Hey, I made a homepage for Spoiler Warning. That’s just so that I have a handy place to link when I introduce people to the show. Right now I usually link them to the first episode of the latest series, which isn’t nearly as informative as a page with the premise and list of seasons. So there’s that. It’s not particularly well designed. No RSS feed or any fancy stuff. It’s ugly. But you know the old adage: “Release first, finish second”. That’s not an addage? Hmph. Could have fooled me.
Anyway, if you’re passing along links to your friends, this link is the one to give them http://www.shamusyoung.com/spoilerwarning/
Also, big thanks to the artist who made the Spoiler Warning fan art. (Which you can see I’ve made the official logo for season 4.) Now to reveal what a complete amateur I am, I lost the name of the artist and the link to the original. (I can’t remember if it was sent via email, or in the comments, and I don’t remember when.) So, I suck and I fail at blogging. But how about that fan art, huh?
EDIT: The fan art was by Pure Pareidolia. See the original.
A video Let's Play series I collaborated on from 2009 to 2017.
The Best of 2011
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2011.
In Defense of Crunch
Crunch-mode game development isn't good, but sometimes it happens for good reasons.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
Silent Hill Turbo HD II
I was trying to make fun of how Silent Hill had lost its way but I ended up making fun of fighting games. Whatever.
172 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning S4E40:You DO Know Jack”
No RSS? How quaint, and Web-one-point-x.
Fan art = winsauce.
Only True Fans read the actual blog…..
I was into Spoiler Warning before it went mainstream…
Yeah. Season 0, which only aired on Japanese IPs, was the undisputed best. It didn’t even feature any games in it!
Ah, yes, the good ol’ days when it was still called Hurtful Magical Poopiesaying Oldies.
Back in my day, we didn’t have no fancy spoiler warning videos. We had posts filled with words. Far as the eye can see!
And it featured music by a band so obscure, they broke up five minutes before they recorded the theme.
The theme song consisted entirely of accusations that all the other band members had “sold out”.
Not even the band member’s mothers listen to a single one of their songs
Think of the potential of the mass effect mythbusters. Can Shepard’s elbow really kill a krogan? Are Quarians really birds. under those suits? Can genetic modification turn squidheads into insects?
In the end of this mission there’s another one of those moments where you can choose to spare or kill someone. I did not really understand why I would do that, since on my way to him I had killed 4000 Blue Suns mercenaries. Is it because it’s for revenge? Killing hundreds because they’re in your way is fine, but killing one person for revenge is wrong? Or is it because the Blue Suns are merceneries, that makes killing them ok, the guy you can spare is also traitor, which makes it wrong?
No see it’s wrong to kill that guy because he has a name and a face.
I guess a game based on killing thousands of enemies must have some coherence problems when it comes to introducing moral questions. If it wanted to avoid that, it would have to offer you a way of not killing the other thousand guys. Which in reality might be entirely possible, but not in a closed-corridor cover-based shooter. Back in Neverwinter Nights you could try and sneak past enemies, charm them, or take an altogether different road (not often, though). I suppose the writers did not want to open that can of worms, game-mechanics-wise
It presents moral issues just fine with mordins,talis and legions loyalty missions.
He didn’t try to kill you (directly), so it’s not self defense anymore.
But the Blue Suns are guarding whatever they’re guarding, we’re the one attacking them, it’s not self defence in that case either.
They shot first, therefore it was justified.
George Lucas would agree with me!
In Firefly Mal always kicked first.
Fox kicks last, though.
I think the moral is that, revenge won’t solve anything, sure he’ll be dead but what would the point be? Sparing someone you REALLY want dead because of something they did to you shows compassion, rather than being driven by your vices, which I guess is what someone could be reduced to if they always took “the easy way out”.
The problem isn’t the moral behind the mission. The idea is that revenge won’t do anything for the wronged party, or even provide catharsis.
The problem is, you murdered like, fifty dudes and robots to get the info needed to off this one dude, which makes the moral of “killing for a cause isn’t worth it” break down, seeing as you just killed a bunch of guys to get to the point where you learn that lesson in the first place!
It seems to be killing Krogans who shoot you without a second thought is less notable than shooting a crazy dude in the head who can’t do you any harm.
And you can try to talk politely to the Krogan. They just shoot you anyway, making the moral dimensions somewhat… academic.
That’s Jack’s mission, we’re talking about Garrus’s.
I agree with Shamus about the 6:30 mark. Mumbles really should have developed some troll defense by this point. Reduced to incoherent sputtering? I am so disappointed.
Look at the people I hang out with. Sometimes, I like being trolled.
So, uh, Batman is the one with the claws, right?
I thought Batman was the guy who keeps breaking the fourth wall.
Batman is clearly the lady with the latex obsession.
I’d like to see an Elcor rendition of Batman.
Anger. Where are the hostages scumbag?
Insane glee. Why, I almost thought you wouldn’t make it to the party, Bats. Sinister grin. You nearly missed the fireworks.
The phrase “Why so serious?” gains an entirely different meaning in this context.
On that note, I wonder what an Elcor sitcom looks like. More specifically, do they say “insincere mass laughter” after every punchline?
I thought batman was a player position in baseball?
Depends. Is there a lot of latex in baseballing?
I think that’s the Kool-Aid Man, either him or one of the other Power Rangers.
They may have flashlights, but I’m the KOOL-AID MAN!
Batman breaks so many walls…I have stopped counting :P
Whats a Batman?
It’s a flying hostile creature in Dwarf Fortress.
For those who have not played, a reference. Check the Raws for all the info of the beloved animalperson.
A measure of weight used in the far east.
But only when weighing small children and soy sauce
The personal attendant of an army officer.
Thats some weird fetish youve got there.
Wasn’t he the one with the huge shield dressed like the statue of liberties pimp? Something about being a super soldier? Yeah my conscience wouldn’t allow me to troll any harder.
The dude with the shield? Yeah, he’s cool. Really fun to use in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
If Batman’s so great, why isn’t he in Marvel vs. Capcom 3?!?!?! HUH?!?!?!
Maybe because he is owned by dc?
No he’s not! You’re thinking of Man-Bat, DC’s crappy ripoff character.
How does the US Capital own a super hero?
He may be rich,but he still requires someone richer to sponsor him.
I love this entire pyramid and what started it… Hilarious.
Jamie would totally be an Elcor.
Spellchecking iteration 1: “unrehersed”. Line 2, Spoiler Warning homepage.
Also: The Fan-Art rocks. Cheers to its Creator, that ominous being.
Another thing about the Blue Suns.
DLC Character Zaeed Massani is the founder of the Blue Suns. While it’s supposed to make him more badass, the way you portray the group ends up making him more of a jackass than usual (considering the fact that he got shanghaied by them for being a crap commander with the social skills of a donkey).
Not sure shanghaied is the word you were looking for there. Shanghai-ing usually means being kidnapped and forced to work on a ship.
Yeah, dude got unshanghaied if anything.
Yeah, misuse of the word there.
And obviously, Buster has been replaced by an endless stream of Blue Suns mooks to make the explosions even more hilarious.
I do wish to restate that I enjoy shepherd’s bonnet. Good work, random mystery fan artist.
Also, I picture Reginald Cuffbert under that bonnet, despite the feminine shape of the body armor.
That is all.
You mean because of, you said despite
Aww, I think the new page looks just fine. Okay, maybe it’s nothing special but it gets the job done.
I’ve actually never seen that quest outcome before, with Jack refusing to kill the guy. Adds a little extra depth to her character, I think. I still don’t know how I feel about Jack. On the one hand, she’s a fleshed-out, kind of twisted and broken character. On the other hand, she’s a total archetype and totally predictable. Is it okay for a character to be a cliche even if they’re interesting?
Remember that cliches only become cliches because they so often wórk.
Jack is just a prime example of this.
This is the reason TVtropes even exists.
I thought TVtropes mainly existed to ruin lives.
Nah, thats just an unexpected perk.
It appears being serious in this particular thread was a mistake.
I don’t really care, though.
How do we establish, in-game, that a faction is a credible threat? If we have legions of their soldiers go up against you, and you manage to kill them all (because that’s how the game is structured), their armies seem incompetent. If we never get a chance to go up against them, but just hear about how tough and intimidating they are, we scoff at Informed Attributes. If we go up against them and are forced to fail, we resent the game for cutting down our awesomeness. If they show up and gank a badass NPC in a cutscene, we’ve been Worf Effect’d, and are just as likely to wonder “Why did my teammate suddenly lose all her powers?”
There’s probably something Valve-ly in here. In a heavily scripted game, you can make sure that you carefully introduce the enemy in training situations and heighten the appearance of danger without forcing the player to restart tons of times. Or you do something like the Striders, where you see it a bunch and then you get some climactic “taking one down” moments. Episode Two kind of makes them seem a little less potent, though.
In an open-world game, there would have to be a different approach. You don’t want a Champions Online situation where you get the “Finally, you can take out the leader of the New Purple Gang!” mission before you get all the “Here’s why you should be impressed by the New Purple Gang” missions. My suspicion is that in an open-world game, you have more room to just let certain factions always be genuine threats to the player, rather than illusory, but you keep them relatively far from “new character” regions and give people the option to flee. Fallout 3 more or less did this with Super Mutants, actually–when they were intimidating, it was because they actually were hard to take down. But they weren’t frustratingly so, because you recognized that and were able to avoid them and do other stuff for a while.
Allow me to jump in defense of Champions Online quest you meant, and tell you that now…itÂ´s exactly the same if you avoid the lowest levels in the city. So Yeah…
Therein lies the rub, what balance do you go for? Do you do what Bioware did and make Stormtroopers, where an individual enemy is pathetically weak and only ever a speed bump to heroes? Ever present, but ineffective.
Do you go the opposite route and make a Lovecraftian horror, where you never really see them, only hear how terrible they are. You do your best to avoid them, but should you actually face them…
The problem with ME2 is they try to make the same enemies seem like both. Yeah the Blue Suns are supposed to be a hardened paramilitary group that we just destroy. I’m ok with that, they may be good, I’m better. The problem is that they try to do the same for the collectors. They are portrayed (in dialogue) as some ultimate force, capable of rendering the most sophisticated of defenses futile. In game they are speedbumps for the player. Mowed down by the handful, and undermining the ultimate threat the game trys to establish.
Dragon Age: Origins did nicely with this. The Darkspawn are your Stormtroopers, only ever dangerous en masse. The bosses though… The Broodmother is tough, the High Dragons though made me nearly wet myself once the battle started, and i realised that it could eat my entire party in VERY short order. You have both ends of the spectrum, enemies to kill for fun and profit, and enemies that look at you like a snack.
It also works somewhat OK in the two KotOR titles, in my opinion. Of course, they didn’t invent the enemies, but still. The regular empire goons are usually pathetic; once you meet actual Sith, they’re slightly stronger. Malak/Kreia are relatively strong, depending on how you’ve leveled.
Also, I think it’s perfectly possible to have your -characters- go by evil reputation and such, and show the -player- how evil the Big Bad is. Like, say, a cutscene where they blow up 95% of a planet to kill a Jedi.
(the fact that they still FAIL is, of course, a bit undermining the whole “badass” thing)
Scions,praetorians,geth primes and ymir mechs are credible threats.
Or a better example(more common),krogan.No matter how much of them you kill,they still are a tough enemy,and you know that you shouldnt fuck around when they enter the battle.They are tough,have strong armour,strong weapons,and if they charge you,you are history.
Krogan are the most respected enemy in Mass Effect, by far. One of the most in any game I’ve played, actually. There are ALWAYS tough to kill – not ridiculously hard, but hard. It fits with their character, too, which is extremely unusual.
@Falcon Well, Darkspawn are always really hard for me at the beginning. … Actually, everything is. Ah well.
One of the dragons was hard for me to kill, even on easy, though. I suck at DA:O, hopefully I’ll be better at DA2 (That doesn’t mean it needs to be dumbed down – just better. I never really used mages much, and I’ve heard they were OPed in DA:O)
Yep, the ideal party in DA:O was 3 mages and one rogue (for lockpicking and to bring a bear, but mostly because you can’t have 4 mages).
The picture was given by Pure Pareidolia on the comments of the 4th part of the 100th episode.
The link he gave to the picture was: http://ankhareon.deviantart.com/art/Not-a-Cerberus-Operative-197246983
Yes, that would indeed be me. I also tweeted it directly at Shamus afterwards incase they didn’t see it.
On that subject: Yaaay! It’s a title image now! :D
Yes, well done on the art :)
And thanks for the new page Shamus. I think it’s just dandy.
Thanks for the Spoiler Warning page!
MassBusters sounds awesome. No love for the rest of the crew, though? I’m thinking Grant’s a Quarian, Tory’s a Turian, and Kari is, of course, an Asari.
Nonsense: Grant is geth.
Grant would be *building* all of the Geth used on the show, which by necessity makes him a Quarian.
But Asari have head-tentacles that are the same color as their skin, whereas Kari is a redhead. Unless she dyes the head-tentacles.
She’s a red Asari. Deal with it.
Keri is the cure girl. That’s pretty much ALL the Asari are.
Wait, wouldn’t Tory be a Krogan? His shtick is to be dumb, throw himself at anything dangerous and come out fine. Sounds like a Krogan to me.
No,he is a vorcha.They are like krogan,only skinny.
Kari would either be an asari-from a human relationship, of course- or she’d be the descendant of Kari, who was entrusted with the deed to M5 and M7 for generations.
Or both. Let’s have it be both.
They talked about this above, did pretty much the whole cast.
Oh, and the entire idea is awesome. I wonder if the Mythbusters crew are Mass Effect fans? Someone should direct them to this thread if they are.
Bioware seriously needs to put a commercial for “LegendBreakers” or some such in ME3. “Now with more explosions!”
Personally I’d go with MassBusters myself.
Now I totally want to see that happen, I would pay to watch an episode of that. Bioware – DO IT! Hire the MythBusters crew to voice act a short CGI MassBusters episode. I will give you monies! Please, please, please?
Thirded. Except maybe for the monies, don’t have any.
YES. Why isn’t someone forwarding this to BioWare already? It could be in Mass Effect 3!
EDIT: Oops, I probably replied to the wrong person. Oh well.
That would be awesome.
I think Jack may just be contrary. i.e. tell her to kill him, she lets him go. Tell her to let him go, she kills him. I’m just guessing though.
I think normally, yes. This case seemed like it was a legitimate character change or something that got past her usual impulsive behaviors.
I think he may be right on Jack being contrary. We’ve already spoken about her desperately trying to find some part of her life she can control (tatoos as an example), it would make sense if she just wanted to go AGAINST Shepard’s orders, just to show some semblance of control over her life, since she feels like that scared little girl again.
Btw, Josh doesn’t have anywhere NEAR enough Paragon/Renegade points to do anything, probably because he’s skipped so many optional things.
Suggestion for the Spoiler Warning page: on the completed seasons could you give a total running time for all the episodes combined? Maybe con one of your loyal minions into doing all the tedious scut-work?
Bioshock is 7:48:40 total.
Fallout 3 is 16:40:05 total.
Mass Effect 1 is 10:10:44 total.
I might be off by a few seconds (damn you, untrackable milliseconds!) or as much as 30 minutes (damn you, inability to accurately count every episode!)
Christ on a bike, nearly 17 hours of Fallout 3?! No wonder we were sick of it.
Part of those 17 hours were because they were still in the mode of if Josh did it, we had to watch it. If josh spent 20 minutes wandering in circles because he forgot where he was supposed to go and didn’t bother to check the quest marker, we got to watch every minute of it. Later during the run of BioShock, he realized that if he died we didn’t really need to watch him kill 20 splicers to get back to the point where he died. Now they routinely zip through any boring repetitive stretches, unless somebody has interesting points about the game to make… or Ruts is doing a really good job of trolling Mumbles.
Or if Ruts and Mumbles are beatboxing…
Or if Ruts is singing.
Or if Josh is swearing because he just died again.
Speak for yourself man, if it was up to me, the crew would be earning the second-to-last achievement in Point Lookout right about now.
Guuuh, now I feel semi obligated to ARTIFIY the massbusters. /me shakes fist at spoilerwarning crew.
But yes, figuring out the entire mythbuster crew as aliens, heheh.
We have already have…
Adam : Salarian
Jamie : Elcor
I can see Grant as a Geth, but I think that a Quarian would make more sense for him. … I suppose Kari could be Asari, but that leaves Tory.
(Or just leave Kari as a Hooooman)
For Tory, Turian or Krogan, I think Krogan would make enough sense for things that they need to test, the regeneration helps with recovery times too. :)
Make him the Shadow Broker.
Minor criticism of these ep’s, its kind of hard to understand you guys talk when there are ppl talking in the game. Since there are subtitles anyway, could turn down the in-game voices?
No, please no.
I think they turned them up in response to the exact opposite complaint on Mordin’s loyalty mission
what? There were NPCs talking? I didn’t notice. Wait a second… what were they doing? I don’t remember… something about Volus…Volusi? whatever, whizzing around a room like a balloon.
That can’t be right.
Am I the only one frustrated and screamed 26 at the monitor while Josh couldn’t find his way?
Naw. I didn’t have problems finding the quest location really, so instead… I chuckled. :)
Nope. Granted, this is a problem I have in LPs in general.
Yeah. I was pretty furious at that, expecting this to go on for the rest of the show. The cut really came too late.
No, that was really painful to watch. Kinda funny, but painful. You weren’t the only one who went insane. :)
It happened before – even just know with Samara’s loyalty mission. If i recall correctly the game does communicate to you who you need to talk to, so I guess it’s just due to Josh having to divide his attention.
you’re probably right there.
It’s not exactly that hard to find. Certainly not several several minute skips worth (including one with extra sour cream!)
Nope, I vary between laughing and raging when LPers miss basic information for incredibly long periods of time. It makes watching Rutskarn allocate researchers to more than one project at once in Xcom a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
Ruts, STOP DOING THAT.
Man, never before have I been this disappointed with the fact that I can’t draw to save my life. Not so much because of the reward, mind — I’m fairly certain Mumbles can’t love me any more than she already does — but because I’d really want to live in a universe where MassBusters is a reality.
Also: I dig the new Spoiler Warning page, it’ll make it much easier for me to spam my friends into watching the show (they’re mostly dumb). As a suggestion: while each season of Spoiler Warning more or less manages to stand on itself, it might be worth adding a notice that unless you start at season 2 (or 1), you’re going to miss out on quite a few in-jokes.
If there’s actually people watching now who didn’t watch season 2, for example, they must be quite curious as to who this Reginald Cuftbert fellow is who keeps getting referenced.
And why he seems to be a raving lunatic – with a bonnet.
The simple answer to this question is that he IS a raving lunatic with a bonnet.
Yeah, the new site isn’t bad at all…
By the way, Shamus, are you still having email problems and/or did you get my email (same address as the comment) about Free Radical?
EDIT: Oh man, I LOLed at your MassBusters imitation :D A more fleshed out version would be awesome :P Maybe an intermission?
Someone needs to make it a web comic or something.
Hopefully the same guy that can do the fan art.
Yeah, someone totally needs to do this now!
I loved Shamus’s imitations.
Ok, so I’m kvetching about stuff I’m not paying for, but… this site was a lot better before Spoiler Warning. I come here to read Shamus’s insights about game design and, well, things that aren’t game design; not to watch video. Video is slo-o-ow. And worse, now it seems we’re getting All Spoiler Warning, All The Time. Of the eight posts on the front page, 5 are Spoiler-Warning-related and only one of the remaining three is by Shamus. Run your blog as you like, but if I wanted to read Josh’s or Mumbles’s insights about game design, I’d visit their blogs.
So, yeah. Kvetching. Sorry. I’ll shut up now.
Incidentally, has Experienced Points gone biweekly, or monthly, or something? Did I miss the memo?
I think the last word we had on why we get less content from Shamus these days had to do with his recently receiving a discount membership card from the “Club of Unemployed Gentlemen.” So he’s too busy looking for soup kitchens/plotting world domination/working as a Mexican drug mule to produce delightful entertainment at his previous astounding rate.
Im sort of with you.I like spoiler warning,but I want more Shamus ranting against fable and such.
Though I dont think the fault is in the show,but in the games he is drowning in right now.
Like he’s said before, Spoiler warning doesn’t make that big a dent on his time, even before he lost his job. Shucks, I’m pretty sure there was actually more SW going on then, and more other articles too.
Sentiment is appreciated. SW is awesome, but I want more Shamus text stuff. His wit is so much more appreciated that way, for some reason.
I watched another version of this mission on youtube before watching this spoiler warning ep, because I have problems keeping up with the plot and the commentary at the same time and wanted to know what’s going on. Interestingly enough, in the other version, Jack actually does kill Aresh after Shepard tells her too.
Their Shepard seemed a bit more evil and cold than yours, though, and Jack seemed kind of miserable after the mission – there’s some dialogue along the lines of “I killed them all, and I still don’t feel better! I still want to kill everyone I see. :(”
I think her not killing Aresh may have been meant to show that she’s getting over the whole “I HATE EVERYONE AND WANT TO KILL THEM! FOR FUN” thing, although you’re right, it makes no logical sense if he can’t actually get away. But I guess it’s good for her that she’s learning that fighting and killing isn’t the only way she can deal with her pain?
The change must have been triggered by something your Shepard did differently earlier – maybe you were kinder to her at some point, and it went a little way towards making her better?
I think it might be simpler than that: There were two regular options, ‘Don’t kill him’ and ‘Kill him’, a Paragon ‘Don’t kill him’ and a Renegade ‘Kill him’. I think Jack just doesn’t like to be told what to do, so if you pick the regular option, she does the opposite of whatever you tell her to just to stick it to you. The Paragon and Renegade options would allow you to influence her.
That would make sense, yes.
So, why do Josh and Ruts and Mumbles not have cool yellow posts like Shamus anymore?
lazy. i have to sign into admin to get gold and that takes another five seconds
But… but… without that we can’t easily scan and see authors! Sometimes that’s useful, even for those of us who actually read every dang comment that goes through this site. (at least within a few days on the interesting posts. And SW, where the comments often have very little to do with the episode)
Batman’s symbol is yellow (at least I assume that’s batman :P looks like space ghost to me). Isn’t that standing out enough for you?
Btw, anyone else scream when he cut off the “Isaac Newton is the baddest man in space” speech? That was hillarity…
I didn’t scream, but I said “awww”.
I was certainly sad to see it skipped, especially when they went out of their way to show that they had found it.
yeah, I was disappointed. I love that speech.
See, Bioware does have good writers. It’s the main plot that suffers in ME2. Even the Cerberus scenes are relatively well written, once you take the railroading for granted.
Use the forc…I mean,use the journal Josh,use the journal.
He was if you noticed, it never mentioned level 26.
But it did mention a ‘warehouse’ which has its own map marker. So guess it should be ‘It’s a map!’ [/sushiman]
Super rushed photoshop job as done by a completely inexperienced user gooooo!
The fact that your rushed Jamie-Elcor resembles the real one so well speaks volumes.
Jury’s out on this one, imo. We’ll see if anyone tops it :P
Salarian Adam “Today’s Myth, can a vorcha still talk with one lung. Often asked. Should be interesting. Let’s ask Grant.”
Turian Grant “Okay, So we’ve already Tory all strapped into our rig.”
Quarian Kari *pulls on cinches* “Nice and tight!”
Vorcha Tory “Umm… Grant… what are you doing with that shotgun?”
T Grant “So let’s see we line up a shot, like so and…”
*Bang* – *Censored*
V Tory “AAAAAH! Oh god, my chest!”
Elcor Jaime “Appreciative, this one seems to be confirmed.”
S Adam “Indeed, completely confirmed. However, Grant will continue to test other methods. Most exciting. Can’t wait to see explosives.”
V Tory “Son of a *Censored* *Censored* *Censored*”
… awesomeness. Sounds pretty spot on, though I haven’t seen much of the newer people. (Yes, I know they’ve been on for years, but I remember it being just Adam and Jamie in the classic episodes.)
Just saw this and thought of Mumbles: http://chzemokid.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/emo-scene-hipster-emobatman.jpg
Batman can just shoot people with his grappling hooks.
Space mythbusters? No way was I going to pass up a challenge like that.
Done and Done
I wanted to put Adam in his trademark reality rejection T-shirt, but it would be illegible so I just picked outfits I thought resembled their normal clothes, only futuristic and alien.
Awesome. You need to send this to Bioware, stat.
… yep, that last one wasn’t a fluke. Where are we going to put this one? Does Shamus need a fanart section?
I do admit it does need context for the full effect, though.
Here’s my attempt:
and yes, I did create a deviantart account just to show this off, though I plan on adding much more soon.
I luvs it! ^_^
This episode has been one of the funniest I’ve seen … and absolutely nothing of substance after we leave Jack’s mission. That’s kind of odd, considering THE BATMAN – with guns! is the focus in this episode. I find I really don’t care, though, because I get the feeling this episode will spawn more Spoiler Warning in-jokes.
……i’m arrivng at this question about (exactly) 40 episodes too late but, why cerberus? Why did bioware pick cerberus? They were the bad guys in Mass effect 1. The whole argument of the plot requiring shepard to be a moron is lychpinned on working for cerberus.
Why not just make a new orginization that is radically pro-human? you could even have rogue elements doing terrorist stuff and have jacob miranda loyalty mission about getting rid of them. Is it ever explained by bioware or the game why they picked cerberus (which is a terrorist orginization from the first game which attacked you) and not, like, the human liberation front or the association of homo sapien supreme?
i dunno coming back to working for cerberus when we know cerberus is either a)lying or b)hopelessly inept made we wonder about this and if it was ever covered in one of the first episodes and i missed it or what.
“Why did bioware pick cerberus?”
Some lead writer at BioWare is really bad at his job and no one around him has the balls to tell him that? That’s the only reason I can come up with; they did change lead writers from ME1 to ME2.
Drew Karpyshyn (ME1) also wrote heavily for other BioWare games (Jade Empire, Baldur’s Gate 2 & KOTOR) and while I never thought those games had awesome plots, they were at least not utterly stupid and contained specific elements (such as the twist in Jade Empire) that overshadowed the bad/bland bits. The same is true for the man's novels; nothing really special, just average with the occasional cool scene.
Mac Walters was the lead writer for ME2. As far as I know he also wrote small bits for Jade Empire & ME1, but ME2 was his first big project and as we now know it isn't very impressive. The man also wrote a Mass Effect comic which was pretty bad, so while I hesitate to point at one guy as say “It's his fault”, I do see the beginnings of a pattern.
In the end there are really three possible causes for why ME2 happened. ME2's plot just doesn't follow naturally from ME1, why?
One; BioWare never really planned for a trilogy. Look at ME1; it's leveling system didn't really allow for any further growth and the story did not feel like the first part of a trilogy, it's ending did set things up for a sequel but to me that felt more like the way movies do it with pasting an extra scene at the end of the movie showing that one of the defeated monster's eggs survived. So when ME1 became a success everyone panicked and tried their best to come up with something for ME2.
Two; BioWare did plan ahead for a trilogy, made a nice Mass Effect Bible and everything, but the writing team for ME2 just ignored everything and did their own thing.
Three; BioWare did plan ahead and we are now enjoying the fruits of their fully fleshed out story.
All possibilities make BioWare's self-proclaimed virtue of having “awesome plots” and “talented writers” look like complete nonsense, so take your pick.
As for your three scenarios, you can cross out number one. I remember Bioware talking about Mass Effect being a trilogy even before part one came out. Even mentioning that it was great to be able to plan something across three episodes rather just for a single story (sorry, no references – think I got it from a games mag from several years ago).
So it looks like it is a choice between options 2 and 3. (I go with option 2 – after all, they completely ripped up the gameplay between ME1 and ME2.)
It’s definitely not one (Not sure where you got that the last scene could be a one-off, either. That was kind of “Ah shoot we’re gonna die”
I imagine it’s a mix between two and three. They certainly were going to have you join Cerberus in ME2, hence the stupid stuff with them in ME1. They just foreshadowed EXTREMELY badly.
Saying you’re going to plan for a trilogy is not the same as actually doing so.
Also they didn’t foreshadow anything badly; they didn’t foreshadow anything at all. In ME1 Cerberus was just a couple of mooks you shot in a side-mission, that’s it. ME2’s Cerberus and TIM came completely out of left field.
I’m curious though; I’d like for you to draw me a diagram on how the cerberus missions in ME1 foreshadowed you joining them because I’m not seeing it.
The Cerberus thing was probably a case of Writer On Board, but Bioware was pretty open about planning these games as a trilogy. There was a lot of discussion in Mass Effect previews about how your choices would affect future games and how they were trying to work around the fact that the Xbox was on its way out and the next gen consoles were on their way in. I remember this vividly and being really interested in how they’d do it.
And honestly, as has been pointed out in comments (and possibly the show itself), forcing Shepard to work for Cerberus wasn’t a bad idea. It could’ve been done rather well; it could have fleshed out a shadowy organization we only encountered as cackling mad scientist mooks, made ME2 a game less about epic space opera and more about preparing for the invasion, and let you see the galaxy from another point of view. You can see the skeleton of this underneath the layers of bad writing and bad story decisions. They just, whether because of the new head writer or pressure from EA, strayed from their vision.
In reply to your first point: again, they talked alot about it. But when I look at ME1 I simply do not see the first part of a trilogy in neither the story, nor the game’s mechanics. Maybe they did plan to do it, but then they didn’t plan for it.
As to your second point; I somewhat agree with you. Forcing Sheppard to work with Cerberus as a concept is not bad in and of itself, but it needs a ton of work for it to make any sense and not be utterly stupid coming from ME1.
But as you already said, these are points that have been discussed by everyone on this blog over and over again whenever ME2 comes up. Personally I’m just of the opinion that ME2's problem didn't start with ME2, but began with ME1.
The ending of ME1 wasn’t any more final than the ending of A New Hope, and Luke didn’t resort to shooting mercenaries in Empire Strikes Back to keep the plot rolling. (He waited until RotJ for that!)
Basing an entire game on getting your cast together isn’t the best idea for your plot – especially when the actual game doesn’t actually emphasize the whole “suicide mission” thing as much as the promotions did. It took me a while the first time to figure out what the suicide mission actually WAS. When did we decide we’re going through the Omega 4 relay?
I got the impression that ME2 wasn’t originally meant to be about shepard. A bit like Zahn’s Conqueror’s Trilogy you have ME1 from the perspective of the supposed hero. ME2 from the perspective of those who have been established as the bad guys in ME1 but turn out to be right in their own way. And ME3 bringing both together to work against the common foe (the reapers).
But for some reason they decided they needed shepard to be the protagonist in all 3 games, thus ruining the plan for ME2 and giving us this contraption of nonesense held together with plot holes.
Or that ‘s my theory anyway.
Woah, not exactly. They’re a whole pile of mooks who manage to kidnap and kill an Earth Admiral. And if you took the sole survivor origin story, they’re the guys who killed off your entire squad with the Thresher Maw. It’s not like you were fighting the Human Liberation Front, and are now getting backing from the Liberation Front for Humanity (splitters!).
The only reason I didn’t choke on my gum when I got hitched to Cerberus in ME2 is because it’d been so long since ME1 that I had relegated everyone except for the Reapers to low-grade mook status. Replay the first game and you’ll remember just what a bunch of wankers the Cerberus team is.
Another great episode. Hmm, those are some excellent story elements there. I never did take Jack on a run through, may have to fire it up again.
I felt TIM and Cerberus-Prime had promise, but it was somewhat squandered whenever these experiments and the like were disavowed or distanced from them. Would have been great if TIM was a completely unabashed “ends justify the means” antagonist/mentor (An antagotor if you will). Show that the messed up failures and seemingly rogue operations actually provided something of scary and practical use to the main organization. Like Atlas from Marvel or a more menacing Vault-Tec.
But that’s another game. That’s Agent Shepard, I’m working my way through a labyrinthian network of terrorist cells in order to uncover the truth and stop the bad guys.
We’re playing Agent Shepard, I’m working my way through clues left by a dead civilization to go fight eldritch horrors from beyond and stop them from killing all life in the galaxy. The stakes are bigger and exploring the inner workings of an apparently fragmented shadowy organization would likely bog things down.
Also because Mythbusters is fun and so are bandwagons:
Massbusters are go!
Jack playing with the detonator: Actually, judging by the expression on her face, she wasn’t so much savouring the moment as hesitating to do it. If you let her walk around and look at her old room, you’d understand why. Sure, her childhood was a total shithole, but it was still everything she ever knew. And now she’s going to destroy it, to wipe away all traces of her past. It’s human nature to not want to lose your connection to the past, even if you hated it.
Mythbusters in MEVerse: Jamie as an elcor and Adam as a salarian… I would SO pay to see that. I would. :D
The mythbusters thing had me in stitches. I had to pause for a couple minutes to catch my breath. You guys really nailed the voices on it too. I’d love to hear more of it though I realize that wouldn’t exactly fit into regular episodes of Spoiler Warning. Maybe some sort of silly side episode between this season and the next?
And now we have another time where I am saddened by my inability to art. If I could draw it, I would.
Also, thank you, seriously, for finally making a Spoiler Warning home page. I’ve wanted to link about a dozen people to it but didn’t know where to start or how to explain it to them.
dude, i’m going to look for machinima of this idea now
Nobody is going to read this since it’s a few days old but having again stared at the visions from the beacons in ME1 I say it is completely obvious that they are being transformed into something. The problem is that the concept art for the collectors had not been done yet.
Not only do you see their shape changing, but you see very clearly, over and over, electronic (or as Mordin puts it in ME2 “tech”) parts forced into flesh.
Yeah, but that’s Husking. That’s totally an established Reaper thing, and fighting Prothean Husks would be perfectly acceptable. But the collectors only look like Husks wh-ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL.
you guys made such a big deal out of finally getting jak a shirt. and then josh skips every opportunity to put her in it so that her leather straps can take a break from telling the laws of physics to sit down and shut up.
I’m a little late to the party, but I figured I’d point out you could link your Let’s Play category feed as the RSS feed for the Spoiler Warning homepage. I’ve been following it in Google Reader to get updates for Spoiler Warning and so I can keep that separate from the rest of your content. (I like to let Spoiler Warning collect for a couple of weeks so it doesn’t get as disjointed.)
You can essentially pull the code to embed it into the page straight from the category page.
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You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>
You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?
You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.
You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!
You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>