Reviews for Interstitium
Karamazov chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
The email notification for this came in the other day and I was so distracted looking at it that I forgot to put my motorcycle into first gear and dropped it from the sidestand onto the pavement. My left-hand turn signal thanks you for writing well.

Well done at adding depth to Chambers. Again.

...and in answer to your queries...

ME3, favorite writing moment: actually, the ending. Maybe not in the correct way, or maybe so. I find a deep, poetic sort of irony in that all of the choices you make in a game that's "about choices" adds up to very little distinction in the final outcome. It's a powerful statement on human fallibility and hubris, as well as a disavowal of the "lone gunslinging hero" archetype we see in a lot of fiction, whether it be Western, modern, popular, SF, or none of the above. To follow it up with Buzz Aldrin and the kid staring up into the vastness of space really underscores this disavowal. And it suggests that in the end there wasn't much we could have done, or (in our own lives) can do. We are small creatures who live for a brief instant on a tiny speck, then we are gone. The stars continue to shine, the planets continue to orbit the sun; eppur si muove and all that.

But some might consider this a powerfully nihilistic and pessimistic argument. Personally I find it empowering - but either way it's a big, bitter pill for any audience to swallow, oft-cheesy SF video game trilogy or no. "Remember all those decisions you thought about, the blue and the red? Forget it. No real distinction other than how they made you yourself feel at the time." And I get how some people might not enjoy that.

Also loved just about any scene with Wrex, who is spot-on as the grumpy asskicking old man. The post-mission visit with Cortez was pitch-perfect, something to the effect of: "when a Krogan battlemaster politely asks for the controls, you stand aside." The backdoor deal with the dalatresses, the Krogan females, and the confrontation with Wrex if you decide to go that route. The whole krogan arc is really at the heart of the franchise, and it shows on the Tuchanka mission. I don't feel the same level of care was taken with the writing on the other missions for ME3 - that's what really disappointed me about the game.

Loved Citadel too, but it's so self-aware and comes so close to breaking the fourth wall that it is really its own product. Javik is an interesting character ill-used.

Least favorite? Where to begin. Illusive Man's devolution into a cackling black-and-white villain. Any scene with Kai Leng. The one-sided treatment of the quarian/geth conflict, in which the geth genocide is simply waved aside and the robots learn to love, how-the-Grinch-stole-Christmas style. The Turian fliers on Tuchanka: "our approach is locked!" Udina, who I actually think could pose some interesting realpolitik moral questions to a player if video game developers had time for that kind of thing - instead he's a caricature.
Tyler chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
I didn't catch that question at the end until I read other reviews...this is a hard one to answer. The ending is far from the only narrative mess in ME3...

My favorite moment is probably Mordin's sacrifice. Very little of ME3 turned out the way I thought it should, but the curing of the genophage was handled pretty much perfectly. As for my least favorite...jeez, that's hard to say, partly because I'm not sure what constitutes a "moment".

The realization that the Illusive Man was just indoctrinated the whole time, that he never really was on the side of the good guys in any way, was pretty disappointing, but that goes hand in hand with all of Cerberus, from little details like how they really got all of those soldiers (it's just not believable that they had that many husks) to the Kai Leng and the organization just being comically evil.

There was a wonderful collection of essays by this guy, before ME3 came out. It was just called "Mass Effect 3: A Dissertation", and it covered all sorts of well thought out ideas he had for what could've been coming in ME3. One big one was the idea that Cerberus was Alliance sanctioned the whole time...I wish it had been more like that. If you're considering doing a Mass Effect 3 novelization, you would need extensive rewriting. It would have to be practically a different story. You should read that guy's ideas. Just as a heads up. I don't know if you should really put the time into trying to improve on ME3.
General Rage chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
Joker was one of my instant friends when I first got to the Normandy. He always seemed so fun and Seth Green was a perfect match for his personality. It just wouldn't be the same if he wasn't playing him. His original scene during the ending where he just takes off was the sole issue I honestly had in the end with the ending. It is why I accepted the extended cut so readily. At least there Joker didn't abandon me.

As for writing wise, I really loved pretty much all of the Tuchanka Arc, but if I had to pick one singular moment I loved it was at Grissom Academy and meeting David again. It was one of those moments that I felt a choice I made really mattered and it was good seeing him again because I really felt for the poor kid. It was great to see he had turned out okay and that I had helped him. It was a terrific scene.

However, my least favourite writing moment was always a bigger concern for me than the ending. Rannoch. I still loved helping the quarians get their homeworld back and getting them to make peace with the Geth... but I hated the way they wrote it. It was way too one-sided, constantly making the Geth out to be the poor innocent victims who never did anything wrong and absolving them of all blame constantly. It made the peace seem hollow as the quarians looked like dicks for good reason and didn't bother to ever show their side of the story. Yes, you can argue the quarians got to explain their side for the past two games, but they never even got a chance to defend themselves adequately. They were written to be wrong and it seemed rather rushed and unfair. At least with Tuchanka they attempted to show that maybe the Salarians had a point despite the fact you knew they were wrong. But for the quarians, they're painted to be complete assholes who killed the Geth and started the war senselessly for no good reasons because they're stupid.

Han'Gerrel's character was completely derailed by the turns the story took, and he didn't even get a chance to say sorry. It was a load. If I had to pick a moment I hated most, it was Shepard's speech to convince the quarians to stand down. It puts all the blame on them and none on the Geth, it's basically a big guilt trip. He could've empathized that the Geth and them aren't so different, that they don't have to kill each other, that it's time to let go of the 300 years of hatred and anger. But no, Shepard just basically tells them "You guys suck, stop sucking, the Geth are cool!"

I could go on about how Rannoch had many problems story wise that ruined the morally grey areas of the arc that it was supposed to have, but I don't have the time. Anyway, here's hoping for next chapter, not sure who it will be though since there's a lot of girl characters sharing POVs with others in this story.
MECHANICALCHEESE chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
So here's what I think, because I haven't said this yet any of my previous reviews: when Samara tries to murder everyone on the Normandy, there is going to be a fight, not an execution. I don't see any reason why anyone would willingly sacrifice themselves to an Alien, with different laws, that somehow demands them to be extinguished.

...

I don't know, you might not ever write about it, because it will be an ME3 event. Regardless, it is interesting, so if like to see how it plays out :-)
Janizary chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
Nice, Legion. Like helping a little old lady across the street (or helping them impale themselves for SCIENCE!). That was awesome.

ME3 Writing moments (my quotes are just placeholders):
Funniest: "'I should go'. Do I sound like that?"
Saddest: "I must go to them." or "I'm proud of you." Toss, but since one is 'almost' at the end, it might be disqualified.
Most infuriating: Remember that time when...oh, I can't talk about the end. ;)
Most inspiring: Not dialogue so much as the scene itself. Reaper vs. Uber Maw.

Best scene of all 3 games: Sovereign's speech. Still makes my skin crawl. Harbinger has nothing on that speech.
MrRigger chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
On the ME movie thought, I'd rather them not do anything with Shepard and the Normandy, but rather cover the years before ME1. Do the First Contact War, do humanity joining the Citadel, just don't lock Shepard into one specific background, because you know they'd make him a default Male Earthborn Paragon Soldier. Which is fine, I've played that Shepard, but Shepard is supposed to be different for everyone.

One the ME3 question, of the core game, I think my favorite moment was Mordin's death. Not that I was happy to see him go, he was one of my favorite characters, but they sent him off in such a powerful way that I can't get mad at them. Outside the core game, pretty much all of the Citadel DLC. Everything there was just awesome, I loved all of it. Least favorite writing moment? Pretty much anything to do Kai Leng, because all of that was seriously clumsily done. I know he's expanded in some of the comics, but I've never read those, and don't intend to, so he came out of nowhere, has no context for his skills, inflicts the Idiot Ball on all those around him, and has plot-mandated Screw You buttons all over the place. I'm sorry, but if I shoot you full of multiple heat sinks worth of ammo, rip you apart with biotics, and tear you apart to the point that you don't get to get off more than one attack before you retreat back to the safety of your gunship providing covering fire, you shouldn't get to just walk away with a perfect victory like my efforts were for nothing. That's piss poor writing to me.

MrRigger
Guile chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
Man, it’s so hard to pick just one. The Citadel DLC from start to finish was so much hokey fun, celebrating all the characters and crazy soft science we’ve come to love (Evil clones? Seriously?). The Leviathan DLC was intriguing; I wish we had more of that instead of the Catalyst. The little bits and pieces that snuck in around the edges, like Kal’Reegar’s last stand and the Krogan poet’s ode to his ‘blue rose’. Sheppard and Tali on Rannoch (building a little house…). Legion’s self-actualization. Garrus and Sheppard shooting bottles on the Citadel. My favorite would have to be Mordin’s end, though.
“I made a MISTAKE.”
“Had to be me. Someone else would have gotten it wrong.”
His whole character arc from ME2 to ME3 I did NOT see coming, but really impressed me. Utilitarianism is so much easier from a distance.

Least favorite… does the whole Illusive Man arc count? I was also not terribly impressed by Samara’s section, but then I never really liked Samara to begin with. Jack’s section was cute but without much substance, and Jacob’s was even less.
Ananon chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
Bloody excellent, as always.

Favorite moment in ME3: probably the little talk that manShep had with Anderson while the two of them are dying on the Citadel. The cracks in Shepard's veneer of command following Thessia are a close second.

Least favorite: Cerberus raid. What narrative purpose does it serve, exactly? Why would elite Cerberus commandos that gutted C-Sec take off just because Captain Bailey and a couple of mall cops showed up? In second place, there's the "teach the geth to love" bullshit that the Rannoch arc turned into.
Lost Northern chapter 29 . 4/7/2014
What do you mean by writing moment ?
eriskbo chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

always thought that summed up Joker nicely...great chapter as always, long wait but worth it!
NoNameAvailable Bis chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
And once again, great update, with a chilling ending. "What the shit" indeed, not to mention those Chandana logs. What's interesting with those non-team-mates chapters is that they always focus on the rest of the crew, the average (kindda) joes who signed up nonetheless for a suicide mission. Also, interesting to see Joker still feeling guilty-except-not-really over what happened, and his conversations with EDI showed a real evolution between them.

Now, for my favourite writing moment in ME3... I'd be tempted to say it's a tough sell between the climaxes on Tuchanka and Rannoch, which were the high points of the game to me. But perhaps I could nominate a much smaller event : the conversation with Udina right after the Council meeting. I always found his character interesting, but in that scene, he really sounded... well, human, I guess.

My least favourite one... Probably Mars. I wasn't too upset over it, because I had been long prepared to the fact that having an anti-reaper super-weapon lying around was the only way to keep Shepard relevant during the end-game, but I still felt it was sloppy. And the fact the schematics were simply waiting in a facility known for decades only strained further my suspension of disbelief. In a way, you could say I didn't enjoy the main plot structure, but liked the "sidequests". Oh, and I wasn't a fan of what they did with Cerberus either.

See you soon!
Tyler chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
I'm going to guess Chapter 30 is Jack.

I've got weird feeling now that this is coming to an end. I've never really talked about the flaws with this story, because they're hardly flaws, but I do find it somewhat sad we miss out on the details due to the structure of your story. Sure, we don't need them because we've all played the game, but I kind of wish we had gotten your own take on the introduction to Legion in the midst of a swarm of husks.

I only bring this up now because getting close to the end makes me reflect back on this whole story, the genius moments and the missing parts. Kind of a pointless comment, I suppose, but I struggle to come up with actual criticism anyway.
anotamous chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
Not sure what you meant by still not legion, but anyway moving along, good chapter. Favorite ME3 moment would be Mordin sacrificing himself to cure the genophage, and Kalros killing the Reaper. Least favorite (apart from the ending with the stupid brat), geth-quarian war. Made it a bit too black and white for my taste.
Afalstein chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
Joker is a fun character. I got to know him first in ME2, and I was sort of surprised when I picked up ME1 to see how minor a role he seemed to have. But he really hit it off with audiences. I love the surprise mission in ME2 where you have to be him hobbling around the ship (which I thought you were going to get into here, and was a little disappointed that you didn't). He was a lot of fun in ME3, too.

I liked the start to this, where Grunt tries to half-drunkenly explain his hazy memories in his clumsy way. It's better because the reader knows Grunt has something important to impart, but can also understand his teammates' trepidation.

Your presentation of his slowly growing empathy with EDI is also nice. Kind of scary bit with Joker wondering about indoctrination, almost liking the idea. Joker IS the sort who would eventually find the Reapers to be both terrifying and ridiculous. The callback from the scene with Kelly was fun too, tying together a bunch of chapters and giving us a sense of the overall scenario.

Odd take on Joker-that he signed on with Cerberus for the Normandy and not for Shepard. I remember now that you did have him say this early on in Tali's chapter, but I hadn't gotten the point. It meshes with the other character trait you gave him-that Joker actually cares about the ship more than the crew. It fits with his in-game behavior a whole lot and also recalls the conversation he had with the engineers. Unexpected, but very nice. Thought you were going to end it with Joker having to deal with the ship without the crew, but I don't think

The two major girls-who-haven't-gotten-their-own-chapter-yet seem to be Aria and Jack. I can't really think of a good reason for you to visit Aria, so I have to think that the next chapter will be Jack, though the timing seems odd.

I actually didn't hate the ending so much... I was more upset that all the endings were the same. My favorite moment, though... I think Shepard's shooting competition with Garrus is pretty hilarious. There's also this moment...an elcor ambassador who asks you to evacuate his home-planet. It's a bit mission... you show up and scan the planet and you're done. But when you go back, and you tell him, and ask if they were able to evacuate the civilians, the elcor can't speak at first, and then says "...not... enough." I love it because for once the elcor is so overcome he can't even tell you how he's speaking, but for the first time you can hear emotion from an elcor.

Least favorite moment is probably on Rannoch. I loved the Geth/Quarian war in a lot of ways, and I liked a lot of how they ended it. But the climax annoyed me on a couple fronts. First, that there was a long drawn-out explanation for how the battle somehow came down to you firing a targeting laser at the Reaper's "eye," even though there's no way the fleet could have hit the eye from above like that. Second, that Shepard manages to talk down two species that have been at each other's throats for time immemorial. Third, the introduction of the "synthetics vs. organics cycle" idea (which made even less sense in my playthrough, when I'd JUST united the geths and quarians.) But finally, what annoys me is how everyone throws around "Kee'lah se'lai" without any regard for whether it actually makes any sense. Legion's use of it might have been pretty compelling, if Shepard hadn't blatantly pulled it out at the end of his speech just to get the Quarians on board.

Wow. Long review, that.
Dead Bones Sam chapter 29 . 4/6/2014
My favorite moment in ME3 was when Mordin went up to save the Krogan from the genophage cure sacrificing his life to right the one mistake he showed to regret in life. I disliked the first ending.
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