The Mass Effect Tag
I completed the Videogames tag a while back (which was a tag floating about social media, mainly Twitter) and had so much fun with it that when I saw another tag (in a similar vein) for one of my favourite games series of all time – Mass Effect – I knew I had to do this one too!
1. How Did You Start Playing Mass Effect?
Casting my mind back, I was aware of the upcoming Mass Effect game for some time before it was released. I was huge fan of KOTOR, and loved Jade Empire as well, so was eagerly anticipating the next BioWare game. I wasn’t following the news right from announcement or anything but I remember signing up for the Mass Effect forum (different to the old BSN Boards) and keeping an eye on any snippets of the game and companions.
I remember being stoked that the same voice actor as Carth Onasi was going to be playing a major role (Kaidan Alenko) – I loved Carth and never got the hate for him haha! I also got a kick out of the fact that Jennifer Hale was going to voice the female Shepard considering she was Bastila in KOTOR.
I had the game pre-ordered and started playing immediately on release day (in November 2007). I even took time off work so that I could play uninterrupted! Needless to say, it became one of my all-time favourite games and the series remains so to this day. 🙂
2. Femshep or Maleshep?
FemShep all the way! I’ve never actually completed a full playthrough as MaleShep (though I feel like I should) so FemShep is synonymous with Shepard for me at this point. I no longer have my original Shepard saves (thanks to the red ring of death on my old Xbox 360!) but above are two of my FemSheps from my last two playthroughs of the original trilogy and my two playthroughs of the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (heretofore named as MELE).
- Emilia Shepard: Vanguard – romanced no one in Mass Effect, Garrus is Mass Effect 2 and 3.
- Maeve Shepard: Infiltrator – romanced Kaidan in Mass Effect, Garrus in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
- Harper Shepard: Vanguard – romanced Kaidan in Mass Effect, Garrus in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
- Mia Shepard: Adept – romanced Kaidan in Mass Effect, Jacob in Mass Effect 2 (urgh – was from a rolepaying perspective – don’t recommend this romance as was too cringey!), Kaidan in Mass Effect 3.
3. Favourite Specialised Class?
I really love playing as a Vanguard (combat and biotics rule!) but I played through as an Infiltrator for the first time last year (tech and combat) and I loved it a lot so the two are tied for me.
4. Earthborn, Colonist, or Spacer?
I’ve played all backgrounds but from an RP’ing point of view, I’m going to go with Colonist even though my very first playthrough I was Earthborn and I usually class my first playthroughs as my ‘canon’ Shepard (mainly because I went in blind and therefore for my choices I went with my gut without any preconceptions). Colonist just hits a certain way and I like the mini mission related to that background in Mass Effect best.
5. War Hero, Sole Survivor, or Ruthless?
I like Sole Survivor and find it most fitting for most of my Sheps. My first Shepard survived the mission on Akuze and it just stuck with me (plus, the fact you end up working with Cerberus in ME2 kinda dovetails with this service record).
6. Paragon, Renegade, or Something in Between?
I mostly play Paragon with a smattering of Renegade here and there depending. I just can’t bring myself to play full Renegade (I’m a goody two shoes haha!)
7. SisRyder or BroRyder?
I have only played through Mass Effect: Andromeda twice to completion but both playthroughs have been with Sara Ryder. I usually play female characters when I can so it was the obvious choice. Above are my two Sara’s – I am very fond of both of them. The top SisRyder romanced Jaal and was mostly a biotic. The bottom SisRyder romanced Reyes and her class was a mix of tech and biotics.
I also have another Sara (I always name them Sara as the default name actually gets spoken in game instead of always surname only) who is currently romancing Liam but I never finished that playthough… it went glitchy and I got stuck on The Tempest (the ship).
8. Favourite Squadmates From Each Game?
This is a tough one because I honestly love most of the squadmates (plus some are squaddies in multiple games) but I’ve narrowed it down to three from each (and the sequels I’ve gone with new squaddies introduced in that game for fairness – because otherwise Garrus and Kaidan would dominate each game haha!)
- Mass Effect: Garrus Vakarian, Kaidan Alenko, Urdnot Wrex – my dudes! I love them all so much!
- Mass Effect 2: Grunt, Thane Krios, Mordin Solus – love my alien bois!
- Mass Effect 3: EDI, James Vega, Javik – bit of a cheat since they are the only new companions but I do love them so…
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: Nakmor Drack, Jaal Ama Darav, Pelessaria B’Sayle (Peebee) – Drack is my fave old man Krogan! I also really like Jaal and Peebee (though I would have killed to have Reyes or Evfra on my squad even temporarily…)
9. Favourite Characters?
My favourite character across the ME trilogy is definitely Garrus Vakarian! I love Turians and Garrus is the best of the best. I also adore Kaidan Alenko and Mordin Solus. Thane Krios and Jack. All of them really. The only character I’m not that keen on is Jacob Taylor. FemShep acts like she is on heat around him and I find their conversations cringey (even when not romancing him – which I only did for science!!)
From Andromeda, my favourite companion is Drack by a wide margin. I also really love Reyes and Evfra (why oh why wasn’t he a NPC romance option!? *sobs*).
10. Favourite Alien Race(s)?
In the trilogy my favourite race is definitely the Turians. I find them fascinating and their look is very aesthetically pleasing. I pretty much enjoy all the Turian NPC’s and Garrus is my favourite of all.
In Andromeda there isn’t really much to choose from but I do like the Angara (which is handy because they are pretty much it for new races unless you count the Kett). 😉
11. Your Favourite Romance From Each Game?
This is the most important question of all haha! I am there for romance in games and always love when it is included. BioWare are probably the most famous for including it in their titles. The Mass Effect games are no exception.
- Mass Effect: My favourite romance for FemShep is Kaidan Alenko. Even though he is the only male option (Liara is the only other option for FemShep) he would have been my favourite anyways. I love his steadiness and integrity. He’s just a decent guy with a good head on his shoulders.
- Mass Effect 2: Garrus Vakarian! I was so happy when he was announced as a LI for Mass Effect 2 (he was one of the last that was announced and until then I didn’t know if I would romance anyone else except Kaidan). He swiftly became my favourite romance as well as companion. Mr Suave becomes all unsure and dorky around Shepard and I was living for it! He’s such a babe.
- Mass Effect 3: I kind-of switch between Garrus and Kaidan for ME3 playthroughs but Garrus wins out (by a very small margin, mind you!) He’s my Shepard’s ride or die (hehe!) and, after all, there is no Shepard with Vakarian!
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: I liked Jaal’s romance a lot but I just adore Reyes (Male Hawke’s VA Nicholas Boulton does such an amazing job and his voice is very sexy…) so it’s got to be that shady b*stard!
12. Favourite Mission(s)?
Wow, there are so many great missions to choose from but I think my favourites from the Mass Effect trilogy are Virmire (ME1) – that choice was just brutal, Horizon (ME2) Kaidan – my sweet – why can’t you join me!? *sobs*, Tuchanka (ME3), and Kadara (ME:A).
13. Favourite Hub World?
I really like Ilium (which you get to visit in ME2) and wish it was just a touch more open world because I would love to explore it more. It really encapsulates a futuristic alien setting and I love the commercial feel to it. I also liked Noveria from the first ME game too.
14. Do You Have a Favourite Go-To Weapon or Combo?
I love the Mattock as a Weapon in ME2 and ME3 (plus the Cerberus Harrier is also cool AF in ME3). For the first game you can’t beat the Spectre Class weapons. I tend to favour powers over guns though (which is why I like playing a biotic). I love the combo of Charge and Nova for Vanguard and I also love Flare as a power in ME3. Reave is also a great bonus power. For tech powers, you can’t beat Incinerate!
15. Favourite Moment(s)?
Oh boy *blows breath out*, there are so many but speaking to Sovereign in the first game gets me every time. I also love the moment you meet Archangel in ME2 (who turns out to be a very familiar character), and also the bit with Kalros the Thresher Maw in the Tuchanka mission and the party in the Citadel DLC in ME3.
It’s been an age since I played Mass Effect: Andromeda but I remember really enjoying the hell out of the mission where you go along with Reyes on Kadara. That was loads of fun (and too darn short!) 😉
16. Most Frightening Moment(s)?
I flipping hate the husks and Scions so the Reaper IFF and where you investigate the Collector Ship missions in ME2 absolutely kill me. I am so tense playing them and when I know they are coming up. It’s everything: the music, the atmosphere, the setting (those ships are nightmare fuel). Urgh. I’m getting the shivers just thinking about it… 😱
17. Most Intimidating Foe?
It’s got to be Saren Arterius. He’s was the most visible villain of the whole series and the most memorable for me. I really hate the fight at the end of the first game with him once he is ‘reaperfied’? (not a real word but I’m sticking with it).
18. Team Mako or Team Hammerhead?
Mako all the way! I really don’t like the Hammerhead. It’s fast but so flimsy. The Mako might be a chonk and drives like a tank but that sucker is solid. It can really take a beating (just as well with my Sheps driving!) 🤣🤣
19. Favourite Quote?
I’ve actually got so many quotes that I love from the games (it is a very quotable franchise) but I’ve tried to narrow it down as best I can. I have picked one for each of the games:
This quote always gave me chills. The whole conversation with Sovereign when he finally reveals himself is just so good – the VA is fantastic and the music is so fitting. It’s my favourite part of the game. Plus each word is capitalised because that’s just how Sovereign rolls haha!
Mass Effect 2:
I nearly went with Garrus’ ‘eye for an eye…’ quote but this one made me laugh so much and is just so Mordin I had to go with it. A Salarian singing to Gilbert and Sullivan? High-key hilarity!! 🤣
Mass Effect 3:
This exchange between a romanced Garrus and Shepard gets me in the feels Every. Damn. Time. The way the VA’s deliver it and the way Jennifer Hale’s voice breaks in the last line. Wow. Just wow. 😭
I couldn’t help but include this quote for ME3 as well. This line just sums up everything about war and the toll it takes so darn well.
Mass Effect: Andromeda:
Jaal getting our idioms wrong is just too funny not to include. I lol’d hard at this exchange. ME:A was a lot more light-hearted than the trilogy but it had some great dialogue.
20. What Character Do You Think Deserved Better?
This guy right here. It’s not even so much Thane’s eventual fate (I knew that was coming so it wasn’t a surprise) it was more that it was completely forgotten in ME3 if you romanced him in ME2. There was next to no content whatsoever and it was definitely a kick in the quad (heh) for his fans.
21. What are Some Of Your Personal Headcanons?
I always have my Shepard [highlight to view] *** live *** in my personal headcanon. I also like to think that after the events of the game, the Leviathan species becomes the next big bad (I read a fanfic that posed this and it stuck in my head and now I can’t shake it!)
22. Favourite Fan Content?
I used to love reading ME fanfic back in the day. I’ve read some great ones (which I wish I could remember what they were so I could read them again). I also love fan art (I buy loads of it from Redbubble, Society6, and Etsy).
23. Favourite Ending Of The Original Trilogy?
I’ve played all the endings but I always stick to Destroy. It’s the only one that makes sense to me (and I always make sure I have enough EMS to get [highlight to view] *** Shepard breathes scene ***). I really hope when the new Mass Effect is finally released it won’t mess up my ending canon (but I’ll deal if it doesn’t – anything for more games!!)
24. Do You Support Any Theories?
I could possibly get behind the ‘Shepard is indoctrinated’ theory regarding the ending (it would be a good way to tie the new game to the original without having to deal with the wildly different ending choices).
25. What Do You Hope To See In The Next Mass Effect?
I just really want to play as Shepard again (though I think this is unlikely). I also just want to see my teamies again; especially my favourites (i.e. Garrus, Kaidan, Wrex, Grunt, Jack… all of them really). I know we will likely see Liara (which is cool and all) but I want them all back dammit!!! 😀
** all images used above are taken from my own playthroughs – videos and screenshots **