Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mass Effect 2 notes

I have an older brother who likes to play the same computer games that I do. At present, he is unemployed (by choice...but that's a whole other story), which means that he had finished Mass Effect 2 not long after it had come out. He waited anxiously for a month and a half for me to finish it so he could talk about it with me. As I played my way through the game, I came across awesome things (there are so many of them in Mass Effect 2) that I knew I wanted to talk about with my brother. Since I was likely to forget them all by the time I talked to him, I kept a list.

Note: I didn't start the list until after Horizon. There should only be mild spoilers, since I keep details to a minimum where they might spoil things for people who haven't played ME2.

Illium bar - bachelor's party, turian flirting with quarian, bartender
The bar in Illium was hilarious. My favorite part was the bachelor's party--a human, salarian, and turian sit at a table watching the asari dancer perched on it, discussing how strange the human tradition of a bachelor's party is, and how each of them thinks asari look like their own species. But there was also the turian trying to flirt with an oblivious quarian, and a krogan-asari matriarch bartender (asari matriarchs are supposed to offer wisdom and advice...why not be a bartender?). Brilliant.

Charr and poems
Krogan love poems to an asari. Enough said. Oh, except for this:
"Let our three hearts beat as two."

Elevator discussion
Roaming the Citadel with Garrus and Tali (the party carryovers from the original Mass Effect) brings up a discussion between them of the conversations the characters would have while on elevators in the first game.
Garrus: Tell us about your immune system.
Tali: I have a shotgun.
Good times.

Elevator music
Speaking of the ME1 elevators, on an elevator during Miranda's loyalty quest, you can hear the old elevator music playing in the background. That darn, catchy song. Still get it stuck in my head.

Morrigan and Loghain
Two voice actors who did major characters in Dragon Age: Origins also both did voices of two of the three quarian Admiralty Board judges. Hearing the two of them in the same place was what made it more disconcerting than hearing other recognized voices (like it would have been really weird if EDI had talked to Captain Bailey). Might have been funnier if it had been Morrigan and Alistair arguing, but it was still pretty good.

Elcor Hamlet
Fearful wonder: Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Morose rumination: To be or not to be, that is the question.

Blasto the Jellyfish
The first hanar Spectre. He's got a lover in every port and a gun in every tentacle.
This one has forgotten whether its heat sink is over capacity. It wonders whether the criminal scum considers itself fortunate.
This one doesn't have time for your solid waste excretions.
Enkindle this!

Krogan requests for mating...
After taking down the thresher maw on foot, there are several krogan mating requests for Grunt (a krogan)...and one for Shepard (not a krogan).

Mordin. Gilbert and Sullivan.
"I'm sorry, I know that was important, but you sang Gilbert and Sullivan?"
I am the very model of a scientist salarian
I've studies species turian, asari, and batarian
I'm quite good at genetics as a subset of biology
Because I am an expert which I know is a tautology
My xeno-science studies range from urban to agrarian
I am the very model of a scientist salarian

I get this song stuck in my head, too.

Mordin and the Talk
If your character has a romance in ME2, Mordin, the ship's genius scientist/doctor, will have a talk with you. It will be painfully squirm-inducing...but hilarious.

Shepard VI
Very funny in conversation, but ultimately a disappointment. You can get this guy who has been selling a Virtual Intelligence modeled after your character to give you a copy...but it doesn't turn up anywhere you can see it. Given all the other stuff that ends up in your captain's quarters, it was kind of a let down.

Conrad Verner
Conrad is Shepard's biggest fan, encountered three times in the original game (my favorite bit, which I think is funnier if you're playing a female Shepard than a male one, was his comment after taking a picture of you posing with your gun: "My wife's going to love it!"). Now he's in Illium, still being stupid and making trouble. More funny lines and situations ensue ("My wife was really supportive of me doing this--she even payed for my ticket off-world!").

Galactic news reference to Bring Down the Sky
If you play ME2 without playing ME1, you miss out on TONS of references (and even some encounters) related to your choices in the first game. Even the downloadable content is included--if you let a certain person die in BDTS, you hear a news story about a candlelight vigil being held by her father. Made me feel so guilty. I wonder if you do save her (and in so doing let the bad guy escape) whether they still make you feel guilty with a news story about the bad guy doing more bad things.

Legion dances
He dances like a robot. And sings, if it can be called singing. Too funny.

Some other assorted quotes I was inspired to jot down:

EDI: That is a joke.

Joker: (regarding Mordin) ...Like he's got tenure at FU.

Grunt: Hah! See, now we're having fun! Me remembering good deaths, with your...funny...human thing you do.

Legion: You succeeded where others did not. Your code is superior.

Legion: (in a nightclub) We do not comprehend the organic fascination with self-poisoning, auditory damage, and sexually transmitted disease.

EDI: Detonation in 10, 9, 8--
Joker: Yeah, I get the gist of it, EDI. Hold on!

And now some screenshots! What's a mission to save the galaxy without some photos?

Me looking badass

Me looking not so badass. I'm a good dancer!

Samara makes a dramatic entrance

Thane makes a killer entrance

Not a fight you want to get in the middle of...

Looking very dramatic and heroic

The team plots its next move

Major pesticide

Hold on!



soft nonsense said...

I want bad....

But my old save file was never finished, plus its with my old roommate's XBox, and he transferred away to another school...

That, and I have a PS3/Mac. Bleah.

Eleni said...

Man, that's rough. Sorry :(

Maybe some day.

Sebastian said...

The male Shepherd really can't dance. I wonder if it's meant to be a joke, or... if he's just not meant to be able to dance.

I kept clicking the dance interaction thing, whenever it popped up... but no, he continues to dance like a darn grandad.

Eleni said...

No, the female Shepard can't dance, either. Shortly after that screenshot was taken, she gets rejected by the Asari :( Unless you choose the persuade dialogue options, but then she doesn't do this funny dance. (It takes place in the VIP section of Afterlife, if you've been there).

They did change the normal dance animation between Mass Effect 1 and 2 (at least for female Shepard), which I was a little disappointed about. It's funny in both, but in ME1 it was more complicated and goofy. In ME2, it's just the subtle awkward dance.

Vanessita said...

“I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store on the Citadel…”

The first time I saw this post I didn't read it because I hate spoiling the game, but now I came back looking for the original Mordin's lyrics and read it all. This game is really awesome, the best I played so far! These are some of my favorite jokes as well, and there are so many! It seems I missed the crew talk between Tali and Garrus, I'll take 'em to the Citadel!
EDI and Joker's love affair is worth mentioning too! Did you notice standing for a while behind Joker's chair he speaks some random stuff? The first Hanar Specter and the Elcor Hamlet play always make me laugh!

Only recently I finished my first playthough with the male Shepard (at first I didn't find him attractive... amazing how one can change their mind after a while :P)
I made him a Renegade (Paragon at heart, but Renegade in style), and about Conrad Verner, I had the impression that he died on ME1, but he was back in ME2. This time he had it rough but at least I’m sure he survived. My fem Shep is a total Paragon, let's see what will become of Conrad on each game.
The elevator music also plays on the Overlord mission, in that ruined base full of geth… so creepy… loved it! The spooky elevator was terrifying too, love those moments, I can remember two or three specially scary places very well thought of. I recognized Morrigan’s voice too (weird)!

Two things annoyed me on the game, though. Everybody's ugly hands (hope they improve that on ME3) and the fact that the conversations were too similar with male and female Shepards. It was a bit odd to watch Thane talking to my male Shepard about the advantages of lingering in hot memories not to spend the night alone (and my fem Shep though he was coming on to her at that point! kinda frustrating…) The way male Shep leans on the table and speaks to Jacob… yuck! I hated it with my fem Shep (loyal to Kaidan, not supposed to be like that…so soon) did this, with male Shep then, I don’t even got words to describe (shouldn’t they be fighting over Miranda, Jacob’s x-gf?). No wonder he’s everybody’s least favorite…

Funny vid on Legion’s dance:

Another silly/funny one I watched a dozen times:

You probably seen the real Shepard already…

Eleni said...

Yes, definitely one of the best games ever!

I never did stand behind Joker long enough to hear the random stuff he says. I need to go back and listen now!

I never played a male character in ME, or a renegade even (I did make the occasional renegade-y choice with my second character in ME1, which is the one I imported for ME2). But that's weird that it was the same for the male in those ways, like the flirty leaning on the table talking to Jacob? That is annoying.

I actually hadn't seen pictures of the model they used for the default male Shepard. It irks me that they didn't do the same with the female Shepard--design her after a model--because you can definitely tell it's not as high quality a face. The slight advantage to it though, as pointed out by my brother, is that for people who want to design a unique face, if you're playing a male it's basically impossible to make a better-looking face than the default, which gets frustrating, whereas it's not so impossible to do the same with the female. But I always did feel inadequate, around beautiful faces like Miranda and Samara, modeled after real women.

Anyway, I think their reasoning behind only designing the male default based on a model is that he's the face of all the ad campaigns, so it's not worth putting the same effort into a female face. If all you've seen are the ads for Mass Effect, you'd have no idea a female Shepard is even an option. And that bothers me. First the protagonist in KotOR is made to be male in canon (the story is so much better if it's a female, seriously). Then Shepard is only advertised as male. And now Hawke in Dragon Age 2 is the same. I know that most of the players are male, but it's not like anyone objected to the ads for Tomb Raider featuring a female protagonist. BioWare is great in giving us the option of playing both male and female, and abilities are exactly the same regardless of gender, and now they're finally giving multiple choices for female PC romances. But it still feels unequal, like the male is always the "right" or "real" option for the story. Ugh, OK, sorry, end of rant.

It really is a great game, and that face model for the male Shepard is awfully easy on the eyes ;)

Eleni said...

(Oh God, what just happened with my comments. OK, I think it's fixed. Sorry to anyone who witnessed that.)