Mass Effect EP16: Ham and Squid

 By Shamus Dec 12, 2012 30 comments


Link (YouTube)

Episode 16, wherein we forget to turn off the push-to-talk sound and thus have an entire episode punctuated with bip-bup noises. We fail at Spoiler Warning-ing.

Kirrahe is definitely the go-to guy for line-holding. If you have a line that you need firmly held, put Kirrahe on it. He’ll hold that line so hard you’ll forget what it looked like before he began holding it.

It’s kind of interesting how much dead air we have in these episodes. These days we struggle to keep from talking over each other, but back in 2010 we were content to let a couple of minutes of gameplay roll by without saying anything.

201030 comments. (A twenty-sided die has 30 edges.)


  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    We were created by leviathans,with their magic powers of pheromones and quantum entanglement,to prevent all of you from being destroyed by synthetics.And we will do so by killing you all!

  2. psivamp says:

    I like to imagine that the Krogans with doctorates have them in strictly applied fields, Charging, Smashing, Artillery… or in Art History like Zoidberg.

  3. el_b says:

    I like sovereign in this. he actually feels unknowable and scary as hell, unlike harbinger who twirled his mustache so hard it came off and humiliated himself time and time again throughout the second game. sovereign even feels like more of a machine, having less of an emotional inflection to his voice and frankly caring less about you. I wish the reapers throughout the other games acted and sounded like him, they would have been better for it.

    he sounds a lot more like an Elder God too, and his insistence that you exist simply because he wills it tells you everything about his character and his race that you should have needed to know. they have never been beaten and organic life is simply an experiment for them to play with as they wish.

    • Dragomok says:

      The conversation with Sovereign is definitely the most climatic one I’ve ever experienced in a video game.

      Considering the games I’ve ever played/finished, that might not be a very big feat, but still.

    • Fleaman says:

      He’s a lot more Necrony, isn’t he? I hate that Harbinger is the first Reaper, because that should have been Sovereign. He’s the one hanging out in Citadel Space, doing all the observing and indoctrinating and stuff, and he’s effectively the one running the Reapers because he gets to make the decision of when to open the relay and let them all in for the party.

      Harbinger meanwhile should have been the YOUNGEST Reaper, because he should have been the Prothean Reaper, i.e. the one from the last cycle. I mean he is right there, chilling out with all those husk Protheans (and he could have said something thematic and cool in the second game like THEY ARE MY SHED SKIN that would have made the whole stupid Reaper life cycle husk thing a lot more concrete and relatable to the player), plus when you meet Javik it turns out Harbinger is exactly as much of a dickbag as Javik, maybe adding some weight to the claim that Reapers actually preserve civilizations, which as it is now is really head-turningly spurious (a lot of what’s wrong with the ending is really just that the Starchild says stuff and the audience listens and just goes “Wait. When did that happen?”).

      He’s also completely wrapped up in his new Reaper-hood, all acting like a Chaos God and throwing his weight around all over the place and getting all personal with you. The other Reapers are just SHUT UP. SO EMBARRASSING. And he’s a big contrast to Sovereign, who just has no interest in you whatsoever and basically hangs up on you in the middle of your conversation. This could have been used as in-game evidence against the Reapers’ claim that they’re each a preserved nation: Harbinger’s still full of the piss and vinegar of the Protheans, but Sovereign shows that eventually long life and a boring mission ensure that they all eventually lose all personality and motivation and become machine-like and identical.

      • el_b says:

        it would have been great if you could catch the star child in his own logic, show him how stupid his plan actually is, using it as a way of destroying the reapers but not other artificial life.

        It would probably be hard and hidden away, where you’d have to do something else to be able to initiate it, but people who are willing to play through all of the mass effect games are the kind of gamers that would really appreciate the chance to be able to save Shepard and Finally argue for the existence of humanity against the reapers without using a gun.

      • Marcellus says:

        “And he’s a big contrast to Sovereign, who just has no interest in you whatsoever and basically hangs up on you in the middle of your conversation.”

        That’s what bugged me the most about Harbinger. Sovereign simply ends his conversation with a dispassionate “This exchange is over”, and doesn’t deign to speak to Shepard again. Harbinger, on the other hand, keeps gabbing at him, desperate to get a reaction from this human – completely unbecoming of an ancient machine demigod.

        Your idea of Harbinger being the inexperienced freshman Reaper makes so much more sense, given the characterization we see.

        • Fleaman says:

          SHEPHERD. WE ARE THE PAST AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR SPECIES. IGNORING US IS AN IMPOSSIBILITY.

          ARE YOU STILL THERE? RELEASING CONTROL. ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL. SHEPHERD. I SAID WE ARE THE PAST AND THE

          “Yeah. I got it.”

          WELL GOOD.

  4. anaphysik says:

    “You are not Saren.” is right up there with “Uh uh u~h! Didn’t say the magic wo~rd!”

  5. anaphysik says:

    What I learned starting at 27:36: murdering krogan = medi-gel get.

  6. anaphysik says:

    Josh, will we get the youtube ‘reruns’ of Bioshock & FO3 after the ME reruns are finished?

  7. You guys likely are already well aware of this, but I feel the need to point out that the reason you were getting so few Renegade points was due to your choice of background. For some reason, certain background had easier times getting Paragon/Renegade point. I don’t know why they did that.

  8. Spammy says:

    Love me that Sovereign conversation. Whenever I hear a big bad start talking in any game the first things that comes to mind is “Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh. You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.” Beats the Borg spiel in my opinion.

  9. PhantomRenegade says:

    I wonder what happened to Randy.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      Upon teaching Josh all he could in the ways of Chaotic Stupidity, he sacrificed himself in battle against the forces of The Reasonable Playstyle, and became one with the Cuftbert.

  10. BenD says:

    I feel strangely certain I am not the first to observe this, but if you undermine all the defenses along the way, Kirrahe and some of his guys ARE in the ship after this mission. They ride along back to Citadel (or wherever it is you go next – I went to Citadel – maybe you don’t get a choice? I don’t remember that part) and then disappear, presumably having disembarked.

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