Spoiler Warning Season 4 Finale: Don’t Fear the Reaper

By Shamus
on Mar 11, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

For the last several weeks Josh and I have been plotting the death of Miranda. Killing Jacob would be a nice bonus, but killing Miranda was our top priority. We even valued her death above the survival of beloved crew members.

We consulted this flowchart, which details the outcomes of all of the various decisions and who will live or die. Note the instances where Miranda gets a free pass. She’s never considered for death in any of the stuff in the first stage. If you pick a non-loyal biotic to create the bug shield for you, the game will kill one of your two squad members, but it will never pick Miranda. She will always survive as leader of the second fire team, loyal or not. (That mission will kill ANYONE ELSE outright, except for Jacob and Garrus, and they must be loyal to survive.)

After reviewing the options, we’d decided to send her cranky, non-loyal ass on the escort mission, which will kill any non-loyal character who attempts it. As you can see, the game doesn’t make her available for that job.

It was only random luck that allowed her to die. I would have been very disappointed to find out we couldn’t kill this aggravating Mary Sue. In the end, I feel like we won.

I get where they were going with the suicide mission. I also get why people didn’t like it. I thought it was a great experiment. I can’t think of another game to even attempt something like this. The decisions make sense, and if you know the strengths of your team and use that knowledge to assign them duties, you can do very well. It gives the player a lot of power over the game. I like that Commander Shepard actually got to do some sort of “commander” type stuff, instead of just hosing things down with bullets.

I think this show is very much a magnifying glass. We see the faults of a game more readily, but we also notice small moments of brilliance and bring them to light. Mass Effect 2 was a game of extremes: The set-up, the role of Cerberus, the Collectors, the Illusive Man, all of it was almost Capcom-level childishness. But the side-quests were excellent. Even the worst of them surpassed the standards set by other games. And the good ones – Mordin, Tali, Samara, Legion, and Jack – were exquisite. They were thought-provoking, witty, interesting, clever, and at the same time they managed to enrich the Mass Effect setting. This was some of the best writing I’ve seen in years, including the stuff we see in the original Mass Effect.

Now I’m wondering who will pen the plot of Mass Effect 3. The person who wrote Mordin’s loyalty quest, or the person who came up with the Terminator Reaper… thing? And if they’re the same person, will they be getting help with their multiple personality disorder? And if not, then which of their personalities will write the next game: The the Isaac Asimov personality, or the Ewe Boll?

This is where I usually troll you by pretending to announce the next game we’ll cover, but this time I’m going to be straight with you. No jokes, no tricks, no deceptions. Here is the straight dope:

It won’t be Daikatana.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!A Hundred!A Hundred!19419. There are now n+1 comments, where n is one less than the number of comments.

From the Archives:

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  1. Sydney says:

    [ominous music]

  2. Johan says:

    I tried playing Daikatana once. A friend hated it and let me take it. I put it in the machine, ran the install program, and my computer immediately overheated.

    Turned out I needed a new fan, but I still blame Daikatana.

  3. Grag says:

    THIS IS AN HOUR LONG????

  4. Alexander The 1st says:

    I was hoping you’d fail the first time to kill Miranda, then quick save back and do it again, SOLELY to get her killed.

    Shamus – someone need to make a de-motivational poster for “My attacks – they will tears you apa- SPAWN CAMPER!”

  5. I am seriously hoping you guys choose a game I don’t like for your next target. You’re way too good at tearing things apart.

    That’s why Bioshock was great. I’m looking forward to learning what it will be, very much so. I doubt it will be Daikatana because I’m not sure any of you guys have learned the arcane sigils required to prevent the loss of your soul to its evil.

    My wish: Tearing up a game in the Fable franchise wouldn’t be too bad a deal.

    • Klay F. says:

      Fable 3 is practically begging to be verbally assassinated.

      • Will says:

        Fable is way too easy; the games verbally assassinate themselves in multiple instances. It’d turn into a competition to see whether the Spoiler Warning crew can point out and make fun of game flaws before the game can.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Sure the Fable games may fall apart at every seam and even parts which aren’t seams, but I seem to extract an inordinate amount of fun from them.
          Now only if Fable II actually comes to PC sometime, it’d be nice to be able to actually complete it.

          • Will says:

            If you pay attention to the dialogue it actually becomes pretty obvious that Molyneux was completely aware of all the gigantic holes in the games, because almost everything ends up lampshaded in-game at some point.

            I really started enjoying the Fable series when i realised that Molyneux really -wasn’t- trying to sell me on a serious, meaningful story and was just giving me an excuse to set lots of dudes on fire.

            • Irridium says:

              I enjoy Fable because I don’t take it seriously. I give the story the same amount of thought I give to DOOM. And its fun.

              Also, the side quests are amazing. Especially in 2 and 3. And whoever writes the tombstones deserves a medal.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Wait,so fable 1 came out on pc,and 3 came out on pc as well,but 2 did not?It fails even in that regard.

            And I too am looking forward to at least Shamus ranting about fable 3,if not the whole crew.Even though Ive already watched a few reviews tearing the game to shreds,Shamus always does it on a completely different level.

      • rayen says:

        i’m feeling fable 2

  6. Piflik says:

    Hoping it will be New Vegas next…kinda interesting what you think Obsidian did better/worse than Bethesda…

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh so thats why it was uploading so long.Anyway,before I even watch it,Ill suggest the next game:

    Oddworld.Either one of them(all four would be best).And with oddboxx being so cheap on steam(25€ for 4 games),how can you pass?
    http://store.steampowered.com/sub/6951/

  8. Wilcroft says:

    It’s unfortunate that you guys didn’t have time to do anything with Thane; I found him to be an enjoyable character, especially being one of the new species they introduced. His loyalty mission is the only one that doesn’t have combat, and was a nice break from the usual shooting. As I remember, the dialog between Shepard and Thane also had some shining moments in that mission, too.

    Ah well, you can’t do everything.

  9. ParadoxBomb says:

    Do you guys plan on doing some sort of special where you do the other DLCs? I saw you didn’t have Kasumi’s DLC, but I’m curious what your collective opinions on her loyalty mission are.

  10. Kell says:

    So the endgame boss would, upon completion, have been Arnie Terminator, covered in Soylent Green, by way of The Matrix. And a little bit of Aliens. Woo, pop culture tropes a-go-go!

    As to what would it would do if it were finished and unleashed upon an unsuspecting galaxy: beam down to suburban USA, in the form of Giant Naked Schwarzenegger, and steal bikers clothes. From lots and lots of bikers, presumably. Nice night for a walk, huh?

  11. Sydney says:

    Also: Any non-loyal character taken to the Human-Reaper dies for sure.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      I suppose that could’ve been a second fall-back if Miranda wouldn’t die.

      Give her the job of looking over the cliff to be super clear the Reaper is dead, then punt her over. Bonus points if that’s a renegade interrupt.

    • Someone says:

      I was surprised to see them take Mordin to the Reaper fight, since he has a small chance to die there, regardless of his loyalty. I’ve replayed the whole game because of that.

  12. Alexander The 1st says:

    That was the same reason I always went with blowing up the base – reason not-withstanding (I mean, I don’t care about fear driving my decision to keep it alive – that’d be a stronger reason to blow it up, actually) -; I wanted to flat out do whatever TIM didn’t want me to do.

    @Mumbles: I’m fairly certain it’s an honourary funeral thing to shove off the casket – I think they did it in one of the Star Trek movies -, even if the body was un-recoverable. Also, you do have Thane’s corpse – you know, the assassin you fought 50 guys to get to, killing Nassanna/what’s-her-face?

    @Speculation – It’s totally subtle foreshadowing you joining the Blue Sun’s next game – TIM has a BLUE SUN in the background! …*Crickets*…I thought it was funny…

    People you killed:

    Thane

    Jacob

    Grunt

    Jack

    Miranda

    There are only 4 coffins shown.

    If we assume they show coffins for guys who die on the ship, that means you’re one short.

    Yeah, Miranda’s not being honoured. She can die in a firey pit of doom.

  13. Vegedus says:

    Grunt wouldn’t even be able to fit in that basket…

  14. Nasikabatrachus says:

    You guys are clueless. The point of the human Reaper is clearly to engage in battle with the dreaded Godzilla, thereby subduing Earth’s only true defense against the Reapers. Also, this game was written by a rogue cell of BioWare developers without the knowledge of the company.

    Best season yet. Great job, all. Though mostly Josh, I guess?

  15. Nighty says:

    Was anyone else yelling at their screen for Josh to turn around and go open the valve he ran straight past?

    • Tzeneth says:

      God yes, I kept saying, “you went past it…you WENT PAST IT. JOSH YOU COMPLETELY MISSED THE VALVE!!!”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I was just laughing while he was running around confused.

    • Jarenth says:

      I’m so glad that wasn’t just me.

      Other things I wanted to yell at Josh about:

      * He keeps shooting Harbinger whenever he pops up, then ignores the drones for so long there’s guaranteed to be another Harbinger soon. Shoot the drones first, THEN the glowing bad guy!

      * When he sent Grunt to his death: send Mordin instead, take Tali and Miranda to the final boss, and Miranda is sure to die!

      • TSED says:

        You just summed up the entirety of the episode for me.

      • Drew says:

        This man is correct; I was about to leave a comment to that effect but see there’s no point now. Any disloyal crewmember will be killed when leading the crew back, so if you had sent Mordan he would have been guaranteed to live; telling Grunt to “hold the line” would have increased the over-all defensive capability of the remaining squad considerably. After that it’s just a matter of picking less defensive characters to go into your party to keep the average up. Since the idea was to kill Miranda what you did worked (obviously), as if the group’s defensive level isn’t high enough it will first go after whoever isn’t loyal. Since you left Jack, Samara, Garrus, Legion, etc. behind–people whos’ missions you’d already completed–she was the obvious choice. She actually was double-damned; even without the loyalty check, the only person more likely than her to be left behind who wasn’t dead, locked, or in the team was Jack. That said I’m fairly sure that this would have happened even if you had picked her to go on your team, in which case you should have done that instead (Mordan being sent to escort the crew, as his loyalty would ensure his survival whilst not bringing down the “hold the line” average–the game really wants him dead a lot in that section for some annoying reason). When you tell the illusive man to go fuck himself there is a short bit of extra dialogue where he actually orders Miranda to stop you if you bring her along. She’ll side with you no matter what her loyalty is, I am fairly sure, which is an interesting direction for her character to go. Also, if you’d wanted to save Thain, purchasing Jacob’s armor upgrade would have done so.

  16. Jeremy says:

    I hope you realized that Jacob died because you missed the second valve. It’s okay though, you guys were commenting on the dark and grey color scheme of the game so it would be easy to miss the glowing green console.

    EDIT: ah, ninja’d!

    • Will says:

      No, Jacob died because he’s not a tech specialist. Doesn’t matter if you do everything else perfectly, if the guy you send into the valves isnt’ a Tech Specialist and isn’t Loyal, heshe ends up dead.

      –EDIT–

      Oh wait, you mean the mission restart death, NEVER MIND.

  17. Sydney says:

    Wait a minute. Rutskarn said “fuck”.

    o_ô

    • Mumbles says:

      I’m rubbing off on him.

      • Raygereio says:

        English idioms are something so wonderfully confusing for the non-English speaker. But I guess that goes for every language’s idioms.

        Also; eww.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Rutskarn and Mumbles sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

          • Chris B Chikin says:

            I left a comment prior to the Probing episodes asking if there was a Rutskarn/Mumbles romancing going on. I think the comment was deleted. :P

            Ah well, at least I still have my slashfic.

            • Viktor says:

              I’m pretty sure there was some probing going on this season. Though shipping the SW crew hasn’t been as fun since Josh and Randy broke up.

            • Mumbles says:

              no but seriously ruts is like 13 years old i can’t romance him he’s a child

              • Lovecrafter says:

                Do a reverse Hikaru Genji Plan?

              • X2-Eliah says:

                I think replies are now broken?

                Also. Why would anyone romance Rutskarn anyway?

                • Jarenth says:

                  For the achievement.

                  ‘Tacos’

                  • X2-Eliah says:

                    Tacos indeed. I miss JaR. >.>

                  • Duoae says:

                    I don’t think you can romance Rutskarn unless you’ve done his loyalty mission…. Mumbles definitely hasn’t done that…. in fact it’s kinda like she’s done the opposite. :)

                    • X2-Eliah says:

                      Ah, so Mumbles has gained Rivalry points with Rutskarn, then?

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      She is a girl,Rutskarn is a teen nerd,she sure has his loyalty.Plus,he is teasing her.Thats what small boys do when they fancy a girl.

                    • Bret says:

                      Yup. Reply doesn’t work.

                      Ah well. So, this ending rules out all the romances but one. Man, better hope Shepard is into dinosaurs.

                    • Slothful says:

                      Well, seeing as how Sheps never bothered to ask Garrus how his calibrations were going, even to get a supercool collector-killing cannon, Shepard was really just staying true to whoever she made it with in the first game.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      There wasnt the picture scene,so I think its no one.Shepard is married only to her gun!

                    • Bret says:

                      And considering how little the Scimitar got used once the Vindicator showed, she’s a bad spouse there too.

                      Really, that was sad. Vindicator at point blank range when you got a shotgun right there? Bad show.

                    • krellen says:

                      You noticed that Josh used the shotgun to deliver the final shot to TermiReaper, right?

              • Alexander The 1st says:

                Wait, what is Rutskarn watching an M rated game, then? XD.

                “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”

                Moral of the story: Keep your children away from M rated games, or they become corrupted and turn to a social crowd of punsters.

                Note: This comes as a surprise to me – I always thought Rutskarn was easily a college student from his voice.

                • Chuck says:

                  Crap lack of reply.

                  @Alexander The 1st: He is. He’s made several references to living in the dorms, and is a confirmed English/Literature (English Literature? not sure) major.

                  The age thing is a running gag for the group. Mumbles has stated herself to be 24. Ruts is at the youngest 17/18, oldest 22/23, presuming he’s a standard four year undergrad and not a graduate student.

                  • Alexander The 1st says:

                    @Chuck:

                    That’s what I thought – it had me confused for Mumbles to mention he was 12.

                    Though, that said, a 12-year old hipster would be hipster – until the internet caught on and it became mainstream. Then we’d need to invoke that COPPA act (Sure, Canada doesn’t use it, but when most of the sites are American, so yeah, I was aware of this, if for no other reason than GameFAQs wouldn’t let myself make an account until the age of 13. I think the appropriate insult there is STILL to imply that someone is 12, since if they try and admit that, Perma-ban.) and get the “bandwagon 12-year-olds” off the internet.

                    But aside from that, there’s also the whole “M-rated” game, which, to be frank, this playthrough consisted of…dusty enemies? Jack’s clothing choice (Maybe?)? Miranda (Okay, this would probably be scaring to a 12-year old, this works for a reason.)? Either way, I’d thought Rutskarn’d be older.

                    Though maybe it’s just me being too Lawful Good to be a typical 12-year-old. Am I the only person who hasn’t yet played any of the Duke Nukem games because up until 4 years ago, I wasn’t of age to play them?

                    • Chuck says:

                      I didn’t play any M rated games until I was old enough. and I don’t know when the other Duke games came out, but I was probably less than ten, based on the time it took Forever to come out. I didn’t start playing any kind of computer game seriosuly until Rome Total War came out.

                      Ironically, every game I own for my PS3 except Ghostbusters is rated M. Apparently I really like shooting things.

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      @Chuck:

                      No Uncharted? You need to go get that – still got shooting, and it’s got Nolan North in it. Can’t go wrong.

                      My only experience with DNF has been the trailers. 5 or so of them.

                      Surprisingly, when I think of it, Goldeney 007, Dune 2000, Red Alert, Tiberian Sun, Descent, most of the games I played were T rated back in the day.

                      Which is why more people know of Goldeneye than Perfect Dark.

                      EDIT: @SpoilerWarningCrew: Any chance of doing a console game?

                    • some random dood says:

                      There was a post awhile ago (looong while ago!) about why the crew don’t do a console game. It was due to the technology involved. They have the hardware and software to be able to play and record the game, as well as stream it to the rest of the team for their commenting, and to be able to record their voices also.
                      I think just recording the video of the game would probably be outside what most console games allow in the first place, let alone all the rest of the stresses of Josh’s setup needed to get all the bits into a place he can edit to the final vid.

                    • M says:

                      So replies are broken? SO YOU CAN’T READ THIS? Also, Shamus is using reverse psychology. The name of the game is SO Daikatana. Whatever the fuck that is.

                    • Bret says:

                      Why it’s rated M?

                      Multiple uses of “Fuck”, implied sexual content, horrific implied violence (although it gets very silly at times on accident), and Batarians, I presume.

                      Can’t have kids seeing Batarians before they’re old enough to hate them.

                • Rutskarn says:

                  I am nineteen goddamned years old. Mumbles is a troll.

                • Volatar says:

                  (hint, everyone is joking about Rutskarn’s age, he is really 7)

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              You cant LEGALLY romance him.

          • Nidokoenig says:

            Dude, that’s just wrong, he’s only twelve!

      • TechDan says:

        EWWWWW

        Heh.

      • Jordan says:

        Well … , I read that completely differently at first glance.

      • OEP says:

        You may want to look up the idiom “rubbing off”. I believe it means something that you may or may not intend. The term may have originated in Australia, although it may have been that I first heard it with an Australian accent.

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rub%20off

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Frankly, I think we can all agree it was both the time, the place and the perfect choice of words for this situation.

      And that’s all there is to say on the matter.

    • Dude says:

      What was worse/better was, Shamus made a penis joke.

  18. Jock says:

    Deus Ex! By the time you’re done Human Revolution should be out, so it’s a great way whet your appetite/fill your flamethrower with “it’s not as good as the original” comparisons

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      They can already do that with the second one.Or does it fall in the “did not happen” category with highlander 2?

      • Bret says:

        They should do Deus Ex Invisible War.

        I mean, we want to see the weakspots torn apart and any oddball triumphs revealed. IW has plenty of both.

        • Audacity says:

          I heartily concur. If any game ever deserved the Spoiler Warning treatment it is Deus Ex 2. That game was such a letdown from its predecessor.

          I hope the new third game will be worthwhile. It’s the only upcoming release I’m even mildly interested in.

          • Raygereio says:

            I will defend Invisible War in that on it’s own it’s an okay’ish game. I’ll admit that the gameplay (shooting in particular) while not terrible can be utterly wonky and but while the writing isn’t anything tobrag about, it certainly isn’t ME2 of FO3 levels of braindead.

            The poor game just had the misfortune of being a sequel to Deus Ex. It just didn’t life up to the first game in terms of gameplay and narrative. And it especially didn’t live up to the vision of Deus Es 2 the fans of the original were worshipping.

            Also, I wouldn’t count on an LP of Invisible War. The problem being that that game’s biggest flaw is it’s crappy engine which refuses to not crash every 2 minutes on any hardware with a manufacturing date past 2007. Yeah, that was a wasted 5 euro’s on a steam sale.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              ” it certainly isn’t ME2 of FO3 levels of braindead.”

              Me2 has loyalty missions,from which even the worse ones are still good.Deus ex 2 has no such redeeming qualities.

              • Raygereio says:

                My point is that Invisible War at no point made me want to
                gouge my eyeballs out with an ice scoop. Sure it’s writing can’t be called good, but neither is it that horrendously bad as most people make it out to be.

                I still maintain that if Invisible War wouldn’t have carried the Deus Ex title; it would have been remembered as an average game and then quickly forgotten as most average games are. It’s infamy comes primarly from it’s failure to live up to the expectations – regardless of how unrealistic most of those were – of those who played the original.

                Mind you, I probably have a different outlook on this then most people considering I played Invisible War first and Deus Ex second.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Yes,and if me2 was stand alone,it too would be even better,because lots of its problems come from the fact it clashes with 1.

                • Raygereio says:

                  Not persee. Yes, some of the failings in ME2’s plot come from BioWare’s utter failure to actually create a trilogy.
                  But that hardly sums up all of ME2’s bigger plot-related problems. Things like the laughter inducing contra throwback boss that’s created from human goo, or the magical IFF that disable a ship because a wizard did it; those can be indentified as failings without having to drag ME1 in.

                  Meanwhile, Invisible War’s biggest plot-related issue is that it tried to accomodate for all 3 of Deus Ex’s endings. Which was naturally a stupid thing to do. But looking past that it has a mediocre and uncompelling story, sure – but I don’t remember any plot holes that I fly through with the death star, nor was I presented with situations that made me wonder how much peyote the writers consumed.

    • Drew says:

      I would actually really love it if the next game was Deus Ex. It’s the perfect spoiler warning show balance: the plot and gameplay are both solid enough to be engaging and well done, while at the same time riddled with enough hilarious oversights to spur comedy gold from the crew. (If you don’t believe me when I say that Deus Ex has some seriously amusing bugs, observe the “sunglasses at night” walkthrough.) I’ve spent hours trying to do ridiculous shit in that game, like try and successfully jailbreak the prisoners or set up an assassination of Maggie Chao so intricate it leaves the police scratching their heads whilst at the same time incriminating the Luminous Path in her murder.

    • Integer Man says:

      Speaking of which, Mass Effect isn’t as good as the original Zork.

  19. rayen says:

    thoughts during theior final thoughts

    jacob – you still have a head?!
    grunt – he died doing what he loved…

  20. HeroOfHyla says:

    “Imma chargin my lazer” is a reference to Dragon Ball Z I think. ED confirms my hypothesis.

  21. Factoid says:

    One thing I find very interesting about the final sequence in ME2 is how I was able to accidentally stumble my way into completing it perfectly on the first try, yet so many people complained about how it was difficult to get everyone through it.

    If you are like me and either play pure renegade or pure paragon it’s a lot easier because you’ll probably have a fully loyal crew.

    Then you just have to take the game’s suggestions on who to choose for team leaders…Jacob and Garrus both volunteer for that mission as I recall…so I picked Garrus.

    I got lucky on the final bit, though…I had no idea about the “defense heirarchy”…so I had already sent Mordin back to the ship with the rescued crew, and I didn’t really team with the beefier characters that much, so I think my final team consisted of me and two of the squishier characters. I had no idea I was making a tactically sound decision…I just picked the same party I usually took for fighting collectors.

    It wasn’t until I did a half-assed playthrough that I saw what could happen if you didn’t bother with loyalty missions or ship upgrades.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I had a fully loyal crew and took Tali and Garrus along for the final fight, as I kinda of took them on pretty much any mission I could, and no-one died.
      I think I remember sending Thane back with the crew, so all the “fragile” characters except Tali were holding the line, and still no-one died, not even Mordin. So it was all a good call considering I was going in completely blind.

      Also, the picking the right people for the tasks? All it requires is a bit of reading of their little dossiers that come up on the selection screen and some logical thinking. Like how it mentions Garrus a excellent at leading guerilla squads, as shown in the description and from his previous activities on Omega.

    • Nyaz says:

      On my first playthrough I did everything I could find – all loyalty missions, upgrades, everything.

      The only person who wasn’t loyal was Miranda because I got into the Jack/Miranda bitchslapping contest waaaay too early in the game and couldn’t get them both to agree.

      …And yet the game went and killed Mordin for me. Suffice to say, I reloaded the game. And then Tali died instead.

      WHAT THE FU-

      • Michael says:

        You got into the Miranda/Jack fight too early? It’s actually beneficial to go into it early.

        Straight from the wiki: “The morality system of Mass Effect 2 works on percentages rather than the total points earned. There is a set number of morality points available in the game. Shepard’s current “effective” morality score at any given point is the number of points earned out of the number of points available from the areas he has explored so far. It is possible to have Shepard’s Paragon/Renegade scale(s) maxed out, but still not have the percentage required for certain dialog options.”

        Also, that fight is easier to resolve with Renegade if you don’t want to choose a side. I don’t know which morality Miranda responds to better if you’ve alienated her, but I did it with Paragon.

    • daveNYC says:

      Only thing that kind of bothered me about the first section is that I chose Thane to go through the vent shaft because when we met him, he seemed to be doing a pretty good job of vent shaft crawling, and I figured that would work.

      Not so much.

      • Volatar says:

        I did the same. I didn’t realize that his death by missile to the face was because his role was wrong and not because the RNG hated me until looking at that chart

        • Will says:

          I sent Legion in there; way i figured it, Legion is a robot and thus isn’t going to mind a rather hostile environment, plus being a robot he’s good with tech stuff.

          Tali is also a solid choice thanks to her suit protecting her from the heat.

          Seriously, sending anyone other than Tali or Legion into that tube is pretty silly, since it is basically described as a coolant shaft or something.

          • Josh R says:

            also from what you expect from a vent, tali’s slender figure is probably a good call to send.

            • Integer Man says:

              Yeah. That’d totally make sense except it’s the whole “keep your head down” skill is what ultimately got Jacob killed. Really, anyone could do the tube, it’s more of a “who knows how to dodge rockets?” kind of a contest, as it turns out.

    • Raygereio says:

      “One thing I find very interesting about the final sequence in ME2 is how I was able to accidentally stumble my way into completing it perfectly on the first try, yet so many people complained about how it was difficult to get everyone through it.”

      This.
      Keeping everybody alive is easy as long as you do everything and don’t give obviously stupid assignments. The only real requirement is either knowing or just guessing before hand that the IFF mission means you’re entering end-game and that you’ll need at least one other mission to unlock Legion’s quest

      My inner completionist actually made it really difficult to get team-members killed.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Same here. And as stupid as it was, I felt REALLY good getting the perfect ending without consulting a strategy guide or anything.

      • Vect says:

        Yeah, it’s obvious to see the strengths of the characters.

        I know there’s a guy who did a Plot Analysis of Mass Effect 2 who savaged the game like the Spoiler Warning Crew did but insisted that Samara should have been the perfect choice for a Fireteam Leader since he considers Fighting for Centuries equivalent to Leadership Experience. Same with Zaeed, ignoring the fact that the game outright states that he was an asshole who sends men to their deaths had his betrayal coming for him.

        • Bret says:

          Zaeed’s an asshole, but he’s also a jinx. Even when he makes good calls, people ignore them, he runs into the idiots who’ll blow up a base under their feet, he gets into worse barfights than most people…

          And Samara spent those centuries alone.

          Basically, you’re right, he’s an idiot (although apparently a Bioware writer made the same Samara mistake, which is why they added the dead giveaway tooltips.)

          • Vect says:

            People argued with him that Samara was a Lone Vigilante with no known experience of actively working with others, but he insisted that as a “Disciplined and Experience Warrior with Centuries of Experience”, she should’ve been a tactical genius instead of just Judge Dredd meets The Punisher.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Zaeed almost has that kind of “luck sapping” thing that turned up in Lost.
            He himself tends to be really lucky, but at the cost of everyone else’s around him, as they tend to die in horrible ways.

            • Vect says:

              Yeah, I guess the guy’s more unlucky than anything else. He still shouldn’t be put in command of people though.

              And I think I long stopped trying to convince the guy that Samara should not be Sun Tzu and that her “Codex” is meant to be “How To Be Space Punisher” and not The Art of War. His justifications are actually rather shaky.

              Everyone else: Samara has no social skills.
              Guy: She’s described as polite.

              Everyone else: Samara is a lone warrior
              Guy: She fought for centuries and has experience. She has leadership experience.

              Everyone: Experience does not equal Leadership. It just means she’s good at shooting people and crushing people into a pulp.
              Guy: Yes it does.

    • krellen says:

      My first play through would have been a perfect “everyone lives” ending, except the game, for some stupid reason, has no “oops, I clicked wrong, let me go back and pick again” option, so Jack ended up leading my second fire team (the second team when you go through the swarm) instead of Jacob, and thus died.

    • Jarenth says:

      My first (only) playthrough saw Grunt die because I picked Jacob to be the biotic — I thought Jack would be too unstable — which, you know, was a thing I could deal with. But then I took Mordin and Garrus to the fight and Tali died in the last stand, which I wasn’t aware was even an option. Seeing as though I romanced Tali, I tried to be OK with this, but I just couldn’t hack it. So I reloaded the whole thing.

      Then when I got to the Biotic part, I tried to reselect Jacob as the Biotic, but again, I just couldn’t. Picked Jack instead, assuming she’d mess up, and… well, you know how that goes.

      So I guess in my universe Grunt should have been dead, but he just has a guardian angel.

    • guy says:

      I lost Legion and Tali my first playthrough. Legion died because when I had to pick the bubble biotic I said, “Hey, Jacob has barrier as his loyalty power, he’s probably good at projecting biotic barriers.” And I was wrong.

      Tali I screwed up the loyalty mission for and took Garrus and Grunt into the final mission, so she died in Hold The Line.

  22. Johan says:

    “Why does it have three eyes?”
    I saw a comic explaining this:
    Overseer: Quick! How many optical units do humans have?!
    Collector 1: 2!
    Collector 2: 4!
    Overseer: We shall compromise
    Slurpy Terminator: DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  23. Malone says:

    Anyone else remember that the glitch that happened 30 minutes into the video where Shepard gets stuck facing one way also happened in the first season of spoiler warning when they were playing Mass Effect 1?

    • Sydney says:

      And during the Freelance Astronauts’ run.

      • Raygereio says:

        I personally love those legacy bugs. Give me a feeling of nostalgia.
        Another animating glitch from ME1 that made a return in ME2 is where Sheppard’s head get’s stuck in a “leaning to the left” position.

        And don’t remind me of the Freelance Astronaut’s run. I’m still haunted by visions of male-shep’s head on fem-shep’s body.

  24. Zukhramm says:

    Why wouldn’t the collectors just kidnap ONE human, and clone the amount of humans needed to make the stupid boss?

    And the boss, I just don’t get it. I don’t like the illusive man, I don’t like Miranda, but I can understand why someone would want characters like them in their game. The reaper thing? Who though that was good idea?

    • Will says:

      Because in theory they need -minds-. The Reapers are supposidly a collective hive-conciousness made by mixing together hundreds of thousands of minds from a lesser species.

      • Zukhramm says:

        Oh. I didn’t know that. Not that it made things better. Kind of wish I didn’t know that now.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        There’s also the supposed “great genetic diversity” between humans. You’ve noticed how it’s mentioned at least three or four times in the game? Cloned tissue would be obviously worthless in this respect.

        Also, another thing that is mentioned at least that many times in the game but has no direct consequence? Dark energy. Just saying.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        But why not just brain scan people? or even brain scan one and procedurally generate all the others?
        I mean, if it’s really thousands of human minds, it would be helping Shepard, not trying to kill him, so they must be overridden by the reaper itself.

        But that doesn’t even make sense because the people were liquified before being injected into it*, they didn’t have any minds left – they were sludge.

        *why did those tubes resemble hypodermic needles? why not just have pipes? In fact, why inject human stuff at all? It makes no sense – what possible advantage does injecting liquified people into a robot give?

        • Hitch says:

          Syringes with impenetrable metal sleeves that have to be retracted to expose the fragile glass cylinders during injection and provide all of the support for the giant terminator.

          I sympathize with Rutskarn, even staring at it during the explanation left me doubting that could possibly be right.

          • Kale says:

            Glass that completely bursts apart with a couple bullets-worth of structural damage(ok, maybe add in the stress of being a
            semi-load bearing tube). Even car window glass of today doesn’t do that for precisely that reason. They have giant windows that seem to work for space, but they must have run out of that stuff when they were making the tubes.

        • Chris B Chikin says:

          Why even make it a robot? Let’s assume that there is a good reason for building this thing out of mushy humans, why does the reaper need to be human-shaped? From a mechanical standpoint, a bipedal robot is probably one of the hardest possible things to design. With the Reaper’s advanced tech they could easily just build a far superior tank which would be easier to build and better than a human shape in every possible way.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            But that’s the thing – Sovreign – the cuttlefish shape is basically a highly practical space tank – it’s been shown to be nigh-impenetrable, quite functional and very deadly. Additionally it’s laser could cut through ships, where Josh gets hit by the reapinator’s a whole bunch of times with no significant damage.

            The existing design works perfectly against all but the most stacked odds, AND having it’s consciousness blown up.

            • Slothful says:

              I was under the impression that the humanoid shape would be underneath some more cuttlefish-like superstructure. The did say it was only in the embryonic stage after all.

              • PurePareidolia says:

                Embryonic as in not fully developed – embryos don’t generally grow adult bodies over themselves, and robots don’t generally grow the way organics do.

                Also that would still be stupid.

                • Slothful says:

                  Well most embryos are teeny tiny little things that don’t bare much resemblance to the full grown thing. Unless you have a head that composes half of your bodymass.

                • Ateius says:

                  Aside from which, the “nearly identical cuttlefish shells are just a tank inside which the real Reaper shapes are kept” is purely fanon. There’s nothing in the games that says this.

                  Then again, we’ve nothing to go on about the Human Reaper’s shape aside from what EDI says, and how exactly does she know anyway? Maybe whatever Organic Smoothie baby Reapers are fed doesn’t determine their shape after all, and they made a human-looking one because …

                  … becaaaaause …

                  … screw it, I’m going with ‘rogue cell’.

      • Hitch says:

        Gray goo is mind juice?

      • Will says:

        As you have all noticed, giant Reaper terminator makes no sense at all and that’s not even getting into the fact that it’s shaped like people.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And now,after watching,here is my real wall of text:

    About that thing in the beginning:
    You need a tech specialist to open the door because its locked(gasp!),and you need someone to bypass the lock.But that can be only done from the inside.So you have to send someone through the ducts(yeah,even the advanced alien race cant find a way around this trope).But the ducts are also segmented by these doors(or whatever),that can only be operated from the outside.So it almost makes sense.Except when you think about two things:Why do you need ventilation ducts to be man sized,and why do you need it to have doors operated only from the outside?

    About the end game being boring:
    I already voiced my opinion about this during the shadow broker mission.Why do game designers think that moving down waves and waves of weak mooks is epic and fun?It just pads the game in a bad way.And if you were to replace these 100 collectors with 20 praetorians it would be much better.Of course,a mix of praetorians,oculi(oculuses?)and scions wouldve been better still.

    Pokemon,shmokemon.Real gamers play only chinpokomon games!

    “My attacks will tear you apart!”:
    What he actually means is that youll tear yourself apart by laughing at him.

    Medigel:
    What is the point of medigel in 2 anyway?I maybe used it 5 times on insanity,no more.If they had 100 credit chits instead of every medigel I wouldnt even see the difference.

    Cloning organic material for a reaper:
    Mording explained this actually.A species that only clones itself is essentially dead.It is just a tool,nothing more.It cannot evolve,and therefore cannot progress.Theyd get the same result(actually a better one)if they just used metal to build new reapers.This way they can at least evolve,get stronger with every cycle.This is why they probably pick just one or two races in every cycle to make new reapers.That said,however,the execution of this otherwise solid concept is really,REALLY,lame…

    As for reaper man having three eyes…It does seem interesting how reapers have put 4 eyes on the collectors,as well as this…thing…seems to go for the same design.Maybe thats what original reapers were like,or what their creators were like.Still,it is stupid.

    IM A CHARGIN MAH LAZER:
    Know your meme says its from 2006.

    Reaper using hands to crush platforms:
    He actually does that sometimes.Im not sure if its based on the difficulty though,but he did smash me once in this fashion on insanity.

    That scene where everyone is sliding around:
    I had miranda and grunt with me there,and it is so silly to watch shepard catch grunt and pull him up with one hand.

    YES!Miranda is dead!

    The last dialogue with tim:
    Its funny how paragon option is “youre on my team now”,and renegade options is “I know what the price of dealing with you is”.It seems they mixed them up.

    All in all,good season guys.Looking forward to the next season.

    • Jeremy says:

      Something else I don’t get is this. Didn’t EDI say before the final Reaper battle that it was extremely far from operational? Like, needs millions more humans far? Then how the hell did it become fully armed and activated WHEN YOU BLOW UP ITS LIFE SUPPORT?

      What the hell, Bioware.

    • krellen says:

      The only proper way to make players mow down waves of weak mooks is to a) have them die in a single attack and b) have attacks that will hit ten to twenty of them at once. Otherwise, your “mooks” aren’t mooky enough.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You mean how you can hit the husks with almost any area of effect power and theyll die?Even aoe lift kills them like flies.

        Though there are some satisfying things you can do with mooks,like dominating abominations and watching them explode your enemies.Dominate is such a fun power to use on mooks.Then you just watch them stand there and shoot each other.Good times.

    • Jarenth says:

      RE: the ducts: Those ducts are made to conduct superheated air. They were never supposed to be traversed by living beings. The doors inside / valves outside are just to regulate the flow of hot air, for probably good reasons; there’s no reason to have those be operable on the inside, because no-one in their right mind would ever go inside.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        What about when you need to repair them?I guess thats the only explanation for their size.But that just makes you wonder why collectors wouldnt use small drones to do that in really small ducts.

        • Jarenth says:

          Yeah no, I agree that the whole ‘man-sized ducts to crawl through’ is a tired and overused trope. I just enjoy playing devil’s advocate for the few aspects that do make sense.

          • Tengokujin says:

            Industrial-sized ducts *have* to be large so that the fans moving the air don’t consume an inversely large amount of energy in operation (the narrower the duct, the more energy loss per due to friction).

            IoW, frictional losses are based on the surface area that the flow is in contact with. A larger diameter maximizes the volume while minimizing the surface area contact. QED, more airflow with minimal losses.

            Yeah, just got through a section in compressible fluid dynamics that explains why it’s more energy efficient to use large-diameter ducts.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      But that’s the thing, the reapers claimed to be perfect – they weren’t interested in evolving, so replication makes sense for them. And even so they were using soylent green, not brain scans or anything – they were just pumping useless biological sludge into their robot, it wasn’t evolving anything, it was just making a mess. there’s nothing inherently special about the materials making up people – it’s just a bunch of hydrocarbons, there’s no structural advantage to it either when compared to super space metal. Even if they were trying to vary themselves in reproduction by using soylent green, what they actually ended up dong makes no sense and isn’t going to help a giant cyborg. And if they cared about that so much, why would Sovreign claim to be completely inorganic? Does the ultra superior machine race have issues? Do they really care what we think?

      Is their entire “godly machine” thing trying to make up for an inferiority complex where they don’t want all the cool organic kids to know they’re really only cyborgs? Are the reapers a race of space hipsters? Is that what this is? Are organics are just too mainstream for them so they insist on using unconventional building materials you probably wouldn’t have heard of, then they kill everyone before space and metal get too popular?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes,they claim to be perfect,but they obviously arent.Why would they let the galaxy to evolve if they were perfect and didnt need organics?

        And there is something special about dna.Sure,you can just bunch up random chemicals and see if what you get is useful,but here we have combinations that have already proven to be useful.

        So we have a race that thinks organics are inferior,but have figured out that they need organics in order to progress.Of course they are going to despise us.

      • Will says:

        Actually the fact that the Reapers claim to be the perfect life-form but are still dependant on ‘natural’ life is kind of the point: The Reapers are supposed to be wrong and hypocritical about their existence being perfect.

    • Nyquisted says:

      In reference to the Medi-Gel, I thought it was pointless too, until I played through on Hardcore mode.

      Maybe it was just because I sucked, but I found that I really missed not getting free refills from the med-bay, like you got in Mass Effect 1.

      Seriously, I hated my hardcore playthrough.

  26. Eli says:

    Jeff Goldblum stole Miranda’s plot armor for that movie.

  27. James says:

    KOTOR, KOTOR, KOTOR!!!! i know its another Bioware game and is 700billion hours long but DAMIT KOTOR

    • Jeremy says:

      Nah, do Gears of War. Hooray for dark, repetitive coloring, cover based shooting, 2 dimensional characters, and hordes of helpless mooks to mow down!

      At least the writing’s good.

      • Josh says:

        God, you guys are gonna kill me.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Why not make Rutskarn play it?At least it should make him less focused on making puns.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            Well your enemies are the Hoarde so it’ll probably generate into a bunch of WoW references.

            • Jeremy says:

              No. Just no. Because no.

              All jokes aside, how about Dragon Age II? It actually looks like a legit game.

              • PurePareidolia says:

                It just came out though.

                Maybe Dragon Age 1?

                • X2-Eliah says:

                  Too long, too brown, too drawn-out combat for this series. It’s a damn good game to play, but very painful to watch.

                  BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM!!!

                • Viktor says:

                  The season would be 320 episodes long. A year and a half of DA.

                  KotOR is apparently impossible for technical reasons.

                  I’m still thinking Batman:AA. Though if there were a way to do Dead Rising, that would be perfect. Fun story that holds together but has the occasional plotholes, visually interesting combat, lots of targets for snark, good humor, and a palette of colors that changes on occasion. If only the crew didn’t utterly hate consoles…

                • PurePareidolia says:

                  Yeah, in hindsight of course this would be way too long – I was just wishing they’d play it so I didn’t have to because that’s pretty much why I stopped.

                  I don’t know about Arkham Asylum – it’d probably just be trolling Mumbles the entire time.

                  Dead Rising might be OK, if only I hadn’t just watched an LP of it, one which was easily ten hours long with liberal fast motion applied to speed up boring bits. But that’s just me.

    • Veloxyll says:

      They can’t get the movies to play on their stream-y thing so we don’t get to hear them complain about Carth being identical to Kaiden from the other side :(

  28. Veloxyll says:

    You know, I think sticking the finger up at TIM is the best justification for blowing up the collector base that there is.

    Also apparently there’s some way to get Miranda dragged off by bugs, but she’ll be back for the next cutscene.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “You know, I think sticking the finger up at TIM is the best justification for blowing up the collector base that there is.”

      Thats why I did it.Both times.Even though I was renegade in both playthroughs.

      • Chris B Chikin says:

        On my Paragon playthrough I actually saved the base because it was the only sensible thing to do. I was sorely tempted by blowing it to piss off TIM though.

        Reckon the fact that everyone chose the opposite decision to the one assigned to their alignment shows Bioware got this one wrong?

    • Will says:

      I saved the base on all playthroughs because there is just flat out zero justification for destroying it: Destroying a gold-mine of reaper information and technology because ‘oh noes its evilll’ is just blatantly retarded.

      • Fnord says:

        The justification given is stupid. But that’s not the only reason you might want to destroy it.

        Gee, do I give the base to Cerberus to study? Well, since their attempts to study the derelict Reaper (and the crashed geth in Overlord, and the rachni in 1) worked so well…

        Let’s see, we have a giant base/shipyard. We know it had at least one partially operational Reaper. Which we shot just long enough to make it go away so we could run. So, if there’s another Reaper, or if that one isn’t quite dead, which is more likely to kill it, a giant explosion or a radiation pulse?

        Etc.

        • Jekyll says:

          Then give the base to the damn Alliance. And if you mined the entrance with shepard controling the detonator then Cerberus’ head start wouldn’t matter.

          • Bret says:

            Can’t. Not just because the game says so (but mainly that, unfortunately), but because it’s in the middle of the Terminus systems, and going there would constitute an act of war, which would be bad.

            It would also be a distraction leading to less safety protocols when studying the base, which would probably lead to indoctrinated scientists, husks, and death. Studying Reapertech has always turned out to be a trap, one way or another, when humans try it.

            Admittedly, the Turians are good at it, but the Turian councilor is an ass.

            • swimon says:

              They can’t send warships but that doesn’t mean they can’t send something else. For example they sent you into the terminus in ME1 (along with a whole squad of Salarian spies before that) so sending a spectre and a platoon of scientists wouldn’t cause a war.

              • Nidokoenig says:

                The you have an indoctrinated Spectre and a bunch of husks. You would need a warship to secure this thing, and even if you didn’t, you’d need to rotate these guys out regularly, which would be a hell of a lot more difficult to do without anyone taking an interest.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              Also, the turians only collected the main gun of Sovereign. The Reapers are presumably not the Geth, in the sense that they don’t sync their personalities to one place, nor do they have redundant “organs”.

              The “Dead Reaper” still had its main circuits completed.

              That said, just had a breakthrough that needs to be brought up, regarding the IFF:

              …Why didn’t we go to the Citadel, and try and salvage Sovereign parts to find/repair HIS IFF? Would’ve saved us a lot of trouble. At least, to give it a shot.

              Even could’ve have some gun fighting too, what with finding separate human/turian scavengers and forcing them to give over the IFF?

  29. James says:

    i assume at least most of me3’s story is finished they games coming out in the winter (CHRISTMAS) time so pondering the writer and writing is a fruitless venture.

    speaking of writing check this out if you’ve got the time
    http://twenty-two-forty-two.blogspot.com/

  30. Zukhramm says:

    Mass Effect 3 will open with the reapers destroying earth, and Cerberus will then swoop in, take the remains, and remake earth. The game will be about how all the remade people of the new earth gather allies to defend earth when the reapers come to destroy it a second time.

    • Chris B Chikin says:

      But the Council still denies the Reapers’ existence.

    • Exasperation says:

      Reaper poetry is, of course, the third worst in the universe.

    • some random dood says:

      Mass Effect 3 – how to make it a winner!
      Simple – just make Miranda a “Kenny” (a la South Park). Have lots of missions, and in each one get a chance to “off” Miranda in bizarre and unusual circumstances. If you need a justification as to why she keeps coming back to life, just say that as she is so valuable to Cerberus, and they *know* how valuable she is to you (well Cerby *is* that useless and clueless organisation by definition), they keep resurrecting her to send back to you. Or not even bother with a reason – just let her keep turning up to be killed, it’s not as if there are no plot holes already as big as this in ME2.
      Personally, I didn’t really hate Miranda. She was just a nothing character that I really didn’t care about one way or the other. Which unfortunately is the way I felt about most of them (Mordin and Tali of the main characters excepted, along with Joker and the 2 engineers at the base of the ship).

  31. Sheer_Falacy says:

    The thing that annoyed me about picking people for the missions is it doesn’t make it obvious how you screwed up on the first one. I did it with Tali, I did it with Legion, and either way they just couldn’t hack the console in time. Turns out I had the wrong fire team leader, which gives you the same exact result as having a bad hacker. A quick switch of fire team leaders suddenly made them much better at hacking, which… yeah.

    • Bret says:

      Because killing Jacob is fun?

      I mean, I actually have nothing much against him, but nothing for him beyond drinking buddy, and he works for Cerberus.

      Can see why you’d kill him off.

  32. Halfling says:

    So with you guys talking about The Old Republic at the end I think it would be great if you eventually do a Spoiler Warning with all four of you actually playing. I am pretty sure SWTOR’s group size is four so it would be perfect. Of course the game has to come out first, and be good Bioware rather then ME2 Bioware.

  33. daveNYC says:

    Oh, and another thing, if Reapers are made out of umpteen different species and they all are supposed to look like the species they were slurpied out of, how come the only Reapers we ever see are the funky cuttlefish models?

    • dovius says:

      The current theory is that since the reaper-thing you fight here is a Larva, that it only resembles the original species during the original stages, then eventually growsinto the cuttlefish shape we all know, love, and know how to shoot straight in the tentacles

      • PurePareidolia says:

        That makes no sense being as how it’s a robot and how they could have just made it a cuttlefish to begin with.

        Wait, no the reapers were starships when they were in cuttlefish form which means they were… Oh my God.

        Robots in disguise.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its not a robot,its a cybrog.And whatever you are building,its foundation doesnt have to resemble the end product.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            Well if I said cyborgs in disguise then it would ruin the joke. Almost as much as if I explained I was making a transformers reference, implying that one shapeshifted into the other. You know, the way transformers do.

        • Fnord says:

          Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. The Reaper is an “evolution” of humans, so it goes through a larval or fetal stage that resembles a human.

          And yes, there’s no actual reason for ontogeny to recapitulate phylogeny when you’re talking about a constructed robot, rather than an evolved organism. But it makes at least as much sense as making Reapers out of humans in the first place.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            Wait, I recognize that phrase!
            Sadly, it doesn’t even remotely apply in this situation, which is annoying because it’s a funny episode.

            But yeah, given my point is the human reaper makes no sense, I’m going to take that as an agreement. Also it wouldn’t make sense if the reaper was an organic construct because a) it’s not an evolution of humans and/because b) evolution doesn’t work that way.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      This is just the larva,which may very well be just the foundation for those ships.

      Damn,this site is crawling with ninjas!

  34. Jarenth says:

    I like how even in the establishing death-shot, the camera does its best to focus on Miranda’s assets.

    That… that is all, really.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Reminds me of all the paragon/renegade interrupts for Mordin early game.

      “Are you sure you don’t want to romance Miranda? She’s right there, won’t even reject you for not making her loyal! No? Fine, she dies. Happy now?”

  35. TheDefenestrator says:

    The human reaper actually reminds me of the God-warrior from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. That one also had no working legs, so it had to crawl along the ground, and it also fired a big laser from its mouth, although it had an effect that was more what you’d expect from a laser gun the size of a bus.

  36. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Aside from being a total Sue there is another reason why Miranda is so hard to kill. Bioware was cheap. Seriously, watching this from the sidelines rather than actually playing it made me finally realise how many lines she has during the whole final mission sequence. Obviously if she dies early on they would have to record same or equivalent lines for other characters. What’s more, if no other character receives the “get out of death free” card the further you get the more alternative recordings you have to make (in case the character who is “Miranda’s replacement” dies). This goes all the way back to the basic problem with Miranda, it being that Bioware for some reason assumed the players would generally love her and would buy the “she’s so smart, good at everything and loveable person” thing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why not just give all those lines to edi.Heck,they shouldve made her your xo.At least she is a likable character.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Well yes, that is largely my point. I mentioned it in the comments to an earlier episode but that’s the thing. They bid on Miranda and missed. Some (a lot of) people dislike (hate) Jack but if she’s not your kinda of character you can limit the conversations with her to a bare minimum. Sometime during the game development someone must have decided that Miranda is going to be an absolute hit and there is now way to overinvest in her. If ever there was a sign that a person doesn’t know how to do their job…

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Yeah, like how she basically comes up with the entire plan and how Shepard’s only contribution is the vent idea.

      I’d say maybe the insecurity problems were Bioware trying to make her less of a Mary Sue, but it has the opposite effect and comes across as “I’m so frail despite my amazing abilities, i sure wish there was some sort of stern handsome space commander who initially hates me but eventually can’t help but fall for me against all odds, who would help me escape from my evil oppressive father”.

      I assume Shepard is male here because that’s what Bioware does.

      • Bret says:

        Shepard can also come up with the biotic part, and definitely covers the escort bit, as Miranda is a moron and will let the crew get killed.

        Player choice! Sort of!

        It’s a repeated motif for most of the game, really. Shepard isn’t always forced to be a total idiot, even when the stupid person option is right there. Just there’s a “What’s that thing that should be obvious” dialog option if you want to go for it, or “Got it. Moving on” if you don’t.

      • Jarenth says:

        I’m actually fairly convinced that ‘canon’ Shepard — the male Renegade Soldier — is supposed to romance Miranda in exactly this way.

        Convinced, and terrified.

        • Bret says:

          Default Shepard is basically the worst. You can tell the writers hate him, and force him on people as a punishment.

          • Jarenth says:

            I choose to believe this is the case, because the alternative — that the BioWare writers actually think Male Renegade Soldier Shepard is the best possible Shepard — is too terrible to even contemplate.

            • PurePareidolia says:

              Look at it this way – they had to account for the possibility that someone would play through and make all the stupidest possible choices.

              That explains that, but not why it’s so obviously canon.

              • Sleeping Dragon says:

                I can kinda imagine they would make the default Shepard the way he is to “encourage” people to play ME1. As in “hey, there is this cool character, but he dies. If you wanna save him you’ll have to play part 1”. Basically so that if you didn’t play ME1 you’ll get the worst option possible. More like punish them for not playing, and encourage to use a save editor but whatever.

  37. Z-Ri says:

    I love at 49:50 when Sheppard is looking out the window at a space sunrise/set with the dramatic music playing and Josh exclaims in the most enthusiastic voice I’ve heard him use all season “We’ve finally escaped the bullshit”. It was (for some strange reason) a very uplifting moment for me.

    • Jekyll says:

      The entire post game steam blowing set to end credits music was actually kinda cool in a wierd way. It certainly was better than staring at the list of people who helped birth this monstrosity.

    • Integer Man says:

      Yeah. Mass Effect 2 = Pothole, though one with a cool ship and Mordin. Eh – Legion and EDI were pretty neat too.

      Perhaps Plothole is a better term.

  38. Joey Palzewicz says:

    If I may offer up my opinion, I don’t think that the Reapers expect this thing to walk around in space. What I think is that these giant constructs are actually the PILOTS for the Reapers. You can’t fly a ship without a pilot. Maybe these things are permanently attached to a Reaper ship in some sort of central chamber, and serve as the mind of the entire Reaper.

    No idea why they would use genetic material, though. I just thought that the idea of a Human Reaper was not as preposterous as it seemed at first.

    This is still my favorite game of all time. And I know that you like to nitpick the smallest of things, but I sincerely hope that you had fun, Mr. Young.

    I stopped watching somewhere around the end of the Shadow Broker, but I had to tune back into the finale. You know, just to see who would die.

  39. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “What I think is that these giant constructs are actually the PILOTS for the Reapers. You can’t fly a ship without a pilot. Maybe these things are permanently attached to a Reaper ship in some sort of central chamber, and serve as the mind of the entire Reaper.”

    It wouldnt need hands for that.

    I too like the concept of reaper being part organic.And that it gains some of the traits of its donor(for lack of a better word).Its a solid concept.

    But it was so poorly executed.The easily breakable supports,the stupid glowy eyes,the mouth laser,ugh!

    They shouldve staged the fight on top of the reaper,with harbinger being your final boss,but this time using a super husk just like nazara did with saren.And while you were fighting it,your team could set some charges all over the reaper.

    EDIT:Damn,this shouldve been a response to Joey Palzewicz,not a new post.Oh well,at least its immediately under it.

  40. Jjkaybomb says:

    Great season guys! And great finale! I love that one part where Miranda died!
    It… seriously just happened. like, out of nowhere. Like most of the deaths at the end, really…
    Look forward to the next one!

  41. Zah says:

    On the bright side we can use the human reaper to get through Miranda’s AT-field.

  42. Hitch says:

    Answer to the Husk conundrum… “Who brings an elbow to a gun fight?”

  43. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I just got to the end of the episode and I thought I’d mention something I actually liked about the ending sequence. It lasts for maybe all of 3 seconds, at around 46:20 in the episode. The animation of the “Collector General” for that short moment after it’s been released. I always thought that it looked tired and at the same time so… abandoned I guess? I may be putting way too much into it, especially seeing as we’re being told the collectors are just drones (though this one is special in some ways so maybe it is also a bit ahead as far as its ability to think and feel is concerned, it was only overwritten all this time) but that’s the impression I got, which is pretty good for something that has a very non-humanoid build.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Yeah, same here. I have to say I actually properly noticed this while watching the video – I never figured that in my own playthroughs, but here, yeah.. That was actually very neat.

    • Andrew B says:

      Yep, I only noticed that watching the this time as well, but also thought it was a very, very nice bit of animation. I thought it looked like a child being deserted by a parent for reasons it cannot fathom.

      • Otters34 says:

        Agreed on the Collector Boss’s last scene being well-made. Made me wish there was an option to, you know, FREE the Collectors from the Reapers’ control.

        Seriously, the Collector Boss was the only bad guy I’ve ever cared about the fate of ever. And that was because it was basically a half-sapient being jerked around by a monster.

        • Bret says:

          You can talk to Mordin about that. Mordin, with his deep rooted love for all sapient species.

          He advocates genocide, and explains that no, there is no cure. Except bullets, of course.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            I actually kinda like that we can’t free the Collectors. I mean, we are told that they have been indoctrinated, genetically, technologically and biologically modified beyond recognition. As the very model of a scientist Salarians says they have absolutely nothing in terms of culture, their entire existence is subordinate to the Reapers. It has been 50k years or so since they were enslaved, there were probably countless generations, each more altered than the previous one. Left alone they would probably just die out while looking around in confusion. At best they would reproduce (whatever manner they do so, I imagine something more akin to cloning by this point) and try to maintain their base, like the keepers on the citadel.

            Bioware doesn’t really portray the whole “tragedy” thing well, except for that one little scene. In a sense those few seconds with the General make up for the largely bland approach to the whole “collectors are protheans” issue.

  44. Neil Polenske says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Bioware…or at least the team behind the ME series holds that the characters are what’s important and the plot is less relevant. Which means that if you’re going to complain about the nonsensical plot, praise the character moments, and I’ll assume are capable of understanding that a game has to be made under constraints of time and budget, are you claiming you’d rather they focus their efforts more on plot than characters?

    • acronix says:

      Imagine you go to a restaurant and ask for a steak and some potato salad. The chef has lots of work, so to do it “in time”, he makes a delicious potato salad and then hands it over to you with a raw steak right out from the freezer.
      That`s Mass Effect 2.

    • Josh says:

      I would prefer if the game had a plot. As I said during the credits, nothing happens in this game. You end it right where the first game left off, except your team is slightly different and your ship is bigger. You have the exact same goal at the end of both of them: Figure out what the Reapers are planning and how to stop them. The plot of ME2 is just a poor, sad excuse to make the game seem relevant when it’s really nothing more than episodic content about a bunch of new characters that are totally irrelevant to the overarching Reaper arc. Fun, in places, but not what I wanted from the sequel to Mass Effect.

      Hell, no one except Mordin is even on the mission because you actually need them, everyone else is just a mercenary you picked up because the Illusive man said you had to build your team. Would the outcome have been any different if you didn’t pick up Thane? Or Grunt? Or Jack? Or Garrus and Tali? Or hell, Miranda and Jacob? None of them contribute any special skills or expertise to the mission – you need Joker more than you need Miranda!

      • daveNYC says:

        Actually the plot, such as it is, does involve you finding out what the Reapers’ plan is. Of course this plan makes no sense, and we’d have been better off if the goal of the game had been to win the Mako off-road championship, but ME2 does advance the plot.

        • X2-Eliah says:

          So what is the plan?

          We already knew that ‘Teh Reapers r coming to reap!!’ at the end of first game, and at the end of this game – Hey, the reapers are coming to reap!

          What they did was shoehorn in a very bad explanation *why* the reapers are reaping, but this info is very much irrelevant and does not alter the main premise in any way.

          You could just cut out all the bullcrap about human slurpees and how humans are totally the most badass geneticallly uber-cool race, and just go from the end of ME1 (Reapers are coming) to start of ME3 (reapers have arrived and are beginning to reap).

        • PurePareidolia says:

          But we found that out in the first game – activate the Citadel relay, jump back from dark space and kill the galactic seat of government, at which point they shut off the mass relays, and use census data and government intel to systematically eradicate all organic life in the galaxy. That was the plan, which we foiled in game 1.

          We didn’t find out anything else other than why they were doing that, which arguably didn’t matter at all and was totally irrelevant to our stated goal of permanently stopping them.

      • swimon says:

        Actually DA2 has a similar problem where act 2 is essentially pointless to the overarching storyline (it’s not quite as bad as ME2 but still). Maybe Bioware just suck at act 2? Then again since DA2 and ME2 only have one writer in common (if I remember correctly I can’t be arsed to look) it’s probably more of a strange coincidence.

        • Raygereio says:

          Actually they have more in common. Five hours in and I’ve recognized 6 animations that were copied straight from ME2.

          That and the underlying structure for DLC, menu screens, etc, also appears to be copied straight from ME2. Which is odd, probably to only me and no one else.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I dont buy it.They arent a new company that is just discovering how to make these games,they did loads of them before.Some of them had both an excellent main story and excellent characters.Why they keep returning to this formula though,I have no idea.

    • Integer Man says:

      Characters are more important than plot, to be sure, because a good plot is driven by its setting and characters.

      The game takes a good setting from the original game. Yes, some elements are added and retconned, but the setting isn’t the problem.

      The characters in this game are better than your average game’s characters. The characters definitely matter.

      The problem is that the core focus of the game is the recruitment of the characters. The game invests entirely in creating and obtaining these characters and developing dynamics between certain characters. The payoff is that at the end you don’t want (at least certain) characters to die so you have to really work at keeping everyone intact.

      That’s fine, except this directly conflicts with the stage this whole thing is set on: stopping the reapers / understanding the reapers. Much of the game seems to have this objective in the periphery and not on the center stage, and ultimately so much attention is given to the characters and Cerberus that the role of the reapers naturally gets less attention. This is made exponentially worse by the introduction of the collectors as a nagging silly almost laughable enemy and the revelation that the reapers really just want to build giant three-eyed bipeds out of Miranda slurpies.

      As an aside: Cerberus seems to exist to set up forces for the third game and to provide a structure for propelling the player forward through the game. You can’t shake off their yoke because TIM is the driving force that propels the story.

      A proposed set of fixes?

      Keep the characters mostly intact, though perhaps make there be less of them.

      Eliminate Harbringer – he detracts from the reapers as a stooge.

      Elininate Cerberus as the driver. Have Shepherd’s war council react to minor reaper advances. These would be the optional recruitment and loyalty missions. There’s nothing wrong with having the player character present the situation and options to the team, ask the characters for recommendations, and then ultimately let the player decide what they’re going to do.

      Have the Reapers be doing something that makes sense for them. Something like finding a way to instantaneously jump to the Solar System. Have them ultimately succeed in the end. This would advance the story forward for ME3 and be unexpected.

  45. DougO says:

    …how do they fix this for ME3? Easy.

    CUT TO: Sheppard’s cabin on the original Normandy, focused on her bed. She is sleeping, and jerks awake with a gasp as the camera closes in.

    SFX: Opening door

    PAN: To the cabin bathroom, as Liara steps out wrapped in towel and still dripping from a shower.

    …. ok, there’s the setup. Take it away, BioWare!

    • PurePareidolia says:

      “I had the most horrible dream! I died and then I was working for Cerberus and a bunch of bugs were building a giant terminator.”
      “…”

    • Christopher M says:

      Just replace Liara with Garrus and you’re good to go.

      <-seriously does not get why people like Liara so much. She is to the first game what Miranda was to #2, an insecure male-fantasy target, only with added Moeblob and Bizarre Alien Biology.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        The alternatives were Ashley and Kaiden.

        • daveNYC says:

          Once you got talking to Ashley, she was a somewhat interesting person. Conversations with Liara were actually somewhat like talking with Jack. As long as you picked an option that was marginally polite, you’d end up in bed with her.

          I’d like Bioware to add a ‘friendly, but not get-in-your-pants friendly’ dialogue option.

          • PurePareidolia says:

            I’ll give Ashley points for not being completely one dimensional, and her space racism being remotely plausible, if never remotely justified in game, meaning any discrimination against aliens would always be irrational. Until the Batarians came along I mean.

            But yeah, I think ultimately it would have greatly improved my opinions on both women if paragon didn’t equal flirting the whole time.

          • Integer Man says:

            Hear hear. Though I’d more appreciate writing that made sense or at least didn’t lead up to a giant colossal sense of “are we fighting retards?” bit at the end.

      • Slothful says:

        I thought Liara was too boring to romance. Between her and racist McHatePants, I wasn’t going to romance anybody. Then Ashley started getting interesting, but at Virmire she went and decided that all her soldier abilities aren’t any good and she up and died. WELP

    • Bret says:

      Then no Mordin, Liara still sucks, no Legion, and none of the cool sidestory stuff like Tali’s loyalty.

      I agree the main plot wasn’t good, and there wasn’t progress there, but there was a lot of fun shakeups to the galactic community, and some great characters. Next to nothing happening still beats nothing by a country mile.

      • Monojono says:

        Except all those characters can die in the end, so none of them can have an important role (and probably can’t even be in your squad) in the next game. This whole game was spent recruiting people and earning their loyalty, and in the next game we will see how pointless all of that was, making the ‘next to nothing’ look even worse.

    • krellen says:

      Hey, it worked for Dallas.

  46. Ben says:

    Having just met Shamus at PAX (and stammering like a ridiculous fanboy) I said that I agreed with most of what Shamus has said about ME2 and now reading this, that assessment is still entirely correct.

    The final mission is in my mind one of the better parts of the game (even more impressive since I found the ME1 ending to be poorly paced and not particularly immersive). The team selection is entirely logical (the descriptions given of the various people on the select screen basically tell you the correct choice) except perhaps for the person sending back and the score nonsense. It emphasizes the team part of the equation that the game has been harping on from day 1, its not just that Shepard is a great what makes him truly valuable is that he is a great leader. Additionally having the radio chatter gives the game a little bit of extra intensity and urgency even when there were no enemies. Also seeing your biotic expert limping along obviously drained (a good piece of animation) makes you feel like you need to hurry even though the event is an entirely fixed pace.

    The one piece that frustrated me was the assigning of renegade points to saving the station. I guess this is the game trying to remind you that TIM is somewhat renegade himself but destroying a potential information treasure trove seems like vindictiveness for its own sake. The morality of the situation seems to be more based on TIM getting the info or not rather then the morality of saving the station (much akin to the fun philosophical debate of whether we should be able to use Joseph Mengele’s work) which seems backwards (or at least that wasn’t the issue I considered when thinking through the dilemma). As written it feels like the option of save and give to alliance/council is missing especially when earlier in the game the give data to cerberus or alliance was a given option (one of the side quests I believe).

    • Vect says:

      I always thought that for me, it’s not a case of “It’s the Right Thing To DO”, but the fact that no one in Cerberus would actually use the thing in a way that ends “ME AM PLAY GODS! ME GO TOO FAR!” and end up just wasting a good opportunity, even if Shepard tells them “Don’t waste this” in the endgame. Hell, I would’ve liked the option to actually hand it off to someone who has competent scientists but seeing as Cerberus Scientists will focus on using it to make something totally stupid like Human Collectors or a Superweapon to threaten the Council, I just chose with what I saw as the lesser of evils.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        This. Very much this. The game even slaps it into your face that you are choosing between giving base to Cerberus or destroying. There is no option to give it to anyone remotely competent, at all, so what do you do – get rid of it, knowing that the ME3 game will have an alternate way of winning in any case, or give it to Cerberus to screw up and make things worse for you and everyone?

        • Vect says:

          Look, I like technology and good researchers can make good use of Reapertech. The Turians made the Wave Motion Gun from Sovereign, didn’t they?.

          Personally, I’d rather that if you’ve fulfilled a certain condition involving contacting someone like Anderson, Hackett, the Salarian/Asari Councilperson or the STG, you could’ve managed to keep the base and give it to someone who is at least competent.

          Also, when TIM told off Tali about how “Aliens can’t understand humanity”, that’s sorta the last straw really.

          Hell, I get the feeling that TIM’s definition of “Human Dominance” is to make himself the God-Emperor of Mankind and purge some Xenos or something.

          But good job on taking down Miranda’s Plot-Armoured ass.

          • Andrew B says:

            As would I, but this violates a core similarity between both Paragon and Renegade endings; namely the Council (and Alliance) are still unconvinced by the Reaper threat. Basically, come ME3, if we don’t open with the Council and Alliance getting their collective Navies’ asses handed to them by the Reapers I will be very, very surprised. There are some plot justifications for not being able to hand off the info (Terminus systems, Reaper IFF etc), but they don’t quite cut it somehow. Perhaps they don’t flag them up well enough at the point of choosing (a simple “I’m giving it to the Alliance/Council”, “You can’t because of X” dialogue might have worked.)

            Basically, what I’m saying is it’s easier to write a story with the odd flexible character to account for dead squadmates than it is to write a story where the entire galactic armed forces are on your side AND the same story where they are all dead. Hence the (pretty egregious feeling) railroad.

          • Jarenth says:

            Now I’m imagining Mass Effect and Warhammer 40K being the same universe.

            • PAL2000 says:

              You know, at the time that the team was making Regina Shepherd I was immersed in character creation for Rogue Trader, and they’re actually disturbingly similar. I mean, you choose a character class, a background, and a birthplace, all of which have a bearing on your character.

              Also- think about it. Violent, scavenger race focused entirely on warfare? Check. Unapproachable, aloof elder race no one can contradict? Check Check. Ancient, vanished precursors? Checkity. Race responsible for wiping out said precursors? Check. Unstoppable, savage, devouring menace from outside of the galaxy? Indeed. Frightening, ain’t it? Now all we need is for the Council to be replaced by a God-Emperor, and start organizing the SPECTRE’s into chapters, and we have a match.

    • Shamus says:

      Bah. You didn’t stammer And it was great to meet you.

  47. Sam Goodspeed says:

    I was playing Pokemon while I watched this, very funny. Great season guys! Loved every minute of it, except of course the portions that were contributed by Bioware.

  48. Vect says:

    Realized something.

    The Final Boss of ME2 is like the Final Boss of Okami!

    Both are mechanical beings with an organic core or something. The latter’s justification is that Yami, the endboss is both the Lord of Darkness and the Creator-God of Technology. I get the feeling that Shamus would’ve hated the game for the ending that implies Technology is inherently evil (though it never actually says this and there are times when tech actually helps/empowers the Nature God).

  49. Sozac says:

    Probably a retarded question but if i played kotor will i ever get lost for not knowing shit about star wars.

    • Josh says:

      Eh, the setting relies on a basic knowlege of Star Wars but it takes place 4000 years before the movies, so it takes the time to establish its own backstory. Plus it, and especially its sequel, tend to retcon a number of things about the Jedi, so you can expect a fair helping of exposition.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Yeah, about all you have to know is there are magical guys called Jedi who have laser swords and are good, as well as similarly magical guys called Sith who also have laser swords but are evil. The Jedi work for the republic who are good and the Sith work for themselves, and the magic is called “the force”.

        Everything else is pretty well explained.

      • Jeremy says:

        Yeah, he’s right. I had never seen the original trilogy, or even the second/third prequels. I went into that game only having watched the Phantom Menace, in my mind the second best movie of the entire series.

        KOTOR a great game, but it takes forever. It took me a month in France to finish!

        • Monojono says:

          Phantom menace? Second best star wars film? You’re trolling right? That’s like saying crystal skull was the best indiana jones film or that mass effect 2’s plot was better than the first.

          I mean, sure you can have your own opinion but COME ON JAR JAR BINKS. MIDICHLORIANS. GENERAL TERRIBLENESS.

          • Falcon says:

            I think what he is saying is that of all one Star Wars movies he’s seen, it’s the second best (a.k.a. it sucked). Right?

            [I hope]

          • Jjkaybomb says:

            If you were young enough to see the Phantom Menace without having a grasp of the first three films, Phantom Menace was amazing. Because Jar Jar Binks almost appealed to that young crowd, and they didnt give a crap about midiclorians.

            I liked Phantom Menace, probably for these reasons, even though I had seen the first three films already. They all seemed amazing to me.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Dont worry,you wont.Ive enjoyed it despite not being a huge starwars fan like those that have recommended it to me.

  50. Gantidae says:

    [croak]Motherfuckin’ Rainbow Road.[/croak]

  51. David Armstrong says:

    So check it out:

    Watching this Season got me to break out ME1 and borrow ME2 from a friend. I got all the DLCs. I’m now writing a deconstruction of the story, dialogue, and characters based on hand-written notes I took from playing both games. The notes for ME1 went out to 5 pages, ME2 is on page 12 and counting.

    Despite this, I think the plot for ME1 is more shaky than ME2, and that the story with TIM and Miranda isn’t as harmful as the Spoiler Warning crew make it out to be. I engage in no rationalization or apologies, just a point-by-point breakdown of player expectations set by the game, and then what it was the game delivered. I offer my own analysis and interpretation, again based entirely on what is known to be true in-universe.

    I played ME1 3 times to upload a lvl 60 character to ME2, so I wouldn’t be distracted with resources and cash and upgrades – just focus on the story. After 5 total playthrus of ME1 and 2 playthrus of ME2, plus all the DLCs for both games, I’m almost ready to render my opinion.

    If you’re interested in reading what I’ve come up with, email me at

    davidarmstrong488@gmail.com

    and I’ll send it back out to ya via MS Word doc. I promise to keep it concise and well structured. I am not that guy that made the 108 page rebuttal to redlettermedia. I’m aiming for a cap at 20 pages, total.

    Timeline for it being completed: middle of next week (March 15).

    • PurePareidolia says:

      On the other hand, the plot for mass Effect 1 actually has you progress somewhere. The same can’t be said for the sequel. Well, it’ll be interesting to read all the same.

      Wait, someone made a 108 page rebuttal to Red Letter media? I guess it must’ve had to be over 100 pages because I thought their case was pretty airtight.

      • Bret says:

        It’s mostly stuff like “ANNIKEN CAME INTO FILM AT 36 minutes, not 45! Review disproven!” from what I hear.

        You know, nitpicking that ignores any coherent point.

        • David Armstrong says:

          You said nitpicking – I want to make my review clear:

          I separate my critique into 3 sections: nitpicks/gripes, small problems, and major problems. I also give props.

          A nitpick would be, “Taking Miranda on Jack’s loyalty mission, I’m surprised at the lack of dialogue between the two characters. Opportunity missed.”

          Small problem, “Why can’t I tell TIM to **** off and go about the business of the game without him? What would change if I didn’t have him hovering over me the entire time?”

          Major problem, “If the Collectors are the indoctrinated Protheans that survived all this time, then why did Sovereign use Saren and the Geth when he knows there’s an entire civilization of ahead-of-the-curve slaves at his command? Certainly the Citadel fleet wouldn’t have stood a chance against Protheans using real Prothean tech.”

          Also, didn’t the Prothean AI Vigil say explicitly that the indoctrinated Protheans all died after the Reapers returned from whence they came?

          But I’m not all negative, I also give props:
          – the expressions of Aria are stunning, I’m looking at an emotionally realized character here, really great work.
          – expanding individuals beyond the cliches of their races was very well done, like the poet Krogan and the Asari Matriarch bartender
          – the entire cast of voice actors (except for male Shepard) was excellent. Loved the addition of Zaeed. Garrus’s evolution was incredible. Jack’s tone and inflections during a Paragon romance was believable.

          And so on. I will try to be fair, but mostly thorough. There was a lot to like about both games and I’ll point those out. I’ll try to make it entertaining.

          • Viktor says:

            Small problem, “Why can’t I tell TIM to **** off and go about the business of the game without him? What would change if I didn’t have him hovering over me the entire time?”
            I’d call that a decently-sized problem, at least. Primarily because Cerberus is SO bad in the first game. They wipe out entire human colonies, 2 alliance listening posts, several marine platoons(including, possibly, Shepard’s unit), and they murder the best commanding officer in either game(Admiral Kahoku). And they do this to HELP humanity, apparently. That makes them slightly less of an asset than Starscream. And then you join them. Not good.

            Edit: And then you find out worse stuff about them in ME2. Torturing children, attacking the migrant fleet, basically proving themselves to be even worse than they were in the first game. And you can’t do anything about it.

            • Bret says:

              Can’t do much. You can ruin a couple projects, send crucial data to the alliance, and swipe the majority of their project funds come endgame, but you can’t put enough bullets in skulls for my satisfaction.

            • daveNYC says:

              I’ve always assumed that the sole-survivor background for Shepard is directly caused by Cerberus. Wiping out (HUMAN) Alliance soldiers with thresher maws seems to be the only thing they’re good at.

              If you imported a sole-survivor save game from ME1, there should have been a renegade option to put a bullet in Jacob’s head the second he said who he was working for.

              • Raygereio says:

                You don’t have to assume that. Cerberus did that. Period. Because nothing says pro-human then testing how well humans die.

              • Viktor says:

                It is a Cerberus act. In one of the side missions, if you’re Sole Survivor, it comes out that this was Cerberus. I was…less than amused to then work for Cerberus. Jacob asks you how you felt about Akuze in the shuttle opening, and you can’t even respond with “Go to hell, Cerberus slime.”

    • Simon Buchan says:

      Sounds interesting. Maybe posting it as a reply to yourself here for FUTURE GENERATIONS?

    • Zagzag says:

      Overall a very well done review. I may not agree with all of it, but I have to give you credit for that.

  52. Kale says:

    My first thought on seeing the biotic bubble “…That’s the psychic air bubble from Psychonauts…and that makes this really cool.”

    Real good of Shepard to set the explosive time(is that how it worked or is there an overheat to blow up button?) to take in account possible last minute explosions that knock everyone out for indeterminate amounts of time.

    I think we figured out why Shepard’s elbow is so effective. Just look at all those heavy sheets and block-rods of metal she lifts/shoves aside at the end.

    Also, just for Shamus and Rutskarn: http://badspot.us/img/Mass-Effect-2-Boss-Rush.html

  53. X2-Eliah says:

    Yeah, I’m betting on New Vegas.

    That picture Rutskarn posted on his blog a bit back regarding SW looked too much like combat armour from that game, and it had Reginald Cuftberth himself.

  54. LB says:

    Wow, I somehow didn’t notice that this episode was longer than 15 minutes until I paused at 42 minute mark.

    Anyway, y’all are mean to this game. What technology could you even get from the Collectors that would help fight the Reapers?
    Apart from the tech that lets you melt a species into a giant killer robot – which you might want to keep away from terrorist spaceracists.

    There’s definitely nothing there that would convince the council about the Reapers.

    I’m also fine with the Reaper reproduction (Reaperduction?), but can’t deny that the big skeleton robot boss fight was incredibly stupid.

    Not to mention the endgame combat slog that Shamus rightfully pointed out Bioware resort to far too often.

    I understand Josh’s complaint about how Mass Effect 2 didn’t move the story between 1 and 3 at all. But I enjoyed the journey so much that it didn’t matter to me.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “There’s definitely nothing there that would convince the council about the Reapers.”

      Except the whole reaper youve just killed.

      And the tech you could use against the reapers:
      Advanced sensors that allowed them to see through your cloak,advanced weapons,advanced hull plating,those flying platforms,just to name the obvious ones.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Yeees. ‘That whole Reaper’. You really think the council will be so stupid as to believe that T-1000 Terminator models upscaled a few times are the reapers? Please. Idk how foolish someone should be to fall for that.

        • Irridium says:

          Kind of a good point…

          Shepard: “Council! I have proof the reapers exist! I just killed one!

          Council: “Uh huh… and how did you kill it?”

          Shepard: “I shot it in the eyes with my gun!”

          Council: “Right… and can you tell us what it looked like?”

          Shepard: “It was big, and skeleton-like, and… well have you ever seen Earth’s ‘Terminator’ movies? It looked like a Terminator.”

          Council: “So you, Shepard, killed a supposedly very large Reaper, that looks like a Terminator, by shooting its eyes with your standard-issue rifle?”

          Shepard: “Yes.”

          Council: “And you did this at the center of the galaxy?”

          Shepard: “That is correct.”

          Council: “Right… well do you have any proof? Video evidence, voice files… anything to prove your case?”

          Shepard: “Um… no, not really… OH! I have the Reaper IFF that lets me go through the relay! But you probably shouldn’t go through there. Since I destroyed the base/gave it to Cerberus(circle where appropriate).”

          Council: “So you destroyed any and all evidence/gave it to one of the most evil terrorist groups around? Why would you do that?!”

          Shepard: “Because… I wouldn’t let fear compromise who I am/only Cerberus knows what to do I guess?”

          Council: “I think we’re done here.”

      • Jarenth says:

        “Ah yes. The ‘Reaper’ you just killed.”

        You know this would happen.

    • Zukhramm says:

      Since this station is how they reproduce. How can knowing exactly how the things you’re fighting are put together not be incredibly useful?

      • X2-Eliah says:

        And exactly how will knowing the embryonic structure of a completely new design of a Reaper (human T-1000) help in space battles against 100s of old-model crustacean-like Reapers, such as Nazara/Sovereign, that in no way, shape or form resemble the new generation, and are in space where shooting for the glowy bits of the embryo does not apply?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Remember why they picked humans?So diverse(from mordins loyalty mission).Design a virus that can kill all organics,especially the uber adaptive humans(yeah rigth,but thats what the game establishes),and youll be able to kill at least half the reapers.You have a specialist in that field,so you could do it.

          But just dont get cerberus do it,cause theyll then kill the rest of the galaxy as well.

        • Zukhramm says:

          Since it was not yet fully grown, supposedly studying the base we might find out how it functions in later stages too.

          It’s not “shooting the glowing bits” we’d find out from studying the base, we already learned that from the boss fight. But that’s not all we could learn, knowing how something works is useful when you want to make it stop working.

  55. swimon says:

    I have a theory about ME3. It’s going to turn into neuromancer. We already know from legion that the Reapers work similarly to the geth, essentially being a lot of different programs on one machine. I’m guessing that every one of those programs is going to be a mind from a previous civilisation living in their little afterlife metaphor. Of course if this is true I’m going to be pissed since it doesn’t fit with the whole hatred of organics thing.

    Who knows maybe the reapers run on a whole 3 megabytes of hot ram ^^

  56. Zaxares says:

    Ventilation shaft: You ALMOST got it right. ;) The door that you need the tech expert to open is right at the end. The tech expert has to go in through the shaft, come out on the opposite side of the door, and open it for Shepard and the other team from there. However, the vent tunnel is sealed with valves at regular intervals, and these valves are controlled from the outside, where Shepard is walking.

    Incidentally, the final bolt that killed Jacob was actually a biotic blast from Harbinger, since the Collectors do not use rocket launchers. (And Josh mentioned it a short while later. Dammit Josh! Quit stealing my fanboy rants! :P) If you look closely at Jacob’s corpse, you can actually a small pool of blood spreading out around his face.

    Skyscraper Big Gulp: YES! That’s why the Reapers want to collect all the humans! Some Reaper saw Shepard kill Sovereign and went, “Damn, I bet these humans would make a tasty drink snack!”

    Killing Miranda: You guys REAAAAALLY don’t like Miranda, do you? *chuckle*

    The Long Walk: Incidentally, Josh, you showcased why I dislike the Vindicator as an Assault Rifle. It tends to run out of ammo way too quickly.

    Australia: Ironically, Australia was actually listed as THE best place to be in the event of an alien invasion/zombie apocalypse/doomsday disaster scenario. It’s geographically isolated, is capable of producing enough food to feed itself, and it has natural reserves of uranium, coal and gas so it can continue to power its cities for hundreds of years to come. But nobody wants us. That’s fine. We’ll just go and sit quietly over here… And remember the day you spurned us… Oh yes, we will remember…

    Human Reaper: I didn’t think the big reveal was THAT bad. :P Sure, it’s a bit of a letdown after Sovereign’s big “your puny mammal brains cannot comprehend the scale of what it is we are doing”, but I thought it did make a kind of sense. Bioware evidently did retcon the whole “Reapers are organic constructs” bit, but it otherwise seems fairly logical that the Reapers HAD to have come from somewhere, and this is how they build more of themselves. The only unique difference here is that they’re building it to look like a human. (The end cinematic shows that while some Reapers look vaguely different to each other, they all share the same squid/crustacean general shape.) That would make this the very first Reaper to deviate significantly from that form. Did Harbinger do it because he admired humans for being able to kill a Reaper? We’ll probably have to wait for ME3 for the answer.

    It’s also possible that this is not what the Reaper’s FINAL form would look like. Perhaps this is only an internal skeleton, and the remaining external body/shell would look like a conventional Reaper.

    Harbinger and the Collectors being a rogue cell: You know, there might be something to that theory! Nothing says that all the Reapers have to be a monolithic, single-minded evil Big Bad race. It’s possible that each Reaper has its own personal interests and preferences, and Harbinger’s particular interest was in science and making organic races into tools. When all of the Reapers left at the end of the last cleansing, he retained a link back to the galaxy so he could continue to play with the Collectors. Following Sovereign’s defeat, the onus then fell onto Harbinger to find some way to fix the problem, and he decided to do it by building a new Human Reaper.

    Illusive Man contacting us here: It’s done via the Normandy’s special Quantum Entanglement Communication device. (It’s explained if you examine the table in the briefing room and listen to EDI. It’s actually quite a fascinating piece of technology, and it’s apparently based off a REAL scientific theory.)

    With regards to the Paragon choice… Well, yes, this choice is basically all about logic vs emotion. Remember the Collectors have done horrible, horrible experiments here. As much as I hate to call down Godwin’s Law, they’re like the Nazi doctors during WWII. They tortured, killed and performed ghoulish experiments on innocent victims. To take this knowledge and use seems like you’re supporting those horrible actions, that you’re, in some way, condoning these experiments because of your decision to use the technology.

    On the other hand, the logic side says “the Reapers are coming. We need every possible advantage in this fight if we are to win. If there’s undiscovered technology in the Collector base, or hidden instructions/plans from Harbinger that we don’t know to date, we NEED it for the coming war.”

    Me personally? I would blow the base up, simply because I don’t trust Cerberus to use this technology. :P

    Final Reaper Battle: I have to agree that the Human Reaper acts VERY stupidly and repetitively in this battle. Then again, EDI said that it IS barely sentient at this point; it’s like an embryo, in human terms. Perhaps it simply doesn’t have the necessary intelligence at this point to adopt and carry out complete strategies. For all we know, maybe it IS playing a game of peek-a-boo and “Imma barfing lasers on you!”

    Oh, and by the way? One way they could have made this final battle WAY harder was to simply have the Reaper come up on the OPPOSITE side of the cover that Harbinger and his buddies are coming from, sandwiching Shepard and his crew between them.

    Composer for ME3: No, to the best of my knowledge, Jack Wall, who composed not only the soundtracks for ME1 and 2 but also Jade Empire, is coming back for ME3.

    Final Death Tally: I think Jack is dead too. Normally it’s Jack standing there instead of Samara in that final scene. I’m not sure if there IS any bodies in the coffins; I believe in wartime, if bodies can’t be recovered, there is still a ceremonial coffin with a picture of the fallen.

    Also, Shamus, there is no shot of lots of Reapers at the end of ME1. I think you were confusing the end of ME2 and ME1. ;)

    Still, congratulations on completing ME2 you guys! How many months has it been? O.o

    • Ringwraith says:

      Actually, I think that the reaper will occasionally start smashing some of the platforms you are standing on if you start to take too long, which starts narrowing your options for movement quite a bit.

      Also, there were only four coffins, which were Thane, Jacob, Grunt and Miranda, so Jack is probably still alive.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I think it depends on the difficulty actually.On my insanity playthrough,he started smashing those platforms almost immediately.Even got me once,though most of the time he only destroyed harbinger,which actually made it easier for me.

    • psivamp says:

      Quantum entanglement is a neat theory — but the whole communicator thing is beyond us. In order to do it effectively, we would have to be able to isolate a single atom, in a vacuum and somehow avoid the uncertainty principle. Still a neat idea, and Einstein called it ‘spooky action at a distance’ in order to discredit it.

      • Raygereio says:

        Actually quantum entanglement doesn’t imply faster-then-light transference of information. So it’s pretty much useless as a long-range-communication method.

    • dovius says:

      I’d also like to point out that, while the Nai example works well, most of our current knowledge about the effects of hypothermia due to cold water and such actually comes from said experiments.
      We could just download everything from the computers in the Collector base and blow it up AFTERWARDS.

  57. Seth Ghatch says:

    KOTOR! Please! If I could pick two choices it would be KOTOR or Fallout New Vegas, just to see what you guyus think of the improvements. But in a favour of one it would be Fallout New Vegas, PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Do fallout New Vegas, it fixes all the problems you had with Fallout 3, or most at least…But pleeeeeeaaaase choose that one!

  58. Vect says:

    Oh and I also did a TV Tropes page for Spoiler Warning… Just because. Pretty rough for now.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpoilerWarning

  59. MPR says:

    Watching the end credits … lots of interesting people did voice work.

  60. Otters34 says:

    That was why. All this time, everyone was raging about not being able to tell off the Illustrious Moron, and that was why. So the writers could make the option to destroy the ReaperTech leftovers more palatable. I mean really, there isn’t any reason given in-game for it. The only possible reason anyone would choose that option would be to be a jerk to a monumentally bigger jerk.

    All that frustration, and the sole reason for it was to make the players who didn’t like the Ill-Conceived Man(for WHATEVER reason THAT could POSSIBLY be)feel justified for taking that tack.

    Hooray for you guys finishing season four of Spoiler Warning! I hope the next choice is at least somewhat better.

  61. LurkerAbove says:

    You had the Tali = Minsc conversation several episodes ago. I want a refund.

  62. Gnrlshrimp says:

    Huh, only four coffins! I guess that counts as a success of sorts, since I think at best you’d need three coffins to kill Miranda.

    So, good job, almost no pointless killing of crew members in order to get rid of her!

    As for how they got the bodies, well it’s always possible the coffins are a purely ceremonial thing here, and the bodies aren’t actually inside.

    …although that makes Shepard’s emotional little gesture seem a little over the top.

    • Viktor says:

      You could kill her solo. Just have her non-loyal and bring her with you for the final fight. Though Jacob was necessary for them, and Thane was probably just for the hell of it.

  63. Skeletor says:

    HEY MUMBLES! IM SKELETOR NOT THAT THING! That’s my cousin Tom stupid!

  64. Merle says:

    I haven’t yet played ME2, and I’ve actually been avoiding watching these videos because of that…but I wanted to ask.

    Is it POSSIBLE to finish the final mission with no deaths, or no deaths other than Miranda?

    • Falcon says:

      Hmm interesting, lets check the flowchart of DEATH.

      Requirements:

      -Shield, weapons, and armor upgrades
      -Tali loyal for tech
      -Garrus loyal for fireteam leader
      -Jack loyal for biotic specialist
      -Loyal escort
      -travel through relay immediately
      -Mordin loyal

      Now to kill Miranda there are two ways, in the final firefight, or with you at the boss fight.

      Right so if you are doing this without the DLC characters to kill her in the firefight… You will need to send Tali or Mordin back with the escorts. Then for the final battle take Tali/ Mordin (whoever you didn’t send) and jack along for the reaper fight. Done. Miranda, and only Miranda dies. If you have Kasumi though, it will require killing two party members minimum. Miranda can even be loyal to achieve this outcome.

      Killing Miranda final battle. Miranda must be non-loyal, and be in your party. Again send Tali or Mordin with the escort team. Then your final party should be Miranda and one of the following: Jack, Tali, Mordin. Now here’s the trick. If you have Zaeed you need to have one additional loyal party member, doesn’t matter who. Without Zaeed you need two more loyal party members, or one of the hold the line crew dies. So loyal people = Mordin, Tali, Jack, Garrus, +2 (+1 with Zaeed) If you add Kasumi, well beef up those loyalty missions boys.

      If you don’t want to rescue the crew, well figure that out on your own.

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