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October 26, 2012
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Shepard Lives by DarklordIIID Shepard Lives by DarklordIIID
This piece was inspired by the end of Mass Effect 3, specifically the Destroy (red) ending, which is kind of obvious since it's the only one that allows Shepard to live.

So, just saying this right now that I know all about the controversy related to the ending of Mass Effect 3. If you're here to tell me all about it, just leave. I know it well, I fought in those trenches, I've heard all the artists creative rights versus original promises stuff, and I've already moved on. I think the original endings were way under-detailed, rushed, and the Extended Cut really did satisfy me as a player. Now you know how I feel, and you know that I'm not interested in discussing it further. :)

Moving on, those who played the game correctly know that a high EMS, combined with choosing to destroy the Reapers, gave you two things: Firstly, your companion wouldn't actually put your name on the memorial (in the Extended Cut), and you got the small bonus cutscene that showed what we assume to be Shepard's chest, drawing a breath in the rubble, and cut to black.

It should be well known at this point that I'm a horrid Liara-mancer, I absolutely love her, and their story together is my favorite part of the Mass Effect universe. So, I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see them re-unite. And here we are: Liara, still wounded from the battle, finds her lover barely alive on the Citadel.

Originally I had planned to have this one be a lot more epic, with the Normandy in the background, some dead Reapers floating in the background, Garrus signaling the search parties, maybe some debris, but as I added more there, it just seemed to detract from what I really wanted: A tender moment between these two. And as I focused more on them, the background elements just seemed like noise. It's clear to me that, if this happened, these two would be so focused on each other that nothing in the universe would exist to either of them for about 5 minutes; that's the moment I wanted to capture.

Thanks for looking. :)


Liara, Shepard - Bioware
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Majestic-MSFC Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And this is how it should have ended.

I am also a fanatic when it comes to MShep and Liara, I can;t bring myself to do down any other path as it feels so wrong to me. They as a couple just work so perfectly to me and are obviously the Bioware favourite as well. 

Fantastic job on this. :D
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014
Thanks! :D
Wolvengra Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1: For some strange reason, I'm getting a Sleeping beauty vibe from this pic (Or in this case an Unconcious Shepard... xD) not saying anything bad about it. BUT I agree the original ending was rushed if I may say so, it was indeed lacking in story, where as with DLC's such as the Citadel, Leviathan, and the EC, you get a slightly if not more deeper romance than you would without them. The DLC's being brought up though allow for more deeper Love Interest storylines, thus possibly satisfying the player more since the original ending sucked harder than a prostitute. (Just my opinion on the original ending. If this sparks bad feed back then well I maybe had it coming. xD)

ANYWAY a lovely picture. ^^
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013
Thanks!  I didn't really dislike the ending ever, it was just so rushed and underdone.  I disliked the execution, not the idea (though still, Destroy is the only choice that makes ANY sense to me in regard to Shepard as a character.)
Wolvengra Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Destroy ending for me is the main choice, however that being said the synthesis ending is kinda cool, but Shepard still dies which sucks. XD
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
Synthesis though is essentially the same thing Saren was pushing in ME1.  Unification of humans with reaper tech is husks, not hybrid superbeings.  Control is effectively the Illusive Man's plan, and results in a new God-AI mapped from Shepards mind.  But it's a copy, not Shepard, meaning it's subject to the same "it's going to go wrong at some point" laws of AI, and the Reaper fleet is left largely intact.  Doesn't bode well for the Galaxy.
Wolvengra Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty much, I never did like the idea of the Control ending, Synthesis... Still kills you, Destroy I like because again you get to see Shepard live if you did enough but at the sametime your esentially killing EDI (WHICH SUCKS!)
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013
But remember that's all based on the God Child's word, which is bullshit on three verifiable points, including nothing less than the origin of the Reapers.  I don't see how a weapon that destroys reapers and leaves everything else in tact would kill the freed Geth or EDI, or any other synthetic life.  

I submit as evidence, simply, that the Normandy survives.  EDI, as of her un-shackling, is now a critical point in every part of the ship (she can fly the thing unassisted.)  If you know anything about airplanes, you know aeronautics, or the computers that keep them aloft, do much the same thing, without autonomy.  My point is, if you take the aeronautics out of a ship like Normandy, which has all the aerodynamic properties of a safe, it's going to crash, either on a planet or on space debris.  And we're not talking a rough landing as depicted originally, we're talking a "clean up your passengers with a sponge" crash.
Rainbowhawk1993 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

I'm with you on the EC endings. Destroy was the real way to go because of this photo and the fact the rest of the races are free to choose their future.


I'm glad to see another gamer who sees eye-to-eye with me on the endings thing. I basically saw the epilogue story playing in my head after seeing the High EMS Destroy ending of how Shepard regrets a few things about not controlling the reapers to spare EDI and the Geth. But Liara and the crew, including Joker, tell him that what he did was what EDI and Legion would have done if they were in his place. Afterword's Liara and Shepard go out and find that place where they can live together in peace, just like they talked about during their last night together.


Thank you so much. :)

DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
You're welcome. :D  I still love the games, even if the endings weren't perfect.  Nice to see I'm not the only one.
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