eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Breaking the Mold
Author: [personal profile] eponymous_rose
Artist: liberalspaceship
Disclaimer: Mass Effect isn't ours, tragically.
Word Count: 14,995
Beta: The incredible tarysande--any remaining errors are all on me.
Warnings: Game-level violence
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Shepard/Garrus, Ashley, Brooks
Spoilers: Everything up to and including the Citadel DLC.
Author and Artist's Notes: At end of work on AO3.

Summary: With her ship under enemy control, Commander Shepard must fight a losing battle against shattered-mirror metaphors, sci-fi clichés, and, above all, herself. An alternative take on the Citadel DLC.



Artist's Masterpost: @tumblr
Author's Masterpost: @AO3

Oh wow

Mar. 7th, 2013 06:00 pm
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
I'd like to apologize to all of you on tumblr, because yeah, I'm gonna be spamming this new Mass Effect DLC for a while.

If you're on the fence about it: GET IT. DO IT NOW. If you just buy one piece of DLC for Mass Effect 3, this is it (and I say this as an overenthusiastic Omega fan). It's the most glorious fanservice you can imagine, and it's a perfect, perfect send-off for the trilogy. The rest of the trilogy lets you act the part of the main character of a giant, multi-season space opera. This DLC lets you act out the very best kind of fanfic about all these amazing characters. It's the funniest thing this series has ever done, bar none.

On a side note, the combat was actually pretty awesome - a certain boss battle is the first time I've been seriously tempted to lower the difficulty from the highest level on my Engineer playthrough. Turns out incinerate-spams are so much less fun when you're the target.

The minigames are great. The combat sim is excellent (including the inevitable OH NO SOMEONE TURNED OFF THE SAFETIES moment). Side characters and inside jokes are so plentiful that it may actually take the fandom several weeks to ferret them all out. I played extremely slowly and carefully, and when I went to tumblr, I only recognized about half the dialogue people were giffing there. There is a whole lot of content.

And, well, it has an amazing ending (shocking, right?). Satisfying, well-paced, makes you grin even as you're tearing up. Hits just the right note. What a great series of games.

(The only downside is that I was so wrapped up in playing that I nearly forgot about [livejournal.com profile] mebigbang and wound up signing up with a premise I thought up on the spot. WE'LL SEE HOW THIS GOES.)
eponymous_rose: (Default)
Title: Old Soldiers
Word Count: 2500
Characters: Karin Chakwas, Jacob Taylor, Commander Shepard, Kasumi Goto, Miranda Lawson
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Spoilers: Set early in the second game

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] sophia_gratia, who gave me the following request: "Clueless re:ME, so: take a badass but marginal lady character and write something that showcases her finest trait. Make me want to know her!"

I could cheerfully have written about twenty billion different fics from that prompt (and probably will in the future), but for now, there's this one. Hope you enjoy!

Summary: In the early days of the Normandy SR-2, Karin Chakwas must navigate a minefield of loyalties.

(Also available at AO3.)

Old Soldiers )
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Keeping Score
Word Count: 1200
Characters: Joker, ensemble
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Spoilers: Set early in the first game

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] justice_turtle, who requested "Joker saves the day!"

Summary: After a close call on Therum, the crew unwinds.

(Also available at AO3.)

Keeping Score )
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Firebreak
Word Count: 2600
Characters: Mordin Solus, Kirrahe, Maelon
Rating: T
Warnings: Violence
Spoilers: ME2

Summary: Tuchanka is, at its heart, an unforgiving world. The die is cast.

(Also available at AO3.)

Firebreak )
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Written for Mass Effect Big Bang 2012.

Title: Home Fires Burning
Word Count: 26,000
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Author's Notes: Huge thanks to both my artist MaxwellDemon and my wonderful beta [personal profile] arcanelegacy. Getting to explore some of the lesser-known stories of this universe was a fantastic experience – I hope you enjoy reading the fic as much as I enjoyed writing it.



Prologue: Freefall
Night Winds: 1. Endings
Night Winds: 2. Beginnings
Interlude: Sympathy for the Devil
Steel and Shadows: 1. Past Continuous
Steel and Shadows: 2. Present Tense
Steel and Shadows: 3. Future Imperfect
Epilogue: Just Like New Times

Also available at:
(LJ) | (AO3)
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (8/8)
Word Count: 1,800 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Epilogue: Just Like New Times )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (7/8)
Word Count: 1,300 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Steel and Shadows: 3. Future Imperfect )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (6/8)
Word Count: 5,300 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Steel and Shadows: 2. Present Tense )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (5/8)
Word Count: 5,500 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Steel and Shadows: 1. Past Continuous )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (4/8)
Word Count: 1,000 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Interlude: Sympathy for the Devil )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (3/8)
Word Count: 4,400 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Night Winds: 2. Beginnings )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (2/8)
Word Count: 5,000 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Night Winds: 1. Endings )

Previous Chapter | Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Home Fires Burning (1/8)
Word Count: 1,800 (this chapter)
Characters: Hilary Moreau, Aeian T'Goni, Solana Vakarian, Lantar Sidonis, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni, Donnel Udina, Dehkarr, Jeff "Joker" Moreau
Rating: T
Warnings: Canon character death, violence
Spoilers: ME3, from start to finish.

Summary: Khar'shan, Tiptree, Citadel, Palaven, Earth. Five tales from the Reaper War. This is the way the worlds end.

Prologue: Freefall )

Back to Masterpost | Next Chapter
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Three-word nonspoilery review regarding the infamous ending:

They. Fixed. It.

IMO, they did a fantastic job. I ran through it with my Garrusmance playthrough, and I may have teared up on many occasions, especially Spoilers ) Dang. That was good.

Also: new music! I wasn't expecting that. Heh, they also tweaked one piece so it doesn't end on such a dissonant jumble of chords at the end. HIGHLY SYMBOLIC. Don't ask how I noticed that.

Wow. Okay, I'm sure people will still complain about this, and I'm sure a lot of their complaints will be legitimate, but let's face it: the endings to the first two games weren't exactly the height of sense-making cleverness. But they had heart, and now this one does, too. I'm a very happy camper.

So many plotbunnies...
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Quick note: Mass Effect 1 and 2 are very cheap right now on Amazon - five bucks for the original game, and nine bucks for the sequel. Fourteen dollars is an amazing deal for a minimum of ~60 hours of playtime.

Mind you, this is via Amazon's download service, so I think it's only available in the States. If you're not in the US, I'd wait a couple weeks for the Steam Summer Sale - I'm sure they'll be marked down similarly. I picked up both games for $15 combined on Steam a year and a half ago... chances are, the deals will be even better this time around.

The third game is still ~$80 for the digital deluxe edition, but apparently some stores like Gamestop have been selling the regular game for more like $25. Despite all the hullabaloo over the ending, it's well worth it, IMO. (That said, I wouldn't bother with the digital deluxe edition, unless you really want Shepard to be able to wear a hoodie, because that seems to be about all it gives you. It is a pretty sweet hoodie, mind you.) A single playthrough of the trilogy amounts to about 100 hours of awesomeness, which is around the same as five/six seasons of a TV show, and there's quite a bit of replay value.

There's also a bewildering array of DLC (downloadable content), so here are my thoughts on the various add-ons:

ME1
  • Bring Down the Sky (free) - Comes with the original game, though if you buy the game on Steam, you'll have to jump through some hoops with EA customer support to get an activation key - the trick is to get into the support chat for ME3 and just immediately ask for an activation key for BDtS. The plot's pretty straightforward: for unknown reasons, an asteroid has been hijacked and is plummeting towards a human colony world, and it's up to you to investigate. This one's actually quite good - introduces the batarians, gives you an awesome asteroid to explore, and at the end of the couple hours of playtime there's a really decent moral dilemma. Also, it's referenced in a couple places in the second game, and there's even a bit of fallout in the third game. Well worth the effort of getting an activation key, IMO.
  • Pinnacle Station ($5 on Origin) - Oh, this one really annoys the completist in me, because the combat system in the first game is not very good, and this entire DLC is about the combat system. Essentially, it's a series of minigame simulations where you're trying to beat high scores. You do get the opportunity to win Shepard a retirement home, but it's ridiculously difficult, even on Casual difficulty. I'd give this one a miss.


ME2
  • [Spoiler] Crash Site (free) - Comes with the game, if you activate Cerberus Network. Unlike BDtS, it's very easy to download your free DLC in the second game. This one is probably the saddest pixel-hunt you'll ever do. I think it's worthwhile - a surprisingly emotional and quiet little moment in an otherwise fast-paced game.
  • Zaeed - The Price of Revenge (free) - Hey, it's another squadmate! Zaeed, a ruthless mercenary, is noooot a nice guy, but he's certainly interesting, and I maintain that his loyalty mission has one of the best paragon/renegade splits in the game. This DLC also has repercussions in the third game. Definitely worthwhile.
  • Firewalker Pack (free) - This one seemed a lot more important back when everyone was speculating about the content of the third game. Unfortunately, they didn't wind up adopting this hovercraft in the third game, so now it's just sort of a weird series of side missions where you... race around in a hovercraft. If, like me, you enjoy driving games and kinda miss the Mako from game one, you should pick this one up. You're not missing anything if you don't (except for one joke James Vega makes in the third game).
  • Kasumi - Stolen Memory ($7) - Another new squadmate! Kasumi is an awesome thief with a hilarious sense of humour. Also, her loyalty mission is a wacky heist involving a dinner party, the Statue of Liberty's head, and the gun that killed two presidents. Once again, this one impacts on the third game. If you have the cash to spare, Kasumi's a fun addition to the team.
  • Overlord ($7) - Ouch. This one is really intense, with a lot of horror elements to it, and really messes with the interface between organics and synthetics. It's really twisted (including some bits of surprisingly dark humour), and sheds some light on what a certain covert organization Shepard works for is really all about. I'd grab this one, but avoid playing it with the lights off. Also has repercussions in the third game, but it isn't absolutely plot-essential.
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker ($10) - This one would be worth it at twice the price. BUY THIS DLC. It's long - a few hours - and cleverly written and seriously fleshes out Liara's character. It also seamlessly incorporates and test-runs a lot of the mechanics of the third game, which is pretty awesome. You meet another Spectre, there are plot twists aplenty, there's a flying car chase, there's a fight on the hull of a giant spaceship in a lightning storm... and the dossiers on your squadmates at the end are pretty much the coolest things ever. If you don't do this one, you might be a bit confused through bits of ME3.
  • Arrival ($7) - Yeeeah, this one is absolutely plot-essential. The start of ME3 kinda makes zero sense without it. It's a really decent few hours of play, regardless - there's a rescue mission gone horribly wrong, an amazing sense of urgency throughout, and the ending foreshadows a lot of the hard decisions to come in ME3. (Also, if you've played this one already, someone discovered that if you let the two-and-a-half-hour countdown run down, you get this horrifying cutscene.) Major repercussions in ME3.


ME3
  • From Ashes ($10) - This one got a lot of flak as Day 1 DLC, and you can definitely play the whole game without it, but it nets you a new squadmate and a ton of new material and dialogue. I think it's worthwhile - some bits of plot make more sense with Javik around. Also, he's hilarious.
  • Assorted Multiplayer DLCs (free) - I was surprised to discover I really, really love the multiplayer mode in ME3, so I can heartily recommend these free expansions. If you've ever wanted to play as, say, a geth, a krogran, a batarian, or a vorcha, now's your chance.
  • Expanded Cut (free) - After the hubbub over the ending, Bioware committed to making an extended version to clarify. It's going to be released sometime this summer, and it'll be free. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's not gonna please very many people, but I think it'll still be worthwhile.


Okay. Back to work. I'm hoping I can pull this thesis together quickly enough that I'll have a solid weekend free sometime to just game and game and game. That sounds really nice right now.
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Finally got to the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC in my replay of ME2. It is still pretty much the best thing ever and, as an added bonus, I caught a Twin Peaks reference I'd missed last time around! Sneaky. Even the loading screens are awesome. "Shoot the lightning capacitors to make them explode." If that's your helpful hint, you know whatever's coming up is going to be pretty epic.

Mostly, though, it's still the character stuff that gets me in this one. Banter! I do so love the banter. And Shepard and Liara circling each other in a wary, not-quite-comfortable way that's unexpectedly subtle and well done and true to the characters. And plot twists and character evolution and that ending. Yesss.

So that got me to thinking that Liara T'Soni is one of my favourite characters - because helloooo, character development, what with going from socially awkward archaeologist to kinda ruthless spymaster. She's not a "soldier" character either, like so many of the others in this franchise, and I love that they kept that about her. So hey, that got me to thinking that I should make a post with pretty pictures expounding on Liara's awesomeness. As you do.

All images are clickable to get to the source.

Being a treatise on the awesomeness of Dr. Liara T'Soni )
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Paradigm Shift (2/2)
Word Count: 7,500 total
Characters: Ashley Williams, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni
Rating: T (violence, language)
Notes: Many thanks to [personal profile] rivendellrose for the excellent beta!
Spoilers: Set early in the first game.

Summary: Today's forecast: Thunderstorms, with a chance of giant killer space worms. Tomorrow: Partly cloudy.

Part 1
Part 2 )
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
Title: Paradigm Shift (1/2)
Word Count: 7,500 total
Characters: Ashley Williams, Garrus Vakarian, Liara T'Soni
Rating: T (violence, language)
Notes: Many thanks to [personal profile] rivendellrose for the excellent beta!
Spoilers: Set early in the first game.

Summary: Today's forecast: Thunderstorms, with a chance of giant killer space worms. Tomorrow: Partly cloudy.

Part 1 )
Part 2
eponymous_rose: (ME | Victus)
This is a looong shot, since I think only one or two of you may know this fandom, but I just got around to polishing up a Mass Effect fic that's been sitting at 99% completion on my hard drive for, what, almost a year? (At some point I should just go through and post all the 99%-complete fics I can find - there are about twenty of them, heh.) I just realized it wasn't jossed by anything in ME3, so I figure it's probably postable, and may get some of this Mass Effecting out of my system.

The fic takes place early in the first game and is 100% spoiler-free. It's action/adventure genfic with lots of banter, featuring Ashley, Liara, and Garrus on a Mako mission that keeps going wrong. It's also about 7,500 words long, although I'm considering splitting it into three little chapters for dramatic effect. Mostly it's just the new-fandom jitters talking, and I'd love to get some help with characterization, but I'm also a little rusty when it comes to writing plot, so I'd appreciate any advice on that front before I dive back into Chasm.

If you're willing to do this, Mass Effect fans on my flist, I will make you a lovely picspam/gifspam of your favourite character. And shower you with virtual cookies. And feed your fish while you're out saving the universe.

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