Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Day Mass Effect Challenge, Day 12: Favorite NPC

This may seem like it's just a restatement of Day 18: Best Protagonist (NPC), but since it's my blog, I'm saying it's not. Plus, there is always a difference between Favorite and Best, since they don't always have to coincide with each other. Plus, Mass Effect had some awesome NPCs throughout its run, from the rogue AI in the first game to Major Kirrahe in the third, each with his or her own background and needs that weren't always necessarily necessary to the plot as a whole. Being that the NPC cast is so vast (ha, I rhymed), it was a little difficult to narrow it down to one, but I managed to do it.

Gianna Parasini
Via Giant Bomb*
God, I loved Gianna. She was just so damned badass and no-nonsense. A part of me kind of wishes that I could do what she does: corporate espionage. I'm sure that, at some point, I'd completely lose my shit and just go rogue on the complete lack of humanity that thrives in such environments, but Gianna handles it expertly. When Three and I were discussing the character, we both came to the conclusion that she was probably a Gemini: quick thinker, master manipulator, brilliant actor. The ease at which she assumes an identity is so indicative of what a Gemini does that there doesn't seem to be any other zodiac sign that would suit her. And she gets such pleasure from nailing criminals, using her gifts - ones that could easily award selfish desires - for the greater good.

In the first game, Gianna recruits Shepard to retrieve information about Administrator Anoleis (which you can choose to do or not), and in the second, you can help her (again, or not) convince an asari to show you some prototype mods that she stole back on Noveria. You learn quite a bit about her: she grew up poor but was surrounded by wealthy kids, so she figured out how to fit in with them without revealing her own background. She wanted to be a cop but wanted to help her family with bills, so she went with what would pay those, hinting at a much more tender version of herself that she doesn't present to just anyone. Oh, and she also hates skirts.

Sadly, Parasini doesn't return in ME3, which I found disappointing. It wasn't like corporations stopped being greedy just because there was a war on. I mean, in the second game, there was a volus on Illium that was "short-selling prefabs" for monetary benefit, even though he was profiting from the misery and paranoia of the human colonists that wondered if their colony was next. Hell, she could have even been a contact for Shepard, finding information that hinted at Udina being dirty, therefore setting up the Cerberus takeover of the Citadel a bit better**. Plus, Shepard had plenty of side missions that had absolutely nothing to do with the Reaper War, so it wouldn't have detracted from the story, and we'd have had the chance to see her one last time. Damn, even Emily Wong sent an email, but from Gianna? Nothing. It was like she just disappeared.

Honestly, I just loved interacting with her. There was obviously some sort of unresolved sexual tension there, regardless of Shep's gender, but for the most part, she kept it friendly and professional. Both Parasini and Shepard were fighters, albeit a different type, and there was a mutual respect present that could have made for a very interesting relationship, romantic or otherwise. I kind of hope that Dark Horse does a series based on Gianna. While I haven't really enjoyed everything they've put out in their Foundation series, I would think that someone would jump at being able to do a Corporations Are Evil Featuring Gianna Parasini story. I know I would. Hey, Dark Horse! HIT. ME. UP.

* In case you can't read it, the text says, "I love nailing asari. So ageless and superior - then you get them, and they squeal like schoolgirls."
** This was a problem that I had with the game. There wasn't ever really an explanation as to why Udina helped the Illusive Man (not that anybody cared because Udina was pretty much universally despised), and it was just kind of sprung on you. 
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