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Citadel Archives: Escape

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Citadel Archives - Escape
The culprit behind the identity theft is a clone of Commander Shepard. Find him/her before he/she escapes the archives.

Acquisition Edit

This mission's journal entry is acquired after the cutscenes following the first skirmish in the archives.

Preparation Edit

This will be your first chance to confront CAT6 with your own choice of weapons and squadmates, not to mention wearing your armor. Be sure to check your weapons loadout as the game will have cleared your normal equipment selections. In terms of squad planning you should expect to see a LOT of shielding and some heavily armored targets. The various weapons/upgrades that "penetrate thin cover" will prove useful. The ability to create Tech Bursts will wreak havoc among the many shielded CAT6 enemies, and the source powers for priming them (Overload, Energy Drain, Sabotage) will remove the shields from the CAT6 Heavies to boot.

As this is an all-hands-on-deck op, the squadmates you didn't pick (plus Cortez and Brooks) will be helping with fire support from areas inaccessible to you. This doesn't mean you should also customize their loadouts - they'll simply be using the game's usual default weapons. Don't expect them to finish off your enemies for you with sheer firepower; as the player character it's still your job.

Walkthrough Edit

As the trio of skycars rocket towards the archives, Shepard asks for the best way in. Brooks says that they are below the wards and suggests a direct breach for maximum surprise. Shepard agrees. As they land over the archives, Brooks mentions that it might be hard to get in. James however says that wouldn’t be a problem and pulls out a bomb. If Wrex is around, after the blast he rushes in first then everyone else follows.

Citadel archives - surprise party
After breaching a room, targeting lasers come in from all over, and everyone dives for cover. This is a fight that clearly CAT6 was unprepared for, and everyone starts shooting.

On the ground there are 2 CAT6 Specialists and a CAT6 Sniper, and on the square room's second level there are 2 other Snipers. Focus on the enemies on the ground as the ones upstairs can be taken care of by everyone else. Your ground team consists of the people you picked at the squad selection screen while the rest hangs out in the higher ground. Once the room is clear, someone appears on the catwalk holding Brooks hostage. They order everyone to drop their weapons or it won’t end well for Brooks, and hey, isn't that voice familiar?

A Familiar Face Edit

The figure finally steps out and what the world is going on?! It is Shepard! Well, it is in fact a clone that Cerberus grew during the Lazarus Project in case the real Shepard needed a new arm, heart, lung, or spare parts. However, the Illusive Man abandoned the project once he had the real Shepard. The clone remained in a coma until six months ago, right when Shepard was arrested. During those months, the clone learned to be human through the use of neural implants. During the conversation, you can advise the clone that it should be on the same side with you, or you can threaten it. Either way, the clone rejects your words, as it believes itself to be superior to you.

Citadel archives messy welcome area
The clone then proceeds to go on and eventually say that people will believe that it is the real Shepard if it's the one flying the Normandy. Shepard calls the ship to lock it down, but the comm is blocked. Instead the clone calls Traynor to prep for emergency departure, using the codes Shepard just tried to use. It then orders its goons to execute the real Shepard and friends.

There is a quick renegade interrupt which will result in Shepard shooting the Citadel model above to bring it crashing down on the two troopers on the ground floor. It's okay if you miss it, because another one of your squadmates will do it for you. Everyone springs to cover, now fight your way out.

Don't get cocky even if you have companions in the catwalks turning the place into a shooting gallery, and/or your enemies start realizing who the people they're messing with are. Stick to cover, CAT6 is throwing everything they have at you so you are going to be on the move a lot. The gaggle of enemies you face here call themselves the Rapier Squad, which means little once you skewer them yourself.

Stay focused, use powers, weapons, and anything to help. Get out of the middle as soon as you can do so safely, as your initial position can be flanked easily. Try and move to a corner and use it to prevent flanks and get the drop on enemies. Generally sticking to the outer rim is a good way to go.

You'll be meeting CAT6 Heavies for the first time: they're "all armor" and thus immune to most crowd control. They can be flanked or shot in the "mail slot", however; if you have an armor-penetrating weapon that also helps. Combat Tip: Though you might intuitively think anti-shield abilities such as Overload and Energy Drain would be ineffective against the "all armor" Heavies, and indeed they will be marked red on your display, they actually have the extremely powerful effect of removing the Heavy's shield for an extended period of time.

Locate Target Edit

Once every enemy falls, move to the doors as Shepard orders the teams to stick together and move up. Before leaving, grab the Shotgun Ultralight Materials mod and the medi-gel on the right. At the top of the ramp behind the desk is a terminal with 3750 credits, and on a terminal before the scanning field checkpoints there sits some grenades.

In the next room, a computer voice will tell you that you need Council permission to be in here, well forgot to get that, so just move on. Beyond the scanners is another med kit, clips, and an SMG Power Magnifier. You now move into what is clearly the main storage area of the archives. The banter of the entire group is humorous but you need to keep moving. Shepard eventually calls Glyph, and after persuading it, it moves off to track the clone.

Find A Way Around Edit

Citadel archives - lancer and vault innards
At the other end of the catwalks, CAT6 soldiers descend and find out that you are still alive. Big surprise your clone comes on the radio to say it needs more time to access the vault. Kill the two soldiers, and then step onto the platform, you are then lowered. Then step into the vault and you are transported deeper into the archives.

In one of the display bins within this transport vault is an M-7 Lancer assault rifle. This rifle does not use clips, but rather a cooldown system from the original game. It was apparently from the First Contact War, and now it may see use again. Note: taking this weapon is the last opportunity to reselect your weaponry for the rest of this mission; make use of it as you will.

Target Found Edit

The vault opens into the next area and then you have to keep moving. Head up and to the right. You'll be crawling over a series of tubes, which fortunately have numerous cover emplacements; more humorous banter follows and then more enemies. Apparently your clone still needs more time - it sends Dagger Squad after you. Not as efficient as the real thing apparently.

This is a claustrophobic warzone, your enemies have as much cover as you and they'll be deploying smoke and cluster grenades every now and then to further restrict visibility or your movements. Kill the CAT6 Snipers and Specialists, you should be able to deal with them all from where you are initially posted so just keep in cover and you should make short work of them.

More enemies will come up and now you will need to move. Keep to cover and move as the situation develops, using the tubes and the catwalks to flank as necessary. Note that there are two parallel tubes along the length of this space, so you may find your enemies alongside you. There is a med kit sitting on crates on a catwalk near the end.

Defend Team Mako Edit

Citadel archives - tubes
Once you move out of that area, you will get a message that Team Mako is pinned down to the left. Brooks repeatedly comms you of the fact if you dally around, so get going. You'll find Team Mako surrounded by enemies. You can take them out from above if you wish, but this is entirely optional: if you simply jump off the ledge the next cutscene will play.

Shepard sees a CAT6 Sniper moving to flank Team Mako and pops a few bullets her way. The Spectre runs down and covers the squad’s retreat up a ladder. Once everyone else is up, Shepard begins to radio for assistance. The rest of the team, now on the upper catwalk, opens fire, ripping the enemies to shreds. Shepard then climbs the ladder, notes that the clone can't be far, and reminds everyone of the gameplan: keep up the pressure and try to flank the enemy.

Locate Target (again) Edit

You're now at the part of the archives housing holographic records of important past events. You will encounter many such holos in your search for the clone, and if you want to check them out, open your ears and listen carefully. They don't have subtitles even with the option turned on.

Citadel archives - rocket jump
Once you're in control again, the first holo you'll see is a video clip of a turian interrogation from the First Contact War. To resume your hunt, head to the door on your right and follow the catwalks. Apparently, the section of the archive you're in is labeled 3 AR 028. There is another video clip on the left where a krogan is demanding more territory, sparking the Krogan Rebellions. Opposite it is a malfunctioning holo room, there's nothing there except a voice repeating "malfunction detected" while you're in the place.

The hallway between those two areas has least one CAT6 Specialist running at you from the far end; should take you less than 3 seconds to kill him. He comes from a spacious office area, which means plenty of cover and obstacles for either you or your enemy depending on how you play it, and there will be plenty of his ilk there. The area also features gaping chasms overlooking the levels below and just separated by low guide rails, allowing for physics-based strategies in merc disposal.

Go ahead and do not turn to your right because you will be flanked instantly. Your shipmates are at the catwalks overhead for fire support but CAT6 Snipers drop in from across them. Keep an eye on all of your flanks and keep enemies away from them because you will be flanked quickly. You are going to have to keep moving here to get the best cover and to keep enemies on your front or their flanks. During the fight there will be more banter amongst the team for some funny business, ending with Shepard asking if all of the comedians can actually start hitting something.

Once the place is clear, there is another historical vid on the left side walls, dealing with the Citadel ban on artificial intelligence. The one next to it is not malfunctioning but is empty; ignore it. Shepard orders the other teams to keep pushing up. Watch the vid, grab ammo, and if you're sure you're done with the area head through the door at the end to continue - it locks after you pass through.

Citadel archives - OSHA-compliant offices
Moving through the next area, watch your left and front as two Specialists will attempt to ambush you. Once they are down, grab the medi-gel in one of the vid areas. The active one is about the geth attack on the Citadel 3 years prior, but because of your Spectre clearance you get the uncensored version that reveals Sovereign's involvement.

Proceeding further, you come across another area with an office-and-chasms setup, only with a more claustrophobic feel due to man-height crates scattered about and handy for cover. You're actually at the level below the first office-and-chasms room, and Teams Mako and Hammerhead also moved there to once more provide support from above. As the next fight starts, even Glyph gets into the action with the humorous banter. There are only a few enemies, but one CAT6 Heavy is on your left so watch the crossfire and stick behind the wall so he can’t flank you.

Once the fight is over, Glyph comes to you saying it has found 18 previously unknown historical events. Shepard asks about the target, and Glyph says that the clone ordered it away. Shepard sends Glyph back after it. There is a terminal with 3750 credits nearby (if you stand with your back to the small 'window' through which light is coming, it is ahead and to your left) and a Sniper Rifle High-Velocity Barrel mod on the far right hand side of the room. Head over to where Glyph is hovering and proceed through the door. After the second door, there is a med kit hidden between some boxes on the left. Grab it and proceed when ready through the third door, which will lock after you pass through.

Target Found Edit

Citadel archives - cat6 atlas
The area after that is another section of the archives with mountains of storage tubes. It yields more banter, and a brief HUD update tells you that the target is found, but an Atlas Mech is in your way. Perched on the upper level, it decides that it is too much to face Team Mako, so it drops to your level once you start hitting it. Now it is your problem. Luckily there are no other enemies and you have plenty of cover there so just focus on it and it will explode fast. It isn’t worth trying to hijack it since it can’t proceed.

Alternatively, one can take one of two more cowardly paths. Merely running past the area before the Atlas drops will get a sarcastic response from one of the guys in the support teams: Garrus, Tali, Wrex, or a frightened response from Brooks. If you continue to run past it, when you're halfway through the catwalk the mech explodes on its own anyway. The other such option is significantly more boring, and involves slowly advancing only until one can see the shields/armor meter of the Atlas, sending one's squadmates back and away, and simply waiting, as the other fireteam will eventually wreck the mech.

Once the Atlas is dead, check the area to the right of the door you entered for the last ammo resupply for a while. Grab the med kit at the base of the stairs and move along the catwalks. Glyph comes back to say there is a squad ahead, "Razor Squad", that wishes to do bodily harm. Also, there is an elcor mating totem Glyph found to be interesting. Well, let's just return the favor to Razor and ignore the totem. The catwalk ends in a drop rendering you unable to backtrack so proceed at your own discretion.

Razor Squad Edit

Citadel archives - burning razor
You're now at a very spacious area with options for catwalk flanking or ground-level skirmishing. Mako and Hammerhead trashtalk each other as they flank the opposition. Glyph tries to get the mercs to stop, only to be shot at. You can use the elevated catwalk here to your advantage, but watch for snipers when heading up the ladder. Enemies are quite easy to eliminate here once you're securely positioned in cover. Try to eliminate the snipers first if possible, so that they'll be out of the picture before the heavies arrive.

Once the initial group is almost dead, Razor Squad arrives via rising platform and it is four heavies. Keep them flanked and watch for their guns as they can rip you apart very quickly. Move your squadmates to flank them, then light them up. Literally if you can. Be warned that even if you camped at high ground to avoid them they may still come at you from behind: they can climb ladders. Because you will still have enemies from the initial group present, be sure to keep an eye on them as well. If you find your damage output against these guys too minuscule for quick takedown, you can always initiate tactical retreats with the ground-level covers all the way to the catwalk where you came in. The last viable cover available is near it, but by the time you reach it if you kept focus one at a time you'll have killed at least one of them.

Once you are done grab the med kit on the boxes to the left and head through the door.

Eliminate Target Edit

Citadel Archives - year unknown, origin earth, early religious artifact, vault E28
In next area, everything suddenly gets quiet. This section of the archives is apparently labeled 5 AR 037. Move along the path until you enter a large room and take cover. There are only two enemies to deal with at this point, so they aren’t a problem. Glyph also has a message from your clone, though not exactly a good one.

Once you have dealt with the two enemies, look around for a terminal on the right side with 3750 credits. Further down you will find a Sniper Rifle Ultralight Materials mod in the middle and an Assault Rifle Ultralight Materials mod on the left. There is a terminal with 3750 credits at the far end just past where the mods are located. The vids are again free to peruse: one deals with the original release of the genophage, another is about the Spectres' founding, and yet another is a damaged holo of an "early religious artifact" from Earth. When you are ready, head through the door where the opposition came out and up the stairs.

Citadel archives - snipeout
Shepard tries to radio Team Hammerhead and the radio is once again jammed. When you emerge, at the area above the previous level, team Mako is ahead and moves to make a path. You have to deal with two heavies and from where you're initially at there's a lot of walls, desks, and covered railings to lean out of. Once they are dealt with, advance and take out the three snipers to your right. They like to hang out near the railing-guarded hole; good opportunity once more for ragdolling blasts. When you are done, head through another door and up the stairs, but do not miss out on the vid showing the first discovery of the Citadel by the asari. Shepard tries to raise Mako and Brooks starts saying they are under attack, but can’t complete before being cut off.

Advance a little further and Brooks confirms that the clone is indeed jamming the radios. She says the rest have gone ahead to cut the clone off, but she has been hit again and needs help. Feel free to peruse the vid, which deals with the deliberations behind Shepard’s Spectre status; there are no enemies around, so take your time. Head through the hallway and down the corridor. It takes a quick bioscan to confirm your identity, and then you get in.

I Should Go Edit

Citadel archives - brooks and tube
As you step in head forward towards Brooks, but as you cross the plane, the vault's shields activate and seal you and your companions in. Shepard calls for assistance, but the clone makes an appearance. The clone says your companions are trapped in the iridium vaults, and then introduces Brooks, who in fact doesn’t work for the Alliance. Turns out Brooks isn’t even her name. She's in fact ex-Cerberus, the one who put together all of those dossiers a year ago for the Suicide Mission, but became disillusioned that Cerberus was looking to aliens for help, leaving as the Illusive Man descended into madness. She goes on to give what really happened at the sushi restaurant and at the party, while further revealing that she's the one who activated Shepard's clone six months ago.

Depending on your choice of dialogue, two paragon interrupts or two renegade interrupts allow you to threaten the two villains. In any case, neither Brooks nor the clone take you seriously. The clone uses the archives to update the handprint records, which can’t be accurately cloned, and then seals Shepard and the squad into the vault. The clone then departs for the Normandy, but not before taunting you with a familiar phrase "I should go."

Despite being sealed in the vault, Shepard appears more concerned about the way s/he has always said "I should go" and asks if s/he really sounds like that. One of the squadmates will confirm it. You can take the conversation where you want, but eventually one of your squadmates asks why isn’t Shepard more worried about their current situation, at which point Shepard calls Glyph to get them out.

Enemies Edit

Trivia Edit

Citadel archives - easter eggs
  • The "early religious artifact" from Earth, when viewed from across the room, is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Hidden behind a crate of boxes in the room where Glyph tells you he has cataloged new items you can find a secret giftwrapped present. There is also a second present hidden behind some boxes in the room containing the archive of Shepard's Spectre initiation, near the exit to the next area.
  • In the room where team Mako begins to move ahead and you find the radios are jammed you can find a box of fireworks hidden behind some crates.
Mass Effect 3: Citadel Navigation
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Citadel: Identity Theft II Missions Citadel Docks: Retake the Normandy

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