Mass Effect 3 originally had a different ending that would have lined up the fourth game in the main space RPG series, explains one former BioWare writer.
I warn you right away, this story contains spoilers for the entire Mass Effect series.
The traffic light ending offered Shepard three options: destroy the Reapers, as well as all other synthetic life in the process; take control of the Reapers, but die in the process; or throw yourself into the Crucible, somehow creating a perfect unison between the Reapers and the rest of the galaxy, but also, of course, dying in the process.
Drew Karpyshyn, a former BioWare writer who also has Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to his credit, recently revealed that Mass Effect 3 was originally going to end in a completely different, potentially more enjoyable way that would also have implications for Mass Effect 4.
We had some very rough ideas planned. Essentially, this involved luring the Reapers through the relays, then blowing up the entire network to destroy them, as well as destroying/damaging the relays and isolating each galactic community from the others. But we still had a lot of details to figure out, and there were some issues with that option, like what we’re going to do in the next series of games.
Thus, it was possible to destroy the Reapers without killing everyone else, and perhaps the ending would not depend on the player’s choice at all. And the fourth game could have involved restoring the relays and reuniting the galaxy after the war. Sounds pretty cool, actually.
But these are stories from the category of “what if?” Perhaps there is an alternate dimension somewhere where Mass Effect 3 ended differently and Mass Effect: Andromeda didn’t exist. Unfortunately, we are not in that universe.