Spoiler Warning S4E32: Visit Tuchanka: The Rubble Planet

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 1, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 190 comments

A positive, coherent, thoughtful look at several aspects of the game. Sorry. I don’t know what came over us.

Link (YouTube)

Reminder: Keep those questions coming for the 100th episode. Also, don’t worry about repeating questions. Seeing a question appear more than once will help us to see that it’s a popular question.


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190 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning S4E32: Visit Tuchanka: The Rubble Planet

  1. Johan says:

    How much do you plan before each episode? When Shamus does “this is what we do” posts it seems like he sort of just has to sit in his underwear and dial in or whatever, but do you guys prepare your thoughts for the day? Does Josh play through it once to get a feel for the level (and hopefully not die so often)?

    1. Ouchies81 says:

      Yes. Josh plays the episode before hand. He even mentions it.

  2. Irridium says:

    Rumor has it that youtube has increased its video size limit to 20 or so minutes. Any thoughts on doing longer episodes(if its true)?

  3. Electron Blue says:

    By the way, the turian female does lack the head-fringe: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Abrudas
    Cool, huh?

    1. DNi says:

      Which is weird, actually, because if you listen to the Bachelor party at the bar on Illium the Turian will explain why he thinks the Asari stripper is hot: the tentacles on her head resemble the head fringes on the Turians. So a heterosexual male Turian shouldn’t find an Asari attractive.

      1. Fnord says:

        Even setting aside that, in Garrus’s romance scene he says he would complement a turian on her head fringe. Argh.

        1. Nidokoenig says:

          “Hey baby, that’s a nice package you’ve got there.”

          Maybe Garrus has a thing for getting slapped by trans women?

      2. Nidokoenig says:

        Well, he could be bisexual, which solves that problem. There’s also the popularity of trans women and muscle girls in porn aimed at the heterosexual male market to consider. Liking a male/masculine characteristic in a woman or vice versa isn’t a barrier to being heterosexual in name or function.

        1. John Magnum says:

          Or it could be that not every single female turian lacks a head fringe–she could be the equivalent of bald.

          1. Avilan says:

            That was my thought too… Bald, or result of injury.

    2. Christopher M says:

      What annoys me about that picture/article is that apparently the female gender of the reptilian Turian race has a bit of a chest…

      1. Electron Blue says:

        And that bartender in the citadel – or maybe it was that curator – mentions that human women and asari have ‘funny bumps’ that turians don’t have! Arrrrgh consistency what

        1. Avilan says:

          I think the biggest problem is that it’s from a comic and not from the actual game.

  4. zob says:

    Quarians have both genders.

    1. Riesz says:

      Both Quarian genders are pretty well represented, with at least one of the admirals on the trial being female. Moreover, their character models are far more modestly endowed than the sexed-up Asari you see dancing on poles all over the galaxy.

      This makes Tali’s popularity all the more interesting, since we don’t really have much physical characteristics to go on. Sure, the female Quarian model is roughly humanoid, slightly curvy and comes with a pair of “boobs”, but players are still mostly dependent on voice, personality and the aesthetics of the armour to gauge attractiveness.

      1. eri says:

        I don’t think it’s at all abnormal for players to find Tali attractive, considering she is basically textbook-designed to be nerd bait. Sure, she’s not a supermodel asari, but personality and character depth go a much longer way, especially when the player is going to be interacting with that character for hours instead of minutes.

        1. Riesz says:

          I’m not saying it’s abnormal, but I still think it is rather interesting since she has so few defining features (in her armour, she looks pretty much like all other Quarians in the game). She’s not exactly the standard buxomly, scantily clad amazone warrior you tend to see on most game covers.

          Hell, compare her to Miranda or even Jack. In fact, I get the feeling that in ME2 the “standard” romances were designed to be Jacob and Miranda. Miranda’s tight outfit is exquisitely emphasised in every scene she is in, while your character will immediately start flirting in a very uncomfortable way with Jacob once you’ve talked to him all of two or three times.

        2. Kavonde says:

          She’s Kaylee with an exosuit and a shotgun. She is ABSOLUTELY nerd bait.

          And I am totally okay with that.

          1. Galad says:

            who’s Kaylee?

            1. Chuck says:

              Please tell me you’re being sarcastic.

              I fear for the Republic. Go look up the tv series Firefly, that will explain all for you.

        3. SharpeRifle says:

          In my opinion the attractiveness of Tali comes in a very large part because she is so undefined. This allows the player to fill in the missing parts as they see fit…unlike say Miranda who is …*ahem* very fleshed out as it were. Tali leaves a lot of blank space and the natural human inclination is to fill in that blank space with what we would prefer. This means that more people could actually be interested ideally than in any of the other choices because there is more leeway in that choice.

        4. poiumty says:

          The thing about Tali in Mass Effect 2 is that she’s made to trigger the protective senses in males. Frail in almost every way, goes through deep emotional trauma, humble and so forth, she fits the “lost puppy” trope perfectly. She didn’t come across like that in ME1, which makes me think she was a bit of an experiment, like Thane was with females. In fact, most of the romantic interests have some subtleties that are meant to trigger some sort of attraction or other. Liara in ME1 was the perfect example of inexperienced schoolgirl stereotype. Garrus has that whole bad boy thing going, and Thane’s feelings betray some deep emotional sensitivity. It’s interesting to see that the various love interests have some conscious psychological decisions behind their character. Now if only Miranda wasn’t so smug and unlikable…

    2. Eddie says:

      Are there any aliens other than the Quarians that have both genders represented in the Mass Effect games? The only others I can think of are the Rachni, although I don’t think it’s made clear whether the non-Queen Rachni are male or female, so maybe not even them.

      Are there any others that I’m forgetting?

      1. Sydney says:

        We see male rachni in UNC: Listening Post Alpha. They’re enormous, biotic, and only come out when the colony is severely threatened.

        Pretty sure it’s just the quarians, rachni, and krogan (if you count the one dead female).

        1. Fnord says:

          Well, enormous compared to the regular rachni warriors. They’re still much smaller than the queen (who is also presumably biotic).

      2. Supah_Ewok says:

        It’s entirely possible that we have seen a female elcor or hanar. But probably not.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Or a volus.We dont know what they are under those suits,and their voice modulators can be as generic as our current word synthesizers.

          Or vorcha perhaps.They are like worms,after all.So who knows.

  5. Zukhramm says:

    I never picked up Thane or Samara so I did not do their recruitment or loyalty mission, but Tuchanka definetly had my favourite two loyalty missions. Sure, maybe Grunt’s is not very interesting to play (pretty much just stand in some place and shoot) but it really got me to like the Krogans.

  6. Nic says:

    Many of the non-human females in “Zeno Clash” have more than one pair of boobs. And they are ugly as sin.

    Edit: Everyone in “Zeno Clash” is ugly as sin, regardless of gender and boob number.

    1. Josh R says:

      and yet it is still an amazing game

      I’d say also a good idea for a short series of spoiler warning.

    2. Crowbar says:

      I don’t know about EVERYONE being ugly. I was quite fond of Rimat, parachute pants aside.

  7. Skan says:

    I think that there is a female Krogan on Tuchanka, unstairs where the shaman is, who you need to talk to for Grunt’s loyalty mission, there is a Krogan who looks a bit different and sounds VERY different and claims to be the representative from the female camp.

    1. zob says:

      That one is a male too

      1. Raygereio says:

        The only female Krogan we’ve seen ingame is a corpse during Mordin’s loyalty mission.

        1. Nyaz says:

          And we don’t really get a good look on that one, plus it’s been messed up by a lot of surgery-stuff.

      2. LadyTL says:

        There is a female up with the shaman too though. You just can’t really talk to her.

  8. guy says:

    I liked Grunt’s mission an awful lot, mostly because it involved being really awesome and punching varren to death. Also, I got to make like Wrex and headbutt a jerk into shutting up. The Krogan were most impressed.

    Apparently Garrus was killing crimelords in ironic ways, like the bioweapons developer who died via cough.

    I heard somewhere that the reason for mono-gender races had to do with animation and modeling budget.

    1. eri says:

      Yep, in the first game that was definitely the case, as well as the relatively limited exposure… I mean really, aside from about three or so “civilian” locations there wasn’t much opportunity for variety. Humans also had much more prominence in Mass Effect 1. For the sequel, though, I don’t think there’s all that much excuse, considering how much new artwork and animation was done and how much higher the budget likely was. I’m far more likely to believe it’s just BioWare assuming most people don’t care, or just straight-up being inconsiderate.

      1. Sydney says:

        It’s more like they painted themselves into a corner with the Codex back when they felt the need to justify the one-note races. So the Codex already says that female krogan don’t live with male krogan, that female turians mostly stay out of active service, and so on.

    2. poiumty says:

      I think it’s possible that many issues the game had were budget-related, like the limited choices and the way the story progresses. The thing that bugs me the most though is their annoying “make the WHOLE GAME VOICE-ACTED” philosophy, which with this game went as far as blowing all their budget on big-name celebrity voice actors from various sci-fi shows.

      I’m not forgiving them for that one. Pointless decision is pointless, Bioware.

      1. Avilan says:

        Sorry, but that is one of the best decisions ever made. It is also why I am so excited for DA2.

        1. poiumty says:

          To each his own. I’m of the opinion that hiring Simon Templeman and Claudia Black to voice a bunch of irelevant NPCs and say 3 lines of text, while the rest of the game suffers from budget cuts, is utterly stupid.

          The likes of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment never needed more voice-acting than they already had. This is beside the fact that voice-acting limits what the characters can say and how many situations you can give them lines on. Shamus wrote about this before in one of his articles.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Agreed.While it is nice to hear the main characters talking,I dont see the point in other npcs talking.Make the writers say those lines if its really that necessary for everyone in the game having a voice.I mean those guys are already getting overpaid for what they deliver,so why not use it.

            1. krellen says:

              They should hire folks like John DiMaggio and Grey DeLisle, who can deliver 5-10 different character performances and probably cost less than any given big-name actor.

            2. Phantom Hoover says:

              Well it’d be pretty weird to hear half a conversation voiced if it’s not the PC who’s silent.

  9. Deadpool says:

    It’d definetely be interesting to see some different gender situations with aliens in video games. Niven’s Pupeteers for an example had a VERY odd, but interesting, male/female concept.

    1. Piflik says:

      Actually the Puppeteers are not so different to species known to us, in terms of reproduction, but Niven labels the sexes wrongly…his second male is really a female and what he calls female is a midwife or surrogate mother…since they are non-sentient, one could even call them ‘nest’…but still, the concept is interesting and seen far to rarely in SF…

      1. Deadpool says:

        I know there are species that do it, but every alien we see is always a damned mammal, women are slender with wide hips, boobs and probably longer hair on the head and less body hair…

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          There are a lot of non-mammalian races, lizard races are a common trope and their females are scale covered and… have… boobs? But sometimes we have an avian race, and they have feathers on their boobs! Or even energy beings who are translucent or shiny, sometimes both, even their boobs!

          On a more serious (well, kinda) note, I remember that Tenn had that funny short story about alien creatures that had like 7 or 8 genders and their mating process was a pretty complex transfer of the embryo from one to another. One of the genders was, in fact, responsible for coordinating it all and only actively took part when there were gaps to be filled or some outside influence prevented the procedure from moving smoothly.

  10. Mezzannine says:

    Just thought I’d mention that they brought out a new isometric top-down shooter (ZOmbie shooter 2).
    It’s actually pretty well done, with decent voice acting, nice controls, rocking 90’s industrial techno sound track and an old-school difficulty curve.
    It’s linear as hell, bare-bones story wise and the aiming system is more difficult than it looks but it’s a fun little game to play.
    Also revives the ghost of the isometric view point and it works very well.
    It may as well be “Nostalgia shooter 2: We have cyborg zombies with gatling gun arms.”

  11. X2-Eliah says:

    I must point out that this was (is) one of my favourite episodes of this season, btw. Finally some interesting talk beside the vitriol (though I fully expect barrels of it in the final mission).

    1. Sydney says:

      The final twist only makes no sense if you haven’t been paying attention. Legion outright tells you why it’s like that. Doesn’t imply, doesn’t hint, he just says it straight up.

      1. 8th_Pacifist says:

        Making sense is no excuse for being laughably cheesy.

        I would also dispute that it makes sense.

        Bioware explains EVERYTHING in these games. That doesn’t make giant Arnold Schwarzenegger any less stupid.

        1. Sydney says:

          I liked the concept, but hated the execution. What bugs me is people who don’t explore everything, and then come down on the game for “pulling the last boss out of its ass unexplained”.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            And where did I mention ‘unexplained’, huh?

            The final mission itself is stupid, period, and I don’t give a rat’s dropping about the laughable excuse for an explanation they give you.

            1. Sydney says:

              I tend to get leery when people start declaring things “[adjective], period”. It means they’ve decided to stop being rational about an issue, which means there’s not really any conversation left to be had.

              So, agree to disagree then.

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I like that they are using human genes to make a new reaper,and that the fetus gets the traits from those genes,thats all well and dandy.However,having to fight that fetus in the most generic “shoot these points for him to fall to death” boss fight is dumb as hell.Not to mention the ending “choice”,if it can be called that at all.

              Or how about those obnoxiously long fights with the mooks.Really,why do video game designers think overly long fights with mooks are epic?They are just boring as hell.Variety makes for epic stuff,not length.

              1. Sydney says:

                With this 100%. Gameplay-wise, everything after Reaper IFF is just preposterous.

                1. Avilan says:

                  I guess you played on insanity or something? Because there were not “excessive long fights with mooks” on Normal difficulty. Of course I truly love the combat in ME2.

                  Everything is a matter of opinion, but the ONLY thing I didn’t like with the final mission was the design of the final boss, not the choice of boss or the idea as such.

                  (Edit: Okay, what the hell? This was supposed to be a reply to the comment above yours!)

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:


                  Actually,Im playing on insanity now,and while the fights are longer this time around,they are also more fun.Either because of the added danger,or because I have the dlcs now,and kasumis loyalty was quite diverse and fun.

                  But on normal,the reaper fight,and the last fight were just boring(as well as some of the other fights before those).It was just the same groups of mooks as before,countered with the same tactics for the umpteenth time.Its not like the numbers made the mooks more difficult,it just made me wade through them longer.I mean,take a look at how long and repetitive that fight on the shadow brokers ship was in the previous episodes of spoiler warning.Sure,those electric things were a nice innovation,but after the 20th one,they became quite stale.

                  And same goes for 1 as well.Compare the overly long last mook fight(virmire+citadel)with the last fight(s) against saren.It can take up to 20 minutes to take saren down on higher difficulties(though that might be due to cut scenes),yet it was quite enjoyable for me every time.While wading through bunch of geth AGAIN was not.And the only interesting things were that fight with the geth ship where you had to activate the turrets,and that place where you could activate the armatures to fight for you.

              2. X2-Eliah says:

                Agreed as well.

  12. Vect says:

    Also, why isn’t Josh putting stats into Regina’s Class? Doesn’t that give her bonus to her Paragade? Or is this just his “Crit-Stacking Bastard” nature kicking in?

    1. Fnord says:

      Even from a pure combat optimization standpoint, upping your class skill is usually one of the best options, since it increases your damage and reduces the cooldown of other skills.

      1. Josh says:

        I want inferno ammo damn it.

        Yeah, I’ll start putting points into my class eventually here, probably as the game starts ramping up towards the end.

  13. DNi says:

    Yeah, the Loyalty missions are where the game definitely picked up for me, too. Up until then, it didn’t really feel like I was making choices or having any sort of impact on the overall Mass Effect universe. Then I downloaded Zaeed and did his loyalty mission. (I know you guys don’t like him, but I do, because he’s basically a cross between Bobba Fett and Bullet Tooth Tony from Snatch, and also he gets you a flame thrower, the Vanguard’s favorite Heavy Weapon). Anyway, I started his loyalty mission, and a decision came up: leave the crew of the refinery to die, or go after the bad guy. It was basically identical to the decision from Bringing Down the Sky, but it was nonetheless a decision to be made in what had been up until then an incredibly linear game.

    And then the choices just kept on coming. Some big, like the choice at the end of Mordin’s mission, some not so big, like getting Miranda to connect with her sister.

    Speaking of Miranda, if you guys really hate her, then do her Loyalty Mission, get her to talk to her sister and become involved in each other’s lives, and then during the final mission send her through the vents. You know, really kill her when she finally has a reason to live.

    Oh, and during Mordin’s loyalty: DO NOT PICK RENEGADE DIALOG. I know you’ll want to, but the thing about the Renegade is that she agrees with reintroducing the genophage. The Paragon, on the other hand, will challenge Mordin, and really make him question whether what he did was right or not. The Renegade options will end every conversation, whereas the Paragon options get him to talk and explain himself.

    1. Kavonde says:

      Huh…the part about Mordin’s Paragon dialogue is really interesting to know. Even with ParaShep, I picked the Renegade options because I so strongly agree with the reintroduction of the genophage. Looks like I’ll have to do a fourth playthrough some time…

  14. Piflik says:

    I once read a book where the female of a species was really different to the males…it was Spektrum by Sergej Lukianenko, but I don’t think there is an English translation of that book…

    There is some kind of warrior race (a bit like D’Argo from Farscape, if anyone remembers that…they even had a personal sword each, woven from stone), and no other species has ever seen a female of that race…they all assumed they were overly protective of them…anyway, they had these creatures following them, just like a dog, about the same intellect, too, and in the end the protagonist found out, that these dogs where in fact the females of that species…I thought that was rather cool (albeit a bit sexist)…you don’t usually see these kinds of differences…but I guess you couldn’t go that far in mainstream media, without risking a sever backlash from women who interpret too much in the matter…

    1. Taellosse says:

      Lots of science fiction literature has far more interesting alien races than “human with pointy ears,” actually. The Martians of Heinlein’s Stranger In a Strange Land, the Puppeteers of Niven’s Discworld, and basically anything in Philip K. Dick that deals with space exploration. Not to mention some of the stuff in E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Lensmen series (even if that’s really more of a space opera series that hard sci-fi, and rampantly sexist in its own way, too).

      One of the advantages of literature is you’re not bound by a special effects budget or game mechanics. Not to mention the fact that there’s no particular reason to expect that aliens would look anything like any life we’ve seen before.

      1. Piflik says:

        You mean Ringworld, right? Discworld would b Pratchett ;)

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Or how about the gods themselves from asimov,where there is a race with 3 sexes?

        1. lurkey says:

          Lets not forget David Brin of the “Uplift Saga” fame and his multitude of distinctive and original races; there’s also the Khepri from China Mieville’s “Perdido Street Station” – the race with non-sapient males that are only used for reproduction (and it’s not even the weirdest thing in that book).

          Back to games, I think Ascendancy did a pretty good job on non-humanoid races.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Ah yes,ascendancy.Now why doesnt someone try to rehash that game?It was quite an enjoyable one.Plus it still has the best turn based system Ive seen.

    2. Peter H. Coffin says:

      For all the talk of having females be really different from the males, it might be worth noting that for a lot of races that haven’t canonically talked about gender much, it’s entirely possible that one might even be SEEING both/all, without noticing. It’s entirely a human presumption that a deep voice is male and a higher one female, or that (only) females are lightly built. It would be entirely plausible for a race to have the females lay eggs and look like sumo, while the males end up looking like Winona Ryder.

  15. Markus says:

    Grunt isn’t immune to the genophage, he is infected too!

    Okeer didn’t give a damn about the genophage, he just wanted his super soldier.

    1. Jakey says:

      Isn’t it that the Genophage only affects females? Krogans aren’t sterile, it’s just that 99.9% of the offspring are stillborn and there aren’t that many fertile females.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        Perhaps, but the males do carry the genophage virus in their cells.

      2. Taellosse says:

        All it’s said anywhere is that the genophage causes all but 1 in 1,000 births to miscarry or be stillborn. It’s never gotten into the mechanism by which that happens. Given that both males and females are infected, I would tend to think it’s more complex than simply damaging the sterility of the females. If only because if it were that simple, it would probably be relatively easy to find a way to correct for it.

        1. Sydney says:

          Actually, there’s more than that. There’s talk of “fertile females” as precious rarities, meaning most are infertile.

    2. poiumty says:

      Just a note: Okeer didn’t care about the genophage because growing Krogan in tanks pretty much bypassed it entirely, and allowed for making genetically perfect krogan with none of the bad random mutations that happen with natural birth. Grunt doesn’t care about the genophage because… i don’t even think he has any hormonal activity yet. And i can’t find a reason why Okeer would imprint any, either. Hormones are a waste of time to the perfect warrior krogan; Grunt could be sterile for all we know.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I would assume this not to be the case, we are told that he is “aside from the standard genophage markers” a perfectly healthy example of a Krogan so I would imagine him to be fertile in much the same respect that any other genophage infected Krogan of his age (and if he hasn’t hit that phase yet he probably will eventually).

        Far as I understand Okeer’s explanation he claims that the genophage has weakened Krogan not so much because it kills that many but because it makes “every weakling precious”. As in, Krogan were generally stronger, faster, more bloodthirsty or whatever the traits are considered desirable in their society but now even those who would earlier be outcasts (and probably killed) are accepted and welcomed as a godsend. It was never Okeer’s intention to mass-breed Krogan as a replacement for “natural” breeding, he created Grunt to pretty much shame the other Krogan into returning to their old ways, sort of a perfect example that he could point to and say “this is what a Krogan should look like, now compare yourselves you weaklings”. What he wanted was to set something like a “standard” of a Krogan, a standard to which an individual could be compared to and his worth to the species judged by being closer or further from it rather than a simple fact of being born alive or dead.

        His “ignore the genophage” point was thus twofold. First, that the Krogan should ignore the influence the genophage had on their culture (the “celebration” of every Krogan born alive as opposed to the “celebration” of strong Krogan and the culling of the weak). Second, that they shouldn’t be wasting time and effort on looking for ways to circumvent the genophage itself (and return to the pre-genophage breeding rate) but should focus on becoming the strongest, toughest Krogan’s there have every been (as was tradition) effectively assuming that if 1/1000 is born alive but that one is stronger than 10000 weak Krogan it will still be a net gain and they will still be able to conquer everything and everyone.

        1. poiumty says:

          You’re pretty much spot on, but i still think Okeer would have wanted to mass-produce krogan soldiers based on Grunt’s blueprint.

    3. Raynooo says:

      Thanks for pointing it that’s been bugging me as I don’t remember Okeer saying that he was immuned, just that he was built to “ignore” the Genophage (which Mordin finds to be weird).

  16. eri says:

    Good episode, and nice to see both some positive and intelligent discussion this time after all the bitching. Not that I don’t like bitching, of course (I do that best after all), but variety is nice.

    Regarding the gender of aliens, it has everything to do with sex appeal… if something is human-like enough then it gets a pair of tits, if not then it needs to be big, ugly and masculine (or porcine, I guess). This is pretty classic TV sci-fi design, something that Mass Effect draws heavily from, but it becomes increasingly clear as the games go on and the universe expands that these sorts of glossed-over explanations for things don’t really work.

    BioWare have always been a bit mixed when it comes to sensitivity about gender. On the one hand their games are full of lots of gay and lesbian characters, but on the other, fanservice seems to take priority, since most lesbians actually end up as bisexuals and the gay guys either don’t exist, or are really awful stereotypes. They’ve even gone and used said stereotypes for comedic effect, as in the case of Herren and Wade from Dragon Age. The only really positive example I can think of is Sky from Jade Empire, and even then he’s bisexual as well.

    While I think it’s nice that BioWare are sensitive to sexuality, they tend to define their characters a bit too strongly that way for my tastes. I guess that’s what happens when everyone is either a potential romance option – their sexuality takes centre stage, or it’s just never discussed. That’s not to say progress hasn’t been made, of course – the Dragon Age expansion totally eliminated romance, for instance, and I think both the characters and story were stronger and more focused because of it.

    Of course, having a rabid fanbase that has “fan clubs” for pretty much every character in the game, no matter how minor, probably directs a lot of BioWare’s decisions.

    1. Fnord says:

      Actually, as far as I can recall there are no exclusively homosexual characters in Bioware games at all, at least not as romance options. Everyone is either straight or bisexual.

      1. Gravebound says:

        Juhani in KOTOR was a lesbian.

        1. ehlijen says:

          Sort of. She was Schroedingers gay; the only way to find out was to kill her and have her angry lover scold you for it…

          1. Joel D says:

            Female characters could romance her, IIRC

            1. ehlijen says:

              Not as far as I remember. All any character could get was for her to admit her hero worshipping crush that was a result of Revan freeing her from slavery.

              Or did I miss something?

              1. Gravebound says:

                Her ending romance dialogue to female Revan is:

                “I… I… I care for you. I do not know why. I do not know if anything will be possible or if you even return what I feel, but I do know it is there.”

                And you can reply:
                “I feel the same way, Juhani.” and “We’ve moved passed words.”

                Caring for each other, etc. etc.

      2. swimon says:

        Which makes sense really since that means they don’t have to write as many characters which takes time and money. If you want to have straight and gay romance options for both genders that’s 4 romance subplots, the player will only see 1 and can only really choose between 2. That’s a lot of wasted expensive voice work. Making everyone bisexual seems like a smarter choice to me at least since that means that you don’t need to spend as much money on things people will never see and there is very little drawback to this method IMO (I mean it would get a bit silly to do this to everyone I guess but that’s a minor issue).

        Of course this doesn’t explain why there are a lot of straight only characters while very few gay only characters or the fact that male gay characters are completely absent from many games. Bioware is a little weird about homosexuality I’m not denying that but making most of the characters bi makes sense.

  17. Fnord says:

    The one exception to “the other character doesn’t matter” is if you bring Legion on Tali’s loyalty mission. As you might expect, that changes the dialog significantly.

    1. Friend of Dragons says:

      And it’s awesome. They should really do it.

      1. Sydney says:

        I’m sure Josh already has that in mind as part of his “troll the universe in alphabetical order” plan.

        1. Desgardes says:

          No, he’s going to troll the audience by not doing tali’s loyalty mission.

          1. Sydney says:

            I think that would lead to him getting kicked out a window and replaced with Randy again.

          2. ehlijen says:

            He really should, if only to meet one more famous voice from TV in a tiny cameo.

            For those who didn’t spot it (spoiler?):

            The one judge who doesn’t say a word during the trials and hides away in the furthest corner on the path from ship A to ship C the player is expected to trot should be known to scifi fans. Or other bioware game fans.
            I only found out because I was casting nets for plot hooks and thus clicked on everything the game let me click on.

            1. Desgardes says:

              It’s not a spoiler if you don’t tell us! Spoil, spoil!

              1. ehlijen says:

                I didn’t want to spoilt the fact that there is ‘the trial’ on that mission. You know, the one almost every Bioware game has, and which usually gets determined by how much ass the main character can kick.

                But sure, if you want the other part spoiled as well:

                It’s Claudia Black.

                1. Chuck says:

                  (insert geek squee here.)

      2. Vect says:

        They might do it to ensure that the Cerberus crew dies. From what I can see, they are not fond of Kelly Chambers or any of the other crew members since they just see them as terrorists first and foremost and a reminder of who they’re stuck with.

  18. Desgardes says:

    Hanar would have been a perfect chance to institute some females. They only hang around places, they talk in goofy voices, and you could go crazy with the differences, without even having to change the models that much.

    And then it’d be impossible for them to make attractive “human” type females, without significant jokes at their expense.

    1. Taellosse says:

      How do we know that there haven’t been any female Hanar? Don’t they always talk with gender-neutral pronouns about themselves?

      1. swimon says:

        Sure but the voices are always male and since the voices are really coming from an implant in your brain that can tell gender from gender (at least in humans and quarians) it seems like we have only met male hanaar. Which for once actually makes some sense since there are like 5 in total in both games so it’s not all that improbable to only meet male ones.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          But that implies that those implants are perfect.Yet its even clearly stated that they are still being constantly updated(well ok,clearly stated in a dlc).Maybe all the hanar we met are female,and they dont care enough to suggest a change.Or they have different sexes(5,6,7 of them?)than the rest of the species.Who knows?

  19. Kojiro says:

    You know, in the first game Wrex wasn’t really a character I was all that fond of at first, and really not even until after Virmire. By the time the second game rolled around, though, he was probably in my top five favorite characters from the first.

    On the topic of Wrex, his being leader probably has to do with him being the son or something of a former leader (well, just leader; the “former” didn’t kick in until Wrex killed him); even considering Wrex’s past, he was probably able to get tradition or something on his side to nab the position. Which, considering that one of his goals is doing away with the more useless traditions, makes his leadership especially great.

    The sexed-up females, on a different topic… That is something that has always bothered me. It doesn’t even make sense sometimes, like for most of the WoW races (and they even changed some of the Horde females to be less ugly, creating a bizarre sexual dimorphism among trolls). Mass Effect, I think you guys only gave them a passing comment, but while they aren’t ugly or anything, the Quarians, in my opinion, avert this halfway at least. Apart from their strangely wide hips (which are, admittedly, a useful trait, from a biological standpoint, for females, albeit ones with a distinctly human reproductive system), plus their breasts, which are flattened in the suits anyway, the females lack any real;y sexualized physical traits. The males have their really broad shoulders, females don’t, and they have different suits, but they don’t take away the really bizarre species traits, like the chicken legs or the three-fingered hands, to make the females more attractive. It’s, at least, a lot better than most people are doing with their species design.

    Lastly, Ruts reads Transmetropolitan? Awesome. One of my favorite comic series. He should make the other crew members read it if they haven’t already. One of the best portrayals of an advanced future, in my opinion.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      and they even changed some of the Horde females to be less ugly, creating a bizarre sexual dimorphism among trolls

      Don’t even get me started about dwarves in Lineage 2…

  20. Ringwraith says:

    Elcor could also very easily be female and go unnoticed, as they all speak in monotone.
    Salarians are excused as it’s mentioned that they are outnumbered with respect to the males and usually end up being diplomats and other important figures within their own society.
    It’s really only with turians that the lack of females goes unexplained, though it may be just because Bioware haven’t decided what they’d look like yet, as I think I remember reading that they were going to put them in Mass Effect 1, but ended up dropping the idea for having to create new character models and haven’t seemed to pick it up ever since.

    1. Kale says:

      Too bad we didn’t get to see a bit of that Elcor production of Hamlet. Ophelia and the queen could have told us so much.

      1. Fnord says:

        Technically, you can see a little bit of it in the ads on the citadel. Only Hamlet himself, though.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “Insincere endorsement” made me laugh the most.

  21. Sydney says:

    Y’know, the ending twist everyone hates so much is actually explained, clearly and directly, in-game, by Legion. It’s the last conversation in his tree, if you take the “You’re becoming ______” option after he explains the, uh, plan. In fact, if you recruit him relatively early, you can have that conversation before the endgame. Which sort of gave the whole Collector plan away when I did it, because on my first playthrough I recruited Legion super-early.

  22. Sydney says:

    Oh, and krogan clans are all mono-gendered. A lot of the NPC chatter in Tuchanka is gossip about the activity of the nearby female clan.

  23. Jarenth says:

    Man, Shepard has some weird expressions going on in this episode. First there the strange head-swish she does when talking to Mordin (here), and then later on she just stares cross-eyed at that Krogan mechanic for seconds on end (here). What is up with you today, Shepard?

    1. Sydney says:

      My favorite Shepardface is if you take a default female Shepard in ME1. Right before Jenkins bites it, she gets this really crazy =S expression and stares into the distance. Gets me every single time.

  24. Starwars says:

    Something I also find interesting about Bioware is that it *seems* like there is a pretty strong female fanbase for them. Now, this is definitely not based on research or anything but just glancing over their forums, it does seem like the females make up for a much larger percentage of posts than you’d typically see on other gaming forums.

    On the topic of Mass Effect… I consider myself to be fairly tolerant of the odd fanservice type of stuff in games. Or rather, I hope that we can someday move away from it but it doesn’t bother me usually. But I really think ME pushes it too far in some cases. Miranda herself is ridiculous of course, and that’s before you add the not-so-subtle ass shots. Same thing with Jack and Samara. The Asari have already been pointed out as well. It feels rather sleazy at times.

  25. Wolfwood says:

    Never understood y a female of an alien race just has to have boobs and is more slender either. I thought boobs only exist for MAMMALS.

    Also the Krogan females should be MASSIVE! almost all animals on earth that spawn hundreds/thousand of offspring (which the krogan use to) the Females are always the bigger and stronger gender in the species.

    1. PurePareidolia says:

      Maybe Female Krogan start at normal size but get bigger as they age and the one in this mission was fairly young. might explain why they have separate camps – they can’t fit through the male camp’s doors.

    2. Avilan says:

      Not necessarily. You have to remember that a Krogan has the possibility to survive for 1000 years. We also do not know how small their offspring are. If Krogan gives birth to marsupial-like babies, or eggs, that would explain a lot.

  26. Blake Treleaven says:

    I’m sure these have been asked but you said repeats were ok and I’m not searching 200 comments.

    1)Which popular franchise or property do you guys think is overdue for a Western RPG rendition?

    2)What can I do to make myself as cool as Rutskarn, as wise as Shamus, as optimistic as Mumbles and as…uh… non-conformist as Josh?

  27. Buschmaki says:

    Can you geth who my favorite companion is?

    1. Zukhramm says:

      Must be Jacob!

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats easy,its the most robotic companion of them all:Miranda.

      1. Dude says:

        “I liked Garrus Mordin Grunt at first but then they made Grunt Jacob the intensity and now they Tali but then they Jack up Legion Samara so he’s better Thane the rest,” said Zaeed to Miranda while Kasuming noodles.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Looking to replace Rutskarn in the show?

          1. Dude says:

            Only if I get free lunch and Udina.

  28. Avilan says:

    The only one thing that bugs me with this episode is the “The final mission does something HORRIBLE to the ME universe”.

    My response to that is LOLWUT?

    (Yes, I do not only disagree; I find the statement so blatantly false that it’s worth laughing at. Not from a rudeness POW though but from a ha ha that was a good joke POW).

    1. ehlijen says:

      It can make a wierd sort of sense if you look at Harbinger’s lines during the attack on horizon again after having seen the ending, but it’s still at best a wierd kind of sense devoid of any understandable plan.


      So the reapers want to build a human reaper? Ok, building a bipedal warship is just dumb. But maybe that’s not the point. Harbinger says humans are to be ‘ascended’ and brought to ‘salvation’. So maybe the reapers don’t actually want to build a warship, but merely save the one species that has managed to kill a reaper in 37 million years (if you count that one since it’s apparently still alive or close to it). Maybe they’re trying to gather worthy specieses and make them immortal via reaperhood?

      But that still doesn’t explain why Sovereign never tapped the collecters as a rescource in his attack or why Harbinger is so fixated on Shepard (given that, despite what the game wants us to believe, it was not Shepard who took out Sovereign, it was the entire 5th Fleet). If anyhint, Harbinger should be trying to go after Joker. And maybe it did; I mean that would explain why infantry weapons can take out that reaper skeleton: it has Joker’s brittle bones!

      1. poiumty says:

        I can’t wait to see how we’re gonna manage to destroy each Reaper invading Earth in Mass Effect 3. What’s Shepard going to do, go down to it and yell at it until the resident zombie/shield generator makes an appearance and tries to beat Shepard in a fair 1v1 (1v3, actually)?

        So far, we’ve only been able to kill a reaper because in a fit of massive stupidity it transferred all its hard drives to Saren without a backup. Actually, you know what, i’m sure we’ll use Cherkov’s Deus Ex Machinegun Macguffin to simultaneously destroy all the reapers by blowing up their “leader”‘s exhaust pipes or something. I’m fully expecting that.

        1. Piflik says:

          He lures all reapers on Earth and then shoots a couple of nova bombs into the sun….that’s how I would do it :D

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            That would be such an awesome renegade option.Which is why itll never happen.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Who says theyve never tapped the collectors?Or other races for that matter.I personally think that this is how they reproduce,and why they leave the organics to develop a bit first:They need fitting genetic material to incorporate in themselves.And they do this because,like all synthetic races,they lack mutations,and like mordin said,mutations lead to progress.Reapers are smart,and know that stagnation would mean their end,so they leave organics to reach a certain stage,then harvest the ones they deem the best,and thus make their race mutate and evolve.

        Also,the reaper as a human is just a fetus.Maybe thats whats what all those ships were built around:A fetus resembling the race theyve incorporated.

        It makes sense,and its a nice twist.However,the execution of it is dumb as hell.A giant terminator suspended by a few easily breakable tubes?Why?Just…why?

        1. Sydney says:

          Oh, God, the tubes. I get what they were going for, I really do: Suspended over a big pit so it has room to grow downwards from the tubes. But…really? Those four glass cylinders were load-bearing? And each one is weak enough to be taken out with a single medium-caliber bullet?

          Even if they never counted on anyone attacking the larva (“Nobody could get past the Relay, and our ship, and our doors, and our guards”)…that is not structurally sound.

          One quick thing, though:

          Maybe thats whats what all those ships were built around:A fetus resembling the race theyve incorporated.

          We’ve been inside a Reaper now. Its core was just sort of…a thing. Didn’t look much like an organic (or the corrupted caricature of an organic) to me. More likely the larva grows into the full-size Reaper.

          Which makes the E-Z-Break tubes even sillier.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            And how much ground did we cover in that ship?Remember how huge sovereign was compared to the biggest of the battlecruisers,and how small the normandy was compared to those?Yeah,we saw less than 1 percent of the whole reaper.Plus,who says that the larva thing has to be in a hallway.You can never visit the foundation of a building thats already erect,yet you know it is what the whole thing is standing on.

            1. Sydney says:

              We visited its core. It was a random ball in a shutter out in nowhere.

              I still think the entire hull is the Reaper, even if only because “larva” implies “growth into a full Reaper”. It would explain the organic-looking bodies of the crayfish-Reapers – although I do wonder why they all look like that. What species are they made of? Are there other types of Reapers we haven’t seen?

              Or maybe you’re right, and the true Reaper is an organic-ish thing somewhere in the superstructure, like the “brain”, with the core as the “heart”.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Well maybe the ship thing is what the original reaper(s) made themselves into,or what the original reaper(s) were built like by their “masters”,so they keep that form because of nostalgia or practicality(because their tech resonates with that form well).

                One thing we can be sure of is that it will probably never be fully explained.Because if it does get explained,it will probably turn out to be lame.

                1. Sydney says:

                  Agreed on all fronts =P

              2. Avilan says:

                We visited the MASS EFFECT core. Not THE CORE. There is a big difference between the two.

    2. Shamus says:

      I’ve extensively documented what I thought of the plot. Your opposition has not persuaded me that my initial reaction was wrong.

      Laugh all you want. If you want to hear somebody talk about how awesome the end of ME2 is, I think you need to start your own show.

      1. Sydney says:

        So the reapers want to build a human reaper? Ok, building a bipedal warship is just dumb. But maybe that's not the point.

        They aren’t trying to build a bipedal Reaper. They’re using human DNA, and it’s growing bipedal because that’s how humans are. I keep bringing this up, but Legion says this in his last Normandy conversation (you can only see that conversation if you recruit him early, or save some missions for after the endgame to trigger them). Ask him about the future of the geth. When the option appears, ask “You’re becoming a Reaper?”

        He answers that no, the geth aren’t becoming a Reaper. The humans are. Reapers make more of themselves by taking a whole crudload of genetic material, processing it somehow, and seeing what grows. The mind of each person processed is transferred into the new Reaper. This is why Sovereign said “We are each a nation, indivisible”.

        Which, in a small way, means you killed all those human colonists. They were still alive until you blew up the Human-Reaper.

        EDIT: Whoops, put this at the wrong point in the thread. Sorry about that.

        1. ehlijen says:

          I did not dispute any of that. Just pointed that that taken as a whole, mass effect 1 and 2 show the reapers as incredibly dumb.

          Resources that could have been used in Plan A weren’t, but were magically pulled out of the hat in Plan B? If the new reapers are human, does that mean the previous super species to be harvested were flying squid heads? Were they the only ones to see that ‘the citadel’s a trap!’?

          Why is everyone in ME2 so convinced it was shepard who destroyed Sovereign? Sure, shepard stopped it’s plan, but it lost to the human fleet all on its own.

          If it’s bidpedal because humans are, why does it have 3 eyes and a lasercannon mouth? Humans don’t have that. So the reapers must have made some alterations. Why not turn the legs into engines then?

          1. Sydney says:


            It would have looked like that, if it had gotten all the way out of the pit. Thing wasn’t finished, and it was tiny compared to a full Reaper, so who knows what it was eventually going to look like.

            As for the Collectors: Harbinger wasn’t even awake until Sovereign died and sent out a warning. None of the Reapers in dark space had left hibernation at all. Sovereign woke Harbinger; Harbinger woke the rest when the Collector plan failed. By the looks of things, Plan A is a Conduit sneak attack. Plan B is “build new Reapers inside the galaxy”. Plan C is “fuck it, we’ll take the long way.”

            We don’t know what race the squid-Reapers are based on, but it wasn’t the Protheans. They were found incompatible with whatever process is used, and got corrupted into the Collectors.

            As for Shepard-stopped-Sovereign, they think he stopped Saren – which he did. Almost nobody even knows Sovereign was a Reaper. They just figured it was Saren’s ship. The few people who know the whole truth, well…they know the whole truth, including the part about Shepard preventing the Citadel Relay from being opened.

            1. Kavonde says:

              One question; if Harbinger was dormant until Sovereign died, who was controlling the Collectors? They’d clearly made occasional visits into Council space, trading for new tech and such. Hence why they were called “Collectors” and Cerberus knew what they looked like and that they came from beyond the Omega 4. So who was ordering them around? And how were they able to facilitate trades when they were little more than mindless drones?

              I’m not nitpicking here, I’m seriously curious if there’s an explanation.

              1. Sydney says:

                The Collector General is sentient in his own right (witness him looking around in confusion, and then horror, once Harbinger gives him his mind back). He was running the show until Harbinger woke up and took over.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Just like the keepers,the collectors are semi-autonomous.They are doing certain things,keeping themselves alive and functional,but nothing beyond that.Until the time comes for the reapers to take full control of them.

            2. ehlijen says:

              Actually, I thought Harbinger was in Dark space?

              That last scene where the protean Pilot is released by Harbinger just before the base blows up shows the reaper on the communicator screen signing off. I thought that meant Harbinger is with the other reapers.

              1. Sydney says:

                Harbinger was in dark space. Sovereign woke him so he could try “Plan B”.

                As for the Collectors: Harbinger doesn’t normally order them around directly. They were active even before Sovereign itself woke up. Normally, they just do…Collector-y things. Possibly trying to figure out which species would make good Reaper material, or possibly just being crazy for their own purposes.

                Then Harbinger…I can’t resist…ASSUMED DIRECT CONTROL of the Collector General, basically taking over their whole operation and making it all about humans. TIM thinks it’s because Sovereign came to respect/fear humanity because of Shepard’s actions, but even in-universe that’s just speculation.

                I’ll bet most of the Collectors didn’t even realize their boss was being puppeted around.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  “Then Harbinger…I can't resist…ASSUMED DIRECT CONTROL of the Collector General”

                  You know,its a catchy thing(probably because of the voice).I replayed 1 a few days ago and coulndt help hearing “assuming direct control” during the scene where sovereign transforms saren.

        2. X2-Eliah says:

          ‘cough’, yes, because that’s how DNA works, you apply magic to it and make giant T-800 robots out of it..


          1. Sydney says:

            What’s that line about any sufficiently-advanced technology?

            I’m not saying it’s realistic, exactly. But part of the sci-fi genre is taking the technology at face value. I mean, lightsabers aren’t how photons work, time travel isn’t how special relativity works, and teleporters aren’t how quantum entanglement works. You just have to be willing to accept, on faith, “okay, it’s the future [or Star Wars], they’re aliens, and most of our modern science is already provably wrong; this works, don’t worry about it”.

            I think the difference between people who accept ME2’s ending and those who reject it has something to do with that suspension of disbelief. If a story is set in a sci-fi environment, I’ll buy literally any technology they put in it, the same way I’ll buy literally any magic you put in a fiction story.

            Is it funny-looking, this half-finished metallic human upper torso? Yeah. But if there’s an in-universe explanation that doesn’t contradict any other in-universe explanations, then in my mind, fair enough. “Big red eye in a tower” is pretty silly unless you nod along and say okay.

            1. Sydney says:

              Edit window closed on me while I was typing.

              I was about to add that the one and only thing you can’t get me to accept at face value is “P and not-P”. Anything else is A-OK starting from the instant I realize I’m reading/playing/watching sci-fi or fantasy.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            You mean its not?If I were to pluck some genes from your cells and make them grow in ideal conditions Id get a bird?

            This is why cloning produces a perfect replica(well,not really perfect,but thats not the point)of its donor,whether you use a cell from the arm,leg,head or chest.

            The information is already there,you just need to activate it to get a full grown organism.

            1. Sydney says:

              Better-said than when I did it.

              Sounds like the Reapers grow the slush, using whatever tech they use to keep the mind alive inside the “indivisible nation” (to paraphrase Sovereign/Legion), and modify the hull’s shape to suit the needs of a full-fledged Reaper. So, weapons systems, FTL drives, whatever doolally you need to get yourself through a Mass Relay.

            2. X2-Eliah says:

              Last I checked, DNA makes living cells grow, and is not used as
              ‘fuel-slushie’ to power metallic constructs.

              Andyou hardly need dna-milkshakes to make a metallic humaniform skeleton.

              1. Avilan says:

                On the other hand again, as pointed out above… people have different levels of Suspension of Disbelief. I find the human reaper no more weird than Asari reproduction and blue-skinned babe-ness, Volus exploding if not in suits, suns that prematurely go haywire, etc.

                Hell, if you cannot accept the concept of the genetically constructed Reaper, then why are you playing a game where FTL drives exists? It is far less probable for FTL travel to exist than the human reaper.

                1. ehlijen says:

                  The problem is more that the human reaper a) hangs from glass tubes and b) can’t stand up to 3 guy with rifles once activated.

                  A lot of the problems could have been avoided if it had just been the stage for the boss fight, not the actual boss itself, culminating in the player planting an explosive on an actual support strut.

                2. Zukhramm says:

                  I find that how probable something is is not alone directly tied to whether it passes my line of Suspension of Disbelief. The giant human in ME2 crosses that line while FTL does not. The Asari are standing right on top of it.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Sure,but it seems that reaper are not completely synthetic after all.And that makes sense,when you look at it,especially if you listen to mordin talking about the collectors.So the metallic exoskeleton was a frame around a living organism made from the dna-milkshake.This is why reapers despise organics so much,knowing that they need them to evolve.

                And I agree with ehlijen completely.If the last stage was you fighting against the collector general that was something like saren in 1,even if it was on top of the reaper fetus,it wouldve been much more enjoyable,and lot less silly.

                1. Avilan says:

                  For that matter the Geth are a mix too. Tali states as much in ME1, explaining that they are neither organic nor syntetic but something in between.

                2. Sleeping Dragon says:

                  And on that note this would make the final choice (keep/blow up) somewhat more bearable perhaps. I mean, if we didn’t destroy the reaper but pretty much captured a developing larva/embryo. Keeping it could give us tons of info but on the other hand we know how researching any reaper ended up for the interested parties. Saren (possibly one of the best spectres in history) got consumed, Benezia (with all her matriarch willpower) got consumed the research subjects to the indoctrination thing got consumed, Cerberus research team got consumed (and they were on a half-dead reaper) and, if my theory is correct, the council got consumed from Sovereing’s remains (though I know that last bit isn’t canon). In short, who’s to say how much could this developing reaper do? Or at what stage it would come to life? This still makes the final choice somewhat cheap but it justifies it a lot better than “they did evil things here so we can’t even study the materials it’s built from” (compare with Mordin’s loyalty mission).

        3. Jarenth says:

          I would like to point out here that while you make some good points (in the underlying comment pyramid as well), and I’m still of undetermined opinion on the whole Human-Reaper thing, the fact that you can only get this intel — which, I remind you, is goddamn crucial to injecting a semblance of sense into the whole shebang — by recruiting early and talking as often as possible to a completely optional party member is simply inexcusable.

          Man, at least have the Illusive Man point it out at the end, or something. I can understand wanting to keep certain parts of the lore obscure or hidden for interested players to hunt for, but not the big evil explanation for the big evil race’s big evil plot that spanned the entire game. This is Mass Effect, not the damned X-Files.

          1. Avilan says:

            I was never aware of that dialogue, but I don’t see why it matters. After all, you get a “show and tell” when you get to the collector ship.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I dont find it that bad myself.You can go through 1 and never finding out what the reapers really are if you just pick the “fuck you” option when you speak with sovereign and saren.Though I must agree that if you dont activate legion this info should be made available from tim or edi.

            1. Sydney says:

              Also, I did some thinking. If you:

              – Wake Legion
              – Talk to him [1]
              – Talk to him again to get his loyalty mission [2]
              – Do his loyalty mission
              – Talk to him afterward [3]
              – Do your second mission
              – Talk to Legion [4]
              – Talk to Legion [5] <– This is the conversation with the Reaper info.

              It's timed such that if you're diligent about talking to him, you find out about the Human-Reaper just before you enter the relay.

          3. krellen says:

            I can’t believe I’m doing this, but – you can have a conversation with EDI, during the final mission, in which EDI surmises all the things Legion tells you – that this is how the Reapers breed, that it’s distilled humanity in there, etc. etc.

            1. Jarenth says:

              You can’t believe you’re telling me there’s a second, accessible place where you can get all the intel on the Reaper reproduction cycle, thereby validating that aspect of the story just a tiny bit more?

              No wait I can see why you’d be conflicted by that.

      2. Avilan says:

        I don’t dispute that. Although I do find it slightly strange that you (I think it was you; it might have been Rutskarn?) who stated before this series that “And now we will do a game we think is good”, and yet you pick every. single. thing. in the game as examples of “bad”.

        Anyway, my point is that we both have very strong opinions but that they are just that: opinions.

        As a side note I often get the feeling when talking to people who didn’t like ME2, and especially people that cry “ruined forever” after seeing the ME3 trailer, that the root of their complaints (And this is indeed a side not and do not apply to you) that they cannot handle the story going in a different direction than they demand it to go. Because they know better than the writers, obviously.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          I dont find that strange at all.I love the game,and I defend it lots of times,yet I too,like Shamus and many others,simply hate the idiotic main story of the game.

          Also Ive often found myself nitpicking more about the stuff I like and care more about then the stuff I dont like at all.The new wolfenstein,for example,I find simply to be a bland game.I never went to the wiki for that game to find out all the ways in which the story can go,to find out the history of all the weapons it has,etc.I never cared about that game to pick it apart completely like I do about mass effect games.

          Plus,when something is good,even the slightest bad thing about it becomes worse when compared to its other parts.In an average game,the bad story is simply bad.In a superb game,the bad story becomes atrocious.And while mass effect 2 is not a superb game in itself(I find it to be only a good game,lets say 7/10),it has a superb prequel(9/10)to it.So even the average in mass effect 2 looks like its a bad thing.

          1. Avilan says:

            I guess I can understand that mindset.

            The rest is up to taste though ;) as you know I feel about the opposite regarding ME1/ME2. The story in ME2 is a tad worse, but ME1 is in no way a stellar game story wise and every single thing apart from the story is worse than in ME2.

            Playing through ME1 for the first time right now (I just killed the Thorian) and I admit that the combat becomes less of an abomination (it is downright HORRIBLE when you are low level) and more of a very gentle speedbump between dialogues (Three Geth Destroyers? Just shoot until they’re dead. Don’t bother taking cover) now when I am getting past level 20 and can buy guns that makes 300-350 points of damage per bullet.
            The story, however, is nothing special. The characters are good, but the story is meh (just like ME2).

            Another issue is that the designers re-use the same response, with the same tone of voice many many times where you have 2 or 3 choices. In ME2 you never get that.

            Made up example (pretend there are civilians caught by enemies in a tower base and you are asked to rescue them on the quest to blow up the tower):

            Paragon option: We will do what we can
            Neutral option: If we have time
            Renegade option: The tower is top priority

            …and no matter what you choose, the response is “We’ll do what we can but the tower is out top priority!” said in the exact same way. But somehow the person you talk to understands that you mean three different things:
            “We will desperately try to rescue all civilians despite having to blow up the tower before Saren finds it”
            “We will really try hard but we might not get all”
            “Screw them. I want BIG BOOM!”

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well the main story of 1 is better than 2.In 2,you have to look hard between the lines to make the main story just tolerable.In 1,it already is an average story,and if you look hard between the lines,it becomes great.Especially when it comes to saren(why did he start that attack on eden prime,for example).

              And while I agree that main story dialogue railroads you(its better not to reload to see what other options give you,but just follow one path you think is best),its really better than 2s “Im tim,and I want to punch you in the dick”.

              And,thought this is not as evident if you play 2 first,codex entries are much better in 1,which is why most were just copied in 2.

              Plus,Im one of the rare ones that likes mako sections.Just looking at the sky in those is always a pleasant thing.Which is why I am so sad firewalker was just a dlc in 2.

              And while most of gameplay in 2 was better than in 1,watching not to overheat is way better than having to reload.Plus achievements are more meaningful in 1.

              As for combat,feel free to increase the difficulty.1 is generally easier than 2.

          2. Galad says:

            I don’t think the new Wolfenstein has more than one storyline..I’ve replayed it two or three times *sadface*

            On a sidenote, I find it really lame to have nazi germans speaking in english. Even among each other. We’re not talking of an obscure small company making a cookie cutter 2nd world war shooter, we’re talking of Wolfenstein. They must’ve been able to hire people to record at least a few soldier conversations in German. etc paying attention to details. But then, with a game as bland, this sort of attention to detail is not that much of a surprise

        2. Shamus says:

          It’s not knowing “better” than the writers (although I’m sure I could have done better with the ME2 plot, all by myself, just by plugging some of these holes instead of leaving that to fans on message boards, see also: Most of the rest of this thread) it’s the change in tone and style. This began as a story by Gene Roddenberry and became a story by Michael Bay. It began as 2010: The Year We Made Contact, and became Starship Troopers. If ME2 had been a stand-alone game and not part of a series, my irritation would be far less. I’d still be unhappy with some of the logical failings (we’ll get to some of those very soon now) but I’d swallow it. But I think the haters aren’t just upset with the shortcomings of the game they got, but also angry about the game the didn’t get.

          I liked The Fifth Element. I liked Bladerunner. But both would be diminished if one was grafted on as a sequel to the other.

          1. Avilan says:

            I can understand that, although I don’t really agree with the genre shift. I mean ME1 is a third person shooter (control wise), just like ME2, just one with a much worse combat system. To me, the biggest difference so far is a longer main story and worse gameplay.

            I never felt ME1 is “2010”. Maybe it’s because I know where the story goes, but it feels far less “hard SF” to me. It feels like a mix between “Star Trek” and “Aliens”. Besides, Word of God is that the whole series is based on 80ies SF tropes and that each installment is SUPPOSED to be darker.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Darker doesn’t mean dumber. And it got dumber.

              In ME1 you did a sidequest (stop the enemy reinforcements) to help your fleet have a chance against an overpowering enemy.
              In ME2 you shoot loadbearing glass pipes and then fight half of a hovering super arnie by yourself.

              At the very least, it stops you from feeling as part of a larger story. It’s as if darthy throwing the emperor down the shaft would have triggered the death star’s explosion with Lando, Hand and everyone else not even being in the movie.

              They took epic scifi (not hard or soft, but epic) and turned into shooty mcshoot shoots stuff until it dies.

              I actually loved the way the game finally gives you a reason for ever recruiting more than 2 companions in the final mission. But Bioware should have been able to do better than ‘shoot the weak spot a lot’.

              1. Avilan says:

                The glass pipes does not bother me. And the reaper embryo is not “hovering”, it has climbed back up on the cables / whatever under the platform you are standing on. The whole chasm is actually full of things it could use to climb up.

                I don’t understand how it makes you feel less part of a larger story?

                Shooting things until they die is bad? You mean that ME1 somehow is different? So far it’s what you do in ME1 too. Solving the Rachni problem? Shoot them. Solving the Geth problem? Shoot them. Solving the Cerberus problem? Shoot them. Solving the Saren problem? Shoot him (even if you talk him to death, you still have to shoot him). Solving the Thorian problem? Shoot it. Etc etc etc…

                And I am sorry but ME2 is AT LEAST as epic as the first one.

  29. Double A says:

    I thought about that too: the only females are Human (easy to recognize), Asari (all chicks), and Quarians (suit + boobs). I guess you could make the argument that there are female Elcor, but no one really knows, do they?

    I hope Bioware expands the gender diversity in the third game. It would certainly be interesting.

  30. Jokerman89 says:

    Quarian was a female race first really…so they shrunk the boobs not added them on the males :D

    Yea on the suicide mission, i really loved it up until that wtf? Moment. Is that arnie from Terminator 1? Is this what this whole game has been building up to? No way haha

    Heard the head writer is changing for ME3

  31. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Turians are attractive.In a way…Well arent they?

    Nice episode,by the way.And why didnt you speak to grunt to get 2 for one deal in this one?

    About wrex,he always did show how badass of a guy he is,and how easily he would beat everyone into submission if he wanted to.But in 1,he simply didnt want to.He left his home planet because he was tired of idiots,not because they had the strength to cast him out.Its just after spending some time with shepard that he realized that he should go back and kick some tail.

    1. Markus says:

      Exactly. He was just tired of the backwards douchbags (like his dad) that wanted to stick with the old ways rather than improving the Krogan situation.

      And then people go and call Wrex a whiner.

      1. Avilan says:

        Wrex became leader of his clan upon returning (he killed the former, clan leader, his dad, already). I assume he had to subdue his brothers somehow.

        As for Turians… Their attractiveness is in their voices.

  32. thebigJ_A says:

    My question:

    My gpu is slowly dying. Can you guys buy me a new one? Oh, and I have a crappy power supply, so you’ll have to grab me one of those, too, seeing as how I’m sure you’ll want to get me a really nice card.

    Sweet, I can’t wait!

    1. Jarenth says:

      Wait, we can ask for that? Cool, sign me up!

  33. m says:

    For the endgame, kill Miranda and Jacob, maybe Samara. Also, if you get Samara’s loyalty mission are you going to kill her and get Morinth?

    1. poiumty says:

      That requires a crapload of paragon/renegade points that Josh most likely won’t have.

      1. Dude says:

        I wouldn’t hold it against him for save game editing for that. Just like editing it so Wrex was alive.

  34. Zaxares says:

    On Wrex’s greeting: One thing I REALLY loved about that scene is that he’s so… effusive about his happiness to see you. I almost thought he was going to start blubbering. XD

    Females of alien species: In the latest Mass Effect: Evolution comic series, they actually showed a female turian. You guys would be glad to know that she looks NOTHING like a female human. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to tell it was actually a female, and not just some male turian that had his crest trimmed or damaged in some way. (Your comment was eerily prognosticative, Shamus!)

    Also, you guys forgot the quarians. They’re the one alien race in ME2 that have male and female characters, and judging by the shape of their helmets, male quarians have a distinctly differently shaped head than females.

  35. Syal says:

    So, if you didn’t save Wrex, are the Krogan still doing that?

    Here’s a question; what’s the best turn-based strategy (video)game you guys have ever played, and would it run on a new computer?

    Alternately, I’d like to know what everyone looks for in a game. What about a game makes it worth playing to you?

  36. Vect says:

    Wrex became a leader mostly because he’s sufficiently badass, which in Krogan books is enough to be the new Clan Leader. The fact that he also happens to be one of the smarter Krogans around is just icing on the cake.

    About the Final Decision… Well, that topic’s already discussed in the comments section of a previous episode. I still believe in the Paragon option, but more out of pragmatic reasoning and familiarity with genre tropes (specifically, I was reminded of something like The Marker for Dead Space, even though by the standards of this place, mentioning Dead Space invalidates my argument). That’s just me and they might make something of it in 3 (as doubtful as that might be).

    Still, if I can take a ballpark of who’s gonna die: Miranda, Jacob, Samara/Morinth (if you somehow get her) and the Crew barring Chakwas (though you might also consider her a traitor and take it as a chance to send Miranda to her death since her booty’s plot-armored).

  37. superglucose says:

    I think it would be cool if it were subverted… if, say, all the Asari were in fact male rather than female while it turned out all the Volas, with their male voices, were actually female.

    Something to shake the gaming community out of this stupid gender role assignment we have. Just because in humans women have higher pitched voices than males doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true for all species… especially species on different planets! Hire male voice actors for actually female aliens! And visa versa!

    Break out of your shells!

  38. superglucose says:

    Oh yeah and Wrex. Well he’s got a couple things going for him: first, he’s very smart (I don’t want to say “for a Krogan” because I don’t want to fall into your ME1 trap of assuming they’re just backwards barbarians who couldn’t figure out which side of a stick to sharpen). Second, he’s actually quite famous. Remember he was honored with Shepherd and probably got considerable fringe fame, which probably translated to Krogan. I mean he can say, “So yeah, I took on the entire Geth horde on the ground so Shepherd could save us all.” Who’s going to mess with him?

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