It’s hard for me to believe it’s been ten years since the Mass Effect 3 controversy ended. The short version for those who missed it is that Commander Shepard’s epic ended after many hours of playing through a vast RPG trilogy. It was a fairly simple trinary decision that almost completely removed the player from their journey to that point.
This was a huge deal, not only for Mass Effect fans but also for gaming culture in general. BioWare released Extended Cut DLC to address the backlash. It aimed to give “more closure with more context and clarity” and a more personal ending. Although it was a significant improvement, the results were still quite grim.
This is where the Mass Effect 3 Happy Ending mod steps in. If you don’t want spoilers, you can stop reading this article. This mod canonizes a particular ending, cuts some content, keeps the geth alive and EDI active, and ensures that Shepard is reunited and surviving with his crew, including their love interest.
Although the original mod is still available, it is incompatible with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. People who love happy endings will be pleased to know that there is a reworked version called Audemus’ Happy Endings Mod. It can be purchased now at Nexus Mods.
Audemus’ Happy Ending Mod can be described as a spiritual successor. It is closer to JohnP’s Alternate MeheM mod, a reworked version of the original Happy Ending and includes the Extended Cut content. The net result is the same: It removes the Catalyst and preserves the Citadel, Mass Effect Relay Network and Commander Shepard, if applicable, alive.
It also incorporates a Legendary Edition compatible version of the Citadel Epilogue MOD. This transforms the exceptional Citadel DLC – “a sweet, funny goodbye hug to long-term fans” – into a Mass Effect 3 epilogue. It is currently being developed by Audemus’ Happy Ending Mod makers and will be available later in the year.
I think that the Mass Effect 3 finale wasn’t quite as horrible as some people claimed. Although disappointing, it wasn’t enough to ruin many hours of entertainment in one of the most well-constructed sci-fi universes that I have ever seen. However, I prefer happy endings to sad ones, and this mod will likely be installed if I ever play the Mass Effect Legendary Edition.