Mass Effect Month: Day 13 – Favorite Story

We’re back with our month-long Mass Effect challenge! For previous days, click here.

Mass Effect Month, Day 13: What is your favorite storyline mission?

I actually have one particular mission, and one brief story arc, so we’ll talk about them both (of course).

Favorite Story Mission

I really, really loved the collector base at the end of Mass Effect 2. I loved that it gave the player clear and immediate feedback for their choices, as well as showed some consequences of other choices made in the game (like how many missions you went on after the collector base mission became available).

Image result for collector base mass effect 2

The first time I played Mass Effect 2, after I had bounced around the entire map for a while, I decide to just do a sweep of the galaxy from right to left. So, the collector base became available fairly quickly.

Very few loyalty missions had been completed, and I did wind up completing a few other missions before starting the final mission.

Hoo boy. I usually don’t revert to older saves because of mistakes I made, but, man…. I reloaded an earlier save so fast after I watched a majority of my team be decimated. I thought to myself, “Self, there is no way they would canonically kill off all these people. You must have done something wrong.” So I went back and completed more sidequests and upgrades the Normandy and generally had a much better experience the second time around.

Image result for collector base human reaper
Well, you know what I mean.

But what I loved about the mission was that everything mattered. Who you pick to be your biotic expert matters. Who you pick to lead the charge matters. Who goes through the tubes matters. How fast Shepard moves matters. It all matters. These effects created a sense of urgency and immediacy to the problem. You had to pick your crew carefully, otherwise there was a real chance someone might not come home. Lose your whole team and the consequences were even worse. It was a tough puzzle, and I loved it.

Just as an aside, I also loved that Miranda kept trying to prove herself to Shepard. I got the feeling that Miranda didn’t really believe she was the best, but was rather trying to prove that to herself. Or perhaps she only trusted herself to keep Shepard safe. Who knows?

Favorite Story Arc

In Mass Effect 3, I really loved the Kai Leng arc. I hated that guy so much, and he just kept popping up to ruin things. Like Ghirahim, I really wanted to just slap Kai Leng every time he appeared on the screen. And, again like Ghirahim, just as it looked like Shepard was going to beat him, he’d disappear, only to reappear at the most annoying of times, trying to thwart Shepard again.

Image result for kai leng

Oh, let’s face it. I loved this arc because of the whole drama with Thane.

And the final Renegade interrupt was the best one in the whole trilogy. Unassuming Shepard, trying to hack a console, Kai Leng comes up, sword raised, and BAM.

Image result for that was for thane you son

Every. Darn. Time.

What was your favorite storyline mission? Did you enjoy the collector’s base as much as I did? Have you ever not used the Renegade interrupt with Kai Leng? Let me know in the comments!

I should go,
~ Athena

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  1. My favorite old Mass Effect story, letting the Geth get their revenge on Tali’s people to the point where they wiped out the entire race, then Tali went to jump off a cliff in despair and it gives you the option to try to grab her, but I just let her do it because that’s what you get for enslaving the robot overlords, fool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought the Collector Base was a little frustrating in places, because some of the choices aren’t intuitive and even actively punish observant players. For example, I notice on several let’s plays (and it’s how I approached it myself), that when you’re asked who to send back with the non-combat crew, you’re inclined to select a bruiser like Grunt on the basis that they’re the most likely to keep everyone safe.

    This, mechanically, is the exact opposite of what you should do. The escort is only filtered for loyalty so you ought to send a loyal but weak character like Mordin back with the crew to keep your numbers up with the “hold the gate” sequence later on.

    Also, Zaeed isn’t considered a viable fire-team specialist, despite having decades of combat and leadership experience. Miranda, on the other hand, can perform well even if she isn’t loyal (for lazy programming reasons), despite Jack specifically bringing up the fact that “no one wants to take orders from you”. Also, people have brought up the fact that Jacob isn’t considered a viable biotic specialist despite his bonus loyalty power being “barrier” – which would seem to imply the opposite.

    The cut-scenes are also goofy in places. Try taking Jack and Samara with you after you select Thane as your biotic specialist and watch in horror as neither of those biotic goddesses can replicate the barrier and one of them pays the ultimate price for this stupidity.

    In hindsight, the mission is designed for a first play-through, before you understand the slightly askew mechanics in play. I agree, in that respect, that it is very effective and seems to give weight to your choices.

    As for my favourite mission, it’s Virmire by miles and Priority: Tuchanka in a distant second-place. Virmire builds to a great reveal with Sovereign, gives you some meaningful choices to make and has this foreboding tone that leads quite well into Ashley-or-Kaidan decision which is effective if you’ve devoted enough time to the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there’s a lot to be said about playing Mass Effect for the first time. Once the “tricks” of a story have been revealed, of course things don’t seem as dire, or as surprising, or whatever, because you know the math, so to speak. You know how things will work out. The first-time puzzle was *so* satisfying to figure out, though. My first playthrough I did still lose some people, but for me that just added to the gravity of the situation.

      Virmire was a great mission and it was easy to see a lot of love went into it, and I definitely thought Tuchanka was a lot of fun to play and had some interesting krogan lore in it, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. haha i did the same thing in ME2. I played and saw pretty much everyone died and I couldn’t accept that, so i loaded my save. I didn’t know so many characters would’ve died like nothing. So then i carefully planned my squads, put big strong people on point for defense and such. I kept who i thought would die no matter what with me to ensure i carried them through, which lead to a very difficult boss fight. But everyone lived thankfully, which was worth it because they all made their appearances in ME3.

    My favourite most memorable mission. One that always comes to mind is cure the genophage in ME3. It’s intense like all the missions, but i especially loved when you enter the ruins. It’s so dark all you have is your light to show you whats infront. The place is shaking from the reaper battle going on outside. It was creepy to because it was so dark, i remember being pretty scared during this part, thinking something may pop out and scare me. I had my headphones on and was pressed up close to my monitor. But as I pressed on, the fear subdued as you stumble onto some ancient art left from some time ago. It was neat because suddenly I’m in awe discovering the Krogans actually aren’t just brutes but have this rich history and culture that virtually no one knows about, and me being Sheppard might be one of the only people to potentially know about it. Quite a moving moment.

    And the end scene with Mordin’s death, so sad, but he went out in an epic way, especially how he sung his song which he told me about from ME2. This moment was great because a great character went out honorably, but the whole song bit made me really feel like playing ME2 100% just to hear him sing a song was worth it because of the great reference to it used in ME3.

    OH, and the thresher maw fighting the reaper, so epic. There’s so much i love about this mission. I’m sure if i replay everything my opinions might be more conflicted. As I read yours, I can’t help to remember how awesome that bit you referred to was as well. Really hard to pick one moment from such a stellar trilogy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? It was horrible! I couldn’t get over that literally everyone could die (including Shepard). I mean, that’s pretty awesome, but horrible at the same time!! haha What did you do with Mordin? I sent him back with the recovered crew. Does he survive if you take him with you, too?

      I loved that mission. I was likewise *so* afraid some rogue thresher maw was going to pop up and eat me… but yeah, the krogan culture down there really added a nice moment/dimension to the krogran plight.

      Speaking of Mording.. yes, that moment. I love that he sang to himself. It was like he was scared and trying to make himself feel better, and I just wanted to give him a hug. Did you find his messages in the Citadel DLC?

      YES. All I can say to that one is YES YES YES. SO fantastic! It’s definitely hard to choose just one!


  4. I’m proud to say everyone survived my first trip through the hella creepy Collector Base! My side quest addiction really paid off there. Well, that helped but my expert command decisions were what really did it I’d say… (and I couldn’t type that with a straight face, haha). But yeah, it was one of the most intense missions I’ve done in a game!! Every decision had weight and I was terrified I’d lose one of my beloved crew members. I’ll compare the sense of urgency to the end of the Dragon Age Awakenings expansion. Oh and I’ll never forget what was happening to the rest of the crew who were captured by the Collectors, either.

    Now that I’ve seen the new Star Wars movies, I can say Kai Leng sorta reminds me of Kylo Ren. It was worth every Renegade point to end that ass. For Thane!!

    For me, I’d have to say the Illos to the end of the original Mass Effect stands out in my mind. I loved discovering the Prothean VI (Vigil) and learning a bunch of cool stuff about the Reapers and Protheans (who were largely unknown before that point). Liara really seemed to love that part too, haha.


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