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Race Against Time: Final Battle

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  • Beginning of the end
  • Take lengthy detours
  • Exhaust incoming enemies
  • Beat Citadel defenses
  • Back to the beginning
You have followed Saren to the Citadel. He is trying to transfer control of the station to Sovereign so the Reaper invasion can begin. You must stop him and find a way to destroy Sovereign once and for all.

Acquisition Edit

This mission is acquired after the trip through the Conduit on Ilos. Its journal entry is the final rename for the Race Against Time mission series.

Walkthrough Edit

Presidium Edit

RelayMonumentActive
Upon using the Conduit the scene shifts to the Presidium where Avina is going on about the damage to the Citadel. As the camera rotates to show two geth the Conduit’s end point begins powering up and the core activates. The geth move to investigate however the Mako exits the mini Mass Relay and crushes the geth before rolling over against the far wall. Shepard and the squad crawl out of the wreckage and after looking around you regain control.

Grab the med kit next to the overturned Mako. When you walk over to the elevator, three Dragon's teeth come down and release their husks. Just make sure they don’t get too close. When you are done with the husks, you can talk to Avina.

Avina tells you only a few things, like the fact you need to evacuate the Presidium and how much damage to the Presidium there is. However she does give some good information like that Saren is approaching the Council Chambers and that C-Sec is currently unable to respond to the threat. She also tells you that there are a lot of geth on the station and the Citadel Tower. She also tells you that the Citadel Council was evacuated to the Destiny Ascension per emergency procedures. If you ask about Anderson and Udina, Avina says that she can’t give the locations on specific individuals.

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When you are done with Avina, head to the elevator and prepare to encounter Saren when you reach the top. When you activate the elevator, the scene shifts to the Council Chambers where Saren is walking across and blows a keeper away as he goes. He walks up to the Petitioner's Stage and a platform extends and at the end a holographic panel appears.

Citadel Tower Maintenance Shaft Edit

The scene shifts to the exterior where the Citadel's arms begin to close and Executor Pallin orders what ships are left to not let Sovereign inside the arms. Several turian cruisers are in position and open fire on Sovereign. However their shots do nothing and Sovereign forces it way in destroying a cruiser in the process. Sovereign goes straight to the tower and wraps it arms around the structure. The scene shifts again to the elevator in which Shepard and the squad are riding up to the tower in. It shudders to a stop and after looking around for a second, Shepard orders the squad to suit up because they are going outside. After a second a shot shatters the glass on the side of the window and Shepard and the squad, fully sealed in their combat suits, step out and onto the exterior of the elevator.

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Because the elevator is no longer an option you must use the exhaust plain of the Citadel Tower to get to the Council Chambers before Saren can turn the station over to Sovereign. Head forward and keep going until you reach a downward ramp. When you walk down be careful because there will be problems shortly. Because the elevators are locked down, there is an elevator stuck in the tube to your left. Another elevator comes screaming up the tube and crashes into the stationary one.

The elevator contained some Geth Troopers, Geth Rocket Troopers, and a Geth Shock Trooper. Use the cover to take them out, but using throw, lift, or singularity in the current Zero-G environment will get the geth off balance and it will take them a while to recover from that. Use the limited cover to your advantage and take out the geth. When they are down, head up the ramp and onto the next upper walk area.

Insanity Tips:

  • Throughout this level, a highly leveled Lift or Throw is often enough by itself to propel enemies, even heavy ones like Krogan Battlemasters or Geth Destroyers off into space, killing them without the need for further fighting.
  • Any time you can Throw an enemy against a sloped 45 degree wall, such as the elevator tube in this first encounter, it is almost certain to sail harmlessly off into space.
  • Consider equipping Sledgehammer Rounds even if you're using a pistol, since it will not only occasionally knock enemies down, it will also allow you to push Lifted/Thrown enemies further and more quickly off the map, adding even more certainty to the Lift/Throw strategy. Plus Sledgehammer Rounds in a Shotgun or Sniper Rifle will knock plenty of enemies helplessly off their feet.

Citadel Tower Exhaust Plain Edit

Citadel final battle - warlord destroyer tagteam
When you get around a corner you encounter a Krogan Warlord and more geth. Use lift on the krogan, and if it is powerful enough, the krogan will just float away. There are also some Troopers, Shock Troopers, and a Geth Destroyer in the area as well.

Tip: If you stay back and do not approach the krogan yet, a series of as many as 5 or 6 Destroyers will appear one by one and attack you. This is the first of several upcoming opportunities to gain additional experience by standing back and killing a whole series of Destroyers. Obviously if you're looking to fight the minimum number of enemies, you should cross toward the krogan sooner rather than later - spawning of additional Destroyers seems based on how far down the path you've moved.

Then when you round the corner you encounter some more Troopers behind those hexagonal shields they love to deploy. For cover you can stand behind the corner you just came around. Then as you move toward the top you will see two Shock Troopers. A Lift or Throw to either will send it right off the station, or you can take cover behind any remaining hexagonal shields.

When you get to the top there will be a few more geth but usually they are usually Rocket Troopers or Shock Troopers, however there may also be a Geth Sniper as well. Insanity Tip: The Sniper poses the greatest threat of instant death, so deal with him immediately.

When they are dealt with, take a left from the top of the ramp, head to the wall, take another left, and continue on. When you reach the straight path, there are some more geth on it. Get into cover and deal with the Shock Troopers but stay in cover.

Geth Destroyers will come from the other side and charge. If you remain at your end of the corridor, 10 Destroyers will eventually spawn, one at a time. If you use Lift on them as they charge, they will sail straight over your head off the station and provide full experience (for extra style points try to get their corpses to bounce off Sovereign's arm above and behind you). If you'd rather not fight 10 Destroyers (or wait for them to spawn), you can charge toward the end of the corridor which prevents further spawning -- but be ready to deal with one more Destroyer if it spawns.

Citadel final battle - defense turrets
When you round the corner a Citadel Defense Turret is right in front of you. Don’t worry because it is currently inactive and even if activated it won’t attack you. When you enter the next area, a Geth Dropship flies over and starts dropping troops. You have two options here. Either activate the turrets (there are three, and although one alone will eventually take down the dropship, it takes longer), or if you're going for maximum experience points just shoot the Geth Shock Troopers.

If you activate the turrets then the dropship will take damage over time and eventually fly away. If you choose to ignore the dropshop and shoot the geth it will gradually drop about 15 – 20 Shock Troopers and then just sit there forlorn. You can then activate the turrets to drive it away for an additional experience award. Tip: If you're looking to gain the most experience from this encounter, avoid activating the turrets - this increases the total amount of geth that spawn. If you're in a hurry or trying to play it safe, use the turrets.

When you have defeated all the geth and the dropship is gone, move up and around to where the dropship was dropping off the troopers and head down the path.

Citadel Tower Exterior Defense GridEdit

Around the corner you will find two Krogan waiting for you the last tube of unending charging Destroyers - this time up to six Destroyers will spawn, though they usually won't spawn until you've killed at least one of the krogan and will stop spawning if you kill the second. As usual Lifting the krogan or destroyers, especially when charging, will invariably send them off the station and give you the experience. Also as usual you can press toward the end of the corridor to stop the spawning of Destroyers BUT when you approach the other end of the tube, whether all the Destroyers spawned or not, a Geth Juggernaut will come around the corner suddenly. Once you're done here, get around the corner and be prepared to deal with more problems.

Citadel final battle - geth turrets
The next area is deadly because you have to deal with a few geth but also some Geth Turrets. The turrets can kill you in one shot depending on your difficulty level so stay in cover or on the move at all times. After taking down the initial geth and the first turret, you have the choice of pressing on through the rest of the turrets, or circumventing them by following the ramp down and to the left. The ramp leads to a trench full of krogan, but you don't have to dodge usually instant kill rockets, so make your choice. You can also choose to battle both for maximum experience.

When taking on the turrets put Shepard in one place and the squad in another. The turrets will target the two positions at random so you are not constantly under attack. When taking on the turrets, use Overload, Warp, Marksman, Carnage, Assassination, Overkill, or anything else to take them down one by one. Keep moving around and up as you need to, but keep the squad separated to divide fire between them and Shepard.

Insanity Tips:

  • Use Lift, Throw, and Singularity to send geth flying off the station and out of your way. Sometimes you can even get two geth with one lift or throw. Remember that Throw used against a sloping wall or corridor is especially effective in ejecting geth.
  • When multiple turrets are attacking you, a safe (if slow) plan is to put Shepard behind one of the long horizontal wall. Peek out from the edge to snipe the nearest turret from afar, but then move Shepard back away from the corner of the wall once you take your shot - this will minimize "splash damage" from the incoming rockets.
  • As long as you keep on the move it's pretty unlikely a rocket will hit you, so a closer range strategy is indeed possible if you're feeling like a cowboy. In this case use Sabotage where possible to silence turrets temporarily, and keep moving a LOT.
  • AI Hacking works on turrets if you've reached the master level, so you can have them help take out geth (or each other) for you.

When the final turret falls, you can optionally head into the trench to kill the krogan just for the experience points. There are two regular krogan, one Battlemaster, and two Warlords. The Battlemaster can use a biotic throw to knock you off your feet, which is quite dangerous with krogan around, so use Damping or try to keep knocking him down as much as possible. This particular corridor also has a ceiling meaning you can't simply Lift them into space, though along with Throw and Neural Shock these are effective ways to keep them off their feet.

When you're ready to proceed, head down the far ramp and proceed to the southern end of the plain to enter the Council Chambers.

Citadel Council Chambers Edit

Council chambers on fire
When you enter the Council Chambers, everything is on fire and alarms are going off, very different from the last time you were here, though with fewer arrogant people. Head up the stairs and grab the med kit as you go. When you reach the large courtyard, you can see Saren’s last line of defense, seven Geth Troopers and two Geth Shock Troopers, not really much of a final defense. Use the rocks all around for cover and then shoot the final geth full of holes.

Note: When you are done, save your game, because this one of the last times you can make a manual save. It's also a good time to check your equipment and make sure you have all the right ammo and armor upgrades.

Walk up the Master Control Terminal and a cutscene will play showing Saren punching a few buttons then jumping off the platform. After a few seconds he reappears on his flying platform and throws a grenade at the squad and everyone leaps for cover.

Citadel final battle - saren suicides
Saren was apparently worried that Shepard wouldn’t make it in time to see him help Sovereign take control of the Citadel and bring back the Reapers. After talking back and forth a few times Saren reveals that Sovereign implanted him and now he is fully committed to the cause of the Reapers.

If you managed to convince Saren on Virmire then he says that it was because he couldn’t stop thinking about what Shepard said, and because Sovereign sensed his hesitation, the Reaper implanted Saren. If you didn’t then he just skips that part and tries to get Shepard on the Reapers’ side because they need organics.

Saren goes on to threaten Shepard that the Reapers can’t be stopped and they will return eventually however if you have enough paragon or renegade points you can get an interesting reaction out of Saren. Then if you convinced Saren on Virmire about indoctrination, another set of persuasion options opens up where you can convince Saren to fight his implants, however they resist and Saren says it’s too late.

If you managed to persuade him on Virmire then you have a final set of dialogue options. If you use either Saren will pull his pistol and shoot himself in the head. If you don’t then you have to fight him, or you can choose that option anyway.

Note: You gain no experience either way.

Fighting Saren Edit

Full tactics for fighting Saren can be found in his article, but the executive summary is fairly simple: fill him full of holes. Because of the platform again, he is immune to most biotic powers, however tech and combat powers still have an effect. Stay in the cover you start in because there really isn’t any other good cover around. Eventually when Saren takes enough damage he falls from the platform and crashes through the skylights of the park below.

The Big Decision Edit

Note: This is the absolute last chance you have to make a manual save so take advantage of it.

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Walk up to the Control Terminal and Shepard pulls out an Omni-tool and uploads Vigil’s data file, which gives control of all the Citadel’s systems. One of your squadmates says to open the arms, quickly, while the other says to get a comm channel open.

As Shepard gets the comm channel open the first thing is a mayday call from the Destiny Ascension. Their shields are failing and their engines are offline, they also mention that the council is onboard. Then Joker cuts in and hopes that he is contacting the Commander. Respond and Joker will say that he is sitting in the Andura sector with the entire Arcturus Fleet and that they can save the Ascension if Shepard opens the Relays to the Citadel.

Your squadmates have a few comments on that note. One says to let the Council die because of what they have, or rather haven’t done for humanity. The other will counter that the situation is much larger than humanity and that Sovereign is a threat to the entire galaxy, the first squad member counters with because of that, saving the Ascension will waste reinforcements. Make your choice and be prepared to live with the consequences.

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Paragon Option: If Shepard orders the Alliance to save the Ascension; the Alliance Fleet, led by the Normandy, screams through the relay and Admiral Hackett orders all Alliance ships to save the Flagship. Alliance vessels open fire on the geth ships attacking the Ascension, and while they take some casualties, they do manage to destroy the remaining geth ships. Joker radios that the Ascension is all clear and when the Citadel’s arms open, Hackett orders all remaining ships for focus their fire on Sovereign.
Renegade Option: The Alliance fleet comes through the relay but Hackett orders all Alliance ships to hold back. The Ascension opens a comm channel to the Alliance fleet, however they close the channel. The Ascension is destroyed by the geth as the Alliance Fleet passes by. The Citadel’s arms open and Hackett orders all remaining ships to open fire on Sovereign.
The scene shifts back to the Council Chambers and Shepard orders the squad to make sure Saren is dead. They jump down and one walks up to the corpse and pumps another shot into it, while the other radios that Saren is dead. However the station suddenly rocks and red lightning bolts are seen all around. Saren’s body becomes infused with the bolts and an explosion sends your squadmates against walls. The platform Shepard is standing on drops and dumps the Commander into the field below. Meanwhile the implants in Saren’s body come to life and strip away the flesh the covered them. Eventually all that is left is a metal skeleton that jumps out of sight.

The Final Battle Edit

SarenHusk
When you regain control begin moving instantly because this is a fight of maneuverability and not from cover. There is no good cover around, and you can’t be behind any for very long so just keep moving. The bigger set of rocks to the upper left can provide temporary cover against most of Saren's attacks if you need to heal and recharge, but you won't be able to damage Saren very quickly from there.

This reincarnation of Saren is much like a Geth Hopper and jumps around frequently. Powers like Throw and Lift are a great help because they can keep him off balance allowing you to pepper him with bullets. The thing is to keep on the move because he keeps jumping and using abilities such as carnage, assassination, overload, sabotage, and damping. Keep moving until Saren's husk is down to 25% health.

At that point, a short cutscene plays showing the remains of the Citadel Fleet attacking Sovereign in space. However apparently Sovereign is growing desperate or getting annoyed because it returns fire and just one shot severs an Alliance cruiser in half. Some officer calls for a retreat, however Hackett belays the order and orders the ships to keep firing as it is their only chance.

You regain control and Sovereign has restored Saren's shields but not his health. Just keep moving, using powers, and shooting until the Saren husk finally falls dead. When it does, it turns to dust and you are rewarded with the final cutscene.

Epilogue Edit

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The second the Saren husk dies, Sovereign’s shields drop and the massive ship releases its grip from the station. Joker radios to the fleet that the shields are down and they now have a chance. Hackett orders all ships to open fire with everything they have.

The fleet opens fire and Joker swings the Normandy into a hard turn. The ship fires one missile that goes straight through Sovereign. The missile damage causes secondary explosions that tear Sovereign apart and it explodes.

The scene shifts to the Council Chambers and a large piece of Sovereign is heading for the large windows. Shepard and the squad, who have climbed out of the recent battlefield, turn to look. Shepard orders them to run as the debris crashes through the window. The camera shifts to an overview showing the devastation of the attack and the damage that the debris did. An Alliance team lead by Anderson combs through the wreckage looking for survivors. The team comes across Shepard’s squadmates and call for Anderson, who asks where Shepard is. The squadmate just turns their head towards the debris and Anderson’s face falls as the team helps the other squadmate to their feet.

CouncilChambers Post Final Battle
As they begin to leave, a noise catches their attention. A figure is running down the steps from the Stage. Anderson smiles when he sees who it is, Shepard climbs on top of some debris holding his/her left arm at chest level. Shepard climbs down and limps over to the team.

The scene shifts to one of two locations depending on your paragon and renegade scores. If paragon is higher, then it shifts to the Presidium; if renegade, then to a side chamber. Who is there is also dependent on your actions, if you saved the Council, then they will be present; if you let the council die, then Udina is there to greet Shepard and Anderson.

Council Lives: The Asari Councilor opens and offers a bout of thanks to Shepard and the Alliance. The Salarian Councilor picks up to say that so many soldiers gave their lives so that the Council was spared. The Turian Councilor picks up after that to honor the sacrifices of the Alliance and that the Council shares the grief over the tragic loss of so many lives. The Asari Councilor also thanks Shepard and the council owes the Commander a great debt that they can’t repay. The Salarian Councilor says that Shepard has embodied everything humanity and the Alliance stand for. The Turian Councilor says that while they can’t bring those lives back they can honor their sacrifices. The Asari Councilor says that the Alliance has shown that it has the strength and determination to stand alongside as full members of the Citadel Council
Udina accepts and states that it is an honor. The Salarian Councilor states that they will need a list of candidates to fill humanity’s seat. The Asari Councilor says that with everything that has happened Shepard’s vote will go a long way. You can choose Anderson or Udina. If you choose Udina, the Council will be hesitant but he is the obvious choice. If you choose Anderson, Udina will joke and say that he believes that Anderson always lets his fists do the talking. However Anderson counters that he only does that with Udina. Udina asks Shepard if they believe that Anderson is the right choice and you have one last opportunity to give Udina the seat, or just reaffirm yourself in Anderson. The Council will welcome Anderson.
Council Dies: Udina summons Anderson and Shepard and says that Shepard has given humanity a great opportunity to usurp the Council. You can either talk Udina down or go along with the plan. Depending on whether your Paragon or Renegade score is higher than the other, Udina will either plan to assemble a new Council that is entirely human (Renegade) or a multi-species but human-led Council (Paragon). You can try to persuade Udina, but it won't affect his decision. He then asks Shepard, who he thinks should be the new human chairman/councillor. You can choose Udina or Anderson. If you choose Udina, Anderson thinks it the right choice as he is a politician. If you choose Anderson, Udina may not like the idea, but goes along with it because they are going to war.

Either way Shepard gives a small speech then marches off to find a way to stop the Reapers. The chosen member also gives a speech, affected by alignment and if the council is present or not, about stopping the Reapers and driving them back into Dark Space.

The mission is over.

Enemies Edit

BugEdit

When making the decision to save or sacrifice the Council, some have encountered a bug where that causes one of your squadmates to disappear. The remaining squadmate will essentially develop a split personality and simultaneously argue both for and against saving the Council.

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