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Mass Effect 2 Day#10: Questions of Loyalty

Day 10 is lots of loyalty missions for the crew. It feels a bit like clean-up and checking things off of lists, but the missions themselves are quite fun. All the stuff around the krogan (two missions there) is particularly good — exploring these alien cultures in action is a lot of good narrative touches. More game history is also nicely handled. The combat in this session was not the best the game offers, and there was an annoying point that I think was a bug, but fun overall.

I start by heading back to the Citadel. I’m looking for this Kellam guy Thane’s son was dealing with. I talk to the C-Sec guy Bailey.  Kellam has bribed C-Sec to ignore his criminal stuff,  but they will bring him in to an interrogation room for us to talk to.  I stay away from conversation choices that confront Bailey about the bribery; I don’t want to cause trouble here. We cut to the interrogation lead-in where they bring Kellam in CS.  C-Sec are stalling his lawyer, and before we walk in,  I choose to have Thane be bad cop. Once inside, I hit Kellam a couple times, but it doesn’t get me anywhere. I then tell him I’ll reduce his bribe to C-Sec and he gives me the info about who Thane’s son is after. Kellam’s lawyer walks in and he feels duped, and that’s the interrogation. I talk to Captain Bailey outside. He tells me the guy being assassinated by Thane’s son is an anti-human organizer, and we have to go to the 800 cells to find him.

When we arrive, there’s a CS of Thane praying to his god of hunters and then disappearing.  I have to follow and identify (i.e. click on) the target from a catwalk as he makes his political rounds while Thane follows on the ground waiting for his son to appear. It’s a little confusing to follow this guy but I’m on him. Maybe it’s a little buggy — there are times where I can’t identify the target even though I see him, and that leads me to have to restart once. I do better the second time, and reach a point where I have to fast-talk my way past a guard in catwalk to keep moving. I do so with some simple conversation choices. I see the target stop moving, and when I open a door in front of him, I see Thane’s son go after the target in CS.  Thane’s son shoots the bodyguard and then chases the target inside. When we CS enter, Thane’s son has the target on the ground with a gun to his head. We talk a little, and then I paragon qte to disarm him, and he’s arrested. Thane and son discuss. Thane reveals that he left the son alone when his mother died. Thane’s son is pissed. Bailey gives them time to talk (because he screwed up with his son too) and we leave them alone. When Thane returns. I paragon Bailey to give the kid no jail time and only community service instead. We then go back to Normandy.

Once there, I talk to Thane again, and he makes no mention of the mission, so it’s back to galaxy map. I decide to go sort of in order geographically, so I go to Tuchanka next to help Mordin and Grunt. I do a quick resource scavenge on a nearby planet first then land.  This planet (the krogan homeworld) is  a nuclear wasteland caused by krogan infighting. We shuttle immediately into an underground station. There’s a krogan at the door who tells me to take Grunt to the clan leader to give him some kind of rite. I watch a pit fight between two monsters on the way. Before I find the clan leader, however, I meet a krogan who knows where the solarian is captured by a clan called the Blood Pack. That’s Mordin’s loyalty quest, so I opt to take a truck to the Blood Pack are and do that mission first.

There’s a CS of the truck drive across the planet. We bypass a door to enter and find a dead human victim of experimentation. We run into some of the Blood Pack — I have a conversation with them, but this talk is going nowhere so I take a renegade qte to blow up their leader and we fight. Once finished, we get into the lab, and Mordin studies their data from their terminal. We  find more krogan experiment victims too, attempts to end the genophage that restricts their breeding. Mordin and I talk about the genophage. Mordin defends it as necessary for galactic peace, but he seems uncomfortable about it. I choose to be negative about it, but not totally condemn it. There’s more fighting, and I die once because I misjudge cover before moving on. I eventually find a krogan prisoner who has been experimented on. He’s from the other clan, but he’s become fanatic about the cure for the genophage and has turned sides.  I play the conversation wrong and he attacks us. I CS kill him.  He enter the final room and see Malen (the solarian we were here to rescue) working for the krogan.  He wants to be there because he thinks the genophage is unethical, but he’s trying to cure it using unethical experimentation. I try to talk to him, but he has all sorts of crazy ideas.  Mordin goes to shoot him, I paragon stop it, and we tell the kid to go. I have Mordin keep the data on stopping the genophage,  but not give it to the krogan. That takes up back to the ship.

I’m immediately back on the planet looking for the clan leader. It turns out the clan leader is Wrex from ME1. There’s a CS of Wrex talking to Grunt, telling Grunt that he has no clan and he needs a rite of passage to be an adult. A traditionalist adviser says that the clanless cannot be allowed to do rite but Wrex disagrees, and Grunt chooses to do the rite. We then go find the shaman to start the rite. There’s lots of nice posturing here between us and the traditionalist trying to stop it. I renegade qte to headbutt the traditionalist to shut him up and he walks away pissed off. That was RAD detail. We choose to begin the rite which is basically a big arena fight. We defeat little things and then a single big things. It’s apparently big deal that we killed the big thing. At the end of the arena fight,  the traditionalist clan shows up to fight us. I again die once when I think I’m behind cover, but then we beat them. Grunt is accepted as an adult of Wrex’s clan, and we head back to Normandy.

I head back to Illium to finish the Liara plot.  She wants to assassinate a contact of the Shadow Broker.  I don’t want to help her, but she’ll kill every single suspect if I don’t, so not much choice. I have to hack several terminals to get pieces of a logic puzzle to figure out what race the contact is. I get 4 out of 5 hacks and it’s kind of obvious who the contact is. I tell her to kill (spoiler in white) the krogan (of the five possible races of subjects), and that selection gives me paragon so I guess that’s right. When I see her again,  she gets no further info though, so I’m not totally positive that I made the right call. She is obsessing about getting the Shadow Broker and doesn’t seem to have a mind for anyone else. I’m giving up on her; she’s dark now. And with that, I end my session.

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  1. Matt says

    I’m not sure about you, but I have to admit that I was really impressed with the fact that we got to see Thane do his prays, and then vanish as two people crossed in front of him — it’s a minor detail, but for me, was a nice reminder that this guy was considered a master assassin for a reason.

    As for the possible bug, you do have to be within a certain distance to be able to “report” on him; not sure if maybe that was the cause. (I have run across definite bugs, though.)

    Mordin’s loyalty quests was easier one of my favorites, both because it provided some excellent compositions for the conversations (instead of just standing over-the-shoulder angles, we get some well-established shots that also flow seamlessly with the narrative, such as Mordin scanning the human victim), and also because after a few previous conversations with Mordin about his work, this was (to me) a great moment of character depth development, where you really get the sense that’s he’s trying to convincing himself just as much as Shepard about his actions being justified. The conversation over the body of the dead krogan female is one of the high moments of the game, I think, especially if you play the paragon route and challenge his convictions.

    Oh, and how can you forget the Thresher Maw? That was that damn thing from the first game that you had to try to drive around and kill while in the damned vehicle? 🙂

    As for Liara’s plot, I’ll tell you my outcome after you complete the game. Not saying if it was “right,” either, mind you.

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