Saturday, March 17, 2012

The needs of the many

What have I done.

I knew, via sideways glances at character bios on various wikis, that if Shepard handled the war between the Quarians and the Geth poorly that he would have to choose one over the other, and choosing the Geth meant Tali would fling herself off a cliff in a moment of grief. I had managed to broker piece between all the other races, why would this one be any different? Every decision was agonized over, and I thought I had it, right up until the end when I was given the option to stop Legion in the middle of upgrading all the Geth, everywhere. There was not going to be piece, the Quarians were not going to stop their attack, and the fair and logical side of me sided with the Geth. The Geth had not started the conflict and were willing to end it, but only if the migrant fleet stopped shooting for a few seconds.

They of course didn't, and I think it is because I attacked the reaper base before taking out more of the Geth fighters, which in turn did more damage to the migrant fleet, convincing them not to surrender. One thing after the other, consequences for decisions made, and the character I have been talking about for days kills herself. Worst of all, no one seems to notice. I would expect Garrus at the least to say something comforting, as he knew about Shepard's and Tali's history, but nothing happens. She is just gone and the game moves on, as if Bioware assumed no one would be asinine enough to foster a romance with Tali and then choose to massacre her entire race.


This is the second time in recent memory that I feel real guilt for some virtual offense. Infamous 2 had a similar, 'I can't believe that I did that,' moment right at the end. The difference this time was that Mass Effect 3 would have let me take it all back. As soon as Shepard returned to the Normandy I checked my save files and sure enough, there was the option to restart the last mission. I could roll back time, choose the Quarians over the Geth, fix the whole thing. But I didn't, because it would be defeating the entire purpose of there being a choice to be made. Finally, Mass Effect 3 had thrown a no win situation out and I didn't win. From a military standpoint the Geth were the correct choice (though getting both is possible and would have been better), but from a personal point Shepard is devastated. He did what he thought was best and it cost him personally, and no one seems to care.


It is also too late to start another romance, so Mass Effect 3 Shepard gets none.

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