The mission is acquired after completing Overlord. At Hermes Station, Dr. Gavin Archer explains the situation with Cerberus' research outposts on Aite, and directs Shepard to locate the three other stations to contain the rogue VI.
You again have the opportunity to change your squad at this point, but it won't make a huge difference because Shepard will have to solo most of the combat sections. If you have Armor-Piercing Ammo, Incendiary Ammo, Disruptor Ammo or Warp Ammo, equip them. Otherwise, choose squadmates who have any of those powers available for squad use and deploy them on your preferred weapon/s before getting separated. Finally, if there is still a spot left in the squad after ammo powers are covered, taking Miranda with points in Cerberus Operative will apply her squad health bonus to Shepard throughout the mission.
Consider equipping Shepard with one of the faster-firing weapons in the Assault Rifle or Submachine Gun slot in preparation for a major time-critical battle ahead.
For heavy weapons, you might consider the Arc Projector to deal with rooms of geth. Or, if your weaponry isn't particularly up to tearing through a bossload of armor in the final encounter then take a heavy weapon that is.
Override Atlas Lockdown Edit
If you have not already done so, travel to Vulcan Station and Prometheus Station and issue the final two lockdown override commands. These combined with Dr. Archer's override command at Hermes Station, allow you to gain entrance to Atlas Station.
Atlas Station Entrance Edit
Once you have unlocked the station, head there, near one of the data packets, under the waterfall, and “end this nightmare.”
The Hammerhead descends into the station to a landing pad, and the squad exits. Archer comes over the comm and says that the VI is trying to upload itself directly from your location! Get to the server room and stop that. Archer is again cut off in midsentence before he can finish. Head through the door and investigate the damaged equipment to get access to the facility.
Head to the door, it will open and proceed down the hallway. Keep following the hall until you reach a door on your left at the bottom of the ramps. Head inside and you will hear another log by Archer. Grab the salvage and the med kit before heading down the ramp. Head across and call the elevator. Because the elevator has been damaged, it can only move so many floors at a time. In this case two. To get the elevator to your level, seven, call the elevator to level four. Walk back up the stairs and use the console there. It will move the elevator three more levels up to level seven. An alternate method is to call the elevator to an odd level (i.e. 1, 3, or 5) and then keep pressing the elevator summon button, after level 5 the elevator will reach level 7 without a malfunction.
Get into cover because if you expected that elevator to come up empty, then you are sorely mistaken. It arrives with a Geth Prime and two Geth Troopers. Take them out as quickly as possible before the Prime gets too close, then head into the elevator. One useful tactic here is knocking the shield off one of the smaller geth and then applying AI Hacking -- this will tend to distract the Prime and can then be repeated with the other geth. Alternately the Arc Projector or Grenade Launcher applied right when the elevator opens will wreak havoc.
After some ups and downs, the elevator crashes into the bottom of the shaft Tower of Terror style. Head out and you hear another of Archer’s logs. In the room is some refined palladium, a hackable computer, and a damaged geth that can be scanned for a Heavy Skin Weave. Once you have everything, head down the hallway and after attempting to access the door at the end, the open door shifts to the center door. Inside is the panel to cut all access to the outside world, so access it.
Note: It is recommended you save BEFORE accessing the panel.
Destroy the VI EditOmni-tool and cybernetic implants. Shepard’s vision starts to fill up with computer like visions, and Shepard walks out of the room in a daze, then falls to the floor. After getting back up however, the door closes behind Shepard, trapping your squadmates in the room.
Welcome to Virtual Reality, in this mode you are just as deadly as in real life, and so are your enemies, but you can understand David. Because you are alone, be sure to look around corners, conserve your ammo, and stay in cover to avoid being killed.
Move down the hallway and take cover at the corner, more geth are around there, so take them out before they do. Once the troopers are down, move to the end of the hallway and to the door on the right. In the room you see what happened once David was plugged in and how the first time he communicated with the geth went. Once the green reality goes and the orange returns, look around the room for power cells and some refined palladium. There are two more databases in the main room, accessing one shows Archer and David conversing before David was hooked up. The second shows a scene where David is first interacting with the geth. Note: You aren't required to interact with the other databases in the room - you can skip directly to killing the geth in the next room as soon as you can see them, but you'll need to jump the wall to join them before the last geth is killed, otherwise the green will return and you'll have to activate a database and fight more geth.
Once you are ready, shoot out the geth hub with three attached Geth Troopers in the next room. Once they are eliminated you can jump over the wall and grab the med kit and the wall safe. Head out into the corridor and stick to one side, preferably the one with cover. At the end of the hallway is a VI control node, shoot it, but since it will pop out, follow it and keep shooting until it blows up. Continue.
In the room at the end of the hallway is a computer that allows elevator access. However like the other one, this one comes up full too. A Geth Hunter and two Geth Rocket Troopers come up, so get into cover before they do. Insanity Tip: This battle can be trickier than the enemy numbers would indicate, since Shepard has to solo it and can be easily flanked. But since there are power cells in the room to recharge with after the combat, using your heavy weapon a couple times here is practically free and is highly recommended. The easiest way through this battle is an Arc Projector or Grenade Launcher fired three times right as the elevator arrives. You'll then receive 2-3 replacement ammo when you pick up the power cells.
When everything is down, search the room for power cells, salvageable parts, and some palladium before heading down on the elevator. Save before accessing the elevator.
David EditNormandy SR-2 in orbit, and attempts to upload himself to your ship. STOP HIM!
This battle proceeds in two alternating phases:
First, one or more VI control nodes appear and attempt to climb the cables. There will be one VI control node the first time, two the second, and three after that. You must shoot them to prevent them from reaching the ends of you the cables and advancing the upload progress. Even driving them back from the ends without destroying them helps, since only when they reach the end do they advance the upload progress. Keep an eye on the upload progress bar in the lower right hand, if it gets to 100%, then it's critical mission failure. Also, during the second and subsequent repetitions of this phase, David will also call in geth to support him, emerging from green digital portals, so keep in cover and move when necessary. Above all do not let that bar get to 100%. Tip: A fast-firing weapon like an assault rifle or submachine gun is useful for these sections, as their fire rates will help you to "track" the VI's as they jink around. Overload also does a great job if you happen to play one of the classes that has it.
Second, whenever all the VI control nodes are down, any geth are automatically destroyed and David's shield temporarily collapses. Now you have a brief geth-free window to deal as much damage to the armor of the central control node, so equip your most powerful blasting weapon and start shooting. When the shield returns, you will have a few moments in which you can safely gather ammo (there are two respawning ammo nodes around the room) and get to cover before more VI control nodes (and geth) reappear.
Combat Tip: An excellent way to get through this section is as follows: during the long initial audio section, move around the outside of the room until you find a pillar with an ammo cartridge on the side (not the outside). Take cover behind this pillar. During each VI Control Node phase, you will have line-of-sight from here to all of the VI control nodes, as long as you switch between peeking out from the left and right sides of your pillar as necessary. Also while you are here the geth will tend not to approach and flank you as long as you are destroying VI control nodes quickly enough, so this is a very safe spot. Whenever David's shield collapses take as many shots as you can, then pick up the respawning ammo and return to your same cover location.
When the core is destroyed, the Virtual Reality goes away. Shepard is treated to a grisly sight as David is shown in the core tied up to tubes in his arms and mouth, begging for help. Archer comes and argues for Shepard to keep the experiment going. Archer states that nobody ever thought that the experiment would get out of control. Over the course of the conversation, Archer seems to come to his senses, but he still insists you leave David with him. David, on the other hand, begs you to "[m]ake it stop". You can either take him with you, or leave David at the station.
Paragon: If you choose to take David to the Jon Grissom Academy, Archer pulls a gun and shoots at Shepard. However the shots are dodged and Shepard puts a gun in Archer’s face. A Paragon interrupt will allow Shepard to pistol whip Archer for his actions, which just goes to show you that even Paragon Shepard gets to live on the wild side every now and then.
Renegade: If you choose to leave David with Dr. Archer, the Commander punches the doctor and tells him the only reason he gets to survive is because his research may prevent war with the geth.
After Shepard resolves the moral dilemma surrounding Project Overlord, the Commander radios Joker for pickup.
“Archer’s Log 135.3: For years my brother has been a handicap. That changed today. His autistic mind is the breakthrough I’ve been looking for - - he can communicate with the geth! Such a tremendous grasp of mathematics. It seems serendipity is alive and well in the 22nd century.”
“Archer Log 157.8: Unless he sees results, the Illusive Man is shutting us down next week. I have no choice. I am going to tap David directly into the geth neural network and see if he can influence them. Danger should be negligible. David might even enjoy it.”
“Archer Log 164.4: I’d be lying if I said that no harm could come to David. His autistic mind is just as alien to me as an actual alien. Anything could happen when we plug him in. But I have to try, don’t I?”
Commander Shepard will receive one of two e-mails from the Illusive Man after completing this assignment, depending on the choice made about David Archer's fate:
Paragon: Dr. Archer's Brother
Renegade: Dr. Archer's Brother
Mass Effect 3 Consequences Edit
If David was taken to Grissom Academy, he will appear there, having recovered from what was done to him. Dr. Gavin Archer will appear later during a mission, where he reveals that he left Cerberus because of regret for what he did. He will be relieved to hear that David survived, and will assist in the war effort after the mission is completed. If David wasn't released, Dr. Archer will reveal that he had to mercy-kill David, and left Cerberus because the guilt became too much.
If David was sent to Grissom Academy but the academy wasn't saved, then Dr. Gavin Archer is implied to have killed himself when he is met later.
Mission Summary Edit
Paragon: The rogue VI was successfully shut down, but the test subject was taken to a non-Cerberus facility for care. While this is a considerable setback for Cerberus, Dr. Archer's research will be instrumental in devising a safer approach to controlling the geth.
Renegade: The rogue VI was successfully shut down, and the test subject was left in Dr. Archer's care. After a suitable period of safety evaluation, Project Overlord will soon be up and running again.
- Experience: 250 (312)
- Credits: 15000
- Cerberus Funding: 7500
- Credits Found: 7500
- Palladium: 2000
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