The ultimate ending to the Mass Effect trilogy was famously... divisive. Now, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 lead writer Drew Karpyshyn has openly discussed his original plan for the trilogy's conclusion. He also uses the phrase "techno-science magic reasons", which I am 100% a fan of.
, Karpyshyn details the ending, which he admits wasn't "super fleshed out". The plot would have revolved around Dark Energy: something that was mentioned in Mass Effect 2, but never expanded upon.
"Dark Energy was something that only organics could access because of various techno-science magic reasons we hadn't decided on yet," Karpyshyn said. "Maybe using this Dark Energy was having a ripple effect on the space-time continuum.
"Maybe the Reapers kept wiping out organic life because organics keep evolving to the state where they would use biotics and dark energy and that caused an entropic effect that would hasten the end of the universe. Being immortal beings, that's something they wouldn't want to see.
"Then we thought, let's take it to the next level. Maybe the Reapers are looking at a way to stop this. Maybe there's an inevitable descent into the opposite of the Big Bang (the Big Crunch) and the Reapers realise that the only way they can stop it is by using biotics, but since they can't use biotics they have to keep rebuilding society - as they try and find the perfect group to use biotics for this purpose. The Asari were close but they weren't quite right, the Protheans were close as well.
"Again it's very vague and not fleshed out, it was something we considered but we ended up going in a different direction."
Karpyshyn left BioWare shortly before the conclusion of Mass Effect 2, with Mac Walters taking over as lead writer for Mass Effect 3. Even so, Karpyshyn defended series' real ending, pointing out that his planned version was just as likely to disappoint.
"I find it funny that fans end up hearing a couple things they like about it and in their minds they add in all the details they specifically want. It's like vapourware - vapourware is always perfect, anytime someone talks about the new greatest game. It's perfect until it comes out. I'm a little weary about going into too much detail because, whatever we came up with, it probably wouldn't be what people want it to be."
If all that "techno-science magic" seems far-fetchced, the ideas got even weirder:
"Some of the ideas were a little bit wacky and a little bit crazy. At one point we thought that maybe Shepard could be an alien but didn't know it. But we then thought that might be a little too close to [Knights of the Old Republic character] Revan."