Last time I had hoped to get through more of the main plot of Mass Effect 3, but I mostly ended up working through subplots and side quests. This time though I think we’re actually going to get another step closer to kicking squidbot butt since I’m going straight to the next Priority mission.
*Avert thine eyes, SPOILERS ahead*
I had exited out of the game with my ship hovering around in the Far Rim in hopes that I would not get distracted with side quests when I started back up. So as soon as I woke up in Normandy’s CIC, I immediately docked at the Quarian Envoy ship and got sucked into a meeting with the Quarian Admiralty Board. It turns out that 17 days ago the Quarians imitated a war with the Geth, the synthetic race that had started as simple VI robot servants to the Quarians, to retake their homeworld. Even though the war violated their treaty with the Council to not antagonize the Geth, they couldnt pass up the chance to return to their homeworld and their advanced technologies after spending hundreds of years as planet-less space nomads. They had driven the Geth back to the homeworld, Rannoch, but then a Reaper signal started propigating through the Geth ships. The Reaper assistance made the Geth more effective and intelligent, and now the Quarians are cornered in the home system with the entire fleet at risk of annihilation, both civilan ships and military ones. After taking in all the information, I come up with a stealthy plan to give them a chance to escape and retreat by stopping the signal’s broadcast from one of the Geth Dreadnaught ships. Thats when the Quarian Admiralty Board introduces their newest admiral, Tali’Zorah, my old friend who has been with me since the very first game. I love Tali, she’s one of my three most favorite characters in the series (bet y’all can’t guess who the other two are), but why oh why does she hipsway her way into the room while the camera takes a quick pan up her body. Apparently F!Shep is supposed to be sexually enticed by her near and dear friend affecting a very human way of sexily walking. Lovely.
I get that Tali's a LI for M!Shep now, but do we seriously need her to sashay into the game when no other Quarian, not even her, normally walks like that?
Anyhoo, Tali mentions she’d like to talk more in private so after the cutscene I invite her up to my room. There she confides in me about her insecurity of being promoted to such a high position within the fleet, but that she’s glad she took their offer so she could push back against the worst ideas. I dissuade her of her fear that she was chosen simply because her father was an admiral, that she has fully earned the position with her extensive knowledge of the Geth and the heroism and leadership she’s shown while fighting against Saren, the Collectors, and now the Reapers. But there’s not much time to reminisce what with her people being besieged, so now its time to go attack the Geth Dreadnaught. We fight our way through the ship, only to find out that the source of the Reaper signal is coming from our old friend Legion, a Geth who helped us fight against the Collectors in the last game. He tells us that the Geth had turned to the Reapers for help when the Quarians attacked to try to keep themselves from being anilahated. Legion’s had volunteered his platform/body as a signal boost for the Reaper signals to give his people an advantage during the coming battle, but when I showed up Legion decided it would be better to help me come to a more peaceful solution and had me disconnect him. He then let us know that the Reaper’s had a back up short range singal on a server on Rannoch, which is guarded by a whole host of hostile, Reaper-controlled Geth. Of course. Nothing can ever be easy.
Space battles. I has them.
We finally make our way to the server where some stuff I don’t really understand happens, but basically I get plugged into that Geth server and have to disconnec the Geth from the server. It’s likened to wiping out a city, so definitely morally gray. Maybe, I still dont understand, but I do as told and play shoot’em up Tron which was actually pretty fun and I got to see the Geth history which was far more complex than it was initially painted in the first games. After I finish and disconnect from the server, Legion surprises me with a platoon of Geth primes (one of the biggest Geth units) that have converted to our cause. We get a call that says we need to go rescue one of the Quarian Admirals that was shot down over Rannoch and take out the small base that the Reapers established on the planet. Rescue Admiral Korris proves to be fairly easy, but it does take some convinving to get him to let me as he’d rather me save his crew like a good, self-sacrificing leader. However we need him and his pacifist views on the Admiralty Board and to keep his civilian fleet from breaking and running right through a Geth shooting gallery, so I let his crew die in the hopes that Korris’s presence can save millions of other lives. After we get him to safety, it’s off to go assault the Reaper base.
Quite a bit of fighting later and I find myself shooting a laser guided missile from the Normandy into the deapths of the Reaper base. It’s roughly 5 seconds after impact that we discover that its not so much a base as it is an actual Reaper. And now its pissed that I woke it up with a missle to the face. Crap. Time to run, but while running I spot a weak point and have the brilliant idea to use the laser targeting synced up with every ship in the Quarian fleet and the Normandy to shoot at it. It works, but not without some dancing around reaper fire (and, truth be told, quiiiiite a few deaths). As the squidbot lays dying, it tries to tell me that all of this is futile and that they’re order and we’re chaos and synthetics have to cleanse organics each cycle to save them. Yea, I didn’t get it either. Then Legion approaches me with a request to upload the Reaper programs he has stored that would make the Geth so much smarter into every Geth. He assures met hat with the actual Reaper dead, the geth would be smarter but with their free will would be intact. They’d infact have a full AI capability, and even consciousness supposedly. Tali protests that if I let him, the fleet will attack and be destoryed by the superior Geth forces. I’m a species saver at heart, even if that species is synthetic, so I let Legion do as he wants and help Tali talk the fleet into laying down arms with the assurance that the Geth really just want peace. It’s tense but it works. Just as I’m feeling elated that all of this has worked out perfectly, Legion turns to me and tells me (in more computer jargon) that he’ll have to sacrifice himself to give full AI to all other Geth. He then falls to the ground, dead. Moments later one of the other Quarian Admirals and a Geth Prime approach and they make peace with eachother and promise me their fleets. Tali and I then have a talk about her homeworld and the wonder at being able to finally be home again, yet even with so much promise here she feels she must join me in my fight against the Reapers.
Seriously y’all that whole scene just made me blub so hard. Hell, that whole mission had be tearing up whenever they called someone by the vas Rannoch honorific or said “Keelah sa’lei” once it’s meaning had been explained (“By the homeworld I hope to see one day”).
This whole mission was beautifully scripted and shot.
I get back on board the Normandy and start talking to my crew. Immediatly EDI brings back the tears with her remarks about how Legion referred to itself as ‘I’ instead of ‘We’ at the end. That it had stopped being an avatar of the Geth consensus and instead had become a singular person. She also expressed hope that Quarians would be able to overcome their socialized prejudices against the Geth so that the two peoples could learn to coexist on Rannoch. Personally, I found it rather neat to hear a game talk about overcoming socialized prejudices…. even if that same game perpetuates socialized prejudices against my own identity as a woman.
No one else has much to say other than just admiring my awesomesauce skills at saving the galaxy. Garrus even goes so far to say that with my record of pulling off miracles with the Krogan-Turian and Geth-Quarian alliances, that if I can find a way to pacify the Reapers he’d crown me a saint. This just makes me giggle as I can’t help imagining Garrus in a Pope hat. The only person who seems to have anything of substance for me is the Asari Councilor who called me up saying she has an urgent message for me that can’t be transmitted over vidcom so I need to go meet her at the Citadel.
To the Citadel it is then! When I get there, the Asari Couniclor confides in me that she think the Asari might have the missing component we need for the Crucible, something simply called the Catalyst. It’s an old artifact whose existence has been a closely guarded secret of the Asari government, but they’re letting me have a go at it in hopes that it is the Catalyst and it can bring an end to the war sooner. For you see, Reapers are encroaching upon Thessia now and the Asari homeworld is facing its first real threat in millenia and the Matriarchs are getting very worried.
While on the Citadel I do the usual rounds (delivering go fetch quests and chatting with my crew) and I come upon the Elcor Ambassador who desperately (or as desperatley as an Elcor can be) asks for my assitance in helping his homeworld stave off a Reaper attack. I also find Tali in the Presidium, a place she would not have been welcome in in previous years, acting as the Quarian Ambasador and arranging medical aid and evacuations for other species in need of the Migrant Fleet’s help.
Next time we’ll go save some Elcor, check out Thessia, and finish up an N7 quest I picked up somewhere along the way.