***This piece is filled with spoilers for the entire Mass Effect trilogy***
It’s an established fact that every single Twinfinite employee loves the Mass Effect trilogy and consider them some of the greatest games of all time (or at least that BETTER be the case or some people will be getting fired today). BioWare did such an amazing job of making gamers feel as if they were Shepard and they were the ones leaping across the galaxy trying to stop the Reapers, that it’s hard not to feel devastated when the game hits you with a hard decision that results in tragedy. At least the developer had the decency to slowly ramp up to the tears-fest that was Mass Effect 3. I’m not ashamed to admit I bawled like a little baby during certain scenes, and I may even be “allergic to dust” while writing this piece up.
More than any other RPG I’ve ever played, BioWare’s colossal hit series does an amazing job of making you care about your squad, even the ones that you never take off the ship. If you take the time to learn about them and their story, you start to see them as actual people and friends. The Mass Effect games give you these characters that can be as important to you as your real friends, then throws them into the fire. What makes this worse is that, sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to save them. These scenes of tragedy and loss can be so impactful that you might even feel the same sadness you would if you had lost an actual friend.
If Wrex is Killed on Virmire
Mass Effect 1 eases you into establishing relationships with your squad. Up to this point in the game, players have had to make some Paragon and Renegade choices but, for the most part, those choices have only affected others. Virmire changes all that. Urdnot Wrex has been a stalwart ally since he first joined the crew of the Normandy and has been the least ruffled by the galactic level threat posed by the Reapers. As one of the last few members of a slowly dying, yet still proud and vicious, race, Wrex’s cool head and gruff exterior seem like a comfort blanket or crutch for players to lean on.
When he finds out that Saren has found a way to cure the genophage that will be destroyed when the lab on Virmire is taken out, you are given your first taste of the loss you can experience from this series. The only way to convince Wrex of the evil of Saren’s supposed cure is by having a high enough Paragon or Renegade score. The first time I got to this point, I failed that score check and while trying to talk him out of stopping us, (stupid, idiotic, useless) Ashley shoots down my good friend and constant squadmate to protect me. I remember sitting there in shock as the scene unfolded and immediately loading up a previous save to try to work out our differences. Three failed attempts later I finally got the Paragon option to direct his rage at the soulless cannon fodder Saren had been trying to pass off as Krogan warriors. Needless to say, it would have near impossible to get through the rest of the series had I let him die.