The good Shepard

I have a long-standing tradition with videogames that allow for custom character creation: Whenever possible, I name and design my characters in honor of my old site mascots, ToastyFrog and Rorita/Yukiko. The latter tends to be easier, because games are more likely to let you create a cute young woman more often than they are a freakish man-frog thing.

So anyway, I did my best to make Mass Effect‘s Commander Shepard — Yukiko Shepard — look the part. No pink hair option, and no Rei Ayanami hairstyle, but bright red and close-cropped did the trick. She actually did look pretty much like you’d expect an older, slightly more realistic version of Rorita to look (taking into account, of course, a swift pummeling with the Unreal Engine 3 Ugly Stick). But no ToastyFrog, alas. Ultimate, I settled for making Wrex a permanent party member, partly because he was rad, but also because he was the closest I could get to having ToastyFrog and Rorita team up to shoot stuff…. in space.

But Mass Effect 2 brings me the best of both worlds. You can customize your armor design with custom colors, so I’ve gone with a green and orange scheme with a mottled pattern. Now it appears that Rorita has killed and skinned ToastyFrog and is wearing him as a decoration. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much exactly how the comic would have ended if I had followed it through to its logical conclusion.

This may well be my favorite part of the game.

15 thoughts on “The good Shepard

  1. I’ve made and remade characters so often in the Mass Effect character creator that I actually figured out how to make a really cute Asian female Shepherd. The trick is to balance out weird and seemingly counter-intuitive combinations — sort of like what you described on the 1up RPG Blog with the tooth gap.

    Unfortunately, I can’t bear to play Persephone Shepherd as anything other than a Paragon, and even more unfortunately, I can’t play Mass Effect as anything other than a Renegade.

  2. I managed to get an Asian look that I found quite appealing as well. And yeah, the weirdness thing is definitely true; it only worked for me with a completely mismatching red hair color. I’m hoping ME2’s face tool is closer to Dragon Age’s, because I’ve had absolutely no trouble getting pleasing results in that game, and a most of the other characters look just fine, unlike ME1.

    Leliana excepted. GOD those lips or eyes or something freak me out.

  3. Is it wrong that the ability to customize my armor excites me more than any of the other gameplay changes in Mass Effect 2?

  4. Jesus Christ, why don’t we all have our hot, snarky, short-haired Shepards make out sometime? (I feel like I’m back in high school in the early 90’s when Winona Ryder was every geek’s crush.)

  5. So on a more serious note, to what degree is it, indeed, a waste of time replaying the original just for the sake of data transferage? I’m guessing total, which would be nice because I may have accidentally deleted that save.

  6. Googleshng, you get some significant material rewards if you import a high-level character. More importantly, though, all the choices you made carry over and affect the plot and dialogue. But I don’t know that it’s worth playing through again… I’d say play once with the default scenario and character, and if you’re curious go back sometime and do a full run-through of ME 1 and 2 with your own Shepard.

  7. The only thing that gets me is that apparently you can’t change the appearance of an imported character? Seems like a wasted opportunity to me.

  8. I would imagine that completely changing your character’s appearance makes for an odd disconnect when your old teammates recognize that on site. Or if you make changes do they actually account for that make make your Shepard say “don’t you recognize me? It’s-a-me, Shepard!”

    I remember one of the doctors saying the one thing you can’t do is change your gender. Too bad, I’d love seeing those incredibly awkward reunion scenes.

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