Anime: Mass Effect Paragon Lost
“Do you think I made the wrong decision?” Mass Effect: Paragon Lost
is an animated movie set during Mass Effect 2
. Produced by FUNimation
and animated by Production I.G
, it was released on November 28, 2012. A nine-minute sneak-peak of the movie was uploaded FUNimation's YouTube
channel on October 25, 2012, and can be accessed here
The movie stars James Vega
, a lieutenant in the Alliance Marines. After his squad rescues a small colony from krogan pirates, Vega and his team spend the next two years protecting it from harm. However, when a strange piece of unknown technology summons the Collectors, Vega and his allies must fight for their lives and try their best to escape their invasion.
Mass Effect: Paragon Lost provides examples of:
- Always Save the Girl: Subverted. See Sadistic Choice.
- And I Must Scream: The victims of the Collector swarms.
- Anyone Can Die: Only Vega is guaranteed to survive due to his presence in Mass Effect 3.
- Ascended Fanboy: At the end of the movie, Vega receives his new orders: He is being promoted to Lieutenant Commander and has been selected for N7 training. By this point, he doesn't seem to have any taste for it.
- Back from the Dead: In the movie's denouement, Vega learns that Shepard is not dead after all.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Vega is outright warned about this by Admiral Hackett. He does finally get his wish to become an N7 operative like Shepard was, after sacrificing the lives of the colonists in order to save Treeya and the intel.
- Big Damn Heroes: Several characters get these moments, although for a few of them it also costs them their lives.
- Body Horror:
- We get to see some of the humans getting turned into "genetic slurry" on the Collector ship.
- Kamille ends up getting integrated into a Praetorian after she is captured by the Collectors.
- Boom, Headshot: Several mooks and Archuk are victims of this.
- The Cameo: Treeya contacts Liara T'Soni and speaks with her briefly before the signal is jammed.
- Continuity Snarl:
- The Citadel, orbiting a planet which looks similar to Earth. This was before the final battle in Mass Effect 3 where the Reapers moved the Citadel to the Earth's orbit.
- Vega's training as a N7 operative at the end of the movie. Anyone who played ME3 know that he's still a candidate for the program and hasn't started training yet before the Reapers invaded Earth and Shepard has the option to encourage to join the program during the game.
- More specifically, Vega mentions his recommendation for the N7 program was dated the day the Reapers hit Earth, while here, he receives it after his debriefing with Hackett and Anderson.
- Adding to this case is the fact that Anderson, who is potentially the human councilor at this point (as the attack on Fehl Prime would seem to have to fall in during the course of Mass Effect 2, so the debrief would not likely be long after, still well before the events of the book Retribution, where Anderson resigns from his duties on the Citadel), is seen wearing an Alliance uniform.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Treeya, who initially dismisses Vega as being dumb muscle.
- Doomed by Canon: Quite a few named characters don't make it to the end. Only Vega is guaranteed to survive, although he's not happy about it.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Vega is a certified badass, but he still gets all sorts of flak from some of his subordinates, not to mention Treeya, who gives him the cold shoulder despite his having literally saved the entire colony two years previous. Of course, it's also implied that Vega was unable to string two sentences together in Treeya's presence, so she might have just assumed he was really really stupid.
- Dwindling Party: By the end of the movie, all but one of Vega's team has died.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Vega finds April's rabbit doll at the end of the film after they return to the colony.
- Enemy Mine: In the beginning of the film, Brood is one of the antagonists. However, once the Collectors show up two years later, the protagonists suddenly don't mind his help.
- Expy: Treeya, the asari archeologist and Brood, the red-armored krogan mercenary. Interestingly enough, Treeya being an expy of Liara doesn't keep the latter from briefly showing up anyway.
- Foregone Conclusion: If you've played Mass Effect 3 and talked to Vega, you know how this ends. Vega's decision and the sacrifices from it were rendered moot and needless.
- Foreshadowing: Admiral Hackett and Captain Anderson are aware that Vega wants to live up to the example that Shepard set, and warn him that such greatness can come at too great a cost.
- Gender-Neutral Writing: Shepard is mentioned several times, but their gender is intentionally left vague.
- Groin Attack: Kamille gives Essex one after they survived the Blood Pack's attack. This was due to the fact that he almost got everybody killed when he tried to toss his weapon to her and it got stuck in a rock. It made enough noise to alert the Blood Pack of their presence.
- Gun Ship Rescue: The Alliance Marines attempt to do this in the beginning of the film. Unfortunately for them, the Blood Pack is carrying heavy weaponry designed to take down vehicles and spacecraft.
- Heroic BSOD: Vega gets several of them in rapid succession at the movie's climax.
- Hero-Worshipper: Vega might be an even bigger Shepard fanboy than Conrad Verner. Unlike Conrad, Vega is enough of a badass to actually try and follow in Shepard's footsteps. He still gets teased for it.
- Hopeless Suitor: Essex for Kamille.
- I Gave My Word: Brood, after the humans release him during the Collector attack.
- Infant Immortality: As with Always Save the Girl, this is subverted in the Sadistic Choice.
- MacGuffin: The intel on the Collectors. Incidentally, it doesn't actually appear until the climax of the film, but heavily informs everything that happens afterwards.
- Made of Iron: Brood survives being shot in the head twice at point blank range, at least for a short while. Of course, krogan are notoriously hard to kill...
- Magic Antidote: Subverted. After Essex is paralyzed by the Seeker Swarm, the team tests the experimental antidote on him... and it doesn't work. At least, it doesn't work right away. He shows up two scenes later to save his friends.
- Meaningful Name: Why Paragon Lost? Because even if the data had been lost, saving the colonists would have been the Paragon option in the games.
- The Mole: Messner is not only a Cerberus mole spying on the Alliance, but is also a double agent working for and spying on the Collectors.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Vega, after sacrificing the colonists to save the intel.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Essex ruins Vega's plans in the beginning of the film because he tossed his weapon towards Kamille a little too hard and high up in an attempt to look cool. His weapon ends up sticking into the rock behind her, and the noise it makes alerts the Blood Pack to their presence. While they still manage to pull off Vega's plan, it becomes much more difficult to achieve thanks to them losing their element of surprise, and almost every character is wounded during the fight.
- No Sell: The colony's massive defensive turret. The team intentionally fired a low-powered shot at the Collector ship in the interest of protecting the captured colonists inside; unfortunately, the Collectors' shields were far stronger than they anticipated.
- Offscreen Inertia: Given that this anime is released after Mass Effect 3, the fates of Treeya and Milque, who are the only survivors of Vega's squad at the end, remained unknown by the time Vega joins the Normandy crew in the game and the Reapers began their invasion across the galaxy. Considering that the Reapers invaded several of the races' homeworlds and colonies, the two are either fighting against them or became unfortunate casualties of the war.
- Posthumous Character: Commander Shepard, until it is revealed at the end that s/he came Back from the Dead.
- P.O.V. Sequel: This movie takes place during the events of Mass Effect 2 (with the exception of the beginning, which occurs around the time of the first game).
- Quick Nip: Vega takes a swig from a flask and passes it around before attacking the Collector cruiser. After they are captured, they realize that Vega spiked the booze with the Magic Antidote, which also explained why it tasted so lousy.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: After they take severe casualties saving Fehl Prime from the Blood Pack, Vega's team is ordered to stay there and provide security. Vega is not too thrilled with this prospect.
- Red Shirt Army: The other squad Vega's team drops in with don't even get any lines, nor much screen time. They get killed off rather unceremoniously, along with the other shuttles dropping in with them.
- Sadistic Choice: In classic Mass Effect fashion, Vega has to choose between saving Treeya (who is carrying vital intelligence about the Collectors) or the colonists (which includes April, the little girl that he promised he would rescue). He chooses the former, and is promoted and rewarded for his choice, but he can barely live with himself. Not only that, but it turns out he made the wrong choice: chronologically, Shepard and his/her crew destroy the Collectors independently of the Alliance shortly after the events of this movie, rendering the intel Vega gathered useless.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Vega sacrificing the colonists to save Treeya. As noted above, Vega ultimately made the wrong choice due to the intel he gathered was useless.
- Shipper on Deck: Vega's entire team, who shamelessly watch his awkward attempts to chat up Treeya. Worse, they're teasing him about it over the radio.
- Space Pirates: While they are ostensibly Private Military Contractors in the games, the Blood Pack act more like this in the movie (although it's implied in Mass Effect 2 that this is par for the course for Terminus Systems merc bands).
- Survivor Guilt: Vega is deeply troubled by this at the end of the film.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Messner, perhaps you shouldn't talk about how you are going to betray the Collectors while standing in a room with several of them.
- Mason loses it when he sees Kamille has merged with the Praetorian. He runs straight towards it intending to save her, and gets vaporized by a particle beam.
- Villainous Breakdown: Messner cries and begs for his life and for Vega to rescue him after he betrays the group on the Collector ship. Vega is understandably unwilling to help him and leaves him as the group makes their escape, and Messner gets killed by the Collectors for his trouble.
- Weirdness Censor: Heavily in effect due to Shepard's discoveries being covered up by the Council. Most characters are incredulous about the existence of the Reapers, the Collectors and the true reason for the Prothean's disappearance, with Treeya lamenting that her mentor, Liara, has ruined her career by becoming a "conspiracy theorist" ever since she ran off with Shepard.
- What You Are in the Dark: Subverted. While Vega's choice is a matter of record, and an arguably justified choice at that, only he can know for sure what the real reason was for that choice.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Messner. In this case, he was causing the Collectors more problems than he was worth, what with him bringing the Alliance special forces squad onto the ship, risking contaminating the human "genetic slurry" with an asari, and of course, the simple fact that they caught him spying on them.