BioWare Confirms Shepard’s Status in “Destroy” Ending

If you’ve downloaded Mass Effect 3’s Extended Cut DLC, then you might have a few nagging questions.

Needless to say, what you’re about to read below will contain major spoilers. Unless you’ve finished Mass Effect 3, or you haven’t seen any of its ending, I suggest not reading further.

In the “Destroy” (red) ending,Shepard’s body can be seen moving at the end of the scene, does this mean the Commander managed to survive?

BioWare’s Telly Ackland answers this conundrum in their official forums.

One of the goals for the Extended Cut, as part of addressing player feedback, was to provide more time with the love interest, and more opportunity for players to say goodbye to them and provide additional moments of connection between them. We did this in several ways:

  • Shepard can now actually say goodbye to the love interest when they are split up at the conduit run.
  • When Shepard sees flashbacks of important characters during the final decision, the flashbacks are now variable based on your playthrough – so your love interest can appear as one of the flashbacks, providing another moment of reflection between Shepard and that character.
  • A memorial scene was added, partly to show a close bond between Shepard and the love interest. The scene is variable, and if Shepard has a love interest in a given playthrough, it will be that character who places Shepard’s name on the memorial wall.
  • You may notice that in the “Shepard lives” ending, the love interest hesitates to place Shepard’s name on the wall, and instead looks up as though deep in thought. This is meant to suggest that the love interest is not ready to believe Shepard is dead, and the final scene reveals they are correct. As the Normandy lifts off, there is hope that the love interest and Shepard will again be together.

Of course, this doesn’t mean this ending will be what BioWare uses if ever they do decide to continue Shepard’s journey. I’m honestly curious which ending they’re planning on using in the inevitability that is another Mass Effect game.