Disposable Heroes

I finished Mass Effect 2 on Sunday night. It was an amazing ride and Bioware created an amazing game full of epic moments and a great story.

This game was started from my Mass Effect 1 savegame using the import feature, so all of my major decisions from the first game were copied over. I did change my class-type (not sure what it was) and also my face. I thought my last customized Shepard looked kind of odd, so I wanted to make him look more normal.

Since ME1 has been out for years, I can talk about some of my major decisions from that game that I carried over (that I can remember.) I know that when the decision came to kill Wrex, I chose to let him live. Also, when the decision came to save either Ashley or Kaidan, I chose to save Ashley and sacrificed Kaidan. I chose this partly due to not using Kaidan as much and the fact that my Shepard was a bit “interested” in Ms. Williams. I also let the Rachni queen live instead of killing her.

The rest of this post contains major Mass Effect 2 spoilers! Please do not continue if you’re still playing, unless you don’t care about seeing major plot points. I wanted to post my outcome and decisions for others to compare since it seems like there are dozens of possible outcomes.

In my game, my decisions were based on my gut-feeling. I played Shepard as an extension of myself, so to speak. While most of my decisions turned out to be Paragon, there were still a lot of Renegade actions including some of the interrupt actions. I based my decisions on how characters treated me in the past and how much I trusted them at that point in the game. A good example of that is Illusive Man. I started by not trusting him completely, but he became more trustworthy as he did things to help. But, as the game went on, I started to not trust him and in the end I completely told him off. Who knows how this will affect Mass Effect 3.

I found every possible squad member and I had them all during the final scenes. I only missed two loyalties when doing the character-specific missions, and those were Samara and Thane. An interesting theme in these two missions is that both of them included little to no combat and were based more on either tracking someone or dialogue choices. In Thane’s mission, I just got stuck on the catwalks and completely lost my subject and in Samara’s, I guess I just couldn’t sweet talk her daughter and she blew me off. I guess I’m not the (Asari) ladies man. I did originally think about re-loading and doing these missions again, but I decided against it since it happened and I’ll deal with the consequences.

I also explored everything I could possibly find and I even probed Uranus (“Really, Commander?”) There were only a few upgrades I didn’t get, but most of those didn’t seem too important, but who knows? The ones I can think of were the upgrade for easier hacking, more pistol ammo, med-bay upgrade to remove my scars, and possibly a tech cooldown upgrade I couldn’t afford at the time.

As for a romantic interest, Shepard and Miranda hooked up before the final mission, though I just read today that there were a few more options. Truthfully, I didn’t even notice any other characters mention interest, so that was news to me. I guess you can also hook up with Samara, Jack, or Tali. No, sorry, you can not hook up with EDI.

As for the final mission, this is who I picked for which parts and then the final outcome.

In the first group I picked, after the Normandy crashed onto the Collector base, I chose to team up with Miranda and Mordin. Based on the Collector enemies, I thought those two (along with me) would give us the best all-around attack options. I then sent Legion to go hack the system. Truthfully, I sent him rather than Tali since I had less problem with losing him (or them or whatever they’re called.) I then chose Garrus as leader of the other group, since he had good experience leading a group, I thought.

We all made it through the first leg of the mission and we found the crew survivors from the ship. In the rest of the missions, my squad isn’t so lucky. Instead of sending the survivors back to the Normandy alone, I sent Samara with them. I was reluctant since she wasn’t completely loyal, but I thought she was best suited.

This next mission requires me to choose a member with biotic powers to make a mobile shield to protect us from the seeker swarms. I chose Miranda to do this, since she’s a good biotic. A possible choice was Jack, since she was created to be extremely powerful, but she kinda hated me after I chose Miranda’s side in their argument. She was loyal, so she was not distracted, but all she would say to me on the ship was “Fuck off. I’ll finish this mission and then we’re done here.” As for my squad, I chose Jacob and Mordin since it was, again, a good overall selection of attack options. I then needed to choose a leader of the other group that would try to cause a distraction. I chose Zaeed to lead this group since he was a battle-hardened mercenary.

This mission is where is started to break apart. We made it through the swarms with Miranda and then through the final door. Just as we’re running through it Jacob gets attacked by the swarm and carried away (and then probably liquified. Yum..) The rest of my group makes it through the door. We open the other door to let the other group in and they all make it but Zaeed has been wounded. He says there were too many and his shields couldn’t hold up and he dies sitting against the wall. Though, he saved everyone else. I get a call from Joker in the Normady saying all the crew survivors made it, but Samara sacrificed herself to save them. Hell, she wasn’t completely loyal to me, but she sure risked everything.

For the final mission, I take my group ahead while the others stay back and defend. I chose Miranda and Garrus based on what I think we’ll find. I’m not sure if I chose a leader for the defenders, but if so I don’t remember. We get to the end area, take out the massive reaper fetus guy, but it’s not over yet! (surprise!) Fortunately, I brought my Collector laser gun with, so that helped immensely on the big guy. Garrus wasn’t really much help there since he had no powers that were of much use.

Robot taken down completely. Now Illusive Man comes on the radio and tells me to use the radiation bomb to kill the Collectors but to save the base. My gut tells me to blow it up since they liked to liquify humans in there to feed a big robot fetus. Kinda screwed-up in my book. He then turns to Miranda (who is a long-time Cerebrus operative) to make me save the base. Guys, if there was ever an extra incentive to “have relations” with a woman, this is it. Miranda tells Illusive Man to suck it and resigns on the spot and lets me blow up the base.

After the explosions start, I totally thought Garrus was a goner, but everyone was alive in the end. We radio the Normandy about the other group and Joker says, “All survivors are on the ship.” At the same time they show a cut-scene of the Collectors with Jack laying on the ground. I’m guessing she didn’t make it. After a nail-biting run to the ship, I leap across a huge gap and fortuntely make it into the ship and we haul ass out of there.

So, I lost four squad members, but I didn’t die, which was really my main worry. I wanted to continue to ME3. I do think it’s amazing that I have no idea why some of these things happened. Everything is based on Bioware and their massive algorithm using decisions, upgrades, and dialogue. I have some ideas, but I’ll never know for sure. I started a new game where I plan on being a cold-hearted bitch. We’ll see how that turns out.

Anyone else want to share their endings? Leave a short version in the comments or do a post about it. I’d love to hear the differences.

Comments

  1. I went through and did everyone’s loyalty mission–including Legion’s–and my Paragon score was high enough to keep Jack, Miranda, Tali AND legion loyal. Since Bricu Shepard (well, John Shepard, but indulge me a I seperate this comment from the ones that follow) was a “good guy” in ME1, I did everything I could to keep him a paragon in me2.

    And yes, Bricu Shepard was loyal to Ashley.

    Garrus led my fire team, legion was my hacker. I sent Jacob back with the crewmates–No survivors lost, not even Kelly–and I used Samarra for the biotic shield. I would be interested in seeing how Mordin does on taking the crewmembers back to the Normandy.

    Oh, and I blew up the base too.

    Izzy has a comment on how he was disappointed that he did not see the death of Kelly coming as a consequence of delaying the suicide mission. What’s your take?

  2. I loved ME2. Picked up my reserved copy the day it came out, finished it in a few days.

    I ended up losing Jack because her loyalty defaulted after her mission when I sided with Miranda. I wasn’t terribly broken up about that; not a big Jack fan. It was my fault, though. I meant to have Jacob lead the survivors back to safety and accidentally had Jack do it. Oops.

    Let’s see… I had my home-skillet Garrus lead both squads, Tali on tech, Samara on biotics. I loved the way those personal missions at the end were handled. It was very emotional for me.

    I did lose half the crew, including Yeoman Kelly ‘I’d hit it’ Chambers. That was… icky. But again, my fault. I did Legion’s loyalty mission right before passing through the Relay.

  3. I totally loved MEII – and, err, I got it on with Garrus because he is my buddy cop awesome friend! We were pretty awkward about it, to be honest but, hey, it made me happy.

    I managed to get through the end sequence with nobody dead – which struck me as very slightly anticlimatic to something that was build up to be this incredibly dangerous suicide mission. However, I *also* didn’t want anybody to die so…I guess I’d have been miffed either way :P

    I sent Legion to be my tech expert because, err, I didnt’ want to endanger Tali, made Miranda my first squad leader because I thought she’d be a good leader, sent Zaeed back with the survivors because I thought, y’know, fuck it – a bad-ass merc would probably be really good at keeping them alive, asked Samara to be my biotic because she struck me as the most powerful and the most sensible and the most likely to lay down her life to keep me alive of my biotics, and I think I had Jacob head the second team.

    My final squad was me, Garrus and Mordin – since Garrus and Mordin were my two favourite characters. And I had a horrible scary moment when I thought I was going to lose Garrus but, phew, we made it!

    It went pretty peachy, to be honest. Despite being pretty dam renegade I ended up blowing up the collector thing – I couldn’t see what use Cereberus would get out of it and I didn’t trust President Bartlet..err..I mean the Illusive Man.

    I can’t *wait* for MEIII!

  4. I went into my final mission without Miranda (because I sided w/Jack) and Zaeed’s loyalty (didn’t let him sacrifice the slave miners) …and I waited too long to go through the Omega4 relay, and so lost most of the Normandy’s crew.
    Because I didn’t trust Miranda to lead the second fire squad, I lost Legion (my tech specialist). *sob*
    And Miranda died leading the defence squad during the final battle…I might have been able to save Legion by having Garrus lead the second squad…but I kept him with me the entire run. (Garrus/Jack = my kill squad)

  5. Samodean
    Twitter: Samodean
    says:

    Not going into too much detail as I have a post similar to this planned on my blog.

    I had everyone loyal except Legion, who I kind of… sold… to Cerberus.
    Garrus went in the pipe and died.
    Thane ran the second team.
    Samara was the Biotic.
    Thane led the second team again and died.
    I left the crew on their own… and they all died.

    I kept the base intact and got out alive.

    Playing through again now, with the intention of getting EVERYONE out alive.

    I also have a THIRD playthrough planned with the intention of killing everyone, including Shepard, just to see what it’s like.

  6. Sideshow
    Twitter: brianjz
    says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Amazing how different the endings can be. After reading the Suicide Mission Guide at the ME Wiki, I can see now which decisions I made were not the best, though some weren’t completely obvious.

    Trying it again now by doing mostly Renegade options, but obviously some Paragon depending on the situation.

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