Running into WallsPrevious Post
So, the history of Mass Effect. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:
The Rachni invaded the galaxy and it was bad. They were winning and nobody could figure out how to make them go away. Then the Salarians discovered the semi-primitive Krogan, handed them space-age weapons, and threw them at the problem.
The Krogan… in Space!
The Salarians discovered the Krogan and introduced them to the world of interstellar travel and galactic future toys. With space age guns and armor they were more powerful than ever, and their natural aggression made them want to fight the Rachni. All the Salarians had to do was equip them and give them a lift, and they had an almost endless supply of fearless bloodthirsty badasses to throw at the Rachni problem.
This was a very Salarian solution. You can probably see the unintended consequences coming, but the idea had a clever simplicity about it that let the Salarians defend the galaxy without putting their fragile butts in direct combat.
For the Krogan, it was the ultimate dream: An epic galactic war which depended on their unique talents. A chance to face a truly powerful foe using weapons they’d never even dreamed of. Their warrior culture drove them to fight, expand, conquer, and destroy. And here was a seemingly endless supply of enemies for them to chew on and numerous worlds for them to grab. It would be like if Yahtzee Croshaw was transported to a galaxy where there was an evil alien armada that could only be defeated through creative swearing. You can bet it would take him a long, long time to get homesick.
It was the perfect solution, right up until the moment the Krogan pushed the Rachni all the way back to their own homeworld and then killed them, right down to the last bug.
The Rachni vs. The Krogan
The Krogan were correctly hailed as saviors of the galaxy. While it’s tough to prove what would happen in the road not taken, just about everyone agreed that the Rachni would have supplanted all sapient life the galaxy if not for the Krogans. The Rachni never cared for diplomacy and never seemed to have any goals beyond “kill everyone else”. They didn’t just want to conquer, they wanted to exterminate. You could argue that the Rachni genocide was wrong (the game allows your character to adopt this position, although I can’t think of anyone outside your party that thinks this way) although it’s tough to see how they could ever peacefully co-exist with other races. Whatever their problem was, it was something innate. If they wouldn’t sue for peace even on the brink of their own extinction, then there was probably no set of circumstances where they would ever live peaceably. Their race was defective in the sense that it was 100% incompatible with other sapient life.
Since they seemed to be able to travel through space without the aid of technology, it wasn’t even possible to strand them on some sort of “nature reserve” planet. You couldn’t contain them and you couldn’t reason with them. They were trying to kill us, right up until the moment the Krogan stepped on the last Rachni and ended the war.
End of the Rachni Wars
But this debate over the genocide of the Rachni is moot anyway, because nobody was strong enough to hold the Krogan’s leash. They were driven to fight. The Rachni were driven to fight. The two of them were going to fight until one of them exterminated the other, and the rest of the galaxy couldn’t do much more than watch. Maybe the Citadel races could have tried to pull the Krogan back into line by cutting off their high-tech supplies. (I think it’s safe to assume that the Krogan never had the expertise to fabricate the fuel, ammunition, and other crucial supplies needed to keep their forces going.) But this would just leave them with the original problem of what to do with the unstoppable Rachni. (And the Krogan might have turned on them as well.) There was no way the Citadel races had the strength to stop the conflict on their own terms. Once the Krogan genie was out of the bottle, there was no going back.
After the war, the Krogan were given the conquered Rachni planets along with other colonies for their help. But since these worlds were all far more hospitable than the Krogan homeworld Tuchanka, the Krogan numbers exploded.
The Krogan are innately aggressive and fearless. It’s a feature of their race, and the reason they survived in an environment that would have driven any other species to extinction. But without the hostile forces of their homeworld to hold them in check they were breeding like crazy. Pretty soon they filled the worlds they controlled.
Perhaps colloquially known to historians as, “Shit, we should have seen this coming.” This was when the Krogans finally got sick of sitting around and breeding and wanted a little room to grow. So they started grabbing whatever planets were at hand. Even those belonging to the Citadel races. And if this sparked a war, then so much the better. They were restless and itching for a fight.
You could argue that the Krogan simply weren’t sophisticated enough to live in space. They were a tribal species that had never known anything more than an endless fight for day-to-day survival. Now they were living in space and needed a lot of new tools. They needed a way to balance their birth rates and a way to direct and control their aggression. Humans devised birth control, organized sports, and other social structures to slowly hammer our warrior culture into something civilized-ish. The Krogan might have made similar adjustments if they’d ever been able to stabilize life on the homeworld and make their own way into space over the generations. It takes a fantastic amount of brainpower and cooperation to get into space, and so this sort of cultural taming would normally be a prerequisite for getting there.
If you plucked some primitive humans off of Earth and gave them some future toys, you’d probably see a lot of the same senselessly destructive behavioral problems. The Krogan problem was so much worse because they were just so dang strong.
The Salarians had simply replaced the Rachni problem with the Krogan one.
The Krogan didn’t try to overthrow the galaxy because they were evil meanies. They did so as a result of the countless political and evolutionary forces that had put them into a situation where that was the only thing they could have done.
But now we needed a new short-sighted solution to fix the problems caused by our last short-sighted solution. Which means this was another job for the Salarians…
Running into WallsPrevious Post
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