Mass Effect EP6: And if That Don’t Work, Use More Gun

By Shamus
on Oct 3, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Remember back in Mass Effect The First, when BioWare made annoying characters and then gave you the means to show your disdain for them? You could try to reason with the council, or you could hang up on them and laugh. How much better would it have been to be able to hang up on The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 3? You have a few annoying conversations with him, but it’s obvious the writer has just pinned you in place so you can listen to TIM talk about himself for a couple of minutes. If they’re feeling really generous, the writers give you a chance to say, “Nuh-uh!” every once in a while.

Gah! Now my Mass Effect 3 complaints are creeping into our Mass Effect 1 series. Someone help me!

Okay. As a way of reconciliation, I’m going to name one thing that ME3 does better than ME1: There’s no sadly excused Tower of Hanoi puzzle.

A small housekeeping matter: Does anyone remember the title of the next episode? Josh titled all of the episodes in Viddler, but at the time I was posting them here as “Episode N”, probably due to laziness. Now Viddler is holding our videos hostage for $lolnowai, and we don’t have the title for the next one. It’s no big deal. We can just give it a new name if we want, but if anyone remembers the original feel free to post it in the comments.

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202040 comments. (Forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order.)

From the Archives:

  1. el_b says:

    about half of the episodes were titled but Thought the new names were pretty good and wouldn’t mind at all if you just Decided to rename all of them, preferably using terrible puns.

    • Adam says:

      Yeah. You guys gained a Rütskarn in between when you recorded these and now; he should be able to improve the terriblness of your puns a thousandfold.

      • Corpital says:

        Strongly in favor of this.

        But since Shamus mentioned the Tower of Hannoi…wasn’t one title some reference to it? Or am I just confusing that with some old adventure games?

        • Mike S. says:

          It doesn’t look like there’s a Towers of Hanoi reference. The episode that probably had the Towers puzzle looks to be untitled, though the two surrounding it have titles.

          (I found an Internet Archive link with the titles, which I tried to post, and which I suppose may show up later [edit: and what do you know? it has!], but I also emailed Shamus with the info just in case.)

  2. Mike S. says:

    The Internet Archive has a bunch of the Spoiler Warning pages archived. (No video or formatting, but the text is intact.) 7 is “The gate’s guarded, it’s time for corporate espionage!”

    This page (the May 4, 2010 snapshot of the Viddler Spoiler Warning page) should have all the Mass Effect titles, though you’ll need to look at the tooltip to see the full name.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100504191147/http://www.viddler.com/explore/SpoilerWarning/videos/

    Here’s a link to all the Spoiler Warning-related Viddler pages they have copies of: http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.viddler.com/explore/SpoilerWarning/videos/*

  3. “Mass Effect EP7: (Viddler sucks!)” maybe?

    Alternatively “Mass Effect EP7: (Youtube rocks!)”

    At least youtube knows not to screw over people and the very thing that made them big (free video hosting), Viddler does not even deserve the honor of being in a Ep title IMO.

    And “Mass Effect The First” ? Are you sure? That would hint to a Mass Effect The Second and Mass Effect The Third?

    Anyway, Mass Effect trilogy is good, and I don’t find the writing bad.
    What is a shame though is that direction changed somewhere into ME2 production right, one the writers left?

    Maybe you could do a article on “A tale of Two Mass Effects” (see what I did there? ;)

    Imagine the first one and a half of the trilogy as it is then let it go where it would be suitable:

    Reaper invasion on the way etc. Shepard died got resurrected by cerberus, Shepard plays along (and shows Cerberus the finger at the earliest possibility, maybe a “hacking” sequence where Joker need to “free EDI” from cerberus programming etc. Speculate where it could have gone.

    And then do the same with the latter one and a half, but with the first one and half done differently.

    I suspect that just like in timetravel stories with branching timelines that somewhere someone burped at the exact moment and we got sucked into a 3rd universe where we have the first half of the trilogy from universe 1 and the latter half of the trilogy from universe 2.

    Because each half of the trilogy are not that bad, they just do not seem to gel that well together, it’s like two different plot lines are kinda melded together. T.I.M. would have made sense as a Harbinger puppet etc.

    And the citadel could just have been the “secret” antenna that the Reapers use to coordinate their forces. Thus Shepard and the gang could simply disable that. (an excuse to run around the citadel some more as well, explore more areas)

    And T.I.M. ? Why did he resurrect Shepard? Because Shepard if he could be controlled would be able to secure the citadel for Harbringer. But Miranda decided not to add a “upgrade chip” (T.I.M.’s secret mind control chip) to Shepard out of jealousy (she is genetically perfect, and adding a “chip” to Shepard would have made him/her better than Miranda) so unknowingly she ruined T.I.M’s plan. Alternatively she smelled something fishy about TIM’s, or she could have been an undercover agent. Or cerberus took her sister, etc. many options there.

    And the reapers? Ancient “creations” that their creators lost control over and they pretty much wiped out the galaxy, what more backstory do you really need? Instead disabling the “antenna” and hunting for old prothean tech that can help take out single reapers (isolated they can be taken down) and recruit members or locating the old ones would be way more interesting.

    What about the “other” mass effect then?
    The god complex/child, citadel, whatever would have to have been sprinkled in from the beginning instead, and no cerberus, instead the focus would be on hunting down harbringer, finishing the weapon the protheans designed etc. Finding the original reaper race etc. If told well it would have worked. But personally I think the first plot outline further above is what I’d prefer, and it would fit with the feel of the ME universe more.

    • I think at the time it would have been “Mass Effect: We used Viddler for the comment thingie and the fact that YouTube will only let you upload 9 minutes of footage per video.”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “At least youtube knows not to screw over people”

      Bwahahahaha!Ok,they may be better than viddler,but they are no saints.

      • anaphysik says:

        Yeah, let’s not go overboard on this, Roger. This is clearly more ‘Viddler sucks now’ than any sort of resounding endorsement for youtube.

        • *looks overboard into the water*
          Darnit. Anyone got a lifering thingy?

          In comparison though youtube look like saints.
          Now I’ve not hosted stuff on youtube so I don’t know that side.
          But the only thing I don’t like about youtube is the DMCA take downs.
          The thing is that even if a company gets a DMCA takedown request order for user material, they are not required to take it down nor will they be liable if they don’t . It is after all a takedown “request”.

          So I don’t like the shoot first ask later approach, when they could have at least done a “look first then shoot”, but preferably it should be “forward the request to the user, if they can justify (i.e. fair use) or clarify that the company sending out blanket takedown requests are talking nonsense then youtube can act accordingly.

          Downside is it would require some extra work hours to deal with all this correctly.

          (seems I’ve started constructively critiquing stuff thus also providing suggestions for improvements at the same time, now that’s worrying.)

  4. Gruhunchously says:

    I forgot how Tali pistol whips the Krogan Battlemaster into submission in this episode, that’s great moment.

    And on an unrelated (sort of) note, is it just me, or are the gun noises in Mass Effects 2 and 3 really wimpy compared to those in Mass Effect 1.
    I always felt that the assault rifle in 1 had a nice, satisfying rumble to it, before devolving into a less visceral but still decent chugging in 2, and then to a pathetic sounding splutter in 3. Likewise, the shotgun went from having a nice ‘BOOM’ in 1, to having a much more muted ‘KA-chink’ in subsequent installments. The sound of the pistol is a bit more variable, but I still thought it sounded better in 1.

    It’s just a little thing across the series that annoys me sometimes.

  5. StashAugustine says:

    Clicked away from this to study for my C programming class. Guess what they were using to explain recursion?

  6. SKD says:

    Spoiler Warning 1×07 The gate’s guarded, it’s time for corporate espionage!

    That is the title it had. I have all the seasons with “SSxEE – Title” format for my XBMC box.

    I wonder if TheTVDb.com would allow me to create entries for Spoiler Warning?

  7. Spammy says:

    Hooray Liara! My Super-Ultra-Both-Kinds-of-Space-Magic-Wizard Shepard, Liara, and Wrex formed what I liked to call “Team Warmage.” Apply Throw and Lift to problems along with bullets until the problems are no longer problems. Made dealing with Husk-Saren pretty easy, by the time he’d finished recovering from one Biotic power someone else would either have one ready to go or nearly be done recharging.

  8. anaphysik says:

    Re: hydroponics:
    That’s exactly what they do. http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/Ships_and_Vehicles#Starships:_Quarian_Liveships

    And yes, that infamous Wrex conversation I brought up in one of the other threads…

    • anaphysik says:

      Actually, to be fair that must be a ME2 codex entry. Booted up ME1 and couldn’t find it in my codex. Whereas sites like this list it clearly as being in ME2: http://www.ign.com/wikis/mass-effect-2/Codex_part_18

      That’s one of the definite problems I have with the ME Wiki. They very often simply smush descriptions and entries from all three games into one place without indicating where they came from :/ (also lack of versioning).

  9. swenson says:

    What, you don’t like Tower of Hanoi puzzles in videogames? Personally, I love it when they show up, because they’re so incredibly easy to me now. Give me some time to recall the pattern, and I know I could do one of any size with relative ease.

    On a side note, I was playing the first Mass Effect around the same time I played KotOR for the first time, and many cries of “BIOWARE!” were to be heard when I realized they used the exact same puzzle in both games. I’ve since come to realize that EVERYONE uses that puzzle, but it struck me as funny at the time!

    • Shamus says:

      Oh, the players think our stupid puzzle is too easy? I know how to handle this. We’ll make it incredibly slow and tedious to MOVE THE PIECES. Now our game is 1/2 an hour longer, high-five!

    • anaphysik says:

      Also, in fairness to the use of the Tower of Hanoi puzzle…
      Yes, it’s incredibly simple, but it’s also one of the basics of puzzle solving – something that players should learn and commit to heart before doing other puzzles. If we just dropped it out of games and put in ‘harder’ puzzles, newer players would be put off because they lack the basic vocabulary. Just like if you dropped all the basic ropes out of FPS’s, eh Shamus?

      (This is of course ignoring the questions of ‘do we need puzzles?’ and ‘what is the point of these puzzles?’ If it’s really just to pad things out, then you could easily view them as superfluous and clogging.)

    • CaptainMaybe says:

      I always love it when the Tower of Hanoi shows up–Bioware does tend to overuse it, though.

      For a programming class we had to write a function that solved it in the least number of steps using recursion. Makes me wonder if it’s a common teaching tool, and if that’s possibly the reason why it shows up frequently as the Bioware-default-puzzle.

  10. Otters34 says:

    It’s weird hearing about Mass Effect 2 stuff in these videos, like the vorcha and drell, seeing how its Spoiler Warning season turned out.
    That and hearing about the vorcha reminded me of the very visual change of the series over time.

    And about the flirty feeling to Kaidan’s Normandy scenes..yeah, I got that vibe too from the lighting and movements before either party spoke.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Flying enemies,hopping enemies,enemies with portable shields…Me1 had so much more varied enemies than 2.

    So,thats one weird immobilization field that lets you move your head and jaw.

    • anaphysik says:

      “So,thats one weird immobilization field that lets you move your head and jaw.”

      Like they mention, if Liara were a biotic really worth her salt, that ought to be enough to flip switches and whatnot.
      Just like King Bumi: “Well, they didn’t cover my face!”

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well,to be fair the protheans knew much more about mass effect fields than any current race,so its safe to assume that thats the first thing such a safety measure would suppress.

        • anaphysik says:

          Well, to be fair, I really just wanted to make a funny Avatar reference :P

        • Klay F. says:

          Also, I always chose to disregard Liara’s line about it being a security device. I personally chose to believe it was maybe a prisoner immobilizing device. It always made more sense that the device would be something you would use on a suicidal criminal, to forcibly prevent him/her from harming themselves.

          Sure, all that amounts to nothing more than fanfic, but in my mind it makes more sense than the explanation we’re given.

          • Viktor says:

            I always figured it was a trap for criminals. She didn’t type in the right security code so it locked her up until authorities could arrive. And put her behind a barrier so any allies of hers couldn’t free her.

  12. lurkey says:

    “How your pilot can joke when there’s, like, death and stuff!”
    “Waaah you drive so crazy Shepard!”
    “Yagh Shadow Broker jokes are NOT funny!”

    It’s nice to see that Liara’s character was always consistent as humourless, wet hen Miss Prissy Proper.

  13. anaphysik says:

    So this is only tangentially related, but they’re releasing another ME3 multiplayer pack.

    Good news: Collectors to fight again.
    Bad news: Harbinger to listen to again.
    Good news: Harbinger’s voice acting isn’t as bad as it used to be.
    Bad news: He still manages to say derpy things, like “the organic hordes” when 1) there’s geth fighting too, 2) we know Reapers and their minions are all half-organic, and 3) the Reapers are the cheesiest ‘we have tons of dudes’ (both big-ass Reaper ships ‘darkening the skies of every world’ and waves of husks) besides Cerberus of course <_<
    Good news: At least Bioware relearned how to make a trailer that doesn’t look totally visually boring (ahem Leviathan and many more), and in fact has a bit of style to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZqwuHFIgIA&feature=plcp
    Bad N- GOOD NEWS: JETPACK TURIANS!11!!!!1!

    • StashAugustine says:

      New faction should be nice, especially paired with that patch they’re bringing out. Shame it drops same day as XCOM.

      • IFS says:

        Not only is there a new faction but from the sounds of it they’re adding new enemies to the existing faction. Also while harbinger is not nearly as good as sovereign was I do love the effect they use on the reapers voice, makes it sound creepy and mechanical.

  14. Elijah says:

    You can totally be renegade with Liara and still romance her. You have to pick the “paragon” options from time to time (“yes, I am attracted to you”, etc), but it’s fairly clear which ones.

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