there are no geth here

I have complete and utter respect for the sheer ride-or-die-ery of Tali’Zorah vas Normandy and Garrus Vakarian.

You stumbled upon these two back in the Citadel days and even with cultural/racial boundaries became the greatest and closest friends in the galaxy, and at every turn you’re either there for them or they’re there for you. Tali’s on a planet with a dying star, surrounded by Geth and death, and her thoughts are “I wish Shepard were here.” Garrus Vakarian was a few moments away from suicide after being alone for far too long with mercenaries gunning for him from every angle but the moment he saw an N7 through his scope he knew he’d make it off Omega. Your fellow Alliance crew member who was with you since you were both assigned to the Normandy before ME1 even flakes and waivers, Liara is off chasing her own leads even though she wants to be with you, but those two are right there beside you; every time, every game. Into Ilos, into the Omega 4 relay, into the heart of the Reaper threat. 

I love them so much, even when not romancing them. They’re Shepards by blood shed together and battles fought.

The June theme for @meflashfanwork is “Legacy”. 

Thirty years after the end, three old Spectres meet for the induction of the newest one.


Three Reunions


The Reapers were there too.

Citadel tourists gawked and pulled out tour guides in hopes of distinguishing the armoured proxy bodies of the three Widow Reapers by their colouring and pattern of lights. Kaidan, by now, could tell them apart by the way they moved: Paragon was upright and square-shouldered, Sentinel gangly, and Guardian had a kind of weariness to its movements that reminded Kaidan painfully of his own age.

Their primary bodies were far away, of course, holding their long watchful orbits on the edges of Widow’s system. The proxies attending the ceremony were remote platforms, each holding only a fragment of its Reaper’s mind - albeit a fragment still backed by aeons of experience and uncountable shared memories.

It was almost unheard of for all three to attend the same event, and yet here they all were, shouldering through the crowds that shrank back to give them room.

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Mass Effect 1 Elevator Dialogues

All right, here it is!

First, some disclaimers:

  • I believe these transcripts to be accurate, but some errors may have crept in.
  • I do not believe these transcripts to be complete. You can see for yourselves that some pairs of characters have more dialogues than others; I’m fairly sure some exchanges are missing, in spite of my attempts to find them on youtube.
  • If you know of exchanges that I have missed, I would be happy to know about transcripts or video of them so I can add them to this post. I am not, however, in a position to play the game endlessly to get particular exchanges to fire.
  • I could not resist adding brief commentary, which represents only my own opinions.

You will notice that there is some repeated dialogue – some characters’ lines can occur in combination with several other characters. I would guess this is partly an economy on Bioware’s part, and partly to increase the probability that certain information comes across.

Thank you to @hoarous, @syzara, and @thelastunicorg for helping point me toward relevant video. Also for @jadesabre301 and @omegastation, who expressed interest in seeing transcripts.

The following post is long, about 3600 words, and is after the cut, with exchanges sorted by pair of characters. The numbers are just for reference; I don’t think the dialogue necessarily triggers in that order.


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Q U A R I A N S

  • First Page | Tali'Zorah presented a challenge. We needed to create one alien who would, for a time, be the only example of her species. All we knew about the quarians was that they were a scavenger race that created the geth. When some of these drawings were done, we didn’t yet know what the geth actually looked like. Eventually, we decided on a look for the geth that influenced the (lower) quarian drawings. Tali was to have her face covered by a mask, tantalizing the player, who could barely make out the shape of her eyes, but no more.
  • Second Page | Here you can see the influence the geth had on Tali’s design, ranging from the very gethlike on the far upper left to the final designs on the lower right. The breathing mask and clothing became the enviro-suit. The quarians, having a weak immune system, won’t live long outside an enviro-suit.

I love conversations with Normandy’s crew in ME3. Especially with Kaidan 😂

Kaidan: “So you’ve entered Geth consensus?”

Natalia: “Yes”

Kaidan: “And I am here stuck with Spectre duties while you’re doing interesting stuff… But how you… No, better don’t tell me, because you’ll get me distracted and I want to finish my work…”

Natalia: “Well I was connected to geth system via virtual reality machine and was able to experience their memories and destroy reaper viruses affecting geth software…”

Kaidan: “… Now I can only think about how this all worked and I can’t concentrate on my duties anymore…”

Day 13: Favorite Storyline Mission

(Sorry I’m running a bit late. Work’s been a real struggle this week and I’ve been too exhausted when I got home to write much.)

I was going to write about Priority: Tuchanka, but realized that most of the post would be a retread of the Opinion on the Genophage? question. Besides, that one is pretty universally well-liked and generally agreed to be the high point of Mass Effect 3.

So instead, I’d like to point your attention to… Virmire.

Virmire is, I think, the greatest of all missions in Mass Effect 1, and possibly the best in the series as a whole. I actually started to drag a bit while doing the the Noveria/Feros/Therum missions because it felt like, well, they started to feel like chores.

Virmire starts off the same – the council tells you “hey go do this,” Shepard goes off to do it. But as soon as you get there, you know something is wrong.

Because it’s too perfect. The sun, the sand, the salarians all too happy to see you – all too perfect. And then, well, and then shit goes down.

In short order, you’re left to make some really tough calls. Seriously, you’ve been on this planet six minutes and suddenly you’re forced to either kill Wrex or try to talk him down. Even if you try to avoid him for a few more by talking to everyone else, well…The game won’t let you do that. The audio on this – a persisitant BANG! as Wrex fires his gun into the water - is great. It’s literally in your ears, reminding you that Wrex is here, Wrex is out of control, and Wrex needs to be dealt with.

I do wish that, like Tuchanka, there were more ways for Wrex’s fate to go down, but the two you have are pretty big choices: you can either pull your paragon charm/renegade intimidation and make Wrex go through with something he doesn’t want to do, or you can take one of the middle-ground options and…Wrex dies, whether through your gun or Ashley’s.

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Mass Effect AU: Virmire Victim

So, I was writing about Virmire and this horrible, horrible idea came to me. Maybe it’s been done before, I dunno, but if it hasn’t, it should be.

The one you leave behind on Virmire becomes indoctrinated. They come back later as a semi-recognizable form, something preserved by Harbinger to fuck with Shepard, to derail them from thwarting Collector/Reaper plans.

Imagine fighting Kaidan, with his L2 biotics strengthened and migraines gone, impossibly stronger than before. His body (maybe something Shepard admired before) is now twisted by wires and cords, joints replaced by glistening metal, the glow of programming behind his once dark eyes. And when he speaks, its with the same voice he once used to seduce or flirt, the gravely smoking tones of a lover is now something he uses to lure Shepard into a false sense of security.

“Hey there, Shepard…”

And if not flirted with and left behind, it’s more neutral but no less friendly. He’ll talk about how good they work together on the field and how comforting it was to be on Shepard’s 6, to have that bond and been comrades, friends. If only they could have remained so…
-

Imagine, Ashley with faster reflexes and deadly accuracy. Her hair is silky smooth. Lips full. Her face angelic, porcelain. Though her body is less appealing, winding wires delving in and out of her body, out of her spine, she still looks human. Her eyes are still big, wide and reflect Shepard’s silhouette, even while glowing.

“Hey, Skipper!”


She plays every inch the Ashley Williams Shepard knows, recalling moments spent with Shepard perfectly, sitting in the armory, talking about the time Sarah slugged a boy for being too forward. How she misses her family and wonders how they’re doing. Of all the trouble they went through to convince the Council and how she’d like to still kick their asses for giving Shepard a hard time.

 She recites a line or two of poetry, which Shepard feels obligated to finish out. They finish the last line together.

“In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.”

She might even smile before lobbing a grenade in their direction.

-

And when the fight dwindles, whenever Shepard is on the winning side, Harbinger orders a retreat, and their programming tells them to call to Shepard for help.

“Shepard, I’m—Please, you have to stop this. Please, come for me. Find me. I’m still here. I’m… still me.”

Then a horde of heretic geth or collector’s cover their retreat, masking the truth from Shepard’s eyes. They’re like Benezia, Saren. But maybe, just maybe there’s hope in there somewhere… Maybe they are strong-willed enough to fight the influence of everything they know is wrong.

Side effect of doing EVERY ME1 SIDE QUEST AT ONCE:

It’s like Hackett cannot stop calling Shepard twenty times a day. 

“Hey, Shepard, just wondering what you’re doing. I know, I know, trying to stop Saren and save the galaxy. But could you run over here and kill some geth? Thanks, now could you just stop these various madmen and mercs? Could you find this like, huge nuclear warhead we misplaced?Okay, now I just wondered if you could swing by and pick up my drycleaning on the way back to the Citadel? Thanks, Shepard. You’re the best. Hackett out.”

Confession:  I’m still waiting for our darkspawn companion/plot-important npc. We got a geth companion in Mass Effect, why not here? The awakened darkspawn that don’t want to murder everything are perfect for interesting characters. Besides, they can’t infect anyone with the Taint since they no longer have the Taint and can’t hear the Old Gods’ calls. Come on Bioware I want a darkspawn buddy.

Day 14: Favorite Loyalty Mission

Well, my personal favorite is Garrus or Tali’s, but the reason is soley because Garrus and Tali are my broskis. And to be honest, I’ve already discussed a lot of why I love Garrus’ mission in my write-up on Garrus’ romance, and Tali’s introduction to quarian politics in my fav female companion write-up. So let’s focus on one of the really philosophical heavy-weights:

So, Legion’s mission is an interesting challenge. First of all, because the stakes for Legion’s mission are considerably higher than anybody else: while everybody else’s mission only affects themselves or a very small group of people they’re intimately connected to. But Legion himself is not a person; rather, his identity is Geth. For Legion’s loyalty mission, Shepard’s choice affects an entire race. Legions’ loyalty mission gives you a lot of information on how synthetic life in the Mass Effect universe operates, but it does more than that:

It’s the only loyalty mission that gives Shepard (and us) insight into being a Reaper.

Because, you see, you are an organic being, forced to choose the fate to synthetics, a life-form you are inherently unable to understand. A lifeform whose way of life – a communal hive mind, driven by pure mathematics – is completely foreign to your mind. Your options are to either re-write the life-form entirely, making them indoctrinated into doing your will (even though they believe it to be their own) or destroy them. There are no other alternatives. Cooperation is not a possibility.

When it’s the Reapers, it’s a synthetic boogieman doing it to organic life. When it’s Shepard, it’s a key strategic decision. You are Commander Shepard and you have become death, destroyer of worlds. You are the Geth reaper.

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The first time I’ve played ME1 I didn’t noticed that, because I didn’t know well, how turians were supposed to look like, but after a few rounds with this game…  I must say, Saren here is already changed by the Reapers, he looked almost like some kind of turian geth and our friend here, Nihlus, didn’t noticed that and found that suspicious? I guess Nihlus wasn’t a very observant turian:P.

“Someone’s gotta tell me what’s going on here. Because that ‘Sovereign’ thing was not just a Geth ship. It looked like a giant Earth cuttlefish, and I keep getting stonewalled.”

So, a long while back I was discussing on here what Mass Effect species the Gems might be. At the time, I had thought Pearl could be a Quarian or a Salarian. But then after “Back to the Barn” I amended the post since, given new evidence, Geth fit Pearl far better than any other species (here is the post I’m referring to)

and ever since then I’ve had the image of Pearl as a Geth (well, Legion specifically), with Rose’s battle standard welded to her body, similar to how Legion has Shepard’s N7 armor welded to him. I dunno, I thought it was a really neat image and I wanted to share it

"Infiltrating" Geth

The same party as here is attempting to bust up a Blue Suns drug deal. For some reason the party gets the brilliant idea to dress the Geth up as a trooper. This is how it worked out:

Trooper A: Hey Frank! What happened to your suit?

Geth: Weapons malfunction, it is fine now. *bluff check: 17*

Trooper B: *Sense Motive: Nat 19* Nice try, but no one named Frank works here.

Geth (Without missing a beat): I am new *Bluff 18*

Trooper A: *Nat 20* Nice try pal. *opens fire*