@beige Wow, great Shepard write-up. I had a similar experience with the ending of ME1. (Actually wrote up most of this yesterday.)

The final moments of Mass Effect 1 have you deciding whether to send the full force of the human fleet to take down Sovereign or to split your ships to try to save the Council. Well, you’ve met my Shepard. She ordered the fleet to focus on Sovereign. (Why waste ships on a few politicians when the fate of the galaxy is at stake? We can get a new Council, dammit!)

Of course, the Council dies, but Saren and Sovereign are defeated. In the aftermath, Udina praises Shepard. Letting the Council fall has opened the door for humanity to take center stage. Great job, Shepard! “But,” you can say, “that’s not what I wanted. That wasn’t my intention!” Doesn’t make a difference. Udina will move forward with his plan.

I reloaded my game three times at that point. Each time, I thought, “Shepard wants unity, not human rule. I have to fix this.” Each time, I got to the decision of whether to save the Council. And each time, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. That just wasn’t Shepard.

I finally settled on the ending I’d been dealt. And I decided that I like it better that way. I’m so used to my character’s decisions being almost absolute: “This is what I decide and so it shall be.” It’s pretty rare for things to play out so completely against your intentions in an RPG. Definitely a unique moment and one that made me rethink what games can do.

(On a related note, I am totally loving The Witcher 2 right now.)