Spoiler Warning S4E50:Miran-duh

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Mar 9, 2011

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 192 comments

Link (YouTube)

I know we didn’t get to see the feud between Jack and Miranda in this play-through, but let me say a bit about it…

If you remember, Jack went to the Cerberus School For Torturing Children in the Name of Lulz. Her warped mind, her rage, her savagery, and her criminal behavior are a result of the extreme abuse she suffered at their hands.

Then we have Miranda, who keeps telling us how smart she is while doing very little to convince us. She’s rude, short-sighted, and she can’t articulate any kind of reasonable defense for Cerberus. The one project she ran only had three people in it, and she still had somebody go rogue on her. And then she executed our only lead. I’d trust Grunt with managing a research project before I gave her another one.

Anyway. As soon as both Jack and Miranda become loyal, this happens:

Link (YouTube)

Jack’s behavior is perfectly understandable, given her history. (Not mature or even-headed, but understandable.) I wouldn’t recruit someone as unstable as Jack for a mission like this, but again, we can thank the wisdom of Cerberus for having her on board. Miranda’s response is insulting and childish. If she is anywhere near as smart as she pretends to be, she would have found an answer that was more diplomatic and less laughable. All she needed to do was admit that what happened to Jack was wrong. If she can’t find a way through that conversation without it turning into a fight, then she doesn’t even deserve to be an officer, much less the XO.

I’d credit BioWare with making a character you love to hate, but I think that’s giving them too much credit. They give you the chance to flirt with her, but not one chance to express what a complete and irredeemable bitch she is. If you were supposed to hate her, then they should have given you a way to express it in-game. I know we joke about spacing her, but really I’d settle for ANY in-game way of letting her know how displeased I was with her. Bust her down a rank? Confine to quarters? A verbal reprimand? Simple rudeness? Nope, nothing. The game will not let you not like her. In fact, the writers thought she was so cool, they imagined her to be the leading lady in this game:


My irritation with her is further exacerbated by the ridiculous plot armor the writers gave her. In the final mission, it becomes possible to get members of your team killed. It’s trivially easy to kill just about anyone except Miranda, who gets a free pass through several situations that would kill anyone else. I’m convinced that the writers really expected us to like this shallow, incompetent, self-absorbed dunce.


From The Archives:

192 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning S4E50:Miran-duh

  1. Bubble181 says:

    Well…The third possible comment (from the second video) seemed to be going in the right direction…And in the follow-up it all just boils back down to nothing. Too bad; a follow-up there telling her [redacted] would’ve helped.

  2. Rodyle says:

    Ouch, Mumbles, you sound sick, are you okay?

    And on the point of Miranda: eh… I understand why she protects Cerberus; they saved her and her sister’s life after all. However, I would indeed like a chance to tell her she’s a bitch. On the other hand, I don’t think you get a chance to do that to any of the other characters either. Perhaps they just didn’t give you the option because, well, you need those guys! Alienating them by telling them they’re shit would be a bad thing to do, I guess.

    1. Integer Man says:

      Get well soon Mumbles!

      1. Chuck says:

        Seconded. Sounds like a head cold, but I’m a writer, not a doctor.

        1. Hitch says:

          Could be hay fever, but if we handle this like Greg House and pump her full of every drug we think of, we can have her in a coma by the third commercial break.

          1. Jekyll says:

            Just know one thing….It is not, nor will it ever be, nor has it ever been Lupus

            1. Rodyle says:

              I will take the first plane to the US and search her house!

              1. Jekyll says:

                ‘Scuse me while I look up the desese with the most sylibles in it. Judging by TV logic, that is the culprit.

                1. Matthias says:

                  Could also be Strange-surname’s Syndrome – as long as the number of documented cases is not more than 1000.

                2. Velkrin says:

                  On the bright side it’s not scale-itch.

                3. Chris B Chikin says:

                  Because it’s never Lupus

            2. Entropy says:

              Except that one time.

        2. Matthias says:

          I’m also not a doctor – but I play one in TF2.

          1. Integer Man says:

            Hear hear!

          2. Jekyll says:

            NO, he’s a medic! He doesn’t help people, only ease their pain while they die. :P

            1. Chris Robertson says:

              I don’t think that nickname will stick.

            2. Rodyle says:

              Actually, I’d prefer him over the guy who played the comedic relief in Blackadder…

            3. PeterTheGreat says:

              He helps them prepare for an oblivion… for which there is NO PREPARATION! MUHAhahaha… cough.

        3. Neil Polenske says:

          If you guys are gonna say you’re a [something], not a doctor, I just don’t have respect for you unless you preface it with a “Dammit Jim”

          1. Chuck says:

            I never was much of a Trek fan.


            1. ehlijen says:

              You don’t have to be to mock it. Just look at the latest movie for proof :P

              1. Bret says:

                So, you’re saying that people mocked the new movie without seeing it?

                Huh. Silly of them. It was quite good.

                1. Klay F. says:

                  But to be honest it was more like “Some Guy Named Kirk Visits The Action Movie Planet (Also Time Travel)” than anything resembling an actual trek movie.

                2. ehlijen says:

                  No I mean the people who made it mocked star trek without ever liking the original.

    2. Mumbles says:

      Yeah I was pretty sick. My roommate brought home a cold and I was at the peak of it when we recorded. I tried gargling whiskey before we started, but I think I might have just swallowed most of it.

      1. Adam says:

        This, here is a woman after my own heart.

    3. Drew says:

      Not being able to yell at certain people for certain things was a really big problem for me, from a roleplaying perspective. Miranda I wanted to bitch out but I also wanted to threaten Jack with immediate death by gunshot if she didn’t cut the “I don’t work in a team” bullcrap. While she’s on my ship she follows my rules and to let her get away with intimidating me weakens me in the eyes of the rest of the crew. I’m not unsympathetic to what she has to go through, but Her childish insubordinence would have earned her a kick in the teeth from my Shepard. I also wanted to scream at TIM for playing Russian roulette with the lives of thousands of innocents (and don’t even get me started on the collector ship–that mission seriously had no purpose whatsoever), Anderson for allowing my legacy to be whitewashed, and the council–yes you can yell at them if you want but for the totally wrong reasons and if you do you just come off looking like a ranting baffoon. It’s especially agrivating because at the same time you can be quite shockingly rude to characters that have been nothing but decent to you, like Liara and EDI. There are times when the balance is well done, like Tali/Mordan/Samara/Grunt’s loyalty missions, but unfortunately getting it right five times barely offsets fucking it up even once.

  3. Friend of Dragons says:

    Can you get her killed if you assign the biotic-specific task to her? I haven’t tried.

    1. jdaubenb says:

      She magically returns for the hold the line speech.

      The only way to kill her and have her stay down is to have her non-loyal and pick her as one of your squad mates for the final boss.

      1. Integer Man says:

        That settles it then: Mordin and Miranda for the final boss!

        1. TSED says:

          Or maybe send Mordin to take the crew back and have Tali /boss with you?

    2. Josh R says:

      the biotic task, if taken by a non-loyal samara or jack, or anyone else regardless of loyalty, only gets one random teammate with you killed.

      1. ehlijen says:

        The only ways I know of are:
        -Have her with you non loyal in the final fight (because loyalty determines whether a 100ft fall kills you or not…)
        -Kill enough other crew member to have her hold the line alone (if there’s even one other person with her, she’ll survive though)
        -possibly have her escort chakwash back when not loyal (it kills most other people, but I haven’t tried it with her)

      2. Grag says:

        Sounds like that task is antibiotic to me.

  4. GTB says:

    Aside from the ammo I had to pick up in the initial stage, the Miranda character was my first indication that something had gone horribly wrong with ME2. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to behave towards her. My dude from the first game (who I imported) would have shot her in the face in several instances, but instead all of my options are supportive of her bizarre moody bullshit. At best you get to be slightly disapproving.

    God I hated this game. It makes me angry just thinking about it.

    1. eric says:

      The fact that the game opens with a vacant supermodel in improbably tight and revealing Space Clothes I think really sums up Mass Effect 2 quite well: pretty to look at, but not much for your brain to work with, and really, really annoying once you get to know it.

      1. Klay F. says:

        But its only good to look at if you only focus on the Tits & Ass because as soon as you look up from that “OH GOD CINDER BLOCK JAW, BRAIN BLEACH!!!”

  5. Alexander The 1st says:

    Someone needs to make a Flash parody of sending Miranda through each incorrect part of the suicide mission, with Miranda popping up again after every instance of Shepard going “So, Miranda didn’t make it? Good.”

    If the suicide mission was Elmer Fudd, Miranda was Bugs Bunny. Or Sylvester and Tweety.

    The one part I liked about Jack is that she dislikes Miranda from the start. Sure, she may be Chaotic Evil, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    1. Klay F. says:

      Actually a more apt comparison of Miranda would be with Wile E. Coyote.

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        Yes, actually, that is too accurate.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Oh come on. I actually always liked him, he always looked so sad and down when he failed I couldn’t help but feel bad for him and hope that he’d catch that overconfident, full of himself roadrunner… I may or may not have been the weird kid in my neighbourhood.

          1. Klay F. says:

            I actually felt sorry for him because I always thought he was like some majority stockholder in ACME, and was contractually obligated to use their products.

  6. Kale says:

    Anyone else think it’s funny that Miranda falls for the placate Jack line, but doesn’t seem to realize we did the exact same thing to her when we said that?

  7. eric says:

    I think I understand what BioWare were trying to do with Miranda: make a character who is put into situations due to expectations and presumptions of her greatness, but who can’t really meet their standards and feels psychologically overwhelmed by it. The problem is that, rather than make Miranda a sympathetic character (which only shows in her loyalty mission), they spent so little time developing her as anything other than a Sexy Ice Queen Action Girl.

    If BioWare hadn’t spent so much time focusing on close-up shots of her ass, and spent more on giving us reasons to like her beyond the wholly superficial, I would have been much more willing to tolerate her attitude. As it stands, we almost never see the other side of her until well into the game, and that just isn’t enough to redeem her being constantly forced down the player’s throat.

    1. Jekyll says:

      Had Miranda been preseted in the same vein as the Commander in Aliens (aka comepletely overconfident and totally unprepared for real world combat) it would have been completely fine to have her know nothing. Yet she is constantly the one character we are told is completely perfect. Also, even after admitting she feels like everyone expects more out of her than is possible she turns right around to being the overconfident “badass”.

      1. SomeUnregPunk says:

        This is why I like the mercenary dlc character.

        This guy thinks he is a badass team leader…. while he really is a badass lone gunman type. During his loyalty mission that truth is practically shoved into his face if you choose to be a good guy.

        Miranda is never given that humbling experience.

        I would have forgiven Bioware for how she was created for the story if there was a scene at the end based upon if you chose to hand over the Collectors base to Cerberus… where it’s boss remarks upon the success of the brain washing of Shepard for it’s goals. She ends with a remark like… “Don’t worry, he is programmed to love me.”

        1. Fnord says:

          She is given a (somewhat) humbling experience, in her loyalty mission.

          Except that after the loyalty mission and one related conversion, she reverts and has the same stupid bitchy lines.

          1. Jekyll says:

            And I think this is why *some* people prefer jack to her, they’re both one dimensinal in the beginning but at least Jack learns something and uses it instead of marching on like nothing happened.

          2. Drew says:

            I don’t even think her loyalty gives her that much to be honest. I mean, what happens? She meets the one person who’s been a good friend to her and kills him because he won’t do what she tells him to, when what she tells him to do is go along with her kidnapping her sister from her father. Sure she says he’s bad and dangerous, but we only have it on her authority that that’s the case, and she’s demonstrated on numerous occasions that her perception of right and wrong is dangerously skewed: killing Wilson like a complete moron when he was defenseless and wounded and it would have been more beneficial for everyone for her to not, the aforementioned pointless slap fight with Jack, to say nothing of joining freaking Cerberus and being loyal enough to TIM to become a team leader. And, again, killing what’shisface in the blink of an eye juts for following his conscience. Even if you convince her not to, what does she learn from it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

  8. Integer Man says:

    I rather liked the sequence involving Joker, particularly since he’s a much better character than Shepherd, Commander. Also, it involved giving EDI more power and being uncertain what consequences would come out of that, even though you were railroaded into it.

    Didn’t particularly like his animations for whatever reason. Something about the limp was somewhat surreal. Would rather have played as the doctor or chambers, though playing as Joker made the most sense.

    I enjoyed the glowing trail and how the collectors completely ignored it.

    1. Hitch says:

      I was thinking myself that the “limping” animation was poorly done. It looked like they had some “I’ve just been punched in the gut” walking animation and decided that was good enough. It really jarred every time he got to where he was going and stood up straight. he should have walked upright, just slowly carefully planting his feet to maintain balance and minimizing impact. It might have been hard to convey though. The target audience, who are supposed to be excited about Miranda as a crew mate and romance option, would probably just complain bitterly that Joker walked too slow and didn’t have a nice big gun.

      I kept thinking that the Omega 4 relay reminded me of a certain door… http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=945

  9. Raygereio says:

    Childish? Who is harassing who here? Jack went to Miranda’s office and started to throw a hissy fit going “you apologize for something you didn’t do!” after all. I do get why Miranda is such a cerberus cheerleader. After all, cerberus helped her and her sister to get away from her emotional abusive father. Granted cerby didn't really do a decent job on that considering her father found her sister in Miranda's mission, but it's the thought that counts I suppose.

    That said, I don’t really get the hatred for Miranda. Yeah, she’s pretty much an one-dimensional cardboard cut-out with just one or two lines that gave you a brief glimpse of an actual character.
    But is Jack any better? She’s also an one-dimensional cardboard cut-out with just one or two good scenes. She also comes with the additional bonus of being utterly ridiculous ““ not to mention potentially offensive to people who have suffered through abuse as a child – with her “I was abused as a kid, now I'm a tough bitch routine”.

    It would help if there was some actual character there to hate on…

    Onward to commentary about the episode!
    I was okay with playing as Joker. My main issue with it was the set up. Why does an IFF device contain a virus that when connected and activated instantly screws up the enitre Normandy? Why and how? Magic?

    1. Jekyll says:

      True she did barge in like that, but it doesn’t mean Miranda had to stoop te her level. It seems that shepard really should have stressed that Miranda wasn’t personally responsable for what happened to her. It was a person vs person argumant when it should have been a person vs group argumant.

      1. Kanodin says:

        Which is all well and good except for the fact that Miranda is an ardent supporter and defender of that organization. She didn’t directly cause this particular atrocity but she’s pretty ok with the organization doing so.

        1. Raygereio says:

          Oh, but cerberus didn’t do it. It was rogue cell, you see.


          1. Integer Man says:

            I really do like the idea that TIM’s cell is the only rogue cell in the entire organization. Everyone else is just pure cerberus. Of course, that doesn’t make sense since TIM would need a lot of people to do what he says in order to revive Shepherd (WHY???) and build the Normandy II.

            1. SomeUnregPunk says:

              if I was a douchebag like TIM, then I would grab shepard for the sole reason of creating an army of shepard clones and normandy ships for the upcoming war with the bigger badder evil organization.

              This shepard would be more of a trial version before the big push.

              1. Integer Man says:

                I rather like that plot twist. Much better than the bit about the big bad end boss.

                In order for that twist to work though, the cost of cloning shepherd would have to be mostly in R&D and not in actually cloning him and the cloning facilities would have to be intact after the introduction.

                Actually, that’d be an awesome way to end the game. You fighting an army of yourself led by TIM while the reapers burst through the unmined Omega 4 relay. Maybe not awesome, but better than what they wound up doing instead.

                1. Irridium says:

                  Clones will never work. Don’t you guys watch movies? When a badass is alone, he’s practically unstoppable. If there’s a large group of him, he is stupidly weak.

                  In Example: Ninja’s, robots, Agent Smith.

                2. Dys says:

                  The above is officially known as the Inverse Law of Ninja.
                  The power of any ninja is inversely proportional to the number of ninjas present.

                  A moment’s thought will lead you to the trivial conclusion that a ninja’s power is infinite when there are no ninjas present.

                3. Matthias says:

                  Spoiler warning for Dr. McNinja!
                  Demonstration of the Inverse Ninja Law:

              2. lurkey says:

                I think you just described the plot for “Mass Effect: MMOG”.

                1. Smirker says:

                  I was thinking exactly the same thing about it sounding like the setup for an MMO. :)

        2. Jekyll says:

          Which is true and a valid reason for Jack to dislike her. But if sheppard was going to defuse the situation he should have made it clear that Jack’s problem was with Cerberus, it’s like personally hating the tech support guy when it’s the company that screwed you over. And yes, Miranda should have at least thought about her relationship to Cerberus after hearing about Jack.

          1. daveNYC says:

            The conversation is even worse if you get the confrontation after the suicide mission. At that point in the game Miranda had quit Cerberus in front of me and she still has the same stupid dialogue when Jack decides to wreck the place. I understand the budget limitations that probably prevent sticking in enough voice work to cover all potential situations, but this one was just stupid.

        3. Zak McKracken says:

          Hmmm … so, I think Miranda is both worthy of hate and badly written, but I coudl say this in her defense (although the game should have done that):
          I had a political argument today, and it is unbelievable to what extent people can twist their perception and memories, and ignore stuff that does not fit their views, if they have enough motivation to think that X is either a good or a bad thing, or to avoid the consequences of facing the (obvious?) truth. (mark that this holds either for the guy I argued against or for myself, or both, but someone was getting it all wrong).
          Best-known example in these parts is that after 1945 the largest part of the German population claimed to have been completely ignorant of what the Nazis did to Jews (and Communists, and Socialists, and Gypsies, Homosexuals and everyone sympathizing with them. Apologies to every group I overlooked here). The Truth was either plain visible or easy to conclude, but many chose not to, because that was just a lot easier on the mind. If you wanted to justify Miranda’s position, maybe she’s in that type of position regarding Cerberus because she ows so much to them it’s just not possible they could have commited crimes for a living.

          She’s still a bitch.

          1. Kanodin says:

            I would like to take this opportunity to propose Godwins Corollary: In any conversation about morality and/or ethics someone will eventually use Nazi Germany as an analogy.

            That is of course, utterly irrelevant to your actual point. Similar to how Hitler and the German High commands paranoid fears were utterly irrelevant to reality of course.

            1. Mathias says:

              Godwin will be elated to know that once more his law has been applied.

            2. Peter H. Coffin says:

              Godwin himself beat you to it: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”


    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “But is Jack any better?”


      “She's also an one-dimensional cardboard cut-out with just one or two good scenes.”

      Jack at least doesnt brag about being something she is not.She acts the way she talks.Plus she has a reason to be the way she is.A pretty good reason.

      1. Raygereio says:

        We’re just going to have to agree to disagree on the Jack thing. Especially the part with her having a good reason for being what she is.
        You see a character with a well-established background motivation.
        I see something that filled me with the desire to bitchslap whoever wrote her.

        1. Viktor says:

          I’ve known a girl like Jack. A father who was both absent and emotionally abusive, boyfriends who were emotionally and sexually abusive, she ended up really focused on not showing any emotional weakness and always being ready to violently defend herself, even though saying the wrong thing to her would have shattered her. Strong, but brittle. Jack seems very real IMO.

  10. Vegedus says:

    I also hate her outfit. Her alternate, black leather thing really helps. Hell, even her general looks. She has buck teeth and a somewhat manly jaw. Obviously not every video game dame has to look perfect, and in fact, it’s kinda refreshing to see a video game female who has the same kind of imperfections as a real human might… Except this is Miranda, who prattles on about how she’s genetically modified to be physically perfect, with her black-girl rump being the only evidence of this.

    1. Hitch says:

      The thing is, she tells you that she was genetically engineered for perfect beauty (or says something close to that), but the (not unjustified) reaction of the Spoiler Warning crew is that she looks like Shrek. If you look beyond the shaved head, tattoos and ridiculous outfit, Jack has a much prettier face than Miranda. Hey, even a certain smelly yeoman looks better than Miranda. Miranda only beats out Shepard by virtue on not having a face full of glowing scars.

      1. Raygereio says:

        It’s called uncanny valley.
        BioWare did do a pretty decent job modelling Yvonne Strahovski’s face when you compare the two. I guess it’s a combination of engine limitations (shadows, etc) and wonky animation that makes Miranda’s face look wrong and/or mannish from certain angles.

        1. Matthias says:

          This is not even the worst case of “attractive female actor becomes terrible game character” – for me that award goes to Lucy Stillman from Assassin’s Creed, played by Kristen Bell.

          1. Jekyll says:

            Though, she doesn’t even look half as bad as Rebecca, especially in that closeup of her face when you enter the animus. *shudders*

            1. Matthias says:

              Funny, I rather liked her appearance, and the pre-animus closeup felt… well, for lack of a better word, intimate to me. I was always kind of looking forward to it :-)

              1. Jekyll says:

                must’ve been too closely resembling Vidic’s mug in the first game :-P

        2. Zukhramm says:

          Copying someone’s face into a game seems kind of backwards to me, when you can just make faces.

          1. Raygereio says:

            Yes, it is. Especially because unless your modellers are really good at converting a real face into a digital one, the result ends up not looking very good.
            That’s not to say it can’t be done well. An example of this would be the beauty and the beast girls in MGS4, for instance.

            I guess the only reason for doing it is a marketing stunt. It allows you to parade this hot chick around and say “She’s in the game! Go play with her!”.

            1. Chris B Chikin says:

              Converting a real world person to a game character can work where the developers are shooting for the easy side of the uncanny valley. For example, in Fable II I took one look at Garth and before he even spoke I was like “OH EM GEE IT’S SHEPHERD BOOK WITH A MONOCLE!!!1!”*

              It works there because all the characters are charicaturised somewhat which allows you to forgive the imperfections. When a game like Mass Effect 2 shoots for photo-realism it’s a lot easier to see when they miss.

              * I just realised that if they got Ron Glass to voice Shepard in Mass Effect 3 it would be the greatest thing ever.

              1. Zukhramm says:

                The thing I mean is that in a movie you use actors because that’s just the way you have to do it (well, you can animate but whatever). Once you’ve seen one actor play different character he’ll always be an actor, the character will always be connected to an actual person. This of course can be avoided in games since we need models or sprites instead anyway, going out of the way to reintroduce this connection just seems like a way to reduce immersion for no reason.

                1. Klay F. says:

                  This is the way I am with Tricia Helfer (EDI’s voice). After watching the entirety of Battlestar Galactica, I was basically able to recognize her just by her voice. When he played Kerrigan in Starcraft 2, I could only hear her voice acting, not the character she played. Its the same deal with her and EDI. I basically went out of my way to avoid talking to her in game.

            2. Mediocre Man says:

              Having real actors should allow your animations team to better match real facial expressions, since the information is coming from a real human, and not from the animators’ imagination.

              That said, Kristen Bell isn’t much of an actor, so assassin’s creed was kinda screwed. But it doesn’t really matter anymore because they killed her off in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

              1. Klay F. says:

                The problem is (I may be incorrect here, not totally sure) that they only modeled her face from a picture of her. If you want even a remotely accurate representation, you need to use motion capture (like what L.A. Noire is doing).

                It fact, the “Bioware face” is one of the worst things about Bioware games. You are NEVER talking to actual humans, just glassy-eyed RealDolls. Even Dragon Age 2, does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the remedy this. They’ve used the same dead expression in every Bioware game since KOTOR.

                1. Jekyll says:

                  Still miles better than Bethesda Syndrome :-P

                2. Jonn says:

                  Dragon Age 2? It looks a lot better than the faces in ME2. I saw video of a scene where a guy says to Aveline “You’re a beautiful sight,” and she just beams.

                  Problem is, I don’t think Bioware could justify such a massive art shift two games in, with a third on the way.

        3. Slothful says:

          She doesn’t really have wonky animations compared to my Shepard, who sometime for some reason, a hole would open up in his cheek while he was talking.

        4. ehlijen says:

          There also seems to be something actually wrong with the lighting of her face. I’ve sometimes run into situations where supposedly light portions of the screen would just turn black when she was around.

          Also, when you first meet her, I think they inverted the lighting values. Her face is all shadowy except for the the hairline (which should have been even darker when backlit unless her hair was see-through) and her teeth and the inner parts of her lips (as though the backlighting just came straight through her head).

          May have just been my graphics card though.

      2. Vegedus says:

        Agreed. Jack has fairly nice facial structure. She’s definitely pretty if you can look past the other stuff.

  11. Vect says:

    To be honest, never did like Miranda much. Her status as “The Wesley” doesn’t help either. Sure they do try to do the whole “insecure with being a Gattaca Baby” thing but as a character she’s still pretty stuck up and unlikeable. The blind loyalty to Cerberus didn’t help at all.

    Of course, I’ve seen LPs of the game on Youtube where players were still shallow enough to still support her.

    Jacob at the least is just generic and dull as a character and I’m at the least willing to chalk that up to the fact that he’s a professional soldier who keeps most of his issues in line or something (even his Loyalty Mission is “Well, I’ve got something but I’m not really gonna bug you over it. When you have time, ‘k?”). He’s basically a Call of Duty protagonist transplanted into a Character-based RPG: Kinda gets outshined by everyone else.

    So… Looks like you’re trying to get as close to a TPK as possible without harming Tali at least. Well… Good luck.

    1. I used the Diplomacy option because I didn’t want to side with either of them…the reason I was downright polite to Miranda was because I was hoping she was the gay option for my female Shepard*(her or Jack) and when she got into the black leather outfit I suddenly felt nostalgic for the British spy-fi show The Avengers. Then I find out the one legit gay romance option in the game is teased (at best…I haven’t played Shadow Broker yet) in the DLC, but nowhere to be found in the version of the game I have. And I had serious problems with almost all the female characters: Jack was an unstable bitch who hated me no matter what I said to her, Samara just rubbed me the wrong way, Miranda turned out NOT to be the PC romance option (thus giving her very little to redeem herself), and the sole exception was Tali, whose character progression was actually handled kinda nicely.

      *I have yet to see a game where male Shepard does not come off as even a minor prick when going full paragon, where Jen Hale actually did a pretty good job making even the more ruthless decisions of Fem Shepard feel justified.

      1. Bret says:

        Went Renegade there.

        Shepard basically rips them both apart, calls them whiners, and informs them they can murder each other once she’s done with them.

        Man, I hope Jack takes her up on it.

  12. Sydney says:

    L-l-l-look at you, Pilot…a PATHETIC CREAture of meat and cardboard bones, panting and sweating as you limp th-through my c-c-corridors…

    1. Sydney says:

      Okay, in seriousness:

      I really enjoyed the moment when the lights in EDI’s server room lit up. I don’t even know quite why. But it was very tense and engaging.

      1. Klay F. says:

        Yeah, when that was happening, I got to admit that I was hoping EDI would start warping reality.

  13. Jekyll says:

    The banter between Joker and EDI is espacially cool when she starts calling him Jeff and sounding all Hall-9000’y. Also, since the demoman was mentioned i feel obligated to share this:

  14. Gantidae says:

    Griefing Tali. Hilarious. Best part of the episode.

    I have to agree with those that say Mumbles sounds sick. “Where’s the punch button? Where’s the punch button?” That part actually made me feel bad for you though, Mumbles. You sounded just so pathetically sick.

    1. Mumbles says:

      It’s only going to sound worse in the next couple episodes.

    2. Ateius says:

      Clearly ME2 is slowly killing her.

      Hurry, Josh! Beat the game before it’s too late!

  15. lurkey says:

    I remember hobbling with Joker and thinking, “Oh well. At least it’s not that idiotic ship shooting of KOTOR”. From all the pointless Bioware’s minigames this one was the least annoying.

    I also missed possibility to call Miranda on her bullshit. In DA you at least could share your mind with Morrigan if you wanted to, and Mo was less obnoxious; here, you get the “You sound awfully cocky” option on the wheel, and Shepard says something like “Oooh you so confident!” Durr.

    Garrus always seemed to me Zoe to Shep’s Mal – bestest buddies, zero chemistry. Still, I guess it’s better than the other “love interests” who just get zero chemistry.

    1. Slothful says:

      I think that the Turians in general, just from their culture in general, should be by all rights, best buds with Humanity as its depicted in Mass Effect.

      The only reason they oppose each other is because they are rivals for the same niche in the galactic community.

      Oh yeah, and that whole war thing.

    2. Chris B Chikin says:

      The one thing that annoyed me about playing female Shepherd was that there weren’t any good love interests. Jacob’s boring and the dialogue when doing anything with Thane or Garrus sounded more like planning a high-school biology experiment than actual romance. Of course, I liked Kelly, so problem solved.

      1. Simon Buchan says:

        The bonus with Garrus: Mordin advises you not to swallow.

        1. lurkey says:

          Thane gives better bonuses, if I remember correctly – acid trip. One way or another, my female Shepard was so devastated by Mordin turning her down she never loved anyone again. :`(

  16. Kell says:

    Rutskarn. Dude, seriously. At 4:05:

    “See I guess I was overestimating how brittle Joker’s legs were, cause earlier – like in the part where he goes to the ladder – I started cracking up.”

    Did you just make a pun about brittle bone syndrome?

  17. Gantidae says:

    Just watched the video showing all the various outcomes of the Miranda/Jack fight. I’m not a fan of Miranda either, but I’m failing to see why Jack gets a pass here on the hate. Jack’s broken emotional state and her hatred of Cerberus are understandable. None of her dialogue comes off as having to do with any of that though. It comes off some of the most petulant, childish fit throwing I’ve ever seen in a video game. One thing Miranda is correct about is that Jack is a child. Every scene I see her in all I can see is a little bratty girl with her arms crossed and her tongue stuck out. Understandable I suppose considering what she went through, but if that is where her mind is at then there is no room for the badass, criminal, biotic godling that she is supposed to be. One that survived for years in the worst parts of the galaxy. The fact is Jack is just as poorly written as Miranda with no way to put Jack in her place either. Miranda just receives more of the hate because she’s a bigger part of the game.

    1. krellen says:

      Jack is a child, and is written as a child. And behaves like a child. She just happens to be a child that is physically in her 20s.

      She’s basically a twelve-year-old, and is almost perfectly written as one (which is part of why I find her romance slightly creepy.)

      1. Slothful says:

        You’re tellin’ me, Jack was sort of the male Shepard’s Jacob for me, since I tried as hard as possible to progress through her conversations and not romance her, and still she showed up for the sex scene.

        “No Jack, I’m not boning you. Sorry.”

        1. Ben says:

          Yeah Jack’s romance was easy to accidentally trigger. With both Miranda’s and Tali’s its easy to see where the romance is beginning and there is an easy dialog choice to say “Sorry not interested.” With Jack however the trigger point for the romance kinda pops up in what seem to be normal conversation without a real easy out other then an abrupt “Nevermind.”

          1. krellen says:

            Which also fits her being a 12-year old, because a twelve-year-old is very likely to think attention = interest, because she doesn’t know any better yet.

      2. Gantidae says:

        Yes, you’re right. I said as much myself.

    2. Ben says:

      Jack gets more of a pass because the character is more plausible. Jack is a child with all the emotional maturity thereof and that exactly explains Jack’s hyper aggressive attitude. Jack has a fundamental inability to form emotional attachments because of her immaturity so to make sure no one notices she adopts the hyper aggressive and generally unbearable to be around exterior. I’ll also note that Jack on her loyalty mission notes that she was made to fight other children and given a narcotic when she hurt them so there is some emotional conditioning involved (although I don’t that emotional conditioning is necessary to explain her character).

      In a lot of ways Jack reminds me of one of those child prodigies with hyper over-protective parents. You know the ones who spend their weekends not getting to have fun but seeing tutors and taking tests at the behest of their parents. If you meet one of them in high school or sometimes even university and you will see that same emotional immaturity that you see in Jack. They also tend to be loners of the first order partially because of their horrifying realization that they can’t relate to their peers. Now most of them don’t violently act out but thats because they don’t have years of resentment bred by physical and emotional abuse.

      I’m not saying Jack is the best character in the world because she isn’t but in contrast to say Miranda the character is at least mostly coherent. That said there may be something to your comment about much of the frustration with Miranda coming from her being much more central to the plot then just about any other character.

      1. Skye says:

        Actually, a lot of them do tend to act out in a way- they’re often show-offs of the first order, and to hear them talk about what they do it usually comes off as bragging. In other words, Jack is a physical version of their mental acting out. Jack might stab you, prodigy-child will mock your GPA.

        Plus, even they know that a Ph.D in physics does not qualify you as a badass.

  18. Jarenth says:

    Although I’m sure it’s been pointed out in earlier comment sections, I’m feeling pedantic today, so here goes:

    As far as I know, the Mass Relays are basically just big space-bending catapults. You move your ship near, the Relay reduces its mass to near zero, and presto, you get launched at ludicrous speed. Mass Relays are nót connected, and they don’t work as teleporter entrances and exits: each Relay is just pointing in a general direction of space where it’ll catapult your ship towards. You don’t even arrive at the same specific point in space each time; Relays have considerable ‘drift’. In fact, one of the reasons Joker is seen as such a good pilot (I think to recall) is because he is very good at maneuvering ships in FTL and reducing this drift significantly: he’s basically a very accurate slingshot operator. In the same vein, the Reaper IFF is needed because the area the Omega-4 relay points at is incredibly dangerous, and flying in there with regular Relay-drift will likely end your ship up smack-dab in the middle of a black hole.

    I bring this up because the question ‘Why don’t we just tow/destroy/mine the Omega-4 relay?’ got brought up in this episode again, and the answer is always: because that would do less than nothing. It’s not going to stop them from coming to us, but it wà­ll stop us from going to them.

    The only upside to destroying the Relay would be that it’d halt the Collectors from retreating as quickly, but that’s more or less it. It won’t stop them from coming, it won’t stop them from retreating at sub-FTL speeds (or flying towards a different relay, perhaps), and it will stop us from taking the fight to their home base. It would literally be more advantageous to shower in barbecue sauce before visiting the Collector Base.


    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Actually they are connected.From the codex:
      “hey are enormous structures scattered throughout the stars, and can create corridors of virtually mass-free space…

      However, they have fixed one-to-one connections: a primary relay connects to one other primary relay, and nowhere else. Secondary relays can only propel ships a few hundred light years, however they are omnidirectional: a secondary relay can send a ship to any other relay within its limited range.”

      1. NeilD says:

        I thought so. I vaguely remembered some line about how it was discouraged (or prohibited?) to activate a relay before its partner had been discovered through conventional travel, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yup,that was because of the rachni.

          1. Adalore says:

            And dealing with the drift and everything as making mines ineffective, you can still blockade the area and park a good half dozen massive weapon platforms to prevent the collectors from using the mass relay.

            I am sure, even if the collector ships are chunks of rock with a spaceship stuck in em, that enough bullet saturation will shatter it.

            Or cough… Sub-Light speed kinetic missiles…
            Though the gunner chef at the Cedatel…Cedadel… |Guh, Spellcheckfail| described their kinetic railguns as very powerful, and I would expect a mass of that to take down a collector ship.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well you can destroy it with upgraded normandy,which is a class lower than their ship,so I see no problem with a few unupgraded dreadnoughts doing the same.Or maybe just one dreadnought armed with the weapon salvaged from nazara.

              1. Drew says:

                You’re forgetting the apathy of the council races. The collectors are a heavily armed and frighteningly powerful race that are for the most part content to leave citadel space alone. If they ever go after anyone it is usually in the terminous systems, which are too caught up in their own problems to organize anything sufficient to seriously impact collector operations. They only recently start abducting thousands of colonists en mass, and because they only target one race the council can’t be bothered to expend the resources in an area beyond its jurisdiction. The Alliance is who really should be doing something, but they probably didn’t even really know the collectors existed until about the time Shepard is… reconstituted, and they’re busy running investigations–difficult when tehy leave no trace of their presence. If Shepard went to them with, say, the evidence pieced together by the quarian from Freedom’s Progress, that would likely galvanize them to set up a defensive station outside the relay and wait to start shooting at ships that pass through the relay. That’s a pretty temporary solution, though, and would mean a costly interspecies war at the worst possible time against an enemy with superior tech.

            2. Kanodin says:

              I dunno I bought the handwave for not parking a ton of dreadnoughts there, I.E. it would unite the Terminus systems against the council. They used it in Mass Effect 1 so it’s a consistent handwave at least.

              I see no reason Cerberus couldn’t send a ship or two to watch it though.

              1. Slothful says:

                Why would the Illusive Man park a ship outside the relay? It’s not like that would do anything other than saving human lives.

                You really don’t know Cerberus, do you.

          2. Jarenth says:

            Durp. Then I fail my Nerd Lore check. Apologies for ranting.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Mass effect wiki is your friend.You should use mass effect wiki.

              1. Slothful says:

                Eh, I like wikis with clever names better, like Half-Life’s Overwiki and Wookiepedia.

  19. Sarah says:

    I’m pretty sure the Miranda option is there explicitly to punish people who aren’t capable of ignoring her in favor of Tali.

    1. Vect says:

      I’ve seen playthroughs of the game on youtube where the players are actually outright shallow enough to go for Miranda because bitch got tits. Another playthrough I’ve seen has the player ending up romancing Tali because “If you can’t get the cheerleader, go for the cute nerd” or something around that line.

      Granted, most (not all) Youtube LPers who play new games off the bat are relatively thick people with possibly worse sense of direction than Josh or cannot solve a situation in-game that does not involve shooting it in the face.

  20. Mark says:

    Miranda’s face is perfectly symmetrical, which is creepy and unsettling.

    1. Drew says:

      Somewhere, some ME2 character designer is reading this thread and screaming into his bourban “I try to make them beautiful ,but they always come out wrong!”

  21. Zukhramm says:

    Just jumping straight through the relay just seems so stupid to me.

    How about installing the IFF on the shuttle, puttung Miranda on it and sending her through the relay? If she comes back we know what’s out there, if she doesn’t… It’s a win-win situation.

    Or maybe you could produce a massive amount of cheap unmanned ships carrying bombs, and keep sending them through?

    1. James says:

      Lets think in ME1 didn’t some admiral say that with just the money from Normandy 1’s core they could make the cores for 12000 fighters, and lets assume that Normandy 2 with its new core is 4x as expensive altogether, the new Core, hull, guns, other systems(we’ll need EDI and any other ship for this).

      So we just get a shit tonne of Fighters send Shepard to get the IFF on some stolen ship anything will do, then take it someplace safe for EDI to check it, once its clean im sure we can make it clean on some uber well defended planet or something, hell the citadel could do it, you kill a collector ship in a frigate. then send the 30-40k fighters you’ve build into the collect space and bomb the shit out of the base. job done!

      1. Miral says:

        Either of these would only work if the Reaper IFF could be duplicated. Presumably this is not the case, because it’s advanced Reaper tech and there’s only a very limited amount of time available to study it.

        So you only have one IFF, which means you can only send one ship. So it had better be the most powerful and well-armed one you can send.

        1. Sydney says:

          It can be duplicated. TIM is able to get his research craft there in the endgame if you allow it.

          1. Ateius says:

            Seemingly immediately gets his research craft there, which suggests it can be duplicated quickly.

            Alien, unknowable technology vastly in advance of our own? Nah, we can assemble copies of it out of spare microwave parts.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              Ok, in all fairness pretty much 90% of advanced galactic tech is based on the same principles as Reaper-tech, probably not as advanced but the basic premise is the same. This is simply because any race of any importance gets to its place by discovering the mass relays and other stuff that the Reapers left behind for precisely this purpose.

              Even if it is just lampshading it’s more than most Sci-Fi plots do to justify the fact that you can hack or use technology of races that had thousands or millions of years of different technological development.

              On the other hand after the whole “relays are a trap” thing I would work real hard on figuring some alternative technology if I were Cerberus or anybody else aware of it. I mean, presumably as soon as the Reapers arrive half of the stuff in the galaxy will just stop working because they left some backdoors in the fundamental architecture of their lures.

    2. Alexander The 1st says:

      I second the Miranda solo idea; after all, isn’t she “perfect?”

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Most universally hated?I dont see it.I too liked that sequence.

    Now miranda and tim,those seem to be the most universally hated things in the game.

    And miranda is bad because she also gives the best bonuses,so you practically have to take her on your team on hgher difficulties.No other character gives team bonuses,but miranda can somehow inspire everyone.Yeah,right.

    Oh,and why didnt you improve the weapons as well?

    1. Fnord says:

      I think the sequence is actually relatively popular. It’s the set-up which is universally (and justifiably) hated.

      Well, not quite universally. No matter how absurd, you can find defenders of just about any idea on the BioWare forums. If I claim that the sky is blue, someone will say I’m buying into Council propaganda and another person will lament that the sky is not available as a love interest.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        How did that stupid line go… Oh, yes.



        Well, that was fun.

    2. Chris B Chikin says:

      I loved the sequence once it got started. I think what people didn’t like is that being made to play as a character other than your own in a role-playing game is a little jarring.

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        Dragon Age does a better implementation.

        I think the main issue is that…well…the gameplay is totally different. I mean, it’s not like Joker can’t use a machine gun – he does in the suicide mission -, so why couldn’t I at least choose between spray and pray [Throw in a crippled aiming system for kicks, if you want] and stealth, giving an achievement for playing both strategies in different playthroughs.

    3. Vect says:

      Likely they want to show off characters getting killed on the trip.

  23. rayen says:

    It seems to me that more and more throughout this series that you aren’t supposed to think cerberus is an evil shadowy group with loose ethics about aliens and no ethics about humans. I feel she would a slightly better character and that some may like her except that looking at her brings back the plot and the ridiculous ties to the evil overlord organization. ANd you have to wonder “is she really igorant of how bad this company is or does she think you’re an idiot?” (the answer is number 2 because the game dfoesn’t let you act any other way)

    Also what a whiny icy bitch she is. She storms in yelling at joker for losing the crew then shrugs off trying to save them going “they knew the risks.”… If they were just cannon fodder meatshields why are you mad at joker for letting them fill their purpose?

    also the concil rejects the presence of the reapers. fine… it’s stupid lazy and illogical seeing as the current concil got promoted thanks to the reapers killing the last concil. but they do know the collectors are around right? Kaidan, a spectre, told them, right? So couldn’t you say “hey collecters are coming through the omega 4, lets put a couple of ships there and blsat next time they come.” thats a solution right?

    1. Otters34 says:

      The problem begins with recalling what the whole story has been supposed to be about: Shepard and a crack team of scarred/grating/amazing people defeating the alien menace with minimal assistance. If the writers let you have the option to get other people to fight the battle with Shepard and Co., the writers have to explain why you could never do that before in a way that doesn’t invalidate this particular instance.

      As has been seen before, the writers aren’t really good at making the whole “This is why you have/don’t have to do this” explanation work.

      The case of Miranda being on the cover never struck me as odd, I think the marketing team were just putting the most superficially attractive female character ont he cover because that’s whats expected these days. Show Shephard with gun to imply shooting, an alien to imply sci-fi, and a woman to imply sexy times. The ruins in the background are to let people know of the grim darkness they’re in for.

      Seriously, I can barely tell what’s going on once Josh ducks into a corridor, it’s so dark.

      1. Chris B Chikin says:

        It would be cool if they released the game with more than one cover. One could feature Male Shepard, Miranda and Thane while the other can have Female Shepherd, Jack and Garrus or something.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          True that. There are already games with alternative box art, some of which do NOT boast of the supposed freedom and the possibility of affecting the game world as much as the ME series does.

          I don’t think I ever really verbalised it but the insistence of Bioware to throw the “default Shepard” at us in so many promotional materials somewhat bugs me. I mean, there is plenty of stuff that could give the game a sci-fi, maybe even sci-fi-soldiering, vibe that wouldn’t rub the default all over us. Did I mention that I really dislike the default male design?

          1. Chris B Chikin says:

            Yeah, I got the idea from Guild Wars: Factions. There were two sets of box art, each featuring different character from on of the two new classes the game introduced. Although the one with the Assassin was relied on more heavily for advertising, I liked the touch.

    2. Bret says:

      Kaiden’s not a Spectre. Even if he isn’t a cloud of radioactive dust, he’s just a midlevel alliance marine. Same with Ash.

      And the Collector attacks are outside Alliance space. Independent colonies. Even sending Ash in to assist risked a diplomatic incident. Sending the fleet into the Terminus would lead to another war.

      Not saying the game totally makes sense. Lot of dumb stuff. Just that solution wouldn’t work.

      Especially with Udina on the council.

  24. RTBones says:

    I think the only _real_ thing about this sequence that bothers me is the whole “everybody on the shuttle syndrome.” If Bioware had been consistent the entire game (taking everybody each mission) – its one thing. But this was just an excuse.

    Now with that said, I really enjoyed this sequence in the game, and as you all pointed out in the episode, the dialogue Joker and EDI have is priceless – especially when EDI starts calling him Jeff. While I don’t have the anti-Miranda sentiment of many – I have to admit at the end of this was one time I wanted a “STFU be-otch!!” button accompanied by a little percussive persuasion for her to, well, STFU. Even playing as a Paragon, I’d take the Renegade hit for it.

    As to why they didn’t mine the Omega 4 relay – could be they didn’t think mines would be enough to stop the Collectors coming through. Though if that is the case why they didn’t station a garrison/fleet of ships in the vicinity is a little bewildering.

    1. Slothful says:

      Well, you normally don’t even land the Normandy on the planet at all, and you can just switch crewmembers at the shuttle. I thought that the implication was that you were just sending the discarded ones back to the ship, but NOPE THEY’RE ALL IN THE SHUTTLE.

      So stupid.

      1. Jonn says:

        You get into that, you have to start asking why Shepard doesn’t just take a Marine platoon with him every time he so much as goes to the bathroom, since it inevitably ends in a fight. There is no practical reason not to bring as much force to bear on any given situation as applicable, barring the fact that Shep inexplicably has to pay for his own guns and equipment.


    2. Integer Man says:

      That’s kinda like saying “one bullet isn’t likely enough to kill that approaching zombie so I probably shouldn’t try”. Mine it. Make it that much easier to defeat the incoming death fleet.

      Or do the demoman thing. That could work too.

      1. Drew says:

        No, it’s more like “this submachinegun only has 30 bullets in it, I should probably find some cover and take headshots rather than shooting off the whole magazine and hoping for the best.” Nihlis compliments Joker in the beginning of the first game (and we have to go along with him being the best human pilot ever) for exiting a relay “only” 3000KM away from the destination. Assuming that all collectors are better pilots than Joker (which isn’t too terribly difficult considering his nack for veering straight into gun batteries) and the reaper IFF making the navigation more exact, it’s freaking space. It’s huge. Say every collector ship tries to come out of the relay as close to one specific point as possible (which, once they realized it had been mined, they most certainly would stop doing.) We’re still talking about hundreds of kilometers in eight different directions, best case scenario. Expecting to be able to mine such an area is totally unrealistic, especially in the vacuum of space where there is no oxygen for an explosion to propagate. If mining relays was something that could be done, the Rakni/first contact/Name-your-favorite-Mass-Effect war would have been easily avoided by using–or even threatening–this exact tactic.

    3. Exetera says:

      It’s kind of sad how easily they could have made the shuttle thing so much more awesome. Here’s my idea: (warning – awesomeness content possibly exaggerated)

      We’ve been complaining about how much we want to bring the entire crew on a mission for ages now. They could have done that, and then let you actually play the mission. Then, midway through, we get a transmission from Joker, saying “HOLY CRAP, THE COLLECTORS SET UP US THE BOMB” and then the Normandy is hijacked and flown away. Then you have to fight back to the shuttle, and when you reach it you play through the existing Joker sequence, which ends in Joker flying the Normandy back to pick up Shepard and the gang.

      1. somebodys_kid says:

        That sounds incredibly cool.

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Well, I imagine it could be somewhat annoying to script the “fight back to the shuttle” thing for every possible loyalty mission, half the recruitment missions (if you work hard the kidnapping can kick in while you don’t even have a full squad yet) and all the optional missions. What’s more, in the case of my second playthrough it actually started when I was docking with the Citadel (where the F* is that fleet that is supposedly protecting it?). Seeing as the thing is unavoidable and will happen out of the blue though they might have made a separate “fight back to the shuttle” mission for all I care, it’s not like it would make it any MORE railroaded.

        Also, at the risk of sounding really stupid. Why AREN’T we taking all of the crew on some missions? I mean, ok, I can buy that in a few cases moving around with a squad of ten people might be contrary to discretion and/or inefficient. But there is a large number of missions where we just go in guns blazing, a few times we actually have sever cases of “if only we could split/had a second the team!” (see Zaeed’s mission). Furthermore this could actually lead to a reasonable argument of “whose bright idea was it to take everybody on every mission rather than leave someone on the ship just in case anyway?”

        Stating that our shuttle can only carry 3-4 people would be dumb enough but we would probably go “meh, ok, suspension of disbelief”. However, we actually see that it can take the whole team. TBH I would like to have more missions structured somewhat similarly to the final one, with having to give various people different tasks resulting in various degrees of success. As it is we only see them being “specialists” in their recruitment missions, sometimes (not always) in their loyalty missions and a bit at the very end (though again not everybody gets a chance to shine).

  25. Peachfuzz says:

    I guess I’m one of the three or so people reading this blog who actually like Miranda as a character. She’s not up there with my favorite Bioware NPCs or anything, but I don’t quite get the hatred she receives. It seems like some of the plot/Cerberus hatred rubs off on her, as the main Cerberus mouthpiece in the crew. Some of the things I liked about her:

    –Her loyalty mission. Not the gameplay, which was a straight-up corridor shoot, as I remember, but the backstory. Most loyalty missions in ME2 are either about dysfunctional parent/child relationships, or genetic abnormalities. Miranda and Samara’s missions involve both. I’m not sure if Bioware was intentionally working a theme, but I think there’s some interesting ideas in the combination of those two elements. So, I tend to remember Miranda and Samara fondly, enough to get over the ludicrousness of their default clothes, at least.

    –I also thought it was made pretty clear in the mission that Miranda’s loyalty to Cerberus is in large part due to the Illusive Man’s help protecting her sister. And she does side with Shepard over the IM in the finale, so she’s not purely a Cerberus cheerleader, or her mind has changed over the course of the game.

    –My impression of her on my playthrough (although that was a while ago) was less that she was a bitch, and more that she was trying to be more businesslike and focused on the mission at all costs. I remember her only going to Shepard with personal issues as a last resort. Honestly, it felt nice to have a NPC in a Bioware game who wasn’t telling me their life story and asking for advice, five minutes after we met.

    Again, I’m not trying to say she’s my favorite of the cast (go Wrex!), but she was not, by any means, my least (did Udina have any redeeming qualities?).

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “but I don't quite get the hatred she receives. It seems like some of the plot/Cerberus hatred rubs off on her, as the main Cerberus mouthpiece in the crew.”

      Its mostly because she is a mery sue.She tells you all these stories how she is perfectly beautiful,and she is not,how she is perfectly smart,and she is not,and how she is a great leader,and she is not.Not to mention that despite her never showing any good leadership skills,she has the ability to boost your entire team,and even you get nothing of the sort(not counting the squad ammo).Bioware forces her on you in so many ways,and people just hate that.

      Also,she is supposed to be cold and businesslike,but shes not that either.She puts too much emotions into her “cold” actions.Compare her with samara,for example,who has to kill her own daughter for her voice to change slightly.Now that is cold.And even when she calls you her friend,she can tell you in quite a businesslike manner “if we meet again after this,Ill have to kill you”.

      The only redeeming thing for miranda is her loyalty mission,and that one wasnt really that special when compared to others.

      1. Peachfuzz says:

        I think I see your point now. It sounds like a small piece of the recurring problem in ME2 where what the game tells you and what it shows you are so often very different. You’re told Cerberus is a ultra-powerful shadow organization with humanity’s best interests at heart, but you’re shown almost entirely “rogue cells.” You’re told the renegade Geth are a danger to all organic sentient life in the galaxy, but you’re shown one space station that is defeated by 3 people. I don’t think it’s limited to Miranda, but it’s definitely annoying.

    2. Ateius says:

      Udina did have a redeeming quality.

      You can have Anderson suckerpunch him with a vicious right hook.

      Miranda has no such option.

      Winner: Udina.

      1. Peachfuzz says:


        Face punching really needs to become a default option in ME3. Instead of sometimes giving you a renegade interrupt option, pulling the trigger should just cause you to punch whoever you’re talking to, no matter what the situation.

    3. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Ok, I admit, Miranda’s loyalty mission was decent. Certainly not the epitome of originality but it had some semi-decent writing far as clichés go and even a few nice bits here and there, it wasn’t more combat oriented than some of the other missions and I think it was pretty well paced far as the combat-cutscene composition goes. It only had one problem. It was Miranda’s loyalty mission.

      In fact Miranda herself wouldn’t be so universally disliked if she wasn’t so forced upon the players. Even if she had largely the same personality I imagine a lot more people would like her more (or at least dislike her less aggressively) if the exposure to it was optional. I can actually imagine myself thinking “oh, I don’t really like Miranda’s character, but that is because she is a well done character of the type I don’t like” if I didn’t have to put up with her at every opportunity. But Bioware actually paid for a live model for her, for a model who is considered hot, we can’t have that go to waste!

      The result is that a decent mission is ruined for a lot of people because they already dislike Miranda with a passion, and instead of having a “discovering her true self” reveal (as is the case with Jack, who also gets a lot of hate but guess what? People could NOT go down there and NOT talk to her if they didn’t want to, and she wasn’t bumping into every cutscene to boss everybody around) they were rolling their eyes and thinking “urghh, now Miranda is going to get all emotional and ‘my little sis this and that’… blah”.

  26. Slothful says:

    I hated Miranda so much after this. Especially since when I talked to her she had that goddamn smug grin on her face that she always had, and she was more concerned about the stupid AI that they had been telling me was cool and totally not a threat a little while earlier. MIRANDA THE CREW IS GONE AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT STOP SMILING.

    I don’t understand what’s with the Spoiler Warning crew and spacing her though; that’s too quick and painless. I wanted to beat her to death against the walls of the ship until she APOLOGIZED for her stupid idea of getting everyone who can fight off the ship.

    You don’t even get to do the mission you set out to do when this thing triggers. So stupid.

    1. SpammyV says:

      Okay, let’s give her the Shepard Special: Punch a tiny hole in her space suit, shove her out the airlock, let her fall into a sun(planets have been shown to be not destructive enough). So we still get to space her, but she has time to think about what she did.

    2. Chris B Chikin says:

      I wanted to bring this up but I’m glad someone mentioned it anyway:

      Why is Miranda blaming Joker for the crew being nabbed when it was her retarded idea to take all the combat specialists off the ship at once and leave it defenceless. If it weren’t for her unsolicited, pointless and nonsensical advice which ran contrary to our standard practice for every mission before now then there would have been more than enough team members left to hold off the Collectors whether Shepard was on the ship or not. Joker did his best to fix the problem; it was Miranda’s advice that created it.

      1. Slothful says:

        No, that’s the fun thing–she doesn’t blame Joker for the crew getting kidnapped, she blames him for unleashing the AI.

        Miranda doesn’t give a damn about human lives; the entire crew might as well be butchered in front of her eyes and it wouldn’t make a difference. She doesn’t care that much about the ship either from the sound of it.

        What she cares about is that this AI, Cerberus’s asset that they spent time and money on, now has the ability to do things without their OK, and if you talk to EDI again, EDI is now capable of giving out all of Cerberus’s secrets at a whim.

        The more and more I think about it, ME2 didn’t try to rewrite Cerberus as now being a benevolent organization, they just wrote Shepard as a goof who is so determined to pursue the Reapers that he’ll work with anyone who gives him funding.

  27. Exetera says:

    I would have liked to punch Miranda in that scene as well, but to be honest I would have been more interested in saying something closer to “Joker, you did the right thing.” I think the reason I was so aggravated by what Miranda was saying was that, in this particular instance, I was Joker, and Miranda is now insulting me for things which, this being a very linear sequence, you were required to do.

    I guess the linearity of the sequence is also kind of a sticking point for me, though. This would have been an excellent opportunity for some puzzle gameplay. (NOTE: I do mean puzzles, not minigames.) After all, Joker is running around the ship, doing things he’s absolutely not authorized to do, while it’s under attack. Plus he can barely walk. He should have more difficulty than a guided stroll with buttons. There is that “stop and wait” moment, but it’s really no more of a puzzle than your average stoplight.

  28. Neil Polenske says:

    THIS is the reason I haven’t beaten the game yet. Once I realized I had ‘waited’ too long to do Miranda’s loyalty mission and would have to grind to shit an back in the unlikely chance it might gain me enough points to unblock the paragon/renegade options, I stopped playing. Then you guys started this spoiler warning and I got back on the horse. Played everyone elses loyalty missions and went back to Miranda’s and afterward…still grayed out. Haven’t played since, but seeing how all the options play out, I still would’ve ‘lost’.

    1. Kimagure says:

      That’s exactly the reason why I’m a big fan of save hacks (Gibbed has one) that let you bypass the whole paragon/renegade point requirement for conversation options. Some people might call it cheating, but the way I see it, ME2 is a single-player game that I’m playing on my own time for fun. Grindy stuff just isn’t worth my time.

      The game is SO much more fun to play once you never have to bother with mining or worrying about paragon/renegade points. Too bad there’s no “fix story” option…

  29. Sozac says:

    Who else thinks joker is gonna be a party member in mass effect 3 i mean he can’t die at the end no matter what also it might be cool if they could somehow use EDI to fix him and make him a soldier-technician (sentinel?)

    1. Chris B Chikin says:

      If there was a way to, say, implant EDI into Joker and take them on missions I would love it no matter how ridiculous the excuse was.

      1. Hitch says:

        Joker is not Master Chief and EDI is not Cortana.

        1. acronix says:

          You forget this game series rapidly devolved into Halo Effect.

          1. Viktor says:

            I would like to say that the combat in Halo is better, the characters and factions are at least consistent and believable, if 2-dimensional, and the plot…well, at least it doesn’t even try to make sense.

            1. Zukhramm says:

              And of course, it never gets praised as “best story in a game ever!!11112”.

      2. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I admit Joker, especially his dialogues with Edi (before, after and during the kidnapping) were some of the high points of the game for me. Perhaps because they weren’t all that plot related but just some disconnected jokes.

        However, seeing the overall way the ME series is handled I doubt the writer could manage to keep this if Joker was delivered in greater doses. You can only write so many decent jokes and it could quickly degenerate into something like “We just put a Volus in a pink space suit into the game! Joker must come up with something funny about it!” and after a short while the jokes and puns would become stale and stretched.

        In short, Joker could become the Rutskarn of ME3.

  30. Zah says:

    What’s sad is that Mass Effect 2 is Miranda’s story if anything I mean she does more for the plot than Shepard does and her character is developed further than Shepard too.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Amidst all the stupidity, railroading and even the retardedness of the final battle the lowest point for me was that Shepard doesn’t have ANY personality, only min-maxing the paragon/renegade pool. Even following one of these options does not give you a consistent character. The largely bland voice acting for the male Shepard didn’t help one bit…

  31. B.J. says:

    I did like Miranda and I don’t think you’re giving her enough credit, and I certainly don’t think you’re analyzing this situation fairly.

    Miranda isn’t responsible for what happened to Jack and doesn’t represent Cerberus as a whole. Furthermore Jack is more or less attacking a superior officer and no worthwhile C.O. would tolerate that kind of insubordination, no matter how justified it may be.

    Basically Jack is throwing a childish tantrum and Miranda is treating her with the same contempt. Yeah what happened to Jack was crummy but how does that have anything to do with Miranda? Nothing at all. She’s just lashing out at the closest Cerberus authority she can find.

    You’re saying Miranda should be more diplomatic, but what could she do? It’s not her *job.* In this situation Jack is out for blood and “sorry” would not be good enough. Furthermore if Miranda submitted to Jack or showed weakness it would undermine her authority on the ship (the Mighty Miranda scared of an escaped felon). She actually did the smart thing here; played defense, avoided letting it get too out of hand, and waited for Shepard to come and deal with it. It is the commander’s job to resolve crew disputes like this. Not Miranda’s.

    1. Viktor says:

      Except that most of what Jack is saying is accurate. You’re working for an organization that tortures kids. That’s worth a reasoned debate with the representative of that organization. If you found out that your employer was kidnapping and blinding kids in an attempt to make prosthetic eyes, wouldn’t you have strong words with your boss? She didn’t handle it well, but that’s understandable given her history. As for why she waited so long, I’d chalk that up to a combination of her wanting to steal all the intel she could get from the files and the writers being lazy.

      Miranda, meanwhile, handles it poorly. She could have defused the situation with “TIM didn’t know what was going on and attempted to shut it down when he found out.” Instead, she calls Jack a mistake, with the implication being that Jack wasn’t going to be allowed to live after Cerberus was done torturIMEANtesting her(which incidently pokes a nice big hole in the “Rogue Cell” story TIM feeds you about the situation). How would you expect the multiple-rape victim raised in a lab by abusive sociopaths with Cerberus ID cards to react?

      1. B.J. says:

        Except that you pretty much ignored my entire point. Jack isn’t going to be calmed by nice words from Miranda. Ever. Period.

        Despite what everyone seems to think, Miranda is entitled to dislike Jack. Jack’s history has nothing to do with her and no bearing on the mission. The big defense of Jack here seems to be “Jack is just acting in character, its not her fault she’s so messed up!” Guess what? Same for Miranda. She’s acting in character and is a product of her environment and circumstances. That’s the whole point, but people seem to have missed that.

        Why does Jack get a pass and Miranda get the scorn? I have no idea.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Jack is a child,like krellen pointed out.And she is not a soldier,you took her with you because you pleased,not because she wanted to join.And if miranda was as smart as she keeps telling you she is,shed say something diplomatic to jack,and defused the situation,not enrage her even more.

  32. Eleion says:

    I have to say Jack’s character ended up really bothering me by the end of the game. Miranda, on the other hand, I never hated, I just ignored her because I didn’t find her very interesting. With Jack I was mildly entertained by following her story, but then all of a sudden I realized she was making a pass at me, which I had no interest in, and when I kept being nice to her, while rejecting her advances, she got all pissy and told me to ‘Fuck off’ for the rest of the game. That, to me, felt like really poor writing. It is *impossible* to be Jack’s friend as male Shepard, you are either dismissive of her and she gets angry and hates you, or you’re in love with her. At the pivotal moment where you can decide to take your relationship further, or deny her, the game gave me the options to A) Sleep with her or B) Tell her you don’t really care about her (or something like that, it’s been a while since I played the game). Not cool.

    Miranda was just less frustrating to deal with as a player.

    1. Ateius says:

      Actually, the friendship (as Femshep, of course) turns out the same way. At some point Jack runs out of new dialogue and says nothing but “I’ve talked enough, fuck off” for the rest of the game.

  33. Zaxares says:

    Aww, Mumbles, you sound sick. :( Get some rest, and I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    I liked the Joker sequence too. I knew it was coming up at some point in the game, so it didn’t feel too jarring to me, and I liked the variety it introduced into the game. The dialogue exchanges between Joker and EDI are, of course, totally hilarious too.

    About Joker’s Vrolik’s Syndrome: I’m not sure WHERE Joker mentioned it, but at some point in ME2, he mentions that Cerberus gave him some cybernetics/upgrades that gave me more freedom to move around than he did previously. (In ME1 he could only get around using crutches, which explains why he was so helpless during the Collector’s attack on the first Normandy.)

    Swarms not coming onto the ship: The Collectors already knew from Horizon/the Collector Ship ambush that Shepard and his crew had somehow found a way to counteract the Seeker swarms. They probably thought it worthless to send them into the Normandy.

    On Miranda being a bitch: I agree that she’s being unnecessarily bitchy in this scene, but I suspect that’s how she reacts to stress, by ranting at people. She’s probably thinking “OMG, we came SO close to failing the mission.” And the natural reaction of people when something goes wrong is always to blame the guys that were there when it happened. It doesn’t excuse her behaviour, but I can understand why it happened.

    Her attitude towards Jack is even more bizarre though. As Shamus pointed out, she’s supposed to be extremely intelligent and talented. She should KNOW that taking a confrontational approach with Jack isn’t the right course of action. I mean, yeah, if I were in her place, I wouldn’t want to bend over and kiss up to Jack either if she’s being all belligerant and hostile towards me, but she’s being uncharacteristically snippy and it doesn’t match her character.

    Upgrades: You’re not going to research the Thanix Cannon? O.o … You guys are not a fan of Thane, I take it. XD (*Geek Moment*But the Thanix Cannon is so cooooool!)

    Finish this game!: You know… In the time it’s taken you guys to do Spoiler Warning for ME2, I’ve finished two and a half playthroughs of ME2. And PERFECTIONIST playthroughs too, where I did every single side-quest, every single mission, and researched every single upgrade. ;)

    1. Vect says:

      It’s not that they don’t like Thane. They probably just want to show off what happens when you skimp on upgrades and decided that of all the characters he’s the one they have no problem sacrificing.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Finish this game!: You know… In the time it's taken you guys to do Spoiler Warning for ME2, I've finished two and a half playthroughs of ME2. And PERFECTIONIST playthroughs too, where I did every single side-quest, every single mission, and researched every single upgrade. ;)”

      Are you counting the time that has passed since they started the season(a few months)or just the amount of time played(about 12 hours)?

      1. Zaxares says:

        The time since the season started. ME2 is hands down the longest-running Spoiler Warning season they’ve ever done!

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ah,but did you play only for 15 minutes a day,only 4 days a week?Its about the same length of footage as the others(around 15 hours).

          The only problem I have with it is that theyve bunched all the videos instead of spreading them through the week.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *