Mass Effect 1: One Reaper Isn't Enough

Alright, here is the first ramble of the Mass Effect trilogy, I was going to make this short and sweet, but with Mass Effect, that's just clearly impossible. I think I've played through the trilogy over four times now, and the first game is where you get into the groove of things. Due to how deep the story is, I don't think I'll be able to tackle everything I want to talk about so bear with me!

I did Ilos more than once just to make sure I was satisfied with what happened in the end, in fact the first time: I wasn't happy with it because I didn't save the council, so I went back, redid it to save them, but still didn't have enough paragon points to make Saren shoot himself.

Your character is basically determined by reputation. I often make my Femshep a Spacer and War Hero for Paragon bonuses. It may seem like your regular sightings of geth on a peaceful planet called Eden Prime, until your turian Spectre friend is shot dead, the geth are impaling colonists on giant spikes that later turn them into Husks (I assume that's one way the Reapers harvest organic life), and Saren Arterius has gone rogue and on the loose as a servant of the Reapers in hopes of bringing them back. Thus another cycle begins, so the job is simple: Stop him.

The first thing I learned was that there was a species called the Protheans, and then there were the Reapers that wiped out the Protheans 50,000 years ago. Everyone had this belief that the Protheans created such technology like the mass relays so that we could travel great lengths of the galaxy, and the Citadel, a massive space station where different species gather. But nope that's not the case, I don't think any of us were too shocked to learn that that tech was actually made by the Reapers instead.

The one thing that always boggles my mind whenever I play this game is, once we find out that Saren's flagship Sovereign is a Reaper, how is it that it made it into our galaxy? Once we learn from Vigil about how the Conduit is an actual mass relay in the Citadel, how the Keepers work, and the Protheans on Ilos, I still feel like that question was left unanswered.

I feel like the dialogue in this game isn't that great, I don't know what it is, I just feel like I've heard better. Character wise, I could talk to Tali for 30 min straight between missions about her culture. She's a real chatterbox, so nowadays I like to do the Armstrong Nebula side quest so she has something to bring back to the flotilla to complete her pilgrimage. I didn't particularly like Ashley at first, due to the fact she's not a an alien fan, but despite that, I prefer her over Kaiden, since he doesn't seem to have much personality in my opinion. So when it comes to Virmire, I often save Ash over him. I also like how she enjoys poetry. My brother frequently romances her or Liara.

Garrus, of course when I started my first play through, I took interest in him right away, I'm not sure what it was, but I liked him immediately. Too bad you can't romance him until the next game, but he would always talk about how he was formerly with C-Sec. Funny, there are so many turians in C-Sec aside from humans

I'm not a big fan of salarians, they talk so fast and apparently only live up to 40 years. Kirrahe was great holding the line and Anoleis was a douchebag, but don't worry, there's a salarian that I hate even more than him. (don't worry, it's not Mordin, I love Mordin)

Best parts? Well one thing is certain, is that the Citadel is very broad in this game, but it easily gets boring when you're on it. But I do as many side quests as I can while I am there because I care about racking in Paragon points. So sometimes you gotta put in the time to do those, no matter how boring it seems.

I also am known to do a few side missions between main quests, some of them were actually interesting such as finding Wrex's family armor, despite those overpowered pirates guarding it that shout "Go go go" every 5 seconds. They may not seem exciting, but it is still worth your time.

Of all the main missions before we get to Virmire, I'd say that Noveria was my favourite. It's long but has a mixture of tasks you have to do involving interactions and combat. I wasn't expecting the tide to be turned by it having Benezia and the rachni involved. I chose to release the queen by the way. Still, after every mission, it's a pain in the neck when you speak to the council. The turian councilor is a jerk no matter what you choose to do, the asari is neutral, and at least the salarian councilor looks on the positive side of things so I like him.



I can't understand anyone who chooses to kill Wrex at Virmire, he's like a brother to me. I always find myself double-checking my Paragon level before I talk to him at this point, always remember kids, once you start the game, make sure you ALWAYS upgrade your charm points when you can. You'll thank me later.

How many of you out there are guilty of cranking up the volume once you get to this part? I am. One time my brother and his friend were over playing on the Xbox One in the basement. I was upstairs doing another play through of Mass Effect on our 360, as the boys came upstairs to get drinks, I was just starting the cutscene where you talk to Sovereign, and they stopped to listen! What can I say? Talking to Sovereign is epic, that voice gives me chills every time. I wish the conversation was more lengthy, but clearly the Reapers aren't chatty, in fact, I was surprised that they could talk in the first place. Don't worry, I enjoyed talking with Vigil too, despite the fact that I spent nearly 30 minutes on him!

Also, the big reason why Noveria is my favourite out of the three missions prior to Virmire, is it's the one I am the most engaged with, when it comes to the story. Not only is the presence of geth around but the asari Matriarch Benezia is there too. It seems like there are several chapters in place of things you need to do just to find where she is, and with a little help from Gianna, you get on the road....literally. 
I always take Liara with me on this mission, (wait, everyone does that don't they?) It gets you so much more involved with what happens. But I tell you, if I have to listen to Mira talk about the main reactor being shut down five more times until I turn it back on, I just want to blast her core to bits! 

It may seem like forever until you find Benezia, but once you do, it's a boss fight. One time when I was fighting her, Liara's singularity was not only lifting up her forces but nearby crates as well, blocking my path to Benezia once it comes time to speak to her. That reminds me, I absolutely hate biotic enemies in this game, they always knock me down. 

It's so sad to watch the interaction between Liara and her mother one last time, and how she struggles to break free of indoctrination to explain to you what Saren's plan is. I'll never forget that moment.


Last but not least, I'll talk about Saren. He seems quite deformed for a turian, but after playing through the game, you can tell that he is severely indoctrinated. Look at those eyes, the Illusive Man had the exact same. I don't know, it just seems to be what I've observed from those who have been indoctrinated for a long time. It was a great way to end off the Virmire mission by having Saren make an appearance, he thinks he's so high and mighty, and the council was finally able to understand that once you gather enough evidence that he's not doing his job as a Spectre. Then he looks for the Conduit on Ilos to make the Reapers come through the mass relay on the Citadel with a little help from Sovereign.

I've seen fan art of the three endings in the third game, and it seems that from quotes: Saren would have thoughts that Synthesis would be the best option. Remember when he says "Is submission not preferable to extinction?" He imagines that the Protheans could have bowed to the Reapers instead of fight them. This, in my opinion is different than the Illusive Man's desire to control the Reapers. Think about Synthesis as a way that organics and synthetics combined together in the result of joining = synthesis. I have chosen that ending a few times, but I've picked the Destroy option more. Sometimes I don't know why, it just seemed like the ideal thing to do. I will talk more about this in the review of the third game.

So, that's a wrap on the first Mass Effect game. The second one is going to be quite challenging, yet fun to write about because I love the story so much in it. Look forward to that.

-Emily

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