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.
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.
The Citadel, orbiting a planet which looks similar to Earth. This was before the final battle in Mass Effect 3where the Reapers moved the Citadel to the Earth's orbit.
James' 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, James 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.
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.
I Gave My Word: Brood, after the humans release him during the Collector attack.
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 game.
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.
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.
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.
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 trope 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.
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 been 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 James to rescue him after he betrays the group on the Collector ship. James 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. Or rather, 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.