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Mechanics of Suicide Mission Explained (Spoilers)

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:30 am
by Aqua-chan
Hey, guys. I was poking around on the Mass Effect livejournal comm, and one of the contributors offered up this from the official boards. I thought that some of you guys might be interested. Developer Dusty Everman put up this explaining just how the endgame sequence determines who in your squad lives or dies.

For context, it came as a response to posters who didn't understand why Mordin was most commonly killed in the final segment of the suicide mission.

Mordin's death is not a glitch or bug. I believe that when people are surprised with Mordin's death, it's during the "Hold the Line" time where you leave crew behind as you and two squad mates move onward. Tech had their moment in the sun with the tunnel infiltration. A biotic is key for the protective bubble. The Hold the Line sequence is time for your soldier types to do their best.

Basically you want your best DEFENDERS to hold the line. Don't think about offensive solo strikers. Think about the guys that can dig down and hold a position with moxie. You want them to hold the line.

Under the hood, each character has a "hold the line" score, which gets a bonus if the character is loyal. Characters like Mordin, Jack and Tali are squishy and not exoeruenced with bunkering down and holding out for an extended period of time. Characters like Grunt and Zaeed are tanks who thrive on this type of work. The score is tallied for all the team members that are holding the line, and the number of survivors are calculated. If people are to die, the non-loyals squishies go first through the list to the loyal tanks. Alas, I think Mordin is at the head of the death list. Some characters can't survive without help even if they are loyal. Others can survive even if not loyal.

Here are some examples for the group holding the line:
Loyal Mordin by himself: He can't hold the line by himself. He dies.
Non-loyal Grunt by himself: Grunt lives. He hunkers down and gets the job done, and doesn't have to worry about helping any one else.
Loyal Mordin and non-Loyal Grunt: Grunt dies, but Mordin lives. Grunt is able to hold the line but goofs up helping Mordin... he was just too aggressive without his right of passage.
Loyal Mordin and Loyal Grunt: They both live.

Note it is possible to get non-loyal henchmen to survive through the end game with the proper group holding the line.

So what is a good strategy? Send back a loyal squishy with the crew, like Mordin or Tali. Leave your defensive bad asses to hold the line (hmmm, Garrus defended a base all by himself to an extended period of time....) and take your loyal offensive favorites with you to the end.

As for saving Kelly and the crew, you just need to make sure you go through the Omega-4 relay right after the crew is taken, and make sure you send a loyal squad mate back as an escort.

So in essence, there's always a percentage that your crewmates can die - and not just the ones you pick for your special assignments. I good lineup of loyal specialists doing the right jobs should eliminate - or at least decrease to the point of insignificance - the chance of casualties.

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:28 am
by Salidin54
cool, thanks for that

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:55 am
by jklinders
Makes sense, always thought there was some invisible dice being rolled there. Makes sense Mordin would be most likely to die too. He is around 50 years old, rather ancient for a Salarian. That's kind of like a 100 year old human picking up a gun and going to war.

Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:33 am
by Nightmare
I was a bit surprised when Mordin died for me, since he was loyal and I figured that would be enough. As for the HOLD THE LINE squad though...don't recall. Maybe I'll just take him with me next time.

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:07 pm
by Aqua-chan
Some additional info that might be fun to know. [SIZE="1"]In case you want to tactically murder various squaddies[/size]what? Hmm? Oh, right. Anyway, just pointing out some things that might be of interest in addition to the info I originally posted.

If selected to be the tech specialist sent into the pipeline, Garrus will always die, regardless of squad leader.

If Shepard does not utilize her shield upgrade, Tali will be killed in the dogfight after entering the Omega-4 Relay. If Tali is helping Shepard fight the Oculus, Legion is instead killed. If both are presently accompanying Shepard, Thane is the one to die.

Having a not-loyal party member create the biotic bubble in the suicide mission will result in the death of Grunt if he is in the active group. Keep in mind that he's not the only one who can die; he's just as the bottom of the proverbial "list" and is the first to get plucked (as opposed to anyone else who is acting as Shepard's second). For example, Thane and Jack can also be killed in the Seeker Swarm, but only if Grunt is not present.

Failure to upgrade the Normandy's weapons (the Thanix cannon provided by Garrus when asked about upgrades) will result in the death of Garrus in the dogfight with the Collector vessels. If Garrus is in the active squad fighting the Oculus, Thane will die instead.

If Jacob's ship armor upgrade isn't researched, Jack is killed by an explosion.

Put simply, there are a hell of a lot of ways to get Thane dead. :eek: :D