Sunday, 9 June 2013

Pop culture: Mass Effect Reapers - the good guys?

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Ever wonder if there's an expanded explanation for what occurs in video game plots? I sure as hell do, and fan theories are often correct in predicting the director's outcome in a franchise. Take the Saw series, one fan was able to predict the outcome for the Saw movies atleast 2 movies ahead of the end; this was so accurate that the producers of Saw had a panic meeting due to suspicions that the franchise screenplays were leaked.

Here's my theories on why the Reapers from Mass Effect may not be as evil as we are supposed to believe..

The Reapers sacrificed themselves for universal peace

The reapers, the creators and destroyers of life in the Mass Effect universe; sentient machines who purge the universe of all advance biological life. Seen as the dicks of the Mass Effect games, they are kinda convinced and absolute in their wish to destroy pretty much anything around them. 

Every wonder why?

According to the Mass Effect Wiki:

"According to the Catalyst, the Reapers harvest all advanced sentient life in order to preserve a fragile balance. The Reapers believe that without the extinction cycles, synthetic intelligence would completely annihilate all organic life. According to them, this is an inevitable consequence of technological advancement; organics will always create synthetics to improve their own state of existence, and synthetics themselves will evolve by means of surpassing their creators. The Reapers also believe that harvesting advanced civilizations is the only way to allow new civilizations to come into existence. The Reapers leave no evidence of their conquest, nor of their existence – only desolate, barren ruins of those who came before."

Wait...hold up a second...the Reapers destroy advanced civilizations in-order to preserve the continuation of the wider galaxy. It's already been proven in the Mass Effect universe that there were several instances of uprising from AI and machines, to the point where AI was banned throughout the galaxy. That logic actually indicates that the Reapers are guardians of the biological species who have no ability to defend themselves against the technology created by advanced species, and there was never any indication that the Reapers were going to destroy ALL life. 

My theory: The history we have from the game shows a pattern: the Reapers only come into action once the galaxy has reached a boiling point; they intervene in the advancement of technology that could potentially destroy the entire galaxy's life. The Reapers are machines with intellect beyond imagination. They had thousands of years to calculate every potential outcome for their plans, and judging by the ending of Mass Effect 3, they may have known that it was inevitable that at one point enough civilizations with enough power would eventually team up against them, and thus creating a peaceful resolution to the many problems of biological creatures.

Think about it carefully - these machines had the ability to establish travel throughout the galaxy, and not just that, they managed to survive in dark space outside the freaking galaxy. They could easily destroy any resistance; it wouldn't be hard, they are machines with the ability to take over entire species, do you seriously think those bros would have a problem in finding a few hundred more starships to fight on their side?

Seems pretty reckless to hope that this one chain of biological worlds would be able to maintain peace without them, right? Well I'll get to that later.

Either way, the Reapers were protecting life in the galaxy - destroying civilisations who posed a threat to the long term survival of all life, or uniting the galaxy in their destruction.

The Reapers tried to destroy the Geth before they could advance

The Geth are dicks. No two ways about it. Whatever your feelings on the Reapers, it can pretty much be agreed that these guys are to the Mass Effect universe what BP is to ours: pure dickery (up until the third game). They were the minions of the Reapers for most of the franchise, however it strikes me as odd that the Reapers would join forces with a species they would eventually end up destroying to maintain balance, right?

Well, it might be more complex than using them as simple minions...

How do you destroy or weaken an enemy without showing yourself? You get them to charge in and attack a much superior force, which they did. They attacked the System Alliance, especially humans, and as we witnessed playing the game, it isn't hard for humans to fight back the Geth when not caught off guard. Hero complex aside, Sheppard and co. were going through the Geth ranks in the hundreds - that was a single shit, imagine what the entire System Alliance would be able to accomplish in the Mass Effect universe.

In the final game there is a choice to completely destroy the Geth; they've been pushed back to the point of extinction and has turned to the Reapers as slaves for survival, and if the option to destroy the Geth was followed through, it would have folded nice into Reaper plans.

What logic is there in the Geth being destroyed by Reapers? Well, as the quote from the Wiki states, the Reapers set out to destroy all sentient machines created by advanced species, and why spend so much time attacking directly when you can simply get your enemy to destroy themselves?

The Reapers aren't really gone

So, the Reapers sacrificed themselves to create peace throughout the galaxy. Happy ever after? Not even close, if the species of the Mass Effect universe are so similar to their human traits as is betrayed, the peace is only bound to last for a couple hundred years, maybe a thousand, and at one point they will forget the lessons of the war and start all over again. 

At some point it is an eventuality that a species far off, not yet developed, will create artificial intelligence, and at some point shits going to get very hot. 

The Mass Effect universe is about cycles that can't be broke, no matter how you try. You may see that the destruction of the Reapers in the battle for Earth broke the cycle, but nothing really assures that the Reapers are gone for good, or that they hadn't planned for the destruction of their kind over Earth. Machines can be backed up easily, and we witnessed straight from the first mission in the first game that they can implant themselves to human anatomy to create ghastly creations. 

This is a civilisation that can survive in dark space, and has been able to spread their technology throughout the galaxy, even without the jump points, and technology at that level could easily replicate itself. 

The Reapers are waiting to see the results of biological determination for peace. Dark space is infinite in its ability to hide shit in, and its pretty assured that there will be more Reapers out there. 

Reapers aren't so much genocidal monsters as they are guardians of the galaxy, making sure stupid species such as humans don't go off creating technology that has the wish to kill anything made of flesh. The quote from wiki pretty much makes it sound that it is set in stone that AI will rise against their biological creators.

No species so intelligent to the stage of the Reapers will place all their technology on a single plan, and place all their eggs in one basket. I have more faith in them than that.

Plus, the Mass Effect 3 ending was a huge let down, and the game developers should be ashamed of themselves. 

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