Continuing on with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Mass Effect 2’s choices represent some of the most impactful of the series. Your decisions throughout the game for each squad-mate’s loyalty mission, along with upgrades acquired and whatnot, will determine the survival of the crew when the suicide mission is finished. Let’s take a look at all of the major decisions and choices in the game.
Silaris Armor Tech, Thanix Cannon and Cyclonic Shield Tech – These upgrades are crucial for ensuring the survival of every squadmate in the final mission. The Silaris Armor Tech is acquired from Jacob for 15,000 Palladium – simply ask him about upgrades for the Normandy. Do the same with Garrus and purchase the Thanix Cannon for 15,000 Platinum. Finally, speak to Tali about upgrades for the Cyclonic Shield Tech which costs 15,000 Platinum. And yes, you’ll need to do some mining to obtain these materials but ultimately, it’ll be worth it.
Keep or Destroy Maelon’s Data – In Mordin’s loyalty mission, you can either destroy Maelon’s data or keep it. Keeping it allows Eve to survive in “Priority: Tuchanka” in Mass Effect 3. Subsequently, sabotaging the cure for the Genophage won’t be possible (unless you kill the STG doctor, that is). Destroying the data causes Eve to die in the sequel.
Awaken or Leave Grunt – Upon completing “Dossier: The Warlord”, you have the option to either awaken Grunt or leave him in the tank. Check out the video below to see both choices and how this can impact your game heading into Mass Effect 3.
Miranda: Help Find Oriana – Completing Miranda’s loyalty mission and then warning her in Mass Effect 3 about Kai Leng gives her a chance to survive in Priority: Horizon. Ignoring the mission means she will die in the third game.
Jack and Miranda – After finishing the loyalty missions for both Miranda and Jack, they’ll get into an argument on the Normandy. Having enough points in Charm or Intimidate allows you to calm both of them without suffering any consequences. Siding with one makes the other disloyal and can end a relationship if they were being romanced. Speak to them afterwards for another persuasion check in order to make them loyal again.
Samara: Side With Samara or Morinth – In Samara’s loyalty mission, you have to help her find Morinth, her daughter. This involves attracting the latter’s interest. Check out the videos below to see how to do this (and what happens if you fail). Various choices will also affect whether you side with Samara or Morinth after they fight.
Send Veetor With Tali or Cerberus – When the mission “Freedom’s Progress” is over, you can either have Veetor go with Tali or take him to Cerberus. Going with the former will make him friendly to Shepard during the trial and if Kal’Reegar is also alive, then the option to “rally the crowd” will be available. If you take him to Cerberus, then he’ll be afraid of Shepard later and the “rally the crowd” option won’t be available in the trial.
Interrupt Kal’Reegar – On Haestrom, a Quarian named Kal’Reegar can be interrupted from attacking the Geth Colossus. Doing this ensures he lives and if Veetor goes with Tali when “Freedom’s Progress” ends, then you can rally the crowd during her trial. Not interrupting Kal’Reegar and failing to protect him can lead to his death, which means you won’t get the crowd-rallying option at the trial.
Clearing Tali’s Trial – Tali’s loyalty mission can be very tricky – ultimately, you could end up helping but also cause her to be disloyal. The best options for clearing the Tali’s charges during the trial involve using Charm, Intimidate or “Rally the Crowd.” If this is done, then Tali will be cleared and remain loyal, her father won’t be indicted, and the likelihood of peacefully resolving the Quarian/Geth conflict in Mass Effect 3 increases. If you choose “We have no evidence”, Tali is exiled but still remains loyal. However, there won’t be a way to peacefully resolve the Quarian/Geth issues in the sequel. Going with “Yes. Here is the evidence” will clear Tali but indict her father, making her disloyal. She thus becomes more likely to die in the suicide mission and you can’t peacefully resolve the Quarian/Geth conflict in Mass Effect 3.
Thane: Keep Track or Lose Talid – Thane’s loyalty mission involves keeping track of Talid while in the catwalks. Successfully do this and regardless of how the mission ends, Thane will be loyal. Much like Samara’s mission, however, you can complete the mission unsuccessfully, causing Thane to be disloyal. Check out what happens in the video below if you fail the mission.
Dinner with Kelly – You can decide on how you’d like to treat yeoman Kelly Chambers, opting for a flirty, friendly or professional relationship. Flirty and friendly allows you to invite Kelly to dinner and she’ll then be able to care of your fish. She will also appear in Mass Effect 3 in the Citadel and provide the Prejek Paddlefish. Not having dinner with Kelly means she won’t show up in the sequel and the Paddlefish can’t be obtained.
Reactivate or Sell Legion – Completing the Reaper IFF mission will see Shepard and crew returning to the Normandy with a deactivated Geth. Activating the Geth will provide Legion as a squadmate and if they survive the suicide mission, then they’ll play a role in the Quarian/Geth conflict. However, you can also choose to sell the Geth to Cerberus for 50,000 Credits. Check out the video below to see what happens.
Tali and Legion – Much like Jack and Miranda, Legion and Tali will have an argument on the Normandy after completing their loyalty missions. Once again, you need to pass a persuasion check. Choose Charm or Intimidate to keep them both loyal and resolve the argument peacefully. Siding with one causes the other to become disloyal (and if romancing Tali, ends the relationship with her).
Ilium: Conrad Verner – Verner can be encountered on Illium in the Eternity Bar if he survived in Mass Effect 1. Helping him will ensure he appears in the sequel. Telling him to “Get lost” or “You screwed up” results in him dying and not appearing in Mass Effect 3 (which can lock off valuable war assets).
Fate of the Geth Heretics – When concluding Legion’s loyalty mission, you have the option to either rewrite the Geth Heretics or destroy them. Check out the video below to see the effects of both choices.
Cheating on the Virmire Survivor – Romancing the survivor in Virmire in Mass Effect 1 and cheating on them in the second game results in them calling you out in Mass Effect 3. This makes it more more difficult to obtain their support in “Priority: Citadel 2” unless you admit to it or apologize. Staying loyal in the second game makes it easier to obtain their support in “Priority: Citadel 2”.
Khalisa Al-Jilani – The journalist from “The Fourth Estate’ quest in the previous game returns. You have the option to punch her with a Renegade prompt, which leads to receiving the option again (albeit with a twist) in Mass Effect 3. Not punching her in the first or second game allows for Shepard to convince her of their views and arrive at a more amicable solution.
Zaeed’s Fate – In Zaeed’s loyalty mission, you’ll be in pursuit of Vido. At one point, deciding to help the factory workers will result in Zaeed being trapped under some debris. Check out the video below for all the possible choices that can result from this.
Fate of the Crew – Following the Reaper IFF mission, your actions will decide how much of the Normandy’s crew survives after being captured by the Collectors. If you initiate the suicide mission immediately, then all of the crew will be alive. Waiting and doing a couple of missions will result in half of them dying. Waiting and completing four or more missions before heading to the Omega-4 Relay causes all of them to die (Dr. Chakwas survives in both cases).
Of all the missions in Mass Effect 2, none have as far-reaching consequences as the suicide mission. For more details on obtaining the very best ending, head here. As for what happens when certain squad-mates live or die, see below.
Jacob – If alive, appears in the mission “Arrae: Ex-Cerberus Scientists” in Mass Effect 3. He’ll be in a relationship with Dr. Brynn Cole (and if you romanced him in Mass Effect 2, can be confronted about this in the Citadel DLC for the third game). If he dies, Dr. Webber will appear in his place in the sequel instead.
Miranda Lawson – If alive, appears in Mass Effect 3 to locate her sister during a story mission (and has a chance to die against Kai Leng). If she dies, then the mission in the sequel proceeds as normal without Miranda appearing.
Kasumi Goto – If alive, she’s seen in the mission “Citadel: Hanar Diplomat” in Mass Effect 3 and will contribute to the war effort. If she dies, then you’ll have to make a difficult decision in “Citadel: Hanar Diplomat” without her.
Zaeed – If alive, Zaeed is seen in the mission “Citadel: Volus Ambassador”, allowing you to acquire two war assets along with being recruited as one. If he dies, two NPCs will replace him in the Citadel mission and only one war asset can be chosen.
Garrus – If alive, he will rejoin you in Mass Effect 3 as a squadmate. If he dies, he won’t appear in the sequel.
Grunt – If alive, he appears in the mission “Attican Traverse: Krogan Team Mission.” If he dies, then he won’t appear in Mass Effect 3.
Jack – If alive, she’s encountered again in “Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation” in Mass Effect 3. If she dies, then she’ll be replaced by Jason Prangley in the sequel.
Mordin – If Mordin lives, he plays a key role in the sequel and Padok Wiks serves as the STG doctor. If he dies, then Wiks takes his role.
Samara – If she lives, then Samara is encountered in the Mass Effect 3 mission “Kallini: Ardat-Yakshi Monastery.” If she dies, then she won’t appear at all.
Morinth – If you went with Morinth over Samara and she survives, then you’ll find emails from her in Mass Effect 3 during the mission “Kallini: Ardat-Yakshi Mission.” Eventually, you’ll discover she’s transformed into a Banshee and must be killed in the final mission. If Morinth dies in the suicide mission, then she won’t be present in the sequel.
Tali – If Tali lives, she plays a key role in the Quarian/Geth quest in Mass Effect 3. If she dies, then Shala’Raan will replace her in the Quarian/Geth quest and it won’t be possible to resolve things between both races peacefully.
Thane – If he lives, Thane will be present in the third game in a key mission. If he dies, he’ll be replaced by Captain Kirrahe in “Priority: Citadel 2”, assuming the latter lived through Virmire in the first game. If Kirrahe is also dead, neither will be present.
Legion – If Legion survives, they will have a major role in the Quarian/Geth quest and can help find a peaceful solution. If Legion dies, then he’ll be replaced by a Geth VI in the Quarian/Geth quest and peace can’t be obtained.
Destroy Collector Base or Give it to Cerberus – With the suicide mission coming to a close, you have the decision to destroy the Collector Base or give it to Cerberus. Choosing the former will result in only the Destroy ending being available in Mass Effect 3 on low Effective Military Strength (and the consequences are quite heavy). If you choose to give the base to Cerberus, then the Control ending will be the only option at the end of the third game on low EMS (and results in Earth surviving though the Mass Relays are destroyed).
Though the DLC may not seem important when it comes to Effective Military Strength in the sequel, they still have plenty of consequences (especially with regards to Liara). Here are the different results that occur when finishing each DLC quest.
Lair of the Shadow Broker – Finishing the DLC will result in Liara being referenced in the sequel. However, if you didn’t complete it, then Shepard won’t be aware of Liara’s new role and will find out via EDI.
Overlord – If you take David, then he’ll be encountered in the Mass Effect 3 mission “Grissom Academy: Emergency Evacuation.” This will provide access to a new weapon and mod. If you opt to have David stay on the project, he won’t appear in the sequel (and is later revealed to have been euthanized).
Arrival – Completing the DLC results in Shepard being locked up by the Alliance at the beginning of Mass Effect 3 due to destroying the Alpha Relay and Batarian Bahak system. Not completing the DLC sees Shepard in custody due to their involvement with Cerberus instead. The strength of the war asset Alliance 103rd Marine Division is also reduced by 50.