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One of the ME3 endings involved

killing Shepard and thus gain control of Reapers. If Shepard is dead, how can s/he control the Reapers?

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I'm pretty sure it's like "the reapers gain the same ideals and etc. that Shepard had, meaning they'll do the same things Shepard would do." –  Mr Smooth May 8 '12 at 8:02
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closed as not constructive by Sterno, StrixVaria, Raven Dreamer May 8 '12 at 22:23

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2 Answers

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When describing the Control ending, we have the following conversation

Kid: You will die; you will control us but you will lose everything you have.

Sheperd: But the Reapers will obey me?

Kid: Yes.

(emphasis mine)

Saying that Shepard personally will control the Reapers implies that something of Shepard's consciousness will continue to exist to have that control. The part about losing everything also supports this because loss only means something to a consciousness that continues to exist.

The part saying that Shepard will die could mean a couple of things. It could mean that his body will die but his consciousness will somehow survive, perhaps either in the Citadel or distributed among the Reapers. Considering what the characters in the game have accomplished technologically (especially AI) and how much more advanced the glowing people were, this is not an unlikely possibility.

Another interpretation is that Shepard's body will be kept alive but he will have to stay at the controls forever. If this means that he can never again have contact with the outside world, then to everyone else it would be like he is dead, and he could never go back to life as he knows it.

The point is that the kid implies that Shepard's consciousness will continue to exist in some state while controlling the Reapers and it is likely within the Citadel's power to do this in a way that is consistent with Shepard "dying" in some sense.

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Well, actually, it's not as Mr. Smooth said (just my opinion, btw). The "control the reaper" choice is marked as blue in the ending scene, since it's the last attempt of the reapers to trick you (and thus completing their indoctrination towards Shepard). Shepard needs to be killed to do so because that would merge his mind with the reaper's, and Shep must join them completely. Dead just refers to its organic part i think, since with that ending you see him flickering, but still you chose to control them

There are lots of information about the indoctrination theory (which is, imho, the fittest for the ending) and you can start reading about that from this link. There are also some nice videos on youtube to enforce this theory

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Yes but the indoctrination theory is just a fan theory, it's not from the developers, so this answer is all speculation. –  Mr Smooth May 8 '12 at 9:12
    
What's the point of indoctrinating a dead man? –  kotekzot May 8 '12 at 9:22
    
@MrSmooth there's no theory about the developers either, so it's just the fittest now. Since they dropped the theory of the dark matter and a lot of things, it's just the one that makes more sense. Yet, it's just speculation, with a lot of signs supporting it. kotekzot: did you play ME1 and ME2? If so, you know that shepard is half-synthetic. He's not being killed, just his organig part. If the organic shepard dies, then the indoctrination is complete and only the synthetic shepard remains, as a part of the reapers: the reapers win :) –  Samuele Mattiuzzo May 8 '12 at 9:32
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@Sterno the problem is not exactly that this is a fan theory, but that there is no real evidence that this theory is the correct one. If someone does have evidence (dialogue, for example) that their theory is the correct one, then I at least would not have a problem with it as an answer. –  murgatroid99 May 8 '12 at 19:13
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@Sterno I don't dislike this answer because I think it's wrong (even though I do). I dislike this answer because it's based on a fan hypothesis that has no more support than the obvious interpretation, and basically seems to contradict the entire point of the story. It has a lot in common with conspiracy theories and it should attract doubt for the same reasons. –  murgatroid99 May 8 '12 at 21:37
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