A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Dialogue Trees

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Souplex:

Susan Arendt:

PedroSteckecilo:

Susan Arendt:

AcacianLeaves:
SNIP

I was very disappointed that I couldn't romance Miranda or Jack. Miranda simply stopped talking to me and Jack told me flat-out that she wasn't into girls. Shame, really, I found them both to be very intriguing. Jacob is just plain boring...is BioWare incapable of making a human male sexy?

There was Alister in Dragon Age, I hooked up my female char with him instead of Lelliana and all of my lady friends who played the game found him fantastic.

But I don't think Mass Effect 3 will be any better, not for me anyway, I'm really hoping the Saga of Chell Shepard gets some sort of happy ending that involves Liara.

Ok, I'm actually terribly fond of Alistair, but he's more of an "aw, shucks" kind of cutie than a "rawr, take me now" kind of sexy. BioWare's female characters are far more nuanced.

I think it has something to do with male writers writing characters they want to Schtupp and then just rounding out the cast with men. I enjoyed talking to Jacob once I got past his freakishly large teeth.

Hmmm...perhaps I need to work at BioWare, then. Maybe we'd finally get some boys worth shagging in those games.

PedroSteckecilo:

I was just happy so see Bioware create a primary male character who wasn't a serious whiner (I'm looking at you Carth, Kaidan and wanky paladin boy from BG2)

Assuming you mean Anomen, he was a cleric :P The only Paladin in BG2 was Keldorn who was a nice old man.

Souplex:

HOLY SNIP BATMAN!

I think it has something to do with male writers writing characters they want to Schtupp and then just rounding out the cast with men. I enjoyed talking to Jacob once I got past his freakishly large teeth.

My fiancee had a similar thought, but it was more along the lines of "Male Writers not being very good at/very interested in writing love interests for female players." I found Jacob to be a perfectly fine comrade, just a hideously boring hookup for my lead character but like I said, I'm hoping for a happy ending involving Liara come Mass Effect 3.

I felt the same things when my picture of Ashley was turned over when I romanced Tali, it was sad, but liberating.

PedroSteckecilo:

Souplex:

HOLY SNIP BATMAN!

I think it has something to do with male writers writing characters they want to Schtupp and then just rounding out the cast with men. I enjoyed talking to Jacob once I got past his freakishly large teeth.

My fiancee had a similar thought, but it was more along the lines of "Male Writers not being very good at/very interested in writing love interests for female players." I found Jacob to be a perfectly fine comrade, just a hideously boring hookup for my lead character but like I said, I'm hoping for a happy ending involving Liara come Mass Effect 3.

Oh, yeah, totally good to go into battle with, and I'd happily have him on my crew. But bed him? Dear god, I'd fall asleep before he got his pants off.

Susan Arendt:

Souplex:

I think it has something to do with male writers writing characters they want to Schtupp and then just rounding out the cast with men. I enjoyed talking to Jacob once I got past his freakishly large teeth.

Hmmm...perhaps I need to work at BioWare, then. Maybe we'd finally get some boys worth shagging in those games.

If you succeed can you convince them to add space spears and space axes (Space swords are for overcompensating space wusses) Space armor renders space gunshots on par with arrows against normally armored targets, and they didn't get rid of the halberd once they starting crossbowing it up.

Perhaps it's just me, but between the January 28th Context Sensitive, and this one, I couldn't help but laugh.

Susan Arendt:
Spoiler Alert!

If you don't watch your mouth I'll break your knees, too.

Read Full Article

Susan Arendt:
Warning: The following article contains major Mass Effect 2 spoilers.

At any rate, great article. Raises some interesting points.

Susan Arendt:
Garrus was a beloved and respected friend, but shagging him would be less about romance and more about blowing off steam before the final battle. That left Thane ... terminally ill, noble, honey-voiced Thane, who was surprisingly romantic for a highly-trained assassin. He was exactly what Joanna needed: someone else who understood how precious life was, who had seen and done things he would rather have not, who was unlikely to survive what duty compelled him to do. The perfect salve for her wounded heart.

Is it me or is it pretty messed up to get into a relationship with a person who has less than a year to live?
Also, from a purely mechanical standpoint, both Garrus and Thane are covered in scales. I am fairly certain that would not be a pleasant experience.

Souplex:

Susan Arendt:
Garrus was a beloved and respected friend, but shagging him would be less about romance and more about blowing off steam before the final battle. That left Thane ... terminally ill, noble, honey-voiced Thane, who was surprisingly romantic for a highly-trained assassin. He was exactly what Joanna needed: someone else who understood how precious life was, who had seen and done things he would rather have not, who was unlikely to survive what duty compelled him to do. The perfect salve for her wounded heart.

Is it me or is it pretty messed up to get into a relationship with a person who has less than a year to live?
Also, from a purely mechanical standpoint, both Garrus and Thane are covered in scales. I am fairly certain that would not be a pleasant experience.

Mass Effect is based on sci-fi from the 70's and 80's... I'm sure they can um... do it.

Daystar Clarion:
Nice article, I noticed that too, Liara didn't seem like the innocent young Asari my Shepard fell for (also, Tali was not available in the first game), so when Tali's loyalty mission came around I was literally feeling upset for the poor Quarian... It had to be her.

My thoughts exactly!

Well, not quite. Liara was my second choice when I realized that I couldn't get with Tali in the first game.

PedroSteckecilo:

Souplex:

Susan Arendt:
Garrus was a beloved and respected friend, but shagging him would be less about romance and more about blowing off steam before the final battle. That left Thane ... terminally ill, noble, honey-voiced Thane, who was surprisingly romantic for a highly-trained assassin. He was exactly what Joanna needed: someone else who understood how precious life was, who had seen and done things he would rather have not, who was unlikely to survive what duty compelled him to do. The perfect salve for her wounded heart.

Is it me or is it pretty messed up to get into a relationship with a person who has less than a year to live?
Also, from a purely mechanical standpoint, both Garrus and Thane are covered in scales. I am fairly certain that would not be a pleasant experience.

Mass Effect is based on sci-fi from the 70's and 80's... I'm sure they can um... do it.

I am not saying it would be impossible, I am saying it would be incredibly unpleasant due to the scaleyness.

theSovietConnection:
Perhaps it's just me, but between the January 28th Context Sensitive, and this one, I couldn't help but laugh.

Susan Arendt:
Spoiler Alert!

If you don't watch your mouth I'll break your knees, too.

Read Full Article

Susan Arendt:
Warning: The following article contains major Mass Effect 2 spoilers.

At any rate, great article. Raises some interesting points.

Not sure why that's funny.The whole point of the previous article was that you should warn people that you're going to discuss spoilers so that they can avoid them if they want to. Which is why I threw in the warning at the beginning of the current article.

Souplex:

Susan Arendt:
Garrus was a beloved and respected friend, but shagging him would be less about romance and more about blowing off steam before the final battle. That left Thane ... terminally ill, noble, honey-voiced Thane, who was surprisingly romantic for a highly-trained assassin. He was exactly what Joanna needed: someone else who understood how precious life was, who had seen and done things he would rather have not, who was unlikely to survive what duty compelled him to do. The perfect salve for her wounded heart.

Is it me or is it pretty messed up to get into a relationship with a person who has less than a year to live?
Also, from a purely mechanical standpoint, both Garrus and Thane are covered in scales. I am fairly certain that would not be a pleasant experience.

Why? Is he any less of a wonderful person because he's dying? Just because he won't be there forever and ever, does that make him any less worthy of being loved?

I noticed the exact same thing, except with Ash.

It was pretty upsetting when she walked away after only seeing her for 2 minutes. Then getting an email from her; way to rub it in.

Wow, that's kinda beautiful, much more subtle than I ever expected from any video game. That makes me want to play this game much more than any of the "I'm joining Shepard because I love killing stuff, gruff gruff" TV commercials.

My Audrey was pretty heartbroken after that encounter on Illium.
But even though Thane was sympathetic (and something of a looker; despite the gills) she stayed true to her azure sweetheart.
The reward?


...it was kind of worth it.

300lb. Samoan:
Wow, that's kinda beautiful, much more subtle than I ever expected from any video game. That makes me want to play this game much more than any of the "I'm joining Shepard because I love killing stuff, gruff gruff" TV commercials.

They show you the worst characters in those things, Grunt and Jack are both pretty simple/dumb/unlikable.

Susan Arendt:

Souplex:

Susan Arendt:
Garrus was a beloved and respected friend, but shagging him would be less about romance and more about blowing off steam before the final battle. That left Thane ... terminally ill, noble, honey-voiced Thane, who was surprisingly romantic for a highly-trained assassin. He was exactly what Joanna needed: someone else who understood how precious life was, who had seen and done things he would rather have not, who was unlikely to survive what duty compelled him to do. The perfect salve for her wounded heart.

Is it me or is it pretty messed up to get into a relationship with a person who has less than a year to live?
Also, from a purely mechanical standpoint, both Garrus and Thane are covered in scales. I am fairly certain that would not be a pleasant experience.

Why? Is he any less of a wonderful person because he's dying? Just because he won't be there forever and ever, does that make him any less worthy of being loved?

My Shepard wouldn't have been able to get close to someone she knew she was going to lose... she has serious issues with loss.

I too am one of those mutated hybrids who likes to get into their characters in WRPGs. Ergo, Erika found Miranda somewhat easy to get along with while Jack reminded her too much of how she was back on Earth before she joined the service: violent and vulgar, her only peaceful times being those when she licked yet another poor bastard's blood off her knuckles.

I thought it was kinda cute that there happened to be a picture of Liara by the ship display. How I imagine Erika staring longingly into that portrait, recalling quiet (and some not so quiet ;3 ) nights of bliss with her blue-skinned companion.

I admit, I actually felt the heartbreak a little when Liara refused to join Erika on her quest to stop the collectors. And try as she might, as many times as she visited in between doing random favors for the other squadmates, Liara was still wrapped up in her own quest to usurp the mantle of "Shadow Broker" (well, that's how it sounds; she could just be wanting to kill her/her/it/them and get them out the way of... something).

Erika tried to find solace in her other squadmates, but to no avail (though for achievement reasons, I actually disconnected myself from Erika for a bit and allowed her to completely jump Jacob after suffering a complete squick moment with Garrus {totally my own fault; personal curiosity got the better of me yet again}). I can only hope that Erika finds some type of resolution to this conflict, either with Liara or through some other means, lest the entire galaxy suffers a shattered jaw.

...

What were we talking about again?

My Shepard is female, though I am male. I imagine this made me view the romance options a bit differently than female player would (i.e Susan). I didn't like any of the options in ME 2. Jacob was just horny. Thane was freakin' insane. And Garrus was... tourian. I ended up choosing Garrus and I am moderately satisfied with that outcome. Though it was moreso snuggling than it was having sex.

But I do agree about one thing...
Joker should've been a romance option.

EDIT: Just like Susan, Liara was my Shepard's love interest in ME1. But she's changed too much in ME2. Whatever they had before Shepard died is long gone now. The downturned picture was not one of sadness or guilt, but simply moving on.

Well mine was with Tali but cheating on Liara did have the same effect. I'm really shocked at the amount of subtlty they have managed to weave into this game despite slimlining it for heavy shooter gameplay.

Powerful stuff.

Nice article, it's great to see games are reaching out to touch us, and we all get to put our own personal spin on things and compare stories :)

Mass Effect 3 will be an interesting "test" of Bioware's ability to handle an ongoing romance. Mass Effect 1 deals with a more simplistic infatuation, depending on your feelings and actions 2 hands us a whopping helping of heartbreak with a topping of longing or comfort depending on what you chose to do, hopefully 3 can bring a lot of this full circle. If they succeed it'll likely be one of the more impressive depictions of "romance" in videogaming, but I guess we'll have to wait and see, here's hoping Bioware's rumored release date of January 2011 holds firm eh?

You should have gone for Kelly since you have a problem with dead fish and she's the only love interest that can feed them...and lap dance...

Loved the game, beginning to end. Especially the end, more than a bit of a shock there. I was so thrilled at making it on my first go without losing ANYBODY (hee hee), was up until midnight before the high subsided enough to drift off to sleep (that third beer helped as well).

Anyway I digress. I was actually angry as heck after meeting up with Liara, mostly at Bioware. Felt like they'd rewritten her entire character simply for plot convienience. She actually managed to completely creep me out within three sentences of our reunion. I didn't get the full story until later, but for me the romance was over.

Didn't know which way to go with it after that; Jack was definate damaged goods, Miranda I considered to be a friend but not interesting enough to persue, Kelly was uninteresting (not to mention creating a potentially hostile work environment for her). When we went to reclaim the Quarian science ship from the Geth, my heart went out to poor Tali when she found her father.

And she's so darned cute when she starts babbling when she gets nervous.

Options for a female Shepard, hmmmm.

"Jeff" and EDI have an, "amicable working relationship" *ahem* so sorry ladies, he's taken.

I just finished my first playthrough as Jon Sheppard, but based on what I know there when Jane Sheppard takes to the CIC in my next playthrough;
Jacob doesn't seem as bad as some people have suggested, of course my viewpoint is skewed a bit. His blindly professional attitude is a bit annoying but not so bad once you get him to knock it off.
Thane I don't know all that well, but I have a problem with "professionals" so I doubt I'll pursue him much.
Playing as Jon Sheppard I damn near freaked completely out when Garrus got shot in the face. I felt he remained a very close friend for the rest of the game. I have a feeling Jane will find him to be an even closer friend -_^

On the subject, does anybody else get the feeling that Kelly would like to do the Matteress Mambo with Garrus? Can't shake it for some reason.

PedroSteckecilo:

300lb. Samoan:
Wow, that's kinda beautiful, much more subtle than I ever expected from any video game. That makes me want to play this game much more than any of the "I'm joining Shepard because I love killing stuff, gruff gruff" TV commercials.

They show you the worst characters in those things, Grunt and Jack are both pretty simple/dumb/unlikable.

Those commercials suck and I hate them. =p

Frankly, if I WANT to play GoW I will go and play freakin GoW.

I noticed that little touch too - once I started my romance with Miranda the picture of Ashley was turned down... then I realized that Tali was interested.. and, well, curiousity got the better of me.

Not a very good payoff though, I wanted to see her face, but I guess that will be a nice shocking moment for ME3.

Oddly, my Kaya Shepard sounds similar to your Joanna Shepard. I stayed loyal, mostly because I could accept what little there was.

i never noticed that picture, just means im gonna have to play through again to find it, oh no what a shame. and just a quick question for all those people who where being good or bad, who let the volus attack the asira in illium? i did and it was the funiest thing ever but then i played again being good and i couldnt do it as much as i wanted cuz it wouldnt be something my charcter would do.

Susan, this was a great article you've written. It isn't often that a game emotionally grabs you the way ME2 does. The reason I found your article to begin with is because when I was playing the game, I too found the picture turned face down on the desk. It surprised me in a way that I didn't expect. Billy Bob (yes, thats really his name) Shephard had grown very, very close to Miranda, but I figured things with Liara had grown cold and was all but over. Then I discovered the picture. I immediately wondered why Billy Bob (stop laughing) would let Liara go so easily. The next thing I did was get on the internet to figure out what was the matter and how I could get that picture back up. I happened upon your article and fortunately did find out that if I broke things off now, the picture would turn back up. Billy Bob marched right back to Miranda's office and dumped her. The picture went back up. Needless to say, Billy Bob is done with his man-whore days. He needs to see things through with Liara until ME3...

Oh...one more thing. Billy Bob did "go all the way" with Jack earlier in the game. However, it was made clear up front that it was purely sex and nothing more. It never affected the picture...

Speedracr246:
Susan, this was a great article you've written. It isn't often that a game emotionally grabs you the way ME2 does. The reason I found your article to begin with is because when I was playing the game, I too found the picture turned face down on the desk. It surprised me in a way that I didn't expect. Billy Bob (yes, thats really his name) Shephard had grown very, very close to Miranda, but I figured things with Liara had grown cold and was all but over. Then I discovered the picture. I immediately wondered why Billy Bob (stop laughing) would let Liara go so easily. The next thing I did was get on the internet to figure out what was the matter and how I could get that picture back up. I happened upon your article and fortunately did find out that if I broke things off now, the picture would turn back up. Billy Bob marched right back to Miranda's office and dumped her. The picture went back up. Needless to say, Billy Bob is done with his man-whore days. He needs to see things through with Liara until ME3...

Oh...one more thing. Billy Bob did "go all the way" with Jack earlier in the game. However, it was made clear up front that it was purely sex and nothing more. It never affected the picture...

Thanks for taking the time to share that. I really appreciate it. :)

I missed the photo thing myself hmm. I did notice there is a dialogue option where Liara breaks down her wall a little and explains what has happened for the last two years and why she is truly after the Shadow Broker but I was a little sad to see her so dark. In the same sadness I felt over April Ryan in Dreamfall. Both explainable though.

Question is, do I play through a second time and not pick a lover to keep things 'ok' for the third game, if it makes any difference at all.

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