Ignoring for now (it's discussed later in the page) that the geth design their fighters to be usable by organics, why do the Geth also include in their military bases essentially unguarded machines that let organics enter their network with virtual guns that can shoot and destroy probably sensitive code/runtimes? Why even build the machines in the first place?
The interface device wasn't for organics. Shepard is sufficiently synthetic by that point that s/he can use devices that should only work for the geth. The device in question was designed for geth platforms to upload geth into the Consensus, and with Legion's help it is turned to Shepard's use. The "gun" Shepard uses is just a set of attack programs supplied by Legion that are represented as a gun in the interface for Shepard's ease of use. Legion explains all of this very clearly if you pay attention.
Legion explicitly states the interface is based on Project Overlord, a cerberus project built for organics. Furthermore, it's unnecessary for geth runtimes to use a machine to hop into the consensus; they're always connected unless something is going wrong, this is demonstrated by the fact that legion merrily pops into the consensus to guide you without the machine (and his actions in ME2). And while I understand that the gun is just a filter applied to a bunch of bytes, it still means that the Geth built a physical backdoor into their base used by Organics that grants them sufficient access to destroy important code.
The Project Overlord interface was a system by which an organic could communicate in a language that the geth could understand. It was less hardware and more software involving translation between the two. Legion used Overlord software to allow Shepard access, and remember that again, only Shepard could really use that interface because of his/her enhancements. And while geth can communicate with the Consensus, they don't upload directly via wireless connections; they have specific equipment that allows for geth to upload themselves into Consensus servers, as shown by the network access nodes in the Heretic Station. More importantly, any direct connection to the Consensus allows for full systems access. It's not simply a case of one terminal allowing particular access. Once you're in the Consensus, you can access nearly anything, because that's how the geth social structure is designed.
I don't recall anything to suggest Shepard was specially chosen for the mission because of his half synthetic nature. The reason Legion chose him was because he's a "wild-card" And Project Overlord was a ton of hardware, you need only look at the tubes coming from David Archer's mouth to figure that bit out. The very nature of the mission Shepard is on also proves that the Geth are always "in" the consensus. Shepard is there destroying geth programs which are in real time fighting quarian ships on platforms. If the Geth were merely communicating with the consensus, this wouldn't be possible. They're in their totally. What we saw at heretic station was storage for geth programs when they aren't in a platform, but they're always in the consensus.
It's pretty clear that the reason why the geth built the interface devices was because they wanted to allow organics access to the Consensus to communicate with them. The geth have been making attempts at overtures of peace, and this is an attempt to set up the infrastructure for communication beyond the inefficient forms of communication oragnics use. As for installing such a device inside a military base, the geth don't really have "military" installations like organics do. Its a geth server - effectively, an entire city of geth - where you're targeting a specific set of geth that are operating a specific set of fighters. In a time of peace, it wouldn't be operating fighter craft. Also, the facility wasn't unguarded, as Legion deploys ahead of Shepard to neutralize the geth platforms protecting the installation.
Everyone walks forward while shooting
In several cutscenes, characters shoot at their targets while moving towards them. Why? I can't imagine how that would improve their aim, especially when they could have done better to back away from their targets. Think of how the fight between the Virmire Survivor and Evabot would have gone, if the VS didn't charge forward only to get their face bashed in, but instead backed away or held their ground so that they can get more shooting time in. Thane would have benefited from this too: maybe he would have actually landed a shot against Kai Leng if he wasn't walking and shooting at the same time.
Advancing on target while firing is a common tactic taught in pretty much any assault school. Shooting the target disrupts its ability to return fire while letting you get closer and hit it with increasing accuracy. In reality, walking does not disrupt your aim much if you're trained properly in how to keep your sights on target while advancing. It isn't made clear if Thane hit Kai Leng while he was moving toward him, though either way it might not have done much good, considering Kai Leng's shields would have let him shrug off mass accelerator rounds long enough to get in close.
Cerberus power level discrepancy between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3
Seriously, I know it's because they're villains now and we need something to fight that isn't husks or giant floating spaceships, but where were the giant mechs and legions of commandos in Power Armour when Shepard was fighting for his/her life in Mass Effect 2?
They had you, who repeatedly be proved to be more than enough. Why send a platoon of soldiers when a hyper-competent team of 3 will get the same results. Likely, if you never got around to something, they'd have sent their armies later.
Cerberus had the resources and manpower to:
Build Project Overlord, which involved multiple geothermal power stations, a large above-ground facility including an immense satellite uplink station bigger than the satellite in Goldeneye plus an underground facility almost as big,
The Derelict Reaper operation, which involved extensive construction of platforms and equipment transportation
Project Firewalker, which also developed an entirely new ground combat vehicle (much more expensive that it sounds)
Well, according to a discussion between James and Cortez, the Hammerhead was an Alliance tank model originally. I don't remember what the codex said, however.
The Lazarus Project, which required its own dedicated space station, on top of the resources poured into Shepard, which in his/her own words, "You could have trained an army for what you spent on me."
Rebuilt the Normandy, one of the most expensive and advanced warships in the galaxy, which cost as much as a heavy cruiser or twelve thousand fighters, and then improved on the design.
Subsequently supported and funded the Normandy during Shepard's romp across the galaxy.
Operated numerous R&D projects to develop Cerberus Assault Armor, Inferno Armor, the Arc Projector, the Eviscerator, and modified the Mattock, on top of research into geth weapons.
Maintained a space station solely for the Illusive Man that moves every time anyone of his agents visits the station.
Suffered raids by Hierarchy troops on a dozen of their projects and installations in Retribution, without being seriously hampered
Maintained combat operations in several areas in the Terminus with platoons of commando troops
This does not factor in various other projects and operations, such as their extensive intelligence network and legal apparatus.
With all of these projects they've been able to fund and operate, you're somehow having a hard time wrapping your head around them maintaining a few mechs and a battalion of infantry? If anything, the question here should be the discrepancy between Cerberus' resources in ME1 and ME2.
I think the question is actually the opposite of that — not so much "how can Cerberus afford this" but "why didn't they use these things in Mass Effects 1 and 2, since they're so rich anyway?"
Primarily because Cerberus was largely covert in the first two games, hiding their strength and so on. They were engaging in some combat operations in the Terminus (you get as much from the messages TIM sends you whenever you get some DLC equipment). However, clearly something has changed in the Cerberus leadership/goals if they're changing their gameplan this drastically. Indoctrination is one of the better explanations.
Just to nitpick, the Hierarchy raids in Retribution actually did cripple Cerberus... in the Terminus Systems (which was why the Illusive Man needed to get Aria to help him). Everything we've seen of Cerberus in Mass Effect 3 so far indicates they're still an N.G.O. Superpower in Citadel/human space, however.
Perhaps Cerberus, due to all that time spent near Reaper stuff, has gotten indoctrinated on a very subtle scale. Thus Cerberus is in fact enacting Plan C (To Sov's A and Harbinger's B). So pulling out all the stops would be counter-productive and also reveal their hand too much to Shepard.
The most likely explanation is that yeah this stuff was around in the first place, but in Mass Effect 1 they were trying to be covert, and in Mass Effect 2, it was better for Shepard and co to be discrete, but in Mass Effect 3, top brass has gone nuts and it's all out war, so hiding your best cards really doesn't do you any favors.
According to Bioware, figuring out how Cerberus has suddenly acquired so much war material is a plot point. So it will be dealt with at some point.
But according to EDI, Cerberus has 150 operatives. Somehow, these big strike teams don't seem to gel with a number that small.
Depends how Cerberus defines "operative."
"Operative" Lawson. Miranda is only one person.
That's exactly the point. Miranda was in charge of her own team and had numerous personal working under her. Every "operative" could have the same.
There's also a chance that EDI didn't have correct/complete information. It wouldn't be strange at all for TIM to keep certain stuff well under the radar.
EDI explicitly says that each cell is commanded by an operative. So we're looking at potentially 150 cells with comparable manpower to the Normandy operation, which is consistent with Cerberus' resources.
Mass Effect 2's Codex entry on cerberus mentions that they've recently shifted focus from covert operations to stockpiling weapons, ships, and recruits and conducting more overt operations. This may reflect how they've shifted their efforts and gained so much combat capability in ME3.
Actually, it makes sense if you pay attention to Cerberus' deployed forces. Cerberus' troops almost always consist of infantry platoons backed by light armor in the form of Atlas mechs. They have some spacecraft, but a comparatively limited amount. Their real strengths are in what effectively amounts to large numbers of air-mobile infantry backed by light armor and air support. This makes sense when you take Sanctuary into account; Cerberus has likely been abducting, recruiting, or coercing ordinary people, whammying them with indoctrination and implants and turning them into soldiers. Once done, they equip them with infantry weaponry and armor and deploy them in commando units to assault sites and hold them temporarily before withdrawing. Outfitting infantry in this setting shouldn't actually be that hard or expensive, considering established industrial capabilities. They can't maintain long-term occupation - their efforts to control Benning and Eden Prime and even temporarily control the Citadel shows this much - but Cerberus can hit and run. And that's largely what they do.
And midway through the game we get an answer as to where they were getting a lot of their stuff: That traitorous S.O.B. Udina. Having a Council member in their pocket explains a lot.
And later, we learn how they managed to increase so dramatically their manpower: civilians captured by cerberus then indoctrinated: in fact, there are many hints, like the fact that on Mars Cerberus troops recognize Shepard and realize that they are now in deep trouble while on Sur'kesh, a wounded cerberus soldier seem unable to give any coherent answer to Shepard at first, one may think that it comes from his wounds, but it is also likely that indoctrination already damaged his mind, during later encounters, Cerberus troops seem to become more and more robotic: they're still able to communicate both with the students and among themselves in a mostly human way at Grayson academy, but during the attempted coup, only one of them show some doubts about executing in cold blood one of their accomplice, and in the last part of the game, cerberus troops are only transmitting orders to each others. One mission consist of stopping them from attacking a colony: both Hackett and Shepard agree that this is different from Cerberus usual MO they were most probably already trying to capture as many civilians as possible to bolster their numbers
What this doesn't explain is where they got two entire fleets of super advanced warships, including a dreadnought, when one super advanced frigate was supposed to have drained a significant fraction of their resources in the second game. It also doesn't explain where the hell Cerberus got high tech custom armor, weapons, cybernetics, and gadgets for millions of soldiers. They don't own planets, guys.
The evidence that indicates that building the Normandy took enormous amounts of resources comes from people and sources who have limited understanding of Cerberus' actual resources. It's basic compartmentalization. As for outfitting the ground component, there's no evidence that they have "millions" of ground troops. Maybe a million, and that's stretching it, considering what we see of their ground operations consists mostly of light infantry forces who can barely hold onto colonies for a short period of time, and the Citadel operation cost them enough manpower that it crippled their overall ability to conduct ground operations. Even then, outfitting that many troops shouldn't be that hard, considering that all you'd really need is a set of prefabricated factories to plop down on an uncharted world and a decent automated asteroid mining operation to supply the raw materials. Equipping a million-man army would not be difficult for an interstellar organization, let alone one that can operate fleets on the scale of Cerberus.
That's the problem though: Cerberus shouldn't be able to operate fleets like that. One ship was considered a big drain on their resources, yet in 3 they just magic up hundreds more for their fleets with no explanation where they came from or how they built a stronger navy than most independent planets in this universe. Omega even shows that they have a dreadnought.
One ship is a drain on their resources according to EDI and the data she has access to. That's not a terribly reliable resource, and going by their resources in the sequel, obviously incomplete or misinformation due to compartmentalization and possibly forward thinking by TIM (especially considering he had overrides installed on the Normandy to retake control if Shepard went rogue). Considering the scale of other forces in the setting, like Eclipse, Blue Suns, or other Terminus organizations, a private but well-funded force like Cerberus having access to large fleets and armies is not remarkable. The dreadnought is the only sticking point, but all it really indicates is that they are much more powerful than expected and have likely been building up for war for decades, which fits the timeframe, as Cerberus has been around since the FCW thirty years previously.
Also keep in mind that The Illusive Man has probably been reaching out to various wealthy individuals, both those who aquire their funds legally and illegally, and have been telling them for years about the impending Reaper invasion. During the six months between games, he has proof of the Reapers existance. Now, at the start of the game, you have Earth being taken, the Batarians completely wiped out, and then even the Turians are getting seriously pounded. Any unbelievers would start throwing money and resources at tIM to do something.
Everyone seems to be missing the fact that this stuff existing at ANY point is the problem in and of itself. Just going "oh they always had it you just didn't see it isn't answering the question of how they could possibly get it to start with. It's flat out impossible to hide warship construction the scales are just too large and the facilitates to maintain them to expansive to conceal. Even in Mass Effect a cruiser is a big deal, and Dreadnaughts are regulated by pan galactic treaties at the highest level. The entire Human Government had less then ten and we're supposed to buy some quasi-terrorist group with zero legitimate funding and having to try and keep all fund and materiel transfers totally covert can produce one and a FLEET of cruisers? Dreadnaughts and state of the art cruisers aren't something you can just build off to the side or something. One suspects the sole shipyards that can do so are under government control and oversight for scores of reasons. I rather doubt civilian yards are allowed to just churn out dreadnaughts at whim so long as they sell them to private buyers (disregarding for now how the hell anyone could afford them), and I sort of doubt cruisers that can level cites are just unregulated either. Given that fact dozens of cruisers and an god damn dreadnaught aren't going to just 'get lost' from the facilitates that could produce them.
Except that we know that private organizations can and do deploy battlefleets consisting of cruisers, frigates, and fighters. Eclipse and Blue Suns have their own battle fleets, as do many Terminus pirate organizations, along with the corporate force that was fighting on Garvun. The only really weird thing is the dreadnought. As for funding, the raw materials and facilities to build Cerberus' ships most likely never came from any civilian or military yard. Cerberus has already demonstrated that they have covert shipbuilding capabilities all the way back in the second game where they built an even larger and more advanced version of a ship that Rear Admiral Mikhalovich said cost as much as a heavy cruiser or two thousand fighters. Acquiring the facilities and resources to build their fleet would take time, but Cerberus has been around for over thirty years and they've had a hand in exploring and developing uncharted worlds, so it's not much a stretch to imagine that they hid their shipbuilding operations on uncharted worlds and used automated mining and manufacturing facilities to build most of the ships, with specialized parts being manufactured by the various covertly-controlled Alliance defense contractors. I don't think it's that much of a stretch that they could have acquired a decent number of cruisers and frigates, and remember that Cerberus never really deploys a huge number of ships except at the end when their main base is being attacked, and that fleet gets smashed flat by the Alliance, so it appears that they never really had a huge fleet force to begin with. Again, the dreadnought is the only iffy part of Cerberus' arsenal; everything else is within the established capabilities of NGO powers in the setting.
Also keep in mind that the primary limitation to dreadnought production is not resources. Its the Treaty of Firaxen. The Treaty sets a hard cap on the number of dreads a particular government can field, pegged to the Turian Hierarchy's numbers. The less powerful associate nations don't field as many dreadnoughts mainly because they aren't as invested in defense as the Hierarchy is. There's really nothing to prevent even the smaller-scale powers from upgrading to dreadnoughts if they wanted to; hell, the quarians, who explicitly have a "hand-to-mouth" economy that is permanently wrapped up in maintaining their fleet, were able to acquire the weapons and equipment to upgrade their liveships to dreadnoughts. so its not too much a stretch for Cerberus to be able to build one in secret, considering their extensive under-the-table resources.
The source of Cerberus' power and funding is actually laid out pretty clearly at the beginning of the Omega DLC: Omega itself. Omega provided Aria with a tremendous amount of economic power when she was in charge, and Cerberus took over the element zero mines and other manufacturing facilities on Omega. Look at the amount of war assets Aria supplies if you help her take back Omega; it rivals the contributions of the entirety of the volus and the hanar/drell combined. With those kinds of resources, it shouldn't be hard to maintain the relatively limited forces that Cerberus fields.
OK, so the kid that pulls a Stealth Hi/Bye in the demo: how? I understand Rule of Cool and Rule of Drama, but the kid demonstrated that the airvent wasn't soundproof. That's how Shepard managed to detect the kid in the first place. Now the kid had to get around the corner fairly quickly during the few seconds Shepard looked away (he was about halfway there when talking to Shepard) and considering that couldn't be quiet while moving slowly, it seems unlikely that he could be silent while moving fast. How is it that the kid managed to get around the corner without making any noise?
In a noisy, chaotic environment, it'd be pretty easy for the kid to slip away before Shepard could notice if he/she took his/her eyes off him for a few seconds.
Seriously, Tropers! I timed it, and Shepard was looking away for 10 seconds. Isn't that enough time to move two feet?
Certainly. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be enough time for him to move quietly.
Just because the kid wasn't moving like that when we first meet him, doesn't mean he isn't capable of it. What's more important, is that game-play represents the perspective of Commander Shepard, and perception is selective. Also applies in Real Life: Did you hear your computer humming just before reading this? No, you were focused on other things. Did Shepard hear the kid moving? No, he was talking to Anderson.
After playing the demo, it is possible to see that the kid was at the end of the corridor, so the only was for him to continue to move was making a turn. It would take, like 2-3 seconds to get out of sight.
It's also possible that the kid only exists in Shepard's mind. Would explain the vanishing and why nobody at the shuttle landing site reacts to him in any way. We might see that kid later in the full game.
Oh we see him later alright. In a cut scene when the shuttle he gets on is blasted out of the sky by a Reaper.
Him being just in Shepard's head would fit with the ending.
Indoctrination Theory, there is a chance that the kid is a hallucination caused by Shepard slowly being indoctrinated.
It's long, but watch this video on the indoctrination theory. It explains the little kid.
The indoctrination theory seems pretty unlikely now, given that the whole thing hinged on the idea that Bioware had deliberately created an unsatisfying fake ending with the intention of releasing the pre-planned true ending later. Ending DLC is on its way, but everything Bioware have said suggests that this is a response to fan outcry rather than something planned from the start (and if it was planned in advance they could just release it now rather than the vague "summer" release date), they also claim that the DLC will expand on the ending but not change it.
Jossed. There's a picture of the kid on the memorial wall in the Citadel refugee district.
Unless you/Sheppard are just imagining it is that kid.
Actually, during the early stages when you're learning how to fire your weapon against the climbing husks, you can actually see the boy running across the roof and into the room if you adjust the camera/your view.
A room that gets blown up a second later, mind.
You realize that Earth is being attacked by Reapers at the moment, right? Shepard's kind of got enough to distract him/her, the sounds of the explosions and fighting outside and the fact that Anderson called for him/her from another room seconds before could easily be enough noise to hide the sound of the kid moving.
Still, it begs the question why Shepard didn't tell Anderson◊ "Hey, there's a kid in here! We can't leave him!" like any sensitive and reasonable human being would.
Because the kid is gone, and they're just fighting to stay alive at that point. Shepard and Anderson don't have time to go digging through the ductwork for the kid. They have to get the hell out of there.
That's also what I thought, as Anderson's calling Shepard over essentially implied "We can't stay around here any longer."
Setting aside the Indoctrination theory and the kid moving quietly, how exactly did he make it from the ventilation shafts of a high building all the way to the ground level and a transport in the time it took Shepard to reach the Normandy?
Because Shepard was fighting off waves of various husks which takes longer than it seems.
Normandy's Leaving Earth
This is just something minor, but... the first mission takes place in London, right? When the Normandy is exiting the atmosphere, it's clearly leaving from somewhere in North America. I'm preeeeetty sure London is in a completely different area of the Earth. Like, halfway around the world.
Nope. Save the game as soon as you get control of Shepard, then look at the save data. It says "Prologue - Vancouver" or something like that.
Isn't the first mission in Vancouver? (Perhaps as a shout-out to the Canadian-ness of both male and female Shepard and Bioware itself) ... Memory could be misleading, however.
Word of God is it's the future's Vancouver-Seattle megalopolis.
It was never said anywhere that the first mission takes place in London.
In fact, it had to take place anywhere except London, because one of the first cutscenes is a video feed from London, where they've been attacked, just before the Reapers attack Shepard.
Just because the first promo took place in London doesn't mean the first mission took place there.
So... the Reapers take the time to shoot down two small and defenceless shuttles, but the Normandy, a much larger and well-defended frigate, escapes with no hassle? And don't give me any of that "Oh, stealth system!" nonsense because ME2 already proved Reaper tech can see through the stealth.
The shuttles probably have more people on them. The Reapers want the people to melt into goo. Besides, it's not like they have time to shoot down everything.
It's more than likely the Normandy's Reaper-IFF from the last game managed to hide it from the Reapers long enough to am-scray before they realized something was amiss. It's a long shot but it's the most likely explanation I can think of.
Not to mention we saw moments before the Reapers destroyed a Dreadnought so its likely they're going after the bigger targets first. The Normandy is also mentioned as being one of the fastest Alliance vessels in the fleet, it also spends barely two minutes before making a break for it and as noted above, combining the Reaper-IFF and their stealth systems, its likely hard to make a bead on them rapidly. In all previous cases, there was only the Normandy present and the Reapers were actively looking for them at the time. Even if they are now, there are hundreds of crafts they've got appearing on their radar to make that task next to impossible.
The Normandy was already leaving before the shuttles were destroyed, and afterwords the Reaper immediately turns its attention on the ground forces firing at it.
Um, actually, as far as anyone knows, in-universe or in real life, only an Oculus can see through the Normandy's stealth system. Nothing to say that the Reapers can too. Combine that with the Reaper IFF, and the Normandy is pretty much gone to the Reapers.
Actually, anyone in the universe can see through the Normandy's stealth system. They just have to look at the Normandy visually. The Collector cruiser also easily spotted the Normandy straight through its stealth systems.
Ashley and wearing civilian clothes to testify before a military board. What, did she get kicked out, too?
Ashley is a Spectre now. Technically, she's not bound by any Alliance regulations at all. She can wear whatever the hell she wants, and Spectres are encouraged to be individuals.
Ashley wasn't a Spectre at that point; the offer hadn't even been put on the table.
Secondly, why and how is she a lieutenant commander? She was a Marine, so far as I could tell, in ME1 and ME2. And an enlisted Marine. And now she's an officer with a Navy rank? Let's say that she went OCS and became an officer... why is she a lieutenant commander? Kaidan (if you keep him alive) is a major. Major=lieutenant commander. But Kaidan was a lieutenant when we first met him. Which is two to three ranks below major. Whereas the hypothetical "gunnery chief," even if she went OCS, would be starting out at the lowest level of the Navy officer corps, which is going to be at least a little below whatever kind of lieutenant Kaidan was.
You are making the mistake of assuming that Systems Alliance rank structure is anything like real life NATO-style rank structure. Its not. SA Marines and Navy are actually the same branch, just with different focuses and terminology for ranks, and use the same rank progression. (And technically, Major is a SA Marine equivalent of Captain, or 0-6) As for getting promoted to an officer rank, Ashley and Kaidan are both Spectres, so the normal military rules no longer apply to them. They've obviously been very much fast-tracked because they're now the second human Spectre.
Don't forget that Shepard was a marine before becoming a commander. During Elysium/Akuze/Torfan, Shepard was an N5. It was only after that that s/he became an N7 and went into officer training. Same thing with Anderson. During the FCW, he was an N5, and by the time he went onto that mission with Saren he was an N7.
No. Per Mass Effect: Revelation, Anderson graduated the N7 program at the age of twenty, shortly before the First Contact War broke out. There is no reason to suppose Shepard wasn't already N7 at the time of Elysium/Akuze/Torfan, either.
According to the concept art book, Ashley's outfit is not civilian clothing at all, but apparently an officer's outfit. Why it looks different than the female officer outfits that say, Fem Shep or Kahlee Sanders wears isn't explained.
Modern militaries have different classes of uniforms for different occasions. It wouldn't be that unusual for the Alliance to do the same.
What bothers me is the usage of "Lieutenant" as a short form for her rank, which is completely wrong. It should be "Commander", like Shepard before her promotion. I think there is an out-of-universe reason for this, however. Early articles reported that Williams would be a Lieutenant in ME3. I suspect some of the lines were already recorded when they changed her rank.
Possibly (that is to say, pure Wild Mass Guessing), it could just be a different way of viewing the rank. A Lieutenant Commander might simply be seen as a more senior Lieutenant rather than a junior Commander in their rank structure. Or the promotion is very recent, and someone just slipped up out of habit (depending on how often this is done, of course).
The reason they refer to Ash as Lieutenant instead of commander is obvious when you think about it. When someone yells out "Commander!!" in a Mass Effect game, who are they usually talking to? Shepard is "the commander". having anyone else on the Normandy with the same casual title would make things confusing. You can see a bit of this when you first go to the citadel. What was your first thought the first time we hear a C-Sec officer refer to Baily as "commander"?
Possible Fridge Brilliance, Possible Wild Mass Guessing... it's only been theorized that Commander Shepard was promoted (to the Systems Alliance rank of Staff Commander, the rank Kaidan is said to have in Mass Effect 2, though he's a Major in this game), it may never have happened. So it could be a temporary reduction in rank due to the CO being a Lieutenant Commander as well.
No Turian Infiltrators in multiplayer?
Why can't you play a Turian Infiltrator in multiplayer, even though one of the most popular Turians in the series is one? And while we are on the subject, no Krogan Vanguards? Seriously?
Wrex is a Krogan Battlemaster. He's extremely rare among his people, because he needed to be exposed to Eezo before birth. Yeah, he was born before the Genophage, but even before then, Natural Krogan Biotics were rare.
The Krogan Sentinel's biotic powers come in the form of biotic grenades, so yeah, as awesome as a Krogan Vanguard would be, it's going to be at best a really rare drop. On the potential plus side, we might get to see Quarian Sentinels.
No Quarian Sentinels. Likely it's just because a Krogan Vanguard has the potential to be stupidly broken. Krogans and Vanguard are already fairly broken.
Well, part of the OP's wish has been granted. Krogan Vanguards are to be released in free DLC on April 10th. How overpowered they will be has yet to be seen.
Not Original Poster but SQUEE!!!
And the answer to how overpowered they are is "very." This troper is an average player at best and has (on Bronze, at least) finished with the highest score on my team EVERY TIME I've played my Krogan Vanguard. This troper thinks the only reason he even carries a weapon with that guy is for the bayonet on the shotgun.
Now you can. The turian Ghost Infiltrator comes with the Retaliation Pack.
Quarians and Geth
Read on, but you have been warned, why is helping Legion the paragon option? Yes, I know he's trying to make his people independent, but that's using Reaper Programs, it's a terrible idea! And your only options are killing the Geth or the Quarians? There might be other options if you had brought Legion to the fleet in ME2, but from what I've seen, I heavily doubt that. And this is coming from footage- not a leaked script. The worst part about this is it ends in Tali's suicide... Why is this the only option!?
Its not. There are multiple ways that the issue between the geth and quarians can be handled. Determining whether you can create peace between the two runs on a seven "point" scale: you get three points in ME2 (two for destroying the geth heretics, one for having a loyal surviving Tali to become an admiral) and four more points based on your actions in ME3. However many points you earn in this regard determines how easy it is to broker a peace between the two.
Correction: Actually, you get two points for destroying the geth heretics, two points for preventing the Quarian fleet from exiling Tali, 1 point for resolving the dispute between Tali and Legion in ME2, and 1 point each in ME3 for respectively rescuing Admiral Korris and helping to protect the Lifeships from Geth fighter squadrons. You need at least 5 points in total to ensure that the quarians and geth will work together to help you fight the Reapers.
You should do more research before (metaphorically) screaming your head off; this video shows what happens if you Take a Third Option: Legion goes ahead with uploading Reaper code, but Shepard is able to convince the Migrant Fleet to stand down. Everybody lives (except Legion).
There is no hint of any of this in-game; if you don't have it unlocked there are no persuasion options and wiping out the Quarians is in the usual Paragon spot.
No hint? This isn't a puzzle to get the blue key, it's solving a hundred years+ war between the species, and you're talking like they should hand you the option to get the perfect crispy clean ending outlined in a step by step process in the codex? No crap they don't give you a hint, it's not called Earn Your Happy Ending for nothing!
I'm glad someone took he time to mention that. Why would it be easy to bring peace to two species where one of them tried to exterminate the other? You'd need to pay attention and look at who would support you, who would not, and how you can take the least damaging path to your solution.
Taking out the fact that there's a third option, siding with the Geth makes sense as the Paragon choice. The Geth did nothing wrong, they were just created. The Quarians chose to exterminate them before even giving them a chance and the Geth had to defend themselves. Even after the war, the Geth did not take over the Quarian planets, but maintained them for their Creator's eventual return. The Quarians draw some parallels to the Reapers as they are trying to exterminate a species before that species even has a chance to make a mistake, much less learn from it. Makes sense that the Quarians are the renegade choice, as they choose extermination over preservation of life (even synthetic life).
But again, the Geth plan to upgrade themselves using Reaper Programs That is an incredible risk and every single time a species has tried to use the Reapers for personal gain, it's backfired. Shepard knows this.
And how does that make that decision any less of a "paragon" one? Paragon Shepard has always defended the helpless against the aggressor. There's no room for black and white "Well you tried to use Reaper Programs while being attacked so I'm going to let you be destroyed while you can't fight back". Allowing the Quarians to completely destroy another sentient species due to a one-sided account of a situation they (The Quarians) caused would not gain you Paragon points.
They're using Reaper code to enhance themselves. This is both out of character for the geth, as explained to us by Legion in ME2 (the whole purpose of the geth/heretic schism was that the heretics wanted to use technology from the Old Machines to fasttrack their evolution process) and for Shepard, who has never accepted using reaper tech to fight them before. It's shoddy writing at best, and High Octane Nightmare Fuel at worst.
It's worth noting that that not all of the Quarians wanted to fight the Geth, even if it mainly came from trepidation instead of feeling empathy for the Geth. Admiral Gerral (and, to a lesser extent, Admiral Xen) was the only one aggressively wanting to destroy the Geth at all costs. Admiral Koris and Tali were very ambivalent, and it's easy to get the impression that the other Quarians only followed through with Gerral's orders out of desperation to get back to [their homeworld] Rannoch, rather than malice towards the Geth. Also, during the Geth's memories of the 300 year war starting, a minority of Quarians were Geth sympathizers that suggested peace and negotiations instead of the knee jerk reaction most of them wound up doing. Both sides of the conflict have major baggage towards the other, and yet, neither race deserve to destroy the other out of a massive misunderstanding. No matter the choice, one side will undeservedly get massacred from a pointless war which started from a huge misunderstanding. It's the most heart wrenching Grey and Gray Morality choice of the entire series for these reasons.
With the Reaper Code thing, what people seem to overlook is that the Geth were disorganised after the Reaper's death, and the Quarian fleet was using that to try and wipe them all out. Legion isn't out of character for taking the only action that would prevent the genocide of his people; he even spells it out for you that if he didn't use the Reaper Code the Quarians would destroy his people. As for Reaper tech never having positive effects; EDI was reversed engineered from Reaper Tech, and she's a valued member of the Normandy.
This still doesn't explain why letting Legion upload the code was a "Good" option. There should have been an option to talk the quarians out of attacking the geth that doesn't leave us with potentially huskified geth.
You can tell Legion to not use the Reaper codes earlier in the mission. Legion adamantly refuses. The only way you're going to stop Legion from uploading the Reaper code is by destroying it.
You try to talk the Quarians out of it on multiple occasions. Virtually every mission you undertake in the Rannoch arc is supposed to buy them time to withdraw from the war, but Gerrel's single-minded mania keeps him from doing it - he seizes every opportunity to press the attack, even at the risk of killing Shepard and Tali.
Basically, the only way for the Quarians to stop attacking is if the Geth are overwhelming them. The Geth, on the other hand, can be persuaded to negotiate a cease-fire. So you need the Geth to overpower the Quarians (by uploading the Reaper Code), so peace can be attained.
So why do we never get the chance to call What the Hell, Quarians for conveniently forgetting their extermination of the geth-sympathetic Quarians during the uprising? Sure, it's their ancestors who did it, but you'd think they'd have learned by now.
It's kind of pointless by this point. They had been forgotten and as you said, it was their semi-distant ancestors who did it.
Because there's no point. At this point, its like a Frenchman calling out a Brit for something that happened during the Hundred Years' War. Everyone involved at that point is long since dead and its long since been forgotten.
The entire idea of the "paragon" choice being on top can be somewhat misleading; in many conversations, an option might be higher on the wheel, but be unrelated to what a Paragon or Renegade would do, much less have implications for alignment.
This. There are two choices. One of them has to be on top. While the ramifications are larger, it's like an option whether you want coffee or tea. And the game assigns only reputation points, neither paragon nor renegade. Some of the above also is true, in a gray vs grey decision, supportig the geth *may* be a slightly brighter hue.
Casual Outfits Beyond The Normandy
Serious Shepard, why did you stop wearing armor and packing heat inside the citadel nowadays? Ah remember during Thane's loyalty mission where you reported vermin as citadel health inspectors? Packing a plethora assault weapons to deal with rats. Now you just travel in regular clothing without even a sidearm.
The better question is why Shepard was packing armor and a personal armory while walking around the Citadel in the first two games. The Citadel generally didn't need them, and as of ME3 Shepard doesn't engage in any combat on the Citadel at all. That said, Shepard likely has a sidearm concealed on his/her person underneath his/her clothes; if Shepard can slip a heavy pistol in underneath a fairly-tight-fitting tux/cocktail dress, s/he can conceal a sidearm in regular clothes.
Actually he does not have one, as he needs to borrow a pistol from one of the Blood Pack vorchas to take out a corrupt contact for Aria.
Shepard is constantly armed, though. He/she has his/her omniblade.
And you can't confiscate biotics.
Flash Back Spoilers:
Here's something that doesn't make sense to me regarding the flash back, no matter what, you have to get one of the ME1 love interests, and it defaults to Liara if you have romanced anyone else/not romanced anyone... what I don't get is, why isn't Garrus shown? He's been with Sheppard the whole way like Joker, and it's pretty easily established that Garrus is Sheppards best friend by this game, look at their banter, the random conversations, hell, their final conversation cements it, promising to meet at heavens bar. I won't get into why the other love interests aren't in his head at Shep's final moments, because while that makes me angry, it doesn't make me as mad as leaving out the proven best friend thing with Garrus, unlike Liara, who's merely on good terms with Sheppard.
Because Liara is the Creator's Pet. Simple as that. Excepting the VS, no one gets a flashback besides her. Also notice how she gets along just fine even on a quickstart (whereas everyone else in the galaxy gets screwed) because she didn't even need Shepard to help her with the Shadow Broker.
Not quite. All the ME1 love interests do. Getting "flashbacks" for anyone else was deemed "too expensive," so there's only Joker, Anderson, and whoever from ME1 you're closest to.
Seriously? Sepia-toning 10 more still images would be too expensive? It would take me a day to set up, capture, and sepia tone 10 images of premade models, and I'm not even an artist!
Hell, it's a basic tool on ANY video editing software. Including the free ones. Was a stern look or a smile too much to put a filter over and send it in?
But guys, BioWare needs the money and this can only be done with DLC. Perhaps 800 MS points for an additional 5 sepia-toned stills and one additional outfit for Conrad Verner. YMMV. On the serious side, the creators must have thought the beach scene was good enough and that no further consideration need be given to any other characters.
Actually, the flashbacks were remarkably well-animated. The facial expressions looked smooth and realistic. We all know BioWare is terrible with facial animations. That said, I would have accepted regular facial animations, and not necessarily the smooth and pretty ones that Joker, Anderson, and the ME1 LI got.
Well... that is a bit of non issue with Garrus eh... What is there to animate WELL? with what are you going to compare it? ^^;;
Liara, Joker, Anderson, and the VS are the only major characters from all 3 games that are guaranteed to be alive at the finale. Garrus, Tali, Wrex, etc can all die at various points, so many they just limited it to the first four for ease of video editing.
Wrong. The VS can die at The citadel if you can't convince them that Udina has turned traitor.
Now that the Extended Cut is out, this problem has been resolved. Whoever you romanced will show. Other characters may also show depending on certain choices, with Destroy always showing EDI, in addition to the LI.
Really, Virmire Survivor?!
You are seriously going to side with the unrepentant asshole whose done nothing but hinder you and has just openly admitted to aiding the enemy over your own commander, best friend and (possibly) lover? Look, I can understand the emphasis on the Sadistic Choice, but this particular instance just feels like a last minute addition at the expense of the Survivor's character. Yes, you can convince them to stand down and help you take down Udina, but you shouldn't even have to covince them after all they've been through with you.
To be fair to the Virmire survivor, he/she genuinely doesn't know whether or not you're under the control of Cerberus. For all he/she knows Shepard was just trying to regain his trust to throw him off. Udina's a dick, for sure, but nobody ever really thought he was working for Cerberus. Remember, as Miranda noted, it was as simple as putting a chip in your head during Project Lazarus to put you under their complete control. That's what the Renegade and Paragon dialogue choices reflect. If you're far enough on either side you're able to convince the VS to give you the benefit of the doubt and question Udina. If you aren't, then the VS instead takes Udina's word over yours.
Shepard really shouldn't have come through that door with weapons raised in the middle of a terrorist attack by the people s/he was just working with a few months ago, while there's still some doubts being harbored in Ashley/Kaidan's mind. Shepard happening to show up in the middle of the Cerberus attack while an assassin is chasing the Council is really going to set off at least a few suspicion bells in the newly-appointed Spectre's head.
Wait, what? Shepard shouldn't have his weapon drawn in the middle of a terrorist attack? That's just stupid! Sheppard SHOULD have his/her weapon out, Kai Leng or any other Cerberus force could of been waiting for them and the council on the other side of those doors, not to mention, Udina was there and Shepard needed to take him in/stop him from getting the rest of the Council Killed. Assuming other wise is just plain stupid. Kaidan/Ashley are being idiots, if it wasn't for the fact I thought I'd need Kaidan's powers back on the Normandy, I would of told him to piss off.
No, I didn't say that Shepard shouldn't have his/her weapon drawn, i said Shepard shouldn't have the weapon raised while bursting into the room that the Council was in. Charging into a room with a VIP and a twitchy bodyguard with weapon high and ready to engage, and then drawing down on one of the VIPs is going to automatically make Kaidan/Ashley wary. This coupled with the fact that they're still somewhat wary of Shepard and have not yet worked out that suspicion, on top of the fact that they don't know Udina is a traitor. How would you react if someone who formerly worked with a terrorist group - the same one attacking at that moment - rushed into the room where you were guarding a group of VIPs with a weapon drawn and leveled at one of those very people? The fact that Ashley/Kaidan didn't shoot Shepard right off indicates rather remarkable discretion, restraint, and trust.
No. Just no. In the middle of an ongoing terrorist attack Shepard was exactly right to have had his weapon drawn and raised when he came through the door. The simple fact of the matter is this: Shepard doesn't know for sure what's around the next corner and the difference between life and death at that moment could be measured in fractions of a second. Suppose Shepard burst onto the scene with his pistol hand hanging at his hip, only to find Kai Leng standing over the Asari Councilor with his sword raised to stab her through the heart. It would only take a half-second or so for Shepard to raise his weapon, aim, and fire, but that's still a half-second Leng could use to murder the Councilor. If Shepard has his weapon up and is already looking down the sights, all he has to do is fire.
Except in that particular instance Shepard did know exactly what s/he would find.
It becomes downright hilarious if you're wearing the Cerberus Armor Set at the time.
The Virmire Survivor is not required to take a position just because Shepard wants them to. It doesn't matter whether or not Shepard trusted Udina. What matters is that the VS was a Spectre, there to protect the Council, which Udina was a member of. And it isn't like Shepard gave the VS any special reason to trust them fully beyond their own word. Coming in at that exact moment, guns drawn probably wouldn't end well if you wanted to seem trustworthy. They don't have the meta-knowledge you do or the in-game knowledge Shepard does.
To be fair to the Virmire survivor, their major worry isn't that Shepard is a traitor. That worry got put to rest in the Mars Archive. What they're afraid of now is that you're indoctrinated. After all, by this point you already know that Cerberus troops are at least part-husk... and the last person the Virmire Survivor saw with as many Reaper-tech cyborg parts jammed into their body as you've had jammed into yours? Saren.
Reassuring them on Mars is one thing that can work in your favor, but you have to do several other things. My Shepard did not romance Ashley, visited her all three times, gave her Tennyson, and answered her questions, and did not have to pass any Persuade checks.
One of the most common forms of Wrong Genre Savvy is believing that you're the hero. The VS just got promoted to Spectre status; from their perspective, they're the hero and Shepard is The Mentor or their Always Someone Better. If that were actually the case, then the Cereberus attack would be exactly where I'd expect the reveal that Shepard was secretly evil to take place.
By that time in the game Shepard is, 2 time galaxy savior, 3 with ME2 DLC "Arrival", a Spectre, a Lieutenant Commander with the power to speak for humanity and forge alliances by direct orders from Admiral Steven Hackett, also Shepard just made an alliance between the Turians and Krogans not to mention the fact that half the galaxy is depending on Shepard to save them, so it really makes NO sense whatsoever for the VS to defy Shepard. Not to mention that is becomes even weirder to defy Shepard if he/she did save the council, got reinstated as Spectre, destroyed the collector base. and even made worse with the "Omega" DLC, since you can play it right after Priority: Palaven, adding the fact that you just took Omega from Cerberus, killing or capturing one of Cerberus's most important generals in the process, to the list of facts that clearly point out that Shepard is still Shepard
Just how many of those things is the Virmire Survivor privy to? One of the times Shepard saved the galaxy was while working for Cerberus, which is the whole reason for the distrust in the first place. Shepard's Spectre status is hardly an argument considering Saren was once one of the Council's best. Arrival came dangerously close to causing a war with the Batarian Hegemony. Was the Virmire Survivor ever told at any point that Hackett had given Shepard the power to form treaties on behalf of the Alliance? Had news of the krogan-turian alliance even reached the Virmire Survivor by the time the coup started? And so what if Shepard had taken back Omega by that point? That mission was done completely under the radar. If the character doesn't know these things, then they have absolutely no bearing on the character's behavior. There are way too many critics of Kaidan and Ashley who don't seem to understand that. What they do know is that Shepard was at Cerberus' mercy for two years, Cerberus is augmenting its troops with Reaper tech, and Shepard just burst through a door during the middle of a terrorist attack and pointed a gun at one of the leaders of the galaxy. Yes, WE know that Udina had turned traitor at that point, but Kaidan and Ashley do not. And if Shepard has bothered to talk to them and explained things, they believe him/her with no trouble. The entire conflict with Kaidan and Ashley is what happens when no one bothers to tell a close ally what's going on when there are people who want them out of the picture.
Not an indicative folder title, but, y'know, spoilers - why are there so many old-style telephone boxes in Future!London? And how the smeg are they still standing after weeks of Reaper smashing?
Doctor Who uses a police box, not a phone box. Could just be something they kept and just updated them with future tech? Just kept the look of them for aesthetics? (Granted, to me they look terrible.) Unless you can look inside one, (which I couldn't) you don't know.... Other then that, your fighting the penultimate battle for earth, and your concern is how a phone booth in the future looks?
Maybe there was a retro-fashion fad going on. And they're not necessarily just phone boxes, but could be public information booths, bit like the Avinas on the Citadel.
So, we all know the M-25 Hornet has terrible muzzle climb. I wonder if it might have anything to do with the fact that Commander Shepard, along with everyone else in the galaxy, is holding the gun the wrong way. That is clearly a foregrip just under the muzzle, but characters always wield it with both hands on the aft grip, like they would a regular handgun. The M-12 Locust and the N7 Hurricane also have this problem, though thankfully lack the accuracy issues. Makes you wonder why they designed them that way if no one ever wields them properly...
That's also a bit of contention for this troper, as well. While it's understandable that the player holds the M-4 Shuriken that way, seeing as it's a machine pistol as opposed to a full-on SMG, the Tempest, Locust, and Hurricane are all proper SMGs...
It's more of a development issue. Instead of creating separate poses for each individual gun, it's a lot easier to create five-six different poses and call it a day (though I think that SMG and pistol share the same pose). This is more of a problem to Third Person Shooters as the character model is in full view (Gears of War avoids this problem as it has a much smaller weapon selection compared to the one Mass Effect provides). First-Person Shooters have a less of a problem as the "arms" of your character can be part of the gun model instead of being a wholly separate model.
Actually, if you look close at the pose, the SMG pose has one hand on the trigger grip and the other hand slightly forward, holding the underside of the weapon. They don't use the foregrip, but they aren't gripping the pistol grip with both hands.
On a similar topic, why are SMG's still considered a separate weapon type at all? It was understandable in ME2 when not every class had access to Assault Rifles, but now with the weight system, that's not a factor anymore. There are only five SMG types in ME3, and they all seem like they could easily be relabeled as either rapid-fire pistols (like the Shuriken) or ultra-lightweight assault rifles (the Locust). It's baffling that they an entire weapon type that doesn't really do anything.
I believe it's more for 2 gameplay reasons: 1) power-heavy characters have the option to carry both a light 'SMG' and a pistol (SMGs generally better against shields/barriers and pistols generally better against armor), and 2) all squadmates have access to 2 weapons, but a couple of them only get access to SMGs and pistols to balance their strong powers (Liara and EDI, IIRC). Giving them assault rifles would overpower them (I presume).
Cerberus Attack on Sur'Kesh
Did anyone ever explain why the Illusive Man wanted Eve killed? Most of Cerberus' activities can be reasoned out, even if they're not explained explicitly, but what was up with the raid on Sur'Kesh? What benefit was there in stopping the genophage cure, or provoking a war between the krogan and salarians? Sure, those things probably wouldn't hurt TIM's plans, but how did they benefit them? And hell, if you wanted to assassinate a target, why wouldn't you send a few of your cyborg ninjas? You're telling me they crammed a frickin' ATLAS onto their ship, but couldn't fit a Phantom or two?
Cerberus is, technically, working on the same side as the Reapers. TIM is also indoctrinated. Remember that indoctrination is subtle, especially when the Reapers want to maintain your full functionality, and going by how the Reaper indoctrination worked firsthand on Grayson in Retribution, the Reapers can very easily turn your own emotions and motivations around to suit your plan. So, while TIM would not normally attack the Sur'kesh base, the Reapers may have altered his motivations, observations, and conclusions to reach a point where he would decide it was in his best interests to target Eve.
A cure for the genophage would certainly not go along with the ideals of a human supremacist group. Add a little indoctrination into the mix, and we have a TIM who really doesn't want to see the Krogan back in shape.
Hmm, good points. That actually might flip this over to Fridge Brilliance for me, since it hints from very early in the game that TIM's serving the Reapers' interests more than he is his own. Though the lack of Nemeses and Phantoms is still obvious Gameplay And Story Segregegation.
Just to add to your headscratcher, in ME2 TIM's report after Mordin's loyalty quest is that the cure would have been useful, and will berate you for destroying it or praise you for keeping it, as the krogan would make good shock troops against the Reapers. So when he was thinking clearly, he wouldn't have wanted to kill Eve. Heck, he would have funded your expedition to save her from the salarians. But he's not thinking clearly, as said above, he's indoctrinated.
It's mentioned continuously that the Krogan were a massive threat post-Rachni War, to the point that the genophage was considered a viable solution. It's also pointed out by at least two party members (Garrus and EDI) that the Krogan will see a massive population boom with the genophage cured, and other characters consider the cure a major long-term problem; it's just that short-term survival renders that argument moot. Given TIM's beliefs and goals, avoiding a second war threatening humanity after finishing off the Reapers by inserting a strike team to kill one lone Krogan is a pretty simple solution.
How did Cerberus even know about the females and the location of the STG base? I know Mordin suggested indoctrinated traitors, but given that STG knew about Reaper indoctrination and its effects since at least BEFORE the events of Mass Effect 2 (as Maelon mentioned during Mordin's loyalty mission) it's highly unlikely that indoctrinated agents would go unnoticed. Also, how did Cerberus forces mange to even get on Sur'Kesh? The STG can know about one Krogan before he even enters their home system, but not a Cerberus force of several platoons, several drop ships, at least one gunship, and one Atlas mech until they're literally at their doorstep? Not to mention, how did the ship that brought them there not get seen, engaged, and destroyed by Salarian naval forces before they even came close to getting their forces on the ground?
STG traitors. Probably not indoctrinated, Cerberus just managed to get to someone in STG somehow. The actual force dispatched against the STG base wasn't actually that large; you could have easily snuck it in on a single disguised ship. It was a force just large enough to rush in, acquire local superiority, and take out the target. Considering the amount of traffic that the homeworld of one of the three biggest powers in the galaxy would experience, it wouldn't be impossible, just difficult. I think its supposed to be an indicator how competent Cerberus is that they can manage to at least deliver a surgical strike force against STG; Cerberus' military and intelligence apparatus have always been far more competent than their pants-on-head science division. As for locating the females, it actually wouldn't have been that difficult, since Cerberus kind of had a major hand in destroying Clan Weyrlock and the post-mission notes that Cerberus would be paying close attention to Tuchanka afterward. They probably spotted STG activity around Maelon's lab, and tracked it back to Sur'Kesh.
Ah, yes, "ducking"
When Kai Leng and Shepard have their stand-off at the Citadel, why doesn't the Salarian Councillor duck so you can get a clear shot at him? Instead Valern/Esheel just stands there and makes it impossible to attack Leng.
If Valern/Esheel ducked, it would break the standoff, and Leng would likely just shoot him/her then bolt.
It's like Zaeed said back in 2; "The only people who don't freeze up when they have a gun pointed in their face are trained killers and psychopaths." Apparently, the councillor is neither.
With the other nonhuman councilors being a turian - whose culture emphasizes a mandatory period of military service - and an asari who is several hundred years old, and whose culture doesn't make combat mandatory but was still encouraged to learn to fight as a maiden, the shorter-lived and more delicate salarian is the only one who could plausibly be unfamiliar with having short-range weapons pointed at their face.
That's not even remotely true. If the turian military was always and only about frontline combat, they wouldn't have a very good military. Recon, ground vehicle crew, pilot, sensor or comms officer, maintenance, technological combat, sniper, logistics, etcetera. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to serve in the military without actually having pistols stuffed up your nose on a regular basis, although how many of them would be respected enough by the turians to lead into a prestigious role like councillor is another matter.
The Citadel and Relay Network
What happened to everyone on the Citadel when it was taken by the Reapers? A lot of my favorite characters were on board! Aria, Bailey, Liara's dad, possibly Dr. Chakwas and Mordin, the Council (love to hate 'em), Kolyat, Kelly, Dr. Michel, all those other lovable background Non Player Characters...
I really wonder about this too, because you can see traffic still flying around on the wards, which makes me wonder if everyone in the wards is still there and going about their business as if nothing happened.
As Vigil explains in the first game, once the Reapers take control of the Citadel, they have total control over the Relay network. The Prothean Empire, and the civilisations of the previous cycles, were defeated — in part — because they could no longer make use of the Mass Relays around which their society was built. Reinforcements? Impossible. Communication? Impossible. So why on earth do the Reapers allow the use of the Relays once they've claimed the Citadel towards the end of the game?
Because the Catalyst wanted the fleet to reach Earth in the first place to challenge the Reapers.
I'd be more willing to go with a handwave that the Crucible itself had some sort of jamming signal to prevent the Citadel from being used to its full extent. The Catalyst, after all, tells us that it couldn't even conceive of "another solution" until the Crucible had docked, so the idea that it wanted the Reapers to be challenged seems implausible at best. Until it's altered by the Crucible, the Reapers were doing everything in their power to reap as they would normally reap. And, regardless, that there's no attempt to either explain or question why the Relay Network hasn't been shut down remains a pretty glaring omission. I honestly have to wonder if the writers simply forgot what the Citadel was capable of in Reaper hands.
We actually do get an explanation for why they can't control the network way back in the first game. They control it by controlling the Keepers, and the Keepers no longer respond to their commands. Sovereign had to physically interact with it to try and activate it's own relay, and they may well have simply not had time to get it up and running at full capability yet. Since we never find out how they took it, they might have just gotten an indoctrinated agent on the controls and flown it there under it's own power (it was established early on that the races living there have no idea what 90% of the stuff on it does), then the attack comes as soon as they get it parked.
That the Keepers no longer respond their signal is irrelevant if they have indoctrinated followers capable of activating the command console, as Saren attempted. They must have already have had a Reaper physically interact with the Citadel to fly the thing to Earth, after all. That being said, the entry on the Crucible's "Inferometric Array" mentions that the Crucible is, indeed, capable of tuning into the command switches of the mass relays....
So that sounds like they used the Crucible to turn on the mass relay back to Earth, which I suppose would explain why that's the only place you can go.
Allright, so at some point the reapers decide to get the citadel back, and do so with such an humiliating ease it apparently took them five minutes top (So no one on the citadel apparently could do the smart thing and close the arms, WTH?). No one ever wonder about what happened to the millions of people on the citadel (though dead or huskified are pretty safe bets).Then the Reapers...I don't know, tow, I guess, the whole whooping citadel through the nearby relay (damn those things are hardcore, that one just shallowed a space object a hundred time bigger than himself). Then they took it to Earth, probably because the plot say so. That whole sequence headscratch me so hard I probably just bore a hole in my skull.
First, why would it be a stretch for a Relay to move the Citadel? There's never been an established upper limit to what they can move. There's also no evidence that the Reapers took it over in "five minutes top." We just learn that while the Fifth Fleet is storming the Cerberus base that the Reapers took the Citadel and moved it. Third, there's no indication that the Reapers did anything to the people on the Citadel; from what we can see inside the Citadel's closed Ward arms, there's still plenty of orderly traffic moving around. Most likely what happened, judging by TIM's presence, is that Cerberus took control of the station's control systems and moved it per Reaper orders to Sol. Somehow.
It'd be a stretch because the Citadel is FAR larger than the meteor that Shepard destroyed the Alpha Relay with, which was way too big for the relay to throw/cast(judging by the fact that the Alpha Relay apparently tried to do so before it was destroyed).
No. Mass relays do not automatically attempt to send anything through them if they approach. Any object passing through the relay has to communicate to the mass relay first to tell it where it wants to be sent or even if it wants to be sent.
It's possible that the Citadel can move by itself, if directed by the Catalyst or the Reapers. It is the single largest concentration of Element Zero in existence, and the heart of the Relay Network after all. It could just use the Network as a guidance system, and make the jump under its own power.
For that matter, is it ever explained WHY the reapers/cerberus tried to "kidnap" the citade? were the reapers going to use it as some kind of instant whole planet harvester?
The Citadel IS the Catalyst, and as the endings shown, as soon as they attach the Crucible to it the Reapers lose. They weren't so much capturing it to use it as they were capturing it to ensure you couldn't instantly defeat them. In more meta terms, imagine how boring the game would have been if you battled long lines as you waited for the Crucible to dock uncontested with the Citadel, and then have a nice chat with the virtual boy before sacrificing yourself.
My charitable interpretation is that the people on the Citadel were the ones who closed the arms when the Reapers approached it (there are probably now security protocols in place to prevent them from pulling a Sovereign and using the Citadel to shut down the relay network). The Reapers then moved the closed Citadel to Earth orbit, where it would be protected by a Reaper fleet from any attempts to get the Crucible through. What really puzzles me is why the Reapers didn't fire on the Crucible after it docked with the Citadel, or even mid-docking.
Considering how much energy is being put out by the Crucible, I think they're worried about what kind of damage it could do to the Citadel if it were to be destroyed and all that energy was released.
The Illusive Man move in elusive ways
Considering the absolute nigthmare it was to get to the teleport beam thingy while being supported by the entire military might of the milky way, how did TIM manage to show up for the final in the Citadel?
He was already long gone from the main Cerberus base when you showed up. In fact, he probably just went straight to the Citadel on a normal transport. Also keep in mind, he was indoctrinated, so the Reapers may have simply let him pass.
Sins of the Fathers
Can I ask why so many members of your squad have horrible fathers? This is really a series-wide question but Miranda, Tali and Jacob all had missions related to how their fathers were vile human beings (or Quarians) in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 seemed to turn that up to eleven with Sanctuary. Likewise, James Vega mentions a dislike of his father and Thane was a bad father before he made the effort to redeem himself. Ashley and Garrus are the only ones who speak highly of their male parents and one of them was considered a traitor, if memory serves correctly.
You're thinking of Ashley's grandfather, who surrendered to the Turians at Shanxi (the alternative was to let them bomb the planet into the stone age). You also forgot Wrex (who had to kill him when he sprung a trap on holy ground). Anyway, the father I'm guessing is a relatively easy close relative to demonize. But don't forget we had Liara vs her mom, and Samara basically abandoned two of her daughters to kill the third.
For that matter, I can't think of any good fathers in the ME universe. Even Spacer Shepard seems to only have a mother. Bioware has father issues?
Anderson is a father figure, even referring to Shepard as "son" or "child", if that counts.
I was actually waiting for someone to mention Anderson so I could say, "No, he's a father figure, not a father." However, I did think of one after posting: Garrus's father seems like a good person. He listened to Garrus, and believed him enough to take the Reaper issue to the Primarch. The only problem I saw was that he insisted that Garrus not join the Spectres, but I think that he had a good enough reason for that.
Tali's father wasn't a vile person, just desperate and driven, and largely motivated by desire to give his daughter a chance to live on the homeworld. He did some very unwise and horrible decisions because of it, but his intentions were good. He just wasn't good at showing his emotions.
Well he was described as being the biggest war criminal in Quarian history and, if Tali's otherwise funny dialogue while drunk in Mass Effect 3 is anything to go by, she dislikes him by that point. She praises Miranda for killing her father, for example.
More specifically, for not letting her father define her actions the same way she has tried to live up to Rael or make up for his mistakes, and is driven to drink by being forced to question what she's done for most of her life.
Tali's father wouild be "remembered" as war criminal, and used as a cautionary tale for younglings, for his experiments involving the Geth, which was illegal and resulted in the death of everyone aboard his ship.
Even discounting the fact that he was a war criminal, he was an emotionally distant father, never took vacation to show his daughter his face, and used his dying words to give her orders. For comparison, another Quarian on the same ship got out a "Mommy loves you very much!" as the Geth burst in and killed her. Being emotionally distant is almost as bad as not being there.
Tali seems more respectful of him in Mass Effect 1 and understanding of his being distant from her, so perhaps the experiments were what sent him into Broken Pedestal territory.
At one point Shepard can ask EDI if she considers her creator as some kind of twisted father figure that causes her deep psychological issues. When she gets confused by this, he says he's learned he has to ask that kind of question.
Wrex's father was pretty shitty, too. Hell, he's probably the worst of the lot with the exception of Mr. Lawson. But anyway, this is lampshaded by a certain dwarf from another Bioware game; "Everybody needs some daddy issues."
To elaborate, Wrex's father tried to kill him after luring him into an ambush and killing his men, and Wrex indicates his father was perpetuating the self-destructive behavior of the krogan.
Kaidan is on good terms with his father. So naturally he goes MIA fighting the Reapers.
There was also Liara's "father" as well. Aethyta may have watched her daughter from a distance, but she did still share feelings for Benezia even when things didn't work out and they separated, and she was willing to monitor Liara on behalf of the other Matriarchs to protect Liara from what would've happened otherwise had she been watched by other matriarchs who had every reason to be suspicious of her and potentially assassinate her. Not to mention Aethyta also voices how protective she still is of her daughter ("Nobody messes with my girl"). In one of their talks, Liara even tells Aethyta she's the best father a girl could wish for.
Ok So I romanced Liara as a male Shepard in ME1 and reconnected in Lair of the Shadow Broker. I get that Asari use their meld to build a genetic template for their offspring but I am confused about the actual sex part. I assume that Asari have a vagina for actual birth but there would have been no reason for their biology to evolve compatible sexual traits and organs for sex with a human male. No pleasure center like the clitoris, no lubricant production to facilitate penetration, and so on. So how does Liara have traditional sex with Shepard? Or is it just a lot of making out and touching and Shepard's pleasure comes from the meld as well?
Yes. The real stimulation comes from the contact with the partner's nervous system. Both nervous systems become one temporarily, and both experience the same pleasure. Its probably not the same as you'd get from normal human-on-human sex. That said, much like normal sexual reproduction, asari evolutionary development would almost certainly go down the path of ensuring that the process of melding is highly enjoyable for the asari, which in turn would make it enjoyable for the partner.
There's also a reason for Asari to develop a uterus, vagina, and ovaries: Birth. They'd still need the egg to conceive the child, the uterus to house and grow the child as it develops, and the vagina to give birth, after all.
It's also possible that the Asari at one point in their evolutionary line were not a single sex species and that good old fashioned sex was the proto-Asari's means of reproduction. Then, as the proto-Asari evolved into a single sex species that can reproduce through the nervous system meld, they retained all of the biological traits associated with (pleasurable) sex. There would not really be nothing to select against clitorises (clitores?), self-lubricating vaginas, etc.
In the Asari temple, Javik specifically states that the Asari were genetically modified by the Protheans for their biotic abilities. This doesn't preclude modification in other ways, though, which includes their lifespan and reproduction methods. It's possible they had very different anatomy as a holdover prior to being modified, which is still useful for good old-fashioned sex. After all, when you walk into the bar on Ilium and meet Matriarch Aethyta, she treats sex casually, which seems unlikely if every sexual act is an intimate mind-meld.
"Can I get you anything? Sorry, no sex, I just cleaned the bar."
The flip side to this is also found in the bar on Ilium: the bachelor party conversation. All species seem attracted to Asari, describing different traits that only they can see. This brings up the possibility that they're only human-like to human onlookers, which suggests that they *do* mind-meld with everything in sight.
Except that all the participants of the bachelor party see things that everybody can see about the asari: the salarian takes notice to her attractive skin tone, the turian admires her head fringe and the human her body-shape, while all three are impressed by her flexibility. The asari look no different when you look them through covert video footage, so there's no way that they could influence the mind of every observer like that.
And back in Mass Effect 1, when you could buy hardsuits for your squad, Liara was the only one who didn't have a species-specific suit - she wears a suit designed for a human female. And she wears a suit bearing an Alliance logo in ME3, which further suggests almost-human morphology.
My assumption is that while you could engage in coitus with an asari, it wouldn't be as pleasurable for either party as what they consider "going all the way." Remember the krogan in ME2 talking about how eating a fish from the Presidium would be decadent, "like screwing Sha'ira" and his friend asks "where are you supposed to get a decent grip?" I took that to mean screwing an asari would be basically humping, rather than "embracing eternity." The decadence is beyond just some lowly mercenary bedding The Consort, but that you would schedule a meeting with her just to do something as crass as put your parts in hers rather than than meld nervous systems.
I always assumed asari are much like human women in that aspect, with a nervous system melding being a (probably) considerable bonus, as far as enjoyment goes for both parties included. What confuses me is something else. If, like you me, chose female Shepard and decided to romance Liara, they have a talk about having little blue babies, in second game, once you're finished with Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. It is quite obvious this is somewhat of a joke between Shepard and Liara, but near the end of the third game(in London, before the final attack) Liara mentions that she is sad, because those little blue children will be dissapointed, since she doesn't have a speech prepared. It seems like human female and asari are actually capable of having children, which is confirmed once you hear the conversation between female Alliance soldier and an asari clerk, about her daughter she has with an asari. How would that work? Once again through the melding of the nervous systems? Or does an asari parent suddenly... grow some extra parts? What I guess I'm asking is... who would be the father in this union? Liara? Shepard? Can either of them be the father?
Human females and asari have children exactly the same way that everyone else has children with asari. Why would the gender of the human involved have any effect on whether or not they can have children when the species is capable of mating with any alien life form during the melding process? Have you even bothered looking up how asari biology and melding works? It says it right there in the codex how they mate and bear offspring.
I did, in fact, not. By the time I usually remember about Codex it has several dozen entries in it already. Now, if it would be only reading, that wouldn't present a problem. But I just can't stand the (imo) lame narrator, so I usually end up skipping everything. I've been meaning to go over it one of these days and I guess I now have a good (better) reason for it as well. So thanks for the hint.
Who needs the Codex? Liara explains all this in the fist game if you talk to her. Species and gender are irrelevant to asari reproduction, you can respond with curiosity or disgust.
This brings up a point that bugged me since the whole "father" versus "mother" point Aethyta raised in ME 3: how do Omnitools translate the words "male" and "female" and associated terms (boy and girl, man and woman) into the Asari language? Or do they just translate the words into the common trade language?
Are you seriously suggesting that in the thousand-plus years that the asari have existed as part of a galactic civilization in which they have interacted with a dozen other species with clearly defined genders, they haven't somehow adopted a word for "male" in their language?
Legion and the Reaper Code
What does the code do and how does it allow the geth to achieve 'true' consciousness? What IS true consciousness? The geth as a whole seemed pretty to have a good grasp of awareness even if it was different from how organics think. What changed that the geth were no longer hundreds of programs interacting and is now an 'individual'?
The difference seems to be that, while a regular Geth program is non-sentient, the Geth as a whole only attaining self-awareness through the consensus, a single Reaper-upgraded Geth program is complex enough to be self-aware. Each single Geth program was upgraded to the level of EDI. Before the upgrade, the Geth as a race was self-aware, but each individual unit was not, they were basically a hivemind, now each unit is a "person".
Pretty much this. In order for the geth within a single platform to actually reach mental functioning comparable to a human, geth platforms must operate in large groups so that their network can handle basic functions more effectively and free up processing power for higher functions. Legion was unique in that they had enough geth programs within one specialized platform that they could operate independently. The Reaper codes allowed individual geth programs to become as aware as a true AI, letting them graduate from being simply VIs working in concert to actual individuals.
Well, if that is the case, then what happened to the ones inside legion, exactly. As I recall, he had over a thousand programs. If they are all still inside him, even if they are each complex enough by themselves to be their own individual, why does he refer to itself as "I" when there are still so many conciousnesses inside him? Furthermore, isn't it a bit of a cop out for him to accept the reaper code when the geth determined in the previous game that the reason they rejected the reapers is because they wanted to achieve their level of sapience on their own terms?
Legion uses the Reaper code because of the giant Reaper armada invading the galaxy, which is happening immediately after the quarians destroyed so many geth that overall operating capability within the entire Consensus was hampered to the point that the geth were reverting to baseline survival protocols. The geth don't have time to play around with developing their own tech at this point. The Reapers are here. They need those upgrades now.
We assume, sure. It's still weird Shepard doesn't have the opportunity to bring up the change in attitude, though.
I'm pretty sure that Shepard does/can bring it up to Legion and that his response is exactly what the person above you said - the Geth accepted the code out of desparation and that they were now under the influence of the Reapers because of the indoctrination that caused by part of the code and by the Reaper in their fortress (or whatever it is).
I would assume that the consensus now has the ability to implant individual entities in each Geth casing as seen fit which might lead to internal social climbing such as Geth soldier upgrading to Prime bodies. Originally, the Geth did not want the Reaper led change and so turned their back against it, but desperation and fear of genocide changed their moral imperative to survive. Once the change was incorporated, they were enslaved by the Reapers which leads to Legion's desperate cries to help him and his people. This helped their evolution and they couldn't turn their back on the possibility especially with the looming Reaper invasion. Mankind should never have evolved the atomic weapon but once the possibility was realized, we couldn't deny its allure. All life focuses on its evolution and its survival. The Geth are no different.
Remember what Sovereign said in Mass Effect 1:
Sovereign: We are each a nation, independent, free of all weaknesses.
And Legion in Mass Effect 2 says that the Reapers are made up of many consciousnessess, like the geth, the difference being that the Reapers can also think independantly and individually. With the addition of the Reaper code, so can the geth.
Exact number of Ardat-Yakshi
In ME2, Samara tells you that there are only three known Ardat-Yakshi in existence, which is reduced to two if you kill Morinth. However, in ME3, Banshees are revealed to be indoctrinated Ardat-Yakshi. When you first encounter them in Ardat-Yakshi monastery, it's mentioned that there are hundreds of Banshees running around the place, and you run into quite a few more as the game progresses. While Samara admits that there could be Ardat-Yakshi hiding out in remote areas, and that their abilities don't manifest until they reach a certain age, it still doesn't explain how the Ardat-Yakshi population just exploded in orders of magnitude in the couple of years between games.
Samara was lying. The Codex makes it clear that there are far more than just three Ardat-Yakshi. She's downplaying the number of Ardat-Yakshi because that's how the asari roll in general.
This doesn't make much sense, since she's a Justicar. She really has no reason to lie to Shepard at that point and "lying" doesn't seem to be something an organization as rigid as the Justicars would be very supportive of.
Based on what, exactly? We don't know the specifics of the Code. What we do know is that the Justicars' duties include containingng Ardat-Yakshi and that the asari as a whole have a vested interest in keeping the fact that Ardat-Yakshi even exist a secret. Samara would want to downplay the threat, if only due to species-wide social convention to hide the fact.
I don't think she was lying, she was just wrong - when she says there are three Ardat-Yakshi in existance, followed up by saying she has three daughters, before noting "It is as it sounds", she's clearly pretty cut up about it, the insinuation being she thinks she gave birth to the only three sex-vampires currently in existence. But after the suicide mission, I think, if Shep asks her what her intentions are, she indicates that there could be more out there, so she might go look for them. It's a little odd admittedly that she didn't know of the monestary full of them, including both her daughters who she talks to frequently, but meh. Minor retcon.
No retcon. Samara does not speak to her daughters frequently. She has not spoken to them for four hundred years, since she became a Justicar and her Shadow Broker dossier indicates she didn't call that frequently even before that. In the four hundred years since her last contact the monastery simply gained new residents. She does start making frequent contact with her daughter if she survives through to Mass Effect 3.
Maybe she was referring to fugitive Ardat-Yakshi?
No, it was pretty clear that she was talking about her daughters.
This troper seems to recall most of the inhabitants of the AY monastery being described as merely being "in the AY Spectrum," meaning that they have the genes necessary to proliferate Ardat-Yakshi, but were not "real" Ardat-Yaskh themselves. Only her two daughters are genuine Ardat-Yakshi.
Only problem with that is Samara has the genes necessary to proliferate Ardat Yakshi, and she's not in the temple, even though her Justicar code would've absolutely obligated her to live there. But different levels of Ardat (as someone's suggested below!) works for me. T'Loak's heard of 'em, and isn't surprised by the fact that they're more than just a myth. Samara might have given birth to the only three true Ardat-Yakshi, but if we've got a few half-Ardat kicking about, we can bung them in the monastery too.
The impression I got from the codex entry was that there are different "levels" of ardat-yakshi; only the most severe cases, such as Samara's daughters, cause death via melding. Most just cause extreme pain and possible brain damage. Samara might have been counting the ones who have the potentially lethal version for simplicity's sake.
That's the impression I got, too, and the Mass Effect wiki (though by no means infallible) supports this interpretation.
I simply looked at it as the Reapers altering the genes of a normal Asari to make them an Ardat-Yakshi. After all, they can blend a Krogan and Turian to make a husk, and a Batarian and Human, how hard would it be to turn an Asari into an Ardat-Yakshi before huskifying her?
Whatever the explanation, it's not a Retcon. In Mass Effect 2 the codex entry for Ardat-Yakshi includes the line about how one percent of asari are on the AY spectrum, and if you go to the food shop on the Citadel you can occasionally overhear a conversation about how a particular foodstuff was made at an Ardat-Yakshi monastery.
My guess would be that BioWare simply screwed up. They probably wrote Samara's line before they decided to have more Ardat-Yakshi, and they just forgot to change it.
They should have had her state "There are three Ardat-Yakshi that bear the name [insert Asari last name]. Before I became a Justicar, my full name was Samara [insert Asari last name]. It's as it sounds."
Samara actually says, "As far as I know only three exist today..." So she was telling the truth From a Certain Point of View. She knows for a fact her three daughters are Ardat-Yakshi, and she must know the monastery exists but she doesn't know for a fact that the rest of the inhabitants of that monastery are really AY. She can reasonably assume that, but she likely has some part of her Code that instructs her to downplay their existence whenever possible without outright lying.
The real question is if seclusion or death are the only 2 options for those diagnosed as AY, then why was the asari commando on Tiptree known to be one? It's not just something she confided to her squadmate (the PTSD commando in the hospital), it's in her file.
I wondered that, too. But it seems like the AY are trained to use their biotics just like "regular" asari; perhaps, considering how utterly desperate things are becoming, the asari chose to covertly extract some of the most talented and the most emotionally stable and moral/loyal ones from the AY monastery to bolster the ranks? Or maybe that particular commando was very low in the AY spectrum; not enough to condemn her to the monastery, but enough to keep an eye on her.
Doesn't the codex entry for Lessus mention that certain Ardat-Yakshi are allowed supervised reintegration into asari societ?
I forget if it's an audio file or an email, but something you can listen to/read at the AY monastery notes that the staff are particularly unhappy about the way one of their new residents was treated by the justicar that delivered her to them. Its generally suggested that justicars are seen as outdated relics of a bygone age, who hold to an antiquated and simplistic moral stance- justicars see AY's as threats to be killed or contained, but asari society in general seems to be looking at them more as victims of circumstances beyond their control. As such, it's possible, perhaps even likely, that asari society in general is keeping justicars out of the loop in regards to AY's except when one goes rogue.
My understanding of that was the Justicar possibly being more forceful and less merciful in apprehending and restraining this Ardat Yakshi to the point where she was scared out of her mind.
The Codex entry for the planet with the monastery on it may have provided the answer, though it seems to contradict the other codex entry on asari in general; there are apparently active and latant AY genes, and anyone with either is taken to a monastery. Eventually, if they show they can behave themselves and control their urges, they're allowed to reintegrate into society. Presumably justicars aren't kept in the loop about that part.
Reapers attack on Sanctuary
If the reapers have the Illusive man in their pocket via indoctrination, what is the point of their attack on Sanctuary?
They attacked at the point where TIM's research into Reaper control mechanisms got far enough that they believed he could end up becoming a threat. The real question is why they thought that if an indoctrinated person could not take control of them.
"Indoctrinated" does not mean "absolutely and totally under their control." TIM was indoctrinated to the point where he was useful if manipulated with subtlety, but he could still act overly on his own if he wanted to. Besides, the facility as a whole was a threat regardless; if the Alliance or any other galactic power found Sanctuary, they could use the research just as readily as Cerberus.
The man running the place for TIM ISN't indoctrinated.
TIM's investigation of Reaper code leaves a trail that could make the war more difficult for Reaper armada. He is leaving bread crumbs which will help others if not stopped. Just like Saren left bread crumbs which enraged Sovereign: the beacon, the Thorian, the Krogan facility on Virmire. Humanity has found a hero that gets those bread crumbs and uses it against the Reaper agenda, just like he did with the crumbs those damned Protheans left behind and also the secret weapon passed down through countless cycles and kept secret each time. The Reapers don't want peace, they want dominance. Anything else is a nuisance.
An alternative hypothesis: The Reapers attacked explicitly to give TIM the illusion that he posed a credible threat to them, thus reinforcing his delusion that he is not indoctrinated and working toward their ultimate goals.
"They used to eat flies."
Concerning the secret squad member: When it's pointed out to him that salarians are a major player in galactic politics, Javik acts surprised and remarks that they were only animals during his time. The question is - how does he know what a salarian is? How does he recognize a term that presumably did not exist 50,000 years previously? This is something that the Universal Translator could not possibly handle. The only possible explanation I can think of is that salarians already had a primitive culture back then and already called themselves "salarians," meaning that the Protheans ate a sentient species...
Maybe the fact Javik doesn't use a simple Universal Translator, but actually interfaced with a sentient mind (Shepard's) to learn the language has something to do with it. Like, it connected whatever word the Protheans used for "Salarian" with the current name of the species, based on the memories in Shepard's mind correlating to the primitive species that existed back then. This, of course, raises the question of why he was surprised at all, since he should have already known Salarians were one of the dominant species of the cycle at that point.
Javik doesn't use a universal translator. he doesn't need to. He reached out, he touched Shepard's mind, and bam. He knows everything he needs to know to communicate with Shepard, including current names of species.
That'd be a perfect explanation, actually, but then there's the fact that he misidentifies them as lizards instead of amphibians and has to be corrected...
He has trouble comprehending how "primitives" could have evolved so much. It's not a stretch to say that salarians really were lizards back then and just evolved into amphibians, and the reality of such is difficult for Javik.
Alternatively, he simply doesn't care about the difference between a reptile and an amphibian; he's not a biologist and his point isn't biological, it's that in his time, they were slimy, non-sentient to barely-sentient bug eaters. Frog, lizard, doesn't matter. The fact that they got from what and where they were to what and where they are is what he finds shocking.
Javik says the Protheans used to eat Salarian livers as a delicacy. So it makes as much sense for them to know what a Salarian is as it makes sense for us to know what a pig is. And indeed we would be very surprised that if we came back to earth after 50,000 years, there would suddenly be an advanced civilisation of pig-men.
Point is that pig-men probably wouldn't call themselves Pigs. They would call themselves Borons or something. It's the connection between seeing a pig when you went to sleep, waking up and finding somebody that has changed so much you can't even recognise it as a pig and still calling it a pig. Either way "they use to eat flies" could be just seen as a disgust of their old diet, many humans still eat insects which want include flies...good source of protein. In 100 years people looking back before we managed mass-cloning of meat might say "eww, we use to eat ants?" I'm sure many people now already do.
Why does the dialog wheel never have neutral options anymore? It's always straight Paragon or Renegade now. Did just no-one ever use them so they didn't bother recording them or what?
It's in part because people literally almost never used them, but also because Bioware has been slightly stepping away from pure Paragon and Renegade in the standard options anyway. In many, many occasions the lower option isn't any more pragmatic or Jerk Ass than the above, just different in content. Only the red and blue options still represent Paragon and Renegade at their purest, any more. In any case, it's a question of resources: record dialogue that is the least satisfying to watch, that few use, or record greater amounts of actually interesting dialogue.
There was generally no point behind a neutral option; neutral options gained you neither Paragon or Renegade points, so they were functionally useless and no one used them. They could have gone with the Dragon Age II system and had the neutral option be sarcastic/humorous, but there still likely would't be any point to it.
There's also the fact that most "paragon" and "renegade" dialogue choices don't net you paragon or renegade points - they net you general reputation points. There were a lot of times when I was giddy at being a jerk-ass to someone only to see the combination symbol bounce up. Of course, I was still happy about it, because the dialogue is more important than the points you get.
War is a very polarizing experience, and right now you're in the middle of the biggest one since the Protheans and the Reapers were going at it a cycle ago.
Male divinities in the asari pantheon?
In the Temple of Athame we see statues of male angel-equivalents who were credited teaching the asari about civilization. Shouldn't this have ringed some bells in the heads of every anthropologist in existence concerning the origins of the asari culture? Where would they have learned about the existence of masculine entities at all, outside alien contact?
Revisit the Temple with Javik in your party. The asari probably got the idea for male divinities from the protheans. As for why that didn't turn any heads, this information was probably kept hidden by the asari government, same as with the Beacon/Prothean VI hidden in the Athame statue itself.
I know the Prothean connection just fine; the question is why no outsider picked up the fact that an all-female species has male angels in their religion. You can't hide a component of a major religion from the general public.
Liara mentions that the many don't follow the Athame doctrine in recent times and given the secrecy surrounding the temple, it's likely they prevented outsiders from entering it based on religious/traditional principles akin to how no non-Muslims can enter Mecca.
Liara also mentions "Athame's" image became "more Asari" over time when you look at the central statue. The Prothean depiction of those entities is probably very old (as are the artifacts on that temple), maybe pre-spaceflight even, and current Asari population simply believes they all looked like Asari, or at least somewhat Asari-like. What really seems wrong to me is how that Prothean VI was very much aware of the Reaper threat, was supposed to help people fight it, and yet the Asari are completely oblivious of the existence of Reapers before the events of the series. How did they get any information out of that beacon without triggering the activation of Vendetta?
The same way human beings got information out of the Mars Archive; decoding it from the raw bits one laborious piece at a time. Vendetta suffered the same flaw as other Prothean beacons did of requiring somebody with the ability to do the Prothean meld-communication to fully activate it, and doing that requires either the Cipher or being a Prothean. So Vendetta never activated until you showed up.
Of course, if the maker of Vendetta had programmed the thing to be even half as user-friendly as Vigil then yes, the asari would have been leading the galaxy to start anti-Reaper prep starting like 3000 years ago. Sorta an Idiot Ball there, Vendetta engineers.
Vigil was designed by a completely different group of Protheans. Javik is surprised to hear about its presence on Ilos, and the Prothean voice recordings - "Can not be stopped! Can not be stopped! - seem unlikely to have come from Javik's strain. It could even have been a completely different species in the Prothean empire. The light they flung into the future might have been modified by the few members who survived the wait and were revived. Just the fact that they modified the keepers to not be treacherous, but kept them around, proves they thought differently.
And there are real, human religions with half-animal, half-human divinities (for example). So by your logic, the fact that the Egyptians had Ra and Anubis as gods would throw up a red flag since there weren't actually bird-people or jackal-people. Hell, humans even have gender/sexless divinities (the Christian God has no gender for example). The Asari probably knew what males were (unless every other species on Thessia is also only feminine gendered or agender), so they could imagine male divinities.
the "Christian God" is rather consistently referred to as male. And "having body parts swapped out with animals" isn't the same as "representing a gender dichotomy otherwise unknown in our culture." I mean, anthropomorphization of animals seems akin to "also this guy tosses lightning bolts around, even though none of us can do that" and rather different from "this god represents a social order that is otherwise entirely foreign to our society". Of course you could devise some explanation for how the asari came to this pantheon, but by doing that, you're doing the intellectual heavy lifting the writers just didn't care enough to do.
Unless all other lifeforms on Thessia are mono-gendered, the Asari can very easily encounter the concept of males without having to experience it themselves. A correlation would be, for example, modern if human culture had a male god that carried a child and gave birth. Male pregnancy is not a physically possible thing for any in our culture, but we can still understand it by studying seahorses, an animal that exists on our planet and experiences precisely this phenomenon. If there are bi-gendered lifeforms on Thessia, than the possibility that depictions of Athame were originally male ceases to be a cultural impossibility that can't be understood, and instead becomes even more legendary: "the legendary MALE Asari". This means that it can pretty much look like anything it damned well pleases, because it's a figure of myth and awe, up until the point where cultural revisions to faith ultimately begin to make it less and less an impossible entity and more something that people can look at and say, "Yeah, that could happen." As Liara said, becoming more Asari over time.
I just think it's weird that Liara, or any other Prothean expert, would never have figured out that the busts of Athame's followers were of Protheans. While the audience only learnt what Protheans really looked like in ME3, there's no indication that Javik's appearance was surprising to the characters, and it's hard to believe that no-one knew what the Protheans looked like with all those ruins lying about the galaxy. If the busts had been kept hidden, then sure... but Liara recognised them instantly.
Well, the Codex entry on the Protheans (before you meet Javik, at least) still shows the tentacle-faced statues on Ilos. It's possible that some asari scholars attributed the busts to some alien race, but nobody (outside of the Athame doctrine, which also knew about the Beacon) could confirm they were Prothean until they found one to compare them to.
Reaper Tech and Indoctrination
Isn't anybody worried about people in the Alliance, Council, or other races being indoctrinated during the main story? The Reaper tech you picked up during the N7 Sanctum mission goes straight to Alliance researchers and nobody thinks that might be a problem? The Derelict Reaper from Mass Effect 2 proved that Reaper corpses with any kind of power can still generate enough juice to indoctrinate organics ... yet nobody seems to be bothered by giant Reaper corpses now sitting on Tuchanka and Rannoch?
The small Reaper devices are likely safe; the only Reaper devices encountered that caused indoctrination are large-scale objects like Reaper themselves, Object Rho, and the device in the mine. As for the dead Reapers on Tuchanka and Rannoch, those would likely be disassembled - explosively - and the areas around them would be marked as no-go zones until the Reaper is completely destroyed. Remember that once Sovereign was destroyed, there was no danger of indoctrination on the Citadel from the wreckage, and the derelict Reaper was still largely intact with a functional power core. The Reapers disabled on Tuchanka and Rannoch were completely destroyed with no intact power supplies, and indoctrination fields can only exist if the Reaper is still getting power and is intact, and both of those Reapers were very much not intact by the end.
In the Shadow Broker files it's discussed how some Reaper tech is being analyzed from distance using remote drones to avoid the Indoctrination effect. Most likely all these objects are treated as extremely hazardous materials, and no-one will approach them in person once they've been secured.
In the Leviathan DLC, the research lab has a rather large fragment of Sovereign on display. If questioned, the staff will reply that it is behind very powerful energy shields and that they have regular psych evaluations just in case that isn't enough. Apparently mass effect fields can block the indoctrination signal.
Even if they are isolated, if they are still capable of indoctrination the wreck on Tuchanka is right in the territory of the mother of all Thresher Maws. Imagine that thing being indoctrinated or huskified...
Again, if the Reaper tech is sufficiently damaged then it cannot indoctrinate. The Reaper's power core needs to be active to generate husks or indoctrination fields, and if Kalros inflicts sufficient damage to the Reaper, which is indicated when it attacks, then the Reaper will be completely inert.
There is no indication of how damaged a Reaper has to be to lose its indoctrination field; judging from the Derelict Reaper they don't have to be in a sapient condition do cause the effect. However, even if the field continues to excert influence, I doubt that a creature as simple as the Tresher Maw could be affected; it's not the type of creature to understand the complex ideas that the indoctrination influences on; at best a Reaper could guide it to attack specified targets, but since the Reaper is dead, there is nothing Kalros is likely to do besides what it has always done, which is to guard its territory.
Actually, Liara explicitly tells Glyph that the Krogan should avoid the area because the destroyer is still active.
Scions and Praetorians
Why the absence of these enemies? Being made from Husks, there should be plenty of materials on hand for the Reapers to make more of them, and we know that the Scions, at least, are not Collector-dependent, as they show up on the Derelict Reaper.
Ravagers do the same job as Scions with greater mobility. Pretorians's limited effectiveness against Shepard's team likely resulted in them being phased out; Harvesters do a better job overall as close air support platforms.
Bigger question on my mind is where did all the mechs go? You'd think that with the Reaper invasion they'd be in higher demand than ever. Hell, they'd make perfect canon fodder for TIM's army.
Considering how unreliable they proved in the previous game, I wouldn't be surprised that TIM just refused to use them to guard critical installations, let alone have them deployed on strike ops.
The mechs return in the Omega DLC, having been rebuilt into much more mobile and dangerous Rampart Mechs.
Scions and Praetorians are now part of the Collector forces in multiplayer.
War Asset oddities
Much of the process of gathering war assets seems completely arbitrary. Why are there random warships and commando teams hanging around planets without either reaper presence or installations to defend? Why was the Volus dreadnaught Kwunu orbiting a random gas giant instead of defending the homeworld or linking up with other fleets? It is also possible to gain Asari assets before the invasion of Thessia that are for some reason NOT recalled to defend the homeworld.
Units separated from the main fleet without orders to move due to comm buoy disruption. I always viewed it as simply being a case of Shepard finding the unit/fleet, and relaying orders for them to link up with the fleets they got separated from. As for why they're in such out of the way places, just about all of those systems are in Reaper-controlled zones. They're likely hiding out for fear of being detected and destroyed/harvested, and unlike the Normandy, they don't have a stealth system to hide their presence. Normandy can give them a link to their respective command via their QEC and can give them an opportunity to get to the main mass relay and get out of the system and occupied cluster.
Or you store the warships in pokeball-like devices in your cargo hold.
Wrex, I choose you!
Vendetta (Prothean VI)
Vendetta was programmed to reveal the Citadel as the Catalyst only once the Crucible was completed. He explains this is to avert the Reapers’ learning of the threat in advance and then taking control of the Citadel to prevent the Crucible’s use. But isn't “taking control of the Citadel” usually the very first thing the Reapers do? Why would he have been programmed with safeguards that assumed otherwise? The only Protheans with reason to believe the following cycle would prevent the Citadel-trap were the Ilos team, and they worked in complete isolation. Are we meant to assume the Citadel is normally left undefended after the Reapers make use of it?
They were probably hoping that the next cycle would actually find and pay attention to their Beacons, and as such start preparing well before they reached the 50,000-year deadline.
Pretty much. Javik was outright shocked that when a beacon was uncovered, that no one heeded their warnings. They thought that the beacons would serve as a perfectly functional warning.
Fair point. Though if the assumption was that the Crucible would be developed sometime before the Reapers even arrived, it makes even less sense to program Vendetta to withhold information on the Catalyst for the reasons it offered.
The only flaw in their cunning plan, then, was to assume that the Beacons would make it through intact in numbers greater than 1, and/or that anyone would actually find them before the Reapers start to send in Indoctrinated minions to destroy the evidence before it can be analyzed and disseminated. Probably should have left a couple near the worlds they KNEW sentient life was developing on...
They did. That's exactly why they left a beacon on Thessia in the first place: the Protheans were convinced that the asari would be able to stop the next phase of the cycle. And more than one beacon did survive into the next cycle. The one on Thessia, the one on Eden Prime, and the one on Virmire.
Javik is pretty honest, at least with a cynical Shep, about the fact he's lying to keep Liara's spirits up. More importantly, ME1 told us that the warnings were sent out to the beacons by the Ilos team after the Reapers had returned to dark space. Though it's not especially implausible to think disparate groups of Protheans had the same ideas.
The Reapers' Rachni Queen
Two questions here: why was the Rachni Queen able to resist the effects of the Reapers' indoctrination? Also, she made it clear that if she had any more children, they would be able to help build the Crucible, so why were they immune to the effects of the Reapers' indoctrination when the Ravagers she'd given birth to before were more than happy to attack everything in sight?
Those Ravagers were heavily roboticized, so I'd say we weren't looking at Indoctrinated rachni so much as huskified rachni. As for resisting Indoctrination, no idea. Maybe a prepared Hive Mind can fend off Indoctrination (that is why the saved queen can help you, while the new queen if you didn't save the first one betrays you the first chance she gets).
Remember in the first game where the Queen tells you about "the ones who soured the songs of our ancestors". That creepy Russian scientist guy also said that the Rachni Queens are born with all the born with the memories of their fathers/mothers. I just assumed that the Rachni Queen you save had the memories of what was done to her people and had the time to figure out a way to dodge being indoctrinated.
The queens can probably resist indoctrination, but lesser rachni like workers, soldiers, and brood warriors can't. If what happened to the rachni queen is any indicator, Sovereign took control of various nests' lesser rachni and imprisoned the queen, using her to breed more warriors.
I think we can chalk it up to a mix of Genetic Memory and Hive Mind. Rachni queens carry the memories of their ancestors, which might give them a resistance to indoctrination; on top of that, their Genetic Memory also seems like an offshoot of their Hive Mind, and it's shown elsewhere that a Hive Mind is capable of preventing indoctrination from taking hold. It's what allows Shiala, who still is indoctrinated, to not be overcome by the Reapers' will. The rachni enemies that Shepard encounters are all husks, which are a mix of organic tissue and synthetic material because of Reaper interference. The Queen herself is still fully organic, as are the children the Queen produces after being freed.
We get at least a hint, if not outright confirmation, that hive minds are inherently resistant to indoctrination from Shiala. Assuming you helped Zhu's Hope out previously, she sends you an email revealing that they are fighting the invasion effectively because the Thorian's implantation has linked their minds permanently, and she also admits that she is still indoctrinated. I don't recall her exact words, but it is something along the lines of she is able to hear the Reapers' whispers, but the voices of the Zhu's Hope colonists are stronger and so the whispers can't affect her. As a result, it is safe to assume properly networked Rachni have an even stronger hive mind and are thus even more resistant to indoctrination. As for the queen herself, recall that Benezia was able to fight off indoctrination briefly. As the head of an absolutely massive hive mind, I for one think it is safe to say that Rachni Queens are by many orders of magnitude the most powerful-minded beings in existence, surpassing probably all asari matriarchs combined. The Queen from Noveria seems more annoyed and dismissive of indoctrination when we encounter her in 3 than concerned by it, and knowing how strong indoctrination is, any being that can consider it to be merely an annoyance is frighteningly powerful.
"Chemistry of Life"
I understand that in this day and age, biology is the go-to magical science, but how does Javik's "biochemical touch" even work? How does it distinguish between neurotransmitters and hormones of various unrelated races, allowing him to detect their feelings? How can he detect traces of Grunt - and his emotions - in the cargo hold, after the entire spaceship has been refitted and presumably UV'd, scrubbed and chemically cleaned to oblivion? Why not use something like "individual biotic aura" for Javik to feel? Biotics are already well-established within the ME universe and, at least for me, would be much easier to swallow than the bio-Technobabble.
There's no evidence that the ship was scrubbed in any way. Hell, judging by the interior of the ship, they were still pulling bits of the Normandy's old guts out and replacing them. And "individual biotic aura" makes even less sense considering what we know about biotics.
In fact, there's evidence for the ship not have been scrubbed (or completely taken apart, for that matter) at all, like the roaming space hamster and the lost ship models.
The whole point of Javik's ability is to give the Protheans an aura of mystery and otherness, and to demonstrate that there are still major holes in the current Cycle's understanding of the laws of the universe. Like with the "space magic" of the ending, you are supposed to get the feeling that there's still so many undiscovered things in the cosmos.
The Alliance only made sweeps for Cerberus bugs, as stated by Traynor. So, aside from retrofitting, there is no scrubbing otherwise.
I have problems with this too, but most of the stuff Javik identifies can be discovered in a lab from studying individual cells. Species and sex can be determined from the DNA, age can be approximately deduced from telomeres and the amount of biodegradation, and maybe one can make very rough guesses at the specimen's lifestyle from the exact composition of the cells. Emotions from direct touch to a living subject are even easier to detect. I've got nothing on extrapolations of emotions from minor cell samples, though. Maybe Javik just made some generic guesses about Grunt's personality based on him being a young tank-grown krogan. I don't think the writers really thought this one through — they probably just went by Rule of Cool, just like the Synthesis ending. And no, explaining it as biotics wouldn't solve anything, it would be a Voodoo Shark. Biotics are not a universal plot hole plug like the Force, they are an application of mass effect fields for pseudo-telekinesis. They have nothing to do with the "walking biolab" abilities Javik displays.
The Lawson Family
Late in the game, we learn that Miranda and Oriana's father is a man named Henry Lawson. Now, while it's very strange to think Miranda would keep the surname of the father she despised it can, perhaps, be justified. But why on earth does Oriana, who was kidnapped as a baby, raised by foster/adoptive parents and then hidden from her father again carry the Lawson name?
You learn that information from your time during ME2 that Henry Lawson is Miranda's father. he engineered both Miranda and Oriana to carry his genetic legacy. Miranda kidnapped/saved Oriana and gave her to a nice family. Henry busted this during Miranda's loyalty mission in ME2. The result should be that Oriana is saved and learns of her past and from then on keeps contact with Miranda. Reading your mail in ME2, Oriana will thank you and ask that you watch over Miranda and even P.S.S. "Stop reading Sheperd's mail, Miranda." This would suggest that Oriana is also extremely intelligent and resourceful and could ahve known about her past all along. It could be inferred that since the ME3 is through the eyes of Commander Sheperd, then Oriana would be known which is why her name is Lawson. Conversely, she has been found by Henry Lawson and so all illusion regarding her identity is broken.
You do not learn the name of Miranda and Oriana's father in ME2. Before the third game, the prevalent opinion was that Miranda would have chosen a new surname for herself, distinct from that of the father she despised. That this isn't the case is odd but not a huge problem. She may have kept it to spite him. The question is why Oriana would change her surname from that of the adoptive, loving parents who raised her to "Lawson" after learning her history. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
What's weird is when you think, 'Okay, so Miranda changed her name, but why did Oriana?' because, it's not just that Oriana changed it as well, but somehow, out of all the names in the world, she chose the EXACT same name as Miranda.
I'm inclined to think that Miranda kept the name either as a "screw you" to Henry, or to leverage the connection for her own gain. Oriana probably takes the name by the time of ME3 to be closer to Miranda.
Several missions(the academy one comes to mind) involve the Normandy not being able to drop you closer or pick you up because a Cerberus ship is running interference. The Normandy still has those massive guns from Garrus' upgrade that tore through the collector ship like butter. Has Cerberus' tech upgrades gotten to the point that those aren't working anymore?
At Grissom, the Cerberus cruiser was right next to the Academy. I shouldn't need to explain what would happen if the Thanix was used on the cruiser in such close proximity to the station, considering what happened tot he last ship that they blew up with the Thanix.
Joker said that there were about a dozen fighters around the Academy. Far too many for the Normandy to destroy alone without taking severe damage or damaging the Academy itself. Even if they could, alerting Cerberus to their presence would jeopardize the lives of everyone on the station, making the rescue mission mute.
Except Alliance frigates in Mass Effect universe specialize in anti-fighter and anti-frigate warfare, especially if the Normandy is upgraded with better armor and shields (since we're assuming it has the Thanix Cannon..) a dozen fighters should not even be an issue. It even could take out the Cruiser with Javelin missiles instead of the Thanix - since they're installed on the "wings", not the bow, Normandy still has them. So basicly after Shepard had the kids rescued there was pretty much nothing that could have stopped the Normandy from decimating Cerberus units in the area.
Really? Because the last time the Normandy fought a force consisting mostly of fighters, I distinctly recall it having to run away and hide in a debris field.
Let's not forget that Cerberus has copies of all your tech upgrades from ME2. So even if the Normandy has Silaris Armor, Cyclonic Barrier Technology, and a Thanix Cannon, so does that Cerberus cruiser... and its a little bigger than you.
Maybe. Just because they had access to the upgrades that you made doesn't mean they could apply them to every ship they own. Cerberus may have a mountain of cash, but those upgrades are expensive and applying them to dozens of ships may not be feasible. And the mission to the Cerberus base on Tuchanka would suggest that their ships weren't all upgraded: one good shot from the ground cannon tore the Cerberus cruiser apart.
Said ground cannon is also longer than a modern day aircraft carrier (and that's just the part we can see - it's likely partially underground), far longer than the Normandy. Even accounting for atmospheric slowdown on the projectile, it'd be a helluva lot more powerful than the piddly little gun on the Normandy, upgraded or not.
Not to mention that when you're an indoctrinated Reaper agent and the End of Days is nigh, you don't care about saving money for next year's budget. So yeah, shoot the wad, upgrade all your ships; go nuts — you can't shoot credits at the Alliance.
Piddly? It's derived from Reaper tech! It's supposed to be a Turian secret! It's quite possibly the most advanced weapon in Council space! It makes more sense to say that Cerberus has countermeasures than to say that it's just a crappy weapon, though even that seems off, as it was more than enough to take out the collector cruiser with a couple hits.
How come Legion still dies if you make peace between the quarians and geth? It babled something about "disseminating personality matrix" before dropping dead. Even if his physical body experienced terminal overclocking, shouldn't his programs be able to upload themselves away offsite, just fine? To me, it seems as if Bioware wanted to make it a Bittersweet Ending just 'cause.
It's because he was the only Geth left with the Reaper Code and there wasn't enough time for the average Geth to analyze and make it there own in time to help stop the Reapers, basically Legion had to be what amounts to an organ donor for them... that's my interpretation anyway.
In order to upload the Reaper code to the entire Consensus, Legion would need to disseminate every individual geth program in its body throughout the entire Consensus. It could not copy the Reaper code directly; the only way to spread the upgrades would be for individual programs to spread outward throughout the Consensus as a whole. The individual geth programs that made up Legion are likely still out there somewhere in the Consensus, but the personality that made up the discrete gestalt entity that was "Legion" is gone; the moment those geth departed Legion's platform, "Legion" ceased to exist - and because it made all geth truly self-aware, there's no way to reconstruct Legion.
In the end, Legion uploads the final Reaper code so that will enable all Geth entities to become self-aware. Since he cannot directly upload to the Geth consensus, he must transmit it via satellite at the cost of his personal entity. The final act of him referring to his body as "I" rather than "we" shows that the Legion persona made the sacrifice for all his fellow Geth. Sheperd even quizzically asks the Geth Prime if he is now Legion but the Prime corrects him and states that the one known as Legion has been terminated. Just like Morinth to Samara, you can copy the form but not the absolute personality.
That...Makes absolutely no sense given how computers work and how geth are said to work in the Mass Effect universe. The geth do not have blue boxes, they're just raw code. This is to say, assuming they are not philosophical zombies (beings that appear to be sentient but actually aren't), there's no reason just copying the reaper code wouldn't work. Or you know, just copying the necessary data from legion onto every geth...
The Geth are raw code, at first. The Reapers have enabled them to evolve to more specific lines of code which end up detailing their individuality. Geth were stated to be individuals in a general consensus, like different programs running on a computer yet still contained within the consensus. Legion forcing the Reaper code into their consensus granted a new form of AI and individuality, capable of differentiating each program and giving them new aspects of control and personality. Simply copying the code would only have made the Geth into aspects of the Reaper Legion, not individuals in a nation as they have always wanted. "Does this unit have a soul?" is Legion's final question. The answer is yes, which shows that more than simple programs they are not so different.
The Crucible and the Conduit
Ok, many aspects of the ending give me a serious headache, but for now I'll stick to two major problems:
1. Did the Reapers influence the design of the Conduit? I keep on getting confused whether or not that is the case. If they didn't, then why would the designers make things so damn complicated by making it activated by the Catalyst and thus make it have to merge with the Citadel? Unless I missed something...
Conduits are simply scaled down versions of mass relays, nothing more nothing less.
2. Why would the Reapers build a Conduit ON EARTH leading directly to the Citadel? Why give the resistance's ground troops access to it? If it was so that the Reapers could send up their own troops to defend the Citadel, why does Shepard not encounter any resistance (not counting the Illusive Man) aboard the station at all? Unless either the Catalyst was somehow manipulating things or the Conduit just somehow formed on its own or moved to Earth from Ilos, it really doesn't make any sense (of course, it's definitely not unique in that sense).
Shepard and Anderson theorize in the game that the Conduit was used to transport humans to the Citadel for "processing", presumably to create a new Reaper. Using a Conduit is far more efficient than having to carry everything up via ship. The Reapers also had no reason to guard the interior of the Citadel simply because they never thought anybody would be able to reach it.
Earth Death Toll Numbers
Something that surprised me was just how (relatively) low the death toll numbers given for Earth seemed to be. In the trailer, we are given totals for the first day (2 million casualties) and first week (7 million casualties.) That tells us that Shepard has been out and about in the galaxy for at least a week. So let's say that is a good average for the Reapers (considering they got what amounts to a surprise attack and took out 2 million in the first day alone.) That means that Shepard would have to be out and about in the galaxy for 8-9 WEEKS just for the Reapers to match the total casualties that occurred during World War 2. (60 million estimated.) Not to mention the fact that Earth's population during the time of the games is at 11 billion while it was only 2.5 billion during the 1940s, so there are more than four times as many people around to kill. Granted, the Reapers wanted to capture and process humans to make the next generation of reapers, so it's possible they weren't doing as much damage as they otherwise could have. It's also likely that the numbers "Big Ben" gives in the trailer aren't completely accurate. But it still surprises me just how low those totals seem to be.
Like you said, they're trying to harvest humanity, not obliterate it. Emily Wong notes on her twitter that if they wanted humanity dead, they'd have just nuked everything.
True enough, but why not resort to their "nuking" strategy when they began to lose the battle for Palaven? While the Reapers were bringing Turians into their forces as Marauders, Harbinger says in the 2nd game that they are considered "too primitive" to be valuable to Reaper reproduction. It would have severely weakened the last stand on Earth had the Reapers simply decided taking Palaven was more trouble than it was worth and bombed it to hell and back. This seems to have been their strategy in the past against species they considered unfit, as all of the formerly-inhabited planet descriptions that mention "orbital bombardment" show.
The numbers in the trailer are most likely from London alone. As I recall, the Reaper harvester vessel can process 1.86 million individuals in a week, which would make for a good estimate if it was only a few weeks at this point. You shouldn't take Harbinger's words at face value concerning the turians either; they may be too primitive to make a capital ship, but they should still be good enough material for a destroyer, since those things are made out of "lesser" species according to the Codex. Personally I'm assuming that the Reapers bombard worlds from the orbit after the harvesting is complete to hide the traces of their involvement, not before when there's still material to be collected. Remember, the Reapers inevitably win any war of attrition, so they're not in a hurry. Time and indoctrination are on their side.
The Reapers were never "losing" the battle for Palaven. They were winning until the krogan intervened, but even then all they did was slow the Reapers down enough that the turians could devote resources to the assault on Earth.
Not really. The Turians and Reapers were more at a stalemate, as while the Reapers were there in force, the fleet sent was still not nearly as large as the bulk of the Reaper forces, concentrated on Earth. It's why Humanity's fleets, comparable in power to the Turians', were utterly obliterated(in the case of the Fourth and Second) or badly hit and damaged(Third, First, and Fifth). Plus, the krogans' entrance turned the tide to where the Turians were winning the battle. In terms of space superiority, the Turians and Reapers were also at a stalemate, as the Turians were definitely able to match the Reapers almost kill for kill considering that they had 56 dreadnoughts to Humanity's paltry 7.
The human fleet is nowhere near as strong as the turian fleet. I doubt that it's even 10% as strong, consider it's around a thousand and the turian fleet is well over ten thousand. And the Reapers still managed to defeat the turians in a few months. That's way better compared to the humans, asari, and batarians, none of which lasted a day.
Well winning/losing depends on how you gauge it. The Turians initial assault was really the most successful action against the Reapers by any single species (the Reapers lost two Capital ships in the first assault!) but they still lost the planet, the Reaper's were smart enough to realise that by rushing past and bombing/ground assaulting key areas on Palaven it made the battle in the sky virtually immaterial. A stalemate at this point is fine for the Reapers, they have access to the planet and the Turian supply lines, and the Turians can’t risk the full assault needed to dislodge them.
Basically, the numbers from the trailer do not add up. According to the reaper war codex, four major cities counted "as in the low millions" were immediately destroyed: Adelaide (roughly 1.3 million today), Hamburg (1.8 million), Al Jubail (400k), Fort Worth (750k). That alone accounts for roughly 4 million deaths instantly by todays numbers. The deescriptor shows, that at least Al Jubail and Fort Worth have grown (or centers are counted).
Missed a step, Doctor?
When Thane is fatally wounded by Kai-Leng, he stays alive long enough to be carted to the hospital and recieve rudimentary treatment. It couldn't save him, but it gave him time to say his goodbyes. However, his clothes in the hospital were still the one he'd gotten stabbed in. Did the staff remove his bloodstained and torn coat, perform surgery, and then put it back on later. It's not as if they don't use hospital gowns, since the Virmire suvivor recieves one and a human/asari gown would fit just fine. So, why not?
Unfortunately, all drell character models use the same clothes. (compare Kolyat, Feron, and Thane. Their outfits are of different colors but are essentially the same) Bioware probably just didn't choose to give Thane a unique character model for the hospital.
He was brought to emergency surgery immediately after the stabbing. As I understand, in those circumstances hospital gowns are a waste of time; just cut off whatever is in the way and get to work.
Have to space it?
If you betray Wrex, he comes at you with a shotgun but ultimately ends up getting shot to death through a window. Bailey comments that Wrex may be too big for a coffin and they'd have to space him. Why? The Citadel has Krogan passing through there fairly often, and Elcor, which are bigger than Krogan, are Citadel members. Surely they'd have those guys die every so often. Do both Krogan and Elcor not have a tradition of burial?
In case you didn't notice, the Citadel is kind of at war. Resources in general are going to be limited, and the amount of coffins the Citadel would have in stock for krogan would be limited too. Even less if krogan troops are moving off of Tuchanka and fighting the Reapers.
Tarquin Victus big screw-up
What, exactly, was Tarquin Victus major screw-up that he is repeatedly accused of by his soldiers and your squad members? As far as I can tell, he was faced with two equally bad alternatives: Attack a dug-in enemy head-on and suffer guaranteed casualties OR try a risky approach which has at least some chance of surprising the enemy troops at the price of high vulnerability before the landing. I just don't see how he is supposed to have screwed up for chosing caution over suicide. The only reason I can think of is that he acted against the Turians main strategy to attack the enemy head-on with overwhelming force, or am I missing something here?
It was less that he made a bad call so much as he made a call that got his team epically massacred. Any commander who makes a decision that gets virtually the entire unit wiped out (especially if it goes against standing doctrine) will get in deep shit.
Especially if they fail to complete the mission to boot. With the "Victory at any cost" mentality of the turians, if Victus had managed to complete his mission at the expense of most of his team there would probably have been no complaints, but they got colossally screwed before even getting close to their target.
It was implied that the enemy they were going to face head on was Cerberus. While tough, few consider them tougher than the Reaper forces, and they stumbled onto a crapload of them when trying to flank Cerberus. Think of it as trying to sneak past a squad guarding a door and falling into a room filled with dozens of enemies instead. Logical that you would act that way, but undeniably worse than if you had just stuck to the agreed-upon strategy.
Tali and spiders
How does Tali even know what a spider is? Has she encountered some on the Citadel? On Omega? In human colonies?
Rachni + Extranet.
Apparently multiple planets have animal species that can be described as "fish" (IE, "Thessian Sunfish"). I wouldn't be surprised if there were eight limbed arthropods on other planets... or she could have just future-googled "spider".
Tali clearly knows what an insect is (otherwise she wouldn't be able to say Rannoch has no insects), it's no stretch to think she knows what a spider is. Also, even though Rannoch has no insects, it's interesting to note that Tali never visited Rannoch in her life. For all we know, insects are a very common concern of the Quarians as they are today, specially considering they usually buy used ships.
Any translator can tell you that there are words or concepts that can't be fully translated into other languages and must be approximated. When human talk about "spiders", Tali would hear it as her word for whatever species approximate spiders in her homeworld. Even if there is no such species, a good Universal Translator would readily give an approximate definition easily understood in her language. So, there will be no difficulty in understanding what a "spider" is.
A better question would be why people in-game keep comparing the rachni to spiders. The queen did look kind of spiderish, but in the first game she and all of her children looked very much like giant space prawns. If anything, they should be crustaceans, not arachnids (and yes, I did notice the arachnid/rachni thing).
Simple. Tali does a Wiki Walk on the extranet, ends up following a link to Earth Spiders, and what she reads (or sees videos on) freaks her out. Bam, arachnophobia.
There are a lot of people today who know about things that come from countries they've never been to. Being from one planet doesn't mean that you've never heard of anything from other planets. Given how much humans despise spiders in general, it makes complete sense that they'd be known among the Citadel races, especially races that might consider something like a spider nightmare fuel because they're not used to insects/bugs at all.
In Lair of the Shadow Broker you can find out that Grunt, of all people, is doing some research on humans, and considering that Grunt is a krogan and only working with you for this mission. It would not be odd at all if we assumed that Tali, whom the of you go way back to the original Normandy and a romance option in ME2 and 3, did some research on humans, especially that she is on a an Alliance ship, under the command of a human, with most of the crew as humans
Piloting a Geth Ship
After the Geth Dreadnought mission, Legion pilots a Geth fighter to get Shepard and his two squadmates back to the Normandy. It does so by having its mobile platform physically operate the controls, just like any organic would. Why the heck are Geth ships built with this kind of controls? A race composed of software processes would have a much better response time if they cut the mechanical middle-man, and simply uploaded themselves into the ship. The same goes for the many terminals found throughout the dreadnought.
The geth seem to have deliberately designed themselves to operate like organics. Maybe as an effort to understand individual organics or individuality, or maybe they just felt like doing things physically, with a mechanical body, instead of operating via software. Note that when interfacing with any geth technology, you see lines of light running between the geth's fingers and whatever they're doing, so it is probable that the geth is likely just directly interfacing with the equipment directly while in a mechanical body. Geth may also limit their pilots to single mechanical body to cut down on reaction time; imagine, if you will, over a thousand individuals trying to pilot a single fighter while in contact with another five million other individuals controlling a fleet, all of them of the same rank, and all of them operating under the basic idea of reaching a consensus on what to do. Even arguing at the speed of optical processor thought, they're going to take a while to make a decision. A dozen geth isolated in a single body, however, can make decisions instantly and quickly.
While the first part might be true (even then, trying to understand organics by seriously handicapping themselves in a life-or-death situation is kind of stupid), the second part makes no sense. Even with the mobile platforms physically interacting with the ships, we still have the same amount of Geth programs running and trying to reach a consensus during a fight. The mobile units just add a bigger delay between reaching the consensus and acting on it as the mechanical components take more time to transmit the information (and that's what operating any machine is, transmitting the information of what you want it to do by pressing buttons/pushing levers/etc.) than a software does.
Incorrect. Legion points out that while geth are contained inside mobile platforms, they do not have as direct communication with the Consensus. Data is transferred, but the amount of communication is stifled. It is "quieter." Imagine being in a room with twenty million other soldiers all of the same rank trying to figure out what to do with everything at the same time and reaching a consensus on how to do that. Legion itself took thirty minutes to come to a conclusion with only a thousand geth debating, and that decision was a stalemate. Now imagine the aformentioned twenty million peple trying to decide on every movement of every ship in the entire fleet plus their support craft. It would be insanity. Dividing up individual functions to individual platforms allows those geth to efficiently perform their specific task while directives are passed back and forth. Instead of twenty million geth trying to come to a consensus on fleet acrions across the entire fleet, you have mere thousands, hundreds, or dozens operating individual functions and communicating those back and forth. Data transferrence remains, but individual decisionmaking at each task becomes more efficient. Instead of twenty million geth making the decision on where to move every fighter, you have a few million deciding general course of action and instantly passing that down to other geth servers controlling ships, which transfer refined directives to individual stations, which transfer further directives to platforms handling specific tasks, on down the line, at light speed. Individual platforms at individual stations can quickly react to changinging circumstances without having to wait for the primary Consensus to reach a decision. Not too dissimilar from how human navies operate, except communication is almost instantaneous.
It still makes little sense for a geth fighter to be piloted by a foot-soldier platform when it could just as easily be a platform itself. In ME1 we're told that their "tanks" (armatures and colossi) are platforms unto themselves, rather than vehicles driven by a foot-soldier platform, precisely because that's more efficient. If they were preoccupied with operating more '"like organics"' that wouldn't be the case.
There may have been other concerns with Legion controlling the fighter via uploading, as well. The geth were still under Reaper control at that point. Maybe Legion didn't want to risk "indoctrination exposure" by uploading its runtimes into possibly-Reaper-infested hardware? In that case, the physical controls are a workaround.
The obvious answer to this question is because it's safer for them to do so. They could upload directly into a fighter if they wanted, but doing so means the Geth programs will be lost if the ship is destroyed. Staying in a platform and operating their fighters manually gives them some extra protection which could allow the platform to survive or give them the extra time they need to upload their programs to the nearest Geth station, and it doesn't seem to hinder their effectiveness in battle. Plus, Geth uploaded directly into a fighter can't manipulate anything outside that fighter. They'd still need mobile platforms to get out, look around, fight ground forces, retrieve valuable resources etc.
This troper assumed that the geth built their ships with the possible reconciliation with the quarians in mind, with manual controls allowing an organic to operate the geth equipment.
I took it more like plugging a USB into a slot. The ship is the hardware, and the geth platform is the hardware that delivers the software to run that hardware. Most likely, they can upload it without a physical platform there as an interface, but Legion does want to bring his platform with him, so he uses the manual interface mode.
Geth don't need to physically pilot their fighters; the mission where you infiltrate the geth server proves that much. More likely, the fighters are designed to incorporate a mechanism by which a platform containing geth can operate the fighter in case of ECM preventing the geth from directly downloading or remotely operating the fighter. Legion's not operating the fighter as it is supposed to be operated under normal conditions. The area where Shepard's team resides is described as a cargo area by Legion, which explains why there's room for them. Also, going by the shape of the fighter and its claws, it is possible that the geth fighters also possess a secondary function as boarding craft or assault infantry transports, in which case the cargo section would carry combat platforms to attack a target.
Ruined Suit, Perfect Face
When Harbinger shows up before the conduit and blasts the entire ground force apart, Shepard takes a direct hit reflected in his/her damaged armor. But how the hell is his/her pretty face just fine afterwards, even if you weren't wearing a helmet? Hell, Shepard's armor melted off the tough bastard, and there's not even burn marks or lacerations or anything. It's not as if it can't be rendered (think Virmine Survivor in hospital, bloody face during opening), so what caused Bioware to overlook that?~
I guess it's a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation (or, more to the point, "Presentation and Story Segregation"). They just didn't want Shepard to look any different from their regular self during the final sequences, so they just added some of the Renegade scars to their face and called it a day.
My Shepard was pretty noticably scarred in that scene, especially around her mouth.
Mine had some around her left eye, cheek and mouth.
While you'd expect considerably more damage to the face, we don't really see Shepard survive a "direct hit". Harbinger's laser strikes the ground in front of her, the force of which is enough to obliterate her armour and blast her back. Well, okay, she's actually much closer to the beam when she wakes up. Lots of speculation for everyone.
That's easy. Shepard, like all people in the Mass Effect universe, wears a helmet in combat, which you can turn off in the options for the sake of Gameplay and Story Segregation, because people want to emotionally connect with him/her which isn't possible if you can't see his/her face well. When he/she was hit by the beam, the helmet's outer layers melted just as much as his/her armor, making them opaque. Because he/she didn't want to walk around blind, he/she 'actually' pulled off her helmet, revealing his/her bruised but unburnt face.
This troper is confused as he remembers sheperd's face being horribly bruised, bloody and overall horrificly injured. Specially manshep ◊
N Ice to see manshep copping a feel on... herself...
For clarification, when this entry was made, it was pre-Extended Cut, where Shepard's face was fine. With the EC, Shepard's face becomes properly bruised, so this matter is settled.
Why are they roughly 7½ feet tall when asari are all generally the same height as human women, other huskified species mirror their organic counterparts in size (yes, brutes are significantly larger than krogan, but that's attributable to visible cybernetics)?
The Reapers are physically modifying the bodies with massive amounts of cybernetic augmentations.
The codex says Banshees disintegrate immediately upon being killed. This occurs every time the player takes one down. So why is Falere able to point to the corpse of one during the Ardat-Yakshi mission?
Likely either a one-in-a-million design flaw, or the Codex's definition of "immediately" doesn't equate to "instantly". On the note of Brutes though, their anatomy and articulation don't look anything like a krogan's. Hell, it looks more like a Yahg's. Even the feet resemble them. What's up with that?
It also resembles Turian feet. I think Brutes are not just mutated Krogans with Turian heads, but a complete mix-and-match of the two, with the end result resembling neither.
The mission makes it clear that transformation into a Banshee is not instantaneous, it could be that it was killed shortly before the transformation was complete and so the insta-disintegration wasn't working yet.
Indoctrinated Access to Vendetta (Thessia Beacon)
How was Kai Leng able to download the data from the beacon on Thessia? When he arrives, the VI notes that "an indoctrinated presence has been detected". Given that Shepard and Co. had to convince it to give them information on the Catalyst, why doesn't it shut down or otherwise refuse to give Leng the data?
The VI is just a highly advanced operating system, isn't it? It's not too hard of a stretch to think the information it protects can be hacked by other means. Besides, it doesn't give Leng the data so much as Leng "kidnaps" it. The data is retrieved by others at Cerberus at Chronos station. More surprising is that Leng is able to transfer the entire contents of a Prothean beacon into his omni-tool.
Not so surprising if his omni-tool was designed/upgraded with downloading a Prothean beacon in mind. We know that Leng knew what he was looking for on Thessia; it's a fair assumption that TIM armed him with the tools he would need to get the job done, as opposed to sending him in blind and hoping for the best. As for why Vendetta told them about the Catalyst, a simple answer is "He didn't". Vendetta is a program. A Prothean program, which may or may not be far more advanced than anything that modern galactic civilization has, but is undoubtedly inferior to the Reaper tech that TIM has at his disposal. They probably just stripped all the data they needed from him without giving him a choice.
Fleets getting through the relay
According to the Codex, the Migrant fleet takes days to get through a relay. Now, presumably, the Earth Battle sees a good portion of that fleet (under best conditions) as well as thousands of ships by other races. How come they are all "accounted for and ready" within a minute?
The Migrant Fleet tends to be cautious, and the more ships you send through, the further the error ratio when they exit. You can send a giant fleet through the relay, but it will be scattered, but the Migrant Fleet does not like to move while spread out. They move through a few ships at a time to make sure that none of them get separated and grabbed by pirates. Sword Fleet doesn't have to worry about that, so they can send hundreds of ships through at once without immediate worry; by the time the Reapers can respond, they'll have already reformed.
We don't know exactly how Mass Relays are powered. It's possible that it can only transmit so much mass in a single shot, and it takes time to fully recharge afterwards. The Migrant Fleet consists of 50,000 ships; Sword Fleet, probably less than 5% of that. Alternatively, it's possible that the more ships that make the jump, the greater the stress on the individual vessels. Most of the Migrant Fleet's ships are obsolete civilian half-wrecks , flying only due to Quarian engineering skill, and thus probably can't take anywhere near the jump stress that a top-of-the-line warship can endure.
Air Car Brakes
Why, oh harsh and uncaring gods of Cutscene Incompetence, could I not just simply slam on the brakes and send the ridiculous idiot trying to stab my Citadel aircar to death flying out over my windshield and down to his messy death?
Cybernetic legs with magnetic feet?
They still pass pretty close to a couple walkways, if they just flew up a little bit they could knock him off pretty easily still.
That's reallyeasier said than done, and fiction blows up how easy it is to do this. You ever actually flown a plane before? And have you ever had need to scrape something off the top of said plane by ramming it against an object overhead? No? because they don't train you in doing that, and they don't train people flying planes to thread things that closely. All that's likely to happen if you were to attempt that would be the abrupt, crunching end to your flight career - and that's without factoring in that Kai Leng isn't going to just sit there and let Shepard try it.
Its not so much that I believe it would be easy as its something I believe Commander Shepard would do or at least try to do. Its not the fact that it doesnt work so much as the fact they dont try because frankly it just makes sense for Shepard (especially survivor Shepard) to be at least know a few more ways to get something off your car.
Why not just stop under one of those overhangs and then go straight up? Kai Leng has two choices; jump off or get smushed. And since you're not trying to do it at high speed, the worst you'll do is dent your roof. Of course, he might try to hang down and attack through the window, but I'm pretty sure he can't dodge bullets — or biotics, or tech powers — while hanging by one hand in front of a car window.
Stopping in place would just invite Kai Leng to stab Shepard in the face thanks to the suddenly very stable platform he's got and the perfect opening it would give him. Even then, accelerating straight up runs into the complication that about a tenth of a second after Kai Leng hits, Shepard will also hit.
Its kinda hard to stab Shepard 'directly in the face' when you're standing on the back half of the car, and Shepard's in the driver's seat.
No. But by that point Leng's already achieved his objective in disabling the car anyway, so it doesn't matter. If Shepard tried to ascend at any point prior, Leng could have simply stabbed Shepard while he was on the front of the car.
Actually, on rewatching the scene, he could have done that anyway. Shepard never jinks the car while he's standing on the front of it; nothing stops him from just killing Shepard instead of the aircar except the fact that its not in the script. Which brings us right back to the original objection of the entire aircar sequence being horribly scripted; it makes both Shepard and Kai Leng look like total idiots.
Pretty much. They're the same thing that keeps Shepard anchored to the deck in all those zero-gravity sequences, and ubiquitous enough that Shepard would know there's no point. The mere fact that Kai Leng is even able to stay on the car while its moving at such high speeds indicates that he's using magnetic boots.
Except that he's freely walking around on top of the car, indicating that whatever magnets he's using they are able to be overcome by the leg strength of a cybernetic leg. The momentum of a human-sized mass (his own) being decelerated from 150+ mph to zero in several seconds would be many many times that amount of force. tldr; Short of his actually welding himself to the car, even magnetic boots shouldn't have been able to hold him on during a crash stop.
No. Magnetic boots would be reasonably expected to have variable grip strength, especially if they're part of the cybernetics Kai Leng has equipped, and if they're part of his cybernetics, they would be able to recognize the difference between a sudden unintended acceleration/deceleration and a nerve impulse ordering the leg to move and thus triggering a detachment. They'd be fairly useless if sudden acceleration or deceleration threw their wearer off, considering how often such devices would be used in zero gravity and the potentials for sudden acceleration/deceleration in such an environment.
Um, what? Magnetic boots are used for keeping yourself in place on exterior hulls while going EVA. EVA operations occur in places like space stations, dry dock, and ships drifting in orbit. They are not intended for standing outside on the hulls of units undergoing high-G maneuvers. Hell, remember the whole firefight you had with the geth and the krogan on the outside of the Praesidium tower during the end of ME1? How much impact did it take you to knock their magnetic boots free of the station and send them helplessly flying away up into zero gee? Not much. And you can't say that geth wouldn't also have their magnetic boots 'spliced directly into their nerve impulses', seeing as how they're entirely synthetic.
Magnetic boots are used for keeping yourself in place on exterior hulls while going EVA. EVA operations occur in places like space stations, dry dock, and ships drifting in orbit. They are not intended for standing outside on the hulls of units undergoing high-G maneuvers. And this precludes them from being strong enough to keep their operators from being throw off said objects in a catastrophic situation....how, exactly? Its reasonable to assume that magnetic boots would be designed to anchor in case of a serious emergency.
Hell, remember the whole firefight you had with the geth and the krogan on the outside of the Praesidium tower during the end of ME1? How much impact did it take you to knock their magnetic boots free of the station and send them helplessly flying away up into zero gee? Not much. And you can't say that geth wouldn't also have their magnetic boots 'spliced directly into their nerve impulses', seeing as how they're entirely synthetic. If the geth didn't feel the need to anchor their disposable platforms onto surfaces sufficiently to withstand powerful biotic strikes, that's their perogative. One force's inability to properly equip their troops does not translate to every force's equipment, especially considering that this is Kai Leng, the most important Cerberus operative in their entire organization. The fact that he seems perfectly willing to drop down onto a moving aircar and has no trouble moving around on it indicates that he's confident that he can survive any high-speed maneuvers.
"The no limits fallacy is the illogical idea that a poorly understood phenomenon can be extrapolated to infinity or assumed to not have any maximum value or threshold." You can consider this line item to be the rebuttal to both arguments above.
So you're not actually going to bother arguing at all or even saying anything about how said fallacy relates to my point? Thank you, concession accepted.
What part of 'your entire argument relies on the baseless assumption that magnetic boots have no upper strength limit' did you need explained to you? Electromagnets require power. The man isn't walking around with a 10-gigawatt mass effect core shoved up his ass. There are stark engineering limits as to how strong his magnetic boots can be, and its nowhere near as strong as the amount of momentum an entire aircar engine can deliver, unless you want to get into fantasy-land of assuming that Cerberus can fit something more powerful than an aircar engine into a cyberleg.
It gets worse. When Kai Leng lands on your aircar, he's originally standing on the windshield. Magnetic boots don't stick to glass.
Worse still - no matter how powerful his magboots are, the rest of him would still have to withstand the same deceleration. At the very least, he ought to smash his head into the windscreen. At worst, his legs ought to snap at the nearest weak point - i.e. his knees.
Fun thing is: you are all correct. Slam breaking would probably dislodge Kai from the car or Kais upper torso from his legs or something similar if enough g forces are applied - within our reference frames. But it would not be as easy to do due to mechanics and thermodynamics also applying to the shuttle, i.e. it needs to move forward to move forward to keep height. Then again, it's nothing that can be ruled out within the Mass Effect universe, and actually mini mass effect fields can be used as counter arguments against both. They are able to stabilize anything in this world. The bottom line of this would of course be: either neither work, in which case breaking would just not be an option, or both can work, in which case it would be useless.
One: it doesn't need to keep moving forward to keep height — aircars are demonstrably capable of hovering, we see that all the time in cutscenes. Two — fallacy of the excluded middle. We don't have to go 'if aircars than hover, than Kai Leng must have magic boots', as the one being true doesn't automatically make the other being true.
For the same reason you are lasering things into piles of goo and splatting the heads of enemies with your $200,000 sniper a moment before, then the cutscene starts and you pull out some piece-of-crap pistol and miss every shot. The plot needs him to survive.
The simplest explanation: Shepard tries to shoot Leng because Shepard never took the "What to do when a ninja cyborg jumps onto your aircar" class at N7 training camp. S/he sees a threat dropping onto the aircar, and the immediate ingrained response s/he possesses is to go for his/her gun, not jam the brakes or swerve the car or try to scrape the threat off. S/he also doesn't have the advantage of sitting safely behind a keyboard and being able to stop and think for hours on end as to what the proper tactical decision is. Shepard sees Leng, and his/her first instinct is to shoot the threat dead, not maneuver the vehicle to throw the threat off.
Yeah... except that 'just hit the brakes!' was literally my first reaction on seeing the scene, as it was happening. If my couch-potato ass can think of this virtually in real time, somebody with Shepard's reflexes should have thought of it before Kai Leng's feet even hit the car.
Just because that was your instant, Genre Savvy reaction to it does not necessarily mean that it was Shepard's immediate reaction. "Draw weapon and shoot target" is going to be Shepard's first response to a threat like that. Again, you're sitting safely behind a TV screen with a controller on a couch. Shepard is there, in the middle of the situation, and has to make reflexive, snap decisions; his/her snap decision at that point was to draw a weapon and engage, not abruptly reduce forward thrust. The latter has an outcome that would likely be better, but Shepard simply didn't think of it.
So, basically, the scene makes perfect sense so long as we assume that Commander Shepard, super-duper space-opera hero dude and the single greatest N7 operative who ever lived, is going to fail to think quickly during an emergency. Except that wouldn't make any sense at all. Shepard did not survive the last two games by being slow on the uptake or unable to improvise under fire!
You've seen Shep drive, right? I have a hard time believing any Shep anywhere would be able to pull off precision maneuvering on their own feet, much less a thousand credit skycar.
So, was there any explanation as to what was happening on Haestrom in ME2? It was one of the non-missable recruitment missions, and the game went out of its way to note that the sun was aging too fast and no one had any explanation. It seems like there's still a loaded Chekhov's Bazooka sitting on the mantelpiece here.
That's a direct result of Karpyshyn leaving the development team. See Aborted Arc on the main page. The galaxy being on the verge of destruction by dark energy was the original motivation for the Reapers.
Just be happy that they scrapped that. It would have pretty much required the destruction of all mass effect technology to achieve a happy ending. Hopefully some DLC or sequel will eventually make something out of Haestrom with appropriate retcons, though.
Many fans think that would have been a vastly superior reason than the explanation we got.
Many fans think anything would be better than what we got. Don't get me wrong, I'm as disappointed with the ending/s as the next guy, I've ranted about them, picked out the plot holes, the whole nine yards. That being said, the dark energy ending, from what is known about it, sounds even worse. For all the unanswered questions the current ending left us with, the DE ending only leaves us with more. How, exactly, is fusing advanced species into sentient starships supposed to stop the spread of dark energy? If mass effect technology is the cause of the spread, then the reapers opposing it makes no sense as they are the source of the most advanced mass effect technology in the galaxy; the relays, the citadel, and themselves. By making more reapers with more powerful mass effect cores, they're making the problem worse. Also, and this is going back to the first question of how they got from "Step one: make reapers" to "Step three: save galaxy(aka profit)"; what does the genetic diversity of a species have to do with the result? But all of this is trivial compared to the biggest point of all; the complaint about the endings as they stand is that your actions throughout the game don't matter; you're given a(blue), b(red, and c(green). The only difference the dark energy plot offers is that it takes away one of those choices. You'd be given a(become a reaper) and b(don't become a reaper).
That was inherently the point, as per Karpyshyn's style. The Reapers would have been likely blind to themselves being the biggest cause, or aware they are and use it as an excuse. Mass Effect 2 hints that the right kind of supernova makes eezo, *cough* dark energy/matter buildup *cough* so it could be in the Reapers' best interent to let it happen so they can get more of their fuel. The notes that were leaked were hardly the whole story, and given how many things ME2 pointed out and kind of made you notice, like ME1 before it, there was a lot of things that would have contributed and probably answered things in that original story. QED; ME1 points out a planet with a huge scar that could only be caused by a massive mass accellerator, and lo and behold, you find the target of that exact weapon, the Derelict Reaper in ME2. From an innocuous but interesting tidbit to sizeable plotpoint is how Mass Effect did it, minor red herrings nonwithstanding.
Liara's pre final battle Asari merger "gift"
When you talk to liara on earth right before the final battle she will offer a gift to shepard. I couldn't even understand how she tried to describe it, and if you accept, then the screen will go black and you and liara will watch some kind of weird space event in total silence (and making out, if you romanced her). What the hell was that supposed to be?
As I recall, she pretty explicitly states that she's going to share some of her memories with you. Presumably, the white light that engulfs them is supposed to represent a number of her experiences being shown to/shared with Shepard. We aren't given more details than that, but I don't think we really need them either to understand the idea.
Liara and the Shadow Broker
So if you don't do that Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, it's revealed that Liara still overpowered the Shadow Broker. How? She just hired a bunch of mercenaries. How does this make any sense at all? The Shadow Broker has a galaxy wide criminal empire with tens of thousands of agents, and has been in the business for decades. He has enough resources to change the course of galactic politics, control entire planets behind the shadows, and deploy hundreds of soldiers on a minutes notice. Liara has absolutely no experience and has only been a local information Broker on Illium for two years. How did she even survive Vasir's assassination attempts (Vasir had an army with her, remember), let alone hire enough mercenaries to overwhelm the Shadow Broker, who should have a whole lot more resources than her?
My guess is that Vasir got cocky and underestimated Liara. With Commander Shepard there she had her guard up and had her army there in order to deal with Shepard, not Liara. She probably got the drop on Vasir and took her out, then with the clout that she killed a Spectre hired her own small army to deal with the Shadow Broker. And let's be honest here, it's more realistic that a highly trained mercenary group would succeed in taking out the Shadow Broker than 3 people in a frontal assault.
And remember that Feron dies in the 'you didn't help Liara' path; it took Liara a lot longer to gather her mercenaries and put together her assault, apparently. And the Shadow Broker's ship wasn't really that massively guarded — it didn't have any antiaircraft guns, for example. Its main protection was secrecy. Once you've gotten past that, its just a matter of killing a platoon of heavily-armed security guys and then taking down a bigass yahg with a machine gun. In other words, within the competence range of an experienced mercenary unit.
Liara's own rebuilt defenses were also overrun pretty easily by Cerberus when they moved against her, to the point that she only escaped by ramming their ship with her own while she snuck out on a shuttle. Liara will even point out that the ship's only real defense was secrecy if you ask her what happened.
In Aria's mission, you assassinate the Blood Pack leader and replace him with one loyal to Aria; problem being, both leaders are vorcha, where as ME2 made it clear that the vorcha had no authority in the Blood Pack, and were just cannon fodder for the krogan bosses. Did Shepard whip out every krogan in the blood pack in 2(hyperbole)? While we're on the subject; the Blue Suns leader; I'm playing on an import where Vito survived Zieed's misison; how did he lose control of the Blue Suns?
In Mordin's loyalty mission, you kill the current leader of the Blood Pack. Presumably there were some changes in the way the group was run during the six month gap between 2 and 3. As for Vido, there's a bit in the leaked script which didn't make it into the final game where Zaeed reveals that he assembled a team to go after Vido, but the Reapers got there first. Zaeed saw Vido getting carried off by a Harvester. Vido begged for a Mercy Kill. Zaeed decided that Vido didn't deserve one and walked away. That being said, since that wasn't in the final product, it's probably non-canon.
It's stated in the Codex for ME2 that someone else is in charge of the Blue Suns, until you complete Zaeed's loyalty mission & unlock the "Blue Suns: True History" entry, which notes that Vido has a patsy serving as the public face of the Blue Suns, so that any hits on Blue Suns leadership aren't on him. Nothing to suggest that this is no longer in effect.
Why don't you just shoot him?
To be clear, I know the narrative reason this didn't happen, I just can't think of a logical in-universe one; during Thane's fight with Leng, Leng is knocked prone for several seconds by Thane's biotic PAWNCH. I assume the reason Thane didn't press the attack is that he was out of breath from the exertion and needed a second to recover. My question is why the hell didn't Shepard start unloading on Leng while he was on the ground? During the fight, he didn't have a shot because of Thane and Leng tussling, plus he and his squad had to secure the councilor. But really, your squadmates could handle securing the councilor while Shepard backs up Thane, and while Leng is on the ground, Shepard has a clear shot; Thane's not in the way, he's off to the side out of Shepard's line of sight, and there are several feet between him and the target. Not to mention, Shepard is an extremely good shot. Leng should have been swiss cheese at this point.
Cutscene Incompetence, which appears in spades whenever Leng does. It's also possible (though not stated) that Shepard wanted him alive to interrogate later.
Simple. The blue and (sometimes purple) bar that appears over the name of just about everyone you shoot at in all three game. Shields kind of negate your options to quickly kill somebody; in the time it would have taken Shepard to even meaningfully deplete Kai Leng's shields, he would have been back up on his feet and engaging Thane again, and by the time he'd get another shot off the shields would have regenerated.
If that's the case, why is it that a few minutes later, Ashley/Kaidan can be killed with a shot to the stomach by Shepard/their squadmate, in full violation of the shields/health rule? There's Cutscene Incompetence, and then there's straight-up inconsistency in the same mission. This makes the Kai Leng comparison even worse - Shepard and his/her squadmates all have their guns trained on Leng, while only Shepard and one of his/her squadmates have their guns on A/K, even hesitating to fire until necessary.
Furthermore: in gameplay, enemies can't be brought down with heavy melee (drell biotic punch in this case) unless their shields are down. So, essentially, Kai Leng's health bar was already exposed.
Different example, but same principle, when Shepard calls in the Normandy to evaculate his team in the Extended cut, why doesn't Harbinger take advnatage of this and blast both his nemesis and the ship? They are sitting ducks, I seriiously doubt they would be able to withstand the attack for long.
That bugged me initially as well, but then I figured that Harbinger's priority at that moment was to stop everyone from getting to the Conduit and up to the Citadel (remember it wasn't just Shepard and co making a break for it, pretty much the entirety of Hammer was running for it as well), so Harbinger would have been focusing everything it had on the people charging the Conduit. Also note, that when Harbinger assumes everyone is dead, it takes off, which could mean that it was going after the Normandy to finish the job.
The quarians and the Treaty of Farixen
After Admiral Shala'Raan admits that many quarian ships are technically dreadnoughts, then Shepard has the option of chewing them out for breaking the Treaty of Farixen and Shala'Raan accepts that they broke it (although somewhat flippantly). Why? The quarians are not a Council race and the Treaty is between Council races only, so the quarians are not actually subject to the treaty.
The Migrant Fleet's status as part of the Citadel sits in a gray area. They frequently pass through Citadel territory and do deal with the Citadel, i.e. when they were trying to claim a particular planet in Citadel space for a colony. So they apparently do fall under Citadel jurisdiction, at least while in Citadel territory, and are bound by their restrictions, including Firaxen.
It doesn't matter if you're a part of the Citadel or not you are still bound by their laws. That's how the First Contact War got started, humanity broke a law they didn't know existed and the turians cracked down on them. Doesn't matter that the quarians were kicked out they'd still be punished if they were found out. It's likely not a big penalty though, the turians them selves start ignoring it during the second game.
Which makes absolutely no sense since it isn't stated anywhere that the Turians are limited by the Treaty of Farixen, it is in fact implied that they can have however many dreadnoughts they'd like, just that the other races can build more if the Turians does.
The Quarians is bound by the Treaty of Farixen because at some point they did have an embassy on the Citadel and signing the treaty is an explicit requirement for opening an embassy on the citadel, so presumably they signed it sometime in the past, before the geth uprising and continue to be bound by it.
Shepard can't hold his/her liquor?
In Mass Effect 2 it takes three shots of the green stuff, one shot of batarian ale and one shot of ryncol to drop him/her. S/he also managed to survive deliberate poisoning from the batarian bartender on Omega. In Mass Effect 3 it only takes three shots to make Shep fall asleep on the couch. I know it's the end of life as we know it and people will be drinking pretty heavily, but are they really just slinging out shots of krogan liquor to the average patron? Or is Shepard just getting old?
Maybe it's dextro-based?
Could be. We see one of the bartenders dancing instead of serving drinks so it could be their minds aren't on the job. Still, that seems like a pretty big mistake to make and the kind of thing you'd want the new hires to know from Day 1. Wouldn't you make sure the bottles are color coded so you don't accidentally poison your customers by giving them the wrong kind of drink? Three times in a row in Shepard's case, no less.
We only see Shepard have three drinks. It could be that it simply cuts out before Shepard has another 5.
We also don't see what Shepard orders. Maybe now it takes three Krogan radioactive specials to do the trick. S\he's also been under house arrest for six months. That would mean no alcohol. Starting up again would hit Shepard like a truck.
Fall of Thessia
Why does everyone instantly act, following the end of the Thessia mission, that the entire world is dead and gone? Fighting was still going on on both Earth and Palvan when the same happened to them, and I get they have bigger militaries, but resistance was still happening on Thessia. It ain't dead, just something more to fight for. In between Liara's (understandable) grief of Thessia being taken over, she seems to conveniently forget that both Palaven and Earth have had the exact same thing happen to them, and both Shep and Garrus are upset but resolved to fight for it. Neither seem to think to say "Uhh, I can actually relate. Notice how I'm focused on how to kick their ass off my home planet?"
Because the Asari were considered to be the most widely respected and powerful species in the galaxy, the first ones since the Protheans to achieve interstellar flight, the first to discover and inhabit the Citadel, the list goes on. Them not only losing a planet to the Reapers, but their home world no less, would've been a huge morale hit for everybody.
Thessia has no unified resistance like on Earth or Palaven. The lack of unifying central authority that made the asari unusually liberal, accomodating and creative in peacetime has the downside that prevents them from having a way to coordinate a unified military effort in war. They have the best individual fighers in the galaxy, but those have little use against giant deathmachines of doom, and their dreadnoughts are tied in the Citadel fleet. In result, Thessia is way worse off than either Earth or Palaven, both which are on the brink of a total military defeat by the end of the game, as well. As for Liara's reaction, her personality is very different from either Shepard or Garrus. She has no military training, and has far harder time to separate her personal feelings from the fight at hand. Hence, her reaction is much stronger than either of the two when she sees her own homeworld burning. Not to mention that the asari aren't nearly as good with dealing with sudden, unexpected changes as humans or turians are, due to their long lifespans and static culture.
Because the planet is dead and gone. Thessia has minimal military forces and no heavy ground forces, and there's no krogan army to support them. The turians on Palaven survived as long as they did because every city on the planet is a fortress and they're ridiculously militarized. Human forces on Earth survived as long as they did through raw tenacity, and even then the damage was catastrophic. Thessia's military is simply too limited and too focused on commando units engaging in attacks against an enemy that fights conventionally instead of how the Reapers operate. Meaningful resistance is wiped out almost immediately.
Believe it or not, Thessia did better than most of the other planets the Reapers hit. Take a closer look at the codex entries and the other wiki: the Reapers basically had to resort to using siege tactics on the asari because they couldn't harvest a planet populated by five-and-a-half BILLION biotics using brute strength alone. Considering that Thessia was one of the last planets to be invaded before the Reapers were defeated, my guess is they got off rather lightly.
Even so, I agree. Dakuuna was overrun so badly the planet had to be completely evacuated. Earth has been burning since the war started. Thessia being taken by the Reapers doesn't mean the asari aren't surviving somehow or that they can't stall until help arrives. I also found it weird that because the Reapers took the planet everybody was so stunned and shaken. Speaking critically, having the Reapers take the Citadel would have been more emotionally powerful.
It's not just that Thessia itself was lost, it's that Kai Leng made off with the Prothean VI they needed for the Crucible. Not only was Thessia fucked, but the rest of the galaxy looked that way too.
They act that way because, during the mission, Shepard's convinced that getting to the temple will reveal the Catalyst and allow the use of the Crucible, which everyone already believes will instantly end the war. S/he can even say it to one of the asari soldiers - something like "if you get me to that temple, this war is over." That doesn't necessarily mean it's a good reason - you have no reason to be sure that the temple will reveal the Catalyst, as you don't even know what's in there till you get there. Hell, a cynical person might say that both the sudden, mandatory certainty during the mission, and the sudden, mandatory depression afterwards are just ways to cover up lazy, slipshod writing. But since when have there been cynics in this discussion? :)
This marked the first total failure for Shepard in a very important mission. All those soldiers and the pilot who gave up their lives and died horrifically over the radio was for nothing. They had the means to the end of the war in their reach and it was taken from them, they failed to stop it being taken from them. For shep and the others, every act of devastation after that weighed on them because it could have been stopped at that point.
The Reapers haven't watched The Terminator
Ok, by now we all know the reapers' plan. What I see as the biggest flaw in the Catalyst's logic is that it makes the assumption that organic life will conquer ftl travel sooner than it will develop artificial intelligence. Now, assuming this was to happen and the worst case scenario were to occur with the A.I. killing the pre-spaceflight organics that created it, would it not be possible if not probable for the A.I. to become itself spacefaring and potentially cause the destruction of galactic life halfway between reaper harvesting?
Presumably the Reapers kill off any synthetic races they find during their harvesting runs. At most, the pre-FTL synthetics would go undetected during the current cycle and then be wiped out 50,000 years later.
The Reaper vanguard's job is to make sure this doesn't happen. It keeps an eye on the galactic situation, and if a synthetic creation starts running amok, it would trigger the harvest early to deal with it. This is a common fallacy that a lot of people make when considering the Reaper's cycle: they assume that the Reapers are blind to the goings-on of the galaxy, when the Reapers have both their vanguard (Sovereign) and slave species (Collectors, controlled by Harbinger) to keep an eye on the galaxy for precisely this reason. Remember that the current cycle is an extreme fluke because Sovereign couldn't just call down the Reaper fleets early. In previous cycles the Reapers would just swoop down on any abnormalities and smash them flat.
That is flat-out wrong. Javic says that the Protheans were engaged in a galactic-scale war with a Synthetic species for much of their history, and were starting to make real gains when the Reapers came.
Which proves what, exactly? The Protheans were fighting a synthetic species, yes, but that synthetic species was not on the verge of winning and taking over the galaxy. The Reapers would be expected to trigger a harvest if it became apparent that synthetic life was going to take over the galaxy; that's the vanguard's job.
Moreover, as long as the Synthetic and Organic species are fighting themselves to a standstill, that just makes the Reapers' job easier. Once one of them seizes the upper-hand decisively, they can move in an smash both of them at their weakest.
The problem is that according to the Catalyst Synthetics always win.
So? The Catalyst is not a truly omnicscient and infalliable entity. The fact that you're talking to it proves that much outright.
Rather, the synthetics would always win eventually.
More specifically, that since Synthetics are vastly more efficient than any organic race, it would only take one genocidally intolerant synthetic race achieving victory to spell the doom of all organic intelligent races across the galaxy forever.
Salarian contribution to the war assets
If you choose to sabotage the genophage cure, the only exclusive reward that you receive is the Salarian First Fleet war asset, which is worth 150 points in military strength. If Wrex is alive, you will be sacrificing a total of 405 points from the Krogans (30 from Wrex, 300 from Clan Urdnot, and 75 from the Krogan Mercenaries) in exchange for token Salarian support. This totally removes the entire supposed moral dilemma of pragmatism vs. idealism and instead, making anyone that actually sabotage the genophage cure into Stupid Evil territory. Also, the Dalatrass promised you that the Salarian Union will provide the Alliance with both full military support and their best scientists to work on the Crucible project, yet said scientists never shows up in your war assets.
It doesn't change the moral dilemma, it shows that there are consequences for your actions. Note that if Wreav was the clan leader you still keep all the krogan support and get the salarians.
The reason it undermines the choice, though, is because it goes from "doing what's fair vs. doing what will be best for everybody" into "doing what's fair and best for everybody vs. fucking things up for everyone".
Except Shepard doesn't know that will happen and neither does the player on the first playthrough. Wrex doesn't confront Shepard about the sabotaged cure until Priority: Citadel III, and until that point the game gives you every indication that you successfully fooled him. The whole thing is meant to be a surprise twist. If you went and spoiled it for yourself by reading a guide or something, then you have no one to blame but yourself.
From what perspective? You only know that you will lose all krogan support much later on; at the time you make the decision, Shepard believes it possible to secure krogan support and salarian support. Don't come to fallacious conclusions when you have the advantage of hindsight.
Nope. You can get almost full krogan support, if you killed Wrex on Virmire and made sure that Maelon's research was destroyed. Wreav will still promise full krogan support, and you'll take a small hit from Baraka dying, but Mordin and Wreav still being alive make sup for those hits. The moral here is to be consistent. You get more resources being a full Paragon or full Renegade than you get for waffling between them.
If Wreav is in charge of the Krogan and Bakara is dead, that changes things entirely. Wreav is likely to start another galactic war with the renewed Krogan population, which makes Dalatross' sabotage pragmatic while hoping that Wreav will keep things under control and curing the genophage is right is idealistic.
Even if Eve survives, so long as Wreav is in charge you can still get Krogan support while sabotaging the genophage. You also get a bonus from Eve, although in that case Mordin will die whatever you choose. Also, this isn't really a Paragon vs Renegade thing - Wrex could be saved through either means (letting him die is more a "didn't bother upgrading Charm or Intimidate" solution than anything else), and saving Maelon's data is considered the Renegade choice.
Deleting the data is the Renegade choice based on how your points are awarded, and it's also on the bottom, although saying that "His research was sick" gets Paragon points.
It's worth noting that with the Leviathan DLC it's now possible to sabotage the Genophage cure without losing Wrex's war assets by using an unintended exploit. See here for more details.
(The OP) Another thing that bugs me is why does salarians support worth so little towards the war effort. Out of all the major galactic powers, they are the ones who's home world hasn't been overrun by the Reapers yet and their territory is relatively untouched by the war yet (except for the Cerberus raid on the STG lab). Meaning that their industrial complex is still intact and functional, but the maximum possible asset points that you can get from them is 363 (Kirrahe+First Fleet+Third Fleet+ Mordin+ STG). On the other hand, the krogans lack any form of central military command or recognized government, not to mention not even having a navy. And their economic and industrial power is almost non-existent. Yet Clan Urdnot alone is worth more then the entire salarians fleet combined. Are the krogans just that powerful, or are the salarians holding out on you and not contributing fully to the war effort?
The Alliance News Network entries note that the salarians are more interested in self-defense than assisting other species, and that some of the more powerful salarian families are threatening outright secession if significant resources are pulled away from defense. So yes, the salarians are not able to fully commit their forces to the war effort at Earth. that and the krogan are just that much of a powerful ground force that they can add that much weight to your war effort; the only other force in the setting that can even come close to providing such a powerful ground element are the geth, and even they are lagging behind the krogan.
What isn't made entirely clear in the game is that different assets have value asigned differently based on how they're deployed. Krogan assets are ground forces and make up the bulk of that; they're value is assigned vs reaper ground forces, not the reapers as a whole. Ships and fleets have value asigned based on how they stack up to the reapers themselves. Total assets are divided into three groups; ground forces make up the Hammer strike team. Fleets and ships make up Sword and Shield fleets. Hammer stands alone, Sword and Shield work together. The krogan are so valuable because they are the most effective infantry in the galaxy; all your other ground forces combined don't add up to the total the krogan bring to the table.
What further unbalances it is that all of your krogan assets go towards Hammer ground forces and in fact make up the bulk of Hammer. The salarian fleet would go towards the combined Sword & Shield space forces, and considering that you more than make up for that with a dozen other fleets, it's really not that big of a loss.
War assets don't matter with regards to whether it is a space element or a fleet element. They both add to your overall forces. Ground elements speed up the advance on the surface so that fleet elements don't suffer as much damage; fleet elements can hold space for longer, giving ground elements more time to advance toward the target point. Both support one another in the overall objective.
The krogan ground forces should be almost completely worthless either way. Ignoring their lack of air support or space support, there are less than two billion krogan in the galaxy, and they are organized in primitive war bands using aging weaponry. Contrast the salarians or just about any other Council race. They have tens of billions of highly trained soldiers with full armor and air support equipped with the most advanced weapons in the galaxy. Having tough skin is good and all, but it is a very minute and unimportant factor in an actual war like what is going on in this game.
What are you basing the "less than two billion" thing on? There's over two billion krogan on Tuchanka alone. Wrex himself says right in the first game that "most krogan leave, and never come back." The whole point behind uniting the krogan is that the billions of other krogan spread out throughout the galaxy have a reason to come back to Tuchunka and unite under one force. On top of that, the krogan's own codex entry on their military doctrine states that the krogan have adopted a doctrine of supreme quality over quantity, making individual krogan very powerful fighters, superiopr to most other species' troops sapient-for-sapient.
Salarian military might is in intelligence. However, I like to think that the assets you gain are the ones that Shepard can personally call upon. There are dozens or hundreds of fleets and armies, but they're out fighting the war proper, not unlike the characters from multiplayer (only the promoted count toward Shepard's assets).
There's actually a hint towards this back when you pick up Eve. If you talk to Kirrahe before going in, he will flat-out tell you that the STG (the only real significant Salarian force) is behind you no matter what some politician decides. Frankly, the moral question is unaffected by the reward: it's still about savings the Krogan vs. protecting the rest of the galaxy from the Krogan, and her offer is the character, not the game itself, trying to sway you to her side.
In one of the conversations with Admiral Hackett, he essentially tells you the same thing.
I personally see the morality of your choices and how you can benefit as two separate issues that, when put together, make for some interesting questions from an ideological perspective, rather than one of practicality. Sometimes, one side can help you more than the other, even if they're not the "moral" one to support, and having Wreav be tricked and getting the support of the krogans and salarians at the same time would be most useful for the war effort, although one has to wonder what will happen when Wreav re-attempts the Krogan Rebellions after the war with the Genophage still in place; perhaps it would finish off the krogan once and for all.
Mordin tells you in the second game that if the krogan tried anything, the turians would lose their patience and just drop an asteroid on Tuchanka.
Asari ignorance and the beacon
In Priority:Thessia it's revealed the Asari have been in the possession of a fully functional Prothean beacon for the last 50,000 years. In Mass Effect 1, even a broken Prothean beacon is able to transmit enough information to make the existence of the Reapers immediately known to Shepard, even before he got the Cipher. So even without any further action, anyone who came close to the statue of Athame would have had visions of the Reapers and have been utterly convinced of their existence. So why didn't the Asari do anything? Hell, even if you argued that the beacon didn't send out those signals because it worked too well, they should still have gone after the Cipher for the same reason they're stated to have kept the beacon hidden: to aid their own development.
Another matter of less importance is who are said to be involved. The Asari councillor says that only higher functionaries in the Asari government know, but the Asari work through a direct e-democracy without representatives except a handful in the Citadel Council for interspecies affairs. How would politicians manage to constantly leak revolutionary technology without anybody finding out, when they don't even have the authority to distribute scientific funds? Then it becomes even worse: Liara says Matriarch Benezia was also involved in the conspiracy, but she's got nothing to do with any formal position in Asari government, she's just an Asari with a lot of private power and wealth, and her status as Matriarch is granted because of her age. The entire conspiracy plot reveal just makes no sense.
While we aren't explained the matter very well, we can assume that this beacon for one reason or another did not transmit the signal as intended, and only the presence of a living Prothean could activate it, and the asari would not know about the Cipher that would allow them to simulate this eventuality. It could simply be damaged; 50,000 years is a long time, after all. As such, they only managed to extract small amounts of data and study the structure of the object itself to give them an edge in their technological development. As for the political angle, in the asari culture Matriarchs are highly respected, and while their society practices direct democracy, most citizens in practice defer to the decisions of Matriarchs who are known for their wise decisions. As such, there would still be unofficial concentrations of power in the hands of relatively small cliques of Matriarchs on Thessia. And if you read and listen about Benezia enough, you'd know that she is one of the most powerful and influential Matriarchs in the galaxy, a major player in business and politics, as well as a religious authority. It makes perfect sense for her to be a part of the coverup.
Also, we don't know the rate of advances the asari had pre-spaceflight. They are pretty smart, so it's reasonable to say that they were careful when releasing technology the beacon helped produce. Besides, just like in our world, the fake researches could be attributed to rich, individual funders. As for the "why they didn't do anything", well... there are many paranoids about the end of the world around here. They say they have evidence, but most people think they're crazy. Asari government is not based on centralized power, so it could be even more difficult to convince people that the blurry visions are not a misinterpretation of something else. Liara even said that few people still believe in Athame anyway, maybe for the same reason many religions today are bashed: Because their message is just not understood/"true" for the people.
I didn't like this plot point at all, but here's how I read it - the asari, not having the cypher, couldn't understand or directly access the prothean VI. However, their ability to mind-meld resembled prothean communication enough for them to be able to access glimpses of the technology stored in the VI. What I don't understand is the implication that they artificially spaced out technological discoveries every so often. If they could understand the VI enough to gather technological data, how did they not know about the reapers, since the main purpose of the VI seemed to have been helping subsequent cycles stop them? And if they didn't understand the VI, how did they manage to decipher so many technological discoveries and space them out over thousands of years? Why would they even have bothered doing that before they came into contact with other species?
It is very likely that Asari never managed to even activate the beacon. Let's look at what we know: It's inside a freaking statue. When it activates, it breaks that statues. Would not really make sense to have it inside statue if they planned to regularly break it, does it? Also, when Vendetta is activated, it gets chronological time stamp, okay... except then it goes on about "Post-Prothean Cycle confirmed". Why would it need to confirm this, if it was activated earlier? My guess is that it was never activated. As such, all knowledge Asari managed to get out of the beacon was done when the beacon was in "off-line mode", not active. Lacking Cipher to translate anything they got, accompanied by difficult to pull out anything, it would make sense that they do not know that much.
Just use Lift on him
Anyone Genre Savvy knew that Lieutenant Victus was going to die disarming the bomb, but the way they did it left a big gaping hole in logic. As far as drama goes it was a good cutscene, really played up the whole Redemption Equals Death and Heroic Sacrifice tropes, but a few hours later I realized that it didn't make sense. Hey Shepard: when the bomb detonator is falling and Victus is going to be squashed by several tons of metal, why don't you call one your biotic teammates to grab him with a mass effect field and pull him to safety? You can't even argue a Gameplay and Story Segregation here, because biotic powers are a main part of the universe and are frequently used in cutscenes.
Yeah, there would be a problem if you didn't have a biotic squadmate on that mission, but hell, Bioware did something similar in Dragon Age II: if you don't have Anders with you and you take your brother or sister into the darkspawn caverns, they invariably die. If they really definitely wanted Victus to die, they could have just changed the scenario to make his death less preventable.
Realistically, in the time it would take Shepard to call a biotic teammate to grab Victus, he would have already fallen to his death. Shepard might be able to grab Victus, but there's also the question of just how much good simply grabbing him in a mass effect field would do. It would likely simply drag him to the side for a couple of seconds, then release him, and he'd fall to his death anyway.
You forget the power Pull, which brings the target towards the caster, and lasts long enough that it would have gotten him to safety.
Not necessarily. Pull drags the target in the direction that it hits the target. With Victus falling, the Pull it going to hit from above and pull him up, but isn't guaranteed to carry him all the way to safety before it releases him. Most pulls only last for a few seconds as well. Not to mention that Victus' armor likely has shields, and the Pull won't work through them.
Shepard and his squad are still fighting Cerberus anyway.
Shepard is actually watching Victus for about ten seconds before he pulls the final machine piece out and falls. Granted, that's not enough time to call his squadmates over, so it would only work if Shepard was a biotic.
Have those powers been used to save anyone from falling in-universe? Since they suddenly drop people when they expire, which is good for an enemy you want to kill and bad for an ally you want to save, they may be seen as purely offensive, and it may be more difficult to get the pulled person to safety.
Lair of the Shadow Broker, Tela Vasir uses her biotics to slow herself mid-fall.
Kaidan and a biotic Shepard, after seeing Samara do something similar in the Ardat-Yakshi monastery mission, suggest that they're not capable of doing something like that. Perhaps dragging someone upwards in a controlled manner is more difficult.
Liara safely lifts Vega in the Citadel DLC so it's probably possible but it would probably require training to do this during the heat of battle, at a distance, on a moving target.
It's mathematically and physically improbable. You've not only got to apply a force at a specific point in a rapidly accelerating fall, you have to slow the fall to zero slowly enough that Victus doesn't suffer sudden breakage of every bone in his body before you can bring him back up.
If you pay attention during the cutscene, there's almost no time for Shepard to grab him while he's in line of sight. Shepard looks up, there's an explosion, and Victus falls out of sight. In the time it would take Shepard to prep and launch a Pull, and for the Pull to reach him, Victus would have already fallen and died.
Thane's Final Moments
Not sure if it was just my playthrough, or if it's been actually fixed yet, but during Thane's final moments in the hospital is something of a wallbanger, at least when I got to it. When you go to read from the book with Kolyat, and Thane turns to face the window before he dies, he was clearly still breathing through the entire scene. Just that little glitch, which makes Bioware seem a little absent minded about a supposedly emotional scene, makes it all hard to connect with anymore. I mean, he's likely not wanting to face the two when he actually dies, but with him continuing to breath it actually looks like he's just getting more comfortable to rest...then they essentially assume He's Dead Jim, while he continues to breath even as Shepard leaves.
Ever personally witness it? It really is unrealistic sometimes, but Thane's problem WAS breathing, and any major damage would severely inhibit him ability to do anything, particularily that. Hell, it was outright stated that Thane could die from strenuous activity, nevermind being run through. In any case, read the scene, the scene is played as him drawing his last breath with them in the room. It's easily assumed that's why Shepard closes Thane's eyes before he leaves, and the animation continuing hurts the scene's impact.
I was more bothered by the fact that his eyes were still clearly moving under his eyelids even after he died.
His eyes weren't even closed in my playthrough.
Ashley knowing about Shepard's romance interests
Okay, how exactly would Ashley know about Sheppards romantic pursuits in 2? I don't know about Kaiden, as I have never played Femshep, and Liara's was an information broker before becoming the Shadow Broker. So... Who told her? Joker, EDI? I would like to doubt that they'd be that invasive of Shep's personal life. I dunno, I know it seems nit picky... but it's never explained how she knew.
I like to think that Liara told Ashley about any relationships Shepard had with Miranda/Jack/Tali out of respect for the two being together in ME1. It's just my theory, but it does make sense.
Ashley likely just asked. Whoever Shepard was involved with, they weren't keeping it a secret, so the fact of the relationship would get around the Normandy. Ashley would just ask someone who knew, like Joker.
Shep hasn't talked to her for months. To the point of her saying "I used to" when asked if they knew each other by Vega. And again, if Liara told them, that kind of makes her kind of a jerk, not letting Shep handle it himself.
And? I didn't say anything about Shepard or Liara. I said Ashley could have asked someone. Shepard was not keeping his relationship with anyone else a secret. Everyone on the SR-2 would know, and word would get around. The Cerberus crew would be in custody and debriefed. Joker and EDI would know what was happening. The information would have slipped as to who Shepard slipped it to and Ashley could have picked it up. She doesn't need an all-powerful information broker or Shepard's personal admission to know what was happening.
Ashley does seem to get her information from crew gossip, especially when, in the first game, she asks about whether Shepard has an interest in Liara from gossip (although whether Shepard is interested is up to you).
Why wouldn't they know? If they were involved with Shepard in the first game then anyone with common sense would give them a heads up if he's involved with someone else if only to avoid a reduce the problems that would arise from them knowing Shepard cheated on them. What do you think is better: Ashley finding out about Liara/Jack/Miranda/Tali/Cortez from gossip, or from walking in on them? Which would be more disruptive to the team? Better she gets whatever initial anger out of the way before having to work with them. Same goes for Kaiden.
Recovering the Citadel (Ending Spoilers)
So... After Shepard has done whatever with the Crucible, and the Council takes back the Citadel... What happens with all of the dead & dismembered bodies stacked up in the corridors?
They apply appropriate last rites before spacing them/cremating them/burying them/shipping them off to their families, or the Keepers drag the corpses off to reprocessing. Probably a combination of the two.
Another question presents itself; how many of those bodies are the NPCs whose goods you have been buying, whose conversations you have overheard, and whose quests you have done? The NPCs who stayed on the citadel (for example, workers, refugees and other residents) instead of passing through (ME 2 party members, some other war assets and more)?
Tali's ship name
Why is Admiral Tali'zorah introduced as "Tali'zorah vas Normandy" when she first appears, when she hasn't been assigned to the Normandy for nearly a year at that point in the story? Shouldn't her ship name be "vas Rayya", since she took her father's spot on the Admiralty Board, and presumably assumed command of his flagship as well?
No, quarians names change when they end their Pilgramage. Tali was "vas Normandy" because the Quarian Fleet designated that name to her on ME2, being no longer part of the Rayya.
It's made quite clear that a quarian's ship name changes whenever the ship they're assigned to changes. Tali became "vas Neema" after completing her pilgramage - she's not renamed "vas Normandy" until she's put on trial for treason. If you make peace between the quarians and the geth, Admiral Shala'raan immediately changes her ship name to "vas Rannoch". Tali's ship name should therefore refer to whichever ship in the fleet has become her flagship - presumably the Rayya, since she took her father's spot on the Admiralty Board and that was his ship (thus her having been born there).
I thought Tali's name was "Tali'Zorah narr Rayya vas *insert ship name here*" after her Pilgramage? "Nar" specifying her birthplace and "vas" the ship she's serving on. So it's more like a title than a name. She was an Admiral, and as she said, the Admirals had named her "vas Normandy" like she was supposed to be ashamed of that. Maybe she was just showing that despite being loyal to the Quarian Fleet she hadn't forgotten about the trial and was still loyal to Shepard?
It seems to be pretty well established that ship names are descriptive - one can't just change it on a whim. Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib-Qwib, for example, hates his ship name, and says he'd rather have had a more dignified command to take his name from. If he could simply have declared himself a crewman of the Defrahnz or the Iktomi, he probably would have done so. Ergo, it makes no sense for Tali to call herself "vas Normandy" when she's not assigned to that ship, especially not when she's in the presence of the Admiralty Board and is being mindful to proper etiquette.
It seems that Zaal'Koris could change his flagship if he wanted to, but it sounds like he is very proud of the Qwib-Qwib's performance since he joined her crew, in a stubborn way. Consider it a form of Appropriated Appellation.
Yeah, but Tali didn't chose to be "vas Normandy". The Admiral board went on consensus and forced the name onto her. It wasn't her decision. Admirals have the power of vetoing other Admirals' decisions, like when Tali ordered the fleet to not attack the geth. Maybe Tali didn't ask for it, seeing as she liked being called "vas Normandy" after her Loyalty Mission? Especially if you romanced her. It just seems like Tali to maintain her name as "vas Normandy".
Also, because after her experiences, that very well may be how she sees herself. It would be a sign of respect.
You could also take it as a sign of how Tali has been affected by her experiences operating away from the Migrant Fleet, both during her Pilgrimage and while working for Cerberus (or for Shepard if you want to split hairs). See also her decision not to stay on Rannoch (at least temporarily). She is Quarian through and through, but she is also something else due to her loyalty to Shepard and his/her mission, and will never fully be part of the Fleet again because of that.
Tali has that as her name because she wants to keep it as her name. It doesn't matter how long it's been since she's been on the actual ship, that's the ship she's a member of. They changed her affiliation to screw her over during her trial but she decided she liked it and kept it. She's loyal to Shepard, she's a part of his crew, she's fond of and proud of the Normandy, but he's not Quarian and he's not involved in what she's currently doing for the fleet so she's on another ship. Once she's done with Quarian affairs she goes right back to Shepard and the Normandy and will stay there until the next time her people need her to do something for them.
The problem with Legion VI
If Legion dies in ME2, his role is played by Legion VI, a backup program Legion made before venturing out of the Perseus Veil. The question is... if something like this exists, why did Legion had to die in ME3? The Legion VI had Reaper Code for as long as Legion did, and could sacrifice itself on the end of the Rannoch Arc. Legion is a super intelligent robot with more than 1000 individual programs, and he had more than 6 months to make another backup. Had Legion made a backup after the events of ME2, he wouldn't have been forced to upload himself to the other geth, but he could have uploaded the Legion VI instead. But why wouldn't he make another backup? He's show to be extra-cautious and prepared, and it's the freaking logical course of action after you come back with such important data as 3 years interacting with organics. The geth were busy with that Super Terminal thing and then with the quarian fleet, but... Legion still had time. Why didn't the other geth said "Legion is dead, but his backup is still active. We can share our memories with him and return him to you"? It would make a lot of sense and reward players for keeping Legion alive.
Keep in mind how much "colder" the Geth VI is compared to Legion, so even if they gave it all the memories the current Legion had, the Geth VI wouldn't be the same. So Legion would still be dead and you'd have his mean clone to talk to instead.
Geth VI was cold because he had no memories about organics, and Legion's data was in all geth now. That still doesn't explain why didn't Legion think of using his backup.
Legion's backup is the same platform/platform design with different Geth programs loaded onto it. It's a back up in that it fills the same role and shares the same design as the original, not that it shares the same Geth.
Dark interiors of Alliance ships
So, remember the original Normandy? It was pretty dark inside. Then we get a Cerberus-built Normandy SR2 in the second game, and that ship is very brightly lit in comparison. Then, in the third game, the SR2 gets appropriated by the Alliance, and suddenly it's much darker inside. What happened? Is it because the ship hadn't been fully refitted yet? Or does the Alliance have regs against wasting too much electricity on lighting?
The point is to just invoke the feel of an old school submarine. If you keep deliberately low lighting, people won't lose their night vision in the case of a power loss, where you need to rely on a few chemical lights to find your way, and your life and death may depend on mere seconds. Cerberus on the other hand follows commercial, civilian aesthetics in their design, and a good lighting is a signal of that. Ultimately, it's just a mood thing from gameplay perspective; the Alliance is supposed to feel serious and militaristic, while Cerberus invokes a cold, clinical feel with their white surfaces and bright lighting.
How does synthesis bring about peace?
So, do wars stop happening for reasons other than "We think at the speed of light and you don't?"
Supposedly, organics won't need to build AIs to think faster/better than they do, and synthetics will gain an "understanding" of synthetics. It's very vague and, if you ask me, outright impossible.
Synthesis brings peace between organics and synthetics, but it's just because now there are only hybrids. While hybrids can still go to war against themselves, after the Reaper War and with the Reapers helping everyone, it's doubtful there will be conflicts (provided that Wrev is dead) involving more than two races. After that, the Reapers will help ascend the galaxy with their information and stuff, so everyone supposedly culturally "evolves" beyond war after a while.
Synthesis won't bring about total peace, though being able to readily communicate will help avoid misunderstandings that lead to a lot of conflicts that ultimately lead to war. However, Synthesis will stop the Reapers from attacking and bring peace with them, which is the most relevant thing for Shepard at the moment.
Synthesis gives organics and synthetics an improved perspective on one another, a glimpse to how the other side thinks. But what really establishes the preventation of total war between synthetics and organics is that there is no absolute way to classify synthetic apart from organic, any more. Even if another Robot Rebellion does happen, the rebels won't perceive other species of the cosmos as the same as their former masters. None of this means that Synthesis brings an absolute peace, but it does prevent a galaxy-wide conflict from happening.
Synthetic life is simply any form of life that is artificially created. It's not just the geth, or even just robots. It's any machine, any clone, anything that can act semi-autonomously. The flaw with Synthesis is that it assumes that "synthetic life" is one race, but it's not. Understanding the way the geth think won't help you understand a new race of synthetics. And as long as every being in the universe isn't a god, they'll continue to create synthetics, as there will always be something you can build that does something you can't. In that respect, Synthesis completely fails to solve the problem. Just because everyone is glowing green now doesn't mean that they're automatically fully capable of doing anything. Who's to say that a new race of synthetics that these new synthetic/organic hybrids create will think differently? Will these new synthetics even be like the old synthetics in any way? Will they be completely understanding of organics too, even though they weren't around when the Crucible fired? None of it makes sense, and the only change that's actually made is that everyone's a cyborg now. But I think that's the point; remember, the only one who says Synthesis will bring peace is the Catalyst, the AI who thought that the Reapers were a viable solution, and the same AI who slaughtered his own creators and is the main villain.
The Catalyst's thinking (as he sort of explains it) seems to be this - synthetics never understand organics because organic species are naturally occurring 'flukes' in the universe, while synthetics are always created with an intent. Synthetics never wonder why they exist, so they rarely doubt themselves or their purposes in life. It doesn't make a lot of sense, because by that thinking, Grunt is psychologically synthetic. But running with this, it seems Catalyst believes that combining synthetics and organics will impart a synthetic sense of 'order' on the organics and remove the misunderstanding, while fulfilling its, uh, stated mission of 'preserving' organic life. It's a very flawed solution, just like the Reapers, but the Catalyst can't see it because it's got its holographic heart set on the idea that imposing synthetic order on organic chaos is the only way to end the ultimate destruction of all organic life at the hands of synthetics. I mean imagine if your enemies plugged in a device that could either destroy you, brainwash you, or do an incredibly seamless job of the work you've been attempting to perfect for millenia. Which option would you try and sell?
Why no first name in Shepard's memorial?
This would have been a perfect opportunity to feature Shepard's first name on screen for the first time in the franchise, but for some reason it wasn't taken. Why, Bioware, why?
Because all of the ending cutscenes were premade. It's a technical issue.
I dunno, the memorial scene looks to be done in-engine (unlike the preceding cutscenes), so theoretically it would have possible. It seems like Bioware either got lazy about this little detail or, as the below troper said, went with the whole "Shepard is Shepard" thing (which is even lampshaded somewhat if you have the drink with Chakwas)
The entire franchise built up to Shepard being an almost religious figure to the point they actually named him Shepard. It isn't the memorial of John Shepard, Alliance Soldier, it's the memorial of the Shepard, savior of the galaxy.
Dr. Chakwas said it best: To refer to Shepard on a first name basis would be disrespectful of everything s/he is and everything s/he's done. Or it's just a woman's prerogative. Either way, Commander Shepard is, and always will be, never referred to as anyone but "Commander Shepard."
Yes, that cutscene is not pre-rendered, it's actually in-game. It was necessary so that it would accurately show your surviving squadmates and the names on the memorial plaques. The MEHEM developers actually took advantage of it to insert Shepard into that scene.
How does Synthesis make any sense?
I have several issues with Synthesis(including in the Extended Cut).
Just for starters is that Shepard must leap into a giant beam of energy. Why? Originally the Catalyst stated this was to create a new DNA, that was scrapped in favour of "spreading your energy." What the hell? What does that even mean? While DNA doesn't make any sense, at least it did not dive headlong into magic.
It splices Shepard's entire biology, including the synthetic components, into this one information burst. It's pretty clear that the Catalyst is trying to explain something absurdly complicated in a few minutes to someone with no understanding of the forces involved. Don't take it too literally.
Pretty big YMMV on that being "pretty clear". It seemed more like Bioware was banking on some hypothetical Clarke corollary, like "any insufficiently described magic in a scifi setting is maybe technology after all?"
Merging synthetics and organics. At the Cellular level. In one giant wave. All life. Doesn't that seem totally impossible, even by Reaper tech standards? If they had that kind of power, it seems kind of mundane to have guns that shoot metal at relativistic speeds. All life being different should be a problem too. In-universe humans are stated to be very diverse genetically, then you have at least a dozen other different types of spacefaring aliens, then animals, then things like plankton , then bacteria and every single one is morphed.
The Catalyst is even more advanced than the Reapers themselves. It has perfected energy-matter conversion. In Real Life various kinds of radiation affect physical matter in different ways. While it's extremely improbable and difficult to conceive, it can be imagined that a radiation could be attuned to to certain information-content that would alter matter in extremely specific way. Especially in a world like Mass Effect's, which frankly is not nearly as realistic as people seem to imagine. Space Magic started the very moment the Beacon on Eden Prime imprinted images into Shepard's mind.
"Space magic" technically started right when the Normandy reached the first Mass Relay. But that's sci-fi in general; no matter what name you pin to your sci-fi phlebotinum, it is for all intents and purposes "space magic." (this is why the cries of "space magic!" have always annoyed me; any sci-fi that isn't ultra-hard uses space magic, whether the fans admit it or not.)
That's entirely different. The ability to have FTL travel, high tech guns, etc. came from a phlebotinum, yes, but one that the entire series was built on. From the first game, the material 'mass effect' was shaping the way the galaxy worked. It was a major, if not the main, element in this universe. Synthesis, on the other hand, literally tells you in the last five minutes that you can individually rewrite the DNA of every single being in the galaxy, using technology that's never explained, comes out of nowhere, and was never seen before the last five minutes. That's why it's called "space magic".
Except that the Reapers and the technology surrounding them has also never been explained. How precisely the huskification process, indoctrination, and their power generation system operates, let alone how they're able to turn organics into Reapers, is never explained. It's just there in the setting. We've always known that their technology was so powerful that it was virtually magical even from the perspectives of the technologically-advanced societies of the setting. If one is willing to accept the Reapers' hyper-advanced technology, then I see no reason why one should object to the hyper-advanced technology of the Catalyst itself. It's all space magic.
Not to mention the Prothean Beacons, and the Protheans' ability to read their environments for past events, the rachni song and the Thorian's connection to its creepers reaching over interstellar distances faster than the speed of light (Samantha Traynor actually brings attention to the former), and a number of other things left almost or completely unexplained. They are supposed to signify that there are still unexplored mysteries in the cosmos, and give a sense of wonder to the player.
It doesn't matter how many unexplained mysteries you have in your story—all of it has to fit under Willing Suspension of Disbelief. When you're dealing with something important to the overall conflict of the story, you have to explain it.
The Prothean Beacon and the Prothean Cipher were vitally important parts to the series' plot. How many people are complaining that those never got explained?
That comparison doesn't work. The Prothean Beacons and Cipher do not resolve the entire conflict of the series. The Crucible does. What you're saying is that if Batman saves the day by suddenly jumping into the air and flying with no explanation, we should accept it because Superman can fly and it's never explained. That's ridiculous. The two situations are not the same.
If Shepard did not have the Prothean Cipher, the galaxy would have been doomed in the first game! It resolves the entire conflict in the first game of the series, which could have been the only one under different circumstances. The two situations are very much the same. And the Synthesis is still not unexplained; its details are just left deliberately mysterious to emphasize the power and intelligence that the Catalyst holds. It's in no way similar to your superhero argument; that could only apply if Batman was an entirely new character in the story whose abilities have never been explored or limited by previous stories.
It doesn't resolve the conflict. It only answers one question: what is Saren after. That's it. It doesn't get rid of Saren for you. It doesn't end the war with the Reapers. It doesn't create eternal life and fairy magic and all that other stuff like the Crucible does. And the Batman comparison still stands. Batman's entire schtick is that his money and training make him prepared for many unlikely events. Part of what makes him work is that not all of his achievements are explained. For example, Stealth Hi/Bye. How does he manage to sneak up on Superman or other characters with Super Senses? Never explained. So by your logic, that makes it okay for for him to fly or suddenly appear on the moon without a spacesuit.
Crucible does not create "eternal life" or "fairy magic". Life-extension is something that people must discover for themselves; Synthesis only helps them to reach insight to this matter. The principles of Synthesis are already explained, if you don't accept the explanation, it's only your problem. And the Batman comparison does not stand at all because there is no "Batman" in the original example. There is no previously established power level for the Catalyst as you seem to be bent on insisting.
No kidding. The entire reason it's posted here is because if so many people can poke holes in its logic, it fails. If you don't think so, then that's your problem as well.
The Reapers morph too. The reapers have been stated several times to be synthetic and organic, the most notable occasion is at the end of Mass Effect 2, during The Reveal of the human Reaper. So how and why do they morph if they are already at that state, they're made out of organic beings, but synthetic enough to jack into the geth consensus and control them.
Because Synthesis doesn't just make life-forms half synthetic/organic. It imprints a part of Shepard's essence into them, and gives new perspectives to all life-forms, the Reapers included.
The Reapers do a full 180. Going directly from murdering everyone with giant laser beams to rebuilding everything and sharing their entire archive of collected knowledge. Why? It did not seem like they were ever what you would describe as "friendly", especially considering Sovereign and Harbinger.
They're not friendly or malevolent. They're stuck within certain parameters they've been programmed into. When the variables change, they are forced to draw new conclusions. Remember that their ultimate purpose is to preserve all life? They just alter the strategy to that end.
Everyone simply accepts the Reapers help. Even though just a short while ago they were annihilating everyone and performing horrible experiments on them, changing them into nightmarish creatures. Why would they simply say "Sure, help." I would expect a violent response, or at least a "Get the hell out of our galaxy." In the middle of world war 2, Hitler didn't suddenly stop everything and join up with everyone. Not a perfect example but i think you get my point.
Say they did say "get the hell out of our galaxy," and the Reapers say "no we will help fix the damage we caused," then what does the rest of the galaxy do then? A violent response is out of the question because the Reapers were annihilating them and no one would think it would be a good idea to restart a war right after it ended. The Reapers are still vastly more powerful than the rest of the galaxy, and if they want to help repair the damage they caused, let them do so. The most destructive war the entire cycle had ever seen just ended, I seriously doubt anyone would be stupid enough to restart it.
It helps that the Synthesis grants people that all-important expanded perspective. It becomes easier for people to understand that the Reapers don't act out of malice, as arrogant and self-assured as they act, but simply fulfill a purpose they were created for. And if Hitler suddenly had a change of heart in the middle of the WWII, and surrendered, he would have been expected to put the resources of his country to fix the damage he's done. From the perspective of conventional warfare the Reapers can be considered to be a nation that committed war-crimes, and must offer severe reparations to their victims because of them.
The Reapers ARE arrogant. Every single conversation with a reaper it has said how awesome and unstoppable they are. This "expanded perspective" doesn't really fit. You would not only have to physically alter every life form in the galaxy, but also change them psychologically, which makes synthesis seem vastly worse. You essentially brainwashed everyone, a bit like indoctrination, just en masse. This just makes it seem even more like you destroy what makes every race unique and make everyone the same. The krogan are brutish, the salarians analytical, the yahg...very angry. Perspective is great, but the whole "reapers as fire" is crap too. No one would buy that. Especially with their own personalities, Harbinger in particular seemed to enjoy his job.
But even if that isn't true, the Catalyst's logic still fails because it argues that the Reapers can't be held accountable for their actions because they're only doing what they were programmed to do. So, in other words, its defense is that they weren't killing organic lifeforms . . . they were just getting rid of their free will and forcing them to do what they were reprogrammed to do. That's even worse Insane Troll Logic than we started with!
Husks and the rest regain their minds. From the cutscenes, Husks go from mindless killing machines to regaining something of themselves. Shouldn't they all want to kill themselves? They're all horribly deformed monsters. But no one says anything regarding that.
Because Synthesis. Expanded perspectives. Also, there is no confirmation that the Husks would regain their old personalities, or even that they'd become sapient. They are just seen losing their aggression. Even if they become sapient, the Reaper alterations would most likely make them different persons entirely — some are even made out of more than one individual!
How come we never see any Cyborg Rachni? I wouldn't accept it if they were not shown at all in the ending...oh wait, they're not. Bloody hell, thats an important decision and it ends up equating to a number. I've seen exactly one epilogue slide with the Rachni and they take over tuchanka for some reason.
Because there's no reason to assume that they'd be any different from any other races. I didn't see hanar or elcor either, but that doesn't mean that they aren't accounted for.
Future races are not really considered, the hyper aggressive Yahg would start a war as soon as they got their hands on advanced technology. They make Krogan look gentle in comparison, being the same would not prevent a galactic war.
Everyone is still not the same. But as for the yagh, they're a story for another time. If you think that this was the end of the Mass Effect universe, think again.
If everyone isn't the same, then they would not accept the Reaper's help.
Exactly what is stopping anyone from making new Ais? The one person who knew the Reapers incredibly circular goal was Shepard. Shepard is dead. Even if the reapers inform everyone(which i doubt the galaxy would find as a good reason for killing all sparefaring races), that does not mean people wouldn't anyway. After all, the Geth happened after a No AI law was passed by the council.
Nothing. The Catalyst outright tells you that. What it has to do with Synthesis, I have no idea, however.
The creation of synthetics that eventually kill their masters is the sole purpose of using Synthesis in the first place. The Catalyst said that Synthesis made synthetics "understand" organics. But since that presumambly only applies to synthetics that were actually hit by that space magic beam that rewrote everyone's mind and DNA, the "new perspective" will be useless to any future synthetics people create. Which doesn't solve the problem. Who's to say that these new synthetics even think like the old ones? Synthetic is a broad term, and merely refers to anything that is artificially created. The Crucible can't possibly account for them all, including the ones that are made longer after Synthesis occurs.
Doesn't matter. Because there is no longer a quantifiable way to separate synthetics and organics from one another on cellular level, an AI may rebel against its masters, but it won't be able to classify all the other organic life into the same category, so there can be no galaxy-wide war of synthetics vs. organics. Not to mention that the Synthesized synthetic races can step in and mediate such a conflict.
Yes it does. Because as the Catalyst itself says, the problem isn't some arbitary "category"—it's that some being grow way more powerful than their creators. There's NOTHING stopping that from happening even after Synthesis. A galaxy-wide conflict isn't magically stopped just because everybody's part of the same race.
Everybody is still not the part of the same race. But the whole point between a galaxy-wide conflict between organics and synthetics was that one was always profoundly different and alien to the other. That problem has been removed; organics and synthetics are no longer alien to each other. That's why an all out war between the two is no longer a possibility. Also remember that the Catalyst explained that the conflict stemmed from the organics' drive to create something superior to themselves. There's no more fear of that, since Synthesis indicates a transhuman future where organics can be upgraded and altered just as synthetics can. So the synthetics won't surpass the organics in a manner that they would see as threatening, any more.
No, being "alien" had nothing to do with it. As the Catalyst said, the problem was about the Created that grew more powerful than their Creators. That has nothing to do with alienness or lack of understanding. And there's no longer anyone superior to anyone else? That also fails, because that would mean that everyone is God and has no weaknesses. Did you see Joker still limping after the Normandy crash like everybody else? That means he STILL has Vrolik's syndrome. Did you see the krogan having a baby in the EC stills? Then that means organics STILL have to go through childhood. So the whole "nobody is superior" argument is nonsense, because the ending itself PROVES that weaknesses still exist. And as long as weaknesses exist, people will need to build something superior to overcome them. So that logic doesn't work.
Remember EDI's narration, which states that all life may soon overcome the boundaries of mortality itself. Yes, weaknesses exist at the ending, for both organics and synthetics. But now they have the ability to overcome those weaknesses in ways they previously were not capable of. If you imagined that I claimed that Synthesis instantly made everybody into immortal superbeings, you were not paying much attention. No species is superior any more, because they all can be upgraded. For individuals, it's a matter of choice.
EDI's narration says a lot but says nothing at the same time. What does overcoming mortality even mean? "Mortality" is just a catch-all term for change. Does nothing ever change anymore? For example, they create a new SR 3 Normandy—does that mean the old Normandy is obsolete? And let's assume that they find a new energy source even more powerful than Element Zero. Does that mean all the tech that runs on eezo has to be decommissioned? If so, it's not immortal. It's incredibly vague and explains why the "can be upgraded" argument still fails. You know what else can be upgraded? All of these things. They're also "immortal" in the sense that with upkeep, they could potentially run forever. Does that mean they're all equally powerful, or that none of them have weaknesses? Of-freaking-course-not, because that's logically impossible unless you ham-fist it.
If organics can be upgraded just as easily as synthetics, then synthetics can no longer overcome organics with their superior ability of self-directed evolution, like they once could. See the principles of Transhumanism to find out more.
But that's again assuming fairy magic via Easy Logistics. Even synthetics cannot be upgraded "easily". Remember how hard it was for the geth to make one Legion? (To the point that it can't even be replaced if it died in ME2?) Remember how much time and effort it took the Alliance to upgrade the third incarnation of the Normandy? Transhumanism is a concept I'm very familiar with, and it always comes with its own set of problems, which is something that the Synthesis ending seems to forget. For example, you make a guy able to run faster, and you have to solve the problem of where he gets the energy from and how his body withstands the extra force. The entire PROBLEM with the ending is that it's like a child using the word "transhuman" without having a clue about it.
It isn't just a problem with AIs. That's the thing: Synthesis ultimately fails to actually resolve the problem it was created for. The problem, as stated, is "The created will always rebel against the creator". There are other reasons for such a rebellion than a simple "Organic and synthetic life are ultimately incompatible and doomed to war", and not all "created" are synthetic. Remember the Krogan Rebellions? The Salarians uplifted the Krogan and released them against the Rachni, and the Krogan later turned on the Salarians and declared war. Seems like a profound example of Created v. Creator that has absolutely nothing to do with AI whatsoever. What part of Synthesis prohibits the Krogan from doing this again? You can argue that the Krogan can be reasoned with under Synthesis and convinced not to go to war with the entire galaxy, but by all indications, Wrex was doing exactly that anyways, so Synthesis doesn't actually change the situation one way or the other. The same holds true for Geth and Quarian; just because they "understand each other" doesn't mean that they can't still harbor hurt feelings and mutual distrust that is potentially prone to exploding into violence at the slightest provocation, particularly on the Quarian side. Whether or not they understand where the Geth are coming from, the Quarians can still hate them for driving them from their home planet and forcing them to live in space for hundreds of years, synthesis be damned. The only way that Synthesis can prevent galactic conflict is if it strips emotion from all sapient beings, and from what we are shown, if anything, it actually GIVES emotion to synthetic beings; which means the Geth can now harbor resentment and hatred for the Quarians for their betrayal and their treatment by them, rather than simple logic-based curiosity. The ability for synthetics to react emotionally instead of logically, if anything, makes the possibility of Creator/Created war even MORE probable than before.
Theres no indication he's crazy. He has processing power off the charts and the combined knowledge of thousands of civilisations. Either than his logic being bogus(which seems to stem more from bad writing than anything else) there is no indication that he's not doing exactly what he was meant to do, albeit horribly. He doesn't seem to have emotion either (except for the infamous "SO BE IT") he's trying to be logical, but ultimately fails. He says the Reapers are programmed, but the Reapers are complete AI's, even Legion, probably the most advanced Geth, could scarcely comprehend one. He's supposed to be millions(possibly billions) of years old, that should give him ample time to do anything, consider everything, implement whatever he wants. AI's are computers, so they think much faster than an "organic". He would have an eternity to think. However, from practically the beginning of his life he started the cycle, without changing anything. I must stress he IS an AI, he did override his initial programming, which was basically a negotiator and diplomat between organics and synthetics.
How does anything about it make sense? The Catalyst describes it as a power source. OK. Power for what? What were the designers hoping to do with it? When it docks with the Citadel, we find out that it alters the Catalyst. But the Catalyst also seems to say that Shepard is the first organic to learn about it. So the Crucible was built to interact with something no one knew existed?
This isn't about the current cycle. The problem is that, at some point, some race came up with the idea for the Crucible. That race decided their best hope was to build a giant thing that interacted with something they had no idea existed. That is a bizarre plot hole. It's something that really needs to be explained. But when you ask, the Catalyst doesn't answer. Saying "you would not know them" suggests it wasn't his creators who first designed it. If it was, he'd presumably say so. So which race designed something without having any clue how it would function? How did they come up with the idea?
There's also the problem of it being designed to work with the Citadel, despite the fact that the Citadel was always the first thing taken during all the previous cycles. The logic of designing a weapon that connects to something you can't actually connect it to makes the whole concept even sillier. The fact that other cycles chose to follow that plan is even more confusing. One would think a weapon that isn't dependent on the space station you can't get to would be a more effective use of time and resources.
The Crucible was built over many cycles by different civilizations whose reasoning and motivations were lost. The Protheans knew that the Catalyst was the Citadel, and Vendetta implies that they learned it from previous civilizations who were developing and improving on the design. It is likely that the other civilizations developed the Crucible themselves as a fleeting hope; perhaps they were planning to do what Shepard did and launch a huge, last-ditch effort against the Citadel to activate the Crucible. Remember that, at the most basic level, the Crucible is a desperation weapon developed because conventional weaponry will never work against the Reapers, and latching onto any hope, even one as slim as something like the Crucible, is better than having no hope at all.
In this cycle a lot of the information on the Crucible was lost in the Cerberus attack on Mars, but in previous cycles the builders probably had a better idea of what they were making. Presumably at some point in the past someone figured out a way to destroy/control Reapers using Space Magic, but this in itself wasn't enough to win. Later civilisations refined the idea, and at some point one of them came up with the idea of using the Citadel as a way to disperse the Space Magic through all the Mass Relays. We learnt that the Citadel way a giant Mass Relay at the end of the first game so it's possible some other race figured that out too, they don't necessarily need to know about the Magic Space Kid living inside - note that the prothean VI claims that the Citadel itself is the Catalyst.
And then the Protheans realized that if the Citadel is key to firing the Crucible, and the Citadel is always the first thing taken when the Reapers arrive, then the only way the next cycle will be able to fire the Crucible is if they can prevent the Citadel Relay from opening to Dark Space. Boom, we're back to the Ilos Conduit and the sacrifice of the last Protheans.
Theres still no real explanation as to why everyone decides to go with the plan that has a 0% success rate. Also why people don't understand the crucible is a giant battery, they keep remarking on how they have no idea what it is, but they build it anyway. No scientist would do that.
Desperation, plain and simple. The Crucible is scoffed early in the game as being a pointless waste of resources, but as more and more worlds fall to the Reapers and the plain fact that military strength cannot defeat them, more and more people come to the Crucible out of sheer lack of any other options. The Crucible becomes the Godzilla ThresholdHope Spot; it no longer matters what it does. With the likelihood of total galactic extinction for all Citadel races steadily approaching 100%, the hope offered by the Crucible that maybe the Reapers can be defeated somehow becomes worth trying. It's a simple balance of certain annihilation versus slim hope for survival.
Wrex's sudden knowledge
I don't have any major complaints about the game now that they released the extended cut, but there's one, tiny little bit that's been puzzling me for a while now: If you decide to go through with the Genophage cure sabotage for whatever reason (personally, I just love Mordin too much to let him sacrifice himself, and I don't like how cold and uncaring Wrex became to others' plight, putting the Krogan first while others keep dying) and not tell about it, Wrex comes to you the next time you're leaving Citadel and it ends in a shootout. How, exactly, did Wrex know that the cure was sabotaged and that Shepard had a part in it? The salarians kept the information classified, the reaction of the Shroud was exactly the same, and if Mordin survived, he didn't talk, since otherwise Wreav would've known it too (depending on the possibilities), but there isn't a confrontation if you do the sabotage with Wreav as the leader.
Wrex outright says that he has other sources that told him. He's smart enough not to divulge all his resources to everyone around him, not even Shepard.
...Perhaps Liara, the new Shadow Broker, eventually found out and passed the information to him?
I thought Eve had an unborn child if you decided to trick Wrex?
They never said it was Eve's (Wrex gets a lot of action). Furthermore, the Dalatrass says that they'll provide information that the cure was a dud, to assure that everything in their power was done. It's just that Wrex figures out the Salarians' insincerity.
I wasn't even aware that Mordin could survive if Wrex is still alive.
Mordin does not survive if Wrex is alive. Both Eve and Wrex have to be dead for Mordin to relent on curing the genophage.
Curing the genophage
The reason Mordin supported the genophage in ME2 was because it put a stop on the krogans' explosive breeding and stabilized the population. He may have had a change of heart later on, but the original reasoning still stands. What will happen once the krogans start overpopulating Tuchunka?
The Krogan don't really have an industrial base with which to manufacture starships, and Wrex and Eve are pretty good stabilizing forces, so the possibility is is that the Krogan will start using birth control. The alternatives are that they nuke themselves back into the stone age, again, they get hit with another genophage-type disease, or the races of the galaxy say f%*& it and glass Tuchanka.
The original problem was that the krogan's culture and society had not developed properly enough to deal with the social impact of leaving the very planet that was limiting their population growth int he first place. By the current point in the setting, there is at least the possibility that the krogan can control their population after developing for another thousand years. Wrex is the unifying, stabilizing influence here, but he wouldn't be able to unify and control the krogan if they hadn't culturally shifted over the last several hundred years. Short version, Mordin is willing to give the krogan another chance.
Well, the extended cut answered this question, but really, overpopulating Tuchunka was never an issue. Tuchunka already keeps krogan mortality rates such that it's the equivalent to what the genophage did to their birth rates. The fact that the krogan mostly went back to Tuchunka after the genophage was deployed is the main reason they're dying off; the genophage would keep their population stable on just about any planet except Tuchunka; so long as they remain there, the one in one thousand viable birth rate the genophage inflicts on them is simply unsustainable.
Basically, it's like rabbits and the kakapo. On Tuchunka, Krogan were like rabbits—explosive breeders, but there are enough hazards and predators on the planet that they need those birthrates to survive as a species. And when the Krogan were exported to other, less hostile environments, they thrived to the point of being an invasive, destructive species, like rabbits brought to Australia. The Genophage reduces their breeding, but not the number of predators—turning their situation like that of the kakapo, a flightless parrot which was brought nearly to extinction because its own breeding habits kept the population low because they had no predators in their natural habitat.
Doctor Eva's biotic immunity
So is there some kind of an in-universe explanation for why Dr. Eva is inexplicably immune to biotics? Even if they didn't want you to be able to take her down during the chase scene, why was the immunity kept up while she's charging at you? I tried warping her three times before I realized they expected me to use a gun. Commander Shepard doesn't use guns!
Shields would prevent biotics from harming her during the chase. Warp has a minimal effect on the kinds of things that charge you, as well; presumably her armor is strong enough to shrug off biotics until you've shot her enough times. Remember that in ME, applying gun to the problem is often the quickest way to deal with the problem, regardless of your specialization.
Shepard's obsession with Earth
Given that there is a 2/3 chance that Shepard either grew up on an entirely different world or on a series of spaceships, why is Shepard acting like it's his personal homeworld that's under assault? Sure, it's important to humanity as a whole and it has a lot of people on it, but Shepard's dialogue clearly implies that he thinks of Earth as home, even if he really shouldn't.
Because it's the heart of the Alliance and humanity's homeworld, and the planet s/he's sworn to protect as an Alliance soldier, and on top of that the home of the vast majority of the human species. It might not be his/her actual homeworld, but s/he's clearly grown up believing it is his/her spiritual home. Just because s/he wasn't born there can't mean that s/he doesn't greatly value it.
Asking why Spacer/Colonist Shepard cares about Earth, is the same as asking why the Quarian's want Rannoch back so badly? Judging by that logic, why care about Rannoch when for the last 300 years they've been living on the Migrant Fleet? The reason is obvious! Because it's home! Earth is the birthplace of the entire Human race and where Human civilisation first began! It's incredibly important to Humanity as a whole and worth fighting to protect?!
What about Organic Technology?
The Catalyst claims that a technological singularity is inevitable and that organics will lose the fight when it happens because synthetics are innately superior. But why should that be? Why the complete disregard for the potential of organics? Granted, in this cycle the Council outlawed cloning of sentients and extensive genetic engineering, but was this seriously the case in every cycle?
Apparently the potential of organics is inherently lesser than that of synthetics.
Because aside from a very few cases, i.e. self-repair capability, organic "technology" is inferior to mechanical technology in every possible aspect.
Is it? I suppose organic technology is too specific and organic life would have been more appropriate, but anyway, if the Geth were the example of synthetics then take genetic engineering into account and cross a Krogan with a Yahg. How would they be inferior to synthetics? Incredibly strong, incredibly resilient and incredibly smart. Also, giant Thresher Maw vs Reaper. Organic tech itself would probably have been too hard to turn into "hard" sci-fi, as real life research on the subject is extremely limited and the existing fictional examples are really soft on the science side, like the Tyranids or the Zerg.
A freakish, monstrous krogan-yahg combo would still be casually swatted aside by a YMIR mech or tank without actual mechanical weaponry, and the YMIR/tank would be easier to build and mass-produce. Kalross defeated a Reaper, but Kalross was the oldest and most ancient of a species of extreme apex predators spread throughout the galaxy, and she only overcame a Reaper destroyer, not a Reaper capital ship, and that was only because Kalross engaged the Reaper in close-quarters battle where the Reaper was unable to use its weapons to greatest extent. There's a reason why animals that are stronger and faster and tougher than humans are now extinct, endangered, or otherwise marginalized. Any advantage that organic structures can create, mechanical technology can emulate or surpass, and then replicate in a far more efficient manner.
Considering Krogan birthrates, I don't see how mass production would be an issue since organics replicate exponentially. Logistics aside, I really don't think a beast like that would need much more than a big rock to beat a YMIR mech, or, better yet, it could be engineered with a carapace hard enough to take on armored enemies. Also, it hardly matters what Kalross was. Fact is, it existed in that universe and was a result of natural selection. With intelligent design it's ilk could be made even stronger. The reason those animals you mention are near extinct is because they were less intelligent and did not develop a means to use the laws that govern the universe to their advantage. The reason synthetic technology rose to the top was because it was easier to understand and make. In reality, there still isn't a machine that would be more complex than an organic body but that doesn't say anything about what an organic body could or could not do if designed with sufficient understanding. Heck, look at the Protheans - there isn't a scanning device in the entire galaxy that could perform that level of chemical analysis that quickly and they come born with it. Or Rachni, who have genetic memory and are borderline(?) telepathic. Considering how Asari reproduction works it comes eerily close to voluntary genetic modification of one's offspring. They stop short of changing the child to the point of it no longer being Asari, but that doesn't mean the technique couldn't be replicated for straight up genetic engineering without the assitance of synthetic tech. The Catalyst claimed that the dominance of synthetic life results from their "innate" superiority, but this seems more due to the organics attempts at improving their tools, rather than improving themselves. Or, more to the point, it results from lazyness since every single form of synthetic life started out as a slave for work that organics didn't want to do. I just find it hard to believe that a billion years of evolution on countless worlds didn't produce a society that didn't share the taboo on genetic engineering and thus wouldn't reach an understanding of biology to rival their understanding of physics.
Considering Krogan birthrates, I don't see how mass production would be an issue since organics replicate exponentially. Unless the krogan go from childhood to adulthood, fully formed, intelligent, and capable of combat within a matter of days, they will not be able to outproduce mechanical factories churning out weapons of war. There's a reason why industrialization was such a big deal when it came to warfare. And machines can also reproduce exponentially, and even faster; that's the whole point behind Von Neumann machines. Organics take years to produce a single new unit; a factory can produce war machinery in hours or days.
A quickly maturing creature with instinctual combat ability is not unfeasable.
By what standard? What in the Mass Effect universe supports that engineering a creature that breeds like the krogan, matures rapidly enough to keep pace with production line assembly of synthetic lifeforms, and is powerful enough to compete with the Reapers is not unfeasible? Where is this coming from?
Logistics aside, I really don't think a beast like that would need much more than a big rock to beat a YMIR mech, or, better yet, it could be engineered with a carapace hard enough to take on armored enemies. No evidence of the former, no evidence any aspect of Mass Effect's tech base can do the latter.
Never said that anything in the current cycle could actually make that creature, just speculating the potnetial if it was made.
But you've cited zero evidence that any such potential actually exists. "Just make the carapace harder!" isn't how genetic engineering works at all. You seem to be assuming that genetic engineering has the ability to increase any attribute of any living thing by an infinite quantity.
Also, it hardly matters what Kalross was. Fact is, it existed in that universe and was a result of natural selection. Except, yes, it does matter. It took thousands of years for Kalross to develop into what it was. A machine capable of matching Kalross, or exceeding it, could have been built in vastly shorter periods of time.
No, it doesn't matter, because the point is not how it came to be but that it came to be, meaning such a creature in general is possible.
Yes, it matters, because of the entire basis of your argument is that organic "technology" can match synthetic technology. The entire reason why synthetic construction is superior is because it can be made faster and more efficiently. You cannot divorce production time and mass production from performance when talking about capability and utility. Look at the basic math: A Reaper Destroyer can be built in a matter of weeks or months or years. Kalross, the only organic entity capable of matching a single Reaper Destroyer without advanced, synthetic technology, took literally thousands of years to grow to reach that point. Your point on Kalross actually supports the exact opposite: the mightiest beast produced by natural selection in this universe is only able to match the weakest Reaper.
It actually does matter, because the fact that such a creature is possible does not mean that such a creature is feasible. You're arguing for production line manufacturing of an army of Kalross; all factors that go into the creation of such a creature, including how much time it takes to create, are relevant to your hypothesis.
With intelligent design it's ilk could be made even stronger. No evidence of this capacity within Mass Effect's tech base.
Still just speculating it's potential.
In reality, there still isn't a machine that would be more complex than an organic body More complex != superior.
'but that doesn't say anything about what an organic body could or could not do if designed with sufficient understanding. Which means, what, exactly? That someone with sufficiently advanced technology could create an organic form capable of doing anything? If your tech base is advanced enough that you can create an organic body that can do anything, then it is already advanced enough to create a mechanical device that can match it, far cheaper and more efficiently. That's the whole point behind mechanical technology - to do things organic bodies can't.
Well, yeah, that is the point of tech but that doesn't make it the only way to do the things we can't. Sufficiently advanced organic organisms can rival sufficiently advanced tech.
There is no such thing as a "sufficiently advanced organic organism". An organic organism's ability to do x, y, or z is an evolutionary trait. Organic life is not modular; you can't simply build an organic radio, slap it onto your brain, and suddenly be able to receive radio signals, for example. There are also a variety of things that no organic creature exists with the capability of doing. For example, there are no space whales in Mass Effect. No matter how much genetic engineering you try to put into a creature, it will never be capable of FTL travel. Synthetics can. No organic creature exists that can accelerate a projectile to relativistic speeds. Synthetics can.
Heck, look at the Protheans - there isn't a scanning device in the entire galaxy that could perform that level of chemical analysis that quickly and they come born with it. Yet the Protheans were not reliant on organic technology; with the exception of their chemical analysis and biotics, everything else they used was mechanical. One impressive organic ability does not translate into overall organic supremacy, especially considering that the species that used it also used a tremendous range of mechanical technology.
I'm not arguing for organic supremacy, or even exclusivity. I just find it somewhat jarring that they create a universe with such fantastical organics and then turn the ultimate message into how inferior organics in general are. Part of my gripe is with the Synthesis ending, because I find their portrayal of a techno-organic fusion ... kinda lame and an Ass Pull.
A lot of people find the Synthesis ending to be both lame and an Ass Pull, myself included, but that doesn't change the fact that while Mass Effect did create a lot of organics with wide and varied abilities, the inherent superiority of synthetics and threat of Robot Apocalypse has always been an aspect of the setting. The creation of AI was banned by the Council for this reason. The Geth are considered bogeymen of the Council, and the primary villains of the series, Reapers, are initially introduced to us as immensely powerful AI that outpace anything that any organic lifeform can ever or will ever be able to compete with. The Synthesis solution may be stupid and poorly thought out, but the threat of synthetics overwhelming and annihilating organics has been a fairly major theme.
Or Rachni, who have genetic memory and are borderline(?) telepathic. So the rachni have organic memory saving technology that can be transferred between individual units, and long-range communications capability. I have a thumbdrive and a cell phone that lets me do the exact same thing.
Can you absorb the information from your thumbdrive without reading it and transfer it to your offspring?
Yeah, it's called "copy/paste". The fact that the rachni developed a capability that anyone with a personal computer and basic understanding of how to operate one is not terribly impressive beyond the fact that they made it work on an organic platform. Which just proves the point that it is harder to make things like that work on organic platforms.
Yes, several different ways, actually, be it wireless data transfer or through the miracle of handing things to other people. I can absorb the information from my thumbdrive and transfer it to anyone I want, offspring or not, regardless of race or species, which actually makes my thumbdrive superior to the rachni.
Considering how Asari reproduction works it comes eerily close to voluntary genetic modification of one's offspring. They stop short of changing the child to the point of it no longer being Asari, but that doesn't mean the technique couldn't be replicated for straight up genetic engineering without the assitance of synthetic tech. Incorrect. There is no evidence that the asari are able to rewrite genetic structure at will. The only evidence we have is that they can voluntarily initiate the process of melding genetic structure for reproduction. The asari mother has no control over the genetic structure of the offspring.
Maybe not direct, conscious control but, since the process is genetic scanning and not taking of a physical sample, they must have at least subconscious control for the result to not be completely random.
The result is random, to the extent that biological reproduction allows. They have no more control over the development of the child than any other parent of any race or species.
Final Sur'Kesh Scene
So during the final scene on the Salarian Homeworld, Shepard storms up to a Cerberus Trooper Eve has shot with Wrex's shotgun. After talking to the Trooper (Who says nothing becuase he's been SHOT), he dies. Sorry Shepard, but what did you expect talking to an implanted zealot?
Shepard walks over to the soldier because he's the only one still alive. He demands to know why they're attacking because maybe, just maybe, the Cerberus soldier will say something with his dying breaths. And rewatch that scene and listen closely. The Cerberus soldier actually is trying to say something. He simply dies before he can finish it.
Plus Shepard has no reason to assume he can't talk. The troopers seen so far seem capable of talking like normal people just fine. And they clearly still experience emotion since they will panic if tagged by sticky explosives. So why not try and get some information out of him?
Ok I know that the void of space can play hell with size perception, but this bit just bugs me. I just can't seem to get a handle on the relative size of starships or space stations. And while I might just be imagining those last two, I KNOW that they fooled around with the mass relays. Consider. In ME 1 when you went through a mass relay, the Normandy was just a speck alongside it, and when you use one, it sent out this little arc of energy to launch you. In ME 2, the Normandy seemed much larger, to the point where using a mass relay looked more like firing a rail gun, with the normandy being the bullet. In ME 3, it changed again. Now the Normandy still doesn't look as puny next to the realys as it did in 1, it is still dwarfed in size by the relay, and using it has changed back to the arc of electricity method.
The Normandy SR 2 is much bigger than the original Normandy SR 1, which plays a part in this, but it's even more a matter of focus and perspective.
Leviathan (Unmarked Leviathan Spoilers)
So... If the Levianthans are so absurdly badass and powerful that they can take out a Reaper instantly, how the hell were they defeated in the first place? What, were there only ten of them? How were they taken out? It's not like the Reapers even had an army at that point; hell, they didn't even exist until the Leviathans were harvested. How did the Catalyst take them down? They'd enslaved all the "lesser" species. How were they opposed? Did the Catalyst somehow cut off their not-actually-mind-control? Even if it crashed every piece of tech everywhere in the whole damn galaxy, it wouldn't have been an Instant-Win Condition. What did it use to overpower them? If they're still around due to surviving all these millions of years, then why didn't they fight back when the Reaper "army" only consisted of a few Reapers? Am I missing something vital here?
They mention the Catalyst AI having built drones it used like reapers used collectors, and that it used those drones to launch an attack against them. Presumably at the time the Leviathan had no real defense, since they could just indoctrinate any opposition, something which would not work on artificial drones. The AI used his surprise attack to build Harbinger outta Leviathan bodies, then pushed its advanage while the Leviathan were caught with their pants down so to speak. Presumably, it's only after the first cycle of extinction ended that the Leviathans developed super duper anti-reaper weapons. Similarly, creatures of this size can't be reproducing quickly or numerously, so there must never been that many of them to begin with. If the initial assault was that deadly, its possible the Leviathans never could recover as they were too few.
Also, the Leviathans only seem to be able to trash full-fledged Reapers one at a time. In a Zerg Rush, the Reapers would probably dominate.
The Catalyst said that Harbinger was the first true Reaper, but that before that he used drone ships of a similar design. Even the Leviathan admits that it was their arrogance that allowed it to gain enough power to challenge them even after witnessing all the AI rebellions it was created to prevent.
A better question would be, why didn't the Leviathan ever break the cycle? They know more about the reapers and the AI that built them than anyone. Why didn't THEY invent the crucible? If anyone could invent something to reprogram/destroy the reapers its them. They'd have 50,000 years to make preparations, rally/enthrall the younger races to prepare them to kick the reapers where it hurts AND to build whatever superweapons they could imagine while the reapers do nothing but chill in dark space. And in over a billion years, they do... nothing. Do they enjoy living in hiding as shadows of their former might? Even if the initial attack crippled them, even a single cycle is LOT of time to recover.
I'm guessing because they had Sovereign running around in the background making sure things aren't fishy. Plus, if they tried to do a direct assault on the Citadel, then the Catalyst could probably call in reinforcements. The Citadel not being able to be used as such is only a recent development, which they might not have known about until too late into the cycle.
My guess is that there simply aren't enough Leviathans to make a difference in direct combat. And we don't know if the Leviathans even have starships they can use to get off that planet of theirs. The fact that one of them killed a Reaper a billion or so years ago implies that they have been active in past cycles... perhaps they did try aiding the organics of older cycles, and it simply didn't work. The ones Shepard speaks to seem to have abandoned hope, and like some other species are just hiding as long as they can. Shepard's speech to them galvanized them into making another attempt, even that is only implied to have worked because the Reapers had found them anyway, so they had no choice but to fight.
Not sure if it was stated anywhere, but i was under the impression that the Leviathans didn't "disagree" with the Catalyst's "Solution", at least not after initial resistance. Sure, they can't be all for being subjected to genocide and their thralls with them, but the Leviathan Shepard converses with gives of the impression that the Leviathans built the catalyst, therefore it's perfect, so it's solution of store life in reaper form cannot be illogical or incorrect either. They seem to be a tad big headed, with all their "Apex Race" and all that.
Here's a nitpicky question: you find cave paintings showing ancient civilizations worshipping what appears to be a Reaper, later revealed to be a Leviathan. That's all well and good, fun bit of foreshadowing, but... how in the nine hells did cave paintings survive over a billion years? Since the Leviathans are being openly worshipped, this is before the Reaper cycles started. Paint simply doesn't last that long. I have a hard time believing the rock would last that long without being eroded or broken. How have these paintings been preserved?
Maybe the Leviathans used Quantum Shielding on it? It keeps the Mass Relays intact over countless billions of years.
I suppose it's possible the Leviathans kept directing their thralls to renew the paintings. They're pretty egotistical like that.
Given that the Leviathan of Dis has been semi-retconned from being an organic ship to being a reaper, why doesn’t anyone recognize that it is just like Sovereign? Even if it was a reaper-destroyer, it would be made of similar stuff, or at the very least it would look like the same material. And it is made clear that there are records of it in the planet survey, saying that after the batarians stole it the salarian survey team produced their scans of the Leviathan which the batarians then denied. Was nobody paying attention? As a side-note, the Leviathan of Dis would probably enter into an extranet search for unidentified or alien spaceships, so it makes the excuse of just not noticing the very old records a little bit worse.
The Leviathan of Dis is over a billion years old. The organic parts of the Reaper would have long since decayed and vanished, and we don't know how much of its hull was left. Reaper metal or not, a billion years on a planetary surface would deteriorate it and make it harder to identify.
A better question would be: why is not the Levianthan trying to break the cycle? the thing had millions of years to try millions of ways to break the cycle. and with it's mind control ability, you would think that is can defeat the Reapers in the long run. it can do something like
gather information on the Reapers, store it in different planets to warn of the younger races, like the Protheans did with the beacons, so that younger races would know about the Reapers very early, and if Levianthan could record data on the Reapers destruction and maybe some Reapers locations it would be truly believed throughout the galaxy.
Maybe a hidden faction tried and failed. Who else would know so much about the Citadel to create the Crucible?
Matriarch Aethyta - Dead or Alive?
After the Cerberus Coup arc, Aethyta no longer appears at that bar in the Presidium. ...She didn't get killed, did she? She's a fucking Matriarch; there's no way them Cerbies could've gotten her... right?
That's strange, since she was still there for all my save games, if I recall correctly. Is it a bug or something?
Whether or not they did, I don't know, but it should be noted that Matriarchs are far from invulnerable. They're powerful, sure, but they bleed and die like any other organic lifeform, and Cerberus has some very powerful soldiers at its disposal.
We can presume she survived; significant casualties among the Citadel's named population are explicitly mentioned in the game. Liara would have mentioned her being killed, at the very least.
Hopefully i'm not mistaken, but i think the Asari military trainer in Purgatory mentions that she works with her after you deliver the Library of Asha. Just talk to her agin. That's after the Coup attempt, so she's fine.
This is correct. That asari in Purgatory mentions that she has "Matriarch Aethyta's backing on this" or something similar when she's talking to whoever is on the communicator. Since this does indeed take place after the coup, it would imply she's doing fine.
You get more War Assets for letting Kirrahe die
If Kirrahe survived Virmire in the first Mass Effect, you will get him as part of your Salarian war assets worth 20 points after talking to him on Sur'Kesh. But if you let him die and be replaced by the a lot less cooperative Lieutenant Tolan instead, you will get the Salarian Special Tasks Group assets, worth 35 points, and just like Kirrahe, you get this asset regardless of if you sabotage the genophage cure. Emm, what? So why do you actually get LESS war assets by leaving a friendlier person in charge of the STG?
Welcome to unintended consequences. With Kirrahe, you get him and his most loyal followers. With Tolan, you get substantially more STG personnel.
(The OP) But unlike Kirrahe (who told you that he will support you no matter what some politicians think), Tolan was very uncooperative and passive aggressive when talking to you and openly state how he disapproves of you curing the genophage. So why will he give you ANY war assets at all if you decided to support the Krogan? Also, Kirrahe is holds the rank of major and is a war hero to the salarian people, compared to Tolan, who is just a common officer in the military. How could Tolan managed to rally more support then Kirrahe could?
I'm suspecting this is a bug. Does Hackett even mention "STG is helping us" in this case?
As I recall, Hackett does mention that the STG defects to your side even if Kirrahe is alive. However, it doesn't show up as a War Asset in that case.
Could be that after the attack on Sur'Kesh or reading some report later on that Tolan realizes that Shepard is right. Having two opposing views tell you the same thing would arguably be more persuasive than Kirrahe say it.
I know that there is certainly Gameplay and Story Segregation when it comes to the multiplayer portion of the game (there is no good explanation for why you're fighting geth or Cerberus forces on Earth or Palaven's moon) but some basic questions still need to be asked. Now that the Collectors are an enemy faction it is clear that they were not wiped out in ME2, but were never deployed to the places Shepard went to. The real Headscratcher is why if multiple units of every type of Collector troop—from Abominations to Praetorians—can be possessed by a Reaper, Harbinger-style, why didn't the Reapers assume direct control over every Collector in Shepard's way at the end of ME2? Shepard's squad wouldn't have had a chance.
First: Collectors where mentioned in passing during the "Miracle of Palaven" if you get the Krogans to back the war effort. Second: we have no way of knowing if every Reaper has the ability to control organics when they're outside the galaxy. Or it could be a simple issue of bandwidth for all we know. Either way it seems likely that they needed to be closer to control the Collectors.
As a point, there is a reason you'd be fighting geth just about anywhere you'd be fighting reapers; the geth you're fighting in multiplayer are the ones still infected with reaper code after the Rannoch arch.
We're never told these units weren't deployed to these places. Remember, our battlefields only take place over a tiny portion of a planet's surface. That'd be like asking how come you heard about a gunfight in your city but couldn't see it when you looked out of your window. As for why Assuming Direct Control didn't happen on such a scale, I have two Fan Wank theories. First, it probably takes such a tremendous amount of resources that it wouldn't be feasible (remember that trying to assume control of one person to salvage a failing mission is what killed Sovereign, and the Reapers had more to lose then than at the Collector Base). Second, Harbinger only ever assumed control of Collectors through the General. While there's undoubtedly more than one of them, there was only one on the Base.
As for Harbinger now possessing more powerful enemies like Praetorians, it could also be that he no longer underestimates what the races of the galaxy are capable of, and is now pulling out all the stops.
It could also simply be a matter of proximity. Harbinger's a lot closer to the battlefield than he was when he was still with the rest of the fleet in Dark Space. The signal could be a lot stronger due to his increased proximity.
Mainstay of the Turian Military?
According the the lore, the Phaeston assault rifle is the weapon used by the Turian military, where it is held in high regard for its rapid fire and low recoil. However, when we go to Menae, the moon of Palaven, we see regular Turian infantry using the human counterpart Avengers. Did they all discard their arguable superior rifles for the weapons cargo of a downed transport? Or were the developers just lazy?
The armament of one small, isolated, individual unit of a military consisting of literally hundreds of billions of individuals scattered across an entire galaxy does not reflect the armament of the entire military in question.
But those soldiers aren't specialized, elite troopers. They're regular grunts who were stationed on Palaven's moon. That's like running into a unit of regular Army infantry using solely AK-47s. There's no reason they shouldn't be using the weapons that all the Turian soldiers are equipped with.
There's no evidence whatsoever what unit these troops belong to. They could be an elite specialist unit, or regular infantry. We don't have any real information on these troops beyond the fact that they were with Garrus' group on the moon.
You'll notice that every single turian soldier, whether they be on Palaven or Tuchanka or Earth, is using an Avenger. It's the same reason everyone else uses the Avenger; it's a lazy graphical shortcut.
That's exactly what I was saying when I first raised this headscratcher. I guess it it's just a Doylist reason.
Did Hackett know about the Luna AI?
Because I specifically asked him whether it was an AI, not wanting to repeat the quarians' mistake. And he specifically assured me it was not. Did he lie? And if so, why isn't there an option to confront him about it?
Because by the time Shepard knows that EDI was the Luna AI, it's a couple years after the fact and, given the circumstances at hand, it's not really important or relevant to the conflict at large. Why does it matter?
Hackett probably didn't know it was an AI, that was probably Cerberus's doing.
He may have known, but only after the fact. The journal entry for that quest updates after it's done, suggesting the VI may have been tampered with to make it intelligent (which we learn was Cerberus' doing).
The Cerberus Data Log that reveals this information states that EDI was still a VI at the time. By combining it with Sovereign's tech and likely their own handiwork, they turned a military VI into a military AI. In fact it was likely that EDI's Reaper portions helped with her figuring out the Reaper IFF back in Mass Effect 2!
The duration of war.
When you first visit the Citadel, an asari there tells about how she was assigned to Tiptree to help the evacuation. She spent at least a few days there. Now, she is in the Citadel hospital, and it seems like it is not her first day there either. Then, toward the end of the game, Joker says the Reaper only invaded Tiptree "A couple of weeks ago". Ehhh... Does anyone else find something wrong with the math? Because I certainly didn't get the impression the events of the game only lasted a week.
Why does Shepard not realise/question certain things?
Is it me, or does Shepard carry an idiot ball in the third game?
On Sur'Kesh, Shepard asks Wrex right in front of a bunch of salarians who his source was. Did it really not occur to Shepard that that would not have been the best idea?
That was more for the player. Wrex even points out that it's not a good idea.
When I saw that scene I figured Shepard was trying to taunt the salarians. Shepard didn't even care who the source was. The point was to let the salarians know that Wrex of all people was able to place a mole in the heart of the STG and they never even suspected.
In the Temple in Thessia, there's a bunch of corpses with their throats slit. Really, it never occurs to Shepard that maybe TIM heard about the relic and sent his pet with the sword along? It seems perfectly reasonable that Shepard would be paranoid enough at this stage to suspect them. Who else would use a blade to kill some asari, and so neatly? The Reaper forces never use blades, they just shoot you. Even if Shepard doesn't immediately jump to Cerberus and Leng, why doesn't Shepard worry at all that the killer's still around there somewhere or, worse, has possibly made off with the relic?
it was in the middle of a Reaper attack, not Cerberus, and he just assumed Cerberus wouldn't try to attack a place the Reapers already held. He was a little surprised when during the middle of a Reaper invasion, as single Cerberus team somehow got past all the Reapers just to ambush him. With all the stress of what was going on and the information given about the Protheans, it's probable that he never made the logical leap in the 1-2 minutes it takes from finding their corpses and meeting Kai Leng again. As for searching for the killer, what can he do? Point a flashlight at every corner? Kai Leng has cloaking, and he just dropped it when he wanted to talk.
It was a Reaper attack. It's not an outrageous assumption to think that an indoctrinated scientist slit the others' throats. Sowing panic in the enemy by making them paranoid about indoctrinated members in their ranks sounds like something the Reapers would do.
In Leviathan, Shepard, not once but twice, fails to recognise indoctrination when s/he's already come across people with it multiple times before in the previous games. Even if Shepard was just having an off day when s/he met the first indoctrinated guy, the one who killed the scientist, s/he would know to be on the lookout for it later, but when s/he's in a room full of indoctrinated people, merely seems to think "That's weird" and goes about his/her business.
He may recognize them as indoctrinated, but what can he do, anyway? He still needs to keep searching, and they haven't committed any outright hostile actions toward him. Presumably, he still is on edge the whole time.
It may also be that these indoctrinated people are acting so differently from any other indoctrinated individuals that Shepard doesn't consider that a possibility. They all act like they're drugged or were hit on the head, as opposed to the subtle and articulate cunning of Saren, Kai Leng, TIM, Benezia, etc. Even Cerberus troops behave more normally than the researchers.
They also don't act like the nigh-useless, broken shells the salarian STG prisoners acted like.
They also don't wax poetic about how awesome the Reapers are like Dr. Amanda Kenson did.
The Second Rachni Choice
The choice in the third game strikes me as incredibly out of character for Shepard if the renegade option (killing the queen) was chosen in the first game. If you spared her in the first game, she's captured in the third and the paragon choice is to free and recruit her. Makes sense. Renegade choice is to kill her. Also makes sense, if an originally Para Shep has slid more towards being a ruthless and distrustful Ren Shep (and there's a risk of Grunt dying if you free her). However, if she was killed in the first game, an indoctrinated breeder is there in her place. For reasons that make no sense, the options are reversed. Para Shep's option is to kill her. This could be explained away by the fact that the breeder is obviously crazy, Shep's original choice was to kill rachni and s/he isn't changing now, or just a higher loyalty to Grunt. But I don't actually recall a Para Shep option to kill someone before when there was the faintest possibility of saving them (even Saren), so it's still a bit iffy. Ren Shep's choice of recruiting the indoctrinated breeder makes even less sense. With the exception of the Morinth choice (which was similarly strange), Ren Shepalways kills anyone/anything they find remotely untrustworthy. Caution and ruthlessness are pretty much his/her thing, so why would s/he decide to recruit the suspicious breeder of all things? Especially when balanced against other potential renegade choices - like sabotaging the genophage cure because the krogan are dangerous. It's even lampshaded by Joker - Shep kills the sane queen and recruits the insane breeder? So what was Bioware's reason? Is it just that they couldn't be bothered making the two scenarios (queen/breeder) that different from each other, and decided that Ren Shep would be the moron/jerkass in both? Or they couldn't be bothered with a third option - where the paragon and renegade Sheps would kill the breeder in different ways (one more merciful, the other harsher), and a neutral option to recruit it? Or is there some logic in there somewhere?
The Breeder is a machine more than a living being. It's an insane weapon that exists for no purpose other than to churn out shock troops for war. Destroying it is a mercy; conversely, keeping it alive so it can start churning out instruments of war for your army instead of the enemy's is a ruthless and cruel thing to do.
Reaper Blackstar: What's with the handgrip?
It just seems odd that the Reapers would make a weapon with a human-style handgrip and trigger when they could easily integrate it with a husk's body instead, like with the Scion's shockwave cannon in ME2. Otherwise, it's like they're just begging for someone like Shepard to pick it up and turn it against them. Also, if the Blackstar is such an effective weapon, why don't we see the Reapers using large-scale versions of it as anti-dreadnought weapons, instead of spamming Thanix beams all over the place?
Makes it easier for an indoctrinated soldier or techie to bring this heavy weapon into their base and blow up key personnel or armory.
Reapers Don't Know How to Aim Rockets or Ballistics (Thessia)
On Thessia, at the very beginning of the mission Sheppard gets to an Asari post headed by Lieutenant Kurin. The perimeter is soon breached, an Asari blocks the breach with a biotic bubble and Sheppard has to get on the turret to shoot Brutes and Husks. When this fight is over there's a cut scene. During this scene, the reaper forces launch rockets at the biotic bubble. If we look at the rockets' paths closely, we can see their trajectory is curved, in both the horizontal and vertical planes. This implies guided flight. Why can't the reapers just aim to hit the area behind the bubble? Actually, if one of the rockets had just been aimed a little bit more to the right (seen from our perspective during the cut scene), it would have been able to fly over what remained of the original fence and hit behind the fence, right in the middle of the courtyard. In the cutscene this rocket hits the biotic bubble but the bubble is higher than the fence. For that matter, have the Reapers ever heard of mortars? It is true that there are major difference between a mortar and a bazooka. A modern fighting unit equipped with self-propelled rockets might not be able to accomplish what a unit equipped with mortars could. However, the Reapers are leagues ahead of us technologically: using a rocket as a mortar round should be nothing to them.
You have a lot of good points, but here's some plausible responses:
Husks aren't exactly smart. They rely more on their overwhelming numbers and toughness to win, and in a situation where that's not enough, they'll wait for an actual reaper to lend support. It's possible that whatever was firing the rockets just saw the Asari bubble and went "enemy = shoot" and would just keep firing until it was dead. Not the best explanation, but still.
Or, they knew exactly what they were doing. Even at that point, everyone knew Thessia was lost. The Reapers are all about breaking their enemies' spirits, so letting the commandos watch their defenses being whittled down, begging for reinforcements and being slowly overwhelmed by husks, would be more psychologically terrifying to others listening in than than just blowing them to kingdom come. Perhaps inefficient, but the Reapers have billions more soldiers on their side and all the time in the universe, so they wouldn't care.
In the game did Shepard forget that s/he is a Spectre and not an Alliance officer? Shepard spends pretty much the entire game following the orders of Anderson and Hackett, conferring with them as though Shepard was still under their command (dialogue at the beginning even acts as though this is the case) and never showing anywhere near the same deference to Councillors. Is it any wonder that the Council spent the past two games wondering if Shepard was just advancing human interests?
Shepard is both a Spectre and an Alliance officer. As a Spectre, s/he's expected to choose the will of the Council over that of the Alliance, but when they don't conflict, Shepard is allowed to do stuff for each. Besides, a lot of stuff Shepard does advance Council interests, whether it's securing resources, forging alliances, destroying enemy forces, or ending centuries-old blood-feuds, Shepard helps out a lot. If the Council needs something, they probably can get Hackett to relay that to Shepard.
Shepard doesn't forget his/her rank. Shepard does, however, recognize that Hackett is much more experienced in general and follows Hackett's orders because they're good ideas and doesn't get hung up on rank and authority because of the horde of mecha-Chtulhus invading the galaxy at the moment. And Shepard's Spectre status is contingent on the Council's authority, and the Council is coordinating with Hackett, so if Shepard hares off on his/her own and ignores Hackett, there's a good chance the Council will cancel Shepard's Spectre status.
Hackett is effectively the commander of all anti-Reaper forces AND is overseeing construction of the Crucible. In order for Shepard to effectively fight the Reapers s/he basically has to take his marching orders from Hackett. If Shepard was defiant and hostile toward the Council in ME1 then the Councilors would probably consider this a plus. If they relay their orders through Hackett there's a chance Shepard will actually follow them.
Jacob cheating on Shepard
Okay, I'm really not sure what happened here. In the second game, he really didn't seem like the kind of person who would so shamelessly cheat on a woman he supposedly "loves", and then dump her for another woman without a qualm. But in this game... wow, what the hell, man? They were only apart for six months, it wasn't like Shepard was dead or missing, he knew exactly where she was. Also, I feel it's incredibly stereotypical ad highly offensive that the only black love interest in the entire series, is also the only one who cheats on the PC and gets another woman pregnant. How does no one else see this? Honestly, Bioware, that was very very VERY uncool.
Same reason anyone one cheats on their girlfriend, really. Seriously, the list is staggering. it seems to be Bioware's fault that every relationship so far has been permanent (unless if you cheat on your ME1 love interest), and Jacob gets the flak because he's the only one who does and because he happens to be black. Why aren't you complaining if your black Shepard cheats on Ashley, Miranda, or Jack?
As for why he did it, think. Jacob signed up to save people and humanity, not primarily to fight although he is good at it). In the end, he grows weary of fighting, and would like to settle down and start a real family, that he and his wife could devote themselves too. With Brynn, he sees that future. Despite whatever you roleplay as, Shepard isn't likely to end her sterling military career to sit down and raise kids for the rest of her life, so he broke up with her knowing that they're not compatible in the long-term. Sure, it may have been unpleasant, but romantic flings do happen, and sometimes breaking up is for the best.
Something people seem to forget: every relationship across the games is, at the beginning, just a short term thing that pops up while you're fighting for your lives. Most of the romances only develop into something much more serious when you've been involved with the character for a longer period of time. Ashley, Kaidan, Liara, Garrus, and Tali, for example. The romances from the second game with the new characters have a generally short-term feel to them in the first place, and only Jack and Thane's are truly passionate ones, because of the intimate therapy aspect of Jack's romance and the fact that Thane is dying. And Jacob's romance dialogue does indicate that it's mostly sexual attraction, not a long-term romance.
Hannah Shepard was a dedicated military woman and still had a partner, at least for some period of her life, and successfully raised a child. Why is Shepard necessarily incapable of doing the same? Anyways, not the point. Jacob himself never says anything about wanting settle down. There's really nothing to excuse the shameless infidelity, there IS no excuse for that, ever. If he didn't want to be together anymore, why wasn't he upfront about it and just say so to her face instead of stringing her along while banging another woman? Sheesh. I'm sorry but there was absolutely zero indication in the first game that he was that kind of character, it just seems like a really bizarre and unwarranted shift in personality. The way he dumps her is really dismissive, unfeeling and tactless; yeah, definitely not the character I was familiar with at the end of ME2. And Shepard themselves, who can be of any race, never does or even gets the opportunity to do that to any of their other love interests. This whole thing just plays into a very offensive racial stereotype.
Hannah Shepard was a dedicated military woman and still had a partner, at least for some period of her life, and successfully raised a child. Why is Shepard necessarily incapable of doing the same? There's a thing. It's not a big thing, but it would seriously explain why Shepard would be incapable of being in anything resembling a normal relationship with anyone at all, and would - and does - seriously hinder any romantic endeavors on his/her part. It's called the Reapers.
This is why tropes like Good Adultery, Bad Adultery exist, when the line is very blurry.. While there's not much indicator that he wanted to settle down in ME2, there also wasn't really any indication that he considered Shepard to be his one true love. I've seen personally seen relationships go to that level of passion, and then watched everything fall apart with a "meh" once the emotional high died off and the partners realized they weren't with someone they'd want to spend their life with. Sure, maybe you were still in love with him, but his passion cooled and he felt Dr. Cole would be someone to settle down with. As for why he nonchalantly dumps Shepard, well, they're under a siege and he's probably swimming in medical drugs on account of being shot, so he couldn't really get his emotions across as well. Or perhaps Jacob did sent a message, request a vidchat, a letter even, but it never made it past the red tape to reach an imprisoned suspected mass-murderer. Also, Hannah Shepard may have been a good mom, but I'm talking about the lifestyle; constantly being reassigned, away from your spouse and kids, often making them move and leave their friends and community, I doubt Jacob would want that lifestyle with his family, and he and Brynn probably agreed to retire together or something.
Well, she claims Jacob still "loves" the PC, but that really seems like a load of codswallop to me. I feel she was just trying to mock the PC or make her feel even worse about the situation.
Jacob is the only person Shepard can romance that she doesn't have significant existing ties with and are emotionally stable. Every other love interest is either someone Shepard already knows well where emotional attachments could grow over time or in a fragile emotional state (Jack and Miranda aren't used to having people they can trust and Thane is dieing so it's only worth the pain if he's serious about it), hell, Tali and Garrus have BOTH. ME2 only lasts, what, a few weeks, couple months at most? And it was a high stress situation where they were all expecting to die, not something Jacob was expecting to go long-term and Shepard gets taken into custody before he realises he doesn't want to stay with her.
Something that bothered me about the Jacob Romance when i did it for the first time in hopes of hearing him get chewed out in ME 3 was some of his lines in ME 2.
Jacob: One nighting the commander is a good way to get airlocked.
He also tells Shepard he wants to take it slow so the relationship will be more then just sex. Now if you look at it from one of his quotes in the collector base.
Jacob: Practically a suicide mission, I volunteer.
Miranda then explains they need a tech to do that part. But if Jacob's words are considered in his mind Him and probably the rest of the crew were not coming back from the mission. So have sex with Shepard, come to terms with the fact you'll never have a wife and a kid and a house with a picket fence and go complete your mission. You can almost imagine him picturing his funeral and thinking about what might be said as he fights off collectors. But then comes the hitch in his plan. He survives. He survives the impossible. Now for the rest of the game we can consider Jacob to be riding on the "I can't believe i'm alive" cloud and not really thinking about the fact Shepard is his girlfriend. Cut to the normandy being drydocked and Shepard being relieved of duty. Jacob goes to think about things on a beach. He starts picturing scenarios. Shepard being locked up forever, Shepard going off to fight the Reapers, Perhaps he even imagines Shepard actually saving the galaxy. But then comes the hard truth of it. Even if Shepard destroys the Reapers Shepards not going to quit. Regardless of how you play your Shepard just start up ME 3 and play right till you get the first dialogue choice. Now imagine that's day to day life. Jacob has no idea what Shepard's going to have to do when the reapers come and the last time he saw her she was being a flirty minx. He's completely unaware she's going to see children die, worlds burn, and friends fall. If Jacob did have a psychic vision of all those events he could hypothesize Shepard might be so weary of death she'd settle down. But Shepard killed Sovereign then let the alliance send her to hunt Geth despite Shepard, Anderson, and Hackett all knowing the Reapers were the real threat. So to Jacob, Shepard is alliance through and through. The best he can hope for is that she'd be willing to take enough time to actually give birth to their child before handing it off to Jacob and making him a stay at home dad while Shepard does more tours. Brynn on the other hand who he meets when he's muddled up is not like shepard. She is more then happy to let Jacob play hero and she'll raise the baby. After all being a scientist she could probably get a lab at home to work from to she could dual duties. Meanwhile if Shepard took her baby with her on adventures... Well we all saw what happened to the first normandy. It makes Brynn the clear favorite in Jacob's eyes. It also doesn't help if Shepard asks about Jacob and Brynn's relationship and then after having all the info choosing to try and seduce him when Brynns in the next room if you chose that option. The real problem is Brynn has absolutely no sympathy for Shepard's side of the story and comes off cold. And with the exception of the Slap in the Citadel DLC it's almost entirely identical to a nonromanced shepard. You can be as cold to Brynn as she is to you and she'll still "save" you from cerberus, still say that she's glad you're on their side, and will still want to name the baby Shepard. The very idea Brynn would suggest naming their child after Jacob's Ex is functionally ridiculous. Add to it how the closest thing you get to anyone sympathizing with Shepard is Joker's post mission comment if you talk to him that he already doesnt like Brynn on Shepard's behalf despite Shepard insisting she's fine about the turn of events. It makes the entire arc look like the Devs just didn't care enough to bother with Jacob any more then they absolutely had to.
Motivations of Citadel's Dragon
Okay, Shepard is being targeted, by who it turns out to be his or her clone. Now apparently their motivation is to kill Shepard, and become the legend. Okay. And Then What?? Does The Dragon intend to fight the Reapers? The Catalyst? Since they are far far away from being Shepard would they be willing to make the sacrifice needed to defeat the Reapers? Since the clone is Cerberus what about them? If Cerberus are in league with the Reapers wouldn't that mean they need to be taken down as well? What about being the legend also means how Shepard was in the second and third games? Would the clone stomach doing what was required for a successful suicide mission? How about romance interests? If the idea is to become Shepard then given the hatred of aliens what if Shepard was with Liara? Or Garrus, Tali or Thane?
The Mysterious Figure probably wasn't planning beyond that point. Remember, s/he's been around for, at most, sixth months, and has dedicated everything s/he has to defeating Shepard.
The real brains of the operation is Brooks. It was her who woke it up and masterminded the whole thing, but we never get any indication of what the real plan was beyond the usual aliens are beneath us/must die. They had no obvious intent to go after the reapers or anything, just to disappear, at least at that point.
I wouldn't be surprised if Brooks was lying about leaving Cerberus. She lied to Shepard, after all. Why not Shepard's clone as well? Maybe Brooks was still working for TIM all along as part of a plan to manipulate Clone!Shep into serving TIM's interests from afar.
EDI, Eva's body and the Normandy in Citadel DLC
This is bugging the hell out of me since the Citadel dlc came out. EDI is primarily housed/located in the Normandy SR-2 and has full control over its systems. She additionally controls Eva's body, and there's enough of her in it that it can act independently if circumstances require it (maybe). This is all fine, makes sense. However, when the clone and Brooks make clear their intent to steal the Normandy, EDI, who was in my squad at the time, does nothing. She's still in the Normandy! It behaves like the mech body is the real EDI while the Normandy one isn't or something (although when her main core on the Normandy is locked out or whatever is done to her, it momentarily shuts off the mech version and screws her up, in a both humorous and concerning manner). But this raises questions: 1) Why didn't EDI use her control over the systems to lock out the clone or otherwise prevent him/her from boarding? 2) Assuming 1 failed, why didn't she warn Traynor of the danger? and 3) How is it that they manage to just cut EDI off from the ship with no trouble anyway? Cerberus couldn't do it remotely, yet these guys apparently just waltz right in and flip her off switch. I get that this would interfere with the plot, but that's pretty weak reasoning for the weird lack of EDI actually doing anything in the ample time she should have had to do so.
There was a jamming signal blocking all communication to the Normandy, including EDI's link. This also happened if you take EDI to take down the jamming tower on Rannoch. Doesn't really make sense though; EDI states when she first gets the body that it has to be in broadcast range of the Normandy.
EDI states for optimal performance her platform should remain in contact with the Normandy. Meaning it performs best when she can communicate with herself but doesn't necessarily need to remain in range to stay active.
Shepard forgetting the importance of wartime secrecy in the Citadel DLC
A key part of military intelligence is the control of information, as this World War 2 poster◊ demonstrates. As a experienced officer, Shepard should be well aware of this. However, as shown in this video, not only does Shepard openly discuss the Alliance's plan to assault the headquarters of Cerberus soon, she/he did so in a public event, with a dozen civilians listening. All it takes will be a single Cerberus sympathizer or Reaper indoctrinated agent in the crowd to leak that information to Cerberus, and the entire assault on Cronos Station will be turned from a Curb-Stomp Battle for the Alliance military into a total disaster that will cost countless lives (not to mention crippling the Alliance Navy, making the Battle of Earth even more risky). What on Earth was Shepard thinking?!
Also, when you first recruited Javik in the From Ashes DLC, Diana Allers will complain that she couldn't report the news of them discovering a living Prothean since it is classified information. However, now not only is he openly walking around in the Citadel, he is guest staring in a Blasto movie! All it takes will be a single sniper waiting in the studio, and BLAM! Cerberus/The Reapers just score a massive propaganda victory and the entire Hanar suffers a massive drop in troop morale.
Presumably, when she says this, it's classified, but later on as Javik is running around shooting people in the open, this becomes declassified. As for why don't they just shoot him in the studio, Javik's paranoid, experienced, always wears armor, and has freaky prothean senses to the point where even Kasumi can't hide from him. They could try to kill Javik, but whether they could succeed is another matter.
In fairness, wouldn't the same problem apply equally to Shepard? He/she isn't immune to sniper bullets either.
As soon as the sushi-place cutscene ends, Shepard has shields. Hence, it's logical to assume that Shepard and co. keep their non-armor protective equipment active even in civilian areas, or at the very least they have their shields ready to be activated at a moment's notice. Even beyond that, Shepard is capable of using his/her full range of combat abilities despite not wearing his/her armor.
I have two questions about this mission.
Question the Firste: When the Turian (whose name I can't remember, sorry) told me the bomb on Tuchanka was a precaution against a second Krogan uprising, I assumed that meant it was powerful enough to cause an extinction-level event. Perhaps even a Tuchanka-Shattering Kaboom! But according to the Mass Effect Wiki if you fail to complete quest and the bomb goes off, the result is...the destruction of the Kelphic Valley and a whopping 250 point loss to your Krogan forces. Now granted that is a lot of damage and a huge dent in your war assets, but from an in-universe perspective I don't see the point. Assuming the Krogan did rebel a second time, what would this bomb have accomplished that couldn't have been done with a weaponized asteroid or a salvo from a Turian dreadnought? (Hell, the only reason the bomb killed as many as it did is because a bunch of Krogan clans happened to be gathering in the Kelphic Valley to meet Eve.) Now I know someone is going to say that putting a dreadnought or a mass driver in orbit around Tuchanka is just asking the Krogan to shoot it down, but recall that the Krogan were forcibly disarmed after the Rebellions so they had no warships left to fight with. Granted, they did have that big gun on the surface but they seemed to have forgotten it was even there, and there's no reason to believe any other anti-starship weapons still existed on Tuchanka (surely the Turians would have seen to that). Also, it's pretty hard to defend a giant super-nuke you've secretly hidden on the surface without giving away its existence. Which brings me to my second question...
Perhaps the bomb wasn't meant to destroy Tuchanka (do the citadel races even have planet-cracking bombs?) but instead to fracture any Krogan alliances by making them all blame each other for it.
As I recall, isn't it mentioned that the Kelphic Valley is a heavily populated area (assumingly even without the influx of the clans post-cure)? Still not exactly the doomsday bomb they claim it to be, but it'd take a bite of the krogan forces. If it does go off, a whole lot of females and children are killed by it, which would be a huge blow to the krogan. Presumably the turians strategically placed it for maximum effectiveness. And indeed, as the above troper mentioned, if it does go off, they don't know who the culprit was. It could have lead to infighting as suggested.
If you include him, Javik calls it a "planet killer" which suggests that, well, the turians actually intended to cause enough damage to Tuchanka to at least cause an extinction level event. Which raises a lot of questions since the bomb doesn't look at all big enough to cause that much damage to a planet (and if a single one from centuries ago could do that then why are the turians losing to the Reapers). Now maybe Javik just isn't used to the somewhat less advanced technology of the game, but it seems like a weird line to put in there if they didn't mean it.
Question the Seconde: What exactly was the Hierarchy's plan if the Krogan happened to stumble across the bomb by accident? Set it off and hope for the best?
Second Question: The bomb was buried pretty deep undergound, they mention how Cerberus had to dig it up, so they probably assumed that the Krogans where not on a technical level to ever find it. (As fot he frist question, maybe without the help of the Commander, the Turians on Tuchanka only managed to 'half disable' the bomb?)
If the bomb actually could cause enough damage to a planet to cause an extinction level event, it's entirely possible that their plan would be just that. Set it off and just put up with whatever ensuing political chaos ensued.
Question the Thirde: How did Cerberus even know about the bomb, and for that matter how did they unearth it without any Krogan taking notice?
Cerberus finding the bomb isn't likely all that difficult, considering that not two missions previously they had managed to infiltrate STG. Compared with that, digging up a hidden turian superweapon would be child's play. As for unearthing the bomb without the krogan noticing, remember that the turians managed to bury it without anyone noticing; the location of the bomb is in a remote enough location that the krogan just didn't have anyone nearby to spot the digging operation underway.
Citadel DLC: general questions (spoilers!)
Could the Clone Shepard really replace the real Shepard so easily? I mean, sure he changed Shepard's biometric info in the Citadel computers, but the Systems Alliance keeps its own records. And Clone!Shep won't have all the cybernetic implants that Real!Shep is riddled with.
No, it's pretty unlikely the clone could actually replace Shepard. He/she outright says they don't have any of the memories, so the replacement scheme wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. One would simply have to wonder why Shepard seems to have ditched the entire Normandy crew in favour of some random mercs for alarm bells to start going off. It seems unlikely that taking Shepard's place is actually the clone's plan, considering how obvious it would be if it tried. It is possible though that the clone genuinely does think it can, but Brooks, who seems to have been the real mastermind, had other plans once they'd gotten ahold of the Normandy. We never really find out what her long term scheme was.
This. She likely intended to bring the Normandy back to Cerberus. In fact, given that Cerberus, and by extension Brooks, are indoc. proxies for the Reapers, this may have all been Brooks playing the long game, manipulating the Clone into killing Shepard on behalf of the Reapers. Doesn't the Citadel DLC suddenly seem more awesome if you imagine the whole clone plot is an elaborate assassination attempt by Harbinger?
How could Anderson afford that huge apartment on a military salary? It's one thing if you put him on the Council, but what if you didn't?
Captains/Admirals and officers in general get paid a lot more than the grunts do.
He's also made to be the assistant of Udina if he isn't made counselor. If counselors are well paid, their assistants are probably not left in the lurch when it comes to pay.
The effects of the Reaper War being non existent in the Citadel DLC
The entire Screw the War, We're Partying feel of the Citadel DLC really bugs me. In the Vanilla Edition of Mass Effect 3, when visiting the Citadel you can actually see how fighting a losing war against the Reaper affect the everyday life of ordinary civilians. You can hear new on the background reporting that more planets are being overwhelmed and the military in full retreat, see drunk soldiers mourning their fallen comrades, overhear the conversation of a human women selling her car so that she can buy better armor for her Salarians friend serving in the military, trying to prevent worried investor pulling all their savings from the bank, etc. You can even read a financial report by Elkoss Combine stating that due to the war effort's massive cost and all the major industrial centers being destroyed, civilian discretionary spending has dramatically fallen and the entire economy of Citadel Space will inevitable collapse within a year. With the Citadel DLC, however, it was as if every location added exist within a separate reality. All the entrainment centers on the Silversun Strip is packed full of people that doesn't seem to be short on money, and there is still a massive line outside a gourmet sushi restaurant (everyone seemingly forgetting that the actual country of Japan has most likely been reduced to nothing but ashes and radioactive glass by now, same goes for entire planets like Illium, Thessia, Palaven, Irune, and Dekuuna). And not to mention Anderson's luxurious apartment, Shepard and co seems to have no problem about their party's staggering costs while there is an overcrowded refugee camp just three level below them. A refugee camp that is desperately short on basic supplies like food and medicine (The situation there is so bad that you can actually order the port authority to open fire on unarmed civilian transports just to prevent more from coming... and not get any renegade points for it). How is any of this justified in-universe?
The intent seems to be one last shore leave before the final battle so one of the most important crews in the galaxy is in full form.
Unlike the rest of the series, Citadel does not take itself seriously. It's supposed to be a light-hearted final adventure in the Mass Effect universe and a chance for players to say goodbye to the crew of the Normandy. You're not supposed to take it seriously, you're supposed to have some fun. I realize that's not the most satisfying answer, but that's probably the best one you're getting.
"In the Vanilla Edition of Mass Effect 3, when visiting the Citadel you can actually see how fighting a losing war against the Reaper affect the everyday life of ordinary civilians." Yeah, and you can also hear Joker remark about how nobody on the Citadel seems to have noticed there's a war on, and the few who do notice have turned to partying at Purgatory to forget about it. And I'm not sure where you get the "staggering party costs" part from. The supplies you buy cost, what, 100 credits? The chairs for your apartment cost more than that. The Silversun Strip is an entertainment district. It's supposed to look fancy and exciting because the people who go there are probably trying to escape from the realities of war. And anyone without money left to spend on frivolities obviously wouldn't be hanging out on the Strip anyway.
Makes perfect sense really, in one of the e-mails you can read about sales down the mention that entertainment, booze and other forms of escapism are the only thing keeping steady; because people need it now more than ever. Furthermore it's apparent that sushi and Shep's apartment are very high-end; it takes longer for the rich to feel the effects of the war.
The "Eat, Drink, and be Merry, for tomorrow we may die" is an extremely common thing. The parties in Berlin when the Soviets were coming in World War 2 were reportedly the stuff of legend.
It could be postulated that this is Bioware's way of apologizing for the ending. Because the ending is unavoidable by design in the game, Bioware seems to have included this mission as if to say, "Here's a new ending; just pretend that all the Reapers were destroyed, everything worked out, nobody died, and the crew starts to relax on the Citadel for a while."
Forgetting that the war is going on is the entire point behind shore leave. Anderson gives Shepard the apartment so it can serve as a place to relax from the insanity-inducing pressure of saving the galaxy. The Silversun Strip is packed with people because they're desperately trying to escape the war. The Spectre Office terminal even has an entry noting that the only parts of the economy that are doing well are recreational. And the war itself is not forgotten; the entire point behind the clone and Brooks' attempted takeover is that, in their eyes, Shepard seems to be more focused on helping aliens than humans in the war. The entire DLC even ends with a scene where Shepard and his/her crew gather outside the Normandy and comment that its back into the fight for all of them. Hell, you even get a War Asset that amounts to the Normandy crew's morale being greatly boosted by taking a night off, clearing their heads and getting them ready to get back into the fight.
At the party Vega can become a romance option. That isn't the headscratcher part: did Shepard get him drunk so she could sleep with him? Seriously? Shepard is willing to use Date Rape?
No. No she did not. Why would you even assume that?
No, I mean why would you assume fem!Shep deliberately set out to get Vega drunk specifically so she could sleep with him? Why not the much more rational explanation that they were both drinking and they just happened to end up in bed together?
Because if memory serves this wasn't the first time Shepard tried and Vega wasn't interested. Here she gets rather pushy, then when the idea of him getting drunk comes up she goes for it. It just comes across as to be honest a little creepy and out of character, and I don't think I'm the only one.
For that matter, imagine if it were male Shepard and say...Traynor.
Okay, sorry to butt in but I don't think it was a chance that you picked Traynor just now, and I would like to point this out: Het!Fem!Shepard and James Vegas having a drunken tryst that is enjoyable but regrettable is not the same as Het!Male!Shepard pouring drinks into Traynor until... okay, unless we are talking literal rape here it does not fit. She is gay,she does not like men, it is just that simple. A better example, and the only example that makes any god damn sence is Het!Male!Shepard drinking... Kasumi into a drunken tryst (seriously, unless I am forgetting someone, she is the only female party-member that is not a romantic option for a male!Shepard). Sorry for being a joy-kill, but the amount of "Why can't she at least be bi!" / "Why can't I bang her?!" screams over at youtube is very anoying and a perfect example of what people like to call "Heteronormativity".
Well yes and no. Yes, I didn't choose Traynor by chance, but no it wasn't because she's gay, it was because she was the most vulnerable woman I could think of in the second game. The point being if a male gets a female drunk then sleeps with her it seems a lot worse than if a female does the same thing.
As for Kasumi being romanceable, it seems like the only reason why she's not is because she's too focused on Jacob. Bet good money she would go for it, given her cool dirty minded Covert Pervert...ness.
That's easy. With enough drinks, even Traynor can turn Shepard-sexual.
Okay, seriously, here is the fem!Shep/Vega romance scene from the DLC. In the first scene you can clearly see that Vega is strongly attracted to fem!Shep. And she certainly makes no secret of the fact that she also wants him bad. The only way it could be more obvious is if she grabbed him by the ears and shoved his face into her knockers. The only reason Vega doesn't go for it right there is because he's intimidated by her Living Legend status. Then in the second scene when Shepard brings it up again, she asks what it would take for him loosen up and forget the "Commander Shepard" thing. And he says he would need a few drinks. So not only does fem!Shep NOT deceive Vega into sleeping with her, he's the one who suggests they start drinking. Hell, Vega doesn't even drink while she's there! He waits until she goes away to start pounding down the beers. So there was absolutely nothing stopping him changing his mind at any point. I defy you to explain how this qualifies as Date Rape. Even if they retconned Traynor into being bisexual and gave male!Shep the exact same romance scene with her, my feelings about it would be exactly the same. Shepard didn't force anyone to do anything. This whole argument is much ado about nothing.
It doesn't matter that she didn't "technically" force him to do anything and it doesn't matter that he was physically attracted. He mentioned drinking as something he would need to do in order to sleep with her and her response was essentially "start drinking then". It doesn't matter that he did the drinking while she wasn't around. She continually pressured a subordinate into doing something he clearly wasn't comfortable doing. At best it's a massive case of sexual harrasment. Coercion and intimidation override technically consent just as much as force does.
This. It's not a case of Date Rape, but it is, as someone mentioned above, sexual harrassment at best and something that is often considered a form of rape at worst. There's absolutely no question in my mind that most players would find the sequence more than a little sleazy and out of character if the genders were flipped.
"[S]omething that is often considered a form of rape" ...by people who have inappropriately stretched the definition of rape to a ridiculous degree. You can't just declare any hookup that happens to involve alcohol a case of Date Rape. It doesn't work that way. There has to be some sort of coercion or deception involved somewhere. If not, then it's simply not rape. Or else you would be forced to conclude that every married couple that has ever had sex after a candle-lit dinner and a few glasses of wine is guilty of rape. Both of them. Simultaneously.
From the sounds of it, they both already gave consent—he said he wanted to, she said she wanted to, when both of them were of sound mind. He just decided he needed some liquid courage to go ahead with it. If that's rape, then so is every time some nervous guy does a shot before he goes to ask someone out.
Taking a shot to calm your nerves or sharing a romantic drink with a significant other are both quite a bit different from drinking heavily because someone in a position of authority over you essentially said, "if you need to be drunk to sleep with me than start drinking."
Not when the person in a position of authority over you has no actual authority over you. As a Spectre, Shepard is officially outside the Alliance chain of command. She has no actual power to give Vega orders. The only reason Vega does what Shepard tells him is because he chooses to. All Shepard did was present Vega with a simple choice. Have a few drinks so you'll loosen up and sleep with me...or don't. Again, there MUST be coercion or deception involved somewhere, or it simply cannot be considered rape. Fem!Shep didn't trick Vega into getting drunk and sleeping with her, so no deception. And at no point was it ever implied that there would be negative consequences if Vega didn't sleep with her, so no coercion. Furthermore, going back to the "what if it was male!Shep and Traynor?" comparison, there's another reason (apart from the whole sexuality issue) why this comparison doesn't work. Traynor (generally speaking) is a rather vulnerable and submissive person, while Vega is extremely confident and assertive. It's easy to imagine someone like Traynor being too intimidated not to do whatever Shepard tells her. But it's very hard to imagine someone like Vega being intimidated in the same way. (Certainly not by someone half his size. Cybernetics or no, Vega looks like he could break fem!Shep in half.) So, no, it wouldn't be a Double Standard.
Shepard is the commanding officer of the Normandy regardless of Alliance status. Even other Spectres have to follow her orders if they're on the Normandy. So there are in fact plenty of things Shepard could to to Vega if he doesn't do what she wants. And threats can come just as much from tone of voice and context as they do from actual words.
Shepard is the commander of the Normandy, but Vega is under no obligation to stay on the Normandy. He's there because he wants to be there. And militaries are generally quite clear on what orders a CO is allowed to give to subordinates. Shepard cannot punish Vega for refusing to sex her up. And unless Vega is the dumbest soldier alive, he would have to know that.
If Vega wants to stay on the Normandy, than that is just one of the things she could use against him if she were to sexually harrass him. Also, Shepard is outside of the Alliance chain of command, and with with Spectre status fully reinstated, she doesn't have to follow their regulations on what orders she's allowed to give. Which Vega would know.
Shepard is only technically outside the Alliance chain of command. S/he still receives huge amounts of support from the Alliance, which means s/he has to stay in their good graces. Being a sexual predator will destroy that relationship and remove that support, so Shepard won't do it. All of this is irrelevant anyway, because there was never even a hint of a threat that Vega would be tossed off the crew if he didn't have sex with Fem!Shep. For the umpteenth time, there must be actual coercion or deception going on for rape to occur. There was none. Nada. Zip. Zero. Ergo, not rape by any definition of the term.
At that stage, Shepard could (and may very well) be a mass murderer and she would still be getting massive alliance support just for the sake of stopping the Reapers. Being the savior of the galaxy pretty much gives Shepard ultimate job security, plus all those non-alliance resources Shepard has built up. And yes, a threat was hinted. Shepard's response to a subordinate telling her that he would have to be drunk to sleep with her was to order him to get drunk. He was intimidated into consuming enough alcohol to impair his judgment. It is at best a massive case of sexual harassment. Depending on how much Vega drank, than it was by definition non-forcible rape.
Amount of Random Husks
So is this troper the only person confused about the massive amount of human husks encountered throughout the game. And before people complain, this troper is well aware creatures like Banshees are also husks, but this troper means the human, meagre husks. It is completely understandable in the final level since you are basically at the source of all harvested humans, but the amount of husks you encounter on worlds such as Palaven confuses me. Is it ever explicitly stated how Reapers can somehow get human husks to places like Palaven?
No. However, the Reapers proved they are adept cloners, given the Rachni Breeder and the returned Collectors. They may very well have quick-cloned an army. They don't exactly need husks to think.
It's also not inconceivable that the Reapers would have them store somewhere to use on human forces, which would be every conflict Shepard is involved in since s/he and possibly the team are human. Though this brings up why there are not masses of Marauders on Palaven.
There probably are. But you're on Menae, which is a heavily fortified moon.
We see that the Reapers can deploy husks to a battlefield via some sort of orbital drop-pods. And we saw in ME2 that each capital-class reaper has a massive amount of space inside it. They could cram hundreds of human husks into each Reaper and take them wherever they need them. Hell, they could even grab a nice batch of unconverted humans and huskify them on the way.
Why didn't the Reapers just... wait?
Now I'm not looking for a Meta-Explanation here, I know that if the reapers didn't come through we wouldn't have a game. But... Okay, they wish to operate without knowledge or resistance until it's too late, right? So... why not just wait like... 150-200 years? By that point the only person who would be left alive to remind the galaxy of the reapers would be Liara, Wrex, Samara and possibly Morinth. (It seems to be implied that Wrex is kind of old by even ME1, so he probably doesn't have that long.) Even if Sheppard is like "The Reapers are coming!" to his dying day, he won't be listened to because the Reapers just wouldn't arrive. Look, I know they have their cycle, but it was already delayed by a few years- they wait fifty thousand before harvesting another species, are we really supposed to buy that they aren't patient enough to be like: "We're being prepared for, better hold of the invasion for just a little bit."
According to extra materials, the current cycle being left in the dark about the Reapers is something of an anomaly. Many cycles were successfully able to warn the next, but obviously even clear warnings didn't allow the previous cycles much more of a chance. For reference, Shepard is the only organic they consider a threat. Besides, who says a galactic invasion was a bad idea? They were winning the war, and the battle for Earth was a Desperation Attack with the remnants of the galactic civilizations using their greatest superweapon available. Quite frankly, with their superior numbers, technology, and durability, the Reapers always won, even against cycles better-prepared than Shepards, so don't blame them for assuming this one wouldn't be too different.
The last stand was a desperation attack but that was mostly due to the Citadel now being in Reaper controlled hands, which was the fault of Cerberus, not the reapers themselves, the Reapers are smart, with Shep leading the charge, he had foiled the Reapers plans to get through to the galaxy at large, not once, but three times, the Reapers know who they are dealing with, it would be a simple matter to wait for Shepard and those who took him seriously to die or fall into obscurity.
The Reapers are pushing to attack now because it's time to attack. They've been preparing to attack at this point and the assault is already behind scedule, and the only people who know about the real threat are Shepard's rather small circle and the Geth Consensus. In fact, the latter point is one of the single most compelling reasons to attack now: the Consensus is a force of perfectly rational synthetic intelligences that are fully aware of the Reaper threat and will take whatever steps necessary to defend itself from them, and giving them any more time to prepare than they already have is just going to make things worse.
Clever! The Geth didn't rush back into the arms of the Old Machines until the quarians attacked them in Priority: Rannoch. And by that point the Reaper invasion was already underway, so the genie was out of the bottle. Ironically if Harbinger had just delayed the invasion by another year or two, gambling that the quarians were going to attack the Geth eventually, the whole thing might have worked out in their favor. If the Geth rejected the Old Machines, then the quarians probably would have wiped them out. If the Geth embraced the Old Machines, then they would have mopped the floor with the quarians. Either way, the Geth are no longer a threat to the Reapers' plans.
I think if the Collectors had managed to snatch Shepard's body before Cerberus got to it in ME2 the Reapers might just have decided to wait another century or three before invading. When the Collectors failed, Harbinger felt they needed to step up the time-table.
Their advance man, Sovereign, had failed in a direct assault on the Citadel. The only reason the races of the universe didn't begin to prepare in that instance is because of the colossal idiocy of the Council handwaving away the threat. The Reapers' plans couldn't possibly account for that so they moved in.
It's casually stated here and there that the Reapers believe what they're doing to be for the benefit of the organics they destroy. If you want to get aa good idea why a few centuries would be a bad idea to them, look no further than the quarians and humanity. A few centuries is all it took to turn them from one of tthe most advanced species to some backwater hicks, and the humans vice-versa (in even less time). The Reapers' goal is to preserve each species at the top of their game, and if it sees humanity as capital ship material, who the hell knows what'll happen to this unpredictable-as-hell species in ten years, let alone a few centuries.
In the Citadel DLC Miranda makes a remark about how Jack's boobs appear to have gotten bigger since ME2 but thought that was because of her new outfit. Jack basically says they only looked smaller because she deliberately was strapping them down because showing off your cleavage in a prison is a bad idea. Personally, I assumed the reason she "filled out" in ME3 was because she was probably better fed as an Alliance instructor than she was in prison. More to the point, while her reasoning for making her boobs look smaller makes sense, wouldn't it have been even better to wear one of the prison uniforms and not show any cleavage at all? I guess I assumed she had made such a fearsome reputation for herself in Purgatory that she chose to go topless on a ship full of rapists because she wanted to send the message that even when she made herself a target (dressing like she was "asking for it") the rest of the inmates wouldn't dare touch her unless they wanted to die horribly.
It wasn't about reducing cleavage, it was about making her breasts smaller and less appealing, which are different things. It's possible she had a shirt at some point and lost it, maybe it was ripped apart when she was attacked and gang raped in the bathroom? She was in stasis/frozen when Shepard shows up and then goes on an immediate rampage, no chance to change outfits. Once she's on the Normandy it's not really an issue, nobody on the ship is going to attack her and she does get access to an alternate outfit that does cover her up.
Why were the Keepers and Saren even necessary?
If the Catalyst is the Citadel, why couldn't it have just activated the relay itself? Why bother with the Keepers and after they failed, sending in Saren and Sovereign to activate it manually? I mean, christ, that combined with TIM being a recycling of Saren makes me wonder if Mac Walters knows a damn thing about the series lore.
Just spitballing here, but perhaps the keepers and Saren were a more recent failsafe introduced as a response to heavy losses sustained in an earlier cycle. It's entirely possible that Vigil was an Unreliable Expositor and that the Protheans were only able to undo changes made by The Catalyst to hasten the harvest over the last few cycles out of frustration that previous cycles yielded less than optimal results. We can infer from the fact that previous cycles were aware of The Catalyst's existence that somewhere along the line, they may have interfered with its ability to directly launch the Reaper harvest, which in turn made the creation of the Keepers necessary. Another possibility is that the Citadel was not always The Catalyst's home (which actually seems likely) and that it was simply moved there in a later cycle without being given full control over its systems. This makes sense if you think about it - certainly any races to discover the Citadel would want to poke around in some of the station's black boxes, which, if they were linked directly to The Catalyst, could inadvertently trigger a Reaper invasion prematurely.
All indications are that the Catalyst does not directly control the process. It set up the cycle and then simply sat back and let things progress on their own. The Reapers and their cycle are an autonomous process that it doesn't oversee. Besides, if something came along that broke that cycle, the Catalyst is perfectly willing to accept that.
The problem with that idea is that his ENTIRE EXPLANATION of the relationship is "The Reapers are mine. I control them. They are my solution".
Which is very vague and non-specific. Observed behavior from the Reapers make it clear that the Catalyst, despite being in overall control, is hands-off and doesn't direct the Reapers itself. It could, theoretically, have intervened if it chose to, but it chose not to intervene in the Protheans' plan and the subsequent struggle against Saren.
Indeed, the EC adds that he is the collective intelligence of the Reapers, which means he knows everything they know. Also, considering that in the control ending, Shepard replaces the Catalyst and has complete and utter control over the Reapers, the original Catalyst did as well. As an AI, he knows nothing of 'laziness'. We also see the citadel move at his behest, as well as Catalyst Shepard's. Then theres the whole elevator thing. Its just not explained. The Catalyst breaks the whole plot of the trilogy. from before the games even started.
"The Catalyst breaks the whole plot of the trilogy. from before the games even started." Pretty much this. Which is why I ignore the official ending and prefer Vendetta's explanation: the Catalyst is the Citadel.
This assumes that the Catalyst is always active, and that it has control over the Citadel itself. Three theories I have heard explain the Catalysts lack of action in ME1 is that:
1) The Crucible is necessary for the Catalyst to "wake up", and it is otherwise just running the same subroutines that it runs every cycle. It is essentially a computer that has been set on auto-pilot up until that point, where it is responsible for insuring the Reapers stay on point (harvest the Galaxy of spacefaring races who use the mass relays). When the crucible attaches, it is essentially the same as hooking up a keyboard and mouse to a computer, allowing for you to offer input and change its calculations/routines (similar to how you can change the Heretic Geths' code in ME2 to correct their inaccurate calculations). It never has changed its code before since the crucible was never attached, and thus it myay not be able to act outside of its old subroutines. Thus it won't adapt well to changes in cycles, since it isn't programmed to adapt well (considering it has been using the same solution to a problem for a billion years). This theory is lent credence in Leviathan, where the Catalyt's creators basically describe the catalyst as a sophisticated but limited VI that is operating in the constraints of its programming.
2)The Catalyst is essentially like a Car's computer. Though most modern cars have nearly all aspects controlled by a computer, we would not expect the car to turn on without some input, even though the car's computer is always on. The keepers would activate its control of the citadel in past, allowing it to summon the reapers to begin the new cycle. It likely used this solution either to A)hide from the sentient races, as an AI presence that was always active in the background may raise suspicions(exposing the Catalyst) or B)Save its power and energy, as we see that the Reapers hibernate and this may mean the Catalyst must do so as well. In previous cycles, the Citadel was always seized immediately. For all we know, this reflected the Catalyst coming online and directing the cycle. No one knew it was there since all of the organics on the station were wiped out, and the Mass Relays shut down so no one could approach it.
3)The Catalyst is stored on the Citadel, but has no direct control over the structure without the Crucible in place. Similar to the above 2 theories, but instead the Catalyst is only able to control the citadel with its activation via the Crucible. Before that, it can monitor and guide the Reapers, but it is for the most part constrained as a passive observer, who set the mostly independent Reapers on a mission, and then stepped back. This could even be intentional, so that only when a race proved itself capable would it be allowed to affect things, rather than allow anyone to simply hijack control of the entire reaper fleet and mass relay network if crafty enough to hack the citadel. This is supported by the EC and Leviathan, as the Catalyst refers to the crucible as a power source that allows it to act in manners it normally could not, and the Leviathans state that the Catalyst is waiting for an anomaly to prove that the cycles should end.
This has been mentioned in the WMG for 2, but there's also the fact that even with the delay in the Reaper arrival from, well, Arrival, it apparently takes the Reaper fleet less than a year to reach Batarian space from wherever they're hanging out in dark space. For a species who have been around for tens of millions of years (at least), this is nothing. Why bother activating the Citadel Relay to dark space at all? If all it takes is a couple of months, why doesn't the Reaper fleet just mosey on over to the Alpha Relay when it's good and ready and take everyone by total surprise that way? Particularly once the Protheans disable the Keeper signal.
It actually took them over a millennium to reach Batarian space from wherever they're hanging out. Remember, Saren and the Geth were not Sovereign's first attempt at solving the problem with the Citadel Relay. The genocide signal's been active since earlier than the rachni war.
No, actually in a tweet Bioware said that the reapers have been on the move since the moment Sovereign was destroyed. If the reapers had been on the move since a millennium then they would be at a considerable distance from their origin with their relay to the Citadel, if that's the case, then why did Sovereign bothered to activate the Citadel since their buddies would arrive soon anyway?
So that would mean that it took 2-3 years for them to travel from Dark Space (Between ME1 and ME2, Shepard is on a mission for several months before he is dead for two years, plus his time working for Cerberus and his arrest) to reaching the edge of the Galaxy. Once there, they just would hijack the closest Mass Relay. It still seems pretty quick though.
Technically, relays can be moved. Whilst moving towards the galaxy from dark space, the Reapers could have brought the dark space-Citadel relay with them.
One wonders why the Citadel activates it and not the other way around. They however did not bring it with them, they could have just used to to fling themselves into the galaxy for a very nasty surprise.
This is meant more of an out-of-universe developer question. Why are guns in the Mass Effect universe so enormous? Aside from shotguns and maybe SMGs, every gun seems to be several times larger than its (for lack of a better term) real-world counterpart. Even the smallest pistol is roughly the size of a Desert Eagle. And yes, I know that these are magic sci-fi guns and they don't have to conform to real-world gun aesthetics. I'm not an idiot. But my question is why did the developers choose to make the guns so big? They could have made the guns as big or as small as they wanted, but they went with big.
Because bigger guns are visually distinctive and have a stronger appeal to players, particularly pistols. This is a no-brainer, really.
Except there are plenty of other scifi games with more reasonably-sized pistols. And I strongly contest the idea that big guns have a stronger appeal. The handguns in particular look ridiculous.
That's an entirely subjective opinion, and it doesn't really fit with market demographics. Larger weapons do in fact have a stronger appeal; one merely has to look at real-life gun advertisements to see why. The entire appeal behind "tacticool" weapon attachments to the civilian gun owner market is not that they're practical, but they make the weapon larger and more impressive. Larger, longer, and heavier guns do sell better, for obvious reasons. And for similar reasons, Shepard is wielding a large, heavy pistol on the covers from both the second and third Mass Effect games.
In-universe, almost every weapon is a railgun, and the fact that they are man-portable is incredible. Every single weapon needs to house the coils + and since its impact speed is based on the lengths of the coil system, strong weapons need to be long., the power supply, the ammo block, the targeting computers, the thermal clip system, and all the other parts that also need to be spaced out far enough so they won't overheat when firing, so the size isn't too implausible. Besides, almost every weapon sold is reaching a market of dozens of species, with different physiologies requiring accessibility considerations, like the extended trigger guards or tall iron sights.
And I guess there's an in-universe Headscratcher in here too. Are there no small, concealable handguns in the ME universe? I can't imagine anyone stuffing a Carnifex down the back of their pants.
Most guns can collapse down to a very small size. Carnifex pistols aren't intended for concealed use, but many weapons, particularly submachine guns, can collapse into much smaller shapes. In the first ME novel, for example, Anderson is able to sneak an assault rifle into a guarded refinery by collapsing it and wrapping it in a towel.
The Predator Heavy Pistol, a decent weapon in its own right, is about the size of modern day guns, if a little boxy. The potential unwieldiness is compensated by the advanced materials.
All of the pistols are labeled "Heavy Pistols." Heavy pistols. The pistols available are military-grade or above, so they need to have the large electric coils, power supply, and ammo block of something that's able to punch through the advanced armor of the 23rd century. It's incredibly probable that there are smaller "holdout" or personal defense pistols, but because they would be designed for unarmored targets in emergencies and probably don't even use mass effect technology, they aren't practical enough for Shepard to bring them into combat.
Kirrahe saving the councillor
If Thane died during the suicide mission, during the cerberus coup Kirrahe will instead save the councillor by taking a bullet. Is it ever explained what Kirrahe was doing in executor's office, or did I miss something? The last time we saw him he was on Sur'Kesh. Why was he on the Citadel in the first place?
This is just s guess, but Kirrahe was a Major in the STG, and probably someone the Salarian Councilor trusted. The Councilor probably called Kirrahe there because he wanted someone he could trust if things went south (which they did.) Remember that if both Thane and Kirrahe are dead, so is the Councilor.
Kirrahe actually mentions on Sur'Kesh that he'll likely be reassigned to bodyguard the Salarian Councilor if you pick the right dialogue options.
This troper doesn't seem to understand why the Phantom's instant kill move, "Impale" is even lethal at all. The Phantoms sre purpotedly armed with Monomolecular blades, which is fine and all, but shouldn't that therefore do the most damage when slashing/cutting? Assuming it holds its edge, the real damage from a blade comes directly from the area in which you do your damage, or the size of the wound. The Phantom seems to simply impale Shepard/Multiplayer Character in the Abdomen, which (s)he could easily survive; as in a monomolecular inch-sized stab wound. The damage doesn't come from the size of the wound either, as the tip of the blade is only about an inch or so. What irks me more is that the other instakill animations make sense. The Atlas's crushes with a huge claw, applying trauma to a very large area, and the Banshee sticks a larger-than-monomolecular hand through its victim. Why doesn't the Phantom just slash its victim, something, imho, that would cause far more bodily trauma than a "monomolecular stab".
The blade doesn't necessarily need to kill you; it just needs to put you down long enough for the phantom to finish you off. The blade likely has some kind of paralytic poison or is electrified, which can stun the victim long enough that it doesn't matter if the initial stab wound is survivable.
Phantom blades are definitely poisoned. There's two separate fetch-quests immediately after you fight off the Cerberus raid on the Citadel that involve finding a way to deal with the toxins from Phantom blade wounds.
Kalros and the maw hammers
How come Kalros wasn't attracted by the Reaper's steps before the hammers were turned on?
The Maw Hammers almost certainly do something specific to attract Threshers, which is why it drew in Kalros. Note that you need to fire off both Hammers to draw her in.
Who's imprisoned for working with Cerberus and who isn't
Ken and Gabby are arrested just for serving on board the Normandy, despite having not committed any serious crimes. The only way for them to get free again is if you arrange for them to be pardoned by using your influence as a Spectre. Meanwhile Jack, who's been a criminal pretty much her whole life before ME2, is not only forgiven for her crimes and for being part of your crew, but is offered a job at Grissom Academy. Wouldn't it have made more sense the other way around, with Gabby & Ken getting a slap on the wrist and Jack being locked up again? Sure, Jack turned out to be trustworthy, but the Alliance had no way of knowing she would be and every reason to believe she wouldn't be, given her history.
Jack never worked for Cerberus directly. She worked for Shepard. Ken and Gabby explicitly left the Alliance and joined Cerberus - even if it was just to fight alongside Shepard. They also turned themselves in after it was all over. Jack most likely did her damndest to hide what she was doing before she took on the job at Grissom, and even if anyone was aware of her past, the fact that she's a powerful biotic willing to help teach the kids might have been enough to let her slip past.
I'm also guessing that a pardon for her previous crimes was a part of the job offer. Plenty of criminals have turned their lives around when they had a shot for a rewarding, honest lifestyle, like Danny Trejo. Looks like the Alliance recruiter was feeling paragon that day.
Ken and Gabby willingly joined a terrorist group, a group the Alliance HATES even before the coup attempt on the Citadel, and is deeply ashamed of. Joker and Shepard were in the same boat until the Reapers showed up and they grabbed the Normandy and ran. Much like our favorite Doctor Jack never worked for Cerberus, and in fact hates them utterly, and is a massive asset even without the Reapers as a threat. She's literally the most powerful human biotic and she's willing to work for their team voluntarily. Ken and Gabby are just engineers, talented but unremarkable, who betrayed the Alliance, and it's mentioned in 2 that ken basically burned bridges before he left since he was so mad about them turning their backs on Shepard.
Why does Miranda hold out on Shepard?
The Illusive Man clearly has the same base in this game that he did in ME2 (same dying star out the window of his office and everything), and we know Miranda has been there at least once (since we see her there in the game's very first cutscene), so why doesn't she tell Shepard where it is during one of the three separate meetings she has with Shepard prior to Horizon? What, she didn't think that the location for the home base of the mastermind behind the single greatest hindrance to the united war effort might just be useful information for the Alliance or the Council to have?
Because she doesn't actually know where it is. The base moves every time one of TIM's agents meets with him personally to prevent something like what you're suggesting from happening.
But it clearly doesn't move. The star it orbits in this game is the same star it orbited in the previous one.
No, it's not. The station will move in the second game to either a red or blue giant depending on your alignment at the end. And regardless, it does move; Mass Effect: Ascension lays out that fact explicitly.
It's possible that Miranda doesn't actually know where it is despite having been there; could be that every time an operative goes to the base they're taken with the high tech equivalent of a bag over their head; put in a passenger hold of a ship or shuttle with no access to nav information.
Citadel DLC No-shows
So, I'm going to assume that the actual reason these characters don't show up is because Bioware either couldn't get their voice actors or simply didn't want to splurge for them, but why is it that Adams, Ken, Gabby, and Kelly don't get invites to the Citadel party? They're at least as much a part of the crew as Chakwas(who was invited but couldn't make it due to a medical emergency).
The Normandy is getting a tune up during the DLC, so Adams, Ken and Gabby are busy with that, and since they're Alliance officers they can't just drop everything and go party like the others when there's work to be done (Cortez, Vega and Traynor don't have much to do with the Normandy docked so they've got spare time). As for Kelly, if she's still alive at that point she's laying low with a new identity, helping stabalise the refugees and she's not really close with anyone on the Normandy (seriously, did anyone ever actually mention her in the second or third game?) so unless Shepard invites her him/herself she's not going to be showing up. The party was more for the front line fighters to have one last bit of fun before everything goes to hell and they all probably die and Steve, Samantha and Jeff came along for the ride.
The traumatized asari ex-commando in Huerta Memorial hospital tells her story to her psychiatrist, and mentions how one member of her squad was turned into a Banshee - something that as far as we know, is only possible to do to Ardat-Yakshi. If that's not enough proof, the commando herself murmurs about he she wanted to be "more than friends" with her squadmate, but she had a "condition". This strikes me as very odd: both she and her therapist are clearly aware of her being an Ardat-Yakshi, so it's not like she kept it a big secret or anything - so how did she become a commando in the first place? All Ardat-Yakshi are supposed to live in isolated monasteries where they wouldn't be able to hurt anyone. It's insane that someone who knew about that agreed to give her military training and weapons.
The A-Y condition exists on a spectrum. Some of those who have the A-Y condition do not have anything more than genetic markers for it, and don't manifest the entire range of the disease. In this case, the commando would have carried some markers for the disease but wouldn't be such a full-blown case as to require sequestering in a monestary.
The codex entry for Lessus mentions that Ardat-Yakshi who spend enough time in the monastery and demonstrate sufficient self-control are allowed to reintegrate into asari society.
Exactly. The "A-Ys must live in monasteries or be destroyed" thing is from the Justicar Code, a relic of old times that Samara clings to. The modern asari society is more humane in this aspect, as pointed out by Codex entries for both Lesuss and Ardat-Yakshi.
When did everyone on the Normandy get so introverted?
In a talk with Liara, Garrus mentions putting rugs down in the weapons CIC and basically living in there. This got me thinking how most of your squad mates, instead of being in the normal soldier bunks, go to great lengths to make their own rooms on a military vessel with limited space. Garrus is off calibrating, Liara takes over Miranda's office, Vega has his nook in hangar, Javik has Grunt's room, and I wanna guess Tali is sleeping in Jack's hidey-hole. Again this is a military vessel, what allows them to take up large spaces for themselves instead of sleeping in crew quarters with everyone else?
"Hey, Shepard, mind if I sleep in this unused area of the ship?" "Sure." 'Kay." Alternately, they do use the crew sections of the ship, its just that they spend a lot of time in certain sections of the ship, which is where they're found normally. There's no real evidence that Tali or Garrus are sleeping exclusively in their work areas on the ship. Liara claiming Miranda's room makes sense as she needs her own office to handle the Shadow Broker work and its the previous office of the ship's XO. Javik occupying Grunt's space makes sense mostly because he's antisocial in the extreme and would not bunk well with others. There's plenty of room to bunk in the cargo bay, so Vega's not causing any problems.
Well, that is a headline I never thought I was gonna write... Anyway: In a game where Male and Female Shepard is identical for 99 procent of the game, there is one glaring exception: Male Shepard is given the chance to make a fool of himself by hitting on Traynor, but FemShep doesn't get the chance to make a fool of herself by hitting on Cortez. Why this enforced Women Are Wiser trope? I would love to hear Cortez's answer, especially after him mentioning women throwing themself at him if you romance him as a male.
Steve mentions his husband almost right off the bat. FemShep probably assumes No Bisexuals.
By the time manShep can make a move on Steve it's made pretty clear that he's only into guys and that he's fairly into Shepard, so at that same point femShep knows it's not an option (neither of them is going to be hitting on him while he's depressed and grieving for his husband). With Traynor manShep can make a move right when they're just getting to know each other so he's not aware her tastes are female exclusive.
If romanced in ME1, dialogue from Horizon in ME2 and for most of ME3 makes it entirely clear that Ashley/Kaidan and Shepard are no longer "together" at that point, so why in the third game do Ashley/Kaidan seriously get angry and accuse Shepard of being "unfaithful" if they got together with someone else in ME2?... Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, since literally everything they say up until that point, and even still after that point (particularly during one scene when they almost deliberately shoot you in the head), pretty much says that the PC is still dead to them and they want, they're totally convinced your some kind of Cerberus sellout or Reaper toadie or whatever, and they want absolutely nothing to do with him/her anymore. They do not care for him/her anymore. Why would they care in the slightest who the PC dates?
If you romanced them in the first game they'll send you an e-mail after Horizon somewhat apologising for their reaction and saying that seeing you and finding you're with Cerberus has their emotions all messed up and they don't know how they feel. When you meet them again in the third game it's almost a year later (six months since the end of the second game plus however long it took between Horizon and Shepard turning themselves in), Shepard was still working for Cerberus and may be controlling him/her, and they've blown up a Mass Relay and killed a few hundred thousand batarians so naturally they don't quite trust you until you earn it. However, while cautious and suspicious at first you can totally chat with them, start to reconnect and they'll even ask you to come visit them in the hospital while they recover from nearly being killed. That's not the behaviour of someone who doesn't care, that's the behaviour of someone who still cares a great deal but doesn't know how to deal with it. Yes they pull a gun on you, but they're a Specter at that point and it's the middle of a terrorist attack, you rush in with weapons drawn with two other armed individuals (only two of whom they're familiar with and one is an illegal AI) and trash the elevator controls. This looks very bad so they do their duty and protect the Council from you. If you've actually taken the time to reconnect with them they'll also side with you with no need to convince them and turn on Udina. You never actually broke up with them, there was no opportunity to do so, you just had a big fight that left you in a sort of neutral area so if you hook up with someone else then it is cheating. I probably didn't need to type this much to say that but there it is.
LI choices for Fem Shep
Fem Shep only ever gets four heterosexual romance options, and only two of them actually last to the very end of the series. Of the others, one dies and the player can do absolutely nothing to save him, and with the other, Fem Shep gets cheated on and is expected to just take it. Male Shep gets six straight romance options through the series; a few have situations where they can potentially die but it's totally avoidable, and all of them remain totally loyal to him. That really is kind of unfair and sexist. It still feels as if everything is tailored for a male, even if female.
Not really. I never really got the feeling that the female romances were any worse than the male ones. In fact, I would say that the fact that one of the female options can die and another can cheat on you is an improvement to the "totally loyal" nature of male Shepard's options; it adds realism and variety to her romances if there are multiple outcomes to those romances. Not to mention that, well, let's be honest: you seem to be treating the homosexual romance options as if they're somehow "less" than the heterosexual options. I would actually argue that the fact that the female options include homosexual (or quasi-homosexual in Liara's case) makes the female options much stronger than the male options.
Fem Shep and Man Shep are supposed to be identical, minus the obvious physical difference, as such they share the same sexual preference: bisexual with a preference for women. I don't think it's fair to count Thane's death against the romance, Thane was always dieing, anyone who romanced him knew that from the start and I felt it was handled respectfully. Jacob cheating is unfortunate but it's not like there was a female LI for Man Shep to experience the same thing. The cheating is a reflection of his personality and none of the women are the kind to cheat.
Do Krogan lay eggs or give birth to live young? Since they kind of look reptilian, it would make sense for them to lay eggs, and indeed, a line of dialogue with EDI references female Krogan laying clutches of eggs. But I'm a little confused, because when speaking with Eve, she talks about given birth to a child (singular) in the past that was stillborn (implying live birth, not hatching from an egg), and that the spirit of one of her clan sisters will be "midwife to her firstborn" (again, singular, and implying live birth). Then, later on, Wrex says that Eve has become pregnant. So, can anyone figure this out??
Not all reptiles lay eggs (most do though) and Krogan are not Earth reptiles, so you can't expect them to reproduce like Earth reptiles. Based on the lines in the game, I think they give live birth. They talk about stillborns as opposed to unhatched eggs.
The codex states that Krogans can produce "up to 1000 fertilized eggs a year," so yeah, it's eggs. Plus, how could it be plausible for a Krogan to give 1000 live births a year unless she went into a coma for 3 months as babies slid out. The "stillborn" children would mean that the embryos seemingly developed normally in the eggs until it came time to hatch, where they just... didn't emerge. Or rather, the process also resulted in less eggs, allowing the mothers to care for individual ones, which would aslo fail due to the genophage. Or rather, it was a poetic embellishment meant to illuminate Shepard, a human who would understand the terms, to the plight of the Krogan mothers.
Samara and Falere's epilogue
If both Samara and Falere survive Lesuss, in the Extended Cut they're seen in a big asari city on what looks like Thessia. Whuh?.. I thought Samara only let herself live because Falere agreed to stay in the now-empty monastery, thus escaping the prescriptions of the Justicar Code on a technicality. So Falere leaves the monastery, and Samara knows, does nothing about it, and actually looks happy on that picture?
Ardat-Yakshi are allowed to leave monasteries if supervised.
Yes, but conventional asari law. But the whole point of Samara's sacrifice attempt was that the Justicar Code didn't allow for that (presumably because it's so archaic and black-and-white), and Samara felt bound by it beyond reason.
It's possible that she's playing with the rules. Ardat-Yakshi can't be allowed to live outside a monastery, but Ardat-Yakshi need to live to be able to be brought to the monastery, so there's a time when they are allowed to live. It's possible Samara is "officially" escorting Falere until a new Monastery can be built.
One of the tenets of the Justicar code is obedience to the existing asari government. It's mentioned in the codex that this bit was added to prevent the Justicars from staging a coup. Basically, as long as the asari government says an Ardat-Yakshi is allowed to be somewhere, than a Justicar is not allowed to interfere unless the Ardat-Yakshi attacks or attempts to seduce someone. Note that when Samara was ready to kill herself, there were no asari government officials to say that Falere could go somewhere else.
The logical answer is that it's not Thesia, just the rebuilt monastery. When you explore it during the attack a few squadmates will comment that the place is both huge and beautiful, likely to make it more tolerable that the Ardat-Yakshi have to stay there their whole lives. Falere really didn't seem the type to even suggest leaving the monastery, especially since the last time the possibility came up her mother tried to shoot herself. Even if Samara's dead Falere won't leave the monastery. She agreed to stay there when she found out she was Ardat_Yakshi and she'll stick to her own code as firmly as her mother (Rila seemed to do so as well if the notes you find during the mission are any indication).
Too Many Reapers
It's revealed that the Catalyst located in the Citadel controls the actions of thousands of Reapers. Even if the cycle continues, what happens if there were too many reapers for the Catalyst to control? Is there a limit? Could the Catalyst potentially control trillions rather than the number seen in the games? Would the Catalyst need to rely on some subordinates to keep the rest in the line, the same a ruler does when ruling a large country? What happens if it lost contact with a group attacking a base somewhere and they somehow went renegade. It's not too much of a stretch, considering how the Leviathans were able to use their abilities to return a few Collectors to sentience after many years of selective breeding and indoctrination. What happens if the Catalyst malfunctions? Would you have a galaxy filled with Reapers going off on their own because their creator suffered some defects in their programming. And speaking of defects, what happens if their Reaperization process is not done properly and gets overlooked? Would they get a DefectorFromDecadence?
First you're assuming the Catalyst directly controls them when all available evidence indicates that it doesn't, it merely decides their programming (harvest organic species when they reach a specific point in their development and make new Reapers out of them) which Shepard gets to change if you select the Control ending. Second, if it does control them directly then they're designed to be directly controlled so there should be no real limits on it's control. Especially since the Catalyst doesn't seem to actually do anything else but watch the galaxy.
Authenticity of geth footage
How does Shepard know the archive footage seen in the geth virtual reality is accurate? Sure, it portrays the geth as innocent victims, but Legion specifically notes that it's tailored for Shepard's convenience (which is why the quarians are masked), so what's stopping the geth from outright fabricating these stories to win Shepard's sympathy?
The geth don't lie. They've been wrong before, and been known to withhold important information (such as not bothering to come out and explain to everyone else that the heretics do not represent them as a species), but they don't lie. Legion is shocked and disturbed to discover that the heretics have learned how to actively lie. Which brings us to another point: Shepard is seeing this with the aid of Legion, who he trusts, or Legion's backup (who he shouldn't trust, because he's not Legion, but he treats him the same anyway). You may as well ask why he trusts what Garrus tells him.
Which of course raises the question of whether Legion was telling the truth when it expressed that surprise, but really it does seem likely that the Geth actually don't lie. It's always possible that the Geth were telling the truth, but not the whole truth, but probably the writers just tried to make the Geth sympathetic in an over the top manner.
During the Cerberus coup on the Citadel, Shepard takes an elevator to try and beat Kai Leng to the Council. This shaft sequence takes a long while, with the elevator ascending a huge distance. And then when Shepard and co. pop out, they're... still on the Presidium? What? There's no way that logic could possibly work as the Presidium is nowhere near tall enough to fit the entire sequence in even if you were super quick in taking enemies and elevators out on the way up. Even going to the Wards, the expected result, wouldn't make any sense since you'd have to go down to achieve that.
There is likely some hidden lateral movement involved, or the elevator could have rotated and moved up along the Presidium ring. Also, the elevator could have ascended to the Wards. Juts because you go "down" to access one set of Wards in the first game doesn't mean you wouldn't go "up" to reach a different set of Wards in another orientation.
It is also possible that you've moved to a complete different part of the Presidium ring. If you look at the ring during some of the Citadel-specific loading screens, you'll see that they are positively massive, probably at least a kilometer in thickness. Also, when you're in the docking sections you're very much apart from the ring where the Commons and Embassies are located. It is almost certain that you've moved to either a different section of the Presidium or that there are multiple "rings" within the Presidium structure.
Sex with Javik
This happened to me, and I wasn't even trying to make it happen... seriously, how is this even possible? How can an alien species from 50,000 years ago even have relations with a female human?
If it's comfortable for you to think that way, nobody said it was sex. They could have just slept in the same bed and done something embarassing. And even if it was, don't underestimate human creativity. The Everything That Moves trope exists for a reason: if it moves and is of the right size, probably someone, somewhere, has tried to sleep with it. Best not to think about it. Suffice to say there are obvious ways and not-so-obvious ways.
Humans are able to have sex with other alien species, and it's likely that Protheans' reproductive process is still just sexual intercourse. If Javik is a male and has... male genitals, then sex is possible. Even if Javik's Tab A isn't a perfect fit for Shepard's Slot B, there are other activities classified as sexual without needing penetration. Pretty much, as always, the biggest problem is getting Javik to agree to it, rather than the difficulty of the act itself. Also, I need to go manually remove those images from my mind with a spoon.
Additionally, if the internet has taught me anything, it is that no matter the size or shape, "Tab A" can ALWAYS be made to fit into "Slot B".
Well, when two creatures love each other very much, or are just very, very drunk.... I mean, come on, how the fuck do you think they do it? Even if they have completely different and incompatible biology in the physical sense, they can still stimulate erogenous zones until orgasm occurs. Put some bloody imagination into it. This is like asking how a human and a turian could have relations. That Javik is 50,000 years old is entirely irrelevant. Also keep in mind that most likely, they were both really drunk and might have just flopped around a bit without finding anywhere to deploy the troops, and then passed out.
It's also perfectly possible that Protheans reproduce in the same way as the asari, using their biotics.
Minor Technical Discrepancies
1: The kodiac in this game is the improved model, using a stealth system similar to the Normandy's. This allows it to travel around Reaper spaced without issue; a great way to solve that particular problem. However when you attack the Geth the anti-air systems detect and attack the shuttle forcing you to go on foot. If they went to all the trouble of adding a stealth system to the shuttle then I'm sure they added other tech to prevent radar detection and such, so how where they found?
Visual scanning. Plus the geth were using upgraded with Reaper tech.
2: The way they found Sanctuary was part of a Cerberus plot. Traynor detects Leng's shuttle and then extrapolates his course through multiple relays (as shown on the map when she explains); what? It's been long established that once a vessel hits FTL travel it is impossible to track, let alone figuring the way he went after traveling through multiple relays seems impossible. Then she says she can't track him any further because the "signal" is being actively blocked. If it was this easy to track ships then how did TIM ever hide in the first place. I don't know why they did this as they had already established Miranda as looking into Sanctuary, which could have logically activated the quest. Even if she died it could have been a mission sent by somebody else looking into the disappearance of all those people.
The ship was still transmitting. An outgoing signal to comm buoys can be tracked if someone's dumb enough to keep sending signals while traveling, even at FTL; the reason ships can't be tracked when they go to FTL is because they move at speed faster than sensors can track them, but if the ship is still transmitting to comm buoys it would be possible to follow comm buoy logs. It would be analogous to someone moving too fast to be tracked by modern sensors but still making wireless connections to IS Ps along their route; if you know what to look for you can track them through the ISP to see where they've been. Plus transitions through mass relays are recorded (going by how the Shadow Broker has files on relay travel) which would mean one could just watch relay traffic for ships of a certain mass and profile. Because one-way relays go one-way and the ship has to transmit destination relays to multi-directional relays, once you've got the mass and profile you can easily track where its going. Its only once the ship goes off the network that it becomes hard to track, and that's where the comm buoys would come in. Traynor was able to figure out Kai Leng's signal and then track it using breadcrumbs when it jumped between relays and sent messages to TIM.
Note that while ships cannot be directly followed with sensors once they go to FTL, it is still possible to pursue them. There's one uncharted planet in the first game that explicitly mentions an Alliance ship chasing a pirate contact that went to FTL speeds and was lost among a large number of signals along a heavily-used trade route, so there is precedent in the setting for following ships that have jumped. Presumably this involves the aforementioned methods of tracking through comm buoys or watching mass relay traffic.
That damn kid at the ending. Okay, Shepard was watching him at the start of the game, and is understandably torn up the Reapers killed him. But is Shepard really that badly affected by it? Really? It's not like it was Shepard's son or anything.
One explanation is that Shepard's been under house arrest for seven months by this time and their room overlooks that kids house. Shepard has likely seen or heard that kid playing a couple times, then had to watch helplessly as they got vaporised. Which, when you look at it, is the entire theme of the nightmare.
Another reason is because Shep faced their first clear defeat, even Akuze had Shepard eventually finding Toombs and can at least talk him out of his murder spree and sleep easy for both sides. But for the kid, there was no consolation of any kind. This was the first time Shepard suffered from a catastrophic failure until Thessia.
The child is symbolic. He's supposed to be representative of all of humanity, in Shepard's eyes, representing the ones s/he couldn't save. When you see the kid in Shepard's dreams, you're not seeing one child, you're seeing a symbolic representation of mankind.
Also represents failure, failure to warn the galaxy about the reapers, failure to do something that made their deaths not be in vain.
Be in a position of power where you can or could have helped people but no one listened and then watch a kid get killed infront of your eyes as a consequence of that. or just an experience of being in the presence of a child being murdered. It will eat you alive unless there's nothing inside you already.
Legion and Reaper code
Ok, why is it that Legion is so eager to use the Reaper code to make all Geth true independent intelligences when in the second game it couldn't wrap its head around the concept of individuality and couldn't understand why anyone would want to do that?
Part of the Geth goal is to achieve full sentience, which would be harder with the extermination of so many runtimes. Besides, it's been six months, and given that Geth supposedly think at light speed, he's likely had the time to think it over for the equivalent of several hundred years.
Well, given that the choice was upload the Reaper code or extinction by the Quarian fleet...
Rachni queen clone
If the Rachni queen died in 1, the Reapers clone a synthetic queen to breed up Ravagers and pods with. So if she didn't die and Shepard either freed the original queen or let her die, why is everyone so sure this will cut down on the production of new Ravagers? Can't the Reapers make another, maybe one that's guarded by more than a token force of husks and the children she produces? The Reapers have not been in this galaxy for long. Either they made a synthetic queen in the few weeks since the invasion, Sovereign decided to whip up a clone before leading geth against the Citadel, or the Collectors under Harbinger's control did it and stashed her somewhere well away from their base despite believing it was safe.
For that matter, you find Spore Pods and Gestation Pods on different worlds too. Do Husks just tote them in and arrange them as very obvious mine traps? Do Ravagers lay/make them when there's a break in the fighting?
Because people are not aware of what happened in alternate timelines where Shepard killed the Rachni Queen, this is Shrodinger's Plot Point. If the Rachni Queen survived in 1, the Reapers have never cloned any synthetic queen. In this scenario, the possibility of a synthetic queen being cloned has never come up; there is one Rachni Queen, and if she dies or is liberated from the Reapers, then that cuts off the Ravager production.
Even if they do successfully create a fake, the fact is that Shepard's allies also have Rachni among them. While they don't go out into battle, they could educate the others on Ravager biology, leading to more efficient ways to kill them. (Of course, there is also the possibility that the rest of the galaxy might turn this knowledge against them, but they're demonstrating good will by helping.)
One thing I never understood was just how it was possible that in the entire time the Reapers have existed not a single cycle has gone by without synthetics and organics playing nice long enough to convince the Catalyst not to continue the cycle. It is made relatively clear that this has been going on for several hundred if not thousands of cycle and in all those years not one civilization has looked upon it's creaters/created and been like "you know you are ok. Let's share." I just don't see how Shepard is the first person in literally MILLIONS of years to be nice to a non-organic...and if such a civilization did arise in the past than shouldn't those two working together have been enough to defeat the Reapers?
Shepard's probably not the first person to be nice to a non-organic, but wars are not won on kindness and respect, they're won on military strength. We don't know what any of the civilizations from the past millions of years of cycles were like. There may have been, for example, a civilization that was an absolute utopian paradise, with man and machine living in harmony with each other, no famine, no hunger, no wars, etc. until the Reapers came and steamrolled them all because such a society has no need for a powerful military. There could have been plenty of cycles in the past where, like the possibility exists for Shepard's, organics and synthetics managed to make peace with each other, and the Reapers slaughtered them anyway becauze the Conduit does not care if there's a standing example of organic/synthetic peace, he is committed to his idea that war is inevitable.
Actually that brings up another question. Just how many Reapers are there in existence? If you have an entire galaxy fighting together with pretty much every ship and free entity still in alive in one giant fleet wouldn't that have put up a pretty damn good fight? I think I have a problem with scale here...how can that many Reapers exist to truly be able to defeat a united front of a GALAXY's worth of advanced beings. Especially after they had managed to reverse engineer many of the Reaper advantages and figure out good strategies against them.
Even if you have an entire galaxy fighting together with pretty much every ship and free entity still alive in one giant fleet, that still pales in comparison to the Reapers' millions of years of technological superiority, building their weapons, building their fleets, and the synthetic advantage of not having a natural lifespan means that all the Reapers that fought in the first cycle, except any that were destroyed, are still around fighting in this cycle in addition to all the future generations of Reapers created in the meantime. The cycle was designed with the specific intent that all the races of the galaxy would not, could not ever be sufficient to overpower the Reapers. It was designed as such by a race of malicious AI in a time when all the races that populate the galaxy were barely even a microbe of bacteria on their planets' surface, and it has been carried out so often and so thoroughly that any and all possible bugs or loopholes with the system have long since been weeded out. There are too many, they are too thorough, and they've done this so many times that the basic idea of "THIS TIME it will be different if we just do the same thing the last cycles did!" is laughably suicidal. This is why we're explicitly told the Crucible is the only hope; the Reapers cannot be defeated by military strength. Whatever military advantage you can try to bring to the party, they've seen it a million times before and it's never been enough.
To go back to the first point, how has one race not gotten lucky by now? Dodged the cullings by being just under the threshold of advancement and then by the time the Reapers come back they have better technology that is able to put up a grand fight? Technology that would if not trounce the Reapers at least put them on the same playing field out of the gate? Is the universe so stagnated that EVERYONE has the exact same ideas? That is really sad if so. 50,000 years is an awfully long time for someone to have a random stroke of brilliance. Maybe figure out mass effect fields themselves before stumbling on the leftovers. Maybe figure out a better way of doing things? I just find it hard to believe nothing has changed in thousands of cycles of potential change.
The Reapers have several millions of years advantage as technology goes. 50,000 years is nothing to them. I'm sure plenty of races over the many, many countless cycles managed to slip under the advancement threshold, and then when the Reapers came, there was absolutely no difference whatsoever because 50,000 years is a meaningless drop in the pond compared to 1 billion. In the end, it's all a matter of scale.
Plus the Reapers have been sandbagging literally every civilization that's come since. They've ensured that they're the most advanced by sabotaging the technology that the new guys come across. And it's mentioned that the cycle isn't exact - sometimes they'll come at 30,000 years in, sometimes 70,000. It all depends on the civilization. Of course, this time around it got mucked up thanks to those Protheans pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to fiddle with the Keepers.
Except the Reapers don't actually advance technologically. All they do in dark space is hibernate. As evidenced by the fact that the Council races could make even the least bit of sense of Sovereign's remains. Or do you think they could successfully reverse-engineer technology that is millions of years more advanced than anything they had ever seen before?
It is mentioned that the Reapers do leave advanced civilizations without space-flight alone. It's stated that they're leaving the Yahg alone and that they may become the dominant race of the next cycle. Also in one of the Cerberus dailies there is a mention of a recently discovered civilization that took one look at the Reapers and said "screw this" and destroyed all their advanced technology in the hopes they'll just pass them by.
There's always the possibility that the Catalyst was wrong or lying for whatever reason. Maybe they did suffer catastrophic defeats in the past, maybe far worse than Sovereign's defeat, just it turns out the Crucible was the worst defeat they had. After all, it wasn't us or the Protheans who even came up with the idea in the first place. So we haven't had to start over from scratch each time, we were building on what civilizations before us did and learned. We just happened to figure out the most. It's a standing on the shoulders of giants thing.
Shepard is not the first to be nice to a synthetic. Shepard is the first person to ever manage to complete the crucible and be so near using it. Catalyst said that any peace between organic life and synthetic life can only be for a short time before war begins, and as a V.I(as oppose to an A.I.) it is not able to see beyond that. from it's point of view, life between the two is simply impossible. and you are unable to convince it otherwise. about the war, the reapers always had a dormant ship to prepare the invasion, like sovereign, who probably made sure invasion went smoothly. as it is mentioned in ME1, a normal reaper invasion is "control the mass relays and the citadel and make every race in this cycle blind", which is a huge advantage in the reaper's side. second, as garrus mentions in 3, the reapers have none of the normals weakneses most armies have. they don't need supplies and can make people into their soldiers, which garrus mentions, every new husk is 2 less soldiers in your side. the soldier who is a husk now, and the soldier who was his friend when alive. Even is a civilization was able to make a scientific jump long enough as to catch to the reapers technology, the reapers have too much' advantages at their side.
By the way, as we know from trip to geth consensus, part of quarians were kind to geth. What happened to them? They were killed. By their fellow quarian compatriots. Just think about it: it's not synthetics who were the cause of war, it's organics. So maybe the point is not that synthetics will wipe out organics, but organics will force synthetics to destroy them, like it happened with quarians, if you choose to let Legion upload Reaper upgrades to geth and are unable to convince quarians to hold fire?
In the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 you can play an arcade game called Relay Defense, where you send ships away from Earth through a Mass Relay while blowing up ships attempting to destroy the planet. Wouldn't it be considered highly insensitive to have released this game considering the Reaper invasion of Earth?
It's worth noting that the game uses Turian ships for the enemies, suggesting it's based on a hypothetical turian invasion of Earth during the First Contact War, and thus predating the Reaper invasion.
Mass Effect 3, why does Vega's Gratuitous Spanish not get autotranslated? Sure, Thane's "Siha" was not autotranslated, but that was a name. But Vega refers to his abuella, calls Shepard loco, and flirts with Ash in Citadel DLC in Spanish. I've considered that perhaps English is the human's standardized language and that fluency and literacy was a requirement for space travel, but would pirates and criminals really apply for a permit and proof of literacy before they get their ship?
I can think of two explanations; Vega's translator only works when he speaks English/Galactic due to him fiddling with the 'preferences' tab in the Omni-Tool options menu, or Shepard speaks Spanish and thus does not translate the language.
Probably the latter. Shepard could have picked up his usual sprinklings, as the opening implies that Vega was his/her guard while under house arrest for at least a good chunk of the six months between Arrival and Mass Effect 3, and thus set his/her Omni-Tool to identify Vega's voice patterns and forego translating what he says.
Medkits on the Geth Dreadnought
Why in Athame's name are there medkits on the Geth Dreadnought (and the heretic station, for the matter) when the Geth are, you know... synthetic? Sure, you can put it as Gameplay and Story Segregation, but it's just jarring. Does Bioware think that the players are so inept that they NEED extra medkits in places where they logically shouldn't be? Plus with the new manual revive option which eliminates the need for medkits outside of being in a serious pinch... Anyway, it makes no sense. Why would the Geth need medigel?
Its a gameplay concession. And yes, some players are "inept" enough to need medigel, especially because medigel heals Shepard as well as his/her squadmates and sometimes you can't get to them directly and need to revive them to get their power/weapons back into play, especially at higher difficulties.