Mass Effect Mass Effect Race Tropes Discussion

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08:35:36 AM Dec 23rd 2013
Had to split the page due to length.
07:35:23 PM Dec 12th 2013
Moved this example here for discussion. Surprise, surprise, it's about the geth.

  • Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, according to the Codex, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact, though dialogue with Legion implies the Geth that enact violence on anyone near Geth space are heretics.

I don't recall any such dialogue, so if anyone wants to confirm, please be my guest.
09:30:37 PM Dec 12th 2013

Nope, no such dialogue happens, the Geth have been shooting down ships that enter their space long before Sovereign showed up and the Heretic Geth broke away.
08:09:42 AM Dec 13th 2013
So I guess we should just add it back with everything before "though dialogue".

Off-topic, are we ever given a reason why they do that?
12:50:20 PM Dec 13th 2013
They live in a galaxy that hate and fears them. That's the long and short of it.
01:02:47 PM Dec 13th 2013
Should that be integrated into the example, or should we just leave it as "Really, they mostly want to be left alone. Hell, that's a large part of their philosophy and belief system. However, according to the Codex, they also shoot down any emissaries that have tried to make contact."
03:49:54 PM Dec 13th 2013
I say integrate.
03:56:59 PM Dec 13th 2013
Sorry, I misremembered the dialogue. I vaguely recall Shepard asking Legion why they shoot down ships and work with Reapers...
04:48:20 PM Dec 13th 2013
If you can recall where it was said, preferably with a link, then please do. Otherwise to keep things simple I vote for what Discar has there.
01:23:42 AM Dec 14th 2013
I'm against integrating that into the article. We don't know why they do that, or indeed, if they actually do it. We're only told by the Codex and Tali about it, and it's never brought up again. I suggest we leave it as it is and no speculate.
11:21:53 PM Dec 15th 2013
edited by
Err, no, they do it. Hence why literally every last fucking ship that ever entered Geth space never returned. That is undisputable.

Zeal, you almost the exact opposite of CPF here; he couldn't take notions that painted the Geth in a good light, you're fighting against notions that paint them in a bad light. There is literally no plausible reason to explain why every last ship that entered Geth space prior to Mass Effect 3 failed to return beyond the Geth shooting them down, after their only interactions with organics involved organics trying to wipe them out, and their knowledge of the council would include the standing "kill AI on site" clauses. At no point do we ever get any other explanation besides the Geth shooting down ships that enter their territory.

I vote to integrate.
09:22:08 AM Jan 6th 2014
How is it "undisputable"? ("Indisputable", you mean.)

The problem here is that there are no corroborating sources that say this occurred. Tali says it, and the Codex says it. Neither of these can be trusted to have an unbiased opinion.

Keep in mind, I also argued that we can't verify the geth records as fact either for the same reason. There's never anyone from the opposite viewpoint that confirms it. So don't make this about me.
03:03:23 AM Jan 15th 2014
There doesn't need to be corroborating sources for a simple statement of fact; organic ships that enter Geth space are attacked and destroyed. Organic ships also have the means to send messages and distress calls, and there is no reason for the codex to be lying about this.

To put it another way, take Garrus' tale about the mad doctor and his experiments. Following your logic we can't trust him to have an unbiased opinion, so his story can't be taken as proof until independently

The whole reason why we can't take the Quarian's version at face value is because there is a conflict of interest there; they have a vested interest in not coming across as being in the wrong. The codex entries have no such conflict of interest; the Council's view on the Geth is "they're keeping to themselves, we have no interest in changing the status quo." Ships going in and getting destroyed proves the hypothesis, ships going in and returning proves things aren't as bad as they feared. Either way, the council is better off and has the advantage of not being involved in either action.

But the point is that you're taking a fact that is presented by the work as indisputable and trying to cast doubt on it despite there being no evidence in story to justify it.
09:11:58 PM Feb 25th 2014
Whether or not the work presents the fact as "indisputable" is irrelevant. The Geth/Quarian topic is one that each game has revealed has more going on than possible. You're making an argument of False Equivalence about Garrus's Dr. Saleon information. The Geth/Quarian dispute is one that we can't trust one side to have complete facts for. Even in the case of Garrus, you prove my point. He flat out tried to gloss over the truth (that they tortured Saleon for information) to tell his story. Shepard caught him on it, but he still tried to gloss over it.

And no, the Council's stance on the geth was not "they're keeping to themselves". It's shown time and time again that ALL of Council Space, through laws decreed by the council, are outright hostile toward synthetics. And frankly, we know firsthand that the Council is not above glossing over the truth to fit their own agenda, either.
10:22:12 PM Dec 11th 2013
Here's an example CPF Man added without discussing in the same edit that got them banned;

  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The geth's bad reputation is largely their own fault, as no one who goes into their territory lives to tell about it, and they let the genocidal heretics loose upon the outside world, doing nothing to stop them or even to differentiate themselves. They did not make any attempt at letting the rest of the galaxy know that they didn't want to commit genocide on everyone. According to Tali, she actually tried to contact Legion in between the events of 2 and 3 in hopes of avoiding a war between the quarians and geth by convincing the quarians that they didn't need to destroy the geth to get their planet back, and that the geth could listen to reason, but Legion cut off communications with her.

Well at first glance the last bit is wrong; Tali said she had been in contact with Legion (assuming both survived 2) but communication suddenly ceased (which was Legion getting captured by the Reaper-aligned Geth).

Plus, it's going to open up an edit war about the whole Organic/Synthetic conflict when someone points out the scene in Citadel showing that the Council is perfectly fine gunning down a peaceful race of AIs. Thoughts?
01:04:16 AM Dec 12th 2013
edited by
Ooops. Sorry, posted under wrong discussion.
04:00:14 AM Dec 12th 2013
Right but's that irrelevant to the example. The setting itself makes it clear that simply being an AI gives you the reputation of a genocide-machine waiting to strike. We see in Citadel a race of peaceful AIs who wanted to talk the situation out with the council, all the way until CSEC blows it's circuits out. So they couldn't really break what was already broken, so that's two out of three things in the example that's busted. And the third (they did nothing to differentiate themselves from the heretic Geth) again, only Shepard and his crew seems to actually care enough to make the distinction, so that's strike three.
05:32:58 AM Dec 12th 2013
edited by
I'd say that blaming the regular Geth for letting the heretics loose is wrong, simply because the Geth believe that every race should follow each own path e.t.c.

As for the rest, the Geth never actually tried to establish contact with the organic races. So it's not like they tried to make things better but ended up messing up and doing more bad than good. They just stayed inactive. So i'm going to say cut.

Edit: Fair point about the Council being hostile against all forms of AI.
08:35:08 AM Dec 12th 2013
There is a valid example in that the geth really should have at least tried to warn the Council races about the heretics. Sure, there's that anti-AI racism, but send an unmanned probe (unmanned even by geth standards) broadcasting a simple message along the lines of "The geth you're fighting are heretics, come to this neutral location and we can talk about it." Maybe it wouldn't have worked, but you'd think they could at least try.

Either way, however, the last part is flat-out wrong, and the example could be re-written to accommodate the racism.
06:28:52 PM Dec 12th 2013
But why should they? The Council races first and only response to AIs is to destroy them. That was the norm long before the Geth became self aware. The True Geth had no interest in talking with the Council since their go-to line is that all AIs must die period.

My bone to pick with the article is that basically, the Geth broke nothing. The Council was genocidal against all forms of AI before the Morning War, and they were Genocidal afterwards. Their lot didn't change either way.
06:50:29 PM Dec 12th 2013
I'm not saying it doesn't make sense. It's just that there are a few moments where it's like "Wait a second guys, we could have avoided a lot of problems if you had spoken up."

However, on further thinking, that's not really Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!. Like you said, it was broken before they were created. It's more of an unfortunate side effect of their Heroic Neutral policy, and it seems to be covered pretty well under there.
07:09:52 PM Dec 3rd 2013
Noodle Incident is way too long.

  • Noodle War: The Morning War is one of the murkiest topics in the setting. We know very little about what actually happened, beyond the blanket order to shut down the geth, the geth retaliation, and the ultimate destruction of most of the quarian species. The Council account, as told by Anderson in Mass Effect: Revelation, gives a full description of the war as a brutal genocide by the geth upon the quarians, and specifies that less than 1% of the quarian population escaped. On that subject, the geth (specifically, Legion/Geth VI) claim in Mass Effect 3 that they let the last quarians go intentionally, as they couldn't properly comprehend the ramifications of completely exterminating their creators. The geth consensus also contains a clip of quarian soldiers gunning down protesters who objected to the shutdown order of the geth, and Legion/Geth VI claims that this continued until the geth sympathizers were outnumbered. If Shepard brings up these two parts of the geth account to Admiral Raan, she'll say that the quarian accounts did not cover those events. Descriptions of Rannoch indicate that weapons of mass destruction were employed at some point, and both Legion and Tali state that in the second game that it was not the quarians who used them, at least not to anywhere near the extent the description seems to imply. Talking to a certain asari on Illium on the second game will also reveal that at least some non-quarians were on the planet during the war, which may explain the source of the Council's account.

I say change it to simply:

  • Noodle Incident: The Morning War is one of the murkiest topics in the setting. We know very little about what actually happened, beyond the blanket order to shut down the geth, the geth retaliation, and the ultimate destruction of most of the quarian species. There are conflicting accounts on all sides.
07:47:10 PM Dec 3rd 2013
edited by
Bad example since the accounts don't actually contradict each other. We actually know a ton of what happened from the various accounts and hints. The geth committing genocide is stated twice, not contradicted anywhere, and supported by established facts (population numbers pre and post war, description of Rannoch, Tali and Legion's comments on Tuchanka), the geth motivation for letting the quarians go is not contradicted anywhere, etc.

Also, I do find it a little weird that the whole thing was up there for a while with similar detail and length, yet apparently it was only worth cutting when the geth accounts were no longer declared as fact and alternate accounts were inserted.
09:14:43 PM Dec 3rd 2013
Well we don't actually have the population numbers; it's vaguely listed as "billions." Nor do we actually have confirmation how those billions died, as you kept ignoring last time in real wars the biggest killers aren't the actual fighting but the disease, starvation, and all around collateral damage caused.

The main difference is that the Quarian account paints themselves as being 100% Justified in attempting the genocide of the Geth, the Geth account portrays it as being an overreaction that wasn't as universally supported.

But beyond that, there are zero details about the war given, it is just vaguely defined, some contradictions (different sources say the length was either years of war until the Quarian defeat, to the Geth routing the Quarians within one year of fighting back). The only solid facts are;

  • The Geth began to become self aware
  • The Quarian leadership started a premptive strike to wipe them all out
  • The Geth retaliated
  • The Geth won the resulting war
  • Most of the Quarian species died as a result of the war

Outside of that, what actually happened is glossed over. Even the Krogan rebellion has some details about how the war was actually fought (such as the Krogans dropping moons on Turians, if you visit the right planet). But since we don't even visit beyond the Veil until Mass Effect 3, and what happened isn't really relevant until said game, it's a blank box (probably for some future ME story).
09:05:54 PM Dec 4th 2013
This is all irrelevant. A Noodle Incident is a case where some sort of vague happening is only referenced by name for (primarily, if not exclusively) comedic reasons. The mysterious concept itself is what makes it funny (or interesting). The Morning War is relayed in too much detail. No, we don't know every battle, but we are apparently aware of most of the salient points.
09:17:35 PM Dec 4th 2013
All we know about the Morning War is how it began and the effects after it ended. The war itself is only spoken about in broad terms, and only then to talk about how most of the Quarians got wiped out. Wether or not that makes it a Noodle Incident is up to debate, but it probably doesn't count.
09:21:31 PM Dec 4th 2013
Noodle Incident is used for non-comedic events all the time. We can add a Played for Drama tag if you like. Mind, it might not count anyway, I'm just saying that's not a reason disqualifying it.

Ah, we've got a couple tropes that work better: Great Offscreen War and Cataclysm Backstory are both definitely more what we're looking for.
10:04:23 PM Dec 4th 2013
Great Offscreen War works best in this instance, not so sure on Cataclysm Backstory.
05:01:23 PM Dec 5th 2013
So how's this look? Short and to the point.

  • Great Off Screen War: The Morning War is one of the murkiest topics in the setting. We know very little about what actually happened, beyond the blanket order to shut down the geth, the geth retaliation, and the ultimate destruction of most of the quarian species. There are conflicting accounts on all sides.
09:13:46 PM Dec 5th 2013
I'd give it my thumbs up.
09:20:01 AM Dec 6th 2013
Added, then.
09:52:48 PM Dec 2nd 2013
Alright, here we go. The following was removed:

  • Genocide Backfire: The Morning War was started when the quarians issued a blanket order to destroy all geth. We don't know much about the ensuing war itself, but the end of the war saw only about seventeen million quarian survivors. We do know as of Mass Effect 3 that some quarians openly sided with the geth in response to what was viewed as an extremist stance, but eventually they were outnumbered, and by the time of the games none survive. Doesn't mean the geth don't forget them. However, after the vast majority of the population was killed off, the geth did allow a tiny amount of survivors to slip away.

And replaced with:

  • Genocide Backfire: The Morning War reduced the population of the Quarians down to 17 million, who all fled from their former worlds and back into Council Space. The Geth had the ability to wipe all of them out as they were fleeing, but chose not to because they couldn't process the ramifications of wiping out their creator's race. In the finale of the Rannoch arc in the third game, it's possible for the quarians to finally wipe out the geth for good, making the Geth's small mercy 300 years prior the cause of their own destruction.

Given the description of Genocide Backfire, I'm not seeing it.
02:13:34 AM Dec 3rd 2013
I was responsible for that.

The key part of Genocide Backfire is that you mostly succeed at the Genocide, but it later backfires and comes back to haunt them. Look, here's the description for the trope itself;

"This trope is when someone commits a massive atrocity to achieve some goal but only has an incomplete success and the resulting incompleteness comes back to bite them in the ass."

So let's count off the key factors;

"Commits a massive atrocity to achieve some goal"

The Geth may have been forced into it, but they resulted in wiping out the Quarians to ensure their own survival. The Quarians meanwhile failed to cause an atrocity.

"only has an incomplete success"

17 Million Quarians survived, meanwhile the Geth were strong afterwards.

"the resulting incompleteness comes back to bite them in the ass."

The Geth let the Quarians go, and in Mass Effect 3 their mercy can wind up getting them wiped out.

See, the key part of Genocide Backfire is that the Genocide has to at least be mostly successful. The Quarians weren't successful in the slightest.

11:54:06 AM Dec 3rd 2013
edited by
So now the geth did in fact exterminate the quarians? Basic logic and multiple in-universe statements rule the day? Because in the other conversation, you're trying to deny that by saying that "we don't know the exact details", even though the example you wanted cut said the same thing (geth wiped out the majority of the quarian population in a genocide). And you are again completely taking the geth account as fact by calling their sparing of the last quarians "mercy" when you solely have the word of one geth for it being mercy rather than something else that kept them from finishing their brutal genocide. And saying that the genocide was "forced" on them and only done to "ensure their survival", even though it's impossible that all of the billions they killed were a threat, and the geth could've simply left Rannoch and fled to where no one could follow? Great.
11:59:58 AM Dec 3rd 2013
Don't twist my words.
12:03:58 PM Dec 3rd 2013
Rudeness is just going to get you banned. Contribute to the conversation in a civil manner or don't contribute at all.
12:05:59 PM Dec 3rd 2013
I'm not twisting anything. You just said that the geth wiped out the population here (via outright saying it and filing them under that trope in the first place) yet are trying to deny the same thing one conversation down.
12:06:03 PM Dec 3rd 2013
I'm not twisting anything. You just said that the geth wiped out the population here (via outright saying it and filing them under that trope in the first place) yet are trying to deny the same thing one conversation down.
09:17:50 PM Dec 3rd 2013
My exact words were "The Geth may have been forced into it, but they resulted in wiping out the Quarians to ensure their own survival." I should have stated "their actions led to the near-extinction of the Quarian race." Since we don't actually see the Morning War, that could be that the Geth personally killed billions of Quarians, or those billions could have been the victims of disease brought about by the war, or collateral damage from spaceships fighting in orbit.
04:47:34 AM Dec 4th 2013
Well, the main issue is that the trope makes it pretty clear that it's using a specific definition of "genocide", meaning a planned and deliberate attempt to destroy a group in part or in whole. The ONLY group this qualifies for sure is the quarians, as both they and the geth acknowledge that the war started with an attempt to exterminate the latter. The geth fought back, a Noodle War happened, and the quarians lost 99% of their population.

The trope description seems to state that it applies to a deliberate intention to wipe out a group. Or it looks that, once you get past the horrendous Example As Thesis. The most succinct definition we get is this: "This trope is when someone commits a massive atrocity to achieve some goal but only has an incomplete success and the resulting incompleteness comes back to bite them in the ass." Even if we consider the geth's actions an "atrocity" (which, again, we do not have enough information to do), this does not describe the geth or their motivations. Their goal was to live, which was achieved. There is no indication that they planned, and failed at, the utter annihilation of the quarian species.

So again, I don't see how this trope applies, except to the quarians.
01:22:54 AM Dec 5th 2013
Except the key part of that definition is "success." Nothing about the Quarian's involvement in the Morning War was successful, so that disqualifies them.

And they may have been forced into it, but the cost of their freedom was the near-destruction of their creator's race.

But your point is registered, the exact cause of the decimation of the Quarians is left unsaid (in my opinion so Bioware could dodge the whole genocide argument we've been suffering through below) so it can be cut against the Geth. But it also can't apply to the Quarians due to their own failure (because the trope requires an initial success).
12:11:07 PM Dec 5th 2013
edited by
In that case, it doesn't seem to apply to either.

So yeah, maybe we should just cut it altogether. It seems like it's Square Peg, Round Trope.
02:26:07 AM Dec 6th 2013
Seconding the cut. I'll remove the edit I did on the trope page too.
03:24:14 AM Nov 24th 2013
This item is being edit warred over. Please hash out the discussion here instead of the edit history.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The quarian leadership and military attempted to shut the Geth down. The geth's response? Kill billions upon billions of civilians likely unrelated to the military's decision (only sparing the last band of 17 million or so survivors), slaughter the colonies, kick the quarians out, shoot anyone that comes near, and inflict damage to the extent that even 300 years later, the entire quarian species is still just barley surviving on the brink of extinction.
12:00:23 PM Nov 24th 2013
Cut. The actual details of the war aren't elaborated on, so there is a lot of speculation there just a paint the Geth as monsters.
12:42:36 PM Nov 24th 2013
Agreed. Cut it.
12:45:17 PM Nov 24th 2013
edited by
Keep. From the little we know, some members of the Quarian goverment tried to shut down the Geth. The Geth responded by wiping out every single quarian colony and killing billions of (innocent) people. It might have been self-defense at first but that's seriously disproportionate. Can also qualify as Genocide Backfire. Really, both of these tropes cover it rather well.
02:24:27 PM Nov 24th 2013
Again: We know nothing about the war except that the geth achieved sentience, the quarians attacked them, and then next thing you know the quarians are on the run. We have no details on the battles fought, the nature of the war, or what tactics were used by which side. All we know is that the quarians lost. And that they were willing to whitewash their history more than a little, by failing to record that not all quarians sided against the geth.

There's just not enough detail to know if the trope applies.
03:01:35 PM Nov 24th 2013
edited by
Cut. The quarians wanted and attempted a complete genocide and wouldn't stop until every last geth was dead. The geth retaliated and stopped killing after the quarians began to flee, they even had a chance to kill the survivors but deliberately chose not to. As such it's not Disproportionate Retribution.
09:29:32 PM Nov 24th 2013
I say cut, just because its not disproportionate. The trope would fit if it were genocide for, say, a minor military or diplomatic slight, not as part of an existential war.
10:07:00 PM Nov 24th 2013
It should also be noted that almost everything we know about the Morning War is told from the Quarian point of view, which is of course biased into presenting themselves as justified for their attempted Genocide (as exemplified when you point out to Tali in the first game that the Quarians struck first, her response was "Well they would have rebelled eventually for being slaves and the Council would have punished if we let the truth out"). Considering how suicidally stupid the current Quarian leadership is in Mass Effect 3 they could have easily done just as much damage to themselves in their effort to wipe the Geth out and covered it up.

What we do know for sure is that the Geth didn't fight back into well after the war started, that many Quarians initially refused the Genocide and opposed it after the Martial Law was declared, and those who resisted the military ended up dying or detained and forgotten about entirely by the surviving Quarians. Plus even before they were forced to live in space the Quarians had a weak immune system, so the side effect of open warfare would have hit them harder than it would humans.

So yeah, there really is no evidence as to how the war was actually fought, just that it resulted in billions of deaths, was prompted by the Quarians attempting Genocide on the Geth (as well as killing other Quarians who sided with them), and that the only real source we have over the war are the Quarians themselves who we know have spun a convent half-truth that made themselves look better and the Geth look worse, which 3 shows to not be the case.
02:43:14 AM Nov 25th 2013
What about the Genocide Backfire trope? Cut or Keep?
03:02:25 AM Nov 25th 2013
edited by
Easy cut; Genocide Backfire involves the Genocide to be partially successful and come back to haunt them years down the track. The trope appears to be misused, both on this page and on it's page, and I propose cutting it there too.
01:33:27 AM Nov 28th 2013
Actually if anything it applies more to the Geth than the Quarians; the Geth may not have wanted to wipe out the Quarians, but they did almost wipe them all out but left the survivors alone because they didn't want to kill an entire race. In one outcome of Mass Effect 3 that comes back to bite them in the ass as the Quarians show no such mercy and wipe all of them out.
08:36:46 AM Dec 2nd 2013
edited by
It's textbook Disproportionate Retribution, because the geth didn't only kill those responsible for the decision, they killed everyone, period. Is it proportionate if, in response to a guy trying to murder me and my family, I kill him then proceed to track down and murder anyone related to him? For anyone doubting this, aside from basic logic, we have several in-universe statements telling us that the geth did this, including Tali in Mass Effect and Anderson on page 116 of Mass Effect: Revelations, where he describes the Morning War as a "genocide" that the quarians "had neither the number nor the ability to stand against", and goes on to say that "only a few million survivors- less than 1% of the population- managed to escape the genocide". This is never contradicted anywhere and fits everything else we know about the war, like chemical/biological weapons being used by the geth on Rannoch.

And no, we don't "know for sure" anything Shaoken listed. We know that's what the geth told us. I find it rather funny that quarian accounts can be dismissed as "bias" while the geth are taken 100% at their word, when the geth are the only ones who have actually outright lied to us, via Legion.
09:42:30 PM Dec 2nd 2013
Well it's not textbook if you have five people telling you it's not. Your example is irrelevant because we don't know the specifics of the war. You're assuming that the Geth just went up to every last Quarian killed in the war and shot them personally, overlook that in war a lot of deaths are indirectly caused by the fighting such as food shortages, no access to aid, disease, collateral damage (such as stray shots from orbit or ships falling into the atmosphere) etc. etc. Two years of war in Syria has seen fresh outbreaks of Polio which was almost entirely eradicated, and that is a human disease; Tali says outright that Quarians have always had a weak immune system, being forced to live in their suits just made a lot worse. Any kind of warfare is going to bring out outbreaks of diseases.

You're also again, taking in-universe statements by characters who never saw the war themselves. Everything the Council races know about the Morning War comes from the Quarians point of view, which also conveniently left out the part where they killed Geth sympathisers without mercy (not to mention the Council's Fantastic Racism against AIs, which we've seen resulting in the Council committing genocide against an AI race that just wanted to talk to them up until the last one was destroyed). Anderson calls it a genocide because that is what he's been told what it was. That doesn't make it an objective fact; everyone in the galaxy believes the Protheans created the Mass Relays, because none of them have seen any proof that it wasn't. And Tali, again, is firmly buying into the Quarian propaganda that "We were perfectly justified in trying to wipe all the Geth out" and neglects to mention the small details such as the martial law and killing other Quarians.

Also, at what point did the geth lie to us, because they never did. Legion was always 100% honest with you, and Paragon Shepard points out that the True Geth have never been the aggressors in any interaction with the Quarians; the Quarians started the morning war, the Quarians started the war in Mass Effect 3, when Legion shuts down the dreadnaught as a show of good faith the Quarians shoot that ship, while the saviour of the galaxy and potentially one of their own admirals are still onboard, hell the Quarians lied to you plenty of times; they lied when they said they would pull their fleets back if you disabled the dreadnaught, they lied when they said they would pull back when you took down the Reaper.

Bottom line, you are taking the Quarians, the side that has been taught that they were in the right to attempt Genocide, the side that drafted their entire population to fight a war, headed by leaders who believe that Attack! Attack! Attack! is the solution to any problem, at their word, when the game series points out that this situations were never as black and white as they tried to make it out to be; the Genophage was not as great a solution as the Turians and Quarians say, all AIs aren't genocide machines waiting to happen, the Asari aren't as wise and fair as they like to make out, etc. etc. etc.

Simply put, there is no actual evidence as to how the Morning War happened; the Geth could have gone and gunned down non-combatants, or they could have died due to starvation or disease caused by the fighting, or they could have done the same thing that happened 300 years later and drafted all their civilians to fight as the situation got worse. There is no evidence to single one theory out above the others, beyond the Quarian leadership at the time declaring martial law and gunning down those Quarians who stood up for the Geth, and the Geth ceasing their attacks once the Quarians started fleeing and stopped posing a threat to them.
10:04:24 PM Dec 2nd 2013
edited by
No, we know this because the Council version (said by Anderson) of the events outright calls it a genocide, and the quarian account (said by Tali) outright says that the geth killed billions. Both are very direct and intentional in their wording.

Okay, so if we're going to disregard EVERYONE as an Unreliable Narrator, even though they have no reason to get something of such a large scale wrong... why listen to Legion? Why is everything the geth claim taken as the gospel, and stated as fact on this page? Oh yeah, and that martial law crap is never confirmed to have happened, all we know is that the geth TOLD US that's what happened. Aside from the death one of one single geth sympathizer- presented to use through very easy to fake footage- we have absolutely nothing but the word of the geth supporting that this happened; that the quarians did this to any more than one or two people, that the quarians did it throughout the war, that the geth 'appreciate' them, etc.

"Geth do not experience fear". Also, several lies of omission that Shepard gets pissed about in ME 3. Oh, and IIRC Gerrel never said he would pull back.

If there's no evidence putting one account above the other, why are you taking all the geth claims as fact?

And no, none of that is proof. This is where you're showing your bias; the geth CLAIMED these things. You have nothing but Legion's/the VI's word that the geth ceased the attack, rather than some other factor preventing them from finishing the quarians off. And nothing but one grainy 20 second video to support the quarians shooting each other over the geth issue, showed to you by someone who has every reason to lie, who is known to commit lies of omission, and who lives in a universe where doctoring footage is very, very easy even for a putz like Kai Leng. At the very least, what Tali and Anderson said should be on the page, and every geth claim should be prefaced with "the geth claimed" or "according to the geth account" if you're truly going for the "facts only" approach.
10:31:47 PM Dec 2nd 2013
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Let's just stick to citing who said what, and keeping information as close to repeating what was said or shown as possible. That's really the only way to write the page without graying up one side of the war or the other. The only things we should accept as fact is anything corroborated by both sides.

For example, Legion's audio logs in ME 2 can be accepted as pure fact, as well as Tali's account of how the war started, because both sides agree on it and confirm each other. The geth logs of the war, however, cannot because no one else confirms it. Likewise, the accusation that the geth destroyed all ships that approached the Veil cannot, because the geth never confirm it, either.

The Shadow Broker records can also be assumed true, as well, because the Broker has no reason to be biased and gathered this information from its own independent sources.
10:43:54 PM Dec 2nd 2013
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I am in favor of such a stance. So a mention of the geth committing genocide would be prefaced with "according to the quarian's account/ the Council's account/Anderson" while something like the geth sparing the quarians intentionally would be prefaced with "Legion/Geth VI claims that...".
02:45:03 AM Dec 3rd 2013
I'm against it; Examples Are Not Arguable. If you have to preface an example, that is a good sign it needs to get cut.

Also the Council's account is worthless; everything they know about the Morning War comes from the Quarians account (they didn't even know that the Geth were sentient until the Quarians came to them looking for help). Likewise Anderson's account just comes from the Council. Seperating Tali's and Anderson's accounts makes no sense since both come from the same source. It'd be like counting Shepard's, Garrus' and Wrex's account of what was on the Prothean beacon as separate accounts, when the latter two are just working off of the former.
06:35:28 AM Dec 3rd 2013
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Their account most likely doesn't come entirely from the Quarians. There were non-Quarians present for (and killed during) the Morning War according to one of the Asari on Illium.

11:21:04 AM Dec 3rd 2013
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As was noted, there were Council members alive (and killed) during the war, so their account is just as reliable as the geth's, if not more so, since they weren't involved in the war. And the Council account, which the geth have never contradicted and is supported by basic logic, outright calls what the geth did genocide. Again, your geth bias is showing; you're completely trusting everything they say while trying to dismiss every other account, even if it actually fits both versions of the events.

Oh, and I just LOVE how you said that the Council account came from the quarian account, even though that's never stated, and the existence of Council species members with first hand experience of the war indirectly contradicts it. I guess we can all just make stuff up now, right?

11:59:03 AM Dec 3rd 2013
No it isn't, since said people died in the war. The Council itself, by the admission of both parties, only became aware of what had happened after the war is over. Also there was a single confirmed Asari on the planet, in a universe where you don't see many cross-species worlds. Again, no evidence that any survived and reported to the council.

The point I'm making is that the whole thing is "he said she said" with no actual evidence of how the war was actually waged. I just trust the Geth more because they're a lot less kill happy; even after the Quarians had wiped out millions if not billions of Geth programs and only just stopped firing on them their first response is to start helping the Quarians move back to Ranoch. Plus, when you ask Admiral Raan about what you saw in the Geth concencous she believes it without even raising the idea that it could be fake.

Plus, meta reason, in most cases you have Legion's loyalty, and never outright tells you anything that isn't true, only the lies where he just doesn't say what he doesn't want past on. He also doesn't sugar coat when the Geth fucked up.

Moot point anyway, the example was voted to be cut five to three.
12:30:35 PM Dec 3rd 2013
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And absolutely zero evidence that some didn't, and absolutely zero evidence that the quarian account is the sole basis for the Council account. That is, again, something entirely made up by you. It is entirely possible, even plausible, that the Council account came from first hand survivors, many of which may even be alive today. Zero evidence that the geth account is any more reliable than the Council account- not that it matters, as the Council account doesn't contradict the geth one a bit and is entirely supported by the few concrete facts we know (99% of quarian population wiped out, Legion saying that the quarians have a right to be angry, Rannoch heavily damaged and still being cleaned of toxins 300 years later, the quarians not employing any weapons that would damage their own planets, etc.).

All that proves is that Raan is weak and gullible, nothing else. So you've just admitted to trusting the geth over everyone else. Okay? What does their willingness to cease conflict in the present day have to do with their trustworthiness? How does this at all mean that everything they say should be taken as fact while everything else anyone says should be disregarded?

"Geth do not experience fear". Also, Legion sugarcoats what the geth do ALL the time. Not mentioning why they murder all people who come near their territory, for example. Stating that they acted purely in self-defense. And if you want to get into meta reasons, you'd have to wonder why we'd be told the same thing by several characters (one of which is considered wise and reasonable) and have it not be true, why unlike other geth myths ("they all want to exterminate us) this one is NEVER contradicted, why its supported by several other implications, why the writers expected us to make a dumb and improbable leap from all this, etc.

01:44:44 PM Dec 3rd 2013
I don't have a horse in this race but it seems to me that the overall consensus is to remove the examples. Let's just leave it at that, okay? No need for these arguments.
02:12:58 PM Dec 3rd 2013
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Its not really about cutting that one example, but the policy on every ME page in relation to the geth. People didn't think the example fit, since it relied on an assumption rather than a statement. So I got a statement- two in fact- supporting it. Yet, Shaoken insists that it still can't be added due to supposed Unreliable Narrator. While continuing to advocate presenting things from a narrator that is just as potentially unreliable as facts.

It was suggested that we have examples if they fit, but simply preface examples with the source of information (as right now there is a clear bias in who is considered unreliable and who isn't), as that is a purely fact based and objective approach. But Shaoken refused that (no one else has spoken out against this, and me and Zeal supported it, so "the majority said no" doesn't quite apply) and proceeded to outright lie / make things up to support himself.
10:56:03 PM Dec 3rd 2013
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Can't say I appreciate being called a liar, especially when your statements are just what characters believe yet are presented as being solid facts, and when an entire scene in Mass Effect 3 is presented as fact and accepted by everyone without question you accuse the Geth of lying and those who believe them as being weak and gullible.

I should point out, the writers of the game do go to the Bioware forums and have answered questions on this nature, so if anyone really cares about the truth they could always go over and you know, ask if such and such was true or not. But as it is, Bioware have avoided the whole issue of what exactly happened in the war.
11:51:15 PM Dec 3rd 2013
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No, they're not opinions. They're simple statements of fact from various characters on what happened. "The geth committed genocide" isn't an opinion, as genocide isn't a subjective term. Now whether those facts are accurate is something else, but it's by no means a statement of opinion. And I love how you continue to say that the character involved MUST not know what they're talking about, even though not only would such a thing be hard to miss, but there are several plausible ways they could have first hand experience (the Council account, I mean).

They make it clear by having the geth deceieve you several times? Then having Shepard get pissed about being deceived by a geth? And again, simply saying "no one contradicted it" proves absolutely nothing as to how true it actually is. You're getting into "the writer intended you to think this", which is not only baseless, since you're not the writer, but brings up the obvious double standard relating to the geth genocide. No one ever contradicts Anderson's or Tali's claims, not even the geth. They're just accepted by everyone. No one raises the possibility that they might be wrong, even the most bleeding heart pro-geth characters. And I'm not making a single thing up; the only one doing so right now is you with this "the Council account is based solely on the quarian account" stuff. I'm simply stating, in objective terms, what happened in the game; geth claimed this, everyone else claimed that, no one contradicted either claim. That is purely objective and neutral. Saying "this happened" solely because character x said so while dismissing character y is not objective or neutral, it is bias by stating one account as a fact.

Just because the question isn't raised doesn't mean it has to be taken as 100% fact. No one questions Tali's claim that the geth killed billions during the war, in fact Liara (a Council species member) agrees with it, yet you're content to attempt to dismiss that. And again, if you want to get meta, why would the writers have numerous characters state the geth did this, have it never be contradicted unlike some other geth myths, and make every in-universe detail support it if it wasn't true?

EDIT: No. I can't tell if you're deliberately misrepresenting my position or genuinely don't understand, but I'm not in favor of taking those statements as facts. In fact, I'm not advocating taking any characters' statement as a fact. I advocated the completely neutral and objective approach of just saying "the geth said this" and "the Council said this". Nothing contradicts the geth letting the quarians go intentionally, but nothing supports it either, so it can just be marked up for what it is: a geth claim. The same goes for the Council calling it genocide. Nothing contradicts it- in fact several details support it- but it's never explicitly confirmed, so it can just be marked up for what it is: the Council's account.

And excuse me, you're the one who started this whole debate by saying that Anderson and Tali shouldn't be taken seriously at all, even though their claims are taken as facts in-universe (in fact, Anderson's is apparently what all of Council space believes) and never contradicted. In fact, they are supported by the few details that are agreed upon by both sides, as well as the geth's general demeanor and characterization. And, in Anderson's case, he has less of a reason to be biased than the geth, as humans had no involvement in the war.

If you want to go with the Doylist "the writers wouldn't tell us something, have characters accept it, and leave it uncontradicted if it weren't true" approach, that's fine, but you'd have to drop the double standard on it and apply it to both sides. Heck, the Council's account has much more of a Doylist reason to be correct given just all the details that agree with it (Rannoch's state, the quarians not using weapons that would damage Rannoch to the degree that it was damaged, 99.9% of quarians dead, toxins on Rannoch, no quarians left alive in geth space today, Legion saying that the quarians have a right to be mad at the geth, it's never ever contradicted even as the game tries to portray the geth sympathetically, etc.).

12:19:47 AM Dec 4th 2013
I honestly couldn't care less at this point, the example has been cut, Fighteer has stepped in and told everyone to knock it off, so I'm just going to let you calling me a liar go and forget about this Internet Backdraft topic that pops up all the time on the subject.
01:39:25 AM Dec 4th 2013
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Nuh uh. You don't get to start a debate, argue about it for several days, make things up and misrepresent my opinion (intentionally or no) in the process, and then claim you don't care when your arguments are shot down.

I hope this means you'll no longer make a big deal over having everything be stated objectively with the he said she said standard in regards to the Morning War and the geth's genocide, as I will be editing under the assumption that no one will start an edit war over it. I made sure to ask Fighteer about it just to be sure, and he said that this stance was neutral and appropriate. Does that sound reasonable enough?
08:07:24 AM Dec 4th 2013
No, it does not. Post the proposed edit here and we can discuss it. Just giving a vague promise of "It will totally be objective guys" is not particularly reassuring.
11:21:23 AM Dec 4th 2013
No. I will not spend days debating every single edit just for being geth related. Saying "character x said this" is purely factual and not debatable.
01:02:38 AM Dec 5th 2013
As it stands, four people wanted the trope cut, four want it kept. If you add anything now you'd still technically be edit waring.

I'm dropping the "he said she said" argument, that doesn't change my vote on cutting it.
04:40:03 PM Dec 5th 2013
If my vote hasn't been counted already, I say cut.
04:59:04 PM Dec 5th 2013
Actually, Shaoken was counting you as keep, so yeah, that's 5-3.
09:18:37 PM Dec 5th 2013
Ah. Well in that case, yes CPF you absolutely need to bring any Disproportionate Retribution rewrites here. Since Zeal said he/she would support a "blah said this" stance I counted that as a conditional keep.
09:51:33 AM Jul 8th 2013
Re: Merger of Souls and the Reapers: I personally feel the evidence points more towards them being a Mind Hive, but the troper who brought it up in YKTTW made the point listed.
10:56:43 AM Jul 9th 2013
Weeeeeeeell, souls aren't really brought up in the ME universe, are they? Aside from a few philosophical discussions (and the whole geth thing), everyone's pretty clinical and just calls it merging of minds. Of course, it would help to know exactly how the Reaper things works; we don't know if the 'nations' of the Reapers are made up of indoctrinated minds, or programs of the Reapers' making that happen to have the knowledge of the host race, or what. But to me, the evidence points to Mind Hive. After all, I would hope that the collective soul of every race that has existed wouldn't turn out to be hellbent on the harvesting of all sentient life in the universe.
11:10:58 AM Jul 9th 2013
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A "soul" is roughly equivalent to, and often translates to, "essence". Usually, people think of it as some sort of mystical life energy, but interpretations vary. Essence essentially means "whatever makes you you". The word "essence" is directly used when speaking of what components Reapers take from organics to construct new versions of themselves. If we're willing to be very loose with our interpretations, we can say that Reapers do indeed take the "soul" of a species, insofar as soul means "essence".
12:32:18 PM Jul 9th 2013
Yes, but again, it's not really clear that the Reapers keep the personalities and actual will of the people whose minds they use and not just the cold, clinical information. If the race in question is strong-willed enough, or the people just don't agree with their methods (which seems likely to be the majority) then you could easily wind up with rogue Reapers on their hands. Which makes it seem likely to me that in the process of creating a Reaper, they either indoctrinate the subjects first, thus destroying their 'souls' and personalities in favor of newer, more easily controlled souls, or they simply distill the information from the subjects and delete the actual people, replacing them with Reaper programs filled with the knowledge of those minds.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is it seems odd to me that if Reapers are nothing more than the combined essence of the subjugated peoples with no attempt to change or control them, why do they unilaterally go along with the plan of the Star Child?

Or maybe I'm just missing the point because it's been forty hours since I slept.
12:35:13 PM Jul 9th 2013
We have no idea how the Reaperization process work. It could be something that inherently makes it impossible for individual species to rebel after the process. We really don't know how it works, but there are lots of possibilities.
07:53:03 AM Mar 17th 2013
I know the turians are partly Roman, but what makes them partly Prussian? And why are they called Space Communists again?
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