Playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition has been a nostalgic, and for the most part, pleasant experience. I’ve been making my way through the first remastered game and it’s a faithful recreation of the original Mass Effect, up to and including its archaic dialogue system, which frustratingly locks you out of certain options at an uneven pace.
Early on, Shepard encounters several missions that can be solved through dialogue using either Charm or Intimidate. The amount of points you can invest into those skills depends on how high you’ve built your Paragon and Renegade bars, respectively, and you buff up your Paragon and Renegade rating by making the appropriate decisions. Taking a diplomatic and non-violent approach increases your Paragon bar, while being brutal and ruthless increases your Renegade bar.
But even after I picked up Liara and headed to Noveria, I was still gated out of certain Charm options. It could be a quirk of the new Legendary leveling system, which crunches the level 60 cap in the original Mass Effect down to 30, but I was starved for Paragon points despite consistently making Paragon choices on all my missions.
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It ended up not mattering, because thankfully, a cheesy exploit present in the original Mass Effect for infinite Paragon and Renegade points is still present in the Legendary Edition. Here’s how to do it.
In the Noveria mission, you’ll eventually meet a turian named Lorik Qui’in who was ousted from his corporate job after he got major dirt on Port Hanshan’s administrator, Anoleis.
Agree to help Lorik and collect the evidence from his office in Synthetic Insights. But before you hand the goods over, talk to Gianna Parasini. You can find her nearby in the same bar that Lorik is in.
After speaking with Gianna, you can return to Lorik and convince him to testify against Anoleis in court. Choose either the Charm or Intimidate options to buff up your points and then close out the dialogue.
Thanks to a bug, you can talk to Lorik again and convince him to testify in court over and over. Congrats, you’ve just secured yourself an infinite amount of Paragon and Renegade points. Just choose the dialogue options “Matriarch Benezia,” “Another Question,” “Testify Against Anoleis,” and then the morality option of your choice.
Don’t feel guilty about using this cheese. Mass Effect is a beautiful game with several bad features, all of which have been meticulously recreated here, including the silly dialogue system.
I only wish there was another exploit to get around the irredeemably bad Mako. Yes, it’s still terrible even after the update.
I don’t know how the Mako apologists even managed to drive up the hill they’re dying on with a tank that handles like an arthritic donkey trying to swim out of tar, but here we are. All hail the Hammerhead.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)