Urdnot Wrex: The One That Got Away
So I am writing about Mass Effect again. You can mock me all you want about being a shameless fangirl/fanwoman (not sure if there is such a thing) but people must learn to accept truths about the world and one of those truths is that Mass Effect is a great game.
This is my third time replaying the series (the second time in the right order) and it has taken me some time to get over the horror of (1) the original endings to the series (2) playing multiplayer to get enough EMS (3) having enough EMS and then shooting the “child” by mistake and getting the refusal ending and finally (4) getting the so-called “perfect ending” before I felt ready to start the series again.
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My obsession with the replay was not to complete all the missions or to replay as a renegade (I am so predictable and moral that the majority of my choices have been exactly the same) but to save Wrex. I’m not sure why I developed such a strong personal outrage toward the death of a character I have known for only one game when deaths of others such as Legion, Tali or Mordin have not rocketed me into writing hate essays about Ashley Williams but I think the essence of it was that I felt cheated.
Wrex is a cool krogan. Like all krogan, he is a bit of a jock. He likes to throw around punches, doesn’t get too concerned with the details and is always in for a fight. On the other hand he did kill his father and should probably talk to Liara about that but all in all, he’s a fun guy and he has really great dialogue quips throughout the game.
I read a critique of the Mass Effect series a few months ago which basically said that for all of the choices you get to make and the nuances which the story can take, the game will always play into your hands because the game will always give you what you want. This in a way is true because if you decide that you want to romance a particular character or have the loyalty of a particular character, you know exactly what you need to be doing and how it needs to be done. And then it is.
For example if you want to romance Kaidan, he is yours for the remainder of the series provided that you don’t sleep around with other people or be too mean to him on Mars. Kaidan, after you have been faithful and doted at his bedside while he convalesces does not tell you that he thinks you are bat-shit crazy and he wants nothing to do with you because people die around you and that he wants to focus on his career. If you have made Miranda loyal to you and protected Oriana, she does not stab you in the back and sell you out to the Illusive Man on the final mission at the Collector’s Base. My point here is that the characters will do what you want them to do. They will waver sometimes, especially during confrontations with rival characters but to a great extent they behave in a way that most people do not, by their word.
That brings me to the consequence of Wrex being killed during my first play of Mass Effect. I went into Virmire not knowing the consequences (I think I had only completed the Feros mission) and as a result had not approached the correct dialogue sequences for Wrex (to open the mission for his family’s ceremonial armour) nor did I have enough charm or intimidate points. All of that resulted in an unintended consequence of the game, Wrex being shot by Ashley.
When you enter that conversation with Wrex, unlike the majority of conversations in the game, picking the charm/paragon options only results in further antagonising him to the point where he draws his gun on you. If you have enough charm/intimidate points then a dialogue choice is available to either reason with him or make him stand down. If not, choosing the other charm option results in Ashley killing him.
That scene is one of the few times in the game (except maybe where Tali commits suicide) where you watch your screen in horror unable to take back the consequences which are playing out. It’s real and it’s unexpected because instead of the characters playing into the role you want for them, the way you want, decisions are made in a very human way which go against what you expected to happen. Of course all of that happened when it shouldn’t have because I was just playing like an idiot and literally shooting from the hip but it was a far more human interaction than the majority of interactions in the game.
Ashley killing Wrex was traumatic for me, to the point that I am replaying the entire series (almost exactly the same) with the intention of getting Wrex to the end.
Because he’s a cool guy, and I think having Wrex, Garrus and Shepard talking shit together in some bar on Omega would be a lot of fun.