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Marauder Shields 6: The True Catalyst (ME3) by koobismo Marauder Shields 6: The True Catalyst (ME3) by koobismo
The 6th episode of the "Marauder Shields: Shepard's Last Foe" Mass Effect comic. In this one... We learn the story behind the True Catalyst and get a glimpse of the past.

This episode is the first official episode of the alternative MScanon, created for those Mass Effect fans that didn't enjoy ME3's endings to the fullest - it was crafted out of my love for the series, and if anyone doubts that... Well, tough luck.

For an epic feel, play this in the background: [link]

If you would like drive yourself into the ground while reading this, play this in the background: [link]

[The Mass Effect universe, its design and characters are owned by BioWare/EA Productions. This is a work of parody and fan-fiction, created under the terms of fair use. Special thanks to BioWare for creating the world we all love and care for!]
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:iconamazonka2002:
Amazonka2002 Featured By Owner May 17, 2017
Wait, so Marauder Shields is actually Nihlus? That actually makes perfect sense! Screw BioWare, this is my favourite ending now, and I haven't even seen it all :D
(I absolutely adore Nihlus, he's the second best Turian in the whole Trilogy, right after Garrus Heart )
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:iconnickshepard117:
NickShepard117 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
It makes perfect since, good job!
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:iconkaminarhea:
KaminaRhea Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
OH NOO MY HEART! :iconfeelsplz:
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:iconclassicblaze:
ClassicBlaze Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
Nihlus?!?! I cant believe it was you! Just...thank you...thank you for trying.
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:iconmivpus:
mivpus Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Fuuuuu-
Nihlus was Marauder Shields??!?!?!

SO MUCH WIN!!
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:iconshadowdragon117:
ShadowDragon117 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist
I've read one page, and I seriously already love this comic. :heart:

Im looking forward to reading the rest!
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
Hope you'll enjoy it. :)
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:iconazile0:
azile0 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
This is now established canon.
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:iconillmad:
Illmad Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Might I suggest you make this like a playlist? I mean, adding links like 'Next' and 'Previous' in the description. I see lots of people doing that in Original Character Tournaments (OCT's) and it makes it a lot easier to read through. I want to link to this project of yours on Facebook, but I know people will find it a hassle to go to your gallery and find each episode individually. I think this would help making your comic more accessible.
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:iconriocyan:
RioCyan Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
My first ME crush was Nihlus - this was the teammate I wanted at my side for the entire series, this was the intriguing, complex male I wanted as a love interest. They gave him so much personality in so short a time and then - Bam! Look what they did to him! (Reading this chapter I actually cried. Vindication at last.)
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:icondie-yng:
die-yng Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
Scorched Sierra is exactly what drove me away from the BSE forums. How come that such a large number of people who like the ending have to spill so much hate for Retake? They can't just let others do what they want, no they have to force their view of ME3 on everybody else, accompanied by vitriol and anger.

Personally I never cared much for MS being Nihlus, as far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter much.

The banshees' cries, so full of anguish, the blind rage of other reaper servants. The anger and hate and disgust directed toward organic life shown by the reapers, all of this clearly indicates (to me) that they are not just logical, emotionless machines, they have feelings and can be controlled by them.

If the reapers and their creations still have emotions, why shouldn't it also be possible for them to retain something of their own self, especially when there are circumstances like you describe them
I know that is a roundabout way of thinking, but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
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:iconjtc209:
JTC209 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Wouldn't it be great if we can just enjoy these things without people bashing the author?
If you don't like it don't read it.

Jeez.

Keep it up Koob! These things are great! :D
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Oh, I don't mind a bit of critique, and I don't even mind a bit of bashing - keeps me on my toes, enables me to crush unreasonable people as you can see in ScorchedSierra's attempt below and under the "Explaining Marauder Shields" entry. >:) I had fun.

Also, thank you! :)
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:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
I just have one question: Why do you believe that a sentient turian husk makes a better ending? Given that you've stated that "Up until this point (as seen in our "Explaining Marauder Shields", urm, infographic [link] - check it out if you haven't already), Marauder Shields was 100% compatible with everything happening in Mass Effect 3 up until the very finale", the fact that the webcomic revolves around a character impossible by the lore of Mass Effect kinda kills that claim.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
The character is *NOT* impossible by the lore of Mass Effect. The lore never clearly explains how the process of huskification occurs and what characterizes its progress - if anything, the lore is pretty inconsistent between the three games, with the Synthesis ending showing yet another crack on the lore vault's wall. What I am doing here is taking the basic concept - as presented in Mass Effect, IDENTICAL to what we see in the lore - and building upon it, characterizing it, adding details that did not find its way into the games... but where never shown as "impossible" either. You may dislike or like this characterization if you want, it's totally up to you, it is in fact a matter of opinion - but saying that it's "impossible" due to the fact it just wasn't presented in the games is just false. In other words: tell me that the story sucks in your opinion, but don't try to tell me that you've just killed my claim, son, because you didn't.

This comic is expanding the lore, much like the Extended Universe expanded upon Star Wars, the Sith and the understanding of what the Force is... Explain, add, pile up, build upon, add overarching structures and new concepts - and as long as none of the previous events are blatantly retconned, you're in the clear with anyone but the very purists (check around the comment section - we've got a lot of ME lore specialists around here, including the editors of the ME wikia, and somehow no one's sounding the same alarms as you do - bah, I'm actually in contact with one of the secondary writers of the ME games, and he loves what I'm doing).

Also, note the use of the word "EVENTS" in the paragraph above, not "opinions, misconceptions and theories created by characters set in the world, that can or cannot be proven false by the narrative", as this is exactly one of the tools that a storyteller working on an already established universe can use. It's all about applying the proper tools while crafting something of your own.

And before you go on another "doesn't cut it" rant like you did in a comment here: [link] - remember this... You CAN dislike this as much as you do, you can critize the shit out of everything I'm doing... And I'm totally okay with that. But making vague claims about things being impossible or "handwaving" just because you either not understand or just dislike the *techniques* used to construct this narrative... Umm, nope, that doesn't cut it, you know? ;)
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:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
What do we know about husks? They are victims of the Reapers, their minds and bodies warped to their means. The idea of a husk working against the Reapers contradicts the lore surrounding husks and indoctrination. We are never shown a husk working against the Reapers—a very good example of this is the artificial rachni breeder in the case of wiping out the queen in ME1. And it's not an issue of not being present in the game; the issue is that it contradicts what is present in the game.

The difference between the Star Wars Extended Universe and this webcomic is that the Extended Universe is official canon; the events in each work happen in the same universe in which the same rules apply, the lore is indentical in each work. Marauder Shields is fanon; while Mass Effect may be canon (to a degree) to Marauder Shields, Marauder Shields has nothing to do with Mass Effect.

Your "opinions, misconceptions and theories" argument also falls flat. While fanon can say that an idea in canon is wrong if the alternate idea takes canonical evidence into account, fanon cannot advocate an idea that canonical evidence already dismisses. There is evidence that supports the "opinions, misconceptions and theories" in Mass Effect, but does not support the "opinions, misconceptions and theories" in Marauder Shields.

Being a member of the Mass Effect Wikia myself, I am aware that there is a great deal of information there posted by knowledgeable players...as well as more than a few people who subscribe to common and blatant misconceptions about Mass Effect lore, especially regarding the ending. If you haven't read the anti-ending blog posts on there, you should...it's depressing, to put it lightly.

To be honest, your storyline is not bad at all. Were it absent of the titular character, I would consider it passable, although I certainly wouldn't call it a better ending than the original. But it can't possibly qualify as a better Mass Effect 3 ending when it doesn't adhere to the lore.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
First of all, read the full reply here, as it contains everything I wanted to say about this whole subject: [link]

Now, for this comment...
There I was, trying to explain how you don't own up to your own rules, the very ones you've been trying to impose, while you've been making a glorious asspull in the very first paragraph, selling something that's clearly just untrue.

Yes, we are never shown a husk working against the Reapers - the comic presents the first ever occurence of such an event after all... An ANOMALY. You see, we're also not privy to the way huskified minds operate - is it software, is it nanohardware, are their "interpretation centres" artificial, do they use biological, but modified brains? Do they have a Reaper equivalent of a blue screen, perhaps? ;) Are all husks equal or does an individual's prior biological traits (i.e. smart, bulky, small person, a huge guy) have any impact on how they look like, how they work, on their general usage? You see, this little gem: "the issue is that it contradicts what is present in the game" comes out of nowhere, it is a blatant lie. A possibility of a Husk being DAMAGED - as seen in Episode 21 - is not contradictory to what is present in the game. It's just not shown... Possible it couldn't happen? Yup. Possible it could happen? Yup. Anything else is you declaring yourself the Master of the Lore and knowing better than the whole world, which is usually the first sign of being blatantly delusional.

Sorry to be using harsh words here, I'm not usually this dickish, but the whole feel of your comment - everything you've said about fanon, "blatant misconceptions" of wikia editors that don't agree with you and your overall confidence in presenting your own interpretations as something true makes me believe that you should take a step back, read everything you've written once again and try to see how you present yourself to me and other people reading these comments... The Master of Lore thing. What I'm trying to say is "this and that is open for interpretation, so my interpretation is..." - whereas you're pulling out the "impossible" guns saying that "it's not open for interpretation" and then declaring your actual *interpretation* as the one and only truth.

Your definition of fanon and canon is obviously based on the fanon being treated as something worse, something lesser, just because it is not being scripted by someone hired to do so. You see, here's a little tip - the quality of a work should be judged solely by its... quality. Not by the category it belongs to, even if it's filled with slashfics and storylines replaying the game's events in different locations (a problem of the writers not using all the tools they could). Listen, I've been hired to write some horrible, horrible stories and scripts, stuff I would never look upon and say "yeah, I'm proud of this"... and I've done some sweet stuff completely for free (one even set in a world created by a friend), including this series I'm really happy with.

And, yeah, while we're at it - I've read some awesome fan writing set in the Mass Effect universe, some of it pretty much a ton better than a few sections I've found in Mass Effect 3.

As far as Marauder Shields being a "better" ending to Mass Effect 3 - well, it's an alternative ending. If you think it sucks, it's your right, Good Sir, you are fully entitled to your opinion. As far as I'm concerned you can just step out of the shell and say that what I've done with the character of Marauder Shields puts you off so hard you want to punch me in my face - and I still wouldn't mind (well, you saying that, not punching). It's the claims that try to show me my "obvious lore inconsistencies" - where I've put a lot of work and quite a lot of consultation to make this work - and treat other people (like the ME wikia authors) with a certain level of superiority that make me arm up.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
P.S. As a sidenote... You're not the infamous Wesker1984 on a few other sites, by any chance, are you? ;) Just something you've said about ME's lore, one sentence I've heard previously...
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:iconwilliamlim3:
williamlim3 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
You bring up somewhat of a good point, but if you think about it it may be possible, i'm probably just grasping at straws here but we never really know what marauder shields was before he became marauder shields. Due to some twisted thing he may just be that much of a difference enough to change the canon
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Well, I do know what MS was before becoming MS, if you have questions you can always fire them at me. ;) As far as ScorchedSierra's crusade against the "impossibles!" happening in this comic - read my reply to his comment, it helps understand what tools I'm using and why the "impossible" tag just doesn't stick when applied to a fictional sci-fi universe that never goes too deep when presenting topics related to the Reapers, indoctrination and huskification.
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:icon10tabris01:
10Tabris01 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
I know its an old post, but who was MS in his previous life? Was he really Nihlus?
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:icongroseaia:
GRoseaia Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012
I always wondered what the appeal of this webcomic was

Oh right, because it's awesome
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
You're awesome. Also, thanks. ;)
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:iconlilyheartslightning:
LilyheartsLightning Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012
I always wondered what the appeal of this webcomic was. And now I see what it is: completely ignoring what happens in the ending in order to insist that it's such a bad conclusion.

Why am I not surprised?
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012
The greatest thing in the world is that you don't have to read it. At all. No one forces you (or I hope so) - if you think it's crap you can just cast it aside and be done with it. I won't mind. You don't even have to put these little passive-aggressive "Why am I not surprised?" around here - won't mind not seeing 'em either. ;)

As far as completely ignoring the ending - yup. Anything beyond the run to the beam doesn't exist in my head, I hate it, I find Synthesis unintentionally reeking of a fascist philosophy and Control to be better by just an inch. Yes, in my educated opinion it was a terrifyingly bad conclusion. I respect that you might think otherwise, but - hey - there are people who think like me and you can either just accept that not everyone shares your way of thinking or keep pondering about the appeal of this webcomic... Most probably losing a bit of your time and not gaining anything in return.

You see, we're having a ball around here - and everyone's invited, whether they liked the original endings or not. But we're not feeling the need to drag you into that ball, kicking and screaming, if you don't want to. So be free, woodland spirit, and do as you wish.
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:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
I have something serious to ask. And it is taking a lot of effort not to fill this question with vitrol and rage.

To quote your comment here: "The greatest thing in the world is that you don't have to read it. At all. No one forces you (or I hope so) - if you think it's crap you can just cast it aside and be done with it. I won't mind."

The question I have to ask? How in the world do you think you can say that when you support a movement that revolves around obsessive hatred of a work of fiction? How in the world can you criticize an attitude when that attitude is the SOLE reason you created the webcomic in the first place? Why do you feel that people who criticize your work should "just cast it aside and be done with it" while you show little restraint in condemning and criticizing other people's work?

*sigh*
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Well, your question once again shows that you completely miss the point. And the fact that typing this message without "vitrol and rage" took a "lot of effort" shows that you have some issues you should handle first before proudly announcing them out loud to the rest of the world.

It takes a bit of maturity to realize that the world isn't built out of 0-1 bit fragments, where you're either "0" (infinite apologist), or "1" (hater) - this is NOT the dichotomy ruling the nerd universe. If you think that you have to either sing unending praises to something or you're automatically branded as its enemy... Grow up. Seriously, I don't use that phrase too often, as I find it frequently being used out of context and completely uncalled for... But yours is a case that fits perfectly.

If you think I hate Mass Effect because I criticize ME3's ending and produce an ALTERNATIVE one (I see that I really have to emphasize certain keywords by using capital letters so you actually start *seeing* them)... Grow up.

This isn't an effort to force BioWare into anything, this isn't a hate campaign - and only a DELUSIONAL person could think so at this point (but we'll come back to that in a second). This is a "guys, I love you, but I think you dropped the ball, here's my take on how it could've been" thing... with a lot of support and love from BioWare, people who actually MADE Mass Effect, UNLIKE YOU. Can you even wrap your head around that?

There's a psychological condition in which people start to associate with a group of people they have nothing in common with (often celebrities, writers, authors, TV show hosts - though it seems that the craze reached game designers as well...) and start emotionally react to the dealings of said group as if they were a part of it. Whether or not its your case (your general statements indicate that it indeed might be the case), your reactions still remain uncalled for... BECAUSE. BIOWARE. LIKES. US.

Oh, yeah, I should probably remind you to start breathing again at this point.

Next thing. If you think that people organized themselves around the Retake movement because of their "obsessive hatred of a work of fiction"... Grow up. Whether you are able to admit it or not, Retake consisted of a huge chunk of ME's fancore and whether you agree with them or not... They are NOT "the enemies of Mass Effect", as much as you'd like to brand them so.

Next thing. Why have I said that if you dislike this comic you can just move on? Well, this may come as a surprise to you (I see that many obvious things do), but this is not an OFFICIAL Mass Effect comic. You might've seen the word ALTERNATIVE pasted around a few times here and there, because that's just what it is - an OPTION you may choose if you disliked the original ending. Are the clouds moving away, can you see the light yet?

No?

Well, allow me to make it simpler for you.

I take my time to criticize the official ending of the Mass Effect trilogy because... it's official. I paid for it, it's a part of the world I love and supported for long, long years. As a hardcore fan of the game (that you have not created - I think I will start putting these randomly, so it can start sipping into your consciousness) I find the ending abyssmal and make an effort to produce an ALTERNATIVE that people who feel like myself can CHOOSE. Something extra, something on the side, something NOT FORCED ON YOU and NOT OFFICIAL. Doesn't even come in a box.

Hanging around the Marauder Shields Comic while you hate it is as clever as choosing the cheese-flavored chips even though you despise their taste, while a bigger, onion-flavored bag of chips - a taste you can actually enjoy - lays right by its side, on the same shelf. Would you force yourself to eat the cheese-flavored pack? Why? Why, man? Why would you choose the option that's just clearly not for you and NO ONE IS FORCING IT ON YOU? Would you do it just to cry about how you hate cheese-flavored chips?

You see, before this comic people had only one flavor to choose from... And seems that a lot of them hated that single flavor. They couldn't stomach it and thought about leaving chips for good (which could make a very negative impact on the chips-producing company, by the way). I have brought another flavor - in a much smaller pack, but, hell, at least there's an ALTERNATIVE.
Now, your situation hasn't changed at all in the effect of this second flavor appearing - you still have what you like, you had it before, you have it now, you can revert to it AT ANY POINT... But, instead, you choose to be like this and attack - not criticize, mind you - the second flavor just because it exists.

Get it now? Finally?

Please?

Listen, I could just ignore you. Yes, yes I could. I could even slap a ban on your IP if I'd like to - but I'm conversing with you because I can clearly see that you love Mass Effect just like I do, and yet remain oblivious, ignorant and DELUSIONAL towards a lot of topics and controversies connected to the game. Do you know what "delusion" is? It's "a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary" - which is basically the definition of your take on Retake, Marauder Shields, people who hated the ending, the realities of being a fan (once again the 0-1 discussion here) and BioWare's approach to the whole matter.

Everyone who doesn't agree with you is automatically branded as lesser - you've shown that in your previous comments. You think you're the one true fan, better than other fans... The Ultimate Fan? You think you're the one who sees it right and everyone else is just mistaken. You're also the ultimate ME Wikia editor, The Lore Master - better than the others, especially that you're not as misguided as they are, not treating your lore interpretations as the Sanctified Truth.

Well, the things is... You're not.

You want a serious answer? Well, here it comes.

Grow up, man.
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:iconscorchedsierra:
ScorchedSierra Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
"Whether you are able to admit it or not, Retake consisted of a huge chunk of ME's fancore and whether you agree with them or not... They are NOT "the enemies of Mass Effect", as much as you'd like to brand them so."

Why don't we consider the numbers?

In the first month that the game was released, the Retake page on Facebook's membership was in the 60,000 range. By then, the game had sold over a million and a half copies, with about an equal number of people on the Mass Effect page on Facebook.

ME3 sales more than doubled over that time. As for the Retake page? They still have less than 70,000 members.

So by insisting that the Retake group forms anywhere near a "huge chunk" of the fanbase, then you're completely ignoring the size of the fanbase and the size of the Retake movement.

And as to your "the ending is official" argument, that counts for squat. Mass Effect 3 is a work of fiction. Marauder Shields is a work of fiction. Both BioWare and you share your respective work of fiction. And when a person shares their work, there will always be people who disapprove of it. What you've said here is that if someone disapproves of your work, they should just "be done with it." You feel that people shouldn't express criticism of your work yet you feel that you're entitled to express your criticism of another's work all you want and that people other than you should alter their work to please the people who didn't like it over those who did.

It doesn't work that way. Whether or not you hear the criticism, it still exists. Don't tell people who dislike your work to shut up when you don't hesistate to whine and complain about other people's work. People are as free to express their negative opinions of your work as they are for others—I doubt you've ever told the Retake movement, "if you think it's crap you can just cast it aside and be done with it."

I'm almost motivated to start a "Retake Marauders!" movement in response to this comic. I get the feeling that far more than 60,000 or so people would be motivated to denounce someone who considers a sentient turian husk to be completely compatible with Mass Effect lore.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
I feel that this is going nowhere.

You are officially omitting everything I'm saying and then jumping onto keywords that don't mean a thing in the progress of this conversation - you're behaving like a closed-off automaton ready to spout nonsense whenever a specific word comes up. You know who else can do that? Cleverbot. Tell me, Scorched Sierra, why in hell would I want to talk with you if I can have the same level of conversation with Cleverbot, right here: [link] ? Well, not exactly the same level, as I have already noticed that he has a slightly less DELUSIONAL (there's that word again!) approach to reality than you do. Which should certainly grant you an Achievement.

I think that your rant about the numbers of Retake is the most telling. Why would you even launch at that? Was that the gist of what I was saying? Was the single adjective used to describe this movement more important than every little bit of info and commentary I've put in the same paragraph? Hint: nope. No, it wasn't. Your ability to read a complex text has now been graded at F minus minus. Which kinda' explains a lot of what you are attempting to say.

Now, try and focus here, I'm still trying to communicate, though my interest in this is fading rapidly, mostly due to you not actually taking part in the process (disconnected negations, monologues and copypasta don't really work). As far as I'm concerned the Retake movement could be as much as 10 people strong - I have mentioned this before in one of my Journal entries - and it would still not invalidate the fact that in MY opinion the ending to Mass Effect 3 was terrible. See how much I care about the numbers behind the movement? My interest is proportional to the amount of space I've devoted to that in my previous post (hint: 1 adjective). I will come back to this in the end of this post, just to have a bit fun.

As for your "that counts for squat" brilliant retort - yeah, since you've decided to just sidetrack yourself and not reply to any one specific thing I said, the reply still applies, so I won't go too far into that (just read it again). If you don't get the cheese- and onion-chips allegory, I can't really help you. Dilluting that any further would bring us to 1st grade grammar, so let's just pretend you understand the meaning of these sentences and didn't just ignore that, mmm'kay?

What I'd like to respond to is your absurd (you thought I was going to say DELUSIONAL, didn't you? ;)) notion that I negate any criticisms. Allow me to firstly make you understand what criticism really is and why you've been doing it all wrong all along. Voila: "Criticism is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something or someone in an intelligible (or articulate) way" - got that? See those "merits" and "faults"? See that "intelligible" part? It's not declaring something is impossible (when it's not) or asking meaningless passive-aggressive questions... It just isn't.

So, allow me to repeat myself (I've written this before, but you clearly have a problem with catching stuff that's not written out in Caps Lock) - I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST CRITICISM. I have actually replied to each and every criticism that has arisen and - as far as you are concerned - I have smashed each and every of your specific criticism-like accusations to the ground, beginning with the statement about Vendetta. You might want to actually reread that and, I don't know, maybe think about it? If anyone else is reading this - I invite you to do so, there's some pretty good stuff to smirk at.

Now, with that out of our way - again! - allow me to return to your brilliant math show back there, as nonsensical and out-of-nowhere in this conversation as it might be. You see, there's a whole chapter about using numbers to your advantage in rhetoric classes, something I've learned a while ago, and I'd like to share it with you. It will help you craft your statistical statements in a proper manner, so, not like the one you've made in your post.

First of all, never compare two completely unrelated numbers or you will make yourself look like a dumbass [link] that doesn't understand the basics of number pools and statistics. For example, do you know what a consumer group is in basic economics? It's the whole cauldron of people who have bought a product. It is in no way a measure of their satisfaction with said product and in no way is it a measure of whether they give a skunk's ass about it. In modern computer games, for example (a quite fitting example, if I may say so myself), the consumer group usually consists of two measurable pockets of people - the casual/mainstream gamers (don't give a skunk's ass, around 90% of people buying a product, most of them bought it because of a cool TV commercial or a positive review, or its just cool to "be a part of that") and the FANBASE.

By default, as numbers show, the casual/mainstream gamers love two components: action and multiplayer (that's why developers are shoehorning it into everything these days). They don't have much interest in lore or storylines, with a big chunk of them throwing games away after a period of mild interest. For example, did you know that only 42 percent of all customers that bought Mass Effect 3 have actually finished the game (and that's AFTER the Extended Cut, which upped the percentage by a few)? Go and check this out: [link]

The fanbase is a completely different animal. It is a relatively small number of consumers with a relatively big impact on the overall sales and "outcome" of the product, the way it will be remembered - they are the true representatives of a product in a commercial enviroment. They are the "vocal minority" that will flood the forums, that will generate buzz over a new trailer, that will geek out when a few screenshots from their favorite publisher's new game come out... Do you even get what "generating buzz" means? Do you know how much cash a gaming company actually spends to make sure that their fanbase numbers aren't dwindling? I do. Let me just say that my monthly producer's & writer's salary could finance an hour of such an action, not more.

Now, keeping that in mind, a big chunk (stop salivating over this adjective and wipe that foam, buddy, you'll break your keyboard!) of that group - who knows how big really - had a big, big (now I'm just playing with you - BIG time!) problem with how the game ended (it was big!). All those topics at the forums weren't just fueled by a few people saying the same things over and over - it was recognized as a big pudu. If you really think that it was just a micropercentage of the group that BioWare was interested in... Why do you think they spent all that cash to produce the Extended Cut? The thing is, whether you like it or not, money was lost on the whole affair. A lot of money (compare ME3's sales to sales of top selling AAA titles from the same budget rank). If you can't wrap your head around that then, well... [link]

Now, returning to the "buzz" thing... And statistics. There's a sweet little automatic keyword aggregator called "What Does the Internet Think" which uses a bunch of specialized bots spidering away at open forums, sites, blogs, twitter, site comments, google searches, message groups and a whole lotta' other places looking for either good ("awesome", "incredible", "best game ever" etc.) or bad ("sucks", "I hate it", "horrible" etc.) keywords and grouping them into an unbiased catalogue describing "what the Internet thinks" about a specific product or service. It's not always perfect, but it's effective enough on bigger and well-known products (such as AAA games) that it's getting widespread attention.

What does it say about Mass Effect? 84.4% of the Internet posts concerning "Mass Effect" (representing both the first game and the whole franchise) are positive, with only 14.1% being negative (which is an incredible score). How does it look for "Mass Effect 3"? 97.5% negative, I shit you not. I was kinda' surprised myself, but that's the buzz on the Internet - that's the reason why BioWare brought in a lot less money than everyone (the journalists you hate, the damn sell-outs, paid off by the Retake Conspiracy!) expected. Here, check for yourself, have fun: [link]

Don't get me wrong (you tend to do that), I'm not trying to say that Mass Effect 3 was a bad game. I'm trying to say that you shouldn't use numbers and statistics if you don't know how to. Next time you type "Why don't we consider the numbers?" just stop, think for a moment and backspace the crap out of it - it's just not a good thing for you to do, it seems. There's a reason why these "statistics" and "marketing" things are called a "science" and there are specific rules to said "science" that have to be applied to not sound like a dumbass when throwing nice little numbers all over your post. [link]

So, if you want to compare Facebook groups for example, you should do so, by comparing them to other Facebook groups - like Retake's 70 thousand users to the Mass Effect franchise's 1 million users total, or to Mass Effect 3's (specifically the game's, not the franchise's)... Urm, 53.579 users?! That kind of sucks. How about the official Extended Cut's... What, only 8.632 fans?

Now go and learn, dude. Learn about the art of conversation. Learn about the proper use of numbers and statistics. Read everything I've wrote, because each and every little post was as specific to this conversation as possible... Try to understand that you are indeed not the single Ultimate Master of Lore, and that you're NOT better than all the other Mass Effect fans, including the ones that don't agree with you... And one day we may converse again, hopefully in a communicative way, with you not "missing" anything you don't wish to reply to (which is like, what, most of what I've said?). Oh, and I almost forgot! One more thing...

Grow up.

[link]
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:iconjeffdaniel:
jeffdaniel Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Not only the greatest FacFic ever, but now the greatest troll stomping of all time. I love this guy. I can't wait for more from him. He adds a fun humor part to the site.

And Koobs, I know trolls excite you. . . but don't kill them off so fast. I want to hear what other stupid things they have to say.
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:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
P.S. Almost forgot! The "Retake Marauders!" initiative sounds awesome. You should totally do it.
Reply
:icontarekshamas:
tarekshamas Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
makes me wish ME had a modding community
Reply
:icondie-yng:
die-yng Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
ME has a modding community, though the game itselfs restricts the modding possibilities very much.
Check out the Bioware Social forums for a large number of mods, that sadly, mostly only change the look of the game, but there's some sweet stuff there.
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:iconfalloutjunkie90:
FalloutJunkie90 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
I personally think Nihlus being Marauder Shields is awesome
Reply
:iconimperfect-chaos:
Imperfect-Chaos Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
When I first started reading this series I just thought it was a joke, nothing serious. I imagine I'm not alone in that. Here is where that all turned around, yet because I didn't quite recognize that yet I didn't even really pick up on what Nihlus' appearance here really meant, so the later evelations still surprised me. An accident, perhaps, but a very happy one for me.
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:iconhepcatsmeow:
hepcatsmeow Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm gonna sob omfg
Reply
:iconarrogance127:
Arrogance127 Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
This... This makes far more sense than the ending, in fact, I would actually like some of it incorporated into the ending.

Mind-blown, shepard was meant to be the next catalyst, so that during the next cycle he would lead the reapers. To defeat the organics, it would make sense that the reapers would have to think like one, and to have shepard as their leader would have spelled doom for the galaxy.
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:iconanatorax:
Anatorax Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
OMFG, this is SOOOOOOOO awesome. You are damn talented, man. Keep up great work. If there were a comic book (or a donate button) I would definitely buy it.
Reply
:iconkoobismo:
koobismo Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
Thank you. :D You can always "semi-donate" by buying this soundtrack from an unfinished game of mine: [link] - more info here: [link]

I'm also grateful for any retweets ([link]) and spreading the links around. ^^
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:iconanatorax:
Anatorax Featured By Owner May 22, 2012
Have done both!
Reply
:iconavenuewriter:
Avenuewriter Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the backstory you've given Marauder Shields, heck I just love these comics! They're far better than what Bioware came up with
Reply
:iconcedric116-b45:
Cedric116-B45 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pretty good idea to put Nihlus in there. Too bad Marauder Shields was even weaker than all his indoctrinated mates on Reaper side. Funny thing in here is that when Marauder Shields tried to stop Shepard, it only strengthened hShepard's belief that he was still on the good side fighting the bad guys that try to stop him from reaching the beam. Excellent work you do here
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:icondavid-wayne:
david-wayne Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
Love the comeback of Nihlus. I didn't have the problem with the ending everyone did, but it's still awesome that this exists. Keep up the good work
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:iconvesstemona:
vesstemona Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
You sir, you are amazing.
Reply
:iconkadencross:
KadenCross Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I am going through the comic again as I wait for the next installment and, I just have to say, from six on I get chills with out the music, however WITH this music I cannot describe the feeling of awe the chapters invoke. Keep up the good work.
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:iconranger24:
Ranger24 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2012
Oh snap! Marauder Shields is Nihlus!
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:iconwarhamer116:
Warhamer116 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2012
Epic comeback there nihlus
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:iconblahjerry:
blahjerry Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
WHICH LINE!? THERE ARE SO MANY!
Reply
:iconzelthie:
Zelthie Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
This is going to be my headcanon until Summer. Or, if I don't like the DLC, for the rest of my life. Thank you. :D
Reply
:iconjamajamapi:
jamajamapi Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks. You're making the endings a little bit bearable with Marauder Shields. It's also amazing how you managed to pull this meme out of "kingdom LOL" and into the realm of "oh shit that might actually work" ;__;
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