After the mission on Horizon, Kelly Chambers will inform Shepard that Jacob wants to talk to Shepard. When Talking to Jacob, he informs Shepard that last week his father's ship sent out a distress call, reporting a crash and requesting a rescue. However, the ship went missing ten years ago, so he has his doubts about his father being alive, but he would still like to investigate to get some closure. Someone passed a message about the distress call to Jacob's personal log through Cerberus filters.
You'll be facing a combination of organic and synthetic enemies protected by shields and/or armor. Jacob's Incendiary Ammo can help against armor and organics to a degree, so a second squadmate with anti-shield/synthetic powers is a good bet. AI Hacking in particular can produce some dramatic results at several points.
One tactical theme of this mission is "very large groups of weak enemies," so powers upgraded to damage multiple enemies (e.g. Pull Field, Incineration Blast, etc) are especially effective. One such power that's offbeat but exceptionally useful here for being effective against both enemy types even before stripping their defenses is Kasumi's Improved Flashbang Grenade.
Heavy weapons that affect multiple enemies such as the Arc Projector and Grenade Launcher are similarly to be preferred here.
Arrival on Aeia Edit
The shuttle drops Shepard and the squad a little south of the hulk of the MSV Hugo Gernsback. Jacob comments that the ship is mostly intact and that the crew could have survived the impact, but wonders where they are now. When you approach the ship there will be the distress beacon VI on the right of the bridge into the ship, to the left is an officer’s log that will give you some information regarding the crash and what happened before the activation of the beacon. Go in the ship to find a few more logs that reveal a troubling picture of the crew experiencing loss of higher cognitive functions and the officers exploiting that. Inside the ship is also a datapad that has 3000 credits.
Head out of the ship and across from the bridge are some spare parts that can be salvaged. You can recover these either before or after you talk to the beacon. Talking with the beacon will give some interesting information. Apparently, Captain Fairchild was killed in the crash or shortly before it, and Jacob’s father was promoted to Acting Captain. The beacon will also describe how it was set up about a year after the crash but wasn’t activated until a few weeks ago. After almost 9 years. The beacon also reports that ingesting the local flora impairs mental functioning.
Move on and eventually you will come across a female survivor babbling about how the leader said someone from the sky would save them. You can earn a few morality points based on your response. While she is talking this time, you see some people sneaking up you. A Paragon interrupt will allow you to save her life. Use the crates and pipes around for cover and take out the hunters. Combat Notes: The huge numbers of hunters that appear on higher difficulty levels plus their tendency to flank you from either side of the long piece of cover you start near makes this a trickier battle than you might initially think, at least if you object to the possibility of getting killed once or twice. One method to avoid flanking is to keep continuously repositioning back and forth from the right side of the cover to the left side, knocking down anyone who is sneaking up on either side. An even safer method if you have a weapon with reasonable range is to quickly back up to hide behind the "engine part" to your right rear. Jacob unfortunately likes to run forward and get shot down immediately, and typically repeats this feat when revived; manually equipping him with his pistol instead of his shotgun can help make him a bit more cautious.
There are salvageable parts on the left near where the hunters appeared from. Move along and after a little while you will come across a stripped mech, Jacob will say that the hunters must be putting on a lot of pressure. Up the road, so to speak, is a settlement.
Female Encampment EditMedi-gel is to the left of the food, grab it.
Warning: Be alert and ready to take cover as you explore the seemingly peaceful camp, because as you move further back some LOKI Mechs will emerge suddenly saying that the leader demands obedience and to relinquish all weapons. Take out the LOKI Mechs and continue exploring. In the center of the camp on a crate is a datapad, and to the right of the camp is some spare parts, get both and bank some credits.
The ship's doctor stands nearby. From a datapad she gives you, you learn the following:
- The crew were split into officers and crew, and the officers hoarded all the food, forcing the survivors to eat the local toxic food.
- Five officers survived the crash, but all were then killed within a week of each other once the beacon was complete.
- Within a year all the male crew-members were either dead or exiled.
- All the women were assigned to officers like property.
Bypass the nearby disabled mech's safeties to blow up a barricade and progress. Once you hack the mech, get back because it will explode.
Get to Ronald Taylor Edit
Move up to the crates and get into cover, as there will be some mechs at the top of the hill. Once the initial mechs are down you can move your squadmates into cover at the center of the clearing using rocks to the right and the crates around the transmitter thing as cover - try to deal with this batch quickly before more mechs from the right side get into range. Find cover for Shepard anywhere you can and still get a clear shot. Take out all the mechs and then move your squadmates up because there will be more mechs coming from the crates at the back and from the right, which is the path forward.
Combat Notes: Throughout the next section, as you advance through multiple waves of LOKI mechs, two main strategies suggest themselves. The first and simplest is to take out all the mechs in each group before advancing and triggering the next group. The second is to hack one or more of the mechs and advance, using them as your vanguard against the next wave.
Meanwhile, once you take down the mechs from the forward crates move your squadmates, even if under fire, to positions that give you a clear shot at the path forward. About 10 LOKI Mechs will be coming from that direction, so make sure that all the maintenance that went into maintaining them all these years goes to waste. Once all the LOKI Mechs are down explore near where the large crates are for some spare parts and a heavy pistol upgrade.
Ronald Taylor’s Headquarters Edit
The large wall in this next area will only provide some protection as in this area you have to contend with fragile crates and some more guards. You also have Ronald’s last defense to contend with, a YMIR Mech. The YMIR will move around and flank you if you stay behind the wall, so move back if you need to, but it will not move beyond the clearing. Once the YMIR is down the fight will be much easier. Move back into the clearing if you need to and move your squadmates, and Shepard around to take out the enemies. Watch out for the fragile crates all around as they will not hold for long. Once all the enemies are down, move around the clearing to get some element zero and a datapad for some credits. Once you are ready open the last door and head up to where Ronald Taylor is playing king of the castle.
- The main tactical challenge in this battle is avoiding flanking fire - the YMIR tends to flush you out of cover and then the well-bunkered guards open up on you.
- If you want the easiest possible battle, bring the Arc Projector and use it to fry all the hidden guards before the YMIR gets close. Or knock their shields down and have Jacob Pull Field them all out of cover.
- Before the YMIR gets close to your position at the wall, have a plan about which side you're going to run to. It is NOT recommended to go left, as even the secure-looking L-shaped cover in that direction seems to expose Shepard to the YMIR's missiles. The position near the trees on the right side is actually much more secure.
- Reviving your squadmates when they go down (Jacob seems to go down constantly in this section) will help provide distractions for the enemies to go after.
- If you have AI Hacking, then concentrating everything on the YMIR immediately should allow you to get its resistances down before it turns your position at the wall. You can then send it back to cause chaos among the guards.
- Leave Ronald Taylor alive to be arrested by Alliance officials.
- Leave him to his fate at the hands of the survivors, who attack him not long after Shepard and Jacob left.
- Leave him a half-charged pistol, thus allowing him to kill himself rather than face the crazed crew.
After you make your choice, you return to the Normandy.
Normandy EditIllusive Man. Jacob accuses the Illusive Man of passing the distress signal to him, but the Illusive Man denies it. Jacob then asks who did and Miranda arrives to provide that answer. She says she sent it to Jacob to fulfill an old promise. Then the Illusive Man tells Miranda that they will discuss proper protocols at a later time, dismisses Jacob and Shepard, then disconnects. Shepard asks why Miranda did that, and Jacob replies that Miranda keeps her promises but he can’t remember which one. Apparently, Miranda has a long, but selective, memory.
The Alliance comes soon after the Normandy leaves to rescue the survivors. One of them sends a thank you message (titled "Thank you") to Shepard:
Mission Summary Edit
Survivors from Aeia are being treated by Alliance personnel with additional Cerberus support. Pleased to see Taylor unharmed psychologically by experience.
Jacob Taylor has dealt with his father and is now focused solely on the mission.
- Experience reward: 750 (937)
- Credits: 30,000
- Cerberus Funding: 15,000
- Credits Found: 15,000
- Element Zero: 500
- Powers Unlocked:
- Jacob: Barrier
- MSV Hugo Gernsback is named after author Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the first science fiction magazine.
- This mission poses a bit of a continuity error. Thermal clips, as explained by the Codex, were developed following the events of the first Mass Effect which took place two years before Mass Effect 2. Similarly, mechs were also introduced in the period between the two games. However Jacob's father and the survivors can be seen using both thermal clips and mechs despite having been stranded ten years prior to Mass Effect 2, long before either of these technologies were in existence.
- The Codex entry for 2175 Aeia, implied to have been written before the events of this mission take place, mistakenly states that Ronald Taylor was the Captain of the Gernsback and not the second in command. It's possible the developers originally intended Taylor to be the Captain, but later changed this so that his being unprepared for the stress of command could be given as a partial explanation for his failings in judgment.
- If this mission is done after the suicide mission and if Miranda has died, she will still appear in the conversation with the Illusive Man after Jacob's mission.