Mass Effect 1 Choices That Don’t Really Matter

In his heart, Mass Effect is based on the agency of the players, giving them the ability to choose everything from the morality of Shepard the character is romanticized to throughout the trilogy, but some choices don’t really matter at the end. The choice-rich design concept is present in everything from the biggest turns in the series to the smallest missions players are able to pull together, despite the different levels of impact that those choices can have, and there are multiple missions. or decisions that ultimately just don’t matter.

This is especially true of the first Mass Effect game, which had the difficult task of setting up the larger universe of the franchise. Many tasks in Mass effect 1 are therefore purely exploratory. For example, players can be tasked with collecting minerals from different planets, although no ship or combat upgrades are available by doing this like what would be added later to Mass effect 2. Other decisions have an impact only on the secondary characters who will ultimately not play a significant role in the future. Mass Effect games, potentially in an effort to flesh out unique elements of the series’ lore. While it can be tempting to complete all of this to get 100% completion, there aren’t many rewards for doing so.


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Despite what its developers may have been aiming for, there have been criticisms against Mass Effect for its lack of meaningful choices on a larger scale over the course of the series, which many hope will be addressed by BioWare in Mass effect 4. At the moment, little is known about the next one Mass Effect game, which was revealed during the Game Awards 2020 and seemed to set up a return to the galaxy and the story of the original trilogy. Hopefully his narrative leaves more room for development based on key player decisions unlike what has been presented at many points in Mass effect 1.

Tell Garrus to spare or kill Dr. Saleon

There are three squad member assignments in Mass effect 1, each of which relates to the histories of various teammates – particularly Tali, Garrus, and Wrex – and serves to deepen their relationship with Shepard or character development going forward. Family armor can be crucial in allowing Wrex to be spared in Virmire, for example, and Shepard can help Tali complete her pilgrimage. Garrus consists of tracking down an escaped convict from his time with C-Sec, Dr. Saleon, a mission that leads to a final confrontation aboard the geneticist’s ship. After making their way through the level, players will be able to face off against Dr. Saleon directly. If Garrus was brought to the mission, Shepard has the option of telling him to back off or let him finish Saleon.

While the game presents this as an opportunity for Shepard to influence Garrus’ morality, in reality it doesn’t really matter much in the long run. Through Mass effect 2, Garrus’ personality will be the same regardless of the decision made in Mass effect 1. In fact, Garrus’ mission of loyalty in the second game also has a relatively similar premise. While a few conversations change as a result of player decisions over the course of Dr. Saleon’s mission, it’s a disappointing disappointment in terms of the continued development of Garrus’ character throughout the larger scope of the game. Mass Effect trilogy.

Deciding to scan the Guardians in Mass Effect 1

Mass Effect 1 choices that don't really matter

One of the most notorious missions of Mass Effect is the difficult task of scanning all the guardians located in and around the Citadel. There are a total of 21 Guardians to find and scan – although Mass Effect Legendary Edition allows the mission to be completed by scanning just 20 of them – and while the game seems to imply that it’s a Renegade decision to agree to do so, scanning the Guardians actually has very little impact on the morals of Shepard. In addition, players do not learn much about goalkeepers. Mass effect 2 and ME3 whether they scan them or not. The quest is not worth much more than the experience points as a result.

Related: Is Mass Effect’s Shepard Canonically Paragon, Renegade Or Neither

There is another side quest that appears if players have agreed to get involved in the goalkeeper analysis, involving Chorban – the salary worker responsible for the goalkeeper research – and his former research partner Jahleed. Once completed, Shepard is faced with the possibility of turning Chorban into C-Sec, but other than terminating the “Scanning the Keepers” mission prematurely, there are no real consequences to doing so.

Asking Liara to fight Matriarch Benezia

Players can choose to bring Liara into the showdown with Mass Effect Matriarch Benezia, but despite some interesting – and heart-wrenching – dialogue, the fight cannot be avoided, with Benezia’s struggles against the indoctrination remaining unchanged and the fight itself going according to the usual plan. There is also no substantial narrative change as a result of Liara’s meeting with her mother, leaving the outcome more or less inevitable.

Obstructing the completion of Tali’s pilgrimage

After collecting data on the Geth in Mass effect 1, Tali asks Shepard for a copy of the data. It’s clear that she thinks this will help her complete her pilgrimage, and it’s possible for players to simply decline her request outright. Oddly, Tali will continue to stay with Shepard in her quest to defeat Saren and the Geth, even despite this important character moment, just as she would if Shepard had helped her on her mission. This makes the choice to do something mean to seem unnaturally inconsequential, and ultimately takes away a potentially powerful role-playing moment.

Resolve disputes over the citadel

The confrontation of Chorban and Jahleed is not the only argument to be resolved in Mass effect 1. There are various other missions to find and complete on the Citadel, many of which are worth ignoring as they don’t end up being important in the grand scheme of things. One of them can be encountered very early on on Shepard’s first visit, involving a religious hanar in a dispute with a C-Sec officer over the right to preach in the Presidium. There are different ways to make the officer or hanar leave, most of which depend on Shepard’s Charm / Intimidate or Paragon / Renegade levels, but none have any impact other than giving players a small number of Paragon or Renegade points.

Another argument can be found in the “Family Matter” quest, as Shepard is able to intervene in the midst of an argument between two humans over experimental gene therapy for an NPC’s unborn child. Although these characters appear later in others Mass Effect games, they serve no purpose other than providing a little Easter Egg for players who remember this otherwise useless side quest from the first Mass Effect Game.

There are many other missions located throughout the galaxy that are equally disappointing, such as retrieving Turian badges from various planets or locating Prothean data discs. That being said, some missions may surprise players with their relevance. Conrad Verner, a minor NPC whose involvement in Mass effect 1 is widely presented as a joke, may end up becoming a valuable war asset in Mass effect 3 if certain conditions are met. Even the asari writings that players can find in ME1 can help provide more galactic preparation in the fight against the Reapers. Ultimately, Mass Effect presents a mixed set of relevance, especially during the first few hours of the series at Mass effect 1.

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