Spoiler Warning S4E45: I OBJECT!

By Shamus
on Mar 1, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

If I changed my tone as quickly as the game, then everything I wrote about Mass Effect 2 would look like this:

I am sick and tired of these fun and witty side quests with the ridiculous characters and their bullshit plot twists that engage you, challenge you, and make you puke your guts out because of how stupid the logic is and how the game becomes a shining example of a deep, rewarding, and sometimes intellectual role-playing brown corridor shooter.


Link (YouTube)

I really do like Tali’s loyalty mission, and I have to say we didn’t really do it justice. There just isn’t enough time, and our format doesn’t really work all that well for long conversations laced with political intrigue.

I think the game has five really strong sections:

1) Tali’s loyalty mission
2) Legion’s loyalty mission
3) Mordin’s loyalty mission
4) Thane’s loyalty mission
5) The part where Guybrush is thrown into the sea and has to hold his breath for ten minutes.

By contrast, there’s only one part of the game that really falls flat:

1) Everything else

I’m kidding, of course. Thane’s mission wasn’t all that impressive.

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A Hundred!2020202Many comments. 162, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Klay F. says:

    I will now be throwing “Qwib-Qwib” into everyday conversation.

  2. Halfling says:

    What you have something against Jacob’s loyalty mission, its not like anyone has ever remade Heart of Darkness with a different setting before.

    Whoever wrote that lazy loyalty mission needs a good punching in the face from Regina Shepard.

    • Vect says:

      Well, I don’t think they like it because…

      1. No one likes Jacob.
      2. The mission does nothing for his character.
      3. I think I remember hearing of how the circumstances of that mission are worth complaining about. Such as how despite fighting people stranded on an island for decades they fight with the Heat Sinks and mechs.
      4. Well, they’ll find something to complain about if they ever get to that mission. Which I think they won’t because they want to ensure his death.

    • It might be due to it being one of the first missions I accepted and the last I completed, but I really wasn’t sure what was going on in Jacob’s loyalty mission beyond that his Dad had taken over the crew and was keeping the women as sex slaves. Thing was, bits of the plot didn’t seem to fit with what was apparently going on. Maybe I missed an important dialogue or audiolog or something.

      I wasn’t a massive fan of Thane or Samara’s loyalty missions either. They were interesting, but I’m one of those fans who likes a lot of combat in their missions. I’m not convinced the ME2 play style works with large segments of non-combat. Perhaps Samara’s could have been better if the evidence gathering had been more integral, like having you actually find out where she is rather than just looking round a teenager’s room to see what her favourite bands were.

      • Will says:

        You knew where she was, finding Morinth wasn’t the hard bit, finding her without her tagging you as a threat and vanishing was the hard bit.

      • Taellosse says:

        You aren’t missing a whole hell of a lot, actually. About the only part you are leaving out is that the edible organic material on that world has some compound in it that impairs human brain function, essentially inducing a state of progressive simple-mindedness. So Jacob’s dad, as acting captain, restricted the food they’d salvaged from their crashed ship to only the officers who were with him and let everyone else go stupid. When anyone disagreed with him, he had them killed or kicked out of their camp–which eventually left him as the sole person in full control of his faculties. Anyone that was able to survive degenerated too–they were the humans who attacked you. He used the mechs to fend the feral men off.

    • Slothful says:

      Jacob’s mission was done really clumsily, and you don’t really understand what they’re trying to say until it’s already passed you by.

      Although I was really on-edge during his loyalty mission for some reason.

      • Zaxares says:

        Yeah, Jacob’s loyalty mission didn’t really capture the player’s attention too well… Which is a shame, because it’s actually quite a thought-provoking point behind it; that any man can become a brutal dictator if circumstances favour it. As Ronald Taylor put it, “I can’t point to where it all went wrong.” It was just a series of one bad decision after another and then it was just easier to “roll with the flow” than try to stop what he knew to be wrong.

        Jacob’s loyalty mission was a warning about how easily people can be corrupted and “fall into evil”.

  3. Desgardes says:

    OH GOD, rogue geth cells! Alternatively, they are understandably upset about being killed, harvested for parts, and then messed around with.

  4. krellen says:

    While less comedic, considering that it pretty much changed your opinion on the character, Jack’s loyalty mission probably belongs on the “strong” list.

  5. James says:

    in the first game Tali was called Tali’Zora Nar Rayya, Tali was her “Christian name” the Zora is her Family name, Nar was because she hadn’t completed her pilgrimage and thus isn’t a adult in Quarian society, and Rayya was her birth ship. she then became Tali’Zora Vas Neema because she obviously offered her pilgrimage gift to the captain of the Neema and is now an adult in Quarian society. and then for the trial she becomes Tali’Zora Vas Normandy i think the reason was political, the trial isn’t totally about the active geth bits its also about a posible pending war with the Geth and the differing poltical opinions of the admirals . also i think they were hoping you couldn’t defend Tali cus your not Quarian and so not good at eloquent speach.

  6. TSED says:

    Super Irony Mode:

    Shamus: “They never really talk about what law she broke”
    MEANWHILE:
    Admiral Whatsisname: “She stands accused of endangering the fleet!”

    I recall from a few other sources that “endangering the fleet” is a HUGE charge in the Quarian culture. So, uh, just the absolute juxtaposition of those two statements (essentially simultaneous) made me laugh.

    • Raynooo says:

      Well that’s the reason of the trial but you could hardly write a law that says “don’t endanger the fleet” that would be way too vague.

      Maybe they could have had something that says “Law 241.3b from the 36th of Qwibby 2512 says that evading official vagrant fleet customs when sending disabled geth parts will be charged with exile” or something like that because basically ANYTHING could be interpreted as “endangering the migrant fleet”.

      “What, you didn’t negotiate a 50% price lowering on these laser cannons ? Then we don’t have enough money to buy more antibiotics, you’ve endangered the fleet !”

      • Viktor says:

        A few of the dialog options seem to indicate that it isn’t a specific law. The Quarians seem to be like the British, their legal system and government is made out of custom as much as it is written law. The Admiralty Board apparently have very few limits on their power. If they decide to exile you, there’s not much you can do about it.

        • Raynooo says:

          Right, after it was too late to edit I remembered Tali explaining something like that in the first game, how individual ships might work as democracy but the fleet itself was kinda like under martial law where Admirals decide.

          Wasn’t there some sort of captains assembly too ? Where captains are like lord and each have one voice ?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well quarians dont have much of a legal system anyway.Like tali explains it,its not much of a court trial,its more of a bad family meeting.Like the ones we had(still have?)in pre-law tribes.

    • poiumty says:

      I think the Quarians do have a very specific law which says “do not bring active Geth aboard the fleet”.

      “Unless it’s a companion of someone charged with bringing active Geth aboard the fleet.”

      “In that case, just be very cautious and pretend you don’t see it.”

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        Heh. That loophole really makes no sense; especially since CERBERUS could be using it to smuggle a Geth on-board. Well, more or less.

        I’m glad they had an outrage each time. I never brought Legion with me, not only because the idea of saving the crew, but also because bringing an active Geth aboard just seemed like trolling the Quarians worse than Yeoman Chambers trolls Mumbles.

        • Will says:

          Why would Cerberus want to smuggle Geth on board the migrant fleet? They’re far too busy testing the effects of Geth weapons on humans to be bothered with the Quarians.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Seeing as the fleet is all they have left, “Endangering the fleet” is like “Being a threat to national security” or what have you, though probably worse as you are putting the whole race and not just a country at risk.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      A good ‘our’ alternative would be “On trial for crimes against humanity”, since the fleet is their whole homeworld for now.

      • Will says:

        More accurately would be ‘on trial for endangering the planet’, a crime which i don’t think technically exists yet, but would start existing extremely quickly if someone actually did it.

        • Sydney says:

          *inflammatory remark about environmental irresponsibility*

          • Will says:

            By ‘endangering the planet’ i was thinking more immediately apocalyptic.

            If you think about it; if the planet was suddenly invaded by homicidal alien robots, and it turned out there was someone directly responsible, i think that someone would be in a whole heap of shit.

            • Josh R says:

              Under human rights – if you do something whilst it is legal, they cannot change the laws and then have you be charged for it.

              however I’m sure the murders committed by the robots would fall under some form of punishment that they could give.

              • Syal says:

                I’m pretty sure that would easily fall under plain old murder, possibly conspiracy to commit murder, and treason.

                For Will’s overarching term, “attempted xenocide”.

                • Fnord says:

                  Even if the quarians where serious about rule of law and so forth (which they don’t seem to be), it’s entirely possible that they have a law defining “negligent treason” just like the US has laws for negligent homicide.

  7. Integer Man says:

    Thank you for calling him on the carpet for his lack of Monkey Island experience. For shame!

  8. Groboclown says:

    I like how Shepard says, “Everyone *thinks* we’re in Cerberus,” as if you may not be.

    • Raynooo says:

      Plus saying it aloud in this room makes sure that anyone who didn’t know the official Cerberus logo now knows you might be a terrorist.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        You assume that there’s anyone present who doesn’t know the Cerberus Logo already. and by “present” I mean “in the galaxy”.

        • Kavonde says:

          What I find funny is that it’s a Renegade option — you know, the path that’s all “yay Cerberus!” half the time.

        • Raynooo says:

          Yeah silly me, I’m pretty sure if you type “Cerberus” in Mass Effect’s time google, you wind up on a (monochrome ? Their displays all seem monochrome…) official Cerberus webpage with logo and all.

          Probably with a “legal” page where they list all rogue cells and explain how courts found them innocent in all these organized manslaughters cases.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Which really is infuriating,since you get a few places in the game where you can establish yourself as someone who simply picked the lesser evil for the time being,and plans to get out as soon as you can,yet it all goes nowhere.Though you can say tim to go fuck himself in the end,the reasoning you pick for that is…lets just say bad.

  9. poiumty says:

    You can’t call the game a “brown corridor shooter” just because it has a few levels featuring brown corridoors in which you shoot things. Many of the missions (see: Jacob’s loyalty, that mission with Kaidan) have rich, vibrant locales. Compare this to, say, Jericho, whose entire level design color scheme varied from dark grey to muddy brown, and you’ll get the idea.

    • swimon says:

      true it’s only really corridor shooter with a somewhat muted colour palette (you’re not always in a corridor according to the setting but gameplaywise it’s always a corridor)

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Which is a shame,seeing how the first game had so many open places to fight in.

        • X2-Eliah says:

          The difference is, ME1 let you leave the corridor at times whereas ME2 does not.

        • Taellosse says:

          Yes, ME1 had many open places to fight in. They were all the same 2 locations, but they were more open. ;-)

          Honestly, I found the level design to be one of the few places where they had genuine improvement from the first game in ME2. They were MUCH more varied and interesting than before, and I appreciated that. Sometimes they were a little bit nonsensical (there’s a suspiciously frequent placement of crates and waist-high walls in all of these places, for example), but at least they were not all the same.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            “They were all the same 2 locations, but they were more open. ;-)”

            They were?I mean,the mines and buildings were the same,but planet surfaces were definitely not the same.Unles by same you mean that they all had valleys and peaks,but that would be like saying “all the games have fighting on the ground or in air,so they are all the same”.

            • DNi says:

              What? No. All the planet surfaces were all almost exactly the same, the only difference between any of them being how infuriatingly bumpy they were.

              The planets in ME1 had no significant vegetation, no interesting rock formations, no anything. Just high points and low points. The only sidequest planet of any note was Eletania (the one with the monkeys), if only because it had a pretty skyline and that awesome Prothean ruin with the floating metal sphere.

    • ehlijen says:

      Agreed, even some of the warehouses have brightly coloured crates and enemies :) Lock’n’load your super soakers!

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah,you couldve talked with the other two admirals as well.It wouldve been preferable to that snippet of combat in the end.If nothing else,just to show parts of dialogues involving legion,because he has something to add to every one of those.

    As for loyalty missions,samaras mission was nice,because it had no shooting.I already said what I thought of jacks mission above.Grunts was also solid,even though it was just the obligatory arena.But it had you fighting a thresher maw on foot.And if you have dlcs,kasumis loyalty is also solid.Though none of these is a good as the 3 youve mentioned,they still are good and way better than the main part of the game.The other loyalty missions werent bad either,though ended up being a bit repetitive.

    Plush,characters themselves are a strong part of the game too.Even miranda sue has a few interesting things to say.

    As for the geth,they are an interesting enemy,unlike the merc.Its just a shame that you only fight one colossus this time.I liked those guys.Plus there is a guy who can replicate geth speech with his mouth,though thats just in the dlc.

    Also,come on Josh,you have two hackers in your team,utilize them!

    • ehlijen says:

      Kasumi’s loyalty mission was good? Really?

      I never liked her character (another ninja super thief, yawn) nor the way the mission keeps showing her off like that with the player just being the hired muscle basically.

      Plus the end had a major choice missing again. SPOILER: A true paragon would have used their media connections (remember all those reporters?) to bring the dirty secret to light. END SPOILER

      I much prefer zaeed’s mission where the player actually gets a say in how things turn out and gets to either accept or reject Zaeed’s motivation as something worth pursuing.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Yeah, frankly the part at the end where she jumped 20 feet in the air onto a flying gunship kind of strained credibility, abut as much as Shepard punching a space ogre in the face repeatedly.

        And yeah, I hate it when games make the player into the “hired muscle” for any given section because they couldn’t bother making them integral to a segment’s plot like that, and so just have other characters railroad it for them. It’s one of the few things that really bothers me about Half Life 2 – Alyx does all the useful door opening and data retrieving, Gordon just clears the path and drives her around like a heavily armoured chaffeur.

        Samara’s loyalty mission, Tali’s and maybe Jacks managed to make the player feel like this wasn’t something that could be completed without them, while Kasumi’s, Thane’s and Garrus’ felt like we were just here to watch the characters sort their own problems out. We weren’t making the character loyal to us by proving our mutual value to one another, we were just letting them clean up their to do list.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Jacks mission could so be completed without shepard.In kasumis mission you at least are the inside man,needed to get the stuff to open doors,but in jacks mission you are there just to watch her do her shtick.

          And what is so wrong about someone who knows their stuff ordering you around?You arent a thief,but she is,so why shouldnt she be the leader?

          In fact,in samaras mission you are also just a hired muscle(a hired hotty actually).

          Also,the gunship fight in kasumis mission is much better then the other two.The museum is nice,people are nice with a few nice things to overhear,so yes its a good mission.Kasumi herself may not be that special,but her mission is.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            OK, my case for Jack’s is pretty weak from a gameplay perspective – but it goes like this: a) she needed the cerberus data you provided, b) she needed the nuke you for some reason had, c) she needed your ship as transport and d) kind of like Mordin, needed Shepard to talk to during the mission in order to help her deal with being there once more.

            With Kasumi’s I agree, it’s a nice mission even if it has some odd parts, but I do see it as another hired muscle mission.
            But my reasoning is this: Kasumi was invisible – she pretty clearly didn’t need your help to infiltrate the place, all of the locks were basically cracked the instant you pointed her in the right direction. And no, she didn’t need you to do that – it was really easy and she was invisible.

            With Samara’s she needs you because you can get close to Morinth without her fleeing. That makes sense, it’s not a job Samara could have done herself, hence Shepard is plot relevant and thus required for the mission.

            And it’s not an expert character telling you what to do that’s my problem – that’s pretty much always going to happen, it’s when that character is perfectly capable of doing all of this themselves and is taking you along for no good reason that it’s a problem. In fact, I don’t mind if a character says “I’m glad you’re here, we need some firepower” because you’re still important to what’s happening. It’s when you’re relegated to that role unnecessarily that there’s a problem, because it means you don’t need to be there and the writers were too caught up with their other characters to accommodate the person playing the game.

            I mean, if my character doesn’t fit in to the plot then just let me play as one who does, and if the nature of the mission hinges on someone forming a bond with my character, but he’s still not important, they’re DOING IT WRONG.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Only the cerberus data she couldnt get herself.Though,its questionable,since she already was on your ship,so she couldve just hacked them from somewhere.

              About the invisibility,we dont know how long that lasts.Plus she never couldve gotten the sample of the voice herself.

              Samara doesnt need you.Anyone a bit smart,good looking and confident couldve worked.Especially if they were psychotic.Garrus,kasumi and maybe even thane wouldve worked just as well.

              But yes,the lack of interactions between you and the dlc characters is disappointing.Though interactions with liara are nice.

              • PurePareidolia says:

                Still, she would have had to go to absurd lengths, beyond where it’s practical to get all that stuff – Shepard provided them for free.

                Her cloak visibly lasts as long as you need it to – you never see her uncloak unless to do something for you, at which point she could have just done it herself, like I said.

                OK, Samara probably would have been better off with someone less famous and recognizable than Shepard, but that’s not my point. My point is she needed someone to do it – it wasn’t something she could have done on her own. I’m not being unreasonable here – I’m not insisting Samara be tracking a Prothean and only Shepard can use the cipher to understand it, I’m just saying Shepard’s always going to be present, so take him into account when writing these things. You don’t write a song for one singer than turn it into a duet, so don’t write a mission for one character then throw in the player to be their cameraman.

  11. Pffh says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeY-2ovpF9c&feature=feedlik

    This might interest some of you. The same guy (or maybe a band I’m not sure) has also done a half life song and a gears of war song.

  12. Marcellus says:

    “1) Tali’s loyalty mission
    2) Legion’s loyalty mission
    3) Mordin’s loyalty mission”

    Unsurprisingly, those are the ones tied into the better parts of the Mass Effect lore (the genophage issue, and the Geth uprising and Quarian exile). It’s kinda sad that the really interesting science fiction ideas the writers came up with are mostly kept out of the main plot of both games (with the exception of Saren’s Krogan cloning lab).

  13. Vect says:

    Funny enough, Han’Gerrel (Quarian voiced by Loghain) is also kinda like his Dragon Age counterpart where they’re both total warhawks (“The Geth/Orlesians are the enemy! They cannot be trusted!”), though Han’Gerrel doesn’t screw over an entire nation because of it.

    You should totally find a chance to talk to Daro’Xen (Morrigan Quarian) with Legion. She gets absolutely excited with anticipation at getting her hands on a “Marvelous Machine” as she puts it while Legion gets freaked out.

    • zob says:

      Han’Gerrel (Loghain) is voiced by Simon Templeman. I think he is one of the best voice actors out there. First noticed him while playing Legacy of Kain. He voiced the titular Kain in that game (and the rest of the Kain series).

      • poiumty says:

        I’m probably the biggest Simon Templeman fan here, and i couldn’t stop screaming “THE OTHER GUY!” when they were trying to find the npc with his voice. I wish he’d voice more stuff, he has the perfect badass/archvillain voice. Kain was probably the perfect role for him imo, but he makes any game better with his voice.

        • Raygereio says:

          “I’m probably the biggest Simon Templeman fan here”
          I take exception to that claim.

          That said; he lacks variety, which is probably why you don’t hear him more often. He has the one very good “I’m a smug evil bastard”-voice and that’s pretty much it. I don’t think I’ve never heard him do anything else.

          • Electron Blue says:

            Play Dragon Age again, and spare Loghain, then talk to him in camp. He has a good deal of range indeed. :)

          • Taellosse says:

            He actually has more range than you are giving him credit for. I mean, sure, that particular voice is both distinctive and awesome, but he’s done a good deal of other stuff, too. He’s done more minor voice work for a number of other Bioware titles before, as well as other game companies. He’s also done a smattering of on-screen stuff, too. He was a monster-of-the-week once on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among other things.

            His work on the LoK series is his best, though. His voice work is the only thing that makes Blood Omen 2 worth playing.

            • Raygereio says:

              As a self-proclaimed LoK-fanboy I’m fully aware of Templeman’s carrier. But the only thing he can vary in his voice is the level of raspy’ness he puts into it. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself – again he has very good voice; it just sadly limits in how many rolls he’s cast. Especially considering more often then not developers want to save some money and have the VA’s do different voices.

              Another example of this would be another LoK VA, the late Tony Jay. That man had a wonderfull voice, but that one beautifull voice was the one he had. He did also do Zephon in Soul Reaver which did sound different enough from the Elder God (as long as you didn’t immediatly pick up on his specific accent), but that was done through the magic of audio-engineering.

      • Caldazar says:

        I’ve been reading the first 4-ish books in the Wheel of Time series, and it is very fun to imagine Logain with Loghain’s voice.

        He’s not Jeremy Irons but he’s still got a great voice.

      • krellen says:

        Since names are getting thrown around, the other relevant name is Claudia Black.

        • Specktre says:

          Yes, Claudia Black’s character in this game is Admiral Xen.

          She was just on the other side of the room, and the only other person that they really had to talk to.
          Minus Kal’Reeger that is, but talks about stars prematurely blowing up, not anything really relevant to the trial.

  14. Andrew B says:

    As I recall, you can talk to Tali at the point of her giving you the loyalty mission and discuss the specific charge against her. There is a law along the lines of “sending dangerous materials to the fleet” which you can be guilty of even if done accidentally. (Basically, if they want to, the Admirals could find Tali guilty for what she did. Only it would normally not be worth bothering with apart from the politics, which are, ironically, the only things that save her in the end. Assuming you choose to win the trial that is.)

  15. Deadly Kwob says:

    This mission, more than most, epitomizes my major beef with the plot of this game. Namely, you have a series of disjointed missions, some good and some bad, that have very little to do with the overarching plot of the series. I think that this is a good mission, but consider the following:

    1. Assuming that Tali is not a complete nitwit, two years ago she brought to the fleet news of an entire race of almost unstoppable genocidal death machines that are trying to enter the galaxy and wipe everyone out.
    2. Two years ago, the geth started making incursions into citadel space, after being mostly isolationist for centuries.

    None of these things are mentioned. At this point, the entire galaxy should be in upheaval over the reapers and the newly-aggressive geth, but in most places it’s just business as usual.

    • Irridium says:

      Apparently the council(both normal and new council if you killed the normal) played down the Reaper threat, and don’t even really believe it themselves.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      During world war 2,factions in serbia were fighting amongst themselves to see who will rule the country,that was at the time being occupied by the powers of axis.And Im sure thats not the only example from history where people were ignoring the larger problem by focusing on their personal issues.

    • Velkrin says:

      Actually there is some side chatter about how if they fight the reapers they need somewhere to house their civilians, hence the talk of retaking the homeworld.

  16. Slothful says:

    I…actually didn’t know that you could bring Legion along on this mission. I just brought him along at first and switched him out when they Quarians complained. FINE JEEZ.

    Also, the Quarians are a really well-designed bit of Mass Effect, even though they’re pretty much just an amalgam of more familiar things. Basically they’re eastern European Gypsies in space with a couple of Chinese overtones thrown into the mix and it blends perfectly.

    Most of the other species in the galaxy either don’t show up or tell you enough about themselves to evaluate or are just plain stupidly done (I’m looking at YOU Asari).

    • Will says:

      Given a few tidbits you can pick up here and there, that may actually be entirely deliberate on the Asari part. There are a few indicators throughout the game that suggest that the Asari are not what they appear to be on the surface.

      • Sydney says:

        Do tell. I must have missed this; what do you have in mind?

        • Raygereio says:

          I’m aware of one such indicator. A background conversation in the bar on Ilium where a Human, Turian and Salarian (each of them drunk) all say the Asari look just their own species respectivly.

          Considering that in the same bar there’s a conversation that mokes the people that wanted Tali as a romance option, I’m inclined to see that conversation as a joke.

          • ehlijen says:

            Yeah, that was just wishful thinking of the guys staring at that asari dancer.

            But they’re actually a bit right, too, in that the asari do have the mentioned parts. I thought it was just an easteregg mocking that the alien designs in these games share so many similarities (even though they do better than star trek of course).

            • Will says:

              It’s possible it was just a throwaway comment, but i wouldn’t put it past Bioware to reveal that the Asari have something funky going on that makes them appear slightly different physically depending on who is looking at them.

              It would also be a wonderful subversion of the ‘blue skinned space babe’ trope. But perhaps it’s just wishful thinking.

      • Topazwolf says:

        It is a bit suspicious that the Asari where the first race to citadel, while also being the least warlike (thus least likely to have explosive expansion). And there is the fact that they are biologically evolved to mate with other sentient species (even having ailments and taboos against breeding with one another). Not to mention the fact that their life spans are so long that it is possible for an individual to know a being who was born two thousand years prior to the current date. It is almost like they were… engineered.

        A remote possibility, but still a highly attractive prospect for a true bomb shell of a plot twist.

        • Nidokoenig says:

          Strangely enough, this reminds me of my default strategy in Alpha Centauri: pick a race with an industry bonus, and spam colony pods, especially air-drop colony pods. Spend the bare minimum on a defensive force and plug the entire war economy resource engine into peaceful expansion. Why fight if there’s still somewhere to expand to peacefully?

          So it makes some sense for a civilisation that doesn’t throw its resources away on war to get into space quickly, especially if they’re using the logic of all female race meaning matriarchy by default meaning cooperation and living together in harmony almost inevitably. A bit stereotypical and lazy, now that I think of it.

      • Slothful says:

        The only saving grace of the Asari is a couple fan-theories I’ve formulated.

        1. The Asari don’t actually look just like humans, they just use their crazy psychic biotic powers to make everyone think that they look like members of the same species. Their true form is some sort of terrible abomination.

        2. The Asari have sex with every living thing that moves because their crazy New-Age hippy culture led to drastic homogenization of their gene pool, and they’ve got the genetic deformities of inbreeding up the wazoo (that is, if they have wazoos).

        3. The whole deal with the Justicars is how they compensate for the problems that their cultural ideals make, since if there’s resource scarcity or the Militias are insufficient, or anything like that, one thing that could offset these problems is sending in a justicar to kill EVERYTHING.

        And of course if none of those is to your liking, there’s:

        4. Everything that they have been telling the rest of the galaxy is a LIE, they don’t have a government so unstructured as to be nearly intangible government, they don’t live in perfect harmony with each other, they don’t disdain from reproduction with each other, and they have actually been up to something all along.

        Why else aren’t the Ardat-Yakshi known about more? You’d think that more people would be curious as to why members of a species dislike procreating with each other. You’d think people would be less tight-lipped about what is essentially Sexually Transmitted DEATH. If the Asari could keep that on the down low, than they could be hiding ANYTHING.

        ANYTHING.

        • Kavonde says:

          1, 2, and 3 make total sense to me. (And I’m pretty sure 1’s definitely canon. Thanks, bachelor party guys!)

          4, I’m kind of unsure about. However, it’s worth nothing that the Asari were the first race (of this cycle) to find the Citadel, so all that conspiracy stuff could conceivably be true; they had plenty of time to design this ruse before the Turians showed up. (Or were the Salarians next?) My only argument against it is that it wouldn’t make sense for them to have some Big Secret to be revealed in ME3, which ostensibly should be all about the Reapers. Showing that Asari culture is a total lie could derail the story considerably, and while Bioware makes dumb writing decisions sometimes, one thing they typically don’t do is underplay the importance of a Big Twist.

          That said, I could totally see a spinoff taking a look at this, so…

        • Taellosse says:

          Well, to be fair, Samara does make clear that the Ardat-Yakshi are exceptionally rare even amongst pureblood asari. There are only 3 living examples of them in all of asari space, and they are all 3 Samara’s daughters. Something that unusual, and that culturally taboo, isn’t likely to get talked about with members of other races much.

          That said, yeah, I think its entirely possible there’s a bit more to the blue ladies than meets the eye. Personally, I favor the “they don’t actually quite look like that, they just emit some sort of mental suggestion/universal pheromone/whatever to make other species’ see them in a shape more like their own. Whether this is conscious or involuntary is up for debate.

          • Bret says:

            She says there are 3, but I’m not biting.

            Everything else hints at a much higher number, from the codex’s mention of about 1% of purebloods to the frequent mention of Ardat Yakshi honey, there seem to be more than Samara knows about.

            • Fnord says:

              It says 1% are “on the Ardat Yakshi spectrum”, which presumably means some have a different degree of AY-ness than others. It’s possible that Samara’s daughters are the only 3 with the full-blown “have sex and immediately die” version, and that most of the 1% have lesser versions. Or, of course, Samara could be wrong.

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              I actually seem to recall that if you talk with her some more after the loyalty mission Samara herself mentions that there are areas in Asari space that are somewhat isolated from the body of the Asari society (read: backwater) and that it is not entirely impossible for more Ardat Yakshi to be hiding there.

  17. Halceon says:

    What, not a single “OBJECTION!!!” over the course of the whole video?

  18. SpammyV says:

    I know we rag on Miranda and Samara enough for their stupid, stupid costumes, but I can’t stop noticing now how Shepard’s armor has those round things on her bum that exist specifically to draw the eye to it in cutscenes, and how all the female Quarians have that seam thing going up their legs and over their rear to, again, draw the eye to it during cutscenes. I’m not necessarily complaining in Tali’s case, but it’s there.

    • Fnord says:

      There’s a difference between “oh look, fanservice armor that draws attention to female characters’ asses”, as it appears on Female Shepard and the female NPCs in ME1, and the ridiculous outfits many of the ME2 characters wear into combat and even in vacuum. The ass-armor is still at least armor, though it looks a little uncomfortable, it should still provide protection. The stuff Miranda and Samara (and, to be fair, Thane too) wear doesn’t.

  19. Milos says:

    So Tali’s father was bringing Quarians’ worst enemy on board to conduct “experiments” with the end effect being everyone in the lab dies without any obvious progress being made? Are we sure Cerberus doesn’t have cells among other alien races?

  20. Specktre says:

    I really liked this mission, but I was disappointed how all the Quarians looked exactly the same. I guess I was hoping for a little more variety among the suits.
    At least if the Admirals had their own unique look, but not even that. :/

    • Slothful says:

      What’s weird is that at first glance, there are only three kinds of suits: Male, Female, and Tali.

      …At least I think that they’re male and female…

      • Specktre says:

        Yeah, I find it a little strange how Tali is the only Quarian that stands out.

        I would have accepted, “We ret-coned her suit” over “The Migrant Fleet gave her a new one when she completed her Pilgrimage.”

  21. Becoming Insane says:

    I’m surprised no one’s brought up the Quarian/Jew analogy going on here.

    I mean, the Quarians did something a long time ago that people now hate that they did, went through a diaspora, and have a strong movement to retake the homeland. Heck, even the “keela sa’lai” they say at the beginning of the trial sounds like any number of prayers said in temple, with the rabbi leading and the congregation echoing.

    Just saying.

    Unrelated, but for some reason I have this image of a point in ME3 when the Reapers show up, and Sheppard’s all like “I told you bout Reapers! I warned you dog! 8^Y” and as planets begin to fall, the Council runs around shouting “IT KEEPS HAPPENING!”

    Then Liara shows up as the Shadow Broker and says “Don’t worry. I have all the plans. ALL OF THEM.”

    • poiumty says:

      And all the plans involve flipping the Reaper turn-ways so he can’t achieve LIFDOFF. Then everyone wouldn’t believe what Shepard made take place and…

      …i forgot the point i was making??

    • PurePareidolia says:

      I think you might be onto something – Didn’t ME2 start right after Shepard gained all of the levels (AAAAAAAAll of them), died on his quest atmosphere and was resurrected as the j3gus of space? And it turns out to be crazy what kind of elbows this guy has. I’m telling you… bunps like that are UNREAL, they don’t even happen
      most of the time

  22. Sydney says:

    “We’re fighting mooks again?!”
    “Look, all I have are mook models. And the geth from last campai–”
    “Geth! GETH!!”
    “You said you were sick of the geth!”
    “We’re sick of YOU.”

  23. superglucose says:

    The thing that really freaks me out is how much I disagree with Tali. The Admiral is trying to arrest her because he doesn’t want the Quarians to engage in a genocidal war. And you really find out that the Geth aren’t even particularly evil… the Quarians are the ones who started it all. And they’re looking to start it again: the only time Geth had been seen beyond the veil (according to ME1) was when Saren gathered them, and let’s be frank: that’s not really the Geth’s fault.

    Then here we get this mission and we see that the Quarians are thinking to themselves, “Hey, let’s go attack the Geth again! Remember that war we had a while back that ended up with us losing our home planet and that unleashed a technological terror on the galaxy? Those were good times… goooooood tiiiiiimes…” I can’t NOT side with Admiral Korris here, and I really do think that Tali and her father were essentially traitors: they were encouraging their people to rise up for a totally unnecessary and obviously genocidal war.

    I love when Legion’s all, “Well… we’d like peace, but um… would you trust the Quarians?” No. No I would not.

    Quarians don’t always herp, but when they herp, they derp.

    • Irridium says:

      Agreed. Its also why I don’t like them that much. They’re in their situation because they made bad decisions, and they’re trying to get out of their position by essentially making the same damn decisions that got them into their situation in the first place.

      • Sydney says:

        “Bad decisions”?

        Maybe I’m being a little harsh here, but:

        “Oh, wow, these droids we created…they’re sentient! Like…they’ve got minds like we have! What, uh…what do we do with that?”
        “Well, the first order of business is to free them from slavery.”
        “You say that like there’s a second order of business?”
        “Yeah, we burn’em all.”

        Somehow, I get the impression that if humanity one day realized that horses were capable of philosophy and communication, “wipe them out, down to the last colt” wouldn’t be high on the agenda.

        Not to mention that Rael was deliberately raising sentient, living creatures so he could test weapons on them.

        • Specktre says:

          One could say it’s definitely a gray area.

          It’s something I’ve wondered about myself–the possibility of AI, I mean.

          What if we one day created such Artificial Intelligence? What kind of issues would raise around that? Are AIs truly sentient? Are they really people? Should we treat them like people? Etc.

          Quite frankly, it’s something I hope never comes about.

        • Cody211282 says:

          They aren’t exactly “living” they are built not born, and well they are made out of metal and circuits not skin and bone.

          Now I like legion and would love for Geth-Quarrien peace to come around, but if I had to pick a side of who I am going to support in a war it’s going to be the people who are actually alive, not the glorified roombas.

          • Exasperation says:

            For some reason, this comment caused me to have a sudden mental image of a world in which the writers of ME had decided that the immune system thing is a lie, and the REAL reason that nobody ever sees a Quarian out of their suit is that they’re actually extinct, and the migrant fleet is really made up of insane Geth wearing Quarian spacesuits that think they’re really Quarians.

            I wonder what Tali’s loyalty mission would have been like then.

          • Viktor says:

            I think, therefore I am. A spleen is not required to be sapient, only intelligence is needed.

            • Sydney says:

              That’s not what that phrase means. The Cogito is one of the most misused lines ever.

            • Cody211282 says:

              That not what I meant, I know they are sapient. What I’m arguing is that they are not really alive, they are a machine imitating life.

              • Alex says:

                You place undue importance on that fact. A pine tree is alive, but that doesn’t mean we give a damn about its rights. If a machine is sapient, it should be treated as a person, if not as a human.

                As an aside, am I the only one who thinks that bringing Legion on Tali’s loyalty mission should just result in immediate mission failure? If the player wants to do something that would /obviously/ be incredibly stupid in-universe, let them suffer the consequences.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Its not stupid.Take it from a paragon perspective:Geth werent the first ones to attack,they care about their creators(they keep their homeworld clean),and they only want to coexist.If you bring him along,you can convince the fleet that geth are not a threat,that quarians have made a mistake when they started the war,and that they could negotiate peace.

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  This would apply as an answer to Daemian’s post but the reply pyramid doesn’t go that far…

                  It is stupid. Simply because the Quarians should have blown Legion without a second thought. Or at the very least there should be some serious justification such as the “Geth sympathiser” admiral or his people interfering.

                  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for showing the galaxy that Geth aren’t all that evil and such, the thing is it doesn’t work by shoving the Geth into people’s face, and of all the people the Quarians. Claiming that you have a Geth capable of communication, that there is a channel for negotiations, looking for sympathetic Quarians within the fleet, arranging a meeting between the “Geth apologist” admiral and Legion… These are all viable options. Just forcing the Geth on board is begging for trouble.

                  And the game is not above a “non-standard game over” for doing something incredibly stupid: Accepting Morinth’s advances onboard the Normandy.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  The mere fact that there is an admiral who is for peace with the geth means that not every quarian wants to murder them on sight.Most would hesitate(unlike tali)before shooting one.Thats why you can safely get him on board before you talk about him.

          • Irridium says:

            Geth think, rationalize, solve problems, and are just as alive as any other race.

            They even show regret. Even though all they did was defend themselves, Legion stated that the Geth regretted what was done, and so they maintaned the Quarian homeworld for them.

            The Geth are open for peace, and willing to work with the Quarians. the Quarians want all the Geth to die, at first it was because they started to become sentient, and now because the Geth beat them when they tried to kill all the Geth.

            I can’t really sympathize with a race that wants to kill another life form simply because they’re not the same as other life forms.

            • Cody211282 says:

              But they aren’t living they are machines, it’s like comparing my computer to my dog(I know I’m dumbing it down a bit here), they can both do basic tasks and I love them both but one of them isn’t alive and the other is. The Geth have software that dictates what they do, even Legion says the that only reason the Heretic Geth follow the Reapers is because of a computer glitch.

              Now I agree what the Quareans overreacted and probably didn’t do the smartest thing and probably should have just found out what caused it and removed the problem, maybe by placing a cap on how much the different programs can interact with each other or something, but then again it was their robots that broke, sure break it because it isn’t working properly isn’t the best response but well within their rights to do.

        • Kavonde says:

          What’s tragic is that the recording you hear of a newly-sentient Geth interacting with a Quarian is the first time a Quarian noticed the Geth were self-aware and was freaked out by this. There could have been several such interactions beforehand, where a less stupid Quarian responded to the “Do Geth have a soul?” query with “Uh…holy crap, you’re self-aware. Okay, put down your laser drill, we’ve got some shit to figure out.”

          Hell, there could easily have been a large Geth Rights movement among the Quarians, much like the Abolitionist movement in America. In the end, clearly, fear and small-mindedness won out and doomed the Quarians, but at least the case can be made that they weren’t just a Planet of Hats.

          But of course, after 400 years and the near-genocide of their race, it stands to reason that the “we can coexist with the Geth” school of thought isn’t overly popular.

          • ehlijen says:

            Seeing as they had all the judges with different opinions, I think they tried to avoid the planet of hats.

            But yes, it is not unreasonable to assume that the most steadfast geth sympathisers weren’t high on the quarian leadership’s evacuation priority list when they fled their homeworld. So it could simply be the case that the reason why see an almost uniform geth hate amongst the quarians is simply because that’s the side with the most people left.

            • Simon Buchan says:

              That would somewhat interestingly imply a ‘preservation’ of Gethophiles on the Homeworld (did they ever give a name?), given the Geth’s presumably honest but cautious overtures of peace.

              Also, yeah, I’m totally siding with the non-asshole race if a war does pop up. The Geth.

              • Raynooo says:

                Hermetic-suit-less Quarians living on their Homeworld with Geths would be quite fun, but one could wonder why they never contacted anyone, are the Geths hiding them to protect them ?

    • Jarenth says:

      It is kind of funny that Korris is pegged as the traditional ‘angry old guy’ in the beginning of the trial, when in fact he’s the only one whose plans for the Geth do not involve re-enslaving them or wiping them out.

  24. Kavonde says:

    About the accents: I liked to think that different parts of the Migrant Fleet developed different accents over time. Tali, her aunt, and her father all have the quasi-Romanian accents, while a few others have fairly neutral American accents, some have British accents, and so on. The Fleet is pretty damn huge, after all, and generally insular except when something like an army of geth being activated by an idiot scientist happens.

    And I truly hope that somewhere, towards the outskirts of the Fleet, is a big, dumpy old ship cobbled together from a dozen rusted hulls, with an old Quarian sitting at the helm playing a banjo, and where everyone speaks in a ridiculous, Deep Southern accent.

    • Gale says:

      Mm. For a race as communal yet isolated as the quarians, where each ship is essentially its own country, I don’t think it’s all that strange for a diverse range of strong accents to emerge.

  25. Zaxares says:

    Tali’s name was Tali’Zorah (first and last name) nar Rayya in the first game. In this case, the portion ‘nar Rayya’ means “child of/born on the ship Rayya”. All quarians before they go on the Pilgrimage use the name of their birth ship, as they are not yet considered adults under quarian culture.

    Once they complete their Pilgrimage, and apply to serve on a new ship, the last part of their name changes to ‘vas [X]’ where X is the name of the ship they’re serving on.

    Talking to the Admirals: … You brought LEGION to the Migrant Fleet and then you didn’t bother talking to all the admirals?? You just missed the whole POINT of bringing Legion on this mission! >.<

    I believe that Claudia Black (Morrigan's voice actor) is Admiral Daro'Xen.

    A recap of the political directions being fought over in this trial for those who haven't played ME2:

    – Admiral Han'Gerrel wishes the quarians to go to war with the geth in an attempt to recapture their homeworld. Admiral Rael'Zorah, Tali's father, sided with him. (In fact, his whole research was devoted to finding some way to overcome the geth's resistance to hacking.)

    – Admiral Zaal'Koris wishes the quarians to try and find a new planet for them to settle on. He would love to be able to negotiate some kind of peace treaty with the geth, but he won't talk about this unless you bring Legion on the mission.

    – Admiral Daro'Xen (whom Josh missed talking to entirely) wants the quarians to try and find some way to completely rewrite the geth, turning them back into a subservient slave race for the quarians. (It's revealed that she tries to continue Rael's research after Tali's loyalty mission is complete.) Incidentally, both Tali AND Legion think Daro'Xen is insane for trying to pursue this goal.

    • Slothful says:

      Man, I just missed so much when I did this mission the first time, didn’t I. I assumed that most of the Quarians were just there to fill out the crowd so I never tried talking to all of them.

  26. Andy says:

    Somewhere in the Migrant Fleet has to be a ship named “Deferens” — or maybe Quarians don’t have the anatomy for that particular lowbrow amusement.

    Quarian: “my name is Ayama vas Deferens…”
    Shep: rofl

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