In the scene before the credits,

The Normandy crash lands on a jungle planet and Joker, Liara and Garrus walked off the ship.

Which doesn't make any sense, as the squad I took for the final part

was Liara and James. The Reaper laser destroyed everyone on the ground including my squad (Shepard barely made it), how did Liara end up not only alive but went from Earth to the Normandy? I did not pick EDI for my squad in the end, but she was not on the crashed Normandy in the end either. Why?

The ending was

picking to control the Reapers

What determines the characters in that scene?

  • Perhaps it would be a good idea to mention which ending you chose. I chose synthesis, and Joker left Normandy with EDI in a manner reminiscent of Adam and Eve. Personally, I thought the ending was drug-fueled rubbish, best not to dwell on it.
    – kotekzot
    Mar 11, 2012 at 2:57
  • Edited into. Yeah I don't understand, EDI didn't die in mine or anything but never showed up...
    – Zeno
    Mar 11, 2012 at 3:04
  • I took Garrus and Liara with me and got Liara and Javik -_-.
    – Domenic
    Mar 13, 2012 at 8:10
  • I took Liara and Ashely, and got Ashley and James. Mar 14, 2012 at 3:05

5 Answers 5


The first thing that drives who comes out of the Normandy is your EMS. If it is too low, nobody comes out of the wreckage.

Joker always comes out first if he survives.

If Synthesis is chosen EDI comes out next.

Next comes your romance option if they are still alive and part of the crew. My Shep picked Liara, and she came out after Joker and EDI. I've ran different endings multiple times, and Liara is always the one to come out after Jocker and EDI. In youtube clips of the ending I've seen, this person is almost always a possible romance option for the sex of the Shepard in the ending. I've seen clips with Traynor and Cortez, so it's not limited to squad members.

If three people haven't come out, then this is when the "closest too" crew members appear. I think it's always a squad member. It ran through the destroy ending twice, and had the same character in this slot both times. I don't think it is random. It could be based off of who you talked to the most or used the most on missions. If I had to pick one it would be the later. I got Javic who I did use frequently as a party member and was in my party during the final mission.

Who you take on the final mission doesn't effect who exits the Normandy. I guess they just leave you for dead.

  • Jack was my love interest. I assume she didn't show up because she's not part of the crew? :/
    – Zeno
    Mar 14, 2012 at 14:19
  • Yeah, cameo appearances don't get you into the end game cut scene.
    – CaulynDarr
    Mar 14, 2012 at 14:40
  • Just saw your edit, any idea of all the possible people since it's not limited to squad members? Is it only people on the ship?
    – Zeno
    Mar 15, 2012 at 13:44
  • I'm pretty sure it's only people on the ship, and the only people I've ever seen who aren't also squad mates are Traynor and Cortez. I'm confident they are only going to be shown if they are your romance choice. I've never seen a you-tube clip showing the reporter or any of the engineers leaving the ship.
    – CaulynDarr
    Mar 15, 2012 at 13:54

I believe that if you choose to control or destroy, the people that come out of the Normandy are Joker, and two squad members you were the closest too. Mine was Tali and Garrus.

  • 1
    What determines "closest to Shepard"?
    – Zeno
    Mar 11, 2012 at 5:07
  • I think you just interact the most with. I've been a very nice person Garrus since ME1, I even picked [miss the shot] on the bromance scene with him. And I romanced tali and backed her up everytime.It's the best conclusion I can think of. Those two also accompanied me on every mission possible, as well as in the final mission where Harbinger destorys everything, but they still ended up in the normandy.
    – Eric
    Mar 11, 2012 at 21:46
  • Strange since when I chose "destroy", I had Tali & Javik exit the ship. Like you, Garrus and Tali were my most used and interacted with squad mates since the first game, so if it's actually by "closeness" I'm curious how Javik is considered closer to me than Garrus.
    – Kotsu
    Mar 13, 2012 at 7:26

All ending cutscenes have a few things in common. When dealing with the Normandy's fate, the Normandy crash lands into a forest in every ending.

If you chose to control or destroy the Reapers, your last Squad steps out.

If you choose the Synergy ending (artificial intelligence and organic fusion), Joker and EDI step out.

You didn't ask, but the other miscellaneous differences are:

  • The shockwave

The shockwave is blue if you choose to control the reapers and red if you choose to activate the weapon.

  • Paragon / Renegade effects:

If you have 100% Paragon or Renegade status, you can choose the persuasive red or blue text, respectively, when talking to the Illusive Man. If you do so, you can convince him to shoot himself.


I chose "destroy" at the end. The result was Joker, Tali, and Javik getting off the normandy. Tali makes sense to me since I romanced her in ME2 and this game. But Javik? I barely talked to the guy... I would have preferred Garrus :/

I went back and chose "synthetic", and the outcome was Joker, Edi, and Tali. So far, that is my favored outcome, and I am about to do "control" next, but I was just curious if anyone had figured out what determines the end characters.

Another thing they need to do is clarify what "synthetic life" means. I thought it would mean all forms of computer intelligence would die, right? That would hurt civilization the most I think... Thus, a good reason NOT to choose "destroy".


I chose "control" and the result: Joker, Edi, Tali. I can't answer why certain people are showing up at the end (perhaps bioware will tell us in the coming months. I am sure itching to understand. A cliffhanger like this is useless unless we can understand "what the cliff is")

My best answer for Joker madly flying through the Mass Relay, is that his assumption is that the "signal" not only could destroy him, but also kill EDI, for whom he cares very much. In the "synthesis" choice, you see that Joker has changed... So obviously the signal enveloped the ship as it fell apart.

In addition, what are your thoughts on the Relays being destroyed? For all intent and purposes, all life is now alone. There is no way to traverse the Galaxy so quickly. How can the game series continue if this is the case?


Tali and Ashley showed up in my ending. I romanced Tali so that makes sense according to Eric's explanation. I took Tali and Ashley on every mission in the first third or so of the game, but then I switched to Tali and Garrus on every mission for more than the last half. I also missed the shot in the Garrus "bromance" scene. I'm pretty sure that Eric is right anyway, but I did find it odd that Ashley was the one instead of Garrus. If anyone were to replace Garrus though, Ashley does make the most sense in my case so yea, Eric is probably right.

For EDI, she should show up as long as you didn't pick the destroy ending. I'm not sure why she didn't appear in yours because you picked the Synthesis one.

  • Synthesis one isn't the same as Control the Reapers... right?
    – Zeno
    Mar 13, 2012 at 5:31
  • @Zeno No, Control is Blue, Synthesis is Green. (Or, if you prefer, Illusive Man (who has blue eyes) wants to CONTROL) Mar 14, 2012 at 3:06
  • Okay, I picked Control but Jaeson said I picked Synthesis...
    – Zeno
    Mar 14, 2012 at 3:28

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