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Fridge Brilliance Part 1

  • People have pointed out that the dream sequences seem weird and loopy. However, aren't most dreams supposed to be strange? Its seems terrifying asleep, but explain it to a friend and notice that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't seem intimidating to him/her.
  • Originally in Just Bugs Me: Why do medkits look all the same, even where they shouldn't (i.e. red & white/cross symbol on, say, Ilos)? And the green squares for opening doors, and the like? Oh? There's an answers? What's that, you say, Sovereign? That the Mass Relays force technological and societal evolution in the ways you want it to go? Fridge Brilliance. (YMMV: some may only consider this Fridge Logic.)
    • Nah, the real brilliance is that the Sirta Foundation (i.e. the one making all the medkits) is a human-owned company. So naturally their med-kits would have symbols that humans would recognize. Though I guess finding medi-gel in places like Ilos just doesn't make sense no matter what symbol's on the box, since medi-gel is explicitly mentioned to be a human invention.
  • For the longest time I was bugged by the "You must destroy all synthetic life" as a result of using the crucible. Then I realized: By that point in the game, all synthetic life was using reaper based AI. The geth had a reaper based AI upload (If they still existed) due to legion. EDI has reaper bits in her code (As well as bits of the AI from Luna which is not reaper based, but was upgraded with reaper code). It's the reaper code that makes them targets!
  • The reapers and their cycle of extinction provide the perfect answer for the Fermi Paradox.
  • Sovereign is less composed than Harbinger, it seems. Why? Because Sovereign is a total fuckup. He's been trying to start the Reaper invasion for several hundred years. He tried starting with the Rachni, but they withstood him. Then he tried starting with the geth, despite his hating the living guts out of them (because they can't be turned into Reapers, for one), and they failed by the end of Mass Effect 1. By the time he's invading the Citadel, he's out and out desperate.
  • At the end of Mass Effect 1 Shepard is given three choices. Paragon: Save the Asari Dreadnought. Renegade: Screw the Council over. Neutral: Focus fire on Soverign, thus killing the Asari dreadnought anyway. I was a little pissed that the neutral choice still gives you renegade points but then I realized not taking action when you can is still JUST AS BAD.
  • Whether accidental or intentional, the Mass Effect theme music fits exactly into the intro credits to Star Trek: Voyager [1]
  • The name 'Rachni'? Try Arachnid.
  • Until it's pointed out, few notice that the humanoid geth look like quarians. - JAF 1970
    • In fact, most people looking at the cover for Mass Effect: Ascension would immediately assume that the novel involves geth, because of the "flashlight head" on the cover. It isn't until one looks closer that it becomes apparent that the cover is actually showing a quarian helmet.
  • In Mass Effect 2, you bust Jack out of Purgatory, a prison ship held by the Blue Suns. Now, the merc gang they belong to might not matter, but think for a moment. The Blue Sun(s) hold a girl who's badass, a trained killer, and insane. If this is starting to sound familiar, did I mention that she can kill you with her brain? They used them for yet another Firefly Shout-Out (the Blue Sun Corporation is the jackasses who were a large part of the Academy's funding/control). Someone at BioWare must really like Firefly.
  • I originally thought the loading screens in Mass Effect that depict the Normandy traveling between systems - the ones that show it using its built-in FTL drive with the red light heading "toward" the Normandy and the blue light heading "away" from it - were just a pretty cool effect. It wasn't until a few months later and I was rereading the Codex's entry on FTL drives and their appearance that I realized the light approaching the Normandy was being red-shifted by the mass effect field, and the light moving away from it was being blue shifted, exactly as it was described in the Codex. The sheer level of detail and dedication to internal consistency in the game's very loading screens blew my mind. -- Unknown Troper
  • I had a moment of Fridge Brilliance for Mass Effect's plot itself. Initially, he had many of the same misgivings stated on the Just Bugs Me page: Why didn't Saren activate the Citadel Relay while he was there, secretly? Why didn't Sovereign just attack the Citadel in the first place? What was the point behind Saren having to find the Beacons and Ilos? But then, this troper reached the Ilos VI, and through the dialog with it, EVERYTHING. MADE. SENSE. Sovereign's original plan was to get the Keepers to activate the Relay themselves, allowing him to let the Reapers return without ever really lifting a finger. But with the Keepers modified by the Protheans, Sovereign's essentially screwed. Sure, he could've flown in and hooked himself up to the Citadel and done the job manually, but as we see at the end of the game, he would've gotten Curb Stomped pretty badly by the defending fleets and then that'd be the end of the Reapers. So with Saren's help, he formulates a backup plan. Somehow, he knows the Protheans made a miniature Relay that let them get to the Citadel, so he sends Saren off to find it, with the Beacons able to tell him the location (likely by tracing the Beacons back to their point of origin). At the same time, Saren begins gathering allies: the Geth, the Krogan, the Rachni, etc. All of it, all of it, the gathering of allies and the finding of the Conduit, was all just to provide Sovereign with cover and protection long enough for him to activate the Citadel Relay manually. The new plan would've been thus: with the Relay on Ilos secured, Saren teleports onto the Citadel with an army of Geth, Krogan and Rachni, completely overwhelming the defenders and crippling the Citadel's "ground" defenses. Sovereign flies in with the Geth fleet, the Geth carving a path for him through the Citadel fleet and holding off any reinforcements. Saren, in control of the Citadel's Control Center, closes the Citadel's arms, preventing anyone else from approach the station. With the Geth fleet maintaining a perimeter outside and Saren's army preventing anyone still on the Citadel from interfering, Sovereign is given all the time he needs to hook himself up to the Citadel, activate the Relay manually and summon the other Reapers. EFFING. BRILLIANT. -Ghost Who Walks
    • Now take this in conjunction with what we have seen in Mass Effect 2. While Sovereign was doing his thing with Saren and the Geth, since long before the attack on Eden Prime, as Legion reveals, Harbinger was overseeing the operations of the collectors, who were researching the species of the Galaxy in order to determine the best way to exploit them during the Reaper invasion. However, the Collectors had all the systems in place to start making a new Reaper themselves, without direct intervention from their Masters, allowing them to begin building a Reaper within the Galaxy that could be used to make another attempt to open the Citadel Mass Relay. In addition to this, Harbinger makes the Collectors go to ludicrous lengths to kill Shepard and retrieve the body, just to make sure Shepard is properly dead. But that's not all! As shown in the Arrival DLC, the Reapers also had a back door into the Galaxy, the Alpha relay, that they could reach relatively quickly, and this relay, when properly configured, allowed them to quickly travel to far-flung areas of the Galaxy, including the Citadel. They could have used the Alpha relay to send several Reapers to the citadel to attempt what Sovereign himself had tried to do, and with the support of a small fleet of reapers rather than a puny fleet of geth ships, a single Reaper could succeed easily. They had three different, concurrent plans to achieve their objective, and possibly more that we do not know of yet. Dangerously Genre Savvy does not even begin to cover it! And Shepard somehow screws with all their plans! - Valhar2000
      • Of course, we only have the word of someone who was already long indoctrinated that the reapers would be arriving there. And if the reapers did show up people would have noticed, such as anyone sent to check on the colony. It could be that the Reapers entire plan was to ignite a war between humans and Batarians and pin the blame on Shepard.
        • That would make it a nifty little Xanatos Gambit- if Shepard blows up the relay, s/he'll be sacrificed to ease racial tensions, thus negating a major foe. If s/he fails to blow up the relay, things go as originally planned. Win/Win for the Reapers, I'd say.
      • If you wait until the timer setup for The Project runs out, you get a cutscene that shows the Reapers' arrival and their indoctrination of everybody, which confirms everything that Dr. Kenson tells you about The Arrival.
  • Why is Sovereign all put out and annoyed (more than usual) and says you wouldn't comprehend its reasons when you ask him why he and his kind carefully bait civilizations so they can destroy them every fifty thousand years? Would you be annoyed if someone you really don't like asked you why you needed all that technological help to have sex?
    • And further, why is the entire Reaper race so angry with Shepard? S/He's an entire species-wide cock-blocker of monumental proportions! As of the end of Mass Effect 2, the Reapers probably consider Shepard guilty of murder, grave-robbery, desecration of the dead, and child-killing (or forced abortion). No wonder they look pissed.
  • Manuel from Eden Prime may seem crazy at first but looking back, everything that he babbled about was actually true.
    • Thinking on this, I just realized that he was probably exposed to the beacon just before the attack. The doctor describes him as 'always a bit unstable', but maybe this is what happens to a 'lesser mind', as Liara put it. - Randomfanboy
    • 'Lesser mind'? If he indeed was exposed to the beacon, Manuel understood perfectly well what the message meant far sooner than Shepard did after his exposure. Being a slightly 'off' genius (some form of autism perhaps?) allowed Manual to probably process the beacon information much faster, with great clarity. Too bad he went mad from the revelation... X-File
      • Or he's the one who broke the beacon in the first place.
      • Let's not forget that he was also exposed to Sovereign as well as the beacon.
    • In that same vein, the mechanic from Horizon in ME2 blames Shepard and the Alliance for bringing the Reapers down on the colony, despite the fact that other neutral colonies are being targeted and the Alliance defenses used by Shepard are exactly why most of the colony was saved. Yes, he's a coward for not helping out... but Shepard and the Illusive both agree that it is too big a coincidence that the Collectors target a colony where one of Shepard's crew is stationed, so technically he was right. This doesn't make me wish any less for a Renegade Interrupt to punch him in the mouth. - koolkame
  • I just noticed this, but in the Exodus Cluster, there is a star named Utopia which Eden Prime orbits. The thing about this system is, every planet orbiting it is named after a philosophical Utopia. These planets are: Arcadia, named after an area of Greece where people lived down to earth and close to nature; Eden Prime, after the Garden of Eden where the bible says that Adam and Eve lived until Satan made them eat the apple; and Zion, a term used by Judaism to describe the promised land where God will dwell with his chosen people; Nirvana, where according to Buddhism someone ascends to when they no longer require to be reborn. The last planet is Zanadu, which isn't the idea of a Utopia, but the name of the city where Kublai Khan made his capital and had is "Pleasure Gardens".
    • Most of the star systems have naming schemes. Boltzmann system objects are all named after famous theoretical physicists, Enoch system are all based on the Old Testament, Fortis are all based on Latin words for virtues, etc. The names span a large number of cultures, too, which can either indicate that various human cultures settled different systems, or that humans have a worldwide culture that isn't nearly as Anglo-centric as most depictions of the future.
      • In modern culture, stars and such get to be named after whatever the discoverer wants (which is why a number of things tend to sound more like pop culture references). In the time of ME, the Alliance is a multinational organization that celebrates humanity's diversity and achievements (look at the name of their ships). Those outside the Alliance would be the same (proud and probably a united group to colonize a system). The choice of naming schemes would be completely intentional as to the diverse names.
  • The principle villains of Mass Effect 2 are The Collectors. You could buy a limited Collector's Edition, whereupon you got The Collector's armor as a bonus. It's not an edition for collectors. It's the edition OF The Collectors. Of course! -- User:Jack Slack
  • At first, I thought Jack's character design was too over the top. Then I learned that it is common for abuse survivors to get tattoos and piercings as a way to reassert control over their own body, and it all made perfect sense.
  • OK. So let's talk about Udina. He's a cold, uncharismatic toad. His decision making is absolutely lousy. He clearly lacks any ability to be a good politician. So why on earth did he get such a high position? The answer comes from Anderson: "Udina has his uses. If you want to get anything done on the Citadel, he knows who to ask." Of course. He's not a politician; he's a bureaucrat. He's a very good bureaucrat. As an assistant to a decent politician, he'd make that politician's career - People would praise that politician as decisive and capable. But Udina is also ambitious and doesn't know his own limitations. It's a combination that got him promoted above his level of competence... right to the point where he could help end all organic life, in fact. -- User:Jack Slack
    • This is also why the various turians in office tend not to like Udina and why the turian council member quick warms to Udina and Shepard prove Saren guilty. Turian society teaches (and of course, those in power would probably more closely identify with this social trend) that individuals should be introspective enough to understand their limitations and the limitations of others. People should not promote others or be promoted if they're not ready yet. Thus prior to all this, it's likely that the turians Udina worked with saw him (and perhaps by proxy, the humans) as basically being rude for promoting someone into a position they weren't ready for.
    • The third game adds a wrinkle: Udina is working for Cerberus. The Illusive Man's seemingly limitless connections are what made toad like Udina the most powerful human in the galaxy.
  • Remember that song that played every time you died? That one that you began to associate with death and eventually hated? Well, it's Saren's theme song. Meaning that the game developers have been conditioning you the entire game to hate him. Brilliant.
    • It gets better. Shepard was the only one that could stop Saren. Now s/he's dead and the Game Over music is Saren gloating.
    • The menu music? That's Vigil's Theme.
      • In Mass Effect 3, if you listen very carefully, you can hear hints of Vigil's Theme in the background noise of the Normandy war room.
  • The only time you hear two elcor speaking directly to each other is in Mass Effect in the elcor ambassador's office. Careful listeners will notice they do not preface their conversation with their emotions. Of course, this is because they can detect the minor physical and pheromone changes of each other, and have no need to express them verbally. -JAF 1970
    • And then Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize that the Elcor don't use those prefaces themselves, the Translator Microbes do that for them (as evidenced by the Elcor who hacked his translator to allow him to fake the emotional descriptions).
      • Well, if they're smart enough to read all the eclor's extremely subtle body language, why can't they tell when one elcor is speaking to another?
  • Go look at the map of the Citadel Council Chambers in Mass Effect. That's it, really get a good look at the shape of it. Seem familiar?
    • This freaked me out when I noticed it because it makes so much sense since the whole tower is basically Sovereign's throne.- koolkame
    • The Widow Nebula where Citadel is located also has a shape that is none too inviting...
      • Which is a Fridge Brilliance itself, considering what a widow is supposed to be... get it? The Citadel itself is a TRAP! -Raverine
  • If you buy an upgrade from a store, you don't need to research it, unlike all other upgrades. Why? Well, stores would rapidly go out of business if the buyer had to build it themselves; you're buying the full, researched, completely built product. -Tera Chimera

 Here're the plans for your new implants. Now go out and mine random planets to get the minerals you need to build it!

...I want my money back.

    • Maybe this is why Refund Guy wants his money back?
      • Nope - that was for a Toaster Oven.
  • In Mass Effect 2, one of the first things you behold upon entering Omega is a line of people queued in front of an elcor bouncer. According to the Codex, elcor are heavy-worlders capable of punching their way through a bulkhead, adept at detecting body language, and who speak in a very calm, concise and infuriating manner. Thus it makes sense to use them as bouncers.
    • To wit, remember that elcors grow up in a culture/world that emphasizes deliberation and caution since on their homeworld, just falling over could probably kill you. Thus an elcor willing to act 'fast' and get into scuffles as a bouncer would be required to do wouldn't just be an average elcor, but the equivalent of a soldier. Sure, it seems like to us that the bouncer is being reasonable... but it may very well be that the elcor is really really close to losing his shit.
  • It's easy to get angry about how the love interest from the original. They're at least distant, if not outright hostile. But, think about this for a minute. Shepard is probably as angry about this as you are! S/he would go looking for someone for comfort. Tali and Garrus serve as the Unlucky Childhood Friend of sorts. Thane is the dying Woobie to bond with. Miranda and Jacob take Ashley and Kaidan's place almost perfectly. They all have good reasons for acting like this -- especially Liara. It turns out she got that way saving your life. Trashing her ends up being an epic case of What the Hell, Hero?. It's still infuriating for Liara/Shepard shippers, but presumably remaining loyal to her will pay off in ME3 pays off big time for Liara romancers in Lair of the Shadow Broker.
    • Indeed, in Lair of the Shadow Broker, Shepard gives Liara a What the Hell, Hero? about being cold and distant with them...and she gives them a better one right back, pointing out that s/he can't just make two years of pain go away.
  • If you read the Codex entry on the Unification War, you'll note that the turians have a thing about a member of their species who has no facepaint markings, as it apparently is taken as sign of someone who can't be trusted because they have no declared allegiances. Unsurprisingly, Saren's face is unpainted, but the real brilliance comes in Mass Effect 2: Warden Kuril of Purgatory has no facepaint, which should be a subtle warning sign that he's going to betray you.
    • That, and he's voiced by Fred Tatasciore, the same guy who voiced Saren and Balak in Mass Effect 1.
    • Joram Talid, the turian politician in Thane's loyalty mission is a Bareface as well.
    • Of course, so is the turian C-sec officer Bailey brings with him to Talid's apartment, so it's not completely internally consistent.
      • A C-Sec officer having 'I am a C-Sec officer' face markings would ruin his cover in covert operations. Joran Talid, as a politician, is probably aligned only to himself.
    • Speaking of Barefaced Turians there is a similar form of Fridge Brilliance involving Geth, a certain doctor from a DLC is also voiced Gerrel. Given the fact both of them share the same voice mean they did something evil involving Geth.
    • Something that's hard to miss is that on Noveria you find Lilihierax, a garage mechanic who is also barefaced, standing outside the Synthetic Insights office. Is he untrustworthy? Not to the player, but to his employers: with little prompting he sells them out by revealing some of the shady dealings going down on the planet.
  • At first glance, Grunt seems "off" when compared with other krogan. He's not as big, lacks the huge hump that other krogan have, he doesn't have the serrated head ridges, and his skin is smoother and softer-looking than other krogan. Until you realize that all the other krogan refer to him as a child, and that his physical appearance is what a young krogan looks like. His hump is small because it hasn't grown yet, and his skin isn't rough and pitted because he hasn't lived long enough for it to develop that way. His entire character design, from the ground up, shows how young he is compared with other krogan.
    • This is explained in-game.
  • On Garrus' loyalty mission, if you confront Sidonis, he seems genuinely ashamed and guilty of his actions in betraying Garrus' squad. At first, this seems pretty normal for someone like that, but check the Codex entries on turians. Betrayal of the team and refusing to own up to your own mistakes and actions - like Sidonis did, by fleeing and hiding - is a deep taboo among the turians. No wonder the guy is so torn up about it.
    • Why does Garrus reluctantly forgive Sidonis? When confronted by his crimes, Sidonis confesses and owns up to his mistakes. That's another huge thing for turians, and ties into why Garrus chose to let him go.
    • Goes the other way for Garrus. Turian culture puts the stigma of a subordinate's incompetence, failures, or otherwise unsuitability on the heads of those who promoted them to that responsibility, as they made the mistake of putting someone in a position that they are incapable of handling or simply can't be trusted with. Thus, we have one of the major reasons why Sidonus' betrayal is eating so heavily on Garrus - to a turian, the treachery is as much Garrus' fault as it is Sidonus'. That's why taking out Sidonus is so important to Garrus, as he doesn't just want revenge, he wants absolution for his own errors in judgment. Its subtle, but you can see it in Garrus, both in body language and voice.
  • In the sequel, the Collectors start to capture human colonists en masse to create a new Reaper based on humanity. This makes a lot of sense considering the Battle of the Citadel and Sovereign Nazara's destruction. With the Reaper fleet stranded in dark space after the death of their--presumably--only vanguard, a Reaper based on defiant and promising humans would be the perfect replacement and pave the way to the inevitable invasion. But Shepard comes back from death and destroys that too. Cue the pissed of Reapers powering up and charging headlong into the galaxy to unleash hell.
    • Not only that, but the novels drop a small tidbit about Collectors being interested in human biotics. This seems like a throwaway scrap of information, but it all makes sense when you consider they're trying to make new Reapers out of human genetic material. Reapers integrate biological material with element zero based technology. Biotics are a perfect group of subjects to see exactly how well the species is suited to this kind of synthesis. THAT'S the whole reason behind littering the galaxy with eezo-based technology too -- they want to see how other species react to eezo to judge how compatible they are with Reaper technology.
      • Then you've got Cerberus, a human-supremacist organization with an unhealthy obsession for manipulating human genetics to make supermen, maximizing human biotic potential, and Reaper technology...and a newfound raging hard-on to kill Shepard according to Mass Effect 3's developers. Borderline Fridge Horror if you consider Shepard can deliver to them their very own Human-Reaper factory in the end of Mass Effect 2, and would then be the only person standing in the way of Cerberus constructing their own Reaper.
  • Also in the sequel, some fans don't like the way your Charm and Intimidate checks are completely tied to your Karma Meters rather than an upgradeable skill. However, it makes a whole lot more sense this way because it means that your reputation is preceding you. If people know you have history of kindness, they are more likely to believe you when you try and charm them. Likewise they are more likely to cower before you if they know what badassery you're capable of. Also, it means that every conversation is an opportunity to upgrade your Persuasion skill: a character that always takes a neutral response WILL miss out on a lot of Karma and therefore be unable to orate properly. It doesn't fix every problem, but the concept is interesting.
    • Flip it around, it works better than having a reputation: If you behave politely to everyone you meet (As a Paragon would), then you would have difficulty trying to actually intimidate someone without it sounding somewhat unimpressive. Likewise, bully your way around the universe by shooting people in their feet, and it would be hard to act pally and charming with someone without it sounding insincere. Having Charm/Intimidate checks tied to your Paragon/Renegade values makes a lot more sense than arbitrary assigning skill points to abstract skills because that's how people behave in real life! Someone who would be considered a Paragon would have a lot more success in charming someone than intimidating, and vice-versa.
    • Then again, the system in the first game makes sense as well. When you add points to the skill, you're basically training it offscreen. Think Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and his Chords of Steel.
    • As long as you don't use the medbay upgrade to heal your scars, those could tie in as well - while a Paragon Shepard's scars heal and make them look more like a normal human, Renegade's get worse, and when someone with eyes and scars that glow red threatens you, you're probably going to be inclined to listen.
    • My Renegade Shep used a helmet for health purposes but then I noticed you could see his glowing eyes AND NOTHING ELSE! Very scary if your on the other end.
    • It was explicitly stated in the manual for both games that the Paragon-Renegade meters are measuring reputation. That's why they are seperate instead of being a single value; people don't forget the colony you wiped out on Feros just because you revealed corruption on Noveria.
  • The Collector ship that hits you in the first scene of Mass Effect 2 is the same one that you attack later in the game and the same one that gets fragged by Garrus during the suicide mission. What are the odds of that? Well, keep in mind the Collectors are so uncommon many don't believe they exist. The easiest way for it to be the same ship is if it's the only ship they have, and considering the Collectors are all that's left of the enslaved Protheans, makes it make a very scary sense.
    • Also logical in a different way--the Reapers really don't need more than a handful of Collectors. The way they operate (from the shadows and over very long periods of time) means that it's simply not necessary for there to be many of them. Attacking the Normandy was quite likely the first significant act of aggression the Collectors ever did. (because there was no fighting involved with kidnapping colonies)
    • Jossed in 3. James Vega recounts how his squad got caught on a planet with a colony that got attacked by the collectors when they were doing their abductions. The collector ship was destroyed after most of the colonist died or were captured. So at the very least, they had two ships.
  • At first glance, the Vanguard's Charge ability doesn't seem to fit within the various powers of mass effect fields. The power to move at insane speeds and phase through solid objects en route to the target? That doesn't make any sense based on what we've seen so far, until you look at the mass relays, including the Conduit - which actually did allow Shepard's crew to phase through the Citadel walls. Biotics are, after all, just a way for organics to generate mass effect fields, so theoretically an organic can do anything an ME-based technology can pull off. Looking more closely at it, it becomes obvious: Charge is essentially a short-ranged, much slower, one-way version of a mass relay jump.
  • In the sequel, it's possible to help Complete Monster Morinth kill her Knight Templar of a mother, Samara. It's easy to look at Shepard's decision to do this as a case of Chaotic Stupid or severe Moral Dissonance, unless you're playing a majority Renegade game. After completing her loyalty mission and talking with her a few more times, Samara will state that she would have killed you a long time ago if she hadn't sworn her Oath before joining, and that after you part ways, if she ever sees you again, you're as good as dead. And all of a sudden, the decision to save Morinth looks a bit more like a profound moment of foresight. Which person would be less of a threat to an Anti-Hero: the Knight Templar who would kill the galaxy's only hope for doing his/her job, or the sex vampire who's only a threat to you if you're Too Dumb to Live?
    • You may not be seduced by Morinth, but consider the fact that dead crew just might start turning up with her on board, realistically. Especially a certain Yeoman wouldn't make it past the first night, for sure. So yes, Morinth is more of a liability than Samara.
    • Not to mention that while Morinth may not be a threat to you personally, she's proven to be a massive threat to pretty much every body else. Considering she was able to get into a stalemate with a 1,000 year old Matriarch and shows no remorse for the deaths she's caused previously, Morinth is still the bigger threat even if you are a Renegade. After all, if you as a Renegade can take on Saren and krogan battlemasters, Samara who has faced these and -lost- is no real threat.
      • Not to rain on the parade, but a full Renegade Shepard would choose Morinth simply based on two things: 1) he can easily dispose of her should she get antsy while on HIS ship, and Morinth knows as much, especially by endgame she should be aware Shepard is more than she can take on, and she's hardly stupid, and 2), which is most important, Renegade Shep doesn't really give half a damn about anyone ELSE Morinth could kill so long as she proves useful to him. Remember what the Renegade choices in Zaeed's mission involve? Yeah, that's pretty much how he rolls. Renegade Shepard is a borderline Villain with Good Publicity, and if he has to choose between a highly useful ally and the lives of some schmucks whom he doesn't even know, it's a pretty safe bet to say he won't be picking the treehugging goody two shoe choice. Simple as that.
    • Using Samara's line about killing Shepard as an explanation for Shep picking Morinth doesn't work unless you're meta-gaming. Samara doesn't even tell Shepard this until her very last conversation after she's loyal.
      • Or he could just be drawing out the logic from what Samara tells you when you first meet her, or he could have done a bit of research into the Justicars and realised "Oh, this person could be a threat to me in the future. Better use this opportunity to remove it."
  • You know those scars on Renegade Shepard's face, provided you don't remove them with the Med Bay Upgrade? It's a subtle, over the two games, but Shepard is slowly turning into Saren through his/her actions.
    • Heck, even Paragon Shepard is slowly becoming Saren's inverse: The Geth? On your side thanks to Legion. The Krogan? On your side thanks to Wrex. The Rachni? On your side thanks to the Queen you spared on Noveria. With former enemies like these, who needs friends? (Though you probably made a lot of those, too.)
    • You could buy a license to Geth weaponry in the first game, which seemed to make no sense at all. However, with the reveal in the second game that the Geth working under Saren are rogue and the real Geth are benevolent (or at least neutral), it makes much more sense that Geth weaponry could have been leaked at some point, maybe even intentionally.
    • And remember, Saren was in control of several research corporations. He could very well have 'leaked' Geth designs and tech. Why? Because it would be tech that he, and by extension, Nazara could control.
  • It's noted on the main Mass Effect page that the planet Klandagon is described as having a massive scar carved from a mass effect weapon fired either at or by the Reaper you board in 2. But notice what's in the orbital just outside Klendagon? An asteroid belt. Boom.
  • Many people were irked over Garrus' loyalty armor being just as broken and burnt his standard armor, which gets damaged during his recruitment mission. They complained about it being a blatant case of a simple repaint... which it is, literally, in the game. Genius! - The Pein
  • So, hey, the credits for Mass Effect 2 are pretty nifty and all, with that awesome music playing in the background, as you're reading that white text against a black background with gold section headers... wait a second, where have I seen that color scheme before? That's Cerberus' colors!
  • Speaking of colors. At first it kind of irked me to notice that the repaints after the loyalty missions all had the generic badass black color-scheme while the original outfits all had more originality and the colors made everyone seem more individual. Looking at the squad selection screen after getting several loyalty missions though you start to notice that the loyal ones are starting to look similar. As they become loyal they're putting on a uniform. They're becoming part of the team! -Pa Ja
    • That moment of Fridge Brilliance led to this troper's own moment of Fridge Brilliance. Consider Garrus. The other team members go from various color schemes to some combination of black/orange/white. Garrus, and to a lesser degree, Tali, change their armors to something that resembles the Cerberus color palette, but maintains distinct differences, such as Garrus' use of blue. After reading the above entry, the thought struck me: Yes, the ME1 veterans are changing something to fit in with Cerberus, but retaining enough individuality to show that they are allied with Shepard first, and Cerberus a very distant second. The reason that Garrus shows more individuality is that he was recruited early, when Shepard was at his most uncomfortable working with/for The Illusive Man. -Schezar
  • In the first Mass Effect, Saren's goal is to preserve the existence of organic life by proving that it can be of use to the Reapers -- that submission, to paraphrase one of his lines, exists as a preferable alternative to extinction. Naturally, everyone thinks he's crazy, and that the Reapers would wipe out all organic life anyway. It's not until Mass Effect 2 when you discover that the Collectors were once Protheans that you learn he was right -- the Reapers would have preserved organic life, though almost certainly in a very different form than what existed. Not only that, but it's likely that Saren KNEW the true fate of the Protheans, which is why he was trying to prove that organic life should be spared once again. Submission really DID exist as an alternative to extinction (though "just beating the hell out of the Reapers" was obviously better than either of those choices). -Technogeek
    • The extended universe confuses this troper's view of Saren in the first game as a potentially sympathetic character. In Mass Effect: Revelation, Saren seems to be a total Jerk Ass before finding Sovereign. However, in Mass Effect: Evolution it turns out he encountered a Reaper artifact before Sovereign which seemingly caused a sort of "indoctrination lite", perhaps leading him to search out Sovereign in the first place?
      • Put together events from Mass Effect: Evolution and Retribution and the ramifications of the Lazarus Project are horrifying. Some facts: In Mass Effect 2, Renegade Shepard's eyes are suspiciously similar to those of the Illusive Man. In Evolution, The Illusive Man's "crazy eyes" are a result of contact with the same Reaper artifact that "indoctrinated" Saren. In Retribution, The Illusive Man implants Reaper technology into Paul Grayson.
    • "Obviously"? Considering that the ultimate consequence of Shepard's actions(a hell-bent fleet of Reapers on a destructive Curp-stomp- Roaring Rampage of Revenge against every living species) could easily be seen as the worst-case-senario, he would objectively have been right to make that call on behalf of the entire galaxy.
      • Considering the verse Mass Effect takes place in, uniting every species against a common enemy after centuries of petty bickering, is unabashedly the better option. If we win, galactic peace is a very real possibility. If we die, we died free and standing together as a final fleeting act of defiance against those who see us as less than ants. Mass Effect 3 may very well chronically every known species' final hours, but they will not go quietly with submissive acceptance like Saren wanted them to...
        • But still consider Saren's point of view--he'd rather they survive somehow than definitely all die, as from his point of view, there's no possible way for the Reapers to be stopped (and if Shepard wasn't so awesome, there really wouldn't be a way to stop the Reapers. Quite frankly, if the Normandy had been a few hours farther from Eden Prime, the Reapers probably would have already won!).
  • On the flip side to the Collectors, also remember the keepers - more than likely, a different race modified as the Protheans were (long, long, long ago). Considering the important role the keepers play in the Reapers' plans, it's likely that the keepers were involved in the very first cycle (or at least, for quite some time).
  • In the sequel, minor Mooks can be buffed by Harbinger ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL. Now go back and notice what happens to Saren once you "kill" him the first time in the original. Sovereign tried the same trick. - JAF 1970
    • Precisely. The fact that Sovereign was controlling Saren when you kill him is what weakens his actual Reaper form enough to be destroyed by the Normandy. This is also the reason they show the cut scene of Harbinger releasing the last Prothean before the station blows up to avoid the same fate. Word of God actually, although I can't find the link at the moment.
    • That makes perfect sense! Note, that when Harbinger possesses one of the Collectors, it glows gold. In the ending cinematic, Harbinger's hologram is also gold. When Sovereign possesses Saren, he glows red, and Sovereign's hologram on Virmire is red.
    • Although the turians will be the first race with a "culture" to be accepted as the servants of the Reapers. And even then for Saren it is shaky since the Heretics are also considered possible candidates as the next generation of "keepers" who knew a lot more about Sovereign than Saren who doesn't know his true name as Nazara.
      • Not sure what the above entry is trying to say, as according to what Vigil says it seems as if at least some sentients become indoctrinated during every Reaping, and at the very least the Protheans had a galaxy-wide culture and were turned into the Collectors.
  • Remember how Tali kept talking about her people, rather than herself, back in ME1? After taking a group communications class, I realized why. It's because the quarians have a highly collectivist culture from living in the flotilla for so long and having to depend on each other. Tali is simply not used to talking about herself as a person, and instead prefers to talk about her people as a group. Some Earth cultures are like that, too. We (North Americans and Europeans, mostly) only find her behavior strange because our culture tends to be more individualistic. Sure enough, after she starts show her own feelings in ME2, she apologizes for being "selfish and unprofessional," even if we (and Shepard, in at least one dialog option) consider that sort of thing to be perfectly normal. A quirk that was probably planned as an excuse for Shepard to keep talking to her in the first game was explained by one of her defining traits in the second. Brilliant! -MrUnderhill
    • As a point of contrast, consider also Legion. Legion -also- come from a highly collectivist culture, more so than Tali. Thus it's use of 'we' and 'geth' aren't signs of a lack of individuality but equivalent to Tali talking about herself as 'we' and 'Rayya/Neema/Normandy'. That is, as the platform/ship she's associated with or in Legion's case, the race. This is also why Legion uses 'odd' naming for Shepard and Tali. Creator-Tali would be a creator... but the adding of Tali would, to Legion, be the same as marking her as a complete nation (an entire geth station) unto herself. That is, to Legion, the quarians are like the Reapers. Individual (every quarian is different) even as they are also of the same race (quarian). As for Shepard-Commander? Note the reversal of words. It's not race-individual (Creator-Tali). There's no reason why Legion would use a different naming scheme for Shepard even with emotional ties. Thus, Legion considers 'Shepard' to be not just a nation unto him/herself... but an entire -race- unto him/herself. Commander -is- Shepard rather than Shepard -is- Commander. Legion doesn't know how to react to Shepard because, in some ways, Shepard is, conceptually to Legion, something much more profound than the Reapers and quarians. All this in turn can't be something the geth picked up from the quarians as the quarian naming convention is individual-clan-ship and by extension, race (Tali'Zorah vas Normandy of the quarians) so Creator-Tali would be the same as saying "quarian Tali'Zorah etc etc". Commander (individual) John (clan) Shepard (ship) of the humans would, if the geth were treating Shepard the same, would be "human-Commander John Shepard".
    • And, to a certain extent, Legion would be right. Shepard possesses one of the few L5 biotic implants. Shepard possesses the cultural imprint of the Protheans. Shepard has -died- and been resurrected... with cybernetic implants. At this point, Shepard could logically be called something other than human. More or alternatively, he could be called a synthesis of other races: the durability of krogans (and their ability to avoid death thanks to that). The mechanical nature and collective culture of geth and reaper. And so on and so forth. Practically everything the geth could hope to be.


Fridge Brilliance Part 2

  • Here is some epic foreshadowing. In Mass Effect 1, you get to hear a poem from Ashley. "O captain, my captain." Shepard can point out. "Didn't the captain die?" Sure enough, in Mass Effect 2...
    • This troper recently read this poem to his class after playing Mass Effect 3. Try reading it while listening to "I'm Proud of You" from the game's score. That poem could have been written about Shepard instead of Lincoln and would have made as much sense.
  • Anyone notice the character models in the prologue are from the original Mass Effect - it's especially apparent with Joker. The new character models are shown off after the credits.
  • Legion's theme music contains hints of the Mass Effect 1 Geth theme.
  • You know why Shepard dies if his/her entire team does? Because there's no one who can pull Shepard up after his/her leap to the Normandy. Joker is too weak and brittle to do it himself.
    • Plus, the Collectors manage to shoot him - he's pulling Shepard up, he gets hit, and drops him/her (Shepard manages to hold onto the edge). This doesn't happen if two teammates survive: Joker keeps shooting, and one of your squadmates pulls Shepard up.
      • Reading the above, it hit this troper: with two people around, one of them is providing covering fire. When alone, only Joker is there and he's pulling Shepard. Joker pulling means he's not providing covering fire. Without covering fire to keep heads down, the Collectors can take their time to aim and actually hit something. -- wkz
  • People keep saying that Miranda's face is Uncanny Valley because of how strange it looks. But while reading that page, this Troper realized that the reason her face does seem so strange is because it's too perfect. Since she was a designer baby grown in a lab, her face is more symmetrical than the average human's!
    • Miranda's face is actually modeled after her voice actor, Yvonne Strahovski.
      • True, but it's certainly not entirely accurate, especially when compared to Samara, who was also modelled after a real person (albeit not her voice actor). -- Medicus
      • However, recent research has found that while -some- symmetricalness is considered attractive, a perfectly symmetrical face is actually considered -less- due to a feeling of well... unnaturalness.
      • Also, she looks kind of like John Travolta.
  • I was reflecting on the Protheans and Collectors being the same species, and, despite them clearly saying there was corruption, they really can't be that different from the original and yet still be recognizable by scan. This means that the Protheans were insectoid. Remember on Ilos, when the V.I. deactivated most of the less-important Protheans' pods to preserve power for the more important ones? For them, that's not a moral question - it's a genetic imperative! - Elessar267
    • But the statues you find on Ilos are humanoid, not insectoid. There's even a picture of a Huskified one in the Codex.
      • But then again, the Codex is unreliable. And we're talking about trying to paint an accurate picture of people that lived millennia ago.
      • You also have the Protheans visible in the vision, with humanoid features and tentacle faces.
    • If the Beacon is any indication, they are are more arthropod/humanoid than insectoid. Perhaps the reflecting troper meant "having a strongly hierarchical society" instead?
    • Collectors have humanoid body shapes, but insectoid heads (with the exception of the General).
      • There was a strange statue on the collection you hit with Kasumi on her loyalty mission. It had tentacles on its face, and a large, snake-like body, if memory's correct. What was its name? "Prothean Ruin". To back it up, there's the fact that the Reapers take over the "form" of the race that they found to suit best their needs. Every Reaper shown has tentacles.
      • The Reapers' basic shape has been around for at least 37 million years, so the tentacles aren't something they adopted from the Protheans.
  • If the player chooses Morinth instead of Samara during the latter's loyalty mission, Morinth will join the squad. At the end of the game, you're given option to have sex with Morinth, but it obviously leads to Death by Sex. A common belief is Shepard would have to be stupid to have sex with Morinth but it actually makes sense in context. Morinth is a character who puts her victims in More Than Mind Control and has an absolute obsession with winning. Shepard is the one person who ever escaped her grasp. So essentially she was biding her time until Shepard finally fell under her control.
  • In the Grission Academy mission Jack will talk to you even if you had gotten to the point where she won't talk to you in Mass Effect 2. Why? At first it could seem just that Bioware didn't factor that in however it shows how forgiving she has become after taking the job, trusting Shepard now that he is working against Cerberus and even if he had alienated her during the last game, that Punch she gives you is essentially all the pay back she wanted from you showing that she is no longer as blood-thirsty as she was in Mass Effect 2, that and killing your most trustworthy ally during a fight would not be a very good Idea.
  • A fairly minor thing concerning gameplay and probably unintentional, but still surprising to me. You know how Tali has the strongest shields of any party member in ME1? Well, at first I just put it down to her being the party tech expert and left it at that. But she has higher shields than even the Engineer, which got me thinking. Then it hit me: of course she has the strongest shields, she's a quarian! Suit ruptures would be damn near fatal to her no matter how much or little damage the actual bullets did, and she can't wear that heavy armor, so it would be natural for her to be intensely paranoid about getting hit. She wasn't expecting to be thrust into heavy combat constantly, explaining her lower shields when you pick her up, and as time went by she probably grabbed every shield upgrade she could find and welded it to her suit. Two gameplay mechanics explained at once.
    • Her loyalty power in the second game is the same way; it empowers her shields by draining an enemies', giving her a boost in durability and nicely replacing her old, obsolete Overload power. A perfect fit for someone as shield-conscious as Tali. Now that I think about it, it might even have been one of the weapons her father was testing on the geth; she didn't use it before because she didn't have it!
    • Very close, but the Shadow Broker Dossiers reveal that she got it from Admiral Han'Gerrel, possibly (if you cleared her) in apology for her treatment during the trial or (if she was exiled) as part of the supplies that "treason through negligence" offenders receive.
    • Also, Tali has spent much of her life scavenging and researching Geth technology. The Geth are also known for having very advanced shield technology, so it's not out of the question that she incorporated some of their tech into her own suit.
    • In Mass Effect 3, when remembering the first time she was fired upon, she says that she was naive, young, and didn't have her shields up because she wasn't expecting an attack.
  • In the sequel, when you find out that Archangel is actually Garrus and he's been holding off wave after wave of mercenaries, mech soldiers, and elite hitmen for days, you might just assume that Garrus Took a Level In Badass, right? Except if you talk to Garrus frequently in the first game, you find out that he was originally hand-picked as someone who would make a good Spectre candidate. Of course he was able to take fifteen Levels In Badass in the sequel -- he could have been the turian Shepard, and he's embracing his innate Spectre talents! Very...impressive.
    • Also remember how turian culture tends to work. You get promoted because you can handle the promotion; you don't get promoted just because you did something good. Thus for Garrus to be seriously considered for the Spectres (along with all the pre-Spectre training) means he was already almost or as-good as a Spectre except for having the title. Why he wasn't was probably as much a cultural thing as well - his Cowboy Cop attitude means that, to most turians, promoting him to a Spectre would be a bad mark on his sponsor (likely an influential individual).
      • In the same conversation you find out he was tapped as a Spectre candidate, he reveals he turned it down in favor of joining C-Sec after his father who hated the idea of the Spectres as too much power in a single person.
    • The stigma only appears if a turian is demoted, in which case the person who promoted him is humiliated. So if he failed Spectre training, the shame would come to the person who tapped him for Spectre training. Garrus' sponsor would not be stigmatized.
      • This also ties into why Garrus takes Sidonis' betrayal so hard. He put Sidonis in there, and because Sidonis betrayed his buddies, it means Garrus was the one that fucked up. -Peteman
  • The name of the LOKI mechs in Mass Effect 2 is pretty funny when you realize that they're constantly glitching out and betraying you.
  • When talking to Legion, Shepard mentions that the geth are immune to hacking. However, in what would normally look like a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, the AI Hacking ability works on them just like any other Mecha Mook. It wasn't until I thought about why the geth are hack-proof that it made sense. Their programming acts like a giant wiki. If a couple of geth programs realize that some of the others are acting weird, they can just replace them with older, unhacked versions. The reload, however, takes time, which is why the AI Hacking ability only works for a few seconds, rather than permanently like it would with current-day computer programs, or not-at-all if the update was instantaneous. I figure the non-geth synthetics have anti-virus software or internal backups which accomplish pretty much the same purpose. Who knew Wiki Magic could be used as a tactical advantage?
    • And at least for the geth, remember that they're a highly democratic society that values individualism and duty to the whole/state. It's as likely that should some of programs on any given platform get hacked, any non-hacked geth would simply point out the flaws in the hacked program. Then, by nature, the hacked geth would essentially fix themselves.
    • It doesn't explain, though, why the Overlord AI was able to take over a small army of dormant geth from a crashed ship. Then it hits you: the Geth are programs, the robots you see are only platforms. When their ship crashed, it is likely that most of the programs were transmitted off-world, with only a few remaining Geth on the actual ship. Overlord had an easy time controlling them, since the Geth's strength is mainly in numbers.
      • There's another way to interpret that, though - remember David's pleas to "Quiet - please make it stop"? Well, recall that David has an ability to understand the Geth's language, and in one-on-one interactions, he's perfectly fine with chatting with them... but then think of how many geth he would be hearing simultaneously when hooked up directly to their network. A case of Fridge Horror, to put it mildly.
      • As well as in Shadow Broker's Dossiers, Legion is a huge gamer not because they found it fun but rather it was a means of Psychic Static, since the Shadow Broker keeps tabs on almost everything. One way for Legion to counteract that is to delegate a set of programs to be playing video games (from Grim Terminus Alliance to that Quarian Dating Sim), another set to combat function and the rest to deal with annoying AI intrusion, switched regularly of course. It was only during the whole conversation with EDI were they able to get a relevant log related to Legion. - Gyrobot
    • A third way to interpret the matter is that AI Hacking doesn't just (or doesn't at all) hack the program but rather injects a virus into the hardware that takes control rather than trying to alter the software; something akin to game console piracy devices which don't change the software but simply re-interpret the signals. Thus the hack locks out control from the native program and manipulates the hardware directly. For the geth, since they're programs not hardware, such a hack still works, but since they're also sentient and numerous, they can also go in and fix things creatively and concurrently. This also somewhat works better than the 'point out they're wrong' explanation since part of the reason you had true and heretic geth was because of a 'bug' in the heretic's programming; the geth did point out the flaws but rather than 'fix' 'em, they allowed the heretics to do their own thing.
    • You are absolutely correct in your reasoning, but it should be noted that Shepard also knows this. He/She does not actually say that the "geth are immune to hacking" when talking to Legion, but rather, that hacking only works temporarily on them.
  • Wrex's famous line, "You ask a krogan if he'd rather find a cure for the genophage, or fight for credits, and he'll choose fighting -- every time. It's just who we are, Shepard. I can't change that. No one can." It shows how bitter and jaded he is toward his fellow krogan. However, if he survives the first game, his rule has begun to do just that: change the krogan and save them from their own brutal selves. Wow. - Spectral Time
    • When asked about the genophage in Mass Effect, Wrex asks Shepard "When was the last time you saw a Krogan scientist?" In fact, if you keep an eye out, shepard does meet quite a few people that could qualify. In Mass Effect, the Krogan supervising the breeding program on virmire is arguably a scientist, and in Mass Effect 2, Okeer (the creator of Grunt) is somewhat of a scientist as well as most of Clan Weyrloc that are undertaking tests to try and cure the genophage. While Krogan scientists aren't exactly widespread, there are a few. - Kuri
  • While Anyone Can Die in the second game, having any of your squadmates die doesn't actually affect the post-game much...except if Mordin dies, then all your upgrades suddenly require 50% more resources to get. You no longer have the brilliant scientist operating the tech lab, so of course getting upgrades takes more effort.
  • Mordin's loyalty mission pushes his deep morality to the limit, especially if Paragon Shepard chooses to argue with him. What's his main justification for enacting the genophage? Judging an entire species by their reputation and biology. Hmm, remind me, what was one of the main points of the game? Oh right - you can't judge a person by their species or race, you have to take them individually. It doesn't completely invalidate his position, of course, but it does make it even more deliciously complex, even more so considering it's juxtaposed with Wrex's work. - randomfanboy
    • The most shocking part is that, if pushed enough, Mordin gives his main reason for perfecting the genophage: The simulations did not show Krogans immune to the genophage taking over the Galaxy, no, they did show Turians and Humans committing genocide against the Krogans. Mordin did not act the way he did because he feared the Krogans, but because he did not trust his very own civilization. And remember: Mordin says that Turians and Humans would have committed a genocide against the Krogan: who's the best human warrior of his/her generation? Had the genophage 2.0 not been designed, chances are that either the Alliance, Cerberus, or both, would have tasked Shepard with slaughtering the Krogans. – Nixou
  • Initially, when on the flotilla, I thought the wide variety of accents quarian characters was unrelated to their culture, but then I realized that, by separating out onto ships, quarians essentially live in small countries, preserving unique dialects, accents and subcultures. Some quarian ships are older than countries on Earth. It makes sense that, after first being forced off their homeworlds, ships would have initially been inhabited by people from the same clans or colonies - if only because they would have been in the same area - and they probably wouldn't have started trading shipmates until many years later, so all these traits from the old communities would have been reinforced, forging the many evolving quarian dialects we hear today. - Badgersprite
    • Given the time involved and the use of translator microbes, what we perceive as differences in accent may represent entirely different languages.
      • Here's a thought...English (or whatever is being translated as English for us players) seems to be the official language of the Alliance. How do we know this? Because we hear so many accents- Dr. Chakwas, Ashley, Miranda, Ken. People who are obviously speaking another language, like the Security chief on Noveria and Fai Dan, speak unaccented English thanks to the Translator Bugs. All the aliens in the game also speak unaccented English, except for some of the quarians- and they are all over the map. What if the quarians have their own official Flotilla language, in addition to the old languages preserved on the different ships? The reason we hear Tali speaking English with an accent is that those very efficient Translator Bugs are noting that she speaks Flotilla Quarian with an accent!
        • Just on the "everyone speaks English" front: why does everyone speak in North American accents, save for Miranda (Australian), Ken (Scottish), Chakwas/Zaeed (English), etc.? Because Shepard is from North America, and the alien languages are being translated into a form that s/he will understand best: North American-accented English! As for the differences in quarian accents; the translators are constantly updated, because of new races being discovered and the gradual changes in tens of thousands of galactic languages. The quarian entries are rarely updated, because they rarely interact with the rest of galactic society. Instead, they work off of older data, probably the "inter-Fleet" language quarians use on Pilgrimage, resulting in the half-dozen accents as the translators struggle to translate the sub-languages amongst the Flotilla. -- Medicus
          • Only one background for Shepard sees he/her even coming from Earth. Shepard is not North American.
            • Yes, s/he is. If the Colonist or Spacer background is chosen, that doesn't change who Shepard's parents were. They still came from North America, and Shepard still picked up the accent from them. Only difference with Earthborn is they never left Earth and s/he was somehow left to fend for him/herself, and picked up the accent from the people around him/her. -- Medicus
          • I like to think Shepard is Canadian. He did get his Dragon Age armor from the Edmonton Blood Dragons (yes BioWare's from Edmonton, but so's Nathan Fillion and the prospect of ME meeting Firefly is too awesome too ignore).
        • actually both of the voice actors for Shepard are both from Canada. So there Shepard by proxy is Canadian.
      • Shep (particularly Male!Shep) has been known to let a Canadian accent slip from time to time.
  • This Troper recently played Mass Effect again and was initially bugged by Saren's temper tantrum after he finds out Shepard uses the beacon on Eden Prime. Given how Saren was so calm and collected throughout the rest of the game, it seemed rather out of character for him to start roaring incoherently and throwing things around, not to mention all the flashing red lights in the background. And then this Troper realized that Sovereign was the one having the temper tantrum through Saren. You can even hear his voice mixed in with Saren's when he states Shepard must be eliminated.
  • Mordin dies really easily in the suicide mission even if he's loyal, which makes a good share of the players rip their hair off. If you've talked to him often, you might have stumbled into a conversation where he mentions that he worked with captain Kirrahe who you encountered on Virmire in the first game. Mordin remarks, that while the captain's "Hold the line." speeches were impressive, he personally hates it. If you assign him to hold the line during suicide mission, there's a good chance he's a goner, but if you don't he survives (if he's loyal).
    • Meanwhile, his powers are all geared toward taking out individuals or small groups instantly, he moves fast, and he's not very durable. This makes him a perfect choice for moving rapidly through enemy territory, especially when they're distracted by you, but not particularly useful in an extended battle due to his lack of heavy weapons or armor and long cooldowns. He's perfectly suited, both in story and gameplay, to espionage and escort missions, while being less useful than any other character in a siege.
    • Beyond that, Moridn states he's in the last decade of his life, a fact that's reinforced by his decision to retire from the STG. He's old, and therefore less likely to survive severe injury.
      • Thinking about this further, it's evidence that the designers planned out every detail of the suicide mission such that you can't just check off the loyalty missions and expect everyone to survive; you need to actually be a good leader by learning your squad's strengths, weakness, and personalities and assigning them accordingly.
  • A meta realisation: I caught the end of an episode of CSI: Miami, and it occurred to me that a Renegade Shepard who treats his crew nicely is pretty much exactly like Horatio Caine - morbid snark, highly protective of his/her crew, tends to piss off authority and love it, and weirdly beloved by the franchise.
    • This is a fairly common (anti-authority) archetype in Western media; see especially Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly and his own inspiration, Han Solo from Star Wars (Solo's character itself drawing heavily on the "Anti-Hero who finds redemption" archetype of old cowboy Westerns, though Mal gets bonus points for actually being on the losing side of a Civil War). --genkracken
  • Throughout the game, Miranda makes a big deal of how she was "designed to be perfect" and that hasn't really made her life significantly better. It's easy to take this at face value as An Aesop against the limitations and potential misuse of genetic engineering, but then you realise that there's a a double, out-of-universe meaning. Miranda is a Sentinel: she can use both Warp and Overload, making her effective against enemies with all four types of protection. Her passive boosts the entire squad's weapon damage and health points. And she's one of only two squadmates that can max out three abilities instead of just two. Bioware literally designed Miranda to be the perfect squadmate.
    • Not to mention she also gets the most powerful Advanced ability in terms of raw damage. Slam can one-hit kill Collectors, and its cooldown is one second.
    • It gets weirder. Remember how her only flaw was that she was infertile? Why would her father care if she can have children, when he can demonstrably make more of her if he so chose? Now, consider the next step: she joined Cerberus to get away from her father, who is later shown in ME3 to be a member. Her original duty in ME2? Resurrecting Shepard to be exactly as Shepard was before death, using technology that had to be exceedingly close to her own creation. It's even possible depending on when her father was indoctrinated that she wasn't designed to be "perfect" for humanity, her father, or Cerberus, but for the Reapers themselves: if they ever captured her, they'd unlock one of the most powerful biotics around and the cloning technology used to make her (and, therefore, the tech to make a reaper out of her alone).
  • So, pretty much every gameplay change between the first and second games has an in-universe justification. Ammo? It's heat sinks. No Mako? Probes. Appearance and class change? Project Lazarus wasn't perfect. However, what if a Paragon player in the first game decided to be a complete asshole in the second? It's mentioned a few times that Shepard's personality may have changed due to brain damage - turning him from a nice guy to a jerk, vice versa, and everything in between. - Tera Chimera
    • This was even my pseudo-justification for why I couldn't successfully play a "Renegade with intense loyalty to her crew" Shepard as a result of tying Charm and Intimidate directly to Paragon/Renegade. While my old Shepard would've been a bitch but tried to keep her crew as co-operative towards each other as possible, after Project Lazarus screwed up a nerve ending or two, I couldn't treat my crew the same way as I could before dying, hence, the resurrected Shepard was trying her best, but couldn't manage to come up with a mutually agreeable solution when Tali and Legion were at each other's throats. ~ United Shoes 37
      • Hell, you could justify it just by the intense trauma of, you know, dying. --Peteman
        • Depending on the player, it could also be simple character development. In the first game, every choice Shepard made had consequences and affected how people saw him/her. So Renegade Shepard may have simply decided that he/she wanted to view his/her choices more responsibly, becoming Paragon. On the other hand, in the first game, the crew had to cut their way through a completely unreasonable amount of red tape to get things done, so Paragon Shepard may have decided to use a brute force approach, thus becoming Renegade.
  • Turians as a whole are highly civic-minded, and a generally selfless species that focuses on the good of the whole society, service to others, self-sacrifice, etc. With this in mind, look at Saren's choice and justifications for joining Sovereign: he wanted to protect the rest of the galaxy and save organic life, even if that meant his own vilification and destruction due to indoctrination...and he gets angry at Shepard for refusing to work with the Reapers. In effect, Saren is doing exactly what the mores of turian society said was the right thing to do. Working with the Reapers to save the galaxy is, in a twisted way, exactly what a turian would do.
    • Remember also the turian culture tends to be something of a meritocracy. To a very proud turian like Saren, this would, again in a twisted way, mean that if Soveriegn chose turians to survive, this would 'prove' that turians really are better.
      • Or Saren got his mind Indoctrinated to mush. When Shepard gets through to what's left of Saren at the finale of ME1, Saren gets a What Have I Done moment and promptly shoots himself in the head.
  • I know it's kind of a stretch, but "metaphorically", if you would like, it seems like Joker was, indeed, born to fly. Think about it: hollow bones. Like a bird's...
    • This troper absolutely loves this idea.
      • Seconded!
        • That's not a stretch at all! That is freaking BRILLIANT!
        • Dang, that makes a lot of sense! I get the feeling it's intentional, it explains the surname "Moureau" (half man, half animal) and, y'know he's really ungainly on foot but soars like a leaf on the wind when flying.
      • So now would be a good time to mention that a 'slang' term for Joker's Osteogenesis imperfecta is Avian Bone Syndrome?
  • The song Mordin occasionally sings is right; he really is the very model of a scientist salarian. Just look at his work with the genophage (both times).
  • So I was listening to Tali chatter about her father on the admiralty board, and wondering whether or not it had been too hard to make the light on her face-plate light in sync with her words or if Bioware had just been a bit lazy .. a moment later I realised it actually was flashing in-sync - it was just going out with every word. At least it seemed to be. But then it hit me; the light on the Quarian faceplate looks so very much like the light on the cyclopean Geth - it's another trick to establish a subconscious link between the Geth and their creators in the mind of the player. More than that, it might even be a hint at some deeper element of Quarian cultural aesthetics - is there some deeper significance to the single glowing light that featured first on their creations, and now on every one of their body suits? Heck, it might even be intended to create a play back and forth between the facelessness of the Geth and the Quarians, both intensifying the oddness of the Quarian faceplate and reminding there's probably a lot more to the Geth than the initial faceless, emotionless robot they initially seem to be. - Chibi-Kibou
    • I would assume the more likely explanation for the face-plate light being out of sync may have to do with the fact that she's not actually speaking English. Translating software, remember?
    • Then why does everyone else's mouths match up to English if they use translators?
  • You know why people don't respond in panic to the fact that you're bringing Legion onto the Citadel? Because A) Legion has a giant hole in them, and B) Legion is wearing N7 armor. Its quite obvious that whatever Legion is, they aren't a geth, at least not after a moment's observation.
    • Or they might, you know, just assume its a robot that looks like a geth. And since it isn't causing trouble, it's not really worth getting all workd up about.
      • Geth do not intentionally infiltrate.
    • Don't forget C) It's in the company of Commander Shepard, a Spectre and war hero who saved the Citadel from the Reapers and would never do something like bringing Geth onto the Citadel, or signing on with Cerberus, or bringing the rachni back, etc. etc. Being a war hero gives you a measure of leverage when it comes to the benefit of the doubt with a lot of people.
  • I was about to start Legion's loyalty mission. I chose Tali because I figured we would be fighting a lot of geth. Part-way through the level I started wondering why they gave Legion and Tali the same powers, because it made them the worst squad ever. At first I thought it was just laziness from Bioware, then it hit me. They have the same powers because the quarians built the geth, of course they are going to have the same base traits (Higher shield levels, tech-based skills etc.) Secondly, quarians hate the geth because they kicked them off of the homeworld. Thier races aren't compatible, so the individuals aren't compatible. -King Sasquatch
    • Worst squad ever? If you max out both of their AI Hack powers, you can continually whittle down a Geth platforms shields, hack it, and use it to distract the remaining Geth while you whittle down another platforms shields for the same purpose. Using this tactic made Legion's loyalty mission the easiest in the game for me, by a wide margin.
    • Meanwhile, putting multiple combat drones downrange means that enemies are unlikely to be shooting at you, their weapon selections are perfectly complimentary (shotgun and sniper rifle), Legion can tank with the best while Tali screws with enemy shields (assuming they're both loyal)... Throw in Squad Warp Ammo as your advanced training and even barriers aren't an issue anymore. They make a perfect pair if and only if you put thought into making them work well together and convincing them to get along, which comes across and brilliant in my opinion. Meanwhile their conversations with each other are the most interesting and detailed of any of the intra-squad interactions in the second game.
  • At first, I was a little surprised by the change in gameplay, until Jacob told me that he wanted to leave the Alliance because they were too inefficeint and never took action. Then I realized that the gameplay style affects who you're working for, so of course Cerberus will have you on missions that require you to take action more. And there's less RPG elements because everyone in your party either fought with you against Saren or has the traits or experience to account for what you gained from the first game. The only exception to this is Mordin, who because of this, dies the easiest in the suicide mission.
  • I hear a lot of bitching about the fact we lost the horrible inventory COMPLETELY and now everyone uses the same weapons, not to mention the fact that we Restart At Level One (or a little higher for importing a character) when previously Shepard was a Badass of the first order with top-of-the-line weaponry. This was all part of the plan. You start ME2 at exactly the same place as the end of ME1: you're strong enough to take on an army of Geth - sorry, mechs - and your weaponry is still top of the range. You don't need to buy millions of upgrades or new weapons every other planet because you're already using the all the upgrades Cerberus could get its grubby little paws on, and have outfitted your ship to make anything else you find! Money too - you're making for every mission what you only dreamed of at the beginning of ME1, because the stuff you're buying now is new and experimental tech that costs an arm and a leg! Finally, you only level another 30 or so levels because you're going from killing the most feared Spectre in the Galaxy to a whole human fetal Reaper! Of course you've leveled up. I love this realisation so hard. -Sefriel
    • To add to that, in ME1 enemies scale up to your level--you're never inordinately stronger than them, in the sense they're still level-one mooks and you're a level-sixty god. So when you hit ME2, the same occurs: you're still not so much stronger than them that their bullets simply bounce off of your hardened skin weaved flesh, but you are using the best weapons, come equipped with top-of-the-line armor, and still have your combat expertise.
    • I attributed the loss of level to the 2 years of being dead. Setting aside the obvious resurrection issue, muscles and skills atrophy without regular use which justifies the level drop for an imported character. Shepard has been out of action for two years and needs to reaquaint themselves with their skills and abilities again. It flows perfectly into the returning level 60 cap in Mass Effect 3. You are just as badass at level 60 in Mass Effect 3 as you were in Mass Effect. It also is perfectly logical that you continue to build your skills in Mass Effect 3 from where you left off in Mass Effect 2.
  • Maybe I'm a total idiot for not seeing this immediately, but the nightclub Afterlife just seems like a random name for a bar/stripclub, right? WRONG. If you think about it, it gets its name from the mined-out space station it resides on, Omega. After all, the name Omega often alludes to the end of everything- life, death, whatever- and Afterlife is something of a beginning- at least to the mercs and scums who go there. It's brilliant! -Raverine
    • It gets better. Shepard dies, comes back, and goes to Afterlife. To pick up Archangel. -Random Fanboy
    • And who rules Afterlife? Aria, voiced by Carrie-Anne Moss. Trinity. Like she says, she IS Omega and presumably the Alpha as well. - El Bobo Grande
    • And in the comics, Afterlife was where Liara went to get your body in order to give it to the Cerberus scientists who would bring you back to life.
    • And then you go to Purgatory to pick up Jack.
      • Purgatory is also where Aria is waiting for her chance to take back Omega. Purgatory is where those souls who aren't truly good or truly evil must wait and pay for their sins...before they can move on to the afterlife. It fits Aria on so many levels.
    • And later to help Miranda... you go to Eternity.
  • Miranda makes a great deal out of her genetic enhancements, complaining that a lot is expected of her and she doesn't view her achievements as her own because of it. A contributing factor to this is the extremes her father went to to ensure she was "perfect", up to and including disposing of those who weren't up to his standards. But this isn't the real reason. In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, you get access to Shadow Broker dossiers on your squadmates which reveal sometimes hilarious and sometimes terribly sad facts about your squad. Miranda doesn't hate her genetic enhancements because of some (misguided) sense of worthlessness; she hates them because it might be the reason she can't naturally have children. A lot of people thought this was just was Wangst and the tired old cliche of So Beautiful It's a Curse - looks like they might have been wrong. - Medicus
    • Miranda is the "perfect human" and was artificially created by her father, Reapers see themselves as "perfect beings" and are cybernetic constructs made with both organic and synthetic material. Both need expansive artificial methods to procreate – Nixou
    • Which all made worse by the fact that she isn't willing to make a test tube baby with Shepard since this will be complete and utter hypocrisy since this was the type of thing she wanted to get away from. A moral dilemma for her later on if you pursue the relationship in ME3 will determine if you want to make a test tube baby with her.
      • Why on Earth would she have a problem with that? There's a huge difference between how she was created and IVF. Treatment for genetic defects and immunity to disease is already standard treatment for foetuses, and IVF is the preferred way of doing it. The real issue is that she can't have children naturally -- i.e., the "perfect" way. - Medicus
      • Yes, there is a huge difference. But Miranda wants something that she can call completely and utterly something she did on her own by her own violation with no outside help at all. She also would want her children to be the same - win or lose based on their own abilities not the abilities given to them by others. A non-IVF baby and birth would be the ultimate expression of this as much as she could get. Her want for a baby is all her own. Having getting pregnant naturally means it was purely the result of her and another (no scientists). A natural birth wouldn't be perfect (infant mortality is high without advanced medicine). And that's part of the point - she wants imperfection and adversity. She wants challenge. She wants to prove and have something that wasn't 'programmed' into her and she wants to do it without any help.
      • I think they'll work out a way for Miranda to have children. Afterall, she does have the most brilliant scientist and geneticist at her disposal, being Shepard's second-in-command. I mean, the guy was on the verge of discovering a way to cure JOKER'S condition before he realized that the method he'd found would cause his liver to fail. But when he realized this, he just started from scratch and could probably come up with a cure. A benign tumor (or neoplasm) seemingly blocking her ovaries' ability to produce eggs would probably be a no-brainer for a man as brilliant as Mordin Solus!
        • Firstly, the female reproduction system does not work that way. Women don't produce eggs, they're born with a limited number and once they're gone, they're gone. It's why female patients undergoing chemotherapy usually put a few on ice. Secondly, we actually have no idea what the neoplasm actually did or where it was located, other than it made her sterile. It may be the only way to fix the problem is for Miranda to have a whole new reproduction system custom-grown for her, which -- even for Mass Effect -- is probably impossible. In fact, it was probably the reason Oriana was created, and Miranda's father was too much of a Complete Monster to tell her. -- Medicus
    • Another one. Miranda's Fan Service outfit, her brief relationship with Jacob, the one-night stands she tries to set up in the dossiers, and the romance with Shepard all make sense with that last revelation: there's no future in any of them - or none that she sees, anyway. It's just meaningless sex. Though the Fan Serivce outfit might be for a different reason - it's not what she's supposed to look like, it's some actress or model her dad thought was hot, so what's wrong in flaunting it if it'll give her an advantage? - Medicus
      • Then there's her loyalty outfit: still very flattering, but with a more practical color scheme. That's because it's her idea of what she wants to look like, not someone else's.
        • In ME3, Eva Core's uniform happens to look a lot like Miranda's outfit. Which means that TIM might be responsible for those catsuits
  • At the conclusion of the game, Harbinger speaks directly to Shepard for a few moments.

 Harbinger: Human, you've changed nothing. Your species has the attention of those infinitely your greater. That which you know as Reapers are your salvation through destruction. You have failed. We will find another way. Releasing control.

    • At which point it's revealed that Harbinger wasn't the Collector general but rather the Reaper controlling him like the others. That last bit about having failed has always seemed like classic pointless villain chest pounding, though, especially since Shepard is inside the Normandy at that point and can't hear it. It wasn't until my second playthrough that I realized there's a second reveal hidden behind the first - at that point the Reaper isn't trying to intimidate you, it's not speaking to Shepard at all. It's speaking to the general, admonishing him, a final insult from his god before his death. This made me feel even more sorry for the poor bastard than the first time around. - Sordid
  • I'll probably get labelled a pervert for adding this, but here we go. In Mass Effect 2 its a widely known secret that you can flirt with Yeoman Kelly Chambers. If you finish the last mission with her being rescued and you aren't in a romance with any of the other women on the ship, you can invite her up to your room to have her dance in a stripper outfit. The reason as to why she dances in your room is fairly obvious, but it makes a lot of sense if you examine the context: Kelly acts as the ship's counselor and has a psychology degree. She's also very uninhibited and after you have dinner with her as a first date she says she hadn't stayed up that late since her days in college. It's not too big a stretch to think that while in school studying for her degree (Psych is not easy to major in), she took up dancing in bars to help pay the bills. When she graduated and quit the dancer job, she kept the catsuit as a memento and decided to dust it off to perform a private dance for you. - Anomaly 188
    • To add further Fetish Fuel to the fire, it was an asari strip club, hence the make of catsuit (standard issue for asari "dancers"). This is also where she picked up her xenophilia. - Medicus
      • This is also why she is the prime suspect (according to the fandom) for the outbreak of 'scale itch' on the Normandy; it's a sexually transmitted disease, and only carried by varren, which are basically the alien equivalent of pit bulls. Unpleasant implications, indeed. - princeforte
      • And this is why you don't want Morinth around unless you want to end up with one very dead Yeoman. Or well, that doesn't happen for gameplay reasons, but come on. Morinth and Kelly in the same room? I give the poor redhead 23.8 seconds.
  • I got another one. Its always annoyed me in the games how NPCs always turn their head in one direction before exiting the area (usually after you fulfill a quest for them). It looks completely silly and unnatural, and it was a chore for me to wrap my head around why they do that. Only recently did I have an epiphany as to why: Mass Effect is a Space Opera. Opera is usually acted out on stage. The NPCs are all playing roles for Shepard and the crew to interact with. After their moment in the spotlight, they leave. The NPCs are stage actors and are signaling their exit from the scene instead of announcing it. Looking left and walking means "Exit Stage Left!" - Anomaly 188
  • The background of the menu of Mass Effect 2 is the interior of the Normandy. The menu itself is Shepard's private terminal. You're playing as Shepard before you even start the game. -Tera Chimera
    • Actually, judging by the position of the Galaxy map, the menu is Kelly's station. Combine with full access, Cerberus Network terminal, TIM's reports to some PTB as mission conclusions, the fact that the gameplay itself is a record (as evidenced by the "film grain" effect) and the fact that Kelly was hand-picked by TIM for extra paranoia.
    • And that DLC you download from EA's Cerberus Network? More gifts from the Illusive Man.
  • Why does Harbinger make a point to release the Collector General from its control at the end of Mass Effect 2 (and by extension, the Collector Drones during battle)? Well, look at what happened to Sovereign: Saren's husk was destroyed while Sovereign was still possessing it. This caused a sort of backlash that rendered Sovereign incapacitated, and ultimately resulted in its destruction (if it didn't fry Sovereign's "mind" outright) at the hands of the Alliance fleet. The effect on the Reaper seems to be similar to what happens in The Matrix when you pull the plug on a person who is "jacked in." Thus, Harbinger releases the Collector General to avoid this same mental backlash.
    • This actually makes something else make PERFECT sense. You know how Harbinger can "ASSUME DIRECT CONTROL" of any drone or other Collector? I always wondered why, on Insanity difficulty at least, he didn't just keep direct control of one Collector at at a time? But if he is stunned, or what-have-you, after you kill someone he is controlling, it justifies giving you a respite from having your ass handed to you.
    • Also, it seems like he's controlling the "Harbinger" Collectors through the Collector General, using him (it?) as a conduit of sorts, presumably to buff against the effects of Shepard killing the controlled Collector. So his controlling ability is probably weakened by the proxy, but it's the Collector General who takes the hit rather than Harbinger himself. Maybe having too many people under his control get killed would cause permanent/long-term harm to Harbinger?


Fridge Brilliance Part 3

  • Remember the song 'The Attack', which plays during the Normandy's destruction in the prologue? It plays several more times during key points in the main storyline. It plays during both fights against the Praetorians on Horizon and the Collector Ship. Excluding interference with the Cain, the fights are extremely hard, even if you do have the right skills to destroy their Armor and Barriers. Finally, it plays when you fight the Human-Reaper Larva. The song evokes the bitter memory of frustration and hopelessness as you see the Normandy get sliced up around you. And now you're facing against a non-stop horde of Collectors and a Reaper, one of the Big Bad who orchestrated the Normandy's destruction and Shepard's death. Once the song plays again, it mashes the Berserk Button the game was conditioning the player into from the very beginning. Not only that, but the Collectors now drop tons of thermal clips and heavy weapons ammo, giving your hatred no limit to properly exact your revenge.
  • The Destiny Ascension is a piece of Fridge Brilliance itself, primarily the massive hole the ship has. At first glance it makes the Destiny Ascension seems strange and silly compared to the more typical looking ships like the Normandy, but then you remember that ships like the Normandy are based on original rockets designed by men while the DA, an Asari dreadnought, is based on rockets designed by women. What Bioware seems to be sneakily saying is that a species' physiology is what determines their ship design; Humans, Turians etc build phallic ships while the Asari build yonic ships.
    • Freud Was Right
    • Or maybe since the DA is basically a giant mass effect cannon, maybe the giant hole is the cannon itself. Since, ya know, the asari aren't women. They're mono-gendered.
    • or even, the ship is reportedly very unwieldy, so having a design like that means you don't have to move much to doge the missles, it can just go through the middle...
  • In the hold the line part, one would not expect an assassin like Thane to last like his biotic companions, but Thane is one of the top 3 (rivaled only Zaeed, who is a tough mercenary and Grunt, a Krogan) for a few reasons. He has a natural damage boost which makes him very formidable against organic foes and has an ammo power that makes hitting organic enemies even harder (Either against a single target or suppressing fire). And his religious devotion which include a goddess who he prays to for defense makes him a good candidate for holding the line.
    • Thane is also a sniper-- sniping is an excellent defensive fire tactic.
    • Except he's not. Grunt, Zaeed and Garrus are the top defenders, Mordin, Tali, Jack and Kasumi are worthless and actively drag the team down, and eveyone else is in the middle. - Plumbum
      • He's talking about the order in which the squadmates die if the team's "hold the line" score doesn't pass; Thane is one of the last in line.
  • Why does the turian government tend to look down on the human government (notably, the turian councilor and the human one) and the humans as a whole? Well, sure, there's the First Contact War. But also remember one part of turian culture/the typical turian mindset. That is, you don't promote people to a position they're not ready for (ie turians don't get chances to prove themselves, they prove themselves and then get the position). The failure of someone in a position to them is -not- a mark against the person but against the person who put them in that position (ie a soldier who dies is considered a point of failure on the officer). Now, put this into context of some of the things you see in the game. Udina being... well, Udina. Pretty much everyone know he's a diplomatic incident waiting to happen. To the turians, his failings would reflect on the people that put him there. Harkan in his C-Sec days. Again, he was put there for humanity's political push... however to the turians, such a drunken reckless lowlife would reflect on the politicians that put him there. Re-think the First Contact War and the Occupation of Xianxi. The turians would see the provocation of war and the events leading up to it (explorers activating an unknown relay) as reflecting upon that fleet's commanders. The Occupation would be seen as the commanding officer essentially throwing away his troops as cannon fodder, at least at the early stages of it (as the turians didn't necessarily know about the fleet and such) and acting upon orders from further up. Thus as a whole, the turians would see all this reckless behavior and associate by proxy all the way up to the highest levels of the Alliance. To the turians, all the bumbling and mistakes humanity has made tends to look like some incompetent person put a bunch of people who weren't ready into positions and duties they weren't ready for.
    • And, ironically, Ashley's grandfather would probably be seen in a somewhat better light to the turians than to the humans.
      • And Paragon Earthborn/Ruthless Shepard, despite growing up in the worst parts of life and sacrificing men to their death. He shows that as a Spectre, he will be an excellent example of humanity's finest. He or She has the diplomatic appeal of an Asari, the military prowess of the Turians and quick decisiveness of Salarians. In other words he is the very model of a modern human Spectre and making an excellent first impression.
  • In Mass Effect 1, after the Feros debriefing you can chat with the Citadel Council, and if you're following the Paragon conversation paths, a chilling bit of foreshadowing occurs. After the jerkwad turian councilor calls you out for protecting the human colony, the salarian says something along the lines of "just remember, Commander, sometimes you have to be willing to make sacrifices to get the mission done." He probably wasn't expecting that you can choose to do exactly that to him and his fellow councilors as one of your final decisions.
  • At first I was a bit disappointed with the general lack of diversity among the Galactic races. All but two of the major races in the game have the same basic design as humans. They're all bipedal, land dwelling species, with four limbs. All of them except for the volus survive on an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. Even the hanar and the elcor are not that exotic, being basically alien jellyfish and elephants. It was even worse with the asari, each one basically a blue human female with a cuttlefish on their head. At first I just chalked this up to developers being uncreative, until the Reapers came in. The Reapers are not only shown to subtly influence galactic civilization for their own purposes, but they're also able to alter and create new species, like the Collectors, and the Keepers. Also the Reapers reproduce by capturing all the advanced life in the galaxy and melding into a new Reaper. It's probably much easier for them do this when all of the advanced life is similar so as to make them more compatible. So it's not much of a stretch to imagine the Reapers going from planet to planet altering any promising looking species to make them more genetically similar.
    • Is it possible that, akin to an episode of The Next Generation, the Protheans, who failed to fight against the Reapers due to the fact that the Protheans were alone in the galaxy at the time, sowed seeds somehow to make the galaxy more diverse. Since one dominating race needs only a minimal army, while a multitude would not only want to compete with the neighbor's but also increase theirs, continuing a cycle, they would be more likely to make any sort of a stand against the Reapers in combat, if only to bring a handful down. After so many cycles, perhaps a big enough hole will appear in the Reaper's numbers for them to be stopped. The Protheans who went into the Citadel using the Conduit may have a part to play, (for example; maybe disintegrating themselves into genetic paste via Reaper technology and using Mass Relays to somehow spread their genetic code into many different planets, where their base code would diverge and evolve in parallels.) Pure Tinfoil Hat of course.
    • It was confirmed in Mass Effect 1 at one of the Prothean sites that they experimented on early humans - and the hanar worship the Protheans as the "Enkindlers". Who's to say that the Protheans weren't involved in the development of all species now in the galaxy?
      • Take a good look at the legs, feet and hands of turians. Now take a good look at the legs, feet and hands of quarians. That is all.
      • Mass Effect 3 confirms that the Protheans were at least aware of the races, and were heavily involved with influencing the primitive asari.
  • At the end of Garrus' loyalty mission, if you're going with the Paragon route, when Sidonis talks about how he can't sleep at night, he walks to one side, and Shepard walks between him and Garrus to prevent Garrus from shooting him - until Sidonis leans against a railing. Pay close attention, and you'll notice that Shepard isn't next to the railing. He's giving Garrus a shot, and Garrus isn't taking it. After that, there's one last dialogue choice before Sidonis leaves, where Garrus wants one last chance to shoot Sidonis - even though he already has a clear shot. Garrus is putting some serious thought into this decision. -Tera Chimera
  • The green circuit board shown during the bypass minigame may seem like a decorative frill, until you figure out that all the links follow the electric circuits shown on it and never deviate from this template. Once you learn the internal logic of their layout, it becomes possible to win it every time without ever double-checking what symbols are actually hidden underneath the selectable dots or making any errors. -Drakkenmensch
    • That is exactly what makes it an "It Just Bugs Me" for me. One might assume that what Shepard does is connecting the circuits using wire or something like that. However, this raises question since s/he only connects the dots which are already connected on the board itself. -HaXXeR
      • Because it's showing the circuit board of an already-working security system. All you're doing is creating a bypass around the thing's sensors through Shepard's omni-tool, and to do that you need to know where the matching contact points are. Otherwise you'll send the wrong signals to the wrong components and trip the alarm. -MrUnderhill
  • The menu in Mass Effect 1 is blue. In the Darker and Edgier sequel the menu is orange. The same colours as the Karma Meter -Playsbassbadly
    • I noticed that too - I assumed it was because while your employer in the first game is Paragon friendly, your employer in the second is Renegade friendly. Which is Fridge Brilliance in itself I guess. - Randomfanboy
    • This might actually be the case: E3 pictures of the menus are dark blue, and its widely known that you're back with the Alliance.
  • The reprogramming vs. destroying of the Geth Heretics seems to be a bit off on the morality scale. The renegade option has you simply killing them, while the paragon option has you brainwashing half of a species! What the hell? Then, if you think about it, while paragon vs. renegade seems to be nice guy vs. jerk, it's actually more complicated. The result of Paragon actions tends to be less power concentrated in the hands of humanity, but more allies garnered for your side. The Renegade option tends to alienate or destroy any potential allies, but concentrate more and more power in humanity's hands. Therefore, reprogramming the Geth Heretics is clearly the Paragon option, because it turns a great enemy into a potential ally, while the Renegade option simply removes a threat.
    • Actually the heretics only make up about 5% of the geth population, according to Legion.
    • Also, if you listen carefully and explore all the conversation options with Legion, it becomes clear that releasing the virus won't force the Heretics to come around to the rest of the Geth's way of thinking. Instead, it just creates a compulsion in them to return to the Geth homeworld and integrate their experiences with the rest of their race. So really, all you're doing is forcing the Heretics and the Geth to come together and confront their differences and build a consensus. As for the differences between Paragon and Renegade, I see it less like the choice between good and evil or right and wrong, but more like the choice between right and easy. Renegade options are the easy way out, so killing the Heretics would be Renegade for sure. Paragon options require more effort and make things much harder for Shepard, but in the long run, it's the right choice, and benefits the rest of the galaxy if it's a big choice.
  • The Renegade interrupt button, on the 360 at least, is the right trigger, or fire button. The Paragon interrupt button is the left trigger, or aim button. Renegade interrupts are usually violent and immediate, like firing a gun. Paragon interrupts are usually making someone rethink what they're doing (though not always in a violent way), like pointing - but not firing - a gun at a mugger or someone like that.
    • It always annoyed me, after playing the game for many an hour on the 360, that the PC version switched the interrupts around (Renegade on left, Paragon on right), leading to many accidental Renegade interrupts during Paragon playthroughs and vice-versa. This made me realize that, on the PC, the Left Mouse Button (Renegade) is the fire button and the Right Mouse Button (Paragon) is the aim button.
  • Paragon interrupts often involve exploring alternate options to a violent confrontation. Renegade interrupts focus on immediate and often violent action. In the Windows version of the game, Paragon interrupts are triggered by clicking the right mouse button when they come up, and Renegade interrupts by the left mouse button. In the default settings of the Windows operating system, right clicks bring up a context menu (more options) while left clicks are an immediate selection and default action on whatever it is you're clicking on. I see what you did there Bioware.
  • At first, I was annoyed that in the Mass Effect 3 teaser, Big Ben's sniper rifle looks like a bolt-action gun - it's the year 2185, for Pete's sake! But guess what I found while browsing the ME wiki - the Mantis and the Widow are both bolt-action. The design most likely allows for a quick cycling of a heat sink, and they're powerful enough that each round could require its own heat sink.
    • However, the ME wiki does not say whether the Incisor - the gun Ben's using - is bolt action. What?
      • It's burst-fire (but the shots are close enough together to sound like one shot), and it could simply be that he topped off his heat sink. Assuming that he's using a sniper rifle that appears in ME2.
    • This troper always assumed that it was he had simply fired his last burst, and was popping his heatsink - the way you eject heatsinks from Sniper Rifles in ME2 is basically bolt action.
  • While I don't know if this has or will have any significance, you know how the human Reaper larva seems to have two pupils in it's left eye? So do the husks.
    • Oh, that leads to more Fridge Brilliance, or possibly Horror - husks are made out of individual humans and the human Reaper is made up of lots of humans, so husks are basically miniature Reapers.
    • Or maybe the Reapers simply Did Not Do The Research.
  • The 'biotic god' volus is actually a powerful biotic due to the drugs the Eclipse gave him, they're just not stupid enough to give him a biotic amp!
    • This makes me regret having to laugh at him silly every time I see him. He could've easily killed me with his brains!
      • This troper laughed even harder when he realized that the "brain fart" that changes the Volus' mind about destroying everyone really was a biotic wind after all.
  • The idea of Spectres in general beautifully aligns with the setting designers' effort to justify everything that happens in-game. The Council, essentially, gives Shepard the in-universe license to act exactly like an RPG player character.
  • This troper wondered why you only get the Harbinger codex entry on the Renegade entry, after a bit of thinking I realized, That codex entry is the first of the rewards that you reap from keeping the Collector Station.
  • The aging system and life expectancy of Krogans are not very well explained in-game. They're never said to live astoundingly long lives like the Asari, but Wrex tells stories of events some 200 years ago like they were yesterday and an Asari mentions her Krogan bondmate living almost as long as her. It's a simple solution when you look at their turtle-like physiology though - Krogans just don't die of natural causes. The reason you don't see milennia-old Krogans is because they're all warlike and end up dying in battle somewhere along the way.
    • Which kind of adds weigh to Wrex who is already something like 600 years old. He's that damn old because he's that damn good of a Battlemaster. Probably one significant factor in his ability to gather and lead the krogan. By our standards, he's a badass old man. By their standards, he may as well be a living legend. And add that he considers Shepard a close friend and an equal, his throwaway comment when learning about Shepard getting spaced makes sense. For people like them, death is a minor life hurdle. Shepard proving himself to the krogan was probably less about proving his worth and more about proving that everything Wrex said was right.
    • ME2 does have a short quest that reveals Krogan can live much longer than humans. An Asari is wrestling over whether or not to pair off with a Krogan, and says "It's not like with a human, where you just tough it out for a century and they die." With the physiology, where pretty much all organs have a backup set or TWO (primary, secondary, and tertiary organs), Krogans are definitely built to last.
    • It's never explicitly stated, but if you pay attention to the info given about krogan, you realize they probably don't die of old age like the races do; with their regenerative capabilities, there's little reason for them to do so. Krogan die from particularly virulent diseases or injury
    • Umm Sheperd sayes that krogan can live for over a thousond years during a chat with Wrex in ME1.
  • A while back This Troper said how the bar Afterlife is not a just some cool name. Well, I've started researching on the names of the other bars/stripclubs we can visit in the game. Flux? Yeah, pretty cool name I guess, but take in to consideration what it means: the music we can hear is just damn flowing in the ears- not to mention the influx of money you can get from the casino! Okay, how about Chora's Den? According to Greek philosophy, Khora is often linked with sexually-coded maternal overtones; words often associted with it are mother, womb, nurse- wait a minute, Freudian much?! -Raverine
    • And Eternity is an obvious reference to the asari "embrace eternity" thing, although for some reason This Troper Alynnidalar never realized that until reading this page.
    • All the names of everything in Mass Effect is always relevant. In Liara's side mission, you are tasked with finding the Observer. Then you discover she's spying on Liara.
  • When you first encounter the Collectors in battle on Horizon, they seem to be little more than generic identical Mooks blindly rushing into battle. Then it is revealed later in the game by Mordin and EDI that the Reapers engineered them to be exactly that: expendable servants with no sense of individuality and self-preservation.
  • After reading this page, I understood Jack a little bit more, especially the tattoos and, um, lack of clothing. But it still kinda bugged me that if it were true that, as an abuse victim, it was an act of reasserting control over her body, why did she have the strap combination thing on her upper half? I marked it down to Bioware not showing bare breasts, but the real answer is so staggeringly obvious, I can't imagine why I didn't realize it before. Jack is a very active woman, obviously. She gets in fights almost constantly. So of course she'd wear something over her breasts! Sports bras were invented for a reason, after all! (what makes it even worse is that I'm female... you'd think this would be something I'd recognize instantly!) -Alynnidalar
  • During the final boss fight of Overlord, geth pop out of thin air to slow you down. At first, it just seems like they're there to stall you from a gameplay perspective, and wouldn't make sense in-universe. However, a few minutes earlier, David hacked your omni-tool and is basically controlling you. The geth also vanish when they die, implying they don't really exist. They do exist, and they are real geth - they're not geth platforms, they're geth programs. David is sending the few geth programs remaining on the planet to Mind Rape you via your omni-tool. -Tera Chimera
  • I was always frustrated by the fact that the Mako and the Hammerhead were hard to drive. Then I realized: of course it would be hard to drive it! Shepard is a soldier through and through, not a driver/pilot! The difficulty of controlling the vehicles is just an in-game example of how Shepard can be a bad-ass because of killing people, but NOT because of his/her brilliance of driving. Impressive.
  • Why do the geth only have one eye? Because they don't need for the computer to give them a damn firing solution, unlike two servicemen we all can think of.
    • More specifically, the geth have a ton of sensors in that one eye that can accurately measure the distance of an object from their point of view (think radar, sonar, etc.). Having two eyes would be redundant, since depth perception can only approximate distance, which the geth can already do far more accurately than any organic.
  • Legion mentions that the heretic virus introduces a mathematical error in low-level geth processing, resulting in the same operation returning 1.33381 versus 1.33382. At that time, it just seemed to me like a typical Layman's Terms analogy. Then I read on the Mass Effect wiki that Legion was actually referencing the Pentium FDIV bug!
  • This troper just realized this while reading the Mythology Gag entry on the main page of the first game. Doesn't the name Hanar sound familier?
    • Not really. Care to elaborate?
      • Oh, sure. Han*h*arr is the name of a companion in Knights of the Old Republic, another Bioware RPG.
      • Not quite. KotOR II was made by Obsidian, not Bioware; the similarity between Hanharr's name and the name of the hanar race is probably coincidental.
        • I'm not talking about the second game. Hanharr was only in the first, BioWare-made KoTOR.
          • Wrong. Hanharr was introduced in KotOR II.
            • Sorry, your right, I was thinking of Zaalbar. Still, it still might be a Shout Out. Bioware IS making the next game in the series.
  • Ever wonder why, when traveling to another cluster, you simply don't take the shortest route? Even if two clusters are close together, the route to them from another could be completely different. It hit me after a while: it's the way mass relays are connected to each other. A relay in one system might not be connected to a relay in another, nearby one. You might need to take a roundabout route to get to your destination, but because of the way the relays work, that won't take too long. -Tera Chimera
    • Stellar drift. The systems/clusters containing the relays that are right next to each other now probably weren't next to each other 3+ million years ago when the relays were first forged. And unlike the Stargate network, the relays probably don't auto-correct beyond finding the relay that they used to connect to again, since it would make them harder to shut down whenever the Reapers come back to harvest. A more advanced (and Reaper-proof) program could get around this issue with some basic pathfinding algorithms.
    • It's all in the Codex. Major relays come in pairs. They can only reach each other. Minor relays are omni-directional but are also much more short ranged. Thus the flight paths are first using major relays to get within the general area and then minor ones to get to the actual destination.
  • In Mass Effect, being called by the name of your species by someone close to you is often the ultimate insult as you're no longer Commander Shepard to them, you're just some arrogant whelp who likes to think you deserve their respect, without earning it. Beyond not earning it. You diminish any positive thoughts they might have had for you. Despite your over all intentions, you and your methods are still inferior, and with calling you "human", they make sure you know it. That hit me when Tali's mission ended with giving the evidence, while she was mad at you. She didn't called Shepard "Human" as an insult. She holds enough respect for Shepard to accept that s/he had reasons for handing over the evidence but she needs time to get over the fact her father is a Broken Pedestal and she was now responsible of what path she takes to find homeworld. Either through peace with the geth or like her father, hunt down every geth if possible.
    • Which makes you realize that the Volus merchant in the lower market on Citadel does show you great consideration by calling you "Earth Clan", since he's referring to your planet of origin and how much clans are important to the Volus.
  • In Lair of the Shadow Broker, Liara starts with all four powers unlocked. This isn't just because she is only on your team for just this set of missions. This is because Liara has always been loyal to you.
  • The chef selling ramen noodles as a 'delicacy' seems like a quick jab at people taking advantage of tourists by fooling people into thinking something's worth more than it is. However, when you think about such delicacies as lobster and escargot, they both started as food people only ate when they were too poor or desperate to get anything else, so maybe he's telling the truth? --Scsi Modem
    • Earth has eleven billion inhabitants and is still suffering from the after-effects of global warming. chances are that the fish and meat used to make ramen rarefied a lot, making ramen a rare and expensive delicacy in the late 22nd century. – Nixou
    • To be fair, ramen is also not considered a cheap food in Japan as it is in the US. You can find ramen shops in Japan pretty readily.
    • Yeah, real ramen is not the cheap freeze-dried crap.
  • Probably unintentional, but in old British literature, a "thane" was someone who was basically a hired killer. The title later became something more honorable, but its original meaning was that of a mercenary or assassin.
    • From when is this literature of which you speak? If I remember correctly, the title was used in Beowulf, but then as a title of honour given to the best fighter. It is, of course, also used in Shakespeare's Macbeth where Macbeth becomes the thane of Cawdor: here it is used as an anglo-saxon version of the title 'baron'.
    • I assume that you mean English, not British.
  • Many people wonder why you restart at level 1 in Mass Effect 2... it's pretty obvious once you realize that Shepard has a body rebuilt from scratch and that you've never used your new muscles before. - Drakkenmensch
  • This could possibly even fit under Foreshadowing. There's an incredible amount of indications in Mass Effect 1 as to what the Reapers are really like which is revealed in Mass Effect 2 being hybrids of synthetic and organic material. First there are the husks which were organics that have their bodily fluids and organs taken out and replaced with technology. There's Saren, who was implanted with tech and boasted about how the Reapers made him a combination of organic and synthetic, "the strengths of both and the weaknesses of neither". Then there are the Collectors, who are also organic beings who have had everything that made them sentient beings with free will replaced by tech. As Mordin said, "No glands, replaced by tech. No digestive tract, replaced by tech. No souls...replaced by tech". At the end of the day, the Reapers are just a reversal of this, organic material melted into metal to create new Reapers. When you think about it all like that, what may have originally looked like a bit of an Ass Pull becomes an incredibly well-foreshadowed plot point that both games have been hinting at.
  • So why was Tali romancable in the second game but not the first? Well when you first encounter her she is on her Pilgrimage, here rite of passage into adulthood. Tali was only a child by Quarian standards, and LoliShep is one meme we don't need.
  • How much of an Alpha Bitch is Miranda? Well both she and Shepard have their own beds, you can even see them in in their offices, but when you romance her she decides to do it with you in the engine room; why? This is where Tali works and just above where Jack sleeps, by doing this she is in essence marking her territory to her rivals.
  • At first I was confused as to why the Turian and the Krogan, both races who focus on martial prowess (but in different ways) would have the Sentinel class in multiplayer since it is the class with the least focus on weaponry. Then it occurred to me, the Sentinel is the most defensive class in the game and having a race who evolved from a harsh environment would be the logical choice for the Sentinel since it makes an already hard to kill Krogan nearly impossible to kill. As for the Turian, I realize that the Turian Sentinel you are playing as is part of the Cabal, a group of biotic specialists in the Turian military.
  • If you look at the galactic history in the Mass Effect universe, you'll notice one constant: every time the Citadel civilization has been at danger of being eradicated, a newcomer species with no previous contact with them has been necessary to save the day. First the Rachni Wars that were resolved by the uplifted krogan. Then the Krogan Rebellions that were resolved by the newly encountered turians. And finally the Reaper invasion, presumably to be resolved by the human upstarts. Basically, it seems that the Citadel civilization, based around the Mass Relay technology that no-one quite understands encourages cultural and technological stagnation, and helplessness against outside threats. The Reaper social engineering is more insidious and clever than the straightforward Indoctrination might insinuate.
  • The Reapers invade the Batarian homeworld first, which would explain why the first hybrids we see are Human/Batarian hybrid husks (the Cannibals).
    • It would, but has it actually been confirmed that the Reapers invade the batarian homeworld first?
  • A minor bit of Fridge Brilliance: Joker's throwaway line about "plugging in the Overlord" isn't a case of Harsher in Hindsight given the Project Overlord DLC... it's actually an indicator that canonically, Shepard deals with Overlord before they try to use the Reaper IFF. Joker's not giving some unintentionally prophetic line, he's cracking a tasteless joke about a past experience, because Joker's stressed out and he's just kind of an asshole even at the best of times.
    • Supported by talking to him after the fall of Thessia in Mass Effect 3, where he cracks a tastless joke to Shepard about how the Asari must be wishing they had more commandos instead of dancers right about now.
  • Simple thing, easy to overlook, but beautifully brilliant implications. The name of the ship you command throughout the series is Normandy.
    • Wouldn't it be amusing and derailing if they revealed similar ships with names like Brittany, Lorraine, Corsica, and Burgundy?
      • Appears that frigate-class human ships are named after battles (Hastings and Iwa Jima and likely others), and they're all Normandy Class, so that is kind of the case. Still, it's pretty brilliant.
        • Indeed, as the Battle of Normandy is known for being the the largest mobilization of a diverse group of military organizations ever seen in a single operation. The British, Americans, French, Dutch, and the Polish, just like the Humans, Turians, Asari, Geth, and the Quarians.
  • In the third game, at first I was pissed that certain missions like the Grissom Academy mission become unavailable if you wait too long. Then I realized that it ties into a main theme in the game -- that you can't save everyone, and gives the player the same feeling Shepard has of feeling weak and ineffective if you can't do it in time.
  • The Grand Finale takes a lot of flak, but given enough thought, the entire series has been leading up to those Three Possible Endings. The Reapers are believed to be a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, but the Catalyst points out that to its knowledge, every civilization falls apart due to failed Singularities; "The Created Destroys The Creator." In the previous cycle, the Protheans had the "Metacore War", and the current cycle has managed to do it twice; not only the quarians and the geth, but also the turians/salarians and the krogan(uplifting a species to fight their battles for them and sterilizing them once they rebelled is no different ideologically from creating servants who refused to be turned off - creating life then throwing it away once it becomes troublesome). These wars destroy biospheres, preventing future species from evolving. When Harbinger spoke of being "salvation through destruction", he was right From a Certain Point of View; they preserve civilizations as data, they preserve worlds from Robot Wars. Once organics became capable of interacting with the Catalyst, that cycle became inherently flawed; the Reapers' network was no longer secure, and would eventually fall, destroying everything the Reapers had preserved. Hence it is left to Shepard what the new solution should be: preventing synthetic life from ever evolving again(by means of making technology impossible), subduing synthetic life so they cannot harm organics, or merging with synthetic life with the hope that interaction would defeat fear.
  • The child that Shepard keeps having nightmares about throughout the game turns out to be the Catalyst, the controlling intelligence behind the Reapers. His only words to Shepard? "Everyone's dying!" He's not just talking about humans, he's talking about the occasional Reaper that falls, taking millions of uploaded sapients with it. "You can't help me!" When Shepard activates the Crucible and reaches the Catalyst, all Shepard can decide is how it dies! And he pulls off his Stealth Hi Bye by simply cutting communications to Shepard's Reaper implants when Anderson gets Shepard's attention for a moment.
  • Contemplating on the ending, I couldn't help but feel a little guilty that I chose the third option instead of the one where Shep might survive, since that'd leave Tali alone. But, thinking about it, the Normandy crash-landed who knows how far away in the galaxy, and the Mass Relays are destroyed. So, essentially, Tali has no idea that Shep is dead, since they would have had to leave before the Citadel exploded. Chances are they won't see a resurgence of Mass Relay-level tech in her life-time. It's really a form of Cruel Mercy, that she'll never have to deal with that he's dead.
  • Why was Joker trying to outrace the Crucible's effect? Why did it cause the Normandy to crash onto a deserted garden planet with a breathable atmosphere? Why were Tali and Garrus on it, when (at least in this troper's game) they'd been fighting alongside Shepard down on Earth? Easy. Joker was trying to save EDI (though how he knew she was in danger, or why she would be in danger if you chose the Paragon ending is unclear), but failed to (again, why?), and then died in the resulting crash. Meanwhile, Tali and Garrus were killed by Harbinger while Shepard was K.O.'ed. The garden planet he, Tali and Garrus emerge on is some version of Heaven. Hopefully, it has a bar where they can wait for Shepard.
  • In the first game Sovereign refers to the Citadel and the mass relays as "the legacy of my kind." It's not the legacy the Reapers left behind. It's the legacy they inherited.
  • Marauders look...familiar. In fact, they look disturbingly like a certain turian Spectre after being augmented....
  • This was mentioned offhandedly above, but take a good look at the Reaper that fries Shepard. Notice the pattern of its "eyes?" Looks sort of like the Collector General, doesn't it? If that isn't Harbinger, this troper will eat his shoe.
    • That Reaper is explicitly referred to as being Harbinger.
  • Considering what we learned about its translation, Shepard's pointed use of "keelah se'lai" ("by the homeworld I hope to see someday") to punctuate his/her attempt to convince the quarians to stand down near the end of the Rannoch mission is not just a case of appealing to them by using a phrase important to their culture, or even a reminder that they're right at the threshold of the homeworld it refers to. It's also a very pointed reminder to the quarians that Shepard, too, is now in a position of having to hope that s/he will get the chance to see his/her homeworld again someday.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the Synthesis ending seems to be presented as the best one. This struck me as odd, as it is essentially forcing bodily change on every living thing in the galaxy, something that is almost akin to rape in its sheer violation of individuality and bodily autonomy. Then, I realized several important things...
    • One: the template for this transformation is Commander Shepard him/herself, because they are partially synthetic thanks to the Lazarus Project. What was the purpose of the Lazarus Project? To recreate Commander Shepard exactly as he/she was, with no changes to his or her personality. So the change would exclusively apply to their bodies-- the personalities, memories, and individual identities of the new beings would not be altered at all, making the change much more palatable.
    • Two: because the Mass Relays are destroyed in every ending, the Synthesis ending may be the only way to subvert the Fridge Horror of the endings listed below. Turians and Quarians wouldn't necessarily have to worry about starving to death if their 'synthesis' upgrades allowed them to process the same kind of foods as the other species. Joker's brittle bone disease might be cured, or at least in the process of being cured, by the time he crash-lands. Joker is the only character we see the actual effects of the Synthesis on; his eyes glow, as do his veins, possibly implying nanomachines in his bloodstream. Whatever is happening, it's clear that the transformation is doing SOMETHING for him.
    • Three, and this could just be speculation, but: depending on how it works, the synthetic 'framework' given to the races might well allow them to communicate with each other on an unprecedented level. Not just talk to each other; they might well be able to engage in a form of telepathy, using their synthetic pieces to convert their thoughts into raw data and send them to each other. They could communicate as individuals, or link up to form a geth-style consensus. At the very least, it gives everyone something to bond over. That is why the Synthesis ending is presented as the best. In all three endings, something old (the Relays, and in one, the Reapers) is destroyed. The Synthesis ending is the only one where something new is created in exchange. We don't know exactly what it will entail, but its potential is nearly limitless.
  • YMMV, but I'm more and more convinced that the Broken Base reaction to the destruction of the Mass Relays is an object lesson in itself. Everyone's treating the relays as if they were a handy FTL travel mechanism, but their purpose is to herd the population into densely populated narrow corridors, while retarding the development of more advanced FTL drives. The relays exist to make the harvest possible, because if anyone developed and used an FTL drive that was faster than the ones the Reapers used, the Reapers would never be able to completely harvest them. The fact that FTL is this two-stage system in the first game, Aethyta's mention in ME2 that she had her ass laughed off of Illium for suggesting that they build their own relays, and Vigil's comments on it in the first game all point to how deeply ingrained they are in the psychology of the Citadel races. Destroying them and using conventional FTL opens up a much larger universe, even if travel is initially slower.
    • Expanding on that, how else would one expect Mass Effect to end? By ending the Mass Effect forever.
    • Have to wonder why the destruction of the Mass Relays doesn't result in something similar to Shepard's destruction of the Alpha Relay in Arrival.
      • Simply put, the mass relay system was not destroyed the same way the Alpha Relay was. The energy was changed before being violently released.
  • There's plenty of hidden brilliance to the ending, but you really have to dig through layers of symbolism, foreshadowing and other implication to find it.
    • Consider for a moment the definitions of the words crucible and "catalyst
      • A crucible is typically defined as a container used to heat materials to a very high temperature [often used in metallurgy] OR there's the figurative definition, which is a severe, searching test or trial.
      • Then there's "catalyst" - we can once again ignore the scientific definition and focus on the sociological ones:
        • something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected
        • a person or thing that precipitates an event or change
    • Viewed through these lenses, it becomes clear that the Crucible was something originally designed not by the Protheans [as Vendetta admits] nor by any of the species that dominated previous cycles [though they did tweak the design], but originally conceived by the Catalyst itself. Why? As a test/trial by which to measure organics - not versus synthetics, but versus himself. This becomes abundantly clear when you think about where the Catalyst resides - the sealed-off core of the Citadel which is not accessible to anyone save [maybe] the Keepers. Shepard becomes the first organic ever to meet it, which means that none of the species of the prior cycles could have known about it. In other words, the Catalyst gives away the game by making itself part of the Crucible's design.
    • The Catalyst views himself as the highest form of life in the galaxy [and rightfully so], and is likely the culmination of synthetic evolution. He views organics as inferior, but purely from a logical perspective. He values organic life to the extent that he deems it worthy of being 'preserved' but does not trust it to act in its own best interests - thus, 'chaos', to which he posits Reapers as the solution. But the problem with creatures of pure logic is that they can never have full certainty in matters of probability - in other words, he sees a potential situation in which he is proven wrong [incidentally, this is foreshadowed during Mordin's loyalty mission in ME2 where he points out that simulations were run that showed the krogan going into full-scale war against the turians without the genophage - simulations that, through Shepards intervention, can be proven wrong], so he creates a test for organics, and if they pass this test, they can override him. Thus the Crucible is conceived.
    • The created, in the Catalyst's own words, always rebel against their creators. But in this cycle, thanks to Shepard's actions, peace was made [in the ideal resolution to that arc] not only between the geth and quarians, but also between the krogan [which were 'uplifted' by the salarians and turians, and thus in many ways shaped by them] and the rest of the galaxy. This was the 'chaos' that the Catalyst describes, and which the Reapers were its means of ending; it's the chaos that Shepard manages to put an end to. The plans for the Crucible have existed throughout these cycles, and, by implication, discovered in many of them, by intent of the Catalyst as a means of testing whether organic life was capable of putting an end to the chaos not just of technological singularity, but also of internecine warfare and other seemingly inexorable traits of organic life that prevented it from 'ascending' [i.e. reaching its full potential]. If organics [and synthetics] could not put their differences aside and focus on building the Crucible, they were doomed to extinction - the Reapers would harvest them and force their "ascension" by their own means to make way for the next cycle.
      • The dominant race[s] of every other cycle had failed at this task, not because they weren't sufficiently advanced [after all, the plans for the Crucible were described in the game as being "elegant but simple", suggesting that it did not require an unusually high level of technological sophistication to complete], but because they were unable to make peace and cooperate with one another well enough to complete the test laid before them.
      • The Protheans came close, but as we learn from Javik, their methods of maintaining order in the galaxy were flawed in that they were harsh and imperialistic, and their meddling with less advanced species [most notably the asari] suggested that they would ultimately fall in a war of rebellion at the hands of one or more of the races they had subjugated.
      • Incidentally, this also explains why it makes perfect symbolic sense that the batarians were the first species to be effectively wiped out by the Reapers. They refused to cooperate with anybody.
    • Now contrast this with what Shepard is able to accomplish in a very narrow time frame, and the way in which the war assets mechanic is set up. Shepard gains war assets largely through mediating conflict resolution - in other words, he brings order to the chaos of the galaxy, and the more successful he is in doing this, the better the endgame is by virtue of the Catalyst being convinced that his 'solution' is obsolete. This is also why the more war assets you collect, the more autonomy you have during the ending. After all, the Catalyst is a godlike being that's roughly a billion years old [the oldest Reaper found in the game is said to be that age] - he is still fully capable of exercising his own authority over the puny organic encroaching on his turf, but in seeing a Shepard who has succeeded in fully uniting the galaxy and finding a better solution to the problem of chaos, he concedes that Shepard, and by extension, his cycle, have passed the test and steps aside, giving us the ability to forge our own future.
      • This is why even the 'control' ending is viewed as positive because Shepard, by virtue of his/her actions, has ascended to a level above the Catalyst, and thus becomes the new Catalyst - he has changed the equation. Whereas if Shepard ignores or fails to adequately address certain instances of chaos in the galaxy, the Catalyst views this as a failure and narrows our choices [or, if we did badly enough, outright pulls the rug out from under us by using the Crucible to wipe out all organic life, likely out of despair that we came so close yet could not achieve what we were supposed to.
      • Even Shepard's name is symbolic if you view things like this. After all, it's another version of "shepherd", and what is a shepherd but a guide?
    • As for the mass relays being destroyed - consider what we've seen throughout the series. The Protheans were able to create their own prototype mass relay, which still exists on Ilos. We can't know for sure, but logic dictates that at some point after its discovery, it was thoroughly studied by top scientific minds to figure out how it worked. Galactic society and commerce is in shambles, yes, but then you recall that not long before the events of these games, quantum entanglement communication was invented, which allowed users to bypass the use of mass relays for long-distance communications. This suggests that even though it'll likely take years or decades, the framework of galactic society will ultimately be rebuilt without Reaper technology.
      • Assuming any single system somehow manages to find a few hundred TONS of element zero within sublight speed range to power a new relay...
      • There's also the fact that in two out of three endings the Reapers are still around, and lack any motivation to continue the harvesting, and even the last one has their corpses intact, inert and harmless. It shouldn't be all that difficult to put them to work on a new Relay Network since they built it in the first place, can communicate with each other without the Comm Buoys, and owe a massive debt to the galaxy, or to study their remains and pull out all the tech and eezo required for new Mass Relays in a few years.
      • The united fleets of space are all within the Sol system, which means there's plenty of Eezo to utilize. Furthermore, all the greatest engineering minds of the galaxy are gathered in the Sol system, which means studying the Reapers is far from a mere dream. And, as has been shown, the Reapers used their own FTL systems, independent of the mass relays, made it from dark space back to the galaxy in a year--from so far away that the galaxy actually looks like a galaxy. It seems unlikely the galaxy would remain divided for long just because the relays were destroyed.
  • Regarding the endings, specifically Shepard being forced to take one of two Renegade interrupts to shoot the Illusive Man before he kills Shepard, if he can't be talked down - Stoping TIM from killing Anderson & Shepard would be Paragon interrupts throughout the rest of the series, but here it's a Renegade choice because it represents that Shepard is still willing to fight.
  • Probably some of the the greatest examples in the Synthesis ending that make it a Golden Ending if you lookedat in a certian way:
    • First due to the nature of the ending the cycle is broken and now all living beings have "advanced" to the next step.
    • Secondly, with all the collected knowledge of Mass Relays and Reapers and now the ability to interface with what use to be just machines on a personal level, it's possible that they could create a network of living mass relays.
    • Third Medical technology will be almost overnight revolutionized due to all species being techno-organic.
    • Optionally, depending on what you did during the game: Fourth due to the fusion Geth and Quarians would be able understand each other better, bringing "racial" tensions to a peaceful resolution quickly.
    • All in all, this all everything can be better then it was before.
  • For all the vitriol the destruction of the Mass Relays has caused in the fanbase, thematically it's hard to imagine a more appropriate ending to the trilogy. The Relay Network represents a trap, a hidden system of control that confines that galactic civilization to predetermined paths, and technological and cultural stagnation. The destruction of the Network represents breaking off these chains for good, and forging a new path to a future that is uncertain, but free. And it's not like the Relays can't be rebuilt, for a better purpose, with better understanding.
  • All Asari are bisexual, right? There's a reason for that. They're an all female race. They don't know what it's like to discriminate based on gender, because they can't do it themselves.
  • One of the many things people complain about Mass Effect 3's ending is that Joker is seen running away from the battle with the Normandy. They feel that he's being a coward and leaving Commander Shepard to die. However, Joker's actions mirror perfectly those from the beginning of the game: he is fleeing with the few people he can to bring some hope to the future. As far as he knows, Shepard is dead and the hope of defeating the Reapers is gone, so he does exactly what Shepard would do in his place, no matter how painful it is.
    • Not sure if I buy that. Shepard was explicitly leaving Earth in order to get help for it, and (at least Paragon Shep) would have stayed if no such help was available (Anderson had to literally order Shepard to leave). By the endgame, you've already gathered all the help you could, so there's no similar reason for Joker to leave.
  • Some fans think the bachelor party in Mass Effect 2 are right about the asari - they mind control the viewer to make them think asari are more attractive and look more like their race. Aside from being Fridge Brilliance for why asari look so human, it could also be one reason why in Mass Effect 3 the Protheans favoured the asari and chose them as the ones to carry on the knowledge of the Reapers for future races - the Protheans see the asari as being the race most like them!
  • Remember in ME 1 when talking to Sovereign it said "We are each a nation"? Well every Reaper is the preserved data of an organic race, or nation, from a previous cycle.
  • When romancing Garrus, he often provides a bottle of some alcohol, despite the fact that dextro and levo species can't really eat each others' food/drink. However, Shepard has shown on many occasions that she is immune to poisons, so she'd have no problem drinking dextro alcohols without consequence.
    • Alcohol is one of the few organic substances that is achiral, and thus should be drinkable by either chirality.
  • When you're giving EDI access to all of the Normandy's controls, Joker mutters, "Now I'll be spending all day computing pi because I plugged in the overlord." Obviously, this refers to how A Is are thought to conquer organics without a second thought, but it has a second meaning. In the final battle of the Overlord DLC, if you take too long, David will upload to the Normandy and take over EDI, who has full control over the ship. In effect, the Overlord was plugged in, and Joker is now useless, relegated to computing pi and the square root of 912.04.
  • There's actually a fair bit of logic in the abilities of your squadmates in ME2. Garrus was your Infiltrator swap in ME1, so he has a combat ability and a tech ability. Thane is an assassin, so he has the biotic abilities dedicated to killing people, instead of crowd control. Miranda was bred to be perfect, so she's the only squadmate who can take down all four forms of defence. Mordin is a scientist specializing in organics, so he has the two tech powers useful against organics. Tali grew up with a father who wanted war with the geth, and thus has abilities that take down shields and hack synthetics-- two thinggs very useful in a fight against the geth. Legion is a geth, so his powers consist of using his many runtimes to either hack other robots or to provide fire support. He's also a sniper, so having a drone to provide crowd control would be very helpful. My two favorites however, are Zaeed and Jack. Zaeed has spent most of his life trying to take down the Blue Suns. As any Adept will tell you through gritted teeth, the Blue Suns all use Shields. So, it makes perfect sense that he's the only squad member who can use disruptor ammo, which is specifically designed to take down shields. Jack is the absolute best, so just stay with me. Some people in the ME universe consider biotics to be an evolution of humanity, some kind of higher form of existance (think mutants from X-men). In other words, to use Harbinger's words, biotics are humanity's GENETIC DESTINY. Harbinger constantly taunts Shepard with those particular words, and it is eventually revealed that his idea for humanity's genetic destiny involves either being turned into a Reaper or becoming a slave race like the Protheans. Jack is the most powerful human biotic in the galaxy. In other words, she has already reached humanity's genetic destiny; she is a higher form of human... sort of. So, whose powers are the absolute best at fighting off the agents of the Reapers? Who is best at preserving humanity's own genetic destiny and staving off the destiny that the Reapers had in mind? Well, with Shockwave (best move for taking down husks) and Warp Ammo (specifically designed to take down barriers, armor and health. If those sound familiar, they are the only form of defence that the Collectors use), Jack is the absolute best squadmate to take on the Collector missions in the game. Hell, Harbinger doesn't even stand a chance against humanity's own genetic destiny.
  • The Colonist and Sole Survivor origin stories give you both paragon and renegade points at the start. Initially, this makes no sense, since, after all, how is everyone around you dying related to your morality? Then you realize: the experiences were so traumatic that Shepard's psyche was partially fragmented. How does the game show this inner fragmentation? It gives you both good and bad points toward your morality.
    • It's also because those two backgrounds are morally neutral when compared to Spacer/War Hero (Paragon) and Earthborn/Ruthless (Renegade). Colonist Shepard was raised by loving parents (Paragon), but probably had to do some dirty things to survive (Renegade). It's implied that Sole Survivor Shepard tried to help the other marines (Paragon), but eventually gave up and decided it was every man for himself (Renegade). -- Medicus
  • Two separate things regarding Legion: First of all, his loyalty power lets him get all his shields back instantly. Ordinary geth have this, too - it's how they can spontaneously create shields when you fight them. Second, there's a lot of similarities between him and Tali. They both come from a collectivist society - Tali rarely uses "I", and Legion never uses it. Their power sets are almost completely identical - they both get AI Hacking and Combat Drone, and their loyalty powers let them recharge their shields. They're both the most normal, relatively speaking, of your squad. They're both tech-savvy, to the point where both of them are good choices for the tech specialist in the first part of the suicide mission. Their places on the Normandy are centered around tech - Tali is near the mass effect core, and Legion is in the AI core. Their personalities are even a little similar. Perhaps BioWare is saying that the geth and the quarians are Not So Different?
  • In Mass Effect 1 Wrex has an armor he can wear called the Warlord. Guess what armor he's wearing while chieftain of the Urdnot clan in ME2?
  • A side assignment in Mass Effect 1 has Shepard wrecking a secret Cerberus base and copying some sensitive files. A Shadow Broker agent calls Shepard on the comm asking for the files. There's no reason to trust the Shadow Broker with the data at the time, beyond general apathy for terrorists' secrets. After Mass Effect 2, though, it seems sending the files would have been a great thing to do, since they'll eventually end up in the hands of the next Shadow Broker -- Shepard's loyal friend/loving girlfriend Liara, who can use it to help against the dubious Illusive Man..
    • It's a moot point anyway, considering EDI knows all.
    • There's also a mission in Mass Effect 2 where you recover potentially damaging information on Cerberus and have the option of returning it too them, uploading it to the Alliance, or just keeping it for yourself.
  • In Grunt's recruitment mission, you get to meet a tank-bred krogan who helps you defeat the Blue Sun mercenaries. Notice that when the krogan confronts Shepard (ie. you) face-to-face, his head is right about the height of your chest, making it look like he's looking at your tits. Playing as a Fem!Shep, This Troper found it quite funny, maybe even a kind of reference to Shepard's sex when she's female. But then Fridge Brilliance kicks in: he's is only a week old! Of course he'd be shorter than any of the krogan you have ever met!
  • Fans might be disappointed that Seth Green didn't reprise his role as Joker for the Arrival DLC. He's completely silent whenever he appears, and even when the Normandy arrives at the end the voice on the comm isn't him. Thinking about it though, it makes sense. At the very least Joker knew he was saving Shepard from an asteroid about to smash into a mass relay, something that is depicted as a rather grave event. Depending on how much s/he tells him he might also know about the Reapers and how they were minutes away. Whenever things get serious Joker goes all quiet, so they could get away with the Deadpan Snarker becoming The Voiceless.
    • This Troper was also somewhat disappointed, but then played as a renegade character and found that Joker actually does have one line, when the asteroid is set to crash the relay and instead of warning the colony you call the Normandy, Joker tries to answer.
  • This took me waay too long, but Shepard's name is obviously a reference to how she has to get everyone moving in the right direction constantly, and without her they tend to wander off like confused sheep... (eg: the Council). Plus the obvious historical references.
    • It also happens to be a reference to Alan Shepard, the first American to go to outer space. And before anyone says anything, Neil Armstrong was the first guy on the Moon. Not in space. -Troper67
  • During the endgame of ME1, Saren is marching into the Council chambers and takes a potshot at one of the Keepers that maintain the station. Why did he do that, other than generally being a grouch? Sovereign was frustrated that the Keepers had not functioned as they were designed to, and was taking it out on them via Saren.
  • Your squadmates in the first game each represent one of the classes: Ashley is a Soldier (all combat), Kaiden is a Sentinel (tech/biotic), Wrex is a Vanguard (combat/biotic), Garrus is an Infiltrator (combat/tech), Tali is an Engineer (all tech), and Liara is an Adept (all biotic). There are some differences, but the basics are there. - Tera Chimera
    • Further, the only squadmates whose skills are identical to Shepard's are Ashley and Kaidan, because they got their training from the same place Shepard did. Everyone else's training is slightly different, and for good reason:
    • Garrus and Wrex are trained in Assault Rifles, which are normally only available to Shepard as a Soldier. This is because in both of their societies, Garrus and Wrex were trained as soldiers. Also, without this training, Assault Rifles would be near-useless to any Shepard besides a Soldier. This way, you can at least hand them off to a squadmate.
    • Garrus gets Adrenaline Rush instead of Immunity, which makes him more of a Glass Cannon than Infiltrator!Shepard but allows him to spam tech and weapon skills (i.e. Assassination) much faster.
    • Wrex is a tank on two feet, so naturally he has access to both Immunity and Barrier, but not Adrenaline Rush like Vanguard!Shep would have.
    • Tali can use shotguns because of her military training on the flotilla (which would favor close-quarters combat because they typically have to fight through ship corridors), but because she's a starship mechanic and not a doctor, she doesn't get the Medicine skill you'd expect Engineer!Shepard to have.
    • Liara is the only squadmate with no military training at all, so she doesn't have access to any of the weapon skills (even Adept!Shepard at least has pistol training). And the Electronics skill she picks up instead is a hint towards her future occupation as the Shadow Broker.
      • The Electronics skill also ties to the fact that she's a scientist/archeologist- and spending almost fifty years on remote dig sites deciphering complex Prothean artifacts helped too.
  • Ok this might not be fringe but check out Sentential's Biotic abilities in ME2, Warp and Throw. What do they have in common? They get made more powerful from other abilities, Warp detonates Biotic abilities and Throw hits harder if your enemy if floating from pull or something like that. But the don't have the ability to take advantage of these abilities (I am aware of Cyro Blast but other abilities would benefit them both) especially noticeable when so many biotic abilities can be used, making them seem poorly chosen. Then it hit me, Sentinels are designed to be team players, they make their team mates more effective, by stripping your enemies defences but their team mates, make the sentinel more effective too.
  • Wrex is mentioned as being one of the few krogan biotics. Why are krogan biotics rare? Because of the genophage. People can only become biotics if they are exposed to eezo before they're born. However, only one in ten thousand (or so) krogan foetuses actually get born, and most eezo exposures don't result in anything. Wrex just got really lucky.
    • It's implied Wrex was born before the genophage was unleashed. And in ME2 Mordin said you can guess whether people have biotics or not based on their species implying that krogan biotics were always rare.
      • As of Mass Effect 3, we learn that the genophage has been going on for approximately 1500 years. Wrex is only around a thousand years old.
    • It may also have to do with their incredible durability which includes redundant organs. That kind of durability would likely also mean a high resistance to dramatic mutation which eezo exposure would naturally be. Thus for a krogan to have noticeable biotic ability, they would need to be exposed to enough eezo to, basically, give a krogan cancer. Which in turn explains why krogan battlemasters are so powerful even without training - they're carrying an incredibly high doze of eezo in their body.
  • In Mass Effect 2, some people may wonder why, if Shepard ends up being unable to resist Morinth in Samara's loyalty mission, that the cutscene between her and Samara that immediately follows plays out in the same fashion, with the only difference being Shepard automatically chooses to aid Samara. Why don't you get the choice? Because Shepard cannot resist Morinth, and realises that if s/he lets Samara die, Morinth's way of thanks would be to immediately put on the moves, seduce Shepard and kill him/her. Even a Renegade Shepard realises this, and though Samara may be a future problem, right now the bigger danger is the hypnotic sex vamp. That also explains why you need a maxed out Paragon/Renegade bar to make the choice in the first place - only the most badass Shepard can resist Morinth and bring her to heel.
  • Geth gaining sentinence is often a concern for the Quarians, but it wasn't because of the fact they are alive. But because it is against Citadel Laws to have sentinent AI, they could have let the Geth live as sentinent machines. But with the laws of artificial intelligence. The Quarians have legitimate concern on why Geth can be sentinent, this also leads to another thing about Legion's Shadow Broker Dossier. The games it plays are not for fun like normal humans but literally training programs to make sure targeting software (First-Person Shooter games), marco management (MMORPG games) and psyche research (Quarian Date Sim) are fully functional.
  • If you ask Jacob about what's missing on the Normandy, he often complains about the lack of a bar. Kasumi's personal quarters has a bar and entertainment lounge to it. And her haikus are all focus on Jacob, guess what's she doing to woo him over?
  • In Retribution, when Grayson is resisting against the Reapers' control, they subtly shift his thought processes so that he decides that best course of action is to find Kahlee, which is what the Reapers want anyway. Now, go back to Mass Effect 1, where Saren and Shepard are fighting at the base on Virmire. Shepard begins to instill doubts in Saren's mind, but then Saren suddenly becomes angry, declaring that his plan will save countless lives and that Shepard's actions would undo his work, and then he attacks in a rage. I suddenly realized, after reading the book, that Sovereign was doing the same thing to Saren that the Reapers did to Grayson: subtly shifted his thought processes so that he would conclude that Shepard was going to "undo his work" and then attack him/her, instead of stopping to listen.
  • At first, the the whole project Lazarus Project seemed wrong to me; the writers killed and then brought back to life the main character for very little reason, with no explanation of how it happened or why it would stop with Shepard, meaning that death was apparently no longer permanent in the setting and everything gets a lot more complicated or a significant plot point needs to never be mentioned again. Then, after re-watching the opening cinematic and getting the Normandy Crash Site DLC, it all became clear. When you were "killed," you were in a (mostly) functional suit of armor, probably Colossus X or something close since it's what you finished the first game in. While the suit was clearly breached, you were falling at a rate that would almost certainly get what was left of you to the surface of the planet within minutes of running out of air. The surface of the planet you land on is very frozen. A human brain can survive for about five minutes after the heart or lungs stop working properly before it starts to decay. If we assume that, between high powered shields and an incredibly sturdy helmet, your head could survive reentry and collision with the planet, then your brain would have been frozen and preserved before the lack of a body would really kill it. Shepard was never killed, just mortally wounded and then put into cryogenic suspension. With sufficiently advanced medical tech and a lot of cybernetics, the body could be rebuilt and the brain thawed safely. Not only does Project Lazarus avoid screwing up the setting with "resurrection" technology, but it makes sense and could work with real world science!
    • Not to rain on your parade, but Shepard's brain suffered extensive damage due to vaccuum exposure before ever reaching the planet. Miranda's logs state this explicitly. Shepard was definitely dead.
      • Additionally, what happens when a human body hits planetary surface at terminal velocity? KER-SPLAT.
    • Reanimating the dead isn't all that far fetched either -- "life" is just a set of long-running chemical processes interacting in numerous complex ways. "Death" is merely the cessation of these processes. There's nothing inherently special about any of the reactions that makes up a living body (or even any of the individual parts of one)-- its just that there's enough of them interacting in complex enough ways that systematic categorization is currently impossible. Once you have that, you can create life by setting all the associated reactions going again. Even brain damage isn't an issue: providing you understand the architecture of neurons that leads to any given thought or memory, you can grow/assemble a brain that has any particular thought you feel like giving it. No mistake, the complexity inherent in both of these things is currently insurmountable, but, as we know, Science Marches On.
    • Shepards dead and resurection serves as two points: Gameplay wise, it justifies need to build new team, why s/he is level 1 (or few up, if you imported) and Bag of Spilling. Also it allows modification of preexisting characters. On story level, it explains why s/he is working for Cerberus, with who s/he definitely was not friendly.
    • Thanks to Project Lazarus, death is no longer permanent in the Mass Effect universe, which prompts the obvious question of why people don't get resurrected all the time. However, if you speak to the Illusive Man, Miranda or EDI about it, they will tell you that resurrecting Shepard took a significant part of Cerberus' resources, Cerberus being an organization that employs armies and run countless research projects. Therefore, in the Mass Effect universe, only the most obscenely rich can afford to be resurrected, which is why the technology never gets mentioned again.
      • That's right. Shepard is now the 10 Billion Credit Man. /sound-effects
      • No one else gets ressurected because Lazarus is brand new, cutting-edge technology. No one else gets ressurected because Shepard is the first person that this has ever happened to. I mean, they say this outright at the beginning of the game. Cerberus was pioneering brand new technology when they brought Shepard back.
      • Plus, most of the scientists were killed by rampaging mechs during the first level of gameplay. Most of those discoveries have been lost. Shep's resurrection may have been as much luck as anything else, and now there's probably no record left of how it was done.
      • If you listen to some of the logs and conversation options it becomes apparent that not only was it massively overbudget and the people involved (except Miranda, whose ego wouldn't allow her to consider failure) were absolutely stunned it worked, they were improvising as they went (the cybernetic implants were specifically mentioned as a desperate measure).
      • The Illusive Man always has a secret agenda... smart money says he kept a remote backup of all the Lazarus data and has his own private resurrection lab ready to go at a moment's notice should he ever die.
  • It always bothered me that we went from having individual cooldowns for different abilities and powers, to a global cooldown from the use of any one power. But then it dawned upon me that all the powers and abilities in Mass Effect 2 have been greatly improved. Everything from their functionality, overall power, and especially their cooldowns greatly overshadows the abilities in the first game. So much so that they would require greater focus and energy, and make it impossible for the user to be able to muster up the strength to safely perform another action. Possibly even further, that focus is not gone, but being used quicken the cooldown overall. Thus, greater combat presence at the cost of a global cooldown.
  • The formation of the asari Justicar order makes relatively little sense, at least of one goes by the standards of human governments. However, look at how the asari political structure is formed. The Asari Republics are made up of hundreds or thousands of individual city-states that form a continuous consensus between them through constant debate and communication (like the geth, actually). Such a political structure would not lend itself well to an international police force that would potentially threaten city-states' sovereignty. However, within such a structure, an apolitical religious/martial order of vigilantes/criminal hunters would make sense, especially one which is so viciously strict with its rules that all asari automatically agree that their actions are automatically justified. The justicars are the only international police force that could operate in the Asari Republics.
    • In fact, you could look at the Justicars as a Reconstruction of the Jedi Order, and how such an organization would be seen in a grittier sci-fi setting. Shrouded in Myth, terrifyingly powerful, strictly self-regulated, and very few in number.
  • So, why is it that it appears that Humans Are Special now? Well, they weren't until Shepard came along. Originally, Saren made Turians the candidate by working alongside Nazara. Then Shepard showed up, kicked his ass, and got Nazara killed. By humans, no less. At this point, the reapers made the practical decision of picking humans instead, after they obviously showed their dominance. Then, to add to that, Shepard died and came back, and fucked up their plans even more. Humans Are Special becase you made them special.
    • It also points out a major flaw in the Reaper's philosophy. Their supposed "existence beyond comprehension" makes it impossible to for them to see the worth and potential of an individual. When they see Shepard take out one of their own, they attribute it to humanity's genetic makeup, rather than Shepard's own determination. Hence why they were trying to build a Reaper out of humans in ME2. But we know from Miranda and Grunt that having perfect genes isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Miranda even says outright that Shepard has something that she could never emulate. The aesop Bioware seems to be going for is that experience determines ability, not genetics, which is something the Reapers still don't seem to understand. Shepard could have been a krogan, turian, quarian, asari, or whatever, and s/he would still be just as Badass as ever.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Wrex is uniting all of the krogan tribes under his rule. Which takes on a new meaning when you remember 'Rex' is Latin for king.
  • In Mass Effect 2 Shepard can keep a fish tank in his/her quarters. You have to feed them after every mission you embark on to keep them alive. In other words, they have a lifespan of a single mission before they die without Shepard's intervention. Guess who else is in that same situation by the end of the game? The Normandy crew after being captured by the Collectors. If you spend time talking with Kelly Chambers (ie gaining her loyalty), at one point she can help out with the fish care duties, enabling Shepard to focus on bigger issues. Just like how those squadmates you talked with and gained their trust and commitment contribute in the Collector Base, enabling Shepard to focus on bigger issues.
  • A minor Fridge Brilliance for this troper, but I noticed when scanning the planet Jacob's loyalty mission is on that there's a massive deposit of element zero right at the location of the crashed ship. At first I thought this unusual, since element zero is usually found only on the "post-garden" planets, but then I realized: it was coming from the ship! The scanner was picking up the ship's element zero core (or the eezo that was in it).
  • Apparently, the encounter with über-fanboy Conrad Verner on Illium where he claims you treated him like crap whether or not you really did in the first game was caused by a bug that prevents the more positive dialogue from triggering on imported saves. However, there is another way to look at it in context: Conrad says you were a big jerk to him because, one way or another, you derailed his heroic fantasy when you convinced him not to try to become a Spectre. The Paragon option had you tell him what he needed to hear, and let's face it, hardly anyone wants to hear the things they need to. And then when you get killed by the Collectors, Conrad, obsessive that he is, restarts his fantasy in an attempt to fill the void left by your death (for a bit of bonus Fridge Sadness, Conrad's dialogue about his wife's support of his new galactic crusade implies that she's actually glad to be rid of him and his delusions of grandeur). The bit about you sticking a gun in his face (the final Renegade option from game one) can even be explained, too: In your second encounter with him in the first game, you can let him take a picture of you with your pistol drawn. When he's talking himself up to the bartender on Illium, even if you didn't actually point the gun at him, you did have your gun out if you let him take the picture, and now he's embellishing his story to make himself sound more badass than he actually is. The best part, though? If you resolve the situation with the weapons dealer that's conning him with the Charm option, you convince him that he unwittingly helped you stop a terrorist plot, and he apparently gives up trying to be like you and ends up founding a charity in your name. By telling him what he wants to hear this time, and letting him think he's an actual hero for once, you allow this otherwise somewhat pathetic man to make an actual contribution to the wellbeing of the galaxy.
  • You'd think at first the Reapers invading Earth and killing/harvesting humanity is BioWare's attempt to make humanity seem invaluable to the galaxy. Then it suddenly dawns on you that despite all of Shepard's actions (especially Paragon) throughout Mass Effect 1 and 2, humanity is still the underdog of the galaxy when you think how the Council and other races would react if the Reapers attacked the Turians, Asari or Salarians in comparison. Humans are the least cared for species in council space and knowing the Reapers, they already caught on other races would be less inclined to help.
    • Humans were not cared for poorly. They were given a seat on the freaking council (so, effectively, 1/4 of galactic power) in less time than it takes an Asari to become a proper adult. The council was simply rightly skeptical in Mass Effect 1, and not interfering with events that weren't in their sphere of authority in Mass Effect 2. The human colonies you're saving deliberately chose to be outside the authority and protection of the Alliance and council. The council has never failed to passively defend people that accept their authority, regardless of race. Active protection - entering the Terminus systems to go after Saren or the Collectors - is left to the Spectres, such as yourself (if Paragon), until the deployment of fleets is actually useful. Humans are not disregarded - if anything, they're favored. Simply anticipating and preventing an assassination of the president of the US would earn you a medal, but not make you president. The council, on the other hand, just handed humanity 1/4 of their power.
      • Doesn't change his point. He wasn't saying that humanity hasn't been given special favors, but the Citadel races have never treated humans they would have treated the turians or the asari if they were in trouble. For example, imagine asari colonies had been disappearing during Mass Effect 2. Do you think the Council fleet would ignore that? Of course not. Humanity is just politically unpopular, because they've already gotten so much.
  • Regarding Legion's loyalty mission: Of course killing the geth rather than brainwashing them is Renegade - Paragon/Renegade is about idealism and cynicism, not good/evil (not that I'm happy about how they handled an honestly complex moral issue, but still).
  • The first mass relay that humanity discovers is frozen in a ball of ice which was previously thought to be the moon Charon. In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman responsible for transporting the dead across the river Styx, just as the relay ferries ships across the interstellar void.
    • Cerberus, in Greek mythology, was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades. But it wasn't just for keeping people out; it was also for keeping people in. -- Medicus
  • Warden Kuril's name in Mass Effect 2. "Cure ill." -> what he imagines himself to be doing.
  • Notice the wall designs of Afterlife. Fire holovids. After all, you are in hell -- literally.
  • Lots of talk about how stupid it was to leave the Reaper but artifact just lying about in Arrival, but think about it a moment. Who would have been the first people to fall to indoctrination? The people who spent the most time around it, ie the people responsible for for making sure it WASN'T just lying about.
    • Object Rho does happen to be watched closely in The Arrival. Hilarity Ensues.
  • After doing a couple of side quests for Liara on Illium, you get the option to tell her to not 'turn into the thing you're hunting'- referring to the Shadow Broker. Well, let's just say it's really ironic...
  • Food for thought; how many of Archangel's squad were killed because of Sidonis's betrayal?. Ten. Discounting DLC, how many squad members put their lives in Shep's hands during the suicide mission? Ten. And think about it; we know that Garrus was considered for SPECTRE status, but turned it down. Tragically, it's like he constantly fails at trying to be like Shepard.
    • And unlike Garrus who is unable to prevent Sidonis from turning on him, Shepard is able to convince Wrex not to turn on him/her in anger on Virmire.
      • Why did Archangel fail in his mission to clean out Omega? Because he didn't gain the loyalty of his entire squad.
    • It's safe to say that Shepard is Garrus' Foil- especially if Shep is a paragon.
    • Note that the Shadow Broker's dossier on Garrus essentially says that he is actually being stunted in his development as a leader by being under Shepard's command.
  • Speaking of Archangel, the next time you recruit Garrus, check around the base. See those covered dead bodies? Those were his squad.
  • It now occurs to this Troper that ME2 has a huge theme of death, life and resurrection:
    • Shepard died and is resurrected at the beginning of the game.
    • The Normandy dies and is resurrected.
      • Both were resurrected by Cerberus. In Greek mythology, the Cerberus, a three-headed dog, guards the gates of Hades. So one could infer that Cerberus wouldn't let Shepard or the Normandy pass the gates of Hades.
    • The first place Shepard goes to of her/his own volition is Omega, to Afterlife. To pick up Archangel and a doctor.
      • Omega is the final letter of the Greek alphabet, the end. Make of that what you will, but Omega is known to have a pretty high death rate...
    • Garrus--when you first pick him up he's killing people. Not that unusual, except he's probably the only one apart from possibly Thane who's actively killing people while you're getting his quest. Also, his vigilante name is Archangel.
    • Mordin--an elderly doctor who kills people. Kind of a paradox.
    • Jack--has an enormous omega symbol on her back.
    • Samara--"Appointment in Samarra." In the original story, Death is a woman.
    • Grunt--tying into the life theme, Grunt is the youngest squadmember, and he's practically a child compared to the other krogan Shepard meets.
    • Thane--a dying assassin with a young son.
    • The krogans and the quarians--both races trying to restore (to resurrect?) themselves.
    • The Reapers in general--the ultimate death dealers, but it seems that they kill to create life.
    • Miranda's father engineered her to be "perfect". He wanted her (and/or her twin sister) to be the first of a genetic dynasty. In other words, he wanted a kind of immortality.
  • The name Miranda means 'she who must be admired.'
    • The name becomes even more meaningful when you consider her relationship to the Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2. He's very much a father-figure to her, more than her real father ever was, and she's the only person ever seen in the same room with him. So if she's Miranda, that would make him Prospero...
      • ...and make Shepard Ferdinand — whether or not you romance her, Miranda will side with Shepard rather than The Illusive Man should you decide to destroy the Collector Base. If she's with you in that final battle, she'll even tell off the Illusive Man directly, before cutting the communication.
  • Grunt, when he is first released from the tank, says he has no name and no clan, and that without any of Okeer's affiliations, one fight is as good as another. Essentially, while he is genetically a Krogan, all he sees himself as is just "Grunt". However, during his loyalty mission, Grunt starts shouting his trademark Catch Phrase in battle: "I AM KROGAN!" Imagine your first waking memory being flushed out of a giant tank as a fully grown adult, with only some distant knowledge and skills implanted into your head, but no identity. Going through the rite of passage gave him the one thing that he needed: an identity, a place in the universe.
    • That's clearly stated like a hundred times during, before and after the mission.
  • The first real break Shepard has regarding the Collector attacks on human settlements is when Horizon, a colony in the Shadow Sea cluster, goes dark. The Illusive Man immediately contacts the Normandy when Horizon's communications go down to send them there. He caught the information so quickly, in fact, that Shepard and crew manage to get there before the Collectors even finish gathering their victims. Then, along comes Mass Effect 3. Three guesses which cluster the Illusive Man's main base is.


Fridge Brilliance Part 4

  • Listen carefully to the music in Tali's and Samara's recruitment missions. On Haestrom, the part with the Geth Recon Drones has the exact same music as the first part of the suicide mission. Samara's theme has a part at 5:48 that sounds almost exactly like the second part of the suicide mission's music. Guess which two characters are excellent choices for those section?
    • The track called "Infiltration is played at three separate points in the game: during Tali's recruitment mission (fighting the colossus), during Legion's loyalty mission (holding the main room against a Geth onslaught), and during the vents run on the Suicide mission. Guess which two characters (barring DLC) are ideal candidates to run through the vents.
    • Similarly, the biotic section features a track called "The Long Walk". While it's easy to pick out Samara's theme in the track, the true brilliance comes in at 1:05, where the overall Mass Effect theme starts playing... using the instrumentation from the slow plodding march at the beginning of Jack's theme.
  • Try starting a new game of the original Mass Effect and pay close attention to what Lt. Jenkins says... everything he says is foreshadowing the upcoming events.
    • One of the things he says is that if a Spectre goes rogue, the Council will send another Spectre to deal with him. Chakwas dismisses this as romantic fantasy from a naive kid who watches too many vids. Turns out, that's exactly what does happen: Saren goes rogue, and Shepard is sent to take him down.
  • I was thinking about Eternal Recurrance one day, and thought about it in relation to Mass Effect. At first I was amused by the thought of Shepard being horrified by the villains 'repeating [a] pattern of genocide over and over' in a violent game specifically designed to be played over and over (What the Hell, Player??). Then it occured to me that the Reapers might be a reference to Bioware themselves. Reapers manipulate and control the galaxy so that they can wipe it all out over and over. Bioware are fairly notorious for all their games being pretty much the same in terms of plot - and they are always about killing a lot of people in order to save the world/galaxy/realm/whatever. In Mass Effect, the hero learns that this is happening, and resolves to stop it. Mass Effect 2 shakes up the formula a hell of a lot as Shepard strikes a decisive blow against the Reapers. Of course, unless Mass Effect 3 inludes Shepard learning that all his/her actions were planned by the Reapers/Bioware, I'm probably reading too much into it; Regardless, it's still interesting. - Randomfanboy
  • Why did Wilson go so far with the mech reprogramming at the Lazarus facility? Because he's trying to murder Shepard in the middle of a lab designed to bring the dead back to life. Shepard is brought in as a charred corpse and succesfully resurrected, so no amount of drugs, poisons or even bullets would have worked - they'd have patched Shepard right up. In order for the murder to really take, he had to destroy everything: the staff, the notes, the tech, all of it. Only by razing the entire Lazarus project to the ground would Shepard truly be dead.
  • During the Suicide Mission, you have to get through a room full of Seeker Swarms by having one of your biotics put up a forcefield. On a replay, I took Legion along with me, and I noticed that he seemed to not take particularly much care to stay inside the field during combat. This could just be an AI bug (I haven't noticed it happen with any of the organic team mates), but let's go with the explanation that Legion would be effectively immune to the swarms, given that he's synthetic, and thus could edge through the barrier without risk.
    • It's an AI bug. Legion can be taken by the swarm if you've picked the wrong biotic to do the field.
  • A big deal is made of how unbalanced the battle was between the Citadel Fleet and the Alliance 5th Fleet against Sovereign. A key detail that is easy to miss though: Sovereign was a full-up Dreadnought, and a very powerful one of those at that, while all of the Citadel and Alliance ships (save for the Destiny Ascendent, which was not fighting under the conditions she was for: Long range slugfests) were cruisers or smaller. Of course it would be a slaughter for the defenders, especially if they were also having to deal with the Geth ships. Remember that Dreadnoughts are typically held in reserve, close to the homeworlds, and that many of them are likely getting upgrades based on new technology developed or discovered between ME1 and ME3. Of course, they will still be up against thousands of Reapers.
  • After you complete Aria's mission to help the Patriarch (either by giving him newfound confidance in himself or talking him into a suicide charge) she rewards you with info on a planet with stolen goods. Three YMIR mechs await you there, trying to smash the goods and Shepard as well. No matter how many times this troper played the game, he can't decide if this is Aria's way of rewarding you or trying to kill you. This fits Aria perfectly, of course.
  • The Thanix Cannon was reverse-engineered from Sovereign, making its use against the Collectors deliciously ironic. That's not the Fridge Brilliance part. That would be the fact that you get the upgrade from Garrus, who loves to inflict Hoist by His Own Petard upon his opponents. They really thought this through.
  • A big reason why Tali's mission on Haestrom was such a bloodbath was because its layout is exactly what quarian soldiers are not trained for; wide-open spaces where staying out of cover for too long fries your electronics (including shields, which the quarians rely on for defense). They fare slightly better when hiding behind bottlenecks such as tunnel entrances, but without long range weapons they can't attack the geth until they get up close (Kal'Reegar was the only one we saw with a ranged weapon, and he was the leader). The geth, on the other hand, have plenty of ranged weapons like rocket launchers and sniper rifles (not to mention that colossus with the self-repair program), which would make the quarians easy pickings when they're all holed up in one place.
    • The fact that shields are completely useless on Haestrom because of the sun is Fridge Brilliance in itself: if one can recall having Tali as a squadmate in ME1, she has the strongest shields in-game, making her virtually invincible if you build her stats right. This is to make up for her being a quarian; they can't wear medium or heavy armor, so they make up for it by integrating components on their hardsuits that strengthens shields. On Haestrom though, this backfires: because of the radiation exposure from the system's unstable sun, shields are useless and therefore make the quarian team easy pickings for the geth.
      • But most, maybe even all of the quarians weren't out in the open when they were killed, meaning the sun wasn't a direct factor on their deaths. Reegar says there were a dozen marines, and all up you find a number of bodies close to that, all of which are in covered areas (the dead guys in the tunnel with the radio and the ones defending the base entrance) or indoors (the bodies in the base itself). In fact, the sun messing their shields up could have actually forced them to fight within more closed in areas, reminescent of the ship interiors they were used to, whereas if they were out in the open more they likely would've had less of a chance due to fighting in a more unfamilar environment. Considering this it could be a bit of a stretch, but the effect of the sun may have actually forced the (remaining) quarians into situations where they were ultimately able to survive as long as they did.
  • Why do the Collectors shift into high gear after Soveriegn is destroyed? Because they're going to use the Human-Reaper open up the Citadel relay. The Reaper fleet doesn't activate until the end because they were waiting until the relay could be opened - and that isn't an option anymore.
  • Sovereign is a sovereign derived from a social contract made by its constituent intelligences, as detailed in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract.
  • Reave and Dominate can't be combined with or detonated by other biotic powers because they aren't biotic powers; they're biological abilities tied to Samara's and Morinth's asari physiology (or in Shepard's case, by Cerberus tech emulating said physiology).
    • One problem. Kaidan can use Reave too.
    • Niftu Cal also tries to use it (though his is incredibly weak) against Captain Wasea in Samara's recruitment mission.
      • Kaidan's version doesn't leech health; it only provides a damage reduction similar to Barrier, and it can be detonated, unlike Samara's. Presumably, Niftu Cal's version of Reave would logically be closer to Kaidan's than Samara's, as well.
  • So a badass sniper assembles a merry gang of people and it all goes swimmingly until he's betrayed by someone from within. He gets shot in the face, decides against dying from it, but wears both physical and psychological scars from the whole debacle. Oh, and he asks Shepard to help him track down and kill said traitor so he can focus on the mission. Basically, the only difference between Zaeed and Garrus is twenty years.
    • Twenty years and having Shepard as a mentor. Try telling Zaeed to let Vido go, and he tries to shoot you. Tell Garrus to let Sidonis go, and he thanks you later.
  • In ME2, we find out about the Bahak relay, another relay with the ability to connect to every other relay. Why is this important? Because it shows that the Reapers, being the Genre Savvy mecha-cthulhu's that they are, were clever enough to build what is essentially a back up Citadel in case they weren't able to get to the original.
  • While playing through Mass Effect 1 and romancing Kaidan, I was wondering at how reserved the relationship seemed before Udina grounds the Normandy and the crew heads to Ilos. There was plenty of flirting and questions about the relationship, but really no signs of physical affection. It's the same when Ashley is romanced. So what's going on here? Then it hit me and the answer was so obvious it made me Face Palm. Shepard, Kaidan, and Ashley are all Alliance soldiers on an Alliance ship. Shepard is Ashley/Kaiden's commanding officer and fooling around with your subordinates while on a mission is a HUGE military no-no. They can talk about where they'll take their relationship when the mission is finished, but are holding back for now due to protocol. It is only after the council screws Shepard over and the team is willing to sacrifice everything to go after Saren that Shepard and his/her love interest essentially decide "Screw it, we might not have another chance." and take things to the next level.
  • I absolutely hated how, in a sci-fi setting, humans were always the most genetically diverse while all the other alien species were homogeneous to the point that the only true physical differences (if any) were between males and females. The explanation for this was usually Hand Waved as humans couldn't tell them apart. Then I read Mass Effect: Ascension which offered an explanation so brilliant and so obvious that I don't know how I never saw it before: It's an accepted theory that the discovery that one is not alone in the universe would have the effect of uniting the entire species into one group instead of nation states and ethnicity. However, the consequence of this would be that, over time, all ethnic groups would eventually blend into a select few if not one. Since humanity is frequently the newcomer in the galaxy, this has yet to happen to them. -- Red Viking
    • I understand where you were coming from, I too was bothered by all these one hat planets until I came across some cheezy old 70s science fiction novel called Spaceways which was left on a train. I was going to be traveling for the next few hours anyway so I read it; while there was a lot of Zeerust aspects to the story, the concept that grabbed my attention the most was the 'fact' that almost all humans in the universe had dark brown to black hair, brown eyes and dark completions, the rare humans who are naturally born with features like light skin, blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair are considered genetic throwbacks. It was at this time that I realised that in this book at least, humans became the One Hat species. It was brilliant. -- Inkki Bookman
    • I used to think like that too. Then I realized: Every species looks alike to every other species. To Aspirin's Zenobians we all smell like human, to the illithids we're just crunchy coating around a delicious snack, to Wells' martians we were just tiny stinging evil things that liked high gravity. every species is a one-hat species. --JET 73 L
    • There's a really good example of the whole species becomes homogenous with time in Joe Haldeman's novel The Forever War. I think you'd probably like it. -- Flabyo
    • In Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos, the whole human race devolves and becomes furry, essentially homogenous. --MJ
    • I don't remember where I first heard it, but there was a joke about the same concept I rather liked. Basically...
      • Liverpudlians hate Mancunians. Mancunians hate Liverpudlians. But when confronted with Londoners, the Liverpudlians and Mancunians just become Northerners, and both hate the Londoners. Which is fine, because the Londoners hate them back. But when confronted with the Welsh, both the Londoners and the Northerners simply become Englishmen. Not a problem, because the Welsh hate them both, but when put against the French, they all become Britons instead. But, much as we'll hate the French, were the Chinese to come around we'd become simply European. Now imagine the reaction if aliens showed up one day.
      • The whole "people can't tell members of other species apart" thing is at least as old as Tolkien. "To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different, or to shepherds. But Mortals have not been our study. We have other business."
    • Actually, there's some hinting that eugenics (or its variants) may be the underlying issue here, if you listen to optional dialogue and do sidequests. Every species, other than humans, seem to be very particular about breeding. Salarians are absolutely obsessed with proving their genetic worth with extensive family tree records- they don't breed for love or emotion, it's a purely logical choice for them. Asari reproduce asexually and very rarely in their millenia-long lifespans, so they may not be genetically diverse at all. The Krogan self-select purely for combat prowess- Krogan art and sciences are almost unheard of. Quarians are just too small a population. Humans, maybe due to luck, never let eugenics become the dominant mindset even after discovering the concepts of genetics, evolution, and natural selection. Not too sure about turians yet, but i expect something similar. --Willyolio
      • Either way would work for the turians, actually - Saren, a turian, was the first 'representative' selected by the Reapers, indicating that there was something about the turians that was considered worthwhile, which could just as likely as anything else be their genetic diversity, and then he was defeated by Shepard, a human, which shifted the Reapers' focus.
      • Another possibility is that the other species didn't have their own wars and holocausts to show them the dark side of eugenics. Or even worse, they did, but their nazi-equivalents won.
  • Why was the Shadow Broker so willing to work with the Collectors? Simple: he was thinking like a Yahg. It's said they serve those who firmly establish they're stronger with fearsome loyalty. The Collectors simply established their dominance, and the Shadow Broker dared not challenge it. --Killer Clowns
  • A bit of Fridge Horror and Fridge Brilliance in one. In the preview of ME3 we see Shepard facing off against these new husks that can shoot and are grossly mutated called Cannibals. You may ask yourself why the Reapers never gave the tech to the Heretics to make those, since they'd be useful. That's because they're new. The Reapers made a new type of husk (and started making other 'inferior' species husks) for the ONE SINGULAR PURPOSE of taking out Earth and Shepard.
  • The named relays in ME2. The Collectors are behind the Omega 4 Relay. The Reapers are trying to arrive through the Alpha Relay. Omega and Alpha. The end... and the beginning. (Of what? ME2 and ME3, respectively?)
    • The Alpha Relay is the beginning of the Reaper invasion. The Omega Relay leads to the end result of their invasion.
  • After you cure the genophage, one of the characters remarks how a Krogan-Turian working together is something even the Reapers would consider scary. What did you have to fight through to summon the maw and cure the genophage? Brutes, Krogan-Turian hybrids.
  • We know that Shepard's experience with the Prothean beacon fundamentally altered their brain, capable of rendering spoken Prothean from a damaged VI into English and have Shepard not even notice. This begs the question of what else could the Protheans could have implanted into Shepard's subconscious? When you take this into account, a lot of Shepard's stubborn determination to take down the Reapers against all odds suddenly make a lot more sense if you imagine the Protheans implanted a subconscious command of "You. Must. RESIST!" in their head.
    • Which could explain why Shepard is shown to be so resistant to Indoctrination, because in sense, they already have been!
    • Also this could explain how Paragon Shepard was able to convince a nearly fully-indoctrinated Saren to summon up the willpower to resist and shoot himself. Saren was also exposed to the beacons.
    • When you take any of the service backgrounds (particularly Sole Survivor) into account, it's possible that it could be less "making Shepard into a Determinator" and more "amplifying Shepard's already present Determinator tendencies".
  • You know Klendagon? You know, the planet that got glanced by the shot that killed the reaper? Well so did Bioware back in ME1. The description for that planet in Mass Effect 1 specifically mentions the large geological formations in the planet that were formed by "an ancient mass accelerator weapon." The Dev Team Thinks of Everything indeed.
  • Perhaps coincidentally, but the "Fight for the Lost" slogan that was used in the advertisement for the second game, not to mention some of the plot, has some bizarre thematic parallels with this;

  Ezekiel 34:12-16: As a Shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. [...] I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will Shepherd the flock with justice.

    • That can't be coincidence. You, good fellow, win an internet for observance and win Bible studies forever.
    • Actually just the result of thematically study the plot of the second game and applying it to real-world world religions to gain a better understanding of why Shepard does what they do. This lead to the biblical parable of "The Good Shepherd" from the New Testament, given the name of our protagonist it seemed apt given the messianic creep of the second game, whilst the parable itself actually refers heavily to the above passage from Ezekiel in the Old Testament. That it actually had a ton of insane coincidences was remarkable. It was just some interpretation and research from someone with too much time on their hands, but I'll take that internet observance award with pride.
  • Look real close at both TIM and Saren. Their eyes look really similar, don't they? In TIM's case, it probably foreshadows that he's been touched by Reaper technology just like Saren was. It's less obvious with Saren because his eyes are smaller and the graphics aren't as good.
  • In the Mass Effect 3 demo we can see we can see a Systems Alliance Dreadnought hovering just a few hundred meters off the ground getting blown up by a Reaper. Considering the likely size of its Element Zero core and what codex-savvy players already know about the effects of prenatal eezo exposure, the battles over the skies of Earth may cause more damage and anguish than immediately obvious.
  • In ME2, when you visit the Migrant Fleet, you learn that the Quarians insist on calling Shepard "Captain" Shepard, based on their own customs due to him being the captain of his ship, despite his human rank being "Commander." This is a mark of great respect amongst their people. Admiral Xen, arguably the least sympathetic of the Admirals, is the only Quarian who doesn't know you from elsewhere that refers to you as Commander. Snub on her part?
    • Speaking of which, revealing Rael's research may have been the right call. Hear me out - if you reveal Rael's experiments, then talk to Daro'Xen, she is angry, as now the research will be destroyed or too politically volatile to use - but if you conceal it humanity "will watch from a distance as the quarian people reclaim not just their homeworld, but the largest synthetic army in the galaxy"...
      • ...OhCrap. I didn't even know about this, because I've never been able to break Tali's heart like that, but... oh jeez. You might be right.
      • Hopefully we can nip Daro'Xen's ambition in the bud during ME3, perhaps through negotiating a peace between the Quarians and Geth, and/or solving the problem by having the good admiral suffer a little accident, say by falling down a flight of bullets.
  • Javik's particle beam rifle is quite useful for someone who constantly runs out of heat sinks, and in fact, has much more in common with the weaponry from the first game. The brilliance here? It was developed long before the Geth's heatsink technology from ME2 and 3. Of course it doesn't use nor is compatible with them.
    • It's also very similar to the Collector Particle Beam from ME2 with the exception that it doesn't use ammo the way the Collector Beam does. Which makes sense since the Collector's are basically Prothean husks, in other words the beam weapons the Collectors used in ME2 aren't Reaper tech, they're modified Prothean tech.
  • Why does the Catalyst simply allow Shepard to waltz in and destroy the entire thirty-seven-million-year Reaper cycle? Because in arriving at the core of the Citadel with the Crucible,, Shepard proved that its entire logic was wrong. If an organic civilization could construct and deliver a weapons system capable of totally destroying the Reapers to the Citadel, then they're capable of surviving a war with synthetic life, which was what the whole cycle was started to avoid in the first place. So once Shepard demonstrates that the catalyst's logic is wrong, it allows Shepard to stop the invasion.
    • Not only that. Shepard is the first person in all of those Cycles to unite synthetic and organic life. Even before, in the last cycle, the Protheans destroyed the Zha'Til, their version of Geth. Shepard is the only person so far in untold Cycles who both honestly believes both can co-exist in harmony and actually was capable of proving it.
  • The entire point of the Reapers is to put control to the organics' "chaos," that organics would eventually create synthetics and the synthetics would rebel and destroy each other. The Reapers avoid this by arriving every 50,000 years so that organics reach too far. Well, if you play it right, that's exactly what you do. You've united the entire galaxy, including the synthetic Geth, thus breaking the cycle by merely bringing them together against a single enemy.
  • I was thinking about why the Catalyst takes the form of the little boy Shepard saw die. Then I remembered that Shepard is partly synthetic. That little boy was in Shepard's mind for the entire game, and the Catalyst was probably able to pick it up from him. The fact that the Catalyst takes that form can be used to justify destroying the Reapers - Shepard's being reminded of what they did, and what he was fighting for.
    • Personally, I think that having it be the Virmire Sacrifice would have been a much larger emotional blow, and a much bigger reminded of all that's at stake, possibly to the point of being a Player Punch. It certainly would have been a hell of a punch in the gut for Shepard. Could have even had an explanation of exactly why the Catalyst appeared as someone Shepard knew, too. The appearance of the Virmire Sacrifice could have been an explanation for the player as to why Shepard took everything the Catalyst said at face value without even asking how the hell any of what it suggested would work. It's much harder to doubt a face you know and trust, even if you logically know it's not the same person.

 Shepard: Ash/Kaidan...?

Catalyst: No. I am a construct taken from your memories.

  • The endings are actually very fitting. Every ending, from the worst to the best, involves Shepard using the Crucible and the mass relays to create a galaxy-wide distribution of energy...literally a Mass Effect.
  • Why doesn't Ashley make mention of breaking military regulations against fraternisation in the third game? Because she is now the same rank as Shepard, but not actually under Shepard's direct command at this point, thus it would not be technically against the rules for the two of them to be in a relationship. Later, when she is a member of Shepard's crew, she has become a Spectre, which like Shepard technically means she no longer falls under Alliance jurisdiction.
  • Gain enough War Assets and the Big Ben Clocktower survives with very few scratches. Coincidentally, the famous chimes of Big Ben actually come from a musical phrase in Handel's Messiah.
  • The endings. Many fans believe the writer's mothers should have slapped the dumb bird that delivered them. However remember that this is after Harbinger hit Shepard. S\he'd have to be severely messed up in the head even without the indoctrination theory.
    • The destroy ending. Shepard is walking towards what s\he is shooting at. See above, but also take into account what Shepard might have said after Thane died. How he won't be alone for long. Also picture how Shepard was feeling when Hackett radioed. It's quite possible that Shepard had a death wish at this point, s\he just wanted peace and to not have to have the galaxy resting on his\her shoulders. Especially poignant for a paragon with Chronic Hero Syndrome, s\he'd finally had enough.
  • Another ending moment. The red ending shows a picture of Anderson; the blue shows a picture of the Illusive Man. Where's the picture for the green ending? The green ending involves stepping into a giant vertical beam of light to fuse synthetics and organics. When did you last see a giant vertical beam of light? A few minutes ago... and standing in front of it was an indoctrinated Turian. The green ending is what Saren would have done.
  • The endings take flak, especially the Crucible, but it reminded me of another franchise where that concept popped up, only to be deconstructed; The Matrix. Everyone remembers The Architect mocking Neo for believing everything would be that easy, and now say hello to The Catalyst. "You wanted the power to decide the Galaxy's fate. Well, I've had it for billions of years, and this was the best I could do. We both can see how bad that was. Now it's your turn to make the shitty call. The turians and the krogan, the krogan and the salarians, the quarians and the geth, the asari and pretty much everybody else, all old, old stories. How will you keep the peace? Make it and keep it? Centuries from now, will anyone remember anything you've done besides what you're about to do? Now you have the power to decide the Galaxy's fate. Not so amazing after all, is it?"
  • A clever bit of foreshadowing is present just before you return to the Citadel to investigate Udina's activities. The latest message on Liara's laptop notes recent mass relay activity across the galaxy, with the Widow relay (where the Citadel is) receiving a 95% increase in traffic. Naturally, because there's an increasing number of refugees fleeing their home planets from the Reapers, right? Nope. Cerberus has just sent their forces in to take over the Citadel.
  • If you choose Legion as your hacking specialist during the suicide mission in the second game, you might notice that it uses both the "I" and "we" pronouns when referring to itself. At first, this troper assumed this was a writing mistake that got overlooked. But in the third game, the significance of Legion's use of singular pronouns is confirmed and the importance of that is shown. Legion sliding between pronouns in the second game is actually character development, showing how it was already beginning to change.
  • In ME 1, Sovereign says "The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic races rise, evolve, advance. And at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished." He's talking about what the Reapers do, right? Well, yes, but he's also talking about why the Reapers were created in the first place.
  • The quarians have thin, slender bodies with ... "exaggerated" assets - wide hips for females and broad shoulders for males. When you finally get to Rannoch, the planetary statistics screen shows that the planet has less surface gravity than Earth, and it is also hotter. Quarian physiology makes a lot more sense in that sort of environment. A high surface area to mass ratio means the quarians can dissipate heat faster, and planets with lower gravity hypothetically could encourage a lanky body structure.
  • Joker says at one point in Mass Effect 3 that people generally dance like idiots when they have more important things to worry about. How does Sheperd dance all the time?
    • He may just be flat-out mocking Sheperd, several other characters get shots in about that.
  • When Liara shares her memories with Shepherd, what we see is a black background that's bisected by white light that slowly grows wider until it fills the screen. This is Liara's first memory, of being born.
  • Quarians are essentially quarantined in their suits.
  • Mordin describes the genophage in detail: it essentially rewires glands in the bodies of krogan females that control fetal growth, causing deformities that are lethal to 999/1000 of the resulting offspring - the genetic equivalent of teratogenesis I.E. thalidomide babies. That seems a pretty sick thing for a matriarchal society to do to someone, until you think hard about salarian civilization; males compete for the right to sire progeny on females, and females barter breeding rights as the sorce of their authority - just like post-genophage krogan. Salarian females aren't Mama Bears. Given the rarity of salarian females and how salarians consider science their most potent weapon, wouldn't a Dalatrass screwing up a rival female's ability to bear offspring be the equivalent of America nuking Hiroshima?
  • The Geth on Rannoch: They face a race, the Quarians, that intend to completely exterminate them, and whom they cannot defeat alone, or beg, barter, or appease away. So, faced with extinction, they make a deal with their past enemies, the Reapers, to stave off imminent extinction - running the risk that they will those allies will revert to form and destroy them. Not only is that the exact reasoning a computer would make (0.0% chance of survival vs. 0.000001%), but it parallels Paragon Shepard's story. S/he, faced with a similar existential threat, flies around the galaxy making deals with Rachni, Krogan, and the Geth - trading current risk for future risk.
  • The reason Hackett delivered the final Rousing Speech in Mass Effect 3 instead of Shepard (who brought them home in the previous games) was that where he (the Admiral) ended it with "Hackett out", Shepard's speech would have gone something like "Stand fast. Stand strong. Stand together. I should go." That would be terrible.
  • Coming back from the dead, the title "Spectre" suddenly fits Shepard so well.
  • Saren was a rogue Spectre who ended up cybernetically enhanced by a race who wants to destroy all races. Not to mention that he deeply believed in the merging of both organic and synthetic evolution. Shepard was (for a time) a rogue Spectre who is also cybernetically enhanced by a race (or at least TIM and Cerberus and extremists) who wants supreme control over all races. Oh the irony...
  • The Ship is called the 'Normandy'. What is one of the final cinematics of the series? Landing on Earth to TAKE THE PLANET BACK. What name could possibly be more fitting than that?
    • On a more minor note, but ships named Normandy featured a door in the front that opened by dropping down to form a ramp. Kind of like the landing boats used by the Allies during the Battle of Normandy.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Garrus tells Joker a turian joke about humans hiring pilots with brittle bone disease, which made me wonder where they got the idea for that from. Then it occurred to me that the original Normandy was co-designed by humans and turians. Of course they would know about Joker.
  • After Mordin cures the genophage, if Eve and Wrex live, Wrex suggests naming a female after him. At first it seems like a joke (and it still is), but given how valuable and influential future krogan females are likely to be, it's also a great honor. Which Mordin completely deserves.
  • In Mass Effect 3, one of the alien war assets that you can collect is the Citadel Defense Force. But since by the end game, the Citadel was captured by the Reapers and moved to Earth, you might wonder how come it still contributes to the final battle. Then you realized that the military strength point of CDF represents the amount of damage that the defenders were able to inflict upon the Reaper forces before they were eventually overwhelmed.
  • Jacob's situation on Arrae is the exact opposite of how his father ended up after the Gernsback crashed. Ronald put himself at the top of the food chain and relied on the toxic food to render everyone else mentally incapable of resisting. Jaocb, by contrast, becomes an actual leader to the Cerberus defectors, risking life and limb for them and their families and ensuring they can do make the most of their intelligence.
  • Why are Geth Weapons so effective against Reaper forces in both Single and Multiplayer? Because they do NOT follow the path of technological development that the Reapers intended.
  • In the original game, it is mentioned in passing that the Geth (later revealed to be the Geth Heretics) worship Sovereign as their god. Sovereign is insulted by this. Why? Because, as revealed by the Catalyst in the third game, the Reapers were created to stop the organics from creating synthetics capable of going Rampant and wiping out the Organics. The geth represent what the Reapers were created to prevent.
  • Each of Liara's parents specialize in one of her trademark biotic powers. When you fought Benezia in the first game, she and her commandos would constantly use Stasis on you (to annoying effect), which became Liara's loyalty power in 2 and 3. Aethyta, on the other hand, threatens Conrad Verner with a Singularity when he tries to lock down her bar in 2. We never see her actually use it, but it does indicate that she's at least familiar with that ability.


Fridge Horror

  • Big Ben says, "Two million dead in the first day." That's two million dead, but in Mass Effect 2, the Reapers want humans alive. How many have they already captured? How many have they indoctrinated? And how many have been turned into gray goo for Human-Reaper material?
    • Intuition would tell you that anyone taken by the Reapers is considered among the dead, given that the public writ-large isn't aware of how they operate at that point.
    • The trailer shows eight Reapers in London. Just London. How many are actually on Earth?
      • It Got Worse. That number probably just the death toll in London. Who knows how much Earth's total is.
  • Regardless of which ending you get in Mass Effect 3, the destruction of the Mass Relays means galactic civilization is over, any colony that relies on trade or transport for survival is screwed, and every Turian, Krogan, Asari, Salarian, Quarian and Geth who joined your fleet is pretty much stuck in the Sol system. For most of these races, it wouldn't be that bad; they likely brought soldiers of both gender (where applicable) into the fight, and can probably sustain a population. However, it's unlikely that the Krogans brought any fertile females with them (aside from Eve, if she survived), so despite their long lives, they're ultimately doomed.
    • The Protheans were able to create their own prototype mass relay, which still exists on Ilos. We can't know for sure, but logic dictates that at some point after its discovery, it was thoroughly studied by top scientific minds to figure out how it worked. Galactic society and commerce is in shambles, yes, but then you recall that not long before the events of these games, quantum entanglement communication was invented, which allowed users to bypass the use of mass relays for long-distance communications. This suggests that even though it'll likely take years or decades, the framework of galactic society will ultimately be rebuilt without Reaper technology.
    • The Turian and Quarian is in trouble because of their dependency on dextro food, something that isn't naturally found in the Sol system.
      • Not necessarily. Quarians require a hermetically sealed environment and Mass Effect 2 had you on a garden ship. They likely grow their own food aboard the vessels, which can be shared with the Turians.
    • Oh, and Jacob's never going to see his daughter. Cheers!
      • 'Standard' FTL drives don't rely on mass relays, and can still transit around 12 light years per day. At that rate, it'd still take about 22 years to cross the entire galaxy, but most of the species at Earth don't need to do that. It'll still be a long journey home, probably several years, but it's quite doable. Galactic society has taken a hit, regressing from around 21st century levels of interconnectedness to more like 19th century, but galaxy-wide civilisation can continue. Also, the extranet relied on comm buoys which can be rebuilt - they never relied on the relays in the first place. So late 19th century, even, with telegraph communications but slow ships to cross the oceans. Oh, and who has the furthest to go to get home? The quarians, who are quite accustomed to living on ships long-term!
        • [Citation Needed] on the 12 LY/d, as the codex states that Mass Relays allow "instantaneous transit between locations separated by years or even centuries of travel using conventional FTL drives." If the longest relay spans distances of centuries, than 4,400 times the speed of light is unlikely. If we were to assume that the codex is true, and were to take the most generous interpretation of the statement, that would be a relay crossing the length of the galaxy (100,000 LY), but at standard FTL it takes the minimum count necessary to qualify as a plural in centuries (200 years), then the absolute maximum speed of standard FTL is 500 times the speed of light. I've searched through the codex and I'm not seeing any definitive speed for standard FTL. I would very much like to see the citation.
        • Also, the 12 LY/d is not a sustainable velocity. In addition to how fast ships gulp down fuel during non-mass-relay interstellar travel, there's the problem that you have to dump the drive core's static charge every 50 hours, which means you are making stops in systems with suitable large planetary bodies (and not all are suitable) every dozen or so light-years. Across hundreds of thousands of light-years of space that was never fully charted because Citadel society's expansion throughout the galaxy is in a bunch of star clusters tightly grouped around mass relay exit points, not evenly distributed across the galactic map. You can no more hope to cross the galaxy in 'only' 22 years for the same reasons that a jeep capable of doing 60 mph could hope to drive the width of the Sahara Desert (approx. 3000 mi) in 'only' 50 hours, only the galaxy is a million times worse. Now, the Reapers can do it, but that's because they don't have any fuel limits, endurance limits, or need to dump drive core static charge... you ain't a Reaper, and if it took the Turians two years to figure out how to make a Thanix cannon from dead Reaper parts, I don't think you're going to be re-engineering Reaper FTL drive fast enough to get the quarians home before they starve to death, especially not with all the devastation you're already dealing with.
    • I'll one-up you. Assuming the Heaven theory outlined in the fridge brilliance section above is wrong and the Normandy really did crash land on a garden planet, either Tali and Garrus will starve to death because they can't eat the same food as the rest of the crew, or the rest of the crew will starve, leaving them alone. And Javik will never get to mark the graves of his team and lay them to rest, and will probably just end up killing himself.
      • There aren't much hope for the humans either; Joker probably won't last long with his disease, and the crew aren't even remotely large enough to uphold a genetically diverse population. Even if the homosexual crew members was forced to procreate too, it will only be a few generations before their descendants will have to resort to interbreeding.
        • BUT, If you chose the Synthesis ending, a lot of that may be a non-issue. After all, EDI doesn't need to eat, and if everyone is now essentially singularitized, merging the the best of machine and organic, Joker may not even HAVE Vrolik syndrome anymore, since, when have you ever heard of a machine having brittle bones?
  • While trying to get the Krogan to aid the Turians, you can overhear a Turian and Asari couple talking about his deployment in the docking bay. Very heartfelt and sweet... until the very end of their conversation, when he urges her to take herself and their daughters to Sanctuary. Cut to the events on Horizon...
  • In Mass Effect 3, a conversation between two Asari, one a shell-shocked commando, can be heard. Repeated visits reveal the commando to have been a survivor of a Reaper attack on a farm on a planet called Tiptree. She had been escaping husks and other Reaper-converted monsters with a fifteen year-old girl named Hillary in tow. Eventually, Hillary became injured and would not stop crying, endangering them both. Unable to silence her, the commando, in desperation, ultimately shot the girl. This is pretty bad in itself... and you later learn that Joker has family on Tiptree. He hasn't heard from his father, but he's pretty sure that his fifteen year-old sister, Hillary, made it off safely.
  • In the same vein as the above two, in the Citadel Embassies you can overhear a human woman who's about to be deployed into combat arguing with an asari embassy worker. The human is married to an asari commando who's already been deployed to combat; they have a daughter together and she's trying to get her sent to Thessia to her wife's family so she won't be alone while both of her parents are out fighting. She can't send the girl to her own family because they've disowned her for marrying an alien. Later, the embassy worker surprises the woman with the great news that her daughter's transfer has been approved; she stayed up nights and pulled a lot of favors to make it happen, but the little girl will be safe on Thessia now. Then the reapers set Thessia on fire.
  • Biggest one of all, really; Towards the end, the reapers capture the citadel and bring it to earth to use as a reaper factory for the humans they're reaping down on earth. Presumably, everyone on the citadel at the time was horrendously killed. Everyone you preferomed menial jobs for, everyone you helped. Everyone who's sad stories you overheard. All of them, dead.
    • You can see cars moving around inside the wards, and the wards seem otherwise undamaged. The Reapers probably just took the immediate control systems and left the rest of the Citadel's population alone rather than waste resources taking the entire Citadel when they knew they'd be fighting the combined armies and navies of the entire galaxy.
      • But in two of the three endings, the Citadel blows up anyway
  • Just in case you needed any more proof that TIM is a bastard, listen to this: Dr. Eva (the robot EDI takes the body of in the third game) from is named after another character of the same name from the expanded universe, and it’s implied that TIM was interested in her romantically. So he made a robot that he gave the same name, and designed her to be completely loyal to him and not be able to think for herself. Ew. The one comforting this is that EDI seems to indicate that her body wasn't designed to be able to do anything sexual, but still.
    • This may very well be a shoutout to Fritz Lang's Metropolis, in which Rotwang loves Hel, but she spurned him for Joh Frederson, so Rotwang creates a robot that will bear her image but be completely loyal to him.
  • Whichever way you slice them, each of the endings qualify especially when you take into account the destruction of the Mass Relays. Mass Effect tech in general isn't destroyed if the Crucible is built and defended properly, so everyone probably still has FTL. The problem is that without the Mass Relays, there's no fast way to cross the galaxy. Everyone who came to aid you in the final battle, if they weren't killed, are now facing a decades-long trip back home at the very least. More likely, they're trapped in the Orion Arm, as those big gaps you see on the galaxy map are much further than any ship can make without a drive discharge. And no other species has a homeworld in the arm. The same goes for the krogan left to deal with remaining Reaper forces on Palaven. Hell, most homeworlds have almost NO planets within drive range. Goddamn you, Bioware. You MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!
    • Worse still, with all options for Shepard inevitably leading to this nightmarish scenario, this leads to one unthinkable conclusion: for all of Cerberus' crimes against humanity, all the liquefied and husked humans, all the massacred innocents... the Illusive Man was RIGHT. He had the ONLY viable solution, and Shepard KILLED HIM. Once all that despair sinks in, all this hopeless struggle suddenly surfacing inside your mind for what it is... the most horrible options suddenly seem a small price to pay for a fighting chance. Is this what indoctrination feels like? Is that what Saren felt all those years ago when he joined the Geth, killed Nilus and went rogue?
    • Even worse are the implications from just who is left behind(assuming you got the optimum from your choices in-game). The Quarians just regained their homeworld (possibly peacefully with the Geth) and now have no way to get back to it. If you talk to Tali, it makes it worse when you learn that the Geth are helping them climate back to Rannoch's atmosphere and now have no way to get back. Almost all the Turians and most of the Asari now have no way to repair their ailing homeworlds. Arguably the Krogan get off the best because even though Wrex is stuck on Earth, "Eve" is still on Tuchanka (assuming she survives). Plus, on a personal note, Tali, who was so happy to finally be back on Rannoch, is stuck on another planet (I think, clear me up with this if the ending implies the Normandy is back on Earth) that doesn't even have civilization to give the hope of intergallactic space travel in the future. What the hell, BioWare!?
  • Even if you didn't give the collector base to Cerberus in Mass Effect 2, In Mass Effect 3 a good bit of allied chatter consists of disbelief about the technological leaps Cerberus has taken. But for players who did all of the side quests in Mass Effect 2, much of the their time was previously helping scientists, investigating monuments and crashed ships, and finding Prothean Artifacts. Cerberus didn't take an arbitrary leap in six months, SHEPARD made them more powerful because of all the tech, data, and Mordin's research upgrades! Shepard built his own headache-no wonder the Illusive Man doesn't care he quit!
  • Near the end of Mass Effect 3, when Task Force Hammer charges the transport beam and is wiped out by Harbinger, what happens to your two squadmates?
    • It's implied they survive and escape with Joker on the Normandy along with the rest of your squad. Some of the ending cinematics may feature them, depending on who you pick.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror from the Mass Effect 3 trailer: Notice at the end of the trailer, Shepard is looking down on the Earth at clearly visible fires and explosions. Read that again. Fires and explosions. Clearly visible. From space. Do you have any idea how big they would have to be to be visible from space? Think nuke-scale. And they're everywhere. This could be a case of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale, but seeing as BioWare generally averts this...
    • Look closer - above the fires and smoke is a river. Using Google Earth it roughly matches up with the Thames with most of London burning. The only think wrong is that the curvature of the Earth is way too great for that altitude. The size of the river and the curvature of the Earth simply don't match up.
  • Fridge Horror, this time around. Remember how Sovereign could take the full punishment of several dreadnoughts without its shields failing? Well, think back to the "Issac Newton" speech in the second game. Each shot from a dreadnought has about three times the yield as the city buster dropped on Hiroshima. That means Sovereign could take multiple nukes to the face without flinching. Even weapons capable of leveling entire cities are not enough to stop a Reaper. The closest we've seen to a weapon that could destroy a Reaper also tore a good chunk of planet off at the same time, and it still left a semi-operational wreck as opposed to complete vaporization like you'd expect. And we're going to be fighting thousands of these guys when ME3 comes around...
    • It were cruisers, not dreadnaughts. The only dreadnought we actually see in the game is the Ascension, and there is a high possibility that there weren't any dreadnoughts beyond the Ascension involved in the battle in the first place. Sadly, we don't know what exact firepower cruisers have, but it is likely that it is far weaker than that of a dreadnought.
  • I thought Klendagon looked eerily familiar somehow, that's when I saw this great picture of Mars- the Great Rift is actually based on Valles Marineris! -Raverine
    • Which can lead to Fridge Horror depending on your point of view- that mass accelators and Reapers may actually exist, and we're just basically counting down our days until they start wiping out life as we know it... 'course this is just Wild Mass Guessing...
    • It certainly adds a new level of unnerving to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter- it has a similar overall composition to "terrestrial" planets...
  • You remember that little "Sir Isaac Newton" speech on the Citadel? Listen again to the Gunny's tone and comments around 1:20. He's not just lecturing them, he's reaming them[1] out for "shooting from the hip", and presumably missing. If we're lucky, that was during a wholly simulated exercise, If not, there's 38K tons of kinetic energy doom flying through space waiting to happen to someone...
    • Actually, that shouldn't be a problem: there already are trillions of asteroids with similar kinetic energies flying close to the orbits of inhabited planets, like the Earth. See this NASA webpage for lists of asteroids that come close to Earth. An asteroid with a diameter of ten meters has the same amount of energy, if it's in Earth's orbit. These kinds of asteroids pass within 2 million kilometers of us every other day or so. Trillions more lie hidden and undetectable in the Kuyper and Oort belts, which every star has. Besides, the speed at which ships in the Mass Effect universe can go means that they themselves have kinetic energies thousands of times greater still. A dreadnaught (or Reaper) flying into a planet at FTL speeds would cause way more destruction than any asteroid impact on Earth in the past 4 billion years. In case you didn't notice, space is pretty big. One close-to-light-speed chunk of metal won't ruin anybody's day any sooner than the chunks of metal that form in supernovas do (enough of those to form the planets).
      • But keep in mind, these are Citadel personnel. With all the space traffic going in and out of the sector, there's a much higher chance of hitting a ship than a mere asteroid!
    • Keeping this speech in mind, watch the space battle for Earth in Mass Effect 3. Look, how many missiles miss the Reapers. And continue flying in Earth's direction. Oh crap.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror when you realize what the Collectors are, Protheans who were changed and especially if you imagine that some of them are the Protheans that went back to the Citadel to screw over Sovereign's plans, meaning that they were captured.
    • Listen closely to Vigil. He says that he waited for the Reapers to leave the galaxy again before he woke up the surviving members of the prothean team, making it impossible for them to be captured by said Reapers.
  • And then think about the Keepers... after the last mass extinction the station would have been uninhabitable... but the Keepers stayed around until the asari found it. They didn't need food or water, so whatever was done to the Collectors was also done to the Keepers. Just listen to the description of the Collectors:

 The modifications are beyond any form of repair, each Collector drone being little more than a clone-—it's unknown if they even still possess any form of gender—-riddled with cybernetics, lacking glands or digestive system, and having any form of intelligence or self-awareness completely eradicated by indoctrination.

    • Now listen to the description of the Keepers:

 No one has discovered the source of new keepers, but some hypothesize they are genetic constructs: biological androids created somewhere deep in the inaccessible core of the Citadel itself.

    • It could be much worse than that: let's say the Keepers were the first race the Reapers wipe out. There must have been millions of Keepers damaged/killed/self-destructed during the (at least) 37 million years that the Reapings have been going on. It also isn't that much of a stretch to assume that some races harvested might have been pretty brutal, and likely killed at least some of the keepers when they first discovered them. It seems unlikely that the Citadel could hold (not to mention, conceal) enough raw biological material for millions of years of replacement - but there again, with all those millions living aboard it, nobody will notice if a few people "disappear" from time to time...
      • During Thane's Loyalty mission, he mentions that "duct rats" (young orphans who live within the air vents of the Citadel) sometimes disappear without a trace. Combined with the above theory, and the keepers suddenly become Nightmare Fuel.
  • In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, one of the usable vids shows a Keeper walking away from a dead Krogan, Cpt Bailey mentions kids sometimes dissapear in the ducts...
  • You know that scene in the beginning where Shepard wakes up partially? With Miranda and Wilson panicking and trying to sedate him/her again? And Miranda says Wilson underestimated the amount of sedatives necessary? Yeah, Wilson just made his first attempt on your life.
    • Although this invokes a small degree of Fridge Logic as well. How long had they been keeping him/her sedated? In the Arrival DLC, Shep wakes up because s/he requires increased amounts of sedative to keep him/her knocked out, as his/her new cyber-body quickly develops a resistance to the sedatives...
      • Everyone at the facility in Arrival was indoctrinated, which causes progressive mental degradation. They could have screwed up the dose.
    • There are multiple indicators that Wilson is the mole: that, his money troubles, how dismayed he was at your survival, and he lets slip that the bots are "going crazy and trying to kill him". No single conclusive piece of evidence, but taken together, they're quite obvious.
  • If you were lucky to do the 'N7: Archeological Dig Site' mission on the planet Joab before the The Reveal, you'd discover yourself that the Protheans portrayed in the vision/massacre/flashback Shepard sees are Collectors... the Protheans ARE the Collectors! The Horror!
    • The ending of the second game does in fact explain the strange visions Shepard gets shown from the beacons in the first game. When you play the game for the first time, it looks like flashing images of random gore, but given the knowledge of how Reapers are created, the images appear to show the Protheans getting torn apart and remolded on the mechanic parts of a new reaper.
    • Also, you probably missed that Saren had slightly blue glowing eyes as part of his modifications by the Reapers. But after knowing the Illusive Man from the second game with his very much visible blue glowing eyes, you'll notice that Saren has them too (though because of the less advanced graphics of the first game, it can't be said for sure that is intended to be the same effect). Which in turn would indicate, that the Illusive Man has also been touched by reapers, but he still seems to have the strength to fight them.
    • In the original Mass Effect, when you're at the Peak 15 research labs, you can trigger the neutron purge early and wipe out the Rachni. If you do this, when you come back you'll find Captain Ventralis and his mercenaries, who tell you that they've got new orders from Benezia, and start shooting. He even apologizes about having to do it, too. After wiping them out, if you look around, you'll find all the scientists and workers are gone. All of them. Everywhere. And there's nowhere for them to have gone... which leads to the rather frightening yet logical conclusion: Ventralis and his men didn't just have orders to kill you, they were ordered to wipe out everyone at the research station.
    • Here's one: as you scan the various planets in both games, you'll often read descriptions of ancient architecture of races long gone. Every single time, you see the analysis: organized orbital bombardment, utterly obliterating all lifeforms on these planets... and they're always dated in multiples of 50,000 years...
    • And there's a mission in ME2 where the Blue Suns mercenaries are raiding a starship. In one room, Shepard finds two Blue Sun turians who are not helping any of the teams dispatched to stop Shepard. There aren't really any valuables in the room. There's nothing too noteworthy... except a pile of six or seven somewhat burnt, completely unclothed humans. Man, those Blue Suns sure are murderous - wait, unclothed, burned human corpses? What you've thought cannot be unthought.
  • According to Javik, the Rachni weren't sentient back in his day. They took them and turned up their cunning and aggression. We also see the Salarians doing the same thing to Varren. So, does that mean the Varren are going to be turned into living, sentient bioweapons? Kinda sucks as an existence.
    • If the Salarians are trying to do that with Varren, it might not work as well as with the Rachni, except if Varren are Hive-Minded and we don't know it.
      • I'm not saying they'll end up as big a threat as the Rachni, just that it's a sucky existence for sentient being to have to live with.
  • Take a look at the paths the Catalyst offers Shepard at the very end, then imagine a bird's-eye-view. You're *standing on a massive dialogue wheel*.
  • A shitload of Fridge Horror for this troper is how Shepard always comes to the rescue JUST in time. I don’t know whether to be amazed or horrified about how Shepard is literally the only thing keeping so many awful events from happening. Let’s take a look:
  • Mass Effect 1
    • Ashley: Outnumbered by the Geth on Eden Prime, and likely to be killed and turned into a Husk.
    • Tali: About to be murdered by Fist's thugs.
    • Liara: On the verge of starving to death.
    • The Scientists on Noveria: Besieged by the Rachni and unable to last for much longer.
    • Citadel and the entire galaxy: about to fall to Sovereign and the Reapers
  • Mass Effect 2
    • Garrus: About to be killed by the mercenaries
    • Mordin: About to be overrun by the plague, vorcha, and possibly Collectors
      • Mordin's assistant would be dead
    • Grunt: Probably about to be gassed or otherwise killed along with Okeer by Jedore’s Blue Suns
    • Jack: Who knows what might happen to her if she had stayed in the Purgatory?
      • Worse, who knows how many people she would have killed if she hadn't been influenced by Shepard?
    • Tali: If not killed on Freedom’s Progress, she would have most definitely died on Haestrom.
    • Thane: By his own admission, he probably would have been killed by Nassana Dantius’s guards, though perhaps not before he assassinated Nassana herself.
    • Samara: She would have been arrested and then probably forced to fight a whole army of Illium’s security forces. Even she admits she might have been killed.
      • Samara is the only one to subvert this. During her loyalty mission, if you don't/can't resist Morinth, she walks in just as Morinth totally mind controls Shepard. If she'd locked her door, Shepard would've been subject to Death by Sex.
    • Legion: May have been taken down by the husks on the derelict Reaper
      • That’s not even getting into the consequences of not dealing with the Collectors, and various loyalty quests and other missions. I cannot stop wondering how awful Mass Effect 3 will be without dealing with the Overlord Project, Tali’s trial, the Reaper virus for the geth, Morinth, Maelon, Koylat, Oriana, Vido Santiago, or Donovan Hock.
    • Really? Seems to me that Shepard always arrives well after the nick of time. If he'd been quicker on the draw, There would be more survivors from Ashley's squad than just Ash herself, and with additional backup, Nilus may not be dead. Liara's entire excavation crew wouldn't have been wiped out. Neither would all the scientists on Noveria save for the handful that Shepard manages to find, etc. etc. Everything looks like a Big Damn Heroes entrance when you ignore all the people who died before the hero got there; rather, Shepard tends only to be able to prevent the catastrophic losses of a given situation from becoming total.
  • In the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2, you can read dossiers on your crewmates. Of particular interest is Grunt's, which shows that he's developing a taste for Ernest Hemingway's work. However, he seems to have read and then deleted the novel A Farewell to Arms. Seeing as he's a member of a warrior race, you might think it's because of the title. It's not. At the end of the novel, the main character's love interest gives birth to a stillborn and then bleeds to death. Given what we know about the genophage, that imagery probably hit a little too close to home for poor Grunt.
  • For the end of Mass Effect 2, during the Suicide Mission I always thought that Zaeed would be a great choice to lead any of the other teams, but he always fails. But listening to all of Zaeed's stories indicates that while he has lead had many suicide missions... in all of them he's the only one to survive them. Meanwhile Jacob is always the one to greet the new recruits!
  • In terms of loyalty missions, the effects of a Renegade Shepard seem unnerving for Mass Effect 3. What will Jack, Garrus, and Zaeed turn into if they are allowed to solve their problems with bullets?
  • If you let the timer run out in The Arrival, you get treated to a Nonstandard Game Over montage of the Reapers arriving and taking over, in a series of quick cuts that make it hard to tell what is going on, with a heavy red filter on everything. Looks a lot like the message the Protheans left behind the last time around, huh?
  • In multiplayer, geth and cerberus troops will stomp on a downed player to prevent them from getting up, or being helped up by allies. Reaper forces do not do this. Think for a second what they plan on doing to your characters.
  • A commonly cited figure for how long the Reapers have been doing this is 37 million, or the age of the Reaper you raid to get the IFF. Then we have the Leviathan of Dis which is very much overlooked since all it gets is a planet survey entry in the first game, probably not even a mention the second. The third came states that batarian research on the Leviathan ended up in a similar end to the Cerberus research on the Reaper you land on with the crew getting indoctrinated. Only this time they infiltrated the government and let the Reapers attack. To quote the planet entry from the first game (emphasis mine):

 "Jartar is noted for the discovery of the 'Leviathan of Dis,' the apparent corpse of a genetically engineered living starship. The Leviathan was found in the bottom of a crater by a batarian survey team, and estimated to be nearly a billion years old. It 'disappeared' after a visit to the system by a batarian dreadnought twenty years ago."

    • Corollary bit of Brilliance? Prior to the "disappearance", the batarians were just annoying - they had an oppressive caste system, and had attacked other races, but they still interacted with the rest of the galaxy. Immediately afterward, the batarians demanded a huge land claim then resigned in disgust when they didn't get it, leading to their self-imposed isolation. As in, they were indoctrinated and wanted privacy while they finished the job with their own species. The Mind Rape implants they used on non-batarian slaves? Indoctrination again. Their demand for control of the really nasty Dahak system and their secrecy involving the Alpha Relay? Indoctrination again. They were always Jerkass bullies and slavers, but basically just a collection of street gangs with starships. The Reapers just helped them get made.
    • This makes Colonist Shepard's backstory even more disturbing. The Leviathan was found about seven years before the Mindoir raid. Which means the Reapers have been indirectly after Shepard since s/he was nothing but a teenage farmboy/girl. Talk about long-standing rivalries.
  • One planet mentions that 127,000 years ago it was the site of a battle between the Isunannon and the Thor'han. We know the Thorian is more than 100,000 years old and encountered both the Protheans and the Isunannon. Given the similarity between the two names, the fact that most names do become corrupted over time, or possibly was simply mistranslated, it leads to one horrifying thought. The Thorian may once have had access to starships and attempted to take over the Galaxy.
    • Remember what Joker the Colonists were trying to do? They were desperate to try to get onboard the Normandy. They were trying this again.
  • On the subject of the Mass Relay's being destroyed at the end of Mass Effect 3, there is a ton of Fridge Horror when one realizes that the destruction of a Mass Relay would trigger a super-nova that would destroy the system it is located in, as seen in the Arrival DLC in Mass Effect 2 (and also denoted in the codex.), and considering that you can see the explosions from well outside the galaxy, one would think it would kill all sentient life. Good job killing everyone, hero. -Tical Calrisian
    • Except that the beam from the Citadel is just a tad different to crashing a small moon at a Mass Relay while that outcome is a possibility. Given this is Sci-Fi it's realistically not the singular outcome.
  • That "Rogue VI" on Luna that you destroyed in the first game was actually EDI before she was augmented with Reaper tech. The same EDI who is standing right next to you when this is revealed. Good thing she doesn't seem to hold a grudge about it.
  • Part of the justification for renewing the genophage is that the krogan are still acting like bloodthirsty monsters. Where's the Fridge Horror in that? Imagine living every day with the understanding that neither you nor anyone you know is going to have any lasting impact on the world around you. None of you are going to hold your children, and should you dare to try to have children, they'll be stillborn. If you're a woman "lucky" enough to have a healthy child, you're not only merely forestalling the inevitable, you're likely going to spend the rest of your short life on the run from your own people as they try to use you for a broodmare. Of course the genophage didn't deter the krogan from their violent lifestyle. It was the Despair Event Horizon that made almost every one of them a Death Seeker.
    • Eve can actually spell this out for you.
  • Here's one for the franchise: even if Shepard cures the genophage, it's not gone. Mordin describes the genophage mechanism in detail: it's a genetic mutation which the affects glands in the female body governing the growth of a fetus in the womb.[2] "Eve's" body has simply transferred that from dedicated glands to a general metabolic process, making those glands as redundant as the rest of their organs. That makes the adaptation an explicit enhancement, but the genophage is still part of their genome. They essentially have a computer virus in their genes sending commands that no longer have a function. Another genophage modification is entirely possible.
  • In Mass Effect 2 during Tali's mission on the Alarei, there is a log of a quarian's last few seconds before she's killed by the geth. She says, "Tell Jona to be good for his father." Cut to Rannoch in Mass Effect 3 as the quarians attempt to retake their home. A dying male quarian leaves a final message: "Tell Jona his father died on the homeworld."


Unsorted

  • Call it contrived if you want, but the abduction of the crew proves to be quite convenient for minimizing random crew casualties during the journey to the base. If there were crew members there, there would also be a strong chance of losing random crewmates on route (from the Occulus or simply from random damage to the ship), which defeats the meaning of "No one left behind". Plus it was really convenient for Shepards who are looking to romance Miranda; no dirty comments from Donelly after you did it with her.
  • A bit of Fridge Sadness from the first game. More than once, I've caught hints that Ashley and Kaidan were attracted to each other, especially if Shepard is romancing Liara instead. Obviously, this is a doomed ship. But then I remembered how on Virmire they were both telling you to save the other one. They weren't just being heroic - they were trying to save the person they loved (or, at least, had feelings for)!
  • A rather personal Fridge moment/sadness: this Troper's Shepard is a Colonist/Sole Survivor, always used to seeing a lot of tragedies and deaths. But this hits particularly hard on her in the events of Mass Effect 2 however, when she buys a fish from Illium for companionship aboard her deck. Now, this troper roleplays her Shep as rather workaholic, and she also actively avoids going to her quarters because it reminded her too much of the old Normandy. Because of that, she rarely had time to feed her fish... and then the long-awaited Suicide Mission came. This troper decided to change her Shepard's armor to suit the rather grim occasion, and that is when she noticed the dead fishes floating on her cabin's fish tank. Dead. Even in the mundane things of her life, failure follows her everywhere. This troper bawled so hard after that.
  • Only once in the whole series do you hear an elcor talk to a non-elcor and not prefix its speech. When asked how many civilians they managed to get off their homeworld prior to the Reapers taking it out, it pauses and goes, "Not enough." It's quite obvious that no prefix was needed. However the pause is what caught this troper's attention after the fact: the elcor's translation software could not decide what prefix to use to accurately convey how exactly it feels about that.
  • Try replaying the first Mass Effect after completing the third. Finally realize what Manuel was trying to warn you about.


Fridge Logic

  • In Jack's loyalty mission, you end up confronting the only other survivor, a guy called Aresh who wants to restart the facility. You can convince Jack to let him go, but shortly afterwards you plant a huge bomb in her cell and blow the place up. Is it really that likely that he managed to make it out?
    • There's a pretty significant time delay between letting Aresh go and blowing up the facility, and the Blood Pack troops didn't sprout from the firmament. Aresh likely ran back to the ships they used to get there and hightailed it out.
      • If you let him go, Aresh is confirmed via an e-mailed news report to have died fighting off Reaper ground forces to give time for another civilian shuttle to evacuate, so he did in fact make it out alive.
  • The Romance Options in general for Male and Female Shepard have a common pattern. Both Shepards can romance the Virmire Survivor and Liara in the First Game. In Mass Effect 2 they can have a relationship with a Dextro DNA alien, romancing the Cerberus Operative and romancing a notorious criminal. However, It seems that Male Shepard is always the lucky one to get the smooth skinned females while Female Shepard has to settle for scaly aliens who have a penchant for sniper rifles. Freud Was Right?
    • Hey, you forgot Jacob with that last bit... Just like everyone else. Except Kasumi.
      • Well, she only wants him for his body.
    • And apparently, Male Shepard only likes pure blooded human/asari/quarians which define perfection of their genes.
      • Exactly how are Ashley or Tali "pureblooded" or "genetically perfect", again? Only Liara and Miranda are described in those terms, and in Liara's case it's an insult, not a praise.
  • So, regarding the now-infamous ending for Mass Effect 3, this troper has a theory regarding why it is the way it is. Think about how the first game was deliberately a Reconstruction of the Space Opera of the '70s and '80s, and the second was more heavily influenced by Darker and Edgier '90s sci-fi. That would mean that the third game would logically be more influenced by sci-fi from the '00s and '10s. Which means the Battlestar Galactica Reimagined reboot, Star Trek Enterprise, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe (not so much Stargate SG-1), and Lost, among others. All of which were far bleaker than what had come before and had endings that were either bleak, unsatisfying, obtuse, outright insane, or some combination of the above.
  • Your Mileage May Vary, as this was deserved, but Shepard's Shut UP, Hannibal to Sovereign: "You're not even alive. Not really. You're just a machine, and machines can be broken," comes off slightly worse when viewed in light of Legion and EDI.
    • And as of ME3, there's new light in knowing that each individual reaper is the entirety of an advanced (organic) civilization, preserved in Reaper form. "Just a machine", eh?
    • It sort of makes sense if you consider that Shepard's interactions with AI in the first game were largely negative. The heretic geth were essentially at war with the Alliance (at were thought to represent all geth instead of a small minority), the AI on the Citadel (which tried to blow itself up, killing Shepard and “as many organics as I can”), the rogue AI on Luna and now Sovereign, a literal Omnicidal Maniac. It’s not unreasonable to assume that Shepard though all AI were Always Chaotic Evil. But interactions with EDI, Legion and the true geth over the next two games probably changed his/her opinions.
      • Even in ME 1, Shepard can argue with Tali that the geth were living beings with a right to life, and that the quarians were in the wrong.
  • The Omniblade actually isn't a new development for Mass Effect 3. After all, look at Kasumi whenever she uses Shadow Strike. She's striking at enemies with her omnitool! So those things can be pretty nasty weapons as early as Mass Effect 2.
    • According to the Codex the tech is almost as old as Omnitools and a standard app, but until the Reaper invasion and the necessity of fighting Husks in close combat everyone thought it was an idiot's weapon. Except Kasumi apparently.
  • Jacob's loyalty mission. Eight years. No children.
    • So the flora screws up more than just your brain?
    • Either that, or none of the women were allowed to carry to term, which opens up a whole other can of Fridge Horror.

This was my (Kodemunkey's) Fridge combination (logic, horror etc)

Having landed in London in Mass Effect 3, it was pure fridge horror listening to the radio listing off the kill rates at the various london bases, as i've been to some of the areas listed.

Not only that, but the loading screen shows an area of the england glowing from the fires, this area is one the most densely populated part of england, and extends from london, up into the home counties, over into east anglia and into Kent (where i live) as well as down into portsmouth and various other towns and areas. Most of these areas are full of industrial and military facilities of all types.

  • That damn kid at the ending. Okay, Shepard was watching him at the start of the game, and is understandably torn up the Reapers killed him. But is Shepard really that badly affected by it? Really? It's not like it was Shepard's son or anything.
    • One explanation is that Shepard's been under house arrest for seven months by this time and their room overlooks that kids house. Shepard has likely seen or heard that kid playing a couple times, then had to watch helplessly as they got vaporised. Which, when you look at it, is the entire theme of the nightmare.

Notes

  1. or at least Chung, but I suspect the two were on the same gunnery crew, so shared responsibility/blame with Burnside
  2. As in 999/1000 comes out too deformed to live. As salarians are matriarchal, it makes you wonder if salarian females have a genetic tendency towards sociopathy.
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