I've been enjoying this ride in the 30 Days of Mass Effect series, and we've come to one of the more difficult segments of it: my favorite moments in Mass Effect 3. These are naturally debatable and will vary among players, but I've taken my time to carefully select the moments in the story that resonate with me the most. Due to the nature of the blog, it will be spoiler-worthy so avoid if you haven't beaten the game yet. Feel free to sound off below in the comments section!


7) Like a Boss

I know, I know. Grunt wasn't a very well-received character in Mass Effect 2; then again, he was facing pretty tough competition, since we all undoubtedly adored the awesome that was Urdnot Wrex. Yet, I admired the guy; through his experiences we gained valuable insight into the culture of the Krogan race and had a fantastic showdown against a thresher maw together. In Mass Effect 3, he was the seasoned leader of Aralakh company and an equally capable warrior, sacrificing himself so Shepard and crew could escape the hordes of indoctrinated Rachni waiting to tear us to shreds. I can't stress the amount of relief I had when I saw Grunt exiting the cove right behind us, drenched in blood like he was the Krogan version of Kratos.


6) Grissom Academy

I can't put my finger on it, but there's something undeniably touching about this mission. Of course, there's Kahlee Sanders, who we finally get to meet in the flesh after reading about her in the books, but there's also Jack, a character who became a much-needed mentor to a ragtag group of young biotic students. Being able to help Jack fend off the hordes of Cerberus agents was given a greater sense of importance apart from the usual diversions the game threw in your path, and I can't forget how entertaining each of the characters were. Seeing Jack as she struggled to censor her normally foul language was also a priceless moment in the story, and a showdown against Cerberus forces with an Atlas Mech was just the icing on the cake.


5) A Peaceful end to the Quarian and Geth war

This solution holds great importance storywise and also can't be achieved without accomplishing certain tasks from the previous game. That's right; you can't secure peace with the Geth and Quarians without transferring a save, making this a mission whose results are a great example of the culmination of your decisions influencing an important story development. The excellently-scripted dialogue added to the suspense and tension unfolding while the Geth uploaded the Reaper code, while failure added to the stakes: the extinction of either race. Succeeding held great significance thematically as well; players could prove that synthetics and organics could possibly coexist with each other instead of being drawn to conflict.


4) Curing the Genophage... Or not?

I consider this event to be the highest point in the story; the mission has several possible outcomes, as opposed to the normally binary two results that the other major choices present to the player, and are influenced by events that happened as far back as the very first game, namely, whether or not Wrex survived or you saved Maelon's data. While some of these outcomes foreshadow peace among the Krogan with the other races, some suggest new complications await without the proper balancing force, which is where Eve and Mordin come into play. I didn't initially know this, but with the right amount of reputation I could convince Mordin to help me sabotage the Genophage; either way, Mordin's role in this event was unforgettable, given his devotion to correcting a mistake he'd previously defended passionately. Knowing that Eve would prevent Wreav from becoming too bloodthirsty with her control over the females provided players who'd sacrificed Wrex with the happy ending they needed. Of course, I kept Wrex alive, which made curing the Genophage even more worthwhile.


3) Showdown with TIM

This event in Mass Effect 3 is another I appreciated, since it was one where Shepard was practically helpless. We thought we knew The Illusive Man in Mass Effect II, yet we saw him change dramatically in Mass Effect III with the drive to control the Reapers to further his goals for human dominance. Of course, like every Cerberus plot we knew of, their promising goals ended in tragedy, with TIM slowly deteriorating due to the effects of indoctrination to the point that even he'd transformed into a monstrosity after Reaper tech was implanted into him. The first glimpse of the new TIM after previous encounters was nothing short of shocking, and the intellectual debate with TIM was modestly tense and tragic.


2) Final Chat with Anderson

This moment happened after the showdown with TIM, and I can't stress enough how important it was to me. We'd met Anderson in the first game, and ever since, we continued to see Anderson evolve as a character while supporting Shepard along the way, whether it was helping Shepard escape from the Citadel in the first game, to reinstating Shepard in the second, or even the third during the escape from Earth. Anderson, in the oddest of moments, was always there for us, and as a leader he gave the fight to retake Earth more personal relevance. Thus I couldn't help but appreciate Shepard's last moments with this character, in a scene that was the perfect sendoff. When I heard the dialogue that had been cut from the game, I couldn't help but enjoy this moment even more.


1) Reunion on Earth

This was my second-favorite highlight in the game. In this case, players got the chance to talk one final time with the characters they'd built a rapport with, from their current squadmates to those they've known since the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. In keeping with the tone and urgency of the mission, each conversation between Shepard and the respective crewmate was relatively short in some cases, but the importance of this event far overshadowed this; each moment, especially with characters you'd known since the first and second games, was the epitome of a priceless rapport Shepard had built with each of them. These moments also weren't repeatable, encouraging players to cherish every moment of them. With this being the end of Shepard's story, I couldn't help but sense that our final conversations were a means of resolving friendships that I'd enjoyed making innumerable times over.


The Verdict

So, I've given you a taste of my favorite moments of Mass Effect 3. There were plenty more that I felt I wanted to include but since some of these have been covered ad nauseum by me, especially in other blogs, I felt it best to get a little creative and approach it from a more cerebral perspective. Either way, this has been a fantastic gaming series and I can't wait for new memories to be made in the future.