Game Alignments: Mass Effect 2

Yet again we find ourselves for the third writeup of Game Alignments this week. As you might already know, Game Alignments is a weekly writeup I like to do that puts forth a popular idea of throwing the D&D alignment system into the mix with a game’s characters. This time I’ll be taking a crack at everyone’s favorite sci-fi shooter—Mass Effect 2. Believe me, it was a lot easier than you think considering Bioware pretty much threw the characters into typical stereotypes.

Tali’Zorah vas Neema Normandy :::: Lawful Good

Perhaps the only logical choice for a male on female companion, Tali is our level-headed Quarian from the first game who had originally found the recording that proved Saren’s guilt of working with the Reapers. She returns in Mass Effect 2, where you save her butt once again from trouble and, after which, she joins the crew. Along with Garrus, they are the only two party members from the first game that return to join your crew. Unlike Garrus, however, Tali hasn’t changed much. She is still the good-hearted techie that wanted to stop Saren and the Geth (after all, it was her people that created the Geth in the first place). Half-way through the game she’s even required to return to Home Fleet to await a trail, to which she agrees to and accepts the consequences that await her. With this combination, Tali makes the list as (possibly) the game’s ONLY Lawful Good character.

Jeff “Joker” Moreau :::: Neutral Good

The wise-cracking pilot from the first game, Joker returns for a second try at being the game’s scrappy. At least this turn around he has improved, which even includes a lovely part of the game where he’s even playable for a moment. Joker remains what he was from the first game, however, which is a sardonic pilot that has a bit of trouble with authority. This is all the more present when he purposely leaves the Alliance just to join Cerberus so he can fly the Normandy (again) and also with his disobeying of orders at the very beginning of the game (the bastard is the one that gets you killed in the first place because of his incompetence and he never apologizes for it). Because of this Joker earns his spot as a dismal Neutral Good.

Garrus Vakarian :::: Chaotic Good

Garrus, unlike Tali, has made wonderful character progression in the time since you have been gone. Now working as a renegade assassin, Garrus was working as a vigilante when you found him taking on three different mercenary gangs. However, true to his nature, Garrus only pursues those that harm others, but he is not afraid to harm those to an extent to extrapolate information. In Mass Effect 2, Garrus is completely removed from his law and order stance and completely disregards the rules. This rings true in his loyalty mission, which involves assassinating a Turian that was originally to blame for getting his vigilante group killed in the first place—trying to talk Garrus down or even mentioning bringing him to C-Sec (the cops) just angers him further, which is why Garrus earns his Chaotic Good badge.

Samara :::: Lawful Neutral

Samara is an Asari Justicar, or Bioware’s twisted version of Judge Dredd. As a Justicar, she acts as the judge, jury, and executioner, and it’s all under Asari law that she is able to do so. The Justicar manual, however, isn’t very clear on how exactly to go about interrogating people and capturing suspects—she is licensed to kill anyone that is involved in any of her investigations, including other officers of the law that are also simply following protocol. For this Samara emanates the true definition of Lawful Stupid. However she is neither good nor evil in this endeavor, for she is blind to either side and stays the course of law above all else, making her Lawful Neutral.

Legion :::: True Neutral

Probably the weirdest character in the game, Legion is a Geth. A friendly Geth. In fact, according to Legion, most Geth are in fact friendly and simply want to be left alone, and that the Geth we were fighting in the first game was simply a small faction break off that even they are trying to kill. We learn from Legion that he is also not a single entity, but simply a collection of programs that make up some 2,000 Geth in the machine husk he walks around in. Because of this it is difficult to peg Legion as any alignment at all and simply his actions are all that can be said to reflect his alignment. In this case Legion displays no sense of emotions or feelings, other than one of self-preservation. His teaming up with Shepard and the team is also simply a means to an end—to restore balance to the Geth, making Legion define his role as a True Neutral.

Grunt :::: Chaotic Neutral

Like you’re really surprised a Krogan made the Chaotic list. As a Krogan explains on their home planet, all Krogan are driven by a blood-lust to destroy something, anything, and that this is how their society is built—on the corpses of the weak ones. So if that’s the typical profile of a Krogan, then meet Grunt, a genetically engineered Krogan that has the genes of all the famous Krogan in history, including the particularly nasty ones. In fact, Grunt really doesn’t much care about anything that’s going on as long as he gets to punch something in the face. Despite having the tendencies to be a complete psychopath, Grunt is reserved enough to remain calm enough to not cause a massacre in the middle of a crowd (although I’m not quite sure why). Since he displays no favoritism to either good nor evil, Grunt earns himself as a Chaotic Neutral by default.

Thane Krios :::: Lawful Evil

This might be an interesting choice. My choice as Thane as Lawful Evil is not by the more strict definition senses. While it is true that Thane agrees to help you on your quest to help save the galaxy, the Drell assassin only does so because he feels it is a quest of atonement for all the evil things he has done. And make no mistake about it—Thane certainly is evil. But he’s also a bit of a contradiction, which is where his Lawful part plays in, for Thane prays for forgiveness to the Drell gods for every kill he makes, a reverence in religion which even has him stopping what he is doing to pray to a pious degree. While Thane does technically break the law through his assassinations, he remains true to the religious laws he is under, which is why he fits the Lawful Evil bit.

The Illusive Man :::: Neutral Evil

The Illusive Man, or otherwise popularly known as Tim, is the head of Cerberus, a human terrorist organization that is basically behind a number of atrocities throughout the history of the galaxy ever since the humans were thrown into the mix. Every mission ever taken, every order ever given, it has come from Tim himself. This includes the experiments on Rachni on the first game against Alliance Marines, as well as the murder of Admiral Kohoku. To top it all off, he’s even to blame if you choose the Sole Survivor background, as it was Cerberus that lured the Thresher Maw to attack your group, effectively meaning that even Tim has tried to kill you. However, all of this has apparently been done with one thing in mind—forwarding the evolution of humanity as a whole in the galaxy. Tim makes this abundantly clear throughout the game—he’s not being nice, he’s just doing what he feels is necessary, even if it means breaking all the rules, which makes him all the more of a good choice as Neutral Evil.

Jack :::: Chaotic Evil

Curious as to this choice? Let Jack, a psychopath biotic, tell you why she is a perfect trope fit for this: “I’ve been around. Ran with gangs, wiped out some gangs, joined a cult. Kept the haircut. Murder, assault, kidnapping, drugs, stealing, arson. Done it all. And that’s the boring shit. Piracy, theft of military craft, destruction of a space station and vandalism. That was a good one.” There’s really not much more that needs to be said as to why Jack makes a perfect fit as a Chaotic Evil.

Questions? Disagreements? It’s what the comments section is for.

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About Agamemnon
Started blogging back in 2007 amidst that whole Hellgate: London fiasco on a blog known as flagshipped.com. Eventually moved on to do my own thing in December 2008 at gameriot.com and started Caveat Emptor there. Wrote there for six months, gained some notoriety, and then left. Now I'm back.

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