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Light cones and watching Reapers
- In one of the planet descriptions, it's mentioned that by traveling (with ships) to the edge of a light cone of a certain event that happened 2000 years ago, astronomers could see a sudden gravitational distortion at that location and time. That's all well and good, but if we're going to use hard science fiction rules, what's to stop astronomers and archaeologists from teaming up, building a massive telescope array with huge baseline, and setting it up at the edge of light cones of events at a period of interest? Why wouldn't archaeologists go and look at what Prothean planets looked like just before they died out? 50,000 light years is only half the diameter of the milky way, and with mass relays being open in pretty much every sector of the galaxy, it's very improbable no mass relay would be close to the light cone edge of some Prothean hub 50,000 years ago. Then, with nothing more but a fleet of telescope drones spread out across an area of one square light year and some programming technology available even to present day astronomers, it's possible to make images of that Prothean hub at any time with a resolution of 36 square millimeters per pixel. Stick within a solar system, and the resolution is 23 square meters per pixel. The fleet would have to be quite large (or travel at the speed of light to stay at the same position as the light cone (but since you can travel faster than the speed of light and still see stars, that doesn't cause problems)) to capture enough energy from the images to be able to see such an image, but a few billion Prothean-enthusiasts pooling funds should be able to get this done easily. It's the same with the Keepers on the Citadel - where are the armies of scientists eager to learn about the past?
- A light cone is the path light takes or would take, not the light itself. Using telescope drones to view a light cone assumes none of the light has been blocked or had its course altered. A square light year is also a massive area; assuming one drone per square mile (which, I admit, might be overcompensating) gives us more than 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (30 septillion, or 3 x 1025) drones. Even if the drones only cost a single credit each, a few billion Prothean-enthusiasts pooling their funds would still have to pay about 10,000,000,000,000,000, or 10 quadrillion, credits each. It's also possible that seeing this gravitational distortion is unique, which is why it was mentioned in the first place. As for the Keepers, during the "Scan the Keepers" sidequest in the first game, it's mentioned that Keepers self-destruct under the vast majority of scanning techniques, so the fact that this technique doesn't affect them at all is incredible. Just for the record, what planet was it mentioned on?
- Found it! It's the planet Rothla. Wait a minute ... "square" light year? Space is three-dimensional, so wouldn't you need a three-dimensional array, making for an even more ridiculous number of drones?
- Actually, no. Film is, for all intents and purposes, two-dimensional, as is the surface of a computer screen; the suggested idea is basically using drones to form a gigantic square of film for a camera. You just need a two-dimensional image, so a plane works fine. If you did need a three-dimensional array, you'd need more than 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 drones. That's 2 x 1038, or 200 undecillion drones. Yes, undecillion is a real number.
- OP here - if all you want is a picture, rather than a movie, then you can move the probes along the light cone and get a much larger area from one probe than you could with a stationary telescope. Since you have to go at light speed anyway, the comparatively small velocity sideways wouldn't be the limiting factor, only the refresh speed of the imaging system used to collect the light. If the probes have a surface area of 4 square meters, and an image refresh speed of 800 per second, then the surface area covered by a probe would be 4000 square meters per second. A single probe would cover a surface area of 1011 square meters per year. In order to get 1 effective photon per 36 square millimeter pixel for the brightness of a surface area shone upon by the full moon, you need 5 x 1030 square meters of telescope, or just 5 x 1017 probes if you wait a century, or just 100,000 credits per galactic citizen. That's only 20 times more than the US national debt per capita, if credit = dollar. Okay, so that's a little unrealistic. So let's reduce our standards and try to make it more favorable. Surface area 20 square meters, refresh speed 80,000 per second, pixels of 36 square centimeters -> just 1013 probes for a century, or just 3 credits per galactic citizen. To compare, the James Webb Space Telescope costs $23 per US citizen and the LOFAR array (which uses the same technology) costs $9 per Dutch citizen. This is assuming the eezo-driven 4x5 meter probes with a high-speed 1 pixel camera costs 1 credit to operate for a century, but building an automated factory that simply chugs out these probes automatically would severely reduce the cost of the probes, so the eezo would be the main limiting factor. The beauty of this technology is that while it would only provide a single moment of time within just a cubic light year or so, the same data could be used to observe the rest of the galaxy as well as a normal telescope with such a surface area, just by compiling it differently (the main limiting factor of modern observatories that use this technique, like the LOFAR observatory, is not the resolution, it's the amount of data that can be stored in the memory caches). Sure it's no longer something that "a bunch of people interested in the Protheans" could get together, but it is something human governments at least would probably say yes to if they were in the council's position.
- (Wall of Text alert; TL;DR below.) Attempting to get light by following the light cone assumes no light has been blocked. Light getting blocked is practically guaranteed by the size of space. Nebulas, solar systems, stars, space dust, black holes, etc. can all block or alter the path of a photon. Let's say a photon leaves a Prothean world 50,000 years ago, traveling along the path determined by the light cone. However, shortly after it leaves the atmosphere, it passes by a hydrogen atom and changes course. Given the photon's immense speed and the atom's low mass, the photon changes course very little, only .00000000001o. Almost nothing, right? Fast forward 50 millennia. The relation of the light cone compared to the photon's current location is a triangle; one point is the location of the light cone (L), one point is the photon's current location (C), and one point is where the photon changed course due to the hydrogen atom (H). The line determined by side LH is 50,000 light years. Angle LHC is .00000000001 degrees. Using algebra and trigonometry, we get: tan(10-10) = LC/50000 -> LC = 50000tan(10-10) -> LC = ~8.727 x 10-8. The photon is about ~8.727 x 10-8 light years away from the light cone, which, at about 5.878 x 1012 miles per light year, means the photon is about 513000 miles off-course. This is only one example, but it shows how photons can be affected by small, seemingly insignificant, events over a long period of time. Any images you get would likely be incredibly patchy, at the very, very best. Light even refracts when it leaves an atmosphere, complicating calculation of the light cone, as astronomers would need to take into effect the index of refraction for gasses on the planet 50000 years ago.
There's also the logistics of using the drones. 10 trillion drones for one project? Organizing that would be a nightmare. And where are you going to get the materials to build and fuel them? Sure, there are billions of planets to get materials from, but first you're going to have to go to those planets (using fuel), build mining facilities (using more minerals), get the metal to a usable state (more minerals), transport it back (more fuel), build loads of factories if you expect to churn 10 trillion drones out in less than a century (MORE minerals), and send ships out to find all the eezo required (more fuel and MORE minerals). You'll practically have to strip-mine the entire galaxy if you hope to find all the stuff required.
TL;DR: Due to the fact that space is really, really big and we're talking 50000 years, you're unlikely to get enough light to form a good image or find enough stuff to build and send out the drones.
- There were lots of people who tried to study the keepers. The main issue is that A) the keepers are impossible for any tech prior to the one developed by Jahleed and Chorban to get readings on them, B) the keepers self-destruct if anyone tries to take them alive for dissection or study, and C) the whatever-it-is that the keepers are doing inside the station is located inside the Citadel's core, which is impenetrable to anyone with current tech unless they want to destroy most of the station in the process. (and before you ask, this issue has actually been discussed extensively in the archives. Check there for the lengthy discussion regarding the Citadel and the keepers) Studies of them have been attempted, but they've all been at best completely fruitless and at worst disruptive of Citadel maintenance, at least before Chorban and Jahleed came along.
Pregnancies on non-homeworld places
- How do pregnancies work when humans are on planets other than Earth (though I suppose this would also potentially apply to other 'mammalian' alien species who aren't on places with similar gravity to their respective homeworlds)? A shift in gravity from what a species is "used to" might play a major role in the development of the embryo during early stages of pregnancy. For humans, the Citadel Wards (1.02g versus Earth's 1g), where most of the Citadel's population lives anyway, would most likely be fine. The Presidium (0.3g) probably would not, though I'm unsure if cutting Earth's gravity down to 30% would make as much of a difference as microgravity (here, 10^-3g) seems to. Horizon (0.7g) is also at least somewhat questionable. This also raises questions for what happens if Ashley or Miranda (or female Shepard) should happen to get pregnant.
- Given that I don't see rotating sections on any ships or many stations, and your feet stay on the ground while walking around on said, it would seem that gravity manipulation is commonplace and easy tech in the ME universe; it's quite possible that expectant mothers are just limited to areas controlled to 9.8 m/s2 during developmentally important stages.
- Confusingly, as far as gravity goes, people's movement speeds (and the games' respective vehicles' speeds) never seem to be affected by the gravity of the current planet, moon, or ship they're on. The Mako has a small mass-effect core, and the Hammerhead is also said to be mass-effect-assisted. Individual people don't seem to have this accounted for, save for mass effect field-generating biotics, who never seem to bring up the issue when walking around low- or high-gravity areas. This may, however, simply mean that here, the game's lore covers for itself (e.g., pregnancies) but doesn't always extend to the gameplay (movement mechanics a la Dead Space).
- They probably also post warning signs telling people what the average gravity rating of a given area is. "WARNING: The average gravity in this area is [insert standard measurement here]. If you are a female who is pregnant or likely to become pregnant and this does not match your species' normal gravity threshold, please avoid this area."
- The gravity manipulation idea is correct. An example is how the Volus' suits can handle their bodies in conditions that are comfortable for humans despite Volus being a Heavy Worlder race. Regarding Ashley, Miranda's and Fem Shep's possible pregnancies, that is a moot point for Miranda because she is unable to conceive a child due to damage caused by a neoplasm in her reproductive system. For Ashley and Femshep soldiers have some level of genetic engineering, which could make them resistant to the averse effects of gravitational changes on pregnancy (while it's unknown whether Fem Shep can get pregnant after her reconstruction that's another issue).
"Assuming direct control"
- How does Harbinger mind-control the Collectors over FTL distances, anyway? Remember that this is a setting where the only way to do FTL is rigidly defined.
- FTL capability is rigidly defined because the Reapers deliberately hobbled technological development along the paths they desired. Their tech is vastly more advanced, so they aren't restricted in that regard. Besides, we already know of at least one way to have instantaneous FTL communications, in the form of the quantum entanglement system on the Normandy SR 2. The Reapers likely have a much more advanced way to hitting the "on" switch.
- Ding. That's the correct answer: the Retribution novel explicitly identifies quantum entanglement systems as the means as to how the Reapers are controlling Paul Grayson's Huskified body.
Geth after Legion's loyalty mission
- Once you complete Legion's loyalty mission, all the heretic, and therefore hostile, geth are either no longer heretics or "dead". However, given the way the mission structure is set up, it is theoretically possible to do Tali's recruitment mission after Legion's loyalty mission, where you face down lots and lots of geth. How can you fight those geth if all hostile geth have been either brainwashed or killed? Unless that data turns out to be REALLY valuable in ME3, and the Reapers rewrote a platoon of geth to prevent Tali from getting it...
- Legion himself will note that isolated units will not be rewritten until the next time that they access the general heretic network. It is also possible that some of the heretics noticed that other heretics were being rewritten and isolated themselves from the network to avoid being overwritten. As a result, not all heretics will be affected immediately.
- One would think that enough geth programs to control the Colossus, let alone that entire platoon on Haestrom, would have connected with the heretic network to notify that there are quarians intruding for some unknown purpose. They DID get a Colossus to try to bash down the door, after all. Alternately, it's not the heretic geth that's on Haestrom; they're the true geth. Remember, even the true geth blow up intruders into the Perseus Veil; even if they're not quite so hostile to quarians as the heretics, they probably are not too fond of them just entering their system.
- They can't contact the other geth in-system. This is explicitly stated by Kal'Reegar if you ask him if you're going to be dealing with more reinforcements. Outgoing transmissions are being scrambled by the star.
Odd viewscreen amongst Normandy wreckage
- At the Normandy Crash Site, you can wander all over the place looking at wreckage, picking up dog tags, and getting flashbacks to the old Normandy. If you go past the big panel with the ship's name on it, you can go up onto a ridge overlooking a canyon. Up on top of the ridge to your left, you can see a giant◊ viewscreen panel◊. The thing is, it looks badly out of scale with everything else, like it was a smaller texture that got blown up 2000x to serve as a cool piece of wreckage.
- That is very odd. I can't find anything about this object on the Mass Effect wiki, and the object itself looks like it has buttons and dials on it. They could be just lights and measuring instruments, but considering how detailed this story universe has usually been regarding technology, it's kind of a wonder that a device like this has an actual name but no apparent purpose.
- You can see similar monitors all along the ceiling and walls of the Normandy's cockpit, both the SR 1 and SR 2 - they're lit up there, so they don't immediately register as the same device. The scale does seem to be a bit off on the ones in the wreckage, though.
This weird relic
- So I'm in Shepard's cabin onboard the Normandy, and there's this weird metal ball labeled "Relic" hovering above a table. If I click on it, it temporarily expands in size and makes a humming noise. Is this the same relic I interacted with on the Eletania mission in Mass Effect 1, or is it something else?
- No, it's the Prothean relic you picked up when you completed the Firewalker missions.
Shepard's alarm clock
- Also in Shepard's cabin, there is a clock sitting on Shepard's nightstand. The second hand seems to be programmed to work; I've not checked whether the minute or hour hands are programmed to do anything. However, from timing the second hand, one "minute" for the clock seems to come in right at sixty seconds, which is what we would expect for "Earth time." However, is the clock supposed to run by "Earth time" or "Galactic Standard Time," where one minute equates to roughly fifty of our own seconds (1 minute = 100 GST seconds, 1 GST second = 1/2 Earth second) ?
- Likely either. I wouldn't be surprised if every clock in the setting was designed to automatically switch to different time scales as needed.
- Addendum: the Normandy SR 2 was designed with the assumption that the vast majority of the crew would be humans, whose natural rhythms and body clocks are adjusted to the 24-hour Earth day - presumably human ships use Earth-time, whilst (for instance) Asari ships use Thessia-time.
Shooting the Seekers on Horizon
- During the cutscene when the Collectors first show up on Horizon, both Virmire Survivors try to shoot at the swarms to cover the fleeing colonists. I can see why Ashley does it - even if she knows it won't help, she has to do SOMETHING. But why would Kaidan shoot at them instead of, say, trying to enclose at least some of them in a biotic bubble? On a meta level I understand that it's because they share a lot of the same animations, but on a story level it bugs me. So basically I'm asking for help in fanwanking this. Thoughts?
- Aside from the fact that a "biotic bubble" has never really been shown, it wouldn't be as efficient as simply shooting them.
- Well, there was the dome that you travel under in the Collector base. Anyway, it doesn't necessarily have to be a bubble, although just because it hasn't been shown doesn't mean it couldn't happen. That was just an example. The point is, why not use biotics? It didn't look like shooting them was getting them anywhere.
- What exactly is a biotic attack going to do against a force of that size? Lift/Pull isn't going to do much, Throw will only toss back a small part of the swarm, Stasis will only lock down a small part of the swarm, and Kaidan doesn't really have any other biotic powers. On the contrary, shooting can actually work better with an automatic weapon.
- Okay, I can accept that an automatic weapon may have been the best choice in this scenario. However, if biotics were going to be used, it doesn't necessarily have to be a power available to us in gameplay. There's no power for "giant biotic dome", but in an emergency situation, there it was. There's also no power to coast through the air (for lack of a better description) as we see Samara do. So I guess what we have here is a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
- Sure there is. Giant Biotic Dome = Just an expanded Barrier. "Coast Through the Air" = Careful manipulation of Lift on yourself.
- So then he should have been able to tweak a power to take care of at least some of the swarms.
- Not necessarily, because Kaidan would basically have to come up with an entirely new application of the barrier on the fly, in a few seconds, and it wouldn't do much more than save the closest colonists for a few minutes until either his strength gave out or other attackers took him out, and he has to think of all of this and implement it in a matter of seconds.
- He's never encountered a seeker swarm in his life. For all he knows, they may as well be mere bugs to him. In the very short span of time between seeing them for the first time and them coming in range of his rifle, how could he be expected to realize that his rifle isn't going to do jack shit to stop them, much less come up with an alternative plan of action? It even took Shepard and his crew prior experience with them to think about using a biotic bubble as protection.
- This experience is most likely why Kaidan's barrier is that much more potent in 3. And he worked on reaving. He figured he might have to deal with something similar soon.
Not doing anything about the Citadel mass relay
- So the Big Reveal of Mass Effect 1 is that the Citadel is a giant mass relay that the Reapers come through when it's time to invade, and that the Keepers were a species re-engineered by the Reapers, similar to the Collectors, in charge of keeping this relay in working order and hiding its true purpose from the Citadel's residents. Why is this never brought up again in Mass Effect 2? Even if most of the Council races believe that Sovereign was just a really big geth ship, surely they'd have asked why he wanted to plug himself into the Citadel and figured out the relay by now.
- The only ones who could really confirm that are Shepard and company, who the Council really doesn't want to listen to. Also, since Shepard uploading Vigil's countermeasure kept Sovereign from doing anything with the relay (or at least seriously hindered his ability to manipulate the relay, I honestly can't remember which), the Council could just claim that Sovereign was getting into a position that would make it easy for it to reign destruction of the Citadel, which is technically true.
- The Council likely is investigating the Citadel. You don't hear about this because Shepard is a pariah and the Council will not share anything with you thanks to that shiny Cerberus brand.
- It's kind of dumb that the Reapers designed a relay that could only be opened from the far end. Couldn't they just send a message to the Keepers to open it for them?
- That's kind of the entire plot of the first game...
- That's exactly how they usually do things. The Protheans sabotaged the Keepers so they can't respond to the Reaper signal. That's the whole reason Sovereign had to get Saren's help: the Protheans were forcing them to improvise.
- Still doesn't answer why they don't have a relay of their own on the other end. We can infer that a relay pair can be activated from either side (look at how the First Contact War got started), so why don't the Reapers have one in dark space?
- (look at how the First Contact War got started) I don't follow. The humans activated the Sol Relay from their own side, then ran around reactivating every relay they could find. When the turians caught the humans trying to reactivate Relay 314 (a completely different relay), the war started. How does this show that relay pairs can be activated from either side? From the way the story's told, the turians and humans were on the same side of relay 314.
- What's more baffling to me is the reveal that the Citadel actually has a master control unit. Why wouldn't anyone think to explore it and find out what else the Citadel is capable of? Other than closing the Citadel's arms, blocking out all communication frequencies, or activating its mass relay, there have got to be other things the master control unit can allow a user to do.
- Part of the big trap that is the Citadel and the mass relays is that nobody wants to screw with them. It works, so they don't take any steps to figure out why they work. God only knows why. I'm sure the first group of salarians that could find a dormant relay would try to take it apart or at least get inside (it's mentioned that nobody's succeeded in finding out how old the relays even are because it's been impossible to even chip off a chunk). It's mentioned that large parts of the Citadel are inaccessible to anyone but the keepers, which raises the question - why in the hell would the master control unit be in the Council chambers, of all places? Where anyone in any cycle (who knows how the next group will set up shop at the Citadel) could start fiddling with it? Stick that thing down in the deepest, darkest corner of the structure where no nosy organics can find the damn thing.
Spectres Are Above The Law, Except When They're Not
- It's pretty clear that Spectres can get in trouble for their actions, despite the hype. Saren was stripped of his status after the attack on Eden Prime, and Shepard was grounded for wanting to go to Ilos. (Plus that whole Arrival mess, but Shepard may not be a Spectre when that happens.) Meanwhile, Nihlus apparently killed a civilian and put another in danger to cover his tracks, and we're not really told what the consequences would be if the Council found out about Vasir's deal with the Shadow Broker and her actions on Illium. Plus Shepard can get away with a number of things that could possibly destroy the galaxy, like sparing the Rachni. Is there something I'm missing here?
- "Above the law' is referring to things like normal law enforcement or whatever judicial system is available. Spectres are subservient to the Council because it gives them missions and determines their Spectre status, but that's about it. Spectres can't be arrested for, to take some random examples, shooting racist politicians or blowing up international facilities; normal police officers and judges have no power over Spectres. As to why the Council takes extinction-level threats with little more than a brusque comment while minor attacks are taken far more seriously... in addition to Fingerquotes McTurian being on the Council, it's also a political matter. Letting a single Rachni Queen run for it may or may not be a bad idea, depending on whether you trust her, but it's less likely to be seen as high treason like masterminding a racially-motivated attack on a peaceful colony.
- Spectres are still under the command of the Council. If the Council doesn't like what they're doing, they can smack them down, but Spectres are given great leeway in how they carry out their missions. The moment they go rogue or go against the Council's orders, then they hit a brick wall. The Council may reprimand Shepard for releasing the rachni queen, but that wasn't a malicious act of treason, and committing genocide is even worse, which is why they rip into Shepard for killing the queen too.
- Also keep in mind that, like in real life, the Council is unlikely to throw a Spectre under the bus if a transgression is kept "quiet" like it was with the rachni. No one knew the rachni were there except the Binary Helix scientists, the Noveria Board, Saren, Shepard's crew, and the Council, so covering it up would be easy. Saren's attack on Eden Prime was massive, public, and resulted in a major Citadel member species pushing against Saren, and eventually provided proof that he was involved in it. They threw him under the bus for political reasons as much as for criminal ones. Similarly, Shepard gets thrown in irons and taken to Earth after the events of Arrival because you can't exactly cover up what happened when an entire star system gets blammo'd.
- Remember that the Spectres only exist as a facilitator that lets the Council essentially end-run around local law and bureaucracy. They're a political convenience first and foremost, and all of their power comes from the Council's approval. The moment a Spectre becomes politically inconvenient, the Council drops them. Shepard is more politically convenient as a Spectre and thus as an appeaser of the human bloc during the first game, so they grit their teeth and let Shepard do what s/he wishes as long as s/he doesn't do something politically untenable. They'll let you keep your Spectre status even after it has been confirmed that you're working with Cerberus, but with the restriction that you limit your activities to the Terminus - effectively disavowing you. It isn't until a truly untenable action like the destruction of an entire batarian colony system that the Council would completely disown Shepard.
Udina, Omega, and the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC
- Why does Udina need to go all the way to Omega just to get a table dance from an asari stripper?
- Who said he was on Omega? The Citadel is big, and they've got have plenty of strip clubs in the Wards.
- The video says he's on Omega.
- Ah, must have missed that. Regardless, no one said that Udina was there specifically to get a table dance. We can reasonably conclude that he's there on other business - likely meeting Aria - and getting the dance while he's there. People like Udina generally don't go to places like Omega unless they're engaging in business of the less-than-reputable sort.
- My real issue is there was no reason to put him on Omega for that video. Why not just say he was visiting an unnamed strip club on the Citadel? We would have bought it. Even if he did have some shady business on Omega, he didn't have to physically go there himself. Real politicians have staff for exactly that purpose. Not to mention the fact that even the most corrupt politician at least pretends to be squeaky-clean. Being seen on Omega throws that pretense right out the window and basically confirms that Udina is up to no good.
- That is no issue. We're in the Shadow Broker's fortress after all. Why would the Shadow broker want to disguise such a juicy bit of information about a prominent political figure of the Systems Alliance? Such stuff is what the Shadow Broker thrives on.
- Isn't there an even bigger issue with Udina being on Omega? He is either a high ranking political advisor or a bloody Citadel Councilor; that's just asking for someone to take him hostage and hold hostage for ransom or to extract vital intelligence. All to get a lap dance? And this is on a station where one of the major factions (batarian slave gangs and the like) is the Alliance's primary enemy; and that's not counting the other groups who would want to nab him for the above mentioned reasons. Way too risky.
- Maybe it's an old vid from before his days in the Council. Granted, that doesn't explain much, but that vid of Anderson getting in a gunfight with a quarian and a krogan is clearly old stuff, so maybe it apply to Udina's.
- The answer seems simple to me. He's far less likely to get caught on Omega than he is on The Citadel. The Terminus Systems are Council space, so the only people who would care what a politician was doing are people who'd want to blackmail them. Plus, the guy on Horizon only had a vague idea of the attack on the Citadel, which seems to imply that the Terminus Systems aren't necessarily well informed on what's what and who's who in Council Space.
- I just looked at the video again and it looks like he got fired (wishful thinking) or at least received some very bad news, notice the 15 or so glasses on the table (not sure WHY he would need so many glasses if he only has one bottle to fill them up) which would indicate that he just needed a frikkin drink.
Samara and the Blue Sun
- During Samara's recruitment mission the authorities on Illium are scared to death of a Justicar causing an inter-species incident. Yet one of the Shadow Broker's video logs clearly shows Samara chasing down a female human Blue Suns mercenary.
- And? It’s a Blue Suns mercenary. No one cares what happens to Blue Suns mercenaries.
- Except for, y'know, the asari on Illium who does care. You know, the person who starts the Samara quest? Plus, the Blue Suns aren't a wholly criminal organization. They're respected enough to get hired for security jobs and the like. And they've got a lot of political clout. If nothing else, I imagine the Blue Suns leadership would be a mite upset, which, again, is exactly what the Illium government was worried about in the first place.
- Seems like that asari is more concerned about paperwork and future difficulties in dealing with the Suns, not about the mercs themselves.
- The fear that she'll kill a human would still be there (and even reinforced) by the fact that she has already involved humans in her chase. There's no evidence that Samara did kill that human Blue Sun mercenary. In fact, there is evidence that she didn't (by the asari officer freaking out about an "if"). That she hadn't killed one could be more about luck than anything else.
- If the Blue Suns merc was involved in a crime - not implausible, given the way they work - then Samara was justified in killing her. And Samara wouldn't be trying to kill the merc if she didn't commit a crime.
Blue Sun on the hanar homeworld
- What was a Blue Suns mercenary doing on the hanar homeworld? I thought the hanar didn't allow outsiders in their space.
- Hanar don't like outsiders entering their space. That doesn't mean there aren't outsiders. And remember, the Blue Suns are criminals. Criminals have this thing about laws and not following them.
- Legion's preferred character class in Galaxy of Fear is an "Ardat-Yakshi Necromancer". How could this be allowed? It's like if WOW had a "Serial Killer" class. Wouldn't the asari complain at the very least?
- Many MMO games already have such classes, they just go by different fantasy-like names. And if the asari complain, it's an acknowledgement of the existence of Ardat-Yakshi in general, which is something they're very hesitant to do. Besides, for all we know they did complain at some point, and it was thrown out or ignored. This setting doesn't precisely go into the minutia of individual court cases and lawsuits, after all.
- Keep in mind that very, very few Ardat-Yakshi exist at all. Samara confidently states that her three Ardat-Yakshi daughters are the only three in existence. She's probably wrong, but it means that there aren't enough for it to cause a political spat.
- The game is supposedly based on turian mythology anyway. The "ardat-yakshi" in Galaxy of Fantasy could be something entirely different.
- Ardat-Yakshi means "Demon Of The Night Winds". A quite appropriate name for a long range specialized prestige class.
- Most likely, the class was created at the behest of the asari justicar order to set a clever trap for newly escaped Ardat Yakshi. Some girl who is probably seeking a thrill chooses that class to play, and before she knows it, a Justicar is stomping on her face. So by choosing it, Legion most likely had a few justicars chase their tails for about a year.
- A more likely reason why Legion chose that class is because he took it literally. Demon of the Night Wind translates to Death by Sex only to the asari. Legion might have also noticed that this character has the ability to hack moods to fight on your side. One of Legion's abilities is AI Hacking.
- Except if Galaxy of Fantasy follows the same style/convention as modern games, Necromancer would be Legion's class. Ardat-Yakshi would be their character's race/species, akin to an elf or dwarf character in a real-life fantasy game. There is evidence to support this: their "most recent boss defeated" is listed as a rachni Blood Wizard: a rachni boss character with a Blood Wizard class. If true, it raises different questions as to why it's a race option but it solves the question of a class revolving around Death by Sex, as not all Ardat-Yakshi are as evil as Morinth.
Grim Terminus Alliance
- In Grim Terminus Alliance he has an achievement for killing 100+ quarians. Again, how could this be allowed? I know it's supposed to be a satire of Grand Theft Auto but even Rockstar would never give you an achievement for killing 100+ black people.
- Grand Theft Auto also doesn't allow you to take and beat slaves, either. Grim Terminus Alliance is obviously a game that, like certain other games, is built around shock value, controversy, and extremism.
- Still, there's shock value, and then there's blatantly crossing the line. We're talking about a game that basically rewards you for committing a racial hate crime. And this game is still legal to sell? Imagine if a major studio in real life tried to sell a game like that. People would come after them with torches and pitchforks. The whole thing stinks of poorly-written satire.
- If you sold such a thing on modern Earth? Yes, it would provoke that reaction. But this isn't modern Earth. It's a galactic society consisting largely of aliens who, by and large, have a thing about hating quarians. And they aren't simply a race, they're an entirely separate species who are considered in-universe Acceptable Targets. And in case you didn't notice, Grim Terminus Alliance has a massive amount of controversy surrounding it in-universe anyway.
- Is it rewarding a hate crime? For all we know, every quarian in the game is designed to attempt to hack into your accounts in the game, and make it harder for you to complete missions and such. Killing 100 quarians may make it so that you don't have to kill any more. Just because there is an achievement, doesn't mean that it's racially motivated. And if it is, then we humans are already accepting of hate crimes against non-humans based on the current supply of games out now.
- Also, I always kinda assumed that the quarians in Grim Terminus Alliance are exiles. Yeah, quarians can go anywhere on their Pilgrimage, but the Terminus systems are full of danger that quarians likely would want to avoid.
- Geth territory (which is to say, former quarian space) is in the Terminus Systems. But you're probably right, if only because a game that was anything like GTA would prefer to go with stereotypes rather than authentic representations of quarian citizens.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, there's an in-game counter for how many of each gang you kill and a special note for which is your least favorite gang. I don't know if that's true of the other games, but if it had been released today, I could very easily see there being an achievement for "Killing 100 Bikers," or "Killing 100 Cubans," or "Killing 100 of Diaz's Gang."
- True, but there is a difference between killing members of a gang because they're member of said gang, and killing members of an ethnic minority because they're members of said ethnic minority. To put it in Grand Theft Auto terms, it would be like getting an achievement for killing a hundred black people. If the Grim Terminus achievement had been something like "kill a hundred members of the Psycho Quarians Hackers", it would have left no doubt that, presumably, racism wasn't a deciding factor.
- It is not at all given that Citadel space even acknowledges the concept of a Hate Crime. It's a recent innovation here, and not everyone believes that motives should be at all relevant in prosecuting someone. More to the point, for multiple alien races with very different moral and legal philosophies to coexist, there would need to be a very high degree of tolerance, which is a situation that could easily be exploited by amoral corporations.
- Also, it's a joke. Because, you know, Legion is a geth. And the quarians are both their creators and the people that tried to killed them.
Vasir and Legion
- This is kinda meta, but it still bugs me: After Shepard and Vasir get thrown out a window, Vasir takes off with Liara in hot pursuit. I don't know about anyone else, but I had Legion with me. The camera showed him simply standing there watching as Vasir runs through a wide open lobby. Legion is a sniper. He has a clear view at the target. He had his gun drawn. Why did he not shoot Vasir? Obviously the dev's didn't think of it (or it was too much work) but it really makes the team look a bit incompetent.
- A fast-moving target who probably has a biotic barrier up, and who's probably running behind every cover she can. Your squadmate may have decided trying to take shots at her would be a waste of time.
- On the other hand, Legion is noted to be an absolutely astounding sniper, being a robot and all. Which raises the question of whether he or Garrus is better...
Vasir in the apartment
- Say, did I miss the point where Vasir actually justified her presence in Liara's appartment to Shepard? She just goes all "I'm a Spectre" and Shepard never asked her WTH is she doing bazillions of light years away from the Council jurisdiction? Yeah, Spectre can do whatever the hell they want and etc, but still that doesn't explain the following:
- Illium isn't "bazillions of light years away from Council jurisdiction." It's inside asari space. It is in Council jurisdiction.
- Umm...I was fairly certain that Illium, asari space or not, was inside the Terminus. You know, the NPC chatters and all that.
- Incorrect. It borders the Terminus systems. Planets actually "within" the Terminus Systems are those that have chosen to forsake Citadel protection. It is technically not an asari world, but is owned by corporations, like Noveria. They allow the (or at least do not inhibit) Spectre operations because it would be bad for business (just like Noveria).
- How is it Vasir can order around some Illium cops?
- She's a Spectre. She's on a Citadel world. That gives her the authority to do so.
- Technically, Illium is outside of Council Space, just inside of the Terminus. That said, Illium should have a similar arrangement with Noveria — they won't obey Council law to the letter, but they'll allow Spectres to conduct investigations on their world.
- Besides, she's a Spectre. Instant badass credentials. If you're a beat cop, are you really going to screw with a Spectre? Hell, it'd probably make your job easier to just let her take care of it.
- Why does Shepard would trust Vasir instantaneously knowing that 1. The last Spectre colleague he meet was a kinda psychotic asshole BEFORE Sovvy indoctrinated him 2. As far as he knows, the Council, especially the alien one is barely holding back from declaring him a traitorous rogue Spectre, so who can tell if Vasir hasn't been sent to execute Shepard? I mean, going by the dialogue tree, Shep comes as a complete naive moron.
- 1: So Shepard should instantly consider any Spectre s/he encounters to be a psychopath despite the fact that Saren was the worst of the bunch? As opposed to affording them some degree of respect, considering they've been handpicked by the Council as agents to enforce galactic law?
- Yes, and it is said that some are bloodthirsty killers while others are (mostly) peaceful and keen diplomats. That alone should make anyone wary of dealing with a Spectre, especially if said Spectre, unlike Shepard, is not widely publicized for his exploits as the Hero of Elysium or the Butcher of Torfan. Beside, Saren wasn't described as the worst of the bunch. He was one of the Council's top agent, so while everyone and their mother could tell he was utterly brutal and vicious, the Council had no problem with having a professional dog kicker as a Spectre because he got the job done. Point being, just because she's a Spectre doesn't mean she's the most trustworthy being in the universe.
- It doesn't mean she's a ravenous psychotic, either. Shepard's trustworthy/crazy ratio in dealing with Spectres is about 1:1 at this point; Nihlus was most likely going to have been Shepard's mentor had he not been shot in the head.
- 2: The Council wasn't "barely holding back" from declaring him/her a traitor. For heaven's sake, the Council is willing to let Shepard land on the Citadel and walk around despite knowing s/he is working with Cerberus and are perfectly willing to let Shepard's Spectre status get reinstated. That's not the behavior of a government that wants Shepard dead.
- According to the Cerberus Daily News, Shep, prior to his death, was to be arrested for, I quote, "obstruction of justice". Just what does it mean is anyone's guess, but it is very heavily implied that the only things separating him from being arrested are Anderson on the Council side and Hackett on the Alliance side. I may be going a little far in writing that the Council want Shepard, and I apologize for doing so, but they're still fairly unhappy of having him goofing around again.
- And that doesn't explain why Shepard does not just ask her for the reason of her presence. Granted, she could then start unload some bullshit, but at least Shep could have asked.
- She's on Illium for some mission. She hears that Liara - a notable information broker who was involved in stopping Saren as a member of another Spectre's team - was attacked. She investigates. Shepard has no reason to believe there's any other reason for Vasir to be there, and has no reason to ask. S/He could ask about her mission, but he probably figured it was classified anyway, so didn't bother. Plus, you know, a friend and potentially former lover just got attacked, and there's no sign of where she might be. So Shepard's too busy thinking about Liara to wonder if maybe this Vasir lady might not be entirely on the level despite no evidence that anything wrong is going on.
- It's not even like Shepard. It's OOC for Shepard to completely let their guard down just because someone says 'I'm a SPECTRE.'
- Besides, isn't what Vasir doing exactly the same as what Shepard did throughout the first game? Shepard was on a mission to hunt down Saren, but on every planet s/he stops by, there's a variety of criminal activities and side tasks to do, so Shepard does them. Vasir is doing the exact same thing Shepard was doing in the first game whenever Admiral Hackett called with a job, except you can replace "Admiral Hackett" with "Shadow Broker." Shepard doesn't need to ask Vasir what she was doing there, because she's a Spectre and sticking her head in everyone else's business when she smells trouble is part of her job.
- I'm iffy on Shepard not needing to ask Vasir what she's doing. Even Nihlus did that when he saw Saren. Even though just about any explanation is going to be good enough to satisfy Shepard, the question itself is valid and worth asking.
- Well, Nihlus had a good reason to be asking Saren what he was doing on a human world in the middle of a geth attack. For all he knew, Saren was aware of something he wasn't. Shepard, meanwhile, walks into an apartment on a secured world with police present. It’s a rather different situation.
- Shepard is a veteran soldier who already has experience with Spectres not being all that they should be, in terms of trustworthiness. There is NO reason why Shepard doesn't ask the simple question: 'Spectre? Why are you investigating this shooting?' I asked that question out loud immediately after meeting Vasir. I didn't automatically think 'she shot at Liara!', but I DID think 'why is she even here?' The developers wanted people to hear the Spectre title, link it with Shepard, and forget any niggling doubt over Vasir for the later reveal. Put simply, Vasir has no real REASON to be there unless she knows (or knows of) Liara, was planning to visit her, or (as turns out to be the case) she has something to do with the shooting. A little bit of dialogue would've avoided it, so it's just sloppy writing.
- It's not like Shepard has met any other Spectres though, so he wouldn't know the protocol to follow and could just be respecting her privacy in case it's a delicate matter she's investigating. After all, the closest Shep has got to working with Spectres has involved Nihlus running off to covertly work alone on Eden Prime and the Salarian equivalent ST Gs, which are also known for espionage. Saren and Shep could very well be the exception, not the rule, in terms of high profile Spectre-work. It's also worth pointing out that he's likely more worried about his former ally and possible love of his life than why an asari is on a major asari world. Nihlus is talking to someone who's been a Spectre for a while as well, implying some sort of previous work or at least knowledge of each other—something that Shepard, who may or may not even be a Spectre any more, definitely wouldn't have on Vasir. Plus, it's a turian on a remote human colony that should be of zero interest to Saren. Of course that merits a question. It's still a weird thing to leave out in an otherwise well-made DLC, but yeah, there are certainly reasons why it isn't the first thing on Shepard's mind.
- Not to mention Nihlus probably knew that a) Saren wasn't too fond of humans, and b) a high-profile professional kicker of asses like Saren being ANYWHERE was serious business and worth asking questions about.
- Hang on, Shepard kills a Spectre and never gets called on it?
- We don't know if Shepard talked to the Council later on. It's entirely possible that Liara, after becoming Shadow Broker, leaked info on Vasir's activities. Shepard does seem to be getting to be pretty good at killing Spectres, though. It might be nice to run into a Spectre in ME3 that we don't pump full of bullets.
- In Mass Effect 3, we do. Plus, the Council have shown themselves to have very little actual teeth beyond the Spectres anyway. What are they going to do, send MORE to get killed by Shepard? I can imagine entire squads of them coming up short against Shepard, Garrus and Grunt.
- Said Spectre is working for the Shadow Broker, and proof of said fact can probably end up in front of the Council before they're finished asking why Shepard killed said Spectre, thanks to Liara.
- If Kaidan survived Virmire, was offered Spectre status and you tell Udina that he may not be cut out for the job, he mentions Vasir along with Saren as Spectres gone bad. So, somehow the Council found out.
- We don't know if Shepard talked to the Council later on. It's entirely possible that Liara, after becoming Shadow Broker, leaked info on Vasir's activities. Shepard does seem to be getting to be pretty good at killing Spectres, though. It might be nice to run into a Spectre in ME3 that we don't pump full of bullets.
- A question about Vasir's final speech and your inability to have the last word. Now, I can understand not having that as an option if you're a Renegade or if you haven't done the Suicide Mission yet. (Yes, I know the DLC is written to take place after that, but you can do it whenever.) But why aren't you given a chance to point out that, if you destroyed the Collector Base, the Illusive Man is not really your boss anymore? The reasons I can think of are 1) just because you no longer work for the Illusive Man doesn't handwave previous work done for him, 2) you're still part of Cerberus, 3) The Illusive Man is still able to give you missions, 4) railroading plot. Does anyone else have some insight on this?
- 1, 2, and 3. This has always been a series that's big on maintaining the weight of your decisions and actions. The game isn't going to give you a free pass for working with Cerberus, even if it wasn't your choice at the time. Vasir doesn't care that you're no longer working with Cerberus - she simply cares that you did and that you have no right to judge her for working with the Shadow Broker.
- On a related note... why can't a Paragon Shepard point out that s/he is working for Cerberus on a specific mission (stopping the Collectors), in his or her own way and on terms that are not all on Cerberus' side (they have the ship bugged... but you don't have to help them out with Cerberus activities unrelated to the Collectors, and the cases where you can, there is also tends to be a Paragon "Ignore Cerberus' wishes, I'm doing what I feel is right" option - while Vasir is paying for information by doing the Shadow Broker's bidding, apparently not caring if the things she, specifically, does are the right thing to do so long as she gets that information? For that matter, even a Renegade Shepard can hold a similar stance.
- Mostly because by the time Shepard would get done with such a long-winded explanation about the specific nature of the relationship between him/herself and Cerberus, Vasir would already be dead.
- Doesn't need to be long-winded: it boils down to "I work with Cerberus to reach one goal, you pay for the Broker's favour by doing his dirty needs, no matter what that means".
- Why would Shepard even want to waste his/her breath on Vasir as she's dying? There are more pressing matters to deal with. Yes, giving Vasir a Reason You Suck Speech would have maybe felt good from the player's perspective. Shepard does not need to do that to maintain his/her own personal integrity, however - so maybe s/he simply went "Whatever, I have a Shadow Broker to catch, don't have time for her spite."
- Just because Shepard is a Big Goddamn Hero, doesn't mean she's right all the time, or even that she should always get the last word. Vasir is pointing out that they are not so different - both work with less than savoury allies in order to achieve their goals. Vasir even has a big point! The Broker is about buying and selling information, not usually assassinations. He was doing what he had to in order to protect himself from Liara finding his base. Vasir was just an ally of his who was more than willing to kill in order to protect her source of good info. Shepard is working for a known and listed (by the Citadel) TERRORIST group. Just saying 'I'm only working with them' does sound pretty weak, and it's a source of tension with the Virmire Survivor in Mass Effect 3 because even they think that line sounds like BS.
- Actually, she's right in this situation. Shepard, not Vasir. The dialogue line that that scene lacks is this: "If I stop working with the Cerberus, all humans will be destroyed. If you will stop working with the Broker, nothing of that sort will happen."
No motive force?
- Mass effect fields increase or decrease mass of whatever the affect. Mass, not weight or anything else. Data on starships says clearly that the fields don't do a thing when it comes to applying any motive force, though. Starships need to have engines to move around, otherwise they're just very light, what helps, but doesn't do a thing by itself.
So, how do biotics work? How can they be used for making glowy blue missiles or dragging and dropping people? All they sound like they can do is make people heavy or light, but not throw them places.
- Biotics work because the biotic can alter gravity through mass effect fields, creating or removing gravity forces around the target. Singularity, for example, creates a high-gravity area that draw opponents in. Lift creates a zero gravity area around the target. Throw effectively creates a high-gravity area on the far side of the target that yanks it away (as counterintuitive as that sounds). Stasis creates an unbreakable field around the target to hold them in place.
- The main problem with gravity is that it's really weak, and that it works on everything. You need a mass of Earth mass in order to pull you with the force equal to your weight, roughly. We have one mass like that, it's called Earth. And it drags in everything from many kilometers away from itself, even. Meteors appear because they get too close.
This, and not even making the target practically massless with mass reduction fields would help, because the less mass something has, the less force gravity has upon it, so ultimately, everything falls at the same rate. Or am I failing physics even more than I am now? Anyway, I'm pretty sure that if biotics are using gravity, they can do so only in an indirect manner, through messing with mass - and that's impractical, since we're standing on an astronomical mass known as a planet, yet we can jump or move. Unless I'm underestimating eezo in some way, and it can create Earth masses worth of mass in such a small place it's invisible to the naked eye...
Gravity does include distance in its workings, so maybe if the mass was much closer to the intended target than Earth's core, it wouldn't have to be so large, but still - it would most likely affect everything in a large radius just as strongly as the target, and being as massive as it is, also be heavily attracted to the nearby other high gravity object, like magnets. Or I’m failing physics even more.
- Yes, you are underestimating element zero. It can create gravity fields superior to planetary masses; otherwise it would not have much value in the first place. This is something that is routinely used to generate Earth-normal Artificial Gravity, after all.
- Alright then. That doesn't answer how does this manipulation manage to precisely pick its targets. I mean, with micro black holes being essentially generated, they should collapse rooms and generally work against everything in range, not just the select target.
- Gravity is weak, but a large aspect of this is the inverse square law, which applies primarily because gravity is pulling equally in all directions. This happens because the amount of force at any given distance is based, basically, on the size of the spherical surface at that distance, which is always proportional to the inverse of the square of the radius. Since launching starships at relativistic speeds through the mass relays doesn't cause entire solar systems to collapse and doesn't cause the ships to be ripped in half by tidal gravity (the disparity in gravitational strength at one end vs. the other), the only real conclusion is that mass effect fields somehow direct gravity in much more specific ways that nature does.
- Same goes for guns, I guess. The bullet can be made extra heavy, but mass effect fields alone won't fire it or anything.
- Mass accelerators are railguns. They don't use mass effect fields to fire, they just use them to suspend the slugs.
- Oh. Okay.
- This, and the terms 'positive current' and 'negative current' are used. I might be failing physics here, but current is current, right? Electrons move ever so slowly in a direction. One end of the equation ends up with less electrons than it had and the other ends up with more, but 'through' kinda suggests the eezo is in the middle, and electrons are just passing, well, though.
- Positive vs. negative current is just an arbitrary direction the electrons are taking to move through the circuit. Positive is one way, negative is the other. Element zero reacts differently to the direction the current is travelling.
- So, element zero, despite being an element-thing, made of element zero atoms, all alike, can tell the direction in some arbitrary way? Huh. I just can't wrap my mind around this.
- You're making a mistake in ascribing an anthropomorphic concept like being able to tell direction to element zero. It simply reacts differently depending on what direction the current is travelling; presumably the current alters the orientation of whatever it is that element zero actually is, generating positive or negative mass.
- It's precisely because I have to ascribe an anthropomorphic concept I find this unimaginable. Take a diode. It isn't symmetrical, it's made of a bunch of different elements, and it's visible to the naked eye. It can differ between directions of current, because it's built to be an one-way passage. But then we have eezo. Eezo is just eezo. It's like taking a fistful of sand, then sticking a wire through it. Which side is front, which side is back, and how does it differ if it's just a bunch of uniform grains?
- Check out quantum physics. Stuff does behave totally differently depending on direction of spin, whether people are looking at it or not and other such anthropomorphic concepts. Element Zero isn't that out there, with some of the weird stuff in the real universe. (by and by, is element zero dark matter? It would make sense, but it's never really confirmed)
- I think it is dark energy or at least a byproduct of it, but I can't remember.
- Despite its name, Element Zero is not an element. It can totally be asymmetrical, which solves the positive/negative current thing just fine. As for what it is, the codex states that it's formed from solid matter being affected by a star going supernova. (I assume it also has to be far enough away to not get vaporized, but that's not said.)
Liara's obsession with Shepard
- Why IS Liara obsessed with Shepard? It's understandable if she was your love interest in ME1, but (being a chick) I played a Fem Shep who romanced Kaiden on my first run-through (though I ended up killing him on Virmire) and became a celibate hero in ME2. After your death, your other possible LI merely accept that you've been blown half to hell and try to move on, but Liara spends two years (and receives a plot-relevant badassup) chasing down your eviscerated and thoroughly mutilated corpse, then the Shadow Broker for trying to bring "harm" to said cadaver. I understand that she is your friend, but it would be unfair to claim that everyone on the Normandy didn't care for you just as much. The cutscenes aboard the Normandy SR-2 after Lot SB are also extremely poignant, with Shepard sitting on her bed looking defeated and whispering "Come back soon" (which I attribute to the fact Shepard may have just truthfully expressed her fears and frustrations about the SM, though this is nixed if you take the neutral, optimistic dialogue choice). So my question is, is Liara meant to have feelings for you, regardless of your pursuit of an LI? All signs seem to point toward this (hell, she's the only one of your old friends to receive you with completely open arms...literally). It's likely I missed something, so I suppose I just want explanation/confirmation that I'm imagining things.
- Yes. Liara does have feelings for Shepard, as far back as the first game. She almost outright admits this in the first game, and even if she wasn't your romance interest in the first game, she's probably still carrying a torch for Shepard into the second. Kaidan and Ashley are more likely to get over Shepard's death faster and more easily simply because they're both Marines who have seen lots of friends die and are prepared for and accepting of the possibility of death in the line of duty. Liara is not so acclimated to death on a personal level, so it’s not surprise she doesn't get over it as easily.
- OP here. Huh. I never knew that. Whereabouts does she almost admit her feelings (as much as I like her, I barely used her in the first game since my permanent party was Wrex and Ashley, and I rarely spoke to her because I didn't find her on the ship until pre-Ilos)?
- A situation like that is precisely why some found Liara's obsession so strange. I too recruited Liara after completing Virmire and never spoke to her after the initial conversation, and was left scratching my head as to how she had fallen so hard for Shepard in that very brief timeframe. I guess the real answer is because the plot says so.
- Liara is supposed to be the FIRST squadmate you acquire after leaving the Citadel, in terms of setting canon. Getting her after Virmire is quite late in the game (the blank spot in the squad recruitment screen is a BIG hint. You're supposed to have recruited her even before Feros and Noveria.
- I actually recruited her before Virmire (I distinctly remember Kaidan querying as to the last time she ate and drank), and I even used her to fight Benezia (after previously failing several times because my guns were in the 90 -130 range, and thus did not have enough dakka). Even though I didn't get a proper conversation with her until pre-Ilos (and probably did not follow her dialogue path to the end), I can't recall her ever seeming to express romantic intent. One of the last things I remember her saying was, "I believe I was professing an interest in you, Shepard. I used to think that humans [blah blah]..." Unless...that WAS romantic interest and/or I missed something. Even if that is the beginning of the romance dialogue path, even if one recruits her near the game's beginning, it seems rather...odd, since that cannot be more than the second or third conversation with her. Cue Lo TSB, where she has a piece of your armour encased in a glass pedestal like a precious artifact. It's really very cute and heartwarming...in a psychotic sort of way.
- Take into account that Liara does the asari mind-meld thing with Shepard which gives her direct insight into Shepard's mind along with the horrors and emotions. She intimately knows Shepard moreso than any other person and it would be fair to assume that this action causes Liara to develop an obsessive fondness.
- You can't expect the game to keep track of which conversations you had. But she does, explicitly express interest in you, at which point you could shoot her down. But even if you do, she still has those feelings. I believe that to be her motivation, she even says in ME2 that she couldn't let Shepard go. She is a rather tragic figure, if you think about it, if her love is unrequited, that is.
- A more parsimonious explanation is that any of your former teammates would have done this for you, but only Liara actually knew about it and had the finances to manage it.
- Not to mention that Liara doesn't have many friends. In Mass Effect 1, you really get the vibe that this was the girl who was buried in the books all the time instead of interacting with other people and socialising. Makes sense that she'd tear shit up if she lost one of the first people who had actually taken the time to get to know her and get her to open up.
- Liara definitely has feelings for Shepard. I romanced Ashley, and then Tali, and when brought aboard the Normandy, Liara notes that she had seen Tali's feelings for you even back in ME1 but chose not to tell you and backed off to avoid encouraging further competition for your affections.
Why did the Reapers construct the Omega 4 Relay?
- Apologies if this has already been addressed elsewhere; I didn't see any mention of the question in the archives. Anyway, why did the Reapers go out of their way to build a massive relay which appears to connect exclusively to an exceedingly dangerous region of the galaxy which contains little of value? Sure the Collectors currently inhabit the far side of the relay & use it to hide their base of operations and access galaxy at large, but they've only been there for at most 50,000 years or so. Meanwhile the various wrecks in the debris field on the Collector's side of the relay are explicitly described as "ancient", and most surely predate the Protheans. So- why originally build the relay (and it's double in the Galactic Core)? It seems strange that the Reapers would invest the resources in creating two mass relays which then serve no evident purpose for potentially millions of years before they finally produce the Collectors.
- There has been more than one cycle of extinction. The fact that the Reapers repurposed the Protheans into Collectors points to the idea that they've done the same to other species before them.
- There's no evidence that the Collector Base was built to house the Collectors. All evidence indicates that the Collectors are simply the current inhabitants of a very old facility built a long time ago by Harbinger to handle genetic experimentation and study during the long cycle between each Reaper attack.
Asari Population Control
- How have the asari not yet experienced massive overpopulation issues (or at least not to an extent worth mentioning in the Codex or in-game)? An individual asari can expect to live for upwards 1,000 years, and apparently is capable of bearing children for a large amount of that time. It is also clearly stated that asari mate relatively frequently. Yet there seem to be so few Matriarchs around that each one is least a minor celebrity, with their writings being collector's items and Shepard being surprised to see one outside of asari space. So, what's happening with the relatively "young" asari, where evidently so few of them reach the Matriarch stage and their worlds aren't massively overcrowded? Do they keep their population in check by getting themselves killed off in truly ludicrous quantities in various pointless mercenary engagements? Widespread birth-control seems like the most likely answer, but again the game makes clear that an individual asari is likely to have many partners during her life, and these unions are overwhelmingly intended to produce children. It's particularly peculiar that the game doesn't address asari population dynamics given how much of a role the issues surrounding overpopulation play in the backgrounds or at least flavor text of several other races (the krogan have the genophage & all attendant issues, the drell almost went extinct due to the overpopulation of their homeworld, the quarians practice strict birth control, the salarians only fertilize a small percentage of their eggs and ensure that 90% of those which do hatch are male).
- Asari have entirely voluntary control over whether or not they produce children. They have direct control of the process that melds their own DNA with the set that is altered by their partner. They're not going to produce a child unless they want to. They also possess the largest amount of territory in Citadel space and have the largest population out of all species in Citadel space. There's also an apparent, if unspoken, social convention that limits the number of children that asari have; Benezia and Atheyta apparently only had one child (Atheyta even mentions having her daughter as a major part of her life, and implies that she's the only child she's had), the shopkeeper at Baria Frontiers only had two daughters, and Samara had three. So there is some sort of social convention that limits the number of children asari have - possibly connected to their ability to control conception during melding. Thus, a combination of direct birth control, large colony space, and social pressures to have few children serve to keep their population manageable. Asari just don't crank out a lot of kids, can control the process, and have lots of space to put them in.
- Minor nitpick: Aethyta has multiple children by multiple partners as revealed in Mass Effect 3 - including one by a Hanar!
- And Aethyta's dad was a krogan. Whether or not crossbred asari have genetic predispositions to take after their fathers, they could certainly take after parents who helped raise them, as her dad did. Plus, Aethyta's got a distinct tendency to flout asari conventions.
- Primitive asari would most likely have had that issue. But 1 in 100 among them becomes a psychopath addicted to Death by Sex so they probably culled asari populations until they advanced enough to be able to control population growth
Collectors Attack then Leave Escape Pods
- So....the Collectors are smart enough to sneak attack the Normandy, unleash a no-warning no holds barred that completely rips the Normandy apart...and then let the escape pods go? What if Shepard had made it into Joker's pod? The attack was a great idea, poorly executed.
- They didn't have time to track down individual pods. They only had time to hit the Normandy and run; if they took time to track down the individual pods, then the Alliance would have sent reinforcements and complicated matters substantially. If Shepard got away, Harbinger could just have them take another swing at him/her later on.
- OP: I can see that a bit, but still. Most of the pods are launched before Shep gets Joker into the pod. They're tearing the ship apart, they can't shift aim for a second and knock out the pods? I just feel it would have been time well spent, and if the Alliance arrived (which would have been impressively quick in my opinion even with FTL) in time then take them out/just run. They must have their own stealth systems if so few people have seen them...hide and sneak out. I know I'm just being a pain about this lol, I just feel they needed to finish the job completely. Is the hassle of escaping the Alliance truly more than the hassle of setting up another hit on Shep, especially after his/her having been warned by the first strike?
- If they shifted attention to target the pods, the Normandy might escape. Not to mention that the Collector ship only seems to have one (very powerful) weapon that doesn't seem ideally suited to targeting tiny escape pods. And the Alliance is sending reinforcements; this is stated rather explicitly while Shepard is fighting the fire. And there's no evidence at all that the Collector ship has any kind of stealth systems. And yes, the hassle of escaping is more important, because the major reason that the Alliance and the Citadel aren't responding to the Collectors is because they don't know who's attacking the colonies; Reapers in general tend to try to be sneaky unless forced to be otherwise, and try not to reveal their hands. Unnecessarily exposing themselves to their enemies is not in their MO.
Why didn't Sovereign use the Collectors?
- One of the biggest reasons Sovereign didn't choose to just take the Citadel by force is that he would almost certainly be destroyed. He made a lot of headway later on by using the geth, but given that the Collectors had massively superior technology, why wouldn't he enlist their aid as well during the attack on the Citadel? Given his relative success against the Citadel's defenses, with the aid of the Collectors, the attack may have actually been successful. Was there some sensible reason that they weren't included in Sovereign's plan?
- Because he didn't think he needed to. Arrogance is almost a defining trait of Sovereign. Besides, his assault with the geth ships he had was more than enough to annihilate the Citadel's defense, and if it wasn't for a group of Three Man Armies he would have succeeded. He didn't "put all of his eggs in a basket," because he was sure he could win.
- If he had that level of arrogance, why would he have even waited for the geth in the first place instead of just using the Collectors hundreds of years ago, when the mass relay in the Citadel first failed to open?
- All evidence points to the fact that Sovereign did not control the Collectors. Harbinger did. Also, even hundreds of years ago, the Citadel was a formidable force that destroyed one attempt to take the Citadel through main force with the rachni. The Collectors' resources extend to a single cruiser-sized vessel and a single space station; they would add nothing meaningful to the geth task force.
- You are vastly overestimating how effective a fighting force the Collectors actually are. They don't have a fleet, which is what Sovereign needed. From his actions and a lot of story telegraphing, the Destiny Ascension would most likely have destroyed Sovereign in a straight battle. The weakness of the Destiny Ascension was the lack of close range weapons. Sovereign's solution was to jump a ton of Geth ships near the Destiny Ascension to exploit this.
- There's NO evidence Sovereign was somehow less powerful than one Asari dreadnought. That's massively overstating things considering it's quite quickly crippled by Geth ships and Sovereign shrugs off entire fleets' worth of fire until its kinetic barriers go down. In Mass Effect 3, it's even stated as fact that you need 3-4 dreadnoughts working together to even tax the barriers of a Reaper capital ship.
- I am also guessing you are overestimating how powerful the Normandy is. It is a very advanced, very small reconnaissance ship. It does not have the same shields or weaponry than even a far less advanced, but larger ship. The Collector vessel would have been curb stomped by the first cruiser it encountered, which is why the Collectors were so carefully trying to avoid tipping anyone off to their presence.
How can Jacob be so tactless?
- From the series, it seems that Artificial Intelligence is a no-go subject around quarians - a taboo if you will. Whenever quarians encounter rogue V Is or AIs (like the one on the Citadel, for example), it tends to act as a Berserk Button. Surely Jacob would know this. So why would he say to Tali: "Don't forget to introduce yourself to EDI, the ship's new AI," to Tali. I know it was Played for Laughs, but still - seemed a bit of an idiotic thing to say.
- EDI has to be introduced at some point, and every dialogue with Jacob pretty much outright declares that he is a guy who is honest, refuses to bullshit, and goes straight to the point of the matter. So, Jacob outright saying that they have an AI on board is entirely in-character for him. He's not going to play word games or bring it up slowly, he's going to throw it out there in the open and let her deal with it.
- In this troper's opinion, this is simply Jacob's Crowning Moment of Stupid. He didn't think about Tali's possible reaction to learning there's an AI onboard. Her expression (or rather, her body language) says as much to me, conveying a reaction of "You did not just say that to me!"
- Jacob is very civil, even respectful to Tali when she boards the Normandy. She just throws it back in his face and is rude to him (understandably) because of his connection to Cerberus. He mentioned EDI on purpose because Tali was being a jerk. He did it to deliberately piss her off.
- He seems to have rather stupid moments every now and then. He deliberately antagonizes Thane simply because Thane's an assassin even though Cerberus has done plenty of assassinations (and much, much worse) in its history.
- If by "deliberately antagonises Thane" you mean "makes a couple of wary comments at him when he first boards the Normandy and ignores him the rest of the time" then yes, he does. Remember that while Jacob works with Cerberus, he does not condone a lot of what they do and is very distrustful of the organisation as a whole. He doesn't like how they do a lot of their under-the-table things, and that would include the assassinations.
- During their conversation Jacob constantly pushes Thane on being an assassin. This despite the fact he warmly welcomes Samara even though it's entirely possible that he's in your squad when you witness her murder a helpless mercenary simply for refusing to give informationnote
- Yes, and? Samara's authority to execute criminals is entirely legally justified by asari law, and she is questioning and then executing a member of a violent mercenary criminal gang whom Shepard's team has been regularly killing already and who opened fire on Shepard's group just moments beforehand. Thane is an assassin for hire, as far as Jacob is aware, and his killings fall outside of the law. Jacob is more respectful of Samara because she is an agent of (a particularly brutal) law. note This is a subtle but entirely consistent part of Jacob's character: he dislikes mercenaries, and Thane, being an assassin, is simply "a precise mercenary." He doesn't seem to have an objection to Zaeed, but that appears to be an oversight because Zaeed doesn't get a briefing room conversation.
- Samara executed an asari mercenary because she, an asari Justicar, was following her Code, which was created by asari. You may think she was just committing cold blooded murder but she disagrees and so does the asari legal system which gave her the authority to do so in the first place. Samara is not human, the Justicar Code was not written with humans in mind, it's flat out stated repeatedly that aliens don't accept or acknowledge the Code and that's the major source of conflict for Samara's recruitment mission. It's a case of Values Dissonance, if half your team are aliens with vastly different cultures then they should be harder to understand.
- And that values dissonance only happens on two occasions, Samara's and Thane's, and not with any of the other nonhuman characters. It's noticeable that the only one Jacob shows any dislike for is Thane, not Samara. Then there's the fact that if the police are anything to go by, Thessia law isn't quite as absolute on Illium and Samara was fully willing to kill local police officers if they took her into custody, something you'd think someone so focused on morals as Jacob would be angry at. The best explanation this troper can think of is either that the entire argument with Thane was thrown in at the last moment in an attempt to give Jacob more character or it was part of another antagonistic relationship similar to Jack and Miranda's that got thrown away.
- Jacob's issue with Thane is that Jacob sees Thane as just a mercenary, willing to work for whomever pays. Jacob might think Samara's a cold blooded murderer, hard to tell since there's not much interaction, but she's got a clear cut Code and she's dedicated herself to it, Jacob respects that. Thane, to Jacob, has no dedication, no purpose, he doesn't walk what he talks, so to speak. As owning up to your actions are a huge thing for Jacob, Thane's lifestyle and belief system (that his soul and body are separate and his assassinations aren't his responsibility as they were the actions of the body not the soul) run counter to that so Jacob has little to no respect for Thane and what he does. Basically, if you ask Samara if she killed the asari on her recruitment mission she will take full responsibility for it, ask Thane if he killed the asari on his recruitment mission and he'll deny responsibility. Conflict of spiritual beliefs leading to a conflict of personal values.
- It is likely that Jacob takes offence to Thane's philosophy. Jacob is all about owning up to your own actions, while Thane consider his mind and body to be separate entities and thus doesn't consider himself responsible for actions taken by only his body.
- That mercenary Samara killed wasn't helpless or an innocent. In the game, when you talk to a Volus you learn that Eclipse mercenaries commit a murder to earn their uniform; the one Samara killed had hers. Being a well-travelled Justicar nearly 1,000 years old it's likely Samara would know this. Second, when you encounter Samara you see two mercenaries bodies being flung into the room, implying there had been a fight. The mercenary Samara killed was pointing a gun at Samara and threatening her before Samara flung her though a window, not to mention the mercenary could've been a biotic and not been unarmed when Samara killed her. Shepard can call Samara out on this in-game and she gives a similar explanation.
What does Thane actually DO?
- Now before anyone gets angry, this is not me complaining about Thane as a character, I like Thane, he's awesome. There's just one tiny, insignificant problem I have with him: He's completely useless in the suicide mission, the only thing that he can do and not die by himself is taking the crew back to the Normandy. He can't lead a fire team, he can't do the biotic field, and he can't go through the vent shaft... So what was his point? How necessary did he end up being when apparently infiltration is one of his specialities as an Assassin (WHICH HE CAN DO WHEN YOU RECRUIT HIM, OH, AND DURING HIS LOYALTY MISSION.) Can't he do anything remotely useful in the suicide mission? At least the heavier guys who don't do much are used to beef up your parties strength to hold the line at the end... but Thane? Thane just doesn't do anything, really. Am I wrong here? Shouldn't a trained assassin capable of climbing up a tower past a shit-ton of guards be able to at least, AT LEAST be able to make it through a fucking vent!?
- The Infiltration sequence required tech-savviness, not straight up sneakiness. Do you really expect a biotic assassin to be a tech genius, like Tali, Legion, or Kasumi? His biotic abilities pale in comparison to the prodigies of Samara and Jack, and he's not a good Fire team leader because he was trained to be a solo assassin, not inspiring leader. He's good at what he does; killing people, because that's always been what he's been trained to do, not to hack entire bases, maintain impossible biotic bubbles, or lead misfits through the most dangerous place in the galaxy.
- What does Thane do? He kills Collectors. That's his job. He is, in fact, the single best party member for taking out Collectors. Warp lets him disrupt Collector/Scion/Harbinger armour and shields, his ammunition lets him shred Collectors and Husks once their shields are down, and Throw makes him effective at knocking Collectors and Husks off the plentiful ledges. His weapons also make him ideal for dealing with barriers and armour. Thane's role is to be on Shepard's squad and murder the shit out of Collectors, which he does very, very well at every point in that mission. Remember, you brought him in because he is, first and foremost, an extremely accomplished and highly-skilled killing machine ideally suited for precision work/infiltration which is the role of Shepard's team in all three legs of the suicide mission. As an added bonus, he's the fourth-strongest squadmate on the rear-guard team, so if you want to bring Zaeed, Grunt, or Garrus with you on the final assault, he can cover their spot.
- Well, Y'know what? I've taken Garrus into the final battle, left Zaeed and Grunt and Thane amongst the survivors, and someone ALWAYS died. I'm talking about from a story stand point, Thane doesn't actually do anything. And that's just annoying because it's a waste of a good character.
- That shouldn't happen if everyone is loyal and Mordin was the one you sent back to the Normandy. Literally, if everyone is loyal, everyone else survived up to that point, and at least two heavies (including Thane) are on the rear guard, everyone should survive. I've never lost a squadmate on the final mission beyond the very first time I've played it unless I deliberately wanted them to get killed.
- Agreed. I'm not sure why Thane keeps getting killed in your game. Are you sure you did his loyalty mission? Thane's one of the characters I always leave behind, and he's the one who always calls me to tell me that the Collectors are getting their asses kicked.
- I should clarify, Thane isn't always the one who dies when he stays behind, usually it's either Mordin or Jack. And I always make my Squad Members loyal, though I have been meaning to get a bad-ending before ME3 comes out.
- I actually kept Thane with me. Biotics and high-level sniping skill? Worth bringing along when Collectors are about. Mordin is the obvious choice to get sent back to the ship with the crew, and provided that the others are loyal and you don't pick the wrong people to lead squads or provide biotic cover, nobody should die. Taking along Thane and virtually anybody but Garrus, Grunt, or Zaeed will leave enough heavy hitters to hold the line so that everybody will live. During my last playthrough, I didn't have enough points in either paragon or renegade to settle the argument between Jack and Miranda, and lost Miranda's loyalty. Taking Thane and Jack into the final battle not only left enough firepower behind to keep Miranda alive, but was also hilarious when Jack repeatedly threw Collector off the platform.
Why does Shepard bitch out Tela Vasir?
- Seriously, why does Shepard act all mighty and superior over Vasir working for the Shadow Broker? It's ridiculous. The player is given so many choices to shape Shepard's personality over the course of the games, and yet all of a sudden, Shepard is doing something that might be completely out of character. I don't think it's whining to want to know why the player wasn't given a proper choice as to how to respond to Vasir's allegiance.
Not to mention that of all the things Shepard decides to berate her for, it's working for the Shadow Broker. So what? Who the hell cares? Liara's an information broker who's done some questionable things, too. Why not yell at Vasir for not giving a shit that the Shadow Broker had just had an entire building full of innocent people blown up? Or, especially for full-on Renegades, why not be able to tell her that you don't really care what she was doing, you just cared that she got between you and your goal?
Over the course of both games, Shepard — both Paragon and Renegade, and anything in between — repeatedly ignores, berates, and outright defies the Council, and just generally behaves as if the Council is an irritating necessity for having galaxy-wide carte blanche. And suddenly Shepard is concerned about what the Council thinks? If the player wants Shepard to care, or wants Shepard to act hypocritical, then fine. But at least give them other options.
If BioWare wanted so badly to have Vasir make her Shut Up, Kirk!/Not So Different speech, she could have made it right off the bat, and then the player could have chosen their response. I was annoyed by Vasir's Shut Up, Kirk! speech because it felt so orchestrated, with Shepard being forced to act like the biggest possible hypocrite so Vasir could get her Not So Different jabs in. Meanwhile, the player might be sitting there going, "...And? What's your point? I just killed her for getting in my way."
- Tela Vasir is working for the Shadow Broker and abusing her power as a Spectre to advance his agenda. That has very different connotations for anything Shepard has done. Everything Paragon or Renegade Shepard has done has ultimately advanced the goals of the Alliance and the Council.
- Shepard doesn't show any particular hostility to most other Shadow Broker agents and can even get the Shadow Broker's help in an easy to miss quest in the first game. He is not initially hostile to the Shadow Broker now.
- The Shadow Broker didn't try to sell his/her body to the Collectors, kill his/her friend, or blow up a building with hundreds of innocents in it by that point. I think Shepard's a bit pissed at the Broker.
- Tela Vasir never actually justifies her actual actions when you remember how the Shadow Broker actually operates as described more clearly in Mass Effect 1. Any information that he was giving Tela Vasir would be information he would have sold her anyways. The Shadow Broker is basically profiting off a power game he is playing. He gives out information to advance everything the way he wants them to advance, the money is just a bonus.
- Really, Shepard is right to talk down at Vasir. Sure, Shepard's working with Cerberus, but even Renegade Shepard isn't carrying out hits for the Illusive Man. Shepard can voluntarily assist in a couple of Cerberus ops (the one to rescue a captured Cerberus agent from Eclipse, investigating Overlord, Firewalker) but these are left to Shepard's discretion. TIM never calls up Shepard and essentially orders him/her to blow up half of a crowded building to kill one person. Vasir was so in deep with the Broker that she was pretty much his assassin-on-call. And she has the gall to talk back at Shepard for being forced to work with Cerberus when no other power is willing to seriously support him/her?
- All of your reasons are excellent, but that's exactly my point. Shepard never brings up any of this, and defends Cerberus when dialogue options are presented. There is no option to point out any or all of these valid points to Vasir. There is no option to even say, "Nothing I have or haven't done excuses your actions." Shepard berates her for working for the Shadow Broker, but doesn't specify why, and that makes a huge difference. Hell, depending on choices made in the first game, Shepard may have personally sold sensitive information to the Shadow Broker!
Shepard has good reasons to tell Vasir off, but comes off as a massive hypocrite who's pulling the Council in as a moral high ground when s/he's brushed them off in the past or even outright told them to go to hell. While Shepard has done many things to further the Council's goals, s/he might very well have shown absolutely zero respect for what they think. The players shouldn't have to come up with reasons for why Shepard has a point because Shepard completely fails to make a convincing argument on her/his own. I'm all for 'show don't tell', but sometimes things do need to be said, and a situation where a character is challenged on her/his very serious actions is one of those times.
Ultimately, I feel that the scene was very badly handled and could have been done much, much better. I just don't understand why Vasir's Shut Up, Kirk! is so highly regarded when the dialogue had to be so railroaded for it to mean anything.
- You are of course forgetting that Cerberus is working to save tens of thousands of human beings from the Collectors. While it doesn't excuse their actions at all, Shepard is aware that currently, while they're clearly not good people by any definition of the world, they are the only people who are actually doing something about it. That is the reason why Shepard says.
Shepard: I know who they are and what they've done. It doesn't matter.
- That's exactly the point. It DOES matter, and people in the game continually tell you this! Garrus and Tali specifically say when they come on board 'really, Shepard? Cerberus?! Really?!
- It’s worth noting that Shepard is not even defending Cerberus either. They simply point out that Vasir works for the Shadow Broker, who crossed the Moral Event Horizon by being willing to sell people to the Collectors.
Collector Ship Mission
- There are two aspects of this mission, which bug the hell out of me. Point one: Why does TIM hide the fact that supposed turian broadcast is a hoax? I can see Shepard having reservations against willingly walking into the trap, but in the end if that's what they need he'd do it. Almost always foreknowledge that you are about to be ambushed allows to turn the table on your enemies and if TIM warned Shepard whole operation could be enacted much more effectively from tactical standpoint. Ergo TIM is taking huge risk (trap works, Shepard dies again) with no reward (data gathered would be same if warning was issued after all) by sending you in blind. Point two: How come even on first playthrough all I could think about looking at this set up was Admiral Ackbar shouting his famous It's a trap! and Shepard and his crack team of experienced combatants (which include at least 3 very competent tacticians) seem to be surprised by the idea? I sincerely wished, that there was dialogue option, when EDI discovers false turian broadcast, along the lines of: That was to be expected. Anger at TIM for withholding important data is fully understandable, but it was still quite obvious trap even assuming TIM was fooled as well.
- TIM explains if you ask him. If you had been tipped off before going in, it would have possibly given away the fact that you knew it was a trap going in, which would have ruined the effort to gather information. The only way to ensure the Collectors would let Shepard get deep enough into the ship to gather the information needed would have been to let the Collectors think Shepard had fallen for their trap, and the only way to guarantee that would happen would be to ensure Shepard walked into the trap without foreknowledge. TIM knows the trap wouldn't have worked and Shepard would fight free regardless.
- That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Having Shepard fall for the trap and die is a MUCH greater gamble than the Collectors somehow figuring out that Shepard knew it was a trap. And how would they have figured that out anyway? It's not like the team will be marching about loudly declaring how obvious the trap is and Shepard has past experience with bluff and misdirection.
- "Letting you know ahead of time could have tipped them off in any number of ways." Everything from how they approached the ship to personal armament to movement patterns while inside the ship could have tipped the Collectors off. They're not idiots; someone expecting an ambush will act differently than someone not expecting an ambush, and if that were the case the Collectors never would have let Shepard get close enough to get the intel they needed. Yes, it is a major risk, but as TIM points out, Shepard is exceedingly capable. He did bank a lot on Shepard and is expecting Shepard to pull off the impossible; walking into an enemy ambush and walking right back out is par for the course for Shepard's career.
- It still wasn't worth the potential risk of losing Shepard and two other squadmates. At the very least, Shepard would've been slightly better prepared. It's not like the Collectors were watching their every move - they waited until the squad accessed the mainframe and then attacked. From very far away. That mission wouldn't have went any differently, the Illusive Man is simply Cerberus through and through. Even when he claims to have your interests at heart, he's still ultimately using you. This is proven right in Mass Effect 3, when it's discovered that yes, in fact, Cerberus IS as vile and underhanded as you always believed. They just carefully chose people for the Lazarus cell in Mass Effect 2 to make Shepard think they weren't.
- There was seriously no reason for TIM to not say it was a trap - Shepard, as a soldier, should have expected a trap. They're in enemy territory, raiding a ship like that, that was clearly mostly if not entirely intact from when they saw it on Horizon. Even if 90% of the Collector crew was killed during the supposed fight with the turian frigate, the remainder would signal for assistance and prepare to repel boarders or further attackers, since they (presumably) would have detected the distress signal going out. Anyone boarding an enemy ship would by the very nature of what they're doing be suspicious and prepared to fight their way back out. It's just poor writing.
TIM's Shadow Broker Dossier
- Looking at the mentioned dossier, Shadow Broker got lots of detailed, if trivial, information about Illusive Man. How come he was able to gather such data as number of cigarettes smoked daily or list of latest sexual encounters without some more useful things like - TIM's identity, his main headquarters or frequent locations? More probable but still doubtful is lack of any data of TIM's background. I know that Illusive part of the name implies he knows thing or two about protecting his anonymity, but it's little ridiculous how detailed is Shadow Broker data without at least some coverage of more general information.
- The way this troper sees it: trivial information can be rather easily gotten by tossing some credits at people who work around TIM and can observe him doing all that, maybe said people managed to get some credits before revealing the information, so the Shadow Broker paid for info that was rather useless (but still info, you never know when it can be useful). That said, really personal and truly interesting stuff is, as you mentioned, securely kept in secrecy by TIM or even no such record exists, with all this info only inhabiting TIM's head.
- The way I figured it was that was the information TIM let the Broker get a hold of. They're Worthy Opponents in the information world, they probably dick with each other like this all the time. TIM probably has an equally trivial file on the Broker. It could be that TIM had been keeping these records himself and the Shadow Broker just had someone tap into his files for the information.
- Almost certainly. The two almost certainly leak trivial information like this (although knowing how much or what kind of alcohol or cigarettes someone prefers can be very useful information if you're trying to track someone) to each other all the time. It's probably a game - they can't find out anything actually important about each other, so they each let the other guy get ahold of something vague like how many drinks he had or who he hooked up with this week to frustrate him. Surprisingly enough, each person's base being a mobile platform (the Broker's ship and the mobile station that allegedly gets moved around all the time for Cerberus) that they ostensibly never leave is almost certainly exactly why they can't get anything solid on the other person. Hell, TIM leaving the station to go nail the latest starlet or celebrity is probably the only reason the Broker has anything on him at all.
- Given how many sexual partners TIM seems to have, I'm inclined to think he's simply screwing with him. I know Evil Is Sexy, but c'mon, seriously?! Even in-universe, everyone admits that his eyes are incredibly creepy. In addition, one would think that the secretive head of a terrorist organization would be discreet and not want their face in the tabloids; a likely situation when they're sleeping with 6 celebrities in a week.
- While TIM's not an unattractive man by any means, if the report of his sex life is accurate, he's not getting that much tail based on looks and Martin Sheen's voice. He's in the Fiction 500; they're sleeping with him for his money. Alternatively, he could very well be blackmailing them. It's also possible there's Reaper-derived mind control technique involved; either indoctrinated them or (as we later see in Mass Effect 3) he compelled them directly. note
- TIM's sexual habits, clothing choices and alcohol preferences are useless fluff. TIM probably leaked that info himself to the Broker, so the Broker would think he has deep intimate info and sit there feeling pleased with himself. Meanwhile, actually useful info about Cerberus operations remain completely hidden. On that note, it's possible the "regular sex with celebrities" info is either the Illusive Man having a little fun with the fake into he leaks or, if there's any truth to it, see above as to how he could be getting these women (to a degree that even Leonardo Di Caprio, Gene Simmons and Hugh Hefner would be incredulous at).
- Does anyone else think that the Normandy's internal layout is really badly designed? There seems to be an awful lot of wasted space, while almost the entire crew has to share one small room (there aren't even separate quarters for men and women). And neither the toilets nor showers have any privacy beyond a single door that opens when anyone goes near it. No wonder no-one ever seems to use them. I realize the Normandy wasn't exactly built for luxury, but the disregard for basic comforts and privacy is worrying.
- It's really indicative of the Cerberus mindset. They claim to only want to provide the best for humanity, and it even appears so (leather seats!), but they really are out for themselves. Whether it be torturing little children or not ensuring their "luxuries" for the Normandy crew are up to speed, Cerberus spreads it's seedy influence everywhere.
- Or it's just primarily a military vessel, and anything really would be considered a luxury. Hell, at least they get soft beds and a warm shower, which is better than what some Alliance ships get.
- Eh, the small crew quarters section isn't that bad. Real-life warships have even less individual privacy available; it’s not going to matter if there's a door on the bathroom stall when everyone is showing balls-to-butt half the time anyway. Compared with actual frigates, the Normandy is a bastion of luxury, considering it has two separate lounges. The CIC is fairly open, but that's where 90% of the crew is going to be during combat (the rest will be in engineering or the forward gun battery) so they'll need room to manoeuvre during action.
- In a slightly less pleasant to think about way, those two observation bays and the lounge make sense. If memory serves, they're on the same deck level as the medical bay. If there's a large number of injured crew, those rooms become post-operative wards 2, 3, and 4, with the medical bay itself being 1. On the other hand, if there's that many injured crew, they've got bigger problems.
Prisoner 780's uniform
- Sorry if this is a minor nitpick, but in Jack's recruitment mission, you can talk to a random prisoner before the mission proper starts. The subtitles identify him as "Prisoner 780" but his clothes clearly have the numbers 689 (or 687 - the rightmost one is difficult to see) written on them. They're quite clearly Arabic numerals and not alien digits too. Is there a story behind this or is it just a technical error?
- Technical error.
Bringing a Rocket Launcher to an Ocean's Eleven Mission
- In Kasumi's loyalty mission why does she decide that the perfect way to sneak in is to bring a gold statue of Saren with all of your weapons and armour in it? What would the point be? The entire plan involves sneaking in, grabbing the box and getting out. Bringing a statue that security can't scan only adds to the likelihood of being detected and using regular logic and not Mass Effect combat-logic there's no way Shepard could fight through all of Hock's guards (especially not with just Kasumi). In factnote , it's entirely Kasumi's fault that you get caught. If she hadn't insisted on bringing the stupid weapons and gone with a less suspicious gift it would never have gotten held up at security, Hock never would have gotten involved and he never would have recognised Kasumi (undercutting her claim that no one knows what she looks like). Having to fight your way through dozens of guards and a gunship is entirely Kasumi's fault.
Hock: I had a feeling that was you at the door. I knew if it was really you, you'd get through anyway.
- Kasumi is being wary. She'd rather risk being detected and having to fight her way out than be detected and not have any weapons to defend herself with. And she's right. Hock set the whole thing up. If she hadn't brought that statue loaded with weapons, Shepard would have had to fight all those goons with no armor or weapons beyond a pistol.
- There is no evidence that Hock had any idea until he saw Kasumi. His own dialogue explicitly states that it was seeing her that tipped him off.
- Yes, there is a very good bit of evidence that he seeing Kasumi did not tip him off immediately: the fact that Hock let Shepard in and did not sic dozens of Eclipse guards on them until the moment they specifically picked up the graybox. If Hock really thought Kasumi was at the gates then he would have had his Eclipse troops swarm them immediately. He says he "had a feeling" that it was her, and that if it really was Kasumi she would have gotten inside easily enough, which is why he specifically set the trap to go off when Kasumi started messing with the graybox. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the statue.
- Bringing a statue that security can't scan only adds to the likelihood of being detected and using regular logic and not Mass Effect combat-logic there's no way Shepard could fight through all of Hock's guards (especially not with just Kasumi). You missed the fact that this is Shepard. Shepard can easily fight through all of Hock's guards, and his/her status as such a powerful badass is acknowledged repeatedly in-universe, even before Shepard was upgraded by Cerberus.
- It's still a pointless action. The plan revolves around stealth. Bringing rocket launchers, assault rifles and sniper rifles defeats the entire purpose of going undercover. There was no reason to do it and it jeopardized the mission.
- Unless they get caught in the process of recovering the greybox. Then they'll need the weapons. The old adage holds true: better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Better to have an arsenal on hand to fight out of a guard-infested facility than to have to fight out of a guard-infested facility with no weapons. There's a reason that Kasumi brought Shepard in on the mission, after all; if she felt she could do it purely by stealth, then she wouldn't have needed Shepard.
- In factnote , it's entirely Kasumi's fault that you get caught. If she hadn't insisted on bringing the stupid weapons and gone with a less suspicious gift it would never have gotten held up at security, Hock never would have gotten involved and he never would have recognized Kasumi (undercutting her claim that no one knows what she looks like). No evidence of this. Hock would have walked out and spoken with Shepard and Kasumi regardless and noticed her, whether or not the statue was there. He strongly implied that he knew she was coming anyway, and didn't need the statue to tip him off, because he outright said he expected Kasumi to get into the vault without any trouble. Keep in mind that if the statue was what tipped Hock off, he could have easily just called up a hundred Eclipse mercenaries to grab Shepard right at the door.
- Again, Hock walked outside specifically because the statue got held up and his dialogue (see above) states that it was actually seeing Kasumi that tipped him off. Here's the exact wording:
- No he didn't. Rewatch that scene. The guard mentions there's an issue with the statue, but Hock is already coming down the stairs when he says that, and casually asks if there is a problem, indicating he didn't know about the problem. He was not drawn out because of the problem with the statue, he was coming to greet his guests and saw the issue with the statue then.
- Having to fight your way through dozens of guards and a gunship is entirely Kasumi's fault. Only in the sense that she brought you to the party in the first place. Statue or no, Hock was watching the vault, and that was how he caught Kasumi and Shepard.
- The dialogue makes it clear that Hock hadn't been expecting Kasumi until he actually saw her and he wasn't expecting trouble.
- No. Hock said that he thought that it might have been Kasumi at the door, and that he knew that if it really was her, she would get into the vault regardless. That was why he had the trap set specifically in the vault so that if/when someone messed with the greybox, he would catch them. He would have caught them either way, with or without the statue. The trigger for the trap was not "suspicious person with suspicious statue", it was "someone touched the greybox."
- Keep in mind that Hock may have wanted Kasumi to break in. He'd been trying to crack Keiji's greybox with no luck long enough to figure out that his best bet to unlock it would be in Kasumi's greybox. He probably set up this whole party hoping that she'd eventually make a grab for it if she saw an opening in security this obvious knowing that the opportunity would be too good for her to pass up. He may or may not have been suspicious of "Mr./Ms. Gunn" and their gift, but he'd allow them in to knowing that if Kasumi was there, she'd eventually reveal herself upon entering his vault (where she'd be trapped between a locked door and an army of Eclipse mercs ready to take her head). He was planning to kill Kasumi from the start, the only way out would be through a squad of Eclipse mercs, so the guns and armour were a necessary precaution.
- Remember, it's Shepard we're talking about here. The guns and armor were almost certainly going to be needed.
Murky charges and instantaneous trials?
- When Tali is charged with treason why does no one in the entire flotilla think to actually tell her what she is being accused of? If someone is arrested for treason usually they're informed that it's for selling weapon technology to other nations or something of the sort, not just 'we think you betrayed us but we won't actually tell you why'. When you arrive at the flotilla Tali is instantly put on trial without even being told (again) what they think she did before the trial. How is anyone supposed to have a decent defence if they aren't even given a chance to consult with their appointed legal advocate about the charges or give the advocate enough time to look into the accusations? Adding insult to injury this is the system that one of the admiral's brags about having no 'legal loopholes' when it's nothing but weighted in favour of prosecution and politicised judges.
- Tali outright says why they don't tell her why she's being charged immediately: The specifics of treason charges like this are not transmitted on open channels. The quarians are not well-liked and they are not going to let possibly sensitive information of that nature be transmitted openly.
- As for jumping instantly into the trial, in case you didn't notice, the entire trial is a sham being used to slander Rael'Zorah's efforts to push for war with the geth. And you can call the Admiralty Board on their bullshit directly to their faces for springing the crimes so abruptly in Tali's face. Also keep in mind that the trials are extremely informal; it is entirely possible to either yell the judges down or incite a riot to force their ruling. Quarian trial procedure is extremely ad hoc by the nature of their society; more than a few of the arguments used essentially boil down to "stop being a jackass" and the judges yield to them. Remember what Tali says when she first tells you about the charges: trials like this are not the same as they are for humans, but are instead viewed among the quarians as a very, very unpleasant family meeting.
- The big thing is that the whole situation was basically a show trial. The quarian Admirals wanted someone to blame more than they cared about the actual guilt or innocence of Tali. The only way to exonerate Tali and keep her loyalty is to convince the judges that convicting Tali will create larger internal political problems than not having a scapegoat to be publicly punished.
- Also keep in mind that, much like with the Collector Ship mission earlier/later, Tali is being intentionally misled in order to provoke an authentic reaction to the news of the geth taking over her father's ship. This is so that they can determine if she was innocent regarding the matter of if she worked with her father to reconstruct geth; if she was told beforehand then her reaction would have been compromised and she could be seen as guilty. Obviously this is incredibly cruel towards poor Tali and she rightly calls out Shala'Raan for setting her up, but the logic remains all the same and for all intents and purposes, it worked.
No time to communicate survival to biased judges?
- After the events aboard the quarian ship you arrive back inside the regular quarian fleet to find that the admirals are about to declare Tali and Shepard dead and end the trial. So Shepard never took the time to send a simple message of 'we're still alive'? This is the same fleet that was willing to allow a Cerberus vessel among them, never gave any warnings about sending messages and was happy to allow their ship to come back even without making contact. They clearly aren't worried about geth infection.
- Maybe they refused to accept any transmission from that ship, with the risk that it could be geth software trying to spread itself.
- OP was referring to transmissions from the ship that Tali and Shepard return to the rest of the fleet on. If they were going to refuse transmissions from that ship it would be suicidal overconfidence to allow it near the admirals.
- The Admirals appeared to be in a closed session. They also seemed to have made up their minds, and I get the impression that Shepard deliberately held back on transmitting their survival to be properly dramatic.
Zero security for resurrected geth?
- It's crazy that Rael'Zorah decided to be so reckless with the number of geth he activated, but understandable considering his obsession. What isn't understandable is why they ever permitted the geth into the ship's computers instead of a nice, isolated network and why they decided to give the geth limbs or anything resembling tools that could help them rebuild themselves. They could have done their experiments just as easily with the geth unable to access the ship and unable to physically move or manipulate objects. Not even looking at internal security, why did they ever have the project on a ship that had functioning weapons?
- You're ascribing rationality to someone so obsessed with fighting the geth that he deliberately broke sacred three hundred year-old security laws regarding the geth just to test weaponry on their networks.
- Part of the reason the geth are so dangerous is they can hack any wireless device. If you sell Legion to Cerberus the Shadow Broker dossier mentions that Cerberus made sure to strip all nonessential electronics from the lab, and one of the researchers got chewed out just for bringing a datapad into the room where they were examining the pieces. If I were to hazard a guess, that's probably how the geth got loose on the quarian ship. Some idiot brought in a wireless device, maybe an omni-tool. The geth hacked it and summoned a bunch of combat drones which massacred everybody in the room, then the geth used the drones to reassemble a mobile platform, which reassembled a bunch more platforms, and so on.
Indoctrination is a bigger concern than morality?
- At the end of the game you're forced to choose between blowing up the Collector Base or keeping it for study. If you choose to blow it up why does the game force you to give idiotic speeches about how the Base isn't moral instead of being able to point out that there's the possibility of any team going in there getting Indoctrinated? Shepard has seen multiple examples of this around Reaper technology for over two years, why does s/he suddenly develop amnesia?
- Probably because the thing on Shepard's mind at that point is not the indoctrination but the fact that the Reapers are melting people down and turning them into more Reapers. that is first and foremost on Shepard's mind. There's also some indication that Shepard does considering indoctrination as a possibility, specifically calling the technology within an "abomination" and making it clear that s/he refuses to trust the Illusive Man with that technology.
- The base was Collector tech, not Reaper tech. At no point is Shepard ever given a clear reason to believe that Collector technology has the ability to Indoctrinate.
- Any differences between Collector tech and Reaper tech are superficial at best. The Collectors are mindless Reaper servants.
- Their tech is completely different. It's shown to have a very deliberate partial organic component, whereas Reaper tech seems to be based around super-advanced nanotechnology. It even LOOKS totally different. The only similarity is that both use husks/husk creatures as ground troops. In the Reapers' case, ALL of their troops are husked species, whereas the Collectors have been messing around with husks for millennia and have used the technology to create more interesting troop types like Praetorians. They've even been modifying and augmenting themselves in their period of isolation since being converted from Protheans into Prothean husks.
Virmire Survivor and Trauma
- I don't mean to complain about the Virmire survivor, but why does it seem like they're so much more traumatized by your death than anyone else? It seems like everyone should be affected equally, but the Virmire Survivor seriously freaks out when you turn out to be alive. Even if we ascribe the initial reaction to rumors spread by Cerberus, they immediately say a lot of things they apparently regret later and the whole thing haunts them so much they still can't face you six months later. What is it about Ashley and Kaidan that causes them to take your return and your temporary alliance with Cerberus so much harder than any of your other teammates?
- They're human, and Shepard is human, for one thing. The others aren't human, so while Shepard's death/disappearance is important and serious to them, they don't have the species link that the Virmire survivor has. The Virmire survivor also has another link to Shepard: you're both Alliance Marines; mutual military service in the same organization is an extremely strong link, especially when you're fighting alongside one another. The mutual connection of same species and same service, coupled with bond of brothers-in-arms, and the feeling of betrayal by joining Cerberus, results in such a severe response. The only other person who takes Shepard's death as badly is Liara.
- They're hardcore Alliance (especially Ashley), and Cerberus is a terrorist organization. Besides being shameful for humans, Cerberus has a history note of randomly killing humans for the evulz. And remember that the Alliance thinks that Cerberus is behind the colony attacks. Shepard, hero of the Citadel and poster-boy for the Alliance, just popped up after two years of supposedly being dead working for the very people they think is behind all of the missing colonies. Add to that you being their former CO (and possible love interest) then they would feel betrayed by you. It's not all that surprising how they react. And I know that if you romanced them, and weren't a complete jerk then they email you apologizing for how they reacted. It was purely emotional, and they were reacting based on seeing you again after they supposedly got over your death. You dredge up old scars (which I do believe is a response you can give for not contacting them) which was probably really painful for them.
- By agreeing to work with Cerberus - even if it isn't for them - Shepard is saying that the Alliance can't protect humans and needs Cerberus to get the job done. Your alien squadmates are willing to look past that. The currently enlisted Alliance marine who's only on Horizon because the Alliance was trying to protect the colony doesn't take it well.
- You chose them. You left someone close to them behind, to die in a nuclear blast while surrounded by angry geth, and saved them instead. You might have even slept with them. And then you died. And then you came back, apparently working for a known terrorist organization whose operations you spent quite a bit of time taking apart via blowing shit up in the last game. For all they know, you faked your death two years ago. That would mess anyone up.
Henry Lawson and his obsessive hunt for Oriana
- Why does Miranda's father keep hunting Oriana even after 19 years? He could just grow himself another baby. Miranda said she had many older sisters so it's not like he didn't have money to start his "Legacy Project" again and again. He could save time and use his money in a "better way". Miranda also said that Henry had an obsession to control all her life, he wished to has as much influence and power over her as possible to mold her in a way he determined. He wouldn't have this opportunity with Oriana. She was already an adult with two other people she saw as her parents. He wouldn't have as much influence over her as he wished. I just doesn't make sense to spend so much time and effort to bring her back.
- You're forgetting that this is Henry Lawson. He is obsessed about this whole legacy thing to well beyond anything resembling rationality. Also keep in mind he is working with Cerberus, and look at what happened at Sanctuary. This is not a man who is in any way in his right mind.
- Not to mention that Miranda - just by existing outside of his control, and by rejecting everything he wanted for her - royally pissed him off. And made it personal by taking Oriana. It's possible he wanted to spite her.
- From a gameplay perspective, what possible reason did they have to make the Hammerhead the way they did? Unlike the Mako you can't save your game while you're in it (which means that for some missions you have to start over again at the beginning if you die), you can't check the map or even get the same direction indicator you do on foot, you can't go over your squad's skill points and the amount of damage it can take is pitiable. When they took away everything bad about the Mako why did they decide to take away anything that was good about it?
- Because the Mako was designed for gameplay involving environments where you can dismount. The Hammerhead wasn't. It was designed for vehicle-exclusive sequences where you didn't even have a party.
- That's still, at most, only explaining one of the four. There's nothing about not being designed for foot missions that prevents the existence of a save option, a map/directional arrow or decent resilience.
- The Hammerhead is DLC, if I'm not mistaken. It was pretty much just thrown in there when the developers decided to have a few missions that weren't just enclosed corridors and shooting sections.
- The complete lack of good protection makes sense from a design perspective. More armor means more weight, which results in lower mobility. And the Hammerhead is a hovercraft. Hovercrafts need to constantly maintain an air cushion to float on, so it has to rely on air intakes somewhere else. Those intakes and downward thrusters are therefore weak points no matter how much armor you put on. And to make the engine more powerful to compensate for the armore, you will need bigger air intakes. Which means lesser armor. Seeing as how it might be near impossible to find a sweet spot of armor and mobility, the designer said "Screw it, we'll make this a Fragile Speedster" and took out all the armor.
- The Hammerhead works on Mass Effect principles, not air cushions. That's how it's able to boost up to the Normandy at the end of missions. The Hammerhead is just an infantry fighting vehicle that isn't designed for protracted firefights. A few hits from a Geth Colossus results in heavy damage even on lower difficulties. Conversely the Mako isn't designed for mobility or speed, but can take an absolute pounding. In terms of combat applications the Mako is a better vehicle. The Hammerhead was just a prototype. I still wanted it during Mass Effect 3, though - I hated the fact there were zero vehicle missions in the third game.
- No, the Hammerhead does use air cushions to hover. Notice how it bounces when you leap from an elevated ledge to the ground - that bounce is indicative of an air cushion. With a mass effect field only, you would gracefully glide down. Also, the Hammerhead sinks into either lava flows or acidic lakes. This is again indicative of its reliance on an air cushion - a sturdy one can't form on soft surfaces made of liquid. If only a mass effect field was being used, the Hammerhead would be able to hover there too.
Shepard's armor and Legion
- Legion apparently patched the damage he took on Eden Prime with an easily recognizable piece of Shepard's N7 armor that he picked up from the crash site. But during the Shadow Broker DLC we see a chunk of the armor that Liara picked up, and it's torched beyond all recognition. It's understandable that Liara could get a piece of the armor - she was in possession of Shepard's body for a while - but unless the armor broke into pieces upon impact with the planet (which would have left Shepard's body as a fine pulp, mind you) there's really no reason for Legion to have been able to find a piece of the armor at the crash site.
- Most likely it either wasn't a piece of Shepard's armor - a replica or another piece of N7 gear that Legion found and used - or it was another of Shepard's suits from the Normandy's storage locker. In fact, this likely explains how Shepard recovered his/her helmet. S/he's got to have a spare suit or two, or at least pieces of a suit, for repair or refitting.
- That's a good point. I had just figured that they slapped omni-gel on everything to repair it. The spare suit theory works, as it could have been intact and so Legion's replacement chunk wouldn't have been a lump of charcoal, but Shepard's helmet being on the planet is still strange, unless it was removed and left behind when his body was recovered.
- No, there's definitely something more to it. Consider Legion's response when Shepard asks him about it. He pauses for a moment, and you get the sense of an almost human reaction of embarrassment or confusion. Legion's response, "there was a hole," comes out in a weaker than normal tone of voice, suggesting a weak attempt at a lie or perhaps a blind guess because Legion doesn't really know himself. While it will never be officially explored, wouldn't it be interesting to discover that Legion gained his personal level of sentience (far above what an individual unit of his design would possess) due to an encounter with Shepard (leading to his battle damage in the first place), and therefore considered Shepard a sort of "father" to him?
Quarian on Omega and Value of Credits
- So I know this is pretty minor, but the quarian on Omega (whose name I forget) needs 1000 credits exactly. So someone please explain to me how you can buy, for example, a Shotgun Damage Upgrade for 50000 credits and he is still broke. I honestly don't get how that works considering 50000, as people...might have guessed, is more than..1000 credits.
- You're assuming he's making a 50000 credit profit, when he already points out that he's barely breaking even because the elcor merchant is forcing him to sell at prices that make it impossible for him to make enough money. He's likely already being forced to buy at a very high price and sell at a very low price, so he's probably only making a few hundred credits at best on each sale, which is barely enough money to pay his bills, buy food, and pay off protection costs. The one thousand lump sum you can pay him gives him enough additional cash on top of what he's making with his shop to get him the ticket off Omega. And another thing, the kid on Omega in Archangel's recruitment mission, he says his pistol cost him 50 credits. Does that mean Shepard is quite possibly the richest person in existence? If you import a rich Level 60 character to ME2, you get close to 400000 credits. That is apparently 8000 Carnifexes that Shepard could be just after Freedom's Progress.
- No. The pistol the kid is using is a piece of crap; Shepard demonstrates this by lightly rapping on it and making it malfunction. It's also likely a low-grade weapon; remember how cheap - and crappy - the Mark I weapons you were carrying at the start of the first game were. Also keep in mind local prices can vary. For example, in the real world, you can buy a brand new Kalashnikov assault rifle in Afghanistan from a street vendor for about $40, whereas in other areas it would cost thousands. It all depends on the market, location, who is selling, and supply and demand. The kid on Omega happened to find a seller who was selling low-grade pistols on the cheap.
Cerberus robot uprising
- This may be a result of me simply not paying enough attention, but what exactly caused the robot uprising in the Lazarus Project facility? At first, I thought the implication was that it was Wilson, but considering he'd been injured by the robots, it's pretty unlikely he was in control.
- Wilson was a Shadow Broker agent operating under the Broker's orders to scrub the station, and his control of the robots was a fortunate coincidence. As for why Wilson was injured, see Wounded Gazelle Gambit. When it was clear that Shepard wasn't being slowed by the mechs and was headed to where he was staying, he ordered a mech to shoot him non-lethally, and then "hid" for Shepard to "rescue." Sure, he could have just hid without injuring himself, but this way averted suspicion better. Miranda wasn't fooled because only she and Wilson could program the robots to do such a thing, and she sure as hell didn't.
- What evidence did she have that Wilson was the only one who could do it? Jacob showed surprise when Wilson claimed he was trying to stop the attack because Wilson was in a completely different branch and shouldn't have been able to. Sure the Shadow Broker's base confirms this, but Miranda didn't have that data at the time.
- Miranda was the project leader. She'd be the one to know who had clearance, she could check who accessed the system and changed the programming and she was probably reading his mail and journal, as she'll later do to Shepard. Miranda is the perfect position to know he's a traitor, we just don't know that at the time until we get a better grasp on her character and her role in the project.
- What in the world is Hock's accent? Australian? Eastern European? Something else? It drove me insane during the DLC mission.
- South African.
- Alright, if you spare the rachni queen in the previous game in this one you meet an asari who suggests that the Reapers caused the rachni to launch their attack. The question is, why? Why would the Reapers do that? Everything we hear about the Rachni Wars suggests that they were pushing the other species to extinction. Doesn't that contradict information we learn about the Reapers in the third game?
- Because the Reapers weren't actually behind it. It was the Leviathans.
- That they were Levaiathan's pawns was never established as anything more than a theory (an unlikely one, given that using rachni coordinates fails to yield anything). For all we know, the rachni just stumbled on a Reaper indoctrination sphere and went nuts because of it.
- It being the Leviathans does make sense when you take into account that the rachni were neither husked and a prolonged war would have required cooperative Queens, and Queens can't be indoctrinated. The Leviathans used a different, more direct form of mind control which likely could have worked on a Queen. All they'd been is a few of their artifacts in the Queens and there you go.
- Granted, it being Leviathan's doing doesn't make a whole lot more sense, either, given that Leviathan has no apparent interest in wiping out galactic civilization. If it was the reapers, the obvious answer is that they were Soveriegn's first attempt at slave mooks to retake the citadel before he came upon the more reliable geth. Either way, I think it's safe to say that whichever one of them it was, whatever they tried to do with the rachni simply didn't work and accomplished nothing but driving them into a frenzy. Alternatively the historical record in regards to the war has been skewed by two thousand years and projected fears; knowing nothing about the reapers or leviathan and their plans, the people of the time had no context for what the rachni were attempting, so they might have just assumed they were being targeted for extermination.
- Perhaps the queen wasn't talking about the Reapers as those responsible for her species' corruption but the Collectors. Who in a later mission are revealed to be huskified Protheans. In Mass Effect 3 Javik mentions that it was the Protheans who via a eugenics program turned the rachni from just big bugs that sang to each other all the time, to cunning aggressive and warlike soldiers. And then because it had Gone Horribly Right, the Protheans had to wipe all of them out. Probably the ones fought by the Council races was The Remnant of that breeding program, still acting on their compunction to make war.
- Leviathan would have no reason to send the Rachni on a rampage like that. It was almsot certainly Reapers, or more specifically Sovereign. Likely using the Rachni as a first attempt at causing a large enough distraction among the Council to let him have a shot at activating the Citadel Rely after realising the Keepers weren't responding.
- Who's to say it wasn't both? The Reapers and the Leviathans may have tried to take control of the Rachni for their own purposes, and since it's established that a Hive Mind can resist indoctrination, the Rachni probably fought against it. However, the combined attempts at mind control from two incredibly powerful species likely drove the Rachni insane, which caused their hostility towards the Citadel races at first contact. It's a bit of WMG, but it's rather plausible considering Leviathan Enthrallment and Reaper Indoctrination in conflict can bear some rather... interesting results (Awakened Collectors anyone?).
Niket's Poor Observational Skills
- During Miranda's Loyalty Mission it's revealed that it was Niket who was going to hand Oriana over to Miranda's father. When questioned his only defense is that he grew up poor and he wouldn't want anyone else to suffer that way. Did he never notice that, from all indicators, Oriana's adoptive family was successful on Illium? That's the planet where your team comments make it clear that you're either successful enough or you're toast? Did Niket really think that being kidnapped and forced to be the tool of an emotionally abusive rich parent would be better than staying with a moderately successful loving family?
- Niket's motivation isn't that he didn't want Oriana to be poor. His motivation was anger that Miranda had lied to him for their whole lives about who and what she was, and that he was being paid a lot of money by Miranda's father. The poverty is just a poor excuse that everyone sees through almost instantly.
- Niket is not ever implied to have sold out for the cash. Ever. He was pissed at Miranda for not telling him, and wouldn't have agreed to helping her steal Oriana in the first place. Helping someone leave a situation they don't want to be in is one thing, kidnapping a baby is something else entirely. Niket does not have firsthand experience with Henrey Lawson's abuse and control over Miranda. He knows he's not someone he wants to associate with and that Miranda hates him but Miranda isn't exactly known for her willingness to share details about her personal life. If you stop Miranda from shooting him he even decides to stop. Niket makes a poor decision as a reaction to finding out he helped in something he doesn't agree with. He's lacking important context for the actions and makes the wrong call.
- No, cash was part of the reason why he did what he did. You can bluntly ask him, even. See here at 3:30. Cash wasn't the whole of his motivation - he admits to anger over Miranda distorting the truth about Oriana and fears of Oriana growing up poor - but money was at least a part of it.
Shepard: How much did Miranda's father pay you?
Niket: A great deal.
- That just shows that he got paid well. It was an 'if I'm going to backstab my childhood friend I should at least be well paid for it' moment, not a motivation.
Quarian Translation Problems
- Why is it that of all the words, phrases and sayings in the galaxy the only one that your machine translators can't translate is the quarian's "keelah se'lai". Do they have similar, never mentioned trouble with "imshallah" or "cool"?
- Probably because the phrase only makes sense from the quarians' perspective. According to the Mass Effect wiki, the phrase means "by the homeworld (keelah) I hope to see one day (se'lai)", and not only is the translation unnecessarily longer, it also becomes more of a non-sequitur than a general benediction from the perspective of a non-quarian. And speaking of un-translated words, Thane's "siha" also remains untranslated, and for the same reasons. In his case, "siha" refers to an angel of the drell goddess Arashu, a reference a non-drell is unlikely to know.
- This is the same as Star Trek's Klingons being able to randomly say words that aren't translated. In some scenes, it really is as if they have a button on their translators that they hit whenever they want to say a Klingon word in Klingon. Qapla!
- Probably because the phrase only makes sense from the quarians' perspective. According to the Mass Effect wiki, the phrase means "by the homeworld (keelah) I hope to see one day (se'lai)", and not only is the translation unnecessarily longer, it also becomes more of a non-sequitur than a general benediction from the perspective of a non-quarian. And speaking of un-translated words, Thane's "siha" also remains untranslated, and for the same reasons. In his case, "siha" refers to an angel of the drell goddess Arashu, a reference a non-drell is unlikely to know.
We Must Destroy the Base
- There are many reasons that Shepard should destroy the Collector base. The risk of indoctrination; untrustworthiness of Cerberus; dangers of relying on reaper technology, and so on. But in-game, none of characters seem to touch upon practical causes like these. Instead they either inadequately explain themselves or come up with moral arguments that I frankly find illogical. The general argument given seems to be "the base and its tech has done done monstrous things, it must be destroyed." I don't think this kind of moralizing comes across as logical, especially when applied to inanimate objects. In the end, the Illusive Man's counterpoints seem quite reasonable. This also makes it seem odd when reaper tech is reverse-engineered at other times with no issues made.Can someone explain things?
- Can you give specific arguments that the crew uses beyond a vague general summary?
- Shepard: They liquified people, turned them into something horrible. We have to destroy the base." "No matter what kind of technology we find, it's not worth it." "I won't let fear compromise who I am." Miranda: "I'm not so sure. Seeing it firsthand... Using anything from this base seems like a betrayal."
- I don't think the destruction of the base is meant to be a logical choice; it's meant to be a moral, emotional one. That being said, you can pointedly tell the Illusive Man that you're destroying it because you don't trust him to not abuse the technology and the power he'd gain from it which is exactly what he does.
- That's the thing, any moral arguments that are brought up seem unreasonable or nonsensical.
- So does the premise of people being stuck into tubes and melted to make up a giant robot fetus. I think it kind of comes down to that separation; we're sitting here on our couches(or wherever you like to game) just playing a game and having a good time. Shepard and crew just witnessed people being melted, and used to build an abomination against all things sacred and holy. I'd imagine that if I just watched someone pounding against the glass, struggling to break free as the very fibers of their body dissolved, I would want to destroy everything that had to do with that. From a cold, logical, military standpoint, it would be a mistake; even if you weren't planning on using any of the tech in the base yourself, you could gain valuable insight and understanding about your enemies. From a sheer gut instinct level, however, the simple desire to destroy it because of how wrong it all is is understandable. And again, the bigger issue is that, and Shep can tell TIM this in 3, right to his holographic face, Shep destroyed the base specifically to keep it out of his hands, because Shep couldn't/didn't didn't trust what TIM might do with it.
- The argument Shepard makes is not just "the base and its tech has done monstrous things" but "the base and its tech were made to do, and have done, monstrous things." Those devices that liquefy the colonists aren't repurposed tech, they were made for that purpose. In that case, moral arguments are more than enough weight. Second, Shepard can allude to the untrustworthiness of Cerberus in that conversation if the first paragon option is chosen. The second paragon option has Shepard say to the Illusive Man, and I quote: "You're completely ruthless. Next you'll be wanting to grow your own Reaper." In addition, in the debriefing after the Suicide Mission ( assuming Shepard survived the Suicide Mission) there is an option where Shepard points out Cerberus' untrustworthiness to the Illusive Man; if you destroy the base one thing Shepard can say "I know what you are, and the price of dealing with you!" If you save the base, Shepard can point out Cerberus' dark history and can warn the Illusive Man "You get selfish - you start dreaming about power - and we'll all pay the price"; both ending have Shepard call out Illusive Man when he talks about using Collector tech for human dominance: "Human dominance or just Cerberus?" Which the Illusive Man tries to deflect by saying that Cerberus IS humanity. The Illusive Man kept trying to counter Shepard with ends justify the means type thinking, but has demonstrated a clear and selfish agenda (a rationalist perspective, albeit not always, can and has been used to make excuse that enable atrocities; ones that some rationalists themselves usually won't oppose until they're the ones on the receiving end). The actual moral argument is "If you're using the enemy's means, you're being just as bad as they are, so what's the point of fighting them other than a selfish power grab, since you're just swapping one evil individual for another?"
Mordin and Thane's Kepral's Syndrome?
- So, when you talk to Thane the first time, you start probing him about his disease and find out about Kepral's Syndrome. But when thane talks about it he says that there is no cure and quote If the finest minds in the Hanar Illuminated Primacy cannot think of a cure for my condition, I doubt very much there is anything Dr. Chakwas can do about it. That is a very logical conclusion. However, Thane left out of his considerations the Salarian Biology Savant in the fully equipped top tier lab, right above his quarters! Mordin even seems to specialise in diseases. He was enough of a Gadgeteer Genius to develop a cure for an lethal multi-species plague designed by the (technologically advanced) Collectors, in a make-shift lab in a poor slum of OMEGA. In his past he modified the most fiendishly complex and incurable bio-engineered disease in the galaxy. So why did nobody think that investigating Kepral's Syndrome was a better use of Mordin's time than figuring out how a sexually transmitted disease exclusive to Varren got onto the Normandy???
- Because the finest minds of an entire interstellar nation-state were making no headway on it. Remember that Mordin was not the one who altered the genophage, it was a massive team of the best geneticists in the Salarian Union who modified the genophage. Mordin has a single small lab and he's got a ton of work to do on a lot more than just biological diseases. The scale-itch issue is relatively simple; that's likely little more than a check of the crew's medical records during their time on the ship.
- There's also the minor point that Shepard can't actually tell Mordin what to do. Mordin is a volunteer, Shepard has as much authority over him as Mordin decides to allow him/her. Mordin is checking out a cure for Vrolik's Syndrome and looking into the scale itch issue on his own, because he felt like doing so in his spare time. The most Shepard could do is make a request that Mordin look into it if he gets some time, which Mordin was probably doing anyway but just didn't come up with anything useful since his main priority is researching the Collectors and their tech. Shepard only really has authority over Miranda and Jacob (because the Illusive Man decided Shepard was in charge of the mission), Zaeed and Kasumi (via their contracts), Samara (because of her oath to serve his/her will for the duration of the mission), and Tali (after her loyalty mission he's/she's officially her Captain).
- Okay. So the big problem of the Alpha Relay was that once the Reapers hit it, they could swarm across the galaxy that much faster. But then when you plow a freaking asteroid into it, the timer winds down to less than two hours before the Reapers hit the relay, which means that even at FTL speeds they had to be pretty close. So...why exactly were the Reapers not wiped out when a freaking star system they were flying headlong into was completely obliterated by the detonation of the Relay?
- Two hours' travel is probably a massive distance. I doubt they would be anywhere near the system.
- Reapers are capable of travelling at 30 light years a day. At two hours' time out from the Alpha Relay, that would put them at more than two light years from the system. The supernova from the Relay exploding wouldn't touch them. Doing some quick calculations: speed of light is 173 AU in one day, multiplied by 365 to show AU in one light year, multiplied by thirty to get AU in 30 ly for Reaper FTL speeds gives us the amount of AU covered by the Reapers in a day: 1,894,350 AU in one day. Divide by 24 for AU in one hour, then multiply times two for AU covered in two hours at maximum speed: 157, 862.5 AU covered in those two hours between boom and arrival. Your average solar system is about 30 AU across. Couple this with the indication from the Relay detonation that unlike a supernova, you're not going to have superhot stellar gases covering the system for millions of years after the detonation, and it's pretty clear that the Reapers missed the lethal blast radius by a pretty huge margin.
- That's assuming the Reapers were travelling with their own drives, rather than arriving via the Alpha Relay.
- If they were travelling via relay they would have already arrived. Relay transition is instantaneous.
- Original poster here. They were heading for the Alpha Relay, the one you blew up. And I just replayed the DLC, and I must admit I made a huge error - when you wake up from sedation, it's down to two hours. When you wake up from the explosion Kenson set off, it's down to less than half an hour. Adapting your math, that's .625 light years away from the Relay at most when you wake up, and a total of 39,465.625 AU to cover in the time between detonation and hitting the relay. It's probably far less by the time you get out. Assuming that the system Aratoht was in was average sized (it's hard to tell, with no scale on the galaxy map), and taking into account that the blast wave you see Shepard looking at on the galaxy map just after making the jump, it still seems like some of them should at least have had the paint taken off their bumpers. However, it's possible that considering you talk to Harbinger on the asteroid, he figured out what was going on and had them hit the brakes.
- They weren't caught in the blast. It's been demonstrated above that they are nowhere near it when the relay explodes, so they didn't get scratched or have to hit any brakes.
Mordin and the Genophage, Shepard's weak arguments against.
- First off, let me start by saying that Mordin is one of my favorite characters in Mass Effect and that I love his story arch and respect, though disagree with, his actions in relation to the modified Genophage. However, it seems to me that there are two very solid arguments against the genophage that Mordin doesn't seem to consider and that Shepard can't bring up. They are as follows;
- 1: Prior to being uplifted, Tuchanka's natural harshness and krogan's natural infighting kept their mortality rate at such that only one in every 1,000 survived. Once they were uplifted off of their Death World, they started breeding out of control. The purpose of the genophage was to stabilise their population back down to the 1 in 1,000. The problem is that in response to the genophage, the vast majority of krogan and virtually all krogan females returned to Tuchanka, were a 1 in 1,000 birthrate is unsustainable, hence their slow extinction. Now, I'm not entirely clear on why the krogan relocated, whether it due to their own decision to take their ball and go home after loosing the rebellions, or if the Council forced them back into their own space. Whatever the reason, Mordin should have known that keeping the modified genophage at the rate it was at would kill them if they stayed on Tuchanka.
- Your problem here is that you got your facts twisted. All the krogan females are on Tuchanka, yes, but the vast majority of males leave Tuchanka once they're adults and never look back, THAT is the problem. The genophage would work properly but the krogan refuse to wade through the hundreds of still born to actually maintain their population and just decide to look for glory in space as mercenaries or pirates instead. That's why Wrex was so depressed in the first game. He understood they needed to dedicate themselves to breeding to increase their numbers, at least for a generation or two, but most of the other krogan didn't want to listen and just continued their self-destructive behaviour, and that's only gotten worse since the krogan have lost hope. And Tuchanka isn't THAT dangerous to the krogan's numbers anymore, now that they've got advanced weapons and vehicles. I mean, every single adult krogan has fought a Thresher Maw on foot (not killed but fought) and lived to tell the tale and that's just their puberty ritual, in an actual fight they'd use appropriate weapons. The krogan are their own worst enemy until Wrex and Eve start running things.
- The krogans ' problem with the genophage isn't that it damped their population growth to be too low to account for the hazards of living on Tuchanka. Far from it, the Krogan are now industrialised and weaponised to easily be able to survive on that death world. Even the codex says that once the Krogan invented guns, death by gunshot became the leading cause of death, surpassing the number of deaths due to predation. Instead, the Krogan issue with the genophage is that it prevents them from continuing their brutal kill or be killed and only the strong survive culture. They fight and kill each other over every little petty thing so often that they are essentially committing autogenocide.
- 2: Mordin insists that the genophage does not kill, and that it only affects fertility. However according to Wrex and Eve, it doesn't affect conception, rather it results in miscarriages and stillbirths, with the implication that pregnancies can fail rather late term. Now, it's a whole nasty can of worms as to whether or not this counts as killing, but Mordin really seems to be glossing over just how traumatic this must be for the krogan.
- Assumes human morality and human reaction once again. The Krogan never really cared if all thousand younglings born in a clutch survived. If you listen to Patriarch's ramblings long enough, he talks about Krogan siblings killing each other the moment they can pick up a weapon. Apparently that fit in to their "become strong by climbing over the bodies of the weak" philosophy. Okeer even complains that now every young Krogan born is mollycoddled and branded as precious.
- I think the above post takes Okeer's POV and presents it as how all Krogan think, which isn't the case.
- To be honest, the weakness of these arguments and the issues they bring up may well be the point. Note that by the third game, Mordin has stopped believing the genophage was the right thing and is actively trying to reverse its effects. He seemed to have realised the weakness of his justifications.
- Mordin actually remained pretty consistent in his views on the genophage. Talking to him in his Loyalty Mission reveals that he is open to curing the genophage if Krogan culture changes to be more diplomatic and peaceful. While treating Eve, he came to see her as a major game changer and cultural pivot point for the Krogan. Meeting Wrex convinces him that Eve now has a fellow reformist to aid her. Which is why as long as either of them is still alive, he sees them as being able to change the Krogan. Only when both are dead does he finally go ahead with the sabotage, because he realises that with both the reformers dead, Krogan society isn't going to change for the better anytime soon. A Sunk Cost Fallacy still initially has him try to cure the 'phage, but he can be talked out of it.
- It always seemed to me that the problem was never the use of the genophage. It was a rational solution to the fundamental problem of Krogan birthrates and aggressive expansion. The problem arose when it was the only solution enacted. What should have followed was extensive stewardship by the council races specifically to uplift the Krogan socially in order to have their culture advance to where they could be responsible galactic citizens, whether or not the genophage remained in place. By failing to make stewardship part of the equation, the genophage became a problem rather than an element of addressing the mistake of uplifting the Krogan so rapidly in the first place.
- This stewardship would have involved trying to change the innards of Krogan culture, and they would have been extremely resistant to it. They would have experienced population growth even with the genophage if it wasn't for all that internecine warfare between clans. The genophage corrected for all possible natural causes of death on Tuchanka such as diseases and predation, it doesn't and cannot correct for deaths due to clan infighting. Wrex realized this and tried to convince the Krogan to temporarily halt all that clan warfare and grow their population steadily. And his response was an attempt at Offing the Offspring, and even later Wreav is all too willing to commit fratricide over Wrex bringing a salarian onto the hollows. If they respond this way to an internal reformer, how do you think they would respond to external exhortations to change themselves? Very badly. There would have been a Krogan insurgency on Tuchanka.
- How does he afford all those games? Especially the Fundraising-edition? You'd think that the Geth get all their resources from their planet since they (the other 95%) don't interact with the other races. And even Legion wouldn't have really needed it. As Shepard once noted, you can pack Geth tightly, so he could have just stuffed himself into a crate and went along in the storage-cargo.
- Considering that they're an elite team of special commandos operating on an hyper-advanced starship bankrolled by one of the most powerful private organizations in the galaxy, money - especially money to buy something as inexpensive as a few videogames - is not a real issue. Keep in mind that the geth do have contact with organics, going by how Legion says that the geth actively observe and experiment on organic, which means that they would easily be able to insert geth into the extranet to steal credits from banks and other sources of funding.
- Legion. Avatar of the Geth. Awesome sniper. Incredibly guilty of game piracy. Alternatively, Shepard extends discretionary funds to his squad, or the Geth have been playing the stock market to build up funds in case they need to interact with organics.
- Alternately alternatively, he followed Shepard's example and found the credits by poking through some crates.
- So... were the Collectors, or at least the Collector General, simply mindless puppets incapable of any independent thought? Or were they self aware and sentient beings capable of thinking on their own, if the Reapers had not been controlling their minds? Exactly how much control were the Reapers actually exerting over them? The fact that Harbinger accuses the General of failing him, even though he was controlling him throughout the entire game, is a little confusing... but when the General is finally released from the Harbinger's control, he seems confused and dismayed just before the explosion kills him, which implies he did possess at least some level of self awareness and intelligence, as well as emotional capability.
- On the other hand, we do know that they have some degree of self-control or self-management, as they're able to operate independently under orders from higher up. The fact that Harbinger has to possess one to control it directly means that the individual Collectors do have some semblance of independence. They might not be the best conversationalists, massively indoctrinated (50k+ years around nothing but Reaper tech?) and implanted to an even greater degree than Saren.
- What about the General?
- He pretty much collapses as soon as Harbinger utters "Releasing Control"
- It was pretty obvious the Collectors were following orders and weren't being constantly controlled. It's more ambiguous as to whether Harbinger was controlling the General constantly (my guess is not). The Collectors were given orders by their Reaper master, who monitored them regularly and even took control of individuals in order to assist.
- Also note how the Collector controlled by Harbinger speaks to the others when it says to prepare the humans for "ascension"; why would that be necessary if they were mindless minions?
- Mass Effect 3 confirms that there is some sentience to the Collectors, as when the Leviathans' mind-control spheres are used on them, some of them were actually freed completely from Reaper control and willingly joined the allied Citadel forces.
Why Did Cerberus Want You to Recruit Jack
- So The Illusive Man knew what had been done to Jack at the base. He knew what Jack's personality was and her lack of interest in any higher goals. He knew how powerful and prone to destruction she was. But he still told Shepard to recruit her for what's openly a Cerberus mission with what are described as very low odds of success and provided no reason for Jack would remain under control, let alone willingly go along on the mission? Was there some mixed up scriptsnote or something?
- TIM said it explicitly: Shepard was going to need the best of the best. TIM also said that Shepard was a natural leader and that he had confidence that Shepard could convince Jack to join. It was essentially "You want a powerful biotic, here you go. Good luck recruiting said biotic." TIM simply provided the name and location and means to get Jack out; the onus for everything else was on Shepard.
- Looking at TIM's after mission reports show him using the missions to further Cerberus goals for later on. If Shepard manages to get Jack to cooperate then she's finally doing what they always wanted her to do, use her powers to further their goals, just with Shepard acting as a buffer to keep her calm. It's likely they would have made an attempt to reclaim her once the Suicide Mission was completed but with Shepard, EDI, Miranda and Jacob all flipping TIM the bird he missed his chance.
- Another reason is that TIM doesn't trust Liara. While he is OK with Shepard recruiting a turian, salarian and probably a Krogan too, he is uncomfortable with Liara being privy to Shepard's operations. Because her assistant Nyxeris is feeding info to the Shadow Broker, who in turn is working for the Collectors. So the best possible candidate to replace Liara as the pure biotic is Su Ze.
- I think the bigger question is: why didn't Jack sabotage your ship or disappear the first time you hit Omega? If you don't give her the Cerberus data and haven't done her loyalty mission yet, what reason does she have to stick by you?
- The Normandy is relatively safe compared with the unknowns on Omega, and Jack is confident that she can kill anyone on the Normandy if they mess with her. She might not like Cerberus but she's better off on their ship with other renegades and unknowns compared to hopping off and getting mixed up in shit on Omega.
Jack's loyalty mission
- In Jack's loyalty mission, you end up confronting the only other survivor, a guy called Aresh who wants to restart the facility. You can convince Jack to let him go, but shortly afterwards you plant a huge bomb in her cell and blow the place up. Is it really that likely that he managed to make it out?
- There's a pretty significant time delay between letting Aresh go and blowing up the facility, and the Blood Pack troops didn't sprout from the firmament. Aresh likely ran back to the ships they used to get there and hightailed it out.
- If you let him go, Aresh is confirmed via an e-mailed news report to have died fighting off Reaper ground forces to give time for another civilian shuttle to evacuate, so he did in fact make it out alive.
Jacob's loyalty mission
- Jacob's loyalty mission. Eight years. No children.
- So the flora screws up more than just your brain?
- Either that, or none of the women were allowed to carry to term, which opens up a whole other can of Fridge Horror.
- Maybe long-term contraceptives are commonplace?
- We already have reversible contraceptive methods that work for ~10 years without further maintenance (copper IUD). I could easily see long-term birth control becoming the norm for human women who leave human space and don't want to get pregnant. It would be hard to get a steady supply of "your brand" of The Pill in alien space, especially if you're moving from place-to-place frequently. Plus it's relatively inconvenient compared to the one-and-done solution.
Overlord and the Hammerhead VI
- Overlord DLC. The Rogue VI has taken over security mechs, geth units, a geth cannon, and the station's computer system. Gavin Archer is worried that Legion might get hacked too if you bring them. So why is no one worried about the M-44 Hammerhead's VI? Especially since you have to drive around on the planet in it!
- Because its not on the same network and is not communicating with any of the VI's systems. Just because its an electronic intelligence doesn't mean it can be instantly hacked.
Zaeed's loyalty mission
- Kind of a small thing, but really bugs me. Mass Effect 2. The Paragon ending of Zaeed's loyalty mission has Vido escape in a gunship, with Zaeed yelling and shooting mostly ineffectually at said gunship as it retreats. In most shows this is a fairly well-justified We Will Meet Again scenario (by the time Shepard finds transport Vido is long gone), but not this time: Shepard has a frigate in orbit that probably outguns and out-flies the (likely atmosphere-bound) gunship by several orders of magnitude. Vido didn't have to escape; all they had to do was have the orbiting Normandy track it with sensors and pursue in the shuttle. Or better yet, just have the Normandy itself come in and shoot it down. Point is, Vido shouldn't have escaped but for Plot-Induced Stupidity on the part of Shepard.
- Zorya is the headquarters of the Blue Suns, the galactic mercenary Mega Corp. army whose leader you just tried to kill. Vido gets away because he's got countless other bases on the planet to retreat to, all of which will have more guards who will now be on alert for Shepard, as well as a fleet of warships that will no doubt be coming to back him up as well. The only reason Zaeed has a chance to kill Vido is because he happened to be at that refinery, out in the open where Zaeed can kill him.
- Which doesn't mean Shepard can't get on her comm and say 'Joker - intercept that gunship!' It was written as a 'Zaeed doesn't get what he wants' situation to show that Shepard is in charge. It's cool that you can easily still get his loyalty even if Vido escapes.
- There is a reason why you insert and extract in a shuttle instead of the SR 2 just landing near the AO. A heavy frigate like the Normandy is a big huge target for anti-ship cannons. The Normandy’s stealth system is a heat sink meant to hide from IR sensors in space, so it will be useless in broad daylight in a planet’s atmosphere. Shepard calls in the Normandy, and the Blue Suns just blow it out of the sky.
- Zorya is the headquarters of the Blue Suns, the galactic mercenary Mega Corp. army whose leader you just tried to kill. Vido gets away because he's got countless other bases on the planet to retreat to, all of which will have more guards who will now be on alert for Shepard, as well as a fleet of warships that will no doubt be coming to back him up as well. The only reason Zaeed has a chance to kill Vido is because he happened to be at that refinery, out in the open where Zaeed can kill him.
- A snippet of dialogue from the Citadel's groundskeeper. Even though it was cut, obviously it nonetheless indicates that Turians do not possess mammary glands. Therefore, they are not mammals. So... how do they reproduce? Eggs??
- Why are you assuming Earth-specific biology and classifications apply to something that evolved on a completely different planet? Just because they don't have obviously Earth-mammal glands doesn't mean they don't have an analogue.
- Just because a species isn't a mammal doesn't mean they can't give birth to live young. Even on Earth, there are snakes, reptiles, insects, fish and even plants that produce live young! The only thing "live birth" and "having funny bumps" have in common is that Earth mammals happen to do both. We already know that a species without breasts can give live birth, and I don't see any logical reason why an egg-hatching species couldn't feed its freshly-hatched babies with breast milk.
Kasumi's value in the Suicide Mission
- Why would a team carrying out what is essentially a direct action strike operation on an enemy base, have any necessity for a master thief? They aren't sneaking into the Collector Base to steal statuettes and bearer bonds, they are looking to annihilate it. Sure, she is a viable option in the vents, but so are two others, both of whom also provide extremely useful upgrades that save lives, or assist in combat. Her skills are geared towards debuffs, distraction, incapacitation and misdirection, not outright kills, and her real coolness factor only comes from her setting up a bar on the ship and being a gossipy hen.
- Because when the Illusive Man was setting up the team for Shepard, he chose the best at a wide variety of duties. He was not planning for a direct assault on a fortified enemy base, he was preparing a team to cover any eventuality. A master thief and infiltration specialist would be extremely useful for a variety of non-combat related duties, and no one else on the team has the same capacity for infiltration. That there's no real immediate need for infiltration on the Collector Base assault does not make Kasumi's addition to the team nonsensical, because no one was planning for a direct assault on the Collector Base in the first place. The original mission was to get through the Omega-4 Relay and proceed from there.
- That would make sense if she was a NPC who would do her sneaking and hacking in the background but couldn't participate in combat. Make her Loyalty Mission an Escort Mission and if completed, she can be used for the vents then sent back. Heck, if she's been "bought" use her as a NPC who significantly changes how many other missions were done. You and your squad distract people while she turns on the fans on Mordin's recruitment mission, closes the shutters on Garrus' recruitment mission, shuts off the valves in Zaeed's loyalty mission while you chase after Vido. No need to bring her in for combat.
- Except she's perfectly viable in combat, particularly when she sneaks up on a target to take them out. She generally needs some help from Shepard to get the best out of her, but she's still an effective fighter.
- Which is the point. She can be effective only with other more combat oriented squadmates assisting her. Shadow Strike is actually a weaker tech attack against health compared to others, Flashbang Grenades don't do lethal damage and Overload is situational. Unlike all other squadmates who are perfectly capable of racking up kills due to biotics, more devastating tech attacks, or the ability to carry bigger guns, Kasumi cannot rack up kills on her own. Tali and Legion, fellow tech experts have a shotgun and sniper rifle respectively. While Mordin the other tech very slightly edges her out with Incinerate and Cryogenic Blast, both effective at range, unlike Shadow Strike, which leaves her vulnerable amongst enemies once cast.
- Judging her utility by raw damage is disingenuous. Shadow Strike is extremely effective because it can be used both as a finisher against weakened enemies and a distraction. Note that when Kasumi executes the power, she's actually invulnerable to attack, and enemies reprioritise her as a target for the few seconds she's visible. Kasumi's not there to get kills, she's there to either weaken or finish off targets. If you're rating her utility based on damage output, you're doing it wrong, as all of her abilities are based around stunning, distracting, and debuffing enemies, which she does really, really well.
- She is basically like a less lethal option as far as combat goes. But then why go out of the way to make this less lethal option a squad member as opposed to a NPC? Especially when the whole rest of the dossiers consist of people who are specialists in one form of lethal ground combat or the other. If the rest of the squad roster read like an away team consisting of soldiers and non combatant scientists or maybe even a negotiation specialist to talk the collectors out of hostility a less lethal thief would have made sense as another option available. Instead the regular dossier is packed full of people who are soldiers in some form or other. Consider Mordin's case - the Illusive Man could have assigned you any medical tech researcher, but he gave you the one who is ex Special Forces. And the other "scientist" he had you recruit was Okeer, a warlord. The only reason why your squad consists only of ground combat specialists is because the Illusive Man expects you to strike the Collectors beyond the Omega 4 Relay. He even says so after Horizon when Shepard asks him for targets to hit. If Kasumi's Shadow Strike was outright lethal like the Shadow Infiltrator of the third game's multiplayer, or her grenades killed instead of stunned, her addition would have been consistent. Instead making your tech based infiltrator less lethal hamstrings Shepard when s/he uses her. The less lethal option could have been replaced by a third squad member who racked up kills and helped complete missions more quickly.
- As I said before, judging her by her lethality is completely disingenuus. She's not there to kill other targets, she's there to open them up to be killed. She's a distraction who pulls fire off of Shepard, stuns enemies forces them out of cover, and disrupts shields/possibly stuns others, depending on build. In RPG parlance, Kasumi is a debuffer/crowd control specialist, and she does this job very well, allowing Shepard and his/her other squadmate to quickly kill enemies who are exposed by her powers.
- It's also implied that TIM is using the Suicide Mission to look at possible asset recruits for Cerberus, and expects Shepard to bring everyone back alive - the best thief in the galaxy would be a great asset to Cerberus if she survives, and if Kasumi dies, TIM has lost nothing.
- Her loyalty mission also doesn't make sense. Her lover specifically told her that what he had found was very dangerous information that could cause great harm to the human race if made public. The weapons dealer Donovan Hock keeps this very dangerous information securely protected and reinforced with a gunship and a company of mercenaries. So the information is presumably secure. On the other hand, the person who wants to steal it is the type who is very gossipy and nosy. Who in their right mind would ever think that such sensitive information should be handed over to her? Of course if your Shepard is played as a Manipulative Bastard, they could participate in the heist, destroy the grey box and then intentionally get Kasumi killed in the Suicide Mission. But even then, too much time could elapse between the heist and the trip through the Omega 4 relay, allowing our thief to spill her guts about an Alliance raid that Went Horribly Wrong.
- It's possible that she wants the greybox from Donovan Hock because she sees him as an untrustworthy weasel who would sell the information to the highest bidder. Also, Kasumi is likely more valuable on the missions leading up to the Suicide Mission (they might have been planning to leave her behind, but then the Normandy crew get kidnapped making every extra gun count). Plus, IIRC, people only know that Kasumi wants the greybox which contains her dead lover's memories. She only tells Shepard about the Batarian raid.
- Just because Kasumi happens to be gossipy and nosy about trivial matters relating to her colleagues and friends doesn't mean that she's the same way with crucial government secrets. The fact that once she recovers the data, she doesn't spread the information around indicates as much. As for leaving the data in the hands of Hock, you're forgetting that Hock is a major league criminal who quite proudly talks about how he is one of the "cleaners" who does the "dirty work" and hosts huge parties with people who are in the same league, and is aggressively trying to unlock Keiji's graybox to get the secrets within. He's not trying to unlock Keiji's secrets so he can use them to help starving orphans. Kasumi is vastly more trustworthy regarding the data than Hock.
- A spec ops soldier like Shepard would be very wary of someone with loose lips like Kasumi. Could have made for an interesting choice in the end of her Loyalty Mission. Take a chance and trust her with the grey box and she helps you as a stealthy background character on many missions, making them go much easier for you, probably even poking through crates and acquiring credits and upgrades for you, allowing you to focus on the enemies and not be a Kleptomaniac Hero. The same also applies if you Charm or Intimidate her into destroying the grey box. Destroy the box without convincing her and she walks away in a huff, probably stealing random upgrades and credits on your missions, denying you the capability to go into the Suicide Mission fully upgraded, making it much harder and deadly for some people. Don't do her mission at all, and she just parks herself in the Port lounge kvetching at you for ignoring her request.
- It sounds like you simply didn't like/want the character, or are sore because it cost money for the DLC. There's no logic to have her as an NPC. Not everyone is valuable just for their abilities in a straight firefight. Plus, it's been explained to you multiple times that TIM did not know what was beyond the Omega 4 relay. He was recruiting a TEAM to cover all eventualities, not a squad of soldiers. That's precisely why Kasumi, Tali, Miranda and Thane are on your team! None of them are massively useful in straight-up firefights. Kasumi is an infiltrator tech specialist, Tali is a pure Engineer, Miranda is more of a biotic/tech character than a combat one and Thane's speciality is discreet, fast kills. They aren't like Zaeed, Garrus and Grunt, who are there as heavy combat hitters. It's precisely why you need those hitters - you brought a team for any eventuality, but at one point they have to hold certain ground no matter what. That's where the combat specialists come in.
- Except that, again, while she may be gossipy about trivial matters between shipmates, she keeps her lips sealed tight about stuff that is relevant and important. And if you, as Shepard, decide that its too risky to let Kasumi keep the data and that she might talk about it, you can convince her to destroy it.
Weyrloc clan's appallingly inept Operational Security
- Maelon thinks his people crossed the Moral Event Horizon with the genophage modification and he wants to atone for that by curing it. Weyrloc Guld agrees to help him do so, even giving him considerable resources, including a sturdy Krogan hospital. Since this is important work, not only is he there but the elite Clanguard and the Clan Speaker. However, that hospital is just a short drive by truck from Urdnot territory! And the only external defences are some lightly armed Vorcha and maybe two Krogan. Why would they foolishly expose such a vital project with strategically game changing implications, to a simple armed assault? Why did they not choose a much more interior location and fortify it with a division and lots of heavy weapons? Why make it so easily accessible by vehicle? Even Therum, Feros, Noveria and Virmire seemed much more fortified than this hospital. More glaring is the fact that even though an Urdnot scout got himself captured, the head scout still knows where to send Shepard. Do these idiots have such loose lips too?
- There's no indication how far the Weyrloc base was from Clan Urdnot's territory. For all we know the Urdnot scout master knew a more concealed route into the Weyrloc base that bypassed their outer perimeter.
- Finding a concealed route into a strategically important enemy base involves actual stealth and reconnaissance where you sneak around and bypass enemies instead of attacking them. This is however not how Krogan fight. If you talk to the chief scout, he will tell you that their idea of scouting is actually skirmishing for the purposes of harassment and interdiction. They don't sneak around counting enemy numbers then RTB, they skirmish then count the enemy dead. This is also why there are no Krogan infiltrators or snipers - stealth, outflanking, bypassing strong points to hit the soft rear - all of these methods are seen as cowardly and dishonourable by them. So even if there was a stealthy infiltration route to the hospital, these scouts would not just stay hidden and press on. They would go into Attack! Attack! Attack! mode once they spot any enemy patrols. Only way they could make it all the way to the hospital without spotting enemy patrols is if there are no enemy patrols.
- I'd like a genuine cite on all of these claims that the krogan can't be stealthy, considering the entire conversation with the Urdnot scout completely invalidates most of it. Krogan can and do fight stealthily. That's why they have scouts to begin with. Hell, Garrus' recruitment mission involves the Blood Pack being the ones who have the smartest and sneakiest method of getting into the base. It wouldn't be surprising at all that the Urdnot scout knows a hidden route to get into the Weyrloc camp. And nowhere is it said that the krogan have no snipers or infiltrators; again, they have scouts, and the Urdnot scout says he would have engaged his enemies with a rifle if he'd been close enough to take a good shot. Wrex's entire story about how he was exiled involves a sudden, unexpected betrayal by hidden krogan assassins. Hell, don't forget the Miracle at Palaven, which was dependent on the krogan engaging in a massive stealth insertion and smuggling nuclear weapons into Reaper troopships. They are clearly capable of scouting and stealth when it suits them.
- Uh, No! Ever seen Krogan enemies use sniper rifles in game? Or cloaks? Or even use cover and concealment to flank you? All they do is plod towards you out in the open. Listen to how they respond to you equipping various weapons. Equip shotguns, and they like it. Equip assault rifles or pistols and they boast that “you’ll need more than that.” However, shoot them with a sniper rifle and they complain about “damn snipers” and taunt you to “come up close and try that.” Use your cloak and they really complain, yelling “Coward” and to “fight like a warrior.” This implies that they are uncomfortable about snipers. Now let’s look at the Urdnot scout’s statement. He says that he could have taken a shot “if I could get close enough.” No true sniper worth his salt would ever complain about being too far from targets clearly in visual range. Real Life human snipers in the present day have made accurate hits from two miles out. Also, a trained scout sniper would find a way to “get close enough”. Heck, look at Thane for that. Krogan scouts don’t reconnoiter, they skirmish. The scout commander plays “hide and seek to make it seem there are more of us.” That is a skirmishing tactic, not a stealthy insertion. Now let’s look at the Blood Pack “brilliantly sneaking in.’ Listen to what the Blue Suns driver tells you - there were only two paths to Garrus’ base, and he collapsed one of those paths to force everyone to come over the bridge. The Blood Pack got to those back door because the Blue Suns blasted through while distracting Garrus with a gunship. Talk to Garn the Blood Pack leader, and he dislikes that plan - he wants to charge in, and ultimately that’s what he does. He comes through the front door, and even those coming through the back door just Zerg Rush you. As for Wrex, he was ambushed by Krogan who took cover, in a place where he never expected to be attacked. It wasn’t like he had minions sweep the area but found nothing because his dad’s mooks remained hidden - he never even bothered to search, and was then taken by surprise. As for the Krogan hitting the Reaper capital ships, read the Codex entry. Those Krogan pulled an I Surrender, Suckers ploy, they didn’t stealthily sneak aboard. Now look at multiplayer in 3 and Andromeda - no Krogan snipers or infiltrators available at all. They just ain’t got em.
- The other angle is that the krogan aren't trying to guard it - they mention that the krogan females who died as a result of Maelon's experiments were volunteers. You don't want to draw attention to secret research by parking a division on top of it. On the other hand, by what EDI says after the mission, Clan Weyrloc was gutted by Shepard's attack, so that may have been all the troops they had to guard the operation, and were counting on the cure to draw other krogan to their banner.
Geth Heretic Station Medi-Gel
- Why are there medi-gel cases on the geth heretics' station, not counting gameplay contrivance?
- It might just be an analogue, given that the third game's multiplayer seems to imply that medigel also works on Geth.
- Actually, considering the Geth's desired long-term goal of reunification with their creators, this isn't TOO far-fetched. While it would be a lower priority since the Quarians still seek their destruction, maintaining readily accessible medical supplies to assist their creators could be seen as a subtle olive branch, as if to say, "Look, here's proof that we're still willing to work with you and help you, if only you'll let us."
- The Heretic station was a Quarian space station that the geth recovered and upgraded, according to the info it displays when you select it. Unfortunately, medi-gel is produced by a human company (Sirta Foundation, for those of you that care) so it's only been available to the Council races for thirty years at most.
Virmire Survivor and other's reactions about Shepard's return
- How comes the VS is the only one reacting anything close to normal when seeing their friend/lover comes Back from the Dead and working with what was pretty much a racist Umbrella? More importantly, how comes none of the other Mass Effect squadmates shows any surprise or suspicion at all?
- Tali's extremely suspicious. Liara is the one who gave Shepard to Cerberus in the first place. Wrex (if alive) doesn't find surviving near-death experiences that surprising because he forgets humans are not as hardy as krogans, and he had already split ways with Shepard before the Collector attack. Garrus is dubious, but they reunite under extreme circumstances, and by the time Garrus has a moment to question Shepard about it, Shepard has saved his life already, which earns some trust.
Liara's poor communication kills
- Regarding events of "Redemption" comic: Why haven't Liara called any of Shepard's squadmates after, if not before handing his body to Cerberus? It would make them aware of the fact, that Shepard might come back and possibly work with them, which would have certainly helped with Virmire's survivor and their later distrust. She didn't even had to give them actual information, just leave a message like "Hi Ash! If by chance you find out that Shepard is alive and works for Cerberus, would you please keep an open mind? Thanks" But she never seems to even consider that possibility. Is she really that paranoid, akward or just dumb?
- Liara is being Properly Paranoid, considering the effectiveness of the Shadow Broker's intelligence network. The Broker is perfectly capable of intercepting any private messages regarding Shepard, so if Liara blurts out that Cerberus has the body and are trying to resurrect it, Project Lazarus gets infiltrated and sabotaged very early. Note that Wilson turned traitor only after finding out the immense cost of the project, and not being appreciated and paid enough. If the Broker know Cerberus still has the body, Project Lazarus would have been a dismal failure.
- It's canon that Liara didn't tell Shep about Tali's feeling because she wanted to boost her chances at getting him/her. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume she had similar goals this time.
For what is Kolyat being sued...
- ....if YOU end up being the one to kill Joram Talid? I never got that part. Shepard outright murders the guy right in front of C-Sec. And in some cases, he isn't even a Spectre. Other than threatening Talid, he only wounded that one Krogan. So what makes Kolyat criminal and Shepard not?
- Attempted murder for shooting the krogan. And taking a hostage is considered kidnapping. With the weapons laws on the Citadel, he'd also get possession of illegal weaponry. Just because Shepard performs a crime that is excused by Spectre/former Spectre status, it doesn't mean Kolyat can get away with his crime. Bailey also apparently approves of killing Talid, because Talid's corrupt and racist as hell (and Bailey himself is also corrupt to a degree).
- At the very least, Kolyat has committed five crimes; conspiracy to murder (arranging and accepting a contract to kill Joram Talid), attempted murder (trying to shoot Joram Talid), assault with a deadly weapon (shooting the krogan), kidnapping (taking Talid hostage) and possession of an illegal firearm (if it's illegal). That is five crimes from a civilian. Shepard is a Spectre who gets political leeway and killing a racist, criminal politician would probably get excused by the Council from a political standpoint.
- Does it strike anyone else as stretching the boundaries of believability that Cerberus has so many scientists and other highly qualified professionals working for it and so many research facilities, no matter how well funded it is? First of all, scientists and engineers with the kind of expertise needed to carry out the kind of cutting edge work Cerberus is involved in (such as creating a new Normandy or a highly advanced AI or using quantum entanglement to create a direct link between the Normandy and the Illusive Man) must be rare and valuable commodities with no shortage of other career opportunities, made even rarer by Cerberus being effectively limited by its ideology to recruiting only humans. Second, Cerberus is known as a human supremacist terrorist organization, an ideology a good many of the potential recruitment prospects would likely want nothing to do with, and even those who sympathize with said ideology might balk at the notion of working for an organization that would potentially put them in danger of arrest and imprisonment. Third, the experiments they carry out are often ethically suspect in the extreme, which would certainly drive away yet more prospective recruits when the details were revealed to them. Finally, virtually every research facility Cerberus has ends up getting wiped out by said ethically suspect experiments, and when major figures in the scientific community who go to work for Cerberus are repeatedly never heard from again or revealed to have died horribly, I can't imagine how they would ever find replacements. Where is Cerberus getting these people?
- Uh, they're recruiting them! Even if they don't share the same goals as Cerberus, it's made clear that their projects are always extraordinarily well-funded. Most scientists in real-life would jump at the chance at a mega salary and all the funding they need for their research. That's all the incentive most scientists (including this troper) would need. You don't really think they go 'hey, we're working on this EVIL project! Wanna come?' It's more 'hey, we know you're a really talented biologist. How about a six-figure salary and all the funding you need to work on x project for us? We'll send you some details'.
- From the same place Blackwatch, Weyland-Yutani, Umbrella and every other shady organisation with questionable scientific practices get their personnel: they grow them out of a cloning lab. In all seriousness, though, the Illusive Man probably recruits many of his scientists with less than savoury methods; blackmail, bribery, kidnapping families, as well as more benevolent recruitment means. Secondly, it's not really made clear how well-known many of the scientists that work for Cerberus are, or how many of them got recruited in the first place. For all we know, the scientific community in the 22nd century is much larger than it is today, especially if they're studying all sorts of new and amazing fields that they lacked decades ago before discovering the Galactic community. Thirdly, considering all the containment breaches at each facility, it's plausible that Cerberus actually isn't hiring the best and brightest if they let all that happen in the first place. It would explain why basically every scientific experiment they do ends up going rogue and starts killing all their guys.
- Piecing this together from the Codex and what character say - Cerberus probably recruits most of these guys through cutouts or from companies that are secretly supplying Cerberus with credits or other materiel resources. Most of these guys may not know who they're really working for until they're already ass-deep in something unethical that would get them arrested if news of it were ever to reach the authorities. TIM probably doesn't immediately assign a scientist to something horribly unethical unless they've already demonstrated a complete lack of moral responsibility. You can bet that the guys who were experimenting on geth and thorian creepers weren't new recruits. The galaxy's a big place, and if some of these scientists drop off the radar for a few years, nobody's going to notice enough to care but their friends and families. It's implied that stuff like building the SR-2 or the QEC wasn't particularly difficult - Cerberus had been backdoored a copy of the original Normandy's blueprints, and quantum entanglement communicators were already a thing, just so horribly expensive that they were impractical to make. Cerberus's supposedly-unlimited budget makes that a non-issue. Scientists getting increasingly unhinged when they're given a blank check and a set of rules that prize results over reason (or sanity, or safety, or ethical restraint) is a common thing in fiction.
Exposing Tali's father renegade?
- This is one of the most irritating instances where I just don't get the moral system. What exactly is Renegade about exposing the crimes of Tali's father? Sure, it inadvertently causes a schism in the quarian fleet, but that was not Shepard's intent. His intent was to expose a full-blown War criminal (no matter how supposedly well-intentioned), who not only got dozens of co-workers killed and endangered the entire fleet, but who knowingly experimented on living creatures. And please don't go all 'The Geth are only machines' now, it was pretty clear how aware he and his team were of the intelligence and capability for empathy, which we see in the third game. Regardless, I just don't see how that could be considered to be Renegade, only because Tali objects to it due to emotional reasons. A Paragon Shepard is a clear-cut example of a By-the-Book Cop. Exposing Rael should have given the player Paragon points.
- That's because Paragon isn't "by the book." Paragon is compassionate and respectful of the wishes of others, generally aiming for the least damaging option. Renegade is generally harsher and more cruel, and utilitarian: achieve the objective and damn the consequences, feelings, and safety of everyone involved. Exposing Rael will forever destroy his reputation as well as hurting Tali personally. Covering up his crimes keeps his reputation intact and doesn't hurt Tali. That's why the game considers exposing him to be the Renegade option.
- It doesn't make any sense though. Yes, you are hurting her and exposing their father, but again, the man is a war criminal. If there would be a quest in the game where a Cerberus scientist experiments on living Asari (also for the supposed greater good, remember Cerberus being presented as a Well-Intentioned Extremist organisation here), and Miranda would ask you not to expose this because he was an old friend of her, do you think that would have given you Paragon points? Its the Protagonist-Centered Morality that bugs me here.
- We don't know if such a quest would present Paragon or Renegade points for such a decision, because no such quest exists. Let's not talk hypotheticals here. Again: the Paragon option is always the one that presents less pain and suffering and is more compassionate and forgiving. Not only does covering up Rael's crimes spare Tali pain and suffering, but it spares the Migrant Fleet from losing the memory of one of the esteemed leaders. Exposing Rael's crimes does nothing but hurt Tali, destroy his reputation, and hurts the Migrant Fleet. That earns Renegade points.
- And again, that wasn't the intent. The intent was to free Tali of all charges and lay the blame (rightfully) at her father. What the migrant fleet does with it is their concern. And yes, I think it is justified to speculate, because choices like that exist. Let's take Zaeed's Loyalty mission for example (admittedly, it's the most extreme I could think of). Letting the guy who betrayed him and tried to murder him escape also hurts him personally. Now you might say that it involved letting people die, but again, covering for Rael involves whitewashing experimenting on live Geth. Hell, he even points out that killing Vido probably saves more lives than the workers.
- The Paragon choice is to not hurt Tali (your friend) by destroying her father's good name. Exposing Rael'Zorah as a war criminal achieves nothing but does satisfy the egoes of certain types of player. The 'victims' are already dead (quarian by geth, and the geth by your own hand). It also ignores the fact that said geth 'victims' try to shoot even you on sight, and that exposing Rael'Zorah's 'crimes' causes a huge schism in the Migrant Fleet when one of their most loved leaders is struck from the records. It's the Paragon option because Tali begs you not to do it, and you know that it won't actually achieve anything beyond clearing Tali's name, coupled with the fact that you can tell the Board to sod off, cut the crap and stop making Tali a scapegoat (and clear her name that way). That is why it's the Paragon option.
- The quest isn't about Rael or his actions - it's about Tali, and getting her cleared of the charges. The quest isn't titled "Rael'Zorah: War Crimes," it's "Tali: Treason". The Renegade option of doing what's fastest and easiest isn't the way that gets Tali cleared without collateral damage (i.e. pissing her off and wrecking the good work that someone who did a horrible thing had done in the past) while the Paragon option preserves the good work that a man did at the cost of ignoring his crimes and helping out your friend - and after the trial, you can tell the Admirals what Rael was doing, if you talk to them. This is what we call a morally grey choice - save the good work someone did, or make sure everyone knows what he did that was horrible?
- I was playing the second game and noticed that the Collectors are able to fly. I was impressed, then I saw that they have insectoid wings. How are human-sized Collectors able to fly with insect-like wings? The Square-Cube Law dictates that they would require enormous energy, especially since their wingspan doesn't surpass their armspan. Look at Quetzlcoatlus, a pterosaur that weighed about 70kg (close to the weight of a grown man) and it needed a wingspan more than 20 feet to fly. How do the Collectors fly? Even the argument of "Reaper augmentations" looks sketchy, because they don't have jet-packs built into their exoskeletons.
- All Collectors are biotics. They almost certainly have the ability to alter their mass which, coupled with heavy Reaper cybernetics and augmentations to strengthen their bodies, will likely give them the ability to fly for very short bursts.
Shepard and starting a family
- Given the injuries and cybernetic reconstruction Shepard underwent, can Shepard still have children? Is Male Shepard virile? Is Female Shepard fertile?
- There's no direct confirmation one way or the other, but the Illusive Man dos say that they left all of the important parts intact.
- In that scene, Shepard's statement is "I noticed a few upgrades. I hope you didn't replace anything really important." That does have sexual implications (and the Romances reveal that Shepard is still capable of having sex), but true there's no word on having children (apart from that "...a lot of blue children" conversation with Liara and Female Shepard discussing their incompatible biology with Garrus).
- While the important parts are intact, that doesn't refer to production of... to be blunt; can Maleshep's testicles still produce sperm? Do Femshep's ovaries still hold and release eggs? Can Femshep carry a baby to term? There's no mention of Maleshep and Ashley/Maleshep and Jack/Femshep and Kaidan having children and what effects that would have, and it is possible for the parts to be physically intact but for another reason not work (such as Miranda's neoplasm making her barren).
- The answer is that it doesn't matter, this is a setting where even a same sex couple can have their own children and Miranda's dad was able to build his own perfect kids. Even if their junk isn't working properly anymore all it'll take is a trip to the doctor to have a kid if they want one. Yay for future space medicine.
Does Kar'Danna have a crush on Tali'Zorah?
- At the beginning of Tali's loyalty mission when you go to the Flotilla and board the Rayya (if you don't bring Legion), you're met by a security team and the captain of the Rayya, Kar'Danna vas Rayya, who warmly welcomes you. At one point Kar'Danna says of Tali's upcoming trial "Officially I'm to remain neutral, but I'm here if you need to talk." After re-watching the scene carefully, if you play as Male Shepard, there's close-up of Kar'Danna's head and he appears to wink at Tali (as seen in this video at the 2:30 mark). If you play as Female Shepard there's no close up and he doesn't wink. This and later dialogue indicate he and Tali seem to know each other, and Tali is a popular hero of the quarian people; is it possible that Kar'Danna has/had a crush on Tali? Is he jealous of Male Shepard?
Garrus and wine
- Ok, it's a silly matter to worry about, but why does a romanced Garrus only bring a single bottle of wine when he shows up in FemShep's quarters? Considering how much of a big deal is made of Human's and Turian's Mirror Chemistry, doesn't it mean only one of them would be able to drink it?