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Story spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Also Dragon Age: Origins.


Well, that was depressing.

Ok, have the map (which, really, activating it THERE maybe wasn’t smart….), and decided to save the Salarians, on the idea that living pathfinders who were, you know, trained for it, might be smart. That pissed Drack off no end, and that video clip of the poor Krogan I left behind being led off was depressing. Felt terrible for all involved. Depressing session.

But, while there was certainly a lot of story, I got the sense this was a “move the story along” bit (which you ALWAYS get at this point of a game) and ASK a lot of questions rather than a theme bit. The usual “We shall fight and I will say stuff and then something will happen and we will run away” thing.

Props to the game for avoiding that by “killing” Ryder and making the archon a hologram. “Hey, can I just call into this meeting? The one where we fight? Cuz I’m kinda working at home that day….”

We did kinda fuck everything up. “Let’s turn on the map here!” “Let’s go back to the nexus now that I’m wearing a transmitter!” “Let’s go back to the tempest through the void of space without wearing helmets….oh that worked…..why’d that work? Uh……”

Why DID that work? Never mind.

I mean, we have SOME themes. The kett really ARE like us, aren’t they? They’re studying stuff all over the place, just like us. Sure, our tasks are just “scan a bunch of everything,” and not “kill everything,” but we’re doing it for our own ends. We want to terraform planets, change the weather, everything, so we can be there, make it all like OUR home, and they want the same thing: terraform planets so everyone is like them.

It’s the age old story of selective imperialism. In real history books, English imperialists get far better treatment than, say, Spanish ones. English imperialists had turkey dinners with the natives! We brought knowledge and a helping hand! We worked together! I mean, they gave us that whole “bury a fish with your crops” trick, right? Those dirty Spaniards? All they did was try to make everyone Catholic and killed them if they didn’t convert! All they wanted was gold! Naughty!

Why the discrepancy? Cuz the English won, and this society is the result of that. The English are us, even if we aren’t English.

So here we have the “good” guys, us. We’re cooperating! Eating protein sludge with the natives! FLIRTING with them for God’s sake! Sure, we want all their stuff and we want to change all their planets, but we’re FLIRTING and totally NOT killing them and bringing knowledge! (Did you get the dialog when Tann is trying to trade with the Angara and all he has is “knowledge….wisdom….” over and over and the Angara keep saying “We already have that?” And Tann keeps insisting his is worth something?)

The Kett are like those naughty Spaniards! Trying to change everyone! Strip the land of its metaphorical gold! Totally NOT like us at all! Savages! Killers! Boo!

And, while I dislike the archon very much, there is some themeage there, isn’t there?


Well, it’s not as if we could have lugged that big piece of rock back to the Tempest to activate it there, right? Besides, the kett already know where Meridian is, so it’s not as if it really matters, other than that activating it in the archon’s chamber caused us to spend some time hanging around there waiting to be discovered and attacked.

The decision was depressing. Definitely one of those “you can’t really win here” choices. I also saved the salerians, because Pathfinder, and Drack was so mad.

“Even though you already saved their whole ark, it was more important to grab a few more salerians than to save my scouts.”

Ouch, man. Ouch. I feel really bad about that! But that’s also not really fair, because I wasn’t saving a few more salerians, I was saving a Pathfinder! Who happened to be salerian, but that wasn’t the main point I was interested in.

I made the judgement call that a Pathfinder was probably more important to the survival of the Milky Way species than some scouts. Even though they were probably excellent scouts!

But I can understand why he’s angry, because from his point of view, it’s just another in a long line of his people getting left out because of reasons. There’s always some very logical explanation for why it’s more important to save the people who happen to not be krogan!–from his vantage.

I feel bad for playing into that, but at the same time, I think the Pathfinder might be good to have (and we’re already down one in my game because I didn’t talk the turian into taking the job). I could just see running into some situation in the endgame where not having a Pathfinder around to do something results in disaster. (Although I did also have a momentary thought, “maybe if I work it so there are NO other Pathfinders left, I can wield outsize influence and seize power!” So that’s also a possibility…one I have now missed out on.)

At least we sided with the krogan colony earlier. I figure maybe he’ll eventually cut me some slack based on that, because I HAVEN’T always been on the side of whoever happens to not be krogan, I worked to help the krogan and gave the giant battery or whatever to them instead of the Nexus, so maybe he’ll accept that in this case I genuinely wasn’t making a decision based on species.

Last time I tried talking with him he wasn’t actively yelling at me anymore, but I don’t know if he’s forgiven me or is just ignoring the situation out of professionalism.

Anyway, yeah, depressing. One hates upsetting ones companions. It makes me sad when not everyone loves me!!!!!

As for the kett, there are certainly parallels between us and them, no arguing that. Makes you feel a bit for the Roekaar.

I dunno, though…I think there can be a lot in intentions (like the asphalt for the road to hell!), so lumping “well, we want to live here, and they want to kill everyone, same same” is iffy.

Absolutely granted, a lot of times it works out pretty much equally badly (“yeah, we just want to live here…so you’ll have to, you know, move…and possibly die of our diseases…and then keep moving because we also want to live over there…yeah, a little more moving, that spot actually looks kind of nice…oh darn, now we have to kill you because you got SO UNREASONABLE and wouldn’t move…”).

But still, “we came here on purpose to wipe out your species” is extra bad.

But yeah, we do have a lot in common with the kett. And maybe that’s why we can’t flirt with them! We’re too much alike. It would never work.


Yup. I did the same thing with the scouts.

And it came through that his anger was also about “And I trusted you, and you’re just another one of those in authority that shits on the Krogan.” It was anger AND disappointment. Ouch, indeed.

But yes, even though I do have a turian pathfinder, we’re both untrained dweebs. This salarian actually IS a pathfinder. That’s gotta count for something, right? Has to.

I just played some, and yeah, Drack’s pissed. And, you know, good on the game for making it last. Often, anger, like romance, happens for one conversation then it’s over. Drack is still mad.

And that bomb thing might have been important to the whole story line. I checked the codex for other reasons (kissed Suvi. Ahem. Want to see where we stand) and it said “Even though angered that you didn’t save his scouts, Drack DECIDED TO STAY with your squad.” Emphasis mine. Implication: there was a way he would NOT decide to stay with your squad. Interesting.

As for us killing everyone, that could still happen, right? We’re working under the assumption that everyone and everything will just LOVE it when we turn Eos into a seaside paradise including all of the creatures that spent millions of years adapting to the climate and environment of Eos. “Hey guys, don’t worry that we’re drastically changing your climate overnight. You’ll LOVE it! Totally love it! WE love it, therefore you are GOING to love it cuz we all agree, right?

I dunno, man. Yes, the kett are very, very bad. Very bad. They want to make everyone like them, and kill everyone who doesn’t go along with it, and they look down on anyone who isn’t like them as a subspecies. Yes. They do.

But dude, they’re HONEST about it, to everyone, including themselves.

Well….wait. I was going to say they just showed up and it was clear what they were doing and it was all on purpose, but I’m back on Voeld about to find an asari ark and there’s a quest there about finding the past and first contact between the Angara and kett. I’ll wait to keep talking until then.

As for flirting with the kett…we’re too much alike, and anyway Suvi’s cuter.


Yeah, do some stuff about first contact and we’ll talk, ’cause…no, they were not upfront about it. Not in the sense of “hi, you don’t know us, but we’re here to forcibly absorb your species into our galactic empire!”

Which, yeah, would have been honest, and we could have given them props for that. But I mean, we already knew they weren’t totally honest, because no one knew they were turning angara into kett until we broke into that facility, right? Jaal was horrified, everyone was horrified, exaltation was a terrible surprise to everyone, etc.

So, the kett did not show up being all forthright about their plans in that respect, at least.

You kissed Suvi! Nice one. Good luck sticking it out to a happy conclusion full of graphic nudity and warm cakes.

Also, good info on Drack DECIDING to stay…that definitely implies that he might have decided not to, and I bet if there’s an option where he decides to leave, it’s when you gave the…drive core, was it?…to the Nexus instead of the krogan. Because then he would certainly have a pattern, where you claim to care about krogan but consistently support other species/priorities instead. Our way, at least we have a history of supporting krogan in the past. (I suppose if we’d given the drive core to the Nexus, but then saved his scouts instead of the Pathfinder, he also would have stayed. Hm.)

Whew! I bet we totally dodged a companion-loss on that one. Nice work, us. I would hate to lose Drack. He’s a tank, and also just a good guy. Him and Vetra are great together–their blog is going to be the talk of the Andromeda-net.


Fair point about kett honesty. I always forget I’m behind you. I’ll get on that tonight. Mrs. McP is out networking. Sandwiches and games ahoy!

I’m working on Suvi! She IS cute, she is. And now she’s being all giggly when I walk to the galaxy map. Kallo is not happy.

I always forget Bioware gets sneaky on you and lets you lose companions (couldn’t you KILL Leliana? I think you could, and I think anyone would leave if they disapproved too much.) Losing companions is not good.

In other news, October’s free games are out and are two games that make me go….hmmm….maybe.

One is the double feature of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Machine for Pigs, two games that are supposed to be great but scary as hell so I’ll go hmm…..nope.

And the other is Metal Gear Solid 5, a game that released to great reviews, is an open world, story heavy game with great gameplay, and is right up our alley but for being really long and who has time for that?

I’m conflicted.


You COULD kill Leliana! Or, you could make her so angry she attacked you, and then you had to kill her to save yourself. Defiling the ashes of Andraste would do that. I admit I tried it just to see what would happen, and then I promptly reloaded a previous save and didn’t do it, because…duh, it was stupid.

Also, if you failed to be nice enough to Zevran, he would turn on you and you’d have to kill him to save yourself. (This happened to me my first playthrough, when I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t realize you had to talk to people and stuff. I was so naive! And so completely unaware of the driving purpose of BioWare games!)

And yeah, I think pretty much all of them would abandon you if you let their approval drop low enough (which makes sense: why stick around on what’s probably a suicide mission with a person you don’t even like?).

DAO companions did not mess around.

We’ve discussed “A Machine for Pigs” in the past, and concluded that it sounded like an enormous NOPE. Although it’s supposed to be good in a terrifying way, and free…

And man, just exactly what we need right now is a giant, long, complicated open world game to get into! Let me at it!

Hmm…I’m honestly going to probably just forget to log on and download either of these, and never have time to regret it.


Indeed, DAO companions did not mess around. And nor does Drack, and we should’ve seen it coming.

It’s tough with the free games, though! Stuff we might like? THAT’S FREE????

We LOVE stuff that’s free, even if we don’t like it!

T SHIRT!!!!!

I’m still conflicted.


We do! We love free, even when we don’t like it! I didn’t like Day of the Tentacle, but I liked that it was free.

Drack does not mess around. I could see Cora deciding to take no more crap and bailing on you too, to be honest. She’s no-nonsense. And Peebee could leave just because she got bored.

I don’t know, maybe they’d all leave if you played things wrong. Drack really does seem like the one with the most politically charged history, though. I can’t think of anything in any of the other stories that felt like such a potentially deal-breaking choice for the companion involved.

You did Liam’s…there was nothing really there that could have driven him off, was there? Unless maybe we were just totally outraged at the way he sort of tricked us into it, and yelled at him a lot? I played it all nice, like “whatever, it’s fine, just don’t do that again,” but there was an option where you could be angry with him, and maybe that would have made him leave.

And maybe if you were angry with Sid, that would have alienated Vetra, and so on?

Meh. I could ask the internet, but I don’t want to risk spoilage. Maybe once I’m done.


I can see that. I did read through (mostly to make sure no one was all “Once word got around she was smooching Suvi they lost interest”) and no one else was like “decided,” but I wasn’t a bastard to anyone else. We shall see.


Well, it’s nice that everyone else is still hoping. I guess. I mean, more chances of heartbreak later, but hey.

Although no one seemed very heartbroken when I committed to Peebee. Even Jaal, with his “my dearest letters,” doesn’t seem to have any opinion now. Everybody’s just all “yeah, that’s cool, whatever.”

Which is good, because we’d hate the awkwardness of having to actually deal with a brokenhearted companion (one strong argument for maybe NOT actually putting the moves on all one’s co-workers!), but it does seem a little unlikely.


Yeah, those “my dearest” letters are just a little too much too fast, there. I get it’s an Angara thing, but dude. DUDE.


It did come across as a bit intense, very early on. Which is a good sign that I totally could have seduced him eventually! For science! If only I hadn’t been distracted by Peebee.

Some other human is going to get into the record books as the first to sleep with an angaran. And I call myself a Pathfinder! Sigh.

Although really, I’m sure someone’s already done it while I’ve been out fighting kett and collecting booze ingredients and giving large potentially explosive devices to krogan. That stuff takes up valuable time! Now that there’s an angaran embassy AND a bar on the Nexus…


Dude, isn’t that the one with STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT and nudity? I think it was. The NSFW video/guide I sent you?

Of COURSE it’s the Angaran. Because.

One of these days it’ll have to be the turian cuz I still don’t know how that works.


Yeah, I’m not sure how ‘nude’ turians would even get. They’ve always got the exoskeleton…presumably…

This is why we need science to address these questions.


There’s a reason I’m going off on this tangent.

If you haven’t, and you want to watch actual TV, the new reboot of the Tick is more than worth your time.

In it, Tick wonders: “Am I never naked…..or ALWAYS naked…..”

An apt question in many games.


I am intrigued, but also have to confess that I will almost certainly not watch it. There is much good TV out there, and I watch exactly none of it. Even when it poses important nudity-related questions!


Yeah, but this is only 6 20 minute episodes so far. You chew right through them. That’s how TV should be.

Because we need the TV for games.


Yeah…I need the TV for games. Always. Even for 20-minute stretches. If it’s on, it had better be displaying my game.