Friday, November 14, 2014

30 Day Mass Effect Challenge, Day 14: Favorite Loyalty Mission

There's really only one loyalty mission that I don't like at all, but that's only because I really dislike the character (ahem, it's Jacob, in case you were wondering). I am actually happy that loyalty missions were only a Mass Effect 2 thing*, because good God, Mass Effect 3 already had so much to do, and I'm hoping that people would already be loyal to you, especially after you, you know, defeated the Collectors and Sovereign. But who am I kidding? This is Mass Effect, where nobody truly believes you until the Reapers land directly on Vancouver.

Mordin: Old Blood
But anyway, out of all the loyalty missions in ME2, my favorite was probably Mordin's. It has the perfect mix of action, research, character development, and storytelling. As the layers of the mystery surrounding Maelon's disappearance and "capture" by the Weyrloc clan are slowly peeled away, we see a different side of Mordin: deeply caring, spiritual, and - even if he isn't ready to admit it just yet - remorseful in regards to his involvement with the genophage. It makes sense why he would eventually tip the krogan off about the survival of the females that were whisked away to Sur'kesh. The bits of information that are revealed don't slow down the pace and actually give you a better understanding of how incredibly dire the situation is for the krogan. One of my favorite scenes is after they discover the body of a deceased female and Mordin says what amounts to a prayer for her soul; he has just started to realize, staring at the corpse, the enormity of his actions, and it would seem that, at that very moment, he had decided to make difference.

Dealing with Maelon presented an ethical dilemma for me, especially considering the choice given to me on the Collector base. Do you keep the data from such horrific events, or do you deem it too tainted to be useful? On only one playthrough did I keep the Collector base in tact, but I was surprised that Mordin reacted in the way he did: he completely disapproved of my actions, despite the fact that we had done the very same thing with Maelon's data. Perhaps it was because he didn't trust the Illusive Man (a well-founded bias, I assure you), but it seemed inconsistent with his character.

Of course, Mordin is one of my favorite characters in the whole series; ultimately, it was him singing "Scientist Salarian" that cemented him on the list, but watching his character arc from his first appearance to his last, he's probably one of the more well-developed characters, connected not just to the main story but also to that of the krogan, my favorite species and subplot. And that arc truly did begin right here, shooting our way through the cavernous hospital on Tuchanka.

I haven't done this before, but hey, here are honorable mentions: Garrus and Legion.

* I guess you could count helping Wrex find his family armor and Garrus locate and kill Dr. Heart in the first game. Neither of those missions really change the story, as far as I can tell, though, except maybe when you confront Wrex on Virmire. Please correct me if I'm incorrect about this. 
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