The earliest thing you can tend to are upgrades to the Normandy. These aren’t initially made available: instead you’ll need to talk to a specific squad memeber on the Normandy and ask them about upgrades under the Investigate option.
|Silaris Armor Tech||15,000 Palladium||Jacob|
|Thanix Cannon||15,000 Platinum||Garrus|
|Cyclone Shield Tech||15,000 Palladium||Tali|
The results of purchasing these upgrades will be explained in the final section.
Squad Mate Loyalty
The other, much more influential factor is the Loyalty of specific squad members. These are determined by whether or not you completed their Loyalty Missions in the second half of the game (except Zaeed and Kasumi, whose Loyalty Missions are available as soon as you recruit them).
Because of this, it is VITAL that you complete the Loyalty Missions of all your squad mates before going through the Omega-4 Relay (although preferably before grabbing the Reaper IFF, for reasons explained later on this page). Non-Loyal Squad Mates asked to perform specific tasks are at high risk of being killed, or getting somebody on their team killed.
While completing their Loyalty Mission is enough for Jacob, Kasumi, Garrus, Grunt and Morinth, there are seven squad members who can be disloyal to you even if you completed their Loyalty Mission. These are Zaeed, Miranda, Jack, Samara, Thane, Tali and Legion. The following sections explain how to avoid these situations.
Almost all of these are based around Persuasion Checks that open up Charm and Intimidate options that let you resolve the situation and retain a squad mate’s Loyalty. Because of this, consistently picking Paragon / Renegade options and saving these Missions for later will make the following scenarios go much more smoothly.
During Zaeed’s Loyalty Mission, The Price of Revenge, you will have to choose between going inside the facility to save the workers or to ignore them and go after Vido. If you choose to save the facility, then at the end of the Mission you won’t arrive at the shuttle platform in time, Vido will escape, and Zaeed gets himself trapped under some wreckage.
- Choose the “You brought this on yourself” Charm option when it shows up for Zaeed to still be Loyal to you.
- If you pick “You owe me big for this” or “Come on, Zaeed. Let’s go”, the Mission will be completed but Zaeed will NOT be Loyal with you.
If you’re Renegade and chose to ignore the factory workers to go after Vido, then Zaeed will successfully kill him and he will be Loyal to you.
Jack vs Miranda
After you complete both Jack and Miranda’s Loyalty Missions, then when you get back on the Normandy they’ll be in a fight that you must resolve in order to keep their Loyalty. There are several ways to do that, but all involve passing a very high Persuasion Check. Your first chance is during the confrontation itself:
- Picking either the “This is a distraction” Charm option or the “This ends now!” Intimidate option will resolve the situation and keep their Loyalty.
If you cannot do this, pick either “Back off, Miranda” or “Too bad, Jack“, making sure you don’t pick someone you’re trying to Romance. This will cause the other to get angry with you, but if you talk with them afterwards you can open up other options. These still require a high Persuasion Check, but it won’t be as high as the one in the original confrontation.
- For Miranda, pick either the “Be the better woman” Charm option or the “Don’t give me that crap” Intimidate option.
- For Jack, pick either the “It was lip service” Charm option or the “I like you angry” Intimidate option.
If you’re able to choose them, their Loyalty will be restored, however if you were Romancing them you are still locked out of it.
Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi
Samara‘s Loyalty Mission is one that is able to be completed while not having her Loyalty, but it takes some doing to actually do this. Nonetheless, here’s how to avoid it.
The first point is in the nightclub where you have to gain Morinth’s attention by participating in six activities. You need to successfully pass three, so if you fail four of them you’ll be unable to gain Morinth’s attention and lose her forever, resulting in Samara‘s disloyalty. Here’s what you need to do to pass each of the six activities:
- If you talk to the human Horftin, you’ll learn that he’s an undercover journalist worried about his partner Moirall. Talk to Florit, then pick “Terminal” and “Eternity” in that order. If you use the incorrect order, or pick “Goodbye”, you’ll fail the activity.
- The Turian Meln in the central dance floor is trying to have Hallia, the Asari dancer, participate in “non-dancing” activities. Pick “Leave her alone” to pass. If you pick “Goodbye”, you’ll fail the activity.
- In the central dance floor is an Asari named Waera. Choose the “Let’s dance” Charm option to pass, anything else will fail the activity.
- Talk to the bartender Edwin, then pick “I’ll buy a round of drinks”, “Drinks on the house” or “Treat your customers”. Choosing “Nothing, thanks” will fail the activity.
- In a corner of the bar is a Krogan named Verf who is insulting humans. Pick the “Let’s step outside” Intimidate option to pass. Picking “Goodbye” or “They let you in” will fail the activity.
- A pair of Turians, Vertin and Huck, are discussing mugging people. Any option will pass the activity, except “Goodbye” which will fail it.
The second chance to fail the Loyalty Mission is after you pass three bar activities and chat with Morinth herself in a booth. Here you’ll need to use the knowledge gained when investigating Nef’s bedroom.
- To pass, pick “I’m confident” is a good first start Either way, you’ll then need to talk about Music, Art and Travel, and pick things Morinth is interested in based on your findings in Nef’s bedroom.
- To fail, pick “We’re alike” or “I don’t know”, then pick “Family” and “Justicars”. Then, pick either Music, Art or Travel, specifically avoid talking about anything Morinth is interested in, then avoid picking any Charm / Intimidate options that would win back her interest.
If you fail either of these two segments, Morinth will leave the bar and the mission will be completed, but failed. As a result, Samara will be disloyal with you.
Thane: Sins of the Father
Thane’s Loyalty Mission is also one that can be completed with Thane still being Disloyal to you. Towards the end of the Mission you’ll be in some upper catwalks and must keep track of a Turian called Talid with a Krogan bodyguard.
- If you are able to keep updating Thene on Talid’s location before the each meter runs out, you’ll successfully tail him to Talid’s apartment. Any result from here will result in Thane being Loyal to you.
- If you do not update Thane on Talid’s location before the meter runs out, then Kolyat will carry out his assassination of Talid and get away before you or Thane can get there.
You can talk to Thane about how the Mission went even if you failed, however this won’t alter whether he’s Loyal to you or not.
Tali’s Loyalty Mission is one that cannot be failed, but can have her Disloyal to you anyway. This is actually quite simple: it depends entirely on if you present the evidence of the crimes committed by Tali’s father or not.
- If you pick “I don’t need evidence”, “You’re wasting our time!” or “[Rally the crowd]”, Tali is not exiled and she remains Loyal to you.
- If you pick “We have no evidence”, Tali will be exiled. However, because you didn’t present the evidence of her father’s crimes, she’ll be Loyal to you.
- If you pick “Yes. Here is the evidence”, Tali will be exiled, and since you presented the evidence, she will NOT be Loyal to you.
Tali vs Legion
After you complete both Tali and Legion‘s Loyalty Missions, they’ll get into a fight just like with Jack and Miranda. As with that confrontation, you’ll need to resolve this matter in order to retain their Loyalty, but it requires up to two very high Persuasion Checks.
- Picking either the “You’re both right” Charm option or the “Knock this crap off” Intimidate option will have both parties satisfied and retain their Loyalty to you.
If you cannot pass this initial Persuasion Check, you’ll need to pick “Back off, Tali” or “Legion, stop transmitting”. If you’re Romancing Tali, you’ll want to pick Legion or else the Romance will be permanently halted. Either way, you have one last chance to patch things up and regain their Loyalty.
If you’re able to choose these options, their Loyalty will be restored, however if you told Tali to back off then your Romance with her will be ceased.
IFF Installation and Crew Theft
The IFF’s installation will be announced as completed when you get close to the Galaxy Map’s ramp, and the amount of time it takes depends on how many Missions and Assignments are remaining for you to do (although please note that this can and will vary):
- If you have four or more Missions and/or Assignments to do, the Reaper IFF will be installed after completing four of them.
- If you have between 1-3 Missions and/or Assignments, the Reaper IFF will be installed after completing them.
- If you have done absolutely everything possible and don’t activate Legion, the Reaper IFF will be installed the moment you get close to the Galaxy Map ramp.
In order to avoid that, then after completing the Reaper IFF Mission with no other Missions / Assignments, SAVE FIRST, then approach the Elevator by hugging the walls and staying as far away from the Galaxy Map ramp as possible. If you make it to the elevator without EDI saying the IFF installation is complete, you can activate Legion, then talk to them again to acquire their Loyalty Mission.
If done correctly, then when you next approach the Galaxy Map ramp the countdown will see that you have Legion’s Loyalty Mission, and will let you complete it before doing Joker’s Jump.
Once the Reaper IFF is installed, a new Mission will play out that results in the entire crew of the Normandy getting kidnapped. Time is now of the essence: completing any Missions and / or Assignments will put the crew at risk. You can safely shop at the Citadel and Omega, and tend to Research, but otherwise you should start the Suicide Mission as soon as possible.
Tali Romance and Legion Dialogue
The Reaper IFF installation process can be a big problem for certain players however, because the Mission where you get the Reaper IFF is also where you pick up Legion, who triggers a lot of unique dialogue if you bring them to Tali’s recruitment Loyalty Missions.
Because of that, things can get very tricky if you’re a Paragon Male Shepard, want to bring Legion to Tali’s recruitment and Loyalty Missions, do Legion’s Loyalty Mission, AND successfully lock in a romance with Tali.
In order to make this possible, you must do the following:
- Make sure you have two Missions / Assignments left to do, which you’ll complete after the Suicide Mission. We recommend two of the Project Firewalker Side Quests, “Geth Activity” and “Survey Sites Located”, since they’re short and rather inconsequential.
- After getting the Reaper IFF, talk to Legion immediately to gain his Loyalty Mission. You’ll now have three Missions / Assignments on your list.
- Do Dossier: Tali on Haestrom. This lets you bring Legion with you for unique dialogue.
- After recruiting Tali, talk to her in order to pick up her Loyalty Mission. Complete it with Legion in your squad for the unique dialogue.
- Once you’ve completed Tali’s Loyalty Mission, talk to her to develop the romance.
- Now complete Legion: A House Divided. Once you’re done, talk to Tali to develop the romance.
- Approach the Galaxy Map and you’ll find that the Reaper IFF has been completed. Once all this is over, go through the Omega-4 Relay immediately.
- Once the Suicide Mission is over, save your game, then alternate between talking with Tali and completing one of the Project Firewalker Side Quests you saved earlier. Finishing each will unlock new dialogue for Tali that lets you progress the Romance to its completion.
The Suicide Mission
Once you’re fully prepared, you’ll be going through the Omega-4 Relay as soon as the crew have been kidnapped with the Normandy upgraded and your squad fully Loyal to you.
That doesn’t mean you’re in the clear however! Follow the instructions in the sequence of events below to ensure you pull off the impossible and get everyone out of there alive.
- Collector Base Approach:
- Because you bought the Silaris Armor Tech, Jack will survive the Oculus attack.
- Thanks to the Cyclone Sheild Tech, no casualties result when Joker pushes the barrier’s limits as he goes through the debris field.
- Thanks to the Thanix Cannon, no casualties result when the Normandy takes on the Collector Ship.
- The Long Walk:
- When picking the Vent Specialist, pick Tali, Kasumi or Legion. Picking Tali can result in some unique dialogue in Mass Effect 3.
- When picking the Second Fireteam Leader, pick Garrus, Jacob or Miranda.
- Since you went through the Omega-4 Relay as soon as possible, the entire crew of the Normandy will be alive.
- For the Barrier Specialist, pick Jack or Samara / Morinth. Picking Jack will result in some unique dialogue in Mass Effect 3.
- For the second Fireteam Leader, your options are again Garrus, Jacob or Miranda.
- For the Crew Escort, pick “I’ll have someone escort you”. Since your team is fully loyal, you can legitimately pick anybody, but if not, Mordin is a good option.
- Endgame Finale:
- If you intend to destroy the Collector Base, pick Miranda as your first option in the Squad Select screen for some unique dialogue.
- If you want to bring a love interest with you on the squad, pick them second on the Squad Select screen. If you do so, Shepard will save them specifically after killing the final boss, as well as go to them first in the aftermath.
- Since Miranda and your other squad mate are loyal, they survive the aftermath with the final boss.
- Since your remaining squad mates are numerous and all loyal, they will survive holding the line while you’re gone.
- Since more than two squad mates survived the mission, so does Shepard at the very end.
If you’re able to pull all of this off, congratulations! Everybody survived the Suicide Mission!