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Mass Alex

Mass Alex: Mass Effect 3 - Part 12

Let's head back to the Citad... oh for crying out loud don't these guys ever quit... and who is THIS?

There are billions of stories in the universe, so why not play the best one?

May. 27 2020

Cast: Vinny, Alex

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Mass Effect 3

93 Comments

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BananaofDoom

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Only an hour? Phooey.

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bathala

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there’s always something. Never going back to Citadel

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TheRealTurk

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Kai Leng. God. I completely forgot about that. The writing in ME3 really was abominable in places.

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Ricxz

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Kai Leng easily the worst character in this game.

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gregtkeg

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When Kai Leng was on top of their shuttle, why didn't James just tilt up a little bit? They were passing under so many beams! Just bump him off like Dennis Hopper in Speed.

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Wiseblood

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Kai Leng is such a badass. He once ate Anderson's cereal.

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RobPigott

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@ricxz: Kai Leng truly does feel like one of the designers or writers played Metal Gear Solid 4 and said "We need OUR Raiden too! Everybody loves a tortured former child soldier repurposed into a faceless ninja assassin!"

Except, you know: Mass Effect isn't Metal Gear. And Kai Leng doesn't have any of the pathos that Raiden in MGS4 engendered b/c he came out of nowhere instead of appearing in any of the other games. It's a baffling decision among many made for Mass Effect 3.

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Ett

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It’s like Alex was fighting Swan Lake.

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Arzonk

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The Kai Leng/Udina subplot is when ME3 starts to go off the rails, imo. A pity

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hermes

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Ohh... Kai Leng, now Alex can start experiencing one of the reasons why this game was not as liked as the previous ones.

@robpigott: To be entirely fair, he was not *out of nowhere*. He was a prominent character in most of the Mass Effect novels (yes, I read those), and he was an insufferable edgelord on those ones too, even before he was turned into cyberninja. To the game credit, they really worked on closing every thread open out there but this smug charisma drain was something that they could have killed off screen.

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anbilow

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Kai Leng sucks in a major way, but people seriously overreact to him.

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RobPigott

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I'm sorry but you can't forgo properly introducing a character by expecting people having read obscure tie-in novels. 90% of players will have never read any sort of tie-in novel and will think this character came out of nowhere. That's absolutely not proper storytelling. I read the very first Mass Effect tie-in novel, the one with Kahlee Sanders and Anderson that gets called back to in ME3, and then never read a single one after because it just wasn't that engaging. To be fair, Kai Leng's fight with Thane is the highlight of his appearances in ME3 but he still has basically no character other than "Raiden-wannabe".

@hermes said:

Ohh... Kai Leng, now Alex can start experiencing one of the reasons why this game was not as liked as the previous ones.

@robpigott: To be entirely fair, he was not *out of nowhere*. He was a prominent character in most of the Mass Effect novels (yes, I read those), and he was an insufferable edgelord on those ones too, even before he was turned into cyberninja. To the game credit, they really worked on closing every thread open out there but this smug charisma drain was something that they could have killed off screen.

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TheChris

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Kai Leng’s school yard bully PM he sends you later in this game is so hilarious I love it.

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TheChris

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@arzonk: I honestly hate that Udina turns out to be a cartoonish evil villain, I always found him interesting as this guy, who is an asshole, but still a dignified diplomant whose mission is to promote human interests to the Citadel. In ME3 he is just downright unreasonable, and there isn’t a lot of subtlety to how he is written.

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Wibblefish

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This episode hit harder than it would normally given the situation the world is in right now.

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hermes

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@robpigott: I won't defend Kai Leng as a character, or Bioware's intention of selling him as a mayor antagonist and Cerberus' Sheppard. I just want to express that some people have been hating his guts for a long time before he was committed to polygons.

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menjivar

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assassin vs assassin

or as keith david would say

ass to ass

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RobPigott

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@hermes said:

@robpigott: I won't defend Kai Leng as a character, or Bioware's intention of selling him as a mayor antagonist and Cerberus' Sheppard. I just want to express that some people have been hating his guts for a long time before he was committed to polygons.

Oh for sure. I totally get that. I guess I just have always wished that Bioware's writers (who have introduced and developed lots of great characters) put more time and care into Kai Leng's development and arc from the beginning and it seems like instead of realizing that maybe this character isn't working, they just went lockstep in continuation with how he's portrayed in the novels which was a shame.

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epidehl

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This and the last episode are real "highs & lows" of ME3.

From an incredibly impactful character death to someone getting offed by some random a-hole from a book in a way that's more annoying than sad.

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TheChris

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Jonny_Anonymous

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I'm surprised so many people forgot about Kai Leng. For better or worse he's pretty much one of the two things I remember about this game.

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mrsmiley

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bludgeonParagon

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All this hate for a throwaway wannabe archrival, but no mention of the payoff at the end for actually beating him

I feel like he was always meant to be just a frustrating annoyance despite constantly getting away with story bullshit. I recently rewatched John Wick 3 where Mark Dacascos plays a bad guy who's so totally desperate to one-up John (the whole "you and me! We're the same!" gimmick), and it's the exact same energy I get from Kai Leng.

I think at the end of the day the writers decided to go with a cheesy assassin ninja pastiche and aren't necessarily building him up to be feared or respected like people here think they are, just hated and despised.

It comes as an even greater contrast watching Alex just absolutely plough through Cerberus like they were nothing. But for the sake of the story the game has to pretend that Cerberus are succeeding at some their goals, even though the reality of Alex's experience is that they're complete pushovers

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Bageldrone

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how alex can play with a sensitivity that low i do not know.

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north6

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There are certain parts of this story that are fantastic, and certain characters that are sort of just used to clumsily wrap up story beats like Udina, but this game is still real good. Thane's last bit in particular is a something I forgot about, what a great character. I felt like his writing "That assassin should be embarassed" is a sort of shot at the writing for Kai Leng, who is pretty much a GI Joe villian.

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mavs

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@bludgeonparagon: There is a scene in this game that blows up that view of Leng. At least for me, that's where he went from "they made a dumb and goofy space ninja" to "they actually like giving this guy screen time, huh?"

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Mus

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Every damn time.

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Bezerker85

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I cant believe they missed or didnt miss that one or many things in that place.

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CaLe

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Edited By CaLe
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Why is no one mentioning the fact it goes from Part 10 to 12. Where is Part 11?

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Noldorin2646

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RIP to a real one.

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borealum

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Edited By borealum

When James disappeared during that first encounter with the Phantoms, I was half-inclined to believe he'd jumped into a taxi to ram the platform.

Also, all joking aside, Thane's passing has wrecked me once again. What a send-off. Also, the line about how Leng should be embarrassed honestly makes me feel a little better about his inclusion. Adds a little texture to the circumstance of a beloved character getting offed by a...not-so-beloved character.

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Colmymeh

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In general I have a really good memory.

So it must be possible to just entirely skip this bit of the game right? Because I certainly never saw Thane die or got the chance to shoot Ashley (I'm assuming that is the renegade option Alex missed) And I swear I've never seen that ninja guy before.

I really hated Ashely, I'm liking her a bit more on my current play through as we had a chance to talk out her space racism in ME1. Still I will definitely take the renegade option when I get to this point.

Obviously Kaiden is still such a nothing character.

So different to last week's episode, I can't remember much more about ME3 except for when Tali shows up and the ending.

I do agree with Vinny and Alex that the lack of conversations hurts this game. In the previous games the shooty bang bang stuff was the medicine you had to take before the brilliant conversations. Remember talking to Thane, Mordin and Wrex?

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borealum

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@menjivar said:

assassin vs assassin

or as keith david would say

ass to ass

I laughed, while simultaneously hating you for it.

'Simultaneously'.

Heh.

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borealum

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Edited By borealum

@wiseblood: I'm surprised he didn't proceed to slip into Anderson's bath robe, put on a pair of Aviators and then call Anderson from his home office, Jason Bourne-style.

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hermes

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Edited By hermes

@colmymeh: You probably blocked some of those memories, or they were so full of nothing that you didn't registered it, but you can't skip this mission, neither can you skip meeting Snake Eyes there, or later. He will return, several times...

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hermes

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@bludgeonparagon: I get your point but, unlike John Wick 3, the framing and the writing of Mass Effect 3 constantly tries to push Kai Leng as a really big deal... in a way, it is the same deprecation of Cerberus throughout the series: even when they are, from our perspective, pushovers that you can mow down easily, the game treats them as an increasingly powerful faction on the level of the collectors or the geth.

In 1 they are a splinter cell of human military with some radical agenda, in 2 they turned out to be this massive underground faction with access to massive resources and incredible technology like true AI, underground biotics labs and the capacity to resurrect someone after 2 years with minimum side-effects, by 3 they have so many resources that they can go toe to toe with the armies of all the other races combined, capable of invading Tuchanka, Omega, Thessia, Sur'Kesh and the Citadel, almost simultaneously.

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bb4lake

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I love ME3 and might actually say it’s my favorite.

And I completely forgot about Leng. Memories flooded back when he showed up.

I still think this game hits more than it misses and is a solid conclusion to the series.

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Colmymeh

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@hermes: That's amazing to me as I have such clear memories of 1&2. Maybe its because the first time I played these games was on the trilogy collection over a Christmas break. I think I rushed through 3 before it was time to go back to work.

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csl316

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Edited By csl316

After this scene, I committed to playing as a Thane in multiplayer.

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colourful_hippie

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Edited By colourful_hippie

Watching these again really hammers home how consistently great the last two games were while ME3 was an intense mix of highs with some of the lowest points in the franchise peppered throughout. I will say that I have forgotten how many great moments 3 had because those memories faded away for me because of the bad taste the ending left in my mouth so watching this all again has been fun.

At the same this is also a reminder of how watered down parts of this game ended up being because of EA's push for broad appeal sales. I didn't mind it being way more of a shooter with light RPG mechanics because the gameplay was solid but the stripped down Citadel, dumbass way of picking up side quests by eavesdropping on everyone like some stalker, stripped down conversation options, pointless "War Asset" system, and bad character makeovers/additions like sexbot EDI, Officer Meathead, Kylo Ren Reject, and giving Liara massive breast implants will leave this game at the bottom of the ladder of this franchise for me even if you don't factor in the weak ending that was face lifted by DLC.

(Andromeda doesn't count, it was an ambitious fan-fiction game made by modders and I'll hear nothing to the contrary!)

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OMGFather

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First Mordin and now Thane. They really aren't pulling any punches :(

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electricbarrier

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Edited By electricbarrier

@cale: Yeah I saw that too. I started watching this and said "wait did I miss an episode when did they cure the genophage?" and it turns out I did. It didn't show up in the usual spots I look so I had to do a search for it and found it. If you haven't seen it do that and it's there. Hopefully if we mention it they'll fix it so anyone who re-watches the series later can do so easier.

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bludgeonParagon

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Edited By bludgeonParagon
@colourful_hippie said:

At the same this is also a reminder of how watered down parts of this game ended up being because of EA's push for broad appeal sales. I didn't mind it being way more of a shooter with light RPG mechanics because the gameplay was solid but the stripped down Citadel, dumbass way of picking up side quests by eavesdropping on everyone like some stalker, stripped down conversation options, pointless "War Asset" system, and bad character makeovers/additions like sexbot EDI, Officer Meathead, Kylo Ren Reject, and giving Liara massive breast implants will leave this game at the bottom of the ladder of this franchise for me even if you don't factor in the weak ending that was face lifted by DLC.

... Liara's character model is the exact same character model recycled from the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC from Mass Effect 2.

People really outing themselves digging deep to find reasons to justify their dislike of Mass Effect 3, huh

@hermes said:

@bludgeonparagon:

In 1 they are a splinter cell of human military with some radical agenda, in 2 they turned out to be this massive underground faction with access to massive resources and incredible technology like true AI, underground biotics labs and the capacity to resurrect someone after 2 years with minimum side-effects, by 3 they have so many resources that they can go toe to toe with the armies of all the other races combined, capable of invading Tuchanka, Omega, Thessia, Sur'Kesh and the Citadel, almost simultaneously.

Storywise it's evident that Cerberus have been straight-up fucking around with Reaper technology up to the point where they've partially husk-ified their ground troops, for all intents and purposes I assume they're just Reaper puppets.

Now I haven't seen any evidence anywhere that BioWare's writers really outlined the scale of the logistics of a group like Cerberus beyond *vague sci-fi handwaving* but to me that honestly just feels like run-of-the-mill soft science fiction

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colourful_hippie

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Edited By colourful_hippie

Just realized part 11 is missing?

@bludgeonparagon: must be from me starting a replay of 1 where the difference is...noticeable...to put it lightly, but sure, go ahead and shrug off my other list of concerns. Really outing yourself on ignoring any problems this game always had.

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LunaCantabile

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why can't I see part 11?

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bludgeonParagon

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Just realized part 11 is missing?

@bludgeonparagon: must be from me starting a replay of 1 where the difference is...noticeable...to put it lightly, but sure, go ahead and shrug off my other list of concerns. Really outing yourself on ignoring any problems this game always had.

I never said the other concerns were invalid at all, but feel free to interpret it as such.

I just find it funny that people go out of their way to make up nitpicks when there are other significantly more meaningful issues worth discussing

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SeventyTwoTransformations

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anyone remembers what happens if Thane died in me2?

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colourful_hippie

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@bludgeonparagon: And still nothing of note to add other than double speak.You say that you didn't invalidate anything yet at the same time you wave them off as "nitpicks" after claiming the issues only exist from "digging deep".

Hey man it's cool that you like the game warts and all so sorry if your enjoyment of the game hinges on dismissing any negative views of it.