Grab a copy of the episode here and follow along.
This podcast contains adult language and spoilers for Mass Effect 3, The Matrix, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
01:14 – From Ashes was day-one DLC for Mass Effect 3, and was free with collector’s edition releases of the game. This is apparently one of Bioware’s (or EA’s) favorite tricks; like similar releases for Mass Effect 2 and the first two Dragon Age games, the DLC was essentially an optional-but-awesome party member, along with a bonus mission to recruit him. (And in most of these cases, the DLC was free with new, day-one copies of the game, giving an advantage to early adopters.) In this case, the character is Javik, an ancient Prothean warrior held in suspended animation until the present day. He is also a total dick.
Extended Cut, on the other hand, came out about four months after the game and was free to everybody. It added a few minutes of cutscenes to Mass Effect 3’s controversial endings, cleaning up some dangling plot threads (like what happened to your party members after the final charge) and doing a much better job of explaining the implications and consequences of the three-pronged final choice.
01:39 – We’re mainly here to talk about the ending, but first we got distracted debating the merits of day-one DLC.
02:23 – I don’t mean to unfairly push blame on producers or anyone else. What I meant to say was the publisher, who I’d logically expect to be the entity in charge of deciding what projects to pursue, where to assign development resources, and what to sell for what price. But if you have better information on the who and how of these decisions, I’d love to hear it!
02:54 – And here we spend a full minute on the Vulcan Science Academy.
04:50 – PK’s right. People who bought the standard release of the game, even on day one with the preorders and all their ducks in a row, had to pay extra for From Ashes.
05:50 – Apparently my impression of Javik is to talk really fast.
06:15 – Lizards are the suborder Lacertilia, consisting of reptiles with overlapping scales that are neither sphenodonts nor snakes. In other words, they’re a subclass of Class Reptilia, while amphibians are a separate Class, Amphibia. Both belong to Phylum Chordata. All lizards breathe air using lungs, while amphibians have gills or can breathe through their skin for at least part of their lives. Thanks Wikipedia!
06:24 – Turtles are another Order of Reptilia, and though they often nest near water, they breathe air and cannot lay their eggs underwater.
08:24 – Though parts of From Ashes were found on the Mass Effect 3 disc, the download is over 600 MB, much more than a simple key.
08:55 – Okay! At long last, we’re getting into Extended Cut.
12:45 – The cosmicism article was actually by Kyle Munkittrick and first appeared on PopBioethics.
19:38 – Can I interest you in a glass of Chateau Burboux?
28:37 – Pokemon Platinum hit in 2008, though Piplup (the aforementioned steel penguin) first appeared in 2006’s Diamond and Pearl. At the time of this recording, I was still pretty excited about playing a game with Piplup in it. But I got over it pretty fast, unfortunately.
30:06 – Sadly, it appears there is no official Mass Effect miniatures game.
31:10 – The ACT scores of famous people. Actually, we only talk about John Cena.
34:11 – My favorite scene in Mass Effect 3 is one of these “little dramatic moments.” It’s the scene where Garrus, having just learned about the human idiom “I’m sure they’ll be all right,” and deeply questioned its usefulness, learns that Shepard’s mother is missing in action – and replies with that same phrase, offering what small comfort he can even though he knows it’s not true.
38:24 – I was wrong! Although Mordin’s original voice actor, Michael Beattie, was replaced by William Salyers in Mass Effect 3, Beattie is still very much alive and has even stated his interest in reprising the role in any future Mordin appearances.
40:05 – Okay, we never got to Tomba! Sorry!