So, we're winding down in the Thirty Days of Mass Effect series, and we've come to the most important question: what awaits the galaxy? Is it hope, or despair? A technological utopia, or a space-age return to the Stone Age? Will there be peace, or will a new threat emerge to take advantage of galactic instability? Players are left with myriad questions and have spent tons of hours speculating while searching for answers. In honor of the tradition, I'll give my own interpretations of the endings and what I think we can expect for the galaxy as a result of them, with a few variables thrown in to boot. Naturally, this will be a pretty spoilerific blog, so read at your own discretion.




So we all remember this infamous ending; Shepard blows the weird red glowy contraption up, everything goes boom, then we see a massive shockwave of energy destroy the Reapers once and for all, along with all synthetics in the known galaxy, including EDI and the Geth. Infamously referred to as the "red" ending.

What we can expect for the Galaxy

Depending on your previous choices, things could be grim. The Galaxy naturally will experience a considerable setback due to the collateral damage incurred as a result of the destruction of all synthetic life in addition to the disabling of the Mass Relays. Without the Geth to aid the races, along with most advanced AI's and VI's, normally accomplishable tasks will become hazardous due to the absence of advanced synthetics capable of handling these tasks for them. On another note, the remains of the Reaper constructs destroyed by the Crucible may lead to technological breakthroughs that result in another dramatic shift that may help to allay the burdens the civilizations will face while trying to recover from the events of Mass Effect 3. Perhaps information about the Mass Relays will also be uncovered.

I suspect the Galaxy will take considerably longer time to recover due to the unexpected casualties that will also result among organics that use synthetic upgrades and vital apparatuses to maintain their health. Races like the Krogan will thrive in this environment due to their limited reliance on synthetics and - depending on whether Wrex or Wreav is the leader of the Krogan - they will either become a bolstering factor in galactic stability or an even greater threat than they were during the Krogan Rebellions... if Eve isn't alive that is. Her presence will ensure that the Krogan do not repeat the mistakes of the past; those who sabotaged the Genophage cure will also have no need to worry about another uprising among the Krogan.

Does Shepard Survive?

Those who've seen the optimal ending know that Shepard has; where Shepard is currently located is something left to speculation, although it can be assumed that Shepard is still hidden in an obscure area of the Citadel. Will any DLC be released clarifying this? Who knows, but it perhaps is best to leave Shepard's fate to one's imagination.