Posted on June 20, 2013 AT 11:40am
Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer on Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 and author of several Mass Effect novels, discussed some of his original ideas for the trilogy’s conclusion during an interview with radio show Video Game Sophistry.
According to Karpyshyn, most of the team’s early ideas, while in place, were not “super fleshed out,” and primarily focused on Dark Energy—a plot point hinted at in Mass Effect 2, but one that never took center stage.
“Dark Energy was something that only organics could access because of various techno-science magic reasons we hadn’t decided on yet,” Karpyshyn told VGS, as transcribed by Eurogamer. “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 kept 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,” he continued. “Being immortal beings, that’s something they wouldn’t want to see.”
As Karpyshyn describes it, his intention was to have the Reapers be more sympathetic than full-on villainous.
“Then we thought, let’s take it to the next level,” Karpyshyn said. “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. 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 the Mass Effect team toward the end of Mass Effect 2, with Mac Walters filling his place as lead writer. Karpyshyn eventually retired from BioWare in February 2012 to focus on personal projects. But as Karpyshyn sees it, fans would have been equally disappointed with some of the ideas he was kicking around for the conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy.
“Some of the ideas were a little bit wacky and a little bit crazy,” he said. “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.”
The full interview is available in audio form on Video Game Sophistry’s page at 640 Toronto.
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