Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 1

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Aity:
Great podcast. Just curious if any of you saw the Blasto 6 exerpts in the Presidium. Laughed my ass off. Badassfully, so :)

Wait, you can actually watch those? I thought it was just some joke about there being a Blasto 6, not that it was actually interactive, like how in ME2 you can buy the first two Mass Effect novels on the Citadel, but can't actually read them. I will have to check those out.

penthesilea180:
Susan, since you did romance Thane, did you take the renegade action after the fight with Kai Leng? And if so, how awesome and cathartic was it?

Actually, that line and the accompanying action happens whether or not you take the interrupt; if you don't take it, Shepard just dodges the sword instead of breaking it.

I also would like to hear your guys' thoughts on the Grissom Academy mission; personally, that was my favorite of the ME2 squadmate meetups. (Tali and Garrus are disqualified, of course, since they end up joining you.) I was so proud of Jack, that she'd managed to make something of herself and that she'd found something to fight for. And her new hairstyle is frakking awesome. Plus, it was cool to finally see Kahlee Sanders-though did anyone else think her eyes were rather creepy?

While I liked Cortez, the one I really loved was Specialist Traynor. She's smart, witty, and has a pluck to her that I find incredibly endearing. Plus, it was honestly kind of refreshing to have an attractive female character that didn't see my male Shepard as a potential love interest.

With regards to EDI, while I was a bit apprehensive about the physical body at first, I warmed up to the idea pretty quickly, especially once I realized that it was forcing her to think about the way she interacted with organics now that she could look them in the eye. Honestly, I think one of their main motivations was to make the EDI/Joker pairing work, which it really couldn't unless EDI gained a physical body, and the whole thing is just so adorable. In my second playthrough, I'm making sure to take EDI on all the missions where you meet up with squadmates from ME2, just to see their reactions. Jack's was hilarious, looking forward to Jacobs's.

Speaking of Jacob, seriously? He hooks up with Brynn even if you romanced him in ME2? I mean, I never played a femshep that romanced him and had no particular plans to do so, but still. I had assumed that mission would play out very differently had you romanced him.

That said, given that I too found Jacob fairly bland in ME2, I liked him a lot more in ME3. He's not fighting for some vaguely defined ideal anymore, but for the woman he loves and people he cares about. I found myself wishing there'd been a bit more dialogue with him.

I don't know if I'll ever bring myself to miss that shot with Garrus on purpose. Garrus has always given me his best, and I feel that it would be unfair not to give him mine, even if it is just a silly competition. That said, I may take the option with my femshep vanguard and just retcon it in my head as her actually missing; after all, she's a close combat specialist, no reason for her to be particularly good with a sniper rifle.

I really loved how romance was handled in this game; it was always set up so that you were given an opening, and you could express interest if you wanted, but if not there was a perfectly legitimate "just friends" dialogue option. Was nice to not have Cortez get the wrong idea when I helped him through his loss.

Looking forward to your guys' thoughts on the ending, see you around.

Shellsh0cker:

Actually, that line and the accompanying action happens whether or not you take the interrupt; if you don't take it, Shepard just dodges the sword instead of breaking it.

Ah, I didn't know that the scene played out regardless of your interruption. Is the dialogue the same? That was the best part for me. I shouted "YES!" so loud that I woke up my neighbors.

penthesilea180:

Shellsh0cker:

Actually, that line and the accompanying action happens whether or not you take the interrupt; if you don't take it, Shepard just dodges the sword instead of breaking it.

Ah, I didn't know that the scene played out regardless of your interruption. Is the dialogue the same? That was the best part for me. I shouted "YES!" so loud that I woke up my neighbors.

Yep, exactly the same. Like I said, all that's different is that Shepard doesn't break the sword. And I had a similar reaction.

Shellsh0cker:

penthesilea180:

Shellsh0cker:

Actually, that line and the accompanying action happens whether or not you take the interrupt; if you don't take it, Shepard just dodges the sword instead of breaking it.

Ah, I didn't know that the scene played out regardless of your interruption. Is the dialogue the same? That was the best part for me. I shouted "YES!" so loud that I woke up my neighbors.

Yep, exactly the same. Like I said, all that's different is that Shepard doesn't break the sword. And I had a similar reaction.

Same here.

Avatar Roku:
Wait, if you don't visit Thane in the hospital, Kirrahe intervenes? I thought they wanted to reward you for doing those character meet-ups, like what happens with Miranda if you do (versus if you don't) meet her.

I think I remember seeing somewhere that if you don't meet her then you don't warn her about Kai Leng and he kills her during her mission.

She even mentions something specifically about how certain precautions probably saved her.

Susan Arendt:

Ninedeus:
The memorial wall infront of the elevator was also a nice touch. When Thane died in my game and his name was put up on that wall with all the others, that hit me hard.

Indeed. His isn't the only name that gets added. I stared at that wall a lot.

There were at least 2 names missing though. No Kelly, as far as I could see (she died in ME3 for me), and I didn't have Zaeed on mine, despite him dying in ME2.

Also, Susan, I hate to make you go back and replay with the DLC, but the number 1 reason to get is that Tali drunk dials Javik and it is possibly the funniest conversation in the whole game. Honestly, that one part is worth the price of the DLC.

I had to remake my Male Shepard for my first playthrough, and I actually had an unusual thing happen in that I'm actually more satisfied with my new ME3 Shepard than I was with my 1 and 2. I used some screenshots from 2 to get as close an approximation as I could, and what I ended up with was a Shepard who looked the same as my old one, but was far more dishevelled. His face was more weathered, and he had that "I haven't shaved this morning" stubble. And it -worked- for me. Because it just added to that whole feeling of "I'm trying to hold the entire galaxy together, but I'm just one man, and the cracks are showing." I also found myself taking far more renegade options in this game to illustrate that the time for appeasement and playing nice is over, you're either with me, or a waste of my time. For example, after being a paragon of patience with a certain Westerlund News reporter, I finally "Had enough of her tabloid journalism."

Also as a tip to anyone who bought the Prothean DLC, take him to Thessia, that's kind of a huge reveal. Not ompletely surprising, but still a wicked conversation and some very nice insight on the Prothean race. I have nearly reached this point on my second playthrough, so I am not certain of how much it changes if you do not bring him. I hope it doesn't much...

How spoilerific is this podcat. I want to listen to it, but I haven't played the game and want to be surprised by something.

(I didn't read any forum comments either in case of spoilers)

After listening this I must say that I like ME because of the character interactions. And on ME 3 it's the best because it's not only you talking to your crew members but hey talk to each others and then there is people on citadel talking about their lives and problems. I mean some say that this last ME were badly written but I must say that for me it wasn't. I like to hear other peoples stories etc. Like when you are first time on citadel and go to med bay you start hearing story of this soldier who has some kind of infection on his leg and it needs to be removed, the leg I mean.

So in that part I really like ME 3.

bojac6:

Susan Arendt:

Ninedeus:
The memorial wall infront of the elevator was also a nice touch. When Thane died in my game and his name was put up on that wall with all the others, that hit me hard.

Indeed. His isn't the only name that gets added. I stared at that wall a lot.

There were at least 2 names missing though. No Kelly, as far as I could see (she died in ME3 for me), and I didn't have Zaeed on mine, despite him dying in ME2.

Also, Susan, I hate to make you go back and replay with the DLC, but the number 1 reason to get is that Tali drunk dials Javik and it is possibly the funniest conversation in the whole game. Honestly, that one part is worth the price of the DLC.

I'm not sure it would happen for me. When you finish the game, you go back to a save before the finale (so that you can play DLC, I imagine, or maybe clean up those war assets you neglected). Anyway, I'm *pretty* sure that's well past the point that Tali gets drunk. I suppose I could just play from a save about midway through, though.

bojac6:
Also, Susan, I hate to make you go back and replay with the DLC, but the number 1 reason to get is that Tali drunk dials Javik and it is possibly the funniest conversation in the whole game. Honestly, that one part is worth the price of the DLC.

Oh Lord, I'd forgotten about that. So effing funny.

Slycne:

Avatar Roku:
Wait, if you don't visit Thane in the hospital, Kirrahe intervenes? I thought they wanted to reward you for doing those character meet-ups, like what happens with Miranda if you do (versus if you don't) meet her.

I think I remember seeing somewhere that if you don't meet her then you don't warn her about Kai Leng and he kills her during her mission.

She even mentions something specifically about how certain precautions probably saved her.

I know, that was my point (I was trying to avoid spoilers). In that case, they were rewarding you for taking the time to talk to her, whereas with Thane, it seems it was the opposite.

Avatar Roku:
I know, that was my point (I was trying to avoid spoilers). In that case, they were rewarding you for taking the time to talk to her, whereas with Thane, it seems it was the opposite.

Ah sorry, I mistook that as you asking what happens. This whole podcast and thread are intended to be spoiler heavy.

Well Thane is going to die regardless of whether he stops Kai Leng or not. So I would say it's arguably more rewarding for him to go out in glory than to languish in the hospital.

bdcjacko:
How spoilerific is this podcat. I want to listen to it, but I haven't played the game and want to be surprised by something.

(I didn't read any forum comments either in case of spoilers)

While we certainly don't spoil everything, and this is limited to roughly the first 2/3 rds of the game. This was certainly our opportunity to cut loose on some of our favorite moments, which may be the best to experience through play instead of retelling.

Slycne:

Avatar Roku:
I know, that was my point (I was trying to avoid spoilers). In that case, they were rewarding you for taking the time to talk to her, whereas with Thane, it seems it was the opposite.

Ah sorry, I mistook that as you asking what happens. This whole podcast and thread are intended to be spoiler heavy.

Well Thane is going to die regardless of whether he stops Kai Leng or not. So I would say it's arguably more rewarding for him to go out in glory than to languish in the hospital.

The post I was responding to claimed that you could save Thane if you:
a)Did NOT visit him on the Citadel
and
b)Got Major Kirahe on your side.

In that case, he said, Kirahe shows up and saves Thane and the Councilor.

I'm not sure how true that is, though, I've yet to see it elsewhere.

EDIT: And now it is I who misunderstood your point. I supposed being killed fighting Kai Leng is preferable to Kepral's Syndrome.

I have to say, I romanced Liara in the first game and remained faithful to her in the second.
In ME3, I had intended to finish pursuing it. But, during the Udina assassination, I saw so much of my first experiences as a Spectre in her. I don't know if it was the war and needing some humanity, or the fact that she reminded me of me. But, I'm dating Ashley now. Shepard himself even commented on it. In that moment, we were both ready to make a sacrifice in the name of what we believed in.

Speaking of sacrifice, I don't think I've ever had a more intense moment of wanting to shut off a game and stop playing. Usually it's because a game is bad or is broken; but when Mordin died, I had an extreme moment of wondering if the war is worth it. How many more good people will die, for an already uncertain future? It tore me up pretty bad actually...

EDIT AND POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

[PROFANITY] KAI LENG. The 'boss' fight on thessia was total bs. I'm playing an infiltrator(total change of pace. normally a shotgun vanguard.) who specializes in special ammo and headshots. I one hit Leng's shields off and it immediately went to a cutscene where for some reason I couldn't take my obviously going to happen second shot? I use the fastest sniper rifle in the game, my second shot was primed as the cutscene loaded and somehow I couldn't just FINISH HIM OFF!? (Assassination scene with Thane/Kirrahe anyone? Fuuuu- )

Joseph Harrison:
My personal belief as to why Padok Wiks, the salarian that replaces Mordin if he dies, is so interesting is because Mordin is SO hard to keep alive in ME2 so they knew that alot of people would have him dead and created a really interesting character to replace him. I actually feel a bit bad for people ho did not see him because so of his lines are frickin hilarious.

Mordin's last lines in ME3 go down as some of the most epic in history. What a great send off. He was my favorite side character.

One thing that was kinda funny/Uncomfortable is if you romance Liara in one, then Tali in 2, then bring her and them together during the Geth destroyer mission... And EDI brings up the "Events" of mass effect 2.... Laughed so hard.

Hannibal942:

Joseph Harrison:
My personal belief as to why Padok Wiks, the salarian that replaces Mordin if he dies, is so interesting is because Mordin is SO hard to keep alive in ME2 so they knew that alot of people would have him dead and created a really interesting character to replace him. I actually feel a bit bad for people ho did not see him because so of his lines are frickin hilarious.

Mordin's last lines in ME3 go down as some of the most epic in history. What a great send off. He was my favorite side character.

Mine as well. I can't see any character being more of a BAMF than Mordin.

Already made my big post in the part 2 thread, but just wanted to agree with Susan wholeheartedly on Padok Wiks (the salarian replacing Mordin). Mordin was great, but Padok was awesome in all the ways Mordin was not. I particularly loved his interactions with Eve so much...Eve herself is also amazing. We could definitely use more female characters like Eve in well...just about anywhere really. Then again I also liked Kreia's presence in KOTOR 2, so I suppose I just have a thing for older/geriatric women (stereotyped as the weakest form of character of all) as possessing talents that make them powerful in ways most men unfortunately never could fathom.

The Old Forgetful Lady asking about her son....the asari actually said that he is NOT under a contact band.....hinting that he is dead..............not in sepc ops

So from sad to EXTREMELY sad :'(

speaking of the Asari huntress part. did any one notice one REALLY REALLY SAD PART?

As noted in the vid, spoilers pre-ending may follow:

Aquarium VI was literally the first item I bought (I had the money at the beginning, even though it was like 25000), and I am very glad they put it in. Sadly, despite my best efforts, I was never able to do the dinner/feed my fish thing with Kelly in ME2, so I never got that unique fishie back (Prejek paddle fish). The new batarian eel is amazing, though, as are the jellies.

On armor - for me, Sentry Interface is the new Kuwashii Visor (headpiece that is cool enough and unobstructive enough to wear it full time, even during cutscenes). For some reason, the Visor seems a lot more obstructive in ME3 rather than ME2, though, so for most of the game I went without any. Seeing Shep's face is very important.

Changing art assets for chargen between ME2 and ME3 was just silly. What's particularly bizarre is that even the *default* ME/ME2 FemShep hair was replaced (wut). (Other hairs too - frex compare Kelly in ME2 with Kelly in ME3.) Also ran into the ME1->2->3 face import bug. Was much rage. Also took hours. Still disappointed that you can't fully rotate the head during creation - though ironically my ultimate recreation ended up looking really good in profile (which I couldn't tell in the creator) and yet really poor from one specific front angle (which unfortunately shows up a lot in cutscenes, ugh).

Cool to hear that Padok ended up being cool; in Mordin playthroughs he has almost zero role - would have been better if both Mordin and Padok were there for a dialogue between them.

Rachni were way underdeveloped in this game. I saved the Queen for the second time, of course, but after the fact, she was simply some numbers and an e-mail or two. Bleh. Big letdown. Seeing real Rachni interactions with other races, or some Rachni culture, or cutscenes of them fighting, or SOMETHING would've been cool.

The huntress in therapy is a *really* long dialogue. Something like 6 to 8 parts (rather than the typical 3-5). It's also implied that the girl from her story is Joker's sister (same name and age, for sure).
It's interesting if you still get the Blue Rose of Ilium poem if you convince Ereba not to marry Charr (whose poetry, by the way, is awesome, since it still feels very krogan in nature). Anyway, it's interesting because at least in the marry version, his final poetry implies a baby - I wonder if the poem is different in the reject version.

I brought Javik on almost every mission, and he had a LOT of dialogue. His conversation with Wrex was really cool, and he has a lot to say on Thessia. He also has a lot of conversations with the rest of the crew (Liara a lot, but everyone else as well). I rarely agreed with what he said (I couldn't possibly disagree more with him about Legion, frex), but he always had something interesting to say. Not sure if he's worth $10 (had CE myself), but he was cool IMO. Should you get it, I would disagree about when to pick him up - pick him up as soon as you can, so you can hear more dialogue with him.

Garrus was also often my wingman, but not as often as Prothy the Prothean. Brought EDI once or twice but she actually never said much (though there was one really touching moment where David from Overlord apologizes to her).

On Thessia... Liara should obviously recognize the connection between Athame and the Protheans/Collectors. The problem (which is explicitly brought up if you take Javik with you) is that Liara is in complete denial that her goddess was simply mortal Protheans messing with the asari; she basically breaks down over it during the mission and immediately afterwards.
(Still doesn't explain why, say, Samara didn't note any connection in ME2, of course. NOR does it explain those damn tentacle-face statues on Ilos, or from the Prothean beacon's message (before it got stupidly retconned in ME2), or from the (bizarrely placed) codex picture. I mean, it could have been one of the multiple races they subjugated? But it's always really annoyed me how those statues were just never brought up again - they were a great part of Ilos' atmosphere and deserved further mention.)

Kai Leng was the stupidest boring enemy ever. In order to establish him as srsbsns, his assassination attempt gets foiled by a 6-months-past-expected-death-out-of-shape drell, who nearly beats him in hand-to-hand combat, while Kai Leng also has the benefit of Shep's Cutscene Stupidity. [voice=dull, unimpressed, hateful of writers involved]Wow, that was amazing, Mr. Leng.[/voice] On Thessia he also wins with stupid cutscence magic, as well as having a gunship backup, and with the ability to recharge his shields by standing out in the open. WUT. The end of Thessia was one of the REALLY stupid moments for me (pre-ending, natch (pre-partial-mitigation-by-Indoctrination-Theory, natch). It doesn't feel like any of your enemies beat you, it purely feels like the writers cheated you.

James was fine, but ultimately boring as a squadmate. Cortez and Traynor were both really cool, and I liked how they tied into missions/side-missions a lot. James would have worked better in a role like theirs, with time better spent on making a more interesting squadmate proper. (Also on the note of James getting along well with 'Esteban,' I was happy to see that he also wasn't typically xenophobic. James speaks quite highly of krogan troops, frex.)

Also, I wish we'd gotten Wrex and Legion or some of the others as ACTUAL temporary squadmates, but they were always simply put into side-screen/radio-helper roles. Definitely would have shored up the shallow squad pool; particularly with Tali (and to a lesser extent Kaidan/Ashley) only joining much later in the game, without the DLC Javik you only have 4 squadmates available - and none of them are Wrex, Mordin, or Legion, and only one of them is Garrus.

And none of them are Wrex. Did I already mention that?

(By the way, Susan: "podcat." I'm sorry, but I can't help but crack up at that. We demand more meows.)

Okay, I know I'm necroposting a bit, but I'm finally getting around to listening to this, since I *FINALLY* got my CE last week. I'm now about 20 hours into ME3, up until the Ardat Yakshi Monastery. And it's nice hearing your opinions, seeing some of my own echoed, and hearing other things I never would've known (for example, I loathed Ashley with the passion of a thousand fiery suns in ME1, so she dies in 95% of my playthroughs).

I didn't run into the face import bug (I guess that's *one* advantage to having had to wait months to play this game), but I would've been soooooo upset if I couldn't have played with my FemShep. Susan has her Joanna, and I have my Alexandra Shepard. That's my Shepard, that's who Shepard is for me, and I couldn't have it any other way. Things are going to get weird in my second playthrough when I dust off my MaleShep, and suddenly, we have two James's on the ship, though.
Incidentally, regarding James, I expected to hate him the moment I saw his picture during the first reveal. I totally bought the jarhead marine stereotype. But then I scratched the surface to find someone with a sense of humor, someone with flaws, doubts, and his own strengths and weaknesses. He totally won me over, and my FemShep is very glad to have a guy friend who isn't trying to get in her pants (can anyone say "not Jacob Taylor"?), especially since I've been saving her for Kaidan since day one.

Regarding the romances, I'm really getting the sense that straight females got the short end of that stick. Let's have a count, shall we? We have Kaidan (my favorite romance option, bar none, sorry Garrus fans, but he's like a brother to my FemShep), Garrus, and that's it! Jacob runs off and has a baby, and Thane goes off and dies! Yeah, I know Liara's an option too, but (and please don't hate me for this), I've always classified her as "female" (and thus a straight male or lesbian female option). I know Asari don't have genders, but as a puny human, my mind sees boobs and classifies as "female", that's just how my limited brain works.

From a gameplay point of view, I've been taking Garrus and James out, because I'm playing an Adept, and they complement my Biotics more. Now that I've got Kaidan back, I'm going with Garrus and Kaidan. I try to stick with one squad config per gameplay, and try to mix it up, but from what you guys said and what I've read in the comments section, I might go with Liara and Javik when I hit Thessia, we'll see.

BioWare has seriously gone out of its way to make ME3 packed with emotion, and I'm loving the journey so far, even though it's also been full of tears. I was literally in tears when Mordin dies ("Would have liked to run tests those sea shells." that line alone is getting me misty eyed), hubby came home at that moment and he asked "who died"! Don't think he expected me to answer with a videogame character! And that's what so great with ME3, it's that they've been building up on the last games, these are characters we've come to know and love, and saying goodbye to them is downright hard. Gosh, Thane's scene at the hospital had me in tears as well, he was dying and he used his last few breaths to say a prayer for my FemShep (he says the prayer, Kolyat and FemShep finish it for him, then Thane dies, my Shep turned to Kolyat "Why did that last line say 'she'?", and he answered "my father has already asked for forgiveness for his sins, his wish was for you"), and I just totally lost it.

New characters were also just as interesting, and Eve was a favorite of mine. She has that "no nonsense", will do the best for my people, attitude that was absolutely endearing. And as a mother, I completely connected to her, my heart just reached out to her, when she told the story of her first stillborn (yup, cried there too). Oh, and I *loved* Cortez, he's such a great character! He's not a squadmate, but definitely a full fledged character. He was great, and I too loved that he said "husband" like men say "wife" these days. Not so much of a fan of Traynor, but I think that's just because her personality doesn't "click" with me, she's too sqeaky clean, fresh out of the lab, still starry eyed, and that was just too jarring, compared with what else was going on, at least for me.

I'm getting the same feeling from ME3 that I got from the first time I ever read the last tome in Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles. I knew the journey was coming to an end, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen, but with each turn of the page, each click of the mouse, I get closer to it actually ENDING. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes, you both want and don't want something to end. Plus, I've been hearing all these people saying the ending was disappointing, so that does have me a bit apprehensive.
Anywho, great podcast, sorry for the wall of text, and will listen to part two as soon as I get there!

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