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The Adventure of Failure Shepard or How Not to Play the Mass Effect Trilogy
This sounds like Shiva Shepard from SF Debris.
Peteman
This is something I've been considering doing since before I discovered SFDebris. Trust me when I say that Fail Shep's screw ups will be even more glorious than Shiva's, even though they will probably be less funny.
lrrose
Peteman (edited by: Peteman)
I wonder, why was the survivor chosen over, say, ruthless? Fail Shepard got the job done, but got most of his squad killed.
Peteman
Because Ruthless Shepard knew that s/he was going to get his/her men killed, but also knew that this would accomplish the mission. Colonist Sole Survivor Shepard just has horribly bad luck.
lrrose
This sounds like fun reading. Fail Shep is going to have to make a few good choices to reach ME 3, however.

Should you list unrecruited crew as well?
montagohalcyon
Sure, though it won't be a very long list. Can't get them killed off if I never recruit them.
lrrose
You... you killed Parasini-san! You bastard!

This Is Unforgivable.
Korval

flamestream

Kardavnil
Have a feeling I know who's dying on Virmire...
montagohalcyon
Wait, Wrex lives? Is he needed alive for Shepard to fail something later more spectacularly?
montagohalcyon
lrrose
Y-you MONSTER!

Operation Screw The Krogan has entered Phase 1.
Peteman
Rana lives? I haven't played ME 3 yet; is there some reason why she's still among the living and breathing?
Korval
Sparing Rana has a very minor drawback in ME3. It doesn't effect gameplay or story, but it still is somewhat less optimal result than killing her.
lrrose
Apparently one can really blaze through the first Mass Effect when not bothering with all the side quests.
montagohalcyon
Foolish bullets, you cannot kill Anderson!
ultimatepheer
I find it a little disappointing that there are no advantages/disadvantages to the Council member choice. There was so much potential there.

JobanGrayskull (edited by: JobanGrayskull)
You'll find that's a recurring theme with Bioware products
MachineMan1992
It's actually quite amusing that, ever since Noveria, your list of casualties has always begun with genocide. Bit of a shame that there's only been one entry so far, but by the time this project of yours is finished, I highly doubt that it will remain that way...

I'm actually finding this quite fun to read so far. Most of your entries are brief, but considering how much dialogue and how many sidequests a non-failure Commander Shepard has to go through, it's a nice way to show the contrast. Best of luck...or is that a bad choice of words, considering how much Shepard has yet to fail at?
EndarkCuli
Congratulations! You win the $20 Bill Award! What will you do now?
JamesPicard
The detail is a nice touch, I must admit. And I'm certainly curious as to how you're going to handle recruitment and loyalty; having to choose whether it is worse to avoid gaining the trust of your allies and having them die while holding the line, or to go through missions and murder their enemies only to lose them to poor management later on. It seems as though you've been planning this for some time, and I trust in your ability to mess up the galaxy utterly and completely. Keep it up!

I do wonder about one thing, though. I understand your decision not to recruit Zaeed, as it ends with either a bunch of innocents saved or a major gang member killed off, neither of which seems like a failure. But out of the two outcomes, Irrose, which do you personally prefer? I'm just curious.
EndarkCuli
Personally, I prefer to save the civillians. I'm not recruiting Zaeed and Kasumi because doing so would complicate my plans for the Suicide Mission.

Thank you for your input.
lrrose
I've never done it, but can't you kill Zaeed during his loyalty mission? That would seem like a unique opportunity for failure. I understand if you don't want to complicate your later plans though.
montagohalcyon
I couldn't figure out a way to finish the Suicide Mission with Zaeed and the two people I want to survive as the only survivors.
lrrose
Do we add abducted colonists to the list?
Peteman
Sure.
lrrose
So far I haven't played a game of ME 2 where Kaidan was the survivor, so I hadn't thought about the possible plot hole of his biotics.

Also, I'm surprised the second game has such a low non-plot-required death count so far.
montagohalcyon
I was curious because they might not qualify yet. You see them getting mulched later, so technically them getting processed at that time might be when they get listed.
Peteman
You Killed Kal'Reegar, you bastard.
ultimatepheer
Death List:

Assorted mercenaries, Cerberus operatives, etc.
Peteman
If I included every Mook I killed, the list would be way, way too long. I think I'm going to mostly keep it to named characters.
lrrose
I guess "assorted mercenaries, slavers, geth troops, Cerberus operatives and scientists" would be enough.
Peteman
He hath not died! He hath merely shed his mortal shell. His ascension to memehood hath been foretold!
Peteman
Wait, Nassana isn't (Plot)? Is there a way to keep her from dying?
montagohalcyon
You can beat the game without recruiting Thane.
lrrose
And now, the point in the game where you can goof off and do a bunch of side quests without the main plot getting in the way. Clearly, Failure Shepard is avoiding going off somewhere and accidentally succeeding at something, but it's still nice to see that you're making good progress.
EndarkCuli
there's a glitch in ME 2 which occasionally prevents Shepard from moving if s/he Biotic Charges a Husk.

Why would you charge a Husk? The best thing to deal with them is that shockwave power; it one-shots them in a line. Save the charge for dangerous things.
Korval
Charging restores shields, which comes in handy since Husks are usually accompanied by more dangerous enemies. I also usually don't put many points in Shockwave since I find its usefulness to be too situational.
lrrose
Can I suggest you include (Mission) as one of the causes of death? Some of these missions are optional, but if you do them, their death is unavoidable.
Peteman
Kind of like (plot).
Peteman
Good idea. I'll start next update.
lrrose
If anyone's curious, I have the death list in a textfile, so I just Copy + Paste it everyupdate instead of rewriting it all the time.
lrrose
Fail Shepard, the doom magnet.
Peteman
What happened to Maelon?

And you recruited Legion? Or is there something like Wrex where you can maximize the misery?
Peteman
I forgot to put Maelon down in the text file that I store the death list in. I have since remedied that.

I need Legion for my plan for the Suicide Mission.
lrrose
I had real life stuff come up yesterday, today I was busy with the "Citadel" DLC and I probably will be finished that DLC off tomorrow. I should be back with another update on Thursday.
lrrose
Oh man, your Citadel DLC party is going to be so depressing. I"m interested to see how many people survived to show up...
bbg1129
Joker, Liara, the non-optional ME 3 characters...

I think that's it.
Peteman
When that doesn't work, Fail Shep threatens to cut Kelham's balls off and sell them to a krogan.

Fem Shep sells that line so much better than Male Shep...
Korval
Exact same fail happened to me first time doing this mission, i thought just following Joram's so easy it's boring, and I momentarily snoozed. Just enough for me to lose sight of Joram and I could not find him again in time. I felt like an idiot.
lonelyloner
Uh-oh.

I thought my Shepard made the right choice blowing up the heretics. I was certain using a Reaper virus, even a modified one, to try and change their way of thinking would come back to bite me.

But here Fail Shep does the same, so I guess ME 3's plot has other ideas. Oh well.
montagohalcyon
The fate of the Heretics doesn't effect that much. It's another decision combined with this one that will really bite Fail Shep in the ass.
lrrose
spoilers:

I'm guessing you're going to support the geth in the geth/quarian war, with the Destroy option doing more damage, then pick Destroy with the lowest values possible so they end up getting completely wiped out in addition to all the collateral damage.
Peteman
And so, the question of 'which two lucky squaddies will survive Failure Shepard's bumbling' has finally been answered. For a while, I assumed that Miranda would live (in order to be killed later on by Failure forgetting to pass on important information). But you've done a wonderful job of creating calamity thus far, and I have high hopes for the missions to come.
EndarkCuli
Thank you.
lrrose
I'm curious? Why did you send someone back? That would get Chakwas and the colonists killed. Couldn't you get your team weak enough to get who you wanted killed?
Peteman
It was the only way I could think of to get Grunt killed.
lrrose
Maybe you could get him killed in ME 3?

Or bring him along while disloyal.
Peteman
I didn't even know it was possible to do that.
Yagami1211
After the minor discussion over Zaeed's mission earlier, I was a tad surprised that you actually went through with it at the tail end. Still, the results were...well, 'fail-tastic' isn't a real word, but it's the only way I can describe the chaos that ensued. Best of luck when the Reapers come a-knockin'!
EndarkCuli
11 hours? Geez...each Mass Effect game took me a couple of months. I guess that can happen if you're skipping most side missions though.
montagohalcyon
@EndarkCuli: I wasn't originally going to recruit Zaeed, but I changed my mind later. I also was originally not going to do any loyalty missions besides Jack's, but then I realized that I could still screw things up without impacting my plan for the Suicide Mission.

@montagohalcyon: It helps that I almost never picked an "Investigate" option and only talked to the crew to get loyalty missions and to romance Jack and Kelly.
lrrose
Ah, Core...she'll be an interesting case when it comes time to add her name to the list of casualties. I mean, even though Legion is just a part of a greater collective, at least it showed more personality than I think Core ever will. Still, if she wasn't outed by the Mars researchers immediately (and assuming that they're more competent than Shepherd), I suppose she must have at least some degree of Artificial Intelligence...
EndarkCuli
I believe that Dr. Eva is an AI. She gives orders to the Cerberus soldiers on Mars, her hardware is apparently capable of carrying an AI and she was created as a replacement for EDI.
lrrose
Peteman
I was going to do an update today, but the weather is really horrible so I didn't get a chance to play without risking a power outage. I'm going to try and do two missions tomorrow though.
lrrose
And now, Core's been officially added to the list. Soon to come, hopefully: the payoff for sparing Wrex way back in part one of this trilogy. Best of luck, mate!
EndarkCuli
Part of me wishes there was a way to screw up so epically that you alienate both the salarians and the Krogan.
Peteman
But who cares about salarians?
ultimatepheer
So, you've done everything you could have to ruin the future of the krogan race...and Wrex still thinks of you as a friend. And then Shep thinks about party members that have died due to his ignorance. I'm finding it hard to decide just how guilt-ridden Fail Shep would be at any given moment, especially since all of the chaos is intentional from the player's point of view...
EndarkCuli
In fairness to Wrex, he doesn't know you sabotaged the cure yet.
Peteman
Ah, so that's why Samara lived: so that her Justicar Code could completely and utterly muck things up. I've cleared the first two games, but I've never gotten this far into the third Mass Effect game, and a reason for her survival in a failure run has been a mystery to me until now. The results were certainly intriguing, if nothing else.

Best of luck in the missions to come!
EndarkCuli
Apologies for the delay. I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. I'll try to post something tomorrow.
lrrose
Oh, don't worry about delays; my own update schedule is absolutely bonkers, and this blog is certainly good enough to wait for. Plus, April 1st is one of those dates that's probably best viewed from a secure bunker.

Also, it's a bit sad to hear that this version of Legion is far less sympathetic than one that would have had the honour of working alongside its hero for a few years, or however long the time gap between the end of the last game and Shep's reinstatement would have been. Then again, would that Legion's survival mean that this Legion would be considered obsolete and spend its days unable to fulfill its purpose? Oh, how the VIs and AIs of this series confound me sometimes...
EndarkCuli
Given the capacity for screwing things up, I wonder if you could maximize the failure by keeping a few more squadmates alive in the suicide mission. In a maximized screwed playthrough, you could probably afford to keep Grunt, Tali, Jack, Samara, and Zaeed alive, though admittedly, Tali and Jack would be hard to keep in a maximized screwed playthrough. That way, you can let Chakwas die unguarded on her way back.

A no-loyalty mission Grunt can die keeping Shepard alive in ME 3, saving the Reaper abomination rachni breeder, and you can keep him alive by not releasing him until after the Suicide Mission if need be. Tali dies if you side with the Geth, though keeping the heretics alive and helping the quarians might be better for worse. If you don't save Grissom Academy, Jack is turned into a Phantom. Samara can pointlessly kill herself to save her daughter, whom you'll kill anyway. And Zaeed can have his loyalty mission done after the fight, where you'll leave him to burn to death. With the added muscle, you might be able to let Cerberus take Legion.
Peteman
And there goes another important mission in which you have to choose between one of two sides. Perhaps this choice was not as meaningful as Tuchanka, since neither Tali nor the nice Legion had to be sacrificed (due to dying much earlier), but going through with a second act of genocide in one game can still be slightly troubling.

Best of luck in the missions to come! Or worst of luck, depending on your point of view. I've said that in a lot of comments so far, haven't I?
EndarkCuli
On the one hand, I think you can sabotage the quarians for a greater EMS penalty.

On the other, you're aiming for as much death and pain and suffering, and honestly, given the worst ending, the quarians probably have the best chance of surviving the incoming apocalypse, so making sure they're dead assures that the most number of sentient beings suffer.
Peteman
There's going to be another delay. The bomb hasn't gone off yet and I'm running out of missions, so I'm going to have to go back a few missions and see if doing the first bomb mission is what triggers the countdown to massive EMS loss.
lrrose
> Legion doesn't get a second plaque on the Memorial Wall. Which makes sense, since Legion 2.0 was kind of a dick.

I'm now certain that Legion's return was a bug and it was actually supposed to be the Geth VI, which the game gave Legion's name and appearance for some reason.
Sikon
Fail Shep, so fail he fails at failing.
Peteman
I trust we'll be seeing the Hanar Diplomat side mission? It may net you some war assets, but you can help cause the extermination of the hanar and drell.

Same with the Batarian codes? Get some more internal strife?
Peteman
It's too late for the Hanar Diplomat mission, which cannot be done after completing the genophage arc. Besides, I think Fail Shep's inaction on the issue is worse than anything he could have done by doing the quest.

I'm not quite sure how to mess up the batarian codes mission. Balak's a douche, but he doesn't betray the Alliance. And killing him gets you the batarian war assets anyway.
lrrose
I thought killing him got the Batarians pissed off at you and they attacked Alliance ships. Or does it do both.

As for the Hanar, that involves the confirmed extermination of the Drell and Hanar, even if it does net you a Spectre team.
Peteman
How many assets does Arralakh company even have at this point?
Peteman
25.
lrrose
Seems high because without Grunt, according to the Mass Effect Wiki, they're worth 25. Given that you sacrificed them, which costs them 25, I thought it would end up at 0.
Peteman
Yeah, I was surprised, but I guess that Aralakh can't go beneath 25.
lrrose
What would be a decent EMS?
montagohalcyon
You need over 1750 EMS to avoid the worst endings.
lrrose
As a side note, Jack shouts "I will destroy you!" when she shows up. It was a nice touch for a half-assed situation.
lrrose
Sorry for the delay. Priority: Earth is something of a Marathon Level (albeit mostly because of cutscenes), the option to do a hard save is seldom available and I don't like relying on autosaves. I've been pretty busy these last few days, so I haven't had the time to beat the game. I should have it done by tomorrow or the 25th.
lrrose
Well, here we go. We've seen our fair share of tragedies, most made hilarious due to the blatant disregard of common sense that led to them, as well as some victories. Mostly the accidental, plot-mandated kind of victories. But the final mission has begun, and it seems that this liveblog will soon be completed. It's been a blast to follow along with you, Irrose, and I wish you the best of luck for these final battles.
EndarkCuli
Final push should have Liara and James, given EDI's own projected mortality.
Peteman
@Endark: Thank you.

@Peteman: That's what I did.
lrrose
Ah, Failure Shepard, I weep for the galaxy.

The sad thing is, I don't know what's worse at this point, using the Destroy option, or the Refuse option. The Destroy option sees everyone face a horribly uncertain future while the Refuse option, while seeing everyone dead, does end on a hopeful note.
Peteman
And there it is: the final, major decision that we've been building up to over the course of three games. Either the end of all current civilizations will occur, or...the end of all current civilizations will occur, with a slightly higher survival rate in exchange for erasing a few thousand years of technology and progress (that would otherwise have just been left behind for future civilizations to learn from). Which shall it be? I suppose that I'll have to tune in next time and find out!
EndarkCuli
Part of me wants to see this as a Lets Play with voiceover commentary.
Peteman
I'm curious on how the Citadel DLC plays out with that many people killed. A lot of banter exists about how awesome they are, so with almost all of them dead, how much banter do we lose?
Peteman
I think you see Coats in the aftermath. IIRC, he picks up some dude's helmet.
Peteman
Just checked youtube. I'm pretty sure it's not him.

If you're curious.
lrrose
And there we are. I think it was mentioned once that you considered doing some DLC to finish things off, but for all intents and purposes, Fail Shep's story has finally ended. The bonus details were a nice touch; I couldn't help but chuckle at the first 'died for your sins' line, even though its second use wasn't quite as jovial an occasion. I've had fun reading this blog of yours, Irrose, and I hope that you're proud of your work.
EndarkCuli
Peteman
Ah, so that's what happens if Wrex isn't around to...wreck. It doesn't sound quite as thrilling to watch, but at least it's somewhat more practical.

Next up, if my memory's correct, is some espionage. That...probably won't end well. But best of luck regardless!
EndarkCuli
I like the "He also wins big at the games, costing the casino money that Khan was planning on donating to refugees. "
Peteman
You know, the sad thing is, MF might actually do better than Fail Shep with saving the galaxy.
Peteman
It's not like MF could do Worse than Fail Shep.
ultimatepheer
Part of me thinks it should be Win Shepard, because I prefer 1 syllable names.
Peteman
There's no "I" in "team", but there is a "me".
Peteman
So, if Failure Shepard can be nicknamed "Fail" Shepard, does that mean Success Shepard can be nicknamed "Suck" Shepard?
Peteman
I was actually thinking of doing that, but decided against it because it would confuse me.
lrrose
Something that surprised me about this DLC was how some of the side characters were treated. Perhaps, since one of the main selling points was being able to get old party members to fight at your side (mostly in the now-unlocked arena stuff, though Wrex could have helped with Shepherd had he lived), I didn't originally think that the other members of the Normandy would get major roles. But Joker and Cortez had awesome moments dealing with their own crafts, Traynor's scene was funny, and Glyph went above and beyond the duties of Liara's digital secretary.

All in all, I thought that this DLC was worth every penny. Best of luck if you decide to try the combat challenges, and may the party be absolutely rockin'!
EndarkCuli
And thank you for doing this. I think you can maximize the level of fail if you're willing to accept a few war assets, but this is plenty good also.
Peteman
I enjoyed your blog! Sorry I didn't comment this segment, but I wouldn't be able to contribute much on ME 3.
montagohalcyon
And so, for real this time, ends Fail Shep's story. It's been a wild ride, and I've enjoyed reading alone. Thank you for sacrificing the universe for our own amusement, and I hope that you have a marvellous day.
EndarkCuli
Well done, I've been quietly following along for a while, and this has been a great source of enjoyment.
JobanGrayskull
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