Pick Your Path: Mass Effect

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Ha, this was a fun read. I really liked the Krogan ending.

Well, shit. I just died. That just completely ruined my day.

That was awesomely entertaining.

Better writing than most of ME2 at that <_<

Typo on 60: "I no that must have been difficult." And 62: "I always knew the Collector's harvested other species,". 92: "I'm more fit than [a] Batarian on his mother's hatchday". 114: "You've proved that and more in the short time I've know you." Also, on 114, shouldn't references to your father actually be to your mother if you picked Asari?

"I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite choose-your-own-adventure on the Escapist."

Oh yes, I really liked this one. Keep up the good work!

I enjoyed my asari adventure right until the end when I realized

But other than that, it was fantastic. Was spot on to the tone of the actual games, well done.

well...Dukkuna seemed nice while it lasted.

I loved playing this - I just hope my Asari shopkeep left Palaven with Virgil before things went sideways with ME3. And the Elcor Hamlet part cracked me up.

Wow, I can honestly say I'm really impressed. So glad I gave this a chance, it managed to strike that consistently-comedic-yet-occasionally-touching tone that I so enjoy. The affectionate digs at the games, Tali's photo in particular, were hilarious as well. Plus, there's just something about the idea of a desperate human merchant Forest Gumping his way THROUGH THE OMEGA 4 RELAY after Shepard that still has me giggling.

Oh wow. This Pick Your Path was absolutely amazing. Massive, rich, captivating. Wow.

Elcor Hamlet was simply amazing, I didn't think it could be pulled off, but you did it. Kudos.

Each character from start to finish felt so fully fleshed out, despite this really only being a fun little story :) I cared about each character about as much as I cared about the Normandy's crew, especially Kat (Hey I have a weakness for Quarians! Especially the cute ones!) It was extremely satisfying (unfortunately more so than a 40 game plus 6 DLC) and has put me in a great mood for the rest of the day! Probably for the rest of the weekend! And it's soo funny, especially Virgil (HA!), but as I said, the characters were so fleshed out it was also extremely touching in some places. Digs at Tali's stock photo did pull me out of my immersion for a moment and did feel out of place, but I instantly forgave it because 1) It was a genuinly funny reference and 2) I HATED Tali's photo in the game, mostly because it's stock photo, slightly because of the terrible photoshopping, and anything that shoots it down is worth it. Only critisism is that the ending felt slightly abrupt, during the first paragraph of the final page your escaping from the dying human-reaper lava, then a few paragraphs down you've solved basically everything you wanted to and living your prefered life. Also maybe one final romance scene with LI during the escape of the base.

Will definately return to this, this is simply amazing in story telling!

Sentox6:
That was awesomely entertaining.

Better writing than most of ME2 at that <_<

Typo on 60: "I no that must have been difficult." And 62: "I always knew the Collector's harvested other species,". 92: "I'm more fit than [a] Batarian on his mother's hatchday". 114: "You've proved that and more in the short time I've know you." Also, on 114, shouldn't references to your father actually be to your mother if you picked Asari?

I haven't played through the Asari story, but unless you're role-playing a pure blood asari or an asari with lesbian mothers, it's not out-of-the question you had/ have a father right?

This is probably the best of its type I've done. I died as an Asari on Horizon but went back and just tried all the options I could possibly do in new tabs. There's so many >.>

Btw, you die in "66" but the image isn't a "Critical Mission Failure" one. Not sure if that's intentional...

That was actually quite long and well fleshed out.

Also the Elkor Hamlet made my day.

Extreme happiness: Great Job

Jamaicob5:
I haven't played through the Asari story, but unless you're role-playing a pure blood asari or an asari with lesbian mothers, it's not out-of-the question you had/ have a father right?

It's not out of the question, but your "mother" is clearly established as a character prior in the story, so having an unmentioned father come from nowhere is a little strange.

Sentox6:

Jamaicob5:
I haven't played through the Asari story, but unless you're role-playing a pure blood asari or an asari with lesbian mothers, it's not out-of-the question you had/ have a father right?

It's not out of the question, but your "mother" is clearly established as a character prior in the story, so having an unmentioned father come from nowhere is a little strange.

Yeah I see that now, does seem odd. But yeah as I said I hadn't played the Asari story so I didn't know that your mother played such a crutial part for your character.

Good stuff.

Jamaicob5:

Sentox6:

Jamaicob5:
I haven't played through the Asari story, but unless you're role-playing a pure blood asari or an asari with lesbian mothers, it's not out-of-the question you had/ have a father right?

It's not out of the question, but your "mother" is clearly established as a character prior in the story, so having an unmentioned father come from nowhere is a little strange.

Yeah I see that now, does seem odd. But yeah as I said I hadn't played the Asari story so I didn't know that your mother played such a crutial part for your character.

For a while I was reading this discussion wondering where the heck I brought up her father, and then it hit me. The court room dream, right? Well, in answer to your question, yes, the Asari does have a father who's tucked away in her subconscious somewhere (hence his appearance in the dream) but I can see how it may have been jolting, considering that you'd never been introduced to him. I will say, though, that I chose to avoid putting the mother in there because they actually share a pleasant relationship. I think the pressure of her mother's position did more to shape her personality than the mother herself, if that makes sense.

Mike Kayatta:

Jamaicob5:

Sentox6:

It's not out of the question, but your "mother" is clearly established as a character prior in the story, so having an unmentioned father come from nowhere is a little strange.

Yeah I see that now, does seem odd. But yeah as I said I hadn't played the Asari story so I didn't know that your mother played such a crutial part for your character.

For a while I was reading this discussion wondering where the heck I brought up her father, and then it hit me. The court room dream, right? Well, in answer to your question, yes, the Asari does have a father who's tucked away in her subconscious somewhere (hence his appearance in the dream) but I can see how it may have been jolting, considering that you'd never been introduced to him. I will say, though, that I chose to avoid putting the mother in there because they actually share a pleasant relationship. I think the pressure of her mother's position did more to shape her personality than the mother herself, if that makes sense.

Of course, since all of the three starting plotlines have converged into one by that point... well, whatever came up in the dream had to fit them all.

Lore bit: actually, in ME3, an asari does refer to herself as her offspring's father, since she wasn't the one to birth the kid

Going back to the first point, I'd say that that's the primary problem with this otherwise truly excellent and fun journey: because of the way it's set up as a hypertext adventure, there's no way to track earlier minor decisions without dramatically increasing the number of linked pages.
The most obvious offender is that which of the three races you choose only affects the events which lead up to TIM recruiting you for the first time (as an example, because of this even a krogan or asari character can pretend to be part of the Alliance on Horizon, lol; another example: I'm sure a krogan who was disowned from his clan in Part I might have something interesting to say to Kat (regards her not being accepted as a quarian adult) in Part Later-than-one). However, there are other noticeable ones as well, like how whether you upgrade your pistol or Zohya's omni-tool (provided you choose the path that allowed that choice, rather than only the pistol upgrade (and I think there might have been a path where you see neither)) gets washed out not two page turns later :/
The only decision that carries through into the end is who you romance (one of the three or the option of no one); and of course we can see how many pages even that simple decision added! So culling prior decisions does make sense, but I think it does hurt the narrative a bit.

Now, one could argue that the culling of prior decisions actually makes them more meaningful, since their effects exist solely in the reader's head rather than in any mechanical way in the narrative. (Such as with me continuing to read my lines in the gruff voice of a krogan, even as I extolled the brilliance of Elcor Hamlet, which was truly, genuinely marvelous.) Still, I can't help but feel that this would work better if it were retooled into an interactive-fiction-style 'game' which at the very least kept track of your major decisions, even if it didn't necessarily incorporate them into the the story (e.g. 'inventory,' Paragon/Renegade scores, etc.). Though, the hyperlink format is still more useful for exploring all the paths.

Allow me to heartily agree with folks above me that your three companions were all wonderfully written, and a joy to be with. Losing two of them in the end (I could never give up all three just for some silly recording) just to survive the journey on the other side of the Omega-4 Relay was an actual bittersweet ending. (Especially Kat's no-invasion-plan-data ending, since your new highly profitable enterprise is based precisely around what you saw on that journey, at the expense of two dear comrades.) It would have been pretty easy to stumble with these companions, but your writing was spot on. [/multiple thumbs up]

-------

There are some minor quibbles with the presentation, though. Nothing overtly tarnishing, but they are a bit distracting. A few off the top of my head:
-> just as it is 'human,' not 'Human,' it is 'quarian' not 'Quarian,' 'geth' not 'Geth,' 'elcor' not 'Elcor,' and so on and so on. 'Elcor Hamlet' is an exception, since that's the proper name of the production.
-> as others pointed out, making Kat a Captain while she still (unfairly) bears only the 'nar' designation (i.e., isn't considered of equal adult status in the eyes of the quarian commune) doesn't really make any sense. Nor does making her Tali's (twin?) sister (Tali's an only child; around this time Kat would have to deal with the death of her father as Tali did; Tali should know about the IFF Kat has (though I guess this is explained with Shep and co. still needing to board the derelict Reaper to get the input codes, so ok), etc.). Someone above pointed out the clever idea of making her Han'Gerrel's girl instead (and, since Rael'Zorah and Han were big chums, Tali and Kat as foils for each other would still fit perfectly into the narrative).
-> Francis Kitt's ship should probably be called the MSV William Shakespeare instead of S.S. (Merchant Space Vehicle/Vessel). That or you could make up a similar designation like CSV (Civilian Space Vehicle or suchlike). (Once more, though, I must reiterate that Elcor Hamlet in all it's glory was amazingly fun and funny. The first page of it is especially great.)
-> It seems odd that there's no way to 'bromance' any of the three companions. It's either love-it-up or be forced to leave the third one behind if you want to make it out of the base alive. The ending tweaks would be pretty small for this (change references to sexy-times to regular ol' hanging-out times, while keeping the same post-end situations), but I guess even that would double the number of pages for the end sequence.
-> several typos and grammatical missteps, which admittedly are bound to happen in a text this long; others have pointed out several above, plus of the top of my head there's 'troop' mistakenly used instead of 'troupe.' Y'know, basic stuff that can be fixed with more editing time.

You also referred to Commander Shepard as a 'he' on multiple occasions, but I'll admit that this is a relatively common mistake on the internet.

anaphysik:
SNIP

Well, without responding to the mechanics (which I feel would be akin to a magician explaining how he got the hula hoop around the levitating girl--regardless of how hokey the "trick" actually is) I will say this on the subject of Kat.

Firstly, let me just begin by saying that she held a security force rank of Captain prior to her pilgrimage (completely unheard of, but based on her father's connections and her obvious prowess with assault rifles they bumped her up early) so when she came back from finding the transponder, they decided not to remove her rank while deciding whether or nor her gift should be allowed since, after all, she hasn't actually done anything wrong yet.

Now, as far as her heredity is concerned, I think there are a few ways to interpret her character's relation to Tali. The first would be that she's clearly a bit of a nutter. She's a quarian soldier with one too many grenades who wants to jump into bed with the first alien she sees ... and even then, only after some, let's admit it, questionable sterilization procedure. Therefore, it seems possible that she may have heard about Tali, and connected herself to someone important only to appear more tragic than she actually is. Maybe this was to get you into bed; maybe this was her own ego soothing itself from events by covering with denial. And if you need further proof that she may not be completely on the up and up, try to find one of the less desirable endings featuring her on the final mission.

A second possible interpretation is that she is telling the truth. In her story, she talks about how she used to be close with her sister, but now can't talk to her about it, or reach out to her for support. Maybe Tali was so ashamed by her sister's failure that she's the one who conveniently lied about being an only child when speaking with Shepard. Perhaps she doesn't "hate" Kat, but knew that if she mentioned her sister to her Commander, then Shepard would just bother her and bother her until getting the whole story (like he always does to his poor crew). This really comes down to who you think would be more apt to lie to their commander: Kat to you, or Tali to Shepard.

I suppose I could tell you where my mind was when I wrote it, but I'd much rather leave that spinning like a much, much more boring version of the Inception totem.

As far as Kitt's ship, the guy is a classist, and decided to give it the unofficial designation of the only way ships were named during early Earth: with "S.S." Not quite as descriptive as it should be, but he's a galaxy-class "arteest," don't you know.

Finally, when it comes to both the typos and the bromances, I think you've already answered your own questions there. :) Yes, it was a ridiculously long document (about 2/3 the length of an average book, actually) which led to two inevitable conclusions: One, a few typos/errors and, two, my burning desire to not make it even ridiculously longer. Anyway, it sounds like you seemed to have a good time despite the kinks, so thanks for your feedback on the story! And more than anything, (and I mean this sincerely) thanks for caring enough to have these disturbingly detailed thoughts about it!

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. You're a truly talented writer!

Maybe I'm a little biased because I used to adore reading the old Choose Your Adventure books, but hot Damn, I loved this. *laughs* I think I spent several hours just trying to read all the possible outcomes for the three species choices given. I was a little sad that there wasn't a Turian option to read through, but it was awesome nonetheless. And the Elcor rendition of "Hamlet" was hilarious! *applauds* Well done, sir. Very well done. :D

Glitch the human and Krogan quest both start by going to the Asari's opening quest.

Hmm.
25 entries in and every other choice is mission failure.
I'm underwhelmed.
Overall response is quite positive, so maybe things pick up.

Wait.

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