Former ‘Mass Effect’ Writer Talks About Original Plans For Trilogy’s Ending

Drew Karpyshyn, the former BioWare developer who was the lead writer on the first two Mass Effect games, recently detailed the team’s original plans to bring the Mass Effect trilogy to a close, and they’re quite a bit different from how it actually played out.

Speaking on Canadian talk radio station AM640’s Video Game Sophistry segment, Karpyshyn went into a surprising amount of detail about how  the writing staff originally intended to bring the series to a close, including insights into the original intentions behind the Reapers’ plans for galactic genocide.

In the interview, transcribed by Eurogamer, Karpyshyn admitted that the idea hadn’t been fully fleshed out and still required a bit of touching up, but the original plan was to have the Reapers’ motivations – as vaguely hinted at in the first game – be tied to the manipulation of Dark Energy by users of biotics, the game’s equivalent of “magic.”

“Dark Energy was something that only organics could access because of various techno-science magic reasons we hadn’t decided on yet,” Karpyshyn explained. “Maybe using this Dark Energy was having a ripple effect on the space-time continuum.”

Karpyshyn went on to explain that the use and manipulation of dark energy by organics could have been the reason for the Reapers’ cyclical genocide; every time life evolved to the point where dark energy was being widely used, the Reapers would come in and wipe out all intelligent life.

“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.”

That wasn’t their only idea, of course. In fact, one plan drew on the idea that the Reapers were trying to save the universe from destruction, but this ending had biotics being the solution, not the problem.

“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 realize 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,” Karpyshyn said.

“The asari were close but they weren’t quite right, the Protheans were close as well.”

What do you think? Does the team’s original ideas for the trilogy’s end sound better than what we actually got out of Mass Effect 3?