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The Emotion, And Humor, Of Mass Effect 2's Romantic Interludes

Illustration for article titled The Emotion, And Humor, Of Mass Effect 2s Romantic Interludes

While chewing over people's various endings for Mass Effect 2 the other day, one thing that struck me was how many different romantic options you guys had been pursued. And it got me all curious.

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**SPOILERS AHEAD**

See, I played the game once, and that was it. The way the story unfolded was "My Story", and is now the way I feel events in the Mass Effect universe have taken place. Shepard is a man, and he did the deed with Miranda, and that's how it went. To play it again would feel like going back in time and screwing everything up, Marty McFly style. So I'm not going to do it.

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That means I won't get to punch a woman, I won't get to bring Mordin back from the dead and I'll never see Yeoman Chambers get her freak on. It also means I'll never get to see any of these numerous romantic interchanges between the main characters, some of which are hilarious (Tali), others surprisingly touching (Thane).

But you? You can watch these to your heart's content.

MALE SHEPARD


With Jack (1)


With Jack (2)


With Tali (Mordin's Handy Advice)


With Tali


With Miranda


With Kelly


With Morinth

FEMALE SHEPARD


With Jacob


With Thane (Mordin's Handy Advice)


With Thane


With Garrus

It makes you wonder how BioWare approached these scenes. The male ones are either heavy on awkward humour or, in case of Miranda's, get straight to the boot-knocking.

The female Shepard romantic approaches, however, are a little heavier. Thane's in particular, with some great writing there at the end.

You could say BioWare was making the female approach a little more emotional for their idea of what female gamers wanted, but did they have any idea how many men would play the game as a woman?

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DISCUSSION

I think that the romances for each character were representative of the depth of the characters to begin with.

I never had much connection to Miranda, and her love scene didn't really show much of a connection other than physical.

Thane, on the other hand, was a deeply fascinating character, much more cerebral than the other romance options, and while I couldn't romance him, it made sense that he would have the heaviest, most philisophical love scene.

(I admit Jack is a bit of an outlier. She annoyed me to no end, as she seemed like a one-dimensional "angry bitch" character, and yet she had a very touching love scene.)

Tali and Garrus's awkwardness makes sense, since you've known them longer, thus making it the "friendship-into-romance" transition, which is always somewhat awkward. I don't think that makes them less touching, though.

I personally went with Tali, after originally planning to stay faithful to Liara (and throwing that out the window after her cameo). I always liked her, and in her dialogue, there is a certain sense of sincerity and longing that I felt. She expected nothing, and would love me all the same. And when I chose her, I really got a sense of fulfillment. The love scene had a cute, awkward quirkiness, yes, but it was just a smile-inducing endcap to a longer, more emotional storyline.