Be warned: out of all of the missions in the first third of the game this is arguably the most challenging, especially at higher difficulties. Delaying this mission can greatly reduce its difficulty by gaining more levels, higher level squadmates, more available squadmates, better weapons, more upgrades and research, and greater capacities of heavy weapon ammo/medi-gel.
If you want to do this mission early for story or other reasons, it's advisable to at least obtain the Emergency Shielding research from the Normandy Tech Lab first. This requires three Medi-gel Capacity Upgrades to unlock but these can be obtained fairly easily. This upgrade enables medi-gel to restore Shepard and the squad to full health and shields, a tremendous asset to have on this and all future missions.
This is the only mission in the game in which you will have to fight all three major mercenary groups (Eclipse, Blue Suns and Blood Pack). You'll be facing all three types of defenses (shields, armor, and a few barriers), enemies that regenerate health, and mechs, so pick your squad members and powers accordingly.
Grunt deserves special mention as a standout squadmate as his Krogan Berserker passive makes him by far and away the most durable team member at this stage in the game, and that durability as well as his close combat prowess come in handy particularly during the notorious "close the vents" portion of this mission. Grunt, Jacob, and Zaeed all have useful ammo powers that once maxed out can be upgraded to be shared with the entire squad. This can be especially valuable if Shepard is a class that doesn't have its own native ammo power. Incendiary Ammo is recommended due to the prevalance of armored and regenerating foes throughout the mission.
Note: Both Grunt and Zaeed unlock opportunities for unique dialogue options during this mission.
In terms of bonus powers for Shepard, Stasis, if available, is a great option as there are several enemies in this mission that are tougher than the average foot soldier. Many of these "boss" type opponents have armor protection on top of shields or barriers, but as Stasis will freeze and disable most enemies regardless of protection, it's excellent for handling these hard targets. Also worth mentioning is Energy Drain – you'll be facing a lot of shielded enemies, and since this mission takes place early in the game, your own shield is quite fragile. Energy Drain helps tackle both of these challenges, enabling you to continuously wear down enemy shields while shoring up your own.
Taking the right heavy weapon and having a good amount of ammo available can be important for this mission on higher difficulties. The best option overall is the M-622 Avalanche, with the Arc Projector being a passable alternative. Both weapons are good at damaging and disabling enemies in a large area but the Avalanche has properties that make it uniquely useful for this mission.
Upon arriving on Omega, Shepard will be instructed to speak to Aria T'Loak, the station's ruler. She tells Shepard about Archangel, stating that he is a dangerous individual who has been killing large numbers of Omega's plentiful criminals. Three mercenary groups, (Blue Suns, Eclipse, and Blood Pack) are preparing to kill him.
Aria directs Shepard to a small side room on the upper level of Afterlife Club to sign up for the merc mission. Upon entering the small room, if Shepard is female, the merc recruiter speaks in a rather condescending and presumptuous manner to her, allowing for a Renegade interrupt to set things straight. In any case, Shepard signs up as a freelancer and can thus travel deeper into the station by talking to a merc at the transportation station. Just as you leave the room, you have a chance to earn a few morality points through dialogue options and a Paragon interrupt involving a young man who plans to sign up.
Upon exiting Afterlife, a small alcove with vehicles can be found down the promenade off to the right. A Blue Suns batarian driver is standing guard. When asked, he will take the team to Archangel's base, beginning the official mission. Warning: This is the "no turning back" point, so if you had any other preparation to do on Omega, get it done first.
The new arrivals at the merc base of operations on Kima District are greeted by Salkie, who gives a preliminary overview of the situation. Afterward, Shepard has the opportunity to learn about the groups by talking to the local leaders. EDI tells the Commander that she can find no other way to Archangel than the one the mercs plan to take on their assault, and that the mercs are using YMIR Mechs, LOKI Mechs and a gunship to pin him down. EDI recommends sabotaging them before leaving.
As you make your way through the merc base, you will find several items of interest. In the first room, you'll find the Eclipse mercs and their leader Jaroth as well as a datapad that triggers Omega: Archangel: Datapad Recovered.Note: Sabotaging the heavy mech will cause it to turn on its masters after it is unleashed on Archangel. The room also contains a crate with 500 units of eezo and a hackable datapad worth 4000 credits.
The next door brings you to another junction. The Blood Pack's room is ahead of you and if Grunt is in the squad, there are a few interesting options with the Blood Pack Leader Garm, a Krogan Battlemaster.
The other door continues the path to Archangel, along with another hackable datapad. After you grab it, turn left and there's a locked door to your right. Bypass it to find a Submachine Gun Damage upgrade as well as 4000 credits, Heavy Weapon ammo, and some medi-gel.
The next door on the right has a hall which contains some medi-gel and leads to the Blue Suns' meeting room; the conversation here is the only one of the group that has any moral decisions - all of the others are purely for story color. If Zaeed is in the group, there is some alternate dialogue with the Blue Suns leader Tarak.
Once Shepard enters the area with the A-61 Mantis Gunship and talks to Sergeant Cathka the player is locked into going beyond the barriers. It is not possible to go back to the previous areas after this so make sure you have everything before talking to Cathka. While traveling through the area open to Archangel's fire, you can be hit by a single sniper shot which will knock out your shields, but do no other damage.
Switching Sides EditRenegade interrupt will involve Shepard taking a welder and sticking it in Cathka, thus rendering him unable to fully repair the gunship.
Shepard vaults over the barricade and can finally turn on the other mercs, though note that Shepard must fire first before they turn on the squad. It's probably best to wait till they're crowded around a convenient explosive canister before blowing it up. Clear out the other freelancers and make your way up to Archangel's sniping location. Once the freelancers are out of the way, Archangel removes his helmet and reveals himself to be none other than Garrus Vakarian. Warning: Do not shoot at the turian (Garrus) up on the balcony, as you will actually damage the "Archangel Vital Signs" bar, making the mission harder to accomplish.
An M-15 Vindicator Battle Rifle can be picked up either before or after talking to Garrus. It is a big improvement over the M-8 Avenger in terms of damage and accuracy. Nonetheless, there is a weapons locker in the basement where weapons can be switched after the Eclipse attack. If you're on a second or third playthrough and have already unlocked a better weapon, you can safely ignore the Vindicator and you will receive it anyway at the end of the mission (though its position on the couch can make it difficult to avoid accidentally picking it up while running back and forth for clips during the battle).
The Eclipse Attack Edit
Jaroth is getting more frustrated by the second and sends in his own troopers and LOKI mechs against your fortified position. It is advantageous to stay on the second floor, but even with SMGs this fight is not very hard, as all the enemies stream over the bridge. Most of the mercs will simply bum-rush the sniper perch, disregarding cover, but Eclipse Heavies will take cover occasionally on the sides of the bridge to cover their comrades with rockets, meaning that they must be killed before they reach cover. If any mercs get into the base, you can move across and take them out before they reach the second floor. Garrus will give audio cues if Eclipse mercs manage to reach the base and the rear stairs.
- Since the battle is much easier (and safer) when conducted from the window, time your ammo runs carefully so that you aren't absent from the window long enough for enemies to reach the other side of the bridge. There are two nearby pairs of ammo cartridges - one on an end-table by the couch where you came in, and another on the floor by the couch opposite it; grabbing a single pair of cartridges (on alternating runs) generally produces good results.
- Also note that shooting an enemy, even a little bit, tends to slow its advance.
- If one of your squad members possesses a sniper rifle, be sure to manually tell them to equip it. The distance of these upstairs-to-bridge shots means they'll do the most effective damage this way.
- If you hacked the YMIR, then its arrival signals an excellent chance to grab a complete refill of ammunition, as there will be no pressure on Garrus' health bar for a while.
- If Jack's with you, or if you have it, Shockwave is spectacular power to use on the bridge. It will wipe out entire groups of enemies as they come at you, throwing them around and stalling them for a fair bit, leaving them open to fire from Garrus and your other teammate.
As a way to get the most out of the mech, you can help it fight off the incoming waves of mercs as they will always focus on the YMIR mech first rather than you. During the fight, focus on Eclipse Heavies and Vanguards, which are the two enemies capable of quickly dispatching the rogue mech. Leave the troopers and engineers for the mech, who are capable of dealing some damage to it, but not fast enough to deplete its health before it outlives its use.
If you're able to keep the mercs from destroying it fast enough while preventing it from reverting to its original allegiance because of time, it will live long enough to face down Jaroth with a minimal amount of health left.
Warning: If it stays alive for too long, it will revert to its original programming after a few waves.
Note: If the YMIR was hacked, more enemies spawn than if it was not hacked, but the fight overall remains much easier, particularly as it is usually possible to contain enemies on the bridge.
Note: If the YMIR is hostile, it will advance into the building, and if you're upstairs this means there will be a period during which it is obstructed from you and you can safely deal with other enemies. However be aware that the YMIR can and will come all the way upstairs into the balcony with you, so be prepared!
Jaroth, having lost a large number of mercs, enters the battle himself. If the salarian is kept on the bridge, he will be no trouble at all. He has an M-6 Carnifex which may damage your shields and those of your squadmates if not watched. Afterwards, Garrus will tell you to come and find him. Before talking to him, grab some thermal clips and perhaps a med pack or two from around the base. Also check the upstairs room directly across from the one Garrus is in for a wall safe with credits.
The Blood Pack Attack Edit
While talking with Garrus an explosion is felt throughout the base. It appears that the bombs mentioned earlier, if Shepard talked with the merc leaders, went off and breached the tunnels Garrus had closed off. Now you must make a decision: take the whole team or go two and two. It is recommended to leave one squadmate behind to help cover Garrus; his health will drop faster otherwise.
The Blood Pack attack consists of krogan and vorcha. Weapons and ammo powers should be used appropriately. Most enemies are without shielding, so headshots can be efficient. Some have armor however, but most of these are vorcha, whose armor collapses quickly.Omni-tool can be scanned on the way which provides a Tech Damage (Multicore Amplifier) upgrade.
Once in the basement, Garrus will tell you that three shutters need to be closed in order to secure the lower level. When you first enter the basement, straight ahead is a Weapons Locker. Quickly change weapons if you so choose to at this time. Remember Garrus is getting attacked and that life bar keeps going down. Down the stairs and ahead are the 3 shutters to close.
The first shutter, right in front of you, can be closed without much effort if you run to it. However, if there are any enemies under the shutter, Shepard is past the shutter, or under the shutter once the 10 second countdown ends, the shutter will not close.
The other two shutters are north and south. It is most tactical to take the northern one last, because of the amount of cover and number of enemies; it is more controlled than the south one.varren, vorcha, and krogan will pour through the shutter, so crowd control tactics are necessary to keep them from interfering with the shutter closing. Once this one is closed, pick up any ammo and the med-kit from the corner (to the right of the shutter when you are facing the shutter closing button) and proceed to the north shutter.
Insanity Tips: This particular section above in the garage is arguably one of the easiest of the early recruitment missions to die in on Insanity, because of the time pressure against Garrus' health and the unending supply of enemies. The safest method is to equip the Arc Projector and simply blast each group of enemies to smithereens (just be ready for the varren that try to get behind you). In any event the enemies tend to come in discrete "waves" which will give you a chance to advance up the cover toward the shutter. When you've reached the shutter button be ready with crowd control abilities (Stasis being the most useful as it will instantly pin anything at all) to keep fast-moving enemies from rushing forward toward the shutter.
When you return to the main basement room for the last shutter to close, when you are facing the north shutter path, in the left corner, is a med-kit you can pick up at any time.
The way to the northern shutter has a lot of cover that both Shepard's group and enemies capitalize on. The enemies should be taken out as they pop their heads up, and your team should advance once a squad is down, or you can run out of ammo quickly. Around a corner about halfway to the shutter controls there is a Blood Pack Pyro - don't rush around the corner or you may be instantly fried. Instead carefully take cover after jumping the final wall. Teammates can be used as fodder, and Adrenaline Rush or Tactical Cloak can be activated if Shepard has them. Any enemies should be taken out here, your squadmate(s) should be sent to the barrier, and then you should follow. The squad will then reach the last shutter.
Note: An exploitable glitch is reported with Garm: as soon as the clip ends, run straight over to Garm and up the stairs to Garrus. Garm will not have his weapon out until he reaches Garrus' room if Shepard stays in front. Garm can easily be killed before he has a chance to shoot at Shepard or Garrus.
Note: This is the last opportunity to pick up the M-15 Vindicator from the couch, and the last "realistic" opportunity to grab any of the downstairs medpacks.
The Blue Suns Attack Edit
Talking to Garrus this time fills Shepard in on his history with Garm and both agree to fight past the Blue Suns to make it out. However, before they can make a break for it, they get ambushed by Tarak and his gunship. If you took the time to zap Cathka, the gunship will be half armored. Because the gunship only has armor, its health is 50%. The gunship will fly around firing at you, and covering Blue Suns infantry. The gunship will first drop Jentha, who has both shields and armor and is equipped with an M-76 Revenant, a Blue Suns Legionnaire, and several Troopers. Once she is down there are Blue Suns mercs on the main level who must also be dealt with.
Insanity Tips: Face the window overlooking the bridge. Now look to your left for the last bits of cover before the wall. One squadmate can be positioned at the pillar near the balcony. Shepard and the other squadmate can stay behind the planters. This is probably the safest cover anywhere in the room, although you may need to adjust the squadmate near the pillar or they might get blown up by a rocket from the gunship. Otherwise, you can handle this entire encounter without having to reposition your squad, as long as you can prevent the waves of mercenaries from advancing into your position and drawing you out of it. The main drawback is that your squad does not have a firing angle at the gunship, but it is generally too dangerous to have your squad engage the gunship so ideally Shepard should handle it, though it will be slow going without armor piercing weaponry.
When the gunship is down a cutscene begins. It shows Shepard rushing over to Garrus who is laying in a pool of his own blood, and kneeling beside him. After a moment of silence his eyes open, he gasps for air, and he tightens his grip on his sniper pulling it closer to him. Shepard then tells a squadmate to radio Joker and tell him to be ready for them.
Having eliminated the third mercenary gang, Shepard, Garrus, and squad will return to the Normandy. Here, Garrus receives medical attention with cybernetics, but will carry a wound on his face and damage to his armor for the rest of the game. Garrus will take up residence in the Normandy's main battery past the sleep pods on the crew deck.
Nalah Butler who lives on Omega, wrote an e-mail with subject header "Take care of Garrus", to Commander Shepard regarding Garrus' role as Archangel.
- Blood Pack
- Blue Suns
- LOKI Mech
- Mercenary Bomb Technician
- YMIR Mech
Mission Summary Edit
Extracted Archangel from mercenary siege and recruited him for the team. Unclear whether injury to Archangel will impair his ability to assist in the mission. Regardless, revelation of identity as Garrus Vakarian useful in keeping Shepard comfortable.
- Experience: 1,000 (1,250)
- Credits: 40,000
- Cerberus Funding: 20,000
- Credits Found: 20,000
- Element Zero: 500
- There is a small graphical bug during the mission. After the revelation that Archangel is Garrus, Garrus hands Shepard his sniper rifle, an M-92 Mantis. If Shepard has sniper-rifle training, and has any sniper rifle other than the Mantis equipped, the gun will switch to whatever rifle Shepard has equipped, and then switch back to a Mantis when Shepard hands it back to Garrus.
- A similar bug occurs earlier if Shepard takes the Paragon Interrupt to break the M-4 Shuriken of the young man trying to sign up as a freelancer. If Shepard has any submachine gun other than the Shuriken equipped, the interrupt shows Shepard breaking this submachine gun and handing it back to the man.
- Another slip-up appears after Eclipse's attack is repelled. When Shepard goes to speak with Garrus, he is no longer holding a Mantis, but a Viper instead.
- There is a graphical bug that exists when Shepard talks to Tarak and Zaeed is in your party. Zaeed and Tarak talk, saying that they know each other, and part of Tarak's face disappears when he smiles after Zaeed says, "Anything's possible."
- If you stand still behind the third barricade, in which two humans and Archangel exchange shots, Archangel will occasionally shoot Shepard with a bullet and drop Shepard's shields. A squadmate will then comment.
- After closing the second shutter, a writing error happens where Zaeed (if present and with Garrus) says that you need to open the shutters.