The really geeky list of Mass Effect nitpicks (spoilers)

Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

Since the trilogy concluded, I've wondered about a few things regarding the Mass Effect fiction, especially the stuff brought up in ME3, but no one thing specifically jumped out at me as worthy of its own thread or blog post. Instead, I figured I'd just post a whole bunch of them at once. I can't be the only one wondering about some of this stuff, so feel free to add your own nitpicks or potentially answer some of these, if you're able to.

_____________________________

Why is Udina on the council and Anderson still in the military regardless of what I decided in ME1?

Why is it that Cerberus needed an autistic numerical savant to interface with the Geth ship in Project Overlord, but Legion is able to use the Deckers chair from Saints Row: The Third to allow Shepard to easily interface with a primary Geth sever on Rannoch?

Why didn't more Cerberus scientists put two and two together during initial trials of indoctrination? Once all the subjects started having Illusive Man eyes, I'd imagine they'd probably start figuring something was off.

If EDI is a collection of computer hardware aboard the Normandy and is only remotely controlling the EVA body, Wouldn't the fact that the ship got torn in half and is very obviously completely offline mean she's effectively dead?

Better question: How did Joker of all people survive a crash landing without shattering every single bone in his body, let alone him being the first one out of the airlock? Must have been one pillowy-ass landing.

Why is Tali so nonchalant about sex with Shepard now? That line about "synchronizing" or whatever is kind of BS. Even if she somehow managed to become immune to everything Shepard had crawling all over him during their first encounter, he's been on dozens of planets since then and a slew of spaceports, no doubt picking up thousands of viruses, mold spores, and bacteria from all corners of the galaxy. Even if he hadn't, his bedroom isn't sterile. If Tali got naked alone in there she definitely would have gotten incredibly sick, so Shepard's presence and him being a living, breathing disease culture shouldn't help matters. I think people would have been happier with a Pushing Daisies relationship for the two of them.

What happened to the Collectors? I find it kind of hard to believe the only Collectors in the galaxy were hanging out on that base in the middle of the galaxy. Isn't that.. a little small? For an entire species, I mean.

Inside the derelict Reaper of ME2

Reapers: Who built who? Did the Reapers build the Citadel like ME1 states, or did the Catalyst/Citadel create the Reapers, like ME3 states?

Reaper interior

Better question about the Reapers: They're sentient ships, something that seems to have been forgotten. Saren was flying around the galaxy in Soverign with Benezia, a bunch of Asari commandos, and scores of geth for all of Mass Effect 1. So, if the only purpose of the Reapers is to kill organics every 50,000 years, what was the point of having an internal atmosphere, standard temperature, and an internal structure designed to house an entire crew? It's not for the husks and cannibals and brutes and stuff, they don't need to breathe anymore, based on the fact they were being deployed on Volus ammonia planets and the Hanar homeworld. It hardly seems like the most efficient design.

The process of impaling humans on Dragon's teeth in ME1 drained them of all of their fluids and allowed the Reaper nanotechnology or whatever to take rapid hold. And that's cool, drained of most moisture and dry out all the fat, and men and women look almost exactly alike. So... does that mean all Banshees are Asari with silicon implants..?

Quite possible this used to be a chick.
err...

What sense did it make for the Geth to join in on the war against the Reapers? The collective seems above all else to be interested in group preservation. The Reapers had no interest in the Geth other than a very pragmatic attempt to use them as free foot soldiers, and there was no indication they'd ever try to wipe them out (which in and of itself is a little weird, given the Catalyst logic, seeing how they're unchecked, evolving AI...). Still, especially in the scenario where the Geth are forced to wipe out their creators, there's zero reason for them other than gratitude to take up Shepard's cause when it might result in their annihilation.

Speaking of the Quarians, why would they turn their Liveships into Dreadnoughts? I get that they're big ships and you can put big guns on big ships, but for the large confrontations with the Geth, and then the Reapers, but especially the Geth, why would you put them into combat like that? There are only three of them and they're the core of the fleet, to be protected at all costs. They're pretty much the sole source of sterile food for every Quarian in the galaxy. It would be like slapping turrets onto a giant greenhouse. Why then, bring those into battle, when an enemy that knows your limitations (like the Geth) would spot them instantly and just suicide bomb a few ships into them, almost guaranteeing you will all starve?

The Quarian Liveship is the big backward snail looking thing. On the front lines.

If Miranda's sister Oriana is genetically-engineered from her father's Henry's DNA just like she is, why is she such a spaz who is always getting kidnapped and doesn't seem to be able to do biotics or anything? Also, why don't they all look like Yvonne Strahovski instead of generic Mass Effect people? I mean, seriously, I was expecting to see Miranda with a moustache when I found that dude, not Conrad Verner with graying hair. And why is he working for Cerberus? I thought he was just an egotistical and wealthy business man, not a mad scientist specializing in xenotechnology and mind control. I really hope they weren't working at Cerberus at the same time, those interoffice emails and company picnics would have probably gotten pretty awkward. If he's a new recruit for Cerberus, why would he opt to work for the organization that kidnapped and hid his daughter(s) from him?

I can sort of understand the logic of shopkeepers charging me, potential savior of the galaxy, for weapons and supplies. What I don't get is why I'm being charged such exorbitant amounts for Spectre gear in ME3. What kind of military organization functions like this? Does James Bond have to put down his personal Amex for gadgets from Q? Who else are they selling these to? I'm very confused. I just saved the Council? Again? Hello? Free gun or two, please? They should commission a gun in my honor, not charge me for them.

Edit:

I'll just keep adding more to the end of this as they occur to me.

First: What happened to Geth Hoppers? They were the most annoying, but most amazing enemy in the first game, and served an important narrative function. They were the first geth that the Quarians had nothing to do with designing, and a true sign of them evolving into something more. They could jump around the room like Spider-man and stick to walls and shot you with lasers from their camera eye. Super cool! I'll miss you, hoppers.

Honestly? Kind of what I pictured Tali looked like naked.

How the hell did the Reapers get the Citadel to Earth? Is there no size limit to what the relays can transmit through the zero-mass channels they open? Can you even send a relay through a relay? I mean, it had to go through a relay due to the timing. There's no way they'd get to Earth in under 6 months from the Serpent Nebula the Citadel was located in using FTL, I'm going to guess, assuming the Citadel even has any sort of FTL propulsion. According to the games, though, the Citadel is about 45 km long, and at least 10 km wide (based on the size of the Presidium ring). The largest ship class in the galaxy, Dreadnoughts, are between 800-1000m. Maybe the Destiny Ascension, the most powerful ship in the combined fleet, at most, is twice that. Even Sovereign, the largest class of Reaper, is only about 2-3 km long. At the end of ME1, he was arguably relatively about the size of a gumball in a gumball machine, if not a little smaller, perched on top of the Citadel tower overlooking the Presidium. I'm assuming these sizes aren't arbitrary, they probably would have gone larger if Mass Relay technology allowed it, otherwise we would have seen mention of space stations being built near planets with resources, and then sent off to unpopulated areas of the galaxy in order to establish a presence. Size can't be an arbitrary thing, otherwise, why bother making the relays as large as they are?

I know this is a leap, but I'm going to have to assume that E=mc2, so more energy would be needed for more mass or greater distances to move that mass. It makes sense based on the ginormous size of the Citadel and its purpose as being a relay connected to one outside of the galaxy in "Dark Space," and the tiny size of the Prothean conduit. If the size of the relay didn't matter, than Sovereign would have used the Conduit to get onto the Citadel, not tried for a frontal assault. This is kind of a perfect example here, since the relative size of Sovereign to the mini relay is around the proportions of the size of the Citadel to a standard relay. I couldn't find any measurements on them, but we see the size of Mass Relays next to the Normandy about 500 times in each game, so we have a general idea.

Beyond that, how did they move it at all? They have no control over the Citadel, based on Sovereign's actions. The Catalyst can't manipulate the Citadel, based on previous inaction. I doubt husks can operate machinery, and the Keepers, thanks to Prothean meddling, no longer respond to Reaper commands. They pretty much would have to clamp onto it and drag it to overcome the inertia, hundreds of Sovereign-class Reapers. As far as I know they haven't introduced tractor beams in Mass Effect fiction, and we definitely haven't seen Reapers using it before. That says nothing about the effort it must have taken to put the citadel in a geosynchronous orbit over London. (incidentally, if they had just put it over a small island in the pacific, even with their stupid beam, they would have been fine.)

IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZERS

Logistics aside, for what purpose then? That's a huge freaking effort to get that thing to Earth. Again, why? What does that accomplish? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BEAM? It's like they did everything they could to make it possible to defeat them. I suppose it sort of functions as a "test" of sorts, to make it at all possible for organics to defeat them and thus prove the cycle ineffective, but what does getting to the beam mean? You know, since that was the only real challenge, they couldn't plan on The Illusive Man showing up in every cycle. It seems like the three things that influence if you're able to get to the beam would be either your shielding technology, your stealth technology, and your sheer numbers. But then, that just means you'd be really good on American Gladiators, not that the Reapers need to rethink their plans.

"...and in red, we have John Shepard, for the fate of the galaxy AND A NEW CAR!"
#1 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

Since the trilogy concluded, I've wondered about a few things regarding the Mass Effect fiction, especially the stuff brought up in ME3, but no one thing specifically jumped out at me as worthy of its own thread or blog post. Instead, I figured I'd just post a whole bunch of them at once. I can't be the only one wondering about some of this stuff, so feel free to add your own nitpicks or potentially answer some of these, if you're able to.

_____________________________

Why is Udina on the council and Anderson still in the military regardless of what I decided in ME1?

Why is it that Cerberus needed an autistic numerical savant to interface with the Geth ship in Project Overlord, but Legion is able to use the Deckers chair from Saints Row: The Third to allow Shepard to easily interface with a primary Geth sever on Rannoch?

Why didn't more Cerberus scientists put two and two together during initial trials of indoctrination? Once all the subjects started having Illusive Man eyes, I'd imagine they'd probably start figuring something was off.

If EDI is a collection of computer hardware aboard the Normandy and is only remotely controlling the EVA body, Wouldn't the fact that the ship got torn in half and is very obviously completely offline mean she's effectively dead?

Better question: How did Joker of all people survive a crash landing without shattering every single bone in his body, let alone him being the first one out of the airlock? Must have been one pillowy-ass landing.

Why is Tali so nonchalant about sex with Shepard now? That line about "synchronizing" or whatever is kind of BS. Even if she somehow managed to become immune to everything Shepard had crawling all over him during their first encounter, he's been on dozens of planets since then and a slew of spaceports, no doubt picking up thousands of viruses, mold spores, and bacteria from all corners of the galaxy. Even if he hadn't, his bedroom isn't sterile. If Tali got naked alone in there she definitely would have gotten incredibly sick, so Shepard's presence and him being a living, breathing disease culture shouldn't help matters. I think people would have been happier with a Pushing Daisies relationship for the two of them.

What happened to the Collectors? I find it kind of hard to believe the only Collectors in the galaxy were hanging out on that base in the middle of the galaxy. Isn't that.. a little small? For an entire species, I mean.

Inside the derelict Reaper of ME2

Reapers: Who built who? Did the Reapers build the Citadel like ME1 states, or did the Catalyst/Citadel create the Reapers, like ME3 states?

Reaper interior

Better question about the Reapers: They're sentient ships, something that seems to have been forgotten. Saren was flying around the galaxy in Soverign with Benezia, a bunch of Asari commandos, and scores of geth for all of Mass Effect 1. So, if the only purpose of the Reapers is to kill organics every 50,000 years, what was the point of having an internal atmosphere, standard temperature, and an internal structure designed to house an entire crew? It's not for the husks and cannibals and brutes and stuff, they don't need to breathe anymore, based on the fact they were being deployed on Volus ammonia planets and the Hanar homeworld. It hardly seems like the most efficient design.

The process of impaling humans on Dragon's teeth in ME1 drained them of all of their fluids and allowed the Reaper nanotechnology or whatever to take rapid hold. And that's cool, drained of most moisture and dry out all the fat, and men and women look almost exactly alike. So... does that mean all Banshees are Asari with silicon implants..?

Quite possible this used to be a chick.
err...

What sense did it make for the Geth to join in on the war against the Reapers? The collective seems above all else to be interested in group preservation. The Reapers had no interest in the Geth other than a very pragmatic attempt to use them as free foot soldiers, and there was no indication they'd ever try to wipe them out (which in and of itself is a little weird, given the Catalyst logic, seeing how they're unchecked, evolving AI...). Still, especially in the scenario where the Geth are forced to wipe out their creators, there's zero reason for them other than gratitude to take up Shepard's cause when it might result in their annihilation.

Speaking of the Quarians, why would they turn their Liveships into Dreadnoughts? I get that they're big ships and you can put big guns on big ships, but for the large confrontations with the Geth, and then the Reapers, but especially the Geth, why would you put them into combat like that? There are only three of them and they're the core of the fleet, to be protected at all costs. They're pretty much the sole source of sterile food for every Quarian in the galaxy. It would be like slapping turrets onto a giant greenhouse. Why then, bring those into battle, when an enemy that knows your limitations (like the Geth) would spot them instantly and just suicide bomb a few ships into them, almost guaranteeing you will all starve?

The Quarian Liveship is the big backward snail looking thing. On the front lines.

If Miranda's sister Oriana is genetically-engineered from her father's Henry's DNA just like she is, why is she such a spaz who is always getting kidnapped and doesn't seem to be able to do biotics or anything? Also, why don't they all look like Yvonne Strahovski instead of generic Mass Effect people? I mean, seriously, I was expecting to see Miranda with a moustache when I found that dude, not Conrad Verner with graying hair. And why is he working for Cerberus? I thought he was just an egotistical and wealthy business man, not a mad scientist specializing in xenotechnology and mind control. I really hope they weren't working at Cerberus at the same time, those interoffice emails and company picnics would have probably gotten pretty awkward. If he's a new recruit for Cerberus, why would he opt to work for the organization that kidnapped and hid his daughter(s) from him?

I can sort of understand the logic of shopkeepers charging me, potential savior of the galaxy, for weapons and supplies. What I don't get is why I'm being charged such exorbitant amounts for Spectre gear in ME3. What kind of military organization functions like this? Does James Bond have to put down his personal Amex for gadgets from Q? Who else are they selling these to? I'm very confused. I just saved the Council? Again? Hello? Free gun or two, please? They should commission a gun in my honor, not charge me for them.

Edit:

I'll just keep adding more to the end of this as they occur to me.

First: What happened to Geth Hoppers? They were the most annoying, but most amazing enemy in the first game, and served an important narrative function. They were the first geth that the Quarians had nothing to do with designing, and a true sign of them evolving into something more. They could jump around the room like Spider-man and stick to walls and shot you with lasers from their camera eye. Super cool! I'll miss you, hoppers.

Honestly? Kind of what I pictured Tali looked like naked.

How the hell did the Reapers get the Citadel to Earth? Is there no size limit to what the relays can transmit through the zero-mass channels they open? Can you even send a relay through a relay? I mean, it had to go through a relay due to the timing. There's no way they'd get to Earth in under 6 months from the Serpent Nebula the Citadel was located in using FTL, I'm going to guess, assuming the Citadel even has any sort of FTL propulsion. According to the games, though, the Citadel is about 45 km long, and at least 10 km wide (based on the size of the Presidium ring). The largest ship class in the galaxy, Dreadnoughts, are between 800-1000m. Maybe the Destiny Ascension, the most powerful ship in the combined fleet, at most, is twice that. Even Sovereign, the largest class of Reaper, is only about 2-3 km long. At the end of ME1, he was arguably relatively about the size of a gumball in a gumball machine, if not a little smaller, perched on top of the Citadel tower overlooking the Presidium. I'm assuming these sizes aren't arbitrary, they probably would have gone larger if Mass Relay technology allowed it, otherwise we would have seen mention of space stations being built near planets with resources, and then sent off to unpopulated areas of the galaxy in order to establish a presence. Size can't be an arbitrary thing, otherwise, why bother making the relays as large as they are?

I know this is a leap, but I'm going to have to assume that E=mc2, so more energy would be needed for more mass or greater distances to move that mass. It makes sense based on the ginormous size of the Citadel and its purpose as being a relay connected to one outside of the galaxy in "Dark Space," and the tiny size of the Prothean conduit. If the size of the relay didn't matter, than Sovereign would have used the Conduit to get onto the Citadel, not tried for a frontal assault. This is kind of a perfect example here, since the relative size of Sovereign to the mini relay is around the proportions of the size of the Citadel to a standard relay. I couldn't find any measurements on them, but we see the size of Mass Relays next to the Normandy about 500 times in each game, so we have a general idea.

Beyond that, how did they move it at all? They have no control over the Citadel, based on Sovereign's actions. The Catalyst can't manipulate the Citadel, based on previous inaction. I doubt husks can operate machinery, and the Keepers, thanks to Prothean meddling, no longer respond to Reaper commands. They pretty much would have to clamp onto it and drag it to overcome the inertia, hundreds of Sovereign-class Reapers. As far as I know they haven't introduced tractor beams in Mass Effect fiction, and we definitely haven't seen Reapers using it before. That says nothing about the effort it must have taken to put the citadel in a geosynchronous orbit over London. (incidentally, if they had just put it over a small island in the pacific, even with their stupid beam, they would have been fine.)

IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZERS

Logistics aside, for what purpose then? That's a huge freaking effort to get that thing to Earth. Again, why? What does that accomplish? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BEAM? It's like they did everything they could to make it possible to defeat them. I suppose it sort of functions as a "test" of sorts, to make it at all possible for organics to defeat them and thus prove the cycle ineffective, but what does getting to the beam mean? You know, since that was the only real challenge, they couldn't plan on The Illusive Man showing up in every cycle. It seems like the three things that influence if you're able to get to the beam would be either your shielding technology, your stealth technology, and your sheer numbers. But then, that just means you'd be really good on American Gladiators, not that the Reapers need to rethink their plans.

"...and in red, we have John Shepard, for the fate of the galaxy AND A NEW CAR!"
#2 Posted by SamStrife (1282 posts) -

All these questions made me laugh, You know your ME lore very well duder, a lot better than Bioware it would seem. No one can answer these questions I'm afraid but you did the right thing in asking them.

#3 Posted by rjayb89 (7719 posts) -

I didn't like how they changed the hair colors of some people. I guess Udina and Bailey just didn't like their hair color from the past games. And Kelly, Kelly doesn't look good like she did in the second game. Almost tempted each time I first see her to tell her not to change her identity to rid of this imposter Kelly.

#4 Edited by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

Some of these are explained. Not very well, but they are explained.

  1. Anderson quits the council, because he's a soldier dammit. It happens in a book, and is explained in the codex. In the game though, it makes no sense, and is clearly only done so you have only one way a choice can hang out. Annoying, because if they handled this in game, it could have been cool.
  2. Legion's a Geth, and a huge Shepard fanboy. Not explained, but it's believable he's clever enough to make that work.
  3. Because The Illusive Man was already indoctrinated, so he kept going. Again, not explained, but easily inferred.
  4. At some point she says she can be out of range of the ship, but she'll be less effective. I think it means that she's in the body, but when near the ship, has full control of the ship as well, but I don't know. This is poorly explained and that last cutscene makes no sense.
  5. This game is now sexy with the sex. Tali is a strong girl who gets some. It's a style thing, they wanted to go with a more casual relationship - the romance wasn't handled great, I agree.
  6. They were on palaven, it said so in the codex, so they were around and being used. They relegated ENTIRE ENEMIES to the codex. So yeah.
  7. Catalyst made the Reapers, and together they then built the citadel which the catalyst implanted himself into. I assume. It's still extremely dumb.
  8. Reapers get other species to do their dirty work a lot of the time, so they can surprise everyone through the Citadel relay and make it a quick and easy job. Figures they'd want to house people inside for this purpose.
  9. Quite possibly. Silicon implants are deadly.
  10. Quarians were about to wipe them all out, Reapers gave them upgrades. They would live longer with Reapers. Mathematically, it makes sense.
  11. BECUZ DRAMAH. You get the impression the Quarians are extremely dumb in this game, and that's kinda the point, but yeah, it's not very well explained.
  12. Who knows? She's dumb, then miranda rescues her.
  13. Conrad is amazing, and comic relief. He signed up for Cerberus because that's what Shepard did, dammit. God I love that guy.
  14. I'm commander Shepard, and this is my favourite store on the citadel. It's a video game.

There's lots of nitpicks with the universe, quite a few more in this game. It's not just the ending that's dumb. The Mass Effect Lore is brilliant, and playing fast and lose withit really undervalues what a great universe they created.

#5 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@Tylea002: Yeah, it was pretty much just off the top of my head. I tend to nitpick the things I really like because the things I really like tend to hold up fairly well to scrutiny. I could probably come up with some justification for everything, but Bioware should be proactive and take a page out of Star Trek's book and give an offhand explanation as to why really stupid things happen instead of the obvious things. Not that Star Trek is immune to nitpicking, but they do give the token "we can't use the teleporter because of ionization in the atmosphere" or whatever.

Overall, it's really a fantastically realized universe.

#6 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

@onan: It shouldn't be, which is the crazy thing. They spent so long setting things up in 1, what could and couldn't be done, so you knew exactly what the stakes were. And then they fudge about with it in hand wavey ways. Some of them, like the Anderson thing, aren't even Lore. They're good story beats. If you chose Anderson, it's the wrong choice - he belongs on the battlefield and eventually quits. What seemed like the right choice was not that. Why relegate that to a book? A few lines of justification could have made that a really cool part of the game, and care more about both Udina and Anderson.

All the sighing.

#7 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -
@onan The Collectors were originally indoctrinated Protheans, genetically modified by the Reapers into servants (similar to the Keepers on the Citadel). So either the Reapers control their population to suit their purposes, or they are limited by the number of Protheans they originally indoctrinated.

The Collector base was pretty huge, though.
#8 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

@Galiant said:

@onan The Collectors were originally indoctrinated Protheans, genetically modified by the Reapers into servants (similar to the Keepers on the Citadel). So either the Reapers control their population to suit their purposes, or they are limited by the number of Protheans they originally indoctrinated. The Collector base was pretty huge, though.

Yeah, but it makes no sense to limit them to one location, even a well-fortified one like the Collector Base from ME2. What happens if there's a catastrophic accident? Suddenly the ongoing Reaper agenda in the milky way is completely cut short. In technological terms, it's known as the "single point of failure," and even in today's world, it's complete death for any corporation or organization that allows it. Technology loves redundancy. Look at the Rannoch mission: You needed to shut down the server from the inside, because if you just blew it up from orbit, they'd just fall back to one of the many backup servers and continue.

If the Reapers thought the way you're suggesting, they wouldn't make so many Reapers, they'd focus on making one big mega-reaper.

Incidentally, Bioware, please use that. I desperately was hoping to see a god-sized Mega-Reaper at some point but it never happened.

#9 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -

A question I have is what the fuck happened to Udina that made him flip his shit and let Cerberus into the Citadel?
 
The game starts out and Udina basically goes "Look, Shepard. You don't like me and I don't like you, but you were right this whole time, so I know I can trust you, and you know you can trust me. Now come over here and let's plan the salvation of the galaxy." and then 20 hours later he's all "FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU SHEP!!!".
 
And in Mass Effect 2, Anderson says he's not going to step down from the Council because he's doing good work and he can't take the risk. So when Mass Effect 3 rolled around and directly contradicted that whole thing... I had a weird taste in my mouth after that.

#10 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@N7 said:

A question I have is what the fuck happened to Udina that made him flip his shit and let Cerberus into the Citadel? The game starts out and Udina basically goes "Look, Shepard. You don't like me and I don't like you, but you were right this whole time, so I know I can trust you, and you know you can trust me. Now come over here and let's plan the salvation of the galaxy." and then 20 hours later he's all "FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU SHEP!!!". And in Mass Effect 2, Anderson says he's not going to step down from the Council because he's doing good work and he can't take the risk. So when Mass Effect 3 rolled around and directly contradicted that whole thing... I had a weird taste in my mouth after that.

Yeah, more importantly, I'm not sure what the assassination of the Council was supposed to accomplish. Like my Paragon Shep said in an interview to calm folks down, Cerberus committed vast resources to that failed siege and it really didn't accomplish anything for them at all aside from a bunch of dead C-Sec officers. In peacetime I'm sure it would have been a big scandal and these lumbering societies wouldn't have known which way to turn, but this is the Reaperpocalypse, leaders are dropping like flies (Look at the Turians!) and no one misses a beat. Hell, I shot Udina, and it's not the Earth governments fell apart or anything.

In war, no one cares about politicians.

I figured Udina just got indoctrinated though, somehow.

#11 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

@onan said:

@Galiant said:

@onan The Collectors were originally indoctrinated Protheans, genetically modified by the Reapers into servants (similar to the Keepers on the Citadel). So either the Reapers control their population to suit their purposes, or they are limited by the number of Protheans they originally indoctrinated. The Collector base was pretty huge, though.

Yeah, but it makes no sense to limit them to one location, even a well-fortified one like the Collector Base from ME2. What happens if there's a catastrophic accident? Suddenly the ongoing Reaper agenda in the milky way is completely cut short. In technological terms, it's known as the "single point of failure," and even in today's world, it's complete death for any corporation or organization that allows it. Technology loves redundancy. Look at the Rannoch mission: You needed to shut down the server from the inside, because if you just blew it up from orbit, they'd just fall back to one of the many backup servers and continue.

If the Reapers thought the way you're suggesting, they wouldn't make so many Reapers, they'd focus on making one big mega-reaper.

Incidentally, Bioware, please use that. I desperately was hoping to see a god-sized Mega-Reaper at some point but it never happened.

Reapers (Harbinger?) weren't expecting anyone to successfully navigate the Omega 4 relay, much less attack the Collector base. I think that's even mentioned in ME2. I guess if you look at it from a "logical" perspective, Harbinger didn't see the need to spread the Collectors out or spend resources to construct additional bases when it could utilize all available Collectors and resources to focus on constructing the new Reaper, and keep it safe at the same time. They wanted it done as soon as possible, I imagine - and they saw no potential threat to their operation.

It feels odd discussing it, because I didn't really see it as a flaw - it really is a nitpick. All Collectors in one place? Fine by me. I thought the issue was that you were unsure of the origin of the Collectors, as if they had a choice when it came to reproduction or where they are located, that there might be splinter groups in the galaxy that don't actually work for the Reapers or something. They're just mindless, genetically modified Reaper servants at this point, not an independent race.

#12 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@N7 said:

A question I have is what the fuck happened to Udina that made him flip his shit and let Cerberus into the Citadel? The game starts out and Udina basically goes "Look, Shepard. You don't like me and I don't like you, but you were right this whole time, so I know I can trust you, and you know you can trust me. Now come over here and let's plan the salvation of the galaxy." and then 20 hours later he's all "FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU SHEP!!!".

This is actually explained in the game. I forget where, but I remember it was either hidden or in the codex. It might have been shadow broker logs, actually.

Basically he was getting scared for humanity, felt that shepard wouldn't either be able to accomplish his mission, or do it fast enough, and that the council - which wasn't doing anything - would just let humanity die, so he turned to cerberus to make humans take control of the citadel and the council to try and save them. He was arguably not acting in evil interests.

I agree with all of you that it was obnoxious how they basically wrote out your choice, though. They did that with a lot of things (collector base and rachni anyone..)

#13 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@Pinworm45: Man, that irritates me. I was playing Mass Effect 2 the day I got ME3(To fix an accident that happened in my previous playthrough) and I was about to do the Shadow Broker DLC, and that Asari came up and started giving us the message of the Rachni. There were some serious implications there, man. And with all of the interviews they did saying how major the Rachni were going to be - not just in the game itself - but also in the final battle... Such a bummer.
 
Also, does anyone else realize they never had to build the Crucible? It was just something they did as a last ditch effort, to which they weren't even aware of what it was going to do. I say that because, you know, the Crucible was a pile of dicks, pretty much. I mean, you kill a Reaper like it's nothing as soon as you get to Earth with the M-somethingorother Cain. And you do it with one shot. Then you kill another with some Thanix missiles. If there's one thing you can think of when you first play that ending level, it's "Holy shit we're gonna fuck dem weepers up!". Before the beam, everything was gravy. We were killing Reapers, rather easily I might add, and it seemed like nothing was going to stop us... until mindfuckaroo Ghost Asshole Jr showed up anyway. But still. Why didn't they just do some sort of World War II "WE NEED EVERYONE TO WORK IMMEDIATELY!!!" type deal and mass-produce some Cain's? We could have stopped the Reapers before they got to Florida.
 
That's been stuck in my head ever since I seen it, even before I saw the end of the game, I was wondering why the hell you didn't just use a Cain the entire way through. Or put a Thanix missile on some aircraft and launch an all out murderslaught on them.
#14 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10827 posts) -

I think a lot of those points (while completely valid) go beyond nitpicking.

@N7 said:

That's been stuck in my head ever since I seen it, even before I saw the end of the game, I was wondering why the hell you didn't just use a Cain the entire way through. Or put a Thanix missile on some aircraft and launch an all out murderslaught on them.

I think the answer is that they had to hastily slap that last mission together without properly thinking through everything. I mean, earlier in the game it takes repeated orbital strikes from the Quarian fleet to take down one Reaper (and not even a big one).

But really, the entire premise of the game makes no sense because why would the Reapers attack Earth, Palaven, etc and leave the Citadel alone until the last hour of the game? Why wouldn't they go straight to the Citadel? It's not like that AI on Ilos said that the Citadel would let them turn off the Mass Relays to all non-Reapers in Mass Effect 1. Oh wait, it did!

Moderator
#15 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@MooseyMcMan: Because the real goal was to test Shepard, who will be known as "The Shepard" who shepherded all of the galaxy to stop the Reapers and I don't fucking know anymore. From what people have pointed out, Mass Effect 3 completely invalidated Mass Effect 1, by going ahead and contradicting certain events and proving some wrong entirely(The Citadel, for instance, Sovereign for another).
 
But even worse, to add to your confusion about why they didn't just go straight to the Citadel, it took the Illusive Man telling them what was happening to convince them to go there.
#16 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10827 posts) -

@N7: I know. It was that specific moment in the game when I suddenly realized, "Wait, none of this makes sense!"

But maybe it'll all make sense after that extended cut DLC, right? It'll make sense, and everyone will be happy, and...Oh, who am I kidding?

Also, I think it's funny that Shepard's name is Shepard, but the word is shepherd, thus pretty much showing that was another thing they slapped together at the last minute.

Moderator
#17 Edited by thomasnash (545 posts) -

@onan said:

@N7 said:

A question I have is what the fuck happened to Udina that made him flip his shit and let Cerberus into the Citadel? The game starts out and Udina basically goes "Look, Shepard. You don't like me and I don't like you, but you were right this whole time, so I know I can trust you, and you know you can trust me. Now come over here and let's plan the salvation of the galaxy." and then 20 hours later he's all "FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU SHEP!!!". And in Mass Effect 2, Anderson says he's not going to step down from the Council because he's doing good work and he can't take the risk. So when Mass Effect 3 rolled around and directly contradicted that whole thing... I had a weird taste in my mouth after that.

Yeah, more importantly, I'm not sure what the assassination of the Council was supposed to accomplish. Like my Paragon Shep said in an interview to calm folks down, Cerberus committed vast resources to that failed siege and it really didn't accomplish anything for them at all aside from a bunch of dead C-Sec officers. In peacetime I'm sure it would have been a big scandal and these lumbering societies wouldn't have known which way to turn, but this is the Reaperpocalypse, leaders are dropping like flies (Look at the Turians!) and no one misses a beat. Hell, I shot Udina, and it's not the Earth governments fell apart or anything.

In war, no one cares about politicians.

I figured Udina just got indoctrinated though, somehow.

I have a hazy memory of him saying that it's because he's pissed off at how the Council races aren't immediately just like "fuck yeah let's save earth" and he thinks that if the council is assassinated he will be able to direct more resources to that fight. This would actually be an interesting turn on the character, because it would be like, even though he and Shepard tried to put their differences aside for the good of a common goal, they there were still fundamental differences, namely that Shepard has stronger morals that allow him not to flip his shit and do something really stupid. But of course they spoil that by insinuating that he was indoctrinated, like they do with anyone who helps cerberus because it means you don't have to think too hard about pushing the renegade interrupt, so they are sort of vacillating between two stories without committing to either, imo.

Also, about a few of your points: First, the Edi being alive thing, she only appears in the Synthesis ending, right? So I guess the explanation would be that the part of her self that was stored as a computer gets integrated into her new biomechanical body. Still ridiculous, I know, but I imagine that is actually what they were going for, at least, rather than an ex post facto rationalisation by me. The thing about Joker is stupid as hell though.

Why there aren't more collectors: In ME2 don't they say that basically that is all the collectors, the remaining Protheans who had been indoctrinated and reaperised, who were left behind just to keep an eye on things, essentially? Although if the thing about them being deployed on Palaven is true then they've handled it shittily whichever way you look at it. As to whether that fits with the reapers, I kind of feel like it does, if only because the Reaper's are nothing if not supremely arrogant.

Why do the Geth join the fight against the Reapers? Again, I'm fairly certain this is dealt with to some extent. In the first two games I feel like it's made fairly clear that those geth who worship or admire the Reapers are deluded in some way; the reapers feel no kinship or relation to them, and actually view them as more similar to organics than to themselves. Even with the somewhat altered rules of the third game, the Geth were sufficiently advanced to require liquidation, as it seems important to the cycle that all traces of previous cycles' tech was destroyed. Basically, I think that the reapers WOULD have wiped out the geth. Whether or not they themselves knew this is a bit of an open question though, because if they did then it does seem really silly to ally with them, because after surviving the Quarian attack they would still end up being killed by the Reapers?

Those are the only points of yours that I feel I can come close to having an answer for, and you may not accept them, or you may know something I don't because I didn't really absorb much of the codex stuff. Incidentally, I agree with you about the Geth Hoppers, and not just because of the story implications; Having them in the game meant that you had to bust out your rapid fire weapons, really. It would have been better gameplay design to have some enemies that actually made me think about putting my Sniper rifle away, imo.

Edit: Also, to the people saying you destroy a reaper with the M96 Cain - you don't destroy a full sized reaper, just a reaper anti-aircraft gun. Whether or not it is a sentient anti-aircraft gun, given that suddenly in this game their are different "classes" and sizes of Reaper (wtf? why wouldn't they all just be Sovereign/Harbinger classes? Can they still be considered a "race" of sentient robot ships at that point?) is an open question...

Something that really bothered me throughout the entire game is why is earth such a focal point for everybody? All of the other planets are getting screwed too, why does it have to be earth that gets saved? I mean apart from the fact that apparently only Shepard is needed to save Palaven.

#18 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

The majority of your points are totally valid and certainly bothered me throughout the game, particularly the invalidating of several important decisions (Udina or Anderson, and the Rachni). There are tons of these little moments and it drove me mad every time they happened. The creators had to have noticed them too. Evidently not enough to care though.

#19 Posted by TEHMAXXORZ (1199 posts) -

Even if you picked Anderson to be the councilor, Udina still does all the 'technical' stuff. So he's really the councilor all along.

The Collectors, it would seem, weren't all of the Protheans, and that ship was more like a HQ, than a home planet. I guess since the Collectors need some sort of feed through their implants, they must have all died when the base blew up or when Harbinger disconnected. Or maybe there are still Collectors out there.

The 'Dragon's Teeth' drain all fluids and replace them with a nano-technology that goes around the body via the increased adrenaline production. The Banshees are different to regular Husks, I'm not sure, but they be directly made by the Reapers or different technology (like the Brutes).

#20 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

I think a lot of those points (while completely valid) go beyond nitpicking.

@N7 said:

That's been stuck in my head ever since I seen it, even before I saw the end of the game, I was wondering why the hell you didn't just use a Cain the entire way through. Or put a Thanix missile on some aircraft and launch an all out murderslaught on them.

I think the answer is that they had to hastily slap that last mission together without properly thinking through everything. I mean, earlier in the game it takes repeated orbital strikes from the Quarian fleet to take down one Reaper (and not even a big one).

But really, the entire premise of the game makes no sense because why would the Reapers attack Earth, Palaven, etc and leave the Citadel alone until the last hour of the game? Why wouldn't they go straight to the Citadel? It's not like that AI on Ilos said that the Citadel would let them turn off the Mass Relays to all non-Reapers in Mass Effect 1. Oh wait, it did!

Awww daaayum, that's my favorite yet. I'd completely forgotten about that. And yeah, some of these aren't nitpicks, but I used every last character I could in the title of the thread, so I figured people would get the gist.

If Dennis Nedry had enough sense to build in a backdoor to the Jurassic Park mainframe, you'd think the Reapers would just be able to go right up to the citadel, hit their intergalactic garage door opener and spread those ward arms right up and go to town. I was wondering that throughout the game too, but I forgot. It's like, "Okay, so I get it, instead of popping into the center of the galaxy at the citadel, they have to come in through one of the relays on the outskirts. How, exactly, does that change their plans? If you plan a trip based on an initial starting position, and due to detours or whatever you're unable to get there directly, does anyone actually abandon their plans and play it by ear, or do they figure out a way back to their original destination and then proceed as originally planned? I'd think giant killer robots would be even more OCD about these things.

#21 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@onan: Uhm... Well... erm... you see THE REAPERS GOT LOST IN SPACE BECAUSE THE ALPHA RELAY GOT BLOWN UP AND THEY FORGOT WHAT THEY WERE DOING. See! Easily explainable!
#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I read that as "Mass Effect nipples". Where are my Mass Effect nipples?

#23 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

I read that as "Mass Effect nipples". Where are my Mass Effect nipples?

You'll have to wait until the release of the upcoming "Mass Effect & Robin".

#24 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@N7 said:

A question I have is what the fuck happened to Udina that made him flip his shit and let Cerberus into the Citadel? The game starts out and Udina basically goes "Look, Shepard. You don't like me and I don't like you, but you were right this whole time, so I know I can trust you, and you know you can trust me. Now come over here and let's plan the salvation of the galaxy." and then 20 hours later he's all "FUUUUUCK YOUUUUUU SHEP!!!".

This is actually explained in the game. I forget where, but I remember it was either hidden or in the codex. It might have been shadow broker logs, actually.

Basically he was getting scared for humanity, felt that shepard wouldn't either be able to accomplish his mission, or do it fast enough, and that the council - which wasn't doing anything - would just let humanity die, so he turned to cerberus to make humans take control of the citadel and the council to try and save them. He was arguably not acting in evil interests.

I agree with all of you that it was obnoxious how they basically wrote out your choice, though. They did that with a lot of things (collector base and rachni anyone..)

That's actually pretty interesting, although again, space racism being what it is, while no one is blaming humanity as a whole for the actions of Cerberus (ironically, Cerberus is most directly targeting humanity in their attacks), all people are going to see is that a group of humans stormed the Citadel during a crisis and killed leaders of an assortment of powerful races. Even during the confusion of the Reaper attacks, it's not going to encourage other races to put their own needs aside and assist Earth. If anything, it'll discourage any beings that would have otherwise offered assistance. At worst, it would discredit humanity as a leader in this conflict since they can't even police their own population, let alone form a massive inter-species coalition. I almost think the indoctrination theory (of Udina, not Shepard) is preferable to this crazy leap in logic. Udina is obviously supposed to be a brilliant man. I can't believe this leap of logic would be something he'd come to on his own.

Also, the things The Illusive Man says about him after he's dead make me think he's been a deep-cover operative for a while now. TIM mentions something about it being a shame to lose him as an asset, which makes him sound like he was completely in Cerberus' pocket and not a johnny-come-lately only even in negotiations with them for a plan that ideally would mutually secure their survival. It also would imply that Udina came up with the idea and went to Cerberus with it and not TIM approaching Udina with it. Udina has been disgusted with Cerberus for a while now, not even trusting Shepard when he was back from the grave due to the Cerberus connection. He definitely didn't back him when it came to getting his Spectre status back. He's also otherwise shown himself to be incredibly self-serving and only interested in advancement of his own political career, so this coup idea is kind of bonkers if he instigated it.

One more line of questioning I'll add to the OP now that I remember being bothered by it:

How the hell did the Reapers get the Citadel to Earth? Is there no size limit to what the relays can transmit through the zero-mass channels they open? Can you even send a relay through a relay? I mean, it had to go through a relay due to the timing. There's no way they'd get to Earth in under 6 months from the Serpent Nebula the Citadel was located in using FTL, I'm going to guess, assuming the Citadel even has any sort of FTL propulsion. According to the games, though, the Citadel is about 45 km long, and at least 10 km wide (based on the size of the Presidium ring). The largest ship class in the galaxy, Dreadnoughts, are between 800-1000m. Maybe the Destiny Ascension, the most powerful ship in the combined fleet, at most, is twice that. Even Sovereign, the largest class of Reaper, is only about 2-3 km long. At the end of ME1, he was arguably relatively about the size of a gumball in a gumball machine, if not a little smaller, perched on top of the Citadel tower overlooking the Presidium. I'm assuming these sizes aren't arbitrary, they probably would have gone larger if Mass Relay technology allowed it, otherwise we would have seen mention of space stations being built near planets with resources, and then sent off to unpopulated areas of the galaxy in order to establish a presence. Size can't be an arbitrary thing, otherwise, why bother making the relays as large as they are? I know this is a leap, but I'm going to have to assume that E=mc^

Beyond that, how did they move it at all? They have no control over the Citadel, based on Sovereign's actions. The Catalyst can't manipulate the Citadel, based on previous inaction. I doubt husks can operate machinery, and the Keepers, thanks to Prothean meddling, no longer respond to Reaper commands. They pretty much would have to clamp onto it and drag it to overcome the inertia, hundreds of Sovereign-class Reapers. As far as I know they haven't introduced tractor beams in Mass Effect fiction, and we definitely haven't seen Reapers using it before. That says nothing about the effort it must have taken to put the citadel in a geosynchronous orbit over London. (incidentally, if they had just put it over a small island in the pacific, even with their stupid beam, they would have been fine.)

Logistics aside, for what purpose then? That's a huge freaking effort to get that thing to Earth. Again, why? What does that accomplish? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BEAM? It's like they did everything they could to make it possible to defeat them. I suppose it sort of functions as a "test" of sorts, to make it at all possible for organics to defeat them and thus prove the cycle ineffective, but what does getting to the beam mean? You know, since that was the only real challenge, they couldn't plan on The Illusive Man showing up in every cycle. It seems like the three things that influence if you're able to get to the beam would be either your shielding technology, your stealth technology, and your sheer numbers. But then, that just means you'd be really good on American Gladiators, not that the Reapers need to rethink their plans.

"...and in red, we have John Shepard, competing for the fate of the galaxy -- AND A NEW CAR!"

Edit: Updated the OP.

#25 Posted by Mercanis (660 posts) -

@onan: This is a great thread to which I shall contribute, and let me just say... my answers are amazing.

Nitpick 1: Shepard picked Anderson, so why is Udina on the counsel?

Between the events of Mass Effect 2 and 3, Anderson leaves Citadel politics. The escalating Reaper threat convinces him that he's at his best when using a hands-on approach. Anderson's internal reasoning was likely omitted from the Mass Effect 3 script because it's tangential and is already expressed through characterization: Udina is the quintessential politician, and Anderson is the quintessential soldier. Who Shepard chooses doesn't change who they are.

Nitpick 2: Cerberus required an autistic savant in Project Overlord. Why does Legion have no trouble interfacing Shepard with the geth server on Rannoch?

While similar in appearance, these two situations differ greatly in the details. Overlord was a bunch of humans working with technology salvaged from a crashed geth ship. In the other scenario, Legion was an extremely advanced, fully operational geth platform manipulating native geth technology specifically designed for connecting platforms to the server. Also keep in mind that Shepard was wholly rebuilt cell-by-cell as a cybernetic lifeform, further ameliorating the interfacing process.

Nitpick 3: Why don't more Cerberus operatives notice the Illusive Man's Reaper eyes?

Only a handful of Cerberus operatives ever meet the Illusive Man in person. Those that do are extremely loyal and wouldn't doubt their leader just because he has peculiar ocular implants. Besides, his eyes on their own don't betray their Reaper origin, especially since they only visibly affect his irises. Given the technology present in the Mass Effect universe and the resources of the Illusive Man, cybernetic eyes wouldn't even warrant a double-take.

Nitpick 4: EDI's brain lives on the Normandy. Wouldn't the Normandy crash render her body lifeless?

The android body was designed by Cerberus to house a shackled AI. EDI made modifications to the android so that she could remotely control it. It is possible one of these modifications would allow the body to serve as an "escape pod" should the Normandy ever be destroyed (assuming the Normandy wreck is indeed completely disabled). While that's purely speculation, another contributing factor is the effect of the Synthesis radiation, which essentially breathed into her body the breath of organic life.

Nitpick 5: How did Joker survive the Normandy crash if he has brittle bones?

The new Normandy, even more advanced than the original, must have a suite of independent mass effect fields (and traditional air bags?) to protect the pilot. In Mass Effect 2, even as the original Normandy was being cut in half, safety systems remained operational that could generate gravity and retain an atmosphere for Joker. In addition, the Synthesis radiation likely cures Joker of this disease.

Nitpick 6: How has Tali's immune system suddenly become so resilient?

Since she is only a love interest if she and Shepard get together in Mass Effect 2, it can be assumed she's been working for the past six months on ways to strengthen her immune system. Additionally, if the geth and quarians become allies, the geth contribute advanced suit augmentations for rebuilding the quarians' immune systems. The quarian immune system is nothing if not adaptive.

Nitpick 7: What happened to the Collectors?

The Collectors, while severely weakened by the loss of their primary base, are still serving their Reaper overlords. Their forces are mentioned in the codex, and you can see oculi attacking earth near the beginning of the game. Their absence is largely a gameplay conceit: Shepard is already busy fighting geth, Cerberus, and Reaper forces. It's the same reason why Shepard is no longer fighting Scions, Praetorians, Vorcha, or ME2 mechs. These entities still exist in the Mass Effect universe at large, but adding yet another enemy faction would only muddle Mass Effect 3's focus.

Nitpick 8: Did the Reapers build the Citadel/Catalyst, or did the Citadel/Catalyst build the Reapers?

The Citadel is not the Catalyst. As the Catalyst itself states: the Citadel is merely a part of of the Catalyst. While early Reaper history is not recounted in great detail, the important story beats can be inferred with confidence:

Eons ago, an advanced being transformed itself into an artificial construct that could live forever. In this advanced state, the Catalyst foresaw only one inevitable outcome of galactic evolution: synthetic life would destroy all organic life. To prevent this outcome, the Catalyst built the Reapers, powerful constructs descended from the genetic legacy of advanced civilizations. The Reapers' purpose is twofold: to serve as keepers in a cycle that prevents technology from growing too advanced and to serve as memorials preserving the racial memory of species facing forced extinction.

Together, the Catalyst and the Reapers built the Citadel, where the Catalyst now resides.

Nitpick 9: Why are Reaper interiors so well adapted for sheltering an organic crew?

All lifeforms, even the Reapers, require internal structures to transport supplies to vital systems. Conduits allow smaller entities to repair and maintain the larger entity, and chambers house the husks and oculi. It's reasonable to assume that any race could build inside these chambers to render an area livable. Given a Reaper's ability to generate mass effect fields and produce heat, maintaining a livable atmosphere is possible if the Reaper is willing.

It should also be noted that the derelict Reaper that Shepard investigates in ME2 has had an entire Cerberus research facility built inside it. This explains the floors, stairs, and other amenities that ease Shepard's movement through the ship.

Nitpick 10: Why are Banshees voluptuous when typical husks are drained of their fluids?

Dragon's teeth quickly convert victims into a steady supply of typical husks. Banshees, however, are not typical husks and undergo a much more advanced conversion process that capitalizes on the Ardat-Yakshi genetic condition. This violent augmentation of the nervous system leaves the torso bloated.

From an aesthetic perspective, Bioware probably allowed the Banshees to retain their twisted sexual traits to make them even more terrifying.

Nitpick 11: Why do the geth agree to fight the Reapers if the Reapers mean them no harm?

The assumption here is that Reapers are only a threat to organic life. As keepers of the cycle, the Reapers intend to destroy all advanced sapient life, organic and synthetic alike (see nitpick 8). Eventually, the Reapers would have directed their forces against the small number of geth worlds. The non-heretic geth recognize this fact, and agree to aid Shepard in his fight.

Nitpick 12: Why do the quarians risk their liveships by converting them into dreadnoughts?

The defining trait of a dreadnought is its main gun. Such a massive weapon requires a dreadnought to be hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away from the enemy for it to be effective. While the liveships would indeed be at greater risk by participating in the battle, their distance from the enemy would prevent surprise suicide attacks by the geth.

The quarian fleet has been planning to retake their homeworld for generations. They've intensely studied the geth, run thousands of simulations, and have planned for every contingency. When their invasion finally begins, they soundly crush all geth resistance. The quarian plot has succeeded. It is only when Reaper technology intervenes that the surprised quarian fleet is suddenly at risk.

Nitpick 13: Why is Oriana not a super soldier like Miranda? Why doesn't Henry or Oriana Lawson look like Miranda?

Miranda and Oriana, both genetically engineered to be super human, possess the capacity to be super soldiers. Miranda eventually becomes one via Cerberus training. Oriana, on the other hand, has been living a normal life and has received no such training.

Oriana doesn't look like Miranda due to simple budget constraints. She has so little screen time, it wouldn't be practical to make a sculpted face resembling a younger Strahovski. As for Henry Lawson, his progeny have undergone such extensive genetic augmentation that it's reasonable to expect little physical resemblance.

Nitpick 14: Why would Henry Lawson support Cerberus after they kidnap his daughters?

Cerberus is very secretive, so Henry would likely have no idea that his daughters have been involved with Cerberus operations. Cerberus is also organized into cells. Each cell has no contact with other cells save through elite operatives or, more likely, through the Illusive Man's holographic presence.

Henry Lawson, always obsessed with his legacy, agrees to leverage his extensive business assets to fund the Cerberus research on Horizon, hoping it will secure his place as the savior of humanity. While very intelligent, he's probably not the "mad scientist" but rather the boss of a bunch of hired mad scientists.

Nitpick 15: Why does Shepard have to buy Spectre gear?

Just because equipment is of Spectre quality does not imply that it is freely available to all Spectres. The companies that supply this specialty equipment are already on the brink of economic collapse!

For what it's worth, the Alliance stocks the Normandy with dozens of quality Alliance pistols and assault rifles. If Shepard requires better firearms than that, he'll have to get them someplace else.

(To be continued...)

#26 Posted by briangodsoe (487 posts) -

@onan said:

@Tylea002: Yeah, it was pretty much just off the top of my head. I tend to nitpick the things I really like because the things I really like tend to hold up fairly well to scrutiny. I could probably come up with some justification for everything, but Bioware should be proactive and take a page out of Star Trek's book and give an offhand explanation as to why really stupid things happen instead of the obvious things. Not that Star Trek is immune to nitpicking, but they do give the token "we can't use the teleporter because of ionization in the atmosphere" or whatever.

Overall, it's really a fantastically realized universe.

On that note, the answer to all your questions is tachyons.

#27 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@Mercanis: Seriously, wow. Bioware should have had you on their staff. :) Well played, sir.

I need to step out for a bit, but I'll counter your "Reaper interior being built by Cerberus" thing for the time being with a scene from ME1 featuring Saren and Benezia on Sovereign. It's pretty clear Sovereign had a control room, or at least chairs, and when Benezia originally arrived, she and her commandos weren't entirely horrified by what they found on the inside. From the surface for them, it was probably just a really formidable and imposing dreadnought.

#28 Posted by Mercanis (660 posts) -

@onan said:

It's pretty clear Sovereign had a control room, or at least chairs, and when Benezia originally arrived, she and her commandos weren't entirely horrified by what they found on the inside. From the surface for them, it was probably just a really formidable and imposing dreadnought.

In addition to what I wrote in nitpick 9, I think Sovereign and other similar Reapers possess humanoid accommodations because they often work with indoctrinated minions that require transport. While Reapers can use direct force in the form of husks, they can also employ more subtle tactics that involve indoctrination of traitor leaders and traitor armies. These sleeper agents sometimes require a Reaper to transport them to their target destination.

Also keep in mind that Reapers want to be boarded. When the situations warrants it, Reapers want organics to mistake them for mere starships, and once boarded, the work of subtle indoctrination can begin.

(And now, the rest of the story...)

Nitpick 16: What happened to geth hoppers? They served an important narrative purpose!

I think geth hoppers went the way of the other enemies as explained in nitpick 7. Hoppers were designed for ME1's physics engine and level design, and they probably wouldn't fit in the sequels, but they still exist!

As for their narrative purpose, it's true that the hoppers were an important reminder that the geth are capable of independent evolution. Though the hoppers are absent from the sequels, the theme of geth evolution is still very present. ME2 introduces Legion, an advanced platform capable of speech and sentience though it is removed from other geth networks. Legion also informs Shepard of the geth Dyson sphere that will unify all geth minds, an enormous step in geth evolution. Unfortunately, those construction platforms were destroyed during the quarian attack.

And for what it's worth, the geth invented thermal clips.

Nitpick 17: Since when can the Citadel move?

The Citadel was constructed by the Reapers to serve as the heart of galactic civilization. It would appear that the Citadel is moved every cycle in accordance with which races will dominate the next cycle. For example, the Citadel is conveniently located near the asari, turian, salarian, and human homeworlds, and when the Reapers invade they're positioned near batarian space (also near the Citadel).

In contrast to the current political landscape, the Attican Traverse is described as having the most prothean ruins, suggesting this region of space was once the heart of the prothean empire. It's possible that the Citadel existed in the Attican Traverse as the prothean's capital before being moved to current "Citadel space" after the protheans were destroyed.

(This theory was introduced in this thread: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Forum:Moving_the_Citadel. It seems logical.)

Nitpick 18: How did the Reapers move the titanic Citadel?

Regardless if nitpick 17 is true, it's reasonable to assume that the Citadel, given its status as the most advanced piece of technology in the galaxy, was secretly designed to be moved. After all, the council races understand so little about the space station due to its exclusive maintenance by the keepers. The asari for example lived on it for centuries and never realized that the Citadel functions as a mass relay. If a virtually indestructible, transforming space station is capable of transporting an army of sentient starships, is it really so hard to believe that it can also move around the galaxy?

The above argument tries to justify why the Citadel can move, but what about the "how?" How does the Citadel make its way to Earth? There's no way to know for certain since the process is never shown, but here's what we do know:

  1. The Citadel, Reapers, and mass relays are all descended from the same technology.
  2. That technology is far beyond the understanding of the current races. The mighty protheans in their dying breath only managed to create a tiny relay replica.
  3. These three technologies have all demonstrated the capacity for transporting massive bodies: the Citadel can transport Reapers all the way from dark space, the mass relays can transport ships to other mass relays, and Reapers can generate fields powerful enough to land walking dreadnoughts onto planets.

If the Citadel, Reapers, and mass relays were to all work together using a mutually understood protocol, it seems reasonable that the Citadel could transport itself via the relay network to Earth.

One problem remains: the protheans sabotaged the Citadel so that it could not respond to Reaper commands, forcing Sovereign to attempt a manual override. Sovereign obviously failed, but who's to say the Reapers don't eventually succeed while Shepard is attacking Cerberus' primary base? The Reapers deemed the time is right, invaded the Citadel like they invaded Earth, Thessia, and Palaven and promptly retook enough control of the station to move it. Apparently, the prothean sabotage was insidious enough that the Reapers are still prevented from assuming direct control over the entire relay network.

Nitpick 19: Why did the Reapers move the Citadel?

Moving the Citadel to Earth accomplishes two objectives:

  1. Move the Citadel to a more secure location and prevent its docking with the Crucible.
  2. Begin the assimilation of the human race.

Concerning objective 1, the Illusive Man alerts the Reapers that the Crucible plans to dock with the Citadel. The Reapers decide to take control of the Citadel and move it to Earth where the Reapers are already focusing their efforts (as humans are prioritized for "ascension").

This leads to objective 2. The Citadel appears to function as a Reaper creation facility similar to the Collector base. The Citadel is parked over densely populated planets via mass effect fields, the living and the dead are transported via the relay beam, and the bodies are subsequently processed by the keepers similar to the process witnessed in ME2.

Unfortunately for the Reapers, even their might deployed around Earth is unable to defend the Citadel from the massive fleet that Shepard builds. This fleet buys enough time for the Crucible to dock with the Citadel and defeat the Reapers.

Was it confusing on Bioware's part that all this action was omitted from the narrative? Absolutely, yes. Is it also possible to deduce events using previously established rules in the ME universe? I hope the above demonstrates so.

#29 Edited by Thiago123 (382 posts) -

OK I gotta add in a nitpick of my own. I guess its in the title but I will say again, Spoiler Alert (ending). Where the F was Joker running to with the Normandy at the end of game?? If he got that quickly to a nearby habitable world you have to assume he went through the mass relay before it exploded right? Was he just running away, and if so, WTF? The only explanation I can think of is that if he SOMEHOW knew that Shep picked 'destroy' he ran to try and save EDI. However this is clearly not the case since the ship runs and crashes no matter what choice you make. Like most people, I didn't enjoy the ending. It just didn't mesh well with the rest of the story for me. But I can live with the ambiguity of it and possibly being the IT, etc. I just can't understand the Normandy's escape. OK sorry that this is one big block of text, my computer is not working well with the GB text editor.

#30 Posted by Mercanis (660 posts) -

@Thiago123:

Nitpick 20: What was Joker doing once the Crucible was fired?

When Shepard activates the Crucible, he is unable to communicate with his allies. This means that when the Crucible fires and the mass relays detonate, no one besides Shepard understands the purpose behind the immense wave of energy. Fighting the Reapers over Earth, Joker probably picks up the incredible amount of energy on ships sensors, judges it to be dangerous, and attempts to fly out of its path. Other ships likely try to do the same thing.

This wave of energy, however, is the result of a controlled mass relay detonation. It doesn't dissipate, and it travels at mass relay speeds. (Otherwise, the energy traveling at traditional FTL speeds would require decades to cleanse the galaxy.) The Normandy's mass effect fields interact with the energy wave and accelerate the ship to destructive levels. Joker's piloting skills manage to save the Normandy, and he ultimately lands her on a strange, new world.

#31 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@Mercanis: But the real question is: How did he manage to swoop in from orbit to pick up the crew members, who were not only in the fight at the time, but also spent the last ten minutes explaining "Look, we're all going to die here today, that's a given. But make sure to take them down with you", especially the ones who got hit by the beam? Certainly there was no time for him to make it from the most important battle in history, go down and pick up each individual member from their scattered locations, and then fly to the beam where they were hit, and then back into space running away from the instantaneous explosion?
#32 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

Here's a Catch-22: The existence of the Catalyst and the Reapers disproves and invalidates the theory and assumptions they're operating off of. If synthetics will always inevitably kill off all organic life, how do the Reapers explain their own existence? They're synthetic, and they've been around for billions of years "protecting" life in their own way, apparently.

#33 Posted by D_Bones (365 posts) -

Just one question which was probably explained in game but that I missed. Shep blew up that Batarian relay that would have allowed the Reapers to invade. As a result millions of Batarians died etc. etc. The massive space between mass relays would delay the Reapers plan for awhile at least. But then at the start of ME3 the reapers surprise attack and the Batarians are more or less destroyed...was there like a secondary mass relay conviently positioned next to the one that Shep destroyed in Arrival? Just wanted to clarify that point. Also if Shep knew the Reapers would be coming from Batarian space area why not position a ship or probe to detect an invasion by massive floating shrimp? I mean how could they possibly surprise attack anyone? Ugh. Mostly just want first question answered thanks.

#34 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@D_Bones said:

Just one question which was probably explained in game but that I missed. Shep blew up that Batarian relay that would have allowed the Reapers to invade. As a result millions of Batarians died etc. etc. The massive space between mass relays would delay the Reapers plan for awhile at least. But then at the start of ME3 the reapers surprise attack and the Batarians are more or less destroyed...was there like a secondary mass relay conviently positioned next to the one that Shep destroyed in Arrival? Just wanted to clarify that point. Also if Shep knew the Reapers would be coming from Batarian space area why not position a ship or probe to detect an invasion by massive floating shrimp? I mean how could they possibly surprise attack anyone? Ugh. Mostly just want first question answered thanks.

The Alpha Relay in the Arrival was in a system that had a smallish Batarian colony on it with 300,000 inhabitants. The destruction of that relay destroys that system and the 300,000, but also delays the Reapers arrival to the next Relay by about 6 months, which is the span of time between ME2 and the start of ME3. Unfortunately for the Batarians, the next nearest relay was near the Batarian homeworld. Without any ground forces, the Reapers focused on destroying the Batarians specifically, stocking up on Cannibals (which are also partly human, but I won't get into that).

The the question becomes why didn't Shepard warn the Batarians, and like you said, why not leave a probe? Batarians are (were) extremely xenophobic, or insular, or whichever it is that results in them closing off their borders to outside races. No non-Batarian has set foot on Khar'shan in any of the fiction (well, aside from Kai Leng going there for an auction run by a Volus in Mass Effect: Deception, but given the writer didn't know anything about the universe and they're pulling the book to rewrite it, it's no longer considered canon). I'd imagine the Batarian government would regard Shepard's warnings with even less faith than the Council for the last few games because Batarians HATE humans. Even less reason for them to permit alien "spy probes" in their space.

It still doesn't explain why the Reapers didn't go back to Plan A, which was head straight to the Citadel, turn off the Relay network, and after the seat of government, economy, and culture in the galaxy is taken out, then everything else will be much easier. But yeah, they razed the Batarian Hegemony before moving onto everyone else. Batarian's closed walls policy also made it so that even with an active invasion in the galaxy, most people never found out about it until it was too late. Shepard was incarcerated until the Reapers were passing by the moon, and he's been playing chicken little since the first game and they wouldn't believe him, so I'm sure every other planet was caught nearly equally unaware.

#35 Posted by D_Bones (365 posts) -

@onan: I appreciate you clearing that up for me. I guess I forgot how widespread the Batarians were and how their whole isolation thing was due to humans infringing on their space. It didn't really occur to me that they would have a couple of mass relays within their area (stupid overlook). Anyways thanks for the clarification and may I add that I am super bummed those dudes got more or less destroyed because they are pretty awesome and I was hoping their culture etc. would be explored more. Oh well will have to make due with my Batarian Soldier Granok tearing it up online lol.

#36 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@D_Bones: I'm with you. I was really holding out on the Batarian squadmate that never came. Batarians are awesome and it's a bummer that they'd build them up but only let them play second fiddle to the likes of even a Hanar. Batarians are just as capable as any of the other Humanoids, so why wasn't there ever one so badass that he(OR SHE!!) ended up joining Shepard?
 
I could have done without EDI. Javik, he was a boss so I liked him... But man, where's my Dahni Gluvnar? "I was on the force for 30 years. I seen more battles than most saw daylight. I had a family, too... but one day, one day I saw it all taken away from me in the Alpha Relay explosion. Now, here it is, six months later, and I'm working for the man responsible, trying to save the Galaxy from an enemy nobody even believes in... I'm too old for this shit." COME ON BIOWARE YOU MISSED A PERFECT GODDAMN OPPORTUNITY!
#37 Posted by D_Bones (365 posts) -

@N7: I'm so glad someone agrees. What really upset me was when I was bored on the Mass Effect wiki reading about them I became super pissed because either 2 out 3 or all of Shep's backstories have to do with the Skyllian Blitz. Imagine if you ran into Batarian who is like Batarian soldier lifer and is all yeah I remember the Blitz have thirty notches on my belt from killing your friends. DAMN! I would love to have a squadmate who is legitimately Shep's Batarian counterpoint and they have fought the same huge conflict but on opposite sides. Then eventually (or not) you guys build respect for one another perhaps establishing a bond. LOOK AT THAT POTENTIAL and I'm not a pro writer. Wasted GAWD!

#38 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -
@D_Bones: Good god... The potential for a polar opposite-Shepard is astounding. Just, man. What the hell. So many opportunities :(
#39 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

Why is Ashley/Kaidan promoted to Spectre status?

Kaidan isn't a terribly good soldier, and he's a powerful biotic, but debilitated by frequent headaches due to his L2 implants.

Ashley specifically, is unable to save anyone on Eden Prime except for herself, and considering a dude that fell asleep behind a pile of boxes during the attack was fine, that's really nothing to write home about, especially given she had armor and weapons the civilians that survived didn't have.

After riding Shepard's coattails for ME1, Ashley/Kaidan gets promoted to Operations Chief/Staff Commander (respectively), and gets stationed on Horizon in order to protect it from a potential Cerberus assault. Instead, S/he gets zapped by seeker swarms almost immediately and is paralyzed and ready to be turned into Reaper meat paste if it hadn't been for the actions of super soldier Shepard who wasn't even being paid to be there.

Then on Mars, in the first real combat s/he sees, s/he gets her head cracked open by EVA and put up in a hospital for most of the game. Then Udina promotes her/him to Spectre. Talk about failing upward.

Ashley especially shouldn't be a Spectre. Her grandfather was the only human military leader to ever surrender to the Turian forces during the First Contact war, something the militaristic Turians would look down upon very much, given the Turian maxim of "You will only see a turian's back once he's dead." The Spectres aren't some elite human force Udina has unilateral rights to promote people to. It's a council/citadel organization, meaning the Asari, Salarians, and Turians must be in agreement for anyone to be added. Given the family history and her own history of failure, I can't believe the Turians would let her join such an elite squad.

Generally speaking, Spectres tend to be selected as the best of the best from the organizations that house the best of the best of respective species. For the Salarians, it's their STG forces. For Turians, it's the Turian Blackwatch, the rumored starting point for Saren. The closest comparison for humanity are N7 operatives, which is an incredibly, incredibly elite rank of men and women. Both previous candidates for human Spectres David Anderson and Shepard, were both N7 (Anderson being the first N7 graduate). Kai Leng, effectively "evil Shepard" able to accomplish incredibly evil tasks on behalf of Cerberus, was also N7.

Fact of the Matter is that neither Ashley nor Kaidan have seen enough combat or shown enough aptitude to qualify for N7, or even N1, let alone the Spectres. It almost sounds like it was given as an honorary title, which is batshit insane. No, if anything they're most useful as being "experts" on the Reapers, having had experience with fighting Sovereign two years earlier. Fact of the matter is neither of them have shown any sort of leadership skills or ability to "get it done" whatsoever. Any success in their careers have been very specifically tied to the actions of Commander Shepard.

To put it in perspective, James Vega seems to be a more effective soldier than either of them, and he's only just now being promoted to N7 after being hand-picked for Shepard's squad by Admiral Anderson out of pretty much everyone in the Allied fleet. That's what makes an N7 soldier, and not even many of those would even be considered for Spectre status. It's not about being in the right place at the right time, it's not about who you know.

#40 Posted by Mercanis (660 posts) -

@onan: I see your point, but I think you're being a bit hard on the Virmire Survivor (VS). Let's just say the VS has a history of fighting geth, Reapers, Collectors, and Cerberus alongside Shepard. In addition, they have a successful and decorated military career independent of Shepard. Combine this experience with a savvy politician like Udina and the galaxy in flames, and badda boom! You've got a new Spectre.

Let's talk about Spectres for a moment. Aside from the codex entry on Spectres and Shepard's grandiose induction ceremony, I feel Spectres were never represented in a very impressive light. Examples:

  • Nihlus Kryik makes a good first impression as a Spectre, only to turn his back on a suspicious turian with glowing implants and a geth prosthetic arm. He promptly gets shot in the back of a head.
  • Saren Arterius is a traitor and a chump. That Green Goblin hoverboard? The less said about that, the better.
  • Tela Vasir blows up civilians and takes waitresses as hostages...
  • Jondum Bau wiretaps Hanar phonelines. Meanwhile, the galaxy burns.

Additionally, Shepard's Spectre status is only important in ME1, where his authority opens the doors necessary to track Saren. In ME2, Shepard never has the opportunity to exercise Spectre authority, and in ME3, Shepard's Spectre status lets him... buy expensive guns and answer special emails.

Man, Spectres are lame.

#41 Posted by onan (1284 posts) -

@Mercanis: I'll admit they haven't shown the most flattering face of the Spectres in the games, but Saren was an incredible badass, probably one of the greatest villains of this hardware generation. According to the artbook, the entire point of Saren's design was so he'd still fit into Turian culture and not look like a freak. So yeah, if the shit is going down on Eden Prime, it's not crazy to believe the Council might send an extra Spectre to take care of it.

And yeah, it's telling that Nihlus is completely fine with the idea that they sent him alone, and thinks that perhaps 2 spectres is overkill for the situation. He also manages to get there well ahead of Shepard as well, solo. Meanwhile, Super Soldier Shepard somehow managed to lose a man along the way. How often has Shepard turned his back on Ashley or Kaidan? Even in that specific mission? He just met Ashley there and doesn't know the first thing about her. For all he knows she's the one who sold out Eden Prime to these invaders, and he immediately lets her get behind him with an assault rifle. Presumably Nihlus had a long, storied history running ops with Saren in the past, and he didn't have the benefit of understanding how Indoctrination worked.

I thought Tela Vasir was awesome, personally. She had my character completely fooled, and ended up being quite possibly my favorite boss fight in the series. She just had the unfortunate luck of coming up against a superior Spectre. You have to give her one thing: She's the only Asari in the series who manages to figure out how to wear armor AND maintain a biotic barrier.

As far as Jondum, criticize him as much as you like, but his actions in tracking those wiretaps end up saving the Hanar homeworld. (It's still better than that mission in ME1 where you had to run around the citadel and scan 20-something Keepers.)

The Spectres are basicaly MI6 operatives. You could make the argument that none of them are worth a damn except for 007, but they're still way better operatives than anyone else in the fiction.

#42 Posted by Mercanis (660 posts) -

@onan: I'll admit, I was being a bit hard on the Spectres to prove my point. I think you said it much better by comparing the Spectres to MI6. Shepard equals Bond; no other agents matter (and that's really too bad!).

Now, to address one of your older nitpicks...

Nitpick 21: Reapers believe synthetics will inevitably wipe out all organic life, yet Reapers themselves are synthetic. Doesn't their existence disprove their own beliefs?

Reapers are not purely synthetic. Every Reaper unit is directly descended from organic life, from the massive dreadnought to the lowly husk. They view themselves as the highest form of organic evolution: flawed, chaotic species made perfect.

Visually, this is represented by Reaper ships' graceful contours and cuttlefish-like anatomy. An even better example is when Legion shows Shepard the Reaper-geth augmentation code. It looks like an organic neural net.

If Reapers are not the synthetic threat, then what are they referring to?

Really, it all comes down to (defun botsbuildbots () (botsbuildbots)).

#43 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

@Mercanis: It's been made very clear by folks who are very supportive of the idea of the current endings, particularly Synthesis, that the Reapers are not currently fusions of organic and synthetic beings (which was my opinion as well). Really it seems like they're more time capsules containing the DNA of various races and the organic components don't factor in. Similarly on a husk, I don't think the argument could be made that the organic part is really a critical component of this Reaper footsoldier, more that it's a convenient shortcut that these little nanites or whatever can utilize an ambulatory platform for their own means, even with the complete death of the platform. The interest in the human body is in the bones, and joins, and muscle fibers, not because "they need to become one with organics" or something. Similarly, the interest in the Banshees/ardat-yakshi are in their innate and devastatingly powerful biotic abilities.

I don't believe at all that Reapers are collections of the consciousnesses of defeated species. If that were the case they wouldn't be nearly as single-minded as they are. The reduction of people into goo pretty much confirms that. From what we see in the Collector Base, the process is almost entirely chemical. No blue glowy bits denoting that reaper tech is mapping out brainwaves or anything like that. The Catalyst says, specifically, "The old life is preserved in Reaper form." Not "transformed into," "converted into," or "survives in." Its preserved like I "preserve" fruit in jars to smear on toast. Each Reaper is much like a genetic museum. It's also supported by that ridiculous giant human skeleton the Collectors built. The emphasis is on the body and the DNA and none is placed on the mind. Everything is treated the same.

Edit: Reapers seem more insect-like than cuttlefish like to me, and the intention is to be somewhat terrifying. Cuttlefish are adorable.

"Hmph! The nerve. I am as cute as cute can be. I bid you good day sir. GOOD DAY!"
#44 Posted by 815Sox (72 posts) -

@Galiant said:

@onan The Collectors were originally indoctrinated Protheans, genetically modified by the Reapers into servants (similar to the Keepers on the Citadel). So either the Reapers control their population to suit their purposes, or they are limited by the number of Protheans they originally indoctrinated. The Collector base was pretty huge, though.

And I am pretty sure it was inferred that there was more then one.

Who knows what happened to them? Maybe the Reapers felt they had no more use for them after they failed.

#45 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

Guess I'll update this since there's a whole new set of updated endings to tear apart. Here we go, things that still make no sense:

1) Why does the catalyst look like the kid?

1a) Why is the revelation that "Control" turns you into the new catalyst only mentioned if you reject "Control"? That seems like an important piece of information.

2) Why isn't Shepard's first name on the plaque? Surely it couldn't be that hard, and would have made the initial selection in the first game somewhat meaningful, instead of just a title for your save files!

3) What's the point of landing on the planet if the ship wasn't damaged? Pitstop? Liara had to pee?

4) What's the point of the Stargazer? It still makes no sense in anything but the Reject ending. (No explanation as to why grandpa is a tranny now, though.)

5) Why did this take so long? There's no new gameplay, just a few extra lines of dialogue, some newly rendered scenes, and mostly just still images that look like they could have been slapped together in Garry's Mod. (Also, why is it 2 gigs??)

6) Why did they patch it so you couldn't skip dialogue or videos in the new ending? That was kind of a dick move.

7) What's up with the reverse-borg changed premise? The borg went from harvesting technology to harvesting organic life. Now, the Reapers have gone from destroying and preserving organic life to destroying and preserving all organic and synthetic life.

8) Why did they move the Citadel from the nebula to Earth, again, exactly...?

9) Most importantly: THE REAPER MANDATE STILL DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. Shepard says as much (minor win!), but Catalyst just rephrases the same nonsense and they move on. We didn't want you to hang a fucking lampshade on it, we wanted you to FIX IT.

Niggles:

Some of the new content contradicts the old content. There's the "crash landing" scene already mentioned that they just had to include even though they didn't crash. (Guess they really like that shot of the leaves.) Bigger than that though, there's a new line of dialogue where the Catalyst says that Crucible is basically nothing more than a power source, but then continues with dialogue from the original ending, saying that it changed him fundamentally and made new things possible.

Also, they wrote themselves into a corner with saying that the Reapers were aware of the Crucible plans in previous cycles, but thought they erradicated all traces of the Crucible and admitted underestimating organics. Then, Liara's beacon instructs the next generation how to construct their own... so someone else just had to make the exact same choice Shepard did. More damning though is that the Reapers obviously started taking the threat of a Crucible seriously in THIS cycle, and had time to study the schematics and design around it because Shepard and co left a fully built one right on their doorstep. They just needed to alter the citadel somewhat, and suddenly the next generation is all but screwed.

The new take on Synthesis is almost worse than the last one. Now, organics are perfected through technology, and AI is perfected through a perfect understanding of organics. Except, whose perfect understanding are they suddenly getting? Shepard's? No, Shepard is a jarhead. The Reapers? Their perfect understanding resulted in countless genocides. Where is this knowledge coming from? It would have made more sense if the wave provided hardcoded empathy instead. That scene with the soldier and the husk is especially awkward. Does the husk now have self-awareness? Does it understand organics, and now understand exactly what it lost when it was forced to change? Is the husk suicidal now? Is everyone cool with these zombified human remains walking around? Er? Also, Edi believes she's alive now? ..but that's not what the Catalyst said would happen. Are synthetics self-deluding?

On a more philophical level, the Synthesis ending is disturbingly like the afterlife beliefs of multiple religions and bothers me the same way. If people are forced to coexist in eternal, perfect happiness, are they still really themselves?

#46 Posted by mrpandaman (864 posts) -

1) In my opinion the Catalyst should have been the reflections of all the people your Shepard lost, to me that would've been impactful. I guess the reason it's a kid is because it's Shep's guilt for not being able to save him. But I didn't feel as bad as I should've because the game never gave me a chance to interact or even save him.

3) I believe the ship was damaged just enough to cause a landing and they had to spend time to repair. Destruction of the Mass Relay during a jump could have caused this.

4) Proposal of future DLC containing Shepard. That's what I always thought.

5) Probably certification and the whole team was probably not working on it. I don't know though.

6) It might have been oversight.

8) It was preparing to assimilate humans. I guess that the citadel would've moved from home world to home world.

Other races never were able to figure out what the final piece of the Crucible was or when they did it was too late. The Protheans who figured out what the final piece was, were so splintered and broken apart they had no chance to enact their plans. You could say it was, because of the combined effort of intergalactic species they were able to pull it off. Javik had even said that this current is radically different from his own, because species worked mostly together whereas the Protheans subjugated those who did not want to integrate.

#47 Edited by onan (1284 posts) -

One more thing bothers me now: What's with the false time constraint the Catalyst keeps bringing up? "We're running out of time," "There's no time but I'll try to explain," etc. What does time matter to beings like the Catalyst and the Reapers who describe themselves as having no agenda and are more like fire than anything else? Fire isn't in a rush. Shepard's the one that's losing thousands of people every minute he delays by asking questions, so the sense of urgency is held by completely the wrong character.

What's his rush? Unless it's just a "hurry, I don't have much more dialogue to burn through, pick now!" thing.

Edit: Thinking more on it, what's the point of the blue "Control" wave? I can understand the synthesis and destruction wave, those are pure energy, however now that we know the nature of "control," the Shepard AI has taken over for the Catalyst, who was in the same room with him. It's already been established by both the first game, and the Horizon mission in ME3 that Reapers and Reaper troops can send and receive communications and commands instantaneously over limitless distances without the Mass Relay network, very similar to how quantum entanglement communicators work. It's just how they're built. It's what Henry Lawson was researching.

Using an energy wave to usher in new management seems positively prehistoric by comparison. It would be like a website using smoke signals to let you know they're switching over to a new server.

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