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Explaining Marauder Shields - The Instructions by koobismo Explaining Marauder Shields - The Instructions by koobismo
As our audience is constantly growing, I've decided to gather some basic information about the series in one place, for easier access. Hope this helps to shed some light on how I approached the whole thing and what you should be looking forward to. Also, big thanks to whomever used the term "MScanon" first - seen it previously on the net. :)

If you'd like to know more about the Marauder Shields project, be sure to read these two interviews as well:

Gamefront: [link]

NewGamerNation: [link]

Consider the comments section underneath this image as a great place to ask questions that you think should make it onto our FAQ article! :) Also, general discussion and opinions are always welcome!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconburqa168:
burqa168 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014
You're putting more effort and thought in this comic than Bioware or EA did with the games. It's amazing.
Reply
:icondk-raven:
Dk-Raven Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awww, miałam nadzieję, że jakimś cudem Legion wyśle kopię swojej "osobowości" i przeżyje. Cóż, nie można mieć wszystkiego ;(
Wracam do czytania, dla mnie to już jest oficjalny ending, niesamowita robota. Brak mi słów!
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:iconblueheart100:
blueheart100 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013
I have question, will this story be translated into a mod or video at a future date? That would be so awsome! :D
Reply
:iconsirartsalot:
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
I don`t care what the biodrones say: everything from ME3 on is just an unrelated series of spinoffs, and nothing more.

Mass Effect stopped at ME2.

Luckilly, we have koobs to finish the story for us! :D
Reply
:iconjamesthedrow:
JamestheDrow Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh jesus 2.9 ...*chuckle* this is going to be fun
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:iconkato42:
kato42 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
2.9 games. Heh. I like that. :D
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:iconbelanna42:
Belanna42 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
\o/ yay, I love this little guide!! TY for posting it! :love:
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:icontarekshamas:
tarekshamas Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
good to know :P
Reply
:iconriocyan:
RioCyan Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
HOPE. LIVES.

Thank you for giving us back ME3.
Reply
:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
In one of your recent posts, you state that "Up until this point (as seen in our "Explaining Marauder Shields", urm, infographic [link] - check it out if you haven't already), Marauder Shields was 100% compatible with everything happening in Mass Effect 3 up until the very finale."

However, right here you state that the Citadel isn't the Catalyst, as Shepard believes. That completely goes against what the game establishes before the ending. Simply saying "oh, Vendetta is wrong" doesn't cut it.

I can't help but to be amused at the "Plotholes" disclaimer. I can only read it as "if there's a plothole, I'm going to handwave it later." I am quite cynical, but that's not good writing: if something contradicts what I've been informed of, then I expect an explanation promptly. I'm not going to wait long for the author to give an excuse.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Yes, it *does* cut it. Not sure if you're trying to be nasty, or just didn't pay too much attention to the story presented in Mass Effect 3, but either way - Vendetta was proven wrong there (the big twist: the Catalyst wasn't the Citadel, it was an ancient A.I. that used the Citadel as its HQ), as he is proven wrong here, without a scene showing him scratching his cute little VI head and going "doh!"... There's just no need for that, as there is no need for one of the characters to suddenly look at the camera and go "VENDETTA, THE VI WE MET EARLIER, MUST HAVE BEEN WRONG! OH MY!" because this isn't a pre-teen show.

I am actually going to mention the fate of the Protheans again later on, I'm just telling you here and now: Vendetta operating on insufficient data - the one gathered by the fallen Protheans - *IS* sufficient, both here and in Mass Effect 3, it is a fairly standard storytelling technique that works now in the same way it has worked for ages. You know, in the time period that jaded negativity (a.k.a. post-Greek cynicism) wasn't being promoted in the contemporary culture as something "cool", when being self-classified as a "cynic" was announcing that you are not to be reasoned with, that you're intentionally excluding yourself from the audience/discussion/show/cultural life taking place at a selected venue. Just sayin'.

The plotholes disclaimer isn't there for your amusement, I assure you. I've put it there because some of the readers (not many, mind you) were applying the wrong set of rules to the narrative, basing them on the finale of ME3. For example, the fact that the Crucible is a galaxy-wide indoctrination device doesn't really have a lot of sense if we go with the information about the Catalyst and the Reapers that we were force-fed in the last few minutes of Mass Effect 3 - it does however have *a lot* of sense in *this* here narrative, with my take on the Reapers, their goals and motivations. This isn't a promise of handwaving - it's a statement to treat this story as a rising narrative, not a flat one - one where additional information is supplied at precise points in the storyline, selected to optimize both the emotional and "mystery" aspects of what's going on. You saying "I expect an explanation promptly" basically means that you're expecting an RPG rules book instead of a story - a codex entry, not a comic. And that's not exactly what I'm producing here.

"I'm not going to wait long for the author to give an excuse" - so, I'm guessing you're usually starting a new TV Show or a book by reading all the spoilers and everything Wikipedia has on the subject, then? Me, I'm not really a fan of reading the last page of a murder story just to know whodunnit. The little sentence I've just quoted shows that you are approaching this story with unreasonable expectations, having more to do with how I choose to present the events unfolding - and at what pace - rather than with the story itself. I cannot help you with that, sorry. I'm crafting this in a way that I find satisfying myself - and it seems that most of our readers are rather pleased with the achieved effect.
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:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
The Crucible utilizes the Citadel to amplify its energy, and the Citadel houses the Catalyst. Given what we're told about the AI that calls itself the Catalyst, it's very possible that it serves as an AI for the entire station, in the vein of the Normandy VI and EDI. In that sense, Vendetta is perfectly accurate: the Citadel is the "catalyst" to activate the Crucible. The AI may even refer to itself as the "Catalyst" as it is the term that Shepard knows it by.

Your last paragraph has a major logical fallacy. When you start watching a new show or reading a new book, there is no canon established. The author sets canon as the story progresses. With Marauder Shields, you are basing it on what has already been previously established in the Mass Effect series. Just like as if you were writing a sequel to an original work, you don't have the luxury of saying "this and that is possible in this story" when previous canon states "um, no it isn't." If I were to read a sequel to an original work which immediately starts off with an element that is impossible—not questionable or unlikely, mind you—based on what was established in the previous work, I would put it aside. I have the same standard for "fan" work.

And do try not to immediately associate "reader" with "fan." I doubt that no one else has read the comic and had the same issues that I've had. I remember one article about your webcomic that mistook "page views" for "people who think it's a better ending"; the article was corrected by a commenter whose reaction, while overreacting a little, is quite understandable given the depressing journalistic incompetance I've seen regarding ME3.
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:iconbombeletta:
Bombeletta Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Is your name SCORCHED sierra cause you've just been BURNT?
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
First of all, you are defeating yourself at your own game, and hard. It would probably be fun to watch if I wasn't the one you're blessing with your "corrections", but - since you already called me up and told me that I'm wrong - I will poke a few holes in the knowledge you're blessed with, knowing SO MUCH BETTER than me, the oblivious fans/readers, the misinformed wikia editors and the OH SO INCOMPETENT journalists (basically, people who DON'T AGREE WITH YOU, which seems to be your first clue that they're either stupid, misguided, manipulated or manipulating others).

Where to start?

Your idea of the Catalyst is your own, you are making assumptions that are not in ANY way showcased in the game, and yet - at the same time - you are stating that such interpretation is the devil's puke. Using the term "it's very possible that" doesn't make the comparison between the Catalyst/Citadel and EDI's/Normandy's functioning true - because that's *not* the lore, it's your *interpretation* of said lore, it's your own vision prefixed with your own estimate of chances of such vision being true ("very possible" you say - I'd say "not really possible").

And you know what's the funniest part? According to me, you're allowed to interpret it in such a way (especially that ME3's ending is extremely incoherent), but *you* are restricting yourself from doing so, at least in theory. So, yeah, I guess you need to go and have a stern talk with yourself, explain yourself why you're doing it wrong.

From what's said in the game... Vendetta *is* mistaken. Pure and simple. That is the ONLY data extraction (the "pure" thing you're suggesting) possible, everything else is interpretation. Furthermore - there is no logical way of turning this around into the Prothean VI knowing what the Catalyst is, as the game's Catalyst states that Shepard is the first organic ever to be in its presence (plus, we're told that the Protheans could not complete the Crucible because they did not know what the Catalyst was)... Alas, I don't want to water down the simple, single, short sentence that's the very gist of this paragraph: Vendetta was mistaken and the Protheans did not obtain the full knowledge about the Crucible and the Catalyst.

But let's not stop here, this is getting fun. You preach for such "pure" interpretation standards that - when applied - would nullify one fourth of Mass Effect 2 when compared to Mass Effect 1, and at least half of Mass Effect 3 when compared to the lore established in the two previous games... Hell, you are basically preaching to strip the storytellers around the world of two basic tools used to craft franchised works all the time - twists (sudden rearrangement of the reader's/player's/viewer's point of view - "oh, no, Vendetta wasn't right after all!") and redevelopments (expansion on currently available lore explaining its details and adding characteristics to create a more complicated and interesting construction - see Halo's Forerunners/Ancient Humans/Precursors story).

Ever noticed how different Cerberus is between ME1 and ME2? That's because ME1 showed a basic concept for something that wasn't really supposed to get bigger (hell, you can "stop them for good" in the first game), but was then redeveloped into a major plot point in ME2 - including its reworked origins, leader, date of creation, modi operandi... You can fit these changes into the canon from ME1 (which BioWare did, and I loved it), but it is still a redevelopment, a very common storytelling practice that - let me emphasize this again - you seem to be frantically afraid of... For no good reason.

Remember the Prothean statues from Ilos in ME1? Sure, they were intended to be Prothean, referred to as Prothean, their in-game models had names like Prothean_Statue_01 and they were shown as Prothean in the making-of thingie, but... They're now Inusannon, and the original "vision of slaugter" cutscene (the Prothean warning message) actually swapped the original Prothean head for a Collector's face when it was displayed again in ME2... You know why? Because someone decided that they want the Protheans to look different, and so - slap slap slap - they are now Inusannon... A retroactive change made in a sequel that doesn't destroy the lore, but EXPANDS IT, morphs it if needed - which was possible, because the original game didn't SHOW YOU actual Protheans looking like the statues.

Hell, you should probably start a letter campaign demanding the responsible BioWareian to be held accountable. Bonus points for pasting the word "impossible" at least 4 times in said letter template - when used randomly to refer to things that are indeed possible (just not in your mindset), it really helps the conversation to go along and doesn't shut down anyone wanting to have a pleasant chat with you, no siree, noooot at all. WINK WINK.

Your explanation of the "major logical fallacy" is an actual major logical fallacy - the term known as "established canon" doesn't refer to the final, finite and unexpandable "bag of knowledge" you are allowed to use, revere and never add anything to. This is the bag of things that you have to respect and make sure you are not ignoring - but you can take each and every one of them and EXPAND on them, spin them around and SHOW them in a new way... As previously said, a trick well expected from a good storyteller and something that each and every franchise does regularily, even if you don't want to see it at this point. I think this is what you're missing, and it probably - just a stupid guess - impacts your relationship with a lot more than just the Marauder Shields comics... Unless you're not as adamant about this when it doesn't involve my work, eh?

What's the status of Darth Vader after Episode IV? He's the devilish bad dude with a rebreather, an agent for the Empire, the Emperor's most loyal servant. Yet, in Episode V we learn that he is actually (spoiler?) Luke's father... Ask yourself this: would this be possible with the set of rules you're trying to impose (the ones that you break yourself)?

Let's go even further: if the whole original Star Wars trilogy was a closed off canon, what would you think about Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series, which actually reinterprets the Force and the state of the galaxy to show a whole new conflict happening after the Return of the Jedi? Was the guy who wrote the perfect Alien 3 movie happening on Earth allowed to do so and reinterpret the behavior of the Aliens themselves (which - later on - found its way onto many comics of the Aliens franchise), if the Alien 3 we saw in the theaters was already in production and he was just a glorified fan with too much time on his hands? Same for the Halo movie script guy? Yada, yada, yada, the story goes on... Now consider that I - and many, many, many others - interpret the ending of Mass Effect 3 as non-existant. We follow the 2.9 of the games with a 1 full comic - why would you ban redevelopments if certain errors (including lore errors and incosistencies) need to be reworked in my opinion?

I did not intend to pull the authority card on you, as we don't know each other and I don't know anything about you - hence this whole lengthy reply - but just so you don't see this as the Master of the Universe Scorched Sierra coming down from the heavens to teach me a lesson (which, based on the comments you're making about others, seem to be your problem)... I'm a professional writer, schooled in this, paid for writing on a monthly basis, employed as a writer and a producer, published with a few things in Polish (English isn't my primary language, but that doesn't mean I don't get the story straight ;)), upping my craft every week, doing my best to learn new tricks and new ways of showing what I want to show... So I'm not doing this with an oblivious, retarded smile on my face, waiting to be educated by the first guy who just happens to know I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING, DUH.

Time for a choice, your own dialogue wheel. You either enjoy this series or not. If you do - keep reading, thinking about what I just posted and comparing the series to the Mass Effect lore, allowing the standard writing tools and reinterpretation space... You might be pleasantly surprised. If not, if you don't enjoy this comic... Dude, move on, find something you *do* enjoy. Life's short enough as it is, without finding the specific things you hate and grinding your gears over them just because their authors are wrong. Well, or that's my take on life at least.
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:iconsirartsalot:
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Well done sir knight! Yon troll hath been slain!

Huzzah!
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:iconvla8islav:
vla8islav Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
I think this lengthy explanation not necessary. I prefer to view this kind of work as branches or forks. This is very common thing in programmer’s projects. You take some developed code base and rewrite part of it how you see fit. For example, you can add some functionality that will never be presented in the original project. This picture pretty much explains essence of this project. Author defines what is and what is not canon in this branch. And anything that author overlooked can be fixed later.
IMO, your comic is beyond awesome. Please, keep it up.
//Sorry for my bad English(no problem reading, though).
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:iconjeffdaniel:
jeffdaniel Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Always the troll slayer, Koobs! Seriously, don't these fools know who they are going up against? And seriously, if you don't like something, stop reading it. There's a lot of good stories, and a lot of good writers out there. If you don't like a writers style, move on.

As everyone knows, we are always up to constructive conversation. But when you make a ton of ignorant statements just to try to make yourself look superior, be warned, Koobs understands the Mass Effect universe a lot better than anyone. You will lose.

Good job as always Koobs! You are the troll slaying master.
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:icontrucydoll:
trucydoll Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
/standing ovation
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Thank you, thank you!

Oh, flowers? You shouldn't have!

:D
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:iconltkaidanalenko:
LtKaidanAlenko Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
For me it will always be 2 games and that's it, the third one is sadly just plain bad. I didn't like the approach they took from the beginning. Or maybe the ending just shattered it for me and completely broke the willing suspension of disbelief to the point where I stopped believing anything in the third game. I've only just sold it and head-retconned everything to stop after ME2, but these comics are amazing nonetheless. Keep up the good work!
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:iconfranchizz:
Franchizz Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012
2.9 games. That just cracked me up, xD. As always, love the work and dedication you and everyone on the MSCanon do, Koobs.
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:iconsuicuneluver:
SuicuneLuver Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I never was a big fan of Marauder Shields to be truthful... But I will say its an interesting concept.
Reply
:iconrain-tear:
Rain-tear Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Good, that kid was annoying, Glad to know he wont appear! :heart:

off-topic: In my headcanon the explanation for the "Star-God-Child" is that he is Morrigan's "Old-God-Demon-Baby" she made with the Grey Warden and was teleported to ME3 finale when the Blight ended.
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:iconpilotslover:
Pilotslover Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
... Oh wow ... That just blew my mind! XD

Love it.
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:iconrain-tear:
Rain-tear Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
ehehe
now everything makes sense...right? xD
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:iconpilotslover:
Pilotslover Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It really does! XD
Reply
:iconcascavel:
cascavel Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
You have my thanks. In my opinion, these comics are rescuing the Mass Effect Universe!
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:iconhaupmann:
Haupmann Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
Ahhh... starchild completely removed. I think my Shepard just danced in his virtual dimension.
Plotholes? I don't remember any plotholes being introduced. In fact you managed to fill some that bioware has yet to do. You even managed to make the Crucible seem less like a MacGuffin and more like something vastly more plausible, a trap(i think) which makes a lot more sense considering how the Reapers are.
Plus you made harbinger remain a badass, being practically immune to the Normandy's Thanix cannon. I always imagined him to be much tougher than your average reaper.
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:iconseigneurnegation:
SeigneurNegation Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
Personally, I really hope you'll change something about Rachni. I was really disappointed with what BW did to them. Their "crescendo were supposed to burn the darkness clean"! However, at least TIM is no longer Saren v2.0, but the cunning man we knew him.
Regardless, you're doing an amazing work. Keep it up
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:iconsirartsalot:
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Together our crescendo will burn the darkness clean...........with 100 war assets.

XD
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:iconnytell:
nytell Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
Hurray for TiM still being on our side ;)

the racgni thing from me3 was very stupid and lazy move from BW, like many other things of me3
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:iconuburian:
Uburian Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Marvelous!
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:iconamethystsadachbia:
AmethystSadachbia Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Soooo, do you consider the way the Protheans look in ME3 to be retconned? Because I sure as hell do. That's what happens when you get people who never played the first two games to come in and finish a trilogy they know nothing about. "Duhh, we're not creative enough to make the Protheans look cool, so we'll just steal the Collector creature design. Hurrrr!"
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:iconspace-paranoids:
space-paranoids Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I heard that the reason why the Protheans don't look like the statues on Ilos is because the dev team found it difficult to animate that kind of appearance. Like they had a hard time making a Pirates-of-the-Caribbean Davey Jones-type of animation where the tentacles attached to the face start moving and all.
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:iconamethystsadachbia:
AmethystSadachbia Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, so it was laziness on their part. Same reason they didn't give us female Turians or Drell or acceptable female Krogans/Salarians. It doesn't excuse them. :P
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:iconshadowfyrell:
Shadowfyrell Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
The statues seen on Ilos were of a civilization that existed before the Protheans, Javik and the Codex mention this
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:iconamethystsadachbia:
AmethystSadachbia Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As I said, Mass Effect 3 was written by people who didn't work on the first two games and knew nothing about Ilos, the Protheans, or the Inusannon. Anything they claim isn't canon, not really.
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:iconmysticgamer:
Mysticgamer Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Maybe, but to be fair nobody said that those were statues of the protheans...they were just there so we assumed they were as did everyone else in series. Alhough, if they did make Javik look like one of those lanky mindflayers, I'd have never bought the collectors addition or the dlc.
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:iconamethystsadachbia:
AmethystSadachbia Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
We assumed the statues were of Protheans because they looked like the Protheans in the Cipher's flashbacks. If the Protheans had actually looked like Collectors, wouldn't Shepard have said something the first time s/he saw a Collector on Freedom's Progress?
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:iconmysticgamer:
Mysticgamer Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012
The images were never clear to Shepard, Liara saw into her mind and said that those are pictures of Ilos after that Shepard never bothered thinking about the visions again so she probably forgot about what she saw. Also I checked a slo-mo video on Youtube and the silhouettes shows those lanky mind flayer things but it also shows the collectors in the flashback too. I wonder if the change was because of the writers screwed up or because the artist didn't want to animate a actual mindflayer so they simplified it?
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:iconamethystsadachbia:
AmethystSadachbia Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In the continuity Minarga happens in, any Collector-like silhouettes would have been Shimadrukkan, a semi-technological race the Nalelaikori (Protheans) were attempting to protect from the Reapers; the Shimadrukkan hadn't yet achieved spacefaring science yet nor did they know about mass effect physics, but the Prothean ambassadors (whom the Shimadrukkan referred to as "Enkindlers of Knowledge", curiously enough) didn't think that would stop the Reapers. As punishment for their brazen attempt to thwart the Reapers, the Protheans and Shimadrukkan were combined into the Collectors (Shimadrukkan also had four-strand DNA like Nalelaikori, but not a five-gendered biology).
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:iconsirartsalot:
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
OH MY GOD STOP IT!!

YOU`RE COMPROMISING CASEY HUDSONS AUTISTIC VISION FOR THE SERIES!!! XD
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconavenger09:
avenger09 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hoped you do something like that for the Love Interests.
Reply
:iconthesnowandlights:
TheSnowAndLights Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
If Shepard is full Paragon, does that mean Kelly Chambers is dead in MS canon?
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:iconhaupmann:
Haupmann Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
Doubtful, you save the crew in the collector base-paragon.
You convince kelly to change her name and don't get mad with her-paragon.
Reply
:iconthesnowandlights:
TheSnowAndLights Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012
Actually, the dialogue choice to get her to change her name is a Renegade prompt. The Paragon response gets her killed in the Cerberus attack. Probably one of the few instances the Renegade option trumps the Paragon option in every way.
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:iconhaupmann:
Haupmann Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Hmm....Do you get points for it though? The reputation system in ME3 made it so you just got standard rep instead of par or ren points.
I know what you mean though, my first playthough she died cause of me. Was disappointing.
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:iconvestua:
Vestua Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
I'd assume not he said the best possible outcome for missions so I'd assume the same goes for characters.
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:iconbon-fire5:
Bon-Fire5 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Will the Illusive Man be indoctrinated if he appears?
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:iconeji:
Eji Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
Hot damn, can't wait to see the Kaidan episode!
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