On the Mass Effect Series and Some Awesome Fan Tributes

For those who don’t know, I’m into PC gam­ing and hap­pen to be a long time fan of the Mass Effect series. Today, I’ve got a few amaz­ing things to share with you on the end­ing of ME3, as well as an utter­ly jaw-drop­ping trib­ute song by one of its fans which has been cir­cu­lat­ing on the Internet.

Hav­ing played through the tril­o­gy, I think the end­ing of ME3 did­n’t live up to its poten­tial giv­en the incred­i­ble flood of atten­tion to detail, char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, and sheer effort that the authors and dev teams poured into the series. Besides this, my only oth­er gripe is the weapon over­heat bug in ME1 that occurs from apply­ing the ver­sion 1.2 patch. All in all, not bad. It could have been worse … a lot worse.

As far as clo­sure on the Com­man­der Shep­ard sto­ry arc goes, one rea­son why so many fans hat­ed ME3’s end­ing is because Bioware did some­thing that’s rare in enter­tain­ment media and seems nigh on unthink­able to most fans: they end­ed the sto­ry while the series was rid­ing high and closed the book abrupt­ly on its char­ac­ters while the plot had some life left.

I for one would have loved a fourth install­ment show­cas­ing a post-Reaper real­i­ty in which the focus now turns to rebuild­ing the galaxy and reviv­ing the tat­ters of civilization.

Sad­ly, they did­n’t go that route, but the strong point in this deci­sion is that it com­part­men­tal­izes the first Mass Effect series from the projects that are soon to fol­low. Bioware has indeed hint­ed at future projects, includ­ing a movie and an entire­ly new game that will have a dif­fer­ent sto­ry arc. Put in that light, it makes sense to close the first one, albeit for as much as we’ve all grown to love the depth of Shep­ard’s tale, I don’t there’s any pleas­ing the fans to end it so soon. On the oth­er hand, short of an author milk­ing a plot until it dries up and every­one walks away bored, there will always be some con­tention that ‘it could have end­ed bet­ter.’ As a writer, I think it all comes down to some­thing of a cal­cu­lat­ed risk (and believe me, that’s a whole oth­er dis­cus­sion for a whole oth­er post on a whole oth­er day).

But I digress.

In the wake of the end of ME3, huge vol­umes of fan videos have popped up online. While there are many excel­lent ones, the real dia­mond in the rough has been this song: ‘Reignite.’ Writ­ten and per­formed by a Mex­i­can singer named Malukah (Sound­Cloud link here), this song has become an inspi­ra­tion to fans and seems to have been fea­tured in at least one major elec­tron­ic music fes­ti­val to date.

One point about ‘Reignite’ that was espe­cial­ly bril­liant was its inspi­ra­tion stem­ming from the ME3 sound­track melodies of ‘Leav­ing Earth’ and ‘An End Once and for All,’ which you may remem­ber from the game’s begin­ning and from its finale (where the mass effect relays are sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly blown up in a cas­cade of colour­ful shock waves).

While the hat goes off to Clint Mansell for their cre­ation, I’d always felt these parts could have used some­thing more to com­plete them. Malukah does­n’t dis­ap­point, and with a voice rivalling that of Tar­ja Turunen, she grace­ful­ly lends it the heart and soul that it deserves.

First, the orig­i­nal version:


And here’s the elec­tron­ic ver­sion, remixed by Headhunterz:

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