Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video: Commander Shepard Goes Björk On An Unarmed Reporter

By Kirk Hamilton

Ask anyone who played through the original Mass Effect as a renegade what was the most surprising, memorable, and horrifying dialogue option in the game and there's a fair chance that they'll bring up their encounter with reporter Khalisah Al-Jilani.

I know it stuck with me. As Badass Ginger Grenadier Blade Shepard, I returned to the Citadel, fresh off my first successful mission as a Spectre. After getting off the elevator (though heh, I'd imagine most events in the original Mass Effect could be prefaced thusly), I was accosted by Al-Jilani, a reporter for Westerlund News.

After a dodging and parrying with her a bit, doing my best to ignore the way she super-irritatingly distorted my responses, she finally pushed my man Blade too far. I selected the renegade dialogue option "Time to shut you up!" thinking it would, you know, make him insult her and storm off, or maybe break her floaty little camera.

What happened instead? Well, let's just say Shepard let his fists do the talking. More specifically, his right hook.

So in Mass Effect 2, when Al-Jilani turned up with more questions for my more grizzled, re-animated, and even more badass Blade Shepard, I already knew what was coming. In the interest of posterity, I documented Blade's history of press-abuse in the following video:

As I've mentioned before, the sequel has a ton of callbacks to the original game - it's pretty remarkable how often Blade's story references his exploits fighting Saren and the Geth. But among all those references, the reporter-punch is certainly the weirdest, and the most uncomfortably hilarious.When discussing it, we also realized that it's basically a video game re-enactment of "The Bankok Björk Incident" - reporter hassles celebrity at the wrong time, celebrity has finally had enough, one-sided fisticuffs ensue.

There is no way we won't be seeing Al-Jilani again in the third game; I'd actually put the smart money on her finally turning the tables on Shepard, Björking-out herself and busting him with a haymaker. That's how I'd write the joke, anyway: First beat - set up, second beat - establish rhythm, third beat - upset rhythm with punch line. In this case, a literal punch line. *groan*

Hopefully that's how it'll go down, anyway. I love Blade and everything, but he can't just go around punching unarmed members of the press and thinking he can get away with it forever.


Pusoro said...

Oh wow, she really ticked me off but I didn't know you could punch her.
I'm playing Mass Effect 1 again so thanks for the tip!

The Sonia Show said...

First of all, as a former reporter, I'm offended. :)

Second, I bet they totally starting doing it in Mass Effect 3.