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The team has split again. One group is moving through an area infested with seeker swarms, using a team member's biotic abilities to hold the swarms at bay in order to reach a security door at the far end of the area. Another group is providing a diversion.


This mission is triggered as part of Stop the Collectors: Defeat the Collectors once you have completed Collector Base: Infiltration.


Specialist Selection

Depending on your tardiness, one or all of these abductees will die

This mission starts just after you finish the previous mission. The room you enter has colonists and the Normandy crew. Shepard walks around and after wiping off condensation from a pod discovers one of two people:

  • Lilith (from Horizon) is in the pod if you went to the Collector Base immediately after the abduction of the Normandy crew.
  • Kelly Chambers is in the pod if you did one or more missions after the crew was abducted.

The victim in the pod stirs and screams as she is liquefied. Though it is too late for her, Shepard directs the squad to open the remaining pods; depending on how speedily the Commander chose to depart for the Collector Base, either the whole crew is saved, half of the crew is saved or only Doctor Chakwas is saved.

Chakwas is either thankful or angry with Shepard, depending on how much of the crew is saved, and explains that the Collectors have been processing humans into a gray paste of genetic material. For reasons unknown to Chakwas, the Collectors send this human paste into tubes and route it to another part of the station. Shepard concludes that the tubes must be followed to reach the objective, but EDI informs you of an obstacle: the only route has too many Seeker Swarms for Mordin's countermeasures to work.

A biotic field is proposed to allow a small squad to get past. Miranda volunteers but the decision is yours.

  • Ideal: Morinth or loyal Samara/Jack.
  • Non-ideal: Miranda/Thane/Jacob, or non-loyal Samara/Jack.

Once the decision is made, EDI also points out that there is another path that can be used as a distraction. You must now choose a member to lead the second team.

  • Ideal: Miranda, or loyal Garrus/Jacob.
  • Non-ideal: Anyone else, or non-loyal Garrus/Jacob.

Note: This means that Miranda will survive if selected as the fire team leader, even if she is not loyal.
Note: You will receive periodic radio updates from the fire team leader throughout this mission. A non-ideal choice will be heard struggling against the Collectors, whereas an ideal choice will be heard doing well.

Once both decisions are made, Chakwas asks about the crew and their route back. Shepard radios Joker to see if they can pick them up. He says that the crew will have to go backwards, which is not an option. You can choose an escort or not:

  • Ideal: Any loyal teammate that was not assigned as a specialist or fire team leader (Mordin, Tali, Kasumi, or Jack).
    • Sending Mordin may be ideal, because later on, you will leave all team members who do not come with you to fend off an attack; if they are too weak, they start dying. Mordin, Tali, Kasumi, and Jack are typical candidates, as they have low defense scores, and Mordin is arguably the least effective of this group against the enemies you will be facing.
    • This squad member will not be available for the remainder of the mission.
  • Non-ideal: A team member that you have not secured loyalty from as the crew will survive but the squad member will die.

Note: Miranda cannot be assigned as escort.

If you choose not to assign an escort, the crew won't survive the trip back. Once you make the decision, the screen fades to black and you regain control.

Squad Selection

Now you have to select your squad for the mission ahead. You will be facing the usual roster of Collectors troops plus their huskified footsoldiers, and of course, Harbinger. The twist of this mission is you only have a limited area to maneuver because of the swarms held at bay by your specialist's biotic field. The biotic specialist cannot be harmed by enemies, but they also won't be able to use their weapons or powers (Note: including Miranda's Cerberus Officer passive squad bonus) to assist you as they must devote all of their strength towards keeping up the field.

Warning: While squadmates can still be ordered to use their powers during this segment, they will not obey move commands, nor will they generally take cover on their own even during the stages of the mission where the biotic specialist comes to a stop. If this wasn't bad enough, squadmates often seem slow to register and shoot at targets at mid to longer ranges. This makes them extremely vulnerable especially on the higher difficulties. Squadmates should therefore be chosen based on their durability or ability to disrupt and distract enemies.

You will be facing Harbinger again, and due to the lack of cover during this segment, he alone can wipe you and your squad out in short order if he's not dealt with. For this reason, it is a good idea to have Kasumi in the squad as her Flashbang Grenade can disable Harbinger's attacks. If it's upgraded to a high enough level, her grenade can keep Harbinger neutralized indefinitely as long as Kasumi is alive to keep hitting him with it. An alternate strategy is to take Tali or Legion as their Combat Drone is also an effective way to distract Harbinger and the enemies that appear near the end of the mission. Warp is well worth having here for its effectiveness against both barriers and armor. In particular, Samara (if you have her) has access to both Reave, which is effective against barriers and armor, and Throw/Pull, both of which instantly kill husks. Anti-armor ammunition and powers are also recommended to help take out Harbinger and other armored opponents you'll be facing quickly (which on higher difficulties also includes husks).

Note: Grunt will not use his melee charge attack during this segment.

Warning: Kasumi's Shadow Strike ability will cause her to leap outside the protective bubble. If she is in your squad, it is advisable to turn automatic squad power usage off during this mission.

After completing this section, you will have one more opportunity to change loadouts. In addition, your Heavy Weapon ammunition and Medi-gel will be restored to full capacity, so use both as liberally as you need to get through this challenging area in one piece. It is recommended to equip a heavy weapon with high disruption/area of effect such as the Arc Projector, M-490 Blackstorm or M-622 Avalanche, or alternatively, the M-920 Cain for the difficult fight near the end of the mission.


Your specialist's biotic field is big enough for some movement leeway

Note: At the start of all three major segments of the Collector Base mission including this one, your medi-gel and heavy weapon ammo are given a complete refill to 100% capacity.

Tip: Save often in this mission because of its difficulty.

The mission begins with your biotic specialist urging you to move while proceeding until reaching a corner. SAVE here, make any final preparations, and then select the specialist to move on. As you move into the room you see (and hear) the Seeker Swarms in all directions, occasionally impacting the biotic bubble. Leaving the bubble will cause you to take damage until you die. The same goes for your squadmates; however, they will not leave the bubble of their own accord.

Be careful, as the bubble can obscure visibility, and the seekers beating against it doesn't help at all. Use your crosshairs and bring up the Power Wheel to "freeze" time and locate enemies if you are having trouble seeing.

Stop 1

Eventually you reach a point where you come under fire and the specialist takes cover because they cannot fight. You should also take cover and defend against the attacking Collectors. Harbinger makes an appearance and will be the only one to try to run up the ramp to flank you. Make sure he doesn’t because he can take out you and your squad very quickly. The Collectors will not keep coming, so when you take them out you're done. Save the game and select your specialist to move on.

Stop 2

Harbinger possession isn't the biggest threat in this mission...

This walk is a short one because you will come under attack again. As the specialist moves toward the next stop, a few Husks and Abominations crawl up to charge the team. However, they appear at some distance, so it is possible to take them out at range. Several Collectors then fly overhead, with one being possessed by Harbinger mid-flight - this is a good opportunity to weaken and possibly take out a couple of the Collectors before they land. Abilities that send things flying around will cause opponents to crash land damaged, where they'll take some time to recover, giving Shepard and company time to either get into cover or fire on the disabled attackers.

The specialist takes cover on a docked platform behind a pillar while the Collectors land in preparation for their attack. As the platform occupies low ground and is protected by the biotic field, it can be used for cover.

Visibility can be particularly bad at this point, but an alternative is to simply eliminate Harbinger as he systematically possesses each Collector; his flaming body makes him easy to spot, and the fact that he doesn't take cover or chase you past the pillar where the specialist is hiding makes this fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, your squadmates do not take cover effectively and on higher difficulties they can quickly get gunned down if not by Harbinger then by the other Collector troops which include the elite Collector Guardians and Assassins. This often leaves Shepard alone to do the heavy lifting here, which can certainly work as long as you are careful and whittle down each enemy without exposing yourself to too much fire, but if you want your squad to survive consider bringing Kasumi to disable Harbinger with her Flashbang Grenade continuously while you focus on killing the other Collector troops, then kill Harbinger last. This has the added advantage of minimizing the amount of times you need to plow through Harbinger. Alternatively, bring very durable squadmates such as Grunt and Legion and just power through with brute force.

However you choose to deal with the attackers, save afterwards because the next stop is the hardest. Note: If you're low on ammo search the area for thermal clips; at least one can usually be found a short distance outside the biotic bubble back the way you came, and it's possible to get it without taking too much damage from the swarms. When you're ready, prompt the specialist and move on.

Stop 3

...It's the potentially confining battleground care of charging husks

As you start to move out the specialist starts to struggle to maintain the field, but they are still capable of moving. Eventually you come under attack again so take cover and watch out from the flanks and from the front. This time you are only attacked by Husks, a Scion and Abominations. The husks and Abominations swarm you and your squad, so focus on them first because of the danger they pose. Once the husks stop coming focus on the approaching Scion and take it out before it reaches you.

There is a short wall just opposite where your specialist takes cover that provides adequate cover to protect you from the Scion even if you lean out of cover. From this position, deal with the husks in the most time efficient way possible. Your heavy weapon ammo is restored when you begin the next part of the Suicide Mission, so feel free to pull out your chosen heavy weapon and go to town on the husks with it, and once they stop coming, take out the Scion before it gets too close. During this encounter you should not hesitate to use Medi-gel to restore you or your squad to full health and shields, especially since direct hits from the Scion delay normal shield recharging.

A Combat Drone, if available, will keep the Scion distracted for a long time, preventing it from launching dangerous shockwaves at you while you take out the other enemies, so if you're an Engineer or brought an appropriately equipped squadmate, be sure to keep it active.

Nuke 'Em: The M-920 Cain can make this section much easier by nuking the Scion immediately. Simply wait until the Scion is about to appear (about 5-10 seconds after you hear your second fire team leader down an enemy over the radio, or shortly before your biotic specialist comes to a stop) and begin charging a shot aimed at the ground near where the Scion will emerge. You shouldn't get interrupted as long as you time the shot in this way, and it should kill or all but kill the Scion even on Insanity. Focusing the Scion first is better than leaving it alive while focusing the husks as it keeps your squad from being leveled by its attacks. Even better, it's basically a "free" shot because your heavy weapon ammo will be totally refilled at the end of the level.

The Vacuum Cleaner: The M-490 Blackstorm can shine during the "husk rush" as well. The Singularity-like projectiles fired by the weapon create a vortex that will stop, damage, and eventually suck in both Husks and Abominations, killing them instantly. The singularities created have a large radius and long duration that will not only keep any husks from getting to you, but as long as the Scion is within range of one of the vortices, it will be continuously staggered, preventing it from attacking you, and the detonations deal heavy damage to it as well. Spamming 3-4 shots (or just emptying your entire weapon if you feel so inclined) can end this fight without you taking so much as a scratch. This tactic can be superior to using the Cain, as you can use the Blackstorm in some of the earlier fights with the Collectors too, and it's fairly effective against Harbinger.

However you decide to handle this encounter, once all the husks are put down, save, select your specialist and move on.

Warning: The pause before talking to the specialist is the last opportunity to make a manual save for the rest of the Collector Base mission.

Long Walk

If your biotic specialist isn't strong enough, one of your team will see their own light at the end of their own tunnel

The specialist is now almost entirely exhausted, strained to their limits by maintaining the field. The specialist remarks that the squad needs to reach the end soon.

This next area offers little cover, and like the mission name suggests is nothing but a long walk. Be careful in this area: there are no Collectors, but you will have to face a few Husks and Abominations. They come up from the sides, so whip out the shotguns, if you can, and take them out before they can kill you.

Once the door is in sight, the specialist comments again that they need to reach it fast. Now it is a race, as the specialist is limp-running to the end. Once you leap over barriers in the middle of the ramp, a cutscene plays.

The squad races down the ramp and the door is opened by a squadmate who runs ahead:

  • If you have a non-loyal or non-ideal squadmate projecting the barrier, the biotic falls from exhaustion and whichever squadmate is providing a rearguard is carried away by the swarm.
  • If the chosen biotic specialist is loyal and ideal, they push the barrier back, sending the swarms and Collectors flying, and everyone makes it in safely.
  • Note: The order in which squadmates die is: Thane, Jack, Garrus, Legion, Grunt, Samara, Jacob, Mordin, Tali, Kasumi, Zaeed, Morinth. Miranda is unable to die in this section, so if she is put on your squad with a non-loyal or non-ideal specialist, the second squadmate is always the one to die.

The second squad radios that they are under heavy attack, then someone hacks the door to allow them in. Shepard covers them and as the leader enters they are shot, Shepard rushes to their side:

  • If ideal: The leader shakes it off and survives.
  • If non-ideal: The leader grabs their stomach and collapses to the ground. The shot is fatal and the leader dies in Shepard's arms.

If you have only three members left in your party, any fireteam leader will survive - this is because you have to leave at least one to cover Shepard's squad.

Once the two teams regroup Joker reports on the status of whoever is escorting the crew back, then informs Shepard that the Collectors are massing outside the doors. Regardless of which option is chosen, Miranda says that the rest of the team will stay back to cover Shepard and a small squad.


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