Mass Effect EP17: Kilotons for Kaiden

By Shamus Posted Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 59 comments

Link (YouTube)

See, this is another classic example of how BioWare didn’t plan ahead. In this part of the game we clearly KILLED KAIDEN IN A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, and yet in the first five minutes of the next game they retcon the whole thing and have him alive again with no explanation. This failure to plan is why the whole thing is such a-

Oh. Right. That was Josh’s fault because he brought Kaiden back to life using a save editor. Um. Yeah. Still, the point stands that Kaiden totally had it coming.

We’re nearing the end of the Mass Effect re-watch. After this we’ll begin reposting the Fallout 3 episodes. I’m really looking forward to that. I haven’t seen those eps since they first aired, and I suspect I’ve forgotten a lot of them.


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59 thoughts on “Mass Effect EP17: Kilotons for Kaiden

  1. Amnestic says:

    How often do you (and the rest of the SW crew) rewatch old stuff, out of interest? I guess Josh sees a lot more of it since he does all the fancypants editing and whatnot.

    I killed Ashley every time, for the record. Kaiden was…boring, but inoffensive. Ashley (almost) shot Wrex.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I killed kaidan the first time I got here.But then I played me2 and ashley was a massive bitch,so next time not only did she die,but I avoided her every time I had the chance.

      1. Mattias42 says:

        I really liked Kaidans version of that scene in the second game. One of the few times Bioware has nailed both voice and body language in my opinion.

        He’s as reserved and polite as always, but you can really tell his mind is screaming; “Shepard! He’s ALIVE! And with Cerberus! How dare he not tell me either!!!”

        And at the same time Mark Meer does a bang up job of selling “Sorry, would have really liked to, but I was busy being dead.”

        Compered to Ashley that is more or less just jelling at you… No contest. A good fit for her character, I will grant it that, but being boring intentionally is still being boring.

        1. Thomas says:

          I give Ashley and Kaidan a hard time as being boring people but this bit was surprisingly difficult in the end. I had planned to kill Kaidan because I figured he had his life sorted and Ashley had more to learn before she bowed out. But then it turned out Ashley was religious (you can give Shepard a religion in ME1? It blew my mind) and I figure that meant Ashley was either sorted or it didn’t matter so Kaidan could profit more by living.

          It was nice, in ME2 I always felt choosing which one lived was like flipping a coin and right up until I actually chose in ME1 I was worried the choice was going to be meaningless because I just couldn’t care or differentiate one, but in the end they’d managed to provide enough information for quite a complex choice. (Although I was sad that it turns out I didn#t need to send Ashley off and could have given her a last mission with the crew)

          1. Mattias42 says:

            Speaking of the religion choice, was that even one of the things carried over in saves?

            It most certainly didn’t get mentioned again…

            1. Amnestic says:

              The only time I recall a mention of Shepard’s religion after that is the final conversation with Garrus in Mass Effect 3 before the “big push”, in which you both agree to meet up in heaven.

              I always interpreted it as Shepard going along with it because he needed to hear something like that considering the situation they were in. The scene wasn’t about Shepard’s religion, but about Garrus and Shepard’s relationship (romantic or otherwise).

              1. Mattias42 says:

                I had honestly forgotten that scene!

                Shepard and Vakarian, storming heaven!

                I got completely misty-eyed the first time I saw that, but now?

                Only the ghost of an amber in my heart, forged from remembrance of where a mighty flame of passion once danced…

                That bloody ending has a lot to answer for.

                *Edit.*Fixed faulty link.

      2. lurkey says:

        Dude, do you honestly fault her for bitching at Shepard collaborating with Cerberus? Because she might be impulsive and blunt and brash, but she’s damn right to heap piles and piles of shame on Shep. Hah, were I in her place, I’d burn Shepard with waaaaay more contempt, because Cerberus? Really, Shepard? You that braindead? >:-[

        Also every bit of distrust those two throw at Shep in ME3 is justified and well earned – detach yourself from omnipresent third person view and you’ll see it’s true.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          And yet,the two extra terrestrials,who went through all the same shit with you,trust you explicitly.

          But its not just that she doesnt trust you,its her “Why didnt you call me?!Yeah,so what if you were dead,you shouldve called!And so what if I was on a secret mission and unavailable,you shouldve called!”.

        2. Amnestic says:

          I fault her for refusing to listen to me or Garrus. The Council made me a Spectre again. They trusted me enough to acquiesce – even the Turian Councillor, but Ashley/Kaidan doesn’t?

        3. Mike S. says:

          The game doesn’t really explain why they can’t just sit down on Horizon in ME2 and compare notes, though. If the reasons for working with Cerberus are decreed to be (somehow) sufficient for Shepard, why can’t they be conveyed to Kaidan or Ashley, either there or during the six months imprisonment?

          Especially since by that point in the story, most of my Shepards have touched base with Anderson, who could have slapped the big magnets on the new Normandy at the Citadel if so inclined. He not only trusts Shepard but generally arranges reinstatement as a Spectre. Hackett is shown in Lair of the Shadow Broker to be running interference for Shepard. And everyone else Shepard worked with in the first game is willing to give the benefit of the doubt. The Virmire survivor (who may be a love interest) being uniquely distrustful seems kind of odd.

          1. Mattias42 says:

            Rely good points.

            At least Kaidan has a line about “Sorry, commander. But I have my own mission now.” (Paraphrased.)

            It has been quite a while, but isn’t Ashleys equivalent line something about trust and how you should have told her, but to late now. (Also paraphrased)

            It is more then a little insulting if you think about it, but I think that Bioware intended Kaidan to be logical and analytical, while Ashley is emotionally and intuition driven…

            1. lurkey says:

              They were this in ME1, and in ME2 they basically became the same person. I’m not 100% certain if they were given identical lines, but they were extremely similar at least. Only – because of delivery mayhap? – Kaidan sounds passive-aggressive and Ash – aggressive².

              1. Mattias42 says:

                Took a while but I found the non romance version of both scenes.



                On re-viewing they are vary similar, more so then I remember, but I still think Kaidan has the best performance. Not by as much as I remember though.

                I do think it is small but important detail that Kaidan shows shades of being happy, angry and disappointed through out the whole conversation.
                Ashley just goes from being awestruck, to happy and ends the reunion sounding pissed as heck.

                It’s probably personal preference, but to me the later sounds more “artificial”, for lack of better term. Like someone stood in the studio with emotional que-cards.

          2. lurkey says:

            Because they are the only sane people left? :P Well, them and Tela Vasir from the Lair of Shadow Bowser. Honestly, Anderson explicitly trusting Shepz and Council reinstating her and Admiral Hack It giving leeway is more nonsensical and stupid than Kashley mistrusting her. Because again – Cerberus.

            Garrus, Grunt & Co doesn’t really count because they’re Shepard’s dudebros first and foremost and don’t give a fig about Alliance anyway.

            As for “So what if you were dead, you should’ve called!!!”, I actually found it rather cute. :-) Realistic, too – significant others say things like that sometimes. Mums, all the time.

            1. Amnestic says:

              Vasir doesn’t think bad of you for working with Cerberus, she just takes exception to you being all self-righteous about her working with the Shadow Broker (if you choose to do so) because her+SB are the same as you+Cerberus, in her eyes. A necessary thing that Spectres do to secure galactic peace.

              At least, that’s how I interpreted that scene. She just objected to any hypocrisy you might show towards her, rather than the nature of your arrangement with TIM.

              1. lurkey says:

                Well, I might remember wrong, but she said something along “Don’t you dare to judge me, you who work for the filthiest scum in whole universe”. I had an impression that for her it were Shadow Broker >>>…> a piece of dogshit > Cerberus.

                1. Thomas says:

                  I did also interpret it Amnestic’s way. Maybe the point could still be at least the Shadow Broker isn’t as bad as Cerberus, but that’s still basically a hypocrisy thing, because it wouldn’t be justification to work for the SB. She helps a bad organisation to do good and you help a worse organisation to do good, rather than it being about the SB being a specific level of bad where it doesn’t matter and Ceberus crossing that line

                  1. Mike S. says:

                    I think Shepard can reasonably point out that shooting bad guys on Cerberus’s dime >>>> shooting up an inhabited building to– unsuccessfully — get one target.

                    For all the attempt to make ME2 about gray alliances with terrorists and crime bosses, Shepard never actually has to do anything terribly compromised. She can even upload secret Cerberus data to the Alliance without it bugging TIM or Miranda. And as soon as TIM asks for some quid pro quo in the form of the Collector Base, Shepard can blow the thing up while hanging onto everything he gave her.

                    Cerberus has a long history of feeding people to thresher maws and kidnapping children, but Shepard isn’t really asked to be complicit in any of their harebrained murder schemes. (She’s not even letting TIM go free by inaction, since she doesn’t know where he is to arrest him.)

                    1. Thomas says:

                      This, she definitely wasn’t justified. Shepard does absolutely nothing to help Ceberus, in fact she causes Cerberus to divert large amounts of resources to a project outside of their goal in Alliance command for a good cause.

                      The only charge you can level at Shepard is a)She lets Ceberus live and b)Maybe she’s slightly condoning their existence and actions by working with them.

                      I really wish they’d invented a new organisation instead of using Ceberus though. They only screwed up their message with using Ceberus in particular (apart from anything, Cerberus were pretty much hushed up and an underground secret organisation yet everyone in the universe knows who they are just what, one/two years later?)

        4. Mattias42 says:


          For me that scene had already taken place, but better, with Kaidan. (I actually liked the series at one time that I had a “Bizzaro” Shepard save. I did not bother playing that one in 3…)

          Again, I do think that it fits her character, but I found her boring even to begin with.

          Her big character moment in the first game is even “By the way, I’m Christan. You don’t mind, do you?” Need I say more?

          She’s just so… Plain and normal. My opinion, but that is not what I play games for.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            I seem to recall her being distinctly mistrustful of aliens, at least at first… that’s the thing I usually remember about her.

            1. Mattias42 says:

              That and the poetry.

              Point for originality, but her character simply didn’t work for me.

              Although the “O Captain! My Captain!” bit was a really nice piece of foreshadowing, I will grant it that.

              1. Mike S. says:

                I like Ashley better than average, but I found her use of that line singularly misplaced. When someone’s expressing romantic interest in me, I’d prefer she not use a line that’s about mourning a dead man.

                (It can be considered foreshadowing, but unless Ashley doesn’t understand the poem she’s supposed to like so much, why is she choosing to use it here?)

                1. Protocol95 says:

                  I do like in that scene how you can call her out on her misuse of that poem.

          2. Mike S. says:

            She’s not even explicitly Christian, just theist. (Some brand of Christian seems likely, but it’s not spelled out.)

  2. swenson says:


    Now that my pet peeve’s out of the way…

    I go back and forth on who I kill here. Usually it’s Ashley because I like Kaidan more than her, but I’ve grown to like her significantly more than I did my first run through.

    1. Shamus says:

      What? They even retconned the spelling of Kaiden’s name which was totally spelled with an E all along and not something I just misspelled!?! Is there no end to their meddling?

      I see that they patched the original game to reflect the new spelling. They even removed all traces of the old spelling from the Wiki. And now that I’m looking closer, I see they also edited the original Spoiler Warning subtitles. Truly their deception knows no limits.

      Ah well, at least they didn’t mess with the spelling of Krogen.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Major Adam Savage channeling.

  3. Z-Ri says:

    I’m also excited for the return of season 2, I think it was the season that really set the foundation for the rest of the show.

    It birthed Reginald, established Ruts as the Pun King, and I think the first time josh said “Stop shooting me” was in there too.

    There wasn’t a lot of room for game analysis, between inventory management, inane NPC dialog and Josh chucking grenades everywhere but it was still a really fun season.

    1. James says:

      and pants mining, god i love pants mining

    2. Mike says:

      Pity all the Funkorama comments at the end titles will be gone ;(

      1. James says:

        i do miss the viddler comments bar thingie, youtube needs to steal that once viddler goes under from sucide

        1. Mike says:

          Maybe viddler has some patent for it?

          And it’d have to be disabled by default on YouTube anyway… hell, it helps disabling even non-overlapping comments there, in case you might scroll the page down by pure accident.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Dont you see that the synthetics will destroy us all?Our only choice is to ally with the reapers and let them kill us before other synthetics manage to do so.And in order to ally with the reapers,we should totally ally with other synthetics,and help them kill as many organics as possible.It makes perfect sense!Im not indoctrinated,damn it!

  5. Jokerman says:

    Cant wait to rewatch Fallout 3, that series was mental.

    1. James says:

      Shamus’s comments should be fun, after all SW ripped that game to shreds and made me see a game i thought i loved and made me think, FUCK ME this game is ugly and poorly written with some dreadful design choices (still love F3 though but not as much as i did)

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Theres nothing wrong in liking stupid stuff.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          Especially something like Fallout.

          I mean, you don’t exactly play Fallout for the main story, now do you? (Which is most of what I remember being torn apart)

          1. Amnestic says:

            To be fair, the main story did have Liam Neeson!

      2. Jokerman says:

        Yea ill admit Spoiler warning did make me see that game in a dimmer light than before.

  6. James says:

    Speaking of retcons. i cant believe that just up and changed Sheapard’s sex, and gave him/her a not fucking monotonous voice actor, who in the same tone can complain about the woe of a race, as he does about someone eating the last hobnob, i don’t know how much of it was Mark Meer and how much of it was fucking awful directing, but none of their other games seam to suffer from a god awful Main VA as MaleShep, (see the Sith inquiz and Imp Agent in ToR for some amazing Voice Work)

    on a side note, ive been spoiled by 720 and 1080p 460p looks odd, and compressed combined with youtubes normal compression, it looks soo pixely

    1. Mattias42 says:

      I know this to be nerd heresy, but I cannot stand Jennifer Hale in the Mass Effect series.

      She has done some really good voices in past, like Trishka in Bulletstorm for example, but FemShep?

      I tried a FemShep once because I had heard such praise for the voice performance, but I didn’t even get past the citadel. She constantly sounds as if she is about to fly across the room and start biting!

      “Snarl, snarl snarl!” YOU dare threaten ME! “Even angrier snarl!”

      Mark Meer may be a bit to subtle sometimes, but at least MaleShep is capable of more emotions then rage.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Hmm. I’m pretty sure she’s still better than Meer as Paragon, but not nearly as much. I’d have to play a female Paragon…

        She’s WAY better at renegade than Meer, though.

        1. Mattias42 says:

          From what I have seen on YouTube she grew into the role, but those first hours of ME1? Completely soured my on FemShep.

          To my ears she sounded like someone shifting between slightly pissed off and a berserker without a shield to bite into.

          At all times. To everyone. Even that poor grieving widower.

          Might have had something with me trying a renegade, but that was the point I deleted my version of her in disgust.

      2. Indy says:

        Reading Jennifer Hale’s imdb page is really interesting. I didn’t know she was Dory from Finding Nemo or that she was in Halo 4.

        1. Deadpool says:

          She’ll always be Fall-From-Grace to me…


        2. anaphysik says:

          “Dory from Finding Nemo”

          Well, she really *wasn’t.* Video game adaptations don’t really count :/ (Although what I didn’t know is that Ellen DeGeneres *did* voice Dory in the movie – my brother will be hyped to know that, since for some reason he’s a big fan of hers.)

    2. Irridium says:

      I’d say it’s the voice direction, not Mark Meer.

      Meer plays quite a bit of the Dwarves in Dragon Age, as well as a few misc roles in the Mass Effect series. But you never notice them, because he’s actually decent and it seems he’s been told to talk in the most boring way possible.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        I’m pretty sure this is Meer’s first role as a PC, and that makes a difference I think.

      2. Mattias42 says:

        I know it is not the cool thing to say but I think Mark Meer did a brilliant job with Shepard across the whole trilogy.

        My opinion, but I thought MaleShep acted as befitted a commander. Even temperament and voice, with just enough emotion most of the time to show at how he really feels.

        Like for example when he meets Doctor Chakwas in the second game. Subdued, but clearly surprised and happy to see her.
        Or the flirting with Tali’Zorah Vas Normandy in the destroyer where he is clearly enjoying himself while keeping a mostly straight face.

        Those kind of things, the acting impressed my at least.

        1. Artur CalDazar says:

          Both Meer and Hale to great work, they are talented people. Shame you don’t get to see their best when they are Shepard.

          Also, Yay for the FO3 season.

  7. Steve-O says:

    Your Fallout 3 series got me started watching you guys and it’s priceless. I’ve watched the full season 2-3 times now. Although your commentary is great, it’s Josh’s ability to find bugs and run around like a lunatic that truly makes this season.

    1. Jokerman says:

      Josh has an amazing ability to find bugs, even in Half Life 2 he was able too.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Josh can find a bug in a hello world program.When it is written on paper.

      2. Mike says:

        I think it’s an interesting idea – maybe there is a great niche for QA testers making their work public (and not just wrt games, generally flaws in anything can be hilarious when put into right perspective)… need to look it up.

      3. Indy says:

        To be fair, that is the Let’s Player’s curse. Start filming a game and it will bug out in unimaginable ways.

        1. Mattias42 says:

          Wonder if anyone has tried to utilize that for testing purposes?

          The “curse” is somewhat well known after all and most recording software is much cheaper then developer programs…

  8. some random dood says:

    It kinda hurts hearing some of these old Spoiler Warnings when you know how things eventually turn out. From this one, the conversation that went (something like):
    “…play a character that shoots first and asks questions after.”
    “I don’t think that’s even possible in a Bioware game.”

    Well, think ME3 and action mode (or whatever it’s called – the opposite of the story mode) means it is now possible…

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