Admiral Hackett orders the Normandy to Mars to locate new Prothean data that could help defeat the Reapers, but the archives on Mars are not responding. Investigate the digsite and find the Prothean data.
This mission is automatically acquired after the completion of the Prologue.
Walkthrough EditNote: Upon starting this mission, Shepard will automatically be equipped with a new weapon, based on class: the M-4 Shuriken for Adepts and Engineers; the M-23 Katana for Soldiers, Vanguards, and Sentinels; and the M-92 Mantis for Infiltrators. Whichever weapon Shepard is given will not appear during the mission as a pickup. The first available weapon for pickup is also the first available opportunity for customizing loadouts, but customizing mods will have to wait until you find the weapon bench.
Start by leveling up your squad, as prompted, then head down and jump through the gap in the fence. Pick up the M-92 Mantis to your immediate right and examine the body for some XP, and then continue on down the path.
There will be some Cerberus Assault Troopers ahead. The first group will be oblivious to your presence, and you can take them by surprise. You will also have the higher ground. Make sure to position yourself and your squad in appropriate cover before engaging. Another group of Troopers will be hiding behind the various vehicles parked further ahead, attempting to ambush you. Be wary as they will reveal themselves from multiple directions. Take them out accordingly, then move into the compound.
- James Vega will only be your squadmate for these first two encounters, so use up his grenade supply freely, especially on the first group who are all standing right next to each other.
- When James leaves your party, any "Squad Incendiary Ammo" bonus that you (and your third squadmate) have received from him will remain active unless/until you activate a different ammo power or re-equip your squad by picking up a new weapon or at a weapons bench.
- Infiltrators feeling cowardly may be interested to know that tagging the elevator button inside the first room of the compound will instantly trigger the progression cutscene, bypassing any remaining enemies. An infiltrator imported from Mass Effect 2 (and so about level 30) can easily bypass every enemy in the whole section that way. This theme of "tag the button to advance for free" recurs throughout this mission.
Into the Facility EditKaidan or Ashley about your loyalties; paragon/renegade points are available here. Liara also enters the game at this point. Shepard will send James back and you will gain Liara as a squadmate for the rest of the mission.
The cutscene will lead straight into a combat scenario, so be ready. You'll also get to command Liara's biotic powers. Her abilities are incredibly powerful and should be used frequently, especially Singularity. Kill off the guards that come through. Tip: Simply spamming Singularity several times without taking any other action is usually enough to eliminate all the enemies, so you don't need to use up lots of ammo. If only Singularity was always this effective!
Pick up the med-kit on the right (100XP) after finishing the battle. When you try to take the elevator up, you will discover that it has been sabotaged, so raise the vehicle lift, climb up the ramp to the left of the vehicle and jump across. Head around to the right and open the door, then learn how to grab-kill a trooper from behind cover. Beware of the other enemies in the room whilst you attempt this, and expect an immediate knife fight and probably a grenade as soon as you do it. Tip: When the grenade arrives, sliding up the stairs to the right leaves you in a safer position than returning back to the left.Ariake Technologies Gauntlets. Continue in a bit to pick up the M-4 Shuriken, and then another med-kit (100 XP).
Now, use the security console to unlock one of the two doors. Head to the exposed Martian environment outside and down the ladder into a walkway. At the end of it, right before the ladder up is the Kassa Fabrication Chestplate. You should be at a suspiciously open airlock by now. Continue around inside. The lights are out, and you'll switch to flashlights so your vision will be reduced for a while. There's a datapad (75 XP) in the floor just before you descend the steps.
There are enemies in the cafeteria opposite you, but they cannot see you as your team will switch off your flashlights. You can grab-kill the closest enemy, hop over the wall and lay waste to the Troopers. Alternatively, you can simply shoot through the glass.
In the cafeteria is an SMG Scope upgrade. Hop over the wall and use the med-station on the right (150 XP), and then the environmental controls to open the next door and learn that the new doctor was the one who killed everyone off.
Fighting Through the Corridors EditSMG Ultralight Materials and the datapad (75 XP) at the bottom of the stairs. You can then use the weapon bench on the right to change your loadout and apply the upgrades to Liara's weapons, and your own if you carry an SMG. Up and through the door for another Cerberus wave. You'll now be facing Centurions and Guardians in addition to the normal Troopers. Liara's Singularity again comes in handy, as it will separate Guardians from their shields. Likewise, if Shepard is either an Adept/Vanguard, Pull can be used to rip the shield from a Guardian for an easy kill. They may not all come charging at you in which case you will have to move forward. Pick up the datapad (75 XP) on the right halfway up the corridor, then go around to the left.
Tip: With the exception of Guardians, the Cerberus troops throughout this hallway fight tend to be beating a retreat, so moving up when you can will assist them in deciding to back up even further. Eventually they will in fact retreat out of the section and seal the door behind them, so you don't necessarily have to kill every single enemy. In other words this is a good section to play relatively conservatively. When you turn left around the corner, you will be at a wide hatchway opening, and will need to pass through two additional similar hatchways before the remaining enemies will shout "fall back to the tram station" and retreat through the fourth such hatchway.
Next up you will find clean room sterilization controls. Look through the windows to see an orange barrier. Activate the console to move the barrier around the room. Wait until the barriers are maximally open before you deactivate the console. Enter the room to get a Sniper Rifle Extended Barrel, a Shotgun High Caliber Barrel, a med-kit (100 XP), and a datapad (75 XP). Continue through the room and out the door on the far right side.
Autoturret and Tram EditM-23 Katana. Open the door to the next area, and come face-to-face with a huge ceiling mounted turret. Time to learn how to use extensive cover to avoid fire. Once you've dodged and rolled your way past the turret, open the door and kill off the Cerberus operatives. Pick up the med-kit (100 XP) on the right, the datapad further up the room (75 XP), and the Sniper Rifle Concentration Mod. Be sure to fill up on ammo. Finally go and use the auto-turret controls. A short cutscene will reveal that Cerberus has implanted its people with Reaper technology.
You will get a brief tutorial on squad control in the next area. Use superior tactics (or superior fire-power if that's not your thing) to your advantage and kill the enemies exiting the cable car. Tip: Before you activate the cable car, return to the control room and refill your ammo from the cartridges there, which will have respawned. This will be your last easy opportunity to pick up ammo for some time.
Then get on the cable car and turn it on. When you get near the end, there will be an explosion, your car will get stuck and a Cerberus one will start moving toward you. Liara's Singularity is awesome here as it can pull operatives out of the car and hang them over the air to fall to their death. Jump across to the other car once they are dead - or even before, if you like to fight at close quarters.
Tram Fight EditTip: This is the last "big fight" of the level, and it's also very much the toughest you'll have faced so far in the game, so if any of your party are still carrying grenades feel free to empty them out to simplify your situation.
Warning: If you are playing a New Game Plus and carrying the Paladin, Scorpion, Acolyte, Executioner Pistol or M-11 Suppressor, it is recommended that you switch them out at this time. The damage output and/or fire rate of these weapons are low enough that the final moments of the mission can become almost impossible to complete.
Once you've finalized your layout to your satisfaction, open the door at the end of the room.
Prothean Archives Chase EditIllusive Man appears. A discussion with him occurs during which you can apply a Charm or Intimidate dialogue option depending on your Paragon/Renegade score. At the end of the conversation Ashley/Kaidan discovers Dr. Eva Coré and a chase begins.
If she gets more than 40m away you will fail the mission, so stay close. It's also not worth trying to attack her, as she has an exceptionally high shield recharge rate, and even if you do somehow bring down her shields she will merely use Shield Recharge to instantly bring them back to full strength. At the end of the chase Eva jumps into the shuttle and is about to escape when James crashes his shuttle straight into hers. Your squad mates will pick each other up after the crash after which Eva jumps out of her burning shuttle and severely injures Ashley/Kaidan.
After this Eva will begin running at the player in slow motion, and the player must shoot her. Shepard wields a pistol during this sequence by default, and, as mentioned before, certain slow-firing pistols can make this sequence difficult to complete. If you are carrying one of these weapons, consider shooting from the hip instead of scoping, or switching to a different weapon, though this will obviously take time.
After Eva has been shot down, Shepard will choose to bring the body (now known to be an infiltration unit) on board the Normandy and will head straight to the Citadel for the next mission.
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