So I’ve begun my Mass Effect play through with our good friend Shepard, Ellen R., and so far she’s a bit of a bitch. Not a bad person, and certainly not a puppy-kicker or anything like that, but while she gets the job done, she doesn’t pull any punches – and she certainly doesn’t take shit from anyone – human, alien, or otherwise.
Based on her psychological profile and upbringing, I’m playing this Shepard as more than a bit of a hard-ass. For anyone not familiar with the game, there are three main dialogue choices you can make in any given situation – Neutral, Paragon, and Renegade – and I’ve found she’s been all over the damn place.
In lots of instances, Shepard is all business. Not to spoil anything (this is a game universe where people die left and right, which is sort of the antithesis of, say, comic book logic, where you can’t be sure someone’s dead unless you see the body – and even then that doesn’t always guarantee it), but the first time Shepard lost a soldier under her command in the game, she was noncommittal; losing her entire unit on Akuze has left this chick with serious issues. There’s still a thinking, feeling woman under the hood, as she took the time to close the poor unfortunate soldier’s eyes after their untimely demise.
I’ll tell you what, though – she’s got no patience for cowards or shirkers. She found a dockworker that had slept through an attack because he had been slacking off, and she nearly bit his head off for not putting up some sort of a fight. Not only that, but one of the attack’s survivors caught a right cross alongside his melon for jabbering about it being the end of the world – our hero wasn’t about to let some lunatic with a Mayan calendar on his datapad do something stupid like running out into the line of fire.
Shepard’s time growing up on the mean streets of Earth has definitely left her with some interesting character traits as well. She’s got no respect for people in authority unless they’ve earned it, and she’s not afraid to tell them exactly what she thinks of them. This earned her the enmity of one Ambassador Udina upon visiting the massive space station known as the Citadel, the seat of galactic government, as she reported her findings on the planet Eden Prime. An encounter with the Citadel Council was likewise strained, as Shepard refused to go the diplomatic route and instead spoke her mind to the three alien Council leaders who were skeptical and dismissive of her report – and due to spoiler concerns, I won’t go into more detail than that.
The rough treatment she received by the Council has only hardened Shepard’s resolve at this point, however; now she’s driven to investigate further, stepping outside Citadel Council authority and doing what it takes to prove her right. She’s also going out of the way to break Citadel rules, perhaps out of spite, by aiding a young salarian scientist in his efforts to investigate the massive space station’s semi-intelligent alien workers, known as the Keepers, despite regulations explicitly banning it.
These adventures will continue, ladies and gentlemen! Will our prickly Ellen Ripley Shepard continue to brood and cause trouble, or will she Marine up and get shit done? And will she accept the offer of a “massage” from that creepy asari receptionist working for the Consort down on the Citadel’s Presidium deck? Tune in next weekend to find out!
Achievements earned this weekend: