A Reaper's interior

To pass through the Omega 4 relay safely, the Normandy will need a Reaper-designed "Identify Friend / Foe" (IFF) device. One of these Reaper IFFs may be found on a derelict Reaper hulk being investigated by Cerberus.

Acquisition[edit | edit source]

Upon completion of the Collector Ship mission, the Illusive Man will give Shepard the location of a derelict Reaper in order to acquire its IFF. A Cerberus science team had been tasked with investigating it but the team has since stopped reporting in. The Reaper is orbiting the brown dwarf Mnemosyne in the Thorne system in the Hawking Eta cluster.

Warning: A countdown begins once you complete this mission, with potentially dire consequences for the crew of the Normandy if Shepard delays too long in proceeding through the Omega 4 Relay. If you want to optimize the outcomes for the Normandy's crew, you should strongly consider delaying this mission until all currently available recruitment and loyalty missions are completed.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

A dead Reaper in the middle of nowhere

You will be facing hordes of Husks in this mission, with a sprinkling of Scions and Abominations. In other words, you are primarily dealing with armored opponents (if on hardcore or above; otherwise the husks have no armor) swarming you in large numbers at close ranges so it's worth thinking about your combat strategy and preparation for this mission a little differently than most missions.

Combat Tips:

  • The most important thing to remember is to keep moving and don't let yourself get surrounded. Even a single husk attacks very quickly and each attack interrupts you, but they are fairly clumsy so if you keep moving they will have a hard time cornering you.
  • On higher difficulties it is paramount to have an area effect ability that can strip armor such as Incineration Blast, Inferno Grenade, or Area Reave.
  • Once armor is stripped from a group of husks (or on lower difficulties where they are unarmored) they can be instantly finished with physics-based attacks. Once again area effect abilities are most useful, e.g. Shockwave, Throw Field, or Concussive Blast. Note that Pull Field is slightly more risky to use at it can bring Abominations that explode on death closer to you or your squadmates. The Adept's Singularity will usefully tie up groups of husks and make them easy targets, and will produce some insta-kills. A Sentinel's Tech Armor detonation will kill any unarmored husks in a very large area and any with armor should still be staggered briefly.
  • If Shepard is a class that lacks a force or biotic skill for instantly killing husks such as the Infiltrator, Slam is an excellent bonus power choice as even at only Rank 1 it provides this benefit on a fast 3 second cooldown.
  • On all difficulties it is useful to bring a character with an ammo power effective against armor, especially when evolved to be shared with the whole squad.
  • Husks are vulnerable to head shots but even more vulnerable to leg shots: shooting off their legs kills them instantly.
  • If husks are frozen with Cryo Ammo and Cryo Blast, they will shatter automatically (no followup shot or ability required). This only works when their armor has been stripped, of course. The M-96 Mattock and/or M-3 Predator are particularly effective with Cryo Ammo as they need only a single shot to freeze a target. Be careful about mixing freezing tactics with force based abilities however - enemies in the process of freezing are immune to the effects of force-based attacks such as biotics until they are totally frozen.
  • Carried by Shepard, the M-5 Phalanx heavy pistol if fully upgraded with its damage buffed as much as possible with an anti-armor ammo power and the right armor pieces or class passives can one-shot the armor protection of husks even on Insanity difficulty. To accomplish this it's usually necessary for Shepard to possess Tungsten or Inferno Ammo for maximum damage and not any "squad" version of an ammo power.
  • If you are playing on Veteran difficulty or below, this is a great place to get all 20 kills for the "Brawler" achievement – there is no shortage of husks than run right at you that can be knocked back with a melee and then finished with a weapon. This is not recommended on Hardcore or Insanity where husks are protected by armor.
  • If you have access to it, melee damage increasing armor pieces and upgrades can be useful as you will be fighting at close quarters a lot.
  • The best heavy weapons to equip in general for this mission are either the M-622 Avalanche or the M-100 Grenade Launcher. The explosion force of M-100 grenades will instantly destroy groups of husks even on higher difficulties however caution should be used at close range as the weapon deals damage to self and allies. The Avalanche also deals excellent splash damage and will freeze and shatter unprotected husks.

Squadmate Tips:

  • Grunt is perhaps the most "no-brainer" squad member choice, because in addition to Squad Incendiary Ammo for armor stripping and Concussive Blast for physics-based insta-kills, his melee charge attack can kill multiple husks in one attack, regardless of armor. Finally his health regeneration and Fortification abilities make him almost impossible for the husks to take down – a high level Grunt can literally run through husks for the whole mission and never go down even on Insanity.
  • If you have Zaeed he can be a useful squadmate to bring especially if his passive trait has been upgraded to Mercenary Warlord granting him 50% bonus weapon damage. His Inferno Grenade can quickly whittle down armor on multiple husks while Concussive Shot upgraded for area of effect can be used for physics kills on grouped husks.
  • Samara or Thane can be useful to bring as they both have biotic abilities that can be used to instantly kill groups of husks if properly evolved. Thane can have high weapon damage with his upgraded passive ability while Samara is particularly useful as her Area Reave can strip armor from groups of husks and her passive ability Asari Justicar grants her faster ability recharge than most other squadmates especially if fully upgraded.
  • Mordin Solus can be a powerful squadmate on this mission as with his omni-tool upgrade, his Incineration Blast becomes the only squadmate ability that can one-shot the armor of multiple husks at once even on Insanity difficulty (Samara's Area Reave comes close but doesn't quite kill the armor completely on Insanity). In addition, his Full Cryo Blast has a very fast cooldown and can freeze and shatter groups of unprotected husks. A great strategy is to use Grunt to tank a bunch of husks and when he's surrounded by a large group, use Mordin's Incinerate to remove all their armor at once leaving them open to instant kills from other abilities.
  • On lower difficulties, Jack can be a useful teammate. Her Shockwave and Pull powers can wipe out entire groups of husks, while her relevant class powers and upgrades will ensure she hits harder and faster with her biotic powers. If she's loyal, she'll also have access to Warp Ammo, enabling her to hit enemies with her shotgun and pistol and still do considerable damage.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Cerberus Ship[edit | edit source]

Go through the door. On the left, there is a small laboratory with a Wall Safe (+2000 credits) that can be bypassed, an accessible Terminal (+2000 credits), another Wall Safe (+4000 credits) that can be bypassed, and a Work Log. Dr. Chandana is the leader of the Cerberus research team. His log indicates the beginning of Reaper indoctrination of his team. At the end of the hallway are two medical stations with two Medi-gels, and another Work Log by a Cerberus scientist, reporting on the examination of specimens inside the Reaper. Dr. Chandana was apparently "listening" to the specimens.

Go through the airlock into the Reaper itself. The Reaper activates its kinetic barriers. Joker radios that the Normandy cannot retrieve them until the barriers come down. EDI advises destroying the mass effect core to remove the barriers. However, the mass effect core also powers the mass effect fields that prevent the Reaper from falling into the brown dwarf.

Reaper Interior[edit | edit source]

Across the catwalk the next work log plays the message:

"What the hell is this? How can we remember the same thing?"
Cerberus Scientist: You're married? You never mentioned that.
Cerberus Researcher: Katy had anger management issues. When my brother got married, the best man tried to hit on her. She kicked him down the church steps.
Cerberus Scientist: Wh—? Katy's my wife! I must have told you the story.
Cerberus Researcher: No. I know my wife. I remember — that day was the only time I saw her wear stockings.
Cerberus Scientist: Yeah. The kind with seams up the back. That's what I remember, too.
Cerberus Researcher: What the hell is this? How can we remember the same thing?

As soon as you pass by an explosive crate, Husks and an Abomination appear. It is best to backpedal and to blow up the crates when Husks are nearby. Husks only have melee attacks, so it is wise to keep your distance. Also, Abominations do suicide charges and will explode upon death, no matter how they died. Throughout this level in certain areas, Husks spawn by climbing up over the sides of the walkways. There will also be numerous explosive items mainly explosive crates and containers. Use them wisely, because the husks can quickly overwhelm you and your squad. Using Overload on an explosive item produces a larger blast than just shooting it. Try to use Overload on an explosive item only when there is a mass of enemies nearby to maximize the effect.

Once the Husks are down, move up to the next set of crates and be prepared for another fight. There will be more here so the nearby explosive crate is useful. Just make sure that your squadmates are not using the crates for cover. After that group is sent to oblivion, your party comments that this proves that husks must be made from Reaper technology, not geth. There's another work log in this area that plays the message:

"I'm telling you, this ship isn't dead. It knows we're inside it."
Cerberus Scientist: Third day with this headache. You'd think Chandana would have let me take a few hours off. Goddamn!
Cerberus Researcher: What?
Cerberus Scientist: That thing that just… gray thing! It disappeared when I looked straight at it. Came out of the damn wall! Where we took off that panel.
Cerberus Researcher: I didn't see anything. You should lie down.
Cerberus Scientist: I'm telling you, this ship isn't dead. It knows we're inside it.
Cerberus Researcher: Calm down. Now I'm getting a headache.
Be mindful of huge explosion opportunities

Head down the walkway to see and hear gunfire from an unknown party shooting Husks. Your party makes the comments about another person being on the ship. At the end of the walkway to the right are some power cells, a crate of Refined Platinum (+2000 platinum), a Cerberus Rifle that awards a Sniper Rifle Damage upgrade, and a Terminal (+3500 credits).

Turn left into an open area. Take note of the cover, explosive items, and locations of thermal clips before moving too far in. Once you move in waves of Husks and Abominations attack. A Scion is in the final wave. You can retreat back to the walkway if you need a breather or more thermal clips.

Tip: If you are very fast in bypassing and willing to forego the Heavy Skin Weave upgrade, you can go to the right after the first wave, bypass the door, leave the area, and skip the fight. However, any attack on Shepard will interrupt the bypass and you have to start the bypass over. Note that following the bypass there is a brief (several seconds) "airlock procedure" during which you will need to stay alive. Fortunately as long as you take down the first wave of husks before attempting this, the huge hordes that spawn for the last wave won't make it into this passage in time to stop you.

Once you defeat all the enemies, walk to the other end of the room. At the end of the area are a med-kit with Medi-gel, and a hackable Research Terminal which awards a Heavy Skin Weave upgrade. Some Dragon's teeth are visible, and if certain squadmates are present, the person will comment upon them. You can earn some morality points based on your dialogue choice. A Work Log in the area will play the message:

“Chandana said the ship was dead. We trusted him. He was right. But even a dead god can dream. A god — a real god — is a verb. Not some old man with magic powers. It's a force. It warps reality just by being there. It doesn't have to want to. It doesn't have to think about it. It just does. That's what Chandana didn't get. Not until it was too late. The god's mind is gone but it still dreams. He knows now. He's tuned in on our dreams. If I close my eyes I can feel him. I can feel every one of us.”

Once done here, head to the airlock and on to the next area.

Reaper Exterior[edit | edit source]

Cerberus structures form a straightforward path to the Reaper's core

Bypass the door and go through the airlock. A cutscene starts. A geth sniper with bits of N7 armor attached to it snipes several Husks by Shepard's party. The geth recognizes you as "Shepard-Commander", then leaves.

More Husks and an Abomination soon appear; deal with them and then put your squad into cover and walk down the stairs. Once you go past the crate in the center, there will be Husks, an Abomination, and a Scion. You can retreat back upwards to make the stairs as a chokepoint.

Since Husks are melee enemies, it is generally best to stay "on the move" rather than getting in cover - this makes it much less likely you will be trapped by husks, and by moving around you will often confuse them. Obviously as the Scion approaches you will need to either interpose objects between you and it, or move perpendicular to the line of its shockwave. The site of the first battle after you leave the airlock makes a good battlefield-of-last-resort to pull back to - you have room to run around to dodge husks but also the giant tank on the right side to interpose between you and the Scion.

Once the enemies are dealt with, go up the stairs at the other end. To the left will be med-kit with Medi-gel and a Terminal (+3000 credits). Advance carefully because moving too far will result in attacks by more Husks and one Abomination. Once they are down, nearby there is another Terminal (+3500 credits). Down the stairs are more Husks, Abominations, and a Scion. Use the stairs as a choke point again and then take them out. Once done, a med-kit with Medi-gel is on the staircase. A Cerberus Shotgun with a Shotgun Damage upgrade and some power cells await you at the bottom of the stairs around the corner. Further on, up the ramp, are a bunch of thermal clips and another Terminal (+3500 credits). This area will be crucial in the next fight.

The next battle will be Husks, Abominations, and two Scions. This battle will be tough no matter the difficulty because of the amount of enemies that come at you. The Husks will charge at you. Keep your squadmates, and yourself for that matter, back or you will regret it. Use powers, specialized ammunition, and shotguns for close up damage when you need to.

The Reaper IFF

One way to finish this area easily is to retreat back to the room you just came from, where only three or so husks and the two Scions will approach, since the additional husks only spawn when you get close again. Once the Husks are down, focus on the Scions. The Scions will approach last and are easier to deal with than the Husks; the best thing is to take one yourself and use your squadmates against the other. Once they are down, move on but be careful.

When you reach a left turn, get ready because Husks, Abominations, and two more Scions will come crawling over the railings and from the core. Take them out and do not be afraid to backpedal if necessary.

After they all have fallen, pick up the power cells and a little further down near the doorway is a med-kit with Medi-gel. Bypass the door and enter yet another airlock. Inside is the Reaper IFF and a Wall Safe (+2500 credits) that can be bypassed.

Tip: Save your game at this point before the final battle. If you are going to use the M-920 Cain to one shot the Core then get the weapon ready before you go into the room. This saves you a few seconds of waiting for the weapon to ready.

Mass Effect Core[edit | edit source]

The geth in mass effect core area.

Once you enter, the game auto-saves and a cutscene plays. The geth sniper from before is manipulating some controls. It drops a barrier allowing Shepard and the team inside. However, Husks overcome the geth and knock it out.

The objective of the battle is to destroy the Reaper Core, but an iris often closes to cover it, preventing any damage. The iris is open at the beginning, but closes when attacked or when the initial Husks are dead. It will stay closed for between 45 seconds and a minute. Subsequent closures are between 30 and 45 seconds in length. Meanwhile, waves of Husks and Abominations attack you. They respawn as long as the Core is closed, but they always come from the same areas every time. Use that to your advantage if you start to get overwhelmed.

You can only damage the Core when it is open. It will stay open until you have taken its health down by a third, so do not feel pressured into immediately firing into it when it opens up - just take pot shots whenever you're presently safe from husks.

When the Core is open, enemies do not spawn, so it is possible to eliminate them all, then sweep up thermal clips and let powers recharge before shooting up the Core, though this may of course result in the spawning of more total enemies. Squadmates will also revive when the Core is open and all enemies are dead, so it may be best to put off using Medi-gel if the Core is going to open soon. The thermal clips around the room will regenerate so there is no lack of ammunition as long as you can get to them.

Tip: It is a good idea to fight this battle while facing away from the Core as much as possible, as having the Core in view will often result in your powers and your squadmates' powers (if you have them on manual cast) hitting the Core instead of what you were trying to target.

They'll swarm at you from both sides of the raised platform

Unlike the rest of the level, there are no handy explosive items. On the lefthand side on a table, there's a Laptop (+1000 credits). It must be taken during battle since there will be no opportunity to walk around the area afterwards.

Every enemy here is effectively a melee opponent, so mobility is key. If you can just avoid being trapped/surrounded by husks you can keep on the move and be fine. Your best position, when possible, is the top of the central bridge from which you have a commanding view of both sides of the room and can throw area effect powers at the masses of husks. If things get too hot on the bridge then flee down to one side or the other where there is more space to dodge around - remember the husks aren't very good at stopping and turning around, and use their lack of maneuverability against them. Prioritize taking out any Abominations to prevent them from detonating on you or your team.

Be wary of using seeking projectiles of any kind to damage the Core as they can annoyingly lock onto other enemies instead unless you are at the apex of the center walkway and no enemies are in your field of view.

The M-920 Cain can destroy the Core in one direct hit on any difficulty but be careful as a Cain projectile's trajectory can be affected by Mass Effect 2's aim assist, so any enemies highlighted in the HUD when you fire it can cause the shot to fire off target. The Cain ignores cover and is capable of destroying the Core even if its shutters are closed.

Normandy[edit | edit source]

Normandy departs the dead Reaper

Once the battle is over, a cutscene plays. The party debate what to do with the fallen geth, but Shepard makes the decision to take it with them. Joker brings the Normandy alongside the falling Reaper. The squad retreats while pursued by hordes of Husks. They take advantage of the microgravity by tossing the geth into the Normandy's airlock and jumping in afterwards.

In the debriefing, Miranda states that the geth is being stored in EDI's AI Core. Jacob and Miranda debate what to do with the recovered geth. Jacob is in favor of tossing it out the airlock. Miranda wishes to give it to Cerberus. If you decide to the talk to the geth, it will stay onboard deactivated, waiting for you to talk to it, and you gain 20 Paragon points. You can also hand the geth over to Cerberus for 50,000 credits and 20 Renegade points, but Legion is permanently lost as a potential party member.

E-Mail Messages[edit | edit source]

This message is received from the Illusive Man if Legion is activated:

From: Illusive Man

Shepard,

I'm pleased that you were able to recover the Reaper IFF, and I've sent EDI all the necessary protocols to get it integrated successfully into the Normandy's systems. With luck, this will give us the ability to get through the Omega-4 relay and take the fight to the Collectors on our own terms.

I've been notified about the intact geth and your decision to keep it. If you believe that it can be trusted, then go ahead and activate it. Just make sure that EDI is adequately protected against any hacking attempts.

It's not necessarily the decision I would have made, Shepard, but this is your call. You've already cast a wide net in your recruiting efforts, and if the geth are willing to fight the Collectors, then we can use them on the team. I trust you to get the job done, whatever it takes.


Alternatively, the following e-mail is received in case Legion is handed down to Cerberus:

From: Illusive Man

Shepard,

I'm pleased that you were able to recover the Reaper IFF, and I've sent EDI all the necessary protocols to get it integrated successfully into the Normandy's systems. With luck, this will give us the ability to get through the Omega-4 relay and take the fight to the Collectors on our own terms.

I'm extremely pleased with the intact geth you retrieved. It's a fantastic study opportunity and will definitely help our efforts to develop technology to fight the Reapers. Accordingly, I've transferred a bounty to your account.

Mass Effect 3 Consequences[edit | edit source]

If Legion was sold to Cerberus, it will appear as an enemy during Priority: Cerberus Headquarters, and a Geth VI will take its place during the three missions it appears in. If it wasn't activated at all, the same will happen. If it was activated, assuming it survived the suicide mission, it appears in the aforementioned missions and it will be possible to gain both geth and quarian allegiance.

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Mission Summary[edit | edit source]

Reaper IFF successfully retrieved.

Loss of Cerberus team on the Reaper vessel unfortunate but unsurprising. Will use team's health records for comparisons against husks encountered on Reaper for possible insight into indoctrination and husk conversion process.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • It is possible to see Legion standing at the far end of the room when you turn left after the two husks are dropped by its sniper fire. If you look around in the back of the room the shots came from and zoom your weapon, Legion can be seen standing on the ledge at the back. It will walk away once you enter the room.
  • The work log near the Heavy Skin Weave upgrade is most likely a reference to H. P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu. More specifically, it references the couplet "In his house at R'lyeh Dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."
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