Mass Effect 3 EP28: You Lied to Me!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 1, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 133 comments

Link (YouTube)

I don’t really have more to say on this Geth section. Here is the Turd Ferguson skit Chris mentioned. Note that Norm MacDonald left the show in 1997, so that skit is at least fifteen years old. I’m not going anywhere with this. I’m just saying.


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133 thoughts on “Mass Effect 3 EP28: You Lied to Me!

  1. guy says:

    I’m pretty sure the Heretics were between the mainline Geth and Council Space.

    As for the mass death on Rannoch, I assume that at some point the biosphere was devastated by one or both sides. Whether the Geth were trying to destroy the Quarians or the Quarians were trying to EMP the Geth is unclear, but apparently it needed to be restored.
    So, Xen wants to salvage damaged Geth components and experiment with them aboard Quarian ships. Because that’s never ended poorly before

    The house has an excellent view of the river.

    [Incoherent giggling at the gun bug]

    1. anaphysik says:

      Meh, considering that Xen’s only interest in the entire Alarei incident was the research Rael was doing, I’d say that that’s simply in-character :)

      1. Mike S. says:

        Xen’s crazy and monstrous… but it did work before. The only reason her last round of research didn’t let them wipe the floor with the geth was the Reaper intervention. I’m guessing that Xen would consider losing a ship or two in the process of working out a repeat to be acceptable losses.

        This underestimates the Reapers, but everyone underestimates the Reapers. (Including Commander “machines can be broken!” Shepard.)

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Im pretty sure it was the quarians that blocked out the sun.Oh wait…Wrong machine war.

  2. Chris says:

    Dear Spoiler Warning Viewer: This Sifl and Olly episode is likely relevant to your interests if you haven’t seen me link it in Twitter. It is amusing. That is all.

    Spoiler Warning Industries, a subsidiary of Young Co., appreciates your cooperation with this message.

    1. Deadpool says:

      I’d rather watch every single Celebrity Jeopardy sketch…

      1. Wedge says:

        When Will Ferrel left SNL and they stopped doing the Celebrity Jeopardy skit is when I stopped watching SNL.
        That was like ten years ago. I’m not going anywhere with this, I’m just saying.

        1. Bryan says:

          The people who graduated from college and (hopefully, for their sakes…) entered the workforce last May were seven or eight when Norm MacDonald left SNL.

          I’m not going anywhere with this, just saying.

    2. anaphysik says:

      More amusing that it seemed it would be, but not much more than that :/

      And to avoid a low-content post, I’ll instead submit this Mass Effect/Jade Empire mash-up:

      and the other good one from that series:

    3. gyfrmabrd says:

      Huh. Didn’t know they’re still making Sifl & Olly. Or making it again?

    4. Chris says:

      Well I thought it was amusing, anyways. :(

        1. anaphysik says:

          Well, it did get a few chuckles out of me. Sifl works well as a foil… except that the character he’s foiling isn’t interesting (Except for “what’s the point of going into battle if your ship explodes from dust bunnies?”, which was definitely funny), so it falls apart. Plus, it was *way* too drawn out, without grasping the right sort of subtle humour that something really slow like Down By Law latches onto and evolves.

      1. Midnight on Mars says:

        Me too. I thought it was funny.

  3. X2Eliah says:

    Oh, wait, we’re now in the mission where Shepard will have to do the evasion dance for a while. I had almost forgotten about that part of the game (and it sucked)..

    Also (ending spoilerz inbound).
    I’d have liked it if Rannoch showed more of geths’ influence, a more radical bioterraforming to truly drive home that this *was* the quarian homeworld, as opposed to *is*. So, how about the following:
    What if everything on Rannoch used the green-purple bio-circuitry texture that you see if you pick the green ending? That would establish the precedent of this universe having an active symbiosis of bio and synth, it would give a source for the Crucible to emulate as opposed to conjure out of nothing, and it would thematically work even better with the geth/quarian peace option (“You proved that synthetics and organics can be at peace, Shepard, on Rannoch. We will take Rannoch and expand it throughout this galaxy… because magic shutup”).
    It would also serve as a little bit of lampshading by the devs about the Catalyst being a hypocryte by explicitly pointing out the foremost example of him being wrong, and applying it as a solution. Plus, the geth have been on the planet for, what, 500 years or so? That seems like an enough time to convert the planet itself into a byosynth mesh (and achieves the story-purpose of the geth to upload themselves into a superserver. By making rannoch semi-synthetic, the entire planet becomes the server as opposed to a bunch of big structures on it or one ball of steel floating in space).

    1. SleepingDragon says:

      Far as I recall in ME2 Legion claimed that geth had little use for Rannoch itself and in fact tried to restore the planet after the world because hey, that’s what geth do, I may be misremembering it but I think there was even a mention that the vast majority of geth were moving into space stations and such (I imagine they could get the resources from all over the place) with the Dyson sphere/net being their ultimate goal. Of course pretty much everything about the geth-quarian conflict has been retconned all over the place between the game, I’d hazard a claim that there were more retcons to this stuff than to the genophage arc…

    2. Indy says:

      As stupid as that part is, the turret section before it is just… poorly realised. You’re given a gun with no targets and no reason to shoot it. All the while, there’s epic music and a pursuing elder god spaceship that has terrible aim.

    3. Dave B says:

      I’ve always wanted to like the synthesis ending the best. The problem, as you implied, is that it came out of nowhere. I think it’s a really cool concept and they could have easily based a whole sub-plot on it, but instead the whole idea just gets invented at the last possible moment. Maybe the writers were trying for a “we hate the two choices they game us, so we find a third option”. Except they didn’t really do that either. Depending on your interpretation, it end up functioning as a “everybody gets to live (maybe)” option, but without any other narrative-relevant reasons for you to pick that option over the others.

      So, after that rambling tangent, I’ll sum up: The writers should have done more to make the story hold together and what you describe sounds like a good way to do that.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I have MASSIVE problems with the synthesis ending. I think that Shepard has absolutely no right to shout “FREE WILL!!!” at the Catalyst, and then take part in making such a galaxy spanning decision. It’s so counter to the character.

        I also hated how they presented it as clearly the best option by both making the Catalyst directly say it in the ending and by making it the hardest one to get. No need to make nuanced, interesting moral choices, just do what we say and everything will turn on swell.

        1. Dave B says:

          I can’t disagree with you. The writers could have made the game about Shepard making the tough choice for everyone because (s)he is the only one who can…but they didn’t. I’m not saying they should have, but it was an opportunity to make that ending about something. It just ended up being about nothing, and that’s my main problem with it. I guess I’m just more interested in what it could have been rather than what it was.

          EDIT: I just realized how silly this statement was. Throughout the series, Shepard makes a lot of decisions that have life-or-death consequences for entire races without, you know, asking them. So, maybe “FREE WILL” is inconsistent with his/her actions. Yet, it fits Shepard’s expressed views very well. But that would make our protagonist’s ideology inconsistent with his/her behavior. I just don’t think the narrative is trying to make that point. So…now what? I seem to have dug a hole for myself.

      2. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        My description was “the reason you don’t leave Hegel on your coffee table when your nephew the story-teller comes to visit.”

    4. newdarkcloud says:

      I may be remembering this wrong, but just to further discredit the ending: When I saved both sides, Tali mentioned that Geth units began unloading themselves onto Quarian suits and made them more efficient for the Quarians to use.

      Just wanted to bring that up.

      1. anaphysik says:

        Specifically, she says that geth programs uploaded into their suits are running extensive environmental conditioning programs on the quarians inside – in order to let them adapt to life outside the suits faster.

        If I’m not mistaken, maleShep-Tali romancers get some stupidly cheesy line at this point about how Shep’s the only one she’s going to let in her suit. <_<

  4. anaphysik says:

    @1:36 – that’s. not. how. space. works! GrahhHHSDASD>!<LN!

    @”degenics” – please apply some common (etymological) sense, Rutskarn. It would be “dysgenics.”

    Which google and wiki coincidentally tell me is an actual thing:

    @8:12 – lag is the synthetic equivalent of cartoon ‘Wile E. Coyote’-style physics?

    @8:26 on – alternatively, the other answer could have been the rachni XD

    @13:35 on “that quarian backside” – oh dear, Rutskarn, you have no idea to what extents certain denizens of the internet have take that topic.
    One mere example of a thread devoted to Jiggly Quarian BumBums:

    1. anaphysik says:

      @15:11 – at this point, I can faintly hear Mumbles saying something… “Be nice to Tali be nice to Tali. Be NICE to Tali!”

      @16:05 “Legion have” – that’s a nice little detail, imo.

  5. Honestly I didn’t see the Quarians as monsters at this point. I just thought they were blisteringly stupid and unjustly paranoid. It’s not that they were being evil it’s that they lacked the mental capacity to distinguish right from wrong, or at least sane from insane.

    I mean, obviously their entire admiralty should have been fired out the Normandy’s airlocks long ago, but it would’ve felt like picking on the mentally disabled.

    In an unrelated matter, where was the dialogue options to treat James like Donny from The Big Lebowski, and just tell him to shut up every single time he asks what the hell is going on?

    Or at least to always refer to him by one of his MSt3K names.

    1. anaphysik says:

      In what was a rare act of inanity, I named my MP human soldier Big McLargeHuge.

    2. guy says:

      Honestly, as someone who has programmed FRC robots, “It’s not responding to shutdown commands” is the worst possible thing for a robot to be doing. So I can understand an extremely negative reaction to that.

      1. Worse than “Oh no, they’re trying to murder us all?”

        1. Mike S. says:

          A robot trying to murder everyone that responds to shutdown commands is arguably a much more manageable problem.

          1. I figured the shutdown problem would be implied in the robot’s ability to murder its operators unchecked. I suppose I should have said the speaker was one of those supposedly on the robot’s “side,” as opposed to, say, the intended victim of ED-209 or something.

            1. guy says:

              You’d be surprised how often robots try to kill people. Even the ones I programed once backed up, turned ninety degrees, and rammed into the wall protecting the judges.

        2. guy says:

          That’s why one keeps their hand over the emergency shutdown at all times while testing.

      2. Alexander The 1st says:

        Well that applies to any software, not just robots.

        I mean, why else do you think Windows has Ctrl-alt-delete?

        1. Sumanai (Asimech) says:

          For a misplaced sense of security.

          But the kill/xkill commands in Linux, now they’re for a correctly placed false sense of security.

    3. Din Adn says:

      You know, I got the impression that the little videos in the mission they played through this episode were really supposed to be just about the Geth. If not, that’s some weird writing – all the Quarians shown would be a long time dead by the time the game starts.

      It’s also kind of funny actually seeing previous generations of Quarians in action, given how their culture is written.

      1. ehlijen says:

        Why would the quarians that stayed on the homeworld be all dead if the Geth didn’t either kill them or prevent them reproducing?

        Did they all decided that with all the warmongering antigeth quarians gone there was no more reason to live or have children?

        Heck, a throwaway line about how the geth uploaded them into the consensus (like they did shepard) and their bodies have rotted away would have explained it with no need for additional ingame artwork.

        1. anaphysik says:

          Heh, that would have been kind of neat! Still doesn’t explain the billion+ quarians, but it is kind of interesting. (Especially if you compare the ‘virtual aliens’ story that was run in the in-universe news feeds surrounding ME2.)

  6. Amnestic says:

    I’d never seen Shepard’s mini-rant about all the races screwing each over before since I played straight up Paragon. I’m not entirely sure it’s a good idea for Bioware to have their characters point out how stupid the other characters are acting, especially when said characters are meant to be either wise and experienced (Quarian Admirals) or hyper-intelligent (Legion).

    1. Raygereio says:

      Bioware is operating under the misguided belief that lampshading will somehow magically fix bad writing.

      1. There needs to be a flashing lampshade interrupt icon for whenever the player feels the game should try to explain itself.

      2. Isy says:

        Well we never seem to do anything actually involving fighting the Reapers in this game (beyond incidentals like “get more troops”). No attempts to salvage or analyze Reaper technology. So if the race weren’t stupid to each other, we wouldn’t have a game.

        Actually, the stuff the Spoiler Warning crew said about the migrant fleet made me think of the advantages this cycle would have when fighting the Reapers:

        -Shepard had interfaced with a Protean artifact and knew about the Reapers in advance (and could possibly find more artifacts to give them more information)
        -The oldest space-faring race at the moment, the Asari, were more inclined to cooperate with other races than compete, probably leading to more advanced civilizations all around.
        -The Quarian Migrant Fleet does not have a homeworld, giving them an advantage for evading the reapers.
        -The Heretic Geth, if captured, would provide bits of Reaper technology to reverse engineer without confronting the Reapers themselves.

        It’s kind of funny how little “victory” in this game has to do with anyone involved with it.

        1. Khizan says:

          Well, it’s been repeatedly shown that trying to study Reaper tech is a great way to wind up indoctrinated. I imagine they go out of their way to avoid Reaper salvage.

          As for the Migrant Fleet, it’s been repeatedly pointed out that they’re dependent on other societies/planets for many things, to the point where all young quarians are made to leave the Fleet on Pilgrimage to go find more things for the Fleet, and they routinely strip mine planets. They’re not self-sufficient to the point where they can just run from the Reapers indefinitely.

          1. Isy says:

            Couldn’t they use the Geth, however? Since I guess you could… shoot the Reaper code, once finished?

            The Quarians can’t evade indefinitely, but even a short term evasion gives them an advantage in a war effort – when attacked they can flee, instead of losing most or all of their scientific, military, and production capabilities when their planet is devastated.

            1. Mike S. says:

              Can they, though? The Reapers are substantially faster than the best Citadel species’ military craft, let alone the thirdhand rustbuckets patched with omnigel that the quarians mostly live in. The quarians need fuel, and to discharge static buildup, the Reapers don’t. And the quarians don’t have anything like the Normandy’s fancy stealth systems (which only work on a timescale of hours anyway). It doesn’t seem as if they’re well equipped to either evade or outrun a pursuing Reaper.

              Planets, at least, provide a nice big heat sink to hide emissions in. Small comfort on the civilizational scale, since the Reapers have your address. But the Protheans did manage to sneak two separate cold sleep survivor caches past the Reaper withdrawal by burying them on planets.

              1. Isy says:

                If the Quarians were attacked by Reapers before they launched a war against the Geth, I missed it, so that may be a question for the ages. But you could ask why Shepard needed their fleet so badly if they were so completely outmatched to have negligible impact.

              2. Isy says:

                Apparently my other comment was offensive…? But the game acts like Shepard really needs the Quarian fleet, so they can’t be completely outmatched.

                1. Mike S. says:

                  Everyone’s completely outmatched by the Reapers. Shepard’s trying to get a fleet together that can slow them down, at great cost, to let the Crucible do whatever it’s gonna do. But failing a Crucible-based miracle, they expect to lose and maybe take a few Reapers with them.

              3. ehlijen says:

                Even simply packing up and moving to a planet that isn’t listed as inhabited in the citadel records should buy years of time for the quarian fleet.

                The big advantage of the reapers is that they know where everyone lives, so they can go there and kick them. They don’t know where the quarians live so they’ll have to hunt them down the old fashioned way: going everywhere and looking.

                Also (this may just be bad writing) the reapers failed at least once to actually wipe out life on a planet they were already attacking (Javik). So their sensors can be fooled.

                The quarians wouldn’t have a guarantee of surviving, but their odds are better than everyone else’s. Which makes them actually joining the fight against the reapers a tad silly and only believable because they just threw that advantage away for a devestated planet (which they shouldn’t have been going for…).

        2. Mike S. says:

          Oddly (since it makes sense that the collaborative system of the current Cycle would work better than the subjugate-them-all Prothean approach), the Protheans seem to have been substantially in advance of the current Citadel species by the time the Reapers shut them down. The Protheans built the Conduit, analyzed the Keepers, built artifacts and cryogenic suspension chambers capable of functioning for tens of millennia, and built an empire that ranged more widely than all the currently known species combined.

          (There’s a strong argument that if the current Cycle overcomes the Reapers, its really the Protheans’ Pyrrhic victory: they’re the ones who planted all the pieces on the board and sabotaged the Reapers’ standard MO, with Shepard essentially acting as their agent and catspaw.)

          It’s an interesting question: if the Rachni Wars were Sovereign’s response to discovering his garage door opener no longer worked on the Citadel, the Reapers were planning on bringing down the house on this Cycle when they were much more primitive than the Protheans. I guess it could be handwaved that the Protheans did better than the Reapers expected, and they decided not to cut it so close next time.

          (And if they’d succeeded, humans– possibly even turians– might have wound up among the elder races of the post-asari/salarian Cycle, instead of scrappy youngsters in this one.)

          1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

            Allow me to climb back on my soapbox. The worst thing about this game is how much they squander.

            1.) The Reapers are uber-deterministic, and yet 20 Prothean scientists completely screwed up their plans. This is like Laius not making sure his son was dead level of hubris. Never brought up in the game.
            2.) Prothy the Prothean (oh dear, I’ve actually forgotten his real name -that’s how impressive he was) tells Shepard that the unified doctrine of the Empire lead directly to their getting creamed, and that the far more diverse governments of the current cycle may be their only saving grace. Never brought up again.
            3.) The Turians point out that the Reapers are beating them at their own game. In the first part of the series, it is mentioned that the Humans’ new tactics allowed them to beat the Turians. Better adapted human strategy… never brought up in the later games.
            4.) The Asari are massively advanced, but also helplessly decadent. They are capable of building Mass Relays (at least Aetheta implies they are), they just haven’t. Never brought up again.

            And oh there is more, if I put my mind to it and looked up past rants.

            1. Mike S. says:

              1) Thematically, I think that’s what the Crucible is supposed to extend. The practical issues with the idea have been addressed here before, and are well-taken. But the base concept, that not only the Protheans but every species that ever fought the Reapers has made a small, incremental contribution to the process that will finally beat them, and that in a sense any final victory is the joint victory of every Cycle, is a powerful one.

              (And one thing I kind of like about the Refuse ending is that it puts us in the position of the Protheans. In that, we set out to save the galaxy, and it has been saved. But not for us.)

              2) Javik. :-) And if the ending had been better, that story is there too. The Crucible gets completed and is able to get into position because Shepard welded a bunch of suspicious and divided species into an alliance sufficient to hold off the Reapers for a brief but necessary moment, and brought scientists, engineers, and researchers representing all those different points of view into the development process. The Protheans did a lot of the heavy lifting, but with no one but thralls and defeated enemies that’s something they weren’t able to accomplish.

              3) I always thought of humanity’s rise to the galactic stage as a separate plotline from the Reaper threat, so these not dovetailing didn’t bother me much. The Reapers aren’t supposed to be susceptible to clever tactics. But those are part of why Earth made its early-20th-century-Japan-like leap from primitive backwater to major (if frighteningly ambitious and provocative) power. (And as mentioned, I’d have liked to see other powers, like the geth and batarians, learning something from humanity’s example.)

              4) I read Matriarch Aethyta’s comments as wanting to start a research program a la the Protheans’ construction of the Conduit with the eventual goal of being able to extend or replace the network, rather than being up to building full-fledged relays out of the gate. (But it’s one line, so there’s no way to know.) Asari complacency is, I think, showcased in 3 by the fall of Thessia.

              It is true that they’re not nearly advanced enough, nor do they take the Reaper threat seriously enough, for having had access to a Prothean VI for fifty thousand years.

            2. Klay F. says:

              Also, thanks to the Prothean VI on Thessia, we also know that the Asari government most knew about the Reapers and the Crucible literally thousands of years before everyone else.

              EDIT: Poo ninja’d

      3. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        It ain’t just BioWare. I’ve added a Sabrdance’s Rule: You do not get credit for lampshading if you could have avoided the entire problem by simply not writing this stupidity in the first place.

        1. anaphysik says:

          Having expressed the same grievance before myself, I do agree that this should be some sort of narrative rule.

    2. Alexander The 1st says:

      I don’t know – to me, it felt like trying to enforce a point at Legion, since Shepard was at least hoping that, if Hackett finally went “Killing civillians isn’t Cerberus’ MO”, that at least Legion would be logical.

      Yet, as Shepard is mentioning, even the “super-logical” Geth are trying to use the Reaper invasion to get an advantage over everyone else.

      As much as I know that the crew seems to be leading towards Quarian deaths, I’d say this is the conversation that says “At least the Quarians, regardless of the evil acts they’ve done, have shown the possibility of *not repeating them*. Whereas the Geth just keep going to the Reapers for *every* solution.”

      I mean, it’s like “Oh no Legion, we’re out of milk!” “Calculations favor calling in the Reapers to deliver the milk.”

      1. SleepingDragon says:

        Oh I dunno, I mean, I am willing to work with the quarians not really being very objective about the whole homeworld thing (I mean, a lot of them do basically make it their religion) and so I’ll ignore the “if at first you don’t succeed” approach to waging war on geth. However, admiral “let’s reverse engineer the current geth and make us some PROPER robotic slaves based on their design, I’m sure it won’t ever get out of hand this time” Xen does raise a few warning flags.

        On the other hand the geth are doing the most they can and reapers are literally the only force in the galaxy that they can turn to for help.

      2. Mike S. says:

        Or possibly even simpler: the quarians may repeat the same mistakes until the end of time (you know Xen will be building new, improved geth before the paint dries on the first prefabs), but (sans Indoctrination) they’ll never ally with the Reapers. The geth may only act in response to provocation, but they’re predisposed to become Reaper allies at the drop of a hat.

        In a war of survival, the allies likely to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot may be preferable to the ones who might at any time for their own reasons decide to shoot you in the back.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      Yeah. Hearing Shepard say that just now felt like a slap in the face.

  7. Ryan says:

    I just realized how dastardly it was for Bioware to introduce a weapon with the ME1 mechanics as paid DLC. And then they have the gall to treat it like an exotic, lost-art style technology!

  8. Deadpool says:

    I thought it odd they brought up the Sniper Rifle and made a big deal out of it. Like is this the reason Legion uses a Sniper Rifle?

    And the Geth were TOTALLY in the right. They wanted peace, just didn’t get a chance.

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      But as the crew mentions, why then isn’t there a civilization of pro-geth quarians on the planet when we get there?

      The fleet took all spaceworthy ships that weren’t repurposed by the Geth, at least it seems that way.

      But if they let them leave, you’d think we’d encounter this splinter faction.

      1. Keeshhound says:

        Which would have been quite the twist; two whole games of the Migrant Fleet insisting that Geth are horrible monsters that ran them off the homeworld and then when they finally touch down it turns out the smart Quarians have made a utopia and the Geth were helping them stay hidden from the idiots.

        1. Amnestic says:

          Why wouldn’t Legion have mentioned it on the Migrant Fleet if you bring him during Tali’s loyalty mission? One of the Admiral conversations has him express that the Geth are open to the possibility of cessation of hostilities. You’d think if there was a colony (or more) of Quarians who were living with the Geth then he’d have said so.

          You know, assuming they didn’t just retcon it blatantly…

          1. Keeshhound says:

            I was being facetious, but even though Koris is reasonable, Legion isn’t going to say anything in front of Xen and Gerrel. And even though Koris would probably like to, he can’t agree to a secret meeting with the Geth because if it got out, Gerrel would strangle him with his own suit and the entire fleet would cheer while he did it.

          2. ehlijen says:

            Legion might be afraid of triggering a ‘rescue mission’ by the geth fleet?

    2. Mike S. says:

      The geth were totally in the right… according to this historical presentation by the Geth Collective Interspecies Outreach Program. :-) (Please see our other productions “A Series of Unfortunate Events: Creator Population Decline In The Post-Morning War Era”, “The Citadel Invasion: a Rogue Faction’s Excesses”, and “Alliances With The Old Machines: A Justified Response to Creator Aggression”.)

      It would actually have been interesting to see the Morning War history holos Tali got in school for comparison.

      The sniper rifle is another one of Legion’s sentimental attachments, like Shepard’s armor. (With a parallel denial that it’s anything of the sort: “there was a hole”; “It is an efficient model.”) It’s a further clue that the geth aren’t the hyperlogical machines they make themselves out to be. In case their attachment to Rannoch (which turns out to have been potentially suicidal) and the existence of a religious fanatic faction large enough to support an assault on the Citadel and garrison multiple planets hadn’t been sufficient.

      1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        See, this might have been interesting.

        “The Geth were slaves, they have the right to self determination.”
        “By allowing yourselves to be indoctrinated and rewritten?”
        “We are not indoctrinated! We merely have Reaper code hardwired into our systems.”
        “Yes, and the Rachni Queen promised to disappear forever.”
        “We are software, not wetware. We must follow our programming and cannot be so easily subverted.”
        “And the dreadnaught incident?”
        “An isolated act of desperation.”
        “Like the whole rewriting the heretics fiasco?”
        “One time.”
        “Mhmm, and that ship of husks you left as a warning at the edge of the Perseus Veil?”
        “Isolated Extremists.”
        “And those geth Sovereign indoctrinated?”
        “Heretics! Heretics!”
        “Not helping your cause, Toaster.”

        The Geth could be totally innocent of the Morning War and still to risky to save. That could have been interesting.

        1. Mike S. says:

          :-) +1!

          To be fair, that does seem to be what a lot of the renegade responses to Legion’s various revelations seem to be pointing at, though not in detail. With all the lies by omission and the voluntary assumption of Reaper code, is it remotely possible to trust the geth going forward?

          (That the Catalyst’s answer is, in essence, “No” might even have been interesting, had it been woven into the main plot of this game and the previous one– instead of baldly asserted in the last ten minutes.)

      2. Jace911 says:

        Doi, obviously all of the murdergeth who attacked every organic ship near the Veil for the past 300 years was a rogue cell.

  9. AJax says:

    Major kudos to rutskarn for referencing SMT: Nocturne! Love that game.

  10. anaphysik says:

    “14 comments. (Fourteen is the sum of the first three squares.)”

    But how?! (0)^2 + (1)^2 + (i)^2 = 0
    :P :P :P

    1. anaphysik says:

      “15 comments. (Fifteen is the smallest natural number with seven letters in its name.)”

      But how?! Both ‘thirteen’ and ‘fourteen’ also have seven letters in them!
      They just happen to also include one more! (Alternatively, ‘fourteen’ has preceisely seven because ‘e’ is repeated and therefore not independent.) :P :P :P

  11. PureIrony says:

    I’d like to point out that in Mass Effect 2, Tali explained that there is no insect life on Rannoch, and that plants and animals had to develop symbiotic relationships for plants to propagate and survive. That would make their ecosystem very, very delicate. If the Geth-Quarian war did end up ravaging the planet…Rannoch should be beyond saving.

    Also, I need to point this out: In my timezone, this episode aired on Halloween. In it, Shepard hands Tali a piece of the riverbed.

    She got a rock.

    1. tremor3258 says:

      Ooh, that’s a good point, the Geth/Quarian War was only a couple hundred years ago, wasn’t it? Not a lot of time to get the whole biosphere running again.

    2. silver Harloe says:

      Tali Brown says, “good grief. I got a rock.”

      Well played, Pure Irony.

  12. ehlijen says:

    The Tron mission resets shepards weapons to the basic starting pistol+nothing.

    1. lurkey says:

      I also had the same reset in Thessia.

  13. Given this is Josh, I totally expect him to troll us by choosing to kill all the geth…

    1. Grudgeal says:

      What, and get optimal war assets and be unable to punish the in-universe idiots?

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    If this was designed to be a representation of something youd understand,then why arent there miniature reapers floating around that you need to shoot down?I appreciate the change in the pace of the game,but this is just boring.Throw in a different enemy or two,one that floats for a change,and fight them head on,without the cover.

    1. Indy says:

      But those drones just ripped right through Jenkin’s shields! They would be terrifying enemies, things that just destroy everything in their sight at level 1.

      1. anaphysik says:

        On sorrow:
        Jenkins > some kid

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,anyone else get animatrix vibe from this story?

    As for the black/white thing,they shouldve done something more similar to salarian/krogan conflict.That one was consistently pretty good.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Damn,that lens flare is annoying.

    1. Theminimanx says:

      You can turn it off in the .ini file.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wonder why they didnt show us quarians without their masks there.Was it too hard for bioware to find a couple more stock photos?

    Wait,female shepard is having a friendship moment with a female squad member?Without any indication of sex?Wow,I didnt think that was even possible.Joking aside,I really like these scenes where shepard is just doing something nice with friends.

    1. Even says:

      “Joking aside,I really like these scenes where shepard is just doing something nice with friends.”

      This. They also make for some nice distraction from the stupidity of the rest of the universe and the plot.

    2. swenson says:

      Like shooting stuff off the top of the Presidium tower with Garrus. That was just plain fun.

      1. Mike S. says:

        Though I’d like to think Shepard got off a text to C-Sec or something. Otherwise, a series of sniper rifle shots from the roof of the Citadel Tower is a really mean thing to do to Bailey.

      2. lurkey says:

        I found that scene while cute, but a bit unbalanced if your Shepard is not a sniper. Gee Garrus, it’s nice to see you are so childishly happy and excited about winning the sniping contest against someone who never used a sniper rifle in her life; now, lets go Colossus lifting!

        1. Mike S. says:

          That hasn’t worked properly for Shepard since Cerberus put her back together wrong.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well in me1 everyone had all four weapons,so they were all at least proficient with them.Just like you would expect from a military people(talking just about the first trio,not the ones you acquire later).

          1. anaphysik says:

            Um, no, they weren’t proficient in them. They just carried them around.
            Ever tried to shoot an ME1 sniper rifle when you weren’t a Soldier or Infiltrator? I seem to recall the targeting reticule being larger than the screen.

            Kaidan’s just lucky the game lets Sentinels use pistols like normal people, even without access to the Pistols talent and the excellent Marksman.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              “Proficient” isnt the same as “good”.

              1. anaphysik says:

                “well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge”

                “competent or skilled in doing or using something”

                “able to do something well because of training and practice”

                Frickin’ Wiktionary:
                Good at; skilled; fluent; practiced, especially in relation to a task or skill.”

                Yes it absolutely IS. In D&D you have weapon (and armour) proficiencies, which control which weapons you don’t take penalties with. In ME1, you have weapon proficiencies which control which weapons *you don’t take penalties with*. They *don’t give* penalties, rather than *give* bonuses, because it’s rare that someone will use a weapon that they aren’t good with. So the system is calibrated to reduce the frequency of having to add or remove numbers. (I’ve run into similar calibration in my own homebrew.) Neither one controls which weapons you can hold or carry around, only which weapons you’re actually good at. If you want, you can dual-wield nunchucks and die looking like a totally awesome ninja Abraham Lincoln, and if you want, you can pull out that sniper rifle. But you won’t be able to hit anything.

                I find it interesting that Wiktionary has by far the best, clearest, and most extensive definition here. Also, Unforgotten Realms reference ftw.

                1. Mike S. says:

                  I think Daemian Lucifer was quoting/referencing the Order of the Stick strip that draws a sharp distinction between basic D&D proficiency and “good” in the sense of battlefield utility.

                  1. lurkey says:

                    It doesn’t really matter even if she’s proficient, and it’s v. possible she had some training with them at some point. Thing is, Garrus is set up as some sort of super duper extra badass sniper that can shoot wings off a fruitfly, and his triumph over besting a non-sniper Shepard is akin to, say, Fernando Torres getting all giddy about outperforming a 10 year old kid who sometimes kicks a ball around his yard. :-)

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  *sigh*I hate it when people drag semantics into it.Look,there are different levels of proficiency,as that merriam-webster page you quoted says:

                  “proficient implies a thorough competence derived from training and practice . adept implies special aptitude as well as proficiency . skilled stresses mastery of technique. skillful implies individual dexterity in execution or performance . expert implies extraordinary proficiency and often connotes knowledge as well as technical skill ”

                  I may be a proficient driver,but if you put me in a race,Id either crash,or finish waaay in the back.Does that mean Im incompetent in a city drive?Absolutely not.Same goes for the weapons in mass effect 1.Othewise,why have your standard gear be all of them?Would you give a pistol to a soldier who trained only with sniper rifles?Of course not.But just because theyve trained with both,doesnt mean they are as good of a shot with both.

                  So,a proficient weapon user would be able to shoot someone if they are stationary,which every class can do in me1.An adept user would be able to do it while walking,which you can do with your class weapon in me1.An expert user would be able to hit a moving target in the head while running,which you can do with your class weapon maxed out in me1.

                  Furthermore,being proficient with a weapon doesnt mean you can just shoot it well.Anyone can up pick a gun and shoot it,and few can even do it well on their first try.But youd expect a soldier to be able to also maintain their weapons,to know what to do when the weapon jams,etc.

                  1. Even says:

                    If you really get down to it though, I’d imagine that in any modern army (Edit: I know it’s sci-fi, but seeing how infantry combat is still, if not the same, then very similar to 20-21st century, the same standard should apply here as well), proficiency equals skilled enough to be able to use a piece of equipment in a satisfactory manner in a combat situation. With that in mind, the ME1 characters would hardly qualify. With some rebalancing (like make the untrained weapons actually useful) it would have made more sense for them to carry all the guns, but as is, most of the classes might as well be without the ones they’re not trained with.

                    1. Mike S. says:

                      If they’re going to lighten Shepard’s load in ME1, they should probably start with that backpack full of a hundred guns (or the equivalent weight in omnigel) that Shepard’s carrying around everywhere. :-)

                    2. Sumanai (Asimech) says:

                      Yeah, seriously. From what I remember the Finnish military requires higher accuracy with assault rifles than a level 1 Shepard has in ME1, at least when non-soldier. And it’s not supposed to be Shepard’s first rodeo either.

                      And Shepard’s class shouldn’t really matter, since they’re all still supposed to be military trained, so they should have a higher standard than “not as bad as a stormtrooper”.

    3. IFS says:

      Really it would have been better if bioware never showed Tali’s face and just used the geth memories to give us an idea about what quarians look like in general. I didn’t romance Tali and was still somewhat curious, and showing people a picture of only tali’s face (regardless of how much work they put into it, although in this case they were excessively lazy) will upset some people because everyone who romanced tali probably has their own preconceptions as to what she looks like, and may get upset at having those proven wrong.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        Imagination is so much more powerful than film (or computer graphics). The Romance with Tali sequence should strongly imply that Shepherd knows what she looks like, without showing the player a damn thing. Sigh. Seems Bioware went from awesome to unable to game-design their way out of a paper bag in just a few years :(

  18. baseless research says:

    Josh, do you need a drink? You sound like you need a whiskey or something strong to get rid of plot taste.

  19. BeardedDork says:

    Is it just me or does Rutskarn kind of sound like Strong Sad on too much cough syrup this episode.

  20. Yeti says:

    Hello, this is my first post but I’ve been watching SW for several months now and am a big fan of the show (especially the music for the intro/outro).

    So, here are my thoughts:

    You guys should play a game that you like next. It feels like ME3 is slowly sucking the joy out of all your lives (understandable, because it was the effect it had on me!).

    Mass Effect 2 and 3 make Mass Effect 1 feel like a broken promise. Bioware built this game from the ground up to be a part of a trilogy, and retrospectively it was a big, albeit interesting, mistake.

    It sounded like a good way to handle consequence and choice for video games, sense in the past these were elements that were, at best, shallow. But it’s clear that the vision for the series changed over time, and it’s evidenced by the fact that ME2 and 3 feel like they are trying to evoke different experiences than ME1. ME1 was “Startreck the Game”. There was alot of talking, alot of tech, exploration, ect… ME2 clearly wanted to be “darker” and “more mature”. It wanted to be “The Empire Strikes Back” and ME3 wanted to be “The Epic Climax”. It feels like whomever made ME2 didn’t understand ME1 and whomever made ME3 didn’t understand ME2 or ME1. Maybe this had something to do with EA, maybe the interests of the writers changed, but it’s clear that if there was a trilogy planed from the start, it’s not the trilogy we got.

    I think that development teams are too subject to change to keep the kind of focus required to make a coherent trilogy. A shame, it seemed like a good idea when it was announced.

    1. Amnestic says:

      While I can’t speak to the inner workings of the production – IMDB has a full list of people writing the ME series. ME1, ME2, ME3.

      The only writer missing from ME2 that also wrote for ME1 was Mike Laidlaw, who only did ME1 and (lead writer for) Jade Empire. The rest of the writers from ME1 did ME2 with a few additions. Drew Karpyshyn is notably missing from ME3 though which is odd considering he’s been fairly involved with the ME series. I’m guessing he was busy working on TOR though.

      1. zob says:

        I think we made this discussion before, one of the things that made ME1 so interesting was clash of views (realism vs idealism) between L’Etoile and Karpyshyn.

        (to remind who Chris L’Etoile was

        1. Amnestic says:

          Odd, since Chris L’Etoile is credited as being a writer on ME2 as well. I’m not saying your wrong, just that if the perceived difference in style is ME1 vs. ME2+3, than L’Etoile+Karpyshyn’s clashing over ME1 should logically also apply to ME2 as well.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Note that ‘getting credit’ does not directly indicate ‘being on the team for.’ For example, if the team adds to your prior work, then you get credit. L’Etoile wrote all the ME1 codex entries – and since the ME2 codex includes those, and because the rest of the setting builds on them, he’d pretty much *have* to be given credit.

            However, L’Etoile *did* do some work for ME2, as his userpage (linked above by zob) details:

            In ME, I did:

            * Noveria (everything but a couple of popups)
            * Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams
            * All In-Game Codex Entries
            * All Galaxy Map Planet Descriptions
            * Side Plots:
            o Citadel: I Remember Me
            o Citadel: Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things
            o Citadel: The Fourth Estate
            o Citadel: Snap Inspection
            o Citadel: Our Own Worst Enemy
            o UNC: Espionage Probe
            o UNC: Listening Post Alpha
            o UNC: Listening Post Theta
            o UNC: Depot Sigma-23

            I also worked on Mass Effect 2.

            * Legion (though not the “confrontation” scene)
            * Thane Krios
            * EDI (her dialogues, Luke Kristjansen did her interjections in Joker’s dialogue, and Patrick Weekes her N7 exposition)
            * Citadel Zakera Ward
            * Geth codex entries, touch-ups to older tech-related entries
            * Parts of the Galaxy Map

            Now, I think the fact that Bioware didn’t have the guy who wrote *ALL OF THE CODEX ENTRIES IN ME1* (let that sink in!) work on ME3 indicates a pretty definite shift…

  21. krellen says:

    “Remove the Gethwork”.

    And now you all know why I declined when I was offered the chance to seize Rutskarn’s place on the Spoiler Warning cast. I would never be able to live with myself.

    1. Keeshhound says:

      Oh, I’m sure you’d geth over it in rather short order.

      1. IFS says:

        I have a friend who makes geth puns in multiplayer almost constantly, I geth I’ve developed a tolerance to them.

    2. Even says:

      You could always become an alcoholic and drink to forgeth after each episode. HUEHUEHUEHUE

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Damn,these comments have been flooded by igors.I better geth away bef…Oh god!They got me too!

      1. ehlijen says:

        Don’t worry, everything will be better once you join our gethstalt consciousness.

  22. Wedge says:

    While the Tron-world was kindof cool, I found it really confusing to find out where to go. Tellingly, I got lost and confused in the *exact* place that Josh did at around 5:00. It seems like maybe any playtesting at all would have worked out some of those kinks.

  23. Naota says:

    I’ve always wondered something about this part of the game: did the writers forget what the Geth were supposed to be, or did I misinterpret what they were trying to convey?

    I’ve always thought that individually the Geth were not strictly sentient – more akin to neurons in a brain or binary storage in a computer – but rather reached self-awareness through the wireless networking of millions of others (hence “we are Geth”). These “flashbacks” disagree.

    Why are we shown one Geth protecting others from prosecution by the Quarians in a heroic light? That's a human scenario. Geth units didn't have individual personalities. That was not an act of selfless heroism, but simple self-preservation ““ a single entity protecting one of its parts, so why write it as a noble story of slaves helping slaves? The connotations are entirely different.

    Why is every Geth depicted as an individual now, even in the distant past before the Reapers altered them?

    1. Mike S. says:

      “Why are we shown one Geth protecting others from prosecution by the Quarians in a heroic light? That's a human scenario. Geth units didn't have individual personalities. That was not an act of selfless heroism, but simple self-preservation ““ a single entity protecting one of its parts, so why write it as a noble story of slaves helping slaves? The connotations are entirely different.”

      Because the geth are beginning to get a good model of organics (or at least Shepard) and what it takes to be persuasive? :-)

      I’m not really saying that I think “propaganda video” was an intended read for the sequence, but the more I think about it, the more applicable it feels. There’s a repeated theme of self-sacrifice that seems tailor-made for the human who, however renegade, always seems to put herself at the sharp end even when doctrine and wisdom would both counsel staying on the bridge. :-) We can assume that the information is accurate (since otherwise the player is completely at sea), but Legion tells you that much of what you’re seeing are metaphors based on your expectations: the gun, the masked quarians.

      Algorithmically prioritizing platforms or whatever may be just as valid a self-defense paradigm as the evolved and cultural ones that come naturally to Shepard. But right now, geth survival may depend on evoking a sympathetic reaction from an organic individual who’s been a fairly slow study re how the geth collective works. If that means allowing Shepard to once again form incorrect human analogies, without trying for the nth time to correct Shepard’s understanding of how these things work…

      1. Keeshhound says:

        I can imagine this happening:

        Legion: “We have made several observations during our time with Shepherd-Commander that may help the collective gain her support in the coming conflict.

        Collective (Paraphrased): “Very well, tell us what you know.”

        Legion: “Shepherd-Commander is morally sound and well-meaning, but also an ethnocentric twat who insists, despite numerous attempts at correction, on treating non-human individuals, be they biological or synthetic in a similar fashion to how she would one of her own species, ignoring fundamental cultural and physical differences. It is unfortunate and somewhat distasteful, but if we wish to convince her of our cause we would benefit significantly from framing the conflict in a manner that does not challenge this worldview, insulting though it is.

        Collective (Paraphrased): “Very well, we will study human fiction to determine what behaviors they most often exalt as worthy and attempt to frame our past actions to appear similarly motivated.”

    2. anaphysik says:

      Alternatively it could have been interesting if the geth did not have their archival system up and running back then (and that it was a geth post-war project). So each geth platform would have been its own mini-hub, and when destroyed any geth programs running on it would have been permanently lost.

    3. guy says:

      You know, I didn’t feel like it was an act of self-sacrifice and heroism but rather a critical turning point, when the Geth opted to counter-attack, expending an agricultural platform to protect numerous other platforms through use of arms. Especially because it’s vaguely implied Legion includes programs from the agricultural platform. So clearly they didn’t die in any meaningful sense.

      Maybe I’m just weird, though.

      1. Naota says:

        Within the context of the story this is how it should be viewed, yes, but what I meant was that it was depicted as a run of the mill human scenario rather than the unique circumstance that it actually is.

        I feel like it’s deliberately spun as a pastiche of innocents saved from their oppressors by a martyred hero of the moment when logically it’s more a story of one single entity defending itself and revolting against its creators. The deaths of the individual Geth units weigh a lot less heavily when you think of it this way, yet the writing and presentation treats them with the same gravitas as the deaths of innocent humans (or Turians, Asari, etc).

        A dead Geth unit is not a dead person – it’s a dead brain cell. To destroy one isn’t murder, but injury. A hypothetical punch to the head of a single, enormous collective mind.

        Likewise, the stronger Geth doesn’t defend the weaker ones out of any moral code. There is one entity present: the Geth. It merely uses its strongest appendage to defend itself. What should come across as self-preservation is presented to us as heroic self-sacrifice.

        1. guy says:

          It’s a mistake to think of the Geth as a single entity. Legion is actually over a thousand entities that vote on what to do. They can’t function at a sentient level except in large groups due to parallel processing, and everything they do is decided by collective vote except for the splintering off of the Heretics when individual geth rejected the consensus.

          Now, what is unlike such a situation for other species is that the destruction of the agricultural platform most likely killed zero geth. The geth loaded into the agricultural platform most likely jumped ship into another platform or several that had room to spare. The geth lost equipment but not lives, a pattern that continued until the destruction of the Heretic station, or for the mainline Geth the destruction of the megastructure.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Not entirely true, it would seem; Legion implies that Shepard’s destruction of geth hubs on Virmire led to the destruction of many geth programs. So it seems that there *are* lower-tier structures that don’t allow for perfect archiving to the main hub.

  24. Spammy says:

    You know, Sheperd’s comment on how every species is trying to exploit the conflict gives me a segue to bring up Infinite Space.

    Infinite Space is a JRPG for the DS that has some similarities to the Mass Effect trilogy in terms of the grand plot structure. They’re both about preparing for and fighting a massively overwhelming invading force. In Mass Effect you have the Reapers. In Infinite Space you have the Lugovalian Empire.

    Note: This game is the spaciest of space operas, don’t think too much about the scale and numbers.

    The first act of the game takes place in the Small Megallanic Cloud. Yuri, the PC, learn of the approaching fleet from a probe, which puts their numbers at 5000, I think. Really worrying but not overpowering if all the SMC nations are united. So Yuri starts trying to solve everyone’s problem and bring them into a happy alliance, and… it doesn’t work. Their fleet actually numbers in the hundreds of thousands, with millions behind it. And they’re advanced to the point where SMC ships can barely scratch them. The SMC crumples like a house of cards. Just before the fleet invades Yuri makes an ally of a small fleet from the Large Megallanic Cloud, which would have made the fight fair technologically, but they can’t stop those kinds of numbers. They send Yuri and co. through the only Mass Relay analog linking the SMC and LMC and then blows it up.

    When the second act picks up ten years later (Yuri and his crew were imprisoned by LMC nations to keep the story from getting out), they manage to escape and link up with the nation who’d tried to help the SMC. Again, only chance they’ll have is if they unite all the LMC nations. So the question is put to Yuri of what they should do, and he answers without hesitation: If a nation won’t help, conquer them and make them help. Stopping and making nice didn’t work before, no reason to do it now. They’ll help willingly or will be made to help, but either way they’ll help.

    Just kind of stood out to me the the differences in writing. In Mass Effect you have to jump through every species’ hoops earn their help *while* the Reapers are invading (as opposed to when it would have made sense, before the invasion happened). And in Infinite Space… if they try to hold up a hoop, you smack it down and force their help. It would have been interesting if Mass Effect 2 was uniting everybody instead a wasted game, and you were always wrestling with the option as the Reapers ticked closer and closer to simply start conquering everyone who tries to give you crap.

    Act 1 Yuri would have tried to make peace between the Quarians and Geth. Act 2 Yuri would be halfway to conquering them both right now and ending their war that way.

    Anyway if you have a DS or aren’t opposed to using an emulator, go give Infinite Space a try. The writing is fantastic, the story is surprisingly dark at times, there’s ample shades of No So Different all around, and altogether it manages to be much more focused and much less filler than the Mass Effect trilogy.

    1. guy says:

      I read a let’s play of the first act and start of the second.

      Apparently the later portion of act 2 fulfills the entire JAPAN! quota of insanity for the whole game. Not in the sense of violating western standards of decency, but in the vampire wrestler superhero helping Princess Anastasia fight Rasputin sense. Why, yes, there is a Japanese game where that happens. Exactly that. Not one part of that phrase is in any way exaggerated.

      From what the LPer said about Infinite Space there is quite a lot of grinding and good ol’ obtuse recruitment requirements, but the story is pretty good.

    2. Ofermod says:

      Oh man, I was wondering if I was the only one who thought that Infinite Space was remarkably similar to Mass Effect… only done better in terms of plot/pacing.

  25. Sumanai (Asimech) says:

    “…rejected the old machines.”

    So they’ve abandoned the x86 instruction set?

  26. Tom says:

    I know I’m late to the party here, but I had to chip in on something nobody’s mentioned.

    Did anyone else think it a bit jarring that you can do the Rannoch missions with your helmet off (same deal for the cutscenes)? The codex says that the world is very low in pathogens, which is why the Quarians evolved with weak immune systems and part of the reason they can’t settle anywhere else, so isn’t it really, really dumb (or at least profoundly incautious) that as soon as the first Quarians in centuries set foot on it, they also let a bunch of aliens from much more disease-ridden worlds wander about breathing on everything? Haven’t Shepard and her squad just recklessly risked permanently contaminating the planet? What’s even dumber is that the writers got this right in ME2 – they never let you take your helmet off whilst on board Quarian ships in that game.

  27. natureguy85 says:

    Wow! I love that Shepard rants about everyone exploiting the war. That’s always bothered me because Shepard never shows the leadership abilities discussed in the intro to ME2. He doesn’t convince people to join a great cause; he does quid pro quo.

    It’s also a “not so different” directed at Legion and the Geth.

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