The Mass Effect franchise is known for important decisions that can reverberate through the trilogy. In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, this is taken even further since decisions made in each game will influence the number of war assets and Effective Military Strength in the third game’s finale. Of course, some decisions simply lead to interesting bits of dialogue and situations in the sequels so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
Let’s take a look at the different decisions you can make in Mass Effect 1 and their effects.
Recruit or Ignore Garrus – Can be done after the mission “Citadel: Expose Saren.” Though you can miss him at the Med Clinic, he can be found outside the elevator in Central C-Sec. If you choose not to recruit Garrus or ignore him, he’ll be absent throughout the game (though still somewhat aware of Shepard when they meet in Mass Effect 2).
Recruit or Ignore Wrex – After completing the “Citadel: Expose Saren” mission, you can meet Urdnot Wrex in C-Sec. He can also be encountered outside of the elevator in central C-Sec. Recruiting Wrex results in him appearing in Mass Effect 2 and 3 (if you don’t kill him on Virmire, that is). Ignoring Wrex effectively removes him from the canon, replaced by Wreav as Clan Urdnot’s leader.
Fist Lives or Dies – In this mission, you can either kill or spare Fist on the Citadel (though bringing Wrex along will result in him killing Fist immediately). Save Fist and he’ll appear in Omega in Mass Effect 2 and dead later in Mass Effect 3 (in other words, he’s not that important in the long run). Killing Fist won’t make him appear later and Wrex will give you the bounty if he wasn’t in your squad when it happened.
Locate Liara – Depending on the number of mission worlds completed before finding her, Liara’s reaction will change. If you find her after one or less worlds, she’ll be under duress but still normal. If you find her after Feros and Noveria, she’ll be more unstable. If found after Virmire, she’ll be unstable, afraid of the Krogan Battlemaster and upset in the Normandy afterwards.
Feros: Colony Survives or Shuts Down – If you complete the different side quests and use either Charm or Intimidate options on Fai Dan, you can save the colony (with its survival determined by a check when the mission concludes). Doing so will unlock the Assignment “Illium: Medical Scans” in Mass Effect 2. If you also spared Shiala, then Feros will be an asset in Mass Effect 3. If you don’t pass the check, the colony will be shut down, locking off their appearances in Mass Effect 2 and 3.
Noveria: Parasini Lives or Dies – Depending on the choices made during Gianna Parasini’s investigation, you can have her survive or die. If you tell Administrator Anoleis that Parasini is an agent, then they’ll both die. If you use any other method to complete the mission, then Parasini will survive and you can do the Assignment “Ilium: Gianna Parasini” in Mass Effect 2.
Noveria: Spare or Kill the Rachni Queen – When the mission chain comes to an end, you’ll have to either spare or kill the Rachni Queen. Choose the former and she’ll be referenced in Mass Effect 2 while appearing in Mass Effect 3 (where she can become a war asset when spared again). Kill her and in Mass Effect 3, you’ll come across the Breeder in “Attican Traverse: Krogan Team” who can either be killed or spared.
Garrus’ Attitude – If you decide to go the Paragon route, Garrus will be more law-abiding and mention how he rejoined C-Sec in Mass Effect 2 but couldn’t do much. If you go the Renegade route, Garrus will be more of a loose cannon and talk about trying to be a Spectre in Mass Effect 2 (which didn’t work out).
Rita’s Sister – In the Citadel, you’ll receive this assignment to help Rita find out about her sister Jenna. Check out the video below for the best way to resolve it. If completed and Conrad Verner survives in Mass Effect 1 and 2, then Rita will save him in Mass Effect 3. Failing to complete the assignment and having Verner survive in ME 1 and 2 results in him dying in the third game during “Medi-Gel Sabotage Mission.”
UNC: Hostile Takeover – Upon completing this, you can choose to kill or spare Helena Blake. Killing her means she won’t appear in the sequels. Spare her and she’ll appear in Mass Effect 2 on Omega in Afterlife.
Citadel: The Fan – The first step for this Assignment begins on the Citadel. Finishing different Mission Worlds will unlock the remaining two. If you have two points in Charm or Intimidate, use either option to have Conrad leave (he’ll then appear in Mass Effect 2). If you use any other options like “It’s a bad idea”, “It’s not going to happen” or “No”, Conrad will leave and subsequently be killed, thus not appearing in the sequels.
Tali’s Trust – Following the completion of “UNC: Geth Incursions”, go speak to Tali in Engineering. If you let her copy the Geth data, then in the mission “Freedom’s Progress” in Mass Effect 2, selecting “I’ll prove it’s really me” will allow for gaining Tali’s trust (since you can reference the incident). Not letting her copy it or ignoring Tali results in the option being unavailable and her not trusting you immediately in the sequel.
Citadel: Family Matter – Complete this part will result in the couple in question appearing in Mass Effect 2. Based on your decision regarding whether they should opt for gene therapy or not, you’ll see the result. They can also be found in the Presidium Commons in Mass Effect 3. Not completing the assignment means they’ll be absent in Mass Effect 2. Though found in the Presidium Commons in the third game, Shepard will not know them.
Virmire: Kirrahe Lives or Dies – On Virmire, you can help out Kirrahe by completing four different objectives. In the “Destroy Flyers” part, destroying the fuel tanks when the Flyer is on the refueling platform will result in Kirrahe living. He’ll then appear in Mass Effect 3 on Sur’Kesh. Ignoring the Flyer will see Kirrahe dying. Mordin will talk about him in Mass Effect 2 while Lieutenant Tolan replaces him in Mass Effect 3.
Hanging Up on the Council – Throughout the game, you can choose to hang up on the Council multiple times. Check out the video below to see what happens if you keep disconnecting the call. It’s hilarious, if nothing else.
UNC: Hades’ Dogs – Completing this assignment will see Miranda and Tali referencing it in Mass Effect 2. It will also be mentioned in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. Not completing it means that it won’t be referenced.
Virmire: Spare or Kill Rana – Another decision on Virmire involves an Asari scientist named Rana. Sparing her means she appears in “Dossier: The Warlord” in Mass Effect 2 but in Mass Effect 3, she’s referenced as being indoctrinated. Killing her means she won’t appear in the second game or be referenced in the third.
Virmire: Wrex Lives or Dies – A cure is available for the Genophage but must be destroyed. Wrex isn’t having it though and if you don’t want him to die, you’ll need to either have eight points in the Charm stat or finished the Assignment “Wrex: Family Armor.” If you don’t have either option, then Shepard can either shoot him or have Ashley shoot him. If Wrex lives, he’ll survive in Mass Effect 2 and 3. If he dies, then Wreav will replace him (though it’s easier to fool him when sabotaging the Genophage cure in ME3).
Virmire: Ashley or Kaiden Dies – Of course, that’s not the only tough choice on Virmire. You’ll have to choose between saving either Kaidan or Ashley. The one left behind will die while the other appears briefly in Mass Effect 2 while being a recruitable squad member in Mass Effect 3.
Conversation with Saren – One last major thing on Virmire will affect the final battle and it involves Saren. Choose the Investigate option when speaking to Saren – if you select “It’s already happened” or “You are indoctrinated”, then certain options will open up in the battle against him later. Go with “Join me” or “Sovereign will betray you” and you’ll only need to have 9 points in Charm or Intimidate to convince Saren.
Race Against Time: Final Battle – When you finally encounter Saren, you can make him commit suicide to skip the first part of the boss fight. You need 12 points in Charm or Intimidate (unless you chose the right options on Virmire to reduce these requirements). Select either Charm or Intimidate option that comes up, then Saren will kill himself. If neither option is available, you’ll have to choose “This is pointless” and fight him.
The Destiny Ascension – After the fight with Saren, you have the option to either save the Destiny Ascension or focus on Sovereign. Check out the video below to see what you get for saving the council versus not saving them. If saved, the Destiny Ascension will be a major asset in Mass Effect 3 (with less human contribution). Focusing on Sovereign results in an all-human council in Mass Effect 2. Choosing a human councilor doesn’t have much consequences so go with either Anderson or Udina.
Asari Writings, Data Recovery and Elkoss Combine License – The Elkoss Combine License is obtained from the Wards’ Expat. You can also get it from Opold on Noveria. The Feros: Data Recovery Assignment is found by talking to Gavin Hossle on Feros. For the Asari Writings, you need to find 10 out of 15. Completing all of these and ensuring that Verner survives by Mass Effect 3 will result in the Military Strength of his Dark Energy Dissertation being increased. Not doing this or having Verner die beforehand won’t provide the increase or the dissertation.
UNC: Asari Diplomacy – Completing the assignment results in Shepard remembering Nassana’s manipulation in “Dossier: The Assassin” on Ilium. Not completing it will result in Shepard and Nassana being strangers to each other.
Citadel: The Fourth Estate – Talking to the reporter here will make her remember you in Mass Effect 2 and 3. Ignoring the reporter will result in her not knowing Shepard in the sequels.
UNC: Rogue VI – Completing this assignment results in different NPCs responses in the sequels. If Shepard was hostile when EDI appeared, then they’ll have additional dialogues with Miranda and EDI in Mass Effect 2 (along with a revelation in Mass Effect 3). Not completing the assignment won’t result in additional dialogues, and the incident will be briefly referenced in Mass Effect 3.
Bring Down the Sky – Choosing to save the hostages in the DLC mission will see Balak escaping and three explosives needing to be disabled. You’ll encounter Balak again in “Citadel: Batarian Codes” in Mass Effect 3. Attacking Balak results in the hostages being killed but you’ll net more rewards. Balak can also be executed or taken into custody afterwards.