And so the end creeped upon us. With the Extended Cut behind me I can finally say that I've seen the full extent of how BioWare wanted to end the Mass Effect trilogy... And I disliked it. Don't get me wrong, the Extended Cut is a vast improvement over the vanilla endings and I think that everyone should check it out - but it is still the same unfitting ending, it is still something taken out from another story and sewn onto Mass Effect's glistening skin, with it still kicking and screaming (yes, this is just a personal opinion and no, I am not bitter about that - I just dislike how it ended). The themes that made Mass Effect so great are still either nowhere to be found, or twisted around to present a vision I just cannot accept as something that belongs there. My fanface is itching, my writer sense tingling... Not the way I want to end one of the greatest sci-fi experiences of my nerdy little life.
There will be no extended cuts to the Extended Cut. Either you love the current finale, or you don't - it's as simple as that. And you know what? I'm fine with that. A lot of people seem to feel better after playing the EC, and I'm probably a bit jealous that I do not... But regardless of how you felt about it, regardless of how you feel about the StarChild, the reinterpretation of the Cycle and all the little things that broke this experience in the end for me - you're welcome here. Because our story continues. I will weave it until the very end, our own finale, one that I will find badassfully adequate, thematically fitting, powerful enough to be fondly remembered and undeniably respectful to the characters we've all come to love. "But I carry strength from souls now gone. They won't let me give in..."
I think the word "respectful" needs to be emphasized here. I'm not a hater, I seriously suck at hating - and I generally call for mellowing down the emotions. This is not an effort to put any pressure on BioWare, as it never was - people who follow me on twitter and tried to keep up with some of my comments know that I love BioWare with all my nerdy little heart, that I support them - as I did since the Black Isle years, since my mind was blown by Baldur's Gate, since KOTOR, which was one of my main inspirations to go into the world of game development. As you could have seen in some of the quotes published on our "thank you for one milion views" poster [link]
BioWare has been very supportive of this little series. I can with all certainty say I have made friends within BW ranks, real coolcats, and I'm pretty sure that as this series progresses, we will see even more support. Why? Because it's made out of pure fan love. From caring. Nothing else.
Speaking of which... I've recently heard two contradictory opinions about the future of this series, as discussed by two lovely people that care about Marauder Shields very much - one thought that now, after the EC, our viewership will dwindle as people will just move on. The other one thought it will rise up to the skies, since Indoctrination Theory has officially been laid to rest and people who found hope in it, will look for hope elsewhere. I have no opinion on any of that. All I can say is that whether it's made for a million people or for a few dozens of interested fans, this series will end when it's supposed to end. I will keep making it even if I create it for an audience of myself and one of my dogs (the second one obviously disinterested). But if you can, help me spread it around, keep the beacons burning. With some of the "Retake ME3" communities being dissolved (some for the better, some for the worse), many people not satisfied with the EC and ME's endings in general will be inclined to give up on this fascinating universe. Let's get them on-board. Because with each pair of breathing lungs we're stronger, we're a more viable alternative, we are proving that the Mass Effect experience will live on even if some claim it will not. And if you are one of the people who loved the original endings - at least you'll have something to read and have fun with until the next big DLC hits the virtual shelves. "Death will take those who fight alone... But united we can break a fate once set in stone."
Each and every day I'm incredibly proud of this lil' comic series, and I'm extremely thankful for each of your tweets, comments, pat-on-the-bottoms. Don't go anywhere. Stay, discuss, share your opinions, wear the colors proudly. Together "we'll free the Earth and sky" - or rather enable our favorite characters to do that. And even though some of you may be dead sick of hearing this over and over again... Hold the line. This term means a lot of different things to different people, its meaning ever-changing and warping, but it always meant the same to me - not giving up to resentment and dismissal, holding onto the experience you find dear to you, being the kind of fan that BioWare cherished over the years - the one who's emotionally engaged, the one that wants to be a part of the story. And as for people still talking about us like we're a bunch of whiners? "Just hold the line until the end. Cause we will give them hell..."
I really can't say where all of this is going and whether we will continue on beyond "Marauder Shields" (keeping my fingers crossed) - but I'm proud to be here with you. I will be here, saving the Mass Effect experience for myself, because its something that has given me a lot over the years. I hope you'll be right by my side.
Nihlus lives. The hope is alive. Shepard will return. Our story continues.
"Crush my heart into embers... And I will reignite..."
...I will reignite.[link]
P.S. Just as a slight spoiler for those of you who don't follow me on twitter: this series will cover the keepers, the Citadel's core and the reason/purpose/logic behind the human Reaper from ME2's finale... Amongst other things.
P.S.2. Also, we'll see the Geth, Rachni and all kicking some Reaper arse. Promise.
P.S.3. Also, here I am, listening to the incredible "Normandy" and "Take It Back" over and over again, thinking about the song that Miracle of Sound will be unveiling tomorrow... and Gavin (Miracle of Sound) just twitted me this: "Your ending is the best one!" I love that guy.
P.S.4. As I'm receiving more and more info that a lot of people in BioWare are having fun reading my lil' series... Welcome. Thank you. I love you.