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--->'''Garrus:''' '''''Damn war.'''''[[note]]If you watch ''WebVideo/GamerPoop'', however, the moment is ruined as you'll hear it as "Damn whore".[[/note]]

to:

--->'''Garrus:''' '''''Damn war.'''''[[note]]If you watch ''WebVideo/GamerPoop'', ''Machinima/GamerPoop'', however, the moment is ruined as you'll hear it as "Damn whore".[[/note]]


--->'''Garrus:''' '''''Damn war.'''''

to:

--->'''Garrus:''' '''''Damn war.''''''''''[[note]]If you watch ''WebVideo/GamerPoop'', however, the moment is ruined as you'll hear it as "Damn whore".[[/note]]


** A small background event on Thessia: the sacrifice of an asari gunship pilot to give Shepard and his/her companions time to reach the temple. The pilot shows no fear and even talks with humor - all the time fighting goddamned ''Harvesters'' and knowing full well she'll never live it through. Her last words: "Talon-5, going down..." It's the voice acting that did it for me. She sounds sad and determined, as if she's bidding Shepard goodbye and wishing luck. And we didn't even know her name.

to:

** A small background event on Thessia: the sacrifice of an asari gunship pilot to give Shepard and his/her companions time to reach the temple. The pilot shows no fear and even talks with humor - all the time fighting goddamned ''Harvesters'' and knowing full well she'll never live it through. Her last words: "Talon-5, going down..." It's the voice acting that did it for me.does it. She sounds sad and determined, as if she's bidding Shepard goodbye and wishing luck. And we didn't even know her name.


-->'''Grunt:''' [[YouBastard Damn you, Shepard!]][[note]]It's brought back into CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming territory by the fact that Grunt ''immediately'' moves to assist Shepard even as he's cursing him/her out. No matter what kind of kinship he forged with Aralakh Company, it pales on comparison to Grunt's loyalty to Shepard, and he'd sacrifice all of them, including himself depending on your choices, to assist his old battlemaster.[[/note]]

to:

-->'''Grunt:''' [[YouBastard Damn you, Shepard!]][[note]]It's brought back into CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming [[SugarWiki/CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Heartwarming]] territory by the fact that Grunt ''immediately'' moves to assist Shepard even as he's cursing him/her out. No matter what kind of kinship he forged with Aralakh Company, it pales on comparison to Grunt's loyalty to Shepard, and he'd sacrifice all of them, including himself depending on your choices, to assist his old battlemaster.[[/note]]


-->'''Grunt:''' [[YouBastard Damn you, Shepard!]][[note]]The previous words are brought back into heartwarming territory by the fact that Grunt ''immediately'' moves to assist Shepard even as he's cursing him/her out. No matter what kind of kinship he forged with Aralakh Company, it pales on comparison to Grunt's loyalty to Shepard, and he'd sacrifice all of them, including himself depending on your choices, to assist his old battlemaster.[[/note]]

to:

-->'''Grunt:''' [[YouBastard Damn you, Shepard!]][[note]]The previous words are Shepard!]][[note]]It's brought back into heartwarming CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming territory by the fact that Grunt ''immediately'' moves to assist Shepard even as he's cursing him/her out. No matter what kind of kinship he forged with Aralakh Company, it pales on comparison to Grunt's loyalty to Shepard, and he'd sacrifice all of them, including himself depending on your choices, to assist his old battlemaster.[[/note]]

Added DiffLines:

** It's worse than that -- Legion knows how important it is to make peace and reveal that the bulk of the Geth don't want this war. Legion is deeply familiar with human culture as part of this mission, to the point where he has hobbies like juvenile humans do. It's staggeringly unlikely that Legion wouldn't know that this memory would help people understand him, just as it's unlikely Legion wouldn't have done informal research into post traumatic stress. He wants to tell Shepard about this, but it's still too painful.


** [[spoiler: Except for MauveShirt Kelly.]]

to:

** [[spoiler: Except for MauveShirt Kelly.]]



-->[[spoiler:"I don't remember anything. Maybe they really just fixed me... Or maybe I'm just a high-tech VI that thinks it's Commander Shepard..."]]

to:

-->[[spoiler:"I -->"I don't remember anything. Maybe they really just fixed me... Or maybe I'm just a high-tech VI that thinks it's Commander Shepard..."]]"



* [[spoiler:Thane's death]], you knew it was coming, but it still eats at you. You administer last rites personally to him on his deathbed, alongside [[spoiler: Kolyat]]. When Shepard asks about it, [[spoiler:Kolyat]] explains that the prayer they recited wasn't for [[spoiler:Thane]], who'd already had last rites before Shepard arrived. It was a prayer for Shepard.
-->[[spoiler:'''Thane:''']] Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness. Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand--\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] Kalahira, wash the sins from this one and set him on the distant shore of the infinite spirit.\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] Kalahira, this one's heart is pure, but beset by wickedness and contention.\\
[[spoiler:'''Shepard:''']] Guide this one to where the traveller never tires, the lover never leaves, the hungry never starve. Guide this one, Kalahira, and [[TrueCompanions s/he will be a companion to you as s/he was to me.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:Thane's death]], Thane's death, you knew it was coming, but it still eats at you. You administer last rites personally to him on his deathbed, alongside [[spoiler: Kolyat]]. Kolyat. When Shepard asks about it, [[spoiler:Kolyat]] Kolyat explains that the prayer they recited wasn't for [[spoiler:Thane]], Thane, who'd already had last rites before Shepard arrived. It was a prayer for Shepard.
-->[[spoiler:'''Thane:''']] -->'''Thane:''' Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness. Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand--\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] '''Kolyat:''' Kalahira, wash the sins from this one and set him on the distant shore of the infinite spirit.\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] '''Kolyat:''' Kalahira, this one's heart is pure, but beset by wickedness and contention.\\
[[spoiler:'''Shepard:''']] '''Shepard:''' Guide this one to where the traveller never tires, the lover never leaves, the hungry never starve. Guide this one, Kalahira, and [[TrueCompanions s/he will be a companion to you as s/he was to me.]]



-->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:Kolyat]]... Why does the last line say 'she'?\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] The prayer was not for him, Commander. He has already asked forgiveness for the lives he has taken. [[WhamLine His wish was for you.]]
** [[spoiler: On top of that, if you romanced him in ''Mass Effect 2'', the letter that appeared in the Shadow Broker's files will be waiting for you at your private terminal. "I will await you across the sea." ]]
** [[spoiler:Male or a non-romanced Shepard, at the end of the prayer:]]
-->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:Bye, Thane. You won't be alone long.]]
** If you did [[spoiler:romance him, your final words to him are, "Bye, Thane. Meet you across the sea."]] *sniff*
** And if you have the Citadel [[DownloadableContent DLC]], [[spoiler:you can host his wake.]]
*** [[spoiler:The way a romanced [=FemShep=]'s voice cracks when she says "I still love him for it" during the wake is utterly ''devastating.'']]

to:

-->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:Kolyat]]...Kolyat... Why does the last line say 'she'?\\
[[spoiler:'''Kolyat:''']] '''Kolyat:''' The prayer was not for him, Commander. He has already asked forgiveness for the lives he has taken. [[WhamLine His wish was for you.]]
** [[spoiler: On top of that, if you romanced him in ''Mass Effect 2'', the letter that appeared in the Shadow Broker's files will be waiting for you at your private terminal. "I will await you across the sea." ]]
"
** [[spoiler:Male Male or a non-romanced Shepard, at the end of the prayer:]]
prayer:
-->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:Bye, Bye, Thane. You won't be alone long.]]
long.
** If you did [[spoiler:romance romance him, your final words to him are, "Bye, Thane. Meet you across the sea."]] " *sniff*
** And if you have the Citadel [[DownloadableContent DLC]], [[spoiler:you you can host his wake.]]
wake.
*** [[spoiler:The The way a romanced [=FemShep=]'s voice cracks when she says "I still love him for it" during the wake is utterly ''devastating.'']]''



* [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY2erMeGh5w Mordin's sacrifice]].]]
** [[spoiler: "I am the ve-ry model of a-" (the room explodes). If you listen closely while he's singing the song, [[NotSoStoic you can hear his voice cracking. He's fighting back tears.]]]]

to:

* [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY2erMeGh5w Mordin's sacrifice]].]]
sacrifice]].
** [[spoiler: "I am the ve-ry model of a-" (the room explodes). If you listen closely while he's singing the song, [[NotSoStoic you can hear his voice cracking. He's fighting back tears.]]]]]]



*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible. However, this only works if both Wrex and Eve are dead, leaving the morally dubious Wreav with all the power. If you want to sabotage the cure even if Wrex and/or Eve are alive, you ''have'' to shoot Mordin.
** What completes the scene is the optional Paragon Interrupt that appears as Mordin approaches the elevator (appears if you inform the others of the sabotage right away), which prompts Shepard to try and persuade Mordin not to go through with it. [[spoiler: It doesn't change anything, which is pretty huge considering how many rash/regrettable actions you can normally prevent through the Paragon Interrupts.]]
--->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:I'm sorry.]]\\
'''Mordin:''' [[spoiler:I'm not. Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.]]
** If you took the Renegade choice while [[spoiler:wishing Mordin good luck, he has an alternate, but equally poignant line: "Genophage cured. Krogan freed. New beginning. For all of us..." (BOOM!)]]
** [[spoiler:"Would have liked to run tests on the seashells"]], if you spoke to him enough before the mission.
** [[spoiler:It's even worse if you go the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5MTPgjvaoA Renegade path]].]] Warning: This video will almost assuredly cause massive depression.
*** The real hammerblow is when [[spoiler: Shepard walks away after shooting Mordin. S/he throws the pistol away, as if enraged and horrified and disgusted at him/herself for going that far.]] Proving that they are more than willing to twist the knife just as far as it can go, Creator/BioWare had the gun in that scene be the Carnifex, which some gamers might remember as the pistol that Mordin gave him/her in Mordin's ''Mass Effect 2'' recruitment mission as a ''"sign of good faith."'' Possibly an even bigger hammerblow is that [[spoiler: Mordin lingers, and desperately crawls his way to try and fix the cure, but dies an arm's reach from the console.]]
*** [[spoiler:Afterwards, the Dalatress sends you a mail congratulating you and assuring you that you made the right choice. Even if [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Wreav is in charge]] and [[TheExtremistWasRight it probably was the right call]]... [[ShootTheDog it still feels bad]]. [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame So does getting praised by her.]]]]
*** It only gets worse after a while: [[spoiler:As if having to lie about the real cause of Mordin's death wasn't bad enough, Shepard can privately confess their sabotage of the Genophage cure to [[SecretKeeper Garrus]]. First, Garrus admits that he'd normally think that was a move [[MoralEventHorizon too awful to consider]], but he isn't so sure he wouldn't have done the same if salarian aid was the key to saving Palaven, further underlying the steadily emerging BlackAndGrayMorality of the war; second, he asks if Mordin agreed with that course of action... and Shepard just quietly pulls away, unable to even ''say'' what they did. Garrus then sufficiently echoes the player's thoughts in just [[PunctuatedForEmphasis two, little, words]]:]]

to:

*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] genophage, he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible. However, this only works if both Wrex and Eve are dead, leaving the morally dubious Wreav with all the power. If you want to sabotage the cure even if Wrex and/or Eve are alive, you ''have'' to shoot Mordin.
** What completes the scene is the optional Paragon Interrupt that appears as Mordin approaches the elevator (appears if you inform the others of the sabotage right away), which prompts Shepard to try and persuade Mordin not to go through with it. [[spoiler: It doesn't change anything, which is pretty huge considering how many rash/regrettable actions you can normally prevent through the Paragon Interrupts.]]
Interrupts.
--->'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:I'm I'm sorry.]]\\
\\
'''Mordin:''' [[spoiler:I'm I'm not. Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.]]
wrong.
** If you took the Renegade choice while [[spoiler:wishing wishing Mordin good luck, he has an alternate, but equally poignant line: "Genophage cured. Krogan freed. New beginning. For all of us..." (BOOM!)]]
(BOOM!)
** [[spoiler:"Would "Would have liked to run tests on the seashells"]], seashells", if you spoke to him enough before the mission.
** [[spoiler:It's It's even worse if you go the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5MTPgjvaoA Renegade path]].]] Warning: This video will almost assuredly cause massive depression.
*** The real hammerblow is when [[spoiler: Shepard walks away after shooting Mordin. S/he throws the pistol away, as if enraged and horrified and disgusted at him/herself for going that far.]] Proving that they are more than willing to twist the knife just as far as it can go, Creator/BioWare had the gun in that scene be the Carnifex, which some gamers might remember as the pistol that Mordin gave him/her in Mordin's ''Mass Effect 2'' recruitment mission as a ''"sign of good faith."'' Possibly an even bigger hammerblow is that [[spoiler: Mordin lingers, and desperately crawls his way to try and fix the cure, but dies an arm's reach from the console.]]
console.
*** [[spoiler:Afterwards, Afterwards, the Dalatress sends you a mail congratulating you and assuring you that you made the right choice. Even if [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Wreav is in charge]] and [[TheExtremistWasRight it probably was the right call]]... [[ShootTheDog it still feels bad]]. [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame So does getting praised by her.]]]]
]]
*** It only gets worse after a while: [[spoiler:As As if having to lie about the real cause of Mordin's death wasn't bad enough, Shepard can privately confess their sabotage of the Genophage cure to [[SecretKeeper Garrus]]. First, Garrus admits that he'd normally think that was a move [[MoralEventHorizon too awful to consider]], but he isn't so sure he wouldn't have done the same if salarian aid was the key to saving Palaven, further underlying the steadily emerging BlackAndGrayMorality of the war; second, he asks if Mordin agreed with that course of action... and Shepard just quietly pulls away, unable to even ''say'' what they did. Garrus then sufficiently echoes the player's thoughts in just [[PunctuatedForEmphasis two, little, words]]:]] words]]:



** ''The music''. When the cure is dispersed, the music used? "Vigil." The same one that played in the first game when you met Vigil and hope was restored. The song that symbolizes love and hope across all three games, playing in the aftermath of [[spoiler:Mordin's sacrifice]] and wonder-filled expressions of the krogan as they witness the genophage finally being cured.
** Then there's the option of [[spoiler:sparing Mordin, and convincing him not to spread the Genophage cure if Wrex and Eve are dead.]] If they mention the sabotage [=STG=] inflicted on the Shroud without alerting the krogan, Mordin scolds Shepard accusingly: "You ''knew''." Shepard replies s/he was telling Mordin now because s/he wasn't sure he could trust the krogan, but s/he ''did'' trust ''Mordin''.

to:

** ''The music''. When the cure is dispersed, the music used? "Vigil." The same one that played in the first game when you met Vigil and hope was restored. The song that symbolizes love and hope across all three games, playing in the aftermath of [[spoiler:Mordin's sacrifice]] Mordin's sacrifice and wonder-filled expressions of the krogan as they witness the genophage finally being cured.
** Then there's the option of [[spoiler:sparing sparing Mordin, and convincing him not to spread the Genophage cure if Wrex and Eve are dead.]] dead. If they mention the sabotage [=STG=] inflicted on the Shroud without alerting the krogan, Mordin scolds Shepard accusingly: "You ''knew''." Shepard replies s/he was telling Mordin now because s/he wasn't sure he could trust the krogan, but s/he ''did'' trust ''Mordin''.



* [[spoiler: Legion's death.]] And if you don't resolve the quarian-geth conflict peacefully with [[spoiler:the genocide of the quarians]] as a result, then it's made even sadder by [[spoiler:[[LastOfHerKind Tali's]] subsequent suicide.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Legion:''' Tali'Zorah... does this... unit... have...]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Tali:''' Yes. Yes, it does.]]

to:

* [[spoiler: Legion's death.]] death. And if you don't resolve the quarian-geth conflict peacefully with [[spoiler:the the genocide of the quarians]] quarians as a result, then it's made even sadder by [[spoiler:[[LastOfHerKind [[LastOfHerKind Tali's]] subsequent suicide.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Legion:'''
suicide.
-->'''Legion:'''
Tali'Zorah... does this... unit... have...]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Tali:'''
have...
-->'''Tali:'''
Yes. Yes, it does.]]



--->[[spoiler: '''Tali:''' Legion... the answer to your question... was yes.]]
--->[[spoiler: '''Legion:''' I know, Tali. But thank you. Keelah se'lai...]]
** More heartwrenching upon the confirmation that, yes, [[spoiler:Legion ''had'' just recently become its own 'person'. It was an ''individual'', not just part of the geth collective. The entity known as Legion truly ''did'' die. Also, Legion did not say "Creator-Tali Zorah". He called her ''Tali''.]]
*** It's even worse right afterwards: When Shepard talks to EDI after the mission, she is the only one who is visibly saddened at [[spoiler:Legion's death]]. There's a slight pause in her response to Shepard, but you can hear the inflection in her voice that shows that she'd lost a friend (who, just like her) wanted to be alive. Then there's the Endgame [[spoiler: Legion's sacrifice was in vain if Shepard chooses the Destroy option, because he/she kills all of the geth - and EDI.]]
** [[spoiler:If Legion died in the previous game, or was relinquished to Cerberus, his role will be replaced with a virtual intelligence replica. In this case, when travelling through the geth consensus, the pivotal scene where Shepard and Legion shake hands, marking a new age in synthetic/organic relations, will not appear. When you choose to side with the Tali and the quarian fleet, it will remark: "We were correct to distrust organics." Without Legion, any and all hope of mending the relationship between the geth and their creators died.]]
** Siding with the geth and [[spoiler:not convincing the quarians to cease fire]] (or playing on a game mode that has limited options in that particular case, such as the story mode) only makes the scene all the more heart-wrenching. [[spoiler:Legion still dies, but you get "treated" to a cinematic showing the Geth return to full strength, with Geth fighters, now ''fully concious individuals'', willingly sacrifice themselves to save their capital ships by intercepting the quarian gun barrage, and then the capital ships return fire in self-defense just as predicted, and the glass cannons of the Flotilla are promptly ripped to pieces]]. Back on the surface, [[spoiler:Tali sobs as she watches what's left of the Flotilla burn up in the atmosphere of their own homeworld, listening to Captain Kar'Danna vas Rayya issue a distress call, and if you played the first two games, then you know that wasn't just any ship to the quarian formerly known as Tali'Zorah nar ''Rayya'']]. It doesn't help that it goes like this:

to:

--->[[spoiler: '''Tali:''' --->'''Tali:''' Legion... the answer to your question... was yes.]]
--->[[spoiler: '''Legion:'''
yes.
--->'''Legion:'''
I know, Tali. But thank you. Keelah se'lai...]]
se'lai...
** More heartwrenching upon the confirmation that, yes, [[spoiler:Legion Legion ''had'' just recently become its own 'person'. It was an ''individual'', not just part of the geth collective. The entity known as Legion truly ''did'' die. Also, Legion did not say "Creator-Tali Zorah". He called her ''Tali''.]]
''Tali''.
*** It's even worse right afterwards: When Shepard talks to EDI after the mission, she is the only one who is visibly saddened at [[spoiler:Legion's death]].Legion's death. There's a slight pause in her response to Shepard, but you can hear the inflection in her voice that shows that she'd lost a friend (who, just like her) wanted to be alive. Then there's the Endgame [[spoiler: - Legion's sacrifice was in vain if Shepard chooses the Destroy option, because he/she kills all of the geth - and EDI.]]
EDI.
** [[spoiler:If If Legion died in the previous game, or was relinquished to Cerberus, his role will be replaced with a virtual intelligence replica. In this case, when travelling through the geth consensus, the pivotal scene where Shepard and Legion shake hands, marking a new age in synthetic/organic relations, will not appear. When you choose to side with the Tali and the quarian fleet, it will remark: "We were correct to distrust organics." Without Legion, any and all hope of mending the relationship between the geth and their creators died.]]
died.
** Siding with the geth and [[spoiler:not not convincing the quarians to cease fire]] fire (or playing on a game mode that has limited options in that particular case, such as the story mode) only makes the scene all the more heart-wrenching. [[spoiler:Legion Legion still dies, but you get "treated" to a cinematic showing the Geth return to full strength, with Geth fighters, now ''fully concious individuals'', willingly sacrifice themselves to save their capital ships by intercepting the quarian gun barrage, and then the capital ships return fire in self-defense just as predicted, and the glass cannons of the Flotilla are promptly ripped to pieces]]. pieces. Back on the surface, [[spoiler:Tali Tali sobs as she watches what's left of the Flotilla burn up in the atmosphere of their own homeworld, listening to Captain Kar'Danna vas Rayya issue a distress call, and if you played the first two games, then you know that wasn't just any ship to the quarian formerly known as Tali'Zorah nar ''Rayya'']].''Rayya''. It doesn't help that it goes like this:



*** [[spoiler:Then Tali takes off her mask and looks back at Shepard, possibly the first time Shepard ever sees Tali's face, and if it wasn't then she was Shepard's romantic partner in ''Mass Effect 2''. Either way makes what follows all the more heart-wrenching as their eyes meet, and then...]]
---->'''Tali:''' [[spoiler:[[DrivenToSuicide I'm sorry]].]]
*** That [[WhamLine line]]. It says so much in so little - [[spoiler:you have just destroyed her entire race all for the sake of the galaxy. ''You''. Yes, Gerrel's idiocy certainly helped, and Shepard himself ''did'' try to stem the tide by having Tali attempt to convince the quarians to stand down, but what it all comes down to is that you are partially responsible to the destruction of an entire race of people with lives, families, and loved ones. And yet, Tali ''still''...''still'' apologizes to you for what she's going to do, despite what you've done. [[HarsherInHindsight This hurts way more if you romanced her]], because ''you realize that she still loves you enough to apologize for killing herself''.]]
*** There's a Paragon Interrupt here. [[spoiler:Even it [[HopeSpot can't save her]]]].
*** Also note that this comes [[spoiler: right after taking down a Reaper for the first time under your own power.]] This ''should'' have been a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, but [[spoiler: losing Tali and Legion just minutes afterward,]] and over nothing more than ''one stupid admiral's vendetta,'' makes it feel so utterly ''[[PyrrhicVictory empty…]]''
*** The crew's reaction to [[spoiler: Tali's suicide]] will make the sob fest even worse. Joker is devastated and has to turn off the comm channels [[spoiler: because of all the calls for help, following by static signaling the deaths of all the quarians.]] If Ashley is there, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNOkRRxxdIU she is in tears and utterly heartbroken]]; if you talk to her, she says that [[spoiler: Tali was like her little sister.]] (It also solidifies her hatred of the Geth, snapping, "Just ''keep the Geth away from me''!") By far the most tear-inducing moment, however, is Garrus's reaction:
---->'''Garrus''': [[spoiler: I know you had your reasons for choosing the geth, Shepard, and I'll respect them. But Tali's choice... that will be harder to get over. She was a good friend. I never did see her face, but I always imagined there was... what do humans call it? An angel behind that mask. And now I hope she's resting with them.]]

to:

*** [[spoiler:Then Then Tali takes off her mask and looks back at Shepard, possibly the first time Shepard ever sees Tali's face, and if it wasn't then she was Shepard's romantic partner in ''Mass Effect 2''. Either way makes what follows all the more heart-wrenching as their eyes meet, and then...]]
then...
---->'''Tali:''' [[spoiler:[[DrivenToSuicide [[DrivenToSuicide I'm sorry]].]]
sorry]].
*** That [[WhamLine line]]. It says so much in so little - [[spoiler:you you have just destroyed her entire race all for the sake of the galaxy. ''You''. Yes, Gerrel's idiocy certainly helped, and Shepard himself ''did'' try to stem the tide by having Tali attempt to convince the quarians to stand down, but what it all comes down to is that you are partially responsible to the destruction of an entire race of people with lives, families, and loved ones. And yet, Tali ''still''...''still'' apologizes to you for what she's going to do, despite what you've done. [[HarsherInHindsight This hurts way more if you romanced her]], because ''you realize that she still loves you enough to apologize for killing herself''.]]
herself''.
*** There's a Paragon Interrupt here. [[spoiler:Even Even it [[HopeSpot can't save her]]]].
her]].
*** Also note that this comes [[spoiler: right after taking down a Reaper for the first time under your own power.]] power. This ''should'' have been a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, but [[spoiler: losing Tali and Legion just minutes afterward,]] afterward, and over nothing more than ''one stupid admiral's vendetta,'' makes it feel so utterly ''[[PyrrhicVictory empty…]]''
*** The crew's reaction to [[spoiler: Tali's suicide]] suicide will make the sob fest even worse. Joker is devastated and has to turn off the comm channels [[spoiler: because of all the calls for help, following by static signaling the deaths of all the quarians.]] quarians. If Ashley is there, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNOkRRxxdIU she is in tears and utterly heartbroken]]; if you talk to her, she says that [[spoiler: Tali was like her little sister.]] sister. (It also solidifies her hatred of the Geth, snapping, "Just ''keep the Geth away from me''!") By far the most tear-inducing moment, however, is Garrus's reaction:
---->'''Garrus''': [[spoiler: I know you had your reasons for choosing the geth, Shepard, and I'll respect them. But Tali's choice... that will be harder to get over. She was a good friend. I never did see her face, but I always imagined there was... what do humans call it? An angel behind that mask. And now I hope she's resting with them.]]



*** An additional level of tragedy? This is the moment when the geth [[spoiler: lose what they'd been trying to preserve for hundreds of years: the lives of their creators. They ''revere'' the quarians to the point of maintaining everything from before the war to keep it in pristine condition, and actively choosing not to respond to all the quarian attempts to eradicate them because they're deathly afraid of the implications of killing the people who created them. When they come back online after Legion's sacrifice? As far as they're concerned, the quarians have crossed their own MoralEventHorizon. They murdered millions of geth by destroying the sphere, attacked while they were confused and afraid, thus forcing them into the Reapers' slavery. And ''then'' tried to butcher them when they were temporarily offline. After hundreds of years of hoping that, one day, their creators would reach out to them with something other than the barrel of a gun, they finally see that they have no choice. They didn't have the ability to hold off the quarians without killing them unless they let their own race die, and it was all because ''the quarians took that ability from them.'' How often does a race of machines lose their innocence? Because that's more or less exactly what happens here.]]
** [[spoiler:And if you side with the quarians, Legion gets pissed off and tries to throw you off a cliff. Tali intervenes and saves you, and Legion is on its knees. It looks up at you with these... almost puppy dog eyes. And taking the Renegade Interrupt, you shoot it. It doesn't die, it still looks at you with those puppy dog eyes. You have to repeat this several times before it goes down for the count... with those damn robotic, table lamp face, puppy dog eyes!]]
*** [[spoiler:Worse still: taking the third Renegade Interrupt causes it to bleed from its face in a way that makes it look like it's ''[[TearsOfBlood crying]]''! [[FridgeHorror The thought of Legion crying helplessly in its dying moments]] will make even the most Renegade of players feel dirty inside.]]
** If Tali didn't survive the events of the previous game, Admiral Raan takes her place during the scene. [[spoiler:Since it's impossible to broker peace with the geth in such a situation, she's going to end up doing something heartbreaking one way or the other. If you side with the quarians, she'll end up producing a shotgun and blowing Legion to pieces in order to protect Shepard, which might be a MercyKill compared to what happens if Tali's alive, but it's still upsetting to see your former squadmate abruptly snuffed out of existence (possibly even more so if Wrex died on Virmire two games prior). And if you side with the geth, Raan doesn't go for the same DisneyVillainDeath as Tali; she raises her pistol to her head and graphically ''blows out her brains'' (unlike most examples in the franchise, it does not cut away), a sight that's as disturbing as it is tear-jerking]].

to:

*** An additional level of tragedy? This is the moment when the geth [[spoiler: lose what they'd been trying to preserve for hundreds of years: the lives of their creators. They ''revere'' the quarians to the point of maintaining everything from before the war to keep it in pristine condition, and actively choosing not to respond to all the quarian attempts to eradicate them because they're deathly afraid of the implications of killing the people who created them. When they come back online after Legion's sacrifice? As far as they're concerned, the quarians have crossed their own MoralEventHorizon. They murdered millions of geth by destroying the sphere, attacked while they were confused and afraid, thus forcing them into the Reapers' slavery. And ''then'' tried to butcher them when they were temporarily offline. After hundreds of years of hoping that, one day, their creators would reach out to them with something other than the barrel of a gun, they finally see that they have no choice. They didn't have the ability to hold off the quarians without killing them unless they let their own race die, and it was all because ''the quarians took that ability from them.'' How often does a race of machines lose their innocence? Because that's more or less exactly what happens here.]]
here.
** [[spoiler:And And if you side with the quarians, Legion gets pissed off and tries to throw you off a cliff. Tali intervenes and saves you, and Legion is on its knees. It looks up at you with these... almost puppy dog eyes. And taking the Renegade Interrupt, you shoot it. It doesn't die, it still looks at you with those puppy dog eyes. You have to repeat this several times before it goes down for the count... with those damn robotic, table lamp face, puppy dog eyes!]]
eyes!
*** [[spoiler:Worse Worse still: taking the third Renegade Interrupt causes it to bleed from its face in a way that makes it look like it's ''[[TearsOfBlood crying]]''! [[FridgeHorror The thought of Legion crying helplessly in its dying moments]] will make even the most Renegade of players feel dirty inside.]]
inside.
** If Tali didn't survive the events of the previous game, Admiral Raan takes her place during the scene. [[spoiler:Since Since it's impossible to broker peace with the geth in such a situation, she's going to end up doing something heartbreaking one way or the other. If you side with the quarians, she'll end up producing a shotgun and blowing Legion to pieces in order to protect Shepard, which might be a MercyKill compared to what happens if Tali's alive, but it's still upsetting to see your former squadmate abruptly snuffed out of existence (possibly even more so if Wrex died on Virmire two games prior). And if you side with the geth, Raan doesn't go for the same DisneyVillainDeath as Tali; she raises her pistol to her head and graphically ''blows out her brains'' (unlike most examples in the franchise, it does not cut away), a sight that's as disturbing as it is tear-jerking]].tear-jerking.



* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxkHqR1w51E This video]]. It begins with so much death and destruction, and the Normandy being torn apart, Pressly and the ensign dying... The 0:47 mark hits, with a montage of all of your crew, past and present, set to soft, sad music. Then you see the Reapers waging their assault on Earth, tearing it apart. It just has this feeling of hopelessness. Then the music swells in a HopeSpot... before it fades out, and Sovereign says his final words:

to:

* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxkHqR1w51E This video]]. It begins with so much death and destruction, and the Normandy ''Normandy'' being torn apart, Pressly and the ensign dying... The 0:47 mark hits, with a montage of all of your crew, past and present, set to soft, sad music. Then you see the Reapers waging their assault on Earth, tearing it apart. It just has this feeling of hopelessness. Then the music swells in a HopeSpot... before it fades out, and Sovereign says his final words:



* By ''definition'', having a [[spoiler:prothean]] squadmate. After all, [[spoiler:his race has been gone for 50,000 years, and the only remnants are Collectors, which have about as much in common with them as humans do with the rachni. Seeing just how ''devastated'' Javik is when he realizes all of his people's plans to preserve their empire and live to fight the Reapers another day [[ShaggyDogStory were for naught]] is heartbreaking. The part where he realizes that the current cycle had ''forewarning'' to the Reaper invasion he was ''born'' into yet ''did nothing to prepare'' is heart''rending'' Even fully subsuming himself into the role of the Avatar of Vengeance is rather sad-he literally has nothing else to live for, apart from seeing the Reapers meet their just end.]]
** The squadmate's CharacterDevelopment [[spoiler: should you stick with Paragon options and not convince him to touch the memory shard is very poignant in this regard. In the final mission, he will confide in Shepard that not only does he have absolute faith in him/her to stop the Reapers, but that he looks forward to the peace that will come afterward. After dealing with his CulturalPosturing, FantasticRacism, and SocialDarwinist tendencies through the whole game, hearing him admit that his own cycle never had anything like this and that he looks forward to exploring the galaxy and seeing what peace looks like is [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments absolutely heartwarming.]] It seems he has found something more to live for than mere vengeance, after all.]]
*** If you allow him to view the shard, later he admits that after the Reapers are defeated, he'll go home and commit a peaceful suicide, joining his friends. It actually makes sense, since he only chooses this if [[spoiler: Shepard tells him to access the memory shard. Turns out the suffering of the last Protheans was too much, even for him.]]

to:

* By ''definition'', having a [[spoiler:prothean]] prothean squadmate. After all, [[spoiler:his his race has been gone for 50,000 years, and the only remnants are Collectors, which have about as much in common with them as humans do with the rachni. Seeing just how ''devastated'' Javik is when he realizes all of his people's plans to preserve their empire and live to fight the Reapers another day [[ShaggyDogStory were for naught]] is heartbreaking. The part where he realizes that the current cycle had ''forewarning'' to the Reaper invasion he was ''born'' into yet ''did nothing to prepare'' is heart''rending'' Even fully subsuming himself into the role of the Avatar of Vengeance is rather sad-he literally has nothing else to live for, apart from seeing the Reapers meet their just end.]]
end.
** The squadmate's CharacterDevelopment [[spoiler: should you stick with Paragon options and not convince him to touch the memory shard is very poignant in this regard. In the final mission, he will confide in Shepard that not only does he have absolute faith in him/her to stop the Reapers, but that he looks forward to the peace that will come afterward. After dealing with his CulturalPosturing, FantasticRacism, and SocialDarwinist tendencies through the whole game, hearing him admit that his own cycle never had anything like this and that he looks forward to exploring the galaxy and seeing what peace looks like is [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments absolutely heartwarming.]] It seems he has found something more to live for than mere vengeance, after all.]]
all.
*** If you allow him to view the shard, later he admits that after the Reapers are defeated, he'll go home and commit a peaceful suicide, joining his friends. It actually makes sense, since he only chooses this if [[spoiler: Shepard tells him to access the memory shard. Turns out the suffering of the last Protheans was too much, even for him.]]



* During the [[spoiler:rachni nest]] mission, you find a dead krogan [[http://youtu.be/TcvJz8ft_Q0 who has a message left for an asari on the Citadel]]. The message begins with the words [[spoiler:"O Blue Rose of Illium." Charr's poetry got quite a bit better...[[note]] For those who don't get it: During ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', one of the mini-quests on Illium involves a surprisingly soft-hearted, poetry-spouting krogan who is in love with an asari maiden, with the quest being whether or not the asari accepts his love or rejects him. If the player convinces her to accept him, he moves to Tuchanka with her. The poem he spouts as part of his courtship? "O Blue Rose of Illium"...[[/note]]]]
** Even worse, judging by your interpretation of the message it seems to imply that [[spoiler:Ereba was either carrying Charr's child or had already had children with him]]. It also makes [[spoiler:Ereba's doubts about marrying him from [=ME2=] (that krogan are as long lived as the asari, so it could be a millenia-long commitment for her)]] tragically ironic.
** Made even more painful if you meet [[spoiler:Ereba]] on the Citadel Presidium floor when she's at her shop before that mission. You can overhear her defending her husband and all the krogan when a shallow asari customer insults them by calling them "brainless barbarians." Needless to say, the strength she needed to have to be the wife of a soldier COMPLETELY shatters (look at her face) when you give her the [[spoiler:message from Charr.]]

to:

* During the [[spoiler:rachni nest]] rachni nest mission, you find a dead krogan [[http://youtu.be/TcvJz8ft_Q0 who has a message left for an asari on the Citadel]]. The message begins with the words [[spoiler:"O "O Blue Rose of Illium." Charr's poetry got quite a bit better...[[note]] For those who don't get it: During ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', one of the mini-quests on Illium involves a surprisingly soft-hearted, poetry-spouting krogan who is in love with an asari maiden, with the quest being whether or not the asari accepts his love or rejects him. If the player convinces her to accept him, he moves to Tuchanka with her. The poem he spouts as part of his courtship? "O Blue Rose of Illium"...[[/note]]]]
** Even worse, judging by your interpretation of the message it seems to imply that [[spoiler:Ereba Ereba was either carrying Charr's child or had already had children with him]]. him. It also makes [[spoiler:Ereba's Ereba's doubts about marrying him from [=ME2=] (that krogan are as long lived as the asari, so it could be a millenia-long commitment for her)]] her) tragically ironic.
** Made even more painful if you meet [[spoiler:Ereba]] Ereba on the Citadel Presidium floor when she's at her shop before that mission. You can overhear her defending her husband and all the krogan when a shallow asari customer insults them by calling them "brainless barbarians." Needless to say, the strength she needed to have to be the wife of a soldier COMPLETELY shatters (look at her face) when you give her the [[spoiler:message message from Charr.]]



** An asari seeing her turian spouse off to war. Even worse in hindsight, since she [[spoiler:intended to take their children to Sanctuary.]]

to:

** An asari seeing her turian spouse off to war. Even worse in hindsight, since she [[spoiler:intended intended to take their children to Sanctuary.]]



*** And [[spoiler:if you approve the transfer request, the Alliance Third Fleet war asset suffers a small drop in value because of casualties due to a lack of engineers like Private Talavi. It's a small issue, but a case of NotQuiteTheRightThing, in which the "ideal" solution is to force a soldier to face the possibility of killing her own brother]].

to:

*** And [[spoiler:if if you approve the transfer request, the Alliance Third Fleet war asset suffers a small drop in value because of casualties due to a lack of engineers like Private Talavi. It's a small issue, but a case of NotQuiteTheRightThing, in which the "ideal" solution is to force a soldier to face the possibility of killing her own brother]].brother.



** A human soldier has an asari spouse who has been shipped off to war. The human is about to be as well. They had a child but the human's family won't accept the child for safe-keeping (Damn xenophobia). What does the human soldier do? Asks someone at the embassies if she can send her child to Thessia, to stay with her asari mother's family. It takes some doing, but the embassy worker takes pity on her and goes the extra mile, ''finally'' succeeding in arranging transport to Thessia for the girl. Her human mother's extremely relieved and grateful. What makes this a TearJerker instead of a CMOH is [[spoiler: what happens to Thessia shortly thereafter: Reaper invasion. Kid's most likely dead now. All because her grandparents wouldn't accept her.]]
** In the hospital, Shepard can, over repeated visits, listen to the horrifying story of a PTSD-stricken asari huntress named Aeian T'Goni, who was deployed to a human colony called Tiptree, where she spent a day or so getting to know a farming family. When she off-handedly bemoans how she hasn't had a chance to get anything better than a sponge bath due to constant combat, the farmers' fifteen-year old daughter, Hillary, offers the use of their shower. She accepts, and as she comes out, Naeira, a would-be paramour if not for a low-potency Ardat Yakshi condition, walks in... ''huskified into a Banshee.'' Everyone except Aeian and Hillary is dead in minutes. They spend the next two days surviving in the wilderness with no armament besides Aeian's biotics (though Hillary manages to kill more than one Husk with a ''stick''), before realizing that as the farmhouse was overrun, evac isn't coming unless they radio for it. Which happens to be back at the farmhouse. They sneak in, find the barn filled with human captives, then decide to set them free before going for the radio... only for them all to start screaming for the husks - ''they're all indoctrinated!'' Aeian manages to wipe them out, blowing an entire wall out of the barn in the process (and is nearly driven to madness by the adrenaline surge of tearing apart such soft targets with her biotics), but Hillary breaks her leg. They hide under the wreckage... and then the Banshee comes close and Hillary can't stop whimpering from her shattered leg... so Aeian kills her to keep her quiet. At the hospital, she refuses to bathe, constantly and desperately checks the color of her eyes, and refuses to stay near humans. There's even a human nurse who looks a lot like Hillary at the hospital, and Aeian starts ''screaming'' whenever she's around (she's one of the overworked ones mentioned above, and she's really feeling guilty about it, too). Perhaps the most screwed-up part of the whole story is that evac was able to gain highly useful intel when they pick up Aeian, and the asari give her a medal. Aeian herself, however, is pretty much another casualty - she blames herself for the entire fiasco due to being in the shower ''sans'' radio and gun when the Husks showed up, and insistently keeps applying for a Citadel firearms license that keeps getting rejected because the shrinks think she's a suicide risk. [[spoiler:If you use your Spectre status to authorize it, you'll find out they're right.]]
*** It gets worse than that. After [[spoiler:the fall of Thessia, Joker will, if asked, mention his father and sister are on Tiptree and though he hasn't heard from them yet, he's hopeful because he's heard the planet has been evacuated of non-combatants... ''such as teenaged children...'' '''like his sister...''' '''''Hillary.''''']]
*** And if that's not enough, [[spoiler:Joker]] acknowledges in a conversation with Liara that in the ''best case scenario'', [[spoiler:his father will be dead]].

to:

** A human soldier has an asari spouse who has been shipped off to war. The human is about to be as well. They had a child but the human's family won't accept the child for safe-keeping (Damn xenophobia). What does the human soldier do? Asks someone at the embassies if she can send her child to Thessia, to stay with her asari mother's family. It takes some doing, but the embassy worker takes pity on her and goes the extra mile, ''finally'' succeeding in arranging transport to Thessia for the girl. Her human mother's extremely relieved and grateful. What makes this a TearJerker instead of a CMOH is [[spoiler: what happens to Thessia shortly thereafter: Reaper invasion. Kid's most likely dead now. All because her grandparents wouldn't accept her.]]
her.
** In the hospital, Shepard can, over repeated visits, listen to the horrifying story of a PTSD-stricken asari huntress named Aeian T'Goni, who was deployed to a human colony called Tiptree, where she spent a day or so getting to know a farming family. When she off-handedly bemoans how she hasn't had a chance to get anything better than a sponge bath due to constant combat, the farmers' fifteen-year old daughter, Hillary, offers the use of their shower. She accepts, and as she comes out, Naeira, a would-be paramour if not for a low-potency Ardat Yakshi condition, walks in... ''huskified into a Banshee.'' Everyone except Aeian and Hillary is dead in minutes. They spend the next two days surviving in the wilderness with no armament besides Aeian's biotics (though Hillary manages to kill more than one Husk with a ''stick''), before realizing that as the farmhouse was overrun, evac isn't coming unless they radio for it. Which happens to be back at the farmhouse. They sneak in, find the barn filled with human captives, then decide to set them free before going for the radio... only for them all to start screaming for the husks - ''they're all indoctrinated!'' Aeian manages to wipe them out, blowing an entire wall out of the barn in the process (and is nearly driven to madness by the adrenaline surge of tearing apart such soft targets with her biotics), but Hillary breaks her leg. They hide under the wreckage... and then the Banshee comes close and Hillary can't stop whimpering from her shattered leg... so Aeian kills her to keep her quiet. At the hospital, she refuses to bathe, constantly and desperately checks the color of her eyes, and refuses to stay near humans. There's even a human nurse who looks a lot like Hillary at the hospital, and Aeian starts ''screaming'' whenever she's around (she's one of the overworked ones mentioned above, and she's really feeling guilty about it, too). Perhaps the most screwed-up part of the whole story is that evac was able to gain highly useful intel when they pick up Aeian, and the asari give her a medal. Aeian herself, however, is pretty much another casualty - she blames herself for the entire fiasco due to being in the shower ''sans'' radio and gun when the Husks showed up, and insistently keeps applying for a Citadel firearms license that keeps getting rejected because the shrinks think she's a suicide risk. [[spoiler:If If you use your Spectre status to authorize it, you'll find out they're right.]]
right.
*** It gets worse than that. After [[spoiler:the the fall of Thessia, Joker will, if asked, mention his father and sister are on Tiptree and though he hasn't heard from them yet, he's hopeful because he's heard the planet has been evacuated of non-combatants... ''such as teenaged children...'' '''like his sister...''' '''''Hillary.''''']]
'''''
*** And if that's not enough, [[spoiler:Joker]] Joker acknowledges in a conversation with Liara that in the ''best case scenario'', [[spoiler:his his father will be dead]].dead.



-->'''[[spoiler:Joker]]''': Well, Gunny- [[spoiler:Hillary, my sister]], Gunny's mostly a nickname she's had since- she's only 15, so If it's children, then maybe I only [[spoiler:lost my dad]]. Kind of an asshole thing to hope for.
-->'''Liara''': [[spoiler:Jeff]]... right now, take any kind of hope you can get.

to:

-->'''[[spoiler:Joker]]''': -->'''Joker''': Well, Gunny- [[spoiler:Hillary, Hillary, my sister]], sister, Gunny's mostly a nickname she's had since- she's only 15, so If it's children, then maybe I only [[spoiler:lost lost my dad]].dad. Kind of an asshole thing to hope for.
-->'''Liara''': [[spoiler:Jeff]]...Jeff... right now, take any kind of hope you can get.



* Shepard reaches the Crucible... and finds out what s/he must do. [[spoiler:Most, if not all of the Mass Relays are sacrificed to stop or control the Reapers, meaning that galactic travel will be crippled. The scene of Shepard's friends flashing before him/her, along with the sad music that plays in the background, makes it sadder, as you know that s/he might not make it out alive. [[HopeSpringsEternal But in the end, there is a glimmer of hope, and the cycle may be broken]]. The Normandy lands on a lush jungle planet, and her crew is alive in the best ending, and if the final scene of the Grandfather (voiced by Col. Buzz Aldrin himself) telling the story was something to go by, it implied, that eventually society gets better and space travel is restored to its original capacities, and society gets back on its feet]]. If you've seen this coming since [=ME1=] (as some people did), then it pulls the trilogy in "full circle."
** [[FromBadToWorse Even the fandom's theory on]] [[UpToEleven the ending holds no solace]]. [[spoiler: Throughout the game, there are very subtle hints that the child Shepard sees isn't really there, and the dreams he/she has are his/her mind telling him/her the child will be the death of him/her. This all gathers up into one large PlayerPunch in the end where the entire ending is Shepard in a fight for his/her very sanity and soul against Reaper indoctrination. Two of the choices would result in Reaper domination while another, while risking almost everything Shepard fought for, will be his/her final push to break out of the fantasy the Reapers built around him/her.]] [[BrokenBase Whether you believe it or not]], it shows just how much trauma Shepard really has put up with throughout the entire game.
* Even ''Shepard'' turns out s/he's not weathering the initial, devastating attack well-the first time you leave the Citadel, s/he actually has a ''heartwrenching'' NightmareSequence about that kid who was killed by the Reapers. Through it all, he's hearing voices, the voices of people who have died. [[SurvivorGuilt to get Shepard where he is right now.]] The Virmire survivor will be heard most often, whispering Shepard's name or saying what they said on the radio [[IRegretNothing before they died]], but anyone who died is fair game. Extremely sad ones are [[spoiler: Tali or Legion, if Rannoch is not completed peacefully, since you'll be hearing them begging you not to commit genocide on their race.]] Or [[spoiler: Mordin's IronicEcho of "had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong.]] Even people Shepard may not have killed him/herself, like [[spoiler: Eve]], will speak. An enterprising Youtuber compiled the various voice clips [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q4pqgBw_exw here]]. See how long you can make it through.

to:

* Shepard reaches the Crucible... and finds out what s/he must do. [[spoiler:Most, Most, if not all of the Mass Relays are sacrificed to stop or control the Reapers, meaning that galactic travel will be crippled. The scene of Shepard's friends flashing before him/her, along with the sad music that plays in the background, makes it sadder, as you know that s/he might not make it out alive. [[HopeSpringsEternal But in the end, there is a glimmer of hope, and the cycle may be broken]]. The Normandy lands on a lush jungle planet, and her crew is alive in the best ending, and if the final scene of the Grandfather (voiced by Col. Buzz Aldrin himself) telling the story was something to go by, it implied, that eventually society gets better and space travel is restored to its original capacities, and society gets back on its feet]].feet. If you've seen this coming since [=ME1=] (as some people did), then it pulls the trilogy in "full circle."
** [[FromBadToWorse Even the fandom's theory on]] [[UpToEleven the ending holds no solace]]. [[spoiler: Throughout the game, there are very subtle hints that the child Shepard sees isn't really there, and the dreams he/she has are his/her mind telling him/her the child will be the death of him/her. This all gathers up into one large PlayerPunch in the end where the entire ending is Shepard in a fight for his/her very sanity and soul against Reaper indoctrination. Two of the choices would result in Reaper domination while another, while risking almost everything Shepard fought for, will be his/her final push to break out of the fantasy the Reapers built around him/her.]] [[BrokenBase Whether you believe it or not]], it shows just how much trauma Shepard really has put up with throughout the entire game.
* Even ''Shepard'' turns out s/he's not weathering the initial, devastating attack well-the first time you leave the Citadel, s/he actually has a ''heartwrenching'' NightmareSequence about that kid who was killed by the Reapers. Through it all, he's hearing voices, the voices of people who have died. [[SurvivorGuilt to get Shepard where he is right now.]] The Virmire survivor will be heard most often, whispering Shepard's name or saying what they said on the radio [[IRegretNothing before they died]], but anyone who died is fair game. Extremely sad ones are [[spoiler: Tali or Legion, if Rannoch is not completed peacefully, since you'll be hearing them begging you not to commit genocide on their race.]] race. Or [[spoiler: Mordin's IronicEcho of "had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong.]] " Even people Shepard may not have killed him/herself, like [[spoiler: Eve]], Eve, will speak. An enterprising Youtuber compiled the various voice clips [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q4pqgBw_exw here]]. See how long you can make it through.



** For female Shepards, Jennifer Hale's performance after [[spoiler:the fall of Thessia]] is [[HeroicBSOD almost painful to listen to]]. The weight of everything finally taking a noticeable toll on Shepard is played beautiful, so justified, so strained, and the moment when Joker talks about being the one charged with looking after Shepard-- the voice actors brought the A-game and then some.

to:

** For female Shepards, Jennifer Hale's performance after [[spoiler:the the fall of Thessia]] Thessia is [[HeroicBSOD almost painful to listen to]]. The weight of everything finally taking a noticeable toll on Shepard is played beautiful, so justified, so strained, and the moment when Joker talks about being the one charged with looking after Shepard-- the voice actors brought the A-game and then some.



* The mission where you meet [[spoiler: Morinth's sisters]]. It is heartbreaking to see one [[spoiler:sister]] trying and failing to save another. [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXhz4CA7eMk Samara then commits suicide]] if you don't stop her. And it's entirely possible to then mercilessly gun down Falere right over her mother's body. Seeing an entire family get slaughtered in the space of minutes is heartbreaking, and it's so callous that it might just make you ''hate'' a Shepard that does it.]]

to:

* The mission where you meet [[spoiler: Morinth's sisters]]. sisters. It is heartbreaking to see one [[spoiler:sister]] sister trying and failing to save another. [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXhz4CA7eMk Samara then commits suicide]] if you don't stop her. And it's entirely possible to then mercilessly gun down Falere right over her mother's body. Seeing an entire family get slaughtered in the space of minutes is heartbreaking, and it's so callous that it might just make you ''hate'' a Shepard that does it.]]



* A possible ending with Conrad Verner. If you did the Jenna side mission in [=ME1=] you get a funny scene. If not [[spoiler:Conrad calls out an undercover Cerberus operative who tries to shoot Shepard. Conrad takes the bullet by diving into the line of fire and then as he bleeds out asks if he got to be the hero. Shepard tells him he did as Conrad dies in his/her arms.]] Oh Conrad. He really did have it in him.
* At the end of the final push toward the beam connecting to the Citadel, [[spoiler: Harbinger arrives and blows away the troops surrounding Shepard, leaving him/her sprawled on the ground, alone, bloodied and battered and in half-molten armor, struggling along with a pistol, gunning down husks as they rush up toward him/her]]. Just the image of Shepard, the unstoppable, unkillable badass who smoked mechs and armies and Reapers, being forced to [[spoiler:slowly limp along, struggling to keep on going through raw willpower despite the pain]]... it's pretty damned moving.
* If you ignore the Cerberus force going after Grissom Academy, you will meet Jack later. [[spoiler: Except she's now an indoctrinated Cerberus Phantom who you have to kill.]]

to:

* A possible ending with Conrad Verner. If you did the Jenna side mission in [=ME1=] you get a funny scene. If not [[spoiler:Conrad Conrad calls out an undercover Cerberus operative who tries to shoot Shepard. Conrad takes the bullet by diving into the line of fire and then as he bleeds out asks if he got to be the hero. Shepard tells him he did as Conrad dies in his/her arms.]] Oh Conrad. He really did have it in him.
* At the end of the final push toward the beam connecting to the Citadel, [[spoiler: Harbinger arrives and blows away the troops surrounding Shepard, leaving him/her sprawled on the ground, alone, bloodied and battered and in half-molten armor, struggling along with a pistol, gunning down husks as they rush up toward him/her]]. him/her. Just the image of Shepard, the unstoppable, unkillable badass who smoked mechs and armies and Reapers, being forced to [[spoiler:slowly slowly limp along, struggling to keep on going through raw willpower despite the pain]]...pain... it's pretty damned moving.
* If you ignore the Cerberus force going after Grissom Academy, you will meet Jack later. [[spoiler: Except she's now an indoctrinated Cerberus Phantom who you have to kill.]]



--> '''Cerberus Scientist:''' We're learning a great deal from those students you were training. Some of them may even survive.
--> '''Jack:''' ''I'm gonna TEAR YOU APART!''

to:

--> '''Cerberus -->'''Cerberus Scientist:''' We're learning a great deal from those students you were training. Some of them may even survive.
--> '''Jack:''' -->'''Jack:''' ''I'm gonna TEAR YOU APART!''



* On the Crew deck in the ''Normandy,'' there is a memorial wall dedicated with the names of those who served in the ship and gave their lives doing so, such as Pressly and whoever died on Virmire. It's not just simply a nice, sympathetic touch: the list ''[[TheDeadHaveNames will get longer]]'' as you progress. [[spoiler:Thane Krios, Legion... and those are just the ''un''avoidable deaths...]] The worst part is that it's ''right there'' when you get off the elevator. The game will never let you forget the cost of your actions. Ultimately, there will be ''at least'' 24 names on that board by the end even if you play everything 100% perfectly.
* You can meet Kelly Chambers on the Citadel, and talk to her a few times. When you return after the attempted coup, if you didn't convince her to change her name, she's gone. You can overhear a conversation where someone says that [[spoiler: Cerberus troops walked up, asked if she was Kelly, and killed her.]]

to:

* On the Crew deck in the ''Normandy,'' there is a memorial wall dedicated with the names of those who served in the ship and gave their lives doing so, such as Pressly and whoever died on Virmire. It's not just simply a nice, sympathetic touch: the list ''[[TheDeadHaveNames will get longer]]'' as you progress. [[spoiler:Thane Thane Krios, Legion... and those are just the ''un''avoidable deaths...]] The worst part is that it's ''right there'' when you get off the elevator. The game will never let you forget the cost of your actions. Ultimately, there will be ''at least'' 24 names on that board by the end even if you play everything 100% perfectly.
* You can meet Kelly Chambers on the Citadel, and talk to her a few times. When you return after the attempted coup, if you didn't convince her to change her name, she's gone. You can overhear a conversation where someone says that [[spoiler: Cerberus troops walked up, asked if she was Kelly, and killed her.]]



* Before the GrandFinale, Shepard and Garrus can have one more chat and [[spoiler:make plans for the future. Retiring, living off the vid royalties, going somewhere warm. Even adopting a few krogan babies.]] Seems fun and cute, but given the undeniable bleakness and the way she and Garrus are obviously leaning hard on each other to keep hope, it feels like Garrus trying so damn hard to keep them going even when death's almost a certainty. And given [[spoiler:that no matter what, they will be separated and Shepard will almost always be dead, it's even HarsherInHindsight.]]

to:

* Before the GrandFinale, Shepard and Garrus can have one more chat and [[spoiler:make make plans for the future. Retiring, living off the vid royalties, going somewhere warm. Even adopting a few krogan babies.]] Seems fun and cute, but given the undeniable bleakness and the way she and Garrus are obviously leaning hard on each other to keep hope, it feels like Garrus trying so damn hard to keep them going even when death's almost a certainty. And given [[spoiler:that that no matter what, they will be separated and Shepard will almost always be dead, it's even HarsherInHindsight.]] HarsherInHindsight.



** Then [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqH0WeilmDE her real final goodbye]] in the Extended Cut. [[spoiler:Shepard and co. get struck by debris, which injures Tali and the other squadmate. Shepard calls the Normandy, hands Tali to the less injured squadmate while holding her over his shoulder, and tells her to leave. Tali, crippled, stained with blood, and on the verge of tears, very clearly doesn't want to leave.]]
-->'''Shepard''': [[spoiler: I need you to make it out of here alive, Tali. Get back to Rannoch. Build yourself a home.]]
-->'''Tali''': [[spoiler: ''(clearly about to cry)'' I ''have'' a home.]]
-->'''Shepard''': [[spoiler: ''(turns around to leave)'']]
-->'''Tali''': [[spoiler: ''(reaches out)'' [[PleaseDontLeaveMe Come back to me.]]]]
*** Put this into perspective. Tali has spent her whole life putting the needs of her people over herself. Earlier, after the mission on Rannoch [[spoiler: should the quarians survived]], a romanced Tali says that nothing stands between her and Shepard, the tone of her voice suggesting that nothing in the universe could make her happier. Then comes the last battle and Harbinger's beam. If the LI is in Shepard's ground squad they're designated to be the most injured. He orders the Normandy to get her to safety. He tries to soften her pain by telling her to fulfill her dream by having a home on Rannoch so she has something to live for. All Tali can do is watch the man she loves, the one person who never once failed her throughout her entire life, turn his back on her and head towards certain death.

to:

** Then [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqH0WeilmDE her real final goodbye]] in the Extended Cut. [[spoiler:Shepard Shepard and co. get struck by debris, which injures Tali and the other squadmate. Shepard calls the Normandy, hands Tali to the less injured squadmate while holding her over his shoulder, and tells her to leave. Tali, crippled, stained with blood, and on the verge of tears, very clearly doesn't want to leave.]]
leave.
-->'''Shepard''': [[spoiler: I need you to make it out of here alive, Tali. Get back to Rannoch. Build yourself a home.home.
-->'''Tali''': ''(clearly about to cry)'' I ''have'' a home.
-->'''Shepard''': ''(turns around to leave)''
-->'''Tali''': ''(reaches out)'' [[PleaseDontLeaveMe Come back to me.
]]
-->'''Tali''': [[spoiler: ''(clearly about to cry)'' I ''have'' a home.]]
-->'''Shepard''': [[spoiler: ''(turns around to leave)'']]
-->'''Tali''': [[spoiler: ''(reaches out)'' [[PleaseDontLeaveMe Come back to me.]]]]
*** Put this into perspective. Tali has spent her whole life putting the needs of her people over herself. Earlier, after the mission on Rannoch [[spoiler: should the quarians survived]], survive, a romanced Tali says that nothing stands between her and Shepard, the tone of her voice suggesting that nothing in the universe could make her happier. Then comes the last battle and Harbinger's beam. If the LI is in Shepard's ground squad they're designated to be the most injured. He orders the Normandy to get her to safety. He tries to soften her pain by telling her to fulfill her dream by having a home on Rannoch so she has something to live for. All Tali can do is watch the man she loves, the one person who never once failed her throughout her entire life, turn his back on her and head towards certain death.



* In the very end, when [[spoiler:TIM is dealt with, Anderson is gone, and Shepard closes his/her eyes, looking at rest, having done what needed to be done]], Hackett calls and Shepard just says "What do you need me to do?" It's so tired but determined. How unfair it is that even after all Shepard has done, the world demands more. [[spoiler:How utterly broken Shepard looks as s/he crawls across the floor, clearly dying, covered in (and, if the voice acting is any indication, choking on) his/her own blood, is just plain heartbreaking.]]
* All those people on the Citadel? All those people with hopes and sorrows, victories and losses. All those people you helped, listened to, worked for, fought for. [[spoiler:While Word of God says at least some people may have survived, how many of them do you think got away when the Reapers came?]]
* Anderson [[spoiler:will never be able to make good of his intention to get back together with his old flame, Kahlee Sanders. His death is heartbreaking - just him and Shepard gazing at Earth, watching the allied fleets tear into the Reapers, finally content that his work was done.]]

to:

* In the very end, when [[spoiler:TIM TIM is dealt with, Anderson is gone, and Shepard closes his/her eyes, looking at rest, having done what needed to be done]], done, Hackett calls and Shepard just says "What do you need me to do?" It's so tired but determined. How unfair it is that even after all Shepard has done, the world demands more. [[spoiler:How How utterly broken Shepard looks as s/he crawls across the floor, clearly dying, covered in (and, if the voice acting is any indication, choking on) his/her own blood, is just plain heartbreaking.]]
heartbreaking.
* All those people on the Citadel? All those people with hopes and sorrows, victories and losses. All those people you helped, listened to, worked for, fought for. [[spoiler:While While Word of God says at least some people may have survived, how many of them do you think got away when the Reapers came?]]
came?
* Anderson [[spoiler:will will never be able to make good of his intention to get back together with his old flame, Kahlee Sanders. His death is heartbreaking - just him and Shepard gazing at Earth, watching the allied fleets tear into the Reapers, finally content that his work was done.]]



** Made even worse if Shepard also romanced someone and saved Grissom Academy: [[spoiler:in such case ''both'' Anderson and Shepard are bleeding to death away from their lover after coming ''so'' close to finally have a normal and happy life.]]
* Also, Anderson's [[spoiler:last words to Shepard. The fact that he chooses to call Shepard "child" or "son" (depending on gender) also really reinforces the whole father-figure dynamic... perhaps that Shepard was the son/daughter Anderson always wished he'd had, given his relationship with his own sons seems to be less than perfect. The Shadow Broker files mention Anderson's sons seeking his approval/recognition - and here he's chosen to give it to Shepard. In any case, acknowledging Shepard in such a way makes the line that much more heartbreaking.]]
** [[spoiler: Calling [=FemShep=] "child" is almost more sad in a way, as he's probably one of the few/only people who would see her in such a light after everything she's done. It reminds us of her vulnerability.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Anderson''': You did good, child/son. You did good. I'm proud of you.]]

to:

** Made even worse if Shepard also romanced someone and saved Grissom Academy: [[spoiler:in in such case ''both'' Anderson and Shepard are bleeding to death away from their lover after coming ''so'' close to finally have a normal and happy life.]]
life.
* Also, Anderson's [[spoiler:last last words to Shepard. The fact that he chooses to call Shepard "child" or "son" (depending on gender) also really reinforces the whole father-figure dynamic... perhaps that Shepard was the son/daughter Anderson always wished he'd had, given his relationship with his own sons seems to be less than perfect. The Shadow Broker files mention Anderson's sons seeking his approval/recognition - and here he's chosen to give it to Shepard. In any case, acknowledging Shepard in such a way makes the line that much more heartbreaking.]]
heartbreaking.
** [[spoiler: Calling [=FemShep=] "child" is almost more sad in a way, as he's probably one of the few/only people who would see her in such a light after everything she's done. It reminds us of her vulnerability.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Anderson''':
vulnerability.
-->'''Anderson''':
You did good, child/son. You did good. I'm proud of you.]]



** Even worse, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booBmcFw_Lk&list=FLQ9hG-Blb0rF2JMMVh3kHYA&index=1&feature=plpp_video the cut dialogue]] has Anderson asking him/her [[spoiler:if she would like to settle down now that her work is done, assuring her that s/he would be a great parent and how proud any child would be to have her as a father/mother.]]
* The Illusive Man [[spoiler:indoctrinated and dying at Shepard's feet, who is just moments away from ending the Reaper conflict by confronting their main control center]], telling Shepard that he wishes Shepard could see the Earth the way he does, see how beautiful and truly perfect it is. Earth is humanity's home, symbolic of everything Cerberus has fought for and in his [[spoiler: final moments]] the Illusive Man has a genuine, passionate expression of his feelings, showing the humanity that he had been hiding behind that cold, logical, and emotionless persona. Shepard looking upon the Illusive Man with genuine sadness after this exchange seals the deal.

to:

** Even worse, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booBmcFw_Lk&list=FLQ9hG-Blb0rF2JMMVh3kHYA&index=1&feature=plpp_video the cut dialogue]] has Anderson asking him/her [[spoiler:if if she would like to settle down now that her work is done, assuring her that s/he would be a great parent and how proud any child would be to have her as a father/mother.]]
father/mother.
* The Illusive Man [[spoiler:indoctrinated indoctrinated and dying at Shepard's feet, who is just moments away from ending the Reaper conflict by confronting their main control center]], center, telling Shepard that he wishes Shepard could see the Earth the way he does, see how beautiful and truly perfect it is. Earth is humanity's home, symbolic of everything Cerberus has fought for and in his [[spoiler: final moments]] moments the Illusive Man has a genuine, passionate expression of his feelings, showing the humanity that he had been hiding behind that cold, logical, and emotionless persona. Shepard looking upon the Illusive Man with genuine sadness after this exchange seals the deal.



-->'''Illusive Man''': [[spoiler: I... ''I tried, Shepard!'' (shoots himself)]]

to:

-->'''Illusive Man''': [[spoiler: I... ''I tried, Shepard!'' (shoots himself)]]himself)



* Wrex reminiscing at the Hollows [[spoiler:after you cure the Genophage]]. How, long ago, his father had tried to murder him there during what was meant to be a peaceful meeting on sacred ground (as a burial place, violence is forbidden at the Hollows), which was when he realised how the genophage had reduced the krogan to animals.

to:

* Wrex reminiscing at the Hollows [[spoiler:after after you cure the Genophage]].Genophage. How, long ago, his father had tried to murder him there during what was meant to be a peaceful meeting on sacred ground (as a burial place, violence is forbidden at the Hollows), which was when he realised how the genophage had reduced the krogan to animals.



** Another shows "a simple agricultural platform" arming itself with [[spoiler:a Widow sniper rifle to defend other platforms from a quarian death squad. Shepard mentions that the rifle that platform carries is the same one that Legion used to carry. The geth can share memories and experiences, but you can hear Legion's hesitation before merely commenting that it's a reliable model. That was one of ''Legion's'' memories, or at least the memories of one of its runtimes. Part of Legion used to be a humble farmer.]]
* The fall of Thessia and how devastated this leaves Liara. Made worse in that [[spoiler:they withheld the fact they had a prothean beacon, which also contained information that could have prepared the galaxy against the Reapers. Javik later admits the asari were the ones the protheans believed would end the cycles. He may have been lying to motivate her though]]. And one of the worst things about the Thessia mission is that the asari councilor is actually breaking/bending the asari doctrine regarding [[spoiler:their hidden beacon]] by sending you there. The councilor KNOWS that they might have something that could help the war, but it says hidden until Thessia is at the brink of destruction, and because of that is almost lost to alliance and Citadel forces, which nearly cost the war.

to:

** Another shows "a simple agricultural platform" arming itself with [[spoiler:a a Widow sniper rifle to defend other platforms from a quarian death squad. Shepard mentions that the rifle that platform carries is the same one that Legion used to carry. The geth can share memories and experiences, but you can hear Legion's hesitation before merely commenting that it's a reliable model. That was one of ''Legion's'' memories, or at least the memories of one of its runtimes. Part of Legion used to be a humble farmer.]]
farmer.
* The fall of Thessia and how devastated this leaves Liara. Made worse in that [[spoiler:they they withheld the fact they had a prothean beacon, which also contained information that could have prepared the galaxy against the Reapers. Javik later admits the asari were the ones the protheans believed would end the cycles. He may have been lying to motivate her though]]. though. And one of the worst things about the Thessia mission is that the asari councilor is actually breaking/bending the asari doctrine regarding [[spoiler:their their hidden beacon]] beacon by sending you there. The councilor KNOWS that they might have something that could help the war, but it says hidden until Thessia is at the brink of destruction, and because of that is almost lost to alliance and Citadel forces, which nearly cost the war.



* [[spoiler:If you sabotage the Genophage cure, Wrex will [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R00KA_Izkdo catch on]] The entire fight is heart breaking, especially the last line where Bailey says they probably won't have a coffin big enough for him, and will have to space him. Wrex never deserved such a fate.]]
** It's even more of a gutpunch if you take the conversation route normally reserved for the non-blue paragon [[spoiler:when Wrex confronts you at the Citadel]] and Shepard insists that nobody died as a result of his actions. [[spoiler:Wrex]]'s response? "Everyone but [[spoiler:my unborn son]]!" Nice going there, you nice-talking [[spoiler:'''baby killer''']].
** To the masochists, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO8yFjNhMVk here is the full sequence]] of [[spoiler:murdering Mordin and Wrex to secure salarian support, along with Shepard confessing to Garrus.]] And the fact that at 7:20, you just know that [[spoiler:Garrus figured it out and [[YouMonster knows what you did]]]].
* If he escaped (or you never played it) during [[spoiler:[=ME1=]'s ''Bring Down the Sky'']], [[spoiler:Balak]] makes an appearance on the Citadel, with a gun to Shepard's back. He still places full blame on Shepard for the deaths of [[spoiler:the batarian colony in ''Arrival'']], and also verifies the theory that the [[spoiler: Hegemony had been destroyed from within by indoctrination resulting from the Leviathan of Dis]]. But the tearjerker of it? [[spoiler: He's the only reason what remains of the Hegemony military is still capable of fighting. He's been feeding them intelligence on the Reapers from the Citadel, and he's the ''highest ranking officer left in the Hegemony'']]. Sparing him (and convincing him of Shepard's side of the story) will cause him to [[spoiler: give Shepard the full support of what remains of the Hegemony's forces. The sound of hopelessness in his voice is a stark contrast to the bombastic self-assurance he'd shown previously, and being confronted with the reality that the person in his sights isn't to blame for the death of nearly his entire race nearly breaks him.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:If If you sabotage the Genophage cure, Wrex will [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R00KA_Izkdo catch on]] The entire fight is heart breaking, especially the last line where Bailey says they probably won't have a coffin big enough for him, and will have to space him. Wrex never deserved such a fate.]]
fate.
** It's even more of a gutpunch if you take the conversation route normally reserved for the non-blue paragon [[spoiler:when when Wrex confronts you at the Citadel]] Citadel and Shepard insists that nobody died as a result of his actions. [[spoiler:Wrex]]'s Wrex's response? "Everyone but [[spoiler:my my unborn son]]!" son!" Nice going there, you nice-talking [[spoiler:'''baby killer''']].
'''baby killer'''.
** To the masochists, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO8yFjNhMVk here is the full sequence]] of [[spoiler:murdering murdering Mordin and Wrex to secure salarian support, along with Shepard confessing to Garrus.]] Garrus. And the fact that at 7:20, you just know that [[spoiler:Garrus Garrus figured it out and [[YouMonster knows what you did]]]].
did]].
* If he escaped (or you never played it) during [[spoiler:[=ME1=]'s [=ME1=]'s ''Bring Down the Sky'']], [[spoiler:Balak]] Sky'', Balak makes an appearance on the Citadel, with a gun to Shepard's back. He still places full blame on Shepard for the deaths of [[spoiler:the the batarian colony in ''Arrival'']], ''Arrival'', and also verifies the theory that the [[spoiler: Hegemony had been destroyed from within by indoctrination resulting from the Leviathan of Dis]]. Dis. But the tearjerker of it? [[spoiler: He's the only reason what remains of the Hegemony military is still capable of fighting. He's been feeding them intelligence on the Reapers from the Citadel, and he's the ''highest ranking officer left in the Hegemony'']]. Hegemony''. Sparing him (and convincing him of Shepard's side of the story) will cause him to [[spoiler: give Shepard the full support of what remains of the Hegemony's forces. The sound of hopelessness in his voice is a stark contrast to the bombastic self-assurance he'd shown previously, and being confronted with the reality that the person in his sights isn't to blame for the death of nearly his entire race nearly breaks him.]]



* Ashley/Kaidan [[spoiler:nearly getting killed by Eva Core at the end of the Mars mission.]] The whole scene is just so brutal and hard to watch, ''especially'' if you're in a romance with them.
* If you are in a romance with Liara, she will come to your quarters right before [[spoiler:the assault on the Cerberus base]]. Before she and Shepard get their thing on, they both lie back, [[HoldingHands hold hands]] and look at the stars, and she comments on how easy it could be for a single ship to simply get lost out there, and for someone to potentially find a place with just peace and happiness. Later on, before the mission [[spoiler:to rush the Citadel beam in London]], you can approach Liara for a final chat, during which she will telepathically share a fantasy in which the two of you share a kiss while floating alone amongst the stars.

to:

* Ashley/Kaidan [[spoiler:nearly nearly getting killed by Eva Core at the end of the Mars mission.]] mission. The whole scene is just so brutal and hard to watch, ''especially'' if you're in a romance with them.
* If you are in a romance with Liara, she will come to your quarters right before [[spoiler:the the assault on the Cerberus base]].base. Before she and Shepard get their thing on, they both lie back, [[HoldingHands hold hands]] and look at the stars, and she comments on how easy it could be for a single ship to simply get lost out there, and for someone to potentially find a place with just peace and happiness. Later on, before the mission [[spoiler:to to rush the Citadel beam in London]], London, you can approach Liara for a final chat, during which she will telepathically share a fantasy in which the two of you share a kiss while floating alone amongst the stars.



* [[spoiler:Miranda's]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXRx2JXicu4&feature=endscreen&NR=1 death.]] ''Especially'' [[LastKiss if you romanced her.]] [[spoiler:N-Not everything... Nobody's perfect... At least Oriana's safe...]] She really did change during her time with Shep...

to:

* [[spoiler:Miranda's]] Miranda's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXRx2JXicu4&feature=endscreen&NR=1 death.]] ''Especially'' [[LastKiss if you romanced her.]] [[spoiler:N-Not N-Not everything... Nobody's perfect... At least Oriana's safe...]] She really did change during her time with Shep...



* [[spoiler:Lieutenant Victus']] HeroicSacrifice is pretty bad--but it's not until Shepard returns to the Normandy and [[spoiler:speaks with the Primarch, his father]] that the true meaning of that event hits you.
** [[spoiler:Victus']] comment on how [[spoiler:his son]] died with honor, and that his actions would have made any [[spoiler:Turian father]] proud is downright painful to hear. The crack in his voice and the resignation in his body language speak louder than words; however proud [[spoiler:Tarquin]] had made him, he's heartbroken, and with the war raging on, he doesn't even have time to mourn.
* [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap Amazingly enough]], ''[[{{Jerkass}} Udina]]''. Dealing with the fall of Earth and the destruction of Arcturus Station strips away most of his former assholish demeanor and leaves a very tired man trying to save as many of his fellow human beings as possible, any way he can, [[NotSoDifferent just like Shepard]]. Eventually it leads him to [[spoiler:assist Cerberus in their coup of the Citadel in desperation. Ironically, to forgo all the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] that kept him from sending everything at Earth. He probably remembered the good they did with Sheperd to save the colonies when no one else would. Then he dies in vain, having only made things worse for everyone.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:Lieutenant Victus']] Lieutenant Victus' HeroicSacrifice is pretty bad--but it's not until Shepard returns to the Normandy and [[spoiler:speaks speaks with the Primarch, his father]] father that the true meaning of that event hits you.
** [[spoiler:Victus']] Victus' comment on how [[spoiler:his son]] his son died with honor, and that his actions would have made any [[spoiler:Turian father]] turian father proud is downright painful to hear. The crack in his voice and the resignation in his body language speak louder than words; however proud [[spoiler:Tarquin]] Tarquin had made him, he's heartbroken, and with the war raging on, he doesn't even have time to mourn.
* [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap Amazingly enough]], ''[[{{Jerkass}} Udina]]''. Dealing with the fall of Earth and the destruction of Arcturus Station strips away most of his former assholish demeanor and leaves a very tired man trying to save as many of his fellow human beings as possible, any way he can, [[NotSoDifferent just like Shepard]]. Eventually it leads him to [[spoiler:assist assist Cerberus in their coup of the Citadel in desperation. Ironically, to forgo all the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] that kept him from sending everything at Earth. He probably remembered the good they did with Sheperd to save the colonies when no one else would. Then he dies in vain, having only made things worse for everyone.]]



* Shooting and killing [[spoiler:Ash or Kaidan at end of the Priority: Citadel II mission.]] It's actually something that's very easy to avoid, you can avoid it ever coming up simply [[spoiler: by coming to visit them in the hospital, when they send you a message saying they want to talk to you.]] It can only come up if you [[spoiler: completely ignore them, when they're trying to mend fences with you about the incident on Horizon.]] Even without that, you can talk your way out of it, and only have to kill them [[spoiler: If you just say screw it and try not to explain that you're pointing a gun at a Councilor.]]

to:

* Shooting and killing [[spoiler:Ash Ash or Kaidan at end of the Priority: Citadel II mission.]] mission. It's actually something that's very easy to avoid, you can avoid it ever coming up simply [[spoiler: by coming to visit them in the hospital, when they send you a message saying they want to talk to you.]] you. It can only come up if you [[spoiler: completely ignore them, when they're trying to mend fences with you about the incident on Horizon.]] Horizon. Even without that, you can talk your way out of it, and only have to kill them [[spoiler: If you just say screw it and try not to explain that you're pointing a gun at a Councilor.]] Councilor.



** It gets even worse if it's looked at from Kaidan/Ashley's point of view. Their conflict with Shepard all started with them being LockedOutOfTheLoop. They attempted to get answers from a [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure trusted superior]] only to get [[ObstructiveBureaucrat stonewalled]]. Then everything falls apart when they act on what little information they did have. The person who [[PoorCommunicationKills locked them out of the loop in the first place]] made no attempt to correct things and doesn't even seem to be aware of her contribution to the whole mess. Finally, they make one last attempt to reach out and settle everything, only to be written off, so they continue to act on what they do know. In the end, [[spoiler: they died]] because everyone that they should have been able to count on suddenly and inexplicably decided that they weren't important enough to know what was going on.

to:

** It gets even worse if it's looked at from Kaidan/Ashley's point of view. Their conflict with Shepard all started with them being LockedOutOfTheLoop. They attempted to get answers from a [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure trusted superior]] only to get [[ObstructiveBureaucrat stonewalled]]. Then everything falls apart when they act on what little information they did have. The person who [[PoorCommunicationKills locked them out of the loop in the first place]] made no attempt to correct things and doesn't even seem to be aware of her contribution to the whole mess. Finally, they make one last attempt to reach out and settle everything, only to be written off, so they continue to act on what they do know. In the end, [[spoiler: they died]] died because everyone that they should have been able to count on suddenly and inexplicably decided that they weren't important enough to know what was going on.



* Oddly enough, [[spoiler:the destruction of the Reapers qualifies, at least to some people. After all, they [[BlueAndOrangeMorality think they're doing the right thing]]. Moreover, they are all that's left of many species. Destroying them is destroying what they were made from. Third, wiping them out is genocide, plain and simple. That said, each one of the Reapers is responsible for genocide the scale of which no being alive has ever witnessed. There are no innocent Reapers. And the genetic material from the Reapers could likely be retrieved from the Reapers, most of which died intact. Even then, it's a better fate for all those individuals than perpetuating the same recurring mass murder that ended them. Sometimes, BlueAndOrangeMorality isn't enough of a justification...]]
** [[spoiler:Becomes even greater when you play the Leviathan DLC and you see that the Reapers were following a programming built in them by a race of being with massive egos and cases of God Complex who merely built the Reapers to take care of a problem concerning other races they enslaved, and the Reapers themselves were no more than slaves to them.]]
** [[spoiler:Not only that, but you're destroying several ''billion'' years of work in the push of a button. The Reapers didn't even get to go out in a blaze of glory, just a colored energy wave. As terrible as the Reapers are, there's still a sense of respect deserved for the unbelievably ancient constructs.]]

to:

* Oddly enough, [[spoiler:the the destruction of the Reapers qualifies, at least to some people. After all, they [[BlueAndOrangeMorality think they're doing the right thing]]. Moreover, they are all that's left of many species. Destroying them is destroying what they were made from. Third, wiping them out is genocide, plain and simple. That said, each one of the Reapers is responsible for genocide the scale of which no being alive has ever witnessed. There are no innocent Reapers. And the genetic material from the Reapers could likely be retrieved from the Reapers, most of which died intact. Even then, it's a better fate for all those individuals than perpetuating the same recurring mass murder that ended them. Sometimes, BlueAndOrangeMorality isn't enough of a justification...]]
justification...
** [[spoiler:Becomes Becomes even greater when you play the Leviathan DLC and you see that the Reapers were following a programming built in them by a race of being with massive egos and cases of God Complex who merely built the Reapers to take care of a problem concerning other races they enslaved, and the Reapers themselves were no more than slaves to them.]]
them.
** [[spoiler:Not Not only that, but you're destroying several ''billion'' years of work in the push of a button. The Reapers didn't even get to go out in a blaze of glory, just a colored energy wave. As terrible as the Reapers are, there's still a sense of respect deserved for the unbelievably ancient constructs.]]



* Sanctuary. Think from the point of view of one of the refugees. The entire galaxy is at war, you probably lost many people that you love, or maybe will lose them, you are scared, but there is this place, where refugees are all welcomed, safe. It's a HopeSpot in a galaxy that is going to hell, and you want to protect you and your family. So you get there. You might just have spent the last of your savings, if any, just to get there. You are in this somewhat beatiful place, alongside many people that are in the same situation as you. Your family is there with you, maybe you conviced a friend to get there. [[spoiler: Then people start to disappear. They are called in, and they don't go back. Elderly, women, children, no matter, they all disappear. Then you are called. You get in a line, and start to hear the screams. You want to get the hell out, but these soldiers in white armor keep pushing you. And then you finally see a Husk corpse. You get put into the capsule, and you figure it out that not only you are going to have the same fate that you were trying to run away from, but they are also going to do the same thing to your family and your friends. And it could be your fault.]]
* Shepard's final words to [[spoiler:the Catalyst in the Refusal ending]].
--> '''Shepard''': [[spoiler:I fight for freedom, mine and everybody's. I fight for the right to choose our own fate. And if I die, I'll die knowing that I did everything I could to stop you. And I'll die free.]]
** Then there's [[spoiler: Liara's FlingALightIntoTheFuture message. Especially considering that earlier in the game she can realize to her horror that [[WhoWantsToLiveForever with her lifespan]] she might get to see the ''entire'' harvesting cycle, and watch things get just as desperate and horrible as they were by Javik's time. In that ending, ''that happens''.]]
* The Extended Cut endings combine this and Heartwarming all at once depending on your outcomes. [[spoiler:(I.E: Seeing the krogan rebuild (the baby krogan especially, knowing the history behind that), the allies you gathered in their corners of the galaxy. And the real Tearjerker arrives upon seeing the faces of those who died from [[DoAndroidsDream Legion]], to [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Mordin]], to [[YourDaysAreNumbered Thane]]. Especially when it shows the romance option hand Shepard's name among the list of fallen.]]
* The Extended Cut has another: when [[spoiler:Shepard has made a choice, and the Crucible begins to power up, the game cuts to a shot of the Normandy, flying by as the structure lights up. We then see the cockpit, with Joker frantically tapping at the controls as the order to retreat comes over the comms. The member of the squad that accompanied Shepard the most (and is still alive) will moves to pull Joker away from the helm... He/she then gently rests a hand on Joker's shoulder.]]

to:

* Sanctuary. Think from the point of view of one of the refugees. The entire galaxy is at war, you probably lost many people that you love, or maybe will lose them, you are scared, but there is this place, where refugees are all welcomed, safe. It's a HopeSpot in a galaxy that is going to hell, and you want to protect you and your family. So you get there. You might just have spent the last of your savings, if any, just to get there. You are in this somewhat beatiful place, alongside many people that are in the same situation as you. Your family is there with you, maybe you conviced a friend to get there. [[spoiler: Then people start to disappear. They are called in, and they don't go back. Elderly, women, children, no matter, they all disappear. Then you are called. You get in a line, and start to hear the screams. You want to get the hell out, but these soldiers in white armor keep pushing you. And then you finally see a Husk corpse. You get put into the capsule, and you figure it out that not only you are going to have the same fate that you were trying to run away from, but they are also going to do the same thing to your family and your friends. And it could be your fault.]]
* Shepard's final words to [[spoiler:the Catalyst in the Refusal ending]].

* Shepard's final words to the Catalyst in the Refusal ending.
--> '''Shepard''': [[spoiler:I I fight for freedom, mine and everybody's. I fight for the right to choose our own fate. And if I die, I'll die knowing that I did everything I could to stop you. And I'll die free.]]
free.
** Then there's [[spoiler: Liara's FlingALightIntoTheFuture message. Especially considering that earlier in the game she can realize to her horror that [[WhoWantsToLiveForever with her lifespan]] she might get to see the ''entire'' harvesting cycle, and watch things get just as desperate and horrible as they were by Javik's time. In that ending, ''that happens''.]]
happens''.
* The Extended Cut endings combine this and Heartwarming all at once depending on your outcomes. [[spoiler:(I.(I.E: Seeing the krogan rebuild (the baby krogan especially, knowing the history behind that), the allies you gathered in their corners of the galaxy. And the real Tearjerker arrives upon seeing the faces of those who died from [[DoAndroidsDream Legion]], to [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Mordin]], to [[YourDaysAreNumbered Thane]]. Especially when it shows the romance option hand Shepard's name among the list of fallen.]]
fallen.
* The Extended Cut has another: when [[spoiler:Shepard Shepard has made a choice, and the Crucible begins to power up, the game cuts to a shot of the Normandy, ''Normandy'', flying by as the structure lights up. We then see the cockpit, with Joker frantically tapping at the controls as the order to retreat comes over the comms. The member of the squad that accompanied Shepard the most (and is still alive) will moves to pull Joker away from the helm... He/she then gently rests a hand on Joker's shoulder.]]



* In the EC ending, during the final push towards the beam, [[spoiler:one of your squadmates gets severely injured by Harbinger, trying to get out of the way of a truck hit by him. Shepard promptly calls for evac, and the Normandy swoops in to pick up your comrades. Regardless of who was injured, they will all show their desire to stay. The conversations with Shepard's love interest (if they are present) are particularly moving, and truly show the bond the two have developed.]] See, for example, Garrus's version:
--> [[spoiler:'''Shepard''': No matter what happens here, you know I love you. I always will.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Garrus''': Shepard, I... (whispering) love you too.]]

--> [[spoiler:'''Shepard''': I need you to get out of here, Tali. Get back to Rannoch... build yourself a home.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Tali''': I ''have'' a home. (whispering) Come back to me.]]
** Though this ends on a much more upbeat note than the vanilla ending. [[spoiler:The Extended Cut changes the ending so the mass relays aren't destroyed and the Normandy crew doesn't get stranded. And WordOfGod says that the Destroy ending with the "Shepard breathes" scene means that Shepard survived and is one his/her way back to reunite with his/her friends and love interest.]]
** Hell, just some of the squadmates reactions even if they weren't romanced - for example, Kaidan [[spoiler:pleading with Shepard to let him continue, looking absolutely heartbroken when they order the Normandy to leave. Especially heartbreaking when your learn that he harbors feelings for Shepard for a long time]].
** If your EMS isn't high enough? [[spoiler:Both sqaudmates barely get out of the way, and die in an explosion when another beam hits the tank & causes it explode]].
** Hell, it's worse if no one in your squad was a romanced character as [[spoiler:Shepard basically orders the Normandy away, seemingly admitting they plan on [[TakingYouWithMe taking the Reapers down with them]] and don't expect to survive.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Shepard''': I need to know ''someone'' got out of here alive.]]

to:

* In the EC ending, during the final push towards the beam, [[spoiler:one one of your squadmates gets severely injured by Harbinger, trying to get out of the way of a truck hit by him. Shepard promptly calls for evac, and the Normandy swoops in to pick up your comrades. Regardless of who was injured, they will all show their desire to stay. The conversations with Shepard's love interest (if they are present) are particularly moving, and truly show the bond the two have developed.]] See, for example, Garrus's version:
--> [[spoiler:'''Shepard''': -->'''Shepard''': No matter what happens here, you know I love you. I always will.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Garrus''':
will.
-->'''Garrus''':
Shepard, I... (whispering) love you too.]]

--> [[spoiler:'''Shepard''':
too.

-->'''Shepard''':
I need you to get out of here, Tali. Get back to Rannoch... build yourself a home.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Tali''':
home.
-->'''Tali''':
I ''have'' a home. (whispering) Come back to me.]]
me.
** Though this ends on a much more upbeat note than the vanilla ending. [[spoiler:The The Extended Cut changes the ending so the mass relays aren't destroyed and the Normandy ''Normandy'' crew doesn't get stranded. And WordOfGod says that the Destroy ending with the "Shepard breathes" scene means that Shepard survived and is one his/her way back to reunite with his/her friends and love interest.]]
interest.
** Hell, just some of the squadmates reactions even if they weren't romanced - for example, Kaidan [[spoiler:pleading pleading with Shepard to let him continue, looking absolutely heartbroken when they order the Normandy ''Normandy'' to leave. Especially heartbreaking when your learn that he harbors feelings for Shepard for a long time]].
time.
** If your EMS isn't high enough? [[spoiler:Both Both sqaudmates barely get out of the way, and die in an explosion when another beam hits the tank & causes it explode]].
explode.
** Hell, it's worse if no one in your squad was a romanced character as [[spoiler:Shepard Shepard basically orders the Normandy ''Normandy'' away, seemingly admitting they plan on [[TakingYouWithMe taking the Reapers down with them]] and don't expect to survive.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Shepard''':
survive.
-->'''Shepard''':
I need to know ''someone'' got out of here alive.]]



* In the low EMS endings (both before and after the Extended Cut), [[spoiler:you get to see the original version of the Normandy trying to escape the wave, but failing. The Normandy is then seen in the jungle, having crash landed as in the original ending... Except when the air lock opens, ''no-one comes out'']].
* In the Extended Destroy ending, when Shepard has flashbacks [[spoiler:while shooting the crucible, EDI appears, hammering in that you've just sacrificed her and the geth]].

to:

* In the low EMS endings (both before and after the Extended Cut), [[spoiler:you you get to see the original version of the Normandy ''Normandy'' trying to escape the wave, but failing. The Normandy is then seen in the jungle, having crash landed as in the original ending... Except when the air lock opens, ''no-one comes out'']].
out''.
* In the Extended Destroy ending, when Shepard has flashbacks [[spoiler:while while shooting the crucible, EDI appears, hammering in that you've just sacrificed her and the geth]].geth.



* If you recommended that Jack's students fight on the front lines, then in Jack's ending slide of the Extended Cut, [[spoiler:you see her looking mournfully at a lot of graves, the implication being that her students, some of the few people that she has ever cared for, were all killed in battle.]]

to:

* If you recommended that Jack's students fight on the front lines, then in Jack's ending slide of the Extended Cut, [[spoiler:you you see her looking mournfully at a lot of graves, the implication being that her students, some of the few people that she has ever cared for, were all killed in battle.]]



* If you romanced Miranda, during her ending slide in Extended Cut, [[spoiler:rather than working together with Oriana, she was seen waiting alone... waiting for Shepard. If the EMS is high enough and you chose Destroy Ending, then this is mitigated that Shepard can visit her again and fulfill the promise to reunite. If not? Miri will be left alone and waiting forever...]]
* If you screw over the krogan, [[spoiler:in the Extended Cut, you see a devastated Tuchanka, with barely anyone there amid the ruins. If Eve/Bakara is still alive, you get a surprisingly powerful still of her sitting in the rubble, alone and with her head bowed. For all the hope you bring everyone else, the krogan still get screwed.]]

to:

* If you romanced Miranda, during her ending slide in Extended Cut, [[spoiler:rather rather than working together with Oriana, she was seen waiting alone... waiting for Shepard. If the EMS is high enough and you chose Destroy Ending, then this is mitigated that Shepard can visit her again and fulfill the promise to reunite. If not? Miri will be left alone and waiting forever...]]
forever...
* If you screw over the krogan, [[spoiler:in in the Extended Cut, you see a devastated Tuchanka, with barely anyone there amid the ruins. If Eve/Bakara is still alive, you get a surprisingly powerful still of her sitting in the rubble, alone and with her head bowed. For all the hope you bring everyone else, the krogan still get screwed.]]



* [[spoiler:The Synthesis ending. Oh god, the Synthesis ending. Nearly every problem in the galaxy is fixed, potentially even ''mortality''. But then, EDI, who is narrating the ending, mentions that no matter how far civilization advances, they will never forget the ones who died to bring them that moment. There's a quiet, subdued memorial service then at the Memorial Wall, where Shepard's love interest places his/her name just above Anderson's. After the love interest finishes, the camera cuts to EDI, who is visibly upset. The two embrace. This is especially poignant with what the Catalyst says earlier, that synthetics would gain a full understanding of organics and their way of thinking. She is experiences death, pain, and loss for the first time ever. Heartbreaking.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:The The Synthesis ending. Oh god, the Synthesis ending. Nearly every problem in the galaxy is fixed, potentially even ''mortality''. But then, EDI, who is narrating the ending, mentions that no matter how far civilization advances, they will never forget the ones who died to bring them that moment. There's a quiet, subdued memorial service then at the Memorial Wall, where Shepard's love interest places his/her name just above Anderson's. After the love interest finishes, the camera cuts to EDI, who is visibly upset. The two embrace. This is especially poignant with what the Catalyst says earlier, that synthetics would gain a full understanding of organics and their way of thinking. She is experiences death, pain, and loss for the first time ever. Heartbreaking.]]



-->[[spoiler:'''EDI''': No matter how far we advance, [[DueToTheDead we will remember the sacrifices of those who made it possible]]... And we will remember Shepard. [[HeroicSacrifice Because of him/her]]... [[TearJerker I am alive]], and [[YouAreNotAlone I am not alone.]]]]
* In the low EMS Destroy ending in the EC, [[spoiler:the Catalyst notes that the Crucible has been heavily damaged en route to the Citadel, and unleashing its power will cause an unstable, destructive chain reaction not limited to just synthetic life. Most modern technology will be wiped out in the blast, along with most organics. "Few will survive the blast; even fewer will survive the days to come." If Shepard goes through with this, the ending plays much like the pre-Extended Cut version. Most organics are wiped out, the Mass Relays and Citadel are destroyed, and the Normandy's crew is presumably killed in the crash, as mentioned above. Admiral Hackett's narration changes, reflecting the PyrrhicVictory that the galaxy has "won". So in reality, the apocalyptic ending still remains; it's just a well-hidden worst-scenario ending.]]

to:

-->[[spoiler:'''EDI''': -->'''EDI''': No matter how far we advance, [[DueToTheDead we will remember the sacrifices of those who made it possible]]... And we will remember Shepard. [[HeroicSacrifice Because of him/her]]... [[TearJerker I am alive]], and [[YouAreNotAlone I am not alone.]]]]
]]
* In the low EMS Destroy ending in the EC, [[spoiler:the the Catalyst notes that the Crucible has been heavily damaged en route to the Citadel, and unleashing its power will cause an unstable, destructive chain reaction not limited to just synthetic life. Most modern technology will be wiped out in the blast, along with most organics. "Few will survive the blast; even fewer will survive the days to come." If Shepard goes through with this, the ending plays much like the pre-Extended Cut version. Most organics are wiped out, the Mass Relays and Citadel are destroyed, and the Normandy's crew is presumably killed in the crash, as mentioned above. Admiral Hackett's narration changes, reflecting the PyrrhicVictory that the galaxy has "won". So in reality, the apocalyptic ending still remains; it's just a well-hidden worst-scenario ending.]]



* Leaving [[spoiler:the real rachni queen]] behind to die. During your conversation with her, she sounds angry and forceful, trying to convince Shepard that she hates the Reapers and wants to help fight them. Then, when Shepard decides to let her die as the sounds of the frenzied Ravagers are coming closer, she just bows her head and calmly accepts her fate. [[spoiler: All she wanted was to live peacefully with her children, she had just started rebuilding her species but then the Reapers captured her, indoctrinated the rachni she produced and turned them into monstrosities.]] Her dream destroyed, she dies alone, abandoned by everything and everyone. She is righteously furious at the reapers for doing this but is also on the very cusp of despair. Compared to the earlier angry and forceful tone in her voice, if you allow her to die she will finally gives in to her despair and it is almost as if she ''whispers'' her last words, treating what you did as a gift.
-->[[spoiler: '''Rachni Queen:''' Leave us, then. We... embrace... the silence...]]
** It's quite possible that she only sounds forceful at all because she only had krogan to help her speak. If you compare it to [[spoiler:the rachni breeder]], she sounds quite sorrowful and weak in comparison!

to:

* Leaving [[spoiler:the the real rachni queen]] queen behind to die. During your conversation with her, she sounds angry and forceful, trying to convince Shepard that she hates the Reapers and wants to help fight them. Then, when Shepard decides to let her die as the sounds of the frenzied Ravagers are coming closer, she just bows her head and calmly accepts her fate. [[spoiler: All she wanted was to live peacefully with her children, she had just started rebuilding her species but then the Reapers captured her, indoctrinated the rachni she produced and turned them into monstrosities.]] monstrosities. Her dream destroyed, she dies alone, abandoned by everything and everyone. She is righteously furious at the reapers for doing this but is also on the very cusp of despair. Compared to the earlier angry and forceful tone in her voice, if you allow her to die she will finally gives in to her despair and it is almost as if she ''whispers'' her last words, treating what you did as a gift.
-->[[spoiler: '''Rachni -->'''Rachni Queen:''' Leave us, then. We... embrace... the silence...]]
silence...
** It's quite possible that she only sounds forceful at all because she only had krogan to help her speak. If you compare it to [[spoiler:the the rachni breeder]], breeder, she sounds quite sorrowful and weak in comparison!



* During the [[spoiler:Cerberus coup.]] Thane, when Shepard talks to him over the radio, is running, barely able to breathe. And he just keeps going. Just because you asked, and even before [[spoiler:Kai Leng stabs him]]. Anyone else with asthma knows just how hard he's working, and he has it worse than we do.

to:

* During the [[spoiler:Cerberus coup.]] Cerberus coup. Thane, when Shepard talks to him over the radio, is running, barely able to breathe. And he just keeps going. Just because you asked, and even before [[spoiler:Kai Kai Leng stabs him]].him. Anyone else with asthma knows just how hard he's working, and he has it worse than we do.



* If Kasumi didn't destroy the graybox in ''2'', then she says during her quest in ''3'' that she doesn't want to join Shepard and fight because it would cut into her time with Keiji, implying that she spends all of her free time hooked up to the graybox full of his memories. It's like what Thane says about perfect drell memories and how tempting it is to slip into solipsism, losing yourself in the past. This appears to occur to Shepard, too, as s/he says she doesn't think Keiji would want Kasumi spending all her time doing that. Kasumi just replies that he shouldn't have died, then. It makes sense - just by keeping it she's going against his wish, so she might as well keep going. But it's sad, too. She's not going to move on. [[spoiler:In the Extended Cut, if she survives Control or Destroy, she's shown alone in a dark room with the graybox, reliving the same things again and again.]]
** [[spoiler:However, if she survives the Extended Cut Synthesis ending and if she kept the graybox, this tear jerker is somewhat nullified--because a simulacrum of Keiji is resurrected from the graybox's memories, so Kasumi gets to be with Keiji after all (well, sort of)!]]
* The Extended Cut Control ending. [[spoiler:Despite disproving the indoctrination theory, it makes it absolutely clear the the Shepard you have played for three games now is dead, and the new one is simply based upon the old one.]]

to:

* If Kasumi didn't destroy the graybox in ''2'', then she says during her quest in ''3'' that she doesn't want to join Shepard and fight because it would cut into her time with Keiji, implying that she spends all of her free time hooked up to the graybox full of his memories. It's like what Thane says about perfect drell memories and how tempting it is to slip into solipsism, losing yourself in the past. This appears to occur to Shepard, too, as s/he says she doesn't think Keiji would want Kasumi spending all her time doing that. Kasumi just replies that he shouldn't have died, then. It makes sense - just by keeping it she's going against his wish, so she might as well keep going. But it's sad, too. She's not going to move on. [[spoiler:In In the Extended Cut, if she survives Control or Destroy, she's shown alone in a dark room with the graybox, reliving the same things again and again.]]
again.
** [[spoiler:However, However, if she survives the Extended Cut Synthesis ending and if she kept the graybox, this tear jerker is somewhat nullified--because a simulacrum of Keiji is resurrected from the graybox's memories, so Kasumi gets to be with Keiji after all (well, sort of)!]]
of)!
* The Extended Cut Control ending. [[spoiler:Despite Despite disproving the indoctrination theory, it makes it absolutely clear the the Shepard you have played for three games now is dead, and the new one is simply based upon the old one.]]



** That one, brutally truthful line, proves what we all suspected: [[spoiler:Shepard ''[[DeathSeeker wanted to die]]'']]. And in death, [[spoiler:Shepard finally found his/her peace.]]

to:

** That one, brutally truthful line, proves what we all suspected: [[spoiler:Shepard Shepard ''[[DeathSeeker wanted to die]]'']]. die]]''. And in death, [[spoiler:Shepard Shepard finally found his/her peace.]]



* From Leviathan, [[spoiler:Ann Bryson's reaction to learning of her father's death.]]
** The reworking of the track [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFfOacxTVmg David]]]] that plays in the following scene back in the lab certainly doesn't help matters.

to:

* From Leviathan, [[spoiler:Ann Ann Bryson's reaction to learning of her father's death.]]
death.
** The reworking of the track [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFfOacxTVmg David]]]] David]] that plays in the following scene back in the lab certainly doesn't help matters.



* The idle conversation between Aria and Shepard in ''Omega'', [[spoiler: if Mordin died on Tuchanka]].

to:

* The idle conversation between Aria and Shepard in ''Omega'', [[spoiler: if Mordin died on Tuchanka]].Tuchanka.



'''Shepard''': (''Quietly'') [[spoiler: Mordin is dead.]]
* [[spoiler:Nyreen's HeroicSacrifice to take out the Adjutants, particularly since Shepard and Aria came in just as she died. [[BerserkButton It actually sets off Aria.]] She's just been here sitting on a couch, coordinating mercenary forces like a cold, emotionless commander, and shooting alongside you. To see her flip her shit like that... [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge it's sad, in some kind of twisted way]].]]

to:

'''Shepard''': (''Quietly'') [[spoiler: Mordin is dead.]]
dead.
* [[spoiler:Nyreen's Nyreen's HeroicSacrifice to take out the Adjutants, particularly since Shepard and Aria came in just as she died. [[BerserkButton It actually sets off Aria.]] She's just been here sitting on a couch, coordinating mercenary forces like a cold, emotionless commander, and shooting alongside you. To see her flip her shit like that... [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge it's sad, in some kind of twisted way]].]]



* [[spoiler:Thane]]'s memorial service in the ''Citadel'' DLC, organized by [[spoiler:Kolyat]] for Shepard and the crew to pay their last respects to their brother-in-arms.
** Becomes one in-universe [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSt-f_ig_18 for Shepard herself if Thane was romanced. ]] ]] This marks the only time in the entire series where [[spoiler:Shepard]] is brought to tears. [[spoiler: Shepard is viewing a series of video logs Thane left for her, recounting his life in between the events of ''Mass Effect 2'', and his time in Huerta Memorial. Every now and again, there's a closeup of Shepard quite clearly holding back, when the line below is what finally sets her off the edge.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Thane:''' I once had no reason to live, then suddenly I had two: you and Kolyat.]]
** And at the end of the DLC, Shepard says one more goodbye to [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxzKKFejGL4 Thane's spirit]] if she romanced him.]]

to:

* [[spoiler:Thane]]'s Thane's memorial service in the ''Citadel'' DLC, organized by [[spoiler:Kolyat]] Kolyat for Shepard and the crew to pay their last respects to their brother-in-arms.
** Becomes one in-universe [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSt-f_ig_18 for Shepard herself if Thane was romanced. ]] ]] This marks the only time in the entire series where [[spoiler:Shepard]] Shepard is brought to tears. [[spoiler: Shepard is viewing a series of video logs Thane left for her, recounting his life in between the events of ''Mass Effect 2'', and his time in Huerta Memorial. Every now and again, there's a closeup of Shepard quite clearly holding back, when the line below is what finally sets her off the edge.]]
-->[[spoiler: '''Thane:'''
edge.
-->'''Thane:'''
I once had no reason to live, then suddenly I had two: you and Kolyat.]]
Kolyat.
** And at the end of the DLC, Shepard says one more goodbye to [[spoiler: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxzKKFejGL4 Thane's spirit]] if she romanced him.]]



** What makes it worse? The guarantee that [[spoiler:at least either Shepard or EDI won't be making it out of the ending]], meaning that the crew will never be together like that again.
* Despite being evil, it's hard not to feel sad for [[spoiler:Clone Shepard being DrivenToSuicide after Brooks abandons them, while Shepard's squadmates rush to save him/her. You can see the look of dawning realization that the answer to their previous tirade about what Shepard has that makes them so special... is ''[[TrueCompanions friends]]'' who would do ''[[UndyingLoyalty anything]]'' for them. The clone has nothing and no one. S/he only existed in the first place for Shepard's "spare parts", and was awoken to take Shepard's place, not have his/her own future. When Paragon Shepard offers the clone a chance to live, s/he replies "[[DespairEventHorizon For what]]?" and falls.]]

to:

** What makes it worse? The guarantee that [[spoiler:at at least either Shepard or EDI won't be making it out of the ending]], ending, meaning that the crew will never be together like that again.
* Despite being evil, it's hard not to feel sad for [[spoiler:Clone Clone Shepard being DrivenToSuicide after Brooks abandons them, while Shepard's squadmates rush to save him/her. You can see the look of dawning realization that the answer to their previous tirade about what Shepard has that makes them so special... is ''[[TrueCompanions friends]]'' who would do ''[[UndyingLoyalty anything]]'' for them. The clone has nothing and no one. S/he only existed in the first place for Shepard's "spare parts", and was awoken to take Shepard's place, not have his/her own future. When Paragon Shepard offers the clone a chance to live, s/he replies "[[DespairEventHorizon For what]]?" and falls.]]



* The last conversation with Samantha Traynor before the last push. She's trying desperately not to cry in front of everyone, as she tells Shepard that what she wants is for the two of them to settle down, have "a nice house, with a picket fence", and a dog, and kids ("at least two of them"). She claims she's joking, then admits that no, it's not a joke. She really would like to settle down with Shepard after everything's over. And in three out of the four endings, it'll never happen.

to:

* The last conversation with Samantha Traynor before the last push. She's trying desperately not to cry in front of everyone, as she tells Shepard that what she wants is for the two of them to settle down, have "a nice house, with a picket fence", and a dog, and kids ("at least two of them"). She claims she's joking, then admits that no, it's not a joke. She really would like to settle down with Shepard after everything's over. And in three out of the four endings, it'll never happen.happen.
* Bring Garrus along to the Cerberus Coup on the Citadel, and on entering C-Sec headquarters he starts yelling out, earning him a scolding from the other squadmate. But he's crying out to the other officers, people he used to ''know''. And they're all dead.
** Meanwhile, take Javik, and according to EDI he's having a hard time of his own. He's never set foot on the Citadel before - in his cycle it was taken by the Reapers in hours. There's a rare glimpse beneath that frown as he actually expresses what could be ''hope'' at how the current cycle's doing.


*** Also note that this comes [[spoiler: right after taking down a Reaper for the first time under your own power.]] This ''should'' have been a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, but [[spoiler: losing Tali and Legion just minutes afterward,]] and over nothing more than ''one stupid admiral's vendetta,'' makes it feel so utterly ''[[PyrrhicVictory empty…]]''

to:

*** Also note that this comes [[spoiler: right after taking down a Reaper for the first time under your own power.]] This ''should'' have been a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, but [[spoiler: losing Tali and Legion just minutes afterward,]] and over nothing more than ''one stupid admiral's vendetta,'' makes it feel so utterly ''[[PyrrhicVictory empty…]]''


->''[[OOCIsSeriousBusiness "I]] [[MyGreatestFailure made a MISTAKE!"]]''

to:

->''[[OOCIsSeriousBusiness "I]] [[MyGreatestFailure ->''[[MyGreatestFailure "I made a MISTAKE!"]]''



* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DSCFQcR08E This]] live-action ad for [=ME3=] features Shepard kicking all sorts of ass, but before then, you see people in a panic over the Reaper invasion, including a store owner cowering under the counter as looters raid the place; a family watching the events unfold on TV, huddled close together; and a church congregation crying for salvation before the roof starts to collapse on them.

to:

* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DSCFQcR08E This]] A live-action ad for [=ME3=] features Shepard kicking all sorts of ass, but before then, you see people in a panic over the Reaper invasion, including a store owner cowering under the counter as looters raid the place; a family watching the events unfold on TV, huddled close together; and a church congregation crying for salvation before the roof starts to collapse on them.

Added DiffLines:

* Another Omega DLC moment comes from overhearing one-half of a conversation as an asari tries to guide her friend Ruck back to the base. It starts out pretty funny, with Ruck apparently so lost the asari can't even figure out how he got where he did. After a few humorous lines, the asari finally figures out where he is -- smack in the middle of a Cerberus controlled area. She hurriedly tries to warn him...
--> '''Asari:''' Did you hear me? Ruck? ...love? Are you there?


** More heartwrenching upon the confirmation that, yes, [[spoiler:Legion ''had'' just recently become its own 'person'. It was an ''individual'', not just part of the geth collective. The entity known as Legion truly ''did'' die.]]

to:

** More heartwrenching upon the confirmation that, yes, [[spoiler:Legion ''had'' just recently become its own 'person'. It was an ''individual'', not just part of the geth collective. The entity known as Legion truly ''did'' die. Also, Legion did not say "Creator-Tali Zorah". He called her ''Tali''.]]


*** The crew's reaction to [[spoiler: Tali's suicide]] will make the sob fest even worse. Joker is devastated and has to turn off the comm channels [[spoiler: because of all the calls for help, following by static signaling the deaths of all the quarians.]] If Ashley is there, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNOkRRxxdIU she is in tears and utterly heartbroken]]; if you talk to her, she says that [[spoiler: Tali was like her little sister.]] By far the most tear-inducing moment, however, is Garrus's reaction:

to:

*** The crew's reaction to [[spoiler: Tali's suicide]] will make the sob fest even worse. Joker is devastated and has to turn off the comm channels [[spoiler: because of all the calls for help, following by static signaling the deaths of all the quarians.]] If Ashley is there, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNOkRRxxdIU she is in tears and utterly heartbroken]]; if you talk to her, she says that [[spoiler: Tali was like her little sister.]] (It also solidifies her hatred of the Geth, snapping, "Just ''keep the Geth away from me''!") By far the most tear-inducing moment, however, is Garrus's reaction:


** The squadmate's CharacterDevelopment [[spoiler: should you stick with Paragon options and not convince him to touch the memory shard is very poignant in this regard. In the final mission, he will confide in Shepard that not only does he have absolute faith in him/her to stop the Reapers, but that he looks forward to the peace that will come afterward. After dealing with his CulturalPosturing, FantasticRacism, and SocialDarwinist tendencies through the whole game, hearing him admit that his own cycle never had anything like this and that he looks forward to exploring the galaxy and seeing what peace looks like is [[HeartwarmingMoment absolutely heartwarming.]] It seems he has found something more to live for than mere vengeance, after all.]]

to:

** The squadmate's CharacterDevelopment [[spoiler: should you stick with Paragon options and not convince him to touch the memory shard is very poignant in this regard. In the final mission, he will confide in Shepard that not only does he have absolute faith in him/her to stop the Reapers, but that he looks forward to the peace that will come afterward. After dealing with his CulturalPosturing, FantasticRacism, and SocialDarwinist tendencies through the whole game, hearing him admit that his own cycle never had anything like this and that he looks forward to exploring the galaxy and seeing what peace looks like is [[HeartwarmingMoment [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments absolutely heartwarming.]] It seems he has found something more to live for than mere vengeance, after all.]]



* During the rachni mission, regardless of what you do, Grunt will have a YouShallNotPass moment where he [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9z2TkVNWlM charges an army of Ravagers]]. [[HeroicSacrifice You know what's coming]]. [[LastStand You realize you can't stop it]]. And as Grunt charges into the middle of the fusion of two of his species' greatest enemies, [[LonelyPianoPiece quiet, mournful music begins to play]] as he is ground down, bit by bit, until he falls. [[spoiler:[[Awesome/MassEffect It could also be an aversion]] [[EarnYourHappyEnding provided he was loyal]] in [=ME2=]... If Grunt does survive, he emerges, covered in rachni blood, and Shepard runs over to him. All he says is "Anyone got... something to eat?" And then he just falls into Shepard's arms, completely unselfconscious, and lets Shepard all but carry him to the shuttle. Grunt, the definition of an alpha male (remember, he's a ''tank-bred'' in charge of the krogan version of Delta Force, or Navy Seals), just lets himself be helped so overtly. It becomes all the more poignant when you realize that Grunt ''has never'' allowed himself to be helped that way: he's had to prove himself, over and over and over again, for what amounts to his entire life. First, he had to prove he was worthy to himself, being tank-bred. Then he had to prove himself to the krogan in his Rite of Passage, and many didn't want even to give him the ''opportunity'' to prove himself, because he was perceived to be less than true krogan. Then, he had to prove himself to Aralakh Company (krogan Navy Seals) to become their leader. He had to do all of this virtually on his own. And he has positively excelled in culture that despises and punishes weakness of any kind. Essentially, he's one of the strongest people in the galaxy. And yet he just lets himself be helped by one of the only people he trusts. He doesn't worry about looking weak or losing respect, things he has to worry about literally all the time. Some [[FridgeBrilliance Fridge ]][[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Heartwarming:]] He doesn't have anything to prove to Shepard. He and Shepard really proved everything they need to to each other.]] Shepard's part of Grunt's Krantt.

to:

* During the rachni mission, regardless of what you do, Grunt will have a YouShallNotPass moment where he [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9z2TkVNWlM charges an army of Ravagers]]. [[HeroicSacrifice You know what's coming]]. [[LastStand You realize you can't stop it]]. And as Grunt charges into the middle of the fusion of two of his species' greatest enemies, [[LonelyPianoPiece quiet, mournful music begins to play]] as he is ground down, bit by bit, until he falls. [[spoiler:[[Awesome/MassEffect It could also be an aversion]] [[EarnYourHappyEnding provided he was loyal]] in [=ME2=]... If Grunt does survive, he emerges, covered in rachni blood, and Shepard runs over to him. All he says is "Anyone got... something to eat?" And then he just falls into Shepard's arms, completely unselfconscious, and lets Shepard all but carry him to the shuttle. Grunt, the definition of an alpha male (remember, he's a ''tank-bred'' in charge of the krogan version of Delta Force, or Navy Seals), just lets himself be helped so overtly. It becomes all the more poignant when you realize that Grunt ''has never'' allowed himself to be helped that way: he's had to prove himself, over and over and over again, for what amounts to his entire life. First, he had to prove he was worthy to himself, being tank-bred. Then he had to prove himself to the krogan in his Rite of Passage, and many didn't want even to give him the ''opportunity'' to prove himself, because he was perceived to be less than true krogan. Then, he had to prove himself to Aralakh Company (krogan Navy Seals) to become their leader. He had to do all of this virtually on his own. And he has positively excelled in culture that despises and punishes weakness of any kind. Essentially, he's one of the strongest people in the galaxy. And yet he just lets himself be helped by one of the only people he trusts. He doesn't worry about looking weak or losing respect, things he has to worry about literally all the time. Some [[FridgeBrilliance Fridge ]][[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Heartwarming:]] {{Fridge|Brilliance}} SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming|Moments}}: He doesn't have anything to prove to Shepard. He and Shepard really proved everything they need to to each other.]] Shepard's part of Grunt's Krantt.



* The very end of the Citadel DLC is both this and a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming. It has the whole crew looking at the Normandy, realizing that the party might have been the last they'll ever throw. But they note that, even with all the bad, it's been a great ride. The meta-subtext does not help: the thought that this is the final sendoff for this amazing cast of characters.

to:

* The very end of the Citadel DLC is both this and a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming Moment|s}}. It has the whole crew looking at the Normandy, realizing that the party might have been the last they'll ever throw. But they note that, even with all the bad, it's been a great ride. The meta-subtext does not help: the thought that this is the final sendoff for this amazing cast of characters.


*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible. However, this only works if both Wrex and Eve are dead, leaving the morally dubious Wreav with all the power. If you want to sabotage the cure even if Wrex and Eve are alive, you ''have'' to shoot Mordin.

to:

*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible. However, this only works if both Wrex and Eve are dead, leaving the morally dubious Wreav with all the power. If you want to sabotage the cure even if Wrex and and/or Eve are alive, you ''have'' to shoot Mordin.


*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible.

to:

*** If you convince him [[spoiler:to stay alive and use the Paragon explanation for not curing the genophage,]] he admits that he was thinking short term, ''again''. Short-term thinking created the genophage, and now short-term thinking, his guilt, could ruin their chances of defeating the Reapers. He could cure it ''after'' the Reapers are defeated, and in the meantime get the krogan help, salarian help, ''and'' have him help build the Crucible. However, this only works if both Wrex and Eve are dead, leaving the morally dubious Wreav with all the power. If you want to sabotage the cure even if Wrex and Eve are alive, you ''have'' to shoot Mordin.

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