Play It Again Mordin: Tweak ME2 Saves For Mass Effect 3

By Alec Meer on March 5th, 2012 at 1:01 pm.

BFFs 4EVA

Tomorrow (or Friday in blighted Blighty) is Mass Effect O’Clock, and the day when we discover whether or not the purported conclusion of Shepherd’s adventures can live up to over a year of having enough marketing to make twenty Daikatanas a success fired continually at our exhausted eyes and ears.

Which means we have scant hours/days to ensure we get the ME3 we want. I’m in a tricky situation whereby the crew I wound up with at the end of ME2 is not the crew I’d want in ME3: is endlessly replaying the climactic ME2 suicide mission until the right folk make it out alive my only hope of rewriting my destiny? Nope! Mass Effect 2 spoilers and savegame-fiddling below.

If you’ve played Mass Effect 2 to conclusion, and presuming you’re not some manner of perfect, blessed god of gaming who 100% everything and didn’t put a foot wrong, you’ll know that its climactic battle usually results in the seemingly and horrifyingly arbitrary loss of some of your team. I really, really screwed up. It was a massacre.

With an awful, incomprehensible knowingess, my game summarily executed my three favourite cast members, Legion, under-appreciated DLC character Leslie Grantham Zaaed and Mordin – even though I’d done all their loyalty stuff, upgraded them to the max and spent all the time I could with them.

Oh, and Tali and Jack also bought it, but while sad about it I can deal with the loss of the former and am overtly looking forward to an ME3 free from the latter’s posturing. (Yes, yes, a sad past and a fierce combatant, whatever – she’s still a prick).

At the time, I was resolute that I would accept these losses. They were, in a way I didn’t even begin to understand because ME2 is so opaque about the conditions which affect the outcome of the suicide mission, causalities of my decision-making, and for that reason their deaths were genuinely powerful, resulting in an ending that carried personal weight as well as a cutscene. This was the world I had made, and it was only right that my future adventures would bear the scars.

Time passed. Mass Effect 3 drew closer. And I was faced with the increasingly dark prospect of saving the universe without jabbered bon mots from the singing Salarian scientist, trying to read emotion into Legion’s Shockwave-esque mono-eye or hearing surly, growled, Laaaahndaaadhn admiration from Space Dirty Den. Mass Effect 3 seems dramatically less appealing. And, while I would ideally like to accept that this is roleplaying and that it will actually lend something to my ME3 experience, I do feel somewhat resentful about the extent to which ME2 randomly sucker-punched me and didn’t seem to reflect the Loyalty decisions I’d focused on.

So, I replayed the suicide mission repeatedly, as much as my remaining savegames would allow (it was too late to reselect who crawled through the vents, for instance). I was aware that sending Mordin back with the crew when asked to pick massively increased his chances of survival, but I couldn’t get that far – he’d always get shot by Collectors just after he emerged from the overheating ducts I’d sent him through. Once, for some reason, Legion made it through. Jack survived a couple of times. I couldn’t seem to get Uncanny Miranda or Plastic Jacob killed off if I tried.

Sigh.

Twitter directed me to Masseffectsaves.com, which offers a large repository of other people’s savegames. There were plenty where the entire cast made it out alive, plenty where those I wanted to survive survived, and plenty that broadly reflected the generally Paragon choices I’d made throughout ME1 and ME2.

The option to enter a ‘face code’ into ME3 when it came out in theory ensured I’ve had a Shepherd that looked like my (gaunt-cheeked, Michael Jackson-nosed) female commander, not whatever strangers the savegames’ creators had come up with. Still… it just wasn’t my game. With one of these, ME3 wouldn’t be a continuation of my choices, even if it did contain most of them. I felt as uncomfortable as a man wearing underpants made from stinging nettles about that.

Another option – as seen in the ME3 demo, simply answer the questions at the start of the new game to come up with a universe that reflected some of my decisions and failings. Again though, it’d be humming along to someone else’s tune.

So the third option is the Gibbed savegame editor, which enables all sorts of cheaty save hacks to expedite your progress through ME2. It also allows modification of the cast and crew’s status after the Suicide mission. That’s what I’m going with so far, though it’s a little arcane (each crew member has a good half-dozen different end game status toggles to flick). But everyone I want to be alive is alive, and Jacob and Jack are dead. Well, technically. Jacob is listed as dead and can’t be selected for missions, but he is still on the ship and up for a boring chat. Hmm.

I do now have all the fish and model spaceships in Shepherd’s quarters though, so there’s that. More experimentation is needed, but I think I’ve worked out how to entirely eradicate Jacob. It’s going to work out. I will still carry the guilt of Mordin, Legion and Den’s deaths with me, and now also the guilt of forcibly altering my own destiny, but the prospect of finding them alive and well in ME3 is a happy one.

So play it again, Mordin. It’s good to have you back, you weird-faced, speed-talking, guilt-stricken architect of partial genocide.

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173 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    Would the thing to do not have been to send Jacob into the vents? He’s shit at it, so will die, and you don’t have to worry about Mordin being got then?

    Anyway, I got all my team through without much fuss, although I did spend the whole mission looking for a chance to get Miranda killed.

    Edit: As Westyfield points out, Alec didn’t have a save at the appropriate time to avoid that one.

    • westyfield says:

      The article seems to suggest that Alec has no saves from before the Suicide Mission. If he did then yeah, send Jacob through and choose someone crap to lead the second fireteam. That should make sure he buys it.

    • President Weasel says:

      I got most of the way through my second playthrough on my old PC to get it “right” and save my entire posse of spacefolks. Can I just copy the savegame across to the new PC and keep going from there?

      How do you keep those fish alive? I got all the spaceship models, but the fish kept dying.

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      jezcentral says:

      Yes, making Garrus lead the second team was always my way of getting everyone through safely.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      @Weasel you just have to remember to feed them between away missions. However, if you get super pally with Kelly Chambers then she’ll offer to keep them fed for you.

    • Silver says:

      I also got all saved, and also tried to whack Miranda off .. didn’t work.. the Miranda part :/

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      @Silver: the lovely Mrs. Chuck?

    • plugmonkey says:

      Why would anyone NOT get Garrus to lead the 2nd team? He’s the only character who comes close the to all round badassitude of Shepard herself.

      Tali we kept close, so as to be able to personally ensure her safety. Everyone else was expendable.

      We lost Thane, due to the mission briefing stressing stealth rather than console hacking at a guess, but it’s what he would have wanted. In fact, it was the only reason he agreed to come along in the first place. Taking him back alive would have felt like a betrayal.

      I thought we were going to lose Jack, which I could easily have dealt with. The mission called for the most bad-ass biotic we had. That was her. If she couldn’t survive it, then what would have been the point of her?

    • Apples says:

      The thing to do is always send Jacob into the vents, so that you never have to put up with him again. Sure, I have a robot, a scaly alien, and someone in a full protective suit on my team, but off you go, flammable human! Get in that boiling vent!

    • westyfield says:

      @ Apples

      Miranda: “We’ll need someone to crawl through the vents to get to the mainframe.”
      Jacob: “The vents? Whoever does that had better be prepared for a one-way trip – it’s a suicide mission.”
      Me: “In you go, Jacob!”

    • Parrk says:

      I think it should be mentioned that when cruising ME2 saves for the background you want, that you needn’t worry over the class of the Shep. ME2 let you reclass/reface/resex/rebackground imported sheps. While there is no accounting for EA/Bio decisions, I suspect 3 will be muc hthe same.

      Just focus on Rachni, Wrex, gf/bf, Council, Collector base, and para/rene.

    • Darthy says:

      I don’t think this has been posted yet, and covers all the options, mechanics and results in a handy flow-diagram (everyone loves flow-diagrams).

      http://biowarefans.com/2011/08/mass-effect-2-guide-no-one-left-behind-part-2/

      (spoilers, obviously)

    • v.dog says:

      @Darthy:

      Thanks for posting that. I always wondered why Mordin died on my first playthrough after I had done everything (including the food, couplings, and brandy).

      Garrus as the Team leader, Legion as the Specialist, Jack as the Biotic and Mordin as the Escort has never failed me yet.

      @Alec:

      Couldn’t you just restart the mission, or does it not restart the whole thing?

      I’ve got a series of saves from Samara’s Loyalty mission (last one I did) allowing me do different combinations of Kill Samara/Morinth, Intergrate/Destroy Heretics, Save/Destroy Base. Not sure which one I’ll use, tho’.

      What the editor is really, really good for is maxing out your minerals so you don’t have to waste all your time scanning (if you’re looking for anomalies, just use the Wiki) :)

    • mpasydg says:

      Yeah right, Mordin, who single-handedly defended his hospital against hordes of mercenaries, is bad at holding a defensive position… Doesn’t make much sense to me. http://yourl.ir/9848

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I played through twice and no one died. I even played on the hardest difficulty.

      In fact, I wasn’t even aware that people could die until I read about it on forums much later. The game probably would have been alot more fun if I knew people could die, as it was, though, it seemed kind of silly to have the “suicide mission” go off without a hitch.

  2. DJJoeJoe says:

    It wasn’t hard to save most or all of your team members, the game repeatedly beats you over the head at specific junctures during gameplay with the very obvious loyalty missions and roles you put them in during the final mission. I think my first playthrough I lost Mordin, reading online afterwards it seemed like Mordin was the most ‘wildcard’ of them all, since I played him in a seemingly perfect role yet he died regardless.

    That said, I just used masseffect2saves.com to get a save I like, since I was 99% there anyways I don’t wanna replay ME2 for like the 5th time JUST to make sure I have that last 1% to my liking.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Even if you have done all the preparations, you can still lose some people on the holding the line part if you’re not careful with your squad selections.
      It’s nicely difficult to pull it off flawlessly, which does bring a great sense of achievement.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Hmm. I never saw what the fuss was all about. Guess I was just lucky and jumped through all the right hoops first time.

      Actually that assistant woman died. She won’t be missed.

    • LXM says:

      I somehow made it through the mission without losing a single squadmate…however I made the error of sending back my entire ship crew without protection and they all bought it. So I guess I’ll need to hire someone new to tell me to check my emails…

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      liquidsoap89 says:

      I sent Tali through the vents with no issue (she seemed the most suited to it, and I trusted her). I had Miranda lead the second team. I think I took Garrus and Legion with me (they never left my side). And then took Samara as the biotic shield person. When I sent the group back I let Garrus lead, and I think I replaced him with Thane. Miranda got shot when she ran through a door, but because she’s part man she just walked it off. That was the only injury my team encountered, at the end everybody walked out of there alive.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yeah I didn’t look at anything and just played it cold at the time and IIRC no one died, or maybe 1 person? The prompts are really really obvious.

    • Ringwraith says:

      It’s the holding the line part which isn’t very obvious.
      There’s some calculations it does there and it’s easy to lose one or two people.

    • Derk_Henderson says:

      I let Miranda lead the second group, had Jack walk us through the wasps, sent Tali through the vents, and had Mordin escort the crew back to the ship (since he’s the most likely to randomly die). In all the times I did the suicide mission, I never lost anyone with that rotation.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’ve never had Mordin randomly die weirdly enough.

  3. Kevin says:

    You may want to head to your local army surplus or pawn shop to buy a heavy-duty EOD get-up after your remarks on Tali, Alec, because you’re in for Exterminatus levels of fan backlash for that.

    But on Jacob and Miranda I agree; I had to think long and hard whether or not I should re-do their loyalty missions (I went through another playthrough after buying the Shadow Broker DLC in preparation for ME3). I caved and gritted my teeth and did them in the end.

    On the subject of your multiple playthroughs of the suicide mission, there is a handy Mass Effect wiki with an extensive guide on making sure everyone got out alive (and even ones to help you kill off a specific squadmate, if you’re feeling sadistic).

  4. wccrawford says:

    Oh, this is quite timely! I was actually going to replay everything again, but the ending had me worried. I thought I had done well the first time I played (on 360) but people died anyhow, and I was upset. Now, I’m playing on the PC, and it’ll be nice to just play through and not worry about losing people.

    There’s no way I’m getting through it before ME3 launches, though.

  5. Caleb367 says:

    Wut? No Tali? You are a horrible, horrible person, dear sir.

    (jokes aside, I had a bunch of saves I kept especially for this – until I decided to forgo them all and have an epic game, starting from ME1, importing save in ME2, and then importing THAT save into ME3. Sort of the gaming equivalent of that nerd who shuts himself inside and pours the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in his eyes over a weekend.

    • macraw83 says:

      I tried this, coinciding it with ME3′s release. Sadly, it appears that I was about a day or two off… guess I’ll just set the ME3 box next to the monitor as motivation to finish ASAP

  6. Gunrun says:

    I have everyone alive in my save but I kinda wish 5 years ago I’d let Ashley die and not Kaiden.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sunjumper says:

      I feel very much the same. I had not realized what an idiot Ashley was back then and Kaiden was extremely bland so when I noticed that I could not save them both I let Kaiden stay dead.

      Later, far to late I learned certain details about Ashley and have felt ashamed ever since. Poor Kaiden…

    • JustOneWay says:

      +1 for this too. Ashley really is horrible, I did not realise quite how horrible until Kaiden was already gone. I suppose this is a good thing for my attachment to my story. When my views of her crystallised, I resented having a picture of her on my desk in my cabin for half of ME2. I was quite glad when it got turned faced down because I had moved on to, as it turned out, a differently horrible girlfriend.

      My shepherd is one of very poor romantic choices.

    • plugmonkey says:

      That was one of the easiest and most fun decisions of the series. Our backstory for Shepard is that she was a frontline squaddie who rose, Sharpe style, through the ranks to Commander. Field promotions into dead men’s shoes.

      Ashley stayed behind because, quite simply, she was a soldier and dying was her job.

      I love Mass Effect.

      I could write entire novels about our Shepard, the character has become that well defined to us. For example, I know that she hates the fact that the resurrection process fixed the small scar she had on he top lip. I could write a whole book about that one scar.

      The fact that this character exists solely for an audience of two is very, very cool.

    • marach says:

      Fear not Kaiden is just as large a tool as Ash in ME2

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      liquidsoap89 says:

      I made the opposite decision you did, but only because I didn’t actually believe that leaving Kaiden there would get the job done. I honestly thought he would botch it up somehow, so I sent Ashley (who before than was always in my squad) because I actually trusted her.

      That was one of my favourite moments in a game I’ve ever had. Having to actually CHOOSE who to lose, knowing the repercussions of either decision I would make.

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      phuzz says:

      Personally I wanted to send both of them to blow them selves up with a nuke. In the end I killed off Ashley, and made sure to be as nasty to Kaiden as possible.

    • sinister agent says:

      I let Kaiden die, because he was with the diversion team, while Ashley was with the bomb. Character didn’t even come into it – the diversion is a diversion, basically a suicide squad. The bomb is the entire damn point of the mission. Hell yeah, I went back to protect the bomb. If I happen to save a xenophobic dumbass along the way, fine. Seeing her again in the second one was nice, but she was still a dumbass.

  7. CaLe says:

    I copied my ME2 save from my 360 and used http://legion.cal24.pl/me2/index.php/site/index to convert it to a .pcsav. Hoping that will work out!

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      The utility linked to in the article will do this. Works fine!

    • mikeking23 says:

      Thank you so much for this!!

    • jonfitt says:

      Oh my goodness, this is great!
      I played ME1 on 360 because it was out ages before PC. Then when ME2 came along I didn’t want to guesstimate a character so I played on 360 too.
      .
      Now finally I can play ME3 on my chosen platform!
      .
      Thanks!

  8. Premium User Badge

    scudly says:

    Oh man is this ever useful for me since previously I played ME1/2 on 360 and really wanted to switch to PC this time round but didn’t want to have to replay them all again on PC just to keep my save games.

    Guess I’m gonna move ‘em over and get ready for tomorrow

  9. Flint says:

    The final hold the line seems to be the largest cause of seemingly random deaths because of some hidden values working behind the scenes of the game that doing all the loyalty stuff can’t eradicate fully. Plus Mordin is especially weak at holding the line (a position he’s always disliked and never paid attention to, judging by his mockery of his comrade Kirrahe’s “hold the line” speeches).

    Miranda’s seeming immortality is explained by the fact that she simply can’t die before the final boss because of her role as Miss Exposition in the cutscenes.

    My first attempt with my Main Sheppy caused the loss of my ship crew and Grunt. During my New Game Plus playthrough with the same shep I got a 100% survival rate. Thus, I should be seeing all my buddies in ME3, minus Kasumi whose DLC I never bothered with.

    • Strange_guy says:

      I thought Miranda was the final boss? She certainly hard enough to kill and many players want to kill her enough…

    • ElPoco says:

      Yeah right, Mordin, who single-handedly defended his hospital against hordes of mercenaries, is bad at holding a defensive position… Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • Apolloin says:

      As has been suggested, there is a bit of a hint in some earlier conversation with Mordin when discussing Captain Kirrahe.

      “Bit of a cloaca. “Hold the line”. Personally always preferred to do job and go home.”

      So my first playthrough I kept Mordin by my side the whole time. The second we infiltrated and then I sent him back with the crew.

  10. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    I mentioned this on Jim’s post about ME3 yesterday: I really regret 100%ing the ending of ME2, but my urge to tick all the loyalty boxes (even for character’s I don’t like) and collecting all the upgrades took over. I am still half tempted to go back and get a few killed but I worry that doing that kind of misses the point.

    EDIT: on the other hand that was the way it shook down the first playthrough ‘blind’ so I should perhaps be more accepting of the result…

    • Bureaucrat says:

      Same here. Well honed RPG reflexes to do all sidequests before attempting the clear “this advances the main plot” mission meant that I got through with 100%. Plus, the suicide mission decisions were pretty straightforward– send the robot to do the hacking; Samara for the biotics; and Garrus is in charge while I’m away. (Also, I suspect that taking Mordin along in my party protected him from the feared Random Endgame Death. But that was primarily because of how useful his Incinerate ability is against Scions.)

    • sinister agent says:

      I did all the loyalty stuff too, and sent Legion to do the hacking, Jack to do the biotics, and Samara to lead the second team (because Garrus is part of the final mission team with me, and that is non-negotiable). Oddly, Legion died. Everyone else was fine. Oh, and I sent Jacob back with the crew.

  11. mouton says:

    Yes, finally a savegame editor! Why wasn’t one made before, really? For that matter, it wouldn’t hurt if Bioware released it.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Good lord! Do you have any idea of the ire they would bring down on themselves if they did that? There would be untold whining that Bioware were devaluing the characters’ sacrifices. (Look at what happened when they gave people the option to have Dragon Age’s Warden be resurrected in Awakenings).

    • mouton says:

      Bioware is damned whatever they do anyway.

      I understand that some people find value in grinding the same game for the third time to get the “perfect” Shepard but perhaps not everyone has the time/inclination for it. Plus, people who lost their saves, people who played on the console etc. Putting out a savegame editor with heavy spoiler alert would be the reasonable and friendly thing to do.

    • NathanH says:

      The problem is that people would create all these perfect saves where everything was awesome. My experience playing ME2 first, with all the default “everything has gone to hell” choices from ME1, is that the crappier galaxy is more fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Actually @mouton, that’s a great point: a savegame editor for cross-platform purchase purposes would have been nice, but I guess they didn’t want to touch that with a bargepole.

    • marach says:

      umm Gibbed was released within a month of ME2′s release and an xbox compatible version was hacked together shortly after MS allowed thumb drives to be used for saves…
      I’ve used it loads to edit my ME1 choices and to get the non intimidated Conrad…

  12. Kandon Arc says:

    Alternatively, if you want to do it the old fashioned way, this thread is a complete guide on how to acheive any desired suicide mission outcome, e.g. only females surviving, only DLC characters surviving, only non-humans surviving etc. It is insanely detailed:

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/105/index/5855452

  13. Hypernetic says:

    The editor is really good for people who may have lost their saves as well. Over the years I lost my ME saves and when I did a playthrough of ME2 recently I was extremely unhappy with the default choices from ME1. So long story short, I don’t have the time/patience to play through both 1 and 2 again so I just created a new save file that was exactly the same as mine would have been.

  14. tehfish says:

    As you’ve mentioned both the vents and Miranda, this has to be reposted :D
    http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=022012

    • Tei says:

      Miranda is the female douchebag version of the male douchebag sheppard. Just his unnanny valley smiley make me want to slap his face with a iron bar.

  15. Lenderz says:

    I lost my save games due to catastrophic hard drive failure, which is a shame as I was rather pleased with the outcome of my first play through of ME1 and 2, and I feel I’ve missed some stuff out replaying over the last few weeks, although I’d got everyone out this time and I’d lost Jack and Zaeed during my first play and was quite happy with that outcome, although still emotionally struck by it.

    The one thing that bugs me is that I had Grunt and Thane with me at the last decision tree, but I had Miranda with me during my first play through and I liked the Miranda showdown with TIM as he wanted me to capture the collector base, and Miranda wanted me to destroy it. I wonder if I can edit the save game so that I had Miranda with me at the end rather than Thane in case that has any impact on Miranda in 3, I shall have to have a go when I get home, so thanks for drawing my attention to the editor.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      Follow. But. Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.

    • Lenderz says:

      Wrong TIM my friend.

      But The Illusive Man should indeed state “There are some who call me… Tim.”

    • sinister agent says:

      FINALLY! Someone else who calls him Tim. I was very disappointed that Shepard didn’t start calling him that. They could’ve had him spend the whole game trying to mask his irritation. It’d be brilliant. There really needs to be a “pure comedy” playthrough.

      Interesting about Miranda finally disagreeing with Tim about something though. I’d quite like to see what results from that, but sadly that would involve having Miranda replace someone I don’t want to kick in her weird face.

    • Lenderz says:

      @sinister agent – Yeah I think that Shepherd managing to get under his Skin calling him Tim would have been awesome. I mean, who can seriously call themselves “The Illusive Man” with a straight face.

      And for some reason Miranda turning on Tim during my first play right at the very end there really stuck with me 2 years later, it actually meant I didn’t despise her as much as I would have done otherwise, showed her having a heart really rather than just being eye candy.

  16. Furtled says:

    Gibbed’s Save Editor is an absolute star of a program, especially now it can convert PC to XBox and back. You can change flags in ME1 as well if you want to try something different, and fix the Conrad thing.

    Be honest, I’m a bit confused as to how anyone can pick wrong for the tubes/team leaders/bubble stage (unless the best choices got mushed going in), deaths by missing an upgrade or two okay, but always remembered that bit was helped along with some pretty heavy hints in the pop-up screen.

    Never tried killing Jacob or Miranda off by sending them through the vents – something to try with an old save, for science if nothing else!

    • Lenderz says:

      Well I had initially during my first play assumed that as Zaeed had been the leader of the Blue Suns a galaxy wide merc group, and had survived being shot IN THE HEAD on pure rage and that he was an all round badass with years or experience that he’d be a good leader for the second fire team. Apparently not, and it leads him to being shot if you use him.

      Whilst Garrus a “space cop” who spent most his life despairing at the level of red tape he had to deal with apparently is a better leader.

    • Flint says:

      Garrus managed to lead a small ragtag bunch of guys against massive criminal forces in the galaxy’s number one wretched hive of scum and villainy to the point that despite their vastly inferior numbers and firepower, they were feared. He’s a vigilante and a bit emotionally unstable, but a great squad leader.

      Zaeed on the other hand is the sort of guy who gets the job done no matter the cost, including the lives of others. Pretty much all of his war stories end with “… and I was the only one of my team left alive”, which speaks its own language about the risk of assigning him as the leader. Sounds though like in your case that his luck finally ran out as well.

    • Hypernetic says:

      Who you chose is only half of it. Even if you chose the correct people they will still die if they aren’t loyal.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Well I had initially during my first play assumed that as Zaeed had been the leader of the Blue Suns”

      Did you listen to ANY of his war-stories that he bends your ear with every time you visit his room in the ship? 95% of his missions ended with his entire squad dead, and him walking away with all the loot. Now, is this the person you want in *any* kind of leadership role?

    • Lenderz says:

      Good points well made, but I figured you know… its all a learning experience!

      And to be fair Garrus lost his whole team as well. To a traitor admittedly, but still he lost his team.

    • Furtled says:

      @Lenderz
      Pretty much what @Flint said, much as I love Zaeed he has a habit of getting everyone killed, plus if he was that good a leader he probably wouldn’t have ended up getting shot in the head in the first place.

      Also, Garrus = Turian Batman.

  17. Dezztroy says:

    Alec, any chance of a better picture of your Shepard?

  18. FlammableD says:

    Lost Grunt and Mordin in mine, don’t massively miss either of them.

    Also while we’re on unpopular opinions, I loved Jack and had to turn her down to keep up my Ashley relationship.

    • Kyrius says:

      Just logged in to show some love to Ashley(!!!), instead of the tradicional Megaman Liara.

  19. Bhazor says:

    … and who said roleplaying was dead.

  20. tehfish says:

    Ooh, just checked out that savegame editor and saw it lets you edit the resources amounts!

    No more planet scanning for me on the ME2 playthrough i’m on now :D
    (I thought the planet scanning was okay on my first run, somewhat tedious on my second and rage-inducing on this playthrough ;) )

    • Kevin says:

      You and me both, brother. My experience with it on my first playthrough gave me pause to starting a second playthrough. Now with the handy editor, I just give myself 999,999,999 of each ore for my “perfect” playthrough of ME2 in preparation for ME3.

  21. Dinger says:

    This was all just an exercise to repost the Mordin singing bit, wasn’t it?

    I won’t repost the Mordin talking about “chafing” stuff.

    I place ME with the wife. She still hasn’t forgiven me for ruining her shot at mr. doughy-good-eyes by getting blue with Liara in the first; the second, we couldn’t send that loser Jacob “we got a good thing here, shepherd” into the duct fast enough. Garrus was much more fun. Although, I suppose that I didn’t do myself any favours around the house by then having Kelly dance for me.
    (how come none of the others will dance? And will Ep. 3 let us see where the crusher maw bit Zaeed?)

  22. frenz0rz says:

    I’ll admit to being guilty to this as well. I lost Mordin, Legion and Grunt – my three favourite characters apart from Garrus – and replayed the mission a second time to get everyone out alive. I have struggled this past year deciding which save to go with. I’m still not sure what I’ll do, but the thought of not having Mordin along or finding out about Legion’s murky past makes me despair. And I know Grunt is going to have some sort of Krogan plot importance.

    Its an odd thing though, this. We constantly demand innovation and quality in our games; and yet when Mass Effect comes along with a meaningful and permanent set of decisions to alter your experience, we all end up wanting the same experience so as not to miss out on anything!

  23. ukpanik says:

    Loss is a big part of the experience and memory of the game. I would hate to control it. That’s a pansy way to play.

  24. Godwhacker says:

    This worked for me in the end. I did a second playthrough, focussing purely on the recruitment and loyalty missions. The first time round I ran out of time and couldn’t save the crew. Everyone was loyal apart from Miranda and Zhaeeeeeeeed.

    - Get Garrus to lead the second team
    - Legion as the tech
    - Send Mordin back with the crew when you find them
    - Samara as the biotic.
    - Two loyal people for the final party, or someone nice plus Miranda if you want her dead.

    • werix says:

      I managed the suicide mission by doing all loyalties and doing the following for the crew choices:
      -Tali in the vents
      -Miranda as the leader for the other team each time
      -send Zaeed back with the crew
      -Jack to man(woman?) the bubble
      -and I know I had Mordin in my fight for the boss each playthrough (since his fire stuff owned the collector general’s armor)

      Yeah they do hint it purdy hard at what is the good choices for what. I was trying to finish a neutral playthrough of ME 1 and 2 before ME3 (but lawschool got in the way) in which I was going to do everything in my power to kill Miranda and Jacob regardless of who it took with me because seriously, screw Cerberus.

      Admiral Kohoku *we will never forget, and never forgive*.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Skeletor68 says:

    My saves for ME2 are on PS3 unfortunately. I lost Mordin and didn’t have a save game anyhwere near the start of the suicide mission. Will be interesting to see how they make up for the variety of character line ups possible.

  26. Luciphear says:

    I’m actually surprised that people manage to lose squadmates during the suicide mission, no offense of course. On my first run I lost Tali since I couldn’t make her loyal again after recruiting Legion. I didn’t have enough Renegade or Paragon points to convince her, so she died in the last battle.

    Regarding the vents and such, I’ve been reading people who send Mordin, Thane and some other strange combinations through them. Why? It says you should send someone with technological skills, such as hacking and computing. Mordin is a biological scientist, and Thane is an assassin. Why not consider Tali who’s a quarian and have been seen to handle computers over and over again? Or Legion if you ever activated him, who’s a GETH and that EDI and everyone else keeps warning you about if he starts to hack something, not to mention his Loyalty mission.

    Also, I tried using the savegame editor. While it did work, I couldn’t seem to remember a lot of options as what really happened in game. Going through ME1 and ME2 all over again was a better option, and it didn’t take more than 3~4 days so it was well worth it. Now I remember everything of both games and know my decisions, and what characters are who.

    Edit: Oh yeah, worth mentioning. I see everyone sending Mordin back to Normandy, as escort. Why is this? I never sent him back – I’ve always picked Jacob since I don’t like him. Mordin’s survived every time…

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      When they said tech I figured a scientist fitted the description. I was incorrect.

    • Dinger says:

      you know, some of us wanted to lose a team member. It builds morale, and makes the survivors feel like they’re elite. A 10% failure rate is ideal for a large group, such as the USArmy rangers or the Normandy. Besides, Ashley and Jacob were just annoying. Sent Jacob into that tube because that guy kept talking about having a “good thing going here” and yet this guy — the son of a pimp-king, no less — wouldn’t put out. Then he got jealous when that blabbermouth Mordin let slip that the Captain and the Turian were getting ready to have a party. That kinda talking-back gets you a one-way trip to the ventilation shafts, sir.

  27. MuscleHorse says:

    Well, this whole thread has been something of an eye-opener. I assumed that the end mission was supposed to be relatively easy to get everyone out alive – all of their roles seemed logical and the only slip up I had was that the rest of the Normandy’s crew were killed (I left a few loyalty missions till last). Is there some way to get Joker killed by the way? Please?

    • bambusek says:

      Nope, no matter what you do Joker will always survive the game. Even if everybody else dies he is last man standing and report to Illusive Man.

    • NathanH says:

      If you haven’t specialized in one of the paragon/renegade branches then you might be unable to have everyone loyal, so deaths can occur even if you choose apparently sensible roles for everyone (for instance, i had a loyal Legion die when doing the tech role). Also, some characters like Mordin are just squishy, and it is not obvious that Mordin would be squishy. Finally some of the choices are not altogether obvious, like who to send back with the crew. I chose someone very strong, and that probably worked against me later.

    • jalf says:

      I liked Joker, and would hate to see him killed, but it was really ridiculous how he just *couldn’t* die.

      How whatever else happened, he and the Normandy would always get back to report back.
      Which means that the one thing the mission *wasn’t*, is a “suicide mission”

      Totally missed out on the most obvious ending: your team manages to destroy the reaper thing, but the ship is too damaged to return safely, so everyone is stuck on a space rock at the center of the galaxy.

      I’d looked forward to seeing that ending.

    • Apples says:

      What kind of inhuman monster wants Joker to get killed? :(

      edit: apart from the literal inhuman monsters that attack him, obviously

    • Bureaucrat says:

      @Apples, If you think it through, “Shepard Hates Joker” is a pretty convincing alternate narrative. She’s a military officer, responsible for the safety of a ship and her crew. Joker is a hotshot pilot who insists on being called by a stupid nickname, who makes a mockery of ship discipline, and who is aboard a ship of war despite clearly being physically unfit for combat. Those two sorts of people tend not to be particularly good friends. Also, his disobeying the evacuation order is pretty much responsible for Shepard dying the first time around.

    • Furtled says:

      You can kill Joker if you’re not quick enough or go the wrong way during his bit on the ship (I got curious about how strong his plot armour was during a play through), but there’s no way for him to stay dead.

  28. povu says:

    I thought Zaeed was the most dull and unlikable companion in the series so far, I had no trouble sacrificing him. :P

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      It can be pretty awesome if you didn’t have him loyal because you refused to let the workers die, and then he sacrifices himself saving the rest of the crew. That’s what happened in my game.

    • Kadayi says:

      Zaeed was an unrepentant bad ass, and personally I’d like to see more of him in the ME universe. Given the DLC nature of the character I doubt he’ll have more than a cameo in ME3 though (which is a pity). however he’s good in a fight if you’re not a combat character (I play sentinel) and has some great lines if you’re playing Renegade.

    • plugmonkey says:

      @ Godzilla

      I’m sure I didn’t have him loyal, and I definitely sent him back with the crew, but I think he survived. Unless he died, and I cared so little, I’ve forgotten.

      I guess I’ll find out on Friday…

  29. bambusek says:

    Completed ME 2 twice.

    1st: Tali to vents, Garrus as fire team leader, Jack as biotic, Miranda as diversion team leader (when you go inside biotic bubble), Mordin send as escort for non-combat crew, Jack and Samara taken to final battle. Everyone loyals, No one died.

    2nd: Tali to vents, Garrus as fire team leader, Samara as biotic, Miranda as diversion team leader, Mordin send as escort for non-combat crew, Kasumi and Jack taken to final battle. Everyone loyals, No one died.

    The only tricky part in suicide mission is final battle as game calculates hidden Defense rating for team protecting the door when Shepard is fighting with Reaper larvae and based on this rating it is decided if someone dies. Looks like Mordin greatly decrease said rating and therefore shouldn’t be left there.

    • marach says:

      He’s a 1 you need over 4 on average to get full survival basicly if you take at least one other 1pointer with you into the reaper fight they’ll all survive aslong as they are loyal

  30. SAM-site says:

    There is nowhere near enough mention of Jack in this discussion. Jack was my absolute favourite sidekick with whom I had a rather vigorous bunk-up in the hold of the Normandy 2 and she got brutally murdered in the suicide mission.

    I’m still not over it.

    • Apples says:

      I’m guessing a fair number of people here played as femShep, and Jack completely clams up if you’re female. Like, not just has nothing to say to you like the others if you don’t have a relationship with them, but outright telling you to piss off because you’re female (“It’s not a girls’ club, Shepard!”). So that kind of blocks out a chunk of the playerbase from getting to know her at all.

    • sinister agent says:

      I played as a woman, and became pretty tight with Jack. I figured there was no romance option for her as a woman, but I didn’t bother with any of the romances anyway, because most of the crew are kind of gross.

  31. Drayk says:

    While i understand why someone woud fix his savegames, I think it spoils the fun a bit.

    On my Parangon Vanguard run in veteran difficulty, everyone survived.
    On my (mostly) Renagade (deep down i am still a boyscout) Sentinel run in Insane difficulty, Mordin was the only one to die. I was really really sad but did not try to save him by reloading. It was part of the experience.

    Right now I don’t have the money to buy ME3 and I am thinking about replaying the game a third time while staying fateful to Liara.

    Do you think that’s wise ?

  32. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    Hands up everyone who sent Thane through the vents.

    It seemed so logical, dangit!

    • plugmonkey says:

      Stealthy, they said. STEALTHY!

      Still, as I said in another post, it’s what he would have wanted.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      I know. He even said he found the heat pleasant (at first).

      He was the only person I lost.

      I do have a 100% successful second-playthough of the final mission, but as I STILL missed saving Kelly, I think I will play the first one.

    • Lycastus says:

      Same. From the description of the task, I imagined there being a lot more stealthy navigation of various environmental hazards in a confined space, followed by a little light rewiring. I didn’t want to risk Tali getting chopped in half by a giant fan or something, and so sent Thane. The outcome made sense in hindsight, but I don’t think it was quite as blindingly obvious as some claim.

      Similarly, I lost Zaeed by giving him the second fire team to lead, which I think was a defensible choice, given how good he was in a fight, and how much military experience he had. It makes sense that he died though, I agree he’s not the most stable, efficient, or heroic leader. And my Shepherd didn’t want to risk Garrus, despite him being the obvious choice.

      Essentially, my Shep lost two people due to being too protective of her favourites, and I quite like that as a character arc – something that might affect my future decisions with her.

    • Premium User Badge

      lasikbear says:

      Yep, but I thought I learned my lesson when he died and chose Miranda for the bubble part hoping she would die too. Instead space bees killed Mordin and it was a sad sad day for all of us.

    • Alexnader says:

      Even though Thane is stealthy, I only briefly considered sending him in before settling upon Legion who was not only a Geth “Infiltrator” but also had tech abilities out the glowing head camera thingy.

  33. Zeewolf says:

    Hm, I had forgotten everything about this. Seems I lost Samara and Legion. Samara… wasn’t she a bit annoying anyway? Can’t remember. I think I liked Legion.

  34. niko86 says:

    Yes, yes, a sad past and a fierce combatant, whatever – she’s still a prick.

    QFT. I was recently surprised that somehow Jack has fans. Even with personality as deep as graphene, Jacob is still head and shoulders above Jack in terms of my affection.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Agreed, Jack was the only character that I didn’t like. While Jacob was a boring character, Jack was downright unlikeable. How is there not a renegade option telling Jack to cut the crap?

    • Flint says:

      I disliked Jack when I first recruited her, but my paragon Shep’s frequent friendly chit-chats with her really had an effect on her and got her out of her extremely violent shell. During the final suicide mission you could already tell there was genuine trust between her and Shep. She goes through a really wonderful character development arc with the right kind of Shepard, and one that’s not humongously underlined either and instead allows little pieces of dialogue and body language to do most of the talking.

    • SAM-site says:

      You. Outside.

    • Apples says:

      “one that’s not humongously underlined” I can’t find the direct quote, but what about the part, I think during or just after her loyality mission, where she just basically says “I look like a huge bitch but underneath I’m just a scared little girl!”. I can only find the trailer quote about “mess with someone’s head enough” but it definitely wasn’t that one, she sounded upset while saying it. I guess in a real person it might show a good level of self-awareness (IF she’d ever actually changed as a result of that realisation – in my game she did not), but in the game just felt like cringingly bad writing and almost fetishistic of ‘broken’ women. It was something I, as a player, should have realised through her behaviour, not something she should just be telling the audience in case we hadn’t noticed. It’s like that Futurama “You can’t have characters announce how they feel” joke. You can’t have characters announce their own characterisation.

    • Flint says:

      There might have been such a line but I can’t remember it being so bad that it would’ve jumped out at me. What I mean by one that’s not particularly underlined is that a lot of her character development is in her tone and choices of words: she gets warmer and less abrasive in discussion the more you build a bond with her, and during the final mission she drops the badass bitch/lone wolf act completely, becoming a proper part of the team. To me most of her character development was based a lot on small cues rather than an on/off switch being flicked and personality changed in an instant.

      Might vary according to the type of Shep, of course – I’m talking on the basis of a paragon male Shepard who stayed strictly in the friend zone with her.

    • Apolloin says:

      Another agreement here. My choices were Tali for the vents, Garrus for the second team leader, Mordin to escort the crew and Samara for the biotic.

      The idea of letting the lives of my team, myself and possibly the entire of Citadel Space rest on Jack being stable and focused enough to see the job through to the end was not an appealing one.

  35. Isometric says:

    I’m proud to say I saved everyone on my first try. Wether that was a complete fluke, luck or just good judgement I’ll never know.

    • Furtled says:

      Same here but I’m willing to admit to being a filthy completionist who does all side missions, upgrades and loyalty stuff as soon as it pops up. I had to actively avoid doing things for a final play through just so I’d have a few deaths, it’s harder than you’d think!

  36. mrwout says:

    What is going on with all the Miranda hate over here ?!? I know she comes over as kind of a douche, but she’s a nice person on the inside, I just know it. And I know I well be able to change he for the better !

    Also had my “perfect” ending on my first playthrough, only Mordin and Jack died, was happy to see Jack go and didn’t really care for Mordin…

    • Zeewolf says:

      I liked her, but I hope I can… well, I want Liara back. I felt she pushed me away and didn’t want me in her life any more (I was actually quite upset with her). So I ended up going to bed with Miranda – I thought we were on a suicide mission, dammit. But now I regret it.

    • sinister agent says:

      I know she comes over as kind of a douche, but she’s a nice person on the inside, I just know it. And I know I well be able to change he for the better !

      Oh my. I hope you don’t apply that attitude to people in real life. Kidding though! Miranda is a dick, and I don’t think she’s nice deep down at all. Her treatment of her sister is as nice as she’d ever get (ie: gleefully killing the shit out of tonnes of people, then leaving). But I like the character; she’s believable.

    • Alexnader says:

      @Sinister

      Did you play the Shadowbroker DLC? If you choose to you can find out a bit more about Miranda and other notable characters and it outlines a follow up chat she had with her sister.

      I really didn’t mind her, she came off as a bit “I’m so perfect look at me with my slutty outfit” at the start and I’m glad numerous other NPCs pointed out how ridiculous her outfit was but towards the mid game she showed more complexity as a “perfect” human being. At one moment she said that being made to be perfect, she didn’t really have any ownership of her successes but could only claim responsibility for her failures. Kinda silly but it showed self-reflection.

      Also Yvonne Strahothothotsky

  37. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I only got Mordin killed, but he’s my favourite!

    However, my first playthrough is my One True Shepard’s One True Story, so I would be cheating myself if I didn’t deal with the consequences.

  38. arisian says:

    This is why we need better tools to separate what the player wants from what the player character wants. At the beginning of the “suicide” mission, there should be a meta-choice that lets the player pick from a couple of options. Option 1: Triumphant – anyone who’s loyal can’t die. Maybe they get injured, and spend a month in sickbay. Option 2: Razor’s Edge – standard ME2, people can die, but it’s possible to save everyone if you make the right choices. Option 3: It’s a Suicide Mission – no matter how clever you are, a sizeable fraction of your team is going to die (though you might still be able to control/predict who will die based on your in-mission choices). It’s not possible to save everyone.

    As we can see from this thread, it is already possible to more or less make these choices, by doing things like looking up outcomes in the wiki or using a savegame editor. The point is that peole want to be able to make these choices, even if they have to bend over backwards to do so. It would make the overall game experience much better if these choices were actually presented to the player in-game, so we didn’t need to look up spoilers or hack our savegames. They’ve already given players one of these meta-choices in ME3, by letting us decide to “streamline” either the combat or the dialog. While I personally wouldn’t want to do either, I think it’s great that the choice is there. We need more choices like this.

    It could also help with some of the more face-palm worthy “romance” pickup lines; it would be nice to be able to take a subtle approach without having the game misinterpret that as a request to disable the romance subplot. Again, the issue is that the player’s intent may not match the player character’s intent; perhaps Sheppard doesn’t really want to fall in love with character X, but the player wants the characters grow closer in an organic fashion through shared hardship, until one day they realize that they love each other. No obnoxious, subtle-as-a-brick flirting required. This would be far more interesting than Shepard propositioning everything with the right number of legs, but as things stand that’s the only way to let the game know that the player is interested in allowing the possibility of romance.

    • NathanH says:

      Interesting idea. This would sort-of amount to a difficulty setting for the suicide mission metagame. Consider that difficulty settings in Bioware games only involve the combat. Is it time to consider difficulty levels for the non-combat parts of these games?

    • Apples says:

      This would be a cool idea for a game, or genre of games, in its own right – one where you don’t take the role of a single character, but act as a cinematic director, choosing rather than simply reacting to scenarios. I don’t know how well it would play, since in the end all you’re likely to end up with is a fairly mediocre, schizophrenic film, but it would be a good experiment. I like the idea of having that extra layer of ‘tone’ or ‘intention’ by separating the player’s and the character’s wishes. Not sure how well it would work for something like ME though, since the concept is that of you taking on the role of a hero against unknown odds and challenges, and being able to say ‘I want this challenge to be easy’ or ‘I want everyone to die’ seems like it takes away from the actual in-the-moment feeling of trying to complete the challenge, as you already know exactly how easy or hard it will be and what the casualty level will be. I wish we could have a return to things like PS:T, where the same line could have several ‘intentions’ (e.g. [lying], [truth]).

    • arisian says:

      Apples, while I agree with much of what you say, I would argue that we already have that control over our games: it’s called save/load. If I don’t like the outcome, I just re-load from my last savegame and try it again. Essentially every game ever made has this; you try something, you fail to get the outcome you want, and you try again. In the bad-old-days, this might mean re-starting the level, or even re-setting the cartrige and starting the whole game over, but you always had control over the outcome. If the player can’t control the outcome at all (as in, not even by dying/loosing the game), then it’s not a game, it’s a movie. So all games have a very basic tool (save/load/try again) for controling narative outcomes; I just think it would be worthwhile for developers to recognize that this is one of the things a save/load mechanism does, and consider whether there might be better tools for the job, especially for complicated narratives like the ones Bioware tends to create.

      If done properly, I think it would allow for a wider variety of possible narratives without risking player frustration, which can result from a player being forced into a particular type of narative (e.g. “your favorite NPC dies, and unlike the previous 100 times she died, this time you can’t fix it by casting raise dead or quickloading and trying again, because that’s what the narrative calls for”). No one wants to be forced to play through a tradgedy, but if she’s given a choice, then the player doesn’t feel powerless, and is free to decide that a tradgedy makes for a more interesting narrative. Note that a key point here is that it’s okay for the player character to feel powerless, but it’s not okay for the player to feel powerless; if you can’t separate the two, then you are much more limited in what stories you can tell.

  39. terry says:

    Friday release you say? More like 20 minutes (I’m temporarily Korean) :P

    • subedii says:

      Quick, load up Starcraft and hit the ladder!

    • Paxmayne says:

      Wait… so if I change my nationality on origin from British to Korean…. I can get the game early….? Surely it can’t be that simple!

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      He’s probably altering his IP to one in Korea. That works for Steam at least, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Origin too. However, I still wouldn’t do it because it can get you banned if you’re unlucky (on Steam, but again there is no reason that Origin is different).

  40. AmScipio says:

    I’ve got my perfect Paragon 100% playthrough of ME2 saved. Only one problem: my femShep is named Sugartits (wife’s joke). Gotta edit that name for ME3.

    First time I played ME2 I had all but Kasumi with me, and all loyaled. nobody died. Second time through on hardest difficulty level, I had everyone maxed, all upgrades (including 6/6 heavy pistol), sent Legion through the vents, Samara on the biotic shield, Thane guarding the fugees, and Miranda commanding the fire team, and nobody died.

  41. subedii says:

    Quick question regarding ME2/3 (I’ve been pretty much on media blackout):

    Does anyone know if the DLC characters / content from ME2 also get carried through into ME3 in any significant way? Because Kasumi was the only one I did, and even then, I think that was ancillary to my final savegame.

    If they’re major story elements, I might be a bit annoyed, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be averse to tweaking a savegame file to get the results I’d like there.

    • Buemba says:

      Pretty sure they mentioned only Shadow Broker and the final DLC released would have an impact on ME3.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      You probably get some minor feedback for all DLCs, in the form of a news report, or a message. Shadow Broker should have a somewhat larger effect. I’m pretty sure, the events of Arrival happend regardless if you played that DLC. Though it’s possible that Sheppard is replaced by some other agent of the Alliance in that story, if you didn’t play it.

    • briktal says:

      I would assume that Shepard does the stuff in Arrival even if you didn’t play it (with the canon choices) because I think that’s the entire reason you are where you are at the start of ME3

  42. Godwhacker says:

    Just seen this- it’s a guide for playing through ME1 & 2 to get Shepard in the worst possible position for Mass Effect 3 The only surviving squadmates are Kasumi and Morinth, and there’s a whole list of additional moronic decisions. For example

    “Started a romance with Ashley and left her to die on Virmire”

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/105/index/1165725/1#1165725

    • Drayk says:

      It’s amazing and depressing at the same time…

    • Alevice says:

      Ha! I started a romance with Kaidan, but since I barely brought him due to bad combat traits, I had to set my feelings aside and let him die instead of my slight xenophobic, but always strong willed Ashley.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Romancing Ashley and then leaving her was what I did. I wanted a clean slate for a new romance in ME2, so my old lover had to be nuked.

  43. YourMessageHere says:

    This whole sequence pissed me off with the way it has objectively right ways and wrong ways to do things, in a game that’s all about making a character your own. Yes, the game drops hints, but frankly, I’d be quite happy to just chuck Miranda and Jacob out of the airlock. The game says she’s a good leader. I/Shepard says she’s not. I think I put Zaeed, or maybe Thane, in charge of the second party, and as a result, Mordin was killed by space bees. That would be fine if there was something I could have done about it, or if there was a logical connection between the two events. But no, because one person was leading a different group, another person who wasn’t with them got killed in a cutscene that clearly didn’t relate to my game (Shepard had an assault rifle in the cutscene, despite not being able to use them as an Adept with extra helpings of sniper rifle. If they managed to make it look like my Shepard, how hard is it to give her my Shepard’s guns?). Not only that, but I spent that whole section watching out very carefully for the people in my group, sticking with them and keeping them going, then in the cutscene Shepard lets Mordin fall behind. Just who’s in charge here?

    Little wonder I looked up how to ace it and replayed it, saving everyone. If you’re determined to remove my agency as a player, damn straight I’m taking it back.

  44. Bantros says:

    I was pretty disappointed that everyone survived, but I’m not replaying to kill someone off as I quite liked them all. Does make it a bit cliche though, massive suicide mission, slim chance of victory and yet everyone is fine. Oh well, guessing most of the characters will be bit part players anyway.

  45. Nova says:

    The suicide mission is handled “realistically” instead of videogamey.
    You have to listen to the cues to pick the right characters.
    So you need a leader for the second team -> Garrus led a team on Omega, Miranda also works iirc.
    A good engineer/hacker for the vents-> Tali or Legion
    A good biotic for the shield -> Jack or Samara/Morinth
    A good fighter to hold the line like Zaeed
    The one who goes back to the ship can be weaker -> Mordin
    I’m not sure if someone can die in the final boss fight, but Samara and Legion worked for me.

    • subedii says:

      Largely agree, although I actually sent Grunt back to the ship, since the objective there was to safeguard the crew on the way back, so I thought “Which of these guys is going to be a really heavy hitter even on his own, to give everyone else the best chance to escape and make it back himself?”

      And well, Grunt seemed like the natural choice.

      I was so glad when all the crew survived. It made me FEEL awesome in that all those minutes debating with myself over who to send paid off with what were eventually the right choices, and for the right reasons.

    • Qwentle says:

      I sent Mordin back not because ‘he’s weaker’, that’s not great reasoning, but because he’s a badass commando (in cut-scenes at least) whose goal is to preserve life at any cost. He seemed the obvious choice there.

      Despite that, my Legion got his head blown off because supposedly not being loyal lowers the effectiveness of his servos when closing doors. He was only not loyal because he had an argument with Tali directly before the mission and I sided with neither of them, picking what I saw as the morally correct choice (stop bickering and get to opposite sides of the ship) rather than the Renegade or Paragon options which are always the ‘best’ choices. Oh well.

  46. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    “and presuming you’re not some manner of perfect, blessed god of gaming who 100% everything and didn’t put a foot wrong”

    I am not but I didn’t. Which disappointed me. I’d mich rather have had an emotionally engaging ending but nope, apparantly my desire to see (mostly) everything there was to see resulted in a “suicide” mission that was anything but. It’s my own bloody fault. That said I’m carrying that save through as it is my original playthrough save.

  47. Alevice says:

    Despite having the wiki on my right hand, I went to the final mission blindfolded to not spoil myself more than I did already (I knew about baby reaper already). I kinda knew you had to do 4 missions or less to rescue half the crew at least, so I had to pick a few loyalty missions, except for Jacob’s (not that I was too worried). Except it was 3 or less missions, so only Chakwas was alive.

    Since I was partially aware some people were going to die, I picked Jacob first for the vents, as I wasnt that concerned on wether he would die or not. I thought he would die on the vents based on your performance while playing that section (in addition to loyalty and stuff). When I learned that he survived the vents I was like well not too shabby and then he tried to lock the door and BAM!

    I was like well, man, I guess people really can ide here! So when they let me pick as a biotic specialist who could die, guess who I chose? Our dearest miranda, who was starting to falter already, so I was like good riddance asshole. Well, turns out that she didnt die, but rather, one of my squadmates did. I had Samara (my fav biotic specially with reave – the poor man’s warp that also damages biotic shields) and my favorite shadow striker Kasumi; both of them were loyal. And then fucking Samara died, while Miranda kept walking around.

    Forntunately my other choices were smarter. I knew that Garrus was like the real second in command, so he lead the first fireteam. I felt a bit bad for Jack, so I sent her to escort Chakwas back to the Normandy, so she could feel a bit special. Grunt led the second fireteam, I think, either that or he held the line. I mean, he is a huge monster that can soak heaps of damage and just brush them off as mosquito bites, so yeah. And for the final fight, I went with Mordin and Legion, just because I wanted my fav squad members with me (and because pretty much everyone else was burned out already and didn’t want more deaths in my hands).

    In the end, my femshep pulled a Goku go-get-them kinda attitude, and let the Collector base intact to see what possible extra challenges brougt for the third game (hoping it would not translate into more deaths of named characters).

    And dspite being the victor, the victory was quite bittersweet when you notice the Normandy is pretty much empty and the surviving characters berate me for handing the collector base to cerberus…

    And then Jane Shepard was arrested for killing a mere 300,000 batarians. FML

  48. lordfrikk says:

    “Still… it just wasn’t my game. With one of these, ME3 wouldn’t be a continuation of my choices, even if it did contain most of them.”

    This is how I feel about my original (and only) saves that I played with through both ME games, because it’s been so long since Mass Effect 2. I can’t play ME3 without replaying ME1 and ME2 but I just can’t force myself to do it right now :(

  49. TsunamiWombat says:

    Maybe i’m some sort of Klingon videogame savant but I had absolutely no problems getting everyone to come back alive. Just..just do all the side quests and get the ship upgrades and use logic when selecting rolls. I sent Tali through the vents (even though I romanced her), reasoning her incredible skill with machines and her environment sealed pressure suit would protect her. Tali through the Vents, Garrus led both away teams, I sent Jacob to escort the survivors back to the Normandy because I assumed being a soldier and a biotic would make him prepared to handle any collectors they encountered (warp + Shotgun). I had Mordin and Thane with me the whole time (ignite, shredder ammo for the organic collectors) and left the heavies with the last stand team (grunt, zaeed, garrus, etc)

  50. Plinglebob says:

    I remember completing my playthrough with everybody alive (fluke), then going onto an internet forum and finding threads along the line of “Who died in your team” and thinking Wow, Bioware grew some testies. I had no idea that some of your team could die because normally that sort of thing is telegraphed a mile away and the already announced sequal meant I expected everyone to live to make it easier to tell 3′s story.

    Going by my very hazy memory, I had:
    My Team: Garrius and Morden. Both entertaining and scarily good against the Collectors.
    Vent: Tali was the obvious choice so went with it.
    Second Team Leader: I think I went with Jacob using the logic “Former Soldier, he’ll do ok”
    Shield: Asari woman who’s name I’ve forgotten.
    Sent back with the crew: Zaeed. Wasn’t a fan so didn’t worry about him being available or not.