Аннотация: Интересный и очень огромный фанфик на Масс Эффект)
"In the year 2148, explorers on Mars discovered the remains of an ancient space faring civilization. In the decades that followed, these mysterious artifacts revealed startling new technologies, enabling travel to the furthest stars. The basis for this incredible technology was a force that controlled the very fabric of space and time. They called it the greatest discovery in human history. The civilizations of the Galaxy call it...Mass Effect."
- BioWare, 2007
Welcome to...oblivion! Prepare yourself for the vindication! Now that would be a douchey way to start off, huh?
I"ll spare you the grandiose statements...for now. Hi. My name is Gerry. I"m a huge Mass Effect fan and I was really disappointed with how Mass Effect 3 ended. No lie, after I beat ME3 the first time, I literally typed "Mass Effect 3"s ending sucked" into Google and - wow! - I wasn"t alone, pissed off gamers were everywhere.
Fast forward to July 2012, after the Extended Cut DLC came out, and I got this crazy idea: I could rewrite ME3. That"s right, me, a broken down schmuck from New Jersey with no video game industry experience. I was a professional blogger for awhile, and I took a screen writing class once, and I have bits and pieces of incomplete screenplays packed away in boxes. You know, the perfect qualifications for writing video games!
But, I did it. Presenting Mass Effect 3: Vindication, a fan revision, and blueprint, for fixing Mass Effect 3. ME3, was the epic end to a beloved trilogy that was anything but epic. Check that. ME3 became epic, but for all the wrong reasons: Electronic Arts was named the worst company in America; a fan fund-raiser raised $80,000 to retake Mass Effect; two BioWare co-founders left the company; tri-colored cupcakes bombarded BioWare"s Edmonton headquarters; mea culpa Extended Cut was released, and then months later mea culpa Citadel was released.
This is not the legacy Mass Effect should leave - just like there is Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and that, uh, you know, other shit. ME3V is the product of more than a year of hard work and way more cash than I"d care to disclose, but it shows that, with a little determination, forthrightness, and a lot of coffee, one human can reshape the universe as we know it. Sound familiar?
Why do this?
I"d be lying if I didn"t admit there is a personal gamble here. Hellooooo, game companies! And miscellaneous people who might want to hire me. If you like what you"re about to read, I"d love to discuss any opportunities you might have. I have a resume, references, I"m up to date on all my shots and house broken. So yes, part of why I wrote ME3V is because I think it"d be really cool to work in the video game industry, and I know I can do it.
Phew! Now that I"ve got that out of the way, here"s the other reason why I created ME3V. As a "super-fan," I just couldn"t let Commander Shepard go out like that! ME3 grossly whitewashed, overlooked, or made irrelevant, so many of the choices we made during Shepard"s journey: the Rachni, the Collector base, rewriting the heretics, and choosing a councilor - just to name a few of the things that irked me. Maybe the spirits spoke to me, but I felt I could do better.
Then there are the endings. Listen, any overweight, balding, high school gym teacher will tell you that you sprint hard to the finish. You don"t fumble, bumble, and limp to the end. Even with Extended Cut, which basically just elaborates on a bunch of bad endings, ME3 takes players on a grand journey and leaves them saying, "What the fu-
?" Commander Shepard deserves more.
So yes, I know how arrogant this will sound, but I feel, via the changes, revisions, subtractions and additions, I present in ME3V, I make ME3 a far better game than what the entire staff at BioWare spewed forth. Pelt me with rocks if you want to, but I must stand behind my work. If I don"t, who will? Maybe you? We"ll see...
Think of ME3V as a "patch." One of those things you used to have to download for every computer game that came out in 90s. Take ME3 and all its downloadable content and call it "the original game," then jam ME3V, with all the cool stuff you are about to read, right into the heart of it, and you have what ME3 should have been: a satisfying, multifaceted finish to one of the greatest video games series of all time!
Oh, and I hope by now you"ve realized that ME3V isn"t a game. It"s a book...sort of.
What about "artistic vision"?
Amid the uproar over ME3"s endings, when fans were raging the hardest and journalists were calling disgruntled fans entitled brats, an argument supporting BioWare"s writers was floating around. It sounded something like this: "This is how BioWare intended Mass Effect 3 to end. It is their artistic vision. Their art. Who do fans think they are to trash the endings and demand a rewrite?" Remember reading something like that? I do.
Here"s what I"ll say about that argument. It is totally justified, but far from impenetrable. Sure, ME3 and the Mass Effect series ended as its creators intended. Fine, I get that, but that doesn"t mean the artistic vision can"t suck. The Ford Pinto was someone"s artistic vision, but time proved it to be a flaming death trap, literally. Or in the case of aforementioned Star Wars series, the last-first three movies were George Lucas"s artistic vision, but they stunk. Again, just because something is someone"s true art, that doesn"t mean it should be held immune to scrutiny and feelings of discontent from the public. Similarly, I"m sure a lot of people are going to have a major bug up their ass about ME3V.
And don"t forget, whether it were to save face (or brand loyalty), BioWare did release Extended Cut, so someone - no doubt someone important - felt the need to react to fan outrage. Somebody felt something was wrong. If artistic vision reigned supreme, then Extended Cut wouldn"t exist. It sounds cool though: "Extended Cut." It would make a great name for a fat-burning diet pill. Get ripped with Extended Cut!
Long story short: Applying "artistic vision" can"t explain the mistakes away. ME3"s endings were bad.
What can you expect to find in Mass Effect 3: Vindication?
Okay, so enough of the setup and Gerry"s obnoxious opinions (for now), back to ME3V. Just what is festering inside these pages? Well, my artistic vision contains a lot of stuff. I span the gamut, folks. I start by making changes and additions to many of our favorite squadmates, and march all the way down to the endings. In between, you"ll find content for other major characters, new missions, new enemies, revised missions, and more. Just scan the table of contents and you"ll see.
I rework major decisions that were glossed over in the original game, such as killing or not killing the Rachni Queen in ME1. I will explain more about that later, but for now, know that if you deep-sixed the queen in ME1, she doesn"t come back as some patched-together Reaper false queen. In ME3V, Queenie is dead-dead, and that whole mission with the false queen is changed, and the Ravagers are replaced by Elcor Destroyers. Yup, elcor...
If Shepard chose Anderson as councilor in ME1, then ME3V keeps him as councilor; he doesn"t just hand the job to that slime ball Udina. And rewriting the geth heretics or giving Cerberus the Collector base in ME2 now results in major consequences. Shepard will be hit with two brand new enemies: the Geth Sentinel and Cerberus Arbiter.
Also, neglected or poorly addressed characters make their way into ME3V, such as Rupert, Kal"Reegar, Sha"ira, Morinth, Seryna, Helena Blake, Rana Thanoptis, and others. Many of them appear in new ME3V side missions or revised missions, such as Citadel: Batarian Codes, now with Gianna Parasini; and Citadel: Cerberus Retribution, with Sidnois as the principale character, provided Garrus didn"t blast him in ME2. Basically, I try not to leave you hanging with characters who get ambiguous fates, or no fates at all, in the original game.
I add a totally new character class in ME3V: the Savant. If you switch your Shepard to a Savant, he/she becomes a combination of all three power disciplines in the Mass Effect world: tech, combat, and biotic. Shepard"s facial scarring will turn from red to green, and he/she gains the devastating class-specific power: obliterate, an unstoppable beam of energy that rips through any foe. And Savants join the multiplayer fray too, in the form of the N7 Vindicator. Vindicators are very, very angry. More on that later...
Some priority missions have also been tweaked. I stick Priority: Palaven actually on Palaven, and I propose new ideas and concept art for the Geth Consensus, which allows Legion, or the Geth VI, to fight at Shepard"s side, i.e. they become temporary squadmates. And on Tuchanka, either Wrex or Wreav will now join Shepard during the mad dash to the maw hammers.
ME3V serves up two new romances as well: James and Khalisah Bint Sinan al-Jilani. Shepard can choose Khalisah over Allers as the Normandy"s embedded reporter and experience all the "intricacies" of having the Galaxy"s most hated journalist on board an Alliance warship, and Shepard can even be so brazen as to romance her. The Khalisah romance and James romance are given new dialogue and content in accordance with the DLCs too, especially Citadel. Khalisah is a bad, bad girl...
Speaking of that, I also pump the DLCs with new content, such as having Leviathan join the epic space battle, new dialogue for Aria and Nyreen in Omega, and fun times for Ken and Gabby during the Citadel house party. And, ME3V allows Shepard to really continue a romance with Kelly Chambers, leading to, um...good times in Shepard"s new apartment!
Now, as for the endings. I can"t forget the endings. The endings are a third of ME3V and I"ve created more than ten new ending scenarios, including having Shepard and friends survive, and going on to live happy lives; or Shepard succumbing to the Reapers" power, turning evil, and enslaving the Galaxy, and turning many major characters into Reaper minions to serve at his/her side. Oh, and all of this is built off of BioWare"s original Destroy, Synthesis, and Control endings. Go figure...
It"s hard to sum up everything you"ll find in ME3V. Did I mention my addition of multiplayer campaigns that permanently raise Galactic Readiness, or a new mission that allows Shepard to re-romance (sort of) Morinth, and makes her a new war asset? Or how about the real new face for Tali I offer up? Not a bad Photoshop of a Getty Image. Oh! And how could I forget all the concept art I use to illustrate my ideas? You might have seen some of it in ME3V"s official trailer, which features music by Faunts (the ending song in ME1) and Sam Hulick, composer on the soundtracks of all three Mass Effect games. (http://www.youtube.com/ME3Vvideos)
All I can say is, that ME3V is locked and loaded with so much new content, that I have probably forgotten some of the stuff I crammed into this thing. Maybe you and I will both be surprised as we read through this monstrosity.
Does Mass Effect 3: Vindication revise everything in the game?
No. How"s that for being blunt? ME3V is offered as a revision, NOT a total rewrite. I piggyback off the original game and revise and add content as I feel is necessary. Listen, I"ll freely admit it: without the original game, there would be no ME3V. Of course, that also means there would be no immeasurable disappointment with how the Mass Effect series ended, which could have been a good thing, actually.
In short, not everything about ME3 is bad. I leave plenty of stuff alone. Want a few examples? Kaiden, Ashley, and EDI receive no significant changes in ME3V. Sure, all three receive new epilogues in accordance with ME3V"s new endings, but for the most part. I leave them alone. The same goes for many of the missions in ME3, even priority missions, like Priority: Thessia. Neither am I crazy enough to alter anything about the original character classes. That"d be sacrilege! And then you"d shoot me.
So, as you"re reading ME3V and you get the feeling I might have missed something, know this: I didn"t. Any part of Mass Effect 3 that you don"t read about in ME3V, i.e. I didn"t devote a billion pages to, remains as it is in the original game. Hooray! Less reading for you!
How to read Mass Effect 3: Vindication
I"ll tell you this right now, ME3V will not be the easiest thing you"ve ever read, but then again, how could it be? I took an interactive medium and converted it back to written form. ME3V is not perfect. It doesn"t shine and shimmer like a professionally polished diamond, but it"s a Bigfoot-sized step in the right direction. Rawr!
Ideally, ME3V would be a patch: an equally interactive object downloaded into the original game, so that you can play and experience all that I offer. Yeah, no. If I could, I would, but I only know a little HTML, certainly not enough to code an entire game. That"s how it works, right?
So, how should you approach ME3V? Well, you"ll need to be very familiar with the entire Mass Effect series. Ideally, you will have played all three games and their DLCs. I"d say, at the very least, you"ll need to have played ME2 with the Genesis comic book and ME3 plus the DLCs. I"ll admit, ME3V is for Mass Effect diehards, nerds, freaks, and people with OCD. Listen, if I weren"t OCD myself, I wouldn"t have been able to write this damn thing!
If you"ve only played ME3, you"ll likely see ME3V as a big waste of time. Because ME3 works nicely as a stand-alone game, so many of the things I address, create, and revise, will be totally lost on you. All I can say is, "lucky you." You"re born free of the Mass Effect heartbreak and buyer"s remorse.
ME3V is packed with concept art. Listen, I can only babble so much. ME3V"s concept art will help fill in the blanks; it fleshes out my ideas. So throughout ME3V you"ll see this: see concept art 37 (or whatever number it will be). Now, all concept art is at the back of ME3V, but, I do my best to insert a thumbnail of each piece of concept art nearby its relevant text inside ME3V itself. I"ll admit it"s not perfect; sometimes it"s tricky, but all concept art is marked and numbered, identifying what it is. And again, you can find every sketch at the very end, in full scale.
I wish I had concept art for every single idea in ME3V, but I don"t. Simply put: I couldn"t afford it, so in a lot of instances I use written description only. Keep your imagination handy. You"re going to need it!
Weird things you"ll see...
ME3V is part editorial, part exposition, part narrative, and part screenplay, mixed in with a bunch of concept art and a few flowcharts (for the endings). So unless you"re some kind of literary savant, I highly doubt you"ve read anything quite like ME3V before. Honestly, ME3V confounded even me at times; jumping back and forth between writing styles wasn"t easy, especially because the bulk of my professional writing experience is in blogging and journalism. Good thing I took that screenwriting class!
So, I use a lot of odd formatting, abbreviations, and notes to move ME3V along. Here are some of my frequently employed devices to keep in mind.
Ellipses or "..." - If you see this, and you will, it"s my way of explaining that the proceeding unfolds the same way as in the original game or in accordance with something I"ve already written. When I insert new dialogue into the original script, I often use an ellipses to signify something has happened before, and/or will afterwards.
Italics - I use italics for a lot of the "notes" I insert into the writing. It just makes it easier to point out these quick factoids/instructions. I also use italics to represent any action that takes place in the middle of dialogue (i.e. script). It helps distinguish it from the non-italic text (dialogue). And sometimes, I use italics to stress a certain word, or to help highlight any particularly obnoxious comment I might make. Good times!
(pauses) - In script writing, "(beat)" is used to signify a brief pauses in speech. I was worried that "(beat)" might confuse readers, so I use "(pauses)"; it"s almost never a long pause, just a quick refrain in the dialogue, a beat.
(chuckles), (annoyed), (sarcastic), etc. - This is script writing babble too. When you see words inside parentheses at the beginning or in the middle of dialogue, it indicates the tone, emotion, or manner in which the character is delivering that line, e.g. "(angry)" means the character is saying it angrily; "(under his breath)" means the character is muttering it to himself.
(cont"d) - More script writing jargon, "(cont"d)" is short for continued. A "(cont"d)" follows dialogue that is interrupted by action (in italic), and then the dialogue picks up after the action or event is over.
Indentation - I use a lot of indentation to keep things organized, e.g. if Shepard has different conversation options available to select, I will indent the various conversation options under the conversation wheel.
Bold Headings - Bold Headings are pretty simple; they signify different parts within various sections.
Time to start reading
So, if all this hasn"t scared you off, it"s time to start. Here"s my major piece of advice: read slowly. Take your time with ME3V, and use your imagination. Again, Mass Effect 3 was a game, a playable movie, that I pulled back into written form. Move at a snail"s pace; there"s no rush. Proceed methodically. If you"re reading ME3V, I"m assuming you"re a Mass Effect nerd, just as I am, so I have no doubt you"ll move through ME3V with turian-like discipline.
Thank you, and enjoy reading Mass Effect 3: Vindication.
Table of Contents
"We won"t be staying on Eden Prime too long, will we? I"m itching for some real action!"
- Corporal Richard L. Jenkins
Section 1: Squadmate Changes - pg. 9 Section 2: Major Character Changes - pg. 23 Section 3: Revised Missions - pg. 57 Section 4: New Character Class - pg. 136 Section 5: Confidential Intel - pg. 145 Section 6: New Enemies - pg. 147
Thank You - pg. 459 Credits - pg. 460 Concept Art - pg. 461
"It"s so much easier to see the world in black and white. Gray...I don"t know what to do with gray."
- Garrus Vakarian
Best way to say it: there"s a shit load of characters in Mass Effect! Next time you can"t fall asleep, try counting them instead of sheep. Ten bucks says you"re unconscious before you even get to Charr. If you reach Zaeed, might I suggest melatonin tablets? Characters are the heart and soul of the Mass Effect franchise - even the Reapers - that"s why Mass Effect 3: Vindication addresses characters first.
This particular section is all about Shepard"s Mass Effect 3 squadmates: Garrus, James, Javik, Liara, EDI, Tail, Kaidan, and Ashley. Other characters and crewmates are covered in the sections that follow. Every single squadmate is addressed here, but the degree of change will vary. Squadmate changes and revisions are not confined to only this section. You"ll find new content throughout Mass Effect 3: Vindication. Section 9: Downloadable Content and sections dealing with the endings are particularly rich in new material and dialogue.
Mass Effect 3 and the entire series overall are a vast web of plotlines, scenarios and character interactions.
Mass Effect 3: Vindication is all this and more...
Here is a highlight of this section: squadmate dialogue during battle. BioWare built this it into Mass Effect 2, but for some reason dropped it in ME3. Sorry, but "scoped and dropped" and "nothing"s faster than Chatika vas Paws" are too good to cut loose. ME3V brings back these classic lines, plus adds new ones. Every ME3 squadmate gets this type of new dialogue, i.e. "In-combat dialogue."
Note: Later on, temporary squadmates, like Wrex, Wreav, and Cortez also receive in-combat dialogue.
Note: In ME3V, squadmates can revive Shepard and each other; the accompanying dialogue is included here. More on ME3V"s new revival system, including Shepard"s responses to be revived can be found in Section 11: Gameplay Changes.
Garrus is my favorite character, so I was glad to see his storyline executed so well in ME3. It"s not until his final night of passion with Shepard, before hitting Cronos Station, where Garrus hits the skids. Two lines of dialogue are killer: "Guess I"m getting pretty good at this. But some more practice wouldn"t hurt." Geeze, Garrus, way to kill the moment with that cornball line!
It diminishes the power of the moment: too lighthearted, too lame. So ME3V gives players the opportunity to keep it intimate, adding a powerful paragon interrupt.
Garrus: Battle scarred and shirtless
Concept art is in abundance in ME3V - get used to it, as this is only the beginning. Garrus gets his first piece of concept art here. To heighten the intimacy of the moment, ME3V unveils a shirtless Garrus; a shirtless turian for that matter. Haven"t seen that before! See concept art 01.
Garrus"s body is lean and battle hardened, but also scarred and damaged (from his near death experience in ME2). It shows Garrus"s grit and strength, but also his frailty...fitting. Garrus is also shown without his visor. He doesn"t take it off for just anyone, only Shepard.
Garrus: Revised romance scene
Shepard sits on her bed. She looks at a data pad. Garrus (off camera)
"Shepard. Thought you might be up here."
Shepard looks up.
Garrus, shirtless, stands before her. He walks over to Shepard.
"You know what the best part is about a battle that decides the whole fate of the Galaxy?"
He sits down next to Shepard.
"I was thinking it"s a good excuse to..."
Shepard looks at Garrus"s scars.
Shepard can touch Garrus"s chest scars.
"I"m sorry, Garrus."
Shepard puts her head on Garrus"s chest. She tears up.
Garrus (comforting) "It"s okay."
Garrus pulls Shepard in close.
"Don"t ever leave me, Garrus."
Garrus lifts Shepard"s head.
Shepard and Garrus kiss.
FADE TO BLACK.
Shepard gains 2 paragon points.
(Dialogue continued; no interrupt.)
"...remind the ones you care about that...well, you care about them." (pauses)
"Want some company?"
Note: After the dream sequence everything proceeds as scripted in ME3.
Garrus: No trace of the sniper...rifle
Listen, we all know that if Garrus survived the suicide mission in ME2, he"s coming back to fight by Shepard"s side in ME3 - especially since every gameplay preview before ME3V"s release showed him and Liara - but let"s add a little suspense!
Before Priority: Palaven, if Shepard visits the gun battery, the disassembled sniper rifle on the workbench is not there (definitely not there if Garrus is dead). We know the gun battery is where the king of calibrations will hangout, but humor me: let"s go for a teeny tiny bit of secrecy. When Garrus rejoins the Normandy then the gun comes back.
Garrus: EDI"s new body, part 1
Garrus and Liara (keep reading) have no reaction to EDI acquiring her new body, which is a little odd considering the entire ship is going haywire. So ME3V scribbles in a little something to make Garrus cognizant of the flickering lights and screwy, miscellaneous stuff.