I woke up this morning and there was a tweet from Mike Gamble asking fans to name one thing that defined Mass Effect for them.

I couldn’t do it.

I said ‘choice’ because that’s part of what made Mass Effect unique, but it’s not the only thing.

So here are some things that defined Mass Effect for me.

Choice

Gets pride of place because it’s a big part of what made Mass Effect special. So many choices, from what your Shepard looks like to whether to destroy the geth. It all ties together.

Ownership

http://kotaku.com/one-last-tribu… <—-go read the comments on this post. Every Shepard is unique. My Shepard is mine. Nobody else has a Shepard that’s exactly like her. Even if I gave them all the face codes and things I used to make her, it still wouldn’t be my Shepard.

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We own Commander Shepard. We own her story. We make her choices, and they are our choices.

Comedy

‘We’re gonna need a bigger boot’

‘This is my favorite store on the Citadel’

‘Emergency induction port’

Mass Effect is a serious story. Every advanced race in the galaxy stands on the precipice and Commander Shepard is their only hope.

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That doesn’t mean it can’t be funny as hell though. Comedy is one of the main things I like about Mass Effect because, despite everything that’s going on, despite the horror and the death and fear, the characters can still be funny. They make you laugh, even as you’re crying.

Characters


Oh, the characters. Every character in Mass Effect is a living, breathing individual, but here are some that are especially special to me.

Garrus. You knew it was coming, didn’t you. Garrus is my favorite character in the series for many reasons. He’s funny. He has a great voice. But the main thing that I love about Garrus is that he’s loyal. He follows Shepard to hell and back. He’s always there, always looking out for Shepard. He’s got my back, and always will.

Tali. Oh, Tali. I don’t even have words. If I had to pick a favorite character in the series that wasn’t Garrus, Tali would be that character. And I could describe the reasons for that in terms of character growth - she’s got a great character arc and changes a lot - or whatever. But the fact is, I love Tali. I love her silliness, I love the way she changes, I love everything about her. She’s like a little sister to me. One who never steals my stuff.

EDI. I’m just going to put this here without anything else. If you don’t understand, I’m truly sorry for you.

Legion. Ditto. I have no words. ‘does this unit have a soul?’

Joker. Because he’s responsible for a good portion of the funny moments in the game. And because he’s just plain awesome.

Saren and The Illusive Man. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I could go on, but this is about to become a list of every character in Mass Effect and why I love them, and I’m not sure if Tumblr has a word limit.

The Feels

Oh, the feels. How many games have you played that left you so emotionally shattered that you literally curled up and cried for thirty minutes when you finished it?

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I’ve played one. Mass Effect takes you in, makes you fall in love with the world and the characters and then, it bashes you over the head with the FeelHammer and steals all your tears.

I’m a crier. I cry very easily (although not at RL situations. I refuse to let anyone make me cry.). Sometimes if I hear a very good song, I may cry. If i read something beautiful? Ditto. Its terribly inconvenient.

There were so many moments in Mass Effect that made me cry - not necessarily because I was sad, but because the moment was so beautiful.

To be fair, many of them were also sad.

Mordin on Tuchanka. Gets me every time.

Kalross destroying the Reaper because COME ON, GUYS! (I didnt cry, but I got all choked up with sheer awesome)

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Thane. Oh, Thane. Every time I play through his death scene, I’m shattered all over again. ‘guide this one, Kalahira’. It may be the most beautiful death scene in fiction ever. Not even Bruce Willis’ scene in Armageddon hits me like this one.

The first battle of the Citadel in Mass Effect 1. I get emotional about big battles. I read a lot of the Honor Harrington series with tissues nearby. I don’t know why. It’s a thing.


And of course, Priority:Earth. I said on Twitter that I started crying during Hackett’s speech. No lie. I literally played the entire last mission of the game through a veil of tears. I’d be okay until I hit a cutscene and then BAM! There we go again. Shepard’s hopelessness when she’s trying to shoot the missile at the Reaper and the first one misses. ‘You’ll never be alone’ to Garrus before the last run. Talking to everyone one last time.
So many feelings, and knowing that it’s coming to an end.

So yeah, that’s some of the things that define Mass Effect for me.