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Flip a coin, damn.

This question comes up several times a day. I advise using a search, a lot of opinions have been voiced to this time.

If you can't decide then stop playing Mass Effect. The game is about personal preferances and choices. You can't make choices then this game is not for you.

I saved Ashley on my FemShep and plan to save Kaidan on my GuyShep. Why? Because I played ME2 first repeatedly, and only recently got ME, and am making choices based solely on whether they change anything compared to using the 'default' Chaotic Stupid Shepard they saddle you with if you start ME2 without a career import.

^^ Chaotic Stupid. This one was good :) I feel the same about the "default" Shepard choices.

Yeah. The default Shepard in ME2 was an obvious ploy to make Paragon (Read: Most of us,) players get ME if we didn't already have it. So they gave us a Shep that made all the most ludicrously awful, crapsack decisions as a way of annoying us into buying ME. Hence a Shepard with: alignment.

Save the one you want to hear the "go to hell" speech from when you save them yet again on Horizon.

^^ I think you just ended this debate.

I always prefer saving Ashley with MaleShep and Kaidan with FemShep, because then I can troll them in ME3 about my new LI =) The scene with Liara and Ashley fighting over MaleShep was priceless, especially with Renegade responses... "But she's not even human!" - I love trolling xenophobic NPCs =) Hope we get more of that in ME3...

Tactically (i.e if you want a more balanced team), you ought to save Ashley if you're a Sentinel, Adept or Enginner, and Kaidan if you're a Soldier, Infiltrator or Vanguard.

Hands down Ashley. Why? Because I've played Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic before. I don't need another Carth Onasi, he is a dull character in both games. Plus in both games his class is utterly useless, due to the PC finding a much better replacement shortly after meeting him. In the case of KotOR; Canderous Ordo, in the case of ME Liara

^^ This. Not sure what "role" Kaidan plays in the squad, anyway. As a biotic, both Wrex and Liara kick his ass. As a tech, Tali is also better. As a soldier, Wrex, Ashley, Garrus or PC will always beat him (he doesn't have a single weapon specialization). P.S. Canderous Ordo FTW =)

^Not true at all. Kaidan is overshadowed in DPS, but Kaidan has three things going for him: He can hack/bypass, he's an excellent Medic character with First Aid and Medicine, and Neural Shock makes some of the more difficult fights a joke (I'm looking at you, Krogan Battlemaster With Five Geth Who Ambushed Me After Rescuing Liara.) His utility factor is sky-high, he does things nobody else can do and keeps them confined to a single character so that your Shepard and your other teammate that you use alongside him don't have to gimp themselves with those abilities and can focus on kicking ass. Kaidan is, in Pokemon terms, a damned good HM Slave - he keeps the non-combat stuff 'quarantined' to a single character, actively helps in fights by giving you much faster access to Medi-gel, and is basically an I-Win button with Neural Shock in a couple of situations. Kaidan is a very underrated character. (And I'd go so far to say that Kaidan's attitude - Like on the Citadel when all he says is 'Big place.' is just him being a deadpan snarker. I got shades of Deadpan Snarker out of him in a few conversations, actually.)

  • Agree with you on that, plus Kaidan shuts up pretty quickly in ME3 about Shep previously working with Cerberus, while Ashley just brings it up in nearly every possible dialogue so that in the end I'm sending her right away to Hackett in all the playthroughs where I kept her instead of Kaidan when she asks to join the Normandy again - no way Ashley... Simi21

Wait, Neural shock was available in ME1? I really cant be bothered to play all 40 hours of ME1 just to have a complete experience. last time I tried, I couldn't import my character cause of corrupt files. (I had just upgraded my xbox). SO when I want to try out the sentinel class or maybe the adept class (I have played as infiltrator, vanguard and soldier), I will most likely ME:Genesis my way through it :\ Thunder

^ Neural Shock is a power made available by the Medicine skill in ME1. As for the question, I say save one for each playthrough that you intend to import into ME3, otherwise you miss out on some of the best bonus powers. Reave is amazing and Barrier is decent, though not as good as Defense Matrix. Inferno Grenade is an unstoppable pyromanic's delight and Marksman makes some assault rifles fire so fast that it almost completely negates recoil. I'm looking at you Phaeston and Revenant. ;) Niquorebel Cousland

From a military perspective, Ashley is the one to save, sadly. The Salarians are skilled saboteurs, infiltrators, and hackers - but they're diving into a front-line fight on Virmire. What they need from you is someone who doesn't duplicate the skills they already have in spades, someone whose entire resume is tanking and blasting. Also, Kaidan is a biotic - but biotics are better in pairs or more. One won't help Kirrahe's troops much, so Ashley goes with Kirrahe. When the call comes in to save Kirrahe's troops, they're at an AA tower - if they fall and the tower goes back online, the Normandy is cut off and nobody gets away from the bomb. So the situation dictates whoever's at the bomb already, dies - and military necessity dictates that it be Kaidan at the bomb. 23:34, June 27, 2012 (UTC)

  • I see it exactly the opposite way. From a pure military value perspective, Kaidan should be saved. He is the superior officer (he's functionally Shepard's XO in ME1), and he is a biotic, which are incredibly rare among humans. You can always train another infantry grunt. My personal preference, though, is to save Kaidan on paragon playthroughs and Ash on renegade ones, aside from the one paragon playthrough where I romanced her. Luper567
  • Also from a gameplay perspective, who you save is irrelevant to the outcome of the Virmire mission. The cutscene is slightly different, but the bomb still goes off and your mission is as accomplished as it can be. Also, sending Ashley with the Salarians assumes Shepard trusts her not to shoot one in the back. She's more suited to bomb duty because Kaidan isn't xenophobic. Niquorebel Cousland
  • Interesting perspectives - Ash's xenophobia to me was at best an outside concern, since she'd been working alongside a Turian, Krogan, and Quarian for the whole game(plus, the "Tell me to kiss a turian, and I'll ask which cheek" comment you can get from her during a Normandy conversation; not a true embracing of aliens, but more a statement of "don't ask me to like them, but I'll work with them"). And I did note Kaidan was a biotic - in fact, that's one of my arguments for NOT sending him with the Salarians. At that point of the mission, someone experiencing the game for the first time won't know A: you can save him and B: who you save and where doesn't matter to the mission. Logically, if biotics are highly valuable, then sending one on a near-suicide op is a bad call, especially one his skills aren't suited for. Remember, unless you've spoiled yourself or played through once, you don't know ANYTHING about how Virmire will unfold. You don't KNOW that going back to the bomb won't affect the end of the mission, you don't KNOW that the AA gun won't come back online. Those are both metaknowledge of the game itself, not the military situation presented within the game. From a pure military perspective, Kirrahe's asking you for a liasion to go along on a maximal-risk frontal assault being staged as a distraction. The units making that assault are light-armored, light-gunned, skilled at hacking, intel, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination. Sending one more light fighter with them is not going to make a huge difference, especially one with a biotic's endurance limitations. Sending a heavy infantry soldier, however, gives them a hardy trooper who can play anvil or hammer, draw fire, and provide heavy fire support, and is more likely than Kaidan to come back alive due to heavier armor and implants geared to survival rather than biotic output and sabotage/hacking tools..and if she doesn't come back from the near-suicide op, then as noted, you can always train Vega ;p Then, when the call comes in, all you know for sure is Geth are at the bomb, the ally there has activated the bomb and is making a last stand, and the crew at the AA tower is doing the same. Again, not knowing that going back to the bomb has no effect on the mission, the logical choice is going to the AA tower - especially since it's been hammered in three times on the mission that the Normandy cannot take fire from the AA system and survive. Kaidan is already at the bomb. Going back to save him risks the entire crew of the Normandy and Kirrahe's team. Remember, I'm not arguing Ashley is a better choice gamewise or even characterwise - I'm arguing strict facts-on-the-ground military logic. I've found Kaidan's personality to be much more likable than Ash's constant sniping and endless suspicion in ME3, plus Ash is essentially a poor Garrus clone in ME3. But the situation, if viewed without our extra-universe knowledge, admits of only one solution - send Ash with the Salarians, and save whoever's with the Salarians at the AA tower. 00:27, June 28, 2012 (UTC)

One quibble: Ash is not a poor mans Garrus. Her passives make her more geared toward survivability than he is, and marksman synergizes well with ARs, where he is a vastly better sniper. She's more of a tweener between Garrus and James. Interestingly enough, her power set is more or less a carbon copy of Zaeed's, and fills that same role in the squad. Luper567

Damn that was a big post. Well personnaly? I Don't care which as i'm currently taking Tali and Garrus to everything (Save a few where i bring Wrex and Liara) But i'm saving Kadian this time as i never had a file with him alive. And hey. I like him a bit more than Ash.

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