Mass Effect 3 EP6:Shut Up, It’s Garrus

By Shamus
on Aug 22, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Is it really a good idea to unite everyone behind the humans? I think it depends on what you think the stakes are. I was still carrying around ideas from Mass Effect 1, where the Reapers were an unstoppable, implacable foe that had done this hundreds of times already. Beating them conventionally is a ludicrous hope, so our goal is to fight them as best we can. Remember, in previous cycles they killed everyone, down to the very last being. Empires of billions of people on hundreds of worlds were driven to complete, 100% extinction. If even a handful of people had survived they would have repopulated. You can’t beat these guys with zap guns, which means you’re just trying to last as long as possible, not “take back” conquered territory. That should preclude large offenses.

Here in Mass Effect 3 the characters are fighting to save Earth. It’s hard to tell how we’re supposed to read this. Has their power level been retconned so that beating them conventionally is possible? Is Sheppard supposed to come off as a sad, self-deluded fool who can’t accept the truth that his homeworld is toast and so he’s dragging the rest of the galaxy along with him on a foolish plan? Is this supposed to be a diversion so we can finish building the crucible? (Does the game ever say where it’s being built?)

I don’t know. It’s kind of an important point, since the whole game is spent on this “take back Earth” deal, and I couldn’t even tell if Shepard was the dummy, or the writers.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!202015255. There are now n+1 comments, where n is a big-ish sort of number.

From the Archives:

  1. Rodyle says:

    Oh God, Josh. Please don’t do that. I was nearly ready to throw up when you were half-way through the turian base.

    Also: I really agree with Shamus here. There’s no reason not to send out a couple hundred of torchships carrying civilians of every race to make sure some survive, or at least give the reapers a hard time.

    EDIT:
    Actually, when thinking about it… This should make it just about impossible for the reapers. There is so much space in between galaxies such a ship could hide out that the chances of finding them are nil.

    • St3althPyr0_37 says:

      That actually could have been a very interesting plot. Instead of running around screaming “TAKE EARTH BACK FOR NO APPARENT REASON”, Shepard could have been persuading governments that conventional warfare is hopeless, and the best bet for survival is sending all high-value personnel off on sleeper ships to wait out the reaper cycle, then grouping all of their remaining military assets into an organized force and start a long-term suicidal war of attrition.

      • Rodyle says:

        Oh, man… Now I’m making up a bunch of cool bitter to bittersweet endings which you could’ve had, depending on your choices (and that bullshit “readiness meter”). And I’m even putting DX:HR endingtron-style narrations over them in my head.

      • Pete says:

        Ah, but thats why the reapers decide to conveniently move the Citadel into Earth orbit, you know, just as you find out that you need to plug the MacGuffin into the damm thing to make it work.

        Seriously, how was that not a part of the blueprints?

        • LunaticFringe says:

          “Hey fellow Prothean, ever notice how the Crucible has arms that extend to the exact diameter of the Presidium on the Citadel?”

          Seriously, all the engineers from the previous cycles must have been utter morons.

        • guy says:

          Well, they wanted to keep the Reapers from finding out. Of course, they forgot to give their VI on Thessia any sort of self-wiping capacity, so that plan fell apart.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Yeah, it kind of felt like not documenting no-brainers.

            The main reason, as I understand, as to why they never completed the Cruicible/Citadel creation is that the Cruicible itself was never completed. The design was only changed every time, and then they realised they needed the Citadel to do the powering of it.

          • Klay F. says:

            On the subject of the VI on Thessia:

            The reveal of its existence throws pretty much everything the council members ever say to you into suspicion. The asari have known about the existence of the Reapers for CENTURIES at the very least, and at most probably since before they expanded into space. There is simply no reason for “the most advanced race in the galaxy” to be this retarded.

          • Luhrsen says:

            And what about the VI saying it was going into “Security Mode” when the anime character showed up. Not very secure since he managed to break in copy and steal the entire program in about a second.

    • meyerkev says:

      It’s how Vanguard plays.

      “Charge, Shotgun, Nova, Charge …”.

      Pull a Medium Shotgun and Pistol (equipped with Sniper scope), upgrade to the max level, grab 200% cooldown, and smash everything except turrets and maybe Banshees while waltzing through the invincible frames.

      /Eviscerator plus Carnifex or Paladin was my preferred loadout.

      • Rodyle says:

        Nah. I was fine with that part. Those were completely predictable linear motions. I got sick just because of those few minutes running around in the base, suddenly taking cover, diving towards the side and all that nonsense.

        • McNutcase says:

          To be fair, if Josh had actual controls, instead of a “do something” button, he’d be less nauseating to watch. When he has actual movement controls, he’s quite a stable gun platform. (see: DXHR, Fallouts, the SR3 new year stream) It’s only when unclear context-sensitive “do what I mean” controls come into play that it gets bad. (see: AC2, Mass Effect 2 and 3)

          • Thomas says:

            On a constructive note, circle (on controllers) what should have been done? Clearly for PCs they just needed to make everything properly rebindable but on consoles I think my main conflict was getting in/out of cover, climbing and combat rolling. Combat roll and sprint on same button makes sense. And I think climbing was just generally clunky, it was sort of a ground up problem from the beginning they’d just patched over. Running + hold O would probably have been the best control scheme.

            Not sure how you’d solve the combat roll/cover bit though

            • Guy says:

              Charge and heavy melee was one of my preferred tank buster methods.

              • Thomas says:

                Sorry I edited my comment on you :( I was thinking about putting up an interim edit cos I completely overhauled the comment, but figured it’d be too unlucky if someone was writing at the same time as me

            • angelofrawr says:

              I really just want to know why consoles can’t allow you to rebind controls. Its not like they don’t have memory storage. If my 40$ keyboard can rebind ALL the keys, why can’t my $50ish controller with 14 buttons do so?

            • Ringwraith says:

              I didn’t know double-tapping the button went into a roll, otherwise it’s just everythingbutton + direction to roll, tapping it once near cover will stick you to it.

          • Lame Duck says:

            If Josh had actual controls, Shepard would be bunny-hopping her way to defeating the Reapers.

      • swenson says:

        Banshees are possible at the end of the game, at least. That’s how I survived the last Banshee rush, actually (because I was freaked out, desperately trying to survive, and knew the last save point was way too long before…), I just spammed Charge and shotgun over and over again, and somehow I lived.

        • somebodys_kid says:

          It’s amazing what a properly leveled vanguard can do when you’re in a panic. I just had a multiplayer session recently on silver playing a high level vanguard. Last surviving team member on wave 8 or 9. Shooting wildly at anything that moved. Every time barriers collapsed, I just spammed the charge button and sorted out where I was after I hit. Had to relax for a few seconds once the wave ended to catch my breath.

    • CTrees says:

      Yep. Build as many ships as you can that travel at relativistic speeds, send them into the intergalatic void with orders to come back after a suitably long period of time (if there’s “standard scifi hibernation” tech this is easier), and tada, advanced life is going to be basically impossible to stop. Just, you know, point people in different directions.

      Then you can have more sequels/spinoffs with the same aesthetics, and more options for enemies (“we thought we were running away from certain doom. turns out, we were running towards something much worse”)

      • 13_cbs says:

        It’d be nice if the writers at least acknowledged the idea; even a “we tried that idea/we’ll try that idea but it got/will get sabotaged by indoctrinated spies” ought to have been sufficient, since apparently such a thing screwed up at least one of the Prothean attempts at torchlighting–Javik’s backstory reveals that the reason why he’s the only survivor rather than one of hundreds, if not thousands, is because indoctrinated spies screwed up the project he was in.

      • Mike S. says:

        I don’t think the sleeper ship idea works:

        1) Even without mass relays, “standard” FTL is something like 20c, and IIRC the Codex says Reapers can do more like 30c, without as much need to discharge static buildup.

        2) There’s no stealth in space. http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardetect.php That’s usually good for a long pro/con thread in itself, but whether or not it’s true in our universe it explicitly is in Mass Effect. (There’s enough common language on the Project Rho site, plus the use of “Object Rho” in Arrival, to make me wonder if the ME team used it as a source.)

        The Normandy may be one of the few chances to accurately use the phrase “the exception that proves the rule”: it’s by far the best stealth ship anyone has (unless the asari or salarians are hiding something, which is certainly possible), and its stealth systems’ limits are measurable in hours due to heat buildup. If that’s the best possible stealth, it’s not good enough to hide an escape.

        So an STL escape might as well be standing still, and an FTL escape can still be easily detected and overtaken.

        It still could be done, of course, with heretofore unrevealed salarian/asari/Prothean stealth tech. But that’s pretty much in the same class with the Crucible as far as convenient discoveries go.

        Though there is also the “hide underground in suspension” route, which demonstrably worked for the Protheans at least twice. (Not well enough, but it got living Protheans past the point where the Reapers returned to dark space.) Expanding on that might be worth a try, at least.

        (And would have been a better use for Sanctuary, if TIM weren’t, well, TIM.)

        • Klay F. says:

          Just a small quibble with your second point. There might be no stealth in space, but you are still undetectable if you are going the speed of light or faster. You are literally outpacing your own heat signature. Its why no ships are EVER attacked when they are in FTL, because by the time your heat signature reaches the enemy, you are already too far away to reach. Besides what use would lasers be while you are in FTL?

          • Mike S. says:

            One of the things that I really like about the ME universe is that they gave some thought to that sort of issue, and covered it in a codex entry on pursuit tactics. Basically, they (or at least the Citadel races) use lightspeed afterimages to figure out what vector to start tracking, which is generally reliable for iterating a route to the target.

            Of course, pursued ships will zigzag to make that tougher. (Pursuers have to drop out of ftl to detect traces and update their projections.) But static buildup and fuel limits how long the quarry can stay ftl without stopping at a planet. Reaper ships can travel faster, go longer without a discharge, don’t seem to need to visibly refuel. And they’re willing to spend centuries on the whole “exterminate everyone capable of spacefaring” project.

            Even if the Reapers can’t attack at ftl– Citadel space ships can’t– once they find it they can just match course and wait for it to drop to sublight, or else explode.

            Ilos and Javik show that they’re not infallible. It’s demonstrably possible to hide long enough for them to go away. But the odds of being able to evade pursuit in space seem at least long– arguably longer than doing so on a planetary body that can be used to mask emissions, assuming you can get there undetected.

    • Deadfast says:

      Such plan actually already exists – it’s called Quarians. Seriously, how are the Reapers planning to reap them?

      • Gruhunchously says:

        This gives me the mental image of the Migrant Fleet spending the next few centuries kiting from one end of the galaxy to the other while the entire Reaper force fruitlessly chases after them. It’s rather amusing.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Well…to be fair, they did just try to take Rannoch.

          On the other hand, consider the Migrant Fleet kiting from one galaxy to the other, with *every* ship in the fleet outfitted with Thainax cannons as they are in game…

          …Yeah, they’d basically be four-shotting all the Reapers, as they did on Rannoch.

        • Chauzuvoy says:

          I’m now imagining that going on on the galaxy map. With the Benny Hill theme song.

          Thank you, sir, for the mental image. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to stop laughing uncontrollably.

      • Mike S. says:

        The quarians are completely dependent on civilized space: it’s where they get their ships, their replacement parts, their tech advances, and probably inputs to their food production. (There’s a reason they risk every single member of their society on gathering missions to worlds that are legally, socially, and biologically hostile.) It may be possible with ME-level tech to create a self-sufficient spacefaring society, but the quarians are explicitly not one.

        And they’re a big concentration of mass effect cores and IR radiation. For the Reapers, that’s about as hard to find as a magnesium flare at midnight.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      The biggest issue here is fuel.

      It’s noted that apparently the reapers don’t care for fuel at all. They burn something, but when they get to bases and such, they just torch organic fuel supplies.

      So…if you need to stasis everyone, you might run out of fuel before you are done.

      Also, civillians have a hard time leaving the planets because the Normandy is the only ship designed to fool sensors by not giving off heat. The Reapers basically just need to laser-beam anything that gives off a heat signature.

      • IFS says:

        Except you don’t need fuel in space for anything other than manuvering, the lack of friction means that once you are up to speed you don’t need to add anything to keep going. And space is big enough and empty enough that you can hide anywhere without worrying too much about running into anything.

    • Phantom Hoover says:

      That’s basically what the Protheans tried; their downfall was the Reapers indoctrinating legions of spies amongst their refugees. It’s not a reliable strategy, although it’s a lot better than more or less any alternatives. It would at least have been good to have seen some efforts to simply run away, although “they could have at least TRIED to explain that” summarises half the obvious improvements to the plots of ME2 and 3.

      • guy says:

        You know, that struck me as a bit strange. Vigil and Vendetta firmly establish that the Protheans had an Indoctrination Detector. So why didn’t they use it?

        Actually, that does make some sense; with the Relay network down and all galactic communications cut, anything developed after the fall of the Citadel wouldn’t be able to be spread throughout the galaxy, and Illos avoided that fate.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Possibly it was post-indoctrination attacks.

          I mean, for them to know what to look for, they probably had to kill an indoctrinated spy or two.

          As for why they kept it in their beacons, I’d imagine they’d figured the next cycle could use it. I mean, it couldn’t hurt.

  2. meyerkev says:

    The way I’m reading it is that (partly because we’re using stuff we stole from Sovereign’s corpse), it’s possible, but really, really, REALLY hard to beat the Reapers (or even a Reaper). So yeah, if we can get everyone behind us, and complete the Deus Ex Machina that is the Catalyst, maybe. And keep in mind that almost everyone’s requirement for helping us is “Get the Reapers off our neck and then we’ll come help you, maybe, with what we can spare”.

    It’s a bit of a retcon, but a necessary one. Reapers = Unstoppable force works well for ME1, where our only hope is to stop them before they ever show up. It works less well now that they’re here.

    /Also, Javik says that the whole ‘fight in continuous retreat abandoning populations (who then get turned into husks) in the process’ thing is what lost them the last war.
    //And yes, I’m aware that that’s DLC.

    PS: At some point, can we show everyone how lulzy Casual mode is? Like walk up to a turret twiddling your thumbs lulzy.

    • ? says:

      Plus Sovereign was delayed ending this cycle with the whole Keeper Gambit, and last I checked on wiki it could be even several centuries too late. That is a lot of time for advancement of galactic civilisation. Also it would mean that if not for Prothean sabotage humans would have whole cycle to themselves. After all, Reapers harvest only species advanced enough to use mass effect tech, otherwise there would be no Asari and Hanar who were uplifted by Protheans in previous cycle. So by the time humanity reaches Mars and discovers Prothean tech, Reapers would probably be back in dark space.

      And the whole ‘Reapers are going to destroy all life in the galaxy’ is a strawman. They will eventually, but in doing that they make place for new life and it is a bit self centred to whine about for a mammal that outlived dinosaurs. The Sun would eventually destroy the Earth but it is not a reason to make preemptive strike on a burning bastard.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        This has been my position for a while too. The victory was won when the Protheans jammed the Citadel. Without control of galactic travel to keep the races of the galaxy from joining forces, the reapers were hosed from the start.

        But apparently the writers forgot that part, so we got the marshall the armies plot married to the Crucible, which must be a record for least sense in three sentences.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        “Plus Sovereign was delayed ending this cycle with the whole Keeper Gambit, and last I checked on wiki it could be even several centuries too late. That is a lot of time for advancement of galactic civilisation. Also it would mean that if not for Prothean sabotage humans would have whole cycle to themselves. ”

        This is my favourite part to speculate about the lore in Mass Effect. I mean, Mass Effect as a universe without humans. What would’ve happened? It also points to “Humans are special” – if I had wrote Mass Effect 3, I’d have made at the very least for starchild to say “You aren’t supposed to be here yet.” – in the sense of a Spanner in the works [TvTropes]. The best laid plans of Reapers and Man, and all that…

        One could assume that the latest attempt was when the Quarian War with the Geth happened, since…well, starchild says that’s a likely point of attack.

        But given what the Rachni Queen said about the Rachni Wars being escalated by Sovereign in control of them – which has really horrible implications for the Mu Relay the Rachni found. I mean, if the humans hadn’t colonised Eden Prime, and had dug up the Prothean beacon, leading to Saren finding out about the Conduit on Ilos…The whole Reaper attack might never had happened. Maybe Javik wakes up all alone, travels the universe, finds the council, and they proceed to stack up the military…for a fight that never happens.

        • IFS says:

          Except Saren also found another beacon aside from the one on Eden prime.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Ah, that he did…

            *But* it’s shown in ME1 when he orders Eden Prime Spaceport blown up that he uses it, and it’s implied that without both beacons, you can’t get a clear enough signal of the problem. Even with the Cipher, which certainly helps, but doesn’t let you know what you’re looking for.

            Then again, there’s that other beacon in one of the DLC missions of ME2 where they show the Protheans becoming the Collectors, right? So he may have been able to use that if the Eden Prime beacon wasn’t found.

            Though I stand by the idea that each beacon clarifies the image, and so if Saren just had that one on Virmire…Sovereign still needs to bide his time.

      • Phantom Hoover says:

        It’s pretty clear that the Reapers were behind the Rachni wars, which started over 2 millennia before the events of the game. OTOH the idea that in a 50,000 year cycle an additional 2000 years would somehow be enough to gain a decisive military advantage is questionable, and the idea that it always takes 50,000 years for a race to evolve to the harvesting threshold is no better (they only seem to harvest spacefarers, and it took less than 6 millennia for humans to go from stone tools to galactic expansion).

        • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          This is my theory, and I don’t think it’s supported in the game, but consider this:

          If the reapers attack 2000 years earlier when they were supposed to, humans would have discovered the Mass Relays without a council. The humans never would have chaffed under council control, never would have looked for ways to get around council restrictions, never would have shaken up the galaxy as much as they did. Instead, they would have found the relays, followed them to the Citadel and done exactly what the reapers wanted them to do.

          52k years ago, the Protheans stalled the reapers, and their clockwork manipulation fell entirely apart, and because of that, the reapers firm belief that they guide all evolution and that destruction is inevitable is wrong. Their prophesy was self-fullfilling, and the human spanner in the works is the proof of it.

          Too bad the game decided the reapers were right.

          • Thomas says:

            I don’t think the game did really. Even the Starchild admitted the Reaper solution was broken by the time Shepard reached the citadel. They place too much emphasis on Shepard’s ability rather than the Prothean work maybe.

            Also the Reapers should have understood that their plan couldn’t work. If they wiped everything maybe, but every generation preserved something for the next and we get the crucible, worked on for generations upon generations coming through and each cycle was more prepared than the last. I understand the mistake from a human perspective, but machines should be more long sighted (key problem with series. In ME universe machines=people so final conflict doesn’t work. In reality there are real inevitable problems with synthetics, but all to do with how they quickly become vastly more intelligent than organics could ever be. But that doesn’t happen in the ME world)

        • Ringwraith says:

          It’s mentioned that the yahg have been ignored in one conversation with Hackett, (likely only if you played Lair of the Shadow Broker though), complete with the dismay at the prospect of a cycle ruled by the yahg.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Which is interesting, because clearly the Yahg have been to space. Though not on their own accord, true. They still get ignored.

            • Ringwraith says:

              It’s precisely because they don’t have spaceflight capability that they are ignored. It’s not like the few ones that have been taken from their planet have ever gone back to share what they learned.
              They’re mostly still ignorant of the galaxy at large, all they’ve seen is a first contact team who they killed anyway.

    • Sigilis says:

      I thought you were talking about Lulzy initially. You have disappointed me, sir.

  3. Brandon says:

    I think, if we want to be as generous as possible here, we could suggest that despite the fact that the reapers were all destroying superpowers, it is kind of the nature of life to fight inevitability, and when cornered, push back. This is regardless of any real chance at victory.. the options come down to lie down and definitely die, run and hide forever and probably die, or fight back and probably die. It makes the most sense to rally together and fight back together so as to have the best chance, right?

    In reality this is just bad writers going “People love fighting for Earth right? Let’s make the last game about that, even though Earth is barely even mentioned in the first two games.”

    The only thing they were missing was commercials using real old people as fake vets giving fake inspirational “I was there and he saved us all” speeches.

    • Jace911 says:

      I enjoyed Halo 3, but that was the most bullshit part of the ads for that game.

      • Phantos says:

        I think the most bullshit part of those ads is that they’re a million times better than the product they advertise. (See: Dead Island.)

        Also, ME3 at least remembers that it wants to be about taking back Earth in the last hour or so. In Halo 3, they all just kind of… leave. Halfway through, Earth just kind of stops being important in any way, and no one ever mentions it again.

        “Take back Earth…for 4 hours. After that, whatever. Look at this fish, maybe go pick up some chips from the store.

        ~I’M DOIN’ IMPORTANT STUFF!~”

    • Naota says:

      As always, it’s the “puppy at gunpoint” fallacy of storytelling. People care about their homes, right? -> Where does everyone live? -> The Earth! -> If the whole Earth is in danger, they’ll automatically be emotionally invested in its wellbeing!

      No! Wrong!

      Even if Mass Effect’s Earth looked exactly like this one, felt exactly like this one, and had landmarks I can see from outside my own window, I would not be able to care about it. The planet is so big and abstract a thing to be protecting, and so overplayed and worn out a trope, that it’s effectively meaningless by itself.

      If Bioware wants me to care, they need to build up characters and events that I will grow to care about – not assume I’ll automatically care about this planet in a work of fiction because it happens to exactly resemble the one I live on.

      Investment from the reader/viewer/player is something you must build up; something earned over time. You can’t take shortcuts there by pointing a big gun at a child or the Earth. At best we only care about those in the impersonal abstract, and at worst we’re completely apathetic or even resentful. The kid is so obviously manipulative that I want to call him on his bluff: “So you think I give a fig for this convenient wad of polygons? Try me. Go right ahead and shoot him.”

  4. Entropy says:

    It’s weird. I mean, in practice, you’re actually gathering resources to help build the giant MacGuffin, which is a good thing to be doing. Really, that should be the focus more than Retaking Earth.

    I mean, Retaking Earth becomes a thing you have to do later, because the Reapers stick the Citadel there for no reason, but you don’t know that.

    And the War Assets, they’re sometimes Scientists and help on the Crucible, sometimes soldiers and fleets to retake Earth. . It’s all mixed up and confused as to what your actual objective is.

    • Jace911 says:

      And in the end the whole “Retake Earth with the Crucible” thing is only possible because the reapers derped and forgot how to shut off the relays, despite owning the Citadel and having done it tens of thousands of times before.

      • Thomas says:

        If you want to play nice, you could say the Reapers were afraid they weren’t going to win fights (say on Palaven) if they couldn’t reinforce. So they needed to keep the relays open and since they had the citadel under their control, they didn’t see reason not to

        • Jace911 says:

          That still doesn’t work, because they can still activate or deactivate certain relays while leaving the rest dead. If the Reapers lose at palaven, for instance, the ones with the Citadel can open up the relay and send more guys through without allowing the Turians to bring in guys from elsewhere.

      • MintSkittle says:

        As soon as the reapers took control of the citadel, that should have been the beginning of the end. With the citadel back in possession, they now control the means of FTL travel, and can (and did in previous reapings) shut down all interstellar travel. No longer can there be any form of organized resistance, as they can no longer concentrate their forces against the reapers, while they can bring their full might against a single planet. Divide and Conquer.

  5. Spammy says:

    I’m glad the Take Back Earth campaign didn’t bother me alone. I think my first reaction after seeing one of those commercials was, “There shouldn’t be an Earth to take back!”

    • swenson says:

      My first reaction was “where’s the Take Back Palaven commercials?” Honestly, I cared more about Palaven than Earth… they at least were able to put up a decent fight.

      But, then, that’s because I was a fan of the series and actually knew Palaven existed…

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Like I said in an comment thread for an earlier episode, it bothered me too. I knew it would before I even touched the game. There’s no way we should be in any position to retake Earth.

  6. Michael says:

    This isn’t the worst example I’ve come across the “Erm, how do our protagonists actually beat an enemy we just established as unstoppable?” problem. In Alistair Reynolds’ Revelation Space novels there’s a race of machines very like the Reapers who are an implacable foe in the first two books, and are poised to wipe out humanity… and are then irrelevent by the time the next book begins because they’ve succumbed to entropy and become ineffectual in the intervening period.

    The books aren’t bad – I really enjoyed both the story of the first two novels and that of the third – but they’re very different kinds of story and there’s no satisfying resolution to the cliffhanger ending of Redemption Gap. Reynolds is very good at constructing plots that take into account the vast distances and lengths of time involved in space travel, but using that as a way to nerf the Big Bad after two books setting them up doesn’t work.

    • X2Eliah says:

      Hm. Far as I understood, the Inhibitors had succumbed to entropy in the previous 10k years and even before that, gradually – that’s also why the Amarinth were able to survive enough to create the shrouds and place their ‘warnings’ after the flare on Resurgam.
      Afaik there’s no reall drop-off in efficiency that’s too noticeable in between the 2nd and 3rd book.

      I will admit that the ending of the trilogy itself is pretty… bad. It’s very much a literary mass effect. A collection of some shorter works in Rev.Space universe (compiled in the book “Galactic North”, by the way – it’s good & well worth reading if you’re into the RevSpace) has one novella/story that finally touches on what the greenfly is… A little bit. That does clear the ending up a tiny bit, but.. Well, I will credit Reynolds with one thing, at least. Unlike Mass Effect’s writers, when Reynolds created a starfaring enemy that’s incredibly more advanced than humans (and even what few alien tech humans would get their hands on), even with the humans getting a bit of a help in terms of weapons from their future selves, then he actually went through with that idea and didn’t back down. The Inhibitors’ gradual loss of efficiency was established in the first book already, but even with all that – clearly the Inhibitors > humanity, and that fact is not broken just to get “a massive fight for Earth” a la ME3.

      Still. I also wish it had ended better.

      • Jan says:

        Yeah, Absolution Gap certainly wasn’t the best book in the series. However, humanity got help from several sources: the alien Nest-Builders (introduced at the very end, so a bit of a deus-ex machina), and humanities future self. And the Inhibitors were clearly described as decaying. Even more, they were explicitly described as being limited in intelligence (for the most part) and method, deliberately so, in order to limit the chance of outgrowing their purpose.

        What I really liked about the ending (well, liked is a bit of a misstatement, given the bleakness of it, but it was nicely consistent) is that when humanity beat the Inhibitors, they were actually replace by something far worse. “See what you’ve just done, you miserable humans?”

  7. Bentusi16 says:

    Well, you make some good points, but I’d like to point out two things.

    One, the reapers are dealing with a situation they’ve apparently never run into before. Previously, they took control of the citadel, opened it, shut down all the mass effect gates, and poured through.

    Now they’re having to try and adapt their tactics to a new situation. The mass effect gates are still open, meaning that fleets and system are no longer isolated. They also haven’t taken the citadel yet, which means there’s still a centralized authority in the universe.

    Two, their has never been any evidence that the reapers ever moved quickly. They didn’t have to. They could isolate every system and fleet by itself and slowly and methodically kill every living thing in the universe (of a certain technological level). To use it seems slow but the reapers used to have all the time in the world to take out a planet/system. Insert necrons reference here. You guys bring this up a lot so I thought I’d point this out.

    Think about how they committed to the war effort. They wiped out the most isolated and largest group first. The Batarians had a strong military and was probably the most populous race in total by far. The humans and the Turians, the next two biggest military targets in the galaxy (Turians have the biggest fleet and most pound for pound power, humans have the second biggest fleet and have adaptive tactics). They target the volus (logistic support), the big dudes I cannot remember the name of at the moment (infantry that act like tanks) in the second act (I think it’s the second act, could be the first act end), and before the first act is over they do their best to make sure the krogan aren’t going to be an issue within the timescale of the war. Then they go after the less tactically potent races in the second act. The asari, the hanar, the salarians.

    Oh, and like Mumbles said, they aren’t interested in exterminating all life forever, they’re just cleaning the plate for the next meal to grow.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      The Reapers plans are to cull enough people knowledge to store the collective knowledge of all the space-faring races in Reapers. They also need to destroy technology so that Synthetics don’t rise up against organics.

      When you get to what they are doing and why, who really cares? The ending makes everything about the Reapers completely stupid and worthless.

      • Bentusi16 says:

        All I can really apply to that is blue and orange morality. No, it makes no sense to us because we’re human and that seems really dumb to us. To them? Probably seems perfectly logical.

        Actually, I had very little issue with that part of the ending of mass effect 3. It’s alien and weird, but, the reapers are basically eldritch abominations a la Lovecraft.

        My issue wit the ending was fact that absolutely nothing is resolved. Did the universe get blown up? What happened to the crew? Where did they crash? What happened to earth? What happened to the citadel? The geth, the quarians, the turians, so forth.

        • Sigilis says:

          The problem is not so much their morality as much as it is their logic. They have a goal, and its one that we don’t agree with, but their method of achieving that goal results in exactly what they are trying to prevent in the first place.

          Allow me to set the scene, the proto-reaper species has probably just had a horrible experience with synthetics born of their advance technologies.

          “Oh dear, that war with synthetics was quite dangerous. Let’s make robots that liquefy people and destroy everyone in the galaxy to prevent robots from possibly endangering life again.”

          Is it a strange morality that drives them, or a lack of basic reasoning skills?

          • Bentusi16 says:

            Well, that assumes the race in question was using the same sort of logic we would. The survivors could’ve been driven to madness and desperation with what happened.

            This is all conjecture of course.

            Although, I am reminded of an episode of Babylon 5. An ancient race had a fanatical section of purist, who created a small group of super-soldiers who were designed to wipe out anyone who did not meet the hard-coded criteria for what that fanatical section of purist thought of as the perfect example of their species genetically.

            Unfortunately, because the criteria were all based on fanatical views, no one in the race could actually meet them, and they ended up wiping out the species, including their fanatic creators.

            • Sigilis says:

              And yet, that makes sense using our logic. If your goal is to eliminate undesirables and you happen to share the traits that you find abhorrent, it would be illogical to not destroy yourself. The logic in this case in consistent with the one we use every day, only the motivations are faulty. To put it in another way, their computer works perfectly, but the criteria in their software was too strict.

              The Reapers on the other hand designed machines to destroy life to prevent life from being destroyed by machines. It is not a stretch to imagine that their solution to this problem is the exact way to ensure their worst fears will always come to pass.

              It turns out we were just being trolled by the synthetic Catalyst in the end, I think. He was trying to logic bomb Shepard into giving up or blowing up. He did not realize that you cannot out-Kirk a human, no matter how much they are cybernetically augmented.

              • Dave B says:

                The problem: Synthetic life will eventually arise and destroy all organic life and dominate the galaxy forever.

                The Reapers’ solution: Destroy only the advanced organic and synthetic life every 50,000 years, and allow organic life to flourish in the meantime.

                It’s an ugly, brute-force solution, but it accomplishes their goals.

          • Majere says:

            From my understanding the proto-reaper species created the star-child and charged it with solving the organic v. synthetic problem and it proceeded to “solve” the problem by removing synthetic life as a variable by stunting organic development in perpetuity.

            • Sigilis says:

              Organics create synthetic to tell them about what they should do about their problem vis-a-vis synthetics killing organics. Its solution, kill all organics, and harvest them to construct synthetics. The proto-reapers should have seen that one coming from a light year away.

              Apologies, but I have yet to see an explanation that makes this part of the plot any less painful to think about with my robot brain.

      • Eärlindor says:

        NO! That never happened! I refuse to believe it! The Reapers are still awesome in my dreams.

    • Raygereio says:

      Think about how they committed to the war effort
      Alright.
      *thinks*
      There’s nothing to indicate wiping out the Batarians first was a strategic decision. They weren’t a strong military power, they simply had the misfortune of simply being there where the Reapers first entered our galaxy.
      And more importantly: the reapers are being idiots for the sake of plot. There isn’t a single reason given for why the Reapers can’t attack the crucial strategic target that is the citadel again and take control over the relay network.
      Just like there isn’t a convincing reason given for why there’s a war in the first place seeing as how absurdly more powerfull the reapers are portrayed as.

    • Eärlindor says:

      One, the reapers are dealing with a situation they’ve apparently never run into before. Previously, they took control of the citadel, opened it, shut down all the mass effect gates, and poured through.

      Now they’re having to try and adapt their tactics to a new situation. The mass effect gates are still open, meaning that fleets and system are no longer isolated. They also haven’t taken the citadel yet, which means there’s still a centralized authority in the universe.

      Sure, but what’s stopping them from making a b-line to the Citadel anyway? That should’ve been their first target.

      Two, their has never been any evidence that the reapers ever moved quickly. They didn’t have to. They could isolate every system and fleet by itself and slowly and methodically kill every living thing in the universe (of a certain technological level). To use it seems slow but the reapers used to have all the time in the world to take out a planet/system. Insert necrons reference here. You guys bring this up a lot so I thought I’d point this out.

      Sure they have all the time in the universe, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t go about your job more effectively. Even if the Reapers used more effective methods (which they should have) it would still take them a friggin’ long time to do their thing. They’re suppose to be hyper-advanced ships billions of years old. Why the heck do they only have a beam weapon, and not more sophisticated weaponry or technology?

      They shouldn’t even be trying to kill everyone, but harvest them.

      • Raygereio says:

        Why the heck do they only have a beam weapon, and not more sophisticated weaponry or technology?
        If the goal is harvesting, why do the Reapers attack at all and not use their indoctrination tech?

        • Eärlindor says:

          It’s true. I had this idea that Reapers could maybe use indoctrination probes hid inside or disguised as meteors and send them out in between cycles to crash into worlds, slowly indoctrinate members of the populace of those worlds, and potentially raise up an army of sleeper agents ready to do their bidding by the time they arrived (maybe this could’ve been Object Rho?).

          But I think Reapers could still possess weaponry, use it to crush opposition (like militaries), THEN harvest everybody with the help of their slaves.

        • Otters34 says:

          That would make WAY too much sense, and would make ground combat fearsome and terrifying at best, utter horror at worst as you and your mates are slowly taken over by the encroaching monsters from the void.

          But yeah, by all rights the Reapers should be all-but utterly impossible to fight planet-side.

      • Bentusi16 says:

        Actually..I’m pretty sure there is a reason. I think it has to do with, after the end of mass effect one, they went in and shut out the reapers ability to control the mass effect gates or something. I really do remember this being explained.

        “According to Vigil, the last Protheans used the Conduit and traveled to the Citadel to try and break this cycle. They succeeded, but it was already too late for the Protheans. Because the Conduit portal only linked in one direction, Vigil feared that the Prothean scientists, unable to find any food or water on the Citadel, slowly starved to death. Due to this Prothean intervention, the Reapers were forced to travel to the Milky Way without the help of the mass relays, at normal FTL speeds.”

        Also, the indoctrination thing: It takes time to kick in, and the reapers are not invincible. The initial attacks seem designed to wipe out infrastructure and military targets, scatter people, and keep them from effectively resisting.

        If you listen to the Asari on the citadel, the one who refuses to shower and wants a gun, you’ll hear about how they ARE indoctrinating people on worlds that aren’t as militarily tough.

        As for the citadel, I’d say it’s because it’s no longer a tactically significant point. It doesn’t have a huge defense feet (though I think its fleet has a lot of fire power for its size), and most of the actual leadership of the various races ends up on the normandy . The citadel is a big fat civilian target and little more, since they can no longer use it to shut down all the mass relays and using it to open up a mass effect gate to dark space is moot.

        Also, the batarians were a massive empire, very military, very disciplined. Their was a reason the citadel council did everything it did to avoid a war with the Hegemony. If you read the wiki/in game encyclopedia, it explains all that.

        • Eärlindor says:

          EDIT: Meant to be a reply to someone.

          • Bentusi16 says:

            Ah ha, found it, it’s under the keeper article.

            The shutting down of the mass relays and the opening of the citadel relay was designed to happen through the keepers.

            The keepers were changed by the protheans so they would no longer respond to any signal but the citadels itself.

            So now no one can do it, neither the reapers or the organic races.

            Also, I totally misinterpreted what you said with your indoctrination thing, I think that was more towards the SW crew anyway.

            Also, to your beam weapon thing: They are, as far as I can tell, the only race in the galaxy to use beam weapons. And one of those things can slice through the biggest ships the other fleets are able to put out, so it may simply be a case of ‘when every problem is a nail, you only need a hammer.”

            • Raygereio says:

              Erm. Remember ME1? That was the reason for why Sovereign couldn’t call in the rest of the reapers and was forced to take over the citadel. Basically the Protheans broke the remote, not the device itself.

              At the end of ME1, Saren took control of the relay network when he took over the council room and then Shep took it over using the file Vigil gave us.
              Post ME1 that fuctionality of the citadel is never mentioned again.

              In reply to your post two levels up:

              Also, the indoctrination thing: It takes time to kick in, and the reapers are not invincible.
              Yeah and? The reapers don’t have to be physically present as Arrival showed, they could have shot out probes with indoctrination devices and simply hide and wait until entire populations have become their slaves.

              Also, the batarians were a massive empire, very military, very disciplined. Their was a reason the citadel council did everything it did to avoid a war with the Hegemony. If you read the wiki/in game encyclopedia, it explains all that.
              I’ve read the codex and it flatout says they are not a military powerhouse. I think you’re confusing the Batarians with the entirety of the Terminus Systems.

              • Bentusi16 says:

                You’re right, I was confused. They did have a big and powerful military but it wasn’t quite as big as the Systems Alliance by the time of the events of ME1.

                Also it seems the reason that they went after the Batarians first was because they were already indoctrinated at the highest levels due to the Leviathan of Dis. They were able to completely remove a race from the table, and the self-enforced isolation of the Batarians meant they could do it quickly and quietly.

                And the Batarians did have a fairly large population, which meant shock troops for the tougher nuts to crack, the turians and the humans.

                Also, looking around the ME wiki, can anyone find a source on the citadel allowing control of the ME relays?

            • Lame Duck says:

              That can’t be right; the Reapers must be able to use the Citadel themselves, otherwise what the hell was Sovereign trying to do in Mass Effect 1?

              • Bentusi16 says:

                If memory recalls, he was trying to over power the citadels automatic security systems that the protheans had tweaked to keep the reapers out.

                See, the normal reaper plan works like this: After a harvest or a wiping or whatever you want to call it happens, they leave a single reaper somewhere in the galaxy. It monitors the citadel and determines when the races have reached a certain technological threshold. At that point it immediately sends a signal to the keepers, who activate the citadels mass effect relay to allow the reapers to rush in and take out the central authority (which always inevitably ends up on the citadel).

                What the Protheans did was change the keepers to the point that they would no longer accept the code of the Reapers, but only the citadel. I believe what Sovereign was attempting was cracking open the citadels codes so it could give the signal.

                “Saren took control of the relay network when he took over the council room and then Shep took it over using the file Vigil gave us.” I’m really not sure this is correct. If this was so, then why would the Council ever bother sending out exploration fleets to go through new relays, a process that’s still going on by the time ME3 rolls around. If they had access to all info and control over the relay network they could’ve had an idea exactly where they were jumping to and what was going on on the other side.

                I know it had control over the local citadel relay, but I’m not sure if that meant he had access to the entire network, or just that one relay.

                Edit: Oh hey I was totally wrong. Saren doesn’t turn off the mass relay. What he does is shut the citadels defensive shell so that the citadel defense fleet can’t harass Sovereign while he attempts to crack the codes.

              • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

                They have to get to it first. In the first game, Sovereign needed Saren to keep the doors open, and then close them afterwards. The Citadel is downright impregnable otherwise -probably even to Reapers (since they built it that way). They do try to get the Citadel by stealth -that’s the Coup -(TIM is already indoctrinated by that point, recall).

                As for indoctrination, we’ve yet to see what reaper occupation looks like. We’ve always run away while the initial assault was on-going. The codex reveals that reapers can die and that turrians and humans (at least) can kill them if they can get them on the ground and hit them with enough firepower.

                So the initial reaper landings are going to be big fights. Once that’s done, the reapers do park themselves and start broadcasting indoctrination beams. Which is why the leadership of earth is invited to come about a reaper ship, and why civilians are encouraged -by their indoctrinated leadership -to surrender.

            • Eärlindor says:

              Agh! What? I was replying to you and then your reply was gone and my reply got bumped to a regular comment, so I wanted to remove it, but now your back and talking about other things and–HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

              • Shamus says:

                If someone edits a comment, and the edited comment trips the crazy-ass spam filter, then they get yanked into the moderation queue and all of their replies get orphaned.

                I don’t know why, but a lot of stuff is getting spam-filtered today. I swear this thing had moods.

            • anaphysik says:

              But that makes no sense. Yes, in ME1, the Prothean badasses on Ilos reprogrammed the Keepers to no longer respond to the Reaper’s signal, which stopped Sovereign from simply calling the Keepers’ numbers and ordering one pizza with extra cheese and the Reaper invasion. But if it were impossible to control the relays, then there would be no point in Sovereign using the Saren/geth plot to get to the Citadel and attach to it, thereby directly starting the invasion and picking up his pizza at the same time, thereby ignoring the overpriced ‘delivery fee’. The relay control system should still work (otherwise “what was the point of Mass Effect 1”); it’s just that the Keepers were no longer the remote control receivers for that system.

              Really, as it’s presented now, the Reapers ought to be able to use the relays to hop around and kill everyone, including hopping to the Citadel. What would have been better is if people *had* messed with the control system following its reveal in ME1, and used it during ME3 to let normal ships through and block Reapers, forcing them to take the long, slow path.

              EDIT: started typing this over an hour ago before there were any other replies, but then phone calls and crap happened, so I suspect that I was majorly ninja’d.

              • guy says:

                More than that, Saren actually locked some of the Citadel fleet out of the battle by locking down the relays while they were on patrol, and Alliance reinforcements couldn’t arrive until Shepard remotely reactivated some of them.

                • Bentusi16 says:

                  Again, poking around I can’t find anything that actually suggest that the citadel controls the relays.

                  Also there’s only one on the Citadel side of things, so while he may have had access to the single mass relay (I think that’s actually mentioned as part of the citadels defensive strategy), that doesn’t necessarily mean he had access to the entire mass relay network.

                  Again though, a source on that would be really useful.

                  • guy says:

                    Mass Effect 1. Shepard goes to the council’s console and taps buttons to open the relays so the Alliance fleet can arrive. It’s straight in the dialogue of the final mission aboard the Citadel, and if you want details you can watch it in Spoiler Warning Season 1.

                    Mass Effect wiki walkthrough for the final mission of ME1: “Then Joker cuts in and hopes that he is contacting the Commander. Respond and Joker will say that he is sitting in the Andura sector with the entire Arcturus Fleet and that they can save the Ascension if Shepard opens the Relays to the Citadel.”

                    • Bentusi16 says:

                      I understand that, but that is the local relays at the citadel. That is not the entire mass relay network.

                      What I’m asking for is a direct source on if the citadel can control the entirety of the relay network, not the relays into the citadel.

                    • guy says:

                      Try Vigil’s conversation, or the Reaper article on the wiki. Also, its status as the final component of the Crucible indicates it can transmit to every mass relay in the galaxy.

                    • anaphysik says:

                      @Bentusi16:

                      http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_Relay

                      Commander Shepard also discovers that the Citadel itself is an enormous, inactive mass relay leading to dark space, as well as the control center for all the relays, enabling the Reapers to sever travel between clusters. Its reactivation is, fittingly, more complex than that of an ordinary mass relay, requiring either a coordinated effort by the keepers or manual intervention by a Reaper.

                      I wish I knew precisely where in ME1 this info comes from, but I forget. Sounds like an amalgam of things you learn from Saren, Vigil, and Sovereign. (It’s also possible that Javik had something to say about Reaper relay tactics, but I again forget.)

                      edit: curious why this tripped the moderation filters.

                    • Lame Duck says:

                      @anaphysik It’s during the conversation with Vigil; he explicitly states that the Reapers gained control of the whole network by siezing the Citadel and used it to isolate the star systems from each other.

                    • MintSkittle says:

                      @Bentusi16

                      http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_Relay

                      Not sure if the ME wiki counts as a direct source, but under “origin”, it says that the citadel is the control center to the entire relay network.

                      Edit: Ninja’d

  8. Raygereio says:

    This is something that bugged me throughout mass effect. How friggin hard could it possibly be when you want a character to draw a weapon, to add a simple check where you simply cycle through the different weaponslots and choose the first one that has a weapon in it, instead defaulting to the assault rifle all of the time, even to the point of the damn thing magically appearing out of nowhere?
    One could excuse it as an easy way out in ME1 where everyone always wore the same equipment anyway. But not so in ME2 and 3. In games where the developers (often rightly so) pride themselves on the cinematografy of the cutscenes, it feels like such a lazy oversight.

    I don’t feel like adding more, so have a random fanart picture!
    http://i.imgur.com/eki1L.jpg
    Random fun factoid for the day: one of those weird Talimancer “people” on the BioWare forums said the above picture made him kill Thane in his game for stealing Tali’s beer.
    Talimancers are creepy.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      The obvious solution is to have a long-barrel animation and short-barrel animation for each scene. However, we all know how rushed the game was so that isn’t an option.

      Mass Effect 2 was smart in giving all classes Pistols, so they could generally avoid that problem for Shepard. This one presented a bigger problem because they had no clue what weapons Shepard will have on him/her.

      • Raygereio says:

        That’s not even remotely the solution as there are 4 different drawing animations, nor does that adres the issue where Bioware chooses to ignore your Revenant and has Shep pull out the default Avenger out of null-space.
        The proper animations specific to each weapon type already exist. Shep&co uses them when drawing & switching weapons outside of cutscenes. It’s a simply matter of cycling through the different weaponslots and equiping weapon from the first slot you find that’s occupied. This shouldn’t require radically complex and fancy code.

        Also, it’s been a while, but I do recall ME2 also goofing up and having people draw assault rifles even though they didn’t have them, or have people draw the default avenger instead of the actually equiped rifle.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          I’m not saying they shouldn’t do it. I’m saying that that’s another symptom of the obvious rush job. This game is notably more glitchy and more poorly optimized than other games in the series. Load times are worse, etc.

          Truthfully, there’s no reason not to just check what weapons you have and draw one. Not doing that is stupid.

        • swenson says:

          Still better than the obnoxious issue in ME1 where it would actually switch your weapons in cutscenes… it brings to mind when I was playing a vanguard and had Liara and Kaidan along at Peak 15, and suddenly we’re all using assault rifles, which none of us had a speck of training in, and getting ambushed by rachni. THANKS, BIOWARE.

        • Deadfast says:

          Most likely the cutscenes are animated in one go using motion capture. Drawing a different weapon would require the animation to be either completely redone or implement the gun drawing animation separately. The latter would require some effort to make sure the transition between the two animations is smooth.

      • Sigilis says:

        They know exactly which weapons Shepard has. The problem is that they don’t care. They have a story, and your choices might mess things up. Imagine if you shot at Kai Leng with the assault rifle or shotgun you were using when the cut scene started, you would end up killing their favorite character.

        And that would be terrible.

    • Even says:

      The BSN forums are definitely an almost mythical place in that regard. While it’s likely just only a subset of the larger forum population, there does indeed seem to be all sorts of crazy you can run into from what I hear.

      As for creepy “Talimancers”, I’m not sure if anything can beat this particular post:

      http://i51.tinypic.com/awrd38.jpg

    • Lame Duck says:

      Bahahaha! That’s a spectacularly accurate depicition of Miranda as a character.

    • guy says:

      Shepard, why are you eating Garrus’ popcorn? That’s not healthy for your chirality, you know.

      Thane, stop using the Emergency Extraction Port on Tali’s beer for the same reason.

    • Phantos says:

      If you want goofy Mass Effect fan-art, here ye go.

  9. Eärlindor says:

    Concerning Chris’s question about husks, well, we had the Collectors in ME2, and I actually think that idea was brilliant because it means the Reapers can just use armies of slaves (especially since we find out beings like the Collectors were cyborg clones) to do the actual reaping for them without too much danger of losing their own. The problem is the games never really bothered to flesh that idea out or even effectively do what I just described. And also, I suppose one could make the case that older generation husks/slaves were used up, but still, I would chalk up not seeing older generations to being an oversight.

    Getting Garrus at Palavan’s moon felt VERY underwhelming here, probably because of his killable status in ME2.

    And you guys pretty much voiced all my frustrations with the Reaper’s domination plan in ME3 (which I think I voiced back during the first episode), as well as the humans expecting all the races to drop what they’re doing just so they can help poor Earth.

    Now here’s a couple things that bother me about the Palavan battle sequence:
    1) The Turian fleet is attacking the Reapers who’re between between them and the planet–are they TRYING to bomb their own world? Whatever happened to the space warfare conventions from the codex about battles and garden worlds?
    2) Back in ME2, the Turians collected technology from the Sovereign wreckage to build their own version of the Reaper beam weapon–the Thanix Cannon–a weapon that can be mounted not just on a cruiser or dreadnought, but also on a frigate or fighter. How come we aren’t seeing Turian ships with Thanix Cannons?

    -.-

    • Ateius says:

      Given the condition of that planet, I think their main priority is just killing the Reapers, warfare conventions be damned.

      That is a good point about the Thalix cannon though, one I was going to raise myself. This was a big thing in ME2. It absolutely wrecked the Reaper-tech Collector ship. It was Turian, so why aren’t the Turians using it to shred the Reapers instead of railguns?

      Also: Quality Bioware Animation ™.

      • Bentusi16 says:

        Well, to be fair, the Thanix Cannon was super-prototype, expensive as all heck to build, and had a crazy power draw. It’s one thing to put it on a privately owned spaceship that can run around harvesting its own resources and stuff, it’s another thing to mass produce it, test it for safety, calibrate it (heh), retrofit ships.

        I’ve been involved in modern military contracting :P Believe me, it takes forever to get a vital piece of equipment upgraded, even today.

        Also, the reapers do not care about any laws of war or anything. Intentionally putting themselves between the fleet and the planet is a great way to cause the fleet to hesitate in pouring on the full fire power available to them. Cold, but efficient.

        • Eärlindor says:

          Well, to be fair, the Thanix Cannon was super-prototype, expensive as all heck to build, and had a crazy power draw. It’s one thing to put it on a privately owned spaceship that can run around harvesting its own resources and stuff, it’s another thing to mass produce it, test it for safety, calibrate it (heh), retrofit ships.

          When everyone is pouring COUNTLESS resources, and plotting out the logistics for said resources, into a giant Prothean Deathstar Deus Ex Machina of Stupid that NO ONE knows how it works, there’s no reason to pour those resources into weapons that we KNOW will work. It’s absolute BS, and the Turians have no excuse not to have those cannons after three years. Especially now when it counts most, especially when they’re leaking weapon plans on the extranet because they’re so desperate. The point with that last one being if they’re willing to go to such measures for quick results, there is no reason for them NOT to have Thanix cannons.

          • Bentusi16 says:

            THree years?

            ME3 takes place 6 months after the end of ME2.

            The Thanix Cannon wasn’t even field tested until the end of ME2, when the normandy fitted it and fired it against the collector ship.

            And up until after the end of ME2, the turian government is still very skeptical about the idea of reapers, probably up until Garrus is actually hired on.

            Six months is not a ton of time to refit and mass produce highly experimental weapons with a massive power draw, a power draw high enough that they probably would’ve had to retrofit most of their ships with more powerful cores in order to fire.

            • anaphysik says:

              http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Thanix

              After the Battle of the Citadel in 2183, human and turian volunteers spent three months clearing the station’s orbit of debris. During the cleanup, the turians secretly salvaged Sovereign’s powerful main gun along with much of the weapon’s element zero core. Eleven months later, the turians introduced the Thanix, a scaled-down version of the weapon.

              The weapon’s relatively small size allows it to be mounted on most fighters or frigates, including the Normandy SR-2, and gives them firepower rivaling cruisers.

              By the time of the Reaper invasion of the galaxy in 2186, the Thanix and its variations have seen widespread use among Alliance fleets and beyond.

              (also, he meant three years since it was first salvaged from Sovereign)

      • Thomas says:

        The codex says the Reapers deliberately placed themselves between the Turians and the homeworld to force a nasty fight. I think it;s fair to say with the condition Palaven is the Turians are remembering that the Reapers didn’t sign that treaty

      • guy says:

        The consensus in a previous thread is the animators just forgot. Then Thanix missiles take out a Reaper Destroyer in the endgame. That… made no sense.

        • Sigilis says:

          What is a Thanix missile, anyhow? I thought the whole ‘Thanix’ weapon thing was a beam like the ones that the Reapers use. How can you make a missile that uses a beam weapon?

          More importantly, why don’t any of the huge spaceships (or hordes of fighters) use these Reaper killing missiles?!

          • Guy says:

            Technically it only LOOKS like a beam weapon. It actually is basically a railgun that propels molten tungsten at high speeds. But that doesn’t really make it any less dumb. It could be explained by Thanix being the codename for a Reapertech weapons development program. It just… Isn’t. Granted, the answer to the second question might be that they simply aren’t very good at breaching kinetic barriers and so are only effective against grounded and firing Reapers.

            • Jace911 says:

              One person on another forum tried to explain it as a single-shot Thanix cannon with a rocket strapped to the end; sort of a “ram a gun down your throat and fire” design path.

              The next comment down was “so it’s like a really big HEAT missile like the kind we’ve had for decades”.

              • guy says:

                That did occur to me, but the Thanix cannon is a bit too big and requires substantial power and a large quantity of Element Zero. Plus, given its range and how well the beam holds together, it seems kind of silly to use them like HEAT missiles. After all, detonating a HEAT missile won’t kill tanks from several kilometers away.

                Also the animation just has undirected explosions that look pretty large for something that also has a hypervelocity railgun stuck in it.

                • Sigilis says:

                  The big explosion probably just provides the energy for the laser metal HEAT Thanix thing. Think about a nuclear bomb pumped X-Ray laser, except on a smaller scale because we can pretend that Mass Effect fields make smaller energy releases have greater effect on the less massive particles or something. So in addition to the explosion, a very short range lance of relativistic metal ions… pokes the Reaper in the eye?

                  I don’t like this explanation. Could you ask the chef to prepare something less stupid?

                • Corpital says:

                  Didn’t the codex also state some of the first targets for the reapers were nuclear missile silos?
                  They seem to think they are a threat, so building nuclear fusion bombs and FTLing them into the next best reaper should be the way to go.

              • 4th Dimension says:

                In ship to ship combat Thanix missile might have some value. Because if you could miniaturize enough the drive and mount on it a one shot THANIX ‘beam’ you get a standoff weapon that can be fired at enemies who are outside of the pure kinetic weapon range (kinetic weapons have no range, but at some range even excellent prediction algorithms fail to predict the location of the enemy, and while kinetic weapons don’t disperse they are still not perfectly precise).

                On the other hand, a land based variant of such weapon would have minimum range measured in kilometers, and that destroyer was practically in range of firearms.

          • Eärlindor says:

            See, that whole “Thanix missile” thing pisses me off. We all know what the cannon is, but what the crap is this missile? Is BioWare throwing the Thanix name around now and trying to make it meaningless?

      • Eärlindor says:

        Given the condition of that planet, I think their main priority is just killing the Reapers, warfare conventions be damned.

        The conventions and treaties aren’t the point. There’s a difference between burning everything with reaper beams, and causing nuclear winters that destroy entire ecosystems for millions of years with the warheads and rail slugs on the Turian warships.

        • Bentusi16 says:

          Whats the alternative? Abandoning the planet so that the reapers can continue to attack it unmolested, or try to maneuver around the fleet while it attacks your own fleet and decimates its numbers? I’m not sure there’s a way they could maneuver to get the reaper fleet from between them and the planet, honestly.

          Like I said, it’s a cold move on the reapers part, but efficient

          • Eärlindor says:

            They already talked about how the turians attempted to flank the Reapers (which probably would’ve been more effective with Thanix cannons :P). All I’m asking is for BioWare to actually SHOW us that the turians are at least trying.

    • Jexter says:

      You see how the planet is on fire? No way the Reaper lasers could cause that. I’ll just assume the Turians stupidly attacking from that angle accidentally ignited that part of the atmosphere.

    • Zombie says:

      As to the Husks, I feel that had they given us ones from previous cycles, we the player wouldn’t know whats going on, and story wise, no one would know what those things are. We wouldn’t have the same connection we have when we see a Marauder and realize that thing was at one point a Turian, or see a Brute and think, How could they do that to a Krogan and Turian. They all look close enough to their respective race to be easily mistaken from far away, but close up you can tell their completely different. Also, that would have cost a lot of money to just make new art assets.

    • Majere says:

      Judging by the way most husks fight I would think they would have an absurdly high turnover rate which would mean that somewhere in the middle of a cycle all of the husks created in previous cycles would have been replaced by husks from that cycle, ie all of the pre-Prothean husks were killed off during the Prothean cycle and replaced with Collectors (aka Prothean husks) which were subsequently wiped out during the current cycle.

  10. Moewicus says:

    RE: Chris’s question around 13 minutes: It has to do with the different forms of indoctrination. The kind of indoctrination used on Saren is more subtle and less complete, but left him useful for more tasks, whereas the indoctrination method used to create Husks is more thorough and results in greater control with the downside of having them not last for very long and essentially being zombies. So, the Husks simply aren’t meant to last until the next cycle.

    IIRC disclaimer: I’m not even sure how I know this anymore.

    • Eärlindor says:

      True, but you also have more sophisticated husks like the Collector/Protheans and Marauder/Turians which can carry out more complex tasks and potentially be cloned.

      • swenson says:

        Collectors aren’t indoctrinated directly, though. The Collector General is indoctrinated, probably to a level similar to Saren, and everyone else is controlled through him because they’ve been forced into a sort of hive mind. I think that’s how they keep the Collectors having a bit of autonomy and not being overwhelmed quickly, while still being controlled.

        Presumably they’d have to switch out the Collector General every once in a while, though.

        • guy says:

          I think they might just have put more effort into modifying the Collectors. They do have much more intraspecies variation than the average non-hybrid Husks, possibly because there weren’t other sentient species to modify into tailored combat units available.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Even more than that, the Collectors are bred from modified Protheans, presumably to include this one little feature of a lack of huskification.

          In the same way, the Keepers were done this way – just a lot more docile, and responding to a signal transmitted by the Citadel, delivered by a Reaper – and then the Protheans decided to break the signal transmitter. Which presumably means an indoctrinated Keeper (Oh man, would’ve loved the Keepers to have been huskified on the Cruicible/Catalyst trip) could still be made ala the Prothean General, but the genetic structure of their code prevents them from going all weak in the indoctrination process.

    • guy says:

      I think you’re somewhat mixing up Husks and Indoctrination. Husks are made into robots and have large chunks of their brain scooped out, Indoctrination is mind control rays.

  11. Lame Duck says:

    What the shit? When did the Reapers get access to undead dragons?

  12. newdarkcloud says:

    Someone talked about this earlier in the comments, but I really hated how the War Assets didn’t seem to coalesce into something. What were we doing with all those assets? Were we speeding up the Crucible’s creation (it get’s built regardless)? Were we building up our forces for an attack? Were we trying to get morale up? None of this is clear.

    Especially since War Assets only affect what you can do with the Crucible. How does getting Turians to fight with you enable a lime or blueberry-flavored explosion?

    • Even says:

      To win the war, obviously. Or I don’t know. It never seemed like they had an actual plan in the beginning, other than amassing resources and people for the inevitable and hoping they can finish the Crucible in time, to only come up with the final showdown towards the end when TIM forced their hand after blowing up his space station.

    • Sigilis says:

      In the extended cut, the Catalyst mentioned that my Crucible was “mostly intact”, so I figure you can do less with a more damaged Crucible. Perhaps all those war assets were to help deliver your super weapon, like the protective Brotherhood of Steel around a Reginald Cuftbert.

      Except for the ground assets, which are guddam meaningless in the end, since SPOILER ALERT: squishy dudes in big slow shuttles tend to get shot out of the sky. The ground section seems to play out the same no matter what happens.

      • scowdich says:

        Oh, there’s a more useless asset: the Citadel Defense Force, which I can only presume get slaughtered by the Reapers offscreen just before the end, only to add to your war preparedness total anyway.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      Not to mention that, besides the cutscene before the battle for Earth and the later appearance of some characters before the final battle, the war assets are mostly generic. I thought the war assets were going to be something along the lines of what the companions were in Mass Effect 2’s situation, where you would order them to fulfill certain functions they excelled at (i.e. you have to choose a group to draw Reaper fire on the ground, krogans and geth are more effective then salarians, who you could order to make a flanking attack). Instead it’s just a general number of how ‘prepared’ you are, and it feels like there’s almost no strategy besides ‘throw everything we’ve got at one position’.

      • StashAugustine says:

        This is one thing that I will really fault the game for. It would also provide a lot more in the way of choice in the missions- “Let’s see, I’ve got enough fleets, but my ground troops are in trouble. But I really wanna save the quarians over the geth.” Or something like that.

        • Ringwraith says:

          This is where I find a lot of problems with the game lie: even Mass Effect 2 did the ending better.
          For a game which builds itself around these numbers it completely fails to use them, whereas 2 was built around forming a team of experts and actually lets factor into the final mission in a myriad of ways, (just look at all the ways you can engineer certain people to live or die).

    • Varewulf says:

      I started to think the game would get all tactical on me at the end, since it was pretty detailed as to what the different war assets were. I thought it’d end up being like a test where I’d have to apply the right fleet to the right task at the right time and stuff like that. I studied! And then…

      Nothing like that actually came about. It was just a number.

      It would have been so cool though, if what you put together actually mattered. Actually had an impact beyond increasing the number.

  13. HBOrrgg says:

    I’m generally not a big fan of alien invasion stories where the invincible aliens curb-stomp everything, but they could at least pick one side or another. Instead we get these awful scenes where all the infantry yell and repeatedly shoot their small arms at the clearly invincible reaper ships like something out of a bad anime.

    • Fleaman says:

      This. You know how there’s always that part where there’s like twenty dudes, and some badass effortlessly cleaves through fifteen of them; those last five trash mob samurai stand there for a moment looking all scared, but then they all yell and charge one at a time and get butchered up and down and no one learns anything?

      This is like your entire plan in this game.

  14. Zukhramm says:

    hahaha Ninja Kaiden i get itaslolololol

  15. newdarkcloud says:

    BTW, Shamus you’re wrong. The Reapers don’t get rid of every space-faring person each cycle. If they did, then Bioware couldn’t sell you Day 1 On-Disc DLC.

    • Sigilis says:

      You’ve uncovered true plan of this incomprehensibly powerful alien menace! The Reapers figured that it would be funny to leave one guy alive, and turn off his alarm clock. They would have come back this cycle and woken him up, just to hear him shout: “I slept too long!!!”.

      Then they would finish their slurpies, and mumble something about feeling tired, and go back to dark space to take a nap.

  16. Alex the Too Old says:

    Didn’t it turn out that Peter was actually the dummy? Admittedly, I haven’t watched Head in a long time…

  17. Thomas says:

    I think all your conversations about lasers pointers wasn’t accurate. I mean they were taking out those key infrastructures you talked about, the first time they used it they blew up Alliance command. And the other times we’ve seen it used were on soldiers and people directly attacking them.

    Their plan seems to be 1. Kill military, cripple planet.
    2. Set up harvesting centres, create army
    3. Use army to harvest entire planet.

    There’s no suggestion they’re going laser point North America away, I mean in London they weren’t trying that, they just used it to create a base of operations. I don’t think we’ve ever actually seen or have had it suggested that they were going to laser point all life away. Even the Kid was in a military shuttle.

    (Also I really liked the dynamic shuttle landings in this game)

    • Phantos says:

      Keep in mind they have to do all of this without leaving a single trace of their existence behind each time. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have Councils being all “WE’VE DISMISSED THESE CLAIMS OF GIANT ROBOT SQUID ZOMBIE FACTORIES”.

      • Thomas says:

        Someone suggested 50 000 years worth of environmental damage in earlier threads, but that seems a bit wishy washy to me.

        Don’t the Reapers do some resource repair too? I figure there must be a second stage to their plan, once they’v processed the aliens into Reapers where they dig out some planet city-rinse bomb or something

        • Corpital says:

          I think Liara says she calculated, that the reapers would need about 80years to harvest humans *on earth*. Less, as you pointed out, after successful indoctrinations. Codex states they harvest about 2million people per day and…what did they say about the human Reaper from ME2? About 10million humans to finish it? That will they do with the billions of other humans? Asari? Turians? Turn them into husks and let them fight against each other for fun and processing power?

          And YES, I loved the dynamic landing. Bit of flying around, claring the landing zone and not just porting to the designated starting point.

          • Eärlindor says:

            No, EDI never put a number on how many humans it would take other than that by the end of the game, tens of thousands had been processed, and several hundred millions more were needed. I need to check my sources, but the number was never 10 million.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            “[W]hat did they say about the human Reaper from ME2? About 10million humans to finish it? That will they do with the billions of other humans? Asari? Turians? Turn them into husks and let them fight against each other for fun and processing power?”

            Who says they only create one Reaper per cycle? That would be horribly inefficient…nevermind.

            Okay, but seriously, they lose Reapers per cycle – I don’t see why they wouldn’t make as many Reapers as possible from the harvesting, short of the husks they use as an army to fight the other forces to create more Reapers.

  18. guy says:

    My immediate reaction to seeing the space battle was, “Wow, the Turians are not losing. Shepard wasn’t kidding when she said ‘If you want a problem shot, ask a Turian.'” That was the main emotion Pavelen evoked in me, really. I mean, we were wondering who the new Primarch was, so we called someone to ask. Their command and control structure was sufficiently intact that actually worked and they got back to us in like five minutes. So yeah, I kind of thought of it as retaking homeworlds in reverse order of how screwed they were.

    To be fair, they were probably experiencing a sudden shortfall of people who could use guns.

    They probably recycle Husks into Reapers. Plus, Husks never struck me as particularly stable over the long term.

    No one commented on it once it happened, but the Maraders (Husked Turians) put in their first appearence at the end of the mission. They have assault rifles and shields and enhance nearby Husks, befitting the Turian’s role as best soldiers in the galaxy.

    • Sigilis says:

      I had the exact opposite reaction. The Turians were getting their faces handed to them. Those Reaper ships were one-shotting the Turian cruisers (If not dreadnoughts as well). Conversely, the Turians were killing precisely none of the Sovereign style Reapers. I will leave it to the imagination how long it would take for their entire fleet to be annihilated in this confrontation with several Reapers, ships that have been demonstrated in the past to brofist Turian ships TO DEATH.

      At the time, I just wanted them to stop fighting so that I would actually have some ships to work with when it came time to deliver my deus ex machina.

      • Jace911 says:

        According to the Codex entry on this battle it’s not completely hopeless; it mentions the turians bleeding the Reapers for every inch in space and dirtside and scoring more than a few kills, but suffering horrific losses in return.

    • Pattom says:

      Yeah, Marauders are the first brand of husk infantry to actually pose some kind of threat. They’re just as hardy and accurate with their fire as any organic soldier you’ve encountered in the series AND they make lesser husks in the area more dangerous.

      On that note, did anyone else think it odd that the really weird husks from ME2 got left out? The Scions (blue backpacks and arms that fired biotic shockwaves) were annoying, but the need to jump from cover to cover did break things up at times. They were certainly more fun to fight than any of this game’s instakill Banshees.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      The turrians did have one advantage over earth: they knew the reapers were coming and set an ambush. The earth fleets were all massed together at Arcturus -and now that I say that, what a stupid idea, Admiral Hackett -and one fleet was obliterated in the first few moments. Three more managed to escape only because the fourth covered their retreat.

      The turians hid behind the moon and bushwacked the reapers when they came through the relay. For all that, all they managed to do was stall a few days.

      Incidentally, this is where the codex starts seriously undermining the story. If turians can take down a reaper with sufficient tactical surprise -and because their dreadnaughts are more maneuverable than the reapers -then why are we trying to build a superweapon we don’t understand, rather than luring the reapers out to far away systems where we can ambush them?

      • Thomas says:

        Because they’d just kill all the people living on planets everywhere :D I think the codex didn’t do a bad job of making it sound like it was also a losing battle, even if Reapers seem generally underpowered in the whole of ME3

      • Bentusi16 says:

        Because you can’t really lure the reapers anywhere. They are going to go where they go.

        I also think that it’s simply a matter of numbers. The reapers launch massive attacks that overwhelm several fleets across the galaxy, nearly all at once, and as the game progresses more and more reapers show up in the galaxy til they’re literally in every single system in sufficient numbers to absolutely ruin your day.

        If you have to have massive tactical surprise to take out a single reaper, what are you going to do when all his buddies turn around to smack you around, like what basically happened with Pavelan?

        • newdarkcloud says:

          That’s not true. The probing mini-game makes it very clear that the Reapers can be lured into areas quite easily. The Normandy attracts Reapers all the time.

          With this knowledge, setting up ambushes should be easy-sauce.

      • Pattom says:

        How would you lure them away, though? The Reapers’ whole strategy is to devastate major population centers so that each species will have the knee-jerk reaction to bunker down and protect their own. You can’t prop up some cardboard cut-outs on an asteroid and pretend you’ve always had a bustling colony there. And you can’t say drop hints to them that you’re building the Crucible in a certain location, either: the Extended Cut makes it clear that the Reapers knew nothing about it until the Illusive Man filled them in.

        • Bentusi16 says:

          Oh man, I immediately got the image of a cardboard cutout of shepard standing on an asteroid with a crappy little motor making the arm wave back and forth.

        • Guy says:

          What.

          This thing has been under design for countless cycles. It is confirmed that indoctrinated Protheans knew about their copy. Did they really not know?

          • Indy says:

            Well the writers didn’t know what the Reapers knew. Fitting since the writers didn’t know what the writers knew.

          • Majere says:

            They didn’t know that THIS cycle had uncovered and started building it.

            • Pattom says:

              Yeah, that’s my fault for not being clear enough. Somewhere along the line, a species being harvested thought up the Crucible, and the Reapers found it and blew it up before it could fire. What the Reapers didn’t realize was that copies of the plans had survived somehow and were being passed down from cycle to cycle.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            The Illusive Man tried to create reverse-way communication though. And succeeded, although couldn’t disable the other way, so two-way communication through him became inevitable.

            Whereas regular indoctrinated fellows can’t feed data back to the Reaper – it’s similar to the Thorian, where instead of assuming direct control of all of them, they just make non-Reaper-useful thoughts subservient.

            Do that too much, and they become weak like in ME1. Do it too little, and people like Benezia can hold onto their minds and break free at critical points.

        • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          As Indy said, the Writers didn’t know what the Writers knew. The reapers were not, prior to this point, that numerous. They were just insanely powerful. No single system could withstand them -which the reapers surely know because every time they invade the first thing they do is shut down the relay network so that no one can mass together. Everyone bunkers up because it is the only option -and then they die.

          But this time, the relays are open. Mass the fleets somewhere, then tell the reapers that Shepard is on earth, and then ambush the reapers there. Kill a few reapers, then run.

          Rinse and repeat. We’ve got centuries to work with, the ability to coordinate (which no one before has had) and the reapers can’t reproduce quickly (it’s why they rely on indoctrination) while the Council races can.

          Let our great quest in this game be to mass the fleets and find a way to block indoctrination -and then mix the two to beat the reapers. The superweapon just comes out of nowhere.

          • Corpital says:

            Maybe something got lost in the translation, but I think Souvereign says on Virmire that “they are legion” and…uh…there will be enough of them in out sky so that we will not be able to see our sun.

        • Klay F. says:

          Its pretty easy to lure the the Reapers places as far as I’ve seen. They especially have huge hard-ons for helium-3 fueling stations. Just take your fleet, station it around some old abandoned facility, make it look like you are giving it undue importance, and the Reapers will show up without fail.

          • Pattom says:

            True, but the description of those wrecks imply that the Reapers didn’t concentrate fire on them. More often than not they were in the way of a major population center, either a planet or another space station, so the Reapers took potshots on their way by.

    • Indy says:

      The talk of the Marauders reminds me of something. Later in the game, you’ll be fighting all sorts of husks across a lot of places. Does that mean that Reapers left the fighting on all these planets and went to Earth on some kind of Mook Exchange Program?

      • Guy says:

        Probably. Getting the full mixture on all major engagements would have been useful for the harvesting campaign. They do have troop transports that could easily be used to shuffle Husks around.

    • swenson says:

      Speaking of turian chain of command, I still wanna know how high up Garrus was in the end. He never would tell me…

      But come on, how awesome would Primarch Garrus be? He would settle all negotiations via sniper rifle.

      • guy says:

        That confused me too. Apparently generals are required to salute him, though he might break from the normal rank structure in military courtesy terms on account of having earned the Turian version of the Medal of Honor. Though IIRC Shepard did that too and she didn’t get saluted.

        • Majere says:

          I suppose his authority would be augmented by the twin facts that he’s the only member of the turian military with any previous experience fighting Reapers at all and they are currently fighting off a Reaper invasion. I mean IIRC he’s the head of the, like, Reaper Preparation Task-force or whatever.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Which he mentioned seemed to just be to get him off their backs.

            Though it might make him count like a Spec Ops agent – he has the freedom to do what he needs, but he has no official backing.

            Maybe he never told you because he effectively estranged himself from the command structure.

            • guy says:

              He’s saluted by the general, isn’t he? Given how big on military discipline and hierarchy the Turians are, that probably means his nominal rank is higher even though he doesn’t seem to have authority over the base, or there’s some specific exception to normal saluting rules like a special decoration for heroism.

        • Syal says:

          That’s because Shepherd has as many Dishonorable Discharges as Medals of Honor.

          Alternately, Turians use ‘general’ the way humans use ‘grunt’.

  19. Varewulf says:

    They do raise a fair point here. The Reapers have been doing this for how many millions of years? You’d think they’d be super-effective at this by now.

    I can understand that they’d take their time. If I recall from ME1, they basically take centuries to complete the reaping. Though as Shamus pointed out, they are being very wasteful.

    Has this become such a routine for them that they no longer care? Do they, in spite of their machine parts, get bored? Do they enjoy firing their lasers at the little people and watching them disintegrate?

    Or is simply their programming so flawed that they are unable to perform their task optimally?

    • IFS says:

      So much for the Unimaginably intelligent beings that we were presented with in the first game. Seriously the reapers have become complete idiots by ME3, the one on Rannoch can’t even figure out how to fire his laser horizontally.

      Was Sovereign the only smart reaper in existence and his death crippled the reaper forces? because thats what it seems like.

      • ps238principal says:

        Because they’ve been around for millions of years, they’re all suffering from senile dementia, but everyone’s afraid to tell them. They have quite the temper.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Soveriegn claimed to be unimaginably intelligent, but I think it’s fair to say he’s suffering from pride. The reapers’ power comes from the fact they rigged the game with the mass relays. Then the Protheans figured it out, broke the table, and now we’re playing with a fair roulette wheel. The reapers should be floundering. In millions of years this has never happened to them.

        To bad the writers forgot about that fact.

        Gee, that’s becoming my mantra.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      I’d love it if they have shifts.

      “I’m on break. Is this important? Oh, it’s Shepard again? I’ve got five minutes left on my break, hold him off until then.”

    • ps238principal says:

      This has been a problem with sci-fi media of pretty much any stripe. Given the level of computer technology, targeting systems, etc. ship battles should be largely automated with humans providing general guidance (target priority, for example, or maneuvers) and serving as a backup if the computer goes wonky. “Star Trek” should have scenes of starships firing constantly until one side or the other is destroyed or disabled, but it’s still all manually controlled and fairly single-shot affairs.

      This is because of dramatics, mostly. Reapers should have technology that accomplishes their goals in minutes or seconds, super-weapons that can wipe out a population down to a mathematically-determined level within a .001% margin of error.

      In fact, these ground battles would make a LOT more sense if we’d discovered some kind of anti-Reaper-super-weapon-field gizmo in, let’s pretend here, the second game when we were ON a Reaper. That would have made the second game a lot more significant and worthwhile, we would have gotten something out of the “suicide mission” and we could have still had a choice: Give the REST of the Reaper tech to the Illusive Man, or just escape with the anti-weapon gizmo.

      If anyone needs a writer who hates plot holes, I’m wide open, people.

  20. ps238principal says:

    Why is Garrus so worried about Primark? Were they having a sale on armor?

    If the Reapers blew it up, I suppose he could go to Harrods. I mean, they have exclusive Hello Kitty products and everything…

  21. Gruhunchously says:

    Hmm. Mumbles hasn’t been talking much this week, and when she does, she sounds really strange. What kind of unearthly voice changing sickness has she come down with?

  22. Corpital says:

    I liked the mission on the moon-with-breathable-atmosphere, but the dire setting was somehow undercut for me by the game never throwing more than a handful of husks at me. Even the Turian/Krogan ones went down moderatly easy even on higher difficulties.

    Speaking of which: why can the human husks shrug off reentry and slamming into the ground but literally desintegrate if hit with anything more than a gentle slap?

    The Turians holding their line is by the way no surprise. After all one of their patrols in ME2 was able to shut down the Collector Ship, right guys?

    • Indy says:

      Please don’t remind us of that.

      The only worrying husks are the Banshees that are way more common than their lore would suggest. Seriously, if there are only 3 Ardat-whatevers, and they’re all accounted for, why are there thousands of them?

      As to the reentry deployment… Inertia is for jerks.

      • Bentusi16 says:

        I think that’s because the reapers only need the latent ardat-yakshi gene, not an actual ardat-yakshi.

        There’s apparently tons of asari running around with that genetic bit of code in their DNA somewhere, which is probably why ‘pure bloods’ are considered so badly. Combining your DNA with another Asari probably carries a very high risk of creating a new one.

        Mendel-sons squares or whatever they are and such.

      • Mike S. says:

        The lore on Ardat-Yakshi was contradictory back in ME2– basically, Samara said there were 3 Ardat-Yakshi, but both the Codex and the background bits implied there were a lot more. (I don’t think a pair of sisters produce enough honey products to be a noteworthy export product for you to run into on two different worlds.)

        It actually almost looks like an internal argument among the writers: From the Codex: “Contrary to popular belief, Ardat-Yakshi are neither extremely rare (around one per cent of asari dwell on the AY spectrum), nor are they all murderers. Most cultivate and discard countless exploitative or abusive relationships during their legally marginal lives.” So basically a point-by-point contradiction of pretty much everything Samara tells you about Ardat-Yakshi, which is characterized as “popular belief”.

        Given two incompatible Ardat-Yakshi population numbers, I think it’s reasonable for the ME3 writers to have gone with the one that actually contributed to the story, by enabling both Banshees and the Lesuss mission.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          I suppose one could argue that Samara is going off of popular belief because she’s spent 400 years chasing down Mornith.

          Which basically boils down to the idea that all the Ardat-Yakshi became much more likely recently in the last 400 years.

        • Guy says:

          I figured only Samara’s daughters were full-on “Demon of the Night Winds” level, and the others were not capable of instantly fatal lifedrain or mind control.

  23. Zaxares says:

    I personally chose to accept the legacy from ME1 that the Reapers are an immense, overwhelming and ultimately unstoppable military force. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Sovereign-class dreadnoughts, and just ONE of those dreadnoughts takes the combined firepower of 4 Citadel dreadnoughts to defeat. Considering that the ME lore puts the combined dreadnoughts of all the Citadel races at no more than 48, conventional military victory is indeed impossible.

    As such, when you consider the initial reluctance of the Council and other races to assist Shepard and the Alliance in building the Crucible and trying to take back Earth, it makes perfect sense. Why waste your fleets and resources on what seems like a pipe dream and an unattainable goal? It’s only when the other races realise that there is literally no escape from extinction, that blind hope in this untested “Prothean” device is all they’ve got, that they finally fall into line behind the player.

    1:40: Steve’s husband died when the Collectors attacked Ferris Fields, a human colony. You can actually hear the Normandy’s crew talking about it in ME2!

    3:22: YES! Oh God, a THOUSAND TIMES YES! It is so, SO annoying to not be able to skip the mass relay jump cutscene after you’ve seen it dozens of times already! (Then again, maybe it’s another disguised loading screen which is why we can’t skip it. Who knows?)

    6:00: *laughs* Oh wow, I’ve NEVER seen that happen before! Even on my Engineer, it wasn’t that bad because I was using the Locust which is a lot bigger. The Shuriken is only the size of a pistol which is why it looks so screwed up. Although, this scene bugs me on another level. If they can get the “use only guns Shepard is using” working on some cutscenes, why can’t they do it for ALL cutscenes??

    10:55: Oh, come on, Shamus! It would be a betrayal of the Code of the RPG if you COULDN’T run around looting people’s shit as soon as you arrived in an area! XD (Mind you though, there is one spot in ME3 later where an NPC will mention you taking his gun. But even then, he doesn’t seem that upset about it!)

    13:25: The Codex states that the vast majority of captive populations are liquefied to be transformed into new Reapers. A small subset of the population proves unsuitable for this process and so get turned into Husks instead. I always presumed that after a Cycle is over, the Reapers don’t need the Husks anymore and so they destroy all the Husks so as to leave no trace of the cleansing for the next Cycle to discover.

    15:21: Nope. You missed them the first time around, Josh. ;) You’ve actually missed a LOT of stuff so far throughout this LP, but I’m not saying anything about it because I figure you’re going for a good speed rate rather than combing every single last nook and cranny for credits and equipment like I did.

    15:45: You guys are forgetting one thing. What you’re seeing is the Reaper’s “Thanix cannon”, used for close-range interdiction, but it’s NOT their most powerful ordnance. Each Sovereign-class reaper also has a gigantic mass accelerator cannon that’s capable of firing projectiles that impact with the force of a hydrogen bomb. And they can fire one of those EVERY FOUR SECONDS. So yeah, a single Reaper is more than capable of wiping out an entire planet, if it really wanted to.

  24. Artur CalDazar says:

    Sometimes it feels like there were two very passive aggressive people writing this. One person decided Earth is important and why we are fighting, and the other thought it was stupid, but rather than change it they had us work to build the reaper killing device because we want to kill the reapers and save everything, which is more important that just earth. I mean I’m doing all this to save earth, but I spend far more time giving a shit about other planets, planets made out to be much more important than earth.

    It does this a lot, not just with Earth and Humans and it leaves me a little unsure of what exactly the game was saying sometimes.

    • Will says:

      This seems like a problem caused by the sheer size of videogames – creative disagreements are nearly unavoidable. There is nothing wrong with stories about saving Earth, nor with stories about saving the galaxy, but if you mash them together you get a confused mess.

  25. RCN says:

    On the matter of why the reapers pretty much fried Palaven, well, the codex actually explains a lot.

    The reapers are trying to cull as much people as possible, yes, but they also respond any resistance with overwhelming force. The codex explains a lot on how the reapers are operating. The thing is that the reapers apparently offer leniency to people who surrender, so they can be indoctrinated and processed. The problem is that every single city in palaven was build to withstand a siege AND fire back, so the reapers leveled every single turian city in response.

    In any case, yeah. ME3 should be about trying to find a solution to an unbeatable foe. Instead they just made the unbeatable foe beatable. I mean, the Codex itself says that a Reaper capital ship can be overwhelmed by the concentrated fire of 4 dreadnoughts. Sovereign in ME 1 was sure able to brush off the entirety of the Citadel’s fleet without breaking sweat, and I’m pretty sure it had a few dreadnoughts.

    It just seems that now they changed reapers from “unstopable force” to “tough foes with really, really high numbers”.

    Sometimes I regret reading the codex so thoroughly. It is still interesting read though.

  26. Kian says:

    About the awesome button, which crops up a few times. You guys are misrepresenting what the guys actually said, and mixing it up with space bar doing a whole bunch of context sensitive things.

    What the Bioware guy actually said was that they had taken as a rule that whenever the player pressed a button, something awesome had to happen. That every button had to be an awesome button. Press any button -> awesome things happen. That was the design principle.

    How effective they were at that starting with DA2, and even if that is a worthwhile principle to stick by, is up for debate. I just don’t like it when positions, even dumb positions, are misrepresented.

  27. Deadpool says:

    If the Reapers WANTED to kill a planet, this should have been the shortest fight ever. Grab a random asteroid, toss it at the nearest ocean, go have a nap…

  28. Merle says:

    Never knew this myself, but Freddie Prinze Jr. (Vega) is of Puerto Rican descent – so he does have legit reason to toss in a “Dios”, I suppose.

    Vega…no idea where he was born, but “Vega” is a Hispanic last name, and he has/had an uncle named “Emilio”, so…yeah.

  29. Len Marwey says:

    Josh, please stop shouting. Or fix your levels, it’s painful.

  30. Bearded Geek says:

    I know this was 1000 years ago but I still don’t get Shamus’ fixation on ME1, and the complete ridicule of everything not ME1.
    Also, as evident of this video, way of not actually paying attention to the story. And I don’t mean in this playthrough, but before.

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