Inducing Substance: a Shepard's guide. (A playthrough of the Mass Effect series.)

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
I decided to follow up on the lead I got from the chlorine planet about the Blood Pack base it was a rather short mission, but scenic enough for a screenshot.
MESS.jpg

Upon completion of the mission I gained a very useful upgrade: Heavy weapon ammo 6. The special thing about this upgrade is that, when I use it with certain types of armor, I can actually fire two whole shots with my Cain without reloading instead of just one! Until now, as you may have noticed, I have been wearing my Blood Dragon armor for the most part. I did this mainly because it gave me a sizable boost to the power of my biotics. Now I have decided to switch to heavy weapon ammo boosting armor. This could be either the Cerberus Assault Armor, pictured above, or an individual legwear, the Ordinance Packs. I decided to go with the Ordinance Packs because they allow for greater customization of the rest of the suit. So now, here is my new look with my new equipment!
MESS.jpg


After shopping around for new equipment to go with the Ordinance Packs, I went to the citadel to do Thane's mission: stop his son from assassinating someone. It was easy enough, with no combat involved. After questioning several people, I had to shadow the target to make sure no harm came to him. When Thane's son finally showed up, I was able to stop him and prevent the assassination. Mission accomplished. That leaves only Jacob's mission left to do... Maybe next time...

By the way, I tried doing the Varren fights on Tuchanka with my buddy Urz. At first I thought I could use it to make some credits to buy some of the remaining highly expensive upgrades, but it seems after a while the game is rigged so that you cannot win anymore (even if you dont use Urz in the fight and bet on one of the other varren)... Probably just to annoy people like me... Oh well.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Jacob's mission was next. It took place on a jungle with toxic native food that caused people to have reduced cognitive functions. Even though Jacob's father crashed there 10 years ago, they only sent a distress signal about a year ago. It was a bit confusing for a while, but it eventually became clear that Jacob's father took command of the surviving crew of the crashed ship and made the rest of the crew eat the native food so he could have the women of the crew as his own personal haram. He only sent the distress signal once he ran out of the food from the ship's stores, which he kept for himself. Jacob was disgusted by the power trip his father was on, but didn't think he was worth killing. In the end we sent word of the survivors to the Alliance.

Continuing exploration in the Rosetta Nebula, I found a Blue Suns merc base around a Prothean ruin. After defeating the mercs there we found a clue about a ship that had some kind of interesting shipment on it, and a Prothean computer terminal which gave me another vision of the Reaper invasion, this time with an image of the collectors.

The lead from the Blue Suns base led me to a derelict ship that the Blue Suns had attacked. It was full of mercs who were all plotting to betray each other and seize the valuable cargo for themselves. I got in their way though and took the cargo for myself. I also found out that the Blue Suns had been luring merchant ships into a trap with a distress beacon. I will have to take care of that later...
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
With not much left to do, other than visit the derelict Reaper, I am now focusing on exploring the galaxy.

First, I found a planet that had a damaged heavy mech on it. I had to find power packs for the mech as I let it lead me to a hidden cache of resources (which turned out to be Platinum). The mech blew up just as it uncovered the cache for me... If only all the other heavy mechs I ran into were so easy to destroy... Heck, the enemy ones can even survive a direct hit from my Cain!
MESS.jpg

MESS.jpg


After this, I found a moon with a solar observation colony on it. For some unknown reason, the solar shield on the colony had shut down, and I landed to fix it. It was really easy, just a matter of flipping a few switches.
MESS.jpg


Next, I had another mission in the M-44 Paper Airplane on a geologically unstable volcano. I had to recover some research data which apparently pointed to a Prothean ruin of some sort. Upon arrival I saw a giant rock shaken loose from the ceiling and destroy a land bridge. This sort of thing turned out to be the least of my worries as the lava in the volcano eventually started rising rapidly and threatened to overtake the Paper Airplane. Still managed to get out safely with everything, however.

Destruction of the rock bridge.
MESS.jpg
MESS.jpg
MESS.jpg
MESS.jpg


Lava levels are rising. You can see the entrance to the research base being flooded in the upper left.
MESS.jpg
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Continuing my explorations, I went to the Prothean ruin I found out about above. The researchers had shielded the ruin in preparation for a Geth attack, so I first had to take the shield down to explore it. There were Geth rocket drones everywhere around the ruin, constantly popping up out of the ground. After taking out the shield I found the Prothean artifact: A giant sphere which released data of some sort and shrunk to a carriable size once activated. Not sure what the big deal was with this thing, but it now takes up residence in my quarters on the Normandy.
The shielded ruin.
MESS.jpg

After this, I found a planet that had an injured Quarian on it. I had to protect the Quarian from swarms of Varren until an evacuation shuttle could arrive. This proved to be quite difficult. The Varren swarms would often make a beeline for the injured Quarian and try to kill her. For the first time in a while I found that the Cain was not an option for the mission. Friendly fire from some of my weapons, especially the Cain, could kill the Quarian just as fast as the Varren. I tried to use my assault rifle, but the brief pause for reloading a clip and the limited punch of the weapon proved to be insufficient to deal with the Varren. What actually did wind up working was the Collector Particle Beam weapon. Lots of ammo, high damage, and no annoying reloading allowed me to win and save the Quarian... eventually.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
I decided it was now time to follow up on that favor Admiral Hackett requested of me a while ago. This was a DLC mission known as "Arrival". Small spoilers ahead.

The favor Hackett asked of me seemed simple enough on the surface: Spring an alliance operative, who was working in Batarian space before getting captured, from a Batarian prison. Hackett also mentioned that this operative, an old friend of his, had proof of an imminent Reaper invasion. I was also instructed to go on this mission completely alone.

Breaking the operative, Dr. Amanda Kenson, out of the prison turned out to be the easy part unfortunately... She told me that her project team had found a Reaper artifact on an asteroid that gave her visions of the incoming Reaper invasion force... which they had timed to be there within 2 days!!! They had planned to stop the reapers by destroying the system's mass relay by ramming the asteroid into it, but Kenson was captured before they could initiate this. She brought me to the asteroid to show me the Reaper artifact so I could see the proof myself. I was really suspicious of her at this point, but Shepard was not suspicious enough... Once I saw the Reaper artifact and it stunned me with a vision of the invasion fleet, she turned on me. As I suspected, the artifact had indoctrinated the entire base... I was captured and sedated and woke up about 2 days later (go figure) locked in some research med bay. The Reapers were now about half an hour away, and I was surrounded by the indoctrinated, and they were trying to stop me from destroying the Relay to delay the Reaper invasion till ME3... Swell... I fought my way to the button to launch the asteroid and then I had to stop the insane Kenson from destroying the asteroid before it could break the relay. I was able to stop her in this, but upon confronting her she blew herself up, which apparently knocked me out for a bit. Once I came to I had to fight my way to the comm tower to enable communications so I could call the Normandy for an evacuation, before both the arrival of the invasion fleet and the destruction of the relay. The indoctrinated idiots were still fighting me around the tower and they had a heavy mech too, so I used my Cain to get rid of them. Activating the comm tower, I saw a hologram of the Collector General. We exchanged bravado a bit before the Normandy arrived and I escaped. The destruction of the relay stopped the invasion fleet for now, but at the cost of the death of 300,000+ Batarian colonists. Back on the Normandy I got to meet Admiral Hackett in person! He was a cool guy who was in my corner, despite my seemingly rash action. He said the Alliance was very angry with me, and worried about war with the Batarians, but that he would do what he could for me. While on the mission, I found several useful upgrades, including a 7th Heavy Weapon Ammo upgrade! Now I no longer need special equipment to use the Cain for 2 shots and I can wear what ever I want! I am not sure what I will eventually choose to wear, but this is a great thing to have. Now, without further ado, screenshot time!

Arriving at the prison.
MESS.jpg


The asteroid's Element Zero core. with the Reaper arrival countdown timer (29 minutes), and the flaming remains of Kenson.
MESS.jpg


The relay is getting close!
MESS.jpg


And closer! I had better get out of here!
MESS.jpg
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Continuing to explore, I discovered a colony under attack by Batarian terrorists. They had taken over a missile base and launched two big missiles at the colony and I arrived just in time to stop them, sort of. When I finally got access to the control panel, I could only stop one of the two missiles for some stupid reason. Enter the dumbest moral choice I had to make in the game thus far. I either save the industrial center of the colony or the residential center of the colony. If I save the residential center, then the destruction of the industrial center means that the colony is no longer viable and need to be evacuated. If I save the industrial center, then tons of people die, but the colony survives and can be repopulated. Both choices make me feel like a loser... But the worst thing about this choice is that it apparently has no real impact on anything no matter which choice I make. No future game impacts or even any paragon/renegade points. Just a stupid moral choice for no real reason I guess... I decided to save the residential area for what it's worth...

After that nonsense, I went to disable the phony distress signal the Blue Suns set up to ambush merchant ships (recall this from earlier). It was actually more difficult than expected, with a final battle involving 2 heavy mechs, which I took care of using my Cain.

Only 3 unexplored nebulas left. Will have to do the Reaper IFF mission soon...

By the way, I am now at my maximum level of 30. Yay!
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
For my next mission, I found a ship on a collision course with yet another colony. This time it was the Geth that had hijacked it and were planning to use it to destroy the colony. I arrived on the scene just in time (funny how I always manage to arrive mere minutes from catastrophe) to save the ship and the colony.

After that, I found another world with Geth on it. They had some kind of big "climate" machine running, and I had to turn it off. One big problem though: the world was so hazy that I could hardly see anything. Fortunately, Geth have flashlight heads, so I didn't have too much trouble spotting them.

Hazy... But you can see a Geth through the haze.
MESS.jpg


The climate machine. (Wow... That camera angle makes my butt look big... Totally unintentional I assure you...)
MESS.jpg
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
After that, I found another Reaper artifact, which had turned some miners into husks. There were tons of them swarming around the place, but I blew up the artifact with my Cain and left the place.
MESS.jpg


After that, I did what seems to be the final Paper Airplane mission, which took place on a junky world with Geth and acid puddles everywhere.
MESS.jpg


Now there is nothing left to do but go get the Reaper IFF, so expect that mission next.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Heavy spoilers follow the rest of the game most likely...

It was finally time to go to the derelict Reaper and get the IFF. When we arrived it didn't take long to figure out that the Cerberus scientists working on it had become indoctrinated. The ship was crawling with husks and the like. There was also a very unusual Geth there. As we traveled through the ship fighting the husks, the Geth occasionally helped us with sniper fire. In order to escape the Reaper, we had to destroy its core, which wasn't too hard with my Cain. When we reached the core, the Geth was there and disabled by husk attacks. As we were leaving, we decided to take the Geth with us.

Aboard the derelict Reaper.
MESS.jpg


The Reaper's Core, and Legion, disabled.
MESS.jpg


Back on the Normandy I reactivated the Geth. It refused to give itself a name so EDI named it Legion. Legion wanted to cooperate with my team, because it felt doing so was in line with Geth interests. Furthermore it told me that the Geth had split into 2 factions: Those that worshiped the Reapers, and those that wanted to be independent. Legion also told me of a virus the Reaper worshiping Geth were preparing to forcibly convert all Geth to Reaper Worship. It asked that we go to the Geth base where the virus was ready and destroy it. The base was an old Quarian space station repurposed by the Geth. Legion told us that another option, besides destroying the Reaper worshipers, was to use the virus to convert all Geth to the independent faction. After fighting our way to the virus controls I decided to convert all the Geth to the independent faction, and I really hope this works out well in the future...

Things took a rather crazy turn next. The Reaper IFF we recovered had a hidden virus in it which transmitted the location of the Normandy to the Collector ship! While I was away on other business (not sure what), the Collectors kidnapped the entire crew, except for Joker, who was able to save the Normandy from the Collectors with EDI's help. I figure I need to rescue the crew ASAP, so now is the time to visit the Omega 4 relay.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
And now, the finale of ME2. Spoilers obviously.

We entered the Omega 4 relay and the Normandy got put through its paces. First there was a dogfight with these little things called Oculi or something. One of them got in through a hull breach and I was sent to deal with it. Not much of a problem.

After losing the Oculi, we were spotted by the Collector base and their ship came out to attack us. Only this time the Normandy came out on top, destroying it utterly (yay!). The explosion caused the Normandy to crash land on the Collector base. Now the real work begins... I had to split our squad into 2 strike teams, one led by me, and the other led by someone else. I needed to pick an experienced leader, and I couldn't think of anyone better than Garrus (who was also my romantic interest for this game, btw). I also needed to pick a tech expert to sneak through a ventilation shaft and open some doors for me. After seeing how well she worked during her loyalty mission, I couldn't think of anyone better suited for it than Kasumi. For my personal squadmates I picked Grunt and Legion, because they were both tough and capable of staying alive while doing damage (and, wow, this turned out to be a great choice! They both were very good at helping me. Legion, in particular did quite huge damage with its sniping.). We headed out and found out that the ventilation system was not completely clear of obstructions. I had to open several doors in it as I moved through the base, fighting collectors. Kasumi and Garrus turned out to be good picks for their tasks. They got the job done well.

After this stage of the mission we found our kidnapped crew just in time. Now I had to pick 3 people for special tasks. One needed to escort the crew back to the Normandy, and for this I picked Mordin (because, if I am perfectly honest, he died for some unknown reason the first time I ran through the mission, so I sent him back to keep him out of trouble). We needed a second strike team again, and Garrus got to lead this one too, since he did such a good job earlier. Since my team needed to go through a Collector swarm infested area, we needed a powerful biotic to maintain a shield to protect us from them. I figured there were two biotics up to the task: Jack, who had a reputation as an extremely powerful biotic, or Samara, since I know Asari matriarchs are some of the most powerful biotics in the galaxy. Since I wound up running through this mission twice, as I mentioned earlier, I wound up choosing both for the job and my instincts were correct; both were up to the task. Again, I chose Grunt and Legion as my supporters.

For the final part of the mission, I just had to choose my supporters, while everyone else held back the Collectors at a choke point. I again chose Grunt and Legion. After fighting our way to the center of the base, we found out that the Collectors were collecting humans to liquify them and use the materials to build a new Reaper (eww) which was shaped kinda like a human for some reason... When we stopped the building process, the Illusive Man called me and suggested I not destroy the Collector base so that we could use it against the Reapers... I thought this was a very bad idea, so I destroyed it anyway. But then the half built Reaper came to life and started attacking me. I was able to destroy it fairly quickly with some well placed Cain shots though. Once it was destroyed, we ran back to the Normandy and escaped without any casualties.

A view of the galactic core out the window while I am fighting through Collectors.
MESS.jpg


The partially constructed Reaper.
MESS.jpg

And that is it for ME2. Seems I have now done everything that needed to be done. Not sure if I will start ME3 right away or take a short break first. ME2 was a lot of fun though.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
988
Congrats, especially on the "no casualties" result. Additionally to Antimatter's question, I'm curious how meeting the last squad member and everything around that part of the story has changed your view of the Geth, after knowing only ME1 for so long.

(And I personally think that except for maybe a short break to let the impressions sink in, it's best to continue with ME3 soon, playing the whole trilogy like one game. All 3 parts together a certain not longer than some other RPGs you've played)
 

Cahir

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
324
It's funny you have chose Kasumi for the Tecnician role. I never had close feelings towards her (comparing to other squadmates), yet I haven't hesitated even a second to put her on this role. And I'm happy I managed to save all on my first take. Hell, I didn't even realise there can be casualties at first.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Congrats! So what's your opinion on the Suicide mission? Some call it the best quest BioWare has ever done.
It was certainly quite a fun mission, and it had my heart pounding the whole way. As far as "the best Bioware has ever done", I dunno. That is a pretty tall order. Bioware has done a LOT of good stuff... I would need time to think about that.

Congrats, especially on the "no casualties" result. Additionally to Antimatter's question, I'm curious how meeting the last squad member and everything around that part of the story has changed your view of the Geth, after knowing only ME1 for so long.

(And I personally think that except for maybe a short break to let the impressions sink in, it's best to continue with ME3 soon, playing the whole trilogy like one game. All 3 parts together a certain not longer than some other RPGs you've played)
Well, the Geth don't seem all that bad now. In fact, it seems like they just want to be left alone.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
988
It's funny you have chose Kasumi for the Tecnician role. I never had close feelings towards her (comparing to other squadmates), yet I haven't hesitated even a second to put her on this role. And I'm happy I managed to save all on my first take. Hell, I didn't even realise there can be casualties at first.
There are a few reasons for casualties:

I lost Thane, for example, because
I failed his loyalty mission. And I've heard some people have chosen to assign roles according to personal preferences instead of capabilites. Additionally, I have read that you lose Dr. Chakwas if you don't go after the crew in time, and some of the Normandy upgrades prevent deaths of some crew members, for example when going through the Omega 4 relay, both general crew and also squad mates
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
There are a few reasons for casualties:

I lost Thane, for example, because
I failed his loyalty mission. And I've heard some people have chosen to assign roles according to personal preferences instead of capabilites. Additionally, I have read that you lose Dr. Chakwas if you don't go after the crew in time, and some of the Normandy upgrades prevent deaths of some crew members, for example when going through the Omega 4 relay, both general crew and also squad mates
I would like to know why Mordin died on my the first time I ran through the mission. I did his personal upgrade, and his loyalty mission went well too. I also did everything right as far as role choices on the suicide mission, as far as I know.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
988
I would like to know why Mordin died on my the first time I ran through the mission. I did his personal upgrade, and his loyalty mission went well too. I also did everything right as far as role choices on the suicide mission, as far as I know.

Where did you assign him? I think the team that stays to hold the line is the most likely to have casualties. I didn't consider Mordin much of a fighter, even with his secret service background, I'm pretty sure I sent him back to accompany the rescued crew members.
I've read now in a quick search that in those fights, average defense values are calculated for the team, and if you drop under a certain score, the weakest member will die even if everything else was right, so I suppose Mordin has indeed the weekest defense.

Apparently that thing with the average defense value is also why the DLCs made the suicide mission less likely to lead to casualties, because they added Zaeed and Kasumi. I didn't have either of them on my team, so I guess I can count myself lucky that I lost only one person.
 

Xzarloxara

Innkeeper
Staff member
Messages
219
Alright. Apparently after I defeated the collectors, everyone decided to sit on their hands while the Reapers were coming. I, myself, was grounded for destroying that one Mass Relay in Batarian space, so I couldn't do anything. The game starts with the Reapers arriving at Earth and starting to kill everyone. They even added children to the game, although it seems they did this just to make me feel bad about them being killed by the Reapers...

After escaping Earth, I was reinstated as Commander (what do I have to do to get a promotion in this game, eh?) of the Normandy, and sent to get help to fight the Reapers. But first, we had to go to Mars to pick up Liara. She was trying to find some big weapon that could stop the Reapers at the Prothean ruins there. When we got there, the place was under siege by Cerberus. They were after the same info. On my strike team was Ashley, who has serious trust issues with me, and a new guy named James. We met with Liara and she helped us infiltrate the base. Once we fought our way to the archives, I had a chat with Illusive Man, who had some crazy idea about trying to dominate the Reapers and use them to rule the galaxy or something... He had some kind of super lady steal the data we needed, but I chased her down and killed her, but not before she nearly killed Ashley. Without a doctor on the Normandy (for some reason) we had to take Ash to the Citadel to get medical attention. We also had to go there anyway to talk to the council.
 
Top Bottom