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General

  • Though normally well-acted and interesting, more than a few of the dialogues in Mass Effect can become spectacularly narmtacular depending on what selections you make and what order you select them. The "dialogue wheel" usually gives you a choice between "nice" and "rude" responses (with a few "neutrals" sprinkled among them) to drive the game's paragon/renegade Karma Meter, but if you aren't perfectly consistent in your dialogue choices over the course of the game, you can make Commander Shepard seem positively bipolar, oscillating between a principled and compassionate gentleman soldier and a genocidal jerkass who publicly executes unarmed civilians. The single biggest potential narm moment is probably Shepard's speech once s/he gains control of the Normandy, where you can jump between tolerant nice guy and xenophobic human-supremacist in every other sentence.
  • While her work for the Paragon lines is good, some of Jennifer Hale's Renegade lines are Narm-tastic.
  • If Jennifer Hale's voicework is Narm-tastic, what's to say about Mark Meer's completely wooden delivery? Half of his Renegade lines, including the jellyfish one, is hilarious because he's not even trying most of the time.
    • YMMV, as this troper found Meer's "big stupid jellyfish" line to actually be one of the few instances of clear superiority of Meer over Hale. As for the rest, Meer's performance always came off as more professional, who only lets his emotions out during key moments, while Hale's was a lot more emotional and theatrical, which makes sense considering the whole Space Opera feel of the series.
    • This troper, come to think of it, has never actually played a Paragon FemShep either in Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2...
    • Meer is very well suited to all the Deadpan Snarker and Bond One-Liner scenes that a Renegade has, while Hale is better suited to the emotional Paragon side of things. People who play the opposite of that setup are usually the ones with the most 'issues' with the voice acting in the game.
  • "I should go."
  • John Shepard's rape face.

Mass Effect

  • Something like half the lines Ashley gives are narm. "Just because I can drill you from a hundred yards between the eyes, doesn't mean I can appreciate poetry!" And the romance storylines, oh my god...
  • "By the goddess, Shepard, that was incredible!"
  • This troper found almost every single cutscene in that game narmful. The voice acting is not really the problem, but the character models are unbelievable stiff. I couldn't stop laughing during Matriarch Benezia's death, and I had Liara with me. Actually, it was probably because I had Liara with me. Her lines had no emotion at all, and her stiff "acting" made it all funnier.
    • This troper had Liara with him and during that scene, and found it tragic enough as she slumped to the floor and gave her tragic last words... as the '80s style electronic music that accompanied the boss fight jumped back up in volume. Mood killed by Soundtrack Dissonance, ouch.
  • Pressly's wonderfully ragetastic lines as the Normandy approaches Ilos. "THERE IS NO OTHER LANDING ZONE!"
  • "Oh Captain... my Captain." Seriously, Ashley? WTF? Double the funny for both horrible delivery and a complete lack of understanding of the poem.

Shepard: "As I recall, the captain dies in that poem."

Saren: "Argh! Grr! Rahr!"

    • It gets funnier. The lighting inside Sovereign turns red and you can subtly hear him in Saren's voice. Yes, that's right! An supposedly all-powerful Reaper is having a tantrum through Saren.
  • If Liara is chosen to shoot Saren, her left eye becomes dark, giving her face a Fascinating Eyebrow in what was supposed to be a serious moment.
  • The few lines that the Mooks keep saying. It gets silly very fast to keep hearing them say the same things over and over again, especially "I will desTROY you!".

Mass Effect 2

  • Mass Effect 2 is fairly Narm-free, except for the end of one sidequest where you're rescuing an injured quarian. So you've spent five minutes of so killing off the attacking wild animals, and you've got the poor guy in the shuttle. At the last second, one of the horrible things comes charging out of the undergrowth and leaps at the shuttle door... and Shepard roundhouse kicks the little bastard in the face. Yes, roundhouse kicks. It's absolutely impossible to watch without your mind instantly going to Chuck Norris.
  • The recorded screaming when enemies are lifted by biotic fields may SOMETIMES get caught on loop even after the supposed character screaming has been killed... and you end up walking around the battlefield with RIDICULOUS amounts of rather silly screaming for the next few minutes.
  • Try romancing Jacob Taylor as a Femshep. Heavy risk... but the priiize.
      • Although Arrival was mostly serious, this troper burst out laughing at Dr. Kenson's line: "Now I will die, having never seen the blessings of the Reapers! And you will just die!"
  • The suicide mission is an incredible achievement in programming and logistics, but it can be prone to a couple of moments that are laugh-out-loud hilarious:
    • It is impossible for Miranda to die until Shepard gives his/her final speech before embarking with a team to the center of the Collector base. Until that point, though, it's possible to put Miranda (even an unloyal one) into hilarious situations. Having her as a support character during the "Long Walk" portion of the mission (with a bad choice made for the person to hold the biotic field) can result in her being dragged off by seeker swarms, then reappearing and almost smiling at the progress of the mission a minute later.
      • That's only possible if you do a bit of modding, though. Normally the other squadmate will get dragged off, usually screaming. Though a few are pretty hilarious.
    • If an unloyal Garrus is picked to lead the second diversion squad, his death scene will be poignant, as he tells Shepard and the gang to go on and "snipe one more" Collector for him...and then his head sags and gets lodged in the damaged section of his neckplate. It kills the mood and looks absolutely hilarious!
      • Also the moment in his loyalty mission that has him moving forward at a crouch... only to look like a mildly pissed-off old tortoise.
    • There's a way to get Zaeed killed by cutscene AFTER completing the main mission of the game. It's all pretty normal, even a little dramatic, until the very end, when he makes a very parody-able frown and yells "SHEPARD!" in a totally laughable way.
  • This troper would like to point out that DIRECT INTERVENTION IS NECESSARY to stop him from cracking every time a certain character talked. It was as if Blizzard Entertainment was ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL of that character's writing, and gave BioWare one of their voice contacts. Its really amazing how much THIS HURTS YOU if you don't find his lines narmy.
    • It's important to note however, that the first time you hear some of these lines, the fact that they're so personal is pure Nightmare Fuel, until Harbinger becomes a regular enemy and you realize that he only has about six lines that are repeated over and over again. It goes from terrifying to hilarious over the course of the first mission he's in.
    • Actually, he has about ten minutes worth of different lines, giving treatises on the immune system of quarians, the scarcity of drell, his unhealthy fascination with one very specific human, the future of the council species. He just barely ever says them. Having just faced him on the suicide mission, where he actually opened up and gave his full range of dialogue, he sounded genuinely creepy.
  • The Illusive Man gives a very creepy grin in one shot.
  • How about the "big reveal" of the giant T-800... Uhh, I mean Human-Reaper larva. Seriously, when it came back after being shot down, I half expected The Terminator music to kick in. Even more silly why does it have three eyes? Did the Reapers forget how many eyes it should have? Considering the collectors edition artbook shows several concept designs that looked much more original and outright creepy, it's beyond me how they chose something so generic.
  • Jack has a ton. But the absolute crowner has to be her first appearance on the Purgatory, when she realizes a Cerberus ship is coming to pick her up. Her little tamper tantrum is pathetic.

Jack: "Cerberus. Arrr. Grrrr."

    • Indeed. When this troper first saw that scene, he thought "Wouldn't a 'Goddamnit' suffice? Maybe a bit of window punching?"
      • Jack's narm may be Fridge Brilliance (her "Cerberus" moment aside) when you consider that most of her "macho" identity is an affectation that she puts on in order to conceal how fragile she really is. The reason her dialogue sounds so forced and inauthentic is because it comes from a forced and inauthentic personality.
  • Thane brings us this side-splitter:

Mouse: "You gave me chocolate, Krios. Real chocolate..."
Thane: "I never gave my son chocolate."

  • If you hand over the evidence implicating Tali's father during her trial, you prevent her exile but fail the loyalty mission, which results in a very heartbreaking conversation between her and Shepard after the trial. However, immediately after this cutscene ends and gameplay resumes, Shepard expresses excitement over an upgrade he/she receives from Admiral Raan for proving Tali's innocence: "WE CAN USE THIS!"
    • If you complete that mission in a way that gets Tali off the hook without handing over the evidence against her father, you can also have Shepard and Tali share a relatively sweet moment where the loudest it gets is Tali chuckling and saying "it's fun watching you shout", at the end of which Shepard will yell "I'LL TAKE IT!" at the top of his/her lungs.
  • Donovan Hock in Kasumi's DLC mission is loaded with narm, although this is more of a case concerning his South African accent. Oh, and the hilariously over-the-top scowl his hologram makes should you take the Renegade interrupt to shoot one of his treasured possessions to bits.
  • Some of the unused dialogue and scenes were filled with this, hence them not being used. For example, some of the unused scenes and dialogue for the "Through the Omega 4 Relay" sequence. The Grunt version of the "no armor" scene has him get hit by the Oculus' laser, a scene that gets ruined by Grunt's head clipping through the floor. Granted, some of the others look awkward such as Garrus' collar clipping as well, but what's meant to be a painful shot of the squadmate's bloodied and soot-ridden face is ruined in Grunt's version since you can't see his face. As another example of unused Narm, Thane has an unused "no armor" death cry with other voice actors audibly Corpsing in the background. Even funnier, Legion has an unused death cry for the "no core shielding" scene. No, Legion doesn't say "Fatal errrorrrrr..." or "Critical damage!" like in his other death cries, in this one he actually gives off a hilariously monotone "EYYYYAH!". Even didymos1120 (the video's uploader) considered it inappropriate, showing no surprise that it went unused.

Mass Effect 3

  • This face is all you need.
  • During the final mission, an in-game cutscene occurs where Steve Cortez's shuttle is shot down and Shepard and his/her human teammates (if they were brought along) each react in the most ridiculous way possible. Freddie Prinze Jr. sounds bored trying to convey anger as Vega ("You're gonna pay for that, you fuckers! WRAGHHHHH!!! Come on! Come on! Yeah!"), Kaidan screams for no reason, Ashley sounds like she's either passing a kidney stone or having a toe-curling orgasm, and Male Shepard's reaction is... interesting:

Cortez: "Damnit, I've been hit!"
Shepard: "STEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVEEEEEEEEEE!!!"
Cortez: "I'm alright!"
Shepard: (completely deadpan and with no emotion) "You sure?"

    • Mark Meer has stated that he recorded various versions of calling out Steve's name; that version was only meant for if a Male Shepard romanced Steve.
  • To some, the Stargazer epilogue for its clunky dialogue delivered by a voice actor (Buzz Aldrin) who seems fond of calling a kid "my sweet", and delivering a blatant in-game advertisement for more paid DLC content.
    • The free Extended Cut DLC mitigates this somewhat by removing any mention of paid DLC in the goodbye message at the end.
  • The absurd walking/running animations seen throughout the game. Anderson's floating bow-legged running animation got a lot of comedic mileage pre-release, while the background animations of citizens on the ground running away during the Earth attack (they run with their bodies tilted at a 45-degree angle) and the walking animation of some NPC's on the Citadel (looking down a level at the Presidium Commons shows at least one NPC sliding along the ground without moving his legs) end up being hilariously out-of-place.
  • The Kid/Catalyst, especially in the dream sequences, where his legs are moving ridiculously fast while he slowly moves forward, the fact that he often clips over to another position if the player keeps him in sight long enough, and his goofy expressions as he and/or Shepard get lit on fire. It just comes across as trying way too hard.
    • Not to mention that, in any of the slo-mo sequences, you turn at the normal speed. Cue Shepard randomly swivelling in midair.
  • There are a lot of ways to kill off the characters in the game. While most of the death scenes are well-done, some are... not so well-done. This compilation shows off most of them, including Admiral Shala'Raan nonchalantly shooting herself in the head after the Quarian fleet is wiped out by the Geth, and Henry Lawson stupidly falling off a balcony.
    • If Miranda is killed by Kai Leng, she succumbs to her injuries after killing her father, despite there being no visible wounds on her body except for a few cuts on her face.
  • While fighting Kai Leng near the climax of the game, Shepard can be throwing grenades/shooting/hurting Kai Leng while the two engage in a conversation
  • The scene at the Shroud is a masterfully executed Tear Jerker, but one moment is hilariously executed. A huge chunk of debris falls, and Shepard yells "DAYUM!"
  • In this deleted scene, which is another version of Shepard's hearing at the start of Mass Effect 3, Dull Surprise is taken Up to Eleven ("My god, the Reapers.").[1]

YouTube Comment: "MASS EFFECT 3, NOW WITH AN ALL ELCOR CAST!"

  • "You big, stupid jellyfish!"
  • A glitch during some dialogue scenes will cause the characters to begin swiveling their heads around instead of looking forward. It's impossible to take a conversation seriously once this begins.
  • In the Leviathan DLC, many of the indoctrinated NPCs have some comically serious dialogue, but the cake-taker has got to be a mining administrator who asks "Are you familiar with the applications of tungsten?" during an otherwise creepy scene.

Notes

  1. The voice actors in that scene are clearly placeholders, but that does not retract from the ridiculousness of it.
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