Is Ashley irredeemable? And Also how come Garrus and Tali dont get the same amount of hate?

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#1 Edited by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

Sparked by the most recent episode of Alexy Quest™, I just wanted to know how some of y'all feel about her throughout the three Mass Effect games.

She's a space racist at the start but I think its neat that you and the rest of the Normandy crew can steer her towards redemption. Which is quite similar to a possible arc Garrus can take but while Garrus is loved by many (he's my favorite character in games, so I get it), Ashley is so hated that people are willing to choose a wet paper bag in human form over her.

And then there's my third favorite ME character Tali (1. Garrus 2. Legion) who literally starts off by being okay with genocide of the Geth because they wouldn't stop asking questions about their personhood.

Only reason I can come up with is that Ashley is human so people put themselves in her shoes and are disgusted at the though of not trusting cool-ass aliens. While I'm totally on board with that sentiment, I still find her family history with the First Contact War interesting and her arc was a pleasant surprise.

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#2 Posted by Haruko (566 posts) -

Most sane people come to the conclusion that racists don't deserve redemption. While yes you can make her less shitty over the course of 3 whole games a scumbag is a scumbag. Kaiden is really just the better choice because hes not irredeemable scum. I'll take bland over that any day. As for Tali her species was almost wiped out by the Geth she has a legit beef against them and in the ME universe AI true AI isn't legal because of them like theres precedent hell the damn Reapers are straight up the end result of that. As for Garrus doe he ever really do anything like that?

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#3 Posted by MindBullet (692 posts) -

With Tali, I think it comes down to how the Geth are viewed in-universe and treated by the game itself. They're kind of the main baddies in 1, and the question of whether they still are-as well as questions about how true AI should be treated-is something that sticks around through the entire series. Tali gets some slack because of this, but Ashley straight up says she just hates aliens. They give some reasons, and I think they try to pump the brakes a bit on it in later games, but being a space racist is her defining trait and enduring legacy.

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#4 Posted by redwing42 (471 posts) -

With Tali, there are shades of grey, given the alive/not alive question of the Geth's true being, particularly at the start of the trilogy. I also feel like Tali changes over the course of the trilogy more than Ashley does. I remember particularly seeing this when running missions with her and Legion together. I never got the vibe that there was any space racism in Garrus. Maybe a bit of a rivalry with humans, but I didn't really see anything with regards to other aliens. Ashley was definitely written as a racist asshole to give the player a point of reference in the galaxy. I do think that her view changes as well, but she starts so far on the bad side of things that she really just makes it back to "I guess they can be ok." by the end of the series.

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#5 Edited by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@haruko said:Most sane people come to the conclusion that racists don't deserve redemption. While yes you can make her less shitty over the course of 3 whole games a scumbag is a scumbag. Kaiden is really just the better choice because hes not irredeemable scum. I'll take bland over that any day. As for Tali her species was almost wiped out by the Geth she has a legit beef against them and in the ME universe AI true AI isn't legal because of them like theres precedent hell the damn Reapers are straight up the end result of that. As for Garrus doe he ever really do anything like that?

But the Quarians gave the Geth life and when they couldn't enslave them anymore they attempted to snuff them out. Is that not similar to the Turians with there vastly superior military power attacking the first humans they encountered because of a misunderstanding? Not only was Ashleys family part of that war, but they were branded a disgrace by many for her grandfathers surrender to the Turians to save lives.

Edit: As for Garrus, that dude has serious authoritarian tendencies and can lean into or away from them based on how Shep handles their relationship.

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#6 Posted by FNGbomber (175 posts) -

I don't think she's irredeemable. I liked her arc throughout the trilogy as well. Also, she refuses to join the human-survivalist group, so there's that.

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#7 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3935 posts) -

Garrus is a cool looking alien man and Ashley is a human. If i'm going to play this space opera, i want this cool alien man to be a big part of that.

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#8 Posted by frytup (1157 posts) -

Maybe this is taking a video games a bit too seriously? I do lots of stuff in games that I'd never consider in real life. Y'know... like mass murder.

Kaiden is basically a sentient mushroom. I use Ashley because she's a far more interesting character. Doing so is not an endorsement of racism.

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#9 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

With Tali, there are shades of grey, given the alive/not alive question of the Geth's true being, particularly at the start of the trilogy. I also feel like Tali changes over the course of the trilogy more than Ashley does. I remember particularly seeing this when running missions with her and Legion together. I never got the vibe that there was any space racism in Garrus. Maybe a bit of a rivalry with humans, but I didn't really see anything with regards to other aliens. Ashley was definitely written as a racist asshole to give the player a point of reference in the galaxy. I do think that her view changes as well, but she starts so far on the bad side of things that she really just makes it back to "I guess they can be ok." by the end of the series.

ME3 spoilers: she shots Udina to protect the asari councilor I think thats more than just "I guess they can be okay"

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#10 Posted by wjb (2134 posts) -

she dead by the end of me1 for me

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#11 Edited by Efesell (3990 posts) -

I think if she were just one of those people who is like... man I don't like Turians because our first meeting was a bloody space war it would be very different. She would still be wrong but in the way that at least you can see why she's like this and how she could be better. I don't think any of this is irredeemable to be honest but then that's just not the way the games go although I think it is worth remembering that she isn't a part of ME2 primarily because you are working with an organization that is way worse about this whole thing than she is. Then by the time ME3 rolls around it's kinda just like oh yeah I guess I remember Ashley... get in the back of the line with all the good characters I've met since then.

With Tali I think the game does a pretty good job of slowly doling out that the Quarians were in fact wrong about what they've done and paid the price for it. I'm more willing to let her be defensive about it in the beginning though because when your people live in a dwindling exile because of this you probably don't want to listen to some random outsider lecture you about it even if they might totally have a point.

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#12 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@frytup said:

Maybe this is taking a video games a bit too seriously? I do lots of stuff in games that I'd never consider in real life. Y'know... like mass murder.

Kaiden is basically a sentient mushroom. I use Ashley because she's a far more interesting character. Doing so is not an endorsement of racism.

Thats totally a valid response and is my thought on Ashley until people start acting like it's a super weird thing to not completely trash anything related to Ashley.

I mostly just ignore this topic of Mass Effect but for whatever reason Alexy Quest and the ensuing discussion has got me wanting to participate.

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#13 Posted by Relkin (1019 posts) -

I don't think Ashley is irredeemable, but I lost any interest in seeing her make good pretty quickly. She's catty and straight up inappropriate to Liara, but it's a specific line that she says in one of her one-one sessions w/Shepard that did it for me. She mentions that you and Liara have been seeing each other a lot lately, and straight up says something like, "I guess she looks like a woman..." Alright, Ash. Hope you like Virmire, cause that's where you're staying.

As for all the Kaiden hate, I really don't get it. I always thought he was one of the games best characters. In a story filled with big personalities, the quiet dude stands out. Not only that, but I always found him to be really useful in showing how far Shepard has come as the series progresses.

As for Tali and Garrus, I don't see how they're even remotely comparable to Ashley. I can't even think of what Garrus might have done that would warrant his being mentioned here, and Tali's hatred of the Geth is totally reasonable. They forced the quarians out of their home system, while also killing most of them. The loss of life as well as large parts of their culture is immeasurable.

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#14 Posted by SethMode (1657 posts) -

Love a good thread where the creator asks a question with which they have already made up their mind definitively regarding the answer.

1) she's not irredeemable, but she's also not well redeemed in the games.
2) she feels more racist to many because she's a human and was most likely written to make people feel that way.
3) I don't understand what Ashley has to do with two other characters that have WAY more (and better) development around them.

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#15 Edited by poobumbutt (936 posts) -

I'm inclined to agree with the majority. "Racism", particualrly in a fictional setting because suspension of disbelief and all that, becomes a lot easier to sympathize with when the person has a relatable reason.

This also makes their arc more interesting. Ashley's arc feels very much like "oh, cool. You realized you're wrong." Tali, given that her home planet, friends, and family being taken away from her by a race of hive minded AIs is a pretty good reason to, at the VERY least, be wary of them, feels a lot more sympathetic. And her arc feels more like someone successfully understanding the other side of the argument - but STILL having her own opinion. Her mind isn't simply changed when you show her "look! Geth good!" She still has issues and concerns about them and about you trusting them. But she HAS changed.

Say what you want about whether or not Ashley is "redeemed"; for me, it's simply a matter of character complexity and reason.

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#16 Posted by ToySoldier83 (305 posts) -

She is not irredeemable and Kaiden is soooooo boring.

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#17 Edited by BladedEdge (1275 posts) -

Because...one of them is not a party member in the best/most fondly remembered of the 2 games, and the other 2 are?

I always figured it was because Ashley and, I assume Kaiden suffer because....is it spoiler worthy for a game as old as ME1 because its currently being LPed through on here? I guess so.

They had to write the character of Ashley/Kaiden to be essentially the same in the 2nd/3rd games. Some differences, sure. But I always felt like Ashley is a perfectly like-able character in the first game who suffered from a "Well crap we really can't make the choice between the two in the first game matter so she's randomly an asshole now" in the second.

That said, I think the fact that you actively can romance, and/or fight with Tali/Garrus through-out the full trilogy and the fact that they have an entire game with more material devoted to their characters, being full party members with a loyalty mission and everything, makes them much more likeable. Only a very few characters remain fan favorites while only getting a single game (or two) as a playable party-member. And argueably the third most popular character ,Liara, gets her own dlc to take the place of her being a party-member in 2..so kind of fits the 'is a big part of all 3 games' mold too.

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#18 Posted by aktivity (460 posts) -

@efesell said:

I think if she were just one of those people who is like... man I don't like Turians because our first meeting was a bloody space war it would be very different. She would still be wrong but in the way that at least you can see why she's like this and how she could be better.

That was pretty much her arc though. Due to the events of the first contact war and the negative ongoing effect that left on her (and her father's) military career, she distrusts all aliens. She doesn't actively hate them, but like Pressly she doesn't feel comfortable relying on them or giving them access to top secret human information/tech.

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#19 Posted by nophilip (678 posts) -

Ashley is by no means irredeemable, but I found her 100% unlikable. Choosing Kaiden over Ashley was maybe the easiest decision I've ever made in a game.

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#20 Posted by sravankb (544 posts) -

Kaiden's only issue is that he's boring. Ashley's a human piece of shit. Fuck "interesting" or whatever else crap people say to justify her; Kaiden wins by default even though I'm never gonna say he was even remotely interesting.

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#21 Posted by burncoat (514 posts) -

If Ashley only hated or distrusted Turians because of the First Contact War, that'd be understandable. Shitty, but understandable. XO Presley admits he has those feelings towards Turians. There are probably more humans who have conflicted feelings on Turians.

Ashley is distrustful of every alien. It's the equivalent of distrusting every European after WW2. They're foreign to her and she doesn't attempt to learn or combat her own biases. Shes freaked out over Hanar when they haven't even done anything. Everyone is wary of the Krogan, but she hates them without the context of their uprising and Genophage. Shes racist just for the sake of it at this point.

There's also the point where she can be the one to pull the trigger on Wrex. It never happened to me on accident, but I could totally see some players not navigating Wrex's dialogue well and her resolving issue against their wishes.

Tali has a long and personal history with the Geth. It doesnt affect her judgment with other races except other AIs. Garrus is a cop that wants to be The Punisher but it mostly stems from his jealousy of Spectres. He doesn't declare all Batarians criminals or hate on Elcor.

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#22 Posted by Efesell (3990 posts) -

@aktivity said:
@efesell said:

I think if she were just one of those people who is like... man I don't like Turians because our first meeting was a bloody space war it would be very different. She would still be wrong but in the way that at least you can see why she's like this and how she could be better.

That was pretty much her arc though. Due to the events of the first contact war and the negative ongoing effect that left on her (and her father's) military career, she distrusts all aliens. She doesn't actively hate them, but like Pressly she doesn't feel comfortable relying on them or giving them access to top secret human information/tech.

I'll grant that it's maybe what they intend but we get instead is much more general and harder to look past. "I can't tell the aliens from the animals" is not like....reasonable distrust.

Honestly Presslys arc, from what I recall, is what Ashley's should have been the whole time.

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#23 Posted by nutter (1498 posts) -

Ashley > Kaiden

I think the Space Racist label was over blown. I think she was a soldier fighting for her people and wary of aliens after warring with them in the first contact wars.

She did plenty of stuff to defend alien species over the course of the trilogy as well. She’s just more concerned with her mission and her people than being Space Jesus.

I think she was an interesting character with understandable apprehension about working with folks they just warred with and are just establishing diplomacy with. As she grows to understand other species and befriend/work with folks from other species, she grows and becomes more at ease and less defensive.

I think she’s a well thought out, flawed, human, character (which is why people still argue about her).

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#24 Edited by soimadeanaccount (587 posts) -

Spoiler everywhere obviously, in case anyone still cares!

Ashley redemption arc might have never came for many since she could be offed midway through ME1, and at that point she pretty much establish and stay as the biggest space racist in the game at the time; she hates on literally every non human, and can't even claim to be a "supremacist" either since humans aren't really that special, and have already been given plenty of special treatments, yet still be butthurt. Meeting her again in ME2 could also leave a bad taste in player's mouth since she pretty much hate on Shepard. It really isn't until ME3 if you stuck with her that she starts sort of coming back around.

I however don't get the love for Garrus, I don't dislike him, and I do find him to be a good enough character, but no where near the top. I find him kind of pandering (Wrex too honestly, but Wrex is awesome :p), he just happens to be a Turian who gets along super well with humans despite the tension, and manage to be best buds with Shepard, plus the fact that Shepard can pretty much guide Garrus down whichever path the players want Garrus to take pretty much let you mold him into whatever you fancy.

Tali is probably too fascinating to hate on. She has her own personal story of feeling the needs to live up to expectations due to her father being the Admiral. Plus she is pretty much a codex entry on the Quarian personify when you first get a chance to talk to her. She also has some strange/funny moments that really makes her feel like a unique character. Her beef with the Geth is shared by nearly everyone in the galaxy already, and you understand why the Quarians take an especially hard stances against it since it was their doing and the cause of their downfall.

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#25 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@sethmode said:

Love a good thread where the creator asks a question with which they have already made up their mind definitively regarding the answer.

1) she's not irredeemable, but she's also not well redeemed in the games.

2) she feels more racist to many because she's a human and was most likely written to make people feel that way.

3) I don't understand what Ashley has to do with two other characters that have WAY more (and better) development around them.

Seems like you're implying I should ask a question only if I don't have a stance on it? Not sure I agree.

And as I mentioned in this thread, Garrus has an authoritarian attitude in ME1 that I find deplorable and can be pushed further by the player through 2 and 3. Tali is okay with wiping a out a species because her people were nearly killed in a war they started and are solely responsible for and while I'm extremely sympathetic to the Quarians, genocide is right up there with racism in terms of evil shit.

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#26 Edited by Redhotchilimist (2835 posts) -

I'm just gonna run down my feelings on Ashley and some of the party members as a whole here. Spoilers, natch.

Ashley is in the same camp as every human Mass Effect companion member for me, where they're by far the least interesting characters around next to all the aliens with their unique history and culture. They also look the worst, 'cause Bioware's faces aren't that hot.

But adding to that, Ashley has several things going against her. Plain screentime is one thing. Mass Effect 1 is the driest, least character-focused game in the trilogy. And that's the only game where Ashley is a full-time party member, because the option of having her killed in 1 meant Bioware would've had to actually be real with the choices matter thing and do twice as much work to keep both Kaidan and Ashley in. Beyond that, Ashley's only interactions with you is one frustrating scene in Mass Effect 2, where she is disgusted by you working with a human supremacist terrorist group. Which you can't defend, because you didn't have any choice, because Mass Effect 2's main plot is hooorrible, so she's a real jerk in that conversation, and so are you. She also shows up briefly at the start of Mass Effect 3, with a completely unrecognizable look, and spends most of that time bedridden after getting hurt. Finally you can convince her that you're right and Udina is lying, or you shoot her, I think that's how that goes. This is all your interaction with Ashley, compared to what you get with almost everyone else.

Mass Effect 1's Ashley basically read like a metaphor for some casually racist American southerner, between her military education, the talk about her family, her religious faith, her ignorant offhand comments about alien races and her distrust of the Council and Council races. That's the impression it gave me, anyway, as some dude a continent away that has zero to do with that region at all. I'm sure it didn't help her portrayal for some people that she can shoot Wrex in your game.

Mass Efect 1 is all about how humanity's last to the galactic table and struggling with all these race relations. The council doesn't care about them enough to protect their colonies. They just had a long war with the Turians, and are now fighting a Turian who eradicated a human colony, who Anderson believes is hellbent on eradicating humanity. And talking to all the NPCs on the long-ass Citadel walkabout, half of them are in some way distrustful of humans or other alien races. Ashley's wrongheaded approach is in line with that, and her opening up and making friends with the rest of the(alien) party is the natural progress of that. I never saw it in my game, but apparently she can tell a human interest group to fuck off at some point because they're just being paranoid about the aliens? They justify her prejudices well within the setting as a result of her family and career and human history, as well as Citadel power structures(humans are not the dominant species by any metric)and I think it's pretty clear that she's developing from ignorance from a lack of experience into moving beyond her prejudices by the end of ME1.

For me personally Ashley's small-time casual racism is way less of an issue than other characters. Garrus becomes The Punisher in Mass Effect 2. I think Jack kills a ton of people in her very first appearance. The fish dude is a career assassin. Zaeed and Wrex are mercs. Javik is a militaristic jackass who enslaved other species. The paladin lady crushes a skull in her first appearance, as some hard-ass no-excuses murdercop. Those things all make me dislike those characters. I hate it when they try being all badassin ME2 specifically and it just comes off to me as tryhardy or cruel. Even Mordin, one of the characters I like the most in all of the games, is one of the people responsible for keeping an entire race sterile, causing countless deaths.

But no, the monster is the chick that says she can't tell the (alien)people from the (alien)animals, and I can't believe how anyone could even acknowledge her, oh my god. The comment sections on Alexy Quest annoy me about this. I don't think she's either some saint or some irredeemable dirtbag, and I think her overcoming her space racism is way more reasonable than say, Shepard being all buddy-buddy with Garrus after he shot down my advice in 1 about not going rogue and started sniping at crooks and criminals. I think that's the intended effect there. Look at this woman, new to the galactic stage, changing her beliefs about aliens after actual contact with aliens. It's not "This lady is space KKK, get away! She's irredeemable! We gave her to you so you can sacrifice her in that choice!" That's ridicilous. She's just the meathead soldier tomboy who's arc was getting out into space and learning a thing or two about aliens.

At the end of the day I think she's pretty boring, but I can't deny that she's a pretty well-thought out character with some depth to her, like all other things in Mass Effect 1. Out of the human companions, I'd say she's my second favorite after Vega? That's still below Mordin, Legion, Tali, Grunt, EDI, and proooobably even Liara though. And she'd be way lower if I didn't feel so bad about all these other dudes killing everyone.

Specifically, she's better than Kaidan because I actually felt some emotion here and there while interacting with her. Not always something positive, but something. Meanwhile, Kaidan is a human yawn, and people calling out others for the same opinion and going "Oh my god she's such a racist, you must be a racist too" can piss right off. Those sorts of arguments made me irritated enough that I wrote a long-ass post about Ashley Williams, of all ME characters.

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#27 Posted by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@manhattan_project: I'm not implying anything, I'm saying you should just make the thread with your opinion as the title, especially if there isn't really a possibility that you could be convinced otherwise. Why would you ask the question, otherwise? Just make a statement.

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#28 Edited by bybeach (6303 posts) -

I only played Mass effect 2 out of this franchise. From what I have read of Ashley, she does change and change her perspectives. I would like to know more about her back history and involvement in the previous Turian war.

And this, all people are worthy of redemption, even if they are incarcerated for life no parole, or worse. You do not escape accountability. But one can become a better person.

That said, her initial comparing aliens to animals, unfortunate in a few ways, would not endear me to her if I was playing this game for the first time. But they wrote her purposely as she is, so that in turn interests me. Also Wrex with his admitted piracy and murder of the Volus, and Garrus seeming to want to be going all 48 Hours and cut corners in his desire to bring bad guys to final terms, aren't wunderkind either. Kaiden actually asked a Big Question of the Councils thoughts and actions, but that deteriorated. I don't hear of Kaiden continuing to have observations and perhaps being in in-game commenter. Only that he is rather staid with some personal grief.

So what do you choose? Are Wrex and Garrus forgiven while Ashley is tossed? Really? How much does present drawing of arbitrary lines in contemporary life affect game choices? To the point they ignore/discard story arcs?

I'm kind of wanting to play this game now...

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#29 Posted by mems1224 (2427 posts) -

Ashley is awesome. People are taking a video game waaaaaaaay too seruously. More than anything she is ignorant which is understandable considering the current state of the galaxy. Presley is way more racist. Plus at least she's not Kaiden.

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#30 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@sethmode: it's been a while since I've been super active in these forums but I'm pretty sure having multiple paragraphs as a title is frowned upon as is just writing out a topic and saying "discuss." I also stated my opinion immediatly, the whole point of this thread is to get other GB duders thoughts on this and their reasoning behind them.

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#31 Edited by ShadyPingu (1792 posts) -

Ashley had the misfortune of having the majority of her character arc take place in Mass Effect 1, the game in the original trilogy with arguably the weakest character work.

Many of the characters we like in Mass Effect, notably Garrus and Tali, didn't become meaningfully dimensionalized until Mass Effect 2--a game devoted almost entirely to world building and character work. Garrus and Tali had the good luck to be established early on as endearing, then had the entire second game to build on that. Ashley, meanwhile, spent most of ME1 as a space racist before going AWOL in 2, and so didn't get a solid enough arc for most players to move beyond that.

If the writers had executed better on the character stuff from the jump, Ashley maybe could've joined the ranks of all the other boring human companions, instead of being the sole contemptible one. Oh well.

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#32 Posted by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@mems1224: Shockingly your comment on the video this is about and your comment in this thread are both bad.

Love the excuses some will make for their own biases.

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#33 Edited by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@manhattan_project: I don't know where you get the idea that multiple paragraphs would be required?

"Ashley is redeemable and Tali and Garrus deserve the same amount of hate that she gets."

That's the difference between a question that you already "know" the answer to and a thread created with your opinion up front. I don't care what you do, I'm just not a fan of faux questions.

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#34 Posted by mems1224 (2427 posts) -
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#35 Posted by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@mems1224: Yeah duder! It's rad to just hand wave the way people interpret art as bad because you think it is! You are a person definitely being the most open-minded in this situation!

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#36 Posted by mems1224 (2427 posts) -
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#37 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@sethmode: I had a thing I wanted to say and discuss in this place where people discuss things? I don't really get what your problem is here. If you don't like my thread you don't have to interact with it at all.

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#38 Edited by _Brojangles_ (115 posts) -

Ashley's distrust/casual racism towards Aliens always came off to me as based on ignorance, fear, and unfortunate upbringing rather than actual contempt.

I know bigotry of any kind can be a turn-off for some people, but she always felt like someone capable of actually learning to not be shitty (and she eventually does lighten up in the later games assuming you keep her around.)

I find her redeemable, but character arc aside, she's still boring compared to everyone else aside from Kaidan. It's really hard to be Pro-Ashley when you have Wrex and literally anyone else to hang out with.

Humans are almost universally boring squad mates in the trilogy honestly. Jack and Zaeed were the only ones that ever stood out to me.

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#39 Edited by SethMode (1657 posts) -
@manhattan_project said:

@sethmode: I had a thing I wanted to say and discuss in this place where people discuss things? I don't really get what your problem is here. If you don't like my thread you don't have to interact with it at all.

I really don't know what you're driving at here. I'm not "getting at" anything. I was very upfront in my first post that I think it's silly to ask a question you already have a definitive and inflexible answer to. You asked me to explain further and I did. I just find the idea of asking questions when you aren't actually looking to be convinced of anything silly and counterproductive when you could, again, just start a thread with your opinion as a statement and let the conversation build from there. If you are so upset about what irritates me about thread titles, just ignore me.

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#40 Posted by Efesell (3990 posts) -

Honestly among the list of evils several of the Mass Effect fan favorites are involved in Ashley being casually racist is pretty tame. Just shows you how much you forgive for the ones they take the time to do a proper arc with.

People loved Mordin, after all.

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#41 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@bybeach said:

I only played Mass effect 2 out of this franchise. From what I have read of Ashley, she does change and change her perspectives. I would like to know more about her back history and involvement in the previous Turian war.

And this, all people are worthy of redemption, even if they are incarcerated for life no parole, or worse. You do not escape accountability. But one can become a better person.

That said, her initial comparing aliens to animals, unfortunate in a few ways, would not endear me to her if I was playing this game for the first time. But they wrote her purposely as she is, so that in turn interests me. Also Wrex with his admitted piracy and murder of the Volus, and Garrus seeming to want to be going all 48 Hours and cut corners in his desire to bring bad guys to final terms, aren't wunderkind either. Kaiden actually asked a Big Question of the Councils thoughts and actions, but that deteriorated. I don't hear of Kaiden continuing to have observations and perhaps being in in-game commenter. Only that he is rather staid with some personal grief.

So what do you choose? Are Wrex and Garrus forgiven while Ashley is tossed? Really? How much does present drawing of arbitrary lines in contemporary life affect game choices? To the point they ignore/discard story arcs?

I'm kind of wanting to play this game now...

I gotta be honest until this thread I had never thought much about Wrex's piracy days and I kinda feel guilty about it.

You should totally play it btw I just started a new play through and am really enjoying it.

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#42 Posted by mems1224 (2427 posts) -

Ashley's distrust/casual racism towards Aliens always came off to me as based on ignorance, fear, and unfortunate upbringing rather than actual contempt.

I know bigotry of any kind can be a turn-off for some people, but she always felt like someone capable of actually learning to not be shitty (and she eventually does lighten up in the later games assuming you keep her around.)

I find her redeemable, but character arc aside, she's still boring compared to everyone else aside from Kaidan. It's really hard to be Pro-Ashley when you have Wrex and literally anyone else to hang out with.

Humans are almost universally boring squad mates in the trilogy honestly. Jack and Zaeed were the only ones that ever stood out to me.

Yea, pretty much agree with all of this. She isn't an inherently bad person, shes just ignorant and puts human interests first. It doesn't help that she's a soldier class which is the worst class in the series.

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#43 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@sethmode: I asked a topic and answered in my way and asked for others to provide their input. You're acting like I pretended to be neutral on the subject when I made it very clear what I thought and provided a theory as to why I thought some people disagreed.

Look it's been nice but I don't see this going anywhere so how about we just part ways?

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#44 Edited by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@manhattan_project: Sure, but at this point, I don't really even know why you're so upset by what I said. I made what was largely a very benign comment about my own opinion of question threads, you asked why, I answered, and now you're trying to act like I'm the one being petty about this. You alternatively could have just said "Oh, I see what he means but I didn't mean this thread to be that way, but oh well." (edit: to yourself of course)

I'm not trying to make this any kind of thing, but at this point, you could have just let it lie after my post which, despite the part you took umbrage with, includes my opinions on your take.

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#45 Posted by n00bs7ay3r (317 posts) -

@manhattan_project: Don't let his asinine behaviour derail your thread dude. There is nothing wrong with this thread or its title.

I do wonder if the reason some people react so strongly to Ashley's racism is because it is such a relatable issue. Like we have all met real life Ashleys and the topic of racism is a topic that we have real life positions on that are tested to some degree on a regular basis. Whereas we probably don't have people in our lives that are former pirates who used to murder for their own personal gain. Even though the latter is obviously much worse in reality, it is so fantastical that we are able to disassociate from it more easily.

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#46 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2310 posts) -

@sethmode: you made a comment both answering my topic and criticising it, I responded to both. If you didn't want a response there is no reason to mention it. Again it's been nice but I'm just gonna go ahead a block you.

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#47 Edited by SethMode (1657 posts) -

It's genuinely hilarious to me that saying that fake questions are bad thread titles is a bad take but I guess that's where we are here. Sheesh.

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#48 Posted by SethMode (1657 posts) -

@manhattan_project: Don't let his asinine behaviour derail your thread dude. There is nothing wrong with this thread or its title.

I do wonder if the reason some people react so strongly to Ashley's racism is because it is such a relatable issue. Like we have all met real life Ashleys and the topic of racism is a topic that we have real life positions on that are tested to some degree on a regular basis. Whereas we probably don't have people in our lives that are former pirates who used to murder for their own personal gain. Even though the latter is obviously much worse in reality, it is so fantastical that we are able to disassociate from it more easily.

This seems, weirdly aggressive towards me? I never said that there was a problem with the thread or the title, rather just that I offhandedly said that fake questions seem silly and pointless to me. I'm not sure why it caused him to block me or you to say my behavior is asinine.

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#49 Posted by clagnaught (2054 posts) -

I only played Mass Effect 2 and 3 and went with Kaiden, but a lot of the people I know who played ME1 let Ashley die, because she was a space racist. So maybe people who went that route didn't get much exposure to her? I am curious to see how Ashley continues to develop over the course of this game.

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#50 Posted by carlthenimrod (1634 posts) -

Disclaimer: I beat Mass Effect 1 & 2 (not 3) but my memory is shitty so I don't remember the particulars of Ashley.

What I will say however is that Archie Bunker from "All in the Family" was a bigot who said terrible things. But he was also a very likeable character because he was actually a decent person despite some of his outward flaws. His humanity made him a believable and compelling character to watch and it led to a lot of funny/interesting moments when his bigotry was challenged.

Again, I don't remember the particulars of Ashley, but I don't remember her doing anything irredeemable along the lines of murdering a group of innocent aliens or what not.


I do wonder if the reason some people react so strongly to Ashley's racism is because it is such a relatable issue. Like we have all met real life Ashleys and the topic of racism is a topic that we have real life positions on that are tested to some degree on a regular basis. Whereas we probably don't have people in our lives that are former pirates who used to murder for their own personal gain. Even though the latter is obviously much worse in reality, it is so fantastical that we are able to disassociate from it more easily.

I think this post nails it.

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