The Normandy SR1 Crash Site: The Unsung Section of the ME Series

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's yet a-fucking-nother ME thread. But I figured I'd mix it up real quick. This is actually the first of 2 ME related threads, and hopefully they'll take some people away from all these ending shenanigans.

You wanna know the one part of ME2 in particular that really stood out for me? The Normandy crash site DLC (free, I think) where you go down to the snow-laden surface of a planet whose name I forget and collect the dog tags of those unfortunate souls who weren't able to escape the Normandy before the Collectors rolled up and decided to reenact the "Challenger" disaster (look it up if you want, but I warn you: it's pretty tragic). There were no enemies, no piles of boxes except those hiding a tag, no musical changes to let you know that there was someone who desperately needed to get a closer look at the barrel of your gun. Just you, a mountain of wreckage, miles upon miles of snow and ice, and some painful memories of a life that once was.

As you roamed the minute area and collected the tags, the gameplay would shift to a brief cutscene displaying what that section of the SR1 looking like in the old days. A shot of Pressly saluting you, another of the old CiC with the Mako resting on a rock a few feet in front of it, another shot of whoever stayed behind on Virmire. Search around some more and you could find your old N7 helmet from the intro cutscene. Do a tiny bit more digging and you'll find an old datapad detailing a few of Pressly's thoughts about the alien crew members you picked up in the first game. He did quite a bit of warming up to the likes of Tali, Wrex, and Liara (I didn't use Garrus in the first game).

And then came the end of it all. You found all the tags (or most of them; a few are tricky to find). Now all that was left was to pay the SR1 one last piece of respect: a gold memorial depicting the old Normandy in flight. There were a few places you could do this - I always preferred to put it in front of the CiC. And that was it; tags in hand, you go back to the Kodiak so you can head back the SR2 and tell Adm. Hackett that you found all the tags.

There's only one thing I didn't like about that part of ME2 and that was the fact after placing the memorial, Shep doesn't salute. Now, I'm not sure if the Alliance is based on US or Canadian military, but the lack of a salute from Shep just feels lacking. Other than that, I thought the section was nicely done.

Here's the ultimate kicker: I remember reading something about how the "Normandy Crash Site" was pointless because you don't fight/kill anyone. Now, as a member of the US Armed Forces, I actually find that mentality insulting. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, I'm not gonna knock the fact that I may feel that way only because I'm in the military, but I still think to outright say that part of ME2 is out and out bad "because there are no shooty bits" is tacky in I don't know how many ways.

So I end with this: BioWare (a division of EA), we've had a... rocky relationship the last couple of years, but I still applaud you for creating this. Good show, ladies and gentlemen. Good show.

I loved that scene honestly, I always do that mission last because I feel it makes the best conclusion to Mass Effect 2. After you avenged your fallen crew you return to pay your final respects to them.

Yeah, it was alright. All atmospheric and nostalgic and whatnot.

I thought Navigator Whatsisname's journal was a bit silly. His whole thing in ME1 was being suspicious of aliens, like Ashley. The sudden change of heart seemed pretty artificial, especially since we got absolutely no indication of it in ME1.

Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

Lastly, I kinda agree with the complaint about there being no combat. However, it wasn't the lack of combat specifically, but rather the lack of interaction. Apart from picking up dog tags, you basically just wander around looking at the scenery. If that's all you do then a cutscene would have sufficed.

Maybe I am missing something, but having just started ME2 I have just watched the SR1 getting it's butt whooped and from what I saw it got pretty well taken apart. The forward section split off and the drive section exploded in space, or to put it another way, their wasn't enough left after the initial destruction for it to then survive not being burnt up on re entry.

That sequence felt kind of like an experiment to see exactly how little content can be padded out and sold as DLC. It was an easter egg hunt in an empty wasteland. A moment for quiet reflection? Maybe. Worth paying money for? Not by damn sight.

Zhukov:
Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

You're really gonna have to elaborate on that one, sir...

Well, I can already see this one going down in flames. I wonder how long those flames will burn at this point...

SageRuffin:

Zhukov:
Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

You're really gonna have to elaborate on that one, sir...

What's to elaborate on?

I don't see my Shepard as someone who would stand around swinging her arm about like a clown. Therefore I am glad the game didn't make her do it.

I liked it too because it's a change of pace. One thing I disliked about this series is that all quests are too formulaic. Go to this planet, fight some foes and then cut scenes and back to the Normandy. I would have liked more investigation, more twists in the gameplay. This added some much needed variety, but I would have liked even more of that.

Zhukov:
What's to elaborate on?

I don't see my Shepard as someone who would stand around swinging her arm about like a clown. Therefore I am glad the game didn't make her do it.

Um... did you forget that Shep's in the military? Furthermore, how is saluting "swinging your arm around like a clown"? You bring your hand up to your eyebrow, you let it down. The entire action can take maybe a full second if you want it to.

Maybe you don't agree with our customs or whatnot and I can respect that - there's a lot of shit I don't agree with. I just can't say anything to certain people (fuck you, PATRIOT Act). Either way, your Shep "not being into military stuff" kinda baffles me considering the setting.

SageRuffin:

Zhukov:
What's to elaborate on?

I don't see my Shepard as someone who would stand around swinging her arm about like a clown. Therefore I am glad the game didn't make her do it.

Um... did you forget that Shep's in the military? Furthermore, how is saluting "swinging your arm around like a clown"? You bring your hand up to your eyebrow, you let it down. The entire action can take maybe a full second if you want it to.

Maybe you don't agree with our customs or whatnot and I can respect that - there's a lot of shit I don't agree with. I just can't say anything to certain people (fuck you, PATRIOT Act). Either way, your Shep "not being into military stuff" kinda baffles me considering the setting.

Yeah, I know how to salute. I did a (mercifully brief) bit of time in the military. It did not endear me to the practice of saluting.

As for Shepard being in the military, I imagined that my Shepard saw becoming a spectre as a great opportunity to get the hell out of said military. I spent the rest of the series telling the Alliance to go fuck themselves every chance I got.

Granted, ME3 kinda contradicted that, but that's just how the cookie crumbles.

Zhukov:
Yeah, I know how to salute. I did a (mercifully brief) bit of time in the military. It did not endear me to the practice of saluting.

As for Shepard being in the military, I imagined that my Shepard saw becoming a spectre as a great opportunity to get the hell out of said military. I spent the rest of the series telling the Alliance to go fuck themselves every chance I got.

Granted, ME3 kinda contradicted that, but that's just how the cookie crumbles.

[scratches head, then shrugs]

Hey, fuck it. Your game, your playstyle. Who am I to knock it?

What's say we agree to disagree and move on, shall we?

SageRuffin:
Well, I can already see this one going down in flames. I wonder how long those flames will burn at this point...

If it's any consolation, I was happy to see something poignant and different. Some would argue that it should have just been a cut scene, but that bugs me because people are bitching ME already had too many cut scenes. Why make it a cut scene when I have the chance to interact? The entire opening of ME2 could have been a cut scene. But they let me make several dialog choices and navigate myself to the bridge. I appreciated having that.

I admit, I'm something of a method actor. When I roleplay, I don't do it half way. In my favorite playthrough, I could hear every thought that Shepard would have at every discovery at the SR1 crash site. I knew exactly how he would feel, what he would say. So I probably got more mileage out of this than the average player did. But I still don't get why some people have to go straight for the cynicism.

Zhukov:

SageRuffin:

Zhukov:
What's to elaborate on?

I don't see my Shepard as someone who would stand around swinging her arm about like a clown. Therefore I am glad the game didn't make her do it.

Um... did you forget that Shep's in the military? Furthermore, how is saluting "swinging your arm around like a clown"? You bring your hand up to your eyebrow, you let it down. The entire action can take maybe a full second if you want it to.

Maybe you don't agree with our customs or whatnot and I can respect that - there's a lot of shit I don't agree with. I just can't say anything to certain people (fuck you, PATRIOT Act). Either way, your Shep "not being into military stuff" kinda baffles me considering the setting.

Yeah, I know how to salute. I did a (mercifully brief) bit of time in the military. It did not endear me to the practice of saluting.

As for Shepard being in the military, I imagined that my Shepard saw becoming a spectre as a great opportunity to get the hell out of said military. I spent the rest of the series telling the Alliance to go fuck themselves every chance I got.

Granted, ME3 kinda contradicted that, but that's just how the cookie crumbles.

I tried to distance myself from the Alliance as much as possible too. It made ME3 very frustrating at times. One of my favorite moments of the series is telling that Admiral who wants to inspect your ship to fuck off.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
One of my favorite moments of the series is telling that Admiral who wants to inspect your ship to fuck off.

I remember him.

Sooo very satisfying.

Zhukov:
Yeah, it was alright. All atmospheric and nostalgic and whatnot.

I thought Navigator Whatsisname's journal was a bit silly. His whole thing in ME1 was being suspicious of aliens, like Ashley. The sudden change of heart seemed pretty artificial, especially since we got absolutely no indication of it in ME1.

Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

Lastly, I kinda agree with the complaint about there being no combat. However, it wasn't the lack of combat specifically, but rather the lack of interaction. Apart from picking up dog tags, you basically just wander around looking at the scenery. If that's all you do then a cutscene would have sufficed.

In Mass Effect 1, near the end, you can read his journal. It says the same thing in the DLC. There was indication of it, but not all players find it.

Zhukov:
Yeah, it was alright. All atmospheric and nostalgic and whatnot.

I thought Navigator Whatsisname's journal was a bit silly. His whole thing in ME1 was being suspicious of aliens, like Ashley. The sudden change of heart seemed pretty artificial, especially since we got absolutely no indication of it in ME1.

Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

Lastly, I kinda agree with the complaint about there being no combat. However, it wasn't the lack of combat specifically, but rather the lack of interaction. Apart from picking up dog tags, you basically just wander around looking at the scenery. If that's all you do then a cutscene would have sufficed.

well it wasnt exactly sudden ME1 was over quite a few months

Ultratwinkie:

Zhukov:
[snip]

In Mass Effect 1, near the end, you can read his journal. It says the same thing in the DLC. There was indication of it, but not all players find it.

Really? Where? I never found it over three playthroughs and I was damn thorough.

nikki191:

Zhukov:
[snip]

well it wasnt exactly sudden ME1 was over quite a few months

I mean sudden as in out of nowhere, not sudden in terms of time.

Although if the guy I quoted above is correct then I'm wrong anyway.

Zhukov:

Ultratwinkie:

Zhukov:
[snip]

In Mass Effect 1, near the end, you can read his journal. It says the same thing in the DLC. There was indication of it, but not all players find it.

Really? Where? I never found it over three playthroughs and I was damn thorough.

nikki191:

Zhukov:
[snip]

well it wasnt exactly sudden ME1 was over quite a few months

I mean sudden as in out of nowhere, not sudden in terms of time.

Although if the guy I quoted above is correct then I'm wrong anyway.

If I remember correctly, his journal was on the table next to Presley himself. Next to the hologram.

Emiscary:
That sequence felt kind of like an experiment to see exactly how little content can be padded out and sold as DLC. It was an easter egg hunt in an empty wasteland. A moment for quiet reflection? Maybe. Worth paying money for? Not by damn sight.

I agree. It would have worked much better as a random easter egg. Not worth the extra cash, definitely came off as shameless padding for me.

TO CLARIFY: I don't hate EA as much as you guys do, so this was not some reflex-hate reaction. This is my honest, thought-out opinion.

TopazFusion:
Also the part where . . .

That was indeed awesome.

I always get chills at that moment when she looks up at the screens with that look on her face that says, "Y'know what... I got this."

I was disappointed I didn't get to wear the helmet and it just sort of went into Shepard's cabin. It was the best looking helmet in the game and we never got to wear it past the prologue.

Also pretty sure Shepard didn't salute because he wasn't military anymore.

SageRuffin:
the Normandy before the Collectors rolled up and decided to reenact the "Challenger" disaster (look it up if you want, but I warn you: it's pretty tragic).

Wait...wait...wait...wait...

...have I really gotten so old that the Challenger disaster isn't considered common knowledge anymore?

Really?

REALLY?

FFHAuthor:

SageRuffin:
the Normandy before the Collectors rolled up and decided to reenact the "Challenger" disaster (look it up if you want, but I warn you: it's pretty tragic).

Wait...wait...wait...wait...

...have I really gotten so old that the Challenger disaster isn't considered common knowledge anymore?

Really?

REALLY?

Fun fact: I wasn't even born when it happened.

So... would you care for a digestion-friendly oatmeal cookie?

Zhukov:

FFHAuthor:

SageRuffin:
the Normandy before the Collectors rolled up and decided to reenact the "Challenger" disaster (look it up if you want, but I warn you: it's pretty tragic).

Wait...wait...wait...wait...

...have I really gotten so old that the Challenger disaster isn't considered common knowledge anymore?

Really?

REALLY?

Fun fact: I wasn't even born when it happened.

So... would you care for a digestion-friendly oatmeal cookie?

Bah, get off my lawn.

I always planted the monument right next to the Mako.

I really liked it. It was a nice bit of story closure and was a decent little bonus to come along with the Cerberus Network. Probably would not have paid for it if it did not come with the game. The lack of saluting never really bothered me, but I have the feeling it is because I just never noticed. It will probably bug the shit out of me if I ever do it again.

SageRuffin:

There's only one thing I didn't like about that part of ME2 and that was the fact after placing the memorial, Shep doesn't salute. Now, I'm not sure if the Alliance is based on US or Canadian military, but the lack of a salute from Shep just feels lacking. Other than that, I thought the section was nicely done.

Yeah. I did take it upon myself to fire off a few bursts from my rifle after placing it, though.

ohh...thats what I need

more sadness assosiated with Mass Effect

*sob* I know the pain will go away...but it just hurts...so much *sniff*

SageRuffin:
Well, I can already see this one going down in flames. I wonder how long those flames will burn at this point...

Started a ME thread with good intentions? You must be new here.

It was a half decent bit of DLC that came in a pack I got off steam, wouldn't have been worth the launch price, so I'm quite glad I got it as a discount. Still, the atmosphere was good.

ResonanceSD:
Started a ME thread with good intentions? You must be new here.

Wow, for real?

I don't even know what else to say to that without coming off as a huge dick. Just... for real?!

SageRuffin:
Well, I can already see this one going down in flames. I wonder how long those flames will burn at this point...

I honestly feel sorry for you, I hate it when a thread like this gets posted only to get these kind of replies, here's a tip though, never make a thread to talk about personal feelings about a game/scenario or control scheme and why these are good, you just get these kinds of responses.

Incidentally, I thought it was a great send off to the first game in general, how everything changed from what you knew and there wasn't any going back to it. Kinda like revisiting the school you used to go to, or places you used to visit and seeing that they have been completely redone.

I hadn't played the original, so I really liked it as one of the first missions because it gave a nice atmospheric vibe and was one of the things that told me I'd probably be pretty emotionally invested in the next 40 hours the game. the music also gave me chills.

SageRuffin:
-OP-

The Normandy Crash site is one of the moments that has touched me the most in the game. I make sure to visit it in every playthough of Mass Effect 2 except with the most psychotic of characters.

I know that others didn't like it, but I found it very moving. I also really liked Overlord... actually, I liked all of the DLC for Mass Effect 2 that was mission based. Arrival and Firewalker were just okay though.

Also, if it hasn't been mentioned, Zaeed, some weapons, firewalker, and the Normandy crash site are all free with a new copy of Mass Effect 2 for computer or Xbox. It's a DLC pack if you buy used. It, as well as Katsumi and Lair of the Shadow Broker came with the PS3 version.

Zhukov:
I thought Navigator Whatsisname's journal was a bit silly. His whole thing in ME1 was being suspicious of aliens, like Ashley. The sudden change of heart seemed pretty artificial, especially since we got absolutely no indication of it in ME1.

Also, now that you mention it, I am downright glad Shepard didn't salute. I suppose it would have hurt to allow the option for people who are into that, but my Shepard isn't into the military crap. (I cringed when Shepard automatically said "Ohh-ra" in ME3.)

Lastly, I kinda agree with the complaint about there being no combat. However, it wasn't the lack of combat specifically, but rather the lack of interaction. Apart from picking up dog tags, you basically just wander around looking at the scenery. If that's all you do then a cutscene would have sufficed.

For reference, his name was Navigator Presley. And yes, he was suspisious of Aliens - but even in his 4 lines of dialogue he started to show signs of change. He mentions "maybe I'm just stuck in the old ways of thinking" in Mass Effect 1, and in his journal he talks about how his interactions with Tali and the rest of the aliens in the crew led him to realize that aliens are just people too. It's the same way that racists tend to stop being as racist - by interacting with the race they have misconceptions of and realizing that those conceptions were wrong.

As for the saluting thing... well, Shep is a soldier. It's procedure. I would have liked the option, and wouldn't have minded it being the... actually, I would have liked it to be an iterupt. One that most people should take (a la the salute to the recruits hanging out with Vega in the bar in Mass Effect 3), but an interupt nonetheless.

Anyways, final thing. I see what you're saying about the lack of interaction, but I actually found that to be the point. While I would have appreciated there being less dog tags in random boxes, the looking at the crash site myself, and finding each of the dog tags (even when that last one is hiding god knows where) is both me and Shepard paying our respects. A cut scene would have had nowhere near the impact I felt playing that level, and to throw random combat into it would have sullied it.

 

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