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It occurred to me that we don't have a place to talk about Mass Effect in General, just several threads dedicated to one game. This is meant to be a place to talk about the franchise as a whole without needed to dig up old threads. A few ground rues.
Okay then, happy troping!
edited 7th Nov '14 2:06:48 PM by VeryMelon
.-. Isn't spoiler free part rather moot since games are old enough for everyone interested it know all the spoilers anyway? Who would like to speak about non spoilery parts?
It's a precaution in case people come here to ask if they should get the games.
It actually does happen from time to time. I've seen it in the Dragon Age thread, where people come in and go, "So, I'm playing through the game for the first time, and I just got to X part, and these were my thoughts. Awesome game!"
Then the conversation immediately transitions to Rosebud being a sled and the poor bastard gets exposed to all sorts of things. If you see someone who openly admits to it being his first time, do him a courtesy, start spoilertexting things he hasn't gotten to yet.
edited 28th May '14 9:01:35 AM by TobiasDrake
Eh.*shrugs* Still say that doesn't happen often enough
So to get the ball rolling, let's continue our discussion about the default renegade choices in Mass Effect 2 that we started in the Dragon Age thread. The one flag I don't think is set is who lived on Virmire, Ashley or Kaiden if you don't import a Mass Effect save. I think it's random which one it is.
Nope, you get to choose who died in brief with Miranda if you don't import-
Oh wait, nevermind that was Udina/Anderson <_< Remembered it wrong, it was opposite gender ones if I recall right
edited 28th May '14 9:29:36 AM by SpookyMask
That makes sense. Mass Effect 1 kind of pushes you towards an Ashley or Kaiden romance depending on gender, so the game defaults to one in the same way.
In theory, sparing the opposite-gendered Virmire Survivor avoids depriving new players of the potential for a romance interest if they continue to ME 3. In practice, ME 3 had fewer qualms about homosexual relationships than ME 1 or ME 2 did, but that's about as much as I can say on that without crossing the "No Single-Player Campaign Discussion" line.
ME 1 and ME 2 were weird about gay romance options; Jack even explicitly identifies herself as bisexual but is still hetero-only.
Liara was a kinda-bisexual option, so there's that.
I heard Jack, Miranda, Thane, and Tali were originally meant to be bisexual but those options were cut.
edited 28th May '14 11:30:34 AM by VeryMelon
Liara was the Lesbians Are Neato! option, not the bisexual option. Complete with self-aware cheap justification about how it's not "really" lesbians so it's okay to drool over it.
She's a 12-year-old's idea of homosexual representation.
edited 28th May '14 12:19:19 PM by TobiasDrake
Now having gotten ME 1 I'm actually tempted to play through with the Liara romance though for one reason.
With the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for ME 2, Liara is the only character who's a romance option in all three games.
Which is annoying as, in my opinion, Liara is the least interesting or fun character in the game. And yet the writers seemed to just adore her.
I don't think its as much as case of adoration as much as it was case of her being intended to be one of "main" characters all along <_< I mean, even in first game she is recruited in plot mission, is one of mac guffins that allows location of Ilos and her mother is involved in the plot.
Garrus and Tali on other hand are far more popular characters, but I think only reason they are recruitable in sequels isn't because "Well, its not like they are busy" but because they were popular enough to return. Otherwise they would probably be unrecruitable as well.
I might be wrong since despite ME being trilogy, Bioware didn't write second and third game at same time as first game(or apparently didn't even plan them through) so each game feels bit disjointed from trilogy as whole when you examine little details. So its entirely possible that Liara wasn't supposed to be important in ALL games before they made her important in ME 2, but like I said, the fact she is only one of first game's squad members with direct plot connections does kinda hint that she was always supposed to be one of main characters.
Also, to be fair, Liara is pretty okay in second and third game, shes just... Well, her way of speaking is just too unnatural in first game to be taken as real person.
edited 28th May '14 9:40:07 PM by SpookyMask
She is an alien. I guess they went for the sexy, exotic alien babe approach. I don't mind it though; I liked Liara and Lt. Cmdr. Hans romanced her for all three games.
I dunno, I doubt people mind drooling over actual lesbians. If you're into that sort of thing, of course. And it counts as kinda-bisexual because Male Shep can romance her, and because she honestly doesn't see the distinction - she is attracted to Superman!Shepard, gender is not an issue for her.
edited 28th May '14 10:31:16 PM by arcanephoenix
See, that's what I mean by cheap justification. "She's totally mono-gendered, even though she looks like a hot female, so she's not REALLY a gay option for females, she's an Alien Love option with no specific gender! Who is totally a hot chick." There's no gay option for male Shepards, only for females, but they skirt the issue by saying she's not really a gay option because she has no gender, despite being a perfect replica of a human female.
Let me put it this way: she wouldn't have been included as the only bisexual love interest in the game if she was a hanar.
edited 28th May '14 10:49:16 PM by TobiasDrake
I don't see it as much as an excuse to handwave that they're not "really" lesbians as much as just showing how for asari as a species gender is a non-issue. You'd have to be really deluded to believe that any female and asari couple is not lesbian just because asari are monogendered.
There were no heterosexual hanar love interests either, or even any hanar major characters, Blasto aside, and he was more joke than anything. But I see your point.
Still, everyone looks pretty in fiction unless their being ugly serves some purpose in the plot. Ash isn't ugly, nor are Miranda, Jack or Specialist Traynor (nor for that matter are Kaidan, Thane and Cortez ugly). Doesn't mean their romances are somehow less meaningful, at least in universe.
I dispute this. She wasn't a hanar because that seems to be rather hard to render movements and such... But I could totally see a Hanar!Liara/Shepard pairing happening... Because tentacle-sex is all the rage.
The point isn't that she's pretty, the point is that until Mass Effect 3, the only Gay Options were female. Liara counts as a female, despite the half-assed attempt to pretend she's not technically female. Mass Effect 1 and 2 didn't really have a great relationship with the concept of gay options.
Contrast Dragon Age Origins, in which there was one bisexual option for either gender, or Dragon Age 2, where four out of five love interests were bisexual and the fifth only really counts as half a character anyway. Dragon Age had a respectable relationship with homosexuality, while Mass Effect treated it like a 12-year-old who just discovered lesbians for the first time and is totally excited, but doesn't want people to think he's a perv.
edited 28th May '14 11:05:09 PM by TobiasDrake
Nobody really cares that she isn't technically female, I know I didn't. I just thought 'Hey, here's this alien chick, and she's into Shepard no matter what. Yay for hot alien sex, I guess.'
LOL @ half a character, but I didn't get your 'perv' comment. Plus, if I'm not wrong, Dragon Age simply uses the same romance dialogue and stuff for both sexes, and Liara does that too.
There should have been a male gay love interest, but Liara wasn't too bad as a female kinda-bisexual love interest. I heard there was a real shit-storm over the whole gay thing too - not something a first game in a potential trilogy can handle.
edited 28th May '14 11:15:58 PM by arcanephoenix
<_< I'm surprised that it seems only I and Tobias agree on this .-.
I mean, it IS an attempt at Hide Your Lesbians. I'd buy the mono gender thing if asari looked more androgynous with both male and female traits Because if they would really be "monogender" race, then idea of homosexual male human dating asari wouldn't seem off. By Asari logic, they don't have genders, but clearly they look like female humans meaning that heterosexuality of female human dating one is questionable :P (Even disregarding that asari somehow manage to make salarians sexually interested despite salarians not feeling sexual interest besides heat)
In case you guys are wondering about "Wait, how did that prove that she is example of Hide Your Lesbians when I just noted that its hard to believe the monogender explanation?". Well, thats the point, game presents it like that. If she was just human female, then yes she would be bisexual and female Shepard would be lesbian or bi. But the way game presents it is "Hey, here is hot bi chick for you to date, but TECHNICALLY shes not REALLY bi! So anything that breaks heteronormativity is TECHNICALLY not happening" which is example of the trope. Basically they skirt the issue of having to deal with non hetero relationships by making only non hetero relationship to "technically" not count as homo/bisexual relationship. Game even originally had possible Kaidan or Ashley(I forgot if it was both or just one of them) as love interest for both genders, but they cutted that out. While Liara is still in. So basically romancing Kaidan or Ashley as same gender is something they can't apparently do, but Liara doesn't count since shes an alien :P
Granted, later on Bioware stopped being scared of this stuff for some reason, though they still were being rather... Well, Dragon Age has two bisexual romances and two heterosexual ones. DA 2 has 4 bi and one straight celibacy. ME 2 on other hand has only straight relationships once again besides Liara.. And the one with Chambers that barely counts. ME 3 is only game so far that actually has homosexual relationships and not just bisexual ones at most... And they are minor non squad member characters. I mean, sure they have more dialog than most npcs, but... Yeah, I think most people are more attached to squad members.
Basically, Bioware has over the time gotten less... Well, since I'm not sure of politically correct term, I'll just say "prude". At ME 1 they did have bisexual romance, but it was framed as "It technically doesn't count! Really!" without anybody buying the crap. In DA 1 they did have openly bisexual romances, but they never actually had homosexual romances until ME 3 and even then there isn't yet party member characters who are homosexual. Unless there was one in Jade Empire... I think that game had only bisexual romances and one heterosexual one, right?
edited 28th May '14 11:26:42 PM by SpookyMask
I think it still works in universe. To you, and me, and Shepard and other humans, Fem Shep romancing Liara looks like it's lesbian, because she looks pretty much like a human woman with blue skin and hair-like tentacles. But to her, it doesn't matter, because she doesn't see love interests according to gender, it's a biological thing, culture thing, whatever.
Plus, if a human romances an alien, I think it would cross into the boundary beyond homosexuality and heterosexuality and enter into xenosexuality.
Of course, out of universe, asari look like women, because women add 'pretty quotient', but it still works in-universe.
Also, why would people care if it didn't count? It's not as if Liara is some big secret.
edited 28th May '14 11:34:23 PM by arcanephoenix
Xenosexuality? Thats just racist
Seriously though, it is easy to explain in universe, but it doesn't really change thats how it is framed in first game. First game has many oddities anyway, like Tali's right arm looking like cyborg arm and none of quarians, including Tali, having similar armor design in latter games.
Heck, Liara's dialog is REALLY really unnatural... Its like... Its really hard to explain. Its like she is speaking in monotone without being monotone. Like, she oozes what is supposed to feel like awkward shyness, but it comes across as really artificial. I know she is supposed to come across as awkward shy love interest as Bioware's old tradition of love interests works(People often compare Tali and Merril, but I think Merril and first game Liara is more apt comparison), but they try too hard and she just comes across as unnaturally awkward.
And like I said, people didn't care because nobody was stupid enough to buy the "She is mono gender species, that doesn't really count!" explanation game gives. But even still, that is how it is framed in the game. I'm using word "framed" so much that its starting to lose its meaning it seems :P
edited 28th May '14 11:37:01 PM by SpookyMask
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