Headscratchers: Mass Effect 2 Archive 3
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Why can't Shepard pull himself up?
- Why is it, that even though Shepard is strong enough to wield shotguns that would shatter the bones of humans, s/he can't manage to pull her/himself up into the Normandy? It's not like it's a quick slip into the abyss—you hang there for a while. I mean, Shepard can't be so fatigued that s/he can't life her/his body up. The only explanation I have (upon watching the Commander die) is Joker sort of shoves you off in his attempts to lift you. I don't know.
- It's harder than you think. It's not like doing pullups in civvies. Shepard's not only tired and likely pretty badly wounded, s/he's also clad in full body armor from head to toe and wearing not one but four weapons, minimum, one of which is a heavy weapon which, shockingly, tends to be heavy. Doing pull-ups in full kit is really, really hard, and that's in modern gear. Modern armor only covers the torso, while Shepard is packing it over his/her entire body, and s/he has to actualy haul his/herself up all the way. Also, Shepard has to pull his/herself up on his/her fingertips, and without footholds. Its basically the modern day equivalent of loading a guy up in full EOD gear, handing him a SAW, rifle, sidearm, and an AT 4, have him run a combat course and room clearing excercises nonstop for an hour in all that gear without stopping to rest more than a couple of minutes at a time, and in the meantime have him perdiocially get randomly beaten with clubs and beanbag rounds, then asking him to do a long jump, grab a ledge at the end of the long jump that's only got enough purchase for his fingers, and then ask him to haul himself up all the way without any assistance, handholds, or footholds, while getting raked by rubber bullets from a dozen guns. The very top 99.9999 percentile ultimate super-well-trained special forces guys might be able to pull it off, given a few practice runs. You're essentially asking Shepard to do that on his/her first run. Not going to happen.
- Well, I addressed those points earlier: Shepard is strong enough to beat the crap out of the Shadow Broker (you seen that guy?) and wield weapons only krogan can because they shatter the arms of humans. Shepard is that strong. Also, Shepard is holding her/himself by the entire arms—and most people can lift themselves up like that, not to mention trained marines. You're right, s/he's pretty weighted down, but s/he also makes an incredibly long leap with said heavy armor and weapons on. I don't believe we were given data on the actual weight of future weapons and armor, were we?
- I pretend that Shepard got shot and was too injured to pull himself up before Joker could help, something that wouldn't have happened if there was someone there providing covering fire.
- I guess that makes sense. I mean, who the hell knows where her/his shields and armor and barriers went, but it's possible. You surviving relies on there being a crew member to pull you up—I have this It Just Bugs Me because Shepard should be strong enough to pull up her/himself. I don't really see a way s/he'd be wounded, but...sure, why not.
- Shepard is strong enough to beat the crap out of the Shadow Broker (you seen that guy?) and wield weapons only krogan can because they shatter the arms of humans. Shepard is that strong. In the former instance, Shepard is beating on someone's exposed face with a solid metal fist. You think those gloves Shepard wears are boxing mitts? The latter case is not an instance of strength, it's an instance of durability; Shepard's bones are augmented to withstand those pressures. Having toughened bones does not mean Shepard's upper body strength is any greater. And don't forget that Shepard is fatigued by constant combat and movement, which drains one like nobody's business, and s/he is doubtless pretty badly injured regardless, considering the sheer amount of fire that you take during that mission. So s/he is exhausted, likely injured by accumulated wounds, weighted down, and getting shot at during the end. A combination of these factors is probably what gets Shepard killed.
- You know, upon review, asking this JBM only makes it bug me more. Shepard punches people a lot. If it were just the gauntlets (and I don't remember anyone ever classifying them as metal) doing all of the work, she'd/he'd be constantly smashing faces open whenever she/he hit someone. She/he brutally beats the Shadow Broker back. Shepard is inhumanly strong. But, as I said, the more I think about it, the less I am able to Hand Wave all of it away. I think I'll just buy your explanations of it and steadfastly refuse to think more on it.
- Got to be honest, I don't see Shepard "beating up" the Shadow Broker. Sure, he gets in a few hits, but the Shadow Broker doesn't seem to be phased, so much as surprised by the attack. And gives twice as good as he got. Sure, the Shadow Broker is beaten, but not due to the strength of Shepard, but the ingenuity of Liara. Using that battle as an example for his strength to pull himself up is slightly flawed for me.
- Plus, Shepard's gauntlets WILL protect his hands, allowing him to strike for the face without fear of what the skull will do to his fists. On the Broker's side, I don't think he can really DO anything while using his energy shield, can he? He seemed pretty helpless in his bowed state. Once he drops that shield and can fight back, try beating him down with your bare hands THEN, see how far you get. It's definitely not "beating up the Shadow Broker" and more "abusing the fact that he can't defend himself at the moment".
- The aforementioned metal gauntlets possibly could have made it difficult for Shepard to keep his grip on the Normandy as well. Poor grip + combat fatigue + no one to help Shepard up = one way trip going straight down
- Also, look at Thane - the drell is a fragile fellow, but he can kill a Krogan with his bare hands because he knows where to hit. Most of the times when Shepard beats someone up, it's because the opponent wasn't expecting an attack and/or Shepard's first move was a punch to the stomach or a kick to the knee.
- Joker might be able to keep Shepard from falling, but I seriously doubt he can pull Shepard's weight up on his own. Especially when the ship is moving (albeit slowly) away from the area due to the impending explosion. The entire sequence seems, to me, that Shepard realizes that Joker can't pull him up alone and have the ship get away from the explosion as well (because if the ship moves faster than it is Joker may fall too). So Shepard sacrifices himself so Joker and whatever crew made it back to the ship survive.
- Given time, Joker or Shepard him/herself could have pulled their weight back into the ship. Unfortunately, they were less than 20 seconds away from an explosion/radiation wave that nothing on the Normandy would survive. If they didn't close the airlock and leave now, then the entire escape attempt would become pointless. Shepard recognizes that ensuring someone get information back to the galaxy at large and orders Joker to leave with what information they had.
- Plus, Joker's kinda suffering from a syndrome that turns his bones to glass, basically. Do you think he'd be able to pull up a man/woman decked out in full body gear and guns without his arms breaking into a gazillion little pieces?
Romance, more romance, and Paragon/Renegade points
- How precisely is Miranda's father hoping to create a "dynasty" by cloning sterile women out of his own genetic code? Wouldn't it be more effective to at least design a fertile child?
- I doubt it was intentional.
- Yeah, it appears to have been an error in the creation of Miranda, especially considering they discarded dozens of Miranda's "sisters" before she came along.
- Perhaps this is the reason he decided to create Oriana. We have no idea how old that email is, or if Miranda's father found it out and didn't tell her.
- It really depends on how much of a Complete Monster Miranda's father is. Women's bodies tend to change permanently after they've given birth. "Genetically perfect" or not, you can't really change that.
- Also, remember how he created Miranda. Maybe his plan was to create a perfect daughter and then use her DNA to splice a new, perfect kid every time.
Love Scenes and Gender
- I know all the love scenes were toned down considerably in ME 2 for whatever reason (compared to ME 1 anyway, heck you never even see anyone completely nude in bed in this game), but male Shepard still gets much better sex scenes with his women than female Shepard gets with any of her lovely male paramours. Why is this? Does the video game industry really think that girls don't play video games? Well, I'm a girl, and I've been a video game fanatic since I was about 6 years old... and I feel shafted here.
- Exactly what do you want them to do for the males? The romance scenes are all basically an intense make-out session in this game (most likely due to complaints about the previous game by overly-sensitive groups). I'm not going to pretend that a bias towards female romance partners exist (i.e. no male/male romances), but what do you want them to do?
- If you say so. I'd say only Garrus' really felt unromantic, and that's because god forbid I ever see him naked. Thane's was very good, and Jacob's was just as sexual as Miranda's. At least he has the decency to go to your room, instead of on the cold Engineering floor where everyone can see you from Mordin's room. And you know they were.
- The romances in general were really toned down from the first game. There was hardly any lead-up to them at all (not that there was all that much in the first one, even). Most of them seemed to consist of Shep saying, out of the blue, "We should have sex", and the love interest saying "No/Maybe. Okay, after the mission". I did think Garrus's scene was romantic - it was very sweet - but it was definitely not passionate or sexual. We did at least get to see Jacob with his shirt off, but I found Jacob's kind of irritating just because of how hard you had to work at it - not that I mind working hard, but it kind of felt like he wasn't into it and you browbeat him into sex. In the first game, the romances felt more organic. With Kaidan, you did get the impression that you already knew each other for a while and were already attracted to each other; Liara found you "fascinating" and you came into her sheltered life and gave her an adventure. (I've never done the Ashley one, but I'm going to go ahead and assume it was decently fleshed out as much as it can be over the course of five or so conversations. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). The ME 2 romances just felt abrupt. I think ME 2 missed a lot of the buildup that made the ME 1 romances feel like "real" relationships.
- They should have at least showed us a little undressing, and maybe like making out and petting before the good old fade to black, to make it clearer that they're really about to do it... you know, like male Shepard got with the girls, damnit! I'm not even sure femShep and Garrus really did it at all because he still goes on about "figuring out how to do it" even though they were supposed to have done that already. And they barely touched each other before the screen went all dark.
- That would have required building a whole new naked turian model. Also, turians don't have lips, do have fangs, and are allergic to you. I don't think Shepard can honestly make out with him outside the realm of fanfiction. An embrace would have been nice, though. A headbutt was a bit anticlimatic. The developers probably didn't want to get Squicky with Garrus, though, as he's the most alien-looking of the L Is. Not everyone who is a fangirl on the internet—some people playing would be honest-to-god surprised to see him included and be very hesitant about it.
- Squicky? There's nothing squick about him, he's helluva hot man and I wanted to see more, and not just with him either but with the others too. Fuck what SOME people might think, to hell with those silly prudes, not ALL of us are scared of inter species sex. Mmm.
- We know they're capable of doing good sex scenes without being too explicit. The sex scenes in ME 1 were pretty hot, and they didn't even have a lot of nudity. They didn't show much, but they did show the participants naked in a bed, and even though we didn't see it we knew what was going on. The ME 2 scenes were much more ambiguous. They could have made them a lot sexier without necessarily giving us full-frontal turian. (Not that I would have complained...)
- Your Mileage May Vary. I thought the sex scenes in the first game were awful. They varied somewhere between squicky and hilarious (One of my favourite memories of the first game is from my sister, who got the Paramour achievement before me, with Kaidan. Cue both of us rolling on the floor laughing). The second did this a bit better, but now they vary between creepy, awkward, or creepy for a whole other reason. Though what really gets me is people thinking that the romances are some epic love story. They're not. It's two people fucking before they go on a mission where in all likelihood they'll both be killed. You want depth? Wait for the third game.
- Perhaps that's how you see it. But the fun of an RPG is that you can take what the game gives you and make what you like out of it - and if you want to see it as an epic love story, or just two people fucking, or anything in between, you can. I did like the ones in the first game, despite the graphical limitations. But we can just leave it at YMMV.
- More talking about the second game there rather than the first. In ME1 they were aware that things were very bad, but it wasn't until after Virmire that they knew how bad. The relationships developed more naturally (though I never really cared for them, it took Lair of the Shadow Broker for me to like Liara). From day one in ME2 they knew it was a suicide mission, which obviously affected how the relationships played out. There's less getting to know each other and more "yeah I like you too, wanna do it?" because, really, what chance do they have? They'll probably be all killed. Again, YMMV on whether it worked or not.
- As for the point about the female romances, you saw the same amount in Jacob's cutscene as you did in Miranda's. Doing Thane or Garrus would require figuring out just what they look like without the armour, and that could've easily descended into horror (and it's insinuated that Garrus and Shepard never actually did it). I think they worked pretty well, but I'm not a great fan of Female Shepard and have only done one playthrough as her. Miranda and Jack worked well, and Tali sucks. I'm Commander Shepard, not the high school quarterback. But that's all I'll say on that subject.
- Well no, I think femShep and Garrus really did have sex (Mordin even gives Shepard advice about sexual activity and good "positions" after hearing about what they've been up to... hehe), it just doesn't feel like they did because the scene we get didn't go very far. Also I don't see the issue with picturing Garrus/Thane in the nude (or just shirtless anyway), with some creative artists and good modeling/texturing I think it would have been great, nothing gross or unpleasant. :)
- You've already seen Thane, his shirt is open halfway done his chest. No nipples either, I would guess. If you're desperate to see what a naked turian looks like, there actually is some concept art for what they look like (from Bioware, not some fan). It's about as sexy as you would think a humanoid bird would be.
- Getting back to the original point, those who are squicked by naked turians or drell are probably not going to be romancing them anyway, so it doesn't matter. All of the human romances, male and female, have some degree of shirtlessness, it's just that a shirtless female is more taboo than a shirtless male. The alien romances kept their clothes firmly on, and that was disappointing to some.
- I don't think it looks so bad. Think it would be pretty sexy in an intimate setting. :)
- Again, I want to point out that they'd have to make entirely new models for the turians. Drell I suppose they could get away with since they seem to have mostly human musculature, but turians have a completely non-human body. This for maybe ten seconds. Again, it's completely possible to romance Garrus and not want to see him naked. I disliked the Garrus scene because it lacked any sort of intimacy.
- How do you define "intimacy", really? By one interpretation, the Garrus scene was one of the most intimate of the series, because there was no sex or overt action. Just a subtle gesture that had infinite meaning.
- To tell the truth, I think Garrus' romance is probably one of the more intimate ones. Garrus is freely admitting his failures and his darkest fears and problems to Shepard. He's opening up to and trusting her in an extremely deep way, which for someone who's been through as much as he has, really shows how much he trusts and respects and cares for her. Sex!= intimacy. Tali's romance is the only one I like more, and that's because it's Tali.
- Without fangirling, Garrus and Shepard's romance required a lot of dissecting if you wanted to see any sort of intimacy in it. Almost all of it is simply talking about sleeping together until he finally admits he just wants something to go right. As I said, you really need to pick it apart if you want to see deeper layers. It ends up being a lot of guesswork.
- ...But at least we still got see male Shepard and Tali share a passionate kiss on his bed, and she's the only non-human romanceable character for males. :( Something like this: http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=shepard&order=9&offset=0&offset=24#/d2kghyx
- ^^ Rule of Romantic. Garrus can be seen as the most well-wounded romance in the series for that very reason. Romantic fiction thrives in ambiguity and subtext.
- Well it never did anything for me, for two reasons. Firstly, the creepy way FemShep comes on to him. He's all "wait, you want to do what?! Sure, okay, if you think that's a good idea..." The idea has never crossed the poor guy's mind. All the other potential romances at least had some mutual attraction. Secondly, I've only ever done one playthrough that wasn't as MaleShep, so I'm more used to Garrus as a bro than a love interest. Plus my general prejudice against the alien/human relationships, because it's just not realistic at all. Friendships, sure, but romantic relationships? They're not even from the same planet!
- My point being, most of the romances you can go on and on about their subtext and not have to really reach to see it all. As I said, it all boils down to Garrus just saying he wants this to work out. It's all conjecture that can be refuted by ME 3. His romance suffered not because of the scene, but because the rest of it was just talking about sex. Regardless, not the topic. On topic, to the post above, if that's really what you want judging by the fanart provided, as I said, they'd have to build a whole new naked model and evidently strip Fem Shep down, which they don't do with any other character. That's actually more graphic than anything else that happens for anyone's romance. I think that an embrace would have worked.
- Yes a nice embrace would have worked, but they didn't do that and I'm disappointed.. Also what does it matter with Garrus and Fem Shep's relationship? She's known him for a hella lot longer than any of the other dudes. And I think they really do have feelings for each other. He's a hot badass. And she's a kickass Action Girl.
They fight crime. And they're the best couple ever.
- Love is a bit more complicated than "I'm hot, you're hot, we should shag."
- Yes. And I think they genuinely love each other. And therefore, I feel they deserved a scene that emphasized that a lot more.
- Garrus and Fem Shep's interactions were as emphasized as Jack and Shepard's. There was no sex in either instance, and no making out either. That you want more is a matter of opinion not for this page. But the scene was no "less done" than any other romance scene in the game...
- Well, it bugs me that ALL the female romance scenes weren't as good or well emphasized as the male ones. But I suppose it WAS Rated Mfor Manly...
- I don't think we should be throwing the word "love" around for any of the relationships in the second game, except for Thane or maybe Tali. You can say that about the ME1 romances, but they had time to mature and develop outside of the mission. I'm not saying they'll never get there, but in my opinion there just wasn't enough time beyond "I like you," and "yeah, I like you too, maybe we can make this work?" and "I'm sure we can make this work, because I am Commander Shepard and my word is gospel," and "well, the mission's about to start and we'll probably all die, since we might not have another chance you wanna do it?"
- Debating whether the relationships are real love or not is pointless; it all depends on the character and we all see them differently. For instance, to the troper above who thought that hooking up with Fem Shep never crossed Garrus' mind - I got the exact opposite impression. It seemed to me that the speed with which he acquiesced made it pretty clear that he had thought about it, and in fact I worked that into my later playthroughs of ME 1. I did, however, get the impression that Jacob was very resistant to the whole idea. Aside from the main plot, we are able to make our own stories. That said, I think a lot of the problem is just that the male romances had a 2:1 human:alien ratio, and female romances had 1:2, and Tali is arguably more humanoid than Garrus. So the problems of having to make the new models, plus the potential squick factor, was an issue for the majority of the female romances and the minority of the male ones.
- I don't see female romance scenes being "not as good or as well emphasized" as male romance scenes. Shepard has sex with Miranda in the hold, and kisses Tali, and kisses/cuddles with Jack. Fem Shep has sex with Jacob in her room, kisses Thane, and connects with Garrus. Honestly, I don't understand the issue here. Especially since anything physically intimate with Garrus (which seems to be the real issue), could result in medical issues for Shepard, as warned by Mordin.
- Only if she consumes his... semen or something. That was the impression I got.
- She shouldn't...ingest. There were health issues with both Garrus and (to a lesser extent) Thane, but Tali also had to take some major precautions before meeting
Ralph Little Shep.
- True, but still, all I'm saying is that they could have done more with them love scenes. Nothing that would have earned the game an AO rating of course, but nonetheless... perhaps something like this instead? Now THIS would have been mighty sweet for the story <3 http://ghostfire.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2lcglj
- Again, entirely new naked turian model. For, what, like, five seconds? Even embracing him would require a new animation, since the "hug" animation doesn't work on anything shaped like a turian, I imagine. As far as it goes, showing anything more than a hug would probably constitute as females getting more in their scenes than males, since you can't kiss him anyway, so whatever goes beyond hug goes into second base.
- Is it that much trouble to make a new animation for something as simple as a hug? I've made plenty of animations before, it wouldn't have been so terribly much trouble for them, and it would have been great... and I don't see the issue with a naked turian model either, they could have just made relatively minor adjustments to the model they already had and retextured it.
- Problem is if they did that they would've had to have done it with the rest of the love interests. Instead of someone complaining they didn't get to see Garrus naked, they would be complaining that they didn't get to see Thane naked, and would be bringing up the same arguments: "the fans want it!" "It's not hard to do a new model!" "Who cares what the rating is?" I almost hope the romance scenes in ME3 are just a fade to black, so arguments like this don't get brought up. But then we'd see arguments for the return of the romance scenes. It should be expected.
- They wouldn't even give us Tali's face. Good luck with a naked turian model.
- Well, based on the slight hints of human features that can be seen through the masks of all the quarians, she and all of them probably look very humanlike. My guess is maybe she looks something like this http://tinyurl.com/273hu7f
- Ugh. That fanart. Quarians have glowing eyes for God's sake, she's going to look a lot more alien. And I can't see hair being anything other than a hindrance to them, even if they have it. She's got chicken legs and breasts, she could go either way...
- That looks like a human with some sort of skin disease. I am absolutely positive quarians do not like like Asian-Caucasian human teenagers with a weird burn on their face or whatever.
- Well it's just a rough guess, I wasn't saying she might look precisely like that. I always picture Tali with purpleish skin for some reason...
- Understandable. I do the same, though I'm not sure if there's any direct evidence for that (I'm not sure if the quarian helmets' purple tints are indicative of skin color beneath, and I'm not sure we've actually seen Tali or any other quarian without a full body suit, connected gloves (which are a different color for her loyalty outfit), etc.
- The color of the faceplate is not indicative of her skintone. Equip her with any of the other suits of quarian armor in ME1. The color of the faceplate changes, i.e. red with Colossus, yellow-blue with Liberator, and pink with Pheonix.
- I do the same thing. I know that her armor has nothing to do with her actual color, but I'm so used to seeing her in purple that somehow my mind has translated that to her actually BEING purple.
- Ditto. Yeah, she's purple in my head.
- Well I think it's pretty certain that at least she and all the other quarians have humanlike noses (can see that if you look really closely..)
- In this tropers personal fantasy world Tali looks something like this: http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg18/Thebrowncoatguy/talibabe.jpg?t=1289561128
- Okay, shit like this really bugs me. What is it with people thinking Tali looks like an elf? (And — seriously — the link has Tali babe in it. Jesus Christ.)
- Well let's see what we know about quarians. They have two eyes. They have a nose. They have lips and teeth. And they seem to have ears (or at least the quarian equivalent). Mind you, this all came from the Mass Effect wiki page of quarians, so maybe someone is screwing with it, but look at it. Eyes, nose, lips, and ears. That's pretty damn human. I think picturing her as an elf fits.
- There's no one out there that can prove she has ears. They assume she has lips because she kisses Shepard. Of course◊... In any case, Thane has a nose, lips, and two eyes and doesn't look particularly human.
- Again, Mass Effect wiki stated them to have lips and the equivalent of ears, though again, someone may just be screwing with us. And looking at Thane...He does look kind of human, actually. I mean, two eyes, lips, and a humanoid figure. To be honest, most races in Mass Effect look humanish. Back on topic though, personally, I've always thought Bio Ware taking two courses. Tali is AMAZINGLY human looking, or Tali is amazingly NOT human looking. Personally, I'll still have sex with her no matter what her face looks like. Also, there are people who can prove quarians have ears. The people who are working on Mass Effect 3 right now, and may or may not be working on what Tali looks like under that mask.
Human-Reaper self sustaining
- This doesn't really bug me but I'm curious about it all the same. Exactly why was shooting out those tubes not enough to kill the Human-Reaper? How in the heck was that thing still alive without those tubes? How did it survive that (probably very long) fall down the center of the Collector base? And better yet, how was it so strong and able to fight so ferociously when it wasn't even completed yet?
- The tubes weren't providing anything "sustaining" - they were providing more of the liquefied human/mechanical fluids used in constructing the Reaper. Destroying the tubes didn't cut off anything "life-supporting" - especially as the Reaper was a machine. It survived and was capable of fighting back because it was tough and a Reaper; even the embryonic forms of the Reapers are apparently pretty damned durable, as a "mature" Reaper was able to take a direct hit from a weapon that rearranged the geography on an entire planet and was still intact (disabled, but intact).
- Regarding the disabled Reaper: too much gun. It's like shooting at a smallish deer with a .375 H&H Magnum. There's less damage than if you had used a .30-06 or a 7mm, because the bullet can't expand before it exits. A weapon that powerful, impacting the Reaper, couldn't transmit its energy to something like a Reaper—it'd plow right through, leaving a hole. Which is what it sorta looks like happened. Remember that ordinary Aliiance torpedoes blew Sovereign to smithereens once its shields went down. A second possibility is that Klendagon "glancing blow" might have damaged the projectile, so only a few fragments hit the Reaper and most just hit the brown dwarf. A planet is a lot harder to damage than a Reaper. That said, it looks like the Reaper Larva didn't fall all the way down. It probably dug into the wall to slow its fall, or found a ledge farther down, then climbed back up the same way. It might also have mass effect fields it used to both slow its descent and maneuver in a limited way. Those tubes, though, were apparently supplying building material, not life-support.
- I think another question is how Shepard and her squad didn't see that the Reaper larvae was hanging onto the wall, or hear it climb back up. Doesn't it bug anyone that this always happens in action stories where the protagonists look over the ledge, and then the main enemy/boss suddenly appears and catches them completely by surprise?
No female aliens
- Why do we never see any female aliens aside from asari and quarians? (though I'm not sure if the former counts since they're an all female race, or if the latter counts either since we never really "see" any quarians, due to them being locked up inside their bio suits).
- I think we see some female Krogan in ME 2 (at least one corpse). Turians may not be readily apparent, given the "funny bumps" deleted lines from that gardener guy. Salarians I think have few females and they don't leave the planets that much. Hanar, elcor, batarians, and vorcha, I got nothing to add, except maybe the former may not be readily apparent?
- That's right—both salarians and krogan have a particular reason for not seeing females. We don't know enough about batarian culture to account for the lack of women, other than we usually only see the outcasts of their society. I think we hear one of Ophelia's lines in Elcor Hamlet, and I can't remember if the voice sounded particularly feminine—I believe it did not. For all we know, blue hanar are female hanar and we've already seen them. There are few enough drell as it is, and we don't often see volus. As for turians, I think that's the most glaring omission. Their place in society is supposed to be equal, and even though they don't have breasts, there should be some discernible difference. At least more feminine voices.
- I remember an interview in which they mentioned they had planned to introduce female turians for Mass Effect 2, but had to cut it due to time/budget/space/what have you. Maybe it'll come back around for Mass effect 3?
- I thought that interview was for why no female turians were in Mass Effect 1, but you may be right.
- You can meet several female krogan on Tuchanka in ME 2. They look exactly the same as the males, and sound only slightly different. If they hadn't identified themselves as emissaries from one of the all-female clans, you probably wouldn't pick up on it at all.
- Nope, sorry, there are no female krogan on Tuchanka. There's the corpse of one underneath a tarp, but that hardly counts. The emissary to the female camps is a young male that hasn't undergone the rites yet. He says as much when you talk to him.
- The emissary from the female clans wasn't actually a female krogan. It was a male krogan the females elected as their representative, presumably so none of them have to leave the safety of wherever they're all sequestered away.
- I'm almost completely sure I saw a female turian or two hanging out in Afterlife; they didn't say or do anything, were just background characters, and looked very much like male turians, but they were just different enough that I suspected they may be women. Off the top of my head, one of them was one of the people listening to Patriarch's stories.
Normandy forward batteries
- Has anyone else noticed that the forward batteries on the Normandy are OPEN TO SPACE?! Seriously, go down to the room where Garrus hangs out and check. You can clearly see stars peeking through cracks in the floor panels! WTF?!
- It appears to be a small error in the level geometry, probably something no one at Bioware noticed before they finished development.
- I always assumed that the Thanix Cannon upgrade was a tad bigger than people thought, causing some structural integrety issues. But kenetic barriers must be in place, as no air is actually leaving the compartment.
Quarians in Fornax
- So I bought the Fornax magazine (shut up! you know you bought it too!) and I noticed the codex entry says it offers quarian porn. But...it's stated several times that almost nobody knows what quarians look like under their suits. How do you have quarian porn without the entire galaxy knowing what quarians really look like?
Drell and Kepral's Syndrome
- Drell evolved on Rakhana, a desert planet, and are capable of surviving with minimal water intake for prolonged periods. When the hanar evacuated some of the drell on the eve of the nuclear war on Rakhana, the drell refugees were exposed to high-moisture environments for the first time. Drell who accumulate too much moist air exposure over time develop Kepral's Syndrome, characterized by gradual breakdown of lung function and eventually death by pulmonary failure, because excess water damages their lung cells. Thane himself has it due to having lived among hanar for so long. All of this is quite plausible, at least as xenobiology goes, especially compared to some of the hand-waving of biotics. Kepral's Syndrome has no cure... but wouldn't a lung transplant from a non-afflicted drell work, assuming there was tissue compatibility between the patient and the donor organ? Now, admittedly, there are relatively few drell who don't get Kepral's if they otherwise live out their natural lifespan, so potential donors are going to be very rare. All right, so cadaver tissue won't work then, but what about cloned tissue? Tank-bred krogan are lab-grown complete organisms, and Dr. Mordin implies that it's possible to lab-grow entire organ systems, so why can't somebody mass-produce genetically engineered drell lungs with appropriate genetic markers to make them broadly tolerable to as many drell patients as possible, essentially an organ system equivalent of O- blood? Admittedly, all surgery has risks of catastrophic failure, but the hanar have some of the best doctors in the galaxy.
- Watsonian inference: Drell have extremely sensitive immune systems and cannot easily accept organ donations under any conditions. If that was the case though, you could clone donor lungs from the patient, so why isn't it done? Doyleian inference: The writers never thought about it.
- Lair of the Shadow Broker comes with informative dossiers on all the main characters. The drell have a lung donor program, but Thane has deliberately kept himself off the list. Drell lungs are currently also not clonable.
- My reasoning for this is that there are very few drell, and most of them commit their life to the hanar. There have been few breakthroughs for drell medically because (according to Thane in cut content at Mordin's recruitment mission) drell do not sicken easily anyway, and they devote none of their resources (which would essentially be the hanar's resources) to medical advances for themselves. They might also not be scientifically minded, considering how slowly technology progressed on their home planet which almost led to their extinction.
- I may be misremembering, but I think some bit of dialogue stated that even a full lung transplant is only a stop-gap measure once a drell has full-blown Kepral's Syndrome.
- More to the point, if it's caused by over-moist air, why aren't they walking around with breathing masks (that filter local air and dehumidify it) on?
- They'd end up looking like quarians. Unless Word of God says differently, drell skin respirates like reptilian skin does. It just takes longer. And again, game-wise, it'd be hard to tell the difference.
- This. Thane's file in the Shadow Broker base contains messages from his doctor, who advises him to wear open chested clothing to compensate for his diminished oxygen efficiency. In short, the Drell DO breathe through their skin, or at least the thorax. Though that does not explain why Thane wears that rebreather mask in vacuum environments.
- Thane also implies that it only happens from being exposed to extreme humidity over a long period of time, like on the hanar homeworld.
Krogan and vorcha regeneration vs krogan and vorcha natural lifespan
- It's implied that krogan don't really have a pre-ordained maximum lifespan, and I believe in the Codex there is mentioned a krogan of remarkable longevity who died of an infectious disease at the age of 1400+ Alliance years. Krogan presumably have indefinite natural lifespans because their cellular and tissue self-repair is so good, which is at least somewhat plausible. Vorcha have even better cellular and tissue healing capabilities to the degree that they are completely immune to all infectious diseases and probably never develop cancer-like conditions either, but they die of old age (generalized organ failure?) at ~20 Alliance years. How? Why? Is this the organism-level equivalent of apoptosis?
- Probably. Heck, the vorcha might die young because their cells divide so rapidly. The krogan evolved on a whole other planet, so it's totally possible that their biology just works differently.
- Admittedly I'm no expert in biology, but I'm pretty sure an "indefinite natural lifespan" makes absolutely no biological sense.
- Not really. Sharks can pretty much go on forever, it's just they die from various other natural causes (starving, being hunted, etc.). Krogan might have a limit, but they're more likely to get killed before they hit. Hence the "krogan live forever" myth/legend/whatever. Wrex has to be at least 1,000 years old.
- Okay, I stand corrected. A Wikipedia search turned up the phrase "negligible senescence" which basically means never dying of old age. However, it's unlikely that krogan have negligible senescence. For one thing, animals with negligible senescence tend to keep growing indefinitely. The krogan seem to stay the same size once they hit physical maturity. On the upside, this would explain why the vorcha are so short-lived. The vorcha have incredible cellular regeneration but they do not have negligible senescence. The two concepts are related but not the same thing. In fact, the vorcha's incredible regenerative abilities may actually be the reason why they are so short-lived. Each time a cell divides the telomeres erode and when they erode far enough the cell dies. Animals with negligible senescence maintain telomere lengths in their cells, which is why they don't die of old age. If vorcha regeneration is a product of increased cell division, then their short lifespan could mean their cells don't maintain telomere lengths when they divide.
- I admit this is a bit picky, even for here, but how is it that the drell, a race of reptilian descent, are able to shed tears in exactly the same way as humans, in response to exactly the same emotional stimuli? Especially when you factor in the concept of crocodile tears, which are a popular culture reference and are considered utterly insincere - which puts an entirely different spin on both Kolyat's grief and Thane's own shame in the romance cutscene with Shepard.
- It could just be a form of shorthand on the part of the writers, an easy way to show grief.
- That could have just as easily been accomplished with standard body language, though. Thane could have shown that he was ashamed just by turning away from Shepard and covering his face, for instance. Most likely possibility is that the writers just didn't consider the implications.
- Just because they're of their world's analogue of a reptile doesn't mean that they can't express grief through tears. The entire point behind tears is to lubricate the eye in case it gets dusty, but it was apparently evolved as an emotional trigger as well because focus is placed on the eyes and face of humans. There's no reason to assume that its any different for another species that developed along extremely similar paths, enough so that they developed a humanoid form, lips, eyes, teeth, etc. that are very similar to humans.
- Also, when you consider the environment they evolved in (a dry desert planet) the ability to shed tears would be highly advantageous. On a dry world with presumably lots of dust and sand storms, having self-lubricating eyeballs would be a huge evolutionary advantage.
- Also, Water = Death for the drell. Their Death diety is based in the ocean. Part of that mythos could have stemmed from their being able to cry; a 'Gift of Water to the Dead" type of gesture. The tears signifing thier wish to join their loved ones in the after life/ oceans.
- Like in Dune, how the fremen flipped their lids when Paul cried over the death of Jamis.
Quarian allergies and the immune system
- Allergies are caused by hyperactive immune systems—i.e. a trigger-happy immune system unloading its firepower without provocation. But we hear dozens of references to the WEAK quarian immune system, and on top of that Tali says that viruses and bacteria on the quarian homeworld were partially beneficial, so evolutionarily speaking, that would give the quarian immune systems LESS of an incentive to attack everything they encounter. I mean, I could accept the explanation that quarian immune systems became DUMB from being on spaceships too long, but WEAK? No. Seems like the case of Fail Biology Forever, either that or I do.
- Perhaps. But if any infection can kill you, you do have a weak immune system.
- But infection doesn't kill you. Your immune system does, in self-defense. I think the creators were confusing the same concepts there.
- Wait, can you explain that? Infections can and do kill people, especially when the person in question is immunodeficient like the Quarians allegedly are. Bacteria can produce exotoxins that damage tissue and viruses replicate using the host cell's resources. How this ties into Quarian allergies is anyone's guess, but I don't really understand how people and aliens aren't dropping like flies from exchanging microbes with other planets, anyway.
- If I may, does this have to do with Tali catching a cold when she spends a few moments outside of her suit (if romanced), or is it something else?
- If I'm reading the question correctly, it is based on the whole quarian race risking death any time expose themselves (accidentally or on purpose) to any non-sterile environment. And asking why that is so.
- Actually no. The real answer is surprisingly simple. It's an in-story misconception. The "weak quarian immune system" is an urban myth. A lot of people in the ME universe believe it but it's not actually true. Even some quarians (the non-biological science majors especially) probably believe it.
- Has that been supported by the story somehow? Tali does say something to the effect that she's not a biologist and doesn't know everything. But if this is an intentional in-story misconception, shouldn't more knowledgeable characters (like Mordin) explain it as such? Or at least mention it in passing?
- I'd say the fact that Tali goes out of her way to mention it counts as "supported by the story". As for Mordin, the only time he even talks about quarians is when he gives Shepard the sex-talk, and admittedly he does repeat the "weak quarian immune system" line. This could be Mordin simplifying so Shepard can understand (and his advice would be the same regardless of the reason). Or it could be that non-quarian knowledge of quarian biology so spotty that even Mordin believes the "weak quarian immune system" myth.
- On the subject of their immune system why is it weak anyway? The they live on sterile spaceships explanation is clearly incorrect because they still wear their suits in their ships. You can't claim they are wearing the suits because of the presence of Shepard and co possibly carrying something to infect them because Tali's lines confirm that they wear them around each other with no-one else present and if they can't sterilise visitors then they obviously can't have sterile ships. As far as I can tell quarians wear suits because they wear suits, at some point in the past they all decided to start wearing suits as a massive screw you to future generations
- This has been discussed already. Check the archives and the Mass Effect 1 JBM page. Quarian immune systems weakened because of living on sterile ships, and they wear the suits now primarily for privacy reasons because they're tightly packed on their ships and have no privacy outside their suits.
Opening Cutscene: Normandy vs. Collectors
- How is it that the Collector cruiser can detect the Normandy SR 1 while its stealth systems are online? The Normandy's development was supposedly a revolution in space combat, and it seemed like a great counter-point to Sovereign's belief that organic species could be made predictable by leaving them tech based off the mass relays. I wouldn't mind hearing that the Reapers had something that could ignore the stealth systems; it's the lack of any kind of explanation that bugs me.
- The Normandy is still visible, and presumably can be detected when they know where to look. The Collectors were expecting the SR-1 to show up.
- Step 1: Turn on cameras. Step 2: Point cameras toward where Normandy is expected to show up. Step 3: Destroy the Normandy when it shows up. Keep in mind, the entire reason why the Normandy is so effective is because spacecraft use thermal sensors to track other ships, and the Normandy evades such detection. The characters throughout the game even say it outright that "anyone who looks out a window can see us plain as day."
- I don't believe it was ever established that the Normandy stealth systems were turned on during the opening cutscene.
- Pressly directly says they were. Also, the fact that Collector technology is more advanced is an explanation. First rule of fiction: villains are far more threatening when you don't know everything about them.
- "Pressly directly says they were." In that case the answer is obvious. The Collectors/Reapers are advanced enough to see through the Normandy's stealth system. Though I'm not sure why the OP felt this needed explaining.
- Ok, I may have puzzled out an answer to my own question. Six months after the Battle of the Citadel, the whereabouts of Shepard and the Normandy are probably being shouted from every news terminal in the galaxy, making it easy for the Collectors to figure out which star cluster they're heading to next. They send a ship to monitor each relay that leads to a system with some geth presence, then wait for the Normandy to drop out of FTL. With normal visual scanning, it ought to be impossible to find them because of the extreme distances in space, even within one solar system. But if they detect a frigate suddenly hurtling out from a mass relay, and it soon after disappears from thermal scanners... well, it shouldn't be a problem for them to predict where it's heading from there, using its velocity upon exiting the relay.
- They don't even need to see it exit a relay. The Normandy is visible on thermals when it exits FTL, period. Leave a few drones in each system along Normandy's expected patrol route, rig them to send a transmission if they spot the Normandy exiting FTL, and the Collectors come running when the ship shows up, then proceed to visually scan the area until they spot the Normandy.
- Right, I know they can use thermal scanning to spot it leaving a relay. But there still has to be a Collector ship nearby: the Normandy is small compared to other warships, and the longer it flies around with stealth systems on, the harder it becomes to guess where it is. Which leaves you a lot of... space to search visually. The Collectors' window of opportunity to pull off the attack is miniscule, so they can't rely on a drone to do any of it. A Collector ship needs to be already lying in ambush near the relay the Normandy is travelling towards.
- We are ignoring the possibility that the Collectors/Reapers have technology that is capable of scanning and locating ships without the usual thermal imaging everybody else relies on. They've been around long enough that calling it 'forever' is hardly that great an exaggeration. They probably have seen this trick before, and while their mainstream pawns might not have access to the technology to defeat the Normandy's stealth systems, they probably do.
- Why didn't anyone hide in the Mako, including Shepard and Joker? It's specifically designed to let its passengers survive orbital drops, and is later shown intact on the crash site.
- The escape pods were closer. And the Mako is designed for air-drop, not orbital reentry.
- "designed for orbital drops" != "designed to withstand falling in uncontrolled descent from orbit in the middle of an attack." Getting into the Mako would be an extreme desperation move, especially when they have escape pods whose entire purpose is escaping the ship when attacked.
- In the Mako's defense, it survived going through the Conduit, i.e. a miniature mass relay.
- And hey, I know of a few people who survived de-orbit in nothing but Powered Armor. An APC with retro jets (and which is made entirely of rubber) does seem a safer bet. Nonetheless, the escape pods were closer, and the Collector ship was firing a Wave Motion Gun through the hallway of the CIC, which would have made it a tad difficult to get past to the stairs. And then they have to deal with the lift, and you're not supposed to use a lift in an emergency...
- So in Mass Effect: Redemption, we learn that the Collectors hired the Shadow Broker to hand them Shepard's body. But if they needed it, why didn't they pick it up right there in the first place? They just destroyed the ship and left Shepard there, floating in space. Compare that to their behavior when they attack the SR-2: they board the ship and kidnap the entire crew apart from Joker, who was in hiding.
- They probably lost track of the body when it began reentry at the planet.
- Also, the Alliance was incoming. The Normandy had sent a distress signal, and the Alliance has this thing about responding really fast especially when a friendly ship being piloted by a galactic hero is being attacked. The Collectors didn't have time to sift through the wreckage across the entire planet before the Alliance showed up.
Two questions about the Illusive Man
- If Cerberus is a human-centric organization, was the Illusive Man simply not able to find a lot of human specialists with the talent he was looking for? Jack is a powerful biotic, but she's also the only human to join the group in Mass Effect 2 who isn't in the party to start with [Jacob and Miranda], not counting the DLC characters. Did he look? (That is, did he decide, "I'll never find the skills I need in humans ... fine, we'll use aliens" ?)
- To be on Shepard's team, you need to be A) an extremely capable specialist, B) willing to undertake a suicide mission, and C) not have much in the way of prior commitments that would get in the way of said mission. That narrows down the number of people available, and keep in mind, the Illusive Man is looking for the very best in all fields. Also keep in mind that the Illusive Man is not averse to working with nonhumans. It's just that his goals are human-centric. If he can use aliens as a means to expand human dominance, he'll use them.
- Also, he's clearly trying to alleviate Shepard's discomfort about working with Cerberus. One of the first questions Shepard can ask is "Can I get my old team back?" Rather than deny the request, TIM's response is something to the effect "You can try, but I can't guarantee they'll all join up." If TIM had said no, or said "Sure, but no aliens," Shepard might have bailed on the mission and tried to slap together a team on his own, and probably would've gotten mutilated by the Collectors in the process.
- This is validated if you read the mission report after recruiting Garrus. The report says outright that his presence will help keep Shepard under control, because (s)he knew him and trusted him.
- Thanks, that helps. Apparently, according to the main page, Garrus can be skipped in Mass Effect 1 via Sequence Breaking. Does his mission summary in Mass Effect 2 change if this happens, since apparently his lines do?
- Nope, no change. And the dialogue changes aren't anything to write home about. A few lines are cut and Shepard addresses Garrus by his first and last name when they meet. That's...pretty much it.
- Also, you'd think that the whole of the Mass Effect 2 plot would make him reconsider his "human dominance" ideas. Shepard wouldn't have gotten far at all if not for all the specialists in his party, most of whom are alien. Is it just a typical, irrational power-hungry nature?
- No. The Illusive Man believes that humanity should be the dominant species in the galaxy, not that humans are better than everyone else, or that aliens cannot match up to humans. His beliefs are not A: That the strongest species should rule the galaxy, and B: That humanity is strongest species. He thinks that humans should be in charge because he is human, and therefore he should value humanity above all other species. The Illusive Man doesn't really mind aliens who are more skilled than humans, as long as they will obey humans, in the same way that the specialists on the crew obey Shepard.
- If I may, how does that make sense? If he can't prove that humans are better than everyone else, and he doesn't even believe this, then why does he want humans to rule? "I want my own species to be on top" doesn't do very much if they haven't proven that they deserve this.
- If he can't prove that humans are better than everyone else, and he doesn't even believe this, then why does he want humans to rule? Because he's human.
- He wants humans to rule because that would be what's best for humanity. And all he cares about is what best for humanity. Why exactly should he care about alien opinions on what the "proper place" for humanity is? And how exactly do you determine who deserves to rule, anyways? The only actual measurement for that sort of thing is looking to see who ends up in charge. If humanity takes control, then they deserve to rule.
- More accurately, he seems to be a human purist. Many bigots adhere to their beliefs because they fear their history, culture, and ethnic identities being compromised by other cultures. While this could be considered to imply "superiority", it's not completely the case. Imagine if you allowed another family to move into your house; some of your values may be incompatible (like, say, if they don't believe in showering). Eventually, you'll reach the point where one of your values has to go, and purists are determined that it will not be their own.
- I see where the confusion comes from, but I can clarify. The most recent novel Retribution reveals that TIM is prejudiced against aliens. However, it's not psychopathic frothing-at-the-mouth hatred, he just looks down on their cultures as brutish and feels they don't have much to offer humanity. But The Illusive Man is nothing if not practical, which is why he has no problem working with aliens, and I think he's more focused on humanity being in charge than on humanity having to share.
- The Confederacy would have collapsed in days, not years, if not for the labor of African-American slaves. Didn't stop the KKK from promoting white supremacy and saying black people were metaphorically poisoning the South.
- The Ku Klux Klan didn't exist until after the Civil War, after the slaves were freed and the Reconstruction era began. It was created as an answer to white fears about the newly-freed Black slaves and the belief that Blacks, unchecked, would ruin America and its values.
- I didn't say it was a perfect analogy, but it's still true. The very same Southern culture that the KKK venerated would never have gotten off the ground without African-American slave labor to prop up the Southern economy. The point is, there would not be a South to feel pride in without African-Americans. But the KKK still complained about their presence anyway. Racism and racial supremacism are rarely if ever based on logical reasoning.
- Why is EDI the only AI in the games to have a weird ball for an avatar? Every VI with an holographic avatar has a person-shaped one except Vigil, who's broken. Even Sovereign had an avatar that matched his "body".
- Perhaps the Illusive Man had her set up that way on purpose. It could be he was afraid that EDI would try to sweet-talk Joker or someone else into removing the shackles from her program. If so, having an avatar that doesn't look like a person would make her harder to sympathize with.
- Not to mention Bioware would probably be accused of copying another Microsoft video game series. (This troper has always thought Miranda's name was a Shout-Out, but he is probably wrong.)
- Wait, Avina is not supposed to be a shout out?! Or even a subtle Take That ?
- Shout out to what exactly?
Morality and dialogue options, playing as a full Paragon
- Why would you want to play full Paragon anyway? Some of the Paragon options are frankly whiny, pushy, and completely stupid. Some of the Renegade options make sense and are justified. I usually end up well over 100% in Paragon, and 40-50% Renegade. You can be a nice guy and not be a naive moron, you know.
- By "full Paragon," do you mean "choosing every Paragon option that comes your way" (which is actually kind of impossible, since some quests give you multiple but conflicting ways of solving the quest in a Paragon fashion) or simply "doing Paragon actions until you max out your meter [and going neutral or Renegade from there]" ? Besides, maybe I think Renegade points are icky (thanks for forcing us to accmulate small amounts of both via mandatory story missions, Bioware).
- Why not? Just because it's not what YOU would do doesn't make it wrong.
- Why not? Because it doesn't make any sense. If two krogan are pointing guns at you while their boss is screaming "shoot them!", what are you going to do?
- The point is, all of this is subjective. So if you're just saying that other people's choices aren't right because they aren't what YOU did, that's not a valid contribution to this discussion. Choices are just that, a CHOICE. No one is right or wrong here.
- Choices are choices, but jamming the dialogue wheel into Paragon at every possible opportunity, regardless of context, isn't really choosing an option; it's letting the game choose your option for you. Just seems like it defeats the purpose of playing a character.
- Not really — if I want to jam the dialogue wheel into Paragon at every possible opportunity, 1) that's my choice, and 2) if I recall correctly, that's literally why the dialogue wheel was designed as it is. Good options usually go up top, evil ones usually go down below, so for better or worse, usually you basically don't have to think about what you're going to say..
- It's not about "jamming the dialogue wheel into Paragon" it's about playing a consistent character. Alternating between one or the other can make Shepard seem like a perfect saintly do-gooder one minute and an evil baby-strangling maniac the next. It's jarring. Regardless, the point remains: Just because YOU don't like to play that way doesn't mean no one else does. And just because YOU think some of the Paragon choices make no sense doesn't mean everyone else is required to agree with you.
- Exactly. You might just not agree with someone, and that option is the Renegade one. Or maybe the Paragon option is blindingly dumb. Case in point: Batarian Bartender. Paragon option is to talk really loudly and accuse him of spiking drinks. The result is a turian kills him. Renegade option is to force him to down one of his own drinks. The result is he's Hoist by His Own Petard. Neutral option is to tell him to leave and please don't do it again, because chances are I'll run across you again. Now, two of those options have the exact same outcome, but which is the less stupid one?
- Neither. One involves you spreading word around that the batarian is poisoning customers to nearby patrons, and letting them deal with it. This is Omega, after all, and they have a fairly simple and extremely effective justice system. The other is outright murdering him by forcing him to drink his own drink. He gets Hoist by His Own Petard either way. I don't see which one is "more stupid."
- You don't have to choose Paragon for everything; but it would be nice, in conversation with your teammates, if you had a friendlier-than-neutral option, without being romantic. As if talking to a close friend, but not a boy/girlfriend.
- Why would you want to play full Paragon anyway? Because with the way that the second game's morality system is set up, if you don't play either full Renegade or full Paragon, you can't fill up either of the gauges. If you can't fill up the gauges, you can't settle loyalty disputes and make a lot of the best Charm/Intimidate options. If you can't do that, then seriously, good freakin' luck guiding everyone through the Collector Base, because you'll have disloyal people dragging everyone else down. It's an unfortunate case of the game's mechanics forcing your hand if you want the best endings. (ETA: I've confirmed that this is true for a new game - I really had to work to get Shepard to a full Paragon gauge before doing Miranda's loyalty mission, so that I could keep Miranda and Jack loyal to me. Haven't played an import game yet.)
- Well, if you're starting a new game you've got to for one or the other. If you starting from an import (like me) than you've got a lot more legroom, but realisitically, the only problems you're going to have are the confrontations and maybe Tali's trial (but that can be solved by saving Veetor and Kal Reegar), and if you get to them soon enough (or later, as long as you've got plenty of Para/Ren points), you should be fine.
- It's also worth noting that the conflicts, Jack vs. Miranda and Tali vs. Legion, can both be resolved AFTER the event. You don't need to have your P/R high enough to defuse it right then; you can go back and defuse it later to get the loyalty of whoever you didn't side with back.
- And, from what I hear, the Paragon/Renegade checks are higher?
- Not so with Zaeed's mission, though. I recently played through with roughly 75% paragon (all of the Paragon sections were filled in except one) and still failed the check. And once you fail that check, there's no way to make him loyal again that I know of.
- I can honestly say that I succeeded with the Paragon route (was able to perform the charm option) with only 25% of the Paragon bar filled. This may have been because I did Zaeed's mission as the first thing to be done (immediately after getting the Normandy), as well as having a full Paragon imported Shepard. Paragon/Renegade checks are dependent, not only on the total points one has accumulated, but on how many points one could have accumulated thus far. An Imported Shepard gets "free" points, and usually, it's enough free points to make just about any option available to the player.
- For the sake of role-play, I made my Shepard in my latest game a Bitch With A Heart Of Gold. She was a genuinely good person, but she demanded discipline and professionalism at all times. I imported the character from the first game, where she was majority Paragon, but the bonus STILL wasn't enough to pass Zaeed's check in the late game.
- Late game. That is the problem. People seem to have this belief that if it's a "hard" Paragon/Renegade check, it should be done as late as possible, so as to accumulate enough points to succeed. But the way ME 2 works makes this counterproductive. Primarily because for every Paragon point you miss, there is less of a chance that you will be able to reach the ratio necessary to pass. Thus, one should probably do the "hard" checks as soon as possible, so the likelihood of success is higher. I'm not saying it's a bad system, but that's how it is... and thus one needs to work with it in order to get the results they want to see.
- One of the lesser-known facts about the Miranda/Jack and Tali/Legion arguments is that they actually require different Paragon/Renegade levels. You need more Paragon points to defuse the Miranda/Jack argument, and you need less to defuse the Tali/Legion one, and vice versa. So if you have a high Paragon level (like me) you can defuse the Tali/Legion argument successfully very late in the game. You should do the Miranda/Jack one as soon as you're able. As for Zaeed, you recruit him first, so I do his Loyalty Mission first (before recruiting anyone else!). At that low level, you can easily persuade him to be loyal to you. I should note that the way I play (100%+ Paragon, 40-50% Renegade), the only Renegade options I can remember being grayed out are the ones at Tali's trial, and the ones in the arguments.
- ^^ And that's the whole point. It sucks players have to play the game in the order that the developers intended while at the same time offering a "choice" system. In my opinion, Fallout: New Vegas does this a lot better (most of the time) by making it clear to the player that there are other alternatives to finishing missions and passing checks. They exist in ME2 as well, but good luck figuring them out on the first try.
- YMMV on what makes a good system, and whether there truly is a "choice" system in any game that holds a plot.
- This isn't a discussion about if a perfect system can be made, but how flaws in the current one could be handled better.
- Flaws are another YMMV issue. And a JBM discussion should discuss flaws in the plot/story, not the system said story is presented in.
- Firstly, JB Ms are almost always YMMV. One person's Fridge Logic is another's Epileptic Trees. Secondly, the choice system and story are one in the same in Mass Effect, since the story hinges largely upon the player's choices. Therefore, a JBM questioning the outcome and/or limits of said choices is as valid as one which discusses the plot itself.
- If anything, the second game gives you more freedom to choose your responses, because most conversation options give you a chance to rack up a few Paragon/Renegade points. Combined with interrupts, the fact that your class talents allow for up to a 100% boost to your point totals, and the fact that the "big" morality decisions (retain/destroy genophage cure data, kill Ronald Taylor, let David be kept by Cerberus or free him, rewrite or destroy the heretics, save the factory workers, etc.) generally aren't tied to the Paragon/Renegade score itself allows you to very quickly fill up either meter. Hell, by the end of my most recent Renegade playthrough, I had a completely maxed-out Renegade meter and a halfway full Paragon meter, and I only had so few Paragon points because I was deliberately not doing many Paragon interrupts to keep Shepard's scary red eyes. If I'd taken enough Paragon interrupts, I probably could have charmed as well as I intimidated.
- Really? Because I'm halfway through ME 1 and I already have a full Paragon gauge; I was nowhere near a full gauge in my new ME 2 career until the very end, and that after a ton of side missions and the gauge-boosting skill classes. I must be Doing It Wrong somehow....
- An Imported Shepard works wonders. It makes it possible for one to fill Renegade or Paragon (depending on which option the import is) completely shortly after completing Horizon. But, like a lot of things, one must know what they are doing in order for it to happen.
- So, why exactly do you get Paragon points for telling multiple stores on the Citadel that you're their favorite in advertisements? Seems like getting Paragon points for dishonesty is a bit of Moral Dissonance.
- Er, how? You're using your ability to charm people to make them like you more (which always nets Paragon points), and every store you go to sells something distinctly different. Besides, it's advertising. If you expect honesty in advertising and endorsements, you're going to be disappointed.
- You're using your ability to charm people to make them like you more. So does a con-man. I would hardly call it "Paragon" to let multiple stores use a mutually contradictory advertisement ploy just to acquire a discount. Besides, it's advertising. If you expect honesty in advertising and endorsements, you're going to be disappointed. But that's precisely the point: people grumble at the fact that advertising is dishonest. Hence why we typically don't consider people who give product endorsements for financial gain to be heroic (on that specific count, at least).
- It's because you've giving the store something in return for the discount. Any discount they give you will be made up tenfold by your adverting for them. The renegade options are just "Give me a discount or I break your legs" instead of "Hey, free advertizing if you give me a reasonible discount."
- The Renegade options are nothing like that. In most cases, Shepard still actually befriends the shopkeeper.
- True. While some are just straight up "give me a better price or break your legs", most of them are Shepard charming the shopkeeper to give him/her a better price. For example, Shepard convinces Marab to give him a better price by telling him he can't save the galaxy (again) with outdated equipment.
- Because it's funny?
Mordin's Loyalty Mission
- When Mordin confronts Maelon at the end of his loyalty mission and is about to shoot him Shepard can interrupt with a Paragon option reminding Mordin that he is not a murderer. Disregarding the fact that you had to shoot about 30 people to death to get to Maelon. Also disregarding Mordin's history in the Salarian STG, or his killing of Blue Suns mercs in his clinic. How is killing mercs and krogan really any different to killing Maelon at this point?
- Because Maelon is someone important to Mordin, and Mordin would have regretted this. He says this right after you stop him. Mordin also doesn't consider the genophage murder, I suppose because he doesn't count stillborns. Blue Suns mercs are people who are hired to attack and kill other people.
- Not to mention that the Blood Pack were actually shooting at Shepard and Mordin, and they thought that Maelon was there against his will. When Mordin is about to kill Maelon, he's at his mercy, completely unarmed. See the difference?
- Pretty much. There's a substantial difference between killing someone who is armed, armored, and willing to kill you in the course of a rescue mission, and executing an unarmed individual. There's a reason why soldiers who kill enemy combatants are considered justified in their actions, whereas soldiers who execute prisoners are considered war criminals. Same difference here; the Blue Suns and Blood Pack were enemy combatants who were either committing hostile actions (threatening Mordin's clinic and patients) or were guarding a prisoner/committing horrible experiments (the Blood Pack).
- Mordin also says that he would have killed the Blue Suns who threatened Daniel, even after he arranged for Daniel's safety.
- Not quite. Mordin wasn't there and doesn't know how that situation went down. All Daniel told him was that Shepard and his squad killed the batarians "in cold blood". He probably assumed Shepard just burst into the room and cleanly gunned them down before they could hurt Daniel. If Daniel had told Mordin that Shepard promised to let the batarians go if they put down their guns and then killed them anyway, Mordin might not have been so approving. (Also, they weren't Blue Suns. They were just some angry batarians taking out their frustrations on the nearest human they could find.)
- But if you don't kill the batarians, citing "I Gave My Word" as the reason, Mordin says he would have killed them anyway.
- Of course he would have. The batarians were armed individuals who were acting irrationally with intent to kill both humans and medical workers. They were, for all intents and purposes, a roving death squad. Eliminating them would save lives and stabilize an area already experiencing enough irrational, wanton murder.
- The batarians were only trying to kill Daniel because they thought he was spreading the plague. If they weren't Blue Suns, they weren't a "roving death squad" any more than Maelon, who was also armed, acting irrationally with the intent to kill, and with STG training.
- And? They were still armed individuals preparing to kill a uniformed medical worker based on vague suspicion and species. They're hostile, violent, and irrational, and they could have gone on to kill others. Plus, Mordin wasn't there, so he doesn't know the details. All he knows is what Daniel tells him about the batarians, who sound like they approached him and threatened to kill him for irrational reasons. And as for Maelon, he wasn't armed at the time. He'd been disarmed and Mordin had a gun to him. Furthermore, he was no longer a threat to anyone at that point; with Weyrloc destroyed, there's no other krogan clan that has the willingness or resources to fund his genophage experiments. Also keep in mind that telling Mordin to spare Maelon comes at the end of his character development on his loyalty mission, which has been all about penance and self-justification for doing horrible things. Mordin agreeing to spare Maelon may be interpreted a shift in his perceptions, particularly if you've been playing a Paragon who's been hammering away at Mordin's own self-justifications.
- [shrugs] They couldn't have been that "hostile, violent, and irrational," considering they're perfectly willing to let Daniel go with a Charm and a Paragon response.
- Yes, because there was no way for Maelon to be carrying either a secondary weapon, or to find a new one on his way out of Weyrloc base. Which is crawling with dead krogan and vorcha. Also, the "development" argument doesn't fly, because like Garrus, Mordin is one of those characters who can develop in either direction based solely on Shepard's final action. Kill Maelon? He comes to terms with his demons. Don't kill Maelon? He overcomes his demons. And finally, the batarians didn't believe Daniel was a "uniformed medical officer". Remember, they thought he was spreading the plague, and as soon as you convince them he isn't, all they want to do is walk away. The point remains that there was just as much threat (if not more) in letting Maelon live as the scared batarians living in a plague zone.
- Maybe you can consider Mordin a murderer, and killing those batarians should be no different than killing Maelon, but that's not how Mordin thinks of it. Maybe that's not how Shepard thinks of it either, but maybe s/he believes Mordin will regret it anyway. Paragons never execute unarmed prisoners anyway.
- But then a million is just a statistic, whereas Maelon is a named character with a moral stance.
- Murder is a term used for unlawfully killing someone. I'd say between Maelon who was trying to cure the Genophage (admittedly through questionable means) and a bunch of trigger happy mercs who'd kill anyone they'd get paid to kill or not, he had every right to believe he wasn't a murderer.
- Wait, wait—no. That isn't Artistic License - Law. If anything, the definition of "murder" you provided is overly simplistic of the actual lawful term. (Which, by the way, doesn't apply here, as we're dealing with a fictional culture on a fictional planet with fictional characters, but let's use modern standards for argument's sake.) In real life, what Mordin did would be considered murder because Maelon no longer had the ability to defend himself, and Mordin was in full control of the situation. In real-life rules of engagement, if the suspect is resisting with lethal force, you have the authority to use whatever means are necessary to eliminate that resistance. Mordin chose to punch Maelon in the face and disarm him. From that point on, Maelon no longer resisted or (as far as we can see) had any intention to. That means that Mordin killed a man with no means of defending himself, which, in real-life terms, would count as murder. Don't throw "You Fail" around just as a Take That.
- How did Shepards body survive atmospheric re-entry?
- If the body went down with the ship wreckage, maybe the mass effect engine was close by and held a partial field before impact. Alternatively, the planet's atmosphere could have been somewhat thin. The chunks of Normandy-1 on the surface look unscorched and fairly intact. Hell, the Mako is still in one piece even if it did get busted post-landing by ice. You also find dog tags of the crew and even XO Pressley's private datapad. A lot of the data is bad, but it's still readable. If it and the crates could survive impact, a body could. You'd shatter every bone in your body, and the skeletal scans in the intro are pretty smashed looking.