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This page contains a walkthrough for the main missions of Mass Effect 2. Major changes in the gameplay from Mass Effect are listed in the main Mass Effect 2 page, while the effects of importing a saved game from Mass Effect are listed in the Save File Transfer page.


Prologue

Save Joker

Main article: Prologue: Save Joker

The SSV Normandy SR-1 is under attack from an unknown enemy. The ship is taking catastrophic damage and the crew have begun evacuating. A member of the crew, either Kaidan Alenko, Ashley Williams or Liara T'Soni (based upon Shepard's romance choices from an imported character or the gender of a new character), informs Commander Shepard that the ship's pilot, Joker, is reluctant to leave. After convincing Kaidan/Ashley/Liara to abandon ship, Shepard must convince Joker to leave as well.

Shepard should walk through the blazing hallways keeping to either the left or right and up a set of stairs where you will reach the doors to the damaged Command Deck, now exposed to open space as the roof has completely disintegrated. Walk forwards towards the cockpit, eventually reaching a kinetic airlock where you will find Joker reluctantly giving up against extremely unlikely odds.

A cutscene begins as Shepard carries Joker into an escape pod. Before Shepard can enter the pod, an energy beam and an explosion separates him, forcing Shepard to eject Joker by himself. Seconds later, a final blast completely obliterates the Normandy, and the resulting explosion sends Shepard flying into open space where his suit begins is quickly losing air. After struggling for a brief moment before losing consciousness, Shepard's body is seen falling toward a nearby planet.

Awakening

Main article: Prologue: Awakening

After the opening credits, which show Shepard literally being rebuilt by the Lazarus Project, he awakens on a laboratory table to the sound of the station alarm. Miranda Lawson will introduce herself over the radio and give instructions.

Walk to the locker to obtain a pistol and armor. Use the cover command to avoid damage from the explosive, then continue on through the open door into the next room. Take cover behind the crates and quickly pick off the lone LOKI Mech on the stairway.

Proceed through the next few rooms, where a few LOKI Mechs will be encountered; they will be the some of the easiest targets in this game, and Overload/AI Hacking will make this easier on a harder difficulty setting. It might be a good idea to knock them down and kill them for the Brawler achievement.

Along the way, various recordings by Miranda and Dr. Wilson about their experiences reviving Shepard will be found, along with some items that can be investigated, introducing the playher to the hacking and routing mini-games (which replace the previous 'manual override' game from Mass Effect). As this is the introductory Prologue, mini-games may be retried indefinitely.

Eventually Shepard encounters Jacob Taylor. There will be a brief dialogue, which is cut short when additional mechs arrive.

Note: The mechs will respawn until the player orders Jacob to use his biotic abilities.

After clearing the room and further dialogue with Jacob, both he and Shepard will continue through the facility until meeting Miranda's assistant, Wilson, who is injured. The player must obtain medi-gel from the first aid station, and use the Unity ability to heal Wilson. After additional dialogue, all three will head toward the shuttle bay, fighting more enemies along the way. There is also a datapad in this area, which should be hacked for credits. The mission ends upon arrival at the shuttle bay, where Miranda is met. Miranda deals with Wilson, and takes Shepard and Jacob to meet the Illusive Man.

Freedom's Progress

Main article: Freedom's Progress

The Illusive Man sends you to Freedom's Progress, the most recent colony to disappear. Commander Shepard's mission is to recover any clues or information as to who is responsible, with help from new found squadmates Jacob Taylor and Miranda Lawson.

On arrival, proceed through the door and make your way through the colony, killing any LOKI mechs and FENRIS mechs that you encounter. Watch out for the one LOKI mech that is folded up inside one of the colony buildings, next to a locked wall safe.

Eventually, your squad will run into and confront Tali'Zorah nar Rayya and a group of quarians led by Prazza, all of whom express great distrust for Cerberus. Tali explains that their mission is to find Veetor, an unstable and sensitive quarian who came to the colony on Pilgrimage. They suspect that Veetor, nervous to begin with, must have suffered damage to his suit during the attack, the subsequent infection causing him to become paranoid and reprogram the security mechs. The two squads decide to work together to find him.

Continue through the door, noting the combat drones that fly past your squad, and enter the next area through the gates. Here, the mixed group of Assault Drones and Rocket Drones will attack your team. Use Miranda's Overload ability to cause the drones severe damage, and stay behind cover in order to avoid the enemy rockets. Continue to move forward.

Eventually, Tali will contact you saying that the other quarians went on ahead, despite her protestations, in an attempt to locate and remove Veetor before Shepard can question him. Proceed to the large gate and order your squad mates to take cover on either side of it, then hide yourself behind the obstruction in front of the entrance. Once in position, Tali will open the door remotely.

A YMIR Mech takes out the entire quarian team, then turns its attention to you. The mech is protected by shields and armor, and is equipped with a rocket launcher and machine gun. Do not expose yourself – its weapons can incapacitate you within seconds. Also, move from one piece of cover to the next, as the mech will destroy cover throughout the battle. The YMIR advances on your position and may flank you if caught off guard. Once destroyed, scan the mech debris in front of the objective building for a heavy weapons upgrade, and check the buildings on either side for items and credits.

Finish the mission by finding Veetor, who is babbling in a paranoid manner about monsters out to get him, and watching garbled footage on a wall of display screens. Shepard will have a Paragon interrupt option, followed by a Renegade interrupt, in order to get Veetor's attention. Tali walks in shortly afterward. Veetor, though delirious, has managed to piece together footage from the colony's security cameras to reveal that the Collectors are behind the abductions. The group theorizes that Veetor was spared because the Collectors are only scanning for human vital signs, or are only interested in humans. Miranda will insist that the quarian be taken into custody for interrogation, but Tali insists he be taken back to the Flotilla for medical attention. The final decision rests with Shepard, after which the mission ends.

Note: If Veetor is allowed to return to the Flotilla, he has the option to testify on Tali's behalf later during her loyalty mission.

Act 1

Dossier

Note: The order in which squadmates are recruited in this guide is entirely arbitrary. You may recruit the squadmates in both Act 1 and Act 2 in any order you wish; it will not affect how events play out in any way.

The Professor

Main article: Dossier: The Professor

It is a good idea to follow Miranda's advice and recruit Mordin first. Recruiting Mordin unlocks the Normandy's Tech Lab, allowing the player to upgrade their equipment (which can then be used on all subsequent missions). Head to Omega and speak with Aria T'Loak in Afterlife about Mordin and the plague spreading through the slums (it is also a good idea to speak with her about Archangel now and talk to the mercenary recruiter in order to save time later. See "Archangel" below). Proceed to the markets section of Omega and then talk to the turian guard who is responsible for enforcing the quarantine just before the markets. He will allow you to enter the slums.

Upon reaching the slums, fight your way through the Blue Suns mercenaries. You can talk to a dying batarian civilian; a Paragon interrupt will keep him alive long enough for Mordin's assistants to help him later. Letting him die, however, nets you 2000 credits from a datapad. Bypassing locked doors will allow you into apartments, some of which contain refined resources, and one of which houses a pair of human refugees. Talk to the refugee couple and select either the paragon or renegade speech options to convince them to head for Mordin's lab. Otherwise, the path to Mordin's lab is rather straightforward.

After you have reached the clinic, talk to Mordin. He will ask you to insert the plague cure into the ventilation systems, and then re-activate life support, he will also give you a second heavy pistol that will stay in your weapon inventory. Head out the unlocked door and make sure to enter all doors. You will find Mordin's assistant being threatened by a group of batarians; resolve the situation as you will and continue to the environmental controls.

Upon arrival, a vorcha reveals that the Collectors are behind the plague. Once there, follow EDI's instructions to place the cure in the console in the center platform. Then go to the east and west fan controls, fighting more Blood Pack vorcha and krogan on the way. After you activate both fans the mission is over and you are back in Mordin's office, ready to return to the Normandy. Make sure to gather all the items available in the clinic, including large amounts of refined resources. If you saved the batarian civilian and/or talked to the refugee couple, they will be waiting in the clinic, and will express their gratitude to Shepard if talked to.

Note: Attempting to bring either Grunt or Garrus into the quarantine zone triggers dialogue regarding the effects of the plague on the squad member, and you can choose to send him back to the Normandy when entering the quarantine area. If you keep either squad member with you, he mentions feeling sick along the way to the clinic but Mordin treats him upon arrival.

Archangel

Main article: Dossier: Archangel

Archangel is found on Omega. After you acquire information from Aria T'Loak in Afterlife (she is expecting you) about joining a mercenary group, you may sign up to "takedown" Archangel. To do this, go into the the private room in Afterlife (this will be directly to your left when you enter the club).

Note: If Shepard is female, the recruiter will tell her that auditions for strippers are taking place in a different room; at which point the player has the option of triggering a Renegade interrupt.


Shepard must apply for a freelancing job to attack Archangel. Once the application is accepted, a young-looking, gun-wielding man will enter the room, and ask to join the fight. At that point, an opportunity for a Paragon interrupt appears. If taken, Shepard will disable the cheap pistol and walk out of the room (the boy will later send a private message to the Normandy thanking Shepard for stopping him if the paragon interrupt is chosen.) Either way, upon exiting Afterlife, a small alcove with vehicles that look very much like Citadel Rapid Transport vehicles can be found down the promenade off to the right. A batarian wearing Blue Suns armor is standing guard. When asked, the batarian will take the team to Archangel's base (It is highly suggested that the team prepare well for the Archangel mission, as there is no turning back once they arrive at Archangel's base until the mission ends.)

The team will then be transported into a mercenary encampment, where several of the mercenary leaders--Jaroth, Garm, and Tarek--can be engaged in conversation to gain valuable insight into their operations. Along the way, break into rooms where possible and check for footlockers containing cash and raw materials. There will be an opportunity to disable/sabotage a YMIR Mech and an A-61 Mantis Gunship. The YMIR Mech is located in a small room off to the side containing a console which can be hacked. Later, Shepard will talk to a mechanic repairing the Gunship; at the end of the conversation a Renegade interrupt opportunity will allow Shepard to incapacitate the mechanic. Do both to make the upcoming battle much easier. After speaking with the mechanic, the team will be ordered to begin the assault. The assault requires the team to run across an open bridge as Archangel picks off the other freelancers one by one. Shepard's team can assist Archangel by attacking the other freelancers as well. After making it across the bridge, Shepard confronts Archangel, who removes his helmet and reveals himself to be Garrus Vakarian, one of Shepard's old teammates from Mass Effect.

After a small discussion over events to occur, the mercenaries begin their assault. Shepard and the team have to defend Garrus from waves of mercs, including a YMIR Mech. If the YMIR Mech was sabotaged earlier, it will attack the mercenary enemies instead of Shepard's team. After a few waves are cut down, the mercenaries begin blasting their way through the sealed passageways below. At this point, Shepard has option to get a team member to back-up Garrus or take the whole team to the lower level and reach three sets of blast doors in order to lock them off for good. It is advisable to seal the doors as quickly as possible, as never-ending waves of enemies will rush through until they're closed. After a long firefight, Shepard goes back up stairs where the mercenaries are preparing for their final assault.

The next attack is led by a Krogan Battlemaster known as Garm. Garm is quite difficult to handle at close range but there is a glitch when fighting him. 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.

After defeating Garm, the fighting stops, and Garrus recommends making a break for it across the bridge. Just as the group is about to leave, Tarek appears, flying his A-61 Mantis Gunship. Tarek guns down Garrus and drops off more mercenaries. If the mechanic was incapacitated earlier, the Gunship will be at half health. Winning the fight is tough, but with enough tech and biotic abilities, Shepard will prevail. Incendiary and armor-piercing ammo will help in this battle. After the fight, a cut-scene will play showing Shepard's efforts to revive Garrus. The team then returns to the Normandy. The conversation with Garrus afterwards reveals that his face was badly damaged; scars run along the right side of his face, along with a large bandage/dressing which will stay with him throughout the rest of the game. Despite his wounds, he is no worse for wear and is ready to help Shepard fight the Collectors.

Note: For special additional dialogue, acquire Grunt first and bring him along, and then talk to Garm, the leader of the Blood Pack mercenary gang, before engaging in the mission proper. Picking the right dialogue options results in Garm taking out a gun and blasting the head off the vorcha standing next to him. In addition, taking Zaeed will enable additional dialogue with the Blue Suns leaders Tarek and Jentha before the fight.

The Convict

Main article: Dossier: The Convict

Jack (referred to as Subject Zero) is found on the prison ship Purgatory. Once the player arrives at Purgatory, they meet the Warden, who claims that his job is to keep the galaxy clean from criminals. After leaving the Warden, you'll follow a long hallway which has a few cells containing prisoners. One of the cells has a guard outside and it is possible to gain Renegade or Paragon points by asking if the beating is necessary. At the end of the hallway is a doorway which leads into a large room, cross the room and open the door on the other side which the Warden and his staff call out-processing. Once the door is opened you'll learn that the Warden would rather keep you as a prisoner than sell you Jack. After a small discussion, you find that you must fight your way out. Since you are fighting Blue Suns mercs, Overload and Disruptor Ammo are very useful for this mission (especially on Insanity) as most of the enemies have shields.

You will be ambushed by a group of mercs and FENRIS Mech with only one way out. Fight your way out of the ambush, following the hallway to the left and activate the console in the next room. Jack is released from her cell, and proceeds to wreak havoc on the station. Be sure to check the YMIR corpses for an upgrade and move along the hallway. Once you enter the first cell block you'll notice that riots have broken out. You'll be forced to fight prisoners and guards alike and a YMIR Mech. Be sure to use Overload, Disruptor Ammo and rapid fire weapons to take down the mech's shields and then a slow firing weapon to take down it's armor. If you have organic enemies left in the cell block and the mech is almost dead, you can finish it off with a headshot. This may cause it to explode in the same manner as the heavy weapon M-920 Cain, wiping out anyone who isn't behind sufficient cover. The next cell block will contain very much the same enemies and it is important to search each cell block for upgrades and credits.

The final firefight involves the Warden, who is protected by three force-field generators. The first generator is positioned just in front of you, the second is on the walkway to the left and the third is in the far right corner of the block. The Warden is protected by Blue Suns Legionnaires, Soldiers, and Commanders. Destroy all three generators quickly and focus your fire on the Warden, as once he falls the battle is over. There will be an unlimited amount of enemies until you kill him. Afterwards, Shepard tracks down Jack, who is originally hostile to Cerberus; however, Shepard convinces her to join them.

The Warlord

Main article: Dossier: The Warlord

The Warlord, Dr. Okeer, is found at Korlus in the Imir system. Right after a flight in the Kodiak Drop Shuttle there will be a short cut scene. Head down around the corner and be ready to shoot some Blue Suns troopers, enemies count at three. After that, go on and you will have to talk with a wounded mercenary, during this conversation you will have the opportunity to force him to lie to his commander by either Paragon or Renegade conversation. After leaving the merc follow the walkway for a bit and be ready to take cover. Enemies will be waiting for your on top of the ship deck. Two on the front port, two on the bridge and two on the far bridge. There is also a med-kit. Again continuing down and up the stairs there will be more enemies coming. But now there will be Blue Sun Heavies (using the ML-77 Missile Launcher) – total heavy count at three.

Continue down, there will be a tank-grown krogan to talk to, before being able to talk to him, there will be five easy enemies to kill. Now there will be a cut scene talking to him, getting more information about The Warlord, after that the tank-grown krogan will move the metal plate blocking the way down. There will also be a Blue Sun corpse to access (+2000 credits). Continue downhill there will two enemies running away from Krogan Berserkers, they will pop out very suddenly so be careful. Now, there will be a long fight, with many Krogan Berserkers to fight. The best strategy hear is to hit them with Warp, Reave, or Incinerate to take down their armor. Once you've removed their armor you can knock them off the walkways with a crowd control skill such as Pull, Throw, or Concussive Shot. There should be a med-kit around, after the fight go on towards the stairs. There will be a loot on Refined Platinum (+2000 Platinum). You will have to bypass the door upstairs. Continue upstairs, now there will be power cells, medical station and a sniper rifle upgrade.

Be ready when you open the door, as an enemy will be standing right in front of you with 4 more on the walkway across the way. If you time it properly, you can take out the first merc's shields with overload, knock him off the ledge with concussive shot or a melee hit and then take cover to kill the other four. Once their higher level protection is down you should be able to use a biotic skill such as pull to knock them off the ledge. Continue down the hallway, there will be enemies waiting for you. Be sure to have adequate cover as you'll encounter Heavy's with missle launchers, and a legionaire along with other mercs. After the fight go towards the door, before continuing, to the right side of the door there will be a PDA (+4000 Credits) if you hack it successfully. Going upstairs again there will be another fight. There will be a med-kit to the left side of the door on the table. After the fight, a Blue Sun corpse will be accessible (+2000 Credits). Again there will be another fight, after the fight inside the room there will be power cells and a wall safe (+4000 Credits). Continue down the hallway, do not enter the door yet. There will be a PDA (+4000 Credits) if you go on the hallway. After this fight, there will be a cut scene where you meet with Rana Thanoptis from Virmire, provided that you imported a Mass Effect save where she survived. Inside the room, there will be a medical station and a secure terminal (+4000 Credits), and after the cut scene there will be another cut scene after talking to Dr. Okeer. Before continuing there will be a lab terminal to hack (upgrades Krogan Vitality by 25%).

Now the fun kicks in; there will be a miniboss fight, Jedore, and her “army” of krogans and a few YMIR Mechs. Three sniper headshots should kill Jedore if you are a Soldier or an Infiltrator and are playing on Normal. If you happen to be playing on Hardcore, four headshots are required with the upgraded bolt action rifle. Killing Jedore will stop any remaining krogans from being released to fight you. You must be careful if attempting to take out Jedore quickly, as the YMIR will fire on you and a Krogan Berserker will approach you soon after you enter the room. You may also set your team up in the back room (where you came down the ramp); you will be able to walk into the room and trigger the release of a krogan. You may then retreat up to the first landing and wait for the krogan to walk directly into your line of fire. Make sure you have a lot of Biotic/Tech to use in order to stop each one from shooting you and killing you too quickly. When this was tried last, there were four Krogan Berserkers released, and then no more were ever sent out of the tubes. Then the player was able to duck behind the guardrail just inside the door and whittle away at the YMIR Mech, without taking any damage.

The Veteran (DLC)

Main article: Dossier: The Veteran

Zaeed Massani is found on Omega. After completing your first mission on Freedom's Progress, the Illusive Man will tell you to go to Omega to find Mordin Solus; Zaeed Massani will be found right outside the docking area along the passage way. Zaeed Massani will join your squad after you talk to him. He will also inform you of a personal mission he hadn't completed. Completing the mission he informs you of will gain you his loyalty.

The Master Thief (DLC)

Main article: Dossier: The Master Thief

Kasumi Goto is found on the Citadel. After completing Freedom's Progress, the Illusive Man will send an e-mail telling you to contact her. After arriving at the Citadel, you will see a terminal hacked by Kasumi. Talk to her through the terminal and she will join your squad, informing you of a personal mission. Completing that mission will gain Kasumi's loyalty.

Act Progression

Over the Horizon

Main article: Stop the Collectors

Mission Walkthrough: Horizon (mission)

After recruiting all four main squadmembers—Garrus, Grunt, Mordin, and Jack—the Illusive Man will contact Shepard, telling the Commander to go to the Human colony of Horizon.

A short cutscene shows Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams (depending on who survived Virmire in the original Mass Effect, or Shepard's gender if a Mass Effect save was not carried over) speaking and working with colonists. A strange ship (later revealed to be the Collectors) attacks the colony. This is Shepard's first encounter in the game with the Collectors.

Ignore the "frozen" humans (you can't interact with them) and fight groups of Collectors to the end of the map. Make sure to pick up the Collector Particle Beam heavy weapon. Shepard will eventually reach a garage, where a mechanic tells you what happened. Use the Weapons Locker to select your desired output, and then proceed out the opposite door.

Shepard's squad must now activate the uplink and hold the area against enemy forces in order to buy time for EDI to activate the large cannons and drive the Collector ship away. Enemies include waves of Husks, Collector enemies (including Harbinger), and Scions.

The final enemy is a lone Praetorian, which may pose a challenge at higher difficulty levels. The Praetorian will attack with an energy beam weapon while moving towards Shepard. Take cover to avoid the beam as soon as it begins firing, as even brief exposure to the beam will severely damage Shepard's health and shields. When wounded and in close proximity to Shepard or another squad member, the Praetorian will slam the ground, sending out a shockwave and stunning any party member in close proximity, while activating a biotic barrier. In most cases, the Praetorian will focus on Shepard, giving the other squad members ample opportunity to attack the enemy.

After the Collectors have been driven away, there is a dialogue scene with Kaidan/Ashley. If Kaidan/Ashley was Shepard's romantic partner in Mass Effect, there will be additional dialogue.

Act 2

Dossier

The Assassin

Main article: Dossier: The Assassin

On Illium, go see old shipmate Liara T'Soni, now a full time information broker. Liara will direct you to another asari woman, who will then transport you to a construction site where Thane has an assassination target. It is a good idea to bring along allies who can deal with shields and long range enemies as you'll encounter a variety of mercs, mechs and missle launchers. When you first arrive you'll be greeted by a few FENRIS and LOKI Mechs. They will not approach you until you've broken the glass. Once you've killed then, enter the tower. Go to the left first as you'll be able to earn a few credits. Once you've searched that room go to the right and you'll find a dying salarian. You'll have a chance to save him for Paragon points and you'll receive Renegade points if you let him die. Once you leave him follow the hallway through the door and be ready to take cover. You'll find a variety of mechs and mercs throughout the tower's floors.

When you reach the end of the waves and waves of enemies you'll find an elevator (don't open this yet). You'll also find a locked room containing some salarians. You'll also find the Viper sniper rifle further to the left along with a power cell and some credits. When entering the room the elevator is on your right, the locked room is straight ahead and the Viper is in the far left corner. When you press the button to use the elevator be ready to take cover as a few seconds later it will open and a krogan and two Eclipse Engineers will exit. Be sure to take down the krogan quickly and watch out for the mercs' combat drones.

After taking the elevator you'll find a merc talking to Nassana Dantius. You have the choice of either pushing him out the window (Renegade) or convincing him to tell you what he knows (Paragon/Renegade). After speaking to him you'll find a tablet on the ground. This is genetic information pertaining to a salarians family. You'll be able to turn this in to him when you finish the mission. After picking up the data walk through the doors and take cover as you'll be greeted by a few mechs and some more mercs. After killing them, open the door on the left hand side of the room, it contains more salarian workers. At the far left corner of the room there is a communications terminal. This gives you the chance to speak to Nasana. It will also allow you to pick up the Viper if you missed it earlier and gain some more heavy weapons ammo. Follow the ramp up to the next level.

Now you'll find you're on the roof. Fight your way along and be sure to check for upgrades lying around. You'll have a chance to change your weapons just before you enter the walkway to the other side of the towers. This walkway will contain a variety of the enemies you've seen already and shouldn't present too much trouble as long as you take cover. When you reach the mid-way point you'll notice that there are two rocket drones at the top of the other side. If you have a long range weapon you can take them out early, otherwise you'll have to chance being hit by them. After killing the drones, follow the stairs up and you'll find any enemies you forgot to pick off the ledge and a Vanguard. Be very careful when fighting this merc because she carries a shotgun and can ruin your day quite quickly. Once she is dispatched, you'll open the last door and you'll find Nassana.

After a short cutscene and some conversation choices, Nassana will no longer exist and you'll be able to recruit Thane.

The Justicar

Main article: Dossier: The Justicar

While on Illium, talk to Liara. She'll give you directions to speak with an asari in the transportation section, who will direct you to catch a cab. You will end up outside of a murder scene, talk to the asari cop in the station to get permission to enter the crime scene. After taking down a few lightweight mercs you will go to a cutscene showing the Justicar (Samara) making easy work of some Eclipse mercs. Unfortunately she's tied up with the pressing issue of finding a ship, on top of that she is a wanted "woman" by the cops, who take her into custody. However, she will join you, and the cops will release her into your custody, if you find the aforementioned ship name, which sounds easy enough. Talk to the volus, Pitne For, either by stroking his ego (Paragon), or convincing him with your pistol (Renegade) as to what he knows about the present situation in regards to the ship. Open the previously locked door, and prepare for multiple firefights.

In a hackable door on the right, there will be an Eclipse merc who just so happens to be "innocent" in all this hoopla going on. A quick Renegade interruption will get her to screw up her current story and put into early retirement (you will find out who she was later in the mission). Before leaving this room, be sure to open the terminal for a biotic upgrade and pick up the heavy weapons ammo.

Make your way through more firefights followed by a shootout with a gunship. This gunship is heavily armored but can be taken down easily if you're a Soldier or Infiltrator. Just hit it repeatedly with sniper rifle shots. Use either Warp Ammo or Incendiary Ammo for added damage. The best strategies here are either to stay near the entrance to the area or run up towards where the gunship appears and turn to take cover when it flanks you. If you don't kill it quickly, you'll find that FENRIS Mechs will join the party.

Once you've dispatched the gunship collect anything you missed in this area and continue onwards. Towards the end you will participate in a rather comical scene with a "high" volus, who wants to kill Captain Wasea (the Eclipse boss), you can let him try (Renegade) or get him to sleep off his buzz (Paragon).

When fighting Wasea be sure to take her out as quickly as possible. She will throw barrels of the chemical Pitne For smuggled in during the firefight. If you don't kill her quick enough, the battle will become so engulfed in clouds of purple chemicals that you won't be able to see where anyone is. After she and her mercs are dead, check the area for loot and then grab her datapad. You'll then return to the spaceport where you can either sell the shipping manifest you found along the way to Pitne For (Renegade) or turn it into Anaya (Paragon) after speaking with Samara. You can also turn in the information regarding the "innocent" merc you either killed or let go earlier.

Tali

Main article: Dossier: Tali

Go to Haestrom, which will be available after completing the Horizon mission. Tali'Zorah vas Neema and her mission team is on the planet when geth arrived and lay siege on them. The objective is simple: clear your path towards Tali by going through swarms of geth. However, the dying sun complicates matters, due to the fact that it gives off large amounts of radiation that will bring down your shields within seconds while in direct sunlight. This forces the player to leap-frog between shady areas and remain in cover.

Go down to the small bunker where there is a console to open the gates. Once inside, a Geth Dropship will drop several geth that need to be defeated. It is advised to avoid the bridge in broad sunlight and instead, make your way diagonally across the area to a shadowed stairway where there is a weapon upgrade on a dead quarian. Go through a few doors and corridors, paying attention to scannable upgrades on dead geth, and find a com-link to speak with Captain Kal'Reegar, leader of the military squad protecting Tali, who provides you status updates. Just ahead, you will see a squad of defending quarians killed by an attacking Geth Dropship and causing a pillar to collapse on them and blocking your next path. EDI will inform you that you need to find two explosive charges to blow the rubble away. Acquire the charges from two bunkers, while taking out 4 waves of geth, and set them on the rubble and take cover. You will arrive in a room where you will find several credits, and an assault rifle damage upgrade. Communicate through a com-link to ask Tali to open the doors to proceed.

Make your way through another area where there are multiple geth probes which can cloak, not so annoying as the Geth Prime in the area so stay in cover (and out of the sunlight). Make your way into the next bunker and open the shutters where a Geth Colossus welcomes you to the party. Going down a stairwell, you will meet Kal'Reegar who informs you that Tali is on the other side, locked in and you have to defeat the Colossus and the other geth to get to her.

Kal'Reegar offers to distract the Geth Colossus to allow Shepard and team to head closer to the Colossus. At this point, you have the option to do a paragon interrupt and decline Kal'Reegar's offer, thus keeping him out of battle and surviving the Colossus' attacks. If you choose not to interrupt and you accept his assistance, there's a possibility of him dying in the process. If he survives, he is able to speak on Tali's behalf in her (loyalty mission) trial.

You are advised to use any tech skills against the Colossus along with heavy weapons. Keep watch of your flanks as geth will attack you from any position. Sticking to the far left or right path instead of down the middle of the area can help avoid this.

After you defeat the geth, Tali opens the door for you. She explains that she is on a mission for the Migrant Fleet to examine and collect data on the system's prematurely aging sun. Unlike your first encounter, you are now able to recruit her to your squad.

Note: If this mission is played under "Hardcore" or "Insanity" difficulty (the difficulty setting must be set before the mission), you will find a Geth Pulse Rifle in the room where Tali is in.

Act Progression

Collector Ship

Main article: Investigate Collector Ship

IMPORTANT NOTE: This mission has been known to trigger after recruiting only one or even none of the crew members made available in this chapter. This most likely is caused by having the Zaeed and Kasumi DLC's. It can be surmised that it triggers upon having at least 8 crew members and having performed five missions or N7/DLC assignments after Horizon. Also note that Shepard can only ever choose one of the special weapons or proficiency training per character, even if the mission is played on subsequent playthroughs.

After recruiting two of those crew members, you must board a disabled Collector ship at the request of the Illusive Man, who contacts you with information regarding a turian patrol which engaged the Collectors. Before it was destroyed, the turian ship was able to disable the Collector vessel, which now lies derelict in space.

After boarding the seemingly empty Collector ship, you will come to a pile of dead humans, triggering a conversation as to why the Collectors are taking humans as captives. You then find a deceased Collector which has been dissected and experimented upon. EDI's genetic analysis reveals that the Collectors are in fact the long-lost Protheans, twisted and forcefully adapted to serve the Reapers as mere tools. After the conversation ends, you will find a pile of weapons next to the console. The game gives the player the option of either training in a weapon that they are unable to use normally, or alternatively, the player may choose to select an upgraded weapon for a weapon proficiency that they already have. The three choices are: the M-300 Claymore Heavy Shotgun, the M-76 Revenant light machine gun, or the Widow Anti-Material Rifle. To choose one of the special weapons Shepard must already be able to use that class of weapons, e.g. the M-76 Revenant requires the ability to use assault rifles, thus only Soldiers can select it. It is not possible to have all three for Shepard, even across multiple playthroughs. In case of playing with a class with no access to either shotguns, assault rifles or sniper rifles, such as an Adept or Sentinel, picking any of those gives you access to the basic training for that weapon but not the special gun. Don't forget to make a stop at the weapon locker and the heavy weapon ammo crate a short ways after the weapon pile.

After proceeding further, Joker and EDI will attempt to scan the Collector ship only to find out the squad has been lured into a trap (which the Illusive Man was quite aware of). Make your way to the console on the platform so that EDI can buy time for you to get off the ship before the Collectors activate their weapons systems. Defeat the Collector waves incoming on multiple platforms then reactivate the console. Avoid the temptation to use your heavy weapon and save it for the Praetorian. You will have to fight your way back to the shuttle through waves of Drones, Harbingers, Husks, a Scion and a Praetorian; be sure to look for various upgrades on your way out. You CAN simply run past the first group of Collectors on the way back to the shuttle (the game will autosave for you before your Praetorian fight), even on Insanity difficulty. (The Soldier's Adrenaline Rush ability helps immensely if using this tactic.) This will probably take multiple tries but is worth it if you are at all interested in bypassing a few fights. You can ultimately run past every fight except for the Praetorian fight.

Reaper IFF

Main article: Reaper IFF

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is strongly recommended to delay this mission until you have completed all character specific conversations, loyalty side missions, and combat-related ship upgrades, in order to ensure maximum survivability (your team and the entire Normandy crew), since you will most likely only be able to squeeze out one more mission (which should be Legion's loyalty mission) prior to making a choice to enter the Omega-4 relay.

Shepard is tasked with investigating a derelict Reaper orbiting the planet of Mnemosyne and locating a Reaper IFF system which should allow the Normandy SR-2 to safely enter the Omega-4 relay. Unfortunately, Cerberus has lost contact with the science team tasked to study the Reaper.

This mission will pit you against Husks, Abominations and a few Scions. It is advisable to bring at least one team-mate with a shotgun for this mission; Incinerate, Area Pull and Slam are also useful skills – Incinerate is an area of effect power which can easily bring down the Husks and Abominations' weak armor, and after that, using high-level Pull or Slam will instantly kill them. The upgrades which increase Shepard's resistance to melee attacks and melee damage are also useful. Groups of explosive crates generally indicate an ambush; the Husks will usually climb up over the edges of the platform and swarm the squad en masse.

A good strategy is to place squad-mates at the near end of one of the many long corridors within the Reaper, preferably upon higher ground, and then trigger a wave of enemies by running forwards. After the enemies appear, retreating to wherever your squad was waiting allows for them to land many free shots upon the enemies while they attempt to close the distance. It is important to stay out of cover and avoid being cornered or surrounded by Husks.

After entering the ship itself, Joker will inform Shepard that the Reaper has reactivated its shields. The mass effect core of the Reaper must be destroyed to disable the kinetic barriers and allow the squad to leave the Reaper. As Shepard's squad advances toward the core, a cutscene will trigger showing a single geth soldier with N7 armor killing a few husks around you. The squad will then fight their way to the actual core where the geth soldier will be knocked out by husks. Shepard must now destroy the mass effect core powering the Reaper while fending off endless waves of Husks. The glowing blue mass appears after its shields are retracted (roughly every 30 seconds). Missiles are deflected by the mass effect core, but the M-920 Cain will make short work of the core.

After the core has been destroyed, the squad evacuates with the inactive geth in tow. Shepard can then choose to sell the inactive geth to Cerberus for a sizable quantity of money, or to reactivate the geth.

POSSIBLE GLITCH: It has been confirmed that you can do two more missions after this mission, provided that you don't talk to the geth right away (after activating it) to get its loyalty mission, i.e. you do another mission before acquiring the loyalty mission.

Activating the IFF

Main article: Stop the Collectors#Await IFF Installation

The IFF will be integrated into the Normandy in order to allow transit through the Omega 4 relay. As part of this procedure, the IFF must be thoroughly tested. Once the IFF is ready to be activated and tested, Joker will inform you that the crew should use the shuttle for the next mission.

While Shepard and the commander's team are gone, Joker and EDI will discuss the Reaper IFF. EDI informs Joker that she has detected a hidden signal being transmitted by the IFF which may give away the Normandy's location. Before Joker has a chance to stop the integration, a Collector Cruiser jumps in right on top of the Normandy and Collectors begin boarding the ship. Joker is unable to control the Normandy due to a virus which has locked up the ship's systems.

The only way to escape is for Joker to release EDI's control lock and give her command of the ship by connecting her systems directly to the ship's control systems. The player then takes control of Joker. Have Joker hobble to the Tech Lab (follow the lights on the floor), and then to the AI Core via a maintenance shaft. As you move, Collectors will appear and engage in combat with members of the crew or drag them away. You should be able to make it just by moving quickly and not stopping.

Next, EDI will need you to go to Engineering and restart the core. This is a little trickier, since there are Collectors in your way. If you rush up the stairs indicated by the guiding lights, Joker will be spotted by a Scion or Praetorian, and the mission will end in failure. Instead, move to the stairs and wait until EDI tells you that the corridor is clear before entering Engineering. Alternatively, you may use the opposite flight of stairs to reach Engineering, in which case there will be no hostiles in your way. Activate the console to restart the core.

When the core comes back on-line, EDI will have full control of the Normandy. After she clears the ship of Collectors by opening all of the airlocks (except for the sealed engine room), the Normandy will jump away; leaving Joker the only crew member remaining on board. After Shepard returns, he/she has a decision to make. Either head straight to the Omega 4 relay, or complete more missions:

  • If you wish to keep the entire crew alive the best way to do this is to wait until completing all loyalty missions, then going to obtain the IFF. This gives you time to gain Legion's loyalty before the crew is abducted. At this point you can go straight through the Omega 4 relay and save your entire crew as well as keeping your squad alive (depending on the decisions made in the Collector base).
  • If you do not enter the relay immediately and continue to do other assignments, 4 or more, Kelly Chambers and all members of the crew will die in the Collector base and Doctor Chakwas will be the only survivor.
  • If you do 1 - 3 assignments after the Collector's attack, about half of the crew including Kelly and Gabby will die. However, Doctor Chakwas, Ken and some unnamed crewmen will survive. You can still do Legion' Loyalty mission so long as you do not land on any planets or stations (ie... any assignment, The Citadel, Omega, etc.), as the game registers these as time, and the entire crew can still survive.
  • If you enter the relay immediately, only Lilith (a colonist from Horizon) will die instead. This holds true as long as you do no assignments after the Collector attack. (e.g. you said you will delay the final mission, but you do it right away anyway)

Either way, the actions above will have no impact on the No One Left Behind achievement and you will get a short gory cutscene.


PC Bug: When accessing the log in the airlock at the beginning of the mission, it is possible to climb onto the computer console and be unable to get down. You must restart the mission at this point.

Interlude

This material is optional but will affect the final outcome of the game.

Upgrading the Normandy

See also: Normandy SR-2

Before reaching the end of this section of the game, you may want to upgrade your ship. The important upgrades are the shields, the armor, and the cannon. Tali, Jacob, and Garrus, respectively, provide these upgrades. For each of these you do not upgrade, you will later lose one team member. The upgrades also determine who dies and when. In order to protect your crew, purchase these upgrade before entering the Omega 4 relay.

The next section will show, in order of preference, which crew member will die if a system isn't upgraded

  • Armor: Jack. An Oculus energy beam penetrates the Normandy's hull and instantly kills the crew member.
  • Shields: Kasumi, Legion, Tali, Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, or Grunt. They are vaporized when the Normandy's engine core explodes.
  • Cannons: Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt, Jack, Samara/Morinth. You lose a party member when the Collector ship attacks you. The party member is impaled by a beam when the explosion of the Collector ship damages the Normandy.

Loyalty

See also: Loyalty

Note on Loyalty Missions

Each character you acquire for your party has a corresponding 'loyalty mission'. Successfully completing a party member's loyalty mission gains his or her loyalty resulting in an unlocked fourth power and an alternative costume for the member.

Loyalty missions become available as the game is played. Yeoman Chambers will remark to the player that a character wishes to speak with Shepard, and the loyalty quest will be added to Shepard's quest list. Talk to the character in question and agree to solve his, her, or its problem. Loyalty quests require that the character in question be part of Shepard's squad for the duration of the quest. The first wave of loyalty missions begins after the mission on Horizon is completed. Jacob and Miranda's loyalty missions will be the first to become available. The following missions become available sequentially; each is unlocked after completing one mission with an 'Illusive Man' debriefing screen: Jack, Mordin, Grunt, and Garrus. Zaeed's loyalty mission is available as soon as he is recruited, as is Kasumi's.

Loyalty also influences character survival during the final mission. However, other variables will also play into whether all or some of your crew members stand with you in victory (such as the previously mentioned ship upgrades and team selection in the suicide mission described later in this article). Therefore, characters who are not loyal can also survive the game if they are not placed into compromised situations after proceeding through the Omega-4 relay.

There are several situations in which loyalty can be lost. If this happens, the loyalty level of the character will be reset to 'normal', but the alternate costume and fourth power remain. Both situations can be resolved (in an identical manner) in a way that does not cause any loss of loyalty, but this requires a substantial Paragon or Renegade score. However, while loyalty can be restored, any potential romance for the affected character is permanently compromised.

Jack and Miranda

After completing both Jack and Miranda's loyalty missions (in either order), you will be summoned to Miranda's office in order to stop the two from fighting. Jack is angry that Miranda refuses to acknowledge Cerberus' mistreatment, while Miranda insists that the abuses which Jack suffered were committed by a rogue branch. A sufficiently high Paragon or Renegade score is required to keep both squad members' loyalty; taking one character's side will result in the other character losing her loyalty. If this does happen, a nearly maxed-out Paragon or Renegade score will allow the player to regain the squad member's loyalty through a conversation option later on [Confirmed: If you side with Jack, you can later convince Miranda if your Paragon/Renegade score is high enough. If you side with Miranda, you can later convince Jack that you were just paying lip service to Cerberus, you need a nearly full or full Paragon/Renegade to do so. Doing so will still result in the loss of all conversation options with Jack, however.]. (On a side note, sometimes retraining powers to choose the option that gives you +100% on paragon/renegade can get you the extra p/r points you need, of course this only works if you had originally chosen the option giving +70%) (There has been cases where people have regained Jack's loyalty without having 100% paragon/renegade immediately after the dispute between the two had ended)

Note: The requirement to get the Renegade option to resolve this conflict is lower than the Paragon option's requirement.

Tali and Legion

After completing both Tali and Legion's loyalty missions, you will be summoned to the AI Core in order to defuse a tense situation. Tali is angry that Legion is trying to send data about the quarian fleet back to the geth collective, and is threatening it with a pistol. Again, a sufficiently high Paragon or Renegade score is required to keep both squad members' loyalty. However, if the score is not high enough, siding with Tali and talking to Legion afterwards gives Shepard the chance to explain the actions with a lower score. Doing so will restore Legion's loyalty.

Note: The requirement to get the Paragon option to resolve this conflict is lower than the Renegade option's requirement.

'Unsuccessful' Loyalty Missions

The loyalty missions for Samara, Thane, Tali, and Zaeed can be completed in a way that prevents the character from becoming loyal. See the appropriate sections of the guide for more details.

  • Samara: Failing to draw Morinth's interest results in Shepard failing to secure Samara's loyalty.
  • Thane: Failing to update Thane while shadowing the target results in his son assassinating the politician, and precludes Thane's loyalty.
  • Tali: No matter what else was done, making the evidence pertaining to Tali's father public precludes Tali from becoming loyal.
  • Zaeed: Choosing to rescue the workers and failing the Paragon check at the end of the mission precludes Zaeed's loyalty.

Loyalty Missions

Note: As is the case with recruitment, it does not matter in what order the loyalty missions are done.

Garrus: Eye for an Eye

Main article: Garrus: Eye for an Eye

While on Omega, Garrus was betrayed by a member of his squad, named Sidonis, and sent on a wild goose chase while mercenaries killed his unit. Later on, Garrus receives intel that someone on the Citadel named Fade hid Sidonis. Once you arrive at the Citadel, you meet with a volus pretending to be Fade. After a conversation with him, you learn that Fade is actually C-Sec officer Harkin, from Mass Effect. You then take the rapid-transit to the previously closed off Factory District, where you battle through mechs and Blue Suns forces to reach Harkin. After a confrontation with Harkin, he sets up a meeting between Shepard and Sidonis, at this point you have a chance to save Harkin from an angry Garrus or be renegade and let Garrus shoot him. During the meeting, you can either help Garrus and facilitate Sidonis's assassination, or inform Sidonis and spare his life. Allowing Garrus to take the shot and kill Sidonis gives a substantial number of Renegade points. Conversely, talking to Sidonis and preventing Garrus from taking the shot results in a substantial number of Paragon points as well as an explanation as to why Sidonis betrayed Garrus. However, as this action ends the mission immediately, there are no prompts to inform the player of exactly how many Paragon/Renegade points are earned by either choice.

Grunt: Rite of Passage

Main article: Grunt: Rite of Passage

Prior to mission start, load up on your most powerful heavy weapon you have available; you will see why close to the end. Bring Grunt before the krogan clan leader on Tuchanka. If you kept Wrex alive in Mass Effect, he will be the clan leader, otherwise Urdnot Wreav will be the clan leader. After that, talk to the Shaman on the upper floor of the camp.

Grunt will be instructed to take a series of tests before a structure called the Keystone. The Rite of Passage consists of fending off three waves of enemies; each wave is triggered by activating the Keystone.

  • The first shockwave summons waves of varren, standard melee units.
  • The second shockwave summons klixen, which explode when killed and breathe fire at close range.
  • The third wave summons a thresher maw which shoots acid and burrows to one of three places roughly every 10 seconds. Any cover aside from concrete will break in one hit from the acid blast. To beat the final level, the player has two options. The first option is to wait out the five minute timer with the sole objective of surviving. The second option is to to kill the thresher maw within the time limit. Not a particularly daunting task, but you will unlock an achievement if you do (having the M-920 Cain or a sniper rifle plus Incendiary Ammo will make this quick work).

Killing the thresher maw will trigger a scene involving another clan of krogan led by Gatatog Uvenk attempting to recruit Grunt. A fight will ensue against Uvenk and his six or so krogan bodyguards. Killing them ends the mission. (Note that there are two Urdnot krogan bodies and a med-kit which can be looted during this fight, but they must be looted during the fight, as the mission ends as soon as the enemies are all dead.)

Note: It is possible that after completing this mission, Grunt's Loyalty skill will not unlock — with the screen saying that he is not loyal — even though he appears as loyal in all other screens. This bug was addressed in the ME 1.02 Patch for PCs.

Jack: Subject Zero

Main article: Jack: Subject Zero

Jack, being Jack, wants to blow stuff up! Specifically she wants to blow up the old Cerberus base on Pragia (Dakka System/Nubian Expanse) where she grew up. Of course, some mercs have other ideas and they'll try to get in your way. As you fight your way through them, hit all the conversation points and old computers to find out that the truth about Jack's childhood is a little different than she remembers it. Eventually you get to Jack's old cell, where you find Aresh, one of Jack's "classmates". He explains that, as bad as Jack had it, the other kids had it worse. Jack will either kill him or not. Afterwards, walk around Jack's cell and learn more about her experiences. Talk to her about the bed, window, desk, and old blood stain to learn more about Jack and end the mission.

Jacob: The Gift of Greatness

Main article: Jacob: The Gift of Greatness

Jacob receives a message that he believes was sent by the Illusive Man. It informs him that a distress beacon signal from Jacob's father's ship, the MSV Hugo Gernsback, has been discovered after ten years.

Land upon the planet 2175 Aeia and proceed up the path, salvaging the spare parts. Listen to the log on the computer near the gangway, and then board the ship to listen to the other logs and to hack a PDA for credits. The V.I. beacon is nearby; talk to it to find out what happened to Jacob's father and the crew of the Hugo Gernsback after its crash. Continue on to find a 'survivor' cowering near a group of boxes. As the survivor tries to explain the situation to you, your crew will notice a group of armed men sneaking up behind the crates. Use the Paragon interrupt to save the woman from the Hunters, and then dispatch them. Note that the Hunters are unusually aggressive and will attempt to move on your position.

Follow the path ahead to the makeshift settlement, where Jacob will comment on the situation. Examine the spoiled food stores and the makeshift statue, and pick up the spare parts and the PDA for credits. A group of LOKI Mechs will move on your position; take them out and then talk to the doctor at the far end of the camp. She will hand Jacob a datapad detailing the actions of Jacob's father and the rest of the command staff. The path ahead is blocked by a barricade; hack the broken mech and move out of the way as it explodes and destroys the crates.

Continue onwards and take out the first wave of enemies: many LOKI Mechs, which will approach your squad from multiple directions. After you have destroyed the robots, make sure to scan the heavy pistol for the Heavy Pistol Damage upgrade, and continue along the path. The next wave of enemies consists of 'Brainwashed Guards', another LOKI Mech, and a YMIR Mech. The YMIR is the most dangerous enemy, as it will advance towards your position. Stay out of its line of fire; retreating down the path you took may buy you enough time to destroy the mech.

After dispatching all enemies, the door at the far end of the area will turn green. Proceed through the door to confront Jacob's father, who will try to justify his actions to Jacob (who is having none of it). Shepard can choose to secure Jacob's father for Alliance custody, to leave him stranded upon the planet with the Hunters, or to give him a pistol, which he will use to kill himself after the squad departs.

Legion: A House Divided

Main article: Legion: A House Divided

Legion will eventually inform you that geth actually are empathetic towards organics and those fighting organics are "heretics" following the Reapers or, as they call them, "The Old Machines". Legion will tell you that the heretics are developing a virus that will turn all geth into followers of the Reapers and asks you to head to an old, heretic-held quarian space station in order to destroy the virus threatening the peaceful geth.

The layout of the station is relatively linear. Several rooms will contain 'geth hubs' and inactive geth. Crossing the green circuit traces on the floor, shooting at the geth, or destroying the hub will result in the geth activating and attacking your squad. Destroy all hubs and geth in a room to stop the alarm and proceed. Note that destroyed hubs can be salvaged for 3000 credits each.

After the squad has reached the central computer core, Shepard can decide whether to reprogram the virus and use it to free the heretics from Reaper-control (Paragon) or to destroy it and the space station with all heretics on it (Renegade). If reprogramming is chosen, Legion will inform Shepard that the heretics will return to the geth and their memories incorporated.

Once Legion activates the console, waves of geth will activate and attack your position. The geth will try to make their way up the two staircases on either side of the room. There is a three-sided barrier between the console and the entrance to the room which makes an excellent position for your squad, allowing them to attack both waves of geth without exposing themselves to enemy fire. Geth waves consist of six units a wave, including Geth Troopers, Geth Rocket Troopers and Geth Hunters. Activate the rocket turrets at your discretion to make things easier; note that the turrets will self-destruct after a short period.

After you have fought off the geth, you will need to rush back to the Normandy. Exit through the now-unlocked door to the right of the terminal and fight through the geth. The final room contains a Geth Prime. Exit through the door to end the mission.

Miranda: The Prodigal

Main article: Miranda: The Prodigal

When Miranda escaped from her father, she also kidnapped from him her baby sister, a "twin" as she called her. Miranda then hid her from him on Illium. Her mission entails going to Illium and helping Miranda to move her sister and family to a new location. When you get there, you find that mercenaries have discovered her and you fight your way through them to meet up with Miranda's old friend, who you find has betrayed Miranda after learning that she had kidnapped her sister. He will tell Miranda that only he knows about her sister, her father has yet to be informed. Miranda will then shoot him although you have a Paragon option to stop her. After a final fight, you will find her sister unharmed and waiting with her family for a transport. Miranda will want to leave, although you have the option of convincing her to talk to her sister and letting her know she exists and loves her.

Mordin: Old Blood

Main article: Mordin: Old Blood

On Tuchanka, one of Mordin's former STG associates has been "kidnapped" and Mordin asked you to save him. Talk to the "Scout Chief" in the Urdnot Camp. He'll lend you a truck to transport you to where Mordin's student is being held. Fight your way past the krogan and mercs until you find Mordin's old associate, who has not been kidnapped, but is instead riddled with guilt and working on a genophage cure. During the later half of the conversation, there will be a Paragon interrupt, which determines the fate of the student. Despite what happens to the student, Mordin defers the decision of what to do with the genophage research to Shepard. You may choose to destroy it or save it. After the confrontation, return to the Normandy, with Mordin's loyalty secured.

The choice presented regarding the destruction or preservation of the genophage research may or may not have an effect on Mass Effect 3.

Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi

Main article: Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi

Head to Omega and once again speak with Aria T'Loak about the Ardat-Yakshi. She will direct you to the apartment district (the door just before entering the quarantine area where you recruited Mordin) and check on one of Morinth's latest victims, a female human named Nef. Speak with Nef's grieving mother, after a short conversation with her, you are allowed to search Nef's apartment for evidence. Read her holo-journal's last entry to discover that she went to Afterlife's VIP room to meet an asari there (reading and paying attention to all of the entries will give you hints as to Morinth's interests when you talk to her later). Following this, you will travel with Samara to the back entrance of Afterlife. She then tells you the only way to draw Morinth out is for you to lure her into taking you back to her apartment. Proceed into Afterlife.

Note: It is highly recommended that you save at this point. It is extremely easy to fail the first time around, and you will have forfeited the quest, along with the chance for Samara's loyalty.

You must now gain Morinth's attention. This area isn't too big; it is just a small semicircle with a few lounges, a bar, and a dance floor. It is recommended to have a high paragon or renegade skill, however it is not required.

  • Talk to the NPC on the immediate left about concert tickets (this unlocks a conversation option for the next part).
  • Go to the bartender and convince him to serve a round of drinks on the house.
  • Dance with someone on the dance floor.
  • Talk to the two turians (ends in you beating them) or paying them off.
  • Talk to the man who is worried about his sister, an undercover reporter. Then talk to the sister and use the dialogue options in the correct order to alert the sister.
  • Insult the krogan. If Shepard has enough Renegade points, an option to 'step outside' is available immediately. Otherwise, keep choosing the bottom choice. In the end, the krogan backs off, muttering.
  • Beat the turian who is harassing a dancer (Paragon)

After two or three actions, Morinth approaches you and invites you to her private booth. This is the trickiest part of the quest; if you read all of Nef's journal entries (or examined the sculpture on her desk) the correct options become available. You must choose the conversation options that "interest her" or she will simply lose interest and just buy you a drink.

Samara mentions what topics she is interested in if you decide to talk to her before you enter the cutscene. There are five subject choices you can choose from. Don't choose the ones about family or the Justicar, as they will end the conversation quickly. The other three will bring you into conversations about those topics. Choose art and then the artist that sculpted the piece on the last victim's desk (you'll recognize the name). Choose music and use the band from the conversation at the entrance. Choose travel and say you go around the galaxy a lot, exploring the unknown. When power comes into question, use the lower, more aggressive topic. Generally, it is best to be as dark and mysterious as possible, instead of heroic and mighty, as it coincides with her nature. It may take you a few tries, but if you are successful on all three subjects, she will invite you back to her apartment.

Spend some time examining all her stuff before you talk to her. Make sure to scan the Assault Rifle under the sword for a damage bonus upgrade. If you do not have a full Paragon or Renegade score, or did not choose those options in the conversation, Samara will eventually burst through the door and a fight will ensue. After she defeats Morinth she will become loyal to you and gain access to the Reave skill.

If you choose only the Paragon or Renegade options throughout the conversation (this requires an almost completely filled Paragon or Renegade score), Samara and Morinth will become locked in a stalemate and you will be able to choose whether to kill Morinth or Samara. Morinth will be automatically loyal to you should you decide to obtain her, and her fourth skill is Dominate, an extremely useful skill for the last mission. Choosing Morinth will net you a sizable amount of Renegade points. Samara, however, is more powerful overall with better biotic damage and skills, and carries the powerful Reave skill. Deciding on Samara will net you Paragon points. Regardless of the outcome, you will have the loyalty of your chosen asari and are one step closer to challenging the Collectors.

Note: You can still gain the Reave power yourself with advanced training even if you choose Morinth.

Tali: Treason

Main article: Tali: Treason

When Tali is accused of treason by the Migrant Fleet's Admiralty Board, Shepard and team has to travel there to attempt to clear her name. She is put under treason for allegedly sending "live" geth parts back to the Migrant Fleet and compromising the security of one of its science ships. Shepard has to attempt to take back that ship to clear her name. In the mean time, they find evidence that clears Tali's name, but points to the recklessness of Tali's father and his team, which may have caused the incident. Shepard has the option of turning in the evidence, or withholding it during the trial. Certain choices have different consequences. These are:

  • Should Shepard decide to present the evidence, Tali is exonerated, but she considers this a betrayal as she pleaded with you beforehand to not tell the Admiralty Board about it. This does not secure her loyalty.
  • Withholding the evidence will result in Tali being exiled, but as she is thankful that her father's legacy and honor are protected, you gain her loyalty.
  • Through certain Paragon or Renegade choices (if available), Shepard can reference Tali's history with Shepard as proof she is not a traitor. If Shepard spent time talking to the admirals about their views on the trial and reasons for infighting through the "investigate" choice before retaking the Alarei, he/she will accuse the admirals of abusing the trial for their own political ambitions. Either choice will exonerate Tali and secure loyalty. After this, Tali says nobody yelled at the admirals in a long time (Renegade) or that no one has ever spoken for her that way (Paragon).
  • Another choice is possible should Kal'Reegar and Veetor be alive and present in the trial. Shepard can appeal to the crowd, resulting in Kal'Reegar and Veetor vouching for Tali, saying that if she is exiled, they are as well. The Admiralty Board capitulates and exonerates Tali. This choice also secures Tali's loyalty. This option is only unlocked by talking to Kal'Reegar, Veetor, and each Admiral prior to departing for the captured ship (Although the choice appears and works even if you only talk to the Admirals Zaal'Koris and Han'Gerrel before leaving for the mission).

At the end of the trial, Shepard is allowed some final words regarding the Migrant Fleet's stance against the geth. You can choose to ask them to not attack the geth and save their ships for the Reapers, encourage them to find another planet to establish a colony on, or you can wish them luck in their war against the geth. This may or may not have an effect in Mass Effect 3.

Note: For additional dialogue, first acquire Legion, and then bring him on board the Migrant Fleet ship along with Tali. You will have to convince the quarian guards to let him onto the ship, otherwise he will be forced to return to the Normandy. (Note that this option grants the opportunity to gain several Paragon/Renegade points, which can be handy for maxing out those scores to unlock the most options in the Jack and Samara loyalty missions).

Thane: Sins of the Father

Main article: Thane: Sins of the Father

Thane will ask that you help him find and stop his son on the Citadel, who has followed in his father's footsteps and become an assassin, and to make amends. Travel to the Citadel and choose Thane as one of your party members. Go and talk to Captain Bailey in the C-Sec office and select the option to discuss Thane's son. He will say that Thane's son was spotted talking to Mouse, a street urchin. You can find Mouse outside the Dark Star club. Talk to him and he will say that the son's target is a local anti-human politician. Go back to Bailey and have him bring in a local crime boss, in order for you to ask him a few questions. After a rather amusing episode of you and Thane interrogating the crime boss by playing "good cop/bad cop", you will be placed on catwalks running the length of the route.

Before doing anything else, pick up the datapad for a Heavy Pistol damage upgrade. Follow the politician (easily visible due to his bright red krogan bodyguard) and, each time there is a box to update Thane, activate it. Near the end of the route you will bump into a stock boy; use the Renegade interrupt to knock him out or talk him down using a dialogue option. After this, you will arrive at the politician's apartment, as the son attempts the assassination. You can choose the Paragon option to have Thane and his son have a nice long talk; or you can also execute the hostage yourself (this does not affect the success of the mission). That is the end of Thane's Loyalty mission. Thane's loyalty mission is one of two which requires no combat (the other is Samara's mission).

Note: While you are on the catwalks, failure to update Thane each time before the timer bar runs out will result in Thane's son successfully murdering the politician, mission failure and not receiving Thane's loyalty.

Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

Main article: Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

Zaeed must travel to Zorya and complete an earlier assignment before he can turn his attention fully to Shepard's mission.

Move through the forested areas and dispatch the enemies guarding the checkpoint. Enemies in this mission consist mostly of various types of Blue Suns soldiers (including Heavies, armed with missile launchers, and Pyros, armed with flamethrowers). After the fight there will be a cutscene at the bridge, where Zaeed explains his prior history with the Blue Suns. Continue to the gatehouse, where Zaeed will confront Vido Santiago and begin shooting at the refinery's gas pipes. Kill the enemies and open the door.

At this point, Shepard must choose either to put out the fire thus saving the lives of the refinery workers or to pursue Santiago and leave the workers to burn to death:

  • Save the workers (Paragon) - This path provides Shepard with two salvage options (each worth 6000 credits) and the Heavy Ammo Upgrade. Use the fuel valves to clear a path to the control room, and activate the fire suppression system.
  • Pursue Vido (Renegade) - This path provides a salvage option (worth 6000 credits) to the right side of the room after killing a group of five enemies. Proceed down the passageway to obtain the Assault Rifle Damage upgrade from the research terminal and then battle a group of nine enemies. Near the end of the path, Shepard can pick up a crate of palladium.

At that point, both paths will lead to a hallway where Shepard can pick up the M-451 Firestorm flamethrower heavy weapon. There will be two enemies and a weapons locker with power cells right beside it.

After entering the large room, waves of Blue Suns mercenary enemies (including Pyros) will arrive to fight the player and delay Shepard's squad. Take them out; watch out for the Pyro enemies and do not allow them to close into range. The tanks on the ceiling can also be shot to cause them to fall onto enemies standing below. The final wave consists of a YMIR Mech. After clearing the room, check the small rooms to the side for salvage, and the proceed out the large door.

What happens next depends on the choice the player made earlier during the mission. If the player chose to assist Zaeed, he will kill Santiago and the mission will be over, with Zaeed's loyalty secured. If Shepard chose to save the workers, Santiago will escape in his Gunship. A Paragon dialogue option allows Shepard to make Zaeed loyal, otherwise Zaeed's loyalty will not be secured.

Kasumi: Stealing Memory

Main article: Kasumi: Stealing Memory

During the encounter with Kasumi Goto on the Citadel, if asked about a deal Cerberus made with her prior to her meeting with Shepard, she will reveal that her former partner and lover, Keiji Okuda, was tracked down and killed by the arms dealer, Donovan Hock. She asks Shepard to assist her in infiltrating Hock's estate during a party on the human colony of Bekenstein in the Boltzmann system in the Serpent nebula and breaking into the vault to recover Okuda's graybox. Kasumi will be the only squad member with you on this mission and you will not be able to use your weapons and armor until after you enter the vault. After a short briefing en route to Hock's estate, you arrive with Kasumi under the alias Solomon Gunn (if Shepard is male) or Alison Gunn (if Shepard is female), a mercenary leader based in the Terminus Systems, presenting a statue of Saren Arterius as a gift which conceals your armor and a weapons cache. Kasumi is denied entrance into the estate but will follow you using her cloaking technology. Disabling the security devices to gain access to the vault is mostly passive with, at most, seven Eclipse mercenaries to fight depending on your approach.

After you gain entrance into the vault, you can equip your weapons and armor and enter. You can interact with the various statues and objects to learn about them. There is also a M-12 Locust submachine gun next to Okuda's graybox that you can pick up and use. Once you recover the graybox, Donovan Hock will reveal himself via hologram and go into a monologue to which a Renegade interrupt can shut him up. He will then order his mercenaries to attack. You will then have to fight your way through Eclipse Engineers, Troopers, Heavies, and Vanguards with LOKI and YMIR mechs as you make it to the landing platform for extraction via the Kodiak shuttle. Once on the landing platform, Hock will ambush you and Kasumi while piloting a shielded A-61 Mantis gunship with Eclipse mercenaries appearing from any of three elevators surrounding you. Taking out the shields on the gunship will cause Hock to reactivate them in which Kasumi will tell you to eliminate the remaining Eclipse mercs in order for her to disable Hock's shields. After you take out the mercs, a brief cutscene will show Kasumi shutting down the shields, allowing you to take out the gunship's armor. Once Hock's gunship is destroyed, eliminate any remaining mercenaries and the Kodiak will descend for extraction.

Once aboard the Kodiak, a dialogue between Keiji's hologram and Kasumi will occur in which you will learn that the graybox is a storage device containing sensitive information potentially incriminating the Alliance if ever exposed to the Citadel council. Furthermore, Keiji's memories of his relationship with Kasumi are also locked away in the graybox. Keiji's hologram asks Kasumi to destroy the data for it will make Kasumi a target. Unable to save the memories and destroy the data, Shepard can either tell Kasumi to destroy the data or keep it. Either outcome does not affect Kasumi's loyalty.

Act 3

Suicide Mission

Before starting the Suicide Mission purchase the armor, weapon, and shielding upgrades for the Normandy, as for each one of these not purchased a squad member will die during the run to the Collector base.

The following list will show, in order of perference, which crew member will die if you haven't upgraded that part

  • Heavy Ship Armor: Jack
  • Multicore Shielding: Kasumi, Legion, Tali, Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt
  • Thanix Cannon: Thane, Garrus, Zaeed, Grunt, Jack, Samara/Morinth

Note: This tier is sorted by the characters' order of dying in descending order. Squad members on the "Multicore Shielding" list will not die if they are in your party when you fight the Oculus. Bringing party members to fight the Oculus will not protect Jack if you do not have Heavy Ship Armor, or anyone on the "Thanix Cannon" list.

After entering the Omega 4 Relay but before the beginning of the suicide mission, your ship will be attacked by an Oculus at two different intervals (between cutscenes). You will be taking in a team to fight the Oculus, though the team selection does not have any consequences or impact on gameplay, thus you may choose anyone you want.

There are three stages to this mission, during which you will have to choose members of your team to perform certain duties. Picking an inappropriate character for those tasks will result in someone's permanent death. Appropriate choice are listed after Ideal, while inappropriate choices are listed after Non-Ideal.

Note: If an ideal squad member is not loyal for your playthrough, consider them to be a non-ideal choice.

If at the end of the final battle only one or no squad members survived, no one will help Shepard onto the ship, resulting in the Commander's death. A single surviving squad member is not enough to save Shepard.

Collector Base: Infiltration

Main article: Collector Base: Infiltration
  • A Specialist Technician is required to infiltrate via the station's vents to bypass the defenses and doors and open the central gate for the rest of the squad.
    • Ideal: Tali, Legion, or Kasumi.
    • Non-Ideal: Anyone else, or a disloyal technician, as they will be shot in the face while forcing the door shut.
  • A Fire-team Leader is required for the second team. The briefing conversation mentions that this member must be experienced in leading a team.
    • Ideal: Garrus, Jacob, or Miranda
    • Non-Ideal: Anyone else, as they will get your specialist technician killed, even if a loyal Tali, Legion, or Kasumi was chosen.
  • Your Team – will be fighting against Collector Drones, Harbingers, and several Collector Assassins, which all have biotic barriers on harder difficulties (Drones gain barriers on Hardcore and Insanity only). Characters with Warp or Incinerate powers are a good choice, as Warp is effective at taking down biotic barriers and armor, and Incinerate deals decent damage against organic enemies along with setting them on fire for a few seconds, and it does some damage against barriers.

You will have to fight several Collector squads, while pressing forward to activate eight different consoles alongside a path beside the vent your Specialist is in. The heat in the tunnel will kill your specialist if you take too long to reach the consoles, so you should clear out the enemies as quickly as possible. Another tactic (although it can take a few tries depending of how skilled you are and the difficulty level) is to ignore enemies and simply rush ahead opening all the consoles in your way. Also, while the Collector Drones fly in to engage your squad, they are highly vulnerable in mid-air to Throw and Concussive Shot. In normal difficulty, this will instantly kill the Collector Drone and Throw Field can take out an entire group before they get a chance to attack you. It is advisable to save your game before you press the last button in case you pick the wrong character for the next session. The mission immediately ends after pressing the final button, so if time is running out it may be worth it to run to the button and press it even if there are enemies remaining.

Collector Base: The Long Walk

Main article: Collector Base: The Long Walk
  • A Biotic Specialist to generate a shield, protecting the squad against Collector swarms.
    • Ideal: Samara/Morinth or Jack.
    • Non-Ideal: Anyone else. Doing so will result in one of your squad mates being carried off by a Collector swarm.
  • A Fire-team Leader for the second team (referred to by Miranda as "the diversion team").
    • Ideal: Garrus, Jacob, or Miranda. Note that Miranda will not die here even if disloyal.
    • Non-Ideal: Anyone else. There is a possibility of this leader dying as the doors close at the end of the long walk (shot in the stomach as the door closes).
  • An Escort to guide the Normandy crew back to the ship. However, you can't use this person for the final battle. Choosing no one results in the death of the Normandy crew.
    • Ideal: Mordin. This will ensure his survival because he has a strong chance of dying if he doesn't escort the crew back, even if he is loyal. An explanation is given here. Otherwise, any loyal squad member is guaranteed to successfully escort the crew back to the ship.
    • Non-Ideal: A team member that you have not secured loyalty from. This squad member will perish while escorting the Normandy crew.
  • Your Team – You will be fighting against Drones, Harbinger, Assassins, waves of Husks and Abominations, and two Scions.
    • Tali and Legion are probably preferable for this segment; their combat drones can escape the biotic field safely and root out any dug-in enemies.

The Biotic Specialist you have chosen will erect a dome-shaped biotic shield encapsulating the squad from Collector swarms. Note: moving outside of the biotic barrier will cause damage to Shepard and eventually result in death. The Biotic Specialist will move slowly through the level and stop three times for you to fight off a wave of enemies before proceeding. The waves encountered are:

  1. Drones and Harbinger - on the far side overlooking a small pit with a large block in the centre.
  2. Husks and Abominations climb up from a ledge then Drones, Harbinger and Assassins will fly in - on a long walkway with a left-facing 'sniper alley'.
  3. Husks, Abominations, and a Scion - at a left-turning bend in the road with a raised platform on the left side.

Final Battle

Note that, while manual saving is not allowed from this point onwards, the game will auto-save at the beginning of each part. Loading an auto-save also gives you the opportunity to change the weapons loadout of your squad. If you die, you will have full ammo when you reload the game, even if you didn't have full ammo at the last save.

Part 1 – Team Selection
  • The team you pick here will stay with you for the rest of the suicide mission – you will be fighting against Drones, Harbinger, Assassins, Abominations, Scions, and one giant Human-Reaper larva.
    • Ideal: Squad members that are loyal to you and are less suited for defensive tasks such as Mordin, Jack, Kasumi, and Tali.
    • Non-Ideal: Squad members that are not loyal to you. They will die after the battle as the Collector station begins to fall apart.
    • Note: The teammates you do not pick are assigned to hold the line from the Collectors. A 'defensive skill' value is calculated for the 'hold the line' group as a whole, based on a defensive value inherent to each character. Loyal characters gain a bonus to this value. If the 'defensive skill' check is not high enough to ensure all characters' survival, squad members will be designated to die based on their vulnerability, with Mordin taking priority if he is present. Leaving behind strong defenders, such as Grunt, Legion, and Zaeed will increase the group's odds of survival. In contrast, certain characters such as Jack, Tali and especially Mordin have less skill in holding their position and should be removed through escort duty or taken along. The entire group will survive as long as the combined defensive skill is high enough, otherwise the game picks a squad member to die based on the scenario of who was left behind and how loyal the group members are. (Squad members who are not loyal are most likely to survive here than anywhere else, provided the group's collective defense skill is high enough, although they will be the first to die if the skill is not.) Leaving behind two strong defenders like Legion, Grunt, or Zaeed should suffice, provided you haven't lost too many people.
    • Note: The order squad members die is as follows: any non-loyal squad members, Mordin, Tali, Kasumi, Jack, Miranda, Jacob, Garrus, Samara/Morinth, Legion, Thane, Zaeed, Grunt

Ammo is very scarce, so powers must be used efficiently, and ammo must be scavenged when possible. Platforms will fly in, carrying several Collector enemies on them. The last platform will contain three Abominations and two Scions. After defeating them there will be a console to trigger the next section.

Note: On both the PC and Xbox 360 versions there is a glitch where the two Scions will not attack until you run up to the platform to engage them. If you have a sniper rifle or Warp you can kill them from 2 platforms away before they are aware you exist.

Part 2 – Destroying the Feeding Tubes

More fly-in platforms with various types of Collectors. After clearing each platform, the armor covering the four tubes of the inactive Human-Reaper will open for a short period of time and should be destroyed immediately.

It is possible to destroy at least two each round. The M-15 Vindicator or M-12 Locust can both be used to destroy two at once without powers. With heightened Adrenaline Rush, the M-6 Carnifex hand cannon can destroy each tube with one shot. The M-76 Revenant machine gun has sufficient ammunition to destroy all tubes in one long burst, finishing the battle in one round. The M-920 Cain can also take out two tubes simultaneously. The Collector Particle Beam can destroy all four tubes in just one go before the covers come down. It is also possible to destroy the tubes or at least heavily damage them by using Warp, so having squad members with this ability can be useful.

Destroying the four tubes will cause the Reaper to fall into the chasm below. Shepard will open up the platform's core and prepare to plant a bomb, but will be contacted by the Illusive Man, who asks Shepard to preserve the facility both to use against the Reapers and to "security humanity's future against the Reapers and beyond." Shepard will then have to make a choice -- destroying the facility is a Paragon action, while preserving the facility for Cerberus to use against the Reapers is a Renegade action.

Note: During this conversation, Shepard will refer to team members giving their lives, even if the entire team has survived up to this point.

Part 3 – The Human-Reaper Larva

You start behind a good barricade spot and you can start shooting at the Reaper's eyes (they are small, but there are 3 of them, two in the left socket, one in the right), or the large weak point on its chest. It has a nasty charge up attack and it would be wise to not expose yourself until it is done. If you are hit by it, your shield will be depleted and will take longer than usual to recharge. (If you're feeling brave, you can also take advantage of the fact that it stays still while charging its attack to get in some reliable damage; listening to the charge-up sound will tell you when it's time to get back behind cover.) Be aware that the Reaper's glowing mouth is vulnerable to your weapons while this attack is charging, and presents a very large target for gunfire. Note that you can fall off the platform you are on, so stay away from the edges.

Once you have damaged the Reaper enough, Collector drones will attack. During this section of the fight Harbinger will drop special Heavy Weapon ammo packs when killed. Also note that the Reaper's mouth weapon will injure or kill any Collector enemies it hits. When the boss' life is below 25%, it will begin dodging around and send more attacks at you. Continue shooting at its eyes or use the M-920 Cain, directed at its chest and the fight should be over shortly, leading to the end of game cutscenes. Sniper rifles are surprisingly effective: when the Reaper leans to the right there are about 3-5 seconds worth of reliable targeting. After the first shot, an Adrenaline Rush (if available) allows for a second reliable shot. This has the advantage of spending very little time outside of cover (just enought to fire two shots), allowing for little to no damage to Shepard.

The target is armored, so sniper rifles get a bonus. Widow and Mantis rifles have a 50% bonus against armor, and, boosted by rifle damage upgrade (50%) and hightened adrenaline rush (100%), the damage is massive. With perfectly aimed shots (it's not hard to aim for the single eye on your left on adrenaline), the Reaper can be dropped in four or five shots on Casual using the Widow with zero damage to Shepard.

Note: At the end of the battle when you talk to Joker via comm link, he will tell you all "survivors" have made it back to the ship, even if you saved your entire team.

Epilogue

The Normandy rushes to escape the immense fireball emanating from the Collector base. If Shepard chose to destroy the base, it explodes in a massive blast that the Normandy barely manages to outrun. If the base was spared, the blast is blue as the radiation destroys all organic matter, leaving the base intact. After the mission ends, there are three possible endings:

  • Shepard goes to speak with the Illusive Man. If the base was destroyed, the star behind the Illusive Man is colored blue. The Illusive Man is furious with Shepard; he tells the Commander that they still have to face the Reapers and that base's technology could have helped them.
  • If the base was spared, the Illusive Man compliments Shepard's decision, the star behind the Illusive Man is colored red. When their discussion is finished, the Illusive Man contemplates a hologram of the spared base.
  • If your actions caused Shepard's death in the final cutscene, Joker is the one to speak with the Illusive Man. If the base was spared, the Illusive Man watches as salvage ships move towards the base.

After the conversation with the Illusive Man, another scene takes place aboard the Normandy.

  • If any of the crew members died during the Suicide Mission, Shepard will be seen mourning over their casket(s). If Shepard died, Joker will be here instead standing over Shepard's casket (which will have a N7 symbol on it). The number of caskets varies depending on how many crew members were killed. The Normandy is shown flying through space, and Joker stares at a datapad displaying schematics of a Reaper.
  • If everyone survived, the Normandy is shown flying through space. Various crew members are fixing the breaches in the Normandy. Shepard is very briefly greeted by Thane in passing, before walking by Legion, Jack, Grunt, and Garrus, who nod as the Commander walks past. Joker hands Shepard a datapad displaying schematics of a Reaper.

In dark space, a Reaper is shown awakening from hibernation as lights appear within its superstructure. As it awakens, the dark void surrounding the Reaper is illuminated by thousands of pinpoints of light, revealing hundreds, or even thousands, of other Reapers. The final shot shows the Reaper fleet flying towards the Milky Way galaxy, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.

After completion of the last mission, cutscenes and closing credits you will be presented with two options: either go back and complete any missed side or loyalty missions, planet scans, free-roam, talk to your squad/crew members on the Normandy SR-2, etc, or start a new career using the same "Shepard" with the stats carried over. Despite how the choice is framed, the options are not mutually exclusive. If you choose to continue playing, you may still start a new career with an import of your completed ME2 character from the main menu at any time. Similarly, if you choose to start a new career immediately after completing the last mission, you can still go back to that old career and continue post final mission play at any time. You will also keep any and all armor components that you purchased from your previous game.

  • Starting a New Game+ will carry the character's stats over, but not the Paragon/Renegade scores. The morality bars bars will be completely empty, even if the character had a previous bonus carrying over from Mass Effect. No bonus credits or resources will be carried over from importing a Mass Effect character, though the bonus credits and resources that are given to all new Mass Effect 2 characters after completing the game will still be received. Choosing to go back and continue the game allows you to finish off any incomplete missions, scan planets for mineral extraction, play any downloadable content, and also if you are romancing Kelly or other crew members, to invite them up to the commander's cabin as well as attempt to be seduced by Morinth if you recruited her (although that results in your death). Furthermore, you can speak to each of your surviving squad members and hear a one-time-only comment on the decision you made regarding the Collectors' base. If you choose to keep it and turn it over to the Illusive Man, your teammates will express scepticism -- surprisingly, this includes Grunt and Mordin, who both encouraged Shepard to preserve the base as a weapon against the Reapers if part of Shepard's squad on the final mission. If the base is destroyed, the entire party approves -- surprisingly, this includes even Cerberus loyalist Miranda. You will also hear your fellow crew members congratulating you on the mission.
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