So we’ve laid out the essential points so that you can enjoy the game in optimal conditions. Of course, all this remains subjective and the goal of such a game is also that each player chooses his own path. “This is the way”.
Creating your Shepard: its history
Mass Effect 1 offers you to choose the past of your Shepard. This will have a relatively minor impact on the trilogy. It is especially the first episode that will be influenced, with associated secondary missions.
The 3 origins proposed:
- History: Your parents served in the Alliance Army. Your childhood took place on ships or space stations, where you never stayed for more than a few years, because your parents were transferred quite frequently. When you were 18, you decided to follow in your parents’ footsteps by joining the army.
- Advantage: The Star Shepard gives you a conciliation bonus
- Secondary mission: A secondary quest leads you to contact Hannah Shepard, your mother. This is the only occurrence of a Shepard relative and this is only possible with this history. You can hear about your mother again during Mass Effect 2 and 3.
- History: You were born on Mindoir, a colony located on the border of the Bay of Attica, and lived there your first sixteen years. Then, your family and friends tragically die in an attack led by slave traders. You were rescued by Alliance soldiers and you joined the army a few years later.
- Advantage: The Shepard Colon wins a little conciliation and pragmatism bonus
- Secondary mission: you meet a survivor from Mindoir during a secondary mission.
- Shepard is an orphan, wandering the streets of Earth’s vast megalopoles. He joins the army with his majority in order to leave this life of offender and the harmful influence of gangs.
- The Earth Shepard wins a pragmatism bonus.
- Secondary mission: You meet a gang member you were a part of when you were young, the Tenth Street Reds. You can choose to help him or not.
Tip: the Stellar origin is by far the most interesting because it allows you to exchange with Shepard’s mother, first in Mass Effect 1 and then in ME3. You will also hear about your mother during TM2. Whereas with Colon and Terrien, it is rather the “balls” of your past that seem to resurface and do not bring as much interest to the development of the background of your Shepard.
Creating your Shepard: his psychological profile
Like Shepard’s story, the choice of a psychological profile will have an impact on future secondary missions and the associated dialogues of Mass Effect 1.
During your service, one of your missions turned into a nightmare. Faced with an almost desperate situation, you had to resist the physical and psychological trauma that would have broken the average person. While your teammates were falling one after the other, only you survived. The Shepard will not receive bonuses in conciliation or pragmatism points and has unique dialogues during the UNC: Dead Scientists mission.
War Hero (recommended)
At the beginning of your military career, you found yourself facing an enemy with an overwhelming number of superiority. Yet you saved your teammates and defeated the enemy at the risk of your life and disregard the odds. Your courage and heroism have earned you the highest honours of the Alliance. The Shepard War Hero gains conciliation points and will be able to have unique dialogues during the UNC: Spy Probe mission.
Your military career has only ever been motivated by one imperative: to accomplish the mission. You are said to be cold, calculating and brutal, which attracts the distrust of your teammates. But when failure is not allowed, the army always appeals to you. The Ruthless gains pragmatism points and has a unique dialogue during the UNC mission: Major Kyle.
Advice: depending on the personality you are going to adopt, pragmatic or conciliating, choose a coherent psychological profile to start with a reputation bonus:
- War Hero for a Conciliatory Shepard
- Ruthless for a Pragmatic Shepard
- Survivor for a “balanced” Shepard
Combinations of origin and psychological profile:
Your choice of psychological and original profile will give you several possibilities to start with points of Conciliating or Pragmatic reputation:
- Star & War Hero +20 Reconciling
- Stellaire & Rescapé +15 Conciliant & +5 Pragmatic
- Stellar & Ruthless +10 Pragmatic
- Colon & War Hero +15 Reconciling
- Colon & Survivor +10 Conciliating & +5 Pragmatic
- Colon & Ruthless +15 Pragmatic
- Earthman & War Hero +10 Reconciling
- Terrien & Rescapé +5 Conciliant & +15 Pragmatic
- Earthman & Ruthless +20 Pragmatic
Creating your Shepard: its class
The choice of class is probably the most important choice for your avatar as it will define your way of playing during fights. You have the option of choosing only one type of class from:
Soldier – Military Specialist
The soldier is a hardened warrior able to get out of all combat situations. With a high level of health and a wide range of weapons, he can also wear heavy armour. This type of character reveals all his potential at the heart of the action, in situations where the only rule is to survive his opponents.
Engineer – Technologist
The engineer is a technology expert, able to manipulate his environment using specific skills. A versatile character, he can alter the battlefield to benefit his allies, heal members of his group or weaken the enemy (neutralization of weapons, destruction of shields, etc.).
Adept – biotic specialist
No other character is equal to the adept in terms of pure biotic power, which allows him to modify the environment by the simple force of his mind. The adept uses his biotic powers to manipulate the objects (and enemies) around him. Its role in combat is to neutralize or disable the enemy while dispensing attacks of extraordinary power.
Standard Bearer – Biotic/Military
The standard bearer is a powerful warrior who combines the offensive powers of the adept and the soldier. It has access to a vast array of weapons, armor and biotic powers. It is characterized above all by the impressive stopping power of its attacks.
Sniper – Military/Technologist
The sniper is the technological warrior par excellence, preferring cunning and stealth to pure force. Its role is to gain a positional advantage in combat. However, it is more dependent on the quality of its equipment than other classes.
Sentinel – biotic/technologist
The sentinel is the most versatile class, able to combine technology and biotic powers to manipulate its environment, protect its teammates, weaken the enemy or directly attack it. Sentinels are particularly good in the areas of protection (kinetic barrier) and care.
Advice: If you can’t decide on a class, we advise you to choose the Soldat to start the adventure: it’s the least complicated class to master, and you will have the opportunity to discover the possibilities of power thanks to your teammates during the adventure. Note that you can change classes in the next episode if you wish.
Creating your Shepard: its appearance
You are about to save the galaxy from extinction… let’s say it would be better to do so with class!
The choice of s*x will obviously define the romances of your Shepard. Some characters can be romanced by “MaleShep” and also “FemShep”, but most will not be bisexual.
Dubbing your Shepard can tip your s*x choice since you will hear her voice for more than 60 hours minimum if you do the whole trilogy
- MaleShep is dubbed in French by Boris Rehlinger (Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Colin Farell…),
- FemShep is dubbed in French by Pascale Chemin (Rose Byrne, Keri Russel…).
Which Shepard will you be? Accommodating or Pragmatic
Your Shepard will be able to take 2 directions in terms of personality that will be influenced by your choices of dialogues and different actions:
- If you are open to negotiation, to peaceful solutions, to the protection of civilians … you make “Conciliatory” choices
These responses are usually located in the top right corner of the response wheel and the most important are represented by the blue color.
If you don’t like to waste time, have no compassion for people, and especially if you have the easy trigger… you make “Pragmatic” choices.
These responses are usually located in the bottom right corner of the response wheel and the most important are represented by the red color.
Tip: Being pragmatic will make the adventure much more ‘badass’ and fun in many situations. But beware, you risk missing many missions and romances by your choices/ answers far too severe. The consequences can also be dramatic and terribly sad, and backtracking impossible…
For a discovery of the saga, it is rather recommended to be conciliatory to the extent possible (you must also allow yourself some pleasures!), then to redo the saga or an episode in “full pragmatic” to fully enjoy the experience of the “dark side”. You can relive the experience differently and put yourself in the shoes of a completely different character. Discover our best pragmatic excerpts from the original game.
In any case, the more consistent you are in your response/action choices, the more benefits you will unlock as well as response choices only available from a certain level of cumulative reconciliation/pragmatism points.
How to take advantage of the Mass Effect 1 experience?
Shepard and His Squad Upgrades
Mass Effect 1 is an action/RPG. You will therefore be able to develop your character’s skills by gaining experience (XP) through the main and secondary missions.
The principle is as old as the world and it is better to do several secondary missions between each main mission in order to develop your skills concerning health, armament, technologies and powers. Otherwise, you may encounter some difficulties in dealing with some major mission bosses.
Start by improving your health before you develop your offensive skills. On these, choose specialties to focus your points on specific improvements. Afterwards, you will be able to diversify your skills once you have acquired enough XP.
Finally, do not forget to do the same with the skills of your teammates who will be of great help to you during the fights. Indeed, you will be able to coordinate their actions to conduct effective actions on your enemies.
Regular manual backups are strongly recommended throughout your game for several reasons:
- automatic backup is not always well placed and sufficient
- if you miss a romance or a clash between two teammates
- if you have forgotten a secondary mission, it may no longer be available if you did not intervene on time
- to avoid possible problems of corrupted backups (what happens on many games mine nothing!)
Life aboard the Normandy
The Normandy, as in any self-respecting SF saga, is a very important place. In addition to being your means of transport to carry out your missions in the Milky Way, the Normandy is a meeting place.
In addition to the personnel closely linked to your frigate (pilot, mechanics, etc.), you will be able to interact with the different members of your team. There are 6 in this first episode, they will generally be located in the same areas of the Normandy.
Take advantage of each break between 2 main missions to meet them. You will get to know them better and this will help you make some difficult choices afterwards. In addition, you can unlock the famous romances of Mass Effect…
To romanticize a character in Mass Effect 1, in the original as in this remaster, this character must already be potentially interested in Shepard (see below) and then talk to him between each main mission aboard the Normandy. Find his/her interests and go in his/her direction, and especially avoid to vex him/her.
Here is an express summary of the possible romances in this first episode:
- MaleShep: Liara or Ashley
- FemShep: Liara or Kaidan
In both cases, if you show an interest in the 2 Romanesque characters, you will probably have to express your interest following a clash between the 2 “competitors” characters (between Liara or Ashley / between Liara or Kaidan).
You will understand that it is not possible to romanticize 2 characters simultaneously. You can restart well-placed backups to change your romance. Example: before you declare your interest in one of the characters.
The last romance scene will then be launched just before the end of the game, before your departure to Ilos. It will be the same in the next 2 games. It should be noted that Tali and Garrus will then be available for romanization from Mass Effect 2.
Recruitment of characters
Out of the 6 characters that can join your crew in Mass Effect 1, original as Legendary Edition, you will necessarily have to recruit 5. The game gives you the opportunity to not recruit Wrex or Garrus.
A choice that is not recommended since it is better to recruit all the characters to fully enjoy the history of the game. Especially since you will not find Wrex in Mass Effect 2/3 if you do not recruit it from the first episode.
Order of main tasks
After Eden Prime, your first main mission, you will be able to choose the order of your main missions: Féros, Novéria and Thérum, then Virmire.
The chosen order will not have any real impact on the unfolding of the story, you have no worries to worry about. It is especially the contribution of Liara T’Soni that will be more or less important depending on when you have recovered it on Thérum.
Indeed, if you carry out her mission after Féros, Novéria and Virmire, you will finally know more about the topics related to your quest than she does and she will even be somewhat surprised!
This is an interesting way to proceed if you start the trilogy again because it will bring you some unexpected novelties.
End of game
We’re not going to reveal anything of the end. Just know that there are no mistakes to make in this first episode because the end does not require any particular preparation.
Above all, you will have to make a difficult choice, but it will not have any major repercussions for the rest of your adventure.
After completing the game, you will be able to start a new game using an existing career and keep your old character, with all his objects and skills kept. But you can also continue your current part and complete secondary missions, but your part will automatically resume before the last mission. Also think about completing the 2 DLCs before finishing the game in order to have a complete experience (“Turbulences 900 000 Feet” and “Station Zénith”).
Main Quest: Decryptions and Puzzles
The first episode will ask you to make decryptions to access certain elements like boxes. The process is relatively simple, you have a few seconds to press the right keys on the screen. There are no particular difficulties.
Main mission to Noveria
In this mission, you will have to solve a puzzle based on the Hanoi Towers game to reactivate a memory core. You can either do it (because you are good at this type of games), or use 100 omni-gel or use this ready-to-use approach that will avoid a certain head hold:
X Y, X B, Y B, X Y, B X, B Y, X Y, X B, Y B, Y X, B X, Y B, X Y, X B
▢ △, ▢ ◯, △ ◯, ▢ △, ◯ ▢, ◯ △, ▢ △, ▢ ◯, △ ◯, △ ▢, ◯ ▢, △ ◯, ▢ △, ▢ ◯, △ ◯
- PC (by order of columns, therefore also universal):
1-2/ 1-3/ 2-3/ 1-2/ 3-1/ 3-2/ 1-2/ 1-3/ 2-3/ 2-3/ 2-1/ 3-1/ 2-3/ 1-2/ 1-3/ 2-3
Once the memory is reactivated, you will speak to Mira I.V. of Pic n°15.
Main mission on Féros
The mission on Féros will also propose a mini-puzzle that could put some players off: you will have to deactivate a shield.
Starting from the left, you will need to activate the second valve, the fourth valve and the fifth valve. Then activate your combination on the mainframe. Following the kinematics, return to the room where the shield has now been deactivated (going down the stairs).
Here we come to an end for Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition Mass Effect 1 Launch Guide: Getting Started hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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