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Synthesis by efleck Synthesis by efleck
First off, I just want to be clear that this is not an attempt by me to make anyone feel bad about what ending they chose. This is just me exorcising my demons. =D

I was never able to properly explain in words why I found the synthesis option in mass effect 3 so repulsive... so, here is a picture about how I feel instead. Of course I had to do it in the most disturbing way possible. If I have to see this sort of crap in my head then I'm going to share it so we can all suffer a little, lol. Also, this will probably be the only time you see me draw babies. Ever.

Started this about five months ago, then shelved it... figured I should finish it up before I get too involved in other things. Painted in SAI and then fiddled with in CS?.

Edit: cleaned things up a little and darkened the human babe. Looks better now me thinks.
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KeybladeKnight99 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 30, 2015  Student Writer
That's really fucked up, but really well done. Another great critique of the Synthesis ending that my friend made is that it is eventually going to lead to evolutionary stagnation with everyone being the same. Which is in complete and total opposition to the first two games where victory is achieved by the many diverse races combining their strengths to overcome the Reapers. I remember the first time I beat the game I chose Control because I thought it was wrong for me to make a decision as big as Synthesis for the entire galaxy, and I didn't want to destroy the Geth (Which is a pretty BS Catch 22 looking back). Then when the extended endings came out, Control felt really creepy with further explanation so I tried Synthesis, which felt nice in the moment, but is really fucked up the more you think about it. I need to go back and just pick destroy, I have a feeling that is the ending they're going to follow in the new game anyway.
SkirmisherDak Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow thats freaky ^^;
Nice work! 
fugimoto Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
i feel your pain... and now see it too lol jk,
sorry it ruined babys for you though! (also jk)
good point though about post synthesis! never liked it ether!
SomeRandomMinion Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
:iconclapplz: A fantastic rebuttal to all the "OMG ITZ TEH SINGULARITY!" BS Synthesis fanboys always spout. THIS is what that atrocity creates.

Destroy is the way to go, always. (I don't acknowledge the whole idiocy with the Leviathan DLC, and the "The Reapers were keeping EVEN WORSE monsters at bay!" crap. That's just the narrative punishing anyone who likes Destroy.)
ionoid Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015
While I approve of Synthesis, your art looks quite nice.
efleck Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! =D
FireflyZ646 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG, that is so WRONG! Lol! But the artistic skill is incredible. Great job!
efleck Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sometimes wrong is the only right way
Pluffix Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Plus Control and Destroy go against everything Paragon Shepard was fighting for
Pluffix Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
2 problems.

One, I chose Synthesis, because it's the only one between the two options that I saw could cause unionization between the machines and human. It gave Edi the ability to really feel as a human, and that was my main concern.

Secondly, I assumed the Reapers would destroy their ugly creations after coming to the conclusion they were no longer necessary.

Secret third, this was the only option I could pick that would allow the rebuilding of the mass relays and could possibly allow Shepard to come back AND be with his/her crew in a year or so (rebuilding again but this time based on the genes scattered EVERYWHERE.)

The only other option I could pick was Control, but I'm too stubborn to pick something the Illusive Man was trying to go for (and failed).
lazkopat24 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Hahahaha , NO .
Lanca226 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2014
Do they even have glands in that state? :ohnoes:
AngelicThumper Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I choose synthesis and I must be a mutant because I find this totally hilarious.

thebalancer20 Featured By Owner May 16, 2014
Oh Noes!.... ooookay Lonely  that's disturbing...Stare  
Treasurechick Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014
this synthesis painting got to me. I always chose that ending and now I wonder about it. If they could only go back to being the people and Asari they were...
LoveMelianor Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible art.. just stunning.

There is no good ending in ME, all of them are sad and controversial, and that is what makes it all so desperate.
Dzhulyet Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
Good art.
Everyl Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014
That is both awesome and creepy at the same time. Good work.
Rainbowhawk1993 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

Oh god...

Another reason not to choose Synthesis.

AniDragon Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, at first glance, this is really disturbing... But then I think about the fact that the Banshees used to be Ardat -Yakshi, who can't have children, and... Suddenly, this is almost sweet. (Yes, I know, probably the OPPOSITE of what you were going for, lol.)

Each of my Shepards picked a different ending, lol. My Thane-manced Paragon picked Synthesis, my Kaidan-manced Paragade picked Control, my Garrus-manced Renegon picked Destroy, and my Tali-manced Renegade will pick Refuse.
Drachenritter93 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
That's why I always destroy them.
Deemonef Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know what? I love your thinking :D
TheDarkCorvus Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013
a razon more to choose the destroying ending :( (Sad) 
brittanythestylist Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Professional Artist
Great representation of synthesis! You are very talented!
bayzee Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always felt it was the bad ending.... now I'm justified! D:  ... and scared.
NiameDarkmoon Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
I just finished ME3 yesterday night. I had some spoilers for the endings and, being Paragon, always thouht Synthesis is the one and only option for me. I generally like this idea of unity and ultimate understanding. But when I stood there, mulling over all possobilities, it just felt so wrong. I mean, it might come to this end after few millenia and it would be right, but you just can't force it. I don't think it would work very well. In the end, I chose Control. I know it's kindof selfish to think you have it in you to rein the reapers, but when confronted with your certain death and the amount of havoc other solutions are likely to cause, I think you can afford to be a little selfish.
Pusc Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
Same here, i'd like to know how closely the reapers follow the catalyst's orders, Just imagine how cool it would be to tell the reapers to head straight down a black hole or into a giant sun?
Zenphor Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
I am MORTIFIED. Stare 
Motion-Music Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
its also entirely uselss, as synthesis has no practical effect.

it in no way prevents the creation of new synthetic, or organic life forms.... it merely fundamentalyl alters life, and the differences between organics and synthetics is not what cause the wars between them (technically ever synthetic has warred against the organics primarily because of the reapers)

what caused the war was being created for slave labor.... and that doesnt change, especially now that everyone is immortal and wants to dedicate their lives to art adn crap like that... hello clone slave army :I

synthesis does literally all the nothings.
ellixer2407 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
Nice and (appropriately) disturbing work.
I still hold up Synthesis as the best possible outcome though. While the image is meant to be (and very much is) creepy and wrong, I think I could see it in a more positive light, in a twisted way I suppose. It holds that all synthesized beings value equality among species, disregarding petty concerns like how disgusting the indoctrination victims look. It's heart-warming (in a twisted way) to see the the indoctrinated species having a place among others now that their minds are theirs again once more, you can't really fault them for any atrocity the reapers committed using their bodies. I think it shows that synthesized beings are no longer plagued with petty irrational prejudices but still retain their humanity (as demonstrated by EDI). That and as synthesized beings I don't see why they can't build themselves new bodies. I'm sure that's not the message you intended but hey, that's my stance. Wink/Razz 
That and I can't understand anyone who would choose Destroy. That's genocide against an entire specie whose only goal was to learn and survive (even the ones that side with the reapers were driven solely by their desire to live). Not to mention you would be murdering close friends within your own squads and countless being in the universe relying on technology to live. And for what? So the universe can have a few centuries of supposed peace before inevitably re-inventing the technology and start it all again?
Control Ending is much more agreeable but I find it hard to trust any immortal being to stay good, sane and wise forever. Refuse Ending is self-explanatory but I think I can respect its refusal to sacrifice ideologies even if it dooms an entire universe.
Kuraara-chan Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Student General Artist
I can understand you're point of view, but I disagree with your stance on the Destroy ending. I think it is the best ending because the reapers HAVE to be destroyed, not just to stop the massacre the cause but because if the universe wants to change and improve they need to do so by their own strength and intelligence, joining with the Reapers means that we gain a huge amount of technology and knowledge handed to us. I think that sort of information should be earned.
I do regret the deaths of the Geth and EDI, but they joined the battle prepared for death, if anyone is to blame for their deaths it's the reapers.
And I don't think that the universe will make the same mistakes with Synthetics again. I think the reason why each cycle repeated the same mistakes was because the reapers had completely destroyed each civilisation, meaning that there was no way for the next cycle to learn from the previous mistakes made. In fact in the first game we see how there are already legislation in place to prevent any AIs being built, after all the hardships and lessons learnt throughout the trilogy I doubt that the same mistakes will be made this time around. Synthetics and organics may be able to live peacefully without needing to be merged their DNA together like in the synthesis ending.
Plus Shepard lives at the end, meaning he/she may be able to reunite with his/her loved ones.
ellixer2407 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013
Those are some pretty good points. Although I will point out that Synthetics and Organics won't be able to live peacefully since all Synthetics die in the Destroy ending. There's no reason why they can't be rebuilt of course, assuming people allow those stuffs at some point (although if they do allow it again after what happened, I think that's helping my case with repeating the whole thing).
Another thing is that the legislation was in place because I'm pretty sure there are people at the time who saw first hand how the Geth uprising started. That could very well be dropped in a couple of centuries. In a few more million years who knows how many things they forget.
But you make a pretty good case actually, since you didn't go on about how it's horrible that the indoctrination victims will be able to live among normal people again. It's true that Synthesis or Control Endings are basically shortcuts that prevent us from actually achieving these innovations through our own drive and intelligence.
I still stand by the Synthesis ending though, since for me, personally, having the technology handed to us and sacrificing Shepard is preferable to wiping out a whole race and killing off EDI (along with who knows how many other AIs that had no say in the thing). Yes the Reapers probably take most of the blame but the player isn't innocent in the matter either. I don't think it's ideal but it's still preferable to the other scenarios.
Just my personal stance though, good to have these discussions.
Kuraara-chan Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Hello again, I know this message is quite a late reply but regarding the short conversation we had about the Mass Effect endings, I though you might find this video interesting.

It's a video that looks at the pros and cons of the different endings, overall it does lean favourably towards the Destroy ending, but I thought you might be interested in watching it because there are a lot of good justifications for the critiques of each choice. It was nice talking to you, hope this video isn't too long for you, I'm happy to talk more if you are interested. :)
ellixer2407 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Nice analysis video. Interesting, made good point, and made my doubt my choices. The justifications and critiques were really good, though I think the bias is a bit clear in places but there's nothing inherently wrong with that.
But I'll say that most of it isn't the kind of discussion I'd be interested in. I really enjoy debating the moral implications of your choices, and having strings attached to the ending undermine that. I like to debate the endings at face value and assume that the crucible would not leave out vital details like indoctrinating Shepard based on his choice.
My interpretation of Synthesis is exactly what was shown in the Director's Cut: Synthetics, Husks and Reapers gaining full organic understanding, and Organics gaining whatever the hell the glowing green thing's supposed to be. My interpretation of Control is the same: Shepard's mind remains perfectly intact, his organic body is no more, and the reapers (and husks) are under his control.
I'd argue that Synthesis is different from Reaper's cycle in that thus far Reapers are pretty much entirely synthetics and gathered organics to preserve their genes, while Synthesis gives Reapers a sentience mind, free will and full organic understanding. I, personally, care little for a biologically organic body. As long as the being has free will, that's organic enough for me. Yeah, whether they have free will or not is debatable, but I'll assume that they do for reasons I've already mentioned.
I'd also argue that resenting the reapers is misguided. They serve the function they were designed for and lack free will. Taking revenge against them is ultimately pointless.
Of course, I'd be glad to continue discussing the ethics of the endings. Including indoctrination into the argument, something that the crucible did not explicitly point out, is another discussion altogether. While it seems entirely possible (the video was really convincing on that front, too), it's kinda not the kind or debate I'd like to get into. If you would like to continue debating on that front, I'd be delighted. If not, still, thanks for the video. It was an enjoyable watch.
Vhardamis Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ellixer2407: We'll agree to disagree on that point. Synthesis is a terrible choice. No one has the right to play God with the lives of trillion upon trillions of beings (Also the reason why I dislike the Salarian race). That's not only arrogant,  its a 'Reapers win' scenario. So is the Control ending because how long do you think it's going to be before the Reapers logic overwrites you're moral compass. As time passes and you will lose the emotional drive that made you 'you' then you start reacting with just logic and the whole cycle starts all over.

The only neutral/fair option is the Destroy ending. Totally sucks that it kills all synthetics but like Garrus says much as we want to we can't save everyone in a all out war. Maybe Synthesis will happen anyway in the future naturally, maybe the whole Reaper type situation will happen again too, but at least the Universe would have unfolded as it was intended, not forced by some emotionless being that thinks it knows whats best better than nature does. Entities that also came into being because they thought organic was flawed and wiped out ENTIRE cycles worth of life.

efleck: This picture is disturbing but also well done. Cudos to you!
ellixer2407 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013
If you say so. Never bought the "playing God" argument myself. If it's a bad option it should be because of a legitimate reason instead of "it's wrong to overstep your mortal boundaries". Personally I don't care who wins as long as the universe survives and thrives without losing what makes them living beings (and I don't think they'll lose that but then again the story is kinda vague on that front). Of course, countless people will definitely not appreciate being made part synthetic forcibly (assuming their synthetic and therefore logical side doesn't override their organic sentimental side) but I still believe that's a very preferable consequence comparing to the others.
While I agree that concerns are legitimate regarding the Control ending, I'll point out that what overwrites your moral compass would be time instead of Reapers' logic. You're in complete control of yourself as well as the Reapers in that scenario and the only thing that can change you is yourself or time (which I think is likely) instead of Reaper Indoctrination.
Regarding Destroy, there's a difference between not saving and straight up sacrificing. You pick that option out of your own free will and you would have killed an entire race that has been fighting for its survival because organics' narrow-minded tendencies. Whether it's worth it or not is open to debate. However, you can't ignore the fact that you sacrificed an entire race for survival when there are other options. Not saying it's the wrong option mind you (though it certainly is in my opinion), but people are really sugar-coating it.
Back to Synthesis. This is where my personal stance comes in. For me, forcing change (not bad change in my opinion) on the universe is preferable to genocide, extinction or having a single being rule the universe. Again, I don't buy the "it's nature" argument. In my opinion if nature is cruel or undesirable then you should change it or, if necessary, fight it. Maybe we're indeed too foolish to know what's best but, for me, screwing ourselves over in that scenario is preferable than bending to nature's will.
Tanner4 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
But, but EDI, and the Geth
earthward Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013
My god! They're breast feeding IN PUBLIC! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
Sharai Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Never thought of it this way, very disturbing for sure. Never really was tempted to pick that option, so I couldn't really tell why at the time. Every time i start a new play with the idea of picking a "different" ending, i just end up with destroy anyways. Everything else just doesn't feel right. And this picture tells you exactly why. If we don't destroy the reapers, they get to "live". All those disturbing and sicking, murderous creatures get to live.... how can anyone think this is a good end? :D
InVRed Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013



That's what they were once.... Madien, Mother and Matriarch


Strange, how the word Shepard echoed in a cacophony of a trillon souls as it traveled through flesh connecting them in ways they didn't understand


The endless hammering in their brains stopped. They could... Think.. They were.... Free


They would help rebuild... There was no one else on this world it meant the new borns were sure to perish unless something was done


They would give back to this world. The nanobots that had corrupted them began to create new possibilities from their husks, It was their decision if they chose


It was careful with its massive and lethal taloned hands as it brought the alien babe to its breast.



"Shepard" She managed to croon out. The only word that mattered enough to be spoken


"Shepard" Agreed her sisters....



efleck Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool! =D
Gentlespy549 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
This... Is why i pick Control
efleck Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol :XD:
MrAddled Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
InsidiousAgent Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
I wanted to build Tali a house on Rannoch! And instead EA makes all my attention to details and sidemissions and tactical consequence worth fuck all...
Damnit, I'd rather have waited another year for the fully awesome product ME3 could have been...
And Synthesis is just plain nasty. Not to mention cruel to the all the different types of husks. Who'd wanna live a husk and be aware of it?
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
And fanboys consider this the best ending. XD
MrAddled Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
They do? I'm one of Mass Effects biggest fans, and the only one I could stomach was giving ghostboy the finger and blowing them all to frag.
I'ma live damnit. And apparently on Earth with a bunch of aliens, some heavily mislead by my Renegade. <_<
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
If you dare to tread the BSN wasteland, you will find a near infinite horde of fanboys who think that the synthesis ending is somehow ''bittersweet''.

And the refusal ending? That was a giant middle finger to all the fans who dared to trash biowares ''art''. But at least the galaxy dies on it's feet, instead of living on it's knees.
efleck Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You think you know someone until you find out they chose synthesis. :XD:
sirartsalot Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
Like i said, lol.
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