Sorry I took so long to get to this. My last post had me finding out that the Reapers were actually the most ancient species I’ve heard about until now. And after my face off with Saren on Virmire, I thought I’d have to chase him to Ilos to finish the game. But, nope, I was able to do whatever I wanted. This was kinda weird timeline-wise, but I already discussed the disconnect that makes you realize this is a game last time around.
There were two missions I’d agreed to help with in the course of getting around the universe. So I figured I’d do those two before heading to Ilos. The first such mission was answering a distress call about a VI gone nuts on Luna (meaning Earth’s Moon). This was the most boring mission I participated in during my entire playthrough of this game. Where were the people who radioed for help? I doubt the game was slick enough have had the VI kill everyone because I was working on other missions. So I didn’t get any story beats or anything. Just some experience points.
After that, there was the mission capturing the Salarean who was harvesting organs….from living people. It was a pretty crazy and gruesome story, so I figured I should bring that dude to justice. And, since I was playing the light side…. I mean paragon I let him live. But then he decided to get into a firefight anyway so I killed him. Oh well, still got paragon points.
Then, before heading to Ilos it was finally time for “sex” with Liara. She’d been hinting at it all this time and we finally got to do the Mass Effect world version of the Mind Meld which happened to look a lot like sex. I’m not saying I wanted alien porn or anything, but for all the attention the scene generated in the media, it was pretty mild. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood starts off with way more explicit sex. I’m also curious what would have happened if I’d chosen the chaste Ashley instead. But I don’t wonder enough to play the game again. Maybe I’ll just poke around the net (with safe search on!) (But I probably won’t)
So I start the long chase to get to Saren. Eventually I end up in an area with a Prothean computer and get an exposition dump. Yes, the Protheans were using Reaper tech. They didn’t actually build any of the stuff you thought they did. That was at least built by the Reapers. As I mentioned before, I loved the fiction of Mass Effect way more than the actual game (If it were a book series I would have gobbled it up) so this was my favorite part of the game. Finally, everything (almost) was explained and you got all the final plot twist!
And what was this plot twist? The Citadel itself was a mass relay to deep space where the Reapers lay in stasis. So every time civilization reached its peak and was about to discover the true purpose of the mass relays, the Reapers would come in and commit genocide. Why? Who knows! Dan said in the comments to my previous entry that I’d find out in ME2. It’s really not that big of a deal, but it also solved the mystery of the “Keepers” – they are put there by the Reapers to make the Citadel function between genocides. Which explains so much and makes it great that some guy towards the beginning of the game wanted me to scan them all because he felt they were part of some conspiracy.
And the Prothean story was so tragic – their best scientists went into stasis until the genocide was over, but it took too long and power had to be shut off to their life support systems in order to keep the computer up for Shepard to find so he could stop the Reapers.
So I chased Saren to the Citadel and had the final battle. I continued to be Paragon, but the game needed him dead so it didn’t work. And, finally, I chose the guy whose ship I “stole” in the beginning to be the Earth ambassador to the UN…. I mean Citadel.
And so the game was over. It was a great game. I have to say that Bioware did a great job as my first non-Japanese RPG. I really enjoyed it and I’d definitely play more of those, including the rest of the Mass Effect series. The only gripe I had with the game was its inventory system. Since I was playing the short game, I never sold anything. And at some point it became annoying to ever look at my inventory or open a locker because then I had a bunch of stuff I had to liquidate. And I wasn’t able to go into my inventory to throw away the old stuff, I had to throw away all the new stuff I’d just picked up. I ended up mostly playing with Liara and Wrex. After them I also played with Talia. I pretty much ignored the other three.
A good game and I’m glad I played it.