Mass Effect 2: Mordin Solus Part 4

By Shamus
on Sep 15, 2010
Filed under:
Game Reviews

So now we get to the bit where we talk about Mordin Solus.

The New Genophage

me_mordin_loyalty2.jpg

In Mass Effect 2, Mordin reveals to you that your initial impression of the Krogan genophage in Mass Effect 1 was incorrect. (Or, if we’re not feeling generous, that it’s been retconned.) The Korgans were no longer dying out. Their numbers were increasing. Natural selection was helping the Krogan overcome the genophage. The effect was small at first, but left unchecked the Krogan would again become a problem once their numbers increased too far.

The Salarians worked on a secret project to create a new strain of the genophage that would correct this. They took great pains to make sure that the new genophage was strong enough, but also that they didn’t make it too strong. Krogan extinction was seen as undesirable an outcome as Krogan proliferation. Mordin was part of this team.

I see the events leading up to Mordin as being the outcome of 4 important decisions, each one more difficult and problematic than the last:

1) Open the mass relay leading to Rachni space. There wasn’t much reason to agonize over this. Nobody suspected danger on the other side. An easy decision with powerful consequences. The decision was basically: Explore vs. Don’t Explore.

2) Lift the Krogan into space to use against the Rachni. A slightly tricky decision. Certainly any space-faring race would be aware of the problems arising from introducing a species to a new environment, and the idea of giving space age armor and zap guns to a bunch of bloodthirsty badasses might have given a few people pause. But still, they didn’t know that things would turn out bad. So the choice was: Oblivion vs. Unknown Risk.

3) Infect the Krogan with the genophage. Here is where people being to get their hands dirty. Now the choice was: War vs. Atrocity.

4) Renew the genophage. Note that the Krogan hadn’t become a problem yet. (At least, no more of a problem than usual. Having millions of Krogan merc thugs bouncing around the galaxy probably wasn’t anyone’s idea of an optimal arrangement.) The Krogan hadn’t invaded anything. They hadn’t built up dangerous numbers yet. The Salarians simply assumed that the Krogan were inevitably going to be a problem, and so they decided to re-commit – or at least renew – their earlier atrocity. They probably saw it as holding the status quo, but it was really a new decision: Likely eventual war vs. Atrocity.

At the start of the game, Mordin is more or less satisfied with his involvement in the genophage project. He sees the need for it, decides it’s the best course of action, and does it.

Mordin’s Loyalty Mission

me_mordin_loyalty1.jpg

Mordin gets word that a Maelon, a former colleague, has been captured by a clan of Krogans and is being held on Tuchanka. So far the new genophage has been kept a secret, and Mordin is concerned about what will happen to Maelon in the hqands of the Krogan. He’s also worried that Maelon will end up telling the Krogan about the new genophage.

The Krogans have turned an old hospital into a fortress and are holding Maelon there.

Once you reach the hospital, you find many dead Krogan. They died as willing test subjects as part of a program to find a cure for the genophage. Many died in pain. It reveals that whoever is running this place has abandoned the rules of respectable science and is basically running a mad scientist lab with sapients as little more than guinea pigs. (There are non-Krogan test subjects here as well, which is fine from a story standpoint but the justification is terrible.) It also reveals just how far the Krogan are willing to go to find a cure. At one point he says of a dead Krogan female, “Her death not my work, only… reaction to it.”

Mordin enters this mission as a pragmatist, and has his beliefs challenged when he sees the cost of the genophage up close and can no longer think of them in abstract terms.

Here is how his loyalty mission plays out for Paragon Shepard: (With combat edited out.)


Link (YouTube)

At the end it turns out that Maelon wasn’t kidnapped. He came here willingly in order to find a cure for the genophage. He’s young, angry, and idealistic. Like many such people, I think he’s prone to over-corrective thinking: He sees an injustice in the behavior of the establishment and tries to counter-balance it through radicalism. The rest of the world is slightly in favor of Coke, but if I embrace PEPSI EXTREMISM maybe I can even things out! Obviously not all radicals are formed this way, but it is a path that some young people take. Maelon’s radicalism wasn’t that he wanted to cure the genophage (although I’m sure that was an unconventional position) but that he was willing to go to such unethical extremes in pursuit of it.

In the end you get to make a couple of interesting decisions. You can kill Maelon or let him go. You can erase genophage cure or keep the data for later. The latter is something I wished the game had given us in the first game with regards to the Rachni queen: Spare her life, but not turn her loose. I’m very glad the game didn’t make us choose between “destroy cure” and “release cure”. It’s nice to be able to play cautious, humble Shepard who realizes he doesn’t have all the answers and shouldn’t go around making moral decisions for the rest of the galaxy.

It’s a solid, thought-provoking story that enriches both the character and the setting. It uses the established Mass Effect backstory as a launching point for an interesting discussion, but is subtle enough to let the player draw their own conclusions in the end.

But none of that is the reason Mordin is the best character in the game. This is:


Link (YouTube)

Thanks for reading.

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A Hundred!20209We've got 149 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.

From the Archives:

  1. Calatar says:

    Speaking pragmatically, it would make sense to keep the krogan research in case other races needed to wield krogan against the reapers, like they did during the Rachni war, and have a replenishing supply.

    Not that I have any real clue as to how the reapers are to be fought, if at all. But I mean, you’re facing the extinction of sentient life in the galaxy, again so you might as well keep around what saved your bacon last time.

    There’s no good reason to destroy it anyways, if you have enough control to just hang onto it. Why waste so much valuable data, especially when it took so much suffering to come across it?

    It seems almost similar to the final decision of the game, where the Illusive Man asks you to leave the place intact so he can study it. But that just seemed like a bad idea for 2 reasons:
    1. Cerberus is a ruthless pro-human organization which would doubtless use the technology in unethical ways
    2. Remember how the dead reaper indoctrinated all of the Cerberus people? What’s to stop that from happening again?

    • Nick says:

      That’s one of the debates over Nazi research after world war two. They learned a lot of life saving information, but it came at a terrible cost in human life. We can be honorable and not use the data, but lose out on the info that can save lives. Or, we can be angry at the Germans for doing it, but use the info anyway. It’s a slippery slope. There are lots of great breakthroughs we can do with human experimentation, that will likely save more lives than are lost, but I don’t believe it’s a good idea.

      If you use the data taken from such experiments, but make it illegal, you set us up for those mad scientists. Those people that don’t care about themselves, they will then run out and experiment on people. Their dirty deed was done, the scientist himself might die or be outcast in the end, but they still contributed to the betterment of mankind.

      If you make it a point that, no matter how good a research might yield, you will never use the data, then you prevent the atrocities from being encouraged by the selfless evil scientists in the world.

      A lot of books / movies / games delve into this concept. I am of the opinion that we cannot encourage experimentation by using the data.

      And no, I didn’t just invoke godwin’s law in the first paragraph on purpose. >.<

      • Calatar says:

        Well, with the aforementioned potential end of all life in the universe in mind, saving the data “just in case” still seems prudent.
        The ills of potentially encouraging more unethical experimentation versus the potential of saving an entire species/galaxy seems to weigh more heavily in favor of the latter.

        Besides, the only way it would encourage more of that would be if people knew about it in the first place. No reason to tell people that Maelon’s research was valuable if it would only cause more problems.

        It is an interesting ethical issue, very debatable. There are too many “potential” consequences. It isn’t particularly easy to determine cost-benefit when lives are involved, and dealing entirely in hypothetical situations makes it even more difficult.

      • bkw says:

        The line, “This data is tainted,” made me do a spit take.

        • PurePareidolia says:

          Same, almost as much as “I won’t let fear rule who I am” or whatever ParaShep’s justification for destroying the Reaper base was.
          I mean, of all the reasons there could be to destroy it, that was what he went with?

        • Sumanai says:

          Gives me the feeling that a 100% Paragon Sephard would refuse to perform or allow an autopsy because his/her body “deserves honorable treatment with proper burial” or whatever the excuse was back in the day.

          • Nidokoenig says:

            Is that a Krogan tradition, though? Do they see a dead body as deserving reverence or as an empty husk? A 100% Paragon Shep would painstakingly research the death-related rituals of every species he might end up having to put through them. Or perhaps he could at least try to keep his kill scores in double figures, rather than triple.

            • Sumanai says:

              Actually my comment is a reference to old real-life beliefs. The whole “data is inherently bad because it was gained wrongfully” has the same feeling of stupidity as the old “screw saving the living, we can’t mistreat a corpse”.

              Besides, paragon Shepard, assuming that was actually a paragon action, seems to occasionally fall into “my way is the only right way”.

              • Nidokoenig says:

                Yeah, I got that it was reference to our culture’s old beliefs, but my point was that it’s the stiff’s corpse, it’s his opinion, and if that’s not available, his relatives’ and culture’s opinion that should take precedence. I’ll admit that being gun-averse, my only experience with BioWare moral systems is Jade Empire and watching Spoiler Warning, so I can’t speak about Paragon specifically. Harmonious respect for the specific stiff’s cultural values strikes me as more Open Palm, though.

                The thing about “tainted data” is that if those methods start to be means for widespread research, that’s bad, so suppressing that evidence is following a social, not scientific, goal, in that it doesn’t legitimise those methods as standard practice, regardless of their scientific validity. The death toll from legitimising these research methods would outweigh the benefits of the occasional success.
                The autopsies in this instance are being done in an unsecured area in a warzone, recovering information vital to the mission at hand, to ensure the team and the objective survive to make idealistic decisions when they get out alive. It’s the difference between in the World and in the Shit, and it makes sense for a soldier, no matter what his Paragon score is, to let some lines be crossed, and being a perfect flower child respecting the dead one minute while creating a heap of bodies the other would be a huge break in immersion for the majority of people.

                This makes me think, it would be interesting to have a game that gives disposition bonuses based on culturally sensitive treatment of the dead. It’d probably work better if the majority of combat was against non-sentients, so you’re not going through the whole rigamarole every encounter, but being able to build a reputation as an honourable opponent and get slightly less hostile treatment or even chances to negotiate would be interesting.

      • Vect says:

        With the Collector Base, I while I didn’t like keeping it, I knew that Cerberus has a horrible track record when it comes to messing around with alien technology they don’t understand. I’m not opposed to science per se, but knowing Cerberus they’d just find a way to cock it up massively and create some sorta chaos that’d bite them all in the ass while TIM smokes a cigarette and calls it an “Acceptable Loss”.

        • Avilan says:

          Speaking of that; EDI at one point says that Cerberus has a VERY strict policy about dealing with unknown alien tech (it’s when you wake up Grunt, I think).

          The funny part is that all actual evidence shows that Cerberus has one (1) policy when it comes to unknown tech: Dive right in and cause a mess!!

      • Soylent Dave says:

        The decision got even tougher, of course – lots of those brilliant Nazi scientists were still alive at the end of the war.

        Do you execute them for their crimes against humanity (and thus extinguish everything that they could possibly create)?

        Or do you save them, and get them to redeem themselves by continuing to research stuff that will (potentially) benefit mankind (only in a more ethical way) – but allow their, in some cases truly horrific, crime to go unpunished?

        And thus was Operation Paperclip born.

        • Tizzy says:

          OK, so Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe scooped up as many scientists as they could, disregarding their participation in morally questionable endeavors like V2’s. Fair enough.

          But that’s gray areas: what about the way-beyond-moral-event-horizon stuff like mass scale human experimentation that took place then (e.g. Unit 731 )? Did this stuff ever produce data that could be used for the greater good?

          I never heard of any good coming out of these twisted experiments, and I would tend to think that experiments born out of plain sadism are too flawed from the start to give anything useful. But I’m curious now: what happened to data for these kind of experiments?

          • TSED says:

            According to the wiki article, the USA got ahold of them and then kept them all to themselves.

            So something good may have been possible to come from them, but the data is kept confidential or whatnot and thus nothing good WILL come from them.

          • Will says:

            It would have been filed away somewhere just in case. If all else fails, the data can at least be used to show other people what not to do.

            The experiments might be twisted and horrific, but the data is just data.

            • Tizzy says:

              I guess I need to clarify what I meant: some of the stuff I read (I didn’t re-read recently, so I might remember wrong) gave me the impression that most of these experiments were sadism disguised as science rather than any unethical but genuinely scientific endeavor. In which case the data wouldn’t be worth much.

          • Tomas says:

            Just curious, what’s morally questionable about a V2 rocket???

          • Steve C says:

            The development of V1-V2s were NOT morally questionable. (Besides slave labor intrinsic to the entire German war machine.) They were a weapon of war developed and used for that purpose. The deployment of those weapons against civilian targets were no more and no less morally questionable than other conventional bombing raids by piloted aircraft targeting civilians.

            The data and the scientists from the V1-3 rocket projects has a clear documented linage to putting men on the moon. That event is arguably the most important event in all of human history.

            BTW if you think the above is callus, consider every single one of my relatives alive in WWII were targeted by V-1s. They lived in East London and told me all about doodlebugs. My grandfather was permanently deafened on his left side from one that exploded too close.

            But I totally condemn stuff like Unit 731. That is the difference between Mordin and Maelon. One developed a vile weapon, the other did vile research.

        • Operation Paperclip wasn’t just scientists, unfortunately. It was also people like Reinhard Gehlen and Klaus Barbie, bona fide war criminals.

          But yes, that is an excellent example of the difficulties.

          Me, personally? Research has no taint. The people who do unethical research need to be punished. But using the research harms no one.

      • Argonnosi says:

        We kept the information, you know. We have used it to save more lives than Dr. Mengela ended, and that’s important to remember. We have ethical guidelines concerning experimentation because we want to prevent needless suffering and death, but in the past hundred years we have managed to stick to our guns concerning the importance of knowledge.

        In the modern world life is important, but it’s not most important. If we saw it that way, no one would have been willing to strap themselves, or anyone else, to a rocket to go to the moon. We, especially in the cultural perspective of those self-identifying as Western, have an established order to things, and knowledge sits as the prime concern, the most important thing, because knowledge allows us to carry on with all the other things we deem important in a more efficient and effective manner. You never destroy knowledge.

        • No, you never destroy knowledge, but that’s not the same as knowledge being #1. Your own argument establishes why: Knowledge lets you DO things. Life is #1, which includes preserving it and improving its quality. Knowledge is a means to that end. Yes, you might risk some lives to benefit millions more, but we would not have spent the money and effort we did on the space race if the only thing it brought us was Tang.

    • Wveth says:

      Reaper tech indoctrinates people. It’s dangerous to keep it around and study it. That’s the reason I picked the Paragon route… I just wish the GAME had used that justification instead of “bad things happened here so we shouldn’t even learn from it; let’s allow all these people to die in vain. ^_^”

  2. Steve says:

    Mordin Solus is win.

  3. Eric says:

    I’m still somewhat upset that Mordin was the only party member to die in my initial playthrough.

    • acronix says:

      Idem. He has a horrible tendency to die in the last stand.

    • Nick Bell says:

      When discussing Captain Kirrahe (the Salarian from the Virmire missing in ME1), Mordin specifically hates the “Hold the Line” speech and dislikes that kind of thinking. Thus it is actually IN CHARACTER for Mordin to not do well when asked the hold the line.

    • Calatar says:

      I didn’t much care for the game’s “odds of survival” calculations. Apparently it has Mordin set as the squishiest character. Given his special ops training that doesn’t really make sense to me.
      It seems to me like if you’ve done all of the loyalty missions and you pick good team leaders and you get all the upgrades, you should be able to keep everyone alive without needing to send Mordin back to the ship. But I guess he is a doctor, so it would make sense to send him with the survivors…
      I don’t know, it just seems like he should do just fine on the front lines for the few minutes it takes you to kill everything.

      • Malkara says:

        He only dies when you order him to hold the line. At one point in the game he explicitly says he’s -bad- at holding a line.

        • jdaubenb says:

          Allow me to expand:

          Mordin is no frontline fighter, like most Salarians if the Codex is anything to go by, and naturally relies on surprise tactics and ambushes. The only reason he was able to take down the Vorcha and Blue Suns mercenaries at his clinic is because they underestimated him. So as others have already pointed out: Mordin dying in this situation actually makes sense.

          From a mechanics point of view: He will survive if he is loyal and part of your three man squad taking on Space-James-Cameron, because he is with Shepard, or he will survive if he is loyal and guides the crew back to the Normandy, because they are really not the main attraction.
          I think that with all the DLC characters installed it becomes increasingly more likely that Mordin will even survive the final portion of the Collector mission, because the game calculates who lives and dies according to a point formular. More people means that the total will be higher and thus it might be easier to cross the threshold of everybody surviving if you just throw more people at the problem.

          • Taelus says:

            I’m not sure I can support that conclusion. I’ve had Mordin staying as part of the “hold the line” crew a good dozen times and the only time he went down was the one time I forgot to pay for his tech upgrade. I’m not sure if that played a role in his death, but all other playthroughs have seen happily trucking along at the end.

            Speaking of at the end , and I know this is a bit off subject, but how many people thought it was patently stupid to have Joker at the Normandy’s airlock firing a rifle to provide cover? I mean, the dude’s shoulder would snap on the first volley and his aim isn’t likely all that great. I understand that it’s possible to have an ending where he’s the only living crew member and so they had to have him do it in that moment (I guess), but it still irks me that the one person on the ship who made a point of saying “what was I going to do, break my bones at them?” is suddenly combat effective… /rant

            • Calatar says:

              Yeah… and considering he’s the PILOT… besides, doesn’t the Normandy have any of those laser defense systems that all other battleships have according to the codex*? Seems like using computer-guided lasers to shoot Collectors would be more effective than having the crippled pilot shoot at them.

              *In ME1, the codex stated something to the effect of how fighters were designed to be cheap because they WOULD be shot down, but the goal was to have enough fighters to overwhelm the automatic laser-targeting computers of the ship they were attacking. Given how expensive the Normandy2 is, it would make sense to have some basic anti-fighter defense, especially considering that they installed a hyper-advanced computer to operate its weapon systems.

              • Feb says:

                But you guys are forgetting one important thing: that moment is AWESOME.

                Hey, I love the immersion and the attention to detail. I cringe at several moments where ME2 sacrifices the world-building in favor of ‘action movie moments.’ But when it works, the switch to a more 1990s “Aliens” vs 1980s “Blade Runner” kind of vibe really works.

                In my playthrough, half the NPC crew was red goo at that point, so it made sense for Joker to be one of the few able to take up an assault rifle. Plus, by then he was just pissed off. It was worth it to him, I think, to break some ribs and a tibia or two. Don’t discount the awesomeness factor.

                • Taelus says:

                  How is that moment awesome? The guy whose arm and shoulder will snap the moment he opens fire with a rifle comes out and does so. What’s the next thing he’s planning to do? Fly them out of the place with some crazy good moves. Wouldn’t that be a tad difficult without the ability to lift an entire arm?

                  I just think they had so many other ways to handle that situation and having a character do something they both couldn’t and wouldn’t do is a pretty crappy way to wrap it up. Joker isn’t a warrior, he’s a pilot. I would be equally annoyed to see Shepard jump into the pilot chair to fly them out at the end.

                • acronix says:

                  I always had the impression that Joker was an Author Darling with a Mary Sue Syndrome. Otherwise, why would, as Taelus points out, the pilot come out to shoot? I had sent Grunt with the rest of the crew, so I was left wondering why he didn´t come out instead of the freaking damn pilot that that has to take us out of there. The fact that he can do that after all is just the writers cheating.

                • Veloxyll says:

                  I thought Joker just had weak legs, that his arms were fine?

                  Regardless I enjoyed that scene a lot. After HUMAN REAPER OMG it was bit of nice NORMAL silly cheezyness

                • Sumanai says:

                  If you set out to make a serious setting, jumping to mindless testosterone flinging isn’t really a sensible option. I’m not saying that everything should be SERIOUS BUSINESS. But when the setting is supposed to be able to stand at least passing scrutiny, causing a fridge logic moment during a cutscene/gameplay means someone fucked up.

                  A sign of genuinely good writers is that they can see, understand and work with their storytelling limits, or even create ones (really important with magic). When the story is supposed to be taken seriously, you need to have believable humorous and action situations. Slapstick and actions scenes just for the “funnies” and “coolness” is outside the limits.
                  Imagine if Gandalf had come to help the battle at Helm’s Deep with an Abrams tank. AWESOME, but not so good for the story as a whole.

                  Part of the problem seems to be the belief that the question is “realism or fun” when they’re not infact part of the same axis. There’s a correlation, but more realistic doesn’t automatically mean less fun. Or vice versa.

                  Edit: other part of the problem is that video game designers or publishers don’t seem to realise that both gameplay and narrative always suffers when there’s internal dichotomy.

                • Passerby says:

                  I think the reason is pure pragmatism on the part of the animators. The internal logic is thus:

                  If Shepard has at least 2 of his companions survive, then one of them will be at the door beside Joker, helping Shepard up, thus saving him.

                  If Shepard has everyone killed, then Joker will have to be the one to pull him up. Since he has weak bones, he can’t manage it and hence, Shepard falls to his death.

                  In either scenario, the writers want Joker to be there, to serve as a reason for Shepard’s death if everyone dies. No need to read too much into it, really.

            • Shep says:

              Joker mentions that he got treatment from Cerberus to improve his condition near the start of the game. I guess if they can bring someone back to life, it shouldn’t be too difficult to strengthen someone’s bones to the extent that they can hold an assault rifle without fracturing something.

              • Taelus says:

                Again, he mentioned after the Collector’s cleared out the Normandy that he could only “break his bones at them”. That and a little fall to the floor broke several of his ribs at the least. Dr. Chakwas also comments on his frailty. So yeah, gun on the shoulder? Not going to happen without major damage. I’m fine with him shooting it for one burst and then yelling in pain and dropping out of the fight, but continuing to fire? It’s dang near impossible to squeeze your hand if your shoulder and arm are both broken and being punched by a rifle butt.

                I really don’t know why, of all the silly things in the game, this one bothers me so much, but there you have it.

                • swimon says:

                  Ok I hated that scene too (mostly because action cut-scenes make no sense in games since the player should be the one guiding the action). But I don’t think that it’s necessarily unrealistic that he could fire a gun without breaking his shoulder. The first game explains that the modern space guns have less recoil since they use computer controlled jet engines in the opposite direction of the bullet. Basically they cancel some of the recoil by shooting in both direction. I don’t find it hard to believe that Joker has a special gun with almost no recoil.

                  That said I don’t think the writers though of that. I’ve seen ME2 play loose with logic and science too much to trust it, oh and you can see the recoil on Joker:/

                  Basically I think this is how it played out at Bioware:
                  Writer: We’ll have the pilot shooting the bugs like Bam-Bam-Bam BOOOM!
                  Other guy: *high fives* AWESOME!!
                  Writer: And Shepard runs towards the ship and then he jumps and it like slows down in the air and Joker catches him!
                  Other guy: Movie clichés rock!! Especially in games since movies=games.
                  Writer: Totally!

                  Then the writer of ME1 who have been relocated to writing the few codex parts and some side stuff walks by muttering angrily after which he locks himself in a bathroom and cries impotently.

                  Also: spell check, Movie is one word not two!

                • swimon says:

                  That last part of my comment looks weird now that I re-read it. To clarify my spell checker insists that “Movie” is spelt Mo vie which is dumb (the closest thing I can interpret that as is as a rival to Missouri). I have my spell checker set to British English and I know film is the conventional way of saying it there but movie is hardly wrong is it? I have a hard time believing that Mo vie is more often said than movie in England.

                  /rant

              • Sumanai says:

                Again, the pilot decides to leave helm to provide suppressive fire. Even with autopilot it’s pretty nicely in the “poor judgement of priorities” or “dumbass”-category.

        • Calatar says:

          Technically I didn’t tell him to hold the line, and he doesn’t say he’s BAD at holding the line, he just says that Kirrahe was a cloaca and Kirrahe said it a lot.

          So what you have is an implication that Mordin doesn’t like people saying it. Not that Mordin would be terrible at it. It could be inferred I suppose, but it’s not exactly spelled out for you, like you say.

          Here’s the (apparently) official explanation: gamefaqs

          So if you leave enough tough guys behind like Grunt, Zaeed and Garrus, and send a loyal squishie like Mordin, Tali or Jack with the survivors, then you’ll be fine.

          • Taelus says:

            I can kind of dig on that idea, but in the last sequence you don’t choose the group holding the line, it’s literally everyone else who isn’t dead, going with you, or escorting the crew back to the ship. Assuming everyone is loyal, that would imply that to save a character like Mordin on the first playthrough you would have to be aware of things you can’t possibly know.

            If keeping Mordin alive required that he either be with you or be sent away with the crew, you’d have to be aware of that requirement before you get to the final sequence in order to keep him alive. Bioware can be crazy, but I don’t think they’re *that* crazy. I’m guessing that guy on gamefaqs is making some things up. If not, that’s a truly stupid mechanic.

            Anyway, as mentioned elsewhere, every time I’ve gone in with a fully loyal crew and I’ve chosen the right leaders and specialists, everyone has survived straight through to the end. Maybe the folks losing Mordin didn’t have everyone’s loyalty *and* all of the upgrades?

            • Calatar says:

              No, I made super-sure I had EVERYTHING on my last playthrough. But I took Grunt and Garrus with me on the final mission, and sent Zaeed back, so that would have cut out a significant part of the hold the line value, as mentioned.

              On my first playthrough I didn’t have this problem (probably picked different people), so I was very surprised that Mordin died on my second playthrough.

          • Retlor says:

            I had everyone loyal and both Grunt and Garrus staying to hold the line. I’m pretty sure that’s enough to keep everyone alive at that moment, no matter who you put there.

    • Hugo Sanchez says:

      I never had Mordin die on me.

      I did cheer every time Miranda died, though.

    • deiseach says:

      Indeed. My first playthrough is canonical, so in my mind Mordin Solus is brown bread. Which, as you say, is upsetting

  4. GreyDuck says:

    You know, I’ve referenced “Penzance” a couple of times this month in the comic (look, I got a bunch of new pirate ducks, okay?) but I hadn’t considered trying a riff on the Major-General’s Song.

    Hmm.

  5. Taelus says:

    I don’t actually have a problem with the change in understanding about the Genophage that Mordin brings. The information from Wrex is built on Galactic perception of the situation. The information from Mordin is built on very secret, very specific data. They aren’t in conflict in terms of viability in the game world, they’re just an issue of perception.

    I have to agree that I liked his story quite a bit and his character was refreshing to have around. He made some of the most amusing comments, possibly 2nd only to some of Garrus’ commentary (“Does anyone else think it’s hot in here? *cough* Oh, that’s not good”).

    Also, I have to say my favorite line from Mordin isn’t the song, it’s from his loyalty mission when he responds to a challenge that he’s killed in the pursuit of science and he responds that he’s killed people lots of ways, guns, bombs, and once with farm equipment, but never with medicine. Random add-on and wonderful.

    • daveNYC says:

      I agree with the change in the understanding of the current Krogan population. I don’t see any problem with the Krogan population shrinking from say 1B to 500M (just making up the numbers) over the course of two thousand years, then increasing from say 500M to 600M within the last century. Timeline wise it’s 2185, and Solarians don’t make it past 40.

    • Retlor says:

      Never experiment on any species with members capable of calculus. Simple rule. Never broke it.

  6. RCN says:

    And, as always, Salarians are AWESOME.

    The best part about the music is how in the video the guy who uploaded it just leaves it in awkward silence after the song. Mordin is a beacon of NPC goodness in the world of gaming, only reached by few (Garrus, Morte, Minsc, Marcus, Sand, One of Many, Devran, Sten…), and he is one of the few to do so being a pragmatic scientist, so more points to him.

    I just wish Mass Effect would let you have more than 2 people on your team…

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This “retcon” is actually quite a good way of establishing mordins backstory.It not only shows his brilliant intuition at detecting the disease becoming less effective,but how much he values life:”Couldve exterminated krogan,much easier”.And the way he keeps calm on the surface while making even the hardest decisions is also marvelous.You can see by his stance and tone that he is hit hard by what he had to do(genophage,killing his student),but he still keeps composed for the sake of all the other lives he could save.And he also has some of the best philosophic thoughts about various subjects,like the diversity of life,for example.

    Plus,that song is pure win.As is his sense of humour:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOX3oT3y5Zw

  8. ooli says:

    I didnt play that game but I wonder: What are the outcome of your choices in term of Paragon/renegade points?

    I guess a pure parangon (sort of loyal good paladin) would kill Wrex (die you evil doer) and destroy the data (devil’s seeds)
    A normal “good” guy would keep Wrex alive and destroy the data.
    A pragmatic everyday baddie would let Wrex live and keep the data (may be useful)
    And a pure “evil” pragmatic would kill Wrex (the guy is dangerous) and keep the data.

    so ?

    • jdaubenb says:

      Wrex has nothing really to do with Maelon’s research, actually.
      He has established himself as the most powerful warlord on Tuchanka and is slowly uniting the smaller and/or weaker clans under his rule.
      Wrex’s goal is to unite the different clan’s ressources, mainly the fertile females, and circumvent the genophage by limiting combat between Krogans.

      One of his rivals for “biggest Krogan on the homeworld” whose name escapes me right now is the one performing the experiments with Maelon’s help.

      @Paragon/Renegades: You get four choices in the end, actually. You can try to encourage Mordin to help the Krogan or tell him that the Genophage was the right choice.
      You get to pick between keeping or destroying the data within the same dialogue wheel.
      The Paragon-choice would be to encourage him to help and to keep the data – those two answers are the top ones, usually reserved for Paragon choices.

  9. Vegedus says:

    But none of that is the reason Mordin is the best character in the game. This is:

    HAH! Should’ve seen that coming. Bet you’ve been building up to that one all along.

    • asterismW says:

      I didn’t see that coming (having never played Mass Effect before), and I thought it was an absolutely brilliant end to this little mini-series. Mordin Solus is now my favorite character too.

  10. Wolfwood says:

    funny i too thought that song was what made him the best character! XD That and Tali her back story was good too.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “The latter is something I wished the game had given us in the first game with regards to the Rachni queen: Spare her life, but not turn her loose. I’m very glad the game didn’t make us choose between “destroy cure” and “release cure”. It’s nice to be able to play cautious, humble Shepard who realizes he doesn’t have all the answers and shouldn’t go around making moral decisions for the rest of the galaxy.”

    Yeah,too bad that they screwed it up in the end,where you can only destroy the collector base,or hand it over to cerberus.Thats the dumbest choice ever.Especially for the type of guy Ive played,who always collected every bit of info to use against cerberus,so I was forced to blow this station just to spite the illusive man,even if I wanted to keep it for study either for the council,or(better yet)for mordin and my team.And Im one of the few people that didnt find arnold reaper dumb(though a bit silly looking).

    • bit says:

      Well, to be fair, I never really understood the whole “keep the base but give it to the council,” bit; not from a storytelling point of view, of course, but because it just never seemed possible. Regardless of how fast you can book it to the Citadel, in the time you’ve convinced them of the idea, given them the IRF and how it works, then organized a reliable force to actually go get there, Cerberus will have already moved in several times over. I understand why people want the option, but it’s simply an option that doesn’t exist.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        How would cerberus get their hands on the iff if I have the only ship to have it?And even if they somehow managed to get their,they still are not large enough to take on citadel fleet.

        • bit says:

          What says that I have the only ship with the IRF? It’s never explicitly said that EDI gave it to Cerberus overall (whatever that means) but she strikes me as fairly loyal, so it’s a fair assumption to make. And if the Citadel moved in, Cerberus, being Cerberus, would probably just blow the base up and leave with the data gathered thus far.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            If she was capable of that,shed never allow me to store sensitive information about cerberus that I could use against them.And you can even transmit these to someone other,without hindrance as well.Not to mention the very fact that you still have the ship even if you decide to completely disobey the illusive man in the end,when you are no longer needed,and the ship is still extremely valuable to cerberus.Also,the iff is not just the code,but a physical device,so I doubt it can be easily transmitted via ether.

            Personally,I wouldve flushed the collectors from it,then stay until we can collect all the crucial data,then give it over to the citadel.After all,I have on my crew the most brilliant scientist alive,and one extremely smart genetically enhanced human(even if she doesnt act like it usually),as well as a direct link to almost unlimited processing power of the geth,and one of the few very clever ais.So if anyone couldve deduced something to use against the reapers out of the station,it wouldve been us.

          • acronix says:

            Even if we assume that Cerberus could in any shape or form be there before the Council, there´s no way for Shepard to be sure of that before it actually happens. Also, what you say is a conclusion you arrived by watching and interpreting the events of the game. Other players may come with different conclusions because of different interpetations. The option should still be there anyway.

  12. Taelus says:

    Oh, as a complete side note for those who are like Shamus and I, still playing this game over and over again: The new DLC “Lair of the Shadowbroker” is brilliant. Great gameplay, epic feel of importance, the whole 9. Of course, YMMV, but I thought it was worth every penny and thus worth mentioning.

    • krellen says:

      Shamus is playing Mass Effect 1, not 2.

      • Taelus says:

        Oops. Though I’ve been replaying ME1 just to build a character for import into ME2. Yes, I know about masseffectsaves.com and I know about gibbed, but it’s just more fulfilling this way :-)

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I am so pissed at that DLC. After playing ME2 when it was just released I was pretty sure we would get to see the solution to the shadow broker arc in the 3rd part, I actually dislike replaying, or even reinstalling, games and I have yet to decide to even get the DLC. The same actually applies to the Witch Hunt DLC for Dragon Age. The thing is those are the two arcs that interest me the most in these games. (Growls in frustration).

      • Taelus says:

        Skip Witch Hunt man. It closed up the loop with Morrigan (kind of), but it was brutally short and pretty pathetic in the end. The whole thing is an excuse to get two, admittedly well voice-acted, companions for a short time to go through some fights to hold a single conversation. Oh the excitement.

        Not that I’m bitter about the purchase or anything.

    • SKD says:

      Spent a few hours reading the terminals at the end and that alone was worth it.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      It was fantastic, just really brilliant all around.

  13. Moriarty says:

    “Mordin is concerned about what will happen to Maelon in the hqands of the Krogan.”

    slight typo in there

    • Sumanai says:

      On the other hand, what’s a hqand of a Krogan? And do we really want to know?

      Also:
      “Mordin gets word that a Maelon, a former…”
      I spy an extra ‘a ‘. Or ‘ a’.

  14. Menegil says:

    Whut.

    Retcon?

    I sigh and shake my head in dismay.

    • Irridium says:

      Indeed. The idea is silly. Like the Quarians not being able to be outside of their suits yet Tali figures out how to get out for a few moments thanks to the internet.

      Wait…

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Well if you remember ME1 there’s a long decontamination process whenever you get into a ship, so the interior of the ship, as well as the crew are likely to be fairly sterile (within reason – obviously it’s not going to be 100% effective) and she’d taken a lot of antibiotics so it’s really about the closest to an ideal situation for getting out of her suit that there is.

        Regardless, Quarians can get out of their suits, it’s just usually a really bad idea, and the precautions are only temporary. Even if a Quarian took a bunch of antibiotics, if they walked around on the citadel for a while, they’d quickly be terminally ill, and if the antibiotics were strong enough to prevent that initially, it’s unlikely they’d be able to spend a lot of time there, so it’s better to just wear the suit for them.

        • Irridium says:

          Yes, but humans are very icky creatures who just spout germs no matter what.

          It just feels as thought they retconned the lore in favor of a sex scene. Which makes me both sad and angry.

          • acronix says:

            I think quarians have a biologicaal background similar to turians (or was it only diet?) so maybe they can shrug of most of human germs with an allergy if they don´t spend too long out of the suit.

            Anyway, the Tali romance were fanservice, no one can argue that.

        • Slothful says:

          You’d think that if they really loved eachother, they could have looked past the fact that they can’t really get skin-to-skin contact safely.

          Not to mention that if they really wanted to, they could probably do all the stimulatory bits through some…creative…methods…you know…I’ll just shut up now…

          • acronix says:

            Bioware took that aproach because everyone knows that “intercourse = supreme love”.

            If I recall correctly, there´re only two options: “Let´s go to bed together, as long as you don´t die!” and “We can´t go to bed together because you could die. Hence, this is an impossible relantionship!”. It was said in a much more synthetic manner, of course, but the message I got was basically that.

            • Otters34 says:

              Aside from which, why is the romantic path the only one you can take with your op/sex crew mates? is it too much to ask that you stay good friends, without the inevitability of bodily fluid transmissions?

              Being somebody’s best friend is also going to be more animation-friendly, without the chance of ghastly models moving like puppets in a breeze.

              On a more pertinent note, I hated those reaction shots Maellon got when Mordin threatened him. It kind of breaks the mood when an Asgard-like alien does rapid nods and head shakes in a supposedly tense scene.

      • WWWebb says:

        Speaking of Mordin…the next conversation you have with Mordin after the Tali love scene is a classic.

  15. Ravens Cry says:

    Damn. Now I want to actually play Mass Effect 2. Mordin is a wonderful character, excellent voice acting, extremely distinctive and unique diction and syntax, yet he still comes across as someone who cares.

  16. Nersh says:

    Dude! Proof-reading! >:

  17. Emm Enn Eff says:

    Very little Nazi medical research is of any actual value. Most of what was collected unethically was garbage aimed at justifying their racist ideology.

    There are two aspects to research data – the data (Facts), and the ego (The person producing the data). Both are important for science. Produce good data, and you get cited.

    Data is data, however – facts are not changed by who collects them. As such, I’m very much of the opinion that if Nazi research data was collected following technically proper scientific practices (Which almost none of it was), then it should be citable.

    As long as the names of the researches collecting are scrubbed out, with relevant passages in your bibliography aimed at denouncing the crimes against humanity committed by those researchers. We cannot let those parasites receive credit for their work.

    As for executing them for crimes against humanity – they should have been, were they guilty of the charges.

  18. WILL says:

    Nice series, Shamus.

    Now do the same for Legion!

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Shamus already discussed quarians and the geth,I think.And legion basically is geth.Though,to be fair,this was before the second game,so there was no mention of the faith(?) split between the two geth factions,which is a very nice touch for this race.

      I cant wait for the third game to come out so we can discover the full lore on some of these.I hope we will get a definite explanation for that hint about asari “shapeshifting” hinted at that bachelor party.

      • Taelus says:

        It wasn’t shapeshifting so much as illusion. All of the people at the table were seeing different things. I think it would be awesome if the true appearance of the Asari was quite nasty and somehow they trick everyone they see into a different view. Not sure why that would work over long range communication, but hey, I’m up for bad science to explain it away :-)

      • acronix says:

        I thought those aliens were drugged for humor´s sake. Or whatever that was, if not an attempt at humor.

  19. bit says:

    Not to mention, of course, that Mordin’s Cryo Blast is an absolute joy to take into combat. An overpowered, unbeatable joy.

  20. Ravens Cry says:

    One trouble with what Mordin says at the start of the first video is that humans are (unless all other known space-faring sentient life went through an even WORSE near-extinction event) NOT genetically diverse. It has been said that humans are less genetically diverse in the entire species then single band of chimpanzees. Mordins statement comes across as an attempt to justify the whole Planet of Hats trope.

    • daveNYC says:

      I was willing to use some handwavium and buy the idea that human abilities, behavior, and responses to stimuli are more varied than those of other species. Weak, but whatever.

    • Sumanai says:

      Ignoring tropes and cliches, there’s still that attributes like “intelligence” are not purely genetic. The wide variety of human “intelligence” and physical strength is only partially due to genetics and has more to do with personal behaviour. If you don’t do anything, both will cripple. If you train, either can improve. If humans had an even narrower genetic diversity, variance should happen anyway because not every being of one species of sapient and sentient beings could possibly find the same things interesting.

      Of course, it could also be that other species in the Mass Effect universe actually have even narrower genetical diversity. But that would be pretty unlikely, considering how close the extinction humans went. And the asari. I mean, able to breed with anything and not be genetically diverse? Wtf?

    • Slothful says:

      They’ve actually got a bunch of dead Asari and Salarians and other such things hidden in a room somewhere. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had some Squirrels laying around somewhere,

  21. thebigJ_A says:

    In the video you selected destroying the data, not keeping it. That’s actually the renegade choice. You got Paragon points because the previous choices in the conversation were paragon, and they outweighed the last one. The Paragon choices were either “Hold on to the data” or “You should help the Krogan”. Yes, Shepherd says “I know you can recreate it”, but that’s a hypothetical. Besides, the game has always labelled any choice that thinks the genophage shouldn’t be cured as Renegade. Which is the coice you’re making: “the Krogan aren’t ready…”.

    I really think they should take that last step, and get rid of the Paragon/Renegade meter. Let us make a choice, and live with the consequences. Only when we see those consequences will we know (maybe) if the choice was for good or ill.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      To be fair, paragon/renegade is a choice between idealistic and pragmatic respectively- Paragon believes the Krogan should be given a second chance, Renegade thinks they’re too dangerous to let live. It makes sense then the way those choices are allocated.

      I think the problem is too many people read the paragon/renegade meters as Good or Evil, which gets reinforced by some of Bioware’s poorer choices (renegade translating to being rude for no good reason at times) making people’s perceptions of what paragon/renegade indicates different to what it’s supposed to indicate.

      It’s a perfectly valid metric to use, when done right, but I agree it may not be the best one to represent moral choices.

      • Sumanai says:

        It’s meant to be idealistic and pragmatic, but most of the time it seems to be a choice between “nonsensical good” and “nonsensical dick move”. I suppose that some of the dialogue writers either didn’t get the memo, don’t care or are dumbasses. Possibly they don’t realise that not everything, or even nearly everything, has to have an effect on the paragon/renegade -levels.

        While I normally prefer to fix something rather than chuck it out, I don’t think there’s much that can be done to justify or fix the system. The problem is after all not in the system itself, but the inconsistent work of those who apply it.

        • Nidokoenig says:

          I’ve recently been playing Morrowind and wondering if it might not be interesting to have a “moral allegiance” meter that tracks alliances to batshit insane members of a pantheon like the Daedra. This would allow a lot more freedom to give a variety of responses, each of which might please or displease various Daedra, allow inconsistencies in moral code to be brushed off as the god in question being nuts, and set up loyalty missions for each one that ram home the insanity of the philosophy you’ve been slavishly following for phat lewt and uniques.

  22. Xocoatl says:

    When I reached the climax I was literally slack-jawed. The game had managed to inspire a real horror and moral indecision in me. I can’t think of any title, even PS:T, that has affected me so profoundly.

    I froze. I missed the interrupt cue. I reloaded–I wanted everyone to survive, especially Mordin–but I almost wish I had let the character’s decision stand. The whole scene was the best damn writing I’ve seen in a game. It is art.

    • Dude says:

      Seriously? Seeing how the “decision” at the climax, is more or less kill terminator and destroy Cyberdyne or kill terminator and keep Cyberdyne, it’s kinda pointless.

      Unless you mean who lives and who dies. Because the factors that decided who lives and who doesn’t make very little sense. Like, to take a very simple example, if your first secondary strike team is not headed by someone with “experience” in handling teams shit happens. But none of the members who went with that team bite the dust in that round, which would kind of make sense.

      • krellen says:

        He meant the climax of Mordin’s mission, not the game.

      • Xocoatl says:

        Oh god no, the game ending was ridonkulous. I’m not saying the whole thing was great–don’t get me started on the male human’s quest!–but this sliver was excellent.

        • Dude says:

          The whole “I wanted everyone to survive, especially Mordin” line threw me off.

          I always think these “data” based decisions need to show us what data we’re supposed to spend time making decisions about. And they can’t just handwave it away by saying that Shepard is a grunt and can’t figure out hardcore science. There’s an expert genophage maker right beside him. Make him make sense of it!

  23. Joush says:

    Wrex’s perspective in ME1 is built from a bitter old mercenary that tried to build a brighter future for the Krogan only to be betrayed by his own father on the closet thing Krogans have to sacred ground and driven off world, abandoning his idealistic dreams to instead wander as a hired killer.

    So.. yeah, he’s a pessimist and relying on anecdotal evidence.

    Mordin’s perspective is from a scientist taking detailed surveys of population numbers over a long time, taking a huge number of separate data points to create a coherent picture of Krogan demographics.

    The different is simple to explain, and seems reasonable.

    Oh, and Dude: A lot of the time in dangerous situations, someone screwing up won’t kill the screwup, it will kill someone else. This is why in dangerous jobs people tend to really test out the new people, because their lives will rely on the FNG not screwing up.

  24. Rats says:

    Thanks for writing! I have enjoyed this series of posts very much, and though i have avoided mass effect so far on the basis that it looked very generic, i may now pick it up as the story seems worth pursuing.

  25. Jarenth says:

    Question: This entire series, months-long research and backstory articles intended to explain why Mordin best character, just buildup to posting Salarian Scientist Song and saying ‘This is why’?

    Impressed. Takes effort, patience, dedication to effectively troll entire blog readership like that. Could have just posted video in article 1, but this much more effective.

    Just glad video wasn’t RickRoll instead.

  26. Lalaland says:

    The whole Mordin thing strikes me as a cop out particularly the ‘data is tainted’ line. Without wanting to get too deep into history Unit 731 was a biological and chemical warfare unit in the Japanese army that performed all manner of horrors in occupied Manchuria. After the end of WWII both the US and USSR knew what had happened but they took very opposite course of action. The US took former commander General Shiro Ishii and struck a deal for his research data and set him up as a researcher in the US. The USSR ran trials and convicted and executed any they could (the US condemned the trials as propaganda for years despite having proof) but also used the data they had accumulated in their own bio-weapons program. Similar situation, similar ethical dilemmas but very different solutions to the crass Bioware moralising.

    I can’t recommend the film Japanese Devils enough, it’s a series of interviews conducted in the late 80s with 14 former Japanese servicemen. The interviews are truly horrifying as they admit to acts of the basest cruelty and calmly explain how they could do these things without a moments thought. Their frankness is to be commended but it finally put paid to any naive ideas I had about ‘universal morality’

  27. Aldowyn says:

    Mordin is easily my favorite and the most complicated of the new characters, even including the Cerberus people, who get considerably more backstory. Garrus and Tali may be more fleshed out, but they got a running head starts.

    P.S. Garrus is my favorite, and I managed to kill him my first time BECAUSE of that. He was my favorite, so I trusted him to be able to accomplish the tech specialty task… not so much.

  28. Kdansky says:

    While Mordin’s story seems very well written and interesting, I am really bothered by Shepard’s lines. They are all incredibly horrible, and then Mordin thanks him for it?! It feels so forced to make the PC be important, which he isn’t because he’s a douchebag and a total idiot.

  29. cavalier says:

    Does nobody find it odd that Shepard and Mordin discuss/debate the future of the Krogan while Wrex stands right next to them?

    I realize the game can’t take in to account every possible situation but this gets awkward to watch. Wrex could state an opinion or be consulted. Instead they’re discussing the future of his race while he just meanders in the background. It is possible to bring taciturn to a ridiculous level.

  30. What the hell was with that 15 second awkward stare at the end of the song? Did everyone else get that as the ugly Shep just started out and pursed his lips a bit? I thought I’d missed some sort of “Don’t say anything and Mordin will sing more” bit or something, but no. It was just creepy.

  31. Galad says:

    I feel trolled. You write all those wonderful analysis of the events between the Krogans and the Salarians, of Mordin’s part in it, of Mordin himself..and then out of the blue “But none of that is the reason Mordin is the best character in the game. This is:” and you post a 1 minute video of Mordin doing, admittedly, something funny and unexpected in a SRS BZNS AAA title, but still…

    (for the record, I haven’t played ME2, though I have spoilt myself plenty from your analysii(plural) so I only avoided Mordin’s loyalty mission video out of all the ME2 related material on twentysided :))

  32. SKD says:

    Just had Yeoman Kelly call him a “Hamster on coffee” in my current playthrough. I love the little snarklets Bioware puts in its games.

  33. -ink says:

    Oh, good god, *why* is that Shepard so ugly? Why would you want to look at that mug for hours on end?
    That said, thank you for posting my single favorite moment in the entire game. (And, you know, that extremely well articulated history and synopsis of Mordin and the genophage.)

  34. Passerby says:

    Dunno if anyone is still reading this, but for more of Mordin Solus and his relationship with Captain “Hold the Line” Kirrahe, you MUST get the latest DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker.

  35. Zak McKracken says:

    You seem to think that the longer the introduction to a joke the better it gets.
    So you gave us three posts about the ME backstory, only in preparation for the fourth one that is actually about Mordin.

    Which is only a really elaborate introduction to this video of him singing …

    And here was I paying careful attention because I expected you to dissect the complete story and every detail in it.

    Damn, you’re right, that was extremely funny!

  36. Danny says:

    Is the second video still available somewhere now it’s been removed from YouTube?

  37. Sree says:

    I like the fact that they didn’t force you to destroy cure/ release cure, but I honestly believed that the Krogans weren’t ready for reinstatement of their normal biological numbers… and I destroyed it anyway.. but the fact that they gave me the choice to not do either made the choice I made even more impactful.. who knows what would have happened if I brought the cure onboard?! Cerberes might start feeding colonists to Krogans next! Think of the poor Tresher Maws

  38. Char-Nobyl says:

    Reading this, I think you missed a few things, man. The genophage wasn’t released to *prevent* war with the krogan. It was released to *end* war with the krogan. The turians were basically the military might of the Council races, and after the krogan took over several turian colonies, the turians went to war. And it was bloody as all hell.

    Similarly, you’re glossing over a lot of what the krogan did. The rachni were compelled to kill all non-rachni because it’s heavily implied that the Reapers corrupted their queens. And the rachni, being a hivemind, had no choice but to obey. The krogan went to war for the sake of war: it was a decision of sentient beings with no outside force compelling them. They dropped asteroids on turian colonies (not military targets), killing millions, in an effort to break the turian will to fight. It was a sale on warcrimes at the War Store, and the krogan were grabbing ’em off the shelf.

    The genophage was an effort to stop the krogan from continuing this horrific war. Maybe the krogan weren’t ready to be lifted off their planet, but that doesn’t stop them from being held accountable for their actions.

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