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Veteran Member - Level 12
Everyone at this point is vying to play Mass Effect 2 (even if you don't have a 360, I know many of you are curious); but you also cannot denying the several questions that my be plaguing you as you wait these last few hours. Therefore, I'm going (to the best of my ability) answer these questions. Warning... while I have no proof for my answers, I have rumors that I've scoured from the internets... these could be spoilers!
What happens to your squad members from Mass Effect?
Tali: First off... it's easy to see that Tali is coming back as a squad member. Rumor mill also states that she is going to take antibiotics and other medicinal means in which would allow her to survive if her mask were removed AND be a potential romantic interest (probably only for the male shepard) but there is nothing confirmed at this time. Bioware has confirmed Tali on their site.
Garrus: It is rumored that Garrus will be working as a special agent for the Citadel and at one point in the game you will aid him on a mission and have the option to recruit him as a squad member... nothing is confirmed on this. It is also highly likely that Garrus may just be an NPC... however he will appear in the game and it is highly possible that he is a specter as well.
Wrex: There are two ways for this to go. If you killed him... he's gone. If you didn't kill him... Wrex goes back to his homeworld, (this is all rumor) and he unites the Krogan clans. If you killed him... when you visit his home, they won't be very pleased with you. Info courtesy of Mass Effect Wiki
Liara: Bioware has made it clear that the romantic options from the first game will not be Squad Members... because they want them around for the third game. So Liara will be an NPC. It's confirmed that she will appear in the beginning of the game, and later on it is rumored that she will work for the Shadow Broker. Who truly knows? She is an NPC and will make an appearance later though.
Ashley and Kaiden: one of them had to die... depending on your choice... it has been revealed that they will be NPC and most likely from a trailer released from Bioware... they will be capture by the collectors. Whether or not you can save them will be left to your choices I'm certain. If you wanted to cheat on them and not have to suffer the consequences (cause there are a lot of new romantic options)... you could always let them die.
How many romantic options for Mass Effect 2?
Ok... this is a big issue for me personally, cause I like all the character development of Bioware games. After a great deal of scouring I've found these following people as confirmed romantic options: Miranda Lawson, Subject Zero, and Thane. Which way they swing... has not been revealed, but they are potentials.
Rumored romantic options include: Tali, an NPC engineer named Kelly Chambers, Garrus, and Jacob Taylor. None of these have been confirmed by Bioware, but snippets and vague posts from forums have lead people to believe that they are romantic interests.
It is also believed that you will be able to continue your romantic interest from the first game, provided you find them again in ME2... or that you will be able to cheat on them. These choices are up to you.
How many squad members will I be able to have?
Answer: 10... plus one with DLC thus far announced.
You have Samara, Thane, Jacob, Tali, Grunt, Miranda, and subject Subject Zero confirmed by Bioware personally.
There is a Salaraian doctor who will be on your ship, but Bioware has not confirmed if he will be a useable party member... yet. There is also a Geth named Legion and Garrus (both rumored) who are believed to take up the remaining slots... thus equaling 10 memebers. So people believe that you will have a choice between Garrus and Wrex (depending on if Wrex survived) but I personally disagree.
Also you can beef your crew with Zaeed Mesanni using the Cerberus Network that comes free with a purchase of a NEW copy of Mass Effect 2. Otherwise he costs 15 American dollars.
What is this about Shepard dying? (major spoiler)
It has been rumored, and highly believable might I add, that Shepard actually dies in the beginning of the game, but is brought back to life by Cerberus... under a project codenamed: Lazarrus (named after the man in the Bible, ect). It is with this plot device that Bioware is going to allow you to change your facial characteristics, class, ect... It is believed that Liara will be partly responsible for helping or at least getting Shepard to this point.
Hopefully this little snippet of rumors and details will be able to hold you over until the game is released(at Midnight in may locations). I personally have to wait until noon tomorrow, so I envy many of you who already have... or will get your copies before me. I plan to follow up this blog with a conclusion once I beat Mass Effect 2. I'll be keeping tally to see how accurate I was. Happy gaming!