Sunday, February 5, 2012

Into the Wild Starry Yonder: Reconnaissance in Bed

I'll just come out and say that I'm sorry that I don't update this as much as I promised or would like, or that you expected. But to be honest, my exploits between Noveria and Virmire were absolutely boring and I'm quite sure that you wouldn't appreciate me trying to make it special or anything. So right now, I'll make a short summarized version of the latter two Mass Effect articles I was going to write.

ME blog header

Summing up my previous article, I had left you all with a detailed piece on my exploits in Mass Effect up to the end of the Noveria mission. The most notable of this was how I intended to finally use Liara T'Soni, the Asari biotic teammate, as more than just a previous love interest. I had finally teamed her up with my long time pal Garrus allowing her to get off the ship, get her out into the galaxy, and fight some Geth. What surprised me after my inclusion of her in the team was not how much a biotic could be helpful as I experienced with Jack in Mass Effect 2, but just how much of a fulfilling experience I got from her. Apart from the fact that she was never knocked out like Garrus was half the time, Liara added a little something to the experience that let me to a place I wasn't intending to go again.

From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to start a romantic relationship with the game's sole Human biotic, Kaidan Alenko. Romancing him as my love interest over this new characters course in the trilogy ahead was something I was very interested in considering how new it was to me along with everything else I was doing differently. So I flirted with him, and he flirted back. We were professionals at it and that sweating we both had from under those bright ass lights only helped him become more a video game character, of course. Wanting to romance him made me appreciate him even more than I did when I first started playing this game years ago. His story as a troubled biotic in love with one of his peers and helping protect her just proved that he would be a worthy candidate to share the Normandy's bed with. And when the time came to sacrifice someone on Virmire to set off the nuke, I had already made my decision: Kaidan would be my virtual boyfriend.

Going back to the Citadel and trying convincing the Council to try to let me go after Sovereign in the Terminus Systems to no avail, the only thing that was on my mind was finally being with him. Though, something I feared came back to bite me in the ass and ruin 500+ saves, yet at the same time, made me realize something.

Right before we stepped into the Mu Relay, the door to my quarters opened. I expected a well-toned Navy officer to walk through those doors and hold me in his arms, letting him to do me what I wanted so much. Instead, in walked a petite blue-skinned beauty. I screamed for a good little while, debating to myself whether or not I should, or could, push her away and go into the final battle without a love in my arms. Though as I said, I found out something about how I carry myself as Shepard. I go through the game trying to save those who have no means to do it themselves. Looking back at Therum, where I had rescued Liara, this was just the case. Throughout these games, I almost never picked the supremely confident, emotionally un-scarred, and invulnerable people to love. It was always those who had to throw themselves into the fight to prove themselves so they could grow as a person. Looking at Liara, I see a young woman who's just barely out of her teen years (relatively speaking) who hasn't found her place in the galaxy, and more importantly, could potentially allow herself to be susceptible to criminal and evil influence. I realized that I had always held Liara as something more than just a teammate, but I never knew she was more to me in these games than just a simple love interest.

As much as I wanted to do something different, being with Liara just made sense. We were connected in these games more than I believed and I can't deny the fact that we have amazing programmed chemistry that makes me want to guard her and at the same time, learn from her. So I went along with it and enjoyed seeing Natalie Shepard grow from little more than a personification of myself into a woman of her own. This is the first time in my nearly 15 years of playing video games that I understand how advanced they've become, that the characters we control can evolve from something you wanted or intended. Sure, it might just be a simple button press that I did that caused this, and little more. But its something more special than that and I know that this will only happen ever increasingly in the years to come.

So onto Ilos we went, with Liara and Garrus by my side. Liara again proved her resourcefulness and a positive addition to the story by giving her input while we treaded lightly through the ancient halls. Halls that Prothean scientists once ran through with a furious passion to save not only themselves, but to ensure a future for those who would encounter the Reapers in the centuries to come. I feel as if including her, if only just "head-canon," will greatly influence Liara in the coming events in Mass Effect 2 and the upcoming final installment.

Finishing off this beautiful game with an epic confrontation between the forces of Sovereign and the allied species of the Council, I always allow myself to have some sorrow at the loss of Saren. I've always had the ability to sway him from having to battle him, allowing himself to redeem his character and honor by sacrificing himself to prevent the Reaper from consuming his spirit. To be honest, I even felt bad for the Collector General. While there were hints of evil behind his motives, he was likely just a simple businessman trying to lead his people. Noble in the eyes of his subjects, his single ounce of body language he presented at the end of Mass Effect 2 to allowed me appreciate the complexity of a villain in modern society. It just makes me think that by the end of Mass Effect 3, whether we survive or not, we'll feel quite a bit of sorrow for the entire Reaper species. And to be perfectly honest, I already do. But if the Geth can teach us anything, its that we can write our own destiny and evolve to something we'd ultimately be more proud of. A bit off-topic, eh? :P

Anyways, I finished off the battle with the three-species council surviving to bitch another day, adding another member to their ranks: David Anderson. While I can't stand Udina, and I fear that Anderson isn't much of a politician, he's the only one out of the two that could give us a proper start to our new role in the galaxy. In closing, Shepard always walking off into the sunset (or the staircase to Wards Access) always provides some of the most inspiring moments that after racing across the galaxy tirelessly, she goes back for more. And as some find comfort in knowing Humanity has thrown herself into the forefront of galactic civilization, I find inspiration from a simple blue-tinted world that lets me know that I'm forever stuck with the curse that is being a Paragon from head to toe, attempting to do as much good as I can. So that in the very end, trillions of loyal citizens walk up beside me to defeat the Reapers in our greatest moment.

While I won't promise anything for future Mass Effect articles, I would love to see some comments on here or elsewhere letting me know if you enjoyed my journals on it. Knowing that there are some regular readers out there would really inspire me to go ahead and regularly do these sorts of things. On the other hand, I've already written a longer article on recent personal events that I'll be posting here in the next few days for y'all.

So until then, I'd like to thank you for your continued support of That Dancing Chick and I really hope you enjoyed today's article. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions of any sort, please feel free to let me know!

Twitter | Tumblr

All trademarks and material relating to Mass Effect are properties of BioWare and Electronic Arts. Ilos-Prothean screenshot courtesy of the Mass Effect Wiki.

1 comment: