending and released an extended cut that added a lot more context and filled in all the gaps. It explained things like how characters were suddenly able to be in a different location and why the Earth didn’t get destroyed when all the Mass Relays exploded.

But for years everyone was wondering what the heck happened. Why was the ending such a mess. There were rumors or leaked scripts and that the ending had to be completely re-written at the last minute.

People discussed the Indoctrination Theory although Bioware officially announced that was completely incorrect.

No one really knew what exactly happened. Until now.

The YouTube channel People Make Games just uploaded an excellent video where they interviewed several people who worked on the game to find out exactly what happened.

You can watch the video below:

I’m still a little bit disappointed with how everything turned out and I was always a fan of the Indoctrination Theory but it is what it is and it’s nice to finally find out what exactly happened.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Indoctrination Theory this excellent video covers it in great detail.

Featured image from the People Make Games YouTube thumbnail used under Fair Use