Disambiguous.png This article is about the mission in Mass Effect 2. For the mission in Mass Effect 3, see Priority: Horizon.
Another typical Terminus colony without colonists

The Illusive Man has received information about a potential Collector attack against the small colony world of Horizon.

Acquisition[edit | edit source]

After acquiring Archangel, Jack, and Mordin Solus, as well as recovering the tank from Korlus (note that waking up Grunt is not necessary), Shepard will be unable to select a new destination for the ship. Both Kelly Chambers and Joker, if you access the galaxy map, will inform Shepard that the Illusive Man wants a chat. Shepard must go to the FTL comm room to talk to him and begin this mission.

If the player has the requisite Downloadable Content, it is possible to acquire both Zaeed and Kasumi before acquiring the four teammates mentioned above; this allows Shepard to have as many as eight team members (including Jacob and Miranda) before the mission on Horizon begins.

Note: By delaying recruitment of one of the four original squad members, Shepard can take time to reach a higher level by completing all available N7 assignments, along with assignments on the Normandy, Omega, and Citadel. Also, if the corresponding DLCs are present, Normandy Crash Site, Zaeed's and Kasumi's loyalty missions, Overlord and Firewalker Pack can be completed as well. Delaying Horizon in this way is also one of the two ways Shepard can be maximized in level before encountering the Collector Ship mission.

This mission is the actual field mission acquired after arriving on Horizon following Stop the Collectors: Go to Horizon. It begins once Shepard arrives on the planet.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

Consider bringing Miranda for her Warp power, especially if Shepard doesn't have it. Grunt is also excellent for this mission due to his sheer durability, his Incendiary Ammo, and his effectiveness against husks.

One of the other useful squadmates in terms of what she brings to the table is Kasumi, if you have completed her Loyalty mission. Her Loyalty power, Flashbang Grenade, aside from having great crowd control utility against most enemies, can disable the biotic attacks of certain dangerous foes (which will come in handy later in this mission). Additionally, her Shadow Strike power does huge damage and can be used to methodically pick off enemy troops.

Most enemies will have biotic barriers, and some will have armor as well. An ammo power such as Warp Ammo, which provides bonuses against both barriers and armor, helps quite a bit as well, but if Shepard is only trained for pistols and SMGs, you may want to bring at least one squadmate who can use a bigger weapon. There are several points where you face waves of Husks - remember that abilities with a force component such as Flashbang Grenade, Concussive Shot or Pull will instantly kill any Husk that is not protected by armor.

For heavy weapons, you can choose between the Cain for use in the final battle, or a weapon with a large area of effect good against multiple charging foes such as the M-622 Avalanche or the Arc Projector.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Mission Briefing[edit | edit source]

Horizon

The Illusive Man will give Shepard information about the mission. Shepard agrees to go to the colony in order to save it. After talking with the Illusive Man, Shepard walks to Mordin’s Tech Lab to ask him if he has developed a countermeasure to the seeker swarms. He will reply yes and show Shepard the schematics.

Horizon Before Normandy’s Arrival[edit | edit source]

Horizon had been recently fitted with GARDIAN laser turrets which were provided by the Alliance to defend the colony. The turrets, however, could not be calibrated correctly, and so the Alliance had sent either Ashley Williams or Kaidan Alenko to help get the turrets functioning, depending on the Virmire decision in Mass Effect.

The Collectors attack Horizon after establishing a communications blackout. While Shepard's former squadmate is talking with one of the colonists, Lilith, the Collector Cruiser drops into the atmosphere and the seeker swarms are released. The former squadmate will try to provide cover but ends up getting stung and incapacitated. The colonists run for cover as the swarms sting more and more people.

Arrival On Horizon[edit | edit source]

A Collector on Horizon

Landing on Horizon, you find the Collectors in mid-operation: they have started moving colonists into their ship. Your job this time is to hit them and stop them before they get away. As you move away from the landing site, Mordin will tell you that his countermeasure for the swarms may not work because they haven’t had a decent test yet. With that reassurance, move on and after rounding a corner, engage the enemy.

Keep behind cover, move around and take out the attacking Collectors in a surprise assault. Don’t move forward too quickly, as more reinforcements will come in by air. Once all the Collectors are down, move on, but pick up the heavy weapon ammo in the middle of the area where the Collectors were. Beyond that, hack the datapad on the picnic table for 6000 credits and then move on down the path.

The next area that you come across will have several buildings around, and Collectors who just happened to be harvesting. Move into cover and take them out quickly. Several husks are also present. Remember, they only have melee attacks, so shoot them at a distance. A good way to end this fight quickly is to use the buildings on either side to flank the Collectors with your squadmates or yourself. Once the enemies fall, go into the building on right for a datapad worth 4200 credits. Outside the building is a dead Collector, which you can scan for a Heavy Skin Weave upgrade.

A fallen husk found on Horizon

Around the corner is a dead husk. A cutscene will play and Shepard will describe how they are different from the ones encountered on Eden Prime, or Mass Effect in general. Shepard and the squad realize that the Collectors must have come with these husks and not created them on site. At the end Shepard rallies the squad, and they move on to prevent more abductions.

Enter the next area slowly and put your squad in cover if you wish. Before you do so run up the stairs from where you enter to bypass a wall safe for 4800 credits and Medi-gel in the building to the left. Once that is done, move into cover and take out the attacking Collectors. Use cover and the buildings to flank the enemy to make things go a little bit faster.

"Assuming Control Of This Form"

Once the battle is over, do not go past the pods further up or where the path narrows as more Collectors will spawn. Instead, move around this area collecting items and equipment. You will find a med kit in a building to the left of where you entered. Move across from that building to where you see some colonists in stasis on some stairs. Continue up those stairs to find ammunition and a computer in the room at the top for 3000 credits. Going down, look in the center of where you just fought to pick up the Collector Particle Beam heavy weapon (Note: picking up the Particle Beam will also totally refill your heavy weapon ammo if you are not at full capacity). Once you are ready, save your game and go beyond the choke point.

As soon as you pass it, more Collector troopers will arrive as airborne infantry and a brief cutscene plays. Here, Shepard will encounter Harbinger for the first time. He will assume control of other Collectors and direct the battle, often taunting Shepard. He is a formidable foe, possessing barriers, armor (but no health), and powerful biotic attacks. Any time Harbinger possesses a Collector, take him down first, then quickly target the others so he can’t do it again. He can only possess one Collector at a time, but he will typically possess a Collector that is almost dead and make it beyond full strength again. Move around this area for cover and use it to eliminate your foes. Once they are down move around and recover the power cells in a building to the west and a computer containing 3000 credits immediately to the north of the Particle Beam's location. Move to the large doors to the south and bypass them to enter the structure.

Insanity Tips:

  • It is possible to retreat back from the area where the Collectors appear and head up one of the staircases on the right for a safer vantage point. Alternately, you can take cover with your squad in the building on the left. Going through the door of this building a short ways triggers the fight, but you can retreat back inside and even close the door to be extra safe once it begins. You can then pop out of the door to deal damage and then retreat back inside the building as many times as needed to finish the fight.
  • A useful tactic in fights with Harbinger is to strip away all of his weaker allies before taking him on. As long as you do not let him get too close or take too much damage from his attacks, this will prevent you from facing multiple Harbingers in a single battle. If you at least remove the weaker Drones he will be forced to possess one of his more valuable Guardians or Assassins. This tactic can be made even safer if you distract Harbinger with a Combat Drone or disable his attacks with Flashbang Grenade while focusing on his lesser minions.
  • Harbinger will perfectly lead you with his fast moving Warp-style attack if you are moving in one direction but changing direction when he fires or slightly after can make him miss. At short range the bolt is fast moving enough that it's more difficult to dodge.
  • Harbinger's slow moving Singularity-style seeking attack knocks Shepard out of cover accompanied by a temporary stun which can leave you fatally vulnerable to incoming fire. When you see it coming, move back and forth behind your cover or temporarily displace to lead it away. Like Singularity, this ability lingers for a time when it impacts a piece of cover, effectively denying it from being used as cover for the duration.

Garage[edit | edit source]

Delan the mechanic

Once you move inside far enough you encounter an unharmed colonist, the local mechanic, Delan. You can get some information about the attack, where your former squadmate is, what towers were installed and his anger at the Alliance, and you can earn some morality points as well. You determine from the conversation that the GARDIAN laser towers are the key to destroying the collector ship. Once you are done talking he will tell you to move to the spaceport to get the towers operational.

Once you finish your conversation, use the weapons locker in the garage if you want (remember that if you picked up the Collector Particle Beam earlier that is now your Heavy Weapon so change it now if you want something different), but don’t forget to pick up the platinum, medi-gel and access the wall safe to get 6000 credits. Move towards the door and beyond. Save your game before leaving.

Get to the Starport[edit | edit source]

Good cover places: the obstacles southeast and the stairs (just watch for flankers from the back)

The next area is difficult because of the lack of cover and the enemies' spawn points. As you near the edge of the wall to the right, move into cover and position your squadmates where you can cover them or vice versa and take out the attacking Collectors, husks, and Scion. A Scion has a powerful attack similar to Shockwave, and Harbinger also makes an appearance every now and then. If you remain behind the low thick wall that first separates you from the area with the Collectors, Harbinger's slow singularity-type attack will not be as effective at knocking you out of cover, and you will have a good vantage point to take him out along with his smaller minions. If Harbinger or the Scion is about to come around the wall, run back to the large piece of farm equipment and play "circle the tractor" as necessary.

Insanity Tips: If you have Kasumi in your party, her Flashbang Grenade can be used to temporarily prevent Harbinger from attacking giving you plenty of space to kill him. Note that this does not work against the Scion, however Kasumi's Shadow Strike power can momentarily distract it. On Insanity it is usually best to save the Scion for last because of its toughness and slow movement rate. It can be tough to keep your squadmates alive against it but they will revive after you've cleared the area and the Scion is the last major hurdle so consider saving your medi-gel if they do go down.

Once the enemies have fallen, move around and collect the clips that they dropped. The area also contains some power cells on a walkway to the left of the entrance and a computer with 3000 credits on the upper level. To the right is a dead Collector that yields a Hyper-Amp research upgrade. Once you have these items, move to the doors of the Starport, save the game, then bypass the doors and enter the Starport.

Starport[edit | edit source]

Snipe at these scions BEFORE you enter the starport - use your sniper rifle or your pistol

Move to cover and be prepared for a husk mass attack and two Scions. Move around and use cover, melee attacks and powers to take out the attacking enemies. You can make the fight partially easier before it starts by moving to the far right or far left side of the doorway, where you should just be able to see part of one Scion. You can now take it out without it being alerted to you. A sniper rifle is highly recommended for this as it will allow squadmate powers—as well as your own—to be aimed more effectively. A heavy pistol, Warp or Incinerate will also be effective. After one Scion is dead, stand to the other side of the staircase to defeat the second Scion. If both Scions are defeated without detection, no Husks will spawn. If you are quick enough with hacking, you will be able to skip the whole first fight with Scions and husks.

Insanity Tips: Taking the Scions down in the above way works, but it can be very time and ammo consuming at higher difficulties due to the high amount of health Scions possess. An alternate (and slightly less exploitative) way of dealing with the Scions is to use the M-920 Cain. Simply move into the area to trigger the fight as normal and begin charging the Cain while aiming for a spot on the top of the raised platform where the transmitter is located. The resulting explosion should kill or nearly kill both Scions; finish them off and then deal with the husks which shouldn't be too hard with the threat of the Scions lifted.

This is most of the good cover positions in the starport - position yourself and your squadmates wisely

When playing higher difficulty levels, the Husks are more of a threat due to their numbers and melee combat style. An easy way to deal them is to climb on the vehicle to the left of entrance. While the husks can follow you, with a powerful enough punch, you can knock them back to the ground. In addition, this vehicle contains a respawning clip. On top of that, the platform's location could confuse the Scions that appear until you can deal with Husks. Choosing this vehicle also makes dealing with the Husks easy because there is only one way the Husks can attack you, so there will be a lot of enemies in one tight space.

Insanity Tips: On Insanity it is best to avoid getting cornered in the truck, and instead mount a "mobile defense" running away from husks while keeping obstacles between you and the Scions. Note that vaulting over obstacles, especially the large L-shaped covers at the far end of the field, will force husks to take a long circuitous route to get to you. If you end up with them coming at you from several directions at once that's usually the best solution.

Once the enemies have fallen and before you go to the transmitter, there is a crate of heavy weapon ammo to the far right of where you came in through the doors; opposite this on the raised deck to the far left of the doors where some of the husks attacked from is a med kit. You can save either of these for later but be warned it may be more difficult to get to them as you will be in near constant combat for the rest of the mission.

Once you are ready, hack the transmitter. Shepard will ask EDI to realign the lasers and bring them online. However, there is a hitch: the lasers will take time to charge, so you have to defend the tower. Prepare for a hard fight.

Defend the Tower[edit | edit source]

This fight is challenging because enemies will attack in multiple waves from multiple locations. There are a total of three waves that you will have to fight off. The first wave consists of two Husks, a Collector Assassin, a Guardian, several Drones, and Harbinger. The second wave will contain a Guardian, a Drone, and Harbinger. Harbinger will be mobile and move around to try and flank you, while the Drone and Guardian take cover. The final wave initially starts with four Husks, an Assassin, a Drone, and Harbinger. All husks with the waves will spawn on the raised deck to the left of the area. As you kill the Collectors they are replaced close to their original position. Between two to four replacements are made after any of the Collectors are killed.

The most important tip about where to fight in this section is: as far as possible from where the Collectors arrive. The first two waves enter on the far side of the area opposite the doors so positioning behind cover towards the door side is advisable. Aside from Harbinger, the Collectors usually don't advance on your position or flank you and stick to cover where they spawn. Generally you want to avoid low cover that you have to crouch and cling to because Harbinger can dislodge you with his special attack leaving you exposed. Stay mobile and focus on the husks first. If Harbinger presents an imminent threat take him down, but remember he will return soon after by possessing another of his warriors so if you can ignore him safely while focusing on the other Collectors doing so will save some ammo. Also watch out for the Collector Guardians, who will deploy temporary shields much like the geth barriers in Mass Effect to protect themselves. Flank rather than shooting out their shield. Once one wave is down, move around to combat the next, but don’t stay in one place for too long because the enemy will flank you and take you down. Stay in cover, put your squadmates in cover and focus on keeping the enemy off your flanks.

Insanity Tips: On Insanity difficulty your squadmates, even the mighty Grunt, have a very tough time surviving while trading shots against the Collectors especially once Harbinger joins in. If you don't want to be constantly reviving them with medi-gel, it may be a better idea to keep them completely out of the line of fire, and only use them for their powers while you do the heavy lifting.

When the going gets tough use your heavy stuff - ammo crate pictured

There will be a pause after the first two waves and a squad member will make a comment - at this point displace and head to the far end of the area opposite from where you entered through the doors otherwise the husks and final wave of Collectors will spawn on top of you near the entrance door. As before focus on the husks and then pick off the Collectors one by one. At least one thermal clip on the ground in this area respawns every so often so you shouldn't run out of ammo.

EDI will keep you up to date on the status of the lasers, and once they reach 100 percent, you know the fight is almost over. However, there is one more problem.

The Praetorian[edit | edit source]

A praetorian emerges from the Collector cruiser

Once the Collectors get whittled down and the lasers are near full charge, Harbinger sends in a Praetorian. A Praetorian is a deadly enemy, but it is the only opponent you have to deal with for this fight. The Praetorian has two deadly attacks, Death Choir and the particle beams it shoots from its eyes. The Praetorian itself has just two levels of defense: barriers and armor. When its barriers drop, you'll want to put as much damage on it as possible quickly, because it will soon glow and slam to the ground: this is its "Death Choir" ability that will stun and then instantly kill you if you are too close. The shockwave from this attack penetrates cover as well; the only way to be safe from it is to be far enough away not to be hit when it lands. When the Praetorian is on the ground and glowing immediately following a Death Choir, DO NOT shoot at it because you will waste your ammo. Typically one of your squadmates will probably shout something about their attack being ineffective, and if the Praetorian is currently not in your line of sight, that will be your cue to take special precautions. This is a good time to revive squadmates, search for a thermal clip, or recharge your shields and health. Once it takes off again, open up. Repeat this process until the Praetorian disintegrates in midair.

Combat Strategy: The basic strategy for this fight (and any fight against a Praetorian) is to play "Ring Around the Rosie" with it: find a piece of the environment with decent cover that you can lead it around in circles while your squadmates and you chip away at it carefully bit by bit. This is about patience and care, not brute force; keep your distance and interpose cover between yourself and the particle beams when they are firing. The Praetorian only chases and targets Shepard, so as long as your squadmates are in cover far enough away not to get hit by a Death Choir they won't go down. Just keep circling and your squad will eventually kill it in a war of attrition, though of course you should contribute damage as long as you can do so without taking too much damage or getting too close. If the Praetorian activates its Death Choir (which happens after you inflict a lot of damage to its armor or you get too close), back up quickly to make sure you're outside the blast radius, then resume hitting it with guns and powers once it resumes its attack. Powers such as Warp or Incinerate that can arc around cover definitely come in handy here as you can hit the Praetorian without exposing yourself to return fire, but even without this it will eventually go down from your squad's fire. If ammo is a concern save it for damaging the Praetorian's armor and not its barrier which regenerates after every Death Choir attack.

After the Fight[edit | edit source]

The Collector cruiser bugs out

The activated GARDIAN towers hammer away at the Collector cruiser, forcing it to retreat with about one-third of Horizon's populace. After the battle is over, Shepard meets with the former squadmate. If Ashley or Kaidan had been a romantic partner in Mass Effect, a brief cutscene plays showing their reunion. The mood quickly changes when the former squadmate discovers that Shepard is working with Cerberus. Ashley or Kaidan reveals that he or she had been dispatched to Horizon after the Alliance received a tip that Horizon was the next colony to get hit. They also came to the colony in part to learn whether Cerberus was behind the attacks on the colonies. The former squadmate is highly upset about Shepard's alliance with Cerberus. Ashley or Kaidan questions Shepard's loyalty and refuses to join Shepard's mission. From the conversation, you learn about what has happened over the last two years and what Shepard missed while being on an operating table.

Once you are done, you automatically return to the Normandy.

Normandy[edit | edit source]

You are immediately taken to a holo-conference with the Illusive Man. He is impressed that Shepard's squad managed to stop the Collectors from destroying the colony. However, Shepard is not pleased to discover that the Illusive Man had leaked information on Shepard's relationship with Cerberus. The Illusive Man lets slip that he lured the Collectors to the colony because he was not willing to wait for the Collectors to strike.

Through their attacks on the SSV Normandy and human colonies—notably a colony where one of Shepard's former squadmates was located—the Collectors have made clear that they are after humans in general and Shepard in particular. The Illusive Man says he will devote all of his efforts to finding a way through the Omega 4 Relay and adds that Shepard should keep building the team. To this end, he hands over three more dossiers of new potential recruits.

E-Mail Message (Can you help?)[edit | edit source]

Upon completion of mission at Horizon, Commander Shepard receives this letter from a colonist. The Alliance soldier mentioned in the letter can either be Kaidan or Ashley.


From: Robyn Reeve

Commander:

The Alliance soldier here gave me this contact information -- I hope this reaches you.

You said you were trying to stop those Collectors. They took my son and my brother. Have you found them? Do you know where they are? I know you're looking, but so many people are just gone. Every family lost someone. The children are the worst. Empty desks at the schools, winter clothes that never got worn.

Please. The Alliance isn't doing anything. The Council isn't doing anything. If you can find our people, I'm begging you to do something. Tell me something I can do.

Tell me anything.

Robyn Reeve

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Mission Summary[edit | edit source]

Collectors escaped with approximately one third of Horizon's population. Front corporation will funnel supplies, monetary aid to colonial survivors. Collector leader, Harbinger, demonstrates a personal interest in Shepard. Unclear whether his ability to possess his minions is cybernetic override, indication of hive mind among Collectors, or even Reaper technology at work. Salvage teams captured Collector bodies for study.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Shepard later receives a message from the Virmire survivor (either Ashley or Kaidan) apologizing for her/his reaction.
  • The track of the same title (assumed to be the non-combat music for this mission) is very similar to the music that plays after the player character's death in Mass Effect (assuming you sit at that screen for a significant period). This motif is also apparent in the track Humans Are Disappearing.
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