Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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Audemus and Scottina123

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Audemus

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About this mod

AHEM is a rework of the ending to LE3, and a spiritual successor to the Happy Ending Mod. The primary focus of the mod is to allow Commander Shepard to survive the final mission, as well as provide satisfying closure to this incredible trilogy through tweaked cutscenes, edited videos, new ending slides, and an overhauled memorial scene.

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  • Spanish
Changelogs
Audemus' Happy Ending Mod (AHEM)
Ad Astra Per Aspera

AHEM is a rework of the ending to LE3, and a spiritual successor to the Happy Ending Mod. The primary focus of the mod is to allow Commander Shepard to survive the final mission, as well as provide satisfying closure to this incredible trilogy through tweaked cutscenes, edited videos, new ending slides, and an overhauled memorial scene.

For those familiar with existing ending mods, this mod is most similar to Version B of JohnP's Alternate MEHEM.


What Does AHEM Do?


1. The Crucible is no longer space-magic.
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A lore-friendly narrative has been constructed that explains how the Crucible destroys the Reapers and only the Reapers. This is told via 2 new Codex entries. "Crucible: Functionality" and "Crucible: The Catalyst" which unlock after the Citadel Coup and Cerberus HQ respectively. This should also help explain why characters start acting so confident that the Crucible is actually going to work in the second half of the game.

This new lore is inspired by Mass Effect Codex writer Chris Hepler's intended direction for the Crucible, in which the energy field manipulates the nuclear strong force to affect matter on an atomic level. I chose this direction in order to make this ending feel earned as well as provide a plausible explanation as to how this happy ending could work within the lore rather than simply handwaving. Can you tell I yearn for the days when Mass Effect was nearly hard sci-fi?

You can read about Chris Hepler's ending idea here: https://www.thegamer.com/mass-effect-3-ending-writer-idea

Additionally, while I recommend reading these codex entries in-game during your playthrough, you can read them here if you're curious:
Crucible: Functionality
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As construction continues, the brightest minds in the galaxy have begun to unravel the sophisticated scientific principles behind the Crucible’s design.

The device is capable of emitting a dark energy wave that weakens the binding energy of the nucleon, resulting in atomic destabilization. As Reaper technology is both organic and inorganic, researchers speculate that it is possible to kill a Reaper by irradiating the exotic inorganic materials that compose their outer shells. The organic components within would then be damaged at the cellular level by extreme radiation poisoning.

Though theoretically sound, this raises two major complications. The energy wave is subject to inverse square law with a limited radius of 4.6 billion kilometers - far too low to affect anything beyond the system that it’s activated in. Additionally, it is unclear how it could be directed in a way that prevents organic beings from suffering the same grisly fate as the Reapers.

Crucible scientists believe that the Catalyst is the key to resolving these issues, but the exact nature of this component remains a mystery.

Crucible: Catalyst
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While it has been understood from the outset that the Crucible is capable of channeling unfathomable amounts of dark energy, the nature of the Catalyst has eluded researchers until now. The Prothean VI has revealed that the Citadel - the hub of the mass relay network - is the Catalyst.

The Citadel utilizes vast subsystems that coordinate dark energy transmissions throughout the relay network. The Crucible taps into these systems using the “dark switches”, control functions installed into each mass relay, and exploits their processing power to not only amplify the effective range of the superweapon, but also use it as a critical ‘focusing lens’.

Through these means, the Crucible then arbitrates atomic weight by relative mass, directing the energy wave to affect matter in infinitely complex ways. Reaper capital ships, destroyers, and other vessels are composed of heavy atomic elements as well as organic components, which when subjected to radiation from the irradiated exotic materials of the outer shell, would result in lethal levels of internal radiation poisoning.

Husks, on the other hand, are composed of low atomic weight elements (such as carbon) while also containing a significant degree of Reaper nanite materials. Therefore the hadron particles that make up their bodies would be literally ripped apart, dissolving them into nothingness. Since organic beings are made up of purely low atomic weight elements, they should theoretically be completely unaffected by the Crucible so long as they maintain a minimum safe distance from irradiated Reaper corpses following the device’s activation.

It’s clear that if the Crucible were to be damaged during its deployment, this arbitration could be scrambled and produce a potentially catastrophic burst of energy that could do irreparable harm to the Galaxy. It is for this reason that the safety of the Crucible is absolutely paramount.



2. The Starchild/Catalyst is no longer present in the ending - but you can still get a dark ending if your EMS is low.
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After the final conversation with Anderson, the Crucible activates automatically with only one function: Destroy the Reapers. Since the Crucible now targets Reaper materials rather than Reaper programming, synthetics such as EDI and the Geth are unaffected and survive.

However, if your EMS is too low and the Crucible suffers too much damage before docking, it will malfunction and begin sporadically targeting non-Reaper materials. This is the same as the vanilla Low-EMS Destroy, otherwise known as the "Vaporize" ending.


3. The Crucible docking scene is now more exciting and tense.
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Since in this ending the Crucible fires automatically, I felt that the High EMS version of this scene felt even more anti-climatic than it was in vanilla. In order to make this scene feel like a 'white-knuckle' moment of tension, and as the final hurdle before victory, the docking scene now uses an edited version of the Low EMS docking scene that keeps the chaos but shows the Crucible undamaged.


4. The Citadel & Mass Relays are no longer damaged/destroyed.
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Through the power of content-aware masking, careful retiming, and subtle compositing in After Effects, the explosions shown in the vanilla ending sequence have been removed, and a couple of new shots have been inserted to show the Citadel and Relays unharmed.


5. An expanded epilogue sequence.
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The epilogue has been expanded with new ending slides as well as a few Synthesis ending slides that made sense to include (such as Quarians/Geth living side by side).


6. Commander Shepard survives.
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After the Crucible fires, Shepard is discovered by his/her squad (Including their LI if there is one) and is present at the memorial. All possible ME3 romances are supported and will hug Shepard at the memorial, including ME2 romances (such as Miranda, Jack, Samara and Kelly). More NPCs are also present such as EDI, Chakwas/Michel, Adams and Ken/Gabby. Alliance crew, including Jack if she is present, will wear Alliance uniforms. Kelly will wear a dress that is suitable for a memorial service. Garrus, Liara, Tali, and Javik also wear appropriate outfits for the memorial scene.


7. Built with Citadel Epilogue Mod in mind.
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Deager very graciously allowed us the rights to remake CEM for Legendary Edition, and this mod has been built with CEM in mind. The Citadel is shown returned to the Serpent Nebula, and the lack of damage to the Citadel/Relays means the narrative doesn't need to jump through hoops to explain how you can have a party on the Citadel post-ending. When both AHEM and CEM are used together, this mod will seamlessly transition into CEM.


The mod also contains two options that replace the end credits music:


F.A.Q:


Can I install this mod mid-playthrough?

Yes. You can install it at any point prior to the Illusive Man confrontation. However, the two new codex entries are set up to unlock at certain points in the game. So you won't get them unless you install the mod before those points. The first codex entry fires after the Hackett/Anderson briefing post-coup, and the second fires after the Anderson call post-Cerberus HQ.

Here's a workaround if you'd like to unlock the first codex entry (Crucible: Functionality):
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Open the command console and type in the following command:
> InitPlotManagerValueByIndex 27900 bool 1


How much EMS do I need to unlock this ending?

You only need enough to unlock the Destroy ending, which is about 5200 (or 4200 if you destroyed the Collector Base in ME2). So unless you royally screwed up somewhere, you'll very likely have enough.

Does this mod work with romance mods such as More Gay Romances?

Yes! The mod does not check for Shepard's gender when checking to see who the LI that appears at the memorial should be. It just looks at your save to find your active romance. So it will work perfectly fine no matter what romance mod you're using. In fact, we even added forward compatibility to allow for Joker or Thane to appear at the memorial if amod releases in the future that makes Joker a romance option or allows Thane to survive ME3.

What about Take Earth Back? Is it compatible?

Yes, it's fully compatible. You can check full compatibility notes in the section below.

I preferred JAM Version A. Are you going to make another version that keeps the Starchild conversation?

I have no plans to do this. This mod is a spiritual successor to JAM, but it is not a remake of that mod. This is my interpretation of the happy ending mod concept, and a version with the Starchild in it isn't something I've ever considered. Also, because of the way the mod rewrites the way that the Crucible works, putting the Starchild scene back in wouldn't make any sense.

It doesn't make much sense to me personally to keep the Starchild conversation if the Destroy ending has no real downsides. You'd end up being presented with a ton of exposition that ultimately means nothing because you'd have no reason not to pick destroy. It could make sense to keep it so the Destroy ending still kills EDI and the Geth and damages the mass relays/Citadel, but also have the memorial scene with Shepard. But at the same time, that's so similar to the vanilla ending where Shepard is shown to be alive that I'm not sure what the point would be of making a mod. In the vanilla epilogue, everything is shown to be rebuilt anyway, so really all AHEM is doing is getting us from A to B quicker.

However, I am more than happy to have a conversation with any other modder interested in making something more akin to JAM vA and who wants to use this mod's files as a base. My DMs are open.

Are you planning on adding anything else in the future?

I'm pretty happy with where the mod is now, but there will definitely be updates at some point. I'd like to potentially add in several new ending slides to further expand on the outcomes of the decisions you made in the trilogy, as well as a flashback shot for the dead Virmire squadmate so they appear along with the others at the end of the epilogue.


Compatibility & Requirements:


  • AHEM requires the LE3 Community Patch & Framework version 1.5 or above.
  • AHEM contains a transition patch for both Full/Lite versions of Citadel Epilogue Mod (framework version only)
  • AHEM contains Anderson's Final Conversation Restored, and therefore you don't need to install it if you are using this mod.
  • AHEM contains several new pre-rendered cutscenes that are ALOV-grade quality (4K 60fps). It is recommended to use A Lot of Videos so that all videos in your game are of consistent quality.
  • AHEM is fully compatible with Take Earth Back.
  • AHEM is fully compatible with More Gay Romances and Same-Gender Romances
  • AHEM supports English VO only - but text translations are included for all 8 supported languages.

AHEM is not compatible with the following mods:

AHEM is semi-compatible with Starchild-Be-Gone, provided that you install that mod AFTER AHEM. This will allow you to use SGB's shorter dream sequences.

AHEM is semi-compatible with Unextended Cut, as that mod is highly modular. The following installation components are compatible:
  • War Assets
  • Beam Run
  • ALL other Unextended Cut install options need to be set to "Extended Cut" to ensure smooth compatibility. AHEM is NOT compatible with any other installation option.


Installation:

This mod is required to be installed with ME3Tweaks Mod Manager. Manual installation is not supported.

To install, drag and drop the downloaded .7z file into the mod manager interface. Either install the mod immediately, or import it into your mod library, and then click "Apply Mod". You can also use the "Download with Manager" button to download the mod directly into the manager.


Credits & Special Thanks:

Project Lead: Audemus
Modding & Sequencing: Scottina123

Built using Legendary Explorer by ME3Tweaks, and built on top of files from LE3 Community Patch and Anderson's Final Conversation Restored.

Localisation:

Bug Testing: Jacqueline4742 and Figonometry
Thank you to MrFob and JohnP for creating the original MEHEM and JAM mods, as well as everyone who contributed to their development. The happy ending mod was the project that gave birth to Mass Effect's modding scene, so it is a truly special honour for me to bring this concept to Legendary Edition.

Thank you to Scottina, who basically hard carried this mod to completion in about a week. I'd set up the new videos, codex entries, and some of the sequencing, and then Scottina came back to me with the rest of the mod pretty much functional after a few days before we finished up the rest together. You're an inspiration, my dude.

Thank you to beccatoria for allowing me to include the Anderson restoration files in AHEM. A compatibility patch wasn't possible due to how integral that scene's files are to the mod, so I really appreciate her granting me permission to integrate it fully.

Thank you to Sil for discussing ideas with me during the concept phase of this mod's development, as well as providing some pointers when setting up the new codex entries.

Thank you to Mellin for making the new Alliance uniforms for Jack and James.

Thank you to Furinax (Dylan Blanque) for providing the new Normandy video, previously used in the JAM to CEM transition mod.

Thank you to horography for making the Buff Female Shepard Body assets usable in other mods, as we were able to use the CTHa mesh to fix FemShep's neck/collar bug at the memorial.

Thank you to BioWare for creating this wonderful universe. Even though many of us didn't like how the trilogy ended, our endeavors to change it have always come from a place of love for the franchise, a franchise that wouldn't exist without you.

And of course thank you to our wonderful community of modders and fans, especially those of you in the modding discord who tried to convince me to call this Audemus' Alternate JohnP's Alternate Mass Effect Happy Ending Mod. I just wasn't brave enough.










Additional thanks to our Discord communities:
Mass Effect Modding https://discord.gg/MassEffectMods
ALOT https://discord.gg/R8FfcTh
ME3Tweaks https://discord.gg/73XVYPz