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Mass Effect 2 Day#15: Showdown at Omega 4

Day 15 is my final day with Mass Effect 2. The final scene is quite nice put together with good variety in the fights and an above-average final boss. There is one terrific narrative choice at the end, and a lot of good decision making throughout, although the loyalty thing plays out in a pretty simple way that I wish was more sophisticated. Overall, ME2 was very fun, but I can’t help thinking it hasn’t quite reached its potential yet. Spoilers within.

I come back on the geth ship.  I learn I can hack turrets to fight for me, and that makes the more geth fighting I have to do easier. There are more traps on the floor that trigger geth attacks. The low g in here makes it hard to tell when things are dead (they float in the air as ragdolls). The level is very maze like,  and I’m regularly getting lost in space even though it’s a linear level. I die once from being very sloppy in fight (my fault) and forgetting that green lines are the untriggered alarm states, not red. I talk to Legion more about the database of heretics. Eventually, we get to the geth terminal that houses the disease. We hack it and it’s going to take time to be ready to pull the trigger on the heretic database. In the meanwhile,  there’s a maze below the platform we’re on and we have to defend the platform while the hack works from waves of geth attacks appearing in the maze. There are more turrets in the maze. Oh, it’s tower defense — that’s kind of cute. I defeat the geth, and it’s time to make the choice of whether to destroy the heretics or convert them. Legion says the true geth can’t come to consensus. I choose to destroy the geth heretics, because we just can’t take the chance the true geth get screwed up somehow.  That decision earns me a bunch of renegade but it felt very IC, and thus the mission ends.

Back at the ship, there’s a CS of Tali and Legion fighting. Legion scanned an omni-tool of Tali’s for data about the quarian flotilla. She wants it not sent, but Legion says it must protect its people from a quarian attack.  I cheap-shit paragon out of the hard choice  and get them to compromise, and so Tali gives Legion non-classified data to send. When that’s done, I talk to Legion — Sovereign contacted the heretics to get them on his side. It seems the geth are  the robots they say they are. Edie (the ship AI) is still processing the IFF data, so we have to go to the shuttle to continue to adventure while the ship scans.  We all go, and there’s a  CS of us loading in.

This cuts to a CS of Joker and Edie talking.  They discover that while scanning the IFF, the ship is also sending a message to a Reaper ship, and then that Reaper ship appears.  I’m in control of Joker now, but I’m not sure what to do. I apparently have to run down the ship from the cockpit for some reason. I die once when I turn a bad corner. Still have no idea what the fuck I’m supposed to do. I die again in the same scene. It’s a stupid Heavy Rain like scene, having no idea what I’m doing and going to random spots to try to guess the arbitrary solution.  I just keep dying in this scene — ARRGGHHH! I can’t take elevator cause it’s all enemied up. So I go into lab and down a shaft I’ve never noticed before. We get to the AI room and I activate Edie to take over the ship, something we weren’t supposed to do. Edie makes a joke about ship domination which is totally out-of-place given that the ship is INVADED BY OUR BIGGEST ENEMY. She then says I need to go back to engineering through another convenient shaft in this room. I get to engineering trivially, and do an override. This allows Edie to open the airlocks and blast away, letting all the baddies get sucked out as we flee.  (Joker protests, but Edie says the rest of the crew was already taken by the Collectors.)   There’s a CS of the ship blasting away, and then Joker contacts Shepard. The scene ends with bonding between Joker and Edie.

We cut back to the party on the ship with Joker and Edie. Umm…why did we go on the shuttle? Should the party have been doing SOMETHING while this was going on? It seems an awful lot like we were just pulled off of the ship so all the lesser NPCs could get fucked with. Contrived, contrived, contrived. Anyway, there’s nice shock in Joker’s tone as he relates what happened. The team has concerns about Edie having control of ship, but we’re basically practical — the whole rest of the crew is gone so now is not the time to be precious about the AI.  It’s obviously time to go to the Omega 4 relay and end this puppy. I realize that Edie’s locks are probably down and I’m right,  so I ask her about Cerberus stuff she couldn’t talk about earlier. I get deets on the number of other teams Cerberus has, and it’s smaller than I thought, but not much more dirt. I go back to Illium one more time — nope, I blew that Liara plot. It’s off to the suicide mission. We go back to Omega, and head to the Omega 4 relay.  Back to disc 1 for the finale!

I get control back on the main bridge, and it’s creepy to have no crew left. I’m actually waiting for Kelly to give my emails and I miss her. Credit to ME2 — there’s a nice touch of feeling in this. I run into Miranda as I get ready to go.  She invites me to meet her in the engine room, and when I go down there, we have sex.  It’s a much tamer scene in terms of skin than the last game (which was pretty tame to begin with), but it’s still a sex scene. After that, I contact the Illusive Man. He thanks me for work above and beyond. There’s a CS of the ship approaching and then entering the relay. When we come out the other side, there’s lots of destroyed stuff  to dodge. There’s a  black hole in the distance and lots of ship wreckage around.

In CS,  enemies begin to approach and Joker and Edie start to fight them off. It’s clear that this is where all of the ship upgrade come into play. Something breeches the hull in a cargo bay, and I take a small team down there to fight it. I have control for the fight and we win the first round handily. There’s a CS of Joker driving through the junk to dodge more enemies, and there’s even more talk about upgrades in the CS — I’m glad I did all that stupid resource mining to get them. We cut back to the hull where I kill the invading thing.  We then see the Collector base out of the cockpit. In CS, the Collecter base sends out the Collector ship that wrecked us. We have our big upgraded guns now so we blast it a couple of times to destroy it CS.  The explosion of Collector ship crashes us into the Collector base and leaves Normandy down.  Miranda says something depressing about the chances of our survival, so I say something uplifting.  Joker says the Collectors probably can’t find us on the outside of their ship. We cut to a CS of the party in the communication room making a plan. There are a few ways into the ship. One step that I pick is sending someone to deactivate some sealed doors. I have to choose a member of the crew to sneak through some tunnels to do the hacking. I pick Legion to go into tunnels to hack stuff, mostly because I don’t want Tali to die. I need a leader of a second team, and I pick Miranda to lead them, and then I take Jack and Garrus with me  — Garrus is my boy, and Jack hates Miranda and I don’t trust Jack, so I want to keep an eye on her.

We go inside and the game is that have to open vents to keep Legion from dying in the vents as I fight my way along. It’s a very fun fight where I have to weigh getting to a vent and risking enemy fire. We get to the final door after getting all the vents, and there we get a CS of Legion hacking door as we all hold off the oncoming army. Legion shuts door and we reunite with Miranda’s team. There’s a CS as we look around the space we’re in and see pods with humans in them.  There’s a female member of my crew still alive in one of them and then she’s suddenly screaming and dying. Next thing is us CS rescuing crew by breaking them out of the pods, and we do it, saving among others the doctor and Kelly. The doctor reveals that they process the humans in gray liquid to some other purpose.

For the next scene, I have to pick someone to set up a biotic shield to hold off a swarm of enemy units, and I choose Samara. I again have to pick someone to lead other team, and I again go with Miranda — she has leadership abilities for christ’s sake.  Oh there’s also a nice tough decision: do I want to have someone escort the rescued crew back or keep my team together and leave the crew to fend for themselves while we complete the mission. I choose to send Thane with the crew to protect them on their way back to the Normandy. We then start the mission. I’m walking in giant field of biotic force sort of Crystal Chronicles-like, killing things along the way. That annoying “i will tear you apart” guy is back. I make it through the fights as Samara’s field begins to fail and she uses a last burst of energy to get us out of the room. There’s a nice final CS as the two teams get back together and hold back the coming Collectors as the door is sealed behind us. Joker tells us that all the non-combat crew get back okay with Thane.

It’s final battle time. I’m going to take a small team forward while everyone else remains behind to hold the line. I take Tali and Garrus with me to the final bit, old team back together. I choose to make a noble speech and we’re off.  There are a series of  fights on flying platforms as Collectors arrive. I die once from out of nowhere,  but then get my game together tightly. I eventually beat the last platform. When we do, we CS fly that platform to the center of the ship. There we see a series of tubes are feeding the gray stuff into a humanoid Reaper.  We talk about that a bit to no real conclusion and then the fight resumes.

The key now is to kill the Reaper by blowing out the tubes feeding it, but they are only open for small windows — classic final boss stuff. There are fights on the platforms between times I can shoot the tubes. It’s a long fight, but we blow out the tubes and watch the humanoid Reaper fall away. I contact the rest of the team and I think they are holding out so far.  I get ready to blow the station and the Illusive man contacts us. He wants to claim the technology of the ship for humanity and asks me not to destroy it. I saw those people going crazy on the other ship, so no way are we keeping this ship around. I cut him off and set the ship to explode. I have 10 minutes to get off and tell the other team to fall back to the Normandy.

Turns out the Reaper actually alive (surprise, surprise). I defeat it by shooting its vulnerable point — its eyes. It takes me a little while to find it, but it’s not that hard a fight. There’s a long blow up CS when I kill the Reaper.  When it’s over, I CS help Garrus and Tali get up. I contact Joker who tells me that everyone on ground crew who survived is on the ship and that’s everyone except Jack, who I see dead in a CS. I guess that’s the price of her not being loyal. I don’t know — I like very much that the way I played the game (the upgrades, the loyalty) determine the ending, but I don’t like that it’s as simple as the loyal survive. There’s a CS of Garrus, Tali and I running back to the ship. We make it past a bunch of gunfire. The annoying guy tells me it’s not over as he vacates the Collector’s bodies to save himself. Once I get on the ship, Joker flies us away.

We cut to a talk to Illusive Man where I chew him out. He’s mad at me for not listening, but I choose not to take it and tell him he’s doing things my way now. He says Cerberus is humanity and I tell him it’s not worth our souls to win the war at any cost. We end the conversation angry. Shepherd CS mourns briefly at Jack’s grave, and I see the rest of the crew in a long shot. It ends at a window where we look out of the ship at a coming Reaper fleet.  Fin.

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  1. Matt says

    RE: Joker’s Quest — I take it that you didn’t notice the glowing circles on the floor, or EDI telling you to follow the emergency lights on the floor? When I did that quest, I breezed through it without dying. It was incredibly convenient that all of your main teammates “just happened” to be off-world on the shuttle, but I actually enjoyed the Joker quest. This was mainly because I didn’t die and just scampered away along the path, and that also may be why I actually enjoyed the joke EDI made about liking humans on their knees — after all, Joker has shown that he normally replies to stress with sarcasm, so i thought it worked. Again, though, if I had died several times along the way, I may not have been as receptive.

  2. Douglas Yee says

    When it comes to the suicide mission, I don’t think it’s as simple as ‘the loyal survive.’ As I understand it, Tali and Mordin are actually quite vulnerable and if you leave them with the fire team the 2nd time, they have a good chance of dying, even if they aren’t loyal. Also, if you put a non-leader type in charge of the fire team (say, Jack or Thane or Mordin), it increases the chances that NPCs will die.

    I started playing through my 2nd (renegade) playthrough, trying to do as few loyalty missions and ship upgrades as possible. I want to see how it affects the suicide mission – changes to the CSes at the finale, changes to who dies, etc. As I understand it, if you’re really underequipped and your team has few loyal members, even Shepard might die.

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