Save the Council or Sacrifice them?

#1 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -

Okay. So, I just re-bought Mass Effect 2. And after about a five hour period of downloading and installing this 12GB beast, I'm now doing the intro comic.
 
When I first got Mass Effect 2, I rented it. As some of you may know, the "online pass" for Mass Effect 2 on the PS3 is the intro comic that abridges the first Mass Effect, and allows you to make some decisions which will alter your Mass Effect 2 experience.
 
With renting, I missed out on the intro comic and my decisions were pre set. And by the time I got around to downloading the "online pass", I had already finalized a "main save". And with my next two go-arounds with the game, I just chose random choices since I was going to be rushing through to get the Platinum. I never actually had a chance to have these decisions matter. And with Mass Effect 3 right around the corner, I think it's time I right that wrong.
 
So, I'm stuck on the decision to jeopardize the Alliance Fleet by saving the Council, or sacrificing them to save the fleet. And I'm not sure what to do. If I recall correctly, this was a pretty big decision in Mass Effect so I'm not sure what to do. And having not played this game in a year, I do not remember the consequences of either decision. So, now that I'm on the case of making a straight-up-Mass-Effect-3-ready-save, I'm not sure what to do.
 
Giant Bomb. Help me. I've been looking at this screen for the past 25 minutes and I just want to start playing. I've still got to go through the Cerberus tutorial and a lot of work ahead of me.

#2 Posted by Yummylee (21661 posts) -

As far as ME2 goes (obviously can't speak for ME3) there's not a lot of difference. Some characters will respond to you differently on the citadel, but that's it far as I remember. I imagine it may determine how much paragon/renegade you'll start off with, though.

#3 Posted by MildMolasses (3221 posts) -

The only decision that is actually important is whether or not you saved Wrex. Nothing else matters. At all

#4 Edited by N7 (3590 posts) -

But which one would have more story impact? This is just a small little decision for a comic, but this was late-game, shit's-getting-reeeeeel decision in the first one which could alter uniting everyone against the Reapers. Do I need the Council? Or would it be better to, essentially, kill them all?
 
This is bothering me more than it should.
@MildMolasses: Of course I saved Wrex. Shepard. Wrex.

#5 Edited by NTM (7381 posts) -

If you want the Paragon choice, you'll have to save the council. As for right now, no ones knows if saving them or killing them off will help or make it worse for your playthrough. Have to wait for the third. It may have to do with aliens helping you in the end or not, 'cause if you kill them off it'll make it seem like you're only fighting for a human cause, and they won't want to help, or at least it'd be harder to get them to help.

Online
#6 Posted by Jimbo (9814 posts) -

I haven't played through ME2 having saved the Council (so I can't really compare), but I did feel like letting them die was nicely reflected when I visited the Citadel in ME2. It felt like there was a lot of racial tension as a result, and some face spaliens were pretty hostile towards my Shep.

IIRC, there are also news announcements on the Citadel about the Turians et al militarising in response and breaking battleship treaties (which is a reference to the Washington Naval Treaty, which was broken in the build up to WW2).

#7 Edited by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

It doesn't matter, none of it matters.

#8 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -

Well, it looks like I'll be killing these truckers then! Thanks for the help everyone. I don't know why this bugged me as much as it did, but now I know. And knowing is part of vital nutrition for your daily breakfast.

#9 Posted by UnrealDP (1222 posts) -

If the Council is destroyed, they're replaced by an awful assortment of generic humans who couldn't possibly be more insufferable, and saving the Council doesn't actually destroy the fleet or anything, so the decision boils down to the question of which Council do you prefer?

#10 Edited by Venatio (4491 posts) -

I saved the Council. As much as they can be assholes they are important and useful for the galaxy, also, the fleet has a couple of hundred humans, the Destiny Ascension, the ship that's carrying the council, has over 10.000 Asari on board, so you save the council and a whole lotta Asari plus that awesome ship

Do the Paragon thing, I think it affects the story in Mass Effect 2 in a much cooler way

Huge Mass Effect fan here, saving the council is much better

#11 Posted by Yummylee (21661 posts) -

@N7 said:

But which one would have more story impact? This is just a small little decision for a comic, but this was late-game, shit's-getting-reeeeeel decision in the first one which could alter uniting everyone against the Reapers. Do I need the Council? Or would it be better to, essentially, kill them all?

That's just it, it doesn't factor into the story of ME2 at all. The only thing that should determine your choice is down to just what kind of Shepard you're trying to create; it may not leave any lasting repercussions, but it still helps shape your own Commander Shepard. Generally speaking, you're to sacrifice the sons of shits if you're aiming for a Renegade run, and save them for Paragon, if you prefer to spread your morality on thick.

It's easier to understand from a perspective after playing through the original; the council are complete and utter tools who won't listen to anything you say about the Reapers and aren't very useful, but sacrificing them for the sake of then having an all-human council totally makes you a Super Space Racist 5000. On the other hand, you could be sacrificing them because you don't think it's worth putting so many alliance troops on the line for what could be a lost cause, when they'll be required to take down Sovereign (who you do still beat, no matter what decision you make btw).

#12 Edited by NTM (7381 posts) -

@N7: You should save them, or should have by now. It won't affect ME2, but that doesn't matter, 'cause it's not just about one game but the entire series when it comes to Mass Effect. If you want a happier conclusion, or the best conclusion, you should save them. It's all about paragon and renegade, unless in the end choosing renegade was the right choice.

Online
#13 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -
@UnrealDP: @Venatio: Well... Ship. You guys are right, actually. I never thought of the decision system to boil down to morally-okay or hey-you're-kind-of-a-dick. It makes so much more sense that way. I think I'm going to save them instead! I'm going to be a good guy anyway, so it makes more sense. Instead of this randomly happening thing of good and bad.
 
Diversity does matter. It makes a lot of sense. The human race isn't the only ones who matter, it's about everyone. And to write them off because they are a bunch of dicks is wrong! I am going to go back and save them!
 
@Abyssfull: You are right too. I am not going to be this racist dick Shepard who believes humanity is the only way. Diversity! Team work! Ethics!
 
This was the right way to go, and now I see! Paragon for Paragon, Renegade for Renegade. Never thought of it like that.
#14 Posted by ajamafalous (11997 posts) -

Spoilers in the thread title.

#15 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4678 posts) -

I don't even remember what I picked. Not like it mattered anyway.

#16 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -
@ajamafalous said:
Spoilers in the thread title.
Spoilers? This is like the first 20 minutes of the game.
#17 Posted by HatKing (5953 posts) -

@N7 said:

But which one would have more story impact? This is just a small little decision for a comic, but this was late-game, shit's-getting-reeeeeel decision in the first one which could alter uniting everyone against the Reapers. Do I need the Council? Or would it be better to, essentially, kill them all?

This is bothering me more than it should.
@MildMolasses: Of course I saved Wrex. Shepard. Wrex.

I don't like that people can just click 'yes' on that one and save Wrex. You actually had to work for it in Mass Effect. You either had to have a full 'conversation' skill or had to have done a specific quest for him. I know people who weren't able to save them and felt really bad, and how happy I was that I built a friendship with the character. A simple yes/no option does not do it justice.

#18 Posted by Zacagawea (1594 posts) -

@N7 said:

@ajamafalous said:
Spoilers in the thread title.
Spoilers? This is like the first 20 minutes of the game.

Mass Effect 1 spoilers, silly.

#19 Posted by Alexandruxx (228 posts) -

I killed those pigs.

#20 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

I went full Paragon in both games in three different play-through's and I've always saved the council.

#21 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -
@Zacagawea said:

@N7 said:

@ajamafalous said:
Spoilers in the thread title.
Spoilers? This is like the first 20 minutes of the game.

Mass Effect 1 spoilers, silly.

As old as the game is, I didn't really think of it as an issue. But either way, I can't edit the thread title.
#22 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

@Alexandruxx said:

I killed those pigs.

Fuck them

#23 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

I saved them because that's what my Shepard would do. I'll play through ME3 again with a Renegade Shepard but going in as my "canon" Shepard will be the mostly Paragon one who saved the Council so, it'll be interesting to see how that plays into thing if at all.

#24 Edited by Tomkang (251 posts) -

Get two playthroughs, one paragon and one renegade.

In the end paragon will most likely set you up for the reaper threat.

Here are the benefits

#25 Edited by TheHT (11286 posts) -

If I remember right, if the council dies then humans basically step up and pretty much take the reigns, and you'll get chewed out by some folks. If you save 'em, they'll still be around and will interact with you. Don't remember it having any HUGE impact.
 
There are actually three choices in Mass Effect 1 though: let the council die, save the council, or focus all efforts on bringing down the Reaper. While the third still results in a dead council, I wish there was some dialogue option in ME2 along the lines of "We needed to destroy the reaper, to save the entire Citadel." but they just treat it like you make the choice to let them die.
 
In fact, if I also remember this right, even if you choose that third option Joker just shuts of communitations to the council flagship as if I said to let them all die. Always sucky when a choice is just illusory.

#26 Posted by jakob187 (21672 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

It doesn't matter, none of it matters.

#27 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

"reapers"

Fuck that guy

#28 Posted by tourgen (4502 posts) -

@N7 said:

But which one would have more story impact? This is just a small little decision for a comic, but this was late-game, shit's-getting-reeeeeel decision in the first one which could alter uniting everyone against the Reapers. Do I need the Council? Or would it be better to, essentially, kill them all?

This is bothering me more than it should.
@MildMolasses: Of course I saved Wrex. Shepard. Wrex.

You should play the first game if you can. It's pretty good and the decision should be much easier for you to make when you see it in context.

Also, saving Wrex wasn't just a decision in the first game. You had to have high enough paragon/renegade skill to even get the option. I think it helped if you found his ancestral armor too. Anyway it was entirely possible to have no other option but to shoot him in the head if you didn't (cheat) know what was coming.

My opinion was always Fuck The Council. Everything should be focused towards saving the galaxy. You don't have your most advanced ship break off at the most critical moment to save a few whiny bureaucrats.

#29 Posted by Chop (1997 posts) -

My main man Garrus told me to let them die. So I fucking let them die.

#30 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

They can make you a Spectre again and you get the "Reapers" joke if they live.  That's the only difference I can remember.

#31 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4814 posts) -

@N7: Save the council. I have a feeling that choice is going to be the one that is most likely to bite people in the ass.

See, the major thing that the Reapers always used to their advantage was the systematic dismantling of galactic government. It destabilized the galaxy and with no government leaders, everyone ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. You want to avoid that, so save the Council. I could be reading too much into these brilliant games, but I don't think so.

Online
#32 Posted by Yummylee (21661 posts) -

@ExplodeMode said:

They can make you a Spectre again and you get the "Reapers" joke if they live. That's the only difference I can remember.

You can still regain your Spectre Status if you sacrifice the original council, though I think it's only brought up if you chose to place Anderson in the council.

#33 Edited by AndrewB (7621 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

@N7: Save the council. I have a feeling that choice is going to be the one that is most likely to bite people in the ass.

See, the major thing that the Reapers always used to their advantage was the systematic dismantling of galactic government. It destabilized the galaxy and with no government leaders, everyone ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. You want to avoid that, so save the Council. I could be reading too much into these brilliant games, but I don't think so.

That was always my belief/hope with how it would be handled. Better the enemy you know. Or, more accurately, the enemy you know who also has some idea what's going on and knows you aren't lying, who you also have sway with for saving their asses.

The puppet government that forms if you let the old council die makes me wary that the rest of the galaxy would rebel against humanity. They already have enough enemies. My playthrough after making the choice to let the council die felt wrong. The humans who die if you take the effort to save the council serve as a statement that humanity is willing to sacrifice for the greater good.

#34 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -
  1. didn't
  2. didn't
  3. saved
  4. didn't
  5. saved
  6. saved

Saving them is better... why? You'll find out in ME2...

#35 Posted by Jimbo (9814 posts) -

I don't think it's fair to say none of your decisions matter. They may not change the content you see significantly, but even subtle changes in tone can make a meaningful difference to how that content is experienced by the player. My Shep was pretty ruthless about putting humanity first when it mattered, and I felt like that was pretty well reflected in ME2. You get a sense that your decisions have had far-reaching consequences (see my previous post), even if you aren't directly shown them.

It is possible for content to be branched significantly in big budget games (the second act split in The Witcher 2 proves that), but it is asking a lot. I thought the decision to try and alter tone rather than content was a decent compromise and very smart development on Bioware's part, especially considering they were right in the middle of a trilogy. They probably should try and be a bit more ambitious with this stuff in the third game though - it should be more feasible now that the end is in sight.

#36 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -
@Abyssfull said:

@ExplodeMode said:

They can make you a Spectre again and you get the "Reapers" joke if they live. That's the only difference I can remember.

You can still regain your Spectre Status if you sacrifice the original council, though I think it's only brought up if you chose to place Anderson in the council.

Yeah, I forgot.  But if the council offers it to you, you can have the satisfaction of telling them to shove it - so that's another thing.
#37 Posted by N7Joker (13 posts) -

Well the council pretty much treats you like crap in both games but still I like to save them so humanity can get a seat on the council and become a full member of the galactic community.

#38 Posted by Pazy (2581 posts) -

When I first played Mass Effect 1 I was entierly paragon, I wasent "going for a paragon run" I just tend to be a good guy. When it came to that final choice I knew "save the council" was a paragon choice but honestly I thought the true "good" choice was to save the thousands of men and women serving in the fleet, the council is about 3 people who seem to barely represent anyone (just like current politicians) and I didnt see any reason why three lives would be worth more than a thousand (of any race). It gave me "renegade" points but I dont care i the goverment called me renegade, I did the right thing regardless of public opinion.

When I was playing Mass Effect 2 I remember taking some heat from the general populace and higher-up's but I took my lumps for Good and Honour.

#39 Posted by moogles1 (3 posts) -

in mass effect 3 you get less war assets saving the council

#40 Posted by moogles1 (3 posts) -

@moogles1: it says first alliance fleet after losing a third to defending the council and that they didnt have enough time to build it back to its original strength

#41 Posted by Roger778 (957 posts) -

I recently played the game again as a female paragon, and I chose to sacrifice the council in order to concentrate on Soverign. The other races were definitely hostile to me when I visited the Citadel in ME2, but that seems to be the only difference so far. Also I chose Anderson to be the Counselor.

#42 Edited by madpierrot (68 posts) -

I prefer saving the council. Always just seemed like the more... Shepard thing to do I guess. Than again I pretty much always played as a Paragon. Also I think the long term benefits are better when you save the council.

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