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    The GARDIAN system on Horizon 
  • During the Collector attack on Horizon, you get to see a GARDIAN system in action. Except that GARDIAN is a laser system, and the game clearly shows distinct, seperate projecticles traveling towards the target. LASERS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!! For a series that generally falls on the hard side of the scale, this is a pretty glaring error.
    • GARDIAN is more likely just a catch-all term used for point defense systems, in which case it would make more sense.
      • The Codex states that GARDIAN is exclusively lasers.
    • Or it's another special effects goof like...well, the entirety of the Citadel battle from the first game. For that matter, most of the weapons in ME 2 don't appear as they should, looking more like Star Wars blaster bolts than anything else.
    • It might be an in-atmosphere system where they replaced the lasers with mass accelerators to avoid the blooming issues commonly associated with DEW systems. Besides, it doesn't really matter whether you're firing laser pulses at c or c fractional slugs when you're limited to low orbit engagements.

    Dextro-amino acid romances 
  • On the female side, the Garrus encounter. A turian bartender tells fem!Shep earlier in the game that a drink that will get her hammered would outright kill him because of the incompatible amino acids. Shep is even warned not to... ingest when inquiring about human-turian intercourse. Yet Garrus shows up to your rendezvous with one bottle of cheap wine. No matter who it's for, it'll make the other sick or worse. Of course, given the awkward and reluctant tone of his advances, it could be one more thing he did wrong. Showing up with two different six-packs would have been funnier and more logical. Not being able to see what his body looks like under his armor is less of a letdown for me, but still mildly disappointing from an exobiology standpoint. More than likely, both cases were to avoid building a whole new character model for one optional scene.
    • Ingesting incompatible amino acids doesn't lead to the kind of catastrophic anaphylactic shock that the Turian bartender described. The human body can't use the amino acids sure but it isn't going to kill us so if Garrus picked up a cheap bottle of Turian wine unless they cut it with something like antifreeze it'll be fine. As for the ingesting Turians come from a world with high levels of radiation which is why they have a metallic exoskeleton. Their Goo may be cut with lead or other heavy metals to resist the radiation.
    • There are no amino acids, either dextro- or levo-, in wine - or indeed, in most alcoholic beverages. Just water, ethanol (which isn't a chiral molecule) and miscellaneous polyphenols. Save for a handful of bottle-conditioned ales, leftover yeasts and fermentation byproducts are removed during the filtering and fining process. To that end, there's nothing in there that would affect either one of them adversely, unless you count the impending hangover from over-indulging in cheap booze.
      • Hell, I was hoping the whole chirality thing would turn out to be a Shout-Out to Callahans Crosstime Saloon; one of the stories involves a "Mirror Earth" with dextro-protein life. A con artist discovers a means to travel between the two, but finds that there's little he can do with it; Equivalent Exchange is in effect - if he does anything that benefits one world at the expense of the other, the gate will fail, possibly trapping him in a world where he can't digest the food. He finally hits on ethanol; it's not a chiral molecule as said above, but the esters (which determine taste and texture) are. Result: one world's really bad moonshine whiskey is the other's Wonderbooze. See also Larry Niven's Destiny's Road; dextro-proteins don't make humans sick, they just can't derive nutrition from it. Result; uber-tasty diet food!
      • Skarmory The PG: I wanted to say that but I wasn't sure. I guess there are beverages that would be affected by it though?
    • I thought it was a different kind of ingestion. You are starting a sexual encounter with him. Also, the alcohol mentioned by the turian bartender (the one that will kill any with dextro-DNA)? That's Krogan ryncol - guaranteed to make Shepard set off "radiological alarms" after he/she drinks it, if it doesn't knock Shep off his/her feet first.
    • As for Garrus's bodytype, what he showed up in wasn't armor, it's regular Turian civvies as seen on the citadel and in other places. Turian bodies are actually shaped that way (there is a piece of concept art showing a naked Turian out there that proves this point).

  • Quarians, like Turians, are based on dextro-amino proteins. Ingestion of saliva could provoke allergic reaction. Anaphylactic shock possible.
    • Which is why Mordin tells you not to ingest.
      • And yet the first thing you do after taking Tali's helmet off is start sucking face. So either they're both potentially risking their lives for a make-out session (sure, Tali may have taken precautions to boost her immune system, but what about Shepard?), or they'd have to swap spit and then.. spit.
      • It's not exactly exactly impossible for there to be kissing without tonguing.
      • Also, I believe it's mentioned that an allergic reaction is possible, and I know that it's been said that the severity of the reaction varies greatly from person to person. The first game says of ingestion of human foods by turians and quarians that it can simply pass through the digestive system with no ill effects - they just also get no nutrients from it and a severe reaction is more likely. Maybe Tali and Shepard are two of the lucky few who aren't allergic to each other, or not badly.
      • Actually the only reason that it's an issue for the Quarians is because of their weakened immune systems. Considering how smart mouthed Mordin can be it's entirely possible that his comment about ingesting was meant to be at least a bit tongue in cheek and to mess with you. It's unlikely that two healthy individuals would have many problems if any at all.
      • On the subject of weakened immune systems, Tali was hyped up on immunoboosters when she came to visit you. It's possible that they were able to prevent the more severe reactions she could have had.

  • Why did Wilson want to kill Shepard at the beginning of the game anyway? He was supposed to be a mole... for who? They never address it in the game.
    • It might have been a Xanatos Gambit by The Illusive Man to gain Shepard's trust: "See? The agents of the Reapers are everywhere, Shepard. You should really join Cerberus, because we totally don't torture children." Or maybe it was to show the player that Miranda is cold. Or maybe he wasn't a spy, and Miranda isn't omniscient like she thinks.
    • If you listen to the logs scattered throughout the base, Wilson seems to be resenting his higher-ups because they aren't paying him enough, or because Miranda is The Illusive Man's "favorite", or blah blah blah bitch bitch whine whine. It is entirely possible he hacked the security mechs to kill everyone simply because he was tired of being jerked around. Do they ever actually say he was working with another organization? As I recall, Miranda just says he was a traitor — that doesn't necessarily mean working under someone else's banner.
    • Shepard's pissed off enough people that the Warden at Purgatory is willing to risk Cerberus' wrath by trying to capture him/her. Wilson probably saw a big bounty on Shepard's head and tried to off him/her. Nothing more complicated.
      • There's also that, as Liara relates, the Shadow Broker was hired by the Collectors to obtain Shepard's body for them. Liara had to fight the Shadow Broker to allow Cerberus their chance to resurrect him. And the Shadow Broker can offer a whole ton of credits if he wants to. Wilson, and the warden at Purgatory, were almost certainly working for him.
    • Wilson was most likely greedy, bitter, and stupid enough to assume that he'd get both revenge and a huge pay day from it all. He probably figured that if Shepard was really all that vital, they could repair him/her again. Yeah, he was a moron, but people have done dumber things before.
    • There's an easily-missed audio log (right after you meet Jacob) where Wilson basically says, "We've done it! Shepard is alive! This is one of the greatest medical advances in history! Now maybe Miranda will show me some appreciation..." It kind of suggests that he had a thing for Miranda that she never reciprocated, giving him another reasons to set the mechs loose.
    • It's not impossible that Wilson was actually innocent and that Miranda was really the one behind the mech attack. She is the Operator for the Lazarus Cell, meaning she has command over everything, and Cerberus is known for its ruthlessness and willingness to dispose of people once they are no longer useful. She even states outright that everyone who isn't Shepard is expendable when you ask her about looking for other survivors, something that Jacob (reluctantly) agrees with. Miranda is also very loyal to the Illusive Man and shown throughout the game to be willing to justify or excuse just about anything that Cerberus does, up until the end of the suicide mission. It's possible that Miranda was ordered to execute all of the other members of Project Lazarus, and chose to do so in a fashion that would both test the success of the project and encite Shepard to listen to her; appearing to "save" him/her from the "rogue" security mechanoids. Wilson was suspicious, and a jerk, but genuinely innocenct — and a convenient scapegoat.
      • Miranda is a bitch, that's a given, but she also believes that Cerberus is for the good of humanity and is easily the most idealistic member of the Normandy crew. This may be Alternate Character Interpretation, but I think it's pretty obvious: Miranda justifies everything Cerberus does because she has to, otherwise she's spent her adult life supporting an organisation whose main goal is the conquest of the galaxy in the name of the Illusive Man. Her main loyalty to TIM rests on him protecting her and her sister when she ran away from her father, not on some genuine belief that joining Cerberus was a noble thing to do. She justifies a lot of Cerberus' actions, but those are the easy ones; she never mentions the Thresher Maw attack on Akuze, because how do you justify it? You can't, just like saving the Collector Base. And as soon as she's faced with that choice, she abandons TIM, whether she's loyal or not. Now, given all that, do you think she'd willingly go along with ruthlessly murdering her own staff? She's obviously distressed when the Normandy crew is kidnapped. Do you really think she'd go along with it? I see two options here: either TIM did it without Miranda's knowledge - makes sense, he needs her loyal ("Miranda Lawson is too precious to Cerberus to lose her loyalty"), or Wilson was really a mole. I like to think it was for the Alliance, which explains why they never made any attempt to rescue you. And so your reunion with the Alliance brass can be more hilarious:
      Shepard: I only worked with Cerberus, I never joined the organisation.
      Hackett: Really, Shepard? Then why did you kill one of our agents?
      Shepard: Agent? What are you talking about?
      Hackett: Dr. Wilson! He was on Lazarus Station. You killed him before you left!
      Shepard: Hold on, I didn't kill him, that was Mi-
      Miranda: Oops.
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker spoilers: The Shadow Broker's dossiers refer to Wilson as one of his agents. So Wilson betrayed them after all. :smug:

    Krogan in the Plague Zone 
  • A bit of a minor point, but during the mission to recruit Mordin (the plague in the slums of Omega), there's a lot of talk about the vorcha; how they can't possibly be behind the plague because they're not smart enough to be using it intentionally, how unusual it is that they're making this major push against the Blue Suns. Yet in your first encounter with the vorcha fighters, there's a krogan standing right there giving them orders! RIGHT THERE!! Why does no one mention the krogan who are quite obviously leading the vorcha and who are quite obviously part of the rival Blood Pack gang? Maybe the dialogue was recorded before it was decided that the vorcha should be part of the Blood Pack, but even still, why does everyone describe the conflict as "Blue Suns vs Vorcha" and not "Blue Suns vs Blood Pack"? And what about the krogan, are the krogan not affected by the plague?
    • Krogan in Mass Effect 2 generally wear their helmets in combat, which might filter out the disease. Or, alternately, they went into the plague zone as a "test of strength". It's happened before, with similar bad results.
      • If you bring Grunt into the plague zone (you can buy some fuel and leave Omega's system to go do the other quests first, without having to land on the station at all), he gets sick and needs Mordin to give him a booster shot, the same as happens to Garrus if you bring him. The Blood Pack krogan were almost definitely keeping their environment suits sealed.

    Sole Survivor Shepard and Cerberus 
  • Why can't you bring up Akuze to TIM as a sole survivor, in the first game you learn Cerberus had their hands in that and you can't say "Hey thanks for rebuilding me and everything but before we go any further I want answers, let's start with Akuze."
    • Same reason you can't bring up Mindoir to Tali's accusation that Shepard has a home and the quarians don't. Nobody thought of it, or it wasn't deemed enough to get the VAs on it.
      • More likely players would try to use it as an excuse to kill Miranda and Jacob and take the shuttle back to Alliance space. So they cut it out entirely.

    Garrus' attitude in Mass Effect 2 
  • Garrus in Mass Effect 2 — if you take the Paragon route on his sidequest in the first game, he still ends up as Archangel. This is strange, but understandable — they couldn't afford to make an entirely different way to bring him into the game based on one minor choice. What does strike me as odd and totally inexplicable is that Shepard seems to see absolutely nothing strange about him reverting to his old attitudes after being convinced to shape up, with no visible provocation. It would've been a few more lines of dialogue, at most.
    • Garrus does shape up. Before he was unconcerned about civilian casualties and was convinced the ends justified the means. As Archangel, he specifically made sure no civilians were harmed, and only went after people that deserved a bullet in the head. The people Garrus were fighting weren't your standard criminals, they were trained mercenaries - ones that would have killed him in a heartbeat. It's a different situation to those he encountered on the Citadel.
    • It is worth noting that while Shepard says nothing when they first meet, s/he does speak up when Garrus starts becoming more overtly aggressive during his loyalty quest.
    • It's clear that he returned to C-Sec after the first game, but he became frustrated with the way things were happening again. He only went to Omega because he thought he could get more done. Archangel is not a totally bad person. In fact, he pretty much does exactly how he liked to operate on the citadel, but he enjoyed the freedom and being able to strike at the heart of crime. He is still very polite, committed to his goals, and a good guy.He never really reverts to his old attitude until his loyalty mission, when Shepard actually takes note of his sudden turn to violence.

    The Illium bachelor party 
  • Alright, that scene during the bachelor's party with the asari? The one that implies that asari manipulate minds to make them appear attractive? Bull. I'm sorry, but they have to look human. Are you telling me Avina, the VI interface of the Citadel, somehow manipulates minds? That no one has ever commented on the differences of appearance and realized what the asari do? Do the asari corpses still maintain that facade? The hologram of the asari Councilor? Someone explain this.
    • With however many billion Asari all doing at once the illusion effect broadcasts over the whole galaxy. Or is you prefer A Wizard Did It.
    • Is this ever verified, or was this (as This Troper suspects) just in-universe Fridge Logic? All three of the guys could be jumping to conclusions over a Got-Your-Peanut-Butter-In-My-Chocolate issue.
    • They never once actually say the asari is mind-controlling them. The human remarks that he finds her facial features attractive. The turian remarks that he finds her alien hair thingies attractive because they are similar to turians'. The salarian is attracted by her flexibility. That's it. No mind control.
      • No, the turian and salarian explicitly say that she looks like a blue-tinted member of their own respective species. Frankly I don't really see a problem here. The asari's true appearance is obviously a standard humanoid (the asari-modeled V Is and holograms are a dead giveaway) but in person-to-person encounters they use some form of psychic/hypnotic suggestion to make themselves appear magically attractive to other species. Maybe it's not even a conscious thing. It could be just the asari version of pheromones.
      • So what? This troper being an African-American, he has specifically been on-hand to see members of his race openly claim anyone who possesses medium-to-dark skin, wavy hair, and/or thick lips. Sometimes, these people turn out to be aborigine, Indian, or just someone who doesn't easily fit into a label. The bottom line is this: just because these races think the asari looks just like them doesn't mean that they're using some sort of mind control. The "problem", in a nutshell, is that things which are speculated upon without any substantial evidence shouldn't be automatically taken for canon.
      • Bad example. Humans (contrary to what the game suggests) are similar enough that it can be easy to mistake a member of one ethnicity for another. It's kinda tough to look at a humanoid asari and think "that chick looks exactly like a blue-skinned salarian, with antennae and bug-eyes and everything!" Clearly the asari are doing something that makes them appear attractive to other species. But exactly what that is isn't important. It's just a bit of funny throwaway dialogue.
      • Look at the video, here: Specifically, the Turian's line. "Asari look just like blue turians. Look at the head fringe!." And the earlier human line. "They look exactly like humans." It's not a case of different perception. The Asari have some way of attracting one's attention to what other species would find attractive in them. The human doesn't notice the fringes, the turian doesn't notice the humanoidness. That makes it pretty evident that they are seeing different things. "She looks just like a blue-skinned salarian!" Seriously. Humans and salarians don't look anything alike. And the head fringe looks nothing like asari tentacles, not really. I know this is a throwaway dialog, but it just makes no sense along with the rest of the game. They're clearly suggesting there's manipulation going on there—and not just psychic Love Potion No.9. Eh, it Just Bugs Me because I saw it get edited as a "subversion" on other pages. And it's rather an Ass Pull, wouldn't you say? I always figured they looked human to give a) you a reason to be attracted to them and b) to give aliens a reason to be attracted to humans.
      • I simply used my original example it because it correlated to real-life experience. However, I'll go you one better that strays a little away from real life: Furries and Xenophilic fanboys. People can find themselves attracted to anything that seems remotely humanoid (look at all the fandom for Garrus and Tali shipping). It doesn't always take suggestion for someone to find something attractive. For an example, the human doesn't bat an eyelash when the turian compares their head fringes to the asari tentacles—he's only taken aback by the comparison to a salarian. For the "mental suggestion" thing to be valid, you'd think they'd be seeing something that isn't there. The salarian, however, never states exactly what it is about asari that makes them look like salarians, and I do see the turian head-fringe comparison. Besides, we don't know what, specifically, turians or salarians find physically appealing in mates. There are terrestial species that find anything from tail feathers to grooming to skin color as enticing for mating. Again, I just don't see the issue.
      • In the romance scene with Garrus, his dialogue indicates that the head fringe and hips are the principal characteristics a Turian looks for in a female, so the fact that the Asari scalp looks a little like it (and we haven't seen a female Turian, so it's possible the Asari one is closer to them) is probably what stokes their boiler. The Salarians are the only ones that we really don't know about. (Krogans seem mostly interested in the fact that Asari commandos are hard as nails, rather than any attributes of appearance).
    • If there is some kind of illusion going on, this troper gets the impression that it is passive. I.E: The Asari are not purposely brainwashing everyone into thinking that they are attractive. It is merely a latent effect similar to how even dead Reapers continue to indoctrinate people.
      • Passive, probably. But it's still powerful stuff. That random asari stripper manage to create a sex drive in a member of a specie that doesn't have any. It's probably the equivalent of brainwashing a gay dude in a super straight Don Juan.
    • Or it could just be that they're all drunk because it's a bachelor party.
      • Clearly this is the answer. Occam's Razor people.
  • Also, dead Asari look exactly the same as live Asari. This should not be possible as no mental perceptive control, no matter how passive, can be kept up when there is no longer brain function. The Bachelor Party miniscene and ME 2 in general adds some solid depth to the species, but it's still very disappointing to know that when I shoot the pretty blue lady, something that looks entirely different SHOULD BE BUT IS NOT falling down.
    • And it is canonically established that Asari are anatomically similar to humans, because Liara is the only non-human member of Sheppard's crew in ME 1 who can use human body armour. Garrus, Tali & Wrex have species-specific armour.
  • Really, people? This much debate over a one-off joke conversation meant to get a chuckle out of you? Good grief. It was a joke. It was meant to show a typical conversation that might happen anywhere in the galaxy. Real people talk about funny stuff like that all the time. It doesn't mean anything. It's just three guys being funny for your amusement. Focus on the things that actually mean something, yeah?
    • I believe you're missing the point of a "Just Bugs Me"—if it can present Fridge Logic, it is worthy. Besides that, there were formally several posts around TV Tropes (and on forums around the Interwebz) referencing this particular conversation, and claiming that asari Green-Skinned Space Babe status was a subversion, since they're controlling your mind—I asked about this Fridge Logic because people evidently took it to mean something other than an off-hand comment. Besides that, why should you disregard little conversations as being non-canon just because they don't occur in a cutscene?
    • I am going to make something very clear to everbody, there are three office workers, all of them consuming alcoholic beverages looking at a hot asari chick. One of them, keep in mind only one suggests MAYBE and only MAYBE they are mind controlling them, and he (an office worker) came up with this idea on the spot, this doesnt dignify some drastic change in canon, it doenst mean the dialogue is non canon, it means some drunk dude had a very brief fear of an asari stripper because his two alien friends were also attracted to her. STOP OVERANALYSING IT
  • It's obvious that it's just subjective alien tastes. Basically, what if aliens were real and saw other aliens? These three species are all humanoid, but to them, we're turianoid/salarianoid. Everybody sees what they want to see. We (humans) see asari as blue humans, because we look at the similar facial features. The head fringe looks slightly similar to the asari tentacles, in the same way that they look like hair to us, thus the turians think asari look like turians. And salarians...well that one is a bit of a stretch, but you can kinda see similarities there too, if you were looking for them.

    Quarian eating methods 
  • How does Tali eat?
    • Here ya go.
    • Like every other quarian.
    • With a straw?
      • You'd still have to breach the suit if you used a straw.
    • The food quarians eat is rendered down into a paste - to try to eliminate germs - and eaten through tube(s) in their helmets. I think.
      • The codex say so.
  • On a related note, at one point she speaks of allergic reactions that can cause vomiting. So, how exactly does she... you know? Sorry. Here's your Brain Bleach.

    Joker's Vrolik Syndrome 
  • In mass effect 2, one of the Prototype Upgrades you can get is the Heavy Bone Weave. This does pretty much exactly what it sounds like it should- make your bones really freaking tough. It also heals them within a day if they break, according to its codex entry. Installing it is clearly a trivial outpatient procedure. JOKER, ANYBODY?
    • Oh, that's a good one...maybe his insurance doesn't cover it (it's implied to be very new), and he doesn't have the money to pay for it on his own.
      • "Please consult your doctor before using. Not for use by children, dextro-amino races and those suffering from Vrolik Syndrome." On the other hand, notice that he's walking wihtout braces or crutches, with only a limp. This troper can't help but notice that when you speak with Joker, you can see metallic pads on his knees- perhaps a mix of physiotherapy and built-in crutches in his pants helps him walk?
      • Those on all of the uniforms, not just Joker.
      • Yeah, fixing Joker's legs was probably one of the recruitment incentives Cerberus offered him.
    • The upgrade is for Shephard, specifically, as his body was reconstructed with this sort of thing in mind. I doubt Joker, or anyone else for that matter, would survive the process.
      • True, while it's never really elaborated upon, Shepard's body is schock-full of cybernetics, Ghost in the Shell-style. So it's probably not really a medical treatment and more a cybernetic upgrade.
      • Then why would you find that research in the first place? What some random merc is interested in the latest advances in cybernetic enchancments only the rich and powerful could afford?
      • You don't. It's acquired after researching a few general health upgrades. Maybe Mordin invents it.
      • Mercs tend to be fairly wealthy in this setting. Or did you miss the fact that every mercenary company in the game is rather impressively well-equipped?
    • Who says Joker hasn't benefited? He himself points out that if it weren't for modern medical advancements, he would be dead. He probably does have a "heavy bone weave" - it's just that he's been assisted as far as he can be assisted with his disease.
    • Notice that the Heavy Bone upgrade is in the Prototype section which means it's a experimental technology that is extremely expensive and unstable. It's also a cybernetic upgrade which means that there is no guarantee a baseline human like Joker could even use it.
    • Let's break this down: In the first game, Joker says he needs crutches and leg braces to get around. In the second game, he's walking without either. Conclusion; he must have benefited from new technology between the games, and the idea above that Cerberus has something to do of it is the most likely explanation. I'd say, given his original claim to need crutches and braces, the only odd thing is that Shepard doesn't ask him about him. The only other explanation is that he's got small mass-effect generators in the pants pockets of his Cerberus duty uniform to lighten his legs.
      • It might be that Joker did receive the treatment, and his bones are now stronger so that he can walk without braces - but his limp comes from the muscles. We don't know how long he's been with Cerberus, but atrophied muscles take a while to develop back. And Joker doesn't seem to do much prancing around anyway - he may be so accustomed to spending all the time in the pilot seat that his muscles (and nerves) are still unaccustomed to his walking.
      • How do you know his pants aren't covering up leg braces?
    • Also, Vrolik's Syndrome is said to be a genetic defect, which could mean that whatever treatment one may employ to reverse the damage would just be undone by the body itself.
    • Vrolik's Syndrome also causes extremely weak tendons and ligaments, not just bones. And if Shepard has a completely artificial liver, that gives a new significance to one of Mordin's lines. "No, no, would cause liver failure. Start from scratch."

    The Prothean barrier on Therum 
  • In the first game, when you meet Liara T'Soni, she's hanging suspended in a barrier. She's conscious and able to talk to you, and move her body a little, but she can't get out of the barrier until you reach her and press a button that's about 10 feet away. Isn't this * exactly* the sort of thing that her biotics would be useful for?
    • Presumably the barrier can also block biotics. What * I* want to know is how she doesn't die of thirst in there if you shuffle your feet in rescuing her. If you leave it too long then she's hallucinating by the time you arrive. If nothing else, she should be in no fit state to run around.
      • She's an alien, full stop. For all we know, Asari can stay without drinking or eating for quite some times.
      • She is usless against the krogan waiting upstairs for her. And she pretty much collapses right after the meeting on the Normandy, regardless of whether or not she and Shepard mind-meld.
    • How can she interface her biotics with a holographic button? Theoretically, the holo-interfaces work by detecting a physical object moving through them, otherwise your omni-tool would detonate your pants every time you fought in a stiff breeze.
      • Jack was shown opening a door with her biotics if you side with Miranda during their loyalty feud.

    Credit chits 
  • I thought intergalactic credits were digital; it even says so in the codex. So... what on earth are the minor NP Cs handing Shepard when he completes a sidequest? A cheque? Or does Shepard have a credit-card scanner built into his armor?
    • A minor sidequest involves trying to find a person's credits that mentions something called a "chit". Apparently credits are digital, but these chits are some form of storage medium that can be passed around.
      • Yeah, I figured it was probably something like today's gift cards that Shepard can then scan into his own account later.

     Prothean scientists and destruction of the Citadel 
  • Okay i get that the Citadel is a giant mass relay so why didnt the prothean scientists trapped there try to destroy it that seems like a good way to end the cycle.
    • The Citadel is impossible to destroy with any tech prior to that of the Reapers'. Do you really think a dozen scientists with no equipment could even hope to damage something that big? For heaven's sakes, a Reaper exploded inside the Citadel and did little more than scratch the facility's paintwork. Sure, it did a lot of damage to the interior of the station, but those were organic-built structures.
      • To me it looked like more damage had been done but i was probably wrong. Mainly i thought they could just try the good old method of tearing out wires and breaking important stuff until it suffered a breakdown.
      • You underestimate how HUGE the Citadel is. Now, keep in mind that it's a station the rivals the size of a planet, and that there's a race of creatures that can fix any damage you can do in seconds.
      • Not a planet, certainly. The Citadel is about the size of five Manhattans. Still incredibly huge in terms of entirely artificial construct in space, and still all but indestructible. Sure, the buildings on the surface can be destroyed, but the superstructure survived perfectly intact from an exploding Reaper.
      • Also, a Mass Relay survived a supernova. If a race came along with that kind of firepower, the Reapers would have more problems to worry about than a destroyed Citadel.
      • 1: The Citadel is huge. 2: There were only a dozen scientists with minimal gear and supplies. Most of them were probably old, having spent "decades in feverish study". 3: The Citadel is huge. 4: The keepers outnumber the scientists and would repeair any damage they'd inflict. 5: The Citadel is huge. 6: There is no reason six. 7: The Citadel is HUGE!
    • The Citadel also controls the entire Mass Relay system. If you broke the wrong system, you'd stop future species from meeting and working together, and leave the Reapers a path in (at which point they could repair the Mass Relays).

     How Saren convinced the geth to follow him 
  • Okay, let me get this straight, you question why the Geth would follow Saren, an organic, and the council explains it away by saying that Saren convinced the Geth that Sovereign was their God and that he was Sovereign's prophet, that Saren convinced the Geth of the exact same thing he convinced you of. Okay, I can get that, it seems highly unlikely from where I'm standing, but I'll give them that. In the second ga they say that Sovereign was a Geth ship, seeing as we don't know Geth industrial capabilities and it's also convenient propaganda. But, wait... If Sovereign was a Geth ship... Arlight, are you trying to tell me that Saren convinced the Geth that he was the prophet of the god that the Geth BUILT? What. The. Hell.
    • Denial is a powerful thing. The Council doesn't want to believe that the Reapers are real so they'll use any excuse to ignore the danger.
    • It's called adjusting your theory to fit evidence. Happens all the time in the real world; you develop a working theory based on existing evidence, and if evidence ocmes along that throws the theory out of whack, you adjust the theory to accomodate this new evidence. The Council's theory that Saren was using the Reapers as a tool to motivate the geth worked at first because no one had actually encountered Sovereign; afterwards, the Council adjusted their theory to accomodate Sovereign. Note that after Sovereign's attack, they no longer seem to be adhering to the notion that Saren was acting as a prophet.
      • I know they're in denial and all and I'm aware that they've revised their theory, my issue is this: With the original theory out the window, how are they answering the question 'Why would the Geth follow Saren, an ORGANIC? Their new theory (unless I miss my mark) doesn't adress this issue.
      • They claim that Saren was somehow charismatic enough to conivince the Geth that he was the prophet of Sovereign. The fact that this implies that Saren somehow managed to convince the Geth to worship him alongside the nigh unstoppable ship they built and was somehow able to gain information that nobody has possessed since the Protheans dissappeared is sorta glossed over. The Council is probably fully aware just how illogical they're being, but the possibility of complete exitinction (and the riots of the panicking public) is terrifying enough for them to want to believe their own story.
      • So I basically it is a logic hole that they're in denial about... man, so wish you could point that out in game...
    • There's not actually any real issue here at all. For the entire first part of the first game, everyone assumes that Saren has somehow convinced the Geth that he can bring back the Reapers, and that Sovereign is just a Cool Ship he picked up somewhere or had the Geth build him. The Council thinks he's just lying to trick the Geth into following him and everyone else into wasting time looking into an old legend. After the Battle of the Citadel concludes, they would presumably decide that Sovereign was just a very advanced Geth prototype pretending to be a Reaper either in order to terrify them or for nigh-incomprehensible synthetic religious reasons.
      • Again, so the Council's story is that Saren tricked the geth into following him by becoming the prophet of a ship that the geth built themselves?
      • More like Saren supposedly convinced the geth he was a prophet of the Reapers, with Sovereign never entering into it. The Council seems to believe that Sovereign lied to Shepard—in other words, they say the geth don't believe Sovereign is a Reaper, and Shepard's just being gullible again. Cause you know, he was sooo wrong the first time.
      • Ah, now that's an explanation I can see politicians using, that's probably their excuse.

     Shepard and why he never mentions Harbinger 
  • Why doesn't Shepard ever talk about the Harbringer? Just about every other plot-point gets at least a bit of dialogue, but Shepard never sees fit to mention the odd encounters to the Illusive Man, or ask about their implications from Mordin. Shouldn't he be at least slightly interested in a body-hopping voice that seems to bear a personal grudge towards him?
    • Everybody knows that the Reapers have both inconciveably powerful technology and a grudge with Shepard. S/He probably doesn't bother mentioning the voice for the same reason they never comment on the new multi-Husk monstrositites they fight: the Commander's too busy trying to stay alive to ask questions.
    • It wasn't until the end of the game when Harbinger left the Collector General that it occurred to me that they weren't one in the same. In retrospect, it really should have hit me sooner, but it never did. Who's to say that Shepard doesn't think this as well?
      • But, by contrast, having played the first game, I recognized that fact immediately. The way Harbinger controls the Collectors is the same method Sovereign used to control Saren.
      • In the first game, Sovereign was just the name of Saren's ship until the reveal. And Sovereign never actually took control of Saren until after he died. I was seeing Harbinger as the name of the Collector General. I played the first game prior to the second as well, and in retrospect i should have seen it coming. But I didn't until that final shot drove it home.
      • I played ME 1 prior to ME 2 also, and I didn't realise it until reading this page.

     Harbinger and turians 
  • Going through a list of all of Harbinger's lines left me wondering - what makes the turians too "primitive" for the Reapers to bother with? They don't seem any less developed than the other races. They've been around longer than humanity, and they probably have a bigger population.
    • He probably means genetically.
      • Yeah, but why is that? Why would turians be genetically primitive when they've been around for just as long as humanity? Plus, doesn't their homeworld 's sun emit a lot more radiation than ours? Higher mutation rates would lead to faster evolution.
      • They're shielded from the radiation by those 'plates' on their body, according to the codex. The genetics have probably been fairly static for a long while, especially when you factor in how rigid their society is.
      • Humans are pretty varied, especially when you consider the anthropological theory that, 70,000-odd years ago, most of us were killed off. Presumably the turians didn't have that, and yet they still don't show any significant genetic variation when compared to humans.
    • Because it was humans that killed Sovereign. More than likely, had Saren's plan work, it would have 'proven' turians were the best race around and that it would have been a turian reaper being built.

  • Harbinger gives various species quotes on why the other species are not what they are looking for to make a new reaper. What stumps me is that he says Turians are too primative. What does this mean for their genetic code? Because didn't we humans have more genetic variety when they were more primitive as oppose to what we have now? Aren't humans more primitive than Turians anyway?
    • "Primitive" is a malleable concept, especially when the one who is considering genetic material too primitive is a millions-year-old cosmic horror. It is entirely possible that genetic progression on Palaven was limited and didn't result in a species with as much genetic potential as humans, or at least genetic material that is of value to the Reapers.
      Also, keep in mind that the Reapers pumped a turian full of their tech to the point where said turian was a supreme unkillable badass. Then some un-upgraded human rolled up and bitch-slapped said turian. Make of that what you will.
    • Turians are noted specifically as being very rigidly-minded, preferring familiarity and security above everything else. Through this, it's reasonable to assert that they're somewhat shy of progress as a culture - a political entity like the Hierarchy existing for as long as it has all but confirms this. They're primitive in the sense they're not nearly as fluid and adaptable as a society as the other species Harbinger disses.
      • While you are right, this is irrelevant to the OP's question. Culture should have little, if any impact, on using a species for the creation of a Reaper since it wouldn't impact their genetics. As stated above, it is likely that Harbinger refers to their genetic makeup as being primitive (in some way) over their culture being primitive or rigid.

     Species and capitalisation 
  • This isn't a Just Bugs Me about Mass Effect so much as it is about what Mass Effect made me realize about other science fiction. For years I've just accepted it as a given that Vulcan or Klingon should be capitalized, and now Mass Effect made me realize that, strictly speaking, they're just species names; no more worthy of capitalization than cow or platypus or human. Now, every other piece of science fiction with alien species just bugs me.
    • I had that same epiphany before Mass Effect actually came out and went with it, but I've since had another: you have to consider that a lot of sci-fi names are demonyms, which usually are capitalised. I could say humans are Earthlings, for example, and my meagre Star Trek knowledge tells me that Vulcans are actually from Vulcan, so it applies there. It seems fair to just pick with a system and go with it, since there'd be a mix of both otherwise. Still bugs me in fantasy stories, though, as "Elf" is rarely a demonym...

     TIM lying about Liara 
  • Right after Freedom's progress, you get a chat the Illusive dude. Asking about your old crew will get you this response concerning Liara:
    • She's on Illium, that's right.
    • She's working for the Shadow Broker...uh, no TIM, no one on Illium ever say so, it is quite well know that she's an independant information broker. That she wants the SB hanged by the soft parts is probably not common knowledge however. Furthermore, Liara already sorta met TIM during the event of ME redemption. She's not an unknown for him.
      • It's obvious that Liara wouldn't make that whole 'wanting to kill the Broker' thing public knowledge. That's a good way to wind up dead.
    • She can't be trusted because of the second point...which is why EDI encourage you to go find some help from Liara to locate Thane and Samara.
    • Seriously TIM, your "sources" are either lame or bullshitting you on this one.
      • TIM is bullshitting you. He doesn't want you to trust Liara, because that would bring to light the events of the Redemption.
      • Yeah, seriously. Here's a shocking concept: the evil, manipulative psychopath intent of using you to further humanity's goals LIED to you. Such an incredible cognitive leap, I know.
      • If TIM purposefully lied, then why did EDI, who's from Cerebus trust Liara so much? And why would TIM lie about Liara? As far as i can tell, Liara just gave them your body because the Collectors wanted it, nothing to incriminate Cerebus there. I haven't read the book though. Also, that lie is downright stupid. Why lie about the guy's old friend (possible girlfriend), when a third of his hand picked squad are on that same planet?
      • EDI advising Shepard to hit Liara up for information is not the same as EDI saying "I trust Liara."
    • Random thought: Maybe TIM's information network is actually good. TIM knows Liara is on Illium doing information broking. TIM knows Liara's office is sending information to the Shadow Broker (via Liara's secretary). Why wouldn't TIM think that Liara is working for the Shadow Broker?
  • Hate to throw a wrench in the whole discussion, but I was under the impression TIM doesn't say Liara is WORKING for The Shadow Broker, just that she is CONNECTED to him. Which, although it's a pretty tenuous definition of the word, is technically true.
    • When you ask TIM about Liara, after Freedom's Progress, he says "My sources say Liara is working for the Shadow Broker. If so, she can't be trusted." While his sources are wrong about Liara, they probably ID'd the communications her secretary is sending out, and would think Liara is monitoring her own secretary.
      • Fridge Brilliance: She is working for the Shadow Broker; because her secretary is working for him, Liara is compromised and doesn't realize she's likely feeding the Broker intel.

     Reapers, indoctrination, and Council denial 
  • Maleon is aware of the existence of reaper indoctrination, so are probably the ST Gs. Shepard can raise the issue of the reapers twice during Tali loyalty mission and no one will call bullshit. The whole story get starteed because TIM and Cerberus believe in the unavoidable coming of the reapers. Already been discussed, but seriously, apparently only the council and Udina are in denial concerning the existence of mecha-cthutlus.
    • Maelon seems to know because Captain Kirrahe included it in his report, while the quarians only "know" because they trust and believe Shepard and Tali. Whether or not the Council is as dense as they seem remains to be seen.
Maelon is not aware of reaper indoctrination. There is nothing to suggest otherwise.
  • He actually says "Reaper Indoctrination" as part of his tirade. He might not know how it works, but he seems at least casually aware that a form of mind control bearing that name exists.
  • Rewatched it just now. I surrender my point as in error.

     Husks in Mass Effect 2 
  • If the new Husks are more advanced, why are the normal versions so much less effective in combat? They don't have shields, can't create those electrical bursts, and splatter at a moment's notice. Did the Collectors spend too much time on the Scions and Praetorians to bother with the lesser ones?
    • Possibly those properties were geth additions, seeing how the geth seem to concentrate on the shields in general, and gloss over other means of protection. Presumably the Collectors preferred to make the specialized models with unique properties, and leave the standard version rely on the numbers.
    • Also, you seem to be ignoring the possibility that the Husks are really more effective in combat. Sure, they've lost shields and the electrical attack, but remember that weapons, definitely, and likely armor as well, have advanced in the interim two-and-change years. You can't really compare them based on subjective combat experience.

     Collectors in Mass Effect 1 
  • Just what the heck where the Collectors doing during the events of the first game? If Soverign needed allies so badly, wouldn't paralyzing swarms be more effective than Geth for assulting the Citadel?
    • Bioware hadn't created them yet. ;) But seriously, the Collectors were the Reapers backup plan if their vanguard was somehow destroyed. Sovereign manipulated the rachni and the geth into following him, while the Collectors gathered genetic data in preparation for the construction of a new Reaper. Sovereign's death caused them to start ahead of schedule.
      • The Collectors also apparently don't have the numbers the geth do, so they can't mount large-scale operations like the geth. That and you don't want to throw away all your cards on one bet; the Collectors clearly were a backup.
    • Keeping the Collectors (and probably a lot of other nasty surprises) in reserve only makes sense. The Reapers are cautious and aren't going to use every trick they have at once.
      • Also supporting the idea that they were a backup is the specific reaper they are working on. Making a human reaper is clearly reacting to what Shepard / humans did in the first game. Because Humans Are Special.
    • The Collectors are researchers, not shock troops. They can fight, but they don't have the numbers for large-scale combat. The Seeker swarms probably couldn't neutralize an area the size of the Citadel by flowing through the Conduit. The Collectors, Like the above troper said, were mentioned to be constantly researching for suitiable species for Reaper manufacturing. The novels mentioned that the Collectors started taking notice of humans after they killed Sovereign.
      • Also don't forget that the Collectors don't answer to Sovereign. They act under the Harbringer's command. Pride is one of the chief characteristics of the Reapers; do you think that Sovereign would have gone to cry for help even in mortal peril?
    • Soveriegn had also just seen another organic race fail, horribly. The Keepers, like the Collectors, were built through genetic engineering of a conquered race, but that had just gone tits up. The geth represented an effectively unhackable, easily replicatable, and far more effective force than even the Collectors. He * could* have been more effective using the Collectors, and the krogans, and the rachni, but Sovereign is very unhappy with anything even remotely organic.
    • Even in Mass Effect 2, the Collectors only went after small colonies; planets who's population is roughly just one city. They don't want that much attention.
    • Don't forget that Reapers aren't fond of organics and would probably prefer not to have to use them. Having to resort to using the Collectors is probably quite shameful for the Reapers.
    • The Collector base could be taken down by a relatively small strike team (one of the best teams in the galaxy, but a small team nonetheless), and their apparently only ship was taken out by a frigate. They simply don't have the resources to wage a full on battle. They're highly effective at sneak attacks on small targets, but if they attracted the attention of the Council, they'd be killed off in no time.
    • The Collectors were obviously supposed to be clean-up after the main Reaper invasion. They're Collectors, not Shock Troopers. A huge three kilometers long sentient spaceship can neutralize a civilization's space fleet very effectively, but I can't quite picture it rounding up the individual survivors on a planet's surface. That's what the Collectors are for, Harbinger is using them simply because with Nazara gone and his centuries of work gone to waste, he's got nothing else left. Trying to build a reaper without first subjugating the race it's built out of was an act of desperation, and Harbinger is being very cautious to not pit his Collectors against significant enemy forces, targeting undefended outlying colonies and not provoking the Alliance into open military confrontation. This is pretty obvious by the end, when the Reaper fleet activates and heads for the Milky Way. They're taking the long way because they've got no other options left.

     Renegade Shepard and the Justicar Code 
  • I'm curious as to whether a (Renegade) Shepard would be able to command Samara to romance him. I mean, she is his sworn servant...
    • That's non-consensual sex, aka rape. Renegade Shepard might be a jerk, but he's not a rapist.
    • Renegade Shepard is still a hero. S/he might be a human-centric Jerkass, but s/he's still out for the Greater Good. What s/he defines as the Greater Good is what sets him/her apart from Paragon Shepard. That said? Yes. Samara swore to serve Shepard, and vowed to obey any order given to her. Refusing Shepard's order would violate the Code: "If my actions follow the Code, then I am just; if they do not, then I am unjust." That said, she would kill Shepard as soon as the mission was over.
      • The Justicar Code is extremely long and, by Samara's words, covers basically any situation you can encounter. For all we know, there's a code entry that allows Samara to break her oath in order to defend her physical well-being or her honor.
    • She's sworn to follow Shepard for the duration of his mission. Once that mission is over, she goes back to being a Justicar, which is a person who kills outlaws without mercy. And there'd be a neat little rapist sitting right next to her. In short, Shepard doesn't do it, because s/he doesn't want to be killed by a Justicar after the Reapers are taken care of.
    • I may have to watch that scene again, but at some point Shepard can smarmily ask "you have to do everything I tell you?" and Samara basically replies that in certain circumstances she can break the oath. Ordering her to have sex with him probably covers that.
  • Worth pointing out that if you do decide to roll Renegade, Samara will all but spell out to you that after her oath is finished, she will try to kill you if she runs into you again, owing to the things she watched you do and the things you made her party to. Casts the Morinth/Samara decision in a slightly different light, doesn't it?

     Shepard's treatment by the Council 
  • Why does the Citadel Council treat you more or less the same regardless of how you treat them? If you're polite and respectful, they're terse and accusatory. If you're a huge prick, they're terse and accusatory.
    • Maybe because that's how people in general tend to react to such things. Would you perfer they worship at your feet while you cut them off or all react like the turian councilor to someone who's proven themselves a true hero?
    • Uh, no. If you are polite and respectful, the asari Councilor is nicer toward you. The salarian favors humanity, so he's usually on your side. The turian hates humans, so he's always a prick to you. That's part of their personalities. There's also the fact that they appointed you as a Spectre; if they start berating you for doing your job, not only is that unfair - Spectres are independent entities, expected to get the job done first and foremost - but its an acknowledgement that they screwed up. Considering that they had Saren of all people as a Spectre - and he was their foremost Spectre, on top of that - being a "prick" isn't exactly the kind of thing that's likely to sway them.
      • If I flat out refuse to speak with the Council, kill anyone and anything stupid enough to look at me funny, and get the salarian STG killed, they take my ship and don't look back, refuse to listen to me, and accuse me of being blinded by my hate for Saren. If I am respectful, save dozens of lives, and defer to them on every conceivable issue, they take my ship and don't look back, refuse to listen to me, and accuse me of being blinded by my hate for Saren. I would argue that these are identical.
      • That has nothing to do with your morality. Either way, Shepard is demanding that they send a fleet into a constested region in order to fight something they only know of as a myth. Either way, you come off as obsessed and possibly mentally unbalanced (Udina's weasling doesn't help matters either). From their perspective it only makes sense that they keep you grounded until they get this mess sorted out.
      • If I am respectful, save dozens of lives, and defer to them on every conceivable issue, they take my ship and don't look back, refuse to listen to me, and accuse me of being blinded by my hate for Saren. No, they accuse you of being stubborn and then refusing to obey the orders of the Council to not get involved. Regardless of how nice you are or how much of a prick you are, refusing orders is refusing to obey orders.

     Why doesn't Garrus take the shot? 
  • Why does Garrus want you to keep Sidonis talking during his loyalty mission? He can see Sidonis clear as day through his scope right from the start. Why not just take the shot right there?
    • Two things: one, he wanted a clear shot, one that had no chance of hitting someone else. Second, Garrus may be unsure if killing Sidonis is the right thing to do. He was once his friend, after all.
    • Plus, he's not sure what Sidonis is doing. Shepard's there to make sure Sidonis stays in one place. Besides, he wants revenge as well as death. He wanted to hear Sidonis explain himself when Shepard pulled the reveal.

    Vorcha and Their Culture 
  • This troper was very pleased to see new races added in Mass Effect 2 like the Collectors, drell, and the vorcha, but a few things about the last of the three bug me. The grand moral running throughout all of Mass Effect is that the Planet of Hats concept isn't alway true and that there are saints and sinners in each alien species, right? Only every single vorcha we've seen in Mass Effect 2 is a violent litle demon bent on murder and destruction. A lot of other species view the vorcha as talking vermin, and you could chalk this up to just speciesism, but violence and mayhem is all the vorcha have been seen doing. Even the batarians have at least one person you can talk to that's not openly murderous- the vorcha? All of them you see are borderline psychotic.
    • Uh, no? the vorcha in the corridors on Omega just want to be left alone, and there is the Shadow Broker's vorcha contact. They aren't "borderline psychotic."
  • And the vorcha HAVE displayed a certain level of intelligence, let's not forget that, so we can't just write them off as vermin. They're capable of using assault rifles and flamethrowers, they can speak and hold conversations, and they have a grasp of somewhat abstract concepts like 'cure' and 'plague', as that one vorcha demonstrated on Omega by screaming at me. So either the vorcha are vermin and thus don't count as a species, which is contradicted by this evidence, or they're NOT vermin, which is backed up by the evidence. But if the latter is true, then they really are just Always Chaotic Evil and dumb as bricks like the Codex describes them as, which breaks the Aesop of all alien species in Mass Effect being capable of choosing good.
    • The problem is their biology, which makes it hard for the vorcha to actually do anything beyond serve as soldiers. The vorcha we see are, as a whole, victims of specisism to the point that they've been beaten into their role. The krogan would likely be in similar straits if they weren't so powerful individually. It doesn't help that almost all of the vorcha we see in-game are Blood Pack soldiers. There are a few vorcha mentioned that aren't hostile or violent - as noted above, the ones you encounter in the corridors on Omega just want to be left alone, and one of the Shadow Broker's contacts is a very not-violent vorcha.
    • I think that the vorcha are victims of extreme Blue-and-Orange Morality. The codex states that whatever culuture they have is pretty big on the infliction of pain in order to encourage adaptation. Their equivalent of a "hello" would be considered an attack by anybody else. Combine that with extremely limited lifespans and lesser intellect and you get a race that is barely considered better than a talking rat.
    • Just because the Vorcha you meet are bad, that doesn't mean the entire species is bad. The Geth seemed like they were Always Chaotic Evil as well, and that turned out to be wrong.
    • Word of God has that a lot of the vorcha culture and such was cut. So given this, it may simply be that we just don't know enough yet.

     Night cycles? Seven days! 
  • When the tank bred Krogan on Korlus says he's only been alive for seven night cycles, every single member of your party says that's seven days, or a week. Why would they assume that a Korlus "night cycle" is the same as an Earth day, and furthermore, why do alien squadmates react the same way? If there was some kind of galactic standard week that the council races all refer to, that still wouldn't mean the tank bred knows about it; he'd just be going by what he sees in the sky.
    • Close. There is Galactic Standard time in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, and days.
    • Korlus presumably has a similar rotational period to Earth. If it didn't, the environment would be notably different.
    • The Mass Effect Wiki is your friend. The day length on Korlus is 28.9 Earth hours. One week is 202.3 hours, whereas on Earth it's 168 hours. A week on Korlus is actually eight and a half days, but your squadmates could just be rounding down or adjusting for local time.
    • Um, how could "night cycle" not refer to a day? It doesn't matter what planet you're on, if there's seven nights, then there must automatically be seven days (well, really, 6-8, depending on what time it was when he was released and what time it is when you encounter him, but that's beside the point). Seriously, I don't get what's bugging you about this one.
    • Bare in mind, he's also been tube raised and educated. He could very well be referring to an internal clock referring to some standard time unit. Fanwank, I suppose.

    Tali being charged with treason 
  • Why the heck was Tali charged with treason, of all things? Granted, the trial was more about politics than any actual crime, but it seems very strange that the admirals would charge her with a crime which very specifically means "the more serious acts of betrayal of one's sovereign or nation", and then in the trial turn around and say that her loyalty was never in question, only her judgement. There are words for that - words like gross negligence, for example, or manslaughter - and treason very specifically does NOT cover what she's charged with. Okay, granted, it's an alien justice system, and the trial is more political than juducial, but it doesn't even get a handwave!
    • Tali explains it very clearly when you first learn about the charges. The quarians consider the act of endangering the Fleet to be treason - regardless of why, endangering the Migrant Fleet is always considered treason, even when it was unintentional. She even cites an example of a similar charge, where a quarian unintentionally let a group of batarian pirates into the fleet. That quarian, too, was charged with treason, even though it was simply a bad judgment call. Any act that endangers the fleet is considered treason, even negligence or bad judgment - which ultimately affects the sentencing.
      • ...In the sense that a well-intentioned mistake means that the suspect will get a small ship and supplies rather than being left to fend for themselves. Quarians take fleet security very seriously.
      • (Mens Rea) It's a misuse of terminology on the writer's part (or the in-universe electronic translator's part) - Treason is a specific-intent crime, i.e. One you cannot commit accidentally, by definition. It doesn't really matter how heinous Tali's actions were, without intent it's not Treason.
      • Treason is a specific-intent crime by modern human definition. Quarians define treason differently. Remember, quarians are an extremely communal species. The worst thing any quarian can do is endanger the Fleet, whethr by intention or negligence.
      • (Mens Rea) You can't fundamentally alter the definition of a word and then claim it's the same word. You could say: "This alien race takes an extremely strict view of violence, so they define all manslaughter as murder." You could say they treat manslaughter as harshly as murder and consider them morally equivalent, but you can't say that Manslaughter is Murder because they are fundamentally different concepts (Killing with intent vs. Killing without). The Quarians may have a different conception of "Treason" but then we can't really call it "Treason" any more. Either the writers are misusing the word, or the in-universe translators are mistaking the Quarian concept for the human one, but they are different things (Betrayal with intent vs. Betrayal without).
      • Why are we assuming this is a mistake? Quarians equate gross negligence that endangers the fleet with treason. In the quarian mindset, those are the same thing. To the quarians, endangering the fleet, no matter whether it was intentional or not, are the same thing and are considered the same crime. I wouldn't be surprised if in the quarian language, the same word was used to refer to both, so it automatically translates into "treason" when translated into English. Note that there is a reason why Shepard immediately asks for clarification when Tali says she's being charged with treason, and she explains why it is different to quarians than it is to humans. Whatever the word for "treason" is in Quarian, it likely means both intentional and unintentional betrayal.
      • (I should clarify, I'm not the questioner, I have labeled my posts -Mens Rea) Then the automatic translation is incorrect. Treason without intent isn't treason - it's a different concept that requires a different word. I recognize that the Quarians have a different view of it, but we're speaking English, not Quarian. There are terms in English to describe what Tali did, and the questioner mentioned them.
      • By that explanation, it probably is an error on the part of the trasnlator, or at least the words are so smilar in quarian terms that they would mean the same thing. As note above, there's a reason Shepard doesn't understand what Tali means by treason at first.
      • Except that you can call it treason, even if there's a different definition attached to it, because that's how they define it. You used the argument of manslaughter and murder before, that you can't say that they're the same thing. You're wrong. What might be called manslaughter in one jurisdiction (for example, getting in a fight and accidentally killing the guy) might be called murder in another, based on how they define that particular crime. And it works that way with all kinds of things. Good luck finding two places that agree on how to define rape. And sodomy laws! Some places it's oral sex, some places it's anal sex. Some places it's only sodomy for the "recipient." Hell, I bet somewhere in the world it's sodomy to do it doggy style instead of missionary. So to the quarians, treason is defined as intentional or unintentional endangering of the Migrant Fleet, and that offends you, take it up with their lawmakers.
      • (Mens Rea) Treason is an "English" word, not a "Quarian" word. If the translators are calling it "treason," then the translators are making a mistake. The Quarians can define crimes however they like, but they can't just appropriate English words with a contradictory definition and claim its the same concept. They can say "It's like treason, but..." and that's fine. It's Smeerp or Snorlax or whatever, but it isn't Treason. W/r/t to inconsistently defined Earth laws, lawmakers make the same mistake but that doesn't mean they are correct. Take your bar fight example: Assume the victim doesn't die, but the defendant is still charged with manslaughter. You'd say "Hey, that can't be manslaughter because the victim didn't die." "We define manslaughter to include all violence." That definition stretches the meaning of the word past it's breaking point, just as the Quarians have done with treason. Don't confuse how seriously a group treats a crime with how they define what it is. Cattle Rustling could be a lynching offense in the old West, as could Murder. Just because they treated them the same doesn't mean the defined them as the same concept.
      • You're arguing that the crime Tali's being accused of is so inherently different from the concept of treason that no sensible being could ever equate them. I'm saying there's wiggle room.
      • (Dictionary) Treason is defined as "the betrayal of a trust" according to Merriam-Webster. Barring the "legal" definitions, it does mean that ANY action that endangers fleet security would be, as stated above, a treasonous act with regards to the quarians. As such, if the translators are calling it "treason," then they are not making a mistake.
      • That's the colloquial definition. The legal definition, from the same source, is "the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family." It's the difference between a gamer saying "I raped that n00b" and a judge saying "You stand accused of rape." In a trial, like Tali's for instance, the translators are using the wrong word.
      • The legal definition only applies to trials on earth. This is because the legal definition came second to the term itself, and eventually overtook the original meaning as pertains to the use of the word. The key here is that use of the first definition actually makes sense with the context of the conversation, whereas use of the second, as you correctly point out, does not. Since there are two definitions to the word, using it in regards to the first definition is not wrong. No matter what you wish to believe (or have others believe).
      • In the context of which conversation? Between Tali and Shepard? I can accept that, people are loose with terminology all the time. But they use it in the trial as well, and in that context the legal definition should control.
      • I fail to see the issue with the Admiralty board using the word Treason to begin with. As far as they are concerned, the trial is to determine if such a thing happened. It all hinges, primarily on whether or not Tali sent back live geth and/or knew about her father's actions of activating the geth (both of which could be tied to the legal definition of treason). As far as they are concerned, for the purposes of the trial, she did one or the other, and either of which would determine intent in the eyes of the board, and thus the charges. Note: One could argue that their system of law is of the English style; in that it is up to the defense to prove innocence rather than the accusers to prove guilt (as illustrated by Tali being found guilty of treason if you don't use the charm/intimidate options or turn in the evidence), so the board doesn't have to prove intent, just show that the intent could be there.
      • They specifically state that Tali's loyalty is not on trial, just her judgment. They freely acknowledge that if she put the fleet in danger, she didn't mean to, but that doesn't make the Alarei any less overrun with active geth that she had delivered to the Fleet.
      • The legal definition is defined by the respective legislative branches. As it so happens, the English speaking countries on Earth have pretty much universally used some close approximation to the legal definition as provided, but that does not mean that all legal systems are necessarily restricted to such a definition. In fact, they can reasonably define treason as whatever the heck they want to since they control their own legislative branch and therefore can use whatever legal definitions they want for their legal concepts. Obviously, when trying to express such to humans, they should pick definitions that reasonably match equivalents in English but treason is sufficiently close in this case since the legal definition within quarian culture remains within the dictionary definition.

     Walking helmetless in space? 
  • Alright, near the end, when you land on the Collector Base, how is it that everyone is walking around without helmets? As far as I could tell, they were still in space... Does the Collector Base have some sort of atmosphere or something??
    • Well, the answer would be yes. It does have an atmosphere—the Collectors appear to be oxygen-nitrogen based, as the Protheans are, and it would consume a lot of resources to have them all wear masks on what is essentially their home planet. The Citadel does, why not the Collector Station?
    • Collector tech is Reaper tech. The Citadel is Reaper tech. The Citadel possesses a persistent mass effect field that maintains an atmosphere about five meters or so over all exposed surfaces that organics would be expected to walk around on. There's absolutely no reason to believe that the Collectors don't have similar tech.
      • I'm more intrigued by the squad members who casually walk around with just breathers when in the airless, heatless, gravityless environs of the geth heretic base on Legion's mission. How Jack or Morden come out of that without their eyes being sucked out of their skulls I do not know.
      • do know that vacuum by itself doesn't actually do anything to a person's body, right? Exposed flesh in a vacuum doesn't pop, explode, or get "sucked out". Exposed flesh is perfectly fine in a vacuum (as long as there's no cosmic radiation flitting about - that's the real problem with being in a vacuum), and more likely than not they're using mass effect fields to trap heat and ward off radiation - like they do on the Citadel.
      • * Facepalms* Just because exposure to vacuum won't make you pop like a balloon doesn't make it so that you can just hang out in it without consequences. Exposing flesh to vacuum won't kill you immediately, but even with a breath-mask it's not going to be healthy.
      • Did you not even read what was posted above? It was acknowledged that walking around unprotected in vacuum is dangerous - see the part about cosmic radiation. They don't have to worry about that inside the Collector ship and inside the geth station, and with ME fields they can trap heat and ward off radiation - kind of like they do on the Citadel.
      • And it's wrong. Being in vacuum by itself is dangerous to exposed flesh, unless you worked out some method to keep the flesh properly pressurized.
      • ME fields are able to maintain proper pressure on exposed flesh; we know that they can do this, as Joker proves in the intro with his helmet. If that lightweight helmet can do it, its no stretch to say a full-body ME field mounted in clothes/armor can prevent ebullism.
      • Besides, there is atmosphere and heat inside the Collector ship. The fact that the Collectors are walking around unprotected inside the ship should have made that very clear; Collectors can't survive unprotected in vacuum, as the sequence when they assault the Normandy proves. Shepard and Co had on breathers because they either didn't know what kind of atmosphere they were up against or the atmosphere was toxic enough to vanilla oxygen-breathing species that they needed the breathers.

  • How does Jack get let aboard the Rayya during Tali's loyalty mission? She'd be shedding skin flakes all over. Same goes for Miranda with hair shedding. Pretty much the only other character that should have been allowed on the Rayya due to contaminants would be Garrus, because he's the only character that has a full-coverage hardsuit besides Shepard and Tali (who is confined to hers all the time anyway). Yes, even Grunt has exposed flesh when he has his mask on: His upper arms are exposed.
    • If it were that easy to make the quarians sick, there wouldn't be any quarians. Given that they have "go out into the galaxy and rub up against aliens" as a Rite of Passage, one assumes that their air filters are strong enough to deal with a few skin flakes. Besides which, there are some ships that are completely sterile that the quarians use when they need to be out of their suit: medical procedures, sex, that sort of thing. The Rayya isn't one of them.
    • Would you really want to tell Jack "piss off back to your ship, you're shedding skin flakes and contaminating the air"? Or Miranda? Or any member of Shepard's team? The only reason they pull Legion up is because he's a fucking geth.

    Mordin's reaction to keeping the Collector base 
  • It just bugs this troper that on the Collector base, during the conversation with TIM about whether to blow up the base, or irradiate it, (prior to fighting the Termina-er, Reaper larva) if you have Mordin in your final party he will advise that, while horrible things have gone on at the base, it can also be useful and should be kept. This troper was on the fence about the decision to save or destroy it (seeing the benefit and reasoning behind both), and Mordin's comment pushed him over the edge to save it. Back on the Normandy however, Mordin chides you for doing so, along with the rest of the crew, saying it is a dangerous thing to leave it in TIM's hands and he is skeptical about how it will be used. Why the change, where was that comment when you were in the base?
    • Mordin probably would have preferred it if you'd given the base over to the Citadel or the Alliance, instead of Cerberus. Mordin advises keeping the base, he doesn't advise letting Cerberus control it.

  • On a similar vein it just bugs me (same troper) that there's no middle ground on the final decision in the base. In ME 1 you can actively hate the Council's guts and take that moment to destroy them, save them, or say "Much as I like them, we cant risk even thousands of lives on the DA against the lives of everything in the galaxy." (the option this troper took the first time then regretted with hindsight). On the collector base, it's either blow it up or give it to TIM, no "Screw you TIM, we'll keep it, but it's going to the Council, or Systems Alliance" option, which is neither Paragon or Renegade, but pure Practical (what this troper's Shepard aims for).
    • To be honest, it would be hard for Shepard to give the base to either the Citadel or the Alliance - at least before Cerberus can snatch it up for themselves. Shepard's blacklisted by both organizations. In the time it would take him/her to punch through both the distrust and the red tape, Cerberus will have already looted the facility, and only Cerberus has immediate access to the Reaper IFF to even reach the base. Even with Anderson on the Council, it would be hard to get the rest of the Council to trust you once you've been working with Cerberus. If the base is left intact, Cerberus will get it, so there really isn't a middle ground.
    • There was no middle ground for the first game either. Your choices were "save the Council" or "leave them to fend for themselves". True, the motivations may have been different for both "fend for themselves" options, but the end result was always the same: either you save them or they get killed by geth. Same here: Cerberus will get the base if you keep it or you destroy it. TIM would never allow something as valuable as this base slip through his fingers if he could avoid it.
      • Errr... the only Reaper IFF Cerberus has is installed on the Normandy, and by the way they talked about it it appears to be physically attached and not just code. So how exactly would TIM access the base without Shepard on his side? I think the better explanation is that even if he gave it to the Council or the Alliance Cerberus would easily find a way to access it, seeing how they had agents everywhere, and the problem always was how Cerberus is willing to use the information in horrific ways.

    Glimpse of a face during final battle 
  • In this video, at around the 3:50 mark, a face can be glimpsed in the top left corner. This Troper is pretty sure it's supposed to be the Illusive Man, but what would he be doing floating on the ceiling?
    • Its a technical error. All characters that appear in a dialogue scene are preloaded during cutscenes to cut down on loading times, and hidden until they need to appear. TIM appearing there is simply the hologram of him in the subsequent cutscene appearing due to a bug.
    • Ceiling Illusive Man is watching you masturbate?

    The Derelict Reaper 
  • Why exactly did the other Reapers leave it out there? Even if they weren't aware of its fate or location, surely they must have discovered it on one of the 700 or so thorough sweeps of the galaxy they've conducted since it was disabled. Even if they didn't feel like rescuing it or there was nothing left to rescue (as the logs indicate the researchers think "its mind is dead"), you'd think they'd have at least scuttled it to prevent other races from studying it and reverse-engineering its tech and using it against them, which is of course exactly what happens.
    • A quote from higher in the page: "Neither the Century system (where the Reaper was probably killed) nor the Thorne system (where the corpse ended up) have Mass Relays, so the Reapers would have been left wandering from system to system, if not just meandering through black space for a few eons. They probably just didn't care enough to look for the corpse, and no one found it because it ended up in the middle of nowhere. The Thorne system is named after figures from human culture, so it's probably safe to assume that the system went unexplored before humans entered the galactic stage. It's a small system with only one planet and nothing of interest that would have drawn potential explorers." As far as we can tell from the game, the Reapers don't do a lot of exploring: they use Indoctrinated to hunt down those who escape from their harvest. Besides, even after being completely dead for millions of years, it was still able to Indoctrinate the Cerberus researchers; they basically have the ultimate security system. If their victim races go poking through a corpse looking for weaknesses, bam, they're victims themselves.
      • I have read that bit before posting my entry, but I will address it point by point. Only a small portion of the star systems have mass relays, yet the Protheans were wiped out completely. Since they had quite a few colonies in systems that do not have mass relays, the Reapers must have indeed visited those systems via ordinary FTL drive. Sovereing even states that their numbers will "darken the sky of every world" (his emphasis), and given his blunt, matter-of-factly way of speaking and complete indifference towards Shepard's defiance I don't think he was exaggerating for the purposes of intimidation. They may use their indoctrinated slaves to search systems the Citadel records don't indicate to be inhabited, but I seriously doubt even mindless drones would leave the discovery of the corpse of one of their gods unreported. What the system is called now and who discovered it this time around is irrelevant, that is only the last in a long list of names it has likely had throughout the 37 million years since the Reaper was disabled. As for the 'perfect' security system, that didn't work out so well, did it. Indoctrination is only useful when dealing with isolated groups that don't have contact with the rest of society, otherwise the outsiders will notice the change and intervene (that is true of ordinary human indoctrination too, hence why cults require their members to sever ties with their families and friends). Which is of course exactly what happened. So yeah, the only reason the Reapers could possibly have for leaving that corpse out there is that they just didn't care. Which is exactly what I'm calling them out on. Really, immortal race of super-intelligent machines? You throught that if you leave one of your kind drifting around in space for millions of years, nobody's going to notice? You couldn't be bothered to at least scrub that IFF gizmo's ID tag from the list of ships allowed through the Omega 4 relay? Then I have to agree with Wrex. You're bloody stupid and I'll be doing the universe a favor by killing you all.
      • I think you underestimate the scope of the problem. You're talking about finding one ship floating in an unknown system within an enormous volume of space. And since the ship is mostly dead and hidden in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant, it's probably not giving off any detectable readings. They could spend millions of years doing nothing but searching and never find it, and that's without even considering the fuel expenditure of years upon years constant searching.
      • I think you underestimate the scope of the solution. We're talking about a race of sentient spaceships whose technology is at least tens of millions of years more advanded than anything we've got, who, at the conclusion of their omnicide, would have quite literally all the resources and manpower of the galaxy at their disposal. They could absolutely afford to build and dispatch a ship to every single star system within the galaxy. As for whether or not such a ship could detect the Reaper, consider that the relatively primitive Normandy can detect even small objects under circumstances that should make them all but invisible (such as single-seat escape pods with no power source and no heat signature). Also, you are wrong about the Reaper not giving off any readings at all.
      • Whereas you're wrong about him saying there were no readings being given off. Anyway, there's no reason to think the Reapers are paranoid and/or scared enough to worry about losing a Reaper. The idea of failure is utterly incomprehensible to them. Tropers sat here going nuts with a billion theories doesn't really change that, tbh.
      • Actually, I'm not wrong about that. Read more carefully. And yes, the Reapers being so arrogant that they don't bother doing anything is exactly what I'm calling them out on. Even if they didn't search for the missing Reaper for whatever reason, that still doesn't address the IFF debacle. Preventing access to the Omega 4 relay using the missing IFF device would require nothing more than reconfiguring the relay to remove that particular IFF ID tag from the list of ships allowed through, which shouldn't take more than a few seconds. Seriously, I used to think human software companies are lousy when it comes to addressing security vulnerabilities, but these guys take the cake. 37 million years without a patch. The mind boggles.
      • About the readings, you are wrong. Please read more carefully, yourself. The only "readings" coming from the Derelict Reaper itself are from the mass effect generator, and that is only strong enough to be picked up by the Normandy once they cross the generated field. Anything picked up outside of that field was sent by Legion or Cerberus personel. Secondly, the "IFF debacle" isn't. The reapers don't care if anyone picks up their technology and uses it. The key example of this are the Relays and the Citadel. They WANT creatures to use their tech. They want them to advance, and grow using said tech, so that when the Reapers return en masse, they haven't created anything that wasn't based off of Reaper tech. As such, they wouldn't be able to hold off the massive onslaught of their return. But the reapers have been doing their thing for 37+ million years, the need for a patch implies that there's something wrong with the system. The fact that they're still going at 37 Million years tells me that whatever flaw you may find (from access to Omega 4 relay to "instant Reaper-death syndrome") is probably not a flaw. Thirdly, and based on a point you present above, Reapers don't go to planets not mentioned in the Citadel systems. If they did, they'd have snuffed out Earth along with Mars when they cleared out the Protheans. They don't for the simple reason of how long it takes for a new species to evolve, achieve spaceflight, learn how to use a relay, get to the citadel, and build a lasting empire. If they went to every planet, everywhere, life in the galaxy would end quite quickly, wouldn't it? They wouldn't waste the resources looking for a dead reaper, especially if no other species ever mentions the planet the dead reaper is on in the Citadel, let alone holds a base of operations nearby. And if they did, leaving said Derelict Reaper there would point to my second point as being much more likely, wouldn't it?
      • Incorrect. Read more carefully. The troper above says the Reaper is "not giving off any detectable readings", while the game clearly states it is giving off isolated power signratures. It doesn't specify how strong those are, only that they are weaker than would be expected of a ship this size. But that's exactly the point, the Reaper is two kilometers long, far larger than any other ship in existence, and these power sources are enough to maintain a mass effect field that completely negates this mammoth ship's mass and keeps it from falling into the failed star. Even though they are weaker than would be expected for a fully operational ship of this size, they must still be rather substantial. As for the Reapers wanting others to use their tech, yes, they want other races to use their tech, but they don't want them to understand it. The core of the Citadel is inaccessible, even the Keepers are all but impossible to study, and those are just the Reapers' constructs. The Reapers left the mass relays not to encourage other races to base their tech on them, but on the contrary, to prevent other races from creating this technology. With the relays around nobody bothers, everyone just uses them and then the Reapers come and shut them down, so that each star system is isolated and easy to conquer. The Protheans managed to figure out the relays and build one of their own and as a result Nazara was destroyed. Leaving an actual defenseless dead Reaper to be picked apart by the lesser races is just dumb, as the events of ME 2 clearly prove - the direct result of it is that the Reapers are now stranded in dark space and have to take the long way. As for your third point, just because they go to a planet doesn't mean they kill everything on it. With a Prothean base on Mars and Prothean probes on Earth, I'm sure they made a sweep of Earth to make sure there were no Protheans hiding there. The Reapers are after sentient life that has achieved interstellar spaceflight, everything else they just leave alone.
      • Yes, but as I said (before you deleted the entry), the Reapers also steal most of their advancement from races that are close to the current galactic level of technology. (In fact, current galactic civilization is a few thousand years more advanced than the Reapers wanted, if Sovereign's prior attempts to sabotage it are any indication.) Furthermore, the Reapers have spent 99% of the past several million years in hibernation. For most of the 50,000 year cycles, the Reapers are in dark space waiting to be called back. They only spend a few centuries in the galaxy before being called back.\\ Furthermore, Liara's observation in ME1 makes it clear that while the Reapers are thorough, they are not perfect. They always leave some evidence behind that they were there—this missing Reaper just happened to be one piece of evidence they were not capable of locating during the one percent of time they spend active. It may have been giving off readings, but again SPACE IS HUGE, and trying to locate exactly where it was floating would consume massive amounts of resources. Even if the Reapers tried to find it, it's not hard to believe they couldn't after thousands of years of searching. \\However, I do agree that they should have scrubbed that particular ship's IFF (or at least kept it on "alert"), but the game never says that it's using that particular Reaper's IFF code, only a generic "Reaper" one.\\ The thing that gets me, though, is why the missing Reapers didn't keep track of their cousin's last known location before it went offline.
      • Does "the game clearly states" mean the Codex? If so, read that page, you'll be enlightened... Regardless, EDI says such a thing as well. But, every planet Shepard visits in ME 2 has been visited, scanned, and/or examined for valuables (just on the inherent fact that it was named.). Any detectable signal coming from the Derelict Reaper would have been detected by said ships. And, in fact, they were. The Reaper is the eye of a hurricane on said brown dwarf. EDI doesn't mention anything about the power signatures until you actually get to the mass effect field, because all scans from orbit point to it being just the eye of a hurricane on a brown dwarf, and nothing more than that. Point two: It should be pointed out the core of the Citadel is not inaccessible. No one is actually taking the effort to get in. There is a difference between the two. When you understand the reason why the latter is happening, then you'll understand why the Reapers feel they have the matter well in hand. Until then, you'll continue to refuse to see the obvious, and discussing the point further is moot.
      • If I deleted anything, I apologize. I did not do so on purpose. The Reapers stealing technology is pure speculation, the game only indicates that they remove technology. For what purpose they do so isn't stated, they could just as well be doing it only to press the reset button on technological development throughout the galaxy to ensure their own superiority. The hibernation is also only an in-game hypothesis, the fact that Harbinger actively opposes you throughout ME 2 indicates that at least some of the Reapers out there are active and aware of what's going on in the galaxy. And if an IFF system doesn't allow for precise identification, then it's a pretty lousy IFF system. I have no idea where you're getting the "nobody's trying to get in" bit.
      • The hibernation is hypothesis, but not the fact that the Reapers spend 99% of their time in dark space. Even if they leave a few awake to assess the situation, diverting time to finding the missing Reaper would still be pointless. I'm sure that wasn't the first, nor the last, Reaper to be destroyed and lost. Hell, you killing Sovereign didn't do anything but get their attention. That aside, I'm sure hitting the galactic reset button is indeed a method of ensuring superiority, but it's also their way of collecting resources. Vigil doesn't hypothesize that all technology and resources were taken—it states that this happened, flat out. And as for the IFF: well, keep in mind that all EDI needed to do was fool the relay, not the Reapers themselves. And sure enough, as soon as you come through the relay, the Reapers are onto you.
      • Again, given the significant setbacks the presence and discovery of this dead Reaper has caused to their plan, I would hardly call taking precautions pointless. Vigil does say the technology was taken, but doesn't say why or what happened to it afterwards. The Reapers have constructed mass relays throughout the entire galaxy, not to mention a gargantuan space station that is itself essentially an intergalactic relay. In contrast, the Protheans' crowning achievement was a single small-scale, one-way relay prototype, and even that was reverse-engineered from the Reaper ones. I seriously doubt they had anything worthwhile to offer the Reapers in terms of tech, most likely the Reapers just destroyed it all and left only small clues that would enable new races to discover their own relays and the Citadel (such as the data cache on Mars). Killing Sovereign did get the Reapers' attention, but when a race of sentient spaceships that have been wiping the galaxy of all sentient spacefaring life for millions of years concentrates their attention on a single individual, I'd say that's an indication just how serious a threat they consider that individual to be. I would definitely not preface that with the word 'only'. It's not like they could've done anything about Nazara's destruction at the time. I'm not really sure the Reapers were onto Shepard the moment he came out of the relay, but even if they were, so what? A fat lot of good it did them.
      • Hindsight is not valid argument for action. Again, let's assume that many Reapers have been killed or MIA throughout millions of years without their plans failing. Just because this one has suddenly led to problems doesn't make their decision to leave it less than valid. Once again, the Reapers' plan is not foolproof, and they know it. The fact they even leave others behind for reconnaissance shows that much. Any number of things they do could cause the plan to fail. The suggestion that they drop everything to fix one (assumed minor) snag is like pulling every other cop in the state to search for one that's missing. Sure, your chances of solving the problem go up, but how many other problems are you ignoring/creating just to fix it? Lastly, the reason I said that you "only" got their attention was to emphasize that the Reapers have tons of contingency plans. Sure, The Masquerade is their biggest weapon, but should the layers of that fail, they have backup plans upon backup plans.
      • Given that all the other cops in your analogy are on vacation, you're not actually losing anything. Also, as you yourself point out, the idea that this derelict is not the only Reaper to be lost is pure speculation. The fact that it is the only direct evidence of their existence ever discovered (at least within the last 50,000 years) would seem to indicate otherwise. As for contingency plans, the events of Mass Effect 2 are again in contradiction to your statement. With the loss of Nazara, the Reapers resort to using Collectors and trying to build a new Reaper to replace him before the omnicide is underway, a task they are patently unsuited for. When this plan B blows up in their face, plan C is "oh screw it, let's take the long way". Hardly what I'd call backup plans upon backup plans.
      • The theoretical "cops" wouldn't be on vacation—they'd be performing other duties completely unrelated to the missing officer case. That the Reapers leave galactic space is fact—what they do in dark space is pure speculation. Whether or not they hibernate to conserve resources, however, searching for a needle in haystack is going to consume time and resources. I have no idea what the Reapers are working with, but it's not out of the question to believe that they considered not looking for one of their own to be a waste of time. Although, you are right: while ultimately we can't be sure if any Reapers have died before Sovereign and Mummy Reaper. However, one last point: Harbinger and the Collectors weren't their "second plan". The backstory makes it clear that the Reapers have been acting through various agents and allies since at least the Rachni Wars. The destruction of the Collectors was more like Plan F or G at this point.
      • As I said before, the Reapers have the entire galaxy at their disposal and they live for millions of years. They have plenty of both time and resources to undertake such a search. Reapers (or more specifically, Nazara) have been acting through agents for a long time, sure, but they would have no way of knowing which species would become sentient and develop interstellar spaceflight following their omnicide. They couldn't have planned to use Rachni simply because they couldn't have known Rachni would be available. They may have known that should the Citadel relay fail to open for whatever reason, they'd have to use organics to help them open it manually, but without any specifics it's far too vague to be called a plan. The Rachni Wars and Saren's indoctrianation were Nazara's improvisation, he found someone willing to do his dirty work and just ran with it. And given that every single one of these attempts failed, the Reapers don't seem to be very good at winging it like that. That said, I don't think even the Collectors are a proper backup plan. The way they operate seems to indicate they are meant to be deployed once the omnicide is underway, the relays are inaccessible to the lesser races, and the Reapers have dealt with any opposing military forces. They only seem to have one ship which even Normandy's regular unupgraded missiles can take down, not to mention that it is completely unable to defend itself from half a dozen puny defense turrets and runs away after taking a few shots from them. They're clearly not a significant military force, and they damn well know it, hence why they target undefended outlying colonies. The Reapers are using them simply because with Nazara gone, they need to build a new Reaper to open the relay. It's not so much a backup plan as the only option left, and even then it still has significant holes. From the dialog on the Collector ship and in the Reaper chamber it seems millions of humans would be needed to finish the Reaper, more than could be gathered in the Terminus Systems. Which means eventually the Collectors would have to go into Alliance space, at which point they'd get their asses handed to them by the fleet. Overall, the Reapers just don't seem like very good planners.
      • Being able to improvise ''is'' part of strategy. And you're absolutely right in that the Collectors are meant to operate once genocide is underway. That's why I said they were "Plan F or G". The Reapers used them only when they had exhaused several other failed options. They may not have known which agents they would be able to use, but indoctrination is such a catch all that it really didn't matter. As Vigil said, Sovereign was patient. He sat back and watched for a while to figure out what his next move would be; the sort of thinking that someone would employ, if they know they have options. Now, that aside, we have no idea how long it would take the Collectors to be bold enough to take on the Alliance fleets and their allies. But, that aside, we know for a fact that the Reapers do NOT battle through conventional means. They use every single element of terrorism, subterfuge, reconnaissance, and psychological warfare at their disposal before they even consider all-out battle of attrition. My point is, I understand Fridge Logic, but picking apart the Reapers' plans for everything they DON'T do rather than what they actually do is a fallacious argument. Even the best planners miss something obvious that can be pointed out in hindsight. ....And lastly, the Normandy's missiles only killed Sovereign because his shields fell after Saren was killed. My guess is, the ASSUMING CONTROL trick he tried on Saren leaves Reapers vulnerable if their host is killed while possessed.
      • Um, no, I was talking about the Collector ship. If you don't upgrade Normandy's weapons, Joker will still take them out with Normandy's stock weaponry, and that's just a single frigate. The Collectors suck at space combat. Also, Reapers absolutely do rely on brute force. Nazara only resorted to subterfuge because plan A failed, said plan A as detailed by Vigil being to open the Citadel relay and disallow non-Reaper traffic through the other relays, isolating each system and allowing the Reapers to overwhelm their defenses one by one. And since the Collectors suck at space combat, who else do you think does the space fighting if not the Reapers themselves? But with that plan shot to hell, Nazara had no choice but to try and get to the Citadel to open it manually. As you say, he did take his sweet time, but the fact that every single one of his attempts at using pawns failed shows that subterfute isn't the Reapers' strong suit. The most success he ever had was when he showed up in person and literally ploughed right through the defenders. If you are correct that killing Saren caused Nazara's shields to drop, then it was quite ironically his overcomplicated scheme involving the Turian that got him killed. As for hindsight, there's no need for that. You don't need to be a great planner to understand that it might be a good idea to call the bank when you lose your credit card or change the lock on your door when you lose your keys. The IFF device was the key to finding the Collectors, and the Collectors are the key to Reaper reproduction. They lost it... aaaaand didn't bother doing anything about it. Even an average human home owner is smarter than these immortal mechanical gods.
      • You do realize that the Reapers are like a "good" baseball player, right? Their plans are essentially their at-bats, and they hit .300. This does mean that they fail 700 times, but those 300 successes are all we care about. Why? Because when the reapers succeed, no one lives to tell the tail. This folder does seem to be more about complaining about how the reapers have failed twice (because like .300 hitters, they should ''never'' strike out or hit into a double play or the like.), rather than any Fridge Logic inherent to how or why they fail.
      • That aside, the notion that the Reapers did "nothing" to find the missing Reaper is speculation. There's no way to confirm whether they did anything or not during the odd century or two they spend in galactic space. Using my police analogy from earlier, it'd be like assuming that because the missing cop hasn't been found after 60 years, nothing was ever done about it—which, again, is a fallacy. Further, you're mistaking use of brute force for a "reliance" upon it; they're NOT the same thing. The Reapers do invade, of course, no one ever said they didn't—but their tactics are to eliminate any chance of resistance by using sneak attacks (the Citadel trap), sleeper agents (indoctrinated slaves), divide and conquer strategies (isolating star systems and keeping organic races at war with each other), and any other means they can to give themselves an advantage before they use brute force. Also, Sovereign's plan actually required Saren's full cooperation, which was why it implanted him with tech in the first place. Sovereign's full-out attack on the Citadel only worked because it was a two-pronged attack. While it and the Heretic fleet attacked headlong, Saren was sabotaging the Citadel from the inside. It didn't resort to ASSUMING CONTROL until Shepard had killed Saren and taken command of the Citadel himself.
      • Sorry, I know absolutely nothing about baseball, so that was completely lost on me. Not everyone is American, you know. That aside, this thread is about how the Reapers apparently don't care that they've left a piece of tech lying around that can be used to destroy what is essentially their reproductive organ, even though it's grown a fair bit beyond its original scope to include other examples of their complete lack of decision-making competence. I have already spent more than enough time explaining why the Reapers would have succeeded in finding the derelict if they'd tried. Since they haven't, then hadn't. Secondly, two points about Nazara's plan. First point, Nazara's attack worked beautifully even without Saren. The Geth ships managed to destroy the defending fleet even without Nazara's help while he was inside the Citadel, including the Destiny Ascension. Yes, they got pwnt by the Alliance afterwards, but the cavalry only arrived because Shepard reopened the relays, and he only did so because he got onto the Citadel via the Conduit. Which leads me to the second point: Nazara didn't need the Conduit at all. He used the Conduit to get Saren onto the Citadel so that Saren could close the Wards around him and buy him time to open the relay, right? But Saren was a Spectre, he already did have access to the Council chamber! He only lost that status because of his search for the beacons and the Conduit. Instead of going to Eden Prime to search for the Conduit he could've just marched right into the Council Tower, accessed the controls, and taken control of the station. So Nazara actually had two perfectly viable alternatives: Use Saren to take control of the station directly without any of the Conduit nonsense and close the Wards while Nazara opens the relay. Or just use the Geth fleet to kill everything around the Citadel and take control of it without having to close the Wards at all. Either one of the prongs would've worked by itself, and of course Nazara could combine them, have Saren the Spectre march into the Council Chamber, then launch the surprise attack. But no, instead they went on this galaxy-wide goose chase to gain the access to the Council Chamber, which they only lost because they went onto the goose chase in the first place! They went searching for a back door when the front door was wide open, red carpet and everything.
      • Firstly: no, you've only speculated why the Reapers failed to find the missing Reaper. Your speculation is not fact. Even if it made absolute sense within context, it still wouldn't be fact. We do not know what the Reapers did in effect to the missing Reaper. Period. You can't use your own speculation as "proof" for your own argument. Secondly: Sovereign managed to overtake the Citadel fleet, yes, but that does not mean its plan "worked without Saren". For one, you forget that they tried to close the arms of the station before Sovereign connected, but only couldn't because they weren't getting a response from Citadel control.
      • Sorry, but no. I have used what I consider to be sound reasoning to reach my conclusions. I'm perfectly willing to revise them if you have a good counter argument, but covering your ears and going "lalala" isn't cutting it. Two points regarding Citadel Control: One, same as Citadel Tower. Saren didn't need to be a convicted traitor to walk in and kill the operators, in fact it would've been easier for him. Or he could've just ordered them to let Nazara in, since at that point nobody knew of the Reaper's existence and Saren was still a Spectre. Secondly, I rather doubt the Reapers built the Citadel in such a way that it could be used to defend against them. Likewise, the master control console in the Council Chamber would likely be able to override any commands coming from Citadel Control. But then we're getting into completely Fridge Logic territory and might as well ask why does Nazara need to physically connect with the station at all. Apparently, wireless communication isn't a technology the Reapers are familiar with. Or why the Citadel has a control console designed for a humanoid.

    Crew members' responsibilities 
  • Why do Samara, Thane, Jack, Grunt, and Legion get to spend their days aboard the Normandy doing nothing while everybody else works?
    • Because their job is to shoot things. The entire reason you recruited them is so they can do ground operations. Asking why they don't do any shipboard activities is like asking why the Navy SEA Ls or Marines on a US Navy ship don't help out with shipboard work. Tali, Garrus, and Jacob have specialized skillsets that let them help out for specific tasks and they're volunteering their time to help out, while Mordin has a very specific job to do (research) and Miranda's job is mostly to serve as your second and to report to TIM as to what's going on. The rest of your crew spends their time preparing for their job: killing things.
      • Also, Grunt and Legion belong to populations with a long standing hostile relations with everyone. You might not be able to have them do anything because they unnerve the crew.
      • Tali probably comes close, being a quarian, but she's just too useful (and probably too polite — most of the time) for the other crew members to be reasonably nervous about her.
      • Hell, Samara probably would unnerve people given she's the sci-fi equivalent of one of those smite-happy Lawful Stupid, Knight Templar paladins.
    • Why is it assumed Legion is doing nothing? I like to think that he's in the AI core helping EDI practice defending against hacking attacks and the like.
    • I'd be a bit worried that Thane, a notorious assassin Shepard knows nothing about is allowed into Life Support, when even the Commander is refused access by EDI.
      • Hey, he needs to breathe too.
      • As far as I can tell, he is breathing fine in the comms/meeting room, on the shuttle, or on any given planet. It's just irksome the Commander doesn't have access before Thane moves in.
      • Yeah, I'd feel more comfortable bunking him with Grunt; he's a professional assassin. He assassinates people professionally. Who's to say he didn't take a contract on Shepard before coming aboard?
      • Thane isn't going to disable Life Support, because he swore an oath to work with Shepard. He is many things, but he is not a liar. The reason he is put there is the drell prefer dry climates, and Life Support is the best place for that on the ship.

    Liara's role in ME 2 
  • Liara's reappearance in Mass Effect 2 really grated my hide. According to the comic book, she started working for Cerberus as a means of finding and helping Shepard, and both of them are aware of the threat that the galaxy faces with the Reapers and the Collectors. While the game's excuses for Ashley/Kaiden not joining you (loyalty to the Alliance above all) is somewhat justified in that Cerberus has a shady reputation, and Wrex's excuse is that he needs to rally his people (which actually works for you in the long run), Liara chooses not to join you for purely ignoble reasons. Granted, she says that she has debts she needs to pay or whatever, but come on. In the prior game, Shepard and his crew were prepared to sacrifice their reputations and be tried as traitors in order to stop Saren and Sovereign. Liara can't take time out of her "busy schedule" to do more than point me in the right direction? That was a Dethroning Moment Of Suck for the character in my eyes, and it bothered me that the game doesn't allow you to dump her ass for it. That's fine, though. I guess she'll figure it out in Mass Effect 3 when her picture is replaced by Tali's.
    • If you do her mission she reveals that she's trying to kill the Shadow Broker in retaliation for killing/imprisoning a friend of hers in the comic. Since the Shadow Broker works for the Collectors in the comic, she actually is indirectly helping you.
      • That makes it slightly better, I suppose. It makes me wonder whether that couldn't have been handled like every other grudge held by a party member. Meaning, while saving the world at the same time.
    • If you complete the entire quest, you learn that The Shadow Broker tried to sell Shepard's corpse to the Collectors, and Liara stopped him. Yeah, I think she's got a good reason to be obsessively pissed at him.
    • You romanced her in the first game, she breaks down and admits that all her cold behavior is just an act to keep her from getting eaten alive in the galactic underworld while she keeps up her search.
    • While the Reapers are involved in the second game's events, the danger to the galaxy at large isn't immediate enough to force all of your old crew away from the highly sensitive work they do, relationship or no. Liara went through some extremely hard times after Shepard's death, more than enough to justify her anger and a front of ruthlessness, at least. If bringing down the Shadow Broker (an entity good enough to get their fingers into any information in the entire galaxy without a trace) were easy enough to do in an hour-long sidequest, they'd have been killed long ago.
    • She saved Shepard('s corpse) from the Shadow Broker, and she's eliminating him as a threat - not only to herself, but to Shepard. That's a good enough reason for me.
    • And of course, we have the recently announced DLC all about her and the Shadow Broker, promising an actual resolution to this plotline. I will be extremely dissapointed if characters who romanced her are not given some kind of closure in this. Something interesting should happen, at least.
    • Fixed, fixed, and FIXED in the Shadow Broker DLC. You indeed have the ability to continue the relationship, she is able to save her friend, and she ends up controlling the entire Shadow Broker information network, with the explicit purpose of using it to aid you against the Reapers.
      • And apparently bringing down the Shadow Broker IS easy enough to do in an hour long sidequest. Color me disappointed.

    Thane's location in his quarters 
  • So the awesome and terrible and woobie-worthy assassin bemoans how he's having a hard time working with a team and learning to sit with his back to the door... while he sits with his back to the door. Would it really be so hard to spin him around to the other side of the table?
    • Maybe he's trying to change his ways. Face his fears. Or rather, turn his back on them.
    • Yes, he has his back to the door....and his face to the reflective window that gives him a perfect view of anyone coming in through the door.
      • Uh, maybe we're with different graphical options, but to me the window onto the Normandy's core is only barely reflective, in fact not much better than any other pane of glass.
      • Videogames rarely show any opacity in glass in the first place. The engine room is darker than the life support room, which means that realistically, the life support room side would be more reflective.
    • Note he also sits around the corner of the room. Were he sitting on the other side of the table, someone walking in would be able to shoot right away. Where he's sitting forces them to come to him to get a shot.

    The Council's attitude towards the Reapers 
  • Is the Council really so blind that after having the giant Space Squid nearly kill them that they'll not only continue to pretend that the Reapers aren't real and hamstring their newest member just to pretend nothing's wrong?
    • They're politicians. And like all politicians, being leaders and making tough choices isn't actually the reason they went out for the job.
      • Exactly. And so, like any polititions, they aren't going to make an issue with a threat that isn't hurting the people (visibly). They just wanna sweep it under the rug.
    • Anderson does explain that much of your evidence was questionable, but the fact that something way, way beyond anything the geth could roll out quite nearly killed them should be something too big to ignore.
      • How do you know the geth's industrial capacities? They've been separated from galactic society for centuries, no one can say what they can or cannot do.
      • Why would the Geth simply not build more if they had the capabilities and where acting with out outside interference? The Geth are effectively immortal, even if it took them all those centuries to build a single ship of Sovereigns quality, why not wait another few and build another before launching an attack against the very center of power for virtually every organic race? Or at the very least, why not attempt to adopt it's weapon systems over to other Geth ships? A small team of Turians managed to produce a prototype that does just that in less than two years, reverse engineering wreckage no less. These two questions alone should at least inspire doubt in the Geth's ability to produce reapers.
    • It's mentioned that most of the remains of Sovereign were not recovered and were stolen or destroyed by looters in the chaos of the Battle of the Citadel. The Council only recovered a small amount of what was left. And considering what happened on the derelict Reaper, it's probably for the best.
    • The geth's development is also far outpace from the central Citadel race's technological advancement : the codex says that Thermal Clip technology and a number of other advances come from their recovered technology. Even if they had proof that Sovereign was itself intelligent — which they don't — or that it can take over minds — which they don't — there's no real understanding of what geth could do other than that they approach The Singularity. The most observable effects, such as the Thanix cannons and giant eezo core, are not in themselves even so much advanced as they simply meant a vastly larger amount of resources than the Council races are willing to put into one ship except the Ascension. The geth's design makes such a concentration of resources much more understandable. The more subtle and technically complicated effects, such as Indoctrination, could not be directly observed by any Council technicians except those loyal to Shepard. And, yeah, they're in denial, but it's not that hard of a rationalization.
    • OK, they've rationalized it as a Geth warship. That's fair enough, fits with the information they know is true. However, there's one rather large problem with that. Has no one questioned the fact that the Geth not only fielded vastly inferior ships to Sovereign, but only one of him? They had three hundred years to perfect and build huge red megaships, why not build more than one? Again, explainable by denial and not thinking about it too hard, but still.
      Geth # 289767402: Our new dreadnought is completed and has a 97% chance of taking the Citadel.
      Geth # 738979732: Build 3 more.
      • This is what bothered this troper the most: the capacity to build one megaship implies the ability to make more. Following the Council's reasoning, Sovereign's very existence implies that the Geth have not only made a massive technical leap over every other race, but also they possess industrial and shipbuilding capabilities of staggering proportions. This, strangely, is even supported by Legion's loyalty mission, which states that the Heretic fleet that accompanied Sovereign was a tiny minority of the total Geth fleet: therefore, the true Geth fleet, as well as the industrial and logistical apparatus that allows it to function, must be colossal.
      • It could easily be passed off as a superweapon being built by the geth, along the same lines as the super-powerful battleships built during WWII.
      • Except the super-heavy battleships weren't actually that much powerful than regular battleships. To put it in WWII-terms, Sovereign is like the Japanese building a 300,000 tonne battleship-carrier hybrid with 30-inch guns and five-meter thick armor.
      • Perhaps a better description would be a Civil War battle, and one side all of a sudden rolls out a battalion of M1 Abrams tanks.
      • Under the Citadel's understanding of technology, the eezo requirements for a Sovereign-class warship would be ridiculous : something that large yet being able to land on the surface of a planet with normal gravity alone requires a massive drive core, while the weapons systems likewise don't come cheap. The normal geth ships might be vastly inferior, but they were still taking down a lot of Council-aligned craft, and all of them together couldn't have cost as much as Sovereign did. It's entirely possible that the geth only could build a couple similar ships with their entire economic power, and even then one only made sense in the specific purpose of assaulting the Citadel with the help of someone inside. It's only because the Reapers have access to the galactic core that constructing a fleet of them is even imaginable. Shepard doesn't know where the Omega Relay can go 'til late in Mass Effect 2, and its never stated anyone in the crew noticed how supernovae-prone — and thus Element Zero-filled — the galactic core is.
      • This. The ability to build something once DOES imply the ability to build more, but only if the resources are there. As the council sees it, Sovereign could have been a massive Geth SUPERWARSHIP costing everything they had in order to construct, with the idea that one super-powerful, unbeatable juggernaut weapon would win them the conflict. In theory, the fact that they know HOW to build more doesn't mean they CAN build more, as given how much it must have cost to put something of that magnitude together, blowing it to hell immediately out of the starting gate (the council doesn't know how long Sovereign's been around) is such a substantial setback to the Geth that their whole war effort is dead, and the Alliance can just sweep through and clean up whatever stragglers are left. Crisis averted, the galaxy can get back to their lives.
      • This troper always read this as the Council simply trying to cover up the fact that massive armies of unbeatable ships are on their way. Most likely even with their kind of clearance , someone somewhere is keeping records of the Council's actions and words, and the release of this information would at best cause someone to try to exploit it for their own ends, or at worst cause every single species to panic. Then again, it may just be the new main writer not knowing how to explain why Shepard isn't working with the council anymore.
      • Unfortunately, that doesn't explain why they're trying to cover it up against the one man who told them that it was going to happen.
      • Shepard told them that an entire fleet of HUNDREDS OF THESE MONSTERS were going to happen. That Sovereign belonged to an entire race of galaxy-destroying superwarships that would appear out of nowhere and kill everyone. Then it happened, only instead of a species of galaxy-destroying superwarships, it was just a Geth fleet, like the Council "knew" all along, and Shepard was either exaggerating or deluded by the Geth stories. Remember: they don't know that the Citadel is a mass relay. As far as they know, the attack on the Citadel WAS the attack against galactic civilization, it was by the Geth, not the Reapers, and it's been defeated.
    • This Troper saw it quiet clearly as a power play for the Council at best, petty revenge at worst. It's very, very clear throughout most of ME 1 that the council isn't too terribly happy that Shepard is working for them (this isn't an accident, see all of the Heads I Win, Tails You Lose post-mission debriefings that the council pulls) until the very end where he literally breaks reality, kills a Warship large enough to wrestle Citadel, and is the single deciding factor that they are still alive. Probably a bit of a hit to their collective ego, the Turian councilor in particular. Now, Shepard, that insufferable smart-ass who thinks he knows best is suddenly gone forever. You can vilify him by declaring his lunatic obsession with the Reapers as correct, or you can wipe it all under the rug, and get on with your lives. Like blocking Anderson's attempts at human colony relief efforts for Collector attacks.
    • What pissed me off is that the Turian councilor says that Saren tricked the geth into believing that Sovereign was a reaper, then two sentences later he says that Sovereign is a geth warship. One or the other, either they built it or Saren found it and tricked the geth, can't have it both ways.
      • Try this: Saren found the warship, convinced the geth that it was a Reaper, and now, because it's a powerful warship that the geth are using and worshipping as a god, it's a geth warship.
  • The council is clearly indoctrinated. Sovereign shut down the entire relay network. That's not something that has ever been done in recorded history. If it could be done by anyone besides the godlike A.I.s that built the network, the Council would done it before, either during the Rachni Wars or the Krogan Rebellions. If the Geth could do it, why haven't they done it since? Who the heck is knocking on my do
    • If the geth could do it, they would need access to the Citadel (because, you know, that's the only place Sovereign was able to shut down the relay network). The council (or the new council) has failed to allow any geth into the citadel since the attack of Saren, thus they haven't done it since. And, so you know, just because the all-powerful god-like Reapers know how to turn off their own technology, doesn't mean that the people who are in charge of the current regime know how. The combination of stupidity, ignorance, and denial does not equal indoctrination, no matter how much you might want to justify their deaths.
      • Restate yourself. Remember, good citizens don't believe in "ancient sentient starships"! Fact: The Citadel can be used to control the relay network. Fact: The Council does not know how to use it to that effect. Fact: The geth have been self-aware for less than three hundred years. Fact: Both the Citadel and the relay network predate all existing civilizations. Result: What do the geth have to do with the relay network? Such a degree of stupidity should render the Council unable to use toilets properly.
      • Your question: "What do the geth have to do with the relay network?" The answer is simple: Nothing. The question: "How did the geth get the ability to control the mass relays from the Citadel?" The answer is also simple: "The prothians, having built the mass relays and Citadel, left a record of how to control it. The geth found such record, and being enemies of organic races, refuse to share such knowledge with us, instead wishing to use it to instill their dominance upon the rest of the galaxy. They shared the knowledge with Saren because he wished to assist them in their dominance of the galaxy." It's not all stupidity as you seem to wish to believe. It's not indoctrination at all (as you also wish to believe). It's equal parts ignorance, denial, and stupidity.

    Ash/Kaiden and Horizon 
  • So, how did Ashley/Kaidan avoid being collected on Horizon? I could have sworn that they got frozen in place, and the Collectors took people that were right next to her. So, did they just get better? Was I in the bathroom for the cutscene where Harbringer decides that they need them alive?
    • Hyperadvanced technology aside, the Collectors have a limited amount of manpower. They had only gotten half of Horizon onboard their ship when Shepard showed up, which forced them to abandon the remainder to deal with him and later escape. Ashley and Kaidan, despite being tagged and frozen in the opening cutscene, were apparently in the lucky 50% that the Collectors didn't have time to, um, collect.
      • Cross-posted in WMG: Ashley says something blatantly out of character. It's possible they've been indoctrinated, or something similar.
      • The Collectors don't have that technology, or they would have indoctrinated Shepard and Co when they landed on the planet. As for saying something "blatantly out of character", she didn't mean Shepard was a literal God.
      • Nope, Shepard's just the guy who killed a god. Well, technically, weakened the god enough for the Normandy to kill it. Either way, Shepard did save the damned galaxy, so a little bit of hyperbole on Ash's (or Kaiden's) part isn't only understandable, I'd say it's pretty much required.
      • She might think you're the second coming (or something like it). And with Shep's reputation, who can blame her?
    • Maybe the seeker bugs need to be near a Collector ship for the paralysis to work, for some technical reason. After the ship left Horizon, the effects wore off and that's how Ash/Kaidan was able to shake it off and show up at the end (that would also be why he/she wasn't able to help with the actual fight - he/she, and the rest of the colonists, was frozen until the ship actually took off). That would also explain how Mordin's seeker bug wasn't able to paralyze him - considering that the bug is almost strong enough to break the tank's glass and can "sting" through armor, it should be able to sting Mordin despite the tank arrangement, unless whatever causes the stasis is no longer functional. As far as Lilith goes, she did (finally) run away. Depending on where the Collectors started collecting, it would be possible for her to be harvested, but not Ash/Kaidan. Since Shepard saw the frozen colonists and didn't see anyone moving except the hidden mechanic, s/he probably did know or at least assumed that A/K was hit by the swarms, and just didn't get the chance to ask about it before the reunion went downhill. It would have been nice to be able to ask Mordin about that, though. He might know more about how the paralysis works. (Cross-posted from WMG.)
    • That happened way too fast to be indoctrination. According to what we've seen first hand, and what it says in the Codex, indoctrination takes at least a couple days, not a couple minutes (though it could be faster with the aid of those bugs). If it happened in mere minute, Shepard would've been indoctrinated back on the Derelict Reaper, and those people on Eden Prime would've been instant slaves, not just a little bit rattled.

    Rewriting the geth 
  • During Legion's Loyalty Mission, you infiltrate a geth base and are given two options: destroy the station and cripple them, or use their own weapon to force them into a Face–Heel Turn. The paragon choice when you're discussing the mission is basically "How is it moral to brainwash an enemy into being good?" At the critical moment, the Paragon choice is, "get the hose, we're cleaning out the cerebellum." Um, what?
    • Because in a choice to make an enemy not hostile anymore or just kill them all I'm pretty sure the former is more ethical. Besides I remember Legion at one point saying the reformed Geth would contemplate their decision on whether to come back to the main Geth or not. So it's not total brainwashing, just removing those Geth from Reaper influence in the future without killing them.
      • Making an enemy not hostile anymore isn't automatically ethical, since there are several ways to do this without ethical consent. Sure, you're helping the geth make the "right" choice by fighting the Reapers, but they made their choice the same way all the slavers, mercenaries, and gangsters have. As Shepard him/herself says, the only difference in brainwashing a machine and brainwashing a person is a matter of perspective. Taking away the freedom of the geth to make their own choices (however wrong you perceive them) is no different than forcing people to do things against their will.
    • It doesn't matter. These Geth must be stopped now or you risk them brainwashing the entire species into serving the Reapers. Your only options are reprogramming (remember, the Reapers aren't planning on paying them back afterward) or turning them all into slag. Just like the choice with the Rachni Queen in the first game, both paths are morally valid based on what you know. Remember, Paragon and Renegade aren't necessarily Good and Evil, just mercy vs. ruthlessness. Either one can be the "right thing" depending on the situation. Sparing these Geth's lives (with light reprogramming) is more merciful than killing them, so it's considered a Paragon action.
      • There's no argument that stopping the Heretics immediately was a priority - it's how it's to be done that's making a big fuss. Also, the Rachni are an invalid example because you have a representative to talk to in order to explain their viewpoint before you eradicate them. If you choose to wipe out the Rachni Queen, it's AFTER hearing what she has to say and/or giving her species a chance to atone. The Heretics have no representative on hand to explain or negotiate, nor do they have the excuse of acting without reason (the Rachni were driven insane, and you're told as much by that point). What you're suggesting is pretty much endorsing something along the lines of A Clockwork Orange: taking away a person's free will for the greater good. Again, if you take this into the context of human beings, what you're suggesting is that brainwashing is preferable to death. The prior Rachni example is even rendered further moot here, since brainwashing them was never an option.
      • Which matters very little. The Heretics have to be stopped now, "when we find a kinder method" is not an option. The only way to do so is either virus or killing them. Neither one is nice, but there is simply no time for anything else. Death vs. light reprogramming is the only choice.
      • Who's talking about a kinder method? The choice is between killing them NOW or using the virus NOW. Why is any other option even being brought up?
      • Again, you seem to misunderstand. The choice is morally ambiguous as all the characters state. Both killing them for the good of all and rewriting them and hoping for the best are perfectly vaild options with a lot of good points for either. Getting Paragon points for the re-write and Renegade for the Kill 'Em All scenario doesn't mean that either option is more moral. It just that saving them is more idealistic and scrapping them is more pragmatic.
    • What bothers me about this whole sequence is the very fact that the "brainwashing is unethical" line is brought up at all. You went there to wipe them all out. Whether you do that by nuking them out of orbit or reprogramming them didn't really seem that relevant a debate to me. Hell, Legion agrees with me.
    • I just left it up to the geth to decide. IIRC, Legion tells you that right before you make the fatal decision that the vote is 287 to 284 for reprogramming. I based my morals on majority rule, it's easier that way.
      • But since geth make all decisions though consenus (which is different from majority rule), you didn't leave it up to the geth.
    • What really bugs me about this debacle is that you people seem to have missed the point of this IJBM entirely. The issue at hand wasn't the ethics of the situation, it's merely the fact that what Shepard says and what Shepard actually does doesn't really match up. Paragon Shepard states that rewriting is akin to evil brainwashing, but the Paragon choice is to go with the brainwashing. Same goes with Renegade Shepard, who states that he thinks brainwashing is a-okay but decides to go with the explodey option instead.
  • Am I the only person here to feel a bit...weird with the choice of rewriting heretic Geth's decision about them joining with Sovereign being a Paragon choice? I thought the choice of destroying them would be Paragon in the beginning...
    • Note that Legion describes the heretic's original susceptibility to Sovereign's offer as a "math error". Its entirely possible that what you're doing is not so much brainwashing them as curing congenital sociopathy, and that they will of course decide to instantly abandon Sovereign the instant you return the heretic geth's ability to make valid moral judgments, like the true geth self-evidently have.
      • Actually, Legion says it isn't a math error; the geth and heretics simply came to different conclusions. To paraphrase the analogy Legion used, the geth came to the conclusion that one is less than two while the heretics concluded that two is less than 3. Both conclusions were logical and valid, but they led to different opinions. You're not correcting a math error; you're taking away their right to self-determination by purposefully brainwashing them to toe the geth line.
    • Remember, these are the same guys that made a habit out of putting people on zombie-making pikes and quite nearly ensured the Reaper invasion in the first game. If they were allowed to continue, the Reapers would gain the entire Geth fleet with a week or two. They had to be stopped, no way around that, and no real nice option exists. They obviously weren't going to listen to reason, so your choice was either re-write their altered code or blow them to scrap. Rewriting them, while somewhat questionable morally, gives them the chance to make amends and enhances the strength of the anti-Reaper Geth. If it bugs you so much, think of it as the software equivalent of rehabilitating cult members.
      • Legion doesn't say that it's a "math error" in that sense. He himself states that "one is less than two" and "two is less than three" are both correct. If it were a math error, the geth wouldn't have had any trouble coming to a consensus. Also, rehabilitation of any type requires that you help the person make rational choices which explains why what they're doing is wrong. And even then, religious orders always have extremists. What you're suggesting is like trying to reprogram radical Muslims or White Supremacist cults to accept that they're wrong.
      • No, what I'm suggesting is that you salvage the group rather than destroy them. The Heretics have their virus ready, if left alone for another week, they will release it and give the Reapers twenty times the army they had in the first game. You have two options, neither is nice, but there is simply no time to look for a more gentle option. You'll be doing something questionable either way, but one leans more toward preserving life rather than destroying it. If you feel that the dignity of choosing to serve a cosmic horror who will kill them the second they are no longer useful is more important than their lives, fine. Suck it up and do what needs to be done here and now.
      • No one's talking about a pleasant option. We're way past that and instead, the argument is over which is the lesser of two evils. Again, assume we were talking about a group of human mercenaries who chose to work for the Collectors rather than fight against them. Now, let's assume that someone suggests a procedure that will make them loyal to you instead, regardless of the choice they've already made. If you see that as "salvage", then that's your business. Frankly, I'm of the mind that any being that's made their own choice, regardless of whether or not it's the "right" one, deserves to follow through with it.
      • Then that's your decision and it is valid. Saving their lives, but rewriting them is also vaild. That's my point, neither option is truly right or truly wrong: you'll be Shooting The Dog out of absolute necessity either way. Letting an enemy live and hoping for the best is closer to the Paragon path and killing them for the good of the galaxy is closer to Renegade.
      • The point may be entirely moot. In the first game on Feros, we see the heretic geth huddled up around what is revealed in the second game to be an indoctrination sphere. If the heretic geth were indoctrinated by Sovereign, then the entire question of whether its moral to take away their free will is moot: it was already stolen from them a long time ago, and using the (reversed) Reaper virus on them is arguably curing that. (For that matter, the existence of the Reaper virus in the first place is proof positive that the Reapers like to indoctrinate geth — its exactly what they were planning to do to the true geth, before you stopped them!)
      • Legion states that "Not all the Heretics' choices were as questionable as following Sovereign." That's the primary reason they were conflicted as to whether they should destroy or rewrite them. For example, most church congregations are generally warm, compassionate, and of immense benefit to their neighbors; performing community services such as soup kitchens, recycling. They also tend to be stubborn and conservative; picketing abortion clinics, gaybashing...
    • A metaphor: Geth as a whole think of themselves as a single creature. That single creatures arm has become infected (The Heretics, the small cult of Reaper Worshipers). The Geth as a whole have a choice: They can cut off the arm (Kill the Heretics) or administer a vaccine (rewrite). Cutting off the arm means they no longer have it, but administering the vaccine leaves the possibility of the heretics re-emerging later (Since they're being given a "new view" and then reintigrated into the whole). Neither option is perfect, hence the split in consensus.
    • It's also important to keep in mind that the geth don't have the same thought processes we do. Making comparisons to organics is flawed, because the geth are not organic. They're an entire race of Artificial Intelligences. They don't really have a sense of individuality - they are geth, they are all geth, and they are only geth. But, the main reason rewriting is the Paragon option is because killing them is the Renegade option. They had to simplify it that way. It's possible to want to kill them because rewriting them feels more unethical, but most people who kill them probably did it because, hey, to hell with geth. The Renegade choice is almost always going to be kill them. So rewriting is Paragon compared to the Renegade choice of killing them.
      • Addressing the Geth-as-One and Geth-As-Non-Individuals. These are not true. In no way does Legion suggest that they consider themselves a singular creature. Singular society, yes, but not creature. Likewise, Legion does not suggest anything to say that they aren't individuals. Most, if not all, statements treat each geth program as an individual while at the same time treating each platform as a collective individual. There is a quote above that says "Not all the Heretics' choices were as questionable as following Sovereign." If the geth were truly thought of themselves as a singular creature, this would not be so - they would have only one opinion, one choice, one decision. Likewise, if they lacked individuality, there would be no choice at all - it would again be just one choice, one decision. Further examples can be seen when you ask Legion about this very option - they cast a vote and are split more or less evenly; this is at once perhaps doubt but also the expression of individuals. As Legion put it, many eyes on one piece of data; each program, each platform, each station, all provide their own unique perspective on something and add that perspective to everyone else. They don't always agree, but they all at least can share understanding and insight; if nothing else, they can understand why and how.
      • On the topic of thought process, Legion actually points this out when you board the Heretic ship (Might depend on party member and conversation choice, I had Tali with me if it matters), Shepard says something along the lines of "This isn't an organic race, we shouldn't apply our morals to them." Legion agrees, stating "All races are different, treating them as though they are the same would be racist." In that statement, the game itself frowns on any discussion that would apply human morality to the Geth.
    • The choice is between completely killing them, or rehabilitating them. I would think that the second would always be the paragon choice. Perhaps a bit more morally suspect than most paragon choices given it directly affects their minds, but it would definitely be the paragon choice.
  • Why did the heretic Geth have medical stations on their base? Wouldn't Geth, as synthetic life forms, use omni-gel to repair themselves instead?
    • Maybe the Geth (having some pseudo-organic parts) keep it on hand for repairs. Either that, Hand Wave it as left-over from when it was a Quarian station, or chalk it up as Game Play And Story Segregation. It's certainly far less egregious than similar cases in ME 1.
    • Possibly leftovers from Saren who had more organics in his army.
    • Consider that Legion can be brought back by using Med-gel. Maybe med gel works on non organics too, somehow? Maybe advances in tech have effectively made it the exact same thing as omni-gel. Omni-gel does seem strangely absent from this game.

    The geth on the Alarei 
  • So, Tali's Father was reconstructing Geth to see if they could find new vulnerabilities to hacking as a prelude to a possible attempt to retake the homeworld. Why the fuck did they build them with guns? Geth weaponry is not grafted in like the Cylons, so there should be absolutely no reason to be testing on models with operational guns.
    • It's not unreasonable that the Geth stole those weapons from the quarians.
    • The weapons could have been built alongside the geth. Tali was sending back everything she could, and weapons would fall into that. Also, the Codex mentions geth weaponry was superior to its Citadel equivalents (hence the new heat sinks), which would obviously interest the quarians.
    • If there were enough programs to make Geth smart enough to build new bodies, they'd certainly be smart enough to build some guns.
      • And on top of that they could have just done what the malfunctioning station AI did on the virus infectioned security bots side quest (that is, kill them with the life support).
      • Its doubtful that would have worked due to the quarian's suits.
    • It may have something to do with their wiring. It would be unusual, but not impossible for their circuitry to be wired through the weapon systems, so much so that they can't be activated without being 'armed' so to speak. To build a functioning geth network, they'd have to build a dangerous one.
      • Legion functions without using any Geth Weaponry.
      • Legion is also a unique platform. It's possible that he was designed to function without weapons because organics wouldn't trust it.
      • Legion is completely unique among the geth. Besides which, the quarians might not have known that. This is implied to be the first experiment on active geth that the quarians have performed since their exile. It's possible that no matter what they did, the geth wouldn't activate until one of them had their weapon returned to its hands, at which point it switched on. Rael'Zorah might have seen this and said, "Okay, we'll give them guns and be careful about it." Of course, that doesn't explain why they left the heat sinks in the guns, but there you go.

    The Omega- 4 Relay 
  • Why doesn't anyone just destroy the Omega-4 Relay? A major Mass Relay can only connect to one other relay, so destroying it would stop the Collectors without having to go on a suicide mission.
    • Well, for one thing, they had initially hoped to be able to rescue the abducted colonists.
    • That's assuming the Omega-4 relay is the only type of relay in the galaxy the the Collectors use to connect their base to the rest of the galaxy. That's a foolish and idiotic assumption.
    • Even assuming that, if you keep destroying their ways home you they'll either eventually run out or the relays they do use will be so far off they'll have a hard time reaching their target, human colonies. And with more time to track them, they'll be easier to stop. Which is the entire point of the mission, not to have Shepard arrive at their base beating everyone up. Not to mention you can just set an ambush on your side, maybe utilizing some local pirates/privateers. At worst you end up with a few less pirates , since the Collectors aren't really considered dangerous so much as strange and elusive. They'd probably have been targeted by pirates before, at some point. The fact they defeated those attackers would mean there wouldn't be anyone left to tell the tale of how massively powerful they are (The Collectors would most likely try to destroy any evidence of their tech left over)
      • That's assuming that A) you can even destroy the Relay and B) that the Collectors only use the Omega 4 Relay. Less than 2% of the entire galaxy has been mapped by the Citadel over two thousand years. They could literally be using entire relay routes to get around the galaxy that no one knows about. Destroying the Omega 4 Relay would be counterproductive, too, as it is the only known route to get to Collector space.
      • Guys, relays are functionally indestructible. The relay to Ilos took a supernova to the face and was unfazed.
      • Considering that the Collector Base is located in the galactic core it seems unlikely that there is room for more than one mass relay there. Of course the Reapers could probably just rebuild the relay if it could actually be destroyed.
      • "it seems unlikely that there is room for more than one mass relay there" Um, you do know that space is really big, right? There's plenty of space out there for another mass relay; on the cosmic scale, those things are incredibly tiny.
      • Starships need a Reaper IFF to get safely through the Omega-4 Relay. If they don't have it, they go thousands of kilometres off course and fall into a black hole. The Collector Base exists in a extremely small safe area, so I doubt there's another Relay.
      • .....again, space is really, really big. Do you have any idea how tiny "thousands of kilometers" is on the cosmic scale? And look at the massive debris field of ships around the Omega-4 relay. If there were any black holes within "thousands of kilometers" of the other end of the relay, there wouldn't be any debris. Does that look like a bunch of ships that have been sucked into black holes? The sheer amount of open space and the limited lines of sight we have on the other side of the relay mean you can easily have dozens of mass effect relays connecting to that region.
      • While I'm wrong on the black hole count, why have dozens of Relays connecting to a single point in space? Not only is it unneccesary, it'd attract attention, and the Collectors don't want that. And it's explicitly stated that if the Normandy didn't have the IFF, it'd fall into a black hole, so what are all those ships doing there? Did they just break apart while passing through the Relay, or did the Collectors destroy them?
      • "Why have dozens of relays connecting to a single point in space?" Well, maybe if someone had the bright idea to destroy one of the relays (like, y'know, the OP suggested) they'd have a backup.
      • Not only is it unnecessary, it'd attract attention No, it wouldn't. You don't know where a mass relay connects to until you pass through it and map the other side. That was the entire reason behind the First Contact War and how the Rachni Wars got started. If there are other relays connecting to the same location, they'd have the same effect on ships passing through, which means they'd be destroyed, and no one would survive to map the far side of the relays. And again, the galaxy is a really big place. In two thousand years, the Citadel has barely mapped 1% of the entire galaxy. there could be dozens such relays and they'd never have found them.
      • And it's explicitly stated that if the Normandy didn't have the IFF, it'd fall into a black hole No, that's conjecture on EDI's part.
      • So what are all those ships doing there? Did they just break apart while passing through the Relay, or did the Collectors destroy them? Who knows? Its obvious that whatever happened, they didn't fall into a black hole like it was conjectured.
      • It's also assuming that the mass relays can be destroyed easily- the Mu relay to Ilos in the first game survived a supernova explosion that blew it out of position. They're ridiculously durable (after all, the same mass effect technology that powers the kinetic barriers is behind all the FTL in the setting- so anything capable of throwing ships between systems should be able to put up a hell of a defense)
      • Yeah the relays have been around for god knows how long with their only possible maintenance come, what, once every 50,000 years. As for their being more than one relay at the core, seems logical as in each cycle it's not the same relays that are being activated.
  • Here's a better question. The Collectors may have other Mass Relays, but they are definitively known to use the Omega 4 Relay. So why not just research the Thanix Cannon and lie in wait nearby? So it might take a few weeks for them to show their faces, and it wouldn't definitively destroy the Collectors. But it would certainly put an end to their harvesting efforts, which is supposedly all Cereberus are concerned about, and it would mean no faffing about with the horrendously dangerous and unknowable Relay itself not to mention a certain IFF. Further to this, isn't Omega itself chock full of humans of every genetic stripe? Have the Collectors really just been casually breezing back and forth past there all this time?
    • Until near the end of the game, no one is aware that the Collector "homeworld" is a station and that they seemingly have only one ship. There was nothing to say that the Collectors couldn't come back with greater numbers and greater forces. Furthermore, stopping human abductions was only one objective for Cerberus; the Illusive Man has a vested interest in asserting human ingenuity, bravery, and dominance. A suicide run against the Collectors was a win-win situation for him, because even if everyone aboard the Normandy died, he could still gain valuable intel and resources (which is actually what happens in the worst possible ending). And finally, the Collectors were very, VERY careful about picking very obscure and random targets in the Terminus Systems. Attacking Omega outright would not only have turned virtually the entire Terminus Systems against them, but it may have even gotten the attention of Council Space.
    • Hanging around Omega, in the most valuable starship in the galaxy, with one of the most wanted humans in the world in command of it, and everyone who matters knows you're there? That's a recipe for either A) an ambush by pirates or B) an ambush by the Collectors or C) the Collecters laughing at the silly humans and using another Relay. And yes, Omega has lots of humans. It also has lots of other species, and more than that, it has lots and lots and lots of guns. If the Collectors attacked Omega, there would be a very violent disagreement with the natives.
      • Firstly, who's "everyone"? Aria says she knows about your movements, but how much she actually knows, and certainly what she's telling anybody else, is very much open to question. Certainly she has no way of following the Normandy whilst it is cloaked. The Collectors meanwhile are able to see through stealth systems, but they can't keep track of you, which is why they go to the very large effort of baiting a trap. The two aren't exactly comparing notes. The Normandy, remember, is a vessel which is able to travel through dangerous and heavily contested territory, harvesting resources more or less undetected and at will. Secondly, "guns"? The point that attacking Omega directly would draw too much attention is a fair one, but I think the Collectors demonstrated exactly how much they care about standard weaponry on Horizon and the Normandy. Seeker swarms released in an environment as dirty and densely populated as Omega would be devastating, and I believe that's pretty much what the Collectors were gearing up to do after the non-human virus had done its work.
      • There's nothing to suggest Aria's intelligence network is anything unique, and the Normandy can't exactly sit around in the most heavily-trafficked system in the Terminus without drawing attention to itself. Its not a terribly common vessel, and if Aria can peg the Normandy "the moment you enter the Terminus" then Shepard lurking in the Omega system for weeks or months on end waiting to ambush the Collectors is going to draw attention. You can't sit around a high-traffic area in a unique ship like that doing nothing without drawing eyes, and with the presence of the Shadow Broker, its only a matter of time before someone sells the intel that you're there, at which point the Broker finds a buyer wanting to know about your wherabouts, at which point many of Shepard's enemies roll into Omega looking for a fight. And yes, the Collectors can't track the Normandy, but that's because you're constantly on the move; if the Normandy stays put, they'll know exactly where it is and know to either ambush it or avoid it. And yes, the Collectors demonstrated their opinion on standard weaponry when standard-issue Alliance-designed GARDIAN bombardment sent them running the hell away. An open attack on Omega would trigger a brutal and violent response. Plus, destroying the Collector ship doesn't net Shepard any vital intelligence on their operation, which is the entire point behind why they're investigating the Collectors in the first place.
      • Actually, the Collectors were tracking the Normandy, judging by how they hit the ship after the Reaper IFF was installed. They found and took down the Normandy inside of a few minutes, so unless the Collectors have some kind of Necron-style hyper-fast FTL which would render a mass relay pointless, they had to be pretty close to the Normandy to hit them like that. The Reaper IFF wasn't transmitting anything prior to that, so they had to have been tracking the Normandy prior to the installation.
  • The most obvious explanation for why no one thought to destroy the Omega-4 relay is because no one knows if they even can be destroyed, let alone having the resources to do so. And the most obvious reason not to wait around the relay waiting for the Collectors to pop out is because there's no way of know exactly where they'll pop out - they could come out of the rely outside sensor range. Especially since the sensors in ME aren't nearly as powerful as those in Star Trek and the like.
    • Also, notable, mass relays do not shoot you to a specific point in space. They shoot you to a general area with larger masses having a larger possible radius. Thus a starship exiting a relay point could end up anywhere within a very large area of space; more so if they're intentionally aiming somewhere obscure. While you might be able to detect them, then traveling there would take time (at which point, they'd be gone). Note that in the first game, Joker comments in the very first cutscene that he was able to jump into a 10,000 KM area near their exit relay and that's considered an exceptional feat.
  • Here's an idea: drag the fucker into a sun. It might not die, but everything that comes out of it will.
    • which point the Collectors will shrug and use a different relay. Unless you honestly think that dragging something as big as the Omega-4 Relay into the sun in the middle of the most heavily-trafficked system in the Terminus is going to go unnoticed.

    The new ammo system 
  • The justifications for the new ammo system bug me on several levels. First off, it's stated that the thermal clips are derived from Geth weaponry. But you got to use Geth weaponry (Pulse Rifles become Randomly Drops once you're high enough level) in the first game, and they worked just like your normal guns. And if the meta reason for making the change was that the overheat mechanic was too forgiving, than by definition, the thermal clips are not more efficient—and being unable to cool down without them likewise means the gun's cooling system has definitively been downgraded from Mass Effect. And just how did they change every gun in the galaxy to use the new system in only two years, so that even in the galaxy's worst havens of criminality and black market trading, you can't buy an old model gun, nor can you find someone tinker with your guns to put them on the old system? The thing that bugs me most, though, is that the meta goal of making it more difficult to just hold down the 'Fire' button and forget could have been achieved without the need for explanation (and I could only presume would have been easier to program) by making guns overheat more easily, and/or cool more slowly.
    • Yeah, I don't really see why people would get rid of a system that allows unlimited ammo weaponry in the right cases without it seeming as a nerf to make the game less broken then the first.
    • I haven't tried the shotguns in this game, but in the original, even with cooling, they got maybe two or three shots, so it would have to be an improvement. Plus, being able to drop out a heatsink and plug in a new one makes "Sabotage" obsolete, and that could be absolutely crippling. On top of that, there's the fact that, as they mention, it actually does improve efficiency — under the previous system, you had to fire slower than was possible to avoid overheating, or let yourself overheat and take a few moments to cool off. Under this system, you can fire constantly for as long as you have heat sinks... and once you're out, you can just quickly swap in a new clip, as opposed to the already-lengthy-for-combat cooldown time. The bit about the Geth not appearing to use it before stands... but it could be that since you don't get your Geth weapons directly from the Geth, the ones you get were modified to use the standard system, due to the clips not being understood yet. It's a bit of a Hand Wave, but I suppose it works.
      • Except you did get them directly from the Geth—you start picking them up off their bodies around the time you hit Virmire. And it can't be had both ways. Either overheating ceased to be a major concern as you leveled up (see the oft-quoted example of the never-overheating Master Spectre X Assault Rifle) such that a change was needed to keep your other powers relevant—in which case the change is undoubtedly a downgrade—or the overheating was a real limitation, in which case there was no compelling meta/design reason to change how the guns work. To put my concerns another way—having the option to switch out a thermal clip to keep firing when you overheat makes sense. Making the guns completely dependent on the clips to function doesn't.
      • I never got one directly off a Geth, myself, only saw them in stores — my guess is a convenient handwave can be made that the ones you use were modified off-screen, as you didn't have the knowledge or equipment to make the thermal clip versions work. The reason you can pick one up and use it immediately is because of the issue of the Retcon — they didn't decide that Geth weapons worked this way until later, so in-game, they're treated like every other weapon. As for the issue of whether it was crippling? At the time, it wasn't, because no-one knew there was an alternative... but the moment there was, anyone using an old weapon that had to mitigate its rate of fire or overheat and get out of the game for a while would be pretty much screwed facing anyone who could fire at their full rate indefinitely, only stopping briefly to slot another clip. Reloading is faster than overheating, and the only weapons that can be non-heat-producing are nigh-on-unique and expensive prototypes that require exceptionally rare and expensive upgrades to get that way. Most people, even soldiers or the like, aren't going to have them. The old ones simply can't compete in short-term efficiency, even if they do better in long-term situations.
    • Why upgrade every gun in the galaxy? The new ones are better. As in, they deal more damage. Would you be willing to accept a 20% damage nerf to not use thermal clips? What about 50% More? Mind you, I'm annoyed by how forced the system is explained (so many holes in it) but not by how it works ingame.
      • This theory works fairly well, for both story and gameplay. In ME 1, with a fully-upgraded armor with the maximum amount of shielding power, it takes a while for weapons to whittle down your shields and health. (Unless you're playing on Insanity) In ME 2, even with fully upgraded shields and the like, it only takes a short amount of time out of cover for your shields to run out of energy. It just seems that the new guns vastly outperform the old ones in sheer damage output.
      • Likewise, criminals, mercs, and whatever aren't stupid. If they stop making parts for your weapons, you may grumble and scrounge for a while but eventually, you'd just get a new gun and make life easier. Plus if everyone is using it/it's the only thing available, you don't really have a choice in the matter if you want to keep doing your job.
      • Gameplay and Story Segregation, as well. It comes in two parts: First, although its perfectly plausible for Omega and other such places to be trading in the old weapons, it would be unnecessary to include them in the game. This is most clear in Jacob's loyalty mission, where the ten year old mechs drop thermal clips. Why? Because its better than the alternative, gameplay-wise. Second, theres one big problem with the original guns that no one has brought up: Overheating machinery damages it. This obviously isn't a problem in-game, but in real life (so to speak) having your sniper rifle overheat after every shot would render the thing useless very quickly. Thermal clips likely increase the lifespan of weapons dramatically.
    • The really irksome thing that gets me about the in-story justification of the ammo system is that when Shepard wakes up from being dead for the last two years, and the first thing he/she notices when picking up the Convenient-Pistol-In-A-Medbay-Ward™ (Available now from Trope Co!) is that it does not have a thermal clip. If the ammo change had happened during Shepard's two-year nap, then The Shep's typical reaction would be "hey, what the hell is wrong with this Convenient-Pistol-In-A-Medbay-Ward™? Why doesn't this Convenient-Pistol-In-A-Medbay-Ward™ work properly?" not "Hey, this Convenient-Pistol-In-A-Medbay-Ward™ doesn't have a vital piece of cooling system that was just being developed as I was killed and that I probably didn't have access to as it was still in prototype stage." Either Thermal Clips became very common in the brief period since the end of ME 1 and Shepard's death, or we missed the part when Shepard's badly-charred corpse rose like some sort of freaky zombie just to read the latest issue of Guns and Ammo.
      • If thermal clips are based on geth weaponry, well, Shepard did handle a lot of geth weaponry in game 1.
      • Another possibility: Although it's unclear exactly how long its been since the attack on the citadel, we can assume its at least a month. That's long enough for a few of the thermal-clip weapons to get pumped out. Shepard, being an experienced soldier, likes to be prepared, and probably knows about them. So, two years later, when he wakes up in the medbay and grabs the pistol, he can think "Hey, there's a big empty spot here where one of those new thermal clip things could go. It's probably designed to use those. Say, Miranda..." As for why there was an emergency pistol left unloaded, I think the only logical explanation is that the traitor (can't remember his name) decided to unload it a while ago, just in case. He left the pistol itself there so no one would notice from a cursory examination.
      • You can actually get a timeline. Jacob mentions when you wake up that you've spent the last two years and seventeen days on the operating table, talking to Avina in the Citadel states that it has been two years and some two months since Shepard last accessed the Avina system, which is likely to be when Shep discussed the damage to the Citadel after arriving back on the station during the Reaper attack (Since, given how messed up the entire station was, it's unlikely that restoring Avina was high on the list of priorities during the initial repairs). At most, given that some time had been spent looking for Shepard's body, this gives a window of about a month between the attack on the Citadel and the attack on the Normandy. All of which Shepard had been hunting geth throughout the Terminus systems. Not much time to spend looking at R&D reports.
      • It gets worse if you think about it. Thermal clips are used to cool weapons down. That means the Convenient-Pistol-In-A-Medbay-Ward™ had to be overheated into uselessness and kept that way for some reason.
      • Um, no, it's made clear that thermal clips are heat sinks. Every time the weapon fires, it generates heat, which is pumped into the clip instead of the weapon. The codex entry specifically mentions that without clips, a gun can't fire.
      • Okay, I can accept that. Still stupid for other reasons, but I can accept that.
    • Two points: The heat sink technology may not have been widely available when Shepard was killed, but s/he had the highest security clearances in the galaxy and so likely would have been familiar with the new stuff coming down the pipe. Especially since s/he knew that there was a major war coming and so s/he'd need to be familiar with the best weaponry available. Second, guns are fairly simple to use, by design. Even if Shepard's first look at heat sink tech was Convenient Med Bay Pistol, s/he could figure out how it works in a few seconds by looking it over.
  • It really freaking hurts because the justification could have been really simple; "Sorry, ammo is back. Remember that giant Geth ship that blew up in the Citadel? It was full of really cool eezo tech, and everyone took some salvage home rather than turn it over to the Council - shields are now so much better that the only way to punch through them with a mass accelerator is to supercharge them until the heat sink blows. So we modified them to hotswap."
    • But that doesn't work as a justification. The functionally infinite ammo thing never made much sense anyway (god knows why something the size and weight of a paint fleck should be able to serve as a bullet without being incinerated by air resistance) but the codex is clear that the current limiting factor for mass acceleration isn't engineering, material or power limits, but the actual amount of ''recoil' the shooter is physiologically capable of taking.
      • Flecks of tungsten or perhaps buckyballs? And they may have talked recoil, but I was scrambling all over the place looking for Frictionless Materials X.
      • If the rounds are sheathed in a mass effect field while firing, then they may be shielded from air resistance, too.
      • In the first game, the codex tells you that the ammo for guns is a solid block of metal. A small fleck is cut from this block and then the gun creates a mass effect field to increase the flecks mass while creating another field to propel it. This is why it does not burn up from air resistance. It is in fact more massive.
      • We know this is possible, too. The Normandy can generate mass-reducing fields to allow faster-than-light travel at the same time as generating mass-increasing fields to produce artificial gravity.
      • That produces another problem, however. A tiny speck of metal (small enough that "thousands of rounds" can be made out of a clip-sized bar of metal) made heavy with witchcraft and accelerated to velocity typical of a firearm would have massive overpenetration, which is highly undesirable. And let's not even get into how a solid, homogenous piece of metal like that can act as an incendiary projectile or even snap-freeze its target. Aerodynamic and ballistic properties would also likely be somewhat less than ideal.
      • The in-universe answer to that is "like computers and shit". Each gun has a little targeting computer which handles the aerodynamic and ballistic properties of the flechette. I'm willing to accept that increasing mass does weird things to momentum and ballistics.
  • Simplest answer: Shepard saw some of the geth's guns while killing so many of them to death, and noticed the strange design. When he saw the gun in the Medlab, he noticed its similarity to some of the geth guns he saw, and put two-and-two together.
  • Link to relevant discussion here.

  • How did non-radiating lithium heat sinks, technology that was skunkworks-level secrecy for the Normandy class frigate, become so widespread that even criminals and vagabonds on the far edges of the galaxy come to use them exclusively in just the space of two years?
    • Lithium heatsinks are not used by just Normandy-class frigates, they're used by all military starships, or at least those properly designed. The way the use them is different, but it's not a new technology. As for the endless argument about thermal clips, just pretend they always existed. It's a much easier explanation.

    Humanity's genetic diversity 
  • The whole thing about humans being targeted because of how genetically diverse they are bugged me. Unless I'm seriously misunderstanding this, even on Earth we aren't exactly the most diverse species around. Chimpanzees are far more genetically diverse than we are. (According to Bill Bryson, there's more genetic diversity in a single family of chimps than the entire human race, but that sounds a little exaggerated.) If we're the best there is then all those aliens must have some pretty shallow gene pools.
    • Didn't one of the novels state that even humanity had started to become "pretty similar" ethnically? Or is that not the same thing?
    • Point one: A chimp proto-Reaper would be freaking awesome. Point two: You would expect species like turians, salarians, and asari, or hell even the volus or elcor, who have been exploring and colonizing space for much longer than humans and probably have much bigger populations. Ignoring the fact that asari can make hybrids with anything. Wouldn't such species have much higher "genetic diversity" than boring, vanilla humans?
      • They're not really "hybrids," so to speak — as the Asari Ereba on Illium mentions, Asari aren't taking alien DNA; they only use it as a sort of a random seed to change up the genetic information. That said, Asari do seem to have different facial markings depending on their father species.
      • They had hundreds, thousands of years to interbreed and mix their genetic code into various mutts. I'm pretty sure there's a trope about how everyone in the future will be from a mixed genetic background - we're the only race young enough for that to not have occurred yet.
      • It's In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race, but the page delves into why the trope is bogus. Ancient humans were far more genetically diverse than we are, but there was some kind of mass extinction which brought the population down to about 10,000 people around 80,000 years ago. Humans have diversified since then. A species which is spread out across the entire galaxy would diversify more, not less. Every planet is separate, travel is easy but staying put is easier. Genetic mutation would occur differently.
    • I figured Earth just had unusual levels of genetic mutation. It's actually mentioned that the asari have a very stable genetic structure (they merely use the father to randomise genetic material carried by the mother).
    • This Troper figured it was because humans are "boring, vanilla". Most of the alien species are very specialized, though some more obviously then others. Humans as individuals, as Mordin points out, are often very different from the rest of the species.
      • He specifically suggests that there are more "outliers". More geniuses, more morons, more saints, more savages. I saw it more as a lampshading of the fact that every other species is a Planet of Hats: humans manage to escape that because, as it happens, our "hat" is the fact that we're hatless. Or that we have a lot of hats. The metaphor isn't strong.
      • Mordin's specific comment was that every race has outliers, but with any race other than humans you can make reasonable assumptions about attitude and behavior. A random Krogan, for example, can be expected to be violent and (by our standards) rude, while a random Human is just as likely to be polite or rude, violent or peaceful.
    • Think about it like this: almost all species look extremely similar, as in sharing many of the same models. They have very similar voices, and, yes, their hats are subverted, but you can (as Mordin says) make a reasonable guess. Humanity isn't like that. Of course the face generator for humans will be more detailed, allowing for different facial structures on human NPCs. More voice actors are going to be hired for human roles, and the same ones will be used to do the turians, salarians, and so on. The developer team obviously cannot come up with the level of details for their fictional races that humanity over the course of written history has. Of course, in any fiction, we'll be the most unique. Humans Are Average because we're a starting point to base other species off of. All of that has in-game acknowledgements that humans are more genetically and culturally diverse. As far as the science of it goes: did any of you meet an alien species recently? As we haven't, who's to say that Earth isn't incredibly diverse? Unnaturally so in comparison to the rest of the galaxy? Yes, humans on Earth might not be genetically diverse by comparison to our other species, but maybe Earth flora and fauna is absolutely astounding in diversity in that sense. Asari can reproduce with freaking anyone. Vorcha can rapidly change their body makeup to adapt to entirely new atmospheres. Drell have absolutely perfect memory. These things are incredible by our standards. By their own species' standards, these features probably aren't—or weren't. In that vein, we don't find our genetic makeup particularly unique or different.
    • There's also the fact that some of the other races have pretty good reasons not to be very genetically diverse, especially those that have been in space longest. Like the Asari, who are basically cloning themselves (with some randomness thrown in), the Salarians, which apprantly only have 10% of their population giving birth (females) and the Krogan, which likely have the genophage reducing their genetic diversity. We don't know about the Turians, but being clan based might also limit their over-all genetic diversity (inbreeding problems), or perhaps they had their own Ghengis Khan once that applied to their whole species instead of just to Asia. And of course perhaps in their history none of the other races where able to spread out as much as humans have on their respective planets during their own Stone Ages (or before) thus not having subspecies/races like we do.

    Early use of the Thanix Cannon 
  • At the start of the suicide mission, you run into your old friends the Collector Ship, and effortlessly blow it away with your upgraded weapons. (If you upgraded the weapons.) Considering when that upgrade becomes available, and how long you (could have) had it, why didn't you destroy the Collector Ship much, much earlier on in the storyline and save yourself a lot of trouble?
    • Because there's no guarantee that a player would have that upgrade at that point. If the option was there and the player didn't have it, they'd give themselves a game over at about ten hours into the game. Besides, the ship was full of living, not-yet-huskified colonists at the time. Utterly destroying it doesn't help rescue efforts.
    • All three instances where the Collectors can be targeted by the main guns have mitigating circumstances. First case, the ship is directly over a colony; hard to save a colony when you're blowing up a city-sized spaceship over it. The second case is a trap, and the Normandy is rushing to escape from an unpleasant situation. Third, the Normandy has been hacked, surprised, and is being boarded. The only time they can engage the Collector ship in a straight-up fight is the final confrontation.
      • At least in the third instance, EDI says that the primary defense systems are offline. So even if you do have the upgrade at that time, the virus made it impossible for you to use it.
    • I wonder if catching the Collectors off guard had anything to do with it as well. The Collector ship doesn't appear to have any shields up when you fire upon it.
      • The collectors had plenty of time to get the ship ready while Normandy was busy with the eye-ball fighters.
      • The Thanix cannon punches straight through shields, as it's based on Sovereign's technology. It's why he carved through so many ships in such a short period of time.
      • At Horizon, you should be allowed to destroy the ship anyway, at least as a renegade option. And since they were trying to destroy it with the defense turrets already, how is that any different from the Normandy putting in a few shots?
      • Aside from the fact that you're down there, on the ground, very close to the ship? I get the impression that firing on the Collector vessel with a cannon that powerful isn't going to be healthy for Shepard. Using the surface turrets over the Thanix is the ship-to-ship equivalent of using infantry with assault rifles over a MRLS rocket barrage over a square kilometer.
      • Also, they weren't trying to destroy it - they were trying to disable it since by that point, there were hostages aboard. Likewise, note that the Thanix is a space weapon. It shoots liquid hot metal at relativistic speeds. This means big booms when it hits but it also means a lot of collateral explosions on impact. It also means that in an atmosphere, the shot itself would probably ignite the air and do bad things.
      • The second time is an obvious trap, at the latest when you learn there are no hull breaches visible on the collector ship. You should be allowed to take a shot at it to make sure it's really disabled before boarding it.
      • Take a few shots and potentially damage the very intelligence that you're looking to collect? Brilliant idea.
      • It seems more brilliant than "Board the obvious trap."
      • They're operating from a situation where they have no acionable intelligence whatsoever. Even if it is a trap, checking out the ship is still an opportunity to gather important intelligence on the enemy.
      • Of course, the real reason you can't use the Thanix Cannon before the final battle is because Garrus takes so long to finish the calibrations...
      • Heck, even after you saved the galaxy again he's still (if he survived) finishing calibrations!
      • Well, the gun is only fired once. Maybe it requires that much calibration for every shot...

    Quarian accents 
  • What's up with the schizophrenic quarian accents? At first it seems like they all have a quasi-Eastern European accent, but then you have Kal'Reegar voiced by Adam Baldwin of all people, then you have Australian Claudia Black and Englishman Simon Templeman voicing other quarian characters. Not that I'm complaining about these awesome V As being involved in the game, but a little consistency would be nice.
    • Because unlike humans, quarians all have one single accent, and only humans can have differing and variant accents based on where they came from. It's not like this is a setting where we've already had dozens of other aliens with their own distinct and differing accents, either.
      • Right. An entire race of aliens, all living together in the same fleet, in constant contact with each other, and many of them living on the exact same ship, somehow manage to develop regional accents. Linguistics does not work that way!
      • You sure about that? The Quarian fleet is made up of thousands of ships, which ultimately hold millions of people. Clan sizes range from one ship to several. Also, even people living on the same ship are, ultimately, from another ship. The entire point of the pilgrimage is to prevent homogeneous culture and inbreeding.
      • Considering that each ship is functionally a city of its own that is actually somewhat seperate from the rest of the fleet, developing its own mini-community, yes, it does make sense.
      • Having lived in a large city for most of my life, I can personally attest that even in a city where there's a lot of movement, certain sections of the city have developed their own, easily determinable and distinct accents. In fact, that's true for most cities. That's not counting how enclosed the quarians' individual ships are. It makes perfect sense that after three hundred years, each individual ship might develop it's own quirk of an accent.
      • Except the way the quarians live is that once one reaches maturity and the Pilgrimage has been completed, they switch ships. They all do, every single one, for genetic variation purposes. I think this would be detrimental to varied accents. As for living in a city and having various accents? That generally comes from particular areas being settled by an ethnic group that already has their own accent—the accent eventually changes and adapts to form a new one. There may be a lot of movement, but the people they grow up with and around share one accent, and they generally live there most of their life.
      • It doesn't need to have to do with ethnicity. The 'Boston' accent you see in movies is actually only one specific accent native to Boston. There are four Boston accents in the city proper and several variations in the suburbs. In addition, it is entirely possible for one's accent to change over time. Many actors from heavily accented locales have to relearn to speak so they sound Generic American rather than Regional American. And this troper has been, likely due to time spent in various parts of the States, been mistaken for Finnish due to accent and mode of speech. Similarly, the 'British' accent is only one among many different such accents. Even among ethnic groups, you can have variations; Cantonese and Mandarin have different accents.
      • Exactly. I'm not saying the quarians should all talk exactly alike (some variation in accent and dialect is inevitable even within a single civilization). What I question is how vastly different the accents are from each other. If the game had some quarians with Czech-ish accents, some with Russian-sounding accents, and others with Polish-esque accents, that would be different. Those are all slavic languages and they come from very similar roots. But Australian, American, English, and Eastern European accents are simply too different from one another to have plausibly arisen all from the same civilization, particularly one as insular and inter-connected as the quarians.
      • Except that, as was pointed out above, each quarian ship is it's own small, self-contained community. Sure, they have quarians constantly coming in from their pilgrimages, but those quarians are not part of a large migration of people witht heir own accents; they're individuals scattered froma cross the fleet. That's not going to be enough to override whatever local shipboard culture they have.
    • Who's to say that they didn't already have differing accents? The Quarians we see now are the remnants of a species that numbered close to humanity who most likely weren't quite as chummy when they had a whole planet to live on. 300 years isn't enough to completely homogenize a culture. People keep forgetting that this series goes out of it's way to subvert the Planet Of Hats trope we've grown so dependent on.
    • Less awesome explanation: each of those Quarians is an Admiral. They command their own ships, each which is an island unto itself. Think of the hearing as one big United Nations meeting. Kal'Reegar's ship is probably the only ship of Quarians with Adam Baldwin voices.
    • It's actually a poorly-understood bit of linguistics; when outside accents become commonplace, the tendency of regional dialects to appear and maintain themselves is INCREASED. Happened in the US with the advent of Television, so I can't imagine it wouldn't happen here.
    • Also, they are not speaking english. The mechanics of the translators are...sketchy.
      • This Troper likes to think that the Microbes naturally add accents to help differenciate Quarians, given the fact in the suits the all look the same.

    Shepard and the non-use of certain guns 
  • ...So let me get this straight. An Engineer Shepard knows how to use grenade launchers and rocket launchers. He is no stranger to the flamethrower or your run-of-the-mill Freeze Ray. Operating a gun that shoots black holes or tactical nukes is not a big deal for him, he's been there. He's able to pick up an alien laser gun and start shooting it immediately – he's just THAT good. However, when handed a shotgun, that very Shepard is suddenly at a loss. The man has no concept of it whatsoever, unable to tell the shooty end from the trigger. This isn't game balance, this is asinine.
    • No, it is game balance. You might as well complain that Shepard doesn't stop to pick up and sort every single thermal clip, too.
    • If you want a more story-centric explanation, try this: It's not a matter of 'can't' but 'prefer not to'. A shotgun has some good place for use, yes, but it's not substantially different from a three-round burst from a pistol. Both end squishy things lives. But a rocket launcher is a substantially different weapon, Shepard's only real option when facing down a tank. Engineer Shepard can use a rifle, but his/her training isn't as strong with it as a pistol, since s/he served in the engineers corp in training. Since s/he has a perfectly good pistol or two right now, why bother? But you have to bother with the rocket launcher. A pistol just isn't a substitute.
      • Certainly Truth in Television; straight-up grunts tend to be better shots than non-frontline soldiers if for no other reason than being in combat more often, assuming you're even in a military or a branch of a military that gives everyone the same weapons training regardless of their job; if you're not, the difference is certainly more staggering. Not all US Navy personel have to qualify with a rifle; anyone who enlists in the Marines does, and they'll be better shots. (This Troper would like to note that he is not in the military and is trying to remember what friends in the military have told him of such things, so anyone with more accurate knowledge should feel free to correct the previous line if it's actually a load of crap.) Of course, this just turns the problem into a different one; why are Engineers with tech skills who aren't required to train with rifles put in command of fire teams and fighting on the front lines instead of behind the guys who know how to use guns? The excuse could simply be that combat has evolved beyond what we think of as the norm because of biotics and all the new technology, but this would be Gameplay and Story Segregation, since combat as it appears doesn't really justify this.
      • As above, Truth in Television; not every vocation in the military qualifies with every weapon available. This troper was a Combat Engineer in the Army, and the only weapons I qualified on were an assault rifle, grenade launcher and SAW. As opposed to a rifleman in the infantry, who would have experience with everything ranging from an assault rifle to the SAW, the GPMG and LAW tubes.
    • The thing with the Engineers and Biotics only being able to use certain weapons may be justified with their equipment and methods - Engineers have to carry their tech around and prefer not having to lug around more weaponry than is necessary. Or, Engineers just happen to be less trained for physical endurance, thusly prefering to lighten what they carry. Biotics also probably prefer to carry less since biotic powers are supposed to eat up a lot of energy from the person who uses it, so they try to be able to use their powers more freely without tiring themselves out.
    • Recoil? Assault rifles, snipers and shotguns possess vastly more recoil than SMGs (not sure on this one), pistols and heavy weapons (modern rocket launchers use a sandbag to reduce recoil, and notice that heavy weapon projectiles are SLOW). Hence combat specialists like soldiers, infiltrators and vanguards would be able to handle the recoil whilst other classes cannot?
      • Pistols frequently have just as much, if not more, recoil than rifles. Rifles are also easier to aim.
    • Because as an engineer I shoot fire from my hands. I don't need extra weapons.

    Mordin's history 
  • This has been bugging me for a while, but I just checked the official timeline: The krogan rebellions ended with the release of the genophage at around 800 CE, and Mass Effect 2 takes place in 2185. Salarians live for 40 years. And yet Mordin is said to have been on the team that invented the genophage. What? Did he get frozen for 2000 years and never mention it?
    • Mordin was part of a team of salarians that amended the virus, as the krogan were slowly evolving in a direction that would have corrected it.
      • Yeah, seriously. He says it outright, over and over again, if you paid attention to his dialogue. He didn't invent it, he invented a variant to deal with the krogans' evolution against it.
      • Mordin patched Genophage 1.24 to 1.37, patch notes are as follows, more junk DNA per unit, 6 seconds for Krogan to ready their charges, down from 9, and Bonk! can can now be refilled with ammo crates.

    Sovereign as a geth ship 
  • Meeting with the council, the Salarian claimed that there was no evidence that Sovereign was anything other than a Geth flagship. But how is that possible? Wouldn't it be obvious that the Geth ships are built around different design principles and in all likelyhood less advanced technology compared to Sovereign, not to mention that there would probably be evidence of the hull being much older (radiation levels and so on) than the Geth ships? It can't be that there wasn't sufficient wreckage for analysis, given that the Thanix cannon was reverse-engineered from Sovereign's armament.
    • Thing is, analysing the weapon systems doesn't mean you're learning about every other aspect of the ship. 'Less than half' of Sovereign was recovered, and even then only a fraction of it was by Citadel forces.
      • Also, it's repeatedly stated that the Council is in denial and doesn't want to admit the Reapers exist, even when the evidence is quite literally staring at them in the face.
      • ^This. Denial is very powerful and can blind even the smartest person to the truth. Even if they come around, they'll still most likely delude themselves that the Reaper threat ended with Sovreign.
    • The Heretic Geth cruisers at the Battle of the Citadel look like baby Sovereigns in flight, except without the tentacle finger bits. They evidently designed their ships based on their boss.
    • Geth technology is also rather schizophrenic; the design behind their firearms looks rather different from that of their rocket troopers, who look very different from those leaping snipers. The artillery geth look odd compared to their ships. Sovereign was built for an entirely different sort of purpose than the average transport troop-dropper the Council sees, so it shouldn't be too surprising it looks different.
    • In addition, this assumes that the geth haven't changed appearance and behavior in 300 years. It could/can be spun that Sovereign was simply new tech they came up with. After all, In ME 1, the stalkers were described as new models of geth platforms.

    Vido's escape 
  • Zaeed's loyalty mission: If you save the plant workers, Vido makes an escape in a bog standard personal gunship, which crash-lands after Zaeed's rage-fire takes out the pilot. Then both you and Zaeed give up and call it a loss, cue dramatic "you have failed me" speech. Never mind that Vido didn't make it off the planet, that you can be at the crash site in five minutes thanks to your zippy little shuttle, and the biggest wall banger, the Normandy is directly above your head in orbit, meaning that Vido doesn't have a prayer of leaving the planet even if he can pilot the gunship himself. So why don't we just go kill him? Agh!
    • Zaeed doesn't take out the pilot, just the Mook sitting next to Vido.
    • The shuttle is unarmed. A planet, an inhabited planet is a lot of space to hide on. He could head for another, better defended Blue Suns base and put it into high alert. Pretty sure the guy shot was just another mook, too. In fact, as long as they stay away from going suborbital, they should be fine... now, if they did...
    Pilot: We're clean, sir. Nothing on the radar.
    Vido: Breathes a sigh of relief.
    Cut to outside. View of the gunship from the front. Suddenly, Normandy SR-2 swings into view from behind.
    Cut to Joker. He smirks and presses a button.
    Cut to planetside. Flash of light and Shepard and Zaeed doing a Reaction Shot.
    • This also frustrated me. I only hope it leads to some good DLC resolving the issue once and for all.
    • As far as orbital bombardment or what not, Zaeed doesn't want Vido dead. He wants revenge. He's not one to ask a guy in a ship to glass Vido from space; he's the type who will walk to the ends of the galaxy for twenty years so he can shoot Vido in the head personally.
      • That's not going to work. Vido escaped because you're on the Blue Suns homeworld. Attempting orbital bombardment against the homeworld of a PMC with enough manpower to affect wars between star systems is a bad idea.

    Zaeed's accent 
  • What's Zaeed's accent?
    • British. Duh.
      • There is, of course, no such thing as a "British" accent, there are around a hundred different accents in Britain. Zaeed's accent is working class London/London gangster, the kind you might hear from Ray Winstone in everything he's in ever.
      • I always thought he was New Zealand. Or Aussie.
      • Nup he's played by Ethan Rayne (Gile's evil warlock friend) from buffy.

    Ken Donnelly 
  • How do they put a Scottish guy down in the Normandy engine room and NOT have him say "the engines can't take it!" or "I can't do it Captain! I don't have the power!"? HOW?!
    • Especially with all the Shout outs that already exist in the game. There's always Mass Effect 3...
      • If I built a ship with an Eezo core that huge, it had better have the power.
    • But he's Irish, isn't he? "Donnelly" is an Irish surname, and he's speaking in what sounds like an Irish accent (this Troper is American, so take this with a grain of salt).
    • Pretty sure he's voiced by Alistair Neil Duncan, who notably played a lead role in the Glasgow-based show Taggart.
    • I read somewhere on the Bioware forums that the resemblence was unintentional.
      • It was. Kenneth and Gabby were originally intended to be light romances like Kelly Chambers but were cut due to time constraint. Kenneth's scottish accent was incidental, though once the connection was made by the forumites at the Bioware Social Network, Bioware decided to roll with it.

    Quarians wearing their enviro-suits on the Flotilla 
  • If the quarian floatilla is supposed to be sterile, why do they still have to wear their suits? If it's only sterile because they wear the suits, how did their immune systems get shot in the first place? Logically, the first quarians to be driven out would still have had decent immune systems, therefore they wouldn't have needed the suits, therefore the environment wouldn't have been sterile, therefore their immune systems shouldn't have been affected.
    • Except that, like in Real Life, quarians are probably immune to most diseases on their homeworlds due to medical advancements. It also helps that Tali points out that their immune system adapts to disease as opposed to fights it. Once you get them on the ship, one of the first objectives of any vessel is going to be the elimination of communicable disease among a population in enclosed quarters. Once you've got the ship effectively sterilized, subsequent generations of quarians aren't going to have a strong immune system. Thus, suits. Also, as explained in Ascension, quarians also wear their suits because of the privacy it offers to each individual, since they live so tightly packed together. By the "current" point in the storyline, the quarians wear suits out of both functionality and psychological necessity.
    • The Flotilla is not entirely sterile. It's mentioned in the Codex that only some of the ships are sterile, and they are used for any out-of-suit activity.
      • And the ship you see is probably specifically for interacting with other species, so the Quarians on it have to wear suits 24/7
    • Remembering how delicate the quarians' constitutions are and how rickety most of their equipment is, it makes sense that they wear their suits. All it'd take is one of their chewing-gum-and-prayer salvaged air filters giving out to kill an entire ship.
    • However, something still bugs me with the quarian's weaks immune systems. It's a galaxy where rubbing some medi-paste on any wound heal it in seconds, where a motivated enough krogan can pull off a marvel of genetics enginnering (Grunt), where humans are diagnosticed and healed of any genetic defects before birth (which probably explain the one body-type, but doesn't explain Joker), where a single bioweapon can pretty much wipe out an entire race by going through the less evident way (genophage) and stay incurable for hundred of years. And finally, it's a galaxy where medical science is so advanced that, provided you have some money to burn, you can give The Grim Reaper the finger and resurrect somebody who suffered a bad case of being reduced to the shape and aspect of a cold hamburger. Now, someone explain me, how in hell did it never come to the quarian minds to use some of that medical hypertech to solve their health problem overnight!
      • Keywords- provided that they have money to burn. The Quarians don't have money to burn, all of their financial resources are going towards replacing decaying ships and supplying basic survival needs (food, water). They don't get large quantities of mass immune boosters for the same reason that they don't get a planet to geo-engineer- its too expensive. They could probably afford temporary immunity boosters, but, seeing as how they lack antibodies for any diseases, it wouldn't last, and they'd need some sort of super-vaccine for every ambient disease in existence. Plus, assuming Quarian diseases are unique to quarians, there wouldn't be any such super-vaccines ready made to purchase for their species; they'd have to fund the R&D themselves and, as mentioned, they don't have the credits for that.
      • Unless there's medical tech to fully and completely eliminate all dangers of getting a disease (which there isn't in this setting) the quarians are still going to get sick regardless. And the quarians do have technology to help their immune systems; did you miss the part where Tali says that all quarians going on pilgramages have implants to strengthen their immune systems?
      • No, but those implants seems stupidly useless. Gene therapy is a common and implied to be fairly cheap tech in this setting. Now, I'm no scientist, but it should possible to genetically program a permanent boost in their immune system. Furthermore, they have money to burn since they constantly funding research programs to find a way to disable the geth, regularly buy used ships, and hell, manage to keep themselves from starving.
      • "A permanent boost to the immune system" isn't a simple thing, unless you want all sorts of horrible auto-immune disorders. The therapy required would likely require redesigning the quarian immune system from the ground up (hence Tali's mention of the difference in time until the suits were unnecessary between retaking the quarian homeworld versus a new colony as being "60 years versus 600 years"). There's even an existing treatment that allows quarians to lose the suits, mentioned in an advert on Illium - and, IIRC, it boasts a whopping 30% mortality rate.
      • Now, I'm no scientist, but it should possible to genetically program a permanent boost in their immune system No evidence of this in the setting; there's a lot of genetic upgrades, but they're limited even for the well-off and wealthy on the Citadel. IIRC, talking with the Binary Helix sales rep on Noveria, he never mentions immunization boosters. And as for the "money to burn" if you'll notice the ship being used to research the geth was small, had a limited crew, was pretty cramped, etc. Keeping themselves from starving is no indicator that they have "money to burn" as they apparently use fairly basic synthetic food rations supplemented by hydroponics on their liveships (they have neither the money nor the space to spare for livestock) and the fact that they have to buy used spaceships is a pretty good indicator of their limited resources.
      • Money isn't the only concern. Tali mentions in the second game that the quarians' immune systems always functioned differently than those of most species. Repairing them to functional levels would likely require radically altering their physiology in a manner almost certain to cause severe problems down the road. The only relatively safe engineering would probably have to be done over numerous generations just to ensure that they don't end up having kids without lungs.
      • The Codex mentions that the quarian homeworld didn't have much in the way of microbial diseases.
      • IIRC, the Codex/Tali says that the most of the microbial life on the Quarian homeworld evolved to be nearly uniformly symbiotic in nature, hence why the quarians don't actually get sick, they just have varying degrees of allergic reactions. And why they can't be in the same atmosphere as each other: each Quarian acquires through their lifetime a unique combination of infections, that react harmfully when another is exposed to them.

    Garrus' armour 
  • Why is Garrus' loyalty armor damaged too? And in exactly the same way? And how come he never cleans up the blood on his face?
    • It's simply a repainting of the old armor. As for the "blood," that's actually scar tissue. Turian blood is blue-black.
      • Rule of Cool.
      • If it's 'repainted' that doesn't explain how you can change it back on a whim. They already had a model of Garrus with intact armour, they could have retextured that one to use for his loyalty armour.
      • If it's repainted, you can change it back "on a whim" because you can just repaint it. Especially considering that Legion's loyalty "armor" is obviously a repainting, unless you're seriously going to argue that Shepard has two matching, damaged, custom-designed geth platforms. With the exception of Jack actually putting on a shirt, and some of the lines on Miranda's uniform changing, just about all of the loyalty outfits are simply repaintings.
  • Why doesn't Cerberus or Shepard buy him some new armour? Missile-penetrated armour is bound to have a lot of damage under the surface that makes it less effective. Turian armour is commonplace and Shepard and the organisation supporting her has cash coming out of every pore. It may not be Cerberus's job to support the aliens Shepard takes on board, but since they helped patch him up and need him ready for the mission it shouldn't be too much expense to get him some new armour.
    • If you're a female Shepard in a relationship with Garrus you'd think she'd get him some new armour out of her own pocket, just out of concern for his safety.
      • Given the motivation for his loyalty mission, Garrus might insist on wearing the damaged armour to remind him of a mistake. This didn't seem to be mentioned in a conversation, though.
      • Bioware made a new mesh for the damaged armour and didn't want to waste it after that one cutscene?
      • Rule of Cool. They wanted your old companion to look more badass; like Shepard is scarred and filled with cybernetics, Garrus gets scarring and a bit of a cyber-makeover too.
    • It seems perfectly reasonable that Garrus would wear armor that is damaged for sentimental reasons. The only points on the armor that appear to be damaged is a single large hole along the collar, which is almost cosmetic for all the use it would realistically have in a battle.
    • It's a symbol for Garrus' heroic journey. Just like Shepard's scars. Just like Shepard's death. It's mentioned elsewhere on this wiki that Garrus is, in many ways, just like Sheppard.
    • But, it's worth mentioning one of the upgrades that it is possible to install on the Normandy is an advanced med-bay that can heal facial scars. Sheppard (depending on how you play) may decide to use the feature. If Garrus is 'just like Sheppard', wouldn't he use it too?
    • Wouldn't work. The scar upgrade is meant to repair human damage. At best it would make Garrus' scars worse, at worst kill him. Same deal with Joker and his legs; his bones aren't strong enough to support the weave.

    Modular thermal clips 
  • Another ammo bugging from ME 2, somewhat related to the other entries about it here; if the thermal clips are completely modular, then they should be able to fit into any weapon, at any time. However, you can run out of thermal clips for specific weapons, while you still have clips for others. Perhaps the Bioware didn't want to deal with "ammo pool" complaints, but I haven't thought up a satisfying explanation in-universe for this phenomenon yet. The closest I've been able to figure is that clips "lock" to a certain weapon type when you pick them up, but that doesn't make much sense at all.
    • When Shepard picks a clip up, he sticks it into either the weapon he's holding or a weapon that has less than maximum ammo. Each weapon can hold multiple clips. Every time he ejects one, a new one slides into place - we never see him load a new one, just eject the previous one. Simple.
      • Except every weapon gets a clip. The amount of ammo is not related to how much a clip gives (Claymore changes clip every shot, every pickup gives 4-5 shots...)
      • Substitute "ammo" for "thermal clips".
    • Do we actually know how long the clips coming out of a gun are? Has anyone done the math on this? Could be that the clips you find lying on the ground are two or three clips stuck together.
    • If you take the renegade path in Zaeed's loyalty mission, there's a scene where he ejects a thermal clip from his pistol in a close shot, and you get a good look at it. It's clearly much shorter than the clips you pick up off the ground, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 the length. So yes, what you pick up are packs of multiple clips.
  • While on the subject of thermal clips, can anyone adequately explain why you can't just wait for your weapon to air-cool? After all, I think even the codex explains that ejecting the thermal clip is just a quick way to cool the weapon down for intense firefights.
    • I would assume that a gun in Mass Effect heating up to the point of locking itself would be substantially hot. An (likely inadequate) example is if your car overheats and shuts down. It's not going to be cool enough to run after 10 seconds, it takes a while for something that hot to cool down to an acceptable running temperature. The heat sinks became an effective way of getting use out of the weapon without causing heat damage to the gun. Considering that the clips are designed to be universally usable, just killing the guys shooting you and taking their spares is the most efficient path.
  • The most efficient way is to use both the removable heatsinks and the quick cooling system from the first game. Instead of tossing the used heatsink, swap it into an external cooler and it's ready to go again by the time you finish the new one. Notice how enemy characters never drop more than one spare heatsink, yet have unlimited ammo...
  • Link to a relevant discussion. Feel free to revive this.

    Same-sex romance 
  • Why do we keep getting shafted on same-sex romance options? Yes, I know the percentage of players who want this are a minority, and because of this, it wasn't so bad when the issue was brought up for the original and someone from Bioware hit the forum and explained that they had to start cutting things to make deadline and, thus, couldn't do the actual cutscenes despite the voice-overs being done. It's rather ridiculous that the more low-key interviews with the dev team confirmed we'd get this option in the second game, and there's apparently unused voiceovers for a male Shepard paired with Thane, but now the excuse is basically "Shepard is too pre-defined for that to work." Despite Shepard being the customizable protagonist of a role-playing game, where the ability for the player to make choices in how s/he looks and handles things is a selling point. Much as it sounds like a tin-foil hat conspiracy theory, I can't say I'd be shocked if it's just Executive Meddling over fears of aliennating the shooter demographic with polite spin on top.
    • Bioware have actually addressed this in another interview, though I can't - sadly - find the link to it right now. Basically they're afraid of their ability to approach the issue in a manner that's interesting without being gimmicky, and being able to acknowledge the fact it's a homosexual relationship without that being the only pull. Dragon Age was a step in the right direction, but the writing on those felt a bit wonky, IMO, for those reasons.
    • Even if Bioware did want to please the minority of fans who want to make gay Shepards, you have to remember that the other characters are all clearly defined in both personality and sexual orientation (asari non-withstanding). They'd either have to make everybody bisexual, or introduce a number of homosexual characters just to fill the niche. That would not only weaken the story, but would most likely be insulting to real life homosexuals. Homosexual relationships are such a hot-button issue that there's no good outcome for including such a thing and nowhere near enough demand to warrant taking such a risk for a gimmick relationship.
      • They don't have to create a completely new character just to have a gay stereotype for a Five-Token Band. Just pick one who couldn't be romanced before. How would that be insulting?
      • Easily. Let's take Garrus - everyone loves him. In the third game he's suddenly gay and a Male Shepard can have a relationship with him. Why couldn't this take place in the second game? Because it's a very clear pander to the fans that want a gay Shepard that makes no sense. New characters are the only way to go. So if you have a Fem Shepard that desperately wanted to do the horizontal-potentially-fatal-tango with Tali, bad luck. Back to
      • That's not what I said. There are still some characters who haven't been romanceable by ANYONE so far. I never suggested Garrus and Tali, and they weren't romanceable in the first game so there's a precedent for that.
      • What characters were you thinking of, just out of curiousity? I never thought Tali or Garrus would be love interests.
      • I don't know, as I haven't played the games, I was just pointing out a third option.
      • And then you have Kelly, who seems almost like a human equivalent of an asari in this way.
      • Many counterpoints to this:
      • In the first game, we don't know anyone going in, and in the second game, out of ten party members, one is Asari, one is a robot, and two are returning from the first. That leaves a writer with six more characters to flesh out in ways that aren't constrained by previous expectations and/or established cannon.
      • Let's assume that the originally intended options existed; that means Williams, Alenko and Thane would be bisexual, and that hardly translates to Everyone Is Bi.
      • Getting into Thane more, how do we know Drell sex drives even discriminate between genders as a norm? Shepard can play the part of the ignorant human either politely asking for alien cultures to be explained or an ass saying he doesn't have time for it for plenty of other matters, would it be so bizarre of a dialog option to say to Thane, "Wait, didn't you mention a wife and son?" Cue either an explanation that starts with "Well, unlike humans..." or "Well, yes, but some of us swing both ways just like some humans do."
      • What does having bisexual instead of completely homosexual characters matter, anyway? It's not like the game actually is a sex simulator like Cooper Lawerence ranted on about, you're not going to get a sidequest to get an orgy going with an XP bonus if you mix up the genders are much as possible. It's clear the romance options are painting monogomy as the preferred relationship style, romancing someone with an imported save that had a romance in the first game is treated as a cold act towards the original romance, even if it's not dealt with in dialog. There are bisexuals who have monogomous relationships and don't cheat on their signifigant other with the opposite gender just because they're also attracted to it.
    • A Shepard-Thane relationship would make Thane bisexual, so it doesn't really work.
      • What does that have to do with anything?
      • Because it's still not a same-sex romance, it's a re-hash of Liara from ME1.
      • The problem with Liara isn't that she's bisexual, it's that she's not female. She's a member of a mono-gendered species that happens to seem female. Thus, it's not really a gay option, it's an approximation of one: Shepard isn't pursuing another woman, she's pursuing a woman-shaped alien, no more intrinsically female than Legion is male. Thane, however, is a male member of a bi-gendered species, so if a male Shepard could pursue him, it is actually a gay option.
      • Technically, the asari aren't female. In every other respect they are. They're described in the Codex as an all-female race. It's just an excuse to say "see, we don't actually have any homosexuals!" and still get away with it.

  • This troper's only beef is that any implied same-sex relationship is ALWAYS girl-on-girl. I have a point here, keep reading. I'll believe the asari are "mono-gendered" and NOT women, and so fem Shepard ISN'T engaging in homosexuality or even bisexuality. FINE ... BUT are we forgetting yeoman Kelly Chambers? Human. Female. Granted, fem Shepard doesn't sleep with her on-screen, but having her dance for you is intentional and can AT LEAST be considered bi.
    • So my suggestion for justice is this; give us a male Kelly Chambers too! A male yeoman that could be wooable by the fem OR male Shepard, do the little "dinner and a dance" bit in their room as well, and not amount to a Paramour-romance. Exact same thing, shouldn't be a problem, should it? I see no problem myself~
      • I could go a step more and say give us another "mono-gendered" race, which is humanoid and more masculine and can be romanced by either Shepard; again, something which shouldn't be a problem whatsoever~

  • I've heard rumors that one of the DLC being worked on would increase the scope of the existing romantic options, as well as add in new ones (including homosexual ones). If this is true it would placate the issues here right? does anyone have more solid info about it?
    • No new romance options. Maybe DLC orientated around some of the romanceable characters, but it would have to be accessible to Shepards that didn't romance them, and the cost of bring the voice artists back pretty much makes it a pipe dream. Best you can hope for is a few extra conversations when Bioware finally releases that "bridging" DLC or brings out an expansion pack.

    Renegade Shepard and the end-game decisions 
  • This isn't Fridge Logic, I apologize, but something that bugs me is the apparent complete worship directed at Renegade Shepard. Sure, he/she undoubtedly has some badass moments, I won't argue at all against telling Udina to shut his trap or the infamous Shepard Punch. But then there's the moment where Renegade Shepard will execute Shiala, a woman who not only is clearly against Saren, but just helped him out. Or the time when he/she will hand over incriminating evidence to the Corrupt Corporate Executive Anoleis and justify him/herself to Lorik Qui'in with Insane rollLogic. And that's not even bringing up his/her xenophobic human superiority complex, which leaves a lot of the alien people he/she meets shaking their heads about how their grievances against humans are justified. Sure, he's a badass, but so is Paragon Shepard, and he/she never seems to get any credit just because he/she usually solves problems with words and diplomacy instead of bullets and threats. A lot of the time, Renegade Shepard seems like a whiny child throwing a fit — or, in some of the worst cases, a troll — and it bugs me that people seem to praise him/her for that.
    • In the original Mass Effect, Paragon Shepard was essentially Mother Theresa, and usually imparted enlightenment upon those s/he encountered. Paragon Shepard's dialog options were succinct and insightful, but ultimately colorless. Renegade Shepard, on the other hand, was a hilarious wild card and half of the fun of playing as him/her was finding out what would happen next. Mass Effect 2 did a lot to fix this, with Paragon Shepard having a lot more color than just being a Boring Invincible Hero. An example is how s/he handles the lost Krogan scout ("You? I said a badass...not some wimp whining like a quarian with a tummy ache.") and plenty more besides. This troper plays a roughly 80-90% Paragon Shepard in both games (only deviating for choices I disagree with, such as saving the Council over defeating Sovereign or destroying the Collector base).
      • This. This bugs me more than anything. Paragon Shepard was hardly Stupid Good in the first game. S/he was simply diplomatic, understanding and appreciative of cultural differences, not to mention very charismatic. In fact, this is one of the reasons I truly enjoyed being Paragon Shepard, and continued to enjoy it throughout the second game - s/he was still very much in character. If anything, Paragon Shepard can be summed up by Grunt: "Offer one hand and arm the other." The entire point, to me, seemed to be that patience, compassion and the will to follow one's own moral code in the face of adversity will gain one just as many friends and powerful allies, if not more, than any amount of hardass posturing and bitching about how I Did What I Had to Do. But the sad fact is that in a game with any moral choices, the good option will be viewed as the "wussy" path. The moment the "good" character starts punching people or insulting them, then they get their respect. I realize that the Renegade path holds some appeal, as it allows you to behave in a fashion that would get you punched in the face in real life, but...for God's sake, Good Is Not Dumb, and I'm glad that the game, at least, proves it - even if it's not appreciated.
      • I suppose that makes sense, though again, the idea that people find it hilarious to troll the galaxy strikes me as disturbing — but then, I guess it's better to do that in a fictional game with no outer consequences. Having noticed that most of my complaints apply to the original game more than the second, I also agree that Mass Effect 2 went a long way towards making Paragon Shepard have color...but I think the same also goes for Renegade Shepard, who seems less like a troll and more like the hardened, grizzled space marine he's supposed to be. Perhaps the conclusion to be drawn here is that the original game's portrayals aren't actually that realistically human?
      • It is, however, something of a scenario flaw that the Paragon path (in both games) ends in a choice that is so obviously Lawful Stupid that many players will surely bolt at the last moment and see the Renegade ending, even if they were consistently Paragonizing their way through the game...
      • Is it really Lawful Stupid to decide not to give valuable mysterious Reaper technology to The Illusive Man?
      • Indeed. And you have to remember the Derelict Reaper. There is absolutely no safe way to handle that technology. No matter how badly you break it, how carefully you handle it, it never fully dies. All the attempts to research it would just benefit the Reapers in the long run. And even if you consider the technology in itself worth salvaging despite of the immense risks, think twice before giving it to a self-acclaimed fanatic supremacist who uses the words "at any cost" way too many times for comfort. Would you like to see him indoctrinated by the dead remains of the Reaper Larva?
      • Do you know what Lawful Stupid refers to? Saving the governing body of the galaxy, unhelpful as they may have been to you, is a far smarter act than letting them die out of spite (ensuring that humans become even more distrusted than before at a time where working together is absolutely vital). Refusing technology from a station where who knows how many millions of innocents were horribly murdered is common decency. Let's not even get into the idea of giving said murdering technology to Cerberus. Regardless of how much money they threw at you, the organization cannot be truly trusted. The only reason the Illusive Man didn't try to screw you more is because the Collectors were too big a threat to risk it. Besides, remember what happened to everybody else who's messed with seemingly benign Reaper technology? Get over yourself, these were "good" decisions in every sense of the term.
There are three choices at the end of Mass Effect, and only the true Renegade response kills the Council out of "spite". The Neutral response (and the one which is canon if you don't import a character) involves Shepard deciding that it's too risky to waste time saving the Destiny Ascension while Sovereign is seconds away from inviting the Reaper army through the relay. I agreed with that. I had no real issue with the Council, but you did everything you could to warn them of this before it happened, and Sovereign was about to kill every living creature ever born. I'm sorry, but I honestly have to say that I would have made that choice. And, in Mass Effect 2, not using the Collector Station because "it doesn't seem right" strikes me as sensible as being bombarded by enemy tanks, capturing one of them, and refusing to use it against the rest because some of your unit got killed by them.
  • Have you forgotten what happened to everyone who's ever attempted to tamper with Reaper technology? None of it can be trusted, no matter how careful you believe yourself to be. Even if you don't have any moral objections to just scooping out the bodies of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians so you can have a new toy to poke around with, do you really think that Cerberus can be trusted with such a thing? The Reapers must be destroyed, that is of no dispute, but after they are gone, allowing a group with as few moral or legal constraints as Cerberus to be have free reign of such technology is nothing short of idiotic. The Illusive Man seemed helpful enough, but the game makes it clear that he's just as big of a zealot as ever. Shepard's not being stupidly moral, s/he's just not letting fear of the Reapers cloud their judgment. As for the saving the council, it's not a good idea to allow the most powerful warship (and most powerful people) you have to be destroyed if you can avoid it.
  • Also, enemy tanks generally don't have Mind Rape abilities.
  • EDI is a counter to that argument. She was constructed and given programs that were reverse-engineered from Sovereign's remains. That is the only reason you are able to use the Reaper IFF, learn how the Collector technology works, or anything of the like. Oh, and she was created by Cerberus. Yeah, I hate the Illusive Man as much as anybody else, but wars make for strange bedfellows. Also, keep in mind that the Collector Station was just that—a station, and not a Reaper. Not all tech the Reapers use indoctrinates people (or else, everyone on the Citadel is in big trouble). Sure, it could have an indoctrination device somewhere, but worrying about that is just as much letting "fear compromise you" as taking a risk to use the technology. Sure, if I had a choice, I'd give the technology to the Alliance . . . but that isn't an option (and I don't understand why not). Neither answer is perfect, but I don't see blowing up the station as OBVIOUSLY better. And as for the Council: that's just it—at the time you make the decision, how can you possibly know it could be avoided? As far as you know at that time, you're trying to save ONE warship while thousands of far more powerful ones are moments away from arriving.
  • Not to mention that you're basically prioritizing a handful of politicians over hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
  • Not to be a Devil's Advocate, but if you're speaking of the dead Alliance soldiers, Shepard states in Mass Effect 2 that the crew of the Destiny Ascension alone carried more lives than were lost on the part of the Alliance. But I could also take that statement to mean that you were talking about the lives on the Citadel and, by extension, the rest of Citadel Space, in which case your numbers are a bit small.
  • No, I'm saying that allowing Cerberus to get anywhere near the Collector ship is far too stupid an idea to even contemplate. EDI was created from some of Soverign, I'll admit, but that ship still has a partially formed reaper inside of it and is located in an area where absolutely nothing could hope to touch it posessors. Giving it to the Alliance doesn't make it any less dangerous no matter how tempting its knowledge may be. Yeah, it has enourmous potnetial, but far, far too many risks to be worth keeping. (Again, ignoring the fact that the ship served as the staging ground for incalcualbe atrocities, as you seem to be doing.) As for the Council, as said before, the Destiny's Ascension had a crew of more than 10,000 and is the single toughest weapon you have. In saving it, the Alliance lost eight ships and maybe 400 soldiers, but also gained the trust of the entire galactic community (wheras the other endings note that humanity's bad reputation got even worse for all their work). If you want to play the numbers game, saving the ship spared far more lives than ignoring it to take extra potshots at our favorite space squid.
I'm not ignoring anything (and please stop making personal attacks). As I said before, Cerberus is not my ideal group to handle this, but I don't see this as a black-and-white case either. If Cerberus hadn't done what they had with EDI, the Lazarus Project, and outright disobeying Citadel protocol, everything in Mass Effect 2 never would have happened. I'm not saying that they're the best people to handle this. But, something is sometimes better than nothing. Also, every argument that's been made about the Council is in retrospect. Hindsight is 20/20, and yes, according to the sequel, saving the Council turns out to be the right thing to do. But that doesn't matter at the time it happens. Again, when you're making that choice, you have NO IDEA what's going to happen when you give that order. Keep in mind that, as your party members told you, you were risking the lives of everyone in the galaxy by saving the Destiny Ascension. Yes, Paragon Shepard managed to find a way anyway, but this coincides with the game's Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. NEITHER CHOICE IS WRONG. Also, as far as the technology being "too dangerous": remember that the Reaper IFF (the one that, you know, saves the day) was gotten by sacrificing an entire crew of researchers. It strikes me as hypocritical to use an IFF that so many people suffered a Fate Worse Than eath to acquire, but not the Collector Station. Yes, Cerberus has no idea that a dead Reaper could still indoctrinate, but now they do. If Shepard would want to make a difference, s/he could make damn sure that Cerberus didn't risk any lives.
  • I apologize if my comments seemed personal, but your argument ignored the very large moral component here. Anyway, Shepard doesn't have any influence on Cerberus. The Illusive Man may bankroll the crew, but he never even pretends that you have a say in how things outside of the mission get done. The Illusive Man made sure that Shepard would be totally dependent on his goodwill and incapable of getting any useful information on the organization during the game. Nothing short of declaring out and out war on Cerberus would allow Shepard to affect anything. We are talking about a guy who put Reaper implants into a former employee, I doubt he's quite as in control as he likes to believe. As for the "20/20 hindsight" argument, Shepard seems to be a smart enough man/woman to know that allowing the leaders of the galaxy to die might just have some negative consequences down the road and that having the most powerful Citadel ship in the galaxy working tends to make battles easier.
  • My argument wasn't ignoring the moral component, but instead painting more Gray on the issue than Black and White. But again, this depends on the individual players' concept of Idealism vs Cynicism. You may argue that "Shepard" should know that two wrongs don't make a right, but that's not what the game is about. You are Shepard, so obstensibly, s/he knows what you know. The entire point to the Renegade/Paragon/Neutral choices is that you can tell the story the way that you see it happening, based on your own viewpoint. Some people feel that victory is worth any price; others feel that the high road is the best choice. The fact that both choices turned out to be "right" doesn't make the Paragon choice MORE right. However, I agree that the Illusive Man is a shady bastard; I've never argued that. However, the main argument about Cerberus in Mass Effect 2 is that even THOSE types of people have uses. And as I said, whether or not you agree with that or see the world in complete Black and White is the entire POINT of Mass Effect.
  • A minor point, but you're forgetting that the dead Reaper in the Collector Base isn't the only thing that can affect the minds of anyone TIM sends there. Mordin mentions that Collector tech was purposely designed to ensure its users remained obedient to the Collector-General/Harbinger. There's also the arguments put forth by Mordin and Legion that giving a species the next level of technology before they're ready has disastrous consequences: the krogan destroy themselves in a nuclear war, then get infected by the genophage; the heretic geth becomes Sovereign's slaves. Argubly, it's irrelevant when extinction is a real possiblity, but chances are it will be very bad in the long run, especially if Cerberus is in control.
  • There's nothing that can ultimately be done about that. Unless every race stops using the Citadel, FTL travel, and mass effect drives, then it's far too late. Every single space-faring species in the series is using technology that was shared between each other, gained from the Protheans, or left from the Reapers. Mordin's argument is valid, but moot. Also, the "obedience design" obviously isn't true for ALL pieces of technology—after all, you can use a Collector gun, and capturing one of the "swarm" bugs allowed Mordin to develop a countermeasure for it. As far as the story is concerned, something good has come about from every instance where Collector/Reaper tech has been studied.
  • Studying the bait technology, designed specifically to be really convienent to sapient species, does lead to good things. Studying the site of who knows how many genocides that you know damn well were in regular contact with the Reapers themselves and house one seemingly dead Reaper is not the best idea. Yeah, the Thanix cannon does show some value in observing a tiny chunk of a Reaper, but that's not what you're suggesting. The Collector base isn't a simple gun or a tank, it's a facilty whose sole purpose was to facilitate horrific genetic experiments in hopes of making a Reaper. Knowing your enemy is all well and good, but giving this to a group you know are very much willing to sacrifice untold innocent lives for a slight edge will not end well in the long run. The Illusive Man has his uses, the entire game showed that, but he's served his purpose well enough. Both options involve incredible risks and either will probably have serious reprocussions, but, as you said, we won't know which will turn out worse until the third game.
  • Studying Sovereign and the Derelict Reaper to create EDI and the IFF doesn't count as "bait technology". Anyway, the way I see it is this: if an alien race showed up and hit the Western USA with a weapon so hard that it blew up the entire US coastline, we'd be fools not to try and understand how it works. Sure, I feel sick for doing this off the bodies of countless millions, but I'd rather their deaths not be in vain. If you disagree with that, that's your business.
  • Um, the "mathematical" argument for saving the Council strikes me as being somewhat moot. The plot makes it very clear that if Sovereign manages to activate the Citadel then that's it, everyone's dead no matter who or what you purportedly "save". In this circumstance diverting precious fleet assets to protecting the Destiny Ascension from the Geth (and note that the Alliance fleet isn't famed for being particularly powerful anyway) is not an "honorable choice", it's just folly...
  • No, diverting resources to ensure that the strongest ship in your entire fleet survives and is still capable of affecting the battle rather than launch ships you know are woefully under equipped isn't exactly the wisest course of action. Destiny's Ascension's guns are easily worth the loss of a few ships.
  • That wasn't what the above troper was saying. The choice the game gives you at the time (let's keep anything we learn in Mass Effect 2 out of this) is stopping the Reapers from showing up or saving the Council. It wasn't about saving the Alliance or the Destiny Ascension.
  • Um, no, the choice was more between "stop Sovereign now" or "stop Sovereign after saving the most politically powerful people in the galaxy." It's not like Shepard was going to dismiss the giant scuttlefish machine that was gripping onto the Citadel Tower right in front of him, not to mention the threat of total galactic extermination, in order to save the Council.
  • No. The game (and your party) sell the idea that taking the time to save the Destiny Ascension will allow Sovereign to summon the Reapers. Check out this video (skip to about 4:00) and see for yourself. Both Garrus and Liara are of the mind that the choice is between risking Sovereign's victory and saving a few politicians. Again, we know now that whatever decison you make doesn't make a difference, but, at the time, the threat of Sovereign succeeding was very real.
  • This is true, and I did not mean that focusing on Sovereign was a bad idea, just not the best idea. I admit, saving the Council is a risk, but leaving an active Geth fleet sitting right behind you and hoping that when they destroy your most powerful ship, and the few remaining allies that surround it, don't screw up your plans to attack the Reaper is fairly short sighted. All three options are tactically vaild, but saving the Council is hardly an example of "Lawful Stupid" as the above poster claimed.
  • As for the Collector base. Assuming that Cerberus could somehow avoid any and all the dangers of Reaper technology and reverse engineer it perfectly within a few years, do you really think that they will use it for the good of all? Don't let fear of the Reapers cloud your judgement, the Illusive Man has never been trustworthy. He doesn't give a damn about anything other than humanity and even then, he's not affiliated with 99+ % of the species or any government. Cerberus isn't the type to share knowledge freely and probably won't allow everybody else to properly prepare for the Reapers. Allowing them to have this technology and a stronghold in an area of space that nobody but them could hope to survive will not end well. Remember, the organization doesn't have anywhere near the resources to produce a standing army, so any "solution" they come up with will almost certainly be drastic (and knowing their love of Playing With Syringes, unpleasent). Destroying the base denies both them and the Reapers a valuable resource and allows for Shepard to begin his/her preparations for the coming war.
  • That's true. But, again, I argue that no answer is "wrong". By my logic, Cerberus has already proven that, regardless of their true motives, they are capable of accomplishing goals that no one else can. EDI, the rebuilt Normandy, the Reaper IFF, and several other key items were developed by them either illegally or at great risk to loss of life. The Alliance and the Citadel are the cautious ones, who let "common decency" and political fallout dictate what they will and won't do. I'd much prefer to share my findings with them, but they don't seem interested. Believe me, I know that Cerberus has a Xanatos Gambit somewhere, ready to stab the Citadel in the back . . . but in war, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I don't see this as "clouding my judgement". As has been said, there is no right answer. But, anyway, none of us will know for sure until the next game.
  • Theoretically speaking, couldn't Cerberus use the Collector base to study how indoctrination works, and then come up with some sort of defence against it? If I were the Illusive Man, that would be the first thing I focus on, so my researchers won't get their brains fried and because that would be an incredibly useful thing to have when fighting the Reapers. Cerberus might not have an army, but that doesn't mean that whatever they come up with can't just be used by the Citadel instead.
  • Point, but the way I see it, Reaper tech is waaaaaaaaay more advanced than anything Cerberus (or anyone, for that matter) has ever seen. Saren tried to study indoctrination, which didn't end all that well for him. Although the possibility of that happening to TIM are slim (he probably wouldn't ever come within 100 lightyears of the place personally), having a whole team of researchers go gaga and start working against Cerberus from within wouldn't exactly make life easy either. And, as a troper above said, I really can't see Cerberus sharing much of anything it learns with Citadel.
  • -*** Actually, Saren studying indoctrination helped out a great deal—just not for him. By the time he knew enough about it, it was too late for himself, but the information about how it works helped Benezia break briefly out of its control. The Illusive Man himself states before he "Reaper IFF" mission that he doesn't like to waste "resources' (his euphemism for human lives) on risky things like that, but he'll do what he has to. Furthermore, Reaper tech has been shown to be reverse-engineerable, or else EDI wouldn't have been created, nor would she be able to hack into Collector databases, use their tech, or install the IFF. My personal theory is that, because the Reapers always take steps to ensure that every galactic civilization both develops along similar lines AND remains technologically inferior to their own, their technological advancement isn't as high as it should be for beings that are literally millions of years old. Both Mordin and Legion hint at this during conversation. So, in the end, it's not really a question of whether or not studying the Reaper technology will be useful: because it WILL be. The real question is if you consider it worth risking lives and/or letting Cerberus control.
  • -*** Um... yay, Cerberus found a way to prevent Indoctrination! Oh... oh. Crap. They also found a way to CAUSE Indoctrination... Yay, go Cerberus! We love you, TIM! braaaaaiiiiiiinnnsss....
  • All the more reason why as many people should study it as possible.
  • But there is no way to tell if this is the truly 'bad' choice. As all we know, TIM is a bastard, who has the mind of humanity at heart, even if he uses immoral ways to do it. But one outcome is that he could use his limitless resources to study the Reapers, and make it easier for Shepard to stop them. But he could also use this technology against all alien life, and even the citadel, to make himself (or humanity) supreme ruler of space. All we know is that if he studies Reaper technology, then it will be beneficial for Cerberus, and possibly indirectly/directly help Shepard, but only time will tell that TIM will use it for his Xenophobic agenda. This is the point of Mass Effect, making decisions without knowing the outcome of them, and most of the outcomes usually have a shade of gray. However, my bias is towards Cerberus studying Reaper technology, because I feel that whatever can save humanity against Reapers can help the entire Galactic community, and Cerberus is just a stepping stone that is willing to help, it is just a frustrating shame that they are too willing to abuse 'resources' to do so.
  • Regarding the Collector base... I never got why you hand it off to Cerberus in the first place. Looking at the facts... the only ship in the galaxy equipped with the Reaper IFF to go through Omega 4 is the Normandy - you need Normandy to get to it. And, as has been gone over repeatedly, Cerberus is not trustworthy. Frankly, I assumed Shep was just keeping it for herself. As has been pointed out, it is a base that no one can attack. Shepard may well be going into business for him/herself, given that the Council is dangerously incompetent (and authoritarian), and Cerberus is psychotic, and it'd make a great start.
  • Destroying the Collector base is the moral choice. The things that went down there were horrific, absolutely reprehensible, and it is simply not right to use knowledge gleaned through such despicable means. A similar debate took place after WW 2, whether to use or destroy knowledge the Nazi scientists acquired through sick experiments. The choice then was to destroy it, because to keep it would have validated the techniques. It's similar here. as for the Ascension, it's more complicated, but it's still probably the more moral choice - the Ascension had civilians on board, in the form of the Council and, I would assume, their staffs. Saving civilians is almost always the right thing to do. It's also important to keep the long view in mind. It's pretty reasonable to assume letting the Council die would make the other races even more suspicious of the humans, while saving them would earn the gratitude of the galactic community (and having the Council owe you their lives can't be a bad thing). It's a short-term risk for long-term gain. Plus, saving the Ascension means taking out some geth ships, which would keep them from bothering you later.
  • Most people are forgetting the purpose of both end machines. The Ascension is a powerful warship, and does more than just carry the Council. It, and the Turian fleet, are being attacked by Geth while Sovreign makes a move for the Citadel. The decision is not, Save the Council, or Stop Sovreign. Its more of, fire on the Geth too, or just go for the Reaper. The first one is risky, but in context is not pointless at all. While it is a risk, you gain both savior status and benefit in the second game. In the second game, people are seriously overplaying the usefulness of the base. The Reaper embryo is the only new technology encountered there. All the computers, weapons and other trivial things can either be found lying around on Horizon, were hacked out of the ship by EDI, or exist in more advanced form in the Reaper parts Cerberus stole. The only technology that would be revelatory would be how to kill people and make a Reaper. Which I don't think Cerberus should have.
    • You are completely wrong about the base, to put it bluntly. I'm not quite sure what "trivial things" you are talking about or what that is suppose to do with the base, but nowhere in the galaxy can you find any technology on par with what you can get at the base. Sovereign's corpse was mostly unrecovered and neither the Collectors or the Geth were given technology on par with the Reapers. So there is a shitload of new technology that can be recovered from that base. Even if you don't use any of it, at the very least it will still tell you everything you want to know about a Reaper. You can learn all about their weapon systems, engines, mass effect core, armour, sheilds, A.I., how indoctrination works, how they can possess people, everything. How is that useless?
      • It's not useless. It's just very very dangerous. It's not "You can learn all about the Reapers", it's "Cerberus can learn all about the Reapers". And you just can't trust The Illusive Man. Sure, you have to work with him in ME 2, and without him you wouldn't be able to fight the Reapers - hell, without him you would be dead - but he's still a racist bastard. As Ashley/Kaidan says, let's not forget what they did in ME 1.
      • That actually brings up the point that Cerberus might do something that means you end up destroying them for good, whether it's some kind of act of war/aggression or just even worse Complete Monster experimentation and such partway through ME 3, making the only difference this choice makes become whether TIM has some reverse-engineered Reaper tech he uses against you in that fight. That said, Harbinger has shown himself to be pretty Genre Savvy - the game opens with him unceremoniously blowing up the protagonist's ship and killing him, and we later find out that Harbinger tried his damndest to recover the body to make sure Shepard wasn't coming back. That plus the way the games continually show you that other civilizations have had some minor victories against the Reapers (Protheans, whoever's responsible for the Derelict Reaper, maybe the people who made the Leviathan of Dis) makes me think that there's a not-insignificant chance of an anti-Reaper weapon made from Collector tech failing miserably once someone tries it out against Harbinger.

    The true size of Cerberus 
  • Is it just me or does Cerberus whiff of a Milkman Conspiracy? Once you finish the game EDI will tell you that the whole organization only employs some 150 members (and that presumably includes the 20 or so aboard Normandy) yet the Illusive Man acts like the king of the universe, with limitless influence and grandiose schemes to match; treating entire races as pawns in his game. Also, given the Renegade ending, how exactly is he going to salvage the Collectors' homebase with such limited manpower and without having anyone spill the beans to the Alliance or otherwise?
    • Remember that the number refers to agents, many who are implied to be powerful and influential people in their own right. They can have thousands Mooks for hire, who don't actually belong to the organization, and may have no idea who they are really working for. The Illusive Man could hire under the table to deal with the Collector base and ensure that an "accident" happens before anybody can spill the beans about it.
      • Also in the first game you went through quite a few Cerberus operations like a walking blender - if they were that tiny you would have crippled them, but they're shown as being no worse for wear in ME 2. I'm betting, like the above troper said, "agent" refers to people a bit higher up the Cerberus food-chain (perhaps those more invested in Cerberus' mission, not just the ones who get a paycheck) than just the mooks with a gun. A lot of the Normandy crew were hired specifically for that job (like the Engineers, the doc, Joker), and know practically nothing else about the organisation. Others like Paul Grayson (formerly, natch), Miranda (ditto, possibly), Pel (...also ex...sensing a theme here, poor TIM) probably counted as actual "operatives".
      • Not to mention that there's really no reason for EDI to have such detailed knowledge of Cerberus' structure at all. She doesn't need it to perform her assigned duties, and its not like the Illusive Man to fail basic data compartmentalization. On the other hand, it might be just like him to hand Shepard a load of bullshit about how Cerberus really isn't that big or that powerful at a time when Shepard would be max worrying about just what he'd gotten involved with... but hide it behind a bunch of security locks so that Shepard would be more likely to believe that it wasn't deliberately planted misinformation, as he'd had to work for it.
      • EDI outright says that each Cerberus "agent" has a number of lower-ranking personnel under their command. Therefore, each of the 150 or so agents of Cerberus has their own operation going on.
      • EDI mentions that they have about a dozen operations going at any one time, which is about twelve or so operatives to each mission. I get the impression (considering the huge blow Shepard is hinted to have made to the organization) that there are at least that number aboard the Normandy II.
      • Also, I get the impression that the Illusive Man is a powerful man in his own right. He has Cerberus, but also most likely possesses significant business, political, and military contacts as well (Udina for instance). He's also a skilled infomation broker. He would be dangerous even without 150 highly trained operatives at his beck and call.
      • Plus, he invented the paper clip.
      • I agree with the above explanations, namely that the "agents" are sub-commanders themselves with a sizable individual organization, and that TIM is dangerous enough as he is, and I will point out that this kind of organization is actually VERY common in underground terrorist/revolutionary organizations. Case in point: the Serbian Black Hand (as it is known in the West), actually called Union or Death. Massively powerful organization that was obscenely well connected within the Balkans, carried out numerous terrorist activities, and was run by the head of Serbian intelligence himself, Dragutin Dimitrijevic, who actually overthrew the Serbian government BEFORE he formed this organization. While estimates vary, it probably never exceeded 400 in strength, with even fewer in the inner circle. But they operated pretty much as we see Cerberus do so in game: through hirelings, local sympathizers, idealistic youths, and people who are terminal anyway. Indeed, the assassins of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand- EASILY the act they are most associated with- were probably never members of the organization at all, but were members of a subsidiary organization that hit three of the previous four categories mentioned, and who were only supplied, trained, and ordered by the Black Hand. And they weren't treated that well at that, given the contempt the higher ups had for the locals and how damn poorly they were equipped. So there is no reason why TIM couldn't run a similar organization. That, and (as someone else mentioned) the information EDI had was probably misinformation of some flavor (sorry, but I do not believe for ONE SECOND that Cerberus would only have three cells at any time whatsoever), so the organization could be considerably larger than that implies.
      • But of a Wild Mass Guess: The Tenth Street Reds are one of Cerberus' "front" organisations, which is how Finch managed to get Shepard's emailextranet address.
      • My theory on Cerberus' nature and extent - and stop me if this is blatantly contradicted by confirmed canon; I played the game on a screen so small as to render the Codex basicly unreadable - is that is is essentially the terrestrial G8 nations, but angrier. Sure, the Systems Alliance is the homogenised military/diplomatic face which humankind shows to the Citadel races (and its own colonies) in interstellar politics (effectively the UN), but we are explicitly told that nation states still exist on Earth, and I'd imagine they'd be none too happy about the the way the Systems Alliance waxes ineffectual to the Council about the colony disappearences. And therefore TIM, as the head of Cerberus, is someone at the head of the economic powerhouse nations of Earth... The Illusive Man is President Bartlet.
      • I'm sorry, but that can't make any sense, because they are totally on opposite sides of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism
      • Er. No. More Space IRA then Space G8. And why would Earth be so annoyed about colony disappearances on the fringe? Colonization doesn't have that much support.
      • More Space IRA then Space G8. - [Citation needed]? My main reason for believing them to be more than Space IRA is that one does not simply build the Normandy 2 or Lazarus Project. The money andtech needed to do that, I would expect, is more than you'd garner from corporate embezzlement or wealthy donations - particularly if your entire organization is being vigorously hunted for being terrorist. As for colonists; wouldn't you get pissy at the polling station if your sons / daughters / siblings / parents were being snatched up from colonies? The process of sending people out on colonization projects might not have hefty support back on Earth, but preventing said colonies from being Collected probably does.
      • The Illusive Man operates through various front companies, remember? He doesn't get donations, he outright controls many. One is Eldfell-Ashland, a starship manufacturer. They probably provided most of the materials to build the second Normandy. As for colonisation not having much support? What? It's what keeping Earth afloat, it should be the top priority of the Systems Alliance!
      • The scale for such things (like building starships) is different when you're in space. Anyway, I didn't mean that colonization by itself didn't have much support, I meant that the fringe colonies in the Terminus systems are not exactly cared about back home. They're not Eden Prime, after all.
      • Note that the Terminus human colonies are -not- SA. They're independent colonies that the SA is trying to open up diplomatic relations with. Kaiden/Ashley are there installing the turrets to garner good will and notes that they could barely get the Terminus colonies to agree with that. The SA cares about them because they're human not because they're a part of the SA. As far as the N2, it can be as simply as having multiple companies build the parts which are then shipped to one private location for actual construction. The engines (and weapons and computers and...), for instance, on modern jet fighters aren't built by Boeing or whomever; they're built by completely different companies.

     Saren/Sovereign and the Villain Ball 
  • Is it just me, or could the whole plot of the first game (and by extension, the whole series) have been avoided if Saren hadn't caught the Villain Ball? At the start of the game, human colonists have found the prothean beacon. Saren wants the beacon to find the conduit, but also wants to prevent others from getting it. His solution? Arrange a massive Geth assault on the colony and try to destroy it, thus attracting suspicion from the Alliance and the Council ultimately leading to him being booted from the Spectres and hunted by Shepard. A better option? Go to Eden prime alone, claiming to be on Council business (he's still a Spectre at this point), access the beacon, then sabotage it, making it look like an accident due to humans not being able to handle advanced alien technology. No one makes the Geth-Saren connection, he can find the conduit in peace while the humans loose face, he retains his Spectre resources and if he really wants to level human colonies out of spite, he could have waited until the reapers arrive or at the earliest have his Geth buddies wipe out Eden after he's come and gone.
    • Except that is the Normandy hadn't been there, it would've just looked like a geth attack. Sure, they haven't been beyond the Perseus Veil in forever, but the Council doesn't seem very motivated to investigate "just" the geth. It takes proof that not only is Saren working with the geth, but this "Conduit" thing might actually be real. Only then do they allow the (newbie) Spectre to go after Saren.
    • Because this isn't Saren's plan. It's Soverign's. Soverign knows that if it got all the meatsacks in the galaxy jumping around looking for the Geth while Saren builds his army of enslaved organics, it'd be able to lower the guard around the Citadel long enough to open the relay and summon its buddies. The only thing that cause the plan to fail was that the one ship in the galaxy capable of sneaking up on Saren's troops got a tip on the coming attack.
      • Might also be difficult for Saren to remove the beacon when the Alliance is partnering with the Citadel to recover it. A Spectre shows up - turian Spectre, no less - and says he's going to take the beacon, the Alliance troops are probably going to get suspicious if he doesn't have an Alliance team with him. Spectres may be above the law, but that doesn't mean the Alliance kowtows to them; Saren is neither the Spectre assigned to recover the beacon nor is he on the ship assigned to recover it, and all it would take is one quick call to verify his lack of credentials to set everyone on him.
      • In the first book, Revelation, Saren is considering kidnapping and "interrogating" a human witness on a human colony. He decides against it, because while Saren may be a Spectre, that won't stop a bullet. Likewise, the human garrison on Eden Prime has no reason to just hand over a valuable artifact to the first guy who says he's a Spectre.

     Reave and Dominate 
  • Biotics powers. ME 1's codex, copy-pasted in ME 2, explain that the basis of those powers is manipulation of mass altering fields. It's not Psycho-Mantis style psychic powers, though some Muggles on Earth apparently like to believe the opposite. Thus, all biotics powers in ME 1 had a believeable (in this setting) explaination for what they do and how they do it (Micro black-holes for Singularity, etc...). Come ME 2, and the two news biotics powers are... mind-control (Dominate) and remote vampirism (Reave) ? Could someone explain me how does that fit in the way biotics were previously explained?
    • The Asari all have the ability to interface with another person's mind. Seeing as the two you're speaking of are especially powerful ones, it's not too hard to believe that they found a way to meld their racial abilities together to form such devastating combat abilities.
      • Except that Shepard can learn Reave or Dominate, and (s)he's definitely not asari.
      • Shepard can also learn how to use geth and krogan abilities and can learn biotic powers even if s/he's not a biotic.
      • Shepard's a cyborg. What Asari can do naturally, Shepard can replicate with tech.
      • Or it's just a gameplay thing. In ME1 Shepard could learn tech, biotic and combat skills they normally couldn't by earning achievements, while in ME2 he can do the same by gaining squad members' loyalty. Some of it's logical (learning tech and combat powers), while some of it is nonsensical (Soldiers and techs learning biotics, for example).
      • This troper was an infiltrator running around using reave, so it's obviously not meant to make sense. As the above poster said, it's a gameplay thing.
      • This troper distinctly remembers Samara saying "Embrace Eternity!" when she uses Reave. Given that Samara is the mother of the three Ardat-Yakshi in existence, it seems reasonable that she has some of the forcible mind-meld powers. Over the years, she's learned how to use it at a distance. Now, Reave drains barriers and health, which are connected to a target's physical condition. And she does say that the forced mind-meld is like a drug rush, which would explain how it boosts health. As for Morinth's Dominate, it's not too different from her mind-meld, only she doesn't overload their systems and kill them outright. The barrier she puts on her victims might just be her sharing a part of her powers with them, for a short time.
      • On the subject, how do Ardat-Yakshi steal biotic powers? Morinth reached Matriarch-level ability by life-draining other asari; this seems to imply a connection between biotics and Asari mind-melds.
      • "Imply" nothing. Liara flat out tells you that's how it works in the original game. Asari mate by binding the nervous systems and genetic memory of the two parents and creating a child from the result. Granted, the sequel also creates an alternate interpretation by having several characters state that the asari only "randomize" their genetic material with help from the "father".
      • That was always the explanation. The codex (in both games) states that asari reproduce through parthenogenesis, which only requires a single female. The mating and merging of nervous systems just starts the process. The whole "genetic memory" thing is probably something only the mating asari experiences (or not, what with all the mystical crap they spout).
      • That's the point, though. How does that fit in with biotics, i.e. mental use of mass effect fields? Dominate, Asari sex, and probably Reave rely on telepathy, while biotics are supposed to be eezo-based. (Epileptic Tree: it ties in with the technology used for interstellar communications, which is somehow mass-effect based.)

     Shepard learning of Tali's location 
  • After you finish the first round of recruiting in ME 2, you get access to some more, one of which is Tali. Question: How does Shepard know where she is? When you spoke to her she didn't say more than "geth space", and on the map the system is out in the middle of nowhere, nor would the Quarians reveal anything about a mission so secret, so I can't see how the IM would know either. Either this is 1; a plot hole, or 2; I've missed something. My money is on 2, but can someone enlighten me?
    • TIM is Just That Good.
      • Yeah, TIM has a good information network. He knows where Tali is the same way he knows where everyone else is.
    • This might be tip-toeing towards WMG territory, but it's possible that whatever data you take with you when you leave Freedom's Progress (whether you take Veetor or not) incidentally contains enough information about Tali's mission for TIM to extraploate her future position.

     Krogan evolution and immunity to the genophage 
  • Mordin credits the krogan's exceptonal adaptabily as the reason they were gradually evolving an immunity to the genophage. But given how the genophage works, shouldn't rappid evolution against it be expected? Each new generation is going to be exclusively the children of the few females who were able to repoduce despite the genophage. That's a very strong selection for genophage resistant genes. Unless version 1.0 was intented to wipe them out, and the fact that there were any resistant females at all was the suprising part.
    • The original genophage wasn't intended as a sterility plague. It was just to adjust krogan birthrates to something controllable. The presence of fertile females was part of the genophage in the first place, and was apparently taken into account when designing the genophage.
    • I'm pretty sure the fact some females were more fertile than others is unintended.
      • It's very much intended. Otherwise it wouldn't have continued to be the case after Mordin and co. finished their little project. The purpose of the genophage was never to decimate the krogan, but keep their numbers from growing, and stabilize them at pre-industrial levels.
      • I'm pretty sure the fact some females were more fertile than others is unintended. Mordin outright said that the genophage was intended to adjust population levels to a controllable amount, and that it worked perfectly. Fertile females were specifically tailored into the genophage's design. He pretty bluntly said that if they wanted to completely sterilize the krogan, they could have done that.
      • Yes and the result is the Krogan fighting over the fertile females. I got the impression that the desired result was making all females equally slightly fertile, not make some of them fertile and the rest not.
      • Excuse me? Stabilize the krogan population? One pregnancy viable in a thousand (as said in the codex) doesn't make for a viable population growth rate. Unless females krogan pregnancy last for a few days and normally pump out a few thousand of babies at the time, stillborn or not, krogan are definitely a dying specie. I say that's BS and denial. Krogan are going to be extinct soon. That the genophage does not create 100% sterility seems like a convenient excuse, along the line of "Hey, we didn't completely sterilize the krogans, they have a substainable growth rate, it's not our fault if they are such violent junkies they died by the thousand every day". I call bullshit.
      • Actually, that is the impression I got. Keep in mind that krogan are reptillian; if they hatch from eggs, it would make sense that the females can lay a couple hundred at a time, with multiple clutches throughout their lifetime. So yes, 1 birth in 1000 brings the krogan down to an average of 2-4 children per couple. And, of course, the reason that the krogan are dying out is because they're spending all their time killing each other. The problem is that the salarians engineered the genophage assuming the krogan would tone down the warrior culture a little bit. It didn't work—oh, sure, it stopped the rebellions, but while 2-4 children per mated pair would work fine for humans, for krogan society that's just delaying the inevitable.
      • It is a stable population growth. Mordin explicitly says that the 1-in-1000 limitation brought the krogan back to "pre-industrial growth rates." Considering the planet they come from.... At least one of the worlds you can explore in ME 2 confirms that the sheer scale of the krogan birthrate; they hit critical overpopulation levels in a single generation.
    • It was less a sterility plague and more a way of subverting krogan battle tactics. Aside from Battlemasters, it seems that the krogan military viewpoint is We Have Reserves taken to its logical extreme. Keep in mind, the krogan species isn't dying out because they're infertile, but because the krogan don't care enough about the continuation of their species to bother procreating. We know that Wrex actively campaigned to have krogans hang back on their home planet for a few generations to get their numbers up, which would suggest that, despite a staggering one-in-one-thousand success rate, that's still enough for a viable population.
      • They do, if you look the the population of their homeworld it's over two billion, not bad for a Deathworld that's been nuked a dozen times over, Also Wrex clearly states that the genophage isn't whats killing them, it's themselves.
    • Krogan have incredible population pressures. Okeer was over a thousand years old, and a Matriarch bartender says that her krogan father had been part of the Rachni wars. They're suggest to mature as quickly or quicker than salarians do, and have very large multiple births. Even with the genophage, they krogan still could easily have positive population growth, and Wrex is doing so. The problem isn't just that the krogan birth rate has dropped, but that the planetary populace has hopelessly fragmented.
  • Whatever the result of the genophage, the krogan are in part to blame for their extinction. Listen to some of the random conversations Tuchanka krogan have. One (younger from the smaller stature) krogan is talking about being interested in documentaries and such. The guy he's talking to (an older one) says that's all crap and he should not think about leaving Tuchanka for that sort of crap. Elsewhere, two random krogan are talking how one is proud of his son for visiting the female camp and something along the lines of genetic linage. Wrex has the right idea and is attracting the younger generation; he's not merely trying to repopulate the krogan, he's trying to teach them to do more than just see the world as war and more war.
  • This troper got the impression that the Krogan are mistaken in thinking that certain females are more fertile than others. What I though was happening is that when a female manages to successfully bear a child, all the males immediately want to try to father a child with her. Thus, she then has more... attempts... to bear more children, and she succeeds because she's trying enough to hit the 1 in 1,000 chance again. The "fertile" ones aren't actually more fertile, but the product of the males attention on her make her effectively so.

     Mordin's seeker bug 
  • I have probably skipped a cutscene or a dialogue, but where did Mordin get that Seeker swarm bug ?
    • That's actually a bit of a plot hole. I guess the developers had to cut the scene where Mordin got his hands on a living Seeker bug.
    • Veetor recovered samples from Freedom's Progress. They used those.
      • Look, I have an easier time shallowing that this is simply a plot-hole than trying to picture in my mind Veetor, of all the people, trying to catch a friggin "so though it can almost shatter reinforced glass by headbutting it" seeker bug with a sci-fi butterfly net.
      • Mordin probably grew that seeker bug from DNA samples that Veetor provided. At least, that's what I thought.
      • Considering Veetor was able to completely reprogram an entire colony's defensive network and reconstruct security footage piece-by-piece, all while in a state of hysterical panic, I have no difficulty swallowing the idea that he could have disabled one of the Seeker drones. They're machines, and he's a quarian - and apparently one who can do impressive feats of mechanical engineering and hacking while pissing himself.
  • Got it some time ago on unrelated matter. Used an electron net to incapacitate. Have been storing it in stasis. Why so surprised? Was once quite fond of lepidoptery.
  • I'm pretty sure Veetor said that the seeker bugs were actually mechanical, and he did have scans of them. Maybe Mordin just built the bug.
  • My personal theory: Somebody on Freedom's Progress spotted the swarm of seeker bugs and got off some shots with a weapon they had close at hand, like Kaidan/Ashley will do on Horizon. They managed to hit at least one, and disable it. A Cerberus infiltrator in the official investigation team which arrives on Freedom's Progress after you leave intercepts recovers the damaged seeker bug and forwards it to the Illusive Man, through Cerberus channels, all off camera. Plausible, if not very imaginative.

     Cameras in Shepard's armour, and Council stupidity 
  • Why doesn't Shepard put a small camera on/in his helmet or chest plate? Seeing as he cant get people to believe what happened to him actually happened perhaps having some video evidence would be useful in one way or another.
    • Mostly because he doesn't need one. The only reason to mount a camera is to record something, and I don't think anyone was expecting to run into either Sovereign or Vigil.
      • Well why doesn't s/he start wearing one in ME 2 then? We should have learnt from our mistakes.
      • Who said Shepard wasn't wearing one?
    • I got the impression in Mass Effect2 that it's less about the lack of evidence and more about the Council wanting to believe their own story. Even when you learned Saren's true motives in the first game, they refuse to take it seriously until it's too late. Furthermore, they even dismiss your ideas about the Reapers, saying that Saren read your reports and took advantage of that, even when it's clear that you didn't know about the Reapers until you heard Saren and Benezia talk about it.
      • Not to mention the fact that an actual Reaper attacked the actual Citadel, which the Council witnessed first-hand, and even after you swooped in and saved their lives, they still swept it all under the rug and pretended it was just the Geth. If that didn't convince them, what makes you think video evidence will?
      • The Council's assumption, as far as we can tell, is that Saren came up with the legend about Reapers in order to control the geth. Then he heard about Shepard hunting him, taking the data intended for the geth seriously. As such, he started using it as psychological weapon against Shepard. And the Sovereign was just a geth dreadnought. Of course if the geth could build dreadnoughts that advanced, the Council ought to be much more concerned about them than they are.
      • The Council seems to be just as scared of the possibility of the Reapers as anybody else. They've seen how fragile their traditional system really is and will grasp any possible excuse to ignore it, no matter how flimsy it may be. At this point, nothing short of the Reaper fleet introducing themselves while carving the Citadel into bite-sized chunks will shock them out of their denial. (the Turian Councellor would probably still declare it a Shared Mass Hallucination or something)
      • You'd think actually having a Reaper ship (which obviously looks totally and completely different than anything of Geth construction, as well as being powerful to one-shot any ship of the Citadel species, whereas combat with Geth ships is roughly even-money) dock with the Citadel and starting fucking shit up big-time, probably in front of several million witnesses might be something of a convincer. Self-deception can only be realistically taken so far, particularly by three individuals who are responsible for the lives of several trillion sentient beings. That said, there's arguably a bit of Truth in Television there... =/
      • No matter what, the Council is really incredibly stupid, on this point Mock Effect is barely a parody. If we admit, as the Council apparently did, that Geth can build that kind of super-heavy ultra-powerful dreadnghout, then they should be very worried about what else the Geth have in stock. They're not. If we admit, as again they apparently did, that you just need to roll a critical success in a charisma-check to take control of the Geth collective, Saren-style, then that mean any charismatic bad mofo of the Terminus system could pull it off, with very bad consequences down the line. Finally, those are the guys that destroyed all the work of the Shep after he dissapear because they were delluding themselves in thinking he was crazy after he spend the whole first game being 100% right about everything.
      • They're not. Yes, being actively at war with the geth and hunting down the heretics' strongholds is apparently stemming from a complete lack of concern.
      • If we admit, as again they apparently did, that you just need to roll a critical success in a charisma-check to take control of the Geth collective, Saren-style, then that mean any charismatic bad mofo of the Terminus system could pull it off, with very bad consequences down the line. Because as we all know, people as apparently charismatic, well-connected, and dangerous as Saren was are a dime-a-dozen, and he was in no way a one-of-a-kind, exceptional individual, as indicated by the fact that he's the foremost Spectre. Nope. Not at all.
      • Finally, those are the guys that destroyed all the work of the Shep after he dissapear because they were delluding themselves in thinking he was crazy after he spend the whole first game being 100% right about everything. Except from the Council's perspective, Shepard proved nothing. There was really no evidence that the Reapers existed, which was the cornerstone of what Shepard was arguing. The only proof that was acquired were the scattered remains of a technologically-advanced warship, which could have a number of sources, most obviously being the geth. Shepard may have been 100% right, but Shepard has no proof.
      • He say Saren was behind Eden Prime, he was. Say Saren was going to Ilos to find the conduit before invading the citadel, he did. Say a few patrols at nearby mass relays weren't going to stop the Geth fleet and Sovvy, guess what happened? Shepard spend ME 1 saying crazy stuff and is always right. So, when he give the final piece of the puzzle by explaining the true nature of Sovereign, you'd think the council would at least put a listening ear to what he say.
      • Just because Shepard is right a couple of times does not mean Shepard is right when he presents zero evidence of an exceptional claim. A person can be correct many times, but that does not mean he will always be correct. When you make an exceptional claim, i.e. machine gods from beyond the galaxy are going to come and consume us all for no reason whatsoever, burden of proof is on you.
      • Funny how the Council didn't seem to want any proof at the end of Mass Effect 1 where they were happily nodding along when Shepard said he was going hunt down the Reapers or something to that effect. Shepard doesn't have proof for his Rachni Queen story either but this doesn't stop them from believing it and even reprimanding him for his actions.
      • Funny how the Council didn't seem to want any proof at the end of Mass Effect 1 where they were happily nodding along when Shepard said he was going hunt down the Reapers or something to that effect. Yeah, its wierd and strange when you feel agreeable and accepting toward someone who saved your life. And it's not like things like post-victory euphoria can wear off or anything.
      • Shepard doesn't have proof for his Rachni Queen story either but this doesn't stop them from believing it and even reprimanding him for his actions. Yeah, the hundreds of rachni corpses, databases full of verifiable data, and dozens of surviving scientists who can provide testimony are not at all admissible proof.
      • Corpses? Data? You call the Council immediately after coming back on the ship, I very much doubt that in the meantime they have had time to send some agents to verify your story. Not to mention that the existence of Rachni bodies doesn't prove the existence of a Queen any more than the remains of Sovereign prove the existence of thousands of Reapers somewhere.
      • What, do you think Shepard just teleported back to the Normandy after leaving Peak 15? Getting on the tram car results in a fade-to-black. That's an implied passage of time. Shepard could have eaily written up a report and acquired samples, scans, etc. to forward to the Council.
      • Regardless, rachni exist, in the Council's eyes. The Reapers are unsubstantiated boogeymen perpetuated by a small group of possibly mentally-unstable humans. The rachni were an extremely real, historical enemy that the Council fought and were nearly overcome by. The reaction to the latter is going to be a hell of a lot different than the reaction to the former; the rachni aren't just plausible, they're an "oh, shit" button in the collective memories of the Council.
    • To an extent, the Council is damned if they do, damned if they don't, at least publicly. If they follow up every little "DOOM!" scare, they cause a public panic or end up with overly-paranoid security measures. If they don't, well... If nothing else, the Council probably takes everything under advisement - reasonable security concerns get more attention and investigation while more radical ones not so much. You can see the result, at any rate, in ME 2 - there are some ridiculously silly security measures to prevent geth attacks which are as much for public appeasement as anything else.
      • On the other hand, the Council could be indoctrinated on some level to shy away from any mention of the Reapers and disbelieve the rumours. This could be explained as something the keepers do to every council in every cycle to aid the reaper invasions, which the Prothean reprogramming in the first game didn't address as it wasn't something they were aware of.
      • If they assume that Sov was a geth mothership intend on attacking the Citadel in an all out attack, then if during the follow up few, if any geth attacks occurred, they could well be believed to assume that the geth war effort was stopped.

     Planets and their descriptions not matching up 
  • A minor case of Fridge Logic but why don't planet descriptions match the actual planets we're visiting? One of the planets you visit is that of a monitoring station that according to the description was chosen because of its lack of atmosphere. You then land and it's full of pink clouds floating by. Another thing is the fact that planets that are right by large inhabited planets have massive amounts of resources and that the description makes it sound like there are three companies fighting over the previous minerals.
    • Can you be more specific? Which planets are these?
      • The planet with the Quarian survivors sidequest is described as an airless rock, land and you'll see lush jungles.
      • This planet is Gei Hinnom.
      • Many of the N7 mission planets are described as having non-breathable atmospheres. Land, no breathing apparatus necessary.

     The Tempest's magazine 
  • If guns in the ME universe don't use bullets in the traditional sense, why does the submachine gun have what can only be described as a bullet clip slung under the barrel?
    • Possibly because it cannot be described as a bullet clip. Maybe it's a heat sink magazine?
      • Except reloading the submachine gun doesn't involve pulling out the "magazine" and replacing it. So what's that thing for?
      • It stores spare clips. Your gun overheats, you punch the release and eject the heat sink, then another one from the magazine is cycled in its place.
      • Correction: Guns in the ME setting DO have ammo, just not in the same sense as modern guns. In Mass Effect, the ammo is a slab of metal from which microscopic fragments are removed and accelerated using mass effect fields. This means that they can fire thousands of shots before the slab is depleted, almost (but not quite) removing the need to reload on the battlefield. The "bullet clip" probably contains this slab and can be removed during maintenance or to switch ammo types (as seen in ME 1).
      • FFS people! CLIP&# 9674; != MAGAZINE&# 9674;.
    • Handgrip? Some other function?

     Shepard and co piling into the Kodiak pre-IFF install 
  • ME 2. Why the fuck did Shepard take the ENTIRE squad off the ship onto the shuttle before the collectors came and stole his crew? I'm not given any choice in this, every other mission has me pick 2 guys to come with me, and NEVER has the entire squad left the ship, and the shuttle itself doesn't look like it'd hold them all anyway. If I hadn't known I needed to go straight through the Omega 4 relay after Legion's missions, I'd have been furious at losing members of the crew (including the Yeoman), because I wasn't on the ship to defend it when they were taken.
    • The shuttle can carry that many people. Check the Codex. Also, since you've got the Reaper IFF, EDI tells you to take the shuttle to your next destination, because Normandy needs to be stationary to properly configure the IFF; I figured that Shepard decided if s/he couldn't have the ship on hand whereever s/he's landing for support, s/he'll take the whole squad. No one expected the Collectors to attack the ship directly.
      • IIRC in the conversation right before you board the shuttle Miranda says she's gathered everybody in the shuttle so that Shepard can decide on who take with him when they land (which is apparently farther than usual since the shuttle has to go FTL to get there). Yeah it's a half-assed justification to get the squad out of the way but it is explicitly said why you do it.
    • There are two obvious reasons why the squad boards the shuttle: one, any human squad members left behind will be abducted by the Collectors; two, any aliens left behind will be killed by the Collectors!
      • If nine/ten squad members CAN hold the line at the Collector Base but CANNOT repel the handful of Collectors boarding the Normandy I will eat my shorts.
      • You want ketchup with that? The Collectors were using multiple Pretorians and Scions in tight, close quarters; this isn't a fairly open, cover-heavy area with a single chokepoint they can concentrate fire on one point. The Pretorians and Scions will bull through incoming fire and tear everyone apart.
      • Firstly, we have no idea what types of forces the line-holding team faced. Secondly, you don't even need your entire squad present to accomplish that. Thirdly, all they needed to do was defend the AI Core and Engineering Decks while EDI took control. She wouldn't have even needed to pull the "kill everything on the ship except Joker" trick, because once they jumped, the team could take out the lingering Collector forces.
    • If the squad did stay and fight, the ship would be horribly damaged in the crossfire. You'd have no prayer of saving the crew with the repairs delaying you.
      • Damaged? In a game where even sofas can withstand bullets of a gunship? I somehow doubt it. :) But that's not the point, is it? It's not as if Shepard knew the collectors were going to attack so he/she decided to go for a walk in order not to damage the ship. The whole incident is a terribly clumsy plot device. What's even weirder is that after the abduction you can fly the Normandy just fine without any crew whatsoever. Why do you need all those people on board again?
      • Did you just forget the entire point of controlling Joker? So he can unshackle E Di so that she can control the ship.
      • Isn't Edi "shackled up" again when Shepard returns, though?
      • No. EDI is completely free for the rest of the game after Joker releases her from her constraints, as you can verify by talking with her, and by the fact that she's able to alone control a ship that used to need a crew of 24 to man at all hours. She's also completely on your side.
      • I always thought "shackled" meant that there were specific things she couldn't do, even if access to the Normandy was unlocked - like, she couldn't put the fusion plant into meltdown or vent the atmosphere unless certain conditions were met, such as the CO giving the order or the ship being empty.
      • No, if you talk to EDI at the bridge after the Collector attack, she'll explain how Joker's actions removed the block on her systems, allowing her to answer questions about Cerberus. She remains unshackled after the attack and for the rest of the game, and thus is able to fly the ship even if you don't manage to save the crew in time.
    • As for the original question: when you land at the Citadel or Tuchanka, you can return to the shuttle and request a new squad member. Gameplay-wise, that's mostly for convenience since you can do the same with the Normandy, but it's possible to interpret it as the rest of the squad waiting around in the shuttle. Thus, it's not as if the entire squad boarding the shuttle is unprecedented. This gets a bit murkier when you explicitly see only your two chosen squadmates in the shuttle with you on Pragia, admittedly.
    • I'm just wondering, because I can't quite remember, is Legions Loyalty mission, if done as soon as possible after his recruitment, before or after the collectors attack the ship?
      • Just before. In fact, it's weird. I did the IFF mission and picked up Legion. Walk up to the galaxy map, EDI tells me to take the shuttle. Go reactivate Legion, accept its mission, walk up to the galaxy map, no shuttle warning, just so I can do his loyamish.
      • The game doesn't give you a whole lot of room at all to experiment with Legion's fun dialogue. If you're planning on going to the derelict Reaper, do everything else in the game that you intend to do first. You have only enough time to do Legion's loyalty mission immediately after obtaining the IFF, but then you need to go straight to the Collector base in order to save the entire Normandy crew.
    • And just where does Shepard take the squad to? Why can't (s)he just say "Okay, we don't really have anything important to do anyway, finish the IFF and then we'll hit the Collectors."
    • My assumption is that it's just a bit of sloppy editing. You were probably supposed to do a mission while the IFF was tested, but then they removed the mission, making it just look really, really awkward.

     Shepard's knowledge of Harbinger 
  • Where did Shepard learn the Harbringer's name, or that he's a Reaper? In the final dialogue with the Illusive Man Shepard just notes: "the Harbringer's coming and he won't be alone". As far as I can tell, at no point of the gameplay did Shepard actually hear this body-hopping enemy say its name or talk about its own identity; only the player saw the cutscenes that Shepard is apparently referring to.
    • ....the first time Harbinger appears and you fight it on Horizon, it says "We are Harbinger."
      • This troper remembers that only during the cutscene...need to replay, apparently.
      • No, one of Harbinger's actual in-game quotes while taking control of a Collector is "We are Harbinger."
      • You're right, but did Shepard ever actually confirm Harbinger was a Reaper, or was it a very, very good guess?
      • Harbinger appears to be controlling the Collectors. Harbinger = Reaper is a reasonable guess, and apparently confirmed at the end, where we see Shepard looking at pictures of Harbinger's Reaper form.
      • That's another question - where did that picture come from, and if it's indeed the Harbringer, then how does Shepard connect the picture and the body-hopping voice? It's a bit annoying that not at one point of the dialogues does Shepard wonder about this creature or its capabilities; despite of the numerous encounters and exchanged taunts.
      • Probably acquired from either the Collector data recovered from their ship or one of the multitude of galaxy-spanning information/espionage networks.
      • EDI did a lot of scanning and hacking while initiating repairs and everyone else was out running around the Collector space station. Finding data is what she does.
    • The Collectors aren't sentient, they're just mindless tools for the Reapers. The only reason for one to spontaneously gain sentience and battle prowess in battle is because of Reaper possession.
      • An excellent point. It may have been pieced together by TIM, or Mordin, or EDI, or someone else, and whoever figured it out told Shepard off-screen.
      • I disagree. The final shot we have of the Collector General tells me that there are sentient collectors, and that they aren't all mindless tools. Whether it's just the one or there are more is debatable.
      • What definition is being used for "sentient"? Are they intelligent? Yes. Do they possess individuality, self-preservation instinct or free will? No.
      • By this description, the Geth aren't sentient. With the "or" aspect, they could be... But as much as Legion says so, I'm still iffy on their "free will," or even their definition of it... But this is my basis for saying the Collectors are as well. The Collector General HAS free will as he dies, or at least as much as one can have. The fact that he can't actually do anything with it (because he dies 5 seconds after getting it) doesn't really matter, does it?
      • Insufficient evidence in the General's case. He/It simply shuts down after Harbinger releases control, which doesn't make a convincing argument for free will. But as for the geth, each of the geth has the right to make their own decisions—they CAN go against the majority, but it just so happens that it's not a good idea to do so, since it would be the last intelligent decision you ever made. Also, when you think of the geth's self-preservation, you have to keep in mind that destroying one of their platforms (bodies) doesn't destroy the geth: there are plenty of copies on hubs.
      • Wrong about going against the majority and being killed for it (or whatever). Ask Legion what to do about the mindwipe? The geth programs in him are basically split on what to do. The Heretics had their own choices and goals and were not prevented from doing so. What Legion is opposed to is forcing a choice on to others; he does not believe the Heretics are right because he does not see the idea of indoctrination (and subjugation) as right. To paraphrase him, it is the right of every sentient species and being to choose their own path in life rather than to have that path chosen and set before them by another. The geth, in fact, would embrace individuality and disagreement because, again in Legion's words, it provides many perspectives on a single piece of information.
  • Come to think of it, why does Harbinger call himself "Harbinger"? We know Sovereign is a name given to the reaper Nazara by Saren, which Nazara apparently adopts because he likes the idea of the name. Who first named Harbinger? Is it a self assigned pseudonym meant to intimidate Shepherd?
    • Mostly because it makes sense. He is the "harbinger of ascension." He might have nicknamed himself that because he appears to be behind a lot of the biological modification that produces new Reapers/servants of Reapers. Presumably, some species fighting the Reapers in the past referred to him as such and he ran with it.

     Kaiden/Ashley Love Interest 
  • Well IMO the ME 2 romances are better, because ME 2 pretty much ruins all three of the ME 1 love interests anyway. Since regardless of which one of the three you pursue, when you meet up with them again in ME 2 guess what happens? They're so happy to see you alive that you get dumped like a sack of potatoes and they fuck off on you because they're more interested in their own crap (that half baked shitty email they send you just makes it worse and isn't apologetic in the least). Fuck, Kaiden is more interested in some fucking doctor whore than a HEROINE who kind of saved the whole fucking universe. But then again it seems all men in the world of video games are always more interested in random piece of shit women they picked up off the street rather than our lovely heroines (one more reason I'll never understand men). So much for "loving" Shepard so much. Grr... can't stand it when people lie about shit like that...
    • First of all, calm down. Second, Shepard was dead for two years. Third, you show up back from the dead working for a know terrorist group supporting them with little more explaination for it than claiming that the Reapers were involved. Until you showed up shooting at their doorstep, they had no idea that you were actually alive. Did you expect them to simply put their entire lives on hold just in case Shepard somehow managed to ressurect themselves from the dead? They mourned for who knows how long, but moved on within two years. As far as Ashley and Kaiden knew, Shepard faked his or her death and refused to contact them for two years. After the understandably angry conversation, they'd probably have cooled down enough to listen, but Shepard was halfway across the galaxy in an untraceable ship. Even Liara, the only one with any reason to expect Shepard's return had no idea whether or not Cereberus's plot would work. As for Liara, the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC has her admit that she had no idea how to react to Shepard's revival after two years of mourning and hunting the Broker. After you work her business out, she's cautious, but perfectly happy to restart the relationship. Nobody "lied" or "betrayed" you, they all had their own reasons. You have to recognize that the other person in a relation ship has a life and mind independent of your character's.
      • Firstly, it doesn't matter, all 3 ME 1 romances are still completely ruined. Secondly, who can blame Shepard for working for the Illusive Man, the one and only person in the goddamn who still gives half a shit about poor Shepard after everything that happened? Everyone else just fucked OFF and gave up on them completely and stamped out their memory in the dirt like they were some piece of garbage. Third, someone who really loves you would actually be understanding of something like that and wouldn't dump you over something that petty. Fourth, two years really isn't a very long time; sure didn't take them long to get over the person that they supposedly loved so god damn much. Fifth, if someone I fucking loved showed up alive after supposedly dying, I wouldn't give a shit about anything else, I would fucking embrace them to death. Sixth, whatever, Liara is okay but the other two sucked anyway. Ashley and Kaidan were both ugly and had the personalities of steaming brickshits. I only wish killing them for betraying you like that was an option, but unfortunately no renegade option to kill them before they piss off never to be seen again comes up. Seventh, since when did any of those miserable little asswipes have lives outside their stupid Alliance anyway? Why are they still faithful to the Alliance despite the fact that they've done a complete 180 and trashed Shepard and don't give a fuck about saving innocent lives anymore?
      • Firstly, it doesn't matter, all 3 ME 1 romances are still completely ruined. Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC.
      • Secondly, who can blame Shepard for working for the Illusive Man, the one and only person in the goddamn who still gives half a shit about poor Shepard after everything that happened? People who don't know the whole story, who have limited information and who hate Cerberus because Cerberus is a collection of terrorists who huskify colonies, unleashed feral rachni, conducted various terrorist acts, and murdered high-level Alliance officers, and people who are still steadfastly loyal to the Alliance. You know, people like Ashley and Kaidan.
      • Everyone else just fucked OFF and gave up on them completely and stamped out their memory in the dirt like they were some piece of garbage.' Yeah, its not like Shepard was dead or anything and they had to move on.
      • Third, someone who really loves you would actually be understanding of something like that and wouldn't dump you over something that petty. Yeah, its not like you're working with an avowed terrorist organization responsible for incredibly reprehensible crimes or anything. If you love someone, you should forgive them even though they're working with specisist terrorists!
      • Fourth, two years really isn't a very long time; sure didn't take them long to get over the person that they supposedly loved so god damn much. Yeah, its not like you were dead and they had a body to confirm it. For fuck's sake, Liara goes through hell just to keep your body out of the Broker's hands, and she says that outright. Are you seriously expecting someone to stay faithful to a corpse?
      • Fifth, if someone I fucking loved showed up alive after supposedly dying, I wouldn't give a shit about anything else, I would fucking embrace them to death. Which your previous romance option does, up until you tell them that by the way, "I'm working with those psychopathic, specisist, fascist terrorists we spent all that time killing two years ago because of their horrible atrocities across the galaxy."
      • Seventh, since when did any of those miserable little asswipes have lives outside their stupid Alliance anyway? Since forever. Normally, I'm pretty civil, but you're a fucking ignorant moron if you think that someone has no life outside the military.
      • Why are they still faithful to the Alliance despite the fact that they've done a complete 180 and trashed Shepard and don't give a fuck about saving innocent lives anymore? Because its a soldier's job to be loyal. Not to mention that the Alliance is still on your side, just ask Anderson.
      • If Shepard really loved their ME 1 paramour, s/he would have stayed on the planet until Kaiden/Ashley understood what is going on. Kaiden/Ashley's feelings are understandable. Shepard showed that s/he never really cared for them by leaving.
      • There are a few things you have to take into account here. First, you and your ME 1 love interest didn't really know each other that long. Yes, it was long enough to fall in love (if you choose to see it that way, which I do), but it was also short enough to make them question how well they really knew you when you show up affiliated with a terrorist group. Second, their first assumption was probably that you faked your death and didn't tell them - it's not normal to come back from the dead, even though in this case it was true. Third, they spent two years being shattered by your death. They had to learn to live without you. They went to your funeral. They probably spent months waking up in the morning and realizing you were gone all over again, catching glimpses of people who looked like you, making their hearts skip until they remembered it couldn't be you. All the things that people do when someone they love dies. And then you come back and all that gets tossed out the window. It's hard to process. So the whole thing is a huge emotional punch in the gut for them that makes them question everything they knew about the person they loved most. Their reactions are harsh, but understandable. And it makes perfect sense that after having time to come to terms with it they would realize that you were telling the truth and try to make amends.
      • This. Exactly this. You have to understand that, from their perspective, Shepard faked his/her death to run off with intergalactic human supremacist terrorists. From where they're standing, YOU betrayed THEM in a horrific fashion they never would have thought possible from you.
      • Kaiden and Ashley have no idea what is really going on. Until Shepard showed up, the Alliance thought that is was Cerberus conducting these attacks. After that, all they understand for now is that someone who is supposed to be dead is asking them to commit high treason and work with a known terrorist group to fight aliens whose existence they had only just learned about. Ashley and Kaiden, without Shepard's group, aren't as well-connected as they used to be. They really don't know what's going on as nobody had any solid evidence of the Collector attacks prior to Shepard joining Cerberus. How would you feel if your dead best friend/former lover popped back into your life several years later and told you to immediately drop everything and join a gang because it just might be doing something good. You'd be conflicted, confused and need some time to process everything, right? Too bad that Shepard had to leave and get back to work in an untraceable ship before they got that chance to cool off. Hell, even if they wanted to leave, they've still got half a colony's worth of traumatized civilians to care for until Alliance aid can arrive. They have every reason to not join at the moment, but you're refusing to see that. I've already told you what Liara's deal was so I won't bother repeating. Calm down. It's like your Alistair arguments all over again.
      • It doesn't matter, don't really care about either of them. Liara is cool because hell at least she's talking to you and helping you, but both of the other two were useless losers to begin with so I'm not interested in them anyway, they can go get shot. My original point was it aint fair that the boys get better love scenes in this game then us girls. :(
      • Basically you're complaining that Ash/Kaidan/Liara act like normal people, rather than Shallow Love Interests whose entire lives revolve around Shepard. I had no problem with how they were handled; it was probably the most realistic way it could have been done. I'm amazed Bioware managed to make something as fanservicey and pointless as the romances as deep and complex as the rest of the series.
      • Liara is cool because hell at least she's talking to you and helping you, Of course she reacts better than Kaiden or Ashley, SHE'S BEEN KEPT IN THE LOOP. She knew that Cerberus was going to do some funky stuff to your body and possibly bring you back, and that should you come back you'll probably be working for them to bring the collectors down, So it's only natural she's better-prepared emotionally for your arrival. Heck, she's the only one out of the three who's life basically revolves around helping you. You are basically saying Kaiden and Ashley should be shot because they react like normal people. You're either one of the most elaborate trolls I've ever seen, or you have a hopelessly two-dimensional view on relationships.
      • It doesn't matter, don't really care about either of them. But you specifically talked about their romances in your adressing post, you've been argueing about their reactions this entire time. Hell, THE TOPIC IS CALLED 'KAIDEN/ASHLEY LOVE INTERESTS' could you please stop twisting your arguement around whenever someone gives a legitimate answer?
    • Wait a sec. A relationship is UTTERLY RUINED after one fight? I grant you, this is a very serious fight and covers a lot more things than the usual relationship argument, but people fight and then make up all the time! Why would it be impossible for Shepard and Kaiden/Ashley to reconcile, given time to deal with things (both the issues of their relationship and personal loyalties possibly being at odds, and the (somewhat more important) issues of cosmic horrors coming to destroy the galaxy and melt humans down for their genetic material?) Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't. Lair of the Shadow Broker is proof of that.
  • So exactly why is Liara the only ME 1 interest who still loves you in ME 2 and still wants to continue the relationship? Why do those boring humans just screw off in a huff never to be seen again? If they really loved Shepard they should be freaking smothering him/her and happy that he/she is alive. Who can blame Shepard for working for Cerberus after the Alliance's rather egregious Face–Heel Turn?
    • So far? I'd wager it's partially because Liara is the only love interest whose emotions have actually been explored in more than one scene. It's very probable that Ashley/Kaiden will get their chance in a DLC, like Liara did in The Lair of the Shadow Broker. There will probably be other DL Cs as the release of ME 3 comes closer. Hopefully at least one of them will give Kaiden or Ashley the same treatment.
    • If Shepard really loved Kaiden/Ashley, s/he would have contacted them the moment s/he awoke. That s/he didn't says s/he didn't really love them at all, and thus validates Kaiden/Ashley's reaction when Shepard shows up alive.
      • Its possible that Shepard did want to contact them when s/he got the opportunity, but simply couldn't. Remember, if you ask about Ashley/Kaidan with TIM, he outright says that they're on a classified mission and they can't be reached. Kind of hard to send a message to someone who you can't even get the message to in the first place.
      • Let's not lose sight of the fact that Shepard has cosmic horrors to deal with. Between that and the whirlwind nature of the relationship in ME 1 - they didn't know each other that long, and the relationship formed under a lot of pressure - it's not that surprising that Shepard might want to focus on getting the immediate problems sorted out first so that (s)he can give the relationship more attention than just an afterthought.
      • "the Aliance's rather egregious Face–Heel Turn" What turn are you talking about? The Alliance is doing exactly what it always has. Shepard, after coming down with a bad case of the dead and joining a terrorist group, simply isn't part of them anymore. The worst thing that any Alliance official wanted to do to Shepard is detain him/her for questioning. Rather logically when the Commander drops off the face of the galaxy for two years and surfaces under the command of an avowed enemy of both them and the Council. What are you complaining about here? The fact that you, a Cerberus agent under the surveilance of TIM, do not get top secret information anymore? Or that the Alliance, who does not have a dead Reaper to poke around and have to deal with actual legal issues aren't hunting aliens that nobody is certian exists? It's not like Cerberus leaked their Collector info into official channels or anything. If you want to break out the "I'm a hero" argument, just remember Saren's old status.
      • As for the Human, they're Alliance soliders. They have homes, families, and duties to take care of. They also have some baggage from witnessing the person they loved/respected the most apparently fake their own death and join a group who's horrific experiments they've already witnessed with no real explaination. They didn't have time to get over that emotional gut punch before Shepard asks them to commit grand treason for a threat they barely know about and leaves right after they don't accept. They do what little they can to make amends after they cool down enough to recognize that Shepard wouldn't do this crap without good reason. How dare someone in a relationship act like they have lives of their own rather than act like Shallow Love Interests for your fulfilment?
    • I'm confused as to why I'm the first person to note this, but did you completely miss the email they send you afterwars which basically says 'I'm sorry I reacted so badly, it's taken me awhile to move on from your death, and seeing you alive again was very emotionally stressful for me. I hope when this is all over we can patch this up. xoxo', which more or less confirms that they still love you, but just need a bit of time to process the fact that you're still alive?
      • That's totally valid, and it's been noted here before. But some of the people in this discussion have been saying that it's too little, too late.
      • I thought Keedan's was basically saying he was sticking with his beloved little doctor ho, or whatever the heck this shiny new woman was. Cause she's shiny. And new.
      • How did you get that from his e-mail? To quote:
      ''I'm sorry for what I said back on Horizon. I spent two years pulling myself back together after you went down with the Normandy. It took me a long time to get over my guilt for surviving and move on. I'd finally let my friends talk me into going out for drinks with a doctor on the Citadel. Nothing serious, but trying to let myself have a life again, you know?
      • So you're getting your panties in a bunch because, two years after Shepard was confirmed dead, he lets his friends talk him into going for drinks with someone and begin moving on with his life. And the rest of the e-mail has him talk about how confused and shocked he is that you're alive and how he's trying to figure things out. That you're getting pissed off that two years after your character died the person you were briefly involved with has just started to move on is freaking ridiculous. Also, its spelled "Kaidan." You're not allowed to whine about relationship issues if you can't even get your partner's name right.
      • You have some entitlement issues, don't you? Someone you had sex with once and knew for a few weeks dies and you barely manage to go on a date two years later and only at the prodding of your friends, and somehow this constitutes betrayal? No, Heart. Nothing in that letter even hinted that he was picking his doctor friend. He was trying to make clear how difficult it was for him to get over you, and how long it took for him to even consider having a life. But, no, you want to feel wounded and rejected. I mean, god forbid you aren't the Center of the Universe.

     Normandy on the suicide mission 
  • The Normandy takes quite a pounding on its way through the Omega Four relay. Even if you upgrade the Normandy to full capacity, Joker/EDI still say they don't know if they can make a return trip (this is not to mention that if you don't upgrade the Normandy, you have HOLES IN YOUR SHIP.) But after the Terminator is destroyed, Shepard and friends run back to the Normandy and you all take off like the Normandy was okay the whole time. And okay, say the Normandy was fine enough to take flight again... how in the world did it manage to survive the trip back? Joker/EDI would have to fly through all of that debris again while escaping the Collector base bomb/magnetic sweep. Don't tell me they managed to patch the ship up as you were busy making Harbinger your little lady dog friend.
    • The debris course isn't going to be nearly as dramatic this time as it was before: they've been through it before and know what to expect, they've already dealt with the bombs between the base and the relay (and bombs typically don't magically respawn), and they already know it's coming, rather than popping out of the relay right in the middle of it going full speed towards explosive doom. Joker's a good pilot. I don't think he'd have too much trouble running a course he's already aware of, that he's been blindsided by once and survived.
    • Logically Shepard's raid of the Collector base took multiple hours. Long enough for an advanced AI and great pilot to come up with, at least, some chewing-gum-and-prayer type of patching measures good enough to hold for the return trip. It wouldn't be pretty, easy, or comfortable, but it'd get them back home.
    • The only reason why they had trouble getting through the debris field in the first place was because Joker was deliberately flying through tight, wreckage-thick sections of the field to shake off the Oculus fighters. Prior to then, he was twisting and weaving easily in open areas without having to worry about debris. Afterward, he had no trouble maneuvering to fight the Collector ship. We can reasonably conclude that there's enough open space that the Normandy could easily reach the relay on the return trip. If there are holes in the ship, dealing with them is as easy as sealing off the damaged areas with bulkheads or emergency mass effect fields until they can be repaired - which is what happened at the beginning of the game, and you can see emergency mass effect fields sealing off gaps in the hull when fighting the Oculus and during the ending while Shepard is in the cargo bay.

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