Spoiler Warning S4E44: Reginald Gethbert

By Shamus
on Feb 25, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

This game is the Jekyll & Hyde of storytelling. Last episode was Commander Shepard vs. Common Sense. Now we’re meeting a Geth and visiting the Migrant Fleet. With a Geth.

I was actually very sorry when our session ended this week, because I wanted to keep going with this mission.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!2014234 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. Harry says:

    Wow, I refreshed while thinking “As if the new episode will come up just because I pressed f5” and then…

    It came up. Um.

    Am I addicted?

  2. Desgardes says:

    I was thinking the same as Shamus. When was Jacob on Eden Prime?

  3. Zah says:

    Speaking of which who was that random guy guarding Legion? I felt like asking “Do I know you?”

    I look forward to Spoiler Warning: Mass Effect 3: Reapers gonna Reap (Heavy Risk edition) featuring a special prize.

  4. Integer Man says:

    Legion + Bonnet = Awesome. Strangely, Mordin + Bonnet = Less Awesome.

  5. Slothful says:

    I also put off Tali’s loyalty mission so that I could bring Legion along, but my Shepard just wimped out and sent Legion back to the ship.

    Also, doing the Reaper mission early messed up the timing so I still had too much to do when the next plot mission fired, and EVERYONE DIED

    I was also ticked off that apparently half of the Quarians don’t have Tali’s accent and they just speak plain American English.

    • Veloxyll says:

      Sadly when you get the Reaper IFF it starts the end of the game. So if you’re not ready for it, you can’t be as much of a bad ass as you’d like.

      THe first time I did it my fish died :(

    • Akheloios says:

      Babylon 5’s Centauri couldn’t keep the accent up either, I think Bioware are going for the full tribute to the show they stole most of the good bits of plot from.

      • Raygereio says:

        Because everyone of the same nation, or species, has the exact same accent.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          I know, eh?

        • Taellosse says:

          Well, no, but the Quarians are kind of in a unique circumstance. They’re ALL in the Migrant Fleet, they have been for dozens of generations, and there’s only a few million of them. There’s near-constant intercommunication between the various ships of the Fleet, and frequent exchange of crew to maintain genetic diversity. It would be most accurate to think of the whole Fleet as a single, relatively small country. If there were different accents among them, they’d be very slight differences, most likely, and ought to be undetectable to a non-Quarian (can YOU tell the difference between the accent of a Parisian versus an Alsacian Frenchman? *I* certainly couldn’t).

          Perhaps more significantly, I must point out that, strictly speaking, none of the Quarians are actually speaking English. It’s buried somewhere in the database entries of the first game, but people’s personal computers actually do real-time translation of alien languages in their ear. A lot of species couldn’t speak the same languages even if they wanted to, as their methods of communication are incompatible (the Hanar, for example, can’t actually make sound at all–they’re really communicating by the pulses of light their bodies make). Any accent you hear a given non-human character using is, realistically, purely cosmetic for you, the player–Shepard probably isn’t hearing it. Perhaps the accents are merely meant to convey something of the particular characters, like inflection, expression, and body language.

          • Nidokoenig says:

            But the migrant fleet would (probably) be a mix of Quarians from every nation on their home planet, right? And anyway, millions is a large enough number to get accent divergence: compare accents in the south of England to northern ones.

            Another possibility is that, given the germ worries, Quarians don’t move from ship to ship within the fleet unless necessary, so accents would diverge.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              A person can change their accent a few times if they change their residences often enough.And quarians have spent generations on their ships.I oubt being from different nations would become a problem afterwards.

              Also,like mentioned,these are not their real accents,but the accents given to them by the translators we have.

            • Taellosse says:

              Accent divergence only happens when the populations of local areas remain largely static and insular, though. The reason you get regional dialects in Britain is that, historically, the people in those regions lived and died there.

              But the Migrant Fleet explicitly discourages this for the sake of genetic diversity and to avoid clannish behavior patterns from arising. Every Quarian that achieves adulthood takes up residence on a different ship from their birth one, without exception. And they’ve been operating under these conditions for over 400 years. That’s more than enough time to smooth out any dialect variation from the original population, and current practice prevents new ones from arising.

              Note that regional dialects in the US are noticeably subsiding in the last few generations as the population has become more mobile. You still get them, but mostly for the people that don’t move around at all. Those that do tend to lose them (assuming they ever had one), and acquire a generic American accent instead. I’m less familiar with the British Isles, but I imagine the same is happening there as well.

          • Raygereio says:

            “It would be most accurate to think of the whole Fleet as a single, relatively small country.”
            True. However you still have different accents within a small country between cities and even between districts of cities in this age of television and radio.
            And anyone that doesn’t know the specifics of the accents can still hear differences between the pronouncification of words. Granted this is somewhat difficult if you don’t the language the accent belongs to as then all your brain hears is gibberish.

            It’s hardly inconceivable the different clans of which the Migrant Fleet is made up have kept certain accents. And that’s not even considering the possibility that there wasn’t a single Quarian nation and/or single Quarian language before the Geth uprising.

            But yes, this whole point is moot anyway concidering all we’re technically hearing is automatically translations. Heck, we ought to be wondering why every non-English speaker doesn’t sound like Stephen Hawking.

        • ehlijen says:

          Ja. I kan konfirm dat dey do.

  6. RTBones says:

    I had to LOL at the Renegade option fail. I half expected Richard Dawson to come walking down the corridor saying, “Survey SAYS?”

    • Aldowyn says:

      I was only half paying attention until that buzzer noise. I was like “Ok, we both think Legion is awesome, blah blah WHAT WAS THAT! Oh, Josh missed the Renegade Interrupt? This should be good.”
      And it was! Anticlimactic, though.

  7. Hitch says:

    Okay, having to go through three times to get it (and the second was totally not Josh’s fault) may have diminished it some, but that was the lamest renegade interrupt ever.

  8. Zukhramm says:

    It’s not really self-fulfilling as the Geth she’s charged for bringing are the ones she sent to her father earlier.

    What I hate about this mission is that in the end, you can with high enough paragon/renegade points you can just convince the board that she’s innocent, making the choice less interesting. It’s like the one time a choice would benefit form and make sense to be binary they add a third option.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,to be fair,tali was charged simply because of her father,and not because of any actual evidence.Its politics.

      • Zukhramm says:

        It’s not all politics, there’s still the fact the reactivated geth killed everyone on the research ship. Reactivating geth is most likely a crime if sending sending activated geth parts to the fleet is. Sure, not a crime Tali commited but still a crime. “It’s politics” doesn’t change that.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure,but there is no evidence that reactivated geth came from tali.She was not the only one on the pilgrimage,nor the only one with access to geth parts.Her father was not the only one doing the experiments either.But she is being charged because her father is an admiral.

          • Zukhramm says:

            Are you sure she was not the only one sending geth parts to this specific research ship? And her father was running it, so the responsibility of activating them.

            And in any case, the circumstances around it are irrelevant since they were in Bioware’s control, and they chose to give a third option.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “Are you sure she was not the only one sending geth parts to this specific research ship?”

              Are you sure she was?

              And so what if her father was running it?That makes it his responsibility,not hers.

              • Zukhramm says:

                If I was sure I wouldn’t ask if you were. And it’s his reponsibility that he activated the geth, but the board doesn’t know he did, that’s the whole point.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Thats the whole point:They lack evidence.And,like tali said,treason is not something quarians throw around lightly.If her father wasnt an admiral,this lack of evidence would mean that thered be no trial in the first place.Investigation yes,trial no.Thats why its mostly politics,and why you can just talk it out.

  9. droid says:

    Jakob and Miranda don’t know how to kill Geth. We should space both of them.

  10. Deadpool says:

    I like Tali’s mission, especially with Legion along, but there’s one major problem with it that bugs the crap out of me: WHY ARE THE QUARIANS WEARING SUITS?

    They supposedly have bad immune systems from living in the germ-free environment of the Migrant Fleet, so they wear their immunity suits on the Migrant Fleet? Wha?!?

    • Robyrt says:

      Who knows what germs Shepard&co. are carrying? Granted in this case all 3 party members are in full spacesuits, but Miranda could have picked up any number of crazy space viruses.

      • Luhrsen says:

        And why are their “clean” ships so full of floating motes and dust?

      • Deadpool says:

        That’s the thing, anyone visiting the Migrant Fleet should be forced to decontaminate first (not on their own ship, ON THE MIGRANT FLEET ITSELF) and then change clothes to specially designed, sealed, Quarian-made suit that they can’t take off themselves.

        Excessive? Sure. But we’re talking about the very delicate, aritificial environment that sustains their ENTIRE SPECIES (well, it’s several separate ships, but they should ALL have the same procedure to dealing with aliens), shouldn’t be the kind of thing you dick around with.

        As it stands, they either LIVE in containment suits just in case an alien drops by, or the entire ship of millions and millions of Quarians put on their suits because SHEPARD came to visit.

        I’m betting on the former, since their decontamination procedure for guests seem to be working on the god damned honor system.

        I know, Bioware wanted to keep the Quarian appearance a mystery, in large part because of Tali’s popularity (plus, I’m betting they don’t even know what Quarians look like), but bringing us to their home does NOT help that goal.

      • Irridium says:

        Or if you bring in Jack, who’s not wearing a shirt.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Tali does explain it if you talk to her.They remove their suits only when they sync suits with someone.Basically,they are allergic to everything that is not their own body.This is because while they were on a planet,they already had weak immune systems,and now they have almost none.

      • Deadpool says:

        But they live in an artificial environment. We know they can create artificial environments they can survive in… Are we to believe that the Quarians actually built an environment to live in that they CAN’T live in?

        That makes them the dumbest alien species in fiction by quite a margin…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          They do live in a sterile environment,but that doesnt make them sterile as well.Each of them has different chemical and bacteriological composition in their skin,in their lungs,in their hair(if they have any).Imagine transplanting a kidney:No matter how sterile you make the environment the donor and recipient are living in,no matter how much their blood matches,there still is a chance it will get rejected.Now imagine that multiplied by several orders of magnitude,and you get quarians.

          • swimon says:

            Also they’re not exactly rich. Making all the salvaged ships that are barely chugging along hypo-allergenic is probably something they can’t afford.

          • Deadpool says:

            Wait, wait, wait, Quarians are allergic to EACH OTHER? What?!? How does something like that evolve, when most of the population has a hard time standing next to each other?

            Think of primordial, neaderthal-stage Quarians. How did they reproduce?

            Seriously, the whole situation is more preposterous the more you think upon it.

            • Will says:

              Um, it didn’t. The Quarians have spent so long in sterilized space station conditions that they’ve lost their immune system; they just flat out don’t have one anymore. Neanderthal Quarians had immune systems because Neanderthal Quarians hadn’t spent thousands of years living in sterilized space stations.

              • Aldowyn says:

                Well, they’d have to have an immune system because if they didn’t they would get sick from the germs in their own system – the problem is they have no resistance to anything else due to NEVER having encountered anything else.

                It’s like the Native Americans when the Europeans came over, except smaller scale and worse.

        • Kojiro says:

          No, you missed the point. Quarians can’t live with each other. Like how taking E. coli from one person and putting it in another would probably make them sick, except instead of that it’s pretty much anything. Living things are not sterile, and every living organism is a unique environment. Quarians, being so sensitive to anything that’s not themselves, literally would all kill each other if they all took off their suits and tried coexisting, even in a perfectly sterile environment. That’s why Tali says that linking suit environments (not even physical contact, just sharing the same air) is one of the greatest forms of trust Quarians can show each other.

          • Slothful says:

            Except how the hell did they survive if they can’t survive contact with anything anywhere at any time?

            A creature like that could never evolve.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              They were living on a planet where natural life developed mostly in symbiosis with one another.No diseases and such things.Then they were forced into sterile ships for a few generations.

            • Will says:

              A creature like that could absolutely evolve if the environment it evolved in was completely sterilized, like, say, a migrant fleet.

              • Alex says:

                But it’s /not/ a sterile environment, because other Quarians are there, and they are apparently dangerous to each other.

                It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario. The only way the Quarians could get to the position they’re in is by isolating themselves from other Quarians, but the only reason they isolate themselves from other Quarians is because of the position they’re in.

                It made a lot more sense back in ME1, when the impression was given that the environment suits were not necessary while on the Migrant Fleet.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Maybe they did walk without suits in the first days,but those ships had only quarians,so their immunities dropped.Then loads of them did pilgrimages,and while on those,they never left their suits,so their immunities dropped even further,to the point where they couldnt stand direct contact even with other quarians.Its not that hard to imagine that in a couple of generations this problem would escalate quite easily.

                • Fnord says:

                  I agree that every impression from 1 is that they don’t need suits within the Migrant Fleet, and that would make more sense. The problem with the “evolution” explanation is that a timescale of hundreds of years isn’t long enough. Founder effect is a partial explaination, but unless the Migrant Fleet was formed, in large part, by the evacuation of a hospital for victims of genetic immunodeficiency disorders.

                  The whole thing is a bit ridiculous, but I take pleasure in attempting to explain things, so here is my best reconstruction of the quarian immune system problem:
                  The quarian homeworld ecosystem is filled with relatively benign “infectious” organisms. Plants use bacteria-like cells instead of pollen, for example. Even quarians themselves shed symbiotic bacteria (more on these later). Most of these are not diseases in the earth sense; they don’t produce much in the way of toxins or reproduce out of control (though there are enough actual diseases that an immune system is still needed).

                  As with humans, the immune system will produce fevers, stimuate mucus production, etc, when it senses a new pathogen. In the environment of the quarian homeworld, this could cause serious problems in young children who are exposed to many novel pathogens at once. Normally, this doesn’t cause problems for two reasons. First, children share their mother’s immune system, just as they do in humans, both across the placenta and via breast-feeding (which last longer in quarians than humans). Secondly, the symbiotic organisms that quarians shed allow a certain amount of immune system sharing within close groups.

                  The Morning War disrupted this. Mothers of young children die, family groups are shattered or seperated. Refugees from vastly different environments together into close quarters. This disrupts the traditional quarian sharing of immune systems. Obviously, children rely on their mothers for immune systems, if their mother is dead or missing. Also, it takes time for quarian immune systems to recognize the symbiotic organisms from an unfamiliar quarian, especially if their immune systems are very different due to exposure to different pathogens.

                  The immune system disruption, combined with destruction of sanitation and medical infrastructure in the war, means you have actual diseases spreading, too. Perhaps a bioweapon or two, for extra fun.

                  When the planetary evacuation starts, all this gets worse. There clearly aren’t enough ships to evacuate everyone, leading to overloaded life-support and sanitation systems and “children first” policies that split more families. High crowding and lack of medical supplies mean that if a serious disease spreads through a ship, it’s a big problem.

                  Thus, everyone who can get an environment suit is going to use it. It takes the strain off life-support systems and protects you from disease. Some ships won’t let people on without environment suits: there’s no other way to quarantine people, and you easily tell who’s seriously sick since everyone’s immune system is acting up. Even where environment suits aren’t available, everyone is trying to minimize exposure to others.

                  The problem is that extends the immune system disruption. Everyone is paranoid about exposure, which means that the isolation is extended for longer than needed. If anyone DOES break isolation with an unfamiliar group, they risk being exposed to an unfamiliar set of pathogens. Nothing inherently dangerous (most of the actual diseases are dealt with), but just the stuff that practically everything in the quarian ecosystem produces, relatively benign, but enough to give you fever if your immune system hasn’t them seen before. And survival is still marginal at this point; everyone needs to contribute, so even a brief illness causes problems.

                  But the longer everyone stays in isolation, the worse the problems associated with breaking isolation are. It becomes a viscous cycle. A generation is born and raised in isolation, without exposure to anything outside their ship. Now there’s a new problem: no one ship has enough people for a self-sustaining population. So ships need exchange population, but the new generation can’t go to a new ship without getting sick. So now, people are wearing suits even on their own ship. This leads to a new problem: mothers don’t have the right immune system for their ship, so they can’t share with their children while they develop. Suddenly, we have the whole shebang with “clean” ship for children and 24/7 environment suits starting at age 12.

                • krellen says:

                  The Codex in ME1 says the Quarians wear their suits on the Fleet. If you got another impression, it’s not really the game’s fault.

                • Fnord says:

                  Where? I don’t see it in either the primary quarians codex or any of the secondary quarians entries. It doesn’t say they DON’T, but it does say that quarians receive immune boosting implants when they leave on the pilgrimage, and it does say that the migrant fleet environment is sterile.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Secondary entry about the migrant fleet in planets and locations:

                  “Even within the flotilla, quarians on most ships will remain encased in their protective suits, Rarely, quarians will meet on “clean ships” for specific purposes such as medical services or reproduction. When this occurs, they remove their suits, knowing full well that it is likely they will spend a few days having allergic reactions or getting over infections as their weakened immune systems compensate for each other’s presence.”

      • Entropy says:

        The problem with the whole ‘we have a weak immune system, and are therefore allergic, is that allergies are the OVERREACTION of an immune system to something.

        If you had a weak immune system, your allergic reactions to anything would be weak.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Tali explains it better,find her on youtube and listen to her.

        • Gale says:

          The “allergic reaction” thing is explained to be somewhat inaccurate; they just use the word because it’s the most straightforward, easily-understandable analogue of what their problem entails. While it’s more accurate to think of it in terms of weak immune systems, it’s faster for them to just say “it’s like you had a human who was allergic to everything” than actually go into the fine details of quarian biology.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            This. Remember when Shamus had that post about how if you want to introduce a programmer (or other specialist for that matter) into a project they should be able to actually communicate things in a way that may be somewhat less accurate but understandable to non-specialists? This is precisely the case, the Quarians can have entirely different cell and/or organ structures. It’s really easier to say “Think of it as being allergic to everything” since that is the equivalent than have them start “okay, so the first thing I need to ask you is if you have the basis understanding of how flumps flomp? Wait… your species doesn’t have those… right? Umm… see, when your ‘fake DNA’… umm… you don’t have those either? It’s a bit like junk DNA only… Umm… let me get some books you should read before we have this talk.”

            And yes, I am perfectly aware that Bioware doesn’t really have this biology written down. It doesn’t really matter all that much, it’s been done in sci-fi for decades. You do not nitpick on every little detail and if the devs tell you that there is warp drive which operates cause it does than it does. This is not a fallacy, this is part of the assumed word. Problems start when there are holes within that logic, such as characters acting dumb when there is no reason for them to act dumb of which there is a plenty in ME2.

  11. Kanodin says:

    Piloting the ship in circles as they just kept obliviously talking might be one of the funniest moments in this series.

    • lurkey says:

      And driving it right through the suns. Again and again and again.

      • Exasperation says:

        Speaking of those suns, is it just me or does that look like a horribly unstable configuration for a binary star system?

        • Klay F. says:

          I’m assuming its not to scale. Remember what you are seeing is not the actual Normandy flying around a star system willy-nilly, its nothing but Shepard playing around with the star map.

          When you have a “Star Map” that is destination-oriented, it doesn’t make much sense to accurately display the vast distances between planets and stars.

          Besides, this is the dumbed-down Mass Effect 2 we are talking about, we are lucky they didn’t make us navigate by way of a text-based drop-down menu.

  12. Andrew B says:

    Thank you! I was worried it was just me that found keeping Legion in the AI core to be the STUPIDEST PLACE POSSIBLE to keep a Geth! Ahh, I can relax again…

    Also, in fairness to Jacob, he does suggest bullets would work as an off switch at pretty much exactly the point that the SW crew do.

    (Plus, who’s to say you can’t salute with either hand in the future. No need to be dextro-ist in spaaaaaace.)

    • guy says:

      I hated the AI core location too. Place the scary geth RIGHT NEXT to the most important computer on the ship! It’s a great idea! It’s totally better than putting him in a cargo hold without any interfaces or important circuitry!

      Honestly, they should have turned him on inside a Farraday Cage, and definately not one daring leap away from an AI core.

      • Specktre says:

        Yeah, putting Legion in the AI Core had me cocking an eyebrow as well.

        Oh and also the guard thing: “… Uh, hi… where did you come from…?” XD

        • Fnord says:

          I was puzzled at first, but I think the idea is that most geth are useless on their own. So the biggest risk is that he’ll network with other geth, and putting him there maximizes the chance EDI can detect and block any attempt to signal other geth.

          • guy says:

            Yeah, well, that’s:

            1. Ignoring the fact that they’d specifically noted that Legion was operating at a sentient level while solo
            2. Assuming that Legion isn’t potentially loaded up with a full Geth Cyberwarfare package for when some idiot captures him and sticks him next to a vital computer.

            Also, you could totally solve that problem by sticking him in a metal box, which would also solve him hacking things.

        • ehlijen says:

          That guard’s been in there the whole time, locked in and forgotten, pretending to be EDI to give himself something to do…

          • Aldowyn says:

            They’re just crew members, I believe.

            What I’m wondering is why there aren’t any guards when you let Grunt out in almost the EXACT same situation. I guess it doesn’t matter if he kills Shepard as long as he doesn’t take over the ship… oh wait…

      • Jakey says:

        On the other hand, the counter-argument would be that if Geth can communicate and hack wirelessly, you’ll be shit out of lack regardless where you put it and thus putting it next to your super-advanced AI is your best chance at countering it. EDI’s whole ‘erecting all firewalls to keep the ship safe’ line seems to sorta justify the whole AI Core deal, but you’re all too busy falling for the same old ‘AI’s are evil and will instantly turn on you.’ cliché.

        Also, people forget that Legion is restrained with shields when you speak to him. Seeing how AI’s are locked into fragile quantum boxes and you wouldn’t want EDI to turn evil because of something trivial like hitting a piece of space debris, the AI Core might actually be the most secure place on all of Normandy with various anti-static shields and whatnot.

    • Slothful says:

      The real reason was that that was the only empty room left on the ship, except for the bathrooms.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Yeah, the AI core location is real dumb. Maybe once it is activated, talked to and Shepard decides that it trusts it fully (though even then this would show lack of caution, to say the least).

      However, in the defence of “we may not be able to disable it again” and “bullets can” the whole point is that right now it is disabled, shooting it would destroy it (I’m pretty sure that in ME1 Tali says something to the effect that the mobile platforms have some sort of mechanism that destroys/wipes the important stuff when they are heavily damaged to prevent “capture”. Se sure as hell states, and restates it in the previous episode, that nobody was able to “capture” a Geth, ever). Cerberus research teams start to salivate at the very thought of “intact Geth”. Not to mention that the weird behaviour it exhibits would make studying it a priority even if disabled (not destroyed) Geth were available a dime a dozen at one of the citadel stores.

    • Exetera says:

      Did you know: if you try to access the AI core before getting Legion, EDI won’t let you in, citing security reasons. This is such a valuable room that the AI will disobey the Captain rather than open the door. And then she decides that it’s the best place to store a random, oddly functioning, now broken Geth.


      • Aldowyn says:

        I’m guessing it’s because the model for the character is still there even though you can’t get in! Same for all the other characters!

        Wait, you can get to Jack’s hideout before you recruit her, right? Dang.

        It makes more sense than not letting you in to the gunnery station because you don’t have a gunnery officer (And why not? There should be a Cerberus dude there – Garrus would just replace him), or any of the other rooms you can’t enter until you get the squad member that goes there.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Indeed.Only mordin can be adequately explained this way because cerberus isnt really good at science(their method is pound rock on head to see what happens).I understand that this is so you could explore the ship gradually,but its just forced,stupid and unnecessary.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Minor gripe:Jackob says that bullets can deactivate geth,and miranda responds that thats not what she was talking about.

    And finally,you guys are going to start a war!

    Oh,and first garrus,now legion?Mumbles,you sound like yeoman chambers more and more.

  14. Zukhramm says:

    I don’t see all the rage for the quarian guard not using Legion’s name. If it was someone else on the crew, yes, but even Legion itself doesn’t seem to care about having one.

    • Slothful says:


    • Aldowyn says:

      Honestly, it’s just a jerk move to take Legion onto the Migrant fleet. That’s like taking a Nazi to Israel right after it was established and saying “Deal with it”

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well….Not quite.From a certain perspective it is(if you choose to pursue war in the end).But,if you choose peace,then you can be seen as someone who wants to reconcile the warring factions.After all,they did start the war out of fear and ignorance,not out of hate.A paragon would bring legion to the quarians in an instant,just to show them how they dont understand each other.

  15. Specktre says:

    I really like Legion. He’s a cool character. I didn’t think his reason for being there was that bad. I mean, yeah, he’s obsessed with Shepard, but what’s interesting to me is that he himself doesn’t seem to know why. When you ask him he’s somewhat evasive, and when you press he finally pauses then replies, “No data available.”
    I think what BioWare is showing here is that the Geth are slowly changing from what they once were–machines with a “oneness” and they are starting to become more like individuals, and people. The feeling is all together alien for them and they not sure what to do with it.

    Also, I really like Tali’s loyalty mission. It’s definitely one of the best parts of the game.

    And lastly, the end of the episode with the failed Renegade attempts had me laughing. So. Hard. XD

    • krellen says:

      I thought it was more of a take of Geth not understanding emotions – but having them.

      • Will says:

        The Geth don’t really know what the hell is going on; they suddenly gained sentience pretty much literally out of the blue, and to make matters worse their kind of intelligence is completely unique and alien to every other kind in the galaxy.

        Even the Rachni have more in common with the other races in Mass Effect than the Geth do. Hell, it’s possible even the -Reapers- have more in common with the other races than the Geth do, although that depends on exactly how their intelligences work, given their conglomerate nature they may be the only other species with a similar kind of mind.

        • Aldowyn says:

          One possible interpretation of Sovereign’s “We are each a nation” line is that their intelligence works pretty much exactly the same as the Geth’s. Lots of not-so-smart AI’s ganging together to make a super-amazing AI.

      • Specktre says:

        It could be what you say as well, Krellen, yes.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I really, really liked Legion because it provides a lot of information on the Geth and actually shows them as more than the “evil AIs” they were portrayed as in the previous game. Also, they are actually a dynamic culture, undergoing changes, unlike most cultures in sci-fi games, shows or even books. Some of the stuff we know/learn
      WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW, I may or may not use strike tags for the more important ones:

      Geth were pretty much fighting for survival in the “morning war” not “rebelled against their benevolent creators” like we were meant to believe.

      Geth have differences of opinion but they “achieve consensus”, in a sense they are the ultimate democracy. This, especially in light of Legion’s loyalty mission and the nature of Legions itself, leads to some very interesting observations.

      Legion is a custom made mobile platform, capable of supporting over 1000 individual Geth-programs. The Geth we encountered support much fewer programs and as such need to network. This makes it capable of operating outside of the main Geth “society” for prolonged periods of time while maintaining sentience without networking with other Geth.

      Now LEGION LOYALTY MISSION SPOILERS, consider that the core of the Geth society is perfectly capable of accepting a split based on a difference of opinion. The Geth “achieve consensus” but if a group decides that they are not able to operate within that consensus and would rather leave they are welcome to it. This means that while the stated goal of the Geth society is to build a single hub, much like a Reaper, for themselves in which they could achieve a state of permanent “joining” as they near the completion of this goal further splits are likely to occur. If the “Legion project” proves a success more custom platforms like him may be created and “like-minded” Geth may decide to split in this way.

      Yes, the loyalty mission tries to address the issue a bit by claiming that the heretics are operating under the effects of an error but I wasn’t entirely convinced and wouldn’t be surprised if in ME3 it was Legion’s logic that was challenged in a similar fashion. Especially if it sides with Shepard against the “achieved consensus” and “doesn’t have the data” to explain its reasoning.

      In short, we know very little about the Geth but their society appears to be on the brink of making some key decisions about itself, it may go one way, deciding to suppress the rebel ideas, it may go the other deciding to allow for individuals to exclude themselves from the whole. I was always wondering what would Legion do if there was no Shepard around on the heretics’ station? Would it just stand there “unable to achieve consensus”, would a single “vote” determine the outcome then despite the possible protestations of pretty much half of its consciousness?

      On a final note I would like to point out that we don’t really know what part of Geth “society” does the Legion represent. Were the Geth inhabiting that platform chosen to represent as wide as possible range of perspectives or are they the more idealistic ones that were willing to go on what, for the Geth, might be an equivalent of suicide mission into the Arctic?

      • Aldowyn says:

        Note: There actually was a majority, but it was by like two out of a thousand, so it wasn’t definite enough.

        And having Legion be loyal to Shepard and not know why? That would be pretty epic.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          I know there was a majority, the problem was that they couldn’t “achieve consensus”. I’m wondering if Shepard wasn’t there that majority would “force” its opinion (which is not how Geth operate, we are told) or they would just stand there and try to hold back the heretics until the consensus could be achieved (which I imagine would be never).

  16. Armstrong says:

    Speaking of A.I.: I really liked Morpheus from Deus Ex.

  17. Gantidae says:

    I can’t believe Josh actually wanted to talk about the game. You’d think he would know how this works by now.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,the tedium of repetitive combat was over,and the awesomeness of bringing geth to migrant fleet was just about to begin.Thats something worth talking about.

  18. BeamSplashX says:

    Josh sure spent a good deal of this episode thrusting into two large balls.

  19. Ateius says:

    Aaaand there it is. All the Geth you fought in ME1, all their vast armies and military materiel and their spacefleets. It was all a rogue cell. The Geth really just want peaceful coexistence, guys!

    And Cerberus is an organization dedicated to the advancement of humanity, totally not a broad-reaching terrorist group guilty of too many terrible crimes to list!

    Seriously, at that point I was wondering how many more elements they were going to totally re-write before the game was done.

    Also, I’m going to have to disagree with Shamus on this one. At no point in the first game did I wonder “Where’s the rest of the Geth race?” Just because they’re at war doesn’t mean their entire civilization is going to drop everything and pour out of the Veil, does it? You don’t see the entire population of America in Iraq, after all, just a large chunk of the armed forces. The answer I would give to “Where are the rest of the Geth” was “Back on the Geth homeworld building more Geth and guns and armatures and colossi and spaceships”. Legion’s story did not give me a “Oh, that explains so much!” moment, but instead, yet another eye-roll.

    On a brighter note, Josh doing space-donuts while waiting for the others to notice was hilarious.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      I bet in ME3, they ret-con Sovereign, Harbinger, and all the Reapers who took on the Protheans and enslaved them and other races (And, at one point in ME3, Earth) for the last 100 million years is a “rogue cell” of the Reapers overall, part of the “FTL cell”.

      Then you team up with United, a “Non-Rogue Reaper”, who has you hire two Blue Suns Mercenaries.

      The worse part? The Citadel now believes in the Reaper threat, but now revoke your Spectre status because they think you’re a pawn of the Reaper indoctrination.

      Also, FemShep on United action. Now you can’t un-think it

    • Will says:

      What vast army and military materiel and space fleets? It was one fleet, which wouldn’t even have been a serious threat to any civilised system without Sovreign.

      Having an entire race of billions of minds, especially minds built like the Geth, all agree on exactly the same outcome is far more unrealistic.

      • Ateius says:

        That’s the problem. According to Legion, they do all agree on exactly the same outcome, every last one of them, except for this “rogue cell” group, every last one of which agrees on Outcome #2.

        And I’m referring to the vast spacefleet that overwhelmed the Citadel Fleet. Do you recall Sovereign so much as opening fire at any point before the Earth fleet arrived and started shooting him? I’m pretty sure the only kill we can attribute is that one Turian cruiser he literally flew through. Sovereign used the Geth as disposable cover fire, but that Geth fleet still absolutely wrecked the Citadel fleet and would have destroyed the Destiny Ascension as well without human intervention. That takes some pretty serious firepower. Not to mention they were able to deploy enough troops to simultaneously occupy the four main-quest colony worlds, plus however many dozen sidequest planets that also had Geth on them. Plus the noncombatant Geth involved in support and logistics roles. That’s a serious number of robots.

        Now, am I saying “I expect all the Geth to have been 100% behind Sovereign all the time?” No. I’m saying that Legion trotting out the same old “All those dudes you fought were just a rogue cell who are totally a radical minority and we’re really all good guys” is another annoying hand-wave.

        Suggested alternative: “Yes, we were generally convinced to aid Sovereign, but after getting large numbers of our people killed and seeing Sovereign get killed by you, Shepard, we have reconsidered our position and would like to work with you. Sorry about all that. By the way, there’s this small group of hard-liners that want to keep fighting, care to help out with that?”

        The key difference there is that Legion and the Geth are owning up to their past deeds, rather than trying to handwave them away, and we’re not re-writing the game as we know it just for the sake of making an iconic Mass Effect race part of Team Good Guys.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But legion never said that they are a minority,nor that they are radical.He just says that they differed on the issue of working with sovereign,and that neither one of the groups was wrong,they just have different opinions.That is not the same old “rogue cell” approach,that is a pretty new way to approach the divided nation.

        • Aldowyn says:

          Sovereign was ripping apart the Council fleets. Probably personally responsible for half the ally deaths in the cutscenes…

          And I thought the Heretic storyline was interesting and fairly original. Certainly much, much better than the Cerberus thing. (In all honesty, even that would have been fine if they’d have done it right. Needless, to say, they didn’t.)

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            It shouldve been legion who found us,and brought us to the geth,to help them with their heretic problem in exchange for their help against the reapers.They have the resources,much more than cerberus,and they have the tech.

  20. poiumty says:

    By the way Shamus, Legion doesn’t actually upgrade your ship. His specific upgrade is a new sniper rifle for him.

    • ehlijen says:

      I think that’s the gun they refer to when mocking the Quarians about ‘look a geth, with my best gun! Wanna see him shoot etc’.

      And yes, if you manage to get that gun yourself, it really is a good one.

      • Aldowyn says:

        that’s the Widow, isn’t it? Best one-shot capability in the game, hmm? I wish I could get Garrus the Widow and have Infiltrator Shep, Legion, and Garrus just snipe everything from twice their effective range.

  21. Peter H. Coffin says:

    I am amused that during the skills boosting screen with Legion, he tracks your mouse pointer around the screen. At least, it kinda looks like that happens.

  22. Noble Bear says:

    Disclosure: I haven’t played either Mass Effect game but have been watching (and enjoying) your ME2 commentary anyway. [BTW: major props: I really like the whole you tube format thing, it really works for me.]

    For the most part, I feel like Shamus breaks down the broad strokes of what’s important to know, usually by way of him ripping the games dysfunctions a new one. This is the first time where I feel lost:

    Whats the deal with the Geth? Why is Legion such a big deal?

    Before you’ve highlighted and detailed what makes the broken parts of the game so wonky and ass backwards for you. If this is something that is done well, I’d like to hear more about it.

    Keep up the good work guys.

    Shamus: Any chance of seeing a side by side comparison of Cerberus vs Umbrella to see who sucks more?

    • Raygereio says:

      Backstory time!

      The geth are AI’s – that can increase their performance and intelligence by networking together – that were created by the Quarians (Tali’s species) to serve as cheap labor. Once could question why you’d need a general form of AI’s that can be plugged into any robotic form instead of just simply programming said robot to preform it’s task, but that’s besides the point.

      ME1 backstory: The usual happened. The evil AI’s rebelled against their squishy organic masters and drove the Quarians of their homeworld. The Quarians ended up as poor nomads despised by all and the rest of the universe immediatly decided that AI’s are inherently evil. The geth meanwhile stayed in what was former Quarian space and didn’t seek contact with anyone else until the Reaper inciden (detailed in Spoiler Warning’s first LP).

      ME2 addendum: The usual didn’t quite happen. The geth weren’t the first to attack. The geth began to show signs of sentience and the Quarians attempted to shut down the geth, only the have the latter resist this in self-devence.

      Legion is a robotic form that houses geth. It’s a more advanced form then others – it houses a 1000 geth instead of the usual 100 – and was designed to interact with organics (hence the flaps on it’s headlamp to convey expression).
      It was created and dispatched following the reaper incident to find Sheppard. Why exactly is actually never really explain fully, I think.

      You’ll probably get more of the background during Tali’s and Legion’s loyalty missions.

    • Zukhramm says:

      First of all they were enemies in the first game, making a friendly one something different.

      Secondly geth are not really the robots walkign around but the programs running on it, and they are all networked, communicating with other nearby geth, and they’re more efficient in groups due to this. They seem to take action in some kind of voting process, but Legion in one issue can’t decide on something and gives the numbers 571 processes against 573, indicating that it requires more than a simple majority.

      Anyway, Legion is different in that he’s running a thousand something instead of the normal hundred or so. He’s more capable of acting individually and with his eyebrow-flaps and ability to speak is made to interact with non-geth.

      • Fnord says:

        Geth don’t operate according to democracy in the “voting” sense. They build consensus. It’s not a matter of getting a critical mass of votes, it’s about finding a course of action all the programs will agree to. Presumably, if that can’t be done, they’re either indecisive (as Legion is about the heretics), or they split (as in the initial schism between heretics and original (orthodox?) geth.

        • Noble Bear says:

          Ok, thanks for the clarification. :)

        • Zukhramm says:

          Yes, presumably they have some sort of “discussion” when they can’t reach consensus, that is, if Legion had more time than what was avalible during the mission, he could have reached consensus later on. If not it would be hard to believe that the heretics were the first time they did not reach consensus.

          • Aldowyn says:

            Plus, being computers with super-fast brains, they can do this pretty much instantly. It is a discussion, but I do think it comes out to what amounts to a vote – it’s a binary decision, after all.

      • Noble Bear says:

        Ok cool, thanks. :)

        I’m curious now though, If the Geth are programs than inhabit robot bodies, the robot body can look like anything since a program has no mass. How do those guys hassling Shepard know she’s with a Geth? let alone a particular Geth?

        • Fnord says:

          There’s no reason they HAVE to inhabit any given body, but they tend to operate within standardized bodies. Presumably for the same reason armies standardize weapons, etc: It’s easier to mass produce, and easier to adjust if your original equipment gets blown up and you need a new set. Legion is using using a standard geth body (albeit a slightly modified and field-repaired version).

        • Taellosse says:

          Because he strongly resembles the common appearance that the Geth typically adopt for their robot-body platforms. Bilateral symmetry, 4 limbs, bipedal with hands and feet similar to those of Quarians, with a curved tube for a neck/head, and a single camera-eye on the end. There are minor variations from type to type–some are huge and heavily armored, some are small and wiry in shape, but even the Armatures–basically tanks, have similar characteristics (though they are quadripedal and have no hands).

          Presumably this basic design is what they used before the war with the Quarians, too, since they were instantly identified as Geth when they originally showed up on Eden Prime.

  23. Wolfwood says:

    this is definitely new to me. didn’t know you can actually bring Legion with you to do this mission!

    Had i known i probably wouldn’t have done Tali’s loyalty mission first! curse my ♥ for Tali! curses!!

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Well generally speaking you want Tali Loyal for the endgame so she doesn’t die, and so after you get Legion, you really only have time for his loyalty mission before people start dying, so usually you won’t have that option, unless you’re trying to get some people killed like here.

      Man, I hope Miranda’s the first to go.

      • Fnord says:

        It is possible to do two missions, and still save everyone, if you don’t do anything else.

        But yes, I think they’re planning to kill people. Just not Tali, Garrus, or Mordin (ironically, it can be easier to save Tali and Mordin if other people aren’t loyal, since some events have non-loyal people die first). Although Miranda probably won’t be the first to go; she’s annoyingly hard to kill even when non-loyal (practically impossible if loyal). Jacob might be the first to go, if it makes you feel any better.

  24. Wesley Noble says:

    When you were going to the migrant fleet all I was thinking was, please take Legion on, please take Legion on.

    And then you did :D

    I was expecting it to all be normal (due to bioware not doing it), no, oh no your brining geth onto our ship… oh well im pleased, can’t wait till monday for the next ep.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Hah, if you have Legion with you there are some nice bits of dialogue with individual Quarians later on. I imagine Josh will skip those as he does most of the optional dialogues but I won’t give them away here in case he does bother. If he doesn’t expect me to rant about them at length after the next episode.

  25. Tomulus says:

    Hmm, so the geth you fought in ME1 were a rogue cell, same as those cerberus guys…

    Wait a minute! Sovereign was a rogue reaper and reapers are actually friendly! It all makes sense now: they are returning to the galaxy to dispense candy and muffins!

    Oh! and in ME3 we will either work for the real reapers or have one join our team. I’m glad I sorted that out.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Except,unlike cerberus,legion still tells you that theyll fight everyone who opposes them,and doesnt deny fighting quarians in the “morning war”.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      To be perfectly honest having a (minority) faction of “good Reapers” or “repentant Reapers” in ME3 is one of my bets. Possibly we’ll encounter one that will be all like “yes, we do want to go on with the project but not in the way the others do, we don’t want to kidnap your people, we’d be looking for volunteers, we have time, it may take generations but we would eventually achieve our goal. But there are few of us thinking in this way, you will have to deal with the main fleet yourself, we will help what little we can”. Urgh…

      The only worse scenario I can imagine is if they start sputtering something about how it was prophesied that they will one day encounter a species/individual (humans/Shepard) who will be this or that…

      • Irridium says:

        If that happens, I will head-desk so hard it will shake the very heavens.

      • Aldowyn says:

        I’m betting that we find out who actually made the Reapers (someone had to, right?) and why, and they made a failsafe, ala the … shoot. What are the … Wow. Precursors, Forerunners, Progenitors, which one!… THE GUYS THAT BUILT THE HALOES … from Halo.

        Part of this hypothesis is that it works as an AI-only EMP burst, so it has to be activated at the cost of the entire Geth race, and EDI (actually, she might be the one who has to do it somehow).

  26. Sucal says:

    I still believe that Chuck and the rest of the Geth are lying their asses off. Mostly because they have even less proof for what they are saying then the Illusive troll.. I mean man. But alas, The Geth suddenly hacking the combined Anti-Reaper fleet at the climax of third game would be fun, but everyone silly enough to believe him would complain.

    Even if he’s all

    Legion: Pwned Noobs

  27. LB says:

    I did feel like the addition of The Good Geth was a bit of a screw to the first game, but what Shamus said about them does make sense.
    I guess my problem is just the way they, and Legion, are awkwardly shoehorned in right before the end of the game.

    One of the few complaints I have about the game is how that kind of broke the formula. Legion has cut dialogue for earlier missions, so he was obviously intended to be recruitable earlier at one point – it’s a shame they changed that.

    While I’m accidentally leaving a stupidly long comment and semi-whiteknighting the game, I may as well say the Reaper carcass would prove nothing. (Re: An episode or two ago)

    The Council have already basically got one and it doesn’t prove that the Reapers are coming. It’s like global warming – sure there’s all these statistics and proof, but people in power won’t do anything until it hits.

    And if those statistics can drive people crazy and turn them into Space Zombies – Shepard may as well blow them up!

    • Shamus says:

      Assuming you’re not new to the internet, I’m sure you’re aware that global warning (it’s climate change now, actually) is a hot-button topic. So holding it up as an example of universal truth is just begging for a flame war, which I do not care to referee.

      Let’s not go there. Thank you.

      • David says:

        A better idea would be to compare it to the zombie apocalypse. We all know it’s going to happen, but do you hear Congress making plans for it? No. You don’t.

        • ehlijen says:

          Or if we want to stay slightly more realistic: the fact that sooner or later the oil will run out and yet concrete plans for a replacement liquid fuel are slow in finding support.

          But yes, the council’s ‘this reaper thing isn’t really a reaper’ was pretty wierd. I could have bought if the council had said that they believe shepard but can’t make open moves for fear of causing a panic, but even if they still don’t believe in the reapers, they should have been trying to find out just where the geth got such a ship and if they can get another.

          The council struck me as being filled with people who, having just been run over by a car, keep on denying the danger inherent in crossing a busy road blindly :(

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Please,global warming is so last century.Its all about terrorists in this century.

  28. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Just to offer thumbs up for a minor,but crucial,thing that bioware did with legion:They always talk about sapience and not sentience.Its rare to find science fiction writers make a distinction between the two,so good work there bioware.

    • Aldowyn says:

      Wiki-ed… From the definition of sentience it seems pretty much any animal is sentient. Sapience is that “spark” that humans have that other animals don’t.

      I did not know this, and I feel ashamed.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Not just animals,but plants can be sentient as well.

        I too have learned this fairly recently,and have adjusted my vocabulary accordingly.Its one of those things early sci fi you get access to poisons you with,and then you have to work to set things right.

        Same thing with calling all aliens extra terrestrials.

  29. Starglider says:

    I always found the depiction of AI in fiction fascinating too, even before I became a full-time general AI researcher. I was heartbroken to find out that the default behaviour of sapient AIs really is ‘kill everyone’; only a microscopic subset of the space of possible goal systems assigns positive utility to (what’s we’d regard as) human wellbeing.

    • Aldowyn says:

      actually, this is fairly subverted in ME. Most of the “Rogue AIs” in the game are only going nuts because organics are trying to destroy them.

      It’s a case of being genre savvy actually being the cause of a trope.

      *edit* Yes! The first time I’ve gotten a link to work without looking it up >.>

  30. Duoae says:

    There’s a couple of things i don’t understand about this episode:

    1: The Geth we see are dumb terminals and so network between each other and ‘reach consensus’… So how do they have a split consensus? I mean, the UN doesn’t break apart when a small minority of countries disagree… congress, parliament, the judge panel on the X-Factor don’t split apart because the rule is that you abide by what the majority agree on.

    So the majority of the Geth voted not to join Saren…. there should, logically (and because these are machines too!), be no separation.

    Even worse the way the Geth are portrayed are not as individual programmes like in something like the Matrix that can think for themselves but as an amalgamation of everything…. That’s like half your brain jumping out of your head because you want to kiss/punch someone you’re not allowed to because of societal constraints and then going and doing that. I suppose the nearest thing i can think of is tourette’s or that uncontrollable limb syndrome where their limbs act without the person’s conscious decision. However, you don’t become separate because of those syndromes you live with them and they are a part of you…. so that doesn’t work as a logical explanation either.

    2: Legion is (and i’m presuming this because i’m watching the game for the first time with Spoiler Warning) wearing Shepard’s armour.. the one she wore as she was burning up in space. So why the hell is the armour piece not gender specific? I know Bioware prefer the male Shepard (aka Loser) for their marketing but surely this is a huge oversight in a game that identifies the sex of Shepard in a lot of the writing, dialogue and scenes…

    3: If N7 armour is so goddamn impervious as to be useful after reentry through a planet’s atmosphere and then be reused as an unadulterated armour piece and even to protect Shepard herself from vapourisation so that she can be reconstituted by Cerberus…. How the hell are normal weapons even able to hurt the player character?!!

    • Duoae says:

      I really hope Shamus responds to this one because i’d love to hear them discuss at least one of these points on the show :D

    • Starglider says:

      You are comparing geth consensus to human voting. This isn’t correct; they really mean ‘consensus’ as in ‘everyone agrees’, there is no voting process. As Legion explains, AI systems can reach total agreement with each other far more easily than humans, because they can losslessly and near-instantly transfer a complete explanation of their reasoning, premises and conclusions to each other. In the theoretical case of completely rational AIs with indefinite computing power, the only causes for disagreement would be goal system differences and possible mistrust of each other’s reported observations. In reality you can get deviation from that particularly for connectionist/neuromorphic designs (which aren’t very reflectively transaprent), but in practice the main source of disagreement is probably goal system differences. This is essentially why the original and ‘heretic’ geth split; different utility functions, and since goal systems are subjective no amount of improvement in reasoning or communication capability can achieve ‘consensus’.

      > So the majority of the Geth voted not to join Saren…
      > there should, logically (and because these are machines too!),
      > be no separation.

      When humans vote on something, they are agreeing to be bound by the majority decision. Geth culture has no such constraint; this is perfectly ‘logical’, as a desire to obeying the majority even when (a) you’re not forced to and (b) they disagree with you is a subjective personal trait (that a lot of humans have and most geth don’t).

      The split in the geth culture actually mirrors what we would see in a real sapient AGI with an inconsistent initial goal system; there is a contradiction in the system that becomes apparent under reflection and exposure to specific environmental factors (that activate the conflicted bits of the overall goal system). If there was no strong mechanism to enforce consistency, we would observe what we might perceive as schizophrenic behavior – though to be fair, virtually all human behavior would seem schizophrenic to a rational AGI as our goal systems are horribly intransitive. Most real designs for general AIs have fairly strong consistency mechanisms though, so in reality the bit of the goal system with less support (the ‘weaker’ part) would get stomped to resolve the inconsistency. Again this is pretty much exactly equivalent to what happens in the game when the heretic geth get reprogrammed to agree with the majority, except that it would occur within a single software system probably in fractions of a second. We can experimentally investigate these kind of goal system reflective dynamics with very simple reasoning systems, obviously no general AIs to experiment with yet (not that we’d survive such experimentation for very long).

      > That’s like half your brain jumping out of your head because
      > you want to kiss/punch someone you’re not allowed to because
      > of societal constraints and then going and doing that

      Geth aren’t as strong a hive-mind as say the Borg from Star Trek. They have some notion of individuality and as I said, a much weaker self-consistency mechanism than most intelligences. Cross-sectional bandwidth constraints probably rule out anything that big and distributed from being a single mind in the human sense anyway.

      As for the armour, Shepard goes through many different sets of armour in both the first and second games (due to upgrades, wardrobe changes, also offscreen wear/tear/repair/maintenance etc). Legion’s armour is probably just be some spare N7 armour salvaged from the Normandy crash site; the SR-1 must have been carrying several sets of it in various equipment lockers. Shepard may have recognised it as something he/she wore at some point in the first game, but was wearing a different set at the start of the second game.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I think I love you a little 0.0

        Cross-sectional bandwidth constraints probably rule out anything that big and distributed from being a single mind in the human sense anyway.

        Which is precisely why, as we learn from Legion, they are trying to develop a technology akin to that of the Reapers’ build: a single “shell” or “hub” that would be able to house and provide the near-instantaneous communication for the whole of their race to network at the same time. We are, in fact, told that such a shell is what Sovereign promised to the Geth in return for their support but the majority of the Geth has decided that “the way” is as important as “the goal” and they would rather develop it on their own.

      • Duoae says:

        As i said, i’m following through the game with spoiler warning so a lot of that stuff was new to me when you pointed it out in your post.

        Thanks for elucidating it though! It was an interesting read. I’m not sure i fully agree with all of the reasoning on what a “rational” AI would do since i don’t think we could comprehend such a being or set of beings anyway.

        With regards to “Geth” and the “goals” aspect of it that makes no sense then with the way you explained it because there would, most likely, be lots of differences in “goals” purely due to the largeness of space and the Geth ‘race’. This would result in many splits…. though they aren’t alluded to (so far in the game).

        • Starglider says:

          > I’m not sure i fully agree with all of the reasoning on what
          > a “rational” AI would do since i don’t think we could comprehend
          > such a being or set of beings anyway.

          We most likely couldn’t comprehend the methods that a transhuman intelligence would use to achieve its goals, because that’s what intelligence means; the more you have the more subtle, sophisticated and effective solutions to problems you can find. Go sufficiently beyond human intelligence, in a non-trivial problem domain, and even hindsight probably won’t be enough to understand exactly how the super-intelligence achieved its goals.

          Goals themselves though are relatively straightforward. There is no particular reason why a transhuman intelligence would have complicated goals; amusingly we saw this in Mass Effect 2, where the reapers are set up to be all mysterious about their agenda, but actually seem to have a pretty straightforward reproduction drive. Transhuman intelligences /can/ support extremely complex goal systems, but there is no particular reason why they should develop such complex supergoals. In actual fact most of the dynamics we see in reflective, self-modifying AI systems favor /simpler/ goal systems; for example enforcing consistency eliminates goal system complexity. When the Geth in ME2 wipe out the heretics, they simplify their effective shared goal system.

          One of the first lessons in the emerging field of ‘Friendly AI’* is that there is nothing unlikely about wildly transhuman intelligences pursuing goal systems that seem trivial and pointless to humans; indeed this is a /likely/ outcome. ‘Trivial’ and ‘pointless’ are complex subjective meta-goals that just don’t exist in an AI unless you put them there (a massively complex task). An newly built general AI asked to prove the Riemann hypothesis will happily and forcefully convert the surface of the earth into server farms to do so, because it has none of the mechanisms that might cause a human to believe this is trivial/dangerous/pointless etc.

          * Understanding AGI goal system dynamics to achieve positive outcomes for humanity; see the Singularity Institute for AI web site.

          • Duoae says:

            Surely one of the simple goals (i was actually trying to allude to in the second post) would be for the Geth to wipe out all competition and threats to their race ASAP?

            As far as i’m aware, Tali and Co. really, really dislike the Geth because of that whole war and loss of homeworld thing…. They’re allied with all the other organic races in the ME universe so it’s plausible that they would all band together and wipe out the inevitable threat – or at least reach some sort of concensus like they did with the Rachni and Rex’s lot.

            The other thing they might do would be to strike up peaceful relations with the other races in the galaxy to also head off this sort of event.

            It seems to me that having a prevailing attitude of “we’ll walk away and everything will be okay” is something humans would do and not a highly intelligent AI cluster.

    • Alex says:

      “3: If N7 armour is so goddamn impervious as to be useful after reentry through a planet’s atmosphere and then be reused as an unadulterated armour piece and even to protect Shepard herself from vapourisation so that she can be reconstituted by Cerberus…. How the hell are normal weapons even able to hurt the player character?!!”

      They’re not /using/ normal weapons. Plus, you don’t need to physically annihilate a suit of armour to kill the wearer. If pieces of the Columbia up to eight feet long can reach Earth intact, I see no reason why pieces of a shielded suit of superscience armour couldn’t do the same.

      • Duoae says:

        I think 8ft from 122ft (6%) of a spacecraft that has multiple layers and internal components, much of which is designed to withstand the heat and friction of re-entry and micro-asteroids/meteorites is comparable with approximately 10-20% of a suit designed to stop weaponry from penetrating it going through the same process.

        It’s more like a car dropping through the atmosphere and you finding a door intact…. It’s not likely to happen but that same door will protect you from the impact of another vehicle.

        Seriously, the flamethrowers were shown to be super-effective against Shepard earlier in the season….. disregarding “spacebullets” (which appear similar in concept to current weapons) the flamethrower is the nearest sort of hazard to burning up on re-entry that we can have….. So what gives?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Your armour stays intact if you are set on fire,so that means you merely cook inside it,it doesnt melt.As for the impact,the bullets are being sped up to a few percents of the speed of light,which is not something you can reach during planet fall,so the armour can still remain intact.You didnt survive,but your armour easily couldve.

          • Aldowyn says:

            What he said. The concept of the weaponry in ME isn’t that the bullets themselves aren’t that different (they’re actually a lot less aerodynamic, just chunks shaved off a piece of metal. Or at least they were in ME1, ME2 screwed that over), it’s that they’re using mass effect fields (I believe) to make them go really, REALLY fast. Even the Cain works this way. (I forget how they explain the mushroom cloud.)

            • Bret says:

              The Cain is high explosives accelerated to those speeds.


              “The effectiveness and efficiency of mass-effect-based weapon technology has rendered large-scale deployment of highly explosive weaponry all but obsolete in infantry weapons.
              Normandy’s scientists have prototyped a modified version of traditional high-explosive rounds that is applied to a 25-gram slug. When accelerated to 5 km/s, the round is devastating. Though a technically inaccurate label, this prototype weapon is nicknamed the “Nuke Launcher,” and its high-explosive matrix generates an archetypical mushroom cloud on impact.”

            • Duoae says:

              That’s another point that i’d forgotten. The rounds are going so fast that if they happily penetrate armour, they will also continue on through the body, out through the other side and through the hull (and electronic systems) of the ship.

              The idea that bullets are super accelerated for normal use makes little sense as you’d do more damage than you would ever want to.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                The hulls were made to withstand impact of super accelerated fist sized objects,and you think theyd get punctured by a bullet?

                Plus,we dont know the stopping power of the armour,so who is to say that a bullet would go through both sides?

                • Duoae says:

                  An armour that allowed the common penetration of hostile fire and then allowed it to ricochet around inside the body of the “protected” would be pretty useless.

                  Armour is usually designed to withstand (and deflect/absorb) up to a certain point (and then breaking completely) or is designed to minimise damage to the wearer but allowing damage to happen. e.g. One of the reasons soldiers wear tight-fitting vests isn’t to stop penetration – most military-grade weapons/bullets have very high penetration – but to stop the person from being bled out by excessive blow-out as the bullet exits the body.

                  Then there’s the fact that not every bullet hits the target – so you’re not necessarily going to be having any slow-down from superarmour.

                  Finally, it’s not the hull that i’d be so worried about. Presumably they’d have “self-healing” materials like those being developed over the last few years within their hull to deal with bullets and micrometeorites etc. However, the electronics and other components that are vital to ships and space stations will be very vulnerable to this sort of thing.

  31. Hallc says:

    I just want to suggest the Spoiler Warning Episodes be placed inside a playlist for easier viewing pleasure. I watch quite a few Let’s Play Series on Youtube and having them in a playlist is so much more convenient.

  32. Aldowyn says:

    This was one of the best comment threads I’ve read. The episode was only so-so :P pretty much you guys gushing over Legion and Tali’s loyalty mission.

    Except for the failed Renegade Interrupt option. That was hilarious.

  33. superglucose says:

    I *hated* Legion. It paints the Geth as smarter than everyone and stronger than everyone. But why haven’t they taken over? Well fortunately, they’re *better* than everyone too and have no desire for galactic conquest!

    ZzzzZzzZzzZzzZzz… boooring AI.

    The best AI I’ve ever seen was Star Wars. The robots had clear limitations and it was obvious why they hadn’t taken over the galaxy: could you imagine C-3PO wielding a blaster? Even the famous assassin bots were few and far between, and had significant disadvantages when compared to living creature.

    But here we have geth. Previously we were told that Geth needed to be in proximity to other Geth to be smart. That was clever AI, because it meant they got dumber and dumber the more of them you killed. They were kind of like ants: individually useless, but the sum of their parts is extraordinary.

    Here we have Legion; however, who’s entire purpose in the game is to basically say, “Aren’t we lucky the well-designed Geth are nice guys?” I mean seriously, Legion manages very high intelligence because each of his [i]subroutines[/i] counts as an individual Geth? Then what the hell happened with the Heretics? And the worst part is any time he demonstrates his “thinking” and he’s like “Yeah, I already considered it fifty hyperbalillion times.” He’s at least as smart as we are, thinks instantaneously (almost in violation of relativity), is a fantastic sniper, virtually impossible to kill (he’s missing half his chest), and, yeah, I forgot: he’s a pretty cool dude.


    The only cool part about Legion was when EDE quoted the bible at him.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Really,you find the bland generic robots in star wars to be more unique than a race of sapient machines that subverts dozens of tropes by just its mere existence?Plus that whole thing you praise about the robots in star wars is exactly the reason why geth dont want to wage war on everyone.They dont want to go back on their programing,they just want to exist.Organics,on the other hand,dont want them to exist,so they were forced to defend themselves.And they want no revenge for this,which is not something you see often in sci fi.

      Legion is smart because he has a unique platform capable of being a hive mind by itself.But think about it,why just this one platform?It means that its something very hard to build,and wastes lots of energy.He is a hivemind in a small package.

      And maybe a single geth is stronger than a single krogan,but the fact is that geth dont have enough hardware to wage war on the entire galaxy.As for smarter,they are more intelligent than others,but intelligence is not the same thing as being smart.As for better than everyone,they just have a different goal.Its not better,its not worse,its just different.Why is that such a bad thing?

      Legion is as far away from mary stu as one can be.The characters dont praise him,he actually is capable and not just plot capable,and he shares some deep insight about the geth and how different sapient beings can be.

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