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Mass Effect 3: Top 10 Most Polarizing Choices in the Mass Effect Series


I am going through a serious Mass Effect withdrawal right now.  I cannot wait until ME4 comes out … in the meantime, I am replaying the whole series now.  I’m about midway through ME2 and I’m trying to make different choices than I have in my last two playthroughs but somehow I can’t.

My Femshep looks virtually the same as I made her in the first two playthroughs (see photo above).  I still make mostly Paragon choices and the same romance choices.  It’s amazing the kind of attachment you can form to *your* Shepard.   I think it’s because I identify with my version of Shepard so much so that to change her characteristic would be to change a part of myself (ooOOooh, so meta).

Am I the only one who does this?  I mean, it’s to the point that I can’t watch promo vids or youtube uploads of ME3 games with “other” Shepards without feeling like something’s just not right.  For me, Shep is always going to be a female badass with a soft spot for Kaidan Alenko … it’s weird seeing a male Shepard and don’t even get me started on gay Shep (no offense to the gays, do your thing … just not with my Kaidan, ok?  Cool.).

Anyway, with that in mind, here are what I think are the top 10 most controversial and polarizing choices you’re called upon to make in the game (and in all 3 playthroughs, I have always made the SAME call):

10.  (ME1) Kill or free the Rachni Queen.

This was a no-brainer for me.  I didn’t want to be responsible for genocide no matter what the consequences.  Nuff said.

9.  (ME2) Save or sacrifice the Council.

My first playthrough, I was so annoyed at the Council that I let them die but then I reloaded and saved them and that’s how it’s been ever since.

8.  (ME3) Cure the Genophage

This was a tough call for me because I really liked Mordin and the only way to save his life is to not cure the genophage.  But, ultimately, I’ve chosen to cure the genophage – I think Mordin would have wanted it that way.

7.  (ME2) Destroy or keep the Collector base

I’ve gone with the Paragon option both playthroughs and destroyed the Collector base.  In reality though, I think keeping the single biggest source of intelligence on the Reapers is the more logical choice.  Plus, it doesn’t make a difference in ME3 either way.

6.  (ME1) Kill Wrex on Virmire

Seriously?  Does anyone actually kill Wrex???  He’s only one of the best characters in the game with some of the best dialogue in ME1.  Plus, he’s hilarious in the ME3 Citadel DLC drunken party scene.

5.  (ME2) Zaeed’s Loyalty Mission

This is the one Renegade decision that I always seem to make – let Zaaed kill his long time rival and sacrifice the factory workers.  What can I say, I have a soft spot for the Z-man, RIP.

4.  (ME3)  Invite Diana Allers to the Normandy

This was a struggle for me.  Diana Allers really grated on my nerves.  Having her as a war asset seemed like a good idea until I had to talk to her – she acts strangely slutty for a “journalist” and reminds me of those girls who think they’re super hot but are actually fug?  Maybe this time around, I’ll sacrifice the war asset for the satisfaction of her dying aboard the SSV Shasta.

3.  (ME2)  Cheat on your original love interest

Ok, so you’re on a break with your love interest from ME1.  What’s a Shepard to do?  I didn’t cheat on my first playthrough and I accidentally got locked into Jacob as a love interest in my second playthrough.  This time around, I’m going to romance Thane.  Since he has a fairly dramatic role to play in ME3, it will be interesting to see what changes in the story, though I fully intend to return to Kaidan in ME3.  The problem with ME2 is that every romance option for Shepard felt like a booty call – a lot of the dialogue got over-sexualized and frankly awkward (I’m looking at you, Garrus and Jacob!).

2.  (Me3) Destroy, Synthesize, or Control the Reapers

Yes, I think this choice is only the 2nd hardest in the ME series because the ending is terrible and unsatisfying no matter which you choose.  Even with the Extended Cut DLC, I found it hard not to feel disappointed.  I chose Synthesize in my first playthrough because that seemed like the “best” ending but then I chose Destroy in my second playthrough because it felt more satisfying.  I’ll probably choose destroy again this playthrough because the idea of Joker and EDI having weird synthetic sex after my Femshep had to die and not be reunited with her lover is very irritating.

1.  (ME1) Kaidan or Ashley on Virmire

Of course, I think this choice is the most polarizing one in the Mass Effect series because people always seem to be firmly planted in one court or the other.  To point – I have not, nor will I ever, have a playthrough in which I save Ashley over Kaidan.  Ashley is an abrasive xenophobe who is also fairly unattractive.  Kaidan is a much more interesting as a character, is a better teammate, has a way better voice actor, and provides some eye candy.   Kaidan has been with Shepard since before the events of ME1 so it’s only natural that he’s the canon romance for Femshep IMHO.  Plus, he’s the only straight love interest who doesn’t feel like a random hookup.

“Ashley, you’re terrible and we hate you.” ~ Everyone

Photo May 09, 12 54 35 PM

Anything to add?  I’m really curious to see if you all feel as strongly about your version of Shepard!  Let me know in comments!

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  1. I’ve always been a full Paragon player. I tried playing Renegade once but gave up, I feel genuinely awful for being a bad guy to fictitious characters. Here are my choices.

    1. Kaidan is a more interesting character overall. He is a cool character, he is very fucking humble (considering he had the highest potential of all the members in the academy where he trained), and he is a very loyal buddy to Shepard (though he is kind of a dick on ME2 while you’re with Cerberus, but he has his point). Ashley is a more “human” character, but a pure bitch, I didn’t feel bad at all for letting her die.

    2. Before the Extended Cut I chose Synthetize, because it seemed the most logical choice due the bullcrap the Catalyst said. Then I read the thingie about “Indocrination Theory”, and chose Control. I couldn’t do Destroy because I felt really bad for killing the Geth. When the Extended Cut hit it, I chose Control again (I actually did all the endings in the Extended Cut, including the “Bad Ending”), and it was the one I was most satisfied with: Shepard becomes one with the Reapers in order to protect the Galaxy; that felt really heroic and fitting for a 100% Paragon.

    3. I did, only because you couldn’t have a relationship with Tali in the ME1. I always liked Tali the best, but I since she was not an option in the first game, I sticked with Liara, “cheated” on her with Tali in ME2, and broke up in ME3, to stick with Tali till the end. <3

    4. I did invite her. Sure, she was kind of a bitch, but she was showing the galaxy the real deal, in first hand, raw from the source. Not the made up censored bullshit the Council would come with. Seemed like the best option.

    5. Even though Zaeed is godamn badass, I couldn't let him fall like that.

    6. Whoever kills Wrex intentionally in their game has no heart at all.

    7. I agree with you, keeping it makes a lot of sense in order to study it and preventing it from happening again. I did destroy it on my first playthrough, but it is sad how it does not make much difference in ME3.

    8. Cure, always cure. Had to be him, someone else might've done it wrong. It is fair with Mordin and it is fair with Wrex. And I got a soft spot for that female Krogan, the poor thing suffered too much. Breaks my heart seeing Mordin die, but, he died for a greater good, and redeemed himself.

    9. I always save the Council. Sure, they are a bunch of hypocrites and annoying arrogant pricks, BUT, they're the center of the galaxy. A symbol. Even though killing or saving them don't affect the story that much, I always save them.

    10. Same here, I couldn't doom an entire race to extinction.

      • Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting that you mention Control as the best Paragon option when it’s meant to be the Renegade path … but after you mentioned the Indoctrination Theory, it totally makes sense. Maybe I’ll pick Control this time around because I really hate to kill Legion. Though, it’s hard to pass up the Destroy ending knowing that I’ll get to see Shepard take a breath afterwards and potentially live.

        Also, I tried to start ME2 off this time around as a Renegade but I couldn’t – you’re right, it was just too hard. It seriously took an emotional toll on me to be such a dick to everyone! Which is strange, because I have no problem doing that in real life … :P

        It’s interesting that you picked Kaidan over Ashley, too, mainly because none of the guys I’ve talked to about ME picked Kaidan (I think for obvious reasons). You, sir, have restored my faith in men. :)

      • Thank you, m’am! Yeah, I had a hard time picking between Shepard’s breath of hope in Destroy and being an omnipotent but absent being that protected everyone. In the end I picked Control just for the sake of protecting everyone, even the Geth.

        As for Kaidan, he is a really nice guy, and I never really found Ashley atractive in ME1 (though she looks better in ME3). Between Ashley and Liara in ME1, I had to pick the blue sexy alien. =P

        I’m glad your faith in men was restored. XD

    • Control is actually the “Paragon” choice with a blue highlight (while the Destroy option is renegade/red). This is makes sense because paragon choices generally are considered the “order” choice, while renegade is “chaos”. While the destroy is definitely the pro-organic choice, it would likely eventually lead to chaos in the galaxy, namely the continued war between organic and synthetic life with no “supreme power” (aka the Reapers) to clear the board every 50,000 years. Hence the Control choice represents maintaining order.

      BTW, I watched the Indoctrination Theory, and while it does make one think, I don’t subscribe to it.

      • BioWare itself denied the Indocrination Theory, but they acknowledged it as “Remarkable clever”.

  2. I know what you mean about not able to watch another Shepard.
    the closest I ever got to another playthrough that wasn’t what I had already done a billion times before was an mshep renegade. it lasted two missions in ME1.
    Also, what about legion and the geth-quarians? it might just be me and my friends but most of us cannot agree in what to do with legion and none of us can agree on whether to save the geth or quarians if both can’t be.
    Personally I have Ashley on my most recent playthrough, but don’t want to. My first playthrough had Kaidan then I went through again with Ashley to see how it changes, but I also did more side missions that I now know are important (looking at you bloody matriarch writings). I just don’t think I’d be able to find all of those side missions and complete them again so I can’t trust myself to take the risk no matter how much Kaidan is better.

    • Concerning the other choices, I’ll be brief (thinking too much means I doubt myself and thus Shepard who shouldn’t ever be doubted).
      Saved Rachni queen, Mordin saved millions of lives, Wrex Grunt and I always have fun bashing things in the citadel arena, killed the council first time then saved them thinking the new one would be bigger dicks whereas the old ne might like me a bit now!
      I blew the collector base sky high.
      Zaeed can bounce back after saving the factory workers, whether he wants t or not.
      Diana… Oh stupid annoying Diana, how i want not to take you but always do… Something idealist about “the press must be free!” I guess…
      never ever ever intentionally cheat in ME2 but have twice gotten into accidental couplings with Jack and the Garrus.

      Now for the big one.
      I know it seems like the least liked one but I always go with the synthesis option, even if it is space magic.
      I like the idea of destroy, but dammit I worked my arse off saving both geth and quarians and I ain’t throwing that away (also be think EDI and joker are cute togrther).
      I have tried control but I always feel that’s only good in the short term. I mean, what if Shepard-Reaper-God goes mad from the isolation or develops warped morals, or worse like the catalyst uses questionable methods? I can’t rake the risk, this is my Shepard my badass yet sensitive commander who will knock your lights out if you threaten the crew or galactic life; but it’s still me. I know I would eventually be corrupted by the power or group dissonant. I can’t let my Shepard take that risk.

      • This is exactly what I meant in my post. BioWare nailed (as they do in most of their games) how strongly Shepard’s actions affect you, and the opposite, specially with the moral choices (letting someone die for the sake of the rest, or fulfilling someone’s request for vengeance).
        You FEEL like Shepard, you ARE Shepard. Is a godamn responsibility, and it is what is the most atractive in the franchise.

    • I always chose the “best” resolution for Legion/Tali (where Legion sacrifices himself and Tali doesn’t kill herself) … and I always choose to save the Geth in the beginning. Which, apparently is all for nought, since I destroy synthetics in the end :)
      Oh and sidenote – I’m glad you feel the same about watching another Shepard. My friend’s Shep was bald with tufts of hair around his ears – I literally could not look at him.

  3. The way you feel about Ashley is how I feel about Kaiden, granted its been a long time since I played the first game, and I was a 22 year old boy so at that time it may have been tits or gtfo mentality. However,I just remember feeling bored with every interaction with him, plus I never used him as a squad mate because he did all the same stuff as me. I did kill wrex on a play through, but only to see how that situation played out, Wrex was my favorite character of the whole series and the fact that you don’t get the option of a krogans squad mate in 3 was the biggest disappointment to me for that game. As far as the endings go, I did originally take synthesis, but that felt like a cop out, so I booted up at the laser and went with destroy. I subscribe to indoctrination theory seeing as its the only way to make all the weird, out of place shit in the last 20 minutes make sense. If you pick anything but destroy, the reapers win.

    • What you say about the Krogans not being in your Squad in ME3 is probably the reason why so many people hates Vega, since he is essentially like a Krogan (bulky Soldier that can tank lots of enemies with Fortification).

      But I agree, not having Krogans in the squad in ME3 is pretty sad. Actually, not having other races such as Salarians and Drells (as we had Mordin and Thane in ME2) is pretty sad too. I actually wanted really bad to have a Volus in the squad, would be funny.

      • Yeah Krogans are pretty awesome and they say some hilarious “I’m gonna kill you and everything around you” things when you’re walking around. Vega was the biggest waste of space ever. I didn’t understand his interactions with Shep – if you ever play as Femshep, he’s really flirty and it’s super awkward. I dunno if it’s the same with the male Shepard …

      • With the Male Shepard it’s more like a “bro” stuff. He asks for advice and/or gives his personal view about missions and other characters in a very close manner with Shepard; there is a chain of command and respect between the two, but he got a really dirty mouth and doesn’t give shit about it.

        Vega has some interesting potential and he is, despite the looks, a really interesting character, specially after you watch Paragon Lost. I see in Vega the insecurity of having to deal with the leadership: he is forced to do so, but unlike Shepard, who has a natural talent, Vega has to face many obstacles, despite doing his best.

        Also, I think Freddie Prinze Jr. did an excelent job voicing Vega.

  4. I agree, it’s had to not take the paragon choices. Kaiden is the best love intrest, though Thane has compleling story. And I love Mordrin, but I chose the option to kill him, I felt so bad I almost kried. Never kill mordrin, not worth the badkarme.

    • Yes, Mordin is certainly one of the best characters! I love it when he sings … and i did shed a tear when he says those immortal words “had to be me. someone else might have gotten it wrong.”

      • His data pad voice clips in the Citadel made me feel even more sad for letting him die, however I didn’t see any other choice. It was either him dying as a hero or condeming an entire race to doom. It is the same as killing the Rachni Queen, in my opinion.

        I see Mordin’s death as something to make Shepard stronger. He is a symbol.

  5. My Shepard is always Female (for some reason it makes sense to me) who is badass but caring and makes the moral choices up until 3 at which point she tends to be more cold and calculating (for the good of the galaxy). also…romanced thane….idk why but it was one the better in depth ones.

    • I think I understand why it makes sense to you. Shepard’s female voice actress, Jennifer Hale, really gives that impression.

      However, I can’t play as a FemShep, mainly because Shepard is each one of us, so it feels a bit weird to me to play as a female, haha. I’m ok with that on MMOs, though.

  6. Okay it’s 2:36am here but I want to reply to this properly as it is a great post and I am totally with you on most of it. I shall write that reply tomorrow but I will say that I forced myself to play a Renegade playthrough of all 3 and it was hard but there is some really funny consequences along the way!

    • Can’t wait to hear about it, I’m impressed you were able to stay Renegade for all 3 games! Though I play as mostly Paragon, I have to admit, I can never pass up a Renegade prompt when it pops up in the lower right hand corner of the screen :)

      • Right, let’s get to this then (I’ve just finished some ME3 multiplayer with friends so I’m in the mood, as it were).

        I think I’ve done maybe 3 or 4 Mass Effect playthroughs now (Infiltrator/Soldier, Adept, Sentinel & maybe Engineer) and every time I go to make a new character I think I’m going to do everything differently. More often than not, however, it’s only the hair-cut and the love interest that changes. I always look pretty much the same and I always end up playing Paragon. I had tried to play Renegade a couple of times but couldn’t do it. Then I really put my mind to it, stuck with it, and I have to say, I really enjoyed my Renegade playthrough, it was very funny at times (hanging up on the Council, punching Khalisah al-Jilani in the face etc, general banter – I don’t remember being ‘rude’ to my squad members, he just seemed more like a badass). I would definitely say force yourself to Renegade it and see how things progress. I admit full responsibility if you hate it at the end.

        I admit though, I found Ash quite interesting, including her outrageous views and I wondered if her opinions might change with time so I romanced her and fell for her quite hard in the end – also, Kaiden got on my nerves a little, he seemed a little whiny.

        So, 10) I’m with you on this one, save her, not going to wipe out an entire species.

        9) I’ve done both and I don’t know which one I prefer. The Council annoyed and frustrated me. I saved them on my Renegade character (after hanging up on them a lot in 1, Joker is funny!) just so I could give them more grief in later games, and let them die because with the Reaper threat I wanted forces, rather than annoyances.

        8) I love Wrex (I think this answers number 6 as well) and think he’s one of the best characters in the game. After talking with Mordin and Wrex about the genophage throughout all my playthroughs, it needed to be cured – though IMO only with Wrex leading the Krogan.

        7) I’ve never kept the Collector base and I always found it a tough decision…intel or abomination. If it doesn’t make a difference in ME3 I’m not fussed about destroying it.

        6) See 8, love Wrex. He’s also hilarious with his banter on Surkesh with squad-mates, especially Garrus.

        5) I’m sure I let him kill Vido but I really don’t remember it. I think I’ll have to do another Renegade playthrough just to double-check – I’ve been wanting to do a badass shotgun-wielding melee-soldier for a while. I just remember thinking “I can’t let all those people die!?” Such a Paragon.

        4) Ugh, waste of time and space IMHO. Drop Diana Allers entirely and give me a relationship option with Kasumi.

        3) I had a nightmare with love interests. I romanced Ash in 1, she got all narky with me in 2 and not knowing about Ash coming back in 3 as a LI I pursued Miranda (because I love Yvonne from Chuck and I like brunettes…Yvonne + Brunette…I can’t…) which I don’t regret, but that was really my ‘Ash’ playthrough. So I went back and re-imported my character just before 3 came out so I could remain loyal to Ash and continue on for 3. I almost screwed up my Renegade playthrough as I was romancing Liara and accidentally picked a Renegade option and had sex with Jack (oops!). I learnt to save my game before any conversation with anyone on the ship, just in case lol.

        Oh and I accidentally said the wrong thing to Tali which caused me to almost cheat on Ash and when she was in hospital in 3 she said “Look, it’s okay. Tali is like a sister, I totally approve.” which, I think shows how far she’s come since ME1.

        2) I’ve done all the endings (including shooting star-child in the face and rejecting him which was so satisfying) and I think my favourites are Destroy (for that breath) and Control (so I can look after my friends). But all 3 have their merits and I always find it hard to choose the ending I think my Shep would want. I wasn’t thrilled with the options and it screams of EA rushing it out but what’s done is done and I think the extended cut and Citadel DLC helped a bit (despite the enormous holes in parts of the extended cut).

        1) I apologise in advance. I killed Kaiden every time. I’m sorry. Don’t hate me. I hated it, I really did. Every time I thought “No, I want to save them both!” but I am going to do that badass melee shotgun renegade soldier and save Kaidan, I owe it to him as I always regretted it.

        Sorry about the huge reply, I do love all these aspects of Mass Effect so it’s great to talk about! Thanks for your blog!

      • Yeah, I’m always full Paragon and have been for three games. Until I’m given the opportunity to throw some douchebag off a roof with a tap of the trigger.

    • Haha yeah Kaidan is definitely the “sensitive” type – I wouldn’t blame any man for killing him every time .. I just kept him around because there’s not much eye candy for a female gamer!

      I totally forgot that shooting Star Child was an option! And here I thought I had done all the endings. Nope, gotta do that one for sure!

      • Hmmm… I don’t know, Graham, the ending you get when you shoot/reject him is way too dark, haha.

        It is funny, because shooting was the VERY first thing I did, and I didn’t even know you’d trigger an ending (since in the original cut shooting him would not do anything). Scared the shit out of me when he said, in Sovereign’s voice “SO BE IT!”

      • Hahaha, yes! I was exactly the same. The ending made me sad, shooting him in the face was satisfying but yeah, I had my volume up quite loud the first time and I jumped good and proper when that voice changed!

  7. I am a real schizofrenic, got 2 Sheps (male) one on pure paragon and a second pure renegade, even if the first Shep (soldier/paragon) is my Shep, it was really funny playing the dark side. Renegade Shepard specially in ME1 has some really hilarious badass dialogues. in ME2, the athmosphere is much more darker and less ironic so you do not feel so good after finishing your “bad shep trip”. Now the choices:
    10. did both. paragon saved the queen, renegade gassed the bug(and yes, you do feel bad after pressing the button).
    9. Always saved them. Better a grateful council than a new bunch of burocrats
    (I plan to make a new renegade path where the extermination of the council could be the first step to Shepard becoming a galactic emperor…..Luke….I am your father…..uuuuucccchhhhh)
    8. Did both to try, but definitively the cure option is much more satisfying…too bad you lose Mordin (one of my favorite carachters)
    7. Did both, a useless choice.
    6. Killing Wrex? Don’t even think about it. Mess with him and you’ll see a Shep get mad (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
    5.Did both, don’t care too much about Zaeed.
    4.Paragon: invited her, potential one shot romance / Renegade: invited her, thought it could be nice to have a journalist to punch directly on the Normandy without being obliged to go back to citadel each time…
    3. Paragon, sacrificed love interest (Williams) on Virmire – Renegade: could Shep be a real badass without cheating? come on….
    2. I prefer synthetize, I die but at least Joker will have some fun, and it reminds too much of my first Deus Ex completion.
    1. tried both but my choice is definitively to keep Kaidan, I like his blind loyalty, and hi biotic powers of course

    By the way.. I cannot pass a single prompt neither

    • I felt like it made sense to be Paragon in ME1 because you’re the new kid on the block who is trying to make friends. Then in ME2, I felt like Renegade made sense because you don’t really like the people you’re working for, the Council are still dicks, and no one is listening to you. ME3, both routes feel right to me and since it doesn’t matter for the ending if you’re Paragon or Renegade …

      Anyway, I guess the only thing left for me is to play as a Male Shep! But I hear the voice actor is terrible for Male Shep … true or false?

      • mShep has a… different… voice actor. I wouldn’t say he’s bad, personally I think he’s an awesome voice actor.
        but then, comparing it to fShep? I love fShep’s voice and no other VA comes close for me.

      • I played ME1 in Italian, ME2 in English and ME3 in French….travelled a lot lately :)
        Italian voice of Male Shep is not bad at all. I did not dislike the english in ME2 even if it’s not exceptional to my opinion but I wouldn’t say it’s terrible. The french version of Male Shep IS terrible, oh yes it is….I should try a Fem shep to compare

      • OMG The idea of Shep w/French voice is cringeworthy! I am super impressed that you played it in multiple languages, though. It must be really interesting how the very specific scifi terms are translated, like eezo or mass effect or biotic, etc.

      • Well, most of the words (Mass effect) are not translated. Biotic in Italian is “biotico” sounds “beeotiko” and in french is “biotique” sounds “beeoteek”. so nothing really weird.EEZO is Element Zero so it is transalated consequently. What really changes is the tone and sounds of the acting. I am terribly curious to hear once a German shep (even if I do not speak German), just to hear if it sounds like a WWII movie…..

  8. Be aware if you choose the destroy option you wipe out ALL synthetic life, this includes the Geth, who you might have worked very hard to save. I am thinking perhaps control is the best option,

  9. I chose to save Kaiden because as a biotic he had a greater potential military value. Sorry Ashley grunts are meant to be sacrificed.

    • Have you ANY idea what you just said? “Grunts are meant to be sacrificed.”; I’m in the military, and, to be frank, I don’t care if you are simply referring to the game itself, I’m pretty fucking insulted by that remark. I’m sure many of my fellow brothers- and sisters-in-arms would be insulted as well.

      I understand you may not like Chief Williams. Hey, whatever. Different strokes, right? But saying that “grunts are meant to be sacrificed” spits in the face of a rather sizable chunk of the Armed Forces, regardless of what branch or country that chunk hails from. Keep in mind that many of those “grunts” are WILLINGLY risking their own asses so others won’t permanently lose theirs.

      Huh… I normally don’t talk about the military like this. I guess after 6 years it’s finally starting to grow on me. Or something.

      I’m still keeping Ash over Kaidan, but that’s just me.

      • Yeah, that was pretty uncalled for, indeed. I agree with you 100%.

        I honestly don’t like Ashley very much, but she does have many good points. If there was any way to save both, I’d do it. I like Kaidan due his more humble and brotherly nature, though. (And since I always pick Liara over Ashley for romance… yeah.)

  10. I saved Ashley, too. I found Kaidan to be kind of annoying.. But since I didn’t want to bother moving my save from MA1 (PC) to MA2 (Xbox360), Kaidan was still there in MA2. And he freaked all out on me/us, which didn’t make me like him better at all! But then he shows up in MA3 with the most adorable doggy eyes… Aww… ^_^

  11. I did the same as you on everything except I saved Ashley. Although I’ve played a Femshep from the start, I’m a dude so I told Kaiden I wasn’t interested. So he immediately started acting like a spoiled, sulky brat. I was his commanding officer and for him to speak to me that disrespectfully was unacceptable. Start a new game and reject him and you’ll see what I mean.

    Also, I did a partial ME3 playthrough with to get Kaiden’s Bonus Powers and it was so weird. Like having a ghost on my squad.

    • It’s funny – I’ve played through the game several times but I always make almost all the same choices! You’re right – having Ash instead of Kaidan (or in your case the other way around) on my squad would be freaky … I hope you found that Reave was worth it, though – I love biotics!

  12. Funny thing is, I’ve played nearly-straight Paragon on every single playthrough (with FemShep; sorry all, but I cannot stand Meer’s voice acting, it grates on me so badly) but when I hit that ending…destroy, destroy, destroy.

  13. I find it hard to complete a playthrough once you get past chronos. The first time I picked destroy, (I cant bring myself to believe shepard would want to huskify the galaxy or try to become a god) but the couple of times I have played through after that my motivation fades as soon as we land on earth. I think I have 3 playthroughs now sitting with saves around the final mission.

    Playing ME1 is very hard to be properly renegade, I did it once but felt awful. It is a lot easier to start ME2 and play renegade with the default settings (killed Council, Rachni and Wrex) and keep it up in ME3 – the genophage cure is a much more difficult question when Wreav is in charge.

    I picked Ashley the first time and kept with her, largely because my femshep had Tsoni fever and Kaidan seemed less interesting – Ashley starts as a misguided character who develops. Unfortunately this wasnt continued in ME3. Kaidan is much more relevant and interesting in the last game.

  14. “Ashley, you’re terrible and we hate you.” ~ Everyone

    Ummm, no. I also think insulting the real life voice actor behind Ashley (it’s inferred that she is much worse than Kaidan voice actor) is pretty poor taste imo. You like Kaidan, you hate Ashley. We got it but insulting real people as a result of your exuberance for Kaidan & dislike for Ashley, seems below-the-belt. Not to mention, the voice acting in ME series is some of the best in any video game series ever. Anyone saying otherwise is simply wrong & this includes Ashley too. It just seems pretty childish which normally is fine when discussing/arguing about fictional video game characters but to stoop to insulting the real life woman who voiced Ashley? Wow! I expected better frankly since you’ve got a great site here.

    I liked both Ashley & Kaidan as squad mates. They had different personalities but that’s what makes the world go around so that’s fine. I’m definitely not going to join in with the “I hate Ashley too & that’s why it’s good to kill her” mob that seemed to form in the comments. What rubbish in every way. For me, it was a genuinely tough choice so I made it analytically. If I was a soldier type class, Ashley got the boot. If I was a adept/tech type class, Kaidan got the boot. In other words, if 2 of us are the same, 1 of us isn’t necessary. Seems like people need a reminder of this before they go kill someone just because they don’t like them. Geez…

    • I don’t think that Ash’s voice actress is very good, just like I don’t think MShep’s voice actor is very good. That is MY opinion. I appreciate that you have your own opinion and feel free to comment, but policing my opinion (or frankly anyone else’s) is ridiculous, especially when you pair it with personal insults. This kind of behavior is expected on something like Tumblr which is a bit of an open forum for reblogging and discussion, but this is a personal blog – I own it, I pay for it, I write it, and I’ll say what I want to. If you think disagreeing with my opinion on this subject nullifies everything good about my entire blog, that’s your call, but I appreciate your visit nonetheless.

  15. I just recently concluded the Mass Effect series (if you wonder why I am such a “late developer”, I only recently aquired a pc with specs that are up to the task of running the Mass Effect series, but it was definitely worth waiting for), and I must say that I absolutely agree with your inital remarks Girlplaysgame. I also suffer from ME withdrawal (Mass Effect is the most fantastic games series, it is without equal, except perhaps for my other favorite : the Deus Ex 1-3 series) and became very attached to my Shepard, which by the way was a FemShep, though I am male in “real life”. I started up with a male Shepard in ME1 but I wanted him to look like, well, myself. But no matter how much I tweaked his looks he never really looked right (apparently my looks are not “hero” material :) so in the end I thought : “Well, if I can´t tweak the MaleSheps looks the way I want it, I am going with a FemShep instead”. Also I knew that FemShep was voiced by Jennifer Hale, and I knew her from other games and liked her voice. I never came to regret my choice of a FemShep. In fact I came to feel more and more attached to her, as I played through the series. The main reason was probably that I had made the decision from the beginning, when I was still going to play as a MaleShep, to let him take the paragon/renegade choices that I would have done (and also “vowed” not to take back a choice, no matter its consequenses). I stuck with this decision after I begin playing as a FemShep, and was rather curios to see whether I/she would turn up a coldhearted renegade or a noble paragon :) Well, my FemShep certainly had some renegade choices (including one in ME2 that made my feel “dirty” and a bit ashamed), but for most of the time “we” ended up with paragon choices. After playing through ME1 my FemShep was 3/4 paragon and about 1/4 renegade, a profile that I think reflects my own personality pretty well. This “profile” continued through ME2 and ME3 and I came to, well, really like my FemShep, and not for any of the “the-usual-male-reasons” ! In fact I found my FemShep to be rather far from my female ideals : far to tall, athletic and “butch” for my personal taste (my wife and daughter both had identical comments when I showed them my FemShep : “Isn´t her hair…eh…rather close cropped and isn´t she a bit a macho ?” Well she was, but I found her a strong and sympathetic female character (she always placed great emphasis on building good relations with her crew, to the point where she was almost “mothering” them and serving hot cocoa for them :) So when I came to the end of ME3 I must admit I had a lump in my throath, and felt..well..devastated by my FemSheps demise (but I still think the endings are great..epic…touching…though some of them have logical flaws). My choices was : 10 – saved the Rachni queen (but I had to ponder that decision for a long time before I chose to save it). 9 – sacrificed the council – not out of spite, but just because I would always have prioritized taking out the threat from Sovereign, above anything else. 8 – Yes, a tough decision indeed. I really liked Mordin, but I simply couldn`t let the Krogans down, and Wrex, down. I was a bit worrited about Wrex talking about the Krogans expanding and demanding more “living space”, but we needed the Krogans and at exactly the “right” moment, Wrex told my FemShep that she “was like a sister to him” and I simply had to cure the Genophage after that comment…there was no other choice, so much to my dismay, poor Mordin had to die. 7 – Kept the collector base. Thought it would do some good to have access to Reaper tech. But Cerberus of course, screwed everybody else, so not much good came out of it. 6 – “Seriously? Does anyone actually kill Wrex???” Exactly my Words…He´s a cool character; He´s a terrific fighter and I certainly needed him; I wouldn´t have liked to get into a fight with him in real life no matter what (the Krogan Warlord opponent early on in ME1 was bad enough)..Wrex simply had to be saved and fortunately my FemShep was paragon enough to do the job. 5 – I choose to save the factory workers. Zaeed got rather pissed, but in the end he came around (wish there was a subquest later in ME2 or ME3 where you could help Zaeed finally catch up with his former partner Vido…My FemShep would have liked to have a Word or two with Vido too, about his callous attempt to sacrifice the lives of innocent people). 4 – Did invite her..and found her obnoxious (yes, even as a hetero male I found Allers annoying, and a bit too negative a presentation of journalists). But kept her onboard, because I figured : well, we need some positive media coverage of the war effort. 3 and 1 – My FemShep was very chaste and virtous in ME1 and through most of ME2. I simply didn´t find the romance options very appealing. Kaidan IS a good looking and nice guy (certainly the most attractive man around FemShep) but I am personally to female company and well, Liara…she is sweet, but Asari is just a turn off for me. Asari = 3 serious flaws…not human, not really female, more than a 100 years old, (and 3 minor flaws : no hair, no ears, blue skin, but those are minor flaws and somewhat acceptable). So no romance for my FemShep in ME1. Kaidan DID flirt with FemShep, and she never turned the poor guy totally down, but I/we choose to sacrifice him and save Ashley (yes..shame on me…I regretted it almost the moment after the decision was made. Ashley later confessed that she had a crush on Kaidan …strangely enough it didn´t made feel better about sacrificing him. ..and afterwards she was never very sympathetic towards my FemShep…it seemed she blamed Shep for Kaidans death, throughout all 3 games…also : Ashley´s was drunk while on duty in ME3…never liked her much…don´t think I would have had her as a Lover even if I had played as a MaleShep). In Me2 I wasn´t too fond of the possible romance options either : Was highly symphatetic towards Thane (and Samara…she was a really great character), but was not interested in any romance with either (though Thane, like Kaidan before him, became very..positive…towards my FemShep (he certainly talked a lot about FemShep being a lot like he´s deceased wife…it was probably a compliment :) Eventually of course, he sacrificed himself, saving FemSheps life from Kai-Ling in ME3. When Thane died, FemShep held his hands together with his son (more lump in my throat – plenty of those moments in ME3) Oh, man…I really just loved my FemShep eventually taking out Kai-Ling with a stab to his Heart and the “That was for Thane, you son of a bitch” line. Would have liked a renegade option to cut of Kai-Lings head, freeze dry it, and nail it to the wall in Shep´s cabin onboard Normandy (but Samantha would probably have complained about it – see later). Eventually my FemShep did have a short lived affair in ME2 with redhead charmer Kelly Chambers and later found her “true love” in Samantha Traynor (yes, being a hetero male and letting my FemShep take the choices I would, FemShep was bound to be a lesbian, but I admit that Kaidan was a nice and goodlooking guy..if my FemShep had been hetero, Kaidan would have been a natural choice). But Samantha was, in my humble opinion, just the cutest girl in the game (just the way she says “commander” and “Ma´am” in her distinct British accent..and she likes strategy games….by that time I was thankfull I had chosen to play as a FemShep. If I had played as a MaleShep, I think it would have been either Miranda or Jack that ended up as my Love interest…not Ashley (though my daughter thought Ashley looked cool, but my daughter didn´t know Ashley the way I did). But all in all : Didn´t cheat on any Love interest (the affair with Kelly didn´t really Count as a serious relationship and was short lived :) but Liara continued to have a crush on my FemShep and though there never was anything between them, she and FemShep had a very touching farewell scene in ME3 (ruins of London). 2 – Played through all endings (the one and only time I diverged from my original decision of “not-going-back-on-my-choices” but I HAD to see all the possible endings. During my first end-game playthrough however, I ended up with the synthesis ending (so tragic, and beautiful…my paragon FemShep sacrifising herself for all life and in death, becoming the “mother” of “New Life” – much like the ending in Dan Simmons “Endymion rising”). This ending however, is a bit illogical, and after watching the “catalyst conversation” several times, I am beginning to suspect the catalyst is deliberately manipulating Shep into the “outcome” it wants. The destruct-ending, while having the satisfying result that Shep might survive, is also a bit illogical and doesn´t really solve anything. The end-of-everything ending, is not really tragic (though Liara´s sad voice recounting “We fought as a unified galaxy, but it was not enough” is). It is just Shep being stubborn and stupid and sacrificing but him/herself and everybody else. No, the ONLY really logical ending and the one I think I would really choose (MaleShep or FemShep; Paragon or Renegade) is the “upload” ending. It is also very beautiful and has a certain tragic appeal to it too (Shep giving up his/her life and humanity for the greater good of everyone else and then like a benign goddess like entity watching over all life – of course this is the paragon intrepretation – the renegade version is more disturbing). In this ending, Shep´s getting some semblance of life at least (but its still a sacrifice), and f… the murderous catalyst ! To sum it up : Shep´s refusing to make a decision – just plain stupid…Shep´s choosing to destroy Reapers – short time satifisfaction, but illogical. No, it has to be either the upload or the synthesis ending (and why can´t Shep after uploading him/herself not carry through with the synthesis solution ?). Peeew..that was a loong post. Says something about the impact ME has had on me…Greatest game I ever played (Though Deus Ex series is also coming close) and one of the greatest and most emotional Sci-fi stories I have ever encounted…! Well, it´s getting late. Logging of the galactic extranet for now !

  16. i usually choose my sacrifical soldier in the same way. i am usually playing a power base class: infiltrator, sentinel, engineer, so kaiden usually gets the boot due to the fact that ashley provides a better support for my character, at least in me1 not sure in me3, cause i’m usually running classes i can explode with in me3.

  17. Honestly I know what you mean. I’ve tried to play different play throughs as different Shepard’s (male and female.) and change my look. It just doesn’t even look right and it’s really sad how I can’t stand to listen to a different Shepard with the same voice as my original. Lol it’s absolutely wrong I tell you. I tried to play as a renegade with a rugged looking version but then it don’t look right. So I’m with you on that one. As for my choices…..

    10 saving the Rachni queen.
    I’ve always had a mixed emotion about them. First off there giant any like beings. They reproduce beyond belief and like nobodies business. Truly. Look how quick they became a threat in the short time they were givin. So in some play throughs I save them for the perks and sometimes I don’t just to be on the safe side. :P if I was truly in this situation though I’d be totally lost.

    9 save the council.
    In my first play through I did not. Why sacrifice so many lives for a few stuck up politicians who are no help to you till the very end?! But on my second time I do now cause story’s much more interesting. But if I was really put in this situation I’d say let them burn. You know the sayin. Out with the old. In with the new.

    8 curing the genophage.
    My god this killed me cause this would contradict my beliefs considering my who rant on the Rachni. But this was on a more personal note. And wrex is one of those characters you really can grow attached to in my opponion. Plus he was with you from square one how can’t you be? That and I never break a promise in real life so you prob can imagine how ridiculous I looked getting all frustrated needing to keep a promise to a fictional character.

    7 destroy or keep collector base
    Destroy every time. I don’t care what people think. Nothing good comes out with that kind of technology.

    6 kill wrex on virmire.Hell to the no! No man gets left behind is all got to say! Well at least for most. Poor sods.

    As for number 5 I’ve never obtained the DLC so I couldn’t comment on it. And prob never will. Everyone always seems to give negative feed back on it and tell me it’s quite disappointing. So I’m not even gonna put my money on it.

    4 invite Diana allers to the Normandy. Truly I don’t believe this makes a huge impact on story but I’ve always invited her mostly. I got to agree she needs a paper bag over her head. But damn she got a fine bod.

    3 cheat on your love interest
    Honest to god my first time playing this game I was truly upset you could not have a option to romance with tali. I know she’s an alien but to me it’s more the personality that I find attractive. And now that I’ve played the entire trilogy how can you say no?! I mean come on. She was backing you up from day one. Even was the eyes that watched your back when you teamed up with that lunatic the illusive man. Despite how much she disposed Cerberus. Now that’s the kind of woman I’d fall in love with. So I was glad you could in number 2. So didn’t cheat in my first play through. Second time I tried with Ashely despite my feeling for tali. (Dramatic love act) but I wanted to see the romance scene. That quickly ended when I saw Miranda. Now that was a fox! Hot white or black leather take your pick! (Drool) but in the end I go back to tali. :P

    2 synthesize , destroy, or control the reapers. This was so retarded. There was barely any change and the end was very vague. It left you with you dropping the controller hands in the air like “what the hell happened!!!?? ?” And in the end your ship and crew get stuck on a remote world for god only knows what reason they were jumping through the mass relay in the first place. When they should’ve been on earth waiting for Shepard. And left you wondering what happened to all them krogan truians and salarians that end up getting stranded on earth. All them fleets of ships are stuck. That prob really messed up on political draw backs. It just left a lot of what happened questions. I didn’t like it. I saw this as a tempt to being very lazy. And I don’t see how a ME4 is gonna come out unless its a prequel to the trilogy series or based in a time long before Shepard was around. Based off there statement how they claim there will not be a Shepard in the next mass effect game. But my choices were destroy destroy destroy! Seriously to go through all that trouble just to preserve them In the end? ….. Yeah right. Light’em up!

    1 kaidan or Ashely on virmire
    Honestly kaidan is just a whiner. Can’t stand him. I’d rather have some annoying ugly girl who can at least really hold a gun than some what you think be some bad ass biotic turn out to be a big baby with some tricks up his sleeves. No offense I see you go some love for kaidan but I guess that’s just because I’m a guy. That and I hate whiners.

    • Thanks for sharing! :D I totally feel you on the getting attached to Wrex thing … and cheating on the 2nd playthrough hahaha. And yes, the ending was retarded – have you tried the happy ending mod (MEHEM)? It hink it makes it a little better (still not great)!

      • No prob. I very much enjoyed your post. It’s good to see another who enjoys mass effect as much as I. Happy ending mod? I heard they came out with an alternative ending but didn’t hear much more than that. I just hope they make improvements to ME4. Cause this game was epic until the end. That’s was disappointing. This game could’ve made it big. Which don’t get me wrong it still is. You know what I mean. Lol what’s your theory on ME4? I still believe its gonna be a prequel or based way before the mass effect trilogy. Maybe the first contact war? That be interesting. :)

  18. I actually had the opposite read on Kaiden/Ashley. I found him boring and whiny, and she started as a human-elitist and uptight, but her story made it make sense, and you can show her that her views are flawed through dialogue. Plus her name is “Ash” Williams.

  19. Just starting the series again, getting close to Virmire, and I’m still not sure about the Ashley/Kaiden choice this time. Both times I’ve played femshep before (inc. first everplaythrough) I’ve sacrificed the racist and saved Kaiden. Last time though, I found him a bit judgemental and it grated a bit that he was giving me such a hard time. I guess it’s kind of the same with Ashley, but atm I’m mad at him, not her. That and her being penalised for her grandfather’s actions made me feel a bit more sympathetic toward her this time. I think maybe she needs a break this time around!

    Not curing the genophage feels too much like you’re stabbing both Wrex and Mordin in the back, even if it would ultimately save Mordin’s life. If it’s Wreav and Padok Wiks, it doesn’t feel quite so bad though!

  20. the very first time i began with a) male, b) paragon, c) soldier shepard.

    as for now –

    a) jennifer hale just exorbitantly rules as the femshep voice actress. i only bother to play as a male shepard when i feel
    like dating ash or – more likely – tali.

    b) paragon may be more addressing my personal attitude but that’s not the point of playing video games that give you the option of being someone else as well as pursuing subjectively more familiar ways to handle the issue.

    since trying to be both is unfavourable for the story and your speech options – paragon may feel better inside, but renegade is so much more fun to play.

    c) soldier. seriously? do it once to become familiar with the gameplay, but if it generally seems the best class to pick, you should consider playing call of duty and its respectives. imo which class you eventually pick, depends on which part you’re playing: i’d advise me1 sentinel, me2 vanguard, me3 adept (biotics are so much fun!).

    but that’s just me. even the most boring option is still worth playing this wonderful saga.

    now for your list:

    10. no-brainer. that mistake has been made before by the council and i won’t make it again. killed her once but although i prefer a renegade playthrough, i didn’t feel comfortable with it at all.

    9. save them.

    they’re a pain in the ass, but an only-human council sounds neither seems to work in favour of your reputation amongst any person throughout known space nor can i assume it being any clever when you are dealing with, depending on and fighting for all the races in the galaxy.

    and as a side effect, the attitude towards humanity in the rest of the trilogy doesn’t make up for the satisfaction of letting them fry.

    the turian shop clerk on the citadel in me2 insulting you is pretty hilarious though.

    8. the krogan characters wrex and grunt may be likeable or even highly respectable, but i detest the krogans as a race, so imo they deserve the genophage. they had it absolutely coming. reliable birth control of a bloodthirsty, warmongering is the only real choice for the greater good if the krogan’s total extinction is the alternative.

    the council may seem to have made the basic mistake back in the days by bringing the krogan to a level of scientific progress they couldn’t handle, but did they have a choice aside total extinction of the council races? that’s by no means an apology for brutally taking over the galaxy just because of this “we are so many and we need room” bullshit. remotly sounds like the “eastern living space” plans by the nazis. so just let’s not get romantic over this.

    7. although it doesn’t make a difference to the outcome of the game, i stick with my real-life scientific background and preserve it. its highly advanced technology is far too valuable to let it go to waste. if i destroy it once in a while, it’s only to score off the illusive jerk.

    6. of course i a l w a y s let wrex live. until me3 was released and i figured out a way to save mordin. mordin and his skills and assets as a squadmate seem to me of much more use than wrex. not mentioning his entertaining talents…

    5. depends on the mood i am in and how much my morality bar is filled to preserve zaeed’s loyalty despite having to let vido escape.

    4. neither does she really affect me nor do i despise her. i somehow figured she earned her place on board and she doesn’t give you any kind of disadvantage.
    long story short: i don’t care.

    3. never. (well, i have to admit once i unintentionally did so by flirting with kelly chambers although already having romanced tali. didn’t know this was even possible and suddenly had her dancing in my cabin. enjoyed it though)

    2. haven’t introduced that pathetic katalyst brat to my little friend called carnifex yet, but it appeals to be a very satisfying moment despite the catastrophic consequences for the end (the rest sucks anyway).

    control seemed a fulfilling option at first, but on second thought it made the whole “finding a way to destroy the damn fuckers once and for all” quest seem pointless to me. also, shepard is just a individual, and an individual’s mind can become corrupted. like trying to play god. to me this a selfish and overall dangerous choice.

    destroy also seemed reasonable since that’s what i was working towards to in 150 hours. but… no. first, i appreciate joker and his deep affection for edi (love her sense of humour). second, the geth simply cannot be revoked the right to live, since they are sapient beings. non-organic, but still sapient. it was sad enough to see legion die. third, i have destroyed enough things coming my way so far. this cannot be all there is.

    so i let myself go for a sensible, peaceful and also most logical decision that gives every race in the galaxy their appropriate respect, no matter if you have played as everybody’s darling or the ruthless badass. give the ultimate sacrifice for the good of anyone else. a bit spockesque (“star trek – wrath of khan”) if i may say so.

    therefore i usually go with synthesis.

    1. depends on the class i’m playing and hence who is more worthwile saving. imo you cannot and should never rule personal sympathy over the logical, analystic option in decisions like this. shepard is fighting a war, not playing video games.

    the hardest decision ever i had to make isn’t even in the list. as long as i played me3 without having a clue about the “points-algorithm” to save the day for both sides, it was almost impossible to decide whether the geth or the quarians should live.

    especially the first time, when on one hand tali was my love interest and on the other hand, the geth so far cleared their file for being ruthless jerks – thanks to legion! that decision was emotionally cruel for me and i felt uncomfortable with it, no matter how i chose.

    unlike on virmire, the rannoch mission didn’t offer you any logical approach towards this call. so one time the quarians lived, the next time the geth lived. but nowadays i’m glad i know a way to save’em both!

    thanks for your thoughts and insights on your way of playing and therefore giving me the opportunity to do so as well!

    p.s.: would have loved to see a batarian on my squad. they cannot all be evil slavers and thugs and i would have liked
    to know a lot more about this fascinating (no valuation) race. a vorcha would’ve been fun, too. particularly because of the level of the conversations… :D

  21. I tried changing my Sheppard’s hair color in a desperate attempt to feel better about changing him as a whole to try and play a drastically different play through. it didn’t work, I dye my hair so why would I be a different person when I slap some purple on my bangs? I’m not and neither is Shep.

    I can’t watch renegade or paragade play troughs, I’m entirely paragon pretty much, I am never vindictive, and I make some tough decisions for what I think is right and that(save one or two tough calls) is always Paragon.

    Also I’m a small flamingly gay boy in real life and you shush about gay Shep and Kaiden, want to feel like a booty call in video games? Play a gay guy. I’m allowed my lasting, loving epic, tragic romance too. That being said I’m not romancing Kaided this run because I heard good things about the plot for Esteban and I want to give something different a shot for once. This drastic change in hair color wasn’t for nothing!(I say that now but I haven’t done anything to reject Kaiden yet) Feel free to think of it as a different version of the timeline, like the Multiverse theory, that’s what helps me sleep at night knowing some people play Shep as a different person XD.

    I have to save the Rachni even if sometimes I don’t want to. I won’t be responsible for genocide, I agree with that. though my current play through I hit the wrong option and now I’m not particularly willing to start again. Ill just have to live with it for now, it was a Mistake.

    9. Save the Council. Ugh I want to be vindictive sometimes I just don’t have it in me.

    8. I cried really hard When Mordin died but he was right. It had to be him, and I couldn’t let it go uncured.

    7. Destroy. No brainier, information is not as important to me.

    6. This sort of thing is always the hardest for me, who lives and who dies? I don’t agree with everything Wrex does but in the end I always save him.
    5. Zaeed is badass, I love him, I save the factory workers. They don’t deserve to die because I feel a connection to a character.
    4. oh Diana Allers. I don’t like her, but I don’t have to. I’ve met worse reporters in real life.

    3. I would never cheat! *gasps in horror* this is easy for me not to do because I always play all the way through with Kaiden.

    2.First I tries Synthesisze, but in the end Control is always my option. The catalyst was misguided but not corrupt, I don’t think my Shep would be either.
    1.I save Kaiden. That’s not even a hard choice.
    “Ashley, you’re terrible and we hate you.” ~ Everyone
    I agree with this, she was always so annoying to me.

  22. Well, i can tell you i’m not alone who killed Wrex and don’t regret about it. Also i prefer to kill the Quarians with annoying Tali (even when have both choices to make a peace between them and the Geths). I like to save Ashley because she showed herself like a hell of a soldier, she protected me on Virmire and i like her because she isn’t too much girlish as Liara. I killed the Rachni Queen on my 2nd play trough, because at first i saved her in ME 1 and Me 3, but after Joker’s words i thought it could be the great mistake. I choose 2 endings – Synthesis and Destroy/Why? Because i think the Geths are the most adorable in space! And i can’t kill them after sacrifice of Legion. But after Synthesis i always return to old save and choose Destroy – i want to keep my Shepard alive and don’t want to leave my lovely Garrus alone. Maybe it sounds weird but i believe it’s a good way to make peace :) Of course, Council never lives in my game XD Juts no comments, in ME 2 they’re real bastards. Cure of genophage? Never! As Javik said “You should kill them without any sterilization”, and i agree with him. Why? Maybe because some people think krogans will be kind with alive Wrex and Eve, but two never will change billions, sad but true. I don’t like Chobot (Diana Allers) and hate these things from EA, so always allow her to die, no regrets :P And i never cheat with my love interest, in first play trough i was with Liara and stayed with her during 3 games, after it i was with Garrus only :) Without making any romance in ME 1.
    P.S: I can imagine the power of pain after my words :D So i’m ready if nobody will agree with my choices. But you know, i always think ME isn’t the game where are only “right” choices. Every person makes her/his OWN decisions, and nobody can try to change them.
    Also i want to say big thanks to the owner of this site, you make so beautiful creations. Never thought i could use mods in ME, but with your help i can now, thanks again :)
    P.S.S: English is not my native language, and sorry for possible mistakes i could make ^_^

  23. I’m a big fan of the Mass Effect series since the first game released. Frankly, I prefer playing female Shepard over male Shepard. Actually I also had my playthrough with a male Shepard to romance some potential characters, get some unique dialogue, but not very satisfied with my character creation because I feel I didn’t create my male Shep to be a “beautiful boy”, in the contrary i feel I’m more satisfying with my female character creation. Well, I always love playing game with beautiful character appearance.

    I played ME throughout the whole series many times (5 or 6, forgot to count). I played every available career and always set my game to the highest difficulty. My favorite career is infiltrator class. Other classes also have their unique ability and fun.

    In the game, I always made choices so that the outcomes are as good as possible. I prefer the paragon path, but I don’t bother trying with the renegade options, or even mixing them to see how really fun the games are. But there are choices in the game that I can’t help making decision rightaway:

    Wrex was my favorite squadmate in ME1, he always presented in my squad unless I tried collecting achievements. He might be a badass but he was really loyal and strong characteristic. I never kill Wrex in any of my playthrough and he always followed me through the end of the series. What a pity that he didn’t return in ME2 and ME3 as a squadmate (a brief come back in ME3 DLC didn’t satisfy me enough).

    Cure the genophage. Maybe my Shepard was not a Messiah, but if that’s the best for the galaxy, I will do it. What was better when the genophage was cured and peace among the races was established once again?

    The rachni queen: I never kill the queen, even if I played a renegade path. If we are planning to preserve endangered species on the Earth, so why can’t we do the same for the galaxy?

    Destroy the Collector Base: I once tried to see how things changed if I preserved that cursing base, and I was disappointed. Nothing really changed significantly in ME3 consequences regardless the choice I made, so why do i even bother to change my routine of destroying it as I used to?

    There are decisions that I’ve made to test how the story altered:
    Save or kill the council: I really hate the Council. In ME1, it was shown that they are stubborn, indecisive, conservative in any opinions. Even in ME3 they showed the same characteristic, regardless the Reapers are whacking their ass! What good they could do for my Shepard was promoting him/her to the first human Spectre.

    The final choice in ME3: This is the most disappointing ending and choice throughout the series, and I’m sure many people agree with this point. The Extended Cut’s shows how the Epilogue changed according to my final choice. It was entertaining somehow, but still not enough to offset the harms done by the first ending I’ve experienced.

    The tough call is:
    Saving Kaidan or Ashley. I should call it’s a tough call. I love them both. They are interesting characters and I didn’t want to lose any of them. But ironically, losing one of them was a significance element to make the Mass Effect game/story, a tragic one. Even if If I was planning on romance one of those two, then although it was already decided, I still felt hard abandoning the other squadmate to sacrifice on Virmire.

    All the other choice: Each of my new playthroughs, I changed decisions to see how the story altered, and it was really fun, that makes me come back to ME series again and again.

  24. I always do paragon, so I save the rachni queen, save the council, cure the genophage, ect. But the one thing I ALWAYS do, is that I romance no one in ME1 but 99% of the time, I romance my lovely Thane <3 that is a no-brainer for me :P

  25. I disagree completely, in the sense that I find it more rewarding to go with a new and distinct concept for Shepard for each playthrough.

    My first time through the series was as the sickeningly straight Paragon War Hero Soldier most of us have probably played at some point, not very imaginative but I was experiencing everything for the first time. I was also young and vulnerable and liked to have my ego stroked.

    The second playthrough was as a “Paragade” Sole Survivor Infiltrator who was big on professionalism, honesty, tough love and mission efficiency, but who often took the morally cautious route when dealing with more complicated choices with far-reaching consequences. He let the Rachni go, didn’t dare sacrifice the Council, blew up the Collector base and froze up and tried to reject all the Catalyst’s suggestions in the end. He simply didn’t trust himself to know right from wrong on those levels, went with the most obviously moral options out of insecurity, and so lacked the conviction to make the truly hard decisions when it mattered.

    My third Shepard, the one I just finished with, was pretty much the polar opposite of my second one. Also a “Paragade” Vanguard who wanted to fight to help people and treat them with kindness and sensitivity whenever she could – within reason. Her strong moral core allowed her to take responsibility for killing the last Rachni because she didn’t have the right to risk the entire galaxy all over again for a single life, and sacrifice the Council because no three politicians could possibly be more important than putting Sovereign down before it was too late, and if it wasn’t their own lives in danger they would certainly have agreed with that. She went behind Wrex’ back and sabotaged the cure because while she trusted Wrex to be honorable in his intentions she simply couldn’t trust the next generation of Krogan leadership to feel the same way, much less the next hundred. Same with the Geth, and eventually all A.I. everywhere via the Destruction ending, all in the name of the greater good, because sometimes you can’t just be the nice guy and hope it’s enough. I think this was my favorite playthrough, even if I normally don’t play women in games.

    I think the important thing is to come up with completely separate and distinct Shepards that you find compelling on their own merits from the very beginning, and maybe mixing them up with radically different classes and gameplay to make sure you don’t fall back on old habits.

    • I’m sadly a creature of habit, but I do admire your distinct characters’ personalities! I’m usually pretty good about doing different classes in each play through but I’m terrible at making different choices in the story :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey there bishop999 ! Thxs for sharing YOUR Shepard stories ! It was very interesting reading the details of and justifications for your Shepards choices ! Especially the thoughts behind your third Shepards (female vanguard paragade) choices, had a certain “philosophical grandeur” to it ! Serves to prove why ME series is the greatest games ever made and among the greatest Sci-Fi stories ever !!! The ability to “tailormake YOUR own hero or heorine and mold the story into what you want ! Just hope there will NEVER be a ME movie ! It will spoil everything !Right now I am on a second playthrough with the series (3/4 quarters through ME2), partly in anticipation and “warm-up” for ME Andromeda, and partly to record all of my Shepards adventures into movies with a nifty little screencapture application I bought some time ago ! Takes up a whooping 100 gigabyte for ME and about twice that for ME2 !!! So many choices to be made !

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