Mass Effect 3 EP16: The Space Racist

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Sep 25, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 214 comments

Link (YouTube)

I discussed the “How is babby formed?” meme back in 2008. So Rutskarn was really digging deep into the internet archives for that one. When Rutskarn mentions becoming captain of the guard to open a door, he’s referring to an infamous quest chain in Neverwinter Nights 2, which led me to post this long tirade.

And to repeat what we said earlier, congratulations to Chris, who I believe is on his honeymoon cruise right now.

And now we come to the subject of the shroud. Uh oh. I don’t feel very well. I kind of feel like I’m about to nitpick…

Man, good thing that after centuries of warfare the Krogan never destroyed, investigated, dismantled scavenged, or recycled the shroud, right? I mean, here’s this device that was built by their foes, on their own planet, to inflict a sterility plague on them. (Or NOT a sterility plague, depending on who you ask.) I’m not sure how they managed to build the dang thing in the first place. If the Krogan were kicking the galaxy’s ass at the time, then building massive structures on their homeworld would have been like the Japanese trying to build their own shipyard on the coast of California at the tail end of 1944. Moreover, I’m not sure why we need it. What does the shroud do that you couldn’t accomplish with a spaceship? I mean, we’re dumping some sort of biological agent into the atmosphere, right? Why build a towering shroud while being shot at by Krogan when you could just dip into the atmosphere and drop it Enola Gay style? I thought the Turians released the genophage, not the Salarians? So are you telling me that the Salarians invented the genophage, built this tower, and then didn’t intended to use it? And yet they had the foresight to sabotage the shroud, anticipating that it might be used for the cure, when they could have just blown it up to make extra sure it wasn’t ever used. Why use this same delivery method for the cure, since lots of off-world Krogan will likely miss out on it? Better yet, give Wrex a big honkin’ canister of cure and a cargo container of hypodermic needles (or whatever) and let him handle the distribution. Letting him control the cure would give him the power to unite wayward clans, draw in more allies from far off, and deny the cure to troublemakers who might threaten his power.

*Wipes mouth*

Whew. Okay. I think that’s all of it. I feel a bit better now.

To be fair, these aren’t story-ruining flaws for me. I’m sure we could find other spots in the series where it all falls apart under too much scrutiny. In a story this big, this is bound to happen. Especially when you don’t have a plan. I just wish the problems with the game had been limited to stuff like this: Missing lampshades and the odd contrivance.

EDIT: Ah yes, the shroud was originally built to fix the Krogan atmosphere, before the uprisings. I’d totally forgotten about that. It does explain most of the problems above. (But not all!)


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214 thoughts on “Mass Effect 3 EP16: The Space Racist

  1. Mogatrat says:

    The Shroud was originally built by the Salarians when they uplifted the Krogan, to repair their atmosphere, which had been severely damaged by nuclear war. It wasn’t built to spread the genophage, but it was utilized for that purpose after the Krogan rebellions.

    1. Hitchmeister says:

      Thank you. I thought I remembered that the Shroud was a giant planetary air-purifier and had a desirable, non-nefarious function, which is why the Krogan kept it around and functioning all this time.

      1. guy says:

        Well, actually, it’s around and functioning because Kalross is fond of it and not even the Krogan mess with Kalross. We’ll be seeing her later this week.

        1. rrgg says:

          That just raises even more questions: Did they build it on that spot specifically so kalross would guard it? How were they able to build it without getting attacked? Did they just never notice it? Is Kalross some kind of legendary monster that almost no one has ever seen and few even believe exist yet inexplicably started running around and causing mayhem the moment it felt Shepard set foot on the planet?

          1. guy says:

            They specifically sited the Shroud in Kalross’ territory so that she’d keep the Krogan away. As for how they built it, Thresher Maws do respond predictably to certain types of vibrations, so they probably found a way to muffle them or distract Kalross while building, then set up a system to attract her to the general area.

            1. Hitchmeister says:

              I’m going to choose to ignore the “I’m Kalross and this is my favorite air filter on Tuchanka” aspects and just stick with, “it had a useful non-Krogan sterilizing function, so the Krogan figured they might as well keep it around.” Oh, and there was a Kalross in the way if they had ever decided to tear it down for no good reason.

              1. ? says:

                Did krogan even know that it was part of genophage before Mordin told them? “Hell if I know what it is for, but salarians built it way before genophage, when they uplifted us. So I guess it helps general effort.” After all they can’t afford to discard all the technology they have just because it’s salrain or turian in design.

    2. Phantom Hoover says:

      It’s even more complicated than that. The Shroud was one of several such structures designed to fix Tuchanka’s climate by slinging tiny lenses between it and the sun; once the Salarians had done that, they refitted it to be an atmospheric purifier and then later still they made it distribute the Genophage.

  2. Klay F. says:

    Its still gets me every time I think about the Bioware interviews around the time the first game came out. I can’t believe I fell for all that bullshit about how they had planned the trilogy from the beginning. Apparently my common sense gland decided to go on holiday that day.

    1. meyerkev says:

      To a certain extent, it depends on your definition of “planned”.

      Did they probably have a general outline (like a paragraph of each game) of “This is where we want to go, assuming half our good writers don’t move over to SW:TOR, and EA’s influence doesn’t become an issue, and we’re willing to change it as the audience/EA/writer skill demand”? Sure.

      Did they more or less write all 3 scripts at once. Lulz, no.

      1. Deadpool says:

        I doubt even that is true. The sense I got from the end of ME was that the Reapers were not coming anywhere NEAR Shepard’s life time…

        1. Aldowyn says:

          Really? Huh. That would be a pretty final result then. I pretty much assumed Harbinger’s “We are coming” from the get-go. It just makes more sense as a narrative.

          1. Mike S. says:

            In the first game, I read it that they were way too far away in intergalactic space to arrive that way in Shepard’s time. Hence the importance of the Citadel relay, as evidence by the fact that Sovereign tried multiple plots over thousands of years to make things happen with it. (Assuming the indications that it was behind the Rachni Wars were correct.)

            So future Reaper problems would be the same sort of Lovecraftian threats as whatever brought Saren to Sovereign, or the rachni to their sour yellow note: someone would be led by ignorance, greed, bad luck, or malice to open a door that needed to be kept closed, and there would be a race against time to keep the Reapers from pouring through and ending everything. (But once they’re there in force it’s game over– so it doesn’t happen except as a Critical Mission Failure.)

            Other than that history would focus on more local (and, really, interesting) issues like the krogan problem, the quarians and geth, the emergence of Earth onto the galactic scene, etc. And there’s plenty of room for other big threats to emerge on the wrong side of a dormant relay. But the Reapers would be there basically to explain the setting (why is everyone relatively close in tech? what happened to the mysterous Elder Race? where did that useful but for plot reasons impossible-to-duplicate transport network and galactic hub come from?) and to provide a looming background threat.

            Obviously that wasn’t how it worked out, and from the hints we’ve had of the original dark energy plot it may never have been the intention. But all the references to the Reapers being dormant in dark space in ME1 don’t sound at all like “a few years flight away”. (By ME2, sure– Harbinger’s threats and the Illusive Man’s suspicions indicate that they’re making preparations, and the final scene plus Arrival make that entirely clear.)

            1. SleepingDragon says:

              Just for reference, it is implied that rachni may or may not have been influenced by leviathans rather than the reapers, in fact the idea might have been to have rachni spill forth over the galaxy and create a force capable to counter the next Reaper cycle but under leviathan control. This theory opens a whole set of questions of its own and the “rachni” search criteria proves to be irrelevant in the end so this might have been Sovereign after all, but the possibility is there.

              Putting that aside I kinda agree. While, on the one hand, I would like to see the reaper invasion in the games (a proper “unstoppable horrors” one, not the parody we get in ME3) I fail to see why Sovereign had to go to such lengths, gambles and plotting if it was just a matter of waiting a few years for its buddies to arrive from dark space. And I guess dealing with things like genophage, quarian-geth war, indoctrinated agents, various reaper tech or prothean plans for countering it and other such stuff, then ending the game with the galaxy preparing, or having a potential to prepare, for the reaper’s arrival in some distant future, with various degrees of optimism depending on player success, would actually make for a very good story. It may be my cynicism talking but I think the main reason it wouldn’t make it is because it’s not explodey enough for an AAA title nowadays.

              1. Raygereio says:

                Who are these “leviathans”? The only one leviathan I recall is the Leviathan of Dis (something like that) from ME1 and that was revealed to be a reaper corpse in ME3.

                1. Kavonde says:

                  Well, it’s Spoiler Warning, so spoiler warning!

                  The Leviathan DLC for ME3 is a search for whatever killed the Leviathan of Dis (IE, as they repeat many times, “the REAL Leviathan.”) Turns out, the real leviathans are the original master race that the Reapers were created from, and from which they got their basic form and psychic domination abilities. And, being apparently immortal, there are still a few hidden around the galaxy, biding their time.

                2. Mike S. says:

                  The material in the spoiler tag relates to the latest ME3 DLC, “Leviathan”. (Which does also touch on the Leviathan of Dis.)

                  1. SleepingDragon says:

                    Which is why I’m still using spoiler tags for it as it’s still a relatively new thing and the SW crew will probably skip it.

                3. Kavonde says:

                  (Potential double post, sorry.)

                  Well, it's Spoiler Warning, so spoiler warning!

                  The Leviathan DLC for ME3 is a search for whatever killed the Leviathan of Dis (IE, as they repeat many times, “the REAL Leviathan.”) Turns out, the real leviathans are the original master race that the Reapers were created from, and from which they got their basic form and psychic domination abilities. And, being apparently immortal, there are still a few hidden around the galaxy, biding their time.

                  1. Raygereio says:

                    Sweet jumping overdeities. They put something like that in DLC?
                    I thought it couldn’t get any worse when Assassin’s Creed Revelation put the revelation that was promised in DLC, but now Bioware managed to trump Ubisoft by apparently putting the origin off their big bad in DLC.

                    Words fails me.

                    1. Mike S. says:

                      I don’t think it’s that bad. The origin of the Reapers (for better or worse) is given in the original ending and added to in the Extended Cut. This just adds detail, which the player may or may not want or like once they have it.

                      (To that extent, it’s a lot like the added information we get about the Protheans by way of the DLC that includes Javik.)

                    2. guy says:

                      Yeah… I thought From Ashes (vital revelations about the Protheans re: everything ever we knew about them being completely wrong) was as bad as main plot in DLC got, but Leviathan managed to become even worse.

          2. Deadpool says:

            I’m not sure it does. The Reapers were this big, unknowable, Lovecraftian Terror. It took a MASSIVE combined effort to take down ONE of them. In the end, the rest of them were sleeping, waiting for an “All clear” signal that is never coming. We all figure they’d have some sort of redundancy, but there was no reason to think it was immediate. Actually, the plot kinda denies it.

            There are two kinds of villains in fiction. Most are faced by the heroes. Some are merely avoided.

      2. Klay F. says:

        Which would have been fine had the developers revealed to what extent the series had been planned out. Speaking for myself, I assumed from the beginning that at the very least, there was a rough storyboard in place. I always thought that this is how anyone who wished to tell a cohesive story did things. Get the main plot elements down first and work in the detail afterward. It boggles my mind that so many people DON’T do this. Instead of using the definition of “planned” that is normally used, they went with the “Lol I guess we’ll make three games” definition.

        I realize that most videogame developers don’t bother with planning out the story before making the game, hence why so many videogame stories are utter shit. They won’t get better until people start putting in a little forethought.

        1. guy says:

          One reason is that videogames are even more aggressively not planned as series than other media forms. People wrote games on the assumption they wouldn’t have sequels all the time. Then they made a sequel if the original was popular enough. Planning on sequels only became common after AAA publishers decided no one actually cares about story anyway.

          1. Klay F. says:

            I just can’t see how this can go on. This kind of shit where everyone on the dev team just wings it might have been good enough way back when game budgets were on the six figure side of sane, but when you have games with $20 million (or more) budgets, how the hell do you expect to be successful when you are just making shit up as you go along?

            I’ve heard innumerable times that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is the mark of insanity. If that is true, then the videogame industry is demonstrably insane.

            1. guy says:

              Honestly? It’s worked for movies and books. It’s also failed for movies and books, just as it does for video games. Audience members like closure, so things originally intended as oneshots like to tie up all the lose ends and have to scramble to make up a new plot when positive reactions convince the creators to make another installment. If the writers are good enough no one notices, or it’s detectable but not bad.

              Actually, it’s fairly standard for TV shows to not be planned in advance because networks like keeping shows in suspense about being renewed for another season, which leads to things like SG-1 having three grand finale episodes. What I don’t get is why they make it up as they go along when they were planning on sequels in the first place. That there is just pure insanity.

              1. Klay F. says:

                This is what I’m trying to say. I guess I’m not getting it across well.

                I’m fine with videogames and other media being designed as single contained stories. I am also fine with new stories being created for sequels because the first story was some unexpected success. I realize this is a consequence of the way the business of creative media works. I’m fine with that.

                What I am NOT fine with, is a developer announcing that a series will be a trilogy before anyone has even seen the first installment when you don’t have a plan. Announcing a trilogy before we’ve even seen the first part, is an implicit statement that you already have the key details worked out. Telling everyone that you have a plan when you don’t is bullshit.

            2. Deadpool says:

              Why not? Movies have been getting away with it and their budgets were higher for the longest time… Remember the Matrix?

              1. Klay F. says:

                I don’t think you are getting my meaning. I’m not saying that a fully planned out creative venture is guaranteed to be good. What I mean is, to use your movie comparison, the script, casting, hiring of production crew, and budgeting are all planned out and done before principle photography begins, at least in the vast majority of movies. The script for a movie usually doesn’t change after filming is done except in rare cases. The director doesn’t start shooting random shit, then come up with a script later. All this is done beforehand in pre-production. In videogames, pre-production consists of pretty much entirely this sentence: “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”

                1. Deadpool says:

                  What I’m saying is, plenty of trilogies were NOT planned as such at all. Matrix was a stand alone that became a “Errrrrr… We totally planned for more! Yeah!” right after its huge success.

                  Games are working pretty much the same way.

                  It’s dumb and wasteful of resources, but it still sells…

                  1. Klay F. says:

                    Okay, yeah I see what you are saying, I guess I misunderstood. Still though, Bioware were advertising Mass Effect as a trilogy before the first game even shipped. If I recall correctly, a bunch of journalists were shocked that Bioware (or any game developers for that matter) would have the audacity to basically declare a game franchise a success before the first game had even finished development. I can sum up for you my thoughts at the time.

                    “Wow, Bioware is already planning sequels before they have even found out if the first game is successful. They must know something about this franchise that I don’t. They must already know how the story is gonna turn out if they have so much confidence in its success.”

                    I mean this isn’t some big leap. Bioware was knowingly winking at the audience going, “We got this.”

                    1. Deadpool says:

                      They did? Did not know that. Didn’t follow the development closely, just always felt the plot wasn’t very conducive of THESE sequels….

                      Although, thinking about it, not mutually exclusive. Plots can be written long before things are released. Maybe if he plot was writen before the decision to make a trilogy was made.

      3. Daemian Lucifer says:

        The definitive proof to me that they had no plan for this series goes is in the end of me1 and beginning of me2:Me1 has the “Oh noes,shepard died!….Wait…WAIT….Yays shepard is alive after all!”,and then shepard dies anyway in me2.So why the fake death scene in 1?It wouldve been a great cliffhanger to have shepard actually die in the end of 1,and then either get resurrected or replaced in 2.

        1. Ofermod (Formerly Keredis) says:

          That… actually would have been much better. Shepard dies, the Normandy is destroyed during the fight with Sovereign… and then Cerberus robs the grave (or Shep gets a Burial In Space and they just pick up the coffin), and then so forth and so on. You’d still have the Cerberus problems, but not the “revivable after re-entry” problem.

          1. Indy says:

            No, that would’ve been as lazy as it currently is. They should have moved onto a different character. Maybe Garrus, who you were pretty much training as a Spectre anyway.

            1. Aldowyn says:

              I’m way too partial to commander shepard as a character for that to work. Garrus is great, I mean, but not as the main character.

              1. Indy says:

                That’s fair, but in the event of Shepard’s death, they should have moved on to another character, maybe 20 years later when your choices could have manifested into something important.

                EDIT: Also Aldowyn, when are you going to get back to your LP?

                1. Aldowyn says:

                  Umm. As soon as I get a mic that works right, I’ve been having issues with mine. Hopefully I’ll do that this next week or so.

                  Glad to know someone’s paying attention though :D

        2. Greg says:

          Holy hell, you’re absolutely right. I hadn’t even thought of that.

          It would probably have detracted from the popularity of the first game, though, I feel. The series has become epic enough to have “earned” the heroic sacrifice at the end by this point, but when it first came out I think that killing the PC off at the end might have felt cheap to a lot of people (myself not included).

          But if they had done this; Shepard’s body making its way into the hands of Cerberus would make far more sense, as it would actually be, you know, INTACT (ME2 fails, just fails) and wouldn’t require Liara to hand it over for … whatever reason. Or, Shepard’s resurrection could have been a completely secret project by the Alliance government, whose director took rogue halfway through. It would explain the resources, and it would explain why Shepard works with them for ME2 (they pretend to still be part of the Alliance, possibly even having faked messages from Anderson and Hackett), provide much more intrigue as the game goes on (you slowly start to find out that you’re actually NOT in a deep, top-secret operation by the government but have been coopted by a renegade cell led by a man who feels he can get the job done better through questionable means) AND provide a much more sensible choice at the end of the game (confront the Illusive Man or whoever with this knowledge and actually have some reason to blow the base to hell to keep it out of his hands, or turn the base over to him and try to get him to come back to the Alliance with his organization and your endorsement).

          That wouldn’t fix all the issues, but that sounds like a much smarter game, actually.

        3. SleepingDragon says:

          Urghh, I’ll be honest, I hate that scene, it just felt so incredibly cheap and corny.

      4. Soylent Dave says:

        It’s the same as George Lucas claiming he’d planned out NINE* Star Wars films when he was doing A New Hope.

        When the prequels rolled around, it became abundantly clear that Lucas had really just written a (very) rough outline of his story, and that ‘the bit before episode 4’ wasn’t actually long enough to fill three films, unless he did a hell of a lot of padding.

        That’s why very little actually happens in any of the Star Wars 1-3 episodes; there’s only really enough plot for 1.5 movies.

        *I seem to recall reading more recently that he now claims he says he planned six. But I’ve still got my (brother’s) old Star Wars annuals.

      5. Thomas says:

        I don’t think they even did that. The lack of planning can’t be put on EA here, from that interview Shamus linked to last week, they didn’t even have a plan for what the Reapers were, or what they actually did. They had a bunch of ideas, but noting concrete that they were heading for

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      Well, I’d guess they did plan to make a ton of money… And, the Reaper thing wasn’t all that resolved by the end of the first one… so yeah.
      I’d say they just failed to stick to their plan, or didn’t have a good plan, or something. It was pretty clearly a setup for a sequel though.

  3. Khizan says:

    The Shroud was built during the uplift process, to fix the atmosphere and give the krogans an example of “This is what we can do for you” type goodness while they were trying to convince them to leave their homeworld and go stomp on space bugs. Yeah, they might have been able to do that via drops from ships, but it would be a much less impressive symbol, that.

    It was later used by the turians to transmit the genophage(which was salarian designed). As for why the krogans didn’t destroy it, hell, I dunno. Maybe they figured that they were already screwed, so they might as well keep the thing that fixes their atmosphere.

    As for why not give Wrex a big can of it with some needles? Off the top of my head: Uniting the krogan behind Wrex with the “Support me or stay sterile forever while we outbreed you” platform might have been effective, but it seems a damn fine way to see a krogan civil war. Also, cause Wrex is a good guy who wanted every krogan to get the cure and he had the turians’ balls in a vise, so he got to make the demands.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      All of this is true, and entirely beside the point to me.

      The Shroud exists because they need a vector to cure the genophage that lends itself to an action scene.

      They sand the corners off pretty well, but it’s still a butt-joint rather than a well planned corner in the plot.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        They needed… a Lazarus vector.

      2. Kavonde says:

        I disagree. The Shroud’s existence is logical and consistent with the setting’s history and salarian doctrine. The actual physical design of the Shroud might have been created to facilitate an action setpiece, but the Shroud itself has every reason to exist.

    2. Jace911 says:

      The krogan never destroyed it because they didn’t know it was sterilizing them. They thought it was keeping them from suffocating, so it makes sense they wouldn’t touch it.

      Plus, y’know, Kalros.

      1. Deadpool says:

        Assuming that Kalros doesn’t have a migrating pattern just makes the “How did they build this?” question even more complicated…

        Then again, Kalros itself is a bit of a nitpicker’s issue. What does it EAT?

        1. Klay F. says:

          “What does it EAT?”

          Reapers apparently… ;P

          1. Ofermod (Formerly Keredis) says:

            Maybe it eats smaller Thresher Maws? Or maybe it’s like blue whales (or I think the sandworms from Dune, I could be wrong) where it eats constant amounts of very tiny lifeforms just by burrowing through the ground.

            1. Mike S. says:

              Thresher maws in general are thermodynamically unlikely, but they’re a nod to those sandworms which (with due respect to Herbert’s extensive efforts to justify them) are much the same. If I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for thresher maws at all, I’m willing to believe in Kalros.

            2. Aldowyn says:

              Blue whales (any non toothed whale, actually) definitely do that. They’re called krill, and they’re pretty similar to shrimp.

            3. Deadpool says:

              In the desert…

              It’s a common thing in fiction. They create some big alien creature and rarely consider what kind of ecological effect it would have as an actual species…

        2. guy says:

          Well, APCs apparently provide her with vitamins and minerals…

  4. Spammy says:

    So, not to sound too nitpicky but… it seems like there’s a lot of “Shut up, stop arguing, and fight Reapers” going on, which is good. So… why can’t you tell the Dalatrass that? Why is sabotaging the Genophage cure a now-or-never deal? The STG already modified the Genophage once, why couldn’t they just do it again in secrecy? You could set the STG on it as soon as the last Reaper is confirmed dead and hold it in ready while you watch what the next generation or two of Krogan do. And if you’ve been making choices to get the Alliance and the Council closer together, shouldn’t that make a reasonable defense against Krogan aggression?

    I dunno. I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 (currently on Ilos in ME1), but this choice just seems off to me.

    1. Klay F. says:

      You bring up another of my problems with this game. The tone. Almost everyone in the game treats the reapers as just another threat to be countered, rather than… you know, a fight for your very existence. The poster-child for this is the dalatrass.

      Look Bioware, I know this is fiction, and that the good guys winning in the end is a foregone certainty, but could you please keep your own fucking characters from treating it the same way as the audience? It kind of removes whatever semblance of legitimacy the reapers had left at this point. “Oh so not even the characters themselves are worried about this so-called threat to their existance. Why should I be interested then?”

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      Honest, this^. The Dalatrass seemed like a petty bitch and I was mad I couldn’t tell her off and force her to work for me. It makes no sense for a little grudge to win over common sense.

      Newsflash: If you don’t help Shepard, YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO DIE!!!!

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Keep in mind that they aren’t saying they won’t fight the Reapers, just that they won’t help Shepard with the Crucible (which is kind of unproven, as discussed previously) or with ousting the Reapers off of Earth. That just brings up issues with Shepard’s methods, though.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          However, since everyone is throwing their weight behind the Crucible as the only way to fight the Reapers, it is effectively the same thing. It’s literally the ONLY plan anyone in the galaxy has to fight the Reapers.

        2. Klay F. says:

          But the biggest problem is what the dalatrass IMPLIES. She implies that defeating the reapers is an inevitability, as if its a given.

          Let me repeat that again:

          The thing we have been ostensibly working towards for THREE GAMES (ME2 notwithstanding) is being trivialized into irrelevancy. She is essentially saying “Who gives a shit about the reapers? What about the nonexistent krogan problem?”

          1. Thomas says:

            No I don’t think she’s saying that, she’s saying that there’s no point surviving in a universe where they will inevitable die. The Krogan Rebellions were huge, she fully believes that if the Krogans can breed again, they’re basically going to wipe out all non-Krogan civilisations eventually.

            So her point is, there’s no point risking so much trying to save ourselves, that we die immediately after.

            You can talk her round too, it’s possible later on in the game to persuade the Salarians that they can only survive the Reapers by giving Shepard their full support, and what’s been done with the Krogan has been done, too late to hold a grudge.

            My only problem is, I don’t see why the Salarians can’t just make another genophage or other doomsday anti-Krogan weapon if they want to. They’ve cured it, created it and strengthened it already, why can’t they just do something else to wipe the Krogan out? It’s not like the Krogan suddenly have scientists

            1. Klay F. says:

              But this is just bullshit conjecture, and definitely not something a salarian should be indulging in. Why is the dalatrass’s first and only solution to the non-existent krogan problem genocide? And I still have to ask, who gives a shit right now? I’m all for planning for the future, but not when the galaxy is being cleansed of life. Remember the reapers? The entire purpose of this videogame trilogy?

              1. Mike S. says:

                “And I still have to ask, who gives a shit right now?”

                The salarian dalatrass. It’s not as if history isn’t full of people who prioritize longstanding grudges over a looming existential threat.

                From the game’s perspective she’s arguably wrong (though of course Shepard can also agree with her and act on that basis). But not in a way I find implausible after reading about, say, Byzantine politics on the eve of the Ottoman conquest, or Chinese internal wrangling in the face of the Mongols. Or any number of choices made in the runup to either World War.

                And if that’s maddening (and I don’t disagree), then I’d say Bioware managed to create a plausibly immersive roleplaying experience.

                1. Spammy says:

                  It seems maddening, but not in that way. I’m not maddened at her behavior, I’m maddened at the responses. My problem is that you can’t call her out on it. Your options are “Yes” and “No” and don’t include, “This is not important right now! This communication is over, good night, call me again when you grow up.” And to somewhat reply to comments below, it would also be great if you could call the Salarians (and by extension the Asari) out on their habit of finding a new race to fix every problem. Try to get the Dalatrass to see that you can’t treat a species like a tool. Try to start the seeds of reconciliation between the Salarians and the Krogan. But you can’t. Your options are A or B, but unlike all the A and B you get between Wrex and Victus, you can’t take a peacemaking option.

                  1. newdarkcloud says:

                    ^Fucking THIS! Yes, have your jerkasses like Cerberus or the Dalatrass, or god-child. But for fuck’s sake LET ME CALL THEM OUT ON THEIR PETTY, PATHETIC BULLSHIT!!! If I hate somebody, I damn well want them to know it!

              2. Thomas says:

                Well it’s conjecture based on an actual experience of an actual war and years of intelligence gathering and running simulation models until the brightest minds of all the solarians, concluded that a Krogan population expansion would inevitably lead to a galactic war.

                And out of all the races the solarians are by far the most likely to be concerned with their survival after the Reapers because the Solarians are always looking one step further ahead. If the Krogans are very likely going to wipe out the Solarians after then that’s not a solution that actually leads to a better eventual outcome for them, as ridiculous calculating as that is. No harm trying to strong-arming the human with the inadvisable untested strategy to ensure that the Krogan survive.

                To me it fits in with the alien complete practically of the Solarians. In a situation where people are only focused on survival, the Solarians are busy calculating what happens next. ‘Solve this problem and hope things turn out okay afterwards’ is the sort of thing they’d scorn in other species. Point a gun at their head and order them to cripple themselves, and they’d calculate whether the decreased quality of life is worth it not. They’d never say ‘but at least I’d have the chance of something happening’, no they want the hard facts. What are the exact odds of a miracle recovery, how many people does this happen to? When you factor that in, what’s their expected actual quality of life?

                1. Klay F. says:

                  Expect the Salarians only calculate and think ahead when it suits the writers. There was no calculation involved in the Rachni Wars, nor the Krogan Rebellion. We are told about how the salarian always think one step ahead, except this is demonstrably false with the proof we have so far. Even in ME3 they show a ridiculous lack of foresight as they are perfectly willing to covertly uplift the yahg, showing absolutely no regard for how well that worked out the last time, not to mention that the yahg are most likely an order of magnitude smarter than the krogan.

                  1. Thomas says:

                    I’m not sure if I’ve done the Yahg uplifiting thing is that DLC? There was a lot of calculation in the Krogan Rebellion, and they didn’t start the Rachni wars, but that’s help up in the game as a case where they made a mistake and didn’t do what they should have done/normally do. Since they admit the mistake, you can even argue that it’s taught them not to try and win wars at any cost, but always think of the consequences of the actions needed to win it

                    1. Mike S. says:

                      It’s inferred from the yahg in the Salarian facility that contains Eve. I’d say it’s plausible that they were just studying/experimenting on it. Which is itself ethically dubious and– given that one yahg by itself managed to take over the Shadow Broker’s network and run it– insanely dangerous, but not in the same league as trying to uplift the species.

                    2. Thomas says:

                      I assumed experimentation. If you uplift, don’t you just land on their planet and start trying to explain technology to them? At the very least, uplifting someone by keeping them in a small prison and then teaching them to use advanced weapons doesn’t sound like the cleverest plan. I don’t think we saw the Yahg using any technology, even a gun on it’s escape either

  5. Mike Shikle says:

    I dont think anyone has said this yet but you published this in the “random” section rather than the “spoiler warning” section. Am I being pedantic? I dont know, just thought you mightn’t have noticed! =P

  6. cadrys says:

    You can’t just give Wrex the cure and a bazillion hypodermics.

    He might get it wrong.

    [From a storytelling POV, Mordan’s actions re: the Spire are necessary. Agreed it’s still a wart, but redemption don’t come in dumpable-from-space containers of anti-genophage.]

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      Nah, I’d say the idea of doing it via the Shroud makes perfect sense in the same way the genophage using it made sense – the Krogan no longer trust hypodermics.

      This also lets Wrex get to be all “I cured the genophage on Tuchanka, come here and get yourself cured!” without having to invoke “Trust this Salarian medicine!”

    2. Ateius says:

      Did he really need redemption, though? I liked Mordin for what he was: A brilliant man who had done something monstrous and was living every day with the weight of that, yet still carrying on. His mission in ME2 was an incredible highlight of his ongoing eternal struggle.

      Perhaps I’m just annoyed because I chose to side with Mordin, or rather what Mordin thought was necessary, the justifications he gave. My Mordin shot his wayward apprentice and wiped the database clean. The Genophage is a necessary evil, the Krogan far too aggressive with the advanced tech they shouldn’t even have- except oh wait, none of that is true now because Bioware wants a dramatic “redemption” scene. Hey guys don’t mind me I just underwent a dramatic 180 in my character arc offscreen.

      Just what is wrong with Mordin living out his life dealing with the consequences of his actions? Oppenheimer and Truman never got an action-packed redemption scene with sad music and slow motion.

      1. Adam says:

        Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never lynchpins in a strategy to defeat an alien invasion?

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hey remember that game,mass effect 2,where you had a couple of places where two characters would argue,and you could pick sides and then attempt to appease the losing one,or try to reconcile them with saying something insightful?Yeah,who needs so much crap when “We need to move on” and “Youre both wrong” cover everything.

  8. Athatar says:

    When it came to this part of the game I had my first, and until Spec Ops: The Line, only real “I have to make a choice I will hate”.

    The reason was that on my play though, the Krogen lady died and thus I did not belive that the Krogen could be controlled by Wrex alone. He needed her to control both his Krogen urges to expand and the rest of the Krogens urges to fight each other. In my mind this meant that the genophage should not be cured to prevent another krogen war after the reaper one, especally when the rest of the races would be screwed. Also, if you save the council in ME1 then the salarians will only support you if you carry out the sabotarge.

    Thus the hard choice: do I kill Mordin, my favorite character or do I cure the genophage. In the end, after 10 min of thinking, the genophage was left in place.

    The worst part? Wrex finds out and you end up killing him and covering it up. That really made my heart sad.

    It was this reason I really wanted the “And this is how your choices effected the universe” ending. I wanted to be told “don’t worry, leaving the genophage in place and killing your best freinds was the right decision…. in the long run at least” The fact we didn’t get this… this is what pissed me off the most.

    1. Greg says:

      IIRC, You can actually not cure the genophage AND keep Mordin alive if you satisfy certain requirements (I think you have to have destroyed Maelon’s data in ME2, and only reveal the sabotage to Mordin himself near the end). Then you can convince Mordin the Krogan aren’t ready.

      To be honest, I was leaning on the anti-cure side myself. Especially if Wreav was in charge. But even with Wrex and Eve in charge, they’re just two krogan who will try to hold back a sea of resentment. If anything at all happens to them, there’s very little stopping another krogan uprising. Heck, if they even change their minds in the ensuing years, or are antagonized too much (as, in this galaxy, they almost certainly will be), they may change their tune.

      I’m still not entirely certain how the Uprising even worked in the first place, though; Krogan are monsters on the ground but seem to have no actual fleets of their own, and Turian fleet supremacy, to say nothing of the other Council race’s forces, should have been a fairly major trump card. You need men (or krogan) on the ground to hold territory, but they can’t get there without the air first being cleared for them, and of course if there are dire straits, the side with the air/space advantage can just start nuking from orbit. But I’m probably not remembering some explanation; maybe they hijacked the Turian ships at the close of the Rachni wars or something?

      The infeasibility of a new uprising due to the lack of krogan ships, though, kind of casts doubt as to the usefulness of the krogan vs. the Reapers, as was pointed out in an earlier episode. ME focuses on the ground combat through Shepard’s eyes, but the Reapers are still very much a fleet problem. Forgive me for being cold, but krogan don’t seem useful for much beyond throwing bodies at Reaper husks at the moment, whereas the salarians actually do have a fleet, if a small one. So my position was, why take the risk of a new uprising later on, when actually salarian aid might be more useful right now?

      Or I should say, my position during my second playthrough, where I actually agonized over decisions. In the first playthrough I pretty much went straight Paragon.

      1. Athatar says:

        The way I understand it, for Mordin to live you need to: a) kill Werx in ME1 b) destroy the cure in ME2 c) have a high enough renegade/paragon points to persuade Mordin that Wreav would be unable to keep the Krogen in check. If any one of these three things are false, Mordin dies. I may be wrong but I think this is the only option, other than romance, that is effected by all three games like this. This is compared to things that have a linear effect (i.e. (x) in ME1 leads to (y) in ME2 leads to (z) in ME3)

        I agree with your thinking on the usefulness of the Salarian’s compared to the Krogen. Especally as you can hide the sabotarge from the Krogen and get their support but you can’t hide the cure from the salarian and have them aid you.

        NOTE: I know that if Thane is alive in ME3 you can get the salarian support another way but at the point of the cure/kill choice I did not know this. One of the few times I think spoilers would have actualy mattered.

        1. Greg says:

          Huh, you need Wrex dead? I feel like that actually would have been more powerful, if you sabotaged and convinced Mordin it was the right thing to do, but Wrex STILL found out and you were forced to kill him and over it up anyway, then had to talk to Mordin later about it. I suppose Wrex is clearly less revenge-minded than Wreav, though, even if he does keep dropping hints about expanding and taking what the krogans deserve. So it makes some sense that you can’t convince Mordin of the sabotage’s necessity if Wrex is alive.

          I’m actually surprised there is no third option, because it seems like the best to me: if the scientists are capable of modifying the genophage, then modify it so that fertility rate are just a bit higher. Modify it so that most krogan females can still lay dozens of eggs and have a decent chance of raising, say, one kid every ten years or something. There’ll be a population explosion for a while, but a manageable one, it’ll reduce the infighting and depression of the species, and the explosion will likely die down in a few decades as the Krogan get used to a birth rate similar to other species’.

          1. krellen says:

            Guys, these spoiler tags are really annoying and Shamus already announced long ago that “Spoiler Warning” was warning enough, so we don’t need tags in here.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              What do you mean they are annoying?I dont see anything wrong with them.

            2. Athatar says:

              I know, I ummed and ahhed for ages while writing the post as the spoilers were for stuff not everyone sees while playing. These sorts of spoilers, I think, are slightly different as even people who have finised the game and thus know general spoilers might want somethings new to discover and furture plays.

          2. Mike S. says:

            I think it’s plausible that the krogan just wouldn’t trust outsiders to make “reasonable” decisions for them like that. Trusting the genophage cure itself is dicey (and rightly so, given the renegade option). Even if the only people who could operate the controls weren’t enemies who’d spent the last two millennia occupying their solar system, “you’ll have to keep the universally hated disease that you consider to have destroyed your civilization, but in a milder form according to what we deem acceptable” just isn’t going to sell.

      2. Mike S. says:

        IIRC, the Citadel government didn’t make contact with the turians till late in the Krogan Rebellions– it was just the asari and salarians initially. Turian fleet superiority was a trump card, once it came into play: the turians were rapidly incorporated as a third full partner in exchange for their muscle in reversing the course of that war.

        (There are suggestions in the first game that they’re trying to sort of repeat that, bringing in humans primarily as a counterweight to the turians. By implication, that’s one reason– along with the recent actual shots exchanged– that the turian Counselor is the one most openly hostile to humanity. Also why turians like Saren and the Executor resent our rapid rise: it’s essentially a deliberate slap in the face to a species that sees itself as the saviors of civilization.)

        And the krogan during the Rebellion era presumably did have fleets, since warlords dominated multiple star systems. Preventing them from repeating that again is why the Citadel continues to maintain a military space presence around Aralakh, and forbids the krogan from building warships.

        Realistically or otherwise, the Citadel government (and especially the salarians) are concerned that an exploding krogan population during or after a war of unprecedented scope will be able to acquire sufficient warships to be a threat. That doesn’t seem crazy– the main powers’ fleets are being devastated by the Reapers, and their homeworlds mostly glow in the dark across substantial areas. The krogan will be of necessity all over the place. They can steal ships, buy them with loot, enslave factories (or even entire planets, if they’re there in force). They do have some industrial capability themselves (Wrex’s vehicle manufacturers and research scientists– who would prefer to be working on military hardware anyway) and have historically had much more.

        Since it’s part of the history that they were an interstellar threat once, it seems defensible that the powers that have been actively occupying them for two millennia may be a bit worried about what they’ll do once unrestrained.

  9. Entropy says:

    Ahh, this section. Man, I was the most anti-cure guy around, I really did not see any good coming from having a million krogan around. :P

    But I couldn’t do it, not when it came down to it. I find it interesting when a game makes me make a decision I don’t want to make, but Mordin.

  10. zob says:

    I suddenly noticed something about these post mission Hackett talks. Devs did that with TIM after action reports in ME2. I’m guessing reading is a capital offense in casual market, so they changed them into dialogues.

    1. Indy says:

      It still feels so lazy and crappy. I have no idea why that’s included when it doesn’t say anything new or tell you what will come of it. It seems redundant for the mission itself.

    2. ehlijen says:

      They had the council reports back in ME1 before the mission over screens in ME2.

      It’s not that reading is a sin or anything, it’s that ‘Level Completed! 9/10 secrets found!’ is not very immersion building and this is meant to be an RPG.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Yeah but the council reports actually CHANGED significantly based on, you know, what you did. Not just “hey what’s up anything changed? No? Well, back to saving the galaxy!”

        The reports to Hackett could have been handled MUCH better.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And another one bites the dust.I mean,congratulations on mawwiage achievement Chris.

    1. Jakale says:

      Did anyone else imagine a Chris sprite holding up a wife sprite, ala Link’s pose during the older Zelda games, when the credits were going?

      1. Alexander The 1st says:

        No, I was reminded of Super Mario Sunshine, where the Japanese language version changes it from “Got Shine!” to “Shine Get!”

        At least, IIRC. Something similar to that.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I may not find this sequence as good as many others(which Ill get into next time),but I must admit it is a pretty well made choice.You can either lose wrex or mordin,both likable and well established characters,and no way back.Wrex needs to either die or get pissed at you if you want mordin to live,and mordin needs to die if you want wrex to support you.Thats how a tough choice spanning 3 games needs to be done.Sadly,there are only 2 such instances in this game,and the other one still has the option of having everyone live(well legion does kind of die,but he is a bunch of software,so I guess he can copy himself).

    1. zob says:

      Or you can lose both, which is a rare real renegade moment instead of just being a space jerk

    2. Aldowyn says:

      Which is why I’m not a big fan of the paragon/renegade cheat conversation win buttons. They take a lot of the RPG out of it.

      I had to actually MAKE a choice, because I was playing with a crappy non-import Shep (you can’t pick things. SO irritating…), and it was a hard choice.

      1. guy says:

        The “Everyone (except Legion who dies for no explicable reason) Lives” option does take a good deal of setup and groundwork for it to even appear. I mean, my first playthrough I hadn’t pumped my reputation up enough to succeed, but my second imported a decent but not perfect run and I couldn’t even get to try.

        1. Khizan says:

          There are other factors at play there, too.

          1) Tali cannot have been exiled; if she was, she is not an admiral and has no authority to lend you. This means you must import a ME2 save; the ‘default’ setting is she gets exiled, iirc.
          2) You have to save Admiral Koris;he cannot lend you his authority and support if he is dead.
          3) Legion must be alive; the geth VI isn’t trusted like Legion is.

          1. Alexander The 1st says:

            I *think*, however, at least, according to the wiki, some of them aren’t as important.

            For example, there’s another part where, if you re-write the heretics, it becomes a harder skill check to pass.

            If you don’t re-write them, and just destroy them, then you don’t need to save Koris, IIRC. Or is it about the Geth fleet itself?

            1. Thomas says:

              I read hear there were 9 points or something you get towards Geth/Quarian stability and you needed 5 to be able to win. Or you needed 9 points to win and there were more available

            2. guy says:

              Koris, Tali not being exiled, and Legion being alive are pass-fail factors, then others contribute different amounts of points.

              1. Mike S. says:

                Yeah. I didn’t know the math at the time, but while my first playthrough brokered the compromise, in my second I suspected I was in trouble as soon as I remembered why Tali didn’t have “Admiral” next to her name. (It seemed like a good idea at the time…)

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I disagree.You need a lot of work for those options to appear,so they arent cheats,they are rewards for planning ahead.Though I prefer when they are tied to your actions instead of your paragade score.

        1. Khizan says:

          They do make the choice feel cheaper, though, because there’s an objectively “good guy” solution(even for asshole Renegade Shepard).

          It’s like in DA:O, in Redcliff. You’ve got some great choices. Do you kill the kid who caused this inadvertently? Do you sacrifice his wife and perform blood magic to save the kid, letting her atone for her mistake? This could be a big, powerful moment… except for the part where they go “OH YEAH YOU CAN GET THE MAGES TO DO IT WITH LYRIUM AND NOBODY GETS HURT AND EVERYBODY WINS”, which completely screws with the “big momentous decision” thing.

          Similar would be “Kill the elves or werewolves”. In that case, both sides have been wronged by the other, and you’d need to pick one side to support. Except OH NO YOU CAN BREAK THE CURSE AND EVERYBODY WINS YAAAAAAY.

          They’re all moments where you’ve got to make a huge character defining choice about which of your bad options is the lesser evil. Or they would be, at least, without the Super Heroic Good Guy “Fix everything and kill nobody” option, the existence of which robs the choice of a lot of its power. I am no longer weighing the fate of the geth and the quarians, no longer debating between Shepard’ love for Tali and the justice deserved by the geth. I’m weighing “Save everybody or be a dick and off somebody I could have saved with a trivial bit of extra effort.”

          Meh, I say. Meh.

          1. zob says:

            I do understand your point. But thats not a design problem it’s a meta problem. Finding the third option in those situations doesn’t occur naturally, you don’t stumble upon them. You have to be actively looking for them and try harder.

            You arm yourself with extra information from other sources, you expose yourself to spoilers. It’s not that existence of that third solution robbing you of your choice. You come to the decision with whole knowledge of whats going to happen when you choose what. It’s your conscious decision to ruin that choice for you.

            1. Khizan says:

              I bought ME3 on release day and ran it straight through just to avoid spoilers on choices. I didn’t go looking for the geth/quarian peace. I kept Tali with the Fleet because I like Tali. I kept Legion alive and loyal because he was interesting. I saved Koris because I liked him in ME2(His ship is the Qwib-Qwib, how can you not like that?).

              With those in place, my other choices had earned enough points so that when I hit that part of the game, I automatically got the choice. I then had the option to save the quarians(who kind of deserve what’s about to happen to them, but who I like because of Tali), to save the geth(who deserve to be saved, but this requires the sacrifice of my Shepard’s love interest’s entire race[and her, which I didn’t know about then]), or… save everybody, hooray!

              In DA:O, if you choose not to just kill the werewolves, you automatically run into the possibility of Zathrian sacrificing himself for the cure. If you’ve already saved the Mages, or haven’t saved them yet, you basically just get told “OR THE CIRCLE CAN DO IT WITH LYRIUM SAVING EVERYBODY!!”

              It’s not like I had to uncover and defeat a secret boss or whatnot to get to any of these Super Heroic Good Guy choices. It’s very, very easy to run into them without prior knowledge, and once you do run into them, they rob the choice of any dramatic power it had.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Which is why they need to play walking dead right after this.And about that game,I am so happy that they are releasing it slowly like this.I simply couldnt have handled all of the shit it throws at you in one sitting.

              2. zob says:

                In Redcliff to save everyone you lock yourself out of another choice destroying the circle.

                In Werewolf quest curing them is not the third option. Because it’s not both sides fault. Current gen. of the werewolves did nothing to Zath. In that quest you can side with the elves then double cross Zath for bonus xp and loot. Thats the third option. Another hard to get one is convincing Lady to help kill elves (that gets werewolves for the final fight).

                Finally you can’t resolve the war if Tali was exiled or Legion was killed. Which means you must use a previous savegame. So no that is not a result that everybody can achieve.

                As a caveat, forcing gamers to two(or three for that matter) bad choices for “dramatic” purposes is cheap.
                “Kill the little girl or I’ll nuke NY”,
                “Drive over kid or swerve into marketplace”
                “Throw the Sword of Aeons into vortex or Kill your sister”
                It’s not dramatic it’s writer being a dick.

          2. Klay F. says:

            Oh God, Redcliff. That was the first mission I did in DA:O. When I got to the decision, I was like, “I go the the mages to help.” I then went to do the entire mage mission. At the end of it I had forgotten about Redcliff, so I immediately went to do the Deep Roads mission. After the Deep Roads, I went back to Redcliff to finish the quest and everyone was still standing around like I had left them.

            1. Kavonde says:

              If I remember, someone mentioned that getting to the Circle and back would take a week or so, and that genuinely worried me on my first playthrough. I’d barely survived the undead siege, and figured that I’d have to go through that whole thing again if I left, so I opted to sacrifice the mom. On my second playthrough, having learned the game better and obliterated the undead with hardly a scratch, I decided to go to the Circle. I was just a bit disappointed when I came back and learned nothing bad had happened in the interim. Not even a random encounter, Bioware? Really? C’mon.

              1. Aldowyn says:

                Yeah, that would have been a much more interesting choice if there were consequences of just leaving them for a while. I actually talked about that on my blog somewhere…

  13. Volfram says:

    I have been waiting to say this for nearly a year now.


    I do not like the Asari as a race. I like Turians and Krogan, Salarians managed to grow on me with the aid of Mordin and the Spectre from ME3, but I have yet to see an Asari do something where I could say “Yeah! Go Asari person!” Liara is better than most, which puts her neutral on my scale.

    I know you guys hate her, but I like the concept of EDI, for much the same reason I really like Legion. She’s a sentient robot, which is an oppressed minority in the Mass Effect universe, and she’s still in the infant stage of learning what it’s like to be self-aware. I’ve always liked characters like that.

    I’m looking for my spoilers on Spoiler Warning. Please take EDI on a few missions? Or at least please leave the blatant appeal to male sexism on the ship and take someone interesting.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      You think EDI isn’t a blatant appeal to male sexism? Really!?

      I mean, I would like to see more EDI on these missions (I like her writing), but to say she’s less sex appeal than Liara is disingenuous.

      1. Volfram says:

        I can’t know whether EDI is more or less a blatant appeal to sexism than Liara. I haven’t seen her in action yet.

        That said, the Asari are pretty much nothing but a blatant appeal to sexism, while I find EDI interesting for reasons outlined above.

        1. Alexander The 1st says:


          Well then, take EDI on the mission to Grissom Academy. :p

          1. lurkey says:

            I don’t think Grissom remains available after Tuchanka. Oh well, EDI’s a required party member for the Cerberus base mission, where you also will find out what Cerberus did to Jack who you didn’t rescue. You bastards.

          2. Volfram says:

            I will most likely not be playing any more of Mass Effect. 3 false starts in ME1 is enough. As I commented near the beginning of this season, I suspect if I try again I’ll be found face-down, in a coma, with the game sitting in front of me. Spoiler Warning makes it bearable.

        2. ehlijen says:

          If you’ve watched this show you’ve seen EDI strut out of the smoke in high heels. That really doesn’t count as seeing her sexism in action?

          1. SleepingDragon says:

            Would you believe I actually haven’t noticed it that much? I mean, sure, it was fairly obvious to me that his was a sort of fanservice thingy, but I wasn’t really getting this whole “cleavage in your face” thing I was getting from Miranda or Samara (and I actually liked Samara’s arc quite a bit, but I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the ridiculous boob window). It may be because, not being a romance option, she’s not really advertised to the player so much.

            1. Volfram says:

              Yeah, Samara was Captain Cleavage.

              Really, it was two requests. 1: kick the Asari out of the party, and 2: could I get a look at the one party member about whom I am both unfamiliar and curious.

              1. Thomas says:

                What I disliked about Samara’s costume was it contradicts the ice-cold completely surpressed emotion thing they were going for. At least with Miranda, it turned out they didn’t do it enough for the character vibe they were after (I still can’t get over that they were thinking ‘sulry’?!)

                1. StashAugustine says:

                  Samara is really annoying cause it’s the only one that has absolutely no justification. Cleavage windows just don’t fit with the centuries-old vow-of-chastity Paladin vibe.

                  1. Klay F. says:

                    The very concept of the vow-of-chastity-Paladin is absolutely ludicrous when you cross it with the super-sexual asari. Honestly, I kind of felt sorry for Samara. She has to be the single most sexually frustrated sentient being in the known universe. I imagine that if she ever decided to bump uglies with Shepard, he or she would immediately burst into flame.

                    1. Mike S. says:

                      If all of your children are guaranteed to be monsters, a vow of chastity (however difficult) makes a lot of sense. (Obviously, modern asari would have contraception, but it’s plausible that cultural institutions predating that would persist.)

                    2. newdarkcloud says:

                      To be fair, by the time she chose to become a justicar, she had married and had three children. She wasn’t in the maiden stage where asari sex up everyone and do dangerous crap. She was in the stage where asari are more motherly and nurturing.

                      And if you try to pursue a romance with her in ME2, she says that the code doesn’t forbid it, but she’s just not interested.

                      Though I will say her costume is still pretty stupid. It should have looked a lot more like actual combat armor instead of cleavage-city.

                    3. Thomas says:

                      She does pretty much say it wouldn’t work because of the code. She says she’s interested but she’s had pretty much a thousand years training of surpressing her emotions so it’s not going to be hard for her to surpress this. That when the mission is over her bond with Shepard will be broken and it’s no practical for him to try and follow a justicar around and it wouldn’t work out (she’d probably have to kill him)

                      It’s fresh in my memory from when I had the relief of finding out she had no sex scene

      2. Her A.I.’s resemblance to a mash-up of lady-parts in ME2 was rather blatant in and of itself. I’m sure there are some at Bioware that would call her current form an improvement in the depiction of female characters.

        I’d counter that her previous body, that of an awesome warship, was good enough.

        I could also get nerd-nazi on them and say they were ripping off the Andromeda Ascendent, but that would be petty. :)

    2. Aldowyn says:

      I like the concept of Asari as a race but generally, GENERALLY not the implementation. You end up seeing WAAAAY too many strippers and mercenaries and not enough everything else.

      The maiden/matron/matriarch idea, the mind-merging and being able to mate with other species, those things seemed like good ideas that aren’t quite used to their full potential. I think it would have been interesting if it was established that Liara hit the transition from maiden to matron (which I bet she did, assuming reproduction isn’t a requirement). It’d even be an excuse to change her physically.

      1. Deadpool says:

        Samara had potential early on and ended up the least used character in all of ME2…

        1. Thomas says:

          Except for her inability to use zips

      2. Volfram says:

        I concluded that you only see human and Asari strippers because humans were the first race to think of using sex to earn money. Fits with the rest of the anthro-centricism in Mass Effect.

        The Asari strippers are volunteers.

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      *nitpick*Sapient,not sentient.*/nitpick*

      Well liara does that thing with the time capsule,which is one of the few very good scenes in this game.

      Asari had some potential.Their biotics,slight telepathy(sorry,pheromones and quantum entanglement),their planets interactions with protheans,their ability to mate with everyone,etc.That merging of minds near the end of 3 is also a nice touch(and more proof that asari are single gendered delvians).Regretfully,few of those are put ahead of their massive boobs.

      But edi is just as bad,if not worse.She has a freaking camel toe!Why the fuck does a robot have a camel toe?!!ARRRGHH!!!

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        The Illusive Man needs something else to romance in his spare time. After all, a xenophobe can only go through so many asari escorts before he needs some human(android) lovin’.

      2. Volfram says:


        That’s not shopped, is it?

        (and yes, I recall the sapience vs. sentience rant from last time, but as I understand it, modern computers are neither anyway, and the same pretty much applies to VIs in Mass Effect. Also, old habits die hard.)

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          It doesnt look photoshoped,and there are plenty of similar pictures on the web,so…I guess the reasoning was “They loved it on miranda,so lets slap it on the robot as well”.

          Weelll…some current robots do have some sentience,if you want to be technical about it.But edi is a full ai.And yes,I know how hard it is to convert.It took me quite a while,and even now I slip from time to time.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            Like Raygerio said below me, it’s not that they like/disliked it on Miranda, but they were just too lazy to remove it.

        2. Raygereio says:

          Nope. It is not shopped. Whoever did Edi’s model litarlly took Miranda’s bodymodel, slapped a new texture on it and called it a day.

      3. False Prophet says:

        Maybe some artist at BioWare watches way too much Chobits, and it’s her power switch.

  14. Rasha says:

    Wow Shamus. It’s almost like you don’t respect the amazing writing and satisfying payoffs of NWN2. Honestly the story was much better than Jade Empire. After all that plot twist was horribly contrived with no foreshadowing, consequences, or explanation afterwords. I’m just glad Bioware have gotten so much better at writing with Mass Effect 3. Okay show of hands: Who’s pissing blood despite the obvious sarcasm?

    1. Ateius says:

      You had me going for the first half or so, because NWN2 is an Obsidian game and I have legitimately seen their fanboys take that position in the past.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Oh,so thats why I had that crash at the end of tutorial that made me delete the game forever and never bother with it since.

      2. lurkey says:

        I liked NWN2. A lot, cliches and all. And “Mask of the Betrayer” was rather brilliant and smarter that anything Bioware ever wrote. I just started the third expansion and it’s interesting how different it is in tone, less focus on storytelling, more on IWD style hack’n’slashing. However, I’m really not going to froth and fume at your dislike, because why? Your tastes in gaming is not my business. Besides, “Jade Empire”, while it had its pools and inklings of stupid, was rather well-written, had some memorable characters and was very, very beautiful. And compared with what followed – that dunce KOTOR, which I swear killed more of my braincells than all the booze I consumed in my lifetime – genial.

        1. Raygereio says:

          I always find it funny that when I hear people praise Bioware’s writing, they always mention Kotor and it’s BIG TWIST!! Funny thing is that big twist was hilariously badly set up: it was as subtle as a truck of nitro slamming into a porcelain factory.

          But people who praise Bioware in my experience almost never mention Jade Empire. Which certainly had its flaws, but had a really well executed big twist.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            What about baldurs gate and hordes of the underdark?Those are the ones I always default to when praising bioware.

            1. Raygereio says:

              One day… One faithfull day I will gather up the courage needed to face the horror known as D&D 2nd edition and play those infinity engine games.

              Anyway, I was more referring to poor Jade Empire and how most people seem to want to forget about it. It’s just weird to me because it’s not a bad game.

              1. Khizan says:

                Pick Fighter, Ranger, or Paladin and it’s not bad at all, since you can win most of the fights just with rightclicking.

                In BG2, I recommend Cavalier Paladin, Archer Ranger, or Berserker Fighter as subclasses.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                And no time is better for that than when they finally release the enhanced edition.

            2. lurkey says:

              BG 1 and 2 were really good, witty and made sense. Or it can be just them rose-tinted glasses, what with BG2 being my 2nd RPG and all. Should reinstall one day and see.

              Hordes…I went into it with everyone around me praising its brilliant writing on par with Planescape: Torment. Expectations were, shall we say, not really met. It was better written than original campaign and first expansion, but just that.

              1. Klay F. says:

                My advice: When someone says something rivals Planescape: Torment’s writing, you should immediately call bullshit.

                1. Raygereio says:

                  You speak as someone who hasn’t played Mask of the Betrayer.

                  1. Zukhramm says:

                    Can’t blame him as it runs an the NWN2 engine.

      3. Rasha says:

        It was only supposed to work for the first half. If it went the whole way I wasn’t being nearly obvious enough. Last sentence was a guaranteed end of rage because even I can’t let the gullible believe that was sincere.

  15. Okay, those who are more familiar with TV Tropes than I, help me out here. This “use the shroud to cure what it caused” thing was similar to something on a recent episode of Doctor Who. Basically, it seems to be a trope in sci-fi and fantasy where you basically flip a switch and whatever a macguffin does, it now does the exact opposite or puts everything back to the way it was.

    If the black box disintegrates people, flipping it on its head will re-integrate them, good as new. If it caused cancer, it now cures cancer. If it set things on fire, now it covers them in ice.

    The best trope I could find was “Reverse the Polarity,” but that wasn’t quite it. Is there a better one?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The shroud is just a dispersal method.It didnt cause the genophage,it didnt cure it,it merely dispersed the virus and the cure,like a syringe.The heart attack machine on the other hand did cause heart attacks,and did reverse them.

      1. And how do you know the heart attacks weren’t just one of many dispersals the cubes could generate and then reverse? Hmm? HMMMMM?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Even if they do,they still were designed to cause heart attacks.The shroud wasnt designed to cause genophage.

  16. Wow. I’m sure it’s been mentioned before, but the Krogan female’s voice is a really lazy effort on Bioware’s part.

    “Hey, you know how we remixed the male Krogan voice to sound kind of like it was coming out of something reptilian with a chest the size of a Honda?”
    “What about the female version? You just told the voice actress to do a Dolph Lundgren imitation and didn’t change a thing.”
    “You’re the one who made me change it from a falsetto with a Bronx accent. What more do you want?”

    1. Ateius says:

      While we’re on it, I like how they apparently have no idea how to make a Krogan female visually distinct from male Krogan, so they just toss a space-burqa on her and call it “job done”.

      1. The space-burqa would totally be worth it if she tore it off at some point, revealing Krogan females to have foot-long razor-sharp teeth framed by mighty tusks on which they impale the skulls of their enemies, a mane of prehensile tentacles ending in poisoned barbs, and wicked-cool camouflage pigmentation on their skin, helping them to blend into their environment.

        Which is (1) incredibly sexy, by Krogan standards and (2) a whole new field of romancing for Sheps of both kinds.

      2. ehlijen says:

        I actually like that you can see some difference without needing to have the Krogan females be underdressed. In the scenes where she walks next to Wrex you can see the difference in the leg stance and even with the face mostly hidden, you can cearly tell that the head is shaped differently. Is it cheap that they all used the same model? A little, but they reuse Traynor’s model as well, it’s not alien gender restricted.

  17. Rutskarn: In your last line, did you really substitute “centrifuge” for “subterfuge?” Are you whipper-snappers now making your incomprehensible texting and internet “lingo” incorporate laboratory equipment into a kind of Cockney Rhyming-Science-Slang?

    Next thing you’ll all be wearing lab coats, which will at least cover up the atrocities revealed by your baggy jeans. Now get your test tubes off of my lawn!

  18. rrgg says:

    So I had a little bit of miscommunication during this part. I kept getting the option to reveal the sabotage to the Krogan but didn’t want to cause yet another international incident so I kept it quiet. When I finally reached the shroud with Mordin I was like “Hey, there’s this sabotage that you can easily fix and I didn’t want to tell the Krogans about it because, you know, they’re still a little on edge about everything. But don’t worry, I trust you!” Big grin, double thumbs up.

    So Mordin smiles back and is like “Oh, thanks Shepard!” Then he walks into the next room and promptly explodes. . .

    wait wtf!?!

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      Did he cure the genophage?

      Because if he did, he does still die after releasing the cure.

      1. Kavonde says:

        Yeah, the sabotage would have just slowed Mordin down (or screwed over Replacement Salarian) had you not mentioned it. The Shroud was still going to explode regardless, thanks to Reaperzilla and Wormra.

      2. rrgg says:

        And that’s why I never cured the genophage again.

  19. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Too late now, but you should have kept it a secret. Mordin’s “I made a mistake” monologue is the single best piece of writing in the game.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      If only it wasnt completely reversing everything from the previous game.

      1. Thomas says:

        hmmm… I really think Mordin had that constant vibe underneath the surface throughout the whole of ME2.

        Shepard: How did you go from that to running a clinic on Omega?
        Mordin: Wanted to heal people. Good use of last decade. Something easy. No ethical concerns. Understand rational for modified genophage. Right Choice. Still hard to sleep some nights.

        Also although it’s the same as above. This quote attracted my attention, I forgot Mordin used the phrase before ME2:
        Mordin: Not easy. Sometimes wish I wasn’t as intelligent. Choice would have fallen on someone else. Not my problem. Fools wish. Had to be me. Others might have gotten it wrong.

        So we know that Mordin’s always had emotional problems with the decision in the way he didn’t have emotional problems with say, killing the Blue Suns mercs who attacked Omega. Something didn’t jibe with his philosophy. But I agree Mordin would still surpress emotions if he had to to make the right decision (although it’s important to stress that he normally doesn’t have regretful emotions about most pragmatic decisions)

        but then we have this quote also from ME2:
        Mordin: Scientifically Brilliant. But ethically difficult. Krogran reaction visceral tragic. Not guilty but responsible. Trained as doctor. Genophage doesn’t affect sterility. Doesn’t kill. Still caused this. Hard to see big picture behind pile of corpses. … Refuse to believe life ends here. Have so much more to offer. Mistakes to fix. Cannot end here.

        … but even then we’ve got to notice whilst he doesn’t seem to have predicted such a violent reaction from the Krogan and that tips the scales slightly and he thinks he’s got mistakes, he still believes his actions were correct.

        But the crux comes later when Maelon is arguing that a Krogan rebellion would have led to a more military council that would have prevented deaths in the war against Seren. In the end he says simulations predict that the genophage was a correct reaction.

        And what happens in ME3, whilst doing his small scale ‘keep in touch’ work, he discovers Eve and realises that in her (and in Wrex if alive) there is a stabilising element in Krogan society that the models could never have predicted. They always assumed that the person who would end up influential in Krogan society was a warlord who’d fought his way to the top, but Eve was a powerful beneficial figure who could have taken that place.

        So he realises the simulations were wrong. He made the right choice at the time, but it turns out the Krogan were ready, his simulation was wrong and in hindsight, he’d made a mistake. If Eve dies you can talk him back into realising there’s no hope for the Krogan and he won’t cure them.

        1. Kavonde says:

          Hear, hear. My thoughts precisely, and that’s why I never had a problem with Mordin’s change of heart, even after he’d thoroughly convinced me of the genophage’s necessity in ME2.

          Simple rule of morality = necessary > right, but if something is neither necessary nor right, it’s bad.

        2. Khizan says:

          This is everything I wanted to say on the subject, so I won’t repeat it.

          I will add though, that it’s not just Eve, it’s also the fact that Wrex is a strong and capable leader who did fight his way to the top on Tuchanka and that he also genuinely wants to avoid vengeance and rebellions. He wants the krogan to rebuild and reclaim their history, saying that war’s never led them to anything but misery.

          That’s why Mordin can’t be convinced to abandon the cure unless both Wrex and Eve are dead.

    2. lurkey says:

      I was about to retort with something incredibly witty like “and by best, you meant “worst”, amirite?” but then remembered Kai Leng, EDI, space brat, endings…it is not the worst. :(

  20. rrgg says:

    I found it kind of interesting that the “proof” that Wrex is smarter then Wreave is the fact that if you choose to sabotage the cure while Wreave is in charge he will never figure it out for the rest of the game and you suffer no negative consequences whatsoever.

    You can even convince Mordin to fake his own death and go help with the crucible.

  21. Bryan says:

    Shame! You’re back! :-P

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes,we want more Shame!Shamus should legally change his name to Shame.

      1. I liked him better when he was Sh. Then he totally sold out.

  22. Luhrsen says:

    I still want to know why nobody thought it would be a good idea to use these planetwrecker bombs on the Reapers….

    1. Deadpool says:

      For the same reason the Reapers didn’t decide to harvest the colonies and just dropped an asteroid on the highly defended home worlds…

      1. Klay F. says:

        This just goes to show that (once again) nobody in the galaxy believes the reapers are a genuine threat.

        1. This is all because the writers are fans of the old movie, Erik the Viking, especially the scene involving the city of Hy Brazil.

          I mean, any other reason would just be madness.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Or one of those cains.You know,the ones that shoot plot holes.

  23. Wraith says:

    Wait, I thought Shamus said Chris was out this week, but he appears about 15 minutes in.


    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Not even the shackles of a wife on the first wedding night can keep Chris from spoiler warning.Thats one dedicated trooper!

      1. I’m waiting for the YouTube video where Chris analyzes the gamification of wedding planning and how it compares to linear laserdisc games like “Dragon’s Lair” or “Space Ace.” In the second part, the results of each event in the honeymoon is laid out as an example of how a decently-crafted conversation tree can lead to many different and varied endings, though the best seem to be if you choose the Renegade options.

        1. Abnaxis says:

          I’m stopping short of the diatribe on the kinaethetic properties of honeymoon activities.

  24. Jokerman says:

    I think curing the genophage with wreav in charge is madness, cant trust the guy – in my playthrough with wrex alive i was fine with curing it….

    1. Thomas says:

      … I have to admit, I cured it with Wreave alive and Eve dead… I just wanted to hope that it wouldn’t be like that again, that the Krogan had learned. Maybe the STG would need to assassinate Wreave, but I wanted to believe things could work out right (another reason I’m glad the ending didn’t ‘resolve’ how these things did end up working out. If they tell you how it is, you can’t hope and you think of ways to circumvent, like them basically telling you that if you save the Collector ship, TIM is going to have a mad science field day. If they don’t tell you, you can believe that Shepard contacted the council and piloted them to the ship, gave them evidence that the Reapers were alive, and the council, finally convinced blockaded the Omega relay and blew up any Cerberus ship at first sight)

  25. Zaxares says:

    The Shroud plot-hole was already corrected by people in the very first post, so I’ll refrain from addressing it some more. ;)

    I agree that this whole mission is one of the two best moments in ME3. It offers you a really, REALLY difficult moral choice where both options have good arguments for and against. Things can also play out very differently in the end-game depending on whether Mordin survived from ME2, Wrex survived from ME1 and whether you convinced Mordin to save Maelon’s data from his loyalty mission in ME2. It’s a remarkably complex situation where Bioware managed to account for all the possible different outcomes in a very satisfying way.

    12:35: The SHURIKEN?! Josh, I am disappoint. :( I HATE that gun. It is without a doubt THE most useless SMG in ME3. You can’t even pulse it the way you could in ME2 to increase its damage output anymore. Yes, I know you have no other SMGs, but I’d rather bring the Avenger with me rather than the Shuriken.

  26. Thomas says:

    Okay, I’ve held this in two long. The Krogan look stupid as warriors in a modern setting. Whenever they hold a shotgun, it doesn’t even look like they’ve got long enough arms to actually point it at anything. It looks like if you push a Krogan over, they can’t do anything but wiggle helplessly on the ground because their arms and legs aren’t long enough to stand back upright. The only way a Krogan can repair a vehicle is if every component is within the a rulers length of a surface, because there’s no way they can slide under a car with heads that big.

    How many Krogan does it take to change a lightbulb? 1/0 because their arms are too frickin’ short

  27. Ellery says:

    Wow, can anyone explain this to me?

    “He get married, strength and try. Brian tramples many goats! Two tribes be in alliance till end of moon.”

    The others laughed like it was a quote, so I thought “Oh, a quote I don’t know, what’s that from?”

    Is this a quote from somewhere else in the show, or another season? Or just random stuff? It was really funny, but if you search for any of these phrases, they are not to be found online :-p

    1. Shamus says:

      Not a quote. Just absurdism. What I heard:

      “He get married, strength and try. Bride trade for many goods! Two tribes be in alliance till end of moon”


      It sort of WAS a quote. I say, “She get-a maddied” once in a long while when talking about marriage. This is a super-obscure quote from the 1984 John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles:

      The character of Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong was an awful racist stereotype and I admit to being an awful person for still finding his shtick funny. Anyway, he says, “She get married” in the movie, and that quote slipped out in the show.

      1. Ellery says:

        Thanks for spelling that out for me Shamus!

        Even if it wasn’t a quote before, it is now! …that’s the magic of Spoiler Warning. Great work you guys :-D

      2. Deadpool says:

        Sixteen Candles is super obscure? I’m either a LOT older than I thought or you’re being facetious…

        1. It has become obscure, especially among younger demographics. You’ll get the same response by quoting “Real Genius” or, even in some cases, “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.”

          It’s kind of like how quoting Gilbert & Sullivan plays was probably the same back in the day as quoting Monty Python is now. G&S are still around, but fewer people are familiar enough with the material for it to be a model of a modern meme in general.

          1. Mike S. says:

            Ouch. :-)

            (And I’m sure you’re right about both 80s movies and G&S, but it saddens me in both cases.)

        2. Zukhramm says:

          A specific quote can be more obscure than the movie it comes from.

    2. Keeshhound says:

      They’re comparing the original message Chris sent to stereotypical cave-man speech patterns.

      That is the joke.

      1. Explain humor destroy funny-magic!

        You am play gods!

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          No!Am help fellow poster.

        2. Abnaxis says:

          i am truley sorry for your lots

            1. Zukhramm says:

              This is fnny because there was a thing on the internet.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                There wsa?I onyl hear it this mroing.

  28. Abnaxis says:

    OK, seriously, where did Ruts hide the camera in my home?

    I just showed the “Babby” cavemen to my wife last week (I don’t remember what brought the topic up in conversation)? A four-year old meme coming up twice in the same week is just TOO coincidental…

  29. Otters34 says:

    Whoa, Lt. Victus had a good upper-body exercise regimen.
    Also, finally, we FINALLY get a deeper insight into what turian culture is like! In the LAST game. What?! We get scattered hints about what the various species’ cultures are like, then in the final game the writers decide “Eh, we might as well actually show what these people are like instead of having them be humans with weird heads.”

    1. Raygereio says:

      we FINALLY get a deeper insight into what turian culture is like! In the LAST game.

      Not really. Garus told us more in ME1 about Turian culture and society then we see in ME3.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Also Codex. Everything is in the codex.

        1. Otters34 says:

          There is that. I mean more like having to deal with actual cultural differences, needing to persuade a turian to put their own wishes ahead of their groups’ and having it be super-hard, or something.

  30. Paul Spooner says:

    So, the whole making farting noises while someone is talking to you? That’s my boss. He’s the project manager in a fairly large engineering firm. I never understood how he got away with it, but this makes it all clear. Renegade interrupts work in real life! (but only if you have enough charisma and go drinking with the other medium level muck-a-mucks. Don’t try this at home kids.)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So what youre saying is that renegade interrupts work as long as you do them like a boss?

  31. Thomas says:

    I remembered why Chris thought the conversation would interrupt. If Wrex is dead (default playthrough) then you get interrupted every time you try (presumably because Wreave would flip too hard for the story to flow, also giving you time to take back your terrible terrible decision) and it won’t let tell them until your last chance and the place where it would diverge the story the least for the mission, at the end

  32. Jason says:

    Man, I wish you’d gone to Grissom Academy. So long, Jack.

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