Spoiler Warning S4E12: Punch Drunk

By Shamus
on Dec 16, 2010
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I know yesterday we revealed that we’d used an editor to change our save. I think this was a good move, but I want to stress that this was an exception and we’re generally not going to change our stance on mods. We went to play games as they came out of the box. I don’t want a big debate over what mods we should use, and when a game bugs out I don’t want people to blame it on the mods we’ve installed.

I really dislike how they handled saves from the previous game. The default setup given to someone without a ME1 save is about the least interesting of the possible choices. And BioWare really should have let you (optionally) pick from the available choices. Kaiden or Ashley? Council live or die? Wrex alive or dead? Rachni Queen free or dead? Anderson or Udina? Letting the player choose at the start of the game would have added replay value.

I guess they were trying to sell copies of Mass Effect 1, but without knowing what those options were or that they even existed, I don’t think there’s any incentive for newcomers to go back and get the original game.

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A Hundred!20202013Many comments. 173, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. X2-Eliah says:

    My theory is that those introductory questions – you know, on the shuttle when Miranda&Jacob ask you what you recall of the past – I’m thinking that it was originally meant to be a ‘set’ event for those ME1 carry-over decisions if you had started a new char.

    Probably someone just messed it up.

    • Piflik says:

      I kinda like the interactive-comic-thing they are doing for the PS3 Version…they should have done it for the XBox and PC versions as well…although 15 minutes might just barely be enough to get the big choices…but then again all the little things of ME1 aren’t really addressed in ME2 aside from some eMails…so…it should work quite well…as long as the ME1 variables aren’t addressed in ME3…

    • Matthias says:

      I’d not be surprised if this is actually in the upcoming PS3 version.
      On PC and XBox they may get a few ME1 sales out of this (nicer theory: they don’t want to invalidate our work in creating the perfect ME1 save ;-)), but as far as I’ve heard there will never be a PS3 version of ME1.

  2. Rosseloh says:

    What I want to know is, how the heck did you do the editing in the first place? I just started another playthrough last night, and at the first chance to save I did so, quit, and fired up “Gibbed’s” editor (the only one I’m aware of). But it didn’t seem to have any effect, at least on the Miranda/Jacob conversation in the shuttle. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten, however.

  3. RejjeN says:

    HE FOUND THE MELEE BUTTON!!!

  4. Wolfwood says:

    I thought it was funny that the Default Setting For ME2 makes you out to be a complete ASSHOLE in ME1, wrex dies, council dies, rachni extinct. etc. There was NOTHING you did that was good that carried over.

    Lucky me that you can just DL pure Paragon saves from the interweb! (for ppl like me who don’t know how to mod saves :P)

    p.s. i tried to play ME1 over but for some reason my Steam version always crashes when im working over on the cloud city (you know the crazy mindcontrol plant lvl)

    • Robyrt says:

      The ME2 default is straight Renegade, which is a very curious option, since it’s known that well over 50% of players pick the “good guy” option whenever it is available. I can only assume that they were trying to get the Cerberus plot to make more sense – if Shepard was a racist jerk in ME1, it’s not too much of a stretch to have him gleefully sign up for Cerberus in ME2.

      • Piflik says:

        ME might be the first of Bioware’s franchises where the ‘evil’ (or rather chaotic good) path is canon…first replacing the cross-species Council with an all-human one and later (probably) replacing that Council with Cerberus…they might not be too friendly to aliens, but at least they get stuff done…and that’s what the galaxy needs…

        • Ringwraith says:

          There is no canon option in Mass Effect.
          That’s the beauty of it, no choice you are given is forced and chosen for you at any point.

        • RejjeN says:

          It’s not an “all human” council, it’s a Human-led council, with most of the other races thinking the non-human members are puppets (Well, at least that’s the impression the people on the citadel gave me). And you don’t think putting Cerberus on the council would be a terrible idea? I doubt the Turians, Asari or Salarians would agree to that and as they PROBABLY have their own governments like the Alliance does they would probably go to war against the Alliance/humans/whatever if they did.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sovereign falls,the galaxy dies!

  5. Yerushalmi says:

    The “all of the doors open when you hack the console” isn’t as far-fetched as you might imagine. I work in a museum, with many many valuable items, and electronic locks on the display cases.

    And any time we have a blackout, all of the cases swing wide open on their own.

    Since starting to work here I have learned never to question institutional stupidity in fiction. Ever.

    • Andrew B says:

      Oh my god, you live in a movie! If George Clooney turns up and asks for a job as a janitor, take out extra insurance on all the goodies.

    • Deadpool says:

      It IS a bit of a problem here because the leader of the place goes out of his way to point out that every inmate is individually sealed, and that he can even blow each of them out of an airlock individually if he wants…

      • Yerushalmi says:

        Probably just bluster, then, in case Shepard decides to misbehave when getting locked up: “Hey, Shepard, remember what I said about the airlock? Don’t make me press this red button here…”.

        • guy says:

          He’s apparently not bluffing. Radio conversations indicate that he opens several cell blocks to space.

        • Jarenth says:

          That would have been a lot more of a dangerous threat if Shepard hadn’t died from vacuum exposure once before.

          And got better.

          • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            No, see, Cerberus has totally ran out of Phoenix Downs or whatever. And it was too costly to make just that one time, so strip mining the whole galaxy won’t be enough. Like, no chance anyone will ever be brought back from death ever. Not gonna happen. Nuh uh.

    • RTBones says:

      You could also see it as an element of safety – if there was a fire, flood, earthquake, volcano eruption, tsunami, explosive decompression, PETA protest, soccer hooliganism, a mass outbreak of paper cuts, what have you, you might need to evacuate the inmates schnell schnell. Onre stop shopping to get everyone out makes sense in that context.

  6. Reach says:

    I remember reading that the player would be able to make the pivotal choices in a little questionnaire at the beginning of the game. I guess they threw that out.

    I was always a little miffed about the choice to kill the council. Not at the choice itself, but at everyone’s reaction to it. I was under the impression that the choice was a tactical battle decision, but everyone acts like it was a good or evil moral choice without outside consequences(which it was, but we aren’t supposed to know that). Everyone talks about how the player “let the council die” even though there’s no reason they should have the slightest idea about the circumstances of that battle. I don’t know if this was a deliberate act of making certain NPCs appear to be dicks, or an accident.

    ME3 trailer anyone?

    • Deadpool says:

      DO note that they’ll be adding a short, video comic version of ME1 on the PS3 version of ME2. While watching this comic you wll be given choices, which will then affect your ME2 storyline…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      To be fair,when someone does make a tough decision in a war,or in a stake out,or in a fire,people will later blame them for “letting my family member die”,or some such.People simply can be jerks like that sometimes.

  7. krellen says:

    The Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC reveals that every single person in the galaxy punches that reporter. Getting punched seems to be her MO.

    Incidentally, proof that BioWare’s writers aren’t all completely brain dead, the Paragon response to this is far more satisfying, and far more effective.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That citadel part was very satisfying.Too bad that you didnt do that batarian bartender on omega.Making him drink his own poison is so funny.

  9. BanZeus says:

    Most intruders here regret finding Jack!

  10. Milos says:

    Nice, I completed ME2 a few times and I never saw that bathroom scene. I always assumed it was just a generic drinking conversation option so I never bothered.

    On a different note: Are you keeping the Garrus/Mordin (Gordin? Morrus?) team even after you get Tali? It will crush Rutskarn’s heart if she never gets any screen time.

  11. eri says:

    So you guys have a script “no mods” policy, but what about unofficial patches? Especially if you choose to play some older titles, community fixes are pretty much essential to get a truly smooth experience… I couldn’t imagine playing even something like Fallout 3 without its unofficial patch, let alone Baldur’s Gate or something.

    • Keeshhound says:

      It gets worse than that; Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines is not only unplayable without fan patches, there are anecdotal reports that the unpatched version can brick your hard drive.

      • krellen says:

        I doubt that’s true. First off, the unpatched game is perfectly playable. Secondly, a program cannot destroy a hard drive. It just can’t.

        • Piflik says:

          This…I played through Vampire unpatched multiple times…and no Software can damage a harddisc….

        • Lalaland says:

          Actually there have been badly written installers that have deleted the contents of C:\Program Files\ or patches that have corrupted the FAT (thus wiping the drive). It’s very rare now (Win95/98 era was the last time I heard of this) but given the way that Windows handles file system permissions (all or nothing file system access) it could happen again. Unix/Linux handles this stuff better by only allowing programs access to specified folders but then there are no games I want to play on Linux so..

          • krellen says:

            Okay, let me restate: in the NT era, such programs do not exist.

          • Piflik says:

            That might kill your Windows installation and your data, but not the harddrive.

            • LassLisa says:

              The practical difference between “I have to reformat my hard drive” and “I need a new hard drive” is very small for the typical user. A difference in price but not in effect. If it stops my computer from booting and renders my data inaccessible to me then it has certainly earned “broken my computer” status.

              • krellen says:

                The phrase used was “brick your hard drive”. That means it’s unusable and unsalvageable. It’s a brick.

                It’s not a phrase used by unsavvy users.

                • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  You mean it’s a phrase that shouldn’t be used by unsavvy users. Because some people keep saying something bricked something even when all it did was either reset to factory defaults or force a reboot.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      They went through fallout 3 without unofficial patches.And it was hillarious.Funny how seeing someone elses game bugging out makes people laugh,but when it happens to them,they want to break the computer apart.

    • Josh says:

      If we can’t even get the game to run, we’ll mess around with unofficial patches or fixes to get the game to work. Anything more than that – unofficial fixes to other game bugs or any other changes – more or less ruins the half the point of the show: to make fun of the developer when they screw up.

      • Lalaland says:

        I agree on the no mods/fan patches policy, if the game has obvious silly flaws or bugs I want to see that in an LP and hear comments on it. Playing the game I don’t want to deal with that stuff so I’d install them, the eye searing base textures in Oblivion had to go as one obvious example.

        I’ve always wondered why so many games don’t offer higher res textures with PC releases. I was under the impression that they’re mastered at higher res and downsampled to suit memory starved consoles. Surely then it’s simply a batch job to resample them all at higher resolutions?

        • Robyrt says:

          Because a small but vocal contingent of your fan base will turn all the graphics settings up to UltraMaximum++ and then complain “it runs slow” or “why do my textures take so long to load?”

        • RTBones says:

          I think it comes down to the “lowest common denominator” factor.

          Think about it: with a console, the devs pretty much know the hardware combination they are dealing with. In the world of PCs, they have eleventy billion squared combinations. There has to be an aim point, which I suspect is what the “recommended” system requirements are. You will always have people who spend a gazillion sheckles on a gaming rig that will complain that their system which requires liquid cooling and a nuclear reactor to run is not taxed by your puny game and how come the devs cant make it “prettier” because THEY have the horsepower to do it. You also have the other end of the spectrum where people will take a seven year old P4 with a gig of memory and graphics card that while stable is no longer supported and wonder why they cant play the game on the highest settings, let alone the minimum.

          So what we get is a game designed for the “recommended” specs, and scaled (performance-wise) from there.

          • Avilan says:

            One thing I LIKE about co-developing for say XBox 360 is that it will run on my 2 year old computer.

            This means that games like ME3 and DA2 can be pre-orderd by me without having any major worries about having to buy a new $1200 computer to go with the game.

  12. Jonn says:

    Something that bears pointing out to any viewers of the series – maybe worth mentioning in a future ep? – is that the PC port is lazy. When you see those loading screen movies, you might be thinking the game takes a long time to load.

    It actually doesn’t.

    The culprit is the annoyingly unskippable load movies.
    If you replace the standard loading movies with short ones, you can cut load times to a few seconds, instead of the 10-20 seconds the movies take to play.

    Presumably this was to suit the 360’s load times, but sometimes it gets REALLY annoying – the worst offender for me was the deck changes on Normandy. With replacement movies, they take about 0.3 of a second to load. A LOT faster than the load movie.

    For some more info: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1129452

    Or you can just grab the bink viewer, watch them once, and rename/delete the movies you don’t like.

    • MogTM says:

      Wow … that’s just … wow.

      Inflicting unnecessary load times on PC users. That’s a new level of laziness/sadism.

    • Lalaland says:

      There was also a problem where on dual core systems where it took a biblical age to load on occasion. The community tool ‘Mass Affinity’ fixed this by switching the executable’s cpu affinity on and off before loading the game, it also skips the cd check. With it the levels load faster and the movies rarely completed on the Normandy for me before the level loaded (Shepards cabin loaded in under half a second)

    • Irridium says:

      I noticed it was lazy when you couldn’t bind shortcut keys to the keyboard.

      Things like the journal, codex, ect. all had shortcuts in ME1, but not 2.

      Also in ME1 it was easy to zoom in/out of planets with a few button presses. Now you have to use the mouse. Granted that is a tiny complaint, but its still annoying how features seem to be disappearing between games.

      • Jonn says:

        While not even close to a good reason, missing the shortcut keys is presumably down to the fact they handled the ME2 port to PC in-house, whereas ME1 was outsourced.

        Considering that both ME1&2 have frustrating opening scenes – unskippable, only interesting for a few runs, and clearly not targeted at making dozens of new characters – it’s a reasonable assumption someone high up the chain-o-decisioning thought: “We may as well port it to PC, it should sell a tiny amount more copies. But, we can’t afford the time/money to include PC-centric code in our purely 360 game. A game that we never intend to port to PS3, since that kind of change would be WAY harder than just adding keyboard shortcuts and sanity checks.”

        Or maybe I’m just jaded that one of the better RPG makers don’t seem to like PC audiences. Honestly, they do stupid stuff like making the ONLY button(s) that skip ahead in dialog ALSO select the next topic – ¿bwuh? – yet are miles ahead of the generic-marine-clone-shooter-copies.

        They make it fun – even for all the decisions that leave me wondering about the higher-ups collective mental state, they are one of five companies I will buy titles from at launch, not wait for price cuts/sales, and especially not worry about needing massive patching to be stable. It DOES crash, sure, but ME2 was pretty stable at release. That means more to me than having to adjust to bizaro design/implementation decisions.

        • Irridium says:

          It just doesn’t make sense since Dragon Age was made primarily for PC’s. Yet that game was actually a really good port. The controls weren’t perfect but they did a fine enough job adapting them for the controller.

    • Avilan says:

      Speaking of console ports: I do not get the “it’s bad to have action, sprint and cover button as one button”. In fact, since I started with ME2 and then went back to ME1, this control setup is one of the things I really miss from ME2.
      I am not specifically twitchy (which is why I generally suck at real time strategy games and shooters) but even I can let go of the sprint button in time to nicely slide into cover and not vault over it (at first try, even, when I had never played the game before), or avoid being stuck trying to “action” something when sprinting by (the only way you do that is if you actually am trying to start sprinting while within “interact distance and direction” of something. And that never happens in combat.

      Being left handed I have re-mapped it to RIGHT CTRL and movement buttons to the arrow keys, and that is an immensely effective setup.

      About loading screens: I have now replaced the movies with custom made shorter ones in ME2. Let’s see if that works.
      On the other hand it is STILL worse in ME1, where the elevator rides have to play out before you can exit, even if it’s a 2 sec loading time and you don’t care about the newscast.

      • Jonn says:

        Mostly agree about ME1 being worse, since that was unavoidable loading and waiting.
        My point for ME2 was that not only is it wholly artificial, it’s also stupid – letting people “Press LMB to skip movie” or such would solve half the problem, and allowing a default setting under advanced gameplay or something, “Always skip scene transition movies when loading is finished”, takes the main frustration away for people who just want to get to the gameplay / skip the boring intro and make their character already.

        And the issue with the combination of actions to one key isn’t bad simply due to the occasionally over-sticky wall-glue, or when you want to interact but are near a wall; it’s more about the fact that PC games that are built with PC in mind – even if the game is primarily for a console – should respect the controls that PC users are used to. Arbitrarily forcing three+ actions to one button for no other reason than ‘on the console controller it has to be this way’ is not going to win any favors from your typical PC enthusiast.

        • Avilan says:

          I disagree (About your last point) simply because to “respect” a common setup when another one is better, is not only bad for that game, but bad for PC gaming in general.

          • Jonn says:

            Rereading my post, that wasn’t what I intended to convey; it should have said respect the choice available, i.e. we don’t just have keyboards with standard keys – there are those with special function keys, like the Logitech series (G13 or wherever they started) – along with any number of peripherals, though they aren’t so common nowadays. Anyone remember the Sidewinder?

            Along those lines, I have a Razer Naga – basically a mouse with a tiny numpad stuck on its side – and the number of games arbitrarily locking number keys and/or numpad is annoyingly high.

            Having to rebind mouse and keyboard buttons through their respective driver software in order to change the in-game configuration is not ideal, to say the least. But, so long as functions are assigned to one key only, it’s possible.

      • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        So you missed the part where Josh accidentally launched a conversation with the VI (or whatsitcalled) while trying to sprint past it? Twice?

        Context sensitive uses for buttons is generally a good idea, but I can’t believe it’s really that hard to find secondary uses for a buttons so that they don’t cause trouble. Seriously, sprint initiates conversation/uses objects? Dumbasses.

        What next, Assassin’s Creed 3 will have “jumping/upward motion” in the same button as assassinate? I mean, most players won’t be near other guys and looking/moving towards them while wanting to climb/jump right? Sure, occasionally they’ll kill an innocent damaging their health and slowing escape, possibly causing a reload, but what the hell, right? It’s not like they’re getting paid to design these things, so why spend any more time thinking up a better combination?

        Or, god forbid, they would actually offer a proper settings-screen for button setups. (I’ve never understood this, even on consoles. Every current console allows user profiles, so you won’t mix up another’s settings either. Why is it so damn important to the designers that I can’t change manually what does what?)

  13. Factoid says:

    There WAS an option in the game at one point where you could choose the state of several key variables. Was Wrex alive or dead, did the council survive, who is the new human councilor, did you kill the Rachni queen, etc…

    I’ve even seen a screenshot of it. In fact I think it made the front page of Penny Arcade only to be PROMPTLY retracted by Bioware saying they’d removed it for some awful reason.

    I can’t think of a single technical, financial or gameplay reason to omit this feature. It’s obvious that editing the savegame is possible since there are mods that do it. It wouldn’t be a major timesink for development and when I first heard about it was MONTHS before the game released…so I don’t think it was something they just didn’t have time to finish. And they could have easily patched this in between Gold Master and the release date.

    From a gameplay perspective it’s not like filling forms out is fun, but for anyone who doesn’t want to there’s always the quick-start option.

    From a financial perspective would leaving this feature out really generate revenue in terms of additional ME1 sales? I doubt it. Maybe they figure getting people to pop ME1 back in might generate a few bucks in DLC sales, but I have a hard time believing it’s any kind of windfall profit.

    It’s just a stupid decision all around. I’d love to see if they’ve ever explained why they cut it.

    • Robyrt says:

      If it was implemented and then cut, it could have gone over badly in focus group testing. Some people (particularly the new audience of Call of Duty fans ME2 was trying to get) react very negatively to being bombarded with plot-specific information early in the game.

      I know I wouldn’t be able to fill out a quiz about, say, Dragon Age lore at the beginning of Dragon Age 2.

      • Velkrin says:

        Ah Focus Groups. The same groups that caused Left for Dead 1 to have non-connected campaigns (in terms of in game story).

        Cue player reaction to this and in L4D2 they did a 180 on that decision.

      • Veloxyll says:

        What, an advanced start option is too hard for COD fans? And these same focus groups were okay with: the protagonist dying after the movement tutorial and SO MANY CUTSCENES.
        Methinks focus groups are not a useful source of information.

    • MrPyro says:

      I am primarily speaking from a position of vague memory and ignorance here, but I think it was from a limited beta that went out; the switches were there so that people could test that the different conversations happened properly when the various flags were set. I think they only intended it to be a testing tool, but then people saw it and thought it would be in the release.

  14. RTBones says:

    [bows humbly]

    Drunken Sheppard is a foil for situations comical
    With keepers serving drinks in quantities quite astronomical
    Passing out upon the floor in restrooms wrong is quite the twist
    And Citadel reporters getting punched does make us pugilists
    Won’t miss the chance to Safety Dance with rhythm diabolical
    Drunken Sheppard is a foil for situations comical

    [hiccups]

  15. Ringwraith says:

    Jack managing to go berserk when you first see her yet not retaining any of that ability never bothered me.
    Then again, I might have explained it away subconsciously with the fact that Jack’s angry, so very very angry, and all that pent-up rage from being in cryogenic stasis suddenly gets unleashed as biotic hell. It would also explain why she even scales down her actions throughout the mission (like when she slides under a door despite punching clean through a wall earlier), as she’s coming back into the normal world and calming down.

    • Avilan says:

      Yeah; basically it’s 10 years or so of stored RAGE that she lets out. It’s like the explosion at the end of the suicide mission (same as Samara does); it’s a one time, let’s spend all powers I have, deal.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I’m not really in the majority here but I really, really liked Jack. I know she’s pretty much a golem made out of tropes but I find it be a very well executed one. On that note I would like at least some slight lampshading about the differences in her levels of power between scenes, anything. Even something that would imply there are reasons for this that the player doesn’t know and may or may not learn in ME3 would work for me, as it is I don’t recall there being any indication at all that anybody even notices it.

        • Sydney says:

          Kaidan’s conversations in ME1 suggest that a sufficiently pissed-off biotic can achieve more than even a well-trained one in a calm state.

          See: Teenaged, half-trained Kaidan executing a biotic attack “almost as strong as [he] can do now” when his instructor got him angry enough. Note that this was before he was given a military-grade biotic amp, and that the Codex says humans need those amps to be any use in combat. Anger overcomes even that.

          And I suspect the delta between Jack’s moods is greater than that between Kaidan’s moods.

          (Now, all that said: Jack is wearing her amp right after she’s released from cryo. WHY? We know amps can be removed, both from the Codex and from the fact that they were swappable in ME1. And even if Jack’s amp is somehow permanently implanted…cut off the freakin’ ear, guys. What kind of idiot guards run this place?)

  16. Exasperation says:

    I have two things to say about the scene in the bar.

    First, Shepard clearly has a drinking problem.

    Second, are you sure they dragged Shepard into the mens’ room? I see Mordin, Garrus, Shepard, and a random Turian. Maybe they dragged her into the non-humans’ room.

  17. eri says:

    I’m actually pretty sure there’s only one bathroom in that club. Though I could be remembering wrong…

  18. guy says:

    I like Grunt’s recruitment mission a lot, personally.

    I guess Jack’s recruitment mission plays okay, but I just can’t get over only having the one button. Plus, I don’t like Jack that much. The companions have some nice lines towards the very end, though.

    I like to imagine that Shepard remembers the last time she was told to disarm.

  19. PrevasiveOne says:

    Honestly, I knew there was going to be a firefight on the prison ship before I was asked to disarm. I mean, it was manned by the Blue Sun’s. That alone screamed “We are going to try to kill you.”

  20. superglucose says:

    A few notes: The first is about the Turian (and by extension Quarian) biology: They’re supposed to be “nitrogen based life forms” which means that instead of carbon-based molecules they use nitrogen-based molecules. It’s a theory that humanity’s had for a while, and it’s why we’re looking for life on the moon Titan. What doesn’t make any sense at all is that the Turians have allergic reactions to any organic molecules which will kill them. I guess they can’t wear any clothes or use any plastic or breathe (carbon dioxide has, gasp, carbon in it). At least with the Quarians (though when Tali explains why their immune systems are so weak you’ll get to hear a long-ass rant about how THAT makes no sense at all) they’re a) not allergic and b) wearing enviro-suits so at least in theory they wouldn’t come into contact with organic matter. “What-if nitrogen based life” is an interesting idea, but “What-if nitrogen based space-faring intelligent life” is a completely underdeveloped idea if they’re allergic to carbon. Especially since humans aren’t really “allergic” to nitrates… they’re just mostly at least mildly toxic… but then again, alcohol is fairly toxic and we drink that frequently (ok technically the most toxic part of alcohol is one of the compounds made during the decomposition but yeah).

    The second thing is purple blood, because THAT PISSES ME OFF. Blood in humans and earth animals is red for one very, very simple reason. Human blood uses iron to drag oxygen around the body. It’s easy to get oxygen to bind to iron (see: rust) and it’s also fairly easy to get that oxygen back off (see: ketchup), meaning that it’s ideal for transporting oxygen around the blood stream. Star Trek had green blood on the Romulans and the reasoning behind that was that their blood used copper instead of iron. That’s pretty cool (though aqueous copper is blue not green, ZINC is green), and makes sense. But the list of elements that are purple is extraordinarily low. Potassium is pretty much the only one I can think of… and potassium+water = happy fun times.

    GRAH.

    I’m done nerdraging.

    • Piflik says:

      Hrmm…Quarians and Turians don’t base on Nitrogen…they base on Carbon just like us, but their amino-acids have a different chirality (mirror to each other…as well as turning the polarization of polarized light into the other direction) than ours and they cannot use our L-amino-acids.

    • wtrmute says:

      Maybe Turian blood carries a lot of anthocyanins besides haemoglobin. Terran blood colour is generally dominated by the porphyrinoid that ferries oxygen hither and thither, but there is no evolutionary argument why it must be so.

    • LassLisa says:

      First, what Piflik said about the chirality. It’s about the amino acids – they use a different orientation of amino acids than we do. It’s something that’s an issue in drug development, actually – the L version of a drug may be awesome, and the R version may do nothing and even hurt you, so in some cases that’s something that needs to be accounted for in synthesis. So the part about having toxic reactions to L- or R-amino acids has at least a reasonable basis.

      Second, just to clarify, it’s not free-floating iron that colors (human) blood; it’s iron as part of the hemoglobin molecule. When you do chemical reactions, mix stuff together, etc. color can change, e.g. Cu being green/blue (I’d call patina ‘green’, personally) in its ionized form but ‘copper-colored’ in the elemental form.

      • guy says:

        The same applies to sugars. Some types of artifical sugar are right-handed because humans can’t process them and therefore don’t get fat, but they otherwise act the same. Mostly, at least.

      • superglucose says:

        In that case it STILL doesn’t make sense… it describes them as having an alergic reaction. Why don’t they have to have rebreathers? What about airborne bacterium? Why don’t those cause alergic reactions?

        Now with the Quarians it makes sense… they don’t have much of an immune system to begin with and so allergic reactions should be “meh” at best.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well you can walk around cars with no problem(except annoyance),but if you were to suck on an exhaust pipe,youd die.So you its a question of quantity as well.

    • Fnord says:

      Um, Garrus’s blood looks blue to me, which (as you point out) is the color you’d expect if they used hemocyanin or similar copper-containing protein (and note that this is NOT the same coloring as the copper oxide patina on elemental copper). It may not be exactly the right shade, but it’s not way off.

      I don’t recall anything about being nitrogen-based life, and I’m not sure that would really work anyway. Carbon easily forms the backbones for macromolecules at room temperature, while nitrogen really doesn’t. It might work at -180 C on Titan, but that’s different from working at 20 C room temperature. I’m pretty sure it’s just the chirality issue.

  21. wtrmute says:

    That red on Garrus’s face is Ketchup.

  22. Kale says:

    So how did the prison guys get her in and out of that chair? If she can get out of those restraints with no help, just coming from cold sleep after however long(which does who knows to muscles and mental functions, though she doesn’t seem to be someone who wakes groggy so far), and without biotics, since I didn’t see the telltale blue lights til she was free, how do you transport or use anyone like that?

    Tranquilizers might work to a point, though you can build immunities to those, but once she’s conscious she doesn’t seem like she’d be a willing participant in much. I suppose there could be some future gadget that subdues impulses or something, but do they ever explain in her back story?

  23. Jokerman89 says:

    I think Jack is sexy….i am not ashamed.

    • Avilan says:

      Oh I agree. She is definitely the most attractive female on the crew (after Kelly) DESPITE having tattooes all over. Without them she would be stunning.

      • Mumbles says:

        ggrklegjklklklklklklklklklklklklklkldfjaewiokellyklasfj;eslf

        • Shamus says:

          *performs heimlich maneuver*

          You okay? Need a drink? Yeoman Kelly can get you some water if that would help. I don’t she has anything else to do.

          • Mumbles says:

            Hold on Shamus I think I’m still spitting up blood.

            “OH HI SHEPARD YOU CAN CALL ME KELLY :D”

            “No. No I don’t think I will >:(“

            • Avilan says:

              Sorry, but for a heterosexual male… her face is extremely well done for a computer game, she has red hair, and um… interesting views about sex. And a nice voice.

              Plus, she is very good at… dancing.

              …The varren STDs might be a problem though…

              • Mumbles says:

                I’m changing my name to Wrex.

                • RTBones says:

                  What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

                  EDIT: Had to do it. Uncle Bill made me….

                  EDIT (again): Besides which (and this really REALLY is my last) you hang a curve ball like that, its going to get hammered. Oh wait…

                • RTBones says:

                  And now, from around the world and the seven seas (where everybody is looking for something) I bid thee good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night till it be morrow…lest I miss my VERY long flight home.

                  Mes amis…adieu!

                  [bows, exits stage left]

                • krellen says:

                  I totally need to make a mod to rename her to “Yeoman Mumbles” now.

                • Jarenth says:

                  Only if you actually get Mumbles to do all her dialogue.

                • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  krellen, Jarenth. Stop coming up with good ideas no-one will actually bother realizing.

                  I don’t think I get Mumbles’ comment though. Is her real name Kelly?

              • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                “Sorry, but for a heterosexual male… ”

                Fuck. You.

                A) Never, ever, start a sentence with “sorry” unless you really mean it. Seriously. I’m not certain if there’s a faster way online to give the feeling you’re a douche. It’s basically a “sorry, but you’re wrong”-type fake politeness thing.

                B) “Heterosexual male” is not a full descriptor of tastes, preferences or fetishes. It’s “for me”, and only for you. Others are free to agree, but that doesn’t make it universally true. A handful of geeks is not statistically significant. And maybe, just maybe, some of us would like a good personality to go with that botox (applies to both). And “a good personality” if anything is subjective, so generalizing that is even worse.

                I wouldn’t be half as pissed off if every goddamn “character model improvement” mod for every single game wouldn’t give every female character lips the size of fists and a skull shape that’s a mixture of an adolescent’s girl’s and an adult man’s topped with uncanny valley. Then claimed to be “breathtakingly beautiful” while giving me shivers.

                The most incongruous actually made all the male models in Fallout 3 look better. That is, higher quality and more believable or similiar. But made all the female models look like a woman with heavy work under the scalpel and heavier make-up. Because “it’s not realistic, but it’s much prettier this way”. No it isn’t, and even if it were I still can’t tell the bastards apart because they all look the same. Except for hair, but that just makes the whole thing even more disturbing.

                It’s like when you’re in a dream, but everyone only has their clothes or hair but are actually the same person with unnaturally big lips. And then they want to tear your throat open, because they’ve suddenly turned into that leech-man from X-files or something.

                • Shamus says:

                  Sumanai – You’re out of line. There was no reason to respond with so much hostility.

                  Hate on the game, not the fan.

                • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  I hate the abuse of words and generalizations. Despite appearances I find it difficult to actually hate people.

                  But, you’re right.

                  Sorry Avilan for being an ass for imaginary slights and for something that isn’t your fault or related to the topic of either the post or your comment, simply because I had it bottled up. My agony is mine, and I should be able to deal with it much better.

                  Also, sorry Shamus for giving you unnecessary, even if minor, grief. I actually expected the post to be deleted considering the vitriol, once I got retrospective.

                  Let me try again.

                  Avilan, what I meant was: A lot of trolls use “Sorry, but-” as a beginning in their posts so they can claim politeness later, despite contents (usually ad hominem). If you don’t have a lot of experience on forums and haven’t ran into it, you might not get how contentious it looks after running into it several times. So, while I don’t know if it bothers others, please don’t use it carelessly.

                  Also, I don’t, as obvious, like it when people make an umbrella claim. When you’re saying “for a heterosexual male Y looks good” you’re unintentionally claiming every heterosexual male thinks Y looks good. Which brings to my mind “I’m X, I like Y. All Xs like Ys”-thinking. Which hits a dischord for me, because it seems so many actually belief that. My own problem, obviously.
                  Anyway, you’re so not speaking for all of us. (Unless you’re basing it on statistics, in which case I suppose it’s fair. But still, “most X…”, please?)

        • X2-Eliah says:

          Interesting. Now I will keep thinking of Mumbles as an utterly useless fan-service annoying-person in a sci-fi themed shooter.

          I would say that Jack is attractive – simply due to barbarian instincts and amount of skin she’s showing (even in space), if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a hard time getting over her a)stupid-as-bricks personality, b)That constant ‘butch-girl’ vibe.

          Heck, at least Morrigan had some traces of feminine beyond the body.

          Wait, does Mumbles have tattoos all over?

          Also, is Mumbles good at feeding the fish?

          • Mumbles says:

            Well. My fish in Mass Effect 2 died if that gives you a good idea. And, I have a tattoo for every message board I start a flame war on.

          • Avilan says:

            You never talked to Jack? She has one of the best written character developments in any game.

            Also… I don’t consider her butch. I consider her hard, not butch, there is a BIG difference.

            • Irridium says:

              Here’s how my relationship with her went:

              I talked to her, denied her sex, didn’t want to be romantically involved, and she responded by telling me to fuck off every single time after I said “can’t we just be friends?”

              Plus I can’t take anyone who wears a belt as a bra seriously.

              • Sleeping Dragon says:

                I really disliked Kelly’s fangirl disposition, and I rolled my eyes whenever her romance option tried to show it’s head. On that note I absolutely adored Jack as a character and actually dumped Liara for her. This may have something to do with me not being a heterosexual male.

                And while I do find Jacks “bra” to be dumb fan service she is one of the very few characters with whom I can rationalize such a ridiculous outfit. On the combat/environment level she is probably using her biotics for protection. I think we actually see both her and other biotics do that on occasion (like [strike] during the final mission they actually spread that kind of sphere of force to encompass the whole team to stop the collector “bugs”.[/strike]) and I’m not sure but I think we sometimes see the biotics not wear protective gear (like helmets) when other people do, the obvious problem is what happens when they loose consciousness or something but meh. And as for the “social” thing, Jack uses her body against those she interacts with, in fact it is heavily implied she expects others to just assume “hey, you’re walking around half-naked, you must be easy, let’s screw” and doesn’t really mind (in fact sometimes goes along with it), though it is no way to get closer to her emotionally. She is a character who would think along the lines “Good of them to stare at my tits, they won’t notice the knife I’m gonna stab them with”.

                I am aware this is a rationalization because I like the character and I still wish they’d at least put the damn tanktop on her sooner (but then the devs wouldn’t get to show of her tattoos and would whine about it).

      • Viktor says:

        I prefer the tats. Give her a bit of color beyond the silly outfit.

    • Dude says:

      Honestly, this guy’s on to something. I tried a community mod that removes her tattoos and scars, and used the alternate costume you unlock after her loyalty mission via another little tweak to the textures. And the difference in how her scenes and everything about her plays out is incredible. I recommend everyone to try this out.

  24. Ouchies81 says:

    I thought the value of Shepard being a prisoner came from the many governments that would rather see him imprisoned than running around doing the Starsky and Hutch thing with a stealth frigate.

    The governments aligned with the Collectors alone could probably finance his imprisonment for eons.

  25. Ernheim says:

    Is it just me or does the entrance chamber on the prison, where the warden first talks to you, look kind of like the entrance chamber of the vaults in Fallout 3/New Vegas?

  26. Irridium says:

    Know what would have been awesome? Choosing to get imprisoned, then organizing a rebellion. And you class determined how you did it. Engineer based classes hack systems, which could turn the security systems against the guards. And/or release prisoners to distract guards as you make your escape. Biotic-based classes use they’re biotics to paralyze a guard as he comes by, takes his stuff, then proceeds to bust out. And a Soldier could just tank his way out of there.

    Not perfect, but I like it.

    • Kiesel says:

      Allowing the player to escape from inside the most secure prison in history would add yet another unnecessarily massive plot-hole to the plot of the game. At least a fully armed Shepard, backed up a mercenary team, and a WARSHIP, being able to steal a single prisoner makes some sense.

      Purgatory has security measures in excess of modern ultra-max prisons. Ultra-max prisoners spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, and 1 hour in an exercise room.

      Even assuming that purgatory even bothered with any lesser security areas, it is highly doubtful that a high profile prisoner such as Shepard would be kept in anything but the highest security area.
      And that’s assuming that they didn’t just stick him right in the suspended animation cryofreezer like Jack.

      Escape from butcher bay was a fun game… But that was a prison designed ostensibly to rehabilitate people, and all of the security flaws stemmed from that fact. The people who were irredeemable were kept in much more secure environment, which Riddick only escapes because of a deus ex machina. He switches cryopods with another inmate, and for some unexplained reason other cryopod does not freeze him.

      • Viktor says:

        Riddick never freezes. Watch the movie, he’s awake while in cryo. Cryo shuts down human brains, leaving just the animal instincts. He’s fine.

        • X2-Eliah says:

          That’s not how Cryo works.

          Well, aside from the fact that Cryo doesn’t actually work as such yet.

          • Avilan says:

            You mean… Futurama lied to me!!??

          • Taellosse says:

            That’s not how real life (such as it is) cryo works. It IS, apparently, how cryo works in the Riddick universe. For some reason.

            Let us not forget this is the universe where a death cult uses possessed corpses as their long-distance communicators, and there’s a race of apparently-normal humans that can turn briefly into gaseous forms for no obvious reason. And yet, it’s a sci-fi setting (nominally, anyway).

            • Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              It was a sci-fi setting, if only nominally. Now it’s a sci-fi setting only by the same metric as Star Wars is. Which I call the “BS metric”, but that name might be already taken for another purpose. But basically, it’s called sci-fi because there’s space travel, things look tech based most of the time and people keep insisting it’s sci-fi. And therefore inadvertently support the “speculative fiction” -people in their drive to make everything sound as pretentious and elitist as possible.

              Edit: I feel the need to note that I don’t use “sci-fi” as a designation of quality. For example, I don’t think something is worse or better according whether it’s sci-fi or not. Star Wars to me has always been a “futuristic fantasy” (fantasy with a futuristic theme) and I’ve liked it. It’s the BS sci-fi that Lucas and other’s keep spewing that makes me hate it.

              Also a thought occurs. What if the cryo’s are actually some sort of stasis field stuff, and they’re just called that because of tradition or something? I haven’t read up on any of the stuff, because I’m pretty sure the whole Riddick universe runs on Rule of Cool.

      • Irridium says:

        Well there’s also EDI who could always help. A simple letting Joker/EDI know beforehand would have been fine. An AI could do wonders.

        And don’t say she would have been “restricted”. Since she was obviously able to hack into the Collector ship. And if someone removed her restrictions for that moment, I’d think that they could remove the restrictions to bust Shepard out of jail.

  27. Kiesel says:

    Having to open all the cells at once because you had to hack the computer isn’t as far fetched as it seems.

    By hacking the door opening computer there is some possibility that they don’t have access to the full cell database.
    Shepard and friends might not know which commands open which cells, or which cells contain which inmates.
    If you don’t know which command opens the cryopod that contains Jack, and there are thousands of cells, opening every cell at once would be the fastest way to make sure that her cell is opened before the guards overrun you.

    Not to mention the renegadeish motivation of sicking the inmates on the guards as a “pragmatic” dick move.

    • TSED says:

      I can see it as a renegade option, but why THE ENTIRE SHIP instead of, say, “this section’s cryopods”?

      EDIT:: For paragons, I mean.

      • Avilan says:

        On the other hand, as someone pointed out: The guards are Blue Suns. This means they are Neutral Evil or Lawful Evil in D&D terms by definition… and that the paragon option would be “Shoot all guards in the face and then release only Jack”. Almost as violent, that.

        • TSED says:

          Yeah, because it’s a good guy’s job to go seek out evil people unrelated to your job and kill them just for being evil. That’s what good people do all the time. It’s required to be a ‘good’ person.

          Yep. Sure is.

  28. Zaxares says:

    Warden Kuril wants Shepard so he can sell her to the Shadow Broker. The Blue Suns actually found Shepard’s corpse to begin with and sold it to the Shadow Broker once before, but Liara and a friend stopped them and got the body to Cerberus instead. (All this is covered in the comic mini-series Mass Effect: Redemption.)

    And Jack is a stupendous example of the “NPC uses AWESOME ability, but never, ever uses it again after they join your party” trope. In fact, Jack’s a lower-tier squadmate based on my experiences with her. She doesn’t have great abilities, she’s not particularly tough, and since she favours using a shotgun, she’s usually in the front-lines getting shot up and dying.

    Oh, and I’m with Avilan. I’ll take full red-headed Kelly over bald, tattooed Jack any day. Varren STD’s be damned! :P

    • Avilan says:

      I really like Jack; if I play a renegade she tends to be in my party a good 50% of the time. She is weak until she gets “full power”, but so is Samara.

      Admittedly the one enemy I have the most problem with is husks, for some reason, so it’s not until you get to “level 4” in their power trees that I can make them anti-husk machines (group throws etc).

      Edit: and I would take any of those before Miranda any day. Tali is awesome, and if I play a paragon male looking for a serious relationship I always pick her, but that is for personality, not looks (even when factoring in “dem hips”).

      • Dude says:

        Jack’s problem for me is that her biotics are completely useless on the higher difficulty levels. On lower ones, where husks don’t have anything except health, she is the goto member to just shockwave bomb them all.

        • Fnord says:

          Even on lower difficulties, I’d take Grunt over Jack for Husk-splattering. His charge splats husks (even ones with armor!), as does concussive shot, and he’s much more durable and useful for other things.

  29. Galad says:

    Taking the player(and well, the squad’s)’s weapons and then making a fight break out, can be, if done well, a nice change of pace. You are forced to look for weapons, or to try out those biotics you’ve ignored. Do you charge that group, or do you run in the open to get the pistol next to the guard’s body?

    At least that’s how I imagine it..

  30. Roninsoul says:

    I actually looked into buying a copy of Mass Effect 1 when I bought ME2, but they are no longer made and no stores in my area had them at all. ME1 is now effectively abandonware, so have fun with it.

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