One of the most prolific fan theories for Mass Effect has once again been discredited by BioWare, though the developer does seem to have an appreciation for how fans have developed the interpretation. Often referred to as the Indoctrination Theory, the idea comes from the strange nature of the original Mass Effect trilogy's ending, with many fans building a new narrative around the surreal events.
As much as fans enjoy the theory, Mass Effect writer Chris Hepler, who worked specifically on the ending to the series, has once again shot the idea down in an interview with The Gamer. In Hepler's own words about BioWare's intentions when writing the strange events that ended the series, "We weren't that smart."
The theory itself suggests that the reasoning for the strange events at the end of Mass Effect 3 is because Shepard has been indoctrinated by the Reapers by the end of the series. Some cherrypicked evidence from around the rest of the series is often picked up as well, to imply that every encounter Shepard has had with different Reapers and the Prothean beacon from the first game has slowly chipped away at their mind. As a result, fans have created an entire theory where no matter what ending the player chooses, it's all a part of the Reapers' grander plan to bring Shepard onto their side.
According to Hepler in the interview, this was never the planned intention of the writers when introducing these concepts throughout the original trilogy and surrounding material. However, the Mass Effect writer did mention that the Indoctrination Theory is still appreciated, and even encourages players to continue writing fan-fiction and creating mods out of this interpretation. So, while the theory isn't exactly supported by BioWare, the developer can still see the merit in allowing fans to make the world their own through this unintended way of looking at the events of the series.
This isn't exactly the first time that BioWare has addressed the Indoctrination Theory, with the developer consistently claiming that this wasn't the intent of the writing. However, with the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition on the way, it is probably a good idea to keep player expectations tempered for the familiar stance to be upheld with the remastered trilogy. So, as the series looks back at the events of the original titles and moves forward with the upcoming Mass Effect currently in development, fans can rest assured that they aren't leading Shepard towards being indoctrinated.
The Mass Effect series is well known for a variety of things, one of which is its creative storytelling and romantic plotlines. February is “Creative Romance Month” and the perfect time to recount some of Mass Effect’s best romances for Commander Shepard and Pathfinder Ryder. Mass Effect: Andromeda left a lot to be desired with some players, but some of the romances in-game were still on par with others from the original trilogy. It featured both human and alien options for players to pick from, and some became fan favorites sooner than others.
Andromeda brought players to a new galaxy full of new characters and new romantic opportunities. The Andromeda galaxy also featured an entirely new, romanceable alien race known as the Angara. Both playable male or female versions of Ryder can have angara romance options, the most notable is squadmate Jaal Ama Darav. When players first meet Jaal he’s distrustful of them, but with enough dedication and trust, players can have a beautiful romance with the angaran soldier.
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