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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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:icondiego-dereshi:
Diego-Dereshi Featured By Owner May 3, 2016
I think the same, I was VERy satisfied when I finished the game with the extended Cut and I actually like that they don't reunite, just like the endings' imagery and narrations, the breathing and LI-not-putting-you-name-on-the-wall scenes are supposed to give you an open idea of what is in the post ending, then each person forms their own, like you did here.  :) (Smile) 

But I still don't know if the breathing scene happens on Earth or on Citadel. lol
The rubble says it's Earth but how would Shep fall all that and survive? Was everything after the Beam only in Shep's and the AI's mind? Or...  I think I've fainted. 
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner May 3, 2016
I know right? It still could've been better, the rumors circulating about the Dark Energy ending were way more interesting, but you do what you can with what you have. :)

I assumed it was Citadel, there's no way he'd make it to the surface and the Citadel has plenty of steel and concrete around in various places.
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:icondiego-dereshi:
Diego-Dereshi Featured By Owner May 3, 2016
IDK, I can't remember one single place on the Citadel that isn't made of "space-plats".

After the beam some foot-soldier enemies suddenly appear, there are some weird sound ffects when you get to the Citadel, there's no other way Anderson & TIM could've taken to get to the controls, Anderson says he followed you but he was in front of you, the A.I. uses the Kid's image for him, the A.I. has a kid voice mixed with Mark Meer's and Jeniffer Hale's, you have no dog-tag during this sequences but it appears on you during the breathing scene, there's only concrete and beams i the breathing scene, etc.

It's hard imagine those are all mistakes,
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner May 4, 2016
It's easier to imagine when you know the background: Casey Hudson was upset that a version of the script leaked which contained the original ending, which featured a number of callbacks to Dark Energy. He then locked himself off from the rest of the team and rewrote the entire ending near the end of the production, meaning all of what they had made already had to be scrapped and remade which is why it's sort of a combination of previously used assets. 

There are many reasons the ending doesn't make sense but unfortunately most of them just come down to rushed, poor writing and the need to make the deadline for the game. It's actually very sad that the creative team didn't go with Indoctrination Theory; the community essentially handed them an escape hatch for what is objectively the only poor creative decision made during the development of the games, but they didn't take it. Had IT turned out to be real (at least, had the used it like it was) it would've been amazing.
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:icondiego-dereshi:
Diego-Dereshi Featured By Owner May 4, 2016
I don't believe in the Theory mainly because of the reason for them trying to indoctrinate Shepard. It has many good points though.
Oily shadows, nightmares, the kid that no one sees, the A.I. uses the kid's form, etc.

I believe Shepard was being naturally indoctrinated, the beam hurt Shepard then the A.I. made all the rest in his brain, he probably really needed a "ready" organic to finally make the choice and finish his mission, his solution, the cycles, wouldn't work anymore.
But he then uses Anderson(Destroy) and TIM(Control) fighting each other to guide you towards Synthesis because he doesn't want to be Destroyed or replaced (Control) but it's still up to the "ready" organic to decide.
Then, after you make your choice it goes back to normal and the A.I. activates the crucible with your choice.

Or you can just take it all as real and ignore all the faults.  lol

Either way I enjoy the endings, the things that affect them, EMS, etc.
It would be very hard and newcomer unfriendly to make your decisions on previous games have big impacts on the third, they could've stopped with the promises though, sadly Bioware are some of the most lying developers there are. Also, EA.

I searched for this leaked ending but all I can find is that one of previous writers had a basic idea for an ending with Dark Energy.  ^^
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
I thought the I.T. was interesting but yeah, obviously not what the writers were going for. If you take everything on face, especially with all the stuff we learn in the Leviathan DLC, the Synthesis ending is clearly what the Intelligence is looking for in terms of ending the cycle and completing it's mandate. 

I think the biggest problem with the ending was how few choices overall there were, and this was a stark contrast to the rest of ME3 which was absolutely fantastic in terms of it's storytelling. It's less that the ending was bad, and more that the ending looked extremely "meh" compared to the rest of the game.
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:icondiego-dereshi:
Diego-Dereshi Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
I love the endings as much as the rest of the games (had a big smile of satisfaction when I finished it for the first time xD).
I guess it's because I only started playing ME in November 2012, so I wasn't being constantly lied to for years and already had the Extended Cut.
They are 'meh' when you think about what they promised but I still enjoy what we got, 4 different endings that are customized depending on your romance, who you saved, what races, who's leading who, if you're Paragon/Renegade/Neutral, etc.

There are still many variations that depend on EMS and even some other choices, but they're mostly for lower EMS and the majority of us will always have the higest EMS possible, so they go kinda unoticed: masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Prio…

The 'big decisions' from previous games didn't matter much but one thing I loved was that at least they made pretty much all of the decisions be recognised.
Seeing consequences from even small side quests from previous games, appear in the others really makes the trilogy feel like it's a prsonal story.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner May 6, 2016
"The 'big decisions' from previous games didn't matter much but one thing I loved was that at least they made pretty much all of the decisions be recognised."

And that was the problem, honestly. Mass Effect had always been billed as a game that responded to your choices. Hell a few things in three depend on things you did in ONE. 

I mean obviously there has to be a limit on the number of possible endings. It just seems too limited.
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:iconxxitachixxzz:
XxitachixXZZ Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2016
This is why I will choose the destroy ending, because after all the shit my shepard has done he deserves a happy ending with liara.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2016
Amen, sir.
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:iconseracen:
Seracen Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015
Man...all I needed to make that ending work for me was this scene and retaining the EDI/Joker scene per normal.  Love this piece!  Thank you!
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015
They look so cute together in there too. I should do some EDI/Joker stuff...
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015
This is a nice picture! Well done!
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015
Thanks! :D
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015
You're welcome!
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:iconmajestic-msfc:
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
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014
Thanks! :D
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:iconwolvengra:
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. ^^
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:icondarklordiiid:
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.)
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:iconwolvengra:
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
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:icondarklordiiid:
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.
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:iconwolvengra:
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!)
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:icondarklordiiid:
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.
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:iconrainbowhawk1993:
Rainbowhawk1993 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

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. :)

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:icondarklordiiid:
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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:iconrainbowhawk1993:
Rainbowhawk1993 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:hug:
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:iconwaraxe:
WarAxe Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
"I think the original endings were way under-detailed, rushed, and the Extended Cut really did satisfy me as a player."

Hear, hear.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
:nod:
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:iconveyron722skyhook:
Veyron722skyhook Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Have you seen the Happy Ending mod for ME3? That reunites Shepard with Liara.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Haven't installed it (usually don't) but I've seen it, damned impressive.
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:iconveyron722skyhook:
Veyron722skyhook Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Same here. In fact, I now consider that ending canon. I'm even planning to incorporate it into the fanfic I'm going to do for ME3. It'll already have several story changes, so one more won't hurt.
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:icondeaththroes:
Deaththroes Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
Looks good man.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
God I love your avatar.
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:icondeaththroes:
Deaththroes Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
ALL HAIL FOAMY
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:icontsukasasign:
tsukasasign Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
It would of been nice for my Shepard to get a momment like this but well suppose it happens in the players heads now.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
Keep in mind, Shepard as a character is pretty non-developed, on purpose, so the player can just slide in. IMO, it's nice that they left it open to interpretation (just, way too much in the original ending.)
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:iconakernis:
Akernis Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You said you would not talk about the ending so I won't bother ;)

But the picture itself captures the feeling that you sem to want to convey wonderfully. It looks so tender and really a heartwarming moment between them.

A strikingly sweet moment, thanks for creating it :)
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
I'll talk about em all day, I'm just not going to argue. :lol:

Thank you!
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:iconeddy-shinjuku:
Eddy-Shinjuku Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Mass Effect Ending art, awesome! :w00t:

I'd done quite of those and now I'm moving on into the fandom premise, where fans made these awesome expansion of the ME world (like literature, etc.) to the point it's almost canon and work with them in materializing these ideas into artwork. I suppose it's a positive step to take after made closures of the ending; it nurtures the spirit of ME in the heart of the fans and in some ways make it lives as long a the fanbase are :nod:
I support these folks because they continue the ME legacy instead of sulking and crying about it ;p

Anyways, I believe you should make the alternate 'epic' one like in your description with the Normandy, Garrus and dead reapers, etc. I think you shouldn't stop here, because it's great to take two different interpretation of the ending. ( I did an 'epic' and softer/tender rendition as you know)
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
I actually got the idea for this piece looking at your two ones featuring Femshep. :)

I suppose I could as a future revisit. Might be a fun idea. :D
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:iconeddy-shinjuku:
Eddy-Shinjuku Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Very humbling to hear this man!
Actually I'm more content at inspiring others than taking compliments; so, I humbled that your source of artistic aspiration is from the art that I made for this very reason.

Yup, it would range one's spectrum of art in the gallery, I learn it's always a good thing, these opposite contrasting themes. :nod:
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
I take inspiration from tons of stuff, that's the main reason I browse this site. :D Thank you for giving me the idea!
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:iconphilipmessina:
PhilipMessina Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012   General Artist
I always thought this rubble was on Earth and wondered how he/she(I'm a Femshep player)
got there, my only explaination was it was an intirely different N7(Possibly me)who would turn out to be the lead character in ME4. But this is probably right,the rubble is the exploded nonsense machine.
Someone like you should have been advising on the extended cut, because this closure isn't anywhere to be found.
The DLC was pleasing only the first time I saw it mostly because of the extra resolution, but it ain't great! All it does is it does is allow people like me (who were traumatized and unable to replay even ealier games in the series because the end destroyed not only the third game but the first two as well)...the ability to keep on loving Mass Effect and playing it.
Not sure how Shepard could survive being at the core of an explosion that blew up the Normandy's engines light years away...but you didn't make the mess you're clearing it up!
I love this picture
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Interesting note: If you look at the revised cutscene, the original "explosion" that tore apart the citadel is nearly gone. Instead the station charges up, fires the beam, and then just sort of falls apart a bit. There's some fire, but not a lot. Looks much more survivable than the original.
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:iconphilipmessina:
PhilipMessina Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012   General Artist
Yeah...and repairing the Mass relays. Originally the Mass Effect Universe ended with the third game and all future games would have to be set in the past...like the First Contact War...now with the EC, new games,that includes the characters we love..like Liara,could now be made.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
I wouldn't say they ended. It was implied, but not shown, that interstellar travel was viable without the relays. In EC, you can clearly see the assembled fleet making their way home, just quite a bit slower without them.

That said, I don't think the new games will be centered on Shepard or his/her squad. I would absolutely LOVE something based in the First Contact War, or something that has you doing anti-reaper operations with a more "boots on the ground" feel.
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:iconphilipmessina:
PhilipMessina Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012   General Artist
Because in the extended cut the relays are being fixed there's little point depating space travel in ME. I meant origially they were destroyed and if say Rannoch for example was a thousand light years away, to get there within a year you would have to be traveling at a thousand times the speed of light. They can in Star Wars and Star Trek, but not in ME. After the limits of neighbouring systems, the space between stars can't be travelled without relays, it's vast. Which is why something like Alien they're in cryopods so as not to age.
Not interested in the first Contact war or ME4 with the same characters. Would like to see Liara again, a spin-off or something. The reason I want to see something set after ME3 is because even now I'm hoping there was a plan.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
Well yes, but there are numerous translight systems documented throughout the ME canon. Most of the citadel races (humans included) had translight engines before the relays were discovered.

Besides, even the Normandy must have translight capability to handle exploring the various parts of the systems in anything short of several weeks per transit.
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:iconphilipmessina:
PhilipMessina Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012   General Artist
Still not fast enough.
Bet you're looking foreward to Halo 4, Cortana's looking much more womanly...I blame it on the rampentsy going around.
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:icondarklordiiid:
DarklordIIID Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
Not fast enough to sustain the bustling system they had, no. But fast enough to keep everyone connected and more importantly, alive.

One of my friends summed it up nicely by saying that it would be like if we lost air travel. We could still get around, it would just be slower.
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