Is Saren a complete idiot?
Yes
20.3% (59)
20.3% (59)
No
63.2% (184)
63.2% (184)
Maybe
15.5% (45)
15.5% (45)
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Poll: Was ME1 really as good as we remember or was Saren just an idiot antagonist?

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So, I recently started a full ME1-ME2-ME3 run to build a new character and I just finished ME1 a few days ago. I was sitting there watching the ending and going...wait a minute.

Because here is the thing. You spend THE ENTIRE GAME hunting Saren. Saren is hunting the Conduit. Saren needs the Conduit to bring back the Reapers. So you're trying to find the Conduit the entire game. But then at the final hour you find out that the Conduit is just a backdoor onto the Citadel and it's the CITADEL that Saren really needs to bring back the Reapers, not the Conduit.

but wait a minute.

Saren was a SPECTRE, an above-the-law Supercop with nearly unlimited power and access on the Citadel. Not only that but he was the BEST of the SPECTREs.

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

I mean, if he had done that rather than go attack Eden Prime, then no one would have known he was a villain, Shepard wouldn't have ever been tapped to assemble a crew and likely wouldn't have even been on the Citadel, and the human fleet wouldn't have been standing by to save the Citadel and destroy Sovereign. Hell, the only reason Saren NEEDED the Conduit at all in the first place was because he played his hand in the first 5 minutes of the game and declared himself a villain and got himself banned from the Citadel.

Hell, it seems like the whole story of Mass Effect 1, not to mention even giving Shepard the opportunity to stop him, was predicated entirely on the absolute incompetence of Saren. And yet, ME1 get's praised as the story with the best writing...when the whole story is only possible because the main antagonist is a buffoon.

I mean, am I missing something here? Cause I've thought about it for a while and it just doesn't make any sense to me.

Elamdri:

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

Saren did sneak geth onto Noveria however it was relatively speaking only a handful, and considerably less than what he could move via the conduit. I'd guess Saren thought the amount he could smuggle wouldn't be enough, and as for double agents, well the more he obtained the greater his risk of being found out by C-sec or an information broker. If you consider that Saren believed he needed more infantry to hold off C-sec while he could take control of the citadel then it further gives a reason for him developing a genophage cure (and also create a potential rachni army). Maybe Saren could have somehow got enough forces/influence on the citadel to stage a direct takeover but I'd pressume that the conduit was the most relaible approach.

Fuhrlock:

Elamdri:

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

Saren did sneak geth onto Noveria however it was relatively speaking only a handful, and considerably less than what he could move via the conduit. I'd guess Saren thought the amount he could smuggle wouldn't be enough, and as for double agents, well the more he obtained the greater his risk of being found out by C-sec or an information broker. If you consider that Saren believed he needed more infantry to hold off C-sec while he could take control of the citadel then it further gives a reason for him developing a genophage cure (and also create a potential rachni army). Maybe Saren could have somehow got enough forces/influence on the citadel to stage a direct takeover but I'd pressume that the conduit was the most relaible approach.

Who says he even needed other people with him? With Sovereign and the Geth attacking, do you think anyone would even be in the Citadel tower? All he had to do was hide, wait till it was empty and taken control. I mean, he's supposed to be their best agent, even if the Citadel tower did have someone guarding it in a Citadel wide emergency, would Saren really be afraid of a couple of C-Sec mooks?

At least he was a better villain than Kai Leng and Harbinger ever were.

Saren's stupidity was needed so that we could actually have a game.

He was a good antagonist though. Better than any other we had in ME. Harbinger? Didn't know who he was most of 2. Disappeared in 3. Kai Leng? A joke. TIM? Not a physical adversary.

Saren was Shepards nemesis and antithesis. He was awesome despite the fact some of his plans were a bit poo.

He needed the conduit to stop the Citadel arms from closing. Otherwise Council would've just closed them immediately. And he needed Eden Prime to find the conduit so yeah makes enough sense.

Elamdri:
So, I recently started a full ME1-ME2-ME3 run to build a new character and I just finished ME1 a few days ago. I was sitting there watching the ending and going...wait a minute.

Because here is the thing. You spend THE ENTIRE GAME hunting Saren. Saren is hunting the Conduit. Saren needs the Conduit to bring back the Reapers. So you're trying to find the Conduit the entire game. But then at the final hour you find out that the Conduit is just a backdoor onto the Citadel and it's the CITADEL that Saren really needs to bring back the Reapers, not the Conduit.

but wait a minute.

Saren was a SPECTRE, an above-the-law Supercop with nearly unlimited power and access on the Citadel. Not only that but he was the BEST of the SPECTREs.

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

I mean, if he had done that rather than go attack Eden Prime, then no one would have known he was a villain, Shepard wouldn't have ever been tapped to assemble a crew and likely wouldn't have even been on the Citadel, and the human fleet wouldn't have been standing by to save the Citadel and destroy Sovereign. Hell, the only reason Saren NEEDED the Conduit at all in the first place was because he played his hand in the first 5 minutes of the game and declared himself a villain and got himself banned from the Citadel.

Hell, it seems like the whole story of Mass Effect 1, not to mention even giving Shepard the opportunity to stop him, was predicated entirely on the absolute incompetence of Saren. And yet, ME1 get's praised as the story with the best writing...when the whole story is only possible because the main antagonist is a buffoon.

I mean, am I missing something here? Cause I've thought about it for a while and it just doesn't make any sense to me.

My friend, you forget a couple of simple facts. Vigil explains that Sovereign is slow and methodical in everything he does. Had he made his move too soon, the entire galaxy would be united against him and he'd be destroyed. As such he had to go for the sneak attack. Why bother trying to smuggle an army onto the Citadel when you can do the equivalent of an Arbiter Recall Drop from Star Craft? Just WARP you strike-force onto the Citadel.

Beyond that: Saren had his Specter status revoked at the beginning of the game when you prove that he attacked Eden Prime, as such coming back to the Citadel and just walking up like everything's fine wouldn't be an option. COULD Saren have made his move sooner? Probably, but there's variables that we just don't know about. Maybe the Geth hadn't amassed enough forces. We know he was wanting to build a massive Krogan army and perhaps he didn't have enough for a full-on assault. Benezia's influence might have slowed him down a bit too before she became fully indoctrinated. We also know he was planning on making an army of Rachni but that ended up falling through.

So yeah, I'd say that Saren's actions still make sense. If nothing else, it could be that he found out that the Conduit was somehow involved with the Reaper signal not working. He might have known that the Citadel was Sovereign's ultimate goal, but with the Conduit still being an unknown, it's likely the big bad Reaper wanted to make sure his bases were covered so he didn't assault the Citadel only to find that nothing would happen because this mysterious Conduit was somehow blocking him. Upon finding out the truth, that it's a backdoor to the Citadel, they coulda said "Fuck it, lets use this to attack. Give the order to the fleet to move out."

Elamdri:

Fuhrlock:

Elamdri:

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

Saren did sneak geth onto Noveria however it was relatively speaking only a handful, and considerably less than what he could move via the conduit. I'd guess Saren thought the amount he could smuggle wouldn't be enough, and as for double agents, well the more he obtained the greater his risk of being found out by C-sec or an information broker. If you consider that Saren believed he needed more infantry to hold off C-sec while he could take control of the citadel then it further gives a reason for him developing a genophage cure (and also create a potential rachni army). Maybe Saren could have somehow got enough forces/influence on the citadel to stage a direct takeover but I'd pressume that the conduit was the most relaible approach.

Who says he even needed other people with him? With Sovereign and the Geth attacking, do you think anyone would even be in the Citadel tower? All he had to do was hide, wait till it was empty and taken control. I mean, he's supposed to be their best agent, even if the Citadel tower did have someone guarding it in a Citadel wide emergency, would Saren really be afraid of a couple of C-Sec mooks?

Ok fair point. The only explaination I can speculate is that if Saren has to hide and wait to sneak his way to the citadel tower is that it relies on a delay between sovereigns arrival and saren locking the relays connected to the citadel (whereas with the conduit they can occur fairly simultaneously. With relays to the citadel open, the risk of fleets arriving and quickly trying and reinforce the citadel does exist. To what degree this would occur is debatable since in the game it was Saren who put the fleets on high alert but considering fleets like the alliance 5th are stationed at key relays it could potentially provide a risk to sovereign.

But but but then Saren wouldn't have had the opportunity to give long comic-book style villain speeches to Shepard! :P

It would have been pretty easy with the help of Benezia and some of her croonies to have taken most of the citadel tower anyway, especially with the element of surprise. Given that the bulk of the citadel fleet was away until Shepard warned the council, the geth fleet would have mopped the floor with what little defenses the citadel had.

RJ 17:

Elamdri:
So, I recently started a full ME1-ME2-ME3 run to build a new character and I just finished ME1 a few days ago. I was sitting there watching the ending and going...wait a minute.

Because here is the thing. You spend THE ENTIRE GAME hunting Saren. Saren is hunting the Conduit. Saren needs the Conduit to bring back the Reapers. So you're trying to find the Conduit the entire game. But then at the final hour you find out that the Conduit is just a backdoor onto the Citadel and it's the CITADEL that Saren really needs to bring back the Reapers, not the Conduit.

but wait a minute.

Saren was a SPECTRE, an above-the-law Supercop with nearly unlimited power and access on the Citadel. Not only that but he was the BEST of the SPECTREs.

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

I mean, if he had done that rather than go attack Eden Prime, then no one would have known he was a villain, Shepard wouldn't have ever been tapped to assemble a crew and likely wouldn't have even been on the Citadel, and the human fleet wouldn't have been standing by to save the Citadel and destroy Sovereign. Hell, the only reason Saren NEEDED the Conduit at all in the first place was because he played his hand in the first 5 minutes of the game and declared himself a villain and got himself banned from the Citadel.

Hell, it seems like the whole story of Mass Effect 1, not to mention even giving Shepard the opportunity to stop him, was predicated entirely on the absolute incompetence of Saren. And yet, ME1 get's praised as the story with the best writing...when the whole story is only possible because the main antagonist is a buffoon.

I mean, am I missing something here? Cause I've thought about it for a while and it just doesn't make any sense to me.

My friend, you forget a couple of simple facts. Vigil explains that Sovereign is slow and methodical in everything he does. Had he made his move too soon, the entire galaxy would be united against him and he'd be destroyed. As such he had to go for the sneak attack. Why bother trying to smuggle an army onto the Citadel when you can do the equivalent of an Arbiter Recall Drop from Star Craft? Just WARP you strike-force onto the Citadel.

Beyond that: Saren had his Specter status revoked at the beginning of the game when you prove that he attacked Eden Prime, as such coming back to the Citadel and just walking up like everything's fine wouldn't be an option. COULD Saren have made his move sooner? Probably, but there's variables that we just don't know about. Maybe the Geth hadn't amassed enough forces. We know he was wanting to build a massive Krogan army and perhaps he didn't have enough for a full-on assault. Benezia's influence might have slowed him down a bit too before she became fully indoctrinated. We also know he was planning on making an army of Rachni but that ended up falling through.

So yeah, I'd say that Saren's actions still make sense. If nothing else, it could be that he found out that the Conduit was somehow involved with the Reaper signal not working. He might have known that the Citadel was Sovereign's ultimate goal, but with the Conduit still being an unknown, it's likely the big bad Reaper wanted to make sure his bases were covered so he didn't assault the Citadel only to find that nothing would happen because this mysterious Conduit was somehow blocking him. Upon finding out the truth, that it's a backdoor to the Citadel, they coulda said "Fuck it, lets use this to attack. Give the order to the fleet to move out."

I think you missed my point: I think Sovereign waited to long. You said that Saren had his SPECTRE status revoked after Eden Prime, but my point was that he never should have attacked Eden Prime in the first place, thus never losing his SPECTRE status and never alerting the galaxy that he was up to no good.

Elamdri:

RJ 17:

Elamdri:
So, I recently started a full ME1-ME2-ME3 run to build a new character and I just finished ME1 a few days ago. I was sitting there watching the ending and going...wait a minute.

Because here is the thing. You spend THE ENTIRE GAME hunting Saren. Saren is hunting the Conduit. Saren needs the Conduit to bring back the Reapers. So you're trying to find the Conduit the entire game. But then at the final hour you find out that the Conduit is just a backdoor onto the Citadel and it's the CITADEL that Saren really needs to bring back the Reapers, not the Conduit.

but wait a minute.

Saren was a SPECTRE, an above-the-law Supercop with nearly unlimited power and access on the Citadel. Not only that but he was the BEST of the SPECTREs.

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

I mean, if he had done that rather than go attack Eden Prime, then no one would have known he was a villain, Shepard wouldn't have ever been tapped to assemble a crew and likely wouldn't have even been on the Citadel, and the human fleet wouldn't have been standing by to save the Citadel and destroy Sovereign. Hell, the only reason Saren NEEDED the Conduit at all in the first place was because he played his hand in the first 5 minutes of the game and declared himself a villain and got himself banned from the Citadel.

Hell, it seems like the whole story of Mass Effect 1, not to mention even giving Shepard the opportunity to stop him, was predicated entirely on the absolute incompetence of Saren. And yet, ME1 get's praised as the story with the best writing...when the whole story is only possible because the main antagonist is a buffoon.

I mean, am I missing something here? Cause I've thought about it for a while and it just doesn't make any sense to me.

My friend, you forget a couple of simple facts. Vigil explains that Sovereign is slow and methodical in everything he does. Had he made his move too soon, the entire galaxy would be united against him and he'd be destroyed. As such he had to go for the sneak attack. Why bother trying to smuggle an army onto the Citadel when you can do the equivalent of an Arbiter Recall Drop from Star Craft? Just WARP you strike-force onto the Citadel.

Beyond that: Saren had his Specter status revoked at the beginning of the game when you prove that he attacked Eden Prime, as such coming back to the Citadel and just walking up like everything's fine wouldn't be an option. COULD Saren have made his move sooner? Probably, but there's variables that we just don't know about. Maybe the Geth hadn't amassed enough forces. We know he was wanting to build a massive Krogan army and perhaps he didn't have enough for a full-on assault. Benezia's influence might have slowed him down a bit too before she became fully indoctrinated. We also know he was planning on making an army of Rachni but that ended up falling through.

So yeah, I'd say that Saren's actions still make sense. If nothing else, it could be that he found out that the Conduit was somehow involved with the Reaper signal not working. He might have known that the Citadel was Sovereign's ultimate goal, but with the Conduit still being an unknown, it's likely the big bad Reaper wanted to make sure his bases were covered so he didn't assault the Citadel only to find that nothing would happen because this mysterious Conduit was somehow blocking him. Upon finding out the truth, that it's a backdoor to the Citadel, they coulda said "Fuck it, lets use this to attack. Give the order to the fleet to move out."

I think you missed my point: I think Sovereign waited to long. You said that Saren had his SPECTRE status revoked after Eden Prime, but my point was that he never should have attacked Eden Prime in the first place, thus never losing his SPECTRE status and never alerting the galaxy that he was up to no good.

Which brings up this section:

If nothing else, it could be that he found out that the Conduit was somehow involved with the Reaper signal not working. He might have known that the Citadel was Sovereign's ultimate goal, but with the Conduit still being an unknown, it's likely the big bad Reaper wanted to make sure his bases were covered so he didn't assault the Citadel only to find that nothing would happen because this mysterious Conduit was somehow blocking him. Upon finding out the truth, that it's a backdoor to the Citadel, they coulda said "Fuck it, lets use this to attack. Give the order to the fleet to move out."

The Reaper invasion had been going off without a hitch for countless cycles...yet HOLY SHIT! All of a sudden the plan isn't working! WTF?! Cold, ruthless, and calculating as it is, Sovereign likely wanted to know WHY its plan wasn't working and the only clue it had was that this "Conduit" was somehow connected with it being unable to signal the Citadel and as such wanted to ensure it was destroyed or at least ensure it wouldn't be a liability when the time to attack came.

But besides that, Saren isn't the one that can turn the Citadel into a relay, Sovereign is. Saren had to be there to manually transfer control of the station to Sovereign. So it's not like Saren could just walk up with a smile and a nod and push a couple buttons when no one's looking and out pop da Reapers. As such having a MASSIVE army was necessary or else the Citadel fleet would have destroyed Sovereign when it approached by itself. And that army wasn't ready when the game began. Yes Saren had some Krogan, but not an army. He already had an army of Geth, but that might not have been fully prepared either. And as I mentioned, he was also wanting an army of Rachni for shock troops and they sure as hell weren't ready by the time the game started. :P

RJ 17:
The Reaper invasion had been going off without a hitch for countless cycles...yet HOLY SHIT! All of a sudden the plan isn't working! WTF?! Cold, ruthless, and calculating as it is, Sovereign likely wanted to know WHY its plan wasn't working and the only clue it had was that this "Conduit" was somehow connected with it being unable to signal the Citadel and as such wanted to ensure it was destroyed or at least ensure it wouldn't be a liability when the time to attack came.

Well that may be, but Sovereign still obviously thought that he could activate the relay manually or there would have been no point to them trying in the first place. In which case, then why not activate the relay and kill everyone and then figure out what happened AFTERWARDS.

But besides that, Saren isn't the one that can turn the Citadel into a relay, Sovereign is. Saren had to be there to manually transfer control of the station to Sovereign. So it's not like Saren could just walk up with a smile and a nod and push a couple buttons when no one's looking and out pop da Reapers. As such having a MASSIVE army was necessary or else the Citadel fleet would have destroyed Sovereign when it approached by itself. And that army wasn't ready when the game began. Yes Saren had some Krogan, but not an army. He already had an army of Geth, but that might not have been fully prepared either. And as I mentioned, he was also wanting an army of Rachni for shock troops and they sure as hell weren't ready by the time the game started. :P

See, I think you're wrong there. I don't think Saren needed to wait for any of that. Hell, Sovereign and the Geth fleet decimated the Citadel Fleet and the Destiny Ascension. It was only because the Alliance Fleet was on standbye that they stood a chance.

I think that if Sovereign and the Geth suddenly streamed through the Relay, Saren could have easily waltzed up to the Citadel Controls unopposed and turned control over to Sovereign without any fuss.

Mind if you if that happened, there would be no game. That's not my point. My point is that I think the whole plot of ME1 is incredibly silly.

Elamdri:
Snip

Oh I'm certain Sovereign knew he could activate it manually...that was the point of his Plan B of plugging into the Citadel and opening it himself. Vigil on Ilos even says that's what he's going to do now that the signal isn't working right. I can definitely see where you're judgement is coming from, unfortunately there's no evidence to prove either one of us right. I could simply say "The Geth fleet wasn't big enough for a frontal Citadel assault when the game begins." and you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong, just like you could say the exact opposite: "The Geth fleet was massive and ready to strike from the get-go, going to Eden Prime was a needless waste of time." and I wouldn't be able to prove YOU wrong.

But seeing as how the game and plot actually exist, I think there's more non-evidence to support my theory so :P

RJ 17:

Elamdri:
Snip

Oh I'm certain Sovereign knew he could activate it manually...that was the point of his Plan B of plugging into the Citadel and opening it himself. Vigil on Ilos even says that's what he's going to do now that the signal isn't working right. I can definitely see where you're judgement is coming from, unfortunately there's no evidence to prove either one of us right. I could simply say "The Geth fleet wasn't big enough for a frontal Citadel assault when the game begins." and you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong, just like you could say the exact opposite: "The Geth fleet was massive and ready to strike from the get-go, going to Eden Prime was a needless waste of time." and I wouldn't be able to prove YOU wrong.

But seeing as how the game and plot actually exist, I think there's more non-evidence to support my theory so :P

Fair nuff, it's just been bugging the crap out of me.

Elamdri:

RJ 17:

Elamdri:
Snip

Oh I'm certain Sovereign knew he could activate it manually...that was the point of his Plan B of plugging into the Citadel and opening it himself. Vigil on Ilos even says that's what he's going to do now that the signal isn't working right. I can definitely see where you're judgement is coming from, unfortunately there's no evidence to prove either one of us right. I could simply say "The Geth fleet wasn't big enough for a frontal Citadel assault when the game begins." and you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong, just like you could say the exact opposite: "The Geth fleet was massive and ready to strike from the get-go, going to Eden Prime was a needless waste of time." and I wouldn't be able to prove YOU wrong.

But seeing as how the game and plot actually exist, I think there's more non-evidence to support my theory so :P

Fair nuff, it's just been bugging the crap out of me.

I can understand that, apparent plot holes have a tendency to do that.

A couple of other things to consider: we don't know how long Saren has been working for Sovereign. Could simply be he just never got the chance to go to the Citadel and do what you're suggesting.

The Geth fleet wasn't at full complicity. We now know that only about half the Geth went with Sovereign. Half the Geth fleet and a Reaper would likely not be enough to defeat the 3 fleets that guard the Citadel, as such they had to build more ships.

Going to Eden Prime could have quite simply been an cover-up mission from the start. Obviously they knew that another beacon had been found, yet it had the same message (just more garbled) than the one that Saren had already found on Virmire. As such it could have been that Sovereign wanted to ensure that no one else but his puppet Saren knew about the information in the beacons.

Saren had to attack Eden Prime. It is a human colony outside Council jurisdiction. SPECTRE status means nothing there. And he needed the knowledge from prothean beacons. Not just to find the conduit, but to be able to disable the signal. He doesn't know prothean language. And prothean beacons contain knowledge of prothean language. Therefore, they are dangerous tools in hands of your enemies. They had to be used and then destroyed. Saren doesn't know anything about the signal either, except what it does.
And it's not like humans would simply give him the beacon back on Eden Prime. Also, knowing what Saren is like even if those humans would give him the beacon peacefully, it is likely that he would never even consider that option knowing that he's the ultimate renegade character.

Also you have to take into account that Saren had other goals besides finding the Conduit. He was desperate to find a way to break free from Sovereign's indoctrination.

i never liked mass effect 1, i remember getting it with my xbox playing one level then giving up and going back to halo because i didnt like it and even after buying it again i still didnt like it.

i dont like the story because i thought it was a glorified chase and doing any sidequest's just meant having to run around and talk to the crew after each mission (my least favourite part of ME2, i like crew conversation's i dont like more running around everyone and hearing about calibrations) and doing more of the awful combat and of i was really unlucky a driving section

the combat: allot of people who liked like mass effect 1 admit the combat system is bad, it was like a worse version of gears of war, what yahtzee refers to as a grey shooting gallery

the RPG elements: for afew reasons
1. you were given huge amounts of useless, unwanted garbage to sort through after each mission
2. just to many abilities to rank up and it forced you to rank up things you would never use to get to good abilities (whereas 2 focused on a core group of useful powers)
3. they made no sense at times, your telling me that douchemcnugget shepard (as i called him) was badass enough to be the first human spectre but cant aim a sniper rifle to save his life? its useless the scope flys all over the place as if a 5 year old was holding it not a super solder. Its okay though ill upgrade it, oh what is this shepard must first train with assault rifles before he can use a sniper rifle? how does that make sense 1. they are completely different weapons and 2. hes a spectre cant he just use the citadels firing range or better yet learn to shoot straight before becoming a spectre?

the visuals: I catch allot of flak on this website for saying this but graphics matter to me and compared to the games i was used to mass effect had terrible graphics. and also fighting white geth in white environments when the geth would go so far as hiding on the white walls and white ceiling was a design choice made to annoy me

and i especially hated the mother fucking mako

so yeh im voting for not liking mass effect 1

xSKULLY:

the visuals: I catch allot of flak on this website for saying this but graphics matter to me and compared to the games i was used to mass effect had terrible graphics. and also fighting white geth in white environments when the geth would go so far as hiding on the white walls and white ceiling was a design choice made to annoy me

and i especially hated the mother fucking mako

so yeh im voting for not liking mass effect 1

I think Mass effect had a better story than ME2

but I do agree in that I dont think it had bad graphics...jsut un polished, and VERY cut and paste...

not only the micro managing (dear god) but all the different armours were palette swaps..how boring

that said...theres a certain comthing about it, like its cheesyness, how the game isnt afraid to be different to the grittyness of gears of war

Saren was better than Kai Leng, which is kinda damning for Kai Leng, cause Saren was a shit character. Stereotypical villain number 563043.

Personally, I think ME1 was the worst game in the series by a considerable margin. The story was meh, the inventory management was cumbersome, the environments ranged from mildly interesting to boring, the conversations were very underwhelming...

Meh. ME1 is a huge MEH for me.

Every game has to start somewhere. And I don't think Saren was an idiot, just following orders and perhaps worse off mentally from the indoctrination. Could he have done it better? Sure but given that he was under the control of the Reapers who were probably not really monitoring how the situation was going from out of the freaking galaxy, they just wanted to stop word from getting out and that's where the attack on Eden Prime came in.

Also the game looks a bit nicer on PC, still copy-pasta stuff but eh it's pretty for what is is and when it came from.

Anyone else remember when it was called ...I think it was SFX..

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Saren was better than Kai Leng, which is kinda damning for Kai Leng, cause Saren was a shit character. Stereotypical villain number 563043.

Personally, I think ME1 was the worst game in the series by a considerable margin. The story was meh, the inventory management was cumbersome, the environments ranged from mildly interesting to boring, the conversations were very underwhelming...

Meh. ME1 is a huge MEH for me.

The Mehss Mehffect series.

The reason is that Saren didn't know that the Conduit was the Citadel, and by the time he found out there was a warrant for his arrest so his whole plan would have failed if he had just shown up at the Citadel. And the Reapers' plan called for absolute subtlety, so having dozens of double agents in place, wouldn't have worked. The reason being that the people in place wouldn't have been nearly as skilled at subterfuge and avoiding detection as him and if they had been caught the whole plan would come apart.

But ME1 was my favorite in the series for its gameplay, much more RPG-ish than the others.

Story was kinda meh though, Saren just wasn't an extremely compelling villain.

ME1 is still a great game, but it doesn't really hold up to some of the nostalgia induced praising. It's got more problems then people choose to remember, but to be fair, at least it doesn't have StarChild.

Man......this thread has really reminded me of how great a villain Saren is. I really must give ME1 another playthrough.

After reading Deception I grew to appreciate Saren a lot more. I really was hoping they'd bring him back somehow.

I've been replaying ME1 and it's almost as good as I remember. I've been spoiled by the new combat and graphics from ME3, so going back to low res Garrus kind of sucks. Other than that, it's still freaking great. I liked Saren from the start. Never thought he was stupid.
...Kai Leng on the other hand >> But I digress. I know that isn't part of the discussion.

ME1s story was practically bad compared to ME2. Ive said this before but, I was kinda shocked because in playing ME1 I was so disinterested with the story I actually did not even have a romance in my playthrough. I didnt look for one, felt no compulsion to look for one. To me thats fairly damning considering the romance issue was a major point of the games controversy, and if I could not be bothered by a major block of content that really says something.

Yes, Mass Effect 1 was as good as we remember, and yes, Saren was an idiot antagonist.

Every story has plot holes. They don't necessarily render the story unworkable, or bad, unless the plot holes make the events impossible.

I can do enough mental gymnastics to overlook that plot hole. So...yes, Mass Effect is really that good. And Saren was a fantastic villain.

Also, because I hate this idea that you can't like all the games: Mass Effect 2 is still my favorite game ever, and Mass Effect 3 was freaking brilliant aside from two flaws (Shepard speaking on his own too much, and the ending).

Elamdri:
So, I recently started a full ME1-ME2-ME3 run to build a new character and I just finished ME1 a few days ago. I was sitting there watching the ending and going...wait a minute.

Because here is the thing. You spend THE ENTIRE GAME hunting Saren. Saren is hunting the Conduit. Saren needs the Conduit to bring back the Reapers. So you're trying to find the Conduit the entire game. But then at the final hour you find out that the Conduit is just a backdoor onto the Citadel and it's the CITADEL that Saren really needs to bring back the Reapers, not the Conduit.

but wait a minute.

Saren was a SPECTRE, an above-the-law Supercop with nearly unlimited power and access on the Citadel. Not only that but he was the BEST of the SPECTREs.

So my question then is why didn't Saren just just have Sovereign and the Geth Fleet just suddenly stream through the Mass Relay while he waltzed up to the Citadel Tower in the Chaos and activated the Citadel Relay? We know that he had Krogan and Asari support, and they already have Citadel access. He could have had a ton of double agents on the Citadel ready to attack on his command. He also was able to sneak Geth onto Noveria and we know the Citadel had a huge security upgrade after the attack, so it's not unreasonable to think he could have snuck Geth onto the Citadel as well.

I mean, if he had done that rather than go attack Eden Prime, then no one would have known he was a villain, Shepard wouldn't have ever been tapped to assemble a crew and likely wouldn't have even been on the Citadel, and the human fleet wouldn't have been standing by to save the Citadel and destroy Sovereign. Hell, the only reason Saren NEEDED the Conduit at all in the first place was because he played his hand in the first 5 minutes of the game and declared himself a villain and got himself banned from the Citadel.

Hell, it seems like the whole story of Mass Effect 1, not to mention even giving Shepard the opportunity to stop him, was predicated entirely on the absolute incompetence of Saren. And yet, ME1 get's praised as the story with the best writing...when the whole story is only possible because the main antagonist is a buffoon.

I mean, am I missing something here? Cause I've thought about it for a while and it just doesn't make any sense to me.

Why do all the bad guys have bad ass voices? Why can't the final boss of a game have Joffrey's voice from Game of thrones?

OP: Because the Mass Effect gods said so? Why did the Turians start the First Contact War rather than just making contact? People make bad choices sometimes.

However I think the real answer is - Indoctrination takes time. While Saren was willing to attack a Human colony (he had a noted distaste for humans) he didn't want to put the council and his fellow turians at risk, so Sovereign sent him to solve another potential problem while he was indoctrinated.

Actually I just finished Mass Effect 1 tonight for the 10 time and Saren is still a awesome villain.Mostly because you only see him like 5 times the whole game.Also before the last fight he basically foretells the ending of the series. Soveren implanted him so he became 1/2 machine 1/2 organic.The pinnacle of evolution as he said. Kinda like the synthesis ending of ME 3.

FINALLY! Almost 5 years after the game comes out and someone finally gets it! I had this EXACT theory way back when and no one took it seriously!

Elamdri:
Snip

One thing: Sovereign himself didn't know what the conduit was; it was a closely guarded prothean secret that the reapers never knew about. He knew his eventual target would be the citadel, but he had to investigate the following:

So the protheans managed to disable the reapers' ability to open the citadel relay to dark space.
Sovereign is the one reaper intentionally left behind whose job it is to monitor the galaxy for the right time to call all his friends. The time for us to be wiped out rolls around, Sovereign sends his signal to the citadel and... nothing happens. Presumably deeply perplexed as to how The Perfect Plan could have been disrupted, he begins his investigation. Obviously, he can't show himself, but using indoctrinated thralls is standard practice anyway so he winds up, somehow (not terribly important), with Saren and the Geth.
Yes, at this point he could have had Saren activate the citadel relay, but he still doesn't know why his signal failed in the first place. Such a perfect creature is going to be damned before he lets an unknown of this magnitude slide. And he doesn't care how long it takes; as far as he's concerned, he has all the time in the world.
Now, having been monitoring the galaxy, he's undoubtedly aware of the few Prothean artefacts being discovered...

And thus begins Mass Effect. Lucky as you are to be on Eden Prime just in the nick of time, you (Shepard) uncover the secrets of the last Protheans almost concurrently to Sovereign himself. By the time he discovers that the conduit is just a backdoor, they are on Ilos and so are you.

In defense of "Why didn't he just wlatz in a and activate everything" accusation, I maybe wrong on this, so correct me if I am, but It seems like this was already Saren's plan before Shepard figured him out after the attack on Eden Prime. Saren couldn't risk anything while under investigation, and once Shepard had Tali's evidence Saren had no easy access to the citadel, meaning he had to gather his enforcements and invade. He also may have not had all of his forces completely ready before Eden Prime, so that would explain why he didn't just invade earlier.

But as everyone has already said, all stories have plot holes, It doesn't make Saren an "Idiot" Or Mass Effect 1 any less great. I still think it's my least favorite in the series, but it did have the best overall plot and narrative, while ME2 had the best dialogue and ME3 had the best gameplay. My order would probably go ME2>ME3>ME1.

And why is everyone hating on Kai Leng? I don't really think he was suppose to be the main Antagonist, It's not like he was the mastermind like Saren or Harbinger, the position really goes to TIM. Leng was just to suppose to be a rival, and Bioware did a great Job of making you hate the shit out of him. This of course lead to the best renegade option in the game. God, that moment was so satisfying. It would've been better if they brought him out at the start of the game, like on mars, if only to strengthen the rivalry and make it a bit more deep.

Nicolairigel:

And why is everyone hating on Kai Leng? I don't really think he was suppose to be the main Antagonist, It's not like he was the mastermind like Saren or Harbinger, the position really goes to TIM. Leng was just to suppose to be a rival, and Bioware did a great Job of making you hate the shit out of him. This of course lead to the best renegade option in the game. God, that moment was so satisfying. It would've been better if they brought him out at the start of the game, like on mars, if only to strengthen the rivalry and make it a bit more deep.

I agree about Kei Lang

I feel that unlike Saren (or even the illusive man) were not really suposed to respect or see him as an eaqual villan

we are suposed to hate the miserable fucker, "ohh look at how BADASS I am nah! nah! nah! shepard, you cant hurt me!" and ohhh boy...we do

especially the first time you see him...he pop up out of nowhere, with his apearance you with "who and what the fuck are you!?" you know that hes not about to be brished aside

but yeah, having him on mars in place of the android..and having him beat up out crewmate/love interest would have made it even more effect (not that it needed to be)

DustyDrB:
I can do enough mental gymnastics to overlook that plot hole. So...yes, Mass Effect is really that good. And Saren was a fantastic villain.

Also, because I hate this idea that you can't like all the games: Mass Effect 2 is still my favorite game ever, and Mass Effect 3 was freaking brilliant aside from two flaws (Shepard speaking on his own too much, and the ending).

I agree,(who says you cant like all of them?) I see the mass effect games
as one entity...ment to be played through rather than seperate

although Ive probably aleady said this to you...but in ME3 when shepard is speaking on her own she seems to show more personality than when I was selecting her options...and I dont mind that

I see your point though

Nicolairigel:
In defense of "Why didn't he just wlatz in a and activate everything" accusation, I maybe wrong on this, so correct me if I am, but It seems like this was already Saren's plan before Shepard figured him out after the attack on Eden Prime.

In fact, Shepard didn't really "figure Saren out" either. If the dock worker hadn't been hiding behind the boxes, or Nihlus hadn't called Saren by name, Shepard could have never been told it was explicitly him

Saren was just under the effects of Murphy's Law for 5 minutes

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