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Posted by patrickklepek

[Note: This story does contain spoilers about Mass Effect 2. You have been warned.]

I finished Mass Effect 2 once. The suicide mission was, in my eyes, a one-time deal, an all bets are off descent into the madness of destroying The Collectors and delaying the Reapers, one where I lost a few friends in the process.

In battle, Miranda took a shot to the head, while Tali was swarmed by seekers.

Neither character is with me in Mass Effect 3, which I started on Sunday afternoon. They will never have a cameo in my Mass Effect 3.

I'd purposely waited to play Overlord (fantastic), Lair of the Shadow Broker (great) and The Arrival (disappointing) until just before Mass Effect 3. Having a few hours to brush up on the universe before the apocalyptic Mass Effect 3 seemed appropriate. I just didn't realize how much I'd miss a virtual mass of pixels branded Miranda.

I'm not sure what exactly struck me about Miranda more than any other game character.

Our relationship ended on a sour note. Just prior to embarking on the suicide mission, I was doing my rounds on the Normandy. “How are you?” “Are you ready?” “We’ll get through this.” Miranda and I had one last chat. I can't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was flippant. It's probably because my Shepard got busy with Jack in the Normandy’s basement, and she found out. I didn't think she would.

Secretly, though, I knew which character my Shepard wanted to be with, and I’d upset her. I hadn’t considered she might run out of dialogue eventually, and now I had no more options. My response pissed her off, and she turned away. No matter how many times I tried, she wouldn't budge. There was nothing more to be said, and unless I loaded a save, this was the end.

My last save? Long, long ago.

An hour or so later, she took a bullet to the head. We never had a chance to smooth things over.

Every time the squad screen popped up while finishing up Mass Effect 2, I was reminded of my ill-timed mistake. Miranda doesn't disappear from the squad screen, she's simply covered in a red hue.

If you’re like my friends, you went through the suicide mission more than once. Maybe you did it just to see how else it could play out. Most players I know found a walkthrough to learn how to keep everyone alive, hoping to bring everyone along for the final ride against the Reapers. It's true that I don't play many games twice, preferring to mosey on, but I avoided playing the suicide mission again out of principle.

Consequence in games is important. At the very least, it's interesting. It's one thing to have a new character have a new experience, it's quite another to exploit--and that's what it feels like, exploitation--a saved game and have everything turn out the way you wanted, rather than the way it happened. It'd be great if BioWare had went a step further and ensured a character died no matter what, and made it completely random. It makes no sense everyone should survive a supposed "suicide mission," unless it happens by sheer chance. Victory would be sweeter.

My squad looked a little bit different after the end of Mass Effect 2. A tiny bit more red.

But perhaps I'm looking at it the wrong way. Making a conscious decision to not fit Mass Effect 2's ending neatly into my own desired conclusion when the game lets me do so lends the consequences more weight. I've decided to move on, and moving on is meant to be hard. It's much easier to reload, pretend it never happened.

Believe me, I’ve considered going back, despite being 10 hours into Mass Effect 3. I’ve run into other members of my Mass Effect 2 posse, but I’ll never run into Miranda. It feels terribly strange to write about a digital character like this--shameful, even. Am I upset over not seeing content that other players will? That’s the easy rationale. The harder one is that I feel bad Miranda and I did the Mass Effect equivalent of getting into a fight with your significant other and going to bed.

You never know what might happen, and in this case, I can’t make up for it.

Given the promises BioWare made about Mass Effect in the beginning, this feels right. If I want to know what it’s like to have Miranda giving me a peptalk as the universe ends, I’ll see that when I play through Mass Effect again. Or maybe I won’t, and this will be the one, permanent journey I have through BioWare’s drama. That, too, feels right.

In my Mass Effect, Miranda died, and there’s nothing I can do about that.

Edited by AnxiousTube

It's powerful what a game can, sometimes, do to you. I know I experienced this when Tali died on my mission. I however did replay the ending to keep her alive, but that first time she died still stuck in my head. It was kinda heart retching.

Posted by Heliosicle

Mordin died in mine, it was so sad :(

Posted by phrosnite

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

Posted by RoboRobb

@phrosnite said:

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

because boobs?

Posted by ghostNPC

Mordin got it on my game. He was so fantastic, I feel as though I should try to save him, but I run into Patrick's problem as well. Maybe I should just leave it be.

Posted by Warihay

I only lost Jack when I did my suicide mission. I have no problems with never seeing her again.

Posted by DFSVegas

I was a Jack guy. Miranda was a cunt of massive proportions. I did her missions and never talked to the bitch if I didn't have to.

Posted by Tiwi

@RoboRobb said:

@phrosnite said:

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

because boobs?

No... because ass.

Edited by jaks

Miranda stuff in ME3 is kinda lame, if that's any consolation.

Edited by SlightConfuse

lost legion in my playthrough he came so late that it was hard to get attached to anything

also you are under selling the death of tali quite a bit

Posted by dyong

Man, you better not play Fire Emblem then.

Posted by Demyx

I'm so sorry for your lost. I don't know what I would've done if I had lost Tali. Sadly though, my Shepard is still fighting the good fight in ME2, I hope my team survives the final mission.

Posted by Swoxx

@phrosnite said:

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

You just explained it, because she sucks.

Posted by snazzle

I have to admit, I see the point of making and keeping the decisions permanent. It brings a bit of reality to the story, and that lends itself to a whole lot of refreshing enjoyment. The only counter-point I could possibly bring up, is that it's a game, and it never hurts to enjoy it the way you want to, so why not go load an earlier save, keep everyone alive, and have fun with that? Yet he brings that up when mentioning later replays of the story.

Either way, I think the permanent status of one's decisions lends itself well to the reality of what this, and other, stories wish to convey.

Posted by steevl

I lost Garrus and Mordin. I need to do another playthrough. It'll be a while before I experience ME3.

Posted by rudyarr

@Clonedzero said:

this is not your damn blog patrick wtf

don't be a douchebag. Don't read it then

Edited by BlatantNinja23

honestly... I wanted Miranda to die the second I saw her. just don't get the love for her. And anyways people that die in ME 2 basically get a carbon copy to take there place in 3 with a little less personal dialogue. So i didn't mind tali and friends missing.

Posted by RockinKemosabe

I can't imagine a Mass Effect 3 without my buddy Garrus.

Also, wasn't there a glitch where if Miranda is killed during the suicide mission that she'd appear alive again somehow in the next cutscene?

Posted by cyraxible

@Clonedzero: You're an angry moron, sir.

Miranda was the only character I even cared about in ME2. None of the other player favorites clicked with me.

Posted by donkeyscrotes

@dyong: Fire Emblem was just tragedy after tragedy for me.

Posted by FieldCommanderRick

It's really not that difficult to have everyone survive.

Posted by dvorak

The reason that I went back and played my suicide mission a second time is that the reasons that I lost a couple people seemed really contrived. The characters I put in certain roles seemed interchangeable, and it seemed odd that only a couple different configurations got you out with everyone.

I figured it out without looking up a guide, but it didn't make any sense at all how Tali should go through the vent instead of Kasumi or whatever.

It's also weird that Kasumi talks about going through the suicide mission in Mass Effect 3, but she only joined my team months after I had finished the game. I wish there was some kind of story tag there to track that.

Posted by crusader8463

@Swoxx said:

@phrosnite said:

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

You just explained it, because she sucks.

She also does Anal.

Posted by B0HICAH

That squad list screenshot doesn't have Kasumi in it! Some poor soul out there never experienced the coolest human squad member in the series.

Posted by Fozimuth

I just played all of the loyalty missions.  I heard the Reaper IFF was the point of no return basically, so I did all the missions and nobody got killed in my game.  I'm not sure how you would manage to get anybody killed.  The recruitment and loyalty missions are literally 70% of the main game, so I don't know why you would skip them.  And the choices aren't too hard.  Garrus led his own team on Omega (that he talks about incessantly), so have him lead the secondary teams.  Tali is a machinist/ engineer, so have her hack the tubes.  Samara and Jack are pure biotic, so have them make the shield.  And so on.  I'd like to hear what decisions people made in the last mission that actually got squadmates killed.

Posted by SaucyGit

Listen to yourselves.

Posted by DazzHardy

I consider myself quite lucky. I only did the Suicide Mission once, before guides told you how and when people would die, and I made it through with everyone alive. No one died, no one left behind, and I've found it kinda hard to imagine how Mass Effect 3 would of played out differently for me if anyone had.

Posted by Humanity

@Clonedzero said:

this is not your damn blog patrick wtf

While not very eloquent, kind this?

I started reading, then skimming, then wondering what the news was? I was waiting all weekend for some cool GDC stories. Those never came, but instead I get a cool blog entry about ME2 of all current titles. I appreciate the inside look into the world of Patrick I guess but uh?

Posted by Happenstance

I think for me I went with Miranda in ME2 and stuck with her for 3 because of Yvonne Strahovski more than Miranda. Still though, I did get attached so made sure she survived both games.

I lost Mordin in my suicide mission in ME2, such a great character and it looks like I missed some great dialogue by not having him in my playthrough of 3.

Posted by batVomit

I just can't believe that anyone would choose Jack over Miranda...

Edited by Dan_CiTi

I like big butts and I cannot lie. Also, crackhead Britney Spears over Yvonne Strahovski? What?

Posted by JesseCherry

I had the opposite effect. I'm a completionist, so when I went on the final mission, I had everything. This meant no one died. I didn't have any hard choices. Hollywood endings leave much to be desired.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

This might be why people got so mad with ME3. In the end nothing they did in the other games seemed to matter in the end. Letting Miranda die in your game? No effect on the end of ME3. 

Posted by Toug

I didn't loose any squad members, but half the Normandy's crew bit it during my ending of 2. So when I'm walking around the ship in 3 and I get off the elevator on the one floor, and there's this fat memorial listing the names of everyone that died, with "Kelly Chambers" front and center, it was a pretty hard hit.

Posted by BrockNRolla

@rudyarr said:

@Clonedzero said:

this is not your damn blog patrick wtf

don't be a douchebag. Don't read it then

I kept waiting to read some type of "News." Instead, it was just a blog post, which, correct me if I'm wrong, are a thing you can do on this site. Sorry to say, but this doesn't constitute an article Patrick. It's cool to write something up like this, but calling it an "article" is deceptive.

Posted by MayorFeedback

My ME2 save mysteriously vanished, so I created a new character and chose the vague "multiple people died" option. Miranda just showed up, even though she died in my ME2 playthrough as well. Sorta weird, but it's interesting to meet some new characters.

Edited by Superfriend

@Heliosicle said:

Mordin died in mine, it was so sad :(

Don´t worry, "Not-Mordin" will be there for you in Mass Effect 3..

I still think the idea of having decisions carry over into other games is pure genius. Just wish it had been implemented better in ME3. By the way, I´m completely with you on the suicide mission, Patrick. This sort of thing should be done ONCE, without the help of a guide or something. Do it again and it loses all of the impact.

The suicide mission was a thing of beauty and I still have fond memories of this section. It really felt like the stakes were high and losing a crewmember really had an emotional impact. While the rest of ME2 was somewhat disappointing to me, the final mission is something that I will always remember as a great moment in gaming.

Posted by A_Deep_Mushroom

@phrosnite said:

Miranda sucks anyway. I dont know why people like her.

because boobs?

Posted by Brazzle

Maybe that works fine for you Patrick, but garrus ate it in my original play through. Yeah, that was by far the most impactful a death could have been in the game, but no fucking WAY was I going to leave my turian brother behind.

Posted by RadicalWall

I lost Zaeed, and the galaxy didn't even care.

Posted by mfpantst

Well so my true story has me getting with Ashley and being true to her.  Of course I've lost my save and until I actually replay Mass Effect 1&2, no mass effect playthrough I experience will be mine.  that being said in my renegade 2 run I swindled Miranda because, goddamn I love me some yvonne.  Also good article. 

Posted by WouldYouKindly

I lost Tali and Zaeed during suicide mission. I did eventually replay to save all squadmates simply for the trophy but when it came to importing a save from ME2 on ME3 I chose my original save where my squadmates died as I felt like that was the real ending to my story. This is how Mass Effect was meant to be played. I do look forward to replaying ME2, making different decisions and seeing how that plays out throughout the series.

Posted by BrockNRolla

Patrick Klepek

Was there a reason you chose to make this an "article" rather than a blog post? I'm genuinely confused.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Clonedzero said:

this is not your damn blog patrick wtf

It's called an editorial, just like the same pieces of writing that Jeff or Ryan or Brad write that ever so seldom show up here. Just because Patrick also writes the news, doesn't mean his role is diminished to only writing news.

I'll give you that it all shows up under their "news" section which can be misleading, but almost anyone can tell you that their news is purposely written with an editorial slant anyways.

Posted by prestonhedges

Um, okay...

*pssst, hey, why is he telling me this shit? can someone get me out of here? Patrick's gone crazy again and keeps writing articles about doing everyday things*

That's real good, Patrick. Keep it up...

Posted by PacManFevaa

I'm still regretting my decision in Mass Effect 2 to use Thane in a spot where I knew I should have used Tali. I just liked Thane more. Because of that Legion died. I was beating myself up about that for weeks after I finished ME2. And now I'm starting to beat myself up about it all over again playing ME3. Especially after seeing how my decisions in ME2 have carried over. I really miss Legion. And he died because I didn't think as a commander should have. I thought in terms of who I liked and because of that one of my favorite characters paid the price. I've thought about replaying it, but it's not what Shepard would do.

Posted by thebigJ_A

@Clonedzero said:

this is not your damn blog patrick wtf

Or maybe you stfu, douche.

Posted by bhhawks78

Don't understand why you wouldn't do all the loyalty missions in me 2 patrick.

THEY ARE THE BEST PART. if you did+made common sense choices on last mission noone dies.