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Mass Effect: Top 10 Most Emotionally Charged Moments in Mass Effect


I can’t even count how many times I got choked up during the Mass Effect series, whether from sadness or from happiness.  I agonized over ever decision I made in the games so that I wouldn’t see my favorite characters get cruelly slaughtered before their time.  Let’s all shed a little tear for these ten moments in Mass Effect …


10.  (ME2) “Hold the line!”

This might be the most famous monologue to come from the entire series.  Besides the whole catchy “hold the line” bit, I think the line that resonates the most is “We would be legends, but the records are sealed.”  How happy was I to see Kirrahe survive through all three games!  You can watch here for the full HD video.


9.  (ME3)  “Had to be me.  Someone else might have gotten it wrong.”

Is there any scene so poignant as Mordin Solus’ death?  He hums a little tune as everything blows up around him, too.  Mordin is one of my favorite characters because there was so much depth to him and he had the best idle banter, from his singing to his desire to retire to the beach and collect (maybe study) seashells.  I think a part of me died with Mordin.  You can watch his death here.


8.  (ME3)  Thane’s death

I’ve only experienced Thane’s death as FemShep – it is one of the most heartwrenching moments in ME3 whether you romanced Thane or not.  He says a little prayer before he dies … and it’s not for himself, it’s for Shep.  *tear*  I wish that Thane died when he was stabbed by Kai Leng … having his last moments in a hospital bed seemed like a strange and oddly sad ending for an assassin.  I like that Bioware rectified it a little by having a Thane ghost cameo in the Citadel DLC, though.  Attention to detail!  Watch Thane’s death scene here.


7.  (ME2)  Reuniting with Kaidan/Ashley on Horizon

This gave me the biggest knot in my stomach.  I hated how Kaidan rejected my FemShep when he learned she was working for Cerberus.  I mean, did our one night stand on the Normandy during ME1 mean nothing?!  Anyway, disappointing.  The only thing that made up for it was the letter he sent after our reunion which you can listen to right here, courtesy of Kaidan’s voice actor Raphael Sbarge.


6.  (ME3)  Admiral Anderson’s death

The ending where Admiral Anderson enjoys the view with Shep one last time before he dies is so moving.  Two war heroes, together til the end.  This might have been the only acceptable part of the original ME3 ending for me!  Watch the video here.


5.  (ME3)  Admiral Hackett’s speech

I think my favorite moment of this scene isn’t necessarily the speech itself but the buildup when Hackett boards the Normandy and all the crew stands to attention.  Watch the full clip here.


4.  (ME2)  The suicide mission

I always take great pains to make sure everyone survives at the end of Mass Effect 2 but you can never really be 100% sure until you actually see the cutscenes of your crew mates surviving the Omega 4 relay and the end of the mission.  I’m pretty sure the first time through, I was holding my breath the whole time.  There was that one time Mordin died even though I did everything right and I just about lost my shit.  Watch the ending where you save everyone here.


3.  (ME1)  Virmire

Even though Kaidan is always the obvious choice for me, I still get upset when I lose any crew member (even if it’s Awful Ashley).  One time, I made the mistake of saving Ashley just to see what the full playthrough of ME1-3 would be like with her, but the aftermath of Kaidan’s death made me reload my last save immediately.  I just couldn’t do it.  Sorry, Ash.  Watch the Virmire scene here.


2.  (ME3)  Every conversation in the FOB in London

Where do I even begin.  I love that you get that one last opportunity to talk to all your squad mates before the final battle, particularly the last conversation you get with your LI.  Every conversation you have feels like goodbye and that made me go all teary.  Watch one version of this scene here.


1.  (ME3)  The Extended Cut DLC

Though the Extended Cut was basically just a bunch of postcards, I appreciated Bioware’s efforts to right the wrong of their original ending.  I also appreciate that they added the option of shooting the Catalyst.  But the thing that was most heartwrenching/warming about the Extended Cut was that additional scene that played with your squadmates while you’re running to the beam.  If you brought your LI along as one of your two squadmates, you get a touching goodbye scene – watch it here with male Shep and Liara, or here with FemShep and Kaidan.

All in all, the whole series is more moving, well-written, and cinematic than pretty much every movie I’ve ever watched.  And it really draws you in because it allows you to become Shepard.  I hope Mass Effect 4 will follow in the same vein and continue the same story-based gaming tradition that Bioware has really perfected with its Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises.

What moments had you choked up in Mass Effect?  Let me know in comments!

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    • Grunt fighting the Ravager horde is more like an epic moment rather than emotionally charged, in my opinion. Sure, you feel extremely relieved when he returns from otherwise certain death, but… It’s really badass and epic.

      • Yeah I read that Grunt lived beforehand so it kind of ruined the sadness potential for me. How about when Matriarch Benezia dies or when Liara is super depressed and curled up on her bed???

  1. For me it’s anytime the “Vigil” music track plays. Especially the curing the genophage scene and the bits on Rannoch.

    • Love that one too – my 2nd favourite track. Both send a shiver down my spine when I hear them. Vigil takes me back to the ME1 title screen, it’s full of promise and reflects well on the upcoming adventure before me. An end once and for all is such a “this is it” moment :(

  2. I recently played back through with a more renegade bent. As much as I love Mordin’s death scene, the renegade version is also incredibly well-done. The way he says “I MADE A MISTAKE!” was just amazing. For me, it also colors the “Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong” line. In that context, I felt like Mordin was talking specifically about Shepard getting it wrong. Ouch.

  3. The first time I played through ME3 I was sure I had enough paragon points to save both geth and quarians from killing eachother. I got to that point in the conversation when Tali is begging you not to upload the reaper code and saw that the paragon speech option was grayed out….PANIC!! anyway, when Tali took off her mask and jumped off that cliff, it felt like someone punched me in the gut. (single tear…)

  4. I seriously had a lump in my throat when Mordin died. His ‘Had to be me’ line gives his character such a galactic sized burden in his short lifespan. He will always be my favorite ME2 char.

  5. These games.. Esp MA3.. I just want to say that I’ve never, EVER cried so much during any movie, book or game! It was rather shocking, since I’m not the kind of girl to scream or cry. But come on! Marley and Me and Titanic are not even CLOSE to having the same tear-factor!
    I was totally heartbroken when Mordin died.. And then Legion.. And then the ending. I swear, if Garrus had died, I would have thrown the controller out the window, punched the screen and run crying out of the door!

    Sidenote: I just found your blog. And I love it! You have just archived another follower :).

    • Ah yay! I’m so excited to have another girl to talk to about video games, particularly Mass Effect ;) I think the series is more moving and cinematic than any movie I’ve ever seen. It really makes you feel the feels, if ya know what I mean. Mordin dying *killed* me. Thane dying ripped out my heart. Legion dying set it on fire. Garrus dying would have opened a black hole where my heart used to be and I would never be able to feel again. Good thing he’s alive and kicking! :)

      • I’m excited, too! My female friends are rather tired of hearing me talking nonstop about these games :D. And I totally know what you mean! All those feels.. Oh god, that is a perfect way of describing how I felt at that moment, too! What surprised me was that it didn’t just disappear after an hour or so. I could still feel my/our loss the day after o_o. I was grieving! I never thought that would be possible to do in a game! Props to you, Bioware! And I hate you for it, too -.-
        But yes, lets calibr– uhm, celebrate it with a drink of Alliance Gin! Cheers!

  6. Seriously? [SPOILER] My heart broke to pieces when I accidentally chose to upgrade the geth instead of sticking to the quarians (didn’t have the choice of making them co-operate, which was my intention when I selected to help the geth) and Tali ultimately suicides right in front of your eyes. Like. Fffuck. There goes my LI. And I instantly reloaded my last save to replay the whole part.

  7. I love your comments about not breathing through the suicide mission, i felt the same way. I even called my brother at 2 AM when i finished it (keeping everyone alive), but couldn’t even talk. i was crying, laughing, excited, terrified and everything else all at the same time.

    I was also a total basket case all through ME3. I cried every time certain clips of music played, every time i was reunited with an old friend, every time i succeeded in a particularly difficult mission… totally nuts! Those calls and final conversations in London were amazing! It was so rewarding and necessary to have those brief moments of happiness among all the seriousness and life or death moments.

    • Mass Effect was such an emotional rollercoaster! Did everyone survive during your suicide mission? Mordin died on my first playthrough and I flipped out!

      • Mass Effect 2 was the most tense game in the series for me, due that whole deal with “If you do one thing wrong, someone WILL die”. I spent so much time carefully upgrading everything to ensure no one would die in the Suicide Mission, and luckily no one did.

      • I usually stay away from game walkthroughs but ME2 was my one exception for exactly that reason – one mistake and everyone dies! :D

  8. i saw i clip that on suicide mission everyone died. including shepard. i seemed funny at the time, and i decided to try it, get everyone killed. but man, i couldn’t. i just couldn’t. when in suicide mission, in a cutscene mirana got shot my heart explode, but then she stands up and said she’s fine, i just shout out of joy :) attagirl
    i hope bioware give us another epic series

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