No one’s ever really gone.
Well… Wrong franchise, but I’ll take it anyway.
This week, YouTuber MrHulthen caught a glimpse of a very interesting block of text on Bioware’s Gear Store that was used to describe a poster featuring Bioware’s signature teaser image for the next Mass Effect title. The most interesting thing about this block of text… Is that it implies the return of Commander Shepard.
The description has since been wiped away from the product listing, but contained the following:
The show goes on. Shepard’s final quest may have ended the threat of the Reapers but at great cost including Earth itself. While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what’s next.
WARNING: Spoilers for Mass Effect 3 to follow.
Now, for those of you who’ve played Bioware’s classic action RPG trilogy, surely you can immediately tell that something about this description can’t be right.
Why, you might ask (if you haven’t played the series before)? Well, that’s because in every ending for Mass Effect 3 except one, Commander Shepard sacrifices themselves to save the galaxy from the Reapers. The lone ending where Shepard survives is attainable by amassing such an overwhelming military force that the Reapers are soundly subdued – and then by Shepard selecting the “Destroy” ending – during which all synthetic life – including EDI, the Geth, and other AIs are immediately eradicated.
At the very end, Commander Shepard’s love interest refuses to put their name on Normandy’s Memorial Wall, and just before the credits… An unidentified torso amongst rubble wearing a pair of N7 dog tags takes a ragged, desperate breath.
The description for the lithograph has changed, but the product itself is still available (without the original text) on Bioware’s Gear Shop.
I’m not sure what this truly means for the next Mass Effect, but I truly hope to see one of gaming’s greatest heroes back in action. Hell, it’s not like they haven’t altered the game’s canon endings already.