I think it’s reasonably safe to say that of the MMGamers, I am the one most looking forward to Mass Effect 3. Tim will most likely play it through at some point as may Nick. Josh seems fairly keen on it. But honestly since I played Mass Effect about two years ago followed swiftly by Mass Effect 2 (I borrowed the first one so I could play it before I played the second) I have quickly decided that the games are amongst my favourite of all time.
Therefore in honour of the fast approaching release date of Mass Effect 3 (next Friday here in Europe) I have decided that I will share with you my Shepard and all the major decisions I’ve made. Because as we know, decisions from previous games carry on into the next ones and Mass Effect 3 will apparently take over 1000 past decisions into account… This is gonna be awesome! (WARNING: This article contains a large number of spoilers for both games!)
Okay first thing you have to know here, I’m not going to post every tiny little decision I made, simply the major ones. I also feel I should point out that I completed both Mass Effect 1 and 2 twice and that it’s the decisions of my second playthrough (in both cases) that is important.
My play-style was to be the number one Good Guy Greg of the galaxy. So if there are any minor decisions in the game then you should assume that I made the Paragon option, saving people, befriending them, letting them live and so-0n and so-forth.
A final thing should also assume that if there are any decisions to be made in the game, then I MADE them because I did EVERYTHING I could in both games. I didn’t get all the DLC unfortunately, but I spoke to everyone, exhausted all conversations, got all the loot and did every single quest. So, ignoring some DLC, I 100% both games… On BOTH playthroughs… Told you I was a fan.
But let’s get started on the Major decisions I made. Those which almost certainly will effect the outcome of Mass Effect 3!
In Mass Effect:
- A major decision that everyone remembers is the choice between saving Kaiden Alenko or Ashley Williams. Now in my first playthrough I saved Ashely, simply so I could romance her. But on the second I took a more logical approach. Firstly I decided that actually, as a character, Ashely is simply more annoying. Religious and with a slight dislike and distrust for aliens she clearly didn’t fit into my crew as well as Kaiden. But more importantly, as Kaiden was a Lieutenant and Ashely a mere Private to save Kaiden was the logical choice that any soldier would have made. So I saved Kaiden.
- In the original Mass Effect you need a high persuasion score in order to perfect your playthrough to the degree I did. And I mean, literally full persuasion. One situation where it is important is when on Virmire, Wrex realsies that you are going to destroy a facility that has cured the Krogan genophage. Unless you meet a few requirements or pass a high persuasion check, the only option here is to kill Wrex. I, however, passed the speech check and saved Wrex (this is clearly the better option as in ME2 he becomes the leader of his clan and is far better at it than his brother, who takes over if he dies).
- On Noveria, at the end of the mission there, you discover a Rachni Queen. The Rachni are a insect-like species and were supposedly extinct. They were also supposedly extremely hostile and dangerous. You are given the choice to either destroy the Queen or free it. Naturally the paragon option is to free the queen and let her species survive, which I did. I believe this will have important consequences in Mass Effect 3 as I think the Rachni will almost certainly end up joining in the fight against the Reapers now.
- During the final battle against Sovereign at the Citadel the intergalactic council is aboard the Flagship of their Navy which is about to be destroyed by Sovereign. You are here given a decision you can either order the nearby human navy to attack, saving the council at the expense of human lives. Or order the human fleet to hold back, resulting in fewer human casualties but the council dying. Should you choose the second option, you then get given the choice to form a new human lead council with other alien representatives or to go fully Renegade and form a new human only council. Naturally, I ordered the human fleet to attack, saving the council at the expense of human lives… It was glorious…
- There a few other slightly major decisions I made during my playthrough which didn’t really affect Mass Effect 2 to any great degree, but could go on to have greater ramifications: I aided Tali’s pilgrimage, I convinced Garrus to be more Paragon, I helped out Captain Kirrahe on Virmire, I spared Rana Thanoptis on Virmire, I helped out Gianna Parasini on Noveria, I spared Fist on the Citadel and I spared the colonists on Feros (also I convinced the ExoGeni corp to continue to found and aid the new colony).
- A final decision you have to make, which admittedly doesn’t really affect much in-game is who you *cough* “romance”. In my first playthrough, as I said, I went for Ashley but by the second I knew I would choose Liara. While some might not fully get the whole Asari thing, I actually do think that Liara is an incredibly well-done and engaging character (far better than Ashley if you ask me). Plus, as far as video game characters go she is hot!
As well as all this there were a multitude of side quests where I spared, saved and aided a great many people in flurries of mercy and kindness, which all resulted in e-mails in Mass Effect 2 and could feasibly have further effect on Mass Effect 3 (we’ll have to wait and see).
A final choice worth mentioning is one you actually make twice, both at the end of Mass Effect and the start of Mass Effect 2 (with the decision made in ME2 overruling the one from the original): the choice between Captain Anderson or Donnel Udina to be humanity’s representative on the council. I chose Anderson as he seemed the more human and sensible and overall NICER of the two… Because niceness is important!
Okay, now it’s on to the major choices made in Mass Effect 2! Once again you should assume for every minor decision I made the most paragon option (for example there are many points where you can do a Paragon “interrupt” often resulting in saving someone’s life).
- One of the biggest list of major quests (major BUT optional) in Mass Effect 2 is your squad-mate’s loyalty missions. In order to fully win the loyalty of each squad member you have to do a wee mission for them, something close to them personally that they want to tie up before going on the final “Suicide Mission“. While none of the missions feature any major Paragon choices actually doing them is important (I will explain soon). And I did all of them!
- There is a very brief side mission which only requires you to spend about 3 minutes of game time talking to the Citadel Council. If you chose both Anderson as the human representative and saved the council in ME1 then you get the option to be reinstated as a Spectre, which I did. While completely pointless and symbolic in ME2, it supposedly will have consequences in ME3.
- During Tali’s loyalty mission you get several options to prevent her being exiled from the Migrant Fleet. While the means by which you do it doesn’t appear to matter too much, I did prevent her exile and I did it by rallying the crowd to her side.
- During Legion’s loyalty mission you are presented with the conundrum that you can either re-write the software of millions of heretic Geth to become good again, or you can destroy them completely. While perhaps not completely moral (as it is similar to brainwashing), the paragon option here is to rewrite the Geth and that is what I did.
- After Mordin’s loyalty mission there you are in possession of some scientific data on curing the Krogan genophage which was obtained using incredibly cruel methods. The paragon option here is to convince Mordin to not let the data go to waste and to use it to continue researching a cure, so naturally that’s what I did!
- After the penultimate main story mission a number of your crew is kidnapped. You then need to choose between doing other side missions and stuff around the galaxy or heading straight after them and doing the final mission. If you delay any more than one or two missions then Kelly Chambers (your “assistant”) and a fair portion of your crew are turned into delicious human paste. Naturally I knew about this and rushed to save her straight way, saving the maximum number of people.
- In ME2 you once again get the opportunity to romance various people. To my continuing annoyance I actually romanced Jack on my second playthrough. I accidentally started the whole “romance” talk with her and then once started there is no way to let her down gently. Anything I tried would end up with her only saying “Fuck off!” to me from then on… So in order to avoid pissing her off I slept with her… That was a poor choice…
- At the very end of the game you are given the choice of destroying the Collector base you attack or simply killing all life on board it to preserve the technology to use in the fight against the Reapers. While the second option actually strikes me as the most sensible choice as it would aid the galaxy defend itself from the Reapers, it is the Renegade option and what I did was blow the place to smithereens. Oh well, can’t be sensible all the time!
In fairness though the biggest thing in ME2 is the culmination of a lot of decisions: the Suicide Mission. During the suicide mission there are a three things which come into play which I will endeavour to explain briefly here.
- First! In the spaceship assault on the Collector base there are 3 upgrades you can buy for the Normandy: new guns, better armour and better shields. For every one of those you don’t have one of your squad-mates dies… Permanently… I naturally had not only all of those upgrades but every other single upgrade you can get in the game… It’s easy if you do everything!
- Next, during the ground assault of the base you have to make series of decisions, 6 in total. Each decision is pretty easy to make and basically require common sense (such as choosing one of your tech based team-mates as the “Tech specialist” and a combat specialist as a “Squad leader” and a powerful biotic as your “Biotic Specialist”). While making each decision is pretty easy to make, if made incorrectly somebody in your squad will die (you can see the full list here). I made every choice right and so, by the end of the assault every one of my squad was alive.
- The final thing is that a certain number of squad-mates are actually required to survive the Suicide Mission in order for you, yourself to survive. It goes without saying, as nobody died with me, that I survived the mission easily!
As well as all this, I did actually buy the Lair of the Shadow Broker and turned Liara in the new Shadow Broker. As well as this I actually romanced her again (dumping Jack) and so set us up in a relationship for ME3. Awww yeaaah Liara!
So there you have it! A full history of my shenanigans in Mass Effect 1 and 2. While perhaps I have gone into a pointless amount of detail here I figured that this game deserves it. And I am ready with the best possible start for ME3! Let’s do this!